Monday, December 14, 2015

Lainey is 4!

Lainey turned 4 on August 12th!  This age and birthday was so fun because she had a very real awareness of birthdays, gifts and what a special thing it was - way more than last year.  We counted down the days and built up lots of excitement.  I love celebrating my kids!
I love morning Lainey - crazy hair and all.

This doll wasn't something she asked for but she was so excited that she had blonde hair and brown eyes, just like her!

I took Wyatt to pick out some birthday gifts just for his big sis and he did a great job.  He knew all of the girlie things she would love!  He was so proud to give her her presents.

Auntie Em sent some outfits and accessories for her new doll which were a huge hit!
We did a family morning trip to Ledges State Park to walk the creeks.

And her birthday lunch of choice, Hickory Park!

We got cleaned up, played with some of her new toys and got ready to head downtown for the State Fair parade!  

What could be better than a parade on your birthday with your bestie!?

L requested a giant birthday cookie instead of cake this year and it turned out great.  

Birthday posts to reflect on 0, 1, 2 and 3...

Lainey is a true blessing in every sense of the word.  I cannot imagine our family without her as the leader of our little pack.  She is considerate and gives so much grace.  She is the absolute sweetest big sister and a wonderful helper.  She is so bright and loves to learn.  I can't wait to see what life with a 4 year old has in store for us!

Summer part dos

Well it's about time I posted a few catch up posts.  I loaded these pics into the posts awhile ago but never got around to writing much for the rest of the summer, Lainey's bday, the fall or Wyatt's birthday.  I figured with Tiegan's birthday just a few days away and Christmas next week I better get moving and get this thing caught up by the end of the year!

Summer 2015 treated us well.  Life with 3 kids got a little more manageable and Tiegan was the easiest go with the flow baby which helped a ton.
After a morning playing at the park or swimming at the pool or splash park, many drives home ended like this.

We went to a wedding in August - Jed accompanied Lainey as his date and I met them at the reception after nap time with the littles.

Wyatt loves a wedding -- mostly for the cupcakes or cake.

Kiddos and the guys cuttin loose on the dance floor.

This picture cracks me up.  Everyone is looking, but not everyone is smiling.  But they were all dressed so cute for church I had to at least try.

Lainey has not always allowed us the easiest bedtime routine (ahem, requests of us singing Christmas carols on repeat, every stuffed animal and doll in JUST the right spot, etc) but as of late it's gotten a lot easier.  I never necessarily enjoyed that hard season and hoped and prayed it would indeed be just a season.  And now she barely needs tucked in but one night in particular the week of her birthday she asked me to lay with her and scratch her back.  It was easy to comply with such sweetness.

Tiegan didn't struggle with stranger danger until about 10 months so all summer she would pretty easily go to anyone, let anyone touch her or talk to her, etc.  We love our chiropractor Dr. Ann and love seeing her for our monthly visits.

With Lainey loving the sweet summer splash park days most of all, Tiegan came in a close second.  

We took a trip to Minnesota right after Lainey's birthday in August.

"Enjoyed" a suuuuuuper hot morning at the Como Zoo.

T didn't seem to mind the heat.

We took in the seal show while we were there!

Naps typically go real well at Ma and Papa's house!

Ma went above and beyond grabbing some party decor to celebrate our big girl along with the other lovely August birthday gal, my Grandma Carey.

Sweet August birthday girlies!

The last morning there we hopped over to Farmington to the Dakota County Fair!

Lainey talked Papa into letting her do a pony ride.

Wyatt was in heaven among all those tractors!

Ice cream "lunch" at the general store!

More splash park fun!  Lainey and my friend Allison's daughter Gwen would literally swim and play all day if it weren't for those pesky afternoon naps their moms insist on!

We did a lap around Gray's Lake one evening.

Lainey rode her little heart out around the whole lake!

Summer in all of it's splendor requires lots of baths!  Not sure how much longer I'll fit 3 in that tub but I'm gonna keep trying!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Summer Part Uno

We have been enjoying ALL of what summer has to offer around here.  I've vowed to let go of rigid nap schedules, let the kids run and be dirty and say yes to lots of popsicles and ice cream.  I started this blog post awhile ago, but today is August 5th and sadly I can feel summer slipping away from us faster than I wish it would.  I love that we live in a place where we have seasons and truthfully, fall is my favorite but summer is a close 2nd place.  There are only so many weeks of splash parks and pools and hot evenings outside and cookouts and sweet corn and ripe watermelon... so we are taking full advantage while we can.
We enjoyed a BBQ with our community group to kick off the summer back in early June.  We are so thankful for a group of faithful 
believers and so many kids for our kids to run around with.

SOOOOO many rides home end this way and it is amazing.  He transfers nearly flawlessly to his bed and sleeps long and hard after a morning outside!

We were fortunate enough to win a summer pool pass from our awesome pediatric dentist through a Facebook contest and we have tried to take advantage of that as often as I feel up for the challenge.  And a challenge it is.  Swim suits, sunscreen, swim diapers, puddle jumpers x2, dry clothes x3, towels x3, picnic lunch or snacks x3, pool toys, etc. etc.  

But each time has been SO fun and SO worth it and I love watching my kids getting more and more comfortable in the water.
Tiegan equally loves our pool and splash park days!

Lainey doesn't transfer quite as flawlessly but every once in awhile Mom has the touch and I'm able to plop her on the couch for a quick snooze.

We have hit a few garage sales this summer too.  I usually let my kids either choose 1 book or spend $1.  This Mack truck from Cars was probably the best buy I've found so far this summer.  It comes out every day.  Lightning McQueen is huge over here.

When we added one more baby to the family, we started implementing the "divide and conquer" strategy a lot more.  I love observing the unique relationships each kiddo has with another.  They are precious all 3 together but it's fun to watch Wyatt own the big brother role a lot more when Lainey is gone.

Summer mornings should look like this!

I'm thinking we are nearing the end of Lainey napping every day.  She almost always will when we structure our day that way but many days she can go without and I let her and she is just fine.  Makes me both slightly sad but also excited to have a little extra time with just her in the afternoons.

Tiegan has gotten so good at sitting up and can do the bathtub with the big kids now!

This is how our Target trips look sometimes.  Yes, I know about the giant 2 seater carts and we use those frequently too but L loves to ride under there and if she's under there then she's not seeing the merchandise,  And if she's not seeing the merchandise, she's not asking for it.  See what I'm getting at here?

T learned to sit up early this summer and has officially entered my all time favorite baby stage.  Sitting and playing but NOT moving.  As long as she has a few toys within reach, she's happy as a clam for quite some time.

We have played a lot this summer with our neighbor and both kids just adore her.  The girls love to play pretend and dream up funny scenarios and Wyatt just runs behind and plays along and begs to ride in her giant battery powered pink truck.

Lainey had a fabulous time at the Arts Festival this year and hit all of the kids craft tents.  I hope some day she appreciates what an awesome place Des Moines is and all of the fun opportunities we have near by!

Lainey and her besties, the three musketeers who have been friends since before they were born!

After the all congregation service, Celebration Sunday, there were kids games and face painting - L LOVES getting her face painted but this was Wyatt's first time and he was so stinkin adorable and proud!

After reviewing all of these pictures, which only represent a small, small part of our summer so far I"m definitely leaning towards not wanting summer to ever end!!!!
Part II to come!