Maya Laurent Photography
simple is beautiful
Veda: 11 Months

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Veda,

Hi precious! Can it truly be that we have one month to go and you are one? I want to freeze time and bottle up this stage of giggles, smiles and cuddles. You still have that baby smell and way of snuggling your head into us when you’re getting tired. At the same time you’re starting to show your independence and your personality is coming alive. You’re maturing into the next stage and while I want to stop you from growing, I am loving watching you discover everything right now.

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You are still a butt scooter and have not yet decided to crawl. When we put you on your belly, you cry a lot and we don’t give into your stares/cries at us like we’re the most evil people on the planet to keep you on your stomach. You finally give up complaining and then will totally give in and rest your head on the floor like you’re going to sleep. It’s like something clicks when you do this and you get up on your knees, put your head on the floor and push yourself up into sitting position. You then get to where you want to go by scooting your butt around the floor. I think you’re stubborn and just want to do your own thing!

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The different faces you make right now are hilarious! You have your “O” face that cracks everyone up who sees it. You use your eyebrows you inherited from Daddy to show when you’re confused or mad and then that dimply smile makes everyone say, “Oh my gosh! She has dimples!!!” Your hair is slowly growing and you have all these little long hairs that stick up right in the back of  your head. It’s pretty cute!

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Your love for your brothers amazes me each day. You have two completely different relationships with them but this past month I feel like your time with Jude is beginning to change. Now that you can scoot to get to toys, you go right for whatever he is playing with. He’s learning what can be near you and what is not good for you to have in your mouth. You love his blocks and guys and depending on the day, he is pretty good at sharing with you. I love seeing you two play together as Jude talks to you in baby talk and giggles when you react.

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Luna is still your favorite thing in our house! She takes her spot on the floor next to you and almost always lays her head right in your lap or close enough that you can reach her. She puts up with your hair pulling, ear pulling and trying to get her collar off. You laugh and smile when Luna gives you kisses and always lean in for more. We’re so glad you’re comfortable with Luna and just adore how you two have become friends.

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This time of year is always a bit crazy for Mommy and Daddy. There’s lots of things to keep up with, photo shoots to head to and Daddy’s sketching non-stop. You are so go-with-the-flow that it makes it easier. You love to sit with Daddy at his desk as he works.  (Don’t worry in that photo…he’s sitting right there). You grab things so quickly that you’ll tab on the keyboard or grab Daddy’s pencil. You are very quick to grab everything and of course little pieces are your favorite. You also seem to find dog hair everywhere and try to put it in your mouth. Yuck!

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You were standing up on your own, with our help to get you there, and seemed so confident. And then you decided you were done with that trick! Now when we try to get you to stand up, you hold your legs straight out like a hanging monkey. Again, that stubbornness is showing through! We’ll keep working on it because we know you are capable of it. There’s not tricking us!

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As each day passes, I feel like I get to know a little bit more about you and see glimpses of the girl, and then woman, you’ll become. I remember all of the fears I had when I found out we were having a girl and while some remain, so many have faded away. I look into your eyes and see you have a fire in you already that God is going to ignite and take into this world. You’ll do things you didn’t even think you were capable of and you’ll be scared, excited and confused all at the same time. But remember, the love we have for you doesn’t even compare to the love HE has for you. I can’t imagine someone loving you more than us but it’s true! Remember that always sister!

Love you,

Momma & Daddy

Jude: 4 +5 Months

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Jude,

Oh buddy…how your personality continues to SHINE! You enter each day excited to take on what the world has to offer. Occasionally we get snugly Jude in the morning but most of the time it’s you wide-eyed with tons of energy!

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One of my favorite things about you is your ability to take a normal object and turn it into anything you can imagine. This goes for diaper boxes, a hole in a tree, a piece of paper rolled up to be a map or random things from around the house as treasure. You see things so differently and I love hearing what you’ve come up with. The downside is this turns you into a bit of a hoarder. I will think you are finally done playing with a piece of paper, only to find you in tears the next day because I threw it out and “it was so special to you.”

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You currently are testing the waters a bit with Veda. As she interacts more and moves a bit more, you are trying to see what will get her to react to you. Sometimes this is wonderful with laughter and smiles from you both and other times it takes on the form of you pinching her cheeks to see how hard you can squeeze until she cries. Ugh! Hopefully this is a phase and all survive with just a few scraps and bumps! Veda adores you even if she has a scratch from your finger nail. Now, let’s be gentle with her please!

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This month you’ve gotten the name writing thing down and want to write it everywhere. You decided to color and draw pictures for your grandparents the other day and wanted to write your name on the letter and take it out to the mail right away. You still love coloring and drawing. People are constantly telling us how much you enjoy both as you leave preschool or church.

