Monday, December 21, 2015

Haddon turns 3!!!

My crazy & sweet boy turned 3 on Friday!  I can hardly believe it!

I think that I will always feel a little bit bad that his birthday is so close to Christmas.  I always want to make sure that we fully celebrate our little man.  This year we had a few gifts and Thomas the Train cupcakes at home and then in the evening we went on the Santa Express Train, which was so fun!  Haddon and Amaia both fully enjoyed themselves. We rode to the "North Pole", had hot cocoa and cookies, sang Christmas carols, and met Santa Claus.

A few things I want to remember about my boy at 3 years old.

*He is FULL of hugs and kisses.  He is by far my best cuddler.
*When he is mad at me for telling him no about something he says "I'm going to put mommy in jail!"
*He often (and completely randomly) says throughout the day "mommy, you are so cute!" or "mommy, I love you".  
*He loves wheels.  Anything with wheels is his favorite thing and must be examined.
*He takes all of his toys apart or at least tries to.  Our gift to him was a car and drill set that was made to be taken apart and put back together.
*He often asks me if he can be loud and then proceeds to sing and talk as loud as possible.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving was just yesterday, right?!  I don't know how it got be December because I swear we were going to the splash pad just last week, but the weeks and months just keep flying by.

This year for Thanksgiving we traveled to the Horning's to stay for the week.  As per usual we were generally spoiled and fed very well.  My kids did not want to come home!  Personally I really enjoyed the girl time with Adam's mom and sister and creating some fun memories as a family.

One of the days before Thanksgiving we went to Silver Dollar City to see all of their amazing Christmas lights and a Christmas parade.  Their Christmas production was actually very Christ centered and all of the lights were so fun, but a lot of other people apparently thought so too.  There were SO many people, but Amaia really enjoyed the parade and lights and has been performing Christmas parades for me ever since.

On Thanksgiving morning it was 60 degrees!!  I was very thankful for that, coming out of 6 inches of snow at home just the week before.  

On "Black Friday" just the girls (minus Vera) went shopping.  I hope it's the start of a new tradition because it was so fun.  Amaia came with us and was a shopping champ! She was so patient during all of the big girl shopping and I was so impressed with her.  She is becoming such a big girl *tear*

Vera started waving during our trip and it is basically the cutest thing I've ever seen.  Until she started clapping and crawling this week. She just keeps upping her cute game.  This is her and Ashley during the Hawkeye game, in which they completed a perfect regular season!!

It was a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, September 25, 2015

8 Months of Sweet Vera

My sweet little Vera is 8 months old now!  That seems so old!  It's crazy to me how time flies.  Vera is the sweetest little baby.  I feel so blessed to have her in our family.  I think I can truly say I have thoroughly enjoyed her babyhood.  She is growing up so fast.  These posts are mostly for my own memory keeping and enjoyment so here we go...

According to my scale at home she is about 18 pounds now and wearing mostly 9 month clothes.  

Just in past week she has started sleeping until about 6-7 in the morning, prior to that is was more in the 4-5 range, but I think we have made a breakthrough!  She takes two naps a day now and is officially on a four hour schedule, eating in the early morning, 9 am, 12:30, 5, and 8 for bedtime.  Her nap in the afternoon is shorter than I would prefer, but she is still so happy when she is up and I kind of enjoy our alone time before the crazy big kids get up from their nap.

She is sitting really well now!  She really only falls over when her sibling "hug" her aka. knock her over.  Poor kid. ha. She is not a fan of tummy time so I don't think we are anywhere close to crawling, which is great in my opinion!  She has recently started flipping to her tummy during sleep and is not a fan of that.

We have been on 3 meals a day of solids for a while now.  Vera loves almost every veggie I have given her, but is not sure about fruits.  I think it is a texture issue.  

She has one bottom tooth just starting to poke through.

