Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Jaden Saylor: Two year old snapshot

My littlest man. His birthday post has been a long time coming. Months before he turned two even I have been itching to record his little mannerisms and quirks. The more you have to write and the less time you have to do it though, the more intimidating it becomes. Sometimes you just have to stomp your foot on your own procrastination and just tell yourself to just do it already. So this post can't possibly contain every single thing that I love about my baby boy, or convey every little remembrance of his sweetness and originality. I don't have nearly the length of time I'd like right now. But I'll do my best. 

It was so fun to take his two year old pictures. We had talked about taking his pictures under a tree full of yellow leaves. Every time we passed it he would say "take, pitors, eddow, eaves?" Sadly it rained most of the days during the tree's peak color, so we came up with a plan b. Just like this post, I stopped procrastinating and just worked with what I had. We went into his closet and I pulled out my favorite orange sweater of his, some little gray cordouroys and sweet white shoes. And then, because my saylor boys LOVES accessories, we added a newsie hat, glasses and a bow tie. Seriously, this boy loves his hats and glasses. (He is so fun to dress because he lets me layer things on him and will wear whatever I pick out.) Then I picked an industrial little nook of town and we took his photos there. I told him I was taking him to a cool place for his pictures. Each time we'd move to another background for pictures he would excitedly say "nother one, coo pace!"

I think these with the ivy are my favorites. 
He is so sweet the way he folds his little hands and crosses his ankles when he is laying on the ground looking at a book or playing with toys... he loves to play with tiny things and holds them so carefully in his little fingers as he sets them up and moves them around. He doesn't get frustrated easily, just carefully goes about what he is doing and keeps trying until he gets it how he wants it. 

His eyes were the bluest blue until this past June, and then they all of the sudden began to change to a more green color. When he wears a green shirt they look especially hazel/green. He is the most cuddly, snuggly little fellow you'll ever meet. He would spend morning to night in my arms every day if he could. He is always standing by my side reach up saying "hold me, Mommy!!" And he loves to snuggle at night. He feels like such a big boy now that he is moved into Drew and Isaiah's room and has his own bed, but he still asks nightly to "eep, mommy, daddy's oom." (Sleep in mommy and daddy's room)  He switches out the funniest consonants in his speech patterns. He sometimes switches c's for m's, even though he can say c sounds. For example he always me when he sees another car coming, and he says "mommy! car mommin'!!" His s's are usually w's. He is so perceptive and caring, and he can tell when I'm having a contraction or hurting. He looks at me and says "warry, mommy, warry mommy, warry mommy" (sorry mommy) until the contraction ends. He loves to play outside, and when he asks to he says "go, pay, outwide." This year Santa Claus was Wanta caus, or if he was really excited and rushing saying it, just Wan Caus. He loved singing Jingle bells and go tell it on the mountain this year, and would just sing to himself as he played. And if he heard the song Hark the Herald angels sing he would follow it up with "Mayee Tismas Tarwee Bwown!!" (Merry Christmas Charlie Brown) said in the sweetest little voice with his adorable bashful smile on his face. Then on Christmas Eve he cracked us all up switching back and forth between his sweet little voice and a hands-over-his-mouth darth vader sounding Merry Christmas Charlie Brown. And while we're on the subject of Christmas, Jaden was so sweet opening gifts this year. He was so grateful and excited for everything he got, be it a matchbox car, or a plain white t-shirt (that he wanted to put on over his sweater right away) or his little backpack we gave him that he filled with all his presents and wanted to wear constantly. I think his backpack and his own personal chap stick might have been his favorite gifts. He loves the little animals we gave him to play with their new barn too. 
He has been so adorable in my pregnancy, he will sit and wait so patiently with both hands on my belly to feel his baby sister move. He calls her by her first and middle name, and his version is SO sweet. There is about no better feeling than kissing his still squishy baby cheeks and getting kisses from his perfect little lips. He is nestled into one side of me as I've been typing this. After nap time each day he needs me to just sit and hold him for at least ten minutes while he finishes waking up and gets his love tank filled. He loves to be read to and put stickers in his sticker book. He has the cutest scrunch face ornery smile. I will randomly find him sitting on the floor next to Zion petting him so gently. Basically, Jaden Saylor is the little sweetheart we couldn't live without. Shaun and I often nudge each other and just point to him to get the other one to watch whatever cuteness he is in his own little world doing at the moment. We adore him. He adds so much sweetness to our lives. 

