Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A year of loving Ford

Dear Sweet Rutherford,

Happiest of birthdays to you my love, you're officially one year old.  It seems that all of the old cliche sayings about time still hold true, and in some ways I could say I feel like I had you just yesterday but that just couldn't be possible.  No, we've experienced far too much love and joy to only be held inside of one day.  Your birth was like a dream and one of the greatest gifts I've ever received; and though I miss the perfectly squishy, warm, newborn snuggles my heart is overwhelmed with how much I adore one year old you.
I told your daddy if you were a girl I would legally change your name to Joy.  It is the very definition of who you are and what you have brought to our lives. God perfectly set the stage for your arrival, placing a deep anticipatory love inside our hearts.  It's hard to put into words the depths to which you are adored, but your life fit perfectly into the puzzle piece we never knew we were missing.  
Though our eyes have been heavier and the coffee a little stronger, it's been pretty easy to focus on the goodness in our days.  Your laid back soul has been so welcomed in our busy little world.  I predict you will be the center of calm for our family and the one who reminds us that God invites us to rest for a reason.  The voice inside you is quiet but you are always observing the world around you, surely creating a great listener, and perhaps the keeper of many secrets.  
Your brother and sister have loved on you strongly and have longed for the days when you'd be big enough to play with; though Mallie Lynn did go through a phase of telling me to stop feeding you so you could stay little forever.  They have enjoyed celebrating your milestones and being your source of entertainment the past 12 months and I can only imagine the laughs you all will have in your future.  

Thank you for saving your sweetest moments for last.  Over the past two weeks you have unveiled the most wonderful bedtime routine of nursing, reaching for a book or two, babbling during the story, nursing some more, and then curling up on my chest to be rocked and cuddled.  It makes peeling myself out of the rocking chair to lay you down, feel like the hardest task in the day.  The kisses you have received in the past year are too many to count, and this past week you began handing them out yourself.  Open mouth and often with a toungue have stuck out you can kiss on demand or sometimes just to say goodbye/goodnight.  Did I mention you are just the sweetest?  As my great grandmother would say, "You've got sugar just dripping off of ya!"
12 Months brought us:
size 3 diapers
clothes 9-12 and 12 month

Loves:  In general you are a lover of life.  You truly delight in the little things and can be content for long periods of time without much from anyone else.  You love your people to the core and are quick to scoot to the door when someone you've been missing walks in.  Snuggling before bed, which is admittedly my favorite routine of the day.  
Balls are your favorite toy, and you really enjoy a good pigskin to toss.    
Eating!  Especially strawberries or Italian.  
The art of putting things in and taking them out, you mastered the skill of placing wooden rings on a stick and are fascinated by it.  You love to be in the kitchen while I cook and are content with a spoon and a bowl for quite some time.  
Music and dancing, especially when given a maraca or listening to Dean Martin Italian classics.  
Swinging, stroller rides, and being carried while running are your favorite outdoor activities.  
Dislikes:  Being told you can't have something.  :)  Middle of the night diaper changes, and waiting on food.
Sleep: Since starting to eat solids you have slept better at night!  No longer waking the LITERAL every 3 hours you did for 11 months, we have had a few almost 10 hour stretches but mainly seeing 4-5 hour stretches as the norm.  You have needed comforted a bit more in the week leading up to your birthday as tooth number 9 finds it's way through your gums.  
Feeding:  Boy oh Boy!  Those strawberries that started it all continue to be your favorite but you have started eating ALL the things with excitement and vigor.  Pasta with tomato sauce, cheese pizza, sweet potato, crackers, pretzels, waffles, yogurt, and toast are all on your list of favorites.  Oh and I guess we can add plastic letters, or anything small you can find to cram in your mouth.  You're certainly keeping us on our toes with that one!
*no letters were swallowed in the taking of these photos.  However mama did get her exercise in trying to take these shots and grab letters out of your hand.  

You also started liking pouches which is a huge help for when we are on the go.  You're drinking whole milk and flax milk easily and we are so grateful for this great transition!  I'm taking your lead when it comes to weaning and am enjoying a little extra time in my day not nursing you every 3 hours.  ;)  The big appetite you have always had seems to be paying off, you are currently weighing in at 19.7lbs and are 30 inches long!
Milestones: Pulling up to stand on knees and a handful of times pulling to stand, causing us to move that crib mattress down.  Eating, and drinking from a straw.  Playing peekaboo, stacking blocks, stacking rings, scooting so fast you sometimes get a speeding ticket.  :)  

I'm so thankful for every laugh, snuggle, and smile from you sweet Ford.  You will forever be my baby boy and I'm just going to keep up soaking up all the goodness God has placed inside of you.  Happy first birthday!

You are so loved!!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Four years of knowing heaven on earth -Mallie Lynn

Sunshine girl you just keep getting better.  In so many ways it's hard to believe we've loved on you for four glorious years, but yet how could it be any other way?  You've brought us joy beyond measure and I'm so very grateful to be your mother.

