Thankful

I have been thinking a lot about what really matters in this life. As a mother to young kids, it’s easy to allow the “shoulds” and the “oughts” to rule the day… To let life’s busyness and impossible standards to completely steal my joy.

This past month, I found myself being carried away with all the things I “should” be doing, especially now that Kensington is 5months old (I mean really!). Shouldn’t I be making dinner every night? Shouldn’t I be giving the kids stimulating activities every day? Shouldn’t I be back in shape by now? My daily lists were long and often left me feeling like a failure.

I’ve gone through seasons like this before (how about after each child arrived?!?) where I press to be at a place I simply can’t be at yet. So as soon as I realized it, I slowed down and knew I needed a shift in perspective.

I’m so thankful I’ve been reminded recently of a few things that really matter: that I love others like Jesus would, that I live with meaning, that I practice surrendering my plan to Him, and that I stop and breathe and say “thank you”.

I got to hear Donald Miller speak relatively recently and he said “deep meaning feels like gratitude.”

So this is where I’m starting… By saying thank you to God every single day (in a journal so I can be reminded). By trying to love every person God brings my way that day. By practicing surrendering my plans before Him with open hands.

I’m far from having it together, but I’m incredibly thankful for the space to slow down and refocus. For the reminder to simplify.

I am beyond thankful for my husband and kids who love me endlessly and who make my heart overflow with joy. And for my sister who has brought a light from her heart to San Diego with her.

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My Date “WITH” my Boy

I cherish any time I get one-on-one with each kid these days. I got some quality time with Bentley today and it was a sweet reminder of what matters most: being WITH each other.

Our time together was all about going on an adventure and building things.

The adventure he wanted entailed going on a hunt through the neighborhood to find a cricket. We prepared a glass jar with dirt and leaves and then set off on our hunt. We didn’t end up with a cricket but I wound up with a full heart getting to listen to him process the world around him. Bentley finds so much joy in the little things!

We then came home and built different structures with his play stix and had lunch together. By the end of our time he told me I was “the best mom ever”.

It was such a simple reminder that he gets filled up when I’m just WITH him.

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Sleep

Oh dear sleep how I needed you! The night before last marked a big milestone for Kensington… And for me. She slept in her big girl crib in her own room!!!

Kensi has been making me check my sanity as of recently due to her waking up through out the night as if she were still a newborn. I was feeling desperate for sleep – still getting up every 3 hours – when I realized this girl needs to be gently ushered into “big girl” sleeping patterns – for everyones sake.

It has taken some small crying sessions, some reassurance and some breathing… But for two nights in a row, Kensington has only gotten up once and gone 8 hours between feedings – calming herself to sleep AND sleeping in her own bed!! This is a milestone worth celebrating for any new mom! Hopefully we can keep this up.

Along with feeling a sense of healthy transition and much needed sanity returning to me… I also felt a sweep of sadness wash over me – knowing that I just transitioned out of the last time I will have a newborn sweetly sleeping next to my bed. Every new and exciting milestone for Kensington is a bitter-sweet last for me as a mom. This realization, makes me have a pinch-myself-moment wondering when I got so old ūüėČ I never thought we would reach that stage of life when we’re done having kids.

Kensington just had her 4 month appointment. She is 12 lbs 8 oz (20th percentile) and 24 inches long (50th percentile). She checked out healthy other than the fact that we now have an appointment to get an ultrasound done on her hips to see if she may have hip dysplasia like Harper had.
We shall wait and see.

Kensi you are all smiles and loves right now… And I literally can NOT stop kissing you! You are an easy, predictable baby and happy to be wherever I’m at. You have a little sparkle in your eye that oozes spunkiness and adventure! You are unsure of anyone new and burst into tears quite easily these days if anyone tries to hold you or makes you feel overwhelmed with their newness. You want to interact more with the world, now wanting to face out on my hip to see everything going on. You have found your feet and I quite regularly find them in your mouth. We ADORE you Kensington baby and love every new stage and surprise with you!!

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Keeping up

I have been vowing to myself that I’m going to keep up with our blog better… But life with THREE kids is proving to take more of my time ūüėČ

I want to continue to document life’s memorable moments and the things we’re learning along the way. But more demands my time as our family grows. And I am truly grateful at heart for the busyness because we’ve been blessed with THREE precious hearts and souls to tend.

