5 months with a teeny little beauty and her prince (x4)

Vesper is 5 months old (she is actually 6 right now, but for the blog’s sake, this week she is 5 months and next week she will be 6 months when I post those pics:) How fun all this baby stuff is?! The house is full of baby gear, every where we walk we trip over some pink toy, and no one is complaining. This baby loves her toys! Peyton loved toys, Conner and Trek loved the boobs and nursed all day, and we have come full circle to another toy baby. She will actually fuss and wiggle in your arms until you put her down on her play mat and stay there for a whole hour! It freaked me out at first after the last 2 babies. I used to only get things done in nap time, now we homeschool when Vesper is playing with her toys! It makes our house very relaxing-thanks Vesper!

5 months!!

Vesper weights 14 lbs which is a little on the small size, but perfectly healthy.

She is still in size 1 diapers and 0-3 months clothes, but she is pushing out of them. I will have to (with tears in my eyes) pack them away next month I am sure.

She rolls, rolls, and rolls all over the place. I wish we had carpet, so I could let her be a free bird. But since we don’t I just cover the floors with quilts and put pillows along the edges.

She is babbling and can say the syllables “ma-ma” and “da-da” and a few others, so its a race now to see which word she will actually say talking 1st! Jarrett works with her everyday to look at him and say “da-da”. We have a bunch of guidelines in place in order for it to “count”, its a fierce competition. He thinks he will win, but I know I will-muaahahahaha! We have to catch it on video or have the other person there to witness and she has to do it at least 3 times looking at either “ma-ma” or “da-da”-haha-wish me luck! Peyton and Conner said “da-da” first at around a year old. I am hoping for an earlier talker and a “ma-ma” first:)

She is still nursing great, but she is so cool about it. I really don’t think she knows I have milk under my shirt, or even realizes when she is hungry. I know her babbles when she is and have to work with her to get nursing and then she is like “oh yeah, I need to eat”. Its crazy after 3 boys who only associated me with milk and nursed all freakin day long-hehe:) She won’t take a bottle, so she is the cutest 3rd wheel on all our dates still.

best big brothers ever (and soo handsome)

she loves her swing, and since it is still in the 70′s here in Texas we spend a lot of time in it:)

Conner dressed her and took this picture because he wanted to do a photo shoot:)

her look of concentration face-get them toys

Conner sewing a present for his cousin on my new machine

Conner photo bomb

she is looking at Conner in this photo:)

Looking at Peyton, he was helping get her 5 month photo, but it never worked out, so we had to do a redo the next day

homeschooling with baby

we had an Olympic school day, Conner won. They beg everyday to do it again:) 

she does her lips like that when she concentrates on her toys or pulling your hair

hehehe, I love this photo. I looked down and she was sound asleep!

It reminded me of this picture of Trek. We were out to eat and I looked down and he was sound asleep:)

picture by Conner

 

Vesper’s Birth Story

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My entire pregnancy with Vesper was all new and so very familiar at the same time. Most days I knew exactly what to expect. I felt the sames joys and quirks of my other 3 pregnancies, and then other days, I was in an alien body. Emotionally, I was ecstatic to be having a healthy baby (no Niemann Pick Type A), excited for the newness of a girl (first one after 3 amazing little boys), and relishing my last pregnancy. While I was happy and content with all the above, these things also had a flip side. We spent the first 16 weeks of the pregnancy getting the baby tested for NPA and then waiting and waiting-agonizingly so-for the results. The girl part-ok, there were no down sides-just shopping and Barbie-pedicure-tutu daydreaming! But the last pregnancy part-yes, I was such a boob about it! I love being pregnant, I love the baby part even more, its hard to end that chapter of motherhood.

5 weeks pregnant

And then I turned 30 during this pregnancy, gained 45 lbs (my most yet by over 15 lbs), had my highest blood pressure of all 4 pregnancies, and felt the loss of Trek all the more with all the babyness in the air.

It was amazing, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Somedays I felt like a mother earth goddess blooming and growing life, but some parts, and some days, were very hard, it was my first pregnancy to feel a little “off” sometimes.

