Thursday, May 30, 2013

And Baby #3 is a ...... !!!!!

Yesterday we took a few photos to announce whether baby kauffman #3 is a boy or girl..... 

And just to have a few shots of Drew & Isaiah together before the third joins them... 

So,  without further ado, I'll let the photo below speak for itself :) 


Yup, we are going to have THREE BOYS!!!! I can hardly believe it!!! At my ultrasound yesterday when we saw very clearly that baby boy was, indeed, a baby boy, I just started laughing hysterically. It was quite the rush having that become our reality. I'm pretty sure I said "No way!" like five times!! I feel like we are building a dynasty over here... haha.

Back to the photos for a few...

I love the next few photos and Drew and Isaiah's expressions. 

That's them "cheesing" up above... Guess the heat made smiling not all that fun, haha. 

Especially love the one above.... they look like a crew of little mobsters. ;)

(I believe I said something in my last post about "If you are a boy, just come on it and join the crazy")

We had lots of fun pretend fishing with sticks off of this little foot bridge. 

(Love the natural vignette effect the photo of Isaiah above has)

 Oh the sweetness... love when they hold hands :) 

Picturing a third little boy sitting there between them just blows me away. Will he have blonde hair and blue eyes? Will he have brown hair and brown eyes? Will he be some combination that we haven't had yet? Will there be room for three boys racing down our hall way together? (I think yes :) 

I think families of all boys or all girls are so cool. There is some bond between them, some recognition or identity that comes along with there being three of the same gender. I can just hear people saying "those Kauffman boys...." I am so excited to see how this baby takes being a Kauffman boy and gives it his own little spin. AHHH!!! I LOVE MY BABY BOYS SO MUCH!! 

(Love how it looks like Isaiah is really using his stick like a fishing pole in the one below... haha.) 

Can I just say, it feels so good to KNOW. I love being able to call him "HIM",  I still feel like he is such a peaceful baby but wow does he have some unexpected shock factor to him too!!! He is measuring about a week, to a week and a half ahead on some measurements, they all averaged out to say that he's measuring 19 weeks instead of 18... No real surprise there since my babies have all been big boys so far. Hopefully he'll come a week early like Isaiah did!! 
Next week I have my next checkup with my OB doctor. At 14 weeks I weighed a pound less than my starting weight (I lost almost 10 lbs the first few months) but I am definitely showing now and it will be interesting to find out my weight at 20 weeks!! 
I can honestly say that now, being on the other side of my ultrasound, I think I did expect that this one was going to be a girl, because I still feel in shock that I'm going to have THREE boys!! I am so excited though, and so happy to know a little bit more about who this is inside of me :) 
Hard to believe 48 hrs ago I didn't know he was a boy... It's already feeling to natural and exciting to me :)

Thanks for coming along for the ride!!! :) 

Monday, May 27, 2013

on the day before my ultrasound

Today the hourly countdown to my ultrasound begins... 

I've been counting down to the day I would be able to have the ultrasound that would tell us what we're having since I found out I was pregnant. I've been dreaming about the moment we find out during day and night for weeks. I've been waking up in the middle of the night with my hand over my stomach thinking about it for the past 14 days.

All this time spent thinking, and I realized something. We are not really finding out what we are having.  We are finding out a little piece of who we are having. 

Who is this growing inside me? Yes, you are a boy or a girl, but whichever you are you have personality, preferences, quirks, characteristics that we will set out on our journey to discover from the first day you arrive. I am excited to know your gender because it is one of the first pieces of who you are that I can know before you are born. And I am longing ecstatically to know you, to discover you.

Besides gender, God has revealed a few things about you to us, and they are so endearing to me. I feel like you have a calm spirit, a steadiness, and a peacefulness that marks who you are even now. It was also spoken over you that you are a "quiet light." I get all giddy inside as I type these things, these few pieces to the puzzle of who you are that have been revealed.

