Thursday, October 11, 2018

Welcome to the family: Thomas James

Here we go. Thanks to Tommy's arrival - I'm BACK. Mainly because while we are in the thick of CRAZY right now, I do know that time flies and I don't want to forget anything about this sweet little boy's arrival and his first year. And just document our crazy life in general. I'm not sure if anyone will read this, but that's the last reason I write these. I keep them for my family. So here we go --- historian mom, back in action. 

First up - since I missed documenting anything about my entire fourth pregnancy - we will just start with his arrival. Which luckily, was slightly less eventful than the pregnancy. So that's good news! But little incredibly ready were we to meet you! Let's start with how it was all supposed to happen. Since I had strep B again, my doctor and I decided induction would be a good course to pursue again. Maddie came FAST in the middle of the night. Mikey came faster even during induction, so we came up with a new plan and order to make sure we got the full four hours of antibiotics in. Induction was set the morning of September 7, when I was 39 weeks and 2 days. Per usual, the hospital was hopping (because we apparently only have babies when everyone else in KC is too!), so I was warned that my induction might get pushed back (like it did with Mikey). I mentally prepared for that. So when no one called me the Thursday night to confirm that we should come in, I called the charge nurse to confirm. She said someone would call me between 5-6AM to confirm for sure. Of course, I don't sleep at all because emotions are high and it's like - will I have a baby tomorrow? Will I not? So in anticipation of that....I got Freddy's the night before. Because french fries seem to fix everything! And I posted the image below on IG because patience is not my thing.

The hours of 5 and 6AM...passed and no one called. She had said to call them at 8AM if we hadn't heard. So I'm a rule follower and followed the rules. We got up and got the kids ready and had breakfast together - turns out it was the last one as a family of 5!

It was nice to not have to have our parents come over and get the kids ready and to school, so Jimmy took them off to school and I went upstairs to call the nurse a little before 8AM. Hmmmm - turns out she was a little confused as to why we weren't there yet because they had me scheduled for an induction at 7AM - they were wondering where we were. WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I held my composure and explained that I never received confirmation or a call but quickly finished packing my bag and waited for Jimmy to get home to tell him that we were in fact: HAVING A BABY TODAY!

I snapped my LAST bump picture (EVER!). And we headed to the hospital!

Luckily, we got an awesome nurse. I mentioned the confusion and she said they figured we were late because we already had three kids. HA. I'm like, lady - we can run late, but I do NOT run late to things like HAVING A FREAKING BABY.

We had already discussed changing the order of things. Which instead of breaking my water first thing (which is what we did with Mikey and things went fast!), we were going to start the IV and antibiotics and then wait a bit. So we got those things going and then she decided to check me. HELLO - I was already dilated to 5cm. WHAT? Yes, I have no idea because I didn't really feel much. Whereas when I came in with Maddie in the middle of the night, I was dilated to 6cm and was in so much pain. Odd, but I did skip my 39 week appointment that Wednesday maybe I had progressed? Who knows. Anyways, we were really happy we hadn't broken my water yet or started pitocin first thing!

Then we wait. And wait. Four long hours. Luckily, you can have coffee with sweetener, so Jimbo got me some of that and we waited some more. I kept naturally progressing, so I decided to call the miracle worker - aka the epidural person. They came in, gave it to me and it was bad, but nothing I hadn't experienced before. Then my doctor came in around lunch time to break my water because the first round of antibiotics were done and we started another one.

This time is always so weird to me! Because I'm in labor, but have drugs. Like I feel stuff, but not it's just like hanging out. Needless to say, Jimmy spent most of his time writing in the baby play book and ordering my hospital meals for me - because legit that is one of his favorite things about having babies. Ha. He's weird.

Around 3PM, my parents came up to see me and the nurse kept saying - I think this is going to progress fast because we started the pitocin and boy was she right! Around 3:15, she checked me and it was GO TIME. My doctor was called right away because I historically have these babies pretty fast. Prior to her arrival, I randomly asked the nurse how they knew that the baby's face was down and not up. I have no idea why I asked this - but it was for sure foreshadowing! HA. She told me they can tell by feeling their head when they check me. Welllll....

My doctor comes in, she reminds me of how to push and we start. I pushed SO hard. My epidural was GREAT - in that I could feel just enough to know when I needed to push but not too much to be in pain. Love those doctors!! But I kept pushing. And to put this in perspective, my other kids came out FAST. Even my first one. Like I'm talking I didn't push any longer than 20 minutes with any of them. So we all assumed this kid would just "fall out" because #fourthkid.

