We bought a minivan...

...does that make us real parents?

Like before, we were just pretending or something but now that we have a minivan, we're legitimately responsible for offspring. Shit just got real. There's no turning back now...

We traded in our Ford Explorer, which we really liked, for this gem. We only had the Explorer for a year and a half. We got it right before Gracyn was born thinking it was going to be the perfect family vehicle. Fast forward to our first road trip and all of the crap that comes with a newborn and a dog that weighs 100 pounds and the Ford Explorer feels not so big. Not to mention we couldn't get in the car from the passenger side when it was parked in our super-narrow garage.

Fast forward again to finding out baby #2 was on her way and me having a full-on meltdown trying to figure out how I was going to load not one, but TWO kids into the car every morning when I can't even utilize half of the doors (I'm a little dramatic when I'm pregnant but this was is a BIG deal!). The carseats are so big you can't lift one over the other from the driver's side. The rear-facing infant car seat only fits in the middle meaning Gracyn was going to have sit either behind the driver and be crushed anytime Justin was driving (daddy longlegs), or sit on the passenger side which meant the lucky front-seat occupant a very comfortable knees-meet-dashboard setup going on. Not great.

Enter the minivan. It took some convincing, but Justin finally came around to the idea of driving a Mom Mobile. It just made sense.

There's enough room for our growing family and all of our crap - we plan on driving this bad boy into the ground so it's gonna be around for awhile. Kids only get bigger which means we'll only have more stuff as the years go by.

We can park it in the garage AND load kids from both sides (hello, sliding doors!). I didn't care about anything else - as long as we could easily get people/things in and out, I was good.

BOTH carseats fit side-by-side with plenty of room for Justin to adjust his seat to a comfortable position and we can still access the 3rd row easily.

Justin really wanted a leather interior similar to the Explorer - he got it. I grew accustomed to the Explorer's backup camera and was afraid I could never safely drive a car without one again. We lucked out and our new-to-us van (it's a 2011 Honda Odyssey) has a backup cam, too. Yessss.

And the most-important feature of all? The underlying reason we traded in our old vehicle in the first place? A lower payment.

Sending 2 kids to daycare is no joke and we're still trying to figure out exactly how we'll make it work on a monthly basis but this was a start. Even though we were essentially starting over on a car loan, the money we could save on a monthly payment was worth it.

Gracyn likes it too, so everyone's happy. The Oakley Family will be ridin' in style.  Look out, world!

she's happy, i swear.

Bumpdate :: 18 Weeks + 19 Weeks

Delayed bump posts comin' atcha. Life got a little busy and I never got around to posting week 18, which I'm sure you all missed greatly. Not. But for the sake of documenting the shiz out of this pregnancy, here it is...

Gracyn was only wearing her pajama top and I look like a hot mess but Baby Girl was showing off her stuff since my belly is about ready to knock Gracyn off the chair.

Week 19 is here and we're almost half way done, which is crazy. We're not even close to figuring out what we're going to name this sweet girl. I know we have some time to think it through but I'm hoping a name magically comes to me sometime soon. Otherwise she will go through life being called "Girl" or "Baby" or maybe even "Baby Girl" Oakley.

The pic of Gracyn trying to grab my boob was the best one we got. She was in rare form. On second thought, the picture below of her full-on trying to take my shirt off would have been better. She's at least looking at the camera...

Gracyn :: 18 months

Age: 18 months. One and a HALF years old. Not a baby. After this, she's closer to age TWO than one. I cannot even handle it...

Stats: 24 pounds (75%) and 33 inches (85%)

Clothes: 18 month size in most brands. Old Navy runs a little small so she's in 18-24 there. It's harder and harder to get her dressed and undressed every day. She doesn't like to lay down or sit still so I'm often times trying to put a shirt over her head while she's running down the hall.

Favorite Foods: Anything you are eating. You could be eating the same thing she is but she would much rather have it off your plate. 

Favorite Toys: Homegirl loves her baby dolls. She is such a little mama. She will get her baby and rock her in her little white rocking chair. My cousin gave her some old school magic bottles (you know, where the milk and juice "disappear" when you tip the bottle over? yeah, those!) and G loves feeding her babies with those bottles.

Words: So many new words! AND 2-word phrases! We've hit the big time, people! New words (that I can think of at the moment...) include: please (peeeeez), thank you (tan-you), apple, car, go, outside (usually when she's banging on the front screen door), Rufus (Roofie), water, no-no (she's been saying this for awhile but now she shakes her finger at you when she says it...)

New phrases include: get down, all done, all gone

She can say and point out several body parts: head, hair, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, toes, and elbow. Random, I know, but she was poking at my elbow the other day and I told her what it was. Ever since then she's been grabbing her elbow and saying "ebowww" over and over and over again.

