Category Archives: baby girl

a birthday post…just a tad late

*So- Maya’s 3rd birthday was in November, but I failed to write a birthday post for her because, well…our house had just gone under contract and we were moving across the country.  But- even though I haven’t done a baby book for her yet, I will not shirk her birthday love.  My dream is to sit down with each kid when they are a little older and read each of their birthday posts to them…in my mind we laugh and cry and it’s super memorable- in reality they might possibly be bored, but I’ll love it either way.*

Happy 3rd birthday my dearest daughter.  You are 3.  It’s official- you’re not my baby anymore but that won’t stop me from cradling you like one.  I love your cuddles; on your terms, of course, but I will take ’em however they come.  I think this is the year we really bonded, you and me.  You are the sweetest little human…your whole face brightens when you smile and even when you don’t, your features are just too cute.  Your dad is your hero and your favorite person in the world still…I know why- remember, I chose him first.  It’s so amazing to see the bond you two have, and I’m beyond grateful because I love being close to my own father and I hope that for you too.

At the moment, you’re so obsessed with all things princess that its hard for me to remember back over the last year…but you did have a dino phase, thanks to your brothers.  You love carrying around toys everywhere you go.  You love playing with Regan most of all, yet you admire Josiah so much.  I sometimes catch you staring at him…it’s so sweet.  This last year you moved into a big girl bed, which you promptly ignored because you favor hard sleeping surfaces I guess.  Every night we’d put you to sleep in your bed and every morning we’d find you on the floor, usually in a corner or a closet… sometimes I’d just put you to sleep on the floor so you didn’t have to move all your bedding to the carpet later.  I love that you still use the same baby blankets that you have since you were born.  The corners are all so destroyed, but you don’t mind- I suppose I could call them well-loved.

Your facial expressions are like none other.  You are so expressive in the funniest, weirdest ways.  We love the way you walk…with such unique movements- for no one but yourself.  I have no idea what you’re thinking most of the time.  You are strong and you know what you want but slowly you are learning to bend here and there.  You laugh so much and I love the adorable sound it is…your whining was over the top this year but that’s mostly because we dumbly let you get away with it.  Ha!  This was the year I began to style your hair…the process not a favorite for either of us, though I loved the pigtails.  The torture actually led to your first big girl haircut.  This was also the year you fell in love with dresses and tried refusing to wear anything else.  I really love when kids start deciding on styles…but I also really love dressing my adorable little girl…so, compromise.  I bought more dresses but forced jeans on you sometimes because your little legs are so cute in them.  You are choosy with shoes, just like me and you love bows in your hair..unlike me.

Your little voice is so adorable.  We understand most of what you say these days…except what you learn from Regan.  Ha!  I love the way you’ll come find me when you need a snuggle and I love opening your door in the morning or after a nap to see how and where you’ve slept.  I love your dimples and your tiny teeth…your big feet and sweet girly hands. Even after three years, I’m still in awe that I get to have a daughter.  You are so. much. fun.

Love you forever sweetie mymy…

love Mommy

maya1my2my3my4my5my7my8my9my10my11my12my13my14my15my17my18my19

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these three.

I haven’t written about my kiddos specifically in awhile, so I thought…why not?

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inspecting her belly button.  and jos is wearing a mermaid tail if you’re wondering.

I recently discovered, even though I think I’ve subconsciously known this all along- Regan can wear anything and make it look cool.  It’s bizarre how two boys who share all the same clothes now, can still look so uniquely different in the same shirt.  The other day I was reminded of this fact when I threw on Josiah’s ghetto old school shoes (that were for his uniform- not a shoe I would normally choose) onto Regan and he totally rocked them.  They actually look good on him.  It’s kinda hilarious.

Then there’s my daughter…who just doesn’t like clothes in general.  Most days she’s naked with a blanket wrapped somehow around her- or if she’s feeling princessie at the moment, then a tattered and worn tulle/satin combo will be falling off of her.  I won’t even buy more clothes for her right now, even when I see adorable things bc I know she’d rarely wear them.  We did discover she grew out of her tennis shoes and ordered some new ones- bubble gum pink…which she declared her princess shoes and literally wore them to bed last night.  So- that’s a win.

