Emily Elling

Emily Elling lives in Indianapolis, and has been married to her husband for over 10 years. She's a full-time stay at home mom to four unintentionally hilarious children, Piper (8), Nola (5), Gage (3), and baby Paul, born January 2012. She blogs daily at her personal site, DesignHER Momma. Before becoming a mom, Emily was a corporate interior designer at a big & fancy architectural firm. She still dabbles in interior design when she can, but has found her true passion in social media and the mom blogging community. When Emily isn’t hanging out on the internet, she loves to cook real food, read long books and run short distances. Her motto: shorten your to-do list, you’ll be happier. Find more Emily on her blog, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Google+.

Steppin' Out in Style: Team McQueen

Hands down, my boys’ favorite Disney character is Lightning McQueen, from the first time we watched CARS together for a family movie night.

Clothes, accessories, and of course toy cars. If it has to do with Lightning McQueen, we probably own it.

Living in Indianapolis during the month of May also means celebrating the greatest spectacle in racing. Yes, I’m referring to the famous Indy 500. And no joke, from out backyard we can literally hear the the roar of the cars as they zip around the track. I know, it’s pretty awesome.

And while we’re not going to the race this year (maybe in a few years when kids are a bit older), we are headed downtown in our best racing gear to hang out with other race fans.

Our favorite Lightning McQueen racing gear:

Loves the Tub, Does Not Love the Pool!

A few times a week after a long hard day of playing, all four of my little grubby monkeys go upstairs for a relay race of scrub-a-dub-dubbing in the tub before bedtime. Typically baby Paul is first, and he’s immediately followed by the older three, ending with my 8 year old taking a lukewarm shower.

When it’s all said it done, the kids are clean and the bathroom looks like a hurricane hit.

Baby Paul? He LOVES the tub. He kicks, he plays, he splashes and squeals. Honestly, the kid would slip and slide around in the water all night if I let him, and I probably would if I didn’t have three others waiting for their turn. Because of his tub love, I was super excited to haul out our favorite backyard blow-up pool for him to enjoy.

Paullywog, The Paulster, and Other Nicknames We Call Our Son

When I was pregnant with baby Paul, his name in utero was Quatro. He was our fourth child, and just like his siblings, we didn’t nail down a proper name for him until the very end of the pregnancy. Calling the baby “the baby” while he was in my tummy felt informal, so Quatro he was called.

We decided on his proper and real name, Paul Richard, around week 39 of my pregnancy. He’s named after my father-in-law (Richard) and grandfather (Paul), and it fits him perfectly.

But since birth, Paul’s racked up quite a laundry list of silly, ridiculous, mostly endearing nicknames. We call him, well, we call him a ton of different names.

A few of my favorite nicknames for baby Paul:

How to Pack a Well-Stocked Toddler Bag for the Park

We go to a park literally every day that it doesn’t rain. Typically we head out in the afternoon, sometime after we’ve had our naps but before dinner. I’ve learned that instead of packing and repacking all the gear we need to have a blast at the park day in and day out, it’s easier to keep a dedicated “park fun bag” stocked and ready in the backseat of the car.

And once or twice a week I take the bag into the house for a bit of restocking and reorganization, ensuring we have all the things we need to have a really great time together.

12 Awesome Reasons to Have a Large Family

Ever wonder why some people have so many kids? I have four (ages 8, 5, 3, and 1) and in my experience, after announcing the 4th pregnancy, you start to get third degree from friends and strangers alike.

Did you want all these kids? (Um, of course.) Do you know how to prevent that? (Sure do.) You must have your hands full (Yup, and it’s the way I like it.) Are you crazy? (Possibly!)

But honestly, raising a large family has always been a dream of mine. And while it does come with its own set of challenges, being a mom to these four little ones has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

A few reasons I absolutely adore being a mom to many:

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