first of all HAPPY CANADA DAY!! we’ll be celebrating with poutine alllllll day.

now.

i mentioned last week that i’m helping some adorable bloggers host a fun little 4th of july link up so we can see those babes in the red, white & blue.

which means i needed to get MY babes in some good old fashioned stars and stripes for the occasion. i had no idea what i was going to get out of lex.

but homegirl blew me away.

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dress/headband

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and then there’s kenz. who decided to chew on her flag. so we’re still working on her and model behavior. hand a baby a prop and things get a smidge harder.

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now its your turn to show me, liz, vanessa, sara, kristy & natalie your babes strutting their stuff.

starspangledkids

 



  • These photos are gorgeous! I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July Weekend!

  • I’m telling you – these photos are amazing!! Lex is such a little model, it’s ridiculous. It looks like Kenz has the flag waving down… which means you can totally come to see us and participate in our neighborhood 4th of July parade. Or we can come see the barge fireworks? Your choice.

  • Meghan

    i love all these photos! You really do have a little model on your hands! I will definitely link up on Monday with our week’s worth of patriotic outfits :). Happy Canada Day!

  • These pictures are absolutely adorable!! They look so perfect!

  • These pictures are absolutely adorable! They are so perfect!

  • I die. Those photos of Lex are GORGEOUS!! Thank you so much for hosting with us!

  • Kristin

    Oh my word!! Do you mind if I share the photo of the maxi dress on our Instagram (@missainsleymae)?

  • ashley

    LOOOOVE the pics – great job mama & babes! XO

  • i absolutely love those photos of lex!! she is seriously so photogenic, i love it! and i love that you are celebrating poutine! :) we are celebrating Canada Day with donuts and a BBQ with the neighbours this afternoon! :)

  • MODEL BABES! and please tell me what poutine is? because its sounding like something I need in my life!

  • love these! kens and lex are adorable per usual. wish I had kids to deck out in their American goodness! husband and i decked out in my monday post if that counts for something? haha
    xo, Candace | Lovely Little Rants

  • Blown away at how gorgeous the photos are with Lex!! Wow!! And of course Kenz is a dolly baby!

  • Your girls are such cuties! I love the first picture of Lex with the blanket — so boho! :)

  • How weird would it be if I had that first picture framed and hung on my wall? I’m kidding…kind of ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, they’re all just perfection! And Kenz’s romper…oh. my. goodness. LOVE!

  • i love these pictures! They are too cute! I can’t believe how big Kenzi is getting already!

  • I’ve NEVER heard of poutine and after visiting my trusty friend, Google, I’d never turn down a french fry! But seriously, those photos of Lex are stunning. In all your spare time I’m pretty sure you need to start taking pictures of every one else’s kids since you are so amazing at it!

  • They’re so cute!!!

  • Lex ROCKED the photo shoot! Seriously. These photos. Gorgeous!

  • Those flag pics are THE best!

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we had such a fun weekend!

And now it’s Monday. Back to the grind and our increasingly busy summer schedule (we do things opposite round here and gear up for summer).

Friday night mike and I managed to sneak out for a little date night with another couple. And lex survived her first evening with a non-family member babysitter! It was our 13 year old next door neighbor who lex adores. But still.

And kenz? Well kenz was already nestled safely into bed by the time we left.

Saturday we hit the zoo (with the same family we had date night with). And I swear that lex wants to take home a “baby” of every single animal… Except the lizards and snakes,  thank goodness.

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Kenz graduated to her real stroller seat and was loving life in the fast lane. Lex was a manic when we got home due to a no nap situation. Why do the best mornings sometimes make for the worst afternoons?

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these two spent the whole weekend together. i love that little guy. . .looks like lex does too.

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Sunday we went to the local village’s fair thingy (technical term) and got stuck in the ride section partaking in pony rides, bounce castles, and super slides.

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And then the day took a turn for the worst.

I didn’t really think it would happen to me. I don’t have that many followers, my pictures aren’t that good- but someone tipped me off that Lex’s pictures were being used in a role play account. There’s something about seeing your child’s photos on someone else’s account that shakes you to the core. I was horrified. I went into tiger mom status and went a little crazy.

