eve’s first food

Eve had her first taste of solid food a few weeks ago! I had to dedicate a post just to this, because there are so many funny and adorable faces that I can’t narrow down the photos.

CHEEKS! She had no idea what was coming!
Her first food was Gerber vanilla custard. I thought maybe she’d like it if we started with something sweet. It was also nice and thick, so it was easy to spoon right in!Of course, she mostly just spit it all out. I’m not sure she swallowed anything for at least the first week of trying food.Cutest little sour face!Because we’re so ambitious, she also tried Cheerios and spaghetti later that same day. She still spit it all out, but she definitely enjoyed the experience of grabbing food and tasting it. Those dimpled little fingers!

my beach-themed 30th birthday!

It’s a snowy day here again, and I realized that I somehow never wrote about my birthday last month, so what better time to reminisce about the beach-themed day we enjoyed?

Just after midnight on my birthday, Michael surprised me by telling me that he was taking the entire day off of work, just to spend it together! Time is really the best gift you can give anybody, and I appreciate his time so much because of how incredibly busy he is. I was also pretty excited that I got to sleep in for an extra half an hour! Kaya and Michael had been planning some secret special activities, so I didn’t want to sleep too long and lose time.

Even the weather felt like a gift to me- it was just perfect for running, and because Michael wasn’t rushing off to work, I wasn’t on a time crunch and could run as long as I wanted. I felt good, so I just kept going, and I ended up with 7.5 miles. I think a long run was definitely the perfect way to start my birthday!

It was a good thing I ran for so long, because it gave Michael, Kaya, and Kaelyn time to put all this together:

I walked into “Irwin Beach”, where there were coloring pages decorating all the walls, streamers, beach-themed music, and Michael finishing making pancakes while wearing his Hawaiian swim trunks. They couldn’t take me to my favorite place in February, so they brought it to me!
They didn’t just make any pancakes, either… these are modeled after my very favorite “Nutella S’mores” pancakes that I have when we go out for breakfast down in Myrtle Beach.Just imagine… Fluffy pancakes, covered in Nutella, whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, chocolate chips, and sprinkles. Mmmm! I ate 1.5 and was so FULL!A couple of little girls were really excited about the sprinkles! This baby girl was just as happy with a tray full of marshmallows!Great post-run fuel, right?Michael had been keeping the rest of the day’s plans a secret, but the girls spilled the beans about us needing our swimsuits shortly after breakfast was over, so I knew we were going to the aquatic center! It took a little while to collect everyone’s necessary suits and towels (we haven’t been swimming since last summer), but it was so worth it when we got there and saw the smiles on the girls’ faces.This was actually our first time going there, and I think Kaya and Kaelyn were equally excited and terrified by the water that would fall from the upper beams. And, as you can see, we were the only ones there besides one other family.The older girls loved going down this crocodile slide! Kaecakes, you crack me up.This was Nella’s first time ever swimming! I can’t believe it took us so long to take her to the pool, but it’s just not as easy as it was with Kaya and Kaelyn, since we had access to a neighborhood pool when they were babies. Nella had the best time, and although the water was a little chilly, she still didn’t want to get out.She was happy as long as she had this big red ball. Kaya had Daddy give her a mini swim lessson, mostly just practicing floating and kicking her legs up and down the short end of the pool. She really wants to learn to swim for real so she can go down that huge water slide in the back (no life jackets are allowed, and parents can’t wait at the bottom to catch their child, either, so she’d need to be completely independent).I love all these baby girls more than I could ever say. This outing had me feeling especially grateful for homeschool, too, because it allowed us to all be together, Kaya included. These are the best days.Michael did have to go and teach his afternoon class, so while he headed off to do that, we all washed up, ate lunch, and had naps. Kaelyn gave me about a thousand sweet homemade cards that she had hidden about a week before my actual birthday. Our sweet new baby girl spent a lot of the day kicking in my belly, which felt like a little gift, too. We ended the day at one of our favorite places- Red Robin!I honestly couldn’t have come up with any better way to spend my birthday. Thirty is looking really great so far.

five on friday (03/16)

It’s late on Friday night, but I just had to squeeze this post in! I have a lot of cute little moments to share and couldn’t pass it up.

