April snippets

sleeping beauty/ tummy time is much better with sisters/ avery's field trip to the perot museum/ picnic with the fake babies of mckinney/ sassy's art was featured in an art show for the district!/ easter pants and onsie/ riding bikes and walking gracie/ those lips


4 months

four months1
Happy 4 months baby Shea.
(This picture is a completely inaccurate take on you at four months because I took them like 2 weeks into your fifth month.  I am sorry if this make you feel like your whole life is a lie.  Just know I at least scheduled it for the right date on the blog.  Is that better or worse?  Hard to say)
You are the life of the party.  SO much so, that you really never, ever want the party to stop unless you have been on a pretty tight schedule for days in advance with naps planned in, and you were ready for the naps and breaks.  I really just realized, no offense, that you are a kind of a hard baby.  I know that you won't want to read that later, but maybe it'll make you feel better when you are a little over four months into your fourth kid and you realize you still do not have this baby thing down.  I was so naive and thought that you would just seamlessly fit into our lives and do what we do- ha! I love that.  Now, dont get me wrong, you are so much fun.  Like SO fun.  And if you are held for the majority of the day, you are happy.  Peaceful and happy and sweet and will nap pretty easily.  But, if I am home alone or the kids are getting home and you are tired, you want to be held, and not by a blanket in your bed.  In fact you still can not roll over because you are held so much, haha!  You are probably going to need therapy for all of the constant touching you got as a baby. And putting you to sleep is still a doozy.  Every time I get a little bit stressed.  So, we will try a cry it out someday.  Someday when Jeff is home every night we do it, because I am hopeless and will go in and get you (hence the inability to roll over).
But, you are also the sweetest, sweetest baby.  You just smile and laugh all the time. You laugh at your brothers and sisters so much- it is literally the best thing in the world.  You love to give big open mouth kisses and to sit up.  You hate to lay down, so you are happiest in your bumbo, or sitting with us (duh).
I still, even with all the craziness, you are just my favorite thing.  You are so happy and sweet and I do not want this time to pass and I feel like it just keeps moving even as I grasp with all I can to make it stay.  These are the most wonderfully chaotic and tiring and fun times of my life and I wouldn't trade them for anything except a nap.

Great Wolf Lodge

The weekend before Easter, jeff and joe were going hunting for the weekend, so jennifer and I decided it would be crazy fun to go take our kids to great wolf lodge.  It was insane.  and fun.  and insane.
The kids all did really well, considering, we were more than out numbered and we had two babies under 6 months old, a three year old, two fives and an eight.  The cards were really stacked against us.
But everyone had such a great time and isla was really the only one who stayed up at night!
(win, win for everyone but isla...)
My kids are pretty obsessed with elly, to say the least.
she had probably not been touched so much in her life.
Shea thought she was pretty funny, too.
Elly was a litttttttle skeptical of the whole thing.
Shea wore Avery's old swim suit, and it was pretty much the cutest thing in the world.
This is a side view of Avery wearing it so you cant tell how much they look alike, (and aves is a little older here) but you get the idea.
Unfortunately this is the only pic we got while at the water park (while we were eating, of course).
We also hung out, dressed up, and colored in the hotel; all while looking out our amazing view of the highway.
Overall, it was a crazy, crazy fun filled, and exhausting time.  (But I cant wait to do it again!) Thanks for being on board with my crazy ideas jenn! Heres to next year :)


Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!
We rode our bikes after school and actually got to trade in a bag for a tiny baby tree at one of our very favorite local eateries, Patina Green, downtown.  It was awesome.
We are going to plant our trees in pots and see if we can keep them alive.
Speaking of keeping things alive, meet our new chicks-
Sunshine, Oreo and Rosie.
So far, it looks like Sunshine is in charge.  She is always, always standing.  No matter what time I check on them.  Oreo, on the other hand, is usually laying down.  I dont know if thats because she is Ben's chick and rarely gets a moment to herself, or if she just gets tired easily.  Either way, they are all still alive.
And its been like five days.
I call it a victory.
As we speak, Jeff and Ben are killing flies with Felipe's salt gun, feeding them to the chicks and watching them run and chase each other to try and get it from the one who has it.  Hilarious.
And, in honor of Earth day, here are some pics of my flower children after playing in Nana's flower shop the other day.
Happy Earth Day!
Keep doing whatever you can to keep her clean and beautiful!