My Jaden love- 
You are so precious. Our hearts are filled to overflowing with our special love for you, our baby boy. Yes, that about sums it up. Filled to overflowing and completely smitten by you. 

Thank you Jesus for blessing us with Jaden.

I left out so many little things I thought of later. The way he says I love you... Luffoo, said very quiet and soft. My favorite s words that he substitutes w for... wocks (socks) and waywor boy (saylor boy).  And the way he says "emme swee it." (let me see it) How he says "No, I do it," about everything now. How he thinks he is hilarious when he burrows down into my body pillow and takes my spot just before bed. He calls the body pillow a bird nest.  How he makes a much higher pitched sound of the home improvement "eeehhhh?" when something is surprising to him.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Drew Elisha: 6 Year Old Snapshot

Well, it's between the hours of 4 and 6 am, so I am wide awake as usual. Baby girl has the hiccups. And I have heartburn. And since I can't sleep anyway, I thought I'd write. So I'm tucked into the rocking chair in the nursery with a blanket, reflecting on my Drew bug. And as always, I can't even begin to think about all that he is without the tears and fierce mama love and emotion beginning to rise to the surface. 

My forever firstborn baby. Those moments of him coming into the world, stealing my heart, and changing the course of who I would be for the rest of my life are sealed into my memory for always. I'll never forget being so, so tired, Shaun sleeping in the fold out sofa next to me in the hospital room, Drew sleeping in my arms. And I knew I should be asleep too, but I just couldn't stop my eyes from tracing and re-tracing the curves of his cheeks, his silky dark hair, his sweet little almond eyes. And realizing I would lay down my life for this tiny soul I barely knew yet. Oh my goodness, Drew Elisha, you had me from the very beginning.

So who are you now, baby? You are six. You are six, and I don't know where the time has gone, but I haved loved every second of getting to know who exists within that precious little soul of yours. You started school this fall. And it was so hard to let you go. But you are more than surviving it, you are thriving. And I am so proud of you. Those first days of kindergarten when you would come home and I'd ask who you played with at recess and you'd tell me you went down the slide a few times and then sat in the shade underneath of it because it was too hot outside I wanted so desperately to come to school and help you make friends, to pull you out of your shy observation mode and let everyone see the beaming light of personality within you. But I had to let you do it on your own. And you have, sweet boy. You have and I am so proud of you. Now you come home and tell me about the games you make up and your friends play with you on the playground. Being dinosaurs and chasing the girls (how in the world is THAT happening already?!?!)... you have transitioned from observation mode into the little leader that is within you. 
When I brought your cupcakes to school for your birthday and you didn't know I was there yet I got to just watch you. Raising your hand to answer questions, highlighting the words on your page as you went over them, then bumping into your friends' shoulders as you passed them to wash your hands, whispering I don't know what to them and making them laugh... The treasure that you are to me is immeasurable. The joy and bittersweetness as I watch you grow and spread your wings is deeper than anything I've ever experienced before, and more than I ever thought possible. 

That beautiful, radiant smile. Never ever lose it. It is contagious and perfect and transparent and so full of life. That is truth, and you need to believe it.
The mama bear in me wants to protect you and that precious smile from the world. But I know the Lord will teach you to be strong in the face of those who try to steal your smile and shame you into holding in that joy. Jesus make my baby strong. Let that beautiful light shine from him no matter what is said to him by others.  Help him believe the truth about who he is. 

