A Few Weeks In…

We have been doing home school for a few weeks now and…its going so well! I’m so pleasantly surprised! I was worried, to be honest. I was worried I’d get frazzled while making lesson plans and kind of quit trying as hard as I knew I could. I was worried the boys wouldn’t take class time as seriously as I wished they would. I was worried Flora would make teaching her big brothers nearly impossible. But all of my worries are no longer worries because we are just getting really into the swing of things and its all going so awesome. I have a flow I’m loving and the boys eagerly look forward to preschool.

They’re the cutest. When we are in our classroom, they both call me ‘teacher.’ They raise their hands. They pay attention and they actually try hard. I’m adoring this.

Now lets just hope it continues going this well the rest of the year!

The Big Brothers

It struck me just recently that next month, these wonderful little energy-bombs are going to become big brothers. One of them will become a big brother for a second time and the other will become a first time big brother (and new title of middle child). Like, wow.

Harrison was born to be the oldest. He was born to be the big brother. I have no doubt, that just like he did when Emmett was born, he’ll take on the new title of Big Brother x2 easily and quickly. He has always had this responsible, caring, kind and protective manner about him. Even as an almost two year old when Emmett was born, he never skipped a beat once he became a big brother. He just is meant to be one. I can’t wait to watch him interact with his new little sister and to hear what he has to say about her. I can’t wait to watch him care for her and her well-being. I can’t wait to see them grow up together.

Emmett is going to be unpredictable as a big brother. He will be sweet, excited and so happy to have a baby in the house, but I can also see him being kind of rough, wild and at times, jealous about his new little sister. However, I know overall that he will be so proud of her and eager to show her off. He loves babies, so I can’t only imagine how much he’ll love his own baby. I think he will be fascinated in everything she is doing, even when she is doing nothing. I imagine there will be so, so many questions asked and I can imagine him trying to take care of her all by himself, sneakily, behind his parents backs. He will love her fiercely and I can’t wait to see that all happen. I can’t wait to see how he helps shape his little sister and how he’ll protect her (and probably also drive her nuts) as they grow up together.

I only have sisters, but I always wished I had a big brother, so I feel really excited that my daughter gets two of the very best big brothers, ever. They will each treat her, love her and protect her so differently, and I hope that she’ll always be grateful for them, even if she doesn’t want to admit it at times. I hope they’re always close friends and that they see how much they can learn from one another. I hope they form a bond that never breaks. I’m so excited to see it all. I can’t say that enough. I’m just so excited to see it all happen.

Of course there are the pieces of guilt and worry that sneak in before you add a baby to the family and change the dynamic of the family. But I’ve felt very fortunate this time that the guilt and worry doesn’t completely consume me. More than anything, I am consumed by the excitement and wonder. I keep hearing how a little girl will change the whole dynamic of our family. I keep hearing that Harrison and Emmett are going to be the best big brothers.

I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT ALL HAPPEN!!

25-ish

I very recently hit 25 weeks with Baby Sister and this ones really feeling like an exciting milestone. 25 weeks! Thats 15 weeks left of this pregnancy at the longest! I’m so glad time is passing – and moving a little faster every day. I think thats a benefit of subsequent pregnancies. You don’t have as much time to dwell on time and how fast or slow its moving when you have other kids to chase around. Its a pretty great thing that I’m grateful for.

I’m feeling so thankful for a healthy baby girl growing inside of me. She’s already blessed my life and is starting to give me hints of her personality stronger than she used to, and I’m loving getting to know her better and better. I can’t wait to meet her and get to know her even better. This little girl is really going to change the dynamic of our family – I can just tell and I’m eager to witness it all happen. Craig and I are making great progress in her nursery and I need to start working on organizing her closet/clothes/bows/etc and I know thats going to make it feel all the more real and exciting!

Now, just to mix up these periodic bump update pictures, here is a little collage of my three pregnancies, all at 25-ish weeks! You have Harrison first, Emmett in the middle and baby sister on the right!

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Dinosaur Boys Take Jurassic Quest

For Christmas, my grandma got us tickets to Jurassic Quest – a big, traveling dinosaur exhibit type thing that we knew the boys would be obsessed with, given that they’re currently so incredibly obsessed with all things dinosaur. We (especially Harrison) have been very anxiously counting down the days until Jurassic Quest finally was here, and alas, it came and it lived up to all the hype we’d given it and I think its safe to say that the boys dinosaur dreams certainly came true.

They got to ride on dinosaurs, meet/pet dinosaurs, make dinosaur themed crafts and trinkets, there were lots of activities to take part in and so many bounce houses! The boys had the best time and we stayed way longer than we originally thought we would, which I think is an awesome sign of just how great of an event it was.

