Garrett turns ONE!

Our baby is officially ONE and boy do we love this age!  Considering Garrett is the 3rd child, he is picking up on things way sooner than the other two did and he knows how to get his deserved attention.  I say I love this age so much but truth is that I’m not sure what my favorite age is because with every age comes new milestones, their personalities develop and their communication skills are improving!  Good thing I have three kids so I can experience each age group more than once! 🙂

We celebrated Garrett’s first birthday with both of our families over a week long road trip.  His actual birthday wasn’t the best for him because he was dealing with a double ear infection.  No matter how much pain he was in, he still managed to crack a smile and even get the rest of us to laugh.  Since Garrett was 6 months old, he would “Giddy-up” on command…it’s just something he would do in his highchair, carseat, or on your leg.  So for his birthday we got him a rocking horse and he loves it…and so does his sister!

Garrett’s birthday is just 6 days before his Grandpa’s (he was actually due on Grandpa’s birthday) so the “GLS” men were able to have a birthday celebration together this year.  And Garrett said “Grandpa” for the first time on the morning of his Gpa’s bday!

Garrett is just days away from walking on his own…he started with 3-4 steps on June 11th and is doing more and more each day. I took him to his one year check up today and while we were waiting he walked 7 steps to me in the waiting room.  He weighed 19lbs and 9oz…he’s moved up from the 10th percentile to the 25th percentile…yeah, my little peanut is finally gaining weight! 🙂

Here are some great pictures I have captured over the last couple of weeks as he turned one…enjoy!!

DSC_0025 DSC_0027 DSC_0033 DSC_0034 DSC_0035 DSC_0038 DSC_0041 DSC_0042 DSC_0044 DSC_0046 DSC_0048 DSC_0049 DSC_0005 DSC_0006 DSC_0008 DSC_0009 DSC_0010 DSC_0011 DSC_0012 DSC_0018 DSC_0021 DSC_0022 DSC_0025 DSC_0026 DSC_0030 DSC_0033 DSC_0035 DSC_0037 DSC_0039 DSC_0041 DSC_0044 DSC_0047 DSC_0051 DSC_0052 DSC_0053 DSC_0054 DSC_0057 DSC_0058 DSC_0059 DSC_0060 DSC_0061 DSC_0062 DSC_0070 DSC_0071 DSC_0072 DSC_0073 DSC_0075 DSC_0077 DSC_0078 DSC_0081 DSC_0082 DSC_0084 DSC_0086 DSC_0087 DSC_0088 DSC_0089 DSC_0091 DSC_0092 DSC_0093 DSC_0099 DSC_0100 DSC_0102 DSC_0104 DSC_0108 DSC_0113 DSC_0116 DSC_0117 DSC_0118 DSC_0121 DSC_0123 DSC_0124 DSC_0126 DSC_0131 DSC_0136 DSC_0140 DSC_0145 DSC_0150 DSC_0155 DSC_0162 DSC_0168 DSC_0169 DSC_0171 DSC_0173 DSC_0174 DSC_0177 DSC_0178 DSC_0179 DSC_0180 DSC_0181 DSC_0185 DSC_0190 DSC_0193 DSC_0194 DSC_0197 DSC_0199 DSC_0206 DSC_0212 DSC_0213 DSC_0215 DSC_0217 DSC_0218 DSC_0220 DSC_0230 DSC_0235DSC_0001 DSC_0002 DSC_0006 DSC_0008 DSC_0010 DSC_0013 DSC_0015 DSC_0018 - Version 2 DSC_0018 DSC_0022 DSC_0023 DSC_0030 DSC_0031 DSC_0034 DSC_0038 DSC_0040 DSC_0050 DSC_0052 - Version 2 DSC_0052 DSC_0055 DSC_0057 DSC_0058 DSC_0064 DSC_0065 DSC_0070 DSC_0076 DSC_0081 DSC_0084 DSC_0088 DSC_0091 DSC_0093 DSC_0094 DSC_0095 DSC_0103 DSC_0111 DSC_0119 DSC_0120 DSC_0127 DSC_0128 DSC_0135

City living with 3 kids…the playground!