Now Josiah…he likes the monochromatic look…which we rarely actually let him out of the house in- lol.  However, if he were to dress himself he would literally choose one color for everything.  I started taking pictures because he did it three days in a row- and he’s so proud of himself too.  He also loves the rainbow look and would wear his rainbow socks every day if he could.  His leopard print glasses are going strong, though pretty loose so they are falling down his nose like his last pair…giving him a sort of grandpa look to him.  It’s awesome.

In other news…both boys are LOVING school.  It’s adorable to hear them talk about their days in the evening- Jos already has a “bff” which a little girl dubbed him as- and Regan cries when he has to leave each day.  Josiah says this school is more work but he doesn’t mind too much (yet!) and Regan is begging for hot lunch- because of the juice.

I feel like the whole move across country has bonded them together, but also highlighted their individual needs for space.  They are each different in how they want alone time…but they definitely all like it.  (just like me!)  I love that all three of our kiddos have somewhat of an independent spirit, yet they still enjoy people and love to be around them.  The boys are sharing a room in this house and both still admit that they’d rather have their own…but I think it’s mostly just Josiah that would love it.  He’s such an imaginative soul- he needs space to create his other worlds.  Regan is getting there though, definitely pretending more than ever… it’s one of my favorite parts of kids.

Last night I pulled Maya out of her room at 10pm because I heard her dancing around and snuggled her into my bed.  I started telling her a tale about a princess who was lost and had her rapt attention for longer than I’ve seen her sit still in forever.   It reminded me that while imagination is definitely in kid’s natures, it also doesn’t hurt to nurture it along.  I need to do more of that with Maya.  I also need to potty train her.  Even though I think it’ll probably be the easiest thing ever, I’m too scared to pull the trigger- lest it be way too hard.  Ha.

Ok. I’ve been working on this for days…so I need to just publish.

 

where are they now

I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile but knew it would take a bit of time to articulate.  My hope is to do this post every few months so I can look back in a few years and remember the random funny idiosyncrasies of each kiddo at this point in time.

josCurrently, Josiah is 5 3/4 and has a birthday countdown…only 3 months until June 4 and we have already planned most of his dino-riffic party in which at first he wanted to invite his whole class (which he said was 30 people- it’s 14) but then decided he’d rather have his family and one other friend at his pool…with all things dino of course.   We’ve logged many a moment on amazon checking out everything from t-rex plates to inflatable teradactyls.  It’s grand.  I smile so proudly at my first born’s love for his birthday, it’s simply the best!  On another note, but still dinosaur related- he was chosen as star of the week in his kindergarten class which led to grueling (for him) homework…such as writing letters.  I jest.  But seriously the kid either whips through school work or dreads it like the plague, tho this particular assignment was painful.  He had to choose his favorite foods, things to do, what he wanted to be when he grew up, etc.  Thankfully he loves favorites like me, but almost everything had a smattering of dino.  My favorite answer was that he wants to be a Dino Expert (not paleontologist) with a focus on their skin.  Huh?  Lastly, I’m kinda sad that he has given up on his rainbow phase.  I seriously loved seeing all of his coloring include rainbows- all 7 colors always- he’s very precise.  I did see him putting his dino fruit snacks in rainbow order yesterday, so I suppose there are still smatterings of that obsession left.

reganRegan is 4 1/2 right now and has chosen to simply be a dinosaur.   It’s hilarious to watch his transformation from boy to Allosaurus, which often comes when you least expect it.  He enjoys following his brother’s obsessions but I love to watch his take on everything.  It’s so blindingly different than Josiah’s.  He is so funny.  I think he knows his power over us.  I love the way he uses adult phrases in random conversation where it doesn’t even make sense.  And over the past few weeks he has embraced the beginnings of spring with earlier and earlier wake-ups in the morning- his defense: it’s light out.  Well, I took care of that this week and Regan is now the proud owner of a giant art installation in his room that kinda looks like the Black Hole.  I tacked/taped giant black garbage bags over all his windows (see pic above) in the hopes that he would return to his 7: something wake ups, albeit still too early for yours truly, but at least doable.  Sure enough, the next morning I woke up with a smile on my face WITH my alarm clock instead of a certain loud mouth bass named Regan. I love him so much more at 7:15am it turns out.  Lastly, this kid is a rockin’ eater.  Some mornings I will make him 5 eggs and an hour later he’s eating 3 yogurts.  He can down an entire pork roll and cheese sandwich no problem, and begs for all sorts of random stuff…pistachios and mac-n-cheese being two of his top choices.

