Welcome Home Knox

In June my family and I headed back home (Amherst, NY) to kick off the summer with a visit with the (then) newest cousin Knox... it's the best, welcoming new members of the family to the world! Who but a nephew or niece to steal your heart... this little guy was so cutie and cuddly and perfect. Knightlee is going to be a great boss, I mean, big sister ;)

We love you baby Knox!

Elle Turns 9 months

Elle my girl, you're so spunky at the age of 9 mos... your character is really starting to build and there have been days that have gone by where you didn't cry once! I've never experienced such a thing... If I were to choose one word to describe you it would be "peaceful"... I don't know if it's because you're the third and your sister and brother entertain you so well, or if it's simply your spirit. But you're the best! Love, Mommy

Hi Mamas,

If I'm being real with you all, there were definitely a lot of times when I questioned my decision to have 3 and even, at times, regretted the decision! yup, my pregnancy was pretty bad and the adjustment to 3, although smooth, was still really hard... breastfeeding was the hardest it had ever been in all 3 children, we struggled with tongue tie and a really aggressive suck. We struggled through reflux (we knew to get the medicine right away this time but it still takes 3 mos of adjusting to the right dosage). Not to mention the 60 lbs of weight gain!

But this child has been the absolute "icing on the cake" as far as motherhood goes. I cannot imagine having had missed out on this little personality and cuddly bug!

Life with 3 Babies

Hey Girl,

So I thought I'd update you on what it's been like, so far, as a family of 5. Not a lot has changed in terms of our day to day activities... though, now that I'm out of the weeds (so to speak) I can speak freely... yes the first few months were really tough, I was so weak and just beat feeling, I def have postpartum depression, not as bad as I did with Ethan, but it's still there.  I was more prepared for the first few months of shear exhaustion and feeling horrific, so It honestly didn't phase me much this time around. I asked for a lot of help, ahead of time, knowing It was going to be all hands on deck especially the first 3 months and my mother in law has been to my house just about everyday helping me in some capacity.

I think breastfeeding has been the hardest thing to adjust to, still not a fan, even though some people seem to think I am fine with it and it's easy for me... it is not easy for me, at all. But I do it for the health of the babe and the shrinkage of my belly! It's all good... just counting down the days until I hit the 6 month mark. That's always my goal.

Ok, back to life with 3 kids... I mean, we are still doing the same things we were always doing. It's gotten easier since Sienna is now 5 and Ethan is 3, they play beautifully together for the most part, a lot of the times it's just me and Elle while those 2 are off playing. Ethan was fully potty trained a month after Elle was born so I'm still changing someones diapers. She's super chill, she can lay on the floor for a good half hour to hour before she starts crying, which is HUGE. She recently went from waking twice at night down to once a night, which was a great transition. We knew to get her on reflux medication early on, so she's always gone right back down after eating at night.

Honestly, the first 4 months has flown by because I'm so involved with the other 2, the days sort of fly by now. I definitely think going from 1 to 2 is the hardest transition in building a family. That's just balls to the wall... going from 2 to 3 is much more calm, I'm more relaxed about every single thing and just know it will all go by so fast so I really soak up those extra cuddles when I can get them. I think this is true about all first children, but she's still my toughest one... always at my feet wanting my full and un-divided attention... all.... day... long!!!

So, pretty boring update! haha. But boring is good. Everyone has been healthy and happy and growing! What more could you ask for?

I'm really chomping at the bit to start shooting again though... so if you're interested for this spring or summer, give me a shout - april@aprilkphotography.com

photos by Kathy James Photography

Elle is finally here!

Hi There! well, Elle Renee (we share a middle name along with 2 of my neices) finally made her way into the world after being coaxed out on November 17, 2017.

backstory: it was a tough pregnancy... but the nail in my coffin was months after my pelvic bone split, I could no longer walk. Literally, I was crippled by this, in so much pain, the most I could do was shuffle around the house and that was only because I had to. The last 2 weeks leading up to her birth were excruciating. The entire last week my mother in law took the kids every single day because I just couldn't get off the couch. It was really bad.

So, the week I was induced, On Monday I was in the midwifes office, hoping to get my membranes stripped that day, (thus putting me into labor, I did this with the last 2 babies at 41 weeks and it worked) but since I was RGB positive this was not an option for this pregnancy. I would be 39 weeks on Friday and measuring 2 weeks ahead (I have big babies!).The midwife, bless her, so softly broke the news to me that since I was RGB positive I was no longer a candidate to have my membrane stripped. I started hysterically crying, in her office, apologizing for crying, but I just couldn't take the chronic pain anymore. I was done. So she scheduled for me to be induced that Friday.

