Five on... Saturday

Meant to post yesterday but life got in the way and another busy week came to an end! Justin was out of town for work so my mommy came to town to help me for a few days. She stayed with the girls while I ran Baker to a couple of appointments, mopped my floors and even cooked dinner one night. A saint, I tell you. 

Justin made it home Thursday night in time for me to scoot on over to my next door neighbor's house to help celebrate her birthday. It was a nice little break after wrangling the children all week!


Baker had a follow up with the audiologist on Monday. He passed the newborn hearing test in his right ear after he was born but failed in his left ear twice so we were sent to a specialist to check it out. He was actually showing mild to moderate hearing loss in both ears this week which explains his ability to sleep right through things like the vacuum cleaner and his sisters screaming at high pitches!

The Official Diagnosis

It might seem silly but after Baker was born, no one specifically told us he had Down syndrome. At least, not right away. We had been waiting months to finally meet him and find out for sure and I figured we'd just know one way or another the moment he was born. Like we'd be able to tell just by looking at him.

Maybe it's because we already knew the chances and all of the nurses and doctors were aware of our situation. Maybe it was obvious to them when he was born so they didn't think to tell us directly, "Your son has Down syndrome." but I was sitting in the recovery room after my c-section and suddenly remembering to ask about it. I had seen him for just a couple of minutes before he was taken to the NICU and Down syndrome wasn't even on my mind at the time.

For the love of Friday...

Another week gone. This means I'm that much closer to the end of my maternity leave which makes me full-on depressed. Not that I should complain since I'll still be working from home for the time being but come October, I'll have to physically turn on my work computer and answer emails and things like that. I'd much rather be snuggling a baby all day, thank you very much.

Until then, though, I have big plans to enjoy September which is arguably the best month of the year. The weather cools down, the leaves change color and we end the month celebrating my birthday! Woo! The first week of this glorious month was a good one and I'm sure the rest will follow suit.


Baker turned ONE month old on Monday and his belly button stump finally fell off. That meant this boy got to enjoy his first official bath at home! Those big sisters were all too eager to help out but the little man wasn't so sure... I mean, look at his face! He didn't cry and only fussed a little so I'd say it was a success.

Twirly Girls | Dot Dot Smile

Girls and dresses. They kind of just go together, right? We're fully submerged in the girl world over here and even though we recently added a little brother to the mix, our lives are still very much filled with different shades of pink and daily emotional rollercoasters thanks to these sweet sister girls of mine.

We were recently introduced to Kayla and Dot Dot Smile and when I told the kids that they were going to get to try out the most fun and twirly dresses in all the land, their girly hearts rejoiced. They were so excited!

Baker :: One Month Old

O N E  M O N T H

Say what!? So hard to believe but our little man has been with us for one month already. It feels like it's been days. Not an entire month. In true mom fashion, I can't remember life before this boy joined our family. We're all smitten although obsessed might be a better word.

blanket // monthly sticker

Baker's Newborn Photos

After I first shared Baker's story earlier this summer, we received emails and messages from so many wonderful friends and family members wishing us well and letting us know that they were keeping Baker and our family in their thoughts and prayers. I even got a few Facebook messages from total strangers who had come across my blog and wanted to either share a story or resource or just thank me for being so open about Baker and his diagnoses.

One of those people was Amanda from Amanda Nichole Photography. Amanda went to college with my cousin years ago and when she read Baker's story, she contacted me and asked if she could take his newborn photos. She mentioned she normally does one or two sessions a year for a family who is facing financial hardship or other extenuating circumstances and she wanted to do this for us as a gift.

Life Lately

Playing catchup on the old blog today, trying to clear my camera roll (to make room for more baby pictures, I'm sure of it..) and share a little bit about what's been happening in between all of the newborn snuggles over here! Life continues to chug right along, Baker is almost a month old which is freaking insane and those older two girls don't slow down either!

We've been spending as much time as we can outdoors before the weather turns cold. Come cold and flu season I'm sure we'll be holed up like recluses in an attempt to keep Baker healthy prior to heart surgery. The weather has been fantastic lately and it helps wear the girls out a bit before bed.