WELLLLL (again)...turns out he WAS in fact face up. So yes, in between pushing, I asked 11,000 questions about (A) why was I pushing so hard and nothing seemed to be happening - apparently it's because it takes them longer to come out face up (aka sunny side up aka occiput posterior) and (B) it also means their shoulder have to come out a totally different way and they could have to have a broken collar bone. And overall, it usually takes a bit longer and could potentially mean intervention through forceps or vacuum. Luckily I had done ZERO research on this - so I just kept pushing as hard as I could. And I mean HARD. My nurse was like "it this baby was face down, it would be three rooms over...!!!" and believe me, I felt like it afterwords because my arms and legs were SORE for days!! But luckily, 30 minutes later at 4:04PM...our sweet baby boy arrived!

And he was HUGE. Like I'm talking almost 10lbs huge. 9 lb and 13 oz of LOVE.

I cannot even tell you how excited I was to see this guy. I started to get worried mid-pushing that something was going to happen to him or when he came out all in one piece and was healthy, mama relief sets in. Then the LOVE begins. And the name game. We never decide what our kiddos names are - mainly because we cannot agree. So we ended up coming to an agreement on this:

Thomas James Carter
(aka Tommy) 

Oh my word. This little chub of love. 

And then one of the best parts post delivery - getting to EAT. And hold baby. And try to feed him. And EAT some more. And snuggle some more.

By late dinner, we were moved into our recovery room and his grunting began! I was so nervous because that is why Mikey went to the NICU for potential respiratory issues. Our amazing L&D nurse ended up staying 4 hours after her shift was over to finish delivery with us and make sure we got settled into our room - and told me SKIN TO SKIN! So I didn't take that kid off of me. And luckily, his constant grunting did decrease and we avoided that NICU stay!

The next morning, our whole crew came up before swim lessons to meet their new brother!!! We had talked to them the night before via Facetime and to say they were excited to meet him was an understatement!!! He was getting circumcised when they came in, so of course they were anxiously awaiting his arrival...and it was pure sweetness of sibling love when he came back!

And we got our first picture as a family of SIX. So fitting this picture!!! 

I mean LOOK at that love. They are obsessed.

Was happy to see these kids - and they were happy to get the weird gifts they requested from their newest brother. Maddie got a squishy pie (?).

Let's just say that getting a picture of our crew - was not easy...nor will it ever be!

Overall, I completely forgot what it's like to not sleep. And forgot what those damn drugs do to me. But it was a good and quiet weekend with our littlest man. Jimmy watched a LOT of football and Tommy and I did a lot of snuggling. And we did finally get decent at calling him baby Tommy - it's hard with so many boys!!! 

While he was our BIGGEST babe...he still seemed so little!

The last night, I had to get up and walk around. So we went for a stroll! 

Then Sunday morning came and luckily our pediatrician and OB came in to see us EARLY! And were ready to bust out by lunch time. 

And on our way out...we got to stop by and see my friend and coworker, Amy, and her new baby boy Jax who was born just the day after Tommy was!!!! It was fun to be pregnant with her and it's going to be even more fun to have these babes together!

When we got home....all I wanted was STEAK. So that's what we had. 

And then the next morning was Monday --- and the fun began (and all the coffee) with this little booger. How adorable are sleeping babies?

Overall, so so thankful for a good labor and that we are both happy and healthy. And REALLY happy my induction didn't get pushed because pretty sure he would have been over 10 lbs. And goodness sake, he was big enough for me. I'm writing this and he's just over a month old and those first few days/weeks were a BLUR! While he slept a ton, in a house with three other kiddos - there is always something to do! But feeling so much love with this sweet boy in our house. Lucky he is ours and his brothers and sister are OVER the moon with him!!!

Am I sad it's my last baby? A little - but not enough to want to do it again. Four is the perfect number for us, I can already tell, and I'm embracing every "last" and "first" that comes with our final addition with this sweet little man!

Monday, August 21, 2017

FIVE - Charles Francis


The beauty of having three July babies is taking time out of a gorgeous August morning to write each of your blog posts for your birthday's.  But you almost weren't a July baby - you were actually due on August 1 and I remember how angry I would get when people would ask me "when are you due" when I was pregnant and the look on their face when I would say "August" - because I would always say "well, the beginning of August.  The FIRST of August". But we decided that you'd come on July 31 instead and unknown to us at that time, you would start the tradition of July birthday's in our family.  But really, you started so many traditions because you're the oldest and that's what oldest kids do, right?

