Our Five Ring Circus: Life Lately

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Life Lately

Big Family Life

Life with five littles is busy - so busy! I'm barely sleeping, we're always on the go, my to do list is ridiculously long, and there's NEVER enough time. This isn't a complaint. It's just a fact. I absolutely love having a big family, but it is a lot of work!

I could easily write a blog post about each day of parenthood. There's never a dull moment, and there are plenty of stories (and pictures) to share! Considering I barely have time to breathe, that just isn't going to happen, so I'm going to sum up life lately in one post.

Here's a glimpse at life with my crew over the past few weeks...


I was in a cooking rut, and I found myself making the same meals over and over again for dinner. I decided to attempt one new meal each week, and we found some new favorites along the way! I'm not much of a food blogger, but I've been tossing around the idea of sharing 1-2 family friendly recipes each month.

Some of our recent favorites have been homemade alfredo, Crockpot Italian Chicken, Cheesy Chicken, Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce, and Mexican Rice. I shared my recipe for Mexican Rice in my Instagram Stories last week, and it got a lot of engagement, so I will share that recipe below. I'm getting in all those new recipes while I can, because Lily starts cheerleading at the end of July, and will have practice from Monday-Thursday for six weeks straight, right at dinner time. I anticipate lots of Crockpot meals in our future! (Hit me up with your favorite crockpot recipes please!!!)

Mexican Rice recipe


Is anyone else caught up in Big Little Lies and The Handmaid's Tale? We are watching the current seasons, and we're hooked! Meryl Streep is amazing in Big Little Lies! Grant and I are also watching Good Girls and Adam Ruins Everything. Adam Ruins Everything really makes you think about, well, everything!

We just finished watching Stranger Things season 3, and it was my favorite season so far. Confession - I didn't love the first two seasons at all! Lexie also convinced me to watch Riverdale, and I binge-watched them with her over the course of a few weeks. It's Lexie's favorite show!

I'm watching Anne with an E with my girls, because I loved the books and the movies when I was a child. I'm also watching Supernatural with Lexie. She loves scary shows and movies! As a family, we're watching Gilmore Girls, Perfect Strangers, and Mr. Iglesias.

Parenting Blog


I'm almost ashamed to admit I haven't finished a book since Coen was born. I'm an avid reader who used to read a book a day, so I'm feeling the shame. I'm just so tired still, and there's so much else to do. I did start Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness since I loved the All Souls Trilogy so much. I also started The Kept by James Scott. I think I like it so far.

I told my husband that I was watching Anne with an E with Lexie and Lily, and how I was so bummed about losing that book series when my parents lost their house in a flood years ago. He immediately found the entire collection online, and a box of books arrived at our house today. I thought that was the sweetest, and I can't wait to read them with Lily!

Book Blog


This is a sore subject. I'm so sick through my entire pregnancy, so I always go on a feeding frenzy after my babies are born. The fact that I breastfeed around the clock just makes me feel ravenous, too. Usually, it isn't the least bit noticeable, because I don't gain any weight but the baby's weight, and I start exercising regularly at 6 weeks. This time I had a very rough recovery (I'm honestly still not back to normal), so exercise has been limited. And I can tell. I'm losing my muscle tone, and things shifted from carrying a giant baby. I HATE looking in the mirror, so I'm wearing a lot of flowy (AKA forgiving) tops with capris or wide-legged shorts. Some of the nerve damage is going away, so I'm hoping to get back into running by Fall. Right now, walks and some toning exercises are my go to!

And babies. I wear them all the time. Sometimes both at once!



Grant's birthday is coming up next week, Lily's birthday is 10 days later, and Liam's birthday is 2 weeks after Lily's. I have a LOT of birthday parties to plan! I'm also already shopping for back to school supplies and Christmas gifts. With five kids, I have to start early!

mom blog


I feel like I'm constantly organizing things in our home to make life just a bit easier! This week, I'm working on our filing system for important papers. I have to start a medical binder for Coen, since I already have them for our older kids. I also have to start filing important papers for the upcoming school year. When your child has an IEP, you end up with a lot of paperwork! Finally, I'm still in the process of hanging up Summer clothing in the girls' room, and sorting out the mountains of hand me downs in the attic.

Mom Life


I'm finally getting back into blogging. I truly missed it, but I was so exhausted that I could barely form a coherent sentence! I have quite a few posts in my drafts folder that I need to finish. Here's what's coming up soon:

  • Breastfeeding Guide
  • Favorite Amazon purchases
  • At home therapy ideas to prevent the summer slide
  • Newborn Favorites
  • Dinosaur Sensory Bin
  • A final vacation recap
  • Coen's Birth Story
  • CVS favorites
  • March, April, May, June recap
  • What's In My Diaper Bag
  • Medical Binders 101

Big Family Blog


My kids take over the music when we're in my SUV...which is pretty much all the time! The girls opt for KIDZ BOP, Queen, and 80's music, and Dylan is all about rap. And Liam? Well, he would play Baby Shark around the clock if it was up to him!

newborn photography


Walking and toning exercises are it for now. (See above!) Hoping to start pilates, yoga, and running again soon!

