Thursday, April 30, 2015

Just 5: Happiness Found Within Chaos

With the chaos of buying/selling and all the unknowns that are stressing me out, it's good to take a breather and remember the things that are making me happy currently.

1. Trying to keep the house show-quality all day and every day is hard enough. Throw in 3 kids and a 22 week pregnant woman and....yeah. Crazy times, people. Crazy times. But, within the constant picking up after these little people of mine, I find things that make me stop and smile. Things that remind me of how happy these guys have made this mama.

Austin's collection of things on the kitchen window sill where he keeps an eye out for the cat and huge bumblebees.

2. Keeping everyone happy is not all that easy. It usually turns into complete chaos (trust me...I know this fact very well). But, when you keep that certain special handful of people that matter happy, then all is well. Sometimes it is still uncomfortable.... But in the sense that I have people all over me and I'm pregnant, so you are squishing me. Though, I try not to say anything. Just how long will I be able to hold them like this?

Yes. All 4 of them! Alex on the left. Andrew on the right. Austin in the middle mostly on my legs. And Aria is quite cozy in my tummy <3

3. My book club. Ok,'s more like the "It's not all about the book Book Club" and I love it. It is one of the best things ever. For one, getting into a really good book and forgetting about the house selling/buying madness is always a plus. The other awesome thing are the girlfriends. It is so, so wonderful to have friends who are there for each other and support each other. I love them all! We are currently reading this awesome book that I HATE putting down at the end of the night after realizing I should have been asleep ages ago. It is just so good. And I haven't even figured out the secret yet!! I'm almost there, though... I think... AHHH!!!


4. Bows. Apparently bows make me happy. NOT the giant, obnoxious, satellite dish bows. The cute, sweet little bows that make me squeal, "Ahhh!! I'm having a girl!!" in the store. Well, sometimes in my head. Sometimes not. I know. I'm ridiculous! But, I don't care. Some of these bows sparkle. HA!

5. Little boys learning to read. Yes, 2 out of 3 of the boys in our home are right there on the cusp!! Andrew is doing an awesome job and I think it is finally clicking how the letters all have special things they do. And, Alex? Wow! He wanted to learn it all, too. So, all 3 of us are working on the same timeline and they are all doing really, really well! I plan on getting them this book in the next week or so. It is such a cute story. Basically, this pirate isn't allowed in the library because, well, he's a loud annoying pirate looking for treasure. The librarian explains to him that there is treasure in the library, but he must find it by cracking the code. The code is learning to read. I love it!!



Well, those are the things that are making me happy on these very chaotic days at the House. Things might be crazier than our normal level of crazy, but it is still perfect. I just have to remember why we are doing these things.

So, what's making you happy right now?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Exploring New Places

Sometimes we have showings that happen almost back-to-back or have a time slot blocked off. When this happens, we tend to take a longer drive - especially if some small people (and mamas) are a tad cranky. On one of those days, we drove over to explore things very close to the new house. We are so happy we did, too! The library is just minutes from the new place and the staff seems very nice, as well as the children's department (this is VERY important for this mama...see here on how we do the library). We can't wait to go there for story times and such in the very near future.

Behind the library, right outside the children's department floor-to-ceiling windows, is one awesome playground. We, of course, had to check that out! Another score! This place is perfect for all of my guys! It has all kinds of playground equipment that is spread out enough to where they can "run free" but fenced in perfectly for this mama of many! Oh, and the best mulch! Ha! I know... But, it is that recycle tire material. It is awesome. I see many outings here coming up!

Andrew looking back at me from the "Sea Monster" area. Promise to get a better pic of that thing next time!
Watching Alex run all over the place from the Toddler area.
Austin loved this dinosaur - he is growling like one here!

Giving the alligator a pet. Gotta make sure he knows you're a good guy.

Hanging out with a hippo

Taking a swing break
This was a very cool place. We stayed for about an hour and didn't even realize it! Gotta love a place where you lose track of time! We can't wait to go back! Hopefully we can move before then!


House update: Some have asked how it is all going. Well, we are no longer "for sale by owner" after trying that out for 60 +/- days. And, we have been with our realtor for 2 weeks. We  did an open house the Sunday after re-listing. We had 4 showings last week and are up to 2 this week, so far. April is still a weird month with the weather being unpredictable and all. But, we are all thinking next month will be the month. So, keep the prayers a-coming!! Thanks everyone!!


Bump Update: We are doing well! I'm only really tired in the sense of "tired of waiting for a buyer" - and sometimes if it was a rough day... Luckily, the bigger boys have been pretty awesome since finding out they were getting a sister. They have been super helpful! Speaking of being helpful... Andrew wants y'all to know that I'm 22 weeks now which means the Baby Aria is the size of a grapefruit. He is so cute... He was talking to her earlier about something. It was all whispers, but he said she could hear him just fine. So, so sweet. He has always been a rockstar big brother!

Monday, April 27, 2015


Today was such a beautiful day!! The weather was just perfect for April...and it was the first day I think I could actually breath ok enough to join these sillies outside. This has GOT to be the worst month for allergies in the history of, like, ever. And being preggers doesn't exactly help the issue either. But, we got out this afternoon and had some bubble fun. Austin LOVED it!! He is quite the serious bubble-catcher!


