Monday, June 30, 2014

Going from scary to exciting. The different from one to two and two to three.

Andrew and I have talked more about baby number 3 in the past couple weeks than I care to admit. In fact, we have talked so much about it that one would even think that we were either 1) Pregnant or 2) Trying. 
I assure you, we are neither.

But we have had the conversation, and we continue to have the conversation, and instead of the conversation focusing on are we ready {although that question comes up as well} or timing, we simply just talk about how amazing, different, and just overall exciting it will be to have the opportunity to love again.
Love more.
Naturally, this conversation and these thoughts are always triggered when watching E and G running around together, tickling one another, and embracing in hugs and big wet sloppy {sometimes turned into hard} kisses. They love each other—there's no hiding that. But they have this incredible bond that I guess I had not imagined they would ever have when we first became a family of four. Simply put– I had no idea.
It's interesting to me, you know—how different one thinks when your life changes drastically. And going from one to two kids? That is one big drastic change.
I remember before we even thought of the idea of Graham we would talk about how it was hard to imagine another child coming into our lives. I remember when the idea of Graham was there and we would talk about the fear of messing up a good thing. I remember when we found out about Graham and I would worry about loving another child. And then Graham came, and we were forced into this new world, and even though there were {many} times that we weren't sure we were ready for all this, we went into it wholeheartedly and we fell in love all over again. But more, and in ways we had never envisioned before.
Messing up a good thing? We had no idea just how good it could get. Loving another child? We were surprised to learn that our love only grew in abundance--for both children. So this weird yet very normal fear that most first time parents have? Was completely unnecessary. Because now? Now I knew a world I never want to forget. 
So now. So now when that topic of having another child comes up again–we think and talk differently about it. We smile more. We worry less. We get excited about watching our family grow and having another little person to embrace, to teach, to love, and to nurture through this roller coaster called life. But what's even better is that Graham and Elli get to love more as well.
Instead of worrying about how we will adjust or how we will do with one less pair of hands and eyes or how the kids will adapt and love another child, I already know the answer to all those questions and it is as easy as this: they just will, and we just will, and it just will
It will work.
Even when you have hurdles. Even when babies sleep different, eat different, act different–you somehow just make it work. I know that G and E were similar in a lot of ways, but at the same time, they were complete opposite. I had to learn how to parent again, how to change my ways, and how to do things that worked specifically for that child. There is no way to produce two children that are exactly alike just as there is no way to predict how your life will be or how you will do in future situations. It's one of those things where I just have to trust in God and let go of any and all fears that I could have in relation to our future children.
And we have. And it's a great feeling.
Because to be honest going from one to two was a scary thought.
But going from two to three?
It is an exciting adventure that we cannot wait {but can for a little while longer} to start.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

The 4th of July Must-Haves

Thank you Zazzle for sponsoring this post. All opinions stated are that of my own.

Fourth of July is a very important holiday for this country. It is also a very important holiday to me personally that allows me to reflect—on the idea of what it is like to immigrate from another country—one that does not give you the freedoms and the luxuries that the United States does, knowing how different my life could have been, and more importantly realizing that there would have never been an Andrew and I and therefore no Elliana and Graham— are just a few things that I think about this time of year.

One thing that I learned since coming to the United States is that people love their country. When they celebrate, they really celebrate. When they bleed red, white, and blue, they do. It is in the color of their shoes, the design of their sunglasses, and the hand flag that they hold in their right hand. They sing loud and they sing proud. And that? Well that is pretty great.

Showing off our country and what we stand for in the products that we own is just one way for us to show our appreciation to the history of our land. When I was browsing through Zazzle, I was amazed by the thousands upon thousands of products that did just that— example of pride in each and every design. From shirts to ties to posters and invites and coolers and even bibs.  I tell you what, Zazzle has it all figured out.

And even after the holiday, I will know where to go when I need a unique {and in abundance} design for my birthday party needs, business cards, clothing, monogrammed gifts, and more.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

I confess.

