Surprise!

DSC_0303-2So I have a little surprise!

No I’m not pregnant.

I was bit by the blogging bug again.

Bit hard.

I have spent the last couple of weeks plugging away at my computer in all of my spare time. One day it just hit me again. I had so many ideas and actually felt like doing all the work.

I felt like writing, taking pictures, finding and copying links, getting creative, getting personal. I sat down and wrote down 21 blog post ideas – 21!

I was just feelin’ it!

I think some of it had to do with the weather. Does anybody else just become their best self in the fall? I totally do! Maybe it’s all the pumpkin?

So today is the first day of four weeks of blog post I have already written! I’m excited and I hope you are too!

Feels good to be back!

Five on Friday | Blog Decisions

*A few of these pictures were taken on a day when my phone was doing something weird. They have a strange blue light at the bottom. Thankfully it is not happening anymore!

|One|

You may have noticed my blog was “expired” for a while. So when you tried to view my site it was essentially gone. For years I had paid for the premium features that included more storage space, my own domain name, control of what ads were shown, and some other good things. It isn’t cheap though and since I wasn’t blogging regularly I decided not to renew it. Well, then I got on to write Ivy’s 6 month post and I literally had ZERO storage space. So I couldn’t put a single picture on the post! So I decided to renew it so I could continue to use it! Well I think if I’m gonna pay the money then I need to start making it worth the price. Not sure what that looks like yet, but for now I have renewed my blog for another year!

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 3.12.55 PM

|Two|

I am unashamed to admit that I am just your typical girl obsessed with fall. Best clothes, best food, best drinks, and I am a lover of all things pumpkin and maple. I just love fall. Most of all I love the cool weather! We had a quintessential fall morning on Wednesday, the sun was out, the air was crisp, and we just had to get outside. I took my oatmeal and vanilla latte out on the porch, Nora had her snack and brought some princesses. Then when Ivy woke up from her nap we went on a walk to the post office, stopping to smell the flowers at our church along the way.

 

|Three|

One day over the past weekend Nora took a cushion off the couch and the couch suddenly transformed into her own personal airplane. The first day she came up with this little game she literally played for hours all by herself on her plane. It has been a daily occurrence ever since. One time I looked over and saw this scene. She was ” ‘tecting her sriends cause they were scared to fly.” Melt. My. Heart.

IMG_5321

|Four|

First ponytail! Does this even need a description?

IMG_5233

|Five|

I am in such a sweet season of spending time with God. I have been finding myself anxiously waiting until the girls go down for their naps to crawl into bed and be with Him! Cannot wait to share a little more about that soon! Just want to use this post today to encourage you! If you’re in a season where reading God’s word is not coming easily or it simply feels impossible… keep going! He will meet you there. Promise.

IMG_5276

Ivy Corinne |Six Months

Half a year with our Ivy girl has done by, or should I say flown by! Happy half birthday girl!

Ivy at six months

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 1.14.35 PM

 

S T A T S
Weight | 16lbs 1oz
Height | 27in
Diapers | Size 2
Clothes | 3-6 month

W H A T ‘S N E W

DSC_0212

| Ivy is a finally rolling both ways flawlessly! She is far from crawling, but she can get pretty stinkin’ far just by rolling!
| She has scooted herself a few inches across the floor to get to some toys. It is quite a unique technique and pretty entertaining to watch!
| She is not sitting for very long yet. Mainly because the minute you sit her up she lunges for a toy and she just topples over.
| Laughing more and more easily all the time.
|Self-soothing for bedtime and all naps!

L O V E S
LOVES all toys. She is very interested in any kind of teether. She also loves big sister’s toys!
LOVES taking a bath. This is still her favorite thing ever. I think she loves baths more than mommy and daddy.
LOVES eating of all kinds.
LOVES being in on all the action.

H A T E S
HATES being put down or left alone when she is tired. The 15-30 minutes before a nap she is only not fussing if she is being held.
HATES having her face wiped off.

So glad there are more loves than hates!

