Friday, November 25, 2016

Opt Outside { Vashon Island }

Who wants to fight crowds in hot, sweaty places the day after Thanksgiving? Black Friday shopping has NEVER been "my thing"... it's the furthest thing from being "my thing"... So, when REI came out with "Opt Outside"... I was completely on board. The premise is, to NOT go shopping and battle crowds for useless toys, I mean, cherished gifts... but rather, take on an adventure outdoors... enjoy the fresh air, and discover something new. So, we did just that. We enjoyed our very first car ferry ride to Vashon Island, where we played for a few hours on the beach. Nothing crazy fancy... just collected some treasures (driftwood/stones/etc.), enjoyed some lunch and a yummy cup of coffee...and then made our way back home on the ferry. It's awesome to see what the kids enjoy doing most while on the beach. One REALLY likes to throw rocks into the ocean... while another REALLY likes to collect shells, rocks, you name it... some REALLY just sleep the time away or eat...while another REALLY loves to meet people and talk their ears off. I'll let you figure out which kids did what.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

This year Thanksgiving looked a lot like years from the past... simple yet yummy. It was a quiet (as quiet as a house with 5 kids can get), rainy/windy day... and we embraced the laziness that came along with it. I joked that while many were prepping for this big day, I was barely keeping my kids alive. Chaos from the holidays can be so intense... creating the "perfect" Thanksgiving... there's nothing about that, that draws me in. It's completely off putting. With two new babies in the house, we decided to order a turkey a week ago from the local organic grocer. It was brined, stuffed and ready to head right into the oven... it was the BEST decision we could have made for this year... the yummiest decision. We pulled out the "fancy glasses" (the kids' favorite part) and gathered around the table... so much to be thankful for... God is so so good.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

We Must Play.

October was the wettest month recorded ever, here in Washington. I always say, a rainy day is a gift... because it's a day where I'm being told to "slow down"... Well, a whole month of that, right after babies are born... and you're left with a bit of cabin fever. But I needed that month to navigate through this new found "mother of 5" gig... we needed that month. There's a ton of change when you welcome a new one into the house... and double the amount when you welcome twins.

 I'm so thankful that we are starting to finally feel a bit of a routine/rhythm here these days. It always changes once I start feeling "comfortable"... because God likes to throw a good challenge at me. Do I have moments where I feel like I'm drowning? Absolutely. But when I'm not... I'm trying to soak up this time that'll pass all too quickly. So when the sun comes out... we must play.

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Friday, November 04, 2016

Dear Josephine and Mable { 1 month }

Dear Josephine and Mable,

Our sweet Josey and May... you are 1 month old today... how is that even possible? The time has completely flown by... and yet, it feels like this newborn sleep deprivation stage is taking eternally WAY too long. We do what we gotta do for you two though... and you're totally worth it (you can give us a few smiles soon though, ok? You know, the ones that you actually MEAN to do, instead of do because you're passing gas. The ones that make it all worthwhile).

You two were born a few weeks early, so you're actually only 1 week old passed your "due date"... You're still fairly sleepy... but compared to the beginning, you're a lot more awake. I'd say you go a few minutes before you're back in a slumber. You give us a few hours stretch each night before feedings begin, most nights... but some nights you keep us up wanting to eat ALL THE TIME. Let's talk about feedings first. Both of you are doing so well at nursing. It was something Mommy really tried hard to work with you both on for the first few days/weeks... and it seems to be paying off. Josey, you needed a lot of work, because of your sweet little lip. You weren't able to get a good seal, so for the first few days after you were born, you quickly lost a good amount of weight. After training you with a bottle (we had to squeeze your cheeks up to the bottle while feeding you, which makes you look like a chipmunk)... Mommy has been able to nurse you so wonderfully. You still need the occasional "top off" bottles... but that has gone from every other feeding, to just 1 bottle at the most a day. You are already proving to be a "go getter". Mable, you have been a latching queen since day 1. Even though you're smaller, you're a vicious eater. You nurse for 15-20 minutes tops.... like a hoover vacuum. Mommy has attempted to tandem feed the two of you, but it's pretty tough. She's been successful about 5 times now. Otherwise, she enjoys giving you each a little "Mommy and Me" one on one time.

