Thursday, February 28, 2013

dressing the baby bump.

let's talk about maternity fashion.
i loved when friends shared their thoughts on the subject, so here's my 2 cents.
*note i was large pregnant in the fall/winter*
so sorry summer girls, you may be overly hot with these tips...
and note, the tips are mainly for when when your body begins to truly get bigger and bigger and bigger than you thought possible!
all that how to dress for pregnancy in the first and sometimes second trimester is hogwash. H.O.G.W.A.S.H.
(hello oh goodness what a small hbelly)
the h is silent...
and i'm too lazy to readjust some of these pictures so some may be doubles.

1. buy some great basics. i loved the maternity shirts that were were ruched on the sides with elastic (all time favorite maternity shirts=ruched sides!). stretch is key, stretch in all directions. like i mentioned before, my favorite was this black one from h&m (you really can't beat $10). i wore it all the time i swear. i also had a white motherhood brand tee i by chance found at goodwill that was in excellent condition. by the end, the white one didn't have enough stretch in all directions, especially length, to feel comfortable whereas the black one did the whole time and doesn't seem stretched out. also some great maternity jeans (pants, shorts, or capris depending on the season). some people frown at forking out money for maternity jeans and i will frown back. i'm going to have multiple pregnancies (all in cold states most likely) and want some cute, comfy jeans for all of them. i got some from h&m (not online anymore...). i loved that the top stretch panel went all the way up my belly, made it so comfortable. the last thing you want is tight clothes squeezing any part of your belly. hopefully (fingers crossed) i picked a jean style that won't go out of fashion: simple, dark, medium flare. 
i.e. favorite black h&m shirt, maternity pants
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2. work your wardrobe. of course. common sense. this works for quite awhile, surprisingly. you know the more flowy (and stretchy) shirts you have, they work for some time which is nice. i would suggest, however, maybe around 25-30 weeks, going through your whole closet and dividing what you can and can't fit anymore or what you don't want to stretch out anymore. half the battle when choosing clothes is thinking "is this going to fit/be too tight?" or having to go through the effort (and disappointment) of putting it on (or not being able to) and having to take it off all exasperated. as soon as you decide the first time that a shirt isn't working anymore for various reasons PUT IT TO THE SIDE seriously. this will make you feel much better when only choosing between 20 shirts that you could possibly still fit and putting those other 30 to the side (i don't really know how many shirts i have...) but also, don't be too afraid at stretching out some of your shirts, if you're nursing, tight shirts are not your friends. 

