Ker Plunk! What’s Old is New Again

ker plunk kids toys

ker plunk game for kids
ker plunk game for kids
ker plunk game for kids
ker plunk kids toys

Do you remember Ker Plunk? I saw it at Target yesterday and had to have it. I loved this game as a kid. Kelsey and I spent all morning battling over a few marbles. For the record, this child is really good at this game. Her strategy? She only pulls out the “Christmas colored sticks” – so essentially, I’m stuck with all the yellows while she gets to choose between the red and green sticks. Hey, that might be the key to the game because she won nearly every time. She got a little feisty and confident after a few wins.

Baby Boy Celebratory Breakfast


We had a bright, baby boy brunch at Scottsdale’s Morning Squeeze this morning! My co-workers and I gathered around for iced coffee, Eggs Benedict, omelets, strawberry crepes and double chocolate ganache cake! Yes, cake at 9am.

You see, sometimes your co-workers turn into great friends and that’s the case with mine. My Starwood marketing family truly outdid themselves this morning as we celebrated the upcoming arrival of baby Nolan and my colleague, Nancy’s soon-to-be son.

baby shower brunch

Two cakes for two babies on the way! We have to give credit where credit is due. Andrea is our resident baker. Isn’t she amazing? She did Dayna’s baby shower cake too (seen here) and even came prepared with to-go boxes! Not joking. I literally took home half of this cake. I may have already dabbled in a second piece. Shh.

baby shower

They gifted us soft swaddle blankets, the cutest honest diapers, and a little somethin’ somethin’ just for mom. Hello, Nordstrom. The most important part was we were all together. It’s actually pretty amazing that I’ve celebrated all three kids with this group. 7 years at a company and some of these ladies have seen me through all of these babies.

I have 13 days until my due date. The panic is starting to sink in a bit – are you ever ready? Even if this is my third child, there’s really no good way to prepare yourself for a new human to come into your life. However, I think I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. And moments like this one just make it feel more real.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Dayna, Melissa, Andrea(s), Allison, Brittany, Nancy, Dani, Kristina, Tania, Heidi, Meagan, Jill and Karla. You really know how to make a girl feel blessed. Nolan is a lucky little guy.

Happy Fourth of July

fourth of july kids clothes

fourth of july kids toys

fourth of july kids toys

Happy Independence Day (a few days early) from the Cross family. I hope your weekend is long, restful, and filled with tons of birthday wishes for America. Since you can’t have fireworks in Arizona, we’ll party with pinwheels! The kids haven’t noticed yet that the pinwheels are filled with sugary candy. Let’s see how long we can keep that secret.

PS – It feels like it was just 2013 when my kids looked like this? Boy, time sure flies!

Dad of the year

I have no idea where Ryan gets his energy. Lately, Colton wakes up about 3x per night (12am, 3am, 4am) looking for us. Since we are clearly not sleeping with him in his bunk bed he comes into our room looking for us.

Ryan knows I’m 5 months pregnant and need my sleep so 9 times out of 10, he gets up with him, walks him back into his room and waits for him to fall back asleep. This happened Saturday night and when Ryan woke up Sunday morning, he was like a zombie. Exhausted, to say the least.

And yet, he somehow had the energy to take the kids to the park and teach them how to run the bases. The grande coffee helped, but still … I was walking very slowly (and tiredly) behind the pack. I am so lucky to have such a helpful, involved, ENERGETIC and amazing husband!

mom blog

mom blog

Looking up dad’s shorts was a bit more entertaining than posing for this picture.

mom blog

mom blog

I only laughed at this because he was okay. But you see the picture above? In this exact moment the kids were racing Ryan from third base to home plate when Kelsey decided to PLOW through Colton. She literally knocked him down and he went face first into the dirt. You can see Ryan literally freaking out as she does it. He was totally okay, in fact he came up to me and I consoled him … then he saw a dog walking by and got distracted and all was well. Oh, Kelsey. I keep telling her to wait because one day Colton is going to be twice her size and she won’t be able to get away with anything.

The Cross’ at the Pumpkin Patch

pumpkin patch | Many hats of a mom blog Pumpkin Patch pumpkin patch | Many hats of a mom blogPumpkin PatchPumpkin Patch Pumpkin Patch Pumpkin Patch Pumpkin Patch

We took the kids (and their fangs) to the Pumpkin Patch the other night after school, we let them pick out pumpkins to carve. Little did we know, they would later abandon us about 3 seconds after we started carving pumpkins, leaving Ryan and I do finish the rest. Oh well, we sure had fun running around picking out the perfect pumpkins.

Colton tried to pick up every pumpkin and then carried them to this wheelbarrow he spotted at the front of the tent. Meanwhile, I was watching Kelsey like a hawk as she picked up her pumpkins. You see, last week our kitchen stool fell on her big toe – which lead to lots of bleeding, stitches and painful shots. The mommy in me could just picture her picking up a pumpkin and then dropping it on her toe (she didn’t) but that’s all I was focused on.

The crisp air, the fall colors … I love all of this excitement around the holidays because after today we are that much closer to Christmas! Happy Halloween, everyone. Be safe, eat lots of sugar, and enjoy the last day of October.

Pumpkin patch last year (here), and before that (here) and before that (here).

Dayna’s (work) Baby Shower + Baby Bump

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

My co-worker, Dayna, is due in two weeks (two weeks!) so we celebrated on Friday afternoon with brunch at Zinc Bistro. All of the girls got together to celebrate Dayna’s new bundle of joy. This is Dayna & Mike’s first baby and you can tell how excited they are just by talking to her – the nursery is decorated, the car seat is in and now everyone is on baby watch eagerly awaiting his arrival.

Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

zinc bistro baby shower scottsdale

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

When Andrea is around (center, red dress) there is no reason you would order dessert off the menu – she brings it! She bakes the most delicious treats and this day was no exception. She baked a Bundt Cake with cream cheese frosting topped with fresh fruit. If you live in Arizona and want custom cakes for your parties, let me know. Her cakes are really something else.

Baby Shower Bundt Cake

Dayna looks amazing (can you believe she looks this good at 38 weeks? I was a house) and couldn’t be happier that her little one will debut into the world soon. We couldn’t have asked for better Arizona weather for an afternoon spent with good friends, good food and lots of baby talk. Dayna, next time we see you, you’ll be a mom! We are so happy for you!!!

Baby Shower | Zinc Bistro Scottsdale

Date Night Part I: RA Sushi Bar

sushi date night
Ryan and I were challenged by our church to go on a date once per week for the next four weeks. It’s part of our newest series on relationships. At first we both thought the same thing, This is kind of hard to do when you have little kids and you both work full-time, and then we turned to each other and realized that this was probably the point. Find the time. So, we put down the laptops, the iPhones and our in-laws watched the kids so we could embark on a Tuesday date night out.

sushi date night

We ran to our favorite sushi bar for a little wine and dining. We were done a lot faster than we anticipated (apparently no one goes to eat out at 5pm anymore? Anyone?) – so we ran home and watched one episode of The Killing before picking up the kids. We’ll be doing one formal date per week through the month of September. I could sure get used to this.

Strike a pose, girlfriend


This is her new pose. She literally tilts her head the side, sticks out her leg, points one toe and then puts her hand on her hip. I have no idea where she gets this stuff, but it sure beats her pose last month – which was to stick out her tongue every time the camera was on her. This little diva child has so much personality, I hope she never loses that or tries to hide it. She is my beautiful ball of energy and I love her so.