Our Christmas

The one thing that makes me a little gloomy about Christmas is that I am always so excited for it to get here and then I blink & it is over!  We spent Christmas at home this year & my parents came in for a few days. I think each year is just more & more magical as they kids get older. Grayson is really starting to understand why we celebrate & the story of Christmas.  Griffin was all about opening his own presents this year. You could have wrapped up a rock and he would have been pumped. Ripping the paper off was a major thrill for him!
We spent Christmas Eve at our church. {side note: in true Griffin fashion, we spent the morning of Christmas Eve at the pediatrician. He woke up with what I thought was pink eye but instead had a double ear infection! Sheesh. He has been sick every single Christmas!} The entire hour was all music and we let the boys stay with us at "big church." They did so great & loved all the music! I think one thing that will stick in my mind forever is listening to my sweet Grayson singing along to the songs. I want to freeze their little voices & never forget them. Hearing him sing "Away in the Manger" with the rest of the congregation was precious.
Can I just say that sometimes I have to pinch myself when I see these 3 together? Do we really have 3 kids?!
 We let the kids open a few presents from out of town family on Christmas Eve. Head lamps and flash lights were a HUGE hit. Who knew?? This picture cracks me up. Their faces are so funny!
Cheney couldn't hang very long after dinner, so she wasn't in the Christmas Eve bedtime picture...there is always next year! These boys were super excited about Santa coming & were pretty sad that Doodle Elf had to fly back to the North Pole for good.
Christmas morning was spent watching the boys tear into presents, sipping on coffee, snuggling a sweet baby girl, & eating yummy breakfast food. Perfect!

These boys had a great Christmas. It really is so fun to experience everything through their eyes. It just keeps getting better!
This little lady was my favorite gift this year! We love our sweet Cheney so much!
I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I can't believe it is almost 2015!


It's back...Menu Monday!

Excuse me while I wipe the dust off my blog. Is anybody still out there? One of my goals for 2015 is to write more. My blog has always been an outlet AND a scrapbook for my family. I hope I can get my act together and get back to my little corner of the internet! I'm going to start by bring back my Menu Monday. It's really more for me than anyone else. It helps me stick to our meal schedule and not eat out. We are trying to stop wasting money on food! Here is what our menu looks like this week...lots of new recipes & some old favorites!
Chicken Enchilada Skillet - An easy, no-fuss, 30 min cheesy skillet dish that the whole family will love!
Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken - Simply throw everything in the crockpot for a quick and easy, no-fuss, family-friendly meal!
Tuesday: Honey Sesame Chicken in the crockpot, white rice, & steamed broccoli
Wednesday: Calzones from The Pioneer Woman. Can't go wrong with Ree!
Thursday: New Years Day meal! Pork tenderloin (I use the Barefoot Contessa's cooking method), black eyed peas, collard greens, sautéed squash (for the husband who won't eat greens), & corn bread!
Friday: pizza night! I am trying out our new pizza stone this week. Do you have any tried and true dough recipes??
Saturday: we have a babysitter and we are going OUT!
Sunday: General Tso's chicken (I cheat and just buy a jar of sauce. Trader Joe's is my go to but since I don't get there very often, I opt for the Iron Chef brand. It's almost as good!) & fried rice (note: I leave the chicken out of the rice)
What is on your menu this week??


reclaiming my body

I'm not much of a New Years resolution person. Sometimes I make a list of goals but I usually forget about them by February. I am not making resolutions this year, but I do want to make a change. We are done having babies & I am done nursing babies; it is time to reclaim my body.
This is the first time in a long time that I am excited to get back to a place where I feel good & am comfortable in my own skin. Mostly because I know I won't be getting pregnant again! I am definitely at a place in life where I have to focus so much on my kids. They are little and need me. But I have also realized that I have to focus some on myself. I want that focus to be on bettering myself.  To start exercising regularly again and to really focus on eating right.
I started this whole process this week, actually, by re-joining Jazzercise. It was actually a huge blessing because I got a promotional offer in the mail that was just too good to pass up. I would not have been able to do it otherwise so I am really excited to start that back up! I am tired of feeling sluggish & I am tired of my clothes not fitting right.
Stop Wishing. Start Doning!
So, here I am...ready to reclaim my body! It isn't housing babies anymore and there is no need to house that extra weight either! 


