Sunday, May 22, 2016

Gracie is 3

Dear Gracie,
    We have just finished celebrating your 3rd birthday. We had a small party at the park with your school friends. You wanted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cupcakes with pink frosting. You thought it was awesome. The simplicity of it was pretty awesome. Here are some great things you are doing right now:
You are SO beautiful and cute. I love when you come stomping in with your hands on your hips in your little dress. You can be so cute and sassy. I love the little crinkle on your nose when you're being silly. I love your big eyes. I don't love doing your hair, although I love how cute it is when it's done.

You love shoes and dress up. You make us change your clothes approximately 1200 times a day. You have to stay fashionable.

You are my little introvert. You are shy around new people and don't like when someone calls attention to you. But when you are with people you know and somewhere you know, you are so goofy, loud, playful, and WILD.

I love that you love being with your brother. You always laugh at his jokes. He is lucky to have you for that, because no one else around here thinks he is as funny as you do.

You are getting so smart. You are starting to learn some letters and numbers. Whenever you see a G anywhere, you yell "G for Gracie!" You love to do "homework" and color and write.

I love that you are so independent. You won't let anyone help you get dressed, put on your shoes, put on your seatbelt, or clear your dinner plate. You are my big helper. You love to help me do dishes and clean (although you never do it on your own).

I love that you are so determined. I really can't explain in words this big ball of non-stop energy you can be. When you get something in your head, NOTHING will stop you. Unfortunately, sometimes I can't even stop you. I just hope you use all that determination to save the world one day, not destroy it.

I love that you LOOOOOVE your baby sister. You love to help take care of her and play with her. Sometimes you LOOOOVE her a little too hard. You like to get in her play-mat and on her tummy time blanket with her.

You have an irrational fear of all dogs. Whenever you hear a dog bark you run screaming into our arms. Except for Laurie and Hope, since I'm pretty sure you don't realize they are also dogs.
You are terrified of our neighbor's dog, Deuce. I love that you refer to our neighbors as "Deuce's Mommy and Daddy."

I love that you love going to school. You have had a great fun year with your friends in the Bears room. I love when you do impersonations of your teachers.

You love to dance. You make us help you put on your ballerina costume so you can do dances for us.

I love that you FINALLY got potty trained! I really really Love you for that. For a while I thought it might never happen.

I love that you are always surprising me. Sometimes I feel like I have no idea how to be your parent, which is a new and weird feeling for me. You are always a challenge. And yet, I am learning that what you crave and want most of all is for me to be present and just be with you. With three kids and a full time job, that is very challenging but so important. Thank you for the constant reminder to be present in the moment. I think it's my biggest challenge and my biggest gift.

Love you, baby girl. I love getting to be your mom. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

2 months

Just looked at the calendar and realized this girl is 2 months old today. Man that flew by. We have had a great time hanging out together. I won't say getting to know each other, because it's like we already knew each other. She is my little soulmate.  
Hadley is smiling and cooing. She can roll from her stomach to her back. She loves Jonah. She will turn her head to find him whenever she hears his voice. She tolerates Gracie for now. She weighs 12 lb 14 oz and is 22 1/2 inches. Her head is in the 95 percentile. Her cuteness is in the 100th percentile. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Worth the wait

A baby story about patience and surprises:

We have been waiting for this day for weeks so this birth story begins some time ago. 5 weeks ago at my 36 week appointment I was dilated to 2 cm. We knew it could still be a while but anticipated that Hadley's birth was coming. However, weeks passed and I just continued to progress very slowly. By 39 weeks I was dilated to 5 cm and having inconsistent contractions. My doctor scheduled me to come for prenatal testing at 40 weeks and to come back at 41 weeks but said, "I just can't see you getting to that point." We couldn't see it going on that long either, especially since both of my other kids were born early!

