Monday, May 19, 2014

grateful heart

It's Monday, which means I am linking up with Ember Grey to share something I am grateful for.

Over the weekend we celebrated Elliot's first birthday (he turned one on May 15th) with my family & some extended relatives. While I always love seeing family, it was an extra special party because my grandparents were able to come! They hadn't seen our house since we moved in. They are in their mid eighties and aren't getting around very much these days, so it was truly an honor to have them over. I had relationships with 5 of 8 great grandparents growing up, and it's such a blessing to see my kids interact with my grandparents, too. I have thought Elliot resembles my grandpa Fox for a long time now, and this is only being confirmed as he grows up and comes into his features.

My grandparents are so full of wisdom. They have traveled the entire world, and they have done so many amazing, selfless things. They inspire me, and have been such a source of comfort throughout my life. Picking raspberries from my grandmother's garden is one of my earliest memories, and that alone created in me a love for gardening, which is a huge part of who I am now.

I know, I'm a little sappy! But I know this was the only time my grandparents will ever be in my house, and it won't be long now until they move out of their own home, their home my grandpa built with his bare hands, and into a retirement home. It's been a thrill to introduce my babies to them, and to receive their blessings over our little family.

We love you!

Ember Grey

Thanks, always, to Ember Grey for hosting the link up!

Monday, May 12, 2014

madeline's prom

Over the weekend, I had a chance to take some pictures of my littlest sister, Madeline, her boyfriend, and another couple of her friends before they went to prom. These guys had places in mind where they wanted to take photos, so my other sister Lauren and I followed them around St. Paul, taking orders. ;) We had a lot of fun exploring the city, and these girls looked so beautiful! Lauren and I never went to our proms so we were kind of living vicariously through Madeline and her friends. Just a little.

grateful heart

It's Monday and I am linking up with ember grey to share something I am grateful for!

I have been waiting for this day for about a month now... I am so, so grateful that my little girl is home today! She was visiting her missionary grandparents in Japan for almost a month. She had an absolute blast but we missed her so much. She and grandpa flew in this morning around 5 am, and she is still awake and going strong, that crazy kid. It's like 1:00 in the morning Japan time.

We are so happy to have her back, and so thrilled that she was able to have this experience. My grandparents were also missionaries in Japan. I first visited them overseas when I was about four, so it's just really cool to see my daughter experiencing the same things I did. Parenthood is so great.

What are you grateful for this week?

Ember Grey

Friday, May 9, 2014

on light

My kids have these childproof, plasticky mirrors they play with. They were once attached to a play gym or something. Like most things in this house, they have taken on new roles in their little toy lives, and what they once thought were their purposes are now distant memories... Ha!

The kids love playing with these mirrors because Eve, by accident, discovered that the mirrors can do something amazing. When the sun shines on them at the right time of day (mid afternoon), they reflect light into the wall or ceiling, depending on what angle she is holding the mirror. Of course, the kids don't understand how that all works, but when the sun is shining into the living room, they look for the mirrors and try and harness the light, if you will.

Today, one of my kids' friends found a mirror buried underneath several other toys in a basket. He took it out and started angling it near the window, waiting for the light to hit it, looking at the walls for light beams. He asked me, "why isn't it working?" And I told him that because the sun wasn't out, light wouldn't be able to hit the mirror. He was confused. He just couldn't understand why no light was reflecting off of that mirror. He set the mirror down, totally uninterested, and looked for something else to play with. Without the light shining off if it, that mirror was just... a mirror.

I thought about our bodies. When The Light isn't shining into them, how could we ever expect light to shine from us? How dull and uninteresting are we without The Light within us?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

elliot at (almost) 12 months

My baby boy will be one in exactly a week. *insert crying face emoiji* How did this happen! With Eve, I didn't really mind her getting older because every day she learned something new, and it was so fun to watch her develop. (It still is.) But with Elliot, I feel like I know what's coming. First was walking, then running, and pretty soon he will be saying 'no more hugs, mama!', and, 'leave me alone!' Then he is going to start choosing to hang out with his friends over me.... then what, he wont let me dress him how I want to dress him!? The nerve...

I'm kidding, a little. I mean, it's awesome to see little glimpses of what I think is Elliot's future personality, but it is a little hard to let him go, as I'm sure it is for all parents. He is a precious little boy. I thought I would write down exactly how he is now, and what he does, so I will never forget.

At 12 months, Elliot...

Says mama, dada, baba, and as of Monday, he says nigh-nigh when I put him in his crib. SO CUTE. I think he knows it's cute, and knows it keeps him out of that crib longer because I just have to keep squeezing him. He also says ma which could mean more...? Still trying to figure that one out. He is babbling constantly, and has little "conversations" with the kids that come over. Darling.

As of this week, he sleeps through the night. I feed him once between 9-11pm, then he will not wake up again until about 6. This is huge for us! My kids are sort of on the Da Vinci sleep schedule... i.e. they never want to sleep, and their minds are always absorbing absolutely everything. I guess they got it from me, I truly am fine with 5-6 hours of sleep per day, and at this point I'm pretty used to getting up at least once during that time having had two kids in the past three years... Yeah. Elliot never cries in his crib though. If he isn't ready to sleep, he just sings to himself and snuggles with his stuffed monkey, which leads into this...

His favorite toy is a stuffed monkey. My sister gave this to him and it is his absolute favorite. He knows the word monkey, so when I ask him where the monkey is, he will go and find it.

He takes two really good naps a day, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. He is good at sleeping through loud noises, i.e. his sister and friends screaming at the top of their lungs, or belting out the Frozen soundtrack on the regular. That movie........

