Sunday, April 9, 2017

March Happenings

If there is one thing I love the most about Dallas, it's the Winter and Spring. The weather is perfect and we make it a point to go out to the park each day. We are so lucky to have a park in walking distance (and by close I mean across the alley and thru someone's backyard close). Often times we are playing in the yard and the girls will hear other kids yelling and know that it's so easy to get there. We have also been blessed with a walking trail nearby and the community has put in a lot of volunteer hours to make a nature trail. It will feature a butterfly garden and a beautiful walking path with freshly planted trees. They encourage neighbors to come out and help plant and beautify the path. We are excited to get the girls out and helping soon. Here are some pics from our everyday adventures to the park.

Arizona and I also made it out to see Beauty and Beast. We both loved it so much and I was proud of her for sitting in her own seat for most of the movie. We can't wait to see it again.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Valentine's Day

We had a low key Valentine's Day this year and I loved it. There was no pressure to make over the top gifts for the kids and Daniel and I didn't get each other anything. Well, he did surprise me with roses but it made more sense to buy me bouquet and from that bouquet grab two roses from the girls. Yup, call us cheap, we're okay with that. We made our way out to Chipotle for dinner- another way of saving money- sort of. The girls are signed up for a reading program and with reading a total of three hours, they earned a free meal at Chipotle. I think it was more of a good reason to get Chipotle for me. They barely ate any of their food, but they made it up by eating donuts as a treat. They received money  from their grandparents and with that money they wanted to buy donuts. We also watched The BFG (part of Arizona's reading came from reading the book with Daniel).

We have had beautiful weather days and that calls for more outdoor play time. I love watching the girls play with each other, and hold hands. I love to eavesdrop on conversations between Arizona and Brielle where she explains how things are done. Arizona takes it upon herself to be a teacher and Brielle soaks up all the information. They really are the best of friends.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Adeline is 6 Months Old

Our baby is 6 months old!! I can't believe how quickly time flew by with this little one. When I had just Arizona at home, I felt like my days were so long. I think I figured out why that is. Having just one child- you're entire focus is on this one kid who doesn't talk to you, who needs attention 24/7 and sometimes you just feel like bedtime will never come. With a third child, I'm able to do more while the older kiddos entertain her. It also helps that my older girls want to go to the park and playdates with friends and that fills the awake time of our baby. It might also be that this time around as a mother of three- I've gotten used to this. Going from one kid to two was simple for me. At first it was scary to try and balance it all but I was more confident when it came to nursing and understanding my baby's cues. I was hoping it would be the same with a third, but man, did the transition from two to three rock my world. Each girl had different needs and it didn't help that we just bought a house and were in the middle of a move. And....lets not forget that I was dealing with a kidney infection and mastisis weeks apart from each other. It was rough. 
Adeline has been our easiest baby though. She is so content and happy and at 4 months- she became the smiliest baby. With the other girls- we had to work for those smiles. We just look at Adeline and immediately we get this cute open mouthed smile. 
 The girls enjoy being her big sister and love greeting her in the mornings and post nap. She flails her arms around them and Arizona is the only one that can truly make her belly laugh. They don't call her Adeline but have given her the nickname of Baby LuLu. Its stuck and Daniel and I have caught ourselves saying Baby LuLu when trying to get her attention.

 She is the best shopping partner and best outdoor companion. When the girls want to go to the park, she is happy to sit in her carseat and watch everyone run around. This was her first time in a swing and she loved it. I see many more park dates in our future.

 Arizona was a toe sucker, Brielle couldn't even reach her feet, and Adeline has discovered her feet recently. It's been a great way to keep her entertained.

 I should also mention that Adeline is working hard on her core muscles. This is how you will find her most of the time. She just wants to be part of the action. Work that core baby! She has recently started to sit and that has given her a new perspective which she really enjoys.

 Adeline's stats are: Weight- 16lbs 14 ounces and her height is 27.5 inches. She is tall for her age and is in the "normal" range for her weight. None of my babies have ever been super chunky but both Brielle and Adeline have measured taller. We love having our sweet LuLu in our family. She is a great eater and started eating solids a few weeks ago and loves everything so far. She doesn't sleep thru the night yet, but none of my other girls have at this age anyway- so my expectations are low. Sad for me and my sanity, but I'm used to it. I am working on getting her down to two naps a day now which has been so much better with our busy schedule. We are always on the go and have so much fun with a house full of girls. We wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Arizona is 5

We have a five year old! I can't believe it sometimes. It feels like yesterday our mature and sweet girl entered our lives. We are so blessed to have her.

