Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday

I'm back today linking up with Darci over at the Good Life for Five on Friday - I love this link up, it's so fun and I look forward to it all week :)

*One*  I have been working like a dog this week trying to get ready for Ella’s 1st birthday party! All of my hard work will finally pay off tomorrow! Can’t wait to share pics of it, if it’s anything like I’m visioning, it will be super cute!  Here’s a peak at some decorations.  Yes, I blinged out the cups - #iamsothatmom

*Two* This weekend we will be heading to our towns yearly fest.  Brayden will have so much fun which has me really excited. It’s funny to think back how I went to this for years as a kid, teenager, young adult and spent my time hanging with friends & drinking and now I get to bring my kids here (and still have a drink or 2 J ) It seems like I blinked and I am where I am today from those days. 

*Three*  It’s been more than 24 hours since I have seen my kids and I’m counting the seconds until I am out of work today! Yesterday I had a work function right after work and didn’t get home until 10pm and when I left for work in the morning both kids were passed out.  Usually Brayden is up and I get a few minutes to kiss him good morning and give hugs but nope, not yesterday, and not today either! I am looking forward to some quality time with them

*Four*  Bought our dog Maxwell’s Halloween costume – he will be the perfect Dino to our little Flinstone family J

*Five*  I am getting crazy thinking about all the fun stuff I want to plan for Fall! Just downloaded this free fall printable to keep us going with the activities.  I guess I could wait a couple more weeks to put it out J

Fall Bucket List Printable

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Our Yellow Brick House

We've lived in our house for 8 months now and as I've mentioned, it is old, like reaaaaaally old.  It has great bones and a great layout though, which are the major reasons we bought it.  That being said, there is a ton of work we need to do.  We are planning on remodeling the entire inside next Spring but our first big project is actually getting done next month and I am beyond excited!!

Our house is all brick, and old, did I mention that yet?? Here's a pic of the outside as it is now.  I'm sure 50 years ago this brick was beautiful and probably not even this yellow, but time has not done this baby good and she needs a facelift.  We knew the first thing we wanted to do was paint the brick, I figured let's get the outside looking nice for now until we can focus on remodeling the inside.

We have always thought of painting it white and adding black shutters so I've been scouring Pinterest and the www to find some good images of white houses.  Here are a few that caught my interest and have me SO excited for this project!




I can't wait to turn our yellow brick house to our white brick house! Now I just need to think of a good color choice for our front door!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baby on the Brain

My whole life I wanted 3 kids, not 4 not 2, 3.  When I was pregnant with Ella I told people that if she was a boy I would 100% try for a third because I loved the idea of having boy, boy, girl.  Obviously I know I can’t control these things, hence, out popped our baby girl :)

I remember after having her that I never had that *feeing* that our family was complete.  Even through the beginning months of her crying & screaming for hours each night, in my head, I know I wanted another.  Then as she started getting older, becoming more engaging and fun and I started waffling with the idea, thinking that maybe we are just perfect the way we are? One Mommy, one Daddy, one boy, one girl.  The perfect family of 4.  Each parent gets a kid, traveling seemed like it would be easier, I could see life pretty nicely with just us 4, but then the next day, that would all go out the window and I would want another baby, someone to make us not so perfect.  I loved the idea of my kids having another sibling.  I grew up with 1 sibling, a sister 4 years older than me.  We weren’t that close growing up from what I remember (I’m sure there were years when we got along great) but when your sister is 16 and you are 12, she does NOT want you around, he he.   

The hubs and I have been discussing baby #3 since Ella was very young, we want all our kids close in age (if God would allow it) and I would rather have another sooner than later so we can start enjoying life with all of our kids.  Not that you can’t enjoy life with a newborn, but it’s just different when everyone is walking, talking, and old enough to actually do activities and create memories. 

