Sunday, December 18, 2011

Proud of my little ballerina

Yesterday was McKenzie's Christmas recital for dance. At the very start(back in June) of class she was so, so, shy and apprehensive about being around people she didn't know and performing for them, nonetheless.

Every week I asked her if she loved dance. She always replied yes. In fact, she withdrew from gymnastics because she said she really disliked it(She has since changed her mind and is back enjoying gymnastics!) And every week she'd cry when I first left her. Her Dad and I had talk after talk about being in ballet meant that she could not  have me in there. It is a rule of the class that Mom's are not to be in class(it's pretty distracting having mommy there, right?) and we told her that if she wanted to be in class she had to go in and be independent. A few weeks in and her tears turned to smiles. She'd still act a bit shy in the beginning, but would go in without tears.

Her first recital was for Halloween. She went on stage. And was VERY unsure about the whole thing. But she went on. And she did some of the dance.

I've always told her that IF you want to be in dance(she does) that being on stage is apart of it. If she opted to not go on stage, or perform in front of people, we'd find a new activity that didn''t require these things. She insisted she wanted to learn to be brave.

Over the last few weeks I've watched her go from a bashful, thumb in mouth, little girl to a spirited, confident dancer. She ALWAYS loved dancing, but as soon as the parents would come in to be a "practice audience" for the upcoming show her thumb would go in mouth and she'd dance- slowly. Now she dances. With a smile. And I can't help but beam with pride that she didn't let her fears stop her. I feel like Duane and I did something right- letting her know that A plus B = C(Class, dancing, show!)

Last night she went on stage. No tears. No arguments. Smiles. She danced her little heart out and did the ENTIRE dance without missing a beat. I cried. I watched my normally cautious soul become confident and I cried.
My little "Dominik the Christmas Donkey"
I am so, so, proud of her. You can view her here. It's a Facebook link(though should work for everyone, I hope!). She's the last on the right and the video is craptastic. My mom taped it, too, but taped the wrong kid. Mom. Sigh.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pretty new dresses

A friend of mine recently purchased a dress for her little girl. They're called Hopscotch dresses. And I fell in love. I bought two for McKenzie and she wore them for the first time to my niece's sweet 16 party.

Kenzie instantly found this little guy(A friend of my sister's son) and decided  it was time for them to be BFF's. He's simply adorable, isn't he?

 And a family shot- minus me!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Justin Bieber

Brenton is 14 months old and sporting the Justin Bieber hair. No, we're not ready to cut it.. YET.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sweet dreams....

We've been successful. Kenzie is back in her room for the one billionth attempt. Hopefully, this time she'll learn to love sleeping independently as we love having her sleep independently.

Party photos!

She asked for a Sponge Bob party. We obliged. Even though she isn't even allowed to watch the foul mouthed, disgusting, sponge! She went with us to the cake decorator and explained exactly how she wanted her cake. It came out pretty cute! Even for a putrid little guy, right?! Ha.

 My Mother bought McKenzie her first American Girl baby. She is in love with this doll. It is worth its weight in gold. She swaddles it, loves it, and brings it everywhere!
 My 3 favorite people.
 Kenzie getting a Barbie. And little brother, Brenton, is excited for new presents, too!
 He's earned the nickname, Justin Bieber, due to his wild curly hair... He's pretty handsome, huh!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

McKenzie: You're 4 years old!

Happy, Happy, birthday my sweet girl. Tonight you went to bed as a beautiful three-year old. Tomorrow you'll wake as an even more beautiful four-year old. It's surreal that you've grown so much and so fast.

As I remember your birth I am often flooded with emotions. When you were born, the second the doctor smiled and informed us that you were healthy, you brought healing. Your Dad and I decided to get pregnant with you. We put all our hope and love into the fact that you'd be born "perfect" and healthy. And you were. Oh, how we rejoiced. We finally had a baby God was going to allow us to raise and keep. You gave us our hope back. And for the past four years we've watched you develop into a vibrant, vivacious, beautifully curious, cautious, little girl. It's been a wild ride and we wouldn't change a single thing!

This year the biggest change for you was I quit my job(again) and decided to stay at home with you and your brother. This brought a mix of emotions for me as I worried about having you leave your friends and not being in a structured school environment. You've done quite well. We anticipate that you'll start part-time pre-school soon. You missed your friends at first, but have made lots and lots of new friends. You're happy and thriving. It's all I could really ask for!

