Training our Kids, just like The Dog.

Listen, pets and children are very different, but I’ve taken enough psych-classes to understand conditioning.

I used to be the “do it this way because it’s the best way” kinda mom/wife, but my husband (who is an expert in many things) trained our Pit to say “I love you” and snatch a snack off his nose – also found a great way to train the kids.

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It started with a massive bag of suckers. I was hesitant because of all the sugar and food dyes, but had to concede his method of getting our children to behave.

Getting three kids under five years in the car went from ‘nightmare’ to ‘not too painful’ with a sucker.

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My teething baby girl appreciates the sweet soothing treat.

“Get your shoes on.”

*child still playing and departure time looms*

“Get your shoes on and I’ll give you a sucker as soon as you’re in your carseat.”

*child scrambles for shoes and babbles on about what flavor they want as they strap on shoes and make way to front door*

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I sorta want to sound like Willy Wonka for a second, “the perfectly peach actually tastes like a peach! The pomegranate pucker tastes like a pomegranate” – you get the gist.


Any mother who has had to leave the park early knows the pain of pulling small children from the swings or slide.

What my little suckers wont do for some sugar…

They are eating steamed broccoli, sliced cucumbers, or a beef vegetable soup for dinner – so I have zero mom guilt about bribing them with candy.

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I need to work on my product photography. That’s an art I haven’t quite figured out.

About a month ago I had even less reason to worry about bi-daily sucker eating (high fructose corn syrup and food-dyes)!

I discovered YUM EARTH organic candies. Yes, it’s still sugar, but they are sweetened and colored by fruit! Yes, some have brown rice syrups, but I don’t have to argue with irrational beings about picking up toys anymore. I call it a win.

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They smell as good as they taste.

My huge stache of YUM EARTH’s were meant to last till our church Halloween trunk r treat, but that will depend on my level of patience this month.

We’ve openned (finished off) the gummy bears, sour watermelon lemonade twists, and suckers.

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this cute boy counting his sour twists.

The watermelon lemonade sour twists are fun for my three year old who counts everything and good for his motor skills (they come in a small pack of tiny straws – at least 12 – which my three year old can count up to)!

I’m still fairly new at the mom-thing but I thought I’d share one thing I’m doing that has improved my sanity just a bit.

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The real win is when I tell the kids to get shoes on and get to the van and the habit has been so formed they forget to ask for a sucker or gummy bears and just go!!

My almost two-year old is self potty training, so I may just keep clapping and praising her while I eat the potty snacks! ūüôā A mom can dream can’t I?

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Oh, more gummy bears…now they’re all gone!

 

 

 

 

First Day of Kindergarten for both of us.

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I asked for a group shot on the front porch…Ty took off, Wiley turned around and Adri just listening to her music…

Monday was meet the teacher, which Danny and I took him to. Wednesday I took all three of the kiddos up to the elementary for Wiley to be evaluated. Part of the reason teachers do that is to get that one-on-one time between new pupil and new teacher, building the relationship. It also gives the teacher a baseline for where he is right now in his education. Come parent/teacher night, she’ll be able to show mom and dad some quantitative evidence of his growing knowledge!

Wiley is so intellectually curious, I’m thrilled to have Mrs. S help supplement his education, while I parent the two littles. Wiley is also very social, so now I wont be responsible for entertaining him everyday. Already my sanity is improving.

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All buckled up and ready to go!

Back in the spring when I told him about starting school in August, Wiley told me he didn’t want to go to school. I told him he would love it!! All summer we talked about school and I let him¬†pick out his own clothes, backpack, lunchbox – all in effort to get this guy excited about school. Learning is fun, school is fun!!

Last night, I checked and double checked that Wiley’s backpack met the teacher’s checklist (towel for nap time, spare clothes for potty accidents)…

Kindergarten today – it was an early start 5:50 for mom, 6am for baby girl who heard mommy and Tyler soon followed. Wiley finally surfaced around 6:30.

