Wild ONE!

A few days before Brax’s birthday, we had a lumberjack “Wild One” birthday party for him at the lake. I love how both of my kids have birthdays in months where we can spend time outside…or at least we SHOULD be able to. The weather lately hasn’t exactly been typical of late April and early May…it has been cold and rainy for weeks now. It poured all morning the day of Brax’s party…so it became an indoor party. I was a little bummed, but I knew he wouldn’t know the difference. Actually, once it was time for the party later in the afternoon, it stopped raining…but it was still too wet to do any of the festivities outside. We still love our home away from home, even if we don’t get to be outside.

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Thanks to Megan for making Brax’s outfit and the awesome “1” banner!

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Ryan was a huge help for the party…making the “Wild One” sign and the “Trail Mix Bar” sign, as well as drawing and painting the lumberjack man! Also, thank you to Bev (and Tim) for hosting and making a lot of the food, as well as Aunt Renata for the amazing cookies!

Brax had the BEST time at this party. He barely napped that day, probably because he was too excited for his party (no joke…he knew something exciting was about to happen!) Even without much sleep, he was a champ throughout the afternoon. He partied hard, visited with everyone, and played with all of his cousins. Kinsie helped him open his presents, which was quite a chaotic adventure! As you’d expect from a one year old, Brax was more entertained by the boxes and bows than the gifts themselves. Kinsie was pretty excited to play with all of Brax’s new toys though!

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Next was probably Brax’s favorite part of the afternoon…being sang to and eating cake! He LOVED when everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to him. He was absolutely giddy. He giggled, wiggled and laughed the entire time. When it was time for cake, I figured he would dive right in because that is how he usually approaches food, but surprisingly, he was cautious. He wasn’t too crazy about getting icing all over him at first, but once he realized that this stuff that was all over his fingers tasted delicious, he was all in!

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We had one very happy little boy that afternoon. Kinsie had a blast too! We love getting all of our family and close friends together for occasions like this. It fills my love tank. It is hard to believe that the next several birthdays the kids will have will be in Arkansas. However, even though we are moving, we still plan to spend the kids’ birthday weekends at home to celebrate with all of our family and friends. Kinsie is already planning her 4th birthday party, in which she claims that she’ll have another dinosaur party. We’ll see if she changes her mind by September!

Happy FIRST birthday my little WILD ONE!

Brax is ONE!!!

My baby is one. ONE. How is this already true? I feel like he was born YESTERDAY. I went back and read his birth story today and cried and wallowed in my nostalgia. I remember every last detail about the evening before and the morning he was born. The intense thunderstorm that cleared the roads for us to drive to the hospital, my water breaking as soon as I crawled into bed, feeling completely exhausted and attempting to “rest” but not being able to because I was SO anxious…but most importantly, meeting my boy. My beautiful, perfect, 7 lb. 15 oz. baby boy that I waited not just 9 months, but my entire life to meet. I cannot believe that it was a year ago that we became a family of four. A year ago, my sweet little boy came into this world and wiggled his way right into our hearts.

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Brax is very busy these days. He is always on the move and learning new things. Here are his ONE YEAR updates…

  • He is 22 lbs, 8 oz. (70th percentile) and 29.5 inches tall. (50th percentile)
  • He has 8 teeth. He doesn’t use them as much for chewing food as much as biting his loved ones. He finds it hilarious. We don’t.
  • He can stand independently for up to a minute…probably longer. It only happens when he is distracted and doesn’t realize he is doing it.
  • Some of his favorite hobbies include playing catch, eating, yelling, and wrestling with his sister.
  • He loves to clap his hands.
  • He loves to dance.
  • He hates naps (how did we get 2 children who hate sleep?)
  • He is learning to talk more and more every day. He mainly says “mom” and “dad,” but he loves babbling, yelling and hearing his own noises at a very loud decibel!
  • He loves touch and feel books, and even tries to touch the pages on non-touch and feel books.
  • Some of his favorite foods include blueberry waffles and mac and cheese.
  • He is learning what “no” means. You can see the little wheels turn in his head when we teach him when he shouldn’t do something. (Like eat dog food)
  • He is super ticklish…especially his toes.
  • He still loves bath time. As soon as we start the bath water, he books it to the bathroom and tries to climb in by himself.
  • He loves chasing the dogs and trying to grab their tail and paws. Koda runs away, Addie just licks his face.
  • Nobody can make him laugh as much as Kinsie can…they are the best of buddies and partners in crime!

