Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cory's Seventh Birthday

Can you believe this handsome guy is seven? Even though he's been seven for...um...two months, it's still taking some getting used to.

Our traditional last-day-as-a-certain-age photos. Look at those dreamy eyes!

(typical Cory smirk!)

So the question, as January 15th, 2015 rolled around, was this: how can we make Cory's seventh birthday awesome and do it with a three-week-old baby? The answer: a trip to Tellus Museum with his family, best buddy, and cousins! He even asked for donuts instead of a cake. Easy-peasy!

(We weren't supposed to bring food into the cafeteria. We did it anyway. And, um, fire. Oops.)

(After a while, baby girl, Mason and I headed to the car for naps while the kids kept playing.)

 That night, we made our birthday banner and took some pictures. A great day was had by all!

Cory got a pocket knife for his birthday this year. He's been waiting for that since Iain got his when he turned seven. He was delighted. Overjoyed. Thrilled. Etc.

Cory, you're an awesome kid. You're smart, sensitive, determined, and hilarious. You love history and stories, legos and playing in the woods. You're learning to take things apart and (hopefully!) put them back together. You're a good friend and a good big brother. You're sweet and loving and still love to snuggle. We love you to pieces, Cory D! Happy birthday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Newborn Pictures

My sweet friend Sarah came over when Ivy was six days old and captured these beautiful moments. I love these pictures!

(Sarah Stephens Photography)

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Photo Shoot

Inspired by the great shots my friend Sarah (Sarah Stephens Photography) took of Ivy, I decided to try some of my own. They're nowhere near as good as hers, but when your subject is this cute, you can's go wrong.

Laina wanted her doll Lucy to get in on the fun. Mason wanted to play, too.

(Sarah's pictures coming soon!)

Monday, February 02, 2015

What's Saving My Life Right Now

I'm linking up with Anne from Modern Mrs. Darcy to talk about the things that are saving my life right now. In this crazy season with five littles, homeschooling, church, etc, it's good to take a moment and think about what makes life more sane.

1. Chai tea. I would love to drink a Starbucks Chai Tea Latte every day, but that would bankrupt us. Trader Joe's Spicy Chai is a good substitute. And there's something about filling the kettle, holding the steaming mug, and slowing down enough to sip it that makes everything less stressful and more delightful. Who knew tea could do so much? The British, I guess.

2. Books. For the rare quiet moment nursing, for any available downtime. The kindle is wonderful for ease of reading one-handed while nursing, and for the light at bedtime. Regular books are wonderful because they are wonderful. Am I the only one whose life is saved daily by reading?

3. The ergo. How on earth would I get anything done without it?

4. Sunny days, when I can send the kids outside and let them burn off some energy on the trampoline, digging holes, building forts, or taking walks.

5. Read-alouds. It's about the only school I can do while nursing (Ivy is not a great nurser, so none of this walking around while feeding her stuff). Good thing it's everyone's favorite. So far since she was born, we've finished Sarah, Plain and Tall, and are over halfway done with Sign of the Beaver.

6. The Instagram #yearofordinarybeauty project I'm doing with Alison. It's helping me see the beauty of these busy days, slow down, and capture the moments I will miss. (I'm notesinthemargins.)

7. Snuggling with this girl, especially at night. When the house is quiet, she's all mine. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Life with Five, First Edition

Get ready for a slew of Ivy pictures. Because she's tiny and cute, and I have a phone with a camera in it. (I don't care if your cell phone has a camera in it...) (Bonus points if you can identify that song.)

I don't even know the best way to organize this massive post. By date? By event? By hitting highlights of the past five weeks? Okay, we'll go with that.

Jeremy's parents stayed with us after Christmas for a little while. It was great having the extra help and the kids loved getting to read with Grammy, run remote controlled cars with Papa, and be generally cared for better than they would have been if it was just me in my sleep-deprived state. Jeremy was working, you know, to pay the bills and buy the food.

And I was enjoying my food, for the first time in nine months. Yum.


Then the new year turned over, and Jeremy donned one of his Christmas presents from me:
2014. It was a long, hard year. We were not sad to see it go.

Ivy took her first car trip (to the pediatrician), went to church for the first time, in this adorable dress that Cathy O made for her, and had her first bath (not necessarily in that order. I can't remember.)

See how much she looks like her brothers?
Iain's first bath:

Cory's first bath:

Ivy's first bath:

Mason's been getting better at playing by himself. Hallelujah.

 Have you ever seen a more delicious top-of-the-head? Come on.

She was only a few days old in these next few:

Nan and the Bells came to meet sweet Ivy. She held court very well.

Seriously, it's been so much fun having this little one around. Everyone is enamored of her.

How could you not be? Look at how she sleeps! 

This is how nap times go. Mason and I sit on the ground and sing (right now, it's Big Rock Candy Mountain), while Ivy hangs out in the chair. Or on me in the ergo, which is her preference. Mason doesn't mind as long as we sit on the floor and he has a blanket on. That boy LOVES his blankets.

Cory (I think?) took this one. 

 Ivy smiles! Often and adorably.

The boys got themselves dressed for church, wanting to match. Love these dudes.

I could smell her head all day long. Actually, I do smell her head all day long. If someone could bottle up that smell, they'd be rich.

We have a lot of fun times, this girl and I.

And in the midst of this crazy life, we started school up again. It's been...hard. Not bad, but really, really hard work. Juggling the needs and demands of five kids eight and under, two of whom are doing school, one of whom really wants to be doing school all the time, one of whom is a two-year-old boy (need I say more?) and one of whom wants to nurse all day long--it's a lot. I reheat the same cup of tea an average of five or six times before I finish it. School is loud, messy, chaotic, and hard. It's also beautiful. It's life.

We started Classical Conversations again.

Laina and her drawing inspired by Grandma Moses.

Jeremy and the boys watched the first Star Wars movie this month, in 40-minute increments. They loved it and the boys have been drawing light sabers ever since.

Ivy spends very little time in her crib.

She prefers to be held. And we prefer to hold her. There's that top-of-the-head again.

Random dance-party break in the middle of the day:

These guys are crazy.

For a little while, my kids were ages zero, two, four, six, and eight.

Wide-eyed princess.

And before we knew it, she was a month old.

 All my kids (except maybe Laina?) used and loved that yellow bouncy seat.

Oldest and youngest.

It's not all roses and sunshine (though it is a lot of roses and sunshine!). Ivy is colicky and spends most evenings from seven until midnight doing a lot of crying and a little sleeping. But it's okay. This too shall pass.

And last night, after her colicky spell, she slept for several hours straight. Which means I did too! Best sleep I've had since she was born. And this morning, she slept sweetly.