8 weeks

So, when I thought about the birth I wanted to have for Vesper, I was very open minded. For the first time, I even had fleeting thoughts that if I ended up with a c-section I would not have been sad. Previously I would have been devastated. The worries of having a perfect birth, felt like too much to add to the emotions I was already having.

10 and 12 weeks

I just wanted a baby. I had my magical birth with Trek, no medications, no medical team, in the balmy breeze on Maui, outside, with just Jarrett-pure magic. I did not need to recreate it, I was happy giving that to Trek and letting him have it. That being said, I still read all my natural birthing books, and hoped for a simple, drug free birth.

4 months

I felt little need to discuss my birth plans with my doctor, which was nice because I had a 10 page birth plan with Trek! We had spent the last few months getting to know her, she felt like a friend, and I knew she would respect my wishes. I wanted the boys there, and she agreed, I knew everything else would be perfect.

5 months pregnant with our 2nd Texan (Peyton is our other one:)

I knew I could be induced because of my high blood pressure. And if I had to have all the things that usually went along with induction and high blood pressure-pitocin, magnesium, catheter-that I would be fine with pain medication, whether through an IV or an epidural (I had both with Peyton and Conner). If I went into labor on my own, and it was similar to Trek’s, then I would be fine again with no pain medication.

my hospital stay at 20 weeks for high blood pressure

5 and 6 months pregnant

my first hairbows and baby dresses!!!

7 months 

our Rainbow baby shower!

8 months-getting closer!!

her corner in her/our room

 I went into hard core nesting at 34 weeks. It felt premature, but it was intense. I shopped, re-decorated, re-organized, scrubbed, washed everything that was machine washable and some things that were not, and scrubbed again. I finished it all up the day before my 36 week appt. with my ob-gyn. I was relieved and planned to spend the next week meditating, soaking up the sun at the beach, playing with Peyton and Conner, and working through any feelings I needed to concerning having a baby after losing one less than 2 years before. I was excited for that next week.

I went into my appt. and got hooked up to NST machine to check on the baby, like I had been doing 2 times a week for the past couple of months. My blood pressure was higher than normal, but I was so used to high readings at this point, I did not think twice about it. A few minutes later, Dr. Haver (my ob) came in and said she was taking us over to the hospital, that my blood pressure was too high and could turn into pre-eclampsia at this point. So Jarrett, the boys, and I walked over (it was in the same building), and got re-hooked up to all the machines to keep watch on the baby and my blood pressure.

waiting to see if today was the day!

My sister, Amanda, came and picked up the boys until we knew if the baby was coming that day or not. The plan was if my blood pressure went down, then we would induce the following Friday when the baby was 37 weeks, but if it stayed high, we would induce that day. Of course, it was no coincidence that Dr. Haver, a few times a year, had a 24 hours shift at the hospital. This was the beginning of one such shift, and was in the back of my mind. I really wanted her to deliver me, I trusted her completely.

Jarrett and me waiting all day to see if our baby was coming:) 

We went into the hospital in the morning on Friday, May 16th. And I was monitored all day. My bp fluctuated from high to super high, so around 10 pm, Dr. Haver came in and said we were having a baby that day.

I had no idea what to expect this time. It was weird. With Peyton and Conner, it was simple, I wanted an epidural and anything else they wanted to give me, so it was very straight forward. I went to the hospital with both (induction with Peyton for high bp and normal labor with Conner) and a few hours later I was holding a precious baby. Trek, you all know that story, it just happened:) But with Vesper I did not know what I wanted. The dr. checked me and I was dilated to a big fat zero! This scared me, I couldn’t see how, if my body was literally not primed for this baby, I could have her any time soon. Dr. Haver was much more confident than me, which helped.

I asked my dr. what the plan was. She said she would use a cervix ripening agent to open me up first. She put that in me (inserted a pill right into my cervix manually), and about 2 hours later, I was dilated to a 1. My goodness! I was thinking-”we will be here all day”-ha!

the beginnings of labor

I did my Trek meditation during that hour. I turned on Chad Van Herk’s “Footprints”, our song for Trek, and listened to it on repeat. I would close my eyes and talk to Trek, and then open them to see his beautiful face in the picture I brought. It was just what I needed to start this labor.

