N is for…

N N 2IMG_3092

Bead Head.
#wokeuplikethis

Asher and Ellery have been doing some serious couch cuddling just about every day.  See:

IMG_3101 IMG_3135 IMG_3146

Yup.  He loves reading stories to her.

And also this week:

IMG_3149

14 Weeks

  • You have been really really wanting to crawl, or start the motions of it, I should say.  You are so strong, Baby Girl.
  • 6 month clothes are getting tight.  What the heck, girlfriend.  3 months old and wearing many 9 months things.
  • You’re looking more and more like the baby pictures of myself.  Especially when you grin.  :)
  • You love books.  Especially when one of your big brothers turns the pages for you and shows you pictures.
  • You are loving your toys more too – hanging from your car seat or laying on your belly on a blanket and looking at them.
  • You are getting exponentially wiggly which makes you hard to hold.

M is for…

M

3 Months - 2 DSC_0812 IMG_3014

How you sleep, you little weirdo.

IMG_3041

Cute dress Aunt Krista got you that we had to send her a picture of.

IMG_3042

You rarely fall asleep on me, and this reminded me so much of Asher, so I had to snap a picture!

IMG_3050

Cuddling Grandma Lois on Mother’s Day….

IMG_3051

…while the boys did this (Pukefest 2015)!  (Poor boys!)

13 Weeks

  • Girlfriend.  This post is two weeks overdue.  You know why?  Your entire family was taken down by the egg plague, aka salmonella.  It felt like the Oregon Trail over here.  I didn’t know if there would be any survivors.  Except you of course.  You were happy and fine, because salmonella can’t pass through breastmilk, you know.  So, I have spent the last two weeks cleaning up everyone puke (and other stuff) and then a few days puking myself.  Supa fun!  Bet you wish you will remember THAT party.
  • You have SERIOUS chub on you.  I JUST cleaned out your closet a few weeks ago and need to do it again because your leggings which have stretch don’t fit.
  • You enjoy tummy time and being on your belly with some toys to look at in front of you.  You are getting super good at turning in circles already!
  • You’ve been doing some major belly laughs more easily and your brothers are always trying to figure out new ways to make you laugh.
  • You absolutely love to be told how beautiful you are and how precious you are.  You give a big grin every time you hear it.
  • I never had posted your 3 month pic up!  So there’s that too.  And yay for not having a beaver tattoo this month… Thanks dad.
  • You are love sucking on your thumb.  I really hope you keep enjoying it because it would be so great to not have to rush into your room to give you your binky that you’ve lost in bed.
  • You are super easy with putting to sleep.  SUPER easy.  You start to get a little fussy and start to arch your back.  Then I swaddle you, turn on your music machine, give you your binky and lay you in bed.  You curl up in a backwards C (like in the picture above), close your eyes and go to bed.  Done and done.

A Year of Dates {April}

We like to mix our dates up – in town, out of town, alone, as a family, with friends. 

April’s date was a date with friends and oh my.  It was one of my favorite dates we’ve had in a while!

This was the date card invitation:

April_Page_1 April_Page_2

As the card indicated, we got all glammed up and headed north to Portland!  I didn’t have any flapper girl stuff really (except the shoes), so I did a quick search the week before and found a cute black Kenneth Cole dress that fit the bill, and my vintage-loving friend Vic had several head pieces to offer!  I snapped this photo of my hairdo in the car on the way up to send to Vic.  Also, warning: I didn’t bring my camera up on this date, so all of these are grainy iPhone pictures!

IMG_2839 - edited

We met up with friends (one of my bff’s Jessica, her husband Jim and her brother Ryan) at Claim Jumper for dinner.  No photos.

After a semi-rushed meal (we were on a crunch to get to the show!), we headed into Portland to get to the “Speakeasy” club.

IMG_2840 IMG_2841 - edited IMG_2842 - edited IMG_2843

There was singing and acting, and role play, and mingling and passing around clues.  We had a fun time laughing at our table (I never really made sense of the clues or had any solid belief as to whodunnit, but it was fun nonetheless.).

