Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Haddon's 12 month letter

Dear Haddon,

I can't believe you are a year. Perhaps my denial is why it's taken me so long to actually write this post! (Also because I had to write it on my computer instead of my phone because the app kept crashing. I wonder what technology will be like when you are 35...)

Anyway, we had such a lovely day on your birthday! Over 30 people (I know. It was a bit overload.) came to celebrate and show their love to you. We had a winter theme and served all the things you can't have (chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate) and you didn't really even want your birthday cake although you were quite enamoured with the fondant snowman that Gramma made for the cake.

You are:
crawling really fast, still the wounded soldier style
cruising along furniture and with your birthday present, the walker!
babbling although not saying more than Dada and rarely Mama
eating most things though I still can't get you to eat cheese
not sleeping through the night.
sharing a room with your big brother Blaise and loving it! (thankfully he's a decent sleeper and not bothered by your frequent night wakes)
so happy to be with your brothers
sometimes found singing to yourself
able to hold your own with the noise factor
in love with your Daddy
sneaky and busy
a pretty good napper. I have no complaints. (Napping usually once a day, but sometimes twice.)
able to crawl up both sets of stairs in less than a minute
fascinated with balls
often found clinging to mine or your Daddy's legs wanting to be picked up
smart and put legos into your mouth as quickly as you can but then spit them out into my hand when I notice
generally quite happy and often dole out smiles pretty easily (usually).
a part of our family and we love you so very much!

I can't remember what life was like before you and yet I remember your infancy days like they were yesterday. I could almost cry remembering how tiny you were and how much we both loved it when I wore you in the wrap and yet I know that each day gets better and better as I get to know you more and more. Your belly laugh is a day-maker and it's usually your brothers that can get one out of you.
You are a joy. You are a sweet, sweet blessing and I'm so thankful God gave us you.
I pray that you become strong and sweetly attuned to God's spirit. I pray you foster a love for your brothers and your family that is loyal and fierce. I pray that you stand up for those who are weaker than you. I pray that you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. I pray that you are a man who is characterized by compassion and your big heart. I pray you are strong enough to confront evil and sin and protect those who need protecting.
I love you, little mister Haddon. I pray all these things for you and so so so much more.

Happy birthday, buddy. The best is yet to come!


Monday, December 12, 2016

Haddon's 11 month letter

Dear Haddon,

You're 11 months (and I'm a few days late, but at least it's getting done) old! Honestly, fastest 11 months ever.
You are rolling and crawling and standing and cruising and eating and babbling and laughing and climbing and bringing joy into our home in ways you'll never know. 

Speaking of joy, your sleep! It's getting better! Last night you only woke twice and they were super fast feeds and then back to sleep. You slept 12ish hours last night and your naps are pretty darn good, too. You are still taking two naps and they last usually around 1.5 hours - sometimes longer. 

You are an incredibly fast crawler when you want to be - like when you spot your Daddy or an open door or stairs. You love pulling yourself up to standing and then shaking "your thang" - especially if you're on one side of the gate and one of your brothers is on the other. I can't tell if this is an excitement dance or out of frustration but either way it's funny.

You love balls and animals - dogs in particular. You've started making "woo woo" sounds when you see an animal and it's so darn cute. 

You can wave! And give high fives! And bounce and bop to music when you're really digging the beat.

You love cheerios and apples and "squoosh" packs and scrambled eggs and yogurt although you've started "chewing" yogurt which seems ridiculous to me, but whatever.

You say "ba", "ma", "dah", and you often make these wheezing, squealing noises which is quite funny.

The biggest change is that you've started sharing a room with your brother Blaise! This transition was ridiculously smooth and even though it means you wake up a bit earlier, listening to you both chat away in the morning is pretty much the cutest thing EVER! I can't even express how happy it makes me that you're both sharing a room now because it means that I have my room back and it also means that it's a new stage in your relationship with Blaise. And I love that. What it practically means is that I usually breastfeed you and put you down around 6:45 and often you're asleep within a few minutes although sometimes you will fuss on and off for a little bit longer, but usually you're asleep by 7 or 7:15. By that time, Blaise is almost ready for bed and I'll read him a story in my room and then we quietly tip toe into the room and he'll climb into his bed and fall asleep within minutes! You do wake up a few times (usually around 3 times a night, but last night was only 2!) but you don't seem to disturb Blaise so that works out great!

