Thursday, October 29, 2015

I remember...

... pulling over on a dirt road and slow dancing underneath the starry Kansas sky...

with a 19 year old boy who was about to leave for two years... a 19 year old boy who I trusted and loved more than any other man in my life...

while his least favorite Snow Patrol song played on the radio.

Chasing Cars.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

5 Months of Hazel

Hazel is five months old...

She lost a lot of hair this month...

And tried (and loved) her first foods...

She had her first tooth break through...

And is working on sitting up by herself for more than half a minute.

Hazel is still a huge cuddler and we love it. She has started sleeping a solid eight hours and we hope it is a trend that continues. She can move around and usually crawls in circles, but we aren't ready to call her mobile yet. 
It seems like this was so much closer than five months ago...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This is [her] fight song...

We got Hazel's newborn photos back last week and while they are beautiful they kind of break my heart. That poor little girl was in so much pain and discomfort those first weeks of life.

But I love this picture because it almost looks as if she is flexing her muscles.

This girl is a fighter, she always has been and I am so grateful for her and that she's feeling better these days.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

4 Months of Hazel

My barely 4 month old daughter has decided that she no longer needs to be held/rocked to sleep. She will cry and squirm in our arms but if we put her in her bed she gets comfortable and goes right to sleep...

Independent and only likes cuddles on her time

14 lbs 8.5 oz

24 in tall

Her eyes light up when Roland is in her field of vision. Hazel loves to bury her face in a blanket and hold onto someone's finger or a blanket to fall asleep in the car or away from home. She can roll over from back to front, and almost from front to back. She tries to crawl and can move around a little bit. She giggles and has definitely found her voice. Hazel gets overheated easily, which has made this summer with our outdoors loving toddler interesting.
Roland sings to her and Hazel coos right back.
She is a favorite at the gym daycare, someone is always holding her when we go pick her up. This girl is probably the most stubborn baby I have ever met, she is very particular and let's us know it. But, we wouldn't have her any other way.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ground Control to Major Tom...

Sometimes, through the endless diapers, and feedings, and late night struggles with sleep I start to forget how wonderful it is that I get to be with these little humans as they discover the world around them...

And that is why I take endless pictures and write down little reminders.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Roland is 18 months...

This is a little late... but it happens. Roland is now closer to two years old than he is one. My baby has been replaced by a full fledged toddler.

Here are his stats:
25.6 pounds
34 1/2 inches

Roland is pretty obsessed with music. He loves to sing (which consists of humming with a word or two thrown in every once in awhile) and dance around the house. One of my favorite things to do is have mini dance parties during Hazel's nap time or at night after Gabe gets home.

He also loves helping. He helps unload the dishwasher, sweep, throw diapers away, pick up toys, sort laundry, and take care of Hazel. The other day Hazel started crying and Roland ran into the room where she was. I quickly followed him expecting to find him smothering her. He had brought her his favorite stuffed animal and gave her a pacifier, which she was happily sucking on.

A few weeks ago Roland went to nursery for the first time. I am so grateful one of our friends is one of the teachers because Roland is generally overwhelmed by new people and places. Last Sunday when Gabe went to pick him up he was standing there crying but also clapping and singing with everyone. It gets a little better each week.

Some favorite phrases:
"Yeah buddy"
"Hazy baby" or "Hey baby"
"Love you bye"

He loves to paraphrase what we say but will not say any phrase on command. He's a funny kid and we love him.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Take back my life...

I just finished (and won) a 6 week health challenge. This is the second time I've done one of these challenges.

The first time around it was about pushing the rules as far as I could without breaking them. I was pregnant, and craved food in general.
But this time around I found a fight in me I think I forgot was there. I got up at 5 some mornings to work out after going to bed far too late. I maxed out on my reps and did my best to push myself during my workouts. I like plain carrot juice now y'all.

But, I also did things like ate most of my vegetables dipped in ranch dressing and enjoyed a Braum's 1/3 pound cheeseburger one night for dinner.

And I loved my body through all of it.

I have transitioned myself to a plant based diet and except for the occasional indulgence I'm sticking to lower sugar consumption. I drink water almost constantly it seems. I also don't eat a lot of meat, but that's just what I do to keep my stomach happy.