She will try and repeat pretty much anything you ask her to say. Which means mama and daddy need to start toning down the potty-mouth around the little bit. I can just see her dropping the f-bomb at daycare, which would be no bueno.

There is never a dull moment in the house with Miss Gracyn. If you turn your back for one second, she's climbed on top of something. If you glance in the direction of the door, she's running to grab her shoes and bolt outside. Her fave thing to do in the mornings is to give Rufus his treat- she'll throw it in the kennel, point and yell "eeeeeeat" until he gets in and eats it. Before we leave, she bends down, waves and says "see you" and my heart melts every time. 

She has started having tantrums and throwing fits when she doesn't get her way. It stems from her knowing what she wants but not necessarily being able to communicate it in a way that we understand. She also threw her shoe at me the other day while we were in the car. I don't know what that was about but we might have to start thinking about "time-out" or some sort of discipline. It's a "no-no" to throw shoes!!!

I cannot wait to see Gracyn as a big sister. This sweet girl in my belly is pretty lucky to have such a great big sis. Justin and I haven't quite figured out how we're going to handle TWO crazy and wild girls, but we are so excited to give it our best shot!

Baby Girl

Baby Oakley #2 is a GIRL!

We had our sonogram last Friday and got to take a peek at this little babe. I thought we were having a boy (I thought Gracyn was a boy too...) but much to my surprise, we are having another little lady!

Life with two daughters will be nothing less than chaotic, hectic, dramatic, crazy and wonderful. It's still weird to me that I'll have TWO little girls but I cannot wait to see the two of them together. I don't have a sister so I'm excited to watch that bond grow between my girls. 

Justin is excited, too. He's such a good daddy to Gracyn already; he'll have no problem loving on a second little girl. 

Sweet girl, we cannot wait to meet you! You are so loved and we are so excited to welcome you into our family.

Kansas City Moms Blog

We've lived in the Kansas City area for 6 years now and have yet to explore a lot of things Kansas City has to offer. Sure, I know where we like to go grab a cocktail (or five) and our favorite go-to restaurants but ever since becoming parents, happy hours are few and far between and we can only eat at budget-friendly restaurants where it's acceptable for a toddler to throw food on the floor.

I've been looking/needing/wanting to find family-friendly activities that won't break the bank; a community of other local moms who have seen and done it all; moms who could offer advice and support on a variety of subjects when I feel like I'm failing miserably at this thing called motherhood.

A team of contributors post daily about pregnancy, childbirth, raising babies, marriage and family. They include posts about local family-oriented businesses and events that are taking place across the metro with the goal of connecting local moms and creating a sense of community. It's nice to read about things we all experience as parents coming from moms that live right in your own city.

If I'm itching for a new adventure, I can hit up the archives of Kansas City Moms Blog to find things to do in the 'burbs. Maybe we'll even get ballsy and head north! And when I'm googling whether or not I should be concerned that my baby just ate the dog food? It's nice to know that other moms, in my community, just like me, are going through the same thing.

They recently had a "casting call", if you will, looking for new contributors to join in on the fun. I applied thinking I'd get looked over in a heartbeat but much to my surprise, they chose me along with 8 other women to join the team!

I'm no expert - I've only been a mom for 18 months and let's be honest, most days I'm scrambling to keep Gracyn clean and fed. I often think I don't know what the 'eff I'm doing when it comes to raising our daughter and I'm learning as I go. I also think a lot of other moms feel the same way. There is no "right" way to raise a kid; there are what seem to be thousands of different opinions on any given subject and when we all think we're about to lose our shit, it's nice to have a place to go to gain a different perspective.

So, you can catch me posting over on Kansas City Moms Blog every once in awhile. I'll be sure to share on Facebook when my posts - and everyone else's awesome posts - are up. I promise to never claim to be a "know-it-all" while hopefully offering up content that moms in our area will find helpful.

If I can connect with one other mom, help her feel not-so-alone when her kid just won't sleep and/or stay asleep, or starts throwing her body on the floor in a tantrum (yeah, that's happening over here...) then I'll feel like I'm a decent contributor and a worthy member of the team!

Now, go "like" the KCMB Facebook page! "Like" our posts! Share with your friends!

WPT Block Party + 17 Weeks

We had our annual block party last night. I love our block party. Seriously. West Prairie Terrace is a pretty sweet place to live. The neighbors come out for food, drinks, water balloons and the annual cornhole tournament.

The tournament is very competitive and the winning team gets a trophy and everything to keep until next summer. Justin and my brother won last year but we weren't so lucky this year. The tourney is double elimination and Justin and I quickly lost the first game. I blame it on being distracted by Gracyn wanting to play with the big kids and run through the "bicycle carwash" that was set up. We rallied, though, and came back to win the next 2 games only to lose in the semi-finals. It was 10pm and Gracyn was fading fast so it was best that we called it a night.