You definitely let us know when you're not happy or you've had enough with whatever is going on, but for the most part you are a happy, chill guy who loves people and especially babies! You will often crawl right over to them and put your face right up close to theirs as if you're about to give them a kiss, but usually you're just moving in close. Heart melting!!!

And now you have 6 teeth! From 0-6 in a month! Four on the top and 2 on the bottom and they are the cutest little chiclets/hippo teeth you ever did see! And you were a bit fussy with some rosy cheek action, but nothing extremely out of character for you, my chill little man.

You are still breastfeeding about 6 times within a 24 hour period. Usually 3-4 times during the day and 2-3 times at night. With your new teeth we've been going through an adjustment period which has been not without some pain on my part, but we're getting there. And it's interesting now that you nurse on both sides in one sitting, that when you're waiting for the other side, you're not fussing anymore. You just lie there while I get ready, knowing that more milk is coming. I love this understanding you now have that I will provide for you and take care of you and you're patiently waiting! It's really sweet.

I love you so much my baby...this month you'll get to see lots of family and friends and experience your first Christmas and I can't wait for what the next 11 months will hold for you! 

love you so much!


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Haddon's 10 month letter

Dear Haddon,

Happy 10 months, sweet boy! About 4 days before you turned 10 months, you finally got a tooth! Your top right tooth finally cut through and the other top 3 are looking like they might push through within the next month as well. Needless to say, you are drooly and rosy-cheeked and perhaps not as smiley as you usually are but still generally good natured.
You've also fully embraced solids - woohoo! You love scrambled eggs and yogurt and apples and fruit in general as well as Cheerios and porridge.
You chase after balls like it's your mission and you are fairly self-entertained by them as you throw the ball and then chase after it. It's pretty cute.
Speaking of cute/hilarious, your crawl! It's HILARIOUS. It's like a seated, wounded soldier type crawl that's hard to explain but apparently it's quite efficient!
We are in full on baby-proofed mode (well, as baby-proofed as we get around these parts) with a gate and everything (since you already fell down the stairs!). You are obsessed with electrical outlets (insert unimpressed look here) and you are super duper fast at scooting around where you want to be.


Also you are finally in your own room! Blaise is sharing temporarily with Noah and Jude while you get used to a new space and hopefully start sleeping a bit better (if the last few nights are any indication, I'm hopeful it will be soon! For my own personal record as I'll forget, you're currently waking around 9 or 10pm to nurse. Then sometimes around midnight. And then last night nothing between 1 & almost 7am! That's the most in a row I think I've slept since you've been born. Glory Hallelujah!). I think you're going to love sharing with Blaise and my hope is that it only serves to bond you two closer than ever!
You are still much adored by all your brothers and Noah continues to be quite paternal (?) with you, carrying you around and helping you whenever he can. Jude loves making you laugh and so does Blaise although he's been getting more frustrated with you since you can actually get into "his stuff"! :)
Oh and you are currently battling another head cold and have a crazy runny nose which was not helping you in the sleep department a few days ago, but you seem to have come through the worst of it (thank GOD!) and are more or less back to your usual, chill and happy self.
You are, however, entering into the phase where you notice when I'm gone or when I leave you and so putting you down for bed or naps now you'll usually cry out for a minute or when I leave the room or when I'm not paying attention to you, you're now more likely to crawl after me and climb up my leg (oh yes, you're pulling yourself up to standing now and can even stand on your own for a few seconds) and whine. Eek! How are we at that stage already, buddy? Even with the attachment stuff happening, you are still so happy and generally happy to go and hang out in other people's arms. The other day a friend came to drop something off and as we stood at the door and chatted, you decided you wanted her to hold you and you practically lurched out of my arms and into hers. It was so incredibly adorable and then you proceeded to smile and pat her hair and face. You are just so stinking adorable!
I'm so thankful for you and for your happy nature, how you love people and how your smile just lights up a room and I'm sure has made a day or two.
You are still a chubba chubba and I think you weigh around 26lbs although I'm not sure. But you're wearing between 12-18 mos and 18-24 mos clothing.
You are the sweet baby of the family and we are ever so glad God gave us you!

