Cyber Monday Quick Target Guide!

If you are like me, I love a good sale, but I also don’t have time to look online for the best deals….so here is a quick guide that I am using to buy for my kiddos (and a few things for me) this year! Everything is from my favorite store, Target. So, if you are shopping TODAY (November 27) everything is an EXTRA 15% off the discounted price! Happy Shopping!

4-6 Year Old (Boy and Girl)


Me!

 

Baby Whitney’s Nursery

{This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own!}
I have been dreaming about a baby girl nursery since the day we found out our third little one would be a girl. Working on this room has been a labor of love. And it’s finally done! As she grows and gets older I’m sure we will fill it with more pictures and cute keepsakes, but for now it is perfect. At least in my eyes.

 

After doing two boy nurseries I was so excited to make a really girly room! Pink? Check! Flowers? Check! But at the same time I didn’t want it to seem too juvenile that she would grow out of the decor in a few years. I’m hoping she will grow with this room as she gets older and makes it her own.
I based the whole room around this AMAZING wall paper from Caitlin Wilson Design. I came across her website about a year ago and have drooled over her beautiful designs. I hung the wall paper myself……so there was a huge learning curve! But, I think it turned out well. Next time (if there ever will be a next time) I’ll need to ask someone to help me. I think it would be so much easier as a two-person job.

Some of my other favorite pieces are the paper flower wall sculptures from Hobby Lobby and the flowered lamp. My mom bought that lamp for me when I was a little girl. I was so happy that she held onto it. It worked perfectly for the room!
So far I think Whitney likes her room. And I can’t wait for it to be filled with more memories as she grows!



Here is a list of the items I used for her room. Many of the items are exactly what I have, but some are older and hand-me-downs, so I tried to find something as close to the original as I could!

Crib Sheet http://shopstyle.it/l/mgC7
Crib http://amzn.to/2zfHcpI
Glider http://shopstyle.it/l/mgFk
Gold Pillow http://shopstyle.it/l/mgGI
Curtain Rod http://amzn.to/2xX42iq
Curtains http://amzn.to/2xXrxYC
Dresser http://amzn.to/2hB2lRu
Letters (I spray painted them gold) http://amzn.to/2xWfD13

A Basic Guide to Human Decency

It’s been pretty hard to miss the news lately.  Nothing too pretty.  Actually it is pretty horrific.  People are mean and saying and doing horrible things.  People are getting hurt (physically and emotionally) and it’s not okay.

Many of us are raising children and I keep preaching that we live in an amazing world with incredible people, yet we are constantly bombarded by images of people at their worst.

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 Home Bistro Chef Prepared Meals

I get it.  Nice people doing nice things are boring and not newsworthy.  But, dear God has it gotten so bad that we are shocked that someone would return a lost cell phone to the right owner? Or a mom at Target with screaming children is given a smile instead of an eye roll?

Maybe we have all just become so jaded and accustom to it we just expect to see the worst in people.  At the beginning of 2017 I wrote a post about Being Positive in a Negative (Online) World It’s not easy, folks.  We really need to make conscious choices to do this.  Otherwise we are all going to raise a bunch of jerks.

So, what do we do about it? Maybe we should all go back to basics and practice what we preach. Here a few simple things we can all do:

  • Look people in the eye when you cross paths.  Smile and nod. If you have never done this before, just try it! Guess what? There is a very good chance they will do something crazy…..reciprocate and smile back! Sounds crazy, I know.  But, please just try it! You might make someones day.
  • If someone does something nice for you send a simple thank-you note.  Not an e-mail, text message or Facebook message.  Actually write their name on a piece of paper and THANK THEM.   I know that we all have a million things going on and I am the first one to admit it had taken me longer then I’d like to admit to get them out sometimes.  But I know when I get a handwritten note from someone it makes me feel like my effort was appreciated. Tagging them in a Instagram post is not the same thing.
  • If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.  This one is the most easy and difficult thing to do all at the same time.  Sometimes your opinion should NOT be heard.  I know, I know we all have the right to say whatever we want……but what’s the point if is just going to hurt someone or make someone angry? It is called being polite and having manners.