I blocked hundreds of users (I’m sorry if I emotionally blocked you! Let me know I’ll add you back!). I reported the accounts. I rallied the help of all my users to do the same.

And then I reached out to other moms who’ve had it happen to them. And talked to mike (a lot).

And here’s where we’re at.

It sucks. Role play is random 11-13 year old girls playing a creepy internet game (and yes. This girl is a CHILD. She wrote about being grounded because her mom found her accounts). I’m careful about my location settings, my pictures are tasteful and mindful, and at the end of the day these kids (yes kids!) can get any of these pictures from my blog or Pinterest. They stole random pictures- of lex not looking at the camera, they’d steal watermarked pictures. It’s never ending.

So what do we do? Shut it all down? I love blogging, I love Instagram, I love the new relationships I’ve made and don’t want to go off the grid. So I’m going to crack down on new followers, change my gram handle (suggestions accepted!), and be even more mindful about the content I post.

And go tiger mom on anyone else I find stealing pictures of MY babes.

End rant.

(for the record i finished this with a “mike dropped” but husband mike might have taken that personally. mike/microphone damn the english language).

 

  • What is this mic dropped thing?? My staff keeps using it…. *so out of the loop*… I can’t get over how gorgeous Lex looks in that yellow dress… She’s growing up so fast with Kenz! I foresee a trip to visit you guys in my future…. before they both become any-number-nagers on me. (I win for creepiest comment ever to a serious post… but since we’re friends, please don’t block me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  • Oh man. The weekend went too fast here as well and our calendar does the same OVERLOAD of summer. What can we say – it’s our favorite time of the year and we need to do all the things:)

    Love the pictures and how much bigger does Kenz seem in the real stroller seat!

    I hate that your pictures were stolen. I cannot imaging seeing my sweet babe on someone else’s account! Thankful for friends finding it and helping to resolve this matter promptly and what is wrong with kids these days. What happened to building forts and riding bikes??

  • Your weekend sounds so fun!!!! Did you guys go to the LA Zoo? I’ve been wanting to take Mason there ever since we went for the zoo lights thing back around Christmas. It rained the whole time (and was dark) so we barely got to see anything but it sure does seem like a nice zoo! Plus I think Mason would greatly appreciate the fact that I took him there when his arch nemesis, Santa, wasn’t there.
    Oh, and I forgot to tell you, I’ve actually seen some people write in their IG profile about not stealing their photos. Blunt and straight forward. Do you have a note about that on your blog? I added that “pin it” button to my pictures on my blog too and am thinking about removing it (if I could only figure out how…) but I did make a disclaimer not to pin pictures of my child. I’m not sure if it helps, but at least I can say it’s there. You could also say something about “if you steal my photos, I will prosecute” Maybe that would scare little 11 year old girls?

  • People are the worst! Why do they think it’s okay to steal photos and then play stupid/awful games with them? I totally don’t get it. And I think you did the right thing with going private and blocking people. Thank goodness for the person who tipped you off (which, by the way, how on earth did they find it?). Your girls are just so beautiful and so are your photos, which makes people want to take them….so dumb. Let me know if there is anything I can do! Love you!

  • Meghan

    what? I had no clue these people role playing are teenagers! Do they really have nothing better to do? That’s a shame that a fun weekend was overshadowed by such crappiness!

  • I had no idea about this role playing thing. That’s seriously scary. I cannot imagine how horrified you were that people stole your personal photos of YOUR children. I’m so sorry that you had to experience that and I hope it never happens again.

    I’m glad to hear the rest of your weekend was good.

    Amy @ http://befilledwithj0y.blogspot.com/

  • Ashley

    So sorry this happened to you, so, so creepy! It’s a shame these kids (crazy!) have to ruin it for the rest of us. I’m with u, don’t let them push us away but be more cautious!

    Glad you had a great weekend!

  • Jodi

    How do you find out if your pictures are being used? I don’t blog, but I do FN and IG. I try to block anyone looking sketchy.

