Monday, September 24, 2012

Lucky Momma

I feel so lucky that I get to call these three little munchkins mine. Is being a mom easy? No. Some days are harder than others, but each day is so rewarding. 


I keep a running list of Stone quotes. You may have noticed by now that the kid is full of things to say. A lot of his sayings get posted on Facebook, and one day I plan to do something fun with all of his quotes. But sometimes, he'll say things or do things that run my patience dry, but by the time the evening rolls around, and I begin telling Cliff the things he has said or done, I'm laughing at that point, and then when he's sleeping so peacefully, I start to feel guilty for having been mad about some of them. I often have to remind myself he is FIVE. And I will miss these days. I know I truly will.

Emerson is our sensitive one. Her feelings get hurt when you just barely raise your voice to her. And she is also our very polite one. Last night, she kept coming out of her room. I told her she needed to go back in her room and stay in there. Her response? "No thank you." She stayed the night at my friend, Julie's, while we were in the hospital with Knox. She said the same thing to her when Julie said it was time to get ready for bed. At least she has manners, right? She is also very obedient when she doesn't have Stone pushing her in the other direction. 

Knox is looking like a twin brother of Stone, 5 years later. I will need to post some comparison pictures soon so you can see for yourself. I remember during the first couple of weeks of Stone and Emerson's lives, I wondered what they would look like when they were older. What they would act like. What their little personalities would bring to our family. This time around, I have a better idea of what he might look like. Knox looks just like Stone did as a 3 week old. But in the last few days, he has really started to develop his own look.

These three littles make our lives so fulfilling. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, how could people NOT want this?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More on Knox.

I just LOVE having a new born in the house again. Knox is such an easy baby. I'm not sure if he is actually the easiest of my three, or if it just seems that way after dealing with his two siblings that have been known to be a handful. 

I have often asked myself, "What did I ever think was hard about having one child?" ...like when running to the store with one baby in his car seat was a challenge? ha! These days, taking ONLY the baby in his car seat is taking a break from life.


This picture did not turn out how I intended. I was hoping for a sleeping baby. However, the sun light was vanishing, and with West Nile a little too close for comfort (confirmed cases just days before in the town 10 minutes away), having a naked new born exposed, did not seem like the thing that would win me the Mother of the Year award. So we had to do this thing quick. But I'll take what we got!



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Emerson is in love.

...in love with her baby brother!

I saw a hashtag in a Facebook status the other day that said #3kidsisalotmorethan2. I laughed out loud, because that is so true! The baby is the easy one. He does not make the whole "3 kids is a lot more than 2" statement. It's protecting him from the other two that does. They tend to smother him with a little too much love. He IS irresistable, so you can't blame the kids.

Emerson loves to hold him any chance she can get. But she only likes to hold him for a few seconds, then gives him back. But then 5 minutes later she asks to hold him again. We were a little worried that she might have some adjustment issues, but so far, she is in love and is so glad we have Knox in the family.






She also is enjoying her alone time with the toys and bikes and everything else in the house, while Stone is away at school. She misses him, and asks where he is, but she sure doesn't complain when she has any toy to herself.


I think this girl is going to grow up having a great relationship with both of her brothers. I hope they will forever remain each other's biggest fans.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Stone begins preschool!

Stone started Preschool!!

I can't believe we have a kid in school! Stone is a summer baby, and with his birthday so close to the deadline, after seeking a bunch of advice from many people who can relate (either themselves, or with their kids), and after much thought, we chose to start Kindergarten next year. Stone will now be the oldest in his grade instead of the youngest. I'm sure he will be thanking us his sophomore year when he is the first one to drive and date, and when he's a little bit bigger on his sports team than he would be otherwise. This has actually been an active conversation for 5 years now, no joke.

Anyways!

Timing couldn't have been more perfect for the start of the school year. With Knox's debut, my mom was around helping when Stone started school. That came in handy with drop off and pick up, and also with the sewing machine skills to make a nap mat cover:



So far, he is loving it.  He comes home completely tired, but happy as can be. It's also made the transition to 3 kids nice. His pre school days will be my errand days (because I am not toting 3 kids around the stores). It's also given Emerson a chance to have some one on one time with me. ....at least for a little while longer before Knox becomes mobile.

And yes, I'm one of those moms that cried. And it's only preschool. He's quite the outgoing kid, and I know I don't have much to worry about (except for him obeying the quiet time rules, that right now, include closed eyes; he is not one to sit still and enjoy the peace and quiet).

Altogether, preschool is rocking the world for each of us.

Here's to a great year!




Friday, September 14, 2012

Knox's First Photo Shoot!

