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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My Make-Up Bag Essentials

I have mentioned that I love make-up before.  I think I started wearing it when I was 12…..but really remember at about five-years-old sneaking into my moms make-up bag and making myself ‘pretty’ with blue eye shadow (thank you 1980’s)! My look had refined a little since then…..and after wearing it for more then 20 years, I have figured out a few products that are truly timeless and I will probably wear for the next 20 years.

Some of my favorite products are high end, but some of my all-time favorites are from the drug store and under $10! Some might be under $5! It is all about figuring out what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Most days my make-up routine can be done in about four minutes and does not include lipstick. I try to keep it simple. Here is what you can usually find in my make-up bag!

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L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara, Carbon Black, 0.26 Fluid Ounce

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara

Elf Baked Eye shadow Trio

Cover Girl Perfect Point PLUS Eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Wear Even Finish Foundation

 

Mac Studio Finish Concealer

Mac Powder Blush

KissMe

Bumpdate 27 Weeks!

FEELING: Excellent! Wow! This pregnancy is flying by! Maybe because with my first pregnancy I had a lot of time to think about EVERY MOMENT……but now I hardly have a second to myself! She sure it growing quickly though.  I feel her kicks and am love it. No, I am not one of those people who loves being pregnant, but am trying to take in that this will be my last baby and trying to enjoy the moment.

WARDROBE: Leggings. Lots of leggings. I feel like I am getting ‘dressed up’ when I put on jeans.  Leggings are just so comfortable! Paired with a long sleeve shirt or cami and open sweater I’m usually dressed for the day.  Since I don’t have a huge need for dressier clothes, I have gotten by with two dresses I wore over the holidays.  I just change up the accessories and call it a day. And, lets not forget the power of a good pair of shoes.

CRAVING: Smoothies! Yum! I am starting to feel really full, really quick (as she is growing,  I am losing space in there)….so they are filling me up and giving me a boost of vitamins and protein. Usually I include: Frozen Strawberries, banana, ice, baby spinach, avocado, Greek yogurt, a little bit of OJ. Delicious!

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OVERALL THOUGHTS: This is getting real! I am a little bummed out that I wont have her nursery ready when she is born….we will be moving a month or two after her arrival….so there is no point in setting it up. But, I am getting my ideas together and will have all the pieces ready to set up.

I am also starting to freak out a bit (or a lot) about how I’m going to handle three kids! Charlie will be in full-time school this fall, but I am worried about getting through the summer.  Luckily my mom and dad are around often and I have wonderful friends to help me though with moral support (and hopefully wine).

NAME UPDATE: Nothing set in stone.  We are still negotiating and deliberating.  But, don’t worry! We will know soon. I need time to order some monogrammed clothes for her big arrival!

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I Might Be the Mom the Internet Hates.

I like my home to be clean. I shower and put on make-up daily. I like to make home made dinners. I smile and am usually a positive person. Apparently that makes me the most annoying mom on the internet.

No…..I’m not at all (remotely or even kind of close to) perfect. But, it seems lately online, if you are a stay at home mom and like the gig, so many mom blogger wants to make you feel bad for it. I am assuming most of these posts I hear are tongue and cheek.  I actually can get a good laugh from some pieces.  But I wonder if there is any seriousness to what they are saying.  Like everyone else….I have bad days (like yesterday….pregnant, exhausted and a non-napping, teething toddler).  But for the most part I love what I do!

pintrest-brothers
I love to dress my kiddos in matching outfits.

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I think it just part of how I was raised and my own type A personality, but I hate a mess and want things done ‘just so’. I will be the first person to admit I am a bit of a control freak.  And yes, I have been known to complain to my husband after a long day with the kids…..that’s just natural.  But I know when I wake up in the morning it is a chance to start fresh and put positive, happy vibes into the world.

I’ve actually gotten the side eye when I showed up to a play date freshly showered and in full make-up.  I don’t think any less of moms who don’t do these thing. I think we all need to do what we need to do to get through the day.