Our lately has been full of matching homemade shirts for shea and I, lemonade stands, Dr. Suess's bday where the kids dressed up as The Cat in the Hat and the worried goldfish in the bowl, Ben's 30th Birthday that was just SO MUCH FUN, sister time, dad and Shea at Ben's soccer practice, being featured on spoonflowers front page (WHAT?!), a sleepover on hilltop, snuggles and new hair cuts with matching outfits.
non stop partying over here.


Shea's Mobile

shea in bed2
When I was pregnant, I asked a few of my crafty friends to make things that I could hang on a mobile for shea to put over her bed.  I also saved some stuff that I had made with my kids or with friends that I knew I could use for the mobile, as well.  I didnt have any specific requirements except that it be a neutral color.  At that time we didnt know if it was a boy or a girl, so that kind of a played a role in what everyone made.
Having homemade and unique pieces from people that I love for her to look at, and to remind me (and her eventually) how many people love her, is one of my favorite things about this mobile. I knew it would be cute because all of my friends are so talented, but I didnt know how neat it would be every time I looked at it.  It is definitely one of my very favorite things.
Lindsay made the rainbow, allison made the cloud, shannon made the cross stitch heart, brooke made the star, julie made the elephants, blair and mel made the pom pom and sassy and I made the hearts.
She just smiles at it every time she is in bed.  She kicks her legs and talks to it.  She loves it so much- it is just the best.
And jennifer made her a cloud with a beautiful rainbow at the bottom that was just so pretty by itself that I framed it and hung it on her wall.
I am going to hang up the hat she came home in and the beautiful rainbow hat brooke made her too. I just haven't gotten around to it yet....
Thank you everyone who gave me the coolest things ever to hang over shea's crib.  I cant tell you what it means to me to look at it every time I am trying to put her to bed. SO so thankful for everyone in our lives and how so many people have given their time and creativity and love to make this transition so much easier.  I am truly blessed with the most amazing people in my life and I am so thankful my kids get to experience them too.


Bike Gang

I have no idea when kids are supposed to learn how to ride bikes without training wheels.  We are not the most athletic of families, so we never really pushed it.
Then, one day Ben asked to take his off and the rest is adding baby bike seats-biking to dinner- riding around the neighborhood kind of history.
There have only been a few near death experiences so far.  We call that a win (win win).


Is it april already?

