All about Lyra

20150610_143904Lyra turned seven weeks old yesterday, and a few days ago, I caught her first smile.

Her first documented smile.

Her first documented smile.

She is honestly the sweetest thing. She rarely cries—though she definitely lets us know when she needs her diaper changed. She does not like wet diapers. She sleeps quite a lot still, and wakes up gently, usually with the above smile. She’s lukewarm about pacifiers, but she does like them on occasion. Honestly, she’s still a bit boring, but that’s mitigated by how warm and smushy she is.

Sleeping in Grandma's arms.

Sleeping in Grandma’s arms.

In her blessing dress.

In her blessing dress.

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My mother loves her like crazy.

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So does Frederick, I promise. He just loves her a bit more violently.

I’m enjoying this newborn phase so much more than I did with Frederick. It really helps to know that we’re finished having children. I’ll never have another baby this size, and now I’ve seen firsthand how quickly they go from tiny, helpless blobs to giant, sassy toddlers.

We’re in what some people call “the trenches” with a toddler and a newborn, but I find that I’m happier and more fulfilled than ever. It almost seems like there are more hours in the day than there were before. I count all the small little blessings that are really not small at all—beautiful, healthy children, a loving husband, a supportive family, and a happier me.

This is my family. It’s complete and it’s perfect.

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Frederick’s Second Birthday

DSC_0199Can you even believe this kid is two?

He, honestly, is the best thing since sliced bread. I cannot get enough of his big dimples and his infectious laugh. We have daily giggle fits and I can’t wait for the day Lyra joins in.

We had already done his real birthday gift (hello, a real train ride!), so we just chilled on his actual birthday. We did all of his favorite things: ate french toast, watched Blues Clues, hung out with farm animals (in the above picture, he had just finished yelling “NEIGH” at a horse), and spending time with family. He had a blast at the farm. He’s currently learning animal sounds and it’s pretty much the most adorable thing ever. We sang “Happy Birthday” to him four different times. He gets so excited when people sing, like he can’t believe that we all know the same song.

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Frederick is making sure Daddy knows that there are real, actual horses pulling the wagon.

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He spent most of the ride with a huge grin on his face.

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Both sets of grandparents were on the same page and got blocks … which he loves!

Needing cuddles after getting splashed.

Needing cuddles after getting splashed.

He hasn't quite got present opening down.

He hasn’t quite got present opening down.

I adore this stage that he’s in. I love how his face goes quiet when he enters observation mode. I love watching him figure out something new and then repeat it until he gets it right. I love that he always tries to do something on his own, but also asks for help when he needs it. And more than anything, I love how much he loves other people. The way he looks at Travis and Lyra totally tugs at my heart. He’s so open and trusting of people, even total strangers. He always signs “please” or “thank you” when we ask him to, and while he struggles to say hello, he’ll always wave goodbye to anyone or anything—people, cars, playground equipment, you name it.

There is no better part of my day than the moment I’m walking out his door at bedtime and I turn around and blow him a kiss, and then watch him drop whatever he’s got in his hands—water bottle, pacifier, stuffed kitten—and blow a kiss right back.

I am so unbelievably lucky to have this little boy in my life. Happy birthday, Frederick!DSC_0350

Frederick Rides on a Train

Frederick had the best day of his life on Monday. We had the whole day free because of the holiday, so I went online to find something fun to do. And I found the most magical thing the mother of a train-obsessed toddler could find: a real live train ride. The Heber Valley Railroad was having its Wild West Days, complete with gun-totin’ actors who pretended to rob the train, but really just handed out chocolate coins, pony rides, face painting, a fiddler, and a sing-along to old West songs.

Frederick was in heaven.20150525_143653 20150525_132112 20150525_132716 20150525_133314 20150525_133443_HDR-1 20150525_135650I wish I had brought my DSLR camera, but you’ll have to settle for cell phone pictures. I also took several awesome videos of how excited Frederick was. It was honestly the happiest I’ve ever seen him. He learned the word train (“ween”) that day and said it about 50,000 times.