E A T

IMG_4945

Ivy is still the best eater! She nurses every 3-4 four hours and it only takes her about 10-15 minutes now. She is taking about 5-6 ounces each feed. Aunt Flow came back to visit me this month and my supply dropped for about a week so I was having to supplement after nurses about 2 ounces. Nora enjoyed helping with those bottles! Thankfully that has since worked itself out and we are right back on track!

She is loving solid foods, and just this week we moved to doing solids in the morning (fruits) and evening (vegetables)! So far she has tried and loved the following foods: bananas, squash, sweet potato, peas, apples, pears, carrots, and, mangos. The only one she didn’t gobble up were peas, but we’ll try again.

S L E E P

IMG_4957

This month night time sleep has finally gotten more consistent and changed for the better! Ivy is self soothing at bedtime every night, and girlfriend wants to be put down by 7. No later or you will hear about it!

Finally cut out that middle of the night feed completely! We are getting 10 hours through the night praise the LORD! She sleeps 7pm-5am wakes up to eat and goes back down until about 7am. Nora did the 5am feeding for a while too and one day she just cut it out and never looked back. Hopefully the same happens for Ivy too, but for now I can handle it!

She still takes three naps a day and naps really well most days. Her evening cat nap is getting shorter each week so my guess is she will cut that out soon. She has always been a better napper than night sleeper. We rock her for a few minutes, put her down in her crib and she plays puts herself to sleep.

Here is Ivy’s typical daily nap/sleep schedule.

|5:00am wakes up, eats and goes back down in her crib until 7am.
| Morning nap between 8:30-9am. This nap lasts about and hour and a half to two hours.
| Afternoon nap between 12-1pm. This nap is typically two or three hours!
| Ivy takes a cat nap in the evening so she can make it to bedtime. It’s typically around 5pm and is only 30-45 minutes.
| Bedtime routine is at 7 and she goes down fast!

It is so nice to have this all work out this past month. I know she will go through phases or worse and better sleep. She will have rough nights here and there, but it is so nice to be on a pretty consistent schedule!

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 1.37.39 PM

Ivy,

We are all so in love with you! You make our family feel so complete, we are all in awe of how precious you are! You still have your moments where your very particular personality frustrates us, but mostly we just love you like crazy! You are so quick to smile and laugh and it makes me so excited to see what you will become as you grow! I hate that you are growing so fast, but it is all so much fun too!

Look How You’ve Grown

~5 Months to 6 Months~

IMG_5319

 

Month Six Photos

IMG_4857IMG_4907IMG_5066IMG_5084IMG_5197IMG_5233Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 1.36.13 PMScreen Shot 2018-09-26 at 1.36.24 PMScreen Shot 2018-09-26 at 1.36.36 PMScreen Shot 2018-09-26 at 1.36.49 PMScreen Shot 2018-09-26 at 1.37.08 PMScreen Shot 2018-09-26 at 1.37.18 PMScreen Shot 2018-09-26 at 1.37.28 PMScreen Shot 2018-09-26 at 1.37.50 PMScreen Shot 2018-09-26 at 1.38.03 PM

Chores for Little Ones

Screen Shot 2018-08-25 at 3.13.52 PM

Nora loves to help out around the house lately. She wants to be involved in just about everything mommy and daddy do. I love that about her (even though sometimes it can be annoying), and have milked it for all it’s worth!

Chores and helping around the house are great things for kids to do. It helps make them feel a part of something, fosters community, teaches responsibility, and most little ones think its all fun. It’s not healthy for parents to do everything for their kids. Even toddlers are capable of helping out a little and enjoy it!

We started having Nora do some “chores” that were on her level at a pretty young age. Some of them she has been doing for a while and now she does them without being asked! Below I am listing some of the things we have Nora do around the house regularly and about what age we began them.


Throw away diapers | Almost as soon as Nora could walk I would have her take her diapers and throw them in the trash. She thought it was so much fun, it was good practice for her and helped me out!

Put dirty clothes in the hamper | Same idea as the diapers. Nora was maybe 13 months old and she would take her dirty clothes and put them in her hamper.

