Thursday, May 25, 2017

Extraordinary moments

serene at 3 years 7 months, valor at 2 years
reverie at 2 months
learning letter n
reverie at 8 weeks
serene at 3 years 7 months, valor at 2 years
reverie at 2 months
learning letter n
reverie at 8 weeks
learning letter n
reverie meets tai poh
serene at 3 years 7 months, valor at 2 years
reverie meets tai poh
reverie at 2 months
reverie meets tai poh
reverie at 2 months
serene at 3 years 7 months, valor at 2 years, reverie at 2 months
learning letter m
learning letter m
learning letter m
learning letter m
serene at 3 years 7 months and reverie at 2 months
valor at 2 years
learning letter o
serene at 3 years 7 months and reverie at 2 months
serene at 3 years 7 months
serene at 3 years 7 months, reverie at 2 months, valor at 2 years
valor at 2 years
serene at 3 years 7 months and reverie at 2 months
learning letter o
serene at 3 years 7 months
My days may feel ordinary, but when I look back at these photos, I am floored by the extraordinary moments they capture: Serene's and Valor's personalities blossoming distinctly at ages three and a half and two years, respectively; their doing everything together in unshakable camaraderie; the way they smother Reverie with all the love they can express every chance they get; Reverie cooing and smiling with her entire being; and my dear grandmama meeting Reverie for the first time. These are the moments I long to remember with flickering hope in my heart. Hope that God is indeed in the center of this motherhood thing He's entrusted to me, that my children are teaching me more about the kindness and love of God than I can hope to teach them. And yet I try by grace. For God's grace permeates all of life, and He deserves all our honor and praise. This I hope and pray my children understand in the ebb and flow of our life as a family.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Letters to Reverie: 2 months

reverie at 2 months
My dear Reverie Hope,

I'm positive you're the sweetest baby. This month, you became more aware of the people in your life as you practiced tracking our faces. You stare intently at your mama, daddy, brother, and sister before breaking out the biggest smile that takes over your entire face and body. You throw your head back and kick out your legs in delight. Those generous grins of yours make our day. You also stare wide-eyed with furrowed brows at the world from the safety of our arms. This is also your preferred opportunity to practice tummy time. You are happiest when cuddled, so you spend your days being worn in a wrap or sling while I take care of your siblings. When you're held, you're not content until you plop onto your left side with your head tucked into our arms.

You commenced cooing a couple of weeks ago at around seven weeks. It is the cutest sound to behold - short, breathy repetitions of "eh", coupled with a smile. Your fists are always clenched by your chest, and when you're sleeping, they're up above your head or splayed wide open against your face.

You've distinguished between night and day, staying awake more often during the day for about an hour but up to two hours, and sleeping longer stretches at night. You sleep on average four hours for your longest stretch before waking up to nurse at night, but for three nights this month, you slept a six hour stretch. If you're not napping in a wrap, you're sleeping in your rocker. You often need to be rocked to sleep with us in sight until you doze off, a slight smile flitting across your face as you do. You're still an efficient nurser, and will arch your back and kick ferociously when you're gassy. You have rather loud burps and farts. We laugh that such a little babe can emit such loudness.

You weigh 10 lbs, almost 11 lbs and measure almost 22 inches. You wear size 1 diapers, 0-3 month clothing, and size 0 shoes (your crib moccs started fitting at six weeks). Your hair is growing a bit longer, though it is as soft as ever. I love holding you close to take in all of your delicate features that grow more defined as the days go by: your big eyes, downy hair, long fingers, pouty lips, thigh creases, and expressive feet. People comment that you look most like me out of all our children; I do think you resemble my baby pictures most. I squeeze you close and smother you with kisses all the time, which you oblige. You are our little mei mei ("little sister" in Chinese), and we adore you so. Your siblings can't get enough of you. They would spend all day hugging and kissing you if they could.

Since you are our third baby and we are in the ministry, you're getting acclimated to being around others all the time. You attended Sunday service at three weeks of life, and you've been in the thick of transitions occurring in our church family. If we're not out and about, people are sharing life with us in our home. I am learning to be most flexible with you as grow. You've been so patient and willing. As long as your fed, dry, and worn close to your mama, you're content. Know that you are deeply loved, my sweet baby, by us and by so many in our community. I am so excited to watch you grow. You are such a gift that I cannot believe I've been entrusted to be your mama. God is overwhelmingly kind to us - which I pray you shall fathom one day by grace.


Love you so,
Mama

P.S. Reverie at 0 and 1 month. Plus, her birth story.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The new normal

serene at 3 years 7 months
reverie at 7 weeks
serene at 3 years 7 months, valor at 2 years
serene at 3 years 7 months
reverie at 7 weeks
serene at 3 years 7 months
valor at 2 years
reverie at 7 weeks
serene at 3 years 7 months, valor at 2 years
reverie at 7 weeks
valor at 2 years
valor at 2 years
reverie at 7 weeks
serene at 3 years 7 months, valor at 2 years
serene at 3 years 7 months
reverie at 7 weeks
serene at 3 years 7 months
serene at 3 years 7 months, valor at 2 years
valor at 2 years
serene at 3 years 7 months, valor at 2 years
serene at 3 years 7 months, valor at 2 years
reverie at 7 weeks
reverie at 7 weeks
valor at 2 years
serene at 3 years 7 months, valor at 2 years
reverie at 7 weeks
valor at 2 years
reverie at 7 weeks
Being a mama to young children is a special season that makes me thank God for babywearing. We are all happier because of it: Reverie gets snuggled all day long; I get to hold her close and be hands-free; and Serene and Valor get a more present mama. The days are full without any dull moments. Our new normal is chaotic but beautiful, replete with energetic toddler antics, sleepy newborn stretches, simple meals, recurring messes, and sweet gatherings with loved ones. Thankful for God's abundant grace to shepherd our children's hearts in light of the gospel. Comforted by His mercies anew every morning when I fail and impatiently yell more than I gently encourage. Renewed by the overwhelming love that covers it all. These are the good ol' days.