Wednesday, February 27, 2013

From Two to Three

I feel like I'm supposed to slide into these next blog posts with big transitions that address the gap of life-with-two-kids to life-with-three-kids. 

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What's it like? 
Is it different? 
How many times have you had a breakdown? 

To which I would respond:

Hard to tell yet--newborn loving fog. 
Kind of. 
Three--all of which went something like Oh my God, I'm a hungry ravenous beast, why aren't there any $@#&ing groceries in our fridge?  Food breakdowns are the worst.

I will say that in thirteen days, I've learned the following:  Boys pee a lot.  Feet can substitute as hands when you need to pick things up and your arms are full.  After a nine month hiatus, beer maintains its charm.  Middle children will eventually let you know that they need extra loving.  In letting you know this, middle children may or may not incorporate ransacking drawers, ransacking closets, ransacking pantries and/or ransacking purses.  Okay, not "and/or. " Just and.

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However, in thirteen days, I've also remembered that I love the newborn stage very very much.  Like the Queen of the Andes plant, its blooms are divine yet fleeting--froggy legs, curled toes, sleep squeaks, milky skin, flour sack cuddles and that wonderful newborn quality that can only be described as smooshiness

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Add "last baby" to that sweetness, and you have what my sister refers to as frosting.  Last babies are frosting.  Mind you, my sister also coined the last baby phrase "Just give it to her" which, as I understand, resolves all whining, fits, fights and problems.  Baby wants something?  Just give it to him.  Who had the crayon first?  Just give it to him.  When the baby's crying, reflexively reply "Just give it to him" and all becomes well.  Always.  This is brilliant.  Too good of a secret to give away in the books, you know.

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There's only one fox up in this town.

Life does not lend itself to smooth transitions.  You just jump in and swim.  It works for both the big hard challenges as well as the monumental celebrations in life.  Which is why I cut my hospital bracelets off and folded up the birth certificate and slipped the hospital cradle ID card into the memory box, sighing a big "Now that was beautiful" before picking up where we left off.  Life's pretty much the same with a little more laundry, a little less sleep and a lot more love.

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My three favorite adding-another-baby saviors in terms of how not to go crazy, how not to feel guilty, how not to snap at your husband "I'd like to see you push out a giant head" and how not to run to the shower to hide with a bottle of wine:

A)  Pick two rooms.  I've told myself my main responsibility for quality control in our home right now is the living room and the shared baby room.  Brett took the kitchen.  These three rooms cannot fall apart right now.  It is our job to keep them clean, welcoming, happy, maintained.  Just these rooms. Everything else--don't worry about.  It's helped a lot.  And strangely, the other rooms have managed to keep up.  Some sort of brain trick, I think.

B)  Verbally validate.  A wise reader shared this advice way back when Nella was a newborn.  Sometimes all it takes is a little verbal validation to remind your kids that their voice is heard, that their presence is noted.  When you're tending to your older kids and the baby signals their need for you, say out loud "Just a minute Baby, I'm with your sisters right now."  Wait even just thirty seconds before going to get the baby.  Your older kids hear that statement and know that they come first sometimes too.  Everyone has their turn.

C)  Pick up the baby.  No matter what I have to get done or how messy the house is, when I want to hold him, I pick him up.  I hold him, I wear him, I smell him, I kiss him, I cup his head in my hands and rub his velvety hair.  Suddenly, everything feels fine.  Because it is.

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I may not know a lot about a lot of things, but I know how to savor a baby.

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******

And in jumping in and picking up where we left off...we had a party.

Let me explain this party thing for a minute. I may love a good party, but I have to be honest--most of our parties are only parties because we add the word "party" to what would otherwise be considered a completely normal event.

Take the Oscars, for example.

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My hot red carpet date this year.

We watched them in our pajamas. And that's pretty much it. Laundry still sat on couches, dishes still laid in the sink, and we scrounged through the refrigerator looking for "party food" because we had nothing else planned.  But we called it a party.  The Eighth Annual Pajama Glama Oscar Party, to be exact.  And maybe we tweaked a few details like adding costume jewelry to our pajamas and serving our strawberries in pretty fancy dishes. 

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To the kids though?  It was a magical memory.  A very special party indeed--even if they only got to stay up for the red carpet walk.

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Lainey tracked her favorite dresses in a notebook as they made their debut on TV. I checked her list to find "Black Sparkaly Dress, Red Pretty Dress, Dress with Sparkaly Jakit."


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Oh this boy, this boy.  Bradley Cooper's got nuthin' on him.

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You don't have to go an extra mile to create imaginative memories for kids--an inch is all it takes.  A lunch becomes a picnic when you add a blanket.  A nail painting session becomes a spa night when you throw some cucumber slices in the mix.  Dinner becomes a dinner party when everyone wears a hat.  Cooking becomes a "cooking show" when you describe every step while you stir (and do it in a British accent!).  A living room dance becomes a Carnegie Hall performance when you shine a flashlight on the dancer.  Grocery shopping becomes an adventure when you stop to talk to the lobsters.  And life becomes Enjoying the Small Things when you dare to take a different perspective.  By golly, have fun.  And I promise I'll never say "by golly" again.

So we'll call this two-kids-to-three-kids thing Having Fun.

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Because truly, it is.

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Much love, friends.

191 comments:

Lora said...

Congrats on baby #3!!! He's a beautiful baby!!!

Ellie said...

Lovely Kelle I am expecting my 5th in August. I will savor it more now having a "last baby redo" P.S. Where did you get that cradle with the Moses Basket????

Leanne said...

I am totalling stealing that "frosting" nickname from your sister. Congrats on your beautiful family. Savor every precious moment!

http://theroadlesstraveledtoday.blogspot.com/

Corinne said...

Thank you for this. The time has come to consider the third/last baby, and honestly, I'm terrified. You make it look easy. Thank you. And I love the validating words out loud. I read this advice when I had my second, and I still use it to this day (the girls are 2 and 4). I have got to remember it with the 3rd!

priest's wife said...

What sweet babies- the baby boy looks a little bit like Nella...(I've never seen baby pics of sister #1)- sibling love is beautiful

Lindsey said...