This past year, you have grown up a ton - from that little almost 4-year-old boy that was walking into Mikey's hospital room beaming from ear to ear to be a big brother again, you are not walking so much taller as a 5-year-old.  While, yes, you still have your moments where you whine and cry and throw fits (I've heard that doesn't stop anytime soon I'm not holding my breath), it's amazing to think about things you do now that you didn't do last year.  And it makes you seem so grown up!!
You get dressed by yourself in the morning.  It's crazy.  I'm not sure when it happened, but all of a sudden, you started waking up and immediately getting dressed before you left your room.  Game changer right there. You can fill up your own water bottle from the fridge (YES!) and you even take your dishes to the sink when you're done eating (most of the time...). You go to the bathroom when you need to and rarely ask for assistance. You play independently (Isn't this what every parent is waiting for?? ha!) - and use your imagination!  I love watching you play with your legos, cars, wrestlers, name it.  There is always something exciting going on with your toys and it's so fun to watch you play.  You also FINALLY learned how to pump your legs swinging (I think this was due to hanging out with your older friend, Tyson).  And while sometimes you claim that your "pumping legs are broken", when they are working correctly and you swing all by yourself makes you seem like such a big kid.

You are the BEST dancer.  Ha, ok, not really.  But dang boy, you can sure bust a move.  You have your dad's love for music and some of your favorite songs are by the Eagles.  Oh, and Bruno Mars!  Whenever music is going, you are dancing and I love your free and fun spirit so much.  You are always up for a good time!!!  You have also grown a lot in your confidence in yourself.  To think that last fall when we tried indoor soccer you were literally crying every time we went to this last spring, you were rocking the t-ball games and then in the summer were a rock star soccer player (it was so fun to see you being aggressive and you got really mad when the other team was better than you- HA!). I'm so excited for what is come with your activities this next year!

You're also starting to communicate your emotions a lot more. It's crazy to hear you talk about your friends at school and talk about how someone made you feel (whether it's good, embarrassed, funny, etc.).  It's easier for us to talk about when you're feeling sad or excited and I hope you always want to talk about your emotions because while most guys don't, I think it's a great trait to have.  You are aware of other people's feelings so much more too. Now this is good and bad. Bad because you now know EXACTLY what it takes to push Maddie's buttons and you take full advantage of that most days.  I swear there are times when all you want to do is just annoy her for no reason at all - and while that is a "job" of a big brother, you are also teaching Maddie a good life lesson of holding her own.  Ha.  You two crack me up and drive me crazy all at once.

Speaking of big brother take that role very seriously. Watching you love on Mikey makes me so excited to see the friendship that is to come with you two.  You are always wanting to give him a hug or kiss or help me get his lunch ready, etc.  I never had a brother, but seeing the relationship that your dad has with his four brothers, it makes me so excited to watch your relationship with Mikey grow and develop.  And as for you and Maddie, I'm not quite sure what you are going to do without each other once you are in kindergarten next year and not at the same school.  While she will likely be close behind you, I am sure you are going to miss each other immensely!

Oh kindergarten. Yes, the July 31 birthday curse. I'll tell you right now, it was not an easy decision for us on whether to send you or hold you back.  But in the end, I think we made the best decision for you that we could and you spent two years in preschool and are going to rock pre-K this year before going off to kindergarten in August 2018. One more year to grow up, won't hurt you at all sweet boy, and I have a feeling that extra year will give you the maturity that you need in school for years to come!!  Pre-K started off with a bang (and UNIFORMS!) and you seem to be just loving school at Primrose and all that you are learning.  It's so fun when you come home and tell us everything you learn - you were talking about trapezoids and parallelograms the other day and we were like WHAT?  I also got you a puzzle globe for your birthday and you love taking it out, putting the continents where they belong and naming them.  Watching your little brain grow and learn is such a blessing.  One that I do not take for granted.

One other thing you LOVE?  Wrestling and playing with your dad!  It's no surprise, under his influence, you have found a love for Star Wars and WWE wrestling this past year.  You were dying to turn 4 and get to watch Star Wars and ever since then, it's been a love affair.  The number of Star Wars legos you have now is amazing, but you love to have your own battles with them as well.  You are starting to learn about giving more, as we have had several rounds of "what toys can we donate to kids who don't have any?" have come about, in addition to learning about money and the concept of earning it and saving it.  I.e. you want the lego death star that is $500 (AH) so you talk about saving your money daily.... haha. 

