kaya- 22 months!

(written July 21st)

I feel like a lot of the little details about her are the same as last month, but somehow, she seems so much more like a little girl now instead of just my baby!

She would not sit still for a picture. I think I probably asked her “where’s Daddy?” or something like it for this shot, but I’d like to think she’s shrugging her shoulders because neither of us are quite sure how she’s already almost two years old!
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Clothing size: 12-18 month pants, 24 month shorts, 18 and 24-month onesies, 2T tees, and 12-18 month footie pajamas and 2T summery jammies. Some size 5 shoes fit and others are too small. Size 6 still seems huge though!
Eyecolor: Hazel/Gray/Greenish.
Teeth: 19.
Eating: She still has the same favorites, and will do anything for cheese, yogurt, or a fruit snack. If she sees the bag of shredded cheese, she excitedly says “CHEESE!” a bunch of times until I give her some. I won’t argue with her love for dairy- she still doesn’t drink milk from a cup, so at least she’s getting calcium this way.
New words: Cat, meow (“mmmm”), quack, cupcake (“cu-ca”), polka dots (“dadots”), pool, beach, pacifier (“pass”), and bye-bye (instead of plain old “bye!”). I still feel like she speaks in gibberish most of the time, but I have noticed that the inflection of her nonsensical sentences has started to sound a little more like English.
Favorite things: Being outside is her favorite thing ever. She still loves Kitty more than anything, and she follows me around all day with her shopping cart. She loves gently rubbing Kaelyn’s head, kissing and changing her own baby doll, and rocking her Kitty. Other favorite toys include her cornpopper and beach ball. She’s still a chapstick-stealer and loves to have her toenails painted and wear a million headbands all at once.
Dislikes: Staying in nursery at church by herself. Also, she’s been afraid of the vacuum for a while, but I never remember to write it here. She was full-on crying over it yesterday!
Sleep: We haven’t done so great with putting Kaya down at a decent time since we had Kaelyn. Kaya has been going to bed late (8:30 or 9 some nights) and then not waking up until about 12 hours later (and a lot of mornings, I’m the one getting her up). She still takes a 2.5 to 3-hour-long nap which I definitely appreciate more than ever these days.
Milestones, etc.: Someone learned how to use the big-kid swing at the playground this month!Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

She’s also just the biggest monkey ever. She’s so thrilled to hang from the monkey bars and climb up this mini “rock wall” at the park. She’s super fast at running now and can throw a ball a decent distance!Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

She talks all day long in what seems to be her own language. I love it, but I do wish I could understand her!

Dear Kaya,

How are you suddenly so big? You’re totally crazy (but what did you expect, with your dad and me as parents?)!

These days, you’re super sweet and you love playing “mommy” to your Baby and Kitty. You also pretend that you’re a puppy and crawl around “fuffing” (instead of “ruffing”!) all day long._MG_3380

You’re energetic, and love to make us laugh. Sometimes, Daddy and I wonder what we ever did for fun before you came along, because we certainly never laughed as hard as we do now. We love you princess!

baby #2: maternity pictures

Is it weird to post maternity pictures after the baby’s already born? Hopefully not… because that’s exactly what I’m about to do! I just have to have them on the blog, at least for my own record-keeping. This post was drafted before she was born, but the pictures weren’t all edited yet.

Pregnancy already feels like a distant memory… and looking at these pictures now makes me think my belly looked huge! We took these at 37.5 weeks (June 14th), and just twelve days later, baby Kaelyn arrived!
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My crazy girl._MG_2867
Having some of these last moments as a family of three preserved is so meaningful to me. I’ll definitely cherish these photos forever!

because we’re happy

No doubt about it, the thing I’m the happiest about today is that Kaelyn slept for 3.5 hours straight last night- her longest stretch yet! It’s crazy how just a few uninterrupted hours can feel so amazing!

I’m also loving these peaceful moments cuddling my newest sweetheart…
07192014collage1… and her very tiny (very long!) toes :)
Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetMichael was overjoyed when Kaya and I sent him this picture while he was at work! The writing on the sidewalk is true.. she couldn’t be more of a daddy’s girl!Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetKaya’s been ecstatic (although she certainly doesn’t look like it in this picture) about all the time we’ve spent playing outside and on the playground!Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetJax is glad to have found a new cuddle buddy:
_MG_3253And Kaelyn is just happy to be here:

And just because it’s fun…

Happy Monday! :)

kaelyn grace: 3 weeks

(written July 17th)

I can’t believe there’s only one more weekly update before I write her one-month post. Seriously… wasn’t she just born?_MG_3309_2

I wish time could slow down. I need a million more afternoons filled with tiny baby cuddles. I could sit forever holding her, breathing in her sweet newborn smell and kissing the ultra-soft peach fuzz atop her head._MG_3324

Kaelyn’s still eating every two hours or less, even at night (except for maybe one three-hour stretch)! I keep joking that she’s just trying to catch up since she started out so small. It seems like she especially likes to cluster feed in the evenings before bedtime.

