Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stop and Smell the Tulips

Last year, we headed to Ennis to get blue bonnet pictures, but this year we went ahead and took advantage of my parent's arboretum pass and headed there to take pictures with tulips instead.  On our way to the entrance, Emma found a caterpillar and of course had to tote him around for a little bit before finally announcing, "oh no, he killed'.


Like I have said before, this romper may be my most favorite toddler clothing I have ever purchased!  She is just so so precious in this :).


Ev's stopped to smell the tulips :).


Emma may or may not have snatched a tulip while we were not looking taking Everly's picture :).  Then flashed us her half smile.


A few sillies and we finally got a real smile, always indicated by the right eye almost always being closed.


I tried to get the girls to stand in front of the tulips, hold hands and smile and this is what I got ;). I had high hopes from the near perfect picture I obtained for our Christmas cards, so I am going to have to lower my expectations in the future ;).


This girl gave me her best cheese face.


Monkey see, monkey do with these two.


Then, our littlest decided it would be time to hop.


Getting those arms all ready to hop :).


And then, the teeniest, tiniest hop you have ever seen :), promptly followed by a huge smile because she was just so darn proud of herself for hopping!


The best picture I obtained of these two, together all day :).


Oh, Emmy Lou (our latest nickname for her), we sure do love you :).


At that point, I had gotten tired of trying to get them to smile for the camera, so I actually just decided to put that thing away and enjoy the moment :).  From that point forward, I only used my iPhone until later in the day when Emma asked to hold Eberleah.  I have to say, I enjoyed myself a little more and I am sure if you asked my husband became a little more pleasant to be around ;).  Anyways, I digressed... the girls favorite part of the day was when they found the fish :).  Emma fed them apples, because 'mom, fish like apples!', duh!


And climbing on the rocks; I just love Ev's gets up on her tippy toes!


Sister strangles hugs :).


As we were walking out, we stopped for a bathroom break. As soon as we were through, Em's insisted on holding Eberleah, which in itself is laughable since they are about 3 inches and 3 pounds apart, but needless to say we went ahead and let her hold her and Emma was pleased :).


Sweet Everly was beside herself sleepy, so none of these pictures turned out great, but I just love watching their sisterly side :).



Melts my heart; moments like these make me feel beyond blessed that I am their mama.


I think Everly fell asleep mid-hug ;).


Besides the picture of Emma, this may be my favorite picture taken all day. I didn't realize it at the time, but I captured their reflections perfectly.


Love these girls :).

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Sweetest Sight



After two and a half weeks, I am happy to report that our sweet Eberleah sleeps in her crib from night until morning (5:30 on the dot to be exact) and has quickly risen in the ranks of best sleeper in our house- she has now been doing this over a week straight! Although it has been freeing (oh my goodness, I am not holding her all night!), I am not going to lie from time to time I miss my little buddy.  When I start to miss her, I just sneak a peek in her room and just love seeing her sleeping soundly knowing that we made the right decision to switch her to her crib :).

The End is Near


The end of my breastfeeding journey is in sight.  At this point, I don’t have a particular date in mind, but I do know that in the next month, I will have to wean Everly.

Breastfeeding and, in particular, my love of breastfeeding was so unexpected for me as part of this motherhood journey.  When I was pregnant with Emma, there are so many things I didn’t know about myself and about breastfeeding.  As I am nearing the end of this chapter in life, I wanted to reflect on some of the aspects of this process and things I never knew about myself before giving birth. 

… I never knew I would spend 30 months (and counting) of my life breastfeeding my daughters. 
… I never knew it would be all consuming.
..I never knew I would have spent hundreds of hours pumping (including a two week business trip) so that my daughters would have breast milk when I went to work. 
… I never knew that my heart could break over the end of my supply with Emma.
… I never knew I would be so emotionally invested and passionate about a subject that I knew nothing about prior to getting pregnant. 
… I never knew that I could feel this much pure elation from all of the hormones that come as a package deal with breastfeeding. 
… I never knew the power I would feel from calming the girls down in an instant just by being able to nurse them. 
… I never knew I would feel so comfortable nursing in public, even sometimes without a cover (gasp, right!). 
… I never knew I could be so proud of my body for nourishing these two blessings. 
… I never knew I would come to crave Mother’s Milk tea :). 
… I never knew my husband would be so supportive of this process.
… I never knew that I would live for those milk drunk smiles during those first few, hazy newborn days. 
… I never knew how intoxicating the smell of babies milk breath could be. 
… I never knew that the helpless newborn I nursed would become a squirmy toddler (performing baby gymnastics) who would still find instant comfort from the moment she latched.
… I never knew that breastfeeding would change my outlook on motherhood and make me into the confident mom I am today.

What I have learned about breastfeeding over the last 3 years is to expect the unexpected.  I know I am one of the lucky ones.  And I try not to take that for granted.  Breastfeeding just clicked for me.  I didn’t have any latch issues. It was not particularly hard or painful for me (although it did have its moments).  Within minutes after giving birth, I was able to nurse my sweet girls.  With Emma, I learned about supply issues and was able to course correct with Everly.  With Everly, I nursed way longer than I ever planned too.  Going in to delivery, I didn't set very high expectations for myself the first go around, but as of day 1, I was all in. 

I view breastfeeding as a gift.  It was (hardly ever) a hassle or an inconvenience (although, I would be lying to say if I loved pumping ;)), it truly was a privilege.

I will always look back with fond memories of my breastfeeding days.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Eeeeepppp!


