Tuesday, June 3, 2014


It's been months since I've picked up my camera. Life is so busy that I don't take it down from the shelf to capture little moments with my babies. Today, after lunch, after Vacation Bible School, before naps, during random outside play time, I remembered that abandoned camera and took it down. I quite literally wiped the dust off of it and took it outside. My subjects have grown since I last looked through the lens.

They've also gotten quite spunky.

And then there's this guy.

If you cannot tell, he is simply adored.  Adored.  They cannot help but touch him, kiss him, smother him, talk to him, distract him, feed him.  It's like a magnetic force field that none of us have the strength to resist.

This is his reaction to grass.  I'm so glad I captured this because this is the exact reaction all of my kiddos have had to their first experience with the prickly, pokey grass.  His face says it all.

Here's my Nora.  Sweet, growing, compassionate, caring.  I will not talk about the fact that she will be turning seven in just a few short months.  Not going there.

And there is this side to her.  Goofball.

Stella B.  Newly three.
Just yesterday we celebrated the three wonderful years of life we've had with our sweet girl.  She couldn't be funnier or sweeter or more sassy.  She's super smart and witty and to know her is to adore her.

She's showing me how her dress twirls.

Liam Piper.  Oh this boy!
Right here he is hot and trying to pretend he doesn't want me to take his picture.

But we all know that deep down, he does.

That cowlick.

So that is a snapshot of today.  Today I am thankful for simple afternoons in our backyard and a prompting to pick up my forgotten hobby.  These days are so blurry and so quickly passing.  But man, am I going to miss them when they are gone.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Six Months Old!

This blog post is long overdue as I have not updated pictures of Evan since just after his surgery in December. My boy was two months old at the time of his cleft repair, and lo and behold, here we are with a six month old! How the days are flying by!

 Life with four children is wonderful and wonderfully busy, so things like blogging and laundry and washing my hair don't get done as much as they should. Also, there are conversations I have had that I just simply cannot remember as things seem to get lost in my brain some days. I would say that the transition from three kids to four has been really smooth for the most part, but it's just a constant state of busy and going that makes things harder. I am so thankful that we have been mostly healthy this winter and that the school year is winding down as we are all looking forward to lazy summer days of playing and being outside.
Evan went last week for his six month well visit and here are his stats:
Height: 27 inches (75th percentile)
Weight: 16 lbs., 9 oz. (45th percentile)
Head Circumference: 44.2 cm

Here are his siblings' stats at six months (for fun):
Height: 26 inches (70th percentile)
Weight: 15 lbs., 3 oz. (45th percentile)
Head Circumference: 42.7 cm (50-75th percentile)

Height: 25 1/4 inches (45th percentile)
Weight: 14 lbs., 5 oz. (25th percentile)

Height: 26 3/4 inches (75th percentile)
Weight: 18 lbs, 2 oz. (60th percentile)

This just goes to show how different they all are! Liam was a whole 1.5 lbs bigger than Evan at this point! Geez, what a chunker he was!

Evan has to be hands down the best baby in the world. He is so content and sweet and snuggly. He is rarely fussy or hard to care for. My only complaint is that he is growing to fast! (And, he refuses to take a bottle). However, the kindness of the Lord is not lost on me as I specifically see how there was a day when I thought I would never be able to breastfeed him because of his cleft lip, and now he nurses exclusively and refuses to take the bottle. So, it's kinda funny how the tables have turned. I figure that since he's my last baby, I better enjoy the extra snuggly nursing time we have together and at most I'll be nursing him for another six months so it's not too much longer. Here are some pics of Evan over the past two months or so. As you can see he's been growing a ton and his lip continues to heal and look AMAZING!

Life as the baby means that some days we don't get naps except while in the car!

This super hero is snuggling with his big sister!

Evan's first sink bath at the beach condo over Spring Break 2014

Daddy was in heaven as he got to snuggle a sleepy boy on the beach.

The Bradshaw Four

Getting ready to go watch Liam play t-ball.

Talking to Geegaw

Sitting with Momma at the ball field.

Boy time.

Evan and Liam hang out in Liam's room often while I put Stella down for her nap.

This was earlier....may at 4 months old.

Again, an earlier picture.  You can see here how his lip is a bit more drawn up than in the newer pictures.


