Tuesday, November 27, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Days 18-27

Day 18 - VACATION!  This is awesome!

Day 19 - The adoring look Cora gives us when she is in the Ergo.  Her head tilts back and she just stares up at Jacob or me with a look of pure love :)

Day 20 - This mild-fall weather of low 60s, with crisp cool air.  It made for a picturesque stop at Stanford and great photo ops.

Day 21 - I'm so, so grateful we live in a small-ish city with no hills and no need to take public transit. Both of those things with two small children and a stroller are not easy!

Day 22 - Old friends.  We were able to hang out with some college and TFA-Hawaii-era friends and it was really great to catch up.  I loved our friend Andrew's comment: "It was surreal to see Jacob tucking in a small child."  Haha, I bet!

Day 23 - LEGOs - we brought a small number and they provided lots of entertainment!  We also went to a wine tasting in Sonoma where there was a basket of big boy LEGOs that transfixed Jack for our entire visit.

Day 24 - Time alone.  I spent 2 hours alone at a coffee shop.  I can't remember the last time I was by myself (work doesn't count!)  I could definitely do this more often...

Day 25 - Playgrounds - always a crowd pleaser!  There are some excellent ones out there and we happened upon a great one in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood.

Day 26 - My travel partner (the adult one) - we made a great team on this trip and were able to laugh a lot despite the craziness/stress of various situations.

Day 27 - My mom!  (I love my dad too but he's not coming until Friday).  She arrived tonight!  Talk about the well-timed arrival of reinforcements!  I got 4 hours of sleep last night due to a delayed flight, so I'm excited for the help.  And there isn't anyone you'd rather have around than Beth Ann Owen to help get an event together (i.e. Jack's birthday party!)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 17

I'm grateful for the March of Dimes, the work that they do, and the wonderful experiences I have had as a volunteer.

Why care about the March of Dimes?  Because they make stories like this possible.  This is written by my friend Emily about her beautiful little girl, Anna Kate.

Interesting side note.  Emily and her husband Jason joined our church, Rayne UMC, on the same day Jacob and I did.  We were both pregnant and due about a week apart.  Well Anna Kate came very early and I remember seeing her name on the prayer list and praying for her.  Emily also remembers seeing Jack's name on the prayer list soon after because of his heart surgery and praying for him.  It was only later that we reconnected and are now members of the same Sunday School class.  Healthy Jack and Anna Kate are now also friends :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Catch up

Day 14 - The start of 10 days of vacation!!  That's a real TGIF!

Day 15 - Living Social deals that buy you dinner and lunch for tomorrow!  We used ours at the Fresh Bar tonight (they have been pretty empty on both of our visits, but it's a great spot if you want to make an intricate salad.)  Jacob is never going to let me forget that when we first went, I gave Jack the power to "create" his own sandwich and we walked away with an egg, bacon, garbanzo bean, cheddar cheese wrap. 

Day 16 - Baby Cora.  She deserves another shout out.  I feel like this child has graciously accepted her spot living in the background for the moment.  We do almost forget she's here sometimes.  She's usually just waiting patiently while we attend to the louder Landry child.  (Or as my friend said, when describing her older child, the one who sucks up all the air in the room!)  It makes me feel guilty at times because she is sort of like a little puppy in that she just shines when we do focus our attention on her.  I just love her to pieces and am grateful that she is so gracious and patient right now, as it is just what we need as we learn to love and care for two children.  And I'm especially grateful for the little moments where it is all about her.  I borrow some of the Jewel Lullaby songs and sing or hum to Cora before I put her down to sleep.  This is my favorite verse:

Lullaby and goodnight,
you are mother's delight.
I'll protect you from harm,
and you'll wake in my arms.

You are such a delight little one!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 13

I'm grateful for laziness tonight.  The plan was to go to the gym this evening, but when Jack got up from his nap, I ended up in his bed for an hour (joined by Cora soon after).  I feel like my mind has been racing the last few days with so many things to think about and do, that I felt like rebelling and doing nothing.  We read some books and then watched as Cora started reaching for Jack's pacifier (update: we are down to him just having it at naps).  She would pull it out, and then bring it toward her mouth.  She had it almost all the way in, but that would have been too much germ sharing for me.  Her discovery of her opposable thumb and her glued-fingers grab was just too cute to watch.

The laziness has continued all evening.  It's been nice.

Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 12

A Good Night of Sleep! 

