Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy 6th birthday, Maggie!

6 years ago this week, I became a mother.  Thank you, Maggie, for that privilege.  You are a joyful, playful, creative, kind, helpful daughter.  You love people, talk easily with adults, and have wonderful stories to tell!  You do a killer Scottish accent and continue to grow in your love and God-given talent for art. I absolutely delight in seeing you create new pieces.  You are fun to be around, give me awesome help around the house and with your siblings, and have really big emotions, just like your mama. You don't like to disappoint, have a tender heart for those who are hurting, and love to read books. Daddy and I have been encouraged this year by your maturity as we see fruit from our labors to train your heart to love Jesus more and others well.

Happy 6th, baby.  We love that you are in our family.  xoxo

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Almost 3 months old

Gavin is one of the most sweet and mellow babies I have ever been around.  He is so content most every day, eats and sleeps well, and is having the best time responding to his siblings' shows of affection.  He gives us the best smiles and is starting to laugh.  What a delightful season of life it is with this little man!

Beach babies

I think the beauty of being back here once again has yet to wear off on me--I hope it stays like that.  I LOVE living near the Pacific and taking the kids often.  Some of these pics are my favorite I've taken.

Life Lately

I'm really loving life with these sweet kiddos.  They keep me laughing, active, tired, joyful, prayerful, and always looking for creative, new activities to try.  Kate is officially potty trained; we started in mid-October and she caught on immediately, though there were still accidents almost daily. The last couple weeks have seen a marked decrease in the accidents, for which I'm thankful.  Maggie continues to love Kindergarten and all-things art-related.  She started an 8-week art class through her school, drawing characters from storybooks, and loves it. Curren still loves all things music and has a natural ability to drum; we are looking for lessons for him.  He is overall so sweet with his sisters (though he and Kate, more than any other, like to aggravate each other daily), loves his brother, and is reading books along with Maggie!  Here are a few snapshots of life lately. 
 Can't believe I only have 1 of 4 in diapers! So proud of her.
 Pigtails--the epitome of a little girl
 Date morning at Panera with these two
 Halloween with the cousins (a first and hopefully not a last).  Kate's face kills me--everything about this pic is *so* her.  And yes, Gavin does not have a costume. You all have no idea how much I loathe buying costumes that they only wear once.  However, this year, I did invest in a couple, knowing the kids would wear them for dress up.
 Park morning with my sister and the cousins again. Have loved them living close!
 Getting his stitches on (hit by a pole during church tear-down one recent Sunday)
 Birthday celebrating with two of my best friends, Lindsey and my sister (of course the babies came along and were totally mellow the whole time, so cool).  Felt loved and cared for; can't believe I'm officially in my mid-30s.  What?!
 Lots of drawing, lots and lots.  LOVE her eye and gift.  She amazes me.
 "I'm not done!" he frequently tells me while holding baby bro.
 Daylight savings--the bane of my existence; up at 5:45/6am most mornings.  However, I do think they are starting to sleep in a little longer.
Sibling fun on the bunk bed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

First stitches

It was bound to happen, right? I just didn't expect it to happen to one so young and to her of all of my kids. Curren is the crazy one, jumping off everything, boundless energy, so very boy.  Little Miss Kate got 9 stitches in her forehead on the eve of our 10th anniversary after her brother pulled her blanket out of her hands, let go, and she went flying into the corner of a wall.  She only cried briefly and not once at the ER. Aron said the doctors and nurses were so impressed and every time someone new walked in the room, Kate would ask, "What's your name?"  She kept saying, happily, "I'm so BWAVE!"  And she loved the hospital ID band on her ankle, calling it, proudly, her "bwacelet."  

Love you, sweet girl.  You always amaze me with how easy-going you are.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The big cut

Maggie has been growing her hair out for quite some time, maybe a good year and half, in order to donate it to Locks of Love, which requires 10 inches of hair.  I also heard about Pantene Beautiful Lengths from my friend Lindsey, which only needs 8 inches of donated hair.  Maggie's hair was right about 10 inches, not quite, so we will see if it will work for LoL and if not, we will send it to Pantene  She did great and loved getting her hair cut and styled.  I'm so proud of you, Maggie!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Snapshot of Life

Lately, things have been very mellow, such is life with a newborn.  We are getting out to run errands or go to the park or just go for a drive, but life is pretty mellow with my foursome.  I feel grateful in many ways for this season of slow-ness; feel I've been able to be refreshed and rest and not be over-committed or running amok.   Gavin is still sleeping well and I'm actually able to get up before the kids do most mornings (which I love and need) to have my quiet time, drink coffee, and just prepare my heart and mind for the day.
 Gavin looks so much bigger in just 3 short weeks of life.  I love this nautical inspired onesie I picked up at Gap this summer.
 The sunsets are just breathtaking here; the clouds and colors blow my mind.  I snapped this pic on a recent family hike.
 A small "storm" rolled through our area earlier this week and the kids set up shop on our window ledge outside to watch (and by storm I do mean a few raindrops)
 The kids have been recovering from about a week and a half of a bad cold. Curren has napped more and it's been nice to have some extra quiet in the afternoons. He is growing up so fast, it's been cool to see him mature lately, growing in obedience and having less tantrums.
 We have recently been watching "The Lorax," which I think is a really dumb movie (to be honest), but the kids love recreating this scene where "Audrey" and "Ted" are looking up at her paintings of the trees.
 Enjoyed some of our first baking together since Gavin's birth--chocolate chip cookies of course!  My favorite recipe to date.
Been making a ton of this recipe, a Blueberry Crisp, from one of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist; it's easy and healthy and so very tasty.  Make it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The last few days

The last few days have been full of some fun memories as a family; it's been an...