After the show, we headed BACK to Claim Jumper, because we weren’t ready for the party to be over yet and because I couldn’t get their chocolate motherload cake out of my head. 

0d16364808e64331a0149ceb315e3b37

Stock image from Claim Jumper

See what I mean?!  And Skyler and I totally put that cake AWAY, save a little piece we took home to our babysitter, aka Grandma.

And then, at the end of the night, we decided we prob should snap some photos of our group!

IMG_2845 IMG_2851

My girls – Chelsea & Jessica.

IMG_9761

The Crew: Tennyson & Chelsea, myself & Skyler, Jim & Jessica

IMG_9762

The Crew + Ryan! :P

We had so much fun and it makes me want to plan so many more group dates now!  Thank you ladies (and husbands) for joining the fun and dressing up so snazzy!

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Hey, hi, how are you?!

Look different around here?  Good.  Because to be quite frank, I hated the old design.  For almost a year, I had wanted to give it a lil’ redesign but you know – something(s) like pregnancy, morning sickness, buying a house, moving, remodeling house, oh and having a baby… yeah, all those have posed as minor life adjustments and redesign on the blog just never happened until… now. 

KD-Blog-Logo

And you know what?  I freaking love it.  I mean, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not tooting my own horn (much).  What I love is the water color floral elements!  *emoticon with heart eyes*  Sure, I “designed” the wreath and the other pretties on the blog but I didn’t create the floral elements (Graphic Box did) and I am gaa-gaa over them!  I can’t stop staring at them.  And using them on every possible thing I can.  (Just ask my fellow MOPS ladies.  :D)

Skyler tends to dislike these beautiful type things and says I have ‘old lady style’ for liking and using them.  He did, however, lower his amount of dislike for them when he noticed the font I had used for my name. 

“Oh, I like what you did with your logo now.”

“Ohh?  You changed your mind?!”

“Yeah, because you added that font that looks like Karate Kid!”

….  so, there’s that.  Now I’m going to think of Karate Kid every time I look at my beautiful website.  Wait.  Now you will too.  (Please don’t.)

Anyway.  All that to say, yay for new blog designs and holy cow, I was so patient for a whole year!!  I am still tinkering with different things and updating different pages, but it’s “good enough” for now and in mama-of-3 land, “good enough” usually means “good as it’s gonna get”. 

Oh, and I had planned the whole dorky “April Showers Brings May Flowers” title because I was going to reveal my new blog design on May 1st.  But you know.  Mama-of-3 Land.

L is for…

L DSC_0606 DSC_0634 DSC_0644 DSC_0645 IMG_2949

12 Weeks

  • You started rolling over from tummy to back regularly.  The couple times before were flukes.  :)  Now you’re unsafe to leave on the couch. 
  • You have started really enjoying sucking on your thumb/fingers.  You prefer your thumb, it seems, but you’ll suck on whatever you get in your mouth!  It’s pretty adorable, I will admit (and very funny to watch you try to shove your .  Self-soothe baby girl, self-soothe. 
  • You haven’t been sleeping as well lately – an hour nap is the longest you’ve gone for the last couple weeks.  Kind of driving mom batty, but at least when you’re awake, you’re still happy and content, so I can’t get too annoyed.  It could be so so much worse.
  • You are getting rolls on rolls baby girl.  So chunky.  I love squeezing your thighs!
  • You are starting to really recognize your brothers and you can tell you sure love them!  When they get into your line of vision, you lock eyes with them and give them a big grin.
  • You’ve started getting some interest in toys, so I’ve been laying you on a blanket with some and you like to just look at them.  Asher loves to just lay there with you and look at your toys with you and talk to you.  He sure is a good cuddle bug for you.
  • You went to the coast for the first time this last week – clamming specifically – but we also went to the old Newport downtown and took you to the sea lions.  You seemed indifferent to them. ;)

You are getting more fun and a more active part of our family, Baby Girl.  We’re loving how sweet and joyful you are, and are learning how to be careful with you and your emotions!  We’re too used to being a family of boys – we’re still adapting to not playing as rough or making as loud of noises because you get scared.  Your little girly cries are just the most precious thing, but we are sorry for making you cry.  Thanks for your patience with us as we are learning what having a baby girl in our family looks like!

