E’s 2nd Birthday

E’s 2nd birthday festivities began on that Thursday prior (her actual b-day fell on a Sunday) when I took cupcakes up to her class during their Valentine’s party. For the record, E is quite the fan of icing, not so much the actual cake part. Also, she was BY FAR the last one done eating. All her friends had gotten up and were on to playing and she was still taking her sweet time. Her teachers said that is the norm. Her pace of eating always reminds me of her great grandpa, E. Lyn.


On Friday, we took her out of school and went to Sea Life with her bestie, E, and her family. The girls had a great time looking at all of the “fishies” and our E even surprised us by being adventurous enough to touch some of the starfish.



Here is how N and I spent the morning. She was so good and slept through the entire aquarium.

Unfortunately, the morning began to go downhill quickly. We were finishing up the aquarium right around nap time and everyone was starving. We headed to Crown Center to grab a quick bite to eat. The boys waited for the pizza while R and I attempted to keep two toddlers happily snacking and one baby from losing it. Once our food finally arrived, it didn’t take long for our E to knock her mac-n-cheese in to M’s OPEN backpack and while we were cleaning it out, D accidentally knocked over my diet coke. By this point, N was done for. We all packed up and headed out as quickly as possible. Once we got back to the parking garage, I accidentally stepped in puke that some stranger graciously left behind our car. I then proceeded to track it in to my NEW (used) car!! And to top all of that off, once home and both girls were successfully napping, I pulled out the pizza that I had opted to eat at home instead of at Crown Center and immediately dropped it on the floor. I decided it was a sign that I should just have cupcakes for lunch, so that is what I did. It was a morning we all had a good laugh about (after the fact).


This photo perfectly sums up the beginning of the end.


On Saturday, we invited immediate family over for pizza and cake to celebrate. E had a great time and was spoiled with some great presents (bike, tea set, wagon, tutu, clothes).


And finally, on her actual birthday, we really didn’t do much other than play and rest.


Happy birthday little E! We love you so much!



N’s First Lake Trip

E had her first lake trip at one week old which was when we closed on the Lake house. We waited just a little longer this time for N’s first trip… one month. It was a gorgeous, unseasonably warm January weekend and we headed down on a Thursday to get a couple extra days in. Other than M trying to critter-proof the shed (some pesky rodent has made himself at home this Winter), we didn’t do too much work and mainly took it easy.

The lake flooded again the week after Christmas and we were anxious to see the damage. We could see the water line which was up above our fire pit (higher than it was on the 4th of July), but other than getting in our shed and possibly ruining/requiring fixing of the lawn mower and chainsaw, we came out unscathed. We can’t complain since our neighbors had a few FEET of water in their basement. Ugh.



wp-1456925729307.jpegwp-1456925729471.jpegwp-1456925729760.jpegDad and E put together the dresser for the bunk house. E is quite the helper.wp-1456925730548.jpegwp-1456925729591.jpegFriday afternoon we drove to the W lake place to check out their renovations. This is one of the lake houses I grew up going to and I have so many amazing memories from here. They are basically tripling the size of their house and I can’t wait to see the finished product. It is going to be gorgeous. And that view from the top balcony… swoon.wp-1456925730597.jpeg


We had one of the most gorgeous sunsets our last night there. Photos don’t do it justice.


And finally… The weekend we were down fell over what would have been Tanner’s 9th birthday. It’s been 6 months since he passed and we’ve had his ashes this whole time. We never questioned what we should do with them and his birthday felt like the right time. Tanner was a true water dog and no place made him happier than the lake. He’ll always be there with us.


It’s a Girl! (again)

Baby is finally here!! M was thoughtful enough to write out N’s entire birth story when we were still in the hospital to ensure that it was fresh in our minds. So, most of this blog post is from his POV. Prep yourself, this is a long one, folks.