A huge major factor when I start thinking my decision is no on #3 is the fact that I have already had 2 c-sections.  I know the risk gets higher with each one and I have been scared to death each time with mine.  The first time it was the unknown, the 2nd was fear of something happening to me and leaving 2 kids behind.  This is my fear again if we have another, I will then have 3 kids and the thought of something happening to me leaves me panic stricken.  I know chances are I would be completely fine however; it’s the crazy in me that obsesses over the bad.  The hubby is also worried about another c-section as he has seen first hand what they are like.  He jokes about getting a surrogate, but I know if we had the money, he wouldn’t be joking.

And then there’s that whole middle child syndrome, I know this is really only a problem if the parents favor one kid over another, but I do worry a little that Ella would get lost in the mix if we brought another one on board. 

Of course money raises a possible issue, but really, I don't focus on this too much.  I have never been one to think you need money to be happy, but I know it does help.  When I think of 3 in sports/activities, 3 going to college, 3 getting married, it gets me thinking "can we really do that?"  But I tell myself no one can predict the future, if I obsess over things I cannot really control at this moment then I could be missing out. 

But then I think about our future, and in the picture I paint, I see another child there, playing with us, going on vacations with us, making us that much crazier but bringing so much joy to our lives.  Completing our family.  And the next day, I am completely torn again. And this is the vicious cycle that has taken over my brain for the past several months.  I wish there was a sign, something to make me just *know* either way.  Sometimes I think you never truly know until you do it – and if we decide to stop at 2, I think a part of me will never really have that completed family feeling. 

Anyone have any thoughts on having #3 or 3 c-sections? I would love to hear!

Monday, August 26, 2013

I Said I Would Never

So this week over at Becky’s blog ,the topic is – I Said I Would Never – things you said you would never do once you became a parent…and then of course you did.  I really like this topic because it shows that people are not always as “perfect” as they may seem to be, that everyone changes their ideas on parenting.  This topic can help you realize that something you use to judge another parent for doing, you ended up doing yourself – at least this is true for me.   I think it’s a good eye opener to realize everyone just does what they think is best and we shouldn't judge anyone for that.  

     *1*  I would never let my baby sleep in our room (in a bassinet)
I remember saying when I was pregnant with Brayden how he was going to come home from the hospital and go straight into his crib.  I laugh at this thought now since he did in fact sleep in our room for 3 months.  Since I was breastfeeding it just made sense to have him right next to me to grab in the middle of the night instead of walking like a zombie trying to make it to his room.

*2* I would never let my baby use a paci past 3 months
I remember reading somewhere to take the paci away around 3 months because at that time it is not yet habit forming and the baby wouldn't know the difference.  Well I think that lasted about 5 minutes! I realized Brayden needed that paci to calm himself down or just feel safe.  We did however only use the paci at nighttime around 1 year and at 2 years we got rid of the paci forever.

*3* I would never let my kid watch tv until 1 year
I think the recommended age is 2 before kids should watch tv but I knew that was a long shot, so I thought 1 sounded better.  Again, I just laugh at my naïve self pre-kids.  I think Brayden was watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at 3 months old….and loving it! When I figured out a tv show with bright colors could calm my little man down or give me 20 minutes to fix dinner or clean, I went with it.  

*4* I would never let my child use an I-Phone or I-Pad until they were well into the toddler years, even then I thought it was crazy.
I remember seeing little kids, I mean like 1-2 years old, using an I-pad or I-phone and being able to maneuver that thing better than I could! Using apps, taking pictures, swiping left to right, I mean it really amazed me, but at the same time, I always thought, “they are WAY too young to know all that” I would tell myself I would never let my kids use either of those devices at such a young age when they should be being kids and playing with toys.  Well, lo and behold, Brayden at the age of 2 was using the Ipad like a pro! To this day my Mom watches him in pure amazement at all he knows how to do on it. 

*5* I would never yell at my kids
Ha ha ha, this one really makes me laugh out loud.  While I’m not proud of the times I do yell, it unfortunately happens. Toddlers really test you and some days I just can’t try the whole nice approach and reason with my child, so I just yell, and you know what? When I do yell, he listens.  I absolutely hate that I have to yell and I am trying to work on other alternatives – usually more time outs, but either way, I said I would never yell and that was completely false! 

