little moments lately

Every week seems to go by faster than the last, and sometimes I feel like I’m just rushing from one item on my to-do list to the next. Despite all the craziness, I really try to pause and take in these precious moments with my babies- their sweet smell, precious smiles, and contagious laughter.

Just a few recent moments that I don’t want to forget…

… Kaya watching Frozen while cuddling her Lambie (and laughing SO hard when Anna and Elsa simultaneously say “choooocolate!”)_MG_5034

…car seat naps (generally the only way she’ll nap without being in my arms!)_MG_5218

… being so excited to start wearing Christmas jammies!
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(like I said… SO EXCITED!)_MG_5117

… reading to her ginormous panda!
_MG_5221… and taking every pillow and stuffed animal off of her bed to make a pile in the middle of the floor and read every book she owns! (she’s also figured out that the step stool gives her access to countertops, lightswitches, etc.,  so it goes pretty much everywhere with her!)_MG_5184 _MG_5185

… having a free morning when we didn’t have to rush anywhere and could just cuddle and goof off!Processed with VSCOcam with a7 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset … all her funny faces!Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

… puppy cuddles!Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset … my chocolate-chip muffin monster!_MG_5194… how much they love cuddling up in my bed (and how often Kaya pretends she’s asleep)!
_MG_4990… afternoon snuggles/naps with my littlest love.Processed with VSCOcam with a7 preset… sitting up in the stroller like a big girl!Processed with VSCOcam … just being together. I love these two sweeties, no matter how little sleep they let me have. They are more than worth it!Processed with VSCOcam with lv02 preset

that weekend we actually left the house

We actually got out of the house this weekend (our normal lately is just lounging around and trying to catch up on sleep)! I figured I’d write this down so that our kids reading this in the future will see that we did something fun every once in a while! ;)

We kicked the weekend off right with this amazing crumb cake I made for seminary’s Friday breakfast! No kidding, it was pretty much perfect as far as coffeecakes go.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetFriday night, we had a family date to Red Robin, and then headed to Target for a couple of needed items. While we were there, I checked out the toddler girls’ clearance, and got super lucky- lots of 3T and 4T items, most at 70% off! Those sizes sound so big to me now… but I know Kaya will be wearing them before we know it. 70% off seems even better when you know you’ll get double the use out of them!

Saturday morning started out with the Mother Goose Club! We really only let Kaya watch shows on Saturdays lately, and it seems like she’s catching on… she asked for her favorite song almost as soon as she woke up!_MG_5214Later that afternoon, we went to a friend’s birthday party! Kaya had a ton of fun driving his Jeep around (except she couldn’t quite figure out how to push the gas pedal hard enough, so it was mostly a mommy-powered ride)!
Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetShe visited with puppies, horses, and chickens. She even enjoyed some lollipops, cupcakes, and wagon rides! It was a great time.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Sunday was church, of course, and an amazing 2.5-hour nap for me. I’m spoiled and so grateful for a husband who’s willing to watch Kaelyn so I can get some extra rest (even though I know he’s so tired, too)!

sisters

I had no idea my heart would melt like it does when I see my two girls together.

The only thing better than hearing your baby laugh is hearing both of your babies make each other laugh.

These pictures say more than I ever could with words, but I love the way they absolutely adore each other.

11062014collage1 - Copy _MG_4971 _MG_4970 _MG_4631 _MG_4630_MG_4974I know they won’t always want to hold hands, cuddle, or give kisses, but I hope they always look out for each other. My midwife once told me “a sibling is the greatest gift you can give your child”, and seeing them together now, I know just how true that is.

grace

On this day one year ago, we found out our little Peanut would join our family.

Today, I can’t stop thinking about how extremely blessed I feel to have her here with us.

We actually didn’t find out we were pregnant until about 6 weeks in. Although I just felt pregnant early on (hello morning sickness!), we thought there was no way a baby could’ve even existed, because in the first few weeks, I had symptoms that I now know were consistent with subchorionic hemorrhage.

Seeing our Peanut on ultrasound for the first time revealed that she was three weeks older than we originally thought. She was there through all those scary symptoms. She survived what could have had a very different ending.

And that’s why her middle name is Grace.

We had a few more worries throughout our journey (including having extra ultrasounds to check her growth when I continued to measure small, and another to check fluid levels), but I felt comforted the entire time. All through my pregnancy with her, I felt our Heavenly Father’s loving and guiding hand. Just having her here feels like an extra-special, miraculous gift from Him.

This little girl can light up a room with her smile. She is the definition of positivity and brightness every single day, and I’m so grateful to call her mine.

