Feeling Sentimental

As baby girl will be here any day, I am feeling sentimental, as I always do before a new little one makes their way. It reminds me how big my boys are getting and yet at the same time how little they still are. So here I am reflecting on their cuteness and all that I want to try to remember about them.
Current updates on Charles:

-Sweet Charles is now 3 years old! What a fun day celebrating our youngest (for a few more days anyways.) We celebrated with a special treat from our favorite bakery for breakfast, donut holes to celebrate with his classmates, a park session with daddy, present opening including some of his favorites a monster truck and microphone, dinner at the Hotdog Food Truck in Winterhaven, walking around to see the lights, lots of friends and family to add to the fun and topped it off with a cookie cake!
-Charles has become one of the funniest kids we know. His natural wit never ceases to have us in stitches. He recently was decorating Gingerbread men in his class and turned to his teacher and said, ‘Look I made a peenie!’ And lo and behold he had decorated the Gingerbread’s privates areas with some m and m’s and marshmallows. Ha.
-He LOVES to sing and can be found singing most of the day. Austin was prepping him for Christmas by teaching him Rudloph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Whenever he hears it he exclaims, ‘HEY IT’S RULDOLPH THE RED NOSE! THAT’S MY SONG!’ He knows all the words. He also has taken to the song Praise Ye the Lord but instead sings, “Praise ME the Lord!’ Yesterday he was singing that at the top of his lungs at the Desert Museum. Other favorites include, Take me out to the ball game, Silent Night and Still Still Still.
-He calls avocado, ‘all-a-bo-cado,’ mac n cheese, ‘mac-in-roni,’ I want to SMWELL it instead of smell, SHIR for sure.
-He loves to ask us,’So how was your day?’ about 50 times a day, but we gladly oblige because it is super cute.
-Poor baby gets car sick pretty easily, so often he will tell you, ‘Mommy slow down you are going the ‘speed lemon!’ Meaning slow down you are going to fast, as sometimes the speed limit is too fast for him.
-He loves playing with action figures especially, Paw Patrol figures, dinosaurs and monster trucks.
-He is getting more of an attention span everyday and the meticulous Baum genes are coming through more and more each day.
-He loves to cuddle and has a very tender side with those he loves.
We are so thankful for this little spunky guy and all the joy that he brings us!

Current updates on James: 
-He is fast approaching five and reminds us regularly, ‘I feel like I am almost five. I really do!’ He is for sure getting more mature by the day.
-He loves to pray for our friends and family at night and will regularly pray, ‘Dear Lord, I pray for ____, and all that you provide for them and all that you bless for them and hopefully you provide enough food and water for them.’
-He has such a thoughtful heart and is always thinking of others. He loves to help his teachers at school, help make new friends with the brand new kids in his class, and wants to make sure everyone around him is being taken care of. I love this about him.
-He is very sure of himself and very proud of all that he is learning. He currently loves practicing his math problems with basic addition, sounding out letters of words, color by numbers, coloring anything really, making lego creations
-He loves parks that have swing sets with a fire pole to slide down. Unfortunately we have yet to find one close to us in Tucson.
-He has great hand eye coordination and hits a ball 9 times out of 10 when playing baseball.
-He likes quiet and time on his own. When going to the library once he said, ‘I like our library because you have to be quiet and I like being quiet.’ He knows himself well.
He is such a fun kid who is growing up way too fast! We are eager to see who he continues to become each day.
We are so grateful to be parents to these two wonderful boys! And we are so excited to add a little sister to the crew.

Searching for Waldo together


Helping Daddy in the yard.


Sneaking in our bed and reminding me just how little they still are.


Classic James Outfit shorts, sports pants, double sweaters, scarf, goggles and a hat.


I’m swree!


Christmas Eve with all my boys!


That Santa Claus joy!


James’s all about me. Favorite color blue, food fish, movie Star Wars (those are AT-AT Walkers), thing to do camping, animal rhino, toy legos.