As for you and me.  Your dad says I still treat you like a baby sometimes.  And while I try not to, the fact of the matter is.  You will ALWAYS be my baby.  The one that made me a mom.  Changed me forever and made me realize how beautiful this life is. I cherish so much the times that you still let me hold you, hug you, take your hand, lay with you, snuggle you, tuck you in, sing with you, pray with you, talk to you...because someday, when I least expect it...I know it will be the last time for a few of those.  Others of those, I pray that I will always get to do with you, sweet boy.  No matter how old you get, I hope you always can talk and pray with your mom.

Your FIVE year old stats:

weight: 42 lbs (59%)
height: 44 in (73%)

Thank you for being you, Charlie Carter.  Thank you being a leader in our family and the best big brother.  Thank you for bringing so much joy to our family daily - through your dancing, jokes, laughter and hugs and kisses.  I'm so proud of the little man you are becoming and can't wait for more fun adventures in the upcoming year!

ONE - Michael Eugene


Where in the heck did the last year go?  I have a one year old.  My sweet baby boy that I was DYING to meet last summer - it now feels like I've always known him.  I'm not going to lie in saying this last year wasn't a challenge. Because it was. Three kids, four and under, two full time working parents, activities, commitments, cooking, cleaning, laundry. But we survived. And dare I say it was a pretty amazing year? And I really think this guy has everything to do with it.

While this little man gave us a little scare by having to go to the NICU right after he was born, I'm happy to say, for the most part, it has been smooth sailing ever since.  Yes, he had a ridiculous amount of ear infections. Seemed to always be fighting a cold, getting teeth or just MAD.  But those newborn days and struggles of his dairy intolerance and constantly using gripe water seem SO far gone.  Because all of a sudden, he's turned into a little boy.

Michael. Mikey. Big Mike. Chunky baby. Whatever you want to call him. He changed me. He changed US. Our family. I am not quite sure how it all happened, but looking back on this past year, I became a different person and a different mom. I knew adding a third kiddo wouldn't be easy, but he made it easy. Yes, he was MUCH more easy going than our other two kids and (THANK GOD) he was a good sleeper - I mean, 1/3 is not the best odds, but I'll take it. But before he was born, the one thing I wasn't worry that would be lacking in our house was LOVE. And he brought in even more love than I could have imagined.  He brought more love into my heart (and patience, appreciation, thankfulness) AND to our older kids.  They love their little brother so so much.

My favorite thing to do is go into his room in the morning and "wake" him up (I put that in quotes because usually he's somewhat awake and he's just laying in his crib, quietly hanging out). But it's not only my favorite thing - it's EVERYONE'S favorite thing.  His big sister and big brother BEG to go into his room almost daily and wake him up. And who wouldn't want to when you're greeted with the best little baby smile??? And he's a snuggler. Oh yes. The best thing ever is when he snuggles his sweet little head right into the perfect spot on my shoulder/neck. You know, just like this :)

He doesn't want to let go. And you know what?  Neither do I.

Oh when they say the days are long but the years are short...that describes this first year with Mikey.  We had some LONG days. And nights. Some of them all blurred together. But this year? It flew by.  When his big day came on July 19, I felt like it was only a few weeks ago that I was sitting in the hospital holding him and telling Jimmy how I couldn't believe next year we would have a 1, 3 and 5 year old.  And how lucky we were.

I want to bottle up his sweetness because I do know that while he will always be my baby boy, pretty soon, he will likely be protesting clothes, screaming for snacks, yelling because he doesn't want me to put his shoes on or for some other unknown reason.  Because that's what happens.  They grow up. Get opinions. Learn new things. And oh do I want him to experience all of that, yes I do.  But I never want to forget the way he looks at me and smiles when he knows I'm about to nurse him. Or the way his eyes light up when he sees me come into the room.

He started walking about a week after his first birthday.  I was somewhat convinced that it would take much longer than that because he seemed to be quite content with his crawling skills.  But he was determined to keep up with his siblings and all of a sudden, he started walking.  It still startles me sometimes to see him just toddling around - I forget how fleeting time is sometimes. Luckily, he is a great eater and took well to the sippy cup transition too!  I'm still nursing him in the morning and before bed because #icantstop (ok, I can) but mainly because I'm not pumping at all during the day and those two times of the day gives me a peace with him that I know won't last forever.

