Saturday, August 27, 2016

DIY chore chart

At 4, 2 and 0 (ages of our kids), while they might not be SUPER helpful (as in, "go take out the trash, go mow the lawn"), but we do think they can be doing things around the house.  Obviously we make them do stuff, but after getting some birthday money, Charlie kept asking to go back to Target and buy more cars.  Ummm.  Sorry, we don't just go to Target whenever and buy toys for you.  He then told Jimmy he wanted to earn some money to buy cars.  On the way to school, Jimmy called me and asked if I could come up with a chore chart for him.

Oh, yes I can.  So after browsing Pinterest and contemplating the easy option of buying a poster board and drawing on it, I decided to do it Brittany style and go completely over the top.  Because, I'm on maternity leave and I can.  I never have time to do fun stuff like this - so why not?  

I decided to go with the magnetic chore charts on Pinterest that the kids move the icon to "to do" to "done" when they are completed.  Easy enough.  After gathering the materials for all that, I had to figure out where to hang it.  While it would be easy to put downstairs, I thought it would be better upstairs, since a lot of the tasks take place in the morning/night (get dressed, brush your teeth, make your bed, etc.).  And I had the perfect wall.

While Charlie is the one that wanted the money, why not get everyone involved??  Maddie can do most of those tasks and I'm sure she'd like to earn some dough too, right (they don't have to know we are talking cents here...).  Mikey - well, poor kid.  He's a little helpless right now - so his "chores" consist of basically surviving through the day (sleep, eat, poop, nap, burp, pee - enough said) but I couldn't leave him out because someday he will be able -and hopefully willing - to help out!

I had these done for a while (along with the super easy DIY picture ledge I built), but on Friday, my dad showed up at my house in the morning after some miscommunication - and I asked him if he would help me hang these up.  Of course, he said yes, and then pretty much did the whole thing perfectly while I took care of Mikey.  Have I mentioned how awesome my dad is???

And I'm in love with the final product - so in love!

Charlie is pretty into it - Maddie is clueless, but I'm confident she will get there soon - and Mikey, well, he's only 5.75 weeks old.  So yeah.

Here's a closer look.  I love the picture ledge shelf and just used some items that I already had that weren't being used but I had stored in the basement.  Everything else is from Walmart.  And the chore chart icons were from this website I found via Pinterest.  

Charlie and Maddie have a goal of completing 6 of the 10 chores they have on their each day.  Then you move the little circle magnet at the bottom as you complete each chore until you get to 6.  Then you get your money for that day.  If you don't complete at least money.  We have still yet to determine how much per day.  I'm thinking 25 cents?  Maybe?  That would be $1.75 per week - sounds reasonable for a 4 year old?

I also got some jars from Target's dollar spot around back to school and there are 3 for each kid - Mikey did not get these because I'm not paying him for these tasks :) - but one will be to spend, one to save and one to give.  After studying finance and working in it for almost 10 years, I know the importance of having a good understanding of finances and your personal finances, so I know they won't understand, but I'm hoping that they can somewhat.  At least the giving part because at church each week they have an offering at Kids COR.  So we will see how it goes!

It was a fun and easy project (however, as Jimmy mentioned, yes, a poster board and markers would have been WAY easier and less expensive...) and I love the look of it.  Like I said, only one day in and Charlie just loves it and picked up his toys and put Toby away so he could move some we will see if it sticks.  Anyone have any tips to making it hold?

Happy DIYing!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Five things

It's Friday and we are looking forward to a fun weekend.  KU Football kick off tonight, first soccer practice/game of the fall for both Charlie AND Maddie (she's pumped!), a friend's birthday party and my birthday on Sunday!!  

These are all super random - so beware.


What have I been watching on TV/Netflix seems to be the common question I get in regards to my maternity leave. Haha.  I have found some shows on Netflix, but also some On Demand shows on our cable.  Night now I'm loving The Night Shift!!  Have you seen it?


