2/26/15

Random Random


1. We have dark wood floors covering almost our entire first floor in our house and up until I found the Bissell Perfect Sweet Turbo the floor were the bane of my existence. I was constantly sweeping ALL THE TIME. A friend who also has a baby who drops large amounts of food told me about the sweeper and told me to get it. Best decision of my life. I even posted a video on my Instagram about the sweeper because I'm so passionate about it. Seriously everybody with tile or wood floors NEEDS THIS SWEEPER.

video

 2. Annie has started ripping out all her bows. I knew this day was coming but I was hoping it would happen when she had a bit longer hair. People mistake her for a boy all the time.
3. This makes NO sense if you read #2 but if you have a Etsy shop suggestion for bows let me know. I have a very specific bow in mind that I'm wanting to get Anniston for her 1st birthday and I can't find anything that matches what I have in mind.

4. It is very possible to get strong cravings while NOT pregnant. With that said, I have been craving bleu cheese lately. I don't even like bleu cheese but I've been eating it like its going out of style!

5. How many sheets do you have for your bed? We've had two sets but recently one got a hole in it so I threw it away.  Now we only have one set and it's a pain in the butt when we go to get in bed and I remember that the sheets are still in the washer. Not that I would ever do that....

6. Almost everything is 10% off on my website this month! If you've been wanting to try the products now is the time.

7. And all these scents are being discontinued! I always stock up on Honey Pear Cider before it goes away for the season. And dang I just remember pomegrante pear is going away. Definitely a new favorite of mine. I need to make a list of my top scents because I get asked what they are all the time.


8. Usually I'm the one in our family that binge watches a Netflix show, but recently Luke started watching Cheers. He started on the first episode and is working his way through the entire series. I'm not watching with him but he watches in bed at night so I hear it all. Just hearing it brings back memories of being a little girl at home with my family.

9. Have you heard about the theory surrounding the Titanic movie? There is one theory that suggests that Jack is not even a real person but instead was completely made up in the head of Rose. MIND. BLOWN. She so desperately wanted to escape her fiance that she created this whole other person in her mind, her dream man. I AM SHOCKED. It would explain why he didn't get up on the board at the end since CLEARLY there was enough room for him.

10. We are supposed to get snow this weekend and I'm hoping we do! One last snow and then let's move onto Spring!

2/25/15

A Joint Birthday Party

After some debating back and forth I decided to combine Eli and Annie's birthday parties and just do a joint party.

Their birthdays are only nine days apart so it just kind of makes sense. Well at least it does this first year when neither one has a big opinion about their birthday. Annie of course doesn't care. And Eli just wants a birthday that has a Polar Express cake and his best friends there.

So joint party it is. A combination of trains and girly things with a little Polar Express thrown in without the Christmas part. Piece of cake.

Oh also while trying to spend as little money as possible. Easy peasy.

And in case you are wondering there aren't many ideas on Pinterest for a train/pink girly/first birthday/fourth birthday/polar express/no Christmas though party. It's sort of like a shot in the dark.

Which is probably better that way. Pinterest is a scary place. A black hole of a scary place. You go looking for a fun train game and pretty soon you are crying in the corner because you don't have 5K to put towards a child's birthday party.

And then you come back to reality. Simple. Simple it is. Christmas trains and girly things in March. Simple.

But at the end of the day it's all about celebrating their little lives. One year behind them, one year ahead of them.

I went upstairs tonight to look at each child sleeping peacefully, I usually go up there before I go to bed just to look at them, pray over them, and pray that Annie stays asleep longer than two more hours. Some prayers are just left unanswered.

Tonight while looking at Eli it hit me, he's not a baby anymore. I'm not sure what it was. Maybe the way he was lying, or the way his hair was flat on his head instead of sticking up all around like it sometimes does, but I realized my baby is becoming a big boy.

And really, maybe he already is a big boy, but to me he will always be my baby. The baby that made me a mom. I studied him while he slept. Looking at his hands wondering what work they would one day do, who he would become, what traits of his personality will stick around and what traits will he outgrow. 

It was just a quick moment, I didn't linger long, but still a reminder that with each passing day he's a little bit older. Something I'm thankful for while still trying to hold onto the baby parts of him.

Then just last week Annie has realized she enjoys walking more than crawling. She has been taking steps for awhile but until a few days ago she crawled more than she walked. Now she has started walking more than crawling. And I can't believe it. Because it feels like she was just born yesterday. So I watch her walking and wonder where those feet will take her in life. Where will they carry her and how far will they go? The selfish part of me hopes not too far from home, but time will tell.