ONE. The girls have been putting on these little “costume parades” (in their words) for us lately. The most popular version of the parade is “Frozen”, and while Kaya and Kaelyn each take turns playing Anna or Elsa, Nella is always Olaf. If you think pants are required to be Olaf, guess again! Apparently just a diaper (and one sock?) will do! TWO. Michael has a Docker meetup once a month, and this one included their birthday celebration! Naturally, I had to make some cupcakes for him to bring.Cutest little Docker Captain you ever did see!You can’t beat her adorableness, even with the cap on backward!THREE. I know I talk about it all the time, but it really is my favorite part of the week- Kangaroo Kids!!! I just love how big my girls smile while we’re there.

Nella’s favorite activities involve collecting all the balls she can see… Seriously, I wish they could stay little enough for this forever.FOUR. This is actually pretty big news- we got all new windows installed this week! We were wait-listed for about 10 weeks for this, and I’m so excited it’s finally finished! It was so strange to see the workers just rip the old ones right off the house and have absolutely nothing there for a short period of time…It was pretty cold, too, so thankfully, they were pretty quick about getting the new ones in. We already notice less of a draft and have been able to keep the thermostat set lower, so this was definitely something that needed to be done.FIVE. Kaya has been such a big helper lately, and this week, she wanted to help make Daddy’s lunch. She told me, “He likes pretzels on his sandwich!”, so I thought she’d put some between the bread slices, but this is what she came up with, all on her own. I love her creativity (and Michael loved his special sandwich)! Happy weekend!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (7/21)

This week has felt jam-packed (in the best way possible), so I feel like this is the longest Five on Friday I’ve written in a while! We’re having fun and getting all we can out of summertime, which makes my heart so full.

ONE. The weather is finally feeling like summertime should… HOT! We’ve had plenty of fun outside! We’ve all been enjoying the hammock, although the kids don’t quite understand that it’s meant for resting and relaxing, and not swinging as fast as you can in it. Ha! We had a “picnic” with friends, Aaliyah and Talyah! I love how making kids this age happy is as easy as putting a blanket out on the deck and eating outside.  Scout loves being out on the deck too!

TWO. We’ve found several little friends outside this week. This woolly bear caterpillar was walking across our driveway one evening, and Kaya was eager to pet it and hold it in her hand. She insisted on keeping it, so we made a little house out of an empty milk carton, and Kaya picked some leaves and flowers for it to eat.

Kaya declared it a girl, and named her “Caterpillary”, with a nickname of “Fuzzy” and a last name of “Wuzzy”. Caterpillary “Fuzzy” Wuzzy. We’ve had a lot of fun learning all about this type of caterpillar, and it’s provided several hours of entertainment for Kaya already.

We (or should I say, Scout) also found this little baby bird out in the yard this morning. It looked like a Mockingbird fledgling, most likely working on learning to fly. The girls were so excited to say hello to this little guy, but we made it a quick visit so we wouldn’t disturb it or its mama bird too much.

THREE. When Kaya styles your hair, you might end up with four bows in it all at once… … but still look as cute as ever!

All three of these ladies together… breaking my heart with a cuteness overload! Kaelyn’s working on her “smolder” face, obviously (and she hasn’t even seen Tangled yet)!

FOUR. Nella’s been having some form of dinner every night this week. We tried apple-prune puree, as well as strawberry Greek yogurt. The latter has been her favorite so far!

FIVE. Last, but definitely not least, I guess we’ve “officially” started our homeschool kindergarten curriculum! We’ve been nonchalantly doing schoolwork through the summer, but this week was sort of my test run to see how well we could stick to a more structured schedule.

Kaya is absolutely loving her new math book, and if she keeps working at the pace she’s going, we might be done with kindergarten math by Thanksgiving. I love that we can go quickly over what she already knows, and spend greater time on units she needs more practice in. Kaelyn has been using some preschool books from the dollar store, and is just as eager to learn! I’ll probably be writing more about our homeschooling adventures, but for today, I’m just excited to say we’ve started!

Happy weekend!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

nella’s first food

Nella had her very first taste of baby food last Wednesday! I like to put off starting solids for as long as I can (within reason), so I planned on waiting until she turned 9 months old. My girls seem to have pretty sensitive gag reflexes, so delaying this until they’re a little older seems to work better for us.Feeding her for the first time produced a record number of grossed-out-face photos.
We tried some Gerber strawberry-apple-banana puree. She definitely wasn’t a fan!
Somehow, she still managed to throw me a cute smile in between having the most revolting experience of her life. I only gave her about a quarter of the jar before she seemed done, and really, I think she spit most of it out.
We haven’t tried anything since, but I’m not at all in a rush to replace nursing with solids.

