Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lucy's Newborn pics

...5 months late. But as the saying goes, "Better late than never", right?? Thanks to our good friend Justin for his amazing photography talents :)



I love how she is peeking in this picture!





So teeny-tiny and precious.

And 5 months later:
Time flies when you're having fun, and this girl has added a lot more fun to our lives :) I'm not even sure how the past 5 months have flown by so quickly. But I guess it's because Lucy and everything else has kept me busy, busy, busy. And can I just say as much fun as it is, baby #3 was by far the biggest, hardest adjustment ever. The good news is I think we are gonna make it! Slowly but surely I am adapting to the new "normal" for us. It feels good to be a family of 5!

Lucy's Letter

I don't know if this is like the other girls' letters...at least I feel like it's different. I have sort of been putting it off, because I am full of many emotions for my baby.

Lucy,

I am trying to savor every moment; every gaze you share, every smile and giggle...
I keep hoping time will slow down- that life will allow me to be lazy (even lazier than I already am) and ignore my housework and other responsibilities.
No matter how much I really am soaking it up, basking in the wonderful-ness of you, my baby...time is flying, the seconds keep slipping away. Sometimes I feel a little guilty because I am very aware of your sisters watching me love and adore you. I have to then tell them, I used to do this with them, too. So they know how much I love them. I just hope that they understand. I love all my girls so much. But there is nothing in the world like a baby. Like your own baby. And babies only stay small for such a brief time. Nothing compares to this. Someday you will know. Someday you will be calling me, crying because your baby is growing and changing too quickly. I know, because I call my mom. I always tell her (and I did with your sisters as well) that you are growing so fast.

I don't mean for this to sound sad. I know this is what is supposed to happen. I know you are supposed to grow and learn and change. But I can't help that my heart is literally breaking. It aches. I can't breathe. The sadness I feel with the passage of time- that reality is suffocating lately. You are so precious. You are so loved. Don't grow up! What if you are my last baby? Can't I keep you that way--a baby? I will never feel satisfied with "no more babies" but I also don't really want more, or can't imagine more at this time. I know we all have limits and I think this might be mine. I want there to be enough of me to go around. Enough of me that you, and your sisters, and your dad all feel like you get enough of me and my time and my love. It's a tricky thing...life. But wonderful, too. Maybe I don't want you to grow up too quickly because the adoration you show me is so evident in those blue eyes of yours. I feel needed and loved more than I ever have before. And I know all too soon, these days will be gone. You won't always NEED me in the sense that you are dependent upon me. (Then I have to get real and remind myself that you don't really need me now, either.) I think I have realized lately that my love language isn't necessarily one of the 5 love languages in the book, but that I need and want to be needed...and no one makes me feel needed more than you, Lucy. And all too soon you will become more and more independent with each passing month...just like your sisters have done. Right now I can make everything right for you. I won't always be able to do that. But being a mom of a baby is so simple. I have the ability to make you feel loved and happy and solve your problems. And I want you to know that when I can't fix things for you in the future, I wish I could. And I will always love you more than you can wrap your mind around. (this is another thing you will understand when you are a mom yourself) Part of me has put off this letter for the last month because it might sound so sad, or like I am depressed. I am not really. I promise. You have brought so much more joy to my life than I already had. I know I am so blessed. I am blessed beyond what I deserve and yet all my selfish self wants is to be able to keep you small longer, forever. I know that our real purpose is to come to this earth and grow and go through many experiences- some that are tough, some that are tougher than you can imagine, and also that we might experience the most amazing, wonderful things that life has to offer. It is not always easy. Most of the time it isn't easy. But it is all good. It is a beautiful thing, to be able to realize that despite trials, the lessons learned are well worth it. I hope you can learn to have that mentality about experiences as you go through your life.

It's hard for me to say much else in this letter. In future letters I am sure I will have many fun things to record about your personality.

Although you do have a big personality already. You are rolling all over the place and I know before long I will blink and you will be crawling and sitting up on your own. You like to squeal and hear the sound of your own voice. I love those baby squeals. You are so willing to share with me those big, gummy grins. My heart bursts with happiness when you look and smile at me. I love that you will find me from across the room and try to keep track of me with your eyes. The way a baby adores their mom is an out-of-this-world kind of feeling. Yes, I am savoring it. Enjoying every minute I can of your babyhood. There are other things that distract me from it of course, but I am able to bring myself back into the moments and soak it up.

