Friday, July 29, 2016

It's Friday!?!

Guess what?  I'm surviving - we are surviving and day by day our little man gets bigger and more fun and more loved.  It's crazy how an hour of sleep {more} makes me feel like a new person!  But I'm not going to lie these first few weeks the days and nights and weekdays and weekends somewhat string together.  Our older kids are adapting and are possibly a little more ornery and have more of an attitude than before, but not sure if we should attribute that to a new baby OR their new ages!  Ha!

So here's a few things on this Friday!


While I'd like to tell you everything is all about baby Mikey around here, truth be told, with two other kids, that's just not the case.  Especially when we are prepping for big brother's FOURTH birthday.  I'm not one that likes to sit around, so Mikey and I have been spending our mornings (since Wednesday when Jimmy went back to work) out shopping - we take a break to feed in the car - and then get home around lunchtime.  What are we shopping for?  Mainly trying to finish out the nursery (now that we know Mikey's a HE) and birthday/birthday party prep for Charlie.  Who knew something so simple as turning 4 could require so much mama coordination.  But I'm happy to say...Charlie has his Batman cupcakes, napkins and pencils at school today (I even delivered when Mikey and I picked him up yesterday) and we are ready for the Ninja themed party at the local gymnastics gym Saturday afternoon!!  

Don't feel bad for me - we did this to ourselves by having ALL three kids in July!  Next July is already stressing me out!!


Yesterday we had some bananas that went rotten laying around.  I wasn't about to let them go bad - so I found a 2 ingredient recipe on Pinterest and threw in some fresh blueberries we had and OMG they are so good.  I didn't even tell my kids about them because I want to eat them all!

Check out the recipe here.



Ok back to baby talk (because you know I cannot resist it) - I blogged a while back about the essentials for baby #3 - but I added one to the list (I think).  Have you heard of the Dock-a-tot?

Well our Mikey, he's a GRUNTER.  Actually, that initial grunting when he was born is what got him a short stint in the NICU.  Thankfully it wasn't due to any major problems or respiratory issues like they had thought and the constant grunting stopped.  However, the kid grunts all night long.  And is a LOUD sleeper.  When we took him in for his one week check up on Tuesday, that was the one concern I brought up.  Her recommendation?  Move him to his room - he will be fine.

With that direction in mind, I was obviously nervous because he's SO little still and I like having him right next to me to nurse.  Charlie didn't stay in our room too long - but at least for a few weeks.  And I'm pretty sure Maddie was in our room for like 4 months (AH!).  I needed something to make me feel better about moving him into his big ole crib.  My high school friend, Jen, recommended the Dock-a-tot.  I checked it out and wasn't too thrilled about the high price tag....but was willing to give it a try for my sanity.

I got it on Wednesday and stuck it in his crib and let him nap.  He napped 2 hours straight!  WHAT?!  I was so perplexed because also...he was laying flat.  Which our other kids have slept in the rock n play and had a hard time transitioning to a flat crib.  First night?  It went ok - his tummy is still so little so it's not like a miracle "MY BABY SLEPT 10 HOURS" business - but he seems to like and will grunt around and put himself to sleep - so that's enough for me.

All the sides are breathable and it's super easy to travel with, etc.  We got the Deluxe size which should last up to 8 months old.  Final recommendation still TBD, but I'm liking it a lot so far.  And Mikey doesn't seem to mind either!


Anyone else dying to see this???  It comes out today!



Why not end with a picture of my THREE kids!?!?  (still feels weird to say that!)

I made them these shirts intended for when they came to the hospital to meet Mikey - well, they came up in them, but little Mike has just been whisked off to the NICU, so it was not the ideal "meeting" I had I threw them in them (bribed the bigger ones) and said "SMILE like you love each other" - because you know they do.

They make my heart so happy!

Linking up with:

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

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Welcome to the world Mikey!

Well guess what??! I didn't stay pregnant forever!!! Last Tuesday as 12:20pm, Michael Eugene Carter arrived.  It was quite the whirlwind of events as he was born fast after induction, did a brief stint I the NICU, made it back to my room and finally home- but we are so happy he's here!!!

I'll go into more details later, but here are some pictures so far!

Dad spent the night in the NICU room with him while I recovered downstairs and pumped my heart out.

But I made it up to visit our sweet boy lots!

