Archive for July 2017

Annabelle's Newborn Photos

July 31, 2017

So....I'm finally getting around to sharing Annabelle's newborn photos. And it only took me 4 months!

She looks so tiny here! I just want to squeeze her. Third babies are the BEST. 

All photos were taken by Anne Jansen Photography

Hudson is such a great big brother! He wanted noting to do with this photo session though. 

Both of the big kids were crazy WILD during the photo shoot. It was sort of terrible. So by some miracle Anne got them to sit still for this photo...and I love it. Even if Annabelle looks terrified. And Sadie threw her bow on the ground. Real life right here! 

Sweet girl

I love this one so much. My three babies. 

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Easy Baking Day

July 28, 2017


We have been soaking up every moment of this big guy being home with us this summer. Just one more summer until he's off to kindergarten. I can't even believe it. 

One of our favorite activities to do together is bake cookies. Normally I make the cookie dough from scratch but since I have ALL THREE kiddos home with me we've been using pre-made dough. No same in my game. Hudson absolutely LOVES helping me in the kitchen. And he doesn't care that the dough isn't homemade.

His face lights up when I let him do it all. I know we are making memories that he will remember for years to come. 

And he's just so dang sweet! I want to soak it all up. I blinked and he's almost five. I know the next years will go just as fast...and some day he won't want to bake with me any more. Insert all the tears here! 

So for now I'm loving having him as my helper. Hudson loves to roll the cookie dough and put it on the baking sheet. 

And he was just so proud of himself! I'm so glad I captured these moments. 

And the best part was enjoying our not-so-hard work! I may have let him eat two....or five. 

Products like pre-made cookie dough and Reynolds Kitchens parchment paper help make our baking days easy and fun! And clean up is a breeze thanks to Hefty trash bags! Plus they smell good! I made sure to clip the box tops off of the products so that we can save them for Hudson's future school. 

Reynolds Kitchens™ and Hefty proudly support the Box Tops for Education initiative which helps schools raise money for supplies, technology and more. You can find Box Tops on most Reynolds Kitchens™ products like Parchment Paper, Oven Bags, Slow Cooker Liners and Bakeware Pans. You can also find Box Tops on Hefty Trash Bags, Hefty Foam Plates and Hefty Cups—all things we need to make life easier during the busy school year! It’s so easy to raise money for your kid’s school all while purchasing everyday products that will make your own back to school prep easy.  

Now through August 29 you can enter here to be one of 50 daily instant winners and enter to win the grand prize of $1,000 worth of Box Tops for your school! A total of five schools will be chosen for the grand prize and you can enter once a day until 8/29 so bookmark the site and visit often.

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Simple Counting Game for Preschoolers

July 27, 2017

Hudson amazes me every day with how much he is learning and growing. Sometimes I just stop and stare at him….I can’t believe how fast he is growing! 

He’s not quite old enough to start kindergarten in the fall….so we’ve decided to send him to a “young fives” program at the same school he’s been attending for the past two years. He’s so excited to start because apparently the young fives students get to do some pretty cool stuff.

Since he’s on summer break from school I’ve been trying to do little learning activities with him each day to keep the learning momentum going. One of his favorite things to do is count stuff for me! He absolutely loves counting and grouping items together. So, as a fun game during snack time I whipped up this little counting activity for him using our favorite snack, Goldfish® crackers, and he LOVED it! 

All I did was write out numbers 1-10 on some chalkboard pendants I picked up at the craft store. I had Hudson place the corresponding number of Goldfish® crackers on each pendant. It was such a simple activity but he loved it! He is still learning to identify numbers and letters, so this was perfect for him. And he was SO proud of himself for counting all his numbers correctly.

I love spending some one-on one time with my big guy while his sisters nap. Sometimes we have over an hour of time together, and sometimes only 15 minutes, so we’ve learned to make the most of our time. I just can’t believe how fast he’s growing. We’ve really been enjoying our time together before all the craziness of back to school season starts, and for that I am so thankful!

And of course Hudson loves to sneak in a few bites during our activities. And I can’t blame him! We love snacking on Goldfish® crackers at our house. Hudson is already talking about taking his favorite snack to school with him in the fall.

Be sure to visit the Goldfish® Pinterest page or YouTube channel for more back to school snacking ideas.

