Connor: He loves his little brother so much and is always lavishing him with attention.  

Isla: Checking herself out in the mirror before leaving for ballet…which is kind of funny, given that she stares at herself in the mirror all through ballet. 

Callum: Just chilling, doing not much of anything, but all of us think he is awesome. 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

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Isla Said What {four}

I get the real deal, all the time. But, here's a little entertainment from Isla to get you through your Friday.

When I was three, I thought I would get my driver's license when I was four. 

Mama, I love the blue sky. 

I love my stuffed animals. I love to cuddle them. I love to kiss them. I love to put bandaids on them when they hurt themselves. 

I wish every day was Friday, so I could have show and tell everyday. 

Mama, we're lucky because we have three kids. 

Isla: Mommy, am I invited to your 60th birthday?
Me: Yes.
Isla: Will you have goodie bags?

Callum, do you love when I cuddle with you?

There's also a lot of talk about best friends, poop and kitties around here. Like I said, entertainment all the time. Making it even better, she isn't even trying to be entertaining.

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Babywearing For The Win

The other day was one of those days…a day that had me questioning myself over and over. Callum literally screamed his head off for hours. The type of screams where a whole baby's body goes stiff and that cuts deep into the mind of a concerned mother. He wouldn't nurse. I was concerned. I also became engourged and had to pump for the first time. Finally, after hours and hours, I put him in the sling and managed to get him to sleep. He conked out for hours and thankfully woke up hungry and ate very well. I am still not sure what all that was about, but it certainly had me concerned. It also made me remember how much of a lifesaver baby wearing is when babies are little, your arms are tired and they only want to be held close. Oh, and it totally felt wonderful to have a little human squished up against me.

On a side note, my sling and I are still getting acquainted, but I figure I will never learn if I don't try. This time I tried a different way to carry him and felt much more confident about it. Now to figure out how to not have the back all bunched together while I wear it.

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Connor: He can't walk past a dandelion. He always picks them, then blows them everywhere, "to plant more flowers mom.

Isla: Always beating to her own drum, as her teacher would say. 

Callum: Tummy time. I tend to want to make pictures with lamp lighting into black and whites because I don't like the color. But I liked this. I like that it reminds me of calm late evenings. The older kids in bed and just spending time with my baby. 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

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Déjà Vu

The other day, the kids wouldn't stop bickering, so Ian sent them to their rooms for some quiet time. They both sat at their doors talking to each other, playing. Pretty quickly, they were sitting together, in the middle of the hallway, playing. It reminded me of my own childhood. I remember my parents getting tired of my brothers and I fighting, sending us to our rooms. And we too would sit in our doorways, talking to each other, passing toys back and forth. Sibling relationships are quite the funny thing. But if the relationship between these two turn out anything like my older brother and I, everything will be fine.

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Three Kids

Adding a third child has made me have to prioritize the most important things. It has opened my eyes to what is truly necessary in the day - things like getting us ready (on school days), homework, meals, grocery shopping - and what is not so necessary. I tend to try to get the necessary done as early in the day as possible. That way if the day throws me a curveball, in the form of a crying baby that only wants to be held, I still have covered the truly necessary parts of my day. Sure, the older two have been watching more tv than I would like, but I am hoping once we are out of the young baby stage, that will change again. And they have been incredibly good at rolling with the punches…Connor doing his homework more independently, while running back and forth between the table and his mama nursing his baby brother when he has questions, Isla letting me have Callum in bed with us when we cuddle up and read a bedtime story. We seem to have found our new normal around here.

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One Year

It's amazing what a difference a year makes. Sometimes it seems like not that much changes in a year. But other times, incredible things happen. These family pictures were taken a year apart. Well, a year and two weeks, if you want to be technical. When I booked our family pictures last year (which I do months in advance), I remember hoping that we could use those pictures to announce we were adding to our family. I hoped the same thing the year before. But, it didn't happen.

I think for anyone, walking through a time in your life when you aren't getting something you really want is hard. Be it a friendship, a marriage, stability, a job, a child, etc. it's hard. And though I don't carry that pain with me anymore, when I look back at pictures and think of the pain, I remember it and remember how very real it was.

It's hard to me to express how blessed I feel to have Callum in our family without feeling the need to add an asterisk to it. When I talked about it while pregnant, I had people respond to me that ALL babies are a blessing. I am certainly not saying they aren't. Trust me, I don't love Callum any more than I love Connor and Isla. But, I do think there is something so incredibly beautiful and joyful about the rainbow that comes after the storm. So really, Callum is my rainbow. That's a really great way to put it.

I still need to get around going through our family pictures from December. I went through them enough to throw together an extremely late Christmas card/birth announcement. But I still need to go through them and print some for our house and share them here…and talk more about how incredibly stressful it is to do family pictures six days after having a baby. But they turned out beautifully and for that I am thankful.

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Connor: He got to try out snowboarding this week. He said he likes it more than skiing, but couldn't give a reason why.

Isla: She managed to get her eye scratched by Callum…I don't even know how it happened, except she was all up in his face! It was drama, but a pirate eye patch saved the day and all is better now.  

 Callum: Besides dealing with some gas, this boy is smiling more and more and I am totally loving it.

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

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He Smiled

He smiled. I caught it on camera. This is the stuff dreams are made of. Well, the dreams of mothers of small children at least. Last week I managed to get a picture of Callum smiling, but he looked drunk. Then a couple days ago, I captured an open mouth smile where you could really only tell he was smiling because of his eyes. But this time I got it…even if Ian says it looks more like a smirk, I am calling it a win and saying its a smile.

