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Christmas Cheer


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It’s that time again!! One of my favorite times of the year. Decorating the Christmas tree with my family in matching pajamas! This is our 3rd year doing it and I don’t see us stopping any time soon. Well, hopefully not. Teenagers still like to match their entire family and pose for pictures with them, right? Someone tell me that they do! For now, I will cherish these moments while they are still young enough to not only match us, but to actually love matching us! My pregnant self actually just teared up a little bit thinking of how fleeting these moments are. But I know we still have a few years so I’m going to enjoy it while I can!

This year we got these new pajamas! We had been wearing the same elf sets for the past 2 years so it was time for a change..especially since some of the kids’ pants had holes in the knees from wearing them so much. This year I decided to go with something a little less Christmas-y so we could rock them all year round. Not that we didn’t already do that with the elf jammies. But now I could actually photograph them all year without looking out of place. And can we talk about how much my husband enjoys it too? Because I know there are some husbands out there who would be totally opposed to the matching jammie thing. But Don is completely on board.

Before setting up our tree, I asked the kids if we could snap a few family photos. The focus and coloring is off on pretty much every picture but I still absolutely love them! My favorite part is seeing everyone’s personalities shining through. (Except sweet Clementine who would have rather not been in the pictures with us. I suppose she’s already embarrassed haha.)

While I was setting up the camera and testing out the camera remote, I happened to snap this adorable picture. Desmond’s smile melts me every time I look at it!

All of these pictures were taken the week before getting our new camera a lens so now we’re going to have to retake them to get better quality 😉 Anyway, after we were done taking pictures, we drug all our Christmas decorations out and started putting up the Christmas tree!

I didn’t start taking pictures until they were probably halfway done because I was helping them put hooks on the ornaments. But I did get a few photos!

And of course by the time I pulled out my camera, Desmond was pretty much done. I managed to find one picture on my camera to document the fact that he helped 😉

I love these pictures of the boys reaching up to hang the ornaments as high as they can. It won’t be long until they won’t need to find things to stand on.

When we decorate, I let the kids put up all the ornaments on their own. It ends up looking like colorful chaos. It’s beautiful because it’s their creativity shining through. But I’ll be honest, I want my tree to look nice too! So after they are done decorating and have moved on to other things, I go back and rearrange it how I like it!

The past couple of years they didn’t really care. This year I could tell they were kind of wanting to keep it the way it was. I mentioned buying them a clearanced tree after Christmas to put upstairs so that they could decorate however they wanted. They were so excited! They love the rainbow tree that we ended up with. But I know they’d also love to have a bit more control with creativity. So I’m excited that we found a solution that everyone is happy with!

Clementine had been napping up until this point. When she came out, she had so much fun playing with all of the ornaments. It made me very nervous that we’d spend the whole Christmas season redirecting her. But thankfully it hasn’t become too much of an issue. It’s kind of funny that I prepare myself every year to have a toddler destroying our tree and then they barely notice its existence.

I love our bright, cheery rainbow tree during the day. And also the cozy, magical vibes it gives off at night. I saw Don playing around with the camera by the tree so that made ME want to do it. I always love the glow it casts on everyone’s faces.

And this itty bitty Clemmie hand reaching for an ornament!

Also, this super grainy, but super adorable picture of the kids. They all kept lining up on the window sill and asking me to take pictures. The way Desmond is looking at his big brother is just the sweetest so I had to include it in this post!!

Before you go, make sure you watch the vlog from our Christmas tree decorating!!

And if you want to see our tree decorating from years past and see how much everybody has grown, you can click HERE for last year’s and HERE  for two years ago! Have a happy weekend!

iphone, Month In A Minute

October Recap


I’m a little late getting to my recap post this month (I’ll get to it in a minute.) But in case you hadn’t already heard, last week we ended up in the ER with Desmond (our two year old.) Because I left all my posts about it so vague, I thought I would just quickly share what happened. You know, as quickly as this long winded woman can manage haha.

Last Wednesday (the 1st) we noticed that Desmond had cough/cold symptoms and he was wheezing. Our 4 oldest have asthma so we knew the drill. However, I’m always afraid of over medicating (I’ll touch more on that in a minute) so we didn’t immediately treat him since his symptoms were so mild. Very quickly we noticed his breathing become much more labored so we decided to give him the inhaler. When that didn’t seem to help, we gave him some leftover steroid from his sister’s asthma flare up the week before. At this point, I’m noticing he is retracting as he’s breathing.

Of course, as these things always seem to happen, it was in the evening when both our doctor’s office and urgent care were closed. So I took a video and asked on a Facebook group (filled with lots of nurses!) how concerned we should be. We didn’t want to have to go to the ER if we could just treat him at home with breathing treatments. Within minutes of posting the video, I had tons of people urging me to get him to the ER as soon as possible.