Currently, you're in dance and gymnastics. You puffy heart love both. At first you refused to go into gymnastics so you hadn't been in quite sometime; however, a few weeks ago you decided to give it a second try and you've decided it's not too bad after all. You're VERY shy. In dance when I watch you through the glass, you're dancing away. You look so happy in there. But when the parents come in to watch you and your classmates perform "Dominick the Christmas Donkey" you freeze up. Your thumb goes in your mouth and you do your moves in very slow motion. I keep asking if you still want to be in there and you do. I hope one day you break out of that shy shell- the world has big plans for you and sometimes I feel like you're missing out because you're so, so, cautious.

Cautious is often a good thing. I want you to be cautious when meeting new people and when you're a crazy teen driver. But right now I want you to learn to spread your wings. You have lots of little fears. Rides? You're not a fan. Bugs? No thanks(can't blame you!) Cats and Dogs(you have some your LOVE and some that freak you out!)? My biggest hope for you is that you learn that I'd never suggest you do something that would hurt you. Sometimes when you're sitting on the sidelines, I worry that you're missing out.

You're a born leader. And this trait of yours is going to REALLY pay off in the near future(re:teenage years), but sometimes it is hard for you to understand that not everyone is going to want to do what you want to do. You remind me of me. You're stubborn to the core. I love that about you. And it makes me want to bang my head against a wall some days. Don't change it. Embrace it.

You're quite sweet and empathetic. You love your friends. EVERYDAY you ask to see one friend, or all of them. You're quite social. It's funny how shy you can be one moment and then telling the grocery store clerk ALL of our business the next.

I love watching you and your brothers relationship form more and more everyday. You love him. And he loves you. Sometimes you're annoyed that he NEVER seems to leave your stuff alone, but it's apart of sibling hood my sweet child. I hope you'll grow old and he'll remain your best friend!

You're still super picky. You survive of air most days. We had resorted to paying you to at least try your veggies. And after paying you a quarter to try spinach you replied with, "No, thanks, you can keep your money!" Goof. Try things. Really, most of the stuff we're trying to feed you is quite tasty. I promise.

You LOVE your babies. You rock them, feed them, diaper them. Every night before bed you ask me to swaddle a handful of them and you then lay them in your baby bed. It's really sweet. You're starting to love Barbies, too. You're a total girly girl and I love it. You love to learn. You're constantly trying to write your name. It's a long one so continue to be patient. You love to draw, paint, and color. And I love watching you create; however, I don't love the mess- but since you love it so much we continue to allow you to do it.

Here is your 4th birthday slide!

We love you. Happy, Happy, FOURTH birthday, Kenzie! Remember the sky is your limit. You have so much to offer the World. Dream. Every day. And reach for the stars. I want you to remember to have an open heart and open mind. I want you to love God as much as you do today, forever. Stay humble. Give. Forgive. And love.

We love you to the moon and back,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Motherhood. Huh?

I've been a Mother for over five years now. I've seen 3 beautiful children born; and I've said goodbye to one far too soon. And I am still clueless.

I'm not sure if there is some magical moment when all of this motherhood stuff eventually clicks. I know it hasn't thus far. I keep trying to find that answer. I keep trying to understand how the minds of little ones, my little ones, work. I'm oblivious.

It probably takes a lot to admit. Everything I had envisioned as a mother went out the window as soon as our first was born. And then our second, and our third. It's quite easy for me to say what I wouldn't do before babies. It was quite easy for me to "judge" others until motherhood slapped me in the face.

The idea of motherhood before motherhood is glamorous. I pictured beautiful babies, hugs, kisses, and love. I left out the temper fits, vomit, blow-outs, and sleepless nights(lots and lots of them.)

It's not easy. It's  not always perfect. And I struggle daily. I want to create confident children. I want to create little people that view the world as beautiful. I want to shelter them from the hate that floods our society. I want them to be open-minded. I want them to love God, their selves, and other people.

When I look into my nearly four-year olds' and my newly one-year olds' eyes I see beauty. Obviously, I think they're just the cutest little beings ever; but I see little impressionable minds. Those minds, those personalities, will form from the teachings of myself and their father. It's a big responsibility. I often wonder and worry about screwing that up(for lack of a better term.)

