Tuesday, December 16, 2014

{ho ho ho}

For the last few years we have attended the Breakfast with Santa event at our friends church. Lucy always has so much fun and of course it's always great when she gets to clock in some time with big guy in red. On the way there I asked her what she was going to tell Santa when she saw him. She announced that she was going to ask him for the movie "How to Train Your Dragon". I had no idea she even knew what that movie was. My guess is that they've watched it at daycare before, but who knows. In any case, that is what she decided she wants more than anything and that is exactly what my girl told Santa that day, even though she got a bit shy once she got on his lap (which totally beats the screaming fit that ensued last year!) I'm pretty sure Elijah told him he didn't need anything and that he was perfectly happy with his own fingers to suck on :)
This past weekend was our big family Christmas party with the extended family. It really is quite a large event and is such a blast. Lucy was over the moon when I told her we were going to get to see Santa again! I think we had at least 40+ kids there that got to see him and get a gift. Lucy's was one of the last names to be called and I must say I am super impressed with how patient she was while waiting. That's my girl.
 Elijah was patient as well waiting for his turn while hanging out with his Pop Pop :)
He didn't have to wait quite as long as Lucy for his turn. I can't get over how small
he looks on Santa's lap. And also...how real looking is this Santa?! Love it. 
Lucy soon got her turn and reminded him again about how she really wanted the movie 
"How to Train Your Dragon" and also added that she wanted a Minnie Mouse toy as well :)
Goodness gracious, I just love these babies so much and taking part in these holiday
traditions with them makes my heart go pitter patter!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

{Dear Elijah | 4 months}

Dear Elijah,

My sweet boy. You have been a bit fussier than normal these past few days and I decided I would go ahead and attempt your 4 month mini photo session anyway. There were less smiles than usual, but I adore your serious facial expressions just as much. I did get a few quirky little half smiles (see above photo) and lord knows I love those too.
I am suspecting a growth spurt of some kind is the cause of your mild fussiness. You've been eating almost every 2 hours instead of 3 and your daytime naps have been a bit screwy. My suspicions about a growth spurt were confirmed when it took me four tries to find a pair of pajamas that fit you last! Seriously- these were all ones that fit you less than a week ago. You are my healthy, growing boy! You seem to be feeling more like yourself today...smiling and happy!
You really are just an absolute joy to be around. You are changing and growing SO quickly and your sweet little personality shines more and more each day. Your smile is ridiculously amazing and infectious and don't even get me started on your little laugh! I have actually heard some amazing belly laughs in the last couple of weeks and they just about make me die of happiness! You are super chatty lately and I can just imagine the amazing stories you are trying to tell us. It's so neat to hear your little voice coming out.
Your 4 month checkup isn't until next week, but I'm guessing your weight is somewhere in the 13-14lb range. You are in a mix of 0-3 and 3-6 month clothes. You have a long torso, but short little legs which means your pants usually have to be rolled up. You have just filled out so much in general! You are eating about 5oz in each bottle during the day and a 6oz bottle at night to help get you through the longer stretch. There are definitely times when I wish I was still nursing you, but then I have to remind myself about how hard and frustrating it was for both of us and that this is working so much better. You're happy and healthy and that is all that matters.
In general, you are getting into a bit more of a nap schedule these days. You're taking 3-4 naps or so a day lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Sometimes an even longer one will sneak in there from time to time. You really don't nap super well in your crib and you much prefer to snooze in the Rock 'N Play during the day with a soft blanket snuggled up against your cheek. You're still a great night sleeper these days. You go to bed anywhere between 8 and 9pm and you'll wake up to eat around 6:30am. After that you'll go back to sleep for another hour or 2. Every now and then you'll wake up in the middle of the night, but usually all you require is someone popping the binkie back in your mouth (we call it "plugging you in". haha) We still swaddle you up tightly like a baby burrito and you still sleep on the contoured changing pad. We're afraid to change anything for fear that your sleep pattern will get messed up, but we know that we won't be able to swaddle you forever! You are generally pretty easy to put to bed once you are ready and I just adore our night time routine. It is always such a peaceful way to end the day.
You started rolling over from your back to your belly a few weeks ago! You definitely love showing off your new party trick, and I just love watching you flail your arms and legs around once you're on your belly. It makes me want to laugh and cry all at once. You're just growing up too quickly!!
You are super playful these days and are definitely requiring a lot more entertaining, which makes working from home more difficult, but I am still loving having you around as my little work/play buddy all day. It feels so great to not have to leave you during the day like I had to when Lucy was a baby. Some days I really have a hard time getting anything productive done, but I still wouldn't change it for the world right now. I do have people I can call when I need someone to watch you for a few hours on the the days when I really need to hunker down, so I feel very blessed for that!
You currently love: bath time, rolling over, drooling like crazy, watching and laughing at your big sister (she is seriously your favorite person ever!), grabbing toys, playing on your rainforest playmat, being naked, christmas lights and flirting with anyone and everyone. You are quite the little charmer, my sweet.
Words really cannot even express how madly in love with you I am. You such a bright light in our lives and bring us endless joy each and every day. May you always know how truly special you are.

