29 September 2014

Red Sox Initiation

Finn didn't exactly follow suit and arrive on a random holiday like his brothers. Unless you count International Chocolate Day as a holiday.

It's a good thing we have another tradition to officially initiate our children into our family. 

Each of our newborn babies has been adorned in Red Sox paraphernalia while still in the hospital bassinet. Troy wastes no time coercing his sons into the Red Sox nation.

Blake

Nash
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Crew

Finn
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27 September 2014

Keep Me Awake


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These lyrics kept running through my mind the other night as Finn was sleeping soundly in my arms; his tiny chest rising and falling, his cool breath on my neck, his curled up legs snug against me. I felt a sense of urgency to capture this exact moment in time. Oh how I wish I could bottle it up. There is nothing better in the entire world than a newborn baby.


26 September 2014

Labor Day Boating

We sure have had a lot of exciting events take place since Labor Day but I want to jump back in time for a moment to document our last boating excursion of the summer.
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Nash hopped on the surfboard with his uncle once again without an ounce of hesitation.
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That water was freezing cold but he could not have been happier kicking and splashing the waves.
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He was so exhausted afterwards that he used my belly as a pillow and conked out. He hasn't fallen asleep on me since he was a baby, so I soaked it up while it lasted. And since my hope of having our baby on Labor Day didn't come to fruition, at least my belly proved useful.
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Blake attempted the surfboard but fear got the best of him. He felt much more secure surfing safely inside the boat.
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He also thoroughly enjoyed the boat heater tube.
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We didn't make it out on the boat much this summer so we were grateful for one last excursion before wrapping it up for the year.
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25 September 2014

First Day of Preschool

In between all of the birthday hoopla and having a baby, Nash started his final year of preschool. I actually didn't even bring him on his first day of school because Troy and I were still off celebrating my birthday.

But his grandparents said he walked into school fearlessly, ready to conquer four-year-old preschool. It helps that he has the same teacher that Blake had and knows the school forward and back.

We still took the obligatory photos to document the start of another school year, even if they weren't technically before his first day.
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Adding a midday preschool pickup several times a week adds to the chaos of our lives, but I have absolutely adored this school and I know that it is worth the hassle. Nash is in great hands. 


24 September 2014

Fall Bucket List

Having a Fall Bucket List should probably be the last thing I add to my plate right now considering we just brought home a newborn baby.

But I had some requests come in from the design company I work at for a Fall Bucket List printable, similar to the Summer Bucket List printable I designed. I obliged, of course, and made up a sample to photograph.

Most of the items I put on the list are things I know we'll do anyway, even if we're trying to take it easy. And our boys sure like to check off activities when we complete them.

So here's to cooler weather, pumpkin patches, crispy leaves, costume hunting, fall baking and the season of gratitude. 
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To download your own free Fall Bucket List printable (12x18 or 8x10), click HERE.


23 September 2014

Babies Don't Keep

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Soaking up a newborn baby is my favorite thing in the entire world. Especially when it's my newborn baby.

I know not everyone feels the same way about new babies. My husband is one of them. He would much rather interact with a child than hold a curled up lump on his chest.

But if I had to come up with what would be my perfect day, it would include having one of my newborns nuzzled tightly against me for hours, hands down.

We just wrapped up our first week with baby #4 at home. We've done this enough times that there haven't been many surprises. The sleeping, eating and diapering around the clock have seemed like second nature. The only difference this time around is that life hasn't stopped for the older boys. There are still carpools and homework assignments and spelling words and soccer games and birthday parties to manage amidst the chaos.

But the biggest surprise is the same thing that has caught me off guard with each of our brand new babies.

With each new addition to our family, I've gone into panic mode about that sweet newborn growing up. I know that I only get three months or less of the newborn stage and I'm so worried I'm not going to be able to savor every moment. The fear of never being in this stage of life again is all-consuming. 

When I have a newborn, everything else seems to fade into oblivion. I sink into this baby bliss where no matter how hard I try, I cannot soak my newborn in enough. The expressions. The curled up body. The breathing. The crying. I love it all.

The problem is, I can't keep having babies forever. Especially since miserable pregnancies are the precursors to my newborn babies. There has to be a last at some point.

I know that the panicky growing-up-too-fast feelings eventually fade because they have with all of the other boys. But the fear of this possibly being our last is what brings tears to my eyes. It's what makes me throw out my to-do list day after day and sink onto the couch with my newborn on my chest the minute the older boys are sleeping. It's what keeps me up late at night, shining my phone flashlight on Finn and watching his tiny chest rise and fall, because when he wakes up, he'll be older. He'll be bigger. He won't ever be this small again. 

I'm hoping to savor this newborn phase with less panic and more enjoyment before he becomes a full-fledged baby. I know all too well how quickly the time will pass.

More thoughts on newborns here and here.


22 September 2014

Going Home

Staying in the hospital for 48 hours after delivery becomes a blur of spreading the news to family and friends, acquainting yourself with your tiny stranger and soaking up that new life, visitors coming and going to ooh and aah over your new arrival, lots of photos, pain medications around the clock, nurses constantly in and out of your room to check vitals, teaching your baby how to latch, after-birth contractions that are just as painful as being in labor, meal deliveries, consultations with the pediatrician, midwife, and hearing specialist, and trying to catch some sleep somewhere in between all of the commotion.

It is an adrenaline-packed, exhilarating, painful, joyful, exhausting experience. 

There is something so special and sacred about the hospital stay. Having done this three times before, I knew exactly what I was in for and how I needed to take advantage of every moment. Even if the post-baby hormones were flying and sleep was minimal. 

I was so grateful to be up and about after Finn's delivery, especially since I was flat on my back during my last hospital stay because of spinal fluid leakage. I could barely even hold my last baby when he was born, so I didn't take a single moment for granted this time around.
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I spent the second evening alone with Finn so Troy could get some sleep at home and take the older boys to school in the morning. The hype of all the visitors died down and I treasured that one-on-one time so much.
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There were plenty of hospital stay rituals that completely met my expectations the fourth time around.

But nothing could have prepared me for the wave of emotions that hit as I dressed Finn in his going home outfit and our hospital stay drew to a close.
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I buckled Finn into the same infant carrier that each of my newborn babies have used and nostalgia completely consumed me. I realized that it might be the last time I ever packed up a brand new baby to go home. And suddenly I didn't want to leave. I wanted to stay in that peaceful hospital room indefinitely and not let the experience be final. 

I knew we couldn't stay in the hospital forever. But the thought of putting that chapter of our lives behind us was heart wrenching. Especially because I knew the chaos that awaited us at home.

I set the infant carrier on the windowsill and gazed out at the mountains, holding on with all my might to those last moments alone with Finn. 
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I probably could have sat at that tiny hospital room windowsill for hours. I so badly did not want to let go. But Troy finished loading up the car and came up to get us, ready or not. I watched him carry our new baby through the empty hospital halls, just like I have with all of the others, and that was it.
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And nothing can quite prepare you for the reality of bringing baby #4 home.