i.e. this dress is definitely not maternity

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3. find shirts that give you definition. i always gravitated toward clothes that tended to go back to being snug under my belly. doing this made me feel cute-pregnant and not tent-pregnant. for real, work this one.
this non maternity shirt has a tight band of fabric underneath that hugged my belly and this skirt is what i talk about in #5
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4. sweaters and belts. those 2 basic black and white tees may have been worn all the time but at least i was constantly doing different stuff with them. sweaters can always fit, just don't button it but do belt it around your ribs. and while collecting belts (before, during and after pregnancy), collect LONG SKINNY belts. i thought i would/could wear my thicker stretchy ones and that turned to a heck no real quick. the skinny part between your boobs and belly does not like thick stretch belts or even just thick ones. and i was surprised how much my ribs expanded and the belts that fit around my waist before didn't fit around my ribs comfortably! so that's why i say get long ones. you'll be able to belt them on your real waist with all the cute styles afterwards. also, for the purpose of sweaters, i did buy one $5 white tank (size large) from old navy to wear for undershirts (for extra material above and below shirts) and to wear under sweaters occasionally. i really liked it and wore it during postpartum too.
5. back to the stretch. can i not mention stretch enough? ha, i just felt that that is the key to pregnancy clothes! belly bands. they help make your shorts, capris, and pants work for a very long time, and if you're wearing a long enough shirt, i was able to wear some of my regular pants the whole pregnancy (not that they were as comfy as my maternity ones, but i did want some variety). though i was often needing to tug and pull at the belly band during the day to make sure everything was in place and nothing was showing that i didn't want to, but it still worked. buy a black or white one, not a skin colored one because that'll look like your belly is showing...i did this and it was stupid but workd fine. also skirts and dresses made of jersey or stretchy material. i loved in these old navy skirts the last few months. they were so wonderful. i had a great supply before hand of maxi dresses and skirts that were incredibly forgiving and a win win is that i can still wear them when i'm not pregnant. yay for stretch! but honestly, if you look back at my pregnancy pictures, i was often in dresses and skirts and that wasn't just because we often took the pictures on sundays.
i.e. this was MY FAVORITE pregnancy dress. stretchy, forgiving, comfy, wonderful in so many ways.
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6. bring someone of your "normal" size to buy clothes with you. i heard this from a friend but never got to try it. if she was going shopping to buy new clothes to be able to wear during pregnancy, she'd bring her sister along who was about her normal size to see how those clothes fit on a non-pregnant body so she'd also be able to wear them afterward. i loved this idea. i.e. maxi skirt/dresses.
7. wear your husband's shirts. fa reals though. my husband has a bunch of great big (men's size large) stretchy shirts from old navy and forever21 (loved the f21 ones the most). i always went for his shirts in the mornings. and during that first month and half postpartum and if you're nursing, those shirts were my favorite too. i'm not kidding that when we did laundry none of my shirts were in the laundry but they were all my husband's. put a sweater and belt on those boxy man shirts and they look great on a pregnant woman! when we both packed for the holidays, i think i put more of his shirts in my suitcase that he put of his own shirts in his suitcase. and if you're just hanging around the house and not going to be seen in public, i also constantly wore his big cotton shirts, you know the free, 100% cotton ones you always get for different occasions? ya, those are definitely a pregnancy wardrobe staple and free!
i.e. husband's shirt
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8. borrow from friends/sisters/sister-in-laws. i had some very generous SIL's who offered to let me borrow whatever maternity clothes i wanted from them. so incredibly kind of them. they've gone through 2 and 3 pregnancies themselves so they have slowly but surely gathered cute maternity clothes i got to choose from. so find family/friends and don't be afraid to ask! if someone has been pregnant they understand what you're going through! i would just say that you should be extra considerate to those clothes by letting them hang dry so the wear and tear on them is much less and their colors fade less.
9. half shirts. i didn't actually buy one of these but i really wanted to! i think they are such a smart idea! there were many empire type shirts i had that i loved but i didn't want another layer on over my belly. this was the perfect answer. and bonus: it's the same situation for nursing, you don't want a whole 'nother shirt to bother pulling up/down/over/under when needing to nurse. i definitely want to buy one before my next pregnancy. biggest bonus: they fit no matter how big or small your belly is!

10. buy maternity clothes before you become pregnant. i always shopped maternity sale sections in person and online years before i was pregnant! yes, i'm talking high school people. i did it back then because i honestly was able to make the maternity clothes work as normal stuff and could care less what people thought of me in the maternity section. and then the closer it got time to realizing i was going to be pregnant i would buy maternity clothes i saw on awesome sale, no matter what season they were for. so happy i did this because by the time i was big and pregnant i didn't have to buy much because i slowly accumulated things over time that didn't break the bank! (why do they charge so much for maternity clothes anyways?). but then again, if you find something you LOVE maternity wise and know it will last the seasonal/yearly trends, i say try to wait for it to go on a good enough sale for you and snatch it up! especially if you're going to be pregnant many times, plus there's always postpartum/transitional stage before you can/will confidently wear your more slim fitting pre-pregnancy tops (keep in mind it's not just the size of your belly changing but the size of your bust!
although this picture is from 2 years ago, this is a maternity dress and i'm pretty positive i wore this exact outfit while pregnant (minus the hat...)
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this sweater is technically a maternity sweater i bought ages ago and have used for years.
and used lots while pregnant and non!
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i wish i had tips for shoes, but i don't. i pretty much fit nothing by the end except sandals. (heck yes i wore [my nice] sandals to church when there was snow outside, i couldn't get my big old swollen feet in anything else!). there are many lucky girls whose feet don't swell, i wish you the best in this regard.

