Mei's Moments (3 Months)

Weight: 13 pounds, 10 ounces
Length: 24.5 inches

This month has flown by. It is so hard to think of Mei as a three-month-old. She changes so much every day. She has steadily gained around two pounds for each month of her life. She also grew two inches in the past month! My feelings for her have been well-documented. I love everything about this little girl. Someone asked me today if the fourth child was hard and I said I feel like I only added 1/4 of the difficulty of usually adding a child. She is a wonderful baby and I hope she stays so calm, yet still willing to voice her opinion.

Big brother snuggles

She pulled the blanket over the top of her.

This dress was given to us by a lady from church. She said she saw it and had to buy it for Mei.

Those cheeks!

She smiles at anyone who smiles at her. Her whole body wiggles when she smiles.

She sleeps the best in my bed.

I like to sneak in and snuggle her.

They aren't pajamas if you put a bow on?

Triple stroller!

Everyone around here is crazy!

This is my favorite bow and we lost it at the zoo!

I could stare at these faces all day.

Something exciting over there?

So judgy!

Thank you for the adorable blanket, Aunt Alexis!

That's a bad hair day!

Adorable outfits from Olivia!


Mei pushed her feet against the seat to scoot up.

Sound asleep and her hands are never far away from her face.

Peeking to see if there is something worth waking up for.

Her clogged tear duct has gotten out of control this month.

My little actress baby.

She is too big for swaddling clothes.

I love the way baby hips open.

She can sleep anywhere, anytime.

I cannot keep track of weeks, so we are in months from now on!


Want more Mei? She...
...is drooly. Always blowing bubbles.
...loves eating her fingers. If she is almost asleep or almost awake, guaranteed her fingers are in her mouth.
...hates lying flat on her back unless she is in her bed about to go to sleep. Otherwise she crunches to try to sit up more.
...was sick for a couple of weeks at the beginning of month and it was so sad to hear her breathing through her little congested nose.
...no longer relaxes on our chests.
...loves watching her brothers run around.
...is starting to get distracted while nursing.
...has brown eyes. It is very strange because they went straight from gray to brown, never blue!
...gets hangry. She can be soothed unless she is in her carseat, then the only way to calm her is to feed her.
...nursed 212 times this month for a total of 3,038 minutes. She eats approximately every 3-5 hours. She goes to bed around 9pm and sleeps for 8-10 hours. Basically, she is the best.


My Favorite

Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo. I feel like I have been extremely boring and said the same things over and over. Although November is now well-documented, it did not help me catch up on the past 14 months of posts.

I am extremely sick today. I slept in and canceled a play date after school and took a nap instead. I am getting dehydrated though and it is complicating nursing so I need to fight through the pain to drink more water. I was in charge of mutual and it was at my house so I had to at least organize the activity and clean the house. Part of cleaning the house was getting the sewing machine off of my dining room table. Shelbey fixed all but one of the things that needed sewn so I buckled down and tried to figure out how to add sleeves to a shirt so they would not be see-through. I knew it would not be perfect but it turned out even better than I imagined! I wore it tonight and it felt fabulous. Finishing projects is my favorite thing. Now I can pack away the sewing machine for another six months.



Today was a doozy. I was gone from home 8:30am-7:45pm. It involved teaching PiYo, a total of three hours at the pediatrician during three separate trips because of Mei's clogged tear duct and Declan's infected bug bite on his toe, two visiting teaching appointments, a park play date, and then out to dinner to Adam's favorite restaurant because I never made it to the grocery store and I cannot force people to eat straight turkey again. At some point during the day, I noticed it hurt to swallow. Sam was sick on Thanksgiving with a sore throat/body aches/fever. As soon as we got home, I got in the shower and then into the tub. I haven't taken a bath in more than a year. I am not a bath person. I got back into the shower again at the end. It feels like someone is stabbing me in the throat every time I swallow and I can hardly talk now. This is the worst sore throat I can remember ever having.

It is so easy for me to think if I were more like "you" then this wouldn't be happening. Maybe Mei's tear duct looks like this because I didn't clean it well enough. So-and-so wouldn't let their kid play outside without shoes and then get bug bites that turn into giant messes. Declan has had this happen before when he was 14 months old. It feels very true that when it rains it pours. A few weeks ago I was feeling on top of the world. Then I started getting sleep deprived. I did not have my usual down time at any point during the day. I pushed myself when I should have rested. I know I have a weaker immune system while I am breastfeeding and Sam was sick so I should have expected this. I am so worried Mei will get it but I cannot really keep my distance from her. I know this will not last forever but wow, today was rough.

The only picture I took the entire day. Lame.



I love these profiles. I just want to kiss all of their little noses! Alex was totally into this and I love his hair poking out in the front. I know which face Edison is making from the look of his chin. Declan has so much hair that it makes it look like he has a giant brain. Mei has such big cheeks that they were concealing her chin! It took three grown-ups and a toy with flashing lights to get this shot. It is crazy how much I love these four heads.



