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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Three Months with Ivy

9 Weeks 
She spent her first Thanksgiving with her cousins and went to her second movie.  She's a smiley little babe but if she loses eye contact we lose the smile.  Makes it hard to take pictures. She loves sunset as long as we can keep all the sand out of her face.    

10 weeks
Double digits! We live for her smiles and I hog all of her cuddles.  Her little talking noises completely melt us.  Watching her so intentionally try to put her fist in her mouth makes us giggle.  We love all her stages!

11 weeks
Our Christmas baby.  Her sweet voice is our favorite sound to wake up to each morning.  Her violent gags when she gets her hand stuck in her mouth sends us all scrambling to help her.

12 weeks
Her Christmas gifts I ordered were all lost in the mail.  
Oh well, she likes kisses and cuddles better anyway.

13 weeks
She's so squishy you can't help but squeeze her.
Daddy is the best at making nighttime bottles and holding her when her belly hurts.

3 months
She is rolling over and we heard her laugh for the first time.
She is a bundle of joy.  Her kicks of happiness are the best. What a glorious three months!

Sister Sets

Our very first tiny Well Dressed Wolf.  
When I was pregnant, I never dreamed the babe in my belly was a girl.  I had a cart full of boy clothing ready to purchase when I went to get my ultrasound.  It took me days to fully wrap my mind around a girl.  I couldn't believe I would get to do all the dresses again.  And sister sets... (they actually aren't my thing because I prefer coordinating and not matching) how could I resist???!!!

Georgia is completely enraptured by her baby sister.  She pushes the limits of what I'm comfortable with daily (but that's not really anything new).  She's actually a huge help.  Some days I've held Ivy so many hours I just need a few minutes to rest my back.  Georgia is always willing to give her a bottle or cuddle her on my bed.  

Ivy loves being held.  All day and all night.  
I love holding her.

I think about Georgia being a momma or a teacher or the worlds best babysitter all the time.  She's so natural at taking care of littles.  I tell the girls all the time about how fun "Little Sibs Day" will be when they are in college.  I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but I can't help it.  I love that the big girls are old enough to remember Ivy being tiny.  I remember taking care of my sister when I was ten and absolutely loving every minute of it. 

  God knew just what we needed, this tiny little angel girl.
And surprise sister sets.
(and if I could have squeezed my adult-sized 11 year old in a Christmas juju, I would have)

Beach Tree

So I bought seven Christmas trees and seven stands.  
I had to use them more than once so we took one to the beach.
These swimsuits were the best Amazon Prime could offer, and they are dang cute!
We left the tree right there.  I don't think beach patrol was too happy about it, but everyone on the beach LOVED it.  Just spreading a little Christmas cheer!

Christmas card

Our first family pictures all together and in our happy place.  My Christmas card album is one of my favorites.  The last 11 years I've saved each card and put it in an album.  Our last beach Christmas card was just Chip, Johanna, and I.  What a beautiful life.

I had to squeeze these pictures in somewhere because my tiny blue eyed baby is changing so quickly.  Her little almond eyes pierce my soul and bring me to tears. I love all her little bits. I thought this morning about how one day I'll be an old woman, and I wondered if I would remember any of the little details.  Like how my feet ached every time I got up in the night.  How I would beg for just a 3-4 hour stretch of sleep.  How I sometimes slept on the couch in the living room just for a different sleeping position.  How I loved looking out the front bay window and being able to see everything outside because the moon was so bright.  And when a car drove by at 3am, I felt oddly comforted that other people were awake too.  How she slept in my arms since the night she was born, even when those pesky nurses tried to tell me not to.  How my back ached all the time.  How cozy it felt holding her all night.

All the details.  I want to remember them all.  

Johanna turns 11

Sometimes I wonder how I got here.  I mean I actually lived through these eleven glorious years as a mother, it just all went by so quickly.  How did I end up here, with a lady in front of me?

Babies growing up is hard for me.  Way more difficult than I ever imagined.  I knew that little babies grow to be big ones, I just wasn't prepared for it to actually happen to me.  She's still all the things I love about her, interesting and funny and quirky and and smart and witty and inspired.  She's just packaged up all different.  Along with all those things I love, there is now also, attitude and sass and defiance and eye rolling and hurt feelings.  I'm really good at the little part, I'm not very good at the big part.  I hope she can be patient with me and forgive me when I make ALL the mistakes.

I hope I push her enough to make her soar.  I hope I let go of the things that don't matter.  I hope I can always swallow my own hurt feelings and protect hers.

I hope she always does her own thing.
I hope one day she will hang up her wet towel, instead of leaving it on the ground.
I hope she keeps twirling.

I hope she stays weird.  
I hope she always wants to hang out with me.  
I hope one day she will eat something other than plain white bread.  

I hope she sings out loud some day (even if it's just to her babies).  
I hope she never cares what others think.  
I hope she will always run toward her passions.  

I hope one day she gets to see Paris.
I hope she sticks up for the little guy.
I hope she values her friendships.

I hope she always lets me take her pictures.
I hope she keeps baking.
I hope one day she will be able to brush the back of her hair.

I hope she always has dimples in her hands.
I hope she never chooses safe instead of adventure.
I hope she always dreams BIG.
I hope she always follows Jesus.

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 do 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.

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