Saturday, April 23, 2016


I'm still playing catch up with Everly's monthly posts.  Typically, the day before she turns one month older I scramble for the camera, put a sticker on her and pat myself on the back that at least I captured her in the rocking chair, with her kangaroo, while she was legitimately in that age category.  While she was 6 months old, I scribbled notes here and there about what she had been doing during months 4 and 5, certain that I would get caught up.  But....then the 8th of the month rolled around again and surprise, surprise I still hadn't posted them.

I think about these posts all the time, but never make them a top priority.  When you're in it, you think you'll never be able to forget how her hot milk breath smells against your cheek as she falls asleep, but then suddenly you lose track of the time and other precious memories start clouding the previous ones that had been front and center. (By the way, they need to make a scratch 'n sniff sticker with that scent--baby milk breath (TM)--moms would go nutso for it.  Yep, I just trademarked it so don't get any ideas:)

So it's time to get stuff done.  And today's the day!  After a bunch of flip flopping, I've decided to combine months 4, 5, and 6 into one post.  One long, but manageable post so that once it's done I'll be able to stop fretting about my lack of record keeping and can get back to giving Everly zerbert kisses that make her squeal in delight.


Poor Everly.  We have been those parents who equate cutting our baby's fingernails with some terribly difficult and potentially traumatizing act.  Her fingers are SO tiny, though!  How are we supposed to trim them when nurses don't even want to take it on?  So we let them grow and grow...and grow.  We shouldn't have been surprised when they turned into little talons, only getting sharper every time she dug her nails into our skin, secured her grip, and clawed us.  Every night after nursing her, my chest would look I had gotten in a skirmish with a cat, except that skirmish was really just Everly exploring her world through her claws, oh I'm sorry, I mean hands:)  She even drew blood when she scratched my mom and dad's hands.  I'm not proud of it, but it did provide us the wake up call to trim her nails.  We ended up clipping one of her little fingers, but she didn't seem to notice.  It was more of an emotional drain on us.  If anyone has a better way to clip baby nails, I'm all ears.

After her 4 month check up, the doctor said we could start her on solids.  I over analyzed this whole process.  We had just figured out a smooth routine for her milk intake and now things had to change again.  After a lot of questions and help from friends (thanks Devon!!), we took the plunge....and then quickly retreated.  We started with the standard rice cereal.  A very very thin consistency the first night, which went ok.  But then we made it thicker the next day and that's when everything went downhill.  Our normally awesome sleeper would just start screaming when we put her in her crib.  We decided to switch to sweet potatoes the next day, which went a little better.  But then came the green beans.  Whoo!  I realized it was a terrible idea when I laid her down that night.  Poor little thing had an awful tummy ache.  So we decided to stop the solids for a few more weeks.  It just didn't feel right when she got so upset at night, and I viewed it as her little system needing a bit more time to develop.  (We did start solids up again when she was closer to 6 months old and now she can't get enough of everything!)

4 month old Everly started rolling from her tummy to her back!  That's how much she hates tummy time and now has a way of showing us that she's in control:)

Everly started sweating to the oldies and is jumping in her little swing.  At first, she just kind of pushed herself around on her tippy toes, but she's starting to get some air now.

Whoever said babies have it easy apparently didn't think about how hard they have to work to get their milk.  I love how rosy Everly's cheeks get after she nurses.  My sweet rosy-cheeked little girl.

I love Everly's expressions in these photos.  As I'm doing my most ridiculous faces to get her to smile, she's just not having it.  Instead of crying, she just stared me down with this smirk that implied, "Really Mom?  You're making that face again?  Have a little dignity."  What she doesn't yet realize, though, is that I will never ever stop trying to make her smile, no matter how cuckoo I seem.

Spring came a little early to our neck of the woods, and we took advantage of it.  Lots of evening walks around the neighborhood and a few fun firsts, such as...her first time in a park swing and her first time at a bar.  Now before you gasp and quote the line from Sweet Home Alabama ("you brought a a bar?"), it's important to realize that this was more of an outdoor beer garden with TONS of other kids running around.  It apparently is the place for parents to bring their little ones when they want to prove to themselves that they're still hip.  It's also right along a bike trail that would be fun to explore this summer.

The best part about this age is how much she giggles!  All you have to do is start chuckling and that will set her off.  She's such a happy girl!


A LOT happened this month.  It seemed like one day I was worried about her not hitting certain milestones yet and then the next day she just started sitting up and rolling from her back to her tummy like it was no big deal.  It was a great lesson for me to take a chill pill and not worry about what the books say since she'll figure things out on her own time.

