Thursday, December 25, 2014

Very Merry.

Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday Jesus!  We will be celebrating, singing, and being joyful with wonder at the magnitude of the meaning of what your birthday means. 

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Archie: 3 months

Last Saturday morning I woke up in a fury.  Ready to tackle my Christmas "to-do" list after being behind after a few days of Griffin getting though a fever bought and Nate struggling through the same thing.  I rattled off all of the things that needed to be accomplished while Nate watched the kids and then I rolled over to check on Archie in his bassinet.  He was warm.  He ate, and then immediately wanted to fall back asleep, so we let him.  Nate went off to some showings and the kids and I tried to get going on the day.  It wasn't long before I realized that Archie had a fever.  I took his temp, 101.8.  Gave him his first dose of Tylenol.  An hour later, the fever hadn't budged.  After a long day of Urgent Cares, Doctors, Nurses, and a Hospital visit, Archie had influenza.   Thankfully it was over as quickly as it started and with a few days of rest and quarantine, we ridded our house of that nasty virus.  All before he was 3 months old.  By Tuesday, while still a bit pale, he was back to happy self.

In his short three months we have experienced a few health issue/scares and it has really made me appreciate overall how healthy our kids have been.  It has also made me appreciate what a resilient little guy Archie is.  In the midst of illness, struggling to breathe, snorting, snoring, etc. he is soooo happy.  Joyful.  All the time.  Except when you want him to nap all by himself.:) 

This month he started cooing and giggling.  Which added to his already infectious smile, is a heart-stopper.  He is ticklish all over, but especially his back and upper arms.  He loves to be kissed and get little burgers on his neck.  And he especially loves to watch and get face time with his brother and sister.

Archie is so reactive, especially responsive to eye contact.  As soon as his eyes meet someone's...instant smile.  He reminds me a lot of Griff as a baby in this way.  And he does look an awful lot like Griff when he smiles.  When he's sleeping he looks more like Hattie.  Oh and when he sleeps, he prays.

His schedule is about the same eating every three hours during the day 7, 10, 1, 4, 7, 10 and then usually once during the night.  Sometimes he lets us sleep the whole night through.  He did give us a run for our money at night for about a week, not wanting to fall asleep from 7-10 and then being so tired he could barely get his last feed in.  What we've discovered is that he just wants to go to bed by 7.  If we try to get him to bed before the others, he goes right down and is down for the count.

 What a sweet, smiley, and loving boy you have already become my little Archie-man.  Hattie loves to sing to you, "Archie-pie, Archie-pie..."  And if you cry, Hattie is the first to run to you.  Even in the middle of her ECFE class and playing with her friends, if she hears you, you are all hers.  You have already taught me how quickly my love can multiply and your health scares have definitely put my perspectives into their proper place.  Christmas will be special this year, whether or not the presents, food, cookies get done, because we have you, our best gift of the year.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Woodburys to the rescue!

Look closely in the background of this picture.  And now look at these two.  This is what they, and our house looked like for 31 days.  They put their costumes on every day in October.  It was good practice in getting dressed.  It may be a new parenting technique.  You want your kids to learn how to dress themselves?  Find something they really want to wear and put it in their room.  They will attempt to put it on to show anyone who walks through the door, and at least one other time a day, just for fun.

We followed Griff's lead this year.  He wanted to be Batman, so we all joined in the superhero fun.

I really don't even know how he knows who Batman is, but I agree, dressing up with a cool mask and
 Archie even got a cape.  Hattie was thrilled to have a tail.
Meme to the rescue! As always on Halloween (and most other days of the year).  She always knows when to just show up and help.

 We were that family that handed out glowsticks instead of candy.  What can I say?  I didn't want to get stuck with a bucket of candy post Halloween that I would sneakily pick at throughout the next month of naptimes.  And I really did think kids would like them.

We got to about 10 houses this year.  It was chilly, not cold.  But chilly enough that 10 pieces of candy was enough for Griff to call it a night.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

FULL of thanks.

I am so full of thanks, I am about to burst.  When I think about everything in my life for which I am grateful, I am overcome with emotion, happy tears, lumpers, as my grandpa called it.  Or maybe it's just hormones.  Either way, here goes.

Jesus.  I know he is not the reason for this season.  But He is the reason for all the seasons.  I am incredibly grateful for the people of our faith community, my Mom's Morning Group, my MOPS group, our church family and our small group.  Accountability, fellowship and encouragement overflow from the amazing people I get to do life with.  "We love because he first loved us." -1 John 4:19  And I am thankful for all that love.