I LOVE this. The little more laundry, little less sleep, lot more love image ... but most of all how easy it is to make huge memories for kids with small things. I think - and practice - this all the time. The traditions spring up out of simply paying attention and adding the smallest shake of sparkle to every day life. I love it and so do they. xox

marsha0712 said...

Seriously, your children are some of the luckiest!

marsha0712 said...

Seriously, your children are some of the luckiest!

Nakia Kammerzell said...

You are right - Bradley Cooper has nothing on your boy. Beautiful babies & beautiful words as always.

Cassidy said...

I can't get over how beautifully you write! The paragraph explaining how to enjoy the small things? Perfection. YOU are my constant reminder to savor the moments with my children.

Lulu said...

Going from 0-1 was really hard and 1-2 was a breeze. So I'm terrified of the idea of tempting fate and going from 2-3. But 2 girls with a little brother looks pretty fun, maybe my girls need one too.

ksmile said...

YAY!:)

Michelle said...

Beautiful! All of it, words, pictures, your family. Again sincere congratulations and girl you look marvelous!!!

Jaclyn Hicks said...

This is beautiful....your words are always so inspiring, they lift up this Mama's heart. All of your kiddos are absolutely adorable.

Life with Kaishon said...

I am so very, very happy for you Kelle. I love your new baby. I love how you love and cherish your girls. And, by golly, I freaking love your parties. You make life beautiful for your family. What can be better than that?

AnnieBC said...

I am on month 19 of savoring my "frosting" baby and let me say that I'm still loving every minute of it, of him and of how our family is complete with him here.
Enjoying your blog as always, though, I rarely comment.

Lauren said...

He's STUNNING! Looking at him is giving me baby fever...

Claire @ Scissors Paper Rock said...

I truly love this post Kelle. Although, I think we're pretty done in the baby-making industry - you seem to make me so very very clucky!!!!!
Dash is just beautiful!
My youngest is 15months old and we are in the 'Just Give It To Him' stage :))))))
Motherhood is just the bees knees isn't it?!
LOVE!!!
Claire x
http://blog.scissorspaperrockdesigns.com.au/

Kelly B said...

This might be my favorite post of your ever. Your real-ness and contentment and point of view is shining through. And the picture of Lainey and Dash is so special, as is Nella's sweet 'Bradley Cooper' smile. Keep enjoying, fellow Kel.

wonderchris said...

Such a beautiful flow in your writing and your love. Welcome, Dash!!

So very loved.

Skoots1moM said...

what a wonderful time for ya'll...neat to see how you're enjoying every minute

Natalie said...

So I don't know exactly what it is about this post but it brings me such joy to know that you are savouring this beautiful blessed baby boy of yours. My baby is 2.5 now and I drank in every, single. moment of her babyhood - knowing exactly how fleeting it is. Inhale his prescious little head. Nibble on his little toes. Stare at him. Commit his little face to eternal memory. You are in such a beautiful place right now, and I am so so happy for you.

JoyBelle said...

Very inspired by this post. I'm pregnant with #5 and feeling so worn out and cranky all the time. I love the idea of adding "party" to even the seemingly everyday and just getting back to the inner child within us.

I like your suggestion to focus on two rooms - that is so much more doable than three stories of several rooms. Yikes! I will have to tell my husband this.

Blessings!

Laura said...

My frostings name is Marika...me last baby...I am totally savouring her...she's 4 months old and her newbon is gone...it goes so fast the more kids you have the faster it goes!

Mandi Wolfswinkel said...

Mmmm....Your blog is such a breath of fresh air in the midst of chaotic life. I feel as though every time I sit down to read a blog post I may as well be sitting on your couch listening to you speak. In the midst of a lot of very sad events over in my neck of the woods these last couple of weeks, including the loss of a precious 5 month old baby today, and a college girl who lost her whole family in a car accident last weekend, I'm looking so intently at enjoying the small things and making big things out of the otherwise small things to make our lives more enjoyable. It inspires me to savor each moment. It was by no accident I came across this blog 2 very short months ago, and I'm so glad it's helped me have a new perspective on our little life over here so THANK YOU! God bless that handsome little man. :)

www.wolfswinkelfam.blogspot.com

B. Holmes said...

He's too cute, congrats. I also miss the "baby sack sleepers". I brought both of my boys home in them... Much Luv

Shoni said...

I love everything about this post-the pictures, the words, everything.

I just had my 3rd baby boy on the 19th and know exactly what you mean when you say, "Life's pretty much the same with a little more laundry, a little less sleep and a lot more love."

Totally agree.

Carrie said...

Beautiful post, Kelle! He's so darling.

Cetta said...

He's already filling out! You're right to savor this time, Kelle. My baby boy is getting married soon and I wonder where the time went!

niki-jean said...

what a darling post. a darling baby and a charmed life. as you have said before... suck the marrow!!! ox

Lynn Richards said...

I wish I had your wisdom when I was your age..but I kinda have it now. So when people tell you that teens are horrid, call me. I love(d) every second of it.
xo
lynn
p.s.
being the frosting in the family totally rocks.

Lynn Richards said...

I wish I had your wisdom when I was your age..but I kinda have it now. So when people tell you that teens are horrid, call me. I love(d) every second of it.
xo
lynn
p.s.
being the frosting in the family totally rocks.

Lynn Richards said...

I wish I had your wisdom when I was your age..but I kinda have it now. So when people tell you that teens are horrid, call me. I love(d) every second of it.
xo
lynn
p.s.
being the frosting in the family totally rocks.

Lynn Richards said...

I wish I had your wisdom when I was your age..but I kinda have it now. So when people tell you that teens are horrid, call me. I love(d) every second of it.
xo
lynn
p.s.
being the frosting in the family totally rocks.

Lms3989 said...