She then used a Foley balloon. It’s a long catheter tube thingy they put inside of you, and then fill with a saline solution to enlarge it inside of you, right past your cervix. There are no drugs or medications involved here, just good ol’ manual stretching! It actually did not hurt at all (after 3 babies-nothing hurts down there-hehe:). It dilates you to a 5 and then falls out. They said it could take 4-6 hours, but probably less since it was my 4th baby.

About one hour later when I got up to pee it fell out. The dr. came to check me and I was dilated to a 5-officially active labor.

I was still in a bit of a shock this was all happening and still did not know how I wanted to bring this baby in the world. I asked Dr. Haver what would be the quickest way for her to come without having to worry about my blood pressure rising or having magnesium (explanation below). She said that she would break my water, do an epidural, and then start pitocin, but we could do whatever I wanted.

I said, ok, I need some time to think about this. I knew if I wanted to go all natural then I did not want any of that. Even breaking my water would make it more painful faster. But I was also worried that I would have to have magnesium if I went too long and my blood pressure went too high. I had it with Peyton, and it is very common to give women with high blood pressure in labor so they will not have a seizure. Its all natural, just a mineral, but its giving in large doses through an iv during the entire labor, and for many hours after the birth. It makes you sick as a dog. I barely remember the 24 hours after Peyton’s birth because I felt so awful. You also cannot get out of bed for hours after birth with it. I did NOT want that again. So I kept asking what I needed to do to avoid it! I had to get my blood pressure down and the baby out.

Thankfully, I had been to my sister’s births and she had to labor on her left side to keep her blood pressure down so she could have a home birth. I used her experience and moved to my left side. It kept my blood pressure in a more manageable range and after begging my dr. to give me a little more time without magnesium, it actually worked!

But back to my delimna-a medicated or un-medicated birth.

By this time I had been dilated to a 5 for over an hour and had no contractions. I knew something was off with me emotionally, that I was holding back my labor, so I went to the bathroom alone to think. I had to come to terms that this baby was coming today, I was not going to get my week of meditation to work through some Trek emotions, and I had to engage in this labor now. I also only had an IV of fluids hooked up to me with hep-lock, so I was able to choose any path I wanted at this point medically. And that is what I felt like in that moment-open to anything.

So I talked to Trek, I talked to my sweet little girl in my womb, and I decided to sit on the toilet (a sure way to get some strong contractions) and see how I felt. I sat down and felt my first “real” contraction start to build, about 1/2 through it, I stopped the contraction and it faded away. I realized in that moment, that I was not emotionally ready for the pain of labor, I wanted this to be a peaceful and pain free birth, and I wanted to be open to those around me, not inside of myself working through pain-I felt like I had done so much of that the past 2 years.

With Trek’s un-medicated birth I LOVED being inside myself and working through the pains of bringing him out, it was so spiritual and freeing. It was just not what I wanted in that moment for this birth. I wanted to be able to look around and watch Jarrett and Peyton and Conner’s faces and just take it all in.

I walked out and it was only Jarrett, I told him I wanted an epidural and I was ready to have our baby girl. Jarrett being the best labor and birth partner said, ok!

We called our Dr. and she broke my water (still no contractions). A few minutes later the epidural lady came in pushing a cart. It reminded me of a candy cart and that she was there to bring me a treat-I laughed out loud. She was so kind. I asked her for a low dose, I wanted to be able to feel when I needed to push. I sat up and she got started.

I felt like I was in a very peaceful place, as soon as she put in the needle, I had the biggest contraction and I started sobbing. It was the biggest relief, and I knew I had made the right choice. All the nurses ran over to make sure I was ok, and I told them that I was sooo happy that I was having a baby today, it was all perfect, and I was finally ready.

they started warming the baby’s bed at this point:)

At this point, I had been on this journey from induction through the first phase of labor for 8 hours. This is the longest out of all 4 children. It is the morning of May 17, 2014.