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november 2014 goals

Even though I’m pretty late posting again this month, I’m happy to report that I was 100% awesome and completed all the goals on my October list:

1. Take family pictures.

2. Keep working on my abs.

3. Make Halloween costumes.

On to November!
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1. Abs abs abs… (will this be on my list forever? the gap has healed a TON but is still there for sure…)

2. Finish the quilt (I told my mom-in-law to make me just sit down and do it when we’re there for Thanksgiving, so there is absolutely no excuse)!

3. Make turkey/Thanksgiving/festive shirts for my girls!

4. Donate one bag of clothes/items we aren’t using.

5.Get photos printed for the wall.

friday favorites: baby shower style!

Thursday night, Brittany, Bianca and I threw a baby shower for Katherine! We’ve been planning this party for a while, and I was so excited to see it all finally come together (and celebrate our sweet friend and her little baby BOY)!

Can you guess what my main responsibility was? CUPCAKES, of course! We went with an orange and aqua color scheme, so I made some pretty swirled icing on both homemade funfetti and classic chocolate cupcakes. Seriously… that funfetti recipe might be what I use for my birthday cake for the next 20 years. It was that good!
Processed with VSCOcam with a5 presetKaya and I baked the day away (well, I baked, and she taste-tested, read books, and had her Kitty and Sheep nearby to keep her company)! I love having two little girls in the kitchen with me._MG_4981We ended up making WAY too much food… I snapped this picture before the chips, dip, and veggies were even put out! We now know that we could probably feed a whole army… but this was too much food for just a dozen or so ladies.Processed with VSCOcam with a8 preset We came up with these adorable, super-easy finger sandwiches: cut a baguette in half lengthwise. Spread Caesar dressing over each half. Lay down slices of Swiss cheese, lettuce, turkey, and Roma tomatoes. Insert toothpicks and cut into sections. Ta-da!Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetWe played some games- and I even won the make-a-baby-name-from-the-parents’-names game… “Meerkat” had everybody laughing!

I’m so lucky to call these girls my friends! (photo credit to Katherine for this one!)
Processed with VSCOcam with a8 presetWe can’t wait to meet baby Meerkat! :)

trick-or-treating at the mall 2014

On Halloween day last year, we went trick-or-treating at the mall. It was perfect for a toddler- quick, easy, and weather-proof, so I knew we’d want to do it again this year. Unfortunately, it poured down rain that evening, so everyone in the valley had the same idea. It was super crowded, but I think Kaya still enjoyed herself!_MG_4918 _MG_4919 She already knew how the whole getting-candy system worked since we had just had our church trunk or treat a few days prior._MG_4921 _MG_4923 We met up with my brother Karl! Kaya actually let him carry her around for a while._MG_4929 This little puppy sat in the stroller the entire time… which made it really hard to get a decent picture of her… but these are still too cute to not share!_MG_4924 _MG_4926 _MG_4931 We came home, had a lollipop, and kicked back and relaxed (or Kaelyn did, at least…)_MG_4936 _MG_4940 “Show me your candy!”_MG_4941Love my little puppies. Love the holidays. Love that we get to do it all together.

trunk or treat 2014

Tuesday night was our church Halloween party! I was so excited to finally reveal our costumes and take Kaya trick-or-treating, especially since she could actually understand what was going on this year.

We decided to dress up as… (drumroll please)… 101 Dalmatians! Cruella, Jasper, and just two of the 99 Dalmatian puppies! :) Our costumes were a conglomeration of my own handiwork, a few things we already owned, and a couple items bought on the cheap (aka eBay)!
_MG_4769We loaded up our trunk with a lot of stuffed “stolen” puppies. I stayed to pass out candy with Kaelyn while Michael took Kaya from car to car to fill up her bucket.
_MG_4767 My little helper came back to sit with me after she’d been to most of the cars and it started to get dark._MG_4783Jeff and Lelia had some awesome Hunger Games costumes!
_MG_4791 Of course, we two awesomely-clad ladies had to have a picture together (and yes, this is the best Cruella face I could make… dahling!)_MG_4789 There were carnival games inside after trick-or-treating, but Kaya wasn’t too into them. There were a lot of people and she was hungry and tired so we didn’t push her to do much. They did have an awesome photo booth on stage and we loved getting a great picture of the four of us!2014-10-28_214317-2 - Copy

By the end of the night, Kaya was pretty pleased with her candy stash, and Kaelyn was ready for bed (and still not a fan of her costume)!
_MG_4795We came home exhausted but so grateful we get to share these days with our little ones. Happy Halloween!!!

kaelyn: 4 months

(written October 30th)