So as I'm planning this birthday party that could end up a jumbled disaster I'm going to remember that it's celebrating my babies and they don't care what that looks like. Well that's a little bit of a lie because Eli has told me more than 10 times that he NEEEEEEDS a polar express cake.

I don't want to get so wrapped up into "party planning" that I forget that this party is a celebration of their little lives, and looking forward to helping them grow another year till that next birthday. And I also think it's a celebration of us surviving another year of parenting. This gig ain't easy!

I asked Luke if he would wear this outfit for the party, he said he would think about it.


I seriously think it's so cool. 

I've got about two more weeks to put together this train/polar express/but no Christmas/pink girly/first birthday/fourth birthday party. Wish me luck.





My Breastfeeding Experience

Hey all!

I am honored to be guest posting my breastfeeding story over at Julie's blog The Girl in the Red Shoes.

Click over there and read all about my breastfeeding experience. With both Eli and Anniston!


2/12/15

Half Decade Collection

I have horrible eyesight, without my contacts or glasses I can't see very far in front of me, everything becomes a blur. I wear glasses 90% of the time and use my glasses only at night. Usually even if I'm sick I will put my contacts in because I feel better when wearing them. I've never had very stylish glasses and only use them as "backup" to my contacts. 
However I have always wanted several pairs of glasses to wear. Obviously not at the same time but I've always dreamed that I would be a person who changes their glasses with their outfits. I would probably also need a lifestyle change because this would have to be a person who actually gets dressed and doesn't just wear yoga pants and a sweatshirt everyday, but someday I want to be a girl who plans glasses and outfits together. It sounds so magical.

If I became this person I would most definitely look to Warby Parker. They have SO many fashionable glasses options at such great prices. Plus I love that for every pair of glasses sold a pair is given to someone who needs glasses. That's just awesome.

Recently Warby Parker celebrated their 5th anniversary, and today they launched a half decade collection; five a half shapes from their first collection re-released in their signature hue, blue. I browsed the website at these frames and they are all gorgeous! Definitely worth checking out! Who doesn't need a cute pair of blue glasses? 

I decided to pretend like I was a fashionable person who gets dressed in real people clothes everyday and put together a few outfits that I would wear if I had glasses from this limited edition collection.

 The Wiloughby frames


The Huxley frames
There are several other frames in the half decade collection that are worth checking out! With stylish frames like this I can imagine Warby Parker will be around for a long long time! In their five years they have given out over one million glasses to people in need, imagine how many more they will give out in the next five years!!

If you wear glasses you should go to their website and play around, you can even upload your picture to "try on" the glasses! There are so many options and even sunglasses!

And just FYI I was not compensated for this post at all and these are all my own thoughts. I just wanted to share the news about Warby Parker and their five years of giving to those in need.

Hopefully one day I will have cute glasses and wear them day to day. My eye doctor always tells me my eyes need to rest from my contacts, I just prefer they rest in cute frames.

2/11/15

Babywearing

I've had a couple of friends text me lately and ask me my thoughts on the best carrier for wearing a baby. So I thought I would write a little post about my experience with babywearing.

I briefly wore Eli when he was a little baby but as he got older I simply forgot about wearing him. I wrote a post here about what carrier worked for me then which was the K'tan.  When Annie was two weeks old I had an afternoon where Eli needed me and Annie wanted to be held so I went and found the old K'tan and wrapped Annie up in it. And right then I fell in love with babywearing.

You can google it but there are so many benefits of babywearing, I'm not going to list them all here because honestly most of those reasons aren't why I wore Annie, I started wearing her in the first place because it was just EASIER than lugging around her carseat while trying to wrangle Eli. Or it was easier to just wear her while I was doing stuff around the house instead of leaving her on the floor wondering if Eli was sitting around her. It was all about convenience for me.

What started out as convenience became love for both me and Annie. Wearing her would calm her and I loved having her close to me. Because Annie was so tiny I was nervous about taking her outside the house, I didn't want her to get sick, plus I'm always nervous taking my babies anywhere before they get their 3 month vaccinations. So wearing her close to me where I could just cover her up with the wrap was perfect. Obviously I can't just stay locked inside for that time so wearing her was the next best thing.

There are SO many options when it comes to babywearing. If you plan on doing it I suggest you do your research and if possible go to a store that allows you to try them on.

With that being said here are three that worked for us:

K'Tan

I loved the K'tan when Eli was a baby but I didn't really know much about carriers back then. Now I can tell you that this is a very affordable wrap compared to so many others out there. I had NO idea how expensive this babywearing world was, but this wrap is just around $40 which is awesome.

