The Tale of Four Monkeys

You guys, how cute is my fourth little monkey?! A little back story on this outfit. A former coworker sent it to me in Scotland when I was pregnant with Connor. I was super into sock monkeys back then. And it was perfect. In fact, it still is. I am keeping hardly any of my kids clothes because I know that's not what kids want when they become adults, but this, this I am keeping. And I will most likely stuff my grandchildren in it, much to the complaining and eye rolling of my children. It is what it is children! It's for the memories! 

Also, I am glad I took Willa's picture right after I put her in this outfit because, well, she had a blow out about 30 minutes after I put it on. So, she didn't even get to go trick or treating as a sock monkey. Of course, she slept for most of the trick or treating experience and I didn't even get her a bucket or take her up to a house to get candy, so I guess it doesn't really matter! 

Now let's take a walk down memory lane and revisit all the kids as sock monkeys. 





It's a good thing all my kids were fall/winter babies so this comparison worked! Man did we plan well, haha! And if sibling comparisons are your thing, here is another one of all four and two sister comparisons (one and two). I know, I know, I document A LOT.

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School Halloween Parades

Both of the kids schools do Halloween parades and I just love it. It's just one of those childhood things I truly many of the school activities I find just over the top. Callum's preschool started doing a Halloween parade Isla's last year there, so Connor never got to do it until elementary school. But watching preschoolers get all dressed up in their adorable costumes and awkwardly parade around is just the best. Callum ended up ditching his helmet halfway through the parade. The teacher tried putting it back on, but he wasn't having it. Also, Callum's parade was the day before Halloween, which really worked out well for me. He only goes to school two days a week and it was just how it worked out. But otherwise, I would have had to miss one or the other, as I can't be at two schools at the same time. So I am grateful for that happening. 

The older kids elementary school takes Halloween very seriously. All the kids parade around to music, then the choir sings for everyone. We didn't stay for the choir, as Callum was all over the place, obviously feeding off the fun energy in the air, haha. Also, let me show you the nice pictures of Connor, then you can scroll down and see how Connor really felt about me taking his picture! 

^^ Connor really wanted this costume, even though it was a bit too small for him. Why do the precious costumes have to stop at smaller sizes and then only the scary or ridiculous costumes are available in larger sizes?! Oh well. 

^^ What a turkey!!!

Then there's Isla. She has been a witch for the past three years. Her best friend tried convincing her to be something else this year, but she obviously wasn't convinced. I got rid of the costume she wore the past two years, as it was looking rather tore up...and I thought maybe then she would chose to be something else this year. Nope! I guess being a witch is just her thing. If you didn't see the picture of Isla and her black cat on instagram, you can see it here...because it's too cute to miss. Isla also still gets super excited to see us at things, so that is nice for us, haha. 

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Willa's First Tooth


Willa got her first tooth! I should probably mention that I am that person that knows which milestones are left and looks for them constantly, trying to decide if today is the day or not. Did she just say "dada"? Was that a wave or did her hand just flail in the air? Was that a crawl forward or did she fall forward? Thankfully a tooth is a tooth is a tooth.

I have been checking Willa's mouth daily recently for teeth. I started checking originally because she became fussy and that is totally out of character for her. But her gums weren't bulging at all, so I thought we were a ways off from getting any teeth. So, imagine my surprise when I stuck my finger in her mouth to check things out and felt a little poke! At that point, the tooth had barely poked through in one spot. Now, almost a week later, the entire length of the tooth has come through.

Willa is really protective of her tooth and won't show anyone, so I have yet to get a decent picture of it. I know that will come soon enough and all those adorable smiles with tiny little teeth with be headed our way.

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Celebrating Isla

Isla turned eight on Sunday and we had a fun weekend celebrating her. On Saturday, I took Isla and her best friend Amelie shopping at the mall. That was quite the experience! The girls enjoyed themselves and definitely enjoyed looking at EVERYTHING. They ended up getting matching dresses and sweaters, matching dangly earrings and matching necklaces. Now they are all set for their upcoming twins day at school. 

