Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pregnancy Pictures 2010...a Tradition

When I was 8 months pregnant with Lillie, our second child, we by chance had professional pictures taken of our family. Since then, it has become a tradition to take professional pictures with each pregnancy when I am 8 months pregnant. Here is a sampling.

They really have so much to teach us. At times when a certain child is telling me an extensive story in which I'm not really paying attention, I think to myself, "Look at them. God is trying to tell you to slow down and just be."

Baby Blues. The privilege of each child. When you reflect about our mere existence and how so many things had to happen just for a person to be born, you KNOW without a doubt God has a plan for each life. Last year, I read a book about World War II. In certain battles, 1000s of men died in just that one battle. If you break it down you will realize that for each of those men that died, so died another generation. My ancestors, my great grandfathers, etc. For all that has happened in history and I am standing here today, is so purposeful.

We call it "Our Pregnancy Wall." I really love looking at each picture to see how our children have changed over the years and with each baby. I love most looking at my belly and smile an now knowing who was within. It is fun to tell the kids what we were doing that day when the photo was taken. We love telling them who we "thought" was in there and what other family members thought. I will treasure these over the years.

Where will these feet go? Where will they take them through this journey called life.

Yesterday, I thought about the gift of money -v- the gift of children. If I won the lottery, Most would think I was the luckiest person in the world. Most of my worries would cease because we are now financial rich. Funny though, that most people who are rich aren't very happy and most people who are open to having children are usually very happy. I don't feel like our children is something we've decided upon. God gave THEM to US and US to THEM. He is in charge of that decision. The freedom it brings to our marriage to always be open to children is PURE freedom no matter how close or how far apart they are. We both know that God makes them not us.

He says, "Before I formed you in the womb, I KNEW you. Before you came to LIFE, I consecrated you." So, when I look at our babies, I think how beautiful it is that they know God. Funny.

If I ever think about our house catching on fire and what would I grab if I had one minute (besides the children), it would be these and our home videos. They are that special to me. Photos are time frozen. We are living the moment and then snap, we froze it forever. I am sure I will go through a period in about ten years where I probably won't be able to look at their childhood pictures because it will be too painful at how fast it all went.

I am so glad I have known that. I am glad God has given me the grace to not see "Endless Days" ahead. I only see the hour glass full of sand and slowly dwindling down to the other side when it will be time for them to fly from our little nest. Sometimes, their smallness doesn't seem real and is rather funny when I really look at how short (literally) they are. A small human walking around our house is very funny some days.

I love my own mother's hands. Her hands are still comforting to me. We do so much for them with our hands. I often wonder what they are noticing, watching, smelling, and absorbing by just being with me. I asked Dominic once what he would remember most about each person in our family. He told me, "I will remember that you always smiled." Melt. I thought it would be a million different things besides this. Another beautiful reminder what is important to them.

So it was you, little Clairvaux. So funny to think that we met you shortly after this. It is a privilege to be your mother and to know all of you.

Now Go and Conquer the World

Yet, another story of "If he can do that, I CAN do this." Smile. What a beautiful person! Watch this and go Conquer the World.

Her Magic Shoes

Zellie is at the cute shoe phase of her 3-year-old life. Today, we purchased a pair of PINK cow kickers at a garage sale. How do you spell cute? Z-E-L-L-I-E
Although, nothing can replace the "Magic Shoes." She told me that Dominic told her that her shoes were magic. She believes him. I wonder what power she thinks she gets when she puts them on. Behold the coveted Magic Shoes.

Behold further, Magic 3-year-old feet in her Magic Shoes.

She contains the third pair of feet to wear the shoes. Lillie and Rose have both sported these over the past years. We'll have to make sure Vianney and Clairvaux are able to uphold the tradition.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Clairvaux-One Month Old

HOW can you be one month already? Wasn't I just at the hospital and brought you home about an hour ago? I already can't remember what life was like without you. It is such an odd phenomenon. I LOVE this picture because it shows your true newborn head. I love the fuzz especially the fuzz around the side of your head and face. To me, this is brand new newborn-ness.
This picture with Rose also shows some traces of puffy eyes which depict newborn like qualities.
Yes, it is true. I spend my days passing you from person to person and telling them to find a pillow if they want to hold you.

