Sunday, February 7, 2016

HALLOWEEN 2015

Yes, Valentine's Day is just a week away. Let's talk Halloween anyway.


The girls LOVE the movie Big Hero 6. Love it. I don't know how many times they've watched it. We don't even own it. Yet. Just about every time they stay with my parents they watch it. I honestly haven't even seen it all the way from start to finish. 

Our girls talk about Halloween ALL.YEAR.LONG. They are always deciding and changing what they are going to dress up as for the next year. Hailey knew months and months in advance that she wanted to be Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6. Kyle and I were thrilled. It would be totally awesome, how many other Honey Lemons would be out there? Like zero. And it would be a fun costume to put together.

We had months and months to get the costume ready. And of course we waited until the last minute. There's nothing like a deadline to motivate. When I say WE, I more mean me. Kyle was a bit more on top of things and finished with a week or so to spare. Me? I was up sewing until 1 am the night before the Halloween party at school. I still had some details to finish up that morning too. But, like always, it got done!

I made the dress and leggings, which were altered from a pajama pattern. Kyle made the helmet from an old dress up race car driver helmet my parents had that my brother played with as a child. The side pieces are made from MDF and screwed into the plastic helmet. Kyle's coworker painted the helmet in their paint booth at work. The frame for the bag was made from plywood and covered in felt. We bought some ball pit balls and Kyle sewed them onto the purse strap. 

Too much work for a Halloween costume? Probably. Why do we do it? Because we are crazy and enjoy it. 

Hailey loved the costume. She was so funny. She was complaining about the attention she got from boys at school. I don't think the girls knew who she was. But the boys did. "She's from Big Hero 6!" "That's awesome!". Hailey just laughed and shook her head telling us about it. She said she just ignored them. I think she was a tiny bit embarrassed. :) 

Now, Keira wanted to be a princess. She told everyone she was going to be a princess. Kyle and I had planned on her wearing one of Hailey's old costumes. (Sorry Keira! Luck of the draw being the little sister.) I tried so hard to talk her into wearing Hailey's dragon costume that I put so much time into. Kyle and I even told her she could be a princess dragon, we'd put a crown on the dragon. I was really hoping she'd go for that, I thought it would be funny. No luck. Though once she spotted the witch costume with the dress she was sold. All she really wanted to do was wear a dress. So a witch it was. And she was happy.



Talking about last minute... Kacey's costume was completely last minute. Kyle had talked about making her an airplane he could wear with her in the baby carrier. It wasn't until the morning of Halloween that he decided to really tackle it. (I do think we had been busy with other things as well... so it really just ended up coming down to the day of.) While Kyle cut and taped and created, I ran to the craft store to find butcher paper and duct tape. I actually set out with the girls to start walking the neighborhood when we finished and met up with us. Too much work? Yes again. But the number of comments we got on it kind of made it worth it.

The name of this post really should be, THE WEEK OUR HOUSE BLEW UP. By blow up I don't mean a literal explosion. Rather an implosion of the biggest mess we had yet ever created. There was not a single room that had not spewed nearly its entire contents all over. Yes, I really mean that. We reached a new level of in-home disaster. That is what happens when you wait until the last minute and have a new baby. Things explode. :)

I also had every intention of taking all sorts of fun pictures of the girls all dressed up. These two pictures are all I have. It never happened. Again, don't procrastinate! Oh well. It was a crazy week, all for an hour or two of fun. I think Kyle and I would do it again anyway, because we are a little crazy and enjoy it. Next year, we're starting earlier! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

KACEY: 7 MONTHS

The advantage of having Kacey's birthday on the 1st day of the month, means the beginning of each month is an easy reminder that she is one month older. So here we are at the start of February, and the start of another month for Kacey.


This girl is 7 months old. Say what?!

At least that's how I feel. Suddenly she is getting so big. Kacey is now rolling from her tummy to back, in one direction only. When placed on her tummy her immediate response is to roll. She will even begin to roll before she is completely on the ground. I have also watched her try to roll while sitting up. It's kind of hilarious. We're working on rolling from back to tummy, so she can do a full rotation. She's getting there. She will twist her top half and reach with her outer arm to grab whatever I am trying to lure her with (puffs work great!), but doesn't move her lower half.

Her other big milestone last month was the introduction of solid foods. She makes some of the best faces when eating. She is slowly getting more accustomed to the veggies we've been giving her. If in the right mood she will devour carrots and squash. She isn't as much of a fan of peas and green beans. Though mixing them with the sweeter vegetables helps. She really doesn't eat that much and is easily distracted. It's ok, she's just experimenting with new tastes and textures right now anyway. We're still practicing with the sippy cup. I don't know how much she actually gets out of it (not much), but at least she doesn't chew on the spout anymore.


