Friday, January 9, 2015

Aurelia Ann: 4 months {w/ a comparison}

{with Gertie, her handmade doll from Mima}

At the risk of becoming redundant, I can't help but try to express just how fast the days are going by. I  honestly feel like Aurelia was born 2 weeks ago, and somehow our lives fast forwarded to today. Our girl is such a sweet and relaxed baby that even at our most difficult moments with her (in terms of fussiness or sleeplessness) it has been a breeze in comparison to how I remember moments when her brothers were babies. Don't get me wrong, I've loved raising all my kids up and the baby stage is one of my favorites (ok, I love all the stages for different reasons) but Aurelia has been...dare I say easy baby. I could attribute some of that to her being the 3rd child; everything is sort of crazy all the time so she just has to go with the flow. Mostly though, I think she just has a pretty chill disposition.

I say all this after over a week of very regular night wakings. Maybe if this was my first time around I'd be singing a different tune. I'm surely used to small chunks of sleep at this point. Des dropped his nap when Aurelia was 2 weeks old so I couldn't do the "sleep when the baby sleeps" thing, but thankfully everyone pretty much goes to bed at 7pm these days. While I'm still wrapping up the day and attempting to spend time with Ben at that point in our evening, it's restful to have a quiet house for an hour or two. 

Aurelia is really developing a sweet and happy little personality. She is smiley and cooing as soon as she wakes for the day. She brightens up when she sees us and giggles easily for her brothers. Malakai and Desmond are always trying to make her laugh, they'll literally do a song and dance just to make her smile. She is ticklish and just started belly laughing when we play peek-a-boo, it's the best sound ever. 

She's been grasping at things for a while now, putting toys and clothes and whatever else is in her reach straight to her mouth. She won't take a pacifier or a bottle yet, but she'll chew or suck on her teethers all day if you let her. She is also in the distractible phase as she's learning more about the world around her, she loves to nurse but will take her time if something catches her eye while she's eating.

{Mima made this dress too!}

Baby girl will often tolerate my "playing dress up" as Malakai calls it. She lets me take her in and out of outfits and accessories pretty regularly while staying fairly happy. I appreciate this about her because at the rate she is outgrowing clothes, I'm constantly trying to figure out what still fits and what bigger clothes I should be getting out before she outgrows them. I made the mistake of saving a couple outfits for special occasions and she's already outgrown them. I snapped a couple pictures of her barely fitting in them and sadly put them away.

{2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months}

Aurelia is a chunky baby but nowhere near as much as Desmond was. Since she's not as heavy she seems taller. She measured 24 1/4 inches (49%) at her well check on Wednesday and 15lbs 3 oz (85%). I was surprised when I found Desmond's 4 month stats and he was 26 1/4 inches (85th %) and nearly 19lbs (over 95%). First I thought Aurelia was our tallest (she was at birth but she's actually the shortest at this point) Second, I was shocked at how much heavier Des was at just 4 months. I knew he was a chunk, but whoah! At 4 months Malakai was 17 lbs 8 oz (88th %) and 24 3/4 inches (43%).

Other than a little eczema she is a perfectly healthy little girl. She hates her shots though. At 6 weeks it was almost unbearable. I had Ben come this time and she took her first shot like a pro, but then the 2nd (which the nurse said stings) she lost it. Her brothers were so sweetly concerned, they'd never seen her so upset and weren't sure what to do about it. She's been fussy the last few days since and it's obvious her little legs are sore so sleep hasn't been as great as it had been. As usual we're rolling with the punches.

We are waiting to introduce any foods until 6 months. We started at 4 months with Malakai and waited until 6 with Desmond and from their first feeding we noticed a big difference in the ability and interest in eating solids.

So that's our little Raeli in a nutshell. Growing faster than my heart can stand.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014 (so far)

We've survived 3 out of our 4 Christmas gatherings...exhausted but happy to be home together and blessed to have so much of our family close enough to visit with over the holidays.

Last week we were all really sick. It was Kai's only full week of school all month and he missed 3 days due to so much coughing and congestion. We got him on antibiotics for his double ear infection and he is already doing better. As the week progressed the rest of us started to feel under the weather. Instaed of their usual jaunt to Grandma's last Thursday we all stayed home sick. Friday was Malakai's class party and I was able to swing by the school and grab all the crafts for him to do at home. I had also gone to have dental work done that morning and taken Des and Aurelia to the doctor, making myself an appointment for Monday. 4 out of 5 of us were prescribed antibiotics. Ben stayed home sick Monday and really should have stayed home more but had too much work to get done to try to do it all remotely from home. It was a whirlwind of a week and a half leading up to Christmas. We did as much as we could in advance to avoid late nights of wrapping gifts and making food for the upcoming events. 

