Thursday, February 23, 2017

Brooks Edmund {4 Month Photos}

Because Charlotte was in the hospital for the first month of her life and had a wound vac (a device used to help heal a section of her incision) for another few weeks after that, we didn't end up having her official "newborn" photos taken until she was close to 3 months old. For consistency sake (because I'm a weirdo like that) we've stuck with the same timeline for each of our boys. Well...until Brooks that is.  He didn't end up getting his taken until closer to 4 months because thats what happens when you have 3 kiddos ages 4 and under. 

In early January, Brooks and I loaded up and made a trip back to my hometown for a perfectly simple photo session with the talented Leah of Leah Marie Photography. No fancy props. No outfit changes. Just our sweet little boy, his sparkling eyes, and his unruly red hair. Brooks was too mesmerized by the camera to share many of his signature smiles, but he did give us some of the most perfect little expressions.

And did I mention his eyes? Holy moly...those eyes.

And no photo shoot would be complete without our traditional baby "headshot." We have the same simple photo of all of the kiddos hanging in oversized frames on our wall. I can't wait to round things out with this little grin.

Brooks Edmund
 Maxwell Thane
Harrison Paul
 Charlotte Delene

This mama's heart is so insanely full.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Brooks Edmund {5 months}

Sweet baby Brooks,

Our first 5 months with you have been simply magical. In the blink of an eye you have transformed from a tiny little newborn into a sweet little personality that I can't imagine life without. You are such a HAPPY baby - always quick with a smile that absolutely melts my heart. My sweet, sweet baby boy.

Here's a snapshot of what you're up to at 5 months.

Our house is a bit of a circus these days with 3 boys ages 4 and under, but you don't seem too phased by all the commotion. You are fascinated by your goofball brothers and barely flinch when you're on the receiving end of an on-the-fly puppy kiss. You've been practicing your screeching and definitely do your fair share to add to the noise.
After a bit of tough love, you are finally sleeping 10-11 hour stretches at night. Can I get a big ol' AMEN? I can’t tell you how much your mama appreciates the extra sleep! If you would be a little more consistent with naps at school during the week, we'd be set. 
You can roll 3/4 of the way from your back to your belly…then you just get lazy. You’ve never been a huge fan of tummy time, so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, really though, why focus on moving when you have 4 big people to bring you everything you need?
At 5 months old you are officially 14 pounds and wear mostly 6 month clothes. So much for my best efforts to keep you little. You have a voracious appetite and I feel like you still drink bottles non-stop. You LOVE them and cry the minute you finish, regardless of how much you ate. Trust me babe, you ain't starvin'. Solids are next on our list (when mom finds the energy) and I have a feeling you'll be pretty excited about those too.
This month you really fell in love with your daddy. I can’t say that I blame you, he’s pretty lovable. His goofy faces and silly sounds are guaranteed to make you grin from ear to ear.
I know that you will always be your own person...but Brooks...I can't tell you how much you remind us of your big sister. The resemblance absolutely takes my breath away. Your big sparkling eyes. Your perfect little lips. Even the way that your auburn hair grows in 800 different directions. My eyes are filled with tears just thinking about it.

A few odds and ends: You still love a nice soak in the bath and have graduated from your little blue tub to a comfy reclined seat. You like watching Tom & Jerry with your brothers in the morning while they eat breakfast. You survived your first influenza exposure...courtesy of yours truly. Boooo. You're stuck in a really bad hair phase...but don't worry, your brothers were there too. And speaking of hair, yours is definitely still red. Your eyebrows too. Lord knows you'll be a feisty one. You love to rock with your mama, and my oh my do I love to rock with you. 
Happy 5 months (+10 days) baby boy! We can't wait to see what shenanigans month #6 holds.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Brooks Edmund {4 months}

Oh Brooksy Babe. You're officially 4 months old. Four months. Sigh. You're getting so big and showing us so much of your little personality (which I LOVE), but I would totally be ok with you slowing things down a bit. A new little babe started in your classroom at school this week, and it made me realize how much you have changed in such a short amount of time.  Oh my poor mama's heart.

Here's a little snapshot of you, sweet Brooks, at 4 months old...