Lunch was made, mommy got Wiley to eat something for breakfast while he stared blankly from his perch on the couch.

Wiley – “I’m not going to school if you don’t let me watch the show I want.”

Mom – “I’m sorry buddy, no TV before school, but would you like some chocolate milk to drink?”

Wiley – enthusiastic nodding

I had all four of us (mom, three kids under five years) dressed and in the car by 7:18am.

The car drop-off line was a tad hectic, but I knew it was just first day of school issues.

Kindergarten parents have the luxury (on day 1) of parking right in front of the office and walking their kids into their classroom. With overcast skies and cooler temperatures, I felt very comfortable leaving my two littles in their carseats for the 8 minute round trip walk to Wiley’s class.

With less gusto in his walk than yesterday, Wiley held my hand into Mrs. S’s room. I helped him put his lunchbox and backpack where they belong and walked him to his new desk!!

He wasn’t crying, he stood nervously next to his desk and I hugged him really tight, told him, “I love you so much, you’re going to have the best day!” Mrs. S came over and took over. I said ‘bye’ and headed toward the door, I turned around one last time and saw two little boys sitting at the first table inside the door, one spoke to the other, “do you want to be my friend?” I smiled, one last glance at Wiley taking a seat at his table. I knew this was going to be a great day for my little guy. I hurried to the nearest exit and sprinted down the sidewalk to my parked van.

The two babies were still listening to music on my phone (DJ Adri on duty). I sat in the drivers seat and my heart felt swollen, I resisted the urge to cry, a smile cropped up – ear to ear – on my face and I knew everything was going to be great for me too.

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I took the babies to the Post Office (closed till 9am), so I drove over to the Library (closed till 9am) – what the?! We went to a grocery store to kill time before the opening of the library.

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Meeting up with friends (Adrian now being the same age that Wiley used to be when he and I met up with our friends Tina and Haylee for library play!!)!

Followed by lots of outside playtime. Before I knew it – it was time to load the van again to go get our Wiley-man!

The carline for pick up ran much more smoothly than drop-off.

I was so excited to see how his day went – Mrs. S walked him to the curb where I waited and I squealed, “Wiley, how was your day?!”

Wiley burst into tears, “I wanted to take the bus home!!” ¬†hahahahaha

His largest complaint is the time to eat lunch is too short…on a side note, Wiley was telling jokes at lunch. (While eating his grapes, “ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!!” Dan and I asked if anyone laughed, “no.”) hahaha.

He didn’t want to talk much about his day, but I knew he just needed to chill awhile. By the time daddy got home from work and started asking Wiley about his school day, Wiley was really excited to share all about class, “and you know what my teacher said? She said to come back tomorrow!!”

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Finishing lunch!

So, with mom and dad’s excitement, Wiley feels excitement too.

The first day of school was followed by a date night – to the waste water treatment plant – because nothing says true love quite like taking a tour of the place where your poopy-water gets cleaned. I do however now know how that happens. I am grateful for engineers!!

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The aerators help boost the bacteria that love to eat our ‘waste’

If anyone is curious about fun facts, please send me or Danny a Direct Message.

Learning is fun.

 

 

 

You’re not inadequate, you’re the perfect fit.

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family walk time

I got a phone call from a friend I haven’t spoken to since – 2008? Now that I count it up, almost a decade ago! Wow. Thank goodness for social media to help keep tabs on those friends!!

We talked of many things, but something that stayed on my mind was the feelings we shared in our ability to be good mothers.

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run baby run

After pondering on the matter for some time, the thought came into my mind that my children chose me.

They chose me.

Of all the brilliant, kind, talented mothers in the world, these kids chose me.

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run dance run

I don’t have any evidence to prove to you that this is true, it was just something that came to me and brought me peace.

I want to remember that feeling any time the temptation to feel inadequate creeps into my life.

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our deep thinker

They knew you before they came to this earth and thought, “yeah, you’re going to be the perfect fit!”

