Photo {Almost} Every Hour | Tuesday

This is kind of a sorry excuse for a blog post because my "Photo Every Hour" didn't pan out the way I planned. Actually, I take that back. This post very accurately depicts our days around here...

I start out strong...

6 AM | quick snack for the babe

7 AM | up for school with minimal whining

8 AM | preschool drop-off fuel

By 9 AM, I'm feeling good about life and set Leighton up with her songs while Baker naps and I try to work for a bit. She's been super into watching music videos on YouTube. Sometimes they're inappropriate (which is why she watches in my presence so I can reroute if I hear an F-Bomb or two...) and sometimes it's "Shake It Off" over and over and over again...

9 AM | show me how you werk werk werk werk werk

That lasts approximately 17 minutes until I have my assistants helping me send emails...

10 AM | sup bro
11 AM is missing because it involved leaving to pick up Gracyn from school and returning home to quickly shove lunch in the girls' faces before B and I left again for his evaluation with the therapists at our local infant development center...

12 PM | finally got the little dude dressed...
1 - 2 PM? Also missing, but the evaluation went great! Time to scoot home and pick up the girls (we're SO thankful for our neighbors who've stepped up to help me out more times than I can count!)...
3 PM | tired boy
Uh... what time is it now? Between afternoon snacks and tantrums and no naps and work I don't even know what I'm doing half the time. But LOOK! Another picture of the baby! Let's call it 6 PM...

6 PM | first bottle in 10 days!
^^ Silly boy has been boycotting bottles the last week or so. It's cute except when mama has a Saturday night out planned and spends the day worrying if he'll starve while I'm gone. No worries, though, we both survived but I'm still not sure why he stopped taking them all of a sudden. Homeboy must realllllly like the boobie. ;)

Life after 6 PM on this fine Tuesday? I had lost all control. We did the dinner-time hustle, the girls REFUSED to help me clean up the playroom which resulted in them being "grounded" for the first time in their lives, Gracyn asking if I still loved her (I do) and Leighton calling me a "mean mommy!" We had a talk about being good listeners and bad attitudes which I'm sure I'll have to revisit in the morning when they start asking for tablets and phones and television and forget the whole grounded part of the conversation...

I won in the end, though - the girls were in bed by 7:25 and I got caught up on a few things while watching the news and eating ice cream.

Wednesday, I'm ready for ya... :)

Hey Friday

One of these days my life won't feel so crazy, right?! My blogging game has been seriously lacking recently but by the time I actually get to sit down at night all I feel like doing is watching TV or mindlessly scrolling through my phone until I pass out. That, or I have Baker attached to me which isn't conducive to typing out a bunch of random thoughts.


We officially have Baker's open heart surgery scheduled. Our sweet boy will getting his repair on December 11th at St. Louis Children's Hospital. I've been trying to keep it together but I've been pretty emotional this last week with most of my feelings coming across as stressed to the max.

I had a rough day with the kids on Monday afternoon following a long appointment for Baker and ended the night feeling very overwhelmed. I've teared up several times when I'm not expecting it - driving in the car, answering an email for work, etc. and have to stop myself from thinking negatively.

We'll visit St. Louis the Friday before surgery for Baker's pre-op appointments and consultation with the surgeon. We expect Baker to be in the hospital for at least 5 days (although some warriors are out in as little as 3 days!) and we'll be hoping and praying we're back home in time for Leighton's birthday on the 17th. The most important thing, of course, is making sure Baker recovers well so we can get him home as soon as possible.


I recently signed up for Grove Collaborative to receive all-natural household cleaning supplies via a monthly shipment. I'm not big into monthly subscriptions or anything like that but I snagged a deal and a trial for free shipping so we're giving it a whirl! You can try it, too, by clicking here and getting $10 towards your purchase when you sign up! You can choose from a variety of brands like Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyer's and prices are comparable to good old Target. Most importantly, you can control your shipment and cancel at any time. I'm most excited about the holiday-scented hand and dish soap heading my way just in time to start decking the halls!


I did it. I went all Chip & Jojo for Christmas stockings for the kids. They'll arrive just before Thanksgiving and come November 24th, we're getting all sorts of festive up in this mother.

Here are the three I got... now I just need to decide which one belongs to each kid!

1 // 2 // 3

I have a date with my cousin on Saturday night for some much needed girl time sans husbands and kids. Sorry, peeps. We love you but PEACE OUT. For a few hours, anyway...


