baby #3: 28 weeks

Third trimester! I almost can’t believe it. We are so close to meeting our baby girl!28weeksBaby’s size: About 2.5 pounds and 15.75 inches tall! Although, at my doctor appointment this week, my fundal height was measuring a week behind. My OB wasn’t worried- I might just have another very petite baby, like Kaelyn.
Maternity clothes?: Yes for sure!
Gender: Girl!
Symptoms: I’ve got an achy tailbone still, but that’s my own fault for slipping on the stairs last week. My hips are starting to loosen up, but nothing is painful yet.
Sleep: I don’t function well without a nap these days. I’m just grateful my kids still take a nap/rest in their room every afternoon! I’ve also been using my body pillow a lot more, much to Michael’s dismay, since it takes up almost half the bed!
Movement: Yeah… I’m pretty sure this kid never sleeps. Hopefully she gets it all out of her system now and is a calm, good sleeper when she arrives!
Cravings: Pepper Jack cheese and cookies. I feel like I have the most random cravings this pregnancy!
What I miss: Nothing really!
Anything making you queasy or sick?: I’m feeling pretty good this week, just a little nausea in the morning.
Belly Button in or out?: Kind of flat…
Exercising?: Ran 23.5 miles, walked 2 miles. Fitbit total: 80,625 steps.
Mood: Sometimes I feel super motivated to work on every project I want to do and get everything done… and then most of the time, I end up feeling too tired to actually finish anything. I’m definitely starting to feel the time crunch as far as having her room ready, hopefully making her a blanket, etc.
Best moment this week: Completing the glucose screening! I’m relieved to have it behind me.
Looking forward to: Visiting with some dear friends this week! 🙂
Big sisters: Kaelyn finally will admit that there’s a baby in my belly! I also forgot to mention it, but Kaya felt the baby kick for real a week or two ago- and she’s still the only one (besides me) that’s felt her! She’s also sure to kiss my belly before bed each night and says “goodnight baby”.
Comparison: 28 weeks with Kaya; 28 weeks with Kaelyn. Despite feeling like my belly is huge this pregnancy, I did some weight comparisons, and I’m actually the smallest I’ve been at this point with any my babies (4 pounds less than with Kaya, and 2 pounds less than with Kaelyn). I’m not sure how that happened, but I’ll take it!

five on friday (07/29)

It’s the final Friday of July… Seriously, where has summer gone?

ONE. We had our last day at the pool this past Friday! As it turns out, management leased our old apartment, and we didn’t find out until we tried to sign into the pool and weren’t on the VIP list, haha! It was a little bittersweet- we love the pool, but we’ll be happy to get a refund check for half of the month’s rent in the mail soon.

TWO. Michael came up with the idea to wash the car for family night on Monday. Any activity that you can do in your swimsuit is an automatic hit- these girls loved it! Kaya was a great helper and loved spraying the car… and herself… and Kaelyn’s face… and me… 🙂_MG_4167 Soapy hands!_MG_4177 Kaelyn mostly played with the water table while Daddy and Kaya worked!_MG_4176

She could not have been more excited when it was finally her turn to try the hose!

THREE. Kaelyn sported her very first pigtails this week! She was delighted when she looked in the mirror and saw how she looked, and has wanted to wear her hair this way every day since._MG_4196_MG_4192

FOUR. My girls have really developed a love for the library this summer, and this week, we brought Daddy along with us! He helped them build this T-Rex puzzle (only to discover that the middle piece was nowhere to be found)! I love these simple family outings.

FIVE. I took the kids with me to my doctor appointment this week, and they were on their best behavior. I’m really thankful (and amazed) that they are generally so quiet and well-mannered in public.

We finished my appointment pretty quickly, so we stopped at the dollar store for some preschool supplies on the way home. I thought maybe there would be a fun treat for the girls there, and we lucked out- we found some Webkinz stuffed animals for $1! I spoiled them and let them each pick two (they have no idea that there’s an online game, but they are good-quality plushes, so we all like them)! We even splurged on some Ring Pops, and I think I chauffeured the two happiest girls in the world home. Every once in a while, it’s fun to “spoil” them and just enjoy their happiness.