Step Up for Down Syndrome

Prior to getting the genetic test results regarding Baker and his Down syndrome diagnosis, Justin and I had met with the director of the Down Syndrome Guild of Kansas City. Amy was kind enough to give us a "welcome basket" full of literature and pamphlets related to Down syndrome along with a few new outfits for our boy. She was calm and reassuring and knowledgeable and answered all of our silly questions. Questions like, what is the correct terminology to use when talking about Down syndrome? How do I reference the diagnosis without sounding derogatory towards Baker or insensitive to others? What is the best way to educate others about Down syndrome, especially while we're still learning ourselves?

Most importantly, how do I make sure this diagnosis doesn't define Baker and show people it's merely something he was born with, not something that he IS?

Bumpdate :: 40 Weeks

Ok, so not an official bump date since the baby is three weeks old but I couldn't help but reminisce on his official due date today!

Five on Friday | Life With Baker

We've survived our first full week at home with our sweet boy!

He's still pretty sleepy and we typically need to wake him up to eat every 3 hours. We're doing a combination of breastfeeding, bottles of pumped milk and formula as a means to make sure he's gaining weight like he should these first few weeks. I'm hoping as he grows that we'll be able to move to a nursing-on-demand type of routine but we'll just have to wait and see and read his cues!

Baker's Birth Story

I've been trying to find a time to type up Baker's birth story this last week while we were in the hospital. I thought I'd have some "down time" but it turns out they keep you pretty busy in the NICU between nurses coming and going, lab draws, feeding, pumping and napping. I should get used to it because we're home now and I'm expecting life with three kids to be utter chaos. Any "down time" will cease to exist, I'm sure of it!

We had a previously scheduled birth date of August 23rd which meant I was supposed to have 3 more weeks to get ready for this guy.

This boy had other plans! (I apologize in advance for the novel that follows below... ha!)

It's a Boy!

I was going to type up a nice weekend recap blogpost for today because Justin and I had big plans to get some stuff done around the house while the girls were still with my parents. Things like cleaning and getting the babe's car seat installed. Get the pack 'n play set up in our room, make sure we had things ready for the hospital. We had a day-date planned for Saturday and everything! 

Guess who had other plans?!?!

#HomeByOakley Home Tour | Baker's Nursery

It's official - all three of my kids (Gracyn's room here and Leighton's room here!) have way cooler rooms than I do. I think the master bedroom might be my next little project. But first! Baker's sweet nursery is all ready for him!

It came together really well (inspiration can be found here!) without too much trouble. We used our existing furniture (crib, dresser, glider and ottoman) so really only needed some fresh decor and materials for the pegboard.

It's Baby Month!

It's August! It's baby month! It's time to freak out a bit because ready or not, this kid is coming. SOON!

I cannot believe that in 3 short weeks, Baker will be joining our family. It's been a wild ride to say the least. This pregnancy has been full of challenges and added stress and, at the same time, full of encouragement and support. The love we feel for this sweet boy is out of this world and I'm so excited to finally meet him.


I had every intention of blogging last week but come Friday I was questioning my very being as a mother and was just happy that both kids were still alive and I hadn't cried ugly tears yet that day. 

This isn't breaking news or anything but Leighton and I have been riding the struggle bus as of late. She's testing every fiber of patience in my body on the daily and I'm not always handling the situation with grace. I've really been trying hard to give her extra time and trying to understand the 2-year-old mentality but some most days I'm at a loss. This mom-thing is hard and ain't always pretty....

The worst moment came to fruition last Sunday night into Monday morning. After protesting nap and both of us losing our shit that afternoon, she had gone to bed around 8:30 Sunday night only to wake up around 11:45 PM calling out for me. I let her be for a bit and then finally went into check on her and girlfriend did not end up going back to sleep until 5:00 IN THE MORNING. Which means this mama didn't get to sleep until 5:00 IN THE MORNING.

She was either screaming or whining or fidgeting in her bed; nothing could calm her down or get her back to sleep. I took her temp (it was normal), I offered food and drink, I sang "Itsy Bitsy Spider" for the 489324th time against my will trying anything to appease her. I finally laid down next to her thinking she'd fall asleep and she proceeded to legit play with her babies in bed. At like, 3:30 AM! What. The. Efffffffff.  