I am sure there are many more things I said I would never do once I became a Mom! It's kind of fun to look back at the picture I painted about becoming a parent and how different it really is now.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five on Friday

I have been lagging in the blog dept this week so bad.  I have been so busy with work/home that I have been too lazy to blog, I don't like when I get in these funks, hopefully next week will be better!

I'm heading back over to Darci's blog for Five on Friday

*1*  I won another giveaway this week – this one was from Thrifty and Fabulous Accessories.  I get to head over to Angelic Ambitions and pick out a piece of jewelry– I am feeling like one lucky girl! I should probably play the lotto

*2*  We have finally chosen a paint color for the exterior of our house!! More to come on this next week -I am VERY excited about what will be happening!

*3*  I attended preschool orientation this week and I almost started crying sitting there listening to the teachers give power point presentations – I kept feeling like I was sitting there for High School not Preschool.  It really got me thinking just how big my little man has gotten, how this is it, he will be starting school (yes I know it’s only preschool) for the next 19 + years of his life. – I really hope time somehow decides to sloooow down just a little.

*4*  I randomly decided that I am going to take the kids to the zoo today when I get home from work – it’s going to be such a nice day and Brayden has been asking to go just about every day for the past month.  It’s going to be a rush to get home and get out the door quickly but I know I’ll be happy we did it!

*5*  My SIL is taking cake smash photos of Little Miss tomorrow and I am sooooo excited!! Here are some pics I am getting some inspiration from - of course they all came from Pinterest.  I need to get my butt moving on making a banner!

first birthday smash cake picture

I took these pictures @ fotofly!!!! Boo ya.

Monday, August 19, 2013

All About Me - 5 Things

I was tagged by Ashleyrose from A Neslon's Nest for a fun getting to know you survey.... here's a glimpse at some things about me!

                         * 5 Things I Have A Passion For: *
·         My Kids! Some would say I’m obsessed with them, and I’d have to agree J
·         Crafting & Scrapbooking – just wish I had more time!
·         Gardening – this is a new found passion, but I’m enjoying learning
·         Photography –still learning at this one too
·         The hubby :)

                  *  5 Things I'd LIke To Do Before I Die: *
·         Go Ziplining
·         Spend NYE in NYC
·         Go to a drive in movie
·         Visit Disneyworld with my family
·         Raise happy & healthy children

                    * 5 Reads I Love/What I've read lately *
·         Ann Rule – If you really loved me
·         Ann Rule – Everything she ever wanted
·         Tori Spelling – Mommywood
·         Tori Spelling – Uncharted Territori
·         Us Weekly – every week LOL

                    * 5 Favorite Movies: *
                   (This list could go on and on)
·         The Little Mermaid
·         Take me Home Tonight
·         Old School
·         The Breakup
·         Sixteen Candles

                 * 5 Places I want to Travel: *
·         NYC
·         Napa Valley, CA
·         Montana
·         Frankenmuth MI (Home to the biggest Christmas store!!)
·         Fiji

    (I’ll probably never make the last one as I am deathly afraid of flying!)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five on Friday

It’s Friday and I thought I would link up again with Darci over at The Good Life 

*One*  I was the lucky winner this week on A Nelson's Nest blog giveaway! I was super excited mainly because I never win anything and also because the hair clips I won are so adorbs! (I know that word is obnoxious but I can’t shake it from my vocabulary) Hair clips are by Little Dollys Shop - check her stuff out, sooooo cute!

Hello Kitty White Soft Furry Hair Clips With Red Bows Girls Hair Accessories

*Two* I had dinner with my girfriends this week – my bf’s from HS who I rarely see because I’m the only one married with children, he he.  It’s so hard to keep in touch, especially since almost all live in the city, but it’s so nice when we do see eachother.  I really wish it could happen more but with working full time and raising kids, it’s close to impossible most of the time. 

