Wednesday, September 16, 2015


It's time for another round of Haileyisms. 

1. Keira had a monster sneeze with snot shooting out of both nostrils and oozing down her face. Hailey's reaction? "That. Was. Awesome!"

2. Totally out of the blue: "Mom, do you wear your underwear in the shower?"

3. While eating a salad Hailey said, "The ranch always gets my little box right here." (Pointed to her neck) "The box with my voice in it."

4. Hailey asked to see what Kacey's dirty diaper looked like. So, I obliged and showed her the yellow mess. "Eew... It looks like mustard! Our poop is brown. Like your hair."

5. I bought some beginning reading books that are full of animal facts. Hailey was reading one on her own about tigers and began sharing facts with me that she had read. 

Hailey: "Did you know tiger cubs stay with their mothers for 2 years?" 
Me: "They do? That's a long time."
Hailey: "No. A thousand years is a long time." 

6. Another of those books is about whales. Hailey has read and informed me and anyone who will listen that the blue whale is as long as a basketball court, it's eyes are as big as softballs, and it's tongue weighs as much as an elephant. She also tells us that the sperm whale can dive the deepest of all the whales. 

While swimming Hailey jumped into the water from the side of the pool. When she surfaced she announced, "I went as deep as a sperm whale!"

7. It is soccer season again. During one of Hailey's first games she scored a goal. She was of course overjoyed. She exclaimed, "It went in just like a squirt bottle!".

8. I don't remember the exact details of the conversation, but Hailey mentioned something about Kacey being a big sister. I kind of discounted that idea. I'm not so sure that she will be a big sister, she may always be the little sister. Hailey countered that idea and told me, "I think you have two more eggs."

Hailey reading Keira books before her nap.

When she isn't at school in the afternoon, Hailey has taken over the duty of putting Keira in her bed for a nap. She takes her to the bathroom to go potty, then brings her in her room and reads a few books in her bed, turns out the light and closes the door. Such a huge help for me! Plus, Keira actually listens to her. Keira tells me she isn't tired and puts up a fight. This way I can do what I need to, which usually is to feed Kacey, Keira actually gets a good solid nap in, and Hailey gets in some practice reading. Yay for big sisters! :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


The reality is everyday life with three kids is HARD. I admit it, most days I feel like I'm going crazy. The house is usually a disaster, we've eaten way too much pizza, cereal, and whatever-you-can-find for dinner; I can't seem to get anything accomplished (even just a simple trip to the UPS store to drop off a prepaid package takes me weeks to do), let's just forget about the library fines I've accumulated, and please excuse the ever constant brain fog and exhaustion.

I feel like I haven't sat down and played with Hailey and Keira in months. We've been able to sneak in some book reading here and there, but not nearly as much as we used to. We spend a lot of our time cooped up inside, the girls forced to play on their own. Thank goodness for Legos! Seriously. They have been a life saver. The girls play with them daily. Kyle will come home from work and play alongside them as well. I have come to realize how awesome Legos really are. The play is ever changing and endless. They never tire of Legos.

I do think we may be on the upswing. Kacey is starting to sleep more at night and becoming more consistent in her sleep patterns. The newborn days are so precious, yet so SO hard. How can one little person occupy so much of your time? It is amazing how quickly time flies by, before I know it, it has already been 1 1/2 - 2 hours since she last ate and time to eat again. I find myself thinking all too often, "Seriously... AGAIN?" 

Through it all I am so blessed to have an amazingly understanding husband who ushers me out the door for some ME time as often as he can. (Even though I do typically end up with Kacey tagging along, we're pretty inseperable right now. A baby has got to eat when a baby wants to eat...) He plays with the girls when he gets home and he'll take Kacey for a bit and work his magic to get her to smile and almost laugh. If I need help getting dinner going, he jumps right in and gets things started. The poor guy has been sleeping in the basement almost every night for the past 2 months. He is too light a sleeper, every little noise Kacey makes keeps him up, while I slumber on. He tells me it's OK to go to bed at 9:00 and doesn't complain about what a LAME-O-BORING-SAUCE I have become. I really don't consider myself lucky... I knew what I was getting when I married this man. Best choice ever.

