Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Coughs and Croup and Congestion, Oh My!

Once again, my kids are sick :( It's getting so old to have my kiddos sick. For what feels like the past several MONTHS, we'll have a few days where everyone is well and then someone will catch the next cold and start the whole cycle over again. That's really all it's been- just colds. But when my kids get colds, they get coughs. And they cough and cough and cough.... and no one sleeps. The other night from about 11 to midnight, David and I were literally passing each other in the halls as we went from one whimpering/coughing/crying child's room to the next. It would have been amusing if we weren't so in need of some sleep. Jude ended up with croup that night. David and I realized that if we were going to get ANY sleep, we'd have to divide and conquer. He ended up taking Jude and Francie downstairs to sleep. Francie was congested, so we knew she'd sleep better if she was slightly inclined in her swing. I was in charge of Aubrey and Alaina. Aubrey wasn't sick, so I knew she'd be no problem, but Alaina had been waking up fussing about every 5-10 minutes for the past hour. I figured I'd have a rough night with her. It turns out that I got the good end of the deal because I gave Alaina Tylenol and she never woke up again that night. Well, except once when she apparently bumped her head on her headboard?? It's a good thing I was able to get some sleep that night because last night with Francie was a doozy. I don't think she slept more than a one hour stretch all night. Whew, it was rough!

We've had some "winter weather" this week too. It's been rainy and cold and a bit icy. So, that means lots of time inside with these sickies :( I'm currently dreaming of warm days, summer nights, grilling out, dinner on the deck, evening walks.... it can't get here fast enough for me! I know that every time I update the blog recently, it seems like I'm whining about sleep... or lack thereof. But that's just kind of where we are right now. Maybe one day at least half of our kids will sleep through the night and I can move on to talking about more interesting things. Haha!

We did a lot of work on Francie's room over the weekend, and I'm liking the way it's coming together! I wasn't sure how I was going to like it. I decided to go the practical route and use Aubrey's old crib bedding instead of making new bedding. The bedding we already had is in great condition, so it was silly not to use it. It's not what I would pick if I was buying bedding today, but I do think this nursery is turning into a sweet little room for our sweet little Francie. :) Sadly, when we got ready to hang the curtains that coordinate with the bedding, they were too short for our window. Apparently the windows at our old house were a LOT lower than the windows in our current house. Quality curtains are SO stinkin' expensive! I put two panels in my cart at Pottery Barn several times but just could never pull the trigger. I scoured eBay for days and I finally bought two panels today that are originally from Pottery Barn. At a fraction of the Pottery Barn price, though. I hope they look ok with the bedding! As soon as they come in and we get them hung (we need some major light control!), Francie will FINALLY start sleeping in her own room!

In other news, Alaina turns three in a week and a half!! And I haven't planned a thing! I decided that we're just going to have our families over for dinner, though, so that shouldn't require too much planning. She's been saying for about a year that she wants a Minnie Mouse birthday party. Which is SO RANDOM because I wouldn't even say that she's into Minnie Mouse. But if the birthday girl wants Minnie Mouse, Minnie Mouse she shall have :) So yeah, I think we'll get some balloons and a few Minnie Mouse decorations and have our families over, and she'll be happy as can be! But I can't believe that she's about to turn THREE!

Well, that's pretty much our life in a nutshell lately: no sleep, coughing kids, house projects, and birthday party (not) planning! ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Our plan all along for when we had a fourth baby was to move Alaina into Aubrey's room and to give the baby Alaina's old room. When Francie was born and and ended up being a girl, David and I talked about our room situation and decided that it made more sense to move the big girls into Jude's room and move Jude into Aubrey's old room. I know this is probably hard to follow, but Jude's room was definitely the biggest of all of our bedrooms. It's actually a bonus room that we use as a bedroom, and it's pretty huge. When we first moved into our house, we put Jude in that room because he had two twin beds, and Aubrey had a full size bed and there was really no good wall for a full sized bed in that room even though it was the big room. All along, I kind of expected our fourth baby to be a boy, so I figured it would make sense for for Jude to have the big room since he'd probably be sharing it with a brother one day. Well, when sweet Francie came along, David and I were talking about getting rid of Aubrey's full sized bed and buying two new twin beds and twin mattresses for Aubrey and Alaina, and it just hit me: we have two twin beds and mattresses already- why buy more? So, at that point, we decided to just do a major room switcheroo and move everyone around. Haha! We painted the two twin beds, the full bed, Jude's old room, Aubrey's old room, the crib, and now we're working on painting the nursery. Whew! It has been a LOT of work, but it really makes sense for the biggest room to belong to the two kids who are sharing. And if for some reason we ever need to use the nursery for something else, Francie can easily move in with Aubrey and Alaina. There's plenty of room :)

