Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Fabulous Find

I love when people share a great find with me! And y'all, I found a GREAT product! 

The Vegetti. 

Now, don't let the name scare you off. It sounds like a product you might find in an adults only store. 

But it's a vegetable-spaghetti tool. You make spaghetti from veggies. Yup. Boom. 

Now I've done the cauliflower rice (and pizza crust and mashed potatoes, etc). I've done the pasta made with veggies mixed in with the flour. I've done spaghetti squash. But this is different! Maybe not different, but another option! 

So it's just this simple machine

And I got two squashes and two zucchinis. And I curled them in there and got this!

I boiled them like regular noodles

And then added our regular sauce and voila! Dinner!

Now you might ask, did my kids actually eat this?? And my honest answer- pretty much! 

I knew Jay would balk at the different colors. So I showed him ahead of time and made a big deal that I "found" Ironman and Hulk pasta. He totally bought it. I also put chicken sausage in the sauce, so that definitely got him over the hump. He didn't love the "green pasta" but I think that was just a mental thing. So he ate it and I was SO pleased! Y'all, this kid HATES all veggies and fruits. So this is a big find for me!!!! 

And CK. She's easy. She eats pretty much everything (requests broccoli and green beans and tries whatever) so she ate it all just fine. 

Anthony and I loved it. You honestly couldn't tell the difference at all! This will absolutely be used a ton in our house! And only $14.99!!! 

Success people. This was definitely a success! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Week in Pictures (and Words).

Our weeks seem to get busier and busier. And I certainly have have no complaints about that. One of my friends from church has a hashtag that she puts on a lot of her Instagram/Facebook pictures that is #daysarelongyearsareshort and I love that saying SO much! It is SO true!! I live that every. single. day.

So because I have so many things to post about and not a ton of time, here is (part of) our week in pictures. And explanations. 

The top of my freezer. Excellence. 

This picture so perfectly describes my kids. Charley Kate always touching Molly- and her cleaning products. Jay being sweet with both sisters and always holding an animal/dinosaur. And sweet Molly- just going with the flow!

We went to my uncke's lake house last weekend to celebrate my grandmother's 84th birthday. I actually got some boat time with the big kids! So fun seeing them on the lake! 
Charley Kate will be a river/lake beauty for sure. She loves riding on the boat (frequently telling the driver to go faster!). She loves to just ride and drink her little drink. 

Jay is a typical boy and loves to play! Loves tubing, jumping off the dock, swimming in the lake, fishing, and riding wave runners. 

I posted this on FB the other day, so sorry if you've already read this. But CK loves playing with "wep wipes." As she had already finished off one pack and was starting on the next, I made her stop. Well, you would have thought I slapped her- she was SO upset! After tantruming, screaming/crying, and stomping away (I ignored all of this), she stomped back right in front of me and said, "I'm not your best friend anymore!" Ahhh the drama of girls. Sigh...

I got to tube with them! Charley's first time! She LOVED it! She leaned over during the ride and said, "Mommy! Dis is FUN!"

Nap time at the lake. So typical of my kids. Jay tucked in and nicely sleeping on his back. CK sprawled out half on the bed, no covers, and just a hot mess. I just love them both! 

Cousins' kids playing together. 

Our whole crew that was there! We missed Michelle and Scott and my cousin Trey! Even Tex made front and center! 

One morning we were up early and needed to fill some time. (Amateur) face painting time! A tiger...

...and a deranged clown! Sorry CK, between my poor paint job and your smearing and the look on your face, it was a little scary! 

On Tuesday we headed to the Blue Bell Factory with one of my sisters, my mom, aunt, cousin and nieces/nephews. It was my FIRST time there and SUCH a blast! Love me some Blue Bell!

And then there was some of this with this 8 week old! Go girl! 

Ohhhhh Charley girl. No words. 

Again. No words. 

So yeah. There's all that. Add in some swimming, some gymnastics, Chuck E Cheese, mall fun, and several Target/HEB trips and you've got our week. 

Days are long. Years are short. But I stinkin love it! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Molly is 2 Months!

Well, actually it was yesterday that she turned 2 months, but she had her doctor's appointment today so I wanted to wait to update with her stats!

Ok so seriously, I love this baby so much. I don't know what it is, but this baby-stage has been my favorite of them all. I think with Jay I had no clue what I was doing and with Charley Kate I was in a fog from having a newborn and an 18 month old. I'm so relaxed this time around and realize that this stage is fleeting. Plus, Molly is a pretty darn good baby, so put it all together and I just can't get enough of her!

