A highlight of my year is to see this family and connect with them.  I’ve been lucky enough to photograph them for quite a few years now and I have to be ready to answer questions, lots and lots of questions!  This year Timmy had a broken leg, he fell in Hawaii, so we had to be a bit creative in moving and posing him.  He was a trooper even in the freezing cold.  These boys always steal my heart and I absolutely loved hearing their name ideas for baby Zachary (before we chose his name of course).

Gah!  I’m going to totally overshare this session.  Tara is a fellow Austin Photographer with Life is Sweet.  I absolutely adore her work and she’s taken some absolutely amazing photos of my family.  I was super excited and a little nervous to get her crew in front of my camera.  Tara did a wonderful job getting everyone’s outfits together – I love love love how fancy they all are!  

I love all the personalities shining through.  From the boy energy, big sister love and sweet snuggles with momma, their family shines.

Because every good session ends with a selfie lol!  Thank you Tara for trusting me to capture your beautiful family.  It’s always an honor and I’m so thankful for your friendship!

I’ve put it off long enough.  His tongue and lip ties required surgery on his little mouth and I wanted to give him enough time to recover from that and establish a good latch and healthy supply.  But, this momma needs to return to work soon and that means I need to be able to leave him for a few hours at a time.  I’ve promised Jonah since before Zachary was even born that he could help give him the first bottle.  He loves the photos of Ty feeding Jude and Jude feeding him as babies and he wanted to follow the tradition….

But once Zachary took the bottle, Jonah was more than a little peeved that he didn’t get any breastmilk too.  I promised him any leftovers and he was happy with that compromise.

I wish I could say Zachary loved the bottle, or at least tolerated it, but not so much.  He took 1 oz out of 4 oz, chewed on the nipple then refused it.  The next day, he wouldn’t take it at all.  And he started biting me while nursing.  Sigh.  Finicky little boob baby!

A few people on Instagram asked so I’ll post it here too.  This bottle is made by Comotomo.  It’s much more breast like than the glass bottles we used with Jonah.

May 05, 2017
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This happy baby boy slept for 11 hours last night.  Thank you sweet baby Jesus for real sleep.  He woke up happy, nursed, then took a 2 hour nap. He was super easy to put to bed last night, which is not always the case. Chiropractic y’all. It works. Every time my kids get adjusted they sleep better, they are happier. Zachary is even latching better today. It’s a parenting “secret” I’m surprised more people don’t talk about. Because if parents knew, they’d be busting down the chiropractor doors lol! Zachary and I didn’t go to our weekly appt last week, I just couldn’t pull it together to get us out of the house with the rest of the family. I definitely noticed a difference.

May 04, 2017
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10 weeks old and more than happy to be on his belly!

May 03, 2017
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This spot, on Jason’s chest, just over his heart, is Zachary’s spot.  It’s where he is the most calm.  Where he’s connected and finds peace.  After Zachary was resuscitated and his heart started beating again at his birth, and he started to breathe, I saw him for what felt like a few seconds.  He was then handed to Jason so the surgical team could tend to the issues going on with me.  Jason and Zachary were shuffled out of the OR fairly quickly.  Jason went to the recovery room, took off his shirt and put Zachary directly on his chest over his heart.  Zachary was so calm and quiet, sitting there with his daddy, sucking his thumb.  So it’s no surprise this is where he feels calm and safe.  It was to have my husband and new baby leave me in that OR, I cried so hard and begged for them to be able to stay with me, yet I’m thankful for their connection.  It’s a beautiful thing to witness.

Here are a few of that moment at the birth.  Photo credit to our amazing birth photographer, Tara, of Life is Sweet Photography….

Gah!  I just love him so much.

I can’t believe I forgot to share these!  I sent them to family and forgot to post them here for us.  I absolutely love these photos of Jason’s grandma, Zachary’s great grandma, holding baby Zachary.  His middle name is after her late husband John and we are so proud for Zachary to carry his name.  The necklace she’s wearing is John’s signature and I know we will cherish these photos forever.  She was quite smitten with Zachary, so very sweet!  It was Jonah that really stole her heart though.  While she was reading to him on the couch he reached around and put his sweet little arm around her.  It was just the sweetest thing.  Jonah adores her right back!  Aren’t they the cutest together?  He asked for this photo!

Apr 30, 2017
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This little guy decided to start rolling over from belly to back and 10 weeks old.  It was actually pretty funny because he did it and it immediately made him really mad.  He loves being on his belly!  So I rolled him back over and he did it again, same result, majorly ticked off lol!

These two have the sweetest little relationship.  Zachary saves all of the really good smiles for Jude.  I can’t blame him a bit though since Jude is really awesome.  While most mommas I know want to have kids close in age so they will have a close relationship, I’m over here loving this whole 9 years apart thing (again).  They are just the cutest together and it reminds me so much of when Ty used to rush home from school and stand in front of me with his arms stretched out, anxiously waiting to hold Jude the second he walked through the door.  And now it is Jude’s turn.  He’s constantly swooping in for snuggles and smiles from our little ray of sunshine.

Eating dinner with a 10 week old usually looks like this.  Jason is amazing.  He makes sure I get to sit down and eat dinner with the family every single night.  He knows that breakfast and lunch can be a challenge around here, with me sneaking it in when there’s a free minute here or there.  Many times, Taryn steps in and helps fix or finish prepping breakfast and lunch.  I appreciate knowing that one meal will be easier.  And Zachary loves sitting on his lap during dinner time.  He usually sits and talks or laughs at our dining room chandelier, silly baby.  Tonight though, he couldn’t keep his sweet little baby eyes open.

I haven’t talked about it much publicly, but the 4th trimester has been very difficult for me.  Healing from a difficult c-section has been long and painful.  Emotional healing, every more so.  I’m not driving yet post surgery, and staying home all the time has been hard with 4 kids under foot.  Even though we homeschool, we rarely stay home all the time under normal circumstances.  By the time the weekend gets here, the 4 walls of this house are closing in on me.  I gave Jason a long list of things we can do to help me feel better, emotionally and physically, and leaving the house at least once on the weekend is at the top of both lists.  So for the last month, we’ve loaded the kids in the car, grabbed a comfy folding chair and a boppy nursing pillow, packed a picnic and hit a few local parks / lakes.  The first trip out Zachary and I stayed in the car nursing the whole time as I wasn’t able to navigate the hiking trails and stairs yet.  I searched and managed to find a few parks with easier access that I could make it to over the following weeks.  Last weekend we ventured out to Inks Lake and I managed a short hike with the family.  I finally feel like my body is starting to function again and getting out in the sunshine is so good for me emotionally.  Plus the kids had a really fantastic time canoeing with Jason – it was the highlight of our adventure.  Jonah woke up the next morning talking about it and tried to convince me we should go canoeing really quick before Daddy had to leave for work lol.  Most of our vacations for this year have had to be cancelled with the added expenses with the hospital transfer and surgery.  While that’s a big bummer, we still want to instill a sense of adventure and reconnecting as a family with nature during the year.  Our kids call it adventuring and look forward to it all week long.