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Mattie Jayne: One Month

>> Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The first month of life with Mattie Jayne has been nothing short of pure joy.  It absolutely amazes me how she fits just perfectly with our little family and makes me feel whole.  I find myself saying that a lot.  My boys and Mattie, they are my world.  My everything.

As with your first month of life, miss Mattie's was loaded full of firsts.  The month went by so incredibly fast, I hope that I can remember all of the details!

First month, month of firsts:
Walk - my girl has rocked the Bob and craves our daily walks as much as I do.  When she gets fussy, we walk and she is one happy girl.  She loves the fresh air!
Family Date night - I didn't blog about our first family (of four) date night, or take any pictures.  Mr. and I thought it was more than appropriate to take our brood to the place it all began.  We went to the restaurant where we met I picked him up and just knew he was the one.  And almost nine years later, he was so the one and I couldn't be happier.  Sitting there with him, looking at our two precious miracles, felt like a dream come true...I still pinch myself some days.

Mattie and I have mastered many shopping trips and lazy days at home.  Some days completely disappear before my eyes and the boys are home before I've even brushed my teeth.  Other days are super productive and I have dinner one the table and wine in hand waiting for them to get home.  Either way, I wouldn't trade these days with her for the world.  I wish time could just stand still.
Mattie is a much better sleeper than her brother.  I re-read Jackson's one month post and his good nights are her bad nights (which are few and far between).  Mattie normally nurses every 3-4 hours during the day and will go anywhere from 4-5.5 hours at night.  Since she's turned one month, she's even given me one 8 hour stretch, one 7 hour and one 6.5 hour stretch...we're getting there:)
Speaking of nursing, I so forgot just how much those first few weeks hurt.  Mattie's latch in the hospital did a number to my nipples, but we've both learned from those days and it's smooth sailing now.  It took a good two weeks before I could nurse without any pain...and I started pumping this week, so I'm sure I'll have a little tenderness from the good ol' pump here soon.

Mattie loves to be held and toots like a man.  Poor girl can go through 2-3 diapers during one diaper change.  I'm seriously considering charging admission to come see her; dinner and Pampers in exchange for an hour visit?!? Any takers;)
When we were in St. Louis Mattie developed a serious case of cradle cap and baby acne.  Poor girl, but Jackson still calls her the prettiest girl in the world.  Jackson loves his baby and is anxious for her to wake up and play with him...he may regret this wish when she steals his dinos:)


St. Louis Road Trip 2013

>> Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A couple of weeks ago Mr. and I packed up the kiddos and headed 750 miles north for miss Amelia's 2nd birthday!  Call us me crazy for taking a 3.5 week old and a 3.5 year old road tripping, but it was probably the easiest trip yet.  Both kids were awesome and no tears were shed the entire 11.5 hours going or coming home.

However, the night before we planned to leave was a different story.  At one point I was pretty certain that we'd have to stay home.  No sooner then we had the car completely loaded and were headed to bed, Jackson woke up screaming.  He was writhing in pain, complaining of his ear hurting.  I was sure that his other ear drum was bursting and assumed another infection.  Nothing that a call into the pediatrician wouldn't fix from the road...and then he completely forgot about his ear and all hell broke loose.

For the next five hours Jackson had terrible stomach cramps every 30 minutes.  We were sure that he was getting the stomach flu and poor baby tried to throw up with all his might, but just couldn't make himself.  We're still not sure what happened or caused the cramping, but it was terrible.

So instead of getting on the road first thing in the morning, Mr. took Jackson to the pediatrician's office.  Like we suspected, he had another ear infection and his stomach was fine by the time they saw the doctor.  We waited for a couple prescriptions to be filled and got on the road around 2pm, which put us arriving at my sister's around was a long day!

As with all of our trips to St. Louis, they go by way too fast.

Four kids under the age of four makes for a lot of laundry and a crazy, loud house.  Lots of diapers were changed, alcohol consumed and precious memories were made.
We ventured out a couple of nights for dinner with the whole crew - my mom and Fred were in town as well as my dad and Nancy.  Hello, table for 8 adults and 4 highchairs.  Restaurants loved us, let me tell ya!

