Thursday, January 31, 2013

Things You Learn When You Own A House. And Children.

Well, I don't exactly own my children. But then again, I do.

But this post isn't about that. What it is about is the fact that 3 years {almost} into this house ownership thing, 3.5 years into marriage, and 2.5 years into motherhood... I happened to have learned a thing or two that I hope to remember in the future. To tell my children as well as myself, of what not to do, or specifically, what not to buy when you 1. Have children and 2. Have a brain {which apparently I did not... hence why this post is written}.

We will call this... Life Lessons within the Home.

1. You really can live without a microwave. Shocker. I know. Here is the thing though. One day... a while ago, our microwave decided to call it quits and die on us. What do people typically do? Well they buy another microwave. Over the stove, I mean. But us? Well we waited. And we waited. And waited. For no good reason except for the fact that as more time went by... the more we were convinced that we really didn't need it. Any guesses as to how long it took us to finally buy one {and install it}? Nine months. NINE.

After that, I could technically live in a cave. Technically.

2. Be careful when buying furniture online. Let me tell you about a girl. A girl who once ordered a coffee table set from overstock. This particular coffee table set looked nice in the pictures. Very nice. And then they came. And then we realized that you could see every little fingerprint or imperfection every time you or something touched it. So? Two years later we get rid of it. And then we get another coffee table. And by we, I mean this girl. And this girl... again turns to overstock. And again... the same thing. This girl? Me. Husband still won't let me live this one down.

3. Don't buy glass table. It gets the crustiest of crust and nastiest of nasty in the little cracks and crevices. I mean... I don't even need to explain this one, do I?

4. Don't even dare buy nice furniture. If you have children. Or planning on having children. Or a dog. How do the people with extremely fancy homes and expensive furniture have kids as well? Do they handcuff their hands and duct tape their mouths? And their butts?

Serious questions here. Because my dog has managed to put holes in so many pillows, throws, couches. And my children have managed to get bodily fluids on furniture pieces that I dare not say.

Lovely right?


5. Just don't buy furniture, period. That is my solution to all this. Just sit in the middle of the living room and enjoy a nice family session. It will definitely save you the trouble of "baby proofing" and "bodily fluids" and "hand prints" and "holes in pillows" and every other nightmare that you never envisioned when standing in front of that salesman at the furniture store picking out the perfect sofa to place in your living room.

Why. Why. Oh Why.

The end.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy 1 Month Graham Man!

Remind me to never look down like that again {hence the double chin}. But seriously, look at that sweet smile in his sleep! 



A month. Has it been a month since Christmas, really? A month since the big snow storm? A month since I laid eyes on you? Say it isn't so.

It has been a wonderful month, and you have truly made this so easy on us. Truly. I know I have recapped your life week after week, but from here on out, we are to monthly bud. But I am just as excited to keep track of everything you are doing, all your little milestones and achievements, and documenting our every day lives since your arrival.

So this past week....

We mastered the bottle. Yes! Why is this important? Because with Elliana it took a whole two days {and lots of crying} before she would take one. With you? It took a whole two tries. I wanted to make sure we practiced this since I will be going back to work in a couple of months and you will have to take mama's milk in a bottle 3 nights a week. You are a champ!

You love to hang out in mama's lap while big sissy naps. This is our time together. Of course I smother you with tons of kisses and talk and sing to you. Often times you drift off to sleep, but I won't move you. I like you hanging out with me while I do some work on the computer. I don't think you mind either.

Last week I had mentioned how I was started to over-supply in breast milk like I had with your sister. So I knew it was time to start pumping and saving for when I would go back to work. That and you were having trouble with choking, as my milk was too much and too fast at times. We have worked on this, and it is much improved.

You love to sleep on our chests and sleep the best and longest on there. We are spoiling rotten with love, and you know what... that's quite alright!

I haven't mentioned in any of your letters about your puppy dog Carson. You know the one that your mama scolds all the time for his bad behavior. That one. Anyways, I do want to make note of the fact that he has been amazing with you since day one, never bothers you, and really overall leaves you alone. Such a difference in comparison to when we brought Elliana home. Huge difference.

You still love your sleep. A lot. Look at these pictures... it's like you are a brand new spankin baby. The sad thing is that most of my pictures are of you sleeping! I mean, honestly, you probably still sleep 20 hours a day. Really, it's a strange thing. You are super alert when you are awake, but boy do you sure love your sleep. Which reminds me of a certain special someone... your papa. Two peas in a pod. And honey, I'm not complaining. 