Squeaky clean!


Typical scene in our house. Charles in a costume.


James practicing his math.


Santa letter 2016


Santa pic 2016. Charles was not getting any closer.


James’ duplo dog spa.


Building a monster truck garage together.


Eating a block of cheese. He finished the whole thing while I took a nap. Not my most proud moment as a mom. Ha.


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Charles’ gingerbread man. : ) 

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Charles is 2.5


My baby is 2.5 already! What a fun kid he is. When we had him we did not know if we would call him Charles or Charlie but there is no doubt his personality requires him to be called Charles. There is just so much personality packed into this little one, the big name fits him so well. We have really enjoyed this stage with him.

There is no doubt he is so different from his older brother. They are like night and day however they do love each other and play together well (85% of the time). It is so much fun to see them growing as friends.

Here are some highlights/things I would like to remember about Charles at 2.5.

-He is gaining vocabulary every single day and is able to express his opinion adamantly. He has almost completely lost his mispronouncing of letters and syllables. The sign of a true big kid. He does however say ‘hunder’ instead of thunder and ‘wa-nan-melon’ instead of watermelon right now which brings me joy.

-He is still the funniest one among us and regularly has us all in stitches over some random sentence he spouted out. James regularly tells us,’That kid is hilarious!’ in reference to Charles.

-He has become quite the little fish this summer and is holding his breath well underwater. He is fearless and will jump at you with no notice. Hopefully we can get this fearless boy more pool proof by the end of the summer.

-His favorite book is “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” He can recite almost all of it from memory.

-He is LOUD and never stops talking/singing. This is particularly noticeable on long car rides. I love his singing and his happy personality but there are moments when it would be nice to just have some quiet. : )

-He has started tell us ‘You’re the best mommy/daddy ever!’ so naturally we gush over him after that each time.

-He is quite stubborn (nothing he gets from either of us. ha.) This is coming out most in his slow potty training at this time. He is for sure smart enough to learn this but he just does not care/want to.

-He still loves singing a good round of ‘Wheels on the Bus’ or ‘Old MacDonald’ before bed each night.

-He does not plan his moves or have strategy in anything he does (unlike his brother). He is a free spirit that does what he wants however he wants to. This can be seen in the way he eats an apple or burrito. When he is done with it there are just random bites all over the thing and it is a mangled mess, and he and the table and ground and everything else in sight are covered in food.

-He marches to the beat of his own drum and really could care less what everyone else is doing. Love this about him.

-Before I leave for work each day he tells me, ‘In case you need your umbrella in case it rains and put your sunshade down in case the sun.’ Then he and James sit in the carport waving at me and blowing kisses until I am out of sight. One of my favorite moments.

-He loves to pretend to be a doggie right now. He wants me to throw the ball and will go fetch it on his hands and knees and bring it back, barking for more. It is super cute pretend play.

-He will pretend to be a superhero and run around the house as fast as he can screaming ‘SUPERHERO!’

-He loves to pray for others especially our friends and family.

This little boy is such a blessing in our lives and we could not be more grateful to be his parents. Come over and hang with him any time. We are sure your time will be full of laughter and joy. Love you our sweet Charlesy!

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Eating an ice cream cone.

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We love his crazy hair.

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Eating a burrito.

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Love those smiles.

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Seriously big personality.

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Enjoying some Eegees.

Saddest sad face you ever did see.

Playing doggie with his brother.

He put his underwear on, obviously.

Love him so much!


A Fun Family Saturday

We had a great Saturday today. Sometimes my favorite days are the unplanned, go with the flow, stick around the house kind of days.

Today we started by waking up and heading over to my dad’s barn to check out the horses. James has always been a bit fearful but Charles loved it and did not want to leave. We saw horses, miniature horses, ponies, goats and donkeys. I love that my boys get to grow up around this, even though I am not a horse person.


