26 April 2014

Bennett Ryan : One Year Old

Last Saturday, we celebrated Bennett's one-year birthday. Absolutely unbelievable. I cannot believe that BOTH of my kids are now over a year old. It does not seem possible that we've already had a whole year with our Bennett Boy.
Bennett is the sweetest, most smiley boy we've ever known. He has blessed our lives with his tender heart, loving spirit, and ornery ways. He is so much fun, and he makes everyone feel like they are the most special person in the world.
As I was picking pictures to post in this blog, two thoughts came to mind... "How is it already time for this blog?!" and "Wow... it's really true what they say about the second child!" We had so little time for pictures this year!
Anyway... please join me in reminiscing the best year of our lives so far.

April - Welcome, baby boy!

June- 1st trip to St. Louis Zoo!

September - 1st foods!


November - Getting brave!

December - 1st Snow!

... and 1st Christmas.

February - Starting to get mobile!


April - Happy Birthday, sweetest boy!

Life with Bennett is indescribable! He is a really cool kid, and we are SO blessed to be his parents. Bennett and Sophia are so much fun, and they are the very best of friends! Here's to another great year!


16 January 2014

Sophia Claire : Two Years-Old!

When Sophia turned a year-old, we couldn't believe how much had changed over the course of that year. Little did we know, that was just the beginning.
This past year has been THE MOST incredible year of our lives. Please take a moment to join me on my trip down memory lane.

March (first ponytail!)

April (new brother!)


June (first trip to St. Louis Zoo!)

July (lots of pears!)

August (first swing ride)


October (Mickey joins the family!)

November (shenanigans with Bennett!)

December (introducing our "Pity pity princess"!)

It has been such a blessing to watch Sophia grow, learn, and succeed. She in an exceptional little lady & we couldn't be more proud to be her parents. She is brilliant, beautiful, funny, and sweet. She challenges us. She makes us laugh. She captivates our hearts.
She is a blessing to our lives, and we look forward to what this year will bring!
Happy Birthday, Sophia Claire! We love you so so soooo much.

29 July 2013

Bennett Ryan: 3 Months Old (plus a week...)

First and foremost... this child is the SWEETEST baby you've ever met. Ever. He's quick to smile, quick to laugh, and quick to love.
- Moving all about his play mat
- Rolling onto side
- Smiling
- Laughing
- Taking bouncy rides with Sophia
- Snuggling
- Warm bottles
- His sister
- Walks outside
- Watching friends
- Wind
- Morning talk with Daddy
- His Mommy
- Being cold
- Loud noises
- Being squashed (oops, Sophia)
Anyone who has the opportunity to watch him says that he's such a blessing to have. We would have to wholeheartedly agree with that!! I may be biased, but I am pretty smitten with this little guy. He has a heart of gold & the kindest eyes!

17 July 2013

Happy 18 Month Birthday, Sophia Claire!

It absolutely astounds me that we have had Sophia in our lives for 18 months now. 18 months filled with so much love, laughter, and fun. We are so incredibly blessed to be this little lady's parents!! She's pretty amazing!
Here's what she's up to now...
Common Words & Phrases
"A go a cool"
"Go a wak"
"Go ni night"
"Get a baby"
"Hi Baby"
"My Daddy" "My Momma" "My baby"
"Baby baba"
"No, no"
"Bye, bye"
Joe Joe
... and the list goes on.
Animal Sounds
Favorite Things to Do
Anything with Daddy
Playing outside
Checking the mail
Shredding paper
Caring for her baby
Pretending to pump
Loving on Bennett
Feeding the kitty
Wearing Mommy's jewelry
Trying to be "just like Mommy"
Staying at home for too long
Daddy going to work
Sitting in her seat at supper
Staying inside
Being told "no" ;-)
Sophia is a busy, busy girl who is ALWAYS learning. She amazes us every day with how much she knows & everything she can do. She's truly incredible!!

11 July 2013

Why, yes... I still craft.

Believe it or not, I still have time to craft occasionally. Although it's not as often as I'd like, I still enjoy every minute that I get a chance to! I thought I'd take a moment to share my latest crafty creations.
I wanted to post these a looooooooooong time ago. I actually finished them the week that Bennett was born. I am the room parent for Sophia's (old) class, and these were the gifts chosen for the teachers of the center for their staff appreciation event. I had the honor of making one for all five of Sophia's teachers. These Post-It note holders were an absolute blast to make. All you need is scrapbook paper, a clear plastic L-frame, and embellishments of your choice. I chose initial buttons to make them more personal. These were a huge hit!

I loved the idea so much, that I knew I had to make one for my desk at work before going back. So, I did just that! I have also been saving cans (these happen to be various formula cans), and I made coordinating tins for the pens, straws, and mouth swabs that I keep at my desk. This will help brighten my office... and I think I'm going to need that!
Today is my last day of maternity leave. I cannot believe that 12 weeks have flown right on by! Be looking forward to a post about the kiddos soon!!
Also... the wheels are turning in my brain (scary, I know), and I plan to introduce a new idea for my blog in the coming days! So... get excited!!!

02 May 2013

Bennett's Birth Story

On April 19th at 5:10 in the morning, we welcomed Bennett Ryan into our lives! Let me tell you his story.

