10.30.2015

Halloween Eve

Its Halloween EVE!!  You guys.  SO excited.  My girls are p u m p e d this year for their costumes, for the candy, and for the pumpkins!  We were so late in the game this year with all the pumpkin carving activities - but I think starting back to work, sickness x 3 plus sleepless nights x 14 .. see also 'running on fumes' .. will swing you through the days SO fast.
Yesterday morning was the fall tricks and treats party at the girls' preschool and I was probably much more hyped up for it than they were. It was another first for my girls and I knew what was coming and how fun it would be for them, so I was excited for the experience.
The kiddos and teachers all dressed up for the candy parade and the party that followed.  
BB brought these glitter cat masks home from their trip to Europe, so I thought they would be perfect to wear for their Halloween day at school.  A play on A Midsummer Night's Dream, if you will.
 The parade was probably the cutest thing i had ever seen.  The girls walked through the church collecting candy from the many teachers and support staff dressed up as well.  It was another one of those things that I think the twins had zero recollection of from a year ago, so the glazed look overcame the excitement pretty quickly.
 While the babes finished up their parade.. I retreated to the classroom to set up and get ready for the 'party' portion of the day.
The chalkboard pumpkins were a BIG HIT.
 Acrylic pumpkins spray painted with 2-3 coats of regular chalkboard paint and allowed to dry over night.
The perfect project for the hubby to take care of this week:) 
 I tried to stay well enough out of the way so that the twins could be independent during the activity.  Parker wanted nothing to do with it at first and just wanted to sit in my lap, so I had to move out of the way.  But this little face, though.  I didn't mind.  
THE happiest babe, ever!  She had just filled her diaper and when I went to change her the realization that I never refilled my bag with wipes came flooding in.  
Whoops!  Thankful this place was full of babies, so someone was able to let me borrow a few in the meantime.
 Time for the FOOD!
pizza + fruit + popcorn + cupcakes
 After their party, we went ahead and stole the girls away for the rest of the day.. aka, let them nap at home! We went home for lunch and one round of Mickey Mouse and then off the bed for a solid 3 hour nap.  They were wiped!  I worked a bit on my laptop and caught up on emails from the morning.
After the girls woke we headed out on a mission to finally pick up some pumpkins for our front porch.  
Yes.  We are late. SO flipping late.  After a few stops with s l i m pickings (no surprise there) we decided to pull into a small nursery on our way back to the house.  It was no pumpkin patch, but these pumpkins were just as good! 
 Remember when mama forgot the wipes?  yea.. had to change out of those tights. 
Foxy sox it is!  Baker had to get in on the pumpkin picking action, too!
 We actually had an original plan to pick up one pumpkin to carve, we just couldn't resist the gourds and Cinderella pumpkins.
The days are getting shorter, and by the time we got home it was dark outside.  
I LOVE this time of year.  
Its Halloween Eve and we have grand plans to do nothing.  We are all still recovering from the week of congestion and stuffy heads.
pumpkin carving + sidewalk chalk + long naps.. maybe planning a little more of the twins THIRD birthday party during those long naps..
..and staying in our Halloween jammies all day.
I cannot wait for this weekend.
Happy Halloween Eve, friends!

10.29.2015

Week's Relief

Its been a heck of a week. A week of frustration.  A week of exhaustion.  A week that I felt like couldn't wait for it to be over.. and then I would have a laugh until my side hurt that made the world go round again.