Sometimes I remind myself to sit back and watch the beautiful lives that we've been blessed with. The chores can wait. I can let this thing slide.  Zoey's death has taught me many things. The most important thing is tomorrow is not guaranteed. So I stop this busy world and watch. I love. And I cherish.  If my little girl does some obnoxious thing, I let it go. For now. Hug her, love her, all while creating the woman she'll one day be. If my one-year old is up a dozen times a night- I stop. Take a deep breath, and realize how lucky I am. He's healthy. He's beautiful. And these days will pass all too soon. Those late night cuddles will soon turn into worry when he's on his first date, driving his first car... I remind myself that sleepless nights suck. But they grow far too soon.

Although I am still completely clueless about this whole motherhood thing, I've learned to love another person more than I do myself. You love your spouse, obviously. However, the love between Mother and child is unbreakable. It never goes away. I still run to my parents at nearly 30 years old when someone breaks my heart. And they always make it right. That's all I can hope to be for my babies.

Figuring this stuff out can come later...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Brenton- You're one year old today!

Happy first birthday, gorgeous boy! It's surreal that you're a year old. This time last year we had just met for the first time and I was in love the second I saw your beautiful face. You're such an amazing little guy. You're sweet to the core and already becoming too independent for me.

You're walking everywhere and into everything. You have 7 teeth. You're getting ready to lose the bottle. You're babbling all the time and talking with hand gestures. You become a bit irritated when I don't understand what you're asking for. It goes something like this: [arched eyebrows]-"Abbabdanmmmaa" [hands going a mile a minute]. And then you finish with whining when I ask again what you're trying to say.

You still do not sleep through the night. Please, please, please, make this your next milestone. I love you, but your face loses a bit of its cuteness at 3AM.

You're so innocent and beautiful. I can only hope that you hold on to this trait for a long time. My wish for you is to continue to view the world as beautiful. Don't ever hold a grudge and never hold hate in your heart. I want you to put God first and never, ever, forget to love.

I love you. I love what you've brought into our lives. I love how you completed our family in ways I didn't realize were possible. You're amazing, kind, vivacious, and beautiful. People are blessed to meet you and I know you'll conquer your dreams without too much effort.

I look forward to watching you continue to grow. I've watched you blossom from a tiny newborn, into a beautiful infant, and now into a spunky toddler. I am looking forward to the years to come and holding your hand through it all.

I love you to the moon and back, Mama!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Yesterday I took McKenzie to her first movie. "The Lion King" in 3D. I was worried about how she'd handle sitting for nearly 2 hours. But she did great.

It was so surreal to watch a movie I LOVED as a little girl, with my little girl. And I never remembered how emotional it was. I cried at several times, but especially in the first five minutes when Simba is presented to the "World"

I am glad that our sweet girl can file this away in her memories forever.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Brenton- You're 11 months old today!

Happy 11th month sweet boy! We've been busy around here planning for your first birthday party. It's hard to believe it's only one month away! You've been really busy learning lots of new things in your 10th month. You're quickly leaving your infancy behind and venturing down the road of toddler hood faster than I'd like.

 The most exciting  milestone is you've mastered walking. You almost never crawl and can get yourself into a standing position without holding on. It's pretty neat learning you master this feat. You're not too sure what to think about shoes quite yet. You cry and try to pull them off your feet. I assume it's  because you realize that you're MUCH faster without them on. You surely don't want something slowing you down. I on the other hand, does.

You're also finally saying Mama. It's the sweetest sound I've ever heard and you use it when I am trying to get you away from something you're not supposed to have. When I pull you away from something, you look at me with your big blue eyes and say, Mama. It's almost like you're saying, "Come on lady,  give me a break, would you?" You babble all day long. You talk with your hands in this really fast paced language. We're all expected to understand what you're saying. Daddy and I have fun pretending what you mean. Ha.

You've sprouted a ton of teeth. You are now working on your 8th tooth. You literally went from 2 teeth, to 8 teeth over night.

You still love food. I haven't found anything you won't eat. You're giving up your bottle and this is good as this is your last month to have one. You're still loving your pacifier and we'll battle losing that a little bit later.

You still don't sleep through the night. Sigh. That's all I have to say about that.
 You are the sweetest baby. Ever. You almost never complain and you prefer to explore independently. You allow me to cuddle with you lots and since you're my last baby I love that. You love laughing and I hope that isn't something you forget as you get older. Laughter really can cure all things.

You love your sister and your puppy. I love watching you get excited when Daddy comes home from work. You try to run as fast as those chubby legs take you. It's the simplicities of life that I live for.