I could write many blogs about living in the city with children…some positive, some challenging, yet here we are 3 kids later and STILL love living in the big city.  It’s definitely trying in the winter, but ask any Chicagoan and they will say the same thing…then April arrives and the weather changes and we all LOVE the city again.

For today’s post, it’s just about the parks and playgrounds.  There are probably hundreds of playgrounds in Chicago thanks to the Chicago Park District and the many elementary schools.  I think we probably have 5 playgrounds we visit regularly.  We are extremely grateful for the backyard we have as our kids can play outside, run through a sprinkler, ride on their scooters, play catch, etc, yet it is a very small patch of yard compared to my childhood.   I grew up on acres of farmland, green grass as far as you could see, and one rusty old swing set that my brother and I tried to flip many times as we swung higher and higher.  I loved the endless things we could do outside!  Those were my days, however, the place to get exercise and run off some energy for the majority of kids who live in the city, including my own, is the playground.

Now, how we get to the playground depends on which one we go to.  We can ALL walk (Garrett in the Ergo) to the one a couple blocks away, a few playgrounds the kids can bike to (like in today’s pictures), and to get to the others all the kids need to ride in the stroller because by the time we get there and play, they would be too tired to make it back home on their bikes.  The reason I mention this is because as I was putting everything back in our garage and storage area today, I realized that we have a ton of “equipment” for our kids.  I think we are on our third or fourth stroller as we’ve quickly grown our family and our needs have changed.  Parker and Ryann each have a bike, a scooter and we have a wagon.  I grew up in the country and the truth is, I only had a bike because there wasn’t much of anything else that made it around on the gravel roads like a good ol’ banana boat seat bike, and I loved it.  We would build ramps to jump and obstacle courses to maneuver around.  Those were my days, however, my kids are enjoying theirs too…at the playground!

DSC_0234DSC_0258

DSC_0236 DSC_0237 DSC_0238 DSC_0240 DSC_0241 DSC_0243 DSC_0244 DSC_0247 DSC_0248 DSC_0250 DSC_0251 DSC_0254

My daughter, my middle child, My Girl!

About a week ago I started to feel like I was missing out on my little girl growing up…she is changing SO fast.  Okay so maybe I’m not really missing out since I am with her every day, however I’ve started taking those moments to really look at her sweetness, listen to ALL she has to say, and realize that her heart is EXACTLY where I want it to be.  This moment below happened last week and it’s what really opened my eyes to the beautiful little girl we are raising…

I’m in the kitchen doing dishes and Ry walks into the room with her backpack on and looks at me and smiles…

Ryann: Hi teacher!

Me: Oh hello student, are you ready for school?

Ryann: Yeah!

Me: Great, what do you want to learn about today?

Ryann: Um, Jesus!

Melt my heart!! We do our best to raise our kids in a Christian home and to show them all the ways that Jesus loves them.  Other than signing “Jesus Loves Me” every chance she can get, Ryann just hasn’t talked about Jesus or asked many questions, which at 2 1/2 years old, I don’t think we should expect much more.  The fact that she asked to learn more gave me the perfect opportunity to talk more about Jesus with her.  Then it wasn’t but a couple of days later and Garrett was in the living room and crying (probably hungry b/c that’s about the only time he isn’t happy), and Ryann says “It’s okay, Garrett, God is with you!”  Moments like these two are signs that we are on the right path for now!

Now, onto what it is that makes My Girl the sweet, spunky little princess-tomboy that she is…

IMG_4002

She LOVES the outdoors, just like Mommy!

IMG_4009

Mommy’s scarves and heels are the best accent to any dress!

IMG_4032

See the band aids? That’s almost weekly, however, it doesn’t stop her one bit!