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What I Hope We Remember from Summer 2019

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Dear Boys,

2019 has held my very favorite summer that I can remember, and I have you to thank for that. The season started off really rough for me. I was in a sad, frustrating, emotional spot and originally I believed my summer and maybe even the rest of the year would be stained with sadness. I wasn’t feeling motivated to be all that fun and push us to have an exciting summer. But as you two always do, you encouraged me with your adorable little voices, consistent begging and precious faces to at least try. So at the beginning of the summer I decided to go forward with the attitude of ‘fake it til you make it’ to have a fun summer with you guys. In no time, after several fun outdoor playdates, pool visits, splash pad adventures, evening walks, porch sits and so much more, we were having the best summer ever and I’d completely forgotten about the crumby beginnings of the season. Again, I have you two to thank for that.

Once the ball got rolling, I decided to dedicate the summer to you two. We didn’t have vacations planned or anything big and exciting in the warmest months of the year. So I let you guys call the shots and that was the best thing I could have done. We had a blast spending time together, the three of us, and times got even better when dad could join after work.

You two are so young still, so I don’t know what, if anything, you’ll remember, but I hope I can at least remind you often of what a great time it was. I hope we remember all the swimming in Grammy and Pops pool that happened – how Emmett gained so much confidence in the water, floating in his puddle jumper by himself and figuring out its not the worst thing ever to get water in your face, or how Harrison really started to get a grasp on swimming by yourself, pushing yourself and feeling brave in the water.

I hope you remember the trips to the farm, the zoo, the Museum of Curiosity and the Dinosaur Museum. You two were filled with wonder, excitement and lots and lots of enthusiastic pointing and squealing. You learned so much, you explored it all and you never wanted to leave. “I want to stay here forever!” – Harrison after leaving most places.

Then there were all the visits to the Splash Pad. I know we have access to our own private pool, but sometimes the Splash Pad was what you guys desired. Emmett hated it the first time. The cold water touching him upset him and he was happiest to sit on the blanket with mom, but by two or three times in, he was just as happy as Harrison to get in the water, to get splashed and soaked. Harrison made friends at the Splash Pad, he shared, he returned lost toys, he helped kids who fell down, he covered every inch of that place.

I hope as you two grow up, you always think back fondly to our family walks. We’ve done this since before either of you were born, but they just keep getting better now that we are adding kids to our evening walks. Our walks involve playful conversation, big decisions, lots of “I Spy,” animal watching and people watching, and so, so many questions from you two. Our walks are something I look forward to the very most with you little boys.

Lastly, I hope we remember the times in our very own yard. There were countless hours spent on the porch on the rocking bench, talking, watching birds fly by and chatting. There were hours in the front yard playing fetch with Penny, racing, playing Avengers and dinosaurs and riding our bikes and scooters. In the backyard, we had our tiny kiddie pool, sprinklers to run through and the large cement pad where thousands of chalk drawings were made.

There were so many wonderful, simple, perfect memories made this summer. I’m so happy for that time. I’m so happy that you two turned my whole attitude around. You two are wonderful and magical.

I love you to infinity and beyond,

Mom

Must Be Doing Something Right

If you weren’t already aware, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints. I can’t tell you just how many times a week I wonder if I’m doing enough to teach my sons about the gospel, especially about Jesus Christ. I try to incorporate gospel lessons, discussions about Christ, reminders about things we’ve learned in our family scripture study and Come Follow Me study into our daily lives, and I make sure we have pictures of Christ, temples, etc up in our home, but I still feel like I’m failing them a bit. (Have I mentioned that mom guilt is the WORST?)

Over the past week I have been re-doing our living room – new paint, new color scheme, new decor, etc. As I was laying out our pictures and frames on the floor, trying to visualize where I wanted to hang them, Emmett walked over to the picture we have of Jesus. He got down on his hands and knees and got real close to the picture (like so close he kneeled on it) and just stared at Christ. I watched in silence as he pointed at Christ’s facial features and then, in an incredibly adorable act, leaned down and kissed the picture. Then he turned to me and exclaimed, “Jesus!” He said it in the same tone he chants “dad!” when Craig gets home from work.

I could tell that even at his young age, we have at least taught him that Jesus is his friend, that Jesus loves him and there is joy through Him and I could see in Emmett’s actions and the look of pure elation on his face that he really knew that.

I guess I must be doing something right, after all!

E’s Ears

I’m not sure if you know this or not, but my sweet baby E has had a rough go when it comes to his little ears. In his fourteen months of life, he has had twelve ear infections, most of those happening since August/September-ish, and most of them being double ear infections. We also found our pretty recently that for a while now, both of his ear drums have been ruptured. Isn’t that awful? You’d be floored to hear this if you know him or have seen him recently though, because he’s just so happy still. But it definitely now makes sense why when he was ticked, he was ticked. The pain tolerance his little body has is absolutely incredible. During a recent discussion with E’s ENT (ear nose and throat doctor), he told me that the pain he must have been feeling was so excruciating it would send a grown man to the Emergency Room. That shattered my mom heart. I had no idea. I mean, I knew it hurt, but I had no idea it hurt that badly.

We finally got him into the ENT a little while ago where they told us E needed tubes (no shock – thats why we were there). Thats also where we learned about the double rupture. Poor baby. So earlier last week, he finally got his tubes put in, along with a small exploratory surgery just to check out his ears and make sure there isn’t anything else to be concerned with. Good news, everything looks great. I’m so grateful for modern medicine and for doctors. I’m especially for doctors who make your children feel special. I was so impressed with all the doctors and nurses we talked to on E’s day of surgery. They all got down on his level and talked to him – something that social little boy really loved. It made me feel even more comfortable and confident.