This whole having a baby around and focusing on the little things thing is pretty dang amazing.

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Finding the Calm

I don't know if it was adding a third kid or the crapload of things added to our home during the holidays, but I was left feeling a bit frazzled. I felt like I didn't have anywhere I could just relax because everywhere I turned, I saw stuff that needed to be done. So, I tackled the living room. I decluttered and have been consistently cleaning it on a daily basis. That way, when all the little people are in bed, I have a place to go sit and relax…without staring at a bunch of things that need to be done.

^^ Imagine me curled up on the couch, blanket over me, baby on my chest. And I am either drinking coffee while reading the news, processing through the excessive amount of photos I take of my children weekly or watching House. 

And, of course, that has sent me on a rabbit trail of purging in our home. I am not saying that Ian and I don't add stuff to our home, but the kids really make it bad. And the fall is just hard for us with all the kids birthdays and Christmas. It is like a constant flow of stuff. Not to mention all the school papers and crafts they bring home. And, I don't know about anyone else's kids, but my kids want to keep every single last thing they touch…right down to rocks and paper clips.

I want our home to be a place of relaxation and enjoyment. I saw this quote in a book (that I should have written down the name of), "Home. A place of rest while we are on this earth. A safe place for our children. A place to love and be loved. A place that is beautiful. A haven." This has really resonated with me the past couple weeks and it is how I want our home to be. Not a place of chaos both physically and mentally. But a place that we can relax and enjoy ourselves.

So, I have been working. I have been working on purging the things from our home that don't serve that purpose. The excess. The outgrown. The we may use it someday. I want to create space. Space to relax. Space to create. Space to play. Space to be.

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Callum {one month}

Weight: 9lbs, 5oz
Length: 22 inches

Callum has an outfit that says "genius" on it and I am like, that's right…he now smiles a bit while awake (though is full of smiles and even some laughs when sleeping), makes eye contact and has even made a few noises that aren't squeaks. And, to top it off, he actually purposely hit his toys when hanging out on his play mat the other day. Like I said, genius. 

The kid loves being held. In fact, he really doesn't want to be set down and lets you know his displeasure if you do. Though, he has actually been willing to chill in his swing a couple times now for a few minutes, so that is progress. Because of his love for being held, baby wearing has become our best friend. That and getting stuff done when he is napping…if I managed to successfully transfer him to his bed. 

Callum loves baths. He has yet to cry when taking a bath, though always cries when I get him out. But, that makes me cry when the cold air hits me as well, so I feel his pain. He also loves his changing table. If he is crying, you can set him on it and he will stop. He stares contentedly at a picture hanging on the wall next to him. 

Callum isn't on a schedule yet. Most of the nights have gone well, though he has had a few really bad nights. He tends to take a nice long nap in the afternoon, which is when I try to get things done around the house. He takes a pacifier sometimes. But, if he is hungry, he could care less about the pacifier. When we are out (especially in the car) or when I am wearing him though, it works well. 

The kids are still obsessed and Callum gets a LOT of attention. He does like watching the kids run around the room and will move his head to follow them as they move. And, as long as he isn't hungry, he is perfectly content with one of them holding him. 

This little man is loved by all in our home!

Callum is still my longest baby and weight wise is still in the middle of both kids, Connor being the lightest at one month and Isla being the heaviest.

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Connor: This kid is all about Star Wars lately. It's all he wants to play and all he wants to watch. 

Isla: Even if it's freezing, she doesn't want to wear a jacket…complaining about being cold is more her style ;)

Callum: Our little cuddle bug is perfectly content in our arms.

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

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Three Kids

Having three weeks of Christmas break to get used to three kids has been amazing. I feel like I have gotten a handle on things. Or, not really a handle, but have accepted my new reality. Every moment of the day is taken up with something, but I am good with it. That's why I love nursing. It allows me time to sit and stare at this little human I am in awe of…even when he is screaming his head off in the middle of the night. The older two are still obsessed. I often find Connor helping Callum before I can get to him. It's the kind of sweetness that melts this mama's heart. I certainly feel a bit like a circus act when I have to go anywhere alone with the three. But I am sure I will get used to that in time. Plus, we were a bit of a circus act with just the two, so not much has changed! Coffee has become a vital part of my life (not that it wasn't before!). And I am sure it will be even more so come next week when I have to get up with the sun in order to get the three kids up and ready for school. But I am ready for the challenge…with coffee in hand, of course.

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Learning to Ski

^^ Such excitement that they both wanted to wear all their gear on the way up. 

^^ Looking all cool walking out to the hill from his class

^^ Isla in her class…while it lasted (more on that later).  

^^ Proof that Callum was there 

^^ Ian, turned ski instructor, pulling Isla up the hill, then running down ahead of her to stop her.  

^^ Giving his teacher a look like, "You are going to stop me, right? Because I don't plan on stopping myself…

On Sunday we took the kids up to the snow and put them in a half day skiing lesson. We figured a half day lesson was a good place to start. And it was. Both kids were very excited. Isla's excitement wained and she ended up playing/practicing with Ian. Connor, on the other hand, was super into it and can't wait to go again. He didn't attempt to stop himself very well ever. The teacher would being yelling "Parachute! Parachute!" before Connor slamming into him…which, apparently they now call it parachute and not pizza anymore. I was entertained by it, even if the teacher (Mr. C) wasn't. Connor is ready to go skiing again, as soon as we will let him. Isla, on the other hand, said, "Maybe someday."

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