And when we were finally all reunited together (and Mikey wasn't hooked up to 20 monitors and an IV) my heart couldn't have been more happy!

Oh and Maddie took full advantage of all the hospital facilities (she cracks me up)

Sweet baby Mikey!

I was overjoyed when he got out of the NICU and he and I got to go home together!!!

He got plenty of living (and still is getting it) from all the family members that have visited and friends!!!  He loved his G.G. a lot!!

As for big brother- he's smitten!

And I'll take lots of these snuggles- all day long!

As for 3 kids so far- well it's bat sh*t crazy.  Haha- not going to lie. Mikey is a breeze, but the other two are giving us a run for our money + the little sleep we are both getting.  But only time will tell and Mikey is here to stay so as we all adjust to our awesome family of five, just be thinking of us and be happy that mama has coffee and beer ;)

More to come on the adventures with Mikey and a family of five - when I have a bit more sleep!  Thank you all for the sweet words and encouragement on every picture I post on Instagram!  The sweetest!!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

First floor transformation!

Ready for a seriously transformational house project?  

I'm not kidding when I say that we LOVE it.  So much.  I had no idea what to expect the outcome to look like and just how much it would literally change our house.  To give a little bit of background...we got a bigger than expected tax return back this spring and I briefly mentioned to Jimmy how I thought it would be awesome to paint our cabinets.  Like nothing serious, but you know, just get a few bids and see if it was WAY out of our price range (because you know this pregnant lady wasn't about to take on that big of a DIY project...).  We got a few bids and they were in fact, WAY out of the range we were thinking.  Enter Leo.  He is my friend Molly's go-to painter and she said we had to get a bid from him.  He came over, we talked through the whole project...he had some great ideas that the other few people we had got bids from and his bid was (YEAH!) within our budget.  So we said...yes, let's do it. 

And that was the beginning of this massive project.  Which when it was all happening and we had to literally take everything out of our kitchen, pantry, desk, built ins...and then move into my parents house for two weeks - I literally thought we were crazy.  Seriously.  But now...ahhh....I'm just so happy we did it.  Our house feels so much more like our home.  That's what I love about doing these projects - each one of them we do and each paint color that we pick, it just slowly but surely makes the house we live in truly feel like our home.  And that feeling of home is just priceless.

Without further are the pictures.  Before and afters are the best aren't they??

I think I mentioned this before - I struggled at first with the aqua island.  Our realtor (who I love so much - and seriously cannot thank her enough for coming over to help me pick out all these paint colors) suggested that we do a pop of color.  In addition to selling houses, she buys and flips houses and has just the best taste.  When I first started talking to our painter, Leo, he said - you just pick the colors and let me know.  I was like WHAT?!  There are like 50,000 different colors at Sherwin Williams (which is where he likes buying his paint) so I literally had no idea where to start.  We originally weren't going to pay to change the wall color, but he mentioned regardless if we changed the color or not - it would be easier for him to just put a fresh coat of paint on regardless so he didn't have to spend all the time covering the walls.  Given that we didn't really like the wall color or the fact it was flat paint (the bank repainted all of it), it was a no brainer.  But where the heck to start?

She was awesome and brought over about 6 different colors - suggestions for a little whiter color on the cabinets, a few different wall color ideas and then a few different and fun aqua colors for the island.  So I went with a few of her suggestions.  So nerve wracking though because as you watch it all come together when we would come over to see how the progress was going you just question it.  

But seriously, so happy with the results!  I love the pop of color so much and in a couple years if we aren't into the blue..we can always change it!

In addition to our kitchen, we had him paint all the walls and trim in our mud room area - including the bathroom and pantry (will show you those later...that was also a Roger project!)

This was another expansion of the kitchen.  Our first floor is so open and literally the rest of our house has the off-white colored trim on it that we just carried it into and onto everything that was the oak color.  I love this look so much.  It just makes SUCH a difference in how open and big and light our downstairs feels!

Ok - here are a few more fun pictures, hopefully you get the idea of the flow!

Next small project - I'm looking for some single lights above the island that match our light above the kitchen table!

The bathroom is already pretty dark - but the lighter paint and off white trim makes it so much brighter!

A view from the mud room!  And I struggled with our new bar stools (got them from Target) and now I LOVE them.  We had some old stools that we brought from our old house and have been painted like 6 times...our kids loved to climb on them and it made me so nervous.  I love these, but what makes me nervous is the upholstery!  So I bought two cans of scotch guard - haha! So far so good.

