March 25, 2015

ryann's rockstar fifth birthday party

Ryann doesn't turn five until Sunday, but because of when the space we wanted to use for her party was available, we celebrated this past Friday.  For the first time we held a birthday party outside of our house.  It was an experience, a little crazy for sure, but the kids had a blast and going somewhere else was definitely a good choice!

It took me a while to settle on where to have Ry's party.  She wanted to invite friends from school, and friends from dance, and friends we just hang out with.  I wasn't really sure where to draw the line, and knew it would be difficult to entertain all those kids in our house, especially if it ended up being a cold day, so going elsewhere was the thing to do.  So many places had so many rules on the amount of people, or what you can and can't do, or it just wouldn't function for kids ranging in age from 1-5.  We ended up at Rainbow Play Systems of Olathe.  My friends might smack me for sharing this little gem, but it is a business that sells swing sets and play systems, and during the week you can pay to play in their showroom.  It has been awesome during the winter, and not too busy.  Lucky for us you can also rent the space for birthday parties.  These pictures don't do it justice, the play structures are awesome and there are quite a few different structures in the showroom.


There is also a trampoline, a few more play structures and a party room.  One of the semi stressful (but not really) parts of the party, was having to make sure I brought everything with me and getting it all set-up in about 20 minutes.  Which in reality didn't happen at all.  Thank goodness for my mother.  By the time we had everything carried in and started setting up the party room guests began arriving.  So my mom took the reigns and set up all the food and decorations.  I couldn't have put on the party without her, as usual.  Knowing we wouldn't have long to set up, and that the kids honestly don't care, we kept the decorations simple.  Balloons, plastic table cloths and cute desserts.  We kept the rest of the food simple with fruit, veggies and pizza.  We ended up having tons of leftovers because the kids were more interested in playing than eating, but they all seemed happy with the options.


My friend Jenny made the cake and cookies and they were just so cute.  I can't believe I didn't get a good picture of the cake when we cut it, she made the inside tie dyed.  You can get a little glimpse of it if you check out the cupcakes she made with the leftover batter.  I made the cake topper using my silhouette, and bedazzled a candle I picked up at Target.  For the record Hobby Lobby and Wal-Mart were completely out of 5 candles.  I have no idea.  All the kiddos that came got to take home an inflatable guitar and microphone that I purchased on amazon, as well as some tattoos and beads that I picked up at Party City.

Overall the party was pretty low key, but the kids still had a blast.  They were all red cheeked and sweaty and didn't want to sit still for anything.  We had about five kiddos who were dropped off, which is another situation I haven't really dealt with before.  It wasn't a big deal, and I had said it was perfectly fine in the invitation, it just got a little hectic trying to take care of Ryann and Elsie and make sure all the other kids weren't breaking their necks.  In the end though, like I said, fun.  The whole party was fun and relatively easy.

Oh, and the rock star theme?  Ryann just randomly decided that, and it seemed easy enough, so I went with it.  There are tons of cute ideas for a rock star theme on pinterest, but the would be much more easily executed in a house.  And Party City just so happened to have those napkins and balloons that were pretty much what I was thinking in terms of color scheme.  #winning


Can't believe my girl is going to be five!!

March 23, 2015

good green fun

On St. Patrick's Day we had some of our buddies over for a little play date.  These kids are so much fun and for the most part they get along so well!


I put together some themed food, ordered some pizza, and we had a great morning playing and hanging out.  Ryann sat by the front door for a good thirty minutes waiting for her friends to come over, and she was incredibly sad to see them go.  Apparently the oldest three played some game where they snuck out of Ryann's room and stole things out of the kitchen.  Afterwards I found several measuring cups, spoons and bowls in her bed and closet.  The only concerning item was the apple slicer.  Yikes, but at least they had a good time?


I had to snap some pictures of the girls afterwards of course, and my goodness they are sassy and goofy.


I hope we can squeeze in a few more big play dates before we move.  I'm pretty sure I say or think it every time we all get together, but I don't know what I'm going to do without these mamas and kiddos in my daily life.  Love them so much!

