life last week

This has been the least amount of blogging I’ve done in many months, and my guilty conscience automatically starts to apologize as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard again. But then I remember that my main reason for writing this blog is so my kids will have it when they’re grown, and I realize that I don’t have to be sorry. I think when they finally read this in 10 or 20 or 30 years, they’ll be glad that their mom was sometimes a little too busy to blog because she was playing outside with them, helping them with crafts, and putting together their birthday parties. Whenever there’s a lot to write about, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to actually blog about it, because we’re busy living it. And in a way, I’m okay with that.

We’ve been spending a lot of time outside and at the playground. These two love “rock climbing” together!Kaya is becoming a little more bold and has started practicing hanging from the monkey bars. She isn’t able to grab onto the next one and keep going yet, but I am proud of her for going out on a limb (a.k.a. monkey bar) and trying something new.
This little monkey is also trying to climb more… …while the littlest monkey isn’t monkeying at all. When you’re the third baby, you sometimes have to nap on the go! On a recent walk, a lady told me that I need more kids in my stroller. I told her that if there were any more, I might not be able to push it up the hill! Really though, I love having all these seats full (and this stroller is still one of the best things ever)!
If you were worried that the girls have just cardio at the playground as their only exercise, fear not- strength training happens via morning push-ups with Daddy!The girls worked on painting these suncatchers one afternoon. They are both pretty meticulous artists now, so they take their time, and I love seeing what they come up with at the end! They also made about a million perler-bead animals, so my iron lived on the kitchen counter for a few days so we could finish all of their creations ASAP. Waiting to melt those beads together inevitably leads to having them spill, which makes for some very sad little girls (and a crazy puppy who tries to eat any bead she discovers on the floor)! We went shopping for baking supplies for Kaelyn’s birthday cake, and Nella sat in the front seat of the shopping cart for the first time ever. As evidenced by her silly little grin, she loved it! She’s had a few more rides since last week, and she kicks her legs and smiles happily every time. Someone was excited to pick up her birthday balloons… … and someone else was excited to show off her cute little teeth! These are the days, and I’m glad I’m living them, even if I’m not writing about every detail.

five on friday (02/24)

There hasn’t been a whole lot of blogging over here this week… Sad! Having three kids can be busy, so if I don’t schedule time for it, it doesn’t happen. The USB receiver for my keyboard and mouse also mysteriously turned up snapped in half this week, so my computer wasn’t even usable. Life with kids! You know I wouldn’t have it any other way, though.

ONE. This little baby is falling more in love with her daddy every single day, and he’s fallen head over heels for her, too. She’ll spot him from across the room, fix her gaze on him, and smile until he notices her. Michael bonds with our babies the most once they start smiling and interacting with him (you know, after the first few months, when they’re essentially eating and pooping machines)! I’ve loved seeing them grow closer, and I look forward to seeing her light up for him when he comes home from work each day.

TWO. There’s nothing better than making cookies on a rainy day… unless they’re Hello Kitty cookies! I never ever buy cookie mix, but when I saw this, I knew how excited the girls would be, so I splurged. They loved putting the edible stickers on! I enjoy doing these little projects with them. THREE. Kaelyn has started tracing letters! I let her decide if she wants to participate when Kaya and I do school, and usually she does. This week, she got out her alphabet book and started matching the correct stickers to the letters and actually writing them. I get so excited to see her learning! FOUR. These kids are still crazy for the Kangaroo Kids program. They are on the go for the entire hour, but I did get them to sit still for one picture in this little boat ball pit.

FIVE. We’ve been having some amazingly warm weather here this week. We’ve been soaking up the sunshine (although, having summer-like temperatures in February does make me a little nervous about how hot the actual summer will be), going on walks, and enjoying time at the playground. I think I feel closest to my kids when we’re outside, playing and exploring together.Nella has loved riding in the stroller and being able to see the world! This means that Kaya is on foot now, but she’s a pretty good little runner and even likes to help push the stroller.

Happy weekend!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (11/11)

ONE. These sisters! I could say it over and over again, I love how much they all love each other. Nella is already a precious part of their little group, and I know it won’t be long before she’s running around right behind them._mg_6617_mg_6624TWO. Kaya has been really into drawing lately, and I have to say, her skills have really advanced! Here’s a portrait of “Meowy” (aka Kitty):_mg_6653… and “a mommy and a daddy bird at the hospital having a baby”. Haha!
img_20161109_183620THREE. The weather has cooled off a whole lot, so we’ve tried to get outside in the afternoon when it’s a bit warmer. I love wearing Nella and having her cuddled up so close to me (it’s also a plus to know she’s warm in there)!img_20161108_111121img_20161108_111032FOUR. Kaelyn has been doing all these big girl things lately, and sometimes I really can’t believe that she’s not a baby anymore. She gets the step stool out when she needs to reach something (whether it’s the kitchen counter, the sink, or the lock on the door); she’s talking a ton, and this week, she’s had several successes with going on the potty! I’m not sure I’m ready for the marathon of messes and running to the bathroom that potty training entails, but she sure is acting ready, so we might be doing it very soon!
_mg_6636FIVE. Michael’s already trying to turn the baby into a Trekkie. They snuggled and watched the newest movie a few nights ago. I love seeing my sweetheart spending time with our baby._mg_6531