You love your baths. You splash a ton, stand up, and slide around the tub like a mad man. I often leave the bathroom soaked, but watching how happy you are makes it totally worth it.
As you leave your babyhood in the dust I am trying to savor the moments of you. I love rocking you to sleep and watching your chubby, dimpled hands, grasp my shirt. Your smile melts me. Your touch inspires me. I simply cannot imagine our lives before you and I look forward to watching you grow. It's a bit bittersweet as I know you're our last baby and while you seem to be in a rush to race out of your babyhood; I am left in the dust, wondering how did you manage to grow so fast.

I love you sweet boy. You complete our family. I love you for your beauty, for your innocence, and your sweet soul. I am eager to watch you grow into a beautiful man, but I am just as eager to hold onto the little pieces left of this time. I know one day I'll blink and be left wondering how fast you grew- but until then, know that I am proud of you. You and your sister make me strive to be a better person. And I thank both of you for that. You complete me. You humble me. You're amazing. And I love you.

I love you to the moon and back,

Monday, September 5, 2011

Who doesn't love free stuff?

Head over to for an awesome give-away with more than 300 dollars in prizes. It ends tomorrow!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Brenton: You're 10 months old.

Happy 10th month, little guy. Hard to believe that you've left the single digits behind. In 2 short months we'll be celebrating your first year. What a fun 10 months it has been. You're still super passive. You don't complain much. Which is nice because your sister is far from passive. I imagine over the next few months you'll learn how to protest, too. I am holding onto your sweetness a bit longer.

In your ninth month you've learned to cruise and cruise fast along the furniture. You're walking well holding onto walking toys and even venturing into taking random, independent steps. You're growing far too fast for me. You've grown another tooth(now 3) and another is on the verge of popping through. You haven't batted an eye during teething. You still do not sleep through the night except for sporadic occurrences. Please make this your next milestone. Thanks. You love food. ALL food. You'll yell, pound your fist, and shake your head "no", if someone eats anything in front of you.

You're saying Dada, Baba, Nana, Papa. All of these are just random baby babble, of course. In case you missed the word that is missing, I'll spell it out for you. M.A.M.A! Throw me some love soon, Okay? You only say Mama when you cry. It sounds like Maaaaaaaaaa! It's funny how you're already manipulating!

You simply amaze me. Motherhood makes me strive to be a better person every single day. And I thank you and your sister for that. As adults we often forget how to look at the world without prejudice and you remind me to do that, even if it's just every once in a while. My biggest wish for you is you never forget that the world is mostly kind. That everyone deserves love. And to love. Love God, Yourself, and the strangers along the way.

I love you to the moon and back,


Sunday, July 31, 2011

5 years in Heaven

I'm late writing this years anniversary letter. I typically figure this stuff out in the wee hours of the morning. This year I've been thinking about what to say all day in my head. I was worried about sounding repetitious. You know, the same old, "I miss you" that I sputter every year. But, I am afraid that your letter this year will sound a bit redundant.

I do miss you. Every year that passes I miss you a bit more. I miss what should be, but isn't. My mind this time of year is plagued with memories of your death and I hate it.

It's a bit different for your birthday. I try to remember the moment I became a mother. I remember the smell of my first baby, the sounds you made, and these memories often trump the heart ache that follows.

The anniversary of your death is so vastly different. I remember that day like it just happened two minutes ago. I remember how you smelled those last few hours of your life. I remember your sweet little outfit and how you kept kicking of your shoe at the doctors office. And mostly, I remember the minutes and then seconds leading up to your death.

The flash backs of standing in the hospital hallway are overpowering. I can hear that strangers voice, a doctor, telling me you had left us. I remember standing there, falling to my knees, and the room blurry- nothing else noticeable except the words coming from that mans mouth.

I remember the look on your Daddy's face. Heartbreak. I remember how it felt. A soul changing moment in our lives. In every ones lives.

Sweet baby girl, I miss you. My heart aches that we cannot watch you grow and it rejoices for where you now are. People often say time heals all wounds. And while time surely changes the way we perceive death, your Daddy and I still miss you. We still ache for you. And we still very much wish the circumstances of your life were different.

It's really, really, unfair. It's unfair that your little sister thinks a ladder can bring her to Heaven to play with you. It's unfair that you were born with a body that was against you from the start. It's unfair that we'll never watch you grow old. But life is filled with things I'll never understand. I've come to a point in my faith that God knows more than me. He always has. It's taken me some time to grasp the concept that why I don't understand why you were born with obstacles to overcome- and then subsequently die as a result; I've come to the understanding that it's not my place to know. Now.