Maybe it wouldn't have been sooooo bad if I wasn't a million weeks pregnant and hot and cranky and exhausted (j/k, it'd still be miserable...) but it was straight-up awful. Needless to say, we didn't get the week off to a great start. My attitude improved a bit each day (note: still a million weeks pregnant and hot and exhausted...) and I tried to keep my emotions in check when it came to dealing with her. I kept the yelling to a minimum, ate an embarrassing number of ice cream sandwiches as a coping mechanism and welcomed the weekend with open arms.

We had zero real weekend plans which was nice after a less-than-stellar week. The girls helped me get Baker's room all squared away - I think it's all done for the most part so I hope to get a post up about his space soon! It's been cleaned and organized and I have one more load of his laundry to sort through before he joins us in T H R E E (!!!) weeks!

Hey FriYay

Oh, Friday. I'm happy to see you like always but I could do without the excessive heat warnings and vomiting child(ren). Gracyn caught a little bug that seems to be making its way through the neighborhood kids and basically spent Thursday on the couch sleeping and not eating, only to start throwing up the little bit of water she was actually drinking. We're hoping this is short-lived but I"m fully expecting Leighton to fall victim as well. Better now than next month when we're getting ready to have a baby and all, I suppose...

On to the regularly scheduled Friday blog programming...


I think I'm done tweaking the new blog design. For now anyway. I mean, you can only change margin sizes and things like that so many times before you start going mad. And since I have approximately zero coding knowledge, I better stop before I ruin it all. I am loving the sleeker design, though!


We had another visit with Baker's cardiologist this week. Happy to report that he's continuing to grow well, albeit on the small side. He's in the 17th percentile at 4 lbs 10 oz but his doc is happy with this at this point in the game. We won't need to see the cardiologist again until delivery which, surprisingly, puts me at ease. They don't anticipate any surprises or further complications and the doc said they'd do everything they could to keep him out of the NICU. We realize he may spend some time there for observation but I'm really hoping and praying we both stay the normal 3 nights in the hospital and get to come home together.

Bumpdate :: 34 Weeks


Size of Baby: a butternut squash all up in my business. Over 4 pounds and 17 inches long.

Symptoms: Leg cramps like a mother, swollen fingers and ankles, clothes that don't fit - all the joyous things that come with the last weeks of pregnancy. And so much sweat. It's been so gross outside this week - hot and muggy and miserable. I actually got into the swimming pool yesterday...

And you guys. I feel like I've been soooo emotional. I started crying in the car the other day after listening to Kelly Clarkson's song about her dad leaving her as a child. I was a wreck and I don't even have daddy issues. Ha! I also bawled after reading a stranger's birth story and watching their birth video. I don't even know these people. I'm officially a crazy person.

Friday Things

Holidays that fall on a Tuesday are kind of my jam. Last weekend was extra long, this week was extra short and we're back to Friday already. Amen.


First things first. I really hate when technology messes up or doesn't work the way I need it to. My blog has super annoying notification plastered at the top of my home screen telling me I need to "update your account to allow 3rd party hosting" or something like that. I had to go Google what this even meant but I think it pertains to my Photobucket account that I have set up to host images. They changed their Terms of Service and now want an obnoxious amount of money each year to host your pictures. Um, no thanks.

I literally only have 12 or so files saved to Photobucket, one of which is my little profile picture in my "About Me" section on my sidebar so I think it's this little picture causing me issues. I don't know if I fixed it but I rearranged some widgets, loaded a new picture file and deleted my Photobucket account last night. It said my account would be deleted after July 8th so we'll see if the notification thingy goes away after that.

Anyone have another solution or fix?!


After a good few years as part of the Kansas City Moms Blog team, I am stepping away as their sales coordinator and contributor and I'm soooooo sad to be leaving this group of women! Seriously, they're some of the best mamas and friends out there. It began to be too much of a commitment with mothering full time and working full time and I hadn't produced a worthy blogpost for them in months. Throw in Baker's impending arrival and any additional stressors that may follow and I felt it was time to say adios. Don't worry, though, I will still stalk their site and attend their events and pretend I'm part of the team.