You are lucky to have two big sisters who ADORE you. Oh! They won't leave you alone. They won't get out of your face! I am telling you this because sometime in the future, you will do the same thing to them and they will get annoyed and mad-but really they love you. They will be your best friends forever. Even through the times that it doesn't seem that way.

I love you, my baby. Our little "goosey". I'm so happy you are part of our family. So thrilled that words can't really express the happiness.

Love,
Mommy

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sisters




They each have their own look. And 3 different colored sets of eyes. Riley's are brown, Izzy's hazel, and Lucy's blue.


Who do you think they look like? We have heard every combination. I have had people tell me Izzy looks like Travis, that Riley looks like him, and even that Lucy looks like him. (But I have only heard that about Lucy twice). To me, there is no mistaking that Izzy looks like him. Oh my gosh. I look at that girl and see her dad. Always.

Then I have heard that each of them look like me. I recently had someone tell me about Izzy, "She looks just like you, Jenna." Which was so funny to me because as I said, I see all Travis. I have never really seen myself in the older two. But when Lucy came along, I remember Trav handing her to me at the hospital after her bath and asking me if it was like looking in a mirror. And it was...a little bit in a weird way. I just saw more of me and my side of the family. As she has grown and changed (as babies do) I still see more of me in Lucy, but she is definitely just another good mixture of us. We have beautiful babies :)

October thus far

Look at me, trying to be all caught up with my blogging. Ha.

October has been busy. (Then again, isn't every month?!) We spent a week in Las Vegas as a family and a couple days with all my siblings as well as my paternal grandparents and Dad and Rachel. This was such a great opportunity for us to get together. The last time all 5 siblings were together was July 2008. Izzy was just a baby and Brad wasn't even married yet. Now we have two new little girls in the picture, Kim, and Alyce and Maria's significant others. Fun times!



In case you were wondering, yes- I am the shortest one of the bunch :P

Two family pictures in one week. That's some kind of record :) The M&M Store on the Strip
In other news, we decided to put our house up for sale. It isn't exactly a great time to be selling. It IS however a great time to be buying and building. Which is what we would love to do IF we can sell this house. We sort of have plans for something in the works. But it may fall through if our home doesn't sell in the next 3-5 months. Which we are very aware may not happen. I am prepared for whatever. I figure what's meant to be will happen. We are so blessed either way.

With Halloween approaching Travis is trying to out-do himself by making a bigger and better costume than last year's. (Remember THIS?) Hey- it won him $1,000. Therefore designing the perfect costume this year cannot be taken lightly. Last year he spent about two weeks on it. This year he got started at the beginning of October with the building process. Which means coming up with an idea was in the months leading up to it. STAY TUNED FOR PICTURES :)

Being the mean mom that I am Lucy got her ears pierced last Friday. At 4 1/2 months old. Izzy had hers done at 5 months and Riley at 6 months. I kept saying I would do it earlier with Lucy and almost missed the opportunity. This kid does so well with her immunizations. She hardly cries and never needs tylenol. I figured ear piercing would be no big deal. Man was I wrong. She was the biggest drama queen. She cried more than the other two which was shocking. The good news is that just an hour or so later she was back to her usual self and giggling and happy. Her ears have looked great. I have always said if any of my babies ears had looked red/painful/ etc. for more than a few hours or anything like that I would promptly remove the earrings but thankfully all 3 have done well. Just before...and just after, being consoled by a bottle.But just look how cute they look!And she's happy :) My pretty little baby...I can't get enough of this face. I was thinking that the other day and that's when the chorus of Smash Mouth's "I Can't Get Enough of You, Baby" started playing in my head. Random.
Also in October I started Lucy on rice cereal (to my dismay). Let me explain. The other two girls started it right at 4 months. But also right at 4 months I stopped nursing Riley and Izzy. My experience breastfeeding was pretty miserable. This time around, I spent my whole pregnancy telling myself this time would be different. I was determined to make it work and feel better about it. And it has been (mostly) successful. I have had a way better experience and wanted to hold off on any "solids" aka MUSH for as long as possible...say, 6 months? But Lucy was ready. She watches us eat and chomps on everything and just seemed ready. Not to mention my milk alone has not been able to satisfy her. She has one bottle each night before bed. I introduced bottles with all three girls right away, that way if I ever needed to be away from them, they could still eat. So the routine has been that Lucy gets a small supplement of formula each night. But even with that, she was ready for more. I also feel like my milk supply has been really low this time around. Maybe it is because of the bottles, I don't know. Regardless, I nurse her as often as I can if I am at home during the day. I am still determined to keep going with it as long as she seems happy and wants to go with it. My goal is 8-9 months. I have already outlasted myself the first two times...so I see it as success either way. I wanted to hold off on cereals and baby foods to keep her my "baby" a little longer. The minute the first two started eating baby foods, they grew chubbier and bigger even faster. I don't want that to happen!!! It's sad! They don't stay small long enough as it is!


