Thursday, October 5, 2017

Dear Papa









[Inspired by the movie and book The Shack.]

I know you are described as a father to the fatherless.  Will you also be a mother to the motherless?  I feel as if I have been denied the love of both.  I know I have been angry with you.  I wanted to blame someone for my loss and pain.  Being denied parents and then the daughter I wanted to know so desperately was just more than I could bear alone.  But I pushed you away again and again.  You sought me out.  Sometimes I did try to listen and to speak back to you, but the words would get all jumbled up.  I failed time and time again as my anger, sadness, and resentment kept me from seeing you.  I want to see you, walk with you, talk with you, and receive comfort from you.  I want to feel the peace of forgiveness and a clear mind.  I know you love me as I love my own children.  I want to sit and talk as father and child telling you everything in my heart.  But I am ashamed of so much in my heart.  My angry outbursts towards my precious husband and babies when I am really just angry at myself.  I feel like I have barely been treading water for years.  I am so tired of doing it alone.  I want to walk on water with you.  I want to cry all of my tears onto your shoulder and have you dry them all away.  I want to feel you loving me especially.  I know that you are good and that evil does not come from you.  I know that sin and death are not from you.  I know that you did not take Mattie from me but that she is alive and perfect and happy with you.  I want to be with you and her.  I want all of my children to know you and be with you.  You are my friend and my father! 

Love,
Your Daughter

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Grayson's 9th Month






Nine months!  I do not know how you are already nine months old!  You have been out in the world longer than you were in the womb.  These nine months have definitely gone faster than those first nine months.  I really have to get on the ball and start planning your first birthday celebration.  You are starting to move now doing the army belly crawl and will get up into a full crawl position and make some good forward motions to try to reach a toy you want.  Once you figure out how much faster you can move on your knees, nothing will stop you.  You love to grab for things you want and that has resulted in a few accidents at the dinner table when we underestimate how long your arms can reach.  Haha!  

Size:  We went to your nine month well-check on September 6th, and you weighed 18 lbs. 5 .2 oz. which is just a little more than big brother Mattox weighed.  You were 30 inches long putting you above the 90th percentile there so you are definitely a tall boy right now.  You were 1 and 3/4 inches longer than both big brothers Brody and Mattox.  You have still been wearing size 3 diapers and mostly 9 to 12 month clothes.  

Developmental Accomplishments:  You are starting to army crawling more, and you just have to figure out that you can crawl much more efficiently on your knees than your belly.   You can also stand holding onto furniture for a good little while when we stand you up.  You haven't pulled up fully by yourself yet.  You still love your big brothers and laugh and "talk" a lot now.   You mostly say "mamamama" a lot.  You grasp and bang your toys together, and you taught yourself to clap at the end of this month!  Separation anxiety and stranger anxiety has really been increasing too.  It took you a little while to warm up to Grandma when she visited us this month.  You hate being left alone in a room and will try to crawl after me.   


Sleeping:  You have been sleeping in your crib in your room, but your increased separation anxiety has meant you wake up more at night wanting to be held or rocked or to get more milk.  Daddy has trouble getting you to stay asleep when he lays you down, and you will often wake up and start screaming again.  When you do finally go down for the night, you often wet out of your diaper because you like to turn yourself onto your tummy to sleep.   

Eating:  You have still been doing well eating, and we are still chugging away at breast feeding which I am thankful for.  You still refuse to take a bottle so you get about four to five breast feedings a day.   You still really love eating solids and have really been doing well with every food you have tried.  You eat more mixed combination meals with a fruit and oatmeal or yogurt combination for breakfast, a vegetable combination for lunch, and a meat and vegetable combination for dinner.  You have now tried avocados, peas, squash, apples, pears, bananas, sweet potatoes, peaches, green beans, broccoli, white potatoes, and mangoes.   You like white potatoes mixed with a green vegetable like peas, green beans, or broccoli.  You eat a chicken puree mixed with an orange vegetable like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or carrots. You also love pieces of whole fruit like cantaloupe or watermelon in your little mesh feeder.  

Teeth:  You finally got your two top teeth for a total of four teeth with two on the bottom and two on the top. 

Nicknames:  Grayson Payson (goes with Evan Pevin, Brody Pody, Mattox Pattox), Gray Pay, Gray Gray, Baby Goo (because he is just a little gooey sweet mess)

{More pictures coming soon}

Friday, September 8, 2017

Sherry's 37th Birthday

37!  When did that happen?  Yikes!  I am definitely getting closer to that big 4-0.  As the pattern of this year has shown, we have been doing things a little more simply these days, including birthdays.  Moving a couple of times and almost doubling the size of your family in two years will definitely make you want to make life simpler.  Ha!  Also, moving far away from family and away from your favorite restaurants will make you change your routine too.  Thankfully, Daddy's family were able to come spend the Labor Day holiday weekend with us which helped make my birthday feel a little more festive.  Since we are not close to my beloved Cheesecake Factory, Daddy made me a delicious homemade chocolate cheesecake, and yes, it did rival the one I usually get from Cheesecake Factory.  It was very rich and velvety smooth with a chocolate ganache topping.  I also got several special gifts from Daddy and the boys.  Daddy let me go shopping for a new purse and even some shoes on sale at Dillard's, and he let me pick out and order a NC necklace and hat from Etsy.  I felt very loved and celebrated this year, but my boys always do a good job of that. 

Selfies with my husband wearing my new necklace. 

A very delicious birthday treat from my husband and surrounded by my little loves. 