ry=400Maya is 2 and so so cute right now, minus her hair which sadly is just a hot mess.  She faithfully follows around her brothers (mostly Regan) and mostly does everything they do. She loves looking at books now and when I can’t find her, she’s usually sitting on a pillow flipping through a book.  She chooses one big book to obsess over for a few months- her latest choice being a Space one and I’m proud to say she can name all the planets plus other random outer space goodies all on her own.  Her voice is the cutest…and we all get a kick out of it.  Her brothers are always amazed when she talks to them, it’s like they’ve only known her as the baby and now she’s becoming a real person.  Ha!  Last week she graduated to a big girl bed- a very high (unintentional- oops) twin bed covered in pink and flamingos.  I’m in love.  We weren’t sure if she would be though, since her “bed of choice” lately has been the floor.  Literally.  (see picture above)  We’d put her in her converted crib every night and always find her asleep on the floor in the morning, so I just started putting her on the floor in the evening.  Thankfully though, she loves her bed.  I haven’t taken pictures yet but I will soon.  Lastly, she still loves cliff bars and snacks on anything pretty much all day, every day.  She still cries whenever anyone closes a door near her and she desperately wants to ride her brother’s bikes, even though she can’t even reach the pedals.

I marvel at how different our three kids are.

Take mornings for instance: on school days I have to literally dress Josiah with his eyes still closed.  He’s a straight-up teenage boy who doesn’t want to get out of bed.  Thankfully he does move around somewhat so I am not trying to dress a dead-weight manikin but honestly it’s easier to do myself than try and wake him up enough.  He is totally capable of dressing himself, but at the early hour of 7:30am he goes about as fast as a slug trapped by a log.  And since I have about 22 minutes total allotted for us in the morning, time is of the essence.  On the other hand, Regan rarely ever has to be woken up but either way, the instant one eye is opened he roars to life like a turbo engine.  The volume goes straight to loud but he’s always so happy and sweet in those early hours, it’s precious.  He’s the sole morning person in our home- bless.  And Maya prefers to wake up slowly, so I usually let her ruminate til 9am in her room alone, if she doesn’t have to traipse along to school drop-off.  If I go in too soon, she’s liable to be a tad grumpy for a few minutes or just really snuggly (which I enjoy) but if she’s had the proper amount of time, she’s a giggly sweetheart in the morning.

Evenings are so different too.  We start bedtime around 6pm and are always done before 7pm.  It’s for our own sanity.  Each kid doesn’t mind bedtime but Josiah will stay awake for hours sometimes.  He reads, he plays, he begs for food and snuggles…seriously, his favorite thing to do is sneak in and ask if I feel like cuddling or no.  It’s so hard to resist, so I rarely do.  Regan, after his initial “I have to go poooooooottttty and I’m huuuuuuuuuungry” falls asleep within minutes most nights.  He always snuggles up with his comforter on his side and there must be a switch in his brain he just clicks and woosh…snoring.  And Maya…I actually don’t know what exactly she does before falling asleep, but I think it involves taking a little inventory of her whole room (which is pretty empty these days) and then she snuggles in with her blankie (our only kiddo who needs one).  She rubs the corners and sometimes bites them too…thankfully we have 5 different ones, so our little Linus is never without.

Darn, my time has run out.  School pick-up is beckoning.

 

to dress a baby girl

myI started this post a million days ago and just never got excited enough to complete it.  But- I am determined to now.  I get asked often where I shop for Myty and it’s always such a random answer…I don’t really like things that come in “outfits” usually but rather enjoy the challenge of putting pieces together.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes she comes down looking like a weirdo.  Ha!  I am including my favorite places to shop for my little Maya, who for reference is 17 months old.  This is not in order of importance, rather just as my brain brings ’em.

NextDirect is a store I found shortly before Maya was born.  It’s in UK but ships here for free if you spend over $40 which I do every time.  I have found a lot of staple wardrobe pieces here- like leggings, shirts, tights, simple dresses… They are great deals in my opinion, for great quality and uniqueness too- I have never met someone who knew about Next, which is not always important, but it does make it fun to dress my daughter in something no one else is wearing.