Love you, sweet thing!

K is for…

 

Baby Girl – I’m SO late in posting this week… so just a few pictures.

KDSC_0506

You love this silly little bug toy that Grandma gave you.  You love to hold onto its ears.

   IMG_2930

 

You always find your way to your belly to sleep, with your little fist curled up under your chin!  You love it (just like mama).

 

 

IMG_2934

Sorry this week was so late, baby girl.  More info and tidbits with the next one.  :)

For Them to Remember

From the minute you announce your first pregnancy, you hear all about it from anyone who is a more seasoned parent than you are.

“It goes by so quickly!”

“The days are long, but the years are short.”

“They don’t stay little for long!”

I always knew the truth behind what was being told to me.  Yes, I know they don’t stay little for long.  I’m reminded every time I pull out a pair of pants that fit them just last week but are now are the perfect clothing item for wading through high waters.  I’m reminded every time that they smoosh their fat little feet up against mine to compare and holy smokes when did Zeek’s foot get more than 1/2 as big as mine?!  I’m reminded frequently of their growth.

Even so, I don’t think I really really understood just how fast it goes until this third child has come along.  This child that’s only 2 months old and wearing 6 month old clothes.  This child that is already laughing and grabbing at toys and daggonnit little missy – you aren’t supposed to be reaching those milestones yet!  You’re still so little.  You’re still supposed to be a newborn baby! 

Perhaps with the first two I was just in such a survive-the-baby fog that I didn’t see them aging so quickly before my eyes.  Or perhaps, I’m just wiser to it this third go around.  Whatever it is, I’m thankful for it.  Thankful that I’ve been reminded to slow down and turn off my never ending to do list which mostly consists of laundry (just ask my mom), doling out “snackies”, vacuuming up “snackies”, picking up a sea of toys, washing yogurt off the dining room window, and bemoaning the fact that I have to make dinner for these people every.single.night.

 For you are their everything.   They need you to do these things for them.

While it is lovely to be these tiny peoples’ everything, some days can also be draining, emotionally exhausting and the most frustrating thing in the world.  If you’re a personal friend, you might now that I had a rotten Monday this week.  The boys have been on a streak of waking up at 6:45, which is far too early as proven by their constant whines and bickering amongst each other.  Between them two and tending to a baby that had been woken up a few times already that morning because of their whooping and hollering, I was utterly spent.  By 9:30 am.  Thank the Lord, the sun was shining.  I booted the boys outside with clear instructions that they were not to knock on the back door and bother me until I brought them lunch in a couple hours, unless they were bleeding.  (I never thought I’d actually use that line on them, but 4 years into parenthood and there it was.)  The rest of the day was spent with me jumping from one needy child to the next, and then back to the first.  They were whiny, they were fighting with each other, they had ungrateful hearts and were unappreciative of meals, they broke a couple precious items; in short, they were being little hooligans all day long and pure exhaustion and defeat was reigning in my heart.  By the time Skyler called me to check on my day at about 1 pm, I think I had already cried 5 times.  I was ready to get as far away from my children as possible (mostly the big two).  The man of the house arrived shortly after 5 pm and I stayed just long enough to tell him that there was milk for Ellery in the refrigerator and that I would be back sometime that night before rushing out the door.  I headed to a local coffee shop for some R&R – grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down with the computer for some shameless Facebook scrolling.  Incredibly annoyed with myself, I realized I had grabbed the charger for the iPad instead of my laptop and my laptop is on its last leg with the battery only lasting approximately 15 minutes without a plug in.  “Whelp, better make this a good 15 minutes,” I thought.

I logged into Facebook and in an instant, this movie stared back at me.  I hesitated on opening it because, well, I was annoyed at my children gosh-dang-it and I didn’t know if I wanted to watch and let any mommy guilt plague me right then.

I opened it anyway, against my better judgement.  And I dripped tears like a little baby.  Right there in the middle of the coffee shop.  Darn you, emotional motherhood videos showing up in my Facebook feed.

