Friday, March 28

Victoria + Rachel = Super Cool Fun Times

Vic and I have done a lot of awesome stuff over the years. She's far and away one of the most frequent characters on this ole blog. We had so much fun over her last visit... but for some reason I only took pictures of the two of us on the new iPhone (imagine me doing jazz hands). I need to make sure I'm still shooting plenty with the big girl camera...

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The two coolest things we did while she was in town... One, wearing matching shirts to see the Veronica Mars movie (thumbs up from everyone! we laughed! we cried at the Fault in Our Stars trailer!) and two, visiting the Downton Abbey costume exhibit at Winterthur. It was a-mahzing. You can see us posing in front of the outfits Mary and Matthew wore in the snowy proposal! #RIPMatthew

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We also drank copious amounts of seltzer, made a mighty fine batch of macarons and finalized the rebranding of RV Parties. We did not, however, play Victoria's favorite game of throwing away expired food from the fridge. It was as fun as it always is--and having Kip there might have even amplified the fun a bit, if that's even possible. #rachtoriaforeverandever

Tuesday, March 25

Keaton at Eight Months

Man. Keaton thought I was hi-larious for these pictures. Sometimes I have to be really silly to get him to smile, but not this time. I think he was just really excited to be in the big chair. Who knows.

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You can catch a glimpse of those six very sharp chompers in a few of the pictures. They are all officially in and (knock on wood) he's had a few better nights of sleep lately. By better, I mean he wakes up to eat between 12 and 1, and then again around 5. And at 5 he kind of thinks its party time and it's a bit of struggle to convince him to sleep more. I had been letting him sleep with me when he was waking up all the time, but now he's alone in his crib and doing well. Naps are still iffy--sometimes he'll take nice long ones and sometimes he doesn't want to at all.

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We're starting to improve with solid foods too! When everything was wrong with him, eating made him mad. Like he'd just puke it back up because he was upset about it. I've started baby led weaning with him (giving him chunks of toast/carrot/sweet potatoes...) and he seems to enjoy gnawing on them his high chair. I'm trying to get as much food in him during the day as I can, so I'm trying to sneak in bites of cereal (or smushed avocado!) in while he feeds himself.  I'm hoping we can continue to add more things he'll eat off a spoon and that he'll quickly improve at the self feeding. I'm pretty sure he needs those calories to help him sleep more...

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He's generally just a delightful kid. He still loves to be carried in the Moby and I practiced using it on my hip rather than the front a few days ago--and it was exactly as exciting as it sounds.

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We're starting to get the hang of sitting! He's a great scooter and sometimes will roll to his side like he wants to push into sitting and really just ends up looking like a male model, which makes me laugh.  He's been pulling up to his knees a few times which I find CRAZY like he's defying gravity or something. It's not actually crazy.  He's a great scooter and we're finally to the stage where it sometimes takes me a few seconds to find him if I stop watching him--he moves quick! We have a two rooms that are a step down on the main floor and we're learning some tough lessons about what happens when you crawl over the edge.

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I love his soft hair--it's so much longer than the other boys' at this age! And it might be darker, I can't really tell. I just like that he's his own little dude. With my blue eyes and some mystery hair.

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Eight months buddy! Can you even believe it? That's two thirds of a year. I'm ready to hit pause and soak up the days of this silly guy (the nights I could do without.) Stay little, my friend.

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Wednesday, March 19

Luck and Love

Vic and her *ahem* special friend came to visit this past weekend. I hadn't gotten to meet Kip yet and needed to sign off on him before things got super serious... I'm mostly kidding.  We had a great time--so much of a great time that I didn't photograph much.  Their trip spanned lots of fun things--the Veronica Mars premier, St. Patrick's Day and almost Pi Day. Of course we made everyone wear green and take an awesome picture in front of the mantle--which made less sense because you can't actually see the banner I hung on the mantle, all you can see is our three year old family pictures. Whoops.

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Braden's cheesy grins are killing me. We were so lucky that Kip and Vic were able to travel out to see us. And lucky that they don't mind sitting around the house in our chaos and rooms filled with loud children. It was just so sweet to see the boys cozying up to Kip to read or do a puzzle.

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Philly is the city of brotherly love--so I had to get a few pictures of these big brothers by the LOVE statue. With Tucker the Giraffe, obviously. (Things Braden said to me about all this: "Tucker is a nice animal." and "I had a good time at the statue.")

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Keaton promptly fell asleep after these pictures. He was a trooper.

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Vic and I made Orange Chocolate Macarons, did some serious RV Parties work and watched a shockingly low amount of TV. We did watch Frozen and some of Mary Poppins, but none of our regular shows. I know, I'm shocked. I could gush on and on about how lovely our time was--but I'll refrain. We loved meeting Kip and mostly, I loved being on Kip's team and beating Vic and Sol and Spades. #teamkipchel

Friday, March 14

St. Patrick's Day Decorations

Hi friends!  Because there's nothing I love more than throwing a party three weeks before a holiday... I whipped up a St. Patrick's Day Brunch and we celebrated all things and green and gold when my parents were here. When I was brainstorming ideas--I thought it would be fun to focus on the phrase "Top of the Morning" and serve green and gold brunchy foods! It was fun and gold and delish.

