mother daughter

Happy Mother’s Day

Almost 3 years ago exactly (thanks Facebook memories), I quit working to stay home with my then only child who was 1 year old. Many people expressed joy that I would be able to do this. Then there were others who wanted to “warn” me of how I would feel. Suffocated, bored, etc. These were just a few ways people told me that I would feel about being a stay at home mother (SAHM). I can 100% say at this point that they were/are wrong. For me, being home with my kids (now two of them) has been an amazing journey. It was absolutely the right choice for me and my family. I loved working and plan on going back at some point.

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 Right now I focus all of my time and energy on snuggling up my two girls tight while also:

  • Reading library book after library book
  • Playing “princess family”
  • Singing songs
  • Having dance parties to Trolls music
  • Teaching life lessons
  • Kissing boo boos.

And what don’t I do? I don’t ever feel suffocated or bored or whatever else they said I would feel.

As many people do in situations such as these, they simply want you to feel their pain. These people want– no, they desperately need to overlay their emotions and feelings onto your soul. It isn’t that they aren’t trying to drag you down. No, they simply don’t know how to express the pain they feel in their position. The best thing you can do is to not let their negative energy affect you while at the same time having sympathy for their pain. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Let’s all do our best not to throw the worst part of ourselves at other people. Maybe instead we should focus on our best selves and share that loud and proud.

All of this to say that we should be lifting up our fellow mothers. Encouraging each to be who they are and do what is best for them. We all have different beliefs, strengths, desires and goals. Let’s help all the mamas out there to be who they want to be and do what they want to do.

mother daughter

 Happy Mother’s day to every mother, pseudo mother, other mother, and woman who wants to be a mother. May you each enjoy this day and be buoyed up in the joy that is motherhood.

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Motherhood is

Motherhood

Motherhood is a crazy thing. It runs the gamut of emotions and on the daily we move from one extreme to another (I mean our kids… but maybe us too!)

Motherhood…

Sometimes it’s silly

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Sometimes it’s exhausting

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Sometimes it’s sweet

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Sometimes it’s confused

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Sometimes it’s grumpy

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Sometimes it’s proud

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Sometimes it’s irritable

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Sometimes it’s content

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Sometimes it’s messy

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Sometimes it’s magical

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None of these pics have been edited, because that’s life right now. But this is what my life has been lately and although it’s not perfect (not even close) it’s mine and I love it.

The longer I’m a mother (it’s only been a whopping 3 years and 3 months-ish) the more that I’m truly grateful to my mom. I wanted to include a pic of her with my girls but she would kill me if I did … sooooo I didn’t 🙂 Give your mothers and “other mothers” lots of love this weekend!

 

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Three for Thursday - Quality time with McKenna

Three for Thursday – Quality time with McKenna

Thursdays are generally a pretty busy day for us over here. We have some of my nieces over every week and we have a lot of fun! Although it’s amazing it means that I don’t have oodles of time to post. Enter “Three for Thursday”. This series is going to be a day where I focus on a DIY topic that I’ve been meaning to give thought, time and energy to but simply haven’t scheduled that time in. Thursdays are that day now!

This week I’m thinking about what I can do to spend quality time with McKenna. She has been a super trooper since Drea was born (and even before that when I was miserable during the last 4 months of pregnancy). She has also started acting out a bit more. I told someone about a month ago that I had to put McKenna in time out for the first time. Overall, she has always been a good listener and does the things I ask. The most I ever had to do was count to 3. It’s a different story nowadays. People say it’s because she’s three years old now but I think it’s because she needs more attention. I do my very best to give her attention but when Drea is screaming her head off I have to admit that she comes first. SO, all that to say that I started trolling my Pins for a few things that McKenna would enjoy. As I was going through stuff I had pinned to do with her I found a few themes that she enjoys which I think is perfect! Without further adieu here are our Three for Thursday!

 

Dinosaur LoveDinosaur Hat Dinosaur Feet

Dinosaur DIY’s:

McKenna adores dinosaurs! She also loves crafting (really any DIY) with her mama and pretend play so I figured let’s kill two (errrr three I guess?) birds with one stone! We are gonna have a DIY  dinosaur day next week! I may even see if I can put a couple of dinosaur books on hold at the library to round it out.

 

Gardening LoveGardening Sensory Bin Gardening Sensory Bin (with printable!)

Gardening DIY’s:

Lately McKenna has been obsessed with gardening. I got a gardenia plant for my birthday a few months ago and she helps me to water it every. single. day. I guess it’s good because I’m a pretty forgetful person and she often reminds me! Maybe she will be my little DIY gardener. I found a couple of interesting gardening sensory bins we could easily DIY and I figure we’ve been wanting to do more sensory bins so this will be on the agenda next week!

