Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sweet Camden Shea turns 7!

Birthday Week in the Starr house continues today as we celebrate 7 years of our Camden Shea. Oh, this girl! She entered our world a whopping 14 months after her big brother and rocked it to the core. With a personality that can best be described as “dynamic,” Cami Shea has expanded our capacity to love and parent beyond what we knew possible. Usually the “stirrer of the pot,” she is also the first to cuddle, nurture, and comfort. Camden is our passionate child. Everything she says, does, or thinks is intense, well thought out, and likely to cause a reaction.

Cam enjoys being in baby sister’s face (literally. She can’t/won’t leave her alone.), bossing around all who will listen, playing house, doing crafts, naming future children, throwing, hitting, dribbling, shooting, deciding what to wear in the next hour, trying to keep up with older sister, and strategizing ways outplay big brother. She is my sports obsessed girl, with an eye for fashion, and a heart of gold. But don’t let the cute blonde cut and baby blue eyes deceive you, Cam also holds the family record for most hours served in T.O. (time out) and has been the guinea pig for a variety of experimental parenting strategies (conclusive results still TBD). She has taught me a lot about parenting and even more about myself, because apparently we are a LOT alike. Which also means that I may or may not behave like a 7-year-old girl.

Cami Shea, you are a treasure and a blessing, to be sure. Your entire life has been a sweet, sweet surprise.  From conception, early birth, and gender to the sassiness and bubbly personality - we didn't expect any of it.  But, I LOVE surprises and you have been, hands down, the best of them all.  Such a funny combination of drama and joy, you are.  Your passion. Your conviction. Your strength (literally). Your resolve (some might call it stubbornness…)…I love it. All of it. You fascinate and inspire and exhaust me. With a spark in your eye and a VERY special place in our hearts, it is my privilege and my honor to be called your mom. Here’s to a stellar 7th year, my sweet sweet Camden Shea!

And, mostly for my sake, here's a quick interview with our birthday girl:

Then, also probably my most favorite Cami video of all time. We like to call it, "Good and Rubby." Enjoy and thanks for letting me carry-on about our sweet Sister.


Monday, November 09, 2015

Kaiah True turns 5!!

From this:

To this:

My first last baby. Of course, we have a real-life last baby now, but before Maysen Paige, my little Kai Pie was it. She was the baby...and was treated accordingly. I'll admit it -- Kaiah True has been on the receiving end of some serious spoiling. And I can assure you that she deserves every ounce of cuddles, hugs, grace, and kindness that she receives from us all.

Kaiah is the definition of sweet and the epitome of silly. She dishes out love and words of affirmation (she calls them "bucket-fillers") like nobody's business...which, obviously, makes her a family favorite. Her signature crazy curls are still going strong, but those cute chubby cheeks seem to be thinning out just a bit to match the rest of her skinny little bod. Just last week as I was sorting/organizing clothes, I had to force myself to remove all the 18 and 24 month pieces that lingered in her closet. Truth be told, they could still fit her around the middle, but the pants have become shorts and the long sleeve shirts turned into tees. Just more evidence that our little girl is growing up.

Speaking of growing up...yesterday, as we were making her birthday snack for school (homemade Oreos, if you must know), Kaiah said to me, "Tomorrow when I'm five, I probably won't need this step stool anymore because I'll be taller." Of course, I inserted a hard dose of reality, "No, babe. Just because you're turning five tomorrow, doesn't mean you'll wake up taller."

"But I'll FEEL taller." 

Of course, you will, Kai. That's the joy of going from 4 to 5. You get to FEEL it ALL! You get to sqeeeee, whine, cry, complain, and screech with excitement, without one bit of concern for how cool you look. What your heart feels, you have the privilege of expressing for us all to see and hear. Color me jealous. All those emotions just free to flow, without an ounce of accountability or consciousness.

For the past year, we have had the joy of watching you grow into and out of the fullness of being four. Your speech has dramatically improved, you've mastered a cartwheel, outgrown the "baby carseat," and hit the 35 pound mark on the scale!

Big stuff is happening, kid. Big stuff.

Your relationships with friends and siblings have become more complex...and also funnier. I love not only watching you grow, but listening to you grow, too.

My Kai. My buddy when the other babes had left me (for school. But still.). We've spent some serious quality time together over the last five years -- late night nursing sessions, cuddles on the couch, basketball/softball/football game watching, trips to Target, Tropical Smoothie lunchdates, and so much more. I certainly celebrate watching you thrive and thank God for your little life, but seriously. If you could just chill with the growing, that would be great.

My gosh, little girl...I love you so. You bring our family so much joy, laughter, and love. Keep growing, baby -- it's an absolute honor to observe.

All my love...and lots of big kisses,



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sibling Shirts by Landy Lou and Evie Too

Back about..oh, you know...SIX or so months ago, I received some really, much anticipated happy mail.

After a long search for THE *perfect* sibling shirts, I happened upon Landy Lou and Evie Too, a locally owned online shop. Until I found the Landy Lou and Evie Too Facebook page, I wasn't really sure what kind of "meet the baby shirts" I wanted for the big kids. Something homemade? Store bought? Matchy-matchy? Simple? Now, in the grand-scheme of things, my sibling shirt dilema ranks up there with the Starbucks vs. Dunkin' debate...but when you're 23 months pregnant with your fifth baby and her head feels like a basketball wedged between your coccyx and ischium (yes, those are real bones. Nurse, remember?), you tend to make mountains out of molehills and will do just about anything to focus on something other than the burn-your-throat-heartburn and cankles. SO. Within minutes of stalking the LL&ET page, I just knew that they would be able to hook me up with something fun, unique, and affordable. After a few back-and-forth emails with Megan & Jessica, I just knew they were, no only, great business owners, but truly wonderful girls!