Hanna Andersson is pretty well-known and also great quality clothing.  I have always loved their pajamas, for my boys and now Maya.  Every once in a while I like the clothing, but mostly pjs are my jam here.  These are pricey, but they have great sales and their clothing lasts forever.

LaikynLeigh is a new small business I found recently.  Maya now has a gorgeous handmade knit cowl and an adorably sweet bonnet from this shop.  The owner is super friendly and the quality of her products is wonderful.

Baby Bling headbands are my absolute favorite.  These are not frilly- there is a little bow but they can be worn with it showing or hidden.  They are made of a nylon sort of material and are stretchy so they stay on really well.  I buy them at Nordstrom, but I’m sure they have their own website too.

And speaking of Nordstrom I will admit that I do shop for my kids there sometimes.  It can be very expensive, so I stick to sales unless it’s a special occasion.  I love that they carry a lot of brands that I like and it’s always free shipping/free returns for shopping online.  Also- Nordstrom Rack (if you have one nearby) is amazing and Hautelook– a Nordstrom flash-sale site is great too.

Back to headbands and hair stuff…Etsy is of course, my favorite go-to.  I’ve gotten headbands from SophiaCo and SadieSkyBoutique and for tiny new babies my favorite shops are The Brightside Studio and LittleBowPop.  My favorite hair clips come from my sister (etsy shop coming soon) and also EveryDotandTiddle and Masterpieces of Fun Art.

My most favorite place to buy Maya clothing is Zara and although I don’t buy a lot from there, every single piece I’ve ever ordered has been my favorite.  Seriously.  Adorable.  All of it.  They have sales a couple times a year too and I am sure I’ll be stocking up as she gets older.  I’ve never been to a Zara store, but someday I will…and will probably faint from the beautifulness.

April Cornell is a random throw in here, and though I’ve only stumbled upon this line last year in a cute store along the shore (which is mostly known for linens), I fell in LOVE with the dresses.  Maya’s first birthday dress was from there- and I love so many of their beautiful fabrics.

Gap is an old standby that I still find adorable things at…my boys pretty much lived in Gap clothing in the early years, so I sometimes feel the need to go beyond but I usually end up back on their website scouring sales.  I like basics there mostly- pants, shirts, plain dresses.

Carters and Oshkosh are really good for fleece zip up pajamas and sometimes I find a cute something else…but I find that their clothing tends to be too matchy-matchy for me (I am weird!) and too many words always.

Janie and Jack swimsuits are my downfall.  When Maya was born we got a huge box of clothing from this ridiculously overpriced store and I couldn’t wait to exchange a few of the items…and I discovered baby girl swimsuits there. O.MY.GOSH.  I die.

Cotton Bottom Designs is a new small shop I found recently and while it’s pricey, it has the most beautiful handmade jumpers and head wraps.  I finally bought one (the sell out super quick) and I am in love.

H & M is more of a favorite for boys…but I think as Maya grows up I will like it more in the girl department.  Their cardigan selection is epic though, can’t believe I just described a cardi section as epic but oh well.

Ok. I could keep going I am sure, but this has been in my “to finish” pile for way too long…so I am drawing this to a close.  Happy shopping!!!

happy first birthday maya

maya16My dearest Mymy,

It’s your birthday!  The very first one you’ve ever had, besides you know, the one where you were birthed.  I have had the privilege of being by your side for every single day of your life.  What a gift.  I always wanted a daughter but I never realized what amazing joy you would bring.

DSC_0057DSC_0021DSC_0128I love the way you laugh- with your whole body- even smiles take up every inch of your face.  Your dimples are the best and your little chiclets crack me up.  Even when I don’t want to smile, I just physically can’t not when I see your beautiful grin.  I love your crazy hair and admit that I have no idea what to do with it.  I love the way you stare at everyone.  I love the way you’ll snuggle when you’re tired, but if you’re awake- the world is beckoning.  You don’t stop for a moment, except to stuff yet another *insert anything on the floor* into your mouth.

maya15I love your strength.  You are fearless when it comes to movement.  You are so tough.  The fact that you are walking already is purely you- all you.  Lord knows I tried my best to thwart your progress and slow you down, but that’s impossible.  I wonder how much of the way you take on this little world right now is a glimpse of how you will tackle life in the future.  Oh and I can’t wait to hear you talk!

