Isla {seven years}

It almost feels harder to put into words just who my kids are as they get older. Isla is so very much her own person. She is friendly, loves hatchimals and shopkins, little tomatoes are her favorite and she refuses to wear jeans (or jean shorts for that matter). She is excelling at school, though seems to enjoy talking in class. She plays with both her brothers and seems fine with the fact that she is surrounded by boys (all our neighbors around her age are boys too). She still does dance (a ballet/tap combo class) and enjoys reading Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious books. 

Isla really is a social butterfly. She can be shy with adults, but never seems that way with kids her age. She can make friends almost instantly at any park or play place. This may be because she enjoys talking so much...and always has something to say. Other kids in her dance class have complained when she is by friends in class because she talks too much...hahaha! And, no joke, I have looked in the class far too many times and seen the class stopped, everyone looking at Isla as she tells some sort of story. 

Isla is great at playing by herself and has a vivid imagination. She sets her hatchimals up as a school classroom and gets to teaching. Her stuffed animals are also very important to her. Play is so important to her at school that she skips eating her snack at snack recess and often doesn't eat lunch either. This usually means she is opening her still full lunchbox as soon as I pick her up and digging in. She is still a picky eater, but eats well if you give her things she likes. Things like Hawaiian rolls, tomatoes, yogurt, grapes, and veggie straws are her jam. She used to refuse to drink milk, but will now drink that, and depending on her mood will eat meat from time to time. 

Isla definitely has an opinion about what she wears. If she doesn't like something, she won't wear it. She basically refuses to wear anything but leggings on bottom, so sports a lot of tunics and dresses with her leggings. She seems to enjoy things being more colorful, rather than less. She even has a strong opinion on her hair. She wants it long and basically refuses to have it cut. She also doesn't like having it pulled back and prefers to just wear it down. 

Now here's a little interview to get life as a seven year old from her perspective. 

What is your favorite:
     color - indigo
     food - edamame
     drink - lemonade 
     ice cream - mint chocolate chip
     toy - my phone (insert all the eye rolls here)
     book - The Magic Treehouse
     song - Drops in the Ocean & I'll Never Be Quiet
     tv show - Glitter Force
     movie - Harry Potter
     thing to do - play
     game - tetherball
     sport - jump rope
     animal - I like all of them

Who is your best friend? all of them
What do you like doing with them? play lots of things
Where did you meet them? lots of places

What is your favorite thing about school? PE
What do you enjoy learning the most? math
What do you like to do on the playground? play
Who do you play with at school? most of the people in my class

What is your favorite thing about yourself? That I'm a girl

Three things that makes you special:
     1. I'm the only girl kid
     2. I'm the middle of all the ages (I.e. the middle child)
     3. My name is really pretty

Isla wanted to add the following question:
What is your favorite plant? Lily and daisy

So there you have it. Isla obviously enjoys playing, but could never specifically tell me what beyond "lots of things". She refused to name best friends, as she didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings...even when I reassured her I was sure none of her friends would be reading this. I laughed that her favorite toy is her phone, as she doesn't get to play on it during the week at all and when we do let her play on it, all she does is watch Netflix. And, well, just yesterday she was complaining to me about being the only girl child and today it makes her special. So, we shall see how she feels about all that when the baby comes and we know if it's a boy or girl! 

I feel like there has just become so many years to look back on to link them all, but a couple of my favorites are when she was a sassy little 3 year old and had an adorable toothless grin at 6 months old

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Pumpkin Love

We went and picked out pumpkins yesterday. I really just wanted to get some to decorate our front porch and mantle, but was surprised the kids were excited to pick some out as well. Connor and Isla each picked out a pumpkin for carving and we picked one out for Callum as well. Of course, they wanted to carve them yesterday and were a bit bummed when I explained we have to wait a couple weeks because otherwise the pumpkins will go bad before halloween. 

Isla spent a bunch of time selecting the perfect little white pumpkins to make a snowman out of and has been obsessed with it ever since...including showering with it last night and asking that we make clothes for each of the little pumpkins! It was a quick and easy trip. One in which Callum quickly lost interest in the pumpkins and instead wanted to explore the farm...check out the tractors and look at the animals. But this was an actual farm, just with a pumpkin stand set up on the side of the road, so not exactly the perfect spot for Callum to just run free, but he still had fun and the farmer was nice enough to let him drive her gator. 

