Friday, May 30, 2014

5 on Friday

1. A few weeks ago I mentioned our car woes…well things continued to get worse. After much discussion we decided to get Kyle's truck fixed. It certainly wasn't an inexpensive repair, but it was cheaper than buying a new vehicle. We received the fixed truck on a Friday. Sunday we all went to church, but Kyle had to leave early for a football camp. So after wrangling all the kids into the van I was driving home when I hit a deer. Seriously, the only Sunday of the year Kyle is not with us and I hit a deer! We were in a residential neighborhood in the middle of the day and I wasn't even distracted by the kids :) it simply jumped out in front of us. It hit the van front and center and I screamed. I pulled over to assess the damage…the bumper was in bad shape and the hood had a small dent. Thankfully, the Lord protected us and no one was hurt in fact Kolter slept through the whole ordeal. It all happened so fast the older kids didn't even know what was going on. Sawyer asked what happened after I screamed. I said "We hit a deer." He burst into hysterical laughter, he thought that was so absurd that we would hit a "reindeer." Not really the reaction I was expecting, but a blessing he wasn't scared. Some of our friends from church stopped and inspected the situation. There were no leaks and the bumper was still attached pretty well so we determined it was safe to drive home.

The next day I took the car to get an estimate. It was almost time to pick Sawyer up from school and Kolter was getting hungry. I assumed it would be a 10 minute appointment…wrong! The technician immediately deemed the van undrivable (I don't think that's a word, but we're going with it). Something about the radiator being loose, though it wasn't broken. Anyway they quickly had to get me a rental vehicle. The only thing they could get quickly was a sedan…oh the kids and their 3 big car seats are like sardines in the backseat, but thankfully they all fit.

We adjusted to the smaller vehicle and were thankful for a rental while the van was being fixed. One night after leaving a family barbecue we decided to run a few errands. It was 8 pm (everyone with small children knows this may not have been the wisest decision) but we really needed a few things. As we sat at a red light a car pulled up behind us and rear ended us…in the rental car! He was looking down at his phone and did not stop soon enough. Thankfully we were stopped and he was slowing down so there wasn't very much damage. But since we were in a rental car it did complicate the situation a bit. Even though it was/is a major inconvenience we are so thankful no one was injured!

Kolter has been in 2 car accidents in the first 8 weeks of his life :) Hopefully all the excitement surrounding vehicles will come to a close very quickly!

2. Mema and Papa were here last week. They came to visit Uncle Cliff and Aunt Jess' new little one. The kids were super excited to see them again. Papa got to meet Kolter for the 1st time.

3. After their visit in Canton, Mema and Papa bravely took Sawyer and Nora home to the farm. The kids are having a blast at the farm! And Kolter is soaking up the "only child" attention he is receiving :) Sawyer and Nora were really excited to go to the farm, but the morning of their departure they started to understand the gravity of leaving Mom and Dad so we had lots of snuggle time, tickling and hugs.

4. During the winter we had a new family move into our neighborhood. I've been meaning to take over some cookies and introduce ourselves, but the thought of going out in the bitter cold was too much. Now that the weather is warming I decided it was time to meet them. Instead of baking them cookies I decided to put a little gift together. I used an empty glass jar and added some fabric strips, baker's twine and a tag to create the packaging. Then I added a dishtowel I made and small bottle of Miss Meyer's dish soap (from Target's dollar section). Now I'm waiting for the kids to return home so we can all go over there together.

5. And just to ensure the grandparents have a Kolter fix for their weekend. A picture of our littlest guy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014


I always think it's fun to look back at old pictures. And we are constantly looking at Kolter trying to determine who he resembles or what he might look like as he grows, so I thought it might be fun to do a little comparison of all 3 kiddos. Hopefully I'll remember to do this after he turns 1 to see if my thoughts/predictions were correct.

The following picture collages go from top to bottom or left to right in birth order (Sawyer, Nora, Kolter).

 Brand New

a few days old sleeping in the same spot

1 month old

Nora had her own look from the beginning :) Sawyer and Kolter seem to share the same face shape, nose, under eye wrinkle and body shape. I think the boys differ in their eyes and possibly mouth (still too early to tell). And I still contend that Kolter is going to be the spitting image of his daddy. Maybe I need to snag some baby pictures of Kyle to compare.

Friday, May 23, 2014

5 on Friday {Favorite Things}

I don't often do a post like this, but recently I've used a few products that I adore and I thought others might enjoy them as well. So here are 5 items that I have been loving:

Red wellies
 In the throws of this dreadfully long winter I decided I needed some boots that could withstand the moisture. I also wanted something bright to make those snowy/rainy days a little brighter. I adore the Hunter Wellies, but I thought I could not justify the price for footwear I may only wear a couple of times a year (needless to say I was wrong about the frequency of use I used them nearly everyday this winter, especially taking Sawyer too and from school, and I continue to wear them several times a week during this wet spring weather). As I searched for a pair of wellies I wanted a bright color with a modern feel (i.e. not clunky rain boots) at a reasonable price and with some Christmas money I purchased the Kamik Olivia boots.