This is what I want to remember about sweet Molly at two months...

-She seriously is so so sweet. I love her smiles and half giggles. She dishes them out to me like it's going out of style! She gives them to everyone, but her brother and sister and momma get them right away (she's around us all day everyday, so you know why)
-She is a great little eater. Just about every three hours through the day for about 15 min. She's actually on a schedule more than any other kid with eating around the same time each day (give or take 30 min). Not on my doing, but just how it falls for her when she's ready in the mornings. 
-She really likes to eat for the last time somewhere in the 8:00 hour at night then gets her big stretch of sleep then. A typical night is a 5 hour stretch, so once she's down (930ish) Anthony and I hit the hay to take advantage of it.
-She gets up for the day around 8, so this gives me time to get Jay and Charley (and the pets and myself) fed and taken care of and then pump!
-Her middle of the night feedings are just transitioning to about 5-6 min, so I can tell she doesn't need as much and hopefully will start going longer! 
-She is pretty happy all day long. She eats, then plays/watches her siblings/is on the go for 1.5-2 hrs, then sleeps for an hour, then is ready to eat and repeat! 
-She is so different than the other two in that she likes to be put down. She definitely gets overstimulated easily (maybe it's her older siblings in her face all. day. long.!) and doesn't like to be held nonstop. Luckily she sleeps while not being held. And a lot of times if she is super fussy and we can't calm her down, we will swaddle her or just tuck a blanket around her and put her in the swing/bouncy seat/car seat and she is immediately happy. 
-She actually sits in her car seat happily for long stretches of time. What?!? Love this!!! 
-She loves to be outside and that immediately calms her. 
-She's generally super laid back, but when she's mad she is LOUD! 
-She likes the pacifier sometimes, spits it out others, and sucks on her hand other times. Anxious to see what she chooses! 
-I have been trying to pump almost every morning this time around to build up my supply and make sure she is taking bottles. So far so good!
-It's confirmed that she, too has an umbilical hernia like her brother! What?!?!!?!
-She actually has a teeny (smaller than a pencil eraser) birthmark on her right side/ribcage that matches her big sister's!
-Only poops once a day, which is so different than her siblings!
-Loves going on walks and jogs! Yay!
-Is really strong, likes to watch everything going on around her, doesn't mind tummy time, and is truly "waking up" from the newborn stage. Loving this baby!

We really are so so blessed with this sweet baby girl. She has really added such a wonderful dynamic to our family. Life was pretty easy before her, but she has ruffled very few feathers with her entrance and has just helped make the transition from 2 to 3 kids so easy. I just love this little baby!!

Two month stats from her appointment...
Length: 23.25 in (86%)
Weight: 12 lbs exactly (72%)
FOC: 15.25 (70%)

Her siblings' stats...
Length: 24.5 in (92%)
Weight: 12 lbs 5 oz (66%)
FOC: ??

Length: 23.75 in (95%)
Weight: 10 lbs, 9 oz (32%)
FOC: 15 in (47%)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Resemblance Much?

Most days I just can't tell who Molly favors. 

Some days I think it's Jay...

And other days I think it's Charley Kate...

But most of the time I think she's just perfectly unique! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What Would You Do?

I had an interesting play date the other day. Not with the sweet friend I met there (I actually loved chatting with her and decided as I left we definitely needed to get together more), but a particular little boy and his mom at the place we went to.  

The play place is a warehouse type building with two "rooms"- connected and you can sit in one and see into the other. As many times as we have been to this place (40? 50?), we have never encountered any issues or "problems."  The occasional taking of a toy? Yes. The chasing or pushing? Of course. But nothing major. It's always filled with moms who chat and visit with each other but are also very good about watching their kids and making sure nothing is going on. Which is why we love going there!

There was this little boy there, right around 2 I'd guess. I didn't think twice about him (in fact, I didn't notice him) until I heard CK crying from the other room. Just as I stood up to check it out, she came running in crying and holding her head. I asked her if she bonked it and she said no, that a baby pulled her hair. I sort of dismissed it because a)babies DO pull hair, and b)she's always in babies' faces and just might have deserved it. 