I confess... I delete pictures from my instagram. Simply because I think they are boring—food, books, box labels, and anything else that I think will not interest anyone that had not already seen the image. Basically, I share it just briefly for the general public then delete it so I don't have to sift through it later on when I get my images made into a book.

I confess... I already started making my Christmas list {sorry, I know just the mention of Christmas makes some people cringe}. Not just for the kids, but even for myself.

I confess...Owning a home sometimes sucks—the money you have to put into it, and the unexpected expenses that surprise you at times. Thankfully we have not had many issues in the past 4 years of home ownership, but I really don't like spending money on "landscaping" and "AC/furnace." I just think about all the vacations we could have gone on...... can't go there.

I confess... if i were to win $1,000 and had to choose to buy stuff or go on a trip, I would hands down go on a trip over a shopping spree. As nice as shopping is at times, it absolutely does not and never will trump a getaway with the family. That's probably why yearly family vacations are {and always will be} so important to us.

I confess...I have not come to terms with the fact that my baby is 18 months. My baby. I do not treat him that way either—he is still a baby to me.

I confess...I need to write down his 18 month milestones before he

I confess...I already have {too many to count} presents in my laundry room. Pretty soon the kids will start catching on and I'm going to have to find a clever spot to hide all this junk.

I confess...I have Kohl's cash that I cannot use until Sunday, and I have my cart already full and ready to go once that day comes. I'm a weird planner when it comes to that sort of thing.

I MIL is probably saying right now—shouldn't you be working on those pictures you took 3+ weeks ago instead of shopping? Yes, the answer is yes, I should.

I confess...I kind of like the fact that the kids wake up at 6am, because it means that beds are made, kids are fed, and we are dressed and ready for the day by 8am.

I confess....that was a total lie. I love sleep way more.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The truth about girls and pictures.

A couple weeks ago, I went to Michigan to visit a friend. Naturally, we took pictures—selfies, food shots, car shots, scenery shots, etc. You name it, we took it. We also attempted to have a complete stranger take our picture. Ladies, we all know what that means right? It's a total hit or miss. Need I mention it was a man, by the way. Again, total hit or miss—most times a miss.

Well after giggling about it in the car, I realized that women are really interesting when it comes to pictures, and if you were to do some sort of research study {who has time or money for that}, you would probably figure out that we are all very similar in this "picture" category.

Women take better pictures {unless the man is a photographer}. A girl will understand what girls are really looking for in a picture. Although they would love for you to capture the beautiful background, they really would much prefer to 1. Be in the picture {no heads chopped up} 2. Look as skinny as possible in the picture {angles!} and 3. Have good lighting.  In other words—focus on them not the background.

After nearly 10 years together, my husband still doesn't get it.

Everyone has a good side. Which means that we also all have a bad side. Which means that we are more likely to tell someone to switch us sides, to move, or to completely take the picture all over again until we are on our good side. For me? It's me standing to the right.

Everyone has a pose. Hand on hip, smile with teeth or not, puckered lips, open mouth, right foot in front of the left, left beside the right, and the list goes on. We do it without even knowing we are doing it at times but I tell you what—everyone else notices.

Angles—angles are important to us. When we asked a random stranger man to take a picture of us, he broke the biggest rule in portrait photography. He bent down on one knee, angled up, and said "Smile." I nudged Jody and said under my breath "No he didn't." Oh yes, he did. Needless to say, we said our thank you and the picture was quickly deleted. He had his young pre-teen daughter with him, and I am sure that within the next couple of years he will hear all about angles. She will teach him well.

When we say "Take a picture" what we really mean is "take about ten." It would be a wonderful thing if pictures turned out perfect the first time around, but as we all know, that is not exactly the case. So please always take multiple so that when I am skimming through them, I can decide which one to keep—if any.