  • Oh no! So sorry that happened to you! It’s a scary place, the internet is. It’s horrible that there are people (and kids none the less) out there who do things like that. I should reall go through and block sketchy accounts on my IG too. So scary!

    But, the zoo looked like fun, and glad you got out for a date night! :)

  • Your girls are just so precious. And glad you guys had such a wonderful date night and time at the zoo.

    But the baby role playing thing? Seriously gives me the heeby jeebies!! I am trying to figure out how I want to share pictures of the girls.

  • Sounds like a wonderful weekend!! Except the end, I’m so sorry one of Lex’s photos was stolen… could you imagine doing this role playing shit when we were 12.. it’s so creepy and weird!! I’m pretty terrified of it happening to me, in the end though I just try to choose tasteful photos, I would never post a naked bum photo of my kid just because of the creeps out there. Even ones with Scarlett shirtless I’m hesitant (I always watermark- even though I know they can steal them still). There’s just no real way to be 100% safe without shutting it all down, and like you I don’t wish to fall off the grid because I’ve made some great friendships through blogging and IG. I’m definitely VERY picky with who follows me on IG and I’m block happy ๐Ÿ˜‰ lol

  • I’ve had the same creep pin pictures of my girls from my blog. Now every time I post pics, I enter a “no pin” code to the html, that way other posts with pinnable material is still good, but the family posts are not. I’ve stalked the creep like crazy and its a teenage girl from brazil. I also block anyone who likes too many of photos hahaha…. like in rapid succession, creeps me out. I hate that this is a “thing” we have to worry about :(

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its no secret ive been neglecting le blog.

ive been cheating on you all with instagram. its really not my fault– its far less effort to post there on a daily basis. lately ive been really trying to step up my photo game- iphoneography and big camera photography- and just documenting the leading ladies in my life on a daily basis.

theres this amazing new instagram account called “momtog” where different photographers are featured and share tips and tricks for shooting via their phone and cameras. seeing all the talent on there has me mucho motivated to learn all i can from the amazingly talented photographers spilling their tips and tricks for great shots.

becauseย theres lots of fun to be documented around here.

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ive been using the collect app to gently remind me to take pictures every day. filling up that calendar is mighty rewarding. and its really fun to look back on everything we’ve done month after month (and yes, that bumbo is KILLING ME).

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speaking of fun. i’m helping to host a link up with a few other bloggers for the 4th of july. who doesn’t love kids dressed festively? i know i sure do. . .ย so link up with us via blog or instagram (#starspangledkids).

starspangledkids

and that’s all i have for now folks. because i’m still attempting to figure out how to re-sync all my pictures and photoshop after updating my apple software. . . and power watching orange is the new black. maybe once that happens i’ll have a few picture heavy posts for you all:)

but for now.

gram me.

 

  • Following the momtog IG now and downloaded that app! I try to take a photo a day with my real camera but it doesn’t always happen and I LOVE learning how to take great iPhone photos also :) They’re is always so much to learn. PS that bumbo would KILL me too haha!

  • When you figure out the photo/Apple thing, let me know… Because it’s been driving me CRAZY!! I can definitely see you upping your photo game and it’s giving me a complex… but I don’t have anything near that cute to photograph daily, so I’ll sit over here and make excuses for myself now! Keep ’em coming!

  • Meghan

    I just started following you and honestly I’m shocked I wasn’t already! I love your photos! And this linkup sounds like so much fun! I’ll definitely have to dress noah up in one of his many patriotic shirts and get snapping :). Have a great weekend!

  • You have totally stepped up your photo game and it’s AMAZING! And I need that app asap!

  • I’m definitely going to check out that Instagram account and app, they sound fun! And I agree, it’s so much easier to post on Insta daily than blog! I’m so excited for the link up, thanks for helping host!!

  • I know how blogs can be a lot of work, and instagram can be a lot simpler. I love your photos that you posted on instagram. I will follow both you blog and instagram.

  • Downloading that app asap! I definitely need to up my iphone photo taking game. I still just can’t get over how much better all of Mabel’s pictures will be than Abigail’s though lol, just based on having an iphone.

