Friday, August 28, 2009

Four Weeks Old

Today marks Gavin's four week birthday!

He still seems so small to me, like a newborn, yet he's a month old. This could have something to do with the fact that he was only a little over 7 pounds when he was born, while his oldest brother was 10 pounds. It's going to take Gavin a little while to gain the weight he needs to so that he seems older to this mom who is used to having larger babies!

But I am definitely not wanting him to have a growth spurt. I love this stage of life. Sleep deprivation aside, I am cherishing every minute with my little guy and love that he loves to be held and cuddled. I sit and watch him and marvel at the blessings God has given our family in the form of four healthy and happy children. Who am I that I deserve to be the mother of four such wonderful
{and spunky and fun and incredibly energetic} kids? It's only by the grace of God, and I thank Him for that grace every day!

I posted a sneak preview of a photo shoot I had with Gavin when he was two weeks old and haven't gotten around to posting the other photos. As you can imagine, it's been a bit busy around here. What better way to celebrate another milestone than by finally posting those pictures...

Love the sunburst in this photo...

Gavin smiles a lot in his sleep, but I couldn't believe I actually got not one, but two shots of him smiling. Talk about luck... {Click on the photos to see his beautiful grin larger.}

And I love sleeping baby photos. Doesn't he look so peaceful? Melts my heart...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chloe's conversations

Chloe is such a funny and entertaining two-year-old little girl. Sometimes I think she lives in her own little world. Granted, it's a LOUD world, where her volume is always turned up to the maximum level, contrary to the image one might conjure up of a little girl playing quietly by herself.

But, it's
her own world regardless.

Lately she's been having these conversations. They're like phone conversations, only there is no phone, not even a pretend phone held up to her ear. She'll just break out into a conversation similar to this... {remember while reading the below conversation, imagine the most animated, high pitched and loud little voice you can, and that's our Chloe.}

Oh hi! How are you?
I Chloe, what your name?
Awww. *giggle giggle* Thanks!
Ok, bye. See ya later!

I'm not sure who she thinks she's talking to, but she does have quite the little conversations with whoever it is.

Yesterday, I caught her having one of these impromptu, one-sided conversations with her baby brother. Gavin was sitting in his bouncy seat and Chloe sat herself down right next to him. That conversation went a little something like this...

Hi baby Gavin!
My name Chloe.
You're my 'broder' {brother in Chloe language}
Awwww. Thanks, luv you too!

Then Chloe turned to me and said excitedly, 'baby Gavin likes Chloe!'

Well of course he does. How could you not like this face...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Toothless Grin

At this rate, my cute first grader will soon be a toothless one. That's right, Gabe lost, or shall I say twisted & pulled out, another loose tooth.

I just posted about his first missing tooth a few days ago, and now he's already gone and lost another one. Yet as I eluded to above, he didn't so much lose it as pull it out himself.

Gabe told us that he sat during story time at school and twisted and pulled at that loose tooth until it 'broke free from it's hanging thing,' as Gabe put it. Ewww. Glad I wasn't there to see that, because just the thought of it makes my stomach turn.

But his graphic explanation didn't stop there. Gabe then described how it bled and 'oozed.' Yuck! I guess it's a blessing he's losing these teeth at school and not at home in front of mom!

I do hope his trend of pulling teeth stops soon. Gabe will certainly look pretty funny with a toothless grin!

Cooper's First Day

I just wrote a post on Monday about the many 'firsts' we've been experiencing. We experienced yet another one today...Cooper's first day of four-year-old preschool.

Last year in three-year-old preschool, Cooper went to school two half days a week. As a four-year-old, he now goes to school four half days a week.

But you won't hear Coop complaining about the two more days of school this year. He was so glad to be back with all his friends. I think his smile says it all...

And although it was raining outside, I
had {ok, forced} Gabe and Cooper to stand by the sign in front of their school. A little rain never hurt anyone, right?!?

Now as I sit at home writing this post, I suddenly notice it seems oddly quiet. Gavin is fast asleep. Chloe is attentively watching some cartoons. And my two oldest boys {insert tears here} are at school.

Where does the time go?

Monday, August 24, 2009


A child's world is full of 'firsts.'

The first smile, the first word, the first step.

But there's always those 'firsts' that you never want your child to experience. And at three weeks of age, Gavin experienced one of those firsts...his first ear infection.

I can't say I'm surprised. Each of our other three children had endless ear infections plaguing their first year of life, which resulted in all three kids getting tubes put in their ears. I was just wishing and hoping, and more importantly praying, that Gavin would be the exception.

Unfortunately, it's not looking too good for his poor little ears.

But thankfully, he did have a fever so that I knew to take him to the doctor. Sad when you're thankful your child ran a fever, isn't it?!? Yet if he hadn't, I could have just written off his fussiness and lack of sleep as just something newborns do sometimes.