A picture is only considered good or "great" if you look good in it. You could have a professional photographer take your family pictures, the lighting may be perfect, the scenery absolutely breathtaking and on point, but if you yourself are not looking good in the picture, then it's "just okay."

We get a little nervous when we get a notification saying that we were "tagged" in a photo. Because let's face it, we have women friends—which means that while they will post a photo only if its a "good" one that means one thing—good of them.

"Progress" photos are only okay or inspiring if you actually lost a lot of weight. It's a funny {but very sad} truth that is evident in a lot of pictures that I have seen others post. If you lose a lot of weight, people are so happy for you, support you, and lift you up. If you show a 10 pound loss and you're already a size two, women will simply roll their eyes.

Which also means that "belly" pictures are only okay when you have a belly. If you want to irritate all the ladies out there, then post bare belly pictures during the first trimester showing off your 6 pack.
"Oh no she didn't!"

Remember, it took about 20 shots before we got the one for the selfie on instagram. Which means that that is the best it is going to get.

Mirror shots=10 pound weight loss. Truth.

And although we hate to admit it, but even the "bad" pictures are in fact what we look like. As well as the good ones. Because let's face it, pictures don't exactly lie. They give you a millisecond of a moment. Your arm might be pressed against your side making it look double in size, your face may be down at that moment showing a double chin you never knew existed, and that outfit on that particular day may just not be flattering you any which way—regardless of what the reason is, that camera happened to capture it right then and there. Some angles we look great, some not so much. Some lighting compliments us, some not so much. Certain clothes are fitting and slimming, some the complete opposite. One picture you look like Pamela Anderson running on the beach, the other you look like a large cow that can barely keep up—both taken just moments apart. But the truth? It's just us at different angles at different times.

What I have learned?

Better to have one bad picture of a really important moment in time, than none at all.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What I'm loving {a lot} and ONE big thing I'm really NOT loving.

***This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are that of my own, and I'm simply sharing things/products that I'm loving. Referral links may be used---to help fund my shopping addiction, of course***

 Building forts with the kids, only to be kicked out once all is said and done. Apparently I do not meet the size requirement nor the cool factor requirement. At least I got a picture in with the kids, except clearly they have not yet mastered the open eyed with flash pose. I've had some bit of experience.

The big TOMS sale with free shipping. Our feet will be pretty darn happy and stylish come fall time. I cannot believe that I'm even talking about the fall season.

My $5.00 watch. With free shipping as well. It came in the mail yesterday and I was smitten on first sight. It really is that much better in person than on the computer when I first ordered it. And the deal was just too good to pass up. How do you get it? Sign up to shoplately via your facebook account. When you do that, you get a $10 credit. Add this watch to your cart, and get the 10 off with free shipping so you end up paying $10.00 {was on sale last week} and wait about a week! Happy mail day.

When two kids nap at the same time. I mean, does this ever get old? The answer is no.

The kids' new placemats {tot talk placemats} . They are from amazon, are large, and they can use dry erase markers when they get older to do the activities on the back. They have an assortment of placemats---The United States, Animals, ABC's, Continents/countries, space, etc. For now, we use them to engage in conversation during breakfast/lunch about the different states, countries, oceans, the space, and the ABC's for Graham as well as colors. I was really impressed with these.

Remembering that you made these bad boys a couple weeks ago, and digging into your fridge halfway through the post to get one out and devour while the kids are napping.

Large Kohl's sale going on now. We put in a large order last night because of the great savings in addition to the Kohl's cash back going on now, but more importantly I found these shirts for about a $1.00 each {after savings} and I ordered 30 to donate to a woman's shelter.

Trader Joe's frozen organic pizza crust. Two in the package. Thin. But absolutely perfect. Found this about 6 months ago and have not steered away since. And never will. If you have a Trader Joe's, try it out.

Preschool skills workbook that helps toddler master the cutting skill. It's fun, there are tons of different activities to work on, and the different shapes make it more challenging. Plus at just $2.00 the price was more than just right.