IMG_4056

This is usually what happens when I ask the 3 kids to “pose for a picture”…she has to do a dance, or make a funny face!

IMG_4065

She LOVES ice cream, just like Daddy…this is a special treat for these two (and Parker)!

IMG_4103

See the band aids? Dressed up like a superhero!

IMG_4162

Pure beauty!

IMG_4160

She still holds my hand…

IMG_4158

And smiles!

IMG_4170

Yep, ice cream again!

IMG_4183

This is sweetness…watching a show in my bed!

IMG_4185

Spiderfireman…you know them right?

IMG_4203

She loves to play hairdresser and do my makeup! We love to paint nails too!!

IMG_4211

AND, this is how she eats a donut! Why not?!

IMG_4214

Adoration!! She adores her big brother more than I can put into words!

IMG_4248

A true sense of style!

IMG_4273

Joining in on dressing as Mr./Mrs. Opposite for Parker’s preschool.

IMG_4292

Ready for the zoo…look closely, we managed some cute pigtails!

IMG_4304

PRECIOUS…she says “Garrett, don’t you love the fish?”

IMG_4307

Her favorite animal at the zoo, the giraffe!

Do you have someone in your house that randomly says “I love you so much!”?  This happens so often from her and I’m totally milking it…I’ll be honest and say that I’m not naive, I know what the teenage years mean for her (and me)…I was a teenage girl at one point too. <<Cringe>> I should just start tallying how often she says it now and remember it on those challenging days later in her teens.

One of my favorite things Ryann will say is “Smile, Daddy!” and it’s usually at the dinner table.  She knows how to get to his heart…it’s not that he’s unhappy, it’s just that she wants to see him smile At Her!  It’s too cute!

I’m grateful to have a daughter, this daughter!  As a mother of 3, I sometimes feel like it’s not easy to make those special moments with each child individually, but really all it takes is slowing down and looking at the small moments in life that God gives us each and every day!

Garrett’s 11 months!

I could take pictures of this kid every day…he’s a ham!  Some of the poses he unintentionally does crack me up.  Garrett can stand on his own, but chooses to crawl because he can get anywhere very quick…especially if he hears the bathroom door open or the dishwasher then he’s there in the blink of an eye.  I am loving this stage with all our children as they still love to play together (I will not take these moments for granted).  Parker & Ryann always try to include Garrett which is great because he adores them.  I’ll upload some videos soon of them all playing together…I want you all to see the enjoyment I receive from these precious kiddos.  There are a couple videos of Garrett below the pictures!  Enjoy the happiness that pours out of my sweet Garrett!

Here is Garrett’s 11 month photo shoot…

DSC_0163 DSC_0167 DSC_0166 DSC_0168 DSC_0169 DSC_0170 DSC_0173 DSC_0174 DSC_0177 DSC_0181 DSC_0182 DSC_0184 DSC_0184 - Version 2 DSC_0185 DSC_0191 DSC_0187 DSC_0193 DSC_0194 DSC_0195 DSC_0197 DSC_0197 - Version 2 DSC_0200 DSC_0198 DSC_0202 DSC_0203 DSC_0204 DSC_0206 DSC_0208 DSC_0212 DSC_0215 DSC_0214 DSC_0221 DSC_0223 DSC_0225 DSC_0224 DSC_0227 DSC_0231 DSC_0229 DSC_0232

“Enjoy every moment, they don’t stay little forever!”

I remember the day like it was yesterday when we brought home our 5lb baby boy.  I had just entered motherhood for the first time and this little boy was so tiny yet so precious.  For the first few days of his life we had to use a SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) so he could quickly get back to his birth weight and to avoid the ever so sneaky jaundice.  It didn’t take this boy long to jump ahead and gain those adorable little thigh rolls, arm rolls, and chubby cheeks.  The day I packed away his preemie and newborn clothes was the first time I could appreciate the statement of “enjoy every moment, they don’t stay little forever”!

