Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Motherhood...most of the time is fun and I love it.  Other times...not so much. :/  After having Meredith, adjusting to life with two kids was not difficult for me.  I had always worked while it was just Mackenzie, so the whole "stay at home mom" thing was new to me and I forged a path with two kids having never know what it was like with just one kid at home.  When I was pregnant with Miranda I had thought about our adjustment and how things would be different, but I figured "hey it's my third kid, I got this covered!"  I would have to say that during the day, this statement holds true.  I can manage the grocery store and target with all three and no melt downs - although not on the same day. ;)  We've made hour long car trips to visit my parents and grandparents, we go to weekly swim lessons for the older girls, play in our yard or at the playground and we've gone out to eat several times with just me and the girls.  Daily routines are not much different than they were last year with two kids, but with fewer weekly activities and a little more stay at home time. 

During the day I'm an experienced mother, but during the night I feel like a first time mom - 7 months in!  Miranda "marches to the beat of her own drum".  She doesn't know she does this as she is just 7 months old, but she is a completely different baby from her older sisters!  Both Mackenzie and Meredith were sleeping through the night in their cribs by 5 months.  Mackenzie might have woken up once in the night when she was a baby, but it was nothing locating a lovey and/or a pat on the back couldn't fix.  And Meredith rarely woke up as a baby (other than last spring when she had a few weeks of waking up during the night - at 20 months old).  Miranda, on the other hand, was getting better about sleeping at night until about a month ago.  When we started her on solids we had a few hiccups - formula causing gas/fussiness, sweet potatoes causing gas/fussiness, oatmeal causing gas/fussiness.  Do you see a trend?  She has a SUPER sensitive tummy and it would seem that just about everything causes  tummy troubles.  The solution during that first month of solids was to nurse whenever she cried out and eating helped settle her tummy/push the gas out.  Of course, this solution has now backfired on me as I think she uses me as a way to go back to sleep. :(  I usually nurse her at 10 or 10:30 before I go to bed and then we get about 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep before she starts waking up EVERY hour after that until 7 am!  Every time she wakes up she cries until I nurse her. I've tried holding out, but she just screams louder.  I finally let her nurse and she does it for all of 5 minutes and falls asleep - only to wake up an hour later to do the same thing!  This is why I feel like a new mom at night.  And not just a new mom with her first child, but a new mom with a newborn!  Why am I having to wake up sooooooo often at 7 months after birth?!  I'm trying to figure out what exactly is bothering her so that I can cut it our of her/my diet.  I fed her squash yesterday morning, but she hadn't had baby food in 4 or 5 days, so I don't think that was the issue.  The crazy thing about all of this is that during the day she's great.  She eats every 4 hours, is happy when she's awake and takes 2 (sometimes 3) really good naps.  The naps are in the swing, but she's also slept in her carseat here in the house, so I don't think the movement is a requirement.  Maybe tonight I'll try her little rocker seat thing in case it's a sleeping upright thing.  Who knows?!

My goal is to be able to sleep through the night by her first birthday.  I have 4 1/2 months to achieve that goal!  We can do it!  I think... 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Photography Challenge - Day 3

Life is pretty busy with three kids, so I'm just now getting around to finishing Day 3 in Courtney's 30 day photography challenge from Click-it Up a Notch.  I've been using manual mode for just about all of my pictures I've been taking lately!  The museum, seeing the cows & monthly photos have all been in manual mode.  The only time I switched back to auto was at the strawberry patch because I needed to be quicker with my picture taking.  Eventually, I hope I can be as quick in manual mode.  Anyways, I'm loving all of my pictures even when I'm not trying a challenge.  I feel like manual mode makes me look more at the picture and what I'm trying to capture - a more focused approach to picture taking rather than just point and shoot over and over. 

Challenge 3 - Rule of thirds

The rule of thirds was a bit difficult sometimes and I think some of mine are really more like a rule of "halves", but you'll get the point.  Here are my photos I took as part of the challenge:

All the pictures below include my straight out of camera image (left or top) and my edited image (right or bottom).  I used my Canon EF 50mm lens as well as my Canon EFS 18-135mm to take all of the photos.  I'll list the details of each shot below if you are interested.

Meredith's so happy in the bathtub!
50mm   f/2.8    1/100ss    ISO-1600

Mackenzie loved playing outside with the butterfly wings.
50mm   f/4    1/3200ss    ISO-400

50mm   f/4    1/3200ss    ISO-400

Meredith loves her some orange juice! ;)
50mm   f/2.8    1/100ss    ISO-1600

I love these little chubby cheeks!
50mm   f/1.8    1/500ss    ISO-1600

I've posted the cow pictures before, but I was trying the challenge when I was taking the pictures.  This is when I used my multi zoom lens - Canon EFS 18-135mm.  I'll list the actual depth in the info below.  I sure am glad digital photos record all their information on the file! ;)
41mm   f/5.6    1/250ss    ISO-200

69mm   f/5.6    1/250ss    ISO-200

Yesterday I couldn't resist a picture of Miranda sleeping.  She was playing on the floor and I guess got sleepy, so why not take a nap?! ;)
50mm   f/2    1/30ss    ISO-400

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ready for Kindergarten!