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No Longer Contained

So this happened, two weeks ago now, but I am obviously awful at posting lately. I'm not going to lie, I was sort of hoping by taking the side off Callum's crib, the clouds would part, the sun would come out and he would instantly sleep perfectly. Well, that didn't happen. In fact, nothing has changed in his bedtime routine or sleep since doing so. Well...except when we forget to close the baby gate on his door, I am creepily awoken at 2am by a toddler excitedly staring at my face saying "I here mama! I here!" Yep, that's now happened a couple times. And honestly, I haven't decided if I prefer him calling out for us or him just coming to my bed. Obviously us going into his room and getting him back to sleep in his bed is more ideal, but throwing him into our bed with us sure is convenient. And, just to be clear, the baby gate on his room has nothing to do with keeping him in while he sleeps. It started out as giving him a safe place to play if I am taking a shower or something. But it's also convenient when he won't stop bugging his brother and sister or something as well, haha!

I actually started shoving the chair that is in Callum's room up against the side of his bed so he can't roll out, but can still easily crawl out the end, as it only blocks about half or so of the side of his bed. It works well, as he hasn't fallen out of bed once.

My hope is to have Callum and Connor sharing a room sometime in the next few months. I am thinking it won't be too far off, as I've noticed Callum isn't as eager to go to sleep at night, which we've always put him in bed before the older two, but I am thinking times are a changing with that. That's actually the reason I didn't switch the crib to a toddler bed (we have a footboard that makes the crib a toddler bed), as I was thinking he will be in the bunkbed with Connor soonish. We shall see.

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School Pictures

I buy my kids school pictures every year not because I think they are amazingly done or because I don't have enough pictures of my kids. Really I do it because they are an adorably cheesy way to remember their childhoods. Since I always spring for the cheapest package, I let them shine and choose what they want to wear and which background and pose they want. It amazes me each time how into it they get. 

I remember school pictures being a big deal as a child, but I mostly think that was because it was like the only picture we had done in the year! My family certainly didn't go frolic in some idillic outdoor location for a photographer once a year. Heck, we didn't even hit up olan mills or jcpennys once a year for family pictures. That was more like every few years. I really do cherish the fact that we do family photos every year together and are able to document our children's childhoods so well. I do hope someday they are appreciative of that ;) Even if they aren't, I know as an old lady I will enjoy looking back. And I imagine it will be fun to show my grandchildren pictures of their parents when they were young. 

I really don't know how I got so far away from school pictures so quickly like that! But here is a picture I snapped of the kids when I was dropping them off at school on picture day. 

Some things I want to remember about this is how Isla laid out five dresses to choose from. And how she wore wedges to school...which I thought her teacher would be mad about, but never said anything. And how Connor wanted to make sure his hair looked nice, which he never even wants it touched normally. And how he wanted to make sure he brushed his teeth extra good for pictures. It's the little details that make me smile. And make me glad I at least buy the cheap package of pictures. 

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Baby #4 {18 weeks}

I have literally been the worst at documenting this pregnancy. I have these three pictures, all taken on my cell phone while walking out the door somewhere. I've meant to be better, but somewhere between running the kids all around and taking naps, I just haven't seem to have done it.

I get asked all the time how I am feeling. 99% of the time I feel absolutely exhausted. I don't remember feeling this exhausted in my other pregnancies. And if I get too tired, I just feel sick. But my morning sickness was never bad. My gag reflux though, that's another story. It is still alive and well at 18 weeks, making brushing my teeth difficult at times and bad smells just really affect me. Other than that, I really am doing well.

Foodwise I don't really have any aversions, per say. It's more how I feel when I look at the food! But in general, I have begun shunning meat, which seems to have happened in each of my pregnancies. Any fried and bad for me food really sounds good though. I am eating copious amounts of fruit as well.

I think I can feel the baby move, but am not 100%. I definitely can't feel it from the outside though. Maybe I should just say I am feeling "flutters" and call it a day. I do look forward to in a few short weeks when I can see the baby jabbing through my belly and have some reassurance that all is well in there.

I said I was going to wait until at least 20 weeks before I bought anything for the baby, then I went ahead and got some stuff. So I currently have a mini crib sitting in my room. I found the one I wanted  on facebook marketplace and just went for it. Then we went and got ourselves a minivan this past weekend. So I guess we are getting ready after all. Though I am sure I will wait to buy a pack of diapers until the week before my due date...because priorities. Haha!

There you have it, what's going on so far. I should be having my 20 week ultrasound here pretty soon, but it hasn't been scheduled yet for some reason. Which reminds me that I really should be emailing my doctor about that and not writing a blog ;)

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When we started planning our trip last year, we knew we were going to go to Scotland for sure. Then London with Ian's family came to be. So for our last bit of time, I knew I wanted to go somewhere we had never been before, but didn't necessarily know where. One day while listening to the radio, they were talking about this cool lego place in Denmark, the home of lego. Now the cool lego place ended up being more than three hours outside of Copenhagen, so we didn't go visit. But that was what started me looking at Denmark, thus deciding on Copenhagen. 