We are going on two weeks and counting of mama getting sprayed during a diaper change. I am thoroughly impressed. And no more leaking on clothes. The folding the diaper down is the best trick out there! Thank you Dr. Google.

You don't seem to mind car rides or trips. In fact you can sleep 2-3 hours in your car seat without making a peep. This has proven to be a lifesaver for when we take your big sissy out for her activities.

I know last week that your eyes were more of a grey-blue color, and this week we have really noticed how they are turning more blue. I may have been wrong in my prediction... we may have another blue-eyed baby.

But the hair? I don't see it turning blonde like your sisters. I could always be wrong, but I just don't see you as a blonde. I went ahead and looked back at your sister's baby books... and it looks like her hair was exactly like yours until she turned about 5 months old. So? I could be wrong. But I truly can't picture you as a blonde. What do I know anyway.

A lot of people have been saying that you look very much like your mama, however I just don't see it. Most days though when I look at you, I think of your papa. Maybe it's because you are a "boy." but I never had that feeling with Elliana. I just feel like you are a mini version of him. And I hope so... because he's a pretty special guy little man.

Your sweet smiles while you sleep are contagious. And they happen a lot.

I am really looking forward to all the little milestones to come. The one that I am really excited for is your first laugh. I can't imagine, but I know I will fall in love with you even more when I hear that little giggle. You want to know another little secret? Just between me and you? I love calling you little man and little guy. It's so much fun. Your big sister also calls you that all day. So does your papa. I'm beginning to think that you may not know that your real name is actually Graham, and not "little guy."

Thank you for blessing us with such a wonderful month. You have made our lives so much richer and memorable since you came into this world. We are so thankful for your life.

Your mama, papa, and big sister Elliana.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My One and Only Fashion Post with Giveaway.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you have probably figured out by now that I am not exactly a fashion blogger. Not even close. Not at all.

What I am though is a fashion lover. And wanna-be. And the one thing that normally holds me back... is the deal part. I'm all about it, remember. So to me? I just cringe at the thought of spending ridiculous amounts of money to put clothes in my closet and accessories in my jewelry case. Cringe.

But, when I find a place I can shop that can keep me both trendy and not break the bank? Well then. Then that's when you {the world} gets a fashion post from me {the mama fashion-wanna-be}.

Not only will you see me showing off my outfit, but you will also see what I accessorized it with. Then you get to run off and get a chance to win yourself shop credit to the amazing Molly Suzanne boutique online.

And leave comments on how I should do more fashion poss. No really, please don't.

So Molly? Is amazing. She blogs here. She has two beautiful boys and she is goooorgeous. Now she? She is a fashion blogger. She puts the cutest outfits together with the cutest accessorizes, has beautiful blue eyes and immaculate hair. I sound like I'm in love with her, yes? Well I do love her.

And so when I found out that she had opened up her own little accessory shop? I was not in the bit surprised. Hello! She's so trendy and she knows the latest and greatest in fashion!

What I love most about her shop is the price! Again, bargain shopper over here. She allows you the opportunity to shop on a budget. She gets it. A mama wants to look cute while not dipping into her the college savings for the kiddos. Yes.

Molly also generously allowed me to pick an item of my choice, and I knew right away what I wanted {I had been stalking her site}. I was so excited when it arrived and I even made the husband take some pictures of me {he hates taking pictures}. What I love most about this scarf is that I can wear it with just about anything. For me though, comfort and on-the-go was key. This scarf? Did it for me.

Of course I could have picked just about anything else on the website and loved it, and that is why I am super jealous that you get the opportunity to win $25.00 credit to her shop! From jewelry, to belts and scarves, you will certainly find a piece to fall in love with!

Follow the rules below {I do check}, and hopefully you win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**And clearly I failed at the "fashion" part of this post as I neither wore earrings, my arm candy, or even showed you my pants and shoes.
**I mean. I didn't even tell you where my shirt is from.
**Sigh. Back to yoga pants I go.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Toddlerhood. It's Contagious.

Elliana is so two.
She is all personality. Stubborn. Strong-willed. Adventurous. Fun. Happy.Curious. Every other word you could think of that describes the best stage in the world.

Did you spit out your coffee? Did she really just say "best" stage in the world.

Okay, okay, yes, I know... it's also quite the challenging stage. It is. I'm not going to lie here. Having such a strong-willed two year old proves to be very difficult at times... many times. However, that being said, it doesn't change the fact that it is by far my favorite stage.