I could not love this kid more!20150525_134417_HDR

A Year (and a Baby) Later

So here we are . . . a year later. Just a few things have happened. Like a new baby.DSC_0046

Her name is Lyra Mae. She was born on April 23rd, so you know, almost a month ago. I’m so on top of things.

Seriously though, if I could explain to you all exactly how much my life has changed, how much I’ve changed, I’d probably start to cry. These past few weeks have been the best of my entire life. And I never thought I would say that while having a newborn! Newborn was a really hard stage for me with Frederick, but now I see how quickly it’s over. I see how fast he went from a squishy, helpless blob to this wonderful little boy who is almost two (TWO!).

Speaking of Frederick, he loves Lyra. Adores her, really. He spends a large part of his day stroking her hair, sharing his toys with her, and trying to hug her. She’s been punched and headbutted a few times in the process; we’re still working on soft touches. But honestly, he looks at her like she hung the moon. It’s the best.

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She’s not entirely sure about him yet, though.

IMG_20150504_105952We’re all enamored with her. She’s beautiful. She’s got great hair. She sleeps and eats well. She has the cutest sleep grins you’ll ever see. She is so cuddly and warm. There was a Lyra-shaped hole in our family, and now it’s filled.

I went out for a drive the other night, and then realized that I couldn’t wait to get back home. I was going home to everything I once dreamed about: an amazing husband, two beautiful children, a perfect job, a great apartment. Apparently, my life can only be described in good adjectives. I really never knew I could be this happy. I’m completely aware of how sappy I sound, and I don’t even care. After years of struggling with abuse and depression, I’m fully ready to embrace my sappy, awesome life. And I’m ready to write about it more too. So get ready for more of this cuteness:

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Thanks for being patient. I can’t wait to jump back in and share our (awesome, amazing, crazy, perfect) life with you.

Frederick’s First Birthday Party

Sorry I’m way behind on blogging. I had a huge book to edit (600 pages!), so I haven’t had much time for anything else. But here I am, three weeks after the party, finally getting pictures up. You’re all so patient with me.

His actual birthday wasn’t so great; we both were super grumpy all day because we hadn’t slept well, I made the horrible mistake of going to the store during naptime, and the family pictures we had scheduled started great, but ended early because of a freak summer rainstorm. Go figure. But hey, that’s the stuff memories are made of, right?

Frederick’s birthday party, on the other hand, was a success. It was the day after his birthday after we’d all gotten some good sleep. We had some family and friends over, and since several of them were celiac, we had an assortment of candies (a “candy bar,” get it?) instead of cake. Except for Fred, who got his very own smash cake. He was a little confused at first, but once we showed him it was food, he dove right in. It was a great time; everyone had a lot of fun. Especially Frederick!
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Oh How Times, They Change

I can’t even . . .

I honestly don’t know how this happened. I mean, logically I understand that time passes and babies grow up, but my heart is in complete denial.

Frederick is turning one on Friday—ONE!—and I’m going through old photos for his party and wondering how on earth I could watch a human grow from a tiny, helpless little (let’s face it) blob to a giant, independent person with a personality and likes and dislikes and not notice that it was happening. I promise I was watching. It just goes so fast and slow at the same time.

I distinctly remember thinking, when he was a few days old, that he wouldn’t fit in my arms right if he got any bigger. I tried to picture the long arms and legs of a one-year-old draped over me and I just couldn’t imagine it. Now every time I pick him up, it’s long one-year-old arms and legs all wrapped up in mine, and if possible, it’s even better than before.

I find myself going through pictures from before he was born and wondering where he was—oh, right. It’s weird to me that there was time before Frederick. Just like it’s weird that there was a time before Travis (wasn’t there?). But I guess that’s what happens when you give your heart away completely. Your life changes so fully that the person you were before honestly seems like a different person. A me that didn’t love Travis? Impossible. A me that wasn’t constantly needed by the little human I made? Never happened. And when we have the next one, I’ll wonder if it was ever really just the three of us.

I guess the thing to learn is not to look too far behind or ahead. Right now all that matters is the giant little one-year-old who keeps interrupting my blog post for cuddles and inner elbow kisses because only too soon I’ll be wondering what happened to him.