Ok, now that I've explained all of that, let me get to the point of this post. A couple of weeks ago, we had finally finished the painting and were ready to move the big girls into their new room! It was going to be a BIG transition for Alaina because not only was she going to be in a new room and sharing her room for the first time, but she was also going to be moving out of her crib into a big girl bed. Since we figured that the sleep situation would probably be bad at our house for a little while anyway, David and I decided that this would also be a great time to ditch Alaina's pacifier. (It was actually WAYYY past time to get rid of the night time paci because she was only getting more attached to it the older she got, but we've had so many big changes in our lives the past several months that we just kept putting it off.) Anyway, we decided to just rip the bandaid off and go for it all at once.

Alaina had still been taking a good nap everyday, but she had gotten to where she took FOREVER to fall asleep at night. So I was kind of hoping that she might drop her nap when we moved her out of her crib and just start going to sleep earlier at night. I still wanted her to have some quiet down time in her room every afternoon even if she didn't nap, and we knew that time wouldn't be very restful if Aubrey and Alaina were in the room together, so Aubrey now has her rest time in the playroom and Alaina has hers in their bedroom. We put Alaina in her new room for the first time one Sunday afternoon for rest time. It actually went well. I was STUNNED that she never even mentioned her pacifier! I don't know if you can fully understand what a miracle that is because this is a child who was OBSESSED with her paci. So that actually gave us a lot of hope for how that night might go....

So night time rolled around.... we put the girls to bed and, as expected, there was a lot of giggling and talking and getting out of bed. David and I had decided that we were just going to let them work it out and go to sleep on their own as opposed to going in their room a million times and trying to force them to go to sleep more quickly. We just thought that would be the best approach for us, and we hoped that after a few nights, the newness of sharing a room would wear off and they would go to sleep more quickly. That first night they were up pretty late, and Alaina woke up several times during the night. Every time Alaina would wake up, it would wake Aubrey up too. The first night wasn't as awful as it could have been, but it wasn't a great night of sleep either. They were both up BRIGHT and EARLY the next morning, too. That pattern hasn't changed a ton since then, but it's gotten a little better.

It's now been almost three weeks since we made the transition. Alaina has only napped a handful of times since she moved out of her crib. Unfortunately, she is also still going to sleep pretty late and waking up earlier, though. The other day, I realized that she's probably getting around 5 hours less sleep in a 24 hour period than she was. This means that she's been pretty fragile and cranky during the day :-/ I will say that she's going to sleep quicker than she was those first few nights, so we're hopeful that eventually she'll start falling asleep as soon as her head hits the pillow. Goodness knows she's tired enough to do that. I'm also seriously considering getting some blackout curtains for the windows. Her old room had one window... her new room has four. So it's a LOT brighter in there in the mornings, and that's only going to get worse after the time changes next month. Poor Aubrey is being kept up later at night and awakened earlier than she'd like in the mornings, too. She's taken a few naps during rest time since she and Alaina moved in together, and Aubrey hadn't consistently napped in YEARS. Thankfully, Aubrey has learned to sleep through most night wakings that occur.

All in all, I'd say this transition has been ok. I know I'm making it sound awful, and there HAVE been some really hard nights. But I expected it to be terrible, especially when we decided to ditch the paci too. So I've been pleasantly surprised. Now, if Alaina is still waking up several times a night and not getting enough sleep a month from now, I'll probably say the transition has been horrible. Haha! We are just still holding out hope that these sleep issues will resolve themselves in the not too distant future.

Hilarious sidenote: Aubrey has started calling Alaina her "roommate" since they moved into the same room. Hahahaha!

This is a post for another day, but around the time we moved the girls in together, Francie quit sleeping through the night :( I was SO bummed because she had been such an amazing sleeper. I'm hoping this is just a short little regression, but things seem to be getting worse instead of better. Between Alaina and Francie, David and I are up about three times each on any given night. I'm SOOO thankful that David helps me out with our kids at night. I wouldn't be functioning otherwise. We are planning to move Francie to her own room (from our bathroom) this weekend, so I'm hoping that we can really focus on developing good, consistent sleep habits then.

