Five Months


    At five months Penny eats every two to three hours during the day and is up one to two times at night. She is definitely a thumb sucker and uses her thumb to tell us she is tired and soothe herself back to sleep. The big news is that Penny and Nora are sharing a room! While we were camping and road tripping this month, we all shared a room; the girls did great, so we decided to try it at home. They are napping separately but sleeping together at night. Nora loves getting to “sneak” into her room after Penny is sleeping.

    To read about Nora at five months, click here.

      Four Months


      At four months Penny eats every two to three hours during the day and one to three times during the night. We were up often at night as Penny started rolling over to her stomach. She began using her voice this month and can easily grab toys and bring them to her mouth. We made two road trips this month and discovered that Penny loves having toys hanging from her carseat. Her favorite is the lion. Penny is enamored with Nora and grins whenever she is in her line of sight.

      To read about Nora at four months, click here.

        3 Months


        At three months Penny eats every two hours during the day and one time during the night. She has started giggling and can now bat at the toys on her play mat. Her hair is growing in and she loves to rub it. We are not swaddling her anymore because she is a thumb sucker and able to soothe herself easily. Nora is the most interested in Penny when other people are paying attention to her. We are working on bottle feeding because sometimes Penny will take a bottle and sometimes she will not!

        To read about Nora at three months, click here.

          Two Months


          At two months Penny eats every 2-3 hours during the day and sleeps one 6-8 hour stretch at night. She started smiling this month and smiles whenever anyone is talking to her. Penny saw the doctor lots this month as she is having some trouble with her belly button. We will see a specialist next month for more information. We also completed our first road trip to Neenah with two kids. Penny was more trouble than Nora as she didn’t love being in her carseat when she was awake. Nora really enjoys playing with her when Penny is laying on her blanket or doing tummy time. This post is three weeks late. I am getting better!

          To read about Nora at two months, click here.

            One Month


            After one month Penny eats every 1.5-3 hours and sleeps two 4 hour chunks at night. She is a very content baby. She is growing quickly and already wearing 3 month clothes. Penny sleeps most of the day so Nora is mostly uninterested. This post is one month and one week late. Life with two is very busy!

            To read about Nora at one month, click here.

              Penny’s Birth Story


              Because of complications during Nora’s birth, a repeat c-section was recommended for Penny’s birth. At 38 weeks I started having contractions and was concerned she would come early but everything proceeded as planned.

              At 39 weeks and 1 day we woke up to meet our baby. Jesse’s parents came to stay with Nora and my mom joined us at the hospital. The first thing we did was listen to the baby’s strong and steady heartbeat. She was sleeping at first but woke up as we were listening.

              They prepped me for surgery but my doctor was running a bit behind schedule. The anesthesia they used was a little harder on my system this time so I was a bit dizzy but alert when we heard Penny’s first cries. She was born at 10:23 am and was 7 pounds 14 ounces and 20.25 inches long.

              I began liking the name Penny when my friend Kristi was pregnant with her little girl. Her son, Tyler, always called the baby Polly but I mixed it up and thought he called her Penny. The whole time she was pregnant I thought they should name the baby Penny because it was so cute. When I found out I was pregnant with another girl, Penny was the top name on the list. To give Penny a more grown up name we decided on Penelope, but we call her Penny.

              To read about Nora’s birth story, click here.


              First Trimester the Second Time

              Jesse and I are excitedly expecting our second child. Here are some answers to the most common questions.

              When is the baby due?

              March 20

              Are you going to find out the baby’s gender?

              Nora’s gender was a surprise until the very end. For Baby #2 we are planning a gender reveal at Thanksgiving. Every year my parents buy us a new ornament for our Christmas tree. My friend Anna from Make it Sweet is creating a gender reveal Christmas ornament that we will open with my family at Thanksgiving.

              Did you return to the infertility specialist for this pregnancy?

              We did not. This time the Lord has blessed us with a surprise pregnancy.

              How are you feeling?

              This pregnancy has been very different. I struggled most days with nausea day and night. At twenty-one weeks, I am finally starting to feel the return of my appetite and energy…and I am so grateful!

              Where is the bump?

              We decided to take a different strategy this time and have me wear the same shirt each week. Here is the progress from five weeks to eighteen weeks. If you want to compare, here are my pictures from Nora’s first trimester.


