July 25, 2014

Sixteen Weeks




Our little Livi Boo is actually seventeen weeks old today, but I just got around to editing the pictures I took earlier this week (been busy, busy lately!).  I can't believe how quickly time has been passing these past few weeks - strangely, now that things have calmed down (in the sense that breastfeeding is well-established, allergy symptoms/colic are not as severe, we're back into a pretty settled routine, etc.), time seems to be flying by.  I guess all those "complications" (I hate to call them that, but we have had several issues to work through) were forcing me to pay just a little bit more attention than I might have otherwise.  With things settling into a new normal for us, I now have more time to focus on other things, and maybe I haven't been savoring every minute quite as much as I had to before.  I'd like to think that's temporary - I know the next few weeks are going to remain a bit hectic for us, but I should have plenty of time to refocus once we get over this busy hump.  It's a little bittersweet, watching this tiny little baby grow, but mostly I'm enjoying it and very excited about all the things to come!

July 23, 2014

Four








My dearest not-so-little-anymore boy,

Today you turned four.  How can this be?  Though you won't remember much of the last four years of your life, I hope that someday my careful documentation of your life will serve a purpose, that you will be able to look back on all these blog entries (will blogs even exist in 2030something?) and on the thousands of photographs taken, and that you will see and feel and know how incredibly loved you have been from the very beginning.

You will soon reach a stage in life where you will more consistently remember things, and I promise you that I will work hard to make sure those memories are good ones, to make your childhood magical, filled with fun and whimsy and all the little things a boy should enjoy.  I will take you on grand adventures, and watch you get lost in the fantastical world of book pages when you learn to read on your own, and see the excitement on your face when you cause an eruption by mixing baking soda with vinegar, and encourage you to get dirty but keep your shoes off the white rug (a rule you are quick to remind our guests).

This past year you've taken on a new role, that of big brother.  You were so overwhelmed by your baby sister at first (we literally had to bribe you with a cookie just to sit near her the first time you met).  You longed for a baby sister, and were certain she would be a girl (you were right!) and you just couldn't wait to get a baby sister, but I don't think you fully understood that there would be an actual living, breathing, human being added to our family.  It didn't take long for you to grow to love her so much though!  You're constantly reassuring her when she fusses, and you love to just sit and chat with her, your face lighting up every time she flashes you a smile, exclaiming "She has a smile for me!"  It's so proud of how you have embraced this new role, how much you absolutely adore being a big brother.  I have to admit that I was worried about how you would handle the whole situation, not being the baby of the family anymore.  Don't worry, I promise to protect you from Middle Child Syndrome.  You have been amazing and I can't wait to watch the bond between you and your baby sister continue to develop in the years to come.

In just a few short weeks you will take on another new role, that of student!  You start pre-k soon, and you are beyond excited!  You've got your little book bag and your little lunch box and all your little school supplies at the ready, and you're eager for that big yellow bus to show up and carry you to school.  You have an uncanny memory and we hope this will give you a leg up on the learning front, in addition to the benefit this extra year of schooling will give you.

This has been an amazing year for you, and an amazing year for us, as we've had the privilege to watch you grow and learn.  We can't wait to see what this next trip around the sun will bring to you!

Love,
Mommy and Daddy

July 21, 2014

This Week and Lots of Ramblings


Good afternoon people of the world!  I'm a bit behind on my routine weekend postings because...well, it's Summer, and we had a busy weekend, and I was far too caught up in simply enjoying time with my family to stop for blogging!  I haven't even snapped my Project 52 photo for last week yet...oops.  I'm not stressing it one bit though - it will get done soon.  And I promised myself that I wouldn't let blogging interfere with me actually living and enjoying life - so I'm completely cool with letting things slip from time to time.

A cold front rolled through this past week and we had gorgeous weather, hovering in the mid-70s most days.  We rode into the mountains and enjoyed a big family picnic with my dad and some extended family yesterday.  The kids played in the creek and jumped rocks, we played some cornhole and chatted, and enjoyed the fresh mountain air.  Woke up this morning to a cool rain and while the weather does sometimes get me down, I've been appreciating the soothing sounds of the rain this morning, and once again taking advantage of the cooler weather with every door and window thrown wide open.

Most of the busyness of this past week stemmed from organization:  organizing bags and bags of hand-me-down clothes for the kids (it's so helpful having so many nieces and my nephew to pass along things to us), once again organizing our attic (with all the new clothes to be fit in), getting Noah's toys and books organized so we can move on to the more fun stage of decorating his room, ordering new furniture for Faith's room to get that organized, starting to get organized for our vacation, and more.  There's not much evidence when it comes to this type of busyness, but I can tell you getting ourselves organized is very rewarding for this mom of three!

What's been on my mind lately?  Everything, y'all.  Every. Thing.  Creativity is swirling around in my head like crazy:  from my latest photo project, to making over Faith and Noah's room (there is a sliver of hope in my mind that we will someday get around to our own bedroom), to picking up my crochet hook, and so much more.  My mind is just bursting with all the things I want to do and I'm having trouble deciding what should be at the top of my latest to-do list.