Need some suggestions! I am planning a play date for our moms and littles at our church. I'm totally making that a bubbles extravaganza, too! So, what are your kids favorite bubble items? Favorite summer things?

The boys had these bubbles today (but they were the Paw Patrol ones...same idea though). Though...I'm not a huge fan. Austin is going to have trouble, I know. But, Alex was getting mad when the wand part wasn't "refilling" like it should. Andrew he wasn't a fan of it spilling if he squeezed it just a touch too much. It was rather messy. But, eh, they are bubbles. What are you gonna do?


And, I plan on sending the kids home with this sidewalk chalk. I will ONLY purchase this brand!! For real. Why in the WORLD was the idea of WASHABLE sidewalk chalk not invented sooner??? I can let the boys color over and over and over again with just a spray of the hose. No waiting for daaaaaaaays for that other chalk to finally disappear. Thank, Genius Crayola Person. You are a true rock star!

Of course, we always have a stash of balls we bring to the park. So, what else??

Are you ready for summer??

Friday, April 24, 2015

7 Quick Takes {Black & White}

1. Hanging out at Books-A-Million during a showing:

3. Farmer Austin headed to the grocery store: 

3. Watching some Tom & Jerry after dinner:

4. Andrew took a few classes at the McWane Center a couple weeks ago (which was AWESOME! We will definitely do this again!):

5. Alex and Austin say "cheers!" to having lunch with Mama: 

6. Alex working hard on a maze ball (similar to these):

7. Andrew has a go at it, too:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How We Do It: Names

Aria Elizabeth

Ah!! It is still so very exciting!! A girl! We are going to have a daughter...a daughter! I told Jason he better set up her wedding fund soon! HA! 

Anyway, I am so so in love with her name... We actually had it picked out well before we knew that Austin was on the way. I guess even though I'm a boy mom, I always knew I would have a little girl. It is just so exciting!

So, back to her name. Wondering where in the world it came from and/or how we decided on it? Well, let me bring you back to my 8th grade Confirmation days... 

My name is Heather. We are Catholic. We love our saints and ask them many times to pray for us, just as we would as a friend to pray for us in time of need. Well, there is no Saint Heather....and, yeah, I'm not sure there will be, ya know? So, I had to choose a saint's name for Confirmation and, honestly, I cannot tell you who that amazing woman was... I'm sure my parents know. But, me...nope. Not a clue. Maybe Mary, but just because it is pretty common. Anyway, once Jason and I decided to have kids I was determined to have names for my children that were saint names for this very reason. 

Andrew - named for Saint Andrew the Apostle, a fisherman. What's funny is that my Andrew is ALL about that Animal Planet show, River Monsters. He wants to catch a catfish so bad... And, if you are wondering, Andrew means "manly." True. Have you ever watched an episode of Deadliest Catch?? I'd say fishermen are pretty manly!

Alexander (Alex) - named for Saint Alexander, the patron saint of philosophers. And, let me tell you Alex. Every question he asks starts with, "Hey, ____. I was wondering..." Oh, dear. Another perfect pick, right? Alex's name means "defender of men." I can totally see that. He is always watching out for his brothers, even when it doesn't really seem like it. Also, he likes to argue...this little defender of men would make a great lawyer one day, should that be his calling.

Austin - This little guy's named took some effort and time and lots of thought. But, it is funny how it all worked out. I have always loved the name Augustus. And, yeah, here in the South...not sure how that one would fly. So, we searched and search and saw that Augustus was a version on Augustine, as in Saint Augustine. Again...not a name that would work out (or be pronounced correctly). But after reading more about St. Augustine, we found that Austin was yet another version of that name. So, yay!! Austin means "great, magnificent" and, well...I do think he is pretty great!

So, now we come to our daughter's name. 

Aria - named for Saint Aurea. I'm still learning about this saint and deciding on which one is best for our Aria. But, at least I know she isn't a Saint Nobody, right? As for the spelling...again, the South. I love it and will never leave it again, but let's be honest. Pronunciation isn't one our strong points. I could already hear the messed up ways "A-u-r-e-a" being said... Also, that spelling didn't have a meaning I really liked (version of Aurora...ugh. Sleeping Beauty is my least favorite princess...but that will be another post for another day). But, "A-r-i-a" means "golden; melody." Sounds better to me. Anyway, I'll learn more about her Saint soon. 


First Family a family of 6. Whoa... Bet you can't guess which one is Mommy!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Blue One or the Pink One?

NOTE: There is a video at the end of this post. Please click through if you cannot view it. Enjoy!!

For my friends of Heather Woyak Congrats!!!
Posted by Ashley Copeland Berkery on Thursday, April 16, 2015

Well, it is a GIRL!!! We are having a little girl at the end of the summer!!

More updates will be posted shortly! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Boys' First Home

Back in February, when we listed our house on our own, I had the photos done by our family photographer. While I had her at the house, I asked if she would grab a few of the boys in front of the house. It is their home, after all. And, while Jason and I are ready to move on to the next house, we have heard them say that they will miss "our little house."