I love this constant talking, constant running around, constant head full of imagination toddler.

How fun it is to watch my daughter form new sentences on a daily basis. Sentences that sound so stinkin' ridiculously cute coming from this high pitched little girl. The inflection in her voice. The constant questioning on what this is and that is, and why this works that way.

How fun it is to watch her tear a room apart in 0.5 seconds. For the tenth time that day. Okay, lies, this is not fun when I'm forced to get down on my knees and help her clean it up. But while she is doing it? And watching her do so? Is pure entertainment.

How fun it is to see her explore, discover, and imitate the world around us. To act like a "little person." To pretend to sweep and mop around the house. To grab a wipe and start wiping the tables. "Cleaning, mama." "I help." Cleaning.

How fun to hear her repeat things that mama or papa says. "Sit down." or "Okay, call you back, thank you bye." Not sure who she heard that from?

And that smile. Hold me, that smile. When she's done something good. When she's done something not so good. She just smiles. And her eyes sparkle. And all I want to do is scoop her in my arms, squeeze her, and hold on to this stage forever.

It's so contagious.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Couple Things. And Instagram Collage.

*First, I want to start off by saying thank you to everyone who has introduced themselves on Friday's post. I had so much fun that night and yesterday during nap time reading a little about everyone, who they are, where they're from, and why they read. I have only gotten a chance to reply to a fraction of the people so far, but I'm getting there! Also, there were about 50 people that were no-reply emails... so I wasn't able to reply to some people and answer some questions. Please be sure to check your settings. And if you haven't introduced yourself yet, please do! I'd love to get to know you more.

*We are really enjoying gymnastics. It's a ten week every Saturday class and Elliana thrives in it. We were a bit nervous after the first week because Elliana was over-the-top excited, but she has done so well the past two weeks. It is something we look forward to all week. I'm in the process now of signing her up for swim lessons and dance. Then hopefully soccer in the fall. If you have a toddler who you signed up for soccer, let me know what age you did so and if they enjoyed it! I think Elliana will love it, as one of her favorite things is kicking the ball.

*Little man turned one yesterday. One month, I mean really. His one month post is scheduled for this week. I think on Tuesday.

*The weather around these parts has been in the single digits. Freezing. Needless to say, we have been pretty cooped up and trying to keep ourselves busy with crafts and varies activities. It's still not enough though. I'm ready for warm weather.

*I'm looking for a great dance/activity DVD for Elliana. Any recommendations? I want something she can dance to and it gets her moving {since the weather isn't cooperating}.

*Which reminds me.. I need a recommendation for a workout video. I'm ready to get abs of steel. Tell me what worked for you and how you liked the DVD's that you tried. Thank you in advance!

*Anyone notice anything different on the blog? Yeah yeah, I know I said I wouldn't change it. It's just a slight change. I wanted to freshen things up. I still have a couple more changes coming.... in time.

*I have a fabulous giveaway coming up this week from this cute boutique! Check it out!

*If you are looking for a great valentine's day gift, or looking to get a canvas, check out this deal on eversave. You get a 16x20 canvas for $36 and this includes free shipping. I have used this company for a couple canvases in our home and have been pleased each time.

*I have tons to talk about around here. Lots of talk about life with two, how things are different, some funny posts, and more. I'm not sure why anyone even listens to my rambles or why I feel the need to blabber so much... but hey they are scheduled and coming. Hopefully I will get a lot of questions answered that people have emailed me about.

That's all I have. Happy Sunday :)

A Happy Wife in Nola

Hi everyone! I am so excited to share a little bit about me with you! I am Louisiana proud, a southern belle in New Orleans that bleeds black & gold (the Saints) and purple & gold (LSU)! I have the most wonderful husband, Edward. We were married on July 16, 2011 after 6 years of dating. He is currently in law school and I am his "sugar mama" :) {}We can't wait to start our family when he graduates. You will find me talking a lot about my strong call to motherhood and desire to have children! { for now I am very happy being a "mom" to our cute pup, Dexter. He is a maltipoo, looks about 6 months old but is really almost 3 years old!

