Friday, August 30

The Butterflies

Once upon a time, we got some caterpillars in the mail, and we grew them into butterflies.  They were ready to be released a few days after Keaton was born. Finley had loved the whole process and was excited to see them go. A few hours after we let them go--MELTDOWN. He told us they were his favorite butterflies and he wanted them to come back.  Our obvious solution--buy another set of caterpillars.  (I attribute most of the meltdown to the stress of Keaton... I think he was blaming it on the butterflies. Poor babe.)

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I documented it the second time around. And for the record, I think the whole process is gross. We bought a little kit of caterpillars that comes with a habitat on Amazon. After you get your kit, you actually have to send away separately for the caterpillars since they are shipped live from the... farm?

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They start off little half inch bugs--and turn into massive huge GROSS caterpillars. Who fill their cup with poop. Yuck.

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Eventually they make little chrysalises and you transfer them to the net. And then they mysteriously break out.  Out of these ten butterflies, we didn't catch a SINGLE on busting out. And we tried!

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You are supposed to feed them fruit or sugar water... and we really didn't take great care of them.  You can see a dead one to the right of the bowl. Whoops.

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Letting them go the second time around was ADORABLE. For someone who was traumatized by it the first time, Finley didn't mind at all this time. And Braden--he loved it.

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No pants on B courtesy of potty training.

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This butterfly flew away and came back to land on Mama Monkey's head. Finley thought that was hilarious.

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And the BEST/longest part... here are three videos I took of them letting the butterflies go.  I couldn't choose between them because Braden is pretty much chatting and being entertaining in all of them.  And it's just so funny to hear him talk. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 27

Finley's First Sleepover

Finley's buddy Edmund and his family visited for the weekend--and to say it was exciting is a big understatement.  We let Finley and Edmund sleep in his room together--and Finley insisted on sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag with Edmund.

There's nothing that makes you feel like a REAL parent quite like having to tell your kids to stop talking and go to sleep during a sleepover. TWO HOURS. It took us two hours to get them to go to sleep. The first time I went up to check on them, they were using the light on Finley's clock to "read" a book together. The night ended with them (and by them, I'm pretty sure it was just Finley) barricading the door shut with a table and chair so that they could play. In the dark. At 10:30.

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Here's a video of their shenanigans--Finley finally realizes I'm taping him towards the end.  It's a darling video--they are using the light on the clock to do "experiments."

And the next day? Oh they were a mess. We dragged them to the zoo where they whined and wanted to be carried or ride in the stroller. Tired, tired boys!  The next night, Sol sat in the room with them until they fell asleep. Lesson learned.

Friday, August 23

Keaton at One Month

Do you see me blogging about Keaton turning one month old the day after happens? BAM! Truth be told, the only reason I was timely at all was because I was excited to take these pictures. We'll see how many more times this happens close to the 22nd...

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I think this calendar thing may continue to adapt as we move along... I'm already wishing I'd written his little stats from his last check up on the calendar.  But for record keeping's sake: at 3 weeks and 1 day, he was 8 lbs 14 oz, 19 3/4" and his noggin was 36.5 cm. Recorded for all time.

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Also--we have lots and lots of cute clothes from the boys that Keaton is just about big enough to fit into, but all I want to do is put him in white onesies.  Because then he coordinates with whatever I wear.  JK.  This will have to change soon, because only a fool dresses their baby in white after Labor Day.

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My guess is that Mr. K reaches his peak chubbiness in the next month.  My boys tend to get nice and chunky and then stop growing and make the doctors panic... but I'm looking forward to those fleeting weeks of wrist folds and chubby cheeks.

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Not much happens in the first month--he's beginning to smile occasionally and is a pretty accomplished tooter. He's a sweet baby--very little fussing and is a good eater and sleeper. He is eating every 2.5 hours or so during the day and about 4 or 4.5 hours at night which is awesome.  He tends to get a little restless after about 5 am and ends up sleeping beside me at that point to keep him sleeping a bit longer. Keaton got to meet lots of people in his first month, considering we live in a state where we know basically no one. We had 75% of the grandparents and a good assortment of friends from Virginia who either made the trip up or saw us on a quick trip down for work. Not too bad!

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It's been a good month. And we love him very much, as you'd expect.

Tuesday, August 20

Home Alone

After four weeks of help from my mom and Sol's mom, I'm home alone.  Well, kind of.  There are these three boys here with me.  Yesterday was my first day solo, and I'm happy to report that we survived. The bulk of the crying for the day came from a certain four year old who did not understand why I wouldn't make him a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, yogurt, granola, oatmeal and fresh squeezed orange juice. With a strawberry. With the stem cut off. Apparently, negative one point for me.

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Sol's working from 7am to 3pm this week--which is a pretty good way to start off.  The boys were all generally happy--and Finley and Braden did their own special version of wrestling, which mostly involved laying on each other.