  
After that Austin made some delicious blueberry pancakes. I love this weekend tradition. The boys are always busy helping and I even got a chance to read while they were working.

Rain on the front porch.

Charles and I stayed home to rest while James and Austin went off to do some projects on our rental house. I love that James loves to accompany Austin while he is fixing things.

I whipped up a quick lunch and the boys returned. Austin then brought out a large box from Ikea and decided that he wanted to make a rocket with the boys. He is so creative and has an incredible ability to actually make what is in his mind a reality, no matter the project. The boys all worked together while I read my book on the porch during a beautiful thunder storm. After planning, drawing, cutting, and painting we had a rocket! 3,2,1 BLAST OFF!!!


  
  
 We then decided to take a family bike ride for dinner. We live very close to a main drag that has tons of restaurants. The boys hopped in the baby trailer and away we went. We stopped for a pizza dinner and sat on the porch. The sunset was bright orange tonight and was breathtakingly beautiful. We headed home but not without stopping at the store for a quick ice cream treat.

Charles wasn’t happy about having to share his seat.

Look at that orange! The picture really doesn’t do it any justice.


When we arrived home, we threw the paint covered boys in the bath. We then enjoyed some ice cream. I finally got my act together and got my exercise for the day in. Simultaneously, the boys passed out in their daddy’s arms.


I am so grateful for days like these. I am in no hurry for the boys to grow up and want to continue to soak in slow, family days.

Front Porch View

When Austin and I were dating, he told me that he always dreamed of having toys scattered all over the front yard in the future. At the time we knew we were not ready for kids yet but it was great to know that he wanted something I wanted. Fast forward six years later and that dream has come true. The other day he pulled me aside to simply gaze out the front window and admire the scattered toys and relish in this season. Although parenting has been the most challenging (while at the same time rewarding) phase in my life so far, I am so thankful for our boys and the evidence of them through greasy fingerprints on the walls, food smashed on to couch cushions and toys on my front porch. 

 

Charles is 1.5!

Charles is 18 months! One and a half!!! Gah! My baby is growing up so so fast!!!

Here is what Sir Charles is up to these days….

-Talking non-stop. Repeating anything and everything you say. String cheese, apple, Jamesy, Unkie Drew ‘unk drew,’ water please ‘agua deese’ and so many more. He has really taken ahold of the work no and given it some personality. He says no all of the time to anything he does not want. My current favorite word is umbrella. It comes out ‘Um bum buh.’ It is adorable.

-He gets super happy when something he likes happens and holds his breath gasping with excitement. This could be for his morning breakfast banana that he loves so much, bath time, ice cream and anything else he deems exciting.

-He is an eating machine. He still eats all day and will eat just about anything. However, if you do not feed him he is grumpy! I just need a shirt for him that says ‘Feed me every 2 hours and I will be happy!’

-He loves to read! We have an alphabet book that he loves to go through and can repeat or name almost all of the pictures. It is quite impressive. His favorite books or pictures currently involve horses. He starts doing his excited gasp when there is a horse to point out. He will make you go back to the page with a horse on it over and over again. Maybe grandpa will have a cowboy to share the love of horses with after all.

-He is a dare devil! He is jumping off of the coffee table on to the couch, climbing stools and ladders, jumping into the pool with no warning, and many other dangerous things. He recently split the side of his tongue coming down off of a stool and bonking his chin. It bled for awhile! He seems to perpetually have bumps and bruises. He is tough though so that helps.

-He is an instigator. He initiates play with his brother and dad all of the time. He loves getting all riled up.

-He continues to love music and dancing. He is constantly singing and saying ‘mo mo’ when you stop singing or turn off the radio.

-He currently loves being on your back, or bouncing up and down on your feet while you hum the classic Lone Ranger theme song.

-He has a fierce scowl that is sure to make you frustrated and laugh from ridiculousness at the same time. He is very clear about what he likes and does not like.