Cheney: 4 months old

Baby girl, you are FOUR months old today!
The stats:
Weight: 11lbs 11oz (5th percentile)
Height: 24 inches (25th percentile)
Clothes: you can wear 3 month shirts/onesies but everything else is 6 month! You are so long & are all legs. 6 month pants are the perfect length but won't fit around your teeny tiny waist!
Diaper: size 1
We switched to formula shortly after you turned 3 months old.  We had a great nursing bond & I was so torn when we stopped, but you (and I!) sleep so much better now. You are now on a 4 hour schedule during the day which is so nice! You take a bottle at 7:30, 11:30, 3:30, & 7:30. Right now you are drinking 6 ounces at every feeding...you are trying to put on some weight!
You are so close to sleeping all the way through the night! I'm not pushing it yet because you are still so small & I truly think you are waking up to eat. You go to bed at 7:30 and wake up between 3:00-4:00 each night to eat & then sleep until around 7-7:30. You are still swaddled & are still sleeping in your Rock 'n Play. I'm pretty nervous to change either one of those! Naps are getting better. Sometimes you still do the 30 minute nap & I have to rock you back to sleep. Other times you will sleep 2 hours! You take 3 naps during the day right now. You are a creature of habit and definitely love to sleep in your dark room with your sound machine.
Happenings this month:
-you got switched to the big girl carseat this month! You are now riding in the Britax Roundabout and are SO MUCH happier. You even take naps in the car!!! It is amazing.
-you went on your first road trip to Atlanta this month! You did so much better than I expected. You were very good in the car & slept great in Georgia. You are just so easy!
-you now go to the nursery at church! You go on Wednesdays & Sundays and the sweet ladies just adore you. They love you & that makes my mama heart so happy.
-You are rolling from tummy to back!
-You love to stand and are so strong! You are even trying to sit up on your own. I'm not ready for you to be so big!
-You love your big brothers so much. They give you very little personal space but you don't seem to mind. You smile so big when they talk to you!
-You are now big enough for the jumperoo & walker! Your feet don't touch the ground but you love sitting in them. The boys love pushing you around in the walker!
-you talk ALL day long. Such sweet sounds.
Cheney, this day is so bittersweet. Exactly one year ago my friend Michelle passed away. Later that night, we found out about you. A sweet little addition to our family we didn't even know we were missing! Cheney, every day I am thankful for you. You are a constant reminder to me that God is good all the time.

You are the sweetest little girl & such a dream baby. You are so happy almost all the time and love to flash that pretty smile! I always say that you have a full body smile...you literally smile with every inch of your body! I love this stage so much & we are loving watching you learn new things and grow. Cheney girl, we love you so much!


Our Thanksgiving

I can't let Christmas arrive without doing an update on our Thanksgiving! Has this fall flown by for anyone else? I feel like life has been going by so fast--I can't believe it is already December!
The weekend before Thanksgiving I made my first solo roadtrip to Atlanta with all 3 kids. We left on a Thursday after school & it actually wasn't as bad as expected. We have moved Cheney to a convertible carseat and she is MUCH happier. We spent 3 days with my family & the we had fun! The boys love going to Nana and Poppy's house! We got to spend time with my grandparents & some of the cousins, too. Between my cousin, Blakely, and I, we have 6 kids now. That seems crazy!
This was Cheney's first time in Georgia and first time to meet her great grandparents. This is my sweet Granddaddy. He wore his Mickey shirt for all the kids and it!
These are all the great grandkids. Cheney will certainly be outnumbered for a while! It was fun having all the boys together...they had a blast!
This was our first big holiday with Ben working at his new job. For the first time in our marriage, we didn't have to worry about him working on Thanksgiving! He even got the next day off, too! Talk about being thankful. This year I am so thankful he found a new job that he loves that allows him to be home more.
We spent Thanksgiving with Ben's family in Alabama. The boys had a great time with their cool Uncle Thomas & we ate lots of yummy food! So far, Cheney has proved herself to be a pretty good little traveler!
I am so thankful for this little girl this year.
Last Thanksgiving I didn't even know about our sweet Cheney. Now that she is here, it is hard to remember what life was like before her!