It has been really fun having Adam stay with us for the past 12 days. The boys especially love having new blood around. Adam is still naive to their sneaky Monopoly ways. Although he caught on quickly and was not afraid to call them out on it. It is a lot of work maintaining control of life around here with so many little tyrants. Along with it being wonderful visiting with Adam, I am also glad to have him around for the extra set of eyes and hands.


On the Road

A few weeks ago, a member of the stake presidency came up to us after sacrament meeting and asked if Mei was available to be in the Nativity that several families from his ward put together for the community. We went to the performance last year and it was great so I was honored to have Mei in the show. I was nervous about how she would do, especially if it were cold since the performance is outside. I dressed her in a white onesie, white pants, white socks, and swaddled her in a white blanket. It was 70 degrees during the first show and 60 degrees by the end of the third show. It was beautiful! There was supposed to be another baby taking turns with Mei but the other baby had been throwing up all day so Mei was used for every performance. She was a wonderful Baby Jesus. She was calm but moved enough that people could tell it was a real baby. She pooped right before being taken out during the first and second shows. Sam said, "She was so scared she crapped her pants." This was the eighth year this family has put on this show and it was "a record breaker in attendance" tonight. Mei is on the road to stardom! We were also told Mei was the best baby they have ever had play baby Jesus. It is amazing how proud I can be of someone who doesn't even know she has hands.


A Number

I hate to write this because I really do not have a favorite child. I love all of them, equally and differently. I may just not remember how infatuated I was with Alex, Edison, or Declan. I remember being protective of them but I seem extra protective of Mei. I have wondered if it is because she is a baby and needs extra attention from me. A reason I like a little less is that I feel this way because she is a girl. I like to think it is because we are both child number four in our families. We have a special connection and I am pretty sure she feels it too. Every day is Mei Day around here.



We had a really nice Thanksgiving today with family. Adam, Flannel, Shelbey, Marius, Seth, and Brittany were all able to make it to Houston to celebrate the holiday with us. The men and kids had a turkey bowl and we all had a turkey trot (stroll). We spent hours cooking and an hour eating. My feet ache and Sam is more sick than I have seen him in years. But it was a fun day with great conversations. I have so much to be grateful for. I am especially grateful for these five people that make my life more wonderful than I could ever dream.

Sam is grateful for: Emily, Alex, Edison, Declan, Mei, my job, giving service, water, candy, meat, my siblings, my parents, having all of my hair, friends, bicycling, games, the gospel, sleep, my education, basketball, my faith, my health.

Emily is grateful for: the ability to serve, my BOB, pomegranates, the Atonement, an empty sink and dishwasher, the Odyssey, blue, baby smiles, music that changes my mood, a devoted husband, a strong body, friends with time, planning, bedtime, clean feet, outgoing personalities, forgiveness, cold rooms and warm blankets, vacuums, following through, vegetables cut by someone else.

Alex is grateful for: friends, staying up late, the community, sleep, fruit, apples, weekends, family, shelter, food, drinks, Dad's job, my teachers, my blankets and pillow, my uncles, my aunts, school, the church, Grandma and Grandpa, the prophets, MOMS Club, holidays, our house.

Edison is grateful for: having a dad, birthdays, my friends, the house, the Earth, having money, my uncles, a backyard to swing in, trees, going to the park, brothers and sister, having fun on Halloween, Mei, kindergarten, going to Grandma and Grandpa's house, food, going to the beach, our communication, TV, having a mom, our neighbors.

Declan is grateful for: Mommy being alive, all of the fruits, stuffed animals, clean clothes in my closet, my bed, Daddy, Alex, taking care of Mommy, kissing Mei, sleep, my toys, my bros, Edison, helping Mei, clothes, Heavenly Father, pizza, a clean house, being obedient, trees, hugging people, water and some soda.

Mei is grateful for: soft blankets, blankets near my face, days at home, clean diapers, gunk-free eyes, ceiling fans, milkies, a full belly, things to grab and pull up to my face, stroller rides, my buddy Declan, my fingers in my mouth, having a family, warm baths, nighttime snuggles with Mommy, pacifiers, stretches, bows that stay off of my eyes, bright colors, an unstuffed nose, naps in Mommy and Daddy's bed, non-squeezy snuggles, smiles, pink toenails.


A Chore

The entire day was full of chores. It included a two hour trip to the grocery store with four kids in tow, cleaning the entire house, setting up beds for the guests who arrived this evening, and prepping some food for tomorrow. It did not include baking an apple pie. I made a special trip to Costco for an apple pie today and I don't even feel bad. I am making stuffing from scratch so I decided that cancels out the store-bought pie. It is a decision I feel great about.



