Monday Monday

Most monday mornings you can find Graham, Alex and I geared up for our weekly run with our friends Wendy and Lucy followed by coffee and snacks at Starbucks.  This week it happened that we did it on tuesday.  Nonetheless, we had a blast and the weather even cooperated and we got to squeeze in a quick swing at the park after rounding the lake.  The little ones loved it, blue lips, frozen hands and all!



Alex and Erin

Sitting in a tree...

These two can't get enough of each other.  On any given day I am pretty sure they utter each other's names at least 10 times.  So glad I have all these pictures for blackmail when they are older.



Week in review

Dan and I finally got to enjoy a date night.  Not quite sure when the last time we went out, just us, was. It was heaven!

Coming home after a long day at work to this little face is better than I could ever imagine it would be.

Being the third there is not a whole lot that Graham gets that the other boys didn't.  Well, apparently I love him more because I have entered into the world of homemade baby food.  No, it's not really that I love him more, it's just that  I am just lucky to have a friend like Wendy who lets me borrow her awesome babycook.  It is so easy and fast there is no reason not to make my own baby food... and Graham seems to prefer the homemade stuff to the store bought.  Not to mention, the feeling of proudness I get when I am feeding him the food that I have made with the organic fruits and veggies I bought is totally worth it.  

A time!
Alex and I don't get a lot of one on one time.  So, the other day when we got home from the gym I quickly put Graham down for his nap, made myself a cup of coffee and sat down with my little man to play some Memory.  It was so worth it to hear his little voice say "I wuv you mommy" over and over while playing our version of the game. 

Graham snuggles after a long day at work... priceless!


366 {day 23}

From January

This is Graham's favorite thing to do these days.
When he can find someone that will let him do it.

Round Two

With three boys that have all been prone to ear infections I have gotten to be very good friends with this 

It's a miracle drug for fussy, hurting, infected little boys.

Graham had his first ear infection 6 weeks ago.  We treated him with antibiotics because it appeared a little more purulent than Dr. C would like to see.  We completed a 10 day course and went on with out life.  Graham, however, never quite got back to his norm.  I blamed it on teeth.  I was sure those suckers were coming any day.  After all, it couldn't be his ear, we treated it... right?  I took advantage of all the extra snuggles and the clinginess and treated the little guy with some occasional Tylenol.
He wasn't super fussy, but he just wasn't himself.  But how could I, a nurse, take him in to the doctor and say, he doesn't have a temperature, he isn't super fussy or inconsolable, he isn't constantly rubbing his ear, but he's just "off"?  I should know what's wrong with him, right?
Well, I got over myself today.  I bit the bullet and took the poor little guy in.
Sure enough he still has his double ear infection.  And it's worse.
Way to go nurse mom.  You rocked this one... NOT!


8 years together

I am not going to sugar coat it, it's tough.  There have definitely been days I wanted to throw in the towel.
I remember the day I was married like it was yesterday.  The white dress, the pink flowers.  It was the day I had always dreamed of.  Perfect.  People gave their advice.  Marriage is work they would say.  No, I thought, not if you find the right person.  
Boy was I wrong.  Even with the right person it will always be a work in process.
Two deployments, 5 years on active duty, 3 houses, 3 years in Law School, 5 years in the National Guard, 3 boys and a cleft lip later we have managed to survive.  There were times I wasn't sure we would.  But we did.  And I truly believe we are better for that.  No, every day is not sunshine and roses, but what is?  We have weather pleanty of storms and come out of it together.  
Together... the best place to be.  
Thank you for the best 8 years of my life.  
I am a better person because of you.

I can't wait to see what the next eighty bring!
I love you.


It's official...

Our stubborn, hard headed and defiant two year old is indeed potty trained!
I honestly never thought this day would come.
We've been working on it for awhile but for fear of jinxing myself I haven't wanted to blog about it.  We promised we wouldn't force him.  We all know, the harder you pressure Alex to do anything, the more defiant he is.  It absolutely must be his idea.  All we did was provide him with the necessary tools, and maybe some thomas the train treats.  It was completely his idea.  Completely.

Just goes to show you that a little bribery can go a long way!
Way to go Alex.  We are so proud of you.

Done and done!

Well, not really.  But pretty darn close.  It has only taken me 4 months to get the pictures on the wall.  Give me another 4 months and maybe he will have some window coverings that actually go with his room.

Hey, we can't let him forget he is indeed the third child.  At least he gets his own room!

Snowmageddon 2012

I am probably one of the few people in Seattle that prays for snow every year.  I love it.  I love when the boys get to stay home from school and we get to stay in our jammies and curl up by the fire all. day. long!  I know, I am crazy.  
I will say though, by friday I was ready to send them back to school!  Especially since Dan missed Snowmageddon 2012 because he was hanging out on the beach, mai tai in hand enjoying 82 degree weather in Honolulu.  Rough, huh?