Just a few months later, my 9 month old bouncing bean was pulling up, signing his first words, and running around in 18 month old clothing.  This was the size he wore until he was 2 years old.  As he started to walk, run and be more active the weight just dispersed and he became a little taller (not much for this shorty) but enough that for his second birthday we told everyone to go ahead and get 2T…what was this?  Toddler clothing?  Did I really have a toddler on my hands?  Well, yes, I had a toddler for a few months prior but why did the clothing size now matter?  I’m not sure, other than it was another one of those moments when I stopped to think “enjoy every moment, they don’t stay little forever”.

Somewhere between the ages of 3 and 4, my first born discovered the sizes on the tags in his clothes.  This became a major deal breaker for him if he were to wear something that had a different size on it than his age.  For example: my active boy has always been a size or two behind so when he was 4, 3T jeans fit just fine (length and all), but in my son’s eyes…he was no longer 3, those had to go, and he would only wear 4T!!  I took on the role of helping meet this need and did some washing to shrink some of his new 4T favorite pjs and shirts so he could feel the older, wiser 4 year old that only wore 4T!

Fast forward to this year and we are moving from 5T to the boys section…the transition in between has been difficult both for Mom and Son!  He turns 5 in just a few days and although 5T is what he could be wearing, he now knows the T stands for Toddler…another issue for him.  “Mom, I’m no longer a toddler, I shouldn’t be wearing 5T.”  So I oblige and here we are, shopping in the “boys section”…a whole new world of colors and styles.  This for me was another eye opener as it was a glimpse into the future, the boys section, where we will be for the next few years as he grows into a young child and enters elementary school… “enjoy every moment, they don’t stay little forever”.

Lastly, during a disciplining moment this week I said “You are 5 years old, you should know better than that.”  Once that bout was over with, my sweet little boy says “Mom, why did you say I was 5 years old…I’m not 5 yet, I’m still 4!”  Wow, he was so right…a little lesson brought to me from my 4 year old…DO NOT HURRY THE DAYS AWAY, “enjoy every moment, they don’t stay little forever.”

To my Parker–my sweet little first born, as you turn another year older in just a few days, I want you to know that I am doing my best to enjoy your every moment as I know you are no longer little in your own eyes.  As you enter the boys section, I hope you stay innocent through your eyes, confident in your heart, and strong in your abilities to be who God wants you to be.  I love you~Mommy

So I’m THAT kind of Mom…

You know the sayings “I’m not sure whether I’m coming or going.” or “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” or “I can barely keep my head above water.”?  These are usually stated because we are over-scheduled, overtired or unorganized…and then there are days when it seems it’s all of the above.  For the past few months my goal has been to S-I-M-P-L-I-F-Y!!  This goes for everything that I do for my family so that we can all be more relaxed, less rushed and all around joyful.  However, not all days run that smoothly and I am still learning how to not be living in those idiom moments.  I’m learning that “I am still THAT kind of Mom.”

I’m THAT kind of Mom who just wants a peaceful shower…that’s it…you see this shower curtain?  It’s like the Great Wall of China–no intruders, please!!  Yet I still hear “Mom, Mom, Mom” from the older two or crying from the baby in the johnny jumper bouncing in the bathroom doorway.  However, I’m also THAT kind of Mom that answers to “Mom, watch this” so I can see my child’s latest dance moves even if it means standing with my shower curtain partially open freezing my tushy off.  The reaction my kids receive from me depends on the day…

I’m THAT kind of Mom that if I’ve had that blissful shower and actually got myself ready (hair and makeup included) and then I show up to preschool pick-up I hear “Oh, where are you off to today?”  As if I needed somewhere special to be going?!  Ha!  Truth is, they are right…if I’m going to be “seen in public” (eg: Drs. appt, museum/zoo visit, lunch playdate) then I attempt to fix myself up, otherwise I am THAT kind of Mom that walks around day or night in her infamous Black Yoga Pants and all natural, aka no makeup!