About this time a year ago, I let you know that I would be heading to China, Malaysia and Germany and I honestly thought it would be the trip of a lifetime (meaning that I wouldn't be doing this all over again!). Well I am happy/excited/scared/nervous but mostly excited to tell you that I will be doing a very similar trip in the coming weeks.  However, this time our trip will be focused just in Asia! We will be starting in Tokyo, Japan moving on to Clark, Philippines, going to Shanghai and Chengdu, China and wrapping up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Bangalore, India.

Eeeeeepppp, right??!!?? Literally that is the only expression that I have right now!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Easter Sunday

I promise, I promise (words taken directly from Emma) that I am about to wrap up these Easter posts! Just too many good things to share and too many pictures to post all in one post :).  Me and my girl once we arrived at church, love this picture of us :).


We arrived to church early (Easter Sunday Mass is always super crowded) and Emma was elated to find out that her favorite Ms. Debbi was there and working the nursery! She was Emma's 18 month preschool teacher and Emma has always had a special thing for Ms. Debbi.


I just love the way they look at each other!


These two are quite the pair in the church nursery!


After Mass, Ally stopped by the nursery and Emma was elated and confused all at the same time- she kept telling Ally 'I will just see you at Nonni's house'.


When we arrived at Nonni and Papa George's, we paused outside to try to get that elusive family picture; I definitely think one will suffice :).  I may or may not have been biased of choosing this one since Emma is kissing me ;).


We were getting ready to egg hunt (my parent's hid them while we were at church!) and at the last minute, Emma decided she wanted another Easter basket that was currently in the car.  Ally went with her to get her basket and that gave Eberleah and ample head start.


Which was a good thing, because girly was in a mood.


And moving at her slower, thoughtful, sometimes grumpy Eberleah pace :).


And there came Emma tornado, screeched 'EGG's' and then took off hunting without her basket :).


This girl has enthusiasm for everything she does.


I love watching her dart from one side of the backyard to the other always hunting for eggs.


And sometimes opening the eggs and tossing what was inside or the egg itself if it was not up to her standards :).


And then there is sweet Eberleah, taking the time to pause, point and say 'there it is' before eventually scooping it up and putting it in her basket.  The personality differences between these two kills me (in a good way) sometimes :).


With her basket near the top, she laid her eyes on the last few eggs and scooped them up!


Can you see her smile peeking out :).


We were so happy that our Bobbob was there to celebrate and watch the girlies hunt eggs!


After the egg hunt, we plopped Everly down in a chair and she started looking through her goodies; eating the chocolate with the wrapper on (silly girl!).


Then, they had a moment where it was like looking back on my childhood.  Emma came over and started helping Everly look through her candy.  She would ask Everly if she could have some and Ev's would either say 'no' or 'uh huh'.  Some of my fondest Halloween memories are when me and my sisters would get home from trick-or-treating and we would sit down on the floor with all of our candy and start counting to see who had the most and then start trading away the candy we didn't like :).


Kisses for Eberleah before I would allow her to take Everly's candy :).


Love this shot from above; all of the colors play so nice together!


Finding a big chocolate cross to gnaw on!


These two are so cute :).


Then, we tried to recreate a picture from Emma's second Easter (her first Easter, she was just a couple of months old) of her and Nonni looking at each other snuggling their noses :).



Even though this isn't exactly what we were going for- it is my favorite one!


These two share lots and lots of love for each other and even happen to look alike (in my opinion :)).


We were still trying to snap Ev's out of her funk so my dad led everyone in a rousing rendition of the bunny hop!


And slowly, but surely our Everly started to let go of her bad mood and come out of her shell :).


My dad is such a good sport, always engaging the girls :).



Ally, too!


This girly looks so much like Wes here :).


Em's was not too happy about something- I am pretty sure it had something to do with being a line leader and possibly Papa George was trying to lead and not Emma ;).


But, then she got her act together (read: got to be the line leader) and all was right in the bunny hopping world again :).


And then I captured my favorite picture of Nonni and Everly ever. So cute, right?!?


We went across to the lake, looked for ducks, 'stomped really loud', played around and then headed home in early afternoon.  We tried to get the girls to nap together, but hello sugar high, so when that didn't pan out, I got some one-on-one snuggles with my littlest girl while daddy napped with our biggest girl :).


After naps, we packed back up and headed over to Nonni and Papa George's house for dinner :).


This girl is my sidekick, buddy and one of my best little friends :).


I just can't get enough of her and I think she might feel the same way about me :).


Ally and Travis took this selfie :). I am guessing they wanted me to put it on the blog ;).


Bobbob and Colleen :). The weather was just gorgeous, we were able to hang out outside and have an outdoor fire, my favorite!


When dinner was ready, we all moved back inside so we could eat.  Our dinner was fairly standard Prochaska style all gathered around the table.


Until dessert. Boca arrived and Emma declared it was his birthday. So my mom did what was natural and pulled out the party hats for us all to put on. We all sang happy birthday to Boca. Then we interviewed Emma with some Boca questions. How old is he turning? Smaller. How did Boca get here, did he drive or ride his bike? Oh, he walked.  Will you share your ice cream with Boca? Oh, he doesn't like it.


After all of that shenanigans, the girls dug around in my donate pile and Ev's wore this robe for the rest of the evening while we sat around the fire :).


And, just because you are lucky (and I realized that I never posted Easter pictures from last year), I came across these pictures of the girls 'running' to get their Easter baskets in 2013.



Can we just talk about and her pap-pap and Everly was just crawling??!!??  That really seems like a lifetime ago :).