I want you to know, sweet baby, how much we love you. We adore you, and we can't wait for the moment when we each get to hold you in our arms.

If you are a boy, just come on in and join the crazy. We are ready for you. :) With two big brothers already born at the same time of year, we have a wardrobe of baby boy clothes beginning in the fall season that will be just right for you as you grow. (Of course, I'll have to get you a few originals to you along the way too... just because that's what I do. :)  We have legos and matchbox cars, baseball bats, firetrucks, train tracks, back hoes and tractors, wrestling matches and races that are already here and just waiting for you to come be a part of. We have lots of experience with blue, with little boy snuggles, little boy tantrums, little boy humor, little boy competition, and little boy joy. I love being a mommy to baby boys, it is my greatest joy, and if you are a boy, I will love, absolutely adore, being your mommy too. If you are a boy, I feel somewhat prepared, and I feel the familiarity and anticipation of holding a baby boy in my arms again, knowing that someday I will stand on tip toe to hug you, and someday you will be the one looking down at me, but for now, I will hold you and snuggle you for as long as I can. I know the squeezing tight feeling I get in my heart when I think of my little men. I will soak up every moment of your newborn coos and grasping baby fingers.

If you are a girl, we have no idea what to expect. There are no ruffles or dresses or tutus in your size here in our closets. There are no baby dolls, no tea sets, no dress up clothes in this house. There is not much pink, except what mommy can sneak in. But if you are a girl, we invite you to take us on this adventure into the unknown, and we are so excited to see the ways you delicately (or not so delicately) change this masculine climate into a place fit for a little lady. To see the way your wrestling match daddy looks at you with a combination of tenderness and fierce protection in his eyes that I have never seen before. To see the ways that your rough and tumble big brothers adore you and defend you. And for me, to have a little girlfriend to share all the girly-ness locked away inside me with. To feel a sweet and soft and feminine kind of love sneak into my heart and spread wide there. My heart is full to bursting at the possibility of having you, my first daughter. I cannot put into words anymore than this, it is more than I could ever express.

Whoever you are little one, my arms are aching for you, to look into your precious, innocent eyes, and to begin to know you.

The day your baby is born is so full of contradiction. Here is this little person who looks just like you, who is more familiar to you than your own soul, and yet you know next to nothing about who they will be, or what will be written on the pages of their life.

Tomorrow we find out one more piece to who you are, little one, and Mommy & Daddy are beside themselves with excitement!! See you tomorrow! xoxo

Friday, May 24, 2013

Going back in time

We are making some changes around here. Some might call us crazy. In some ways we're going back to how people lived about 15 years ago. Mostly with our phones. Here's what we're doing:

This past week we installed a house line. Our cell phones are going to become track phones that remain off in our cars unless we have an emergency. My track phone will have unlimited texting and 50 minutes a month. It will cost $10 a month. Our house phone has unlimited minutes for $40 a month.

You might assume that we are making these changes to save money. Although that is a lovely side benefit, that's not what prompted us to go back to house phones and answering machines.

Here's the deeper reason. Gliobastomas are a brain tumor whose frequency used to be 2-3 people out of 100,000. It was classified as the most common form of brain cancer, but over all as a very rare form of cancer to have. In the past two years I now know 4 men who have died from this type of cancer. My best friend's father in law, my husband's uncle, my father in law's boss, and a man I met at the hospital just before resigning from my job doing ultrasound. (I don't think I know 100,000 people, but I know more than the average out of that number that would usually get this.... something seems wrong with that) With surgery and treatments, they lived approximately 1 year from the time of diagnosis. Three out of four of them were very young, one had four kids whose ages ranged from 6-12 years old. One thing they each had in common was being business men, in high demand, who spent a large part of each day on the phone, mostly on cell phones or using blue tooth devices. If cell phones were the cause, not one of them had any clue that the two were related.