The day I went back to work last week, Miss Baker started with a stuffy head.  Parker and Jolie soon followed.  Jordan was next.. and then I was last.  My entire house has carried whatever head mess this is through yet another week.  Sleepless babies and exhausted parents shown proof by dark circles and irritability.  I've thought often this week and questioned myself every time.. Why didn't I sleep more when I didn't have kids?  w h a t was I doing with all my time and why didn't I spend more of it napping?? 
A true mystery.  
The congestion has been unnerving..  Jordan has carried the Frida and saline in his back pocket for like 11 days just in case he needed it.  Remember when I talked about Baker going through a growth spurt a couple weeks ago?   Since then she hadn't had a bottle and I didn't even think or remember about that little life change of her's when I prepared three 4-ounce bottles for her on my first day back at work.  That night she was up every hour.  
Wait.  What is happening.  Why is she waking every hour NOW when I have to be up in 37 minutes to get ready for work and actually look presentable.  You've been sleeping through the night since 5 weeks!!  Why are you doing this??
Night 2.. three.. night seven.  
Jordan and I were dying.  We realized that she as congested and assumed it would cause some issues sleeping as it does for anyone.. but her head has been clearing out, yet she is still waking on the hour.
I confided in a couple mama friends- picking their motherly wisdom apart trying to figure out what in the world could be the case for her sleepless nights and terrible napping during the day.
And then it clicked.  
She hungry.  She isn't getting as much during the day as she was when she was nursing full time while I was at home, so she is making up for it at night.  
Oh BLESS.
So, we bumped her bottles from 4 ounces to 6 ounces.  
Let the angles sing. 
So, theres that. 
 Other things.. besides chasing my tail?
These cutie girls.
Parker:
Hey mama, whoook.  I put my pony tails (my little pony panties) on all by myself.  Yep.  I sure did, mama. 
Jolie
(when leaning in to kiss her goodbye) Whoa.  Wait, wait, wait, mama.  Yuuu have whip gloss, mama?  No shug (sugar:kiss).  Yuu have whip gloss.

Thanks, Jolie Grace.
 Parker has been connected to my hip this last week. 
Making space in my lap to read Baker a book.
 ..and helping me make my coffee.
ALL the coffee.  And salted caramel mocha creamer.
The creamer is so much better IN my coffee than all over my sweat pants, socks, and my newly mopped tile floor.
Two words: toddler butterfingers.
 We welcomed Sophie to the family this week.  Baker finds her incredibly tasty and really funny when we make her squeak.  The twins find it to be even more funny to watch Baker gnaw her face off.  The baby things we forget about until they come full circle again.
Freaking cute.
 ..and then there is this.  I saw this delicious trail mix slash snack concoction on Jessica's instagram about a week ago and I took a screenshot (creep) and decided to make it for the twins' Halloween party this week.  More on that sweetness tomorrow!  
My room mom skills are on point..but no one cares.
But me. 
No one cared when they were all wearing matching pajamas either.
Totally fine.  Its Halloween in T-minus two days and t h e most amazing weekend is yet to come.
Yep.
What are you being for Halloween??

10.23.2015

Going Back | Week One Update

Friday.  SO good to see you again.  After what seemed like a million cups of coffee.. 800 hours in the car and too many minutes away from my baby girls, I made it through my first week back at work. 
It is terribly hard to leave your sweet littles while you, the mama, goes to work outside of the home.  I am so grateful I have the support system that I do while we make this transition.  Words of encouragement, cards, texts, and emails came flooding in from friends, family, and my sweet husband on my first day back at work this week.  Jordan left me an "I'm so proud of you" card in my bag and I didn't notice it until I got to work and went to pull out my laptop.  I couldn't read it until almost the end of my day because every time I started, tears would well and I wouldn't get past the first line.
Well played, sweet man.  
I know I am not the first mother to leave her birds, and as I am sitting at the end of this week, I realized that it went by so quickly and it wasn't that bad. 
I was able to be home with Parker, Jolie, and Baker for fifteen weeks straight.  Fifteen weeks of growth as a mother of my three girls.  Fifteen weeks to spend nurturing my daughters during all wake hours of the day. Fifteen weeks that were so amazing, SO fun, but at the same time the hardest job I have ever done in my life.
E V E R.
I eased back into my working-mom-life slowly.  I started working from home about a 2 weeks ago - answering emails and jumping into conference calls when needed.  BB + Papa (Jordan's parents) help us tremendously during the work week - and when I am at work and Jordan is at the fire station, BB cares for the girls.   They have been in Europe for the last two weeks - SO, my going back to work was somewhat delayed:)  
NO one is complaining. 
no one.
Monday I was able to get a few last minute errands in, groceries for the week..and not to mention loads of snuggles with my biggest girls and the littlest sister.   
We headed out pretty early for the day and Target was first on our list of 'to-do's'.  Although they look less than enthused, they thought it was hilarious that we came to the grocery store in our jammies.  They must not remember running errands with me all the time when they were wee babes in their jams.  Just check the hashtag #pandjinpjs.  So many grocery carts.  So many jammies.  
 We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging (in our jammies) at home.  Playing, reading, and watching Mickey's Monster Musical 
While I made dinner, this baby girl got in some core strength exercises sitting in the Bumbo.
 ..and these two took it upon themselves to host a tea party on the patio.  
No tea party is complete without a princess crown.  Pants aren't required.
We ended up eating macaroni and cheese (from the box) and corn dogs outside at the table.  It was such a gorgeous evening and I didn't want to pass up this opportunity!
This was the perfect end to my last official day home on maternity leave.
 My first day back to work was a whirlwind.  Back to back meetings.. and before I knew it It was time for me to load up to come home.  I got home and we decide to take a walk before dinner.
The ducks were high-tailing it to the fence once they saw us coming.  The girls got a major kick out it watching them come so close.
The next few days were tougher than the first.  I was busy playing catch-up, but just wanted to be home with my babes.  Jordan would send me the best pictures of his day to help get me excited about what I was coming home to.
..again.  Pants are optional. 
tee c/o emerald sky
h o l d  i n g her own bottle, folks.
..and then I'd send him a picture of my own day.
Definitely not nearly as cute at all.
Today is the day I've been looking forward to all week!  I will continue working the same hours as before- Monday-Thursday in the office, so I get to be home all day with my people I missed so much.
We don't have a ton of plans this weekend - a couple of birthday parties, Costco+Sams, lunch on the patio .. and church somewhere in the mix.  
Good news is, I survived.
Hey Fri-YAY.  I'm ready for ya:)

