Monday, February 23, 2015

dear luca

Sweet Luca - 

Four months old!  I always say this, but I can't believe it.  We found out about you on Valentine's Day a year ago; the journey here is something I cannot possibly describe.  I feel like your sweet little face has been in my heart for a lifetime.

 I LOVE this age!  You are discovering your voice, the way your hands work, and that you have toes that wiggle.  There is a thumb-sucking situation that I find very adorable, and also like I need to sort of replace a thumb with the pacifier before we have a very difficult habit to break.

You love to roll - you can do it very easily from tummy to back, but your arm gets in your way going the other way.  Anything near your mouth or that you can grab is fair game to go straight to the mouth - your hands are there most of the time, and you seem very proud of the ability to get your pacifier in and out.

You are 24.75 inches long (55th percentile) and you weigh in at 14.75 pounds (63rd percentile) - you are smaller than your sisters were, but you are perfectly chubby and have just about doubled your birth weight at this point.

You are ticklish and so snuggly, and fairly laid back most of the time (you occasionally have a very strong opinion about the car).  You are particular about the way you go to sleep, the type of pacifiers you take, and the way you will tolerate you carseat (white noise, pacifier, vibrations, and your stuffed penguin).  You love to hold my hand, and you love to be touching me at all times.

You find your sisters to be positively magical.  I love watching you watch them, and watching the reactions you have to them singing and talking and even just playing nearby.

You still love to be worn - it's hard for you to resist the way they make you sleepy, but I love when you look up at me with your sweet baby blues; I wish I knew the thoughts in your head.

We have had a bit of sleep regression this month, but I still can't complain (you can thank your sister for that - I don't think it gets worse than Eisley's sleep habits for the first three years of her life).  You still take about 4 naps a day and while that seems like a lot of productive time for me, it doesn't happen.  you like for every part of your little body to be as close to mine as possible.  

We may be close to teeth by the time next month rolls around - I have been able to see them for over a month now, but they are still quite a bit below the surface.

I can't wait for so much more discovery with you!

We love you to the moon!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

dear mom

This has been on my heart for weeks, maybe even months now.  And as I sit here with a baby strapped to me, I re-realize for the millionth time that we aren't on my time anymore.  My house is a disaster, and I have done an hour of acrobatics in order to get dishes, laundry, and miscellaneous toys picked up with a fifteen pound wiggly weight on the front.  And you know - I have a sweet-smelling baby head, two big blue eyes that look up to me with wonder, and the ability to say, "I can do the rest later."


Dear Mom,

I just want you to know something.  You are enough.  Yes, you.  Even on the days you go to bed with feelings of doubt.  The nights where you lay in bed and wonder if you showed enough patience, enough love...enough courage.

That lady with the lingering stare?  She isn't silently judging your yoga pants and spit-up laden shirt with the tossed up hair.  She silently watches you with love; she knows the password to the club you belong to, too.  She knows the exact amount of coffee necessary for normal function, she knows the feeling of beating a PR in the time it takes to clean the house before the baby wakes, the amount of patience to assemble the Lego yacht.  27 times.

Do you know when your children think you are most beautiful?  When you are on the floor with them, engaged in a bizarre hybrid game of My Little Pony and Broadway.  When you sing to them, when you pray with them, and when you read their favorite story for the hundredth time, when you agree to dress up in the silliest costumes.  They think you've hung the moon when you cut their peanut butter sandwich into fun shapes and give them nutella with their bananas.

Do you know what your children won't remember?  That the baseboards were clean.  That you carefully coordinated the snacks to match the story and the crafts each day.  The outfits you wore, the pristinely-folded laundry, or the sparkling counter tops. That you got it all right.  But they will remember how you made them feel, how you showed them love, and the little things - the songs you sung, the way you smelled, the feel of your hugs, and the lessons you taught.  Just the way you are.

We live in this crazy world with pressure to keep up with the trends, and a habit of defending our choices to others.  Here it is simply: there will never be anyone that can be a better you.  We all tread water in uncharted territories, and the part that matters is that your children know your whole hear and the vast amount of your love.