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To my sweet, one-year-old boy, Braxton…

I can’t believe you are one year old! We have all LOVED getting to know you throughout the last year. Every day, we learn more about you and fall in love with you even more. You are a crazy, loud, little ball of energy with an award-winning smile, making it impossible not to smile back. You haven’t let me have much quality sleep in the last year, and one day at home with you puts more steps on my Fitbit than if I ran the mini marathon…but I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything in the world. Your sister may pester you constantly, but she is your biggest fan. She loves having a little sidekick and putting on a show for you to make you smile. Your dad and I are obsessed with your sweet personality, and your precious giggle is our favorite sound in the world. We can’t wait to watch you continue to learn and grow into a little boy and see what amazing things you accomplish. I thank God every day for the amazing blessing that you are. I am so grateful to be your mom!

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Our September

Our September was busy, exciting and hard. As I mentioned in my last post, Ryan was in Cincinnati for the majority of September. The kids and I stayed with my parents during this time…thank goodness for this, I probably would still be hiding in a hole somewhere had I dealt with the kids by myself the entire month. We all missed him, but Kinsie took it the hardest. Luckily, we stayed pretty busy throughout the month. Here is the rundown of our month…

Kinsie’s Soccer Season

This kept us very busy this month with practice twice a week and games on Saturdays. It was good for Kinsie though to be outside running around. It was a great season!

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Grandparents Day

Kinsie’s school had Grandparents Day early in September. Both my parents and Ryan’s parents were able to make it, and I guess Kinsie was the only student in the school who had all 4 grandparents come! They all seemed to have a blast!

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Birthday dinners

September is a busy birthday month for our family. My dad, my sister and Kinsie all have birthdays in September. On the evening of my dad’s birthday, we went out to dinner to celebrate the September birthdays.

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Start of football season

These precious kids are enjoying dressing in their Colts gear and watching games with our family!

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Cincinnati Zoo

This was one of the big highlights of the month. Since Ryan was in Cincinnati and couldn’t come home very often, we went to visit him and the zoo! Kinsie was super excited not only to see her daddy, but also to see her favorite animal, hippos! This was an AWESOME zoo and we had an amazing day.

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Kinsie’s Birthday and Dinosaur Party

As you’ve probably seen in my previous posts, Kinsie turned three this month! We had a dinosaur party for her at the lake. It was a huge success!!

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We had a great month, but like I said, it was hard not having a piece of our hearts with us. We are so glad to have Ryan back home and excited for the fall season!

Kinsie-saurus’s Dino Party

As you already know, Kinsie loves dinosaurs. This started around this time last year when we took her to the Children’s Museum for the first time and she loved the dinosaur exhibit. Ever since then, her love for dinosaurs has only grown. This year, when I asked her what kind of birthday party she wanted, without hesitation, she said she wanted a dinosaur party at the lake. So that’s what we did! We invited family and very close friends and the party was a huge success!

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Grandma Bev helped make most of the food, Ryan carved the dinosaur watermelon, and Aunt Renata made the awesome dinosaur cookies! We ordered the cake from Shug’s Cakes.

 

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“Kinsiesaurus” shirt made by Aunt Megan!

Some of the entertainment for the kids included digging for dino fossils in the sandbox, and the bounce house. We also had a dinosaur pinata that was a big hit! Dean ended up busting out the candy from the pinata!

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Kinsie said her favorite part of the party was opening her presents. She got some awesome stuff! Ryan had to build new shelves in her room just so we could fit all her new toys in the house!

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Our girl was pretty pumped about her dinosaur cake. When it was time for cake, the spot that we had set up was right in the sun, and I didn’t want to be in full sun for the pictures…so we moved the whole set up to the shade. Ryan (my brother-in-law) and Nate untied the banners from the tree and held them up over our new set up so we could have them in the cake pictures! World’s Best Uncles!

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It was an awesome day! Kinsie had so much fun with the people she loves. Brax had a great time too in his little dinosaur hoodie! We are so appreciative to everyone to helped out and came to celebrate our girl’s birthday. We jammed out to her birthday mix CD the whole way home!

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Kinsie is THREE!

I am in complete disbelief that my first baby is three years old! She is turning into one of the most amazing little people that I’ve ever known…and I know I may be a bit bias, but I’ve heard other people say it too! She is smart, goofy, wild, observant, curious…I could go on and on. Sometimes as I carry on conversations with her, I forget that she is just a toddler. The way her mind works amazes me and I learn and grow with her every day.