This is the house that became our home when we got married.

This is the home where we became the forever family to our sweet mini-schnauzer, Max (and, where we also had to say goodbye...).

This is the home where we became parents for the first time.

This is the home that once was quiet that quickly became louder.

This is the home that grew louder because of all the laughter and squeals of three silly boys who are growing up as brothers.

This is the home where those brothers grew over the past few years into best friends.

This is the home where is all started.

Their "signature" faces...

Austin just wouldn't let go of the Batman remote

Their idea. They have always loved "the little tree that could."

Now, it's April. These boys are about to find out who their new sibling will be later this week. These brothers are so excited about finding out who this little person is that keeps kicking mommy. And, they are also wondering when it's finally time to call that moving truck. Well, tomorrow we will have a new sign in the yard with an agent's name. We are so ready to let someone else turn our house into their home. We can't wait to start making new memories in the new house. And, I know y'all can't wait to see it either. And, I promise! As soon as we have sold this house, those new house pictures shall be shared - especially the ones of my new kitchen! So, we ask once again for prayers that our buyer is headed our way very soon. For now, we will just keep making more memories here and keep sharing as we go. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Alex is 4!!!!

Wow! Alex is 4. I just... Y'all. My wild child "threenager" is finally 4!! It was one awesome weekend filled with tons of fun and some pretty awesome friends!

Friday: Wii would like to play! Yep, they are all about Super Mario Brothers. And, as long as we have good behavior, then it's on! Alex even has his very own remote now (we just had 3 before...but the boys wanted everyone to play together...which is so hard if you have this game. OH. My. Gosh.) 


Saturday: Alex wanted to hike the Gardens

After an awesome adventure at the Botanical Gardens, we stopped by the ice cream shop. Alex, of course, chose "Birthday Cake" for his cone! So, so cute!

Sunday: Mass, then 2 birthday parties!

After Mass, Alex chose where we would have lunch - 5 Guys! He loves the place where you can get a hot dog and have all the peanuts. Haha! He is so funny! Afterwards, we hung around the mall until it was time to head over to Austin's friend's birthday! They all had a blast! Then after some partying, we had to leave to head over to Alex & Hart's Birthday! 

First, I know I've said this to her a million times in the past 24 hours (or more), but... A thousand more "thank yous" to my awesome friend, Ashley! Her little boy and my Alex have the same exact birthday, just a year difference! And, since we all share pretty much the same friends, and our house is still on the market (more on that later), she suggested we do a joint-party. Love her! I had no idea where we were going to be and how we would pull off a party with the madness going on. So, thank you, my dear!!

Now for the party pics!!

The best friends & the birthday boys!

That's right. There was a FIRE TRUCK!!

Alex loved exploring the truck and all the gadgets inside

He got a chance to "drive" the truck, too!

Austin was fine with it, but was still in the "I just woke up from a 10 minute nap...hang on" mode.

Another one of mine that "drove" the truck

Andrew was impressed that the fire truck's tire was only a tiny bit taller than he is!
...and then my phone died. LOL How's that for a #momfail -ugh! Ashley and her mom took a ton of pic, so I'll grab some from them soon!

Of course all that partying hit them hard as we piled in the car and headed home. Alex decided that his ears hurt because everyone was too he cried, poor guy. Austin was mad that even though he had tons of fun... three power naps just didn't cut it. So he threw his binky and his Baby Fox in a wild rage and screamed home. Andrew he was annoyed with everyone being loud that he made some weird sounds that belongs more in a jungle setting than a minivan. But, hey, it was a long day. So, ok.

But it didn't matter that Alex was tired. After he was all showered and ready for bed, he needed to rip open those presents! He did wait quite a bit, too. One of them was even given to him Tuesday of last week, but he said he was not going to open it until his birthday. Wow. He was serious about that!

Monday: Happy 4th, sweetie!

I let him pick whatever he wanted for lunch and we have just been playing all day. He did get some mail though! Thanks, Ma & Dave. Those cards are always fun!

Lots of laughs! "What?!"

"It's a Packer player!"

"I played football with that Packer guy, Austin!"

Oh, dear. Yes, you are famous today. But, with the way he plays wouldn't surprise me one bit if he didn't end up playing on some team. He is already asking when he can play with big kids. We will discuss that in another 2 years... Maybe.

For now, happy 4th birthday my sweet Alex! You don't know how much happiness you brought to me when you were born. We love you so very much!!

Hiking the Gardens {pictures}

Friday night I packed up lunch while cleaning up the after-dinner destruction. Alex asked if we could go to "the place that has the secret paths with all the flowers." So that's where we headed...the Botanical Gardens and it was the perfect day for it!!

Checking out the map before running off in to the wild

There they go!

Austin & Daddy

Still running


2 out of 3

"What is Andrew looking at now?"

Exploring the Japanese Gardens

Finally! 3 out of 3!!
Lunchtime!, drink, and my stroller!

Jason and the big boys waving from the bridge


"Why can't I reach it yet?!"

Nature's slide

Sleepy boy


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