Dear Kole

Oh my sweet little Kole.  You are two years old today buddy!  It’s hard to believe – the last two years have flown by so quickly.

I was just bringing you home from the hospital admiring your perfect little head and features and thinking of how you were just all boy.  Even as a newborn.  And so incredibly perfect.

And now in the blink of an eye you are suddenly a toddler.  An adorable, active, mischievous, cuddly, smart, (did I mention active?) toddler.  You are still all boy and I have loved experiencing parenting all over again in a different way.

Things you are loving right now…

-Trains, cars, blocks, and puzzles.
-Dumbo, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and The Wiggles.
-Opening and closing the garage door (we do this multiple times every day).

 -Opening and closing bedroom doors.
-Walks with mommy in the stroller.
-Eggo waffles, pasta, sweet potato puffs, and strawberries.

-Doing laundry.  It’s your favorite thing!  Probably because we do so much of it together.  :)  You love having the warm clothes tossed on you.  You pull me into the laundry room all the time and lead me to the dryer so I’ll open it and throw the clothes on you.  Sometimes there isn’t any clean laundry to fold and you get so upset.  Luckily this isn’t the case that often!
-Bedtime – you have always been such a good sleeper Kole.  You give me no problem at all when it’s time for your nap/bedtime.  When I pick you up and say it’s time for bed you cross one little hand over the other arm.  Your sign that you’re ready to wind down.

-Cleaning and taking photos with mommy.  Since you’re home with me all the time you get a taste of my world every day!  We clean a lot together.  You love it and are always such a huge help.  :)

We take photos for the blog and you have become such a ham!  I love it.  

You have a special way of making my photos much more interesting.  :)  

-Your pacifier.  You only use it when you sleep and once in a while if you find one laying around the house.   I need to get rid of it soon.  Waiting for the right time and frame of mind for that one!
-Reading stories with mommy in the rocking chair (favorites are Wheels on the Bus and Good Morning Good Night).

-Playing with your sisters.  It always makes me laugh the way you park yourself right in the middle of things when they are playing.  You like to feel like you are a part of the action!

-Stacking blocks and doing puzzles with daddy.  You love it when daddy comes home from work!  You run and hug him and he scoops you up and then you won’t let him set you down.  :)

-Playing at the park.  Actually playing around the park – in the trees, bushes, and parking lot.  You basically go everywhere you’re not supposed to go.  Of course.  :)

Things I want to remember…

- I love how social you are Kole.  You always look at us right in the eyes to make sure we are watching you.  Sometimes you take your little hands and move our faces right in front of yours.  It’s impossible not to smile when you do this.  You like our full attention.  At all times!
- You are such a mommas boy and follow me around everywhere!  We do everything together.  Everything.  You cry when/if I leave you and aside from babysitters once in a while I don’t leave you much!  It’s pretty rare to see one of us without the other.
-I love the way you take us by the hand to guide us to what you want.  You aren’t talking much yet Kole.  Well, you “talk” all day long, but only say a couple of real words.  We’ve started some behavioral and speech therapy and hope that it helps.  I have gone from totally stressed out over this, to not worried at all, to worried that I should be more worried!  Time will tell how big of an issue this is, but deep down I know that you will be just fine.  I think you just like to do things on your own time line.  And stress your parents out in the process.  :)
-You are such a problem solver.  Even though you don’t talk I can always tell how much you understand.  Your little wheels are always in motion and you surprise me daily with how smart you are and how much you are learning.
-You are extremely cuddly!  It’s one of my favorite things about you.  You love to hug and snuggle in close to me.  At night we read stories and you let me rock you.  I close my eyes and try to hang on so tightly to those moments.  I focus on what you smell like and how it feels to hold you close.  I know our rocking days are numbered and they are moments I will never forget.  