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ALSO. THE HAIR. We took them for hair cuts as soon as Sol got home.  I fully intended to cut it before Keaton but then... Keaton came.

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Braden was much clingier when it was just me home with him--when he saw me carrying Keaton he either said, "CARRY ME!" or "I NEED TO PEE ON THE POTTY!" or "I WANT TO HOLD KEATON!" The second two were never true. I kind of tricked Finley into loving Keaton--by telling him Keaton really likes to be tickled.  Whatever works.

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Friday, August 16

Keaton, Every Month

The cool thing to do is to photograph your kiddo every month for the first year of their life. And if you spend much time on Pinterest, you'll find LOTS of cute ideas for how to do that.  For little Keaton, I have two little shots I'm going to attempt to get every month.  First--a picture on each month's calendar page.  This big calendar was a sweet gift from Vic and her mom--and if Keaton had held on a little longer, it would have worked out perfectly... unfortunately, the calendar starts in August, so he doesn't have an official zero month picture on July 2013. Just this fake one on next year's page. Oh well!

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And because we bought these awesome chairs, he gets to pose on the chair every month too.  That second picture kills me--I feel like he's preparing to interview me!

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These were taken a few days later, so the lighting is a bit different. But he's just as cute. If not cuter? Is that possible?

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I can't wait to watch this guy grow up--and at the same time I don't want him to grow at all.

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Monday, August 12

Finley's Nautical Big Boy Room

After three months, a few rooms in our house are finally put together.  I showed Keaton's "nursery" last week... and Finley's room is pretty much a souped of version of that. You caught me--I used the same fabric in both rooms.

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Whenever Finley would talk about his big boy room, he's always remind us of the two things he wanted--he wanted red walls and bunk beds.  We compromised--and he got red bunk beds.  Actually he got pine colored bunk beds, and his mother watched many many episodes of Arrested Development while painting them. Love you child.

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I made the quilts while I was living with my parents in Arkansas--you might remember the post where I quilted them awhile back. You can also see the rest time boxes peeking out from under the bed.  They are going surprisingly well!  Finley wanted to sleep in the top bunk--until he actually got up there. I was quite relieved he wants to sleep in the bottom one!  When Braden is ready to be moved out of his crib, he and Finley will share a room again! I think they miss each other.

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I went a bit overboard (see what I did there?) with decorations for Finley's room.  Above, is a darling Melissa and Doug pirate ship and a set of Peter Pan pegs from Finley's fourth birthday. The oars and hooks are both from Joss and Main. I picked pictures out that had some meaning for Finley and stuck them in red and blue frames from IKEA.

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Finley does his rest time activities at his little table and sometimes cleans them up.  (Actually, not really ever.)  His name bunting is left over from his third birthday party. I really love reusing stuff.

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This is my rocking chair from when I was a little girl--I Annie Sloaned it and loooove it. Finley calls it his "dressing chair" and sits in it to get dressed. It's super cute.  Also super cute? The map pillow!

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No bedroom is complete without a red shelf that holds bibles and Transformer pieces.  Red frames are pieces of burlap with rope painted on it. BAM.

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My absolute favorite part of his room is the dresser.  I went on a bit of an Annie Sloan bender--and this is my favorite piece that I painted. I never found drawer pulls I liked--so I ended up just tying navy cord and making drawer pulls. It makes me happy. Basically, the room is totally over decorated, and I'm ok with that. Finley likes it, so I like it. And I mostly like that I got away with not painting the walls red.

Wednesday, August 7

Some Special Family Pictures

Because I've met my children, I had very low (or NO) expectations for a family picture.  Those dreamy pictures of everyone snuggling together you see Pinterest? No chance. And I'm ok with that.  Since Keaton came home, we've gotten Finley to hold him twice. For about 30 seconds total.

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Of course Braden has to be physically restrained to stay in the frame. Braden has yet to hold Keaton, even though he's asked a few times--he always changes his mind when Keaton gets close.  He did try to pick Keaton up by the back of his onesie once... so that's something?

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For some reason, everyone was screaming (happy screams!) in the family attempts. I mean, it's pretty true to life. Someone is screaming a lot of the time (it's normally Braden.) By my calculations, the child who has done the least screaming in the last two weeks is actually Keaton. The newborn. He's a sweet guy with very few opinions of his own. Yet.

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We have about a week and a half more help before I get to wrangle these wiggly guys all by myself. Sometimes I'm sure we'll be fine. Sometimes I think there's no way. Either way, it will probably be a good time.

Monday, August 5

Keaton's Nautical Nursery. Ish.

The curse of the third child. As much as I really try to make sure Keaton gets all the things his brothers got... we're already falling a little short.  First example: his "nursery." I'm using the word "nursery" loosely, because the truth is, this is actually the sitting room off of our bedroom. And once you've seen this picture, you've seen the whole room.