Per an instagram recommendation by my friend (also a new contributor for KCMB!), Stephanie, I downloaded the book Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty and soared through this book.  So suspenseful and when you have anything that involves a kid, put things in perspective.  Check it out for sure - I love this author! 


In exciting news - I am going to be writing for as one of the new contributors of the Kansas City Mom's Blog!  I've read all the articles for the awesome mom's in the KC area since it came about.  The group of women is already so awesome, I'm excited to get to know them all more!!

My first post was published last week (check it out here).  It was all about our next door neighbors, the Wilson's, and their sweet son Noah, who passed away in June 2015 of cancer.  While Noah was being treated at Children's Mercy Hospital, he started an amazing organization called Noah's Bandage Project, that is continuing to encourage kids and raise money for pediatric cancer even after he's gone.  I was so nervous to start writing for this, but this was just the most wonderful thing to write about and I'm excited to continue writing for them!


So what ELSE am I doing on maternity leave?  Is there some kind of nesting AFTER the baby is here?  Haha.  For some reason I'm on this organization spree in my house and this week I made it into my closet.  Holy cow - I have 3 full trash bags of stuff that I will be donating to Big Brother's and Big Sister's.  Luckily Mikey has been a champ in hanging out with me in the closet (and taking some decent naps in his crib so I can have my hands free!).  It's looking better and better by the day and guess what?  I'm feeling better because I don't have a closet full of clothes that I don't wear and organized drawers and jewelry!


In somewhat of an attempt to get Charlie and Maddie to not consume a crazy amount of sugar daily (I mean let's be real - mom's a candy lover so sometimes that can be an issue)...I found these energy bites and have been giving them to them after they get home after school.  They LOVE them.  And they are so so easy (only 4 ingredients - yes please) to make.  The kiddos really like helping me roll them into balls too.  And bonus when mom and dad like them too!!

Check out the recipe here!  I actually whipped some more up today because Charlie kept asking me for them and they were all out - I like them because I know the ingredients exactly that are in it...however, I'm for sure one that passes over a breakfast bar as well.

And sorry - I can't end a Five on Friday post without something about my kids (duh!).

These kids make me crazy but make me love life more every day.  Seriously the emotions of parenting literally blow my mind daily!

Ok I'm almost done I promise- these cracked me up this week:

This one ^ omg- I died because it's sooo true!  Mikey seems to the easy one to put down!

Happy Friday friends!

Linking up with:

Sept Farm | Oh hey Friday!
A. Liz Adventures | Five on Friday
Momfessionals | Friday Favorites 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mikey is ONE month old (how?!!)

Somehow, my sweet baby boy, Mikey, is one month old (as of Friday, August 19).  I'm not sure if it was the longest or shortest month of my life, but it's over and we're already rocking month #2!

Length: 23 in (95%)
Weight: 10lbs 4oz (77%)
Head: 15 in (68% - I think this is our first kid without a HUGE head!)

He's been steadily growing and I (of course) have been a crazy breastfeeding mama and been stalking his weight constantly because I am still paranoid three kids in that they won't grow!!  But good news is that he is growing like a champ.  I (again) have an oversupply of breastmilk for sure but am really trying to not pump unless I really need to this time.  I already have a healthy freezer supply, but I'm not feeling engorged constantly, so that's good.  

P.S. I love the baby pics app for the baby (I had fun with it during pregnancy too!)