I love you mucho mucho baby!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Haddon's 9 month letter

Dear Haddon,

Happy 9 monthiversary, baby!

We celebrated you by having a full-blown turkey dinner! Just kidding. It's Thanksgiving today! And you had the full monty; turkey, potatoes, squash, sweet potato and you loved it all! While you may have been slow to bloom in the solid food department, this last month you have taken off! You gobble down rice, oat or a mix of baby "cereal" in the mornings, you love chicken and apparently turkey too!  You will eat pretty much most things although you still give food the "back away" while you give it the "once over". For (still) having no teeth, you certainly are having your way with the big people food! I'm proud of you, buddy!

You are also crawling at warp speed 9 (which I assume is ridiculously fast) when you want to but often you are happy to play with whatever is around. Although, within the last couple weeks, you've started to become super interested in cords, outlets, the stairs, pretty much everything dangerous. So that's ... er ... busy. You also do a super funny/cute crawl that's part crawl, part scoot. If your Uncle Curt saw it, he would for sure call it a Croot. Or a Scrawl. Either works.

You love balls, water bottles, spoons, paper, and dogs. You say "Dada" now and you LOOK at your Daddy! Your first word! You also say "Dada" just to talk, but you definitely know who your Daddy is. :)

You are pretty good at sitting in the stroller for walks and often will fall asleep if it's been long enough.

You are still so so so chubby and I just love you squeezing you so much!

And you learned how to kiss! Right now it's these lovely, slobbery open-mouth kisses, but I'll take 'em!

You are such a smiley baby and will smile at just about anyone and everyone as long as they are paying attention to you!

You bop to music, wave/bat your right arm incessantly and love to bang your hand or an object and loudly make noise.

You still adore your brothers and your Daddy gets big smiles and lots of leg kicks when he comes home and you see him.

You are learning to sit at the table for dinner with us even though it's often a harder time of the day because you're tired.

(And even though I don't really like to obsess about your crappy sleep habits, I'll record it here so I can remember one day...)
You are napping twice a day and quite well at that! You generally will take a 1.5-2 hr nap and I do nurse you for a bit, but you aren't fully asleep when I put you down. Sometimes you perk up for a bit and I can hear you babbling over the monitor and sometimes you fall right to sleep. Sometimes you cry out a couple times but you fall asleep within minutes usually. You also nap pretty much anywhere you have a crib and a sound machine although you're great with napping in your carseat (if we've been driving long enough and you're tired enough) or in the stroller although both of those places will only get you about 30 minutes of sleep for some reason.
Your nighttime sleep is still atrocious. You're very much like your brother Blaise in that you fall to sleep really easily, but you wake up tons. So I'm still nursing you at night and on average you are up 3-4 times a night. Often more. But, just like your brothers, you will figure it out (this I keep telling myself so I don't collapse into a puddle of despair). On average you're down for bed by 7pm at the latest and then usually around 9:30 or 10 you'll wake up and I'll feed you then. Then it's anyone's guess about how the rest of the night goes. Often there will be a 12:30 or 1am wake up. And at least a couple more besides that. 7am is the beginning of our day and it usually begins with you pooping in your diaper. So...there's the sleep chronicle for this month.

I can't believe you're already 9 months! Time certainly has flown by. I love you to the moon and back and I'm trying so hard to soak up every gorgeous second of this time with you.

lots of love,

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Haddon's 8 month letter

Dear sweet boy,

You are 8 months old and I can barely believe it! You are hilarious and adorable and sweet and chill and on the move!