Hi Kelle,

I have been reading your blog for over a year now and you are truly amazing. I am 23 and work as a special education assistant in an elementary classroom. Your blog is a large part of the reason that I try to stop, look around, and appreciate the kids that are climbing on chairs and break dancing on the carpet. Your writing is so great and your kids are darling-if I lived closer I'd totally hound you to babysit ;) I got my mom started reading your blog, and now she'll call me and ask if I've read the latest post and tell me how cute Mr. Dash is. Lainey, Nella and Dash are so lucky to have a mom who has a wonderful perspective and can turn all things into fun parties. You have a beautiful family! I would love to hear back from you, though I know with three kiddos now you are very busy and hopefully spending lots of time hugging, kissing and snuggling. Thanks for making me smile and sharing your family!

xo Lauren

Kellie said...

While I know everything's not always perfect, you sure look like you've got it figured out :)
And your kinda making me wish for #3...oh. Wait. My boys are 16 and 24 YEARS. Maybe I'll just wait for grandbabies. In the meantime, I'm sure loving that baby smooshiness at your house.

Kate said...

What a beautiful post Kelle - love the photo of the little red slipper, baby, and a little leg. Such beautiful words to describe this new chapter of your "baby moon."

Monique said...

Loving the tenderness between Mama and son in your last photo!! Brings back those "smooshiness" new born feelings.
I'd have to agree with Nella that Bradley Cooper is so hot...that photo cracked me up!! She is such a happy little bean!!!
At our home, we are all in for taking it just an inch more, jazzing it up with creativity and our children's sense of imagination. Here, it's not just a simple game of mini sticks (hockey) in the basement...it's printing off game tickets, setting up the treat stand, playing the National Anthem, wearing your favourite team's jersey and just added to the mix was the official siren you hear when you score a goal. (just thought I'd share a simple story of how we give an extra inch in our having fun)

Monique
btw-Yes, you do know how to savor a baby BUT you also KNOW a lot about a LOT of things!! You have touched many souls in our big-little world with your many gifts!!

AmyB said...

Our frosting just turned 5! Going from 2-3 was so hard, but we often say how empty our life would be without him. He adds so much to our family. Reading this gave me so many fond memories of my newborns. We savored every minute of it and I have no regrets. We stayed home and enjoyed it every last bit for all 3 and for that I am so happy. Beautiful words. Thanks for sharing them so that I could have some beautiful memories tonight.

Southern Gal said...

Just so sweet. And I love your perspective on having fun.

Debby said...

He is such a pretty baby. Love all the pictures. Nella alooks like she is checking out his feet. I think you are doing great. It is a hard adjustment having three but you get ysed to it. Love the party and dash's bow tie. Keep on soaking in every moment.

Ann Vega-Raatz said...

First of all...you and Brett make BEAUTIFUL babies! Congrats on Dash!

Second of all..."by golly" will show up again I just know it. You said it 3 years ago after Nella (Passport to Italy)...just makes me giggle and brings fond memories because it was one of my gma's favorite sayings.
Love to you all!

Chasing Hazel said...

I have to admit I have been wondering the same things as everyone else. How is it going? Is it different? But seeing these pics of the family, I realize that it just all makes sense. Dash looks like he has always been there and the girls adore him so much!!! I guess by the 3rd babe you have a few tricks up your sleeve. This ALMOST makes me want to savor another baby....ALMOST!!!

Betsy Brock said...

love....

Diane said...

Congrats to your beautiful family. I see that someone else had the same thought as I did - Dash looks a bit like Nella when she was a baby. Funny to see her looking like a big girl in comparison to her baby brother, since I remember her newborn pics so well.

I'm sure I'll be thinking that my own sweet girl looks big when her first sibling is born in the fall. In the meantime, I am trying to savor my last months with her as my only (tearing up right now!).

Katie M said...

First time commenter here...like on any blog ever. Just wanted to say I truly look up to you as a mother. I am not yet (but hopefully soon!) a mother myself, but I absolutely adore your ideas of motherhood and family. This post almost made me cry. There are very few people (if any) besides my own mother who I look up to, but you have officially joined the list. Just wanted to say THANK YOU for all you do and share and love. <3

Molly said...

Kelle,

The main reason I love your blog is because halfway through the first paragraph I realize I'm smiling! And then I have to look around to make sure no one was staring at the crazy lady who is smiling at her computer :)

Anyway - I cannot tell you how happy I am for you. I know you had a long journey to get here, mama. I can just feel the love from miles away.

christina vega said...

I love you. That is all.

Cheryl Verver said...

Love this..He is beautiful. Going to enjoy my kids.

Amy said...

girl, you make me smile. Thank you! My little guy is the same age as Lainey, and we're hoping to grow our family through adoption (infertility got the best of us with our son!). So my heart swells with anticipation when I see your pics of Lainey feeding Dash and her laying down admiring him. So precious. I can't wait to experience it myslf.

Gilly said...

Ooh, I'm so crying right now! Those 'oh my goodness so amazingly beautiful' tears coupled with " far out in about 7 months this will be me and far out i hope i have that much grace!!" (ok and a good dose of pregnancy hormones too!) We've just found out we are having baby no3 and i've been searching for a good transition story! Heaven sent for me today Kelle! Thanks so much. I'm reassured we are going to be ok. We just keep doing what we are doding with a little more laundry, a little less sleep and alot more love. :-)

GirlieMama said...

Beautiful words ! It doesn't take much to create memories that our children will forever treasure! Thanks for the reminder !

Maria said...

This was a delicious post, yummy in so many ways. He is simply as beautiful as the rest of your children. It's a pleasure & an inspiration watching you navigate
life. I hope you'll continue to share.

Lisa Glowacka said...

Kelle you guys sure do make some beautiful kiddos! What a little stud Dash is!

We also have 3 kids and #3 is frosting for sure. I will be first to admit that our youngest Landon gets spoiled just a little bit more because he is our last baby.

Enjoy that sweet little guy and congrats!

Carlye Proescholdt said...

Kelle-- loved this post so much. I would write something meaningful about Dash, the girls, and how full this makes my heart, but the true purpose of my comment is to say I am SOOO diggin' the sideways french braid you are ROCKIN' in those last pictures. Major hair envy. And okay, baby envy too. Smooch him up for me :)

xoxo

Nicole @ Pencil Skirts and Noodle Necklaces said...

This was my favorite post of yours...ever. Thank you. I have had a rough couple of weeks and my dream of a third baby ended in a miscarriage. I read your post and look forward with hope to living those new family of five moments myself someday. Hugs. <3

Kat said...

