Friday, June 27, 2014

These Two

It has been an Everly heavy week on the blog and today is no exception ;).  I will have 3 Everly weekly updates to share with you next week- other than that, it may be a little quieter on the blog with a combination of quarter close and I am trying to finish up my travel posts from my trip and get ready for Everly's birthday week posts (hopefully her birth story will be finished!).  As a tangent: how is she almost 1?!?! How is it almost July?!?!  Anyways, back to the title of this post- these two.  I bet you thought I was going to be talking about Emma and Everly, right? Nope, wrong!  Everly and Bailey.

Sometimes I find them just laying close to each other and other times I find them in identical positions!

And as I went to get my camera to take another picture of these two, Emma saw what I was doing and wanted to get in on the action (I actually think Everly and Bailey's position is identical in this series)!

And even tried to replicate their position.

Love these two plus Emma :).

Thursday, June 26, 2014

First Steps

So remember that time when I told you that I loaded us all up in the minivan and went to Veterans park to try to get some pictures of Everly walking.  This was shortly after she turned 9 months and since we didn't get 9 month pictures made for her, I decided that I would take them myself plus try to capture her walking at the same time.  Let's start out with the 9 month pictures, because honestly the few I got turned out better than the walking pictures :).  Favorite :).

I also like this one quite a bit, but I was playing with my camera settings and I think it turned out a little dark.

I tried to get a little artsy (lessons learned from my photography class) and take a picture where she just filled up 1/3 of the camera.  I think if she was smiling, it might have turned out pretty good.

I also love this accidental shot that I got off her peering off of the bridge.  I think it sums her up quite nicely at 9 months- into everything!

Then, we forged right into the walking pictures.  Baby girl was a little unsure at first.

Love this sweet girl!  

Besides, Everly's lack of cooperation (silly girl!), my main problem was I took the short amount of time that we had (due to attention spans) and tried to play around with my camera settings at the same time. 

Because of this, I had many many many washed out or too dark pictures. 

I think I still managed to get a few good pictures of her walking.  

A break for crawling (see what I mean about being washed out)...

I think if I had my settings differently, then she wouldn't have appeared so dark and this would have been exactly what I was going for. 

Love this one! Arms outstretched trying to balance, legs turned outwards and toes curled combined with an intense look of concentration :).  

I think this sums up how Everly felt at the end of this experience :).  

We called it a wrap immediately after the picture was taken :).  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Letter to Everly: 10 Months

Sweet Ev’s,

10 Months already?!?! I know I sound like a broken record, but I just want time to slow down.  I love loving on my baby and right before my eyes you are turning into a toddler.  I can barely remember those sleepy newborn days.    

At 9 Months, 1 day- you took your first steps!  I think you have a competitive nature and were determined to walk earlier than your sister J.  You beat her by about a month when I looked back at her monthly posts!  By the end of 9 months, you were toddling more than crawling.  I just love watching first steps.  I love to see your determined nature after you fall down (which you did a lot), you just picked yourself back up and kept going.  I love the Frankenstein hands out as you are trying to learn balance.  I love the smile in your eyes when you reach out to whatever you were after.  I just love love love this milestone. 

The stairs.  You are obsessed with climbing up the stairs as quickly as possible.  You definitely think this is a game and so does your sister.  Emma loves to squeal “Eberleah crawling stairs”.  We had gates up, but you managed to get around them so we took them down.  Whenever you think that we are not paying attention to you, you make a break for the stairs as quickly as possible.  I do have to hand it to you, most of the time you wait on the landing (3 stairs up), until we acknowledge you and then you crawl as fast as you can up.    

Babble.  I love to hear you babble throughout the day.  My favorite is ahh ba bab ahh ma.  Or something like that ;).  You say “mama” and “dada”, but at this point you don’t exactly know what you are saying.  I love it when your babbles get louder and more intense, like you are really trying to make your point.   