About being the youngest?  He soaks it all in.  He LOVES watching and playing with his big brother and sister. No one can make his smile - or SCREAM - like they can.  For the most part, they still see him as a little baby.  Because he sits in a high chair, sleeps in a crib and {god forbid} still wears diapers (this is all according to Maddie's definition).  But lately, he's started to follow and chase them around...stealing their toys and screaming at the top of his lungs when he doesn't get what he wants.  He loves to wrestle with his dad and Charlie (and Maddie too!) and can't miss out on the fun of that!

On his first birthday (July 19), he still only had 2 teeth!  Can you believe it?  But in the last month ---- he's now already 13 months old!! --- he's got two of the top ones and two more on the top JUST popped through, so he's up to 6 total.  He does so well at daycare with Ms Marie and we just still love her so much. And he FINALLY got a pair of real shoes because he now insists on walking everywhere...and so it begins :)

As for his dad?  Well, he's a little Jimmy.  FINALLY - one kid that looks like him.  Ha.  Jimmy always says he feels bad for him, but I'm pretty happy because I not only know he will be good looking (yes Jimmy, I do think you're good looking)...but I know he also got his dad's heart.  Because Mikey is the sweetest little boy.

As we start this next year, I'm looking forward to some fun milestones for Mikey and our family.  Being a mom of three is NOT for the faint of heart.  Being outnumbered often means that at least one kid is off doing something they are not supposed to do, so that always leads to excitement.  But I'll hold onto this little boy for as long as he will let me because I know before long, all he will want to do is run wild with his siblings!

Yes, these three.  At least we know that Mikey will be the toughest one of them all.

Your one year stats are:

weight: 23.8 lbs (84%)
height: 31.2 in (94%)
head: 18.5 in (76%)
teeth: 2 bottom (as of your first birthday!)
diapers: size 5
clothes: between 12-18 months, some 2T

Sweet Mikey, thank you for bringing our family so much joy.  I tell your dad all the time how I feel like YOU changed our family for the better.  You changed my heart.  You gave me more capacity to love and brought me more focus to my life and family.  You took me out of my comfort zone and made me see how chaos can truly be so sweet. I will forever look back on the first year of your life and smile.  While yes, there were hard times, I choose to remember the joy.  Because that is what you bring to me everyday my baby boy.  It sounds cheesy, but it's true.  You are a constant reminder for me to be thankful.  Thankful for three healthy children and the love that we have. So keep on smiling, growing and changing.  And remember to always be nice to your mother :)

THREE - Madeline Abigail

One of Maddie's favorite books is "Oh the places you'll go" by Dr. Seuss.  At this point, she has it pretty much memorized.  Which is so fitting because - oh MAN, I cannot wait to see all the places this little firecracker is going to go in her life.  She also loves Go Dog Go and a few others.  She is a bookworm. Loves to read to herself and her "friends" (aka pretend friends on the stairs) and when she can get her little brother to stay in one place, she loves to read to him. 

She is also a bag lover. She will find any and every bag that is available and shove a million random things in it.  Then she will put it on her shoulder and yell "see ya later mom, I'm going to work".  And instantly my heart swells and breaks because I know that will actually happen sooner rather than later. 

She loves to color. Her preference is markers. She really likes the permanent ones the most, but she doesn't discriminate.  However, after a few too many incidents of coloring all over her body --- she is mainly stuck with colored pencils and crayons to her dismay. 

She doesn't really like to get dressed and when she is dressed, she likes to change her mind frequently.  It always makes for an interesting adventure each weekday morning. And apparently she has also taking to changing in different outfits "for fun" in her extra clothes at school. However, her pete the cat shirt and puppy shirt are a few favorites that she does like to wear on repeat.

She rolls her eyes. I'm not quite sure where she learned this one from. But I have to hold back my laughter when I see her do it in the rear view mirror when I ask her a simple question and she doesn't answer. Like "Maddie, how was your day?".  No answer.  Look in the mirror and she's given me not only an eye roll but now the silent treatment.

She LOVES chapstick and lip gloss and all kinds of make up.  She loves dolls and carries them everywhere.  But give her a WWE wrestler or a Star Wars character (her recent favorites are Finn Balor - wrestler - and Darth Mall - Star Wars bad guy) and she can hang too. Love her versatility - I'm hoping that will serve her well in life.