March 22, 2015

nineteen weeks


Well hello belly.  That thing is definitely growing like crazy.  And it looks to me like it is bigger and lower than it way with Elsie.  I can barely stand the feeling of anything on the lower part of my belly.  Everything is just so irritating and uncomfortable.  I'm not sure if it Baby 3's position, less ab stregnth this time around or what.  But bleh.

how far along:  19 weeks (compare to 19 weeks with Ryann, 19 weeks with Elsie)

size of baby:  My app claims that baby girl is the size of a tomato this week.  I generally see a tomato as being kind of small, but whatever.  She is roughly 6 inches long and half a pound.

weight gain:  10 pounds.  I have no excuses for this other than poor eating habits.  The extra weight might also be adding to the uncomfortableness.

maternity clothes:  Yes.  Wish I liked more than one pair of my pants.  Really I think I'm just going to invest in some semi cute lounge clothes or something.  I don't know.  If I could wear pajamas all the time that would be great.

symptoms:  With all the belly issues I've had some ligament paint, but other than that I'm pretty symptom free.

exercise:  Running is becoming a joke.  It is so frustrating knowing that I freaking ran a half marathon at 22 weeks with Elsie.  I can't make it half a mile without being uncomfortable.  All of the ligaments in my right hip and on my right side hurt.  They just do.  I'm going to have to find other ways to stay active and I hate it.  Obviously I'll listen to my body and do what is right for me and the baby, it is just so irritating to not be able to do what I feel like I should.  I did cover 90,708 steps according to my fitbit, so not too shabby at all.

cravings/aversions:  Nothing in particular either way.

movement: Yes, sometimes it seems super strong, but I'll still go a day without really feeling anything.  Definitely starting to pick up though!

sleep:  Twice this week I woke up in the middle of the night and had trouble falling back asleep, but other than that not bad at all.

gender:  I can't wait to get the girl confirmation at my ultrasound this week.

looking forward to:  My ultrasound on Thursday.  I can't wait to see our sweet little girl and I hope everything looks great.

worries: Slightly worried that something will be wrong at the ultrasound, even though I have no reason at all to believe it would be.  Also a little worried I'm going to gain 40+ pounds this time if I can't get the eating habits under control.  Yikes!

what's different this time:  The belly and the inability to run are the biggest differences right now.

best moment this week:  Baby wise Chris was able to feel the lightest tap of a kick.  That is always fun, and I feel like he begins to bond even more with the baby once he can feel it too.  Technically this falls in the following week but we had Ryann's birthday party on Friday and it was a lot of fun.  She seemed to have a really good time as did the other 14 kiddos in attendance.  There were no tears and no fighting that I'm aware of, so it was a win for sure.  Can't believe she will turn five in one week!

March 16, 2015

elsie visits the er, again.

Oh Elsie girl.  I always marveled at how we never had to take Ryann to the doctor for sick visits.  Patted myself on the back for obviously having healthy genes that make healthy babies.  Ha.  HAHA.  Before I get too far I should say that in general my kids are very healthy and I don't take that for granted.  I've watched other families go through things I just can't even begin to imagine and I thank my lucky stars that we've only dealt with mostly non emergent issues.

But anyway.  Elsie?  Thanks for helping us meet our insurance deductible each year (bonus, I'm pretty sure we get to start our deductible over when Chris starts his new job in July, and then we're having a baby, right?  #winning #notsomuch).  Sunday night we racked up our second ER visit in six months, and our fourth trip over to Children's Mercy in a year.  We were driving home from my parents house, and Elsie was asleep in her carseat.  I noticed that her breathing seemed a little heavy, but she also was completely passed out with her chin tucked pretty far down, so I just thought she was uncomfortable.  When we got home she woke up completely pissed and freaking out and you could just tell something was off, but I brushed it off as she was super tired and didn't get a long enough nap.


We played outside (which the girls had done a majority of the day) and then came in for bath.  And her breathing just kept getting worse.  She started wheezing and having retractions.  We toyed with the idea of giving her a breathing treatment, but Christopher wanted her seen and her oxygen levels checked.  So after a quick shower for myself (very much needed, especially if there was a chance I'd have to stay overnight with her!) Elsie and I packed up and headed for the hospital.  I wasn't sure what to think, I could tell her breathing was bad, but she had just been so dang happy and cheerful all day, playing without any issue, that I just couldn't fathom that something really was wrong.  The ER was busy, but we were seen very quickly.  Her oxygen levels looked decent in the 95-96% range, but there was no denying the wheezing and difficulty breathing, so we waited to see a doctor.