Food.  At 10 months, you are still obsessed with nursing although it had become like a gymnastics tournament every time.  You will flip and contort your body in ways I never thought possible.  You prefer to nurse in complete silence while Emma is not around.  You also prefer to eat all night long.  Seriously 3-4 times a night.  This should give you an indication how how sleeping through the night is going J.  You are eating so so so good.  You eat almost anything that we put in front of you which I definitely credit to the combination of no rice cereal plus baby led weaning.  The thing that has amazed me the most is that you eat chicken.  I don’t know why, but Emma never really cared for chicken.  However, you eat it right up.  It’s a good reminder for me that you are both so different and to let you try foods that she does not prefer.  You also love cheese, eggs, pasta and any meat.  You are not so big on fruit other than watermelon.  You turn away most berries and bananas- me and Emma don’t know what is wrong with you J.      

You still have no teeth.  I am so puzzled by this.  I thought Emma got her teeth late in life, but you sweet Ev’s are making me wonder if you are ever going to get any teeth.  Although, you are rocking the cutest gummy grin and you can’t bite me while nursing so I guess it’s not all bad ;).  You wear size three diapers and mostly 6 – 12 month clothing with some 12 – 18 month clothes in there too J.  You still have the best hair.  It definitely ages you and you look more like a 15 month old to me than a 10 month old sometimes.  It is starting to get really thick in the back.  I love being able to clip it back and do different things with it. 

You are the best sweet Everly.  I love you to the moon and back. 

All my love,

Monday, June 23, 2014

Good to be home

Home is my happy place.  I always knew this, but being gone for two weeks without Wes and the girls really confirmed this.  There is really no place I would rather be than at home with my husband and my girls. 

Wes.  I love my husband so much.  I really do think that in this case the cliché phrase ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ is absolutely true.  Sometimes in the daily grind of life, you forget how much you love your husband.  How much you need your husband.  How much he does for our sweet family.  I absolutely admire that he was able to keep the girls for two weeks by himself.  Honestly, I don’t know if I could have done it myself.  I love watching him love on our girls- there is nothing sweeter to me then a strong daddy/daughter bond.  I love this sweet guy of mine and am so happy that we get to spend our life together. 

Emma.  Sweet Emma was so happy to see me at the airport.  She ran into my arms, gave me flowers and lots and lots of kisses.  She repeatedly said “mommy home” at the airport.  Every time I would tell her that I loved her and missed her, she would say “I lobe you too mommy”.  She excitedly asked for her “prises” and I just as excitedly gave them to her.  She sat on my suitcase as I pushed it out to the car.  She reached out for my hand and held it half of the way home telling me that she missed me and loved me.  She curled up in my arms as I put her in bed.  She demanded that we sing itsy bitsy spider over and over again on Sunday.  It was nothing short of a love fest between me and Emma since I have been home.  I love this sweet girl of mine.   

Everly.  Oh, sweet Eberleah was not so excited to see me.  It was almost like she didn’t recognize who I was.  Wes left me with the girls while he went to get my suitcase and the next thing I knew, Everly was taking off after him at record pace and just screaming.  I would try to hug her and kiss her and she would just turn away.  We got home from the airport and got everyone settled and I tried to nurse Ev’s right away.  I had been dreaming about this moment for days.  I had pumped and dumped hundreds of ounces over the course of two weeks just for this moment right here.  I had pumped on airplanes, in hot, sweaty bathrooms, in taxi cars, at the office, everywhere just to maintain my supply.  I had endured three clogged ducts, painful and sleepless nights in the hope that she would nurse again.  And what did she do.  She just turned away from me.  She wouldn’t even look at me.  Devastated does not even begin to describe how I felt.  I was sobbing.  Wes told me that I couldn’t expect her to just latch right on after taking a bottle for two weeks.  I eventually calmed down and put Emma to bed while Wes put Everly to bed (obviously with a bottle).  I maintained a semi-positive attitude thinking she would latch on during the night.  Her favorite time to nurse.  She woke up shortly after being put down.  I tried to nurse her to no avail.  This went on probably two or three times during the night.  We wake up the next morning and I try to nurse her again.  Again, she doesn’t even look at me and just turns her head away.  This went on A.L.L. D.A.Y. L.O.N.G. 

