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

never say never header

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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Motivational Monday – Goal it up

Goal Printable with birds header

I absolutely agree with Joe on this one! If your dreams/goals aren’t big enough to just scare you a bit then you aren’t doing it right. But even more important than pulling you from your comfort zone is to be ecstatic about working towards those goals. What is the point of having a goal if not for this purpose?

 

Goal Printable with birds 8x10

 

Downloads: 5X7 printable  8.5×11 printable   8×10 printable

I created three different sizes for this printable. The 5×7 and the 8×10 are standard frame sizes in case you want to frame this. OR if you would like to have the printable take up the entire page you can print it as 8.5×11. If you do the 5×7 or 8×10 size you will need to trim the printable down in size after you’ve printed it. I recommend printing this on a heavy weight card stock for best results.

Enjoy your Monday!

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© I Try to DIY, LLC. For personal use only, not to be copied, distributed, altered or sold. 
www.itrytodiy.com

May Resolutions!

New Month Resolutions

In general I love goals and resolutions. I know I used to set them at the new year when I was a kid and teenager but it’s been a long time since I’ve done that. Don’t get me wrong, I still have goals that I’m working on. I just don’t set them on January 1st. I set them as I finish another goal. Or I set them when life changes and my goals need to change with it. I wouldn’t get anywhere if I only set goals at the beginning of a new year. Also, I used to get super crazy when I didn’t reach a goal.  I need flexibility to get to where I really want to be. When I was younger I had ideas of how things should be. How I should be. If it didn’t go exactly the way I planned I felt like a failure. The honest truth is that things turned out even better when I let life take over.

I have seen a lot of people talk about setting a word or mantra to guide their year these past few years. I quite like that…. Except that I have been a big ‘ol mombie for the last few months since Drea was born. I’m going to see if a word or mantra comes to me down the road but for now, here’s to May resolutions! I will go more into how I set goals and methods I’ve tried that have worked (and a few that haven’t) another time. But for now, here are my goals:

Choose healthy over lazy:

  1. Get to the gym (that I just joined!) 3 times a week.
  2. Eat veggies every time I eat anything else.
  3. Have a filled glass of water with me at all times.

Get back to blogging:

  1. Take time to free write 5 times a week.
  2. Organize blog post ideas
  3. Work on Photo shop skills 2 times a week.

Work on organization:

  1. Clear out all of my clothes that I don’t love.
  2. Pare down kitchen items to only those I love.
  3. Clean out pantry and only keep items we will eat.

For me, I can’t have too many goals at one time. If I do then I don’t end up accomplishing any of them. That’s also a part of why I set goals all year long. I LOVE to have something to strive towards and when I break down my goals into mini actionable items it makes it even easier for me. I’m excited to finally be at the start of feeling like an actual human being again. It’s been a really long year for me. Pregnancy wasn’t kind to me this last go around and I barely slept during most of it. That lead right into a new baby and I think we all know how that goes. It’s still not over, but it’s getting better and for that I’m truly grateful. It’s amazing how even just one good night of sleep gives you a more positive outlook on life.

 

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It’s been a long time

welcome Drea

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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Dear Future Baby – 28 weeks

28 week collage

How far along: 28 weeks – pardon the pic… I put a little makeup on but didn’t even touch my hair lol. I’ve been avoiding these posts because I haven’t had the energy to get ready. By the next one I may look like I just got out of bed!

Gender: It’s a girl! I still catch myself saying “we are having another boy… I mean girl.” HA! I was really SO sure that we were having a boy.

How I’m feeling: I’m just starting to get heartburn a lot and I remember this from last time. I’m hoping it doesn’t keep me awake like it did with McKenna. I’m super tired but that might also be due to the packing up a 2,000+ sq ft house and keeping a half dozen or so other “balls” in the air.

Highlight this week: The highlight since the time I last updated here was definitely finding out that we are having another sweet little girl. It feels so good to be able to start giving back clothes that we don’t need (we amassed both girl and boy clothes).

Miss anything: I’ve missed drinking a lot more this time for some reason. I’m not really a big drinker to begin with so it doesn’t make much sense. It might have to do with all of the seasonal cocktails I keep seeing! I’m just gonna have to pin ’em and give them a try next year!

Movement: This little girl is definitely active. It makes me wonder what kind of personality she will have and I can’t wait to see her moves on the outside! I have a feeling her and McKenna are gonna be dancing all over the place as soon as she is capable.

Cravings: Give me all the pumpkin! I swear to my husband that my “pregnancy cravings” aren’t exactly cravings. They really tend to be things that I love no matter what, not just when pregnant. This is really no exception. Have you ever tried cookie butter from Trader Joes? Did you know they make a seasonal pumpkin butter?! It’s even better. I’m in love.

Looking forward to: I’m looking forward to being moved into a new home (with a yard!!!) before this baby gets here. I’m feeling incredibly grateful that the sale of our house went so quick and happened so smoothly.