We're staying home for Turkey Day in an attempt to keep Baker and the girls as healthy as possible leading up to surgery. It'll be nice to lay low but we have every intention of cooking up a bird and all the fixings!

Oh, and I might just start blogging and communicating via GIFs only - there is literally one for any scenario in life. Ha!

Happy weekend!

Friday Things

What a week!


Potty training might the worst part of motherhood. We originally tried potty training Leighton back at the beginning of September. I really wanted to try and get it done while I was on maternity leave but girlfriend was just not having it. We made it one awful day with tons of accidents and zero successful trips to the bathroom. 

I still think she was ready at that time but she is one stubborn little girl. We put her back in diapers and spend the next two months psyching ourselves up to train FOR REALZ ahead of her third birthday. 

We were running low on diapers so we decided to start the process again last Friday. We've had several battles back and forth since, including Leighton's lowest point in life on Monday morning (she screamed at me for a diaper for a good 30+ minutes, dancing around and in physical pain because she had to pee so bad yet refused to sit down and go..) but I'm so happy to report that she's doing great now! We've had very few accidents and she's using "but I have to go potty!" as an excuse to get out of bed at night so I'd say we're on the right track.

Leighton, I love you, but I never want to potty train you again.


Chip and JoJo are at Target, ya'll. Have you seen it?! Did you go!? I haven't been to Target in, like, 9 days or something absurd like that so I have yet to browse the collection in person but I've been eyeing somethings online, mostly holiday decor that Justin refuses to acknowledge before Thanksgiving...

Of course I don't need any of these things but it's Magnolia! I need to get something..


One of the things I wanted to do after Baker was born was say “thank you” to my doctor and her staff for not only catching Baker’s heart defect but for also offering up resources and knowledge and support when it came to dealing with a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis.

We had a very positive experience but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. So many women I've met, either online or in person, describe receiving their baby's diagnosis - whether prenatally or at birth - as a very sad, scary, horrible experience. It breaks my heart to hear their stories so I’m determined to do my part to change the conversation.

My doctor's practice features families on their own blog from time to time so I had reached out to them and asked if they'd be interested in sharing our story, hoping it'd be a way for other mamas to feel connected should they find themselves in a similar situation. I also wanted to let my doctor know that she had my permission to share my contact information with any mom or family she had in her office receiving the same news we heard back in May. Read the interview here. :)


 This video was shared in one of my Facebook groups and I loved every second of it...


Because it's Friday and I went a whole blogpost without posting a picture of my kids... An "outtake" from our family pictures. It might be my favorite...

Happy Weekend!

Baker :: Three Months Old

Baker Dee is 3 months old, officially out of the newborn stage and just a regular old baby now. Cue all the mama tears! Why does it go so fast? I usually tend to agree with the phrase, "the days are long but the years are short" but this time around, even the days are flying by.

The second half of last week was a little tough so I definitely still have my moments when I feel D-O-N-E - the kids bonkers thanks to some lingering Halloween highs and we all had a few rough days attitude-wise - but I blinked and we had miraculously made it to another weekend. Just like that, Baker was another week older.

Halloween 2017

Finally getting around to recapping Halloween! It was nice and chilly this year - it reminded me of trick-or-treating in South Dakota as a kid - so we weren't out too long but the girls still managed to get buckets full of candy.

My parents were in town so they stayed back at the house with Baker and handed out candy to the kiddos that stopped by. Our very own Waldo had a great first Halloween, napping away in the swing... 

Family Pictures 2017

Anytime we can get family pictures scheduled and get in and get out in 30 minutes is a win in my book! And bonus if a few of the photos turn out! ;)

We were introduced to Joe by one of our neighbors and he did a great job capturing our crew last week. That's another plus - he took our pictures on Sunday night and sent me some edited proofs by Wednesday! Go, Joe!

We had Baker's newborn photos taken in August but I wanted another set to use for our Christmas card, much to Justin's delight. Ha! He's a good sport and humored me. The kids cooperated for the most part, Leighton even started smiling towards the end. I'm so glad we had them done. Now if I could just get my act together and print them out and update some of the frames around the house!

Welcome to Holland

When I first started researching Down syndrome and connecting with other moms who had experienced a prenatal diagnosis, an essay called "Welcome to Holland" kept popping up in blog posts and articles. I didn't pay much attention to it at first but after seeing it repeatedly mentioned or referenced, I gave it a read.

