Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Transitioning to Three

A lot has changed in the one month since Cora has been born. I mean, we now have three kids and officially not enough hands. 

We had lots of friends tell us the jump to three was really hard, and some tell us that adjusting to the second child is harder than the third. We had a bit of a hard time, more emotionally than anything, after Case was born, so I had really been hoping that the transition to child number three would go easier. And, so far, it seems that adjusting to three has gone really smoothly for us. 

Grant has been working more, so we've been adjusting to him being gone in the evening. I told myself that I would get out of the house as much as possible while Cora was still little, because if I didn't adjust to toting around three children by myself while she sleeps most of the day, then I'd probably have a harder time trying to figure it out later on. So we do lots of playdates with friends and go to the park often. I've attempted a few Target runs and ran lots of errands. I've had a nerve-wrecking trip to the mall where I lost site of Rhett for a couple minutes. I found him chatting with an old lady about how he was hiding from his mom (Stinker). The poor lady seemed just as frantic as I did about him being lost! Thankfully, there have not been any other moments like that, and I have mastered (sort of, ha!) being out with all three. 

At home I have just learned to let her sleep in the back of the house so that the boys aren't poking at her constantly. Rhett really loves her and has been a big helper to me with all of the little tasks around the house, like throwing away diapers, closing doors so that Case can't destroy rooms, and helping empty the dishwasher (those are his favorite tasks, anyways). Case is a major busy body and is always pulling things out of cupboards and drawers and making a mess where you didn't think possible. I have decided that when we don't have company coming and Grant is working, I will just leave the house as is until they are in bed for the night. Gone are the days of picking up the house 15 times in a day. I would rather spend my time giggling with the boys than stressing about the house. So, I'm sorry if you stop over unannounced and our place is a wreck. That is just how its going to be until the boys are a little older and I'm getting a little more sleep, ha! 

Ultimately, adjusting to this little girl in our lives hasn't been nearly as hard as I thought it might be. We love her and couldn't imagine not having her around.

And now for some photo overload of our first month with Cora.

One of the best mommy feelings ever - holding your baby for the first time!
Melt my heart

one day old
Rhett is always snuggling her

Case is always laughing at her, kissing her, and giving her high-fives

What our family pictures will look like from now on - yikes!
Cora meeting her friend Katelyn :)
2 weeks
The boys like to "take care of" their sister

One Month - caught a half smile!

The intruder on our mini photo shoot

One Month

One Month

One Month

Rhett came running into the living room yelling "Case is a monster!" I replied, "Oh, yeah?" and Rhett yelled back "Yes, a COOKIE monster!" Then Case came running into the living room with a cookie in hand and chocolate all over his face...I'd say Rhett is right.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thank You to Our "Village"

Everyone knows the saying "it takes a village" when it comes to raising kids. It is so true, and we are so thankful for our 'village' filled with our family, church family and friends.

Today I tackled writing thank you letters. While this can be a time-consuming task, it is one that I have learned to enjoy so much! It is one of the greatest reminders of the love and support that we have around us. You all have clothed my children, fed my family and spoiled us all with great gifts - and for that I cannot say thank you enough! (Seriously, I can't even remember the last time I cooked dinner!) That is not even mentioning the encouragement, tips, reminders and shoulders to lean on throughout this enormous task of child-rearing. All of this has made our transition of two kids to three so much smoother. 

So THANK YOU to all of you that speak into our lives. 

My sister, Carrie always shares the best stories at the end of her letters that she calls "Tales from the Crib". I'm totally stealing that from her only being a little more boring and just calling it "Things heard around the house". I just want to write down all of these funny things that the kids do so that I can look back and remember them for years to come. And, this way, you can laugh along with me!

Rhett woke up at 6 and I told him to go back to sleep. His response was "But my eyes are awake!"

Rhett loves Cora and thinks she can do no wrong. He tells her that she is pretty or beautiful about ten times a day. (He also tells this to the ladies at the doctors office and Fareway - I always love the smile that it brings those ladies!) Last week while changing Cora's diaper Rhett yelled out "Mom, even her poop is pretty!" It's bright yellow right now. Gross.