Recently Kensington has been changing SO quickly that I can hardly stand it! It TRULY DOES go faster and faster with each child. And it makes me want to halt time and just savor her tininess.

Kensi has quickly come out of the infant sleepy stage is happiest these days in my arms – being carried around the house. She loves being a part of the action and almost always has a smile on her face. I think she’s a spark plug already with her spunky grin and her punk rock hair do! We couldn’t love her any more than we do!

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Life with Three

One thing I’ve learned since October is that life with three kids means you’re busy all the time. ¬†If you’re holding one, you’re cooking, cleaning or helping the others with one hand. ¬†If two are sleeping, you’ve still got one awake. ¬†If two are happy and content, one is crying or having a melt down. You are just plain busy!

And I would not trade each of our three beautiful personalities for a calmer schedule or less chaos. Even if I have to remind myself of this in my lower, less refined moments. We are blessed and I want to be ever grateful! A lot has happened since I wrote more regularly in November. We moved into a new (temporary) house, Christmas happened, we visited Oregon for the holidays, Bonnie spent a week with us in San Diego, my brother visited for a weekend and we went to an NHL game together, my sister moved in with us, Harper turned FIVE, and we visited the Jung’s up north!
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Our First Few Weeks With Kensington

It’s absolutely astonishing how fast the few weeks with a newborn just blow by.

Being the third tiny Swift, Kensington has been hurled into the fast lane. She’s been amazing considering how much she’s been in and out of the carseat and the ergo carrier. The girl went out to breakfast the morning after she arrived home, went trick or treating at just 6 days old, has joined Jeremy and I on two date nights and has already been to the SD zoo and Seaworld! Not to mention all the preschool pick up and drop offs!

I wanted to post a few pictures from her first few weeks before our move and the holidays completely engulf us.

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Kensington Hope Swift

One month ago, on Friday October 25th, we finally got to meet our baby – a sweet little GIRL!!!

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The entire experience leading up to meeting our sweet Kensington on that day was beyond amazing.  I never thought in a thousand years that my third pregnancy and labor would be my very best, easiest and healthiest.

I was decently nervous heading to the hospital at 6:30am for our scheduled induction. ¬†I kept telling Jeremy that you’d think you’d be LESS nervous having done the whole process a couple times before… but in reality you just know TOO MUCH going into it each time. ¬†You are more and more aware of all the complications that could present themselves at any point in the process and how little control you really have over it all.

Hands down the BIGGEST blessing of the entire process was having my friend Tatum there with us for every step of the way (I’m so bummed we forgot to take a picture together!). ¬†Tatum is a Labor and Delivery nurse at Mary Birch where we delivered. ¬†It was her day off and she graciously left her husband and daughters at home to be with us for the day. ¬†Since it was a scheduled induction, Tatum took the initiative and called the hospital early that morning before we arrived. ¬†She asked which nurses were working that day and was able to pick the best of the best and assign her to us! ¬†Our nurse Lori was absolutely incredible and caring – by far my favorite nurse for any of my deliveries. ¬†Tatum’s connections also wound us up in a great delivery room too. ¬†I won’t share what the nurses call the really bad rooms (I had a good laugh about it, but it may be a little much here)… but let’s just say our delivery room didn’t compromise my privacy as people walked in and out of the room ūüėČ ¬†And this was NOT the case when I delivered Harper there just about 5 years ago! ¬†So a BIG thank you Tatum!

In proper motherly fashion, all of my brain cells have gone missing and I can’t quite remember the exact timeline as to how everything went down. ¬†But don’t worry… I’ll try to stick to the short version. ¬†If you don’t like the idea of birth stories, just skip to the pictures below.