Just because my house is (usually) clean does not mean I neglect my children. Freshly vacuumed carpets and gleaming kitchen counters make me feel calm and in control. Again, I’m not saying there is ANYTHING wrong with not doing it…..I just don’t like going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.

And I LOVE Pintrest.  Seriously, I do.  I find it inspirational…..it give me great ideas and lets me show off my creativity.  I don’t scroll through it and hate all of the pretty pins of cute ideas.  I happen to think making a cupcake that looks like a lamb is a wonderful idea for a barnyard first birthday!

pintrest-party
Pintrest birthday party for the win!!

Yes, I often coordinate my kids outfits when we go out to dinner.

Yes, I do my best to bake homemade treats for my kid’s classroom parties.

Yes, I iron all of our pillowcases because I like them to look crisp. (Even I will admit this might be going too far).

These things make me happy! And if I am happy, I can enjoy the time (which is most of my time) with my family.  In my opinion, being happy just does not come easily for everyone. Sure we all have happy (and sad) moments in life, but to be a genuinely happy person takes a little effort and work.

I want to know that I have given my best to everyday.  I look back at old pictures and remember that I really did enjoy that trip to the zoo, or birthday party.  Maybe it took me some extra effort, but to me it was worth it.

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My Selfie Dilemma: Not Sure of My Face in a Blogger’s Word

I am new to blogging. And I love it! Most of 2016 I was a contributor to a very well established blog and was able to write on a regular basis about all things being a mom.  I got some great feedback from readers and realized I might actually have a voice that people would want to hear.

So I took the plunge and decided to do my own blog! And here I am. I launched it almost two months ago. I am learning by trial-and-error (many, many errors). Slowly I am finding my niche.  And also, slowly people are checking my blog out!

One thing that has been my biggest hurdle is the whole selfie picture situation. Yes, on my social media I have had profile pictures of myself, but not many were actual ‘selfies’. I would often have to crop my face from a group picture. I’ve just never been a ‘selfie’ kind of person.

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Make-up and hair selfie

It’s not that I think I’m ugly…..I’ve just always been self conscious of taking a picture (or multiple) and posting them for the sake of posting them.  I am completely in awe of my friends who can post a beautiful and interesting picture of themselves!

But, with that being said, doing a blog about my family and my life obviously was going to entail taking pictures of myself (or having someone else take pictures of me).  Maybe I am comparing myself to other more established bloggers and don’t feel my pictures and composition are as good as theirs.  It will take time.

So far, I haven’t gotten any horrible feed back (think: wow! You have a huge double chin! Or, hey! Your fly is open)! For some reason I have this nagging thought that people are laughing at me behind my back, but to me this is a slow, self discovery process that has taken me years! When I was little, I was so shy! I seemed to gain a voice during college, but it really didn’t come out until after I had children. If anyone is really laughing at me behind my back……guess what? I don’t care! Laugh away!

c-section
No make-up and hours after I had Henry.  I love this picture taken by my husband.

I am still a total novice at taking pictures of myself, and being in pictures…..but here are a few things I have learned along the way :

  • A little make-up goes a long way.  Under-eye concealer, mascara and blush help me look and feel great.
  • You don’t have to look ‘perfect’ for every picture.  No one is perfect.  Not being perfect can be more interesting.
  • Natural lighting is your best friend.  Using a flash can sometimes wash out your face.
  • Be conscious of your background! No one wants to see a dirty bathroom or a messy pile of mail behind you (unless it is part of your story)!
  • My husband is becoming a great photographer! He has no qualms about taking pictures and doesn’t feel the pressure that I do to take a perfect picture.  Often his casual snap turn out great!
  • Sometimes emotion can outweigh getting the ‘perfect’ shot.  Even if you don’t think you look great, showing real emotion can be very moving.
  • Use filters carefully! They can  be your best friend or worst enemy.  I prefer a little softening, but nothing that makes me look less human.

Do you take selfies? What do you do to make them look the way you want them to?

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