The week of Bennett's arrival was a bit of a nutty week. Sophia has been battling a double ear infection for a month and half. On Monday, April 15th, I had an appointment with my midwife. At this appointment, I learned that I was already 4 cm dilated and roughly 80% effaced. I also learned that Bennett was low, low, low and my waters were bulging. Nice visual, huh? I discussed an April 29th induction date as well as needing to make it to at least the 19th so I could have maternity coverage. My midwife just laughed and assured me I most likely wouldn't make it out of the week without a baby. Having gone through this with Sophia, I just shrugged it off.
Fast forward an hour... we also had an appointment for Sophia to check on her ears. Go figure, the latest round of antibiotics hadn't touched her ear infection. It was raging! So... they scheduled her for antibiotic injections... for the next three nights!! So, not only did I need to make the drive to the pediatrician (about an hour and a half round trip from work to school to pediatrician), but I could literally have Bennett at any time!
I panicked!! I then decided that there was absolutely NO WAY I could have him until Sophia's shots were over. I contacted our friend, Alicia, who offered to keep Sophia for us while we were at the hospital. She assured me that she would take Sophia to get her injections if I were to go into labor before Wednesday evening. That helped me to calm down some- but, I don't think I uncrossed my legs for the entire week.
Fast forward to Wednesday night... I was absolutely EXHAUSTED from all of the running I had to do during the week. I just wanted to collapse- and cry. When the alarm clock rang on Thursday morning, I was practically in tears. I made the executive decision to call in and stay home- which is something I never do. My body was telling me something, and I was listening! I took Sophia to school, rented a movie, and spent the day on the couch. I did manage to mosey into our room for a two hour nap. By the time Andrew and Sophia had arrived home, I had talked myself into a shower ("just in case I was going to go into labor"), and I asked Andrew if we could go for a walk.
We ate dinner- well, they did. I had no appetite. Then, we headed to Walmart and walked for a good hour. There was quite a bit of Braxton Hicks activity during our walk, but I didn't think much of it. When we got home, we quickly bathed Sophia, and I rocked her to sleep (how I wish I would have rocked her longer!!).
Once we settled into bed, Andrew quickly drifted off to sleep about 9. I laid there with my mind running. I started to drift off when- BAM! Out of nowhere, a pretty strong contraction hit. I thought, "Hmmm- that hurt!", but I tried to drift off again. Four minutes later, BAM! Another one. Still thinking nothing of it, I tried to drift off again. In 20 minutes, I had 5 painful contractions- all four minutes apart. Around 9:30, they started coming every 2 minutes. I'll spare you some other details, but one thing was for certain, these were no ordinary Braxton Hicks. I quickly logged onto Facebook after the first 4 or so hit because I knew my friends from Sophia's pregnancy would be close by. They were quick to tell me that I was posting every 1.5-2 minutes about another contraction. They urged me to wake Andrew up (I didn't want to wake him for a false alarm)... and told me if I didn't, we'd be delivering Bennett at home.
An hour after the two minute contractions hit, I woke Andrew. Still asleep, he asked if I could wait. I laughed out of sheer panic and told him that I had already waited an hour. We called the hospital, and they told me to come in right away. We called Alicia and she agreed to meet us at the hospital- she was ecstatic! I tried to shower, but Andrew advised me that we probably didn't have time. Bummer!!
On the way to the hospital, the contractions did not stop. We contacted our parents, but since it was so late, there was not time to contact our family. Upon arrival at the hospital, they hooked me up to the monitors and said that I was "banging out the contractions left and right". I was in active labor! They called my midwife, and she came right in to the hospital. They checked me & I had progressed to 5 cm and 90% effaced. I declined the epidural & decided to walk.
Once I had reached a good 6 cm, they told me that if I wanted the epidural, I better get it right then or else I'd progress too quickly to receieve it. Wanting some sleep, I decided to get the epidural even though I really wasn't in a WHOLE lot of pain. A natural birth is SO much easier than an induction. So, I got the epidural & in no time, it was time to push!!
I pushed for 15 minutes before Bennett arrived in this world! I was SO thankful for the epidural- Bennett was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, and as a result, they had to twist him around to safely get him out. Even though I didn't know what was happening, I knew that it HURT. I thought they were trying to get his head out. It wasn't until afterwards that I knew about the cord- scary!! He came out a bit blue & it took him a little bit to cry... Andrew and I didn't take a breath until we heard that strong cry.
Aside from the cord, he was born as healthy as could be! He quickly snuggled up to me & would only cry occassionally. Our little snuggle bug was here!! As family logged onto Facebook that morning, they were greeted with the good news. What a wild and crazy night- and what a surprise!!!
I will post later on about how well Sophia has taken to Bennett... until then, I hope you're doing well! I have a baby to snuggle!

07 January 2013

Sophia's a TODDLER!!

Sophia took her first steps tonight!!! She was hanging out with Daddy & he turned her around to face me. She was standing pretty well on her own, so I started coaxing her to come to me. Before we knew it, she was taking a step... then two steps... then THREE before jumping into my arms! She was SO proud of herself as we began to cheer for her. It was such a proud, proud moment for us. We are so excited that we had the blessing of watching our baby girl take her first steps.

Steady, steady... GO!!
So, so excited!!
If this isn't a happy face, then I don't know what is!!
She was so proud of herself... which made the whole situation even more precious.
How awesome to be able to share this moment together! After crawling at school for the first time (and taking well over a week to share the new skill with us), we were thrilled to be here with her for this! With only TEN days until her 1st Birthday, I'll admit... I cried as I rocked her to sleep tonight.

01 January 2013

2012... What a Year!

This year has brought more joy to our lives than we ever dreamed possible. We reflect daily on our many blessings & we are left in awe. I thought it would be most appropriate to blog my favorite snapshots of the year as words just cannot express what I'm feeling.









... YAY!!!




Wow! What memories these pictures brought back! In 2013, we will celebrate Sophia's 1st birthday AND welcome Bennett into our home. Our lives were so richly blessed in 2012, and I cannot even begin to imagine what 2013 will hold for our family. Thank you to everyone who has shared in this year with us... we wish you a very happy 2013!