The doctor prescribed antibiotics and scheduled a 10 day check-up, at which we'll hopefully learn his ear is fully recovered.

This all happened on Friday, but it wasn't the only first of the day.
Gabe came home from school with another first...his first lost tooth!

He couldn't wait to get off that school bus and tell of all the details of his first missing tooth. We heard about where he was when he lost it {at his desk}, how he lost it {he twisted it until it came out}, who he had told he lost it {EVERYONE} and what he received when he lost it {a treasure chest for his tooth.}

Needless to say, Gabe was excited!

But the firsts don't end there! On Saturday, we were given a twin sized bed that we decided to set up for Chloe. And that night, Chloe slept in her first big girl bed.
Since she's been climbing out of her crib every night for months, we knew she'd been ready for a big girl bed but hadn't made the transition with everything going on {pregnancy, remodeling, etc.} But with the gift of a free bed, the transition was made easy. {Thank you Bob & Rita...Chloe LOVES her new bed!}

To say the least, our world has been quite busy with all these firsts.
But then again, why wouldn't it be with four children to experience firsts with!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I {heart} workouts

I love to workout.
I know, I know. Some of you may think I'm kind of crazy. But I never dread a good workout. The reason I look forward to working out is because I love knowing I've enabled a healthier and stronger {and more mentally sane} me. It's not only good for me, but good for my kids, because I am much happier and much more positive when I am working out regularly. It really does relieve any of the daily stresses I experience in my busy life.

I compare it to my daily devotional. Being in God's Word daily is vital as a Christian trying to mature in my faith and never stop growing. Who wants to be stagnant? That's definitely not what God wants for us.

In the same way, regular workouts enable me to continue strengthening my body and keep a positive attitude about day to day life, which in turn makes for a happier mommy and wife for my kids and husband. And after all, God did give us our bodies to be treated as temples for Him. Exercising is a way we can make our temples strong!

But back to working out. Perhaps the one thing I've looked forward to doing most post pregnancy is starting regular workouts again. Coutesy of Netflix, I have started doing Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred dvd workout, thanks to my friend Shawna who highly recommended it as a workout that will kick your butt. And let me tell you, she was right! My butt has been kicked daily for the past week as I've endured these grueling workouts in my living room. After 9 months of pregnancy, my body is definitely out of shape and lacking the endurance I had built up prior to getting pregnant. But with the Shred, I know it won't be long until I'm back to where I was 9 months ago. And I'm even making Jason do it with me! So if you notice him walking with a limp or moaning in pain when you see him, the Shred is the reason why. It truly is a tough workout!

I am also excited to start a spinning class. I have never taken a spinning class before, but was asked by my cousin-in-law, Alexa, to design a logo for her new fitness business and in turn was invited to take her spinning class. I am so excited to take part in the class and know it will be a great one with Alexa as the teacher. She is knowledgeable about all things 'fitness' and keeps an intense workout going that pushes you to your limits. It's always been my philosophy that if you're going to put in a workout, then do it 100 percent to make the most difference you can with the time you put in. I know I'll get that in any class Alexa leads.

Which leads me to a great opportunity to put in a plug for Alexa's new business. It's called Vitality: Beyond Fitness. Here's the logo:

If you live in my area, then consider taking part in a spinning class. Email me if you're interested and I can get you in touch with Alexa for more information. She also has plans to add other fitness classes and nutrition counseling to the services her business provides in the near future.

And as Jillian says, no one has an excuse not to work out! So start a workout routine today! You'll be glad you did :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gabe the First Grader

{Gabe waiting for the bus to take him to first grade.}

Today we sent Gabe off to school to start first grade. It's so bittersweet. Bitter seeing him grow up so fast, sweet knowing he loves his life.

It seems like just yesterday that he was starting Kindergarten, and yet it was a whole year ago.
How does time fly by so fast? Cliche, I know. But it's so true. My oldest is a first grader!

I fought back the tears as I kissed and hugged my little boy goodbye. No surprise there. Jason waved to Gabe and said, "have a great day," and then knew he needed to comfort me a little. I guess you could say I'm a little sensitive ;)

I am so thankful that Gabe loves school as much as he does, because it would be so much harder to send him off into the world if he didn't want to go. God knew what he was doing when he gave me a social, outgoing child like Gabe.

Now I just pray for my little boy. Pray that he may stand firm in the ways of the Lord. Pray that he may be a light in a dark world. Pray that he may shine the light that is inside him, the love of Christ. Pray that he can choose to make a difference.

I see so much potential in him, and know that he can do all of these things with a little prayer. I know the Lord will use him for great things, as long as we let him.

So I will.

And I will fight that strong urge to just hold on to him tight and not let him grow up on days like today.

Instead, I will pray.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Two Weeks.

Gavin is two weeks old today!