Drew lost his first two teeth... Bottom center, one in August just before school, one in October. He didn't want us to pull them, they just fell out on their own. He was so proud! 

This boy is so perceptive. I was working the other day and he came into my office and told me he was thirsty. I cupped his face in my hands and said goofily something about how I was thirsty too, and that his cup was upstairs on the counter if he needed to go get some water. A few minutes later he was slowly walking back into my office, carrying not just his cup, but a cup of water for me too. And that sweet little close lipped smile was on his face as he set my cup on my desk. I totally melted inside at his thoughtfulness. 

I was cleaning the kitchen one night and I forget what even happened, but he was aggravating Isaiah in some way and instead of just telling him to stop from a distance I came and set next to him and pulled him close to me and told him that I was hurting, that cleaning the kitchen and being on my feet right then was hard for me with a baby in my belly, and that I needed him to be a kind big brother while I finished up. The next thing I knew he was getting a wash cloth out of the drawer and running water on it to wipe down the table for me. When he finished that he asked what else he could do to help. He not only heard me, but he reversed roles on me and did his best to try to care for me. It is a regular occurrence for him to thoughtfully bring me a blanket if he thinks I'm cold, or try to help me up if I'm on the floor playing with them. He helps best when he's not told, when the idea comes to him all by himself. Those moments blow me away. I cannot believe his sweet and thoughtful heart.

And of course sweet boy, as much as I adore that angel side of you, you are also a six year old boy. And you come home from school full of pent up energy from trying to be good all day and practically tackle Isaiah the moment you walk through the door, and I have to occasionally drag you off of him, and then you say the word poop about 5,000 times throughout the remainder of the day, since you've been holding that in all day too.  And to a six year old boy there is apparently nothing funnier than the word poop. I secretly kind of love it, but of course tell you that you probably should just refrain from saying it at the dinner table, because that's what moms do... they try to teach you manners even when they think your lack of them are slightly (or incredibly) hilarious. 
That serious face. Ahh!! You try so hard sometimes to hide your deep emotions behind a serious face. You often turn away or bite your tongue when you are particularly happy about something. And you cover your face when you are hurting too. Just know, my baby, that you never ever need to hide your emotion and your feelings from your heavenly father. It is ok to be seen. You are loved so completely. There is nothing you could ever do to lose the love that is in my heart for you. 

I love to watch you build legos. You carefully open your instruction book and follow each step, sorting through pieces, picking up the right ones in your sweet little fingers, attaching it just so,  until you've made the back hoe or battleship or airplane you set out to make, and then you proudly drive/sail/fly it from room to room showing everyone what you'd built. You have such a gift as an artist too. I can't believe the things you draw, your creativity at this age. When you learn to draw something new you will draw it over and over and over again. Two of your favorite things to draw right now are turkeys and sharks. The other day you drew candy canes just to show me you could. You come home with coloring pages from school that you drew all over the back of... penguins and peacocks and crabs and all kinds of things... I love your artwork more than you will ever know. When you are particularly excited about a project you did at school but didn't get to bring home yet you will make it over again at home just to show me what it looked like. You made two little construction paper turkeys from cut out feathers and googly eyes, using a glue stick to carefully attach everything together, and you made them as Christmas gifts for your brothers. The idea was all yours. You love to reproduce your works of art so that everyone in our family has a copy of what you made and love. 
You are learning to read, and you are doing so well with math. You stay in green or blue for your behavior every day at school and you always make me guess what color you got at the end of the day. It is so fun to come through the car pool line at school and see your little smiling face coming out of the building and toward our van. I hope you are always excited to see me that way. It was so, so hard for me to work today while you were off school and home with me. I wanted to spend the day with you painting those Christmas ornaments we've been talking about. But I'm done working now baby until after your baby sister gets here. And I can't think of anything I want more than quality time with you and your brothers over this next month and a half before our family dynamic changes again and I am needed around the clock so completely by a newborn again.
I think your relationship with your baby sister is going to be so incredibly tender and special. I am so excited to watch you with her. Isaiah is practically your twin best friend that you can't remember life without and you treat as your equal. Jaden is littler enough than you that you nurture him and teach him more and try to still carry from him place to place (even when he is resisting). And the age difference will be enough between you and baby girl this time that the nurturing side will come out even more in you. I can tell by the way you try to hide your smile when we talk just how excited you are for her to be here. :) 

