Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thanks for the Memories

 The Christmas season is almost upon us. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ready...because the truth is I have my Christmas cards ready to be addressed and put in the mail. This year I had another opportunity to try out the folks at Cardstore. While they aren't the only kids on the block with a lot of selection they really impressed me with what they had and how easy it was to get a card personalized. Here are some of my favorites:

Chalkboard Flair

Because Deer are so IN!

Who doesn't love these?


All of these cards can be changed up so they truly represent you and your wishes for the season to the recipients. Cardstore will also mail your cards out for you. I was really happy with the design I chose and how fast the turn around time was on them. And if you aren't happy, they stand behind their product 100%.This week they are even offering 30% off and shipping is free if you spend at least 30$.

Real life can sometimes make the picture. And this year Cardstore is giving away a $1,500 Visa gift card along with a Nikon CoolPix camera for your best real life candid Christmas photos. The top three photos with the most votes are the winners. That's right, you can get your family and friends in on the fun. I know when I look back at the pictures from the season I am more impressed with the candid shots. The looks of joy or exasperation that you just happened to snap. The cat in the Christmas tree...for the 10th time. The kids passed out in their matching jammies waiting on good ole Saint Nick to arrive. Life is all about these moments, the real moments.

**I was compensated by Cardstore for this post. All opinions are mine**

Monday, October 27, 2014

This Is Kindergarten

That's right, the time is here for our little man to enter the world of big kid school and start Kindergarten. I can not believe we are already at this milestone and am happy to report the first 9 weeks flew by and we didn't have any issues. It took him about a month to settle into the routine but once he got it, he got it.

His first day wasn't a full day and wasn't his full class but an assessment. But the second week they went full steam ahead. This kid is smart, curious and talkative. I really hope that he ends up loving school, like I did.

I wish I could say that him being gone from 9 to 4 means I get a ton of housework done...but the truth is I haven't. I've gone to the gym and thankfully the Husband was home to pick up my major slack in all things household. I need to make sure I get a routine going and plan the week out. There were several nights when we had no clue about dinner, throwing things together haphazardly and eating way to late. All. My. Fault.

And while big brother is at Kindergarten we are left with the bossy princess. She thinks with S gone, we are to entertain her and be at her every beck and call. The best is when she has to come along for she walks through the store of the day and laments about only wanting to return home. No joke. The only time she sings a different tune is if she is getting something. I've taken to trying to run errands when she is also in school. I look to the future and wonder what my days will be like when they are both in the same place together ALL DAY. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Viva Las Vegas!

Last week I had the pleasure of hopping on three planes and flying west to Las Vegas. It was the first time in 5 years that I had several days and nights to be responsible for only myself. On the plane rides I was able to read a WHOLE book, a WHOLE magazine and take a nap. Ah-maz-ing, right?

Initially I was nervous. Nervous how the kids would do because the truth is, I probably coddle them quite a lot. And Daddy? He doesn't. I worried they wouldn't be able to sleep or would whine incessantly. Guess what? They had no problems sleeping and they kept the whining to a minimum. Daddy is fun! Daddy does things that Mommy doesn't! Daddy will always be way cooler than Mommy! That isn't to say they didn't miss me, because they did. As a matter of fact, when I got up the day after I returned to hit the gym my dearest little boy says "You just got back, why do you have to leave again?" I didn't think he would notice or care...but he does. And it warms my heart to know that the day to day I do with them, gets noticed. I know the Husband gets it but with the kids it is harder to tell.

I know many of you might be thinking I went to Vegas and a bunch of debauchery ensued but you would be sadly mistaken. Not one cent made it into a slot machine or onto a casino table. I like my money to either get me something (shopping) or to stay in my wallet for a rainy day. Instead I had the pleasure of meeting with a nearest and dearest friend and reliving our youth by attending a NKOTB concert. New Kids on the Block for those of you not in the know. Yes...they are still making music and doing concerts. The last time I had seen them was 7 months pregnant in 2008. This show was even better! It is quite fun to be in a arena and see grown women either dressed like they are 12 again or dressed like they are going to dance on a pole after the show...

Here I am with my favorite member...and this is about as close as I got to him all weekend.

Michelle and I.
Blue light=weird picture, but that's my friend and I waiting for the show to start!

Whatchu know about Mr. Donnie Wahlberg?

The concerts were great and in between I had time to just be me without also being mommy. I slept, I shopped, I ate a hot meal. I played on the iPad. I had lots of adult conversation. It was fantastic and yet tiring all at the same time. I came back exhausted and so not ready to jump back into mom life. Thank goodness my family allowed me to pass out and get 12+ hours of sleep.

Would I do it again? Yes! Even without an actually event, I am ready to take time off and go away. I know the kids will always be in good hands with their Daddy. My issue was never that...the issue was me and the anxiety that lives in me. But now that I've seen I can do it, you can bet that I will. Anyone want to join me?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mojo the Kitty

Riding home with us a year ago
A year ago to the day, we added to our family and adopted a beautiful almost 20 pound cat. While in the car I came up with the name Mojo and it stuck. Mojo was a rescue cat and they had placed his age at about two, but we never knew for sure. What we did know was that he liked to eat and was very vocal about it. He also had a fascination with the ice machine on the fridge and was always happy when a piece fell for him to chase around the kitchen.

The first week we brought him home, he took right to us. Not being bashful in the least about hopping into our beds and following us around. I was happy to have a cat that wasn't bothered by the kids chasing him. Though he did let them know once or twice he didn't want to play. But it was all part of teaching the kid and Mojo.