I do not want to start a scare or a panic attack at the thought of cell phones and blue tooth, and I will not base my life decisions on fear. However, I also will not put our health in jeopardy for the sake of convenience. Whether that means changing some things in our diet, limiting our exposure to cell phones, etc. It doesn't matter. Convenience is not going to be a god in my life. I don't want to run around fearful of everything and assuming the worst, and I realize that we are never going to eliminate wireless exposure in our lives and probably not stop eating all processed foods completely (In fact we are far from that point right now). But if we can do our part in our own household by turning our cell phones off, then I would like to.

If you start researching cell phones and brain cancer it is one of the first things that will come up when you begin googling "cell phones and.." The articles are varied, everything from one end of the spectrum to the other. I am not trying to pick sides or weed through to get to the truth, and let's face it, there's a TON of money in the cell phone industry, and if there is truth of this sort hidden in there, it's not going to come out easily. What I am doing is basing our decisions on our personal experiences. I am not on my cell phone much, and I don't really consider that I'm doing this for me. I'm doing this for Shaun and the boys. Shaun is a business man, he's on his phone with customers constantly. Now he can call them from home. And our boys. What kid isn't fascinated by cell phones? How many parents give their kids their phones to play with and distract them if they need a few minutes of peace? I'd be lying if I said I hadn't done that before. But good gracious. Our babies. Their heads still have soft spots in them.... there isn't research or experiences to show what will happen ten years down the road to a generation of babies who were allowed to have cell phones in close proximity to their heads.

When we first tossed around this idea it was months ago. It took us a long time to actually do it because our culture and lifestyle is so engrained in us to be able to contact anyone, anywhere, at the touch of a button. Doesn't matter where you are either. It's hard to go backwards after being used to that. But I figure, with a little intentionality, a little forethought, and a little patience, we can make this work. After all, answering machines on house phones used to be the greatest, most convenient invention ever. I don't want to take for granted what used to be so valued. If you really want to go back in time, before there were phones, you wrote letters, and things were planned way in advance and with purpose and intentionality. I know I have a sentimental soul, and that times in the past are very intriguing and alluring to me. I'm not trying to say that I'm not thankful for all the modern conveniences and advantages we have now. I mean, after all, I'm sitting here nice and cozy on my bed with a computer on my lap, blogging. I really enjoy the internet, electricity, driving around in a car, cooking on a stove, not having to skin my own meat for dinner etc.....

But it feels good to have taken this step. I'm sure this will be a controversial post, but I hope if one things is clear, it's that there are two things I don't want to live out of: convenience or fear. Finding the balance in changing our lifestyles to reflect this is tough, but I want to give it a try.

Anyone else have any comments or research you've done on this subject?
(I purposely did not share any articles on what I've read because I don't want you just clicking on links and hearing one side... I think it's good to do balanced research on a subject.) So tell me, what do you think??

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Putting my home decorating style into a box. A cottage style type box to be exact :)

So, I got married at 20, and I had never lived on my own before. I had ideas what of what I liked, but I had never put any of them into practice before. I remember telling my mom I liked wicker, neutral colors, wrought iron.... that was about as far as I knew. I had this dumb rule in my mind that you had to pick a color scheme for a room and then you couldn't put anything into the room that did not match that exact color scheme. I liked Pottery Barn, and registered there for our wedding and got some lovely, staple items that I've been able to use throughout my journey to discover what my style is when it comes to decorating my home.

Lately I've been noticing that I MUCH prefer a room when it has a variety of faded, subtle vintage colors mixed together. I still like wicker, I still like wrought iron, but that idea of having a particular color for each room is g-o-n-e. Thank. goodness. I have been trying so hard to place my style into some kind of box-like container for my own benefit, so that I can define what I like a little more and not have to debate so hard over what direction I want to go with a certain room or feel. I knew I liked cottage style, and farmhouse (without being too country) but I hadn't gotten very far... I had spaces I had decorated that I loved (our mantle, Drew's room, the buffet in the kitchen) but I didn't know why, and I didn't know how to re-create that feel in other rooms... I felt like it took way too much trial and error to make a space feel like my style, and I wanted to define myself a little more. I've been dying to paint my kitchen cabinets white, and I'd love to paint our bedroom a pale grey blue, and paint our kitchen walls a grey white... But I didn't know why...