And the only thing that I'm NOT loving right now is the storm that hit yesterday that caused a big branch to fall of our big tree and resulted in damaging our neighbor's fence.

Unexpected expenses are never fun.... but to look on the brighter side, I am thankful that everyone is okay, that our house was not damaged, and that things are replaceable. Our loved ones are not.

So a lesson to always look at the positives, even when it may be hard or not obvious at the moment. 

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Monday, June 23, 2014


Okay, I know I cannot even type this fast enough. As I was feeding/rocking Graham to sleep for his nap, I skimmed through the email to see that TOMS were on sale! Not only that, but they were offering FREE shipping. Needless to say, I ordered for me, and me, and Graham, and Elli, and Graham, and Elli, and me, and me. I would have probably even ordered them for my dog if they gave me that option.

They still have tons of styles and colors and sizes available, but I imagine it will go quick. Especially with the free shipping deal going on!


Let's have a summer drink and chat. And talk about maybe even BF weaning... maybe.

Normally, I would be inviting you over for coffee or maybe even an adult beverage, but these days the temperature is hitting the roof and nothing, and I mean nothing, sounds as good as a nice cold iced summer beverage.

So a summer beverage it is.

You'd come over and we would hang out on the couch and start with the small talk.  

How's life.
How are the kids.
How's work.
All is well, everyone is healthy, and for the most part very happy. I say most part because, well, you know, the world ends about every other day when mama doesn't pick a child up right away when they are crying or if they don't get their bunny snacks when they ask for them. Other than that, the world is pretty intact.

We would laugh about it. Either because you know exactly how I feel, or because I have told this story one too many times. Either way, we laugh.

You'd probably ask about how my trip to Michigan went and I would smile with delight---it was nice, very nice to just go somewhere, to fly, to do nothing but relax and shop. Rarely do I get an opportunity to do just that and rarely do I ever even want to. But once in a while, you know... once a year, it is nice to take a little 3 day trip to hang out with a friend.

And then you'd probably ask me the burning question. You know, the one where you want to poke and prod about how the "breastfeeding weaning" went.

Big sigh.

It didn't. I came home and we started our journey right back up as though I had never left. I thought maybe he would forget, lost interest, or just become a big boy while I was gone. Boy was I wrong. And? I'm okay with it. The fact that we just weren't ready and that it was not something that he decided on his own, was enough for me to realize that it's just not the end of the journey.

But, I'm going to interrupt the conversation, switch gears, and whip out my phone to show you the cutest picture I ever did see.

Andrew took this picture while the kids were at my parent's house and I was at work. I giggled at the thought that my husband had to somehow squeeze in there somehow.

Our drinks are done and at this point nap time is on it's way. We know we don't mess with nap time.

I'd walk you out the door, and before getting in your car, I'd show you Elli's growing sunflower. Or in her words... giant beanstalk growing to the sky. That's exactly what it looks like too.

We would hug and say "Let's not go another month before we do this!" We would laugh, knowing that it will probably be that long if not longer.

Time has been going by fast. Super fast. And there is absolutely nothing keeping it from slowing down.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Take a Museum Road Trip with Passport to Imagination

This is a #sponsored post by Michaels, but all opinions stated are that of my own.

Being the nerdy homeschooling mom that I am, I'm constantly on the lookout for fun programs to get the kids {the older one specifically} involved in learning opportunities. When I found out about Michael’s Craft Stores summer kids’ program-Passport to Imagination, I was intrigued to find out more and excited when I read the details.

This year, Passport To Imagination theme is "Museum Road Trip." The program is offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10AM-12 for 7 weeks, and includes a craft that is inspired by seven of America's most well-known museums.   The crafts are fun, interactive, and most importantly educational and if your kid loves it on Mondays, they can sign up to go that same week on Wednesday and Friday as well! Why? Because each day has a different craft! The ages listed for this event is recommended 5-12, however, if you have a toddler that loves crafts and is able to sit through with your assistance--I would definitely recommend a try. The worst thing that can happen is that you get a reason to shop at Michaels. And well that seems like a pretty good scenario to me.

