Dear Little VKs: That Summer

Dear Little VKs,

I dare say this is the best summer I’ve ever had. Yes, even better than any summer I had as a kid or a teen.

You know why? Because you are here.

I feel a sense of completeness. This is my life. You are my kids. The ones I dreamed of raising. And this is that summer…the one I imagined when I was dating your daddy. The summer where he goes to work during the day and I have the summer off so we just play in the wide open spaces of our yard and I don’t care as much about a dirty house and keeping up with laundry and cooking actual meals. What’s important is enjoying the time we have together. Jumping on the trampoline. Splashing in the $15 inflatable pool from Aldi. Pushing you in the swing on our hand-me-down play set. Watching you drive your Power Wheels all over the yard and killing the battery everyday. Sometimes twice. Reading books. Watching the baby birds in the bedroom window. Curling up on the couch to watch a movie and eat popcorn. Catching fireflies in a mason jar.

This is all I ever wanted. I don’t have big, lofty goals I want to attain in my life. I have a few goals in mind and I would like to reach them one day. But, you are what I wanted. The three of you and your daddy. Oh, and the dog, but her hair is everywhere and y’all keep letting her out of the fence and I have to chase her and yell “SANIBEL, COME GET SOME BREAD” like a redneck and I’d rather keep this chipper so we are just going to drop the dog talk right now.

I don’t deserve for that summer I imagined to become this summer. I don’t deserve for you to be my reality. But here we are, filthy and smelly from playing outside all morning and all I can do is tear up and thank God that I have all of you.

Abide in Him, my children, and His desires will be planted in your heart. You will grow to want the same things He does.

It was first His desire to give you to me. To give your daddy to me. And to give me to all of you. Our family is just what I pictured, but it was God’s design first. And He is the one that planted the desire for you in my heart.

I’m going to fail you everyday. I’m going to mess up and make the wrong choice and say the wrong thing and jump to the wrong conclusion. But you can be certain that none of those things will happen with your Heavenly Father.

Keep the joy that you have. It’s utterly contagious. And when you feel you are losing that joy, ask God to restore it. Because your joy will lead others to joy in Christ. It certainly has that effect on me.

Thanks for being you. Don’t change.

Except this one thing, please stop letting the dog out of the fence.

I love you always.

Ruby’s Ninth Month

Miss Ruby, you have officially been out as long as you were in! You have done so much growing and learning this month! 

Firsts: Sitting up without any help, swimming in a pool, taste of chocolate pudding, eating meat and all kinds of table food (including eggs and peanut butter!), riding in Lily’s jeep and Scott’s truck, trip to the Birmingham Zoo and Discovery Center in Murfreesboro  

Favorite Toy/Activity: Rolling all over the floor, dancing, your red toy car that you play in on the rug, Lily’s baby doll 

Mommy’s Favorite: Your dance moves 

Daddy’s Favorite: When you say hey to him and get all excited to see him. He is definitely your favorite person right now! 

Lily’s Favorite: When you try to talk 

Scott’s Favorite: When you sit with him in the chair to watch Paw Patrol or Blaze 

Milestones: Sitting up, you have completely given up a bottle–you will only drink out of sippy cups now, no more baby food, 9 month clothes, size 3 diapers 

Weight/Length: I’m guessing you are close to 20 lbs 

Like Mommy: Your hair is getting lighter and showing signs of being curly 

Like Daddy: You are content and easily pleased 

Like Lily: Most mornings you wake up in a good mood and occasionally you will stay in bed and talk before we come to get you

Like Scott: You do “The Wiggle” in your high chair, a signature move your brother created when he was your age

Best Memory: Nothing in particular sticks out, but all of our summer days spent at home playing with your brother and sister are sure to create memories for all of us! 

Biggest Challenge: You are such an easy baby, I can’t think of a challenge. You want to crawl so bad but just can’t figure it out yet. It frustrates you sometimes. 

How We Spend the Day: You wake up anywhere between 6 and 7, take 6 oz of formula and eat yogurt or a pancake for breakfast, play, nap from about 9-10:30 sometimes a little earlier, take another 6 oz at 11, play, eat lunch whenever your siblings do (usually turkey, cheese, fruit), nap from about 1-2:30 or 3, another 6 oz at 3:30, play, sometimes a cat nap around 4:30, dinner at 5:30ish (usually whatever we are eating), another 6 oz at 7ish, and bed by 8. You also munch on snacks throughout the day 🙂  

Nicknames: Wuby Jeams and Miss Ruby 

Funniest Moment: Watching you dance and wiggle to the music on your toys 

Words: “hey ya” is usually your way of saying hey to anyone, but “hey da” is your slightly different version reserved for your daddy :). You say these while either waving or sticking your hand straight out waiting for a high five 

How We Celebrated: We made cupcakes! But I didn’t let you have any 😦 Be patient little one, your first birthday will be here soon. 