Ben worked a half day Christmas eve and as soon as he got home we hit the ground running. We were all feeling well enough to celebrate, so we headed to church and then to his parents to gather with all his siblings. We had a great dinner and quite the gift exchange.
{Aurelia's 1st Christmas Eve in a dress I made her}

{these boys could hardly contain their excitement} 

Our tradition is to open one gift on Christmas eve (hint: it's always pajamas), read T'was the Night before Christmas, leave cookies for Santa and head to bed. We were out fairly late, and having anticipating as much we brought the PJ's with us and I set the cookies out for the boys who had passed out on the short drive home. 

We had Christmas morning at home, just the 5 of us. The boys even tolerated waiting for Aurelia to sleep in a bit while they snuggled up with daddy on the couch after a quick breakfast. Once I got my coffee we let the kids dig into their gifts from Santa and then from us. Our rules on gifts is to keep it simple, so we always have a pretty minimalist Christmas, and we like it that way. Each kiddo got a few presents from Santa, and 2 gifts from us. Ben and I also got a few gifts from Santa and 1 thing for each other. 

{my precious gifts}

We had a pretty leisure morning and early afternoon letting the kids play with their gifts, read and color and watch a Christmas special. Then we scrambled to get out of the house for our 2 family gatherings that day. We had dinner with my Aunt + Uncle on my dad's side and dessert at my Aunt + Uncle's and my mom's side of the family. Thankfully we snapped some photos before leaving the house because everything else happened in such a blur that we barely took any pictures once we left the house. 

{Aurelia in her Christmas dress from Mima}

We dragged ourselves home just before 9pm, carried sleeping kiddos into the house and snuggled up to watch A Christmas Story (which Ben had never seen), then promptly passed out from sheer exhaustion. 

Today we purposefully planned absolutely nothing. We've been eating at odd hours and watching a little tv between playing with new toys and reading new books together. 

Tomorrow is our last Christmas gathering, with my parents + siblings, and we'll have a small celebration for my birthday as well. The best part is that both Ben + Malakai are on vacation for another 10 days and I'm enjoying ever minute of it. 

I hope you've had a very happy Christmas and here's to a healthy and blessed new year in 2015!

Monday, December 22, 2014

featured artist: b.lovely photography

Friends- remember that amazing giveaway a while back featuring Amy of Life Love Oils? Well, her family is full of amazing talent and her sister Breanne is no exception. Click on over to b.lovely photography to check out her portfolio of gorgeous images. I just love how she captures families in their natural state.

Lucky for all you locals she is in town, but for a limited time. She is currently running a special, so do yourself a favor and contact her at for more information, including her exclusive pricing and to schedule a session before she's back on the other side of the country. 

We have a session with her after Christmas, once all the craziness is behind us but we are still on vacation. I can't wait to share our photos with you once she's done!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Trimming the tree...more Christmastime photos

When we got our Christmas tree we brought it in later that afternoon and decorated it that night. I love watching my kids put ornaments on the tree and marvel over the twinkly lights. I know they won't want to help with this tradition forever, so I try to take it in while it's still fun for everyone. 

Ben snapped a few of these pictures from outside our front window. I love seeing him use his creative talents.

Here are a few more shots of Aurelia in our baby santa outfit. Later I moved her nearer the tree and she stared at the lights and watched her brothers hang ornaments.

Growing up we had to take turns with the honor of putting the topper on the tree after all the other decorations are on. We started doing that with the boys this year...

Surprisingly enough, with a new baby and three kids total our house looks more festive than it ever has this time of year. We've got a fun mix of handmade, gifted, store bought and kid-made decorations  throughout the house. My only regret is not buying a matching stocking and holder when I got the boys theirs years ago. Target no longer carries the silver letters we put on each boy's stocking, nor the type of stocking we got them. They are currently out of stock of the holders that we hang them from, so I'm waiting for them to either restock or hopefully still carry them (or something similar) next year. It's not the end of the world but I just think it would be cute to have them match or at least coordinate. 

More on our Christmastime festivities to come...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

my little santas

Each of our kids has worn this santa costume for their first Christmas time, usually while we decorate the tree. This was first my brother Cody's so it's 20-something year's old at this point. I can't wait to pass it back to my siblings some day for more pictures like these...

Malakai was 5 months at his first Christmas in 2009. Desmond was just over 2 months in 2011 and Aurelia will be 3.5 months for hers this year. 

Love my little santa babies...
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