She is loves banging toys around, putting everything in her mouth and watching her siblings.  She laughs for Amaia much easier than me.  She has started babbling more and mimicking sounds a bit and I am trying my hardest to get her to say "mama" but it hasn't happened yet.  She is happy little lady, but doesn't like being left alone and protests if she can't see me.

So there you go - 8 months of sweet miss Vera!

The most wonderful time of the year!

We love fall in our house.  I love the crisp mornings and warm afternoons, all the wonderful fall food and drinks and the activities that come with fall.  Adam loves the return of football and we share a love of all things pumpkin!

On labor day weekend we took a little road trip with just baby Vera to IKEA to purchase a bookcase I wanted and of course had to celebrate with the first pumpkin spice latte of the season.  Sadly, I have yet to have another PSL this season :(  I don't make it to coffee shops so often these days, but I digress.... It was really fun to have some time to talk and IKEA was a shopping experience like no other, but I love our new bookcase.

Amaia is really into dressing up and costumes in general lately, so it was really hard for her to decide what she wanted to be for Halloween this year.  She has been really into Wonder Woman and super heroes in general lately, but we finally landed on being Elsa again this year.  Aren't these sisters the sweetest?!  At this point in Haddon's life he basically wants whatever his big sister tells him he wants much of the time, so he is going to be Olaf, but Haddon isn't a fan of the mamarazzi sometimes.

We painted pumpkins!  I let both Haddon and Amaia paint with non-washable paint, which i was nervous about, but they both loved this little project and it kept them busy for quite some time.

One gorgeous fall morning we went to the park to find "treasures".  We found leaves, acorns, walnuts and lots of other things.  Our little nature lover Haddon really enjoyed this activity.  We made pictures and researched some of our items when we got home.  Amaia called her picture a fall kingdom where every day is fall!  Clearly I have rubbed off on her a little bit.  I think Haddon could have walked around finding treasures until his bag broke.  He has really been learning a lot lately and is all of the sudden very interested in learning his letters.  It seems like a few weeks ago he knew about half of the alphabet and now he practically knows all of the capital letters.  It is so fun to see these little minds learning so much.

Last Saturday morning we all (including Aunt Ashley) got to go to a farm to pick apples and raspberries and also got to go on a hay rack ride.  The weather was perfect and I think everyone really enjoyed it.  Haddon in particular really enjoyed picking the fruit and eating the fruit. Haddon takes after his Aunt Jessica and when he eats and apple he eats everything but the stem if you let him.

My sweet Vera was along for the ride.  After a bad trip to the grocery store, during which Haddon terrorized Vera in the cart for our entire trip, I took up baby wearing!  I got this carrier at a garage sale last summer and I find it so much easier than the moby wrap.  I think Vera and I both kind of love it.  

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Vera 6 months

My little lady is 6 months old!  We love this little sweetie pie so much.  I barely remember what life was like without her.  She is sweet and smiley and darn near perfect.  I truly don't want this kid to grow up.

She is still on a 3 hour schedule during the day, but I think she is close to being ready to move to a 4 hour schedule, so we might work on that soon.  She sleeps from 8 at night until about 5 or 6 in the morning and takes 3 naps a day.  We started solids a few weeks ago and she loved it from the first bite, which amazed me.  She might be my best eater yet.  We have had sweet potatoes and peas so far and it's a messy but fun experience.

She is getting quite good at sitting up now.  She can sit on her own for a minute or so before falling over and I can tell she really enjoys it.  She loves splashing in the bath, jumping in her jumper, watching her big brother and sister, making crazy noises and smiling at whoever is talking to her.  She loves her mommy, but will go to most anyone else happily and is taking a bottle really well now too!

I'm just quite simply over the moon about my little lady.

Sweet Miss Vera
16 lbs. 5 oz.
26 inches long

Summer Vacay!

The last week of July we took a trip down to Tablerock Lake to visit Grammie and Papa Stan.  It was a wonderful and quite close to perfect getaway.  We ate very well and we all had a great time.  