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Instead of handmade fitted sheets, I bought two from Pottery Barn. Here's a helpful hint: buying sheets from Pottery Barn is cheaper, faster and easier than making your own.  Sad, but true. At this point, you have also witnessed the only time Keaton has actually been in his crib--for a photo op. He's been sleeping in the bassinet beside the bed or snuggled beside me. I can't help myself.

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Two little pieces of art--a print from Lindsay Letters and an amazing embroidered piece of art, designed by Sarah Jane and embroidered by my talented mother in law. I love them. The embroidery matches the fabric in Keaton's quilt (and Finley's big boy room, post pending.)

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I'm in love with all the fabrics in this line (Out to Sea by Sarah Jane). My mom and I put together this quilt when I was staying with her in Arkansas. Keaton really loves it too.

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Newborns, right? So little. So snuggly. So awake every three hours in the middle of the night. (Confession: I don't mind waking up a million times at night to feed a newborn. This is partially because I love snuggly babies, partially because I love the quiet of our house when everyone is sleeping, and partially because I love Doctor Who. With a capital LOVE.)

Friday, August 2

Reading in the Bounce House

As it probably is with most dads, it's sometimes hard to get Sol to stop playing with the boys and put them to bed.  A few nights ago, they were playing in the bounce house in the front yard (normal) and I told Sol they needed to come in and stop bouncing in a few minutes if he wanted to make sure he read to them before bed.  (Not reading before bed is one of Finley's favorite tricks for pushing back bedtime.)

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When I went back out to let them know it was time to come in and read--I saw they had found their own solution. Reading in the bounce house. This is Braden's new FAVORITE book from his friend Parker, Steam Train, Dream Train.

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This is my favorite page from the book--in the bottom right there are three little kangaroo boys, and every time we read it now the boys tell us that it's Finley, Braden and Keaton. My three little boys. photo Print-9743_zps9bcd891c.jpg

And also sometimes we had to run around during the story, in between cuddles with dad.

Thursday, August 1

Keaton + Post Baby Bump

Sometimes when you take one million pictures of your baby,  you don't necessarily have words that go with them. The picture to word ratio gets a little thrown off. I do have some words--but they are almost entirely unrelated to the pictures. Don't get too confused.

My parents were married a year after Princess Diana and Prince Charles. I was born almost a year after Prince William--and my mom told me recently that the first time she saw a mama pacify her baby with her finger was Princess Di. I grew up thinking there might be a chance that I could marry Prince William and my little sister could marry Prince Harry. It just might be possible. If only I could get to England... I watched the royal wedding two years ago in the middle of the night while I nursed Braden. And was quite surprised to see that Princess Kate was due around the same time as me. (Additionally, I'm pretty sure we're about to qualify for dual citizenship with the vast amount of Doctor Who that Keaton and I have watched since he was born.)

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I was even more surprised to actually have Keaton on the same day Prince George was born, you know, since he was a week early. (The nursing staff humored me when I joked about beating Kate--I think every mama on the floor had made the same joke.) Keaton even came home from the hospital with the same blanket (Aden and Anais!) but in a much cuter pattern.

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It was funny to come home hours after Kate and William left the hospital and know that she and I were doing many of the same things.  I was surprised (as was just about everyone) to see her leaving the hospital in a dress that didn't try to disguise the fact that after you have a baby, you still kind of look like you need to have a baby. Most people also look like they need a shower and a nap too--somehow she skipped that part.

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I love being pregnant. It gives me heartburn and sciatica, but I still love it. And (not-so-secretly-anymore) I kind of love what remains of Keaton's home for the past nine months.  Possibly liberated by Princess Kate, I've felt more comfortable wearing shirts that don't try to hide the fact that I could pass for four months pregnant. I kind of like the reminder that he was there not so long ago. And it always makes me chuckle that the huge compliment during pregnancy is that you are "ALL BELLY!!" or something along those lines... and now I most CERTAINLY am all belly.

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I also just stumbled across this article about my fave, Kristen Bell, who filmed the Veronica Mars movie months after having her daughter, where she discusses not being worried about losing the baby weight. With the first two boys, I've run a slow marathon about six months after they were born. I'm registered for the Philadephia Marathon in three months. A strange choice on my part. I'm planning on changing to the half marathon since that's a bit more realistic and I'm not sure if my Achilles is healed or not. And after that? I may do something other than a marathon. Like more halfs. Or some 10ks. Or a triathalon. Definitely running (if my Achilles will let me!) but it might be fun to switch up the routine a bit. Plus, if I wait five more years I get five minutes added to my BQ time... #oldlady

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As a side note, I worked out barely at all this pregnancy and I think I actually gained less weight than I did the first two times. Which makes me mostly just annoyed that I pretty much wasted a ton of time running while pregnant... I should have just sat on the couch. And eaten chips.

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SO. Keaton is cute and sweet. I really like everything about him. Theeeeee end.
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