Another great feature of the program is the option of doing more at home---where you are able to continue the learning with the at-home projects that they have listed online for each weekly theme. It's great to not only be able to learn something new, but to apply it, talk about it, and create a fun activity all at the same time. 

So how do you sign up?

You can register either in-store or online and the fee is $2.00 per person.

You can go here for the complete schedule and other details.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A letter to you, you, you, and me.

Dear Me,

You should shop more often. See that big smile on your face? It's because you actually went shopping and it wasn't for the kids. In fact, your kids were not even with you! Amazing how happy one can feel when they actually get to treat themselves and not get pulled at it multiple directions. I'm just asking you to do it once in a while. It really is a good thing for you. 

Dear 1000 Animal Facts Book,

You are what I read when I go to the restroom, and what I read when I get out. You are what I am reading a lot lately since you landed on my doorstep. I'd like to announce my nerd title right here and right now. Why I get excited about discovering new things to teach the kids, I cannot tell you. I just do.

Dear Graham,

My foot hurts. A lot. I have a large hematoma at the top of my left foot and I can barely walk. My hands are pretty scraped up as well.  You though? You think it's just so funny that you got a running start on your little bike while tilting your head back, watching as I am chasing behind you to only reach you right before you hit the curb and save you from crashing. Me? I crashed bad though. No more bike for you my little rebel child.

A rebel to say the least.

Dear Story Time,

We don't like when you take "one month breaks" to make changes to the program. We don't like it because then we have to patiently wait for you to start back up, and then when you do we get all sad because we have to wait another week for the next session. We do, however, love that the summer reading program is going on now and that we have already reached the first level prize!

Dear Science Projects,

We adore you. I found a great site for science ideas with toddlers {exactly what I googled}, and now we have an entire list that will surely keep us busy all summer with fun experiments. First up was the creating of the parachute and talking about surface area and how the air gets trapped and slows objects now. We could talk about these sort of things all day long, but the fact that we get to do it hands on and see it with our own eyes just makes a world of a difference. Mind blown.

To make parachute:

Get a plastic bag {or anything of similar material}, cut out a large square. Then cut out the corners to make the shape into an octagon. Next, put small holes at the end of each edge {8 holes}. Cut out 8 pieces of string of identical size. Tie the string in the holes and then tie them to a very light object--preferably one you have two of. Stand on tall surface and let go. Show them the difference in speed of two identical objects falling at the same time.  

Dear Soccer Practice,

My kid loves you. A lot. Out of all the sports and activities that we have signed her up for, this one definitely takes the cake. The entire cake. I'm going to have to figure out what we are going to do when it's actually over!

Dear E,

I cannot love you more than I do. I cannot want to hang out with you more than I already do. I just cannot get enough of you. You are at such a fun age. Your heart is just so big. You love your brother and your mama and papa so much and it just brings the greatest joy in my life to watch you blossom into this beautiful little girl. You will forever be my best friend, and I know that I will always be so sappy when it comes to you.
Dear World,

I'd like you all to know that I have lost a very long and tough battle with my husband. The battle of the xbox. Somehow he arrived home with this great big box yesterday in his hand and a pitiful "I'm sorry, I had to do it honey" look on his face. And somehow, I was not surprised at all. I knew this day would be coming, and now it has arrived.

This means that I deserve something, right?


Score big with ScoreBig.

 This is a #Sponsored post brought to you by ScoreBig. All opinions stated are that of my own.

Who out there loves to save money? Who loves to get a good deal? Who enjoys discovering a new website, a new company, or a new opportunity that concludes to keeping more money in your pocket?

The answer is pretty simple, I think---everyone.