I love these three little turkeys! Still sounds so weird to say THREE. Wow. So much to be thankful for.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


The Last One

Going into motherhood, one of my biggest fears was always that I would never have that feeling of being done. I had so many friends tell me that they just knew at a certain time that they were not meant to have any more kids. Ben was always pretty set on 3 kids; I had always said I wanted 4 kids. I was pretty certain that he would win that battle & I was so worried that I would never share that same feeling of when our family was complete.
But God is funny. He has a way of changing your heart even when you are not asking for change. Pretty soon after we found out we were pregnant for the 3rd time, I just knew that it would be the last time we added a baby to our family.  I finally had that feeling that baby #3, whether it be a boy or girl, would be the one to complete our family. And I had a complete sense of peace about it.
The stage of life we have been in has been looping. We go two years & then we start over in the baby phase. It's a weird place to be knowing that we are now in a stage where that won't happen again. We will keep moving forward and our babies will {gasp} grow up! There will be no more talk of trying for a baby or how far apart we want the next one to be. It's bittersweet. I love the baby stage. LOVE it. I will miss having a sweet, snuggly newborn in our house. I will miss all those firsts that are so exciting. But on the other hand, I am pretty excited to just sit back (ha! please know that I don't mean that literally because when do parents ever get to just sit back?!) and watch these 3 tiny humans grow up together. I'm ready for this new phase of life and am welcoming it with open arms.
So for now, I am soaking up my little baby because I know she's my last. I do get sad thinking about it sometimes, but it's a nice feeling knowing that this is our family. Our party of 5.


Cheney: 3 months old

Cheney girl, you are THREE months old today! I can't even believe it!
The Stats:
Weight: my guess would be 10.5lbs..you are a tiny girl!
Height: Between 22-22.5 inches
Clothes: all 3 month & even some 3-6 month (only because you are long!)
Diaper: size 1

You are still a great eater! You nurse every 3 hours during the day. We have been supplementing with 1 bottle of formula at night for your last feeding so that we can really fill your tummy up. You didn't seem to notice at all & it has helped you sleep some. You take a bottle with no problem at all & will max out at 5 ounces before bed. Your tummy is just so little!

We seem to have taken a small step backwards. You are back to waking up twice at night, which is why we started supplementing before bed.  We have changed your schedule a bit & that is what initially threw you off. We started putting you to bed around 7:30 each night because you were just so tired. You are waking up between 1:00-2:00am, nursing, & then again around 5:00. Thankfully you will go back down after your 5:00 feeding and I wake you up at 7:30 for the day! It's not awful, but I am hoping to get you sleeping through the night soon! You are getting better about consistent naps in your room. I generally start you off in the crib (which you aren't a huge fan of), you wake up about 30-40 minutes later, I rock you, & then put you in the Rock n Play. You will usually sleep for about an hour after that! You love the RnP and I am dreading the official transition to your crib! You are still swaddled although you don't want your legs to be too tight anymore.

Happenings this month:
-you have really started to notice the people around you & are making a lot more eye contact!
-you have discovered your hands and you refuse to take them out of your mouth! If you lose the paci in the carseat, you tend to start sucking on your fingers.
-you have great head control and are so strong considering you are so petite. Everyone always comments on how big you look since you can hold that head up so well!
-you are super smiley & have started laughing. It's pretty much the cutest sound ever!
-you love movement while being held: bouncing, swaying, rocking.
-you still love to be worn! You sleep so well on the go if you are in the K'tan or Ergo. I love it, too!-Since you are going to bed earlier, you now take a bath with Griffin. He thinks it's a pretty big deal & gets mad when I let you "hold" the dump track.
-you really enjoy your play mat & are starting to grasp at the toys and hold on to them!
-you still despise the infant carseat. Every time we are going anywhere, you are screaming. I just ordered Griffin a new Diono and you will be getting his Britax Roundabout within the week! Hopefully that will help!
-you move ALL THE TIME. You are busy, busy, busy. You love to kick and swing your arms all the time...just like in the womb:)

Cheney, you are the sweetest little girl with the best smile & brightest eyes. You bring so much joy to this family! Your brothers adore you & think you are just the greatest thing. You are such an easy & content baby. I don't know what we did without you! We love you so much, sweet girl!

...and just for fun, here is a comparison of all 3 May babies at their 3 month photoshoots. I love a good comparison!


the Super Mays

We've been talking about Halloween for months now at our house. Both boys have been talking about superheroes but we finally got our costumes nailed down about a month ago. Grayson wanted to be Batman, Griffin wanted to be Spiderman, & I decided that Cheney needed to be Super Woman. Basically, we were the Super Mays. 

This year was also special because Halloween was the day before our awesome neighbors were moving to a different neighborhood. Gray and Grayson went trick or treating for the first time together as 1 year olds! We have since then added Griffin, Eli, & now Cheney to our little neighborhood crew. Our boys are so sad that their best buddies won't be right next door so they were excited that we could go trick or treating one last time together! It was freezing on Halloween, but we managed to make it around our section before calling it a night. Cheney got to hang out with my friend, Mary, in the warm house instead. Lucky girl! 

