Bibbidi-Bobbidi-BOO! and a Happy Halloween to all of you! from Cinderella, Prince Charming, Fairy Godmother, and a pumpkin so stinking cute that he might just be magical. 😉 This is our first Halloween in our new home state and Ashton's first Halloween ever, and we've been having fun this month making them count! This past month we were able to visit two pumpkin patches (one as a family here in Oregon and then another in Utah while the kids and I made a visit to my family), paint pumpkins, make a "haunted" halloween gingerbread house, read lots of fun Halloween themed books and fit plenty of Halloween activities into our preschool activities, dressed up twice for ballet class the week of the holiday, and made it a point to try just about every seasonal autumn/pumpkin themed treat that Trader Joe's released this year to figure out what our favorites were. Emery seems to have officially reached the age where she understands more now how Halloween works and has been SO excited for it, asking almost every day if it's here yet so that she can wear her costume and go trick-or-treating!
Since Em was the one with the most enthusiasm for the holiday this year, I thought it only fair that we let her pick out the theme for our family costume. She's in a stage where she LOVES Cinderella right now, so when she told me that she wanted to dress up as the classic princess from her favorite book & movie the rest of our costumes just fell into place! I was going to have Ashton originally be "Gus-Gus" the mouse from the movie, but then found this stinking adorable pumpkin costume on sale and couldn't say no to it! Since a pumpkin is a fairly important part of the Cinderella story line, I figured we'd go along with it! Dressing your baby up as a pumpkin for his first Halloween may be cliche, but dang it's so cute!! Just look at that face!!
I honestly almost didn't do a family costume this year because aside from pictures and maybe on actual Halloween for trick-or-treating we didn't have anywhere to wear them. In dental school we'd always do a huge party with friends where everyone would dress up, so this year I was kinda bummed out thinking that we weren't going to have that same fun tradition anymore, then Kyle found out that he needed to dress up as "Woody" from Toy Story for work, and the thought of having to put together two costumes for him for the sake of him being able to fit into two separate themes left me feeling discouraged and wondering if it was worth the hassle. Once I finally decided to take the plunge though and just put together the costumes, I was SO glad that I did. We made the skirt, necklace, and headband for Em's costume while at my parent's house in Utah, and the second Em saw herself in a mirror with everything together she gasped with the sweetest, "Oh, it's PERFECT!" and then proceeded to twirl and dance around the room until I told her she had to take it off to get ready for bed. When we were all getting ready to take these pictures Kyle was being a grump (surprising since he LOVES pictures...not haha), but all grumpiness melted away the second Em saw all of us together and started bouncing around with excitement telling all of us about how Daddy was going to be her Prince Charming and Mommy was her Fairy Godmother and Ashton was going to turn into a beautiful coach! 😂 Kids really do bring so much more fun into the holidays, and I'm especially grateful this year for Em's never-ending enthusiasm to lift me up when my own is feeling down.
We'll be spending our actual Halloween night this year taking the kiddos trick-or-treating with our new friends in our new(ish) town in our new community of people that we're already coming to love and appreciate so much. We definitely miss our sweet dental school friends and traditions, but finally feel like we're starting to find our groove here in Oregon and are so happy and excited to be able to start making and enjoying new traditions with our little family of four.
Happy Halloween to all of our sweet family & friends! We love you all dearly!
weight & height: 22 pounds and 30 inches long. Almost everywhere we go people assume that you're older than you actually are, and mama is already wondering if she should've sized up more when buying your fall/winter wardrobe since you seem to be getting taller every day! eating & sleeping: A little before you hit your seven month mark we'd switched to a soy formula to try and help with tummy troubles, and a little over a month later the formula is still working well and you're a better fed baby because of it! You've become quite the early bird this past month and we've had a hard time getting you to sleep in past 6:30 in the morning. The early starts to every morning are exhausting, but one plus is that Dada has never once slept past his work alarm at 6:45 so at the very least you're helping him stay punctual. 😉 exciting firsts/milestones: You're still army crawling all over the place, and this past month have started to let us know that we need to start officially baby-proofing our house by standing up against things and climbing up a couple of stairs. The main thing you've learned how to stand up in has been your bassinet, which also means that it's been time to start moving you into your crib! things I love: You love being close to the people you love more than anything right now - mostly mommy but you also love playing with Emery and will cuddle with Daddy when he's home from work. You love playing with toys that you can hold in your hands, and have really taken to balls and the wheels on toy cars. You also LOVE bath time, and we have a hard time keeping you from trying to crawl into the bathrooms at any given time and going straight for the tub/shower. things I don't enjoy so much: Teething has given you a ROUGH go this past month, and the discomfort from that has made you pretty sensitive and random moments. You also don't like being left in a room by yourself (even with toys), and will immediately start crying and crawling to follow to wherever your people have gone off to so that you don't miss out on a single thing. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: Between you and Emery and teething, growing pains, allergies, bad dreams, and whatever else could interrupt a person's sleep, getting a solid night's rest has been a real challenge for mom and dad this past month. It's really hard to not feel burned out or discouraged with the constant sleep interruptions followed by still busy days, but we're working to take things one day at a time, and have both appreciated earlier bedtimes for everyone in the house to try and get everyone as much rest as possible until things (hopefully) settle down.