Motherhood is hard.  Monday’s are especially hard.  But this video was so timely in reminding me that the little people in our lives are so very precious.  They watch us, they study us, they smell us, they feel us.  They know us to our very core.  And even still, even with the ugly that they sometimes see from us, they love us.  They see and recognize the beauty.  The lovely way our hair feels.  The soft feel of a shirt or intricate design of a ring.  The scent of the familiar sweet smelling lotion.  Above all, they remember how lovely we are.

f70a9db76c59047e2176ab1f946dd79b

Well… what is it that I want them to remember?  I want them to remember me smiling.  Me playing with them.  Me having an adventurous and joyful spirit.  Me putting aside the to-do list and putting their needs first.

So that’s exactly what I’ve been working on lately – setting down the to-do list.  Not always, because come on.  Peeps gotta eat or I’m afraid they’ll turn into little cannibals.  Not even most of the time.  Just sometimes.  When it’s important.  When I’m carrying a load of laundry to my bed to be folded and I hear the little pitter patter of feet behind me and a soft, “mama, cuddle me on the couch.” 

Pre-3rd-baby Kayla would think about how to wisely use available time and “no, sorry baby, mama’s gotta get this laundry folded while neither of you need me”.  Post-3rd-baby Kayla thinks about how precious time is and “yes baby, the laundry can wait because you need me.  You won’t always need me.”  I’ve been trying to capture their youth and memorize their sweet 2 year old and 4 year old faces.  I want to remember how fun and filled with wonder they are.  How adorable their little voices and the things they say are.

The other day, my friend Lacey posted on Facebook that her nearly 2 year old daughter had told her “I love you” for the first time.  I paused a moment to think.  Surely Asher has said that to me too… right?  I don’t know.  I assume so… but I don’t really know.  I don’t remember anyway.  Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention?  Maybe I wasn’t slowing down enough to notice? 

Yesterday morning, I sat at the computer with my cup of coffee and doing my routine email check while the boys were eating breakfast and watching a cartoon and Skyler, who had just woken up, was snuggling baby girl.  It was the first day in almost 2 weeks that neither of us had any plans.  No work, no school, no meetings or preplanned events for the day.  I was fully prepared to spend the day doing some more spring cleaning and recruiting Skyler’s help in getting a few more things hung on the wall. 

He looked over at me.  “It’s going to be low-tide at the beach at 10:47, you know.”

I looked back at him.  He was asking me if I wanted to take the family clamming for the first time of the season.  “Let’s go,” I said, barely hesitating.  We packed up the van and left the house (and left my to-do list next to the computer) with no plans except for a morning clamming adventure and lunch at La Roca for our favorite 7 lb burritos. 

The boys squealed at the thought of going clamming (for it’s one of their favorite family activities) and were giddy for the entire hour and half drive.  We clammed, we explored, and we tromped around the estuary in Newport Bay.  We overturned rocks and looked for crabs, we collected clam shells, we touched the strewn about seaweed and compared textures.  We set all other cares and to-do’s aside.  We spent the entire day together, adventuring as a family and capped the day off with a picnic dinner, popcorn and a movie. 

After getting the boys to bed late, I was ready to do a quick tidying of the house and get to bed and Skyler had a bit of homework to do.  Asher, after being told about 8 times to get back into bed and stop asking for more water, finally had a spanking from daddy because he was not obeying.  I had been tending to Ellery, but I could hear Asher softly crying in his bed on the other side of the wall. 

I did what I usually wouldn’t do to a child who we have been trying to get to sleep for an hour and had already had disciplined – I climbed into bed with him. 

He cuddled up into me with his small arm wrapped around my shoulders and his sweet face and wet eyes tucked into my neck.

“Dada panked me,” he told me.

“I know, baby.”  I reassured him that we love him very much and it is our job as his parents to teach right and wrong, and that we sometimes have to discipline for the wrongs.  I told him how much I loved him, even when we had to discipline.

“I love you, mama.”  There it was.  I know I’d heard it before.  But this time – this time I would remember him saying it.  I love you, mama.

“And I love dada.  And Bopa.  And Grandma….”  (and continued to list some family members whom are dear to him.)