Here are a few highlights:

Amaia and Haddon went out on the boat with us one day.  Haddon was unimpressed (I think because we made him wear a life jacket the whole time) but we did convince Amaia to jump in the lake for a little while.  She didn't last too long in the deep water, but really enjoyed the boat ride.

The big kids (myself, Adam and Ashley) went out on the boat with Papa Stan several times on our own thanks to Grammie staying with the kiddos.  It was so relaxing and refreshing to me. 

We went to Silver Dollar City one morning and Amaia loved it!  She couldn't get enough of all the rides.  She went on a water ride with all of us and lots of kids rides, including a roller coaster.  She is turning into such a big girl right before my eyes!

The day at Silver Dollar City was also VERY hot!  Luckily, Aunt Ashley is awesome and Vera is pretty awesome too.  She was a trooper and a cutie pie.

All of Haddon's dreams came true and he got to ride on Papa Stan's tractor a couple times.

We can't wait to go back again soon!

Monday, July 20, 2015

4th of July

I have decided that the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.  We are so thankful for the freedom that we have in our country AND it is holiday with no pressure, no required preparations, just fun!

We decided to forego the crazy Urbandale parade this year and tried a small town one and it was a great decision.  Haddon loved all the firetrucks and tractors, though Vera didn't really appreciate the loud sirens :)

Amaia loved the candy that they threw at her!

After the parade, Adam grilled us some lunch and we had a relaxing afternoon at home until our air conditioning broke.  I was VERY thankful that it ended up being an easy fix and we were back in the cool air in a matter of hours.

After church we went to my parents house to watch fireworks.  We let Haddon and Amaia both stay up late this year and they both loved it.  Haddon's reaction was so cute!  We was amazed and kept saying "whoa!".  It was a great fun day together!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Haddon 2.5

I can't believe this kid is nearly two and a half!  He has taught me so much in his young little life about life and what is important and my own faith.  He can be a challenging little two year old but he is also the sweetest, most affectionate little boy full of hugs and kisses and sweetness.  Here are some things I want to remember about Haddon at this age...

He loves trucks, trains, cars and all things with wheels.  If a car is parked he wants to know why it isn't going and he creates "garages" all over the house to park his cars in.

He is particular like his daddy.  If his pillows are not the right way, he fixes them.  If the books are backwards on the bookshelf, he fixes them.  If there are crumbs on the floor or on his highchair tray, he cleans them and he does not like to have messy hands!  I sure do hope this trait lasts into his teen years :)

He must give me a kiss on the cheek every night before bed. He insists upon it!

He loves his sisters!  He wants to do everything his big sister does and tries to tackle her all day long, though I'm not so sure she sees that as loving :)  He loves his baby Vera too and is getting good and saying her name.  He loves to lay next to her, bring her toys and lay on top of her, though again, I'm not so sure she sees that as a loving gesture. Ha.

Every time I pick him up from the nursery after church he runs into my arms with the biggest smile as if we haven't seen each other for weeks and I definitely don't want to forget that!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Vera: 4 Months

This beautiful little lady is 4 months old!!  I don't know if it's my perspective or if she is the best baby ever (probably a combination of both), but she is SO easy  She is happy and content nearly all the time, loves her siblings, and gives loads of sweet smiles every day.  If I could make her stay this age forever I think I probably would.

Like all my children she started waking up in the middle of the night again right when she turned 4 months, but we are back to sleeping until 4-6 in the morning again, which is amazing!  During the day she eats on a 3 hour schedule and is an eating champ other than the fact that she is getting very distractible.

We visited the doctor last week and she is perfect as can be.  The doctor also did not hear a heart murmur anymore!!  We won't know for sure until we visit the cardiologist, but the hole in her heart and likely very small or completely gone now.

14 lbs. 8 oz and 26 Inches long

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Vera at 2 months

Our little lady is 2 months old!  I've said it before, but the baby stage just gets sweeter every time.  Though I would not mind getting some more continuous sleep, most nights I honestly don't mind getting up with her, because she is just so darn sweet and there is probably nothing better than snuggling with a sleepy baby.