"I'm Aaron" Rhett tells us all the time (as in, every.single.time we call him by his name) after watching his cousin, Aaron, play baseball. He thinks Aaron is the coolest. Usually after he reminds us that 'he's Aaron' he pretends to swing a bat and runs around the house.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Where We're At

On days like today, when you hit every end of the spectrum you could imagine, sometimes you just need to write...even if its been over 2 years since you last wrote.

That's right, last time I wrote on this blog I don't believe Rhett had even turned one yet! My, how things have changed! All three kids are tucked safely away in bed now, and as I recount my day I am so thankful for the Lord and all that he has blessed me with, and taught me over these past couple years.

This morning was just a relaxing, peaceful morning with the kids. We walked to the park, stopped in to say hi to the grandparents, headed home and had lunch with Grant before he had to take off to work. Then, we took Case in for his first hair cut with Auntie Pam. The kids all did really well through all of this (although we did have to pull out a sucker and some toys for case while getting his hair cut). We came home and there started the chaos. I was planning on just feeding Cora quick, grabbing my husbands phone that he'd left behind when he went to work, and running out the door again. Instead, I dealt with three kids that all had major needs at the same time. One child was running outside screaming, mad and naked (seriously, butt naked), while another was crying as she was sitting with poop all over her and everything in her vicinity, all while the third child had climbed into the bath tub fully clothed, shoes and all.

45 minutes into this battle, when I was starting to give up hope, the tantrum suddenly stopped. We talked about how we can pray to Jesus when we are upset and need to calm down, that Jesus hears our worries and cares deeply about us, and how Jesus tells us that we need to obey our parents. I'm never quite sure what he takes away from these conversions, so my heart melted when I heard Rhett whispering a few minutes later, "Jesus, help me to be a good boy tonight." Thank you, Lord, for just the thing this mommy needed to hear.

We all recovered from that hour fairly quickly and headed in to say a quick but sweet hello to Grant during his break, and then head to a good friend's house where we were able to sit on the back deck, watch the kids play, and have some very cherished chat time together. It was like one long, giant sigh of relief that we can get through the chaos of the afternoon and still remember that it was an amazing day that the Lord had made. Ahh. That's when it hit me that I've come a lot closer to my Savior than I was just a couple years ago. Parenting through the tantrums used to leave me feeling helpless and so, so stressed. I've learned now to take a deep breath, deal with it one day at a time, and cast my burdens fully over to Christ.  Because as I told my little three year old earlier today, He cares deeply for me, and only He can calm my fears and worries.

This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

So now, a little catch up of the crew and what we are up to:

Grant is still working with Sweet Honey and loving it. He did also start a part-time job about a month ago at Duluth Trading Company, and he has really enjoyed that as well. The part-time job was a decision we made while going through the Financial Peace University class this summer. We decided we wanted to be debt free sooner rather than later - and the best way to do that was to generate some extra income. If you've talked to Grant in the past month, you know that he loves Duluth's products and that the job has been a great fit for him.

I am staying at home with the kids and figuring out how to be in three places at once, ha! Clearly by my testament of the day, I am a work in progress. Thank you, Lord, for the glimpses of grace that you send my way each day!  I also am still doing some freelance graphic design from home, which I have really enjoyed.

Rhett is our spunky, wild, loving little boy. He thinks his baby sister is the greatest thing ever, and tells her she is beautiful all the time. He talks about thunder and skateboarding constantly. I can't get enough of his goofiness, and I love that he and Case are starting to play together more every day. Rhett is 3 years old.

Case loves all things music and dancing. He is just learning how to test the waters. He is cute and he knows it. He loves food and books, and more food. Today he had his first hair cut - Pam did such a good job with him! Case is almost 18 months old.
the before


after with Aunt Pam!

Cora is our sweet little girl. Her brothers love her so much and give her lots of kisses. She has slept well for mommy at night, but during the day wants to be held in order to stay asleep for naps. We cannot wait to see more of her personality as she grows up - it has been a fun three weeks so far!

one week old
three weeks old

And that's where we're at! Hopefully I will do a much better job keeping you all updated in the future!