Sunday, August 27, 2017

Parker Mae is 3!

Parker Mae is 3! She is a spitfire of a personality just like her oldest sister. As a typical third born, she enjoys being independent, but also relishes in all the attention of being the "baby". She still really doesn't like to be hugged or held by anyone but Mom and Dad, but she has definitely come out of her shell. We see a lot more smiles and giggles, but she's not afraid to give the ol' rbf either when needed.

In the next few weeks she'll start gymnastics class and "school" once a week. It's so very very different sending her then it was sending either of the older two. Maybe it's the age gap, but 3 still seems so little! I'm sure that will all dramatically change come December - for me, and for her. But for the time being she's still my baby. She loves to feel the baby brother kick, and is by far the best with our puppy, so we have high hopes as she earns the title of big sister!

I had big plans to get her 3 yo pics taken this summer, but between softball, swimming, tennis, and traveling - it never happened. #thirdchildproblems So with fruit snack bribes in hand I took a few of my own at the park. And most of these pretty much capture her personality perfectly. I love her at this age, and hope she never loses her zest for life, big bows, and ballerina dresses.

Friday, August 18, 2017

First *Week* of School

We've officially survived the first week of school! This year was definitely interesting, as it's been the first time I've ever been pregnant (for the first day of school), and then of course the weather decided not to cooperate. Normally I have everything set out and ready to go far in advance with alarms set early enough to curl hair and have enough time for allllll the photo ops. Yea, none of that happened this year.

I couldn't find the white bow, and had zero energy to really try and find it in time. Neither of the girls requested to curl hair this year so my alarm was set for normal time. I totally spaced on the chalkboard, so it was still upstairs on the shelf and read "First day of 1st grade". #pregnancybrainisreal

We still left in time to snag one pic while it wasn't raining by the stone wall outside of school, and a few with teachers in the classroom. Hadley has been counting down the days until she got to go back to school for weeks, while Gracen wants to know why they can't just go half day. Ha!

 Day two I bribed them to wear their bow for exactly one photo with the chalkboard. #traditions

"Mom, this should say Second day of 2nd grade" - Hadley Jean 

 They've worn their hair the exact.same.way. every first day of school since kindergarten with the same bow. But this year I was a day late, and there's no ponytail with it, but beggars can't be choosers I suppose!

Just look at those itty bitty kinders!! Be still my heart. And would you believe they're still wearing the same jumpers? Crazy.

It took me three separate days to get all the photos I usually get on day one, and I STILL forgot to get one of them both by the St. Ann sign. They were troopers like usual, and we're all excited for a brand new year full of learning and adventures in second and fourth grade! (And of course the cooler weather, and baby brother to make his arrival!!)

First day 2016, First day 2015, Gracen's First day 2014, Hadley's First day 2014, Gracen 2012 (#fail, I didn't post Gracen's first day of kindergarten, or either of their first days of 3 yo pre-school)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Boy vs Girl

This whole time I was 99.9% sure it was a girl, so naturally I was wrong. I suppose it's par for the course since each of my girls I was 99.9% sure it was a boy. I thought it'd be fun to see how I compare to some of the old wives tales, since pretty much all of my pregnancies have been the same (aka horrible).

It’s a boy if:

