portraits

Roman James @ Three Years and Ten Months

March 14, 2017

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It’s been over a year since I’ve done a Roman update. That makes me so sad, but considering the year that I’ve had, it’s understandable. You know how most of the time you look at your child and you’re busy thinking about life’s happenings. You look at them but you’re thinking about what you’ll make for dinner or the fact that they need their hair washed or how they’ve managed to get a hole in yet another pair of pants. But then, once in awhile, you look at your child and you’re just looking at them. Nothing else is on your mind, just them, and you’re taking them in, admiring every little detail of their face, you’re taking in the full miracle that is your child.

Lately when I have those moments, looking at Roman, I’m just struck by how big he is. I mean we’re always in awe that our children are “getting so big, so quickly,” that’s a constant in parenting. But these days there is something different, a massive transition. I remember when he transitioned from a baby to a toddler and it was shocking and exciting and sad, all at once. But right now, he’s transitioning from a toddler into a boy… and it’s just. I’m crying just typing these words. I have to pause.

Life has this way of being a never-ending roller coaster, that’s how it is, highs and lows. But parenthood, damn, it’s on a whole different level. Sometimes the breeze is just right and your sails are full and your cruising across smooth waters. Then, in the blink of an eye, from nowhere, a storm blows in — a storm of biblical proportion and everything that you thought was steady and secure vanishes from beneath your feet and you’re tossed into a treacherous sea.

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It’s been getting harder and harder to pick him up, he’s so heavy. And last night, for the first time that I can remember, he tried to curl up on my lap and he’s just so big, we couldn’t get comfortable. Now the tears are coming, fat and ugly down my cheeks. Perhaps it wasn’t the craziness of life that’s kept me from writing this post. Perhaps, it’s rather the fact that it just hurts, that I just want it to slow down and it won’t. It never will. It will only go faster.

When Roman was a baby, I made these detailed posts about his development. I placed all of this emphasis on his growth, his sleeping patterns, how he was eating, and so on. I stopped doing that a long time ago. I hardly every did it for Marina, maybe just in her first few months of life or so. As I’ve moved deeper into my role of mother, I’ve realized just how unimportant those silly details were. These days I’d rather be fully immersed in enjoying and cherishing my baby’s milestones as opposed to meticulously writing them down.

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Gosh, this post has become so much about me, and not really about Roman at all. So let me say a few things about him.

My sweet boy started school in September. He loves it. He loves his friends and he loves his teachers. He’s never once hesitated when it’s time to go into his classroom. While so many of his classmates hesitate at the door and even have tantrums, refusing to leave their mother’s side, Roman bounces in with a heart of love and excitement each morning. I had my first parent teacher conference a few weeks ago and Roman seems to be doing great. He has a little trouble controlling his emotions at certain times, but his teacher assures me that it’s all developmentally appropriate.

At home, he is as smart, sweet, and creative as ever. I see this emotional and intellectual transition occurring in him, where simple explanations no longer cut it. He’s not just content with yes or no, he wants to know why and how, too. He is a little love. He caters to my constant requests for cuddles and always gives me “a kissy” if I feel sad or get hurt. He’s an excellent big brother, happily caring for his “baby ‘Rina” and teaching her the ways of the world.

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He has his moments, of course, as all three-year-olds do. We’ve definitely experienced more behavior issues this year than we had during his one’s and two’s. He doesn’t like to be told no, and he gets very emotional very quickly — red face, tears, the whole works. We’re working on these things, and with the help of his preschool teachers (who assure me it’s normal for his age) we’re definitely seeing progress.

Without getting too far into a lot of the “milestones” conversation, just a couple of points. First, he’s huge. He towers over other three-year-olds and even four and five-year-olds, too. At age three he wears clothing made for age five and shoes made for age six. Consequently people always think he is much older than he actually is. However, he is so well-spoken and polite that people continue to struggle believe that he is only three. He is most definitely mature beyond his years in many ways, while in other ways he’s right on target.

There is just so much to say about my Roman James. But mostly, he is a pleasure. Brilliant, funny, outgoing, and adventurous. He has an excitement about life that fills my heart with the greatest joy and gratitude. Every time that I think my heart has reached maximum capacity and I simply can’t love him anymore — the limits of my love are stretched again and my adoration for my son explodes to greater heights like fireworks.