*Three* I am taking the kids to Toys R Us tomorrow morning by myself for a free lego workshop they are hosting – I guess they do free workshops every Saturday so this is our first time attending, I’m sure Brayden will have so much fun!

*Four* I am obsessing over the details for baby girls 1st birthday party.  I started a board on Pinterest, here are a couple of my favorite pins that I’m sure I will incorporate some way

We Heart Parties: Party Information - Carousel Birthday Party
 1st Birthday Party

*Five*  I am getting so excited for my sister’s baby shower this weekend!! I have a few things left to do and then I think we’ll be all set, I am so excited for her!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sibling Love

It’s happening…slowly, but surely, I can see it, a relationship developing between my 2 little ones.  Ella is 11 months now (adjusted to 9 ½) so she is very engaging and playful.  Brayden has taken notice to this so he has started including her when we play.  *So sweet to watch*

It’s the little things I am noticing more and more.  If Ella starts to whine, Brayden grabs a toy and hands it to her.  Sometimes he just sits down next to her and talks and shows her some of his toys.  He has started showing her how to use some of his old toys that we have pulled out for her.  He will sit and play tea with her, pouring her cup after cup and talking to her the whole time.  Ella just looks at him with the biggest grin – I imagine her thinking “he likes me, he really likes me!” Anytime Brayden shows her attention, she is just smitten.  Of course there are also the times where he takes what she is playing with and doesn’t want to share so nicely, but once we intervene he seems to get back on the right track. 

Now he doesn’t play with her all too often but when he does, I stop what I am doing to just watch.  I take it all in and see that the 2 people I love most in this world are connecting, building a sibling foundation that I hope continues to grow only stronger over time.  My wish for these 2 is to be friends, have eachothers backs, be kind to one another, learn to fight and be able to make up, to love eachother unconditionally.  Yes, this what I want so badly for them.  I know I can only do so much and I just pray that their love and friendship blossoms and they grow up actually liking eachother


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Summer Vacation 2013

I can’t believe we've already been back almost a week since our vacation, makes me sad just thinking about it! For the past 3 years, including this year, my husbands side of the family has all gotten together for an annual vacation.  There are 10 adults and 4 kids in total now and it is such a blast!  This year was probably my favorite year, I wasn't pregnant and so exhausted like last year and the house we stayed at this year was so beautiful! Not that the others haven’t been, but this was definitely the most gorg! Don’t believe me? See for yourself

That beauty is located right across the beach in South Haven, MI.  This is our first time to South Haven and it is simply beautiful.  So relaxing, so pretty, so much to do.  The landscaping everywhere caught all of our eyes, the prettiest gardens I've seen.  (I recently became really interested in gardening so I’m sure I’ve seen prettier, just never paid attention)

I think it’s best to recap the trip day by day

**Day 1**  Our drive doesn’t start out the best with the kids screaming and crying, but soon enough they were knocked out J We hit a ton of traffic and accidents but finally made it.  We went to lunch at a place called Captain Nemo’s where it took – and I am not exaggerating – 1 hour to get a grilled cheese, a BLT and a burger. We went to the house after lunch and unloaded the car.  My SIL and I went to the grocery store to get a bunch of stuff we needed then we all headed into town for dinner.  The first night was only half of us so we figured eating out would be easiest….guess again.  It was Sat night and the restaurants were crazy packed.  We put our name in for a Mexican place that smelled delish and they told us within an hour…with 4 kids we knew it would be risky but we decided to wait.  After almost 2 hours and no sight of ever getting a table, we walked back home and stopped and got food along the way to bring back.  

**Day 2**   This was Sunday and actually a decent looking day.  I started the morning by going on a run with my SIL. After eating a ginormous breakfast (so much for that run!) we went to the beach, it was so nice being able to literally walk across the street and be there…what was not so nice was dragging our double stroller through the sand.  I made sure to pass this job along to the hubby when he was with me.  We played for a little while then headed back to the house. This night was our night to cook dinner for everyone – on these trips each couple takes a day to make dinner – it’s pretty fun J The hubs made his famous ribs and I made homemade twice baked potatoes and a caprese salad, it was so yum.  We then put the kids to bed (which was always nothing short of a miracle) then would sit outside and relax and have some drinks – This is pretty much how every night ended.