  • You didn’t experience morning sickness in early pregnancy - FALSE! I was sick as a dog 24 hours a day for 13-14 weeks.
  • Your baby’s heart rate is less than 140 beats per minute - At the first appt. it was 170, but at the final appt. before we found out was right at 140. So neutral on this one.
  • You are carrying the extra weight out front - TRUE! However, this was the same with all 3 of my girls as well. I think it's because I have an awkwardly long torso, not because it's a boy/girl.
  • Your belly looks like a basketball - FALSE, this time it's not so much a basketball. Although with all 3 girls it was!
  • You are carrying low - I never really know what this means? But this by far "feels" like the highest I've ever carried.
  • You are craving salty or sour foods - TRUE! Give me all the chips and salsa, and the extra vinegar-y pickles. Although you won't find me turning down ice cream or chocolate anytime soon.
  • You are craving protein — meats and cheese - FALSE! I don't really want any meat. Cheese is probably neutral. I've eaten a lot of string cheese, mostly because it's convenient and I'm starving all the time.
  • Your feet are colder than they were before pregnancy - Neutral on this... but it could be that it's because it's summertime and has been super hot??
  • Your hands are very dry - FALSE! No dry hands here.
  • Your pillow faces north when you sleep - How does a pillow face north? Our bed is on the west wall....
  • Pregnancy has you looking better than ever - TOTALLY FALSE - my eyes have been SUPER dry, so I haven't been wearing contacts or any makeup for that matter because they're so itchy. I am also way bigger way quicker this time and it is not helping in the looks department.
  • Your nose is spreading - Again I don't know what this means but I hope not!
  • You are having headaches - Probably neutral on this because I did have headaches in the first trimester but I think it was more nausea related?? Since then no headaches.
  • You add your age at the time of conception and the number for the month you conceived and the sum is an even number - ha TRUE! 34

So I guess it's a good thing these are just "old wives tales". There's still part of me that thinks they made a mistake (we've all heard those stories!). So I'll truly believe it when I see it! Any other weird old wives tales you've heard? Any that were true for you?

Friday, August 4, 2017


22 weeks - can you believe it? I certainly can't. This bambino is sure giving me a run for my money though. And in case you didn't hear, it's a...


I took the girls with me to the ultrasound, but asked them to write down the gender and place it in an envelope. I also brought in pink and blue confetti poppers, and asked her to place the correct corresponding color in a bag marked "yes", and the other in a bag marked "no". That way it was even a surprise for me when they popped the confetti. Those things were super hard to twist and pop, Hadley twisted hers the wrong way and just pulled it off so the confetti came out the bottom and Parker just stood there, God love her. When we ask her if she wants another baby, she says no, so she could've cared less if it was a boy or girl - ha. I had to explain to them multiple times that if it was blue it was a boy, pink it was a girl. But because we had both sets of confetti, they just weren't grasping the concept. That's why there's a delayed reaction and it Even after I took the video I double checked with the envelope, just in case they made a mistake. I'm still in shock!

Please excuse the high pitched squealing in the background, I was 99.9% sure it was another girl, and because I didn't know until they popped them, I was genuinely surprised. They all thought it was a boy from the get-go, especially Dad, but I'm pretty sure it's just because they were hoping for one. The Mr refused to be on camera (party-pooper) but he was standing in the doorway fist pumping. I wish I got that on camera.

We're all thrilled to pieces the baby is healthy, and excited (and terrified) of our new adventure into baby boy land - give me all the polos, suspenders, and bow-ties!

I had a dreadful first trimester (again). With horrid morning (all day) sickness, back-pain, head-aches, insomnia, and overall exhaustion. I threw up at the park once with the girls and Gracen goes "Don't worry Mom, I won't tell anyone, that's pretty embarrassing". Always sympathetic that one!

Once I hit the 13-14 week mark it was like a light switch, just as it has been with every other pregnancy. One day I woke up and it was just gone - thank goodness. My appetite is back, I have a teensy weensy bit more energy, and am counting down the days (hours... minutes...) until we get to meet this sweet bubs!

22 weeks and feeling every bit of it!

This is by far the earliest I've started to show, and it really freaked me out in the beginning. I could've sworn it was twins. My doctor thinks it's funny that I still ask her at every appointment to check again that there's only one baby in there... I've gained 14 lbs so far which I don't know if it is good or bad but I certainly feel like a whale (and I don't dare google it). This is about how big I was at the 28 week mark with all my girls. Que sera sera I suppose!

Surgery is scheduled for December 4th (4 months from today!!!), and I can.not.wait! 2 out of the 3 girls were a week earlier than my scheduled surgery date, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see if this will be a November or December baby. We have ZERO boy names, so bring on the suggestions! As well as cute places to shop, because so far I have been less than impressed by the baby boy clothing selection.

