Matthew is 4!

Our little, soon to be middle, man turns 4 years old tomorrow. For a little over a year now Niall and I have been saying that Matthew seems to be our kid with the biggest personality. He's just a total goofball. He's wild and manic, soft and sweet and very cuddly, and a total tornado. All within the space of a half an hour. Zooming down the zipline, building Lego creations, and snuggling in with a fort of blankets for an episode of Curious George are his main goals in life at the moment, and his smile and joy during those times is incredibly contagious. Where once we worried about his speech development, we now worry he'll never stop talking and telling the same stories (and asking the same questions) over and over and over. 

That first set of pictures is sweet and cute and not totally accurate. They're portraits. Posed and perfectly tucked and very handsome, but very staged. The shot below was taken on Christopher's first day of Kindergarten, while I was snapping away before we left for school. Always eager to get in on the action,  Matthew begged for me to take a picture of him too. It was one of the those shots that I snapped just to appease him, barely framing it (missing his little toes), and without any "1-2-3" warning. And it's totally him. Thumbs up and a perfectly accurate "Matthew" pose. I love it. 

Niall and I are learning how important it is to make time for this little guy. For so long he's been Christopher's little sidekick, sort of swept along (happily) with whatever his big brother is doing. But we're realizing how different the kids actually are these days. Matthew is his own wacky and weird dude, and we're feeling pretty lucky he's ours. Happy Birthday crazy man!

Baby David

We had two very special visitors come to town last week. My sister and her sweet, sweet baby David. The week was wonderfully full of doing mostly nothing and we daydreamed about living in the same neighborhood or even city so we could split the 20 pack of bagels from Costco or meet at the playground whenever we wanted. 

Sharing pregnancy with and now watching Katie start her journey into motherhood has been better than I could have ever imagined. She's teaching me so many things about patience and positivity and letting go. Already I admire her as a mother and I feel so lucky I'll get to share this path again with her. 

We got to take some time last week to snap a few photos of sweet baby David. I'm just going to continue to use the word sweet whenever I describe him, because there's not a better descriptor. The kid is a dream. So many times I was amazed at how content he is, happy to kick around on the floor, be held in a lap, or bop about in the swing. He kicks his arms and legs like a madman for a while, and then gets still and quiet and just observes. He's really the sweetest baby I've ever met and I can't wait to watch him grow. 

So, until the next time I can get my camera on him, here's sweet baby David at 7 weeks old. 

Kindergarten

Christopher starts Kindergarten next week. In 9 days, he'll hold my hand and we'll walk with all the neighborhood kids about a half mile up the road to the elementary school.  As soon as we get within a few feet of the crossing guard, he'll drop my hand, grasp the straps of his backpack, and pick up his pace. By the time he arrives at the front door, Number 1, he'll be trying to strike up conversation with the oldest and tallest boy he can find. When that older and cooler kid inevitably dismisses my new Kindergartener, he'll scan the crowd until he finds someone who looks more his size, perhaps a kid with a cool snake backpack, and stand as close to him as he can. Only then will he glance over his shoulder to check my status and position. 

I'd be lying if I said that in the past year I thought this day would never come. Sure, Kindergarten felt all sorts of far away when we were struggling through the tantrums of two and the throwdowns of three and the constant negotiations of four. It's even felt far away for most of the summer as we've gone a little stir crazy with the slowed down pace and Matthew has become a somewhat annoying playmate. But even as far away as the first day of "real school" has seemed at times, I can absolutely believe that my kid is starting Kindergarten next week. 

I know exactly how that first morning next Thursday is going to go because we've lived that same morning so many times over the past couple of months and even years. It happens every time we hit the playground, each time he gets dropped off in the gym childcare, whenever we arrive at a party or event where a gaggle of kids are running amuck. He's my independent one. Up for anything and ready for adventure. And even though I'm concerned we didn't get through the bucket list of summer learning I planned for us (learning to read, knowing how to spell and write his last name, and forming his letters perfectly from top to bottom) I know he's ready for Kindergarten. Let's just hope he can sit still for a couple of minutes. 

Katie & Patrick - Maternity Session

My sweet sister and her handsome husband are pregnant! In fact, Katie is due in just a month, and I couldn't be more excited for her. Early one morning 8 months ago my phone binged with an email (yes email, she discovered the news while abroad), from Katie with just an "OMG" and an attempted picture attachment that failed to upload. I knew immediately what the cryptic message meant, even though I couldn't see the photo, and frantically calculated time zones while I waited impatiently for a live update.  When we finally connected later that day, she confirmed the news and I spent the next weeks in such a state excitement for two of them. 

About two months later, we were shocked with our own news, and to say that experiencing my third pregnancy alongside my sisters first has been a blessing, would be an enormous understatement. The daily texts and phone calls, the planning and sharing, and the weekend spent together talking all things baby (and pregnancy) have been such beautiful gift. I'm just so eager for her sweet boy to arrive.

Two weeks ago I was able to spend a long weekend in San Diego with Katie to celebrate her 30th birthday and her baby shower. On my last evening, we took 20 minutes to stroll along the bluff across the street from their house, and snap a few photographs of this sweet time. A few of favorites of the two of them are below. 

Love you Kiki and Pat and Little Man! I'm so excited for the three of you!

Portraits: February 2015

I've seen a few bloggers post portraits of each of their kiddos each month for a year, and I thought it would be a fun way to document the boys, so I'm jumping on board. I had originally wanted to start this project in January; New Year and all that, but I'm not going to beat myself up...so here's February! 

Above was taken during our Superbowl Sunday snowstorm. It's been the only really good snow (12-15 inches) we've gotten this year (PRAISE!) and the boys had a blast running after Niall as he plowed the neighborhood out. 

And below; Matthew is becoming quite the little model. Every time I get my camera out he begs me to take his photograph and then instantly says "lemme see Mom" and studies his own goofy mug in the back of the camera giggling at himself. I opened up the front door one morning mid-month as we waited for the car to warm up a touch, and Matthew was looking dapper on the stairs so we did a quick little photo shoot before school. I love the little drop of drool on his bottom lip in this shot because it's just so perfect. This kid, is STILL drooling. 

Anyone else out there posting monthly pictures of their kiddos? Want to start with me now (Laurel!!)? Link up in the comments...I'd love to see what you've been up to!