That post just made my heart smile.
Simply beautiful, all of it.
Gorgeous photos too.

csmith said...

Awww, newborns! Teeny little toes, pursed lips, unfocused eyes, baby yawns. Crap, now I want one, again.

Kristin said...

You have such an eye for beauty, Kelle! I love reading your positive outlook on life.

sixgunsue said...

Hi Kelle, I'm the one who keeps posting the adorable diapers on your FB page. I loved this post. I completely understand about drinking in every second. My baby is now 18 mos. and I have have been snorking up every scent of every second since she came out. This baby of mine, Stella, is special in so many ways. She is calm and observant and cheerful, and funny! All the things I needed. After all she is my lucky number 7! She is a my miracle. We are a mixed family of 3 from a first marriage, 1 together, 2 adopted siblings. and 12 years later....after going through alot of hell with older kids...a miracle that wasn't supposed to happen. I mean really, REALLY was NOT supposed to happen. I was 43 (now 45). But it did! And we are so, so blessed and happy! She has melted everyones hearts and really knit our family together in ways I could not have predicted. It's a beautiful thing...babies, if we appreciate them. This post should be titled inhaling the small things. Because if there's one thing in life that should be inhaled it's babies! Love you, love your blog. Keep it up, Sue
P.S. Stella has those binkies like Dash's. they are wonderful and last a while! . She chews on hers too now when she's teething.

KS Photography said...

Oh lady! I didn't even pick one room! LOL. (although I wanted to pick two....) I am just soaking in these posts. I love that your appreciate these times.

Jennifer said...

Congratulations! Beautiful blog entry . . . and someone has been doing some great knitting for you!

Jen said...

oooo I agree with the comment Maria said above - this is a delicious post :)
My little one is 6.5 months old now, and she is not as 'smooshy' as she was 6 months ago, and i miss that (actually read this post with tears in my eyes, because she's growing too fast!). She is getting so strong now, trying to figure out how to crawl and putting everything in her mouth. I miss the smooshiness though.
However, I know I smooshied her up as much as I could (and I still do!). I remember holding her while she was sleeping at about 3 weeks old, and my grandma said: "No one ever looks back and thinks 'I wish I hadn't spent so much time holding my baby' so hold her as much as you can because she won't be little long.". Best advice ever. I still hold her for naps when I can, because it makes me feel wonderful. As a matter of fact, I'm off to nurse her now because it sounds like she needs me :)
Enjoy your sweet little boy - he is beautiful :)

Elizabeth said...

Congratulations on your baby boy! He is beautiful, just like your girls!

It's definitely a transition when a new baby enters the picture...I recently experienced this going from 1 (4 yr old boy) to 3 as I had twin girls a few months ago! There are definitely moments of chaos, but I wouldn't change it for anything! So much love :)

Meg said...

Your words are beautiful, and your heart is even more radiant! Thanks for sharing!

Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

Man that frosting is addictive, he's so adorable makes me feel like having a fourth, I just love babies. Such cute foxy toys and lovely thoughts.

LK said...

Thank you for this! I am pregnant with my 3rd and last and I'm not going to lie...I'm scared! This makes me less nervous. :) Beautiful pictures as always. <3

Sarah said...

Still just in college, but, can't wait for these days if or when they happen down the road.

One of my favorite posts, Kelle. Beautiful.

Sarah

Corine Keyonnie said...

My 5th and "frosting" baby is now 5 months old, thank you for the little reminder that life is what you make it. I need to remember to slow down and make my kids world a little more fun!
I love reading your blog and thank you for sharing your world with me (ok, ok, us.....).

Cassadie said...

"Just give it to him" is a fabulous newborn tip! I love how easy you make life with three look, and I only wish I could have glided through the transition from 2 to 3 so smoothly... there were quite a few bumps in our road! And you are right- boys do pee A LOT.

Sarah said...

This post made me bawl my eyes out! Oh how I want a third baby. One last baby. Thank you for the advice. Your simple words just make life with kids seem that much easier to manage. Your patience is amazing and something I strive for. You are one wonderful mama. Thank you, Kelle. I mean it.

medina family said...

We've been using that "just give it to him' advice for the last three years. It will start to backfire at some point, but it was good while it lasted.
We're moving from three to four soon and I'm wondering how we'll all adjust. Looks so peaceful over at your house. Nothing like a sleeping baby!
Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures :)

Leanne said...

Kelle, this is absolutely beautiful! How do you do it? How do you make us (me) want to be like you? You are just such a wonderful, loving, fun momma. And I know we are ALL loving mommas, but you just seem to give us little tips on how to tweek it a little more...more fun. just love the "pick two rooms" and "just give it to her". I"m definitely going to use those! "just give it to her" is happening first thing in the morning! Gosh...and I love how you can turn an ordinary moment into a "party" just by adding a hat or adding some cucumber slices. You are amazing, lady! I think your next book could just be about being this wonderful momma that you are...You really do just enjoy the simple things. Thanks for sharing <3

Traci P said...

He really is an extra beautiful baby! His hair looks dark. So handsome Kelly!

Jessica @ Team Wiking said...

Beautiful photos and writing, as always Kelle! I love your family (in a non creepy way, lol).

Monalisa said...

<3 http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/527937_535269416495150_743274454_n.jpg

texmimi said...

Not five kids now?

texmimi said...

Not five kids now?

CheCiara said...

Oh wow-how handsome is he?! I am so in awe of how you are living. I've shared your blog with my husband and we both share your mindset about making the normal special. We do it for ourselves but we are most excited about doing it for our future kids-which may be sooner rather than later if you keep posting such beautiful baby photos as these!

Lindsay said...

You are so amazing...and not because "you do it all" but because you know what's important... and you make me SO baby hungry (I'm finishing grad school right now so that might have to wait a bit)...and you make me want to enjoy the little things in my own life instead of getting so caught up trying to maintain everything. :) Thank you.

PS, your kids are beautiful.

