My Week(301) in iPhone Photos

August 9th, 2016

Last week could probably be described as “lazy chaos”. I was solo-parenting for most of it, too pregnant and tired to really care about much beyond keeping the kids mostly alive. We didn’t do much besides attempt to keep the floor at least 50% visible under the layer of laundry and toys.

Sunday:

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Weirdo

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We found some extra kids

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He thinks I am a jungle gym

Monday:

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The big bed makes him look like a baby again

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I want a choclate river

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Dragon noodles I turned into fake Pad Thai

Tuesday:

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Very proud of his outfit

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Ice cream for dinner

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Tooth brushers

Wednesday:

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Pls jump yourself into exhaustion

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Cuddles seem so nice but it’s SO HOT

Thursday:

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More lake life

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Very fancy photoshoot outfits

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TAKE MY PICTURE MOMMY

Friday:

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I sent her to piano alone because…

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…this was happening in the car

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ALWAYS ON ME

Saturday:

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MORE JUMPING

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The whole recital was extremely adorable

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A small sample of the mess I live in

Once again, it’s Tuesday and I am just getting this done. I shot my (most likely) last two client sessions before I have the baby this weekend and all that work was exhausting. This week Evan has camp so the house it much, much quieter during the day, so I’m hoping I can get all that editing, plus some cleaning and organizing, plus some napping done. Mostly the napping. It’s going to be a long time before I get a nap again once I have a baby. (37 weeks, fingers crossed I have a baby at exactly 40).

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My Week(300) in iPhone Photos

August 2nd, 2016

300 is a lot of weeks. When I started doing this, mostly as a joke, I was pregnant with Caroline. Now I’m only a couple weeks away from having a FOURTH child, which means I have documented every day of our lives through almost 6 years. Sometimes I wish I focused more on taking beautiful iPhone photos that made our lives look happier, cleaner, more photogenic than they really are. But then I look back at previous weeks and all I can think about is how nice it is to have these dumb, blurry, boring phone photos that would otherwise be deleted saved somewhere for me (and the kids) to look at. I mean, Week 3 was nothing special but looking at tiny Baby Evan is not a thing I will get tired of. I would regret it forever if I let this weekly post die now, even though doing it in a timely manner seems to be beyond me. We’ll give Baby 4 a chance to be overly photographed and documented for at least a few weeks before I think about giving it up again.

Sunday:

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It’s too hot for pajamas OR covers, but Big Kids sleep in Big Kids beds

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Brotherly tv watching

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Or maybe he’s not a big kid, just a sweet lap nap baby

 

Monday:

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We meet some really interesting people while hunting Pokemon

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Important research

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Too hot for real life so we hang out in the only room with a/c

Tuesday:

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3 kids, 3 check ups, 0 cavities!

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More hiding in the a/c

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This only lasted 5 minutes

Wednesday:

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Chair stealer

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Lake life

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AMAZING light for my photo session

Thursday:

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Which Pokemon is that?

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More air conditioned fun

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There’s a rat on my daughter!

Friday:

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Safety first when eating bread

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Card night

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Helping organize the cards

 

Saturday:

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Good old-fashioned slip and slide fun

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Watermelon stealer

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SO DELICIOUS

It’s raining today, which means it’s cool enough in the house to actually BE in the house. I have big plans to Get Stuff Done – so far, some laundry, some dishes and this post are all checked off, let’s see if toy organization, finishing three photo sessions and napping happen. I feel like napping has a pretty good shot.

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It’s Time…To Talk About Back To School #FirstDayEveryday {Sponsored}

July 29th, 2016

Kohl’s and Carter’s were kind enough to partner with me on this post, so I could shop for back to school. I was compensated as part of the #firstdayeveryday campaign but all opinions and pictures are my own. 

The current temperature around here is about equivalent to that of the surface of the sun, but that doesn’t mean the end of summer isn’t on the way. Also, our district doesn’t seem to believe in the idea that school should start after Labor Day, so the big kids go back the last week of August. I’d be lying a little if I didn’t admit I was mostly ready for it – as fun as summer is, entertaining 3 kids 24 hours a day is a lot of hours of constant needs.

I’m NEVER ready for how much the kids grow between seasons though. Caroline was down to two pairs of leggings and zero pairs of actual pants for fall, Evan had only one pair of jeans, and poor Linc survived last fall in footie pajamas, which isn’t going to cut it this year when he’s an actual person. Thanks to Kohl’s, Carter’s and Caroline’s excellent shopping assistance, we’re no longer in desperate need of ALL THE THINGS and instead can stock up on freshly sharpened pencils, markers for important coloring homework, and thinking about the fact that I’m due to have a baby the same day school starts. Actually, no, let’s not think about that last thing. Let’s look at clothes instead!

