Sunday, July 19, 2015

Happy and Hot, and a brief engagement story

I never thought I'd say those two words in a sentence, but that's what this week has been: happy and hot!

My mom is finally home (for at least a few weeks) from her summer travels, YAYAYAY, so we hung out with her twice this week. Yay for Mimi time! I will forever be grateful that both our parents live close.

Natalie is still not napping anymore - I guess that's not new news - but she always gets really excited when Stockton gets up from his nap. I think she misses her built-in play buddy. One afternoon I found them like this after his nap:

 She couldn't wait to go find him : ) 

The no-nap fallout has provided some contentions between Mommy/Natsby (no break for Mommy = more impatient and no nap for Natalie = more ornery, so it's a bad mix). One night I was tired of our bickering so I took her on a coveted "Mommy Date" to try to ease some of the tension. We went to Yogurtini (and Natalie had more fun moving the chairs around than eating, ha) and then the Dollar Store which, if you don't already know this, is MAGICAL. I have been there like once or twice since being married and didn't really understand the draw, but after perusing this latest time I'm sold! It's genius - cheap, crappy toys that will fall apart and that your kids won't care about after a while, for only a dollar! It's perfect for little rewards and treats for the kids. Plus there's actually some useful stuff there too! (I bought $1 salad tongs.) The Mommy Date was momentarily successful, but we've still had our struggles. I hope she will adjust to this new sleep cycle soon.

please note the fuzzy boots ( if you could miss them)
the perk of no naps: she PASSES OUT at
7pm, soooo tired
And what has Mr. Smalls been up to this week, you ask? Just being friendly and wonderful : )

 He definitely went through a growth spurt last week - he's not even three months yet and is already wearing 6-month clothes! He is smiling up a storm, he scooted himself a little bit (on accident, I'm sure) and is getting close to attempting to roll over.

he started under the toys, and managed to scoot himself up this far
practicing his roll

he tried the exer for the first time and did better than I thought...Stockton
loves Jack's mouth. Well, anyone's mouth.

he loves the Jillian workout DVD, ha. i try to turn him away from the TV
but he cranes his neck to see it. 

still such an easy sleeper, yayy : ) 
Austin and I even got a date this week! We went to Tico's, where I used to work, and feasted! I love when we get to go out together. My husband is such a perfect match for me.

It's been HOT HOT HOT and, of course, stupid humid, so the pool has been our friend. It's fun when friends come to share in the fun.

This is one of my favorite things Stockty does:
he comes up to wherever I am when
he wants to check in with me and sits
leaning against my legs. sweet boy.
And, lastly, THIS book came out this week!

This is important not only because it is the second novel of the previously only once-published Harper Lee, but because we have a history with "To Kill A Mockingbird." On our very first date (at Ruby Tuesday, ha) Austin guessed correctly that my favorite book was "To Kill," and then when he proposed to me he told me to close my eyes, knelt down with something hiding behind his back, and had me open my eyes, assuming correctly that I would assume that he was holding the ring. Instead, with a twinkle in his eye as he watched my somewhat deflated but dignified expression, he handed me a new copy of "To Kill." I thought it was a sweet gesture but was still thrown off that he hadn't proposed after the whole picnic in the park/close your eyes/kneeling charade, so I thanked him and was about to put the book down when he told me to open it. What do you know, he had given me a ring after all, nestled in a little painstakingly cut out square in the pages of this beloved story. With a handwritten poem, nonetheless! (He claims that it is cheesy, but I think it's perfect.)

Almost four years, three children (one with the middle name of a main character in this book), and two college degrees later, I'm more happy than ever that I said yes.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Kat Thursdays

My best friend from high school, Kat, lives in Omaha and has two little girls close in age to my kids, and now that she's not working we've started getting together on Thursdays. It is so fun to look forward to every week! This past week it was our turn to go to Omaha, and Kat took us to this awesome place that has rotating exhibits. Currently it is a giant open room with innovative toys, foam blocks, wood dowel rods, magnets, things to climb on, spin, draw, and just generally run amuck. It was incredible! And FREE!

 We were a few minutes early so we explored around the building and found some fun things to climb on. It adds an element of fun to be in the Old Market - I have always loved being "downtown" in any city!

Stockty was in absolute nirvana - it was seriously his dream come true. A whole huge space with fun things and no one to stop him from exploring it all as fast as he can. When I lost sight of him I just looked for the fastest moving child and it was almost always him. He thought it was HILARIOUS to knock over the towers other kids worked hard to build - the other parents watching couldn't even get mad because Stockton's grin and giggle/cackle was so gleeful and full of joy that it was infectious.

I really do think it was the happiest hour of his life thus far.

Natalie had a great time too running around with her friends. I think her favorite part was the big climbing blocks. She also liked the tinker toy-type area.

 Stockton, in a brief break from his foam block massacre, was enthralled by this orb.

Cambria and Jack slept the whole time,
and somehow were still tired afterwards.
The life of a baby, I guess.

Lincoln/Omaha friends, go to this place! It is awesome! And did I mention FREE?

