Saturday, October 31, 2009

from His arms to mine

It’s hard for me to believe six whole weeks have already passed since Jesse was born. He weighed 6 lbs., 1oz. at birth, and he now weighs just over 11 lbs. He is getting so much longer too! He’s growing so fast. He is such a joy, a bright spot in each of my days. I look forward to each feeding because I know I will be able to hold him and just look at his sweet face. I love him so much.

Even though we haven’t been out and about alot this week, it’s been busy. We had a really busy week of school and the kids wanted to do lots of Halloween activities, and we just seemed to stay busy all day each day.

Here are some pictures I got throughout the week of Jesse. This is my favorite of the entire week. It was taken today.


Me, Joe and Jesse the day we carved our pumpkins.


Jamie and Jesse the day we carved our pumpkins.


Jesse in his little pumpkin gown.


Joe and Jesse hanging out.


Jesse and Jack in their Halloween pj’s.


Jack holding his little brother—again—he asks often and I can’t hardly refuse.


It really helps me put lots of things in perspective as I recap our weeks through my posts. A post like this reminds me of how precious and truly heavenly Jesse is. He was literally just in the presence of our Heavenly Father six short weeks ago. Now, he is here in the arms of his earthly family. We love him so much.

I read this quote a few days ago and it has been on my mind ever since:

“Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones. … Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones. Welcome them into your homes, and nurture and love them with all of your hearts. They may do, in the years that come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried” (“Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, July 1997, 73).

I love this. This is what I need to try and remember each and every day. Especially at those moments when things aren’t going as perfectly as I’d like and when patience are running short. Our Heavenly Father has never ending patience for us. He is there with open arms, loving us unconditionally always, and I have to do the same for my children. He expects that of me. No, I don’t have to be perfect. Luckily He is forgiving.

I learn something every day lately. About myself, about my role as a wife and a mother. I have spent more time on my knees in prayer these last couple of months than I think I ever have in my entire life. I am so thankful for prayer and for the faith and knowledge that I have of my Heavenly Father’s plan for me. I am blessed to know my purpose and blessed to have such a wonderful family to share my life with.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Carving Fun!

We really enjoy carving pumpkins each year as a family for part of our Halloween fun. Joe isn't really into carving an actual pumpkin yet--truth be known, he doesn't like getting the slimy stuff all over his sweet, little hands. This is the second year he has made what he calls his "Mr. Pumpkin". He enjoys creating and re-creating faces on his "Mr. Pumpkin" while Jamie, Hanna and myself do the real carving.

I am a novice pumpkin carver compared to Jamie and Hanna. I tried to make my pumpkin into a "Pumpkin Jack" after one of our favorite Halloween books, but this is what I ended up with instead:-). Yes, I actually carved this, and not my four-year-old son. Jamie and my mom teased me about the juvenile look to my pumpkin--that's ok. There's only so much you can accomplish while carving and tending to the baby at the same time:-).

Hanna's pumpkin, Jamie and I both agreed, was by far the best of our creations this year. She did a super job!! She does everything on her own now--this is her second year of completely carving alone. She is turning into a crafty girl, if I do say so myself!

Jamie usually chooses a template for his pumpkins. He has done some pretty complex jack-o-lanterns over the years. However, the last two years we've had babies to watch while carving, so we've tried to simplify a bit. Last year he really simplified by bringing out the drill and using a uni-bit to "carve" his. This was hilarious and the kids were cracking up! He free handed it this year. I've been told by some there is a resemblance to Jamie and his pumpkin. I have to say, I agree:-)!

Here's my annual "on the porch" pic of the kids with our finished creations.

Jack was napping while we carved our jack-o-lanterns. He'll probably get to join in next year. I wasn't up to braving it with him this year.

Here's a picture of our own homegrown jack-o-lantern. This one is my favorite, and I'm giving it First Prize!!

We finished off our pumpkin carving family fun with Halloween Pasta for dinner.

We had a super fun Sunday together. A family tradition that I really enjoy each year. Makes me so very thankful for such a wonderful family!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Counting Life's Blessings

Well, the weeks are just flying by. Partly because we are so busy each day. This has been the best week so far post-Jesse for me. I have felt so much better emotionally. I know I will be tired for weeks, maybe even months, to come. But feeling better emotionally has made a huge difference. I've also come to the realization that things like exercising 5 days a week like I did before, and even eating right are not going to happen overnight, and that's ok for now.