-He continues to love his nanny. Watching them together is so fun! They adore each other and it is so nice knowing that he is so well loved while I am at work. He gets super excited every time he sees her!

-No one makes him laugh quite like James. They feed off of each other’s energy and their laughs are contagious for all of us.

-He now understands the concept of praying and if we ask him to pray at the dinner table he will muddle a few syllables and then shout Aaaaa….men for a big finish. Pretty cute and he gets a good rise out of anyone at the table.

-He is mister friendly these days. Saying hi, batting his eyelashes or waving to just about anyone who will look his way.

-He loves finding small ledges or stools to sit on. He uses my guitar case a lot for this right now. He will turn around and say ‘beep beep beep’ as he is backing up to his favorite spot. Once there he will just sit and enjoy the view or eat a snack completely content.

He is a joy and seeing his strong, decisive, silly, opinionated personality come out more and more is so much fun! We love you sweet Charles! You are such a blessing to our family!

Watermelon dancing at the Racquet club.

Those lashes!!

He loves playing with balloons!

Eating crayons. Everyone’s favorite past time.

Devouring some sweet corn.

Not into getting his picture taken.

    

It’s A Boy!

IMG_0498On December 22, we welcomed Charles Marshall Baum to our family. He was born at 6:33pm, weighed 7 pounds even, was 20.5 inches long, and his head was 13.5 cm in circumference. The whole process went so smoothly and was so much easier than the first time around. I was so thankful for this as I did not feel too great before, during or after I had James.

I think it is safe to say that many people were surprised that Charles was a boy. Many of our close friends and family were pretty convinced we were having a girl this time. This included Austin, who I think was in a state of shock that it was another boy once he arrived. Either way we were so very excited to meet him and we still love having it be a surprise.

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Family of four : )

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Unforgettable moment.

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It is amazing to me how much different from James, Charles seemed from the first few scans at the doctor’s office and throughout the whole pregnancy. James was always front and center as if he was waving to us saying ‘look at me!’ during our ultrasounds. No surprise now as James is Mr. Outgoing himself. Charles on the other hand was always hiding and reserved. During our big 20 week ultrasound we didn’t even get a good profile shot of Charles because he just wanted to stay put with his hands over his face right where he was. I have had a feeling that he had a very different personality from James and it seems to be true so far.

So far the transition home has been pretty easy, minus the chaos of Christmas. I must admit we have been overwhelmed by people and celebrations since the moment we got home. We LOVE having people over, but right after you have a baby is probably not the best time to be hosting events at your house. Lesson learned. I am excited that things are going to slow down a bit now and we can have some time with just the four of us.

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My three boys.

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First family Christmas photo.

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Charles leading the March for the first time as the youngest in the family.

Back to Charles… He is a super sweet baby. He is extremely mellow and there is very little that seems to get him upset. He does not like to be rocked or bounced. Instead he likes to just be held calmly. I am not complaining as this is very easy to accommodate compared to a baby who needs constant motion. He is a great eater and at our first doctor’s appointment he had already gained enough weight to surpass his birth weight. He is also a great sleeper! What a blessing! He is sleeping three and four hour stretches at night which is so much better than one or two hour stretches. He is becoming more alert and is starting to inspect the world around him. He has a very serious look on his face when he is awake. It will be interesting to see if this plays into his personality later on.

When comparing him to baby pictures of James there are for sure some differences and similarities. They both have my button nose. It is one of the most dominant traits I have ever seen. It is  from my maternal grandmother and almost all of my cousins have it. They also both have great skin coloring, that looks much like my dad’s. As for differences, their eyes are shaped completely differently, James had and still has big ole’ cheeks like his dad, Charles did not get as big of cheeks. Charles’ mouth is a bit smaller than James’. James’ face shape was much more round as a baby. Charles’ is more shaped like a V. Charles has fingers and toes that are super long, which neither Austin or I have so he got those from someone else. I would not be surprised if he ends up taller than James one day. I am so interested to see how much they will or won’t look alike as time goes on. Either way they are both super cute to me!