I am making weights a priority in my workout routines.
I am committing to working out at least 5x a week for at least 30 minutes.
I am enjoying my 10 minutes of stretching 4x a week.

There is really nothing I did that shouldn't be part of a typical healthy routine. Although, I firmly believe in occasional indulgence. There is nothing that screams health freak (ok, maybe drinking beet and carrot juice) or workout obsessed.

But the results have been much better than I imagined. I feel like I'm becoming reacquainted with an old friend; the happier, healthier, doesn't take people's crap version of myself.

 And she's a pretty cool woman.

For before and after pictures and challenge details click here.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sundays are the fun days...

Today was a typical Sunday. We rushed in to the church building only to stand in the foyer until after the sacrament was administered because e were once again late. When we got into the chapel there were only fold out chairs left and so we chose a spot close to the door for the expected frequent exits.
Exit number one occurred with a diaper change, number two was a screaming Roland who had managed to convince his Papa he needed to sit in his own chair only to slide out the opening and land on his back. Exit number three occurred due to a fussy Hazel.
After sacrament we headed to Gabe's Primary classroom where we divided up the diaper bag and I decided to take Roland to nursery for the first time.
Roland had fun

until he realized I had left, which gave me enough time to get some things done for my calling before comforting an upset Roland. He fell asleep almost immediately after I picked him up and we headed back to Relief Society during which Gabe and I exchanged the following pictures:

During the closing prayer of Relief Society I heard what I found out was a very upset Hazel. I gathered up my things as quickly as I could holding a sleeping Roland and headed out to help Gabe get us home before another meltdown occurred.

Sometimes three hours of worship can seem like a bit much when we have two kids under the age of two and I feel like I am in the hallway more than not. But, we go because regardless of how much we miss while in the hallways, each week there is something that we learn, Gabe loves teaching his Primary kids, and the work of the Lord is never done.

Sundays won't always be this hectic and I know there will come a time I will look back longingly at my littles who wanted their Mama so much. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hazel is 2 Months

Hazel turned two months old yesterday, and all the cliches of time going too quickly apply.

11 lbs 12.6 oz
23 inches long
39 cm head circumference

Current nicknames:
Diva cakes
Hazel teeny (and teeny Hazel)
Hazy baby

As of right now there is no evidence that she will have any lasting problems from her blood issues at birth. Her kidneys, heart, and liver are all doing their job. My vocabulary isn't adequate enough to express the gratitude I have for two healthy children.

Everyone told us that the second child would be nothing like the first and for the most part we have found it to be true. However there are a few exceptions; both kids adore their Papa and have major acid reflux.

We thought Roland cried a lot... and then we had Hazel. She was so uncomfortable and so upset, all the time. With the help of a pediatrician who specializes in GI issues we figured out Hazel has major issues digesting most food sources along with a severe case of GERD (or baby reflux). After she had been on her new formula for about a week her mood drastically improved and after a few weeks of her being on her acid reflux medicine it was like we had a new baby. I must say I am entirely grateful to live in the time and place we do because without access to good healthcare and without the freedom to choose our pediatrician we would have one cranky girl on our hands.

Hazel loves to be swaddled and will sleep up to seven hours at night when she is. She coos a bit but mostly smiles. She loves when her brother cuddles her, but she usually looses interest before he does. She naps best when she is in her car seat or one of us is wearing her (which I love and take full advantage of).

We still haven't figured out a lullaby just for her yet. We've tried a few but nothing seems to fit so far.

Little Hazel you have completely changed our lives, and we are tremendously grateful!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Having Children Isn't A Disability

Today a friend said something I can't stop thinking about. She said "Children aren't a disability." It was in the context of enjoying our kids versus acting like they are a burden.

I thought about it as I cleaned up after Hazel's projectile vomit for the third time today... I thought about it as I heard "You sure have your hands full." numerous times while running errands with both kids... and as I tried to calm two crying children on the way home when we got stuck in traffic.

I've heard time and time again "Being a parent is so difficult." I have even said it. But honestly, compared to what? Is there anything in my life as rewarding as parenthood that isn't difficult? Is that not true of all worthwhile goals?

Having children isn't an obligation, it isn't something that gets in the way of life, and it isn't something to groan through.