I really want to share pictures of our kids' rooms soon! There is still a lot that needs to be done in each of them. All of the big stuff is done, but we're still working on finishing touches like art and accessories. I always want to wait to post pictures until I have a true "AFTER" to reveal, but who knows when that'll happen, so I probably ought to just go ahead and share the "IN PROGRESS" shots ;) I'll need to actually TAKE some pictures before I can do that, though. Ha!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Weekly Highlights

Well, it's been quite a while since I've done any kind of week in review or weekly highlights post. That's partly because I just don't really have the time to consistently write these posts anymore, and partly because our life is pretty low-key right now, and our weeks (and days) are very repetitive. But I do still want to do little recaps from time to time to to document what life is like in each season. Last week was "winter break" at Aubrey and Jude's school, so our week was a little different than usual. We still had homeschool assignments to get done, but they didn't go to school two days like normal. I've also gotten really lazy lately about transferring pictures to the computer. I know it's been ages since I've posted any pictures. I'm going to try to do better about that.... next post ;)

We went to church and Sunday school on Sunday. We ate lunch at home, and then we put Alaina down for a nap for the first time in her new big girl bed. It was also a new room. AND we got rid of her paci (finally!). So, lots of changes. I'm going to blog about that process soon. We went back to church that night.... we've started putting Francie in the nursery recently! She does great in the nursery, and it's nice to be able to sit through church again. We ate dinner at Jason's Deli.

Monday ended up being a busy day! When I got up, I fixed the kids breakfast, showered, got ready, made all the beds, straightened the house, and got the kids dressed. By the time I do that everyday, the morning is gone. Then my friend Gray came over for a visit. She brought Newk's for lunch, and we had fun catching up. She was getting married that weekend, so I was glad that I got to see her before she moves out of state :) After she left, I put the kids down for rest time and tried (unsuccessfully) to get Francie to take a nap. David came home early that afternoon so that I could take Francie to the doctor for her 4 month checkup without having to take the other kids. Francie's checkup went really well! We stopped by Kroger on the way home, and then David left as soon as I walked in the door to go teach karate. I cooked dinner, and we ate when he got home. The rest of the evening consisted of getting everyone to bed :)

Tuesday was fun! David and I had been wanting to go on a date, and when we looked at the calendar, we saw that it was going to have to happen on a week day if we wanted to do it anytime soon (and avoid Valentine's Day crowds). So, we planned to go that afternoon. My mom was keeping the kids, and her one request was that we be home before bedtime. Haha! Originally, David and I were going to see Unbroken, but it was only playing at night, so that was out. We ended up just getting coffee (well, I did... David isn't a coffee drinker) and then walking around an outdoor mall for a while and doing a little shopping. David's dream date.... ;) No, we just enjoyed being together without the kids for a while :) We got dinner at Amerigo, which was great as always. We got home just in time to put the kids to bed. They had fun while we were gone.

We finally had a normal, low-key day on Wednesday.We had some catching up to do for school, so we worked on that for a while that morning. Francie took her morning nap in her bed in her room, which was nice. That afternoon, the kids napped and I got ready for church that night. We went to church and had pizza for dinner. I taught the 4 and 5 year olds which ended up just being Aubrey and Jude that night. Haha! David had a discipleship group that night, so I had to take the kids home and get them to bed by myself. That's not the easiest, but I got it done.... Alaina was still going strong when David got home. :-/ She passed out shortly thereafter, thankfully.

We did more school on Thursday morning, and I got some cleaning done around the house afterwards. The kids had rest time that afternoon, and when they got up, I got everyone ready because we were going to dinner for my brother's birthday. David got home in time to help me load the kids up, and then we met my family and my grandparents at Roosters. We had a lot of fun! We got the kids right to bed when we got home.

During the wee hours of the morning on Friday, Aubrey got croup. so it was a long night. I was glad for another uneventful day. It was more of the same... see what I mean about our days getting repetitive? We did our school assignments that morning, and then we just hung out at home. The kids watched a movie and played. I got ready that afternoon because I was going to church for Gray's rehearsal since I'm the wedding coordinator's assistant. The rehearsal was long.... it just took a little while to get everyone lined up in a way that looked right, but we finally figured it out :) When I got home, David had ordered pizza and they had already eaten. I ate and talked to David, and then we got the kids to bed. David and I were too tired to watch a movie after some rough night this week, so we went to bed early,