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

ben and brittany come to visit

We’ve been able to visit with several family members and friends in this past month! I’m grateful for being able to keep in touch with everyone through the amazing technology we have today, but there is nothing quite like an in-person visit. Ben and Brittany moved to Texas last summer, and they’ve come back to Virginia twice in this past year. They made another trip out to our neck of the woods to visit with us, and I’m so glad they did! The last time we saw them was around Christmas… our group just keeps growing in number!_MG_3833 I loved seeing all of our girls together. They were instant friends who loved having “picnics”, going on pretend walks, and chasing each other around all day long._MG_3837 _MG_3842 I got to take some family photos for them while they were here! Kaya worked really hard to help Caroline smile, and then would dole out marshmallows for her good efforts. She really is the perfect little helper!_MG_3735We really lucked out with good lighting. Guys, this is in my backyard!_MG_3702 There was plenty of Wii Party and ice cream for the adults (and baby-Alice cuddles for me) once the kids were in bed asleep. Before they left, we had a bubble-blowing bonanza on the deck. I think these three girls were in heaven!
_MG_3863 _MG_3866 _MG_3861Watching so many friends move away in these past couple of years has been hard. Having them visit brings a refreshing, nostalgic taste of normalcy, and I am definitely grateful for that.

baby #3: 27 weeks

27weeksBaby’s size: About 15 inches long and just over two pounds!
Maternity clothes?:
 Yes, plus some regular loosely-fitting tops. I’m pretty sure that non-maternity shirts actually make my belly look even bigger, though (see above)!
 Well… clumsiness? Ever since we moved in to our house, I’ve been afraid of falling on the stairs, and this week it finally happened. Luckily, I caught myself after about 4 or 5 steps, but I bruised my tailbone. My hips have been a little sore too, but I think it’s just from falling. Thankfully, baby is just fine (and I’ve got a definite grip on the handrail every time I go up or down the stairs now)!
 Good-quality when I’m sleeping, but we stay up too late as usual. I’m napping all the time lately.
She had a few days where she just didn’t seem as crazy… but lately, she’s made up for it by never stopping her dance party! I’ve been genuinely shocked by how strong her kicks can be! Sometimes, it even feels a little uncomfortable. This princess has some tough feet!
Whipped cream. I feel like that’s an odd craving to have, but I want to put it on everything sweet.
What I miss:
Nothing really!
Anything making you queasy or sick?:
I’ve had a good bit of nausea this week. My own morning breath can turn my stomach, and by dinnertime, I’m usually feeling sick again. It is what it is, so I try not to complain. I also seem to get shaky easily still.
Belly Button in or out?:
Ran 22.6 miles, walked 4.2. Fitbit total: 93,004 steps.
Loving all her movements and just trying to enjoy this time, because I know it’s going to go so fast!
Best moment this week:
 Enjoying so much time at the pool with my family! 🙂
Looking forward to:
Really working on the girls’ room and getting started on the nursery.
Big sisters: Kaya keeps asking me if my baby can come out in September (I think she wants to share a birthday month)! She will also sometimes tell me that she can’t eat a certain food because “her baby doesn’t like that” (she sometimes has a pretend baby in her belly, and other times, her baby has apparently already come out)! Kaelyn sometimes touches my belly with interest, but I’m not sure she really understands that there’s a real baby in there.
27 weeks with Kaya; 27 weeks with Kaelyn.

five on friday (07/22)

ONE. We’ve been soaking up our time at the pool this week (and unfortunately, my shoulders have soaked up a little too much sun… it’s hard to sunscreen your own back)! Humidity has ranged from 97-100% every day, so going swimming is a great break from the heat. These two sweeties love playing together and would stay at the pool all day long if I let them.

Kaya loves “swimming” in the big pool. Two-foot-deep water probably seems as vast as the ocean to her right now!

Kaelyn loves to practice “kicking” in the water while I hold her and spin her around, but she spends most of her time pouring water in and out of her buckets.

TWO. Suddenly, my baby seems so grown up. She finally figured out how to blow real bubbles (instead of just putting her mouth on the wand), and even insisted on using the big-kid swing instead of the baby one yesterday. As of these past couple of days, we’re also really close to being completely done with nursing. Seriously… all these milestones all at once!