I hope that somewhere in Heaven you can hear us talk about you. I hope that you understand that while five years has passed, that we still very much miss and love you. And I long for the day that our family is hole again. Right now, without you, it's always, always, missing an irreplaceable link.

Love you and miss you to the moon and back our sweet, Zoey Faith.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Brenton: You're 9 months old

Happy 9th month, Sweet boy. You're three-Fourths of the way to 1 year. And I am seriously slacking on photos of you. I did take your monthly photo, but I am too lazy to upload it.

You're such an awesome little guy. Your personality is busting out more each and every day. You're sweet, feisty, and lovable. You're all things boy and I love it.

This month you've learned to pull to a stand(and fall, lots). You've also learned to stand unsupported for brief periods of time. You are often letting go and become shocked at yourself at what you're doing. It's adorable.

You've ditched baby food completely. You love, love, love to eat. And at an ounce shy of 22 pounds, it shows! I simply love all of your chub.

You love your sister. You love getting into everything and anything. Today, at your doctors, I had to scoop a dead beetle out of your mouth. I nearly threw up. You smiled. Sigh.

You still wake up a million times a night. If you learn to sleep through the night soon, I will buy you a car. Thanks. You love your blankey and love being rocked to sleep. You love playing peek-a-boo.

Motherhood simply amazes me. I look at you in awe. I am amazed that I was able to create such a perfect, beautiful, little soul. You make me a better person. You amaze me. Keep being you. My biggest wish for you in this world is view the world as you do now. Forget the sinfulness that surrounds our world. Love people. All people. Love God. Love yourself. And always, always, always, be a voice to be heard, not just for you, for the voiceless.

I love you. So, so, so, much. You're my amazing, chunky little man.

Love you to the moon and back,


Monday, June 6, 2011

McKenzie: You're three and a half years old.

Oh, baby girl! I cannot believe you're half-way to four already. So much so that I am a week late in writing this. It probably has something to do with the fact that I am in denial.

You're still very much in love with all things GIRL. You love, love, puffy heart love, your baby dolls. You steal Brenton's diapers so you can diaper your babies. You rock them, sing to them, and act like their mother. Recently, you asked for a new "real" baby. Sorry, kid, this factory is closed. You're probably the pickiest eater I have ever seen. You hate most meats(minus chicken and ground beef) veggies are a foreign object, and you turn your nose to nearly everything I cook. I still place the meal on your plate and encourage you to try it. You'll respond quite quickly with, "Sorry, Mama, I am just not hungry!"
You're slowly outgrowing your shyness. You still take a bit to take in your surroundings, but you will eventually let go and explore. You're a cautious soul and I like that about you. You love being around people. You're quite social for being "shy."
Speaking of cautious: You're afraid of lots and lots of things. Remember me saying you loved all things GIRL? Well, you're taking this to a whole new level. Bugs? Freak you out. Fast rides? Uhmm, no thanks. Heights? You'd rather not. You have many, many, fears. Most of them are pretty unrealistic, but I realize that this is just you so we're taking it with strides. You overcame your fears of fast rides for a split moment and rode a tiger ride at the zoo with a friend a few weeks ago. You were SO excited to get on and ride. Well, I stood there nearly in tears watching you come around. You were quite obviously terrified. And the goofy ride raced around 3 more times before I was finally able to rescue you. You'll probably never ask to go on that ride again. And while I laugh now, I felt so, so, bad for you.
You're leaving your toddler hood behind and turning into a beautiful little girl. You still have more sass and energy than I can handle most days. But I love you for it. Sometimes I think you're more like 3 going on 30, than just 3 and a half. You have an answer for everything. You're an independent soul. And I love every bit of this wild ride that is you.
Sometimes in life people expect you to adapt to what they assume is the norm. I don't want that from you. I want you to embrace the world and be you. Anyone who doesn't see the beauty that is you isn't worth changing for.

I love you to the moon and back,


Brenton: You're 8 months old today!

Sweet chubby bubby. You're 8 months old today. I sound like a broken record, but I cannot believe how fast you're growing and changing. You've learned lots of new tricks this month!
You've started sleeping in your crib. Daddy and I took down the pack and play and went in full swing with this new step. However, you only last until for a few hours and then you beg, plead, cry(read:cry), to come back in our room. Since you're so cute and I am not one to let you cry it out, you often end back in our bed.