He is walking, running, and doing his best to keep up with the other kids. He loves to play at the playground, and go down the slides. At home, I think his favorite game is taking toys from other kids, flashing his cheeky grin, and then running away with the toys. Ha! He figured out really quickly that the big kids take everything from him, so I guess this is his response.

He is getting into reading books. I love reading to him. He is at that stage where he is noticing the pictures in the books, and he will smile at animals, etc. So cute.

He is always smiling. I have heard from many, many people that he is the happiest baby, and he really is! It's a blessing! Eve was a happy baby too, but he makes her seem like a grump. This kid loves people. Especially cute girls. Must take after dad... hah.

He has seven teeth, four on top, three on the bottom. I'm sure that eighth one will show up any day now.

He will eat almost anything. Except avocado. Both my kids never liked avocado! I'm guessing it's a texture thing. Elliot didn't used to like bananas either. Like all kids I have met, he destroys a bowl of my mac n cheese. But its really, really tasty, so I don't blame him. He loves veggie soup, scrambled eggs, blueberries... I had kept him on a vegan diet for quite awhile, but at this point, he eats how we eat. (We try and stick to a 95% plant based, whole foods diet. The animal products that I do buy regularly are yogurt, cheese, and sometimes butter. We tend not to purchase meat, and call ourselves 'freegans' because we will eat meat (or dairy stuff) if it's given to us, or served at someone's house, etc.)

He gives kisses! Open mouth kisses with tongue.. Gotta work on that. Not that I mind, but there can be a lot of drool involved.. hah.

He is still using Eve's hand-me-down cloth diapers, and wears size 12 month pants, 12-18 month tops. Size 5 shoes. He is a big boy. He is almost the same size as our friend Penny who turns 2 in August. Giant baby! I love it.

Dislikes wearing socks.

Dislikes wearing hats.

Dislikes long car rides. (hasn't been on many)

Loves instruments! All of them. He was born into a very musical family, and I'm so excited that he is so interested in all things music. He will also dance on command. YES. As of now, guitar seems to be his instrument of choice.

I'm sure there are a lot more things to add to this list, but I will leave it at that. :) What a year it has been with this special guy! We are so looking forward to the upcoming years.

Monday, May 5, 2014

life now & my thoughts on weaning

My daughter has been away for almost a month now. While I miss her tremendously, I also have really treasured the time I have had with just Elliot. I feel like he has grown up so much this month! He is almost one... AHHGG. I can't believe we made it a year.

I had a goal to nurse Elliot for at least a year. With my daughter, I didn't make it that long. She started walking around 9 months and after that, she became pretty independent. We kept it going for about two more months, but she just wasn't interested. She was on the go! When she turned one, I switched her over to almond milk.

Elliot, on the other hand, seems to be a LOT more attached (no pun intended, HA) to nursing. He has probably taken a bottle from me, like, twice. He still gets up at 11 pm and at 3 am to nurse and after almost a year of this, I am tired! I am craving some serious sleep. That is not the reason I want to start weaning, not at all. But I think it's time to start eliminating a day time feeding or two. He is ready, and I'm feeling ready.

I have been so much more relaxed with Elliot as far as introducing foods to him. It hasn't been an issue because this little dude can eat, but with Eve everything was scheduled. She had all her meals at the same time, all of her snacks, had perfect portions of vegetables, etc. Elliot gets to nurse as often as he wants. This is great, but I don't think it would be bad to start a schedule of sorts for him.

So, I guess this is it... We are entering the weaning stage. Not only is he being weaned from me, but I am weaning myself from him. Truthfully, getting up all of those times in the night has never really felt like a chore. I love that little boy. I suppose it could be a few weeks or a few months more of this, who knows, but I feel like it's time. He won't be a little baby forever.

grateful heart monday

little conversations
Once again, I'm linking up with ember grey to share a few things I am grateful for. I love this idea of taking a minute on Mondays to reflect, and to start off the week with this mindset is wonderful!

Today I am so grateful for SUNSHINE. It rained for what, five days straight last week? I love rain, and we needed it, but going on a long walk today with the babies, soaking in all of those rays, was exactly what my body and soul needed. Having the time to just walk and pray while the kiddos rested quietly in the stroller was such a treat!

And I am grateful now that they are sleeping in their beds, giving me a chance to read some blogs and write a little. ;)

Ember Grey

Sunday, May 4, 2014

our weekend

My daughter Eve is still in Japan with my in laws, so we had another weekend with only one baby. I haven't gotten used to Eve not being here, but I am happy knowing she is happy and having an amazing vacation with family. She should be home next Sunday. 

Saturday, Andrew was able to introduce me to his team from work. I have never met anyone from his job (since they work all over the state and all work the same crazy 18 hour days) so it was so nice to be able to put some faces to the names. We all went to a Twins game and had a great time. The weather was perfect, and the seats were to die for. I'm not really knowledgeable when it comes to sports, but I love to watch games and hang out! Andrew's team had broken a sales record for the week, so his supervisor splurged on box seats for everyone and their families and it was so cool. We would probably never have had that opportunity EVER, and probably won't again, so I was totally soaking it in. And eating too much catered food because... It was there. And the Twins won the game, so that was pretty cool! Not sure how common that is ;)

Highly unphotogenic people, but we try. 

My sister babysat Elliot for us while we were at the game. It's such a blessing to have sisters who adore my kids...

...even if they won't participate in photos. 


Hope you are having a great weekend! I'm off to make a giant breakfast for myself while the boys sleep in.