So imagine my surprise when this morning after petting him profusely and listening to him loudly purr, I walk in to then find him laying on the carpet, having a hard time breathing. Not even filling his food bowl could make him move...though he tried. And when I placed him in the kennel to rush him to the vet. He barely struggled. And I knew...I just knew things would not be the same.

And they aren't. A year after we had the best cat adopt us...he had to leave us. And I am sad and heartbroken. I feel like I should have seen signs and noticed more but I didn't. RIP, Mojo the Kitty. I hope you knew how much we loved you.

Taking advantage of our bed

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fly By

That is what I have become...a fly by blogger. I have sat at my desk with my blog open and wanted to write and then I get pulled away to referee a fight or to play. Or sometimes I just can't seem to remember what idea I had 4 hours ago that seemed to need a post...

A month has passed since my last entry and in that time we've done the following:

Loving it!

Celebrated one year in our home. And while we might not have curtains in every room or have it decorated like a Pinterest board, it is home. It felt right from the first walk-thru and now a year later we are still just as happy.

The Hubby and I managed a date night...there was talk of these happening monthly. They don't. Oops...


The trees in our yard bloomed perfectly for Easter, which gave us a nice family photo.
Easter 2014
There is nothing like strawberry season, so of course we hit a patch and got some fresh!

May can not be complete without some Mother's Day love and while things didn't go according to plan, with a sick child and all, my kids did manage to give me a day without them bickering and fussing.

My favorite girl

My mini me
 My favorite girl took dance this season and has loved every bit of it. I am happy for her and hope she continues dancing. Her recital was this past weekend and I didn't get many good shots...mostly because she refused to cooperate. But here is a cute one of her and a classmate.

T and a dance classmate

 And this brings us to the close of the school year and summer vacation. I need to have some sort of plan ready so I don't go crazy and the kids don't get bored. Hopefully it won't be another month before I update!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

When T was a year old our pediatrician suggested we have her tested for allergies, basically because she had a patch of eczema on her face that would come and go. And while she was mostly still only nursing the doctor suggested we see if we could cross certain things off the list.

Well, the first blood work came back and it said she was allergic to peanuts. But because they had not drawn enough blood, they wanted to do it a second time to be sure. Have you ever had to hold a one year old while they draw blood? Not fun. But we did it and so we now had a child that was mildly allergic to peanuts. It explained why anytime we got on an airplane, she would develop a rash on her face. It was from her playing with the peanut bag. No other reactions, just a big, oozy, eczema patch. I was happy to finally have a reason for some of her eczema issues.

But I was more scared...because peanuts or the possibility of peanuts in something is HIGH. I started looking for information about reactions to peanuts and we started carrying around an epi-pen. The doctor said it was a precaution and at two we should have her tested again. We didn't, instead I just became vigilant about keeping her away from peanuts. But she still ate things that "may" contain and when I saw no reactions I just kept an eye on her. I have a lot of empathy for parents that have children with life threatening allergies. I could not imagine how hard it is daily to deal with this because a wrong move could prove to be deadly.

Finally when she turned three, we decided to go ahead and give her another blood test, a skin test and go from there. Both came back negative! The last thing to do? Give her a food challenge. I tried not to think too much about it but last week we had it done.  And she passed. With flying colors. She is no longer allergic to peanuts! I was amazed and even a bit skeptical. And while I joked around that I saw Reese's in her future I can't help but still be a bit apprehensive. Even though I saw her eat peanut butter and not flinch or develop a rash or hives or anything of the sort.

So now we are back to having regular (albeit organic) peanut butter and saying good bye to our faithful Sunbutter companion. Anyone else have a child go from allergic to not? The doctor said about 20% of children will out grow a peanut allergy...I am so glad to be a part of that 20%.

Oh...but we are not free and clear of allergies...she did have a reaction to dogs. And guess what we wanted to get this year? Yep, a dog. I too am allergic to dogs but have usually always had one around. Guess we will have to really weigh the pros and cons of that one, huh?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Battle of Mae Mae

We have a battle going on in our home...the battle of mae mae (prounounced may may). Our little T is now three years old and she is STILL asking to nurse. I know, I's crazy. I never thought I would be here and dealing with this!

I stupidly thought my second child would just wean herself by her first birthday and I would have a cry about how big she was getting and we'd move on. But that has not happened. Instead it has turned into a battle. The worse part is that she is stubborn, like her mother. I say no, she says yes. And we can go back in forth until she gives up. Because I realize now, I am the one that created this nursing monster and so in the end it is I who must re-create her. She is my last baby and part of me knows I have not been as adamant as I could be, because I won't have the ability to console and comfort her so completely. When she is having a bad day or a god awful tantrum...I can quiet the tears and the sadness with a quick nursing. Yet I know it is truly time to stop and have her learn that a cuddle and kisses can console just as well. Or that Daddy is great at giving hugs and making one feel safe.

And so...the battle of mae mae wages on. Especially in the middle of night, when we are both most vulnerable. Me wanting to just sleep and her wanting to feel me next to her, where she can easily nurse. Last night she finally looked me in the eye and said "I will not go to sleep until I have mae mae!" Part of me cheered...because she was not giving up and then I looked at the time (3:17 a.m.) and wondered how I ended up with such a headstrong child.

Messy Hair Don't Care...give me mae mae!
I never thought I would be the mom who has been nursing for 5 years. Actually I never really gave it much thought, I just knew that I would try and we would see what happens. And so the battle wages on and in the end, I know who will win. I just hope someone is ready to console me.