Honestly, I didn't really "get it" until after Baker was born. It's a story likening having a child with special needs to planning an amazing vacation to beautiful Italy only to wind up in Holland, a gray and dirty place. Instead of things going to plan and realizing your dream, you have adapt and find beauty in the unexpected. Mourn the loss of what you thought your life would look like and form new dreams in its place. Once you start to do that, you realize "Holland" is a magical place with beautiful things like tulips and windmills and Rembrandts.

shirt from littlest warrior
We have our own little personal tour guide in Baker. I've mentioned he's amazing, right? ;)

Life Lately

Man, October is flying by. We've been keeping busy between work and appointments and enjoying the weather - it finally feels like fall around here and we're loving every minute. Time to recap life. I've tried to sit down and write this post for, like, the last 4 days so it's long overdue. Get ready for a whole lotta randomness... ;)

The extent of my indoor Halloween decorations... ha! I wanted to spruce up the mantel and go all farmhouse chic a la JoJo Gaines for fall but 5 pumpkins and a banner from the Target Dollar Spot will have to do this year...

Down Syndrome Awareness {Week 1}

I blink and the month is a third of the way over! I really don't know where my days go while I'm stuck in the trenches trying to keep three little people alive. It's all a blur, really. I need to start thinking about getting the girls' Halloween costumes put together because it'll be here quick. I am proud that I've started Christmas shopping, though! Small wins!

But before Christmas gets here, I want to recap week one of October and Down Syndrome Awareness Month (even though we're half way through week 2!). I've been sharing on Facebook and Instagram but I've also been learning sooooo much from other families in the Ds community who are sharing their own pieces of information! Lots to learn and lots to share!

First things first, what is Down syndrome?

Baker :: Two Months Old

Another month down! This one wasn't as jammed packed full of doctor visits as month one but we still had our fair share of doctor offices. I've heard through the Down syndrome slash special needs grapevine that appointments will taper off eventually but for now I'm still grateful we have lots of watchful eyes on our guy.

At two months old, Baker weighs in at 9 lbs 8 oz - that's a whole four pounds over birth weight! Sayyyyy, what?! Oink, oink baby.

Father + Son {and a Giveaway!}

When I was pregnant with Baker and we told people we were having a boy, I had several mom friends tell me to prepare for a love and a bond unlike anything I'd ever experienced before. I thought it was a tad weird seeing as how we already had the two girls - I was on my third baby and knew without a doubt that I had more than enough love to go around.

I mean, how different could it be?!

Enter Baker Dee. From day one, this boy had me wrapped around his tiny little finger. I can describe the three facial expressions I see from him at the start each nursing session and I can tell you the exact moment he looked at me - like, really looked into my soul - for the first time as I promised I'd be his advocate and protector. The mother/son relationship is the real deal, ya'll. I, of course, love each of my children with every fiber in my body so it's hard to describe the differences between mothering the girls and becoming a mom to this sweet little babe but they're there. Maybe it's because he is my first son and maybe it's amplified by the fact that he has special needs, I'm not sure, but one thing is certain - I freaking love this boy.

I also love watching Justin interact with Baker. Justin was made to be a father to his little girls. He is so good with them and they sure do love their daddy but watching him with Baker, his son, has been so special.

JORD Hyde Ebony and Iron wooden watch

October | Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Where did September go!? I mean, really. It's October 1st which means maternity leave is over (excuse me while I cry...), Baker is almost two months old (excuse me while I cry some more...) and the unofficial start of the holiday season is upon us (excuse me while I start my online holiday shopping to cope with my emotions...).

Tears aside, the whirlwind that has been our life these last few months quickly led us to October which also happens to be Down Syndrome Awareness Month. We're the new kids on the block when it comes to raising a child with special needs so I'm super excited to have the opportunity to learn more about Down syndrome as well as have the chance to educate others on what life with Down syndrome looks like. 

Spoiler alert: it looks a lot like your life. 


I turned 32 years old on Monday. I love my birthday and don't fret too much about turning another year older. Not yet, anyways! 32 seems older (like, basically mid-thirties!) but I'd say I still don't feel a day over 30... ;) That's good, I suppose - you're only as old as you feel, right?!

Justin had to work but my parents and my brother were still in town from the weekend and we ended up having the best little day with the kiddos!

Step Up | 2017

 What a weekend! I shared on Instagram (and Facebook!) that it's hard to find the words to describe what it's like seeing your family and friends and neighbors and coworkers come together to support your new family of five and the special little boy we welcomed into our world just seven weeks ago.

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