Definitely not so sure about the Bumbo seat.  Three months old.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Evan James: 4 month stats

Evan turned four months old yesterday.

Excuse me for a second while I go rock myself in the corner whilst curled up in a fetal position.

Okay, moving on.

My baby is four months, so today I took him for his well visit and vaccinations. Here are my sweet love's stats for growth:

Height: 25 inches (50th percentile)
Weight: 14 lbs. 6 oz. (45th percentile)
Head Circumference: 50th percentile

Here are the stats for the other three at four months:

Stella B:
Weight: 12 lbs., 14 oz.  (50th percentile)
Height: 24.5 inches (55th percentile)
Head Circumference: 40.1 cm (35th percentile)

Height: 25.5 inches (75th percentile)
Weight: 15 lbs, 11 oz (75th percentile)
Head Circumference: 43.2 cm (75th percentile)

Weight: 11 lbs., 13 oz. (20th percentile)
Height: 24 inches long (45th percentile)

Much like I assumed, Evan is bigger than my girls but not quite as big as Liam was! Liam was definitely my chunkier boy. And Nora was always my tiny little peanut. 

At four months, Evan is definitely coming into his own little personality.  He is very content and is a cheerful little fellow. He smiles easily, loves to coo, and can carry on quite a "conversation."  He has recently discovered his voice and loves to hear himself talk and squeal. 

He nurses pretty much exclusively, although he has taken a bottle a few times. We nurse about six to seven times each day, including his dream feed right before I go to bed and there are some evenings where I feed him in clusters before his bedtime at 8:30ish.  Evan naps a few times a day and typically takes a long afternoon nap for 2.5 hours or so! It's fabulous because I am able to have a few quiet moments to myself or get some housework done or spend time homeschooling Nora. He loves to play on the floor or in his bouncy seat, and he is often being held by Nora or Liam (or Stella but that lasts about five seconds).  Also, he's at the stage where everything goes in his mouth.  As I type this, he's in the bouncy seat beside me chewing on some linking letters and talking away. 

We love our little Squish and his big bald head! I just love every minute we get with him and he's brought so much joy to all of us. I will post some much needed pictures once we get our. On our computer back up and running!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Evan James: Two Month Stats

I am WAY behind on posting these stats for Evan seeing that he will be three months old next week.  However, with surgery, Christmas, post-surgery stuff, and a trip to Florida with the Bradshaw family, we've been quite busy around here.  About two weeks ago, I brought Evan in for his two month well-visit and these were his stats:

Height:  22.5 inches (50th percentile)
Weight:  11 lbs., 11 oz. (50th percentile)

Stella at 2 months was 11 lbs., 2 oz. and 22.5 inches.
Liam was 12 lbs., 5 oz and 23 1/8 inches.
Nora was 9 lbs., 13 oz and 21.75 inches.

I think Evan may have weighed a bit more had he not had surgery and lost a bit of weight due to his eating via syringe.  I think he's growing like a weed these days and definitely doesn't look or feel like a newborn anymore. 

During the week following surgery, Evan started sleeping through the night.  I usually feed him between 8:00 and 8:30 pm and put him down.  I will go in and nurse him one last time before I go to bed between 10-11 pm.  He will typically sleep until around 6:00-6:30 am.  I am LOVING longer stretches of sleep and it's definitely given me more energy and mind capacity!

Evan is smiling, cooing, kicking his feet and moving his arms and legs like crazy!  He's such a sweet, content baby boy and we love him so very much!  I have much to update about surgery with pics of how he's recovering, so I'll try to post soon with that information.  Till then!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Two Months Old and Two Days Before Surgery

Today, Evan is two months old! Crazy how fast time has flown and although it is SO cliche to say how it seems like he's always been a part of our lives, it is so true. It is also true that we are all so stinkin' in love with this little boy!