She really doesn't like when you try to do her hair. She's more of a free spirit (HA). Many times her hair has been compared to that of Gene Wilder...and I'm confident that someday soon, she will be more conscious of the way she looks and beg for her hair to be done very particularly, so for the time being, I'm like - let it go, girl.  Crazy hair and all.

She has the best smile and the sweetest heart - when she wants to (but really, doesn't everyone?).  She can be downright frustrating and I'm convinced she's going to be the mean girl of the class --- but then she'll prove me wrong by giving someone a huge hug that needs it or sharing her toys unprompted.  Her laugh literally lights up a room.

She talks like she's 6.  Which is quite confusing to people that don't know our family because she's rather tall also.  So we have had several people ask if she's a twin with her five year old brother.  When I say no, they ask if they are Irish twins.  And when I say they are two years apart...people give me a funny look. But I love that people think that because to me, it means they are pretty amazing siblings.

She doesn't like to go to sleep at night - I think she's convinced she's missing out on something.  She FOR sure gets that from her dad because she's the kind of kid that you pop a movie on and she's determined to stay awake for the whole thing.  And when she crashes, she crashes hard. She fell asleep ON me the other night because she was so tired and I almost cried. Because feeling her sweet three year old body limp against mine was the best feeling in the world.  At that age, those moments are so rare and as the years go on, they become even more rare. 

She negotiates like it's her job.  Actually I'm pretty sure she's convinced that is her job.  Just to negotiate with her parents on every limit we set.  We say 5 minutes, she tries to get us to 10.  When that doesn't work - maybe 7?  She'll trade movie time for outside time or vice versa and "if I don' have to take a nap....I promise I'll go to bed early".

She has proved to be completely different than her older brother, which, of course, brings new parenting challenges with each age and stage.  But I always go back in my mind to the day we found out that Maddie was a girl during our 20 week sonogram. We were both so in shock and somewhat terrified. A girl?! How were we going to know what to do with a girl? We felt like we were "expert" boy parents (you know...with a 15 month old - HA), but no idea how to raise a girl.  And yes, she's had her challenges and continues to each day...but God knew just what He was doing when He made our Madeline Abigail.  And she is going to challenge me for the rest of my life - teaching me more about love, strength, perseverance and complete joy.  I know we are going to have lots of rough times as mother and daughter in the years to come - but I hope and pray that during those tough times, I can always go back to this moment right here that Ali captured between us.  Remembering the utter joy and privilege it is to be your mom every single day. And see you grow up, learn, explore, love, be challenged, imagine and bring our whole family so much love.

And as for this guy?  Well, he claimed he didn't know how to raise a girl because he grew up with four brothers - but Maddie and her dad, they have the most amazing relationship.  I'm so thankful that she has him in her life to love and cherish. I'm also confident that she can ask him to do anything for her and after a few minutes of negotiating, he will give in ;)  But the love between these two is something I love being a witness to everyday.  And it has grown so much in this past year. He knows exactly how to raise this sweet girl and she loves everything about him.

Three years have flown by.  Our firecracker baby that surprised us early in the morning on Fourth of July, continues to amaze us.

Your three year stats are:

weight: 37lbs (92%)
height: 39.5in (94%)

Sweet baby girl, my prayer for you is that you continue to see the world with the fresh and positive perspective that you have right now.  You take each day and challenge one step at a time.  You overcome obstacles, break down the walls and continue to love unconditionally.  As your mom, everyday when I'm having my own struggles, I think of you. Knowing that someday, you will be a grown woman sitting in the same place I am and I hope some of the things that I struggle with as a woman in the workplace and in this world, you don't have to.  I'm so thankful that you are my daughter and I pray that our relationship continues to grow each and everyday.

Happy number three, Maddie!!! 

(well, this is a tad your birthday was July 4...but life is crazy and you'll learn that soon enough!)

Saturday, July 29, 2017


I sat in the hospital room on July 21, 2016, as we were getting ready to take Mikey home.  It had been a LONG few days.  Getting up early to get to the hospital on July 19, having our sweet boy and then spending a night in the NICU, finally having his siblings meet and hold him....Jimmy and I were sitting there with our new little bundle of joy.  I looked at him and said "can you believe this time next year that we are going to have a ONE, THREE and FIVE year old?".

