Monday, March 20, 2017

Welcome, Baby Kiley!

To celebrate baby Kiley's arrival, my fabulous mother, sister, and sister-in-law hosted an absolutely amazing shower for us this past weekend. 

It was wonderful to give so many of her relatives the opportunity to meet her all at once!

Since Kiley is my second child, I hadn't really anticipated that I would have any baby showers for her. However, not only did my best friend host an amazing "sprinkle," but my work treated me to a fun little shower, and then my mom and sisters truly went above and beyond in all their efforts to spoil me and my sweet little newborn daughter.

With the lovely hosts, sister-in-law Morgan, Mom, and sister Nichole.

The girls really went all out with their Woodland Forest Creatures shower theme!

Many of the personal, handmade gifts were absolutely amazing and seriously brought tears to my eyes. Kiley is already so loved...

Kiley and her Great Aunt Karen.

Great Aunties Nancy and Karen.

My cousins Hannah and Jessica, and her daughter Lexie, who I believe is Kiley and Ryder's second cousin (although I can't quite figure it all out).

Kiley's Great Aunt Michele.

Grandma Sally.

Kiley's Nana and Great Aunties Elaine, Nancy, and Karen.

Cousin Sophia playing the clothes pin game.

My sweet nieces Aubrey and Sophia, who were so excited to attend Kiley's shower!

Kiley and Auntie Nichole matched their outfits!

Aubs couldn't get enough of holding baby Kiley.

Ryder also got to stay and attend the shower, which he definitely appreciated for the sweets more than anything.

Sweet little girl decided to wake up and say hello for a minute...

I'm so lucky to have such amazing sisters! And with Morgan's sweet little one due in August, Kiley won't be the youngest cousin for long!

Kiley and I were absolutely showered and spoiled with amazing, thoughtful gifts, compliments, and attention. And it was a great opportunity for everyone to get together for a happy occasion.

We are so lucky to have such an amazing village surrounding us. 

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Lucky in Love... Year Five

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today is our fifth wedding anniversary.

Which means it has been ten years since Stew and I first met on that fateful St. Patrick's Day, way back when we were young, dumb, and single. 

It turned out to be the luckiest day of our lives.

And it's been quite a wild ride.

Buying and selling homes, traveling the world, getting married, having babies... Life's adventures have taken us crazy places, but through it all we've always had each other as a place to call home.

Marriage certainly isn't always a glamorous fairy tale, but most days being married to Stewart really does seem like I snagged Prince Charming. He loves and supports me in everything that I do, and is the most incredible father to our children that I ever could have dreamed of. I absolutely love the life that we have built together, and I love looking forward and dreaming of all the places we have yet to go. 

Stew, you've still got whatever it is.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Dear Kiley... One Month

Dear Kiley, 

I can't believe that it's already been an entire month since you were born.

Your birth went exactly according to plan — the surgery played out just like we expected, my recovery has gone even better than we could have hoped, and you have been a perfect little angel from the moment we first set eyes on you.

I have always dreamed about my life as a family of four, and now that you're here it's finally a reality.

We brought you home after spending just two nights in the hospital, but we were ready to start adjusting to life on our own. We are very lucky, because Daddy gets to take eight whole weeks off of work to be home with us!

First car ride, headed home from the hospital... 

For the first 24 hours or so, Nana was also here with us to help us get settled, which was great because it was quite a shock to your big brother Ryder to have to share Mommy with you.

Ryder sure does love his baby sister, though. 

Normally Ryder spends a couple days a week with our nanny, but since she had a pre-planned vacation this month, that meant we spent the first few weeks at home with just the four of us. It was a little bit like getting thrown into the deep end of the pool, but we are all getting the hang of things quickly.

You have been such an easy baby so far!

By the time we went to the doctor for your two-week checkup you had already exceeded your birth weight by ten percent. Not surprising, because you have been a breast feeding champion and we've had virtually no problems in that area. For the first couple weeks of your life you were pretty content to just eat, sleep, poop, and repeat, with just short periods of alertness in between. And even though it seemed like you slept most of the day, you still didn't have any problems at night. I usually feed you when we go to bed around ten or eleven, and then you typically only wake up once or twice between then and 6 a.m. for a quick feed and diaper change before going right back to sleep. I knew all babies weren't such difficult sleepers like your brother!

Due to unfortunate circumstances, we took you on your first overnight visit to Nana and Papa's house when you were only two weeks old to attend your Great Grandma's funeral. I am still so incredibly heartbroken that you two will never get to meet each other. She was such a wonderful person and would have loved and spoiled you so very much. The visit did allow you to meet quite a few of your relatives though, which was nice, and your beautiful, sweet little face was a welcome distraction during such a sad occasion.

Kiley and Great Grandma Sally.

Kiley and Ryder with cousins Sophia and Aubrey.

Back at home, we've also had lots of visitors, who have all come with their arms full of yummy food for us and generous gifts for you.

Kiley and Papa.

Brett and Haley came to visit with sweet baby Jane.

We know that the two of you are destined to be the best of friends.

Grandpa and Patty also came to spend a few days with you and Ryder.

Kiley and Aunt Cailin.

Surprisingly, I've felt incredibly calm and confident in my abilities to care for two children at once. So much so that I've encouraged Daddy to go snowboarding a couple times, and I even took you both on a second overnight visit to Nana and Papa's house (over an hour's drive away) all by myself.

Couch cuddles with Papa.

First few days home from the hospital, marveling at the fact that we have TWO children.

Nap time for the WIN! I got both you and Ryder down to sleep all by myself while Daddy was gone snowboarding.

Daddy and I both try to give you and Ryder each some special time every single day. We both love to cuddle with you and love it when you fall asleep and take naps on our chest. I call you "Little Squishy" and Ryder still calls you Baby Sister or "Ki-wee" because he struggles a little bit with pronouncing the letter L.

A few nights after we brought you home, Ryder decided that he was done sleeping in our bed, and began sleeping in his Big Boy Room. We were simultaneously ecstatic and a little sad that our baby boy had decided to take such a grown up step. We are also wondering if potty training will follow...

All cuddled up with Big Brother for nap time in his Big Boy Room.

And yes, other things besides sleep have been going on at our house...

You are still in newborn sized diapers but will transition into size one soon. At about three weeks old you outgrew newborn sized clothes and are currently in 0-3 month sizes. Also at about three weeks you began to get quite a bit fussier, especially in the mornings — we think it's probably a growth spurt. So far you hate pacifiers and seriously dislike bottles, despite our best attempts at both. Of course you prefer being held and cuddled to anything else, but you also like a couple small, vibrating chairs we have for you, and sleep swaddled, flat on your back in your bassinet each night. So far you don't seem to love your swing or rock 'n' play, but we think that might change in time.

One of the few times that you tolerated a pacifier for more than a few seconds.

Daddy trying a bottle for the first time. You weren't a fan...

Your favorite cozy vibrating chair.

The bassinet where you sleep next to our bed.

Daddy's magic hold that always manages to calm you down and soothe you.

You still have all of the soft, dark hair that you were born with. Your eyes are deep, dark blue and they become more and more alert every day. Just a couple days ago, in the middle of the night, you looked up at Daddy after a diaper change and have him a huge, beautiful grin — your first smile.

We've already celebrated one holiday since you were born — Valentine's Day!

Big Brother Ryder made valentines for the whole family, it was so sweet!

You had your first bath, and we've learned that bath night with two children is a new adventure in time management and multitasking. 

We love you so incredibly much that sometimes it feels like my heart will burst. We are trying to soak up every special moment with you... 

Don't grow up too fast, my darling!