You weight & height: 21.5 pounds and 29 inches long. eating & sleeping: Typically you'll go to bed around 8PM and wake up around 7AM in the morning, a little earlier than we're used to but you're always so happy first thing in the morning that the wakeup call is still pleasant. We've officially jumped into the realm of pureed and solid food and so far you've enjoyed it! You love bits of banana for solids and apple & spinach has been your favorite puree! We're STILL trying to find a formula that doesn't upset your stomach, but recently switched to a soy-based one that (fingers crossed) seems to be working, making us wonder if we might need to watch out for some sort of milk/dairy intolerance in the near future. exciting firsts/milestones: This past month you have really started moving & grooving! You can now sit yourself up and stay there unassisted, and are constantly rolling, army-crawling, and lunging yourself across the floor to get to where you've set your mind to! Every day you've had us on our toes thinking that you're about to start full on crawling, but we haven't gotten there quite yet! things I love: You LOVE the independence that learning how to move has given you, and that along with your love for grabbing onto things with your iron-clad grasp has made you quite mischievous! You love playing with toys and books and are so curious about the little details of them. Emery is still your favorite person for playing and laughing with, and Mama is still your favorite person to cuddle up with come bedtime. things I don't enjoy so much: You do NOT under any circumstance like being left alone in a room while awake. You could be surrounded by toys and completely content with mama or Emery playing separately in the room with you, but the second people get up to leave and go somewhere else you'll go into full meltdown mode until mama comes and picks you up to go into whichever room she was originally headed. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: As much as I hate to admit that it's taken me seven whole months to get to this point, I'm learning now more than ever how important it is for me and dad to adapt how we do things to you personally instead of just trying to do whatever worked for Em at this same stage. You and Emery do get along so well, but are so different in personalities, strengths, struggles, and needs, and we've found that when we really pay attention to taking care of your needs in the way that is best for YOU, things go a lot more smoothly. From your diet, milestones, schedule, etc, you show us more every day how much you're growing into your own person, and we absolutely love you for it!
weight & height: 29 inches long and 20.4 pounds. You have had quite the growth spurt since last month and are now in the 90th percentile for weight and still at the top of the charts at 99th for height! eating & sleeping: Seeing how you've grown confirmed our suspicions of you going through a growth spurt because this past month your eating and sleeping have been all over the place! Most days you'll eat well, but lately the only place you want to sleep is either on mama's chest or in our bed, even waking up in the middle of the night wanting to cuddle in with me and dad. It's been a rough go for everyone as far as sleep goes, but mama's baby app told me that around this age you're recognizing more the relationships and distances of those around you, and it helps put things into perspective when you want to be extra close. exciting firsts/milestones: This past month you got the hang of rolling from your back to your tummy, and it's been pretty fun watching you find ways to roll and squirm around in order to get closer to things that you want (usually to mama). We took you to the beach twice this past month, and so you got to experience ocean and the sand for the first time and love them both! You're also getting better at sitting up on your own for short periods of time, although we still make sure to stay close by just in case you happen to topple over. things I love: Your favorite thing lately has been getting as much playtime and attention as possible, and Emery is hands down your favorite person to play with as long as she remembers to be gentle. You love bath time, and mama has a hard time keeping the splashing to a minimum because when you and Em are both in the bath splashing is the most fun thing that the two of you can do together! You've also really taken an interest in a few small toys and colorful books, and like being able to touch them to get a better feel for the bright colors. things I don't enjoy so much: As of right now you don't love sleeping in your own bed, and you hate feeling like you're being left out of the fun if you feel like you're too far away from anyone in the house. Teething has been a little rough for you this past month as well, but usually can be helped with extra milk and cuddles with mama. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: Sleep seems to be a pretty big topic this month, and with the lack of it mom & dad have basically tried to learn to appreciate as much of the sleep that we can whenever we can get it, even if it means working on a newborn-ish schedule again. We've also tried to be out-of-the-box thinkers when it comes to finding solutions to the sleep struggle, and have found that when we keep and optimistic mindset and continue to try new things to find what it is that will help you most, that things end up working out ok in due time.
