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Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ivy Three Months


Beach tree

Christmas card

Christmas card pictures and Ivy in light in her halo

Johanna is 11

Christmas PJ's

Every. Single. Year.
This is happening.

I'm so incredibly happy she still lets me do PJ pictures! Actually, there is no way she would be left out! She is working her tail off in school.  She has some serious things to work out but she is tackling them! She hasn't gone to an actual school building since Kinder! It will all fall into place and I know she will get the hang of it.  She is really enjoying the social aspect.  We were getting pretty lonely all by ourselves.  I mean we love Bella at 7-11 but she works a lot so we can't hang out that much ha.

Georgia is thriving in her new school.  It feels like we are fighting an uphill battle trying to get her out the door in the morning, but once she gets there, she rocks.  Johanna is always breathing down our necks about being late.  I call it an irrational fear.  I tried talking her through it, asking her what she thinks may happen if they are late to school one day.  It doesn't help.  We've decided sleeping in their uniforms for the next day helps, so who really need jammies!  

The other day Shi told someone that he was "homeschooled".  It was the cutest thing I had ever heard.  We are working on his reading with "The Boring Book".  He is a though nut.  Likes to do everything on his own terms.  I have to get really creative just to get him to attempt any kind of "school work".  The girls loved anything I gave them to do for school, he's gonna give me a run for my money.

Our little miss.  She doesn't sleeping pictures, but somehow the sleeping fairies new that momma wanted these pictures.  I was sweating and my back was KILLING me.  She has this little dot on her cheek that I didn't edit out.  It just appeared one day and Georgia and I were sure it was a mole.  So I left it in the pictures.  A few days later, it scratched right off ha.  Definitely, not a mole. 

My little collection of babies.

Every time I take pictures, I'm physically and mentally drained (especially recovering from a c-section and caring for a newborn who only sleeps while being held).  I wonder if it was really worth all the effort.  When I look back, I could cry. It was worth every single bit of stress.

This picture reminds me of Ivy's little floppy baby body. It wasn't even that long ago, and she's already so different.  Her round tummy that bulged on the sides and her warm snuggly head, makes me want to pull her right back into bed next to me.

Tree Farm

This post is gonna be a doozie.  So many stories to tell.

Here I am in Florida and Christmas is quickly approaching.  I'm so jealous of my Ohio friends posting all their tree farm pictures.  I'm hunting for tree farms of any kind in Naples and there is nothing.  NOTHING.  Elle and I are at Walmart (which I haven't been to a Walmart in 5 years and can't even really remember why we were there in the first place).  We are in the check out line and see a lady holding a live Christmas tree and the price tag says $5.  We looked at each other with huge eyes.  $5??????? We ran and got one for the Burkholder family to surprise them when they got to Meme's house.  As I was laying down that afternoon to nap, I couldn't stop thinking about $5 trees.  I ran some numbers in my head, text Chip, jumped out of bed, and ran back to Walmart.   Filled my car with 7 Christmas trees to make my very own tree farm in my front yard.  God bless my husband.

I have never been so happy in my life that I did something so weird for a picture.  This picture of Georgia and Shiloh may be my most favorite to date.

New story!
My attempt at catching perfect sunset light with four children on their best behavior was simply a dilution.  My kids were cranky from the beginning, Johanna didn't want to be touched, Georgia wanted to hold Ivy, Shi said his belly hurt and he couldn't stand up anymore.  I was sweating and stressing about losing light and wanting so badly for my tree investment to be successful.  We finally quit and I felt sad that it had all fallen apart.  That night I loaded the images to my computer and I laughed so hard at each one that I had tears streaming down my face.  I could hear all the chaos and drama while I looked at them and instead of feel disappointment and stress, I loved every single one and literally could not stop cry laughing.  I was incredibly sleep deprived and I'm sure it was contributing to my hilarity.  But my goodness, I love these four little twits.  And even when it doesn't seem fun, at least its absolutely hilarious to remember.  

