Tuesday, May 29, 2012

5 Months

Sometime during all the birthday hoopla our little Luke hit the 5 month mark:

Luke at 5 months:

—sprouted his first tooth! He is the earliest of all my babies to get one. I think I cried a few tears when I suddenly saw it in his lower gums—why is he growing up so fast? I just want him to be my baby forever and ever.

—sleeps, finally, long and hard. He is definitely pulling 11-12 hours during the night regularly which has been amazing for everyone. Now that he is such a rolly-polly bug he usually ends up on his belly by the time I check on him on my way to bed, and maybe that is the secret to such long, quiet slumbers.

—rolls and plays so happily. He must be the world's most content baby and I am so grateful. I mean the babe cut a new tooth and I had no idea until I saw the little whitish sliver peaking out in his mouth! He makes our home so calm and sweet, especially when he is jabbering or trying to talk to the kids.

—still loves milk from his mama and eats well. We are down to 5 or 6 feedings a day, and still about every 3 hours. We indulge in 2 or 3 bottles a week, when we are at church or out to dinner or running lots of errands, but I kind of love taking life slow right now and just being home when we need to be so I can nurse my baby boy. With my other kids nursing always seemed hard in one way or another (too sweaty in the summer months, too tricky to do out and about, too long of a process, too prone to clogged ducts and mastitis) but with Luke it has been the best experience—no pain and no issues and he is done in 20 minutes. Maybe I have finally figured it out this 4th time around but I am happy he has grown so well on breastmilk—I know it it so good for him.

—soft, chubby, strong, smiley, curious, cuddly, bald and beautiful. I am totally in love with him.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Caroline's Birthday

Breakfast in bed!
Cares' doll has a new bed (b-day gift from Grandma Bobbi) and a her own breakfast in bed tray—a gift for Cares that morning
New birthday outfit! Livs was helping me shop the day before and somehow talked me into getting the same dress for her but in pink...tricky little girl :)
We met up with my mom and Cec for lunch at the Dodo. Cec pulled Maddie out of school just so she could join us on Caroline's special day (my kids were off due to unused snow days.)
I made my little lady her favorite dinner—chicken crepes— and then we all went out for ice cream!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

To My 6 Year Old Caroline

Dearest Caroline-

Happy Birthday Caresie! I am excited that you have a school holiday today and we can have a fun day to celebrate together.

You are such a joy in my life pretty girl. You are Olivia's favorite playmate and of course one of Bentley's best pals. You are also amazing with Luke and so helpful with him whenever I need you. What will I do without you next year as you attend 1st grade? I will miss you so much!

This year of being 5 has been filled with great adventures like starting elementary school, losing your first tooth, and welcoming a baby brother into our home (and your arms as often as possible!) Kindergarten has been such a fun thing in your life as you have made great friends in your "school sisters," mastered the art of reading, and walked home from school with Bentley each day. You have also become a little ballerina and are so close to your first big recital up at Kingsbury Hall. I am so proud of you for working so hard in the studio and for being ready and willing to make it to your 9:00 am class each Thursday.

You are such a sweet and happy girl and very brave and friendly. I love your beautiful green eyes and darling freckles, and your thick, full hair. I love how you play dolls and create wonderful worlds of make believe. Some of your favorite things include creating forts outside in the bushes and trees, telling your siblings secrets, and coloring and creating all kinds of pretty things.

Thank you for being my gorgeous girl and sharing your love and kindness with our whole family. I love you forever!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


—Luke slept for 12 straight hours, without making a peep, last night and the night before. I feel like a brand new woman after these full nights of sleep. Thank you baby boy!

—Mom fail yesterday: Cares presented her little zoo animal report in class and I completely forgot to attend. She came home from school wondering why I hadn't shown up when all the other moms had. Oh, I felt so bad and just wanted a major redo of the afternoon. The littles and I had even been out and about grocery shopping instead! I told her I was sorry a hundred times over. Dang it. I hate when I let my darlings down.

—I'm working on a fun Father's Day project for Joseph. With all he does for me, for us, for our family, I want to make sure he doesn't get lost in the shuffle. Last year I felt horrible and I didn't do anything out of the ordinary for him but he so deserves extra love and a surprise gift on his special day.