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He loves to bring me flowers

Keep trying your best. Keep giving them your time, your love, your hugs and kisses.

Keep praying that they will continue to grow up to become the incredible humans you pray they will be.

Keep taking the time to do the things they want to do – even if you can’t finish all the things you want to do.

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They need you. They want you. They are your greatest treasure.

There are still long days ahead. They will need your guidance, your patience, your understanding and most importantly…

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everyone gets a turn on daddy’s back

They need to know that you love them.

Each child will understand, feel and show love in different ways.

Just like you understand, feel and show love in different ways.

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Take the time to learn how they communicate.

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In time you will see that not only were you not inadequate, you were exactly who they needed you to be.

“Life must be understood backward. But… it must be lived forward.” -S√łren Kierkegaard

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hold on as long as you will

In writing this open letter to myself I want other parents to know that you are doing better than you think you are.

XOXO

Me

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Enjoying more fully the Light.

I read a story about post-partum depression today, it wasn’t a happy one, which reminded me that I haven’t updated the internet on the state of my health: ¬†mind, body and soul.

It’s good news. [Sigh of relief]

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My baby boy.

I don’t really feel like talking about the depression, it’s part of my past now and I know that it could potentially be part of my future. For now I’m going to tell you what I’ve been doing, about what makes me happy.

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My oldest niece, the Mermaid. (side note, this was a candid shot, I caught her mid-imagination).

I needed more Family time, spouse time and time just for me.

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First, I called my mom and asked if she would pay for my gym membership. I knew that all the time away from the gym was one reason I was sad. I missed regular exercise!! I started making better choices with my food and I started pampering myself.

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Anyone who knows me, knows that when you think of me, you don’t necessarily think “cheapskate.” But, for years I have rarely paid for haircuts (ask a friend or sister to just cut it right over a trash can), I almost never go into a salon, I have never had a manicure and I only get pedicures once or twice a year (because if I didn’t, my entire foot would turn into a callus). I also never spent money on makeup, hair supplies or skincare.

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My sister, her husband and their sixth baby.

My skin care routine – up until this year – was usually going straight to bed without washing my face. Rinse face in morning or just wait till I took a shower…whenever that was.

Wearing makeup was usually reserved for Sundays and the makeup I did own was either purchased for me by a mother or sister or given to me by a sister or my mother (because it came as a free gift during a purchase)! I spent very little money in the hair, skincare and makeup department.

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Candid shots really are the best.

In the spring and summer of 2016 when I struggled with pink eye, I had to throw away all of the makeup I did own – which included some new and nice (gifted) things. In addition to throwing out all my makeup, I threw out all my bed pillows (nice, newer pillows I couldn’t afford to replace).

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We were also very broke when this happened.

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Somewhere between back to back pregnancies, a husband who was gone all the time for school and with church responsibilities, a four year old just barely potty training (read “three kids in diapers”) – I was feeling pretty haggard.

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My sister and her baby and she’s pregnant with her seventh! (how amazing is she?!)

Well, I discovered a multi-level marketing company that has amazing skin care and makeup. I knew I couldn’t afford to buy/wear good products unless I sold some. So, I signed up to distribute.

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Along the way, I started having fun with my life again and taking care of myself made me feel good.

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So, I’m going to the gym, taking care of my body, eating healthier and getting better sleep – now at¬†bedtime, I don’t lay in bed trying to un-wind from a day that pulled and stretched me, I go to bed, I think of all the things I’m grateful for and all the things I can do better tomorrow.

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Then, I stop thinking and go to sleep.

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I started singing around the house more often, letting the messes sit later, snuggling with my babies a little longer.

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I decided that dates with my husband were worth the cost of a babysitter (again, where I tend to be cheap – “let’s just not get a baby sitter and stay in or take the kids with us.”

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These two never want their daddy out of their sight!