Here are some interesting facts about me!
  1. I have a massive shoe fetish. I have to limit me to a new pair of shoes per season. Unless Edward let's me get a special treat :) {}
  2. I have a newfound love for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I literally want to redo every piece of furniture in house. And I am well on my way to doing so! {}
  3. I have six brothers and am the only girl. I absolutely love it and wouldn't have it any other way. It helps that I am the second youngest and definitely the princess :) But thank goodness for sister-in-laws! My family is everything to me. {}
  4. I am a marketing director for a local hospital but an event planner at heart. I love planning events. Specifically weddings :) I just started "Wedding Wednesdays" posts on my blog and I am so excited to continue it! Here a glimpse at one of the posts - "Saying Yes To The Dress".{}
  5. I am really focusing on getting back on track with my healthy lifestyle! I went through some issues with my anxiety this past year and lost focus on keeping up my usual active lifestyle. More than ever, especially with the hope of children in the near future, my health is of highest importance to me. I am on a journey to loose the weight I had gained and be healthy for myself, my husband and our future children. I welcome any and all support and motivation :){}
To sum me up, I am a very happy and positive person. I always try to have a smile on my face :) My husband gets embarrassed sometimes because I say "hello" or at least smile at everyone I see. It makes me happy and I hope it makes them happy too. My life is busy but my life is good. God has blessed me in so many ways. I love meeting new friends and have met some really amazing and inspiring ladies since I started blogging. I can't wait to meet you!! Thank you for spending some time learning about me :) xoxo!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Say hello, I'd love to meet you.

I remember seeing this kind of post on a blog last year and had made a mental note to do something similar on my blog as a way for me to get to know my readers. Last year.

Obviously my memory hasn't served me quite well in the blog aspect, and it wasn't until I saw this again a few weeks ago that I decided to make that "mental note" a permanent thing.

So here we are. Here I sit. And I'm going to ask you to take time out of your day, your hectic schedules, your lives and say hello. Even if it's to tell me your name and where you're from... I'd love to know!

Why? Because I'm always interested to know who exactly is reading out there. Why you read. What keeps you coming back for more. Are you a mom as well? If so, how many kids do you have. Are you a nurse? If so, what area do you work in? Do you blog? Tell me about it. From a different country? ME TOO! So tell me where. Is there something you'd like for me to talk about on the blog? If so, what. A question? Shoot away. Just want to chat? I'm listening.

I spend so much of my time telling my readers about my life, my thoughts, and my family, that I'd like to for once not talk about me.. and talk about you.

Because I know there are readers out there that may not blog, I am going to open up anonymous comments in hopes of hearing from as many of you as possible and learning more about you.

So, what do you say? Will you say hello and tell me about yourself? I would love to meet you.

Another Elli Video. "Woops"

This one is from a couple of weeks ago. Elliana got a hold of my phone and started recording. Funny part is... Graham lets out a little something and her reaction is just classic.

The first time I saw this video... I watched it on over and over about 20 minutes and laughed hysterically. It still makes me laugh every time I see it.

Happy Friday

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My First Trip Out. Alone. Just ME & the Ruggrats.

January 9th, 2013.

Does a doctor's appointment count?

I mean.... I wish I could sit here and tell you how two weeks post partum we climbed around at the little gym, licked our fingers after a yummy lunch at Panera, discovered dinosaurs at the children's museum, and somehow mustered in a park date with our neighbors from down the street. All while giggling, laughing, and loving on one another. Not to mention staying clean and fed with a bright smiling face.

So. You wouldn't have believed me, right?

Okay. So what we did do, which I believe is equally as noteworthy as the example above,was we were able to get up early as usual. Get showered. Get dressed {all three of us}, eat breakfast, and overall look presentable. I hate to even admit this, but I even had 20 minutes there where I was twiddling my thumbs saying to myself "Man. I wish this appointment was half an hour sooner. We are ready."

And we were. And I soooo didn't want to jinx this.

But alas, the time came and we headed out the door to the doctor's office. Which, today, happened to be the most packed it had ever been. But thankfully we were called right away.

Elliana listened. From start to finish. She was an absolute angel and I was just waiting for the moment that she would defy me, run away, throw a tantrum, or scream at the top of her lungs. That moment never happened.

And because the appointment went so well and smoothly, what did this mama do next? Well she decided to make a quick trip to the grocery store to grab a few things.


Let me tell you though, I must have been a big fat OBVIOUS to viewers out there that this was my first time out with two. It took me a couple of trips around the car to figure out which side I wanted to go to first and which kid to get out first, and how to do so while maneuvering this giant vehicle that they call a grocery cart without jamming the other cars beside me.

I may have bumped the van. Maybe.

But alas, I figured it out. And we made it into the store. And out of the store {which is key}.