He speculated that she had developed asthma, often seen in kids who had bronchiolitis.  She got four puffs of albuterol and a dose of steroids and we waited.  Her breathing very quickly began to sound better.  Her oxygen levels started to bounce around between 91-95%, but she seemed very stable and I was confident that Christopher and I could handle it at home.  So after less than two hours in the ER that is where we went.  Elsie was a little hyped thanks to all the meds, and told me on the way home she was NOT going to sleep.  Nope nope nope.  Eventually we talked her in to it though.  Monday her breathing was still a little rough, and in the morning we didn't quite make it the recommended four hours between inhaler uses.  But after that second dose of steroids kicked in her breathing continued to improve.  She was just extra tired in general.


Monday night we heard Elsie coughing a lot over the monitor.  She never called out to us, or needed us, but I know she didn't sleep well.  Which explains why I had to wake her up at 9:15am to make it to our follow-up with the pediatrician.  I expected everything to be looking much better, but instead Elsie's oxygen level was between 88-92%.  Her doctor was a bit baffled, as her lungs sounded pretty good.  She noted she did have an ear infection, and thought maybe something bacterial was bothering her.  We gave her some more albuterol in the office, and rechecked her levels.  Still the same, but her lungs sounded even better.  So I opted to take her home with instructions to call back in the afternoon to check in, and bring her back in immediately if she began wheezing again.


Thankfully Elsie continued to just sound better and better, and by Thursday when we went back for yet another follow up, her oxygen levels were 98-99%.  Woohoo!  Anytime she has ever had her oxygen checked, I haven't seen a number over 96%, so I was impressed.  And while her ear still didn't look pretty, the doctor said it was improving.  For the record, she has not once complained about her ear bothering her.  Neither of my girls had ever had an ear infection prior to this as far as I know!  The pedi isn't ready to specifically call it asthma just yet, but if Elsie has more trouble in the future she'd consider a daily medication to manage it.

But sweet sweet Elsie girl, please oh please.  Let's just keep our doctor's visits to well checks.  Those are much easier! ;o)

March 13, 2015

eighteen weeks


how far along:  18 weeks (compare to 18 weeks with Ryann, 18 weeks with Elsie)

size of baby:  my What to Expect app tells me baby is about the size of a sweet potato, or 5.5 inches long.  Baby girl is developing yawning and hiccuping skills as her own unique set of toe and fingerprints!

weight gain:  Errr... 8 pounds.  Whatever, I'm over it for now.

maternity clothes:  Yes.  I just have zero interest in being uncomfortable at all.  Why fight it?  And this time around my workout pants are uncomfortable.  I'm not tying them, I don't remember them bothering me with Elsie, but my gosh they are annoying.

symptoms:  Not too much this week.  Other than the belly I barely feel pregnant at all.

exercise:  Sunday I ran just over five miles.  It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't that bad.  The rest of the week any time I've tried to run it has just felt miserable.  I think part of my problem might lack of water intake.  I am struggling so much to get in enough water, I just forget to fill my cup or I'm super busy or some other lame excuse.  I didn't write down all my workouts, but my fitbit claims I covered 82,059 steps.  I'll take it.

cravings/aversions:  Super buttery salty popcorn and biscuits with strawberry jelly.

movement:  It still isn't consistent at all, but I think more and more I'm starting to feel movement.  If I'm not thinking about it, or if this wasn't my third kid, I'm sure it could easily be missed.  Hoping she gets a little stronger in the next two weeks.

sleep:  I could have just copied this section from my 18 week post with Elsie.  Sleeping on my stomach is no longer an option, which kind of sucks, but really only pisses me off if I wake up in the middle of the night.  When I initially get in to bed I'm usually so tired I pass out almost instantly regardless of what position I'm in.

gender:  Girl.

looking forward to:  Our anatomy scan in a couple of weeks.  I haven't been super antsy about it because I already know we're having a girl, but I also haven't 'seen' her since 13 weeks on the crappy portable ultrasound.  I hope I get to see that cute little profile and hear that everything looks great.  Also, just life in general.  The weather is nice, fun things are on the horizon, there is a little bit of fun in everyday.  We're in a good (and hectic) place and I'm loving it.