You love putting ALL THE THINGS in your mouth...except for a spoon with food on it. You will not open your mouth until you give the food on a spoon the once over. Let's be honest, you often don't open your mouth then either. At this point you are eating maybe a tablespoon of solid food a day. You're pretty much still exclusively breastfed. But it's not slowing you down at all! (I'm not sure how much you weigh but I'm guessing around 25lbs? We'll find out next month just after you turn 9 months.)
Of the food you will eat, you've tried apples, kiwi fruit, bread, rice, yogurt, mango, broccoli, bananas and a bunch of others. 

You can now move around and although it's not full-fledged crawling all the time, you are moving and scooting and we are all in trouble. I've told your brothers they need to pick up their Lego pieces before I find them or else they have to pay me to get them back because you WILL put them in your mouth.

You prefer to be roaming around on the ground or in someone's arms. Unfortunately for me, you're not a huge fan of the exersaucer. I'm on the hunt I think for a gate so I can keep you in either the kitchen or the living/dining room and away from the stairs. 

You are napping twice a day for about 1.5 hours each time and it's glorious. Nighttime sleep is still in shambles but we are just trucking along knowing that you'll figure it out like your brothers did. At least you settle for sleep quickly and you're down for the night around or just before 7pm!

You are GRABBY MCGRABBERSON! You love gnawing on my chewing necklaces and fingers and your fist and anything you can quickly reach out and grab off tables or counters or anything you are near. You pulled down a plant and a small side table last week and it scared the living daylights outta me! 

You and your brothers. You love them all so dearly! They hate to see you fuss and cry and always try and give you lots of hugs and cuddles and your biggest brother especially loves holding you and picking you up if you aren't happy. He's going to have really strong arms from all the carrying he's done!

You are talking and babbling and making this growling noise which is part hilarious but also part annoying. 

You are fascinated by animal sounds although I'm not sure you've quite figured out the whole animal world yet. 

You aren't bothered by new tactile sensations like grass or sand or dirt, in fact you like to dig your nails into it every chance you get! 

You are a smiley happy guy who easily and willingly dishes out smiles for anyone who glances in your direction! 

We love you so much, baby Haddon and we can't imagine our family without you!


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Haddon's 7 month letter

Dear Haddon

You are 7 months old and time is not slowing down at all!

You are quite the sweet, chilled out little man and you flash smiles at anyone who will give you some attention. You also let us know when you need something (sleep, food, attention) because you are LOUD when you need to be. 

You are pretty good about napping on the go and when we are at home or somewhere you can nap in a crib, you have actually decided to board the nap train and are actually napping for longer stretches. Finally! Good riddance to the 30 minute catnap! So I'm looking forward to productive mornings and naps in the afternoon come September once the boys are in school. Of course, I also need a nap in the afternoons because of your not so great nighttime sleeping habits. Still. But you'll get there. 

You are sitting, rolling, and on the verge of crawling. When we went camping last week (your first trip!) you rolled several times out of the small baby tent I had you sleeping in. You are a roller! But I'm thankful you aren't crawling yet because I'm not ready for a mover! 

You love water in any form; the bath, the pool or any lake! You kick your legs in excitement whenever you get close and tonight you tried to crawl in the water and got quite the mouthful of water. 

You haven't got any teeth yet and I had forgotten how long it takes babies to "get" eating so we are definitely taking our time with this solid food thing. You sometimes taste oatmeal, you gnaw/suck on apples, pears, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, bananas and once a pizza crust. 

You are now reaching out for us when we ask if you want "up". You giggle in acknowledgement when I ask if you if you want milk and it always makes me giggle too. 

Oh and you had your first haircut just to trim a bit off the top! It was quick and done in a few seconds. 

We all love hugging and squishing you and we are so glad you're in our family. I look forward to watching your friendships grow with your brothers. You are already much adored by us all!

We love you, baby!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Haddon's 6 month letter

Oh Baby Boy,

Happy half year!!! I honestly can't believe you're 6 months old already! It seems like overnight you've learned to do things like sit on your own, babble "Dada" and starting to eat some foods! 
Seriously. How did that even happen?

You are still only napping for about 30 mins at a time although the other day you slept for 1.5 hrs! I was all 🙌! So you can do it, you're just not consistent although that's likely because you are the fourth child and we are often doing things these days. But you are usually chill enough to handle the lack of sleep oftentimes with a smile on your face. 