All my heart....forever and always,

Love, Mama

Sunday, November 16, 2014

{these two...}

She is my little firecracker. Wild and amazing.
He is my little man. Sweet and observant.
Our days are busy and full. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning
in doubt and responsibility...so worried that I am
not doing enough. For them. For my marriage.
For me. 
But the truth is...our busy lives, our messy house, the seemingly monotonous days...
they are all filled with love.
So much love.
And not only that...
They are also filled with joy and gratitude.
Excitement and adventure.
Sure, there are also plenty of tears in there mixed with a side of complete exhaustion,
but the bitter is what makes the sweet so much sweeter, right?
* * * *
This is life - and I am forever grateful for every second of it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

{Dear Elijah | Three Months}

Dear Elijah,

My goodness...if you get any cuter, I might just be forced to eat you up! That smile just melts my heart each and every time. I seriously can hardly stand it. You are simply the sweetest little thing and I am so incredibly happy and proud that I get to be your mama.
Your 3 month checkup is on Friday, but I took you to the doctor yesterday because you had this terrible cough and cold for days, complete with awful congestion, and you were really quite miserable. It broke my heart to watch you like that. We just wanted to rule out the possibility of an ear infection, and thank goodness, your ears and lungs were all clear. You seem to be feeling much better today! While at the doctor, they checked your weight and you are now 11lbs 11oz. You are still hanging out in the 7th percentile, but you are definitely happy, healthy, and growing like a weed these days. 
You love to smile and you are starting to "talk" even more. I love hearing your little voice come out - it is just the sweetest sound. And your tiny giggles are ridiculously cute. Yep, you're a charmer. That is for sure. 
You still take quite a few naps on and off throughout the day, which is helpful since I am working from home. But you are also starting to be quite active during the day. You are starting to reach for things and love being played with. You love hanging out on your rainforest playmat while punching and kicking the animals that are hanging down above you. You love snuggling soft blankets and lovies and you have an extreme fondness for your binky. You love being talked to (see face in photo above). You love bath time. You love hanging out on your changing table. You love your big sister. You love when I sing to you. You love making silly faces, and often times, very serious faces. Too funny. 
One major and awesome change this month has been your nighttime sleep pattern. I had a nasty sinus infection in the beginning of October and was coughing a lot at night. I was worried about keeping you up, so we decided to go ahead and move you into the crib in your room. You were still waking up a few times for the first few nights there, so we decided to change it up to see what happened. We started swaddling you up tightly with your arms in (we had only been swaddling you from the waist down prior to that) and laid you down on the changing pad in the crib so that you'd feel a bit more cradled. Well, that certainly seemed to be the magic combination because you immediately started sleeping 7-8 stretches and then going right back to sleep after a 4:30am-ish feeding. In the past couple of weeks, you've been sleeping an even longer stretch than that. We put you down sometime between 8 and 9pm and you'll sleep straight through until about 6:30 or 7am (most of the time). You are a total rockstar. I know that the rug could totally be ripped out from under us at any point, but we'll just enjoy it for now :)
Also in the same week that I had that sinus infection, we stopped nursing altogether. You were clearly not getting enough from me and I was still in pain a great deal of the time. It just wasn't doing anything for either of us. I continued to pump and mix my milk with the donor milk, but I was only pumping an ounce or two at a time and it did not make the donor stash last nearly as long as I was hoping it would. We ran out last weekend and made the official switch to formula full time. I really can't believe that I was only able to nurse you for 9 weeks, but I've spent a lot of time coming to terms with it all and I've made my peace (except for the small meltdown I had about it at the pediatricians office yesterday...oy). I really am so thankful for those wild and crazy (and painful) 9 weeks and for the milk that my dear friend Kara donated to us, and now we are just on a different part of our journey. You are happy and thriving and I couldn't ask for more than that. 
Well, my sweet little Bubba (as we all affectionately call you), you are simply the most darling and easy-going baby and you are just plain cool (one of the mom's at Lucy's dance class affirmed this fact just yesterday and I definitely agree). I just couldn't be more in love with you. 