I’m THAT kind of Mom who will…run through McDonald’s and get my kids the unhealthy quick lunch but not buy it for myself.  Also still getting them Chicken McNuggets when I have seen what they are made of and, I’m also THAT kind of Mom that says “Dang it, yesterday we had McDonald’s and today really needed to be a drive-thru McDonald’s day, ugh!”

I’m THAT kind of Mom that will sing at the top of my lungs in the van with my kids.  I’m also THAT kind of Mom that will yell at them and beg for 10 minutes of peace and quiet while we are driving because they are making me go bonkers.  It depends on the day (and traffic too, if you live in the city-yikes)!

I’m THAT kind of Mom that will drop all my “to-do’s” no matter the time of day because the snow is falling and it’s the perfect time to build a snowman or because the sun is beaming and we need to go on a walk or run off some steam at the playground.  I’ll drop everything and go.  Yet again, I’m THAT kind of Mom that will turn on the TV and ask that you sit there for 20-30 minutes through one show…just one, please?! so that I can have some peace in the kitchen and actually get a meal made without you asking me four times if you can have a snack, if lunch is ready or are you done yet?!  Yes, TV is used in my house as a babysitter…I’m THAT kind of Mom!

I’m THAT kind of Mom that wants to blog all the time, like the other million Mom bloggers, and share my stories, the successes and failures, in hopes that it can impact someone.  But, I’m THAT kind of Mom that knows my limits and the truth is, time doesn’t allow for me to sit down uninterrupted at a computer long enough to unload my brain.  So I blog what I can about our life to share with our family and friends, along with whomever’s eyes this reaches, and hope that as my children get older, I’ve memo-ed the big stuff and left them a mini paper trail of memories.

There are days when I feel “Okay, I got this Mom of 3 thing down!”…and then there are days when I feel like I’ve lost all control of my life…the house and kids are running me instead of the other way around.  But every night, I lay in bed next to my beloved and pray–we pray!  We thank God for our many blessings and for guiding us through the struggles we face in our daily routines which in return He gives us the opportunity to teach our children valuable lessons.

Then every morning I wake, I thank God for His Grace and the privilege to try again to be THAT kind of Mom HE wants me to be!

Garrett is 9 1/2 months and Ryann is 2 1/2 years!

I know, I haven’t posted in over a month.  Sorry, Grandparents, and friends & family.  There will be more to come in the next few weeks.

Garrett’s mobility is still increasing, but thankfully he isn’t walking just yet!  He was a slim 16lbs and 13oz at his 9 month appointment.  Still climbing the scale in the 10th percentile.  He’s starting to make lots of syllables/words “ma-ma, da-da” but not intentional yet as to refer to Mommy and Daddy.  However, he knows his sister…his first word is “Ry-Ry”!  Garrett will also say bye-bye and nigh-nigh.  Our new favorite thing to get him to do is “Squeeze”.  He’s currently cutting his top two teeth and is not himself, hopefully he will get through it soon.

Ryann just turned two and a half and our little princess is quite the chatty cathy!  She is usually repeating her brother but more and more her conversations are in her own words and let me just say, she can tell a story!!  We are working on telling the truth verses a story aka lie!  She has quite a sense of humor, very much like her Daddy.  She loves her brothers and will do anything to have one (or both) of them laughing.  And I figured my daughter would love to have her picture taken, not so much…it was a lot of effort to get the few I took of her.  Oh well, I get some funny ones and they are always better as they express her personality!  Enjoy!

DSC_0120 DSC_0123 DSC_0124 DSC_0125 DSC_0126 DSC_0127 DSC_0129 DSC_0137 DSC_0138 DSC_0141 DSC_0143 DSC_0148 DSC_0149 DSC_0152 DSC_0156 DSC_0159 DSC_0160 DSC_0167 DSC_0177 DSC_0179 DSC_0181 DSC_0185 DSC_0188 DSC_0189 DSC_0191 DSC_0193 DSC_0194