although you may not feel cute because you have this large basketball in front of you, you are. every woman is beautiful when they are pregnant, you are creating a child within your body, and that is truly beautiful. the days you feel extra big, make and effort to put on (bright) lipstick, do your hair, and a put on a cute shirt. those simple little things totally help. remember, you won't be like this forever, it will end. enjoy growing another human in you! a pregnant body is incredibly beautiful in so many ways, dress to show that!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

to feed a child.

before having a baby i knew i always wanted to breastfeed for about a majillion different reasons. though the only thing i had heard about it from family and friends was that it hurts at first, quite a bit. that was the only hurdle i expected to have when it came to nursing. that turned out to most certainly not be my problem...

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my journey of breastfeeding is very personal, but i feel like i should share.
if you care to read my story you can after the jump.

Monday, February 25, 2013

what the phones say we've been up to

a. maxson woke from his nap early. casey so graciously volunteered to help him sleep longer and promptly fell asleep with him while studying. these tender moments will only last for so long!
b. first time in the stroller! went walking at the mall with a friend and he loved it. i think he loves just being out of this little house, ha! it's too cold to go anywhere though!
c. smiling
d. i don't usually share the crafts i do on this blog but these are too cute not to! my spitty up baby is now a stud muffin in bibs!
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a. settlers of cat an with friends. it has been way too long since we played that game. sure at the end of the night casey and i always end up offended by each other but it's all in good fun (right, babe?)
b. homemade (legit-i-went-to-italy-on-my-mission) pizzas with friends. some of the most delicious pizza i've had in my whole life! first time ever that the pineapple pizza was not my favorite of the night, i was literally shocked. things like pine nuts, arugula, spicy meats. oh it was some awesome pizza.
c. bumbo baby.
d. momma and max

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a. headed to a friends house for chili dinner. a huge pro to living on a street with a bunch of different friends=walk to their houses for dinner, not drive!
b. watching casey at stake basketball. there were a bajillion children and wives there when we got there at the end of the previous game. but then casey's game started which was against the young single adult ward and it cleared out. it was me, max, 3 little boys, and a girlfriend to a YSA player. twas much better than the previous chaos.
c. driving home from a movie with friends at midnight on saturday night in lincoln, who knew bar hopping/standing outside of bars when it's freezing cold outside is so popular? i was amazed! what a different culture i never knew existed!
d. wiggling his little hands out of that swaddle, silly baby.
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a. casey's homework.
b. future wide receiver. we sometimes try to force his little hands to hold the football ha.
(btw- if max plays football i vote for him to be a wide receiver because let's be honest, it's SWEET when they catch those incredible passes!!!)
c. smiles
d. oreo ice cream cake we've bought way too many times from walmart
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a. superbowl watching.
b. superbowl fooding.
c./d. cute babying.
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more dinner with friends.
can you tell we love dinner with friends?
because we do...
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last but not least, my new, all time favorite picture of my boys.
we finally braved the germs and stayed all of church.
maxson stole the hearts of everyone with his cuteness.
plus since i let like no one ever see him (germs!) they were all smitten :)
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indulge me

indulge me in my very cute baby.