Blessing number two has been having my parents living just 5 minutes away. In the past two months my mom has rescued me more times than I can count. When I couldn't keep my eyes open, she watched Kacey so I could sleep. When I felt bad for neglecting my older girls, she took each of them out separately for their own special Rara time. When we were attacked by a stomach bug she spent everyday that week with us helping me survive. When I need to go to the store she tags along because she remembers how crazy shopping with small children can be. She doesn't complain when I drag her all over town looking for ridiculous items I can't seem to find anywhere. Really, having her so close has been a lifesaver. 

This third child really has thrown me for a loop. We started out good, but then in the past month it has become hard. And I knew that would happen. I knew it would get hard. But this feels so much harder than the other two ever were. I know it'll get easier over time. For now I'm just trying to keep my head above water and figure out how to adjust to having three little ones. Of course there are no regrets. I just am ready to feel normal again. 

(More evidence of my inability to accomplish anything: these pictures were taken the end of July, almost 2 months ago. I am just now finally getting them to the blog. Too bad Kacey already doesn't settle down to sleep like that anymore... Boy has she grown!)

Thursday, September 3, 2015


THE day has come. The day Hailey begins her seemingly endless educational journey. It starts with kindergarten.

Ok, so the journey isn't endless. Someday she will be all grown up and have completed her formal education. But right now at 5 all I see are years and years of school ahead. That's not a bad thing, I am all about education and will especially encourage my girls to continue on to college and beyond. The thing that gets me is that this is the beginning of a whole new chapter for our family.

We now belong in the elementary school. I am a school mom. I paid my PTO membership dues. I signed up to volunteer in her classroom. I work with Hailey each afternoon/evening to get in her 10 minutes of homework each night. I walk her to the bus stop, chat with other bus stop moms, and pick her up from the bus stop. I put in my phone call to the transportation department complaining about said bus stop. I am a school mom.

Hailey loves kindergarten. We've now hit our one-week-in mark. I think she feels big and independent, and all sorts of awesome. She's a big kid now... she goes to elementary school. 

I actually have been pretty impressed with Hailey's maturity so far in dealing with all things school. I know it's still novel and exciting, but she is generally quick to get ready, happy to do homework, and ever anxious for the time to set out the door to meet the bus.

Me? I've handled it pretty well. Hailey has been ready for a while now. I think she could have gone last year and been just fine. With that fall birthday she was extra ready to start school. I've had the past year to stew over this new transition. That seemed to give me enough time to accept it and be happy with it.

Honestly, I'm happy Hailey is attending public school. Though deep down in my heart there is a part of me that is aching to homeschool and join her in every bit of her educational journey. I battled with myself all of last year, agonizing over where to send her to school (public school, charter school, homeschool, online school...). There are too many choices! Of course I just want what is best for her and best for our family. As I seriously researched into homeschool, looking at different curriculum, getting ideas on how to handle teaching from home, I came to realize that Hailey will succeed wherever she is taught. As much as I would love to homeschool her, I found that the timing this year just wasn't right. Now that we're here, I totally agree with that. And I don't know if it ever will be. It might. But for now I'm happy Hailey is getting this kindergarten experience. 

Hailey is loving school. And I can't lie, I'm loving the 2-3 hour break I get in the afternoon, especially when I get the two littles napping at the same time. I've felt a bit lost with some of the quiet time! And routine... by the end of summer I had been craving routine. I'm looking forward to getting into a weekly rhythm. 

So far, so good. I think we're going to have a good year!

Poor Keira is stuck at home with me. Though she tells everyone she is going to go to "Baby School". (She is obsessed with being little and being a baby.) I guess I need to get myself in gear and come up with some fun things to do at home with Keira for her "Baby School". Actually I've been hoping this school business would provide me with more one-on-one time with Keira. It's hard to teach Keira things when Hailey is always butting in with the answer! :) 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Kacey: 1 Month

Kacey turns 6 weeks old today. I guess it's about time I post some 1 month pictures of her. 2 months will be here before I know it! 