Both of you have gained over a pound of weight since birth! Josephine, you are 7 lbs. 12 oz. and Mable, you are 6 lbs. 15 oz. The doctor is super impressed with you both, and is excited to see you now on your 2nd month birthday. Thank goodness... because we've been to A LOT of appointments recently, and it's tough getting you two (as well as Marley and Finn) anywhere on time.

Josephine... aka Josey, Jo Jo, Joe, Josie Pie, Fuss bucket, Dosey (how Finn says your name)... you my dear have been quite the talkative one out of the two of you. You always have something to say... with a groan, moan, grunt. Even in your sleep, you squeak or snore or snort. You remind us most of your sister Marley... she was the exact same way... and we can't keep her quiet now... so something tells me, it'll be the same with you. You were the "easier" of the two of you in the womb... but now that you're out, you've made your presence known... and can be quite the fussy one. We're trying to figure out what ticks you off, before it ticks you off... You are so strong. You can nearly hold your head up on your own, and can already roll around when you're on your back. You love being sung to... it's your favorite... along with snuggling up on a chest. We can't get over how attached we are to your little imperfect lip. We've had to take you to Seattle Children's Hospital twice now, since you've been born. The first time, was to get an evaluation, and meet some of the doctor's on your surgical "team". The second time was to meet with the one doctor that we didn't meet the first time, the plastic surgeon, Dr. Hopper. They've all assured us that you are in good hands with them, and we totally agree. They are looking at performing surgery to correct your lip when you are 4-6 months old. We are just waiting for a date now. The good news, is that it'll only be 1 surgery... and Dr. Hopper said it would be a fairly "easy" one for him. It shouldn't take him more than 2-3 hours rebuilding your lip, and fixing the septum of your nose. All have said that you should be able to nurse right after surgery (thanks to the numbness you'll experience for a few hours after surgery)... and that seems to help with recovery so much. We know that this is part of your story... and trusting these doctors is a big deal... but overall, our sweet Heavenly Father is completely in control of this, and we rest handing it all over to Him.

Mable... aka May, Mabe, Mable Syrup, Maybee, Old Lady Mabe, Bable (how Finn says your name)... you sweet girl, might be a little one, but you sure are fierce and mighty. You are beyond quiet, until you NEED something. You can go from 0-100 in less than a second. It's crazy... and strangely familiar. A lot like your brother Finn. We try and catch you before it even gets to that point. You sleep so wonderfully, it's truly a beautiful thing. It'll be interesting to see if you keep up with it as you grow. You are catching up to Josey's size quickly, just a little shy of 7 lbs. now (heck, you might even be 7 lbs. already since that weight check was 2 days ago). You are are starting to use your neck a little more and more each day. You like to flop it from side to side, and we have to pay attention that you don't dive off our shoulders when we're holding you. You are content in most places... super adaptable. You have had to travel to the hospital with us as we brought your sister, and people hardly even know that you're there... super duper content. Your name means "loveable"... and your petit little features and personality are just that.

The last month has BY FAR been the toughest month of our lives... but I don't think Mommy and Daddy would trade one moment of it (when you ask us in a few years). Yes, we've had some serious lack of sleep... and yes, we have less "me" time... but we do it because we love you. We have embraced the chaos/noise that has increased in our house, and can't remember what life was like before you two. Your brother and sisters ADORE you. They get excited to "hold" you whenever we let them... they "beep beep" your noses... and smooch your cheeks ALL THE TIME (that's your brother's favorite thing to do). We can't wait to see what you think of them when you finally figure out that they're the ones making all the racket around you as you try and sleep. We can't wait for your personalities to explode more and more each month... to see what you two become.

You two, totally complete our family... we love you dearly,

Daddy, Mommy, Charlotte, Marley and Finn.
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