    I’ve got Mabel’s outfit ready for the 4th! I need to get big sis something though….

  • Ive been a horrible blogger too all month, def checking out those ig accts and I love the calendar app, so fun. Can you ask Lex to please stop it with her hair?? She seriously has the most enviable hair around, I might go to my stylist and take her pic and say give me toddler hair!!! No joke. And I’m a little over halfway through OITNB, hoping to finish this weekend too!

  • You cheater, you. But don’t worry. I get my daily fix of your GORGEOUS girls via the Gram on the daily anyway :) I love that app you have. Although I am pretty horrible about taking one photo a day so I feel like I would be an epic failure at that calendar and then just be sad when it wasn’t full. Does it remind you to make sure you’ve taken a picture? Because I’m pretty sure mom brain has stuck around ever since Mason was born and I need constant reminders of things!

  • I am looooving all of your ‘grammin’! And I’m so with you, I love IG because of how much easier and less time consuming it is to stalk and stay caught up (as much as a little square can catch you up) on lives!
    I need to follow that mom-tog account! I need all the tips/advice/help I can get on my photos!

  • How amazing is that app? Totes in! Oh, and I don’t blog. Not that I ever really did, but I love following you on THE GRAM. LK

  • Jenna

    Hi Erin,

    I’ve followed your blog for a while and just followed your Instagram after seeing this post. However it seems I have been blocked now, just curious as to if I have done something or whether this was a mistake? Really a fan of your blog and loved seeing the cute snaps of your kids!

  • I followed Momtog on IG when I saw you talk about it there! What a great idea for great tips and tricks. I’m always looking for ways to better my iphone photos. And that app…so fun! I’m going to download it right now! :)

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but not really.

i seriously thought it was friday. wishful thinking much? instead i’m stuck in a silly little thing called thursday. and its the only thing standing between me and the weekend.

this week has been filled with F U N.

starting with gymnastics. we finally enrolled lex in gymnastics. i swear gymnastic was made for this girl. she had the absolute most fun ever and keeps begging and pleading to go back and work on her balance beam and trampoline skills. we bought a legit leotard from the gym and it came with a scrunchie. lex wears her new leotard daily and claims her “scrunch” belongs on her leg. i’ll let her run with that. . . because im not ready to embrace the scrunchie aspect of gymnastics quite yet.

this was my absolute favorite view. check out that perfectly placed lions mouth.

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we also made it to the aquarium. since school has been out we’ve been hitting up the aquarium weekly. and doing it backwards in an effort to avoid the crowds. because we clearly need to get up close and personal with the fish. ive been wearing kenz forward facing in the ergo 360 (its AMAZING. homegirl loves being in the action), so she’s been able to partake in fish watching too. she’s a silent observer. . . and i’m terrified of life once she able to fully participate.

on the way home from the aquarium both girls teamed up on me and wailed the whole way home. i’m talking WAILING. i bounced between laughing and crying and videoing so mike could appreciate my pain. kenz was crying because she didnt want to be strapped into her car seat and lex was crying because she didnt want her sister to cry. it was absolute and total torture. but then we got home and they were so exhausted from screaming so much they passed out at the same time. which isย the only reason i made it through the day.

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i know i havent held back about my struggle with these two and their “friendship”. lets just reiterate what an uphill climb its been. lex just ignores kenz while kenz thinks lex is the bees knees. it breaks my mom-heart to see lex completely dismiss kenz. but things seem to be turning around now that kenz is firmly in the bumbo stage.

i was going to read the gals a story but jumped up to throw a load of laundry in the dryer when i came back to this sweet scene. i dashed to find the closet camera and managed to document lex being nice to kenz ON HER OWN. something i was beginning to think wasn’t going to happen.

 

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and then she begged to go swimming together. again the bumbo had to come out to play. have i mentioned that sitting is my most favorite milestone ever? until that happens prepare to see that teal bumbo alllllll the time.

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and who can resist a fresh box o chalk?

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the june gloom is giving way to a bit of heat so ive busted out the water table. we’re in a drought over here so no mini-swimming pool for lex until totally and completely necessary. we’re talking record breaking heat. until then she’s going to have to swim in that water table and be happy about it.