So now, around 6 am, I have my epidural, my water is broke, I am dilated to a 5, and I am having contractions. I feel them in the lower middle of my uterus and on a pain scale they were a 5-6, compared to a 9-10 with Trek, and a 1-2 with Peyton and Conner’s births (with strong epidurals). It was perfect, I loved feeling her working her way through my body, but also being in control of the pain. Jarrett called Amanda (my sister) and told her to bring the boys and come to the hospital!!! yeah-my little men!!!

I labored and talked and laughed with Jarrett for the next hour. My sister and Peyton and Conner got there and about the time they did I threw up. I knew this was a sign that I was getting close and probably in transition. Conner hid in the bathroom b/c he is grossed out by throwing up-ha! I finished and got soo excited-she was about to be here!!!

Conner helping mama

“ok, this is boring, when’s the fun start?!” hehe

refreshing my make-up, I always do my hair and make-up before birth-haha:)

Dr. Haver getting me all fixed up for birth

about to be a family of 6-eeeeee!

Conner pushing the epidural button for me-hehe

ha! I look like  I just had my epidural button pushed:)

ice chips

throwing up-it’s time!

Dr. Haver came in and started to get all set up. We gave Amanda, my camera and video camera and said good luck handling them both! Dr. Haver taught the boys how to help me count through a push and asked them who wanted to cut the cord-they both wanted to, but Peyton said Conner could.

they were soo cute and giddy for their sister!

Conner making sure he was in position to grab the right scissors for the cord cutting

Jarrett, Peyton, Conner, and Amanda were all down below watching and waiting for the baby girl to come! Dr. Haver was so sweet and had already gotten to know the boys since they came to all of my appts. She had let them do the doppler and listen to the baby’s heart beat each time they came. She knew they would be in the room and was soo helpful and sweet to them. It was a very special time for our family.

waiting for sister!

At this point I can feel the baby working her way down. I asked Dr. Haver if I could reach inside and touch her. So I did and I could feel her head about 4 inches inside of me. It was amazing!

I sat up and got ready to start pushing. Dr. Haver told me to just push when I felt like it.

Jarrett asked Dr. Haver if he could catch the baby, she said yes, but then I said, “NO! You got to catch Trek, I am catching this baby!” So I sat up even more and Dr. Haver said she would help me.

I started to feel when I needed to push and started working my baby girl out. The boys were counting and everyone was smiling.

I will remember that scene for the rest of my life.

I had episiotomies with Peyton and Conner and tore with Trek. I told Dr. Haver that if I needed an episiotomy to use lidocaine because my epidural was not strong enough and I could feel down there! She said ,no, she was not cutting me! The nurse then told me they don’t really do that anymore. So Dr. Haver was helping me down there not to tear.

My epidural was not working around the vagina area. I was feeling the ring of fire, oh lord, I was feeling it!

I was pushing when I needed to, no one was telling me, so that was relaxing, but then it started to burn! Dr. Haver was kindly trying to get me to slow down the pushes, so I could stretch naturally and not tear, but I finally had to just push through it. I did not care if I tore at that point! I let out a birth pushing noise and pushed her beautiful little head out. Dr. Haver told me to reach down and I did, and pulled that sweet little girl right out of me. It was beautiful and so amazing.

pulling Vesper out! just hatched:)

The boys and Jarrett crowded around me, we are all in HEAVEN! Laughing, and smiling, and all talking at once. She is a girl! She has brown hair! She’s perfect! She’s beautiful! She’s so tiny! And then Peyton started to cry and then I did too. It was the happiest moment. She was truly our rainbow baby.

Jarrett has a little girl now

these precious boys have a sister-those faces!!!

and I have a daughter, a beautiful daughter

Peyton saying he was so happy he could dance:)

she is a wonderful nurser

she’s perfect

Conner showing our nurse Trek’s picture

Conner’s sweet face looking at Trek’s

Vesper Irissa Ingram was born at 8:15 am on May 17th, 2014. She weighed 6 lbs exactly, and was 20 inches long. She was early (probably about 35 weeks old), so after 1 hour of skin to skin. (I would have asked for it, but it was hospital policy-cool!), she went to the nursery for oxygen. Jarrett went with her (he texted me pics the whole time:), and thankfully she was back in my arms in 30 minutes and never left again.

