Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mikey's 6 month doughnut shop pictures

Family pictures.  Hate scheduling and getting ready for them.  The outfit coordination.  Location.  And just the drama of a family of five wrapped in can be so stressful.  

While this particular photo shoot was originally scheduled to be on MLK day at our house in KC, due to some weather issues of Ali getting to KC, we had to reschedule.  Since she's based out of Wichita, we decided to make it a fun trip down there to stay with my BFF, Lauren, and her family and then meet Ali that Sunday morning for doughnuts and to snap some pictures.  The only way this trip could have been more fun is if we would've gotten some play time with Ali and her crew - because every time we get together....it's so much fun and we are always wishing we lived next door to each other.  

We met at the Donut Whole in Wichita on Sunday morning at 8:45 and just like she always does, she captured our family just perfectly.  It's not all sunshine and roses with our family.  EVER.  I feel like that's the one thing that can often be a misconception due to social media.  I try to be transparent as possible and while these pictures aren't perfect and everyone isn't looking or smiling (and she didn't send me any of Maddie's epic fit!!!)...I love the realness of these.  This first picture makes me tear up.  It's real life.  Our real life.  Sippy cups.  Coffee.  Doughnuts and just so much love for these three people.  Love and desire to want to be the best parents for them and teach them to love one another but have fun at the same time.

So thank you, Ali.  I love that we highlighted Mikey, but also the wonderful dynamic that only 6 months into his life he has brought to our family.  While everyone focused on the chaos a third kid would bring, these pictures demonstrate so well the LOVE that he brought to our family.  Our love for him and the sibling bond that keeps growing stronger between these three.

Enjoy!  (there are a lot - but it's my blog, so I choose to post them all! haha!)

Love this brotherly love.  So much.

He's crazy.  I love it.

Such a big boy!!!

The only one where everyone is looking :)  And that's just fine with me.  I like those laughs so much better!

My girl.  She'll move mountains.

When did he get SO big?

Loving his dad.  TWINS. 

I'm so thankful God gave this man a daughter.

Ali took us outside and captured these and they are MY FAVORITE.

Again - thank you SO much, Ali!  I love getting to spend time with you and see your work in capturing our growing family.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Laundry room signs

Do you do laundry all the time?  Oh yes, me too!  Ha.  I feel like it's a never ending cycle.  This is one of my favorite memes that I can totally relate to.

Because I feel like even before I'm done with it all and it's put away ---- it starts all over again.  That and the dishes.  I need to think of a way to make these tasks fun and I'd be a millionaire.

But in the meantime, a while back, I thought it would be fun to spruce up our little laundry room.  It's not the biggest and most awesome space, but it beats having to go to the basement like our old house!  There is lots of space and storage to store things and it suits us just fine!

However, I contemplated the need to decorate it.  Because WHO cares.  Well, after doing the never ending loads of laundry that comes with a family of 5, I decided it was time to get some cute AND useful decor.

I purchased the Laundry room sign in the middle and the rug on the floor (in the last photo) at At Home like a year ago...but never knew how to hang them up and tie it all together.   That's when I found the blue printable that has all the laundry signs (which I SOOOO need #notalaundryexpert) and thought it would go perfect.  I needed something to hang on the other side and that's when I went for function.

I ALWAYS feel like I get behind on the sheets, towels, kids towels, kitchen towels, etc.   Like there are so many things to wash now that I needed some sort of system to track when I did it last.  Mainly so I can know just how long I've let them go unwashed and then solidify the fact that I'm gross.  Ok, not really - ha.  #butkindof  No - this little sign that I made in PowerPoint, just goes through the main things that need to be washed in our house and let's me use a dry erase marker to note what date they were last washed.  Nothing fancy (just like my menu board), but it WORKS!  I love that I'm not trying to remember - was it last week, two weeks ago, or heaven forbid a month (or two) ago.   I promise that doesn't happen often...but sometimes because, you know, that's life and a little grime never hurt anyone, right?  (just tell me that)

Here's a close up of the fun.