I smiled and snuggled in closer.  “Sleep with me, mama,” he told me.  “I will for a while,” and I leaned my head forward to kiss his tear-streaked cheek.

We lay there quietly for a few moments before I felt his soft little hand reach my face.  He gently moved his hand around, feeling my lips, my nose and finally my forehead which he then leaned in and gave me a kiss on.  I laid there with him for a while longer, just enjoying his arms wrapped around me and the smell of his sweet little boy skin until I heard the baby girl stirring to take her turn in needing me.

IMG_2924My sweet boy who loves to cuddle and sleep on his mama.

I want to always remember what it feels like to be so needed.  So depended on.  So trusted.  To remember what it feels like to have little tiny arms wrapped around me and little soft lips kiss me on my forehead.  I want to remember what it felt like to climb into my own bed last night smiling.  Rejoicing in having 3 sweet babies that not just need me but love me.  Truly love me.

And for them, I want to be loveable.  I want to be joyful.  I want to show them how much I love being their mother.

63a1028c1908ff3d661a8ebe24d11805

It’s real work some days, but I am working on it.

J is for…

J DSC_0400 - edited DSC_0464 - edited DSC_0386 - edited DSC_0479 - edited DSC_0332 - edited DSC_0334 - edited

10 Weeks

  • You love to be swaddled to sleep.  As grandma says, we’re not sure we’ve ever met such a squiggly baby as you.  If your arms aren’t tight to your side, you’re moving and shaking and waking yourself up.
  • You are SO quiet when you wake.  Daddy is usually the first one to hear you at night in your crib.
  • It’s agreed among those who hold you – you are a content and chill baby.
  • You love to be looked at and talked to.  Especially being told you’re beautiful.  Makes you smile every time.
  • You love to snuggle into your giraffe.  I wonder if I’ll finally have a baby who has a “lovie”.
  • You are looking more and more like big brother Zeek!
  • Your eyes are getting brighter and deeper blue… hoping they stick around like Zeek’s!

Love you, sweet thing!

 

I is for…

I

You have recently found your fist, which is the best thing ever.

DSC_0247 - edited

Happy 2 Months Old, Baby Girl!

2 months DSC_0299

Oh, and I know that your bloomers are pulled up way too high.  You know why they are?  Because daddy did this a few days before your 2 month day:

IMG_2778

Yup.  He tagged you.  Asher didn’t want the tat, so of course he went to the helpless babe who had no say.  I’m sorry I wasn’t there to protect you… ;)

SO.  You see, your bloomers are pulled up high to cover up the beaver tat in your 2 month pictures… thanks for that one, daddy….

DSC_0199

You and one of your bff’s – Ivory. 

DSC_0213

Of course, you had to ruin the photo shoot.

IMG_2702

Yes, your brothers are still obsessing over you.

IMG_2745

9 Weeks

  • You started talking and cooing a ton this past week!  You love to be looked at, talked to, smiled to, and told you’re beautiful (right?!  I mean, what woman wouldn’t want that?!).  It makes you smile back and talk.  Sweetest thing.
  • Your cries are so soft and gentle and oh boy – after your brother Asher, it’s a refresher to mommy’s heart and soul!
  • You are mostly wearing 6 month clothing now and size 2 diapers.
  • When we’re shopping and you’re sleeping in the Boba carrier, you don’t transport to your carseat well like your brothers did.  You wake up every single time.  BUT you go back to sleep easily, especially when you’re at home in your crib, unlike your brothers.  With them, when they woke up, it was game over.  You generally just need your binky back in your mouth and you go right back to sleep.
  • You reached one of mommy’s absolute favorite milestones – finding your fist!  You can stare at it forever.  So far, you are only aware that you have a right fist.  Just you wait until you discover you have TWO of those things!
  • You celebrated your first Easter and Grandma gave you your first Easter basket (mommy didn’t even do that!).
  • Zeek is such a good caretaker of you.  He is extremely helpful to mommy when I am taking care of Asher or just can’t get to you right away.  He will rock you and give you your binky and tell you, “it’s ok El, you’re ok.  Zeeky’s here, Asher’s here, mommy’s here.”  You are so lucky to have TWO such sweet bro’s!!