  • You are for teh most part a pretty alert kiddo when you are awake and it's fun to chat with you.  I cannot WAIT until you smile.  Seriously dying for this to happen.
  • Well, so far you seem to be our best sleeper.  In an attempt to stay somewhat in sync with Charlie and Maddie's schedules, I've been bathing you, feeding you and putting you down around 7:30 or 8 and then getting a few snuggles in with Charlie (as Maddie is already asleep).  You have been going the longest stretch right when you go down - one time you went almost SEVEN hours and I freaked out and made sure you were still alive.  But now you've gone a few more longer 5-6 hour stretches and then the rest are more 3-4.  Trust me, I'll take it for sure, kid.  Thank you, thank you!!!!  It makes everything so much easier with a little sleep
  • We moved you to your crib after ONE week.  I know.  I'm sorry, but I'm really not.  After talking with the nurse at your one week check up...YOU ARE SO LOUD.  Like grunting, making noises, etc.  But I wasn't sleeping because I would just stare at you.  So yep, kicked you into your room.  It's been a smooth transition and was mentally what I needed for sure.  The Dock-a-tot for sure helped as well.  And the Snuza gives me more confidence putting you in there alone.  We are both sleeping so much better and at your one month check up, the pediatrician totally agreed and said it helps too!  so yeah!  We will see!
  • You lasted about one week (maybe) in your newborn clothes --- or really your brother's old clothes, but it's been so fun getting them back out and remembering when he was that little.  Now you are up to 3 month in Carter's and 0-3 month in other stuff.
  • Newborn diapers I think lasted less than a week - you quickly were having some wicked marks and are much more comfortable in the size 1 for sure.  You haven't peed on us yet (well except during your first bath on me when I was holding you!).
  • You have OLD MAN hair!  Haha.  Yep, you've lost a lot on the top and have kept it on the sides - it's hilarious
  • AND it's slightly red!  Not fully but hints of it for sure - potential red head kid?!?!?
  • Your belly button fell off in the middle of newborn pictures (so July 31) and for some reason that makes me feel like you are less fragile and got some more snuggles and a bath!
  • We picked up some probiotics at Whole Foods during your first week (per the suggestion of other mamas when I asked about the grunting and gas!).  It's the powder kind, so it's kind of nice because that means you have to get a bottle each day - I only give you about an ounce in it and mix in the powder....but you also got a full (3 oz) bottle when I went into visit my work friends one day and took it like a champ!

Things you like:

  • Eating. You are a fast little eater and have been from day 1 - which is appreciated by all!
  • Love being held as well - some days you don't ever want to be put down - that can make for interesting days!
  • The Ergo carrier.  (YEAH!)  My awesome co workers went together and got the new Ergo 360 and the mesh one that is a little cooler.  We used it during your first Royal's game and I actually didn't even use the infant carrier because it's FAR too hot and you did great - well besides the puking on me, but we lived.
  • I'm going to say that you like your brother and sister - but to date I think they are much bigger fans of you than you are of them - but I'm sure that will change sooner than we think.  Once you start stealing their toys, they might be singing a different tune!
  • Pacifier - thank goodness!!!  This has been clutch for us!
  • You're neutral about your play mat - but the good news is that it's not a hand me down.  You started with one, but then it broke because your siblings used the tops as swords.  Typical.
  • Surprisingly, you don't mind the bath or the car seat.  I hope I didn't jinx that!

Things you don't like:
  • When you have GAS or have to BURP.  I cannot figure out why you are such a hard kid to burp - but sometimes at night after you eat, I try and try to get you burp and you won't!  But then if I lay you freak out because you need to burp.  Poor thing!
  • When your siblings poke you - sometimes in the eye or the mouth.  Oh Maddie.  Charlie is more about rubbing your face and head softly - Maddie doesn't quite understand the concept of "soft touches" quite yet.  Haha.