Much like the first pregnancy, L really didn’t want to be induced, but these babies seem to take too dang long. She was having contractions but not very severe most of the preceding week (week of Christmas).  At her appointment with Dr. S on Monday 12/28 they decided the baby was healthy but for everyone’s sanity, probably ready to come. They scheduled her to be induced starting at 7am on Wednesday December 30th.  Ideally Lauren would have liked to give it a couple more days to see if she came naturally as E did, but the hospital didn’t have any availability on 12/31 due to NYE and Friday 1/1 was a holiday and then the weekend, all of which they don’t allow elective inductions, so her other alternative was to wait until Jan 4th.


Last photo of just the three of us.


Last belly pic.

We arrived at the hospital around 6:40am and were admitted slightly after 7am.  Her labor room was on the 2nd floor in room 3207.  They got off to a rough start as one of the first things they attempted was to put in her IV.  They were having trouble getting it in.  The nurses tried on their own 5 times and gave up.  They called in an anesthesiologist named Kelly (a male) and he was finally able to place it on the 6th overall try.  Once he got it in, L quickly said, “That’s it, we’re naming the baby Kelly”.  He responded with “That seems to be a bit unnecessary” in a straight but lighthearted tone.


It was about 8:30am by the time they got the IV in and started her on Pitocin to get things moving.  

At 9:30am they put in her epidural, which went in smoothly (painfully, but smoothly).

At 10:30am they broke her water.  

Over the next few hours her contractions steadily grew in intensity.

Just before 2pm they started setting up for the delivery.  She started to push around 2:05pm and the baby was delivered at 2:17pm.  Dr. S quickly held her up and we both announced that it was a baby girl!  NDA was born at 8lbs, 8oz (bigger than we thought) and 21 inches long.


The nurses started to clean her up and got her measurements, shots, etc.  N was working on coughing up some fluid from the birth, but was crying and started to gain her color pretty quickly.  

A little before 5:30pm they moved us to the 3rd floor to room 3318 where we would spend the next two days while L recovered.  

Nana and Papa  came to visit at that time and brought E with them who was staying at their house throughout all of this.  When E first spotted her she said “baby!”.  She was a little hesitant to get too close to N at first but began to warm up over the time they were there.  A&A also came to visit as well that evening.  


Over the course of the afternoon we noticed N making a purring type sound when she breathed and the nurses said that her breathing looked a bit labored.  She was using her diaphragm quite a bit with each breath.  They kept an eye on her for a while just in our room, but around 7:30pm they decided to take her up to the NICU on the 4th floor for closer observation.  


They put her in an oxygen hood,  set her up on an IV,  and monitored her heart rate and oxygen absorption.  The NICU nurses took great care of her.  She was in NICU room 3413 down at the very end of the hall.  Mom watched over her for a good chunk of the night.  Throughout the evening the nurses slowly decreased the oxygen supply that they were giving her to see if she would continue absorbing it as she should.  By approx 6:30am on 12/31 they were able to get her out of the oxygen hood.  She continued to do well so they let dad hold her for about an hour and a half shortly thereafter.  By about 9:00am they allowed mom to feed her for the first time, which went surprisingly well.  They then gave her a full bath for the first time and got her disconnected from the rest of the machines and did their final evaluations.  At around 4:00pm the NICU doctor gave her the all clear and allowed us to bring her back down to the 3rd floor with the well babies and to our room.  


We were able to ring in the New Year together in our room. On January 1st we were dismissed to go home around 3:30 in the afternoon.


The amazing Dr. S! He delivered both of the girls.



Okay, L again here. I started this pregnancy POSITIVE it was a girl. Well, after a few encounters where others were POSITIVE it was a boy, I decided to shift my thinking. My last guess before baby was here was a boy, so I was surprised when Dr. S held up a girl. I have said all along that I would love for E to have a sister. I think the bond between sisters (although sometimes terrifying) can be such an amazing thing. M and I were both thrilled and M is getting used to saying “my girls”, but we will probably need to get him a boy dog one of these days to get some more testosterone in the house.

Welcome to the world, N! We can’t imagine our lives without you.