The below video clips are of Lucy's first attempt at rice cereal, Riley making Lucy's laugh in the van on the way home from getting her ears pierced, Lucy's second attempt at cereal, and Lucy enjoying her bottle. She GRABS it from our hands most nights. We are impressed. She still can't really hold it on her own. She can, but she doesn't hold it up enough/at the right angle to eat. I love holding her and feeding her anyway and she is too little to need to know how to do it on her own. Still, sometimes it's fun to see her try things for herself.
video video video video


Lastly, Izzy FINALLY got her first haircut. That's right, she is almost 4 and NEVER had ANY trims or anything. I love long hair on little girls. But let's be honest...it was getting a little ratty on the end. That fine, tangled baby hair and those sweet curls had to go. The first picture is just after a bath and we had blow-dried her hair so the curls aren't even there. But she still had them, if we let it air dry. a few really good ringlets. So that's why I have been putting this off...I will miss the curls.
Yes-her jeans are on backwards. LOL. This girl puts everything on backwards or wrong. Her shoes are often on the wrong feet. Almost daily we have to turn at least one item of clothing around. As you can see, her hair wasn't even, it was a few inches shorter in front.


Much better :)

Back to September (& August, too)

(Not sure why this photo is rotated. It isn't in my folders and I even deleted it and uploaded again but it STILL came out this way...and that has never happened before!)

Things have been busy as usual around here. It's so funny how when you add a new little person to your family how all of a sudden it's like they have always been a part of the family and you can't even remember life before them. At least that's how it goes for me. It's sort of sad, I don't remember not having children. I don't even remember what it was like with just one or two. On the other hand, it's okay. I know this is how our life should be :) Since Lucy was born it's such a blur. I can't remember life without her and yet these first months are passing too quickly.

In an effort to catch up a bit I just wanted to post some Lucy pictures & videos from September.
September brings football season. And I love me some Pittsburgh Steelers football. I have to say Lucy wasn't too impressed with the first game of the season. And who can blame her? That was just embarrassing! But she still sported her Steeler colors anyway :)

Football season also means watching some Cougar Football. We watched the first couple games of the season at John and Dana's. Here are Tyce and Lucy in their Cougar colors :)


Lucy watches the games intently for a little while :)
video Lucy's first giggle was back in August. Since then we are getting more and more laughs out of her but also a new thing is how vocal she is becoming. These two videos are of her using her little voice :) I love how babies discover they can make noise and then just love the sound of their own voices! video I think you can tell from the clips, but this girl is a pretty content baby. We are so lucky. Don't get me wrong, girlfriend can have her moments. She is mostly happy if she has attention and if mom (or anyone, really) is holding her. She sleeps pretty well. Not as good as Riley did but better than Izzy in those first long colicky months that Izzy had. She goes down most often around 9:30-1o pm and wakes up once to eat sometime between 3:30 and 4:30. I am up with her for maybe 20 minutes and I lay her back down and she goes back to sleep for a few hours. I almost always lay her down awake and she will go to sleep on her own, NEVER fussing. All the girls have pretty much done that with the exception of Izzy during the first fussy months we had. I love that my babies look forward to bed time and can put themselves to sleep and I am a firm believer they can usually learn that early on. Lucy has maybe cried 3 nights out of the 3 1/2-4 months since I put her in her own room. And if she is crying, I know she just isn't quite ready. She LOVES her crib.

Below, Travis gets Lucy really giggling. This wasn't the first time she had laughed, but a first decent time caught on camera. It was at the end of August. And there are a few pictures from August as well.
videoIzzy giving her goofy smile.
Girls in matching dresses from Grandma Barb.
Cousins at the park
Family picture. I have been trying to take more of these lately. I really do not like photos of myself, but I do know it is important to have some of me with the girls and Trav.

video This video was from Pat's wedding reception. The girls were dancing around a bit. But of course a camera makes them shy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To the one in the middle


Dear, sweet Isabelle...