I took the girls with me to Baker's weekly biophysical check this morning. Surprisingly, they were on their best behavior and the baby cooperated relatively quickly so we were in and out in no time.

Fourth of July Weekend

We are coming down from the high of a great weekend with family. But good news! The week is already half over and another weekend is on the horizon!

We hosted my parents, brothers, sister-in-law and our niece and nephew this weekend and I loved having a full house. We ate a bunch of food, I enviously watched them all drink a bunch of cocktails and the girls stayed up wayyyyy too late experimenting with snappers and sparklers. 

Naturally, I took a bajillion pictures and can't pick a fave so I'm going to put all of them right here in one big photo dump of a post. Sound good?!

We all donned our red, white and blue multiple days in a row - including me in a $4 Wal-Mart tank top because all of my other patriotic wardrobe pieces are definitely not maternity - and the girls were good sports and humored me when I asked for pictures so I was a happy mama!

Thoughts on a Prenatal Down Syndrome Diagnosis

These last few weeks, I've been introduced to other mamas and families chronicling their Down syndrome "journey" thanks to the crazy - and sometimes small - world that is social media. I've stumbled upon a handful of Instagram accounts and started following along in an attempt to gain some insight as to what our future with Baker will look like should he be born with Down syndrome.

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! It's supposed to cool down a bit this weekend so that means lots of time outdoors without sweating like a P-I-G! This preggo is thankful for that!


Our sweet neighbors invited us to the lake on Wednesday night. They have an awesome boat and their daughter is one of G's little besties and we were so excited to get out there and relax a bit! Well, relax as much as you can with 6 little kids wanting to swim and jump off the boat and eat all the snacks.

The girls swam, Justin got up on the surfboard and I was just along for the ride. We really hit the jackpot when it comes to our neighborhood and the families that live around us. We're coming up on ONE year in our new home and we love it more every day. I'm so thankful that we get to do life with these people and have the girls growing up with some of the best kiddos around!

#HomeByOakley Home Tour :: Leighton's Room

Leighton's room has slowly been transformed from baby nursery to Big Girl status these last few months! I didn't do a full "inspiration" post like I had done with Gracyn's room and Baker's nursery. As luck would have it, she's the second child and second girl so a lot of the stuff we used came from Gracyn's room at our old house. I did score a few new-to-us pieces (mostly from Goodwill because #onabudget...) to hang on her walls and brought the dollhouse up from the playroom to store some books and blankets. I still need to find a nightstand for her but other than that, I think this room is good to go! 

Leighton :: 2.5 Years Old

Age: two and a half!

Stats: 30-ish pounds and over 3 feet tall

Clothes: Mostly 3T hand-me-downs from big sister

Favorite Foods: She used to be a great eater but Leighton tends to be pretty picky these days. Or only taking a few bites from each meal. She's much more of a snacker, I'd say. Her faves include go-gurt, string cheese, fruit snacks, goldfish, cereal with milk, veggie straws and any and all candy. And don't give her chips until she's eaten the rest of her lunch/dinner otherwise she'll ONLY eat chips. We spend many nights arguing with her to take another bite of the main dish or fruit/veggie before she can get any more chips

Favorite Toys: She doesn't seem to play independently as much as Gracyn did at this age - or at least that's just how I'm remembering things - but when she does wander off to go play, she's usually entertained by her baby dolls. Loves wrapping them up in blankets, having me put on their diapers just so she can promptly remove said diapers and feeding them. She likes to sit and color or use water color paints but only for a few minutes. And she still needs to be supervised with those otherwise she'll end up coloring on the counter or painting her arm.

Words: Her vocabulary has exploded. I need to jot things down and start a "Leighton Says..." series because she's starting to be quite the comedian. The best thing she says at the moment is, "so....okay." before she starts describing something or wanting you to do something. 

'So..okay. You come 'ere.." or "So...okay. Baby needs to eat!" before feeding her doll.

She will almost always answer a question with "I dunno..." before answering correctly. She knows her colors, for example, and if you ask her what color the strawberry is she'll reply, "I dunno, red?". Not sure where that came from!

