Monday, May 16, 2016

carnival gender reveal

Did you hear? Last week when we went in for the anatomy ultrasound, we heard three glorious words--"It's a girl!!" I had been hoping and dreaming of a baby sister for Evangeline. And though I absolutely love my boys and would have been happy and content with another boy, I'm so thrilled to be adding another girl to our family. 

I did warn the ultrasound tech before she started that I would have a big reaction if it was a girl. However, even I did not expect the high volume of the scream that I let out when we found out. (Don told me that everyone in the room jumped and the tech almost dropped the wand--oops!) Then the happiest of happy cries just poured out of me. I feel so blessed and so undeserving.

Moving on to the gender reveal. When I was pregnant with Desmond last year, I had the idea of a cotton candy reveal--but that was in February when no carnivals are in sight, for obvious reasons. When I saw that the carnival was coming to town just 4 days after our ultrasound, I knew this was my chance! I was dying over the wait but I think it was worth it! The only thing that bummed me out was that they didn't put the cotton candy on a stick--which would have made it look a lot better. But I still love the way the pictures turned out.

The pictures turned out exactly how I wanted them to thanks to Rachel Gunby of Apricot Studio. I told her my vision and she captured it perfectly. If you are in the St. Louis area and are looking for any kind of portrait session, check out her website or instagram and contact her! 

 I had to get a few mother/daughter pictures while we were there to celebrate adding another member to the "girl team." And once again, I'm in love with these pictures! (And I didn't even add all the ones I love--just too many good ones!)

Cotton candy is the perfect bribery tool but we still managed to never smile all at the same time. Haha--so is the life with 7 people (including 5 young children) in a photo together.

My boys were all "guessing it's a boy, but hoping it's a sister." So the whole family is pretty excited!

And in that picture on the right with me is my sweet, lovely friend, Rachel, who took all these pictures for me! Thanks again, Rachel!

Thank you all for your sweet words and excitement for us. We're looking forward to meeting this baby girl in October. And in case anyone is wondering, we do have a couple names in mind that we are discussing as a family, but I won't be saying them for now!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

happy birthday, sweet girl

Today is Evangeline's 3rd birthday. It seems so crazy to me that I have had a daughter for 3 years. And though I can see her dramatic attitude taking shape, I absolutely love having another girl in the house. 
I wanted to take her to a field of yellow flowers to take some birthday pictures. We were on a time crunch and she was more interested in the flowers than taking pictures. But I did get a few that I'm in love with. I think I need to enlarge a picture or two. I couldn't get over how pretty this little place was. We plan to go back very soon to get a few more shots when we're not feeling so rushed.

Sometimes I feel bad about not doing anything big or exciting for the kids' birthdays. I would love to dream up a perfectly themed party. But our lives are already so full right now. That just doesn't work for us at this point in life. But in the meantime, I try to do little special things to let them know they are loved. 
For Evangeline, that meant adding some color to the day. Last night I blew up 36(!!) balloons to fill up the living room floor and surprise her when she woke up. 12 for each year of life. I planned to video her reaction when she first saw the balloons but she and Kingston were awake before I even woke up---way too early! 
I also made a colorful cake for her. And all I have is this phone snap that looks way overexposed on the laptop.

So after our traditional birthday trip to Mcdonald's (and the worker was so kind to give Evangeline her meal for free when she heard it was her birthday!) we headed home to eat cake. And wouldn't you know it? She fell asleep right before we got home. (Probably because she was up at the crack of dawn...but what do I know?!)
She was not a pleasant birthday girl when she woke up--it's her party and she'll cry if she wants to.
But the sparkler candles that I bought her, that wouldn't blow out too easily, put a smile on her face. And cake. She is so my child. Nothing puts a smile on my face quite like dessert. 

I love this girl and her love for all things colorful. Her insistence on wearing a dress...every single day. Her obsession with "Frozen." Her requests for an "Elsa braid" or "Anna braid" every day. I love the fact that every time she notices my growing belly, she starts referring to the baby as "baby Elsa." Her giggles. Her love for her mommy and her friendship with her best friend, Legacy. I love that you can see how caring she is when she talks to Desmond and tries to give him bites of food. And that even though it drives me crazy, that she's strong willed and determined. I love everything about her. I keep selfishly praying that we will be blessed with another baby girl. Because nothing would make me happier than giving her a baby sister, a built in best friend.