THREE. We did the letter “i” for preschool this week, so we’ve enjoyed a lot of ice cream-themed crafts and some “ice science“. They absolutely loved this activity, and I really love seeing my kids learn.

_MG_4144 FOUR. Photography business has been so good this summer. I’m feeling really blessed (especially with the upcoming expenses associated with having a new baby soon), and I’m excited to see where my business might be six months or a year from now. My priority in this stage of life is being the best mom I can be to my kids, but I do enjoy using my talents and being able to do something I really love on the side.

Michael also took an updated headshot for me. He’s getting pretty good with the camera, too!_MG_4114-2 - Copy

FIVE. All this swimming, playing, learning, and working wears us out fast! Kaelyn had a hard time staying awake on the way home from the pool, and when I got her out of her seat, she rested her head on me and wrapped her little arm around my neck. I live for these small moments.

Hopefully, we all get some good rest this weekend, because this is what it’s been looking like around here! (Kaya is totally pretending, although she has been tired, but Kaelyn was legitimately asleep in this picture!)

Happy weekend!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

fourth of july weekend 2016

I know… how long ago was the Fourth of July? I’m always behind, but these are things I don’t want to forget, so here we go!

We kicked off the long weekend in the best way possible on Friday morning- with some pool time! My girls love playing with their buckets and rubber ducks and would probably do it all day long if we could. Of course, they do love taking a little break to have lunch in the shade.

This little goofball wearing my sunglasses still cracks me up!IMG_20160701_125329-01 On Saturday morning, I enjoyed an awesome 7.5-mile run. I really felt great the entire time, which I especially relish these days- you just never know when pregnancy is going to throw you an achy ligament or make it feel like you need to pee for 5 miles.IMG_20160702_100157-01 Mom and Dad Irwin arrived right around noon! Dad and Michael immediately started work on some house projects, including adding new posts to the deck! They finished it in just a few hours. I was both grateful and impressed!_MG_3450 Because they couldn’t make it up for Kaelyn’s birthday party the previous weekend, they had a few gifts to give her. Everyone gets excited about Daniel Tiger books!_MG_3458 _MG_3459 These Duplos were also a big hit. I’m honestly impressed with the things my little girls can build!_MG_3461 Sunday afternoon brought naps and more block-building fun…_MG_3468 … and we somehow managed to convince Michael to make some square shooter cookies!_MG_3470Grandma Gina and I played “Trouble” with the girls… but it might have been more trouble than it was worth (see what I did there?) because Kaelyn kept moving the pieces. It was more like a game of “Remember Where All Your Pieces Are, Because They Will Most Definitely Be Moved”! Haha.
_MG_3473 There were daddy-daughter-granddaughter (and guinea pig!) cuddles, along with lots of Wii-playing! 20160703_190111-02 On Monday morning, we got to sleep in until about 7:30! Grandpa Skip loved waking up to a cute little cuddlebug… 🙂_MG_3478 Michael’s parents had to leave around lunchtime to head back home, so we spent the rest of the day enjoying time as just the four of us. Grandma Gina gave the girls these pinwheels (their first ones ever!), so they had a whole lot of fun getting them to spin. Grandma Debbie gave them some matching patriotic shirts, so I think we pretty much mastered American festiveness on the 4th!_MG_3497 _MG_3499 We were invited to a barbecue by some church friends, so after naptime, we headed over there. The weather was on-and-off rainy, so we probably sat outside for .0005 seconds before we had to go in to finish our meal.IMG_20160704_173652She acted grumpy about the food on her plate, but then proceeded to eat two hotdogs. Ah, two year olds.
IMG_20160704_173658Have you ever seen someone more excited about eating in a camping chair?
IMG_20160704_174545 After the barbecue, we headed out to the town fireworks show. We wondered if it would be canceled due to the potential for severe thunderstorms that night, but thankfully, the rain held off until the very end._MG_3507 I surprised the kids with glowsticks (which they absolutely loved) and sparklers (which they were slightly terrified of) while we waited for the show to start!_MG_3509 Kaya actually held one for a few seconds, but overall, she didn’t want to be anywhere near them once they were lit._MG_3510 My intentions were to enjoy the fireworks without taking too many pictures, and I thought I did better at that this year, until I realized how many fireworks photos I have to share. The photography nerd in me just can’t help myself.