She does love puffs. They entertain her for a good amount of time. She is able to get them in her mouth about half of the time. She usually has a few stuck to her and a nice pile that collects in her lap. 

That blonde hair- I just love it!
As adorable as she is, she is a stinker at nighttime still. For about a week she began sleeping most of the night, only waking once between about 1:00 - 2:00 am. This week has been back to waking every 2 hours again. Someday we'll all get a full nights sleep again! Right? Someday...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

OUR FALL ROAD TRIP

Burger King in Mountain Home, ID
We usually make a pit stop in Mountain Home to fill up on gas and grab something to eat. Our usual place is Arby's, but we missed the exit and had to take the next instead.  Burger King it was then.
Mid-October Hailey had Fall Break. She got Thursday and Friday off that week. Kyle was in need of new glasses, I was in need of a getaway, so we made a last minute decision to take off and drive to Washington for the weekend. We let Hailey skip school on Wednesday and drove all day. I was nervous about how well Kacey would do. She was just 3 months old and going through an I-hate-my-car-seat phase. We were completely blessed, she did fantastic. She slept most of the way there and on the drive back home. The older girls were great, though we did melt their brains with the number of movies they watched. On the drive we'll do whatever will keep our sanity.

The weather was fantastic. It was still warm enough for shorts, but just cool enough to maybe want a jacket. We took plenty of advantage of the weather. 

To start it off, we spent sometime at the Country Mercantile in Pasco. We took a tractor ride out to the pumpkin patch and picked pumpkins, which the girls later painted with Rara. Kyle and Hailey ran through the Hay Maze, and the girls ventured into the corn maze with Papa and Rara. To end it, we topped the trip off with some ice cream. 


Since Kyle was in need of new glasses and I was wanting an eye exam we went into Papa's office where all 4 of us ended up getting exams. Turns out Hailey is far-sighted and scored a new pair of glasses to help her overworked eyes relax. She picked out some bright pink frames that look super cute on her. She was so excited!


Papa and Rara picked up a remote controlled Star Wars X-Wing fighter. We took it out to the park and watched Kyle fly it around. After a while we moved on to the playground and let the girls run around. 


We also went swimming. In October? You bet! Papa and Rara cranked up the heat in the pool so the girls could enjoy some pool time. Kacey chilled poolside while the girls splashed and swam.


We also surprised the Hague's and Dickman's. Their reaction was pretty much worth the drive. We had too much fun letting the kids play while the adults chatted. We really didn't want to leave. It's so sad living far from such awesome friends!

The trip was much needed and much appreciated. It was fast, and not quite long enough. We had a blast! We can't wait until summer comes and we can do it again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2015 FALL SOCCER


Fall brought another season of soccer for Hailey. Her age bumped her up from 3-on-3 to 5-on-5. It is funny how much more crowded the "pack" feels with the addition of 4 more bodies. So many little legs all scrambling for the same ball. It wasn't as easy to get a break away. Hailey was still able to capture a few goals. The best was how excited she was after her first of the season. Describing it she said, "it went in like a squirt bottle!" I was impressed with the teamwork the girls were starting to use toward the end of the season. Their coach was able to teach them to use passing to work the ball down the field. A little bit. They are 5-year-olds after all. 


Keira really is Hailey's biggest fan. She loves to go and watch. And eat her snacks. She especially loves it when the local dentist shows up with free water bottles, cutie oranges, and notepads. That's what soccer is about right, all the goodies?


The above pictures of Keira so well illustrate life at the beginning of fall. Mismatched clothes and crazy undone hair. At least she is dressed and has shoes on. Even if they are cleats. I pulled out Hailey's old cleats, which Keira was super excited to wear. I admit, I kind of loved it. 


While Kyle loves soccer and can more easily watch Hailey's games now, he still prefers to step away for a bit and play with Keira. The lack of skill in the games is a bit painful for him to watch. You know, the pack that swarms and moves with the ball. He goes, watches for a bit and supports. And then he entertains Keira. 


Of course Kacey didn't care much for soccer and usually took a nice nap through the game. 


No matter how much you love soccer, it's always more fun when one of your best friends is on the team.


And so ended another season. We're ready for some warmer weather so we can get out and play again! We'll be back out there again in just a few months.

Monday, January 18, 2016

KACEY: 4-6 MONTHS


Kacey is now 6 months old. Last I posted she was 3 months old. So much happens in just 3 months time in a baby's life!