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and kenz will have to swim in her bath tub and be happy about it.

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and with that. bring on friday.

tomorrow.

damn you thursday.

 

  • I was totally over here feeling the same way about Friday…. so you are totally speaking my language today!! The leotard is THE BEST!! Love it! Those sweet sister moments – clearly, Lex has been waiting for a sister that can DO with her! The water table pics are SO CUTE!!! Love, love, love!! But tell Lex I said no more wailing on the drive. That’s a little too much drama at her age!! :)

  • oh my. too cute. The battle is uphill but then something clicks and big sister realizes she has a full-time playmate in lil sis (and can boss her around for a while) and they have mutual love. I feel you on the uphill battle though, my husband was sure we had ruined our eldest life (he was an only child and didnt know the joy of siblings, I knew better having brothers and sisters close in age myself). Anyway – no I can SIT IN A CHAIR for longer than 5 minutes and watch them play TOGETHER. it is happening and I know we made the right decision:)

  • meghan

    your girls are just the cutest! I love the lion leotard! It’s so funny, because I rarely wore noah or used the bumbo, but if we do end up having a second I would imagine id need to use both more! It’s so fun that kenz is able to join in on the fun by sitting in her bumbo!

  • Lex doesn’t look mad at all about swimming on/in the water table :) Your girls are so beautiful! And I love how honest you are about their relationship… it’s been so eye opening and totally helping me to prep myself mentally for all the options (of course I’m totally aware that I will completely lose my mind and probably need to check in to the loony bin once baby #2 arrives- but you know, at least I’m preparing myself for that as well. It was all just a big FAT surprise when Mia was born!)
    My momma heart would break as well BUT I do believe this stage will fly by and those girls will be best friends for the rest of forever, you’ll hardly remember when Lex didn’t have the time of day for an immobile baby sis! (I hope! Hugs to you!!)

  • No joke, I was actually confused and thought today was Friday for a second! Darn it lol.
    Sounds like you guys are having the best week! I’ve been seeing all your pics on IG and super jealous of the fun you’re having.
    SO, that being said, I’m making you a promise. Right now, at my new job, I’m hourly (boo). But I’m supposed to become salary eventually and then they said I can take off days when I want. (WOOHOO) SO, promise we will have an aquarium date SOON! Unless that little boy in the pic with Lex is her bf… then Mason might be a little jealous!

  • Wait! It’s not Friday? AHHHHHH! Seriously thought it was all morning! I’ve pondering starting Gymnastics class in the fall. Glad to see Lex likes it! I think Elin will as well.

  • They’re love is coming along! I’m sure once Kenz becomes even more of an active participant in life Lex will love her even more!

  • Tawnya

    They look like they’re having a great time together! SO cute! Yay for naps at the same time, sorry you had to endure ww3 on the way home though :( You win some you lose some I guess ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Tag teaming at it’s finest! Gotta love it-I usually laugh at the pure torture of it all and I’ve definitely pulled out the video to share the joy with my husband! He typically responds with a text about how he needs to stay late that night! I also sometimes start to belt out “This is the time to remember cuz it will not last forever.” Oh Billy Joel- he must have had a toddler and infant! Gotta try to find the humor or we’d all go freaking crazy!

  • Ashley

    Too much cute – that lion leotard, I die!

  • YAY for bonding!! and double yay for same nap times because that makes my world go round here… although Bre is still napping in her swing.

  • Oh the “double-cry pass out”? we know all about that over here ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also know all about the sibling love issues, but I’ll tell you once it took a turn for the better it got SOOO much better…and now they’re equally obsessed with each other! Your girls will be there is no time I’m sure :) Cheers to it FINALLY being Friday!!!! XO

  • I asked Aria what day it was this morning and she shouted FRIDAY!!! I was like op nope sorry Monday. I guess she already knows which is her fave day. That was the first time I ever asked her so I didn’t think she knew any days.
    I do not envy that car screaming one bit. But that double nap? Magic.

