Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Apple & Pumpkin Picking

Somehow this Fall season is just breezing by.  Maybe it has to do with the whole three kids things;  life is busy & chaotic & nonstop right now.  Thank goodness for a newborn that manages to make me slow down just a tad.  I so appreciate our nursing sessions where I am forced to relax, and those times that he flashes a smile leaving me wanting more.  So of course I have to drop everything and just stare & coo at him.  So all that to say, I'm a bit behind on blogging.  Lately, my documenting of our days has strictly been through pictures.  I'm trying to decide how best to share/publish it all.  For "right now" as well as for future memory keeping.  I love Instagram since it allows me to share a picture or two a day along with a small note or quip.  It's fast & easy.  But I also love this space to share more photos and more detail.  Here I actually sit down with intention.  My thoughts are clearer, my words more thought out and meaningful.  But lately, I've been falling asleep every single time I put one of my kids down for the night.  And that just kills any plans I have for blogging or editing.

So...  I've taken a ridiculous amount of photos this fall and have somehow managed to share practically none in this space.  Tonight, I want to give a glimpse into two of my favorite Fall activities.  My childhood memories are full of trips to the apple orchard & the pumpkin patch.  I can remember the tiniest details of the farms we went to, and often still go when I'm home visiting family.  I want to create those same memories for my boys!  Besides, I'm still a kid myself and truly love doing all these things.  So first, the orchard!  Utah isn't exactly crawling with apple trees which just breaks my little Washington heart.  In fact, I had yet to really find a spot for apple picking since we moved.  However this year, I heard about a little family farm about an hour south of us.  Apple season was nearly over, but I didn't care.  All I needed was enough apples for some homemade applesauce & pie.  The boys loved climbing the ladder and trying to search for apples that weren't all wormy.  Finn sampled along the way while Kane snoozed.  We were the only ones at the orchard as the sun was setting on the mountains.  A gorgeous location on a gorgeous night with my sweet family.  Everything I wanted!

Our pumpkin patch trip was to the same "pick off the vine" spot we have been to since we moved here 5 years ago.  It's pretty amazing, perhaps even better than the one I grew up going to.  Weekends are absolute madness there (they even have a fast pass you can buy), so we often opt for a week night.  It's always a hustle as soon as Conor is home from work; fighting traffic to drive the hour it takes to get there plus trying to beat the sun before it goes down.  Everything seems to take tad longer now that there are three kids, so we didn't arrive as early as I had hoped.  We hopped on the first tractor we could to get us out to the field, and just barely, ever so carefully, selected our pumpkins before the sun dipped completely.  The rest of our stay was enjoyed under the stars on one seriously chilly night.  The boys kept plenty warm running from slide to slide, in & out of the bounce house, and with a cup of hot cocoa.  We saved the corn maze for last, which was actually a terrible idea... The boys were a bit hesitant to even go in since it was completely pitch black out, but we assured them it would only be a little spooky & fun.  I was not about to miss one of the best parts of the pumpkin patch!  Well guess what we didn't know...?!  That late into the evening, someone goes through the maze with a CHAINSAW!!!!  Conor & I could hear it and did our best to try and avoid it.  We knew our boys would have nightmares for weeks if we actually came across it.  While trying to rush back out of the maze, we truly got lost in it.  We were in for far longer than ever intended, which had Liam completely nervous the whole time.  But alas, we made it out!  It was quite the late night, with all three boys falling asleep on the drive home; pure perfection.  My favorite part of the evening was seeing their wild smiles!  Well that, and watching both of the big boys try and carry their huge pumpkins.  Liam was mildly successful, but could barely walk straight as he insisted upon holding his pumpkin right in front of his face!  And Kane being the sweet, chill boy that he is, practically slept through the entire outing.  He has made keeping up with their older boys quite easy.  Life has continued on as usual, but is so much sweeter with a snuggly baby in tow!

These favorite activities of mine always feel like the kick off to the best three months of the year.  I've already made my first batch of Scramble (homemade chex mix), which always brings with it the familiar smells of home and the changing of seasons.  We are all thrilled for Halloween tomorrow, and then I cannot wait for the snow to start falling & even more magic to fill the air!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Adjusting to Three

Three.  It has been such a good number to us!  I don't know that I'm ready to say that our family is complete, but right now, as a family of five, it just feels right.  I have always wanted three kids, so finally being here is such a surreal feeling.  Sometimes, I don't even feel old enough to be a mother to three kids!  But sure enough, I am.  And once again, having another baby makes me feel a part of a new special club.  The "we are officially outnumbered" club!