You love your brothers, your Daddy, me and people in general. You're pretty happy being around people. 

You're usually in bed by 7pm and up around 7am although lately you've been up at 6am but somehow I'm able to nurse you and you eventually fall back to sleep. You wake up several times a night. Usually it's 3 or 4 times on average. So no. You're not sleeping through the night but you will. This ain't my first rodeo so I know not to freak out about it. You'll get there. Whatevs. We're both over it. 

You've tried a few foods; banana, avocado, pear, cheese, an oatmeal pancake. You're interested in food but it's always slow going when it's not puréed. I'm lazy. So you'll get food and you'll be eating food one day like your brothers. 

I'm not sure exactly how much you weigh, but I'm guessing above or around 25lbs. You're wearing 12-18 month clothing and the rolls are here to stay. I wish. 

You are drooling BIG TIME these last few days. But at least the spit up has almost completely stopped. Huzzah!

You love gnawing on my baby-friendly necklaces and anyone's fingers/knuckles, your soother, blankets, your toes, pretty much anything you can get in your mouth. Teeth are coming but not immediately. 

You are a ham. A joy. A squishy, loveable baby and we are so glad you are a part of our family. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and my prayer for you these days is that, in the midst of this very broken, hurting, messed up world, may you be a light that shines brightly the love of Christ to those around you. May your heart be filled to overflowing with compassion for the hurting, the weak, the poor, the marginalized and may you have the guts and courage to step up and step out in faith to love those people and to lead others in justice and mercy. 

I love you so much, Haddon! 


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Haddon's 5 month letter

Dear Haddon (Had, Haddy, Porkchop, Chubby Bunny, Gordito...)

Happy 5 months! 
You are a rolling fiend! You like rolling towards your right; sometimes you stay on your side, sometimes you roll onto your belly. 

You are still catnapping but at least you'll fall asleep in the carrier if we are on the go. 
Your nighttime sleep still sucks. But...if you're like your big bros, you'll figure it out eventually. You love being shushed to sleep and holding onto my hand/fingers as you fall asleep. You generally are asleep by 7 or 7:30pm and are up around 7 or 7:30am. How many wake ups you have in between those times depends on the night. (Hint, it's usually at LEAST 3). 

I sorta fed you your first solids! It was a banana that I was eating and you seemed super interested in it so I let you gnaw on it and you certainly liked the taste but the texture caught you off guard I think. Thankfully our friend caught the experience on her camera. 
You are very interested in watching us eat and drink and we will slowly introduce food to you when we get back to Canada but it will be very slow and somewhat inconsistent because I am mostly lazy and breastfeeding is way more convenient. 

You have gotten tons and tons of love this past month from the staff and students on our team! Being held and cooed at and cuddled and you have loved every minute of it. You are one lucky little baby!

You can sometimes sit in the stroller and not be leaning back, meaning your core strength is getting better and you're on your way to sitting without support!

You always light up when you see your brothers and your Daddy always gets his beard grabbed at now (although I do believe he encouraged this so its not entirely your fault). 

You are drooling all the time. Always. So. Much. Drool. Your bib/shirt is always soaked. 

You don't mind being worn and will fall asleep when you're tired but after being in the carrier for an extended period of time, you are ready to be free and will give me a huge smile when I take you out and put you down to stretch. 

You definitely babble and are making more sounds these days and they are so cute to hear! 

You are our last little baby and we love you so much! The days are getting so much more fun with you and it's only going to get better. 

It's been a sweet experience to have you here in Peru and my prayer is that one day you will make your own choice to follow Jesus and then go to the nations and share the good news with those who don't know.

I love you, my little chubby bunny!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Haddon's 4 month letter

Dear Haddon,

You keep growing! And getting older! Can you maybe slow down a little, please? At 18lbs5oz, you're an arm (and back!) work out I didn't necessarily expect so soon!

So we are in Peru. And you flew on your first airplane! And I'm not gonna lie, you were a champ. You slept for most of it and when you were awake you were quite happy and content. 

