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.

 

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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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!

 

Ode To Our Babysitters: Why We Have Them and How To Find Them

My kids love our babysitters. Matt and I  love our babysitters. Over the years we have been really lucky to find a few people we are so comfortable leaving our kids with. And we did. They are often our saving Grace when Friday night rolls around after a long week. Sometimes we just need a recharge and to be able to get out and go on a ‘date’ is what we really need.

I think every parent needs to do this on a regular (or at least semi) regular basis.

You might be rolling your eyes right now, thinking, I wish. They are way too expensive. I can’t find anyone to sit for us! I could never leave my children with a sitter.

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Date nights are the best!

The answer is – yes you can. Simple as that. We all love our kids, but we were real live human beings before becoming mommy’s and daddy’s. I’m not saying you need to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy dates every weekend….. go to the pub down the street and get a beer and share an appetizer! Go to a park for a hike! Go have dinner at Costo! You don’t need a reason to celebrate or a reason to get out. Enjoy doing something you love with the person you love.

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These kiddos love their sitters.

Having regular babysitters we can count on puts our minds at ease. They know our routines, what’s expected of them and our kids are used to them (and loves them)! I’ve actually have my four-year-old try to push me out the door when his favorite sitter comes for the evening.

In my mind our sanity and having a happy marriage makes our home more peaceful and enjoyable.  Some people might think we are selfish to spend the time away from our kids, and spending money on ourselves…..but if we don’t have our marriage,  our house wouldn’t be a home.

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He sleeps like this when our babysitter is there too.  Just takes a little getting used to!

Still wondering where you can find a babysitter? Here are a few ideas:

  • Join a local Facebook group in your area.  Often mom-related buy/sell/trade sites allow discussions.  Go ahead and ask for recommendations!
  • Call your local high school and ask if they have a posting board at their school.
  • ASK YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS……they might be holding out on their favorite babysitter…..just promise not to steal them every Saturday night.
  • Go to your gym and ask the people who work in your kid care room if they babysit- or know of anyone who does.

Once you find a sitter make sure to set expectations.  This will make both of you realistic in expectations.

  • Be up front about how much you are willing to pay.  Take into account if they will be watching TV after the kids go to bed for several hours…..or playing with them all day long.
  • Don’t be shy to make clear you expect your home to look like it does when you leave.  I’m not saying she needs to mop the floors (but that would be nice)! But, she should tidy up after herself and the kids.
  • Even if something seems obvious to you, it might not be to your sitter.  I do not allow visitors (ie- boyfriends) come over.  Or smoking.  To me it is obvious, but I make it clear.
  • Be thankful and appreciative so they want to come back! I always tell my sitter to help herself to anything in the fridge and make sure she knows our wifi password once the kids go to bed.

As always, I love hearing from you! Do you use sitters? Where did you find yours? What are your tips on making it go smooth?