Tuesday, June 12, 2018

BirdDay Party

With Finn's current love for birds, a party at our local aviary was an obvious choice!  Especially since we still have no landscaping at our new house, I was excited to be hosting the party elsewhere.  It was so easy to just show up with treats & favors and not worry about the rest.  Instead, I put my energy & creativity into some of the minor details.

The invitations were designed by a friend of a friend, and she completely nailed my vision!  They were perfect for the party!  For favors, I wanted to share the bird love with all of Finn's friends, so we made a bird seed mix and formed them into heart shapes.  We followed this recipe, and used bakers twine to finish them off.  For the hummingbird nectar, mix 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then cool.  I packaged them in mason jars, which I swear are nearly impossible for kids to break.  And of course, the favors needed a sweet treat, so we made dirt cups with oreo crumbs and added in gummy worms.  The kid friendly "bird food", even though Finn kept asking if he could eat the actual bird seed as well, ha!

The party itself was a small, intimate group.  Huge amounts of people are so not my thing, so we focused on just Finny's core group of friends, which of course I did not snag a picture of... grr.  The party was laid back and perfect for our new 3rd year.  A story, a craft, and a walk around the aviary where everyone got to feed the ducks.  Given the time of year, we spotted many baby ducks which were quite friendly.  Finn has a favorite duck, the American Coot, if you ask him.  But "Mr. Mallard" is a close second thanks to the book Make Way for Ducklings.  Bird shirts were necessary and so so so cute!  Who knew Amazon has quite the collection?!

We ended the party with icecream sandwiches (Finny's request) and a walk around the aviary with just our little family.  It was the perfect opportunity to try out the new binoculars he received from friends for his birthday.  We also gifted him with a new suet feeder as well as a book called The Fog, which is about a bird who is a people watcher, adorable!  Bird everything!  We're just living our best bird lives over here in the Keenan House!

A huge thanks to all who celebrated with us near & far.  And for those who will sit and talk birds with our Finn.  This is such a fun hobby to foster, and it has cultivated many special moments for our family.  We're headed to Montana in a few days, and Grandpa has sent pictures of baby robins that just hatched!  And I hear that his Nana is already planning his big Christmas gift which will be a bird house.  Hopefully next spring we will have birds nesting nearby!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Finn: 3 Years Old

It's that time when I get to gush on my kiddo and try to remember all my favorite little things about him at age 3.  We are already a month into 3, and I am loving it.  He's matured recently.  His body is thinning out, aside from those sweet kissable cheeks he still carries around. He no longer resembles that chunky baby he once was.  He has the darkest brown eyes, and the straightest blond hair.

When he wants an answer to any question quickly, he follows it with "yes or no?".  He often asks the same thing over & over, even when we respond the first, second, third time, always double checking that the answer stays the same.  He's our funny one!  He's personable.  He has this wild imagination.  He loves making up his own stories and never stops talking.  Ever.  We log many hours in the car, and he talks the whole time.  Occasionally he may read through books or bring a few toys and come up with some game with them.  But mostly talking.

I always used to describe him as my brute.  My bruiser.  My little football player just waiting for the day that he could light up some kids on the field.  And he definitely still has that side of him.  But just recently, we have started to see this pure, sensitive side to him.  He cried his way through the Lion King when Mufasa died.  Huge tears, streaming down his face and full-on buried his head in dad's chest.  He cried when he saw a tortoise at the zoo being a big bully and pushing another tortoise into the water.  He notices other's feelings.  He shows empathy.  He's a huge snuggler and is such an affectionate boy.  Learning about this new tender side of him has been a joy. His emotions are as big as his strong little heart.

He has settled into his role as a middle child quite nicely.   He has the personality to pull it off and will never get lost in the shuffle.  He has learned his place on the sidelines at all of big brother's sports, but is anxiously waiting for the day he too gets to play.  He wants to keep up with Liam.  Hates being left behind.  And is so fiercely independent.  He loves helping in the kitchen or with projects around the house.  Finn always wants to join in on errands, or crash anyone's shower.  He has the biggest sweet tooth and thinks every meal should end with dessert.  He asks for treats all day and truly makes life decisions based on whether or not it will result in a treat.  His current favorite song is Hallelujah.  He asks us to play it almost daily. And his sweet voice singing it just makes me melt.

He's more than ready to start swim lessons this summer, and then preschool in the fall.  He wants to grow up far more quickly than I am prepared for.  He loves hiking, trail riding on his balance bike, and just generally being outside.  The endurance and stamina on this kid amazes me.  He has a love for birds, which is an interest we have truly fostered over the past month.  Our house has 4 bird feeders which he helps to refill.  We have multiple bird books around the house, that he often carries room to room and puts under his pillow when he sleeps.  They are grabbed at a moment's notice to identify any new birds spotted.  I hope this love of birds will continue to grow, because it is such a sweet hobby.