10.20.2015

mama + mini style | chambray + buffalo

There is so much to look forward to this time of year and among the festive fall activities, Salted Caramel Mochas (my weakness!), and picking out the perfect pumpkins there are the outfits and wardrobe changes that take place, too!  I am a huge fan of comfy tunics and riding boots.. not to mention the blanket scarf.  I have a real problem with collecting every print + pattern, and theres always next year to get more.  While it is cool in the mornings here in Texas right now, by lunch time we are shedding the layers.  But a Southern Girl can hope and pray for the cooler weather to stick around here soon. 
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11

For the last several years Jordan and I have taken 'family pictures' when the cool weather months hit, and these pictures serve their purpose for documenting our lives every year, but also for our Christmas Card.  Now that we have babes to share the frame with, the pictures have become even more fun to plan.  
Baby clothes are freaking awesome.  
Who cares what I am wearing.. What are they going to wear.
We have never done a very Christmas-y theme for our photos and this year I wanted that to change.
black denim + soft chambray + buffalo plaid
..and these hats.  The fur pom hats for the three sister girls.   
Y E S.

Now if only it would be 50 degrees outside for the high that day + the bundling up wouldn't be such a hassle we could perfect this shot..

Jordan.. he'll be in the pictures, too:)  What should he wear??

10.19.2015

Feels like Fall | Saturday + Pumpkins

This weekend was one of those weekends that I didn't want to end.  Part of me didn't want it to end because it was just a perfect couple of days with my favorite people.  I also didn't want it to end because the weight of a new week would be upon me..which included my first day back at work.  Tomorrow I go back to work after being home with my three girls and my handsome Gent for 15 weeks.  Tomorrow marks the day that our new normal will begin and my role as full time stay at home mom will end.  I am so thankful for my time with them this weekend spent soaking in those last few days.  It was a BEAUTIFUL weekend.  The first weekend when the fall weather stuck around for a bit.  
Friday, Jordan was at the fire station and Sunday was laaaazy.. and tearful, if I'm honest.
Saturday.  Saturday was good.  We woke early and got dressed and headed to Dallas to visit the Arboretum.  Neither Jordan or myself had ever been there before, so this was a memory that was fun to share together.  Daddy and his girls walked hand in hand..and what you don't see is Jordan and the twins skipping their way through the gardens on our way to the pumpkin village.       
 slouch beanies // vest (sold out) option + option // dress // boots
 So many pumpkins! I wish I would have taken a picture to show you.. but believe me when I say there were thousands.  The girls were in complete heaven milling through all the pumpkins.  They were so proud to pile up their 'selections' (they weren't for sale..) talking all about them during their picking process.
 When did she grow to 13.  No really.  
There will come a day when this beauty really is thirteen and I'll just about cry.  
She was having THE funnest time wobbling her way across these pumpkins and gourds - basically photobombing a bazillion kids/babies in the meantime.
Gah, I love every silly bone in her body.
 And this one.  She's become such a daddy's girl lately.  She asks for him all day long while he is away and is his little side kick whenever he's home.