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Since you are home more with Momma and Daddy as we try to get some work in, we have come up with a schedule for you of when it’s play time with one of us, individual time for you, reading time and when we do “homework,” working on your letters and numbers. You like being on a schedule way more than your brother and thrive off knowing what is next. This creates a schedule “monster” sometimes if we are off of it and you know it! You walk over to the schedule on the wall and ask “what’s next?” You also still don’t understand timing and so when we tell you something is tomorrow you ask “is today tomorrow or tonight tomorrow or today tonight?” You get so mad because it confuses you!

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You’re at that age where some days are a dream in parenting and other days I want the day to end quickly so I can see you sleeping peacefully and pretend like you’re calm all the time. You rush out each night and ask me to “tuck you up” and rub your hair. And then I remember your creativity and spark that we get to experience everyday and I’m thankful through it all.

Love you Juders!

Momma and Daddy

Veda: 10 Months

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Veda,

Hello baby girl! How on earth do we have just two months and you will be one year old?!!! You are beyond precious to us and continue to capture us with that dimple smile!

This past month your personality has been shining! You are babbling up a storm (usually with your tongue out). You dance to music and have maintained Daddy’s nickname for you, Thumper. You thump on anything and rock back and forth, kicking your feet as you play and get excited.

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You love to play with a basket full of toys. You take each toy out, play with it and then throw it with all the other toys all around you. You move yourself in a circle as you kick your legs and bounce around to get what you want. If something gets too far out of reach, you start to cry, hoping someone will bring it to you. It’s okay to start moving sister! You do it in your crib. You get up on your knees and scoot around in your crib but you have no interest in doing it on the floor. I’m not in a rush, but goodness everyone else thinks you should be. I have to remind myself that you are doing things at your own pace and to stop listening to others who tell me something is wrong because you aren’t crawling yet. You’re just fine!

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It’s been 10 months and I’m still getting used to the girly things. I do love putting a dress on you and you love it because you can grab it and chew on it! Nothing stays on your head because it either slips right off or you grab it and chew on it. The headbands look cute for the few seconds they stay on your head! In recent weeks it has been warm enough to have you outside a lot and you adore it. We’ve gone on a few hikes with you in the carrier and you bounce your legs chatting away as we pass the trees and you can hear the birds. We love watching you take it all in!

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All of a sudden you are a fierce eater. No one is aloud to mess with your food and we better have it ready to go when you are hungry! The second you get near your seat, you start to whine because you want the food right away! You’ve started on a bunch of little finger foods and seem to love them. The other night, the whole family was done eating and Daddy and I were still making little chunks of grilled chicken and green beans for you. You couldn’t get enough of them! You smile in excitement when we put new foods on your tray. I hope that continues!

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Everyone wants to get snuggle time with you. Your grandparents can’t put you down for very long and work hard at getting you to fall asleep on them instead of putting you down to nap or have bedtime. I think you all are very happy with this situation. You still always prefer Daddy but some of us get snuggles in here and there.

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You have mastered standing but with a little help. We have to help you get up to hold onto something but once you are there, you stay for awhile. I always say “ready spaghetti” to you as you smile and get excited as I pull you up on your feet. When you’re being stubborn, you hold your legs up in a sitting position and just hang like a monkey from our hands! It’s hilarious.

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You have two HUGE admirers! Those brothers of yours are something else Veda. They adore you more than we could have ever imagined. They work so hard to get giggles and smiles out of you. They want to entertain you constantly and walk around talking baby babble to get you to talk back to them. They give you swords in hopes you’ll fight back and rush to be the first to give you morning kisses and kisses before nap time. They love to be one of the first to greet you in the morning as you smile when they walk in the room. You get more play time with Jude while Zane is at school and it’s fun to see how he’s including you in his creative play.

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While your brothers adore you, you adore them. The other night they were taking a bath while Momma and Daddy cleaned up after dinner and you sat smiling at them as they talked to you and played peekaboo. They always make sure there’s a pillow behind you, or pillows all around you, so that you don’t hit your head if you fall. They are very concerned about your safety, even though you probably don’t need the pillows anymore!

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We love all the new faces you are making! There’s a hilarious “O” face you make and of course your tongue is out the majority of the time while you figure out those two new bottom teeth. Any face you make will be adorable to us!

Veda, we are having so much fun with you! Each night as Daddy or I, or sometimes Zane, prays for you before bed, you lean your head into us and rest your ear near our mouth as we talk. I hope those words are sinking in as we pray for you to know God and serve him as you grow.

Love you sweetheart!