We are two days away from Surgery Day. This day that I've known about for six months and have been dreading from that first moment when I found out he had a cleft lip is here. So many friends have asked how I'm doing, and I can say that right now, at this very moment, that I am doing okay. I want the surgery to be over. I am ready to put this part of life behind us because I know I will not like seeing my baby being pushed away to surgery. I will not like the waiting. I will not like seeing him frail and hurting and in a hospital. But, I do know that this surgery is what's best for him. I know that he won't remember any of this. I know that no matter how hard the days that follow surgery may be that we will get through them. God will give us the strength to endure the feedings, the lack of sleep, the caring for four children, and the unknowns that I don't even know to worry about right now. I think there is a lot about surgery that I don't know to expect, so I cannot worry about those things because I don't KNOW to worry about them. Right now, I am thankful for that ignorance. I am also thankful that the Lord has taught me so much in the past year about being anxious. I am so thankful that even though I battle anxiety--because I do--that He is faithful to equip us with ways to fight those fears and thoughts. He is the giver of peace, and I know that the God I serve is all kind, all wise, and all loving. He is trustworthy. Knowing that, dwelling on that helps me in those moments. I'm praying that on Surgery Day that I can cling to what I know about my Lord.

So, here's what I do know so far about surgery. We will go in sometime early Wednesday morning. On Tuesday evening, they call us and tell us our tentative surgery time. The surgeries are assigned based on the age of the kids lined up for surgery that day. They do youngest to oldest, so hopefully Evan's surgery will be pretty early. He cannot eat anything up to four hours prior to surgery time, so I will plan to nurse him four hours beforehand. His surgery should last between 1.5-2 hours. We will spend one night at Children's hospital and be released sometime on Thursday. Evan will not be able to nurse or have a bottle until his sutures are removed on December 26th, eight days after surgery. He will be syringe fed using a catheter, so I will be pumping and supplementing with formula if needed. Evan will have some pain medication for the first few days, but the nurse practitioner told us that babies typically do really well and don't need the pain meds for very long.

My mom is coming in town tomorrow night to be with us for a few days, and my in-laws will be graciously caring for Nora, Liam, and Stella while we are in the hospital. We haven't even gotten to the hospital, yet we have felt so cared for. So many friends are constantly telling us they are praying for us, meals have been signed up for following surgery, and people are pouring out care in big and little ways. I definitely do not feel like we are walking this out alone but that we are surrounded by a army of prayer warriors and loved ones who are carrying us through it all.

Now that all of that is out of the way, let me tell you about Evan.  What a gift he is!

At two months, Evan weighs about 11.5 lbs.  This is such an answer to prayer! Before he was born (when we were concerned that he would come early, which he didn't because the Lord kept him cooking for a longer time than we expected), my prayers were that Evan would not come prematurely and that when he did come that he would put on weight so that he would be a big, strapping boy prior to surgery.  I was hoping he would at least be ten pounds by surgery, and by God's faithfulness, he's exceeded that weight!  Being breastfed, no less.  If you recall, I didn't expect to be able to nurse him at all.  But, since only his lip is involved in the cleft, I've been able to breastfeed from day one, and apparently I make some rich milk because Evan has consistently put on weight.  This is the faithfulness of our God!  He answered these prayers!  One less worry for me!

Evan is such a sweet boy.  He's very serious, much like Nora was as a newborn.  He is not one to crack many smiles, but when he does---WATCH OUT---it's killer!  He is a great eater and napper, but he has proven to have a hard time in the evenings.  I think that we are through with most of it, but every few days he has a hard time in the evenings where he is hard to console and get down to sleep for the night.  Sleep is inconsistent.....he has had a few nights where he "slept through the night," but those nights are very few and far between.  I really don't see a pattern, but I'd say once I feed him at his "dream feed" (between 10-11 pm) he typically sleeps a 4-6 hour stretch.  Then, when I lay him down he'll sleep for another 3-4 hours.  He usually starts his day around 8:30 am.  He nurses every 2-3 hours during the day and cluster feeds in the evenings (every 1-2 hours), but even the cluster feeding is getting less.  He is generally very content when awake, even with all of the kisses and poking and prodding he endures and the loud, earth-shattering volume that often takes over our house most days.  He doesn't seem phased or bothered by the chaos around him.  Those kids love him so much and cannot keep away from him.

Below are a few pics of Evan that my sweet friend Suzanne captured last month.  These will always be priceless to me!

Here are a few I took on my phone this morning.  Stella was getting some loving in....you can see Evan is thrilled.

Here's my stud muffin at two months!  Such a handsome boy!