Monday, December 30, 2013


Throughout this last pregnancy people would constantly tell me that three kids was easy. They told me the transition from one to two is much harder, but adding a third to the mix was really no big deal.

These people lied to me.

Big time.

Adding a third kid to the mix has been freakin' hard. Much, much harder than the transition from no kids to one kid, or from one kid to two kids. I mean, first of all, just think of the logistics of it all. You only have two hands.... but three kids. There are only two parents..... but three kids. The bottom line is with three you are just plain outnumbered.

Simple things like running errands now have to planned out. I need to have a plan of action, I need to know what kind of carts the places we are going have, if I need a stroller, if I need to wrap the baby. I have to out when the baby last ate. I have no problem nursing in public, anyplace and anywhere, but will I be somewhere where I can nurse and wrangle/entertain a two year old and a four year old. And I have to prioritze. I go in knowing full well that I may not be able to complete everything on my list, so I need to get the most important errands our of the way first.

It's exhausting.

And don't even get me started on trying to keep the house tidy. It's impossible. No really, it is. I swear, I will do five loads of laundry, fold and put everything away, and the NEXT day every hamper in our house will be overflowing. There are burp rags scattered everywhere, there are toys everywhere, and (because of the above mentioned two and four year old) there are cheerios everywhere. I dream of the day that I can walk across my kitchen without that tell-tale crunch of cereal under my feet. And as much as I try to keep up with the chores, it almost seems futile. Mope the kitchen floor? The kids will have lunch half an hour later and it's practically a given milk will get spilled. Pick up all the toys? The boys pretty much follow me around pulling out everything that I put away.

So, yes, this transition has been hard. I'm eight weeks in and I'm still trying to figure it out and get a routine down. The problem is I feel like I can focus on one activity. If I stay home and get the whole house clean, I won't get to the gym and the grocery shopping won't get done. If I go to the gym and get in a killer workout, the house is a disaster at the end up the day. You get the idea. I'm dying to lose the rest of this baby weight and tone up, but I also need to keep a clean house and get dinner on the table at night. Hopefully as we move into January and our of the hectic-ness of  the holidays things will start to fall into place.

But, even though I haven't been able to jump back into the gym as hard as I would like, and my house looks like a tornado hit it, and we've picked up pizza for dinner more times than I would like to admit..... I can't imagine my life without these three little boys. It's like we've always been meant to be a family of five.

So I guess the bottom line of this rambling post is this:

I'm a little overwhelmed.

I'm a little stressed.

I'm a lot tired.

But, more than anything? I am so incredibly, beyond belief happy!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Reality of Christmas

Well, Christmas is over. The decorations are packed up, the tree is standing bare in our family room waiting to be taken out to the trash, and all the gifts have been put away. It always makes me a little sad when the high of the holidays are over, but I'm also feeling ready to get back to real life.

Here's the thing, I'm a total Christmas freak. Always have been, always will be. I love everything about the season. I love the decorations, I love Christmas crafts and baking, I love shopping and I love how perfect strangers give each other cheerful greetings of "Merry Christmas!" and "Happy Holidays!". And since having kids, my love for all things Christmas-y has only grown. Elf on a Shelf, visiting Santa.... bring it on.

But..... yes, there is a but..... my rose-colored glasses visions of Christmas Cheer don't always match up with reality. That doesn't in any way take away from how much I adore it, but here's a few example:

Scenario #1: Decorating the Christmas Tree

Rose Colored Glasses Version:

The new baby sleeps contently in his bouncer chair, waking occasionally to look cute an strech his little  arms before falling back into peacefull slumber. My Pandora Christmas station plays in the background while Daddy and I pull out ornaments and get hooks on them, all while reminiscing the meaning of each one. (Our first house! Baby's first Christmas! The year we got engaged!) The two older boys sit quietly, listening to the stories of each ornament and patiently awaiting direcions. Finally the four of us carefully hang each ornaments, Daddy and I helping the boys place theirs. Soon we have a beautifully decorated tree and we all sit and marvel at it for several moments, before heading into the family room for a Christmas movie before before bed.

The Reality

The new baby screeches bloody murder at the injustice of once again being put in this tortoruos bouncer chair. He will not stop screeching until someone (Mommy) pulls him out and holds him, while also trying to put hooks on ornaments. The middle child will have no interests in helping and instead keeping stealing the ball ornaments and hiding them among his toys. When that gets boring, he starts throwing them at the dogs. Daddy is chasing after said middle child, trying to rescue the ball ornaments, leaving mommy to (one-handedly) get the rest of the ornaments ready to hang. The oldest child wants to help, but has no patience. He keeps grabbing ornaments before the have hooks, and the ones he does hang are all on one branch. He freaks out every time Mommy or Daddy try to move one of the fifty ornaments that are all hung in one square inch of each other. This all takes much longer than expected so the parents have to break it to the kids that there is no time for a Christmas movie tonight and it's time for bed. Tantrums and tears ensue and while Daddy gets the two big boys upstairs and into bed, an exhausted mommy finishes the tree. (Still holding the baby with one hand)

Scenario #2: Visiting Santa

Rose Colored Glasses Version

We will arrive at Santa to find no line and a jovial, very authentic looking, Santa waiting to enchant our kids and take their Christmas requests. The older boys will clamor onto his lap, smiling shyly, but in awe of meeting the "big guy". They will whisper their wish lists to him and promise him they have been good, and then we will hand the authentic looking Santa a peacefully sleeping baby. While Santa cuddles the baby the two boys will smile angelically at the camera, capturing a picture so sweet it will need to be framed and displayed as soon as we get home. 