Christmas 2015

Welp. Against my request, Santa brought E one more Christmas as an only child. The due date came and went and we were still yet to meet baby A #2 (more on that later). The good part about my due date being on Christmas is that there was plenty going on to distract me and take my mind off the waiting game. The negative is that I was 9 months (really 10 months) pregnant and pretty dang miserable. I spent the majority of the holiday celebrations sitting down.

Christmas Eve and Christmas morning was spent at our house as a family of three. It was so much fun to see E grasp the joys of Christmas a little more this year. We “made” cookies (okay, okay, they were slice-n-bake. remember the whole 10 months preggo thing?) and set them out for Toonta, which is how E pronounces Santa. The next morning, E loved  seeing her brand new custom made (thanks to Daddy!) coloring table that Santa brought and also tearing in to the wrapped presents. When she first woke up and we told her that “Toonta” had come, she did want to clarify that “Toonta go bye-bye?”. As shown in the Santa blog post, she would much rather Santa stay at a distance.



The amazing table that was crafted by Daddy and delivered by Santa.



And a due date belly pic. Sorry for the blurriness.

After presents were opened at our house, we headed to Nana and Papa’s.


The day after Christmas (still no baby) M’s family came to our house for more food and presents.


Well, we sure did miss you this Christmas, Baby Albright #2, but we will have plenty more to make up for it!

Santa 2015

We debated not visiting Santa this year. Although E loves to point out any Santas that she sees, we knew she would be less than thrilled about meeting this stranger in person and frankly, we didn’t want to stand in a long line just to get a photo of a screaming and traumatized kid. Luckily, the city of Fairway put on a Christmas gathering/party of sorts at a nearby historic site. They had candy cane hunts (they were hung on the Christmas trees that were for sale), coloring activities, cookies, hot cocoa, and best of all Santa and Mrs. Claus! When we arrived there was no line to see the first couple of Christmas so we walked right up. E immediately grabbed a hold of M’s shirt as though her life depended on it. We knew we weren’t going to force anything so M tried to calm her down and just stood next to them for a photo. Santa was even sweet enough to sing Jingle Bells to E afterwards but baby girl wasn’t feeling it. She was pretty excited to move on to the cookies and coloring.


The story behind this last image: Like I mentioned above, there was a candy cane hunt through the trees. Well, as we were leaving I noticed this candy cane hanging on her hood, which neither M nor I put there. So, her coat was either stealing canes or some older kids put it there as they ran by. Either way, we got a good laugh out of it.

And finally, as we were leaving, Santa told E “I can’t wait to see you and your sister next year!”. We’re hoping to find out if Santa is right or wrong any day now!

2015 World Series Champs!

Last year the Royals took us on quite a ride (I blogged about it here and here) but they came just short of winning it all. This year, the Boys in Blue were determined to be the last ones standing. The boys looked amazing almost all of the 2015 season (with the exception of a slightly scary slump in September) and easily secured themselves a spot in the postseason (no wild card game needed for them this year!). I can’t recap the playoff run that the Royals had nearly as well as someone that gets paid to do so, so here is my favorite article to sum it all up, but, just in case that article isn’t still available years from now, here’s my brief personal synopsis:

The first series (ALDS) in the postseason was against the Houston Astros and we were THIS CLOSE to losing in the elimination game 4. In fact, the Texas Governor had already tweeted to congratulate the Astros on moving on to the next round. Well, being down 6-3 going in to the 8th inning didn’t scare our boys. They fought back to win that game. They then went on to win game 5 of the ALDS at home (M attended with his buddies R and M) and were on their way to play the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS.

The rally cap was our last ditch effort in Game 4 of the ALDS and it worked!! From this point forward, the rally cap was pulled out any time the Royals were down.

The rally cap was our last ditch effort in Game 4 of the ALDS and it worked!! From this point forward, the rally cap was pulled out any time the Royals were down.


The ALCS was a wild ride as well. The Royals fought hard and won a few games in the “come from behind” fashion that they became famous for and clenched their spot in the World Series in 6 games.