But she was pretty upset and wanted me to come with her. So I walked in there just in time to see said boy throwing the foam mulch at Jay. Jay kind of fussed at him and said stop. Then Charley said that he was "the baby" that pulled her hair. I was surprised because he was definitely old enough to know that it was wrong (to do both things) and I feel like hair pulling is SUCH a baby-thing to do. I just took her hand and told Jay to follow me and that we should play somewhere else. (What do you guys do at this point? My first reaction is to let it go and move away from the offender). 

I should have figured it out by the mom's reaction, but she came right over and asked if her son had done something. Realizing they are kids and all make mistakes, I just said, "Oh there was some hair pulling but we are ok. We will just go play in here," and smiled and walked into the other room (I can promise you I was so nice about it). She answered with a "Well let me know if that really is what happened!" in a very nice tone (but I was confused because I DID just let you know and it IS what happened). 

Anyway, a while later said boy was in the playhouse and another girl ran out screaming crying that he had pulled her hair. Mom made him "apologize" and that was it. 

Then he pulled another kid's hair right next to us and the poor baby was screaming. Mom ran over and made him "apologize" again and the snotty nosed kid tried to kiss the one he offended which just weirded and grossed me out. 

A little while after that, Charley Kate came running over to me again screaming crying that he pulled her hair again. I went in there and I guess the mom finally saw it because she met us halfway and made him apologize. Like the boy cared. This time I said, "Honey you can't pull her hair. It really hurts her and it's not nice." I was kind but incredibly irritated that this mom continuously did NOTHING to stop the behavior. Sensing my irritation, she finally put him in timeout. 

It happened at least once more, and he also flipped the tray Charley was carrying out of her hands on purpose and threw a cup at another kid. 

Look, I know toddlers are tough, but you gotta know when to cash it in. If this was a fluke and abnormal behavior for him, then you have to know as a mom that it's time to go because something clearly isn't right. I know kids misbehave for all sorts of reasons, but not doing anything about it is just infuriating. Plus, methinks this wasn't a one-time deal. He seemed like a repeat offender. 

I'm sure the mom feels like she has her hands full (she had two other kids there- both younger than him!). I'm sure she'd like to get out and let her kids play and socialize herself. But if you have a child who is acting naughty then you have to stop the behavior! If that means leaving when they mess up, then leave! If that means staying home until they are taught how to properly socialize, then stay home. 

Again, I get it that two year olds misbehave. Mine does all the time! I know kids take things that aren't theirs and sometimes they push and sometimes they are bossy and often they throw tantrums. I get it. But physically hurting five different kids in an hour and a half is too much. 

I really wanted to cut this mom a break. And I did. But after it happened to so many other kids, everyone was just fed up. For the greater good, count your losses and head home. And try again the next day if you want. 

Anyway, any thoughts on how to handle something like that? I was racking my brain thinking about what I was going to do if he did it a third time to Charley. 

I am not one to correct other people's kids (even if I want to!). I know they all mess up and I would hope that if one of mine did something wrong, another mother would cut me some slack. But my kids just aren't physically (or verbally) offensive. They are defensive and will retaliate, but I have never seen either of them just walk up and physically harm another kid for no reason. And if they did, I'd be all. over. them. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one... 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Just Stuff

We've had VBS at our church each night this week! 

This is Charley Kate's first year to go- and she is loving it! 

I am remembering last year when I taught the 2's class with Courtney- what a whipping! I am extra thankful for all the teachers and volunteers this year- and a little part of me is dying over not being able to be there and help! But I know Miss Molly needs me right now and I'm happy to be with her! Of course Jay is LOVING it and thinks he's big stuff these days! 

Speaking of, he has been trying to convince me for a while that naps are overrated. Today he woke up pretty late (for him... It was like 7:20) and got a pretty good night of sleep. So when it came time for naps, he told me he didn't need one because "naps are awful!" Since he seemed pretty rested, I obliged and agreed to let him have some downtime on the couch instead. I put CK down and then it was Molly's turn. After putting her down I went out to the couch and found Jay passed out- iPad in hand, blanket out of the drawer, and propped on a couch pillow! My big tough guy still needs a nap whether or not he wants to admit it! 

I have LOVED watching this sweet little face morph from newborn into a baby. I honestly can't get enough of her! She is just the sweetest, snuggliest, most wonderful little thing! How do I not remember how amazing this smiley newborn stage is?! 

We have such a busy week ahead- with yesterday being no exception! I have loved staying busy all summer- it makes the days go by quickly. But then I blink and realize it's mid-July which means summer is halfway over. Then I get all sad and want time to slow down some. You can't have it both ways, Courtney! 