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Here are some updates on my girl at three years old…

  • Kinsie is going to preschool 3 full days a week.
  • She is FINALLY potty trained! We started the process last December, and after a few months of little progress and lots of power struggles, I took a break. After Brax was born, she saw that he was a baby and he wore diapers, and she didn’t want to wear diapers anymore. Hallelujah!
  • She is currently playing soccer for Westside United, and we plan to start her back up in gymnastics later this fall.
  • Favorite color: pink
  • Favorite animals: Hippos and dolphins
  • Favorite books: Dino Soccer and Pinkalicious
  • Favorite movies: Rio, Finding Nemo, and The Land Before Time
  • Favorite food: PB&J, pickles, mac and cheese
  • Favorite songs: Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash, Shut Up and Dance with Me – Walk the Moon, Can’t Stop this Feeling – Justin Timberlake, All Star – Smash Mouth, and Happy – Pharrell
  • Favorite TV Show: Paw Patrol, Spongebob Squarepants
  • Other loves: dinosaurs, swimming, fishing, playing with her cousins
  • She knows all her colors and shapes
  • She can count to 20 on her own, and higher with help
  • She is getting much better at learning her individual letters.
  • She is a beast at doing puzzles.
  • She has an unbelievable vocabulary.
  • She absolutely adores her baby brother.

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Birthday Adventures

Ryan was in Cincinnati for a month-long rotation from the end of August to the end of September. He has had very few days off, so most of our interaction with him has been via FaceTime. The kids and I lived with my parents during this time, which was such a blessing, but Kinsie really missed her daddy. On the morning of Kinsie’s birthday, she woke up and was a little bummed that we weren’t going to the lake for her dinosaur birthday party that day (another post for another day), and she was especially bummed that her daddy wasn’t home and that I couldn’t stay with her at preschool for her birthday. I truly believe it was a God thing that Ryan actually had Kinsie’s birthday off, so he drove home for the day, and I took a half day off work. We surprised her and picked her up early from school. I walked in first and she was happy to see me, then Ryan walked in behind me and she beamed and ran straight into her daddy’s arms! We took her to the park for a little while, but it was pretty hot out, so we left and went back to my parents’ house to swim. My mom watched Briggs that afternoon, so Kinsie was in her happy place swimming with her cousin, mommy and daddy. Brax was with Aunt Renata for the day, so it was nice to just have some quality Kinsie time. Later, we took Kinsie to Pizza King for dinner (her request). After dinner, we went to Orange Leaf. Our girl had a wonderful birthday!

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Birthday muffins for breakfast!

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Pizza King and Orange Leaf. Brax was having fun too! 🙂

Happy third birthday my beautiful girl!

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O-FISH-ally Two!

We had Kinsie’s birthday party at her favorite place…the lake! Based on the fact that we were having her party there, we decided to go with a “fishing” theme. She was all about it from the moment we told her. She talked about her fishy party for weeks leading up to the party. We knew we were going to have one happy little girl when her party came! I honestly wish it was my full-time job to plan birthday parties for toddlers. It is too much fun. Thanks especially to Pinterest and Etsy, I found lots of cute ideas to make the party unique and fun.

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Thanks to the help of my mother-in-law Bev, my mom, Ryan’s aunts – Rita and Renata, and my aunt Mary Lou…there was plenty of food to go around. And of course we had to add some “fishy” fun with the food as well! The main course included hot dogs, hamburgers, and Bev’s famous chilli. Dessert included cake (Brenda’s Cakes), dirt and worms (Aunt Mary Lou), fish cookies (Renata), and fishy chow (rather than “puppy chow” – made by my mama). The food certainly did not disappoint!

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Ryan and I both worked hard to have plenty of fun activities for the kids. There was a coloring and craft station, fish cornhole, a magnetic fishing game, and of course, boat rides!

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I was really curious to know how opening gifts would be with Kinsie this year. I had a feeling that she would want to open and play with each gift as she opened it, and would be overwhelmed with all her new toys. Well, I was kind of right. She did want to open and play with each gift as she opened them, but after she opened about the 5th gift, she was done. She obsessed about the toys she had already opened, and didn’t want to open anymore! She just sat and played with those toys while I opened the rest of her gifts. Once we got home and got all her new toys out though, she was a happy camper and played with everything!