Special memories:
  • The first night in my hospital room together with you - the first night of your life you spent in the NICU (ok, yes, still need to write your birth story!), so I was more than thrilled to have you in my room next to me
  • Watching your older brother and sister get to officially meet you and touch you and kiss you for the first time - and our first family picture of 5 (when you were out of the NICU).  I love this picture so much.  I never want to forget how happy I was here.
  • Bringing you home and our first couple of *CRAZY* nights
  • First visit over to Grana and Pop's house to meet the rest of the Carter clan and your bff cousin, Jay, who is just 3 months older!
  • A fun first night out to dinner with the whole family (and just our family).  It was crazy, but fun!
  • We have already had two trips to the shaved ice place too - YUM!
  • During the day you've got into a good eat-wake-sleep routine, but does like to eat more like every 2 hours during the day.
  • already had a sick doctor visit! Poor guy woke up on a Sunday with stuff in his eye and I figured just clogged tear duct- Monday morning rolled around and oh my...pus and swollen, I went in and he had an eye infection.  It's been a week now and getting better!  And I know have a dispenser of hand sanitizer in the seat pocket on each side of our van for our grimey big kid hands :)
  • you've been to church 4 times and done great!  Usually get hungry during the sermon which is just fine!
  • attended two birthday parties (he's a popular little guy haha!)...his big brother's and our friend from our small group
  • have yet to make it on a walk because it's sooooo hot
  • gets lots of gripe water during the day for his tummy- seems to help!
  • likes to be held but if he's in a good mood he can just chill on a blanket staring away!
  • ok at tummy time- won't quite hold his head up yet on the floor but will if he's on your chest
  • visits from SO many friends and family.  I have to say this time around it's just been so nice to have people come visit and stop by.  I think the last 2 kids, I was so overwhelmed and stressed out about "what if he has to eat/poop or {God forbid} cry while people are visiting".  This time it's like whatever and I couldn't be more thankful for some of the great times I've had so far to catch up with friend!!! So THANK YOU for those that have come by to meet him and visit- I've loved this "slowing down" that he's forced me to do
  • about 7,000 shopping trips already under his belt (nursery and big bro birthday shopping)--- I seriously laughed at hobby lobby when a lady asked how old and I said 2 weeks and she said"oh this must be his first trip out!" - ha, or like 30th (#thirdkidproblems)

A note to our sweet boy:

Little baby Mikey.  You made us a family of five and I don't mean to sound cliche, but my heart is bursting and has been from the minute I met you.  There is something about being the third kid - I'm so much more relaxed as your mama this time around that I feel like I'm truly able to enjoy my time with you.  I want to soak in every moment because I just glance across the room and see your brother and sister and just cannot believe how fast time flies.  Before I know it, you'll be rolling around, sitting up and then walking.  And eventually, I'm guessing you'll talk back to me just like they do :)  I could just stare at your sweet face all day.  Your little hands, little feet, the way you look at me!  AHH!!!  I'm obsessed and yes, I'm nuts, but I just love you so much.

That's not to say this first month hasn't been a bit crazy.  Adjusting to being a family of five and officially having the kids out number the parents...well that's had it's challenges for sure.  But luckily, right now you seem to roll with the punches and are a pretty stellar addition to the family.  You let us know when you're not happy, but luckily don't stay too unhappy for too long.

Pretty much everyone in our house just loves you so much.  Charlie begs to hold you every night.  He is so sweet with you and softly touches your face and head and likes to put his cheek next to yours.  He is such a good big brother and I can't wait to see how your relationship grows over the years.  Your dad makes sure I know how lucky you guys are to have each other as brothers. As for Maddie?  Oh my.  "BABY MIKEY" is what she screams about every time she sees you.  She always acts like she's surprised you're still here but is so happy to see you.  She always wants to hold you and kiss you and not-so-soft touch your face and hair.  Maddie has no concept of how much bigger she is than you (see below) she likes to lay on you and we have to stop her immediately as she almost crushes you!  But trust me, there is no ill will intended.  She's so in love with you.

You and your'll get there.  You're a momma's boy because you like to eat, but since dad usually has big kid duty, I try to be conscious of giving you two your time together as well, as it's so important.  But let me tell you what, he's the best dad in the world and you're so lucky to have him.  He love you so much already!

Looking forward to all the fun that is to come in watching you grow and change and love on you!

Your mom (and dad)


Just for fun - here is Charlie and Maddie's one month side by side picture.

Charlie and Mikey are TWINS!