All my heart,

Love, Mama

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

{October Love - Part Two}

The weekend before Halloween, we had absolutely beautiful weather. It was the perfect time to go to the Dill's Greenhouse Fall Fun Fest with some friends of ours. We paid a small fee to get in and there were TONS of activities for kids. There was a bouncy house, hayrides, a corn filled sandbox, a corn maze, a hay bail maze, face painting, a tractor/barrel ride, hot dog/s'more making stations...and so much more. Lucy and her little friend Eliot played for hours and we finished the afternoon off by picking out a pumpkin on our way out. Such a fun day!

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Then, of course, came the main event....Trick or Treating! We had planned to go to Zach's parents neighborhood on Friday evening for Trick or Treat, but the weather report was not looking good at all for that night. So, we decided we would go to a different area with some friends that had their Trick or Treat on Thursday night. I am so glad that we changed our plans because the weather on Friday did end up being very cold and rainy. Whew! 
When we showed up to our friends house, we discovered that Lucy's little boyfriend, Max, had dressed up as Batman! Batgirl and Batman...meant to be :) We hadn't even planned it in advance! They are just too cute for words and had such a blast together. 
Poor Elijah was a banana for Trick or Treat - the same costume Lucy wore when she was a baby :)

We came around one corner and there was this house that pretty much had their front yard decked out like a haunted house. I mean, they had some seriously creepy stuff going on and I thought that was definitely going to be the end of our trick or treating when Lucy saw it. She was definitely very cautious and definitely did not want to get candy from this house, but then this guy (pictured above) came around and put his arms out to give her a hug and she was okay after that. I still can't believe she actually hugged him. That's my brave girl :)
The night did come to an end for us soon after the scary house, though. It came when she saw a boy in a Scream mask that had a feature that made it look like he was actively bleeding when he pressed a little button. Yup. That was the end of that. She jumped into my arms, buried her face into my shoulder and begged to go home. Poor girl. We talked a lot when we got home that night about how it was just a little boy in a mask and that he went home and took it off and went to bed just like her. It took her a couple of days to work through it, but my sweet girl has since announced that she can't wait until it's time to Trick or Treat again next year. She just hopes she doesn't see that little boy with the mask next time :) 

{October Love - Part One}

I love October. The cooler (but not totally freezing) weather. The changing leaves. Pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. Apple picking. Pumpkin patches....and that fact that we get to celebrate Halloween all month long.

First, let's talk about Lucy's Halloween costume. She loves princesses just as much as the next kid, and yes, that very much includes Elsa and Anna...but my girl also has a love of all things having to do with superhero's and begged to be one (a pink one) for Halloween. Lucy and I were both over the moon when we happened to stumble upon a pink Batgirl costume, cape and all. Every time she put it on, her super girl alter ego would come out and she would pretend to fly around the house coming to the rescue of all her stuffed animals that needed help. Man, I love this girl.

We started our month with our 4th annual yoga moms/babies Halloween party. A little bit of back story about these sweet friends: I met 5 other amazing mama's during a prenatal yoga class when I was pregnant with Lucy. It was the first pregnancy for all but 1 of us and we all started hanging out at a local favorite local restaurant after our classes and bonded over baby talk. One by one, the babies started being born (all girls!) and our after yoga hangouts soon turned into playdates and the occasional and glorious mama's night out. We all became fast and close friends and have continued those playdates and girls nights out for over 3 years now. Two of the mama's have since moved out of state (so sad) but we still very much keep in touch and visit whenever we can with them. I am just so thankful for these mama's and their sweet kiddos! Here is this years photo of the little ladies....
 And just for fun....a little collage of all the photos from the last 4 years...
And...another fun thing was that the 4 of us that still live in Ohio had boys in the next round of babies, so we got to get the first ever photo of the boys all together! Poor Gus (far left) wasn't too thrilled about it, but the photo is filled with major cuteness just the same! And in case you can't tell, Elijah is the little fire chief on the far right ;)

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The next weekend, we went apple picking at Lynd's Fruit Farm. This is absolutely one of my most favorite fall activities. It was a beautiful day and I just loved watching Lucy pick the perfect apples off of the trees with such care, occasionally biting into one and breaking into a big smile each and every time. It was one of the many gentle reminders that I receive from her daily to slow down and just enjoy life and all of the sweetness it has to offer. 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Our next Halloween outing was a trip with the kiddos and Zach's parents to Boo at the Zoo. They had a whole trick or treat area setup for the kids and Lucy had an absolute blast.