Tuesday, September 13, 2016

mr. william

William is obviously the third child because I have done a terrible job documenting his life. Oy! But don't let my lack of documentation fool you...I am obsessed with this baby! He makes life so dang sweet and he is now at one of my most favorite ages. I feel like between five and eight months is a true sweet spot. They can smile and laugh and interact but they aren't all over the place and into everything yet.

The newborn stage is always hard for me. The lack of sleep, being sore, struggling to nurse and then just feeling plain overwhelmed at having another human to care for about does me in every time. This time was particularly tough for some reason, but after about three months I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Will was quite fussy if he wasn't sleeping or eating and I think I get some major postpartum anxiety or something because I just felt totally off and had a hard time even leaving the house when Will first arrived. Once the weather really warmed up and I got the hang of Will's schedule and juggling three kids at the store, we started venturing out a bit more and I could kind of breathe again. To be honest, juggling three kids at home or out and about is still a little tricky, but a woman I know who now has eight children recently told me that each time you have another child you're a total wuss again. It takes lots of time and energy, but eventually you build up your motherhood muscles and figure out how to make it work with another one in tow. Then, once you've figured it out with that one, you have another baby and become a wuss all over again. She told me that soon enough I'd have it figured out and feel much better, and bless her, she was right. She is a rockstar. I am surely not shooting for eight children myself, but hearing her say she felt that same way every time she had another baby, especially after her third, gave me courage.

Even with his initial fussiness, William has been a really great baby. He has always eaten well, slept decently (although we are going through a bit of a rough spot right now), and has generally been really happy and smiley. He is not terribly cuddly and prefers to look around to see what's going on in the world, but I'm hoping as he gets older he'll be my little snuggle buddy. One can hope, right? For the first three or four months of his life he pretty much refused a binky, and then after not giving him a bottle for a few weeks, totally refused a bottle too. It was a hard stage of life because I was his only form of comfort and nourishment. Robert worked really hard to get the kid to take a binky and then all of a sudden, around four months, the heavens parted he just started taking one. It changed my life!!! And then around that same time he also started taking a bottle. Can I tell you how wonderful that day was? I felt like a free woman! Like I could leave him with someone for more than two hours without feeling like I needed to rush back? Is it hilarious that that was the most liberating thing to me? He's still not the king of bottle taking, but he'll take it if he's incredibly hungry. Will is also a very engaged baby and looks at people when they are talking or watches people move around the room. In fact he's so engaged lately that he has a hard time nursing without being distracted. Nursing him in public is a joke because he hates the cover over his head and if anyone makes a peep the kid is rolling his head around, trying to see what's going on.

The girls love their brother more than I even imagined they would, and he loves them too...from a distance. Both Minnie and Lou can be a bit rough with him, but it's not out of malice so much as just curiosity. He loves to watch them play and dance and sometimes they can just be silly in front of him and get the best belly laughs out of him. Their eyes light up when they see that he's awake after a nap and they have to run over and give him a hug or a kiss. I think one of my favorite parts of motherhood has been to see the love my kids have for each other. I love that they have each other and I hope so much that they will remain close throughout their lives.

William is still a little temperamental, loves to be held, and is only really pleasant for 45 minutes or so before he's tired again and ready for another nap. But, when he's pleasant he's really pleasant and generally if you leave the house or go outside, the distraction is enough to yank him back to his pleasant self for awhile. He is pretty darn quick to smile and makes lots of friends wherever we go. He's started eating solids like a champ and is chubby and huge, just how I like my babies. He hated baths when he was new, but has recently come to love them and splashes so much there's hardly a drip of water left by the end of the bath and I'm sopping wet. I still swaddle him because the guy cannot get enough of his hands and has a hard time settling down if they're free. Luckily he doesn't roll over much (because I'm lazy and rarely do tummy time) so he stays pretty much in one spot and doesn't roll in his crib yet. His monster spit ups have kind of subsided, thank the heavens, but are not entirely gone quite yet. He doesn't show any signs of teething but will chew on your shoulder and make a big puddle of drool on your shirt when you hold him. He's starting to sit up, plays with toys, squawks the day away and makes us all swoon with the dimple on his left cheek.