Put dirty dishes in the sink | As soon as we moved Nora to a booster seat (around 22 months ) her job became putting her dishes in the sink after dinner. At that age she was easily able to heave her dishes into the sink.

Clean up toys | At around 18 months Nora was able to pick up some of her toys well. Of course she could make bigger messes than she could clean up, but she could help a little. I jumped on this one as soon as I could! I would just have her help with a few things, and increased the amount as she grew. Now she cleans up just about all her own messes. We clean up everything before nap time and before bed.  One of my proudest moments as a mom happened when we had come home really late one night. Nora had just turned two. We had left the house in a hurry and didn’t clean up Nora’s room so it was a mess. We got home slipped her in her jammies and were going to just put her straight to bed. Girlfriend was not having it. She refused to sleep until her room was cleaned up! #momwin

Feed pets | We’ve been slacking on this one lately since we moved our dog’s food to the garage, but shortly after Nora turned two we gave her the chore of feeding the dogs. She needed lots of help at first and then she got to the point where she could do it all on her own. Some days she even reminded us it needed to be done.

Clean up messes | Kids spill and make huge messes, especially when food is involved. If Nora spills a drink she has to help clean up the mess. We also bought a handheld vacuum and her job is to sweep up her crumbs after meals. As I’m sure you can imagine we don’t have to do any convincing to get her to use the vacuum. She thinks it’s pretty neat!

Cooking | This isn’t really a chore but still a way kiddos can help out. Nora always wants to help when anyone is doing anything in the kitchen. Sometimes she can be more in the way than anything, but I try to find things she can do. She sprinkles cheese, dumps in measuring cups, stirs, places things on pans, and anything else she can do easily.

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-25 at 3.17.58 PM

These are the simple things we do with Nora now. As she grows we will add new chores and expectations. We plan on doing an allowance with her as well at some point, but that’s down the road.

Do you have your little one do chores? If so, what are they?

 

Five on Friday | Five Whats 3.0

WARNING: Two selfies in one post! Not cool I know… 😉

WHAT WE’VE BEEN EATING

Recently tried two amazing recipes. When I like a recipe enough, it gets written down and placed in my binder. Naptime Kitchen’s BBQ Chicken Quinoa Casserole and Chicken Brushetta are both now in my binder! So easy and so tasty!

Source

WHAT I’M LOVING

Just bought this new hair product and not only do I love how it adds texture to my hair, but oh my goodness does it smell good! I’m also loving my short hair!

IMG_4604

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO

Pretty much just been spending all our time this week continuing to potty train Nora. She’s doing great, but I haven’t been brave enough to venture outside the house yet. Maybe tomorrow is the day?

Screen Shot 2018-08-25 at 3.36.47 PM

WHAT I’M WEARING

Just patiently waiting for fall because it’s my favorite and so I can wear the adorable new floral sweatshirt I got! Jane.com has the cutest stuff!

IMG_4779

WHAT I’M WATCHING

Collin and I are watching all the Harry Potter movies for the millionth time. Only problem is that we can’t make it through an entire movie so we only watch half each night. It’s gonna take us a while to get through them all.

 

Momma Confessions VI

Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.41.19 PM

These are my confessions.

One | I cut the band off a pair of maternity jeans so I could continue to wear them and not feel guilty. I may regret that next time I’m pregnant.

Two | The other day Ivy was real fussy, but I had things I wanted done. So I put her in the swing and ran our Roomba cause I knew she would watch it and not cry. Happy baby and a clean house! Score!

Three | I put off potty training Nora for months. I honestly think she was ready months ago, but I simply felt sick when thinking about actually doing it. She is rocking it so far, and I’m sorta kicking myself for not staring sooner. Think of all the poopy diapers I could have avoided!

Four| I found a milk sippy cup under the couch the other day. It was a cup I forgot we had. I think the last time I remember Nora using it was in December. I just threw it straight in the trash, cause I had no interest in dying that day.