We spent the next 2 weeks trying to stay busy. We went to Mardi Gras parades, took the kids to the park, continued to work, and did everything we could think of to induce labor! But I found myself back at the doctor's office for my 41 week appointment on Monday morning discussing scheduling an induction. I was so conflicted about it, scared to do it and scared not to. Finally, we planned that I would come back Wednesday morning to be induced. I asked my parents to drive on over and we all had a nice day together. I started having some contractions that evening, but it was nothing out of the ordinary, although I was much more relaxed about it since my parents were already here.  My dad predicted when I went to bed that he would see me in a few hours because my water was going to break. Yeah right, we had been saying that for weeks.

I went to bed around 10 and got up at 1:45 thinking that maybe my water had broken. I waited a bit, then woke Ted up. I said, "I think my water broke, but I'm not sure. I don't think we have to go yet, though." Right after that a contraction hit me that was stronger than any of the practice ones I'd had, and I said, "Nevermind, I think we need to go." I woke my parents up to let them know we were leaving and told my mom to come to the hospital after they had dropped the kids off at school.

I got to the hospital and they said I was at 6 cm, but my contractions were much stronger and closer together than they had been at this point with my previous labors. By the time I got checked in, got to my room, and got my IV in, I could tell I was progressing pretty quickly. They gave me my antibiotic at about 5:00 a.m., and by the end of it I was feeling pretty intense labor pains. We called my mom and told her to go ahead and come to the hospital and let my dad take the kids to school. Ted said, "If you wait until they get to school, you might miss it." I didn't think that would happen, but I just wanted her support. Turns out, she would have missed it! I got up to walk around a little bit more, and then they wanted me to sit down to put me on the monitor again at about 6. My mom made it just in time for me to call the doctor in a little while later, and they said I was at 9 cm and they were going to call my doctor. About 10-15 minutes later my doctor came in and said, "Okay, are you ready to push?" I was, but I felt like it had progressed really fast. I pushed for about 10 minutes and the doctor said they could see her head of dark hair, but she still wasn't crowning. I felt like I was working so hard and nothing was happening, and I thought I was just being a whimp and needed to try harder. After about 30 minutes of pushing, finally she was born at 7:35 am! Someone said, "That's a big baby!" But we didn't realize until they weighed her that she was 9 lb 13 oz! That made me feel like maybe I wasn't being such a whimp. They put her on my chest and let me hold her and nurse her for a long time. She did great and has been so tough!  

Her brother and sister love her and have been so sweet. They may fight consistently with each other, but they have been so sweet and gentle with her. Jonah just starts giggling every time he looks at her and Gracie is always making sure she has toys and wants to hold her. We are so thrilled and in disbelief that our whole family is home and we are learning to be a family of 5.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Jonah is 5

Dear Jonah, 

  I cannot believe today is here. Of course your birthday makes me think of the day you were born and how little you were. Now you're five and we have come a long way, but one thing hasn't changed: Pretty much everyone thinks you are one special kid. Here are some great things that happened this year. 

We went on a lot of trips! You rode on an airplane to California and got to see blue whales and the giant sequoia trees. You went skiing for the first time and blew us away with your skills. And you rode all those fast roller coasters in Disney World. It was an adventurous year and I'm glad you're along for the ride. 

You had a great year as a honeybee. You loved PreK this year. You learned to count by 10's, learned to add and subtract, learned to read some short words, and you know more about animals than I do. 

You had to take a lot of tests for kindergarten. It was pretty rough, but you toughed it out and did your job. You got into ISL! I promise to buy you a car now since you saved me so much in private school tuition. Maybe I shouldn't put that in writing. 

You have filled about 3 boxes with "treasures" (little toys or objects that you find, win, or are given that then end up all over my house).

You learned to swim and ride a big bike!

You learned a lot of big words. You still talk nonstop, but every now and then you have some really interesting, unique idea. I'm excited to hear your point of view as you continue to grow.  

You cannot keep a secret. You've told our secrets to the neighbors, the babysitter, and your friends parents. It's a good thing we don't have any deep dark secrets around here!

You are the best big brother. You play with your sister so well and take such good care of her. I'm a little worried when you try to put her in time out or discipline her though. 