Look at these cute superheroes! Those boys sure are proud of their costumes....you should see them "tackle" each other in them. I am pretty sure they morphed into Spiderman and Batman as soon as they were dressed. 

Did you know that Spiderman wears navy Keds? Because he totally does. :) 
 Our crew (minus one baby girl who was not about to go out in those temps!)
The Garlington crew
Our Superheroes! I can't believe how much all 4 of these kids have grown over the last year!
...and after all the trick or treating & we were frozen solid! Griffin was SO mad that he couldn't eat his entire bucket of candy that night. Oh, Griff. 
We had such a fun night! I'll leave you with our flying Super Cheney!


So What? Wednesday

Today I am saying SO WHAT if...
-'So What Wednesday' isn't even a thing anymore? It's basically all my brain can formulate right now.
-I consider myself lucky if I get to wash my hair every 3 days at this point?
-I cringe every time the boys drop a toy on our new hardwoods? FORTHELOVE LET'S NOT SCRATCH THEM.
-I want to finally get back down to my wedding weight (ha!) but have Z E R O motivation to work out?
-every time Cheney has a bad night I get all sorts of nervous that she will turn into the baby form of Griff? Remember that time I had a kid who sucked at sleep for over 2 years? oh right, it's still happening.
-my 2 year old is still very much attached to his paci & I very much am not concerned?
-this season of The Voice is making me have a major girl crush on Gwen Stefani? I LOVE HER. How does she not age?!
-my car looks like we live inside of it? It's like the place that snack trappers go to die.
-I chopped FIVE inches off of my hair simply because Cheney was always ripping it out of my head and/or spitting up all in it?


one big catch up

Like I said last week, we are BUSY. It's a fun busy though! Let's catch up, shall we?
Grayson had an awesome fall baseball season! I will admit that I was not too thrilled about Ben signing him up when we would have a brand new baby, but I ended up loving it! The group of kids was so nice & G had so much fun. That's what it is all about! It really is fun watching him do something that he loves & is good at. I'm so thankful he enjoys it because it has really helped him with confidence & coming out of his shell a little bit! We are already looking forward to the spring season!
When we built our house, we only had 2 dogs & zero kids. For some reason we thought we wouldn't want hardwoods throughout the downstairs. Well, after adding a dog AND 3 small humans, I am convinced that was a horrible idea. Two weeks ago we had all the carpet ripped up (which was so nasty and after seeing all the dirt that gets trapped underneath, I will never have carpet in the main living areas ever again) and extended our hardwoods to the front computer room & main living area. It looks SO much better and has kind of made me fall back in love with our house. It is so much easier to clean & the boys are having a blast sliding all over the place in their socks. Win win for all!
This sweet thing is growing up so fast. Cheney is such a smiley and easy going baby. I feel like she has been with us all along...she fits in just perfectly! I loved watching the boys bond after Griffin was born and it has been just as much fun watching them with their baby sister. They both adore her and love on her constantly. My favorite thing that Grayson always says when he talks to her is, "I know you love me! You're my best friend!" It makes me laugh. He's such a great big brother!

We've been enjoying lots of fall activities over the last 2 weeks! We've picked out pumpkins, painted pumpkins, & visited one of the local farms with our MOPS group.  This was Griffin's first time to Gentry's Farm because he was sick last year. We had such a great time! I love our MOPS group so much our kids have made so many good friends. We always have fun outings! We did the hayride, played in the corn, went through the barn maze, got lost in the barn maze-ha!, & saw lots of animals. This is definitely our favorite time of the year!
We have been getting lots of use out of our zoo membership lately! We have been twice over the last week and a half. The boys love the zoo & were excited yesterday to take my mom (their Nana) to our zoo for the first time. We spent all morning and early afternoon checking out all the animals and Cheney just snoozed away in my K'tan. We had so much fun!
Whew, well that's life as of lately. Maybe one day I will get the hang of this whole balancing 3 kids & sometimes blogging thing:)