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Thank you so much for allowing me to be your Mama, my darling Roman James. I loved you then, I love you still, always have, always will. ♥

portraits 03 // roman + marina

September 2, 2015

sibling portrait // livelovesimple.com

sibling portrait // livelovesimple.com

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” –G.K. Chesterton

sibling portrait // livelovesimple.com

sibling portrait // livelovesimple.com

sibling portrait // livelovesimple.com

sibling portrait // livelovesimple.com

earlier sibling portrait sets:
portraits 01 // roman + marina
portraits 02 // roman + marina

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portraits 02 // roman + marina

June 8, 2015

baby portraits // livelovesimple.com

baby portraits // livelovesimple.com

“Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.” –Hafiz

It’s been a crazy couple of months, friends. Over the past few weeks, Marina’s crying has gone from bad to worse. Despite her pediatrician repeatedly telling me that — “She’s healthy, just colicky” — my gut has been telling me something different. I strongly suspect that Marina has silent reflex. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to help her by changing my diet, we’ve decided to try her on a medication for reflux.

It’s been a painstaking time and we didn’t make this decision lightly. In case you hadn’t guessed it, I’m not a pharmaceuticals person. I’ll try every natural remedy in the book before resorting to a chemical medicine. However, I can’t stand to see my baby suffering anymore. It’s gotten really bad. We’re almost at three months now and she still screams for hours every day. It takes all of my energy to calm her down and sometimes nothing will soothe her. She shows all of the typical symptoms of reflux — she screams, arches her back, makes a sour face, goes hysterical when you try to lay her flat, and so on. But because she doesn’t vomit after most feedings and because she is gaining weight extremely well, the pediatrician didn’t think it was reflux. However, both of those things can be explained. Many babies with reflux do not vomit because the acid comes up and then goes back down — causing double pain. Also, many babies with reflux gain weight well because they feed (sometimes excessively) to soothe the burning.

We knew that we had to try something else. After exhausting almost all of the options in front of us, we found ourselves with two choices: trying to give her a dairy-free, sensitive formula or trying medication. I deeply want to continue exclusively breastfeeding her if possible, and that is how we ended up deciding on the medicine. We just started it yesterday and are hopeful that we will see some improvement very soon.

In other news, we’re all enjoying the end of spring and the beginning of summer. When Marina is not screaming, her sweet personality is really starting to shine through. She just loves attention! If we sit and talk to her, she will smile, coo, and even giggle. It’s the sweetest thing. She still loves her big brother desperately and he loves her right back. He has settled so beautifully into his role as big brother, just as I knew he would. I don’t know what I would ever do without him. He brings light, joy, and laughter to even our most difficult of days.

You can’t see it too well in these photographs, but Marina’s eyes are blue! When she was born we thought for certain that she would have dark eyes & dark hair, but as time passes, her eyes continue to get lighter and bluer every day. Her eyes can still change color. Most sources say that a baby’s eyes can continue to change significantly up until six months, but so far it’s looking like we’ll have another blue-eyed baby! It’s pretty surprising to us, as M. and I both have hazel/brown eyes, but there are lots of blue eyes in our families and Roman’s are as blue as they come.

I hope you’ll enjoy these photographs of my sweet babes. I’m so grateful to be their mama.

baby portraits // livelovesimple.com

baby portraits // livelovesimple.com

baby portraits // livelovesimple.com

baby portraits // livelovesimple.com

baby portraits // livelovesimple.com

baby portraits // livelovesimple.com

baby portraits // livelovesimple.com

baby portraits // livelovesimple.com

Happy Monday, friends. I hope that your week is off to a beautiful start. If you are so inclined, I would truly appreciate your prayers that we may find a resolution to Marina’s issues ASAP. Many, many thanks. xo


portraits 01 // roman + marina

April 30, 2015

roman + marina // livelovesimple.com

roman + marina // livelovesimple.com

“Happy are those who dream dreams
and are ready to pay the price
to make them come true.”

A few portraits of my two little “dreams come true” and a quote to remind me how worth it they truly are. It’s been a rough little while around here. It turns out that Marina is an even lighter sleeper than Roman — which I honestly didn’t think was possible.

Our house is tiny and these two are constantly waking one another up. I don’t mind my own lack of sleep, but overtired, cranky babies are just so hard. Also, Marina is colicky. I’ve been stubbornly avoiding that conclusion, but there it is. I spend 90 percent of every day & night working to keep her from crying.

Ah, well — it’ll all be over in the blink of an eye. Such is life.

roman + marina // livelovesimple.com

roman + marina // livelovesimple.com

roman + marina // livelovesimple.com

roman + marina // livelovesimple.com

roman + marina // livelovesimple.com


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