On Sunday, Isla's actual birthday, we had out families over to celebrate. Isla said it was the best birthday ever because she had two cakes. I had let her pick one out at the store on Saturday, then her and my dad made one together. Isla was also pretty jazzed because she got a lot of cash for her birthday from her grandparents and aunts and uncles. It was burning a hole in her pocket and she immediately wanted to go to Target to spend her money, but so far, I have held her off. 

Now this coming weekend, Isla gets to go to Disneyland with Amelie. She gets to do that instead of a birthday party this year. It should be fun because it's just me and Isla tagging along with Amelie, her sister and her mom. A fun girls day! 

Eight years sure did go by fast!!! In case you too want to walk down memory lane, here is Isla's birth day in photos. And her first birthday, third birthday and fifth. I have a picture of her blowing out her candles at her fifth birthday party hanging in our house and it always makes me smile. It's just one of those pictures that is so Isla. Time, man. It really is a thief.

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Callum's Preschool Open House

Just before we left on our trip to Nashville was Callum's preschool open house. As a mother, these are the types of things I eat up. Adorable little crafts, children proud of their artwork, proud of their classrooms, lovers of their teachers. Preschool is just such a sweet, sweet time. And I just love that the big crafts they do are the exact same ones that Connor and Isla did as well. 

The open house itself was rather chaotic with a million families smooshed into one classroom with preschoolers running every direction taking parents on a scavenger hunt of their classroom. But Callum enjoyed himself, and thats what matters. He also enjoyed showing off his obviously amazing artwork. 

^^ I didn't keep much artwork of the kids, but when I was cleaning out a closet the other day, I found both Connor and Isla's jellyfish like this. Now I feel like I should do something with them, since I have all three. I also thought that the preschool better still do this craft when it's Willa's turn!  

In case you wondered just how similar the crafts were with the other kids, totally samsies. Here's the proof - Connor and Isla. The entire building has undergone a renovation since we were last in that class five years ago, but the crafts remain the same! 

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Wow, it's been a while since I have blogged. But, I'm not ready to give it up just yet, so here I go again. Ian, Willa and I went to Nashville for five days at the end of September. A lot of people have asked why. Ian and I were trying to remember how it started. We think it started with the idea of an anniversary trip, then the end of September became the first time that worked with childcare....thanks mom! Why Nashville? Well, it seems like everyone and their mom is talking about it and we wanted to see what the hype was all about. So now you are about to get my take on Nashville. 

The good - I don't know if I have ever been to a place with so many good restaurants. I didn't notice chain restaurants many places. Mostly just really good local restaurants. I'll list my favorites in a minute. The locals were amazing. We talked to so many. They really seemed to enjoy wanting to get outsiders takes on Nashville and to discuss how the city has exploded in growth. Nashville is rather compact, so taking Uber around was easy and not pricy. I highly recommend walking out on the John Seigenthaler pedestrian bridge in downtown Nashville. It gives you a beautiful view of the city. I was surprised how few people were on it, actually. Also, if you decide to take a tour of the Ryman Auditorium, spring for the backstage tour, as its full of interesting tidbits. And don't skip the video at the beginning of the tour, as it's really well done. All the cool murals around the city are super neat. So many businesses have them on the sides of their walls too. It creates such a neat vibe.

We ate at more places than this, but these were definitely great and ones I would certainly go back to:

Five Points Pizza - I ate possibly the best pizza of my life here
Bar Taco - make a reservation, as this place gets busy
Las Paletas - unique popsicles
Five Daughters Bakery - because who doesn't love donuts?
Dozen bakery - Best muffin of my life. It was apple something and it was life changing.
Martin's BBQ - get the brisket tacos and thank me later

Coffee shops:

Well Coffee House - they are a non-profit that builds wells in other countries!
Crema - amazing avocado toast! This is also where all the trendy, hipster people were...haha. 

The bad - I could not get over the humidity. It was SO HUMID. I felt like I was always covered in sweat. Also, what's up with no sidewalks outside of the city center? So weird, annoying and unsafe. And the lack of public transportation in a city of that size just blew my mind. Also, I never knew Nashville was nicknamed "Nash-Vegas". Bars and drunk people all over downtown. We were pretty much the only people around with a child out, even during the day. So that was kind of weird. Well, and drunk people wanting to hold Willa. But, outside of the city center, we did encounter other families. 