Win said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHH! So excited for you, all of you. He is just the cutest thing ever. Please squeeze all 3 of them for me. Love you guys so bunches (not grammatically correct but it is how I FEEL)... Soak it all up sister. Thank you for sharing!

Megan said...

Bradley Cooper has nothing on that beautiful manchild of yours! Oh my goodness, I'm broody.

And love all the little foxes!

Sarah RT said...

The last paragraph you've written here is exactly why your blog resonates with me. I am truly a better mom because of you Kelle. Thank you for sharing with us. <3

The Cisel's said...

Did you really have a baby.... cause girl you look amazing! Congrats.

Julie said...

hahah love the bradley cooper shot ;-)

Roksalanna said...

Love the photo of Dash with his fox friends.
Without a doubt the most Fabulous Mr Fox in the picture.
xo

Sarah said...

Cooper Schmooper! Personally, I've never seen the appeal. That Dash on the other hand, I could eat with a spoon! He's just. Too. Cute!!
Amen to making a party out of the small things! These little things are what our babies will remember and (hopefully) emulate with their kids. I just wish I was able to use your keep it simple approach without my OCD, perfectionist self taking over! Case in point our Super Bowl party...
http://stayathometerritory.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/superbowl-fun.html?m=1
Congrats on your beautiful son. And Thank you for being my inspiration. Sarah x

Alicia D said...

Simply beautiful - the sweet photos AND the knowing words. Congratulations Mama!

Marianne said...

So happy for all of you!

Reading this as I'm eating breakfast ~ almost spit my cereal out when I saw the captioned picture of Nella!

Carin Cullen said...

I love everything about this post...especially the paragraph about it not taking an extra mile, just an extra inch. For example, our go to special Friday night dinner in February when we are all tired of winter is a carpet picnic. Nothing big and fancy, though I sometimes break out the good stuff, but the kids find it so exciting. It really doesn't take much.

Farmgirl Paints said...

You are such a good writer. Just love how you can weave your thoughts together. It's all coming together. Momma of three looks pretty amazing on you!

Beverly said...

You're awesome! Your post took my breath away. Such love...your words say it, your pictures show it. I love that you share it! Thank you.

6512 and growing said...

Fun, funny and lovely. Also, I noticed you're brushing your hair, which counts as pretty high functioning skills post baby.

Kelly said...

Beautiful post from a beautiful mama!

drauntieali said...

LOVE the bow tie!

Kimmy said...

Dash is beautiful. All of your kids are beautiful. I laughed out loud at the caption above Nella thinking Bradley Cooper is hot. Loved this post. Great ideas to make every day a party and fun. Enjoy.

Jessica Reb said...
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Jessica Reb said...
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Janet said...

I'm so happy for you all with that extra handsome little Dash of yours. He is too cute for words! Thanks for helping us remember to have fun. Sometimes it's hard to find that patience and remember that, but it's SO important.

Jessica Reb said...

I love this post from the bottom of my heart! We went from 0 to 2 babies when we had our twins boys and then a few years later had our daughter. Verbal validation got us through those first few months of transition and it still works - as does the gem "give it to her (the baby)"! We don't know if we are done yet or if #4 may be in our future, so i try to remember to enjoy the "frosting":) Cherish your sweet little Dash and all his "squishy" glory:)

Thank you again for your words - it helps me to remember to slow down and enjoy the small things:)

Cindy said...

Kelle, you have the most beautiful and real outlook on life. I fell in love with your blog a long time ago, but I keep coming back daily to check in because of the wisdoms you share. Your 3 savoring tips are excellent and your last paragraph is brilliant. In our family, we do the exact same thing. I love it and I've been so inspired by you to "enjoy the small things" even more. Thank you and thank you Hampton family for this.

Altax said...

Congrats!!! Lovely pictures and awesome photography.

Online Educational Games and Resources

Sperber said...

Your words are so inspiring. Thank you for taking the time to share them. Congratulations on your wonderful new addition!

April said...

I love this post and your tips on adding a baby. I will be adding another baby come August. :) I love Dash with his little bow tie on!

Danielle said...

I have to be honest it is weird seeing a baby on your blog. Since we dont see you and didnt see your bump in person its weird to think you were pregnant and now you have this beautiful baby boy! Your blog was so girly before and now it has a "Dash" of boyness to it! Love it and love checking everyday to see of you have a new post with pics of the 3!!! Congrats again!

Jenny D said...

As always, Fantastically Beautiful!

Patty said...

I love your idea of making any ole night a party with your loved ones! :)

Ali's Mom said...

He really is such a beautiful baby! and no jaundice?! Yay!!

jenn~the stylish housewife said...

i just don't know how you have the time to do it all. and look so beautiful doing it. you are such an amazing writer too. so glad i found your blog.

xoxo, jenn
the stylish housewife

dramafreemama said...

My "Frosting" arrives in May... and I am scared to death that my toddler (who will be nearing 3) is going to hate me for ruining everything. And hate his baby brother too. This post helped, so thanks. And the pictures are beautiful. Can't wait for squishiness!

Donna said...

Thank you once again for your positive, uplifting post! Your sweet looking Nella has such good taste...love me some Bradley Cooper!! :) Your baby boy is truly adorable as well. Reading your blog is a natural way for me to be "lifted" & reminded of how really simplistic it is to have fun with your children everyday despite the challenges we all face in life!!

Tara B said...

Kelle, you and I....two peas. I LOVE the baby stage so much too! I also have two girls and a boy. He's 7 now and still my "baby boy." Dash is beautiful! If you be sure to enjoy every kiss and every squeeze,it makes it easier when it's 7 years later and you can say "I truly enjoyed that time."

Mark, Wendy, Dale and Rose said...

And THAT is why I love your blog! Perspective is such a strong thing, isn't it? Love it. Congratulations to your family. Much love.

Lisa said...

I love, love, love the look of pure Joy on Lainey's face as she beams on Dash in almost every picture. It's like she gave birth to this baby herself! As a middle.. you're so very wise to appreciate early what Nella might feel like to be lost in the middle. :)

Casey bumgardner said...

congrats!!! you are a wonderful mother. I have on child and he is a boy they are wonderful. I just love all your advise,and wisdom. Im new to your blog but i have read every post from begining to end and you are wonderful i find myself telling people about you and your blog. i find you inspiring. and again congrats to you and your family with your new baby

theshooz said...