Finny is such a joy in our life.  He's still crazy stubborn and is quite the handful at times, but he brings such a crazy, wonderful dynamic to our family.  We cannot wait to watch him grow and change and continue to just be so very him!  Happiest of birthdays to you Finn! 

And because I love to look back at compare all the boys' stats:

Height: 3'3 (82%)
Weight: 34 lb 3 oz (75%)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Books We're Currently Loving

Our house is bursting with books, which is the best thing ever.  We have them stashed in just about every room, and in the car as well.  Finn especially spends a lot of time in the car between all the school drops & pick ups and going to & from Liam's practices, so books are the perfect thing to keep him entertained during all of that.  We make weekly trips to the library, but often purchase our favorites.  Every nap time & bedtime we read two books (or two chapters if we are in a chapter book).  So today, I'm sharing the current favorites that are in constant rotation at our house.  

This story is about two brothers with a super secret club.  We love the brother aspect and often substitute the boys' names into the book.  Plus, the illustrations are absolutely beautiful (which is something I personally value in a book).

I believe I have mentioned this book before, because honestly it is our absolute favorite!  Perfect for any little explorer or adventure.  The story follows a little boy who runs into a little bear who is also out exploring.  Once again, the illustrations are truly beautiful.  I really love this author, so I'm pumped that he has new Halloween book coming out in the Fall called Sir Simon: Super Scarer.  It's available now for preorder, so yep, already bought it!

It's about a boy with a pet elephant who meets other kids with strange pets.  An adorable message, and beautiful drawings.  This book was a gift from Liam's teacher and has quickly become a favorite.

Follows the journey of one lost teddy bear.  The illustrations remind me of Rockwell times, or my Grandma's era.  A very retro beach feel.

Who doesn't love Hans Christian Anderson?!  This was one of my favorite books growing up!  It's not quite a full chapter book, but definitely too long to read for one nap time/bedtime.  Finn & I just started this, but I'm hoping that boys' will love it as much as I did.  Once again, a book about brothers, and with birds, so Finn has to be into it.

*Side note:  I often get asked about Finn's bird book that he constantly has with him to try and identify birds.  We even just go through it for fun constantly; he's truly obsessed.  We have Birds of Utah, but there is a bird book for each state!  Highly recommend if you have a little birder on your hands!

Now for the chapter books...  Liam has been listening to us read Chapter books since he was about 3 years old, and Finn started joining in on the fun a few months ago.  It totally depends on the particular book whether he is interested or not.  We started with The Magic Treehouse Series, which is really the perfect start to chapter books.  But after the first 5 or so, we all got a little bored and moved on.  Our favorite favorite favorite favorite book has been The Wild Robot.  It's so poignant!  And deep!  And thought provoking!  For both kids & adults.  Both Conor & I so looked forward to reading it and would even read it on our own if we missed a couple chapters since we didn't put the kids to bed that night.  It definitely has some extremely sad moments, as well as some violent ones, but overall it's incredible.  I'm sure this is book we will continue to read again and again as the boys get older and pick up more things.  We just realized there is a sequel, so we're currently in the middle of The Wild Robot Escapes.

Other favorite chapter books include:

Charlotte's Web
My Father's Dragon
James and the Giant Peach

I'm considering starting The Boxcar Children with Liam, but I also know that he would be able to read them on his own come 2nd grade.  There were my favorites to read, so I may just leave those for him.  I'm also excited to start the Harry Potter Series eventually, but I want to save that for when we we could potentially read them all together, which is still many many years off!

We obviously LOVE books, so please please please share your favorites!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Kane: 7 & 8 Months Old

So... Kane is now 8.5 months.  Just now catching up.  Apparently 6 months in with three kids is when blogging finally took a back seat.  I so so treasure these updates though.  I go back and read about each of my boys are their different ages often.  So here I am trying to remember what exactly Kane was doing these past couple months.  Time is so fleeting.  They change so quickly.  I want to remember it all.  And often I do when I write things down, so let's see what I can scan my brain for tonight...

Kane is such a happy, smiley, giggly baby!  Strangers comment on this all the time!  I briefly thought we were heading into some stranger-danger for a week there, but nope, it passed just as quickly as it appeared.  While we were at the doctor's office for Finn's three year check up, Kane was completely smitten with our doctor; he even let the doctor parade him around the office and show him off!  He's easy going, will nap whenever he can, and is truly just happy to be along for the ride.