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Kinsie has been really into the “Happy Birthday” song lately, so when everyone sang to her, she was on Cloud 9. She certainly enjoyed being in the spotlight and eating cake and ice cream!

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The only down side to her party, was that her cousin (and best friend), Briggs had to leave a bit early. He woke up that morning with hives, and a swollen face. He still tried to have fun and enjoy the party, but you could tell the poor guy just didn’t feel well. He started getting more swollen as the evening went on, so they left early to take him to the hospital. He got worse before he got better, but after a couple days, he was pretty much back to himself.

Other that the issue with Briggs, the party was a huge success!! Kinsie had a blast, and of course, if Kinsie was happy, mommy and daddy were happy too. All of the guests seemed to have a good time as well, and we were lucky to have a beautiful day on the lake!

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Kinsie Kay is TWO!

Is this real life? How can my baby be two already? It honestly does not even seem real! These have been the best two years of my life. She certainly exhausts me and tests me to my breaking point, but I have more love for that girl than I ever thought was possible. She has brought so much joy into my life, and has helped me find joy in the little things in life. I feel so lucky that God chose me to be her mom!

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Kinsie’s 2 Year Updates:

  • Her vocabulary is incredible. Not only does she pick up on new words very quickly when we teach her, but she is a sponge that absorbs so much even when we aren’t trying to teach her.
  • She knows the entire ABC song, and starting to work with her on identifying individual letters.
  • She can count up to 15.
  • She pretty much knows her colors. Sometimes she gets lazy and just says that everything is blue, but when she’s ready to focus, she’s got her colors down.
  • She is still in the potty training process. She decided to take a break for a few months (refused to sit on the potty), and now she’s back at it.
  • She has a sporty, adventurous side, but also a girly-girl side. She loves playing soccer or any other sport, loves being outside and playing with bugs, and isn’t afraid of exploring and getting dirty. However, she also loves playing dress-up, putting on fake make-up, taking care of baby dolls, and carrying around a purse.
  • She got her first haircut a couple weeks before her birthday. She was scared at first, but perked up when we gave her a sucker.
  • She is obsessed with stuffed animals. She sleeps with about 15 in her bed, and she will notice if I try to sneak some out when she’s not looking.
  • We say a prayer with her every night before bed. Her favorite things to pray for include her grandmas/grandpas, the lake, Mickey Mouse, and Briggs’ soccer games.
  • Her favorite songs are Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Wheels on the Bus, ABCs, and almost anything she hears on Barney.
  • Favorite characters: Mickey Mouse, Olaf, Shrek, and Barney
  • Favorite food: Pickles, macaroni and cheese
  • Favorite movies: Jungle Book, Frozen, Aladdin
  • Favorite books:  Anything by Sandra Boynton, and “I know a Rhino” by Charles Fuge
  • Favorite animals: Monkeys, Elephants, Tigers
  • What she enjoys: swinging, swimming, bath time, cousin fun, picking out movies (and watching about 2 minutes of it before picking another), coloring, playing soccer, gymnastics, and seeing any/all kinds of animals.

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Kinsie had a very busy birthday weekend. On Sunday, we had a fishing-themed birthday party for her at the lake (blog post on that later). Her actual birthday (today) happened to fall on a Monday, and I couldn’t bare the thought of not spending the day with her on her birthday…so I took the day off. My original plan was to take her to the zoo, her happy place. However, from the second she woke up, she was asking to play with all her new toys she got from her birthday party. She didn’t want to leave the house all day! I was able to pull her away from her new toys for 10 minutes to run to Dunkin’ Donuts to get her a birthday donut…which she was pumped about! We pretty much spent the rest of the day playing with all her new stuff. It was a beautiful day, so we went outside for a little while in the afternoon too. Ryan came home from Muncie to spend the evening with us. We asked Kinsie where she wanted to go to eat dinner for her birthday, and she said she just wanted to stay home and play, so we got Red Robin carry-out. We used some of the leftover “dirt and worms,” (Oreo ice cream with gummy worms) from her party to use as her birthday cake. She loves the happy birthday song right now, so we sang to her a few times and blew out her candle. It was a nice, quiet (or as quiet as it can be with a 2 year old) evening just the three of us for her birthday. It was perfect!

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I am obsessed with this girl’s spunky little personality. She makes life so much fun.

Happy 2nd birthday my sweet Kinsie Kay!

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