She was breathing funny, so they had to take her to the nursery to dry out her lungs with some oxygen

thankfully she was calm after our hour together, and with her daddy near by, so she did not cry

she has the most hair of any of our babies, and its still here and growing more:)

Conner got to hold Vesper first, since Peyton got to hold Trek first 3 years ago (they remembered-hehe:)

The boys went home with my sister, and Jarrett and I stared at our baby for the rest of the day, we have not stopped since! We decided that night that she was Vesper. We had a few names, but that was our favorite the whole pregnancy and after meeting her, it fit perfect-our little “evening star/prayer”. And we always knew her middle name would be Irissa “Goddess of the Rainbow”, since she is our beautiful rainbow baby.

Jarrett went down to the gift shop to get her a girl doll:)

My milk came in the first day, as opposed to the 2nd or 3rd day with the boys. The nurse said that was normal with more pregnancies. Vesper latched on and breastfed perfectly right away and still breastfeeds about every hour, just like her brothers did.

We spent the next 2 days in the hospital and I would not let her out of my sight! They did all her tests while she breastfed and I gave her her first bath. My blood pressure stayed high and she was a little jaundice, her doctors and mine wanted us to stay one extra day, but we could not wait to get home! They let us go, and we packed up our little angel and went home.

I forgot to bring a shirt to wear home, so I had to wear my night gown. I forgot shoes when I went home with Trek from the hospital-ha!

going home from the Maui hospital shoeless with baby Trek:)

Her going-home outfit I bought her did not even kind of fit (way to big). So my sister ran to Walmart to get her a preemie outfit to wear home.

one last nursing session before the drive home:)

even after 4 children, I am still equally amazed at how teeny tiny they are in the carseat!

We got home to a clean house (thank you Amanda!), 2 happy big brothers, and my parents who had just flew in from Colorado. Jarrett had the week off and we all lived in Vesper land. We still are on our baby moon almost 6 months later, I stay in my nightgown most days and the boys still fight over holding her (that includes Jarrett). It has been amazing! We miss our baby Trek, and think and talk of him often. He would have been so much fun to watch-a 3 year old with a little baby. I have his clothes and Vesper has been wearing his teeny t-shirts to sleep in some nights.We are so lucky to have 4 beautiful and perfect children. Vesper is the most beautiful completion to our family.

 

on love and rainbows after death

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There were so many things I expected to feel and think after Trek died, and I have felt all of them and more. I have grown accustomed to the surprise stings of pain from a seemingly insignificant stimulus. But even after over 2 years of living with the grief of losing my son, I can still be surprised. 

Trek 2 weeks old

Vesper is truly our Rainbow baby. Her little face lights up our days, and brings out emotions and joys that I had feared had disappeared in the ocean with Trek’s ashes. But as I was changing her diaper yesterday, admiring her soft belly and returning her beaming smile I realized that I am traumatized by Trek’s death. That there is a part of me that was seriously injured by my little boy being taken away.

I know Vesper will crawl and walk and talk, but I have yet to day dream about such things. I won’t believe them until they happen. Like a battered wife does not believe she will ever be loved again. When she turns 15 months old, I think my brain may reset a little, that yes, this baby will live, she will walk and talk and she will not also be taken from me.

Vesper 4 days old

I knew when I picked Jarrett and decided to spend my life with him that he had all that I was missing. Throughout the years, he has proven over and over again to be there in every way that I truly need and want. He amazes me on his ability to access and act in situations others would deliberate and stress over for days, months, or years. He sees things in black and white, while I see things in rainbows. When you see things in rainbows all the time-you definitely need a black and white partner.

There have been so many times that Jarrett has picked me up and carried me in our relationship. Even during and after Trek’s death we somehow were able to be there for each other even though we were each dying. There was only one day when we both needed so much and could give nothing, it was hard, but thankfully out of all the days, it was only one. 