You also slept from 11pm-6am last week! It just so happened to be the night after your 4 month vaccinations (we had to get them early because of our trip) and I seem to recall you sleeping well after your two month vaccinations as well!
Anyway, it was a one-off night I figured but I certainly wouldn't be opposed to it happening again anytime soon!

You are a smiler and will often giggle at your brothers antics, especially if you are tired. 
You have done well in the stroller and being worn in the carrier and will fall asleep in either as long as there's movement. 

You are cute and chubby and it seems like your Mohawk may be about to fall, but I'm hoping it sticks around a little longer. 
You are grabby grabby and seem to like to hold onto my hand as you fall asleep, especially if you're overtired and over stimulated. And speaking of sleep - you aren't swaddled anymore! I decided to wean you off of the swaddle before we left for Peru and did it one arm at a time. And now you are swaddle free. And very close to rolling from back to belly. 

You like to "talk" and it's mostly in the form of "ah-goo" and "ah-ah-ah-ah" which is all pretty cute. 

You are loved so much, my big little guy!
Happy 4 months of being alive in this big, beautiful world!

I love you,

Friday, April 8, 2016

Haddon's three month letter

Dear sweet boy,

You are three months! Three months today you were in the process of being born! I won't ever stop being amazed at the thought of carrying you inside me for 9 months and then one day you were ready. And you arrived. And we were all instantly in love. 

This month has been full of smiles and a little less tears! You are more content to be put down in a bouncy seat and you are now interested in your musical playmat! 

You have found your hands and often suck or mouth them. You've started drooling (which I just learned is not necessarily a sign of teething!) and thankfully your spitting up has started to lessen. 

We are living in the land of cat naps which is not my favourite phase but it is a phase, thankfully. 

Usually you're in bed for the night by 8pm (often earlier) and are up 2, sometimes 3 times a night but it's just for a quick feed and sometimes a diaper change and then back to sleep. I can hang with that for a while. Your day often starts around 9am which means you miss seeing your two older brothers before they head to school. But it also means I get to eat breakfast and have a coffee before you get up (the coffee is somewhat of a necessity these days). 

You have done a giggle a few times when you were over tired but other than that we wait for the laughter to start. It's close though, I just know it. 

You do pretty well in the car and on the go which helps when I have to take you and Blaise on errands. But you're also too big for the stretchy wrap now so hopefully you will learn to like the carrier more than in the past. I'm also getting a woven wrap so hopefully we'll both like it as much as the stretchy wrap! 

You have taken a bottle of my milk a week ago when I had minor day surgery and had to leave you with Daddy. Apparently you took it like a champ! That was hard for me to leave you, but I knew you'd be fine with your Dad. And you were! 

You are in 6-9 month clothing although this onesie in the picture is a 3 month one because you wanted to show off your svelt physique. I think you are close to or at 17lbs now!

Also I think you will continually become a happier little guy as you become more and more mobile. Whenever I hold your hands and help you sit up from a lying down position, you are all smiles! You are even pulling up to stand for a couple seconds! I think you'll just be happiest when you are moving and keeping up with your big brothers. And as predicted, your brothers get some of your biggest smiles and I think you've already given Noah some of your first giggles (though the very first time was with Grandpa). 

We love you so much, Haddon! I can't wait to see who you become over these next few months and years and pray you become like the men we have named you after! 


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Haddon's two month letter

Dear baby Haddon,

I am just going to go ahead and admit I will sound like a broken record each month because each month will start a little something like, how are you two months already! Time is truly flying by!

But truly, it is!
You started smiling this month and focusing on our faces and your new favourite thing; your mobile over your change table. It's the cutest thing ever and worth the $10 IKEA mobile to see you do these big gummy smiles at the little creatures looking down on you. 

You are around 14lbs 8oz and fully into 6 month clothing now. (Following in your brothers' footsteps already!)

Your eyes are quite blue and I wonder if they will stay blue or change to green or brown. 

You do pretty well sleeping at night but let's be reasonable, you are a baby so that usually means 3-4 hour stretches at a time, which is better than your brothers did at this stage.