I adore them! I seriously wear them multiple times a week. They are comfortable and easy to slip on and off. Plus they are just plain fun!

Since Kolter is our 3rd child there wasn't much baby gear we needed. But one thing we have never had was a swaddle blanket and I thought it might be nice to have one in our baby paraphernalia arsenal. One day I read a review about the Woombie Air swaddle blanket and I was sold. 

This is hands down my favorite item for a newborn. I love it for several reasons: it's easy to get on, it allows some movement, and there is no way baby is breaking out. No more messing around with blankets and ensuring they are tight enough this simply zips up. My kids were always masters at breaking out of the swaddle, but with this design there is no way to break free. Also, it does allow for some movement, which is perfect because Kolter (and all my babies for that matter) likes to have his hands up (instead of pinned down like in a traditional swaddle). The Woombie allows him to have his hands up, but he is still confined enough that it doesn't startle him awake. I give it all the credit for Kolter sleeping 6-7 hour stretches at night.

My husband LOVES potatoes, but I HATE to cut and slice potatoes. I recently attended a Pamper Chef party and decided to purchase the Simple Slicer with the hope that this product would satisfy Kyle's potato cravings while also eliminating my distaste for preparing potatoes. And I'm happy to report we both love the product! We now have potatoes on a regular basis and I simply melt butter and add salt and garlic (and sometimes parmesan cheese). Then I pour the butter mixture over the potatoes and stir until everything is coated. Place the potatoes in 1 layer on a cookie sheet (I also add parchment paper so it's easy clean-up) and bake at 400 degrees until crispy.

It can be used for lots of food, not just potatoes. It would make slicing up a big salad super easy. Or if you liked to make dried fruits it would be the perfect tool to slice up the pieces. It would also make a pretty presentation of fruits or vegetables.

Photoshop Elements is the less expensive, consumer version of Photoshop (which is a professional level program). PS Elements may not have all the bells and whistles of Photoshop CS, but for a novice like me it is the perfect tool! It's not just photo editing software. In fact I rarely use it for photo editing. Instead I use it for creating graphics like those you see above plus many more. Some of the items I have created on PS Elements are christmas cards, blog designs, party printables (see above), family photo books (see above), invitations, birth announcement art (see above) and gift tags (see above) just to name a few. It can be a bit intimidating at first, but it is fairly user friendly and if you are unsure of an operation just Google it and there is bound to be a Youtube video to show you the process :) I love creating graphics Photoshop Elements has helped me have the tools I need to express my creativity.

When you have a child there are a multitude of doctors, nurses and lactation consultants checking in to make sure baby and mom are doing well. Some of the questions they ask repeatedly are: when did baby eat? How long did baby eat? Did baby nurse on both sides? Once I got home with my 3rd child I realized very quickly that remembering this information would not be an easy task. I often couldn't remember which side the baby nursed on last. It was a bit disconcerting. I had never had this issue before, but I guess when you're now responsible for the lives of 3 little ones it's easy to forget the small things. Then I remembered a lactation consultant mentioning a nursing app (which I totally blew off at the time, I mean who could possibly need that? :). 

There are many nursing apps available that will track everything from nursing to sleeping to bowel movements. Really my primary concerns were clear documentation of the time and side of the last feeding. I chose the American Baby Nursing app. It was free and super simple to use. I use it at every feeding. You can even set an alarm to signal it's feeding time, I don't use that feature because I've got a much more effective alarm and he will notify me when he is hungry :) Maybe I'm just being lazy, but it has been very helpful. As an added bonus you can see just how much time you have spent nursing your baby, which is kind of fascinating to me (in April I nursed Kolter for over 7500 minutes, wow that seems like a lot!).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Daddy Games

Both Daddy and Sawyer love to create games, so when Daddy gets home it's game time! Some of the favorites include:

Rock Monster (a.k.a. bury daddy with toys while he takes a nap)
3 Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf

Sawyer playing the big bad wolf

Get Back Up There: this consists of daddy throwing (hurling may be a better term) onto the couch over and over and over

The video below is kind of old but it depicts the game Monkeys on a tree.

Airplane: daddy creates some major turbulence

the game continues until everyone falls off the plane
Another game they play is called tic-tock croc and they lay out all the pillows in the house and then jump from pillow to pillow pretending they are rocks. The floor is water and in the water looms a crocodile. Make it all the way across the room without the croc getting you and you win! I don't have any pictures of this game, but it's one of the favorites.

