Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bottling Up Baby




Well, I have a confession...

I am having a change of heart.

I always thought the newborn stage was my most favorite.  It's why I took on the job as a NICU nurse way back when I had Hailey in 2000. 

But, Logan has changed all that...

...b/c I absolutely and utterly adore this halfway-to-one-year stage.  I have been trying to pin point what about it I love the most, but honestly there are just so many things...

Right now this baby has me wrapped around his tiny little chubby tan finger and I am just so adoring every part of the world through his eyes.  I watch him on days like today...during his physical therapy...and I can almost see his little mind working.  How he studies faces and reacts to them (sometimes with smiles, sometimes with big, curious unsure eyes, sometimes with tears)...how enamored he was with the action of New York City.  How things like his own feet seem like the best and most tasty toy around :)  And how his own face and voice fascinate himself.  How a stranger can make him bury his head and play shy.  How his whole world lights up when his siblings are around (first two pictures) and how he can never cuddle enough with his mama.  How he sits so quietly and plays with his toys for hours (or screams at them if they roll away!)...and if they do get out of reach he wiggles his feet like he thinks he can run to them and get them...so much that he looks like he's running in place :)  And how he babbles to himself sometimes with nothing coming out of his mouth, but his lips are just moving a mile a minute...I just love it all...

As my last baby I just want to bottle up every day of the sweet things he does...of his sweet smells (even the sweet stinky ones!) and all his sweet sounds.  I want to freeze this moment in time.  And I know even better days are to come, but the sentimental mom in me never wants these current days to end. Yes, the days are almost always exhausting and often sleepless and quite overwhelming, but when I look at the growing 20lb miracle in front of me, sometimes for those fleeting moments the rest of the stress of the world goes away.  I think I will miss that part of life where someone needs me so much and reacts so sweetly to my presence.  I know my older kids love me too, but there is just something about the love of a baby that makes a day better and makes even the most stressful situations laughable.  Call me crazy...call me baby crazy...but I just love this part of my job.  And I really do wish I could bottle up my baby...that I could have bottled them all up at this age.  I am loving it and feeling incredibly blessed that I was dealt a 5th chance at it.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Life We're Dealt...

Do you ever feel like maybe you aren't cut out for the life you've been given...

I don't really have any deep meaning behind asking this tonight or any specific reason why I'm even thinking this, but I guess I just wonder if I'm the only one out there that sometimes (maybe even often) doubts themselves.  For me...it's the question of...am I selfless enough to be a good mom.  I don't know that I am.  I can be pretty selfish...specifically with my time.  I am finding this out more and more.  I get sorta angry on nights like tonight when it's 11:30 and I am just getting a shower and now am too tired to even have down time.  Then I feel guilty b/c I am the one that wanted this life...life with a full house...and didn't know way back when that a full house meant a full load of responsibilities.  I really don't know that I realized all that.  I am not saying I want to change my life at all...b/c I don't.  I just sometimes wonder if I am really cut out to be the mom that I'm supposed to be.  I know God doesn't make mistakes, but at the same time I wonder why He's given me what He has...and what He's trying to teach me.  I certainly know my family brings me such joy...but I also know there is more to these gifts He's given me.  I guess I have a whole half lifetime to continue to figure it out....but I still wonder often "am I good at this"....

Monday, July 29, 2013

Home Again, Home Again...

...well, I can't really say I'm doing a jiggety jig....but I can say I am happy we are once again a reunited family of 7...and our Hays is back home safe and sound (not that I was worried she wouldn't be!)...but there is something to our home being complete again.  It's nice to have us all under one roof.

I don't really have the energy to go into all the fun of our trip out east since we just got home a few hours ago, but I will say a few things...

1.  We thoroughly enjoyed the 5 states we visited over the last 8 days...yes, I did say 5...CT, RI, NY, NJ and PA....Phew, what a road trip for Kev and Logan and I (and partly for Hays too!)

2.  And, yes, that meant LOTS of hotel stays...5 different ones to be specific....yes, changing hotels that often was exhausting especially considering we had lots of stuff (baby stuff) to tote along and drag up and down elevators :)  We were grateful once Hays was with us b/c she was a good baggage handler :)

3.  Loved each state for different reason...CT--beautiful scenery and lighthouses and breathtaking water views, RI--Awesome time on Block Island even amidst the heat and a very crazy time trying to bike with Logan (who we realized was too young to tote around on the back of a bike)...beautiful island with lots to see, NYC--it was a good idea this time to not have any expectations b/c I felt we did a lot in the couple days we were there...best time was seeing Hays dance, staying right on Times Square with a view of the action and touring the Statue of Liberty and of course Logan getting on TV live at the Today show (I hope I can post the video soon...it's so cute of him and it was a stroke of luck we found a cameraman who had a baby his age and liked Logan :)).  NJ (Hoboken)--funny hotel experience with a toilet and finally getting into Carlos' Bakery (Cake Boss!)...can't wait to eat our anniversary cake tomorrow!...and PA (Pittsburgh)--a great time seeing the views from the Incline and staying at a very nice hotel.