Her stats: She is 3 ft. 7 inches and weighs 37 lbs/10 ounces.
She is helpful, loving, sympathetic, curious, and so caring about others. Many times she has reminded me of the simple ways to love. When we go shopping, she compliments others. When we are watching a show, she notices the differences in people and embraces those differences. Here's one example of how thoughtful she can be. We were driving to a doctor's appointment one day I voiced my frustration at a another driver. Here's how the conversation went:

Me: "You Jerk!"
Arizona: "Why are you calling him that?"
Me: "It's not very nice. I shouldn't have said that." (I lost some mom points that day. lol!)
Arizona: "Can they hear you?"
Me: "No, but I still shouldn't say mean things to people."
Arizona: "Yeah, It's not nice. If you want to say mean things mommy, just say it to things that aren't real."
This kid has a good heart.

She loves her sisters. She has hugged, kissed and cuddled them to the point that I've had to pull her away. As much as she wanted Adeline to be a boy, she has embraced the big sister title 100% and is doing an amazing job. Arizona will start school in September and I am anxious and excited for her all at the same time. We decided not to put her in preschool, mostly because it was very expensive but also because I felt I could teach her the same things at home that she would learn at school. We would save money in the process and I would also be able to spend some more time with her at home before she is at school the majority of the day. I'm also going to miss her helpfulness when getting diapers and distracting Adeline when I'm busy.
Arizona is still in ballet class and she loves it. She hates to put on her pink tights(they're itchy) every Monday but once she gets her whole outfit on and steps into class, she is so excited. She loves to dance with her friends and comes home showing us all of her new dance moves. We also signed her up for Soccer. She starts in March and we are hoping this will teach her to take incentive and be more brave. Did I mention that she is a very sensitive soul? Brielle is a reminder of that everyday when she pushes or kicks or yells and Arizona just sits there and takes it. It's been a learning process for all of us.
Arizona can also be really funny.

Me: "Go get your comb."
Arizona: "Is it in the bathroom?"
Me: "Yes"
Arizona: "How clever of me to figure it out." There are so many more that I need to be better about writing them down.

We celebrated her birthday with friends and had a wonderful time. We set up a joint party with her friend Juliet at ASI gymnastics. She's in the light pink unicorn top.

Arizona requested a unicorn cake and it was so delicious! She loved all of her presents and couldn't stop talking about how much fun she had. She also was planning out her birthday for next year!

Who is your favorite person in the world: All of them!
What is your favorite color: All the colors but not gray
What is your favorite outfit? All of them
What sport do you like the best? Soccer
What song do you love? Boomerang
What's your favorite cereal? Honey Bunches of Oats
Who is your best friend? All of them!
What do you want to be when you grow up? A princess or a queen
What is your favorite book? The BFG
What are you really good at? Kicking the ball, counting, drawing and dancing
Where do you wish you could go on vacation? I want to go on an island to find some treasure
What is your best memory? I remember when i had a birthday with Braelynn.
What would you buy if you had a lot of money? Lots of balloons
What vegetable do you not like? Carrots
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? chocolate and vanilla
What do you hope to do before your next birthday? I want to help my family get ready for my birthday.

Snow Day

It snowed in Texas and it was magical. Mid afternoon, Arizona and I were sitting on the couch when we looked out the window and beautiful small snowflakes we're falling. Arizona had been asking to see snow since Christmas and we've had to remind her many times that snow isn't very common in Texas. As soon as it started to accumulate I put warm clothes on Arizona and practically shoved her out the door. She had so much playing in the snow and wanting so badly to make a snowman. Maybe another year sweet girl. Maybe another year.

Brielle was napping during the snowfall but as soon as she woke, I told her that snow was falling outside. She ran to the door to see and was hesitant to play outside. Once I got her changed into warm clothes and opened the door- she refused to leave saying it was too cold. After a few minutes, she finally made her way out and jumped on the trampoline for a while. They both had fun but were glad to be back inside in the warmth. These girls are not cutout for the cold. Ha!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas At Home

Christmas at home was so worth it and so stress free. I was hesitant to stay home initially. I love being back in Chicago and of course being around family is nice. I know my girls would have loved to be around their grandparents and cousins. We looked at flight information but everything was pricey. I couldn't bring myself to spend close to 1,000 dollars to fly us all out there and basically be stuck in the house most of the week because of the bitter cold. Adeline is still so young and I didn't want to risk her getting sick so we decided to stay home. 

Our Ward put together an amazing Christmas party. It was themed the Polar Express and the committee went all out. The decor was perfect and the girls really loved the train. We sat the girls with Santa and they were talking off his ear. I asked Arizona what she asked him for and she couldn't remember. Daniel and I decided that we weren't going to do Santa- sort of. We would do all the big present from us and the stocking stuffers from Santa. I think that's a good balance and not necessarily giving Sanat all the credit right? 