Life With Three

they knock off all the pillows so they can jump
Our lives are fun and messy. The kids rampage the house -  toys everywhere, more blankets than I remember owning, finding markers out of thin air, spills and crumbs and rips and holes. Sometimes I feel like the only thing I'm doing all day is feeding these creatures and constantly tidying up. And it's great!

Natsby is always doing some sort of project
Natalie isn't really napping anymore, which I have many feelings about. It was hard for me to give up the precious Jessie time that I'm always going on about, but it is fun to have some quality time with just my Natsby. It's frustrating because she is often more difficult in the hours leading up to bed time, but then she goes to bed much easier and earlier. It's a trade-off.

And, she's POTTY TRAINED! Woo! She hardly ever has accidents, wears a pull-up at night and sometimes when we're going in public, and even though she doesn't like pooping in the potty yet she'll tell us when she has to go and we'll just put a diaper on so at least there isn't a mess on the floor. She'll get there eventually. I'm grateful that it hasn't been this terrible horrible no good very bad ordeal - she was ready, we were ready, and it's been pretty smooth.

Jack is getting so big! He loves to smile and coo and it's very fun. Natalie was going through a Sandlot phase when Jack was born so we started calling him Smalls and we like it. Smalls!

We reorganized the bedrooms in preparation for Jack's crib sleeping - both cribs are now in Stockton's room and Natalie has her very own girl room! Reorganizing furniture (or anything, really) is one of my very favorite things.

another poulsen children classic (read: fail)

I've been doing one load of laundry every other day instead of saving it up until we have three loads and an overflowing laundry basket, and it's making laundry seem less like a chore because I can get it done quicker if I do it in smaller chunks. It's a good feeling getting things done instead of putting them off!

Austin and I are killing it with our healthy eating and consistent workouts - sometimes we trade off running laps in the backyard while the kids are playing and we've worn a path through the clover in the back corner of the yard. We've loved having our little grill - we use it multiple times a week!

Life with three children has just been LIFE. It's our new reality and we don't even remember what it was like before Little Jack was here. We all love the time of the day when Daddy gets home from work and we can play and hug and make dinner and just be a happy family.


That's pretty much every outing we take, nowadays. We always congratulate ourselves as we head out the door, and then when we come home we're like "why did we go out." Ha, it's not that bad, but Stockton is a RUNNER and it is so hard to keep him contained! He just books it as fast as he can (which is actually reeeeally fast) as soon as his feet touch the ground. He doesn't like being held when he knows he could be running, and I can only keep him happy in the cart or stroller for a little while before the wanderlust sets in again. So basically our outings when I have Austin with me consist of one of us doing the actual errand/shopping and the other one following Stockton wherever he wants to go. I've taught Natalie to just chase Stockton when he's running, so at least they stay together and aren't going in two different directions. Yesterday in Target Austin took Natalie to the bathroom and I put Stockton down for ONE SECOND to just set Jack's carseat in the cart, but our little buddy was off to the races and had already gone so far that I didn't know what direction to start looking for him. It was a little panicky, but I trusted Target and knew that he was just running down an aisle somewhere. I asked a few people "have you seen a little blonde boy running by?" and eventually with some help the team in red corralled him into the frozen foods aisle and I grabbed him. It was probably comical to those watching.

sometimes he'll stay put for ice cream...sometimes
Our outings when it's just me with the kids have slowed down to a trickle - we used to go somewhere every morning, but after a couple train wreck incidents this last week (almost falling out of the cart, getting lost, trying to go down an escalator, etc) I've realized that it's not really safe to go out in public with the three babes by myself. I've been doing grocery shopping when Austin can come with me, or I'll go after work and just take Natalie or Jack (or, once in a rare while, GO BY MYSELF!). We don't really go to the park anymore because I spend the entire time chasing Stockton away from the street or following him far down the sidewalk while others watch Natalie and Jack, but we have been doing a LOT of backyard time to make up for it. Luckily, we have a happy backyard and the kids enjoy romping around, so at least there's that. I just need to get used to being more home-bound right now and keep reminding myself that eventually we will be able to do more things. (Except by that point Jack will be in the running stage, and we'll have to start all over again lol.) The joys of having three wee children!

the water is freezing and as soon as they slide in they JUMP up haha

I am so glad I captured Stockton's signature happy shriek!!
One outing that is usually successful is going to the mall after we drop Austin off at work in the mornings. The shops are closed til 10 so except for that darn escalator, there's no trouble that the kids can really get into. It's great for Stockton because he can run free without anyone telling him where to go or what to do. He is passionate about switching directions at will, so he runs one way for a while and then when fancy strikes (which is often) he just turns around and tries a new vector. He is gleeful about running free, so I love the mall for that. It doesn't feel good to constantly be corralling him a certain direction or stopping him from going that way, so it's a relief to let him go where he wants to go. And, like I said, Natalie knows to just follow wherever Stockton goes, and has a fun time keeping up with all his direction switches.

I LOVE that Natalie is carrying her purse in the bottom picture, ha!
 a magical office with a wondrous enclosed circle, and an ice cream date!

good thing we love you so much, Stockty. You keep us running!