The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Last but not Least, Lawson

My friend, Erin, did a series about her kiddos (that you can find here, here, and here) that I just loved.  She is a great mom and a wonderful blogger and after reading her first post I decided to steal her idea! My first two are here and here.  And now, on to my precious baby boy, Lawson.

photo by ccmiller
 If I were going to introduce you to Lawson, I would probably tell you the following things....

1.  He loves his sisters.
2.  When he eats he likes to have a cheerio or puff in his mouth before taking a bite of his actual food.
3.  His favorite toys are the Dora guitar, blocks, and his rocktivity music table.
4.  He is a dancing machine.
5.  Yes, he is small for his age.  No, he isn't walking yet.  Nope, no teeth either.  Am I worried?  No.
6.  Oh, and yes, still breastfeeding.  As much as I have tried, he refuses to drink from a cup.  Bottles aren't much better.
7.  He is ticklish on his feet and on his belly.  For extra laughs, give him a big zerbert.
8.  Favorite foods include avocado, banana, spaghetti, and pancakes.  He is old enough to want to feed himself, but the no teeth thing makes it a little tricky.
9.  I think he secretly wants a little brother.
10.  He is a momma's boy.  I don't know how it happened (haha), but I love it.
11.  Whenever he hears the garage door opening he starts waving.  The girls have been waving at Jason when he leaves for awhile now and Lawson is starting to catch on.
12.  He is a total paci addict.  While I realize that for some paci use is totally normal at a year and for others it is totally not normal, we have been waiting for a period of wellness before taking it away. 
13.  When he crawls on the tile he does this weird one leg extended crawl that is hysterical.
14.  If you are looking for a cuddle bug, look no further.  Lawson is one cuddly kid.

I know from past experience that children change.  What you say about them when they are babies can so easily change when they are 2 or 3, or 4 and so on.  After all, I once called Molly easy and laid back.  However, with that being said, I think Lawson will remain as laid back and chill as he is now.  And my hope is that he remains just as sweet and happy as he is now also.  I love him more than I really thought possible.  I mean, I know that you love each kid just as much, but I may have been a little worried about being a mom of a boy.  Turns out, it is pretty amazing.  Lawson is pretty amazing.

Friday, February 15, 2013


I don't even know where to begin in my description of Molly.  The amount of things I hope to remember about Molly at this particular stage in life seem endless.

Probably the best way to describe Molly would be to tell you that she is always one extreme or the other, literally, in all circumstances.  She goes from wide awake to dead asleep without ever being "sleepy."  She can be the most loving child or the most angry and loudest screaming child.  The most happy or the most sad....well you get the point.  Molly is a child of extremes.  And as a result, I can go from being totally frustrated with her to cracking up laughing at her in a matter of seconds.

Random facts about Molly:  She prefers to be naked or just in undies but rarely wants to get dressed.  Her favorite foods are stroganoff and spaghetti and she can usually eat more than Jason when we have either of those for dinner.  She also loves salad.  (Which is totally weird to me.)  She has great taste in music, preferring Mumford and Sons or Florence and the Machine.  She has most of the Mumford album memorized.  Out of all the family, Molly's eyes are the bluest (er...most blue?).  She is also the most hugging and kissing kid of all three.

After her first real haircut where she got bangs.

Molly loves her siblings.  Most days her and Isabelle will play together very well without any fighting.  She is also a great big sister to Lawson and constantly asks to hold him.  She loves playing outside and if we aren't outside her toy of choice is usually her blocks.  She loves to be read to and her favorite books are Pete the Cat and Everyone Poops.  She is also a lover of movies and has been watching Toy Story 1,2 and 3 over and over again. (and over and over and over)  Sometimes it is hard for me to pinpoint what Molly loves and not what Isabelle or Lawson love because really, Molly just loves to do anything her sister or brother is doing.

Molly is the only one of my kiddos to really struggle with eczema.  Hate that her little cheeks are always so dry.

She is a daredevil, fearless, and a persuader.  She will jump off of anything, climb anything and try to convince Isabelle to do the same.  We have a video of her at a very young age jumping from the coffee table to the chair without any hesitation.  Often times I look out in the backyard and see her jumping off some part of the swing set or sitting on top of her cozy coupe or doing something else equally as dangerous.  She also likes to spin around in circles in the living room until she gets dizzy and falls over.  I don't have to worry about Molly ever being the "follower" in the group, but I do have to worry about her convincing other kids to do things that might not be exactly safe.