Momma & Daddy

Veda: 9 Months

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13 pounds, 2 ounces / 25 inches

Veda,

Oh precious girl how are you nine months already?! Life is filled with joy with you as part of our family! You wake up first thing in the morning with a smile to greet each person who says good morning. Each morning Daddy or Momma goes in to get you and the second the door opens those dimples are so clear as the widest grin welcomes us. As we walk you out to the rest of the family, each of your brothers has to come up, give you a kiss and say good morning. You adore this, reaching for them and smiling again. And this whole process is repeated with each nap time too.

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We adjusted your schedule so now you have just two naps and go to bed the same time the boys do. It feels weird to not have the night time feeding anymore. Daddy and I both miss the time with you in the quiet of the night while the boys are sleeping. But it’s part of you getting older and we still will sneak out of bedtime routines with the boys to go rock you some nights and snuggle in the quiet of your room. You sleep in the cutest ways but I cannot seem to get a photo of it! I try to sneak into your room and just when I think I’m going to get a photo, you open your eyes looking at me like I’m crazy for interrupting your sleep. I’ll keep trying!

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You aren’t crawling yet and I think we’re all okay with you being content to sit and play. I know you’ll figure it out eventually but you have learned how to lean and push yourself to grab anything you want. Your brothers constantly run and hand you something when it’s out of your reach so you really have no need to move right now. I have to remind myself not to compare you to other babies your age and what they are doing. You’ll go at your own pace.

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I had forgot how fun the laundry basket is for babies. In the past week you have played with it so much by putting toys in and out of it or just hanging out as I fold laundry. You make doing laundry a bit more fun! You seem way more attached to your pacifier than what we experienced with your brothers. It might be more of challenge to break you of them but we’ll come to it eventually. The second you start crying or make any whimper, Jude runs to get you a pacifier. He might be part of the problem! He needs to just get used to hearing you cry but he told me he doesn’t like you sounding sad. You have been crying a lot this week as your two bottom teeth seem to be trying to make their way out at the same time. Poor thing!!! You’re getting extra loving for sure!

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You have started baby babbling non-stop. Of course most of the sounds coming out are “dada” even though I repeat “mama” back to you all of the time. You make the funniest faces as you talk and stop and stare at us if we start laughing. You have my eyes and Daddy’s expressive eyebrows. I don’t know how you move them like that! Your petite features are so adorable!

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It was finally warm enough for you to play in the snow with your brothers. You had no clue what to think of the fluffy cold stuff. We bundled you up and had to put socks on your hands for gloves because everything we had was way too big for you. We tried to explain to your brothers how you would not be participating in snow ball fights but somehow a few still found you. You didn’t cry though, instead you just looked at them with a serious face. You sat with Daddy and watched us build a fort as the snow fell. You were fascinated by it all.

We love watching the world through your eyes. It reminds us to stop and take in something we see as normal to appreciate on a new level. We love you baby girl!

Love,

Momma & Daddy

Reading Lately: Behind!

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I took a blogging hiatus but I was still reading. I’ll admit that my reading hasn’t been as fast as normal…there has been a few distractions with three kids!

1. The Attachments: I just finished this book last week and flew through it. I loved the way Rowell used email format in some chapters. At first I thought it would bother me but I ended up loving it. The way the story unfolds throughout following the emails is a wonderful mix of surprises and trying to figure out how the characters will come in contact with one another.

2. This is Where I Leave You: I loved how this book captured the interactions between siblings and how those relationships/emotions emerge during the death of their father. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie and see how the characters are portrayed compared to how I pictured them.

3. The Circle Maker: If you haven’t read this book, go get yourself a copy and read it now! A friend recommended it and I am so thankful for the way it has changed my prayer life and how I pray already, and that’s just after finishing it a couple weeks ago. The book covers the idea of praying circles around our dreams that intersect with God’s dreams for us. Seriously, go get it.

4. Masterminds & Wingmen: This was another book I picked up after a friend told me I had to read it because I had boys. I am always cautious when reading parenting books but this truly had some great tips. It had a video game contract included and we took it, tailored it for our boys and implemented it right away. There were a lot of issues touched on that we won’t encounter for a bit but it’s a good book to have on the shelf to reference as our boys age.

5. Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: I try to pick up a business book from time to time and this one grabbed my attention after hearing the author interviewed. I have to admit that it didn’t have anything earth shattering in it regard social media and how best to use it for your business. There were some good nuggets, but I don’t feel like reading this book helped me gain any real “new”  knowledge. It would be good for someone who doesn’t have a lot of background on social media and wants to dive into the social media realm.

6. The Leader in Me: Zane’s school is hoping to have The Leader in Me program become part of their culture. I was excited to learn more about it and will be digging into the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens as part of a book study at his school. So excited about this and the potential it has for the diverse group of students at the school.

© Maya Laurent Photography