Annnyyyway! The kids' shirts showed up just a few weeks before Baby Maysen and we couldn't have loved them more! They're just so us. Even Eli liked his "jersey!"

Long story not-so-short? I would HIGHLY recommend Megan & Jessica at Landy Lou & Evie Too! They were fantastic to work with -- creative, professional, prompt, and FUN! Check out their page for any of your custom apparel needs!



Oh, and as I'm searching for pics of the kids in their shirts, I realize that I don't have any of the backs (boo!). So, you'll just have to envision it (each kid has a number 1-5 based on their birth order) until I can trick my friends at EL Photography & Design into taking a few. Which reminds me...I should order another, bigger one for Maysi! She outgrew her teeny tiny newborn handmade onesie a looong time ago!


Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Back To School {2015}

Finally! All four big kids are back to school and the year is off to a great start! I told J the other night that I seriously feel like we hit the jackpot with teachers this year. I mean, we've always had great ones, but this year? I just love them allll!

Now for the obligatory first day of school photos:

Addison - 4th
Elijah - 2nd
Camden - 1st
Kaiah - 5 morning/week preschool
Maysen - Mommy School


Tuesday, September 08, 2015


I feel like such a slacker when I miss Monday and post our meal plans on Tuesdays. But, once again, this is more for me and my memory than anything.

Here we go! Dinner this week at Casa de Estrella (that's Star in Spanish, in case you didn't know...)

Monday: Leftovers. We had a fun weekend, full of family, friends, and food, which carried over to yesterday.

Tuesday: BBQ Ranch Crockpot Meatball...made into sandwiches on my favorite Sams Club French Bread loaves ($2.77 for 2 HUGE loaves!). Big family hack: meatballs last longer if you serve them as sandwiches.

Wednesday: French Toast Bake. Not exactly figure-friendly, but it is sooooo easy and yummy that it stays in the rotation.

Thursday: Bacon Lovers Mac & Cheese. Again, I won't be losing any weight with this one, but it'll be easy to throw together and serve before ball games.

Friday: Cowboy Chicken Wraps.

Weekend (or carry-over to next week if I can get out of cooking on Saturday/Sunday): Breakfast Burritos


#StarrBabyCinco {4 months}

My baaaaby is a whopping 4 months old today and I'll tell you what -- these "milestones" just don't get any easier, the more kids you have!

Maysen is such a sweet baby. That, my friends, isn't something I would have said 2 months ago. But let's not dwell on the past. Here's a little run down of our Maysi Paige at 4 months.

  • She found her voice! And has the funniest laugh -- it's very cackle/cough-like. A "cackough," if you will.
  • Likes her baths and chillin' in Papa and Jojo's pool.
  • We've made the transition to Maysen's crib in Camden's room a few weeks ago and that has gone wonderfully. Most nights Mays-ers sleeps between 10-12 hours.
  • Usually, I'll hear her talking (a LOT!) in her crib around 4:45am, then by 5:00 she's back to sleep. Silly baby.
  • We're still working on a nap schedule, which should improve now that Kaiah is back to school. Some naps are 30 minutes, others are 4 hours. 
  • Maysi nurses every 3-4 hours during the day and pretty much refuses a bottle, but we're working on that. 
  • Speaking of nursing, she's a fast eater! Usually only 5-10 minutes on each side before she's full and completely distracted. 
  • The reflux is gone! Thank you, Lord!
  • When mom and dad are around, she would prefer that no one else holds her...and she'll let you know about it.
  • Who am I kidding? She'll let you know about alllll her feelings. I hate to label a baby as "dramatic," but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, well, then...
  • Maysi loves to be tickled and kissed.
  • The pouty lip is still her signature move.

  • She's definitely joined Addi & I on Team Brown Eyes.
  • 6 months clothes are fitting her best, but I can make a few 3 month things work and have been known to roll over some 12 month stuff, too.
  • Mays is working on her first "toofer." My children tend to get teeth freakishly early.
  • I can't blame her, but Maysi hates having a poopy diaper. And, if you combine it with hunger or sleepiness, then you'd better watch out.
  • She's a baseball and football lovin' girl and watches with her daddy almost every night.

This little girl has brought so much love and laughter to our house and we just can't imagine life without would be so boring! I can honestly say that Maysen brings out the best in us all -- she's live entertainment and the recipient of lots of kindness and compassion that can be hard to come by with 4, 6, 8, and 10 year olds! Bottom line? She's the piece that completes our puzzle.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Yep, Tuesday again. I'll be honest -- kind of feels like I'm losing my mind a bit. The kids start school tomorrow and I have a million things to do before then -- the most important being, you know, spending time with them.

Back to School Night with this crazy bunch!

Anyway, wanted to pop in with our VERY boring meal plan for the week. We had a few things come up last week  and ended up eating leftovers one evening, so there are a few repeats from last week.

Monday: BLTs

Tuesday: Hot subs using my favorite Sam's Club french bread loaves.

Wednesday: Spicy Sausage Pasta

Thursday: Turkey Tater Tot Casserole. I use Michelle Duggar's recipe. I know, I know -- Duggars = scandal these days, but still -- this recipe is the best.

Friday: Not Chicken Pot Pie

So, what's for dinner at your house? I need some new ideas for the school year!



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