Over the holidays, we all promised Jackson that he could make a snowman and snow angels while we were in St. Louis.  Unfortunately, mother nature didn't keep her promise so we had to find some snow for Jackson.  My sister had the great idea to take him snow tubing at Hidden Valley, a little ski resort about a block away from her house.
Hidden Valley is where I learned to ski and spent many weekends and holiday breaks back in high school.  They recently opened the Polar Plunge, so the tubing experience was new to us all.  Yes, all of us.  Tubes for 8 adults and 2 toddlers...we took turns sitting with Ellie and Mattie...we'll wait until next year to send them down the plunge:)

Amelia was a little unsure of the whole thing, but by the end of the day she was loving it as much as Action Jackson.  Each person had to be in their own tube, but you could connect as many as four tubes together.  So we held on tight to the kid's tube and had a blast! Jackson was a trip as he covered his eyes and stuck his rain boots straight up in the air as we plunged.  He laughed and my sister and I screamed the whole way down:)

After an afternoon of plunging, the kids took long naps and we got ready to celebrate Amelia's 2nd birthday! Her party was at the St. Louis Carousel at Faust Park.  Our grandparents used to take us to this carousel on Sunday afternoons, so it was just perfect.  They have quite the set up for birthday parties and the kids loved going round and round on the carousel.

I was so glad that we were able to make the trip and be with Amelia for her birthday.  Jackson absolutely adores his 'melia and had to get her a special princess balloon.  It was so sweet to hear him tell her all about her birthday party.  I cannot wait for Ellie and Mattie to be just as close!
Speaking of Ellie and Mattie, what a difference one year can make.  If you remember, it was on Amelia's first birthday that Megan took us all by surprise when she found out she was pregnant.  God works in mysterious ways and here we are, one year later, with our baby girls born just 4 months apart.


Mattie's First Bath

>> Monday, January 28, 2013

When Mattie was exactly two weeks old, her umbilical cord finally fell off and it was time for her first real bath! Poor thing has some greasy hair, so momma had been giving her daily sponge baths while anxiously waiting the moment I could get her squeaky clean:) So, the moment I heard her cord hit the hardwood floor I started to fill her tub!

Just like her big brother, Mattie absolutely loves bath time.  Her fist bath was in her little tub at the sink, but her favorite is to soak with me in my tub.  She will float and look around forever.  It amazes how I can just hold my hand under her head and her body stays afloat.  Jackson loves bath time with his sister too.

Mattie is a strong girl and can roll herself over and kick herself into some crazy positions.  Because of this, bath time in her little tub normally ends with her trying to completely submerge herself.  This girl will keep us on our toes:)

Our bitty girl, all clean on her two-week birthday:)


New Year, New Beginnings

>> Monday, January 14, 2013

2013 marks a new year for my little family as it will be our first year as a family of four! I'm not sure why, but going from a family of three to four makes me feel so much more grown up. I feel like I finally have everything that I've ever hoped and dreamed for.

And while we are far from being perfect, I feel like we're perfect as a family. Does that make any sense? I really can't put this feeling into words beside saying that I feel whole.  I feel complete, and I feel an overwhelming amount of love.  I think I spent so many years fretting and being overwhelmed with getting to this point in my life that I wasn't able to enjoy everything as I am today.

I hope this feeling sticks around for a good long time:)

I haven't made any resolutions for the new year, I rarely do.  Sure, I'd love to lose these last 10 pregnancy pounds but that doesn't really count as a resolution.  One thing that I have changed thus far in the new year is making the most of my maternity leave and cooking for my family.

I know, pick yourself off of the floor.

This momma has taken up healthy cooking! I'm learning how to really grocery shop, menu plan, and stock our pantry.  Mr. and Jackson have enjoyed many a home cooked meals, including the table being set when they walk in the door.  My wish and goal for myself is to be able to keep this up once I go back to work and when Mattie does a little more than eat, sleep and poop during our days together;) Let me know if you'd be interested in seeing what I'm cooking each week?!?

As for the actual new year, we rang it in with a bang, literally...We spent the night at my mom's house since it was my sister's last night in town...and well just safer to stay put.  The boys got enough fireworks to put on quite a show to keep things exciting on an otherwise low-key evening with four babies in the house.  We will forever remember the year that Mr. set off a roman candle that miss-fired and shot in the house! It could have been way worse and we have a black mark on the brick column to prove it! No one was hurt or injured, thank God.  And it makes for a great story, but I think next year we'll opt for sparklers instead:)


Mattie's Newborn Photos

>> Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Friday after Mattie was born we had a photographer come to the house to take her newborn photos. Two hours later, I think Abbie captured some great images of our almost week-old baby girl!