Well, G and I called it a night; Justin stayed for the after-hours tournament (yes, that's a thing and it's equally as important as the main tournament...) with the rest of the guys in the 'hood.

From the watermelon stains on this girl's face, I'd say the block party was a success...

And, we're at 17 weeks with baby numero dos. I'm pretty sure I felt a few kicks yesterday afternoon so I'm hoping those continue and become more pronounced. It really is the best feeling.
Boy or Girl? We find out on Friday!

Happy Blogiversary!

One year ago today I wrote my very first blog post. I made it one whole year! Such an accomplishment, right? Not really. But I am really glad I have this little space to jot down the happenings of our everyday, boring life.

not really.

I sometimes have a hard time coming up with things to blog about. Which makes me wonder if I should really have a blog at all. It seems a little repetitive to constantly blog about my kid (soon to be kids!) and what they did that day but I suppose this is more for me than anyone else. If people don't care to peruse the internet about that sorta thing then I guess they won't be reading it, amiright?

I'm not a very "deep" person. That sounds bad - it sounds like I'm a simpleton or something. I'm not. Really! I guess what I mean is that this blog is not a place where you will find philosophical revelations about the meaning of life. You'll figure that out real quick if you're reading any one of my posts. I love reading other blogs about that kind of stuff, though. Some bloggers are such wonderful writers and can articulate exactly what they're feeling at that very moment and they live so purposefully it hurts. I strive to be more like that in my everyday life. I really do. I just don't can't write about it. I'll leave that to the pros.

No, I'm more of a "my-kid-just-shit-on-the-carpet-and-I-think-it's-kinda-sorta-funny-so-I'll-blog-about-it" kind of gal.

Do I blog about high fashion and hair and makeup tutorials? Nope. The second I get home in the evenings I put on sweatpants and I'm lucky if I even shower on the weekends.

Can I tell you about my international travel expeditions and the time I spent feeding starving children and promoting world peace? Nah. But my own kid is still alive and thriving so I pretty much feel like a rockstar anyway.

Yep, pretty high level over here. But that's ok. Maybe someday I'll travel the world and get a fashion makeover and live to blog about it. But for now,  I'll continue to pollute the blogosphere with fluffy mom-blog stuff. I prefer to see the humor in things, especially this whole parenting thing, which can get pretty heavy at times. Sure, I pause and soak it all in - like how amazing it truly is to grow a baby in your belly and watch them turn into a real person all while thinking you could not love anything in life more than you love this little, tiny human and you would do anything in your power to protect them - but then I'm all, "Crap! She just ate a rock and now she's trying to ride the dog like a horse!"

Real life, people. Real life.

So, if you're reading this - thank you. I've had fun this past year and plan to stick with it. If not, you are missing out. Seriously. You're life would be better if you read this blog on a regular basis. Ha.

Like I've said before, we don't live a super-exciting life. But it's our life. And I want to remember it, even the boring and {sometimes} messy parts.

4th of July Shenanigans + 16 Weeks

We went to Tulsa for the 4th of July to spend some time with Justin's family. There was food, lake time, late nights, fireworks, no naps, boat rides and one miserable drive home that I prefer to block out of my memory but all in all, it was a great weekend. We don't see Justin's family nearly enough so it was nice to have a little quality time with them.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen most of these photos because I'm addicted and can't stop myself from posting my heavily filtered photos. We left Thursday afternoon and kept Gracyn entertained by practicing facial expressions...
happy. sad (kinda). surprised.
We stopped and watched fireworks in the park and went back to Grandma Michele's house to play and stay up way past our bedtime. G still woke up at 7:15 am the next morning. She knew we were going to the lake to swim and she was too excited to sleep. Or something. Between grainy cell phone pictures and my really nice camera that I don't use nearly enough, we got {way too many} pictures.

Gracyn actually fell asleep in my lap while Justin and our nephew Brennen shot off fireworks. Exhausted, much? Don't worry, she woke up when I tried laying her down and would only sleep if she was sharing the double bed with us. It was fun for everyone involved, I promise.

The next day we went to Grandma Michele to her friend's lake house to eat and take a boat ride. G did really well on the boat - her first boat ride was last year in Okoboji - and she even fell asleep for a little while. She woke up just in time for ice cream and to make sure she made some sort of noise (whining, crying, screaming) the entire drive home...
whining, crying, screaming + kicking feet as an added bonus.
We were all glad to get home last night. I gave the screaming banshee a quick bath and put her in bed. She slept until 9:30 this morning and took a 3 hour nap this afternoon. Girlfriend needed some rest after an eventful 2 days. She doesn't know it but she's going to bed around 7pm tonight just to make sure she's caught up.

In other news...

16 weeks.

Gracyn insisted on wearing this stylish headband. I haven't felt any movements yet but I'm hoping it's soon. And only 2 weeks until we find out if baby is a "he" or a "she"!