Nice boogers little man :)

**Day 3**  We woke up to some crummy weather but still nice enough to be outside.  We took the kids to this awesome HUGE wooden park they have in town, we had to drive but it only took 5 minutes.  The kids (and me!) had an amazing time here, it was so nice to take them to blow off some steam.  After the park myself, my 2 SIL’s and my MIL all headed out of town to visit some wineries.  We did some tastings and bought a lot of wine and ended our little trip at a fudge shop.  It was so fun to get out for a little kid free!! 

**Day 4**  Started my morning off with another run with my SIL – it was so nice running through this beautiful town – something I already miss.  We all took a drive into the town Saguatuck, MI for a little shopping.  The shops here are beyond cute so needless to say I did some damage J  We all went out for lunch and had a fun day hanging in this town.  This night the last of us finally arrived, my SIL and her boyfriend.  We all spent the night hanging around the house.

**Day 5**  We went into town this day and some of us stopped and did a tasting while the others went to eat – the hubs took the kids with him on this day so I took full advantage J  I was on a mission this day to get some more shopping done, I wanted to find a Christmas ornament since I always collect one wherever we go, and I wanted to find something for my Mom who was back home watching our dog and house.  We went to the beach again later this day then headed back to the house to get ready for siblings night out! My in laws were nice enough to watch all 4 kiddos while we all went out for the night.  We started at a tapas restaurant where they had the best food, not to mention the best martinis to go with! After stuffing our faces we headed to a bar for a few drinks then headed home.  We were being a little obnoxious when we got back and my MIL had to remind us to be quiet a handful of times, this just made us louder as it was so funny to be getting “yelled” at at our age, we felt 18 again, which was kind of nice :)

**Day 6**  Wanted to wake up and run this day but my body wouldn’t let me from the night before, ha ha.  Thankfully when I did get up I didn’t feel too bad.  Everyone except my SIL went golfing this day so we hung around the house with the kiddos for a while then walked into town to do a little more shopping.  I had to get Brayden a tie dye shirt and he chose to have Mickey put on it, it’s so adorbs!! I got myself and the hubs a t-shirt too and after we left realized I didn’t get one for Little Miss! Bad Mommy moment.  After shopping I put Ella & Brayden down for naps at the house and when they got up we all headed to the beach.  Some of the family met us a couple hours later and the rest of the guys who golfed longer met us after that.  We ended up spending hours at the beach this day, it was sooooooooooo nice and Ella was being so cooperative which I so appreciated! This was our last full day so I was so happy to be spending it with everyone at the beach. We headed back and made a ton of food and just hung out.  I went to bed early this night, but not as early as the hubs, I think he was sleeping at 9:30, but I don’t blame him, I would have been too if it was my turn to put Brayden to bed.  We had to lay with him every night and that kid can stay up late so usually we would just pass out. It was nice to actually catch up on sleep on this vacation.

**Day 7** Woke up and ran with my SIL again, it felt so good.  Came back and everyone was making a huge breakfast – this was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  We were leaving this day so we got the car all packed up but before we could head out, we took our family picture for my MIL’s Christmas card.  It turned out soooooooooo good!

Best Family :)

And now we’re back and it seems like a distant memory.  Thankfully I took over 400 pictures to remind me of it :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Goals for Motherhood

Ahhh it’s my first day back to blogging since our week long vacation – I will have much to post about that but first, I wanted to link up with Becky again because this topic really excited me.

Goals for Motherhood

I have never really jotted down my goals for motherhood, randomly I would tell myself things like, be more patient, enjoy all the moments (even if I want to cry at times) etc.  I thought this was a good link up subject because now I could write down my goals, and hopefully achieve them throughout this amazing journey called Motherhood.