{Just a little tip about these dresses.. they are made with pretty thin material (perfect for Texas fall) and while they seem long enough at first glance, they get short really quick when the busy toddlers start moving around and playing.  After the advice of a girlfriend, I threw some shorties underneath and that was the perfect fix.}

 These two have such an obsession with acorns.  Literally one of their absolute favorite things to do is collect them.  Parker and Jolie will crouch under trees or walk the side walks of their BB's neighborhood and come back with handfuls of them.  Handfuls that are insisted that they are brought home, but always end up left in the cup holders of the car.
So.. while the gigantic pumpkins were so awesome.. the acorns quickly stole the show.  
 Sweetest little pumpkin.  She is always content being along for the ride!  She has found the camera extra funny these days and loves to look at herself.  
Also- the drool.  So.Much.Drool.
That three month 'lemme stick this in my mouth.. and this, and this, and my entire fist while I'm at it' has started.  If she doesn't have it in her mouth, she's drooling all over it.  
After we left the arboretum we lunched and then ran a couple errands before making our way back to town for church.

Nursing room selfie!  We usually try and make the 5 o'clock service on Saturday nights, but 5pm is when Baker usually eats - so Jordan and I parted ways for the first 15-20 minutes of the service while I fed little B.  They have a live stream television, so I didn't miss a single thing while I nursed her - which I love.
 After church we went to dinner with some friends and this happy babe.  
A low key weekend + memories made.  Thinking about going back to work, I cannot help but feel a bit overwhelmed with it all.  I have done this all before, but now I'm not only leaving my little Baker, but the twins.. for a second time.  Thats tough.  But, I can do it.
I found this to be a great laugh..  and really, this too shall pass.
Happy Monday! XO

10.15.2015

Pumpkin Patch 2015

Last night we made our first trip (of 8 billion between now and Halloween) to the pumpkin patch that is near our home.  There are just a few in this area worth taking the kiddos to, and this patch has been around for 10+ years.  I had yet to actually come to this pumpkin patch before we brought the girls for their first patch experience three whole October's ago.  SO hard to wrap my head around that!
While we would love to come early in the day- it is still pretty warm out. Once it hits about 4-5pm in the afternoon it gets comfortable and is the perfect timing for a visit to a practically empty pumpkin patch.  
shirt / nordstrom (old) similar // bow (handmedown) similar // spooky babe / lola + darla
Every time we bring the girls to something we did in the years past, its like an entirely new experience for them all together.  I kind of love that!  We have hit an age this year that they have really come to understand a lot, absorb a lot, and remember everything!  I am so excited for this season of life with my little big girls.
ONE thing is for sure.. photos are getting harder to capture.  Parker and Jolie have become very independent and love the 'control' of making up their own mind.
"MOM! Nnnoo picture taking!  No, Mom!"
pom necklaces c/o little dovie // tees c/o winter lennon // tutus / old (similar) // leggings / target // moccs / hello moccs

 ..and then the sillies come out and the picture taking requests are on!  
Parker.  The most hard-headed child yet the greatest amount of fun in my day.

She is F U N N Y!  
My sweet Jolie is always showing her pearly white grin:)

 I'll just leave this right here.  
A baby.  On a pumpkin.  
The cutest thing you have ever seen, right??  
Now.. If I would have put her inside that pumpkin..
 My whole life right there, ya'll.
 Time for picking a pumpkin!  
These are pretty pricy compared to what I can get at Walmart or Target, so we usually only come home with one (or none) at best when we visit.   

 Th pumpkin patch experience wouldn't be complete without the house made of pumpkins, a hay maze and bounce houses.  Bounce houses have quickly become the way to Parker and Jolie's heart.  This was a pretty big slide and the twins did AWESOME -up and down they would go, getting more brave with each trip down..and eventually nearly nose diving to get themselves a head start.

