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.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Ivy Hope is Here!

Our second daughter and fifth child, sweet Ivy Hope, was born on Christmas morning! She is the most beautiful, dear little one and we're so in love with her.

We went to our church's Christmas Eve service after dinner on Wednesday. I was in early (very early) labor. How sweet it was to sing Christmas carols and take Communion (the boys' first!) together, while thinking about how soon we'd be holding our baby girl. 
Ivy is our smallest bio baby, but a big girl nonetheless! Those cheeks! They did get smaller over the first week, but they're still kissable and adorable.

Haylee spent the night with the kids, who were delighted and surprised by their Christmas present the next morning.

The first time holding their new sister:

Grammy and Papa, along with Lena and Laura came over to meet her a few hours after she was born.

Then, after a few hours' nap, we had Christmas. I mean, we couldn't wait a day, right? It was Christmas after all. Laina got a baby doll to match Mama's new baby.

The day after Christmas and the many adorable faces of our girl.

We seriously can't get enough of her.

Ivy Hope, you are our best Christmas present ever, save of course another Baby who was born on Christmas Day. We are so grateful to be your parents and overwhelmed by God's kindness in giving you to us. We love you, sweet girl!