a juggling act

My poor blog has been so neglected since Cheney's arrival. I feel like my brain is exploding with things to write about and I simply need about 10 extra hours in my day. Ah, such is life.
Going from 2 kids to 3 kids has been a lot easier for us than going from 1 to 2. That doesn't mean that our lives aren't really chaotic right now. It just means that I expected the chaos this time around & know that I have to just go with the flow or I may just go crazy.  That being said, I feel like this season of life we are in is like a big juggling act. We have so much going on & 3 kids who still very much depend on us. My feet hit the ground running at around 6:30 and I don't sit down until about 9:30 at night. It. Is. Exhausting. And as much as I want to document this sweet season of our lives, I just don't have the energy most nights. (or any night, really. I'm typing this on the rare occasion that ALL THREE KIDS ARE NAPPING! Hallelujah!)
It's hard to juggle everything in life. I mean, I can't even juggle physical objects so juggling all the needs of my people and our house are even harder. I am really trying to be more intentional with my time lately. It took me a little while after Cheney was born to realize that I was frazzled and grumpy. I was starting to feel defeated. I was meeting the needs of everyone around me but I was forgetting that I have needs too.
 I get in this bad habit of trying to be superwoman all on my own. We started a new bible study this year at my church on Wednesday mornings & one of the first things I heard brought me back to where I needed to be.  One of the reading assignments talked about how God wants to rescue us. It doesn't have to be from some huge situation; it can be from anything. I was not being the best mom & wife I could be because I had not been putting Him first. I was trying to handle everything on my own & I just can't. I had not made any time to read my bible and have my quiet time. I made so many excuses as to why I didn't have time to sit & just spend time with the Lord. I was doing this particular bible study one afternoon on our back patio and I swear it was like I got a smack right upside the head. I can't do everything on my own & I'm not supposed to be able to. The Lord wants me to ask for help. It won't feel like such an impossible juggling act when I do that. Why is something so simple like that so hard to remember sometimes?
I hope I will be able to find some more time soon to update the ol' blog. I sure do miss it! Until then, I will just leave you with some of pictures of my growing up WAY TOO FAST kids.


Cheney: 2 months old

Cheney girl, you are 2 months old today!

The Stats:
Weight: 9lbs15oz (10th percentile)
Height: 22 inches (50th percentile)
Clothes: 0-3 month & 3 month clothes
Diaper: size 1
You are still exclusively nursing & it's going great! You are eating every 3 hours during the day now. I am pumping a good bit to try and build up my supply and you are getting a bottle every night before bed.  You drink between 4-5 ounces! You are a hungry, growing girl! We are always on the go & you end up eating lots of meals in the car or in random places. Thankfully you are flexible!
So far, knock on wood, you are the best sleeping May baby! Well, at least at night. We are following the Moms on Call schedule as best we can with our busy schedule and it has helped a lot. You usually wake up between 6:30-7:00 and eat. You take a good early morning nap about an hour after you wake up. This is the only nap that usually lasts at least an hour and is entirely in your Rock 'n Play.  The rest of the day we continue to follow the eat, play, sleep schedule but you aren't as good at staying in your room.  You always take a bath around 8:30, eat, & are in bed by 9:15. You've been sleeping until about 3:30 for the past several weeks! You've had a couple random nights where you have woken up twice, but you seem to be able to correct it by yourself. You even surprised us all last week by sleeping ALL NIGHT LONG! I am hoping you start doing that on your own pretty soon and we won't have to do sleep training. That would be nice! The thing that helped us SO much was putting your Rock 'n Play in your room, getting you a sound machine, & buying the miracle blanket. We didn't swaddle you for the first 4 weeks but you loved it as soon as we got the miracle blanket! You sleep so much better swaddled.
Happenings this month:
-You like the Soothie pacifier. You are dependent on it like Griffin was but you do like it when you are upset!
-You smile all the time! You have the sweetest little grin & we have even seen some dimples. You love when people talk to you & just grin when they do!
-You still don't like the car. I blame the infant carseat. If you aren't sleeping, you are crying.
-You love the play mat! You especially love looking at yourself in the mirror. That makes you smile. You also love to coo at yourself on the mat. It's pretty cute!
-You are starting to grab things on the mat.
-You are such a strong girl! You've been holding your head up really well for a long time but I just starting putting you in the bumbo and the monkey seat. You don't like the bumbo, but you seem to enjoy sitting in the monkey seat!
-You're a snuggler and still love being worn in the K'tan and Ergo.
-You love "swimming" in the tub. I take you out of the seat every night and hold you in the warm water. You kick and splash & grin so big. You love it!
Cheney, I still can't believe that I am lucky enough to be the mama of 2 boys and 1 sweet baby girl. You completed us in the best way. You fit in so perfectly! You have a great disposition and are so laid back. You let your brothers love on you all the time & they sure do appreciate that. They adore you! You are just the sweetest little thing and we love you so much. Happy 2 months, little girl!