 

Mermaid LoveMermaid Tail  /  Mermaid Peg Dolls

 

Mermaid DIY’s:

Even though she skips through big chunks of The Little Mermaid it may be one of her favorite movies. She loves the idea of mermaids as they seem so magical to her. There are so many fun mermaid DIY activities! The first picture above is an activity that I have been wanting to do for her for almost a year. A year people! I can’t believe I’ve let it get away from me for this long. The mermaid peg dolls I found recently in a search for a mermaid sensory bin. I wanted inexpensive mermaids that we could add. It was a bonus that we could work on designing them together.

 

Life isn’t about pinning. It’s about doing. Pin less, Do more! I will share more after we’ve completed these activities! What are you going to do this fabulous Thursday?

 

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Never say never … to Preschool anyways

I should know by now that of all people I should never say never! I truly change my mind about things ALL the time. Do you remember back when I said that I wasn’t planning on putting McKenna in preschool? Here’s the thing… I had decided that I wasn’t going to based on a few things, which you can read about here. Since then a couple of things have changed. The biggest is the addition of our sweet Drea to our family. I now know that I may have been a bit naive about what I could handle as far as teaching McKenna with another little vying for my attention.

If you recall I stated previously that I believe there are 3 reasons to put a child in Preschool:

  1. It helps children to learn their basics ahead of the game (obviously).
  2. It teaches children how to  be in social situations.
  3. It creates a setting early on for how to listen to directions, especially to someone other than the child’s parents.

A couple of things have changed for us in regards to these three areas. I’m still not concerned about McKenna’s learning skills. She is a fantastic learner and knows things I often don’t even realize. For instance, about a week ago she came to me telling me that her right leg got hurt. I was bewildered because I didn’t teach her left and right yet. I thought maybe she was just guessing but I tested her then and nearly every day I test her and she knows. I am amazed by her ability each and every day. BUT she has stopped actively working with me to learn new things. I believe it may be due to the fact that she gets less attention so when she is getting my full attention there are so many other things she wants to do with me.

In regards to being in social situations and listening to directions she has had additional opportunities (she is now in swim class and tumbling) to improve these skills but unfortunately her listening and direction following has declined. It seems to be that she is acting out in this area because she isn’t always getting my attention. Simply put, she needs more attention than I can give her and needs mental stimulation in the amounts that I used to be able to provide.

Once the decision was made I quickly went into searching for a viable option. I knew that I wanted a smaller environment so I setup to look at three different home preschools. It almost felt like a Goldilocks and the Three Bears situation. The first was super structured and they only had 2 kids (with a max capacity of 3) in the class. As much as I appreciated that I knew McKenna would get plenty of attention and learning in that environment it seemed more strict than I wanted for her. The second preschool that I went to had a ratio of waaaay too many kiddos to one adult. It was chaotic and due to the amount of children I wondered how much they were actually able to sit down and learn together. I had almost given up but went to check out the last preschool. I audibly sighed in relief when I walked in. It felt absolutely perfect. There were quite a few kids there but they had two teachers. The children were very well behaved, even though it was free play time. I knew that this was the one for us. She won’t start until the Fall but we are also participating in a loose preschool co-op for the summer which will be perfect for the time being and she talks about going to school ALL the time. Based on her excitement alone I know I made the right choice! At least until I change my mind again 😉

 

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welcome Drea

It’s been a long time

It has been a really REALLY long time since I’ve posted. And I’ve missed it… a LOT. I probably won’t have much time to post until life stabilizes a bit but I wanted to do a quick  update on where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing!

It all started with selling our house, yay! I loved that house oh so much, I did. But here’s the thing, it was just not the right house for the stage our family is in right now. Three stories and two sets of stairs was rough when I had just one kiddo. I can’t even imagine what I would do now. Especially since the kitchen and living space were on the mid level of the home. Anyhow, we sold the house and had to make quite a few requested repairs. During that process we had to find a home to rent. My hubby fell in love with a neighborhood so we knew where we were going to rent and indeed that’s where we are at. I am already feeling renters remorse due to a few issues in the home and the fact that I can’t decorate like I would my own home. I will talk more about that another time.

Then the next thing I knew it was holidays one after the other! We moved in and Thanksgiving was right around the corner, then of course Christmas, New Years…. all that fun stuff.

Most exciting of all our sweet Drea made her appearance on January 12th! That story will of course be coming soon as well. It’s been 3 weeks and I’m super exhausted but so in love with this new tiny human that we created. I’m very grateful to have my mom here to help me transition through this newborn phase as this has been a bit rough (although better out than in, the pregnancy itself was more exhausting than Drea is!).