Happy 2 months baby girl!  Can’t believe it’s already been that long, you sweet BRINGER OF JOY!  Love you.

A Year of Dates {March}

Say WHAT?!  Yep, we have reinstated our Year of Dates book!  (The first date we went on and a little history behind the date book.) If you remember where we left off, Skyler had made the Year of Dates book.  We were doing great with the dates until got into late summer and I was pregnant and sick through 17 weeks!  At that point, we kind of forgot about the date book completely.  While we went on dates here and there still (mostly our dates were looking at houses back then when we were in the home-buying stage!), we didn’t go on any more dates that Skyler had planned – mostly due to the fact that he chose very active dates and, well, that just got harder and harder to do!  :)

This Christmas was supposed to be my turn to re-make the book for him again, but knowing that little baby was supposed to be born end of Jan/beginning of Feb, I decided to postpone giving Skyler the date book until his birthday for March.  :)

So, as of last month, Date Book has been reinstated!  Yahoo!

I knew I had to start the book with a bang ( I swear that pun wasn’t planned.  It just came out.) because March was his birthday and because he probably thought we weren’t doing the Year of Dates anymore since I bi-passed giving it to him for Christmas and never made any mention of it. 

I decided to go all out Skyler Date and devote a day entirely to what he would want to do.  So this was the date invitation that he pulled out of the date book:

IMG_2772

March_Page_1 March_Page_2

First up, Jimmy Johns!  I actually worked this detail in last minute because we had just gotten something in the mail the day before that said Jimmy Johns sandwiches would only be $1 between 1-3 pm on the 12th (Skyler’s birthday, and when we went on this date).  Since Jimmy Johns is his favorite place to grab a quick bite, I knew I had to squeeze this in too…  Especially for only $1.  :)

We grabbed our freaky fast food and ate our sandwiches on the way to Cabela’s in Tualatin (45-60 min drive from our house).

I promised myself that I would wander around in Cabela’s with Skyler for as long as he wanted and without complaint!  He gleefully checked out the long bows and tested some out, checked out the Glock’s, and we perused the camping section.  We spent about an hour and half in there before heading out the door with new fishing poles for the boys (can’t forget the kids, even on a date!). 

Our next stop was Claim Jumper (also in Tualatin), which is one of Skyler’s favorite places to eat.  He gets the Drunk Chicken every time!  I got some Jamaican chicken dish and while it was delicious, it was a little on the spicy side.  But we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and little miss (who was just over a month old and spent the day with us) just mostly snoozed through dinner.  After we stuffed ourselves (oh yea, we shared a sizzling ice cream plate too!, we headed back to Salem.

We dropped Ellery off back at our home to stay with Grandma & Grandpa while we went to the shooting range, Tritac.

We started off easy with a Glock:

IMG_2583

By the by, Skyler is an awesome shot.  So robbers, beware!  ;)  But between paintball and hunting, I shouldn’t be surprised.  However, I am a horrible shot.  You have nothing to worry about with me.  Skyler kept going, “hey, you shot the head!  Great!”  and I’m all, “yeah, I was aiming for the center ring!”  Whatev.  It was fun.  :)

IMG_2590

Then Skyler wanted to shoot the AK-47.  Hey, whatever Birthday Man wants.  Since the gun was so big and scary, he chose the least scary target.  The carnival one.  Thanks for the compromise, Skyler!  (So much better than choosing the Meth Head or Osama targets!)

 

IMG_2594

Let me just say, that one was freaking intense.  I felt like a total badass, but more like a scary badass that was taking an AK-47 to a carnival… hahaha

IMG_2600

A little video of Skyler shooting:

But all in all – it was super fun.  And heck, we look pretty Mr. & Mrs. Smith Hott, right?!  ;)

IMG_2602

We had to take the targets home to show the boys.  (Another good thing we didn’t get the Meth Head target!)

IMG_2773 IMG_2774

YAY for having an easy baby and being back on the Year of Dates bandwagon!  We have our April Date tomorrow night, and I cannot wait for the date and for the pictures that will HAVE to be taken.  :)