A lot of people are initially scared of the K'tan because it looks like it involves a lot of wrapping, but really it's very simple. It's not one long piece of fabric, it is two separate pieces one of which is two loops which helps you when putting it on. 

When Annie was just a month old I started back teaching in kid's church. I wasn't ready to put her in the nursery yet so I just wore her. She slept the whole time! 


This was at the beginning of May when she was just under two months old. As you can tell her legs are tucked inside. She was positioned to where her belly was basically on my chest.


As Annie grew and had better head and body control I started wearing her with her legs out.  


A few times I wore her facing out, however I will say that through the research I've done regarding babywearing I've learned that facing out isn't the best position for the baby. Something to do with the natural curve of the spine and how when they are turned outwards it's not good for their spine. I don't think it's awful in moderation, just not something you would want to do everyday. As you can see Annie loved facing out.


I used the K'tan for running errands, taking walks outside, church every Sunday and just wearing her around the house. A few times I even nursed her in the K'tan while I was cooking. I pretty much felt like super woman after that.


Ring Sling
A friend let me borrow her ring sling and I tried it when Annie was about two months old. I LOVED this warp. The one I used was a Maya Sling which was awesome, but I'm pretty sure there are a ton of different ring slings out there to purchase. This is great because it is SO easy to adjust and you can wear a ton of different ways.



When Annie was itty bitty I wore her with her legs in, and as she got older and bigger I wore her with her legs out, and even put it on my side to do a hip carry.

Ergo

 The ergo is the most expensive out of all my carriers and is definitly more of a carrier than a wrap. This is more bulky than the other two and Annie wasn't a huge fan at first, but as she has gotten bigger she likes it more.

I particularly love the Ergo because of the back carry. I posted a couple of pictures of me wearing Annie on my back and had some questions about getting her on there. I was nervous about doing it at first but after literally the first time it was pretty easy. I'm NO professional but made a quick video to show how I put Annie on my back. It is very dark sorry about that.

video 
(p.s. she usually doesn't scream like that when I put her in the Ergo, haha)


This was all pretty basic but I wanted to give you an idea of what I like about each wrap/carrier. Annie is almost a year old (16 pounds) and I still wear her all the time!

2/5/15

You Look Tired

Wow. You all are johnny on the spot with your watch findings/ideas! My grandma texted me first thing this morning and said she was putting money in the mail for Eli to get a Polar Express watch, which is beyond nice. That boy is one loved Polar Express fan. I will keep you updated I know you are on the edge of your seat.

Finding a Polar Express watch has been the highlight of our week here in the Tree house.

At the beginning of last week Annie started coming down with some sort of cold.  I thought for sure she was teething. She had a runny nose and was very cranky. While I was sure it was teething I didn't want to take any chances so I wore her on my back while I taught kid's church on Sunday. No need to infect the other kids in the nursery if she was contagious.


I'm glad I didn't put her in the nursery because later that day she started coughing and by Monday morning it was evident that it wasn't just teething and she needed to go to the doctor. I made an afternoon appointment and we headed to the doctor's office.

Oh before I talk about her doctor appointment I should explain that three days a week I wake up at 5:30 to go to boot-camp. There are nights were I don't go to sleep until 12:30 or 1:00 and usually wake up around 3:00 to feed Annie. So basically I'm not getting a ton of sleep but I've always been able to function on little sleep. Also on the days when I go to boot-camp I shower, this is important to remember for the next part of my story.

During Annie's doctor appointment I informed the doctor that she was still nursing every three hours, I wanted to know if this was normal at almost 11 months of age. He asked me "does she do this during the night also?", to which I replied "YES". I thought he was going to give me some wise advice or cure for getting her to quit, but instead he very matter of factly said "wow no wonder you look so exhausted."

I'm sorry. Come again?!?!?!

I thought I was doing good on this Monday. I mean I was dressed and had actually showered. I flipping blow dried my hair for goodness sakes. Apparently these things do not mask the look of exhaustion.

We carried on with our appointment and I left with the self-prescription of getting more rest, OBVIOUSLY.

Fast forward two days to Wednesday and I'm at Eli's school. I picked him up from his classroom and then we headed to the water fountain where we always go because apparently drinking out of a germ infested water fountain is the thrill of Eli's day. As Eli was drinking a friend walked up and we started talking. It was probably a minute to two minutes total. I turned around to get Eli to leave and he was gone.