Oh sweet boy, there is so much more I could say. When you read these words someday, I pray you are filled to overflowing with the knowledge that you are loved and treasured, that you always have been, that you always will be. That you are a gift this world desperately needs. That you are fearfully and wonderfully made. That who you are is more than enough. That the gift of leadership and creativity within you is for a purpose. Jesus make my boy strong when I can't always be there with him. Lead him gently and protect his heart. Help him freely pour out his beautiful personality and that contagious smile. 

Drew, even when you stop calling me mommy and switch to mom someday, even as you grow up and become more and more independent, even as change is sure to come, one thing will never change. To me, you will always be that precious, sleeping baby in my arms, with the soft little cheeks that mesmerized me then and still do as I cup them and look into your eyes now. One day you will grow taller than me. One day I will look up into those brown, almond eyes instead of down. But you will always be my firstborn. You will always be fiercely loved by your mama. You will always be my baby. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

33 Week Pregnancy Update

So here I am... 33 weeks tomorrow. In so many ways this pregnancy has flown by. I didn't stop throwing up until 20 weeks (although it slowed down majorly after 15 weeks...) and the intense ligament and hip pain didn't start until October. So I would say September was the golden month of this pregnancy so far. 

So I've never just answered a list of pregnancy questions before, but it's seems the easiest way to document where I'm currently at. So here it goes. :) 

How far along: 33 weeks

Weight Gain: 30 lbs. - and I guess I'll use this question to say that because of my history of big babies my doctors are always very concerned that I might have gestational diabetes. I on the other hand, am not concerned at all. Shaun was 10 lbs 1 oz, I was 9 lbs 15 oz. I think it might be genetically impossible for me to have tiny babies. Anyway, I took the 1 hr glucose test several weeks late this time, and it was 2 over the limit (which is a common occurrence if you take the test later in pregnancy). So they recommended I have the 3 hr test done. But instead of taking the 3 hr test or pricking my finger after every meal, I am choosing to eat the gestational diabetic diet to appease my dr (and because it's just a healthy way to eat in general and won't hurt me and might help baby girl be smaller) so since going pretty hardcore on this about a month ago I started losing weight and am currently weighing less than I did at 28 weeks pregnant. I'm not concerned about my weight at all, I've ended all three of my previous pregnancies within 2 or 3 pounds of each other regardless of my starting weight and am on course to end around the same place this time too. But it feels good to know that my efforts (and sugar deprivation, especially this time of year) are making a difference. I DID have apple pie on Thanksgiving. And oh my was it good. I hard boil eggs and cook lots of chicken all at once for the week ahead to have proteins on hand and all ready, and I eat smaller amounts of carbs consistently through the day and always with a protein. It is taking a lot of self-control. 

Food Cravings: Seems an appropriate place to go from there... My biggest craving is Red Curry Chicken. (Specifically from Wasabi.) And my other craving.... a warm, fudge brownie topped with melty peppermint ice cream.... I WILL pick a special day to have this, but I am waiting until I can wait no longer... :) Also, as in my last three pregnancies carrots and apples are so, so appealing. There is just nothing like the sweet, crunchy, earthy taste of carrots right now... mmm :) And I like milk more than usual. 

