Monday, October 5, 2015
My dear Valor Zeal,
You turned five months yesterday! Every month with you gets better. This is my favorite month yet, although I may be saying that in the months to follow. On September 7th, you laughed for the first time. We were floored with delight. Baby laughter is one of the best sounds to grace our ears, but we're sure you have the cutest laugh of them all. We'll pretty much do anything to hear it, including tickling you in the stomach and blowing raspberries in your neck. You're a social babe, so you love human interaction, period. You grin and wiggle your body in pure happiness whenever you see me, even if I am far across the room. You're even more giddy when I exchange smiles with you. In fact, you engage in cooing conversations and will smile widely at anyone who bestows a smile upon you. You break out into the goofiest, drooly grin when we kiss you on your cheeks, lips, or belly. You love kisses. You love when we sing our Valor Zeal song to you. You are so easy to please.
Although you prefer to be in people's presence, you're content to play with your gym while I'm puttering around the house or tending to your big sister. You grab objects deftly. Especially your toes. Those are your favorite to grab this month as you lay on your back or sit in the car seat. You can sit up on your own unsupported for a few seconds before slouching over. You rolled over from back to tummy once. You love sitting, and standing as well. You gaze wide-eyed at your surroundings from those perspectives. You also stare at your big sister with fascination. She is a ball of energy; she never ceases to make you smile as she doles out her affections on you, or sings and dances around you.
You're learning to comfort yourself, which is so helpful. You find comfort in rubbing a swaddling blanket in your face before falling asleep. You also suck on your index and middle fingers for comfort. You cry mostly when you're hungry or tired. Even then, your cry is relatively soft and raspy. Your daddy and I think you might develop a raspy voice. When your need for food or sleep is not yet met, you arch your body in anger and wail. You also arch your body and whine when you want to be picked up. Whenever I hold you, a deep sense of warmth and peace envelopes us. Your baby body snuggles and contours so well into mine, especially when you're in the sling or wrap. You always eventually doze off for a nap; my heart swells to hold you close and breathe in your yummy baby smell as you sleep with your mouth open. You are so, so sweet and I love having a little boy. Sometimes I look at you as you sleep peacefully and I can't believe I get to to be your mama. Your daddy and I tell each other every day how sweet you are. We adore you. We are so excited to witness you grow up. What a privilege to be able to do so.
Love you so,
P.S. Valor Zeal at 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 months. Plus, his birth story.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Our little love is two years old! Serene is God's precious gift to us - our first baby. We are so thankful for the overwhelming joy she brings into our lives. We didn't hold a grand party like last year, but we are celebrating in sweet and simple ways. She woke up to a slew of party animals heralding her birthday in this morning with cake and banana muffins. I baked the banana muffins a couple of days ago and bought a small vanilla sponge cake from a local bakery last night. I whipped some cream last night to top the cake, but in a moment of distraction, overwhipped it. Oops! It looks less than perfect but still tasted good, and most importantly, the birthday girl didn't mind one bit. I picked up the gold cardboard number from Target's dollar section months ago, thinking it would make a great cake topper. I thought it would be fun to decorate with plastic animals that Serene can play with afterward, particularly since animals are one of Serene's favorite things this past year. I made teeny party hats (inspired by here) out of cupcake wrappers for each of her favorite animals and topped them with bitty pom-poms made from yarn. We've been singing the birthday song to Serene and teaching her how old she's turning for the past few days to acclimate her to the occasion. Now she cheerfully says, "I'm two!" when asked how old she is and exclaims "Burday song!" whenever she hears it. She loved blowing out her candles and, of course, having cake for breakfast. We also celebrated with some of her favorite little people a couple of days ago over ice cream, at Disneyland yesterday as a family since it was the last day before our passes expired, and we'll be having a small family dinner tonight. Serene is well loved. We are so grateful for the community God has given us in which to raise our kiddos. God is so kind!
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
What sweet grace to be able to spend quality time with Alex this past weekend, without the kids. The last time we went on a date was seven months ago when we had sushi on Valentine's Day. Before that, we hadn't been on a date in over a year. Going out just the two of us after having kids has been rare. Being able to do so on Saturday was so nice and so refreshing. We watched one of our favorite musicals, The Sound of Music, downtown. A few months ago, we heard the tour was coming to Los Angeles. We planned to attempt to score discounted tickets three weeks before the show opened. Alex was on the phone for an hour one morning trying to nab tickets for us. Thankfully, he got them and we'd been looking forward to this day ever since. We're big fans of musical theater and used to watch shows more often before the kids were born. The production was a beautifully high-spirited rendition of the classic. So grateful we got to foster new memories together, and just have time to focus on strengthening our marriage. Life has felt like a hullabaloo lately that times like these are so necessary and appreciated.