That's all the sappiness for now!
Happy 3rd birthday, sweet baby girl!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

April iphone photos and Kids Say

Yay! It's May! I love May--I guess because it's spring and the windows are open (and it's not freezing or burning up yet.) My little Cinco de Mayo baby girl has a birthday in a couple of days and we are less than a week from finding out if we're adding on a 5th boy or 2nd girl. I'm just being honest when I say that I seriously feel sick to my stomach and have actually cried a few times from all the nerves when I think about the ultrasound next week. I almost don't even want to find out what we're having...but I know Don would never go for that! I will be happy either way...but if you know me, you know I really, really want another girl. However, Desmond's personality has just been extra adorable lately. I tell Don that I feel like that's just God's way of easing us into finding out we're having another boy haha. 

Anyway, back to April for a minute! Kai's 6th birthday was at the beginning of April. I have been slacking on the birthday posts because life is so busy. But hopefully I'll be able to get back to them again someday. But for now, a few pictures from his birthday! He is such a happy, lovable little guy. And he's always full of personality for every picture.

Our lives are loud, crazy, and chaotic. But I love this little crew of mine. And whenever I'm having a bad day and feel overwhelmed, it's nice to look back on pictures like that bottom left one and realize that if I can take 5 kids to Jimmy John's $1 sub day by myself, and then take them to the playground, where I have to watch them run in 4 different directions while trying to keep the baby from eating mulch, I can do anything! (LONGEST SENTENCE EVER!)

One of my best friends had her 2nd baby! Matthias was born a couple of weeks ago and he is already so loved. 

In case there was any question why I would want another girl in our family!!!

Desmond sleeps in a playpen in our room--and while I look forward to him moving to his brothers' room, I can't help but smile and melt every time I walk by and see him sleeping. He has the best sleeping positions! 

hanging out with my girl who loves having her picture taken. And then there are the typical pregnancy pictures....because food is on my mind all the time!

And now for the fun part...

Kids Say

Kai--"Pretty soon I'm going to be a grownup and then I'll be sad."
Me--"Why would you be sad?"
Kai--"Because I want to stay a kid because it's more fun!"

Liam--"Is the baby kicking yet?"
Me--"Not that I can feel."
Kai--"Then it might be a girl because girls don't fight."
***but now I feel that wiggly baby more and more every day now, for the past 2-3 weeks!

Kingston was wearing a Beatles shirt and Liam pointed out John Lennon and George Harrison and told Kingston that they died. Kingston was visibly upset about it.
Me--"Are you sad?"
Kingston--"Yeah, 'cause he died. I loved John 'Lemon.'"

I let the kids draw during the sermons on Sundays, but don't let them start until Scott starts preaching. (It's what works for our family) One Sunday we had someone else preaching and I noticed that Kai didn't color the entire sermon. After it was over, Pastor Scott got up to talk before dismissing everyone and finally Kai turned to me and asked "Is it time to color now?"

As Evangeline was walking across the freshly cleaned kitchen counters...
Me--"Get off the counters with your yucky feet! I just cleaned them."
Kingston--**with a frustrated sigh** "Now we're going to have to get a new house."

Kai--"Is this mommy's wedding dress? It's so old!"

After brushing their teeth, Kai was boasting about his toothbrush looking the best.
Kai--"It's because I don't bite my toothbrush...and I don't suck!!" (On his toothbrush haha)

Me--"See those little pieces of ice, that's hail."
Liam--"Hail is a choking hazard."

Me--"Do you think you'll miss living with us when you get older?"
Kai--"Yeah....but I might still visit you."

Kai--"Did you wash your hands after touching that bacon? Because if you don't wash them after you touch bacon that hasn't been cooked, and then you accidentally suck on your hands, then you'll die."

I had called Don in a panic from Target because I had dropped my keys somewhere and couldn't find them. (Thankfully a kind soul had turned them in to guest services!!) After Don had told the kids that I lost my keys and I was looking for them, Evangeline held down the button on the iPad to talk to Siri.
In response to Siri asking what she could help with, Evangeline said "Help mommy find her keys!"
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