Stop and jump in the puddles, let them dress themselves, eat ice cream for dinner.  Show them life, show them love, show them you.  It's okay to make mistakes.  Laugh at them.  Cry at them.  Handle them gracefully; they are the pieces that make you who you are and who little eyes are watching.

Next time, smile at the woman that quietly observes you.  You both belong to an amazingly beautiful club and your children think you are incredible.

Monday, February 16, 2015

that time I went and got shingles

he has almost nothing to do with this entry, but he is basically irresistible.  

Look, I know how to celebrate a long weekend.  And I prepared in advance by coming down with the most awful headache last Tuesday.  I thought for sure my brain might just spontaneously combust in my sleep, and I surely lost the remainder of the brain cells.  Not that I know that because I went to an entire event at church with my bra left undone.  Thank the Lord for scarves.

One trip to urgent care last week, and I left with what I would hope would be magic for an ear infection and this wretched headache.  The ear infection is gone, but my head still feels impossibly heavy with nothing inside of it.

Countless references of brain tumors that only make Jimmy roll his eyes as I gasp and grab my head and hold back the tears that sting with the pain - they have sort of become a joke, but were also something I was pondering.  Last night, I had a date with Dr. Google and ended up really suspecting shingles.

Shingles.  What am I, 80?  And also a frequent flyer at the Target Pharmacy.  Let me tell you what - shingles vs. childbirth?  Childbirth will win any day.  I'm hoping that this medication will actually do the trick, because the axe to the head comes at the most horrible times.

So yeah, I know how to have a good time.  Feel free to ask me for ideas on what you can do to celebrate your next day off.   Perhaps slamming your fingers in the car door a couple of times.   Or maybe running across a pile of legos.  Repeatedly.


Aside from the horrible headache, it has been amazing to sit around and watch my house be destroyed over the long weekend.  I have loved the girls being home, and our littlest love is discovering that he has a mouth - and it makes noise!

The girls celebrated with their annual trip to the Father Daughter dance.  This was Ruby's third year - amazing to go and look at the differences in photos - she was close to Eisley's age here when she went for the first time!  I'm thankful for this special time they get with their daddy.

Wish me luck - we are nearing a fourth birthday,  I have decided I should probably attempt sewing about 12 projects in the hours I'm not crocheting or you know, doing life... which essentially means my house looks like it was ransacked.

Oh, and Ruby has two loose teeth.  You can find me rocking in a corner mumbling some choice words about time flying.

Monday, February 2, 2015

dropping the ball

Life seems to be somewhat of a circus act these days, and not in that way where we are a traveling spectacle to behold.  Just another person with a heaping helpful of life.  And in the case that you would be secretly hiding within the walls of my house, well then it might be somewhat of the aforementioned spectacle; your every day game of Beat the Clock where I'm a professional in ninja rolls and tip-toe running through the house to check things off the list before the baby realizes I am gone.

Life is a juggling act at this moment in time, and probably for the next 18 years at the very least.  I have a fundamental need within my personality to pile more than I could possibly ever handle onto my already full plate and complete it all.  This leaves me with a very real struggle for failure when I suddenly decide I should begin sewing home decor, I should try every recipe in the newest Food Network magazine, learn that new hairstyle I just saw on Pinterest, while having a party that would put Martha Stewart to shame, oh, and enjoy every last second with my children because have we talked about what a jerk time is?

Here's the thing: I'm no better at juggling the things in my life than I am juggling balls, and most of the time, I think it would even be easier to master the circus act than it is to master life.  But I also know that dropping the ball for various things in life should mean nothing to me as I am not performing for an audience.  It's a work in progress to train my mind to let the less important balls drop - the ones I won't remember or care about - the ones I want to balance are the ones that will forever hold places in my heart.  Watching kiddos grow up, being a present part of their world.  I'd rather drop the the twelve other balls in order to swoon over the long-lashed sleeping babe in my lap, than put the baby down in an attempt to continue juggling in an effort that I can almost guarantee will not be successful no matter the productivity that happens.