And here we are now on July 29, 2017.  Charlie is going to be FIVE years old on Monday.  Maddie turned THREE on July 4 and our sweet little baby that was 9lbs on the dot when he made his way into the world, turned ONE on July 19 and weighs a whole 23lbs.

And you know what?  I can't believe how this last year flew by.  But I also can't believe how our sweet family just feels so right.  And how this sweet baby boy brought so much happiness to our family.  

I have this weird feeling of being completely overjoyed with happiness and then completely overwhelmed about three different times a day.  HA.  Totally normal, right?  I think that life with three kids and two full time jobs will do that to you.

So here I go.  Ready to finally blog about my three sweet baby's birthdays.  And relishing all the feelings I had when this picture was taken last July.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thursday confessions...

Ok I finished Mikey's 10 month blog onto his 11 month (need to finish up) and then start on Maddie's THREE year old post (she turns three on Tuesday)!!  And then Mikey's ONE YEAR.  And then Charlie's FIVE YEAR. babies.

Anyways, I haven't blogged in FOREVER about random stuff and not sure when I will again because life is busy, but here we go.

Linking up with Sparkles & Lattes today.

  • Totally haven't had sugar for a week and was so good ---- treated myself (and the kids, really) tonight to shaved ice and it was SO good
  • Traveling to Chicago is BLAH.  Had to do it again this week for work and while the weather was nice, the flight is's still BLAH and I'd rather be at home with my peeps and going into our KC office.  Ok there, I said it.
  • We got a new cable provider and now we have all the premium channels - and while I rarely watch TV, I have started watching The Affair on Showtime on demand because I read an article about the show's writer as a working mom and "having it all" and she intrigued me and so then I decided to watch the show - it kind of reminds me of Big Little Lies so far --- not really, but kind of.  I want to know what happens but don't have time for these episodes every night!!!  But I do love that one of the doctor's from Chicago Med (ok, I do watch that show on DVR) is on there!
  • I took off last Friday to buy everything for my kiddo's birthday party's this next month - I did and bought a bunch of the random Party City stuff for favors (for big kids) and told myself I'm DONE.  That's it.  But you guys - I have issues and just can't.  Mainly because there were some REALLY easy DIY projects that I can do that my kids and their friends will love.  So yes, I'm taking all that favor stuff back to Party City and we are DIY-ing some light sabers with pool noodles AND DIY-ing princess wands.  Not sure when I will do that, but since I'm combining Charlie and Maddie's birthday parties...what the heck, right?  Jimmy is annoyed....but I can't help myself to a nice little DIY project
  • However....I will confess I am NOT going all out for Mikey's party (sorry bud!).  Just a nice little family BBQ for his first birthday celebration....that's allowed, right?
  • I go back and forth like every hour between the two mentalities "I'm SO tired, I should just chill out and stop doing everything" to "I LOVE MY JOB, I LOVE DOING BEACHBODY AND I LOVE MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS --- I WILL GIVE 150% TO ALL OF THEM" #crazylady #seriously #butstilltired #thatiswhatcoffeeisfor
  • My family (aka Jimmy and I) have an online shopping problem - even our neighbors said something to me last weekend about how we ALWAYS have boxes on our porch #oops
Ok - I think that's all for now.  What do you got for me today?  Something you need to get off your chest?  For some reason, that felt good to get off my chest (even though I'm guessing literally no one reads my blog anymore haha!!).  Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

10 months of Mikey Carter!

Oh Miguel.  10 months old.  

I'm incredibly behind on your monthly updates.  I have actually had SOME thought about your first birthday party - I promise.  Ok, kind of.  I'm going to order the invite this week.  I promise.  And you can ignore the fact that you turned 10 months old 17 days ago (ok 17 days ago when I WROTE this....but it's now over a month now since I hit publish.....).  EEEEKKK.  But what I can promise you sweet boy, while your monthly progress on the blog hasn't been kept up to date in quite as timely as a manner as your brother and sister might have been, you have been loved on just as much and I would argue EVEN more.  Why?  Because not only are me and your dad loving on you, but your siblings are OBSESSED with you.  Still.  Which is good news because you're turning into quite the little man and fight/play/steal/"talk" back to them and they still like you - so YEAH!


