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Apple Picking 2012

This day could not have been more perfect. It was the kind of day that all you can do is marvel at a God who can create such beauty. It was warm and breezy and the sky was just magnificent.

Genevieve and Charlotte were just thrilled to run down the rows of apple trees, Genevieve picking apples and Charlotte eating them! Genevieve remembered the technique from last year- three twists and then pull up toward the sky. And just like last year, once Charlotte picked her first apple she was too distracted eating it to pick any more! Christian was happy napping in the sling.

The girls explored the grounds, picking flowers, sugar snap peas and fall raspberries. I gave Genevieve and Charlotte each a basket to put their raspberries in but Charlotte was eating them faster than we could pick them! And then she moved on to Genevieve’s basket and luckily her sister was generous enough to share. I couldn’t help but think of the story “Blueberries for Sal.” I’ll have to read it to Charlotte. I am sure she will be able to relate!

Our day was complete with a visit to Tate’s Bakery. We sat outside and snacked on some delicious butterscotch cookies.

It was a truly beautiful day!

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Christian is 6 Weeks Old!

Six weeks!

My little mushy baby is 6 weeks old! And you are not so little! We took you to the doctor and you weigh 13 pounds 6 ounces! You are in the 97th percentile for weight. You were 23 inches long. You grew 2 inched and gained over 4 pounds in just over a month. I knew you were feeling heavy in my arms!

You are starting to get a lot more social and I can see the beginnings of some sweet little smiles. You are also not sleeping as easily as you were! I try to lay you down and you often wake right up or sleep for only 10 minutes or so.

 

The girls both have colds and we are praying that you stay healthy. It might be hard because they just want to snuggle you all day long. 🙂

Christian’s Birth Story

The summer went on and through the heat and humidity we waited for your arrival. I thought you might come at the end of July or at least one of the first days of August but you had other plans. We think we know what is best. I thought August 2nd sounded like a nice birthday but truly, God’s plans are greater than ours. You came at the perfect time and I couldn’t have planned a more wonderful and peaceful arrival for our little angel.

We spent day after day just waiting for you. We had cleared our calendar expecting your arrival. Every day, Nana came to the door, with her bags full, thinking you might come. I felt hot, huge and uncomfortable. With the heat, my feet were swollen and the most simple tasks became so burdensome. Finally, I realized that staying home was causing me to dwell on my discomfort and anxiety was creeping in. So Tuesday we got in the car with Daddy on his way to work, dropped him off and headed to Aunt Jeri’s house for a little while. Then we had lunch at Nana and Pop Pop’s. After lunch, Genevieve and I headed to Janet’s house to meet precious James, who was 3 weeks old, while Charlotte napped in the car with daddy. That evening, Grandma and Grandpa came over for a little while. What a full day it was! And that night we would finally get to meet our sweet Christian!

We went to sleep around 10 and at midnight I got up to go to the bathroom. The contractions started about 15 minutes later. I took a shower and then we called Dale, our midwife. The contractions were about 5 minutes apart by then. She told us to call her back in a half hour to an hour or when things got very intense. Daddy and I went back  into bed and listened to the Hypnobabies fear clearing session together. (Well, I thought we listened together, but Daddy later told me that he just went to sleep!) Things were definitely more intense in an hour. Contractions were about 3 minutes apart. We called Dale and she said she would come right over. Then we called Tita to let her know to come over with Nana.

Dale arrived around 2 o’clock, followed by Nana and Tita and then Julie, the other other midwife. By this time, Daddy had already set up the pool and filled it half way. I was sitting on the couch listening to my easy first stage track on the iPod. Sitting was the most comfortable position for me. Every time I would stand or walk, the contractions would get very intense and close together. I definitely did not like that!  That made each trip to the bathroom very difficult! When I sat and listened to the hypnobabies track I was able to relax through each contraction and although they were very strong, I was able to manage them.

Dale asked if I wanted her to check how far along I was. I was hesitant to do this because I didn’t want to be disappointed if I hadn’t progressed that much. However, I didn’t want to get into the birthing pool too early; so I decided to let her check me so that I could better judge when to get in the water. I was 7 centimeters along! It felt good that I was so far along and I decided to get in the pool.

The water felt so good when I got in and I remember thanking God that I was able to labor in the pool! Shortly after that, the contractions started to get really strong and no amount of water was going to make them any easier to get through! This time, I tried to let go and just listen to my body and do felt best. Daddy was an excellent partner. Throughout the labor, he was there supporting me, bringing me coconut water to drink and helping me to get though each contraction. I was truly so grateful for him. We had talked about what I would need most during labor and I could really tell that he had listened to everything I said. I couldn’t have asked for more. He was so responsive and sensitive to me. He is an amazing man.

When it was time to push, we put on the Hypnobabies pushing track but I quickly realized that I didn’t want it. It was so peaceful in the room and we truly didn’t need it on. I asked Daddy to put on some worship music instead. Dale was wonderful in providing gentle encouragement to me all along the way. She has the most calming presence and helped us all to be at ease. She helped me to let go and ride the wave of each contraction, allowing my body to do what I believe women were created to do.

Pushing was difficult. I felt focused and wanted each contraction to come quickly. I was ready for you to be in my arms! I leaned back, Dale’s arm was supporting my shoulders and Daddy was behind me too. It was the hardest work I’ve ever done! I remember feeling this huge sense of determination as I worked to breathe you out. And then you were on my chest. The most beautiful and perfect little angel. Your cry was strong and I was immediately in love with you. My first words to you over and over were I love you, I love you.