First and foremost, I really want to learn to be more patient – I’m sure this will be on a lot of Mom’s lists and if not then kudos to you! This is something I definitely lack.  Sure, I definitely have more patience now that I’ve had kids, but it’s still not to where I would want it to be.  This is a daily struggle for me and I make myself aware and accountable and this has really helped me.  I hope that my patience only grows stronger – with my children, husband, and anyone around me.

I want to be a loving Mother, one who is always showing affection to my kids.  I definitely do this now and I’m sure it’s to the point where my kids just want me to go away :) I just hope it is always this way – obviously when they are teenagers I can’t hug and kiss them 1000 times a day but I hope we can all always show some kind of affection towards eachother.

I want to be close to my kids – I want them to trust me and know they can come to me with anything.  I want open communication – good or bad.  I literally pray for this but I know I can only do so much to ensure this happens.    

I want to be the fun Mom! I want to encourage my kids to play through imagination and I want to be right there next to them joining in the fun.  I want to always have special time where we bake cookies or some kind of special treat.  I want to be the kind of Mom who can be spontaneous.  I want to create the best experiences for my children, because that’s what I am all about – the experience.

I want to create tons of family traditions.  Most of which will come with the holidays – dying Easter eggs, visiting the Easter Bunny, making homemade Christmas ornaments, visiting Santa, building a snowman every year together, driving around to look at lights, I would love to start a tradition when my kids are older where we volunteer every Christmas holiday, I think that would be so great.  I want to have annual mini vacations to certain spots during the summer and the winter, something to look forward to year after year.

Most of all – I want to raise well rounded, loving, kind children. I want them to remember all the memories we make throughout the years and when they are older I hope they can see just how much I and their Daddy love them.    

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Are you sure we're not moving to MI?!

Aaaaand we're off to our annual family vaca!! I'm blogging from the car for the first time, must say it's a bit more distracting with a screaming baby and a whiny toddler :)

I asked the hubby if he was sure we weren't moving to MI with the way our car was packed! Its amazing how much stuff you need to bring when kids are involved! I'm sure I forgot something but hopefully whatever that may be, it can be bought.

So that's that, I'm going to enjoy the rest of the car ride and catch up on some reading, I cannot wait to spend the week with my family.

Friday, August 2, 2013

5 on Friday

I just recently discovered Darci and her blog The Good Life – go check it out now if you haven’t, she is just great!

She does a link up every Friday, called 5 on Friday, and this Friday I thought I’d join the party


1. In less than 24 hours we are heading to South Haven, MI for our annual family vacation with my husbands side whole family – 10 adults and 4 kids, seriously so excited!! Although the forecast doesn’t look in our favor, I am just so happy to be *getting away*

2. I finally got my butt moving on baby girls 1st birthday party! Her party is 8/31 and I booked the place months ago, (thankfully) but the other day it occurred to me that I should probably get invites out before I leave on vacation! At this point, I hadn’t even thought of a theme and started searching Etsy and decided on a Carousel theme, it’s only fitting since her party is in a room that has an actual carousel J Invites are done and I will spend the next couple weeks stalking Pinterest for more fun ideas!

3. I just talked to my sister last night on Facetime and her baby belly is getting so big, ahh I love it!! I am so happy for her and her hubby, and also so ecstatic because not only are they having a baby soon, they are closing on their first house this month and also her hubby got a new job in his field! Woohoo! I  just love when things go good for the people I love!

4. I  have already been thinking about the kids’ costumes for this Halloween – this actually started last month, what can I say, I like to be prepared.  I found these on Etsy and plan to DIY something very similar, OMG my kids are going to look adorbable!! I think the hubby and I will be Fred & Wilma too, just to join in the fun.  It’s funny how I use to not care for Halloween at all, now I love it, ahhh what kids do to you.

5.  This past week I started bathing the kids together – why did I not start this sooner?!  It is not only the cutest thing in the world, but also such a time saver! I am all for anything to give this mama a few extra minutes of play time with them!