Oh, and a final note... We are still dealing with our suburban saga! Ordered ours end of April. No sign of the restriction being lifted (meaning no sign of a custom Burb). Now they are searching for one to fit our specific needs- which we aren't having any luck with either! If you remember they loaned us a brand new Tahoe pre-Molly. A week or two after she was here, they found one they thought we might like (close to what we wanted, minus a few MAJOR things). After six weeks if being "loaned" that one, it was sold and yesterday we swapped out for another brand new one (definitely not one we want to keep). Patience is definitely a virtue here and it's actually laughable because hello first world problems! 

Anyway, in the meantime my kids are getting used to the fact that you get a brand new car every few weeks! Ha! Boy, their hearts will be broken when they learn the truth! 

Until left time... 

Lucky Number 7!

Today marks 7 years of being married to my handsome husband, Anthony! 

Anthony's sweet mom texted weeks ago and asked if we wanted them to come in and babysit all three kids so we could go out to dinner and on our first post-baby date. As bad as I feel asking people to babysit, I said YES! 

We went to dinner and this is longest I have been away from Molly in the entire 7 weeks of her life! The first 45 minutes were pretty nerve-wracking! I kept feeling the need to put her pacifier back in or make sure she was sleeping (clearly she wasn't with us- just a habit!). Finally I let go and we really really enjoyed our night together. I can honestly say that is the longest we have hung out and talked in over 7 weeks. It was wonderful. It's always hard finding time for your spouse, but having a newborn and two toddlers/preschoolers makes it virtually impossible to get more than 30 min here and there. 

Dinner was amazing and company was the best! 

The best part is that we got home at 930ish (I know, wild and crazy kids!), and all three kids were asleep for the night! Success! 

A huge thanks to Anthony's parents for making the long drive to help us out. It was sooo needed! 

And one thing I don't want to forget... I came out with my dress on and makeup/hair done (you know, for the first time in months). And Jay saw me and said, "Oh mommy. You are so pretty."  And he just hugged me and kept staring at me and playing with my hair. That sweet sweet boy- his wife is gonna love him some day! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Finding It

I'm looking back at my most recent posts (really all of them since Molly has been born), and I realize I haven't blogged about anything of substance really. Just about all of them are recaps or reports. 

And likely today will be no different. I'm going into this blogging session with nothing on my mind, so forgive me if it stinks. 

I don't know why I haven't blogged about anything great, other than time. I have plenty of decent thoughts (yes, my brain actually still works with three kids three and under). But whenever I have a free thirty minutes, sitting down at the computer to write a witty post just isn't at the top of my list. Usually I'm getting things done around the house (laundry, cleaning, cooking, ordering birthday party invitations, etc). And if by some chance everything is done, then it's highly likely I'm going to sleep with that precious free time. 

Today I'm tucked into my bed with all three of my babies napping. We went to the zoo this morning (in the 400 degree Houston summer weather) with all the cousins. And man, it was so much fun! I loved going two weeks ago by myself with my kids, but going with three other adults and three kids who are 8 and up (aka really awesome helpers) was basically a piece of cake. Jake (the oldest) had Jay in tow and they discussed animal facts the majority of the time (and Jake helped push the stroller or kept me company with his witty jokes). Josh (10) is the apple of Charley's eye and carried her around quite a bit and hung back with me. This left me to be with Molly who was awake the first hour and a half then slept the remaining two and a half- in her stroller the whole time. So when I say it was a piece of cake for me, it really was. :)

In other news, now that I have the all clear from my doctor, I've done a decent job of working out again. Taking the kids on long walks (so thankful Molly is a great stroller rider so far) and lifting weights/doing at-home exercises (lunges, squats, etc). I also just started Couch to 5k, which if I'm honest has proven to be more challenging than I would like to admit (so so out of shape!). 

I also have been catching up on my blog from when Jay and Charley Kate were the same age as Molly now. And it made me laugh to realize that both my older kids were almost consistently sleeping longer stretches at night than Molly. The part that is funny to me is how I haven't even noticed. I haven't once thought to myself, "Molly should be sleeping longer stretches by now" or "Why isn't she sleeping longer?!" Honestly, I had NO clue until I read about it that she was "behind" in this area. What this tells me, is that I'm just totally content with our world right now. I am not looking at what it should/could be or hoping to speed things up. I'm literally just taking it one day at a time and fully embracing this little life of mine. 