Then I read this post here, over at The Lettered Cottage blog, and oh my goodness, I feel like my style has a voice, a definition, and I am so happy!! She was talking about the definition of Cottage Style, and things to look for in a room that make it that style. Here's her list:

- chunky, warm wood tones
- lots of white
- pops of color
- fun fabrics
-painted furnishings
- typography

She said she likes to mix together all or some of these elements in a room to create a cottage style. So I've now labeled myself a cottage style lover. Here are some recent photos of Drew's room, and oh my goodness... it contains all of those elements. And I love it. 

I felt a little bad when I did his room that I didn't want to paint it, but I loved the subtle white-ish gray on the walls just how it was. Now I understand myself a little better (lots of white)

Then you have his four poster wooden bed, that I asked to borrow from my parents basement. (Chunky, warm wood tones

We're in a bit of transition in here, as Isaiah is eventually going to moving into Drew's room when the baby comes, hence the double bed frame propped behind the rocking chair. (Ironically, the only thing on the list that was missing from Drew's room was painted furniture, and this is a painted, iron bed frame. Also, I love the big numbers on that license plate clock. Typography?  )  

Speaking of typography.... I still love that reprint of the vintage car racing poster that hangs above Drew's bed. Not only does is tie in multiple colors, but I love the font used. Besides that, I loved mixing up the fabrics I used together here. His bed spread is a mainly red & brown patchwork type quilt. Then there's the pale blue and white polka dot quilt made by Drew's great grandma Kauffman draped on the end of the bed. The vintage cars pillow I made from a shirt that used to belong to my Poppop Marsh. The pillow propped in front of it is a navy fabric with green and navy plaid little moose silhouettes on it made by my aunt Kath. (Fun fabrics

Though there are many other areas in the room where I mixed several different colors together, I love these yarn chandeliers hanging in the corner over the little table. They were made by my oh-so-very-talented friend Salena for her son's birthday party one year. Since she didn't have anywhere to store them (and they smash easily) she let me have them!! Thank you, again, Salena!! (I do believe this counts as Pops of Color

Just a few more photos of one of my favorite little spots in our house, Drew's dresser. 
(Antique care from 1913 bought by my parents for Drew. Second hand mirror given to me by my mommom, with a post card tucked into the frame. Antique childrens' books tied together with twine, also from my mom for Drew's first birthday. The two fedoras I bought for the boys that are not often on the dresser because they love to wear them so much.) 

Love letting these hats that we actually use often sit out on the dresser as part of the decor instead of putting them away in the closet. :) 

Besides Drew's room I also mentioned that I really like the buffet right now. I just recently added some pink and turquoise into the house because it makes it feel so much more summery. (And maybe I subconsciously have boy/girl on the brain...) 

The candles were from target, the candle holders were a wedding gift (from pottery barn) the pretty blue bottle/vase and pink peonies were from Steph on mother's day, the tin cracker can used to be used by my mom's family when she was a little girl. The little milk glass vase I bought for $1 when Shaun's great aunt was having a sale. The mirror I made and had posted about here awhile ago. The wreath was one of the first decorative things I bought when we got married and was $11, I remember being very excited about that. The frame was made for us as a wedding gift and has one of our engagement photos in it with a Bible verse. The tiny little elephant pitcher tucked between the cracker can and blue vase was from sugar plums and tea, bought by my mom for Drew one day. The buffet itself was a piece of furniture that used to be my grandmothers and had bookshelves on top of it. She gave it to us when she downsized and moved into her apartment. 
(So, we have warm, chunky wood tones in the buffet, painted furniture in the painted mirror frame, typography with the graphics on the cracker can, pops of color in the candles, vase and flowers, whites in the tiny vase, elephant and candle, and that wall behind the buffet is the one I said I want to paint white in the kitchen. The only thing missing is fun fabrics.) 

