Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Gaines's Third Birthday Party

As much as I love hosting things, I am perfectly fine with my children wanting their parties at other locations! Gaines loves the gymnastics center at our church and wanted a "Lego Party." Thanks to a great staff (and supplies from Oriental Trading!), it was easy to pull off!

Morning of his party

Almost all of his friends

(Please note my niece, Hollon, pouting)

So cute!
Their daddy got them these sweet tracksuits

Mae Stanley was workout ready

"What do you mean these presents aren't for me!?!"
I don't know why Woody was making this face, but the harder we laughed, the meaner he looked.

I thought they looked so cute, so we wore the tracksuits the next week to school!

Mae Stanley- Five Months and some baby products I have been loving

Gimme all this juicy, five month old...

Mae Stanley Facts
  • Weight: No doctor's appointment, but I would guess 15 lbs
  • Diaper Size: Two during the day/Threes at night
  • Clothing Size: 3-6 mo/ 6mo
  • Sleep: Right after she turned five months, I did the Moms on Call Sleep Training. I will talk about that on her six month post, but for her five month post, things were no bueno. She enjoyed twenty minute naps and waking every 2-3 hours at night. She is lucky she is so cute! But, spoiler alert, right after she turned five months, things got SO MUCH BETTER!
  • Eat: Still just nursing. Every 3-3.5 hours (again...we changed things up right after she turned five months)
  • Likes: Momma, Daddy, and her bothers, baths, teething toys, toys in general, tickles, being held, her carseat mirror
  • Dislikes: bouncy seat when she wants to be held, her carseat when the mirror isn't singing to her, dirty diapers
  • She has rolled a few more times
  • Still sleeps on her back
  • Eczema is rough. However, we have a new product that is helping a lot.
  • No teeth
  • Hair is growing back blonde. She still has a sad bald spot in the back.
  • Smiles all the time....well, as long as Momma is around
  • Despite not being a great sleeper, she is super chill and very observant
Now, a quick shout-out to two products that are making my life easier

I know, a $30 car mirror seems silly, but if your baby hates the carseat as much as Mae Stanley did, it is worth it. I actually purchased this during our last car ride to Alabama after hearing her scream for hours. She loves this thing. It lights up and can play happy music or sleepy music. It calms her down and makes my life so much easier. Go get you one.

Cold weather is awful for eczema. Woody and Mae Stanley were having a bad outbreak and I bought this cream as well as the bath oil. I put the lotion on twice a day for Woody and three times a day for Mae Stanley. When they get out of their baths, I put the oil on them (and don't wash it off.) It has helped tremendously with their dry skin.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dear Gaines...Three Years Later

Dear Gaines,

Three years.
36 months.
156 weeks.
1,096 days.

But I remember it like yesterday. I was about to bring a baby boy into the world. I wish I could whisper to the me on March 6, 2014, "Life is about to be way more awesome than you ever imagine."

It is no surprise that your favorite song is "Everything is Awesome." Because with you, it is true. You have taught me so much in three years. Patience, kindness, boldness, humor, and a very special unconditional love that show.
In three years, your funny little personality shines a little more each day. You love bigger than that gigantic head of yours. You are the love bug of our family. You always ask us if we are happy, and you will cry if you think anyone is sad or mad. You are smart. You can figure out the coolest way to make a bridge or build a tower. You love to take a toy apart to try to put it back together again. You are hilarious. You love being the center of attention, and we can usually count on you to put on a show. Sometimes you are shy. It makes me laugh because it is a total phony act that you can't keep up for more than two minutes. You are stubborn. Bless your stubbornness....it will serve you well as an adult (although it drives me nuts now.) 
So much about you was a surprise and unplanned. But the world would not be as great without you. Our family would not be complete without you. I couldn't be momma without you. You are my Gainsie Guy, my Peepers, my Gippy, my Gaines Alton. You are my laughter, my fun, my dancing partner, my big blonde head, my cuddle bug, my baby boy, my love you too.
I am so thankful for you Gaines. I am so lucky to be your momma. Happy Birthday.