The biggest accomplishment she has reached is her ability to sit on her own. She has always wanted to be upright. When she was newborn, being held upright and facing forward is what calmed her. By 4 months I was able to sit her in the bumbo seat where she could sit up and play while watching her sisters run around. Now she sits without support, which mean she can cruise the store in the shopping cart, and can splash and play in the bathtub. Life has improved greatly with this new found skill.


Kacey is our observer. I'm not sure if it is due to her personality, or if it is because she has two older sisters to watch and learn from. Of course it could be both. She usually is content to sit quietly while she observes her surroundings. This of course changes once she's tired. Then she turns into a wild child who likes to gargle the saliva at the back of her throat, make raspberry noises, and bend and arch her back.

She has a thing for faces. She will latch onto any skin she can find when you pick her up. This is especially true when she is wild and tired. I have a pretty good idea it's nap time when she begins to grab onto my face and try to eat it. 


I just love her blonde hair. When she was born I thought for sure she'd have light brown hair like Keira, but it's coming in blonde like Hailey. She has pretty blue eyes with long lashes. She gets so many comments on her eyes. Lucky girl!

Kacey loves her sisters. She gets excited when they play with her. She kicks her legs and smiles. It was so funny to watch her interact with Keira the other day. Kacey sat in her bumbo and Keira was behind her. Kacey arched her back and leaned waaay back in her seat, tipping her head upside down. She looked at Keira and laughed. She did this over and over again.


She clapped for a couple of weeks. When we clapped, she would copy. And then she stopped. Now she brings her hands together in a fist and shakes them as if to say, "yay me!" 

She is beginning to tolerate tummy time more. She has rolled over a handful of times. I'm not so sure she even knows what she did. She now will hold herself up with her arms. She has scooted slightly on her tummy by pushing with her feet. Once she figures out what to do with her arms she'll be moving all over. Not fast, nor crawling, but she could at least move herself to something she's interested in. 


Kacey adds a lot to our family already. We love her. Though I'd give her bonus points if she'd learn to take a bottle and sleep all night. Someday. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

LIFE RECENTLY: WHY I TOOK A SMALL BREAK FROM BLOGGING

What in the world has happened to time? It has been 3 months since I last posted. And it kills me. 

But let me explain.

6 months ago Kacey was born. I was mostly concerned about how it would change things for Keira, who previously was the baby, and how it might affect our family dynamic. Little did I realize just how much it would change things for ME.

Life was good for the first month or so. I was busy with baby, understandably so. We didn't really go anywhere. We had friends over to play, but otherwise kept to ourselves. Eventually summer ended and back to life we went. Hailey started kindergarten, which in itself was a whole new transition for me. That on top of the addition of a new baby began to overwhelm me. Kindergarten itself isn't hard. But for me getting back into a routine and making two trips to the bus stop became busy. I know it sounds silly, it takes us 5 minutes to walk to the bus stop, we wait 5 minutes, then we take another 5 minutes to walk back. But coordinating that 2 times a day with the eating and sleeping schedule of a newborn was tricky. Some days it still is. 

Trying to keep up with housework, menu planning, grocery shopping, cooking... all of it plus now caring for 3 children was too much. So we often didn't have a plan for dinner. We ate a lot of nachos, a lot of eggs and potatoes, a lot of cereal... you know, the quick and easy I-have-no-idea-go-to-meals. In fact Kyle would often come home and cook dinner, because I was usually tied up with caring for Kacey. One evening, after a day that for me was quite productive- I had dinner cooking in the crock pot, a success!- Hailey saw Kyle pull into the driveway after work. She said to me, "Dad is home, he can make dinner for you now." Nothing gets past little eyes.

Laundry. Oh dear. This is the never-ending pile upon pile that took over our bedroom. Seriously. The laundry was washed, usually after someone complained of being out of underwear, but rarely was folded and put away. It got to the point that our bedroom floor was covered in clothes, most of which were clean. One evening over Christmas Break, we had a laundry folding/movie watching party. Kyle brought down pile after pile of clothes, which we sorted and folded. Laundry is a beast: once you get behind, it's hard to catch up.

I felt like my life was falling apart. I just couldn't keep up. I was totally overwhelmed and exhausted. I could handle basic needs, but not a lot beyond that. My brain became overloaded with worry and stress. I began to struggle to cope with the anxiety that crept in. It never was serious, but some days it overcame me. 