Kacey is a generally content baby. Except for when she's hungry, or needs to burp, or is tired, or who knows what... No really, she is a great baby, and I think much like any other newborn, she has her moments. Also like any other newborn she is growing like a weed! She eats every 2-3 hours, even at night. I'm ok with it, even if I can hardly keep my eyes open while feeding her. At least she usually quickly falls back to sleep, and so do I. By 6:30 or so she's usually up for a bit, ready to play. Somedays if she eats earlier at about 5:30 I can get her back to sleep and hold off her waking until 8. I love that, it means I can get in a much needed extra hour of sleep!

Kacey holds her head up like a champ and tolerates tummy time relatively well. At least for a few minutes, and then she squawks to be picked up. The funnest thing has been the beginning of smiles. When she is full and well rested we can coax a few smiles out of her. I think she gives smiles the easiest to Hailey. Though of course Kyle can is able to get some fun ones out of her too. Dads just know how to play and have fun with kids, even as babies.

This little Kacey girl melts my heart. I admit to being a bit unsure of how I would feel adding a third child to our family. Of course immediately we've all fallen in love with her. It is amazing how much love is instantly created after the birth of a baby. I loved her in the womb, but I love her so much more now, and am feeling much more comforted and content with the addition of a third child. Sometimes life is crazy and we are an hour late to a play date, but life goes on and we get there eventually. Most of the time things are good and sometimes we're even on time! Hailey and Keira are great to play together and fend for themselves. In fact, I feel a bit guilty for spending so much time with Kacey, but this time is short lived and soon will pass. I better enjoy it while it's here. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Keira-isms: 2 1/2 years

Keira is a naturally funny girl. There is a certain innate quirkiness about her that just makes her funny. She is enthusiastic, never short on something to say, and has a good sense of logic that just makes certain conversations funny. Here's the latest in a batch of funny things she has said or done that I've recorded.

1. While reading a library book about a farm we came to a page depicting a cow with a large udder (above picture). Keira saw the cow, pointed to the udder and said, "Uh oh pig!"

2. Driving in the car Keira became upset with Hailey for looking out the window on her side of the car. "Heeeey Hailey! No look my picture!"

3. After spending some time outside doing yard work, Keira had a small potty accident while wearing her favorite skirt. Our conversation went like this: 

Renae: "You go up to the bathroom."
Keira: "You go up to the bathroom."
Renae: "No, you go. You peed your pants."
Keira: "You peed your pants."
Renae: "No, you peed your pants."
Keira: "I peed my skirt."

4. Hailey has recently gotten into attempting to tell jokes. The girls have been introduced to the idea of the knock knock joke. Sitting around the kitchen table the girls were telling their own jokes. Keira's went:

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
(brief pause...) I don't know!

5. Over the 4th of July the girls and Kyle spent a few hours at Lagoon with Kyle's family that was in town. Keira had her hair in a ponytail (which she insists on everyday when I make her do her hair). Keira rode on Odyssey, a ride with different ocean animals that sprays water. One of the animals on the ride is a shark. When Keira got off the ride her ponytail was gone. Kyle asked her, "Keira, where is your ponytail?" She replied in all seriousness, while motioning with her hands to where her ponytail once was, "The shark ate it! He bit it off!"

Keira's pirate face. "Arrrr..."

6. About to leave for church, Keira asked to ride on my back. "A ride to where?" I asked. "To the car" she said. "You can just walk" I said. Then she exclaimed completely stunned, "Walk to church!?"

7. One afternoon Hailey spent a few hours playing at her friend Cate's house, who lives across the street and halfway around the block from us. Kyle had just come home from work and I needed to go pick Hailey up. Kyle had gone up to our bedroom when I asked Keira if she'd like to come along or stay. She said she wanted to stay with her dad. I said ok and walked out the front door to walk over to Cate's. I had been a Cate's for a few minutes talking with Dawn when their doorbell rang. When the door was opened there stood Keira. After I had left she had decided she did want to come with me and had put on her shoes and left she house. She crossed the street, walked around the block, and rang the doorbell all on her own. I was shocked! Partially upset and partially proud of her. My 2 year old navigated the neighborhood all on her own. In the meantime by the time Kyle had come back downstairs from the bedroom both of us were gone, so he had assumed Keira was with me. Thank goodness she knew her way, because we each thought the other person had Keira with them. This happened just a week after I had lost Keira at the library and had librarians looking for her. She had gone outside and was sitting alone on a bench patiently waiting.