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Right away Caroline was in love with the trends for fall – lots of florals in different patterns and scales, leggings for under everything (including her uniforms on school days and dresses on weekends), and fun details like belts, lace, and embroidery. She decided she loved navy and pink together, so everything she tried on ended up coordinating.

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We bought two pairs of these jeggings. They have real pockets and a real zipper, but they are so soft and stretchy. She declared them the best pants ever and has worn them almost every day since. She loves the shirt too, with the flower corsage detail.

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Is it weird that I am jealous of my 5-year-old’s jean jacket? It’s like the perfect level of broken in already and is going to look SO GOOD this fall to extend the life of her summer dresses. You can expect to see it at least 100 times in my weekly photos.

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She is pretending to be a bird, because there are birds on her dress. Obviously.

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Lucky for Caroline, our Kohl’s also sells Carter’s accessories. Sparkle bracelets for the win! We also bought this two-pack of leggings to use as alternates to the jeans with the polka-dot top or to wear under the bird dress. I think we ended up with at least 5 different outfits when you mix and match.

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Our uniform code says “solid cardigans” are appropriate for over uniforms with no rules about color. What could be better than pink?

In the boy’s department, I found matching brother shirts and pants for Evan and Linc. Carter’s goes up to size 8 and runs true to size, in my experience, so Evan will still fit in the brand for at least another year. I got him a couple more t-shirts and a pair of jeans too, because you cannot have enough jeans when you are 7 and rip through the knees of your pants almost on a weekly basis.

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In the baby department, I bought a bunch of stuff from the outdoors/bear/camping collection and from the sheep/cloud collection. They also have great nautical stuff (MY FAVORITE).

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Look at those outer space jams!!

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Whales! To wear to the seaport!

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Baby boat shoes, just what every baby needs to wear with their red pants and button down woven shirts for the fall. Because of course I bought Linc and Baby #4 matching red pants and woven shirts for fall.

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While we were looking at pajamas, Caroline asked if they were for boys or girls. I told her they were for both, because anyone can like dinosaurs and trucks, so she was excited to pick out matching pajamas for her and Lincoln. We went with sharks and blue stripes.

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Linc also got a set of dinosaur pajamas, which are great for the transition from summer sleeping to cooler fall nights. (I’m really excited about cooler fall nights.)

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That blue flower shirt dress is another of Caroline’s new amazing fall choices. As you can see, she was really excited about our shopping trip.

Our last stop was to check out the Carter’s shoes.

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These were the winners. Easy to put on, closed-toe for school, goes with everything, and that adorable bow. I loved that the Carter’s brand finds that balance between trendy-fun and age appropriate (especially for Caroline), so I could let her shop without worrying that I’d have to say no to half her choices.

Once I have a new baby – fingers crossed for NOT the same day as the first day of school – I’ll have so many adorable new baby outfits for him to model. Until then, I hope all the photos of Caroline will do. She’s very good at style, you know. But here’s a sneak peek of what we found:

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Two onesie sets (dinosaurs and foxes), the outfit that matches Linc’s red pants, sheepy onesies, and of course, MORE FOXES.

Thank you so much to Kohl’s and Carter’s for including me in this super fun campaign. The kids and I LOVE new clothes and it’s such a great way to start the countdown to back to school!

Starting August 1st, Kohl’s is having $10 off a $40 purchase of back-to-school clothes and shoes! It runs 8/1 through 8/17 and you can shop online with the code BTS10.

 

HAPPY SHOPPING!

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S’More Fun at a Camping Birthday Party – Linc Turns Two

July 27th, 2016

On Saturday we celebrated Linc turning TWO with a camping birthday party! I debated doing a camping theme last year, because it just seemed so fun for a summer birthday, but decided he would have more fun at his own party with another year under his belt. I’m glad I waited, he had a BLAST.

Here’s the truth about throwing a lot of “fancy” birthday parties: After a few, you start to realize that being fancy really is less important than making sure everyone has food they like to eat and fun stuff for the kids. So although I still have strong commitment to a theme, I’m more flexible when it comes to including stuff that might have a cute, camping themed label. For example, hot dogs are camping-themed on their own without a clever name. But adding a bunch of Goldfish and Swedish Fish and calling it “The Fishing Hole” is on theme because of the name. See how reasonable and flexible I have become??