I love the way the signs and rug tie it together.  This is one of the few rooms left in our house (our bedroom and bathroom and dining room as well) that are this dark brown color - so I'm sure we'll get around to painting it soon. But for now, I'm happy with the little pops of color to make myself feel like I'm a super laundry mom.

Do you have an awesome laundry room?  I'll be forever jealous of Shay's (see it here), but that's not real life either --- so I'm happy with mine!!!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Oh how time flies...

Today, the big kids and I spent the day together because their school was closed for teacher inservice and my work was closed because it's President's Day. 

They got to go to dad's work in the morning because I had to run Mikey to the doctor for his second flu shot at 8:45 and (A) didn't want to take all three kids and (B) OMG so many germs.  I'm so glad Charlie and Maddie didn't come.  Plus they got to drink hot chocolate and color on the white board!  That's super fun!

After that, I went and got them and we took Mikey back to day care and we ran to Target.

Which, of course, I forgot all the things I actually went for and ended up getting them both some new shampoo (??) and some random St. Patrick's day things to hang on the windows.  I love Target - but that is precisely why I don't go there that often.

When we were checking out - I told them to smile.  This is what I got.  These kids - both can't smile ever at the same time!!  Ha!

But then what was even funnier...I was scrolling through my IG pictures and looking for one from a LONG time ago (more on why later...) and found this gem.  This was taken at Costco in September 2015.  So Maddie would have been like 15 months and Charlie a little over 3.  I love that I did the same collage because it's crazy to see how much they have grown up and changed ---- but how they are still just as silly and love each other just as much.  

TIME FLIES.  It's crazy.  Because I look at them and while I know they are not these babes anymore, it feels like they still could me.  I can't wait for all the fun to come with these two - and Mikey now that he's in the mix!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pre Christmas fun - 2016

Ok, I'm finally catching up - so you don't have to read this - as yes, it's mid-February and I'm talking Christmas...but oh well!  That's life.  We have had a great season leading up to Christmas this year and even though I haven't kept on top of my blog...I wanted to make sure and get it all in.  I'm going back and mimicking this post from last year when I went over all the fun we had in 2015!

The week BEFORE Christmas, I took off work and took the big kids out of daycare for a fun week.  At the holidays, I'm always feeling bad for myself being a working mom and that I don't get to have this time with my kids to do things - this year though, I had a lot of vacation left over and thought I would take full advantage!!

Monday kicked off with breakfast and then we headed over to my coworker and friend's house to bring her lunch and hang with her older son and new baby, Beck.  He was adorable and the kids loved eating their Chick fil A together, while Amy and I loved catching up!!!

On Tuesday, I did the typical Kansas City Christmas holiday activity of going down to Union Station.  I was smart and asked my dad to go with us.  Even though it was 2 on 1, it is always nicer to be 2 on 2!!!  Well, the kids had a blast looking at all the fun trains and taking silly pictures with me.  UNTIL it was time to leave the train part and head over to Crown Center.

On the way out, I tried to grab the quintessential holiday picture in front of the gorgeous tree in Union Station.  And THIS is what I got. 

BAHAHAHAHAHAH.  I love it actually.


Papa tried to calm Charlie down, but that didn't work.  Hey, at least Maddie looks adorable!

Maddie and my dad walked in the stroller over to Crown Center, but Charlie and his bad attitude had to drive with me.  Mainly because I knew by the time we'd be leaving, it would be pushing nap time and we wouldn't want to walk back over to Union Station.  That was dramatic (of course), but once we got to Fritz's (aka the train restaurant that kids love but it's like the WORST food ever - in my opinion!), they were happy because Aunt Lulu was there!  My sister works at Children's Mercy Hospital and her office is right across the street from Crown Center (same buildings that I used to work in at Hallmark!  How fun would that have been if we both would have worked there at the same time?!?).  See, they were happy!!

Especially seeing these life size lego people (Legoland is down at Crown Center too) and the fact that I got them a dirt and worms from Sheridans.

Even though I tried to make nap time work...it ended up like THIS.  Haha.  That's my dad sleeping in Maddie's bed, while Maddie is wide awake.

But I got to spend some time on my computer and watching what I wanted - which is always nice!