Five | One day I was changing Ivy’s poopy diaper and Nora was urgently saying over, “I have to pee, I have to pee.” I quickly rushed through changing Ivy and went to help Nora. A couple hours later when I changed Ivy again she had a whole lot of streaks in her diaper. I realized I never actually wiped her. Just switched out diapers. Gross! Sorry Ivy!

Six | Every once in a while (before potty training began) I will be so tired and just ready for bedtime routine to be over that I won’t change Nora’s diaper. I know she needs a fresh one and is going to wake up and have peed through her jammies. I just choose to ignore it and know I will have to clean up the mess tomorrow.

Seven | I counted and I consumed four products with caffeine in them one day. I think I may have had about 700mg of caffeine. I felt great! No regrets!

 

To read more Mom Confessions click the links below.

Marriage Chronicles | Vol. 8

Wow! It has been over a year since I have added to this little series. I’ve missed it and have a few more ideas for it in the future! So be on the lookout!

Marriage is amazing. It’s fun, exciting, blessed, and such an adventure.

Marriage is also hard. Blending two lives together, making tough decisions, and navigating through all that life throws, is incredibly challenging. In the scheme of things, our five year marriage is very short. But let me tell you, the tough stuff doesn’t wait until year ten or twenty. In our limited time as a married couple, we have already dealt with some tough stuff.

We still have so much to learn, but these posts will chronicle some things we have gone through, some advice, lessons we’ve learned, funny stories and just plain ol’ anything-but-boring married life adventures!

These are the marriage chronicles.

Vol. 8 | Moods & Feelings

Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 2.11.17 PM

I’m just gonna jump right in today. Doesn’t matter who you are you have moods, and even mood swings. Yes there are people who are more prone to mood swings or are in less control of their emotions than others, but we all have differing moods and emotions.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s part of how we were created and often it is out of our control. However, how we deal with these swings in mood is really important and also biblical. In this post I want to focus on how we deal with this issue in our marriages.

I feel like I always need to state that I know I am no expert. Collin and I have been married for just over 6 years, so we really just squeezed out of newlywed status. This is just our limited experience and knowledge. I just love to write and share. My hope is to make people think a little about things they may not have before. So there’s my disclaimer.

Neither Collin nor I are very moody people. I am even-keel, laid back, and typically have  good control of my emotions. Very rarely do I feel like I have mood changes I cannot explain. Collin is the same, but I think he would agree that he is a little more prone to unexplained changes in mood. Even with those stats, we have both still experienced our fair share of sour moods around each other. We’ve only been married for 6 years but have been together almost 10 now. That adds up to quite a few cranky days from us each.

It used to be that when one of us was cranky or “off” for no reason, we wouldn’t tell and would just act out at the other. As you can imagine, whoever was on the receiving end of the bad mood would feel like they had done something wrong. Or we would get mad at the cranky one just for being cranky. Our whole day would be thrown off and our attitudes towards each other were not pretty.

In all honesty it would be destructive to our relationship at times. And for basically no reason.

Sometimes one of us would just feel off and we had no reason for it. So we felt like there was not point in saying, “hey I’m in an odd mood sorry” since we couldn’t explain why. But that’s exactly what we learned we needed to do! There is no need for us to be ashamed of our emotions, we simply found that if we humble ourselves to one another and ask for grace that things go over much better. Almost like we are arming them with some understanding before a battle is waged.

Since learning this and applying it to our marriage, there are many days when one of us will simply say, “Hey, heads up I’m in a weird mood and I don’t know why.” This makes a world of difference in how things play out between us. We know to give grace, be gentle, and we prevent some issues that may have arisen otherwise.

We still have times when we let our emotions get the best of us and we handle things poorly. Our bad moods have caused fights, and given us some rough moments here and there. We are human, we make mistakes and will continue to do so. When this happens one of us typically steps back, expresses their feelings and we mend from there. Our cranky days don’t have to hurt our relationship anymore, and it can be a beautiful way for us to show one another love.

So the next time you wake up in a sour mood or just feel off, instead of fighting those feelings, hoping they go away and don’t come front and center at your spouse, try just letting them know what’s going on. Lay it all out, ask for some understanding, and then say a little prayer that your mood will vanish and be replaced by joy!

