Sunday, April 5, 2015

because He lives

 With each consecutive Easter celebration, I find myself far more emotional and grateful from the previous year.  I will never understand or grasp the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us to have hope in this broken world, but I am so thankful that He lives in me and his mercies are anew every single day.  He chose me.  And he chose you, too.

Bonus - I got to sit through an entire service in church.  Living intentionally came up, which has been a goal of sorts for the last two years.  Alongside the subject of intentionality came helpful habits that I hope to carry with me:

-be fully present (distractions aside)
- go through the open doors
-live with gratitude
-treasure relationships; pour into them
-be a lifelong learner

We're closing out an eventful, blessed weekend with a quiet night at home.  We're going to venture into the new mini series A.D. The Bible Continues where smoked gouda popcorn and baby snuggles might also be involved.  (Seriously, go buy the popcorn (the brand is Oogie's - the popcorn love moved up a level with this one.)

This handsome boy mostly watched the action for his first Easter - he did ride in the ergo for some cupcake construction, egg painting, and other preparations.  For last year's Easter celebration, the girls found dresses that would label them in their promoted sibling roles, and we told them about "the baby" for the first time.  I was terrified, excited, and incredibly nauseous.

This year, they don the labels proudly and we love on him as if we have been for years.  I can't believe the turns life takes in a short (or incredibly loooo-ooooooooong) year.  I'm thankful for these blessings and the inexpressible and glorious joy life brings.

Happy Easter!

Monday, March 23, 2015

dear luca

Luca Jack,

Five months old today - how can it be?  I feel like I just sat down to write you at four months, and yet you have discovered new things since then and you have grown even more.  You tip the scales at a whopping 16 pounds, officially doubling your birth weight (34th percentile) and you are 25.25 inches tall (21st percentile).  You're my smallest baby and so delightfully chubby and dimpled, I can hardly help but eat you up.

You light the world up when someone smothers you with smooches, and you have the best laugh.  You love to be lifted in the air and bounced around - I'm slightly worried that the giggles that come from gentle tosses will transform into laughter elicited from jumps off of things in the near future.

I love the way you like to snuggle in close, and the way that you can't resist sleep as I trace the outline of your face--just like your sisters.  I love the way you wrap your chubby little arms around my face when I lean in next to you.  I also love the way you wake up smiling - everyone should wake up that way.

You are grabbings things fairly well now.  If it touches you, you can get it; if it's in front of you, it takes a minute to get the message to your little fingers, but you can usually do it.  It won't be long before we are putting things up and out of reach before little things find their way into your mouth.

Sleep is as predictable as the weather.  It's a gamble each night, and I'm looking forward to being more consistent with that.  Some nights, you sleep all the way through the night and others you wake up more than you did as a newborn.

I used to carry you around the house as I did things and you were along for the ride but just content to be touching me.  Now, you still need to be carried but you are very curious about the things that I am doing.

You are close to sitting!  A little more work on the core muscles for you to sit up straight, and you will be able to sit longer than a few seconds.  You can't get your arm out of the way to roll back to tummy, but you try so hard.  Keeping things honest - you don't spend much time on the floor to practice.  You can spin full circles if you are on your back and I know the days that you are mobile are right around the corner.

Your daddy gets the most laughs, so I expect "mama" to be your first word.  I get the most snuggles, which I'll happily take.  There's something so special about being your comfort - I am thankful for that role and hope I will fulfill it for your entire life.

You are learning new sounds, some cute, some extremely loud and not telephone conversation friendly.  Or any conversation really.  Most of the time, you sound like the most precious owl I have ever heard - "Whooo. Ohhhh. Whooooo."

Precious boy, I cannot believe you are mine.  You are the best addition to our family and we love you so much, I cannot possibly begin to put it into words.

Love you to the moon, lovebug.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

tales from the hood

motherhood, that is.

The laundry is ALL WASHED.  Two weeks of sick and the proper obsessive disinfecting that followed left me washing all but the drapes and a feeling that the laundry had actually taken over all areas of the house.  A baby multiplies laundry by about fifty.