And the mint in the vase is from my mint patch that was started from a plant my Aunt Kath gave to me from her garden when we first moved into our house. 

It was so fun to read this list and then compare it to areas in my house that I like and see all the similarities. 
It also amazed me as I remembered where everything came from how many things have been made for us or given to us.... Please know how thankful we are!!!! Not only are there good memories behind each piece, but you've helped make our house a home! :) 

Ok, well that about sums up my newly defined love of cottage style. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Olivia Part 2: Cake Smash

So here's "part two" of Olivia's one year photos, the cake smash :) This was the first time I got to photograph a cake smash and it was so fun. The thing with babies is that you don't have to get some perfect smile with them looking straight into your lens to make it a good picture. The natural expressions and personality that comes out as they explore and react to things are always so dear. So here's a little look into Olivia's personality and the fun she had having the freedom to smear pink icing all over the place :) 

(Amazing how the same picture can be equally beautiful but look so different in color vs black and white. love it) 

I feel like the one below should be an advertisement for something... 

Loved using the "one" that carly made from tissue paper. so pretty and feminine. 

And I just find everything about the shot below adorably dainty and perfect. Love her crossed ankles and the pink icing on her baby toes... 

Below: A yawn, and a shiver. Both so adorable :) 

She had eyes only for that cake!!! haha 

And to finish, a gorgeous, two-toothed, cakey smile :) 

Carly I'm so glad you had the idea to do this, I not only had so much fun watching her play in the icing, but I love the images that we were able to capture to remember it forever too. :) 

Monday, May 20, 2013

"It's gonna be wild, it's gonna be great, it's gonna be full of me"

So there's this Jesus Culture song called Come Away With Me that I just love. We sang it this past Sunday, and I just couldn't help but smile. The song is about just letting go and going on the adventure Jesus has planned for your life. The title to this post is one of the lines to the song.

The part about "it's gonna be wild" in particular is what made me smile. You know, God never calls you to something that he won't also equip you for. Sometimes you feel unequipped right up until (or even a little after) the moment you need help. But there is so. much. grace. Not sure if everyone would call being a mom an adventure. They also might not describe it as wild, or great. But I beg to differ. Here are a couple wild moments from my mothering life lately.

Two weekends ago we drove out to Ohio for Shaun's uncles funeral. The trip back home took us seven hours. About two hours into the trip, whilst driving approximately 80 miles an hour on the PA turnpike, I hear Isaiah buckled into his car seat behind me saying "POOP! POOP! POOP! HINEY! POOP!" I turned around and said something like "It's ok baby, we'll stop and change you when we can pull off..." and faced forward again. Then he starts yelling "POOP!! HAND! POOP! HAND!" And I look back again to discover he has poop all over his hands. That's when I realized this was not going to be any ordinary diaper change, this was a true emergency. Shaun found the first emergency pull off on the side of the turnpike he could and we whipped over, I jumped out of the car and began unbuckling Isaiah and Shaun came around the side of the car to help. As we pulled him out we realized that his shorts, his shirt, and the entire back of his car seat were literally covered. COVERED. covered. Did I mention covered?? As huge trucks zoomed by we finagled him out of his clothing with Shaun holding him dangling in the air in front of him and me trying to pull things off with my finger tips without getting anything on me... Then I laid him in the front seat of the car on a changing pad and proceeded to use almost every wipe we had cleaning him up while Shaun used paper towels to try to wipe out the car seat. Luckily Shaun's parents were right behind us and had pulled off when we did. They had plastic bags, paper towels and hand sanitizer to contribute to our efforts. I will never forget that traffic zipping by, Isaiah practically up side down in the passenger seat completely naked, frantically cleaning poop out of our car. We finally got everything into a sanitary state of being and plunked our naked little Isaiah into his paper towel-lined car seat, buckled him back in, and carefully pulled back out into that 80 mile an hour traffic. Now, who wants to say my life isn't wild?? ;)