I've never had a child cry with Santa and I'm kind of feeling like I'm not getting the full parent experience. Maybe next year with Adeline.... 

Daniel took Brielle on a daddy daughter date to see the lights at Vitruvian Park. From what he said she really loved it and ran from tree to tree. It was a really warm day so they had a lot of fun without the worry of cold hands and feet. 
Arizona had a wonderful year in her sunbeams class at church. She loved her teachers and they always had such fun crafts she brought home each Sunday. This one in particular was right up her alley. She is always so mindful of others peoples feelings and each day leading up to Christmas she needed to do something good then pull off a ring. Each day she thought hard about what she wanted to do.  She noticed I was feeling overwhelmed one day and made me a card and placed it on my pillow. I thought it was so sweet. She told me she was scared to start her new class- CTR 4 come the new year but this last Sunday she said she really liked her teacher and all of her friends are still with her so that's great. 

My loot at Target- Christmas presents for the girls. 
We went to look at Chrismtas lights one evening and found this house that was completely decked out. Their garage was created to look like Santa's workshop with all the moving parts of a train and Santa. It was really well done. Christmas music was playing too. The owners did a really good job of decorating.
Baking sugar cookies and decorating them with the sister missionaries. This was my first time making sugar cookies and it was a lot of fun especially with Arizona. When we finished decorating them- the girls and I delivered them to their teachers as a thank you for being such great examples to them. 

Grandpa Atkins sent these fun felt sticker cutouts for the girls to do on Christmas Eve. They had a lot of fun creating their scenes and it saved me from prepping a craft for them to do. One tradition I wanted to start was a craft project on Christmas Eve before dinner. This was simple and easy to follow for the girls. 
We had a delicious Mexican feast as a family of five. It was relaxing, stress free and minimal cleanup. I made pozole which is a pork hominy soup and I bought tamales from our Mexican grocery store. Daniel made Horchata which always comes out so yummy. I made the girls a different soup cause let's face it- their Mexican taste buds haven't come to fruition yet. They missed out. I made a pumpkin pie as well and we ate some of our sugar cookies for dessert. We let the girls open one present from my parents that evening and we read the story of Christ birth by the fire. It was a fun and perfect evening. 

Christmas Day Daniel woke up early waiting for girls to wake up. I was so zonked out- that's what a new baby does to you- that Daniel had to come in a wake me up around 7 am. We bought Arizona a bike and covered it with a blanket. She was excited to pull the blanket off but as soon as she saw it she said, "This isn't the one I wanted." You mean thank you- right kid? She warmed up to it and has been riding her bike around our neighborhood playground. (She really wanted a pink sparkly bike, but I found her a Frozen bike cause let's be real- Black Friday sales).  

It was so funny how slow and careful the girls were in opening their presents. I'm sure when they are older- there will be more intensity to it. With Christmas falling on Sunday we had limited time for breakfast and gifts and getting ready for church. We invited the sister missionaries over for breakfast. We made German pancakes with a homemade buttermilk syrup, an egg casserole, homemade cinammon rolls and some hot chocolate. It was so delicious and I'm sure if I had the time, I would have crawled into bed and taken a nap. The living room was chaos for the remainder of the day but it was such a pleasure to watch the girls play with all of their new toys and try on all of their new clothes. After church we came home and took naps and prepared for dinner at a friends house. We did a potluck turkey dinner and it was delicious. 

We had the best Christmas at home with our sweet family. What a great weekend and such a simple way to celebrate Christ's birth. 

Ladies Night Karaoke

I've been really blessed to have a great group of friends here in Dallas. When we moved here a little over a year ago, I made a concerted effort to put myself out there. I went to all the playgroups I could go to, RS activities, and talked with people I hadn't met during church on Sunday's. In my previous Ward in Atlanta, I was the visiting teaching coordinator and that taught me to get out of my comfort zone and just be confident when going up to people. 

We decided to go out for karaoke with the theme ugly Christmas sweater. Let me tell you that it is rare to find an ugly sweater these days. Everywhere I went, the sweaters looked too cute and something I wouldn't be ashamed to wear. I wanted to find a genuine ugly sweater. I made my way to goodwill and sure enough there was a rack of hideous ugly Christmas vests, and men's sweatshirts. It also didn't hurt that I paid 4 bucks for this thing as opposed to 20 or 30 for something that was going to sit in my closet for the rest of the year. 

We jammed out to Madonna, Hanson, BSB, Mariah, Bruno Mars. We threw in a little bit of rap and just danced like crazy. It was a blast. 

We had an awesome time and I was oh so exhausted the next day. All worth it though- these ladies are  so fun!