I have loved being a mom this week. Not that I don't always "appreciate" motherhood, but this week I have looked forward to each day and enjoyed it too. I have taken time to think about the larger picture, and remembered that all too soon these special, innocent days of childhood will be over. I don't want to spend them obsessing over sleep, exercise, diet and household duties. This is a hard one for me--all that I just mentioned--but I am doing my best to remember what's most important right now.

Jesse is already plumping up. He's so much bigger than even two weeks ago. Seriously, he is the sweetest of all our babies. I love watching the kids interact with him and talk so lovingly to, and about him.

I have tried to "step back" this week and see my kids as they truly are, and not focus on what they "aren't" doing, but what wonderful qualities they do possess. There are too many to name, but I can tell you that this has helped me to "fall in love" with them all over again, and this is such a blessing to me.

Watching Jamie with Jesse always warms my heart. He loves being a dad and he is so hands-on with each of our children. He is just as good as a husband to me. I told my mom just today that I am always waiting for my trials to come, because I feel too blessed and life is just too good to me--that there must be something lurking around the corner, because I am blessed beyond comprehension. But, I know I shouldn't dwell on that sort of stuff, I need to just continue to thank my Heavenly Father for these blessings and think positive, happy thoughts. I'm a worrier so....I am thankful to my Heavenly Father though, He has given me so much.

Here are some pictures from this past week, Jesse is five weeks old today.

Jack playing with Jesse in a basketful of laundry--don't worry, it's clean:

Hanna holding Jesse:

Jesse on the couch:

Jesse in his bouncy seat. He has really started focusing on people and objects this week. He tries to touch, and bat at his toys in his seat now too, just as of a couple days ago.

Jack kissing Jesse:

We've had a wonderful week. We are looking forward to carving jack-o-lanterns and having a bit more Halloween fun this weekend. I love the weekends and being together with my whole family.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jesse-One Month Old

I can't believe it--my sweet Jesse will be one month old tomorrow! Wow, his first month has flown by! It has been, and still is an emotional rollercoaster for me. However, I cannot tell you just how much our family has been blessed by bringing Jesse home, and having him become part of our family. It's amazing to me just how much each of the kids loves him and wants to help take care of him. I know that each month will fly by just as this first one has. I try to remind myself of this each day so that I don't miss these precious moments/days with not only Jesse, but with each of my kids.

We have gotten back into the groove of school at home the last two weeks. Things are going smoothly after making a few changes that have drastically helped with Hanna's and Jack's school time. I have discovered a way to keep Jack entertained, and even have a little "school" time of his own, while I do school with Joe and Hanna. I will share this in his Tot School post tomorrow.

Jesse has grown alot this past week! His cheeks and legs are really filling out. He is by far our most laid back baby. We needed this, and he is an answer to prayers. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from this past week of Jesse.

Brotherly Love:

Enjoying his swing:

In his bouncy seat:

In his rocking chair:

Just after a bath:

Another yawn, I love these:

My favorites this week with Jesse:

  • holding him as much as I can
  • watching him learn to focus on me, and seeing him "notice" me
  • watching all of his siblings love and bond with him
  • his first smile yesterday, yes, a real one!! With me!!
I love my Jesse. He is such a sweet baby. Such a reminder of what's most important to me and to the whole scheme of things. I love being a mom. It is the most challenging, yet the most rewarding experience of my whole life, and I couldn't have anyone better to share this journey with than my wonderful husband!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Week Three With Jesse

Jesse is three weeks old today! Even though this week has been a reality check for Jamie and myself as far as lack of sleep setting in, and our workload with four kids-two of which are babies--it has been a wonderful week. Everyone is doing so well and our blessings are never ending.

I can tell Jesse is growing. He is filling up more of the length of his swaddle blanket and bath cushion this week.

What do I love about Jesse this week:

  • Holding him on my shoulder. I love to have his face so close to mine and hear his sweet baby breaths.
  • Watching him sleep. I love newborn sleep expressions.
  • Baby breath, yes, that's right--it smells so sweet.
  • His hair, it is so fluffy and I can style it already:-).

I know all of these things will be gone so quickly. Before I know it Jesse will be sitting up, crawling and then walking. I want to enjoy each little phase with him. I truly enjoyed all of Jack's baby moments and want the same with Jesse. He is such a sweet baby and we all love him so very much.

Here are some pictures from this week. Jesse in his bouncy seat:

On his playmat:

With his Pop Pop, I promise he likes him:-):

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pin Curls and Lizards

Hanna has been reading the American Girl Molly series. She and I have been enjoying the movie as well. In this book/movie Molly's older sister fixes her hair in pin curls with bobby pins. Hanna decided she wanted to give this a try.