I re-took my Athletic Training exam (to re-certify) and was 23 points short of passing!! [I mean, I can’t be too sad, I’ve been out of practice 11 years!! With very little study time I squeezed in, I almost passed!! Yes, I’m taking it again].

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My mother in law fostered a love for the ocean in my husband, and here she is with her grandchildren (whiny and all).

My energy levels increased and the chemicals in my brain have found balance as I allowed for more positive thoughts.

I consciously made it a daily effort to push negative thinking away and only see the positive. I had let negative thoughts camp too long in my mind and I didn’t want to be sad anymore.

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Happiness had been my life before and I wanted that life back.

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I never stopped praying during my struggles. I never stopped hoping. I knew that change would come if I just kept trying.

God knew me, He had faith that I could overcome my circumstances and He has faith in you too. The tools are there, we just need to reach out. Ask for help and take steps to change.

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Those ‘gulls see food and in they swoop.

Postpartum depression is not an old friend, but foe. An enemy I may face in the coming years. But I have hope that my faith and past experience will help me defeat him again.

Disappointments still arrive, but I see the light and know that everything will work out.

Only one more month of summer…

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Back in May, my very first family shoot (outside of family members)…it was an overcast day, until they showed up. Out came the sun! ¬†We had a few posers in there. hehehe

This summer raced by with record speed. My baby is officially eight months old today!

This breaks my heart just a bit, as she is the best, sweetest baby girl and I’m obviously going to need another baby sooner than I originally planned.

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It’s good to practice on friends, they don’t bat an eye when you ask them to do re-takes…

Because babies are my absolute favorite…and no, this is not a pregnancy announcement.

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Babies!!!

What on earth have I been doing this summer?

What have you been doing this summer?

I asked first…

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Another sunny day, found a huge tree with lots of shade. Look at this family. To quote the excellent animated film ‘Cars’ – “there’s a lot of love out there, man.”

Mostly just all the great mom things of laundry, dishes, cooking…I’ll be completely honest here and admit that I have not been reading many books to my kids this summer, there has been a lot more tv and I have zero guilt about this.

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I used to hate it when my kid didn’t cooperate during pictures. As a photographer, I love it when little kids let their personality shine.

Last school year wore me out. Then in the spring I got pink eye and battled it all the way through July 4th weekend. I have not had any pink eye since that weekend, still have a bit of dry eye, but that is so much easier to deal with.

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Can you guess which one is the future class clown?

What we have had is lots of cuddles – indoors – lots of dirt in hair from the hours spent outside in the backyard, lots of forts. I got tired of putting the boy’s mattress back on the bed, so it’s still on their bedroom floor, surrounded by toys.

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I’m gloriously less stressed these days.

I want to attribute the goodness in my life to God.

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In the chaos of this world, He gives me peace and hope that good things will come.

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In addition to having the support of my husband, the women of the Relief Society (the women’s organization from my church) have gone above and beyond to serve me here in Columbia, Missouri.

I hit the jack pot – and it’s not just the women in my LDS ward – there are women in surrounding wards who have served me too.

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Those acts of service (making us dinner, taking my kids, swapping baby clothes, having us over to play, teaching my children) have lifted my load.

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Playing at the park.

If only the news was full of the stories of these life transforming women – the world wouldn’t seem so dark to me – it would be the light of God’s love shinning. A beacon of hope for humanity.

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The women I go to church with lift me with their testimonies, their compliments, their smiles, their friendship.

In return, those women let me take their picture. I wish I could tell their stories from a photojournalist point of view – as an alternative to the terribly distressing news as of late.

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Behind the scenes with my little ballerina. I had all three of my kids with me…so I didn’t get past testing the lighting. I was done the moment Brant√® said, “Tyler get out of the toilet.” We’ll try again.

Motherhood (since I’m a mother)/Parenting takes a lot of work/sacrifice and without this village of helpful women I would have lost my mind long ago.

(Note about photos – all are SOOC (straight out of camera) photos – because I’m currently too poor for Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.)