You might be reading this and think ‘wow! This lady is angry and bitter’.  Well I am a little bit. Our parents didn’t raise us to be jerks. I don’t understand how we have all gotten so self righteous and…..well rude!

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So, please get off your cell phone when you are checking out at a store. Think twice about blasting your horn when someone takes a second to go once the light turns green and pick up your neighbor’s newspaper and deliver it to their front door…..for no other reason then just because.

Are doing these things going to change the world? Maybe not.  But if you can make someone’s day a little bit brighter then we will all be better off.

 

The Best Kept Secret of Back to School

Last Tuesday I was on my weekly outing at Target.  At first glance everything seemed to be normal and in place but after a few moments I was something different in the air.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first.  It was calm, the moms all had a little twinkle in their eyes.

Then I realized what it was.  School was in session and we all had gained our freedom back! After a long hard summer we could (kind of) do what we wanted to! There were NO school aged children in the isles begging their moms for toys or the sugary cotton candy flavored yogurt. All seemed right in the world again.

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Moments after I had my epiphany I felt a tap on my shoulder.  It was a fellow mom I knew casually from the gym.  She asked how I was and exchanged pleasantries and I asked if her kids were in school (she was flying solo).

“Oh yes. I miss them so much. I’m so sad!”

Liar!!!

I can see it in your face! You are relaxed.  You got showered and dressed without interruptions! You ARE WEARING MAKE-UP.  But of course I just smiled and told her that she deserves a few hours to herself and we went on our (very happy) ways.

This year September brought a few big changes to our household. Charlie has started full-time school and Henry is going to tot class two mornings a week.  That means I have FIVE glorious hours every week that I just have an (easy) infant to care for.  It gives me a moment to breath and remember WHY I love being a mom in the first place.

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So far during these few special hours we get together,  Whitney  and I have gone to Target (duh), taken a long walk and spent an amazing half hour getting a pedicure. What are my plans of how to spend the rest of these great mornings? I might get breakfast with another ‘childless’ mom, hang out at home and cuddle my baby or spend it at the gym. The point is I can do whatever I want! And that really has not happened in a long time. I will enjoy every moment of it without apology.

You see, there is this crazy thing happens to me when my kids are in school.  I actually start to miss and appreciate them! The saying that ‘distance makes the heart grow founder’ is so true. They are awesome kids and I realize that SO MUCH MORE when I’m not with them every moment of everyday.

So, mama, when that moment finally happens and you find yourself having a few hours to yourself.  Don’t be sad! Enjoy it and embrace it.

 

Three kids? No Big Deal!

It is 8:00 in the evening and my husband and I have just gotten all THREE of our kids to bed.  We are exhausted and also thrilled to have a few hours to do……well whatever we want to do! We recently have entered ‘zone defense’ parenting.  The big transition from two to three kids.  It is hard.  Even though our newest addition is a really good baby……just having another body to feed, bath, change, love and keep alive has kept us on our toes!

Everyone told me that transitioning from two to three children is no big deal. I think they were just trying to calm my fears. But it is a VERY big deal! And in a very different way then going from one to two kids. Going from one to two was emotionally difficult for me. I wanted Charlie, my oldest, to still feel loved while catering to a newborn’s needs. Not to mention Henry, my second, was a more difficult baby (hello colic)! But, going from two to three has given me new and more…shall we say logistical challenges!

For example: I literally only have two arms. I can feed the baby a bottle while playing cars with Charlie, but then don’t have another arm when Henry wants a hug so he’s not left out!

Two car seats fit perfectly into most cars, but three car seats takes a little finagling. We ended up getting a bigger car with a third row and I expected my five-year-old to be able to buckle himself in. Not so much. Several months later and lots of practice I’ve got it down pat. I can coral all three kids in one door and while I’m securing the baby carrier the other two get into position and from there I help them buckle up.  I can do it in under two minutes (that in it’s self deserves an award).