Today after she washed her hair my mom fixed it up with tons of pin curls and bobby pins while it was still wet. Hanna left it like this until it was completely dry. She looked so sweet and cute, and was so proud of it too:-). I don't know what you think, but I think she looks so much like me in this profile shot--I was surprised when I saw it!!

Here she is after the bobby pins were taken out. It fell in nice, loose curls all around. She loved it, and put the pink flower in herself:-).

I know there will come a time when Hanna is done chasing and catching lizards. I try to capture these innocent, childhood moments whenever I can. Hanna caught a lizard this week and was so happy with her catch. Here she is with her little green guy.

I love my Hanna. She is a sweet, beautiful girl! As I write this post and look at these pictures, I am filled with emotions of all different sorts--gratitude for Hanna. Disbelief that the years have passed so quickly since she was just Jesse's size. My, how time does truly fly! Again, I am so thankful for my girl!!

Baby O.'s Birthday

Yes, we actually had a birthday party for our cat--Hanna's cat to be exact. Each year Hanna gives her cat a birthday party complete with a gift. How can I say no?! This year her Baby O. turned 6. She made an adorable birthday banner earlier in the week for him, and even had me take her to the store to buy him some special cat treats for his gift.

She and Joe had so much fun watching him "unwrap" his treats. Hanna filled a cardboard tube with tissue paper halfway, then put treats in, and then covered them with more tissue paper. Here he is discovering his gift.

He sees it. He smells the treats:

He decides to investigate and pulls them out:

He finds them and eats!!

Hanna loves her cat so much. He is a special part of our family, because he is so special to her. It was fun watching her enjoy his little party today:-).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Priorities in Perspective and Goals

Goodness this is a tough week for me. Jamie says it is pretty tough for him as well. Not really sure why. It's been almost three weeks since we brought Jesse home and nothing has changed. Each of the kids is behaving wonderfully. Sure, Jack is teething--cutting molars and eye teeth:-), and is a bit cranky and a typical tantrum throwing 18 month old:-), but usually super sweet. All three of them really love their new brother and show no signs of jealousy. Jesse is a very laid back, sweet baby. He is eating, sleeping and growing so well. We couldn't ask for more.

I have no postpartum or even baby blues either. Heavenly Father has blessed our family with so much. So why do I feel so overwhelmed and so snappy? It is bothering me. I don't want to feel this way. I don't want to seem ungrateful for all that I have been, and am being given because that is not the case at all.

I cannot express in words how truly grateful I am for each of my beautiful, sweet children. I also can't tell you how thankful I am for my husband--who is best friend, and an amazing father to our children! I love my family with all my heart and want to do all that I can each day to show them. I don't want to waste precious moments being snappy, impatient or forgetting what is truly important.

I am thankful to spend each day with my family, my children--teaching them and loving them. I have been told recently, especially in the last few weeks, that I should consider school for them again to lighten my load. No, sorry, this will not happen. No one loves or knows my children more than I do, besides Heavenly Father. I want to be their teacher. I love it, I enjoy it and I truly feel that my prayers have been heard and answered to help me be creative and inspired to teach them these last 6 months, and I know that this is what is best for our family.

This week, and tonight especially, I have spent time reading and reflecting. Reminding myself of what matters most, what doesn't, and where my priorities need to be. My goal for this month is simple--love my children and my husband unconditionally, and show them this outwardly, and try harder to find joy in each moment of each day. I don't want to take anything for granted. No regrets.

What matters most to me is pretty simple, here it is in pictures:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

More Decorating and Fall Pictures

We put our Halloween display outside this weekend. We turn it into a Fall display after Halloween comes and goes and leave it out through Thanksgiving. I just love this time of year! I always take pictures of the kids in front of our display. I take one of them in normal clothes when we put it out, and then another right before we go Trick-or-Treating with them in their costumes. I've done this for five years now. I couldn't find all of the pictures from each year quickly, but here are a few that I did find.

Hanna was quick to notice, and comment that she is holding a different baby in each of these photos:-). Jamie and I didn't even pick up on this, it was too cute!

October 2005:

October 2006:

October 2008:


Here is one more picture of Jesse. I know this picture is in my header, but it is just so cute!! It was Jamie's idea to take the top off of the kids jack-o-lantern and make Jesse our little pumpkin:-).

We are having such fun these last couple weeks. We haven't even gone anywhere, but we have been doing lots of Fall activities at home and outside as a family, and it has been simple, family fun. I am so thankful for my family. They bring me true happiness daily!