That same night - our matching dresses from China that were $11 came in the mail!  YES!!  I was so nervous they wouldn't get there in time for Christmas Eve and they did!!  Maddie's accessories are on point.  But she loves that dress and coloring!

The next morning looked a lot like this.  Haha.  This is Maddie, reading my company's prospectus :)  I snapped this pic and sent to my boss!

I had high hopes for our movie experience we had planned that day.  Can someone just level set all my expectations with these two?  Haha.  My parents joined us for Moana - which was Maddie's first movie.  And while she enjoyed the popcorn and refills....

She didn't quite understand the fact that you weren't supposed to talk - hahaha.  So she took her tag and grabbed some random coasters and hung out with my dad outside the theater until it was done.  We tried, right?!

One of the biggest challenges was remembering to pump before we went places!!!

But when we went to get this guy in the afternoon - all that annoying pumping is worth it!

Right?  I mean adorbs?!

By Thursday, I was POOPED.  Seriously.  I originally was planning on going to another friend's house, but after all our days filled with constant go go go, I was ready for a day at home and I know the kids were too.  So we spent Thursday putting together our fun gifts for our friends and neighbors.  Charlie was an awesome helper and they both loved delivering them to our neighbors!!

(read more about that here!)

Friday was filled with FRIENDS!  Jimmy was at home with us and we kept Mikey home too.  My best friend's from high school came over for a super fun play date with their kiddos.  Katie and James were in town from Oklahoma and Lauren, David and Landon came over from Wichita.  Oh man - it's SOOOOO fun to see all our kiddos together and how much they play.  

They danced and sang and chased each other.  Love their mommas (and dads) and these kids.  It's crazy to think how long Lauren, Katie and I have been friends and so awesome that we still are and now our kids get to play together!  For Katie and I, almost THIRTY YEARS and Lauren and I, almost 25.

After naps on Friday, we headed over to Mikey's day care lady's house (Ms Marie) for their Christmas celebration!  This is our first kid using an in home provider with and we LOVE her.  We have just been so blessed to have found her!!  She has a Christmas celebration for all the kids - AND their siblings.  She even invites recent "alumni" - how adorable.  She has 6 grown kids (around Jimmy and my age) and a ton of grandkids - so look at all the presents under her tree!!  She has a big and awesome family!!!

 One of her son's dresses up as Santa and comes to her house with huge bags of presents.  We had no idea what was going to happen, but he called each of the kids up by name and they sat on his lap and he gave them each a wrapped present.  Crazy, right?  Like even Charlie and Maddie!  They don't go there!!  Maddie was AMAZED that Santa was there in real life.  Charlie hates Santa and just wants presents.  Ha.

Mikey really liked Santa's beard.  Ha.

I was literally in shock because Santa asked the kids what they wanted before he handed them the present.  Charlie yelled "Star wars legos" from afar and got his present.  Went to open it up and that's EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS.  I had no idea how Ms Marie knew that, but the look on his face was priceless.  I'm not kidding - I will forever remember it because it even made me believe and realize how amazing the spirit of Christmas is.  And that it's not about the amount of presents, but really thinking about what that person wants and making them happy.  I am totally going to be more intentional about our gift giving next year - even to our parents and siblings.  Because the look on Charlie's face when Santa gave him that was amazing!

We had so much fun meeting other parents at Ms Marie's party and playing with all the kids and siblings - she is just the best.  Again, so happy that Mikey gets to go there everyday!

The only other thing that came and went was Tony's (our elf) last visit on Christmas Eve - I did pretty good this year (if I say so myself)!!!  I set a reminder on my phone and had a whole list of ideas already thought up.  The kids had fun and said goodbye to him.

After 5 days at home, I will say I was completely exhausted and didn't even have my third kid at home with me.  So SERIOUS props to you SAHM's out there.  You amaze me.  We did have our fair share of tantrums and fights, but I'm thankful that I took the week off with the older hooligans and made some memories around the holiday season - good and bad, but they are all wonderful memories because they will NEVER again be this age!  And each Christmas seems to get more and more fun!