After (only recently) having welcomed three babies, I have had a bit of time to reflect on it all.  On each beginning, with each new babe.  And while each transition has been relatively easy, number three has been the easiest!  With the first, we were just learning how to be a parents.  How to become selfless.  How to love unconditionally.  How to function with barely any sleep.  With the second, we were learning how to take care of more than one life.  All of sudden everything is double.  Double the wants.  Double the needs.  Double the love.  Double the sleep loss.  But with the third, you've already mastered those skills.  You have already figured out how to keep two kids alive, thriving, & happy, so one more just isn't a big deal. 

It has helped tremendously that I have had easy babies, and for that I am ever so grateful.  I also personally believe that the newborn stage is the easiest one.  Thanks to breastfeeding & baby wearing, I feel like life continues on just as it had been.  Already, I'm back to doing all the things I did before Kane arrived.  Sure I shower less often, and it takes me far longer to get out of the house (and everyone in & out of the car); yet, I'm still out hiking (at hitting up Target).  It's once the baby needs toys & entertainment & is mobile that the big changes come, but by then you are already used to that extra little being.  

I've also been so thankful that my older boys have adjusted well to becoming big brothers.  I truly believe that a sibling is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child.  Seeing them love on each other is so heart warming and rewarding.  There is plenty of love & affection in our house right now, heavy on the affection.  We do often have to talk about giving baby some space.  No, you can't give him 15 kisses while he's sleeping.  No, don't touch his face while he's eating.  No, don't pick him up.  But all of it is well intended.  Liam has been such a help to me with both boys, having matured so much in the recent months.  Finn on the other hand is quite the pistol right now.  He's testing boundaries, pushing limits, & really just doing whatever he wants.  He's been a handful always, but especially since turning two.  And while he can be a challenge at times, he's been so wonderful as far as Kane is concerned.  I have no doubt they will all be buddies!  I often find myself picturing them in high school & college together.  Grown men that still share such a strong bond.  I cannot wait to watch them all grow together!

And while it has all gone smoothly, some things have been noticeably more challenging...  First up, the carseat situation.  In my Audi, we had to put all three seats next to each other, and that was an absolute disaster.  Having them all be able to touch one another with no escape was just not working.  For many reasons, but that factor definitely playing in, we decided to trade in my ride for a minivan!  And while I hated on them for years, I am fully on team minivan now and am completely in love!  Car rides are once again peaceful!  Also tough, bedtime!  This is when we truly feel outnumbered.  We value bedtime with the boys, always capitalizing on that one-on-one time for books and then laying with them until they fall asleep.  With there now being three, one-on-one time is harder to come by.  Often I'm nursing Kane while reading to one of the other boys and then hoping his squirmy little body and his coos won't keep the older one awake.  More often that not right now, the two older ones get put to sleep together, which can be easier or harder, depending on how tired everyone is.  And almost every single night, both Conor & I fall asleep while laying with them.  Another challenge: Kindergarten drop off.  We have to leave the house by 7:30am (at the latest!) to get Liam to school on time.  And he doesn't get to just jump out of my car; I have to walk him to the doors.  So getting three little sleepy or manic (depending on the morning) boys all dressed, fed, & in the car by 7:30am can be a real challenge.  Especially since all summer long, we were often sleeping in until 9am!  And Liam being in school all day long, has its pros & cons as well.  Sure, I only have two kids to care for most of the day; but also, Finn's playmate is gone!  Finn misses him horribly & tells me daily that he too will go to school when he is three years old.  We all miss Liam while he is away!  Pick-up time is our favorite time!

I know as Kane gets older and a bit more demanding, the juggling three may be more difficult.  But right now, having three just feels how it was meant to be.  We are quickly discovering that new normal and forgetting what it ever felt like to just have two.  Our hands are full, our hearts fuller.  Our bodies tired, our laundry never-ending.  But these are the good days!  I know that all too soon, I will miss the chaos and the noise that comes along with three kids, five & under.  And all boys at that.  This time is fleeting.  Today was actually a bit of a rough one, and yet, I'm all smiles thinking back on it.  Just feeling lucky to have them.  All three of them.  All mine.

