One Year!


Sweet Ella,
        In just a few short minutes you'll have been here for an entire year! You have taught us so many things during your short 37 weeks in my belly and 12 months in our home. I've never felt such an immediate love and overwhelming feeling for a person until you came along. Mommy and Daddy were so scared and so worried when we found out we would be having another baby. We tracked every single day you were in my belly, and we were so thankful for every milestone we hit with you. We wanted nothing but the best outcome, and were so relieved after you were here and you had been laying on me for a few hours. You were an answer to our prayers and an absolute miracle in more ways than one.
     You are so loving. You would let us hold you all day. I think this is why you can't walk yet, and you don't seem to be interested in it either. When I am at the gym working out, more than half of the time someone is holding you. You will snuggle in anyone's arms. And everyone loves to hold you too! You have loved to let me hold you and smoosh your face against mine. You still do it some, and I love it. You slept swaddled at night until around 7 months old. We wrapped you tight, stuck that paci in, and you'd tuck your face into my arms and fall asleep as I swayed back and forth. Then you always wanted to hold on tight to our arm as we rocked you to sleep. I hope that you will always find this comfort in us. It is an indescribable feeling to know that I can provide this for you. You finally have just let me hold you upright like a big girl before bed. You like me to rock you now while you lay your face on me and wrap your tiny arms around me the best that you can. You are amazing.
    You have taught Landon how to be more protective. He is so proud of you! His face lit up the first time he saw you in the hospital, and it still does EVERY time he sees you! Lucy has grown so much since you have been with us. She loves to rock, hold, and kiss her babies like I do you. She loves you so much. I love that you have made her a big sister. She tries to sing her song to you any time she hears you cry, and she will do whatever she can to calm you down. I love to watch her love you.
    I can't wait to see you grow! You are such a happy and laid back baby, but yet you cry more than your siblings EVER did. We don't have that one quite figured out yet. You have brought us such joy, but you have brought me many more sleepless nights as well. You are just so sweet that all the crying and staying awake don't even matter.
     You have taught me so many things about life. You have taught me that I can feed, bathe,(nurse 1), and put 3 kids to sleep by myself multiple days a week and not go completely crazy. You have taught me a little bit of patience. You have taught me how nothing is in our timing or our plans.You have taught me how to let some things go, and I hope to keep getting better at things for you.
     I love your big blue eyes. I love that dimple on your left cheek, it was the first thing I noticed about you in the operating room. I love how dark your hair was when you were born, but is still getting lighter by the day. I love your frown. When you get very upset, you slowly start to frown with your tiny little mouth until it turns into a scream. I love how when you are so upset and crying, I can pick you up and you feel so safe and loved that you immediately stop.  I love how excited you get about so many things. You are absolutely adorable.You really saw snow today for the first time--on your birthday-- and your eyes were amazing! You are amazing.
    I could write you a book about how much I love you, but you have two older siblings who seem to always need me too. I have tried to divide my love between the three of you. I wish I could have spent more time with just you this year, but you were perfectly happy in your swing or bouncy seat or jumper when I needed to deal with your brother and sister. I pray that I have given you everything you have needed this past year. We love you so much! Please stay little and sweet forever!



Halloween photos

It is almost a month later, and I am just getting around to posting Halloween photos! After quite a few weeks of interrupted sleep by the 11 month old, she is finally back to sleeping about 11 hours at night, a morning nap, and a great afternoon nap! I can breathe again! I can sit down in the morning while the kids play, CLEAN--it was getting BAD, fold laundry, and sit down at the computer--it's been a while! 
My friend had sent me a picture last year of a cute costume for Lucy.
$130 seemed QUITE a bit too much to spend on a costume! I ordered some 6" wide crochet headbands( about $.70 each), in black and red, and bought about $6-$7 worth or tulle. I still don't buy on the roll if I'm trying to save money. I get it cut from the bolt, measure, & cut my own strips. I also bought a piece of gold and red glitter fabric/paper. I'm not sure exactly what it is.( It has washing instructions on it, and it is thicker than paper.) I hadn't made a tutu on a headband before, so I had to look up some instructions. I found a few youtube videos and some other instructional tutorials.
I decided that I was just going to make her costume short, although the long dress was part of what I loved most. I also decided that Ella needed to be Alice in Wonderland. I ordered blue and white headbands with the others, and picked up just a little tulle for her little self. We already had a black headband and black bow to complete her outfit.

It took me a few minutes to decide just to sew the 2 crochet headbands together to get the red&black seem up the middles. I had thought about cutting them in half and then sewing, but then decided the thickness would help the fact that they are see through when stretched. And I was sure it would just all unravel once I made the first cut.
You don't have to turn the headbands inside out, just lay on top of each other. The red one had a little spot that was torn, so that became my 'inside' (outside while sewing) of the red. 

Flip right side out.
We have a small garbage can that was perfect to slide this over to work on the tulle.I like to usually use 2 pieces of tulle on each loop, but was planning on doing 3 layers. I only grabbed 1 strip for each loop this time. The seam also doesn't matter--crooked or not-- because you can situate once it is on your princess.
Before you make your loops, make sure you are NOT looping into the bottom thin row (elastic) on the headband.
It will scrunch up so you can't see it once you start looping, but it might break if you loop on them.

The loops are the same as you would do for an elastic or ribbon tutu.
I did 3 rows all the way around. This picture shows a gap where the gold is. I ran out and Luke had to bring me another half a yard on the way home from work. The gold paper/fabric on top is for her crown.
After all the rows were complete, I cut some hearts out of the red glitter paper/fabric & hot glued onto the tutu.
I found some Halloween black and white striped tights for Lucy to wear underneath. They were actually girls Small. They pulled all the way up to her chest, and made a perfect extra layer underneath the crochet headband! 

Lucy loves her 'mingo' I got her on the way home from Florida in the spring. 
The Queen of Hearts & Alice in Wonderland

Lucy with her friend at their Glam-O-Ween Party.

Tooth Fairy Mommy. Luke was a tooth. I found one I wanted to make, and then skimped on the details & it was not the most impressive thing ;)

I'll have to add more photos later from the other Halloween events. Some virus doesn't understand that my baby's birthday party is this weekend, and won't leave her alone. We're past the runny nose part and have moved onto gagging on drainage and throwing it up....4 times since last night. There wasn't much sleep last night, even though she was upright in the swing. She's got a cough that won't let her stop =(  She needs to feel better soon! Off to snuggle with her.....