Dear August 2018,
You were a busy month and truthfully, I am glad you are over…. only because we are now one month closer to cooler weather. I am ready for all things fall – football, cooler weather, pumpkin spice season… LET’S GO! Good bye August!
September, we are welcoming you with open arms!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – August 2018 ::
Dear July 2018,
WOW doesn’t even cover it, what a month! You were a month of FIRSTS and very special occasions. First day of first grade, first day of preschool, and Kensie’s first swim, staycation & Diamondbacks Game! We had a 6th birthday, baby girl turned 3 months old, and we made our first trip to the mountains as a family of five! It was definitely one of my favorite months for our family, mainly because we made the most of every moment. Yay for family time!
August, you have very large shoes to fill! We are excited to see where this new school year takes us!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – July 2018 ::
Newborn photos… oh, the good and the bad! They are the most loved photos for documenting the beginning of your new babies life. And yet, they are dreaded by all post-labor moms who are still healing and still packing around the post-labor body weight! It’s generally recommended to take newborn photos within the first two weeks of life. “It’ll be easy”, they said. “The baby will be cooperative”, they said. Well, how bout the poor momma who still looks eight months preggo and is now sleep deprived?! This is the hardest stage for the exhausted momma and family, and yet this is what we do…. and it’s SO worth it!
[Words I live by: The only picture you’ll regret is the one you didn’t take!]
With all three of my girls, my newborn photos have been some of the most cherished photos to me, but looking at them always brings back the reminder of the craziness going on behind the scenes. The lack of sleep, the cooperation of older kids, the spit up, the blow outs, and all the things we do for a good photo… bribery, silly noises/faces/dances and of course the occasion threat… #goodtimes & #stillsoworthit!
So with all the exhaustion, how do you pull it off without sinking the ship altogether?! Word of advice from one mom to another… I have always tried to plan ahead in the last weeks of pregnancy and prep everyone’s outfits for this photo shoot. I highly recommend doing this, so when the day arrives to take these photos… You are not scrambling to pull something together in the craziness of newborn cluster feedings and exhaustion. Well in advance, and with a clear mind, I will hang all of our outfits in my closet, already ironed and ready to go! Why wait until your in survival mode to get prepared and set up?! Also moms, remember that your body is still in eight months pregnancy mode… So choose an outfit that will be flattering to your “still kinda pregnant” body, i.e… a maternity dress, a flowy blouse or a button down top usually work great.
With that being said, here are a few of our favorites! Third time around and I am still so thankful for these photos. Like I said, they are so worth it! They document where we are as a family when our sweet Kensie joined the crew.
Thank you La Brisa Photography for capturing our family in the comfort of our home. These photos will always be cherished! You are the best!
Welcome to the family – Kensie Steele! #WodiskePartyofFIVE
Catch Up – Our journey to Kensie! Pregnancy Announcement // Gender Reveal // Birth Announcements // Newborn Necessities
Our third little girl has joined the family our life has been nonstop ever since! Newborns love attention and want to be held and loved on ALL.THE.TIME. While this time is precious for me, it can be hard to do with two other kiddos running around the house. So my “to-do” list has become more of a “if I can get to it” list. One item on my list that kept getting pushed off was making Kensie’s birth announcements. We had beautiful pictures taken by the fabulous La Brisa Photography. The edited images were back in a jiffy and just waiting for me to make the announcement. In my mind, I thought it would be such a daunting, time consuming task. Which is ridiculous because with Shutterfly, it is such a quick, easy and painless creation! I should have made them sooner.
This post was in collaboration with Shutterfly. (#partner) I received some of these items in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. #MyShutterfly
Shutterfly is so easy to use and their quality and results are fabulous. I am a big fan! I was able to upload my beautiful newborn photos and create a photo card masterpiece in minutes. I was beyond thrilled with their card styles and options, that I actually found it hard to pick a favorite. I decided this time around to do something different and I created two cards to alleviate the pressure of choosing just one. I love that Shutterfly offers the opportunity to make each card your own, with the choice of card layouts, colors and fonts… It really is your own presonalized creation.
I made one card in a tri-fold/multi-sided style to give to my family members that want cuteness overload, and a more traditional 2-sided 6×8 photo card for our friends. Both birth announcements turned out fabulous and we couldn’t be more pleased!
: SHUTTERFLY BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS :
Dear June 2018,
Yay for summer fun. We have spent the month enjoying church camps, BBQing with friends, going on memorable family dates and soaking up swim lessons. Sleeping in and later nights have also been a new adventure with kiddos, but hey, it’s what summer is all about. It was also a month of special celebrations; Father’s Day, Payton’s 1st Dance Recital and our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary (Congrats on 10 years babe!!!). We’ve spent more hours than we can count just snuggling with baby Kensie. How can she be 2 months old already!?
