Thursday, October 29, 2015

Shep - 10 Months Old

The fact that I haven't blogged since Shep was 2 months old...well I guess it shows how busy life can get with 2 kiddos! I have missed it and have written it on my "to do" list so many times and never gotten around to doing it. I feel in a way I have shafted my poor second child because I updated every month for Hatcher. Oh, well...he knows he's loved!

My sweet Sheppy boy has been such a blessing and answer to our prayers these past 10 months. He has kept us on our toes for sure and has grown up way faster than we would have liked. Keeping up with his big brother is his main goal!

So, where to start. Shep began having reflux issues very early on and after narrowing down his symptoms and treating them individually to no avail we determined he had some sort of dairy allergy/sensitivity. I breastfed him until he was 5 months old and although I would have loved to have continued for much longer, I had a hard time eliminating the foods that seemed to be bothering him. So, we switched him to Nutramigen formula and things got much better very quickly. He was also on Prevacid twice daily up until about a month ago. The boy LOVES to eat and makes sure we don't ever let him miss a meal. He knows when 4 hours has passed. It's seriously like clock work and sometimes creepy! :) We have just started introducing dairy in the form of yogurt and some cheese and so far no bad reactions which is very exciting!

Along with the reflux, came ear infections. At 8 months, he had averaged one per month. So, we saw the ENT in late August and without question he recommended tubes. The procedure went well and within 24 hours he was a much happier baby. Fast forward 5 weeks and we had another double ear infection and plugged tubes. Finally after 10 days, his ears are all better and we pray this doesn't happen again. Seeing your baby in so much pain is hard. Add to that teething and needless to say there have been lots of tears and sleepless nights in our house.

In spite of all of that, Shep is the HAPPIEST little man! His smile is worth a million bucks and those eyes...don't even get me started! He has the sweetest disposition and loves people. He is obsessed with his big brother and all his big boy toys. He could sit and watch him for hours. It's seriously precious! He is 100% a mama's boy! He wants mama to do everything for him and if I get out of his sight even for a second the tears begin to flow. He thinks Daddy is so funny and he loves to snuggle with him most every night at some point during the night! :)

He started eating solid foods at 9 months and he loves the independence. If he could eat Puffs all day long, he would. They are by far his favorite. Those and green beans. Honestly, there isn't much he's turned down. His first word was "hey" and he loves to wave and clap. Today, to celebrate turning 10 months he added two new words to his vocabulary...Gaga (what we call my mom) and Dada! He's a crawling pro (started around 8.5 months) and pulls up on everything. He has started letting go and standing on his own and has tried taking a step but hasn't quite succeeded yet. It's going to happen any day now and you'll find me crying in the fetal position because I know how quickly they grow up and I want him to be a baby forever! He loves his Corvette walker as much as Hatcher did and it provides endless amount of entertainment. He also loves standing at brother's train table and playing. Watching them share and play together is such fun. Being outside is also another favorite which is great since Hatcher would live outside he we'd let him. My big guy is wearing some 6-12 month clothes but mainly 12-18 months. His legs are short but his torso is long so 6-12 month pants work best for him. He's a big growing boy!

Here are his monthly pictures from 3 months to the present. We love you, Sheppy boy! :)


21.8lbs & 29 inches

Big boy learned to crawl and pull up! 


17.13 lbs & 28 1/4 inches 

17.2 pounds & rolling over!

15.11 pounds and 25.5 inches

That sweet smile! :)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hatcher - 2.5 Years

Hatcher turned 2.5 years old on March 24th. He has grown up so much since his birthday and learned so many new things. At his check-up he weighed 33 lbs and was 37 inches tall. Here's what he's been up to and some of his favorite things!

-He's a great eater and is a huge fan of cheese, yogurt, fruit, bread and some veggies. He's funny about texture so that keeps him from trying lots of new stuff sometimes. He's down to drinking only one cup of milk a day and that's usually before bed. Otherwise, it's water or very watered down juice.

-He's talking up a storm...finally! This mama had really been worried about his speech and his doctor kept telling me he was fine and once he turned two he'd really start communicating. Boy was he right! He says new words all the time and it is so much fun to hear. My favorite thing he says is, "I ok mama." Anytime I have to leave the room for a few minutes whether to do laundry, clean something up or change Shep's diaper, I'll call out and ask him if he's ok and he always replies "I ok mama. " He can name all of his close family members. My parents are GaGa and Tika...originally we called them Grammie and Poppy but Hatcher had other plans. Tika...that just cracks us up everytime and he often says it two or three times really fast! :) Johny's parents are Manny (pronounced Mah-nee) and Granddaddy. Manny was originally supposed to be Nana. My sister is Bit Bit...her name is Britney and we have always called her Brit Brit so that's where Bit Bit came from.