 

To read more Marriage Chronicles click the links below.

Ivy Corinne | Five Months

Yep, this is real. On the 26th Ivy Corinne turned 5 months old! I cannot believe she is already so big! Hold me!

Ivy at five months

EB2A9524-4F6C-41A3-B417-F4432A029DC4

S T A T S
Weight |
Height |
Diapers | Size 1 about to move up to size 2
Clothes | 3-6 month

W H A T ‘S N E W

IMG_3989Ivy is changing so much and seeming less and less like a little bitty baby every day. (I’m not crying, you are!)

| Ivy is a rolling machine. She only rolls back to belly (she rarely goes the other way but can), and then gets mad when she’s stuck on her belly.
| She can grab anything and is much more intentional with her movements.
| Talks all the time. She has a darling little rasp to her voice. I am so curious to see if it stays.
|Ivy is really starting to show a special admiration for Nora. It’s adorable! She is also a major daddy’s girl. Nobody can make her smile like daddy can!
|Self-soothing for bedtime and most naps! I’m telling you, sleep training is no fun but is so worth it in the long run.

L O V E S
LOVES all toys. She really will play with anything. She likes to chew on everything.
LOVES taking a bath. I think she would spend hours in the tub if we let her. She has started to kick so hard and make little splashes!
LOVES being in the same room as the action. She does not like to be left alone for long at all. She wants to see at least one person, then she is fine to lounge on her own a while.
LOVES being held to see all the action.
LOVES

H A T E S
HATES the sun in her eyes in the car.
HATES being tired. When she gets sleepy… get that girl down or you will regret it!

So glad there are more loves than hates!

E A T

IMG_4640Ivy is still the best eater! She nurses so well and is going every 3-4 four hours with a few “cluster feeds” encouraged by mom for scheduling purposes. My guess is she is taking about 4.5-6 ounces each feed. She is all over the place with her middle of the night feeding. Sometimes she wakes at 2-3am and sometimes she sleeps until 5-6am. It’s always a surprise what each night is going to be like.

Here are some of her typical eating times.

5am, 7am, 10am, 12pm, 3pm, 7pm

We started solids a few weeks ago. I tried when she turned 4 months and she just wasn’t ready. Waited a week, tried again and she took to it much better! I can’t help it, I think it’s fun! With both my girls I skipped the rice cereal because neither of them liked it at all. I am doing a mixture of store bought and homemade again. I am moving at a much slower pace with Ivy because it took her a little longer to seem interested.

I love watching her try new things and the one-on-one time we get when I feed her. It also gives me a little extra stretch of time between nursing sessions in the evening which is nice.

So far Ivy has tried squash, sweet potatoes, pears, and bananas. Interestingly she loves the squash and sweet potatoes most. That girl devoured the squash. I plan to do carrots and apples next! So fun!

S L E E P

IMG_3978Praise the Lord sleep has been so much better this past month!

Ivy is self soothing at bedtime every night, as of the last two weeks she isn’t crying at all when putting herself to sleep! We are still working on self soothing for naps, but she does it well if we put her down at the perfect moment.

At night she is sometimes sleeping from 7:30pm to 5:30am, then back down until 7am. Some nights she wakes up at 2-3am to eat. It’s pretty unpredictable, but she eats real fast and goes right back down so it’s not a big deal.

She is down to three naps a day now and naps really well most days. She has always been a better napper than night sleeper. We rock her for a few minutes and put her down in her crib drowsy but awake. She takes all naps in her crib now!

Here is Ivy’s typical daily nap/sleep schedule.

|5:30am wakes up, eats and goes back down in her crib until 7am.
| Morning nap between 8:30-9am. This nap last about and hour and a half to two hours.
| Afternoon nap between 12-1pm. This nape is typically two or three hours!
| Ivy takes a cat nap in the evening so she can make it to bedtime. It’s typically around 5pm and is only 45 minutes to an hour.
| Bedtime routine begins at 7 (jammies, nurse, rock and sing 2 songs, bedtime prayer) I lay her down awake at 7:30ish and she is asleep a few minutes later!

