five on friday: dishes, cupcakes, and a bus ride

Happy first day of SPRING! (although we’re totally having a gross, rainy, chilly day here!)

ONE. Kaya has had a lot of fun “washing dishes” this week! Our dishwasher broke and maintenance had to order a part for it, so it took until today to get it back in working order. Kaya definitely didn’t mind playing with the soap bubbles and pouring water into a couple of bowls I gave her to use._MG_6807 TWO. We had a couple of warm days this week, so naturally, we made the most of our time outside. I ran around the playground like a wild woman with my girls on Tuesday… and then they took the longest naps. Four hours for Kaya and three for Kaelyn. I even had a nap. It was magical. Seriously._MG_6801 THREE. Last night was our church Relief Society birthday dinner. I brought some cupcakes (bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?)! What better theme to decorate them around than SPRING! I used a different buttercream recipe that didn’t hold its shape quite as well as my usual one, so I really don’t think these are my best work… but hey, at least they were colorful (and quite delicious)!_MG_6815FOUR. Kaya had her first-ever ride on the BUS this week! Michael has been talking about taking her on one for ages now, so he finally just did it! The highlight of their ride? Finding leaves on the sidewalk when they got off. I love my crazy girl.Processed with VSCOcam with s1 presetFIVE. I forgot to include this photo in Tuesday’s post, and it’s just too cute to leave out! Daddy, daughter, and cookies. There aren’t many things better than that!_MG_6778Happy weekend!

Linking up with Christina and friends today!

kaelyn’s first food

Kaelyn finally had her first taste of solid food! I waited until 8.5 months to even make an attempt- partly because that was the age when Kaya’s gag reflex stopped being so strong, and partly just because I love exclusively nursing (and it’s so easy)!

Someone was pretty excited to be sitting in the big-girl chair!
_MG_6724 I gave her a little strawberry yogurt. She figured out the process of opening her mouth for me to put the spoon in pretty quickly… but I think she still ended up spitting almost all of it out._MG_6726_MG_6730 She also made some adorably hilarious faces (and a big mess, despite the bib)!_MG_6731I gave her some Cheerios afterward, but as soon as one was barely in her mouth, her gag reflex kicked in. I guess it just takes my babies a while to get past it!

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“more walk?”

We can feel spring in the air here. We’re right on the brink of warm weather, sunshine, and long evening light, and after a seemingly eternal winter of being cooped up indoors, I could not be more excited!

Playing outside is one of my very favorite ways to spend the day, and it’s quickly becoming true for my little ladies, too. I love watching Kaelyn discover the entire outdoor world. She smiles and coos while we walk in the stroller, and squeals when she gets to ride in the swing.

Never would I have imagined having two babies of my own swinging next to each other._MG_6694 We’ve taken four walks in two days, and Kaya just keeps asking for “more walk”? almost as soon as we return home each time._MG_6684 While I was pushing Kaya on the swing, I’d look over and see my littlest peanut just beaming at me._MG_6689For now, she’s so content to just watch everything going on around her. I love this little grin.

_MG_6690You know you’ve had a fun day when everyone (including mom) takes an extra-long, much-needed nap. I’ll wear myself out any day to have fun with my babies.

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five on friday: smiles, science, and snow

Finally, it’s Friday! We made it through our sick week and are hoping for a fun (and healthy) weekend!

ONE. It’s so good to see everyone around here feeling better and smiling again! We’re slowly getting our appetites back, and I don’t know if food has ever tasted so good (apparently, Kaelyn’s caterpillar is pretty delicious, too)._MG_6673 TWO. My phone’s power button decided to just stop working yesterday… which is crazy, considering I’ve only had it a year! Luckily, we managed to pull all my photos off of it, and I can at least still text people through Google Hangouts on the tablet or computer, so I’m not living completely in the stone age. I’m hoping it’s an easy fix!

THREE. We had even more SNOW dumped on us yesterday. It was so dreary outside, so we made our own color inside with a little science experiment! All you need is vinegar, food dye, baking soda, and an eye dropper._MG_6659Kaya needed some help suctioning the liquid, but she absolutely loved making her own colorful design. She liked using the sponge to wipe up any drips just as much as the actual activity!_MG_6665 FOUR. I just finished reading The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott, and to my surprise, I love historical fiction. My dad knows pretty much everything about the Titanic, so I grew up hearing a lot of details about the ship and its sinking. This book was a fun review of all that!

FIVE. I’d like to think she’s yelling “happy weekend!” in this picture… so, have a good one!_MG_6628

Linking up with Christina and friends today!

a perfect hint of spring

Being a mom is my favorite “job” ever.

There are good days, frustrating days, fun days, and somewhat boring days.

And then, every so often, there’s a perfect day.

Monday was definitely one of those.
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It felt just like spring with temperatures in the low 50s. My lungs basked in the warm air on my morning run, and soon after I returned home, I hurried back out the door with my babies in tow. There was no way we were going to miss out on warm weather when we’ve been enduring single-digit and teen temperatures often this winter.