One thing I found funny is literally every Uber driver we had asked us if we were planning on moving to Nashville. The city has doubled in size in something like 10 or 15 years and is definitely growing faster than it can handle. Every local we talked to loved talking about this and how unhappy they were about it. There definitely seems to be an us vs. them mentality about people moving to Nashville. 

After we did everything we felt like doing in the city center, we rented a car for our last two days. We stopped in Franklin, walked around the downtown, which truly is something out of a tv show, and got coffee at a great place. Then we continued on into the middle of nowhere to visit the Jack Daniels Distillery. Besides it being in the middle of nowhere and food options being super limited around it, the tour itself was super interesting and entertaining. We also went to the Belle Mead Plantation on the outskirts of Nashville. It contains such a dark part of our country's history, slavery, but something I think shouldn't be ignored. 

All in all, Nashville was great. Just very different than I expected. Spending five days with Ian with only one child was amazing and dare I say, easy.

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Willa, the Crawler

9.3.19 - Willa started crawling

The day before, I was videoing Willa grabbing shadows on the kitchen floor when she crawled forward just a little bit. Then, the next day, September 3rd, she started crawling a couple crawls at a time. And here we are, just a week later and the girl is going anywhere and everywhere she wants. She has yet to attempt the stairs, but I know it's coming soon...cue me bringing out ALL THE BABY GATES. But still, she has found cords to pull, snuck up on my parents dog, found newspaper to eat, discovered she loves to bang on the fireplace screen, thinks hitting at the dvds in the cabinet is fun and loves, I mean LOVES, to chew on shoes sitting out. Yuck! I have to admit, I have been thrown off a couple times now, not finding Willa in the room I left her in. It's a whole new normal. One in which we will need to remember to close the bathroom door and leave all little tiny toy pieces up out of reach. And homework too. Imagine having to tell your teacher your baby sister ate your homework! Haha!

This girl man. She was determined and she went for it. I was hoping she would be lazy, but no such luck.

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Callum's First Day of Preschool

It's funny how different things can feel the third time around. I remember being so nervous with Connor. Feeling like I was leaving him with total strangers. After all, I was. Now, it's our third time in the same classroom and it just feels, well, normal.

There was no crying or clinging for Callum on the first day of school. He just ran in and started playing. Later I realized I never really said bye to him and was afraid he would be sad when he realized I was gone. That never happened. The kid was MORE than ready to start school. Of course the first day of school was also show and tell. They reminded us at the preview day and I of course totally forgot. #momfail

Callum was insistent on not only bringing his backpack on the first day of school, but also me packing his lunch. I first just threw a few snacks in his bag, but he got mad until I actually packed him a lunch. But I guess it worked out, as it gave him something to eat once he got home.

^^ Callum destroyed his first day of school craft in the car on the way home, so I guess it's good that I at least took this picture before we left!

Though I'm excited for Callum to be in school and get some socialization, I kind of forgot how busy having an extra drop off and pick up makes the day feel. It just makes things feel so much busier and like there is less downtime. Oh well, such is life. 

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A Four Way Comparison

I am sure the people that gifted us this outfit when I was pregnant with Connor never expected it to live on and on...and on and on. Here we are, four kids in, with all four wearing the same outfit. Connor, Isla and Willa are all around the same age, at five and a half months old. They are also all sitting in the same bumbo I originally bought for Connor. Callum is two month younger and laying on the floor. I still think Willa looks most similar to Callum, though she looked more like Isla than I remembered. And Willa was so kind to take one for the team and wear this hot outfit when it was 100* out. The things you do for a sibling comparison photo! Poor Willa still has no hair, whereas the others did.

I have kept almost none of the baby clothes this time around, purging things as soon as Willa grows out of them. But this outfit, it went in a drawer...mostly as a just in case (KIDDING Ian, calm yourself down). But I am sure I will get rid of it later, because what would my kids do with it when they are all grown anyway?

Oh my babies! The biggest thing I have learned the more babies I have is how insanely fleeting this time is. I swear Connor's first year lasted several years. And here we are with Willa half a year old in what feels like the blink of an eye. Don't mind me while I go hold my baby tight and cry...

P.S. two of my favorite sibling comparisons that I do are coming up - an 8.5 month comparison, and  the same monkey outfit.

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