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Baby James.

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Baby Charles.

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Baby James.

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Baby Charles.

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Baby James.

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Baby Charles.

As for the name Charles Marshall, he is named after my uncle Charles Thaddeus Terry, who passed away when I was ten. He was a tremendous man who was so kind, humble and a servant in all he did. Marshall is after Austin’s maternal grandfather Donald Marshall Baker. I never knew him but I have been told that he was a wonderful man who loved the Lord greatly. We are well aware of the fact that we also have a dog named Charles. To be clear we did not name him after the dog. : ) Austin named the dog before we met and it just ended up that it was one of our favorite family names for a boy. For now we are calling the baby Charles and the dog Charlie. I am sure one day this will change but for now it will help to differentiate.

We are so thankful for another healthy baby and so excited to begin our adventure as a family of four. Welcome to the family Charles! You are so very loved already.

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The Joys of Second Pregnancy

So many of you many think that the title of this post is sarcastic, but in fact it is not at all. There are so many reasons why I like pregnancy the second time around SO SO SO much better than the first time.

1. The fear of the unknown is gone. The first time around I had fear and anxiety of the birthing process, what to expect, what could go wrong etc. This time because I have been through it my fears and anxiety are almost completely gone. I do know that things could go differently, but I also know that I have a great doctor who I trust and more importantly a God who is taking care of me and baby.

2. I don’t have to register! Registering for baby stuff and having to figure out what was a need verses another unnecessary baby gadget was super stressful for me. I like to keep it simple or at least as simple as possible. If you haven’t been to Babies’R Us, let me tell you, they sure have cooked up some pretty ridiculous ‘MUST HAVE’ mommy things out there. I am so so glad I have already been through it, and do not feel the need to stress about which baby carrier I need, or which car seat is the safest.

3. Time goes by faster. There is no doubt when you are running after a little one the pregnancy goes by much faster. Each week we were pregnant with James we made up an alliterative name to correspond to the fruit that he was the size of. I don’t think I could even keep up with that this time around. We are just five weeks away from the due date and I find myself wanting things to slow down so I can get a bit more prepared and feel not so crazy before this baby comes. ( I guess this could also be because it is the middle of holiday season as well.)

4. Every pregnancy is different. While so far for me this has been true, I would not say it is as drastic as it is for some people out there. In the first trimester I was about as equally sick as I was with James, however I was WAY more exhausted, and have been WAY more emotional the entire pregnancy. I also feel like this baby is higher than James. I have a harder time breathing and can’t eat as much with this one. Do I think that any of these things point to what the sex is? NO! Not at all. I have had friends with totally different symptoms each pregnancy and have the same sex both times. I am just praying for a healthy baby. The one thing that I have a love/hate relationship with this pregnancy is that this baby LOVES sweets. With James even fruit was too sweet for me. With this baby all I want is a baked good every day. I don’t even like that many sweets when I am not pregnant. Hoping this goes away once the baby comes.

5. I really get to enjoy it! I have found myself really enjoying being pregnant this time. I am lucky in the fact that I feel pretty good most of pregnancy. During my entire second trimester I had so much energy and was nesting like crazy. I was so productive it was AWESOME! Also, this time it is not so weird to feel the movement of the baby. This time I think instead, WOW! This is so cool! This baby is my future baby! And it is so much more tangible because I have my sweet baby James to compare to.

I am starting to feel bigger and slow down but overall this pregnancy has been super smooth. I am thankful that all has gone well so far. I am thankful for this baby on the way. Can’t wait to meet this little one and add one more to the Baum clan.

Baby Baum and I waiting patiently at our check up a few weeks ago.

Baby Baum and I waiting patiently at our check up a few weeks ago.