What McKenna says about the baby: Brandon and I have pretty well settled on a first name for this sweet little girl that is joining us in a few short months but McKenna refuses to call her by her name. She says “NO! She’s just my little sister.” We aren’t sure what she means by this but at least she’s consistent?

DFB-28

 

Dear future baby girl,

I was so excited to find out that we are having another little girl. I have no doubt that you are going to have a BIG personality based on the way you move in my tummy and I’m interested to see those moves out here with us!

McKenna is so happy she is having a little sister and tells everyone that she comes in contact with about you and how you are going to be “hers”.  We are moving soon so that we can have a house with a yard for you and your sister and I look forward to holding you and loving on you in our new back yard.

Love, your future Mama

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4 perks to home renting!

4 perks to home renting

We have another guest post from Niki today.  This time about the perks to home renting! I’m really excited for this because…. we sold our house! Our house was on the market for 8 days and we got 3 offers and accepted one on Sunday morning – eeeek! The close date is flexible and they would like to get their hands on our house as soon as they can which means we need to find a rental ASAP! We are looking and put in an application that we hope to hear back soon from. Now I’m getting excited to think about all the perks of home rental while we take our time to decide exactly what and where we want to buy.

Hi, I’m Niki- full time Mama extraordinary to two boys three and under and a lifetime educator. My husband and I operate a small business out of our home, always an adventure with little ones running about! I’m not much for crafting, but I can coax a literate essay out of a 10th grader, make a mean apple pie and pack up a 2,000 sq ft home in less than a week, while balancing a kid on each hip!

So, you’re about to rent a home and you’re wondering what you’re getting into. I’ve owned and rented and feel at peace in the place we’re in now, as happy renters. Three rental homes (and countless lousy college apartments) in, here’s a list of what I wish I knew then that you can know now. Renting comes with some perks that aren’t often talked about.

 Perk 1

Perk 1-  never having to fix ANYTHING. If you find a rental with a great landlord, you’ll never have to lift a hammer or worry about the AC going out. In our current home, we’ve had new custom screens put on all the windows, our garbage disposal replaced, and exterminators and landscapers out. All at no cost to us, and within 24 hours of need arising. We have an amazing landlord and searched to find him. it makes all the difference, but getting it down in the lease and making sure you’re on the same page before signing is SO important. Plus, many landlords will give you sweet perks if you want to renew when a lease is up, like free carpet cleaning. Also, landlords can be talked into sweet little extras, like paying for the air and water filters. It sounds silly, but not having to pay for those is oddly satisfying.

 perk 2

Perk 2- Extra money doesn’t go to the house. When we owned a home, it felt like we were always saving up for something for the house- whether it was improving the pool, the yard, or redecorating. That doesn’t happen here. Extra time and money now goes to fun stuff, like our kids or date nights.  

 perk 3

Perk 3- choose your own adventure. Renting is fun because you get to try on neighborhoods and the idea of being somewhere. Renting affords you the adventure of trying somewhere new on for size. Interested in a new family friendly neighborhood, but not sure if the area is right? Rent, and if you don’t like it, you can move on, you love it, put a ring on it and renew the lease. Renting is like dating- you can decide how much of a commitment to make. Also, you get the luxury of portability. Home ownership is tough in that you’re stuck somewhere, but renting offers the flexibility of going ANYWHERE. Yes, you sign a lease, but you get to decide how long and it’s a hell of a lot easier to get out of a lease than a mortgage if need be- believe me, I speak from experience!

 perk 4

Perk 4-  This may seem silly, but I love it- the “I’m a renter” excuse. Walk past the cable guy at Costco, trying to get you to sign up, the landscaper knocking at the door, begging for business, the telemarketers trying to sell you on home phone. Maybe it’s just me, but I hate being mean to these people, but I can now genuinely say, I rent, I can’t deal with those decisions and I’m honestly shutting them down.

Dear Future Baby….

It's a

gender

 

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

What we’ve been up to lately

What we've been up to lately

It’s been a few weeks with no posts – eeek! I have so much going on and haven’t had time to put in here. We all know how it goes, life happens. So, let’s start with the fun stuff…

I had my gender reveal party! It was an absolute blast and I’m excited to post pics and the gender here pretty soon.

My house got listed for sale! It was a LOT of work getting our house ready and I will be posting about that, the process and of course the pretty pictures that I now have of my house.

I’ve started watching a little girl a few days a week to help out a friend who just got promoted and needs to go into the office more often now. It’s been great to have someone around McKenna’s age on a more regular basis to help McKenna get used to the idea of a new little sibling coming soon. She has never been the jealous type and has always shared really well… until the last few months. HA! I have some thoughts on this that I will share more of later.

This pregnancy has been all kinds of rough. I’ve gotten sick a lot, dehydrated several times and so worn down that I couldn’t do much more than sit on the couch and watch McKenna play. Things are going a little better now but I know I need to be much more careful about taking care of myself FIRST.

I missed capturing my thoughts and feelings here so I’m glad to be back!

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Dear Future Baby – 22 weeks

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!

 

DFB-22

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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