She also thinks it's funny to say "Oh my gosh, look at her butt." from the movie Sing a few hundred times a day.

Overall, she's a sweetie. Leighton does have a mean side to her, though. Between the two of them, you'll most likely find her instigating fights, hitting, biting or pinching her older sister. She's in time-out several times a day, which really isn't effective since the behavior continues. Leighton also has a hard time listening, especially when we're outside and she wants to wander to the neighbors' yards trying to keep up with the big kids. She's definitely a handful at times, mostly for me since I"m home with her all the time. I am proud to say she's well-behaved for the most part when playing with others or at a friend's house.

She handled giving up her pacifier and switching to the big girl bed like a champ. We've started talking about potty training - purchased undies and everything, and even "tried" it one day last week but quickly decided she wasn't ready. She definitely knows when she's going or when she's all done but she has yet to tell us beforehand or actually go on the potty. We may try again later this summer or wait until after Baker is born. We'll see!

We love you, LL. You keep us on our toes and bring so much joy to our family. I can't wait to see you as a big sister!

A little side-by-side of the girls, both at 2.5 years old. So crazy to look back and realize how much they actually look alike!

Gracyn 2.5 Years Old

Bumpdate :: 30 Weeks

Size of Baby: A zucchini; 15.7 inches and 2.80 pounds. Sounds about right - at my 28-week appointment my doc squeezed in a growth scan and he was already over 2 pounds!

Total Weight Gain: maybe 20 pounds? I haven't been keeping track and pretty much don't care... However, it is swimsuit season and I'm basically a beached whale sitting on the sidelines while the kids go swimming. The fit moms at the neighborhood pool are definitely my motivation for NEXT summer, though! Ha!

Symptoms: Leg cramps! Hip pain! Both of these have started happening every night within the last few weeks or so. I was hunched over the bed super early one morning and Justin happened to wake up and semi-frantically ask me what was wrong. I had to swing my legs out of bed and prop myself up to work out the cramps that were shooting up both of my legs. Super fun! I'm also pretty stiff in the mornings after sleeping on my side all night long.

Other symptoms include a disdain for maternity shorts and the hot weather we've been having this week. That doesn't bode well for me seeing as how I'll be pregnant for basically the entire summer.

Sleep: I haven't been sleeping well at all. Pregnancy this late in the game alone makes it difficult but I'll find myself up in the middle of the night googling heart defects (my advice: don't do this...) or scrolling through the Down syndrome support group because I had to get up to pee and couldn't get back to sleep. I should say I'm hopeful this will pass but I have a feeling my mind will be racing and my anxiousness will ramp up the closer we get to meeting this sweet boy.

Gender: BOY!

Name: Baker Dee Oakley :)

Nursery: making lots of progress! The inspiration for his room can be found here! We were fortunate enough to get some clothes from our sweet neighbors and I've been going through everything and organizing all the things!

Gracyn's Thoughts: She wants to teach him how to play soccer and ride a bike. She's looking forward to holding him and feeding him and making sure he has friends to play with. Such a sweet big sister!

Leighton's Thoughts: This girl. She's OBSESSED with other babies, whether it be my cousin's 5-month old or a baby she sees at a store, always wanting to hold them and talk to them. She's insanely sweet and gentle with them so I'm hopeful she'll be the same way with Baker. Fingers crossed!

Less than 10 weeks until we meet this little fella!

And for comparison... 30 weeks with all three kiddos! My photog skillz were seriously lacking back in late 2012. Ha! Leighton wins for making me look semi-put together and Baker takes the cake for biggest and lowest. And darkest under-eye circles... ;)

30 Weeks with Leighton

Daily Dime | June 2017

What's up, Wednesday!? I'm excited to link up today with one of my fave blogger friends, Sarah and the other gals hosting The Daily Dime. Like I needed yet another reason to take an obnoxious number of photos in a day, right?!

I love documenting our every day lives around here with our Photo Every Hour posts but I don't get around to it very often these days so when Sarah mentioned she'd be hosting this link up, I was all for it! I could easily snap 10 pictures a day! Here's a little glimpse into our day yesterday: Tuesday, June 13, 2017...