Of course, I had to get this on video too! I love Kaelyn’s sweet, excited little voice in the background- the big sisters had been eagerly waiting for this day! I’m sure it won’t be long before they want to help feed her.

anniversary shenanigans (2017)

From the very beginning of my half marathon training, I told Michael that the first time I ran ten miles, we would be going to Red Robin for dinner. Well, that first 10-mile Saturday fell on our anniversary weekend, so we counted it as our family date for the month and headed out for a special meal.

I think we’ve only been on four dates without the kids since Kaya was born… so obviously, they came along. I like including them in celebrating our anniversary, anyway. According to Kaya, it’s our “family’s birthday!”

Kaya really looks forward to eating the broccoli there (although I don’t think it’s any different than the broccoli we make at home)!

We accomplished a lot of other things around the house that weekend- Michael started putting new shutters on the house, I cleaned, and Nella did what babies do best… 😉Our actual anniversary was that next Monday, and Michael surprised me with some flowers! I love getting potted plants- these should last for a long time (hopefully)!I had to run some errands that evening, and while I was gone, Michael and the girls made square shooter cookies……as well as a pretty big mess!Seriously, who couldn’t love a guy who bakes surprise cookies? I’m so grateful to have Michael in my life, and I love our simple anniversary celebration.  Maybe once we get to ten years, we’ll do something a little more exciting, but for now, this weekend was perfect.

five on friday (05/26)

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I’ve got an 11-mile run planned for tomorrow, and after that, hopefully we get some work done on the house. I’m excited for an extra day to spend with these crazy people of mine.

ONE. This was a really big week for Nella. She celebrated two major milestones: sitting up on her own and sleeping in her crib!

We’re still perfecting her balance, but for the most part, she’s doing it! (Yes, all while wearing Christmas jammies at the end of May 🙂 !) I don’t know how she can seem so big, yet still so small, all at the same time.
Last night was her first time sleeping in the crib. I waited basically as long as we could before moving her to her own room (read: she’s almost too tall for the bassinet), because I just loved having her close. She went to bed with no trouble at all, and probably liked being able to move around a little more freely.I missed hearing her soft little sounds and seeing the green light of her Owlet monitor glowing in our room, but we were okay. I might have snuck into her room a few times for “one last goodnight kiss” before we went to bed.

TWO. I was surprised to see some little seedlings sprouting up in our garden this week, considering how short of a time period they’ve been in the ground. We have some green bean and cucumber plants, although there’s already some kind of insect trying to eat away at the leaves, so we’ll see how this all turns out. I made some homemade repellent spray, now I’m just hoping it works! The weather has been dismal, but we did get one walk in this week. Kaya loves to pick these little mini wildflowers as we make our way through the neighborhood.

THREE. We’ve incorporated read-aloud chapter books into our homeschool routine, and now that we’re on our third book, the girls are really getting into it. When we got home from church on Sunday, I went upstairs to feed the baby, and Michael soon sent me this picture of Kaya and Kaelyn, all snuggled up of their own accord, “reading” Stuart Little. I love how much they enjoy books! Kaya has also been trying to diligently read her scriptures every day, just like her primary teacher taught her in class last week.

FOUR. What do you do when peppers are on sale? Make fajitas, of course! This is one of my favorite dinners.FIVE. I bought this “Daddy’s Sunshine” onesie for Nella long before she was even born, and now, I love dressing her in it because there couldn’t be anything more perfect for her personality. She is our little sunshine baby, and I’m so grateful for the love and joy she brings to our home.

Here’s to hoping for some sunshine this weekend (and an end to all the rain)!

Linking up here and here today!

five on friday (02/17)

ONE. Michael finished making his work desk/table this week! He’s really excited to have his own space for doing coding projects and using an extra monitor when he needs it. Naturally, Kaelyn had to try it out!

Kaya thinks it makes a pretty good fort for coloring.

TWO. We have a tendency to hold on to the same old library books for several weeks, but we finally went and chose some new ones! I love that the kid section also includes puzzles, Duplos, and coloring pages. Kaya put this giant puzzle together on her own!

THREE. We haven’t gone out for dinner in a few months, so last weekend, we enjoyed some Chinese food. This picture sums it all up perfectly- Kaya is too busy eating to stop for a photo, Michael has a mouthful of food, and Kaelyn is wild about eating Jello.