Family.  I don't know when the transition happens from your parents being, just your parents, to being your best friends, but we have pretty awesome parents.  And therefore our kids have pretty awesome grandparents.  I heard a statistic somewhere that the number one indicator of your kids making it through their teenage years somewhat ok, is having at least 5 adults other than their parents who care about them, who check in on them, who they trust.  Well, our kids have 6.  Just in their grandparents.  That doesn't even count their fantastic aunts, uncles and all of our friends who love on them.  What an advantage.

Cousins.  We recently rekindled a family dinner of sorts with the cousins.  It's crazing getting five kids 4 and under together, no doubt about it.  But, how special it is that these cousins will have friends for life, in each other.   And I sure do love my nephews.  I am determined to be an adult that they can trust will be on their side.  Not to mention Auntie Liss and Uncle Joe are some of our very best friends, and they love on our kids.

My marriage.  Nate and I have been together at some capacity since we were 15.  Now we're 30.  We've been together for half of the time we've been alive.  We have been through our share of struggles, but God has continued to bless our marriage, constantly teaching us new things about how to better relate to each other.  I am so thankful for how hard Nate works and sacrifices for me to be able to stay home with our kids.  He misses a lot.  They sometimes prefer me because I'm with them all.the.time.  But, he graciously works his tail off so I can be with them all day.  He is so loyal and has a way of making each of us feel so incredibly special.  I am so thankful to get to be a parent with him.  I adore him.

Some my find it silly to be thankful for a dog, but if you have one, you know.  Or if you don't, look into #theoandbeau.  Cooper brings so much joy to our lives.  The kids love him, we love him.  He is probably the most neglected he's ever been, and he handles it like a champ.  With each child we've brought home to our family, he's become more protective.  And by that I mean, barks at every little thing that could be something.  It does not jive well with sleeping kids, but I try to remember he's protecting us, as he sits on his post at the end of the couch.

My kids.  If it were possible to type in "Choked Up" font rather than "Times New Roman," please continue reading in "choked up." Words do not do justice to the amount of thanks I have for my children.  It's pretty incredible that love I have for my kids is the same love God has for us.
These kids daily bring me joy, frustration, laughter, contentment, challenges, and hope.  I assure you, lady at the grocery store urging me to "savor these moments, they grow up so fast," I am savoring these moments.  I do not relish in every moment of every day....but in the midst of piles of laundry, dishes, errands to run, lessons to learn, I stop.  I stare at my sleeping babies.  I drop my chores to play on the floor.  I am willing to be late to have one more snuggle.  I can put off going to the bathroom so you can hold your brother.  I don't always do these things, but I do them when they matter.  And I am thankful, so very thankful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Part of the pack

Archie is in.  One of the pack.  I no longer worry that heading out to the car we will mistakenly drive off, never having brought Archie's infant carseat and snapped it into the car.  I used to make sure to load him first out of fear that I would forget him.  He's so quiet and doesn't ask for much, so you could see how he could easily slip under the radar. 

But he's part of the pack.  Griffin and Hattie know his schedule, understand he has to eat, get put down for naps and get his diaper changed, a lot.  They also want to hold him all the time.  They both want to be the one to make him smile and coo. 

Griffin is a little tentative to be alone in his room or the bathroom these days.  He's going through a curious phase and his imagination is going wild.  That has left him a bit scared of being alone.  That being said, when he needs something in his room or needs to go to the bathroom, he wants someone nearby.  Up until this week, his go-to has been Hattie.  He finds a way to make it intriguing, "Hattie!  Want to come to my room and help me pick out my socks?! Yeah?!"  And to that of course she replies, "Yeah!"

But this week, while I was making lunch, Hattie was already in her high chair and he needed to go potty.  He started dancing around, the potty dance I assumed, and I said I would follow him toward the bathroom as soon as I finished washing something.  He headed toward the bathroom and then shot back at me, "Actually mom, it's ok.  Archie is sleeping in your room, so he's with me."

Not that three year olds are known for their logic, but seriously, what would Archie or Hattie do to protect him from whatever googly-eyed monster he thinks is hiding in the shower or the closet?  Nothing.  It's not about having someone to protect him, it's about having someone with him.  His pack. And the pack is officially, a pack of three.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Archie: 2 months

He has a nicknames.  Which means he has officially been accepted as one of the pack by the kiddos.  Nate may have casually called him Archibald one day and Griffin picked up on it.  Our sweet neighbor Julia thought we were calling him Archie Bob, and so they have all stuck.  Along with Archie Man.  Because he is just that.  A little man.