I will be taking a break for awhile until the newborn fog has lifted and then I will gradually start back in because it is so fun to have my thoughts recorded and it helps my productivity level as well.

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It's a

Dear Future Baby….

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Dear Future Baby Girl!

I am so excited to know a little bit more about about you! I could’ve sworn that you were going to be a baby boy, but I’m so excited for another darling little girl. It’s nice to know so that I can do some planning. I held onto a few of McKenna’s old clothes but not enough! Luckily I was gifted all sorts of baby girl and baby boy clothes. Now I can get rid of half of those clothes!

The only thing that will be hard is coming up with a name that will fit you. Your daddy and I tend to disagree about girls names so we have a lot of work ahead of us here lol. You are already a vivacious little girl in my tummy – jumping and kicking around! Wish me luck in finding a name that your daddy likes! We love you so, so much and can’t wait to meet you!

Love, Your Mama

22 weeks

Dear Future Baby – 22 weeks

How far along: 22 weeks … and a few days – it’s been a week of me gettin’ the house ready and not wanting to get ME ready

Gender guess: Nobody has changed their minds (except McKenna who changes her mind every day) – I think it’s going to be a boy still and Brandon still thinks it’s going to be a girl. The ultrasound was earlier this week and then the gender reveal party is next Sunday so that’s when we will find out!

How I’m feeling: It’s kind of strange but besides being exhausted my body is feeling a little better. I’ve mentioned that Brandon gives me massages regularly but he has also started helping me do stretching to make me more comfortable and help me sleep.

Highlight this week: The highlight  of the week was getting our house painted while I was out of town. It doesn’t seem like it has to do with the baby but it does. We really would like to get into a house that fits our needs better and this is one of the things that needed to happen in order to get it ready to sell.

Miss anything: I miss being able to go in a jacuzzi. Sounds strange but I really like hot water.

Movement: So much movement! I can’t believe how much this baby does… and how often. I’m not complaining though. I really love feeling each and every movement.

Cravings: I haven’t really had any food cravings but my food aversions (meat, some veggies, anything that looks weird… ok most all food) have subsided some. That’s a huge relief because I am able to get more protein because of this.

Looking forward to: The gender reveal!! (yes still lol) We are finally about to find out!

What McKenna says about the baby: McKenna is having a hard time deciding whether she thinks you are a baby brother or a baby sister. She is pretty easily swayed by whoever she is closest to. If she’s with daddy she says it’s a girl and if she’s with me she says it’s a boy!

 

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Dear future baby,

Pretty soon we will know whether you will be a beautiful baby girl or baby boy. We are beyond excited to find out… but even more excited to know more about you!

I can’t believe how much you move around in my belly. I swear you’ve been doing jumping jacks, karate kicks and whatever those boxing punches are called. It’s lovely to feel you and be reminded that I get to carry you around until you are ready to be here.

Love, your future Mama

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It's a

Gender Reveal Party Plan

The gender reveal is coming up this weekend!!! Can you tell I’m a little excited? As excited as I am, I’ve also been super busy (hence the absence last week) getting my house ready to sell. Last week we were able to book someone last minute to paint our house, and Brandon sent McKenna and I over to his mom’s house to be out of fume’s way. It was a nice change from scurrying around getting stuff done, but I had a toddler who didn’t want to sleep at all while there so it wasn’t all that relaxing.

Anyhow… the point is… that I procrastinated. I have had plans for all the things that I’m going to do for the gender reveal party for quite some time. This week I’m implementing most of it. Whoops! Lucky for me I have a wonderful MIL who came for a day to help me get a few things prepped and to keep Miss McKenna occupied while I ran the last few errands necessary.

Since it’s in the front of my mind I wanted to share some of the fun things that I am doing for the party. First of all, it is magic themed. Here is a little inspiration board for what I am going for:

party inspiration

Food: 1 / 2   Decor: 1 / 2    Costume: 1 / 2

 

McKenna is going to be dressed as a magician, and one of my nieces will be her assistant (to keep her on track – let’s be honest she’s a sporadic toddler). As the magician, she will be presenting magic tricks to reveal whether I am having a baby boy or a baby girl. We will see how that goes down but I’m super excited to find out so I probably won’t care during the performance.

I’m really excited to get everything together this week and to put my plans into action! I have a little bit of costume making to get done, a lot of shopping for food, and then putting up the decorations I got and making a few more for final touches! I’m wishing I had some magic at this point but it’ll be fun, so maybe just wish me luck 😉

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19 week collage

Dear Future Baby, 19 weeks

How far along: 19 weeks (sorry I’ve missed a few weeks!)