I just love Brody's happy faces.  We blew out my candles together.  No, we did not attempt 37 candles. 

We also enjoyed cupcakes before Grandma and Aunt Naomi's family left. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Grayson's 9 Month Pictures & Family Pictures 2017

Anyone who knows me knows I love our family portraits.  With each new baby we add to our family, we love adding new family pictures with them.  In 2007, we started our collection with Evan's pictures we had taken by our wedding photographer when he was less than 3 months old and then we had additional pictures taken at about six months old by our favorite Charlotte photographer.  With Brody, we returned to the Charlotte photographer when he was over 3 months old so that we could combine the "newborn" style photos with the older smiling baby pictures.  For Mattox, we had moved to a new town, and with three children, we decided to save money by attempting to take our own family pictures.  We learned a lot from that experience.  Namely, taking pictures of three children is hard work.  I wanted the pictures to be similar in style to the classic natural light pictures we loved from our old Charlotte photographer.  I think these pictures will have lasting quality and style.  These new and fun photographers with all of their silly and cute props are so cute, but I just love the look of classic portraits.  With another move and another new baby added, we wanted to get our new family pictures taken this summer when Grayson was closer to six months old to get the shots we loved like his brothers'.  However, we could just never seem to find a good time to dedicate to the task.  Finally, I insisted that we try last weekend which ended up taking an entire morning to complete the session.  The weather and lighting here has not been very cooperative with lots of cloudy and rainy days, but we did our best to make it work.  I think we will all treasure these pictures with our sweet Grayson in the years ahead.


















The blanket picture is quite possibly my favorite shot that just happened by chance.  He just decided to hold the blanket up and I happened to snap the picture at the right time.  

Mommy adores this little guy.  Can you tell? 







I know the picture on the left is washed out so we wouldn't use that in our printed portraits, but I just love how Grayson is laughing with big brother Brody. 

Sweet big brother kisses. 

More sweet big brother kisses from Mattox. 












Love these shots of the boys together.  Grayson started it because he is always rolling over now onto his belly.  

Daddy joined the crew. 

Brody the silly clown climbed on Daddy's back. 

My sweet boys! 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Grayson's 8th Month








We have really been enjoying your first Summer although it has been pretty hot here in southern Georgia.  You have enjoyed going to the beach, playing in the pool, and even tasting your first watermelon in your little mesh feeder.  You really enjoy life and exploring the world around you, and we all enjoy you!

Size:  You won't go back to the doctor until you are 9 months old, but we can tell you are growing so well. With all you are eating, I suspect you may be close to 18 lbs. now.  You need size 3 diapers now.  You need mostly 6 to 9 month clothes for length although even your 9 month pajamas are getting too short.  You have consistently remained at the top of charts for length so we wonder if you will be the tallest of your brothers.   

Developmental Accomplishments:  You are still very happy and love to be talked to and played with. You are rolling over onto your tummy more and more and attempt to army crawl to reach toys that you want.  You could sit fully unsupported but often will get yourself onto your tummy from a sitting position to reach a toy and play.   You still aren't pulling up into a crawl position on your own yet although I have put you into position and you can hold yourself up on your hands for a few seconds and act like you want to go.  You are also getting stronger on your feet and legs to be able to stand on your own holding our hands or furniture.  I can stand you up against furniture like our upholstered ottoman, and you can stand for a few seconds on your own before sitting down.  You have great neck control when sitting up.  Your fine motor skills are definitely improving more and more as you learn new ways to play with your toys.  You love pushing buttons, playing with blocks, and still love banging your toys together and making lots of noises.  You also love music and toys that make noise and sounds.  You make circles all around your exersaucer and enjoy playing with all the toys on it.  You still hate being left alone and will let Mommy know if she is gone too long.  Evan has been a big help this month entertaining you when I am busy.  
 
Sleeping:  You are still sleeping pretty good at night although you do wake us up some at night because you are hungry and want to eat more or just because you want to be held.  You usually go to bed by 9:30 or 10:00 (sometimes earlier) but often wake up around 6:00 to eat.   You have been giving Daddy a little trouble when he tries to lay you in your crib at night because you want to be touching us now.  You like to wake up at night to be held and rocked, but when you fall asleep and daddy tries to lay you down, you immediately wake up screaming.  Mommy thinks it is a little funny because you just want your daddy time since he is gone so much of the day.  

Eating:  You are doing great with eating and are still primarily breast fed.  You still refuse to take a bottle, but I don't mind as long as you are getting plenty to eat.  You are now solidly on a 3 meals a day routine with breakfast, lunch and dinner and four to five breastfeedings.  You have eaten avocado, bananas, sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, pears, apples, brown rice and oatmeal cereal, peaches, white potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and plain yogurt.  Carrots have probably been your least favorite.  You can eat thicker purees now.  You usually eat a fruit combination for breakfast, a green vegetable combination for lunch, and an orange vegetable for dinner.   You now eat two baby bullet servings or 4 ice cube servings at each meal.  I mix some combinations together for you like fruit and yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast and white potatoes and a green vegetable like peas, green beans, or broccoli.  You still act like you are hungry at night so we are going to try adding some chicken next month so you are getting more protein.    


Teeth:  Two bottom teeth

Nicknames:  Grayson Payson (goes with Evan Pevin, Brody Pody, Mattox Pattox), Gray Pay, Gray Gray, Baby Goo (because he is just a little gooey sweet mess)

{More pictures coming soon}

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