There wasn't a child in sight. I tried not to panic at first because really what good would that do, but after searching everywhere around us and going in the bathrooms (including walking in on a man at the urinal, sorry sir) I was about to panic. There was no sight of Eli.

My friend and I began going up and down the hall, looking into classrooms, wondering if he had gone back into his classroom for something. My friend ran out into the parking lot and just when I thought I was going to cry she came walking up the stairs with Eli.

She found him at the other end of the parking lot with another mom who was trying to help him find his mom. The whole ordeal was about three minutes but it was a terrifying three minutes. When I asked him why he went out there he said he thought I would come later. We had a LONG talk about that one.

Now we are at Thursday. Our morning was normal and Annie went down for her 9:30 morning nap like normal. However she slept longer than normal which seemed a bit odd. Around noon I went in to check on her and found her just lying on her tummy looking straight ahead. This is not normal for her, she usually screams to get out of her crib the second she wakes up. I scooped her up and immediately knew that she had a fever. I took her temp and sure enough it was 102+. Worried that maybe she had the flu I made another doctor's appointment.

So back to the land of germs and sickness we went. That place gives me the heebie jeebies during winter, so many people hacking and looking like they are on their death bed. Not where I want to be.

We met with the doctor and I explained Annie's symptoms and blah blah. He tested her for the flu which she didn't have and he started typing something on his computer. Then he looked at me AND SAID...

"mom you look tired are you tired?"

I can't even make this up. Apparently I am a walking HOT MESS and my pediatrician is the only person with enough guts to give it to me straight.

I just said "yes I'm tired". I really wanted to explain about the sick baby, and child wandering in the parking lot, and how awesome I am for going to boot-camp, and how I stay up late watching Netflix because I'm dumb and blah blah. But I just smiled and made a mental note to tell everybody in my life they are LIARS when I ask them if I look tired.

Actually I've never asked anybody if I look tired, but now I know. I look exhausted.

For the record I love our pedi, and I'm pretty sure he was just trying to make conversation, but now that I've been told twice in one week that I look exhausted I plan on getting more rest next week.

And possibly new makeup. Or actually I'll just start wearing makeup again. Regardless next time we go to the doctor I'm going to make sure I look bright eyed and busy tailed!




2/4/15

The Watch

We are quickly approaching Anniston's first birthday. I can't believe it has almost been a year since she entered our lives.

Not only is March Anniston's first birthday but it is also the anniversary of Eli not sleeping in his bed all night long.

It's been a loooong year in that regards.

There have been times this year where I thought I wouldn't be able to make it through the day because I was so tired. Between Annie getting up all night for her buffet (me) and Eli's knees in my back I was exhausted.

I even purchased a sleep training book which is another notch in my "I should never say never" belt. But I was desperate and the book promised it would get my child to sleep in his own bed all  night….as long as he was five years old and under. Apparently if your kid is six and older and still not sleeping all night you're just screwed. 

I'll let you know what the book says once I decide to read it.  My life has become sad in the fact that I now put Netflix before books. Even sleep training books. I put the book next to me in bed thinking maybe it if Eli came to bed at night and saw the book he would remember he needed to stay in his bed all night and he would go back to his room. But that didn't work either. 

One afternoon several months ago Eli said he wanted a watch....not just any watch but a Polar Express watch. Which really was no surprise because he wants Polar Express everything these days. 

At this point I saw an opening and I took it.  I may not be smart enough to read a sleep training book but I'm definitely not too dumb to let a moment like this pass me by. I told him if he started sleeping in his bed all night I would get him that watch. You should know two things...

1. I am not above bribery in parenting. Especially in parenting.

2. I really didn't put much thought into it because I thought there was no way he would do it. We were going on a YEAR of him coming into our bed every night. How powerful could one watch be? 

I forgot we were dealing with the power of the Polar Express here. 

The next morning I woke up to Eli walking in my room proudly proclaiming "I get my polar express watch now!!"

It caught me off-guard, not Eli walking in my room but instead the full night of sleep. Once you've been gone from something for so long you don't even remember what it's like. Both my children slept all night on the same night. I'm pretty sure that's close to winning the lottery.

I then allowed myself to wake up a little more and checked to make sure Annie was alive (because that's what you do when a baby wakes up multiple times a night forever and then one night sleeps all night.) I realized Eli had indeed slept in his bed all night and I had Luke on the other side of me giving me a "good luck finding that watch" look.

We made a big deal about Eli sleeping in his bed all night (you know to make sure he did it again) and I told him to do it again and I would get the watch.

Again, I'm thinking this was a fluke deal, a one night thing.

And the next night he slept in his bed all night and asked if I had his watch yet.