  • Yay for the Bumbo. Man, that thing was a lifesaver! And the lion placement – too cheeky! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ugh, the aquarium drive home does not sound fun. We’ll be there almost weekly too this summer with our dang DL passes blocked. P.S. I need a tutorial on how to do the double french braid on Lex. Tres chic and adorbs!

    xx Viv at JoieDeViv

  • I have the same problem thinking Thursday is Friday. I hate it when that happens. I love it when I though it Monday but in reality it is Sunday. Not sure if you had that before but those are great.

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this weekend we’re laying low and just going with the flow.

after last weekends shenanigans we need a weekend filled with nothing but a library visit and maybe bed bath & beyond but i dont know. . i dont know if we’ll have time (and we can be besties forever if you caught that).

i feel like i have a LOT of action shots of lex lately. but the arrival of the perfect twirl dress warrants yet another (couple) of twirling pictures.

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the week started out with some rain (hallelujah!). As soon as lex opened her eyes and saw the rain she declared CA’s drought over and decided it was now ok for her to use her sprinkler toy and kiddie pool. She’s a dreamer that one.

Instead we jumped in puddles.

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Fear not. I have action shots of kenz for you party people too.

Her favorite action.

Here she is obviously hating her solids. So far both peaches and squash have been huge successes. And we have perfectly timed dinner time and bath time.

Obviously.

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Our pediatrician recommended we try a new formula. And kenz is sucking it down like its candy. GERMAN CANDY. Because my friends this isn’t some run to target to find stuff. This hails straight from Germany- and fear not the packaging… IS IN GERMAN. It only took us half an hour to decipher. But hey, it smells WAY better than the hypo-allergenic stuff we OG had her on. 

CANDY MY FRIENDS.

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i hope each and every one of you find some german candy to devour this weekend. . .

 

 

  • Meghan

    ooh I love a good twirly dress! So how does that work with the drought and town pools? And are you guys limited to the amount of water you use in general? Thankfully we don’t ever have drought problems in NJ cause we water our grass a lot!

  • I wonder if Tom would be up for a trip to go get Miss Kenz some formula?? ๐Ÿ˜‰ the puddle picture and twirling pictures are AMAZING!! I would twirl all day if that was my dress too!!!

  • That puddle shot is amazing! I do hope she got the insides of her boots all wet as that is truly the test of a good puddle and therefore a brilliant puddle-jumper. That formula is very popular here so it’s good to know Kenz recommends it- you know if I ever decide to do that pregnancy thing again. Have a nice relaxing weekend!

  • That yellow dress is gorgeous!

  • Sounds like a pretty nice little Saturday. I absolutely adore that dress, and it looks like Lex does too. Happy Weekend!

  • Yay for twirly dresses and delicious formula! I need to get a box in the mail with some new summer goodies for you ladies whenever I get a spare 3 seconds. Also…I love Old School! Earmuffs!

  • Girl, I see you with your Old School. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And hold the phone! How is Kenz already eating solids?! You just had her yesterday. Hope you ladies have a great weekend!

  • Glad you found a formula that is working for you!

    That dress is stunning!I love the colour and I love the flow of it! I would be twirling all around in it too! :)

  • Ok I need that dress for Scarlett like yesterday. She’s going to flip if I buy her one, she’s so obsessed with twirly dresses! :) I love the photo of Kenz eating solids, so funny! Glad you found another formula that’s working for you!

  • i LOVE all of the action shots!!! Seriously, you have two adorable kiddos!

  • I don’t know what kind of German candy you are feeding Kenz but if it’s half as expensive as the hypoallergenic Similac Alimentum (aka liquid gold) that we had to feed Mason, then I am insanely jealous of you. I swear that kid ate like he was starving all the time and we felt ourselves getting poorer and poorer by the minute. In fact, we’re still recovering LOL. And now? Now he eats us out of house and home. Consider yourself lucky that you have girls!
    PS those pics of Lex… I die! Love her twirly dress!

  • That dress seriously is the BEST! And so are the twirling pictures… I’m in love!
    Holy crap, formula from Germany? Poor thing, and momma! What a pain to find the right mix for her little body- so glad this one seems to be working out best!!

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