Sadly, on her 2 month birthday miss Vera and I were battling the stomach flu, so we didn't make it to the doctor until a week later.  But, at 2 months + 1 week she was 11 lbs 12 oz, 50% for weight, 60% for height and 99% for head circumference.  All of my babies seem to have very large heads :)  She is smiling now (!!!!), cooing and being all kinds of sweet.  She was sleeping for about 8-9 hours at night, but then that nasty stomach bug hit us and messed everything up, so we we are working towards that again. 

I feel like I am starting to get my groove back in terms of getting out and about with all three kiddos. Vera didn't sleep well out and about in her carseat until the last few weeks.  It's a little strange but wonderful that she is doing this better as she has gotten older, so we have been getting out and about again and I believe I have even mastered getting groceries with all three in tow. 

The comment I hear about her most often is that she looks lot like Amaia and I agree.  Sometimes I almost call her Amaia. Ha.  And if she ends up looking a lot like Amaia as she grows older I think that will be perfect, because Amaia adores her baby sissy.  I call her my baby whisperer, because she enjoys her so much and is quite good at talking to her and keeping her happy when I need a few minutes before feeding her.  One thing that this girl will never be lacking in is love and attention.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Amaia turns 4!

My baby turned 4 years old this month!  She is a certified big girl now and I don't know how that happened!  Amaia's birthday was an emotional day for me - filled with joy with the girl she has become and sadness that she is getting so big.  Seriously, she is growing up really, really fast!  She is so smart and mature and wonderful and joyful and silly and sweet.  She is such a great helper for me around the house these days and is already an excellent big sister.

Amaia is currently VERY enamored with all things Frozen so it was only natural that we had a Frozen themed birthday this year. Honestly, we played it low key with the birthday celebrations for her this year because well I just had a baby and really all she wanted was to eat cake, open presents and play with her friends.

On the day of her birthday, my big 4 year old woke up to a couple of Frozen balloons. We went to the science center to play and see grandma at her request.

In the evening we celebrated at Gateway market with family, presents and mac and cheese of course :)

Then on Saturday we hosted our first kid birthday party!  We watched Frozen, ate pizza and cupcakes and the kids played.  We also played pin the nose on the Olaf, though I learned that little kids aren't so big on wearing a blindfold so it was a pretty easy game!

I had a giftcard to use from a fancy cupcake shop and oh my they were pretty and tasty!

Amaia had so much fun with her friends and is already planning her next birthday celebration!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Vera at 2 Weeks

Our baby girl is 2 weeks old already!  It feels like so long ago that she wasn't a part of our family to me.  She is one well loved little lady.  I have decided that thus far the most challenging part of having three children in protecting Vera from the intense love of her older siblings.  They LOVE her a lot, but the art of gentleness has not yet been perfected in them.  Amaia loves to talk to her and hold her and Haddon loves to bring her toys, give her hugs and tries to sneak up to her room if he hears her crying.  I think he is going to make a great big brother.

We visited the cardiologist when she was just a few days old and found that her VSD is very similar to what Haddon had.  It is about the same size and in the same place as well.  So far she has been doing great and hasn't shown any signs of it affecting her, so we are hopeful that it will be a non-issue for her.

Vera is the sweetest of little babies.  I think I enjoy each baby a little bit more.  So far she has proven to be a great little sleeper and eater.  She is on a pretty consistent 3 hour eating schedule during the day and then usually goes a couple of 4 hour stretches at night.  She had the 9-midnight fussy time just like her siblings before her, but she has gone to sleep great at about 10 for the past few nights so I'm crossing my fingers that we are past that stage!