[Below are photos taken by a friend – with a nicer camera, nicer lens…nicer skills]

It helps to have a hobby.

View More: http://kenseydeephotography.pass.us/katie-shannon
Can you say, “lens envy”?

Mine is record keeping. Family record keeping. Which is the main reason for blogging. It’s also why I love taking photos. ¬†I have made several family photo album books this year. It takes me awhile to make family yearbooks, but I enjoy reliving our time together as I pick through our photos from the year and write about our time spent together.

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I had no plans to be in photos when I got ready for the park! She mentioned taking some of me, so I threw on a coordinating shirt. So, this is me in all my mom glory!

It is the reading of and looking through those memories that draw me nearer to my extended family and friends.

View More: http://kenseydeephotography.pass.us/katie-shannon

Anyone up for pictures? I can’t promise they will look mystically amazing, but I’d love the practice and you will have a moment of time captured forever of that day your three year old got gum stuck in his hair and your baby had poop up his back…

and those memories are worth preserving.

View More: http://kenseydeephotography.pass.us/katie-shannon
What our children prefer over having pictures taken…

 

Raising children in an uncertain world.

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Every other day I wonder what kind of world I’m raising my children in…

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I want to shelter them forever from the absence of love, so I love them more.

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I want to shelter them from anger, so I try to be more patient with them…

I don’t always succeed in that, but I will keep trying.

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I want to shelter them from unkindness, so I try to teach them to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please.’

We’re still working on sharing.

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I want to shelter them from other people’s bad choices, to I teach them to be aware.

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I had a happy childhood and I want my children to know what happiness is, so they can look for safe and longterm solutions to cope with the world.

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I want them to know how much God loves them, how much God loves every human on this planet and how we need to see each other as brothers and sisters.

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I want them to know that every human has the potential for greatness – not the world’s definition of greatness – that, in the words of Howard W Hunter,

“True greatness [comes from] the thousands of little deeds and tasks of service and sacrifice that constitutes the giving, or losing, of one’s life for others and for the Lord.”

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Children, your time for service and sacrifice is coming. Your job now is to know joy, to know love, to see beauty in the world you live in and to know that in the end, everything will be alright.

Indeed, in the end, our life is in God’s hands.

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Play on babies, play on.

Happy Mother’s Day

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photo a bit over exposed, but her face, it’s perfection.

Mother’s Day my head was in the clouds…I gave the wrong lesson at church on Sunday in the clouds.

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(I gave a lesson that we had already been given…just, wow.)

It all worked out.

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working on taking photos in low lighting.

The good news is, you can give the same lesson over and over and over again…

and it’s like a whole new lesson. Us human beings learn great that way.

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Line upon line.

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Grumpy pants didn’t want to sit in his carseat any more…Can’t say I blame him. But I always get him out last, to help him avoid the temptation to run into the street!

When I called mom to wish her a happy mother’s day, she reminded me that I haven’t given her photographic updates on her grand babies in awhile.

Again, mind in the clouds mom.

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Taken in low lighting…wiggly little boy. Not bad. Not sure what he is thinking about, but he’s holding a ball of play dough and a butter knife. ūüôā

I’ve been working on improving my photography, because I enjoy taking photos of my children.

I also love having family photos – it is really important to me – and yet it rarely happens.

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He was begging me to take a picture of the bear…but I was focusing on his eyes.

To make sure that other moms/families don’t suffer from family photo droughts, I like to be handy with a camera. The few photos I do have on my wall, bring me such joy.

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Okay, this was taken with my cruddy cell phone camera, but this kid and food. Hahaha. He’s getting much better.

But, I admit, I got a kick in the pants to pick up the camera again.

My friend who started a dance studio asked me to come down and take photos for her dance classes.

So, in an effort to sharpen my skills, a few families around town were begged to let me take their family photos (there was lots of arm twisting).

In between, I’ve been capturing my wiggly kids.

Thinking of you Mom and Nona – hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day.

 

 

Our oldest turns Four years.

