Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

This Christmas season has been a busy one. Our family lost a loved one recently also making this time bittersweet in many respects.

Aleesia has taken a special interest in the Grinch (or Ginch!), which is one of my favorite books & movies. The movie is hilarious and the message is so solid - Christmas isn't about all of the things, but the time. The people, the memories and the time we take to just love on each other. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, take the time today to share kindness and love with everyone you know.

We are in sort of a chaotic season of life with these little ones everywhere & usually I'm not sure which way is up. But the little ones bring the magic. They bring the innocence and the spirit so raw and unjaded you cannot help but smile when they speak of Santa.
We've been teaching our girls about the birth of Jesus and Gianna really gets the reason we celebrate now, which is its own kind of magic. As she belted out the words to Silent Night at Christmas Eve mass I couldn't help but to cry. Here I am in a packed church with all 3 kids - G listening intently, V trying to wiggle from my arms & A acting as if we don't go to church weekly. I was stressed, sweating, questioning if we should hi-tail it right out of there before things got worse. But we stayed. And the message of hope and birth was what I needed at that moment. And to hear my sweet girl sing those words, priceless.  The chaos calmed down and Cheeze-its saved my sanity for that hour and I was able to have a quiet moment of reflection with my 3 girls around me. I thought of the loved ones who are no longer here celebrating together from above & how their spirit lives within each of us. What a blessing each new day is to be healthy and to live a life that is meaningful and fulfills our soul's desires. About how I can do a better job at living a life that brings honor and glory to Him and my family as well.  I truly felt the spiritual magic of the season, and I think G did too. And I was grateful to be in a church that embraces the spirit of the little ones ;)

We were able to spend time with much of our family and most importantly with the girls. Their excitement continued to be infectious the whole day. They were gracious (as gracious as I expected them to be) receivers of gifts and thoughtful givers of gifts. I heard manners. (I also heard some attitude, so don't be fooled!) And saw lots of joy!

We scaled down some on the number of things and it was great - everyone got what they really wanted and I am sure those things will be enjoyed thoroughly! We also took time to donate some cheer to our local Children's hospital - it was such a blessing and a joy to do so. This is a place that has not only taken care of my kids & my sister (30 years ago!) but of many kids we know & love and a place I give back to any chance I have.

As we embrace the holiday hangover period and closely examine all of the new goodies that were gifted, I continue to be amazed & humbled at where life has taken us. This season (of life & the year!) is chaotic and stressful, but the magic that comes with that is unbeatable. I am excited to see what comes next & I have hope that the wonderful days will always win out amidst the difficult ones. Life is what we make of it, and there is no reason we should make it any less than great.

I hope the holiday was just as magical for you as it was for us!
Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A letter to my {third} daughter: One Year!


The lack of formal documentation of your first year, with the exception of your life lessons, is in no way a reflection of how we feel about you! It is a direct reflection of how busy we have been this year, though.

I will say it a million times throughout your life, but it is seriously amazing how fast time really flies.

To me, there are times that I am holding you that I so vividly remember your birth day. The excitement.

DIxonBirth2 076(2)_thumb[1]

Your cold feet (really, you just didn’t want to come out there for several hours a second).

DIxonBirth2 220(2)_thumb[1]

The hard work at the very end.

DIxonBirth2 308(2)_thumb[1]DIxonBirth2 313(2)_thumb[1]

How quiet you were when you came out.

DIxonBirth2 394_thumb[1]

And the moment when they finally put you on my chest.

DIxonBirth2 469(2)_thumb[1]DIxonBirth2 472(2)_thumb[5]

Your first life lesson. (Head to Instagram and search #vivislivelessons to see the full year of lessons!)

When you met your sisters. Gianna was positively giddy and she still adores the ground you crawl on to this day.

12.22  (12)_thumb[1]12.22  (46)_thumb[1]

Aleesia truly didn’t know what to think, but she warmed up to you over the months. And now? Well, now she loves to snuggle you and play with you.

12.22  (22)_thumb[1]12.22  (52)_thumb[2]

You have maintained your sweet & portable status and are still the snuggliest girl. There were moments of concern over why you just weren’t growing, but your big blue eyes and cutie smile put my mind at ease. We’ll continue to keep an eye on it (looking forward to your official 1 year stats this week!) but I’m not too worried – people come in all sizes!

DSC_1014_thumb4.22  (12)_thumb9.16  (22)_thumb

Your first word was “boo” (as in, peek-a-boo!) followed by Hi! and Mama and you will occasionally says dada. I just got you to say wow and OH! Baby babble is a familiar sound in our house!

You were baptized.


You love to clap, dance, wave, crawl super fast with your head down (always on a mission!), sneak up the stairs and cruise across furniture. There are times where you will walk holding on to our hands and sometimes you’ll stand on your own for a few seconds. Walking will be in your future before we know it, I am positive of that!

Sleeping would not included on your list of “favorite things to do” – some nights are good, most are not. Naps are hit and miss. I am sure you’ll figure it out eventually but until then I’ll continue to be thankful for coffee!

6.7.15  (22)_thumb[1]

This year you have lived in 3 different places! Our first house. Grandma & Papas. Our new house. I think that is enough moving for a loooooong time.

6.18.15  (8)_thumb[1] 5.9  (5)_thumb[1]DixonMiniSession 145_thumb[1]

We visited Cedar Point and you mostly slept the whole time.

8.7.15  (9)_thumb[3]8.8.15  (65)_thumb[1]

We visited the beach and you loved the ocean – who doesn’t?! Besides we made memories with our whole family, which was so wonderful.