-The boy loves anything planes, trains, automobiles or heavy equipment. He gets it from his Daddy...runs in their blood! That's pretty much all he plays with all the time. He loves trash pick-up day to see the garbage truck come. He waits for them to wave at him! He loves going to Daddy's work and seeing all the big equipment and touching everything.

-He's all about the outdoors and could be outside all day long. He loved the beach when we went a few weeks back and loved what he calls the big boy watee...aka the ocean! He loves playing with the water hose and helping wash the cars.

-He still goes to Mother's Morning Out twice a week and he has the best time. He loves seeing his friends and even says he has a girlfriend there. I was not ready for girlfriends at the age of 2. Ahh!! His teachers are the best and have really helped him thrive there. He'll continue in this class for the summer session and then he starts 2K in the fall which is also at our church.

-His favorite shows are Paw Patrol, Curious George and Thomas. Paw Patrol could literally run on a loop all day every day and he would be the happiest person on the planet. Thankfully for our sanity it absolutely does not run on that loop all day! :)

-He's a great big brother and is definitely starting to really interact with Shep. If Shep cries, he tells him it's ok and tries to give him his papa (pacie). He loves making Shep laugh and holding him.

-Terrible two's is definitely a real thing and we are in it full force. We have our good days and bad days and we take them as they come. Recently, we started using an essential oil that helps with focus and calmness. We have been using it for 2 weeks and are seeing a positive change. He's still his fun, silly self but he is listening to our instruction so much better and isn't all over the place so much. We are so thankful to have found something that is all natural and works so well.

We continue to be amazed by our Hatch man every day and are so thankful God blessed our lives with him. He's one of a kind, loving, silly and 100% little boy! We love being his parents and can't wait to see how much more mature he gets by his third birthday!

Checking out Daddy's big equipment before an auction

Loves the big trucks!

He's a good helper with baby brother

Easter fun at church

Always being a little clown!

Loves the beach!

He gives the BEST kisses! :)

Mama loves a matching outfit!!

Even the equipment went to the beach! All of it!

Mama's boy! :)

Fishing fun!

JSL Touch a Truck Event

Fishing in our neighbor's pond

Stud muffin!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Shep - Months One & Two

They say time flies when you're having fun...well I guess that's true for us. These past 10 weeks have
flown by and I haven't blogged as much as I would have liked. Life is just busy with two kiddos. 

Baby Shep has been the most perfect addition to our family. He's so calm, laid back and boy does he love to sleep and eat! :) The most noticeable change in Shep over the past 10 weeks is the considerable amount of weight he's gained. He was 7.9 lbs at birth and already weighs a whopping 13.3 lbs!! He's still eating every 3 hours but has recently started sleeping about 8 hour stretches at night. Woo hoo!! He does have colic and worse than that reflux. He's currently taking Zantac for the reflux and we are starting to see some improvement. The spitting up has improved but he still has difficulty latching at times. The only way I can get him to eat when he's having a hard time nursing is to nurse while walking around and bouncing him. This is no easy feat as heavy as he is but I'll do whatever it takes. We are so fortunate that the reflux isn't causing any issues with his weight gain so for that we are grateful. Our pediatrician says we should be on the tail end of it and we hope it'll pass soon. It sure is hard seeing him having such a tough time.

Shep loves to smile and make cooing sounds. We swear he's getting ready to start laughing...he sure does try hard! It's truly amazing how a baby's smile can absolutely make your day!! He's a super big fan of his Little Lamb seat and loves the rattles and little animals we have hanging from it. He also loves to lay on his activity mat and watch the lights. Like his big brother, he's not a fan of tummy time so we have to get creative to do those tummy exercises. He's doing a great job at holding up his head though and turning his neck to look all around the room. Bath time is also a favorite...until you take him out & he gets cold! So glad both of our boys like taking baths and find it fun and entertaining. Lately, we've been spending our afternoons outside. I either carry Shep around in the Baby Bjorn or take his Rock & Play out there and he loves to just feel the breeze and look around. He is a wonderful sleeper and would literally sleep all day if we'd let him. Hatcher never has been a great sleeper so I think Shep will be my sleeping child who will just curl up and take a nap anywhere and anytime...fingers crossed anyways! :)

I feel like we are finally getting into a groove that makes sense and works for us. The weekdays are tough because Johny does travel a lot but we are beyond thankful for the help his parents lend us during the week to make life a little easier. Don't know what we would do without family close by. It really is such a blessing! I have yet to venture out with both boys alone except for doctor's visits. I need to get the courage up to take them to the grocery store or something but let's be honest there's not much room for groceries with two kids in the buggy. It'll eventually happen!

Life is good and we are enjoying watching our boys grow up together. Both of them are changing and learning new things everyday. Hatch man (his nickname at school which has come home with us) will be 2.5 on the 24th. I'll do an update on him soon too. He's growing like a weed!!  

Here are some more of my favorite pictures from the last few months.