Happy half birthday to our sweet little squish! The time is flying by SO quickly and we're working hard to soak in as many of the little moments as we can!
Whew! Since Kyle's graduation in May our lives have been running a million miles a minute, so before summer is completely gone I wanted to take a quick second and get a little life update written down, as well as share these cute family pictures we had done at the end of May before my kids grow up even more than they already have since these were taken. The photos were taken in downtown Salt Lake City by my sweet photographer friend Heidi, and as always it was so fun seeing her and getting to soak in some of her amazing talent while we were in Utah.
With how quickly summer has been going by, I've noticed that the kids have been growing just as fast and it's blowing my mind. Emery turned three at the end of June (pictures from her party here), decided she was ready to be toilet trained (and has done awesome with it since, great job Em and yay for gentle parenting/potty training!), went through another summer of swimming lessons, and still runs on about six times as much energy as the average human being. Since moving she still occasionally asks to go to her "black house" (our apartment in Louisville had a black front door) or to my parents' because Nan misses her 😂, and still asks for her bff Gus at least once a week, but is slowly starting to recognize our new space as her own and gets excited when she spots her "new house in Oregon" whenever we drive home from errands. I don't know of many three year olds that have as many houses as Em does, but I'm considering it a good thing that she has so many places that have truly felt like home to her.
Ashton is quickly approaching his half birthday, and has developed quite the adorable little personality. He loves to move and is constantly rolling, squirming around on the floor, and jumping on whatever he can. He's got two little teeth coming in and is constantly drooling and chewing on whatever he can get his hands on (or just on his hands), and is always quick to flash a flirty smile when you look his way. Ashton's favorite place to sleep is still on my chest or smack in the middle of mine and Kyle's bed, and out of all four of us Ash has been the one to take the longest to adjust to pacific time making earlier than normal morning feedings a fairly regular thing. He's obsessed with Emery, and brings so many smiles to all of us every day!
As far as the family goes, we've been having a summer of transition and suitcases, going from Louisville to Utah in May to hang out with family for a couple of months (thank heavens for my incredible parents for giving us somewhere to live for that long), then from Utah to Oregon to finally start putting some roots down in our new home state! I'd love to say that we're completely settled in and unpacked, but Kyle not starting work until the end of August has made us extremely laid back when it comes to getting things up, and our house still has yet to have any sort of decor, shelves, etc. on the walls and we're still waiting on getting quite a few furniture items bought. We got all of the basics unpacked, and since then have been soaking in the first real summer "break" Kyle has had since before dental school by exploring bits of Oregon and making/planning trips down to California to visit family and friends. Oregon is absolutely beautiful and everyone here is so nice, making us excited to settle down more and find a sense of community and friends as we're here a little longer. I am really excited for our house to start feeling more like a home, but am definitely enjoying the time that we're all having together as a family and know that the unpacking will happen in it's own slow-paced timeframe. With two high energy kiddos keeping us busy during the day, I'm considering it a win if we can get even one box done a day. 😉
This summer has been equal parts exciting and exhausting. Moving with two kids is freaking hard and it'll probably take us three years to get everything unpacked, but I feel SO lucky to have Kyle around to help get it all done. We miss our dental school friends fiercely, but are ecstatic to be done with school and to be getting on into a "regular life" routine. I'm still having to remind myself on a regular basis that this is our real life now, probably because we're still technically waiting for our "regular" to begin, but it's weird thinking that we don't have to go back to dental school and that once Kyle starts working that will be our new norm. It's still an adjustment, but we're really looking forward to all that's ahead and are learning more than ever to enjoy the little things, and all the time with each other now that we finally have it. 💛
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.