I am a firm believer that  you have to teach babies to sleep well. Yes some naturally are better sleepers than others, but babies can learn to be better sleepers. Sure there is some crying involved, and it takes a lot of hard work up front, but in the end your baby can learn to self soothe and sleep happily! So proud of how Ivy is doing at this!

Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.39.03 PMIvy,

You’re just too sweet! You are a very particular baby and know what you want right when you want it! Sometimes it makes you seem a little difficult, but most of the time you are pure joy! You are so sweet and smiley, quick to giggle and just plain cute! You love to be wherever the action is, but are also content to just lay on the floor and chew on your toys! This past month has been so much fun with you. We cannot wait to see you grow and change in the months to come! We love you Little Tiny!

Look How You’ve Grown

~4 Months to 5 Months~

D705348C-3A83-4E7F-84AC-B1F3E9C1A8BA

Month 5 Photos

Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.38.50 PMScreen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.40.17 PMScreen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.40.32 PMScreen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.40.50 PMScreen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.41.05 PMScreen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.41.19 PMScreen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.41.31 PMScreen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.41.46 PM

Toddler Traces

As I walked around our home one morning last week I became keenly aware that everywhere I looked there was evidence that a toddler lives in our home. Many days I look at those little “toddler traces” and become annoyed or overwhelmed by the mess.

But on that particular day, I wasn’t overwhelmed by the mess at all. Instead I was overwhelmed by the meaning of each sweet scene. I realized how each little item pointed to the blessing that was sweetly playing in her room. I almost had tears in my eyes as I took these pictures.

Soon two little girls will be leaving little traces around our home, and I pray that every day I can view each little trace as a reminder of my blessings. That my mind would first remember how lucky I am to have those sweet gals to make those messes in our home.

 

 

Things I Can Do With One Hand

IMG_4274

If you are a momma you most likely have acquired a certain skill that not everyone is blessed with.

Doing things with one hand.

You know those days when your little one just does not want to be put down. At all. Ever. Or maybe you had a baby who was like that all the time. You might have a mischievous toddler you need to keep a very close eye on, or your preschooler is just plain needy too!

No matter what the reason, if you’re a mom you learn pretty quickly how to accomplish a range of tasks using just one hand (and sometimes your teeth or feet have to help you out too).

The other day Ivy was having one of those days. Girlfriend just wanted to be in her momma’s arms, not just in the same room, not uncomfortably near me. In. My. Arms.

Just because she was feeling this way didn’t mean my to-do list vanished. So I just went about doing my tasks with her on my hip. It made me think about all the things I have gotten pretty stinkin’ good at doing with just one hand.

Momma friends, I bet you’re pretty good at these things too.


I can unload and load the dishwasher. Yep, even knives. *gasp*

Cook an entire dinner. I unscrew seasoning lids like a boss with one hand.

Pour milk, water, coffee, wine… okay so I don’t drink wine, but if I did I could pour it into the glass with one hand flawlessly.

Clean up toys, the house, wipe down counters, vacuum. You get the gist.

Hoist a 35 pound gal into her carseat.

Open a bag of fruit snacks. This usually requires some teeth action.

Wipe a snotty nose.

Pull my pants down and go to the bathroom. This is not sanitary and totally TMI (too much information), but I know you’ve done it too. Yes you. Don’t deny it.

I can do Nora’s entire bedtime routine with one hand.

Escort an unruly two year old to and from timeout.

Read a book. Turning pages and all.

Heave a slippery naked toddler out of the bathtub. It ain’t pretty, but I can do it.

Opening the lids to a wide variety of containers is small stuff for me now.

Brush my teeth or someone else’s.

Put shoes on chubby little feet. Nora’s feet not mine.

Push a heavy shopping cart full of unnecessary Target purchases. (An all the mommas said “Amen!”)

 

Finish this blog post. Yep, Ivy is currently barnacled to my leg as I slowly type…

…with one hand. 😉