I love how beautifully you write about your family and your life. Thanks for sharing.

Lara said...

I love this post. It's so beautiful. You are an amazing mother and your family is precious. It is so true how easily a simple moment can become something grand in the eyes of a child just by adding something unique to it.

T Borrenpohl said...

Affirmation to the older children when the little one cries... I had never thought of that. While I don't have kids yet, that nugget is going in my back pocket. Genius!

Denise said...

I had a boy after having 2 girls...I also have 2 bonus kids from my husband so that makes 5 in our house. There is a large age gap between the older ones and the "babies" as we call them...still....even though they are 6 and 3.

Our son is our last, and I have to say he made nothing harder when he came. We were scared senseless to have 5 kids!!! But he made our life easier. I totally get what you are feeling right now.

There are 2 things I have to add:
1. It gets harder as they get older...once he got mobile we got more of the "he's bothering me" kind of thing. And boys are waaaay different then girls. I have talked to some Moms who had mellow boys, but mine is rough and tumble and likes to tackle his sister. It can get interesting. But even though he gives me a run for my money, I absolutely adore that kid...he is so cool.

2. I feel the absolute pangs of him being the "last". I cry over him turning 3, signing him up for preschool, him talking, potty training....EVERYTHING makes me cry because he is my last baby. Needless to say I was not this emotional with my other kids....something about him being my last. And my son.....gets me every time.

Don't let anyone try and make you feel bad because your 3rd child isn't as hard as they expect it to be. It is beautiful and a blessing and amazing. And I found it easy too. Things will get harder and more challenging as he becomes a walking, talking, toy stealing member of your family. I am sure you already feel like you don't know what you ever did with out him, I did.

Chris Taney said...

I love what you said about how you can make red carpet events out of simple things for your kids. It's only adults that critique the decor, the quality of food/entertainment, and the overall "expensiveness" of the place.

Kids are still learning what a part is. And when it means that mom and dad are excited, everyone's dressing up, and they are allowed eat junk food galore while doing something together, than that's a party through and through. They couldn't enjoy it more if they had tickets to the Oscars themselves (although they might get bored if they had to sit there in uncomfortable suits and dresses and sit through 2-3 hours of people talking).

Chris Taney
Familius
It's all about Making Memories.

Elle's mommy said...

He is just gorgeous! Congrats! Love your pictures and your girls and your new little guy! Beautiful, beautiful family! :)

Rachael said...

This post made me want to get pregnant with #2 and #3 right away. Too many cute newborns photos, and nothing does me in like a sweet brand new baby boy. Oh man. This mama is just about ready for another bun in the oven.

Liane said...

I love the paragraph where you describe how to make normal everyday things into magical memories for children. At the moment I feel so bad for my just turned four year old son. Most of January and the beginning of Feb I was on the sofa with morning sickness and I feel like he missed out on so much time with me. Thank you for making me realise that it's the little things I can do that will please him. Maybe tomorrow I'll pull out a blanket at lunch time :)

Dash is beautiful and he has no idea how lucky he is to have a Mama like you! xx

Lex Wisniewski said...

Oh my word, I'm going to go home and assign a room to Husband and a couple to me. Brilliant.

Mrs. Osmond said...

Kelly I just want to say that you are a breathe of fresh air. You are so real and so down to earth. Thank you for being you and your beautiful family. It brings me joy to look at your blog. Thank you

Shelby
http://brandonandshelby.blogspot.com/

Mrs. Osmond said...

Kelly I just want to say that you are a breathe of fresh air. You are so real and so down to earth. Thank you for being you and your beautiful family. It brings me joy to look at your blog. Thank you

Shelby
http://brandonandshelby.blogspot.com/

Laurie Hoffman said...

This post totally broke me down... we aren't just parents to our children, we are the gate-keepers and inventors of their memories.

whenheathermetblog said...

Kelle - I adore you and your family. Beautiful reality, soak it up!

Java said...

Do you really have jeans on already!! Sheesh!! Amazing and that baby is gorgeous!!!!

Java said...

Do you really have jeans on already!?? Sheesh!! Amazing and that baby is gorgeous!!!!

Jennifer Miller said...

Nella is correct - Bradley Cooper is SUPER hot! Your babies are such beautiful little people. Congrats on the new baby, makes me want to have another.

Anne B said...

Brilliant post! I only hope I can be half of the mom you are when we have children. I love your "verbally validate" advice.

Lauren said...

Best post yet! Loved the pic of father and son. Hiding in the bathroom is my favorite "get away from the kids" move! I'll have to snatch a bottle of sparkling wine and take a couple of swigs to further the enjoyment. And the advice on giving more attention to the older kids was awesome, I'm gonna use that line "now baby please wait a moment while I attend to your older sibs important needs. " Thank you KH!

The Scott's said...

Love Love Love!
And I totally agree with Nella about Bradley! :)

Samantha said...

Amazing post!!

Elin Svarstad said...

This is so great. Your kids are so beautiful - and little Dash is just stunning. What you write is so genuine and good. You must be the greatest mother there is. Thank you for sharing!

Selby said...

Beautiful post just beautiful & inspiring. Thankyou for sharing :)

mummalove said...

Beautiful post. I really love that first picture of you and Dash - just gorgeous. Strangely enough, I found the adjustment to three kids much easier than going from one to two. But I'm also good at embracing the 'little more laundry, little less sleep and a lot more love' theory. Enjoy all that extra love xx

Raelyn said...

Kelle....
So, you have yourself a new man!! Should Brett be jealous? Hee, hee, hee.... ;-D
Enjoy your "newborn loving fog"!! While it lasts!! ;)
--Raelyn

Kathryn said...

I see some of Nella in Dash. Especially the mouth. In some pictures, the way he holds it, he looks like her. So cute!

Meagan Kenney said...

He's so beautiful Kelle. Haven't commented in a while-life has just "gotten in the way." You're making me have baby fever and I think we're "done."

PS-HAVE YOU LOST ALL YOUR BABY WEIGHT?! Holy cow-you look AMAZING!