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Before baby Whitney cam into our lives as a family of four we could often sit down together for dinner. Now, without doubt, the second I sit down so our family can have a few minutes of needed together time the baby starts screaming.

It’s a never ending cycle of bottles, sippy cups, naptimes, tantrums, diaper changes and baths.

But also a never ending cycle of laughs, giggles, hearing ‘I love you’ and my favorite part. Seeing my boys love on their little sister.

So yes- it’s hard. But in a different way. I hear people say it gets easier…..I just roll my eyes.  Some parts get easier, but others get more difficult.

We are all in the trenches, mama! No matter if you have one needy baby, pre-teens in middle school or driving your first ‘baby’ to college.

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I’m Back!

It feels so good to be back writing! I have missed connecting with all of you amazing women! I have missed the friendship, support and honestly even the debates!

The past several months have been a world-wind! In April I had a beautiful baby girl (Whitney Catherine). Read about her birth story here! She’s Here! Whitney’s Birth Story We were also in the middle of selling our home and moving across town to what I can only describe as my dream home.

me and whit

I’m not going to lie.  It has not been easy, but I am so in love with life right now.  We are so lucky to have three healthy and happy children and a roof over our head. With all of the horrible and scary things going on in the world I’ve been thanking God everyday that we have these simple things that mean so much to us.

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So now that the school year is imminent (sniff, sniff, my oldest is starting junior kindergarten) I will be back on schedule.  And for those who know me, know I love a schedule!

I will be sharing my trials and tribulations on decorating my home (mostly by myself), parenting, having a life outside of ‘mommyhood’ and my attempt at balancing all of that withing losing it!

Thank you again for reading along and I can’t wait to hear from you!!

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She’s Here! Whitney’s Birth Story

We did it! We are so happy to announce the birth our our daughter, Whitney Catherine. She was born early morning on Thursday April 20.

We thought we were going in for a scheduled c-section but she had other plans for us. My husband and I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 in the two hours before our scheduled surgery. I was getting prepped and all of a sudden her heart rate dropped dramatically. In the 80’s (normal heart rate is anywhere between 110-160).

At first the nurse thought it was just a dip and would come back up, which is normal. But her heart rate didn’t want to budge. Within a minute there were about ten nurses, doctors in the little triage room and everyone was looking at the monitors.  They were trying to move and adjust me to see if they could move me to get a better heart rate. It was all happening so fast and seemed so chaotic to me.

My doctor wasn’t there yet, but I heard a doctor tell me that they couldn’t wait. They were going to perform my c-section right away.

That was when I started crying as they wheeled me out. I was able to get the words out if my husband could come and they said no, because I was going to be put under.

Que the uncontrollable sobbing.

And that was the last thing I remembered. The next thing I knew, I was in recovery wondering what exactly happened. I looked over and my husband was holding our perfect little girl.

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She was healthy, happy and here.

We still are not sure what exactly caused the slow heart rate , but I really feel like it was God stepping in and making us be in the right place at the right time.

mommy and whitney

And, so far so good! Whitney is fitting in with her brothers very easily. They love her so much and it is adorable to see my husband with his little girl.

In the past couple of days when moments have gotten chaotic and I have to remember how lucky we are that we have three healthy happy little kids.

 

 

38 Week Bumpdate!!

Wow! I am 38 weeks. I know it sounds trite, but I really feel like this pregnancy has flown by and am so excited and READY to meet this little girl.  Not to say I haven’t had my challenges with this pregnancy.  I know all pregnancies are different, but holy hip pain! I don’t remember it being half as bad with my boys.  Maybe it was, though, and I just blocked it out.

FEELING: I am officially OVER IT.  I am not going to say I even feel great anymore.  I am exhausted, in pain (did I mention hip, back and pelvis pain)? And getting off the couch or turning over in bed is excruciating! I have stopped working out in the past two weeks. That alone is making me feel like a sloth.

I realized that I was getting over exerted and my heart rate was getting too high even with just walking at a excelled pace.  So, I am listening to my body and slowing WAY down.