We just got your sister back out of our bed a few months ago. It's almost like we've replaced her body in my bed with yours. Every night we try to keep you in there and one day, Sir, you'll have to learn that your bed is WAY nicer than mine! Until then I'll continue to enjoy the late night snuggles.
A few weeks ago you learned to go from your belly to sitting. A few days later(on the exact same age, to the day as your sister), you learned to move your little arms and knees and crawl. Today? You're everywhere! And into everything. Cords, your favorite. Shelves, yep, destroy them. I forgot how insane it was to have a VERY curious, mobile baby. But, I love watching you discover new things.

You've been trying to pull yourself to a stand, too. You can get yourself about half-way up before you give up and become frustrated. But while you are discovering the world on your hands and knees, can you please take a second to slow down. I'd like to savior your baby moments just a little while longer.

We've moved you out of your bucket car seat and into your "big boy" seat. You're a hefty 21+ pound baby and carrying you was more than I could handle. You love sitting in your new seat and it fits you pretty well. You especially love riding in carts, being carried by me in your carrier, and "people watching." You must be one of the most nosiest babies I know. Wonder where you got that from?

You're eating tons of table food now. Pieces of banana's and steamed peas are a favorite. You love feeding yourself. It makes Daddy and I a bit nervous as you totally chipmunk cheek everything. I assume you think the food will go away faster than you can shove it in your face. No one is going to steal your food, sweet boy.

You're babbling up a storm. I hope this isn't a sign into another toddler that NEVER stops talking. You're favorite "word" is Dada. I haven't heard Mama yet and if you love me, even a little bit, please humor me and say it. Thanks.

I cannot believe you're already 8 months old. It simply amazes me how fast your infancy is flying by. You remain to be the most laid back, sweet baby. And I love it. I love you more and more everyday. Every part of you makes me value life more. You're my sweet, chubby, baby boy. And I heart you.

Love you to the Moon and back,


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Image that will for sure make his Senior yearbook page.

I think he is saying, "Mom. Seriously?! You stick me in the grass, in the nude, and you then have the audacity to snap photos?!?" He's simply irresistible? Is anything cuter than man boobs, back rolls, dimpled hands, on a cute barely 7 month old?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Brenton: You're 7 months old today

Happy 7th month my sweet chubby boy. Your 6 month flew by before I knew it and I nearly forgot that today you turned 7 months old. I just told someone yesterday at the grocery store that you were 6 and a half months old. I am obviously in denial about you getting so big, so quick!
You remain my sweet and laid back little guy. You love, love, love, your sister. She's constantly playing with you(sometimes a bit rougher than I'd like) and you light up. You watch her every move and I hope you're not learning how to be naughty. *wink* Lately, you're really objecting to not getting your way. If we take something from you we get the below result. You LOVE food and beg and smack your lips EVERY time we eat. We often give you bites of our food, but the bites cannot come quick enough for you and you often scream and shake your hands. It's pretty hysterical.
Today you FINALLY learned to roll in both directions. I've seen you roll from belly to back since about 3 months old, but you sort of just stopped doing this. Today you've been rolling over and over again. You're also trying very hard to get up on all fours. You can push your arms ALL way up, but you haven't figured out to get both your knees up and your arms up together. I am thinking that my thought process of you never learning to crawl may very well be incorrect. Dang. Two mobile kids in my near future!

You're saying, "Dada" and "Baba" randomly. You're sitting like a pro. You put EVERYTHING in your mouth and you're starting to attempt the pincer grasp. You've changed quite drastically in the last 7 months. I love watching you learn new things, but it's hard to watch you become independent. You're my last little baby and I suspect you'll be grown before I know it. I am enjoying your open mouthed, slobbery kisses and cuddles with you while you still allow me to have them.

You're constantly getting attention where ever we go. People care always stopping me to tell me what beautiful children I have. It makes me beam. You have this look about you that makes me think you're wise beyond your years, a real mature look about you.

I still cannot believe how much joy your little self brings me. I love you more and more everyday. You're hysterical and sweet. You seem to be WAY more passive than your sister and I appreciate that. One feisty kid is plenty for this household. I have a billion dreams and hopes for you and I cannot wait to watch you do them.

You own my heart little guy and I love you more than I can ever manage to express.

Love you to the moon and back,


Monday, April 25, 2011

There is a party in Heaven- Year 5.