The day we brought Vesper home from the hospital was magical. To bring your love child home-the place they were made and grown out of love-is a surreal moment. The magical day you have been waiting for for 9 months. It was so peaceful, Peyton and Conner were elated, it was all I imagined. 

As I was crawling into bed that night I laid Vesper on my chest. A panic set in, one I had never felt in my 9 years of being a mommy. I felt inadequate. I know this is a common feeling, but I had never felt it before. Being a mommy was all I ever dreamed of since I was a little girl. The day I had Peyton, I finally felt like I was truly myself. It was all so natural and fun and just perfect. Everything before no longer existed, just Peyton and anything I needed to do to take care of him. But here, on the start of my mothering journey with my 4th baby, I was scared. What if I did not hear her cry and wake up to nurse her? what if I rolled over on her? what if I forgot she was here, and no longer in my belly and didn’t take care of her? what if she died too like her brother?

In the lamp light of our dark room, Jarrett pushed the hair back from my face, looked into my eyes, and told me I was the best mother in the world, I would never forget about Vesper, or lack in taking care of her, that I had done this 3 times before with ease, and that he would stay up all night and watch me  and her sleep. That he would wake me if I did not wake up when she wanted to nurse. That he would hold her if I was too tired. 

He probably does not even remember that as a significant moment in our life. But I am crying as I write it. It was a very significant moment for me. It was a moment where I got over a little bit of the trauma from Trek’s death. It was the moment I became a mother all over again. It was the moment I was given a new baby, after one was taken from me. It was the moment that I knew I could trust Jarrett to always see the truth even when I could not. That I could trust him for all the days of our life together. The moment that I was able to see all the vibrant colors of my Rainbow baby. 

 

Fall 2014: 4 little pumpkins

I once heard a speaker ask a room full of moms to date their page. She then went on to say that they didn’t have to know the exact date, or day, or even the month, just the season would be good enough. Ha-ain’t that the truth when you have children! It especially feels like that with the blog since having little miss V. (as I am one-hand typing now and she is grasping at the keyboard and babbling in her teeniest little voice). So this season of the Ingram life is Fall, and it is freaking beautiful. 

at the pumpkin patch getting 4 pumpkins for my 4 beautiful little children 

Living physically without one of your children is so hard. The day above was wonderful-one of the best days I have ever had with my children-but the amount of times I thought and longed for Trek throughout that day was innumerable. It’s our family’s new normal without Trek, bright sunny days, but always a little overcast with his very intensely felt absense. 

when my sister took this picture of us, all I could think about was when she took this one 3 years ago in Maui (she even said something when she was taking the picture too)

us with Trek pumpkin picking in Maui

I looked back and I did a blog post on this trip with Trek (before he was diagnosed and we were blissfully unaware), and amazing thing, I posted it on October 20th! Exactly 3 years ago today.

Trek’s 1st Pumpkin Patch

Speaking of Trek-he is a little sheep! Our friend Quinn (who also had NPA) is doing an amazing fundraiser through her foundation. Auburn University has been doing research on sheep infected with Tay Sachs (a VERY closely related disease to NPA). They have increased the sheeps’ lifespan by 57%! How amazing in the way of treatment for rare diseases. If you want to donate to help keep this program going you can find out more here!

big brothers picking out Trek’s and Vesper’s pumpkins

Trek’s 1st pumpkin!

riding in the trailer to the corn maze

Peyton, Conner, and cousin Jackson as corn

Peyton 9 years, Conner 7 years

their first pumpkin patch in Maui 5 years and 3 years old:)

they also had a flower cutting garden which was amazing and our favorite part!

my sister and some of our homeschool group picking flowers

Conner and Peyton were picking flowers for a special project. They did not tell me what it was until we go home.

when we got home, the boys made their own vases and made little shrines for Trek in their room-it made me teary and was so sweet (Peyton’s above)

Conner’s Trek shrine, complete with the geodes we made the other day, and the photo album I made for them with Trek’s pictures in it

cousins!

cousins 3 years ago, I still can’t believe my sister and I have gotten to do so much boy raising together:) (and now a girl!)