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (10/21)

ONE. You’d never know it by looking at the dreary, windy weather today, but we’ve actually had a week filled with 80-degree temperatures and glorious sunshine. I really do enjoy the cooler fall days, but having it be a little warmer has helped us get outside and do a lot of walking. _mg_6171TWO. Kaelyn loves to choose her own outfits, and this week, her fashion sense even extended into the realm of hair accessories. She insisted on wearing these huge, mismatched bows… but I honestly think she could make anything look adorable._mg_6105

THREE. Speaking of hair, if you forget to brush this little baby’s hair after a bath, it turns itself into a spiky ‘do. She actually had a couple of curls when she was born, and seeing this almost makes me wonder if she might become a curly girl too as she gets a little older._mg_6091 _mg_6094

FOUR. I think we bake something just about every week lately (even if it is always just pumpkin muffins or cookie dough), and these two little girls love having that special time with me. I love how much they enjoy helping in the kitchen!_mg_6050

FIVE. I have to end this with more baby lips… because I just cannot resist this sweet face and snuggles on a rainy day.

Linking up here, here, and here today!

one million visitors

We’ve had a whole lot of visitors since we moved into our new home- not quite one million, but we’ve enjoyed hosting both sides of our families. It’s also been nice actually having a real guest room for them to sleep in!

My dad came up for a few days before Karl’s graduation to work on some house projects (repairing shelves, getting the dryer working, sanding down closet doors, and replacing all the locks were some of the things he did). Karl came over to hang out and help, too!_MG_1765 My mom arrived the day before graduation. The girls are always SO excited to see her! It probably doesn’t hurt that she always brings them some sort of surprise- this time it was sneakers for Kaelyn and new socks for Kaya._MG_1772 _MG_1778 Jeff and Lelia came to stay with us the next weekend! They were going to their friend’s vet school graduation, so in between those festivities, we got to spend some time with them. Lelia and I had a great 5.6-mile run together, and of course, their favorite nieces were more than happy to cuddle and give kisses._MG_2101My mom and dad-in-law stopped for a quick visit as they drove through here on their way home from Utah! _MG_2390We cooked breakfast for dinner and went on a walk to the playground.

It’s been a busy month, but we’re so glad we have a fantastic family who wants to visit and spend time with us. We can’t wait to see them all again in just a few weeks for Kaelyn’s birthday party!

picnicking with the grandparents

Two weekends ago (see how I am always behind here?), my in-laws came up for a visit! Their favorite local campground had finally opened up for the season, and they were ready to enjoy the great outdoors… along with paying a visit to their favorite granddaughters, of course! 🙂_MG_1469 We all did some relaxing and movie-watching at our apartment, but the real fun (and where I took the most photos) was from our “cookout” lunch and walk down at the campground. It was quite windy, so we ended up eating in their new camper. Hot dogs and homemade mac and cheese, with s’mores for dessert (there’s no s’more picture obviously, because who has time for that when deliciousness is right under your nose?)!
_MG_1470This is my peanut-butter-sandwich kid. She’d rather have a PB&J than almost any other food… except for maybe Chinese. Otherwise, it’s her go-to choice, and I think she’d eat it for every lunch and dinner every day if I let her._MG_1472We went on a little walk through the woods. We showed Kaya that she could pick the dandelions… and now she wants to pick every flower, everywhere. She had quite a collection at the end of the day (and I think they were all in Grandma’s pocket)!_MG_1476 I love these people._MG_1485 Don’t be fooled… Kaelyn probably rode on Daddy’s shoulders for about two minutes. She wanted to walk the whole way, all by herself, even when there were tree roots growing in the middle of her path. She’s slow, but persistent, and she walked almost all of the trail with those two little legs._MG_1487 _MG_1496Of course, Kaya got some good swinging action. I think she might have her grandparents wrapped around her finger (quite literally)…
_MG_1500Later that night, we had a tumultuous wind storm- gusts were up to 60 mph! We lost power for about 13 hours, so sadly, we weren’t able to watch much of General Conference on Sunday. Mom and Dad Irwin did cook (in the camper) a special breakfast, and brought it inside for us. Bacon, eggs, sausage, and cinnamon buns. Mmmm.
_MG_1540 Anything sweet is her favorite, so you can guess how much she loved the cinnamon rolls!_MG_1541 And what would a grandparent visit be without some sweet kisses? I love how much my girls love them._MG_1455 _MG_1460

they like to move it move it

I feel like we’ve been on the move constantly for the past week and a half, and by the end of the day, we’re all exhausted. I’m all about taking any opportunity I can to exercise my kids and wear them out.

I brought the slide out for the first time in a few weeks (it’s been out of rotation), and Kaelyn is finally big enough to climb up all on her own! She instantly fell in love and wanted to do it over and over again. (she definitely said “cheese” for this picture, by the way!)_MG_9966 The sliding party immediately continued the next morning when she woke up. 🙂11062015collage1Kaya has really started coming out of her shell at gymnastics, and she even allows the teachers to help her now. That’s pretty big progress for my shy girl. I’m so proud of her for gaining confidence and skills. (and of course… cue the corny video made by Google…)

We’ve had some oddly-warm-for-November weather lately, so we’ve also been out on a lot of walks and have spent many mornings on the playground.