Happy 5th birthday in Heaven sweet girl. I was just telling a friend that when I think about you being five it's so surreal to me. It's such a milestone birthday. It should mean Kindergarten and independence, but those things don't exist here on Earth for you. I still imagine what you'd be like now. If you'd be feisty like your little sister or passive like your little brother. I wonder what sort of things you would enjoy. It's hard to fathom that five years has passed; in the same breathe, it feels like just a split moment.

I still struggle with your absence daily. I feel sad for your two siblings who'll never fully grasp the idea of you. I feel sad for me and rejoice for you. I'll never understand why we're on this journey. I'll never fully grasp the idea of you being gone from this Earth forever. I am still waiting to awake from this nightmare. It's almost like I can still smell you, hear you, feel you. Then I wake up. I realize that your absence isn't a dream, but reality, and my heart breaks all over again.

The truth is I have come to terms with your death. I am not angry at God anymore. I have questions for him and I suspect he'll provide the answers when the timing is right. I love you with everything I have in me, but imagining what your life would have endured had you not soared to Heaven, is heartbreaking as well.

Now, I imagine you singing and dancing in the clouds. I imagine you free from the restrictions of the obstacles you faced while here. This seems to help the pain. Life will never be the same. Our family will always be missing our first baby girl. Your siblings will always be missing a sister and a friend. And that's not fair. Nothing on this Earth is fair, Zoey. Our world seems to be plagued by sickness and heartache. There are good things, too, though. And for those, I wish you were here to experience them. I wish we could be planning a big girl party. I wish we could be registering you for school. I wish you weren't born with a broken heart. I wish we weren't plagued with memories of your death. Mostly, I wish you were here. With us. Where you so rightfully belong. I miss you.

You simply amaze me. I watch babies fuss over the littlest things. And while I feel sorry for them as well it reminds me of how very brave you were. I am reminded all the time of your courage and grace. You're a testimony of strength and courage and love. I often here people say, "I don't know how you do it; I would just die if something happened to one of my children." This journey IS the hardest I have every had to conquer. I still struggle. Daily. But, it's something that had to be done. Not just for me, or your Daddy, or any of the people who love us both, but for you as well. I want people to sense your courage and strength through me. I want people to understand our love for one another. I want people to know you. I became your voice when your voice was silenced in death. I forever be your advocate. Death doesn't keep us apart forever. Faith and love teaches me that.

Your brother looks like you. And sometimes it's hard for me to watch him learn to do the things you couldn't do. But I know you're proud of all of us. I know that somewhere in Heaven you see us and it brings a smile to your sweet face. I have met some amazing people in this journey of grief. Even though our stories are different, it's comforting to find sol ice and peace knowing that we're never in this journey alone. I imagine you've made friends with some amazing babies: Aubrey, Logan, Luca, Keanu, to name a few.

I'll never, ever, stop thinking about you. I'll never, ever, stop loving you. You're my hero. The three short months you were on Earth molded me into a person I didn't even know existed. You've created the mother I am to your siblings. I'll never stop praising the Lord for giving me you. I'm forever grateful to him for the three-months he allowed us to care for you. You're my heart, my first born, my sweet, sweet, crooked binky, and wild haired, baby girl.

Happy, Happy, 5th birthday in Heaven, Zoey. Eat all the cake you want. Make a mess and lots of noise.

Missing and loving you forever,


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Who is this child?

My little girl is becoming such a girly girl. I am not this way. Most days I don't sport make-up. I wear dresses ONLY for super special occasions and I haven't had my nails done since prom.

Kenzie is terrified of bugs. Cannot stay in an outfit that is wrinkled or has a stain of any sorts. She freaks if her hands are dirty. Is super motherly to ALL her babies. And has a sense of style all of her own. In fact, she won't let me dress her 99% of the time and is obsessed that thinks match.

Tonight? She made me paint her toe nails because her pedicure(yes, you read that correctly) nail polish had chipped and she couldn't go to bed with chipped nails. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Brenton: You're 6 months old today!