While I still have to keep up with two active kiddos, I am relying on the TV more then I would like to admit.  And, as the weather has (finally) turned, they are able to blow some steam off in the backyard.

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Wardrobe: I hate to admit it…..but you can usually find me in leggings and a  stretchy top.  Jeans are for getting dressed up these days.  I actually wore a cute maternity dress on Sunday for a brunch with my girlfriends.  It felt great to feel pretty again! I cannot wait to bet back to my normal clothes.

CRAVINGS: Junk food.  Oops.  My healthy eating kick is out the window at this point.  I am really trying to get my proper nutrition in. But, that does not mean I’m not going to have a bowl of ice cream or a cupcake after dinner.

OVERALL: I am trying my very best to embrace the moment.  This is going to be my last pregnancy but it is really hard with two other little kids to take care of too.

We have finally picked a name!! We have told a few friends, but are waiting until she gets here to tell everyone.  Stay tuned!!

Gymboree Sale On Now!

 

Baby Registry Must Haves

I am about to have my third baby! And at this point, I feel like I really know what I need for her and what is just ‘extra fluff’ this time around.

There are SO many options and everyone is trying to sell you the latest and greatest! I have a three point criteria that all need to have a ‘yes’ answer for me to buy.

 Is it useful? Is it convenient? And is it good quality?

All of these are super important.  When you are in the daze of having a newborn you want these products to help you. Not want to make you scream because you can’t figure out how to clip something properly or it falls apart after one wash!

Here is my ultimate list designed to make the life of a new mom a (tiny) bit easier.

{This post contains affiliate links.  But, rest assured I ONLY promote products that I have used and LOVE}

Fitted Bed Sheets

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Get a few of these (you will probably need to make a quick late night change after a blow out or huge spit up).  You don’t want to be left in the dark.  No need for a large bedding set! Just find a design you like and order about four of them!

Circo Burp Cloths

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I have bought this brand for all three of my kids.  They come in so many different patterns and are the perfect size and absorbency.  They have multiple uses in the first few months.  Burp clothes, small blanket for the stroller, snot wiper, using as a changing pad in a clutch….get a few packages. I go through several a day.

Little Giraffe Receiving Blanket

 

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We all know that you cannot let a newborn sleep with this blanket in their crib….but there are times when they will need a little extra warmth (in a stroller on a crisp fall day for example.) The softness of this blanket is amazing and, of course, it is machine washable!

Boppy Nursing Pillow

 

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Regardless if you plan to breastfeed or not, this is such a great pillow for hanging out with your little.  It is great to prop them up a little (of course while being supervised). Or getting some support for nursing. And, of course, the cover is machine washable.

Minilabo Baby Monitor

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I love this product.  The price is right and it works well.  I don’t see the need in buying basically the same monitor from a different brand at twice the price!

Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Mat

 

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This is great! I see it as ‘baby’s first toy’.  They can lie on their backs and entertain themselves for a while and it is great for tummy time too.

Swaddle Me  Original Three Pack

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I have a secret.  I CANNOT use a swaddling blanket to save my life.  I just cannot make it snug enough! My kiddos can wriggle out of them in about three seconds.  These Velcro swaddles have really saved me!

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles

reg5If you plan on doing any type of bottle feeding I recommend these ones. They mimic nursing and are super easy to clean (not too many parts).  The cap also makes them leak proof….so it wont leak all over your diaper bag

My Little Snugapuppy Cradle and Swing

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I know that there are more sleek swing models out there….but honestly, this swing is the best! It plugs into the wall so you don’t have to spend a ton of money on batteries.  It has a large swinging motion side to side or even front to back and I love that it also has soothing music my babies loved!

Nose Frieda

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I didn’t buy this until my second child….and I was missing out.  You SUCK the snot out of their nose with a straw-like contraption……Yuck!! But it really works.  Don’t worry….I promise the snot won’t get into your mouth. There is a barrier.

Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat

 

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I am three for three babies with this one! By far the most convenient infant seat I have seen on the market.  It is fairly light, easy to click in and out of the base and holds up to baby ‘stuff’ (meaning spit up and poop).  It can be easily wiped out.

