Jan 15, 2013

One Month!

Our sweet Hudson has been here for a month today. He is doing well and getting big. He's in Size 1 diapers now and in 0-3 month clothing - slow down little buddy :)

Just wanted to post a quick photo of him. Isn't he precious?

Jan 8, 2013

3 weeks of Hudson Love!

3 weeks. Sigh. Every milestone or little thing that implies that Hudson is growing up has been a bit emotional for me this time around. I know it sounds funny, Hudson growing up, seeing as he's only 3 weeks - but knowing he is probably the caboose of our crew - well, it's hard for me to think about. I have enjoyed this season of my life so much - and it's a bit sad for me to think about never experiencing some of those things again.

Positive pregnancy tests. Thinking of a fun way to tell Jeremy - even though he never "gets" my creative announcements. (Love you baby!) My mom's super fun and expressive reactions to another grand baby on the way. First baby kicks. Choosing a name. Picking out a baby memory book for our little one, that first night in the hospital after baby is born and it's 3am and it's just you and your baby. The list goes on and on. I truly love it all! I was born to be a momma, I really was.

I can't remember who it was that recently said to me, "Keri, you are just meant to be a momma of many kids, some people have the grace and patience for it." Now, I by no means am going to sit here and tell you I'm always gracious, or always patient with my kiddos the way Michelle Duggar seems to be with her 19 children, but I must agree that being a momma of multiple little ones I do love so much. I love being a mom - even during the season of 4 kids under 5. Our days right now are filled with applesauce spilled all over the floor, crayon on the walls, temper tantrums, bedtime fits, lots of poopy diapers and wiping butts, little sleep, and barely being able to get a sentence in to each other until all kids are in bed each night but I LOVE my life. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Over the past 5 years I've heard plenty of comments such as "2 kids is the perfect family", "Wow, your hands sure are full!", "Baby #3? You can stop now!", "Was the baby planned?" and so on. I'm not sure what makes people say such comments to others - but I just have to smile and nod when I hear those comments these days :) 2 kids may be the perfect family for YOU, it doesn't mean it's the perfect family for others. Yes, my hands are full, so is my heart! And please don't tell me when I should stop having children and yes all of our babies have been planned! By us and by God thank you very much! Those are all the responses in my mind when people say such comments to me but most of the time I find it's wiser to not respond and just smile instead :) I promise I'm not on a rampage and am not holding any bitterness in my heart, I just find people so...interesting :)

I do use the "yes, my hands are full but so is my heart!" response when strangers make that comment to me in the grocery store. I've never been one to blurt out my own personal thoughts and opinions to others on such personal decisions people make that are not my business so it boggles my mind when people make comments to me or to my friends who are living a full, blessed life with many little ones like me. Children are such a blessing. Yes, children are a lot of work too - but the rewards of having a child, the joy and happiness they bring outweighs it all. Yes, children are expensive...but that's why we budget, why I shop at mom2mom sales and garage sales for my kids clothing, borrow from friends and so on. Our society makes me sad at times....I would rather go without the nicest things or choosing to live on a strict budget than not having another child so I could vacation more, buy a bigger TV, or spoil my other children with more "stuff".

Just spilling my thoughts a bit today on motherhood I guess - and standing up for us mommas who have lots of little ones at home and hear negative comments at times. Be encouraged my fellow mommas, we are SO blessed to have healthy children and have the opportunity to raise these precious little ones to know and love others, love the Lord and be a light in our dark world.

Now, on to the latest with Hud the Stud :) I took him to the doctor on Friday and he is past his birth weight and growing good! He was 8lbs8oz at birth, 8lbs3oz when we left the hospital, 8lbs5oz at his first check up (5 days) and now already up to 10lbs5oz at his 3 week appt! Looks like he is growing great and drinking lots of mom's milk :) I basically just took him in for a weight check up, we didn't even see the doctor. He goes back again at 2 months for his next check up.

Our sweet Lincoln Jude turned 16 months old yesterday! Oh how I love that kid - he is so adorable and at such a cute and fun age. I haven't snapped many pics of him lately (indoor photography isn't really my thing) but I need to get an updated photo of him to share on the blog soon. I'll try and do that this week :)

I ordered some super cute birthday invites to mail out for Ethan's birthday party next month. He told me he wanted a Curious George party so I'm doing a CG theme :) Can't believe he's gonna be F-I-V-E! I love making birthday's a big deal, because, well, my babies birth's are a big deal! It's a day just for them - so fun to celebrate!

Gracelyn cracked me up yesterday. She was playing with her Dora doll and brought her over to me with Dora's pants down and told me she had to put some aquaphor on Dora (which she did in fact do!). I just laughed and said ok baby, no more aquaphor for Dora though ok? :) Aquaphor is a staple in our house - it's similar to vaseline for those of you who may not know - but we use it anytime the kids have red bottoms or on Lincoln's dry skin. It just made me laugh thinking about how kids really watch everything you do and copy you :)

Here's a photo I took of Hudson last night. 3 weeks! Oh how I love this little guy and everything a newborn brings - even the middle of the night feedings! I cherish all my time with him and our other 3 babies as I know these years go by so fast.

I wanted to share this photo I snapped of Gracelyn and my Grandpa (the one that Hudson is named after) on Christmas Eve. I just adore it. So sweet and a photo I will cherish forever.