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Height: 25 inches (78%)
Weight:
12 pounds 4 ounces (20%)
Head circumference: 16 inches (41%)
Clothing size: Still mostly 0-3 month onesies, although jammies are getting small (and some 3-6 month ones fit with room to grow). A few of her newborn onesies still fit and we’re still in 0-3 month pants.
Eyecolor: Blue? Sometimes I’m not so sure, and I guess that means they might be changing.
Nursing: Usually every 2 to 2.5 hours, but I can stretch it to 3 or so if we’re out running errands, etc. Sometimes she’ll start getting verrrry fussy when she’s eating and 99% of the time it’s due to gas or a burp!
Favorite things: She is pretty much the happiest baby ever… she loves when we sing, tickle her, dance, and snuggle. She’s also a fan of warm baths, diaper changes, and being naked.
Dislikes: Gas pains, getting buckled into the car seat, and being on her tummy.
Sleep: I’m not even really sure what to write here, because the only consistent thing about her sleep pattern is that it’s inconsistent! Earlier in the month, she was doing great and only waking up once at night… but it was short-lived. She goes down for the night around 7:30 or 8 pm, sleeps until about 11 or 12, and then wakes up 2 or 3 times between then and 5 or 6 am, depending on the day. I’ve tried doing a “dream feed” before Michael and I go to bed, but it doesn’t really seem to make a difference in how often she wakes up. I love seeing her adorable little face any time, but getting up every couple hours is honestly a little hard on this mama. Somehow we get through it and keep going! By morning time, I usually have no idea how many times or when exactly I was awake the night before (probably because I keep falling asleep in the chair with her).

She usually will pass out in her seat in the morning and then again in the afternoon, if we’re at home. She’s taken two naps in the crib so far, but we’ve been out of the house so much lately that I haven’t been able to make it a regular thing. In the afternoon, when Kaya goes down for a nap, I snuggle with Kaelyn in the armchair and we try to get some rest. With cuddles, she’ll sleep for maybe 1-1.5 hours, which is awesome!
Nicknames: Baba, Peanut, and Fuzzy!
Milestones, etc.: -She’s an excellent grabber… just ask my hair! I can leave her on the bed for a moment and she’ll usually grab some of the [clean] laundry or anything else that’s close to her.
-She’s super aware of her hands and fingers, and they can often be found in her mouth._MG_4896 -Squealing! It’s her number one way to communicate, and when she’s happy, everyone knows it!
-Laughing at “situations” rather than just when being tickled. She thinks Kaya is HILARIOUS and started cracking up over her antics one day! If we’re silly enough, she’ll laugh at us, too._MG_4899-Most friends and strangers still  love to say she looks like her mommy… I’m not so sure, but it’s nice to get some credit for baking this little girl in my belly for 9 months! Haha.
-She has LEG ROLLS. Seriously! My little 5-pounder has grown so much! I love how babies chunk up at this age! :)_MG_4908-She’s starting to discover her toes… usually just during diaper changes when I’m holding up her legs, but I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s eating them on a regular basis.

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Dear Kaelyn,

Your smile could brighten anyone’s day, and when we go anywhere, people make it a point to tell me how beautiful you are. I kiss your chunky little cheeks all day, every day, and I still can’t get enough of you._MG_4884

You’re becoming your own little person now, and I just love watching you take in the world around you. I love hearing you laugh with your sister. There isn’t any other sound I’d rather have ringing through our home, and I hope you’ll keep laughing together for years to come.

Sweet girl, I love you SO much! I’m so grateful I get to be your mommy. Thanks for being my little cuddle buddy.

Love, Mommykaelynmonth4collage

holidays are even better as a mom

When I was little, we’d walk for what seemed to be miles on Halloween night, eager to collect as much candy as we possibly could. We’d always make at least two trips, and sometimes even a third (very late, very cold) final outing with just my dad.

We exhausted ourselves all in the name of good fun. Every piece of candy was hard-earned and worth it.

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Now, as a mom to one crazy toddler and a tiny baby, it’s safe to say that holidays feel even more exhausting… but they are so much more fun!

This month, I’ve spent hours dreaming up costumes, sewing, and wiggling little arms and legs into them about a hundred times before their completion. The excitement I felt about trick or treating with my munchkins could have rivaled a child’s anxious anticipation of Santa’s visit on Christmas Eve.

As a kid, tiring myself out was worth all the candy I could get… and it’s more than worth it now, too, and not because I get candy (although it’s a good thing Kaya can’t count how many pieces she started out with…), but because I love seeing their joy and excitement.

Last night was our church Trunk or Treat, and we all came home completely exhausted. Kaya had a bucket full of candy, and I had a heart full of gratitude for being able to share these days with my sweet little family.

Holidays are even better as a mom.