I mean, she's cute and all but would it kill her to sleep in her own bed? G has been creeping into our room in the middle of the night for months now, usually like a ninja so neither Justin or I notice she's there until morning. I wake up to kicks in my belly and her kneecaps in the small of my back. Sneaky little girl...

I bought a few too many bananas at the store last week and they were all going bad so I quickly googled uses for very ripe bananas and found a super simple banana-cinnemon muffin recipe which satisfied my desire to use said bananas and my apparent muffin craving. Win-win.

They turned out good, right!? They were yummy...

Leighton thought so, too! Muffins for breakfast...

Wanna know who else thought the muffins were yummy? Rufus. 

I got a text from Justin at 9:30 last night informing me that the dog ate the leftover muffins. He managed to snag them from the back of the counter. He even ate the plastic bag. Swear words were said. I literally hate this dog, you guys. I've said it before but HE RUINS LIVES. 

I'm still recovering from the muffin fiasco this morning but getting back to our Tuesday... We wrapped up our morning by sorting through some baby clothes lent out to us by our sweet neighbors!

This pinterest-inspired activity lasted approximately 7 minutes - ha! It was super easy to throw together and the kids may enjoy it better on a cooler day so we'll def try it again. 

Sidewalk paint recipe: 1 cup cornstarch + 1 cup water divided into muffin tins with some food coloring. 

It was a good, good mail day! My sweet cousin had this sign made for Baker's room and I'm in love. I had pinned a sign that had this verse on it as inspiration for his nursery and I was so surprised when something similar showed up today. It's perfect.

Also in the mail? My next Influenster VoxBox! My face is excited to participate in the #RevitaliftChallenge for the next 14 days. I'll try and keep the make-up free selfies to a minimum... ;)

Leighton didn't nap yesterday so as soon as Justin got home from work, he took the girls outside while I quickly finished work and started dinner. G's little friend joined us for supper followed by ice cream sundaes for dessert...

Ending her night back where she started - in MY bed. Life really just comes full-circle sometimes, am I right? I kicked her out after the episode of Paw Patrol was over but I'm sure she'll weasel her way back in at some point. Good thing she's cute.

Looking back, our Tuesday was busy. No wonder I'm tired today... Hope you all have a great Wednesday and don't forget to check out the lovely ladies hosting the link-up today!

Kristin // Taz + Belly
Kristy // Seven Graces
Kerry // XO Kerry
Courtney // Our Alabama Life

Friday Things

It's gonna be a hot one today and the neighborhood pool is supposed to FINALLY OPEN this weekend so I'm sure we'll be logging some pool hours this weekend, along with the rest of the 'hood.


29 weeks along. I'll try and do a more comprehensive update next week but this week was good for the most part. He feels super low compared to the girls and I'm uncomfortable bending over and need to make sure I sit up straight so I can breath properly. I got switched to weekly biophysical checks at my OB office which means I get to see the little guy every week for the next 10 weeks or so. I'm glad that they're keeping a close eye on him but having to go to the doctor every week - sometimes multiple appointments depending on who I'm seeing - will get old really fast. I suppose it's just a precursor of what's to come, though. I expect him to have several appointments a month after he's here, too.

gracyn brought her photography skills. leighton brought the patriotism.


Justin and I met with the director of the Down Syndrome Guild of Kansas City on Monday afternoon. She was a great resource and they gave us a basket of information, gifts for the baby and pamphlets to hand out to friends and family who will be supporting us once Baker is born. We're excited to start attending events and meet other families in the area. Check out their site if you're interested in learning more - they have so many great programs and updated, current information available. I'm already so thankful an organization like this exists; we know Baker will be supported from day one and I can't even begin to tell you how much reassurance it gives me knowing he'll have the tools he needs to lead a happy and productive life.

We even found out that there is a little boy with DS who literally lives down the street from us in our neighborhood. I bought baby clothes at his mom's garage sale earlier this spring, before we knew anything about Baker's heart and DS diagnosis. Funny how things work out, isn't it?