Your birth was so many things. It was gentle and intense and and difficult and powerful and peaceful, all at once. I was able to see how strong I really am. It reminded me of how much I love your Daddy and how blessed I am to have him as my husband. It demonstrated to me how sovereign God truly is and how He really does make all things work together for our good.

Christian, you are our beautiful gift from God. I treasure you and I am so grateful that God would bless me, an imperfect sinner with such a precious little life to share. Thank you for the privilege of being your mother. I pray for God’s grace and mercy as we embark upon this journey life together.

Christian Alexander Coco

August 8, 2012

9 pounds 5 ounces

20 1/2 inches

Charlotte 23 Months!

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My sweet, sweet Charlotte! You are 23 months old. Almost 2 years old.

You are the most fiery, sweet, loving little thing. You give the best hugs, snuggles and kisses. You have the most infectious laugh. You are compassionate and kind. You are so sweet to your sister and brother.

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When Genevieve comes down in the morning you run to her and hug her. You love to hug Christian and just smile and giggle whenever you are near him. If someone is upset, you will go over and ask what is wrong and lovingly stroke them to make them feel better.

You also have quite a temper! If you don’t get your way, you scream and throw yourself on the ground. You also like to hit. Genevieve is often your target! She has to run away from you quite a bit.

We love you so much Charlotte. I can’t imagine life without you.  DSC_1528

Cape May 2012

We had a fun week in Cape May!

Both girls slept in the car during the drive down which was amazing!! Genevieve never takes a nap. But Charlotte woke her up at 6 o’clock that morning so she she was really tired.

The weather was beautiful when we arrived in Cape May. We stayed at Congress Hall, the same place we stayed when we came three years ago. Genevieve was 18 months old then, just 2 months younger than Charlotte is now. So it was fun to think about that last trip when it was just the three of us.

{Genevieve took this picture of Congress Hall one night. I’m impressed with her photography!}

We spent a little time outside on the rocking chairs while we waited for our room to be ready. Then we headed to the pool. Genevieve was so excited to get to go swimming!

It rained all day the second day that we were there. We got out early and headed to the lighthouse. We walked up to see the beach and then went inside the nature center to see some animals. Charlotte wanted to give all the animals high five. She was so cute! Genevieve loved looking at everything too.

While it continued to pour, John took Genevieve to the aviation museum. Charlotte fell asleep in the car so I just stayed in there with her. They had fun looking at the airplanes. Genevieve really loved getting to sit inside some of them!

Then Genevieve and I stopped at “The Southern Mansion” to take a look around. Charlotte woke up while we were inside and John brought her in to see too!

to be continued…

Snow White

Update June 2012

Genevieve and Charlotte have really grown into two lovely little girls. I am so blessed to have them as my daughters. They bring me so much joy each day and I don’t like to be without them. There are some things that I want to remember about my girls.

Our mornings begin with Charlotte waking up super early! She has always gotten up before Genevieve but lately she is getting up really early, usually around 5:30. The most precious thing occurs when Genevieve wakes up. Charlotte and I get so excited when he hear her little feet pitter pattering across the floor. Charlotte runs to the stairs to wait for Genevieve to come down. When she comes down, Charlotte always gives her a big hug and Genevieve always has a big smile when her sister greets her. I am so happy that my girls love each other so much. It makes this mama’s heart swell to see them acting so sweetly to each other. I pray that they will always be best friends.

One of the girls’ favorite things to do is swing on the swings in the backyard. Charlotte says “Chug a chug a” when she wants daddy to do the choo choo train with her. Genevieve has just mastered the swing and can pump like a pro and swing high into the air. She is so proud of this accomplishment. And mama is glad she doesn’t have to push her anymore! Genevieve could stay on that swing all day long! It is so nice to have a backyard to play in. The girls have plenty of room to run around. Charlotte is really enjoying the sand table, although she mostly likes to dump the sand on the ground.

Charlotte is speaking so well lately! She speaks so clearly in full sentences. She is also very funny. She imitates us all and can be heard saying, “Genevieve, RIGHT NOW!” when she wants Genevieve to do something. 🙂 My favorite thing she says is “Give me a hug,” with her arms open wide. When it’s time to go to sleep she says, “need a bunny” and “need a blanket.” Sometimes she even says, “bunny need a blanket!”

Speaking of sleeping, Charlotte climbed out of her crib. So we tried taking the side off. Then she started just running out of her room. So we got some advice to try putting her mattress on the floor in the crib. She climbed out again the first night we did this. She is quite the little monkey! We still have the mattress on the floor and she is starting to sleep well in there and is not trying to climb out anymore. Genevieve has been sleeping in her bed all night too! She has such a beautiful, princess room. Who wouldn’t want to sleep in there all night? (She doesn’t! She still asks to sleep in our bed each night! I have been letting her come in and snuggle once the sun comes out.)

Genevieve plays the piano so beautifully. She practices each day and we are so impressed with her level of playing and musicality. She really loves to play and will often sit at the piano and play through songs she has learned or try to figure out songs that she likes. Sometimes practicing can be difficult, but once she has mastered a song, Genevieve is filled with pride and enjoys playing her music. She is also doing really well with reading and has been enjoying reading some simple books independently. I am very proud of the progress she has made! Her reading is becoming more fluent, which has led to her enjoying it more. She also really enjoys to draw, especially her favorite character, Tweak from the Octonauts.

There is so much more that I want to remember about this special time. I will write more when I can.