And there we go - one month down!  I'm just impressed that I got a great picture of him on my own!  It was a quick set him up and pray that he stays!  Can't wait for the fun of the months to come!

Monday, August 22, 2016

A crazy day at the K

This is how our Sunday started out.  Full bed and full hearts.  We had a busy Saturday after going to the KC cares walk through Childrens mercy hospital in the morning (and McAlister's for lunch- my new obsession!) and then had Jimmy's friends and their families over Saturday night.  So everyone "slept in" until 7 and it was truly glorious!!

We went to church and on the way home, Jimmy said- what do you think about going to the Royal's game today? Weather is perfect.

Ok - here's the deal.  Brittany two years ago wouldnt even have considered that crazy talk.  Like wait- you want to PAY money to go somewhere with three kid AND skip naps? Not going to lie, that was the first thought that came to my head.  But I didn't immediately respond.  I just kind of sat there thinking.

Thinking about how we haven't really gotten out of the house much as a family yet (I mean I know Mikey's only 1 month that's normal) and really it's been because it's been SO hot and humid in KC.  But Maddie and Charlie have taken it in stride and really been very good being in the house most of the time.  We are always sticking to our schedule and never skip naps.  Never.  

So I kicked my initial "absolutely not" out of my head--- and turned to jimmy and said "yeah, let's do it".  The look on his face when I said that was priceless.  We hurried home, got everyone dressed in royals (or ku or KC- because of course that was a battle), packed lunch for the car, bought tickets online, packed our bag and were off to the K!!

I decided to carry Mikey as I knew taking his car seat and big stroller would likely be a little inhibiting trying to get through people and up to our seats- so we decided on the umbrella stroller for Maddie and the ergo for big Mike.  Charlie had to walk - which he protested to at first but then we told him only big kids get to do that.  Haha.  They look so thrilled.

We met Jimmy's brother's (three of them that were there also) before the game to see the cousins and hang out a bit.  Charlie and Maddie were ancy to get in the stadium to each some COTTON CANDY!  In the mean time, Mikey was not too happy in the Ergo and then I quickly figured out why....when he puked all over me.  That was fun :)  Luckily I had a change of clothes for him - not so much for me.  Haha.  So I got to smell spit up the whole time, but at least he wasn't upset!

When we finally made it to our seats, we found the perfect spot to the side where we were all alone and there was some shade.  Kids got their first treat (cotton candy) and were satisfied. When that was done, they had a chance to roam the area and put down about every seat.  In the mean time, Mikey and I enjoyed the views and some nursing time.

Oh Pot Roast miss pickle bottom (BTW this is her brother's shirt...they are the same size - 4T!)

When they started to get restless, off to the bathroom dad and the big kids went and then got the second treat - popcorn!  Yum!  

Annnndddd - of course we had to take a family selfie!
(PS I just love Charlie in his hat. So much!)

Mikey was so good hanging out and there was a nice breeze.  Slowly the sun started creeping into where we had found some shade though (bummer!) and I had to pee and Charlie kept asking when he could go play with Slugger.  So off we went to the bathroom first.  I could smell Mikey's diaper...but he was completely unphased getting changed.  It was hilarious - peaced out the WHOLE time I was changing him (it was a 4 wipe poop).  People were commenting on how funny it was!

What might have been funnier - was if people would have seen me going pee in the bathroom with Mikey in one hand ;)

Charlie, Mikey and I made it over to the kid's section at the K.  Maddie on the other hand - was not too happy.  No nap for Maddie is not pretty let's just say.  Jimmy said he spent 10 minutes with her right outside the elevator as she was completely flailing and SO strong and he couldn't get her to calm down.  So he just sat there while she through a fit on the floor and then he finally got her in the stroller - then she wouldn't let him push her.  