—THIS is definitely making me want to share the love with my man:
My fancy mother's day gift—a new (refurbished) laptop which has tons more memory than my current one! Gigabytes make me so happy (and so nerdy!) We need to update the Adobe software before I can really use it as Photoshop has become one of my most used applications—thanks to my smart, designer husband who has patiently taught me so much about using it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bentley's Birthday

 The day started with the traditional breakfast in bed for our birthday boy. He was the first one awake (no surprise there) and waited patiently while Joseph fixed him a delicious breakfast and I fed Luke. When the food was ready Beans opted to eat in our big bed rather than head down to his own room so all the kids cuddled up to share some bites and watch Bentley open his presents (Luke was distracted by the exciting ceiling fan and didn't notice much else :)
After school Bentley dug right into his presents. His little friend Drew came over and helped him play with his new Atlantis Legos and Hot Wheels Light Speeders.
a shot from Instagram 
(my favorite place to keep up with friends and loved ones—plus aren't the filters/washes fun?) 
 We ended the day eating out at Rumbi with my parents. Bentley and I split our favorite dish—the teriyaki chicken and rice bowl—and then he came home with nothing less than more Legos from Grandma and Grandpa! Happy happy day for my beautiful boy.

Monday, May 21, 2012

To 8 Year Old Bentley

Dearest Bentley—

Happy Birthday! You are officially 8 years old (although you did arrive in the world just after 6:00 pm 8 years ago). Your birthdays will forever and always remind me of that amazing day—the day of your birth, the day you made me a true, blue mommy and changed my heart and my life forever. I was so very excited to meet you I could hardly stand it! After a perfectly smooth induction, and only feeling about 2 excruciating labor pains before the epidural kicked in, it was time to push you out. Of course all of it resulted with your solid 8 lb. body resting in my arms and your beautiful face starting right up at mine. It was heavenly to hold you then and it is heavenly to do so now, although you hardly fit all snuggled up with me anymore :)

I have loved seeing your mind grow and race ahead this year as your thirst for knowledge continues. I love that you cruise through math and spelling homework so easily each day—you are lucky to have those things come so naturally for you. Your drawing and art skills are expanding too which must have everything to do with your daddy's genes and his patient help. This year was your first year playing basketball and taking serious swim lessons. While I don't know if you are truly sold on either sport, you have such potential in either one with your long, tall body and natural speed. I think I would love for you to be a swimmer but know you'd have to love it to stick with it.

Of course you are still a lover of Legos, Hot Wheels, riding your bike, building and creating anything, and telling silly stories and jokes, all of which make you the wonderful little Bentley I love so much.

This birthday is a huge milestone in your life as you get to be baptized in a few weeks! You are so prepared for this step and such an example of goodness in our home. You are endlessly patient with your little sisters, always eager to help, and very obedient. I am so proud of you for setting the goal to finish the Book of Mormon before your baptism and that you did so last night! It has been a pleasure to hear you and daddy reading together once the little kids were in bed and especially memorable when I had turns with you too. Do you remember when we read about Helaman's little army and how not a single boy was killed? Or when we read about Christ appearing to the Nephites after he had died and asking to see and bless all the children? I hope you'll always remember the feeling you had as you prayed with daddy and me last night once you finished the last chapter of Moroni. The Spirit was so strong in our home as you offered the sweet and sincere words in your heart—I know it was hard to pray through your tears but that our Heavenly Father was listening and rejoicing and eager to help you feel His love, much the same way your dad and I felt too. Thank you for sharing that tender experience with me and making my heart so happy it could burst.

I am so very lucky to be your mom and to have you as my boy forever. I love you, love you!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pajama Party!

Caroline's Birthday Party

It was great fun planning and getting ready for this little party. Last year I felt so very sick with my brand new pregnancy that I could hardly pull off anything for my May birthday babies. But what a difference a year makes—and tons of Pinterest inspiration too :)

We had some cousins and school/ward friends over for a "late night" pajama party (only lasted until 8:00 pm). The night started with coloring pillowcases with fabric markers. Anyone who knows my Cares knows she loves crafty projects like this:

Then we gathered the girls up on the "cozy zone" for story time:
Fancy Nancy and the Late, Late, Late Night
 And then it was time for lots of sugary treats!