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This boy makes me laugh – No, I didn’t make him sit like this.

Today at church I briefly stood before my congregation and bore my testimony of God’s love, how sometimes in His love ¬†(and infinite wisdom) He asks us to do hard things…because He knows that it will make us strong.

Motherhood has been a struggle for me lately. Particularly with my first born. He is determined to help me be strong. Really strong.

After my testimony, I returned to my seat. ¬†Wiley was so happy to see me and said, very enthusiastically, “Mom, you did a great job!” followed by a sweet little boy kiss.

Floating – his kiss and exclamation had me floating the rest of the day! (much like the hot air balloon we saw fly over our home.)

God sent me a strong willed, funny, intelligent, happy, passionate, particular and loving boy we call, ‘Wiley.’

Wiley turned 4 years old last week.

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Lord knows time is flying and somedays it doesn’t fly fast enough to bedtime…

I am well and healthy today, but the entire month of April¬†I was sick. ¬†So, as Wiley’s birthday neared, I knew he wouldn’t care if he had a party, but I wanted his day to feel really special. I wanted him to know I thought he was special.

He started his day with cartoons. I had blown up several orange balloons to litter the floor and got him four floating balloons and two dinosaur puzzles.

[go Dollar General!!!]

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Happy Birthday!

I had to coax him away from the TV for a morning outing – just with mom.

I took him to the grocery store and let him pick out anything he wanted! Cause, I’m money bags like that.

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The birthday boy wanted fresh strawberries, raspberries, whipped cream and donuts.

He also wanted a “grown-up sippy cup” (those plastic drinking glasses with straws/screw on lids) colored orange. The boy likes orange.

I’m pretty sure most of his t-shirts are orange.

Kind of fits his personality.

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Dad and Wiley had about 30 minutes of just ‘them time’ before I came out.

After our breakfast outing, he wanted to put his dinosaur puzzles together with me. He and his little brother had hours of fun playing with the balloons. I read some books…and I let him play on the iPad, because that was just what he wanted!

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I love his face as he bites into that marshmallow.

Daddy took Wiley and Tyler to the “big slide park” for about two hours later in the day.

(I love, LOVE, when Dan takes them to the park – no bedtime troubles – and quiet time for mom.)

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The grand finale to the birthday boy’s day was after the two babies went to bed.

Daddy made a fire in the fire ring and they roasted marshmallows!

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It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten marshmallows, they aren’t my favorite.

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We didn’t have cake, I pointed them out in the store, but he wanted donuts for breakfast and marshmallows for dessert; who am I to argue with the birthday King?!

Wiley stayed up late. I wish I could say it was way past his usual bedtime, but he typically refuses sleep until around 10pm every night, so it was business as usual.

Wiley finally passed out on the bed next to mommy and his sleeping baby sister.

Fighting sleep till the bitter end.

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Spring Breaker 2016: Sick Parent Edition.

Last week was our Spring Break (Dan had the week off from school) – we were going to head down to Texas to see family…

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The day before I woke up with pink eye, Easter eggs hunt with Wiley’s pre-school class and their younger siblings. I was starting to feel more sick as this day wore on.

Seven days¬†before break, I got a little cold, the Thursday before Spring Break, I got pink eye. I knew I didn’t have time to mess around, so I went to a walk-in clinic for eye drops.

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Day 2, both eyes goopy and felt like sandpaper.

On Friday, I woke up with Pink eye in both eyes and my face was so swollen…I called my sister and told her I was not coming and maybe if things cleared up by Monday, we’d head down then?

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oh, hey Monday.

Come Monday morning, Danny was doing better and I had two pink eyes and a sinus infection.

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The internet is where you put un-flattering photos of yourself, right??! Had to wear the head band for 8 days, to keep fly away hair from getting into my eyes and therefore my fingers.

I was really bummed to use our break for sick days, but, Danny was able to spend a lot of time at the park with his little boys.