And I'm not even trying to claim that our days are perfect. They are far, far from it. But they are OUR days. And they are so wonderfully imperfect that it makes me smile knowing I'm not longing to be elsewhere. We will get to the point one day where all of our kids are sleeping through the night perfectly. And I bet there will be some longing for the days when they were young and in need of snuggles. 

So I encourage you, too, to just breathe and feel the contentment of now. Find something every single day to be thankful for in your unique, imperfect world. I tell you, our blessings are plentiful- even when the baby is crying and the dog is vomiting and the older two are fighting yet again. Or when the husband is late or the friend lets you down or the car won't start. There is plenty of good, friends. You just have to find it. 

And if that wasn't the most random, unrelated post you've ever read, then I don't know what is. :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Celebrating the 4th!

Last weekend, I got a text from a friend asking if we had 4th of July plans. Coincidentally, we just had a baby and pretty much have no weekend plans (other than birthday parties here and there).

After being alone all last weekend, I jumped at the chance to "getaway" for a bit to their lakehouse.

The upside on why we went: it's close (a two hour drive), they have two houses side by side so we would have plenty of space for our whole crew (not cramming five of us in one room!), I had been there before and knew what to expect, we didn't have to cook or go out of our way (the Lodge is a boat/car ride away and has food at every meal), great friends for the kids and us, and it was close (did I already mention that?!). Plus, they have a baby girl too and I knew the daddies and big kids could go boat and play and the mommies and babies would stay on shore. I figured if I was going to be sitting around feeding Molly and just hanging out, I might as well do it with a friend!

And oh man, it was a GREAT time! Definitely the most fun 4th of July we've had since kids have been in the picture!

I have known this other couple forever. I knew the husband starting back in 4th grade and the wife since 9th grade. They have twin boys that are 10 days older than Jay and the boys have been in school together since they were 2 (and have done gymnastics and camps and a million other things together). It was a great weekend with great friends. The kids were amazing (even staying up until 1030 both nights!) and Molly was a rockstar! Seriously, that girl is incredible!

Oh, and apparently Jay has become fearless and super brave. He tried so many things for the first time this weekend- I am SOOOO proud of him! No pushing or prodding by us- he asked to do everything all on his own! Way to go, buddy!

The first night we got there at 8 after traffic and heavy downpours on the way (Molly did ok. We stopped halfway through to feed her and she was much happier!).  After dinner and a boat ride, the daddies thought it would be a good idea to go buy fireworks and do them! Late night it was... 

They  loved it- and Charley Kate decided she was one of the boys for the weekend! :)

Meanwhile, Molly did a lot of this to pass the time  :)

Fourth of July morning was spent fishing, jumping off the dock and swimming in the lake, then boat rides, paddle boarding, and wave runner rides... All before lunch time! Fun it was!

The boys!

They caught a teeny fish!

One of my FAVORITE pictures!!!!! Jay LOVES doing "trick jumps" into the water!

The boys getting pulled on the tube!

This is crazy to me! Total fearlessness! 
(The "push" at the top was to make sure they cleared the boat at the bottom!)

Trying to wakeboard!!!!!!

Jay jumping off- can you see him to the right of the flag?!!?

 By far one of my FAVORITE pictures from the whole weekend! 

We did more of this while waiting!

Selfies because we were bored waiting! :)

Proud mommies watching their boys tube!

The boys went and had lunch at the Lodge and swam and played on the playground, and all the girls stayed back (including CK). CK busied herself making a "grocery store" with all the snacks we brought outside. I even had to bring my wallet and pay! :)

We all hung around and took naps and baths and got ready for dinner at the Lodge and the fireworks show. It was a super fun night!! 

Nursing in the middle of the party- I went over by the pool (empty) and sat in a lounge chair away from everything. 
Sometimes being a nursing momma gets lonely :)

But then I get sweet smiles and it's totally worth it! 

Charley Kate and Brooks' first date! Ha!
Watching fireworks... 

Clapping at the end of the show! 
These two LOVED the fireworks. Like, didn't take their eyes off. 
Jay and Parks couldn't have been less interested :)

Our whole group!

Such a fun and short little weekend. Perfect for mine and Molly's first escape from the dregs of newborn-hood. And we are totes willing to go again if they'll have us! :)

Ps- here are a few pics from our first trip to their lake house two years ago! Crazy how things change!!