The moment this sweet baby entered the world, the feeling in the hospital room changed. It was an overwhelming feeling; a feeling that moved me to tears. Just as I was thinking and feeling these things, Cliff articulated it perfectly (and was obviously filled with my same emotions and feelings). He said, "That baby has a strong spirit. You could feel it the second he came out." He nailed it. Immediately, Knox's presence, with his strong spirit in that tiny little body filled the room, and simultaneously, filled us with a deep sense of gratitude. Suddenly (well, and after 9 months of carrying the cute thing), we were responsible for one more little human being. And that responsibility excited us all over again as we cuddled the new bundle of joy.


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You'd think as a photographer, it would be so easy to shoot your newborn and bring to life all the images you have in your mind. You just wait until he's well asleep, and go to town. You're on no schedule and in no hurry. HOWEVER, when baby is well asleep, I like to take advantage of that time, and follow his lead into nap time! But I did manage to get a few while Cliff took Stone and Emerson to church when Knox was just 3 days old. I pulled out my camera for his first photo shoot while my house was filled with silence (a rarity). For the most part he cooperated, but did his business on me several times. :)
















Saturday, September 8, 2012

Knox Sterling Jessup

He's here! And he's perfect, and we are in LOVE.

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I know every baby is so perfect, but this is the real deal. He's perfection.

I've been blessed with great pregnancies, easy labors, and smooth deliveries. I'm one of those ladies that actually enjoys being pregnant. Other than a growing (and huge) mid section, I don't find much discomfort in my pregnancies (did not throw up once in all three pregnancies). With this third pregnancy, I definitely felt pregnant at the end when bending over presented challenges, and racing up my stairs winded me. But I kept teaching my fitness classes until I was 39 weeks pregnant, and enjoyed staying as active as possible.

Once again, I was induced. My mom bought her plane ticket months ago, and I kept my fingers crossed that baby would not arrive early. I started feeling tiny contractions a couple months ago. The doctor kept telling me by the time you get to your third pregnancy, that's normal, and by this pregnancy, you recognize what exactly those small contractions are. The last two weeks of my pregnancy, the contractions started to feel a little more intense (though not uncomfortable yet), and I started to think we might have an early baby for once. However, he stayed put, and kept dancing inside the womb to my Latin music for Zumba, and as our due date approached, I asked to be induced so that I could take advantage of the time my mom was here (it would be anti-clamatic for her to come, and no baby be here yet!). So my doctor kindly scheduled me the day before my due date, and Knox entered the world on Thursday, August 30 at 11:34 am, weighing 7 lbs 12 oz, and measuring 20.5 inches long. From start to finish, labor was less than 4 hours. The doctor had an 11:30 appointment, and my nurse called her, and told her she needed to come immediately. From the time the doctor walked into the room and suited up, to the time Knox took his first breath, we are talking 3 pushes and 5 minutes.

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Above: Working on Knox's first burp after eating!

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Above: Knox's first bath at the hospital!

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Stone and Emerson anxiously waited for Knox's debut. They were SO excited. We explained the game plan to them the week of, and they were stoked. A friend from church (Jenny) came over at 5am to watch our kiddos. I've heard her say before she is not an early bird, so I was SO grateful when she said she'd come help so early in the morning. Another great friend, Julie, came by to pick them up for lunch, and watched them all day. Cliff then met up with Julie's family and my kids for dinner, and then the kids came to the hospital to meet their new brother. Julie then took them back home with her family, where they spent the night. My kids have always loved Julie, and of course, they had a great time with her family.

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Above: Emerson doesn't seem too into the whole new big sister role, but she totally took a liking to it FAST.

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By our 24 hour mark, I was ready to be discharged, we got the pediatrician's approval, and we were OUT.

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 We got home, and the next morning, my mom came in.

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I have been so fortunate to have my mom help me with each new born baby. She is the BEST mom I could ever ask for! And each time she leaves, tears are shed, and then the real adjustment period begins where Cliff and I are left on our own to figure out life with another child added to the mix. My mom kept Stone and Emerson so entertained, she cleaned, made yummy treats, and the thing I'm probably most grateful for, is her help in the middle of the night every.single.night. I'd feed Knox, then my mom would take him, burp him, change him, and put him back to sleep, so that I could go right back to sleep.    Our first night home, Knox was a champ. He didn't even cry during the night. He'd just get a little wiggly, making some puppy noises, and I would feed him. I actually had to work really hard at waking him up to eat during the night. We experienced a little fussy stretch the 2nd and 3rd nights, and since then, he's been a champ, again.

We feel so incredibly blessed to have him in our lives. It's amazing how much love you have inside of you as a parent. Just when you think you've given out all the love that is possible to even consume, you realize there will never be a shortage of love, and there's enough to keep going and going. He makes my heart so happy! I forgot how much I absolutely adore this newborn stage. Third time around, you realize how precious these early moments are, and you try to hang onto every single one of them. Just in one week, he has grown, his swollen newborn features have left, and we're starting to see his own little look develop. I'm hanging onto every single moment.

We LOVE you, Knox! Thank you so much for joining our family!

...stay tuned for his first photo shoot...