Cheers to three & realizing what a sweet sweet number it is!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Postpartum (Baby #3)

All of my postpartum experiences have been quite different.  With Liam, I had a lot of birth trauma, both physically & mentally.  I shed many many tears over the experience & the pain.  But in a short amount of time, I began to let all those feelings go.  It felt like a text book experience, at least from a hormonal standpoint.

With Finn, I definitely experienced more of the baby blues.  His birth was flawless, yet my emotions were all over the map.  I had a hard time delegating tasks after he was born, still wanting to do it all.  I hated missing out on adventures with Liam, especially in the early days.  I would get upset over the littlest things.  And even though I knew many of my feelings were irrational, I could not change them.  I still had those feelings.  I always touched base with and talked through all the emotions with my close friends & family.  They checked in with me often, making sure I was doing okay.  And eventually those baby blues faded as well.  But that experience left me a tad worried about how my emotions would play out after our third baby...

I am happy to say, that this postpartum time has been my best!  I bounced back to normal far more quickly and never really experienced the baby blues this time around.  I keep thinking that surely all those heavy emotions will hit me eventually, but here at 6 weeks postpartum, I'm still doing great!  I feel amazing both physically & mentally!

I think one of the big differences this time, is that I truly allowed myself time to heal & time to adjust to a new baby.  With my two previous births, I felt the need to be out & about immediately.  To be doing everything that I did before my baby was born.  For some (crazy) reason, I felt the need to prove (to no one) that childbirth nor a newborn would slow me down.  Why I did all this I am quite unsure.  This third time was different.  I accepted all the help that was offered.  I laid in bed snuggling my newborn as much as possible.  I delegated everything.  I allowed myself to be lazy.  It was the best decision ever!  I truly gave myself time to recover & time to bond with Kane.  Those days (weeks?) are time I will never get back.  He will never be that small again.  I'm so frustrated at myself for not allowing that time of grace with the first two.

During all those early relaxing, nursing, sleeping days, I decided to start a new series on Netflix.  I told myself it would something with a single season.  Nothing to binge on or get hooked on... But instead I started Gossip Girl!  First, how did I never watch this when it was on in college?!  It's about the best thing ever!  I am now obsessed with Penn Badgley; as in, I'm googling Penn Badly during a 4am feeding wondering what he looks like now, if he's married, has kids, etc.  Because I'm crazy!  Gossip Girl has taken over my life.  At 6 weeks postpartum, I'm in the beginning of Season 5.  That's quite impressive.  Hopefully once I finish the series, I'll get back to reading books, blogs, the news, etc.  But for now, it has taken over.  But hey, thanks Gossip Girl for entertaining me enough to allow me to stay in bed and heal properly!  And thanks for making those late night feedings a bit more tolerable.

On the physical side of things, I still have about 6-10 lbs to lose.  Although at this point, I'm not doing anything in particular to lose them.  In general, I'm a healthy eater; however, I do love my sweets.  I'm staying active with my boys and hoping a few more pounds may come off on their own.  But I may need to be a bit more conscious about what I eat and start getting some extra exercise as we head in to the holidays.  I do fit back in my skinny jeans though, so yay for that!  My stomach isn't flat by any means, but again, this time around I'm giving myself more grace.  This is all okay!  My body will return to what it once was, I just need to give it time.  And I would much rather focus on my three beautiful children, than spend any time worrying about my body.

I'm so happy to have felt more balanced after this recent birth!  It has been refreshing.  A huge thanks to Conor, my mom, & all our friends & neighbors who have lent a helping hand these past two months.  You all made it possible for me to transition wonderfully into being a mother of three.  Three boys!  I'm actually hoping to put together post about the transition to three soon!  Happy Tuesday friends!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Recent Finds (A Holiday Edition)

The fall stuff shows up on shelves in June, and Christmas is never too far behind.  So don't blame the messenger here when I start sharing about holidays that aren't even close.  I used to wait & wait to buy things, and then poof! they were always gone.  So now, I plan ahead!  Here is what has been catching my eye and making it into my home recently...

First some Thanksgiving goodies!  
I'm all about doing themed hostess gifts for Turkey Day, 
and I also treat myself to something new each year.

white pumpkins

(This would be gorgeous as part of a table scape, 
but I have mine on my mantel so that the boys don't ruin it)

thankful doormat

leaf table runner
(my mom bought this and it is even more gorgeous in person!)

paper placemats
(the kids are going to love these!)

thankful dish towels
(is it okay that I already have these out...?)

