Monday, October 28, 2013

8 Months!

In my opinion the first 6 months of the first year let you adjust to your baby growing and changing at a gradual pace. Your baby puts on weight, gets chunky, starts to smile and interact and recognize your face. They laugh and roll over and then start to sit and play with toys. They are all exciting milestones, but they just sort of slowly emerge and you feel like you naturally adjust. But the second 6 months are like BAM! One BIG milestone after another. They start eating solids. Start to scoot. Then crawl. Then they stand. Then walk. Then talk! BIG time life changers all the sudden. Too much! These babies need to slow down.

At 8 months old Carys was doing just what her 8 month old self should be doing. She still didn't have a single tooth to call her own, but hey, one less kid to worry about brushing their teeth...right? Here is what Carys was up to at 8 months:
-Eating solids, but not very well. She hated baby food! When most kids go through 2 things of baby food each meal of the day, you were lucky to get 1 into this girl in the entire day. Yogurt however was a completely different story. This girl is a yogurt maniac. And we figured out that she has texture issues and just wants something to chew on instead of mush to eat. So we started some banana and steamed apple or carrots. We also did some baby cherrios and puffs and that was making meal time much happier.
-Scooting around and moving quite well...Just on the verge of crawling (started crawling right after she turned 8 months old).
-Pulling herself up to standing. Mostly in her crib but also on furniture sometimes.
-Taking 2 good naps a day. Goes to bed around a 8 and wakes up around 7....with a middle of the night feeding and waking up 1 or 2 other times as well.
-Loves the puppy. Loves to watch Toby and loves when Toby comes and lays down next to her.
-Loves to be in the swing outside. Will sit by the sliding glass door and watch the big kids play outside and long to be out there with them.
-Loves to play patty cake and sing songs or read books.
-Loves her big brothers and sister!
-Does not love strangers. When people in stores try to talk to her she just gives them dirty looks or stares at them or starts to cry (unlike her siblings who would smile at anyone that would give them attention. Apparently Carys is a bit more guarded and cautious)
 Those eyes definitely seem to be staying blue and her hair just gets more and more blond. Carys definitely looks the most like her big brother Conner. She is such a happy, easy going, fun loving little girl. We love our little Carys so much!

Friday, October 25, 2013

All About The Daddy!

What amazing Dad doesn't deserve a home made, "Best Dad Ever" tshirt to wear proudly a few times a year? The kids and I had a great time making it. They took the job really seriously! And Daddy seemed really pleased with it and was happy to wear it with pride the reset of the day. We love our Daddy so much! 

 It's fun having the kids old enough to make their own individual things for Daddy at school. They are always so excited when it is there turn to give him his gift and show off what they made.

 This picture seriously melts my heart. The 5 people that I adore more than anything in this world. I love father and mother's day because it really feels like a chance to reflect upon what an amazing blessing your family is and be grateful for the love they bring to your life. I am so grateful that I found this man and that he asked me to be his wife. I love him so much. It still amazes me to think that I was lucky enough to end up next to his side, raising this beautiful family and these amazing children. I am so grateful that my children have been blessed with a daddy that loves them with all his heart. That worries so much and tries so hard to be an incredible father. To have a relationship with his children that is meaningful and that they will always know that their father is there for them and cares for them. We are so lucky to have him as our Dad!
Yes, this father's day was a bit bittersweet. I feared that the day was going to be really painful and difficult. But that morning when I got up I knelt down and said a prayer that the day would be able to be full of joy. That I would feel my Father's presence and know that he knew how much I loved him and cared for him on Father's Day. That prayer was answered. Though there were moments of teary eyes and moments of missing and longing to just call him or see him or hear his voice or give him a hug, there was also much peace. Peace knowing that I was blessed in my life to have the relationship with my father that I had. Peace knowing that he is happy and surrounded by those he loves that have gone before him. Peace knowing that some day he will be there, waiting to greet me and embrace me when it is my turn to return to my father in heaven. 


At 7 1/2 months Carys had big ideas about exploring her world beyond her ability to roll. Before I knew it she was rolling and scooting and pushing and pulling herself just about anywhere and everywhere that she could. It was only a matter of time before those knees and hands got working together!

 Not a whole lot better than morning cuddles with these two. It still cracks me up how much they look alike!
 Kellen and Makenna finished up their soccer season at the sportsplex. The Purple Dragons did a great job and were a really good team. Makenna only got to play 2 games before she broke her arm, but she was a good cheerleader. Kellen did a great job playing. He had fun, he tried hard and he learned a lot. I was so proud of him and what a great little player he is!
 The kids were Soooo proud and excited to have their medals that they earned!

 My little rockers. I can't tell you how often I get VIP concerts from this band. 
 After about 5 weeks, Makenna was cast free!! She did an amazing job following the rules and tolerating all the things she had to miss out on while she had the cast on. She was really a good sport (frankly, she did a whole lot better than I anticipated!) When the doctor took the cast off he said "Well, it's mostly healed." I about had a heart attack and wanted a new cast put on immediately. But they wouldn't do it. They said she just had to take it easy for awhile longer. Do you know Makenna? That girl does not take things easy! Oh the challenges of parenthood :)
 This little stinker started figuring out how to pull herself up and get into things on the shelves before she was even crawling. Exactly what her big sister did as a baby too. Silly girl.
 My Heart
Aaaannnnddd....SHE'S OFF! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Families Are Forever

The kids and I were blessed to have spent a nice day with Papa just a week and a half before he passed away. He had been planning on coming down to watch Makenna and Kellen in there soccer game. Makenna's broken arm made it so she had to stay home and rest, but he came down and went with Carys, Conner, Kellen and I to watch Kellen's game. Kellen was so excited to have him there and Dad was so proud watching his grandson hustle up and down the field. He held Conner on his shoulders while they cheered Kellen on. After the game he had to run to his nephews house but then wanted to come back over so he could also have some time with Makenna since she had had to stay behind. So he came over and the kids played a few card games. He played in the backyard with the boys for a bit and stayed over for dinner. 
While he and the kids were playing cards and having fun, I had this thought to grab his camera and take a few pictures. Soooo glad I followed that prompting and did it. These are the very last pictures I have of my kiddos with their Papa. 

 He was certainly someone that stayed young at heart up until the very end. I hope to always remember his amazing example and remember to stop and PLAY with my kids, to get down on their level and really Be in the moment with them and soak up every minute of it. That is what he did each and every time.

 Dad's funeral service was on June 4th. We had a beautiful, heart felt service at the church in murrieta. After the service we had a graveside service at the cemetery. It was a touching service. They folded and presented the flag and gave him a 21 gun salute and played taps. 

 We had decided not to bring the kids to the funeral service. We were worried that the sadness and tears at the service would be difficult for the kids to see and know how to understand. But we wanted them to be part of it somehow and have the chance to say their own goodbyes. So once they had placed his casket in the ground we went back with the kids and let each of them take a turn saying something that they will remember about Papa and leave him a flower. It was a very sweet, very touching, very special moment. 

About 6 weeks later the headstone was placed at his grave. I had been feeling anxious and eager for the headstone to be there. But then for some reason the first time I saw it there, with his name and birthday written on hit me harder than I was expecting. It made it feel even more real. More final. A visual of your fathers name written on a headstone....just not something I was fully prepared for. It is going to be hard for awhile, as more and more things happen that make the loss feel more real and final. We love you and miss you dad.