 Your Momma 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mae Stanley- Four Months

(Mae Stanley, I am sorry. You were four months on February 6, and your momma is just getting around to documenting it. This is in no way a reflection on the immense amount of love we all have for you. I am just really tired most nights thanks to you.)

(Also, no changing pad pictures. Instead, you get a lot of pictures of you with your brothers. They are obsessed with you.)

(I also failed to remove my foot from photos)

Mae Stanley Facts
  • Weight: 14 lbs 13 oz
  • Diaper Size: Two. Probably should soon put in threes at night
  • Clothing Size: 3-6 months
  • Sleep: Ha. Hahahahahaha. But really. In the midst of the four month sleep regression. Since she wasn't sleeping in her Rock'n'Play, I decided to make the transfer to her crib. We also quit swaddling since she rolled over (once and hasn't done it again.) If she can take her morning nap at home, she will sleep 45mins-hour and then takes 2-3 more during the day all about this length. These are the good days. However, with preschool drop-off or meetings or life in general, her first nap is often in the car. Then I get a bunch of bad 20-30 minute naps during the day. No matter what, she only stays awake 1.5-2 hours between naps. She does to bed between 6-7. She goes down easily. She eats, we rock, I put her down drowsy, but awake, and she puts herself to sleep. Then she wakes at eleven. If I feed her then, the night is dunzo. She will wake every 1-2 hours. I have been trying to be strong and just tell her that everything is okay and go back to sleep. And she usually does for a few hours! I usually break down when she wakes around 2. I am convinced she is starving, and I feed her. Then she is up every hour wanting a little more. I know- it is totally my fault! I created this and am supporting it. But really, she is so cute.
  • Eat: About the same, every 3-3.5 hours. I started sending her to Miss B's on Tuesdays and Thursdays to work on the bottle. I called it "Miss B's Bootcamp." Jokes on me- she has yet to take the bottle. She just cries and won't eat. We have tried four different bottles, breast milk, and formula. Nope. Nope. Nope. I talk a big game, but I am a wuss. One day, even though I had already paid Miss B to watch her, I let her play hooky. I know...I know.
  • Likes: Momma, Daddy, nursing, her lovie (a pink Bunny), pretending to sing to her brothers, animal noises, silver teething rings, baths, mornings
  • Dislikes: Carseat, bottles, being away from Momma, loud or sudden noises, sleeping through the night
  • Like I said earlier, rolled over! Once! From her tummy to her back
  • Very aware of Woody and Gaines
  • Tears times a zillion- she has really bad eczema like Woody. It breaks my heart. It is only on her face, and the two bad spots are from where she rubs it when she is tired. 
  • No teeth, but likes to put stuff in her mouth
  • I think might be a thumb sucker
  • I tickle her constantly because I love to hear her laugh
  • Both boys loved the Exersaucer. Not Sister. In fact, not a big fan of being put down in general.
  • Yes, I am tired...all the time, but I love, love, love this little girl. She is the best "exclamation point" a family could ever ask for!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Our Little World

Dear Cheeks, Peepers, and Squeak,

I discovered this picture yesterday, and it stopped me in my tracks. I sent it to your daddy immediately with the caption, "What happened to these babies!?" 

See you are growing everyday. A little bigger, a little smarter, a little sassier, yet a little sweeter. You are changing constantly, and I don't realize it. So I am pressing pause on today. I know I often don't find the time to write in this blog like I once did, but I want to remember everything about these precious days. 

So what do these days look like? Your daddy and I are up often during the night. Someone needs to eat, someone had a bad dream, someone fell asleep in the other's bed, someone needs a diaper change or to go to the bathroom. We are tired...very tired. I often find myself wiping make-up away under my eye only to realize that it is not mascara, but these new dark circles that don't go away. Sometimes I look at my bed and want to cry because I am so tired, yet very needed.

You are always learning and saying something hilarious, or profound, or asking an inquisitive question. It makes me wonder where it came from and reminds me to watch my own tongue and actions. 