Only 122 days!!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Halfway there



On April 1st, Gracen Marie turned 9 years old. My bright eyed firstborn that surprised me in the middle of the night, and made me a Mama, is half way out of my house. I can't help but think back on the first 18 months of her life when she was the sole star of the show. I got more parenting advice then I ever could have needed, some good, some bad. But absolutely nothing anyone tells you, or that you read in a book, could ever prepare you for the exact moment they place your baby in your arms. Your life is no longer your own. You are now responsible for this tiny human being that you love so fiercely, so immediately, that I can't think of a word in the English language that could accurately describe it.

I remember the moment of meeting her so vividly, because it was also the same moment that I gained a new appreciation for my own parents. My poor parents! As the 3rd born, I was a wild child, who did things my own way, and rarely thought of my actions and how they affected my parents. But as soon as you have a child of your own, you know exactly what you put them through. And so, the worrying begins.

I can't tell you how many times I checked on her when she was sleeping to make sure she was still breathing. I was the definition of a protective Mama Bear. And it probably got worse as she got older, and even more so with her sisters. I hear a lot of people get more relaxed the more kids they have, not me. Part of it is a struggle with anxiety, and part of it is my struggle of knowing time is so fleeting. I think when you lose your own Mother before you have kids it makes that sentiment of "enjoy every moment" even more urgent.

The hardest thing to remember is that it's not about me. Of course I've had ideas in my head of how she'd grow up, sports that she'd play, activities she'd enjoy. But, she's her own little person. And it's not my job to make sure you love K-State (although you do), or become a lawyer (I mean you could argue me under the table, and I am a pro at arguing), or cut your hair the way I want. It's my job to make sure you are kind, even when you're frustrated, use your manners, even when others aren't, and to use your ferocious determination for good in the world. To never take for granted the life you have been given, because you only get one. To treat the environment with respect, because every small act can add up to a big difference. I have no doubt in my mind that her bigger than life personality is going to change the world some day. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can, are the ones who usually do.

I can't wait to see what the next nine years have in store. I can only hope that she'll still want to have lunch with her Mom every year on her birthday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DIY Magnolia Leaf Wreath

I love Chip & Joanna just as much as anyone. I adore ship-lap, even if they say it's "on it's way out". I binge watch the show and cannot wait for the next season. But one thing I can't get behind, is the price tags.

I've been planning my road trip to the silos in my head, and couldn't wait to get my hands on one of the magnolia leaf wreaths. But when I saw online that they were $95, the proverbial record screeched to a halt. The real nail in the coffin was when I read all the reviews online. Poor quality. On almost every review. So, with the help of Hobby Lobby - $12 and an hour later - I made my own.

All you need is:
  • Magnolia leaf bunches (I bought 4, only needed 3) $4.99 each but they were 50% when I got them
  • Wreath form (I used a vine wreath, because I like the rustic look of it, but you can use foam too) $4.99 and then I had a 40% off coupon
  • Hot glue gun (Already had at home, but they're super cheap if you need to buy one)
Grand Total: $12 and some change (not including the extra leaf bunch)

3 easy steps:
  1. Remove all the leaves 
  2. Place them sporadically around the wreath 
  3. Hot glue them in place as you go

And the finished product:

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sweet Summertime

As we find ourselves in September, and are full-steam ahead into school, fall sports and activities, we took a brief pause to soak up the last bits of summer and kick off our holiday weekend. We've had a blur of a summer, and every season I find myself struggling to catch up. Between tutors, swim team, tennis, softball, and a few mini weekend getaways, September crept up on us.

The transitions of seasons can be difficult for me, because I grasp so tightly to the familiar. The routines we establish. The feeling of comfort. Those sunshiney faces are just so beautiful in the carefree light of summer.

So while I do love fall - and boots and sweaters, and crunchy leaves, and pumpkin everything - I want to fully appreciate the summer for what it was to us, simply amazing.