He's crazy mobile already!  He was fully crawling just after turning 7 months, and currently he is crawling up the entire set of stairs any chance he gets.  He tries to get away from us and thinks that is crazy funny.  He also pulls up on everything and anything, often my legs while I'm trying to cook.  He's used an Amazon Prime Box as a walker, and desperately wants to master that skill.  Will he be my earliest walker?  Currently Liam holds the record at 10.5 months.

He wasn't really into food until this most recent month, and now he goes crazy for it!  He freaks out if I'm eating & I don't share.  Favorites include: black beans, greek yogurt, hummus, cottage cheese, bananas, strawberries, watermelon, avocado, & bacon.  Baby led weaning is working so so well for us again & I love his big appetite!  He still breastfeeds as his main source of nutrition, but continues to really just nurse before naps during the day, and frequently throughout the night.  He has followed suit with his brothers and is currently a terrible sleeper.  We are waking up about 10 times a night, although I don't count because it messes with my head.  We co-sleep, so often he just nestles in and goes right back to sleep.

He's already fabulous at playing independently, but will often get into mischief.  His brothers' Legos or my potted plants are some of his favorite rogue playthings.  Everything goes in the mouth.  Everything!  Which is always a little interesting when we are outside.  He's a trooper for hikes, just loving the ride along on my back.  He's crazy about baths & showers, although he probably still doesn't get bathed enough.

This age is one of my favorites.  The endless smiles are just heart melting.  I love the way he looks at me when I walk in the room or Conor when he gets home from work.  He loves to nestle against my head.  And grab my face.  He is such a grabber!  I have the claw marks to prove it!  Everything about him is just so genuine.  What a little love!  I feel like we are in a good groove as a family right now, although again, life is still crazy busy & chaotic!

Now, let's see if I can be on time next month!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Moved In

I shared on Instagram that we finally got our moving announcements out.  My sweet friend Victoria took these photos for us just a couple weeks after we moved in; and yet, months later people still didn't have our new address.  Unpacking & organizing has taken far longer than I ever expected!  We have so many projects that we want to complete.  Landscaping to add.  Just getting more comfortable in the new space and making it ours.  Typically, we spend as much time outside as possible, so sticking around home on the weekends is always tough. Hence, why things aren't getting done quite as quickly as we had hoped or wanted.

Conor is amazing and has been staying up far too late, trying to complete projects after dark and when the boys are asleep.  We've tried to focus on the spaces that currently get the most use, as well as the boys' rooms, so they can start to personalize them and feel at "home".  Both of the older boys will still talk about our old house or even the rental house occasionally.  It was a bit of an adjustment period initially, but now we are settling in nicely.

My plan is to share spaces as we somewhat complete them.  The first likely being the playroom; I'm simply waiting on a rug to arrive and then that space will be perfect!  Everything else is slow moving even though I'm keeping Conor plenty busy.  We've been installing wallpaper, shelving, barn doors, mud rooms, etc.  We never know how long we'll be in any one home, but I feel like I could stay in this one for awhile.  We toasted with champagne the first night that we fully felt moved in, but we're holding onto a really nice bottle of red for when the projects slow down and we're back on the couch in the evenings just relaxing.  What's the over/under on how long that will take?!

Enjoy the week friends!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Life! Plus, Easter 2018

Guys.... Easter was a long long time ago.  How is it that I am just now making it back to this space?!  Life has definitely changed lately.  It's a little overwhelming, a LOT of fun!  I feel like I'm really in the thick of motherhood now.  Three boys are keeping me busy!  So is the new house!  My DVR is full, and I cannot remember the last time Conor & I sat down to watch a show together.  Instead our evenings are now filled with making school lunches, completing volunteer hours for Liam's school (I do most of mine at home, lots of cutting & stapling), home projects that aren't noisy, dishes, laundry, showering, sleeping... somewhere in there.  I literally feel like I have zero free time!  Even more so since we both joined Orange Theory and are trying to figure out how to schedule those workouts in.

I'll attempt to do a little life catch up post soon, because Lord knows I have plenty of pictures to share!  Speaking of... Instagram continues to be my favorite platform.  You can find me there daily.  So while this space might not see much action, I'm over sharing over there!  So Easter...  my parents were here for a week long visit, which made the holiday extra special!  Rarely do we get to celebrate with family!