Also on my mind: weight loss.  We're approaching four months postpartum and I'm finally ready to actively begin focusing on losing weight.  Until now, I've been eating healthy and exercising off and on, but I haven't been calorie-counting and I haven't been exercising for weight loss.  I've lost seven additional pounds over the past few months (after the initial postpartum weight loss) and I want to lose the rest of the pregnancy weight plus some extra.  Today marks Day 1 of tracking calories (more to make sure I'm eating enough to maintain my milk supply than to restrict calories) and getting in my 25+ minutes of exercise five times a week.  I do have a weight loss number in mind, but I'm focusing more on feeling healthy and fit, and not putting an arbitrary deadline on accomplishing that goal.  I'm so thankful for everything I've learned about health and fitness over the past few years - armed with everything I now know, I'm approaching this weight loss journey with realistic expectations and like most things in my life lately, I'm keeping a laid back and relaxed attitude about it.  I'm eager to put in the hard work and watch it pay off, but I will not be obsessing about the whole thing, as I've done in the past.

What else?  Empty nest syndrome.  I'm not even kidding.  I'm so excited about Noah starting preschool in just a few weeks, but I'm already dreading the change that's going to come when he's not home with me all day.  I know I'll get used to it, and I know having a baby around will keep me plenty busy, but it's going to be a big adjustment for me and Noah.  With ordering his book bag last week (that he picked out) and starting to gather school supplies, it's becoming all too real that this is happening.  He is growing up!  The letters will be sent out tomorrow to let us know what teacher he has, and we're hoping that he might be in the same class as my niece to have a tiny bit of familiarity.  Also, he turns four in just two days!

15 weeks

I can't believe Livi Boo is sixteen weeks old now.  Like, had to look at the calendar and count the weeks because I didn't believe it level of can't believe it.  The past few weeks have flown by quicker than before because we've been keeping busy and I've had less down time to simply stare at her for absolutely no reason.  

This time with her is bittersweet - there is (of course) a bit of sadness that she is growing so quickly and knowing that she will be my last baby, but I refuse to let that sadness steal away the happiness she brings to our lives.  The overwhelming emotions: unbelievable pride and joy.  Perhaps it is because she is my last that I'm able to enjoy the time I have with her so much, my mind reminding me that I need to soak up and cherish these moments even more than ever.  

The other day I looked down at the growing fat rolls in her arms and legs, and I felt so much pride that the word "pride" didn't seem nearly sufficient.  Despite the many, many problems we've had with breastfeeding due to jaundice, thrush, and Olivia's allergies - this is the first time breastfeeding has truly been an enjoyable experience for me.  (Of course, this has everything to do with the fact that I now have a supportive and encouraging man by my side who values nursing our child just as much as I do.)  Aside from adoring the time we have together during our nursing sessions, it just amazes me that I have grown this baby so big and strong through breastfeeding.  I promised myself that I wouldn't put any pressure on myself to be successful with breastfeeding, and I believe that laid back and relaxed attitude about it has contributed significantly to our success.  My hope was/is to breastfeed to at least six months, and we are well on our way to accomplishing that, and more.  I could not be more proud that we're doing this despite so many obstacles early on.

Another front with Olivia has been sleep training.  I never thought I would hear myself say those words, but this child is so completely different from her older sister and brother.  This past week we attempted a very modified form of "cry it out," as Olivia was comfort nursing and/or being rocked for several hours every single night to fall asleep, and often waking right back up before we could even get her laid in her bassinet.  It was taking a toll on all of us but most of all, her.  The longest she cried (the first night) before falling to sleep on her own was 15 minutes, and on the third night she drifted off without a peep.  Of course, we aren't expecting that every night but giving her the opportunity to learn some self-soothing had done us all some good.    

A few more randoms from this past week:  Livi Girl loves "sitting up" on her own, me holding her arms or waist as she stabilizes her core and head.  She's still a little wobbly but she loves it, and considering how much she hates tummy time (and how much we tend to avoid it because: screaming), it's a good way for her to develop those muscles.  She also loves "sitting" in her chair (propped up with a few blankets).  Lately it seems that she doesn't mind wearing headbands so much, which is nice because I adore them and they finally fit, and how cute are they??  We tried on her first 3-6M onesies this past week, which was still a little roomy, and even more 0-3M outfits went into the too small pile.  I've never had a child who consistently wore the "correct" clothes to match their age, but I have been surprised by how quickly she's been growing lately (compared to her earlier, and much slower growth).

July 17, 2014

R2-D2


I whipped up this super cute girly R2-D2 (or as Noah calls it RT-2T - what a mouthful!) hat to get some photos of Olivia, but I love that this photo prop will be useful come Winter (hopefully it will fit her tiny head a bit better by then).  While I had the camera out, I decided to recreate the fun photo above for Olivia's Star Wars loving Daddy.  There are similar photos (usually of newborns) floating around all over teh interwebz, so I can't take credit for the idea, but I knew David would love it nonetheless.  I mean, seriously, how could you not love ir?!