But, you may not be convinced yet. Want to know how I was awakened yesterday morning? By Drew throwing up into my face and hair. Yep. Better believe I was up and out of bed faster than any alarm clock can get me awake. I rushed sweet boy to the bathroom hoping to get the rest to go into the toilet and while he finished throwing up I washed my face in the sink and pulled all my hair up into a bun on top of my head until he was finished and I could get into the shower to wash it. What wilder of a wake up call can you imagine?

(You might not believe it now, but I used to have a really weak stomach, and still do when it comes to anything gross that doesn't involve my kids. Remember how I said God always equips you for what he calls you to?? I didn't even gag in either of those wild situations. :)

Maybe you're still not convinced. Maybe we need more stories. The other day I felt like the only thing I had accomplished by 11 a.m. was cleaning up broken glass from the picture frame that was knocked off the wall when Drew was playing baseball in the house. Most days I can be found refereeing like an NFL professional, negotiating like the best of any high priced lawyers, or multi-tasking like a crazy person. I sneak vegetables into mouths like you've never seen before during dinner time, I distract, I comfort, I get down on the floor and play legos and match box cars and I watch countless airplanes take off, or back hoes lift their scoops, or imaginary weed eaters cut the grass.... I wash the dishes with two little "helpers" stationed standing on chairs on either side of me, and more water ends up on the ground than in the sink.

Do I do this all joyfully all the time? Sadly, no. But as I type out each situation all I can do is smile and thank the Lord for this wild, great, full of Him plan he has for my life right now. I couldn't ask for anything more.

To all you wild moms out there, cheers. ;)

Olivia's One Year Photos (Part 1)

There are so many things I love about the shoot that I'm sharing today. One thing that made this shoot fun was the fact that I think Olivia is the first baby (besides my own kids) whose newborn and one year photos I've done. Another thing that made it fun was the absolutely beautiful locations we used, an orchard and a little field of yellow mustard flowers (thank you Ashleigh Mallory for your help with that!) Add to those things the beautiful details Carly brought in (the sign she made, the little wooden rocking chair that Zac used when he was a little kid, the idea to do the cake smash) and the fact that we had a sunshiny evening, and their pictures came out seriously amazing. I have had so much fun looking through and editing them. I love that my job is so enjoyable :) 

There were so many lovely photos from this shoot that I decided to break the blog post into two parts, the second part will be the photos from the cake smash and hopefully I'll be posting it either tomorrow or Wednesday. Here are a few of my favorites from the first half :) 

The next three I shot with my wide angle, and I absolutely love. There's a different edit on each, I can't decide which I like more. Love the sky in these. 

At every shoot I do, even if it's a one year shoot, I always offer to take some pictures of just mom & dad together, because it seems that once you have a little one all the photos you take begin to center around them and you don't find much time for pictures of just the two of you anymore. At least that's how it happened for me and Shaun. We try to make a point to still take pictures of just the two of us when we can, and I love to do the same for other couples too :) 

It probably only took about 5 or 10 extra minutes to take these, and I love the way they came out. 

We got soooo many adorable smiles out of Olivia during this next series in her daddy's old rocking chair, there were too many good ones to choose from but here's a little sample :) 

 Those blue eyes!  

Little model baby :) 

And a few at our second location. Love, love, love this setting and the lighting. 

Absolutely love the one above :) 

These last two are some of my favorites from the entire shoot. 

Next up will be the cake smash... and oh my are there some adorable images from that! 
Thank you guys so much for letting me do Olivia's one year photos and be a part of the celebration of her first year of life. You have such a beautiful family and I loved seeing the way you interacted with your little doll baby and how very clear it is how much you love her.