After we got up and got everyone ready, we went to breakfast at Primos on Saturday morning. It was fun to get out together! We went in two cars because I had to go by the church and unlock the door for the florist. So Aubrey and I left breakfast and went and did that, and then we went to Joann's to get some fabric for our kitchen chair cushions. It was PAST time to recover them. Haha! When we got home, I made a grocery list, and then I went to Whole Foods. David recovered my chairs while I was at the grocery store and the kids were napping :) I got ready for the wedding when I got home, and then I left. I had to be there early to help, and everything went really well! The wedding was beautiful! After it was over, my friend who is the wedding coordinator and I had to make sure everything was cleaned up and then wait for the florist to take the decorations down. We were finally able to leave to go to the reception and I rode with her and her husband. The reception was fun but super crowded! They had a great band. I got food and mingled a little bit, and then I was ready to get home. David had stayed home with the kids, and wedding receptions aren't nearly as much fun without him there... I like to have someone to latch onto in big crowds like that or I feel weird. David is a wall flower too, but at least we can be wall flowers together. Haha! Anyway, I ended up getting a ride back to church (and my car) with some other friends who were leaving. When I got home, the kids were in bed, and I told David all about the wedding and then we went to bed :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Four Months of Francie!

Dear Francie,

You are four months old today, sweet girl! The past month has flown by, and it's been a great one with you :) You continue to be such a happy, easy going baby. You're pure sweetness, and you've brought so much joy into our family.

We had your four month checkup this week, and you're doing great! You weigh 12 pounds, 8 ounces, and you're 24 inches long. That's only the 16th percentile for weight and the 21st percentile for length, but you've moved up on the growth chart since your last checkup and your doctor said you're very symmetrical :) You are growing and thriving, and we're so proud of you! You wear a 3 month or 6 month in clothes and a size 2 diaper.

You continue to take your bottles like a champ. You eat 6 ounces 5 times a day. Your little schedule seems to be on the verge of changing a bit, so we're working on getting it figured out. For one thing, we're trying to move away from swing naps since you now have your very own room (Alaina moved out of the nursery a few days ago, so it's all yours now). You've done well with napping in the crib, but your naps seem to be a lot shorter than they were in the swing. I have started putting you in bed awake for your naps the past few days, and you've done great with that! Right now, you take two to three naps a day, and you sleep through the night. So, no complaints on the sleep front. Let's keep that up! No four month sleep regression, please! ;)

You've started smiling more consistently, and it's been so fun to try to make you smile. Up until just the past few days, you did smile but your smiles were pretty rare. Now you smile a lot, and we all love it! Your head control is getting better too! You're still a little wobbly, but you're getting steadier and steadier. We started physical therapy recently! The first time, we just met the nice lady who will be coming to our house for your PT and she did an evaluation. We're going to really get started next time, and you'll be having physical therapy every other week for now. I'm excited to get started and to learn how to help you work those little muscles! :)

You love taking baths, your swing, and being on the floor. You LOVE people the most, though. You're a very social baby! If we put you on the floor on your play mat and leave the room, you usually start fussing after a few minutes. As soon as we come back and talk to you, though, you smile and are so content to just visit with us :) You're a perfect fourth baby because that means you almost always have someone in your face talking to you, and you thrive on the interaction and attention.

We all love you so much, Francie! Your siblings can't get enough of you. The other day, Aubrey said you were her "dream baby." She also told me that you were even cuter than she imagined you would be before you were born. We just cannot imagine our family without you now! Of all the babies that God could have given us, we're so glad that He gave us YOU! We can't wait to keep watching you grow! We are and will always be your biggest fans!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Come on, summer!

Well, this week has been a doozy. Late last week, Aubrey and Jude started running fever and had runny noses. I was worried that they had the flu, so we went to the doctor but the flu test was negative. The doctor said that it could be a false negative since we tested early, but they probably just had bad colds. Alaina also caught their cold, so I've had three out of four of my babies sick this week. Alaina has had an AWFUL cough, so we haven't been getting much sleep. I think that a cough is pretty much the worst (minor) sickness for a child to have. I've decided that it's even worse than throw up, and that is a HUGE statement coming from me. There's just nothing that you can really give a 2 year old for a cough and it seems to take FOREVER to fully go away and it is miserable to listen to it through the monitor all. night. long. Of course I know that she is also miserable, and I feel so bad for her. I'm hoping that we've reached the peak of the sickness and that we'll only improve from here on out.