As is the case with many of my parent's visits, we simply enjoyed just being together.  No grand plans or crazy adventurous.  Conor & I loved having the extra hands around!  Of course there was some hiking, game playing, drinking, eating, shopping... you know, all the good stuff!  Plus, we fit in some house projects while my mom was around to offer her opinion & eye!  We had mostly good weather, so we even broke in our new patio for the first happy hour, complete with game night!  The Easter Bunny brought Liam Monopoly Junior, and we all played at least 10+ times in a two day span.  I also napped with Kane.  A lot.  It was the perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep!

As far as Easter activities, we kept things simple.  Egg dying is always a must!  I love the patience it helps teach the boys, especially when using natural dyes.  Their focused faces were my favorite!  They wanted to dye about 2 dozen more, but I can only eat deviled eggs for so many days in a row...

The Easter egg hunt was epic!!! In the past we have done a hunt Easter morning with all our neighbors, but considering we had just moved & our back yard is currently a mud pit, that wasn't really an option.  I decided to do a small hunt with just our boys right near some trailheads by our house.  A quick little walk down the street.  We did it the morning before Easter, so that the actual day wouldn't be so crazy trying to fit in everything with brunch & church.  Best idea ever!!!  We sent my parents to the trails first, where they hid around 30 eggs for the boys.  And really hid them! No obvious eggs laying in the grass here!  The boys slowly worked their through the sage brush and grasses, finding all the goodies!  A tradition I mostly certainly think we will be repeating.  Side note: knee highs for boys are a must!  I actually intended for these to be for Kane & Finn, but they were way bigger than I anticipated, so they worked for the older two instead.  Be still my heart!  There will be plenty of more knee highs in our future.  I love Magnolia Kids if you are looking for a shop!

Easter itself was a lovely day.  Slow & relaxing.  The Easter Bunny totally delivered, making for excited boys.  And as already mentioned, we played a ridiculous amount of board games.  We brunched.  We napped.  We had a ham feast.  We put the kids to bed early and stayed up drinking wine & playing darts.  There were last minute snuggles & books read as we said goodbye to Nana & Pops the following morning.  A wonderful holiday with family!  Couldn't ask for more!

 Now that we've moved past Easter.... is it summer yet?!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Kane: 6 Months Old

Ahh!  I couldn't be more behind!  And these are the posts that are truly just for me.  Where I get to log all those milestones & memories.  The stats & the quirks.  And then with each new month, I read up on what both big brothers were like at the same age.  I love seeing the similarities and the differences!  Yet, seeing as how we are already half way through the month, I've lost the piece of paper with Kane's 6 month stats before I ever had a chance to log them.  Huge third kid fail!  But I do remember he was nearly 20 lbs & almost the exact same height as his brothers (90 something percentile).  Weight wise he continues to stay in between the two older ones, however closer to Finn.  This month he also seems to be a total mix of the two looks wise.  Eye color is still TBD.  Maybe green? Hazel?

This month brought more sturdy sitting & the beginning of the army crawl.  He can make good distance now, it just takes him awhile.  Sleep improved, with him giving me a good 4-5 hour stretch to start the night.  Typically takes three naps a day, with one of them being a super long one.  He can fall asleep anywhere, anytime!  I love him!  I always envied those mamas with babes who could fall asleep at the dinner table.  That was never my kids.  Except now we have Kane, and he gets his sleep when he can.  We pulled out the obnoxious jumper that we have while we were unpacking, and little man just jumped himself right to sleep!  One minute he was wildly jumping, the next his little head just tucked into his chest, and he was snoring!  Now we try and catch him when he's tired and get him in a far more comfortable bed!

He loves being in the sling, baths, & showers.  Full disclosure: he doesn't get bathed often.  Maybe twice a week.  I'm sure that will change with the introduction of foods though!  His body is constantly moving (unless he's in the sling), and he puts everything in his mouth.  He's a big fan of crinkly paper & whatever his brothers are playing with.  He already likes to rough house or wrestle, and will wriggle his way over when Conor is on the ground with the older boys.  He wants to be included in everything!  His brothers get the greatest belly laughs!!!  What I find to be obnoxious and a little too "in his face", he finds hilarious.  Of course!

We're in that "give me everything you have, except not the toys; I want everything but the toys, and they are all going in my mouth" phase.  Sometimes I'm amazed at just how similar certain phases are.  He says "mama" (early like Finn did), but only occasionally and typically when he's upset.  He still has huge eyes and is quite expressive.  He nurses far less than any baby of mine.  Mostly just feeding before falling asleep, occasionally other times.  But obviously the boy isn't hurting for some pounds. His winter wardrobe has been hiding his baby bod, but I assure you he has plenty of rolls to show off with the warm spring weather coming!

Goodness we love this little one!  Cheers to another month!

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