 While the twins played, Baker Bree watched from the sidelines- cooing and cawing at everyting + everyone within ear shot.
Its hard to believe we get to do all this again this year - it makes me SO excited! I go back to work next week an all I can think about is, how many times can we squeeze more trips to the patch before I go back?? 

Happy almost weekend, ladies!  


10.14.2015

Baby Registry Must Haves | 3 Month Favorites

m u s t haves.  Theres a phrase we all want to hear.  What in the world are your must haves for baby??  I was completely lost when I registered for the first time around, and after having the girls and actually learning what I liked and disliked and what worked for us, this second time around was much easier to figure out what I knew I needed.
The must haves, if you will.
This list is definitely limited + a few repeats, as I am basically including what I've gotten of greatest use out of in Baker's 3 months of life thus far.  
Nail clippers terrify me - especially after listening to the nurse in our birthing class talk about risk and infections and I still to this day have not clipped Parker and Jolie's nails!  We use a nail file instead:) Saves me the heartache of clipping their teeny fingers.. After reading about this product on another blog I was convinced that I needed it, and honestly I LOVE this thing!
When we were registering for the twins we saw a display in the middle of buy buy baby of about 300 nose frida's.  One glimpse at the words 'snot sucker' and we were saying NO WAY.  Never.  Nuh-Ugh.  Okay.  Truth.  We caved when the twins were about 3 months old and I bought it off amazon at 3am when Parker hadn't slept the entire night because she was congested with her first runny nose.  I promise, hands down one of the most genius inventions ever. Trust me.  You will be so glad you bought this!
Soothing Teether (Ridgees + Coolees) 
My babies start their teething early!  Parker and Jolie started the while drooling + fist chewing around 4 months and Baker has already started the thrashing while she nurses and wincing in pain when she chews her hands.  Teethers are great to have on hand because you never know when you need to bring them out.
I am a huge fan of Carter's during this stage of life - I loved that brand and the way it fit the twins up until they were probably 15 months old.  Having a teeny baby again reminded me of what an awesome brand it is -- they have no idea who I am:)  That being said- Old Navy has become another newborn favorite as far as having something for Baker to sleep and play in (hence the name, right??)  The floral patterns have me purchasing these one pieces in every single size, and not to mention how perfect the color block ones are, too!  Fit and style - the best of both.  Oh..and.. long live zipper sleepers.  
This particular bottle is designed to grow with your baby and to be used with or without the vent system, not to mention a vent system with much fewer parts than the original bottles by Dr. Brown's.  Just what I was looking for - a bottle with little assembly required, but with promises that it won't exacerbate any gassy issues (as well as any issues of colic + spit-up).  Once she is older and past the slower-paced feedings (and hopefully has grown out of sucking in too much air when she eats) I have the option (get it?) of using the bottle without the vent and using the paced nipple flow alone.  using the Dr. Brown's Dishwashing Basket makes dishwashing the loose parts of the options bottle easy peasy, too!
These are a little more expensive than the more popular milk storage bags, but I think they are worth it.  Have you ever heard the phrase - no use crying over spilt milk? OBVIOUSLY whoever said that never spilt their breastmilk.  These are a little more sturdy and will stand on their own- making them less likely to tip over.
We never used a bottle warmer with the twins and after 12 months of warming water in two huge cups for 3 minutes in the microwave only to set the bottles into for another 5 minutes, we said over and over again we would definitely splurge on a bottle warmer for the next one.  I actually have somehow ended up with a couple warmers and Dr. Brown's is by far my favorite.  It is 100% digital and comes with an easy warming chart based on your bottle type (glass or plastic) and the amount of milk/formula you have in the bottle.  You also don't have to use Dr. Brown's specific bottles - it is made to fit many varieties, which is a plus.  Set the timer for your recommend warming time and the bottle comes out to optimal temperature.   Warm enough to mimic coming from the breast.  We use it often and it's going to be really handy when Baker takes a bottle a few times a day while I am at work - so easy for her daddy and BB to use!  Thats the very best part about it - how easy it is to use.