Target sucks me into buying the weirdest things.  Somehow I left the store with a wooden bottle holder and a 6 pack of Coke.  Shi got to have his very own "Diet Coke" and basically thought he had won the lottery.  He realized about a third of the way through, that it's too sugary and hurts the belly.  But it was fun for the first few sips!

Georgia humors me like no other.  Her hair was thick with hair chalk from Johanna's birthday party and she hadn't showered in days.  Within 30 seconds of me yelling and throwing things at her she was outside with her game face on.

We have a tree farm...must have snow.
Even if it's plastic snow that could potentially harm the environment (I swear we tried to clean it all up).

I'm just gonna put this out there...
NEVER have I ever spent a more important $100 than when I created a tree farm in the front yard of our Florida house.
(We did have a man come to the door and ask if he could buy one,

Christmas is coming

I love taking pictures on my bed.  The light is something I've missed so much! We had wonderful light when we lived in Springboro.  I'm definitely taking advantage of it here! Ivy still has grey blue eyes and I just love her little baby pieces.   

Christmas is creeping up on us. 
The Christmas parade was a highlight for sure! The kids got more candy at the parade than they did on Halloween! No joke.  Never mind that it was THE only rainy night we had in six weeks.  The kids took off their shoes and jumped in the puddles soaking wet, while Ivy and I hid under the umbrella Chip held for us.   Making new memories.

Christmas in the living room

Our baby's first Christmas.

Of course it was going to be special.  I just needed to capture a tiny piece of it.  A piece of her and a piece of them with her.  It was also our first Christmas in Florida.  We didn't bring much with us from Ohio, so we had to decorate with new things and buy a real Christmas tree from the Publix tree lot.  The kids were sad we didn't have our ornaments from home so I promised we would get them to Florida for next Christmas.  

Our Florida rental house was unfurnished. We had to purchase all of the necessities when we moved in.  While I love all the fresh new things, the kids miss our old stuff in Ohio.  Bren was able to bring us a few things from home when he came in November.  So, this furry rug is straight from our Ohio living room.   

The girls dresses are all so special.  I can't help it.  I care about dresses.  Dresses make me nostalgic and emotional. I don't keep them forever and if they get messed up, we shake it off.  But, the pictures...they stay.  And the memories, those are seared in my heart. 

On that note let me just say, Georgia was pinching Shi behind his back which made him cry and the baby was so tired and just wanted to sleep and not be messed with, but for ONE split second everything was calm.  I got my perfect picture in the midst of the ever loving chaos. 

Johanna is only a few weeks from turning eleven years old.  I'm not even sure how that is possible.  We are wading in unchartered waters and I'm not sure I'm doing the best job.  Hopefully, we can make it through this without me screwing it all up too badly.  She's so interesting and so quirky.  I just want to also make sure she is empathetic and productive.  This is our daily struggle.  But she is one of a kind! She is taking the move like a CHAMP.  She started school with some hurdles to overcome and she is handling it like a BOSS.  We are so proud of her.

Our emotional butterfly Georgia.  Of course she loves school! She begs for us to come eat lunch with her everyday.  I've figured out that is her love language...food and quality time.

Shiloh misses his playroom in Ohio and talks about it like its Disney World.  I hope it's not a let down when we go back in March.  The playroom mostly consists of McDonald's Happy Meal toys and stuffed animals we didn't have room to pack, but to him...it's Nirvana.

I shed a tear when I put this dress on this beautiful girl.  As I type this now, I'm crying again.  She is a dream.  One I didn't even dare to ask for but can't believe it's real.  I had my nails done the other day and the woman said, "You have four kids? Oh, so she was an accident cause you already had enough!"  I responded "Nope.  We WANTED her!"

I wanted her before I even knew her.  I lied when I said we don't keep dresses forever.  I boxed up this dress she is wearing and we are keeping it forever.  We can't keep her tiny forever, but dammit I can keep that tiny baby dress forever.

How can four humans cause so much chaos, and make us blissfully happy and fulfilled all at the same time?  What a blessed life we live.

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