Thursday, June 21, 2018

Jayden is 6 Months

This post is about a week over due but Jayden hit the half a year mark. He's growing up quickly and has sped my time up the fastest. But, as they say, babies don't keep.
 Oh, our little Jayders, you keep life so light and fun. You are always down for whatever we are doing, laugh about everything, and your smile melts my heart. You talk and talk and talk. Your curiosity for your siblings continues to grow and, I can tell you this, you brother and sister love you so, so much. Your mommy and daddy do, too.
Taking pictures of you is easy, baby Jayden. You are one of the happiest babies.

In this month, you started trying food and are okay with it! You are still working on strengthening your muscles but that has made a huge leap in growth just in the last few weeks. You love putting weight on your legs though.

Nights are rough as you had a slight sleep regression possibly due to a growth spurt. You could also be teething, I'm not entirely sure. At night and for naps, you only want momma which is good and bad. I'll take it, in any case.

You love, love, love books and being read to. Any toy (or momma or sissy's hair) that comes within reach makes you swing your arms around excitedly and attempt to grab. You still aren't a huge fan of tummy time but you are used to doing it.

I don't take many pictures of your scars from your surgery when you were born, nor do I discuss it much, but I realize that one day you may ask me about it. So, at 6 months, here is a photo of how you're healing, which in short, is so well!
You can see your incision mark under your arm, across your back. There is a second mark below there where your ribs are. It's amazing how well you have healed. Jayden, you may be the strongest person I have ever met, already enduring invasive surgery right after birth.

We love you so much and can't wait to see all you have to offer this world.

Cheers to 1/2 a year my littlest love!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Father's Day 2018

Today was no day out of the ordinary for us, but we did get to celebrate a few special fathers in our life. Monte's father had stayed at our house for the weekend so we got to spend time with him in person. We also talked to my father and wished him the best day.

Our biggest joy was celebrating my husband and letting his children soak him up. I helped them make some cute pictures and answer questions about their daddy.
Some of their answers were simply hilarious.
These pictures were all taken today and exemplify how my husband dedicates his day to each child individually and is very purposeful in making sure he knows each one. For this, I am truly thankful.

To my husband, it's a real honor watching you as a father. You're one of the best and choosing to help your daughter fulfill her most recent dream to have a fairy garden in this weather is just one of the many examples I have to prove it. We love you so much and you play the biggest role in our lives. Thank you for all you do.

Many moons ago, we had no idea where our lives were headed. We had no idea the trials and tribulations we would endure. I wouldn't have chosen this path with anyone but you.
Happy Father's Day!

Today versus 4 years ago

Today, Payton started her first day of summer dance. It is a moana themed dance camp and she was so excited to go. As I sat and watched her practice (there is always that 1 momma, you know, the one that stays for the whole time instead of leaving) I happened to see a memory on facebook from 4 years ago. It was her first day of swim lessons. Mommy and me swimming to be exact.

That feels like last month. Seriously, I need time to slow down. I now have 3 kids and not just the 1 that I had 4 years ago. Our curly haired toddler then is now a bouncing, busy preschooler. You no longer hold your mommy's hand walking into class and you give the briefest of goodbyes as class starts. But you are also so bold and talk to new children, making friends quickly.

You left dance class today talking the whole way home about dance routines, people you met, the bracelet you made, and what you plan to do the rest of the day. You hugged and greeted your grandmother and brothers with so much love and talked vividly about your morning. 4 years ago, you took the longest nap because swim took it out of you. Today, you won't nap but will rest for an hour before hitting the ground running again.

Time, you are a thief. I am so thankful for my beautiful memories of swimming with Payton and also of my time being the only mom sitting in dance class watching my child blossom and bond. Life goes fast but I am truly soaking up every second I am given.

“I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always, 
As long as I'm living, 
my baby you'll be.”

Hey, Payton, thanks for letting me watch life through your eyes. You teach me more and more every day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Our First Half of June

Oh the craziness in how fast this summer is flying by already. We are trying to find a good balance in staying busy with seeing friends and being active in activities (like our library challenge, swimming lessons, and dance camps) all while still kicking back and relaxing during this summer. Finding balance has been hard. The struggle is real.

We started the month with a trip to Jayden's doctors and while we were away, we took the kids to do a few fun activities, like swimming in the hotel, playing at a local park, and viewing our local Cabela's animal exhibits. My mother was so helpful to come stay at our little farm and take care of all our animals while we were gone. We love her so much and it made it so nice to not have to worry about our own zoo while away.
On this trip, we made our first donation to the hospital and housing unit that took such good care of our baby.
We let the kids pick out a bunch of toys and we donated those. This was a lot to ask of a 5 year old and 2 year old and I hesitated many times. But, in the end, they did so wonderfully and inspired me to live life more like them. They were so willing to give and didn't give it a second thought about parting with new, unused toys that they had just spent a lot of time picking out.

While we were here, we were lucky to witness a child get to pick from our donation pile and that made our whole day. It just adds to the experience of giving back.

As soon as we got home, we took a few days at home and then turned right around and took our summer's first camping trip. We decide to divide and conquer this year. I spent the first night at home with Jayden and then day camped with the kids. On the second night, I brought Riley back as he was so exhausted. It's a win-win for everyone as each parent got some quality time with each of the kids. The kids also caught their first fish and we cooked them for dinner! They were so excited!
I loved watching my boys play together and having Riley without a sister to follow around was quite the experience. He loved the little bit of independence though and he is really one of the best big brothers out there.
 When Payton and daddy returned back home, Payton and Riley teamed up like always. They are such good friends and I am so thankful for that. My  husband said that Payton talked a lot about how much she missed Riley and Jayden while she camped.

We are now spending a few days at home before the craziness starts again. I caught this sweet picture with Payton and Jayden during the quiet of the day:
The kids love to work on harvesting our property and with strawberry season upon us, we are starting to reap the rewards again:

We hope you are having a great week!

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