I was really really bummed that I wasn’t able to smother my baby girl in daily kisses.

Each new day I didn’t see much progress – I even woke up every three hours to put those drops in my eyes. Was it a viral infection? yes, but I thought, ‘hey, it can’t make it worse,’ will it?

We did a lot of resting, played with a silly face swap app on the iPad…

Wiley got ahold of my phone and took pictures while I nursed the baby in my room.

Not bad, not bad. hehehe

Thursday morning, nearing the end of break, my pink eyes cleared and although I still had sinusitis, we decided to head down to my parents a few hours south.

So, to my family in Texas – I’m sorry we couldn’t make it down. I hope that we get to see ya’ll soon, here’s some fun photos from our Winter:

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I’m so crazy from being stuck indoors, I’m going outside, I don’t care how cold it is! We’re just prepping for that time we live in Finland?

 

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My little super boy! He loves playing with Daddy’s chess pieces, I’ve had to hide the ones he has not yet lost.

 

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Tyler loves food. When he finishes his, he usually goes after Wiley’s plate…because Wiley doesn’t care much for the stuff.

 

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Ty will help Daddy finish too.

 

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Don’t leave food on the table…or the troll will climb up and eat it when you’re not looking.
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Also, Moms, don’t leave your oatmeal on the kitchen counter, because that pesky troll will pull it off and eat that too.

 

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Playing chess again. Meanwhile, in potty training…two steps forward, one step back.

 

Always wondering when Daddy will come home:

 

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The complete guide to Lego Star Wars – captures even the smallest imaginations.

 

Ah well, I feel like another road trip is in our future:

Naming a child, with your spouse.

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Two and a half months. My children all get this look from time to time, I love it.

Dan and I agreeing on a name when I was six months pregnant, was the soonest we decided on a name.

We had driven down to Texas for my sister’s August wedding, so we had ample time to talk names.

On our drive back to Missouri, Danny had his cellphone out and was telling me all the cool bird names he liked (because I really like the name Birdie, and we were trying to find a bird name for awhile).

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Birdie?

I smile when I hear ‘Kestrel’…my youngest sister could have been Kestrel.

So, from Houston, TX to Tulsa, Oklahoma, Danny and I tossed names back and forth.  Separately, he and I decided we liked the name Bell, but not as a first name.

Our little family made a really fast stop in Tulsa to stretch our legs and visit a close friend of mine.

My friend Rachel happens to now work at our alma mater, The University of Tulsa. It being August, the football team was in the middle of their two-a-day practices.

So, our brief stop was in the football training room to catch up with Rachel.

As she and I were catching up, one of the long time Orthopedic Doc’s came into the training room and joined our conversation.

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I think some things are truly meant to be.

Out of no-where, Rachel says to Dr. M, “So Katie and her husband are having a hard time choosing a name for their baby girl.”

Dr. M has been a long time friend of my mother’s family, so when he got a sparkle in his eye and said, “I know a nice name.” I knew he was going to say, “Adrien.”

Dr. M’s wife died of cancer in her early forties, and I have heard, for many years from my Grandmother, what a lovely and gracious lady she was. He never remarried and adopted The University of Tulsa athletics as his family (in addition to his children).

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Rachel and Dr M said how they liked the sound of Adrien (how his wife spelled her name) with our last name.

An hour later, Dan and I back in the truck swapping names again, I asked Danny what he thought of the name Adrien.

He said he liked it!

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Dan looked up the origin of the name, depending on where you look, “dark one” or “one who comes from Adria” which makes way more sense to me.

Adria is on the north eastern coast of Italy, sitting on the Adriatic Sea.

Now that Dan is neck deep with research in Water Engineering, it only makes sense that he said, “if we spell it ‘Adrian’ after the body of water.”

And that is how our sweet little Adrian Bell came to be named.

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Adrian Bell at three months!

Alert, Smiles all day, babbling, a great sleeper (when she isn’t sick) and trying to get up and walk to keep up with the boys.