Ok - now for the pantry!  This was a last minute thing (typical me).  But since we were taking everything out of the cabinets (because, yes, Leo is a rock star and all the insides are painted and all of the drawers - they literally look like brand new cabinets from inside and out), I got the itch to upgrade our pantry a big.  Here is the mess of what it is before (so embarrassing!) and then after we ripped out all the wire shelves.  Bye bye!

Then I laid out some ground plans for my dad on what we were looking for - and of course, he got to work!  Working his magic!

And ta-da.  An amazing after. My dad got all the shelves in (most purchased from IKEA and then the rest boards).  He used a Pinterest post I sent him (fancy guy right?!) and put the 1X4s underneath the shelves.  Of course he also measured everything exactly so we could fit cereal in certain ones, cans in others, etc.  He's the best!

I love that we have these big shelves - I moved a lot of all the pans that we don't use very much into these awesome bins from Target.  And then I moved the colored crates from one of our closets into here.  This is where I keep all the kids stuff (baby #3 got the orange one!) and files.  You know, all the doctor stuff and then all those awesome paintings and work from daycare/preschool!  Love that they are so much more accessible too.  And the mason jars?  We use those for smoothies and then freeze them - so it's nice to store them here!

Love it all so so much!  It was quite the work for Jimmy and I getting everything out in the first place (it all just stayed in our dining room) and then even more work getting it all back in, but what was awesome (and felt so good in a nesting exercise) was we purged and got rid of so many things and gave to Goodwill that we didn't need or use anymore!

So there you go - we love it love it love it and looking back I'm just so glad we did it before baby arrived than after for sure!  Leo was the best - did such awesome, detailed work (it was even approved by my dad - which he's very picky).  And while it took about 2 weeks (just a few days longer than estimated), it was worth the whole time being out of our house!!

July fourth weekend fun

So I just posted about our sweet little Fourth of July baby turning two (we celebrated the weekend before)...but when your birthday falls on Fourth of July, you get the whole weekend to celebrate too!

We kicked off our holiday weekend by heading over to spend some time with our small group friends from church - there are seven (soon to be eight) kiddos between the four family's and they have come to really like each other after about a year of us being in a small group together - as we have with their parents.  Carli and Scott hosted a great BBQ and then of course we had to celebrate with some fun poppers that she got for the kids.  Oh and there was no shortage of the "big" kids playing (aka see the picture on the top right of Jimmy - our kids were slightly confused...and then Scott showed us all his amazing adult scooter birthday present!).  We stayed out SO late (for us because we usually leave around 7:30/45) that it was dark enough for the big boys to catch lightning bugs - Charlie LOVED it!

Maddie and her poppers - haha.  She didn't quite understand and liked to throw them on the ground and step on them.  Love her.

The whole weekend forecast in KC called for rain.  And lots of it.  We woke up on Saturday morning, mama wanted a bagel from Einstein Brothers (which there is not one anywhere near our house).  So we loaded everyone in the car and headed across town in the rain.  Getting everyone in and out of the van is SO much more fun (insert sarcasm) when it's pouring down rain.  haha.

Oh and guess what?  Maddie picked up a purple glue stick (our house was still in shambles and everything was in the dining room....) and while we were driving and not watching her, she decided it was fun to put it all over her face and hair.  I swear this girl.

At the bagel place, we left some guy and his son go in front of us - and he took the last of the bagels that I was craving (major bummer), so I was in a great mood.  Haha.  But the kids loved the bagels and after we headed to Lowe's to look for stuff for the baby's room and some last minute things to finish up some of the kitchen stuff.

It finally did stop raining a bit - and apparently our children liked to find their own snacks - as I caught them both eating FROZEN waffles.  Seriously #weirdos

Mid-day, while Jimmy and I were busy putting our first floor back together (as everything was finally done with painting!!), I was totally freaked out because I wasn't feeling the baby.  I had never had this happen to me with the past two pregnancies - so I called the doctor on call and she said to be safe just head in to the hospital.  It was enough of a scare that my blood pressure was high, but luckily everything was ok!!  Whew!  Then we headed over after naps to Prairie Village (where we used to live across town!) because our sweet nephew, Jay, was getting baptized.  We had quite the day already so decided to skip mass because we were barely going to make it there and just grab some dinner out before heading over to Jay's party after the baptism. 