Next up, Christmas jammies!  And yes, I may gone a little overboard this year.  And I'm still waiting for Kickee Pants to release their secret new holiday line... :

blue gnome fair isle
(for the boys, only $15!)

skier print henley set
(for the boys, only $15!)

dear deer set for mama
(I dont think I've ever been more excited about a pair of Christmas jammies; 
I already treated myself to these!)

There is also, the most adorable reindeer romper for baby, currently on sale for $6.50!!

And now, some Christmas decor & entertainment items:

wood marble tree board
candy cane garland
(I really want this for the boys' rooms or the playroom)
That's all for now, but you know I'll have plenty more favorites as the holidays near!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Official Announcement

I could not love how Kane's birth announcement turned out more!  This was the first time that I took the photo myself, which had me a little nervous because newborns are not easy to photograph.  Firstly, they must be asleep.  Because they have crazy eyes, and hands moving all over the place with no purpose.  And then their skin tone can be so hard to get right in editing.  Sometimes they are purple, or red, or yellow if jaundice is involved.  So, I'm super proud of myself for the photo alone.

And then the template!  I had waaaay too much fun playing around on Shutterfly's website.  Initially, I had wanted to do a multiple photo template, but after sorting through different images, I found myself drawn to the simplicity and cleanness of a single photo more.  And then the foil is always the perfect touch to finish off any of their cards!  You can find the specific design I used here.  After personalizing the announcement, I added our return address to the envelope to make life easier on me.  Love that option as well!

I simply love how it came together.  I added a little silver glitter washi tape to the back of the envelopes which tied in the silver foil perfectly.  I wish I could have sent an announcement to literally everyone I know, but unfortunately I can only lick so many envelopes!  And because it's always hard to choose just one photo, here's a few that I still love but that didn't make the cut!

I received product in exchange for this post, 
but all photos of the adorable baby and witty banter are my own!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Kane: 1 Month Old

One whole month.  One month ago I was still pregnant; crazy talk!  But it sure has been a sweet one! Kane is the most relaxed, chill baby ever!  My two older boys were also easy babies, but Kane is especially a breeze.  He also sleeps a ridiculous amount.  Because he sleeps so much & because he is so relaxed, it made it hard for us to tell when he started getting so sick at 9 days old.  I kept thinking something was slightly off with him, but then reminded myself that it was simply his demeanor.  As of just this last week, he is far more aware and starting to really engage with us which is so fun to see. 

Right now he really makes us work for those smiles, and they often come at the most unexpected times.  But I can already tell that he is such a happy guy.  I'm also pretty sure that he has one dimple on his left cheek.  My midwife noticed it right at birth while he was nursing.  I'm hoping that we will notice it more and more as those smiles come more freely.  He definitely has blue eyes, just like Liam.  And while he completely resembles a Keenan brother in general, he looks just like Liam's twin at this age.  It's quite remarkable.

He loves being worn in the ring sling and typically falls asleep immediately after being put in.  If he's awake, he wants out so that he can adequately look around.  Trees blowing in the breeze being a particular favorite.  He doesn't like to be left alone, in the swing or anywhere.  He's our people person, although he rarely ever gets a solo minute because his brothers are obsessed with him.  Well, everyone is!

He's still nursing like a pro, as am I.  I have my oversupply under control way earlier than ever did with the older boys.  Plus, we've already got the side lying nursing while sleeping thing down which has made cosleeping a breeze.  We can get a good 4-5 hour stretch of sleep out of him right now.  Hoping he becomes the amazing sleeper that his brothers did from 2-4 months old.  Then it's always downhill from there.  He's not really a fan of being swaddled, but he also startles very easily, so we need to change that.  Kane is currently still rocking his darker locks, but I see a touch of auburn coming in.  Perhaps he will be strawberry blonde for a few months, before going totally blonde.  I also think he is going to have wavy hair like Liam, but Conor thinks I'm crazy for already knowing this.  It sure is fuzzy right now, and I love it!

I wish I had more to say about this sweet boy, but really he is just my easy baby.  Along for the ride that is his big brothers' lives.  He is the baby that makes you think you could just keep having baby after baby.  We can't wait to see his personality start to show, and his relationships with his brothers grow.  They are both so smitten with him which is just heart warming.  So much love in our house right now!  Cannot wait to see what this next month brings!

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