Being a mom is amazing, and my children are some of my best friends. There is something that I absolutely love about each day. I have never had a friend who didn't frustrate or annoy me, and my kids are the same. But for the most part we have a lot of fun and that is why I choose to be around them all day, most days.

So maybe if you find yourself complaining about being a parent more than not, if the sleepless nights and endless worry are starting to get to you maybe it's time to reevaluate why and how you're parenting.

Because while parenting has it's difficult moments, there's no reason it can't be a lot of fun too.

Monday, July 13, 2015

And five years in the making...

Gabe and I are coming up on our five year anniversary next month. I remember so well planning (or frustrating our planner by not planning) our wedding and being newly engaged and wide eyed and in love.

Don't get me wrong, I am still head over heels but this is a deeper love. One that includes babies, and stress weight, and in-laws who I am so grateful for. We have experienced success and loss, sickness and health. Gabe has dealt with my pregnancy mood swings and loves me still.

We have said goodbye to dreams, and welcomed new ones we didn't know we had. I'm not sure what the future holds but if it is as happy as the past I look forward to it, and if it as difficult I want Gabe by my side.

Photography by Joshua Eaton

Sunday, July 5, 2015

This is what the 4th of July looks like with two babies. Fireworks at our house and both kids in bed by 10.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Roland the Rambunctious

Roland has become increasingly independent, and for the most part we are thrilled. He also has become just tall enough to start pulling things off the kitchen counters, only to have them come crashing down on him.

Last Monday I was changing Hazel's diaper when Roland asked for a "bamana" (his current favorite food). He got a mischievous grin on his face and ran into the kitchen. The next thing I knew there was a loud crash, a broken bowl, and a grinning Roland who had found his banana. Then I saw the blood. Initially it looked like he just had a few superficial cuts on the upper side of his left wrist. But while I was cleaning it I realized just how deep one of the cuts was.

Thankfully, Gabe was almost home from work anyways and off to Urgent Care we went. At this point Roland's biggest frustration was the bandage I had put on his wrist and he was doing his best to wiggle free of his parents and run around. Once the Dr looked at his wrist they decided he needed a few stitches. We had the option of topical pain medication and restraining him or sedation at the hospital. We chose to restrain him. As I held him down (in addition to being swaddled and two nurses helping) I tried to distract him by asking if he wanted some ice cream. The poor kid just kept saying "No, bamana. Bamana. Bamana."

A week later we are stitches and glass decor free, and Roland loves his bamanas more than ever.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mama said they'll be days like this...

Sometimes your husband is out of commission and your colicky baby won't stop crying and your 16 month old has decided naps aren't for him...

So you go on a very long and sweaty walk until both kids are asleep. Then five minutes later they're both awake and crying.

And then you cry...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Father's Day 2015

Dear Gabe,
            This year I had a difficult time thinking of what to say to you on Father's Day. Mostly it was due to lack of sleep, but it was also because there are so many things you do for our children, most of which isn't easily put into words. But I am so grateful that this is the definition of fatherhood in our home:

Kisses for sleeping babies

And snuggling at bedtime

Doing the difficult things like watching our child get stitches (a longer story, another time)

Putting both kids to sleep so I can take a hot bath

Swimming for hours with Roland after a long day

Redefining multitasking, who else can feed one child, burp another, and play the Wii. Ha.

Comfort a fussy newborn

Foreign fingers in your mouth

Working hard for your family

Countless shoulder and piggyback rides

Singing to calm little ones

And cleaning up messes

Our children will never go hungry, they will always have a home and clothes on their backs. But more importantly they will always know their father loves them and they can go to him with anything. Our children are so lucky to call you Papa.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Look up at the rain...

Our lives since Hazel has been home according to my phone:

Roland's post nap hair

This is one of my favorite pictures of these three.

He is becoming so independent and is loving it 

Sleepy girl

She puked all over soon after this was taken.

Gabe and I drove around for over an hour just enjoying the peace and quiet of both of them being asleep at the same time.

Roland and Papa at the pool, they swam until Roland was almost asleep. Even then he didn't want to get out of the water.

That hair...

Kisses for sister

Roland likes to bring Hazel random toys throughout the day

Snuggles with Papa

Roland's first time to play in the rain. We are enjoying Hurricane Bill and the crazy rain.

Little girl loves snuggle time

Okay, so this was taken in the hospital but I just love these two together.