Juggling life with you and your sisters has been a challenge for me the last two years.  There have been times, especially during difficult moments, that my mind has wandered back to the days before you were born when things were calmer, more orderly, and overall just easier.  And then I immediately get a lump in my throat at the thought of my life without you in it.  Deep down Kole I always knew I would have a son someday.  I always knew you were meant to be a part of this family.  And yes, you are in a busy stage of life.  You climb on things you shouldn’t, pull your sisters hair, dump food all over the kitchen, and scream when you can’t do exactly what you want.  Sometimes throughout the day you make me feel frustrated, upset, and overall just tired.  But you also have a smile that lights up the room.  And a personality that is impossible not to adore.  And often throughout the day you also make me feel happy, loved, and overall just incredibly grateful.  I am so grateful for you Kole.  We had a scare soon after you came into this world and throughout that whole experience all I could think about was how much it meant to me to raise you and your sisters.  To be here with your daddy to see you become an adorable, active, mischievous, cuddly, smart little toddler.  I thank God every day that I’m still here and that our scare didn’t happen before you were born.  I thank Him every day for you Kole.  You are so special to me and I love you more than words can express.  Happy birthday sweet boy!

xoxo,

mommy

Spring Hutch

Sharing a few pics of my Spring Hutch today!  I didn’t change much.  Just moved a few things around and added some greenery.  

See the pitcher in the pic above?  It was a Home Goods find for $12.  I love it.  Then I decided I loved it even more when I was shopping in Anthropologie the other day and saw this oh so similar pitcher for  $28.  :)  Isn’t it the best when that happens!?  In fact, I was feeling so good about the money I saved on my pitcher that I decided I had more to spend in Anthropologie.  Basic math, right?  Isn’t it the best when that happens too!?  ;)
 I even found a new home for my little birds.  They love this Springy time of year! 

 They also love my Home Goods wanna be Anthro pitcher.
In fact, they’re having a friendly little conversation about it right now.  
That’s a wrap on my Spring Hutch post!  
BTW – It’s just short of a miracle that I was able to take these pictures.  A certain someone was all too willing to help with my photo shoot…
Ok.  Now that’s a wrap.
Happy Spring everyone!

Kole’s picture spotlight

My baby is turning two this Friday!  Kole is my last baby and when he turned one I was extremely emotional.  In fact, I cried so much that Kole had to take over my blog to write his own birthday post.  ;)  This year I feel like crying too.  Tears of JOY!!  Ok – in all seriousness I am so sad to see my baby getting bigger.  But at the same time I am so happy to leave the year of the one year old.  Next to newborn land it is my least favorite stage.  Yes, one year olds are absolutely adorable.  They have to be.  It’s the only way their parents can survive them!  :)  I actually love age two – still adorable but more talking and understanding and the ability to entertain themselves for longer than three seconds.  I have yet to find anything “terrible” about age two so this year I say bring out the birthday hats!!  
So for the month of March I took down Ellie’s birthday spotlight…
and put up Kole’s.  I sat down at my computer one night and thought I’ll just take a few minutes and round up my favorite pictures of my little buddy.  An hour later I had around 40 pictures that were all my favorite – no joke.  So I carefully narrowed it to 20.  Then finally narrowed it down to 12.  This kid may be the third, but if you saw the amount of pictures I’ve taken of him you’d never know it! 

  I also added a couple of pictures with me in them.  Because, well – March is my birthday month too.  And let’s face it, Kole and I are pretty much a package deal.  You don’t find one of us without the other.
  :)

Organized Bathroom Drawers

Sharing my bathroom drawers today!  The master bathroom is one place that can get unorganized in a hurry, isn’t it!?  I’ve had my bathroom drawers organized the same way for the past ten years and I LOVE my system.  Love it.  Every once in a while I clean the drawers out and maybe move things around a bit, but the system stays the same!  So I present to you my beloved system… just in case you want to make it your system too.   

I use these Rubbermaid interlocking drawer organizers from The Container Store in all of my bathroom drawers.  I always buy mine at The Container Store, but every once in a while I see them at Target.  I love them for several reasons.  I love that when they are put together they fill my drawers almost completely maximizing every ounce of space.  I love the way they link together creating one complete unit full of lots of mini compartments.  I love that they are cheap to buy so I can replace them if/when they start looking dirty.  And I especially LOVE that I can create so many different configurations with them making them work for me and my specific needs.  Want to see what I mean?