We visited the doctor for her 2 week check-up yesterday and she is gaining weight like a champ, which takes a weight of worry off my shoulders and allows me to let her sleep longer at night if she will - hooray!!  She weighed 9 lbs 9 oz, 20.5 Inches long and her head circumference was 15 inches.  All of my babies have very large heads :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Vera's BIRTH day

It was a Saturday and I was very, very ready to have a baby and feeling like it may never actually happen. I was four days past my due date, but had been feeling like I could have a baby any day for weeks.  Because we found out early on in my pregnancy that Vera also had a VSD, we had an ultrasound every month to monitor her growth and health.  At every ultrasound she measured about a week ahead of schedule and on January 2nd an ultrasound estimated that she was already 9 lbs 6 oz.  All of this to say, I was very ready to meet her on the outside of the womb and getting a little anxious about how my labor might go if she was truly that big.

Other than my anxiousness of wanting to have a baby it was a really nice day.  Adam watched Amaia and Haddon in the morning while I leisurely wandered around Target and got a few things that we needed.  When I got home I finished making a heart wreath for Valentine's day as my last nesting urge and took a nice nap in the afternoon.  Looking back upon it, it was the perfect way to spend my last day before the craziness of welcoming a new baby into our family.  

At about 4:30 in the afternoon I was starting to get myself and the kids ready for church and started feeling some contractions that felt different to me.  This is the first pregnancy that I have been very aware of lots of braxton hicks contractions, which made me unsure if this was the start of true labor or not, so I continued getting ready for church and just tried to pay attention to what was going with my body.  By the time that we were supposed to go to church I still was not sure what was happening, but decided to stay home from church just in case and continue to pay attention to my body.  I started writing down the times of my contractions and they were 10 minutes apart, so I started packing a bag for the kids and called my parents to let them know what was going on.  Adam was playing in the band at church and as I became more confident I told him that he should probably come home after he played the first set. My parents arrived to pick up the kids around 7:30 and we said our goodbyes.  After that my contractions were still fairly mild and I was feeling really tired so I laid down on the couch for while and my contractions slowed down even more.  We decided to go on a  short walk outside to see if my contractions would pick up.  It was a very short walk due to the cold, but my contractions almost immediately picked up to about 4 mins apart and were starting to become painful, so I called the midwives and we were off to the hospital!

We arrived at the hospital a about 11 on Saturday night and got checked in.  The nurse checked us in and said I was about 4 cm dilated, which was disappointing to me.  However, that still meant that we were staying and having a baby tonight!  My expectation was that this labor would go quickly this time around so I was really surprised that I was not further along, but I ended up dilating from 4 to a 6 to an 8 pretty quickly by just walking around and trying out some different positions that our midwife had suggested.  The difficult part about this labor was that I stayed dilated at a 9 or 9 1/2 for what seemed like a very long time to me, which isn't a great place to be stuck :)  But then I rolled to my left side and had one contraction that was VERY different than all others that had come before it and I was ready to push.  This happened at 2:14 am and then I pushed through one contraction and our little girl was born at 2:18 am!  The first thing I remember about her was how pink she was when she was born.  The nurses called her "red lobster".  She had the cord wrapped around her body twice, so we are so thankful that didn't cause any problems.  Apparently everything about this pregnancy was larger for some reason.  I had a high amount of amniotic fluid, Vera was larger, my the cord was extra long and the placenta was large.  Vera was a pound larger than Amaia and Haddon, but I actually found this labor to the be the easiest on my body.  The only thing that made it more difficult I think was my expectation for things to go more quickly than they did.  I successfully naturally birthed a 9 lb baby!

And then we finally got to do this...
Vera Josephine & Mommy's first picture together.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Welcome to the world Miss Vera

Our littlest lady joined us outside of the womb this weekend! 

Vera Josephine Horning
Born Sunday, January 18th, 2:18 am
8 lbs, 14 oz, 20.5 inches long

I went into labor around 5pm on Saturday night and she was born early Sunday morning.  I'm very thankful that everything with her labor went smoothly and now she is here and I can put that behind me :)  The first thing I noticed about her is how pink she was right after she was born.  The nurses all called her "red lobster".  She is a sweetie pie and was well worth the wait.

More to come soon!