I didn't take a breath though until I pulled into the garage of our house. Got both kids out. Got the groceries out. Got everyone undressed {all twenty layers}. Grabbed a water. And then plopped myself on the couch while letting a big sigh of relief out.

We survived. We survived, and we lived to tell about it.

It. Wasn't too bad. This time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Little Guy's Third Week


Dear Graham,

You are still what I like to call the "perfect" baby. Sometimes I forget that we even have a newborn in our house. You have fit so perfectly in our lives that we feel like you have been around forever. Yet, it's only been 3 weeks.

The most beautiful, wonderful, and memorable three weeks.

Your sister is still so utterly in love with you. I don't see that changing anytime soon, or ever, so I'm not sure why I even bring it up anymore. I mean, I'm not sure what I expected... but definitely not this. She is in love with her "little guy." She mommies you. Adores you. Soothes you. She is the everything and more we ever hoped for our children. I can already tell you two will have one special, special, bond.

Chunky thighs. Wish I could tell you how much you weigh. We were more on top of these things with your little sister. But I think that your rolls speak for themselves. Little miniature rolls at this time.

Getting more fussy when awake. Which means you are also awake more often. Which means that you are stuck to our arms. Something we were trying to avoid this time around. But how could we resist those snuggles? You love them. We love them. And if that means that we will have yet another very attached child, then we welcome it with open arms!

I didn't get pee-pee'd on this week. Is that sad that I am writing this in your letter. Is it sad that this is the third time I am writing this in your letter. About your pee pee situation.

We celebrated your third week of life on the same day that we celebrated your aunt's 18th birthday. You have to know something special about this aunt of yours. I helped raise her basically. Changed her diapers. Babysat her when I was 9/10 years old. And have watched her grow. So, to see her an adult now, just brings tears to my eyes. Because that means that you guys grow up just as fast, if not faster.

Your eyes. They are a dark grey eyes. Although they are bound to change in the next 9 months, they are definitely quite different than Elliana's were at this age which makes me come to the conclusion that you two will have different color eyes. My guess? Hazel blue.

You are wearing 0-3 month clothes and size 1 diapers. You could still wear the newborns but we ran out of those last week, so be it.

Not a fan of bath time. But then again do I blame you? I don't think it would be exactly very fun to sit in a tub that's not really full of water and therefore you are hanging in the air waiting for the "sponge bath" in the tub. Yup. No fun.

You have been making a lot of cute little baby sounds and we absolutely adore it.

You smile so much in your sleep.
Hiccup still quite a bit, but definitely less often. And those newborn sneezes are now few and far between.

You know what isn't few and far between? Your poopy diapers. Enough about that.

I bet you are also wondering what mama Dr. Googled this week? Well it went something like this.... "Three week old passes tons of gas...." Like lots. Like o-m-g every hour, multiple times an hour. And they are loud. And adult-man like. Not stinky. Just there. So I turned to my favorite doctor, google who explained to me that I am an over-producer in milk. True statement, I am. I was with your sister too. You are getting a lot of the foremilk and not enough of the hindmilk. Which means... I need to start pumping!

Might I mention how much of a boob man you are already. "Ah mam, there you go embarrassing me again." I'm sorry my sweetheart. But really, you are. It's your soothing mechanism. Even if you aren't hungry... you just want to fall asleep on the boob.

We tried the pacifier with you as we did your sister, and just like your big sis, you have been x'ing that idea since day one. We still try... hopeful, but I have a feeling we won't be winning this one.

Alas, another week is over and the next time we do a post like this you will be a month old! I just can't believe it. Which reminds me that I will be going back to working nights at the hospital in two months. That means we better buckle up son and start pumping lots of milk, start training you on the bottle for when papa will need to feed you, and hopefully get you sleeping through the night.

No pressure.

Oh how we love you so. Words aren't enough. We are so excited to watch you grow!

Your Mama, Papa, and your dearest big sister Elliana.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Birth Announcement Reveal


Prior to Graham's arrival, I was in search of birth announcements. I'm a little planner you know when it comes to these things. Because if I do not plan ahead? Believe me, it just won't get done.

I chalked it up to me being nine months pregnant and very much into the whole nesting stage. Whatever the reason though, a birth announcement was picked out and all I needed was my little man here in my arms, snap a photo, and make it official.

And official we made it. It didn't take long for me to look through tiny print's birth announcements and find one that fit perfectly for our little man.