In our family, I'm the penny counting one. I'm the one that obsesses over every dollar we spend and doesn't like to throw away any of it on something that we did not fully think through or that would better benefit us altogether. That being said, I never like to pay full price for anything----clothes, shoes, cars, our home,  our cell phones, and so forth. I have my daily deal sites, I know where to go for discount codes, and I NEVER pay for shipping.

Even if I love something.

One thing that I have never quite figured out how to get for a good price is events. I always paid less money by not getting the best seats out there, but as far as getting a good deal----not happening.

That is until I found out about ScoreBig.

When I read about what the website was about and how it works to get you the best bang for your buck, I realized that it was essentially the same concept as one of my favorite go-to websites for travel---Priceline. Except ScoreBig has nothing to do with travel. It has everything to do with entertainment. Concert tickets, sport tickets, broadway, family shows, and attractions. There are no fees and delivery is free {have I mentioned how much I love the word free}.

How does it work?

  1. You find your event.
  2. You choose where you want to sit {general area}.
  3. You name your price.
  4. You get notified right away if your deal went through.
  5. No fees, no delivery costs, just that easy!

It was honestly a 2-3 minute process for me from start to finish. I thought surely this must get complicated at some point, and it never did. I loved that I was in control and the decision maker as far as what I thought the price should be for the tickets. Better yet, I loved that I could even pick our seating and that I found out the result instantly.

Lucky for my husband, I picked us up a couple NFL tickets in the fall. In celebration of our 5 year anniversary.

Great seats, great company, and an even better deal!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Family ---- more important than words.

We went to Ohio two weekends ago to celebrate Andrew's grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. It was a big family affair with lots of food, lots of swimming, and a whole lot of reminiscing. As always, there was a lot to take from this trip. Traveling and being away from home always seems to stimulate a lot of thinking and evaluating for me.

Things that I jotted down while on the trip:

1. No matter the amount of time away from home, it never fails that we pack everything known to mankind merely to survive with two children.

2. Amazing, for the first time ever, we didn't forget a single thing.

3. Two people being married for 60 years is a pretty incredible thing. Something that many people cannot say that they have done. Also reminds me of where this journey of family began and also a glimpse of where it is heading.

4. Veggie chips are really not it anymore.  At all. And definitely not during the car ride.

5. I always feel like I need a food cleanse after a weekend like this. I mean like a no-more-food-type-cleanse. You feel gross. You feel bloated. You feel like you gained a good 10 pounds in a matter of days.

6. Orange is the new black came out while we were gone. I'm ready to watch that again.

7. Staying up to watch the sunrise {because of drinking of course} is not like the good old college days. You realize you're too old, you're too tired, and you're too needed by the little ones.

8. Sleeping in the car is also not what it is cracked out to be.

9. Tantrums on vacation are 10x more horrific than tantrums while at home. Not sure why that is---but it's just that.

10. The best part of time away from home with family is that there are an infinite amount of extra helping hands with the kids. Which means that you are infinitely more likely to rest, take a nap, and relax. Okay, exaggeration, but it helps---that's for sure.

11. A venti starbucks anything is never good for the bowels. Just saying.

And because I promised that I would take pictures on this trip {since I only seem to take out my camera once a month}, I made sure to do just that. Just a couple hundred----not my usual ridiculous amount. But just enough. Just enough for me to look back and say--I need to do this more. I'm happy because I know that it isn't every day that everyone, and I'm talking about everyone, is able to all get together from out of state.  And now we have a little memory of it in the form of a photograph.

Also? I need to be better about throwing the camera into my husband's hands. I think I was in a total of 10 pictures. Most of those were the same.

But, in the end, the most important lesson learned from this trip, and something I am constantly reminded of during these sort of things:

Family is a beautiful thing. Reminds me to never take them for granted.  

Christmas came early..... deal too good to pass up

LeapPad2 is up to 50% off {and more for accessories} today and it was a deal too good to pass up. This is exactly why I do my Christmas shopping throughout the year. The learning games are on sale up to 75% off as well!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Airport Thoughts.