Recovery has been pretty good, all things considered. The first few days involved a lot of blood and a lot of ooze, but thats all stopped now. He hates the ear drops we have to put in multiple times a day with a passion, but those are almost over with. We are so excited for a pain-free baby who hopefully hopefully hopefully won’t have to deal with anymore painful infections anymore.

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What I Hope My Kids Learn from Disney

Dear Kids,

You come from a family of Disney obsessed people. Your great grandpa started this journey, passed it to Grammy, she passed it to her kids (one of those is me) and now I’m doing my part to make sure you guys all have a special place in your heart for Disney and all its magic and wonder. I don’t know how the Disney-love will translate in your own lives as you grow up. I don’t know if you’ll find yourself saving your money to take another trip to the park or if you’ll be to every Disney movie on opening day, if you’ll have Disney decor throughout your home or if you’ll be more of a quiet and reserved fan. I’m aware of the possibility that you may not all be as Disney-crazed as some of the rest of this family, but as I said before, I just hope there is always a special spot inside of you that respects Disney and is able to identify the magic it brings into our lives.

Because Disney magic is raising you. You’re being built by Disney Magic. When I think of all the ways I want you to grow up and all the ways I want to be a good mom to you all, I find myself thinking of things I’ve learned from Disney. As silly as it sounds, its 1000% true.

Disney can teach you to dream. Disney can give you hope. Disney can remind you that there is good in the world and that most people are good. Disney can help you find joy. It can help you cope when you’re sad. It can teach you lifelong lessons and it can implant song lyrics into your mind that you’ll never forget. It can be a source of happiness. It can be a safe place you run to, to get away from reality. Disney can be a refuge. It can help you feel carefree when you are feeling weighted down. It can create magic in a regular day and a regular moment. Disney can help you embrace who you are and the unique, special individual you’re meant to be. Disney can help you change your point of view and look on the bright side. You’ll find things and characters you relate to. You’ll have moments in Disney Parks you reflect on for years and years.

Disney is a part of your childhood, I pray you always think of that with a smile on your face and are thankful for your Disney roots.

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Love, mom

Sleep Saga part 3

I’ve had a surprising amount of people asking me to follow up on how sleep training with E has been going, so rather than a bunch of individual answers I’ll try to answer the couple questions I’ve been asked here.

Does E still sleep through the night? He is!! Its been a few weeks now so I feel pretty confident in saying he’s a good sleeper now. I finally have two kids that sleep all night! Every few days (maybe 1-2x a week) E will wake up in the middle of the night, but its never for long. Sometimes I don’t even get up to go into his room because he puts himself back to sleep so quickly. If he does cry for a while I’ll go in his room and either lay him back down and pat his back for a little bit, or… (see next question)

Do you still breastfeed at night? Sometimes I nurse. It depends on how long he’s cried in the middle of the night and how much pain I’m in (you nursing mamas get me). I probably only nurse in the night like once a week. But I’m seeing that night feeding being completely done with here very, very soon.

Have you changed anything? Nope! Our routine is the same as it was when we started, except sometimes we skip the nighttime bath.

Is he dependent on the sound machine now? I don’t think he is. A few nights ago I forgot to turn it on and he fell asleep and stayed asleep just fine. However, I do think its comforting and soothing to him so I don’t plan on stopping use of it any time soon. I love it.

Do you use any kind of baby monitor? We don’t use a video monitor or one of the monitors that listens for him, but we do use an Owlet which I am 1000% in love with. You know I’m a chronic worrier – this eases so much worry and allows me to sleep better in my own bed, knowing his breathing and heart rate are being carefully monitored.

How are you sleeping now? Pretty good! It took me about two weeks to get used to all this new, wonderful sleep, but now I am sleeping really well and let me tell you, a full night of sleep is heaven! I had forgot how refreshing and beautiful good sleep is!! I’ve also been having the craziest, weird dreams since getting so much sleep which keeps me very entertained.

If you want to read part 1 and 2 of this saga, click here and here.

 

Celebrating One Year!

On Saturday, as you know, my little E turned ONE. Am I still a little bit in denial? Yes. Yes, very much so. We had such a fun, simple day celebrating his big day. We spent the day at home (his favorite place), playing with toys, eating food and just having a pretty typical day. Wild Man and I set the house up for his birthday party that would be happening later that evening. We got the food ready, my friend delivered the amazing Mickey Mouse cake she made for him and the party began. We had a Mickey Mouse Hot-Diggity-Dog party and it was so much fun! Poor E is in the thick of teething currently, so his mood was up and down throughout the night, but it seemed like whenever the attention was on him (for gifts, cake, singing, etc) he was happy as could be – or just very puzzled at what was going on.

My little E is a special, loved little boy. I’m so grateful for him and I’m honored and proud to be his mom.