This was the first time that I had worked with Tiny Prints, and I must say I was thoroughly impressed from start to finish. Quick shipment. Great quality cards. Great options {rounded corners with a shiny glitter coating and address labels to match}.

I will most definitely be turning to Tiny Prints for future birth announcements. I mean..... ;)
***I was not compensated to write this post. I was simply given a product to review and all opinions and statements in this post are that of my own.

The Sleep Situation.

Sleep situation. The topic of the day. Actually, the topic for the past 6+ months. Specifically, on the blog, the topic the past two days. Yesterday I talked about how this {sleep time} is a time I cherish with Elliana {very much so}. However, today, I will talk about the "problems" that we have run into with our sleep situation {after we put her to sleep} since Graham was born.

You see, when Elliana learned how to climb out of a crib when she was roughly 20 months old, our lives were in for a drastic change. Prior to this little "situation" Elliana was sleeping 13 hours through the night. She went to bed at 7pm, and woke up around 8am. She would go to be with no problem. She could be wide awake, you set her in the crib, and she would say "night night mama" and then drift off to sleep whenever she felt like it. No rough housing. No horsing around. Quiet as a bird. Er, a quiet bird.

And then the situation happened. And clearly we couldn't leave her in the crib that she insisted on climbing out of. And clearly we needed a big girl bed. So after a few clicks and searches, a bed was ordered and that was that. In the meantime, this meant the toddler would be sleeping with the parents. Us. In our bed. And? We discovered a new found love for this co-sleeping world.

Two weeks later, it comes {the bed}, we set it up and off she goes. She does okay a couple of nights. But since she had grown accustomed to us sleeping with her, it was now a "necessary" thing that we lay down with her until she fell asleep.

Sometimes this took ten minutes. Sometimes 45. Sometimes... I would even fall asleep with her. And often times... she would wake up in the middle of the night and come into bed with us. Okay, like every night.

She had nothing against her big girl bed. She loved it. She just always wanted one of us, specifically me, in there with her.

Regardless, we continued on with this for months. There were even nights that we skipped the toddler bed and would just lay down with her in our bed and that was that.

Fast forward to the baby coming.

I need another cup of coffee for this one.

Lets just try to make this as short and sweet as possible since I have already written a novel and I haven't even gotten to the core of ... the situation.

You see, the baby boy came and we quickly realized that uh-oh what are we going to do with our usual night time routine? How do we put her down? What if the baby is crying at the same time as I am trying to put E to sleep? What if Elliana is crying because she needs her mama? What about when she wakes up in the middle of the night and comes to our room? And HELLO the baby is a newborn which means he wakes up every two hours! What will that do to her sleep?

Oh yes, all the wonderful questions. All the different scenarios. All which pleasantly occurred at our house time and time again.

Let me paint a picture for you of what would happen.

We would do the usual bath time, story time, pj time routine. Then I'd feed and change the baby, and off to Andrew's arms he would go. I would then climb into bed with Elliana {per her insistent request} and we would try to go to sleep. Sometimes this would take the longer time than usual. You know the 45 minutes to an hour that I mentioned. And then I would hear the baby scream. Andrew would run upstairs to try to get me, and just when I think that Elliana is fast asleep, she awakes. And then she screams and cries. And although Andrew tries so very hard to calm her down and lay with her... oh no, it's a MAMA mama MAMA must do it type thing.

So then I find myself running back and forth from baby to toddler until finally she fell asleep. And although I wish I could say that once she was asleep she stayed asleep... that's not quite the case here.

Sometimes she wouldn't wake up until midnight. Sometimes just a couple hours later. Sometimes not until 2 am. Whatever the time, she would come into our room crying. Of course we welcomed her with open arms, gave her kisses, tucked her in right next to us and called it a night. The end.

I wish.

Remember, we have a newborn on our hands. So he's waking up every two hours. Then Elliana will wake up crying. Which turns into screaming. Which turns into wanting to go downstairs and then... you guessed it... more screaming. We were so confused by all this, as it was so new to us. Figured it was just the whole baby interrupting her sleep. Understandable. However, we were running on little sleep, easily frustrated, and did not know how to handle the situation. Send her to her room. Try to lay her down with us again. Talk to her. Hold her. Even got frustrated with her. Nothing worked, nothing.

In the morning, Elliana would wake up happy as a clam and would go about her day as though she had gotten 13 hours of full un-interrupted sleep. Her mama and papa though? Texting and calling back and forth trying to figure out how to fix the situation.