4.  Logan was an absolute trooper...from getting up early sooo many mornings (especially the morning of the Today Show...5am...eek!)...he was a doll baby and so thankful he is so laid back and easy to transport.  He is not in love with his carseat anymore after so many days of driving, but he truly is the best little baby and it was fun to tote him along on our trip.  I cannot even tell you how many people stopped us on the streets of NYC to talk to Logan.  He is very personable and so super cute lately.  Everyone loved him from little old ladies to our hotel elevator monitor to young girls on the subway.  He's our little baby flirt for sure with his blonde hair and big blue eyes and now his baby tan :)

5.  Shelb, Dyl and Ash had a fantastic time with Nina and Poppy Stegs.  And N and P were troopers for taking them on for soooo long and doing so much with them (shopping, Lego Store, boat, making sure they got to their appts etc)...they just had a ball and I am so grateful for grandparents that are so willing to help.  Kev and I needed this time away and it was nice to travel with a lighter load :) (though we did miss those middle three terribly and it was odd to just have two kids along for the ride)

6.  Our Hays has a FAB time at SAB.  I'm not sure if I was thinking she wouldn't this time or not, but she seems to have had another fantastic summer there and made some great new friends and loved learning more of Balanchine.  I am so grateful for that. 

I can't wait to share more pics and more of our fun times.  Good times like this make it all the more hard to come back to reality and start school in just a week...ugh dreading that :( :( :(

Monday, July 22, 2013

Off to get my girl!

 Well, the day has finally arrived....our departure to get our Hays!!  YAY!  I know we did this all last year with her being gone for 5 weeks and all...but for some reason this year it's been different having her away (and I'm guessing that's b/c we were actually home for all of it and not in FL like last year...)
 At any rate...we cannot wait to see her on Thursday (hopefully!) :)  Though her 3 middle sibs will have to wait til the following Monday :(
 I am so proud of this girl and how hard she has worked this summer (even through injury)...and so thankful she seemed to have a great time....she even did some cool photography on her new phone...maybe that means all my countless picture-taking has paid off and one of my kids will love a camera as much as me?? 
 Love this pic...
 And how cool are these??
And I know this little smiley man below cannot wait to see his sister in NYC this week!

So off we go today to the Big Apple...stopping many times along the way to break up the trip and also celebrate an early 15th anniversary in CT, RI and PA.  It's gonna be a busy week, especially with a baby in tow, but I can't wait to have some down time and hang with my hubby and get to see some lighthouses, beaches and the big city again!  So blessed!  And especially can't wait to see my Hays!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Brothers!

 I'm in the crazy midst of packing to leave for NYC tomorrow...but had to post these pics b/c honestly I get tears in my eyes when I look at these.  This is how my boys are together...almost 7 years apart and I can tell they will be good buddies.  I love moments like this and usually I don't catch it on camera.  Look how L is just watching D so intently...
 And then his arm goes up around his big bro...even at 6 mos old he just adores him!
 And this is Dylan ALL the time...kissing his lil' bro and hugging him and telling him he loves him.  He really does....and below is also how he is...always making him laugh and smile...I love it!
I really truly thought many years ago that I might not even have a son and then when I had one I really didn't think I'd be blessed with two....I am truly beyond blessed by my two boys.  They add a great mix to the girls in the fam and I am so, so, so glad they have each other!  Love them soooo much!

And cannot wait to see my oldest girl in the Big Apple on Thursday!!  Yippee!!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Outdoor Fun!

Here's a lil' snip-it of some the water fun we had this week.  Usually we get the ol' sprinkler out in May, but we were just too darn busy this year!  But, the waiting made it all the more fun (and it was really the only fun we had on Wed. after my root canal).  Can you guess by all these pics who is our BEST and most dramatic face-maker!? :)  Not too hard to figure out!
Though now that I'm looking at these pics I can see they all have a flair for the dramatic :)
This is Dylan realizing he can pretend to pee while standing in just the right spot in the sprinkler.  LOL! :)
We gave Logan a good rinse in the sprinkler...he was NOT a fan!
He let us know for quite some time that we made the wrong choice to put him through that cold pelting of water!
This is actually pre-sprinkler (thus the non-teary face :))...would have been a cute pic aside from the nasty lil' pests that would not stay off him (can you spot one??)
Here's our pool fun on Thursday with our buddies who live near us and have an awesome condo pool.  Honestly this was as good as having a private pool of our own...it was so nice and the kids had an absolute blast!  Thanks, Debbe and fam. for inviting us over to crash the pool!
The boys (Isaac and Dylan) decide to do a jump in the pool together...
Shelb brought her bud, Audrey, with her (they have become the best of friends this summer and thus why Shelby now loves Audrey Hepburn and Paris stuff :))
Ashley and Lillian about to take the plunge.  I laughed when I saw this pic, b/c I had just looked at baby pics of Ash with the tongue out and some things obviously never change.  She has a talent for touching her tongue to her nose. 
And they're off!  And that tongue is STILL out!  LOL!
My littlest handsome guy after his nap in the pool :)
A group pludge! :)
The big girls...and if you ever wonder if life is dull with Shelb...it is not! :)
After the pool (and after speech for Ash), we went back outside to try out our slip-n-slide (also the first time doing so this year)...
...the girls were obviously thirsty :)
The "someone" who didn't like the sprinkler also did NOT like the slip n slide :( :( :(  Heartbreaking :(
Yesterday we went to IU Outdoor Pool with Julia and Cami. The kids loved taking Logan in the pool.  I actually didn't realize til I got home that I never even got in the pool!  I was so busy chatting with Kim :)  The kids just took care of themselves and swam and dove and Logan napped most of the time.
Logan's poolside nap...and can you see a daring big brother in the background?
The bigger girls goofing around :)
Go Shelb go!  And below is our "Hailey" for the day.  B/c we couldn't have the real thing we asked Hailey's good buddy, Julia, to stand in.  She was a good sport and swam a lot with Ash :)  It was a fun day...
...and a fun week even amidst my un-fun dental work...and now begins the un-fun of packing up to go on vacation for the 4th time in 2 mos :)