Your brothers have been big into capes and masks these days. Max has been Batman, H is Robin, and you are "Hulk Smash." I wish I had captured the giggles that came from their mouths when they saw you in your costume. You fit in quite nicely with this crazy crew!
You are just the sweetest little boy - quick with a smile for most anyone who gives you attention. You used to save the best grins for your mama, but have definitely developed a soft spot for that daddy of yours. 
Baths, while few and far between in this crazy home of ours, are your favorite. 
Month #4 was full of baby dates! First up was a morning meet-up with Miss Elin. You weren't quite sure about the whole deal at first, but by the end you were quite mesmerized by her! I'm so excited to watch the two of you grow! 
The very next day we welcomed your "Big City" girlfriend out to the farm. Neva made the trip all the way from NYC just to see you (errrr...and to celebrate Christmas with family...but thats beside the point!). She's 2 weeks older than you and an excellent option for when you're both 35 and allowed to date.  
I can't even tell you how happy this picture makes me. Like smiling ear to ear, eyes full of tears happy. Oh how I love these 2 ladies.
Before you were born, daddy and I were a bit concerned about how your big brother Maxo was going to handle a new baby in the house. Well...this picture says it all. Max absolutely ADORES you, giving you no less than 100 kisses each day. This month you have started to reciprocate his affection, giving some of your best grins when he's within view.  Its been so fun to watch this relationship in its earliest stages!
Its been a fun season (well, second half of the season) for Packer football! You got some new onesies for Christmas, just in time for post-season games. The Packers won the Super Bowl when your sister was a we're thinking capping things off with another this year. You know...kind of a Super Bowl sandwich with our first and last born being the bread?? Too much to ask?? ;)
You, sweet boy, are a trooper and get lugged around on all sorts of crazy outings. This is a sneak peek into what our Thursday mornings look like. A mad rush to get out the door in time for 9AM swimming lessons followed by a little one on one time for you and mama!
Odds and Ends: You started out your life with a 2 week battle with a bottle and a feeding tube. Now, 4 months later, good Lord do you eat like a horse. Some days we're lucky if we can go 2.5 hours between feedings. I even had to break out some 6 month clothes last week because you're growing so quickly. The good news is, all of that daytime eating is reaping good things at night! For the last 3 nights (knock on wood) you have been sleeping 10 straight hours (7pm-5am)! Can I get a big ol' AMEN to that!!? You're having your very first sleepover at NamNam and PopPop's weekend, so I hope you treat them to the same solid night. You love being upright - standing on our laps, sitting in a Bumbo, dangling in your jumper - you name it! We haven't started any baby food for you yet, but it probably isn't a bad idea judging by your appetite!

Oh Brooksy Babe - life with you in it is oh so sweet. I can't wait to see what adventures the next month have in store!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Brooks Edmund {3 months}

Oh Brooks, I'm so sorry. You have officially fallen victim to the 4th child phenomenon. I swore up and down that I wouldn't let it did anyway. I went back to work just a few days after you turned 3 months old and since then its been a constant struggle for me to find balance. Between home, work, sickness and holiday prep, I found myself feeling (more than a little) overwhelmed and blogging was the furthest thing from my mind. 

So now here we are...closer to 4 months than to 3...trying to catch up and get ourselves back on track. This post is anything but timely, but I'm running on the ol' sentiment of "better late than never."  Here's a little snapshot of YOU at 3 months old.
The picture below was snapped on December 5th - your first official day of "school." You would think that having done the whole 1st day drop-off thing 3 times before, that it would have been a walk in the park for your ol' mom, but leaving you behind was SO hard.  Don't tell anyone...but I may have sat in the car and cried for just a few minutes before driving away. You, on the other hand, did great with the transition. You love spending your days snuggling with your teachers, eating like a horse, and NOT napping. Who can blame you, with so many new and exciting things to see. (But really though - you can start napping any time now!)
The 3 month mark proved to be a turning point in your life. You started sleeping a little bit longer at night (4-5 hour stretches) and will finally let us out of your sight for more than 30 seconds at a time. You became more content to lay independently and soak in your surroundings, which means that life for mom and dad became a bit more productive. 
Back in November you had your first FaceTime date with your BFF, Neva. You were pretty shy and didn't have a whole lot to say, but I think she was impressed with your ability to drool and fall asleep mid-conversation. 
You were stingy with your smiles for the longest time, but once you decided to share, there was no looking back. Oh baby boy, you absolutely melt me with that gummy grin of yours.
There's no shortage of brotherly love in this house. Those big brothers of yours think you're pretty darn sweet and prove it with no fewer than 100 kisses a day.
You got your first real taste of winter this past month. I think the look on your face sums up how you felt about it.
A few odds and ends - You had a HUGE growth spurt this month and have definitely started to pack on the pounds. It won't be long and you'll sporting the same big belly as your brothers. You love to rock with your mama (and you'll never hear me complain about that!). So far that red hair of yours is sticking around - as are your blue eyes! You're doctor said the combo is very "Robert Redford-esque!"