Yesterday I registered Mackenzie for Kindergarten.  Yay - I'm so excited for her.  I know most moms get a little sad because their "baby girl" is growing up, but I couldn't be more excited about this next stage in her life.  I document my girls' lives plenty through pictures, journals and the blog, so I don't feel like I'm losing my little girl.  She's still here in memories.  Besides, there are more memories in store for us as she grows up.  Not to mention, two little sisters following her!

Speaking of the two little sisters...they were awesome yesterday!  We left the house yesterday at 9:05 to take Mackenzie to preschool.  It was western day/petting zoo day so Mackenzie wore her cowgirl hat (the only one we have).  We don't have any boots, so that's as western as we get.  Despite what some people may think, not all Texans own boots or hats! ;)  I didn't take any photos because I was planning to go back to the school a couple of hours later to see her at the petting zoo.  My how things change. :/  After dropping her off at school, I drove back to our neighborhood elementary school to register Mackenzie for Kindergarten.  I packed snacks, the ipad and a water for Meredith planning for about an hour wait.  She moved through the snacks pretty quickly, but was pretty good considering there wasn't much to do except play on the stairs of the stage.  Meredith only needed to use the restroom once and we were able to do that between two lines, so we didn't really lose our place in line.  Although, everyone was so nice I don't think we would have had to worry about that, anyway. 

At about 11:00, Miranda started getting hungry, so I went up on the stage and sat behind a curtain to nurse her while the lady behind me kept my place in line with my stroller.  After about 5 or 10 minutes of nursing, the principal moved the line along the stage and my "hiding" place was a little revealed, so rather than being on display to a bunch of moms and dads, I got back in line.  Unfortunately at 11:45 (2 hours after we arrived), we were still waiting and I knew it would be at least 30-45 minutes more before we were finished.  When the principal offered "rain checks" to come back at 1 pm and be first in line, I jumped.  Meredith was finally starting to lose her patience and with lunch around the corner, I knew we needed a change of scenery.  I quickly loaded up the two little ones and tried to get to Mackenzie's school for the last 5 minutes of the petting zoo to get a few pics and let Meredith have some fun for the day.  We got there about two minutes to twelve and the animals were already packed up and Mackenzie's class was walking inside. :(  I was a little bummed, but it wasn't anything a large sweet tea couldn't fix! ;)  I grabbed lunch for Meredith from whataburger and went back to the school parking lot to wait for our 1 o'clock time slot.  While sitting there I was able to feed Miranda, so all would be well in our next wait. ;)

And then, because I needed even more fun in my day, my mom called to tell me that the alarm company called her (I had ignored the 888 number on my phone) to say our house alarm was going off!  Ooh yay!  I quickly put Miranda back in her carseat and drove home (two minutes away).  The police officer was already there, had looked around and concluded that all was well and it was just a false alarm.  I quickly turned off the alarm, looked around to make sure all was ok and went back to the school , just in time to get in line for our 1:00 rain check!  40 minutes later, including another bathroom break (Meredith) in which I had to ask my friend in another line to hold Miranda, Mackenzie was officially registered!  That was followed by a drive to the preschool for the third time to pick Mackenzie up from school!

So, it's done! I don't have to do it again for another 2 and 4 years!  Although, as Granny said, I'll have one less kid to take with me each time I go! ;)

After we got home yesterday, I ate lunch and then made cookie dough and us big girls sat on the floor with the bowl and three spoons!  It was awesome! ;)  Today we are still in our pajamas and I don't have anything planned for the day except maybe a trip to the playgound this afternoon when it warms up a bit.  This is the last year I'll be able to do this (when its not a holiday), so I'm enjoying it while I can! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Feeding the cows

After picking strawberries last week, we went to Granny & Papa's house for the rest of the day.  The girls were very interested in the cows since they were in the pasture next to the house.

But for some reason, no matter how much the girls "mooed", the cows just wouldn't come near the fence! ;)

Papa poured some feed right next to the fence...

...and finally the cows came near the fence!  Yay!
It was a bit colder than I thought it was going to be, so Miranda wore Meredith's jacket while she was outside.  It was just a tad too big. ;)

I'm not sure what was so funny, but it makes for a cute photo.
Maybe it was these cute calves!
When the girls found out that the cows eat the flowers in the pasture, they wanted to feed them their handpicked flowers!

Mackenzie was pretty skiddish, but Meredith was pretty determined.

Eventually, Meredith was the only one by the fence and I think she might have gotten them to lick her hand, but Meredith doesn't stay quiet for too long, so she eventually scared them away.