People watching in the airport. While I was writing the last post, and while sitting through a 2 hour delay, I realized that I could devote an entire entry simply on the people and things that you see in the airport.

Like the girl running {barefoot} to what I'm guessing---her flight that she is about to or has missed. You know…things you learn/see/ponder when sitting at a Starbucks in the airport waiting for your flight to depart.

1. Sibling love. I saw two little girls in a stroller, probably 3 & 4 years of age--holding on to each other giggling. I imagined the future ahead of them of talking about boys, sharing clothes, and painting each other toe nails.

2. Chicago airport is ridiculously busy. And not very clean. And just makes you feel gross---simply put.

3. Another guy running. Another flight about to be missed.

4. I wore wedges to the airport. Wedges. To my defense….. I don't know any other time I am not around my children for me to actually wear this $8 find from Target.

5. Mom with the screaming toddler---I feel you. I really really feel you and want to hug you and tell you it's okay.

6. Hey flight attendant with the 6 inch pin point stilettos--- I would freak if you stepped on my foot in the aisle in those.

7. Starbucks to the rescue when you are running on zero sleep.

8.  Airport eats your battery. Like devours it and swallows it whole. I went from 80% to 4% within 3 hours---and that is after turning it off multiple times too.

9.  Good thing I wore long sleeves---it's freezing in this joint. Kind of like the hospital.

10. Flight attendants flirting with pilots is quite the entertainment.

11. One of the first things I look at when I people watch is if they have a ring on. Just something I like to know about a person. Same way as I am more intrigued by those that have children with them---how they interact, how they deal, what they brought with them, and how they travel.

12. I have yet to fly with my own children, but based on my observation from today…. traveling with young children= a lot of shit.

13. Do you ever see people dressed really cute and have this urge to take a picture so that you can copy their style? No? Okay… me neither.

14. The sunglasses inside the airport=classic. Really. Never gets old.

15. To complete my trip, father traveling with a 1 year old all by himself on Father's day= hero.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My little secret.

I'm sitting in an airport. Well, actually, by the time this goes live, I will have already arrived at my location. But let's just pretend that you are sitting next to me and I'm telling you all about it---the airport.

Do you people watch? I people watch a lot. A lot. In fact, I started this post approximately 10 minutes ago and since then I have managed to glance up no less than 50 times. People intrigue me---I'm always trying to figure out their story and guess what they are like. Why? For no good reason.

I'm at an airport, what else do you do?

Usually I am the person running to my gate, so this is just a strange thing for me to have 45 minutes to spare to sit and write. I apologize in advance if I sound discombobulated because I'm running on no sleep---literally. I have worked the past 3 nights and have not yet closed my eyes since getting off work this morning at 730. You know, because I'm also the person that packs an hour before her flight.

True story---I once went to France and started packing only when my ride came to pick me up to go to the airport {which by the way we arrived like 5 hours early to}. Good thing I went with a bunch of girls {organized girls} that love to share their stuff.

Anyways, I'm at the airport.

You're probably wondering why I am at the airport and where exactly I am going. The reason I have not said anything is because it was a surprise for my dear friend's birthday. And me? Well I'm terrible at surprises. And me? Well I am pretty darn proud of myself. For a couple reasons.

1. Because I was able to keep a surprise.

2. Because I didn't back out. I always plan stuff and then back out because I hate the idea of leaving my family.

3. Because I am actually doing something for a friend.

Another thing that I want to talk about is something significant that this trip means. Possibly.

The end to our breastfeeding journey. I never thought that it would be this hard on me, but it is. It is so strange that I was more than ready when E weaned herself off at 12 months, and yet here we are at almost 18 months and I was not prepared nor ready for this change. But I guess we have no choice right?

Can I do a little confession here.

I went to Target on the way to the airport and I purchased a single manual pump. I bought it with the intention of pumping during my visit and then leaving it up to Graham when I got home to decide whether he was ready to wean or not. I went to the car, put the purchased pump in the trunk, and then decided right then and there that I would return it when I came home.

