Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sidewalk Chalk Image Crusher

A few weeks ago, the girls and I made some fantastic sidewalk chalk art.  I traced Kyndall, Kyndall traced Libby, and Libby traced me.  That's Libby on the left, Kyndall in the middle, and Big Mama on the right.  There's nothing like having your child trace you in chalk to KILL whatever body image you've got going. Fun times =)

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Heart Fall.....And Especially Pumpkin Patches

We have a tradition.  (Ok, we have a lot of traditions, but this is our 'fall' one.)  Every October, for the past six years, we take a trip to a semi-local pumpkin patch with our friends.  We've visited Tate Farms, 4D farms, Gullion farms, and Lyon Family farms.  We pick our pumpkins, take our requisite photos, play, and just enjoy the day together.

Here we are last year at Lyon Family farms.

And the year before at Gullion Farms.

Previous years' photos were not digital and could not be located for this post.  I've really got to get a better handle on photo organization.

This year, we went to Tate Farms again.  We had a new little one with us--next year should really be an adventure with two little ones who are mobile!

How 'bout that baby bump? :)

The girls each chose a pumpkin from the patch to be carved/painted when we get home.

Libby really wanted a picture of me with Baby Jase sitting on a pumpkin, so there's that....

The kids bounced on the pillow jump, rolled in the corn, and got lost in the hay maze.  We had ice-cold lemonade, cotton candy, and absolutely perfect fall weather.  I couldn't have imagined a better day!

If you don't have the tradition of visiting a pumpkin patch in the fall, I strongly recommend it.  Also, we are always open for suggestions of new patches to visit, so if you know of a place, let me know!

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Baby Essentials (from a "veteran" mom)

When I was pregnant with Kyndall, I thought I needed all the “stuff” to be a good mom.  I registered for, requested, and/or bought all the things:  the diaper pail, the four different diaper bags, several types of bottles (even though I’m a breast-feeding mama).  Libby came so soon after Kyndall that I still had all that stuff…even the useless junk I thought I needed.

This time around, while I’m no Michelle Duggar, I do feel more experienced.  The list of “stuff” that I need is much, much shorter.  I've compiled my list and have come up with 5 new baby must-haves, not including the obvious diapers, wipes, bedding and food (whether breastmilk or formula).

Here we go.

1. Carrier carseat.  Some moms don’t recommend these, but it made my life MUCH easier with the first two.  Drop it in the base as a carseat, use it in the cart at the grocery store, plop it in a chair at a restaurant.

2. An infant carrier.  I had a Jeep brand carrier with the girls, but I’m looking at using a Maya wrap this time.  (I saw a lady using one at the zoo to carry her daughter and it looked super convenient!) 

3. A boppy.  This half-circle-shape pillow made breastfeeding so much easier.  It’s also great when smaller children want to hold the baby.

4.   A medium-sized diaper bag.  I breast-fed both the girls, so I didn't have need to carry lots of bottles.  But even if I had needed to, I don't know what you would carry in those great big bags.  I ordered this bag from Amazon and it is the perfect size for me.  

5.  A swing.  My girls both LOVED this papasan-swing.  It gives the option of swinging side to side or head to toe.  I still have it and I'm hoping Jase loves it as much as they did!

6.  A breast pump.  This one is new to me, but obviously an essential.  I didn't need to pump with either of the girls because I wasn't working, but I will have to this time around.  After lots of research, this is the apparently best on the market.

And in case you are curious about the obvious things you need, we are going with Pampers diapers this time around (because that is, apparently, the 'boy' diaper), this crib/changer combo bed, and hopefully, I'll be nursing again.  I will have to go back to work at some point though, so I'm pretty sure I'll go with these bottles when that happens.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gearing Up for Baby #3

What is it about welcoming a new baby that makes us want to have everything in perfect condition?  Closets clean and organized, baseboards wiped down, paper essentials stocked up.  (Oh, that's just me?  Great!)  I also decided this was the perfect time to spruce up the house--painting, repairing all those little things that needed to be fixed before we moved in two years ago, rearranging my pictures on the walls.  All fun stuff, right?

Max is such a good supervisor =)

I have really been much more relaxed this time around about getting things ready, but I do have a long list of things I want completed.  That list is slowly getting marked off, partly because several of the tasks are not pregnant-woman friendly so they've been outsourced (bless my dad and Justin).

  • Paint nursery.
  • Paint girls room and bathroom.
  • Paint hallway.
  • Paint master bedroom and bathroom.
  • Paint living, dining, kitchen area.
  • Paint fireplace tiles.
  • Replace baseboards as needed.  (Max decided those were better than bones....)
  • Wash down/paint exterior doors.
  • Wash interior doors.
  • Paint master bathroom mirror frames.
  • Paint bookshelf.
  • Baby bedding on bed.
  • Recover cushions on rocking chair for the nursery.
  • Clean out girls' closet.
  • Clean out MY closet.
  • Re-organize the garage.
  • Design canvas to hang over the baby bed.
Next week we are out of school on Monday and Tuesday for Fall Break, and we are having a "staycation."  (You know, where you stay home and pretend it's a vacation?  I'm just trying to make it sound more fun, ya'll.)  Hopefully, I can get a good bit of the pregnant-friendly tasks taken care of over the long weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Our Chosen Family

I love the quote "Friends are the family you choose."  The Johnson's are our chosen family.  Not only are we the best of friends, but our kids are, too!  Harrison and Kyndall are the same age, same grade and Ellis and Libby are the same age, but different grades.  

We were elated to find out that we were expecting baby #3 at close to the same time.  Last week, their family grew.  We welcomed a sweet baby girl, Conlei Eloise.

Isn't she beautiful?  And just absolutely perfect?

She is so very loved.  

I've cherished every second of watching our big kids grow up together and I can't wait to watch Conlei and Jase grow together, too.  What fun years we have ahead of us!