I am SO relieved we didn’t have rain and could be outside because I didn’t have an indoor backup plan. I am NOT thrilled that it was 90 degrees and I couldn’t offer anyone a cool place to relax. But I did plan ahead on the beer and water and juice boxes and lemonade so everyone stayed hydrated, the kids had the sprinkler (and eventually the toddlers ended up in the kiddie pool) so besides letting my own child get a sunburn (SO SORRY EVAN) everyone survived. Even me, which was the person I think everyone was most convinced would pass out at any moment.

All my supplies this time came from either Amazon or Oriental Trading (unsponsored and un-comped, because I wasn’t smart enough to ask ahead of time). I didn’t do a super great job of taking detailed photos, but hopefully these give you some ideas if you want to throw your own camping birthday party. Poor third child’s life isn’t nearly as well documented as the first or second.

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It is a shame I never got a good photo of all the kids in their adorable Happy Camper shirts, but they barely wore them at the party. Luckily I got photos before to use as decoration, so please accept this as proof they exist even though the photo isn’t really OF the shirts. I got them from a shop on Etsy.

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My sister made a chalkboard sign for the door.

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The photos I took on our camping photo shoot made good dining room decoration.

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I made the banner with craft paper, a free font and a free plaid paper download.

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These VERY realistic State Park Camping Signs came from Oriental Trading. I had one young guest worried I might have stolen them from an actual park.

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Two balloon from the grocery store, because I forgot to order a more on-theme red one.

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Extremely half-assed banner I made with leftover camping tent fabric.

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Bucket of sunscreen and bug spray for the guests.

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Chalk, tic-tac-toe rocks and card games for the big kids.

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I was going to do the food outside but it was too hot, so thank goodness we have a huge dining room table.

Our menu was:
Trail Mix Buffet
Walking Tacos
Watermelon
Cheese Puffs
Fruit
Veggies
Dirt Pudding Cups
Candy
Corn Muffins
Cupcakes
And, in theory, a s’mores buffet – but it was REALLY HOT and no one wanted to start a fire. So no actual s’mores were made.

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WHO KNEW individual bags of Fritos with meat, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream and taco sauce would be SUCH a hit?! I ordered a huge box of Frito bags from Amazon and was sure I would have most of them left over. But nope, everyone ate multiple bags. They were a great lunch.

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Trail mix buffet – I had paper bags to fill with nuts, dried fruit, candy, pretzels. cereal and marshmallows. The kids loooooved this.

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Bait = gummy worms and chocolate dirt pudding cups (pudding, crushed oreos, more worms)

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Berry Patch sounds more like camping than just “fruit”

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Cheese puffs look sort of like a campfire, right?

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Cupcake toppers, invitations, food signs and thank you labels all designed by the VERY talented and my most favorite Becca of Jumping Jax Designs.

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My poor, unused s’mores buffet. Oh well, we’ll make good use of all that chocolate and marshmallows at the lake.

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Our party guests might have actually been more kids than adults, so I worked hard to make the party as fun for children as possible. I’m pretty sure the combination of bounce house and sprinkler helped me achieve extreme success.

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Fishing was very popular. $12 kiddie pool and 3 plastic fishing pole sets from Oriental Trading.

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E made tents out of scrap wood and I sewed (actually sewed! with a sewing machine!) the covers. They were less popular than the bounce house. Shocking.

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Giant fishing bobber balls from Oriental Trading

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This was a Pinterest idea that worked out even better than expected. E found a branch and cut it into slices, then drilled holes so I could make them necklaces. I provided markers to decorating the medallions (we kept it supervised with the toddlers, since they’re permanent markers) and every single one of these was used. Total cost: $9 worth of colored string, because I already had the markers.

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Linc had an amazing time. I barely even saw him and definitely didn’t take as many pictures as he deserves for his second birthday (because, you know, I NEVER take pictures of him…) but he slept for almost 18 hours that night. Thank you to everyone who took the time to come be hot and sweaty and slightly miserable in my back yard to make is day special.

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I made Linc his own tiny smash cake with “flame” frosting. He ate none of it, but did eat 4 cupcakes.

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We had funfetti cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes. They were all equally delicious (and from a box).

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Lake of the Woods 2016

July 25th, 2016

I promise to have Linc birthday party pics up soon, but these are a) done and b) on a drive that hasn’t yet overheated so I still have access. Plus I like documenting our annual things the best, since I can go back and look at last year vs this year. (I took way more pictures last year, because I was way less hugely pregnant.)

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