I love this cute little runner!
Papa obliged the girls and took them to see the cows from the truck.  They mooed constantly to try to get the cows near them - including mooing to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle! ;)
By the end, the cows had huddled themselves into a corner as far from the girls as they could get!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The girls are funny!

It's time once again to play catch up with the girls funny sayings and actions...

At the museum, Brandon and the girls went in a few minutes before me while I fed Miranda in the car.  When I walked in, Mackenzie pointed to the aquarium and said, "Look Momma, a Damselfish!"  I'm pretty sure she was right, although I know very little about fish.  She remembers most of the sea creatures she sees on Octonauts and that's where she learned about Damselfish.  I just asked her what else she knew about them and she said that they don't share their algae and when they don't then coral can die.  That was the story line for that episode - very good memory!

Mackenzie had pajama day at school the other day.  The night before she chose her pajamas that she wanted to wear the next day.  Unfortunately, they were ones she had worn the night before (we wear pajamas twice). :/  Brandon was able to convince her that she should wear clean pajamas the next day.  So yay, she went to school in clean pajamas and ones that hadn't been wallered out from two nights of sleeping! ;)

Meredith HAS to be the first to get her teeth brushed in the morning and night.  There have been several crying fits if Mackenzie gets there first.  At night we read books before bed and as soon as I turn the last page of the last book, Meredith jumps up and runs to the bathroom.  Once there, she stands on the stool, IN THE DARK until Brandon or I come to brush her teeth.  It makes me laugh every night.  Once her teeth are brushed, then she worries about giving everyone hugs/kisses goodnight and finding her lovies.  Her other "routine" is to hide under her covers until we come into the bedroom and pull the covers off.  Clearly, she's not afraid of the dark! ;)

Meredith still cries during swim lessons.  She does not care for floating on her back and if she feels the teacher has let go of her, the tears come even more.  When we went to the Museum a couple of weeks ago, Brandon was able to see the girls have their swim lessons and saw Meredith cry for about half of the lesson.  In the car, Brandon asked her if she cried and she said, "Yes, I cried for help."  Too funny!

I was trying to buckle Meredith into her carseat the other day and I guess I was a little frustrated (I had just taken all three girls with me :/ ), so I got onto her about not helping me and she responded with, "You super mad, momma?"  And with that phrase - my frustration disappeared! ;)

To go along with the story above, Meredith now blows me a kiss every time she's in trouble.  For instance: Today I was stripping Mackenzie's bed at 5 pm this afternoon because Meredith's pull up had leaked while she was laying/sitting in her bed.  And she was sitting in Mackenzie's bed because her diaper had leaked at 5 this morning while she was sleeping.  She's not in trouble for the night time leak, but I got onto her for the day time leak.  She knows how to us the restroom and just flat out refuses and/or forgets and just goes in her pull up.  Anyways, as I was stripping the bed, she was standing down the hall in the bathroom and I told her she is not to go potty in her pull up.  She responded with, "yes ma'am" and then blew me a kiss.  I told her I love her kisses, but that doesn't keep her from being in trouble.  It makes it a little harder for me to be mad, but she's still in trouble. ;)

And my most favorite story come from Sunday morning at church.  We were sitting in the cry room because the big girls still aren't their best during church and the song leader called out the first song.  Meredith got off the pew to pick up a song book and as she was climbing back on the pew, the song leader started singing.  She turned around really quickly and said, "No, I not ready! I not ready!"  She looked like she was about to start crying as she opened her song book to whatever random page she wanted.  I had to calm her down and tell her it was ok!  She settled down and started singing along, so no major meltdown, but it was pretty funny.  Note to self...have the song book already out this Sunday! ;)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Museum of Natural Science

Two weeks ago, Brandon and I took the girls to the Museum of Natural Science.  We actually went to the branch location in Sugarland.  It was much smaller, but since we pretty much had the museum to ourselves we are not complaining!  This trip was originally planned for Meredith's birthday back in August, but since Miranda arrived early, things changed!

The girls were most excited to see the dinosaur bones!

These animal skulls were interesting and the fact that the girls could touch them was even more fun!

The dinosaur models were also exciting!

Meredith really liked looking at all of the gemstones.  I think she looked at each of them twice!

The ones they could touch were pretty neat too!


We saw a lot of interesting frogs!  Some were really hard to find, but some sat out front for all to see!

One of Meredith's favorites were the spotlights on the floor to look like water.  She danced and ran around in this area for quite awhile.  We were one of maybe 4 or 5 families in the entire museum, so her running around in here didn't bother anyone! 

Brandon got in on the fun and pretended to be a shadow monster while the girls ran around!

Mackenzie's favorite were the glow in the dark mineral rocks.  That's probably not what they are actually called, but that's what I'm calling them.  ;)
Overall, we had a great time and it was a fun family activity.  When all three girls are much older, then we'll take them to the big museum, but for now this was perfect for us!
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