Also, said baby has now actually slept at nighttime for the last two nights in a row.  And after over a week of nighttime shenanigans, I feel like the fog has been lifted and all that remains are the ginormous bags beneath my eyes.  This isn't the first new thing with the third child (I don't think I'll ever have it all mastered), but the wonder weeks is a new concept to me, and more specific than what I once may have called a growth spurt or maybe even teething.  It has been absolutely dead on for Luca.  And after several days of broken sleep and then about four of what felt like no sleep, it hit me to check on the timing.  It's a renewal of patience to understand that his sweet little brain is developing and making new connections.  He is now grabbing things and putting them to his mouth, and instead of being toted around for the ride around the house as I aim to get things done while pleasing his desire to be held, he is very interested in the things that I am doing.  March 4 was the day that married his fingers to his toes, and they basically haven't left since.  

I have also made it to two events with all three kiddos with multiple minutes to spare, so if we could go ahead and make note of this, that'd be great.  

The #momfail of the week happened to be me being busted for throwing away homework.  Six years: I had a good run.  Oh, but the guilt!  I feel like I may have scarred her for life with the knowledge that I don't keep every single thing she has ever done.  Our keepsake file is protesting after a handful of years, when I once thought it would hold a childhood (or three), and subtraction and handwriting just don't make the cut next to the footprint snowmen and the family portraits of egg people.

Eisley had her ballet performance yesterday - she has come a long way in a year and a half.  School and ballet have pushed her outside of her comfort zone in such positive, encouraging ways.  And that bun?  At least quadruple in size from the first performance hair we did (imagine: pencil eraser).

The most fun news of the week is brought to us by Disney and the fact that we have our vacation booked.  I am mostly excited with a side of terror thinking about the flight there and all of the stuff that accompanies a little person (or three).  I may soon become a member of the orange-stickered OVERWEIGHT baggage group.  Or the families that caused a ruckus on a flight and ended up on the news.

Time will tell.  I'm mostly excited for the sand, sun, and mice.

 so much drool, all the time.  We are smitten.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dear Eisley

Dear Eisley,

Four years old and a few days late.  Life has swallowed us up with germs and chaos in the last two weeks.  You continue to be the perfect swirl of sweet and sass - I cannot believe you are FOUR.

You love to write in journals - you draw people that look like eggs with limbs.  My most favorite portrait to date was an egg with a little egg in the belly - that was last fall.  You write your name which always makes me smile.  The E has a few extra horizontal lines.

You are losing some of your baby words as we work carefully on pronunciation of things. (favorites: "you's welcome", "noonles" (noodles), "goggeels" (googles), "Rapezpez" (Rapunzel), "cool" (school). "raccoons" (cartoons).  Your tongue tie and the fact that I don't feel any pressure to grow you up quicker than I must has left us with some cute phrases that I know will get lost with time - we love them.

You LOVE preschool.  This is such a huge relief to us, because despite being very opinionated and outspoken at home, you are very shy.  I wish I could be a fly in the wall for your mornings at school!  Your ballet teacher has told me several times that the difference in your demeanor is very obvious.

You eat more snacks than any child I have ever known, and up until Christmas time, you called them "tacks".  You are a finicky eater and would live on granola bars and cereal and noodles if I allowed it.  We added chicken to your allergy list this year after a scary couple of encounters (it joins the pitted fruits that were already there), so eating isn't an issue I like to push.  I know you get the things you need, but most of the time, I have to give my best speech to encourage a minimum number of bites.

You get very excited with new clothes and shoes - you will wear the clothes for multiple days in a row.  You also really love to carry around fistfuls of little things (ponies, little animal figures, princesses, etc) - you have bags and bags full of things like this and you always take them with you in the car.  We keep a storage box under your bed that houses such things as well.

You are still in ballet and in the second month of swimming lessons - you love both, and I have been impressed with your willingness in the water!

At four years old, your favorite things include: the color red, princesses, snacks, noodles, horses, the song Go Tell it on the Mountain, singing along with the radio, little toys, Doc McStuffins, Max & Ruby, doing things yourself, your dog Pippi, and Frozen.

At four years old, our favorite things about you include: your sweet smile and accompanying dimple, your innocent and heartfelt prayers, watching you become social with your own circle of friends, your spunk and fiery personality, your wispy, wild hair, and your sweet little bird legs.

I could never put into words how crazy we are about you - we are so thankful for your presence in our lives!

Love you to the moon, little love!


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.

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