I was holding it together, but barely.  I was really trying to come to terms with the fact that she may never breastfeed again.  I even applauded myself for taking pictures on June 6th so I would always be able to reference it as the last day she breastfed.  My mind was giving up, but not my heart.  I think this may be hard for people to understand, but I have dedicated my first year of Ev’s life to breastfeeding.  I am all in.  I pump, I nurse and I pump some more.  I am nothing, if not 100% dedicated to this breastfeeding journey.  I think about it constantly, I plan my days around it and it brings me so much joy to be able to give this gift to her.  Several people recommended that I wean her before my trip, but in my mind that really was not even an option.  I think you have to understand all of this to know how devastated I was.

We ate dinner and gave the girls a bath.  Ev’s was cranky and I thought for sure this time she would nurse.  At this point, even Wes was a little surprised that she had not latched on.  She still wouldn’t even look at me.  So I tried to give her a bottle.  Still no luck.  I tried to nurse her again.  No luck. Bottle (of breast milk) again.  Finally she took it.  I wasn’t happy, because she wasn’t nursing, but I was slightly relieved that she would at least take a bottle from me.  While she was groggy and milk drunk, I decided that I would remove the bottle and try to nurse her. And O.H. M.Y. G.O.O.D.N.E.S.S., she latched on.  Happy dance.  Seriously, I could not wipe the smile off of my face.  Wes finished Emma’s bath and came downstairs and I was just pointing at Everly and my smile was so big.  I nursed her probably four or five times during the night.  It didn’t even bother me one bit that she woke up so often, because I knew that with every wake up our bond was growing stronger and stronger.  Our connection would continue.

I know we are not out of the woods yet.  I know that she could refuse to eat from me tonight.  But I still have hope.  And at this point, hope to me is everything.

I am so happy to be home with the people that I love the most.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Life is just cuter when a baby wears pigtails :). 

This opinion is not biased at all ;).

But, really, when I throw Ev's hair up in pigtails, I just adore it.

Little LE right here :).

One of my favorite pictures ever taken of Everly- "singing" along to the music.

I took these pictures the night before I left for my trip when I was feeling super sad/nostalgic about leaving my girls for two weeks; I was just trying to soak it all in.  I wanted to remember every smile, every snuggle, every little thigh roll, the scent of her milk breath, her big, bright brown eyes, just everything that makes her Everly..  I have referenced these pictures at least 30 times since I have been gone for the last 10 days.  I look at them when I am sad or happy or when I am pumping.  These sweet pics of my girl have been very therapeutic/calming for me :).

Point in case- these dancing pictures!  They seriously just make me so happy (minus the blurriness that comes from my silly iPhone).

Love you, sweet Eberleah Grace :).  Keep rocking your pigtails and adorable little smile.

May Little Things

May was a big month for us- we spent four days in Seattle!  And it was my first time to go a day without seeing Emma- tear!  And there was Mother's day :).  Even though we had some big things happen, May was full of little things too :).

We started out the month of May with yard work which inevitably means Emma will be hunting bugs.  Just look at the pure joy on this child's face while holding a worm!  I really don't know where she gets it from because Wes and I don't really like bugs at all.

This sweet little one played in the dirt and tried watermelon for the first time :).

She was so tired I didn't get a chance to wipe her face off before she fell asleep on me.

We had a family date at Starbucks when Fraps were half price.  Someone thought it would be fun to taste mommy's drink!

I didn't really like the thought of her having any coffee, so I opted for the whip cream in a cup solution :).

In that very moment, I think Emma would have voted me "Best Mom of the Year" award :).

The girls and I found ourselves alone one weekend while Wes and the boys with "fake" camping.  I say "fake" because they weren't having any fun and came back to hang out with their girls!  While they were gone for the morning, I dressed the girls and I in matching shirts and we headed to McDonald's for ice cream + play time.

Emma and her ice cream!

When we got home and Everly napped, I was taking her weekly picture and Emma decided to get in on the picture taking business saying "mile Eberleah, mile".

Emma hijacked the boys new water toys from the dollar store.

After we got home from Seattle, I spent a lot of time drinking coffee out of my original Starbucks mug (which I am in love with!).

Wes was testing out the strength of our tree to see if it could hold Emma if we got a swing- we liked to call this redneck swinging ;).