DSC_0003I love the way you love your brothers and how they can always calm you.  I love how happy you get when they come into your room in the morning…really how excited you are when anyone comes in!  I love picking you up from your crib and holding you close, kissing your cheek a million times while you just let me.  I love dressing you- and how every single time I put a shirt over your head you giggle.  I mean…who does that?  I love you, I just love you so much.  I love introducing you as my daughter…I love praying over you and dreaming of your future.  I love that you’re mine.

maya8You made me so proud at your birthday party girl… no tears when we sang the birthday song so loudly- nope, all smiles instead.  And then the way you want after your birthday cake was seriously the best cake smashing I’ve ever seen.  You are a star!  I can’t wait to see what God has planned for your life;  I have a feeling your dad and I are in for a real exciting adventure.

Happy Birthday my darling daughter- you are the best!

Love mama

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maya’s birth story

To be fair, I need to document Maya’s birth story here on my blog.  Plus then all I have to do is copy and paste when it comes time to make her baby book…which I haven’t even started.  Eek.

My little girl’s entrance into this world is burned into my memory so deeply that I know it does not matter that I’m writing this down a year later.  I actually saw her be born.  With our boys, we met them the day they were born- one 7 hours later and one 4 hours after but our baby girl…I was there when she cried that first tiny cry.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that sure I wanted to witness the birth of my daughter.  It might sound horribly wrong to anyone who hasn’t been through a failed adoption, but in my mind she isn’t ours until her birth mom signs the papers and makes it official.  Nothing is certain in those hours and it’s very very difficult to not get too attached and hopeful.  So, when Maya’s birth mom requested my presence I kind of sloughed it off, as the boy’s birth mom had also asked that I be there and it didn’t work out; I thought the same would happen.  Except for the fact that she was induced…and there was a specific time…and we were driving down…and would be able to arrive before she was born.

Literally it came down to that that Monday morning, November 11th because we were on the road driving the rest of the way to Jacksonville.  We had stopped to spend the night about 6 hours away, and we knew *Mel (that’ll be our name for Maya’s precious birth mom for the rest of the story) was being induced at 8am but had figured we had plenty of time and I really had no idea what the heck I would do sitting in a birthing room all day waiting for a baby that may or may not be mine to be born.  It’s hard enough after the baby is out to wait the required 48 hours until a birth mom signs her rights away…so I wasn’t breaking any speed limits.

But as God would have it, we arrived in Jacksonville around 2pm and headed straight for the hospital with the whole family.  I jumped out at the entrance and Bart took the boys to grab food.  I remember feeling eerily excited and nervous and a little nauseas.  As a nurse ushered me into the hospital room, I immediately headed over to Mel and gave her a hug, asked how she was doing…totally unsure of what else I should do or say.  I’d met her once before, when we had dinner and met each other a few months earlier, but that’s it.  And now I’m standing next to her and she labors pretty intensely.  Literally about ten minutes after I showed up, nurses started wheeling in all sorts of equipment and an empty bassinet and things just came alive.  Two social workers and I stood nearby trying not to get in the way while still giving Mel support until the dr showed up and Mel began to push.   Originally I was standing by her head, praising her to keep going…or whatever the heck I said, I have no idea… but then it was only about 6 pushes and the dr ensured the baby was almost here- so one of the social workers grabbed my arm, exclaiming that I just had to watch my daughter be born!  Mortified, a little curious, and seriously excited I watched as her head emerged and she just shot out.  Insane!  The dr held her up to show her off and yelled “where’s your camera?” so of course, we all scrambled to grab our devices for a quick picture.  Then he held scissors and looking at us, asked who was cutting the cord.  I did not think for one moment it would be me…I mean, what if I messed up?  But they pushed me towards him and I found myself grabbing the scissors and thankfully cutting in a very clearly marked area of the cord.  Then the baby was whisked away to the flurry of nurses waiting nearby and I was so torn.  I wanted to comfort Mel and congratulate her, which I did…but my heart was also so drawn to the precious slimy (I mean, come on- gotta be truthful) little girl who was just born.