Clearly a little grumpy when being woke up.

When it comes to me trying to be a better parent, Molly is the driving force.  Isabelle was such an easy child and continues to be easy.  Molly is not easy.  And surprisingly, I am glad she isn't.  She is strong willed and independent and likes to figure out what will happen when she crosses the line.  Finding a discipline method that works for Molly has been somewhat challenging.  I find myself praying a lot about being a good mom for Molly.  I know the Lord has big plans for her and I am comforted to know he doesn't really need my help to carry them out!  Since the day Molly was born and had to go to the NICU, I have been learning how totally dependent I am on Jesus (especially in  

Molly is hysterically funny.  Here is a recent convo she had with her dad.  "Dad, what are these called?"  (pointing to her nipples)  Jason says, "those are nipples."  Molly replies, "No.  I am going to call them bobs." She says things like this all the time.  She has also started calling herself by other names, most recently, Kenna.  Each morning when she wakes up she asks, "Mom, can I be Kenna?"

To try and sum up Molly in just a few words is near impossible.  She is so incredibly sweet and loving with a very sensitive spirit, but she is also wild and challenging and totally frustrating at times.  I love her so much and am so blessed by her every day.  Yesterday on Valentine's Day, she was sick and running a high fever and yet, she crawled on my lap and said, "Happy Valentine's Day, Mom.  I love you."  She then gave me a huge hug and kiss and I was pretty much in awe of her sweetness.  She is remarkable.

Side note:  I wrote an entire Molly blog a few days ago and blogger did not save it.  I was crushed and am sure there are things I am leaving out, but for now, this will have to do.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Update on Sleep

Awhile back I posted about what I consider to be a myth, children sleeping through the night.  Many of you commented, and some suggested ways I might experience the magical joy of a full night's sleep.  After a few months of experimenting, I thought I would update you on our sleeping lives.  As if you care!

So, as I mentioned in my first post, I believe (and still do) that first time parents fall into the trap of thinking there is some wonderful age, usually around three or four months, where their child will start sleeping through the night and life will go back to normal and they will forever more be sleeping without any interruptions.  The problem is, in my opinion, that idea is crap.  A crap idea that I bought hook, line and sinker. 

See, there are these things called growth spurts, and sicknesses, or ear infections (ugh!), and nightmares, and loud thunderstorms, and so on.  The list of possible night interruptions is endless.  Most of the time, once kids start sleeping through the night, they keep it up.  But, it does not mean that you will never again be up in the middle of the night.  (I think even as they are teenagers, I may be awake some in the middle of the night......maybe not because they are in bed with us, but I think parents still have restless nights even with grown children)

With that being said, many commented that perhaps if I stopped the afternoon napping habit that bedtime would be much easier and my kids would, in fact, sleep through the night without waking up.  So, we gave up naps. 

Gave. Up. Naps.

Except for Lawson.

No naps. 

Did you catch that?  No naps.  For anyone.  Including me.  UGH.

The results?  No naps is much, much, much more work than naps.  Because, you see, Molly is still tired.  And it is serious work to keep her awake throughout the day.  If we go somewhere in the afternoon, forget it, she is out in seconds once the car starts moving.  And forget putting on a show while I cook dinner.  She will be out in a matter of minutes then also.  She has been known to fall asleep during dinner!  My kids have never been the type to fall asleep anywhere other than their beds.  Until now.

BUT, if we manage to keep Molly awake during the day, bedtime is a breeze.  And she stays in her bed at night.  Mostly.  Isabelle has also improved in going to bed.  She was never really difficult, but it is easier now.  And like Molly, she has improved at staying in her bed throughout the night.

I can't say whether or not I think no naps was a good idea or bad idea.  I am so tired from being up with Lawson that a nap really sounds great about 2pm.  And, it is serious work to keep Molly awake sometimes.  And, the days where I fail, and she falls asleep....bedtime is right back to being a chore.  So who knows.  I am sure Jason appreciates the decline in the number of nights a little child is crawling into bed with him, but again, they aren't gone altogether.

As for Lawson, I am just hoping and praying that once we have the ear tubes put in, sleeping will go back to normal for him.  Only two more weeks until surgery.  To the mommas who have been through the ear tube madness, I am so impressed by you.  This not sleeping thing is no joke!