In the midst of all of that, Francie decided to have a little sleep regression. She had given me a good stretch of nights where she slept through the night. I knew that she would probably regress at some point, and I told myself to just enjoy it while it lasted.... but is that even possible? I still got totally spoiled and basically started to expect it ;) It seems like the past several nights, if Alaina actually has had a break in the coughing and is quiet for a little while, Francie is pretty much guaranteed to wake up during that time. David and I have been tag teaming it, and we both feel a bit like walking zombies :)

And if THAT'S not enough, I started a 10 day sugar cleanses last weekend, so I've been eating a pretty restricted diet. The most noteworthy is this: NO COFFEE!! So, I'm up half the night with my babies and I can't even have any caffeine to help me through the day?! Terrible timing. Not to mention the fact that I had a caffeine withdraw headache for about 3 days the beginning of the week. So yeah, it's just been a barrel of fun over here ;)

There have been some positives this week, though. Aubrey and Jude's two day a week school was cancelled because so many kids and teachers were sick, so they didn't miss any school. Of course, the flip side to that is that I therefore had to do more school at home. But we're focusing on POSITIVES here! Also, we had some really great warm weather for a few days, so the kids were able to play outside some, which worked out well for all of us :) I was also able to get out and go on a walk one evening after David got home and I was teetering on the brink of insanity. It's amazing what a little fresh air and exercise will do for your attitude.

The BIGGEST positive (and praise!!) is that Francie has stayed well so far. That's totally just by the grace of God, because there is literally no way to keep these big kids away from her. I tried so hard, but they just love her too much to not touch her for days. We've had several rounds of sickness in our house recently, and the Lord has protected our littlest baby from the germs each and every time. I'm SO very thankful.

Of course, I'm also really thankful that David and I have managed to stay well, too. I can't imagine running on the amount of sleep we've been getting while also being sick.

I'm really hoping that the worst of the sickness is behind us now and that we'll be more normal next week. I'm hoping to have time to blog more too when I'm not spread so thin.

The bottom line is that I am completely and totally over winter and summer can't get here fast enough for me!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Life Lately

We've had the most low-key week ever. Aubrey and Jude haven't started back to school yet (we've had assignments to do at home this week), and we had a massive cold snap, so we basically haven't left our house. I got out one night to deliver a meal to some friends, and we went to Wednesday night church. And that's IT. That is so unusual for me. I really like to be on the go and typically go stir crazy if I spend more than a few days in a row in my house. Ever since we got home with Francie, we've been moving at a much slower pace. That's partly because she was fresh out of the hospital and we wanted to be really careful about exposing her to germs, and partly just because I have a LOT of kids now, and it's not easy to get out with them by myself. I've been thinking about what I'm going to be able to do with all four of the kids out of the house when I'm alone, and I'm not coming up with much ;) Maybe as Francie gets a little older, I'll start to feel more comfortable throwing them all in the car and going somewhere. But for now, I think our days of going to lunch or going to run errands solo are over. I mean, I now have TWICE as many kids as I have hands. Haha! I've been surprisingly ok with this slower pace. I think the Lord is just giving me contentment with the season that we're in right now. This week has been a little unusual with the kids not being in school, but I think when they go back it'll be perfect. That way, we'll get out of the house at least twice a week, which I think will be good for all of us. Three days at home will be a good amount, I think. We're all just still learning and adapting to being a family of six!

We ended up getting the stomach bug TWICE in TWO WEEKS. It was awful. The first round Aubrey, Alaina, and David all got sick. I felt really gross for a day, too, so I'm thinking that I had a really mild version. Then, almost exactly two weeks later, Aubrey started throwing up again. And she was SO sick. The first time we had it, everyone was sick for a short time and then felt better by the next day. Not this time, though. Poor Aubrey was sick for three days. We finally had to call the doctor and get some medicine for her so that she would stop throwing up. After she finally felt better, it took her several more days to regain her strength. Praise the LORD, she was the only one who got sick that time. That was definitely the stomach bug from H-E-L-L. I'm super thankful that Francie was spared both times! I will be so glad when we're past sick season and I'm not paranoid about germs every time we leave our house!

We've also been in the midst of a lot of projects around our house. We're basically redoing all three kid bedrooms. This is kind of confusing but see if you can follow: Aubrey and Alaina are moving into Jude's bedroom, Jude is moving into Aubrey's bedroom, and Francie is moving into Alaina's bedroom (from our bathroom which is her current "room." Ha!). Got that?! I know that sounds super convoluted, but there is actually good reason for all of the flip flopping. I'll explain more when I post pictures, otherwise it really would get confusing! It's been a lot of work, though! We are painting the walls in all three rooms, I painted a crib for Francie, I'm painting Aubrey's old bed for Jude, and I'm also painting two twin beds for Aubrey and Alaina. And those are just the "big" projects. There are lots more little ones. Whew! It's going a lot slower than I had hoped. It's really hard to get anything done in a timely manner with an infant and a sick child. I'm hoping to make a lot of progress on these rooms this weekend because I am TIRED of looking at the mess. You should see the upstairs of my house right now. It's not pretty!