Adding a third baby has been an adjustment of sorts - almost like someone has stood in front of me with a bucket of balls, chucking them one after another, rapid fire.  And to be honest, going from two to three has been far easier than it was one to two for us.  But the laundry has suddenly quadrupled, I am re-learning how to do all tasks with one hand, and I am late for absolutely everything unless I am making a mad dash to Target for a vacation sans kiddos.  Funny how that works out.

Last week, a group of friends went for near midnight run to Sonic and then camped out on a couch in comfy clothes with junk food, sweet friends, and Bachelor drama.  That night, I made a choice to drop the laundry ball and the lofty goal of organizing storage containers ball, and refill my sanity meter.  I am blessed to be walking through this season of life with amazing friends that know the art of juggling well.

And all of these things I am juggling?  To stop and think of the activities we are doing, the reasons we are busy, and the things that feel like a mathematical equation to fit into my already crammed planner - blessings.  More blessings than I can even juggle, and for that, I am ever so thankful.

Friday, January 23, 2015

dear luca

Luca love,

The last remaining bits of newborn evidence have disappeared, and you are one adorably delicious baby boy with the most perfect chubby cheeks, fuzzy hair, and pretty blue eyes.  You weigh 13.5 pounds and you are 23.5 inches long (30th percentile for both); you seem so very different from the scrunchy newborn that I held not so long ago.

This month, you have started laughing.  I would probably do about anything to hear it, and sometimes you make us do just that.  Funny noises usually get you going, and once it was a tickled tummy.  You find your sisters perfectly enchanting; you smile those cheeks until I'm sure they are sore anytime you see or hear them.

You have taken interest in watching your toes and your hands have made a special appearance in your life at this point.  Aside from your hands, you love your penguin.  He makes car rides bearable (as long as the car never ever stops moving.  Ever.) and you love to bury your face in him.

(90 years and 2.5 months)

You met so many people this month.  Just last week, you snuggled with Grandpa Jack. I looked up the meaning of Jack recently - it was never a matter of meaning for us as the name holds more sentiment.  God is gracious. Chills.  That next to the meaning of Luca -bringer of light- I know you have the most perfect and fitting name.

You remain super snuggly.  You like to learn about life while moving, bouncing, or rocking.  You don't tolerate sitting still unless it's with me.  I can be productive if I wear you which is often.  Daddy wears you too and you love it.  You love to be sung to - appropriately enough, "You are my Sunshine."

At your {belated} two month appointment, you put on the charm; the dimples and the smiles so big, your eyes squint.  She said you looked amazing and remarked, "I could just eat him up!"  I so agree.  

You still nap like a tiny newborn, something I cherish for its reminders rather than the potential for productivity, since I mostly hold you while you nap.  You sleep well at night (mostly) and I love waking up to your sleepy eyes and precious smiles.

Three months of absolute joy.  You make us all smile, give thanks, and smile some more.  I hope I have a lifetime of learning about the boy you are and the one you grow up to be.

I love you to the moon and back.


Thursday, January 8, 2015


Oh, the hopes and goals I have for this year are a bit dangerous.  A bit lofty, but so many ways in which I hope to improve myself and my home.  And a whole lot of catching up from the things that fell by the wayside in 2014, otherwise known as the year I dedicated to the toilet and my bed.

I love the thought of a clean slate, blank pages to write dreams on, and standards to hold myself accountable.  It's fun and amazing to think of all that was unknown just a year ago.  I love to make a word into a theme for my yearly goals.  Last year, I intended to train myself in patience and in being intentional.  I'm not sure how many people laughed and laughed and laughed some more at the jokes 2014 played on me with patience being the punchline.

I recently read this:

When you make loving others the story of your life, there's never a final chapter, because the legacy continues.  You lend your light to one person, and he or she shines it on another and another and another.  And I know for sure that in the final analysis of our lives--when the to-do lists are no more, when the frenzy is finished, when our e-mail inboxes are empty--the only thing that will have any lasting value is whether we've loved others and whether they've loved us.

I want nothing more than for my friends and family to know I loved them so much I could hardly stand it.  I want my interactions to shine with love, even in the small moments.  Even when I'm ushering small people out the door in a frantic attempt to be early for once since Luca's arrival.  Even when I have only a moment to send a quick message.  Even in the simple things.  The complicated things.