whenever we FaceTime with family or others meet him so many people comments on how aware/alert maxson is for such a young age.
and he really is.
if he's awake and there's something going on, he's watching and, as mentioned, very aware and intrigued
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do you see pirate baby at the bottom :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

how we cloth diaper

let's talk a little about cloth diapers, shall we?
a few of you asked, so if you're interested you can keep reading...
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

birthday party via internet

the newest and last SIL to join the woodruff family, whitney, had her birthday a few days before casey,
and we were lucky enough to join in on the celebration!
via facetime of course.
although we weren't there in person, we felt apart of the fun indeed.
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it's so different than just being on the phone because you can see what's happening, expressions and all.
this night for instance,
we watched my brother, scott, put tons of marbles up his 2 year old, tristan's, pant legs while sitting down.
tristan thought it was a hoot and joined in on putting marbles in.
after a few minutes he stood up and all the marbles gushed out of his pants and fits of laughter followed.
at another point, the almost 1 year old, ruthie, get ahold of the phone we were facetiming on and was crawling with it, taking it where she wanted to go.
the screen was jumbling everywhere, at times we would catch glimpses of her face.
then she tried looking at the screen with the stone cold face wondering what it was,
meanwhile we're loudly saying "ruthie! ruthie! look at the phone!"
it was as if we were in a movie where the adults turn itty bitty and the little babies, who barely understand things, have all control and are the big ones throwing the adults around like king kong.
luckily no one (or phone) got hurt :)
later, whitney was talking with us while holding the oober chubby cute baby, evolett, who gave us the biggest little baby pouty/kissy face when she realized it was not her mother holding her.
it's these small moments that don't matter in the grand scheme of things that make you miss family.
since we're talking about technology, the other day casey was texted a picture by his brother, cody, showing us how mr 3 year old jaden put his underwear on backwards.
we busted up laughing thinking about what it would have been like seeing that in person.

we love technology.
there's so much good that can come from it from sharing pictures/videos with family to emails and video chatting.
although there's lots of not good stuff everywhere because of technology, much good can come from it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

catch up of phone photos

lately i cannot keep on top of iphone photos for the blog for the life of me!
ha, it's just been so busy.
there's 2 phones.
the pictures aren't categorized by date the right way now with different apps i use.
i download them and then promptly forget about them.
so here's a little catch up of randomness.

1. cute baby (actually he was unhappy here but that's what made it so cute!)
2. uncle billy and lil maxson
3. probably a bad night in arizona where max kept sleeping after his morning breakfast and i was like "please do"
4. naked babies in towels=cute cute cute
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1. bonding with his two favorite utah cousins, abby and britton!
2. new year's day dinner with arizona cousins
3. being oohed and ahhed over by cousins
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1. camoflauge baby.
2. cousin/uncle love
3.more cousin love. at least a few times a day when in arizona phoebe and annalee would ask "can i hold the baby?" and for 10 seconds they would love it, and then they were done, ha
4. the boys in-n-out burger lunch after going shooting.
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1. nap time
2. laundry time. he lasted 20 seconds in that bumbo, ha. he's slowly learning to love new things
3. moby wrap. like the bumbo, at first he was not a fan. now he's a lover.
i like it a ton too because i feel like he gets to learn so much in that position.
4. after his first day at church (granted it was only the first hour of sacrament meeting...gotta keep him away from all the sick people everywhere!)
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1. cute baby
2. cute baby
3. literally had to dust off these heels to wear to church, so glad i can wear all my shoes again!
i genuinely thought my feet would never return to their pre-pregnancy size while i was pregnant.
4. cute baby, again.
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1. hanging out.
2. sunday dinner.
3. snowwwwwwwwww.
4. artichokes for dinner.
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Monday, February 18, 2013

saturday morning

last weekend casey had another way too early stake basketball game.
the only good thing about it being way too early than a reasonable time was that by the time he got home, maxson has just woken up to eat!
so casey got to actually enjoy that truly wonderful morning hour and a half with us.
it was splendid
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not pictured is casey in his unmentionables, holding maxson, at the kitchen table, studying for school at 8:30 am.
cute picture but yucko studying.