So, that sums up our life lately: throwing up, projects, messes, and lots of time at home! ;)  I'm very thankful for the chaos!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Three Months of Francie!

Dear Francie,

You are three months old today! I honestly can't believe that it's only been three months since that October day when your daddy and I flew to Baltimore and then drove to the hospital where you were born. Sitting in the waiting room awaiting news of your birth felt like an eternity, but when we saw your beautiful face, time stood still. We loved you so much from that very first moment. The first three months of your life have been pretty eventful. Since the day you were born, you've had a major surgery, spent 4 weeks lying on your back in a hospital bed recovering, flown across the country to come home, celebrated your first Thanksgiving, experienced your first Christmas season and all that comes along with that, met many friends and family for the first time, and most recently celebrated your first Christmas and New Years. Whew! It's no wonder that I find it hard to believe that it's only been three months. Mommy is hoping that the next three months are boring by comparison :)

You are SUCH a sweet baby. You have the most laid back, content personality. You will go days sometimes without ever doing more than fussing when you're hungry. You are content to sit in your swing and watch all of the action, you love being held, and you also really enjoy being on your back on the floor. You are usually happy in the car, and you enjoy your baths. When you do get upset, you almost always soothe really easily. You've just recently started smiling, and I LOVE it. You are really alert and love to look at people while they talk to you. You make great eye contact and sometimes it feels like you truly understand every word I'm saying. You're a good listener :) You are holding your head up for short periods of time, especially when you're on someone's shoulder.

We are starting to get into a good routine with you. You're not on a schedule, but we have a flow and a predictability to our days now which is much appreciated by Mommy. You eat 5oz of formula at a time, and you like to eat around every 3 hours during the day, Sometimes you'll go 4 hours between feedings, but 3 is the norm. I'm hoping that we can start spacing those feedings out a little more pretty soon, but I'm not complaining too much because you're only waking up once in the night. I give you your last feeding of the day at around 8:30pm and put you to bed. You wake up to eat anywhere from about 2am to 4am. A few times you've gone even longer. Thankfully, you typically go back to sleep pretty easily after that feeding. You wake up again between 6:30 and 7:30, and Daddy takes that feeding (one of the big perks of formula!). He takes you downstairs and feeds you and changes your diaper, and then he puts you in your swing while he gets ready for work. You go back to sleep in your swing and don't wake up until your next feeding. I kind of consider that your first "nap" of the day. You have some awake time after that nap and your next feeding, and then you will take another long nap in your swing in the afternoon while your brother and sisters have their rest time. You have awake time again the late afternoon/evening and usually take a little catnap around dinnertime. I'm sure this little routine will be constantly changing, but it's working well for now!

You are definitely growing! You weigh around 12 pounds, and you wear some 3 month and some 6 month clothes. You are in a size 1 diaper for now. You are developing some adorable chubby cheeks and some little legs rolls. You are just so squishy and snuggly!

Aubrey, Jude, and Alaina absolutely LOVE you. I kind of assumed that after you had been home for a little while, the newness would wear off a bit and they wouldn't be quite as obsessed, but that sure hasn't happened yet and I don't see it happening anytime soon. It makes me so happy to see how they've accepted and welcomed you into our family with open arms. You are totally just one of us now :) Aubrey, especially, is so sweet with you. She's your little second mama. She cannot stand to hear you cry and will run across the house to give you your pacifier if she hears you fussing. She gushes over how cute you are and she wants to hold you as often as I'll let her. I think you will definitely have a built in cheering quad in your siblings, and I hope that they will always be your biggest fans!

Francie, I really can't even put into words how amazing it's been to have you join our family. I always wondered what it would feel like to have biological children and then adopt a child. I can truly say that it's been one of the most wonderful, joyful experiences of my life. I have such a complete and overwhelming love for you as my daughter. I really forget sometimes that we adopted you because when I look at you, all I see is my sweet little baby. I couldn't love you more if you had grown inside of my own body. We are so blessed to have you in our family, and we cannot wait to watch you grow and develop.

I love you,