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Colorful Picnic for Two

July 26, 2017

Sometimes these two just slay me. For the most part Hudson and Sadie play really well together...and I just love it! We've been having a pretty laid back summer. We are taking a break from swim lessons and ice skating lessons and just trying to enjoy some time with each other. Hudson has been going to "summer school" two mornings a week at a gymnastics gym. He did it last year and LOVED it, so I signed him up again and I'm so glad I did. It's nice to have a little break from my busiest child now and then! Belle takes up a lot of my time during the day so I have to get creative with our days. It's hard to get out of the house every day so we spend a lot of time at home. Thankfully my kids don't seem to mind. Hudson is a big homebody (he gets it from me) and prefers to stay home and play ALL DAY LONG. 

Our favorite thing lately has been to have little picnics in our yard. I found this cute picnic table and we have been loving it! Even Wrigley has joined in our fun. He's mostly not a fan of hanging out with screaming kids all day...but if there's food around then he's never too far!

The weather has been perfect the past couple of days.....not humid and beautiful we've been enjoying it while it lasts!

My mom joked that as long as there's a snack involved, Sadie is down for anything! 

I'm so thankful for the relationship these two have. I am an only child (did you know that?) so I missed out on having someone to play with every day. I hope they always are close. Sadie wants to do every thing her big brother does. She straight up ADORES him and copies his every move. Hudson loves her just as much, but won't ever admit it. He's so sweet with her (most of the time) and always wants her to join him in playing (unless it's with legos...then he wants her to stay as far away as possible). 

We had so much fun enjoying our colorful picnic! 

These cute and colorful plates, bowls, utensils, and cups are from RePlay and we just love them. I love that they are made from recycled materials and that the kids don't fight over who gets what plate anymore because they love them all! We have the crayon box collection and it is just too cute!

 Well, I should say that Hudson is happy as long as Sadie isn't using any of the blue cups or plates. He thinks blue is a "boy color" so only he can have it. 

What are you up to this summer? When we aren't hanging at home we love to go to the library, the local children's garden, the park, splash pad, and the trampoline park....but I love to hear what other ideas you have!

**affiliate links used

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5 Things Every Pregnant Mom Should Know

July 24, 2017

After having three babies, I’ve learned a few things about pregnancy. I’m far from an expert though….in fact, the more kids I have the more I realize I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. And that’s okay! I did learn a few things that every pregnant woman should know:

1. Drink lots of water. When you are pregnant it’s so important to stay hydrated! You will be thirsty all the time! Make sure you always have water with you wherever you go…trust me on this!

2. Get some exercise. I exercised daily when I was pregnant with Hudson, and I felt great! I primarily walked on the treadmill during my lunch hour and then went for another walk in the evening with my dog. It helped me gain less weight during my pregnancy and also helped me shed the baby weight quicker afterwards. I didn’t have as much time with my second and third pregnancies to work out and I really noticed a difference in my overall mood and weight gain.

3. Give yourself some grace. You are growing another human inside your body. It’s an amazing thing but so so so exhausting! Listen to your body and take it easy when you need to. Take a nap, get a massage, or eat that ice cream sundae!

4. Expect the unexpected. Everyone and their mother (and your mother too) will want to give you advice on what to expect when you are pregnant. But in reality, every soon-to-be-mom is different. And every pregnancy is different. One day you feel terrible and the next you feel like a million dollars! I remember when I was pregnant with Hudson, I didn’t throw up at all….meanwhile my good friend was tossing her cookies every single day. I worried that something was wrong with me or my baby…but it turns out everything was absolutely fine. I was just different! And I totally made up for the lack of sickness with my next two pregnancies. Everyone is different so try not to compare yourself to others. It will only bring you un-needed stress!

5. Do your research! When you are pregnant, there are so many decisions that need to be made with your doctor or midwife team. If you are a long time reader here, you’ll know I did a lot of research on doctor vs. midwife and c-section vs. VBAC. Everyone is different and it’s important that you discuss all of your options with your medical provider. With all three of my pregnancies we explored the option of cord blood banking. We donated cord blood once too! Over the past several years there has been a lot of new research in the field of stem cells and cord blood banking. CBR partners with researchers on FDA- regulated clinical trials to advance newborn stem cell research as well as connect families to trials if they qualify. CBR’s goal is to provide the best service and quality in the collection, processing, and storage of newborn stem cells. If you are pregnant, you can consider the option of cord blood banking. Did you know that July is Cord Blood Awareness month? It’s a time to highlight and celebrate the significant contributions made through stem cell research, trials, and treatment. If you are interested in storing your cord blood for future use, you can find more information at the Cord Blood Registry.

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