As Justin drove me into the hospital that morning I was silent, fear stricken silent. I remember Ed Sheeran's "Perfect" came on... and one line was "well I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know" and justin turned to me and said "you're the strongest woman I know babe, you can do this" and I just started balling my eyes out. In that moment I felt soooo not strong... feeling like how am I going to do this? How is this going to go down...

(picking up a month later to finish this post - life is too much right now!)

The first time I'd been truly fear stricken in my life, or shall I say, the moment I felt it the most, out of any other fearful moment I've had in this life. I kept asking myself, why am I so scared at something so natural and that I've done twice before? And I think (after pondering it for a month or 2 now) is that I'd never been induced... a plan for when the baby comes out? That never was in my other 2 experiences, so the fear of me not just busting into spontaneous labor was like... what? I'm going to just sit in a hospital room and labor?  asking myself a million questions - mainly about how much more painful is this going to be than the last 2... will I just bust into the pain of 6 or 7 cm or will it gradually increase (it's gradual I later found out and manageable)...

Well... there were pro's and there were cons to that. But I remember walking into the hospital scared then quickly feeling...ok, this is kinda nice not being 9 cm dilated and trying to check in with registration and discussing health insurance between contractions.

To make a long story short, I started pitocin at 10am and a beautiful baby girl we now call Elle was plopped onto my chest at 11:01 pm on 11-17-17. She didn't cry at first (which always makes me nervous) but after a few shakes by the nurse, she let out a few cries (nothing like her sister lol). I was speechless... I knew that she was going to be a good baby because of the simple fact that she wasn't screaming for hours after delivery. As Justin and I sat in the labor and delivery room, we were in awe, yet again. At the exact moment that I was thinking it, Justin said "man... forget about firemen and police officers, all of those nurses are the real life hero's"... not to take away from firemen and policemen but nurses (esp. labor and delivery nurses) don't get enough kudos! Then around 3am Justin and I were then transported to the maternity ward where we were taken care of by more of THE NICEST NURSES!

Now I have labored in 3 different hospitals in and around Boston and I have to say, Newton Wellsley hospital, while I was skeptical at first, has won my heart for the best place to labor & deliver. With Sienna I delivered at Brigham and Women's Hospital and with Ethan I delivered at Mt. Auburn hospital. Without going into too much detail, the nurses at Newton Wellsely Hospital were the most welcoming, "motherly" (because that is truly the type of people you need around you at that moment) and most caring group of women I have had the pleasure of "doing business with". And a special shout to to my Midwife was amazing, Kim (who works for Dedham Medical OBGYN). She was undoubtedly thee best midwife ever... I later found out she's from Wisconsin (where the nicest people in America live) but her bedside manor and capacity for empathy was truly remarkable. I felt like I was in such good hands.

So all in all it was a great experience but maybe one of my most growthfull experiences in terms of realizing what it's like to work through your biggest fears & most painful moments.

(picking up yet a month later to add some photos taken in her first weeks of life)



Kruegers in Vermont - July 2017

The magic of Vermont... I don't know why it exists or what really makes it feel magical, but it has a charm like no other. I love when my family meets us up there, to share the magic and fun! At least once a year they all (4 siblings + their families) make the trek and we "whoop it up", making memories to last a lifetime. - July 20, 2017

Acadia National Park - July 4th 2017

Through many of our summer travels this year, Acadia National Park was definitely a favorite. We went up to celebrate Taylor & Tyler's engagement and the 4th of July. Tyler's family has a beautiful spot right on the ocean called the "rock ledge" and it was the perfect hangout to have a lobster bake, s'mores, and a breathtaking sunset!

We also got to "climb" (in the car, thank goodness cause I was pregnant) to the top of Cadillac Mountain! and then we stopped off at Sand Beach to splash in the icy cold waters of Maine...

It was a great trip - July 2017

Slow summer days with cousins - NT trip

Just catching up here, 4 months later... This past summer was a crazy whirlwind of traveling for my family and I caught most of it to post here... so years down the road we can remember all the little moments that are so sweet.

This was a trip back to Buffalo to visit our family (COUSINS!)... in June 2017

The first time my kids experienced the neighborhood ice cream truck & shark girl (hahaha).