Hello, 2014.  I know you did not just get here, but it seems like I have not been able to lift my head to see you until recently.  
It has been a head down, baby growing few months, and I think I have done nothing but look at shea and smile/cry/pray/laugh/pump and feed people for 4 months.  It has been the most fun and draining time of my life.
When I first have a baby, and I know that not everyone feels this way, but for me, it is bliss.  It is a drug that I can not get enough of and it keeps me higher than high for about 4 weeks.  I am ridiculously happy and excited and everything is illuminated in a new light.   Then, in week 5-ish, it gets a little hairier.  Babies start sleeping less and being awake more.  And dont get me wrong- I love this transition so much.  I love those bright eyes, even in the dead of night. But just knowing those eyes could possibly choose not close even though I am giving it my best college try, gets me stressed.  Shea would let me get into a routine putting her to sleep- be it rocking her with a paci, or swaddling and putting her down awake, or feeding her to sleep- and then decide she was bored with that. She would then need a new routine made for her for a few days, or a week, and once I felt like we had gotten that down, she would change her mind again.  Nothing if not constantly second guessing her direction in life and needing a new venue with the same people.
Dont I know.
I would be remiss not to mention, also, that Jeff has changed jobs three times since we moved here.  
Needless to say, its been a little bit of a ride into our post residency family of 6 life.
But, man, the good days have been so so good.
(Not every minute or job change or late night cry fests).
But this has been a year of newness and changing perspectives.  My kids are grown up. It is constantly blowing my mind.  They do everything on their own.  We ski together as a family and everyone skis.  We ride bikes together as a family and everyone rides.  We go eat dinner and everyone can order for themselves (I mean, obviously not everyone).
I will not for much longer pick up huge dinosaurs and tiny dinosaurs and a million stuffed animals.  It will transition to books and more homework and probably video games or whatever it is the big kids do these days.  I know that I have Shea to pick up after and I am counting on it.  I hope she is naive and young and lets us watch those terribly annoying cartoons that I hate, for a very long time.  But my big kids- they watch big shows.  And do real projects.  And ski entire mountains.  They put away their laundry and they take showers instead of baths.  I drive to practices and answer to mom instead of mommy.
My life, as I knew it, is over.
and 2014 has given me a whole new one.
I have had no plan in store to maneuver this new lifestyle, as you might have guessed.  I am an emotional prepper for things like a new job and new home, and a prepper for outings of the zoo variety (though I forget something every time).  But in mom life, I am not much good at prepping.  It seems like every new stage just knocks me off of my feet and I didnt even know it was coming.
This has been one of those times. The independence of my kids paired with the complete dependence of my newborn is the most incredible juxtaposition of new life and old merged into one.  I am so thankful to be able to see the future and the past, often, in the very same instant.
Since diving into this new momness, I have forgotten to take pictures or document very many moments, because, when I am not rinsing pump bottles or picking up blankets off the floor to wash or searching for soccer cleats, I really am just so caught up in the moment itself.  It is so freeing and so fun, but I do love to document.  Before, I thought I was taking pictures because whatever they were doing was so beautiful or fun or sweet that I had to see it again right that instant, not because I thought I would ever forget it.  I thought every moment, weighed with so much importance, would be ingrained into my head and heart forever.  Now, I look up at avery and realize all the moments that I have forgotten- not because they weren't important, but because as a new moment arises, the old moments get pushed farther and farther back in my mind.  This time around I know better that every stage is only a blink, and that before I know it, I will look up and see an 8 year old out of the corner of my eye doing her homework instead of sleeping in her carseat.
I am ready 2014. It may have taken me four months to really see what was going on, but I think I am finally (getting) ready. 


Potty Party!

We really do like to celebrate always. 
When Ella was one, I threw her a Ponytail Party. It was a big day in my mommy world and I thought it should be celebrated. I never threw McKenna a ponytail party because life was just too busy at the time but I always said to myself that I would give her a potty party when the day came. So excited to say that we had the best Potty Party this weekend! We loved celebrating our big girl.
 I made some fun shirts on my silhouette and heat pressed them.
We hosted small group on Sunday so we just turned it into a Potluck Potty Party. What made it even better was that McKenna's sweet friend Camdyn decided to ditch the diapers too so we made it a joint party and it was so fun!
The girls are now pros at wrapping a house. They got such a kick out of throwing toilet paper in the trees. My neighbor came out as we were doing this and I tried to explain that it was decor for our potty party. He didn't get much of a kick out of it. (every potty has a pooper)

I had so much fun with this party and I was cracking myself up with the potty humor. 
(I ordered the potty mug and potty candy favors from Amazon.)
I made a potty pianta out of two boxes and an old basket that I cut the bottom out of. McKenna helped me glue tissue paper squares to it. I filled it with candy and made it the prize potty for the kids when they won a game. 
We played Diaper Ditch by throwing water filled diapers in the trash can. 
Camdyn was hands down the winner for this game. She got all three diapers in on the first try. What a natural. 
Each kid got to pick an adult to wrap them in a roll of toilet paper. Adam and Harper won this one. He had Harper spin in circles real fast as he wrapped her. Genius. 
The kids could color and decorate a boy/girl bathroom sign and make flowers or kazoos out of toilet paper rolls. 
After dinner we sang Happy Potty Party to the girls. (McKenna did think she was 4 yrs old when she woke up today. Haha!)
Appropriate colors for the cake, hehe.  (I should grow up)
Then the kids did the potty dance and entertained us all. 
McKenna ended the night with her head in the potty and woke up feeling great today. That girl sure knows how to potty like a rockstar. 
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