He is so handsome.  His baby acne is gone, and his blue eyes shine bright.  His smile is breathtaking.  His future wife has no idea how lucky she is.  We do.

See...breathtaking and contagious.

Nate thinks I'm an idealist in my recall of our children, their behaviors, their sleeping patterns, so take this update with a grain of salt.  I think I am just a perpetual optimist and can recall correctly, just with a positive spin.  Or my hormones cause me to forget anything negative, hence the desire of women to continue to have more babies in the midst of sleep deprivation.

Sleep and schedules have come very easy for Archie.  I'm sure some of it is being one of three, and knowing there just isn't a lot of one on one attention to be given.  They all get attention all the time, they just have to share it.  He's already on the baby schedule that's burned into my mind.  7, 10, 1, 4, 7, 10.  He's starting to skip nighttime feedings and has even given me a handful of 8 hour stretches.  I don't like to say that too loudly...and we know there are plenty of sleepless nights to come, but for now, we "woo hoo!"

He's gaining weight like a champ and growing out of clothes much quicker than I'm fitting back into mine.

And he's smiling.  The sweetest, most genuine smile you've ever seen.  He makes incredible eye contact, and when I use my sing-songy voice to talk to him, he smiles.  A lot.  Not just his mouth...his whole face.  I'm going to show you, again. 

He is such a content, calm little guy.  I think he's cried an accumulative hour so far in his life.  He is wonderful, in every way.

And in the midst of the wonderful, he is still sounding congested.  His breathing is heavy and labored.  His chest strains to get air through his tiny airways.  He snores.  All the time. We saw an ENT this week and found out he has laryngomalcia, which basically means his voicebox collapses upon inhale.  It is fairly common in newborns and there really isn't anything to treat it.  Just wait it out.  Pinpointing the reason for the snorts was a bit of a relief, but we have a long road ahead.  It typically gets worse until about 4 months and then starts to improve.  They don't fully outgrow it until about 18 months.  Thankfully, with his healthy weight gain, there shouldn't be anything for us to worry about, and there shouldn't be any long term symptoms after it fully resolves. We have started seeing a chiropractor with the hope that the nerves innervating his upper respiratory system can be relived of any pressure, to get this guy breathing quietly.  And we have about a million of our friends and family praying for him.

We talk about it a lot, but it's amazing how wonderful he is, all the while working to breathe. 

We can only pray that breathing comes easier, soon.  Because easy breathing makes me smile, and that makes him smile and that makes me smile.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Red, White and Blue

Winter arrived in Minnesota this week.  And it was Veteran's Day, so it seemed fitting to do a patriotic summer photodump of our Independence Day celebrations. 
We have now spent the 4th of July morning in Wayzata at the pancake breakfast for the past two years.  It is a hit, for everyone.  Miniature trains, cannons, Lake Minnetonka, big trains, family and pancakes.  What's not to love?

We met up with our train-loving cousins and they watched trains while the adults waited in the looooonngggg line to get pancakes.

Then we found a spot near the water to have our pancake picnic.

And attempted a picture of the four cousins...this is the BEST one....eeek. 

This was the beginning of Hattie coming out of her shell.  These are the first pictures in a public place that I'm not holding her and she's not clinging to my leg.

I love when I catch a look on Griffy's face.  He already looks older than this now...I'm glad to have this look captured.

Our cousins....what a beautiful family.
Nice smile...Griff.

I also love when I capture a look of love.  Look how he loves her.  And the joy he brings her.  LOVE.
If you want to know a certain way to a little boy's heart....wrestle and rough play.  Pa's got it down.
...and the way to a little girl's heart:).
I love how Pa is just laying in the middle of the pancake picnic in downtown Wayzata...
...winning them all over.

Then we rounded out the morning with a game of kiddie golf. 

These are the pictures I save for when they join the pro-tour someday and I can say that I was their caddy long ago.  Levi couldn't fall asleep the night before because he was so nervous/excited for his golf tournament.  Already so dedicated.

I have really started to enjoy the 4th of July.  It's a genius holiday.  No muss, no fuss, no presents.  Celebrating Freedom.  With family and friends.  Thank you to all who make our freedom possible.