My heart felt like it was in my throat as I stared at her through all the hands moving around her.  I watched as they weighed and recorded all the little details.  She was moved into this little warming bed and checked out completely and I just watched in amazement that I got to be right next to her the entire time.  The best part was when a nurse asked who the “second” bracelet was for…normally it’s for the dad and I’ve actually never gotten the bracelet privilege- which means one can see the baby without her mom present.  With both our boy’s births, we got to see them in the hospital, but never with this much freedom.  I almost cried when one of the nurses asked if I wanted to go with her when she brought Maya into the nursery to give her a bath.  Incredulously, I followed, feeling like it was a dream.  At this point, I tried so desperately to trust God that He would hold my heart if this wasn’t going to be our daughter, because I was bonded.  From that first moment she grabbed my finger, minutes after she was born…I never wanted to let her go.  I prayed and hoped that this was my Maya Joy…the one we had prayed for so much.

It was so fun to be a part of all the little stuff.  About an hour after the birth, Bart brought the boys up to our floor and a nurse kindly found us a small “storage” room for privacy so they could meet her.  Bart held her and the boys looked at her in awe.  It was all very surreal.  That lasted about ten minutes and then we crossed over to Mel’s room and she got to meet Bart and our boys.  It was special to be all together, with our lawyer (who we LOVE) and I remember feeling such peace as Mel fed Maya her first bottle and then handed her off to me so she could  rest.  What could have felt so odd and awkward felt strangely normal.

After awhile it was time to say goodbye.  We headed to our hotel room without a tiny baby but filled with much hope and anticipation.  Much to our surprise and delight, Mel was ready to be discharged the next day, which meant that we didn’t have to wait the customary 48 hours for the rights hearing.  Thankfully we had a family friend who was able to babysit the boys while we sat anxiously in the hospital waiting room while Mel signed all the papers and surrendered her parental rights…and even though it felt slightly more definite this time around, it was still hard to fully believe we would leave the hospital with a daughter.

But Praise God- she became ours on November 12th, 2013!!!  Of course, finalization didn’t happen until many months later, but in our hearts it was a done deal.  Maya was required to stay one more night in the hospital, so we spent a good amount of time cuddling her and taking lots of pictures and then headed out to grocery shop and get ready for the next two weeks of hotel living.  The next day we met our social worker back at the hospital and changed Maya into her going home outfit…and then waited a lot longer than we should have because of a shift change- but it didn’t matter- she was ours!!!!!

I still can’t forget the drive back to our hotel- with our THREE?!!? children in the backseats.  It felt like so recently we had brought Josiah home from the hospital, and Regan too…and now, our first daughter- what an incredible feeling, an amazing reality.

I do however forget a lot of our hotel living…which I think is part of God’s divine plan in getting me back down to Florida each time for another adoption.  It’s a miracle how living in a hotel room with 2 toddlers and a newborn can seem like no big deal a year later.  In the midst of it, there were loooooooong days and looooooong nights.  But the gift of Maya Joy was worth ten times that torture.

So, I finally finished this on the eve of your first birthday Mymy.  I love you to pieces my daughter.

almost an end

As I bought yet another canister of formula this week, I suddenly realized…only one month left.  My little baby girl is growing up.  For every child, there are milestones- first smile, first tooth, first crawl, first steps…but one of my most favorite is the end of formula.  It is a rite of passage and is right up there with the end of diapers in my opinion.  I’m not sure why I so enjoy saying goodbye to this powder substance, but I do.

It might be the cost…my Target trips are automatically off budget the minute I put Similac into my cart.  It might be the nagging fear that we’ll run out.  It might be the endless piles of powder that I find on our countertops.  It might be the gross bottles filled with leftover formula from weeks ago that I find under her bed.  I am chuckling to myself that I actually have written two whole paragraphs on my hatred for formula.  Ha!

I think it is my way of avoiding the fact that my baby is turning one in a months time.  Insane.  As I look at this last year, I can truly say it flew by and it felt like it was 5 years.  A lot has happened in this last year.  So many ups and downs, dark nights and beautiful morning sunrises…I wish I felt like diving into explanations for why everything happened, but I don’t.  I’m just going to spend time feeling thankful for the end of things like formula.

It’s the little things in life that give hope.  Saying goodbye to this little chapter means we can say hello to so much more.

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