Alex, while not a fan at first, warmed up to the snow.  He lasted all of about 12 minutes.
But it was a great 12 minutes!

That's when the big kids hit the slopes!

The adults stayed warm by the fire, drinking hot tamales and "supervising".

while the kids sledded until their hearts were content... and their bellies were ready for some hot chocolate.

I think it's safe to say we got them pretty tuckered out...
mission accomplished!

Abby showed us what she's got.

And, heaven forbid, we call it a day without a little snow wrestling.
Ugh, boys will be boys!

Take that Snowmageddon!


Oh how far we've come

Today marks the anniversary of the day that we found out Graham Henry would be born with a cleft lip.  If you asked me that day where we would be in one year I may not have been able to answer you.  The tears, the fears, the unknown, it was all so overwhelming.  I was pretty sure my life was over.  I questioned every thing there was about life and God.  How could He do this to our family, to me?  How could He do this to my baby?  Why?  
I vividly remember feeling like I couldn't breath.  I was pretty sure my life was ending.  
Well, here I am.  Here we are.  We survived and we are better than I ever could have imagined.  Graham is the best thing that could have happened to our family.  So, apparently, The Big Guy does know what he is doing.  After all, He doesn't give you more than you can handle, right?  And although my baby was born different than most, he was born perfect in our eyes.  Just the way he was meant to be. 
So, for all those out there that are facing an unexpected diagnosis don't be ashamed to feel your feelings.  Let them loose.  But know, you will make it through and there IS a reason.  I truly believe that God choses us for these babies because He knows we are exactly what they need.  
Have faith and trust in Him.  


The little number seven




Graham Crackers you are growing up too fast for this momma.  You simply must slow down.
Ok, I guess that's not an option.  Someday I'll get over it.  
You continue to be momma's little boy... thank you for that.  You also continue to be mostly happy although the fussiness has been increasing over the past few weeks.  Teeth, mile stones, your cold... who knows?  Lucky for me you generally settle in with a few snuggles and some nursing.  Unlucky for your brothers, you are attached to my hip (or boob) when you are awake.  We survive though.  
Your sleep habits are improving.  Thank goodness!  We have fallen into a pretty nice routine.  You tend to nap twice a day in your bed for anywhere from 1-2 hours and catch a few catnaps in between while on the go.  Bedtime is 8pm on. the. dot. for you.  You don't seem to make it much past that before you are rubbing your eyes and wanting to be nursed and put down.  We have found that waking you to feed you around 11pm (when we are getting ready for bed) works nicely and you tend to then sleep until 7-8am.  On days that I work I wake you to feed you again at 6am and you have been known to sleep until 9:30. 
You eat, a little, but you don't seem to prefer it.  Banana's and sweet potatoes seem to be your favorite today.  The avacado caused a severe gagging reaction as if I was trying to poison you.  You LOVE your mum mum's and are just now beginning to be able to pick up puffs and get about every eighth one to your mouth.  You make Bella a happy dog.
You still have a big gummy smile with no signs of teeth as of yet.  
A certain someone (eh-em) is trying to teach you to do all those big boy things like crawling and standing.  But you seem to be quite content sitting, playing with your toys and watching your brothers.  I love love love that you love me.  If I put you down and walk away, even 3 feet, you look at me with the saddest puppy dog eyes and pouty little face.  When I get home from work and call your name you look all around until you find me.  Then you reach for me with excitement and snuggle your little head into me.  HEAVEN!
Graham baby, you are heaven sent.  It has been exactly one year since we found out you were a boy.  And although it may have been a shock at the time, I couldn't imagine my life any other way.  You were indeed meant for this family.  You have taught us so much in your short 7 months.  Understanding, compassion, acceptance and unconditional love are lessons that you have brought to each one of us.  Thank you for being you Crackers.  We love you to the moon and back and back again!



366 day 13 and 14

This is my Daddy-O.
Despite much tension and excitement during the 49er's/Saint's game, he found time to take a little nap.  I think it was all a little too much for him.
Love you Dad!

Yes, he was napping through all of this!

One little boy's room continues to be the bane of my existence. 
And this is what it looks like when it is clean!
I am in the midst of "organizing" millions of Lego's into different bins based on size and color.  Yes, that entire black thing is full of Lego's.  It's tedious, it's annoying and I fear that I am going to get this all done, take a picture of it (to prove to myself that at one point it was done) and that will be the end of that.  Now if only I could get Tyler as excited about it as I am, maybe it would last.