It is crazy to think that July already brings the adventure of a new school year… So in the mean time, we are going to cherish the next four weeks of non-scheduled and spontaneous summer family fun! Bring on July!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – June 2018 ::
Girlie number 3 is six weeks new and I am living on caffeine and snuggles! Since we are in the newborn survival stage I thought it would be fun to share a few items that have kept ‘us’ going – items that both Kensie and I love. They are mostly nursing and sleep related because let’s face it, up until now that is all newbies do in the beginning. And if you recall from my previous posts, since we didn’t know her gender prior to birth, practically every item listed below has been 2-day shipped to my home via Amazon Prime. Lifesaver!
To give you a little back story, I have really struggled with nursing all three of my girls, and to say the first few weeks of nursing has been rough would be an understatement. Between the pain, engorgement, plugged ducts/mastitis, latching and what seems to be a never ending cycle of feeds… it is and has been an exhausting journey, again! But, I am hanging in there and the nursing/feeding items below are probably why. Don’t be afraid to admit it is hard, because it is… use whatever aids you need to get through! Not all nursing journeys are easy, so do your best to not doubt your body or be too hard on yourself. And yes, I need to be better at taking my own advice. Which is why I am sharing my ‘breast friends’ below!
Dear May 2018,
May, Where did you go? Half of the month I spent thinking it was still April, blame it on the newborn sleep deprivation, haha! In all seriousness, it flew by. We spent the month watching our little babe eat and sleep her way through each day. Although we’re all sleep deprived, she has been the biggest blessing to our family – totally worth it! We also watched our oldest graduate up to first grade. How can kindergarten be over, que mom tears!
With June upon us, we’ll do as we always do this time of year… duck out of the AZ heat as much as possible. And of course making memories every second that we can! Gotta love summer vacation!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – May 2018 ::
Dear April 2018,
What a month!!! I started the month out really pregnant, with a sweet baby kicking in my tummy and ended the month with the most beautiful GIRL in my arms. After a month of counting down the last days of our pregnancy it was a time filled with so many happy tears, excitement, anticipation and the thrill of change. April you made us a family of 5, so complete with three little girls. We are simultaneously sleep deprived, happy, and beyond blessed! Haha – doing our best to embrace life in the newborn stage! I also was blessed with celebrating my 33rd birthday as a mom of three and snuggling my sweet little birthday present. April 2018 will always be an extremely special month for us.
May, we are so excited for more firsts to come as we settle into our new family routine.
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – April 2018 ::
Dear March 2018,
I am a little late thanking you for a month of holiday celebrations and family fun, but pregnancy brain won this time. As I hit the end of pregnancy, you were a month filled with so much joy! We celebrated all things green, a puppy-themed 3rd birthday party, bunnies and egg hunts and special family time before this little bump joins us in April.
So April, YES, we are more than ready for you and finally meeting our baby. This will be a magical month!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – March 2018 ::
I don’t know about you, but mornings can be extremely hectic around our house! Now that my oldest daughter is in kindergarten, and a new baby is right around the corner, it’s time she steps up her “help mom out” game a bit more to help manage that chaos of our life! We just started Spring Break and I figured it was the perfect time for her to own a bit more responsibility around the house.
As a momma on the go, our days can be pretty unpredictable, so I decided to use a morning sticker chart to give her a routine. The goal is that she would choose to help out without always being asked or told to do so. Now that she is learning to read, responds well to positive affirmation and loves rewards, a sticker chart was the perfect option for us!
With baby #3 on the way, I am hoping that after 2 weeks of Spring Break, she will have her morning routine down and can carry it on into the rest of the school year, and hopefully create a sense of willingness to be a big helper for me when I’m busy with baby. My other secret goal is that our 3 year old will see her big sister earning stickers and want to join in on the fun too! WINS all around – A mom can dream! (I will keep you posted on the success of this secret goal!)
I created this sticker chart with just a few of the morning tasks that happen every day in our home. These are tasks that she can finish on her own, and she should be able to succeed in and be proud of! As she grows and matures over time, this sticker chart will look a little different. I also left a few bonus spots on the chart to add fun twists to her normal routine… Gotta keep her on her toes! I will keep a folder for her to save her finished charts in, so she can look back on all of the good that she accomplished/stickers received (insert visual affirmation) and if she makes it through each full chart for a whole week I will have a small prize waiting for her at the end (i.e.- new book, markers, candy, etc).
CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE STICKER CHART PRINTABLE –> Mommy’s Big Helper Chart
I hope this FREE PRINTABLE CHART comes in handy in your home as well, and our growing littles can begin to do their share and earn their keep. (JK, but seriously – haha!)