Sleep: Really, really rough. Usually awake for a while between 4 and 6 am every night. Baby girl is awake with me then too. Lots of right hip pain. Sometimes wake up in so much pain from my round ligament that I can't move and Shaun has to come cradle me in his arms and lift me to a sitting position. 

Miss anything?: Hugging my husband straight on, instead of from the side. 

Any signs of labor: Lots and lots and lots of contractions. 

Movement: SO much. she is always very active in the morning when i wake up and at night right before bed. And then all day long too, haha. I've been able to see her pushing and stretching from the outside since about 24 weeks. 

Looking forward to: Christmas and doing something special with the boys before baby comes. And finishing the nursery. :) 

Best moment of the week: They all involve the sweet sensitivity of my boys to me during this time... Jaden can tell if I'm in pain and looks at me and gives me kisses and says "orry mommy..." (sorry mommy). Drew will try to help me up if I'm sitting on the ground. Isaiah could tell I was in pain getting out of the van the other day and when I was unbuckling him from his car seat he said, "I can help you carry something, Mommy." And took the coats from my arms and carried them inside for me. They are so perceptive and so kind. I couldn't ask for three better little caretakers. Besides that, decorating our Christmas tree last weekend was absolutely magical because our boys are so very into everything this year. I loved watching their excitement to see the ornaments they remembered again, and the way Jaden hung every candy cane I gave him on the same branch. 

So there we go. Pregnancy with baby girl at 33 weeks. :) 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Touring Our Home: The Boys' Room (Shared space between THREE kids) :)

My boys are all in one bedroom now as we get the nursery ready for the next baby.... We've gone through this process before... First moving Isaiah in with Drew to get ready for Jaden, now moving Jaden in with his big brothers to get ready for baby girl. Jaden couldn't be happier. :)
I am head over heels in love with the photo below, all three in jammies in snuggled up together :)
So this is what their room looks like now. Well, this is what it looks like when we spend a little time picking up and making beds first anyway. Just for the record, I don't make their beds on the daily. They did every morning this summer, before school started. Now we just don't have time before rushing out the door and starting the day.
 Here is what that corner where Jaden's bed now sits looked like before:
 I like it better with all the little furniture moved and just the bed there now. We took the white covered end table out of the room, slid the wooden one over next to Drew and Isaiah's bed, and moved the book case next to the door. The little table is kind of a floating island in the corner where the dresser and closet are, and in some ways is in the way, but they love sitting around this table to color and read and play so much there was no way I was moving it out. So a little crowded is ok with me.
So Drew and Isaiah still share the double bed on the left. Jaden now sleeps in this single bed on the right. It is actually the bottom frame to a bunk bed with the railings from the top bunk attached to it. We have plans to eventually add the top bunk frame to it and puts two twins next to each other perpendicular to the top bed to create a king size bed on the bottom. Drew will get the top, and Isaiah and Jaden will start sharing. But this is what works for now :)

When I told them I was taking pictures of their bed Drew and Isaiah lined their favorite stuffed animals up in front of their pillows "for the pictures."

We just pulled out all their Christmas books to stack up on their end table. And underneath are their "treasure box"- the contents of which are always changing, and their sticker books and crayons in a little basket. They keep their fish food and card games in the drawer. 
Dresser Number one. We play music all through the night and day in their room, so the ipod dock sits here. And their awesome antique car, that is sometimes decoration, sometimes hauling around their stuffed animals on the floor. And their two fish. Underwater, and Little House. The best fish names ever. 