Speaking of bedtime… I’m still not sure she knows what that is! We’ve had some rough nights this week (I think I saw every hour go by on Monday night). She sleeps like a rock if we snuggle her, though. I’m really not into co-sleeping… but we let her stay in our bed on Tuesday night and we actually got some rest. When it comes down to it, a person can only go so many nights with minimal shut-eye, and the choice was to either sleep that way or not sleep at all.

I was so proud of her last night though- she slept by herself all night long, only waking up to eat. I’m really hoping that phenomenon repeats itself tonight!

When Kaya was three weeks old, I started putting her to bed in her crib. Kaelyn is still nursing more frequently at night than Kaya was, though, so I don’t think we’re quite ready. Not to mention that the girls will share a room, and Kaya would still rather sleep on the floor next to the door instead of in her bed… which means that I’d probably wake her up anytime I’d go in there to get the baby in the middle of the night._MG_3314

We started tummy time this week. I’m impressed by how strong she is! It does seem like she has more control of her neck muscles now._MG_3224

Kaelyn went to her first sacrament meeting at church, too. I fed her right before we left home, but she needed to eat again by the time the first speaker began her talk!
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She does seem a lot more aware of what’s around her now, too, so we’ve even been playing with a few toys. Of course, she also just loves to look at us and hear us talk to her._MG_3232

We love you, Kaelyn Grace! Your little smile just melts my heart._MG_3245

lately (aka a big giant post with lots of pictures)

This post is really just a big, quick conglomeration of everything that’s gone on in the past two weeks, since I haven’t had a whole lot of time to get on the computer and blog (I’m actually amazed that I’m not even further behind than I am)!

Both of our moms came to stay with us and help out after we brought Kaelyn home. My mom took the first shift. She enjoyed grand-baby cuddles, and we enjoyed a lot of her awesome home-cooked meals._MG_3061

She went home on Wednesday, leaving just the four of us for a few days. Michael took some time off of work to help out and spend quality time with us… which included “watching” the baby while playing Xbox! Haha. She was more than happy to sleep on her daddy, and this allowed me to take a nap, so I’m not complaining._MG_3141

Kaya’s been up to her usual antics and making us laugh! She won’t wear a bow in her hair… but she’ll wear six headbands. Crazy girl!
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We joined our friends for a cookout on the Fourth of July. It was our first real outing as a family of four (besides going to doctor appointments), and I have to admit, it was strange having to keep track of two kids._MG_3160

Kaya is a pretty good helper. She’s always looking out for her sister (and I’m not sure why they both have disgusted expressions in this picture…)_MG_3145

When she wasn’t putting Kaelyn’s pacifier back in her mouth, Kaya was monkeying around with her BFF Mia!_MG_3150-2

We didn’t go to the fireworks display this year, since it didn’t seem like a great idea to bring a newborn, and it was past Kaya’s bedtime, anyway. We did get to have yet another cookout, though, when Michael’s cousin, Nicole, came into town on Saturday!

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Oh, cousins.07052014collage1

Grandma Gina came back on Sunday night to help us out for a few days. Kaya definitely enjoyed her visit (and I enjoyed when she’d take the baby and tell me to go back to bed)!_MG_3177

Grandma, Jeff, Brittany and I all went blueberry picking on Tuesday morning. I had so much fun just watching Kaya enjoy it! She was super gentle and didn’t even get any blueberry juice on her hands, which is more than I can say for myself.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Apparently, a blueberry patch is a fine place for a nap.
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Grandma left on Thursday, so I’ve been successfully taking care of two kids all on my own for a few days now (although I do have an amazing little helper who loves to rock the baby when she’s crying and help with diaper changes)!_MG_3199

Michael showed Kaya how to hide herself in the kitchen cabinets (and even close the door), so if it gets quiet and my helper is nowhere to be seen, I have to remember to look here now!_MG_3174

We’ve also been reading a lot of books. Kaya will sit with me and look at some while I nurse the baby, and then we also try to carve out some one-on-one time to read with her before bed. She definitely looks forward to those snuggles. Michael is so good at making all the sound effects from “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?” that Kaya was cracking up a TON a few nights ago. I loved seeing them all sitting together._MG_3210

The rest of our time has been filled with nursing… nursing… and more nursing. I love these little baby cuddles. The nights are long right now, but I’m soaking it up because I already know the years are short.Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

kaelyn grace: 2 weeks

(written July 12th)

Two whole weeks (plus a couple days)! I still feel like we’re in a time warp, where the days seem to be simultaneously crawling and flying by (I’m really not even sure how that’s possible, but that’s how it feels to me. Maybe sleep deprivation is to blame)!_MG_3186 - Copy

We’re readjusting to life with a newborn- getting by on less sleep, nonstop nursing, blowout diapers, and (sometimes) lots of crying.