When we walked up to the front desk at the ER to register, the nurse watched him take one breath before taking us immediately back to a room where they hooked up him to machines and got his vitals. Amazingly, his oxygen was good but he was working way too hard to breathe. After steroids and breathing treatments, he was doing much better but they decided he needed to stay overnight. Throughout the next day, he was given breathing treatments but his little body was still working too hard. He had one episode during his nap when his oxygen dropped so that made them decide to keep him an extra night to monitor him.

Thankfully that night went well and we were able to go home the next day. I’m so thankful for all the women who encouraged me to get to the hospital quickly. I don’t even want to think of what could have happened if we had decided to wait until the next morning to see how he was doing.

Even though my husband has asthma and I’ve been treating our 4 oldest for asthma for many years, I learned that I was under medicating our children. I had been so afraid of over medicating and that was actually putting them in more danger. I was given so much good information about when to start treating and how much medication to give. I was also made more aware of when it’s time to take a child to the doctor. I only just learned what “retracting” even means so I didn’t even realize how bad Desmond actually was. I feel so much better equipped to take care of our kids now when they are having troubles with their breathing.

Anyway, that turned out way longer than I had anticipated and that’s actually the very brief version. But I’m just so happy that everything turned out okay. Desmond is doing great right now. He still has a cough and they warned us that it’s likely he could get an ear infection or pneumonia, but so far he seems to be doing well. And me? Well I’m just still recovering from sleeping on a hospital couch for 2 nights (while also being pregnant.)

Now back to October’s recap…starting with this sweet sleepy girl. I get tons of questions about how I’m able to get such well lit pictures of her napping. Her crib is actually pushed up against the window in our room and we have been leaving the blinds open during nap time since birth. I wanted her to be used to sleeping in any lighting and it has worked out wonderfully! I’ll be doing it again with baby #7!

The naptime photos are definitely getting more difficult (not that they were ever necessarily “easy” with her) but I still have to attempt them as much as possible!

Meanwhile, Evangeline is working on all her “instagram mom” poses haha. She says she wants to be a mommy when she grows up and that makes me so happy. Her stroller is from Trio Kid (that’s an affiliate link which just means I’d make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchased through that link) and it’s such an adorable play stroller!

I already put up some pictures from our pumpkin patch visit but I had to post a few from my phone.

How is it possible that she looks so grown up but also still feels like my little baby?! It’s so hard to imagine her becoming a big sister in just a few short months. I have a feeling there’s going to be some major jealousy issues going on 😉

Also, her laughs and smiles are the best thing in the world! Every smile is 100% contagious.

A girls day with Evangeline a couple of weeks ago was exactly what I (and she) needed. It’s so hard to find time to do one-on-one time with each of the kids but this day showed me how much we need to prioritize it! I had such a fun time with her as she pointed out every single thing that was “super pretty.” It was fun to treat her to Steak n Shake and give her some undivided attention.

A local IG friend happens to work for our favorite doll company (Cuddle and Kind) and was looking for some models for a video shoot they were doing. Kingston and Evangeline got to run around and play at a Christmas tree farm with a fun snow machine. They did so incredibly well! So if you happen to see the Cuddle and Kind Christmas video, watch for both of them in it! We had such a fun time and the kids looked adorable in their outfits with the dolls.

This stair step photo is probably my new favorite group shot of the kids. 6 kids standing in a straight line AND smiling! You better believe we only had a few seconds to get that picture before Clementine took off and decided she was done haha. I’m still amazed I was able to get that shot (without even having to bribe them!!)

I used to think I’d forever be a boy mom. I can’t believe we’re about to have our 3rd girl! Watching these two sisters together sure makes me excited for another little girly in our family.

One of my favorite Halloween week traditions (inspired by my friend, Maggi!) We pick up some donuts and eyeball sprinkles from Walmart (we just wash and reuse the plastic teeth–go ahead and gag if you want.) Then I just let the kids “decorate” them. So easy and so fun!

I already posted our Halloween pictures but I just had to include this close up of my little munchkin and that amazing hair. Funny story, the next day I didn’t wash his hair because he was feeling bad. But then we had to rush to the hospital. Right as we were walking out the door, I tried to turn it into a faux hawk (which wasn’t the easiest because of course I decided to use super strength hairspray on there the night before.) His hair was a total sloppy mess but he got SO many compliments on his hair. Maybe I should have left it like this haha.

November started out a little rough but I have a feeling it’s going to get better! Especially since today is my 30th birthday and all I requested for my birthday was lots of yummy foods that I won’t have to cook, a day out exploring the fall foliage before it’s gone, and a family picture! I’ve heard great things about life in your 30s so I hope it’s all it’s cracked up to be 😉

Have a great day and don’t forget to watch the Month in a Minute from October!!