9.12  (83)_thumb[2]9.13  (9)_thumb[3]9.13  (22)_thumb[2]9.18  (63)_thumb[1]

There is a special bond between you and I, there is no question about that. I’ve never been home as much as I am now – working at home changes things. It has helped us to be bonded in a way that I didn’t know was possible. You are a pretty great work partner, most days! (When I am gone, now you will crawl to my office to come and look for me.)

There is something magical about you, sweet girl. You light up every single room that you go in to. Everyone comments on those big blue eyes and, when you are awake and in a good mood, that pretty amazing smile. You are slowly learning to embrace being the center of attention.

9.16  (101)_thumb[1]

I’ve been putting together a life lesson for every day of life for your first  year, but I can’t believe the number of lessons that YOU have taught ME. My soul is happier with you in my world, and I think I can speak for the rest of the family in saying that they have no idea what they would do without you.

Life might be too busy to capture everything I had hoped in writing but that is because we are busy living – doing things that make each of us happy and fuel us to make it through the hard days that will inevitably come our way. Be patient with me on the days that it seems my own patience is running thin. Know that I am always working to make sure you have everything you need, and hopefully everything you want. I will always try my very best for you (and your sisters) and there is no love more unconditional than what I hope you feel. I hope that you always remember that you can come to me when you need refueled. That your sisters love you, even (and especially) when they are picking on you. That we can’t imagine live without you in it. And it might be possible that you have me wrapped so tightly around your little finger that I totally don’t even care.

I can’t wait to celebrate many more moments, days, years and an unlimited number of life lessons to come.

Love you little peanut!



Monday, November 2, 2015


I have so much to catch up on - so, so much!
The short version, since that is pretty much all I can manage:
  • 1st grade is some SERIOUS education, you guys. I have a lot I want to say related to Gianna and school but I can sum it up to: Public school is the best place for her. We moved into such an amazing school system and we are so lucky to have the support for her.
  • Aleesia has a preschool screening this week. This blows my mind for so many reason, but seriously, how is this coming up so fast??
  • Work is work, no complaints at all.
  • The girls love dance.
  • I have a mandatory 8 hours of email training for work. This is the silliest training I have ever attended.
  • Vivian is such a stinker. She has a weight check on Wednesday this week, I know she has for sure gained over the last few weeks so that helps to take any anxiousness away.
  • We are in our new house. It is amazing. I still can't believe it is ours!
  • Speaking of new house, I really love decorating!
  • Our new neighborhood has so many kids, it is great!
  • I've recently gotten really "into" all natural cleaners and using stuff around the house that is a bit more environmentally friendly. My house smells so yummy all the time!
  • I'm also really into eliminating unnecessary stuff from our life - unpacking is the perfect time to purge things we haven't missed over the past few months. It's a great, cleansing, feeling if you ask me.
  • It is NOVEMBER???? I purchased my first christmas gifts. I'm 85% in planning mode for Vivian's 1st birthday. Time just keeps moving on. 
What is up with you??? I so miss this outlet!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Itty Bitty Happy: Update

I posted a few months ago about Vivian and how she is so itty bitty happy.
We’ve been doing a lot of things to see what is up with her petite-ness. I think where I left it was that we were giving her some formula but still nursing every 2 hours in hopes that that little bit of supplementing would do the trick.
Plot twist: It did not do the trick.
We gave it about 6 weeks with frequent weight checks, essentially zero weight gain. We were starting to see her length and head circumference affected by her lack of weight gain and that was no good.
We checked her labs, and thankfully, all of that came back normal.
That forced our hand to move to primarily formula, which by this point, I was totally fine with because sheesh, she needed to get bigger and it was obvious that something wasn’t working. So we had to get her up to 24 ounces of formula per day which was not the easiest of tasks.
9.16  (24)
We have her on between 22 and 26 ounces a day and she nurses primarily at night now. And finally we are seeing some actual gains, which is making everyone feel a little better.
At her nine month appointment we got the okay to start her back on foods as long as there aren’t any dramatic decreases in her volume intake. She has a fairly strong tongue thrust reflex which makes it hard for her to get pieces of food to stay in her mouth, but she does pretty well on purees. She doesn’t always tolerate all of her bottles the greatest and sometimes she wants to eat ALL THE FOOD and sometimes not, but hey, I can say the same for myself!

The goal is that she gets back on the curve by 15 months. She's a petite 12.5 pounds right now!

It makes me a little sad/frustrated/angry that for whatever reason breastfeeding was so hard for us in the weight gain department. Maybe I didn’t produce enough. Maybe she burned too many calories while nursing. Maybe a million things that don’t really matter right now.
9.13  (8)
Overall, she is finally heading in the right size direction.
Developmentally? She is a tiny rockstar – she has been crawling for months, but finally is up on all fours, puling up on everything, waving, clapping, and grinning from ear to ear whenever she isn’t crying or sleeping!
9.12  (59)9.12  (66)
We often get a lot of strange looks when people who don’t know her see her – she surprises everyone and I usually just say something about her being sweet and portable. Not a preemie, not neglected, not anything but small and loved and perfect just the size she is.
9.16  (102)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Monthly Update

Since I can only seem to get my crap together roughly once a month - quick update with pictures from my phone that will definitely post out of order.

First grade is serious, you guys! But public school has proven to be a great change for G as she is getting the academic attention she needs.

We went to the fair! We love the fair!

I am lucky to have had the same beat friend for like 25 years. We are also lucky to have gotten a picture where almost all of our kids are looking!

We went to the beach! And jet-skied with dolphins. And loved on the ocean. And ate great food. and made awesome memories with our whole family. And is it time to go back now PLEASE???

Aleesia started dance and she is sure that she is a hotshot ballerina! Gianna started dance and is doing jazz and ballet - we are SO HAPPY with our new studio. They are both going to learn so much!

Our house will be ready SOON and we are so looking forward to it!