Monday, May 25, 2015

The zoo and Max's birthday






We met Mom at the Knoxville zoo Saturday. Levi's first trip! Thank goodness for a Noni to tag along.  



Lily played in the Splash Pad for over an hour, in the boot. Good thing she is really taking it easy and letting it rest.


Reese had a tiny duck (from a consignment sale several years ago) that she slept with every night and carried around constantly for weeks. On our trip to Dollywood a few weeks ago, she LOST IT. I was devastated for her, and she asked me numerous times every day, "Where baby rubber ducky go? Baby rubber ducky...are you?" 
My mom wanted to buy the girls something, and she found a tiny elephant at the checkout. It was so tiny and had Reese's name all over it. In a moment of hope and panic and wishing, I quickly scanned the rest of the animals in the case....AND SAW THE TINY RUBBER DUCKIES!!! I seriously pushed an old man OUT OF THE WAY to get to the ducks. I am not proud...but I am also not saying I wouldn't do it, again. I almost burst into tears right there in the zoo checkout line. We bought 8. Baby girl was elated to get her baby rubber ducky back. 

Here is a video:



Bop and his newest grandson.


They have these super cute outfits from Mom (and Aunt Lolo gave us the matching for Levi!). And, I managed to get a really good picture that I will clearly frame.
Side note- I REALLY need to start a gallery wall in my house of all of the awkward/fail pictures.



Max's second birthday!!!!!




Seriously, both of these guys. I love that Max didn't even realize that Levi was screaming. He was really proud to be holding him.
I cannot wait to just send Levi to Melissa for a few weeks at a time so she can raise him. 



Proof I exist. Good thing this is such a good picture where neither of us looks awkward.
Also, I am sorry to everyone who thinks he looks like me. I appreciate you throwing that vote my way...but, I am clearly holding a smaller version of my husband.


This girl in her pigtails. 




And this one in her ankle boot.

Also, matching outfits from MeeMaw. I didn't even try for a duo pic. 




Lily requested a dance party, and Sissa will drop whatever she is doing (including throwing her son's birthday party) to oblige and rock out to Katy Perry. 



These two cuties. They spent 20  minutes "jumping" off of the 1 inch ramp. They love each other with the same intensity of love that Lily and Anderson love each other. But, because they are our more laidback second borns (thank GOD), they don't have the hate part of the love/hate that Anderson and Lily also have.

Well, A and L  don't really hate each other- it's just that their love is SO intense that it sometimes (always) transforms itself into physical violence, drama, and barrages of insults.



A video of the cuteness: 

I love Max's talking, "Whats that noise??"


At one point, Lucy roamed over (Melissa's god daughter/daughter of her BFF Clare) and wanted to join in. She is only a month younger than Reese, but she basically talks in full paragraphs. I asked if she wanted to jump, too. She thought about it for a minute, and then replied, "yes, but I need to get my Crocs on, first." A minute later, she came back with Crocs on, ready to jump. Two year olds are so funny when they act like little adults. 




The cousins posing in the picture area. 




He was so happy that it was his birthday party!!!! 

Happy Birthday to my youngest nephew!



Also, I loved watching all of the people who love him watch him


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Levi= 2 months

TWO MONTHS!

So, in one way, it does seem hard to believe this guy is two months old. But, mainly, this has been a reeeaaalllyyy loooonnnggg two months. This is probably because I have had several more hours in every day due to lack of sleep. So, can I believe he is already two months old? Yes. Yes, I can. 


Thank you, Pinterest.



One of his first smiles. Lily and Reese both smiled the day they turned 5 weeks, and he smiled the day he turned 4 weeks. This is a milestone I will always remember. There is nothing like those lopsided first little grins that tells you, "hey, maybe this IS all worth it."




I would not survive without this wrap. 



He sort of likes the bouncy seats. Well, he might like it more, but I can' actually put him in it. #reese



Lily fractured her ankle during this month, and, of course Hughes was out of town. Our favorite neighbor saved the day for us. #ittakkesavillage



Love this picture Lily snapped. 



He goes everywhere with me. He has already been to several Daisy Scout meetings. 

Also, Pacifier. I had no idea how magical a pacifier would be in my life. That is some proof that God loves me. 


No boys allowed at Daisy Scouts...unless you are perfect and your name is Levi.


Baathtime. He gets a bath every single night, usually when I am taking a shower next to him (our shower has glass walls). It is the ONLY way I get a shower without him screaming. The Sleepy Wrap and the bathtub are magic in the evenings. If they don't work, then basically everyone in my house is crying in the evening.

Hughes has been home for maybe 10 evenings (out of more than 60) total during the past two months, so it is me trying to deal with dinner / homework / crankiness / bath time / bedtime.  Some nights are harder than others, but I am mostly surviving. And, I am pretty proud of myself and waiting for my reward to arrive.


Oh, here is my reward!!

He seems to have a big personality and loves people already!


Noni and Bop came to visit for a few hours one day this month. I actually got to take a daytime shower that day!


The hardest part of this transition has been Reese. She turned two less than a month before Levi was born, and she is just still a baby herself in a lot of ways. #middlechild



Hughes' sister came to visit this month, too! Levi loved Aunt Shannon!


Morning time unwrapping from the swaddle. 
Mornings are crazy (for everyone, I know), because we have to leave our house- usually for an hour round trip- by 7:15. I cannot wait until I can throw a waffle at him in the car and not have to nurse. 


Mother's Day Tea at Lily's school. Levi is behind me in the carrier. He is such a trooper. 