His room is well under way! I spent some time the other weekend hanging stuff up and getting some things organized. I washed all of his clothes and realized I didn't have as many things as I thought; once I split up everything by size I realized the poor kid has probably 8 newborn or 0-3 month onesies but no pants. It'll be summer and hot when he's born but I feel like he at least needs ONE pair of pants or shorts, right?! I best get to shopping... ;)


My mom and dad were in town for a few days this week watching the girls while I went into the office for work to do some training. It's a long story - one that was unfolding when we were learning about Baker's health issues - but my work situation will be changing a bit after my maternity leave. I'll be working in the office 3 days a week and from home the other two days. So, starting in November, the girls will be starting daycare on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and home with me on Tuesdays/Thursdays. The daycare center has room for Baker to start as well but we haven't made any concrete plans for him yet; it'll depend on how he's doing after he's born.

We need to keep him as healthy as possible and gaining weight like he should so his heart surgery can take place within those first 6 months. If his doctors clear him for daycare, that's an option but we may also look into an in-home daycare or even someone to come to our house and stay with him those 3 days I'm at work. More things to iron out in the next few months.



#HomeByOakley | Nursery Inspiration

I have to admit, planning a nursery for a baby boy is a nice change of pace around here! Lots of blues and grays and neutrals. A little break from alllll the pink that consumes the girls' rooms. It's been fun planning a space for this little dude, that's for sure.

At first, I wasn't sure what direction I wanted to go with Baker's room, I just knew I didn't want it to be theme-y. A mention of a sport here and there but I didn't want Boomer Sooner or Adrien Peterson's fat-head plastered to the wall, much to Justin's dismay...

Woodland creatures are fine, but not the nursery-rhyme cartoon ones. We're not automobile enthusiasts or sailors so I also wanted to avoid car decals and the whole nautical scene. I'm still not sure what "design style" I wanted - something fit for a baby but not uber babyish.

Easy enough, right!?

After we received Baker's heart diagnosis, I immediately jumped on the web and social media to start researching and connecting with other moms and families that had experienced a similar situation. The #heartwarrior and #chdawareness hashtags came up right away and are filled with some of the bravest, strongest people I've ever seen - and most are little babies. It's still hard for me to imagine what Baker's surgery day will be like - I could cry just thinking about handing him over to the surgical team - but I already know he's one tough cookie. He'll face more challenges in his first 6 months than some do in a lifetime.

He's strong. He's brave. Hell, he's even started teaching me how to be strong and brave.

I figured his room at home - the place where he'll be growing and gaining strength and preparing for battle (open heart surgery + life...) should remind him how freaking amazing he is. A room fit for a warrior, if you will.

Originally, I was going to paint our existing crib and dresser. I wanted something white or gray versus the dark brown we have. After painting a dresser for Leighton's room (a tour of her room is coming soon!) I quickly decided the brown was juuuuuuust fine. It would have taken a lot of effort and paint to refinish the perfectly good furniture so I decided to just leave it. I'm sure B won't mind Leighton's old teeth marks on the railings... ;)

We're also keeping our existing glider and matching ottoman but if I was made of money, I'd get a newer, more modern chair and a pouf or something like that to mix it up a bit. Budgets really are no fun.

I'm suuuuuuuper excited about the pegboard over his dresser, which we also use as a changing table. It's so fun and it was really easy to put together thanks to good old Pinterest. I can't wait to put the rest of the room together!

1 // Just Be Awesome // Words we should all live by.. ;)

2 // The Lord is With You Mighty Warrior // This sign is huge but I may try to find a smaller print with the same verse.

3 // Be Brave & Strong // This will be a good reminder to walk by every day.

4 // Crib // This one is very similar to the crib we used for both girls. 

5 // Dresser // I like using the top of the dresser as a changing table, one less piece of furniture in an already cramped room

6 // Glider // Love this one from Target!

7 // Throw // Every room needs a cozy blanket. Especially a nursery for those late nights when you just happen to sleep in the rocking chair for hours on end.

8 // Crown Town Print // Because we'll always be Royal. No matter how bad they're playing...

9 // Pegboard // Love this tutorial and this one, too!

10 // JellyCat // Gracyn's is pink, Leighton's is tan so it's only appropriate that Baker get his very own bunny, too.