While we were occupied with Emma, Everly found Emma's sucker and stole it- it was a sticky mess.  As a side note- I love these sweet yellow gym like shorts that I found for Everly, but her diaper will not stay in it no matter what I try!

Throughout the month, Everly and I worked on taking our selfies- I think she nailed this one!

We heated the pool (again), invited Nonni over and had the best time swimming!

While I put Everly to sleep at night, Wes and Emma normally read books together.  Emma calls her Dr. Suess ABC book the "lemah" book- she thinks the character looks like a lemur from the zoo.  When they got to this page one night, Emma looked at the picture and told Wes with a straight face "lemah pooping daddy".  We could not stop laughing!!!

As I mentioned above, we were testing the tree for strength to see if we could get a swing- the next day we happened to be over at my parents house and they still had their swing from when Adrienne and Ally were little.  We duct taped it up and the girls have had a blast swinging in it so far.

Emma such a big girl getting herself ready for school- it's pictures like this that make me want to freeze time.

We loosely started potty training Emma in late May.  The first day, she wanted to wear two pairs of panties at one time!

In the hopes of teaching Emma that sharing is fun, I showed her that she can run under the swing while sweet Eberleah takes her turn.  This excited Emma for approximately 3 minutes :).

The start of Memorial Day weekend also means the start of the outdoor concerts at the Levitt Pavillion :).

Someone was super happy with Nonni brought her a "prise".

The next morning, we checked out our brand new Chick-fil-a for breakfast.  I would be lying if I said it was our first visit; although, it was just our second visit :).  I love me some Chick-fil-a + girls that get along (even if it is just momentarily).

Afterwards, we headed to Veteran's Park because I wanted to get some pictures of Everly's first steps (how she holds her hands out and walks like a little Frankenstein)- well, long story short, the pictures were a flop for the most part (more coming on that soon), but chasing ducks was very succesful ;).

Later that night we headed back to the Levitt and had the very best time.  Emma tried every single snack in Austin's bag- including her sandwich.  These two were meant for each other when it comes to nibbling on food :).

There was some hula-hooping :).

And a whole lotta jumping on Austin :).

The next day, Bobbob had everyone over for a small bar-b-que- we were going to head to the concert, but it started pouring down rain so we just visited and hung out.  When we got home, I had a #yesmom moment and let Emma play in the rain.

She loved it and even squealed for me to get in on the fun!

Emma's new favorite thing to do is ride the escalators up and up and down, excitedly saying "one more time" over and over (i.e. one more time, does not actually mean one more time to Emma).  It means more like 10 more times.  I have had to start saying last time and even that will normally cause an outburst of tears.  Best to avoid escalators unless you have an extra 20 minutes to spare ;).

We stopped in at the Barnes and Noble Lego table.  I just love this series of picture.  Look at that tongue out in concentration!

Emma had a blast building Lego towers, while Everly had a blast tearing them down much to Emma's dismay :).

One of my favorite Everly sleeping pictures to date!

At 8pm one night, we pulled out our chocolate ice cream because we needed to have a celebration- Emma had her first poo poo in the potty!  We were so proud of our big girl and even did a special poo poo dance for her (I will spare you a video of it ;)).

The day of Wes's kidney stone, I had a little bit of free time before we picked Emma up from my in-laws so I painted my nails the grey color my sister's had given me for my birthday (it only took me 5 months!).  The next day at work, I was feeling fancy with my painted nails + whipped cream in my coffee :).

Emma made Wes the cutest Father's Day gift- a baseball with her handprint on it!  I think he was super proud and excited!!

Sweet Everly had her first bloody nose.  She fell and bonked her nose while trying to climb the steps to get inside.

Austin and I found ourselves at work on a Friday afternoon at 4:15, we both couldn't believe the other one was at work (for reference I try to leave no later than 3:30 on Friday afternoons to avoid traffic) so we decided to stop and get frozen yogurt.

One of my favorite picture of Everly to date- she was relishing the fact that she got to sit in Emma's chair!

I think Everly nailed this selfie.  Hilarious.

May was such a good month- lots of family time, lots of outdoor time, lots of snuggle time.  It was just what I needed before I missed 15 days with my girls in June :).