Castle: the object is to build a strong fortress then the bad guy attacks

Of course there is a little soccer and football thrown in too. Just writing about all of these games makes me tired. My kids have the best dad! He comes home after some very long days and all the kids want to do is play and he happily obliges! I love my game loving little and big kids :)

Monday, May 19, 2014


These two already have a strong bond. Sawyer is a great helper with Kolter and sometimes he will simply ask to talk to his brother. When Kolter cries Sawyer is quick to sing him a song (see video below). If I have to run upstairs Sawyer will "watch" him. 

And as Kolter grows I'm sure he will look up to this brother. I can't wait to see their relationship develop as they grow!

I had no idea that I would love this, but the matching outfits kill me :) My two boys in matching shirts all ready for church.

Friday, May 16, 2014

5 on Friday

This is a little recap post of things going on around here.

1. Mother's Day
I had a WONDERFUL Mother's Day. It started with a terrific breakfast of french toast. Then I got to admire my beautiful bouquet of tulips and open the kids cards to mommy. This year I saw an idea online and Kyle implemented it. He and the kids went out and bought me a journal. Then they each drew/wrote something for Mother's Day. Each year they will use the journal for their Mother's Day wishes. I love it because all of their sweet drawings/sentiments will be in one place and I won't have to keep all those cards :) At school Sawyer made me a heart with his fingerprint. He kept trying to give it to Dad :) I received my gift weeks ago when we purchased new barstools for the kitchen. Now we can all eat at the kitchen bar which I love!

picture of all my gifts including flowers, bar stool, heart and journal
Sawyer's drawing: a rainbow and his name

Nora really got into it she drew a pink doggy, the sky and some plants
After breakfast we went to church and participated in the baby thanksgiving. This is how our church does baby dedications (more to come on that in another post). Then we came home for a low key lunch, everyone napped while I did a few projects. Then we went out for dinner and enjoyed a nice evening at home.

My 3 babies with their momma…as you can see they are not always so happy, the 4 year old is having a moment 

It was a great day! I am so thankful for my 3 little ones who made me a momma. I don't know if it's because we have a newborn this year or realizing this is Sawyer's last year before kindergarten, but I've been noticing how fast time flies. While they all have their challenges (and I have mine too :) they are such a blessing and we have so much fun together! I really am trying to cherish all of our moments (the exciting and the mundane). Instead of jumping on my to-do list everyday I've been attempting to focus on the kids and be more present in their play time.

2. Warm weather
The weather has finally started to warm up and we've had some beautiful days in NE Ohio. We are taking full advantage! We typically go outside to play in the morning (bike ride, sidewalk chalk, walks, etc). Then lunch and naps. When Daddy gets home the kids rush to get their shoes on so they can go outside once again. Sawyer is getting quite fast on his bike and Nora has figured out the tricycle. There have also been a few park visits. I still don't have the courage to take all 3 to the zoo by myself, but hopefully within the next month we'll give it a go.

3. Fresh Regard is open again
After 6 weeks of a much needed break my Etsy shop is once again open for business. Thankfully I built up some stock before shutting it down for maternity leave, so it's been pretty easy to fill orders. I do have some new sets in works I just need to find time to sew them, take pictures and get them posted online. Here is my new favorite in the shop: Aqua and coral with a hint of gray…LOVE it!

4. Summer plans
Sawyer's school is almost over for the year and we have lots of fun things planned. Sawyer and Nora are going back to KS with the grandparents for a week 'o fun. We are going on the 3rd annual church camping trip, which should be interesting with a 2 month old :) Then Sawyer has 2 weeks of swim lessons and Kyle has kids camps. And July will be even busier with a LONG road trip planned to KS, NE, WI, and IL…we are crazy, but I think we'll enjoy our time with friends and family. And once we return from our extended road trip it will be very close to August and we'll be gearing up for football season. Oh how I love summer, just wish it would last longer :)

5. Transportation
I don't like dealing with cars…I've only bought 2 vehicles in my 15ish years of driving and I still cringe to think of the cost. Anyway, we've had some car troubles lately. The power door on our van broke, when we took it in the mechanic said the hinge was broken and the cost to fix it was exorbitant so we are currently only using 1 door making it a little difficult to get Kolter and the huge car seat in and out of the van.