Cares is totally in love with donuts of all kinds—especially the white powdered ones. I wish I'd snapped a shot of her once she'd eaten a few because she had white powder from her chin to her cheekbones! Too cute.

Of course we had to do some more creating before the party ended. The girls decorated some little handmade sleeping masks with colorful gemstones. They were all so unique and pretty!
  Sleeping poses
 Diva poses

I must say that I really loved having all those darling girls over for the evening. They were polite and sweet and so friendly with each other, and so giggly and funny. While eating donuts they were all suddenly singing the little song about girls and boys sitting in a tree "k-i-s-s-i-n-g!" They were squealing and laughing and it was just so cute and silly. Just compared with Bentley's crazy, loud, super active friends, these girls were a lovely change :)
Favor bags for the girls to hold their pillowcases, sleeping masks, gumballs, and some bright blue flashlights!

 Thanks sis for being Luke's baby whisperer last night, thanks to Ruth Ann for arriving just in time to help all the girls with gluing their sleeping masks, and thanks to my hubby who designed invites and name tags, took great pictures and helped with everything all night. And thanks to my lovely little Caroline for being such an enthusiastic party planning assistant and all around wonderful daughter!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

True Love

I saw this on Pinterest the other day and had to record it here. It's basically captures my life with Joseph:
And I wouldn't have it any other way :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend

What a lovely weekend! It started with my darling elementary kids coming home on Friday with endearing little gifts they had created for me at school. They simply couldn't wait until Sunday to share their love so I got to open a fantastic bookmark, acrostic poem and cupcake liner flower from Bentley, and a cute card, plaster hand-print and poem from Cares. Why is it that hearing "you're the best mom ever" from my little children makes me feel so dang happy? I could sail on those words for days in a sea of happiness. Maybe because I know I make a lot of mistakes and am really working to be better at my job and the fact that they are happy and content and feel loved makes it all worth the effort.

On Friday evening, Joseph changed his original plan of attending the Fathers and Sons Stake camp-out with just Bentley and instead took our 3 oldest to his parents' cabin to camp there for the night (and help with cabin clean-up that evening and morning). Of course all 3 kids ended up in Joseph's sleeping bag by about 3:00 am so it was a cozy night for him! Luke and I shopped at TJ together and once I got him to bed I watched The Vow (and was basically rather bored through most of it. Couldn't it have been a little more romantic? fun? happy?) Besides waking up at 3:30 am to a tweeting fire alarm that needed a new battery, and then feeding Luke at 4:30, it was a great night. Luke and I slept in until just after 9:00 after his feeding and that felt amazing.
Saturday afternoon Joseph and I went for a little biking date. One of our goals is to do more active/outdoor dates now that the weather is gorgeous and I am not a sickly or huge pregnant lady! Cheers to that! It was my first time leaving Luke with a babysitter that wasn't his daddy or grandma or auntie. And he did great so I was pleased (plus I have awesome YW babysitters...I am very lucky).

We rode to the temple from our house and inadvertently joined the route for the Goldilocks race. It's an event for women only and Joseph got a lot of bad looks. Funny that people even cared! We were only on the route for about 3 miles each way but at least we had police manning those intersections and keeping traffic at bay. Cycling is a favorite of mine—it always feels like such steady, physical exercise, the views are so pretty out here in the "country" ;) and being out in the summer air is always intoxicating.  I love matching my hubby in twinner jerseys too!
Mother's Day was a good day too. Luke had a rough morning and suddenly wanted to nurse right before church started. I ended up sending my family to church without me, fed Luke at home, finished getting ready, and made it to church just in time to hear my darlings sing Mother I Love You with all the primary kids. Their beaming faces when they saw me walk in totally melted my heart. What if I had missed it? I would have been crushed to let them down—so grateful to be there for that.

