Our family

Our family

Monday, July 21, 2014

Confessions of a second time mom

We feel incredibly fortunate to have two amazing, healthy children; they sleep consistently, are cheerful most of the time and melt our hearts always.  But I won't disillusion you, life with two little ones is challenging and we are not perfect by any means.  I've done two installments of Confessions of Kip's mom, found here and here.  So its time to be real and honest for a third time:

1.  I don't change my newborn's diaper at night.  It wakes her up and let's be honest, we all need to go back to bed at 3am.
2.  We kept our oldest in daycare.  Three days a week, its just Lucy and I. We eat, sleep and relax, we miss Kip but its beautiful to have "just us" time.  
3.  I want to hand out chocolate to all moms with 2 or more kids in their cart Target.  You are amazing and I want to be like you.
4.  Our oldest brushes his teeth only a few times each week.  No good excuses, we often forget about it.
5.  I only bathe my newborn about every 5 days. They say natural body oils are good for you, right?
7.  I let her nap on her tummy.  She sleeps so much better that way. 

8.  Not every picture is perfect.  See below.  If that face doesn't say, "I'm all done,"  I don't know what does.

9.  We're petrified to travel with two.  And we are doing it soon with full intentions of buying new ipad apps for the plane ride, Curious George fruit snacks for the car ride and cookies for the people around us.

10.  Sometimes I'd rather pump milk than breastfeed.  It's often easier, more convenient and more comfortable.
11.  We haven't taken nearly as many photos of Lucy as Kip.  But she has way cuter clothes.  
12.  Our car seat is 5 years old this year.  That means it's technically expired but it's still in working order, so we're keeping it.
13.  I enjoy a glass of wine.  Not everyday, and not a whole bottle but a couple glasses a week it hits just the spot.
14.  I take time for myself.  I read, write, scrapbook, have a cup of coffee (or two), and enjoy quiet time at least once or twice a day.
15. My oldest watches Elmo, Curious George and Dora the Explorer.  Read #14, sometimes I need a little time to be my introverted self....did I mention I'm raising an extroverted, energetic toddler?
16. The best moment of my weekend: Kip thought the cow at the farm was a horse...All week I had googled "where to find horses for toddlers to pet in Minneapolis." A check off Kip's bucket list.
17. My two year old still sleeps with pacifiers.  About 4 of them to be exact.  One in his mouth, one in each hand and one in the bed just in case it goes missing.
18.  The first month I slept each night with my newborn in my arms.  We both slept better that way.
19.  Sometimes I lay with my toddler while he's sleeping.  He's growing way too fast and sometimes I just need to feel his stillness and hold him in my arms.
20. I need God's grace.  Grace meets us where we are (dirty diapers, unbrushed teeth, greasy hair and all) but doesn't leave us the same.  God's love and favor says, "I love you, you are enough, I'm watching over you," even when we confess we aren't quite perfect.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Lucy Lillian 1 Month

Lucy Lillian
 1 Month
Weight: 10 lbs, 65th percentile
Height: 22 inches, 95th percentile
Sleeping Beauty

Oh Lucy, you are the baby everyone dreams about.  You sleep like its your job, you rarely cry and barely whimper, you eat like a champ and cuddle like your life depends on it.

Life with two little ones, dare I say, is peaceful.  Our sweet Lucy is the perfect addition to our family and has graciously given us a smooth transition into the parenthood of two children.

This is a girl after her mother's own heart.  If you know me, you know I love a good nap and an early bedtime, this little lady follows suit.  Even Mama Boo (mother of 7 and grandmother of 5) said little Lucy is the chillest baby she's seen.  Lucy follows a natural sleep, eat, wake pattern, with the wakefulness only lasting 20-30 minutes and the sleeping lasting a few hours.  She sleeps 6-7 hours at night in her crib and wakes only for a brief feeding. 

Lucy loves hanging in her baby bjorn bouncer and laying on her activity mat.  She can kick her legs and wiggle her arms contently for a good half an hour.  She is tracking movement with her eyes and grasping her baby toys.

Clothing and Diapers
0-3 month clothes and size 1 diapers

Favorite time of the day
Post nap stretching.  Melts my heart every time.

How's Mom?
Mom is doing really well, easing back into life at a slower pace than last time and savoring the precious moments of a newborn.  I don't get outside near enough and I rarely venture out in public alone with two kids but life is quiet and peaceful here at home and I can't complain one bit.  Our sleeping beauty has made sleep deprivation minimal and our nights are restful.

How's Dad?
Dad is great.  He keeps Kip busy and often its Kip who can't keep up with Dad.  From going to the park and splash pad multiple times in a day to bouncing in the bounce house, working in the yard, going for walks and running errands, Kip and Dad are constantly on the go.  
Braydon continues to excel at work and is volunteering weekly for the Police Reserves.  He is involved with our church men's ministry and always makes time for our neighbors and church friends.  Fatherhood suits him well.