But that is the least of our concerns…over a month ago Kyle was driving his 1985 truck home from work and it died right in the middle of a busy street. He got it home thanks to a friend, but after several hours of work it still remained lifeless. It's an old truck with many issues, but it has always been reliable. We are having lots of discussions about how much we should put into such an old vehicle versus shelling out the money to purchase another one…decisions, decisions. Finally this week Kyle had it towed to a mechanic to figure out what the real issue is…the verdict is still out. It is such a blessing to have our van, but the loss of our 2nd vehicle has made the transportation logistics of a family of 5 kind of difficult. We have to practice lots of communication to ensure the right person has the van at the right time :) Sometimes I take Kyle to work, sometimes he takes the van and we are stranded at home all day, you get the picture between his work schedule, the kids activities and family errands I've felt a bit like a taxi driver lately. Thankfully Kyle's schedule hasn't been super intense, but hopefully we'll figure it out soon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

iPhone Unload {1st Quarter 2014}

I decided to do an iPhone picture post once a quarter. Some of these pictures have been in other posts, but a lot of them are random, everyday type pictures that aren't really blog post worthy. But I want to have a memory of everyday life so here it is. I think in the upcoming posts I will only include iPhone pictures that haven't appeared in a blog post…that would make it a bit simpler :) This post encompasses January - March 2014.

January 2014 (top to bottom, L to R): Nora in her PJ's, Nora and Sawyer ready for gymnastics, Nora and Julia Romans cheering on the Malone Pioneers x2, Nora waiting at the doctor's office x2, Sawyer with friends during a winter trip to the zoo, Nora getting her 1st haircut x6,  me in my new red boots, Sawyer in my new red boots x2, Nora in black and white, one first quilt pieced together, Sawyer wearing mommy's shades x2, me and my girl, Sawyer and Nora modeling their hats x2, in a rare moment Nora is napping on Mommy, making snow ice cream x2, Sawyer giving Nora a check-up as we wait for the doctor x3, Nora's nails painted x2, Kolter's quilt basted.

February 2014 (top to bottom, L to R): Sawyer and Nora "sleeping" in Daddy & Mommy's bed x2, Nora enjoying the Super Bowl snacks, Nora and Sawyer sharing a shopping cart, Sawyer at gymnastics, Sawyer looking very hairy after a hair cut x2, my 2 cuties, Nora thoroughly enjoying an ice cream cone x4, Sawyer and his new Lego obsession x2, Nora cheesing it up on Valentine's Day x7, Valentine's Day treats x4, Valentine's Day meal and fondue, Sawyer enjoying the fondue, my 3 loves on Valentine's Day, Sawyer sporting Daddy's hat x2, Sawyer as a Super Lion, on a winter walk x2, it was a dreadfully cold winter so when the sun shone we took advantage and this day we had a picnic, Nora's 1st braid x2, Sawyer's hair was so crazy this morning I had to add gel and spike it so it appeared it was supposed to look that way, Mommy and Nora cheering on the Pioneer Basketball team, Nora enamored with her pink balloon x2, Sawyer cheering on the Pioneers with a red balloon sword.
March 2014 (top to bottom, L to R): Sawyer excited to see Peter Pan, Mommy and Sawyer ready for his 1st stage performance, Peter Pan x3, Sawyer at Peter Pan with his eye patch and spy glass x3, Peter Pan tickets, Me and Kyle at the Pancake Pantry in Nashville, TN x3, full-size replica of the Parthenon in Nashville, Hee Haa set at the Country Music Hall of Fame, wall of gold records at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Me and Kyle overlooking the city of Nashville, watching an act at a famous Nashville honky-tonk, Me enjoying a gourmet popsicle in Nashville, the dress made of pink crayons in the hotel lobby, my 1st chicken and waffle experience at Loveless Cafe x3, Me at the Grand 'Ol Opry, to end our time in Nashville we had a Nashville original sweet treat Goo-Goos, Nora mad she couldn't figure out the tricycle x2, Sawyer excited to be outside x2, Nora and Sawyer holding hands in the van such sibling love, Sawyer and Nora spilled dry spaghetti noodles all over the stairs and Nora's reaction was "Uh-oh spaghetti-o!," Nora cheesing, ugh snow in spring, dance party with friends, Sawyer and the big bad wolf, Sawyer honing his archery skills, Sawyer fighting the football players and a monster x4, Daddy fighting off the monster for Nora, Nora helping the princess find her frog, taking care of each other, Nora finding shoes for the princess, Nora catching a ball, Sawyer and Nora putting rings on Pinocchio x2, Sawyer building a tower at the Malone children's carnival, Daddy and daughter, Sawyer playing whack a wolf, Sawyer and Nora enjoying cotton candy x2, Sawyer honing his sword fighting skills, Daddy was crowned and so were Sawyer and Nora x3…the next day this little guy arrived, Kolter's entrance into the world, all cleaned off and alert x3, Kolter after his first bath x3, taking a nap with Daddy for the 1st time, Kolter kutie, Kolter swaddled tight x2, sleeping Kolter x2, Nana trying to avoid the mob of Kolter fans once we returned home, Kolter's 1st nap at home, our Kolter kid looking cute x4.

March was a VERY busy month :)