BUTTTTT - they did finally make it over.  In the mean time, it was complete CHAOS in the kid's area of the K.  Charlie really wanted to get in the fountains they have in that area.  However, the lady behind us in line when we were waiting to get in the stadium told me that 2 years ago they brought their 2 and 4 year old here, let them play in the fountains and they got hand foot mouth.  So yes - my kids were not going into that fountain to play, sorry.  Charlie did play on the playground for awhile and loved it, but there were SO many kids everywhere.  We ran into two of Jimmy's brothers and hung with them for a little bit.  When Maddie and Jimmy found us, Maddie was so tired but demanded on playing with Charlie on the playground.  After about 5 minutes, not sure if Jimmy and I were just tired or paranoid about losing a child -but we pulled the plug.  The Royal's were up anyways and it was the 7th inning.

However, Charlie wasn't about to forget his third and final treat - he wanted some ice cream but I'm not kidding when I say the line to the Belfonte place was literally at least an hour long.  So dippin dots for the win (luckily we had a bit of cash left)!  Maddie was satisfied with fruit snacks (thank goodness).

When we were leaving - you could tell it was time to go.  However, Charlie was SO slow and we were SO far away from our car.  I am not kidding that at the moment I thought to myself, God help us - Bobby, Hillary and Jay showed up right behind us (Love that Jay and Mikey got to go to their first Royal's game at the same time!)!!  And Uncle Bobby to the rescue because he swooped Charlie up and put him on his shoulders.  Which is pretty awesome in general - but when you're 6ft 9in - that makes a shoulder ride like the best thing ever (Charlie was pumped!).  And then - just like that a guy in a golf cart shows up and offers to drive us to our car - OMG - lifesaver.  So seriously, that was not a coincidence - because while we had fun, I'm not going to lie that we were all exhausted and just so ready to get to the car.

And in about 5 minutes, this is what our back seat looked like.

Jimmy and I were both starving though because we didn't really eat, so we enjoyed some quiet "date" time and made a stop at Quik Trip for some tea, taquitos, a hot dog and shared a pretzel.  Now that's love.  Mikey started crying about half way to QT (which was right by our house), but the big kids stayed asleep somehow and I snuck him out of his car seat and fed him while Jimmy got our snacks. 

And then being the mom ninja I am, I went through the back and got Mikey back in his car seat (while asleep - after he ate), without waking him or the big kids up.  Seriously #parentingwin right there.

Once we got home, the skipped naps were showing their ugly head.  Charlie was crying for no reason (aka tired) and Maddie was literally off the walls.  However, nothing the fuf and a movie can't fix.  And then after a delicious dinner of cereal (two kinds for them of course), it was time for baths and bed at 6:45. 

Everyone slept like a champ (well, Mikey not so much because he slept most of the day!), but overall, I went to bed and I was just so happy in my heart.  Was the day long and tough?  Yes.  Were there moments that Jimmy and I were both frustrated?  Absolutely.  However, I'm so glad that we said "yes" because it was overall a fun day and a memory we will never ever forget.  

As we were going to sleep, I was asking Jimmy if he thought I had changed in the last few years.  And he said I was absolutely almost a different person from when we got married - in a good way.  I was so much more laid back, went with the flow more than ever and he's loving every second of it.  And I told him that I felt the same way.  It's weird because the more kiddos and chaos we add to our family, the more relaxed I feel like I'm forced to be because honestly, there is just not the time or energy to stress about all the little things.  Go with the flow (to an extent) has turned out to be a lot more fun and enjoyable.  Yes, I still have meal plans, lists, schedules, etc.  I'm still a little crazy about things (like - it's non-negotiable to me that the kitchen as to be clean at night - the floors/toys...not so much a must for me anymore!).  You won't see me giving up my calendar (or calendars) anytime soon - but I'm loving the person and mom and wife I'm becoming.  It's amazing how you are constantly changing as a person and I'm so thankful that my kiddos are making me better each day.  A little more crazy and throw in some gray hair popping through- but better in the long run for sure!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Celebrating #4 with Charlie

Ok before I start documenting Mikey's official birth story - I have to acknowledge that on July 31 my first born turned FOUR.  I still cannot believe it.  That means next year he will be FIVE.  That just seems so old I cannot handle it.