The closet is where the real magic happens. (In my opinion) It's what allows three boys to share a not so big bedroom comfortably. Besides the visible dresser, I have another one tucked into the closet. This means each boy gets three drawers (one for pajamas/socks/underwear, one for summer clothes, one for pants and sweatshirts) plus a third of the closet hanging space for long sleeved shirts/sweaters/vests/coats etc.. 
I have a pretty precise clothing rotation system down by now... Isaiah is really just one year behind Drew in clothes, so I only have one year of clothing in storage ready to be pulled out at a time. I keep the boxes for the year gap between Isaiah and Jaden under the bed. When it's time to change them over, Drew gets new clothes, Drew's clothes get moved to Isaiah's drawers, Isaiah's clothes go to boxes to wait for next year, the boxed clothes move to Jaden's drawers, Jaden's clothes go to the attic. (That last step brings me to tears every time... moving the things they've all three worn into storage for now...)
There is a big bin of stuffed animals to the left of the dresser tucked into the corner of the closet. the right corner has a bag with their toy nativity set and pop up tents in it. The clear plastic bins hold shoes waiting for each one to grow into. And there's that wire bin to hold all their sports balls.
These frames will eventually be updated to photos of all three of them. I have quite a few favorites I can't wait to pop in there :) I also have a corkboard to hang, a really cool silver moose head and three hooks for their backpacks to hang on. Not sure when those things will be hung though... might wait til a little later. :)
And now.... let's be real.... Here is the minefield you might have to walk through to get to their bedroom more often than not. Their stuffed animals are always going on adventures and taking over whole rooms or hallways of the house. I wouldn't have it any other way. :)
 Sweet Jaden boy asleep in the early morning light. And this is what the bed would likely look like the rest of the day too. :)
 Looking at their VERY special Peter Pan pop-up book from aunt Nan.

 And reading their nativity book on the floor:
It is so fun watching the three of them become so close. I shared a room with my sister as far back as I can remember until the day before my wedding. I wouldn't trade that for the world. Late night talks and falling asleep laughing and not being able to avoid each other if we were fighting... We would clean our room together and rearrange our furniture for fun and look through each others closets... I'd do her hair and we'd dance and we basically had the most fun sleepovers every night. I am so looking forward to them experiencing the same kind of bond of closeness and time together, falling asleep and waking up in the same room just does something for that, I'm convinced.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Maternity wear: basics plus accessories

I've been noticing a trend in the way I am dressing as it gets colder and my bump continues to grow... Basic, simple maternity pieces combined with accessories that feel seasonal and like me. 

I love the texture of the knit sleeves on this white maternity sweater. And the fact that it is so neutral and basic and can be worn lots of different ways. Here a white sweater and ripped jeans feel a little more special with red flats and a striped scarf. 

White sweater: H&M 
Ripped Jeans: Motherhood
Gray scarf: J. Crew
Red flats: Gap 

Believe it or not, nothing in the below photo is maternity. This neutral, basic dress is from J. Crew and wears like a shift dress when not pregnant. I kind of like it better with a bump. I styled it with a jean jacket, red infinity scarf and brown boots here. 

Dress: J. Crew
Jean Jacket: H&M 
Scarf: made by me
Boots: Steve Madden

This might be the best example of all: A long sleeved gray t and flare jeans. But add a plaid blanket scarf and the red flats again and it feels current and seasonal and so fun. The waterfall braid has been my go to here lately also. 

Here I'm wearing thick gray maternity leggings from target and a purple maternity tank from Old Navy that I got during my pregnancy with Jaden. To "winterize" it I added tall black boots, a chunky cream infinity scarf, long black cardi and a floppy hat. 

(Same outfit as above, just more fun shown outside where I actually wore it) 

Hat: H&M 
Scarf: Target
Tank: Old Navy
Cardi: Target
Leggings: Target
Black Boots: DSW

And last, another perfect example of what I mean by basics: A black maternity tank and black maternity leggings, adding pieces that are non-maternity to spice it up. And again with the waterfall braid. 

Black Maternity  Tunic Tank: Old Navy
Black Maternity Leggings: Target
Aztec print cardi: Cotton On
Brown Boots: Steve Madden
Necklace: Stella & Dot 

Hope that can inspire ways to invest in the most basic of leggings/pants and tanks/tops and then combine them with fun statement pieces that you already have!! :)