Nevertheless, I’m so grateful for this little girl. Having her in our family is more than worth all the “hard” moments that naturally come with having a baby._MG_3189

Kaelyn had her second doctor appointment this week. I was anxious to see what she weighs, and she didn’t disappoint us- she came in at 6 pounds 3 ounces!_MG_3194

Sleep this week wasn’t as good as last week. She wakes up to eat in the middle of the night, and when she’s finished, she just wants to cuddle. Cuddling her is the only way to keep her asleep. Usually, after she wakes up for her first morning feeding, she’ll go back to sleep sans snuggles in her rock ‘n play. I’ve been cashing in on those extra couple of hours by going back to bed (lucky for me, Kaya’s been sleeping in lately, too).

We also discovered that she doesn’t like to be swaddled. Weird for a newborn, right?! She loves sleeping with her hands up by her face, so as soon as I’d tuck her arms into the swaddle blanket, she’d start squirming and crying.

She still gets a TON of hiccups, and now she’s not shy about how frustrated they make her feel._MG_3196

Kaelyn lost her umbilical cord stump on day 9, which meant that she could finally have a real bath. Sadly, she wasn’t a fan… and she pooped while she was still in the tub. Oops._MG_3203

Happy two weeks, Peanut!

kaelyn grace: 1 week

(written July 4th)

Kaelyn’s first week has definitely been a busy one. It’s crazy to me that she’s a whole week old, because part of me feels like it’s flown by, and another part of me feels like she’s been here forever._MG_3030

This little girl is a dream baby. I don’t want to jinx ourselves… but she’s pretty much perfect. She eats well, sleeps great, never spits up, and is just sweet overall._MG_3111_1week

She’s such a tiny thing. Grandma sent some preemie clothes after we realized we had almost nothing that fit her (even newborn stuff is too big)! Preemie stuff fits perfectly for now._MG_3107

She’s a champ at nursing and asks for it just about every two hours (sometimes it’s more like every hour and twenty minutes). We had a little bit of a hard time getting her to latch on in the first couple days, but now that she’s learned, she’s going to grow like a weed._MG_3137Kaelyn has spoiled us with sleep (how many parents of a newborn get to say that?). Our first night home, she would wake up to eat and go right back to bed. The next night was the roughest, when she woke up every hour and a half to nurse. Since then, though, she’s been giving us a nice four-hour stretch at night. She nurses and goes right back to sleep! I am really so impressed (and so grateful)!

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She gets the hiccups a whole lot, just like she was in my belly! She also seems to know my voice much better than Kaya did when she was born (probably because she’s heard me telling Kaya “no” all the time… haha). She can be crying hysterically, but a few words from me can calm her instantly. Right now, she’s definitely a mama’s girl, and I’m soaking it up while I can._MG_3113 She loves her pacifier and snuggling. I know that her smiles aren’t “real” yet… But she sometimes smiles when I say her name and it just melts my heart._MG_3051She met three of her grandparents this week, two uncles, one aunt, and many friends.06302014collageWe also went on our first walk using the double stroller!_MG_3068_MG_3073Her nicknames right now include: Peanut, Sweet Pea, and Tiny Princess._MG_3066She loves to sleep with her hands up by her face and I can’t help imagining her doing the same when she lived in my belly.

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Kaya really loves her baby sister. Kaelyn never has to go without her pacifier as long as she’s around!_MG_3093We love you so much Kaelyn and are so glad you joined our family! I’m so grateful I get to be your mama._MG_3034

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kaelyn grace: at the birth center

We had an amazing birth experience that I’m excited to share soon, but for now, I just wanted to share some pictures and details from our hospital stay.