worries: While life has been good, I've had a few challenging days with the girls in the listening/following directions and such department with the girls, and that always makes it terrifying to think of adding another to the mix.  I've also been laying on the mom guilt in my head, because I don't cook enough healthy meals, or spend enough time doing this or that with the kids, I yell too much, the list could go on and on.  I want to be super mom, but I'm just not.  I know it's ok, but I know almost every mom out there understands too.

what's different this time:  I was just discussing with a friend today that this pregnancy just seems so completely unreal, and so far in the back of my mind.  I know I felt that way a bit with Elsie, but my goodness I forget I'm pregnant a lot.

best moment this week:  The weather is by far the best thing this week.  It is such a wonderful thing to welcome after the bitter cold over the last month.  Spring is in the air and I just freaking love it.  Spring is 100% my favorite.

March 9, 2015

fireplace make over

Over the weekend Christopher and I tackled our first renovation project (that we are doing ourselves) in our new home.  The family room (living room? I never know) has a large brick fireplace.  I'm not opposed to a fireplace, or brick, but that thing was a big bright red/orange eye sore in my opinion.  I didn't want to paint it because I wanted to keep more of the character.  And totally redoing it just isn't in the budget.  So I started researching other options and came across white washing.  I came across this image on pinterest and fell in love:


I read through several tutorials I found on pinterest and decided white washing was a project we could tackle.  Most said that it was a pretty easy idiot proof thing to do, and I loved that we could preserve the character of the brick while still toning down the red/orange factor.  If you want to white wash your own brick you'll need to gather the following:

- white paint (we used our trim paint in an eggshell finish, but any white paint will do)
- a paint brush
- some rags
- a bucket
- water

While browsing the tutorials I compared the images to the paint ratios.  I knew I didn't want a lot of coverage but didn't want to screw anything up.  The least amount of paint we saw used was 1 part paint to 3 parts water, so that is what we went with.  We taped off around the fireplace and covered the mantle with paper towels, and then while Chris mixed up the paint I used a rag to brush excess dust and crap off the brick.  And then we got to work.  Chris put the paint on the brick and I went along behind him and rubbed it off.  We hoped it would be a quick project, but it took us a couple of hours.  After we were all done though, it was worth it.  We started with this...


A couple of progress shots...


And we ended with this...


I love it.  While we were working I was worried the change wouldn't be that noticeable, but when all was said and done and I stepped back, I was amazed.  It truly leaves the character, but tones down the intensity of the brick.  I definitely rubbed most of the paint back off.  Some of the smoother bricks we had to go back and do a second coat because they still stood out quite a bit, but mostly this is just one coat rubbed on and back off.

It is a messy job.  The watered down paint runs and splatters pretty easily so be sure to take that in to account in your prep.  And make sure if there is a big run that you rub it off right away.  We have a few streaks and splatters that kind of show up because I didn't get to them when they happened.  But it isn't a huge deal.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with the mantle.  It got accidentally painted when all the trim was being done.  At first I was pissed because I think we'll all agree that in that first picture, the damn thing is hideous.  It just sticks out.  But once the brick was white washed it didn't look so bad.  I think we're going to leave it until the walls are painted and the floors are stained before I make a final decision.  And picking the perfect gray for this room is going to kill me.  So many options.  I want the room to be light and bright, but I definitely want some contrast between the trim as well.  The entry is being painted revere pewter, and while I love the color, I'm not sure I want to run that throughout the entire main floor.  Eventually I'll figure it out, I think I'm currently at 11 different samples of gray paint in the house.  Haha.

And for a little more fun, what the room looked like when we bought the house...


And a side by side of the brick revamp...


That wasn't much of a tutorial, so if you have any questions feel free to ask.  It really is a simple project that you can get done in an afternoon.  And I love the results!