We have enjoyed the fresh flowers so much around the house. The boys helped me make a special flower food and they are still looking pretty! We have been outdoors more now that the Texas heat has died down and most of the dang mosquitoes are gone. We also have been baking a lot since the house does not heat up so much. It has been so fun. The boys are extremely helpful at this age-its amazing and we have lots of good times together.

helping me chop and roast some vegetables (which they amazingly like now!)

For part of homeschool the other day we watched a cooking show (ok, I really wanted to watch it, so it became homeschool-hehe). And after, Conner went into full Emeril mode. He just HAD to make us dessert for dinner and when I pulled out a cook book he came and took it from me, closed it, and said, “Mom, we are just doing what tastes good to us.”

So he dumped a bunch of berries in sauce pan and added heavy cream and sugar and the rest was history.

Vesper was even so sweet and played the entire time so I could help Conner (when needed or he let me:)

he had a grand vision for a berry sauce that included coffee, chocolate, sugar and milk (it was pretty amazing I must say).

He was extremely proud of his berry tarts with chocolate-coffee sauce and homemade whip cream! Yum-it was sooooo good! I was so proud and impressed.

Conner catching me changing Vesper’s diaper (one of the many pictures I found on my camera)

his first selfie (hehe)

We live a few streets away from the Gulf of Mexico. It is so beautiful all the time, but the fall has a calm aura that draws us to it. It’s so peaceful and breezy and make you want to run and find a million sea shells! On Jarrett’s day off last week, we decided to do a marked coastal walk about 20 miles down from our house. We wanted to find a secluded spot, so we drove until we found one. Its our new skinny dipping spot!!! (just kidding…I think)

Conner taking pictures of a scissor tail bird he found

we found some amazing sea shells, it was such a nice morning.

I hope your fall is starting off wonderful. With lots of pumpkins and coffee and maybe even some coffee-chocolate-berry tarts:)

so much love, Chelsea

4 months with 4 children

I miss you guys!!! I really do, I think about you all a lot, but there is a tiny time thief that steals all of mine! Good thing she is cute, or I might have a problem with it:)my 4 month old precious daughter

Peyton and Conner and I have been having sooo much fun too. Their homeschooling is getting for real! I had to look up some answers in the back of Peyton’s book the other day-my brain is rusty-ha! I have been enjoying my time with the boys even more than usual. I have had this over arching emotional reaction the last few weeks of how lucky I am to get to spend so much time with my big boys. They are so cool and sweet and special, I feel so happy to call them my friends and sons.

Vesper has thrown us for a complete loop this past week! We bought her this…big mistake….she thinks she is a big girl now.Photo: who knew playing the piano with your feet was so much fun!

When we got it a couple weeks ago, she was still a little larvae. On day 1 she started to play the piano with her feet. Day 3, she started to grab the toys that were dangling overhead. And then on day 6, she freakin rolled over from her back to her tummy! Mothers of newborns-never put your baby down, keep them in their pouch forever!!! (hehe)

Ha! The transformation has brought us all so many laughs and freak outs. I love the newborn stage, but I had forgotten how fun this stage is going to be:) I love each stage so much, I always have growing pains for a day or two, and then I remember why I love the next stage just as much too!

Speaking of stages, I had to share one of the most amazing books I have ever read on parenting. I ordered the Waldorf Oak Meadow 3rd curriculum for Peyton, and this is part of the teacher’s manual. It explains how children learn and act from ages 1-7, 7-14, and then 14-adult. It is AMAZING!!! I felt so comfortable in the early years. This book made me miss the 1-7 year time period, full of imagination and play. It really made me sad and long for those years I will never get with Trek.

I have had more curiosities about the middle years. The years when you start to give more control back to your children, how that looks and feels, and the growing pains that your children now feel alongside you and you have to take into consideration.

It was so enlightening and made me just as excited about the next 7 years with my 2 big boys:) It’s an expensive book, but sooo worth it. My other favorite parenting book is Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves is just as good, and a little cheaper.