I walked (looked for people to talk to) a one mile "race" (not a race) with him, and he loved it! The weather was wonderful, it was for a good cause, I knew lots of people there, and the older two were home with a sitter! #vacation


"Let's hear it for the boy!!"

I mean...how does it get any cuter than this guy?


Sweetness. I literally want to EAT HIM UP!



*Weight:12 pounds, 12 ounces (50%- but he sure looks and feels chubbier)
*Height: 23 inches (40%)
*Head= 80% (my kids have huge heads)

  • He nurses about every 3 hours. (Gah. I love/hate nursing).
  •  He wakes up two or three times between 10pm and 6am. There isn't a "bedtime," yet. He LOVES to be swaddled. He does the first stretch in his pack n play and the rest of the night in the swing. During the day he naps in the "rock and play" or in the car.
  • He wakes up between 6 and 6:45 am for the "day"
  •  His hatred for the car is nowhere near the level of the girls' intensity. Most of the time, if he isn't hungry, he is okay and usually falls asleep. But, the 20% of the time that he is mad, it is unrelenting, even crying for an hour at a time.  
  • He likes the pacifier, but he isn't obsessed with it. It is MAGICAL when I am trying to get him to sleep. But, if he is already pissed off, especially in the car, it isn't going to help. 
  • He loves the mobile over his pack and play. 
  • His personality right now: social, loves when people talk to him, loves being cuddled, outgoing, happy, flexible, laid-back, easy-going.
  • I know part of this credit goes to him being the 3rd...but he is definitely our easiest transition and our best baby. No competition there. I am grateful every single day that the girls were so hard (drama from the start). Some days it feels IMPOSSIBLE that I will survive having 3 small kids, but he is mostly such a good baby!  I would have said Lily was hard, Reese was average, and Levi is easy as far as baby temperaments. The pacifier is HUGE. It is such a game changer. 
  • We love this guy. I love having our family complete!!!




Friday, May 15, 2015

The big sisters


One of the greatest blessings of my life is how much my kids love each other. I never expected Lily to love Reese as fully and unconditionally as she does. On Mother's Day, I almost thought I should do something special for Lily to thank her for being Reese's other mom! When I was pregnant with Levi, I assumed that Lily's big sister love would be maxed out and she would not be able to devote so much love to Levi. And, I was TERRIFIED of how Reese (she hadn't even been 2 for a month when he we born!) would act toward him. 

As usual, my worrying paid off and ensured that what I worried about didn't actually happen! 


Numerous times a day, Lily squeals in delight, "WHY DOES HE HAVE TO BE SOOOOO ADORABLE?!?! or "GIVE ME THAT MISTER!" or "I JUST CANNOT HANDLE HOW CUTE HE IS!!!!!!!!!" and sometimes, even "I HOPE HE LIVES TO BE ONE HUNDRED SO I CAN LOVE HIM FOR THAT LONG" or "IF ANYONE TRIES TO HURT HIM, I WILL KILL THEM DEAD!"

Her voice is always in all caps. She is the kind of person who lives her life on Caps Lock. 



When Reese first sees me in the morning, she always asks, "Where Baby Lebi??" When he first starts crying from a nap, she sprints toward him, proclaiming loudly, " I coming Baby Lebi!" She giggles and grins and clumsily dances all around him, while I frantically try to distract her away from him or scoop him up. I cannot just set him down. Ever. I miss how I could sort of set Reese down on a blanket when she was tiny. I have tried a few times when Reese seemed preoccupied, but it always ends with Reese realizing he is in arm's reach and me sprinting frantically toward them and  barely intervening in time. It is really a miracle that the younger ones survive.



Sometimes I would prefer a tiny bit of indifference...just to be honest. "Baby Lebi? You Otay?"


I think he may have surpassed her weight.



She is always trying to hand him things to hold. 


Quite often, I am wearing Levi in the wrap (it's a game changer) while carrying Reese. She loves to talk to him/sing to him/ interrupt this nap/annoy him/try to kiss him.

Silver Lining:  I have lost most of the baby weight and haven't "worked out." It turns out that carrying a 2 year old and a chubby baby is quite enough exercise. 


Lily took this selfie.



"Can I PPPLLLEEEAASSSEEE hold him?!?!" 
Always, always, always. 


"Here you go, Baby Lebi. Here is a ball."


When my kids are older and I think back on what it was like to have three kids 6 and under, this picture sums up what I will remember. Precious baby snuggles, Lily singing Katy Perry to all of us, Reese trying to show "Mama Duck" to Levi. Perfection. So much love is in this picture. All three of my kids are in their favorite place on Earth- right next to Mama.

 And.... a tiny bit of suffocating and exhaustion and trying to figure out why in the hell Daddy was home at this point, too, but everyone felt the need to lie on top of me and cut off my circulation.  Please go watch TV or find a toy or something in a room away from me. 


I lover Reese's grin of pure joy at getting the chance to hold this baby brother!

Levi is less thrilled. 


She loves to "hug" him by pushing the entire weight of her head into his tummy while saying "Awwww. So cute, Baby Lebi."

I know that mathematically speaking, three kids should be harder than just one. But, somehow, with the addition of each kid, I am so much happier. Math never really was my strong suit. I have less time for myself (very, very little time now), and I am tired all of the time, and I usually have to pee. But, watching Lily love Reese was one of the most magical and fulfilling parts of my entire life. Now that I get to see this sibling love magnified with this new addition, my heart really feels like it might explode almost every day. 

My bladder also usually feels this way, since I don't necessarily have the luxury of peeing when needed. 
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