You love being in the wrap and if you're having a fussy moment or struggling to sleep (the two are usually synonymous) then I pop you in the wrap and within a few minutes you usually fall asleep! It's a win-win situation for both of us!

Your brothers are still loving you and the feeling is pretty mutual, I'd say. You often turn your head looking around for them if you hear their voices.

Your baby acne has cleared up mostly but the cradle cap is now what I'm battling but hopefully we can clear that up soon too!

Warmer weather seems to finally be here and I can't wait to take you outside more and go for walks. 

Love you heaps and heaps my darling,

Love Mama

Monday, February 8, 2016

Haddon's 1 month letter

Dear Haddon,

I haven't even written your birth story or taken your "one month" picture yet but at least those things will happen. I promise. :) 
Oh my fourth baby, how is it possible that time has flown by so quickly and you are one month old today?!? I knew it would, but still. I feel like it was just yesterday that your daddy and I were trying to figure out when we should go to the hospital and now you're one month old!

You have truly captured all our hearts and there is no shortage of loving that you get from your big brothers albeit even if they do get tired of holding you within a few minutes. 
I just sorted through your clothes because, my big boy, you weigh around 12lbs now and are into 3 month clothing already! 
You love baths. It took me over a week to get around to bathing you for the first time (just add it to the list of fourth child problems, sorry!) but once I did, you absolutely loved it! You kick your sweet little chicken drumstick legs and look around and it's clear you are quite content. 
You have the baby acne which came early on but then faded and now is back but hopefully it fades soon. 
And speaking of your face, it's clear to everyone that you are a Strickland boy. When you were born I couldn't get over how much you looked like Blaise but shortly after I started to see strong resemblances to Jude and now? Well, now you clearly look like you are related to your brothers but you just look like you now. And you are a cutie! 
You are a good, efficient nurser like your brothers and want to eat every 2-3 hours. Sometimes more, sometimes less. There have been two occasions that you have gone a 5 hour stretch between feelings at night and I won't complain, it both shocked and pleased me to get that much sleep so early on! 
You are a fussy guy from time to time but you do sleep and calm down an average amount. A big difference is that unlike ALL of your brothers, you do not always easily go back to sleep in the middle of the night. Often times you require multiple changings and several rounds of nursing and then me rocking you back to sleep. So that isn't really fun for me, but we are both getting the hang of it. 
You also are a grunter. You remind me of Jude in that respect. Often just laying in your bassinet not upset and crying but just grunting and quietly working on some gas - sometimes not so quietly but you are nevertheless a grunter. 
Oh! And one last thing is that a week after you were born we noticed that you would look like a pirate when you would cry or yawn - with one eye wide open and one scrunched shut. We laughed and thought this was cute and then I showed our midwife and she said it could be something to do with your nerves in your face and referred you to a pediatrician. By the time we got the appointment, you had almost compel rely stopped doing "the pirate" and both eyes seemed to be functioning normally. The pediatrician said it was likely a case of Bell's palsy which shocked me but she said all was clearing up nicely and that it was more common than I knew. 

I love you so much, little mister and we are loving getting to know you. We are so glad you are part of our family!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blaise's 2 year letter

Oh my dear, sweet, Blaise.

My baby. How is it that you are two years old? No longer technically a baby, yet I still call you "baby" all the time. When will that stop? Not in the foreseeable future. When you are 14 years old I may still call you baby and it will embarrass the heck out of you. But I hope deep down, you will feel loved and secretly love that I call you baby.


You are two. Loving trains, planes and automobiles. For real. All things that move, you love. You shout out "bus" or "car" or "truck" or "airplane!" or whatever it is that's passing by. Your Dad gets a kick out of the way you say "truck" as you've replaced the "tr" with an "f". So that's always good for a laugh. Sometimes you mutter it to yourself and I can't help but let a giggle come out.

You love your soother (soosee) and your two hippos and now you even sleep with a pillow and a blanket and it's pretty much the cutest thing ever.

You love being silly and making people smile and laugh and you love joining right in with any merriment you happen upon. Today you charmed your way through three different offices that we had to go to, making people smile and laugh and immediately relieving any boredom of having to sit in a small office with a bunch of strangers. You do this all the time.

