Thursday, December 13, 2018

Comparing Smash Cakes Between the Kids

I wanted to do a quick little something just to compare each of our kids on their 1st birthday. I wholeheartedly accept that each child is different and each child has had a bit of a different first birthday. BUT, but, I do like to take pictures of them eating their first cake. Okay, I like to consistently do some things the same. Like put both boys in the same shirt and khaki bottoms for their first birthday.

Our first was ever so cautious and ended up needing someone (ahem, daddy) to help you actually eat cake. She likes to stay clean you know. Our second was especially hesitant but after a few minutes dipped a few fingers in. he stayed semi clean until the end. Our third one, well there is just no stopping him. He dove right on in and never looked back. And loved every second of his day.

Had I looked at the siblings past birthdays originally, I definitely would have made sure to get a picture of Jayden looking down at his cake. But, what can I say, he just may have a different personality. Yes, they may all look like siblings but they are each so unique.

Flash forward to the party that happened a few days ago, and you can definitely see how unique these children are.
My life shows repeated "trends" in our house frequently. For instance, I have a picture of each of my children in a hooded towel after bath at around the same age in my bathroom.

I also have a newborn picture of each child in my room.

I love to compare first birthday pictures. I love to compare the boys in my favorite outfits from each size. You see the trend.

Each baby has so much to offer the world and each child has been similar and different in many ways to their siblings. I am so excited to see what the next 5 years holds for us and how these picture comparisons change in time.

To my babies, thank you. Thank you for just being you and calling me mama.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Our Baby is 1!

Happy 1st Birthday to our sweet baby! He has taught us so much this year but the most important lesson has been to be kinder to others and their life stories. Also, to embrace life and the path God is carving out for you.

It's been a year full of so many emotions and stories and love and laughter. So much of everything all balled up into one little child. We are so thankful for you, Jayden. We are so blessed to have you.

We were unprepared to spend a few weeks in the NICU at your birth. More unprepared for immediate surgery. Your story is ever inspiring for us. This experience taught me so much about my love for you, my strength, and my faith. Our family pulled together to be with you every step of the way, but so much of your journey is just going to be your journey. There was a lesson in there all on it's own. I would have given anything to take your place but I could not do that. The brain may easily understand that but the heart can have a hard time accepting that.

We survived the NICU and came home certain that you are possibly the strongest of us all. You continue to show us that every day. In your first year, you battled RSV and Croup and you took it all on like a champ. You are the 3rd baby but seem determined to exert yourself as one of the bosses in our household.

Today, you are busy and always on the move. You will pull yourself on anything. You want to walk but your balance isn't quite there yet. You have 5 teeth with another about to cut. You are a great napper but night time has been really rough for you, courtesy of teething and growth spurts.
Your siblings and parents are your world. You show joy in seeing each of us by hollering, kicking, and clapping your hands. You strongly dislike parting ways with us. We only love you more for your attachment to each of us.
Your smile is contagious and one of your favorite things to do. You laugh often and cheer us on in life.
Our constant observer. You are smart and pick up on things quickly, like taking the lid off of a container, and how to turn on toy, and where the shiniest ornament is on the Christmas tree. You are fast as well. We can't turn our backs on you for a second before you are out of the room, exploring something new.

Your birthday actually started about a week early as we had followup appointments for you in the same town you were in the NICU at. We made a vacation out of this. We stayed in a nice hotel, took our kids swimming, caught up with Santa, surprised them with the zoo.
We also took activity bags to donate to the hospital we stayed at. These will hopefully help children pass the time as they wait at appointments, travel, and/or while hanging out in their rooms. We packed the bags with plenty of paper, construction paper, coloring books, and crayons.
I am always amazed at how well our children do with donating items to others. May their hearts always be so giving.

While on our mini-vacation we also threw Jayden a party! Several of our college friends and one of my husband's sisters lives in this area so it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with everyone. We had the best night!
Today, for Jayden's actual birthday, we made the celebration last all day long. Happy Birthday was sung at random throughout the entire day. We had some cake, opened some gifts, and enjoyed our baby immensely. Jayden seemed to know how special this day was as he was extra loving and gave everyone kisses as he cheered on everyone singing to him on repeat.
After returning from our trip, we spent the weekend with my mom. She always makes the time with us extra special and we were so sad to send her back home at the weekends end. 