I love that you are getting to be so independent. I miss cute baby Jonah, but it does not stink that you can get dressed, brush your teeth, and buckle your seatbelt.

You played soccer this year. You were such a smart player and really fun to watch. You're also a great sport. 

You had a "tragedy with blood" at school. Several times. You may be a tad accident prone. 

 I love that you are learning to be obedient. You are a team player and always try to help me out. I decided that I'm going to keep you. 

We are just beyond proud of you. Happy birthday to my five year old.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Gracie is 2

We celebrated Gracie's second birthday with a trip to Disney world. It was really a great trip. I felt like everyone got to do some things they wanted to do. 

Our life is crazy but I can't imagine it without this wild, strong-willed, sweet, funny girl. Here are some of my favorites right now. 

I love how much you are talking. I love how you say jonahs name "jah-joo" 

I love how you want to play "tickle me" "jeep" and "sleep, ya-ya!"

I love how you are so determined, independent and strong willed. You always want to do things for yourself. 

I love when you count in English and Spanish. You are such a smarty. 

I love how you love to sing. I love how you replace the lyrics with your name in all those songs. 

I love your big eyes and your big smile. 

I love how you want to help in the kitchen. 

I love how you always want to pour me coffee in your play kitchen. 

I love how sweetly you play with your friends. 

I love how fearless you are. You love fast rides and big slides. 

I love how you make funny faces to make us laugh. 

I love how your teachers think you are the perfect child and you never do anything wrong. I would also like to meet that child. 

I love watching you play with your brother (when you're not fighting.) 

I love how you run with such joy and excitement. 

I love painting your nails. 

I just love being your mom, even when I can't figure it out. You are a mystery to me: always surprising me and driving me crazy. I'm So glad I get to hang out with you all the time. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Ted and I actually got to go out for New Year's Eve! The first time since 2009 (when I was 3 months pregnant and not super happy about being out at midnight.)

We were in pensacola so my parents volunteered to watch our kiddos. We had an awesome dinner and then went to see the pelican drop. It was super nice: not too crowded, no one got shot, and the drunk people actually apologized for bumping into you. Oh pensacola, you are so sweet sometimes.

At dinner, ted and I did a little activity. We wrote down our favorite memories from 2014, and then shared them. Here's what we came up with.

We also wrote down some things we want to do in 2015. Some of them are private, but I'll share a few:
Me: take our kids to Disney, do a whole30, go on more dates, see my friends more

Ted: enjoy his job,take a road trip with his brothers, take our kids to see snow, and help someone.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A thankful heart

Wow, it's been like radio silence over here. We have had a very busy fall. We have been playing soccer.

I'm actually going to really miss that. It was so fun and cute, and he improved so much as the season passed. Not the biggest or most skilled on his team, but definitely a smart little player.

We went on our first family vacation!

I'm sorry I didn't write more about this little face when we walked up to Legoland:

Or this face chasing after her brother in the giant sequoia forest:

We have been learning to ride a bike with no training wheels!

We have been learning some songs, and a lot of new words. We have been going to music class, having a great time at school, applying for kindergartens, not getting potty trained, jumping on the trampoline, playing outside, getting accident reports from school, learning how to count (to 100 for Jonah, to 3 for Gracie), going to local festivals, reading, going to the library, making a mess, laughing, irritating the dog, irritating the neighbors, generally having a fun and busy time. We are rarely bored around here, for better or worse.

With all of that going on, I've felt bad that I haven't had time to put together any formal, Pintrest-y, Thanksgiving activities for our family. Not one book about the first Thanksgiving, and not one "I'm thankful for..." activity. But yesterday while we were walking around the Renaissance festival, Jonah showed true thankfulness for the 2 little prizes he won. When I told him he couldn't play any more games he didn't whine or cry. He just said, "Well, at least I have my 2 prizes, right?" I'm not sure where he got such a thankful spirit for the things he has, but I was pretty proud of him right then. We got some good ones, and I am surely thankful for them.