Hailey-6 mos


Finally found this pic of Hays at 6 mos on our computer.  Gosh, she was a cutie-pa-tootie (even with drool coming out of her mouth :)).  And she has the Steg Big eyes/cheeks and pouty lips too :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Steg Comparison...

 I thought it'd be fun to look at (most of) the kiddos at 6 mos of age since I am wondering lately how much Logan really looks like them.  And I am realizing they really do all look different.  The one thing they have in common....BIG eyes...BIG cheeks...and the way they like to purse their lips (though all these pics don't show that...but even Logan and Ash do it).  Anyway....here's the kiddos in order of their birth (Sorry, Hays...I tried to scan your pic, but it didn't work and daddy is asleep so I'll have to add you another day) :)  But, look at my sweet Shelby above...gosh, time flies...
 And my BIG blue eyed first boy!  A blondie just like his lil' bro!
 Cowgirl Ash...hilarious how those cheeks haven't changed in 4 years :)  And below is my baby....turning 7 mos next weekend :( :( :(  I love how they all look unique yet definitely Steg!
It's been a whirlwind couple days.  I made a fairly quick recovery from the ol' root canal and today had my permanent crown put in.  I am not all that confident the root canal worked.  Maybe I should be more optimistic, but after all I've gone through you can understand why I'm not holding out for painfree tooth days ahead.  We'll see.  We did however have two GREAT days at two pools with great friends.  I am not usually a pool-girl, but spending time with friends made it all the better.  I will have to post pics this weekend if I have time in the midst of repacking for our big NYC trip.  Getting excited to see my oldest girl in just one week! YAY!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Old Pics/Old Friends :)

 Ok, this is totally cracking me up...I had no idea I had this many pics of Hailey and her best bud at SAB.  Those of you who don't know, this is Hailey and Maggie. They were supposed to be roommates at SAB in NYC this year, but somehow that didn't end up happening although they both requested it.  At any rate, they are at least suite mates and still hang out all the time.  I just love how God makes people's paths cross in life....these girls were good buddies back from 2003-2005 and beyond when they were in the same preschool class two years in a row at our church...and then they went to IU ballet together briefly.  Then Maggie moved to our neighboring town of Columbus...but she started coming back to our church even with the hour drive.  And the girls have been in the same youth area at church the last couple years (Maggie still does ballet but in Indy).  Anyway....above is the pic I took of them at SAB that first day...
 Here they are in Dec. 2005 at Maggie's b-day party at our fav. pizza place in town (Mother Bears!)...along with Julia who is no longer in ballet, but still a good bud of Hailey's.
 And here they are in March of 2005 at Hailey's 5th bday party at the ice rink.  Awww...what a cute hug on the ice.  Good thing they determined ballet was their talent and not ice skating :)
 So cute...though poor Hays was still recovering from a nasty cold (this b-day actually had to be totally rescheduled due to that nasty cold!) :)
 Adorable ballet girls...even when they were 5!
 And I love this...this is when we first saw the ballet Cinderella at IU back in March 2005.  It's funny how that came full circle this year with Hailey being the lead...Gosh, a lot changes in 8 years!
LOL!  Love it!  They were true dancers even back then! 

So blessed that Maggie and Hays are hanging together at SAB and still great buds even though many miles separate them in Indiana. Very cool how God had this all planned out years ago...

And I had to post the pic below b/c I was so thrilled to finally find it tonight. Gosh, was it really back in 2005 that I saw my "old" friend Cil in GR???  Terrible that it's been that long.  I was obviously pg with Dylan then.  Look at how much has changed in those 8 years!  Now she has a sweet 1 week old herself! :)  Miss ya', Cil! :)