I once purchased disposable pads in bulk on amazon (thank you, prime) and quickly realized my mistake.  I still suffer from the 'extra fluid' here and there and having these washable pads makes it easy to keep it under control.  Yes.  I still have 251 disposable nursing pads sitting in the bottom of my closet.
..because holy free hands, baby wearing is amazing. As I sit here and type out this post remembering the long day before of cluster feeds and cranky babies (x3) I have Baker wrapped to my chest sleeping soundly.  I also made dinner, bathed, and put the girls to bed all whilst wearing her.  Grocery shopping, strolling the mall, going for walks around the neighborhood- she loves it and I love it.  I wish I would have worn the twins- but I am so thankful for it now!
These are our favorite pacifiers.  They are small enough to stay put in Baker's mouth and not to mention the 'air channel' that collapsed to the roof of her mouth reducing pressure on her palate.   You need these for every surface of your house - just to keep them well enough on hand.   
Nursing Pillow + Pillow Cover - Dr. Brown's Gia + Cover
This go-round with a singleton I have gotten great use out of these nursing pillows!  I keep one in the bedroom and one in the living room so I don't have to move one from room to room.  The Dr. Brown's nursing pillow is designed to put the baby at an angle while nursing to help with digestion.  Anything to assist with my baby girl's tummy, especially when nursing at night.  
Floor (box) Fan
Yes, yes, yes, we have the sound machines, but the greatest form of white noise would have to be the box floor fan.  
I keep these in a few places: my diaper bag, the kitchen, and in my pump bag.  While the label says 'pacifier and bottle wipes' I also use these for a quick wipe clean of my breast pump parts.
A MUST have!  This lounger is semi-elevated for easing a baby's tummy after nursing at night, and a huge plus is that its affordable comparative to other options on the market. Even better is that it folds up and travels super easily.  During the early weeks we brought it almost everywhere we went!  
Baby Jogger City Select (with second seat)
We LOVE this stroller.  I wouldn't change a thing about it, except maybe the price. But, it is definitely worth the investment.  The City Select itself is in fact a single rider stroller that can manipulated to being a double stroller with the addition of parts.  When we were buying/registering for the stroller and all the parts, we went ahead and got the second seat so we wouldn't have to worry with buying it later.  The second seat comes with the mounting brackets, so we didn't have to purchase those separate since we registered (and received it).  You could definitely skip the second seat and get the brackets separate to save a little money.  Either way you do it, you'll need the brackets for the car seat adapters. Now that I have a third babe, I still use the second seat here and there, but I will say that pushing one baby is much easier than two!
When the twins grew out of the Pampers Swaddlers, we tried the Cruisers and hated them.  They just didn't fit right.  We decided on a whim to take up the advice of all my mama friends and try the Target brand diapers - Up+Up. I had never tried anything 'store brand' regarding my babes and definitely had low expectations.  Jordan was PUMPED when I told him how many diapers there were in a box for just $28 vs. what we were spending at Sams on Pampers.  We LOVE them and still actually us them for the twins at nighttime.  When Baker was born, we came home from the hospital with Pampers and planned to eventually move into the Target brand because they are WAY cheaper.  UNTIL the little miss started having a weird reaction to the Pampers (pretty severe redness and irritation wherever the diaper touches).  After being gifted a sleeve of honest diapers  to try out before we started a subscription because they are a little more pricey than what we are used to spending, we were convinced that they were the best choice for Baker (the rash and irritation is gone since we started using them).  So it is worth the extra expense to our family right now.  As far as wipes go- we use the honest brand wipes and love their quilted texture.

I am SO excited to be partnering with Dr. Brown's for a fun giveaway to one of my lucky readers/followers!  We would love to fulfill your Dr. Brown's must have registry items!
Follow along on Instagram (@masseya + @drbrowns) and keep an eye out for your chance to win ALL of the following!
Dr. Brown's Nursing Pillow + Cover // Dr. Brown's PreVent Pacifier + the glow in the dark // Dr. Brown's Options Bottle (3 pack) // Dr. Brown's Milk Storage Bags // Dr. Brown's Dishwashing Rack // Dr. Brown's Reusable Breast Pads // 
Dr. Brown's Bottle Warmer // Dr. Brown's Soothers Coolees + Ridgees

I wrote this post while participating in the Dr. Brown's Baby Ambassador program and received monetary compensation and/or free products during.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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