So Charlie at four years old.  

I have to say, the three year old year was full of ups and downs, but for the most part, I'm going to say it's been ups - because boy oh boy it has been SO much fun watching this kid grow up, become a little more of a boy, learn new things, make new friends, become more independent and be the silliest boy around.  

Charlie at FOUR:

- He loves super heros, legos (yes, lego superheros), cars, ninjas, star wars, you tube videos and riding his bike
- He's a mama's boy for sure :) (YES!)
- Best big brother to Maddie - even with some teasing and slight torture at times - he loves her so so much and I'm slightly terrified when they have to go to separate schools because I don't know what they will do without each other.  And he got an additional role of big brother with little brother Mikey's arrival and boy does he love that baby boy so far - I'm excited to see their relationship develop and grow in the years to come
- He can independently play cars, legos, ninjas for hours on end.  It's amazing and sad at the same time
- Preschool is one of his favorite things - he loves the structure, learning and his friends.  Montessori preschool has been great as he's learning all these new skills through "play" and doing great!  We love hearing about all the stuff he learns each day!  We are excited for him to be the oldest in class this year and be a leader (he's excited too!)
- He loves his cousins so much and can't play with them enough!
- He loves Nana and Papa and Grana and Pops so much - and I love seeing that special grandparent relationship develop
- Only still wears dry fit t-shirts and shorts (I'm interested to see how the fall/winter goes when we have to wear pants again - ha)
- Loves church and just got promoted to the Sonshine room and can't stop talking about it
- Knows and recites the Lord's prayer and insists on doing it before every meal (after Maddie insists on singing God Our Father 
- His heart is full of gold - I swear the way he looks at Mikey, rubs his head and faces, kisses him - it's honestly the sweetest thing ever
- Favorite foods are pizza and sandwiches!  He has been eating SO much better because he wants to get strong muscles - and we are all happy that he's eating (now if he could just teach his sister!)
- When I go in and lay with him at night, he takes his little arm and wraps it around my neck and tells me he loves me (Lord help me when he doesn't do that any more!)

I could go on and on how much I love this kid.  I'm just so proud to call him mine and have just loved watching him grow and learn over the last 4 years.  He couldn't be more sweet and handsome.

So how did we celebrate this sweet boy???  Well, every two years we seem to have a newborn on his birthday (ha!), but of course I can't have a celebration for him - especially now because we go to his friend's birthday parties, so he was very specific.  Ninja gymnastics party (he was jealous because Maddie did gymnastics this summer while he did t-ball).  Done and done.  Not at my house, they set up and do the work and burns off kids energy.  

And it was a success!!

Little sister showing off her SKILLS!

All lined up and ready to go!

So much fun!!!

We celebrated him on Saturday at his party and then did some special family fun on Sunday (his actual birthday).  Everyone deserved a little treat after somewhat cooperating for Mikey's newborn pictures!  So we went to Target and spent some of Charlie's birthday money (he bought new cars - his obsession still!) and this was our first time venturing out as a family of 5.  Jimmy loved it.

After Target, we went to a new shaved ice hut close by to try it out: Jarvey's!!  We missed their grand opening the night before, but it was fun and delicious!

Selfie's with my to older babes!

And really, how sweet are these two - Charlie sharing and feeding little sister!

When we got home that night he just played with his cars.  Such a handsome 4 year old!

While Mikey and I hung out watching him :)

And Maddie played with one of Charlie's awesome presents!

So so thankful for this adorable boy that came into our lives 4 years ago - hard to believe how fast time flies!!  Love you so much sweet Charlie!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Four weeks into life with 3 kids

So here we are, Tuesday, August 16.  Four weeks ago today we met Mikey and became a family of five.  I'm not going to sugar coat it one bit- the last four weeks have been hard, exhausting, full of time outs, plenty of "no" or "stop that" and challenging.  But you know what else they've been?  Full of love, snuggles, laughter, dance parties, lots of kisses on Miley's head, and a whole new level of happiness.