I may have been late with this post, but I was right on time with your monthly photoshoot! Here you are in all of your 3 month old glory...with a very striking resemblance to your big sister, Charlotte. Time is absolutely flying, and while I wish that I could keep you little forever, I'm so excited to watch you grow.

Happy (super late) 3 months, little man! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Her Cranberries

What were you doing 6 years ago tonight? Do you remember? Maybe you were frantically preparing for a Thanksgiving feast? Maybe feeling nostalgic as you watched "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" with your kiddos? Was it cold outside? Maybe you were curled up by a fireplace somewhere, watching snow fall outside your window.

Most days I can hardly remember what I ate for breakfast earlier that morning...but 6 years ago. 
Wow. I can tell you every detail.

Matt and I were living in our house on Danielle Drive with our sweet, sweet Charlotte and our two rowdy pups. It was the eve before Thanksgiving...and boy, did we have a lot to be thankful for that year. A new baby. Successful open heart surgeries. Doctors and nurses who literally saved our little girl's life. Family and friends who rallied behind us and carried us through some very dark days. 
Come to think of it, thankful feels like such a small word.

Six years ago tonight I gave Charlotte a bath and noticed quite quickly that her color seemed a little bit off. I checked her O2 sats, as I did most every night, and watched as the numbers on the digital display jumped all over the place. I hated that damn machine. Tucking my concerns in the back of my brain, I finished getting her into her jams, tamed her crazy hair, and took her downstairs to do some last minute preparations for our trip to Omaha in the morning.

Six years ago I volunteered to bring cranberries to Thanksgiving dinner. I'd never made cranberries. Heck, I didn't even know if I liked them. But what I did like was the thought of replacing the gelatinous canned version on our table with the real deal. It just felt festive.
I remember melting butter in a pot on our glass top range, all the while sneaking glances at Charlotte sitting nearby in her bouncy seat. 

I remember adding the shiny red cranberries to the pot and thinking "I'm just being paranoid."
I remember asking Matt over and over what he thought...but never letting his reassuring words reassure me.

I remember the sound of the berries bursting open as they cooked, and at the same time feeling like I could burst along with them. Sigh. That little girl and her blue tinged lips...
I remember hitting my breaking point, giving Matt instructions on what still needed to be done with my cranberries, and loading Charlotte into the car.

I remember the cold air on my face as I carried my 6 month old into the hospital. 
...The look on the triage nurses face as she saw Charlotte's O2 sats. 
...The relief that washed over her when I told her that those numbers actually weren't all that bad compared to Charlotte's baseline.
...How silly I felt for dragging by child to the ER for what was ultimately deemed the common cold.

I remember it all.

Every Thanksgiving Eve since that night in 2010 I have made "Charlotte's Cranberries," and every year the memories of that night come flooding back. Who knew that something I didn't even know if I would like, would turn into something that I absolutely love.

The holidays are hard, and I often have to remind myself that despite it all we have so much to be thankful for.
Tonight its festive red berries and memories of her.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Trip to the Dentist

This probably puts me in the running for "Mom of the Year," but a few weeks ago Harrison (4) and Max (2) made their first-ever trip to visit to the dentist. I thought that it was going to be a complete disaster, but I guess that when your dentist also happens to be your PopPop - its easier to wake up your brave. 
Both boys did GREAT and got two thumbs up on their clean teeth. I guess that all of my threats of "Do you want PopPop to have to pull all of your teeth out?" officially paid off. 

Kidding. Totally kidding....
Kind of.