FOUR. I finished a local running challenge (complete 100 miles in January), and I finally got my free shirt last week! In summer, a hundred miles in a month is a piece of cake, but I’m actually pretty proud of getting it done in the winter… and I kind of forgot about it until the month was half over. Oops. Nella was pretty excited too! 

FIVE. I knew my kids were growing up fast, but who knew they were old enough to drive? Haha. They love pretending. Cutest little drivers ever.

five on friday (08/12)

Friday AGAIN? Seriously! Today is actually my half-birthday (you totally get half a party or half a cake for that, right? 😉 ), which also means that it was just about six months ago that we found out we were expecting our little Pumpkin. Somehow, that feels like yesterday and an eternity ago all at the same time! Time is such a strange thing.

Here are our top five moments from the week:

ONE. Our sweet neighbor/fellow church member gifted us some toys she was getting rid of, and one of them was this alphabet puzzle. Kaya has been obsessed with it all week long, and I have to say, I’m so proud of her for being able to put it together on her own! Her letter-recognition skills are strong! 🙂_MG_4378 TWO. We braved the 100% humidity and spent some time outside. Outdoors is our favorite place to be, and any amount of sweat, heat, and sunscreen is worth seeing these smiles (and in all honesty, the weather almost feels cool once the sun starts going down, anyway)!_MG_4382 Post-nap pigtails are the messiest… 🙂_MG_4395

THREE. If you had unexpectedly stopped by my house for dinner any night this week, there’s a 90% chance that this is what you would have had on your plate- a pepper-jack grilled cheese with roasted red peppers. I’ve had a lot of nausea this week, and nothing really sounds good to me anymore… but apparently this is acceptable to my stomach.

FOUR. Kaya stole one of my old t-shirts for bed one day this week, and now she wants to wear it every single night. She’s a big Snoopy fan, which is only made even more appropriate by the fact that his “real” birthday was apparently on Wednesday. Happy Birthday, Snoopy!

FIVE. Michael posted this a couple of weeks ago, but I just had to share it. That giggle! She melts my heart every single day.

Laptop? Check. Purse? Check. Pants? Who needs those? #readyforwork #crazylaugh

A video posted by Michael Irwin (@mikesir87) on

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (04/29)

It’s been a BUSY (but fantastic) week!

ONE. Spring is finally here! The weather has been gorgeous (the trees seem to know it too, because there’s pollen everywhere), so we’ve been outside enjoying it whenever we can. Kaya was so excited to ride her bike again. She didn’t even want to take her helmet off once we got to the playground!

We also pulled all the girls’ summer clothes out of the closet, and Kaya has been so thrilled over having new things to wear. This octopus shirt is a favorite for sure!

Why does my baby suddenly look so big? She’s mastered going down the big slide all on her own!

TWO. Riding a bike means you might fall off… and Kaya did exactly that this week. She got her first official “biking boo-boo”. She was pretty distraught about it until I told her that Mommy and Daddy used to fall off our bikes when we were kids too. By the time we got home, she was in high spirits again and almost couldn’t resist laughing when I asked her to make a sad face for this picture.

THREE. We had some errands to run this week, so while we were out near all the “big” stores, we took some time to do a little shopping. I finally lucked out and found two swimsuits on clearance (!!!), after I’ve been looking everywhere for months for something I liked.

Kaelyn is honestly a little difficult to entertain while we’re out. She wants to grab things off the racks and play with her seat belt buckle the entire time, but with a few hundred fruit snacks as bribery, we made it through the trip! I really do love my little shopping buddies. 🙂

FOUR. Our friend, Mallory, had her baby shower this week! It was so fun to have a night out without the kids. I can’t even remember the last time that happened, so I truly enjoyed it. There were fun games (including Pictionary!), good friends, and these amazing Belgian waffles made by Cheryl. I covered mine in cookie butter, Nutella, and whipped cream… And I think my taste buds died and went to Heaven.

Seriously. This is not a high-quality picture, but trust me, there’s a waffle under there!

FIVE. Everyone goes crazy for Daddy when he comes home! I love how much our girls just adore him! Laughing, wrestling, and tickling are almost always on the agenda. 🙂_MG_1656


Yes, they were totally rolling around on my clean (folded!) laundry… haha._MG_1659

_MG_1660Happy weekend!

Linking up here!