Payton says it best when she says, "I can't even remember what it was like before Jayders," and Riley added, "playing with Jayden is the best." Both statements are true. We love you so much little one!

Happy Birthday my love! Thank you for choosing us!

May you always laugh and never lose the shine you have on life!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018 Recap

Oh, Thanksgiving, you came and went too quickly. The lovely 4 day weekend celebration didn't go quite as planned (thanks to sickness and blizzard warnings) but it was still a lovely time. My parents came to stay with us for a few days and then went back home earlier than planned to beat the storm. My brother and his family were to come but were not able to make it due to illness and my in-laws originally planned to attend but changed plans.

So, it was quieter but we loved our time with one set of grandparents. Sometimes, you just need that.
The day itself was so gorgeous we got outside for part of the day. We surprised the family with a trip to play tee ball and then looked at "Christmas town," which is a corner home that has a beautiful Christmas decorated acreage that plays music. We love it and drive through it constantly while it's set up between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Grandma brought some great crafts for the kids and kept them busy making pilgrim hats, decorating a snowman Christmas present, and making turkeys. These tied in perfectly with the fall/Thanksgiving books we had read that week.
As my parents left, we decided to put up the Christmas lights at our house while we could still get outdoors.

We also set up our tree as Payton had been begging for months already. We told her after Thanksgiving. So, guess what she asked us about the day after Thanksgiving? Yep, you guessed it. She took us quite literally and was ready to set up the tree.
So, now that everything has settled down, we are just back to our daily grind. Lots of fun, lots of laughs, lots of everything in between.
We're really just counting down the days to Christmas. I hope you are, too. Because where is the fun in life if you can't approach it with a child-like love for all celebrations?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Happy Birthday to My Husband

I know that almost all of my posts reflect the lives of our children and they are definitely taking center stage in this season of life. But, sometimes we each need a moment of our own. So this is a little slice of time dedicated to my husband the day after his birthday.
 He is literally our rock and lifts us up when we need it the most. For this, we are eternally grateful and lean into him often.

Life just wouldn't feel the same without him in my life. So, I collected some of the pictures we have of him in the most recent years (the last 4 but there is over a decade of pictures for another day).
Happy Birthday! We spend your actual birthday together on a random Thursday and it was the best. Homemade cinnamon rolls breakfast, presents, lunch out, and your favorite tuna casserole supper. In between meals we squeezed in games, a family movie, and driving around together. It was just the best day.

Thank you for all you do for us my sweet husband! You are loved more than I could possibly ever explain.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Jayden is 11 Months

 Well, we made it to 11 months. I can't believe how fast it has gone but this baby boy makes life so sweet and enjoyable. I get about 10 seconds to take a good picture before he is off and going again. He is so, so busy and extremely fast. I am so blessed to have extra hands to help me with this little one.
This is the last of the monthly update pictures for Jayden and that's definitely bittersweet. Our household is so very excited to celebrated your first birthday though. I think your sister has been planning this day since before you were born.

This month went by really fast. Our household got hit with a cold and Jayden ended up with croup which was so hard to watch. Jayden, you are such a fighter though and you just keep going. Most of the time you are still so happy and play just that same, sick or not. We are currently still fighting your cough.

You are momma's baby through and through. You save almost all your kisses for me and want me to hold you 24/7. I love how much you light up at the sight of me.
Don't ever change. Please.

Your sleep is still a bit all over the place but sickness knocked us down. You are still trying to get in 2 top teeth so that doesn't help. I'd pull all nighters with you any time Jayden. It's the day time shift with your siblings that gets tricky while you snooze the day away.

Your eating habits are amazing though. You love everything and eat so much. You are definitely related to your siblings as you all love food! You have tried a ton of new foods in the last month and I'm excited to get to a point where I don't have to think about what you can and can't have.

A few things you love: dancing, singing, talking, helping fold laundry, taking a bath, climbing the stairs, watching your siblings, kissing mommy, and eating. A few things you don't love: diaper changes, being left in a room alone, and being put in anything confining (like the exersaucer, you will scream cry most of the time in this).

This month brought us some snow and that was so fun to see! I have an extra warm coat made for baby wearing and was able to take Jayden outside. I love the fresh air and found Jayden to sleep so well (like a baby) afterwards.
Who doesn't love fresh, untouched snow? This was right outside our front door!

Baby Jayden, we love you so! You will always be our little Jayders.

Have a great week everyone!

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