Fitness Blog


I can't get over how fast time is flying by! I swear I just had Coen, but he's already 4 months old, and hitting milestone after milestone. He's our last baby (I swear), and it's making me really sad! Time is just slipping away.

Pittsburgh Blog


💓 Gummy baby smiles and giggles
💓 French Vanilla Iced Coffee
💓 My new SUV!!!

Baby Blog


I know many parents count down, but I am not looking forward to the start of the school year. I love Summer so much, and it's already going by much too quickly!

Parenting Blog


We're currently dealing with teenage drama, and a very fussy teething infant. Talk about opposite ends of the parenting spectrum! And money - is there ever enough of it when you have a big family?!? This time of year is more expensive for our family than Christmas! We have 3 birthdays within our family in a three week span, and 4 kids going back to school. Dylan also needs a laptop for high school this year, and Lily needs some cheerleading gear. On top of that, we just got a new SUV, and our payment went up, our garage door needs fixed, our furnace needs fixed, we need to get a dumpster to get rid of stuff, we need to replace the door that Lexie broke, and it's time to spay Ella. I just keep hearing ca-ching in my head as those numbers add up!!! Big families can be expensive at times!

big family life


Yep - see above! My shopping list is as bad as my to do list right now! I did manage to score a great deal on a Christmas present for Coen last week. I got a Step 2 Push Around Buggy for just $19.99 at Aldi!

Step 2 Push Around Buggy


At the end of June, the National Down Syndrome Congress convention was in Pittsburgh, and I was able to attend, thanks to it being so close and thanks to a gifted registration from the DSDN (I run their Instagram account). I wasn't able to attend every session, because we also had a funeral and a wedding that weekend, but I learned so much, and was able to connect with some friends I only know from Facebook support groups and Instagram!

NDSC Convention Pittsburgh

Liam played baseball for the Miracle League this Summer, and had his last game at the end of June. It was an experience, but he'll definitely be back next Spring!

Down syndrome blog

While Grant's childhood best friend was in town (sadly, for his mother's funeral), we were able to get together with him for a pool party. We all had fun during a particularly sad week. We also checked out an awesome new spray park in our area!

Richland Spray Park


There's some exciting things happening right now!

  1. Liam finally started private speech therapy last Thursday. Expressive language is his weakness, but prior to this, he has only had speech therapy in our home through Early Intervention, and at school. He is having a language explosion right now, and repeats everything we say, so we're trying to keep this momentum going. He seemed to bond with his new speech therapist immediately, and she said she expects him to make quite a bit of progress during his first 12 week session. His two main goals right now are pronounciation and stringing together more words into sentences!
  2. I got a new SUV! Actually, I got it tonight. It was time to trade in our 2017 Chevy Traverse, so we got another one. It was redesigned since then, and it looks like a completely different vehicle on the inside and outside. I only drove it for a few minutes in the dark tonight while I was dropping Lexie off for a sleepover, but I love it! It seems much bigger than our last Traverse (it felt like I was driving a truck), and has a lot of cool new options. The kids love it, too! I can't wait to drive it in daylight!


I already mentioned three special upcoming birthdays, but we're also planning a mini Pittsburgh staycation next week, and a possible trip to Lake Erie in August. My family reunion is on Lily's brithday, and I'm so excited to see my aunt, uncle, and cousin from Texas! We're enjoying a few more weeks of peace before cheerleading starts for Lily at the end of the month. I'm not quite ready for her intense practice schedule. There's no doubt about it - the last two months of Summer are going to fly by! Thankfully, the kids have a longer Summer than usual due to school renovations. They don't go back until September 9th this year!

Big Family

We have over a full month of Summer Break already in the books! We managed some down time, but as you can see, we've been as busy as always. My goal over the next two months is to make lasting memories with my husband and five kids. Everyone keeps reminding me that I only get 18 summers with my children, so I'm determined to make them count!

Down syndrome blog

What is life lately like for you? What are you reading, watching, or listening to? 

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  1. I can't even imagine how busy you are these days, but it must be the best thing to have such a big family! Your boys and girls will be so grateful to have so many siblings to lean on when they're older. My mom is one of six and I love having all of those aunts and uncles and cousins!

  2. Nice to catch up on you today! Gabbie needs a laptop for high school too and I have no idea what is a good type to look for!

  3. Woah, you are definitely busy, but lots of fun things too! That's really sweet your husband got you the Anne of Green Gable books. How fun the kids don't go back to school until September; it's starting so soon for a lot of people, and it's just crazy. How is it the middle of July already?!


  4. You have a beautiful family.

  5. Sounds like you've been keeping busy! Your little one looks so adorable in that nautical outfit. I need to catch up on The Handmaid's Tale. I started watching this season on Hulu but then got sucked in to The Bachelorette and another show.


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