Coming Up: the beach!!! 

Driving in my big red car! 

A summer stroll

Play date with Seth. Looks like you two really enjoyed each other’s company. 

You remind me of Scott here. Such joy! 

All babies need doggie kisses. 

Riding with the wearer of swimming glasses (aka goggles). 

A HOT trip to the zoo! 

Playing at the children’s museum. They had a small section just for your size!

Family ride on the zoo train

Dancing with Quinton on Memorial Day 

He loves loves loves to have his Wuby Jeams next to him! He says you are his best friend. 

The three little VKs

Excited about pancakes for breakfast! 

You got to be a flower girl again at the wedding of Travelers and Puppy Puppy. The creative wedding planner was your big sister Lily. 

Sitting in the chair watching Blaze! One of his favorite things to do with you. 

First time in the pool! You kicked and kicked and kicked some more! 

Lookin’ good with your daddy at Travelers and Puppy Puppy’s *inflatable* poolside reception. 

Getting the bunny ears from your sister! 

All smiles after a night swim! 

Ruby’s Seventh and Eighth Months

Truth: This picture wasn’t actually taken the day you turned 7 months. You are a few days short of being 8 months. 
Truth: This picture wasn’t actually taken the day you turned 8 months. It was taken just 2 weeks after the first picture. Just enough time for there to be a noticeable difference between the two. Like different sheets. Okay, and maybe longer hair. 

Well, what do you know? Your mother has failed to keep up with these monthly posts. Unlike your sister, who was the only child for 3 1/2 years and never knew the affliction of her mother missing a monthly post, you are not the only child and I’m surprised I’m just now messing this up. Alas, before you turn 9 months, here are the details of your 7th and 8th months. 

Firsts: Puffs, yogurt melts, black eyed peas, water in a sippy cup (you are actually a pro at that), feeding yourself a bottle, sitting up with assistance

Favorite Toy/Activity: Playing on the floor with all of your toys, you love to chew on your toes, watching your brother and sister play and dance 

Mommy’s Favorite: You are such a happy baby!

Daddy’s Favorite: Daddy always says “Ditto” 

Lily’s Favorite: Your squealing and your chubby cheeks

Scott’s Favorite: He doesn’t like when you are napping, so he gets really excited to see you when you wake up. While you are asleep, he asks several times “I can go check on Wuby???”  

Milestones: You can roll belly to back and back to belly; you don’t mind being on your tummy and you actually sleep on your tummy most nights now; you are sitting up with assistance; you can eat real food, not just baby food; you can wave at yourself and clap 

Weight/Length: 18 lbs; 75% in height and weight 

Like Mommy: Your hair is getting lighter and showing signs of being curly 

Like Daddy: You are content and easily pleased 

Like Lily: Most mornings you wake up in a good mood and occasionally you will stay in bed and talk before we come to get you

Like Scott: Your smile, chunky cheeks, and hair

Best Memory: You were a flower girl in Aunt Katie’s wedding! 

Biggest Challenge: Still having some nasty diapers 

How We Spend the Day: You wake up around 6 or 6:30 and have 6 ounces of formula and a container of yogurt, you play until your mid-morning nap around 8 or 8:30, you sleep for about 1 1/2 hours, then you eat 6 oz around 10:30 and play until lunchtime, at noon you have a jar of food and play until 1 when you and your siblings take a nap, you wake up by 2:30 or 3 and have another 6 oz bottle, you play and have a cat nap around 5, you then have another jar of food while we eat dinner, you take your last bottle sometime between 7 and 7:30 and you are in bed by 8. 

Nicknames: Wuby Jeams and Miss Ruby 

Funniest Moment: You LOVE to take selfies! 

How We Celebrated: Daddy was out of town the month of April so we didn’t celebrate your 7th month, and your 8th month was in the middle of end of the year/birthdays/anniversary chaos so we didn’t celebrate that month either. I promise your 12 months will be a big deal! 

Coming Up: Summer break!!! 

First time to try out the swing outside 

Meeting your cousin Mav for the first time

 Dancing with Granddaddy at Aunt Katie and Uncle Zack’s wedding

He has a very special love for his Wuby Jeams 

When Daddy left for Dallas your feet did not touch the bottom of the exersaucer. By the time he came home, you could stand in the exersaucer. 

Your sweet brother rocking you to sleep.

You spent a lot of time with Nana and TBone while Daddy was away. They came up a few times to help out with yard work, errands I needed to run, and just letting me get some rest. 

Baby girl at your 6 month appointment, at 7 1/2 months old. You take all the shots like a champ! 

Swinging on the front porch in Mentone with Mom and Pop 

Playing at the neighbors house

You and your siblings took me out to eat for Mother’s Day 

Always so happy!