As any parent knows, parenthood often times feels a bit like you're an emotional basket case.  As in, one second you are so angry or frustrated with your child(ren) and the next second they do something so cute (or they are sleeping- ha!) and you just stare at them holding back tears because you love them so much.  Well I really think welcoming a new baby into your family, no matter if it is your first or fifth, brings about those up and down emotions on a daily basis.  One second I'm sitting here thinking "this is pure chaos" and the next I'm staring at our kids and thinking "oh my gosh we are so lucky and I love these kids so much".

Mikey has been just the best. I mean, he's a typical newborn.  Eat, sleep, poop, cry.  Oh and he grunts a lot.  Maddie likes to tell everyone "Mikey is loud" because apparently she's heard that one too many times from our mouths. Haha.  But after moving him to his own room after week 1, I have to say, it's been so much better.  I feel like that move was so good mentally for me.  I like that he was safe in his crib (from other kids and dog), I could watch and hear him on the monitor at night (but not have to stare at him like I was doing) but yet he is a quick walk away when he needs me.  

I bought the dock-a-tot and he's been sleeping in that and I'm not going to say it's a miracle worker, but the kid usually has a 5 to 6 hour stretch at night At some point (usually when he first goes down).  So I'll take that any day (if could just make myself go to bed immediately when I put him down- oh and make my boobs not wake me up!)...then he has been sleeping around 2-3 hours.  Obviously more sleep would be nice but he's a newborn, it's my job to feed him and care for him and snuggle him and I'll take it because let's be honest- pretty soon he won't need me that often.  It goes by way too fast.

As for Charlie and Maddie!? They have been good and are obsessed with Mikey. Sometimes not so nice to their parents (ha!) or each other, but at least they love him!  Maddie threw us quite the loop by deciding she was going to climb out of her crib the other night- lets just say...all Jimmy and I could do was laugh, because typical life as a parent- just as we were getting ok at the whole bedtime routine with 3 (it's still insane) and then this.  She's attempted escape one more time (the next night), but I caught her on the camera and was able to stop her before she got out again.  We are trying to figure out what to do.  We have a bedroom set for her to use, but man oh man I was hoping she'd be like her brother and be content in her crib until around 3 (because lord knows the last thing I need right now is one more kid able to come poke me in the face at midnight!!).  We are waiting it out to see if she's still planning escape again until we make the final decision!

As for the challenges of three kids??  Someone always seems to be upset! Ha! Like if it's not one, it's one of the other two that is upset about something!!  However, the older kids are harder to manage than the baby for the most part! Jimmy has been an absolute ROCK STAR and savior and amazing dad.  He jokes that for now Charlie and Maddie are his and Mikey is mine (making comments as we head out to the car "I've got my kids" and then winks at me), but he's amazing and I know it's hard on him too because 2 and 4 year olds are no joke.  

I've gotten really good at holding Mikey and doing lots!  I can cook, change laundry, clean, discipline, etc.  I cannot- put on eyeliner, go to the bathroom, get dressed while holding him- so I have my limitations :)

Overall, I'm for sure not feeling as exhausted or sleep deprived as I was with either of the other two kids- I'm guessing it might just be because I'm used to little sleep? No idea, but I'll take it!  I try to get in a nap on the weekdays when the older kids are at school and sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.  I'm taking it easy on my to do list and enjoying my snuggles and baby loving while in can.  Because I keep reminding myself as I get my time hop pictures from 2 and 4 years ago of my little baby Maddie and Charlie just how FAST the time goes and Mikey is going to grow and change in no time!

(Newborn Maddie and 2 year old Charlie just 2 short years ago!!! LOOK at his curls!)

Cheers to four weeks of surviving and loving it as a family of five!

Our first dinner out as a family of FIVE!