8. Just last week I was heading out the door with all 3 girls to meet up with Kyle at Chick-fil-A for some free dinner for Cow Appreciation Day. I opened the door from the house to the garage and set Kacey in her car seat down on the cement while the other two girls filed into the garage. With my back turned to the girls, I pushed the button to open the garage door, slipped on my shoes and bent down to pick Kacey's car seat up. As I did so I heard screaming. Real, terrified screaming. I turned around to see the garage door all the way up with Keira dangling from it. She had taken an accidental ride on the door as it went up. She was holding on for dear life with her arms stretched out and her feet dangling. I wish I had a picture of it. But of course I dashed to her rescue and grabbed her before she could fall and get hurt. And then I tried to hold in a laugh.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Kacey: 1 week

Kacey is 11 days old today, and already I feel like she's grown. Well, I know for a fact she's grown, because I took her to the doctor and already she's gained back her birth weight plus some. But it's not just that. At about her one week mark I looked at her and swear she had already grown overnight. Her cheeks are filling in, she's more awake and alert, and that mama sense just tells me she's grown. It's inevitable, she needs to grow. I'm happy to see her grow, but suddenly I realized how quickly she'll lose her newborn-ness. So I tortured her. I pulled out the camera to try to get a few shots of her before that newborn look passes away.

Kacey is a fantastic baby. She hardly complains. When she does her cry is so mild it's adorable. When it really gets built up it sounds like an evil laugh. That's how she sounded when she was born, she came into the world sounding her evil laugh of a cry. When she wants attention that doesn't warrant a cry she squawks. One loud squawk, that's it. And the grunting. She grunts and grunts when she is trying to wake up. Or when she really should be sleeping but can't quite settle down.

Kacey really is so patient and thankfully not fussy. Fingers crossed she stays that way. We are only 11 days in, it could all change. We all love to cuddle her and are grateful she has such a mild temperament. Now if only she didn't want to party at 2 am. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Meet Kacey & Her Birth Story

She's here! Kacey K Hill was born July 1, at 1:37 am. She weighed 7 lbs. 14 oz., and was 20 inches long. Apparently I run an efficient baby factory because all 3 girls were the same size at birth. Hailey was 7 lbs. 15 oz., 19.5 inches long, and Keira was 8 lbs. and 20 inches long.


To preface this, I had originally wanted to attempt another natural birth. I had Keira naturally, though not intentionally. In comparison to Hailey and Keira's births I much preferred the un-medicated delivery. It was way more painful, but I felt pretty fantastic afterwards, or at least as fantastic as you can after having a baby. So, for this birth I had intended to labor at home for as long as possible where I would be comfortable and free to move around. Then head to the hospital when the contractions became intense and then deliver an hour or two later. Unfortunately, it didn't happen that way. Of course. Not that the delivery was terrible, but it just didn't go according to my plan.

I hit my due date on Tuesday, June 30. (Well, my supposed due date, according to the hospital I was due the next day, the day Kacey was born.) Hailey and Keira both arrived two and three days before they were due. I was expecting/hoping Kacey would do the same. When I hit that due date I was feeling a bit depressed. Why hadn't she come yet? I hadn't ever made it to 40 weeks. Not that it's a big deal, I wasn't way over, but I was of course anxious to meet our baby girl and put pregnancy behind me. I was so done with being pregnant. I had reached the point of uncomfortable and just wanted to move on with life.