The one thing I did not know about Copenhagen until we arrived was how insanely expensive it is. The exchange rate certainly wasn't in our favor. Plus, you have to even pay for tap water at restaurants! Think $5 for a pitcher of water. The food situation definitely created a huge sticker shock. And though the train getting from the airport into Copenhagen was super convenient and easy, I didn't find public transportation convenient, at least where we were staying. So, we did a lot of walking because, well, taxis be crazy expensive there too! Ian and I can handle the walking, but it was hard for the kids with the warm humid weather and the walking. But let's switch gears to some good things about Copenhagen. 

Obviously Tivoli was a highlight. Over a month later, my kids still bring it up all the time. Also, there was an epic park right next to the building we were staying in. I don't even know how to begin describing the amazingness of this park. It had several play structures. But there were also toys out during the day for kids to play with. Tons of different bikes that you could ride by yourself, or many even had seats to ride others around too. Also, there were so many trees. Which sitting under the trees with a little breeze, the heat wasn't even a bother. During the day, there was also a building that sold snacks, most notably popsicles. It was just a really great park. One that was visited more than once a day every day we were there. 

For the touristy stuff in Copenhagen, we walked Stroget, a super long pedestrian only street that is full of shopping and charm. The kids weren't super into it, well except for the neat lego store. But I thought it was a fun experience. Then we went to Nyhavn. Nyhavn is absolutely beautiful, and colorful, but to be honest, there really isn't anything to do except eat there. Well, it is also the start of boat tours, if one is going to do that...being stuck on a small cramped vessel with my children for a decent amount of time wasn't a priority of mine, so we didn't do one. I had seen on Pinterest months ago that there was a place that had trampolines in the sidewalk. I really, really wanted to go, but literally couldn't find anywhere that listed where in the city they were. I finally found someone mention what hotel they were across from, so we hunted them down. Callum absolutely loved them. We had to drag him away. Isla enjoyed them. And Connor was just hot. But they are right next to the waterway. It really was a beautiful setting. It would have just been more enjoyable if there were some trees and it was a little cooler out ;)

Another day we took a corny little train tour of the downtown area. I enjoyed it because it let us see quickly a few of the highlights that we really were skipping because the kids can only take so much. I should mention that there were also several coffee shop trips, because Ian was there. 

^^ proof that I was actually there

^^ Our airbnb was actually someone's primary residence. This was the first time that has ever happened in all the times we've stayed in airbnb's. It was sort of weird, but also super nice because there were SO MANY toys to play with. Including a swing installed in the ceiling and a jungle gym bar coming from the ceiling too that Isla totally loved.

^^ at the cool lego store on Stroget

If we went back to Copenhagen, I would definitely rent bikes ahead of time...they have cool ones all over with buckets on the front for kids. It would have made getting around so much easier. And I think having just known that every meal was going to be crazy expensive in advance would have helped with my sticker shock as well. Oh, and not having our departing flight canceled a couple hours before we were supposed to leave would have helped too. But those are just minor details...well the flight wasn't, but that's another story. 

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Fun in the Sun

But really, it's fun in the shade ;) That just doesn't have the same ring to it though. 

I keep neglecting this ole blog of mine, but I'm not ready to give it up. I don't really document things any other way and I do want a place to remember all the things, so I will keep trudging along. 

We took the kids to the splash pad at our neighborhood park in what was actually the last weekend the splash pads in the city were on. Which is ironic given the temperatures have still been in the high 90's. Of course, it is supposed to dip into the 80's this week. I am totally looking forward to it, yet also not too hopeful as this happened a few weeks ago before the temps went back up again. And it always seems hot around here until well into October. But enough about the weather, back to the splash pad. 

The kids had a lot of fun. Isla mostly hung out at the water guns, squirting her brothers each time they came on. Connor mostly stood under the bucket of water that would dump every couple minutes. It was fun watch the anticipation of him having to wait and wonder when it was going to drop. And Callum, he did a whole lot of running in every which direction, which is typical for him. He didn't want to get wet at first, but soon got into the spirit. 

Believe it or not, this was the first time we actually planned to take the kids to the splash pad...and it's September! They have done impromptu plays in them a couple times, where we were completely unprepared and they went home happy, yet in soaking wet clothes. But this was the first (and I guess only) time we actually put them in their swimsuits and let them at it. I guess better late than never, right?

The calendar says we have 10 days left of summer, so we may as well live it up, right?!

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