We got there before everyone and went into their house and took pictures (and videos) of our kids to pass the time.  They didn't seem to mind!

We had a blast celebrating Baby Jay and playing with Hillary's sister's kiddos too - I cannot WAIT to have this baby and give Jay a cousin that is just three months younger.  What a blessing.  He is just the sweetest little thing and we have loved watching Bobby and Hillary become parents!!!

Sunday, we just went to church and spent time with our little family celebrating Maddie.  Of course, we got her favorite - PIZZA and ended up getting the Triple Treat box from Pizza Hut (after seeing intense advertising!!) and it was a success.  This girl loves her pizza AND her dad so much!!  

Then it was time for the actually Fourth of July holiday on Monday AND Maddie's birthday.  While some might call us crazy, we decided to invite all our neighbors and kids over for breakfast on July 4th before our neighborhood parade.  I think we decided on this Friday and I was so thrilled when most everyone said they were going to be in town and would love to come over!  We had a FULL house with so many kids and parents and drinks and food. Birthday girl, got in her birthday suit (of course) before we headed out to the parade that is by our pool/playground.

Leslie did an awesome job of organizing the parade with a photo booth, parade and of course, popsicles!

We got a family picture and it was SOOOOO humid if you cannot tell.  The temperatures weren't too horrible, but this pregnant mama was HOT.

PS - this is my go-to Fourth of July dress.  It's not maternity, but I wore it when I was pregnant with Charlie in July 2012 too!!

Even Toby was decked out for the holiday!!  (he got his haircut in the morning and PetCo gave him a fun bandanna)

After naps (for everyone!!!), we walked down to our neighbors house for a BBQ and more kid fun.  We have loved getting to know all our new neighbors - as most of them have moved in at the end of last year, it's been a fun first spring/summer with everyone and their kiddos.  While MacKenzie had some awesome fireworks for the kiddos, our kids were BEAT and so tired (as was I!), so we headed out early and promised Charlie he could stay up and we could watch the fireworks from our house.  We were hoping that we could see our city fireworks from our house (they just moved to a new and close location this year)...but none of our windows were at a good angle - but guess what?  The cul-de-sac behind us put on quite the show that we could see from our bedroom window and Charlie loved it.  He has a love/hate relationship with fireworks, so it was a hit or miss.  Sweet Maddie slept right through all the commotion - turning two is tiring!! 

After a long weekend, we all had a hard time getting back to school/work on Tuesday.  But when I picked the kiddos up from school on Tuesday I was so surprised and proud to find what Charlie's art was for the day.  The teacher told me to pick it up and take it home and I was so confused at his response.  I looked around to see everyone else's because we don't go to a Christian or religious preschool...other kiddos said they were thankful for their toys, family, playing - and our sweet boy.  Seriously - he's thankful that he has the freedom to believe in God.  When I asked him about it in the car and if he told Ms Emily to write that.  He said yes...but mom, I'm thankful for Jesus too.  Seriously melt this mama's heart.  So proud of this little man and hope he continues this love for Christ well into his childhood!!

I know this is late - but have loved reading everyone's Fourth of July updates....and just had this as a draft and wanted to post!!!  Love holidays!

Maddie is TWO

Before we add another one to our crew - a post dedicated to my SWEET Maddie.  Oh my goodness - the thought that this girl is actually two years old - literally blows my mind.  She turned two on July 4!

Two years ago on the night of July 3, I was sewing away to wrap up nursery projects after we put Charlie to bed.  We went to sleep late and then I woke up with BAD contractions.  They said hurry to the hospital and we got there at 1:45 and by 4:45 on July 4th, our little firecracker - Miss Madeline Abigail Carter was born.  Meeting your sweet baby for the first time is just the most amazing thing - but what I've found even more rewarding is watching this sweet girl go from an infant that needed us for everything to independent, young toddler (now TWO year old).  

Her personality literally blows me away and how she has emerged into this adorable toddler.  I feel like she has grown up SO much faster than Charlie did.  I'm not sure if it's a girl thing or the fact that she has an older brother to look up to and wants to do everything that he does - but she's not my little baby any more.  