The Reality

After searching different malls we finally find the one that seems to have the least likelyhood of lines, and rush over on a weeknight in order to avoid the crowds. We wait in a short line before we reach Santa and his "elves" (the Santa's actually pretty good, the elves consist of a bunch of bored high school girls) L reluctanly sit on the bench next to Santa, leaving a good two foot birth between them. He is obviously torn between the idea that this is the guy we keep telling him will get him his Buzz Lightyear, and some major distrust for the man. While L continues to give him a mean side eye, he mutters his Christmas wish and refuses to say anything else. L2 is not torn at all. He is not going near the scary man in the red suite and any attempt to get him to sit near him results in a meltdown of epic proportions. All the commotin wakes the baby, who decides he must be starving and starts vocalizing his demands. Finally we manage to get a picture, but only by S and I holding onto the kids and also being in the picture.  Twenty seven dollars later I have two 5X7 photos where L2 and R are both crying, L is looking at Santa like he's an axe murderer and S and I both look slightly perturbed at being in a Santa photo at 29 years of age.

Scenario #3: Christmas Morning

Rose Colored Glasses version

S and I will get up before all the kids and head downstairs to get video cameras and coffee ready. We will be ready and waiting to record every magical moment as the kids creep down the stairs in matching  PJ's and discover that Santa has been there! We will all sit cozily in front of the Christmas tree, Christmas music playing softly in the background, and take turns opening our stockings. Then Daddy and L will hand out presents which will be opened in a calm and orderly fashion. The whole morning will be relaxing and wonderful.

The Reality

The kids drag an exhausted mommy and daddy out of bed. We scramble to find the video camera (is it even charged?!!?)  and mommy tries to snap pictures while situating the baby to nurse. Coffee does not get made until well into the morning. The kids tear into their stocking and immediately want to eat every piece of candy for breakfast. The news that we will not be having candy for breakfast is not well received. L and Daddy hand out presents, but L wants to open ALL of them and doesn't seem to totally grasp that they are not all for him. An hour later our living room looks like Toys R Us exploded. The whole morning is wondeful..... but not nesicarly relaxing.

So does the reality of Christmas with three young children always match up to the pinterest version that I have in my mind? Nope, not at all. But perfect isn't always better. I love the messy, imperfect, real memories that we are making will our little family of five. I think the pinterest version might actually be a little bit boring. 

With all that being said, our Christmas was amazing, especially being able to celebrate our first one with baby R, and all the little imperfections just made for even more memories. It's real life and I wouldn't change it for anything. And Christmas will still always be my favorite time of the year. And I will still probably always go into it with high expectaitons that might be knocked down a few notches by real life!

I hope everyone had as wonderful as a Christmas as we did, wether you had a picture perfect one or the messy kid version!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Christmas trip

And we're back!

We got back late this afternoon from our annual "Christmas" trip out to California. We never actually stay for Christmas Day (I prefer to be home), but we always try to go out for the families Christmas Party.

I have to be honest, I wasn't totally into the idea of going this year. I mean, with a six week old baby and the party falling so close to Christmas Day, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed and stressed, but it ended up being a nice little vacation and I'm glad we went.

The boys love going out to Papa and Grandma's house. With three dogs, a huge yard, and three horses on the property, they are in seventh heaven. S's brother and sister were also in town, so they got plenty of play time with their aunt and uncle. They also had S's aunt and her husband visiting, so it was a full house.

 (R looks HUGE in this picture! He's actually not a giant..... it's just the angle!)

 (Yes, I"m still in PJ's in this picture. Hey, we were on vacation!)

It was nice to have a couple days to relax, and also to have a lot of extra helping hands around. S and I even got to sneak out for a later dinner one night, and one afternoon during naps we got out to see the newest Hunger Games movie. R still came with us for everything since I'm nursing, but not having to order of the kids menu or break up any fights made for a nice little date!

(Uncle and his nephews!)

The highlight, and main reason, of the trip was the Christmas Party. Every year, the weekend before Christmas, S's family does a big Christmas party that rotates houses. This year it was actually at my in-laws house. It was nice because we didn't have to worry about packing up the kids and traveling anywhere, but a little stressful with all the preparations. We were originally suppose to have R's baptism this weekend, but things got a bit "muddled" with everything going on. I was pretty adamant that we fit it in somewhere, because we did both of the other boys baptisms the Christmas after they were born and I wanted to follow suite with R. Fortunately the pastor of my in-laws church (where we do all the baptisms) is a really close friend of my father-in-law, so we did some major multi-tasking and R was baptized at the party. A little unorthodox, but hey, that's how we roll.