For her 6 month birthday, I wanted pictures of her on the actual day.  So I rushed home over my lunch break and started ranting to Wade how we need to take pictures of her RIGHT THIS MINUTE.  He protested a bit at first, but soon realized how strongly I felt and snapped these adorably sweet photos in about 10 minutes.  I love how they capture her at this stage.
Everly took her first road trip in March to surprise my sister for her birthday!  She slept the first hour, and my mom made a comment about how it was going to be such an easy drive.  Literally a minute after she said this, Everly woke up, screamed, and continued crying the majority of the way to Chicago.  Not exactly the relaxing trip we were hoping for.  But on the whole the trip was awesome and Everly had the best time hanging out with her cousins.  I've got a whole slew of pictures that will make their way into their own post eventually.

On our trip, Everly had her first dip in the pool.  She appeared a bit ambivalent about it and didn't convey much expression.  At least she didn't hate it.  I bet the next time we take her, she'll love it even more.

Like I mentioned above, Everly is now sitting up all by herself and loves playing with her toys on the floor.  We have hardwoods throughout the house, so got a rug for the sunroom that is quickly becoming her domain.  She's loving her new view.

She's also rolling over from her back to her tummy.  It seemed like she figured it out overnight.  She still cried when she got to her tummy (she still hates tummy time at this point) since she didn't realize she holds all the power now and can flip over any time she wants.

Everly is becoming even more aware of her surroundings.  When we eat dinner, we put her in her little jumper (which she can't get enough of).  She watches our mouths so closely and sometimes even opens and closes her mouth like she's chewing, too.  We've gotten into a routine for feeding her solids now and have been increasing the amount she gets every week.  Right now, she's eating a fruit or vegetable around lunch time (1/2 an avocado, sweet potatoes, bananas, etc.) and then some oatmeal or whole grain cereal at night.  She's really getting into her meals and makes this cute grunting noise if we aren't feeding her fast enough.

She's gotten even more ticklish as the weeks go on.  She giggles when I tickle under her arms and her chubby thighs, but really gets going when I kiss her all over her tummy.  She loves it!

She's been doing pretty well playing independently for short amounts of time.  The other week I plopped her down in front of her toys, put on a record, and sat down at my desk to craft.  That was a solid 10 minutes of sheer enjoyment--getting to craft some items for my shop while watching my sweet babe play with her toy moose.  In my mind, it doesn't get much better than that.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


“This picture is missing something,” is what I often think after taking a picture.  In fact, I feel that the majority of photographs don’t truly capture the magic of a moment.  More often than not, I find myself reaching for my camera to commemorate something only to be dismayed when I check out the screen.

The resulting photo is cute and has done an admirable job, but it never seems to quite stack up against its real life counterpart.  I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how our eyes are way more amazing than any camera will ever be. 

Once someone knows their picture is being taken, the moment has already passed.  But sometimes you’re just sneaky enough and able to pull the curtain back a little without anyone being the wiser. 

And you’re able to capture the life of a moment.

On a cold and wintry evening a few months back after just returning to work from maternity leave, I walked into the house and stamped my feet on the rug.  The warmth enveloped me, and all I wanted to do was take off my parka and cuddle my 3 month old.  I was worried she had already forgotten about me during the day, so I scooped her up and tried to coax a smile out of her sleepy eyes.  

I eased into the rocker and after nursing her, she fell into a deep newborn sleep on me.  As she slept, I thought how I wanted to hold on to this moment, because it reminded me that she still knew me, still depended on me, still missed me.  Even though she was getting bigger, and I was away from her more, we still felt most at peace around each other.

I didn't even realize Wade was paying much attention to all this until I saw the pictures later.  His answer was simple, "you both looked so content and the light was hitting you just right."

A few days later I quietly got out my phone and snapped this special time between Wade and Everly.  He had been so thoughtful to capture a raw and unedited moment between us that I wanted the same for him.  These are still some of my favorite pictures of  them.

We take so many photos where I’m yelling at Everly to “look over here” or “smile”, but there are few photos in which we're completely unaware and just in the moment.

Taking the time to recognize one of these moments is happening and grabbing the camera to document it is the best present he could have given me.  He made my memory tangible.

So if you’re looking for that perfect gift for someone, capture the life of one of their moments, without them asking, without them knowing.  Just be sneaky about itJ