May ’17 via iPhone

Hi! Coming to you now from almost the end of May/the beginning of summer! I swear, these are the last baby bump photos I’ll be posting of myself. But first, I just wanted to document the last three life changing-weeks. The above photo was taken the day before Ares was born as I was trying to figure out what to wear for our last family-of-four outing. And yes, that’s a really dirty mirror.

We headed to the Mall of America where the girls spent about 3 hours at the Crayola Experience. We also did the Mirror Maze (but that only took 10 minutes). I’m so glad we were able to squeeze in one last planned day o’ fun with the girls before baby’s arrival.

This photo was taken in the morning before we went to the hospital. I don’t know what Cece was more excited for… the baby about to be born or the fact that Grandma Pat got to babysit her that day! She still fondly recalls “the time Grandma Pat let me stay up real late!”

And here is my very last bump pic… when I was still a magical pregnant unicorn shortly after my water broke. (I sure didn’t look quite so glowy in the hours following the picture!)

Even after all of that delivery drama, I can’t deny that still had a pretty swell little baby. Above are just a couple photos while he and I were still in the hospital, snuggling, ordering room service, and watching a Say Yes to the Dress marathon.

Here we are home from the hospital. That first week home proved to be a challenge for me as my energy and mobility was no where close to what it had been when I was nine months pregnant. Everyday was about small victories, like taking a shower or putting away one load of laundry with Cece’s help, or getting outside to watch the girls play. Joe basically had to take care of the girls  and nearly all the housework on his “vacation.” I would be straight-up lying if I said we are falling into some kind of a routine around here. Basically, we are just trying to keep everyone fed, clean-ish, and alive while remembering to give each other the occasional high five. So far, so good.

As exhausting and as challenging as it can be, I really do love the newborn stage. I don’t think parenting is ever as straightforward as it is when they are this small. Life at the current time is all about feeding, changing diapers, and the snuggle (all while unshowered and in a messy house, but those things can always be fixed). It gets harder when trying to figure out the right age to potty train, how to limit screen time, how to balance healthy food and treats, etc.  I second guess myself a whole lot when it comes to parenting (and I’m going to be at a total loss when it comes to having teenagers), but with this being my third baby, I feel like so much of taking care of a newborn is operating on instinct and fortunately, that feels pretty sharp at this point.

Also, I need to mention how grateful I am for the kindness of our friends, families, and neighbors. Between the new baby gifts, the homemade meals we have been sent, and the babysitting that has been offered (and accepted!) for the older girls, we’ve been getting taken care of so sweetly. Every kind action and favor has been absolutely appreciated!

One of my first outings besides the doctor’s office and grocery shopping was to get flowers for our yard. After mostly being in the hospital and house for a week, this was such a mood booster for me! I’m looking forward to seeing how everything takes off in our yard.

^^^Just a little note about how this guy has been growing. At his 2 week check, he had shot up TWO inches! Someone is focusing all his energy on getting taller!

Joe had his first day back to work on Mother’s Day, so it was my first day home alone with all three kids. I’m happy to report that it was uneventful and fine (although I did struggle to get them all in one photo frame with me). We grilled BBQ ribs once Joe came home and spent a lot of time outside, we even had to put on sunscreen! In the above photo, Cece appears skeptical of the ribs, but she gave them a chance and liked them.

As mentioned before, I think Joe needed a vacation to recover from his “vacation” home with us that first week out of the hospital!

One of the last awesome things that has happened recently was that my siblings and I were able to spend a while bunch of time together! Most of it was very food-centric and amazing. Robbyn flew in from Chicago and Michael had several days off work

Pictured above,  Robbyn, Jay, and I ate at The Lexington where Michael now works (if you haven’t been, GO!!!). A few of the dishes we got were rooster eggs, summer sausage, whitefish pate, cheddar cheese, liver mousse, grilled oysters and bacon butter, and wood grilled king crab. Jay was practically in tears because he loved those bacon butter oysters so much.

Michael, McKenzie, and Robbyn also assembled the most delightful Sunday brunch for us complete with mimosas, homemade biscuits and gravy, and eggs benedict. Cece was so impressed by this spread that she vowed she would write about it in her journal at school. And she made me promise that we’ll start making brunch on the weekends too.

 We also managed a lunch date to Crave. I took Rosie and Ares with me and fortunately, they were able to hang and we did not have to dash out with our food in to-go boxes shortly after sitting down.

Lastly, of course, we passed around that new baby to hold.

Sometimes it breaks my heart that my dad is not around to see all of these new grandbabies that he would have just adored. But, after spending several days with my brother and sister and getting so spoiled by them, it’s clear that love gets passed down from generation to generation and his wonderful and kind spirit are always and forever with us.

I’m looking forward to summer time, getting us out of the house more, and continuing to adapt to having all these small humans around.

Thanks again, once more, for reading and for all of those well-wishes. We are still hanging in there!