Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Seven Months: Caroline

Seven months, baby girl!! Oh Sweet Caroline, we just love you so. 

Oh the struggle of getting your seven month pictures... In the three attempts I made at different times of day, I just couldn't capture your super sweet smile that day! Well, there was one smile. But it was after tears and so your eyes and nose are puffy and it's not really your REAL smile. You tolerated the photo op when I held you in my arms and was leaning crazy to the side to cut myself out of the shot. Also, when I gave in and let you eat a leaf because I figured it wouldn't actually make you sick. :)

There are couple of factors that played into your unwillingness to cooperate for these pictures. The first being that you had shots the day before and the second being that you are in a must-be-held-by-Mama-every-moment-of-the-day phase. And being right next to you doesn't count. It makes for a tired Mama sometimes, but I just love the open mouth, slobbery kisses. :) 

First, you've had a pretty healthy month. WOO HOO!!! We were only at the doctor for a well child check up and so that was a nice treat! It also means that you've got a sleep schedule down. It was a rough schedule at first, but we've seemed to tweak it so it's working for us. 

You still sleep swaddled tight. I tried to rock you without the swaddle the other day and you looked at me all confused as if I was some sort of crazy lady. You were so funny. As soon as I wrapped you up, you fell right to sleep. We'll keep swaddling you as long as you'll fit in your blanket, even if your legs stick out!

You are nurse/have a bottle six times a day (one over night) and you eating three "meals" a day. You simply won't tolerate seeing other people without eating something yourself! I don't blame ya. You aren't too picky, but you prefer to eat mashed up versions of our food as opposed to pureed stuff. I don't blame you for that either!

It's so fun to watch you grow. You love to watch your big brother and sister and you're thrilled when they play with you. You might be honored to know that they fight over who gets to talk to you sometimes. Drives me nuts, but they just each love to have your attention! You have really started to play with toys and that's fun to see. I fill a bucket with toys, you take them out one by one. I put them back, repeat! Keeps you entertained for hours. Sometimes I'll even be able to sneak out of the room and get something done around the house! :)

We love you to pieces baby girl! We're so glad you're ours. Love, Mom and Dad


Friday, April 24, 2015

Turning 31

My birthday was Tuesday of this week. Derek did an excellent job planning the day full of all the things I love the most. Like, he actually made an itinerary. He surprised me with a day off work, we picked Jackson up from school early and we spent the day hanging out as a family. It was wonderful! 

The day included:
  • Eating my favorite breakfast ever-- Hardee's biscuits and gravy
  • Receiving the cutest Happy Birthday video message from my nephew, Eli
  • Finishing up my patio garden
  • Going to the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve bank
  • Getting free money!!!! -- albeit, shredded money. :( :( :( 
  • Checking out my favorite view of the city
  • Penciling the dates for the shows at Starlight Theater this summer because Derek bought season tickets!
  • Hanging out with my brother
  • Enjoying dinner on the patio
  • Visiting with my bro and sis-in-law
  • Eating my gifted chocolate covered strawberries in secret so I wouldn't have to share
  • Not blowing out candles because it was windy and/or the kids beat me to it :)
  • Getting a much needed hair cut-- shampoo and head massage included
  • Watching a movie (my pick!) with Derek 

I met up with Dad for lunch on Wednesday and we are headed up to my parents tomorrow so Mom can cook me dinner.  :) My brother told me that this is my first irrelevant birthday and that may be so, but it was certainly a GREAT birthday so I'm okay with it. My sister asked if I finally looked my age, and my response to that is, "only if I'm Benjamin Button!" 

I had several phone calls, text messages, facebook messages, emails-- I felt so loved and was reminded of all of the great people in my life. It was the perfect way to turn 31! 


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pictures that make me smile

Life has been pretty rough the past few days. Not like catastrophic-rough, but more like life-is-busy-Mommy-is-tired-and-wearing-thin hard. It's not so much that having three kids is hard. It's having three kids PLUS LIFE is hard. Since nothing is changing (other than Derek finishing grad school this week!!!!) I've decided that I simply need to an attitude change. I founds myself looking through some pictures that made me smile and I'm posting them here so I am forced to remember, write, and focus on all of the pretty great things we have going on for us! Basically, I'm "therapizing" myself utilizing positive psychology. 

This is a sign that the kids made for Derek for his birthday. The "S" makes me smile. :)

Isabelle went through a phase were she kept picking me flowers. And if that wasn't thoughtful enough, then she even found a vase (candle holder) and watered them. 

A few weekends ago, we traveled to Springfield to visit my sister and some old college friends including Billy, our campus minister. He's now an owner of a coffee shop in Ozark and we really enjoyed a getting to briefly catch up over some hot chocolate and a cookie! 

We also got to visit our friends Missy and Jeff. It's been YEARS since we've seen them and it was so good to see them. I'm so glad we're the kind of friends that even when we don't get the opportunity to hang out and visit as much as we'd like, we always pick up right where we left off! Missy is battling some pretty aggressive breast cancer and she is doing so with such grace and joy. You can follow her story on facebook! You can tell by her smile that she's still in great spirits. She held Caroline and said, "You've got more hair than I do!!!" I treasure this picture! 