  • Two months of crawling has made you like a pro.  Ha.  You are EVERYWHERE.  
  • Pulling up on everything
  • Don't kill me ---but I *THINK* this is the month that you got your first teeth - been a long time coming for sure, but those two little guys on the bottom popped through!
  • You moved up to pretty much all 12 month clothes this month as we busted out the summer gear for warmer weather.  I love seeing you in Charlie's old onesies and clothes - makes me all nostalgic!
  • Size 4 diapers still but I think your dad changed to size 5 on subscribe and save
  • You still were taking 3, 8 ounce bottles at day care during the day + eating breakfast, lunch AND a snack there.  You are quite the little food lover!  I can barely keep my milk supply up!
  • Speaking of food - you will pretty much eat and try everything.  You have your favorites - love turkey, black beans, cheese and all breakfast food (eggs, waffles, pancakes, french toast).  You fit just right in our family because we are breakfast LOVERS.
  • You kicked off month number 10 with a bang - April 20 you FINALLY got tubes.  Oh man, it was a long time coming and you did great.  We spent the day at home together and after one day you were sleeping better and feeling great.  You did have one ear infection right after and at the two week follow up you had to get the gunk sucked out (HORRIBLE if you have ever had to do as a parent watching your kiddo!), but after that and the steroid drops, you have been golden.  AHHH!!!  Love tubes. 

Things you like:

  • Still love your milk - from the boob or bottle - you don't discriminate!
  • You love crawling around and finding random toys to play with - as long as they are not tiny legos (which we have a TON of those!), we're ok
  • You LOVE balls.  Soccer balls, baby balls
  • Bath time with your siblings.  You could sit in there forever splashing around.  You don't even seem to mind when Maddie pours tons of water on your head.
  • Love playing in the play kitchen and opening up/closing the fridge and oven doors
  • You love playing peek a boo too - the little giggle is just AHHH.  Melts my heart
  • You have found the beer fridge and you like it 

Things you don't like:

  • Getting set on the ground when you're in a bad mood - but sometimes mama needs two hands and you are HEAVY!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Still not a fan of screaming in our house....Maddie tends to do that a lot

Special memories:

  • Celebrated your cousin's, Jay, first birthday party!  It was an awesome fiesta - you boys + George (Jay's cousin) are all within a few months of each other and we decided we need to bring this picture out at your high school graduation!!!
  • Went up to Lawrence to hang out with your bud Calvin - you guys were a riot together and he had lots of cool toys! (insert pic from May 7)
  • Went to your second Royal's game - but this one was at the Hall of Fame suite with mom's work - that's the way to roll!
  • Celebrated our first Mother's Day together - I am so lucky to be your momma, sweet boy!  And your siblings - you guys are just the best.  

A note to our sweet boy:
TEN months doesn't seem like that's possible.  You are seriously the happiest little man and we love having you as a part of our family.  Your siblings love you SO much that they keep asking for another baby (HA) - probably because you're so great.  Even Ms Marie constantly reminds me of how awesome and sweet you are and she should know with all the kiddos she has taken care of.  Your skin is so soft and you smell so good - two things I wish I could bottle up and keep with me forever as a reminder of this short time in your life as a baby.  Your first year is coming to a close and you are doing more "big kid" things than I would like to admit.  I love it and hate it because I love seeing your personality emerge more and more and see you learn and have fun with your friends/siblings, but I'm already like WHERE DID MY BABY BOY GO?  And looking at your siblings and how they have grown so quickly, I know that feeling will continue.  Can't wait for the fun and excitement of seeing all your new skills and tricks to come in the next few months!

We love you!
Mom & Dad


Charlie | Maddie | Mikey 10 month comparison pic!

hahahah these kids!!

Other fun pictures from the month too!

Love me and my baby boy!

His brother LOVES him so much.

Grana and Pops with grandkid #11 and 12!

Oh MADDIE. She sure gives you a run for your money!

While he's been a good sleeper - he does have some early morning wake ups and he doesn't mind hanging with mom while she works out!

These three are always up to SOMETHING.

I have been traveling at least once a month for work and it kills me to be away from them.  While dad holds down the fort, coming home to these three is so sweet!

We did Noah's 5K - despite the cold and rain and we all survived!

He's like "mom, you're crazy!"

THESE TWO = TROUBLE.  I just love watching their relationship!


STANDING UP one day!!!!!!!!!!!

Flexing with his mama.

Ergo and loving that beer with his dad!

And...while he's mostly really happy....there are ALWAYS moments like these because of #teeth #tummyissues #younameit  But I still love him when he's angry!