We tried more things. Tried the whole mama sleep downstairs with baby. Nope, didn't work. Tried the whole papa sleep with Elliana. Nope didn't work. She always needed mama... but baby needed mama too... and I couldn't leave one or the other.

I was seriously at a loss. At this point, I was ready to pay someone to figure out how to put me in two places at once.

And then one night, after getting super frustrated with Elliana {although not her fault, it was my lack of sleep}, I decided that we had to come up with a new plan.

So we did. And we have been testing it out the past week and it's been working. Working. Actually WORKING. For now.

I put Elliana to sleep as we always do. A time I cherish and something I plan to do for as long as she lets me. Then every time she wakes up, I run to her and put her back into her bed and climb back in. Usually at this point it doesn't take long for her to fall asleep as she's super tired, and then I sneak out again. This happens about 2-3 times during the night, and then she sleeps in until about 8 {in her own room}, never having to cry and get upset, and getting the rest that she needs. And her mama and papa are getting better rest, not frustrated, and feel better about the situation.

We hope that as time passes and we continue to do this that eventually she will stop waking up in the middle of the night and will continue to sleep in her room.

It's sad to see my baby grow up. Hard to see her have to go through some difficult and frustrating times for her. But also amazing to watch her adapt to these situations and continue to teach us how to be better parents.

Like I told Andrew the other day... "We aren't perfect. We won't always get it right. But we are always learning because we love our children so much."

Being parents doesn't get easier, but our children make it well worth it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Time I Cherish with Elliana

Since Graham entered this world and our lives, things have obviously changed in our family. How we do things. How we plan our day. How we divide duties around the house. How we function as a whole. 

It's no surprise that Elliana is a major part of that "whole," our day, and our hearts. Therefore, it was very important to me that when we made changes in our schedule and lives that we did so with her in mind.

One of the things, rather a special time, that I cherish with Elliana is sleep time. This includes both naps and night time. I've mentioned before that this past August we had a major shift in Elliana's sleeping patterns. We went from crib, to our bed, to her big girl bed, to now a mix of both. But something that stayed consistent during the past 6 months and during all the changes in sleeping patterns, was that Andrew or myself always put her to bed. Always.

So when Graham came, I wondered how we would work around this important aspect of our daughter's life. What I did know for certainty was that I didn't want to eliminate it. It was a time that was important for her. It was a safety net for Elliana. It was also a time that I cherished most with her.

And with our world completely changing, I wanted and needed this time with my precious girl.

We have made it work.

From the day we brought Graham home, I have been able to put Elliana down for a nap and bedtime. Each and every day/night. And I have honestly cherished it more than ever before.

The first night, I'll admit it... I cried while I held her. Just taking everything in. Realizing how things had changed. Yet at the same time, holding on to the one thing, one person that has remained stable in our lives. It hit home.

After that, we just made it work. At the end of the day, it's my "me" time with my girl. Sometimes we lay in bed for 10 minutes and she passes out. Sometimes it's more like 45 minutes. Sometimes we just lay there and hold each other. Sometimes, we just sing songs and giggle and act like goofballs. Sometimes we recap our day.

But always we whisper ten too many I love you's, and always it feels so comforting to be there for my daughter as she closes her eyes to fall into a deep sleep.

Always, I will cherish this time with her. Always.

Tomorrow, I will talk more in depth on our sleep situation. The later in the night sleep situation.

Meghan & Emily & A Giveaway!

*Meet Meghan*


*Meet Emily*

Emily is also gracious enough today to be giving away a TARGET gift card and MAC MAKEUP to one lucky reader! Follow the easy entries below and then remember to check your emails once the giveaway ends to see if you are the winner! I will also post on the right sidebar when giveaway winner has been chosen and a congrats will be sent via my facebook/twitter page! Happy Entries! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Don't Cwy Little Guy

This is all the time.
If he starts making a PEEP, she stops what she is doing and runs to him.
"Don't CWY little guy!"
"Don't CWY"

"I'm coming little guy, I'm coming!"

And she caresses him. Holds his hand. And tells me all about little guy, or little brother, or baby brother. It seriously is the most heart melting thing in the world.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I love Free Money.