For book club last month, we went to see, Emily Giffin, the author of some of our previous book club books. It wasn't like meeting Meg Cabot, but it was still fun and I love any excuse to visit the Plaza!

 Jackson is a GREAT big brother! These two have a pretty special bond. 

Caroline LOVES to swing. How can you be grumpy when you see this picture???

Right before I took this photo, Belle asked, "Mom, do I look cool?" I love her confidence to be herself! 

What really convicted me to change my attitude was our timely discussion in Sunday school today. We're in the book of Zechariah reading about all of the prophecies of The Day of The Lord and discussing how patient the Lord has continued to be over thousands of years of continuous sin on this earth. In focusing on how the Lord continues to show us grace, mercy, and unwavering love, I am reminded that the same is expected of me towards my family. This is one of those times when my kids have become the teacher to allow me to know and understand My Father in a deeper, more intimate way! 

So here's to the new week-- a deeper understanding of God's love for his children and a new positive attitude! And it's my birthday week! Woo hoo! :)


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Life Lately

So I just wanted to drop in for a quick second. Our house is all sorts of craziness right now. Derek is in Chicago on a business trip. I call it a vacation because he gets to sleep uninterrupted all night. The criterion for vacation has surely changed. 

Speaking of vacation, Derek and I have been planning our upcoming summer vacation through emails, texts, and brief phone calls. It'll definitely be a new kind of "vacation" for us-- the kind where it's not really a vacation at all, just normal life only at a more desirable location. But, I'm totally pumped. The kids are excited. And we've already started letting them know that there will be a VERY LONG drive to get to the beach-- 18 hours of drive time, which equals about double that when driving with children. 

What have the kids been up to lately? Well, Jackson likes to take selfies. 

The other day, I stopped by the school to work on the end-of-the-school year bulletin board (see exhibit A) and happened to spot jackson as he walked through the halls. He stopped to wave and blow me a kiss. I know that one day he'll be too old and too cool for that, but I'm going to blow kisses and wave back as long as he'll let me!

Bulletin board accomplished-- sleeping baby and all. ;)

Isabelle is going to be a flower girl next month. I ordered her a new dress and it came in the mail this weekend. She's so excited! 

I have been doing my best to keep house, care for children, still work part-time, and maintain (kinda) my sanity while Derek's gone. Caroline is a big help. Look how she helps me keep the counters clean! Her arms may be only10 inches long- but her radius is about 3 feet. It's quite amazing actually.

Oh! Guess what?! After starting the month with more sickness and breathing treatments for Caroline she is officially completely healthy for the first time in 2015.

I'm going to say that again. She's officially healthy for the first time in 2015.


Well, she still has a cough but she's back to her non-cranky-all-the-time-self, she's sleeping better, and she's just SO much more pleasant to be around. So last night I got 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, which is also a first for 2015.

6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.


Man, the criterion for getting excited these day. I actually received a birthday coupon in the mail from our grocery store the other day for $10 off. I told Derek that I know I am getting old when $10 off groceries is actually a pretty cool gift!

So much for a quick minute. I'm cutting into my uninterrupted hours of sleep. Have a great week!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Resurrection Day!

Resurrection is the word of the day around here. Jackson learned that word in Sunday school and he's pretty proud of knowing it. I wanted to pop in here and some (or a lot) of pictures that I (or my sister) has taken over the past few days as we've celebrated Easter. 

We started out by dying eggs on Friday. I think these face stickers are the funnest eggs we've ever made. Aren't they looking quite dapper? 

We're a silly bunch. :)

We went to the easter egg hunt at church on Saturday and stuck around for a few slices of pizza. Domino's-- my favorite!

The Easter Bunny brought some baskets. The big kids got mostly gardening stuff and Caroline got some bath toys and new pacifiers. 

And here's just a large assortment of family photos. I love all the fun colors! The kids said we all look like Easter Eggs. :)

Caroline is sick (AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!) and wasn't feeling up for too many pictures. Look at her sad little lip. 

My parents, my Grandma Dryer, and my sister Laura came down and joined us at church this morning. We enjoyed a nice Easter lunch and spent quite a bit of time outside. My sister Laura recently bought a hammock and she brought it over so we could share in the fun. Oh man, was it much more relaxing and comfy that I had imagined (aside from wiggly kiddos). 

This girl... love her!

Jack and Aunt Laura

We had a small egg hunt for the kids in the front yard.

Caroline with me and my sis!

The temps dropped pretty dramatically this afternoon. Although it got quite chilly, the winds picked up and the kids were super pumped about trying out their new kites. It was very fun. 

Isabelle said, "Hold my hand, Daddy, so I don't fly away!" 

We went over to Derek's parents later in the evening and had a nice time hanging out with more family. We even attempted to get a pic of all the cousins-- and it worked! How cute are all these guys? 

Whew! And now I don't feel so bad about being so tired over the last few days. We've crammed in a lot. I love, love, love the days when we get to spend time with family!!! Though as much as I love my family and the fun celebrations, I love to tell the story of why this day is so very special.
Luke 24:2-3 "And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus." 
Happy Resurrection Day!



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