Honestly, I was bit afraid of the mother I was becoming. I lost the urge to play with my girls, to read to my girls, to enjoy my girls. Caring for them became a job and a burden. Kyle and I became a bit distant- there just wasn't time or energy left at the end of the day to enjoy each other's company. 

As Kacey has grown, so has my ability to feel like me again. I have more time to accomplish daily tasks, more time for my family, more time for me, and an increased desire to try harder. 

Life is good! We're getting back on track. We're eating real meals again, laundry is getting washed on a more weekly basis, and the house stays relatively clean. I mostly feel like me again. I'm ready to blog once more. I haven't forgotten this little blog. It's too important to our family- this is where our memories are recorded. Hang tight with me while I try to play a little catch-up on the back end of 2015. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

KACEY: 2 AND 3 MONTHS

Time has flown. Like is totally zipping by at ultra speed right now. I can't keep up! Kacey is already 3 months old, nearing on 4. I totally missed posting 2 month pictures, which doesn't matter too much, because honestly they were taken when she was nearly 3 months old anyway. This is life at the moment, I'm usually trailing behind. But today I am getting caught up. Hailey is at school, Keira is off playing with Rara Park, and Kacey is taking a nice afternoon nap.

So, let's talk Kacey.


She's getting big. Just like her sisters. She is already sporting 6 month clothing and I'm thinking I need to start digging for 9 and 12 month soon. Either the clothes we had for the other two girls have shrunk over the years, or Kacey is tall. Maybe both.

Those smiles. They make the mid-night feedings worth it. Even if the smiles come at 4 am. It is getting easier and easier to get Kacey to flash a big gummy smile. She is so close to laughing. She makes a little noise like she wants to laugh, but it isn't a full on baby giggle yet. Soon!

Her coos and oohs are equally adorable. Conversations with her are the best. She has to be in the right mood for it, but when she is all other cares melt away.

Kacey is picky. She is picky about how she is held and who she goes to. Her preferred hold is facing forward with her back to your chest, fully upright. She wants to see the world and be a part of it. If she is fussing, this hold will typically calm her right down. It's like magic. Yet again, we didn't get a snuggly baby. She may not snuggle, but she does have a preference for Kyle and I. Honestly, this girl may cause us trouble in the future. She will often cry for anyone but Kyle and I. The second Kyle or I take her, she settles right down. Though, I do think she's making improvements on being a bit more friendly, at least towards her grandparents. Unfortunately she is not the most friendly with strangers. While I was changing her diaper in a public restroom a nice woman commented on how cute she is and leaned in a little closer to look at her. Kacey immediately errupted. Little miss sensitive.


She has begun to grasp toys, mostly in the past week or so. Of course once she snags it, it heads straight for her mouth. Her mouth is where her hands spend a good part of her time, along with her blanket. It's amazing how a fist full of blanket will calm her down.

Sleep. Sleep, sleep, sleep... This is what I wish she would do all night long. Actually she really doesn't do too bad, if I was willing to go to bed at 7 or 7:30. Kacey's first nighttime stretch of sleep extends for 4-6 hours, but starts early. I'm usually up feeding her by 12:00 or 1:00 am. And then every 2-3 hours after that until about 6 am when she's ready to play. Lately I've been able to get her back to sleep after that so I can sneak in another hour for myself. She is starting to become more consistent in her daytime sleep, though I really haven't hammered down a good schedule for her yet. I'm sure if it was just the two of us all day we'd have something figured out. Unfortunately for her she is the third child and is drug all over the place while I run errands or take her sisters places to play. Typically though she wakes, eats, plays for an hour and then sleeps again, but only long enough to be ready to eat again two hours after her last feeding. Though by the afternoon she will settle down for a longer nap.

Her sisters absolutely adore her. They love to hold her and play with her. Especially Hailey. Kacey gives Hailey some of the best smiles. Now that Kacey can sit up in a bumbo seat it's fun to watch her as she watches her sisters play. She tracks them all around the room as they run around together. It really won't be too long before she'll be running around with them too.

We blessed Kacey over Labor Day weekend. Kyle's parents flew into town, and his cousins from Colorado made the drive out to spend the weekend with us. Kyle of course gave her a fantastic blessing, centered on being of service to others. Kyle said as he held Kacey in his arms just before beginning the blessing, that Kacey looked right at him and gave him the most tremendous smile. It was a sweet moment for him. Kacey's beautiful lacy eyelet dress was made by her Rara Hill. She looked adorable in it.


Kacey previously had wanted to be held constantly. As she has grown she has become more ok with being put down. That has made life easier. It's still busy with her frequent feedings, but at least she's more content to be entertained by objects around her.

We love you Kacey K!

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