She's gone from this as a newborn: my sweet one year old with minimal hair... this spunky little TWO year old with an amazing personality AND a full head of curly/wild hair (oh and did I mention her knack for accessorizing....haha - we obviously haven't had her 2 year old professional pictures taken - hopefully Ali can snap a few when she's in town for baby #3's newborn pictures!)

Once she started talking - she has literally never stopped.  Which is good and bad.  She adores her big brother, but doesn't at all put up with his sh*t - seriously.  Or really anyone's for that matter - at school she loves her friends and teachers but one of her teacher's told me verbatim that "Maddie C., she doesn't put up with anyone's sh*t".  Like for some reason I found that hilarious and scary all at the same exact time.  Haha.  

Even with that toughness in her personality, she is absolutely the most adorable and loving little soul.  She can melt your heart one minute when she goes on and on saying who she loves (she literally has a list that she says over and over again) and then the minute you tell her "no" - watch out!  Toddler temper tantrums in full swing.  But then if you distract her, she does forget easily.

I'm in love with her bedtime routine and she's a better sleeper than Charlie ever was.  We read books, lay her in her crib (with like 70 things/stuffed animals/tags/blankets/wipes/books/bows - you name it).  Then she asks to pray and tells you who she wants to pray for.  And we kiss and she usually goes to sleep - or is at least satisfied.  It's MUCH worse when she's over tired...but it melts my heart giving her a sweet kiss and walking out.  However, she is quite the daddy's girl and most nights insists that he put her to bed.  Quite different from the way her brother was, but there is truly nothing like a father/daughter relationship and I'm just loving watching it emerge between her and Jimmy.

A few more things about our girl.  She is already a good independent player, which blows my mind.  Must be a second child thing - but there are times when I'm looking for her in the house and find her in the playroom on the floor "reading" her books or in the hearth room playing kitchen.  She loves to color - anything and everything - and read.  Her attention to detail on some of the tasks she does amazes me at her age - one time our kids were having a slumber party at Jimmy's parents house and my MIL sent a picture of Maddie and the crayons that you roll up - she had rolled every one of them out, which my MIL said took forever and she was just impressed she sat there for that long doing it.  She loves doing activities at school (they are in a Montessori school) and talks about them on the way home - as well as all of her friends and teachers.

She loves her family to the core.  And her big brother.  So much.  I cannot wait to see how this girl takes on her big sister role.  I have high hopes for her, so we will see how it goes!!!

In terms of growth, she is still kind of living up to her nick name that she's had for awhile "Pot Roast".  She was 91% for height and 87% for weight at her 2 year check up - and just blew me away at how good she was at the doctor's office.  Sometimes she is good - haha.  But really, I love her so much.  While our personalities are SO similar (already, yes) - it's frightening to think 15 years from now as a 17 year old..but for now, I'll just relish in her littleness and let her be young and spunky.

So really quick - we did do a small birthday party for our sweet girl the weekend before Fourth of July (as most of our family goes out of town that weekend) at the Olathe Community Center.  They have an awesome pool - we were there for Arden's birthday party and loved it - and on top of that all I had to do was book, show up and then swim - count me in as one pregnant mama.  Maddie LOVES swimming and minions, so that was exactly what we did.

My sister is my go-to baker and didn't disappoint with the awesome minion cupcakes and display - there were minion gummies on top which everyone loved so much!  So we sang happy birthday to our baby girl, opened some awesome presents (her favorite I think was the fruit snacks my sister threw in her bag - hahaha), and then swam.

I was having a ROUGH pregnancy day that day...but the pool felt good.  Unfortunately, with how I felt and the fact that I was in the pool too I got absolutely zero pictures of everyone swimming.  It was a great thing we chose an indoor party because halfway through our swim time a massive storm came through KC, but we didn't even notice!  Maddie, Charlie, cousins and a few friends had an absolute blast and we were so glad!  We thought about going out to dinner after, but it was Sunday and by the time we got out of there - we decided to just run through McDonald's instead because #tiredkids but no one minded.

It was a stress free celebration that Maddie LOVED - which was all that mattered.  And it was so fun to celebrate our sweet and sassy TWO year old.  I am looking forward to seeing her continue to grow and take on the roll of middle child in style.  Happy (late) second birthday to our Maddie cakes!!!

Here was some pictures of our Fourth of July weekend celebrating this girl (and her love of PIZZA).