Birth announcements have been ordered and I'm taking measurements and planning out a photo gallery wall. I just love how sweet these turned out!

Here's a collection of my favorites:)

"Sometimes being a Big Brother is even better than being a Super Hero"



Christmas Memories 2012

>> Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I thought for sure that last year's Christmas/surprise trip to Disney would be impossible to beat, but this was the most memorable Christmas yet!

Let me back up a bit to make note of the entire holiday season.  Jackson is at the age now that truly makes Christmas (and everyday) magical.   Even being 9 months pregnant during the month of December, I tried my best to give the season my all because of the joy it brought to Jackson.  From nightly drives through the neighborhoods to look at the "pretty decorations" to singing jingle bells every night on our way home. These are the memories I will hold near and dear to my heart.

Santa, oh Santa, how memorizing you are in his eyes.  Even the tacky blow-up ones that cover the lawns of most neighborhoods.  Now that the decorations are coming down, my sweet boy has decided that you all blew away up the chimney with Santa and Buddy (the elf) back to the North Pole.

Speaking of Buddy the elf, you made this Christmas for Jackson.  The first night you joined our house, you made the mistake of resting on a shelf in Jackson's room.  This caused serious problems when it was time for you to report back to Santa at the North Pole at 11PM and a certain little boy was still sitting wide-eyed in his bed, watching and waiting for you to fly away.  Yes, Buddy, that was the last night you took up space in his room! Please be sure to warn the Tooth Fairy;)

Mr. and I were sure that Christmas Eve would be much like Buddy's first night at the house.  But, much to our surprise, Jackson slept through the night...unlike his baby sister:)  Christmas morning started out slow and sleepy and quickly turned into a fast and furious scramble.  This may or may not have been my fault.  Jackson woke up and didn't take much interest in the new presents under the tree.  So my sweet husband turned on a show and snuggled with him on the couch and let me sleep.  Yes, I made my son wait for Christmas morning so I could catch another hour of sleep.  New mom fog!

The biggest surprise of Christmas was a swing set (Jackson calls it his playground) that Santa brought for the kids.  My brother-in-law and step-dad assembled the entire thing while we were in the hospital! So, my parents called at 9AM to say that they were on their way over after a change of heart over wanting to see Jackson's reaction to the swing set.  And from that point, Christmas was on!
Jackson was so surprised by the swing set, which was quickly overshadowed by his sadness when he realized that Buddy was gone back to the North Pole.  A meltdown later and a huge lesson learned for next year, we were back on track.  Presents were torn through at our house until Jackson opened his T-Rex from Santa (the one and only thing he really wanted, which was discontinued and Amazon saved the day).
Once Jackson was satisfied with his new dino, he was ready to head to Loli & Pops for more presents! So, we packed everything up and headed to our next Christmas at my mom's.
A delicious breakfast was served in our matching pj's, with mimosas and coffee with Bailey's.  And much to our surprise, Santa was very good to us at my mom's house as well.  On top of an all-inclusive, all-expenses paid, week at a 5-star resort in Aruba for the 4th of July, Santa loaded the family room with presents and castles!

The rest of the day was spent playing with new toys, nursing babies and catching quick naps when we could.  We ran home to get cleaned up and waited for my Dad and his girlfriend to arrive from St. Louis. Christmas was certainly not over, as we had a nice dinner planned back at my mom's.  And because the more, the merrier, Mr.'s dad's side of the family joined us for a visit too! It was so nice to be able to camp out and have everyone travel to us to see sweet Mattie Jayne and celebrate Jesus' birthday!

After dinner we had a cake with candles and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.  It is after all what the holiday is all about!

My dad and Nancy spent the rest of the week at out house, which was so nice.  We didn't do much at all during their stay, but the days went by so fast.  We spent a lot of time lounging by the fire, playing with all of Jackson's new toys and getting to know our new baby girl.
I wouldn't have changed one thing about the holiday, except for maybe the weather! I'm so over the rain and ready for some sunshiney afternoons on Jackson's new playground:)

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


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