on another note,
i got maxson laughing the the other day!
oh it was harmonious noise to my ears!
i was able to catch the last laugh on video and i keep replaying because i want to hear it oh so bad again!
sadly, no matter how hard i try he won't do it for us again, boo.
it will come with time, i just need to be patient.
i would put it on here for you to enjoy but i, as well, am videoed in my unmentionables...ha

a happy birthday to you!

continuing with birthday tradition/habit.
we rounded up a few birthday freebies for casey's big day and drove around celebrating!
although we did most of them the weekend before his birthday, it's still a part of birthday celebration.

there were some places where we said "how about you just go inside and i'll stay in the car with max"
but casey wanted max in every picture, ha.
sleepy head was only awake at 1 place!

dipping dots
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noodle and co.
buffalo wild wings.
firehouse subs
red robin.
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and we have a few more we're hoping to hit up!

poor guy had to study way too much during birthday week so little fun was had :(
birthday eve i attempted a cutler favorite: sweet and sour chicken.
it's casey's favorite thing his mother makes when they go home.
so anytime he'd ask for it i'd say "nope! that's your mom's thing and she can keep doing it!"
a) it's a ton of work and
b) i never wanted to hear "well it's not as good as my mom's..."
but when i asked what he wanted for birthday eve dinner he texted back sweet and sour!
who am i to refuse a birthday wish?
i did this recipe and we all loved it (a friend from casey's dental school joined us for that dinner too!)
but next time i need to 1 1/2 the sauce at least.

birthday day he was at school all day long, ha.
we did firehouse subs for lunch and came home to oreo rice krispie treats.
we then enjoyed buffalo wings at home for dinner and his favorite part of the day:
the oreo cake.
i had to literally push his studying materials out of the way so i could present to him the cake.
max was asleep by this point so casey got a wonderful solo rendition of happy birthday performed by the lovely wife, me, and then we dug into the cake together.
it was a sweet birthday to remember, just him and i :)
and max upstairs
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i have to say, the cake was so darn yummy this year.
i don't usually eat left over cake but this stuff we've both been forking bites out of for days and still love it!
i can't decide if it's because it's actually a yummy cake or because there's oreos in it...
fyi if you do make this, i accidently left out the 2 cups of chocolate chips it adds, it still tasted awesome without those 2 extra cups 

yet again, i'm grateful to celebrate one more year of this man's life.
i'd be lost without him!

happy 26 years, lover!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

february's 12 on 12

i decided to join in on 12 on 12 again this month.
because it was casey's birthday (another post on that), i was already taking a bunch of pictures that day!

but here we go, beginning at 10 am
10- begin putting birthday decorations up
11- packing the diaper bag to have lunch with casey
12- free birthday sub at firehouse subs
1-bounching the baby around the house before his nap
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2- falls asleep in my arms which felt heavenly
no picture, though it did happen.
3-eat the rest of my sub
4- maxson's awake and we're playing
5-diaper changing time/raindrop time
6- a little cuddle time on daddy's shoulder
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7- birthday dinner=homemade buffalo wings and strawberry milk
8- birthday cake time!
9-the left over oreo cake
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happy 12 on 12!
if you did this too, i'd love to see your post!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

happy birthday!

we've got a birthday boy in the house!
(birth-day has such a different meaning now...ha)
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Monday, February 11, 2013

the best part of my day

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without a doubt, my absolute favorite part of the day is first thing in the morning after maxson has finished his first feeding. as soon as he's done eating, we both stretch our arms high over our heads, arch our backs and let out big yawns, he just continues to lay there by me on his side and immediately smiles and smiles at my face without me prompting it. it's the most magical thing. about 80% of the week, that first hour and a half of the morning is spent laying next to this baby in bed smiling and talking and playing until it's his next nap time. no matter how tired i am, his smiles wake me right up and remind me how lucky i am to be a mother that day. i just continue to look at him, trying to memorize all the details of his little face, his facial expressions, how he kicks his legs about, and flails his arms everywhere. we have the most elaborate conversations with each other in the morning that sound like baby cavemen talking back and forth to each other. over the course of a few minutes his sounds get more exclamatory and so i mimic him and then he does even more and it gets pretty loud in there! sometimes when he's smiling so much and so happy he'll kind of let out this little half chuckle, we've caught it on some of our videos, i just need to find it, it's crazy adorable (isn't everything a new baby does adorable? except when their feet are flailing so much when you change a dirty diaper and no matter how fast you try, their foot just barely brushes that yucky old diaper...) poor casey hasn't gotten to experience this magical hour very much with school starting every morning at 8 am, church at 9 am, and saturday morning stake basketball games. maybe he can play hooky one of these days :)