I tried thinking of something I am sad about all day. I am many other things, mostly overwhelmed and tired, but not sad. Probably the saddest part of my day was when I looked at the fruit basket and remembered I had eaten the last pomegranate. I feel like a spoiled brat even writing these words because it is utterly ridiculous. So many people are dealing with pains and losses and I am wondering how much pomegranates will cost when I go to the store tomorrow.

I sometimes cry for no reason though. Hormones, man. A few days ago, I thought I heard Mei waking up. I walked into the room to see her sleeping peacefully. I kissed her smooshy cheek and then cried because it was just so soft.


Extreme Close-up

We went to see the Zoo Lights tonight and the boys were wondering where all of the "creatures" were hiding. (Asleep, boys. That's what normal creatures do when it gets dark.) They crawled through the tunnel to get up close and personal with the piranhas. I think Mei has found a replacement for the top item on her Favorites list. Step aside, ceiling fans. Christmas lights are in town!

Today went nothing like I imagined it would and the thought of hosting Thanksgiving dinner is starting to weigh on me. Sam and I are both exhausted beyond functioning ability thanks to late nights and days without breaks. I don't think I have taken a shower in five days. I am honestly not sure because all of the days are blurring together. I sat in bed for an hour tonight almost paralyzed because I did not know where to start on my to do list. The kitchen had some sort of bomb dropped on it and it seems irrecoverable. I better learn how to cook a turkey in the next two days! And I should probably take a shower.



Taking pictures of strangers is kind of frowned upon so I asked Alex to take a picture of us instead. We live on a corner so there are not many houses right next to us. We had met three of our closest neighbors but were missing one house. I rarely saw anyone around that house though. We probably freaked them out one day because we camped out in our front yard for about an hour as we watched some workers trim their huge trees.

Today was our Stake Conference. Today, and last night during the adult session, there was a lot of talk about reaching out to friends or strangers and sharing the light of Christ. Last night I made 10 dozen cookies for tonight's fireside so I put a few of them on a plate and we walked across to meet our neighbors. I think we scared them. She peeked through the window and BAM! Six people standing on her doorstep. She opened the door and we talked for a few minutes. She has a six-and-a-half year old son! We have lived in this house for six months and I have never seen him. He goes to a private school nearby but hopefully we will see each other more often now that the first contact has been made. I wonder who else is hiding out around here.


Front Door

I have written about life on the front porch before. Our family has grown so much since then. Sometimes I see pictures of families and think, "That is a ton of kids!" Then I count them up and it is three or four. We are now that family! It is hard to believe we are a family of six. Six! I may not be much of a gardener but I grew their bodies inside my body and that makes me feel like a total rockstar. 



I think I own one pink shirt. Sam and Edison also each have a pink shirt. Mei has an ocean of pink clothing. I like all colors and harbor no special feelings of any kind for the color pink. But Mei makes everything look good. I don't know how I ended up with four dimple-cheeked kids but I love it, and I love them. This baby is living up to her name.



Declan started biting his nails at some point recently. It was not too bad at first and I did not realize what was going on until it was too late. He has developed a full-blown bad habit. He chews every angle of every finger and he is left with tiny nubs. All I have to say is "Fingers" and he immediately pulls them out. But then he tries to hide from me so he can continue gnawing on them. I could not handle it anymore and he started to get little breakouts on his face which gave me a HFMD scare and so I decided we are done with the nail biting, nose picking. Done done done.

The bitter-tasting nail polish did not stop him so I had to escalate my attack. This morning I put band-aids on his ten tiny fingers. Then I put a pile of quarters on the kitchen table (this idea was courtesy of madre) and told him I would take one away every time I saw his fingers in his mouth. I only took away four quarters today which is some small miracle because it used to be four times in a minute he would have his fingers in his mouth. I think the band-aids helped a lot. Tomorrow I will use tape. I am already going broke from the quarters, I don't need to spend all the rest of my money on band-aids. This little tyrant is going to send me to the psych ward with his shenanigans.



I had planned all day to use a picture of the Young Women making chocolate covered strawberries at mutual tonight. It seemed like it would be super drippy but it was not! It was really clean and they made the strawberries look way better than I ever do.

As they were enjoying their strawberries they talked about school and it worried me. It sounded nothing like back in the day when I was in high school. A few days ago, while we were staying after school to play, Alex came up to me and said, "[Other little boy] just said to girl, 'I am going to hump you and then did this (hip thrust).' What is humping?" I died a little, or at least some of my hair did. I talked to Alex about it, then talked to the other kid, then I walked over and talked to his dad about it. The boy's dad was also mortified but it made me realize how little control I have over what my kids hear and see when they are at school. I feel like I am out of time and I failed and it is too late now to teach them. There is so much bad and their curiosity is greater than their knowledge. I hope they can learn to recognize the Spirit and stand up for what they believe.

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