I was not going to be taking it with me.

I sit here now and I regret it. I sit here and wonder if they will have a Target nearby that I can go to tonight and purchase another one. I think about what it means to be done and I am just so ready not to be done.

Interesting enough, as I sit here, I watch a young couple with two young children. Dad has the oldest boy in his arms trying to bounce him up and down to keep him from fussing, and mom is cradling the young infant attempting to do the very same thing dad is. And I think about what they must be going through, and I think about my own family back at home, and somehow I keep thinking back to this question that I have in mind----to pump or not to pump.

I don't yet know the answer to that.

What I do know is that no one wants to hear me talk extensively about my breasts, my pump, or anything else that has to do with bodily fluids.

So with that, I depart. Waiting on my second flight to my final destination.

Jody---here I come!

Oh--and I apologize for those that thought there would be baby news on the horizon. All the baby talk kind of, sort of, maybe a little, made me think about another one.

Just for a little.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What a Father Means to Me and Deals for Dad

This is a #Sponsored post brought to you by Kohl's. All opinions stated are that of my own.

Around this time every year I find myself reflecting on my husband as a father. I guess that is what you do when Father's day approaches, but it is interesting to me how a day can really put things in perspective for you. It also reminds me to do these things on a regular basis---think about my husband and his role in the family, appreciate him more, and acknowledge his hard work. Period.

And so for this Father's day, I wanted to make a top 10 list of things that my husband does that I don't give enough appreciation for. The little things that too often go unnoticed.

1. You clean diapers. Even the dirty ones. And lots of them actually.
2. You give the kids their baths and put them to bed solo 3 times a week when I have to work at the hospital. You even squeeze in books and cuddles and bedtime stories.

3. You play with them. On the ground kind of play with them. You make them laugh until their bellies hurt and you let them do all the fun stuff with you. The kind of stuff that I turn my head and pretend I don't see.
4. You give me my time to sleep, to unwind, and to just get away for a moment while you distract the children. Even if it's for a moment. And even if the smallest child is shaking the gate screaming "mama" for the 20th time. You just do it. And I love you for that

5. You will cook. And not just that---you cook and it is phenomenal.

6. You accept my crazy emails with links to articles without arguing with me. You read them, and then you allow me to talk about it and give you my thoughts. No matter if or if not you agree.

7. You parent with me. Not against me. Not in front or behind me. You parent with me. And if we are not on the same page {and we may very well not be}, and if we don't see eye to eye, you take the time to let me talk about it with you and we figure it out together.

8. You make really good strawberry shortcake and hot fudge sundaes. {That's clearly the most important father role}.

9. You always want to be better. You think about every situation and every discipline and every moment and think about how/what we could have done better. You think about the future and what kind of father you want to be.

10. You want nothing but the best kind of happiness for your family. Because they are your number one in your life.

I could never fully describe my husband and the kind of father that he is to our children. I could never find the perfect gift to show my gratitude, as his wife to him, for all these years of going through parenting with me. But I sure could try to shower him with love and little things that I know will make him smile.

Need ideas? I have them right here for you:
This year, I did my shopping with Kohl's   and I absolutely cannot wait for him to take a peak into his goody basket that the kids and I put together. Of course I shopped with savings in mind, and of course Kohl's never fails to deliver. I can get numerous things of great quality and still have money left over in my pocket.

Above, I have put together my favorite finds, deals and steals, and gifts that will suit all the great dads out there. Plus Kohl's has some coupon codes on their website going on now! Most of the deals that I found above are 50% off regular price or more. Don't forget to get free shipping when you spend $75.00 or more and if you use your Kohl's charge card, you could save up to an additional 30% off!

Nothing says I love you dad like a new razor, some colorful polos, and a brand new spanking watch.

What about you? What are your dads in your life in need of this year?

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