He's doing great, eating {and growing} and sleeping like a champ, only waking a few times a night to eat and then going right back to sleep.
Gavin loves to be held & snuggled, but is also content just sitting in his bouncy seat or lying on his blanket hanging out. And he loves bath time!

I can hardly believe two weeks have gone by. To commemorate, I had a photo shoot with my little guy {big surprise, I know.} I haven't had time to sit down and edit all the photos, so today I'll just share one. But there's many more to come, I promise.

I love this little man with those big, dark blue eyes. I could snuggle him all day long!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Favorite Photos Blog Hop

A few weeks ago, I participated in my first blog hop. When I saw that this week's blog hop was again about photos, I of course was all for it!

I have so many favorite photos, but a few stick out as being just a little more special. Not necessarily because they're the best of the best, but because they have a story. They represent a memory captured in time, a moment that will never be forgotten. And after all, isn't that what photography is all about.

These first two I chose because my oldest son, Gabe, who was five at the time, took these photo. They are of me and my daughter, Chloe. We were outside and I was suppose to be taking photos of my children, when Gabe wanted to take a turn behind the lens. I couldn't believe it when I pulled up the photos on the computer and saw what awesome images he had captured. I will treasure these photos of me and my daughter always.

This next photo was a lucky shot. I love it when I'm able to catch the kids doing what they do best, having fun. This is Gabe and his brother, Cooper, having fun wrestling in the yard. I like this photo because it's spontaneous and natural, and it captures two brothers having a great time together, which is so evident on both of their faces. And I LOVE the gum sticking out of Gabe's mouth. Priceless.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Friday, August 7, 2009

Life as a Big Sis: Business as Usual

Some of you may have noticed that I really haven't posted about Chloe's life as a big sister. Actually, I really haven't posted much at all lately. Blame it on sleep depravity ;)
But today, I thought I'd share how Chloe has been doing with her new role in the family.

I had shared prior to the birth my thoughts on Chloe becoming a big sister in this post. I was inclined to think that she was either going to be very jealous, or in love with this new little baby boy.

Instead, we've had neither extreme.
In fact, you could describe her as kind of oblivious.

I keep thinking that it's going to 'sink in' with Chloe that there's a new baby in the house that just isn't going to leave, which will leave me with a little girl who doesn't like the idea of being 'replaced' as the youngest. But to date, nothing like that has happened.

Chloe talks about 'baby broder,' as she calls him. She tells me when she hears him crying and announces to the whole house every time I'm changing his diaper. And she's more than willing to help me if I ask her, completing tasks like bringing me a diaper or making sure he has his blanket. But other than a few acknowledgements of his existence here and there, Chloe really isn't all that interested in Gavin. It's pretty much been life as usual with her.

I did convince her to hold him the other day. The fact that she really hasn't expressed a desire to even hold this new little baby has really surprised me. But I got her sat down and put Gavin in her arms. After sitting there approximately 5 seconds, just long enough to give him a quick kiss and allow mom to snap a few photos, she was done and ready to get down and play.

See, doesn't she looked thrilled...

I guess you just never know how a child is going to react to a new situation until faced with the actual event. And with this event, Chloe has shown she's content to continue life as usual!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Big Brother Cooper

Cooper has really taken well to being a big brother again. He loves babies, always has. So the fact that he wants to hold Gavin all the time really isn't a surprise.

But seeing him sit there, holding his baby brother, there's really nothing else like it.

Don't get me wrong, Gabe is a wonderful big brother too and loves to hold Gavin as well.
But Cooper is just fascinated by the little things. The amazement that's present on Cooper's face as he holds his brother is something that is so heartwarming to see. I think Coop could sit holding Gavin for hours, just watching him. He loves to look at his little hands and fingers, his little feet and toes. He has noticed that babies make funny faces while they sleep and he'll sit holding Gavin and just watch his face.

And Cooper says the sweetest things. Like last night as he held Gavin, he looks at me with a big smile on his face and says, "Mom, I really think he really likes me. And he knows I'm his big brother!" I know it sounds simple, but it only takes a few simple words to melt a mother's heart.

It's really special to see such a bond between Cooper and his new little brother.
{And the fact that there's a strong resemblance between these two guys makes it all the more special.}

Here's some photos I took of their time together last night, our first night home as a family.
'Special' just doesn't even describe it!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gavin Jace Sanders

Introducing Gavin Jace Sanders!

Gavin Jace Sanders was born Friday, July 31, 2009, at 3:27 p.m., weighing 7 pounds, 6.6 ounces and measuring 19 inches long.

We're so happy to finally have him here and be able to hold and love on our littlest little boy!

More from the birth story to come, and of course more photos, but for now I'll share just a few photos from the hospital. We have one more night here and get to go home tomorrow, where I'll find more time to go in depth about our new bundle of joy!

Mom & Gavin...

Jason & Gavin...

Our first family photo. We're a family of 6 now!

The boys love their little brother, and literally can't keep their hands off him...