My mother-in-law also surprised everyone by renting a mechanical bull for the party. Let's just say, I haven't ridden a bull since college, but apparently it's like riding a bike. It was really fun, and L actually loved it. I had expected him to be a lot more hesitant about it, but he wanted to ride it right away and after going with both Daddy and his uncle he even rode it alone a few times! (Very slowly, of course!)

 (The whole family)

And of course, we had to do the gift exchange. My boys got sooo spoiled! Really, I can't even believe how many toys we brought back with us, and they haven't even opened the bulk of their Christmas presents yet!

And now we are back, and it feels good to be home . I'm a little stressed, I'll admit. There are suitcases that need to be unpacked, presents that still need to be wrapped, and I still haven't done the grocery shopping for Christmas dinner.... but, oh well. It will get done and I'm going to soak in the last two days of the Christmas season with my wonderful little family!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It's Santa time!!!

Despite the fact that both of the older boys have been passing a bug back and forth for a few days now, we decided tonight was the night to go and see Santa. Truthfully, we just don't have any other time since we are going to California early next week and won't be back until Christmas Eve. Hey, they've been on antibiotics for 24 hours and no one has a fever!

Last year we had the best Santa experience I have ever had. I wrote a post about how amazing it was, and I was super excited to go again this year and was beyond disappointed when I found out the place we went wasn't doing Santa again this year. I knew I didn't want to go to the mall.... I just can't handle the lines and the fact that they are so crazy about you taking pictures. I mean, I get they are in this to make some money but do they have to be so obvious about it?

Anyway, we decided to take a chance on Santa at a smaller shopping center and hoped that by going on a weeknight it wouldn't be crowded. Well, it wasn't quite as good as last year, but we had a pretty great experience again!

Santa spent a good amount of time talking to L about the fact that he wanted a Buzz Light Year for Christmas. (He saw a talking Buzz at the Disney Store and hasn't stopped talking about it!)  R also did amazing... I actually think this is the first time we have a "baby" Santa picture without a crying baby!
L2....... not so much. He wouldn't even go near Santa, even with the bribery of candy. He wouldn't sit next to unless we were both there, which is how we ended up with a "family" Santa photo. Trust me, I was not planning on having my picture taken today!!!

I'm hoping after things are going to start slowing down here a little bit, so we can really settle into the Christmas spirit and start doing some fun things. It feels like we've been running around like crazy, and add that into the fact that we are still trying to get our bearings as a family of five, it's been hectic!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Elf on the Shelf

It's that time of year again!

Our Elf is back from the North Pole!

We started Elf on a shelf, and our advent calendar, when L was a baby, but up until this year it has pretty much gone completely over his head.

This year he gets it, and it's awesome. He gets up every morning to look to see where "Frosty" (his elf) has moved to and to check his advent calendar. All it take is a simple, "You're elf is watching and he's going to tell Santa if you're being naughty!"  to correct bad behavior these days. I'm wondering if I can use the Santa threat all year long?

He found his Elf on December 1st, with his book and a special note for all three boys. L2 still doesn't really get what is going on, but he does seem excited that he gets a piece of candy from the advent calendar each day!

This week we will finish putting up all the decorations and get our Christmas tree. Christmas is my favorite time of year (we all know this!), but everything has seemed a little stress full and rushed this year, with the new baby and also with Thanksgiving being especially late. I'm hoping we can get everything going this week, start putting in the Christmas movies and really get into the spirit!

Let the Christmas Festivities begin!

One month!

I know I just posted when he was three weeks.... but, Oh my gosh, now he is one month!!!! One month! Time is going way to fast!

He is still nursing like a champ, and I have been pumping also. I pretty much have enough milk to feed a small country, so we have a nice little stash stored up in the freezer! I love this, because it means S can give a bottle right before bed. It gives me a little break, and it's some nice bonding time for Daddy and R. We did this for L also and it worked out well. He still has only had breast milk. I have no problem with formula, obviously we had to use it with L2, but I love nursing, and it is so much cheaper and easier than formula!

His fussy time tends to be the few hours before bedtime, the same as L and L2. He's for the most part pretty laid back, but he goes from 0-60 when he is hungry and/or needs a diaper change. He is still waking several times during the night, and he still prefers to sleep in our bed rather than his bassinet. We have managed to get him back in the bassinet for the first part of the night, but he always ends up in bed with me. Sometimes I end up just laying there, breathing him in and watching him sleep.

He's starting to be more awake, although he still sleeps most of the day. When he is awake he like to watch his brothers, mommy and daddy, and the fan and the light on the ceiling. We've started doing tummy time, and he doesn't love it. He usually gets mad enough that he manages to flip himself over to his back!

He's getting more expressions, and I swear I thought I saw a small smile today, although it might have been gas!

He also had his first movie going experience. He did great in the moby wrap and only woke up and fussed once to nurse. We saw frozen and the older boys loved it. I'm glad to know he does well for a whole movie in the moby.

And then I just had to share this picture because i think it's so cool. Obviously, I don't share full names on this blog, but ever since we picked R's name when I was pregnant I have joked that his full name sounds like a rockstars name. I think it's fitting that he's giving the "rock on" sign while he nurses in this picture!