The weather is cooling off a little, but we are still sweating and in shorts. It has been raining for days on end, which we LOVE. My coffee pot has been brewing all day, the boys get a cup every once in a while with me, but they have been asking for hot tea and honey most of the time. It is a fun change after living in Maui and then travelling in hot places. I think this winter might have its charms, even though we are all cold wienie babies.

The mosquitos are horrendous. Its like something out of a horror movie. In our effort to repel them, we somehow succeeded in becoming a breeding ground. I am not joking-we really did. Our SCREENED IN front porch was solid black in every corning and all over our door! We did not leave the house for over 24 hours b/c we would have to walk through them. I finally braved it the next day and fogged the crap out of it. They all died which brought me great joy and and totally grossed me out. The internet said that mosquito season is over by October, they best be gone in 2 days!

Peyton turned 9 on September 6th-NINE!!!!! I wrote the best blog post about my love for him and how freakin amazing he is, but it dissapeared:( I am so sad, I am not sure what happened, but I will do a redo. I have not been able to blog as much as I would like, but I have to at least do the highlights of this season of our lives! I still have to finish the birth story of Vesper!

So this sweet baby girl is 4 months old! And she is totally acting like it! Peyton did everything the fastest out of my babies, but she is beating him by a couple weeks on the first few milestones. It totally took us off guard! I can give her toys and she plays with them and we can’t leave her rolling self anywhere anymore.

she discovered her feet and is obsessed with them!

rolling over-hehe

keeping her baby book updated and comparing with her brothers

She is still in her 0-3 month clothes which delights me. She has some cute outfits and I am glad she is getting lots of wear out of them. She is also still in size 1 diapers. She is our smallest baby so far at this stage. That along with her need to succeed makes Trek’s onesie she borrowed just perfect for her:)

it was also worn by our precious Trek-he was the perfect guy for Tiny and Tuff:)

my laundry helper

Trek as my laundry helper at 4 months old too:)

Vesper wearing a special diaper. When I was shopping for cloth diapers for her, I came across this one named “Quinn”, so of course she had to get it to honor her.

Vesper wearing Trek’s t-shirt and his surfer diaper. She is getting into some of Trek’s 3-6 month clothes which is the size Trek wore his whole life. So it is special and bittersweet.

Trek in the same shirt with Conner in Honduras

4 months apart:) Same hair bow, same outift-size preemie and 0-3 months

She loves her swing and was napping great in it, but then reverted back to our bed for naps. Her favorite place to nap is still in my arms. She sleeps a good 30 minutes longer when I am holding her, so she naps most of the time there:) 

Vesper wearing my baby dress and socks:)

family dinner outside in this nice weather

it’s waaaaay too much fun dressing a baby girl

she loves her awesome brothers

I couldn’t find a hair bow to match this outfit (which is saying something since I am sure she has over 50 of them!), so I made her one out of a vintage handkerchief.

she loves to stand up, which looks so cute and funny b/c she is still small

I’ll post more later, but handsome Peyton got a laptop for his 9th birthday (and new mama-made fire pants:)-he was so happy! and so was I to have such an amazing son!

the shirt/dress I made for Vesper out of a vintage napkin. We went to visit my grandparents, so I borrowed my Granny’s sewing machine. Jarrett is getting me a new one next week, I feel ready to sew again now that Vesper is a little older, and it will be just in time for Christmas sewing!

holding her first toy! of course it was baby Trek’s, Conner got it for him for his 1st birthday:)

am I lucky or what?! who are these precious children?! I heart them

a day at the beach across the street

we tried a bottle of breast milk for Vesper, she drank a little-it was so cute:)

these two! Most people don’t know, but Jarrett is a big ol’ marshmallow. But it has reached epic proportions since Vesper came along, seriously, the biggest pile of mush EVER!

my dad’s mama-MawMaw getting a smile from Vesper

this Moby wrap is pure magic for Vesper: insta-nap

I hope you all are doing wonderful too! I love you all so much!

so much love, Chelsea