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!

 

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.

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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.

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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!!

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Easter Basket Stuffers (Non-Candy)!

Easter is the time of new beginnings for me.  The birth of a fresh season.  I love all holidays, but this one is probably in my top three.  Springtime is upon us and everything is new and fresh!

With most holidays, usually means lots of sugar and treats.  At least my kids think so.  And, I am the first person to say I also love the treats especially Easter basket treats.  Cadbury Eggs are my all time favorite! But, I try my best to keep the treats to a realistic amount for the kiddos.  I don’t see anything wrong with a few jelly beans and chocolate bunnies….but I draw the line when they have a seemingly endless supply of chocolate!

I want my kids to have a wonderful Easter morning with their egg hunt, so I try to mix it up a bit.  Here are some non-candy ideas that I will be putting in their basket this year!

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Easter Egg Decorating Kit

 

Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk

Geo Central Tortoise Hatch ‘Em Egg

Slinky

Easter Stamps

Play-Doh Spring Eggs Easter Eggs 4 Pack

Happy Easter Mouse Book

Dinosaur Bubble Shooter

Lip Smackers Gift Pack

Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit

Skip Hop Umbrella

Melissa and Doug Plush Bunny

Hape Counter Toddler Stacker Counting Blocks

Dragons Love Tacos Book

Ducky Terry Bath Hooded

Ramona Series Book Set

Kids Garden Tool Set

Shopkins Easter Egg Set of Three Eggs

Click here to starting bluuming today!

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Bumpdate: 33 Weeks!

I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy is going! Seven weeks from yesterday I will be having a c-section and get to meet our little girl!

FEELING: Still feeling pretty good for the most part! I have been having hip pain when I stay in the same position for too long.  Sleep is hit or miss.  I wake up several times a night. But, since I have had kids I don’t think I have ever slept ALL night long. I usually am up at least once for either the bathroom or making sure the kiddos are tucked in.

Other then my intense need for a nap almost EVERY day (one perk of staying home), I’m attributing feeling pretty good compared to this time in my last pregnancies to my working out 4-6 days a week.  Now…..this has REALLY slowed down.  I am more like 2-3 times a week.  And, honestly if I can get moving a few times a week I am happy with that. Most importantly I still feel strong and healthy.  Cardio is basically a thing of the past.  My lungs are so crowded by baby girl.  I will be happy when she drops a bit so I can take a deep breath!

WARDROBE: I have my ‘dress’ leggings and my ‘casual’ leggings…..I hope I’m not the only one! I mostly wear leggings, a cami and open cardigan or sweater. It has been super warm (ish) here in Michigan and I have been enjoying not having to squeeze myself into a winter jacket!

CRAVING: Junk food.  Sadly that is all I want.  I still love my smoothies, but I am really trying to reign myself in with everything I want to eat! I also don’t have much room (thanks to her squeezing my insides) so I have to eat small portions or I feel sick.

OVERALL: I am so excited and also a little nervous.  With so many things going on in our household: baby, getting ready to sell our house, and getting ready to move! I don’t have much time to worry. Charlie (4.5) is so excited to meet ‘sissy’.  I hope he still feels the same way if she wakes him up with her crying at night.  Henry (20) months has no idea what is going on.  He will kiss my belly and say baby….but I am not sure it is actually connecting.

Less then two months! Let the countdown begin!!

Gymboree Sale On Now!

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I Don’t Ask Permission

I read something that really bothered me the other day.  It was from a blog about motherhood (I don’t remember which one).  That this particular mom said that she has to asks her husband for permission to buy a dress for herself.  Not discusses it with him, or checks in if it is within budget, but actually asks him if it is okay.

He had the power to say yes or no.

She also asks her husband permission if she can go out for a girls night and if it is okay for her to invest in her blog. And she said that he also asks too……but then went on to say that since she is a stay at home mom and doesn’t earn any money that she feels it is respectful to do.

That is where I wanted to punch my computer screen.

Now, I am all for discussions with my husband about expenditures.  I actually think it is an important to have that kind of communication.  Money can create all kinds of problems if not dealt with properly. But we treat each other with respect and consideration. She made it seem as though he has the ultimate power in the relationship and they are not equals. That bothers me.  If she was working outside the home would she have to ask? I’m not sure.

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We are a team!

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My husband and I made the decision together for me to stay at home.  I feel that even though I don’t actually make a paycheck, I am a total equal in every aspect of our relationship. As is he.

We don’t ask each other permission for anything.  I am not a child.  He is not in charge of me.  If I had to ask him for money or if it was okay if I get coffee with my friend I don’t think our marriage would have worked out.

I’m not saying I go around buying diamonds and cars everyday (but that sounds fun)! I am capable of looking at our bank account and knowing if it’s in our budget to buy a pair of jeans or a new dress.

Honestly in life when I hear a mom friend or acquaintance say….’sure, just let me ask my hubby’ it makes me cringe.  Again, I all for discussions and very open communication but asking permission from your equal drives me nuts.

Why do some women do it? Do they really do believe the man is the head of the household and has ultimate control? Do they believe it is not really their money? Or is it the simple fact they lack confidence in their own decision making skills?

I am not making these points to make anyone feel bad or angry.  This is just not my normal and I don’t understand it.

I have been told that it is a sign of respect to their husband.  I don’t buy it.  Respect is a two way street.

Is permission just another word for discussion? Or, is it actually giving all of the decision making about your life to another person?

What do you think? Do you ask permission from your husband?

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