Both girls were a little apprehensive of the loud booming at first, but as long as they were snuggled up to us, they were enjoying it.07042016_1The show finished right before a tremendous thunderstorm blew through. We were running to our car and ended up completely soaked to the bone by the time we got there! I’m grateful for the the time we could spend as a family, enjoying the many freedoms we have in this country. We truly are blessed.

a rubber ducky birthday party (kaelyn’s 2nd birthday!)

I’m finally blogging about Kaelyn’s 2nd birthday party! Anytime I take a lot of photos all at once, it seems like it takes me a while to actually go through them all and share them. I definitely snapped a lot of pictures that day (June 25th), in part because I’m still adjusting to the lighting in our new home, so I kept changing my camera settings and trying different things. Many of these photos aren’t perfect, but I’m grateful I have them to remember my littlest’s special day.

Anyway… Grandma Debbie came up to stay with us for a few days, and as seems to be tradition, Kaelyn took a nap on her right before the party! We started our celebrations at 2 pm, so this little catnap was actually very much needed in order to avoid an afternoon meltdown._MG_3257 Kaelyn absolutely loves rubber ducks and gets SO excited anytime she sees one that she has to yell “QUACK!” over and over again. I knew she would be ecstatic with these rubber duck balloons!_MG_3261 Hugs for the ducky!_MG_3264 Uncle Karl and Kaitlyn brought her some more fun balloons when they arrived!_MG_3407This was one seriously happy little girl._MG_3267 I made her cake super simple this year. The only real goals were for it to look like water and have some bubbles and rubber ducks on top._MG_3269 I used this lemon cake recipe (minus the blueberries) with this frosting recipe, which I think pretty much equaled perfection. What’s better than a lemon cake on a summer day? (Not to mention, I almost always make chocolate cake, so this was a nice change!)_MG_3276 _MG_3293 We started the party off with Kaelyn’s favorite food- pizza!_MG_3280 _MG_3282_MG_3283 _MG_3291_MG_3307 Soon it was time to blow out the candle (and she was still in love with her balloons)!_MG_3317 _MG_3314I am so blessed to call these two precious girls mine.
_MG_3325Kaya was extremely excited for the party, and it wasn’t even her birthday! She is definitely looking forward to her own special day in a couple of months._MG_3320 _MG_3329 Kaya ended up helping Kaelyn blow out the candle, because she had absolutely no idea what to do! We completely forgot to “practice” beforehand._MG_3333 Well… this is the best family picture we could get. I kind of think it’s hilarious._MG_3334 She loved her lemon cake!_MG_3345 Everyone had blue lips afterward…_MG_3347After cake, she opened a few gifts.
_MG_3353 _MG_3355 We gave her this VTech Horse Stable that both girls have loved building and playing with together._MG_3357 My mom’s friend, Susan, sent her this stuffed penguin and a couple of books. She loves stuffed animals so much that she snatched it out of the bag as fast as she could, with the biggest grin on her face._MG_3362Uncle Jeff and Auntie Lelia gave her some money for her 529 college fund. It’s definitely something she will appreciate when she’s older!_MG_3360

Grandma Debbie gifted her a rubber duck water table. Obviously, she has absolutely loved this over the past couple of weeks!_MG_3369 After gifts, I tried to get a couple of pictures of her in her birthday outfit, mostly to no avail. She did like standing next to Fallon (Jeff and Lelia’s dog), though._MG_3376 _MG_3380 We had to test out the water table, of course. Everyone ended up getting pretty wet!_MG_3384 _MG_3388 Kaya insisted that she needed her swimsuit… and when she came back out after changing into it, she was still wearing her undies and socks, haha!_MG_3392 We had one happy (and tired) princess at the end of the day. I really think this was the perfect birthday party for her._MG_3398

We love you, Kaelyn!