11 // Metal Shelf // Extra storage, industrial look. It's a win-win.

12 // Pouf // First, poufs are stupid-expensive. Second, one day I will own one...

13 // Letter "B" // For Baker. And Boy. And Baby. 

14 // Oh Boy Print // Check out this post for cute and free printables!

15 // Curtains // My mama sent us these navy blackout curtains for B's room. They block the light really well which is a MUST since his room faces east.

16 // Metal Arrow // "I will walk by faith even when I cannot see."

17 // Changing Pad Cover (similar) // Boy-ing it up a bit and replacing our old pink and purple covers with blue stripes and polkadots. 

Memorial Day Weekend

We're back from a mini-family vacation to Minneapolis to visit my brother. It was a nice getaway filled with activities and overtired children but we made the most of it! I'm sure no one cares about these types of vacation recaps but I figured I better jot it down for memory's sake. It'll probably be our last "family vacation" before Baker joins us later this summer.

My brother had just gotten back from his own epic vacation to Thailand and put up with us even though he was fighting some serious jet-lag. We don't get up there very often so I'm glad we made the trip and he was down to hang out!

We had driven to Des Moines on Thursday afternoon to break up the drive a bit. After checking into our less-than-stellar hotel (that's what we get for being cheap...) we grabbed dinner at Zombie Burger and then headed back so the girls could swim for a bit.

After a weak continental breakfast at the hotel on Friday morning, we headed north and decided to stop at the Medford Outlet Center south of Minneapolis for shopping and lunch at good old McDonalds. We found a few good deals and finally made it to our (much nicer, definitely new, not-at-all-smelly) hotel around 3:30 Friday afternoon.

The girls made themselves at home while we unloaded and made plans to meet up with Uncle Ty.

We picked Tyler up and made our way to supper at Pizzeria Lola. He lives near Uptown and it's such a fun part of the city. Lots of shops, bars and restaurants. I always look forward to eating when we go visit him. I also happen to be pregnant every time we go so the good food definitely makes up for the fact that I can't enjoy an adult bevvy at one of the rooftop bars...

After dinner, we headed to Lake Calhoun to walk around a bit and enjoy the evening. The girls played on the playground, walked around the lake and learned to skip rocks. The lake, like several others in the area, is in the middle of the city which is so convenient. I wanted to rent a paddleboat or something but we didn't get around to it. Maybe next time. We wrapped up Friday with a stop at Sebastian Joe's for ice cream before heading back to the hotel.

We went to the Como Zoo & Conservatory on Saturday morning to scope out the animals and sea lion show. It's a cute little place which happens to be free admission so we were excited to check it out. 

The carnival rides were not free but G was practically begging to ride a few rides by the time we circled back around so we couldn't pass them up. 

After the zoo, we grabbed lunch at the Happy Gnome before going back to my brother's place to look at pics from his vacation. Gracyn fell asleep and Leighton turned into a no-nap monster so we called it a day early and went back to the hotel for take-out and let the girls swim for a bit.

Sunday. Sunday was busy! Breakfast at the Hi-Lo Diner, walking laps at the Mall of America and more rides - including the girls' first official rollercoaster ride! - took up most of the day.

Leighton fell asleep during the 7 minute car ride to dinner so I sent Justin and Tyler (and eventually Gracyn) inside while I sat in the car with her to let her nap. She desperately needed it and slept for almost two hours (!!!) while I snap-chatted obnoxious pictures to the boys and ate the rest of J's deer jerky in the car while trying not to pee my pants. We eventually made it inside to join them and eat dinner at Lucky 13's Pub. Next was bowling followed by more ice cream (duh) at LaLa's.

By the end of the trip, my feet and ankles were swollen and my back hurt like a mother. #preggoproblems

We realized on the drive home that we didn't even get a family photo so we snagged one selfie-style with two sleeping kiddos in the back. They were exhausted and car naps made the 7-hour drive home a little more bearable.

G immediately ran to her bestie's house upon returning home - she barely lived through the weekend without her friends - and we spent the remaining hours of the long weekend outside with the neighbors. All in all, it made for a pretty decent holiday and some much needed time away as a family.

Now, bring on summer!