You are in the middle. I, too, am the middle child. And for some strange reason every time I think of that, I think of a book I read in second grade called "The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo." (Yes, it's a real book, look it up). Don't ask me why I think of it...I just do.

Izzy you are full of spunk. I can hardly handle it- in a good way. You are quick as a whip and have a zest for life that I don't understand...and I love that. I want to learn it from you. I hope that is possible. That you rub off on me instead of me rubbing off on you. The last thing I want to do is stifle who you are and your growth. Never lose the spunk. I love it.

When you smile, you get a dimple on your left cheek that is to die for. IT IS SO CUTE. You make lots of silly faces. In them, I see your dad when he was a little boy. And in them, I see your dad now, too. The two of you sure enjoy making goofy faces. They are much cuter on YOU! You are Daddy's little clone. I swear. Maybe that's why I can't get enough of your face. Because you remind me of him. And in case you didn't know, I like Daddy a lot. I know you and your sisters do too. I hope you know how lucky you are to have such a great dad who loves you and loves to play with you and be silly with you. Lots of kids don't have that. And I know all kids need dads. I am glad I chose him to be the father of my children and that you chose us to be your parents. We were a little surprised when we found out you were joining our family but Heavenly Father knew it was just right. I couldn't agree more. The transition to a family of four was natural. You had a built in friend in your big sister. You were my two babies. You came at the right time. Even if I didn't know it was in my plans.

You are a little mama. I love how you love babies. I think that is the one thing you get from me. I wish I could always have a baby. I am glad you were one of mine. You sure were a pill for the first 4 months you were with us. You cried A LOT. All. The. Time. You were especially fussy from about 11:30pm-3:30 am. Often I just held you and let you scream. It was tax season. And daddy needed his sleep so you and I spent lots of nights on the couch downstairs. That was an exhausting winter. But you grew out of it and soon found you LOVED to sleep. We used to lay you in your crib and bring you your bottle and blanket and you would just giggle with delight and anticipation that it was time for bed. I will never forget that! You still love your sleep most nights. You can somehow fall asleep even with Riley singing songs and reading books aloud from the top bunk over your head.

Riley started Kindergarten a few weeks ago and you miss her so much. I know she is your best friend. I know because you have said so. But I also know because of how much you want to follow her around, play with her things, and be in her personal space. I know because you do things to aggravate her- and that really just means you want her attention. She loves you too. She just expresses it differently. The two of you are very different, each your own person and that is so fun to see.

I see you growing up too fast. It is wonderful to watch you learn and grow but so darn hard at the same time. You are at a fun age and I wish I could stop time. Let's just stop growing and getting older, okay? DEAL! You speak so well for your age. (Except when you revert to that darn baby talk...) There are a lot of words that you don't necessarily use the right tense of or conjugate correctly and most of the time it is hard to correct because it is so darn cute. But soon you will learn and I will wonder how it all changed so quickly. I love your laugh. Keep laughing :)

You are so opposite of me in that you are so laid-back and free spirited. You have such a shy side to you. You are the cuddliest, coziest preschooler I know. I hope you will always want to snuggle your mom. I hope you know that I am just a person, who will make lots of mistakes like every other person. But I hope you know I still love you. Even when I might not be the best mom. I am trying. And I will try harder. Help me be better everyday. While you are learning about life, I am learning about being a mom. We should never stop learning and life allows us to go through different seasons to learn different things.

Your imagination is out of this world. You play so well with others and on your own. I love to overhear the things you come up with to play. Don't lose that imagination. Don't lose your love of books. You and Riley both love books so much. I am glad you let us read to you. If you keep reading that imagination will stay incredible.

I wrote a letter to Riley in a previous post...in it are a list of things I hope to teach you both. I want you both to know what your value is as a daughter of your Heavenly Father. It is so grat you cannot comprehend right now. We all have limitless potential for good. Be kind and loving. Have compassion. You are so precious. Respect yourself. And know that I am always here for you, to help you out with anything you may face. Life isn't without trials, that is a large part of why we are here, but it is also full of blessings beyond your comprehension. I love you, girlfriend!



Love,
Mommy