 Shop Ebates

  • I had heard of this website years ago. In fact, I'm pretty sure I signed up a long time ago. But it wasn't until a couple of months ago when I kept hearing about all this "money" people were making that I finally jumped on the bandwagon.
  • THANK goodness I did!
  • Just in the one month that I had signed up {of course it was Christmas time}, from all the shopping and referring, I will be receiving a big fat check of over $600 here in the next month.
  • How does it work?
    • Go to ebates, search the store you want to shop at {i.e. ebay, amazon, kohls, macys, etc}, it will then direct you to that website and give you a percentage cash back from the total of your purchase
    • No strings attached!
  • Another incentive: Get a $10.00 gift card of your choice for joining after spending $25.00 online! 
  • Referral program: refer 25 people and get $375 back! Refer more, get more! For every person you refer you get $5.00
Now. Who doesn't love free money? 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Our First Day. Our "perfect" First Day.


I knew I wanted to document this day before it even started. The first day of the beginning.... dun dun dun. Sounds mysterious, right? That's because it is. You don't know what the first day will be like. Or the second. Or the third. In fact, one day may look completely different from the rest. One day could be a good day. The others? Not so much. One day, I could look like I had it together. The others? Falling apart. Regardless of the kind of day this was going to be, I wanted to make sure that I had something to look back on and remember these little life changes that are happening. Right here. Right now.

So....."how was it?!" Is that what you are thinking or saying?

It was perfect. Slap me across the face. SLAP.

Okay, ask me again. "How was it?!"

It was perfect.

I know, I know what you are all thinking. And probably what my future self is thinking. Naive, naive, silly, clueless, little girl. I get it. Who wants to hear that the first day a mama is home with her two babies goes perfect? WHO?


Why? Because I want to always remind myself that good days do exist. That good days are important. That there are good days out of every day.... however way you want to look at it. And that perfect? Doesn't exist. But if you have a good day, a great day, or a day that you can look back on and smile? Then, well, that to me, is one perfect day.

I want to be able to look back on this day and say "Women are truly powerful. Women can absolutely do anything. We are so vital to this world and to our children, and we need to say it proudly." It's amazing what we are able to accomplish in a day. It's amazing how our bodies work. Amazing how our hearts grow. Amazing how we bring our families together. 

I want to be able to look back on this day and see that is is possible to shower before 8 am. It is possible to prepare all three meals with the healthiest options available for my children. That it is possible to do some work around the house. And lastly, that it is possible to still squeeze in me time, even if that means having a cup of coffee in hand, sitting on the couch, and doing what you love to do most... write.

Will it always be this way? Absolutely not. Will I always have the energy to squeeze in multiple activities with my daughter, crafting, learning, and reading every book we own? Absolutely not. Will my baby boy always sleep this long and this often? We all know that is about to change. How about when he starts crawling and getting into things? Well that will be a whole new world of "life adjustments." And what about the days that my toddler wants to disobey everything I say? Those days exist, and they exist quite often. Or how about when my fridge is empty and I won't want to tackle going to the store in the dead of winter with one feisty toddler and a baby who's cries could be heard miles away? There's nothing like a good carry out pizza delivered straight to the door.
What I'm trying to say about all this is that I needed this first great, "perfect" day with my kids. There were lots of laughs. Naps were taken. Food was prepared and eaten {that is essential}. Learning activities were taking place.  Play time outside {and building of two pathetic snowmen} were had. Dishes were washed. Pictures were taken and sent to the husband. Lots of diapers were changed.  Kisses were given. And hugs were well received.

At the end of the day, when my husband came home and asked... "So honey, how was it," I was able to look him in the eye, plant a kiss and on his lips, and honestly say... "Perfect."

Forget the fact that my yoga pants had a whole in them, my hair was frizzy with mascara smeared across my eyes, and the cheerios that were now nicely sprawled {might I add crushed} across my living room floor.

Forget all that. Because having two healthy children that love you unconditionally.....Is what defines perfection.

And, thus, today was perfect.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

$8.00 spring dress, Charles David Shoes, Boppy pillow, and more! Huge Sales today!

Large sales today on zulily and totsy when I logged in. So many that it was hard to choose from what I wanted. So this is how nap time was spent today. Below are some of the great finds {there is so much more} and direct links on top of the finds in grey. Happy Shopping!

$8.00 Spring Dresses, yes please! 75% off

Boppy- 75% off- Almost sold out!

Charles David Shoes

Keen Bags

Keen Shoes & Boots {mens, womens, and children}

*These are the ones I purchased, far right. They are running shoes... in hopes that..well, I start running.

Jelly The Pug- 60% off

EMU Australia: 50% off

Initial Request- 50% off

OiOi Diaper Bags

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