UPPAbaby Cruz 2017 Stroller

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Yes, this is an expensive stroller. In my opinion it is worth it.  This stroller is extremely durable, has great storage options and add-ons.  It will last you through several children.  You can get the attachment for an infant car seat, and piggy back board (so an older child can get a ride). This brand does have a MORE expensive option, the Vista. The big difference is it comes with a bassinet.  I just don’t think it is necessary for the extra few hundred dollars.

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Six-Position Baby and Child Carrier by LILLEbaby

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I might not be huge into baby carrying, but I can see the value and convenience of a good baby carrier.  This one takes you from 7-45 lbs.  And you won’t kill your back.  I also like this one for the summer.  There is no separate infant carrier, so I don’t feel like baby gets too hot. When you need your hands free…..this comes in handy.

 

Skip Hop Portable Changing Mat

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I don’t usually use a traditional diaper bag.  I use a large tote bag.  But with that being said, there are a few essentials that I need to pack so I can change baby on the go.  This changing mat is compact and easy to get out almost anywhere.  It can slip into a purse for quick trips out!

Graco Pack ‘n Play Yard

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This is an extremely versatile product! It can be used as a bassinet, changing table or even a safe, secure place for baby to play.  We use our pack ‘n play when we travel for sleeping and even outdoors sometimes! Again, this is super easy to clean.

So, there you have my list of essentials! There are so many products out there for babies…..did I miss any of your favorites?

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How Mama Got Her Groove Back

I’ll admit it.  I’ve been in a funk.  After all of the excitement of the Christmas and New Years I got a case of the dull drums.  And, here in Michigan January was dark, rainy and unusually dreary.  All I wanted to do was watch TV in my yoga pants.

But my reality was vastly different then what I fantasized about.  I have two little boys and am pregnant with my third. So, as I do attribute my pure exhaustion from ‘momming’ hard everyday while growing a human being. I also realized that I wasn’t acting like myself. I am used to being the mom who loves to take the boys out on play dates and to museums.  We bake banana bread and play hide-and-go-seek in the basement! Not the mom who turns on a TV show and sneaks upstairs so I can lay down on my bed for a few minutes of peace.

And although I sometimes used the ‘thaw and serve’ cooking method instead of simple, healthy meals. I had been turning to that more then I liked recently.

Brothers

Gymboree Sale On Now!

I’ve also noticed that I was not taking care of myself.  In more ways then one.  I wasn’t eating healthy whole foods, I didn’t see my friends as often as I used to and I noticed that I was not social as I had been in the past with my ‘mom’ circle.  I had become so ‘busy’ with being busy I realized I was just going through the motions through the day instead of looking forward and enjoying my days and time with my kids.

What was wrong with me?? I LOVE staying home with my kids! Usually…..So I decided it was time to stop my pity party and get my groove back.  Yes, usually women say this after they are done having kids and I realize I was 32 weeks pregnant when I had this epiphany, but there is no time like the present.

First, I started each day with a healthy, filling breakfast.  No more Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  Scrambled eggs, fruit smoothies and Kodiak cakes seemed to to the job for me.

Next, I decided to get my social life back. Even if it fell under the category of a mommy social life……I didn’t care.   I craved adult interaction during the week with my kids.  I NEEDED play dates so I can sip coffee and chat.  I NEEDED to meet-up for lunch once in a while when I could find an afternoon babysitter. And, I NEEDED to not be with my kids all of the time.

Slowly, but surly I am starting to feel like myself again.  No, the exhaustion has not gone away. And, I know my happy hours with my girlfriends will have to wait for a while.  But I feel like I am smiling from the inside again.

Finding balance is a very hard thing to do.  It doesn’t matter if you stay at home with your kids or work 60 hours a week. It is all hard. But were did we lose ourselves in the process?

In my mind self-care make for being a better mom, wife, co-worker, friend and person.  So, whatever that means to you, go for it.

I know it has made a world of difference to me.

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