It was down to two teams, us and the New York Mets. The World Series opened up with a very exciting/exhausting/labor inducing game (however you want to put it). They were down by one run in the 9th when my fave player, Alex Gordon, hit a home run and tied it up. They were finally able to end the game with a walk off in the 14th inning. M and I (and baby #2) were able to go to Game 2 on October 28th and it was luckily much shorter and much less stressful than Game 1. The Royals ran away with that game 7-1. It was such a fun environment and a game I will never forget! I also love that E got to go to the Wild Card game last year and Baby #2 got to go to a WS game this year.









The Royals were leading the series 3-1 going in to game 5 (in NY on November 1st). Yet again, the boys were down late in the game. 2-0 in the 9th to be exact. The Royals somehow managed to tie the game and forced extra innings. Not much happened after that until the 12th inning where the Boys in Blue scored 5, yes 5, more runs! Our star closer, Wade Davis, was able to hold off the Mets for the bottom of the 12th and the World Series trophy officially became ours with a final score of 7-2!

The big win meant that good ole KC got it’s very first championship parade in 30 years! We, along with 800,000 other people, felt like we couldn’t miss it (sorry E, we left you at daycare because you were a little too young). We got fairly lucky with logistics since my office was only a few blocks from the parade route and I had a parking spot. M and B/the girls got there super early to snag a front row spot and I met them a little later. It was a sea of blue as far as the eye could see. The city was electric that day and it was obvious that the fans and players were experiencing something they would remember forever.




Poor GL was not feeling well.

Poor GL was not feeling well.








I would say the entire season can be summed up in one phrase: “Winning is fun!”.

Halloween 2015

Halloween was a lot of fun this year with little E. I decided fairly early on that I wanted her to be Madeline. Madeline was my favorite book when I was little and E absolutely loves it as well. M was hesitant about this costume because before he had E, he had never heard of the book Madeline. I assured him that EVERYONE knows who Madeline is and he just doesn’t know because he grew up with only brothers. Well, it turned out I was wrong. I would say only about 50% of people have heard of or read Madeline, but that still didn’t sway my decision. I asked my Mom if she would make the costume and she was luckily as excited as I was about this idea. She is a very talented seamstress and made a dress, coat, AND cape that could not have been more spot on. I bought a straw hat for E, spray painted it yellow and hot glued a black ribbon to it (my part was pretty easy). We threw some white tights and black mary jane shoes on her and she couldn’t have looked any cuter! M came around to the costume once he saw how adorable she looked and it didn’t hurt that anyone that DID know who Madeline was raved about the costume. Thank you to my mom for her hard work and to M for going along with my idea.


Our Halloween festivities began the Sunday prior at the Fairway Trail of Treats in our nearby park. E had a great time painting a pumpkin, attempting some of the games, and just watching all of the other kiddos.




The Friday before Halloween (Halloween fell on a Saturday this year), E’s class had a parade through the 1st floor of the Federal Building (like last year).


On the actual day of Halloween, we visited great grandma and my parents before resting up for a long night of fun. That night we headed to our friend’s house in Westwood Hills where they close down the streets and the houses decorate big. Our friend B even had a projector set up outside so that we could make sure to watch Game 4 of the World Series (more on that in another blog post). E really enjoyed following around her buddy, E, and was much more eager than I thought she would be to march on up to the doors to get her candy. We stuck around B&C’s house late to watch the end of the game and didn’t get E in bed until after 10:30 but she was such a trooper! I had a blast with her this Halloween and I know it will only get better from here.




My 30th Birthday!

Long rambling post ahead: We’ll start out by saying “poor M”. For his 30th birthday, I hired one of his fave bluegrass bands and threw him a surprise party. Since he is 6.5 years older than me, I’ve always given him a hard time that he has plenty of time to plan for mine. Well, as soon as we found out we were expecting this year, I immediately knew my 30th would be a little tamer than it might be otherwise. But of course, that didn’t mean M was off the hook. I still made sure that he knew I wanted to do SOMETHING… just not sure what that “something” was. Well, M deserves an award. Even through all of my moodiness, difficultness, crazy (let’s just go with crazy) this pregnancy, he still loved me enough to plan out an absolutely amazing day for me! I can’t seem to find the words to express how appreciative and impressed I am with his stealth-like planning skills and overall thoughtfulness. There are also so many accomplices to thank as well. My Mom and Mom-in-law cleaned my freaking house for crying out loud! They helped to prep everything and there were so many friends/family that were apparently better at keeping secrets than I ever gave them credit for. So…  THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!