WestCoastGirl said...

The mommy and son pictures are particularly gorgeous. Love the newborn lovin!

Ami said...

Oh, he is just gorgeous! My third (and last) is 18 months old and you're killing me here - baby fever is not something I was expecting now. But, seeing and remembering all of those newborn moments? Yep, killing me! :) Congratulations!

SH said...

I love reading about your life - I can't wait to be a mother.

Sheree
The Hartungs Blog
thehartungs.blogspot.ca

Brenda said...

I love everything you write. Thank you for your beautiful words.

Marilou Blundell said...

Precious and you are doing an amazing job!!!

Penny said...

Congrats again! savor away. He is absolutely scrumptious. :)

Maheen Ott said...

That was deep and all but...in the end I am going to keep chewing on the fact that Bradley Cooper is really, really so hot.

likeschocolate said...

These photos are making me baby hungry!

Jaim said...

Lovely as always, blog post and pictures, especially Dash. The picture of the foxes...could you tell me about the one on Dash's left, my right. It's very cute!

Thanks

Sweet Vintage Paperie said...

Oh Kelle....he is so precious, just a little angel!

brigitte said...

Beautiful pics! stunning kids, such a happy family!

Paula said...

Kelle, I love your blog and almost always agree with you....I also love, love, love being a mom! But two things bothered me about this post. I am a bit sensitive about middle child comments (I am the middle of 7) and boy comments (the mother of two grown sons).

Boys do not pee more than girls, it is just more obvious because of plumbing. Nella has gone from being the baby to being the middle child and that can be really difficult even in the best of circumstances. I realize you meant nothing by these comments, they are stereotypes that parents almost feel they have to mention, but they do come across as negative traits.

Comments that seem innocent can be harmful. Children pick up on these comments.
When my oldest son was small we were at a party. A girl burped and everyone giggled. My 5 year old son asked me "Why does everyone laugh when a girl burps and when a boy burps he gets in trouble?"

Sugar and spice and frogs and snails attitudes really bother me. It is the subtle comments that further the stereotypes about males and females. My sons do not constantly grab themselves and do not burp and fart in public, nor does their dad. I really dislike when I hear people saying all men are like that. My boys are actually very different from one another in personality.

Middle children are not being demanding anymore than an older child is. That is another stereotype that really bugs me, probably because I am the middle child!

I mention these two things out of love and admiration, knowing you have an important platform.

Congratulations on your new baby! Like you I loved every second of being a mother and I still do. My boys are 17 and 21 now. You are at the greatest stage with your children. I thought you might enjoy what I wrote when my oldest left for college.

i had always heard that a mama bird pushes her babies out of the nest to teach them to fly. actually i never believed that, so early this summer,with thoughts of nicholas leaving for college weighing on my mind, i googled it. turns out i was right, she doesn't. after several days, a mama bird begins to stay a slight distance away from her hatchlings during feeding. if they are going to survive, the fledglings have to step out of the nest, spread their wings and fly. mama bird has roughly 19 days to accomplish this. i had 19 years and still it seemed there was so much to do and say. i love being a mom. it came naturally to me and i savored every moment. i remember having his first halloween costume picked out in july. taking vacations whenever we wanted to, no schedules to follow. pictures of every milestone. it started off slowly. sending him from 2 days of pre-school to 3 days then half-day kindergarten to full days of school. letting him ride the bus to letting him drive the car. somewhere time began to speed up. i felt like lucy at the candy factory, days and years like the chocolates on the conveyer belt, kept coming faster and faster. i could never catch up and time wouldn't slow down. i always dreaded the day he would leave. i loved our little family of four. i wasn't sure i would be able to let go. but here we are. we did it. i learned to distance myself a little and nicholas stepped away from the nest, spread his wings and learned to fly.

Time goes by fast, keep enjoying the small things.

kcolquitt said...

Oh Kelle, he is absolutely delicious. I'm already missing the newborn phase, Sam was my last one, too. *sniff sniff*. and your sister is soooo right....I did the "just give it to her" routine with Lulu. It's probably why she's a hot mess, but it is THE rule of the house.

MEL said...

oh, my...what a beautiful family you are. And that boy, well...he's just gorgeous. Yes, we can call him gorgeous for a long while yet. I think it's about six when they become "handsome". :-)

Enjoy these fleeting newborn moments! I am secretly envious of you, but definitely in a GOOD WAY!!!

Rosie Keisha said...

Every photo is just beautiful and captures such sweetness. Nella went from the little baby to the middle child overnight so she will be looking to capture your attention more...that's normal. My sister hated being the middle child...not old enough for the privileges (staying up later!) of the first born nor young enough to be the baby and fawned over. The juggling act now becomes more challenging now but with your natural mothering skills you'll figure it out.

Jennie said...

My goodness, where did you get your white shirt in the last photo? I've been looking for one like that for ages, so simple, drapey, and perfect!

That picture of Dash with all the foxes needs a frame. So awesome.

<3

Shannon said...

Congrats to you and your family on your precious addition! He is beautiful, just like the rest of your children. Enjoy!

Kate said...

Oh Kelle - he's so beautiful. Congratulations, again, on the addition to your family.

Laura said...

The Bradley Cooper picture... sigh- so sweet!

Rose said...

Your sunny perspective always inspires ... I am learning, only now ... why did it take me so long! how to make usual unusual ... date nights with the kids are date nights because i call them that -really we just watching a movie ... or we turn the front room into a cinema - because we have popcorn in individual cups not one giant bowl and we make tickets .... never mind that we are watching the same film we watched each day this week! much much more of this i think will filter into our lives this year, much more! always with love x

Rose said...

Your sunny perspective always inspires ... I am learning, only now ... why did it take me so long! how to make usual unusual ... date nights with the kids are date nights because i call them that -really we just watching a movie ... or we turn the front room into a cinema - because we have popcorn in individual cups not one giant bowl and we make tickets .... never mind that we are watching the same film we watched each day this week! much much more of this i think will filter into our lives this year, much more! always with love x

Dressing Ivana said...

adorable post and photos

Erin Moynihan said...