Joseph made us delicious Tahitian Pancakes (crepes) for lunch and then gave me the gift of a DVD of all our home movies from the last 3 years that he's captured on his phone. We watched all the clips we could (before needing to head out and see grandmas) and they were priceless. My babies look so small and edible! I am so glad we have those preserved and gathered up like that. Our whole family had a great time watching (as I remember loving to do when I was a kid too).

We were so lucky to get to spend time with Joseph's mom and my mom on Sunday too. I love those women dearly. They continually serve and love and support my family and me—and love my children so, so much. They are incredible examples to me of faith and love and motherhood and righteousness. My little sis mentioned on her blog how my mom is so good at knowing how to support and encourage her through her life of being married to a surgeon. She takes care of her small kids without much help from a hubby due to crazy work hours and my mom did the exact same thing when raising us. I read what my sis wrote and thought how cool it is that my mom seems to know just how to support and encourage me in the unique struggles and mothering life I lead too. It just shows me that she is involved with and connected to us as her daughters and is still being our mother even as we are mothers ourselves. I love her.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Luke is on his 2nd marathon nap today. This morning he thought he wanted to wake up at 4:00 am so I woke Joseph and made him pop Luke's bink back in. The baby then woke at the more reasonable time of 6:30 am. It's so pleasant for me to nurse that sweet boy and slowly wake up while I close my eyes, rest my head against my bed and feel Luke's sturdy but small body perfectly snuggled in my arms. The whole house was up and at it by 7:15 and then the babe was in bed again just after 8:00 am. And I didn't hear from him until 11:15! Now he is sleeping again and has been doing so for 2+ hours. The tiny must really be growing. I will have to feed him tons while he is ever awake today!

With such a sleepy babe I have gotten so much done: cleaned my bathroom this morning, organized all my bathroom drawers, started 4 laundry cycles and folded/put away 3 of them (1 was just the rugs from my bathroom but they are now are fluffy and fresh on my clean tile floor!) fixed the girls' lunch (Bagel Bites/Go-gurts) and my lunch (chicken croissant sandwich and acine de pepe), filled the dishwasher and picked up many stray toys and shoes and baby things.

I have also nearly finished reading NieNie's new book on loan from my mom. The story is familiar from following her blog and her sister's blog during the whole ordeal, but I am still reminded to relish every little mothering task I can accomplish as I read about her inability to do so, and more so, her sincere and aching desire to just help button her daughter's coat or make her family a meal. Her hope to again feel useful and fulfilled as a mother is so good to read about. I am grateful for reminders that my daily routine as the mommy of 4 is such a blessing—it really is my privilege to love and serve my family and it brings me so much happiness. I am so lucky.

On another note entirely, I taught the combined Young Women on Sunday about keeping a personal record. It made me so happy to pull out old journals and reread so many of my memories. Of course some entries were just silly or classically "teenager" but there are some very real things in there too which I am glad I captured—especially the days of falling in love with Joseph LeBaron, going through the temple for the first time, becoming a mother, working in callings I felt so inadequate to have, and stretching myself with challenging academic goals, many moves to several homes and wards, and goals professionally, physically and spiritually. I am also so thankful for this blog which has basically been my journal for the past 6 years or so. It has been the perfect place to write about my life and include pictures all in the same place.

My lesson inspired me to start writing in a personal journal again (easy to do with my new app: One Day) where I feel totally free to write the thoughts in my heart and where I can (hopefully) work out my struggles and worries through writing—the way I used to in my handwritten journals. My blog is a great family log and fun way to connect to dear ones far away but there is a lot I'd like to record just for me. I'll have to see how well I can do both.

Some pics from the past few days:
My boys in the tub
Bentley mostly showers these days but if I need help with the baby in the tub then I sometimes let him sneak in some bath time.

 Caroline's lovely spring hair
My sleeping girl
The new ride along bike trailer
Beans in Luke's onesie!
Beans in Luke's crib!
Mommy Caroline
Livs creation in my hair
Olivia playing princesses while I fed Luke

**It is now nearly 9 at night and Luke is again going on a 3 hour snooze. I will have to wake him up and feed him soon or I will surely feel too full of milk in the middle of the night. Such a sleepy babe today. All that rolling is such hard work :)