What's big brother up to?
A lot.  This kid is the sweetest, good natured boy but constantly keeps us on our toes.  He adores his baby sister and is always trying to hold her, wiggle her toes and give her kisses.  He is baffled that she doesn't like his pacifiers and is convinced blankets need to cover her entire head.  He is obsessed with horses and cows, we often find him trying to ride his miniature figurines.  He loves art projects and is notorious for doing body art with markers and nail polish.  He keeps us laughing constantly.
Kip Carlson and Lucy Lillian,
You are here not be chance, but by God's choosing.
His hand formed you and made you the person you are.
He compares you to no one else, you are one of a kind.
You will lack nothing that His grace can't give you.
He has allowed you to be here at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose for this generation.

Professional Photos by the wonderful Heather Reese Photography, http://www.hreesephotography.com/

Monday, July 7, 2014

Kip's 2nd Birthday

Kip at 2 years
Sweet.  Energetic.  Animated.  Quick. Cheerful.
Weight: 29 lb, 62nd percentile
Height: 3ft 1in, 99th percentile
Head: 64th percentile
Two years ago I held this little face and wondered who my baby boy would become.  Today we have the sweetest, most energetic two year old that still burrows into my arms and stares at me with his big blue, smiling eyes.
Kip's first fourth of July, 1 week old.
During Kip's daycare conference (yes, they have those), his teacher described him, "Kip is always at the center of excitement, he draws others to him, his joy and laugh are contagious.  He is always making the other kids smile, and makes us smile too."  Kip is a light in our lives, he brings a smile everywhere he goes, adds energy when its needed and finds a way to add joy amidst any situation.

Kip's second birthday was full of parties, cakes and Curious George.  We had all his grandparents together, a bounce house full of toddlers, cookie cakes, Chipotle (his favorite and ours too), lots of generous gifts and plenty of summer sunshine and warmth.

At two years, Kip's favorite things:

Animal: Horse (cow is runner-up)
Food: Chocolate milk, hamburgers, M&M cookies
Activity: Playing with the neighborhood toddlers
Accessory: Baseball hat (he thinks its required to go outside)
Book: Anything with farm animals, music or stickers
Movie Character: Curious George (more like an obsession than a favorite)
Household chore: "Taking care" of Lucy, giving her a bottle, pacifier, blanket, toy, cell phone, etc.
Security Item: Pacifiers.  He sleeps with at least three of them each night.
Place to go: The park and swimming pool
Color: Blue
Toy: Tool set, shovel and pail
Activity with mom: Reading books, coloring, dancing to music
Activity with dad: Going to the splash pad, park and working in the yard

At 2 years Kip can say about 40 words but in his own dialect (only we can understand).  He knows his animals, colors and is learning the ABCs.  He sleeps in a big boy bed, drinks from a regular cup and is becoming interested in using the potty.  He sleeps great at night and naps once during the day.  Kip is adjusting amazingly well to his role as big brother but is still learning to be gentle with his little "ooo-cee."  He is a bundle of energy that leaves us utterly exhausted at the end of the day but is the sweetest little boy and leaves us going to bed each night with a smile on our face.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Months of anticipation, countless doctors visits, increasing pain and discomfort.  Not knowing when or how, waiting, unprepared.  High emotion, intense pain, helplessness, closely monitored, family gathered.  Culminating relief, joy and tears.  Constant caregiving, on going diaper changes, emotional roller coaster, recovery, relief.

Sounds like the process of giving birth or passing away?  Or maybe both?  Giving birth and witnessing a death are the most spiritual experiences.  Every birth and every death are imprinted in my memory, each with their own story, their own beginning and their own end.  Our God is a mastermind of order, pattern, reason and ultimately good.  The best evidence of His creativity and glory on Earth is revealed at the beginning and end of life.

To most, birth is time of joy, elation and rejoicing while death is one of sorrow, despair and hopelessness.  But birth has so much agony, pain, distress and unknown.  And death is often beautiful, quiet and peaceful.  Or sometimes it's reversed, all according to His plan.  But ultimately they mirror and reflect each other and they teach us how to live the life between the beginning and then end.  They guide us to be selfless, to be thankful, to be in prayer and to be grateful of our one and only life.