Gender guess: I made a bet with Brandon this week that it’s a boy… I feel pretty sure about it but who knows lol

How I’m feeling: The last few weeks have been rough physically and emotionally. A lot of stress up in here but things are moving along. I will post more about that later this week.

Highlight this week: Brandon and I got a night to ourselves recently! I missed McKenna so so much but it was lovely to have some time for just us because pretty soon it’s gonna get crazy up in here!

Miss anything: I’ve been too busy lately to miss anything.

Movement: There are a couple of times that I thought I felt a kick here or there and some flutters at night. I’m still not positive, but it’s way more than I ever got close to feeling with McKenna this early on, so I’ll take it.

Cravings: I’ve been eating a lot of peanut butter – on toast, bananas, sandwiches, etc. I’ve been able to eat a little more meat as well which is good so I can get protein more easily. I’m also loving dairy, especially milk.

Looking forward to: Since I last posted I had a baby appointment and I got a lot of relief from hearing answers to my questions. I’m doing everything I need to, except maybe being stressed and not getting enough sleep. Hey, I’m working on it!

What Brandon says about the baby: Brandon says “SHE is amazing, and I can’t wait to meet HER.” This of course is because he is of the belief that we are having a girl. We shall see.

What McKenna says about the baby: McKenna talks about you all the time but is having a hard time understanding that you are still coming! If it doesn’t happen right away…. lol

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Dear future baby,

In some ways this pregnancy has been easier and in other ways it has been way harder. In one breath I say that it’s going by so quickly since we are being kept so busy. In the very next moment I feel like it is taking forever for you to get here! We know that everything will change when you get here, and we are SO excited for it.

Daddy thinks you are a girl, I think you are a boy, McKenna often says you are “bofe of dem” (meaning that you are both boy and girl? Or maybe she means that she thinks there are twins in there… not sure but wow). We are anxiously awaiting finding out whether you are a boy or a girl at the gender reveal in September.

Love, your future Mama

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McKenna and mama at her first birthday - Circus themed 1st birthday

I love to party – how to throw a themed party

I really do. It’s such a blast for me to plan parties and then of course I love to go to parties as well. I think it’s because I love themes so much. I use themes to  decorate rooms, put together gifts and of course to plan parties!

I am working through plans for our gender reveal right now but I’m getting stuck for some reason. Because of my party planning rut I thought it might help to revisit some of the parties that I’ve planned in the last few years. Some of these I have pictures from but most I do not. I tend to sit back and enjoy my parties instead of taking pictures.

When I was single I threw a few fun parties that were vaguely themed, such as a fondue party, holiday themed dinners and parties, etc.  Then I moved into my next phase where I wanted to do more than just make food and decorate. I decided that I wanted to dress up! Sometimes not in the typical sense… And other times it was!

I proceeded to throw a masquerade (one of my favorites), a Vegas themed birthday for one of my hubby’s birthdays and one of my favorites was McKenna’s 1st birthday which was circus themed.

Some of my favorite pieces of a party to plan are the following:

  • Themed food
  • Decorations
  • Costumes
  • Invitations
  • Suspense!

 

Themed Food

 

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Food is a really important part of life let alone a party. I like to make the food work with the theme of the party as much as possible. For my husband’s birthday party that was Vegas themed everything was red, white and black and I made everything work within that theme. I also really like to make signs for the food that show how each group of food goes with the theme. It’s quick and it’s an easy way to keep organized when you have multiple people helping you to setup.

Decorations

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Some of the common things that I do for parties include: custom made posters to work with the theme, a photo area (with props if applicable), balloons of course, and a sign for the door. There is always some specific decorating that happens for each party since they are all so unique as well.

Costumes

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If possible I really love to wear a costume. It must be the theatre side of my personality. I love to play dress up still! I didn’t dress up for McKenna’s first birthday but you can bet that I dressed her up! For Brandon’s birthday party I got everyone to dress in “dapper attire”. It really made the whole night a lot more special.

Invitations and Suspense!

McKenna's 1st birthday invite

Sending out invitations in a timely manner can really build suspense for the party itself. When you take care with your invitations you make an impression on everyone that is invited about what kind of effort you put in to make it special. I am learning Photoshop at this point but my SIL is amazingly talented with it and has helped me with many of my party invitations. She has an etsy shop where she offers this service (along with other similar services).

As I mentioned earlier, I’m working on our upcoming gender reveal party and I am soooo excited!! I will share some of the ideas here soon.

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