Okay, okay. Now, on to the day.

M wouldn’t give me ANY details about the day beforehand. We woke up and he told me we were going to head to breakfast in about an hour, so I should get ready. E, M, and I went to First Watch and enjoyed a nice family breakfast before the craziness of the day ensued.

When we got home, my 2 besties A and A showed up and I still had no idea what was going on. M even tried to give it away by telling me that we heading somewhere therapeutic, which made me guess spa, but I got real confused again, when I saw him packing a cooler full of beer. What kind of spa was this??? Well, lo and behold, the cooler was for the limo that pulled up in front of our house!! Us girls jumped in and we headed to the spa for some massages (amazing pre-natal massage for me!). Unfortunately, I have no photos from this part of the day. Mainly because I am guessing that would just be awkward.

After massages, we got back in the limo and ended up at one of my fave KC restaurants, The Mixx, for some lunch. At this point, the girls told me that we were running a little late and I would have to get my meal to go. Confusion really set in then. Why was I leaving them? How were they going to get back to wherever? And would I now be in this huge limo by myself? So many questions. Well, M showed up at the Mixx and jumped in the limo with me (and my to-go salad). And for all those very concerned about logistics like me, A and A took Mark’s car back to get theirs at our house. 🙂 Still no photos… sorry, I suck.

M and I headed to River Market where we got out at Farmhouse and saw D/R, K/J, and B/C. They were finishing up some lunch and drinks. I am not that familiar with River Market, so I really had no idea where the next surprise would be. Well, as soon as we left the restaurant, I immediately saw the large “Breakout KC” sign on one of the buildings. This is a newer place in KC where they lock you in a room and you have an hour to solve puzzles/clues in order to escape. I had mentioned to M a while ago that I wanted to try this out and he apparently listened. I was pretty stoked. Long story short, our team basically dominated and we broke out of their 2nd hardest room with 8 minutes to spare. We all had such a blast and we left there wanting to try out their other rooms. Finally… a pic from the day!


After Breakout KC, the whole crew got in the limo and we drove around KC for a bit. This gave everyone time to enjoy a few brewskies/Boones Farm and for me to (yet again) be confused as heck as to where we were heading. Well, we finally started heading back to our ‘hood, and I thought “I’m sure the time on the limo is up and we’ll just hang out at home now”. Well, I guess I was partly correct. As our house came in to my view, I saw the streets lined with cars and there were balloons on the back fence. I was already in shock before my eyes even made it to the people crammed in to our front patio. I can’t even remember what I said at that point. I do, however, remember what I was thinking: 1. How on earth did M pull this off without me knowing?!?! and 2. Holy crap, my house was a disaster when I left this morning. Please tell me it magically was cleaned somehow (and thanks to the moms, it was!!). The party was so much fun and the food was not too shabby either! Between M and the Moms, we had all of my favorite foods: Joe’s BBQ, pasta salad, candy corn and peanuts, Jacque cake, and enough alcohol to get a small country drunk. I will enjoy those left-overs in a few months. 🙂 (And all of the following pics are thanks to my sis-in-law, A!)











Just when I thought the surprises were over, I was told to stay in the living room for one final surprise. When I was allowed to go outside, I just saw a couple of curly heads poking out over the crowd and immediately knew… Irish Dancers!!! My mother-in-law pulled out the stops and got a few irish dancers to come perform. It was such an unexpected and fun surprise (for the guests as well – most people didn’t know they were coming).







Oh and did I mention, that M and the Dads even hung tea lights on the back patio for us to enjoy as the sun went down? Seriously, all of my fave things and people crammed in to one day. It was a birthday I will NEVER forget!