Even though there were piles, disarray, and no plan for the week (admission: I write out a weekly plan on Sunday and it is my guide to making sure we stay organized and things get accomplished), I went to bed early (at 9:00) last night. 
Post-it Weekly Planner, 17 15/16 Inches x 11 15/16 Inches, 52 Sheets plus 2 Inches x 2 Inches Notes (730-CAL-BB)
I slept straight till 4am when rain woke me up.  Then, like all mothers of young sleepers, I was worried about why my baby hadn't woken me up since she'd been asleep since 7:30.  I checked on her and she stirred, so I fed her.  Then I went back to bed for a whole additional hour.  I got up at 5:30 thinking I'd accomplish much of what I wanted to last night, but of course both Cora and Jack were up for good at 6, so only some of the disarray went away, BUT I feel great today!  It's amazing what 7 straight hours of sleep will do for a person.  This is probably the 2nd or 3rd time I've had this in the calendar year of 2012 thanks to pregnancy and a newborn, so I'm riding high today!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

5 Month Update & More Gratitude

Do they look alike?

Jack at 5 months
Cora at 5 months

Cora (Gratitude Day 9)

She continually impresses us with her sweet nature, her calmness, and her chubby thighs!  We remark over all of these things daily :)  No matter what her brother is doing, she just loves it.  We can't legitimately say "Jack, stop, Cora doesn't like that" because Cora is always smiling and laughing (no matter whether he is rolling her back and forth, laying on top of her, poking her face, etc.)  She loves him and he loves her!

We will have a weight update tomorrow, but I think she will have surpassed her chunky brother, who was 19 lbs at 5 months.  She has some serious thighs with lots of rolls and creases to be pulled apart and cleaned :)  She is still nursing only and still waking one time in the night to eat.  I am starting to drop her "dream feed" which is when I would wake her around 10 to eat right before I went to bed.  This doesn't seem to change her sleep pattern - she still goes down between 7 and 8 and wakes around 3am to eat.

She is now a littler harder to get down for naps, but she loves sleeping in her crib and nearly always takes a 3-4 hour afternoon nap with some shorter morning naps as well.  She can roll because I've found her on her back when she goes down on her tummy (she's been a belly sleeper since 1 month) but I've only seen her roll one time.  This completely matches her personality.  She's happy to just lie, sit, or prop up on her arms and watch the world around her.

She is good with her hands and grabs toys and takes them to her mouth.  She also pulls her paci out and then works very hard to get it back in.  She knows her name and looks to see who is saying it.


He has loved the visits from Aunt Molly, Poppy, Cousin Wyatt, Aunt Claire, Meemaw, and Uncle Chris this month (it's been a busy month!)  I've said before how blessed this child is to have so much love in his life and that has definitely been reinforced this past month.

Firemen dress like this for bedtime, right?
We've spent time with two Jacks over the past month.  This one and then a throw back to this one.  This is a precocious little boy who is very smart and very willful!  It's a dangerous thing when your 2 year old child says things like "Daddy, you are being impatient." or "In a second, Mommy."  He also is quick to negotiate himself a better arrangement.  And we've heard one too many "Nos" this weekend!  But then his sweet and generous nature come out and our faith in human nature is restored :) (Gratitude Day 10)


The combination of work/motherhood/hobbies/life has caught up with me some this last month.  I feel very invigorated by the busy schedule but I've also felt a little worn out and overwhelmed.  The areas that suffered were exercise (cancelled Pure Barre classes, runs that turned to leisurely walks) and our eating habits.  I want there to be healthy meals in our household and I definitely hold Jack to a higher standard than myself, but it's hard to make sure he has healthy lunches every day when there is less cooking going on.  Finding time to make meals continues to challenge me.


The 2013 International EMBA trip locations are in: Buenos Aires, Argentia; Athens, Greece; and New Delhi, India.  No final decision made yet as to where Jacob (and consequently me and Cora) wil go.

Landry Family
We're counting down to our big San Francisco/CA trip (Gratitude Day 11).  I'm looking forward to great family time and am hoping we aren't crazy to be attempting this full family of four trip!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 7

I'm grateful that Cora has now met all of her aunts and uncles.  In addition to Louisiana aunts Molly and Sara, my siblings have all taken the time to fly to New Orleans to meet Cora and spend time with Jack. 