Much love,
Momma Keri

Jan 4, 2013

2 week cutie

Our sweet little Hudson will be 3 weeks old tomorrow so this post is a little late but I thought I would still share a photo of him that I took at 2 weeks. I'm trying to capture as many moments as possible on camera because I know how quickly it all goes by! Tear.

Isn't he a doll??? We are still trying to figure out who he looks like - because we both feel he looks different than our other babes! It will be fun to see him grow and change and then maybe we'll see the resemblance of someone more.

Hudson is doing great, and as I mentioned earlier will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. He is a pretty laid back baby, eating, sleeping and pooping and peeing in between and isn't really fussy unless he has a burp or needs a diaper change. I'm enjoying every minute with him and treasuring my 4 healthy babies! What a gift!

Our Christmas was great. I must say, I got a bit spoiled this year - and they were all unexpected surprises! I've been drooling over getting a new(er) Macbook Pro - mainly wanting it for my photography and I got surprised and blessed with one a few weeks before Christmas! It's not brand spankin' new but was barely used so pretty much new. The screen is 17" (so excited!) and the clarity is better - all great tools for when I edit photos. It was such a huge surprise and to be given it was just amazing!

My sister also surprised us Christmas morning by telling us she wanted to take our family (as in us, her, my bro and Kate and my parents) on a family vacation this summer - expenses paid! For anyone that knows me, I LOVE vacations and planning them and we haven't been on one in a couple years so I was excited!! Kris and I started looking online and we decided on Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I was trying to plan a cousins trip there last summer but with multiple family members getting married and having honeymoons to go on - it just didn't happen last year. So, late August we will be taking a road trip to Myrtle Beach where we've rented a house just blocks away from the ocean. I cannot wait!! We haven't taken a family vacation with my siblings and parents in over 10 years - so I'm looking forward to all the family time and memories to be made. It should be loads of fun - and will hopefully keep my mind off our sweet Ethan starting kindergarten just a few days after we return! Tear.

Of course my favorite Christmas gift this year was welcoming our brand new baby boy into this world. I felt so blessed Christmas morning to have 4 healthy and gorgeous children and a husband who I love so much and am going on celebrating 10 years of marriage with. I feel so thankful and blessed for the life God has blessed us with - He is so good!

New Years was fun. While we haven't gone "out" for New Years since having children, I've kinda looked forward to and enjoyed getting the kids down for the night and just having quiet time with my hubby - watching a movie, making popcorn and drinking an ice cold Coke. I know I know, such big plans we have on New Years but with 4 little ones, a quiet night at home with your hubbs is actually quite exciting :)

I've never been into making new years resolutions too much but last year I did make one and this year the same. My resolution last year was to find a babysitter so my hubby
and I could spend more quality time together and have date nights out. It may sound like no big deal to you, but let me tell you, it was a big step for me! Until finding a sitter, we had only left our kids with my parents and my sister. For the first few years, leaving Ethan wasn't really easy. He went through separation anxiety until almost age 3 and so leaving him with someone he didn't know wasn't easy. Once he finally got through all that, it made it a little easier for me to think about finding a sitter to leave the kids with.

We finally found a girl from church who we have felt comfortable leaving our kids with. It's been very nice having more time alone together and I must say it is much needed and important in your marriage when raising little ones. We are in the stage of parenting where our kids depend on us for almost everything and with 4 little ones that doesn't leave a lot of time for "us". While our kids needs come first in many ways, it's important to put your marriage first also and the needs of your spouse. Without a healthy marriage, it's impossible to raise little ones as a team. Parenting is the most rewarding job, but also the hardest job - and so having date nights out together has been so good for us. A chance to talk without little ones pulling on our pant legs or saying "I pooped. Change me." So, yay for date nights!!

This year my resolution is quite simple but will help me stay organized. It's to edit my own children's photos and organize them on my computer soon after taking them. Now that I've gotten busy with photography, I spend a lot of time on other people's families photos and mine kinda sit on the back burner, never get edited or organized and put into the right folders, etc. So this year I plan to stay more organized with their photos.

Ethan went back to school this week and was happy to go back. It has been so good for him and he is learning a lot and staying busy doing fun things so we've been really happy with his preschool.

I just started to potty train Gracelyn this week so that's the latest with her. It took Ethan awhile to get it down and that's ok. I'm laid back about it and don't get stressed in the process. I remember getting comments often before Ethan was potty trained (because he wasn't 2.5 years old like their kid when they trained them) and that got old really fast. When kids are ready, they're ready - I'm not gonna be a mom who tries to keep up with the Jones' and compare my kids to others. So with that being said, there's no need to email or text me every few days asking how it's going :) I'll be sure to post the exciting news when she's officially trained :)

Lincoln is doing well. He will be 16 months on Monday and is growing up so much. He plays alongside Ethan and Gracelyn constantly, says "cheese" when I go to take a picture of him, knows where the toaster is when we ask him if he wants a waffle, runs to the coat pantry when I tell him I'm going to vacuum (where I store it) and so much more. I taught him where his nose is this past week and he smiles so big when I react to him showing me where it is :) We are working on where his ears are now ;) He's cutting 3 molars and 2 other teeth so he's been fussy on and off for weeks now. Teething is brutal on the little ones!

And Hudson as I mentioned is doing good. We have his 2nd check up with the doctor later this afternoon - they expect him to be back to birth weight at 2 weeks, and he's almost 3 and feels like he's gaining weight so I'm sure he's passed that up. I'll be sure and update with his stats next time I post.

Enjoy the weekend!
Momma Keri