Every time I have a baby I sometimes just stare at them in wonder thinking, "How did this come out of me?" I ask this not only because they become quite enormous quite quickly and the thought that I housed them in my belly is kind of unfathomable, but mostly I ask this because these babies are just pure magic to me. It is such a gift to help in creating these little sweet people. To think that William's sparkly little eyes, his perfect chubby feet, and those sweet, soft cheeks all formed inside of me, as a part of both me and Robert, fills me with so much awe and gratitude. My babies are my world and I am so grateful that William is part of our family. It was a struggle to get him here and I will thank my lucky stars every day that all the heartache I felt as I faced the prospect of infertility a few years ago has totally melted away. William, my dear, you are my little ray of sunshine. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

summer at the cabin

The cabin will forever and always be one of our family's favorite places. If you ask the girls if they'd rather go to the cabin or to Lagoon, they will likely say the cabin. The fact that something can trump Lagoon is huge, especially for Minnie. These pictures are from a last minute trip we took up there in July and I actually asked Minnie that very thing that weekend...Lagoon or the cabin? Look what won out!

There were an unbelievable amount of wild flowers blooming that weekend, and as you can see, the girls had the time of their lives picking bouquets of them to add to their giant cups they placed on the table as a centerpiece for all of our meals. Minnie and Lou spent about 50% of their time picking flowers and the other 50% of the time on the swings and they were entirely satisfied. It was such a relaxing weekend. I love the cabin when lots of people are there, but now that we have more kids, I'm starting to prefer it when it's just our little family. We can do things at our speed and the whole day just feels slow and easy. 

Hopefully we will make it up there again once more before the snow falls. The season is just never long enough. I just love that we have a place that we can make memories with our kids, and what makes it even more special is that it's a place that Robert holds so close to his heart because it's  where he made memories with his family when he was young.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

my mama's birthday

My mom is one of the very best people I know. She is my biggest cheerleader and anyone who talks to her walks away feeling like a million bucks. It is a gift. She helps people see the best in themselves and is always so thoughtful. She is the hostess with the mostess and as classy and beautiful as they come. Needless to say...I love her very much. We generally go to her house for a little party on our birthdays so I was excited to be able to treat her to a little birthday party at our house this year. This was way back in June, but it was such a nice evening and I felt like the fact that I actually got out my big camera needed to be documented.

Lou in this one is killing me! And her double bandaid knees make it even better. My Aunt Kathy was in town for the week which made it even nicer.

My friends' cute sister made our wedding cake for us as a gift and all that was left of it at the end of the night were a few crumbs. It was that good! I have been begging for the recipe and my friend gave it to me a few days before my mom's party. It was amazing! And I had been wanting to try and make pretty cake for a long time, just because, and this seemed like the perfect time to try!

Louie and Minnie picked a bunch of flowers (weeds) to add a centerpiece to their kids table. Always with the weeds.

Our ghetto swing always seems to provide some entertainment. I love this picture of my dad and cute Jeremiah.

Our side yard could use a little TLC, but our big Elm provides lots of shade in the evening, so it worked out well. It randomly rained on us as we were finishing dessert so we had to take the party inside to open presents.

Minnie was adamant that she wanted to make Grandma a necklace and bracelet for her birthday and in spite of my recommendations, she insisted it be made out of paper. My mom was so cute when she opened them and put them right on. She ended up coming over to our house again a week or so later and wore them again. Minnie was sooooo pleased! Like I said, my mom is an angel. She knew that would mean so much to Minnie, and it really did.

Happy birthday, Mom! I sure love you and I hope I can be as sweet and as thoughtful to my kids and grandkids as you are to us. We are so lucky you are ours.