Monday, May 30, 2016

Graduating, acclimating & celebrating.

The days continue to fly by at a ridiculous speed around here. Perfect illustration- my beautiful first baby, the boy who surely (it seems) just learned to walk last week, has somehow now graduated from preschool! We spent the last year at Spring Hollow Early Learning Center in Franklin. Such a sweet little school with amazing teachers and lots of sweet friends to go along with it. Last week we attended their graduation ceremony. When crossing the bridge, each graduate received their "journey book" to take home. A self portrait made for the perfect cover. Henry's drawing of himself was captioned: "I'm big and I'm high-fiving people and smiling". My gosh I love that boy so much.

So yes, the days are flying by. The nights, not so much. I didn't truly enough remember how hard having a newborn is. I really thought I did remember and was mentally prepared. But when you're in the thick of it, with an adorable (and somewhat loud) little alarm clock waking you up every 3 hours, it gets real. Three nights in the last week Charlie did give us a five hour stretch of sleep at night. How amazing. But she was just kidding. Ha. She will be seven weeks old tomorrow. That truly does seem impossible. I seem to remember with Henry that things got tremendously easier at the 3-4 month old mark. And while I truly don't want to wish away a single day of this time with Charlie, the possibility of soon getting just a little more sleep and a little less crying is enough to carry me through most of the exhaustion. And she gifts us just enough gummy little smiles to completely get away with her antics.

Charlie's happy place most days is snuggled right inside her Boba wrap. How would we make it without this contraption? This is how I clean house, cook, and sometimes even use the bathroom. And when I have a quick photo session to knock out, Mr. Zuill takes over. Does she look cozy in there with her Daddy or what?

It's not hard to see that Charlotte is quickly becoming a Daddy's girl.

I'm pretty sure that the person most smitten with Charlie is her big brother. We had a couple of rocky days in the beginning, but now he seems to have seriously settled into his new role. He is so proud of his baby sister. When we come to pick him up at school and he notices Charlie being admired by his classmates, he promptly makes his way over and showers her with kisses- marking his territory. And when the time came for her first bottle, of course he was the chosen (and proud) candidate.

Charlie has also had some other admirers lately. Her future BFF Ivy Mae came to meet her last week. Ivy was so excited to hold "Charlie-baby". Charlie was on the fence.

Since we moved to College Grove I have somehow managed to make the most wonderful group of friends. And as it turns out, there is most likely something in the water here. About 80% of the aforementioned group of friends has either just had a baby or will soon be having a baby! How amazing it is going to be to watch all these sweet babes grow up together! Among the expectant group is my wonderful neighbor and friend Corinne. Baby Hudson will be joining the 'hood in August so a couple of weekends ago we all got together to celebrate the arrival of this sweet boy!

So that's the latest around here! Thanks for catching up with us!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Zuills on a bus.

The month of April surely held some highly anticipated events for us. The start of baseball season. Charlie's (eventual) arrival. And also making the top three cut- the College Grove Elementary School Sneak-a-peek.

A couple of weeks ago on a Tuesday night we all rushed to the car at about 5:45 and headed just down the road to one of the local churches. There, in the large gravel parking lot, a big yellow school bus was parked and waiting for this fall's kindergarten students and parents to board. Henry was undoubtedly excited about getting to ride on the school bus (and has now decided he'd rather not take me up on my transportation services for school, what?). But I believe that you might be able to tell from the photo below who else was just a little excited for his first ever ride on a school bus. You'd have thought he was boarding NASA's newest spaceship.

Henry was so glad to see some familiar faces in the cafeteria and hallways. We visited the art classroom, the library, the lunchroom (seeing him go through that little lunch line was almost too much!) but his favorite stop on the tour was definitely saved for last.

The weather has been nearly perfect for all the fun Spring has brought- which meant it was also perfect to drag my favorite people around the house and into the backyard to capture their beautiful faces. Bear with me- it's about to get a little photo heavy. These three truly are my world.


(and just so you can see what I'm dealing with here, ha)

Thanks for checking in on us!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Three weeks in.

I'm pretty much in complete denial that today our baby is three weeks old. Just two seconds ago we were staring down at our brand new little human. (thank you for the photos my dear Sarah B. Gilliam!)

Yet suddenly we've somehow already been for our first (and second!) checkups at Dr. Townsend's office. Our first visit, at 4 days old, confirmed the normal decrease from newborn weight. That part is always a little stressful when you're nursing. You can't see what's going in, only what's coming out. Charlie has been nursing well, and often, but the nurse in me still likes to see an increase on the growth curve. When we went back in for our two week checkup, Charlie had gained over a pound from our first visit and was promptly deemed a "porker" by her pediatrician. Music to my ears.

And, yes, I know that the last time we had a baby, I said it was the last time, but this time it really is. At 39 already, I'm surely not gonna be popping out any more adorable Zuill babies (as much as I might like to). That realization is harsh. But it also has seemingly inspired a difference perception of parenting. The sleepless nights don't seem to get to me very quickly this go-round. (Ask me again in a few weeks and I might have a different opinion on that!) I think seeing Henry grow so much in the blink of an eye has firmly taught me that all of the exhaustion and frustration is simply a blip on the parenting radar and surely the next thing I know we'll be at another Kindergarten registration. This sweet girl is such a gift and I am truly just doing my best to soak in every second of her. The entire family is pretty much in agreement with that (as demonstrated by her Pappy).

Charlie's first bath. Now that was an anticipated event- at least by those not involved with the getting wet and getting washed. Some of the Zuill clan were happy to observe from a distance and just be glad they weren't the ones getting washed for a change. It all started so nicely, according to Charlie, then it all went so wrong.

We have discovered that when Charlotte is fussy (as I assume most newborns often are, or am I alone in this??) that she really likes to be outside. We've done a LOT of porch sitting (we MAY need a porch swing soon, Mr. Zuill. Just saying.). One afternoon last week we decided to have a picnic lunch on our property. Charlie wasn't opposed to this, as you might notice. And her big brother was looking particularly handsome (good genetics, I'm guessing, ha). And can I say that he has been THE most awesome big brother. We had a couple of stressful days, but as of late he's been busy helping with baths and making up songs to soothe her crying. Love my boy so very much.

So three weeks in and we are feeling so many things. Tired. Amazed. Frustrated at times. But oh my gosh, so happy. We have such a beautiful new addition to our family. I am so honestly excited to get to know this girl, and her likes, dislikes, quirks, thoughts, opinions. What an amazing adventure to come in such a small little body.