Kaya finally climbed all the way up this huge ladder on her own! I think it took her about 30 minutes the first time, and then after that, she was racing up that thing in mere seconds, over and over again.

Goofy, proud-of-herself grin.

Kaya always loved playing on this part of the playground when she was was about Kaelyn’s age… and I feel like it was just yesterday that I would sit up there with her while Kaelyn rolled around in my belly. Now my baby is this big kid goofing off at the top of the playground. Crazy how time goes so fast!
I love that my kids love to play outside… and as a bonus, I somehow ended up with enough steps to win our “cousin Fitbit challenge” last week! I’ve definitely had weeks with a whole lot more steps, but hey, I’ll take the win anyway.Screenshot_20151108-171019~01

five on friday (10/30)

ONE. After a couple days of bad weather, we had a short break from the rain. We were anxious to get outside and play, even if the playground was all wet. Meet the newest little “crocodile hunters.” 🙂Never mind that we were poured on during the last 3/4 mile of our walk home.

TWO. We are going strong with our little “homeschool preschool” and Kaya is still loving it.  I’m thinking of putting together some blog posts to share some of my favorite resources so far (even just so I can remember what we did 2 years from now… when it’s Kaelyn’s turn)!

And hey, since she doesn’t have to leave the house, she can do it in her jammies. Why not?_MG_9732

THREE. We were invited to a little Halloween-themed book club/play date this morning, and Kaya decorated her own “pumpkin”! She was so enthused about this activity, and she even drew the face on it herself! I am so impressed with her fine motor skills.

FOUR. I got a thank-you card from the youth/seminary students at church for making them cinnamon rolls… and it just made my day. I love these kids. It’s the little things, you guys.

FIVE. Fashion alert: pretend fruit baskets are now acceptable headwear. Just ask Daniel(le) Boone here with her coonskin-cap lookalike._MG_9729

Happy Friday! 🙂

labor day long weekend

Yes, I’m finally writing about our weekend… on a Wednesday! Since we had Monday off, I think I can cut myself some slack though, right? #ijustkeepthinkingitsonlytuesday

We didn’t do anything monumental by any means, but we did have some relaxing family time, and that’s always what I like best. On Saturday, Grandma texted us and told us that they were getting Chinese, and I made the mistake of reading it aloud. For the rest of the day, Kaya kept reiterating “I want Chineeeeeese”. Who are we to deny a little girl happiness?

She even offered to drive, but her feet don’t quite reach the pedals yet (and yes, she buckled Kitty in too)!

Kaelyn knows what to do at a Chinese buffet (she was sure to wear her favorite blue necklace out on the town, too)…

I think it’s pretty obvious that I have the best husband ever- he let me sleep in on Monday morning, went and donated platelets at the Red Cross during nap time, and then did all my grocery shopping. Oh, and how sweet is he for reading to our princesses?_MG_9195Lelia came down for the football game on Monday night, so she joined us for dinner (these amazing chicken tacos). When she headed to the game, we went out for a walk and to the playground.

Sadly, the Hokies lost… but Lelia stuck around until nap time on Tuesday to hang out with us! She made up a counting puppy song with my babies, and even watched them so I could take a shower without having to worry about one kid injuring the other (real life mom problems, you guys)… Then she came out for a walk with us. We had a genuinely good time and it was so great to catch up with each other.

Kaya loves her Auntie Lelia so much, and when she left after lunch, Kaya said “Lelia move away? Oh. Miss her.” She’ll be back in about a week for your birthday, sweetie!

five on friday (08/14)

Happy Friday!!! Here are our recent top five:

ONE. I never posted about our weekend, but I had an awesome run on Saturday! The weather was so perfect (we finally had a short break from all this humidity) so I took full advantage. Some people have told me that if I can just go out and do 8 miles like this, I could easily train for a half marathon. I was sore for two days afterward, but it’s definitely something I’ve thought about doing. Seasoned racers, any thoughts?

TWO. Somebody discovered how delicious graham crackers are this week! Sometimes when I look at that four-toothed grin, I see a little girl instead of my baby. _MG_9033 THREE. This little $5 stroller has given Kaya so many hours’ worth of fun. I let her take it outside this week to meet Daddy at the bus stop, and she pretty much thought it was the best thing ever. Various stuffed buddies have taken turns getting rides!_MG_9021FOUR. The easiest way to get my two sweaty, sunscreeny kids clean lately has been to put them in one bath! I’ve done this a few times now, and they LOVE it. They laugh and splash so much that I usually end up cleaning water off the floor, but I love how much joy they find in each other’s company._MG_8995FIVE. This has been our last week with Brittany and Caroline before they move far far away to Texas. We’ve been relishing our playtime and trying not to think about the fact that soon they’ll be gone. I love these little baby buddies! (photo cred to Brittany!)

Happy weekend!

Linking up here today!