Wednesday, April 15, 2015

{Dear Elijah | 8 months}

Dear Elijah,

It truly feels like just yesterday that I was 41 weeks along and thinking that I might just actually be pregnant forever. And you are. Eight months old and stealing my heart over and over again each and every day.
You are getting super fast at crawling now and you can even go up a couple of stairs! It's really fun to just put you down on the floor and let you do your thing. You definitely prefer to play with anything that isn't actually a toy no matter how many toys we scatter around you. You love sneaking into the kitchen to check if we've remembered to put the dog's water bowl out of reach or not. You also love crawling into the bottom part of the TV stand to knock over the DVD's we have stashed there and to press all of the buttons on the DVD player. It really gets Lucy's goat when you press the power button while she's in the middle of Frozen ;) Your newest trick this month is that you have started pulling up to standing and you do it now at any chance you get! It's just funny because you get stuck in the standing position sometimes and you'll just stick your little booty out and dance around until someone helps you get down. You've even started cruising a little bit which is totally crazy to me! Your curiosity is so stinking adorable....and also exhausting. ha.
Your sleep started getting all wonky again very shortly after I wrote your 7 month post. You started waking up and wanting to be fed/rocked to sleep in the middle of the night again. We knew that you had the ability to sleep through the night since you had been doing it on and off since you were 2 months old, and we also knew that everyone (including you) would be happier and more rested in the long run if we got rid of that middle of the night wakeup/feeding. So, we decided to go ahead and sleep train you a couple of weeks ago. I was reluctant to go the "cry it out" route, but I really wasn't sure what else to do. It seemed like we just needed to go cold turkey, so that's what we did. Luckily it only took 2 nights to get the job done! The first night, you cried for about an hour and a half (with me going in to check on you about every 10 minutes) before you finally went back to sleep. The second night, you cried for about an hour. The third night, you slept through the night! Since then, there has been 2-3 nights that you've woken up, but they crying has only lasted for a super short period of time and the intensity was never near what it was those first two nights. So, you will usually go down around 8-8:30 (same time as your sissy) and you'll wake up anywhere between 7 and 8am. I'm calling it a win for sure...even though it sure was hard to hear you cry like that! Good job, buddy. Now we just need to work on better naps :) For those, you'll be super tired and I'll put you down, but then when I go to check on you, you'll just be standing there in the corner of the crib giggling at me. I usually have to come and lay you back down about 10 times before you finally go to sleep!
You are such a good eater these days! I got a food processor (thank you mama!) for my birthday last month and I have been going nuts making baby food for you. We've yet to find something that you won't eat and I'm trying to get more and more creative with my recipes for you. Your big sister is a great and non-picky eater and we are hoping that you'll be the same way. You still prefer a bit more texture to your food and you love to feed yourself whenever possible. I love watching you suck on big hunks of tomato and avocado and anything else we give you. Such a big boy. (wahhhhh!)
You now have 3 teeth and the 4th one (top middle) just broke through just yesterday. It also looks like there are a couple more that will be popping through any day now. They're making you just a bit fussy, but you really are still handling teething like a champ! You are also drooling like a champ :)
You simply have the sweetest and most delightful personality and you are such a joy to be around. You are so happy and silly and you never cease to amaze and entertain us. It is the most amazing thing in the world to watch you and Lucy snuggle and play and love on each other. Your daddy and I are the luckiest people in the world! Happy 8 months, sweet boy.

All my heart,

Love, Mama

Monday, April 6, 2015

{Happy Easter!}

The days around here have been filled with a lot of rain lately, but we were blessed with the most perfect weather yesterday for Easter. It was a beautiful day spent with family. What else could we ask for? We went to church in the morning and watched my mother-in-law give a beautiful sermon and then came home to put the kids down for a nap. Elijah took advantage but Lucy did not. No surprise there :) Then my parents and niece arrived from Cincinnati and my brother, Michael, came as well. Of course, I had to take Lucy outside to take a few shots of her in her darling Easter outfit while baby brother slept. My beautiful girl is always such a good sport for her picture taking obsessed mama :)
We told Lucy that the Easter Bunny had come during "nap" time and hid their Easter baskets somewhere around the house. She was super excited when she found hers and so began the day-long sugar rush! (A huge shoutout to my amazing mama who put these awesome baskets together!)
Later in the day, we all went over to my in-laws house for dinner and an egg hunt. The Easter Bunny (aka my awesome niece - what a good sport!) made an appearance again this year and Lucy could not have been more excited.
Elijah was more than happy to just observe :)
Here is my gorgeous niece sans Easter Bunny costume :) 
We can never resist that delicious golden hour light.....
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * *

Happy belated Easter to all!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

{spring is in our hearts}

"She turned to the sunlight
and shook her yellow head,
and whispered to her neighbor:
Winter is dead"

-A.A. Milne-
We just got home from 4 lovely days spent at Mom Mom and Pop Pop's (my parents) house. Zach went to St. Louis on a business trip and I didn't want to be on my own with the kiddos all of those days and nights, so off we went to Cincinnati. They spoiled the kids and I just like they always do (and I truly mean that in the best way possible!) They are just the best Mom Mom and Pop Pop in the whole world. 

I turned 32 this past weekend and it was wonderful celebrating with family the day we got there. Every year, at my request, my mom (who's baking skills are akin to Martha Stewart - I kid you not) makes me the most beautiful and delicious chocolate mousse cake. I didn't even get a picture of it this year before we dug into it. I really just can't even tell you how sinfully wonderful it tastes. 

The rest of our days there were filled with a trip to the Cincinnati Children's Museum, coloring Easter eggs, playing outside, a shopping date with my girl, cookie baking and plenty of love and laughter. The weather today is yucky, chilly and rainy...but the weather over the last few days was the most perfectly beautiful spring weather that we could ever ask for. Last night, my mom and I took the kids out for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner and I was just drooling over the yummy golden hour light that was peeking through the trees. I was so glad that I had brought my big girl camera with me. Lucy was in her own little world and I was right there with her (while my mama pushed my sweet boy along in the stroller). I just adore her little pink popsicle/cranberry soda mustache, messy bun, the winking daisy on her sweater and the well loved ladybug boots. These are the moments I want to hold onto forever and ever. These are the moments that feel like magic in my heart. 
...and of course I couldn't go without taking at least a few pictures of my sweet boy. 
I think it's safe to say, we could not be happier that spring has arrived. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

{beauty in the ordinary}

"...there is no such thing as a charmed life, not for any of us, no matter 
where we live or how mindfully we attend to the tasks at hand. But there 
are charmed moments, all the time, in every life and in every day, if we are 
only awake enough to experience them when they come and 
wise enough to appreciate them."

-Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir

{sharing her new sleeping bag with baby brother} 


 {so much love already between these two}

 {he truly just might be the happiest baby ever}

 {Flip the penguin will always hold a special place in her heart}

 {I spy a sweet little sleepy babe}

 {another picture mom??!}

{he loves being in the baby carrier and I love having his cheeks in kissing range!} 

 {the last two placenta pills - or "happy pills" as I call them}

 {her first trip to the circus - so much fun}

 {chocolate-peanut butter three layer pretzel cake - made with love from scratch}

 {how long we have waited for this glorious spring weather - hello sunshine}

 {she is my happily ever after}

{these kids have the best pop pop in the whole world}

{I love catching my beautiful niece, Caley, tinkering away at the piano - can't believe she is turning 22 soon}

{oh, how I just adore these two. my heart can hardly contain the joy I feel when I watch them together}