God knit you so beautifully on the inside and out, sweetly made for loving others no doubt.  
You are selfless in a way that can not be taught, putting others ahead without giving a thought.  You are fiercely loyal to the ones you love most, especially your big brother who gets an extra dose.  
Thoughtfulness it seems is one of your things, grabbing extra lollipops, and treasures for others to share is something you do since you're always aware.   Aware of others needs, their likes and their wants, it comes easy for you putting others in front.  Four years have flown by, time won't slow, trust me I tried.  Take a breath, make a wish, you're a wonderful gift, happy birthday darling girl!

You love big.  Arms stretched wide for a hug, that wrap around a neck or leg for a squeeze, you use them oh so well.  You love a good middle of the night cuddle, special handshake, and kisses of all kinds.  When presented with a last, last piece of candy, cookie or popsicle you are quick to think of others first and offer up what you have.  Yes you know how to love so well, so young, and it's truly a gift from above.  
This year we have seen your love for your brother grow like no other.  You follow his every lead with an eager heart to get his approval.  Even when you are met with disappointment, you always come back like a loyal puppy ready to love him more.  Very few choices are made without first inquiring about what "Henry is having/wearing/eating"  As Henry's number one fan, you find pleasure in cheering him on in sports and trying to learn from him at home.  Though you like to win you are never too upset by a loss and are quick to give your opponent a compliment.  You love playing board games, puzzles, building, coloring, stickers, painting, and sports of all kinds.  Climbing, jumping, and tumbling are a constant for your athletic little body and I'm curious to see just what it is your heart most wants to do. 
Being a big sister is a natural fit for someone as caring as you.  There are many times where you see what your baby brother needs before anyone else and quickly act to assist him.  You created a special voice and excited way of speaking to him that has made him smile more times than I can count.  You make him laugh daily and as mini caretaker you have really latched onto helping him eat and drink.  You're daddy seems to think you will take care of us all someday and he may just be right.  
You still have one of the best sounding voices I've ever had the pleasure of hearing.  Listening to you sing a song or recite a prayer is such a heart warming gift from above.  

Being in the spotlight just isn't your thing, no pictures please" "don't look at me" "don't watch me" are all statements I hope we hear less of in the future.  I pray for you to grow confidence in your skin and the wonderful person God has made you to be.  I want my sunshine girl to shine, though I'm fairly certain you'll always do so in the most humble of ways.  You are such a treasured soul my darling girl.  Happy 4th sweet Mallie Lynn!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Eleven months of knowing heaven on earth -RPC

E L E V E N months my baby,  eleven months you've had my heart. 
My blue eyed, blonde haired sweet boy I will pull out all the cliche speak for you this month.

Time slow down.

Can't you stay a baby forever?  

This past month you have scooted right out of your shell and onto great new things.  You became mobile in the most resourceful of ways, scooting across the floor with your right leg tucked and your left leg extended.  Surprisingly, the scoot is not a slow means of transportation and we've had to learn to keep an eye on you at all times.  
Off you go onto a new big milestone, where mommy is not your only means of conveyance.  Though much of the time you are scooting your way into my lap.  

Now that you can move, you've made it quite clear that mommy, daddy, balls, and cars are your motivation in life.  You love to bounce, roll, and throw balls and boy do you feel like big stuff when you get to join your brother and sister in a game of ball.  
I'm not sure if you will go from scoot to crawl or scoot to walk but it seems you are completely adverse to the idea of moving on all fours.  When you find yourself on your belly you immediately cry or lay your head down on the ground and chill.  It's pretty endearing to watch and I think another sign that you have a laid back personality.  
In the past week you have finally made a big leap in feeding.  You are still nursing every 3 hours but I think you are on the verge of going into longer stretches with new foods filling your belly.  We have continued to try multiple foods and after our visit to Cincinnati I felt more comfortable allowing you to try more as well.  Turns out strawberries are your jam!   (pun intended)
After having a bite you practically crammed my hand in your face trying to get another as fast as you could.  Every time you see one your body jumps with excitement.  I was able to bribe and trick you with strawberries to try more textures and foods and I've watched you chew and swallow 10 bites at a time!  Strawberries, apple, cucumber, watermelon, potato, waffle, pretzels, and pasta have all passed your pallet.  I'm so excited for you to be making such progress.  You have also started drinking out of a straw and look like such a big boy holding your cup and drinking.  We have introduced flax milk which you are a huge fan of and plan to introduce dairy milk soon.  

 Welcome to the world of food my man.  
This month was filled with milestones and progress in your development.  We had a visit to Cincinnati Children's allergy department for testing.  Though allergy pricks and bloodwork isn't fun you took it all in like a champ.  We discovered that egg, peanuts, and all other tree nuts are an absolute no, no, for you.  You tested high enough that immunotherapy is not an option, so we will watch you with vigilence and carry an epipen that we hope is never used.  We received new instructions for treating your eczema as well with wet wrap therapy.  Basically you get a 30 min bath each night and are slathered with creams and ointments, followed by warm damp pajamas that are then covered in a pair of dry pajamas.  It's an ordeal to say the least but we have seen some improvement since starting the new routine.  I have also taken all nuts and eggs out of my diet so here's to hoping we clear up that sweet baby skin of yours.  
I really can't believe we are one month away from celebrating your first birthday.  Don't be surprised if I still call you my baby for another couple years....or a lifetime.  I love you so much my little snuggle bug.  Here's to soaking up the next few weeks my love!