 Ear piercing
 Sibling loving
 Daddy kissing 
 Baby nursing
Sand-castle building 
Cousin playing (all 7 at last!)

...kind of weekend.  Life is full of good things.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mothering 4

Honestly, we are only 8 days into this journey, but I feel we are falling into a natural rhythm quickly.  We enjoyed our first weekend as a family of 6 last weekend, taking several outings to parks and enjoying the cooler weather.  Aron took Maggie on a date to Starbucks on Monday, I took the boys to Trader Joe's for groceries on Wednesday, I have done Maggie's school pick-up with all 4, and yesterday, I got out of the car with all 4 and we enjoyed Rite Aid ice-cream!  It was empowering to get out alone with all of my kiddos.  They are so sweet together!

Gavin Scott's arrival

This pregnancy (my 5th, as we lost a baby last summer) was my most challenging by far. I started showing sooner, was more uncomfortable sooner, and had massive amounts of amniotic fluid.  It wasn't concerning to the OB as I have had several babies and they tend to arrive bigger and bigger.  I felt that at week 20, I was easily looking near the end of pregnancy and yet, I had 20 more weeks to go!  Also, added stress in this pregnancy was a cross-country move, a switching of OB's 6 weeks before my due date, and deciding if we would try to have another VBAC or just do an elective C-section based on how big this little boy was on par to be (they were estimating easily over 9, closer to 10 pounds).

God was so gracious in this time of transition as we settled back into life in SoCal and assumed a daily routine once again.  Several long-time close friends have sought me out on a regular basis and I have loved getting to see their faces and do life with them once again (even though they do not live in my neck of the woods).  Aron's parents are also an hour away so it's good to have family close.  My sister and her family are also moving back to the area this week and I'm giddy at the thought of being near her, my best-friend, and her family.  Our kids just love eachother, so it'll be a blast that they can have regular cousin time.

August 25 was Gavin's due date and I was praying that I would have spontaneous labor with him like I did with Curren (the girls were not spontaneous labors).  And God was faithful to give that to me!  On Tuesday, August 21 I laid down for a nap and woke up with mild cramping.  Nothing that would make me alert everyone that I was in labor, but ironically I was and earlier that day, I had posted a status update to Facebook saying: "I keep obsessively checking my FB status to see if I've had a baby. I haven't."  Little did I know, he would arrive early the next morning!  I picked Maggie up from school and by 4pm realized the mild cramping was still there and was perhaps, a bit more intense.  I think this is one of the strangest/most challenging parts of the end of pregnancy: actually declaring "this is it!" Unless your water breaks, it's a wait and see until you have that moment of knowing you are truly in labor.  By 5pm, I called Lindsey, one my best friends and birth-photographer extraordinaire, telling her she might want to start heading down my way and take pics.  Another friend, Jessie, came over to bring dinner and hang out around 7pm and I texted her around 6pm to say that I was quite possibly in labor and I had a call in to my OB.  She came anyway, bringing a delicious Thai dinner and we visited for about an hour until I just said, "I think we need to go to the hospital."  My OB had said earlier to come and just have them check me.  Aron's mom was on her way down to grab our kids and Jessie graciously offered to stay with them until her arrival.

We were scrambling to pack the kids' bags and get our things together for the hospital and I at one point, I said urgently, "Aron, we have to go NOW!"  I was feeling the contractions pretty intensely and they were coming closer and closer together.

I made a couple phone calls on the way and when I called my sister I was crying because I was so excited and also still a bit torn about whether or not to get an epidural.  She encouraged me to do it; I knew deep down I wouldn't be able to do this one naturally (just did not have the emotional stamina this time around), like I had with my other 2 unmedicated VBACs, and felt at peace with that.

We got set up in our L&D room around 8:45pm, the nurse checked me--4cm and 70% effaced.  The anesthesiologist was called in, and the contractions came consistently every 2 minutes for 3 hours.  I felt most of them, although the epidural did take the edge off.  My OB checked me at 11:30 pm and broke my water--6cm dilated, fully effaced!  For the next 2 hours, the contractions came every 45 seconds to 1 minute.  Those were pretty intense hours and the anesthesiologist came back and gave me an extra something to help the pain; after that, I was completely numb.  Sometime after 1:30am my OB checked me again and I was complete and ready to push.  It took about 8 pushes, somewhere between 15-20 minutes, but here he came!  I was in tears as Gavin entered the world, just praising God aloud that He gave me another VBAC and brought our son safely into the world.

I had minimal tearing and the healing processes has been so much better and quicker this time around.  Gavin is a terrific nurser and sleeper.  I feel so grateful; it's been a tremendously smooth transition thus far to a family of 6. The kids have welcomed him with open arms (literally) and love to hold him, kiss him, and play with him.

I realized not many hours after Gavin's birth that he arrived almost to the day that we lost our baby last summer. I see redemption in what was lost, a story that God is passionate about writing on the hearts of all mankind.

Welcome, Gavin Scott! We love you so much already.

Arrived 8/22/12 at 1:50am, weighing in at 8 pounds, 12 ounces (a whole pound under Kate! I was shocked) and 21 1/2 inches long (our longest and leanest baby yet) with a full head of dark hair

We loved the name Gavin and Scott is Aron's middle name.