baby #3: 26 weeks


Baby’s size: Over 14 inches tall and about 2 pounds! Apparently, this is the equivalent of a bowling pin, haha.
Maternity clothes?:
Yes. At the end of the day, I look forward to stealing one of Michael’s big t-shirts for bed. I also got a maternity belt this week to wear while running, and it is awesome. I’ve only used it once so far, but I can’t wait to see how much it helps on longer runs next week.
 My face has been breaking out more… and I had one day where my hips were achey, but only while I was lying down. I used my body pillow (but only for the second time this whole pregnancy)!
 I’m napping whenever I can and still having crazy dreams. I’m really just tired a lot, but that’s to be expected.
Seriously… does she ever sleep? I have been amazed this week at how strong she’s getting. She’s kicked me hard, and I very distinctly felt her foot against my hand a few nights ago. I also think she has turned… maybe not completely head down, but I’m feeling a lot more kicking high up in my belly. I absolutely love waking up to her wiggles in the morning and find it funny when she seems to “dance” to the radio.
Double chocolate muffins and pizza.
What I miss:
Nothing really!
Anything making you queasy or sick?:
I’ve been feeling good this week, for the most part! I even used Italian salad dressing for the first time in ages (although it might just be the Kroger-brand dressing that my stomach dislikes)…
Belly Button in or out?:
Ran 24.2 miles; walked 2.2 miles. My longest run was 6 miles. Fitbit total steps: 94,154.
Happy! It’s starting to feel real that we’ll really be holding a baby girl in a few months. Sometimes, it feels like I have FOREVER left to be pregnant- it just seems like I’ve already been waiting to meet her for so long! Other days (usually when I’m adding things to my pre-baby to-do list or realizing that summer is more than halfway over), it feels like she’ll be here in no time at all!
Best moment this week:
Spending time with Ben and Brittany and holding their new baby girl!
Looking forward to:
Getting some painting done this week!
Big sisters: Kaya always tells me that the baby is kicking her hand, but I’m still the only one who has actually felt her move. Kaelyn seemed to notice my big belly for the very first time this week, too!
26 weeks with Kaya; 26 weeks with Kaelyn.

five on friday (07/15)

We’ve had a fun week over here, and I have a million things to catch up on and blog about… but today I have a nice, simple, Five on Friday to share!

ONE. We’re right in the middle of our typical stormy season here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which means very hot and humid mornings, followed by big thunderstorms in the afternoons. We’ve been trying to get outside and enjoy the sunshine while we can! These girls love their matching sunglasses!_MG_3915

TWO. I’m very much enjoying having a screened-in back porch and a hammock! The girls can play with their water table, and I can rest for a few minutes (just don’t ask me how hard it is for me to actually get out of the hammock at 6.5 months pregnant, haha)!_MG_3920

THREE. This little girl is always cracking me up. She loves to help me put each item back in my makeup bag as I finish with it, and lately, she wants to try and put some on, too._MG_3928

PSA: This is the new way to curl your lashes.

She also “nurses” her piggy, and even tells him “switch” when it’s time to nurse on the opposite side…

… and somehow, she’s now old enough to know how to use scissors! She was actually cutting paper this week. Where on earth did my little baby go?!_MG_3887

FOUR. For all their lives, the girls have taken their naps in separate bedrooms. Now that I’ll need another room for the baby, I really wanted to transition them into the same room. There have been a lot of shenanigans instead of sleeping, leading to long afternoons and cranky kids, but after a week of trying it, I think they’re finally adjusting.

I think I’ll always think they look like angels when they’re sleeping, no matter how old they get.

FIVE. Kaya got a letter in the mail from her BFF Mia! She could not have been any more excited! This made her day, and she has been carrying the card around, taking it in and out of the envelope over and over again. Now it’s our turn to mail something back! 🙂_MG_3896

Happy weekend!

Linking up here!

the kid behind the blog (july 2016)

I just love these question-and-answer link-ups. You never know what kids will say! It’s fun to get a glimpse into Kaya’s thoughts, and I can’t wait for the day that Kaelyn can join in on the fun._MG_3772What 2 things do you like to do outside in the summer?
Go “wee” on my slide! And go in special puddles. When it’s leaf time I like to splash in puddles.

If you could go anywhere this summer, where would you go and why?
To the temple… because I like going with you guys.

What is your favorite thing about summer?
Ooo I like playing with Baba! But when she’s reading books I don’t play with her, because that would be silly.

If you could pick any way to spend a hot summer day, how would you spend it?
With Mommy, Daddy, Baba and me… in the snow!

What is your favorite summer treat?
Pops. Big pops, like the one with the little cover on it! (she means popsicles!)

Linking up here!