March 7, 2015

seventeen weeks


how far along:  17 weeks (compare to 17 weeks with Ryann, 17 weeks with Elsie)

size of baby:  I'm not sure why I haven't switched where I get my resources from for this section.  I no longer wish to send any traffic to the site that will not be named.  Haha.  But anway, my 'what to expect app' says baby is the size of a turnip, about 5 inches long and weighing 3.5 ounces.  She has started practicing sucking and swallowing and her heart is now regulated by her brain.

weight gain:  6.4 pounds.  My eating has been pretty crappy so I'm honestly surprised it isn't way worse.

maternity clothes:  Yup.  When we left for Georgia my winter coat fit absolutely fine.  10 days later I put it on when we were heading home and it barely buttoned.  And all of the sudden this week I just could not wear regular pants.  Some of them still button, but they don't really feel or look good.  As luck would have it I have misplaced my absolute favorite pair of maternity pants I had with Elsie.  And every other pair I seem to own are boot cut.  Which I almost never wear.  Guess some shopping is in order!

I took this picture the day that I wore my maternity pants for the first time.  Looking at it I haven't a clue how I was attempting to wear regular pants at all.


symptoms:  For some reason, it doesn't matter what I eat, but after a meal I almost always feel like crap.  Thursday night I had an apple and peanut butter.  That is it.  And my stomach was churning.  I just don't get it.  I've also had several headaches this week.  It may or may not be related to indulging in a lot of almond M&M eggs, but sometimes it is there when I wake up in the morning so I don't think it is all food related.  But who knows.

exercise:  I ran a 10k this week!  With just under a 10 minute per mile pace!  I'm pretty stoked about that.  I know I was running and working out a lot more when I was pregnant with Elsie, but I'm still happy that I'm staying relatively active.  This week I ran 11.8 miles, walked 7.25 miles and covered 84,857 steps.  For the record my mileage is included in my weekly steps, I just note when I am actually out running or walking on the treadmill.  Right now I'm pretty consistently trying to run three days a week, and then just stay as active as I possibly can the other days.  Some days I can run 6 miles straight, and some days I just can't make myself run more than a mile without stopping.  I think it's all in my head, but as long as I keep moving I'll be happy.  I'm hoping I can run at least some of the mother's day 5k.

cravings/aversions:  I still love fruit and almost always could go for a milkshake, but other than that no strong cravings.  Really no terrible aversions either.

movement:  I felt her again one morning this week, just barely, and just for a minute.  But I'm sure it was her.  I'm so anxious for the movement to pick up.

sleep:  For some reason I can't sleep past 5:20am right now.  So frustrating.  I've also woken up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom a couple of times.  Sleep could definitely be better.

gender:  Truthfully I'm still in denial that there is another little girl in my belly.  But I'm very excited.

looking forward to:  I can't wait to feel her move daily.  I'm excited to start painting the walls in our new house.  Spring weather is on the way.  We're heading in to very fun and very busy times.

worries:  That we'll pick the wrong name for our baby girl.  Naming a baby is always stressful to me.  I mean, it is so permanent.  And I try and stay away from the top 100-200 names according to the social security list, which means sometimes my preferences are a little, different?  Not that I'm trying to name my kids anything ridiculous.  But I don't want other people to hate it, I don't want her to hate it, why is naming a kid SO HARD?!?!  I've also been worried about how selling our house is going to go, and what the heck we are going to do with our cats during the process.

what's different this time:  Honestly my pregnancies are starting to seem quite the same.  It looks like this is pretty much the week that I have to start wearing maternity clothes.  With Elsie I also thought I was feeling a touch of movement (though I am  more sure of it this time).  So my blood pressure will probably be out of wack by 38 weeks, I'll be induced, and give birth to a third 6lb4oz little girl.  But maybe she'll prove me wrong and do things her own way.  ;o)

What is different is how much more aware Ryann is this time.  Last week I mentioned she is obsessed with her baby sister, and it still rings true this week.  She is regularly rubbing my belly and asking questions about her baby sister and talking about how when we move to the new house she is going to be born.  She also makes big claims about helping me change her diapers.  We'll see about that!

best moment this week:  I'm not sure.  Life has been pretty good, nothing to complain about.  But no really big wow moments.  We're headed to a preschool/MMO open house this weekend for Elsie, and I got Ryann registered for Kindergarten round-up.  I can't believe this is where we are at, but I'm loving it.  Life is crazy busy, hectic and exhausting, but so much fun.