  • Somewhere between 8 and 9am, the nurse started my pitocin. ¬†I was disappointed to find that it was almost noon with very few painful contractions. ¬†Jeremy, Tatum and I had just chatted the morning away! ¬†The conversation was obviously enjoyable and passed the time quickly… but it wasn’t the kind of morning I had expected. ¬†I expressed to Tatum that when I was induced with Bentley, they had started my labor by breaking my water FIRST and then starting pitocin. ¬†Sweet and spunky Tatum took matters into her own hands and went roaming the halls to track down my doctor to come in and break my water. ¬†Another BIG thank you Tatum!
  • Around 12pm Dr Saffer broke my water and that did the trick! ¬†The contractions came fast and hard. ¬†I was immediately whirled into the pain of labor. ¬†Thank goodness for my husband and Tatum who helped me right through it. ¬†Tatum is the ultimate encourager and my husband quietly supported me and helped relieve some pain by pushing on some pressure points (I’m sure he thought he was going to break my lower back but he was amazing!). ¬†I was so thankful for both of them!
  • Around 2pm, I tapped out and got an epidural. ¬†I got one with each of my kids, but it’s never been without a lot of nerves. ¬†Another blessing: I got the veteran anesthesiologist. ¬†Thank you Lord. ¬†After this, I was able to rest for a little bit.
  • Around 4pm, I started feeling the need to push. ¬†They checked and sure enough I was ready to go. ¬†Lori had me do a practice push to see how low baby’s head was and perhaps how easy this delivery would be. ¬†She immediately said to call Dr. Saffer. ¬†Our baby was right there! ¬†As the nurses prepped everything for the delivery, Jeremy and I had a precious moment to calm our hearts and pray together. ¬†I was feeling overwhelmingly nervous about the baby’s heart-rate dropping during the pushing, since that happened with Bentley and he was one push away from being delivered via c-section. ¬†As our hearts were calmed, we focused on the excitement of meeting our baby and the anticipation of finding out if we had a boy or a girl!
  • This third delivery was a complete surprise in EVERY way. ¬†In (quite literally) 1 and 1/2 pushes… our baby was born! ¬†I wasn’t planning on it… but one of the most amazing parts of our delivery was after I pushed once, the Dr. asked if I wanted to pull the baby out! ¬†I would have thought I would have been too squeamish to do this, but I reached down and helped pulled our precious baby out! ¬†And it created a memory I’ll never forget. ¬†As they placed our baby on my chest, Jeremy called out that we had a GIRL!! ¬†Jeremy and I both recall there being a moment of hesitation on the sex because the umbilical cord was between her legs ūüėČ ¬†She was born at 4:49pm, weighing 8 pounds 5.2 ounces, 20.1 inches long, and a 13.6 inch head circumference. ¬†The last surprise was that Jeremy actually cut the umbilical cord this time! ¬†He’s never wanted to do this (I guess we’re both a little squeamish), but with this being our last baby he jumped on it when asked.
  • The next 24 hours were a blur of feedings, sporadic sleeping, tests and desperately trying to land on a name for our baby girl. ¬†Kensington was our favorite girl name going into the hospital, but we were surprised to find ourselves re-considering a name that wasn’t even in our top 5 because she looked like this other name. ¬†We were stumped. ¬†She looked like this other name, but I had a hard time picturing her with this name as a grown up. ¬†After much debating and harassment by the birth certificate office at the hospital… we finally decided at the last hour before our discharge she was: Kensington Hope Swift. ¬†We love it and think it’s a beautiful name she can grow into. ¬†We already sometimes call her Kensi, but it’s my hope she won’t lose her full name.

We truly could not have planned a better pregnancy and delivery. ¬†And my recovery was by far my easiest and quickest. ¬†We were discharged exactly 24 hours after she was born and found ourselves walking to breakfast downtown the next morning with the entire family! ¬†Our experience¬†was smooth, enjoyable (amazing!) and healthy. ¬†We feel so loved by Jesus for this gift. ¬†And we are so thankful for Tatum, Lori and all of the nursing staff who took great care of us. ¬†With all of my worrying beforehand, it’s another reminder to trust.

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The day before our induction… 5 days overdue… I was so ready to be done.
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Getting ready to meet our baby!
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Beyond thrilled about our little girl!
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Pure, overflowing love.
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Proud daddy of our third.
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Proud and ecstatic big sister! ¬†In Harper’s words she “got what she wished for”.
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Sweet and proud big brother.  He has been tender with her from this moment when they met.
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Mimi already showering Kensington with her love.  Baba was there loving on Kensi too, but somehow we managed to miss a picture.
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First visitors!  Auntie Jordan and Uncle Josh brought us coffees at the hospital the next morning and loved on Kensi.
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Sleeping beauty.
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Blurry going home picture.
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Kensington’s first morning waking up at home… and her big sister could not wait to see her and hold her. ¬†I think Harper came into our room around 5am ūüėČ