My first bath

Baby Shep joined GaGa & I for Auntie Annie's Bridal Shower at 3 weeks old! 

Precious brothers

Those cheeks :)

Sweet smiles!!

Loves bath time

Bedtime smooches from Daddy

Matching outfits for Valentine's Day!

We love him too! :)

Happy Baby Boy! 

Shep's first time attending a birthday party for our sweet little friend Brayden Fleming! 

2 month well check showing off those muscles!

Loves playing outside with big brother

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Birthday, Shep!

Seven weeks have absolutely flown by since we welcomed sweet Shep into the world! I never meant for it to take this long to post about his birthday and all that's happened since. In fact, parts of this post have been written for weeks! Pretty sure it took me this long to post with Hatcher too. What can I has been fun, hectic, crazy and super sweet these last seven weeks. Here's all about Shep's birthday and first few days of life!

On December 29th at 8:13 a.m. we welcomed our precious son Shepherd Morgan Ricks into the world! He weighed 7 lbs 9 ozs and was 20.5 inches long. Born with blue eyes and a head full of dark brown hair, he is PERFECT! Our hearts exploded with love for our second born son and we couldn't be happier to be a family of four!

The morning started very early with alarms sounding at 3:30 a.m. to ensure we made it to the hospital on time at 5:15 a.m. Basically, there was very little sleeping happening on mommy and daddy's end that night as we anticipated meeting our son the next morning.

After getting checked in, we got into our recovery room where preparations for my c section began. My nerves quickly set in and I was way more nervous this go round than with Hatcher. I knew what to expect this time and after a not so pleasant c section with Hatcher I was very anxious for what I knew was coming. Overall, the experience this time was much much better...answered prayers for sure! After receiving the spinal block, my blood pressure hit rock bottom just like with Hatcher but they were quick to fix it and I was feeling better within minutes. After that, my heart rate got very high and they couldn't figure out why. But, as soon as Johny walked into the OR it immediately went back to normal. Y'all I have to take a quick minute to brag on my husband. With both babies, he has a been a huge support system through the entire pregnancy but in the OR he is AMAZING! He knows just what to say to calm me or make me laugh...whatever is needed in the moment. His reaction when his sons were born makes my heart smile to this day. He loves his boys with all of his heart and I am so thankful we get to call him ours.

After surgery, we hung out in recovery for 2 hours and this time I got to hold my sweet boy as soon as we got in the room. Having that skin to skin contact with him and getting to hold him so quickly after the operation made me so happy! I didn't get that time with Hatcher so this was such a blessing to me. After getting into our permanent room, the visitors starting pouring in to shower Shep with love and gifts. We had such a great day and it was a wonderful celebration of his arrival!

The only hospital regret we have is that due to flu season Hatcher was unable to visit due to hospital policy. We weren't notified of this until just before surgery which of course brought me to tears. But, we understood the policy and wanted to make sure we kept Shep healthy. It sure was hard being away from him for 2 full days anticpating him meeting his baby brother but when we got home it was totally worth it!

We came home on Wednesday, 12/31 and Hatcher immediately fell in love with Shep. First thing he wanted to do was hold him and kiss him. It was a precious site to witness and a moment I'll never forget. Since then, he continues to always want to hold him but we are working on the gentle part of it. He's just a rough and tumble 2 year old but he's slowly but surely getting the hang of it.

We were so fortunate to have LOTS of help after coming home from the hospital and even while we were in the hospital. We could never begin to thank everyone adequately enough for the calls, texts, Facebook posts, visits, gifts and meals we received. I'm amazed at how thoughtful and generous so many people were during such a special time in our lives. The help continues to flow in abundance from our families as we are transitioning and learning our new "normal" as a family of four. Grateful doesn't even begin to describe how we feel!

Shep has joined our family and fits in just perfectly! I couldn't imagine a more beautiful baby boy. He's just perfect in every single way and we love him to pieces. Here's some photos from those first few days! More to come on how he's doing now very soon!

Whoa baby!! Last "bump" shot before heading to the hospital. Mama is ready to POP!!

Nervous but so ready to meet my baby!

Love at first sight!! :)

His first of many kisses!

Daddy kisses!

Adoring his second born son! :)

Holding Shep for the first time!

Skin to skin contact...a moment I'll never forget!

Love that crying face! He still looks exactly like this when he gets upset.

His favorite nurse, Angela, taking good care of him! She prayed over him everytime she came to check on him. Sweetest nurse ever!

Mommy & Shep

First photo with Mommy & Daddy

Poppy & Shep

GaGa & Shep

Nanny & Shep

Precious boy!

Side by side comparison of the Ricks Brothers! {Hatcher on left, Shep on right}


Proud Daddy

Pure joy!

Ready to take our little man home!

Loaded up & ready to go! :)

One of the most special moments of my life. My boys meeting one another for the first time. Brings tears to my eyes every time I see it. I pray they grow up to be the best of friends!