Unfortunately there was a flaw in my plan....There is no Polar Express watch in existence. I searched the internet high and low and couldn't find one.

I'm thinking most kids forget about Polar Express between the months of Mid January to December. Not my child. It's all Polar Express all year. He is already asking for a Polar Express birthday cake even though he had a PE birthday cake last year.

It feels a little redundant to have the same cake theme two years in a row, but then I remember he isn't on pinterest to know that these things aren't acceptable now days so I'm planning a Polar Express esque birthday party. In March.

Anyways, I told Eli that I would look for that watch for him, but since that time he has started coming back to our bed. I still plan to find him some sort of watch, but he has since forgotten about the PE watch. Which is probably for the best because again, IT DOESN'T EXIST.

Now, do you want to hear something really freaky? And a little crazy. Those days when Eli slept in his own bed I got a little sad. SAD.

Being a mom is the weirdest thing in the world. One minute you are praying for more sleep, crying because you are so tired, and the next moment you are crying because your kid is getting older and didn't come into your bed to elbow you in the face all night. Just bizarre.

And I feel like that is the definition of my journey in motherhood. I go through moments of frustration.....

"Is it time for Luke to be home yet"
"I am so ready to be done breastfeeding"
"When will I sleep a full night again"

And then moments of

"the days are going by too quickly"
"breastfeeding has been such a wonderful journey I don't want it to end"
"I love these middle of the night visits with my babies"

Nobody told me that when I became a mother I would also experience a bit of multiple personalities. But I guess it comes with the territory.

I also didn't realize the great lengths I would go to to support my child's obsession.....I've contemplated making a Polar Express watch, but then I remember I don't know how to make a watch so I scratch that and start brainstorming again.

I know one day Eli will sleep in his bed all night and one day Annie won't be nursing anymore and will sleep all night and then I will get a full nights sleep. It will happen one day. And as tired as I am I will probably miss these nights of elbows in my face.  However I will probably still be looking for that polar express watch.





2/2/15

Meals from Last Week

I'm going to toot my own horn for a minute and say last week was a good food week in our house.

I sat down and meal planned all meals, grocery shopped all at once (instead of several trips throughout the week) and almost all of the meals were a hit.

But lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice, right? I sort of already feel like this week is not going to go the same direction. I found $20 in my jacket pocket this morning and I declared it Chick Fila for dinner night! Sometimes we just need a Chick Fila night,  can I get an Amen!?!?

Here our the recipes from last week

Monday: Chicken Fajita Bake
Ok, if you need a meal this week THIS IS IT. I'm not even joking. A friend from Instagram posted this recipe last week so I decided to try it. It will definitely go into our rotation. It is so easy and good and filling and makes great leftovers. I served this with black beans and made some of Pioneer Woman's Salsa. It was delicious!


Tuesday: Damn Delicious Sweet and Sour chicken
Yes I already made this again. It's just that good! Instead of pairing it with rice I made Pioneer Woman's Simple Sesame noodles. Perfect!

Wednesday: Damn Delicious Spinach Tomato Tortellin
This is the first recipe that I've made from that site that I didn't really care for. But if I'm being honest it very well could have been user-error. First of all it wasn't until I started preparing it that I realized it didn't have any meat in it, so that was a negative point towards it. Then it was just way creamier than I prefer and more so than how it looks in the pictures on her site. So again it was probably my fault but I won't be making this one again.


Thursday: Skinny Taste Lasagna Soup
Oh my yum. I am not kidding or exaggerating when I say I've never made a meal from Gina that I didn't like (Gina is the author of Skinny Taste we are on a first name basis). I want to get her cookbook soon because I can only imagine it is packed full of amazing food. This soup was wonderful! That's the soup on the left and then on the right is the cheese mixture that you put in your soup. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.



Friday: Skinny Taste Crockpot Picadillo
This was an interesting recipe for me to fix because I've never really had anything of this sort. It was ground beef with olives and red peppers and various other items and then you ate it on brown rice. Everybody here was a fan and it was easy to just leave out the green olives for Eli when I scooped his helping.

Saturday: I was gone all day at a Scentsy meeting so the family ate leftovers

Sunday: Once again I made Paula Deen's Taco Soup. I really love it a lot. (apparently since I make it about once a week)

I love to make a good dessert every week to eat throughout the week (which could explain the lingering pregnancy weight). This week I made some Monster Cookie Dough Dip. It's just as delicious as it looks!


 That's all! I need to meal plan for the week as I'm sure I won't find random $20 bills everyday this week. Darn.