i don't think i've mentioned it on the blog, but max's favorite sound is the motor boat, you can often get a smile out of him with that weapon. the other day casey began making cough cough bodily function noises and maxson thought that was the funniest thing, such a  boy :) we're constantly trying out new sounds to see what he'll suddenly love. another thing he always loves is when you slowly move toward his face making kissing noises and then proceed to kiss away the side of his face. he smiles when he begins hearing that noise and watches you come in closer and then as soon as you get to that baby face, he opens his mouth and tries to eat you. it's adorable. 

on sunday i was holding him outwards on my hip and he started looking at the mirror on the wall that was less than a foot away from his face. i just barely put it up so this was the first time he's really gotten the chance to look in it. i stopped and started watching him and he finally found himself and began staring intently at his reflection, and then for a brief second he smiled at himself!  it was beyond precious. he's thus far only done it that once but my heart wanted to burst open seeing him do that. i love watching the boy grow and learn...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

sweet babe of mine

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i love this little baby,
i really do.
we have such a fun time with him.
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i think casey and i got really really lucky.
tonight we were talking together about sometimes you hear new parents talking about how being a mom/dad is awesome but really hard too.
we honestly only feel the awesome part.
ok, yes, we haven't gotten around to the child making messes, throwing tantrums, and talking back, but i'm talking about the new baby stage.
maxson is so chill and very easy and so sweet and it's just the best.
even if he doesn't take long naps sometimes, he's still so happy when he wakes up.
and his night time sleep ranges from 10-11 hours in total.
if i'm tired in the morning that's not his fault at all,
it's because i stay up too late/i'm used to 10 hours of sleep, ha, but 8 is totally enough.
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here's maxson leading the song in his first family home evening,
he rocked.
and then one day when casey came home from lunch, he was doing the dad thing like a pro
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and i love that i have a husband who comes home from school with this on his face,
and then leaves it on his face for the rest of the day :)
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he's just such a fun baby.
he's always throwing out smiles and sounds when we're talking to him,
i just love it.
the corner of his lips go up drastically and he's got the cutest tiny dimples on each side.
usually i don't get the smiles on camera because once i whip it out he's like
"ooh wowwwwww, what's that ginormous black thing by your face?"
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and here's maxson's buddy, grant.
grant is actually over a month older than max, he and his twin sister abby were born at 29 weeks!
we got to visit them this week and it was really fun.
their family is also in the first year of dental school so we imagine/hope these boys will be the best of friends/trouble makers over the next few years!
it's funny in this picture maxson is wearing a bib, HE'S ALWAYS WEARING A BIB because he spits up so dang much, ha, i usually try to take them off when i get the camera out because i like the look of it more. before i had a baby i always thought "why use a bib? they're not very cute on their outfits and you can just wipe up the spit up off their clothes...ya, wipe the spit up off their clothes but then their clothes are SOAKING wet, and you don't want your baby to be in soaking wet clothes! how parenthood easily changes your thoughts...
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hope you have a lovely weekend!

ps- this week's book club we are reading stephanie nielson's book "heaven is here"
i read it this summer and loved every minute.
she's such an incredible woman.
and today i went back and watched a small video of her story and progression,
it has reminded me to enjoy all the little details of motherhood just like the fatherhood video reminded me to admire casey's divine role so much.

i'm so grateful we'll be a family forever