You are making friends and this excites me. Whether it is Mae Stanley who gives a sweet smile to a stranger, Gaines who is shy at first (which makes me giggle because you are NOT shy at all at home), or Woody who loves to tell everyone, "Hello! How are you today? (you are your father's child.)" Your hearts have changed mine. You make me want to be a better person. You make me see people and interact with them.

We are busy. We go, go, go. There is school, church, choir, and soon-to-be baseball. There are naps in cars and nursing in parking lots. I can feed a baby in my arm while tossing chicken nuggets a toddler. I am amazing at changing a toddlers diaper while standing in the backseat. And oh, that backseat. Nothing makes me happier than to look behind me and see my babies in a row. And when you brothers sing and sister coos along with you I know God has given me a slice of Heaven. I tend to drive a little slower or let a car cut me off. So thank you for reminding me to be a little kinder.

Sometimes we stop the go, go, go. Sometimes we stay in our pajamas. We eat PB&Js for breakfast and spend hours playing play doh, or trains, or school. We race cars and build with Legos. We spell words and sing silly songs and dance to loud music. There is beauty in doing nothing because that is when the good something happens.

Sometimes we all get on the ground and stare at the smallest Harvard. Mae Stanley, you adore your brothers. Boys, you adore your sister and even though you sometimes fight, you adore each other. You sleep in the same room, and most nights, in the same twin bed. You two are so different, yet you love each other so much. Maybe you should show the rest of the world that you don't always have to agree with everything about someone to find them spectacular. 

Stay-at-home moms often feel unappreciated. I'll admit, when I first became one I was almost disappointed I didn't have an annual review. I wanted someone to tell me I was doing a good job. I wanted someone to be impressed that I got a tough stain out an outfit, that I saved money at the grocery store, that I got you to eat a vegetable. Maybe no one notices that I will take you to the doctor with every sniffle, that I research sleep patterns and the top preschools. I don't earn a blue ribbon for taking you to the park when I am tired or letting you eat the last piece of cake. But now, I don't mind. You three are my greatest accomplishment. I am so proud of you, so I must be doing something right. Right? Right.

Not everyday is sunshine and rainbows. I feel guilty because we eat too much fast food and watch too much TV some days. The house is often a mess and laundry piles up. I send in store-bought cookies for your parties, and sometimes, I completely forget to send anything at all. I forget to remind you of the importance of doing for others. I wish I would lose the baby weight, and then feel guilty for being vain and not appreciating the body that brought you into this world. I run our of patience, and I yell and come down on you way too hard. I cry. I get mad at myself. Sometimes, I can't even muster out a prayer. I just say, "Jesus." I have to ask for God's forgiveness a lot. I have to ask for your daddy's forgiveness, and often your forgiveness. But I want you to remember this too. Know my faults and shortcomings. In these moments, you will witness the beautiful grace that Christ gives to us. 

But despite it all, we are happy. We laugh a lot. Our days are special. I am so lucky to have you. And I hope that one, day, when you look through this blog and all the pictures of you when you were younger, you can remember. I love you forever.

And now, basically a January/ first of February photo dump...

So silly
A "snow storm" was coming so we prepared

...but there wasn't much snow. We still had fun.

Brooks had to fly out of town, and the boys became very concerned that there wasn't a "daddy" at home. They insisted that they would be Daddy and help me. They did Daddy-sort of things like help me with the baby, and most importantly, wear ugly caps.

The next morning, Gaines loaned his hat to Mae Stanley

But Woody wore one proudly. 

Woody was pretending to be Gaines's baby

Mae Stanley's preferred late afternoon nap

They sleep like puppies.
And Gaines drools a lot

Don't be fooled.
The crib sleeping was short-lived.

Gaines thought that since she was in the crib, he could move in to the Rock'n'Play

Mae Stanley got very sick

But thankfully, she is feeling better!

Car naps for the win!

Still working on the bottle, but not loving it

Whew! All done!

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