Thursday, July 10, 2014


Ella's "first" "bath"
*Technically I guess the nurses gave her the first bath...around 5 am the day she was born.  
I neither photographed or even slightly remember it.  Because...5 am after giving birth at 2 am.  Self-explanatory.

**Still just a sponge bath.  She smelled just as good though :)

Back rolls.  I love them.  On her.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Our girl

In a dress Ma bought for me, on the blanket I came home from the hospital in...I just wish she could hold her little namesake in that dress.  Oh how she would have been proud of that head full of dark hair.

(Me in aforementioned dress...because we have the picture)

In her own little homecoming outfit.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I've always wanted a big brother.  No doubt, I adore Travis.  He's pretty much my favorite (though he'll probably never read this because he scans my blogs on the monthly to look at the pictures ;))  I loved being his big sister, but I ALWAYS, really wanted a big brother too.

I basically think Ella is the luckiest, ever.  Not only does she have two big brothers, but they are two of the best people I know.  She's a lucky gal, this one.

I've always said that no joy is complete until it's shared.  I don't think there has been anything sweeter than introducing these guys to their new baby girl.  (Reality check, it was alsoharrowing to make sure they didn't jab me, just hours after I had given birth.  Making sure they weren't poking her eyes out, dropping her head, and inadvertently kneeing her as they crawled all over the teeny bed.  Obviously.)  But seeing their faces light up when they saw her?  Seeing them cradle her in their arms and gently snuggle her into their laps?  That was good, good stuff my friends.

We're adjusting at home.  They both want to hold her for approximately ten second intervals, at which point their arms drop and she is left for whatever shiny running game catches their attention.  Samuel is rough with everyone these days, so we have to watch him for random hair pulling and face-part grabbing.  They are both training her to be able to sleep through all manners of natural disaster, which I am grateful for.  They like to snuggle beside me while I nurse her and laugh at her gassy sounds. 

Carter is actually a big help.  It's fun having one who is big enough to do some things, fetch diapers, and be relatively independent this time around.  He is just super tender with babies and is so gentle with his sister.  I can see him being her protector and guardian while I can certainly imagine Samuel as her friend and fellow daredevil.  Time will tell :)

While our Ella has certainly captured my heart, it has given me such sweet joy to watch her capture her brothers' hearts as well.  She is well loved, this dear lady of ours.

Well-loved indeed.

Monday, July 7, 2014

I grew a tiny person

I know there are things about my body that will never be the same after this season of life has passed, but how grateful I am for its ability to stretch, grow, nourish and nurture three beautiful babies until they were ready to face the world in my arms.  As difficult as this pregnancy felt at times, I will never, ever forget the sweetness of life growing inside me.  I feel like I knew them before anyone else as they each had personalities that were so different, even in the womb.  This mysterious miracle of life borne from another has been one of the most remarkable experiences of my life...and I am eternally grateful for these gifts of life.

As much as my organs, skin, and shape have has my soul.  And I will never regret that growth in any way.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Ella Kennedy Castillo

Ella Kennedy Castillo
Born June 26, 2014, 2:12 am
8 lbs, 2 oz, 20 1/4 inches long

She came early, early in the morning the very day no one expected her.  How many babies come on their due date, anyway?

Ella came quietly, simply.  Without a lot of fanfare or fuss, but with great joy, we welcomed her into this world before the dawn.  She barely cries, this little lady.  She opens her mouth and cranes her neck when she is hungry.  She looks for willing arms when she is tired.  She does protest when she is trying to make a dirty diaper, but her general disposition is quiet so far.

Her dark blue eyes seem already to be changing to brown.  She has chubby rolls all over and enough hair to pin in a bow and make the most entertaining bedhead.  She's a sleepy gal and a wonderful nurser, patient with her brothers' affection and easygoing when she has to wait her turn for care.

Ella is our precious gift of joy.  There will be more pictures, more stories of how she came, more detail on what the boys think about this sweet sister...all in time.  But for now...she's here and we are so, so grateful for our little girl.