              One Year of Freelancing

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              Nora’s 2nd Birthday marks an additional landmark for me, because I’ve been on my own as a freelancer for an entire year now. I really can’t believe that it’s been that long, it still feels so new sometimes. I decided I needed to commemorate this occasion by writing down some of my thoughts about this past year. I’m putting this into writing for my friends and family to understand as well as anyone who is considering freelancing as a career, maybe you can learn a few things that nobody tells you.

              On Trusting God

              While I was sure that I was making the right decision leaving Morsekode, I can’t say it wasn’t without some amount of trepidation. I am the sole provider for my family and apparently eating is important, so I didn’t want to be selfish in my decision and drive my family into the poorhouse. So far, I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to basically make what I was making at Morsekode, paying the bills and feeding my family. Praise God.

              It’s funny how sometimes I would get a few big jobs or paychecks and it was easy to slip into overconfidence, my mind would start thinking about a big fatty business bank account where I wouldn’t ever have to worry about the future or could take a bunch extra out at the end of the year.

              A few other times I lost out on what would have been some major projects for me and it affected me more than I thought it would. It’s hard to not take it personally. And sometimes the bank account was just enough to take out our monthly paycheck and that wore on me as well, my dreams of getting far ahead would fade.

              I’m convinced that this isn’t an accident, I think God is teaching me how to deal with money as the leader of my family and as a business man. God will provide. God is good. Don’t get cocky. Trust Him.

              On Getting Up and Running

              As I left Andrea and I had talked about how many months I could realistically try freelancing if it didn’t work out before the job search would begin. And while I was pretty sure that that wouldn’t happen, I can’t say I understood what it would take to get my business up and running.

              I already had a few freelance projects by the time I had left Morsekode and I knew of other opportunities out there. Even though I was already working on projects, I also needed to register my business, set up business accounts, meet with people, redesign my website, and a bunch of other organizational things.

              Even when I did have a growing stream of clients, I wasn’t thinking about how billing works. It can seem like forever to get a paycheck! Projects take awhile to start, then you work on the project and finish it in a given timeline, but there are usually little changes that trickle on for a bit longer. Then finally you can bill the client, but the terms of payment tend to be 30 days. All said and done, funds always come in later than I originally thought they would.

              On Deadlines & Clients

              I can honestly say that my schedule is super flexible and Andrea and I love it that way. I can watch Nora, our daughter, when Andrea has to go to an appointment. I can work from just about anywhere. I can meet up with friends for lunch.

              I think we might have had the idea that this flexibility would be all of the time. But I still work in a deadline-driven business. When I’ve promised my clients that I will get something done, I need to meet that deadline, even if it means working after Nora’s bedtime or on a weekend. Clients can still change their minds, so what was a comfortably full week can suddenly become nuts. It can be frustrating for us at times, and now I don’t have anyone to blame it on except myself!

              On Coworkers

              Andrea warned me that I would miss my coworkers, and she couldn’t have been more right. While I don’t miss the workplace drama, I do miss being a part of a workplace, working together with a group of people to achieve shared goals. I like to schedule stuff a few times a week to get out of the house, meet up with people, talk about ideas and projects, and feel like a business professional. I’m very thankful for the gang at CoCo’s WordPress Wednesday who feel like my coworkers even though I only see them once a week. I’m also thankful for my freelancing buddies who are on instant messenger so we can share frustrations, victories, and questions.

              On The Future

              I can’t say I’ve quite figured out where my professional career is heading next. The question I get most often these days from friends and family is “so when are you going to hire people to work for you”? Right now I’m pretty happy being on my own, and I don’t think I’m ready to start worrying about feeding other people’s families as well. I have a feeling that the larger the projects get, the more stress is added to them, so I’m happy with the level that I’m at right now.

              Sometimes I ask myself whether I will be able to go back to a 9-5 full time job. In some ways it would be hard to go back from the flexibility that I have right now, but at the same time, I keep pretty regular hours, so if the right opportunity cropped up it wouldn’t be out of the question. We’ll cross that bridge if I come to it.

              I suppose the dream right now is to continue being more of an entrepreneur, growing my side businesses up to a level that I could work on them more full time. If that happens that would be really cool. If not, then I’m already enjoying my job as it is.