The last of the group, Uncle Chris, arrived today!  And he has officially brought the best surprise ever.  A REAL fireman's helmet.  Left behind after the recent wildfire in Jackson, WY where Chris lives. Jack wore it the rest of the day!  We went by the fire station, twice, and I was more than amused by my little boy (with no other fire gear on) running around the park with an oversize helmet on.  Hahahahaha...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Days 5 & 6

Oh to be a mother.  My heart has been extra full of love for Jack Owen Landry lately.  I'm so grateful for him and also so grateful for the ability to enjoy him (that's day 5 for you).  He is a wide open, living-life-fully, high energy, passionate little boy that can drain my energy to negative levels sometimes.  So the fact that I've been day-after-day just appreciating and enjoying him lately is no small thing!

His heart is so beautiful and I feel I have such a precious thing in my hands because I know that our time together inevitably shapes him to a certain degree.  I want him to grow up to love others more than he loves himself.  I want him to be confident and operate from a place of knowing he is loved for who he is, no matter what he does in this world.  And I can only hope he always loves me and our family as much as he does now.

True anecdote:
A few weeks back, after I explain the concept of college as we drive through Tulane's campus.
Me: So do you want to go to college, Jack?
Jack: No
Me: Why not?
Jack: I just want to stay with you forever Mommy.

I love this little boy who gets concerned when he sees others cry, who asks to read another Bible story, who wants to bring a book to the table, who asks "So tell me about your day," who makes his baby sister laugh, who sings songs at full volume, who displays a wide variety of Jacob and Courtney characteristics, and who is just plain beautiful inside and out.

And I'm extra grateful (that's day 6) that there is still lots of little boy/my baby in there!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Days 2, 3, & 4

There will be a lot of gratitude in this post, so we'll let this count for three days to catch up with the day of the month.

I'm grateful for our church, Rayne United Methodist, for so many reasons.  It's introduced us to our pastor Callie, who has become a spiritual mentor for me.  It led us to starting a young adults Sunday School class which now has more than 20 members.  The Sunday School class introduced us to a great group of parents with similarly aged children.  (No joke, there were 7 babies born/to be born in 2012, 6 of them girls!)  The class was initially titled Grace Based Parenting because we started studying a book of the same name.  We are now reading Raising Kids for True Greatness.  What an awesome task in front of us.  We quickly affirmed that all of our parenting desires cycle back to what we are modeling to our children which comes back to who we are, what we believe, and what we embody on a daily basis.  We have read books in the Good and Beautiful God series by James Smith that were focused more on our own spiritual lives.  My heart has been undergoing a transformation as I've read these books.  I'm learning so much about what I believe and about God's love for humanity.

Through our church, I've also been participating in a Meet the Bible course that has met at times over the year, but which was a commitment to read scripture daily throughout 2012.  I've been in and out of the Bible over the years, but really did need to be reintroduced.  I struggled through parts of the Old Testament this summer (through a fog of new babyhood) but am taking so much away from the New Testament readings now.

My own reading has paralleled Jack's interest in his children's Bible (a version I only halfway recommend).  My mom started reading to him daily from it and he asks to read from his Bible most naptimes and nighttimes.  Be still my heart, it has just been the most beautiful thing to be a part of.

Friday, November 02, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 1

I don't know how I can post daily blogs, but on the other hand, I love the idea of focusing on gratitude during this month of Thanksgiving.  My friend Jessica has inspired me to try.

Rules: Keep it short and sweet.

I am grateful for Jacob/Jake.  It amuses me how this one person has two names to me.  I met him and knew him as "Jake" and it was only years later that I realize that he had grown up as Jacob.  Thus my family and SC friends know him as Jake.  Most people in New Orleans know him as Jacob.  When I introduce him, Jacob Landry sounds right to me, Jake Landry sounds wrong.  Jack knows him as Jacob Daddy Landry.  Most of the time I call him Jacob.  But sometimes he's Jake.

But mainly he's the best thing that ever happened to me because he's given me the best things that have ever happened to me.  I believe God led us to each other.  I mean how else would a boy from rural Louisiana and a girl from small town South Carolina who never lived in the same place end up meeting?  (Future Business Leaders of America National Conference in case you don't know the story.)

Just last night, a woman (wife and mother) said "It's easy to just coexist with your husband when you are so focused on your kids, but I think it's important to remember that it all began with the two of you and it will end with just the two of you.  If your marriage isn't solid, then what do you really have?"

We are IN this parenting thing right now and it isn't easy, but I'm so grateful to have such an amazing life partner.