We walked 2.25 miles and made a stop at the playground. Kaya enjoyed running from the slide to the ride-on space shuttle, with a few stops on the swings in between. She just kept telling me “fun!”, and that made my heart soar pretty high. From time to time, she’d look over at me with the biggest grin on her face.kaya02092015collage Kaelyn took a mini-nap in the stroller, and then enjoyed snuggles with mommy and her first-ever ride in the baby swing! Kaya was so eager to help push her, and they were both all smiles.02092015collage2
We all went to bed happily tired that night. Having fun is the best way to wear yourselves out!

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five on friday: a prankster, bubbles, and baby blues

ONE. This week has been full of ups and downs (quite literally, with how often I’m jumping up to run to the bathroom) with potty training. I’ve also realized I’m working with a prankster! She’ll tell me “pee!” and then as soon as I jump to come get her, she cackles and says “noooo”. I love this crazy comedian.

_MG_6327TWO. If Kaelyn comes to your house, don’t offer her a drink- she’ll probably just spit in it! Haha. She is still all about blowing raspberries and spit bubbles over here._MG_6318THREE. Apparently, so is Michael. Not much has changed in two years (he’s even wearing the same shirt)!michaelraspberriescollage15FOUR. The way these two just look at each other and make each other laugh… I know one day they’ll be giggling late into the night in their room when they’re supposed to be sleeping. 🙂_MG_6329FIVE. These baby blues. Be still my heart! _MG_6332I’m also just maybe a little obsessed with animal-themed hooded towels. If only they could stay little enough to use these forever! 🙂_MG_6337
Happy Friday!

Linking up with Natasha, April, Christina, and Darci today!

you’re doing better than you think

In the quiet evening hours, when I have a few moments alone long enough for thinking, I usually find myself wondering, “Did I do a good job today?”

Sometimes, I get a serious case of “mom guilt”. It’s easy to be hard on yourself when you’re doing the biggest, most important job of your life.

As I mentally run through the day, I can recall several situations that might not have been ideal:

My toddler wet her pants more times that I could count.
Maybe I wasn’t as calm as I would have liked to be about said pants-wetting.
I’m not always sure what to say (or how to say it) so that I’m building my child up instead of tearing her down.
I’ve called waffles “dinner” more times in a week than I’d like to admit.
The baby sat in her seat longer than I’d like instead of being cuddled or getting some exercise on the floor.
Did Kaya eat enough vegetables today? (or sometimes more realistically… did she eat any vegetables today?)
Did we enjoy and real quality time together? The minutes pass me by so quickly and I worry I’m not enjoying my babies enough.

And just when I start worrying about all these things, Kaya reaches out to hold my hand. She asks to sit on my lap, and stays there for a while.

She still loves me, despite all my mistakes. I’m doing better at this whole motherhood thing than I tend to think I am.

Chances are, you are too.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset(Kaya took this picture without me knowing, and I love it, because it’s so real. A kiss from me to a happy baby, completely unposed.)

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playing zoo

Something I still haven’t really mastered since having a second baby is carving out some one-on-one time with each of them. It’s so easy to get caught up in all that needs to be done, driving all over town, and completing chores, that more often than I would like to admit, the day ends and I’m left wondering if we had any good quality time together.

When a few quiet moments present themselves, I’m more than eager to get down on the floor and play.
_MG_6213Yesterday, Kaya and I built a mini “zoo” out of blocks. She was so excited and started putting her animals inside the fence right away! She’s growing up so fast and the way she plays is changing, too- she actually pretended the animals were climbing the walls, running, eating, and drinking!
_MG_6214Just a few minutes with her mommy all to herself meant the world to this girl._MG_6215 The best part is… it meant a whole lot to me, too.
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she is my joy

The morning is new, the sun barely risen. She stretches, opening her eyes barely a sliver before catching sight of me. The world’s biggest grin dances across her lips. She’s been with me throughout various hours of the night, but seeing each other for the first time at each new dawn never loses its magic, for either of us. I live for moments like that.

She quietly nurses. Her dimpled hands grab at my shirt, and when she finishes, she lays her head up against my chest. There is no closeness like this one.
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She wants nothing more than her mama. I am her source of comfort, peace, and nurture. She is my source of joy.Processed with VSCOcam with lv02 preset

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it’s the little things, like kisses and hiccups

A few of my favorite “little things” as of late feel a lot like big things. Some of these moments last only a few seconds, but I never want to forget…_MG_2774

The way Kaya looks at me, smiles, and gently strokes my hair.

How she caught me crying one afternoon, and started wiping my tears away with my shirt.

When she kisses me at the top of the slide, just before going down and yelling “buh-BYE!”

How happy she was to share cookies on the kitchen floor in the middle of the afternoon for no reason.

All the kisses she gave me when she woke up from Sunday nap and I was still fast asleep.

Feeling our second sweet baby dance to the same Luke Bryan song that Kaya loves.

Having hiccups in my belly that aren’t my own.

Loving these two girls with my whole heart (which is even bigger than I ever imagined it could be).

Linking up with Ashley and Jess!