Our good friend, R, also took some great photos from the day and you can see her post here: http://thepalomalife.com/2015/10/07/30th-b-day-for-l/ 

E’s First K-State Football Game

My coworker was unable to use her season tickets for the September 19th, 2015 K-State football game against Louisiana Tech and asked if we’d like to go. M was out of town that weekend, but we’d wanted E to experience a KSU game this year anyway, so I asked my cousin if she’d like to come with and we headed west to Manhappenin.

I will say that it is always exciting to experience things through your child’s eyes, and this was no exception, but I don’t know that we need to experience it again until she is old enough to sit still longer than 2 minutes. She really liked seeing Willie on the field and would give her full attention and even give him some waves when he was in her eyesight. Other than that, she was pretty restless. The space between the bleacher and the person sitting in front of you is about 1.5 feet, so there is very little wiggle room when she does decide she needs to move around. We spent a lot of the game walking/running around up around the concourse. We did get a quick visit with Aunt G who was working at the merchandise tent. She was so sweet and even bought E a little Willie souvenir of her own.

I definitely owe my cousin, S, a huge thank you. She helped carry E on the long trek from the car, dig snack after snack out of the diaper bag, and helped this preggo lady take care of a 1.5 year old. No way I could have done it without her.

All in all, it was a good time, just not one that I feel like I need to do again anytime soon.Which is okay, because here in about 17 years, E will be attending all of the games herself while she’s attending school out there. 🙂

Oh, and I should probably update with the outcome of the game: K-State looked, well… not great, but after 3 overtimes they ended up winning 39 to 33.

Ready to hit the road!

Ready to hit the road!


Cousin S and E.

Cousin S and E.

She didn't leave the headphones on for too long.

She didn’t leave the headphones on for too long.

You can see her Willie doll that Aunt G gave her.

You can see her Willie doll that Aunt G gave her.

Hanging out in the gift shop to kill time/hang out in front of the fan.

Hanging out in the gift shop to kill time/hang out in front of the fan/visit Aunt G.

She did enjoy the necklaces we bought. Whether it was putting them on and off or just whipping them around (we had to nip that in the bud).

She did enjoy the necklaces we bought. Whether it was putting them on and off or just whipping them around (we had to nip that in the bud).

She refused to look at the camera in any of the shots.

She refused to look at the camera in any of the shots.

Playing up behind the stands to keep her entertained.

Playing up behind the stands to keep her entertained.


E’s Bedroom

Being the first child has so far paid off for E in our new house. She is the proud occupant of a room that is equal size to our master and a ton of space for such a little being. And to be honest, I am quite jealous of her room. She’s got magnetic chalkboard walls, a teepee to hide out in, and a playhouse bed. What else does a little girl need?

In order to prepare for baby #2, we needed to steal the crib out of E’s room so this meant it was time for a big girl bed. Whether she was ready or not. My Mom found this idea for an adorable playhouse bed and M spent a Saturday morning building it. I loved how it turned out and also love that her Daddy made it for her. I can’t wait to decorate it, I’m just not sure how yet. Thinking maybe seasonally? But anyways, we figured having the mattress on the floor was also a good idea as we weren’t sure how the transition was going to go and seeing how she’s already fallen out a couple times (no injuries!), mattress on the floor was a good call. E really does seem to be enjoying having a big girl bed in her room as she loves to play on it while she’s awake.

Her room is still missing a large shelf (again, hopefully made by Daddy-O) on the wall with her dresser and also a rug (I can’t decide which one!), so hopefully I’ll update this post with some real “after” photos someday when we actually complete the room.

In the meantime, here are the before and after photos that we have. Beginning when we first bought the house, then her nursery and finally, her big girl room.










Update: We finally got the shelf built and installed thanks to M! Here is a not so great photo of it. I love the meaning behind so many things on this shelf. The little teddy bear on the left was M’s when he was little. The K-State Barbie was mine and I love the idea of passing it down to E (although she can NEVER take it out of the package), and the little framed booties were actually my Grandpa’s (yes, I meant Grandpa not Grandma) when he was a baby. Grandpa was the first one I told about being pregnant with E. He passed away just a few days after we found out. Those booties mean a lot. 🙂