That morning I tried to do a little bit of some exercise, walking up and down the stairs at home, and doing a few squats in an attempt to coax her to come. The weather has been so hot it just isn't comfortable to be out walking in it, otherwise I would have been walking all over town. Instead, the girls and I spent the day with my mom, just hanging out and relaxing. A bit before 5:00 pm my mom dropped us off at our house and I began working on dinner. While dinner was heating, I sat down for a few minutes to rest. When I went to stand up I felt a small leak of fluid. I immediately used the bathroom, but the fluid continued to trickle out. I found Kyle and I told him I thought I was leaking fluid, so we quickly ate dinner, I called my mom, packed a quick hospital bag (yes, I know... I never could bring myself to do it sooner), and we loaded everyone up the car. We dropped the girls off at my parents house and Kyle and I headed to the hospital. At this point I had yet to have a single contraction. By the time we got to the hospital my shorts were noticeably wet. Not soaked, but definitely wet. 

We checked in at about 6:30 pm, where I was stuck in a bed and hooked up to machines. The nurse tested me for amniotic fluid and checked my cervix. When she checked my cervix my water completely broke and we knew for sure we were in for a long night. We were definitely there to stay. Because I wasn't contracting, unfortunately for me that meant I needed to be put on pitocin to induce labor. Which of course I really didn't want to do, especially since I was hoping to avoid an epidural. But, with my water broken, I needed to deliver to avoid infection. I was put on a low dose of pitocin and chose to try to ride it out without an epidural as long as I could. I made it about 3 or 4 hours before the contractions became intense. At the time we arrived to the hospital I was only 2 or 3 cm dilated. When the contractions became super painful I asked the nurse to check me again. I was only 4 cm. Gah! That pitocin stuff is brutal. The thought of a full night of crazy intense contractions, only to get more painful, and 6 cm to go convinced me to cave in to the epidural. Once I was on the epidural the dosage of pitocin was increased and things began to move quickly. After 2 hours with the epidural I began to feel a lot of pressure. No pain of course (which admittedly was nice), but lots and lots of pressure. I hadn't been paying attention to the computer monitoring the contractions. If I had I may have realized sooner how close I was to delivering. The nurse checked me and immediately told me not to move or sneeze. She dashed off to call the doctor. I was completely dilated. Luckily the epidural helped calm the urge to push and I was able to wait it out until the doctor arrived a little while later. As soon as he showed up he had me push 3 times and there was Kacey. 

Overall the birth was quick. My water broke just after 5:00 pm and she was born the next morning at 1:37 am. Kyle and I were a bit stunned to be spending that night in the hospital. It came on so quick, since my water broke. I think it really took a few days for everything to sink in for us. 

The girls stayed with my parents while I was in the hospital. My mom brought the girls in to meet their sister. Keira was instantly interested in Kacey. She was so excited to meet and hold her baby sister. When Keira first saw me with my belly still large (this was only 9 hours or so after Kacey was born) after commenting that baby sister came out of my tummy, she asked me if I had another baby in my tummy. Leave it to kids to state the obvious. :) 

Hailey was a bit more timid. She was the same way when Keira was born. I think the hospital made her feel uncomfortable. She didn't want to go look at Kacey or hold her. She only wanted to color the coloring book the girls were given when they were admitted into the maternity ward. Eventually we were able to coax her away from her coloring for a few minutes so she could meet her sister.

Not to worry though, since being home it didn't take too long for Hailey to feel comfortable helping out with her sister. She even was able to feed her once. When my milk first came in I felt like I was about to burst, so I pumped a few ounces to relieve the pain. I let Hailey use that milk to give Kacey a bottle, which happily Kacey took to quickly.

Kacey's birth actually came at the perfect time. She was born Wednesday morning. Kyle's parents flew into town for the 4th of July on Thursday morning. They were able to come see her in the hospital just before we were discharged to go home. Kyle took Wednesday and Thursday off, and then already had Friday off for the holiday, so he was able to enjoy a nice long weekend with his family. It was pretty perfect.

And now here we are, a family of 5. (Please excuse Keira's wild hair. She's 2. Need I say more?) 

Welcome to the world Kacey K! (In case you are wondering, K is Kyle's middle name. Yes, just the letter K.)


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