I am going to continue the no nap routine.  It gives us an earlier bedtime, and usually more sleep at night from the girls, which I like.  However, I would hate to give the impression that taking away naps was easy or is easier than what we were doing before.  Kids are work.  Plain and simple.  I only traded one kind of work for another.  Lawson will continue to nap for at least another year.  And I am counting on the tubes to do the trick at night. 

Do your kids take naps?  What has been your experience with your kiddos sleeping through the night?  I would love to hear your opinion!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Lately when I look at Isabelle I swear she is fourteen, not four.  She just looks so grown up.  Everything about her is changing so fast.  And, I hate it.  Hate. It.  I try to remember how she looked as an infant, how she snuggled up when I held her, how she nursed, how she looked while sleeping, all of it.  Sadly, it is hard.  I would not have thought that four years ago would seem so far away.

My friend, Erin, blogged about her daughter, Kate and it was beautiful.  I loved every word.  I doubt I will write as beautifully as she did, but I am going to try.

So, here in a nutshell, is Isabelle at four years old.  These are the things (or at least some of the things) I hope to remember about her at this age.  And for the record, four years old is a pretty fantastic age.

Isabelle gets dressed the instant she wakes up.  She loves to pick out her outfit complete with shoes, socks and usually some sort of headband and necklace.  Even though it is winter, she would prefer to wear shorts and short sleeved shirts.  Since I have put away most of them we sometimes have a minor meltdown about what to wear.  She is very particular about her clothes and what she wears, but above all her socks are the most important.  She will spend an incredible amount of time putting on socks, adjusting socks, and then deciding to get new socks and try again.  She is crazy about her socks.

Her favorite show right now is Calliou.  Man, I hate that show.  She watches it (after getting dressed) while drinking her milk for the day.  If she had it her way, after Calliou we would do creative and educational things all day long.  Playing playdoh, coloring, making crafts, doing "school", and playing memory are just a few things she asks to do just about every day.

Right now she is figuring out how to determine what letter a word starts with by saying the beginning sounds.  She is a pro at rhyming, a skill that seems to have developed overnight.  She went from having no clue to waking up a rhyming pro.  She can count to 100 pretty successfully and can write her name, mom, dad, and molly.  She still uses signs, though not near as much.

Isabelle is a singing girl.  She loves songs and you can count on her making up her own songs and singing them at least once per day.  Sometimes after we put her in bed she continues to sing and sing and sing until we have to tell her to be quiet and go to sleep.

She is a great big sister.  She loves Molly and Lawson and spends a vast majority of her time playing with them.  She tells me multiple times a day what a "cutie little brother" Lawson is and loves to help me out with him.  I know she really cares about him because I have found her picking sock lint out of his toes (she hates sock lint in her toes)!  She also likes to make him laugh by playing peek-a-boo or crawling around chasing him.

Isabelle loves the outside.  She loves riding her bike and her scooter, playing on the swing set and much to my dismay, loves playing in the dirt.  She's not afraid of much including bugs, spiders and worms.  YUCK!

Her favorite foods right now are pizza (from Top That Pizza or Papa John's where Uncle Danny works), crunchy chicken with noodles and broccoli, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I don't know where she got it from, but she seems to have a bit of a sweet tooth.  HA!  She is in a really bad habit of asking for dessert after every meal.

She is a daddy's girl at heart, and each morning when he leaves she can be found standing at the garage door waving goodbye.  For some reason she has also started telling him, "If you find a polar bear, put him in the back of your car."  I have no idea where she got it or why she says it, but it's adorable.  She depends on Jason to come home for lunch and is pretty sad when he can't.  Most of the weekend she is found right by his side.

Recently, Isabelle has started saying to both Jason and I, "You didn't get your lovin' from me today."  She then proceeds to crawl on our laps and give lots of hugs and kisses.  It might be my favorite part of the day.
And, despite the fact that she tells me she will turn, "five, then six, then seven, then eight, then nine, then ten," she promises she will still sit on my lap even when she is forty-eight.

Isabelle is a lover (she never fights back even when her sister is hitting her), a drama queen, a bit of a wuss when it comes to injuries, hysterically funny, always helpful, bright, smart, beautiful, and a million other things.  I want to bottle her up and keep her just this size forever.