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The party was featured on HWTM yesterday so you can click over there to see all the excitement.

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Click over to the RV Parties blog to see all the pictures and to get all the decorations for FREEEEEEE!

And also, if you are super cool, follow us on Instagram. We just joined and it will be awesome.

Tuesday, March 11


A long time ago... we used to be friends... but I.. haven't thought of you lately...

Wait, that's not what I meant to say. I've got Veronica Mars on the brain. I meant to say, a long time ago, I used to post Instagram photos here. And then I stopped. For no reason. BUT THEN! I got an iPhone. And so I'm going to post some because I CAN CAN CAN. #moulinrougereference And these aren't quite as pretty and square as they used to be because apparently I don't like square crops any more? Oh well.
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first mommy and keatie selfie
braden forced me to wear heels and a bow
my mom came to visit!
so did my dad!
the boys playing at their train table
once i had a kate spade party
we eat so much nut butter its gross
braden loves the train app
i'm obsessed with macarons

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finley wrote his name in duplos
and then he made a cross boy holster
braden loves frozen and dressing up as peter pan and not wearing pants
keaton does not love food
sol loves being a dweeb
keaton is adorable
i ran 6.5 miles!!!
edmund and finley are the cutest
finley is obsessed with legos

Want to see all my pictures and read my longier, wittier captions? Come follow me! And maybe I'll follow you. :)

Wednesday, March 5

Keaton's Baptism

Keaton was baptized! And lucky boy--he was a few months earlier than his brothers were when they got baptism. I am on the ball this time! He was a sweet boy and didn't mind at all--especially because our paster kind of doused him.

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All of the boys were really well behaved--Finley and Braden both stood very reverently with us while we waited. (Although Braden refused to take his coat off--so you can't even appreciate their matching outfits.) When I asked Finley what the best part of his day was, he told me it was seeing "Keaton's baptism water." So sweet. He was very excited about Keaton being "blessed and baptized" and it was a great chance to talk to him about what baptizing means--that the water reminds us that Jesus washed our sins away.

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Through a little but of luck, my parents got to be in town for the baptism! My mom was spending a few weeks in Rochester for work, and was able to come down for a weekend and my dad flew up to meet us. The week before my parents arrived, the pastor mentioned they were doing a baptism the following week and we could do ours then too. It was nice to have family there--and also to have someone able to take a few pictures! (Braden's face on the first picture kills me.)

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I have the hardest time remembering to take pictures of the boys with family so I was very proud that I got a few of them with my parents. They both ended up having to leave earlier than they planned--because of SNOW. Traveling to the northeast in February is generally not the greatest idea. Regardless, it was still so nice to have them in town to give us a little relief from the sleepless nights, play with our boys and spend some QT with us.

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Monday, March 3

Keaton at Seven Months

I would really like to say something clever about us being in seventh heaven, buuut that's just not quite true. There are so many sweet and wonderful things about dear Keaton--but a dark, gloomy shadow is cast by the not-sleeping. And basically I feel terrible about the not-sleeping. I don't want to make excuses for him... but I feel like they are actually legit excuses. Broken leg. On his third set of ear infections. Stomach bug. Pukes when he doesn't like his food or medicine. Cutting tooth number 5 and 6 within the last month. Possible reflux according to the doctor? Poor, poor kid. Things have improved a bit since the most recent round of antibiotics--we're about halfway through. Sadly, I'm used to waking up every hour or two to soothe him, so I'm not even feeling too sleep deprived. But I'm very much looking forward to a kid that wakes up like twice a night. Or three times even, I'm not picky.

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But enough about the sleep. He really is a doll. I feel like this has been a huge month for him developmentally. He's still not sitting, but scoots around like a champ and has some strong opinions about what he wants to do. He will play for a long time on the floor if Braden and Finley are in the room with him--but if you try to make him play alone? Nope. He loves his brothers a lot.

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As you can see from the pictures, the knucklehead likes to chew on his tongue. Probably because of all the exciting teeth he's been growing. The doctor recommended trying to get more solid food in him to help with sleep--but he does not seem to be a huge fan of anything but plain cereal. He will clamp his lips shut, turn his head, and occasionally puke if you really make him eat. I feel like he doesn't like sweet things--he's pretty happy with avocado, but not any sweet food. And most medicines are sweet and he tends to HATE them. And puke them on us when's he's especially being a stinker.

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He's bigger than the calendar! I'm pretty confident his eyes might be blue to stay--which makes me a happy mom. Sol's eye genes have been clobbering mine, so I'm happy to see my blue on him. Keaton's hair is longer than either of the boys at this age. It's just so fun to see how he's his own little person.

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He's had a few bouts of stranger anxiety. He gets left in childcare less than Braden and Finley did at that age so he struggles a bit more with strangers. And I'm fabulous, so he naturally prefers me to like, everything. As well he should.

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This is often what Keaton's life looks like--some brother running around him and entertaining him or making him mad. Braden insisted on wearing one of K's leg warmers on his arm on this particular day.

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The best way to get the boys to participate in anything? Cookies. They willingly cuddled with each other for a few minutes for the promise of a Thin Mint. Thank goodness for Girl Scouts!

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