The way my daughter melts into me when she's falling asleep, her immediate comfort when she hears my voice and feels my breath--the love I feel for her surprises me and stirs me.  Yet I've seen that love before.  The way a dying wife calms her breathing and falls asleep when her husband holds her hand and whispers her name.  The way a dying daughter quiets when her father kisses her goodnight.  God showers his creation with the beautiful gifts of birth and death, he designed them to be joyous and painful for a precise reason; He yearns for our dependency yet rejoices when we discover His glory.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lucy Lillian

One week ago we joyfully welcomed our precious daughter into the world.
Lucy Lillian was born on Friday June 6th at 9:45pm, just one day shy of her due date.
She weighed 8lb 1oz and was 20.5 in long (almost the same size of her brother at birth!).
My main prayer request was a quick, complication-free delivery.  And God was so good.
My labor with Lucy was all of 5 hours and the first two hours I didn't even know I was in "true labor." The contractions were short and bearable for much of the labor and I had the all the support needed to fulfill my birth plan.  
Lucy was born very quickly and, dare I say, in a somewhat peaceful manner.  The midwife delivering was a Christian and became the perfect fit for our family.
I'll never forget being handed Lucy right away, I held her as she pinked up and started breathing on her own.  She clung to me for an hour after birth and I couldn't stop smiling.  The entire process of birth is an incredible testament to God's awesome power, magnificent creativity and attention to every detail in his creation.
Kip met Lucy the next morning and loved holding, kissing, hugging and giving pacifiers to his baby sister.  He is pretty unphased by our family's new addition.  Besides needing continual reminders to be gentle, Kip's happy go lucky spirit and energetic personality have remained untouched.
Our family and friends continue to show relentless support, love and care as our family grows.  We couldn't raise our children with the same energy and passion without the help of so many others.  From meals, visits and gifts to text messages, emails and letters, a thank you simply does not do justice.
At one week we already cannot imagine life without our little girl.  Braydon and I feel we are on vacation while watching her....she eats great, sleeps great and doesn't move....so much different than our little two year old :)
Lucy gained all her birth weight back (and then som!) in her first week, its amazing to watch her grow and we are savoring every moment we have with our precious gift from God.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

39 Weeks and Summer Reading Recommendations

This week marks 39 weeks for baby Andrews, just one more week to go!  Baby is full term, fully developed and ready to make her way into the world.  She is about 6-7 lbs, about the size of a watermelon.
This week also marks the start of my maternity leave, I feel like a little school kid on summer vacation.
The beautiful weather has a way of making positive attitudes, smiles and joyfulness no matter the situation.
The Andrews have continued to stay busy these last few weeks, but we are also feeling the let up of the school year commitments and enjoying a bit more relaxation as a family.

How am I feeling?
Excited.  I cannot wait to meet our baby and I keep wondering if "today is the day?"  I'm secretly hoping she waits for June to arrive, I'd love to have two June babies (Kip's birthday is the 27th).
I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm looking forward to not being pregnant....I'm ready to be finished with the nausea, heart burn, low iron levels, varicose veins, etc.  I got my last IV iron treatment yesterday and as if some sort of "send off" token, I ended up getting cellulitis (a skin infection) in my wrist from the IV, boo.

Best Moments?
Soaking up and cherishing the time as a family of three.  Kip is talking more, developing his own personality and constantly making us belly laugh.  
He insists on always wearing a backwards hat, is obsessed with Curious George (like beyond anything I've ever seen), loves chocolate milk and hamburgers, is jumping and running and would like nothing more than to take his tool set and shovel with him everywhere he goes.  My favorite time of the day is our prayer before dinner.  Kip gets so excited, clasps his hands, bows his head, occasionally sneaks some food and says, "AMEN!" while clapping when we are finished.

Special Moments?
In addition to our entertaining son, we've had some special moments these past few weeks.  Our beloved neighbor, Paul, passed away quickly and peacefully last week.  We have been so blessed by Paul and his wife Nancy over the past three years.  While we were heartbroken to watch him go, we are rejoicing that he is free of pain and suffering.
We celebrated my second Mother's Day by going to church and spending the afternoon with my parents.  My mom has really been my guardian angel during this pregnancy.  She has a way of showing up exactly when I need her and has showered our family with support.  From watching Kip and going baby girl shopping to preparing my favorite meals and always having an extra kombucha tea in the fridge for me, she has been there no matter what.
Braydon was busy the past few months training to become a volunteer Minnetonka Police Reserves Officer.  He attended weeks of training, meetings and went through an intense interview process before graduating two weeks ago!  I'm so proud of his hard work and passion for serving our community.  Below he stands with the Hennepin County Sheriff and two Minnetonka Police Officers at his graduation ceremony.

Summer Reading Recommendations
Lastly I want to recommend a few good books I've read recently.  If you're looking for a good summer read, I'd recommend any of these!  I love curling up in the shade, soaking up the summer warmth and getting lost in a good book.

PS Rest in Peace Maya Angelou!