Here are just a few ways you can organize these fabulous compartments!  If I didn’t have three little people who constantly need my attention I could have created and photographed different configurations all. day. long.  Aren’t they fun!?  Mix and match – match and mix.  Everything links together.  So many different sizes.  So many ways to organize your things.  I can’t exactly explain the happiness I feel when I look at the picture above.  Like everything is right with the world.  :)  
I keep our most used bathroom items in a cupboard on the wall (deodorant, hairspray, etc.), but everything else I use daily goes in my bathroom drawers.  Here’s how I have my organized configurations configurized.  (I’m so happy about this post that I’m making up my own words.  Although Kenny would tell you that I tend to make up my own words regardless of my mood.)  

Top drawer is where I keep my make-up and hair brushes (nice and clean now!).  Razors are in the back so that little fingers can’t reach them.

I have two of the mini organizers inside of a larger organizer to separate the girls elastics (because half of the time I end up doing their hair in my bathroom) and my beloved cherry ice chap stick – which I can’t live without and keep in stock at all times.  I can’t find it anywhere I regularly shop so my mom buys it for me in Utah.  Every time she comes to visit she brings me some to replenish my stash.  Love my mom.  Love cherry ice chap stick.

Second drawer holds other odds and ends.  Toothbrushes, some hair accessories, Q tips, and shampoo samples (because I’m always trying to find my favorite).  Yes I wear contacts and yes I realize that is an insane amount of extra contact containers.  Ha!  I get a new one every time I go to the eye doctor and I suppose I could get rid of a few of them.  But I don’t.  Because I have room for them and I love the color green.  I also keep a sticky pad and a pen in this drawer because when I’m taking off my make-up at night I ALWAYS think of something I need to remember to do the next morning.  It’s so handy having a notepad and pen near by to jot yourself a little note before bed.

For my third drawer I use two of the largest organizers.  This drawer holds my headbands and is also a random catch all of for extra stuff.  
My fourth drawer contents tend to change.  This is where I like to keep my curling irons and blow dryer.  But when I have a child under age 3 in the house my fourth drawer looks like this…
The idea is that while I’m getting ready in the morning Kole has his own stuff to play with in the bathroom (and curling irons are out of reach).  Of course he’d much rather reach into my drawers to play.  And who could blame him?  Why play with a train when dental floss is so incredibly interesting? 
:)
In the mood to organize your bathroom drawers?  Just a few tips…
1-  Dump out all of your drawers (I like to grab a towel or sheet to dump everything on).
2 – Get rid of anything you aren’t using.  (If it’s a maybe I might use this someday item… toss it!)
3-  Assess what you have and put things in categories.
4-  Buy/find/create organizers that maximize your space and work for your needs.

5-  If your organizers don’t fit your exact drawer dimensions and you want to keep them from sliding around in the drawer, use Velcro to hold them down OR stuff a few paper towels in the back of the drawer.  Both methods have worked for me!
6- And if your organized drawers make you so happy that you want to take pictures of them to share with other people who love to organize as much as you do?

Then slap your hair back in a pony tail, stand on a chair (to get the best view possible), and have at it! 
:)

Have a great week everyone!

p.s.  You can see how I organize my girls’ bathroom and hair accessories here.

My little helper

Happy Friday everyone!  I don’t have time to post much – we have been busy this week working on our landscaping plans!  I’m so excited to have a yard.  My kids have way too much energy and need a place to burn it off!  We’ve also been busy this week organizing and decorating.  
And by “we” I mean me and my little helper.  
This boy has mad vacuuming skills and can clean out a closet like no one’s business.  
The two of us have lots to share next week! 
And in case you’re wondering, I am thinking about renting Kole out if you need a little work done around your house.  He doesn’t charge much.  Just give him a vacuum or broom and maybe a few fishy crackers. Then sit back and watch the magic happen!  
:)
Enjoy your weekend!