Happy 6th month, sweet boy!! It's hard to fathom that you've been apart of our lives for half a year. We're half way to celebrating your first birthday and that's insane to me. Again, I know this is repetitious, but if you could just stay little for just a little longer, I'd really appreciate it! You've hit all sorts of milestones this month. You have your first teeth(one half way out, the other next to it is just starting to surface). You can sort of see your pearly whites in the above picture. You're sitting unsupported. You need someone close by because you'll just topple over sporadically without warning. You seem so satisfied with this new feat! You're eating solids now. Typically once in the afternoon and once in the evening. You've recently decided that solids are WAY better than bottles and you're trying to protest them. You have to hold off on being such a big boy until you get more teeth! When we were out to eat with friends this week, you were sitting in the highchair and decided to grab a handful of your sisters HOT cheese and pepperoni. You were less than satisfied with my removing it from your grasp. You're rolling over in both directions. Though you almost never do. You hate, hate, hate, being on your belly and I don't really push you. I figure you'll get there eventually. You're sleeping through the night(Bless you, boy) and still taking two or more naps a day You love to sleep.
You love water and last weekend took a dip in the pool for the first time. You LOVED it. You have a super calm nature. Last week was my last week at work. I quit to stay home with you and your sister. You've been pretty fussy this week and I cannot figure out if it's because of the change of routine or lack for sleep since your sister LOVES to wake you. Overall though, no complaints for you. Speaking of your sister... You love her. You glow when she's in the room. You follow her around with your eyes; you like to "play" with her(with your toys). You think she's the coolest thing since sliced bread. And she loves you back. I really can't ask for more.
I love, love, love you. It's so hard to grasp. It's hard to imagine that this house was missing something prior to you. It feels like your sweet little self has been here the entire time. But as 'big' as 6 month sounds- you're still just my sweet, cuddly, boy. You're so easy to please and I can only hope you continue through life with this care free attitude. I understand why God tells us to be humble like a child. It's the innocence of you that I want to recreate in myself. It's pretty neat to experience motherhood and realize that sometimes in the big picture of life, it's the tiny moments that really matter. Your sister and I often remind me to take some time to "smell the roses." I often put the pause breaks on life so I can savor these moments; in the blink of an eye you and your sister will be grown. I am enjoying this wild ride, sweet boy.

I can't say it enough. I love you until my heart aches. I explode with joy just looking at you. You're my sweet chubba Bubba and I HEART you.

Love you to the moon and back,


Saturday, March 12, 2011

First food

Brenton started on his first solid food this week. He has been battling diarrhea for nearly 3 weeks and he managed to lose 7 ounces in one week. We decided to try to add a bit of solids to his diet.

He's only getting about a quarter of a jar once a day- and he doesn't seem overly impressed with the pea's, but his appetite has returned to normal as has his poop!

Hard to believe he's even old enough to eat this stuff. They really do grow way too fast!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Brenton: You're 5 months old.

Happy 5th month, Sweet boy.

Can I be honest for a minute? When I first found out I was pregnant with you, I called a good friend and told her I didn't know what to do with a boy. We had your two sisters before you; my life revolved around baby dolls and bows- and with your arrival it would be much, much different.

However, it's not all that different. Some of the main differences that I need to duck when your "fountain" turns on- but other than that sort of stuff- being a Mother to a boy is more rewarding that I could have ever imagined.

Your personality is so, so, so, different than your sisters. You're very laid back and smiling. ALL. THE. TIME. It's contagious. I can have the worst day and seeing your sweet gummy smile makes all those worries disappear. It forces me to realize that despite the chaos of the world we live in, that the simplest things in life are the ones that matter. Your sweet smile is all that matters.

I like to think it's God's way of telling me to slow down; to take in the sweetness of you and your sister's life- and let tomorrow's worries wait for tomorrow.

Thanks for that, Bub!

You talk all the time. You're not saying constants yet, but you squeal, screech, and coo what seems to be all day long. You love to interact with anything that has a heartbeat(or random household plants). You're super social and this is new for me because McKenzie despised strangers at your age.

You're really close to sitting independently. You can sit for about 20 seconds before you start to loose your balance. You tip over and laugh at yourself. You have such a cool personality.

You're still only on formula for now. We'll introduce some solids into your life in the next month or so.

You're lazy. You hate to be on your belly(it's like deja vu). You're content either sitting with support, or laying on your back with your favorite toys around you.

You're grabbing at everything(please have mercy on my hair, Thanks!) and putting things in your mouth constantly. You love to chomp on your fingers. Makes me wonder if you'll get teeth so. So far you remain toothless!

You're just a super cool baby. You're adorable and sweet and everyone who meets you loves you.

We love you. We love what you bring to our family. Keep being you, Bud.

Love you to the moon and back!