The kids do NOT like when I burp her this way because they think I am choking her. They ask me to quit every time.
It is fascinating each day to notice that they wake up more and more.
Your birth has brought a new awareness to life. I have NEVER been more aware of how fast our time together is going. I've always been very aware, but never more aware if that makes sense. I love our days together. I love what God has asked me to do right now in my life. I am content to just be. I know my purpose is to be right here holding you, nursing you, and showing your siblings how important each baby is.

I've thought for some time that you have smiled, but you for sure, for sure smiled on your one month birthday. Every day you grace me with a couple. Your father commented a couple days ago while talking to you that you two need to stop ignoring each other meaning that you've only smiled for me. Today, you smiled at him. He likes you.

My #1 Favorite Thing about having a Newborn=Waking up to them passed out next to you in the morning. I love it. I love getting ready in the morning and looking over at our BIG bed only to see this little body sleeping peacefully.
She learned a lot today. Dominic loves her.

I love this. Big brother gently holding his little sister.

Zellie asks to hold you about as much as Lillie does and Lillie asks ALL THE TIME. She follows me around the house asking me if she can hold you even if you are sleeping in your bed. I was the exact same way as a little gal.

Oh boy, we are looking good. I guess the girls did their own hair today.

What a gerbil. Cute newborn feet and cute 3-year-old feet.You've already been read most of the books from the Library. Who says kids from big families don't get attention!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Slip and Slide

What would you do if you were her age? She can't decide between the fun and the reality of cold hose water...

Oh, the coaxing, the prodding, and the convincing.

Getting closer. She would run on the outskirts as if it were the same.

And then if overcomes you. All your stored up giddiness is let loose and you become the one they want OFF the slip and slide. It was great. The fit you threw when we had to go inside was awesome! Do you see the excitement?

Rose always wants to race everyone. Zellie gave her a run for her money. See the intensity.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Someone stop her NOW!!

We bought the swing for Clairvaux whom doesn't much care for the arrangement, but Vianney finds it quite swell for morning reads. I came out to this.

She just can't venture away much from her beloved.

I glance toward the end of our kitchen and see two heads peeping at me from the table.

Only to get closer to find all the little puppies huddled together watching their little sister read.

She is so lovely.

She always wraps her baby in a blanket. My favorite.

Loved beyond measure.

Lillie is my baby holder.

A bunch of little girl toes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Baseball...He waved

He waved. Yes, it was the most memorable thing about our first year of baseball. Every time he got up to bat, got on base, ran each base, and got home
HE WOULD TURN AND WAVE TO ME. From t he first game until the last game, it was precious. Oh, the beautiful innocence of a child. Waving to your mother in front of all your friends at your baseball game. I tried several times to get a picture, but this is the best I came up with. See his beautiful smile and little hand waving.

Our whole family enjoyed every minute of Dominic's baseball games and practices. Zellie especially looked forward each week to seeing Makenna, the coach's daughter who brought her Polly Pockets. Even when Lillie and Rose would opt to stay home for a practice, Zellie always wanted to come and sit with me so she could see Makenna.

It was very involved, each practice and game. They all would pack their purses full of surprises, picnic options, babies, strollers. I let them. I love it. It takes forever to load and unload, but I love it. They always brought their sitting chairs like elderly ladies.

Oh, Dominic! The joy you bring to your parents. They forgot to tell me that when I had children EVERYTHING would be special. True to my usual self, his first time up to bat, I have tears streaming down my face. Good thing for sunglasses! He looked so big, yet so little, yet so innocent and then of course he started his whole waving thing and I was done the whole season.


He preferred to play right field, but "I really like catcher too!"

The Fan Club.

I think Zellie is working on her embroidery.