Wednesday, October 21, 2015


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!

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. :)


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