I loved many things about this post...including the little baby in stripes closeup picture and Oscar pajama party...but the picture of Nella on the couch slayed me! So good! Bradley Cooper is a hottie :-)

Thanks again for reminding me to Enjoy the Small Things <3

Elise said...

Congratulations that gorgeous boy!

rue said...

Congratulations!!! Seeing you love on precious Dash melts my heart!! Last babies are truly a magical adventure. Our last , #5, will be 2 this month. Five daughters can be exhausting at times but I can't wait to see what glorious adventures are in our future!
My dad lost his 9mth battle with Pancreatic cancer on 2/13. I didn't see your post about sweet baby Dash and his amazing sisters until today. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives. Your writing brings a smile to my face very easily. Not a lot has done that lately. My girls can make me smile but outside of them I had lost my smile and I thank you for helping me to find it again.
Your blog has helped me to remember to slow down and enjoy the small things.

rue said...

Congratulations!!! Seeing you love on precious Dash melts my heart!! Last babies are truly a magical adventure. Our last , #5, will be 2 this month. Five daughters can be exhausting at times but I can't wait to see what glorious adventures are in our future!
My dad lost his 9mth battle with Pancreatic cancer on 2/13. I didn't see your post about sweet baby Dash and his amazing sisters until today. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives. Your writing brings a smile to my face very easily. Not a lot has done that lately. My girls can make me smile but outside of them I had lost my smile and I thank you for helping me to find it again.
Your blog has helped me to remember to slow down and enjoy the small things.

Yellow Finch said...

oh kelle, i love this. so very relatable. your sister's phrase is epic, "Just give it to her." Jess is our last and we embrace that phrase every day.

I love your idea of incorporating imagination into the everyday. We do the same thing around here, and it is so simple and effortless. Yet we are giving our children the best gift. Imagination.

xoxo

rachel said...

One of the best posts on parenting that I've ever read! So, so true! All of it!

Genia & Shaylon said...

Beautiful! You are my cheerleader, the voice I need to hear! I see the love in the house and fam.

Tairalyn said...

You my love are such an inspiration to me. As a mother, and a woman. I will have you know this.

xxoo
Tairalyn

www.LittleMissMama.com

Caryl Rose said...

That is one cute baby!
Cheers,
Caryl

4daysaweek said...

he is just so very pretty

Ralph and Sara Pot said...

Maybe during those midnight feeds, you might enjoy the following video - or you might have seen it already? It's called Tim's Place, a restaurant owned by Tim who just happens to also live with Down's Syndrome.

http://everyonematters2012.com/#element_9740156254fda04ca06c24-tab_3

http://timsplaceabq.com/

peace for your week. Enjoy the three babes - to quote basketball terms, you are parenting in zone defense now. No longer man-to-man. :)

spot

Bee Girl said...

Such a lovely post! Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks as well as your direct experiences. You have a beautiful family :-)

rahel said...

Oh my cutness! What wonderful pictures... it is a truly miraculous stage- those early days... too fast they grow. But in the end each age has it's beautiful sides. I wish you and your family many wonderful moments together!

Kelly Sheehy said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Every word, every sentiment, and every photo is truly beautiful! Thank you!

Jennie Bee said...

Gosh I love this post. It's amazing! Such great advice. I always admire your ability to celebrate and party with the smallest occasion, but love your secret that every day can be party day!

PS just finished Bloom and am recommending it to everyone at work! You are so honest and I appreciate the vulnerability. Thanks for your beautiful words.

Sydney said...

You can just tell the girls are in absolute heaven with their new "real" baby doll! :) So sweet.

Meagan Francis said...

Oh, my heart. He is one beautiful baby, and it does make me miss that newborn stage more than a little.

Lexie Loo, Lily Boo, and Dylan Too! said...

You make having 3 kids look beautiful! I'm expecting my 4th, and probably last child,and after seeing Dash, I think another little boy would be awesome!

SuperMilf said...

He is so GORGEOUS!!! You truly make me want another when I previously had no desire lol!
Congrats again XO
~Jazzmine~

www.reemfaruqi.com said...

Hi Kelle, I've been reading your blog since my sister-in-law lent me your book Bloom and have been hooked ever since! I was so excited to see that you had a blog and was so excited to see Nella and Lainey's progress. I love your photography as well. Lainey reminds me a little of my own little girl. I just had another baby so reading this post was beautiful and I could totally relate. I photoblog at www.reemfaruqi.com so please do stop by for a visit. I've also been enjoying the new blogs you've been featuring too.

This was my favorite post so far ~ so had to comment! You're the top blog that I follow lately and get really excited when there's a new post. Enjoy Dash ~ I love the way you described his froggy feet. Here's my little baby's froggy feet :)

Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy!
Reem Faruqi
www.reemfaruqi.com

www.reemfaruqi.com said...

http://reemfaruqi.com/2013/03/04/ballet/

here is my daughter's froggy feet!

Heather Davies said...

As a mother of 3, your words resonate deep in my heart. I was reading your post as a first-time reader and thinking to myself you've hit the nail in the head in ur analogies and descriptions. Here is one my pastor uses as well, "beautiful chaos." That is what being a mother to 3 is to me for sure, beautiful chaos through and through.

Dawn Howell said...

Hi Kelle,
I have been following your blog since you did photos of my niece's (Heather Howell Clecker)son, Chase (FROG) as we call him! I just read your blog this Friday, and I was laughing so hard that tears were flowing!!! I could imagine seeing myself doing something like that many, many years ago and thinking the same thing. So enjoy your blog, just wanted to let you know that. Keep up the good work and thank you for making me laugh today as I sure needed it.
Dawn Howell

gillian claire said...

oh your photos are wonderful!

Mika said...

I wonder how many people got clucky while reading this...I know I did....now where is a baby to smell?!?!

Pride In Photos said...

What a wonderful JOY to see a mother just really GET IT!!!! You go girl!! There is nothing more important to treasure than the newborn stage...grab every moment, it really is just a piece of heaven coming down just for you! Blessings, Laurie

Hanna said...

The idea of you and your hubby each taking a couple rooms in the house is genious!

Ernesto IbaƱez said...

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