Of course, my aspirations go beyond love, but with a foundation of love, you can't go wrong.  Those are tucked away neatly in the notes section of my phone.  Because that's how life rolls along these days.

2015: the year of love.  Because I'm too scared to ask for patience again.


tradition with a side of real life - treasures leftover from Christmas with friends, toys, and nursing/nap time to-dos.

We had a wonderful Christmas.  A little chaotic despite my most desperate attempts to slow things down and soak things up.  We left to visit family the day after Christmas which brought similar feelings of regret the morning after a party in college might.  Never again on that timeline.  I might be caught up with the resulting laundry and Christmas aftermath by May.

The chaos was worth the trip to visit family.  Life looks like a jumbled mess to Grandpa, and Grandma had a minor stroke in December.  It's fragile and so very fleeting.  I treasure every single moment I have with them, and watching them with my children sends love to a new level.

Luca saved his very first laugh for his great grandma in a moment that I know is locked away safely in her heart and mine.  If anyone but me was to get the first laugh, she was the perfect person, and with a poke to the nose on New Year's Eve, he left us all smiling with a tiny little giggle.

The girls found reasons to don themselves in princess makeup and have birthday parties with ice cream every single night.  Life was simple and love was plentiful.

Then we traveled home in a snow storm with a new {untrained} puppy for my mom.  For twelve hours.

And just like that, we're in 2015.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

dear luca

mr. love bug,

You are two months old!  You are tipping the scales at 11.8 lbs and you measure 23 inches long, which I guess makes it official that you aren't tiny anymore (you are between the 25th and 50th percentile for both).  I'm still pretending you aren't growing.

You aren't so scrunchy anymore - the lasting visual of your newborn scrunchiness lies only in your legs, usually when you sleep.  You are figuring out how to kick your legs and wave your arms, and are very rarely still while you are awake.  You still have newborn sleepiness and sleep often.  You are awake for longer periods, but you spend your days figuring out your voice, eating, and napping.  The life.

Appropriately enough for the occasion, you slept through your first Thanksgiving and looked the cutest while doing so.

This month, we had your lip and tongue ties corrected, discovered you had an umbilical hernia, and started you on probiotics to help your tummy.  The hernia basically means nothing and doesn't affect you (but your poor belly button looks a tiny bit funny), but the other two combined have fixed things that were making you fussy and you are an amazingly sweet and content baby.  I also learned the hard way that citrus is a no go for me at the moment - it makes you miserable.

You started smiling at four weeks old - early like your sister, Ruby.  You only stop smiling when I bring out the camera to capture your precious dimples.  You have laughed in your sleep once which nearly killed me - you seem very close to actually laughing and I am anxious to hear it.  Daddy and Ruby get the biggest rise out of you which seems a little unfair, but I'll let it slide (see: dimples and charm).  Just last week, Ruby got to feed you a bottle for the second time (another story for another day: your opinion on bottles, but it's the only way to get probiotics) and you found her so funny, you couldn't take your bottle with your smile in the way.

You are finding your voice and make the sweetest baby noises - I love talking to you and listening to your responsive noises.

You sleep WELL.  I hope you keep this up.  You will nap by yourself on your tummy, and you usually wake once at night (betwee 4-5 am).  You are so snuggly, it's hard to put you down, but I'm fairly certain you have already slept more than both of your sisters combined in the crib.  You would never sleep in there if it weren't for all the laundry I need to keep doing.

At two months old, I don't see as much sister resemblance.  I do believe you favor Ruby a bit more, with some Eisley expressions thrown in, but you mostly look like my sweet Luca.  You have lost so much of your hair which seems like an unfair trick!  Two babies with nearly no hair, and then I finally get a baby with hair, only for it to fall out!

You are MESSY.  You are the messiest eater and end up taking many baths because of it.  Luckily, your hatred for baths was extremely short-lived, and you seem to really enjoy them now.

And you still hate the car seat.

I love you.  I can't believe you are two months old, but life is such a joy with you - I'm ready for the milestones and the smiles and the love that is to come.

To the moon and back.



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