You are becoming quite an independent player when the mood strikes you. I'll often find you lining up your cars along the middle bookshelf in our living room or sitting on the floor or couch with a book or two. And so far you don't seem to mind that your brothers are missing for most of the day now that school has started, but you do often talk about them or reference them when you see a school bus. 
And speaking of school buses, every morning when we take Noah and Jude to the bus stop, you shout at the top of your lungs, "BAH BYE!!!" over and over and over at the bus driver as soon as he pulls up and opens the doors. It's hilarious and adorable. As are most things you do. 

You are starting to venture out into eating more foods which is really just a lot more convenient. And usually means a little less screaming. (Also how is it that I've ended up with three kids who don't really like oatmeal? Weird. It's probably my own doing, but whatever.)
You sleep like a champ (Seriously. That was 18 months coming! Glory Hallelujah.) and prefer "Mama" to be the first one in to greet you, but you'll usually perk up for "Nono" (or Noah) to come and pick you up out of your crib. 

You are talking nonstop and I hear "who's that" or "what's that" or "what's this" or "who's this" about eleventy million times a day. It's adorable, albeit exhausting. (Not gonna lie.)

You are testing boundaries big time these days. Always looking at me after I say no or try and redirect you elsewhere. You will look at me like a dog does with a slight head tilt and then say, "Hm?" and point to what you want to do, often doing it even after I say "no". I am trying to crack down and hold firm, but often you are so hilarious, that it's hard for me not to smile or laugh at you - even when you're flat out disobeying me! Oh the joys of being the third born! (One day Noah will tell you, "Man! I didn't get away with HALF the stuff you do!" and he'll be completely right. Sorry, Noah.) 

I wish I could write down all the funny and hilarious and adorable things you do from the way you pick out a book and then walk backwards towards me and then sit in my lap. Or the way you press your cheek against mine and think it's hilarious. Or the way you often break into song and dance just to the music that plays in your own head. (I LOVE this!) You are crazy about your brothers, but often take advantage of any time they are lower than you, whether it's sitting or lying down, because you'll whack them on the head or face. But you love them. And they love you. Your relationship with Noah is so different from the one you have with Jude. I love the complexities and dynamics of each relationship and watching it all play out. I pray your relationships with your brothers will be strong and the kind that sharpens each other and challenges each other for the good, spurring one another on to love and good deeds. 

I love love love love love you, you crazy Blaiser. You melt my heart and keep me laughing. You keep us all laughing and can perk up even the grumpiest attitude in this house with your antics and I praise God for bringing you into our family on that hot evening in Kampala, two years ago. 


Saturday, September 13, 2014


This morning somehow a conversation about Pokemon with Noah led to talking about the return of Jesus. As I explained about how Jesus is going to return as a victorious, strong King I teared up. 

How often do I think about Jesus returning? I know I love Him and I'm seeking Him with my whole heart, but the end goal, the grand finale is my King and saviour coming back to take what is rightfully His and I am waiting! 

It was a cool conversation with my soon-to-be 7 year old. I have hoped for conversations like this. And by God's grace I'm not worried about messing up his theology. I'm just trying to be faithful by teaching and instructing my boys at every opportunity. Sometimes it ends in chaos, often it is short and done in snippets. They don't happen every day and no doubt I miss opportunities but I am praying and hoping for God to use me to shape these man-cubs into who He had designed them to be. 

Come quickly, Lord Jesus. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

On keeping it real and Instagram

I'm a total Instagram addict and I'm okay with that. It's kinda where I "blogged" for these last few months.
But I love browsing other people's profiles and I'm always drawn to those whose pictures are white and bright and lovely and airy. And I look at mine and I like my pictures but they are not all white and bright and light and airy. But they are a reflection of my life and my life is colourful and gritty and sometimes filled with shadows and sometimes it is fuzzy out of focus. Sometimes it is white and bright but it is not always so. And neither are the lives of the people whose profiles I like. 
Because there is always some sort of disparity between real life and the interwebs. Even when we try our hardest to "keep it real". 
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