So tiny. So new._MG_2934 _MG_2936 _MG_2941

Daddy had the honor of changing her first dirty diaper! Seriously, I think I have the best husband. Ever._MG_2929 _MG_2945 Our good friends, Ben and Brittany, took care of Kaya while we were at the hospital. I missed my first baby so much, so of course I was super excited to see her when they came to visit. Kaya immediately went over to the bassinet and just couldn’t stop staring at her new sister. She even blew her some kisses and kept reaching out to hold her._MG_2949 _MG_2951 Kaya was so soft and gentle. This was a moment I looked forward to for what seemed to be so long._MG_2954 _MG_2956 We gave Kaya her “big sister” gift- a baby doll, a big sister shirt, and a new sippy cup. She’s loved having a baby of her own to play with!_MG_2980Lelia came by, too (with flowers and donuts)!_MG_2989It was so hard to say goodbye to Kaya when she left. It was our first night ever being away from her, and the magnitude of how much our little family had changed by adding a fourth member really started to sink in.
_MG_2991 As we expected, we didn’t get a whole lot of sleep that night. Kaelyn kept waking up, but I think it was because she was cold- the hospital’s air conditioning system had broken, and the staff couldn’t get it to stop pumping out cold air. We were all freezing before they finally just shut it off (many hours later)._MG_2994_MG_3004 _MG_3002We were feeling so great the next day that I asked if we could go home early. To my surprise, they started working on our discharge orders right away! There were a lot of ladies having babies so the hospital was happy to have another free bed.

_MG_3011Kaelyn didn’t even cry when we put her in the car seat, and we had a smooth ride home to begin life as a family of four!

july 2014 goals

Originally, my only goal for July was going to be this:

Have a baby.

But I was a little over-ambitious in June and decided to check that one off early!

So I guess I actually have to make real goals now. Ha.

Here’s how I did for June:

1. Finish reading my birth books. I finished HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method, but not the book on the Bradley Method. I loved the relaxation methods in the hypnobirthing book, and that was enough for me.

2. Take some maternity/family pictures. Done! Now I just have to post them!

3. Make Kaya a “big sister” gift.

4. Work on the quilt. It’s all cut and the half-square triangles are made. Now to just piece them all together!

5. Pack hospital bags. We might’ve done this at the very last minute…

6. Enjoy as much time at the pool as we can!

7. Donate old clothes. Finally!!!

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Now that I have a newborn, I’m keeping it super simple for July:

1. Finish the quilt.

2. Take Kaelyn’s newborn photos.

3. Sell our old stroller.

4. Update our wall photo gallery. Seriously… I haven’t added any photos in over a year. Now that we’re a family of four, it’s really out of date!

See you in a month!

kaya- 21 months!

(written June 21st, all except the letter which was added July 2nd)_MG_2896-2

Clothing size: 12-18 month pants, 24 month shorts, 18 and 24-month onesies, 2T tees, and 12-18 month footie pajamas and 2T summery jammies. Size 5 shoes are starting to get a little small but still work.
Eyecolor: Hazel/Gray/Greenish.
Teeth: 19! Her top left 2-year molar came in this month!
Eating: SO MUCH FOOD! She is a little piggy and I just love filling up her belly. She has a salad (just like mommy!) just about every day. She is obsessed with olives (between the two of us, we can eat a whole can in one sitting), yogurt, and cheese. Her favorite foods are vegetarian chili, bean burritos or tacos, and pasta. I also started letting her have fruit snacks, which quickly became an ultimate favorite.
New words: Ball (“ba”), bush (also sounds like “ba”), baby (“ba-BA!”), yuck (“ck”), Jax (“ja-ja”)… and here’s the big one: “no!” She answers no to almost every question… unless we ask her if she wants to go to Myrtle Beach. The answer to that question is still a resounding head nod!
Favorite things: Playing outside, bubbles, puppies, ducks (rubber or real), stuffed animals, and pushing her shopping cart. She also loves to do everything to Kitty that I do to her (change his diaper, wash his face, feed him her snack, etc.)
Dislikes: Staying in nursery by herself.
Sleep: Bedtime is around 7:30 or 8, and she is usually up at 7:30 am. She naps for about 2.5 hours in the afternoon.

Dear Kaya,

I meant to write this before your baby sister arrived, but she surprised us all and came a little early. It’s so important to me for you to have these short letters though, so I figured late is better than never.

You really are my big helper these days. You help me start the dishwasher, load the dryer, and feed Jax. I love how much you love helping!

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We spent a lot of this past month finishing things that needed to be done before Kaelyn came. You were so patient during all of it, and you even loved trying out some of her things (like the infant car seat)! I love how silly you are._MG_2889

We were sure to get in some quality time at the playground, too. You love to be outside and running around! Some of my favorite recent memories are of us sitting together and blowing bubbles.

You might be my big girl now, but you will forever be my first baby. I love you sweetie.

Love,
Mommy