What My Girls are Getting this Christmas

Want, Need, Wear, Read.

Now I cannot take credit for this amazing idea but we have adopted it into our family! Our girls will get four gifts from us for Christmas. Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read! ( I feel like Dr. Seuss)

When I first came across this idea I fell in love immediately. I like that it is not over the top. I don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars on gifts for just the girls and hopefully we will take some focus off presents and put it on Jesus and His birth!

 

Below is what our girls will be getting this year!

*All items linked in case you want to get them for some little gal in your life! 

Nora-Gifts

Want – Fancy Nancy Figurines|Nora became obsessed with Fancy Nancy books a long time ago, we had two books and she just loved them! Then they came out with the Disney show based off the books. We don’t have TV so she had no way to watch them at the time. A little while later they put a free episode on Youtube and she got to watch it. This skyrocketed her obsession (mine too because it is so cute and stays true to the books)! Then we started listening to the soundtrack and she fell even more in love! Her favorite things to play with are little figurines so I know she will LOVE these!

Need – Shoes|Nora recently moved up a shoe size and so we bought her some boots, one pair of tennis shoes and she has one pair of hand-me down tennis shoes. So she really could use another pair! These are great neutral, slip ons!

Wear- Dress| Nora loves dresses and has a whopping total of three winter dresses in her current size. So this wear also doubles as a need! She will love this dress, and bonus that momma loves it too!

Read – Fancy Nancy Book Set|We have obtained a few more Fancy Nancy books since she fell in love, but I know she will be happy to have more! This little set was so affordable!

 

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Want- Teacup Set| Ivy loves to play with all of Nora’s kitchen toys so I thought having her own little set would be perfect for her! Want is hard this first year when they are so little and have few distinct interests. I am sure she will enjoy this cute little set though!

Need- Sippy Cup| Nora wore out most of her beginning sippy cups so Ivy has only two right now. It’s about time for her to learn to use a straw so this was the perfect need!

Wear- Sleep Sack|So Ivy really does not need clothes since she has all of sister’s hand-me-downs. She does need a new fleece sleep sack in her size though. So this is her wear this year! Doubles as a need!

Read- Lift-a-Flap Book|Ivy is just beginning to take an interest in books and really likes books with any interactive parts. So this cute little lift-a-flap book is perfect!

 

Christmas is a holiday to celebrate Jesus and his birth. No doubt that is the true reason for the season. But giving gifts can be fun and really is a way to show your family you love them and have them in mind. I encourage you to think about how much you are spending and what you are making Christmas all about. Find a happy medium and then celebrate and enjoy your holiday!

Momma Confessions

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Thank you so much to those who submitted their confessions! So nice for all of us mommas to know that we are not the only ones who do some crazy things!

 

One| Nora is still having some issues with going #2 on the potty. She makes it, but not before adding a few streaks to her undies. So after getting sick and tired of ruining so many pairs I started making her wear panty liners. I think I might be onto something. Seriously brilliant.

Two| My dental hygiene has really taken a hit since becoming a stay at home mom. Many days it is like 2:00 before I realize I haven’t brushed my teeth. Ew. Sorry Dr. Bollinger.

Three| I could write my name with the inches of dust on most surfaces in my house. I was never very good at dusting before, but now with two kids… just forget it! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Reader Submissions! 


Four| I once tossed pretzels on the floor to occupy my toddler so I could steal some internet time.

Five| After getting groceries, I put my one year old in his car seat, so he could be out of the wind while I put the groceries in the car. To keep him entertained, I gave him my car keys to play with. After shutting the back hatch, I went to get the keys from him, but his door was locked. In fact, all of the doors were locked. He had hit the lock button on my key while he was playing with them. Thankfully my mom came to the rescue with my spare set of keys. I just had to keep him entertained for 30 minutes through the window.

Six| In the hospital, after my daughter was born, I was so sleep deprived because I hadn’t slept in nearly three days, that when they brought her to my room, I only held her for a tiny bit, then put her back in the incubator thingy. I was afraid I’d fall asleep and drop her. And I was afraid they would never bring her back cause I wouldn’t hold her!

Seven|I secretly like taking my children to get groceries. Even when they’re dying of hunger and screaming for more grapes!! I love it!

Eight|I am so scared of what the future holds for my children. Like, will they be able to go anywhere or do anything on their own without having to worry about someone taking them or hurting them? When I was a child, my parents always encouraged my siblings and I to go outside and explore (we lived in city limits) around the block. I can honestly say that I don’t think I could let my children do that (we also live in city limits), which is a really sad thought.

 

To read more Momma Confessions click the links below!

Momma Confessions I  |  Momma Confession II  |  Momma Confessions III  |  Momma Confessions IV  |  Momma Confessions V  |  Momma Confessions VI  Momma Confessions VII  |

Five on Friday | Phone Photos

For today’s five I am sharing five of my favorite pictures that I’ve taken recently but haven’t shared.

Happy Friday!

|One| Nora is all about dressing up and lately she really enjoys wearing my clothes. Here is a very typical ensemble for Miss Nora Kate!

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|Two| This was the gal’s first time sitting side-by-side in the shopping cart! The picture is terrible because I was shopping three days before Thanksgiving and the store was packed. I tried not to be annoying and hold the line up, but I had to get a picture!

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|Three| This girl really likes the tree. For the first week or so she just stared at it in awe. Then she discovered the fun of pulling the lights, ribbon, and chewing on ornaments. So needless to say the bottom level of our tree ain’t pretty…

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|Four| I had a little audience while drying my hair Sunday morning. Cutest onlookers I’ve ever seen.

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|Five| I had both girls in my lap so I attempted to get a picture. None of them turned out too good (we are all freshly awake and in jammies with bedhead), but gosh do I love this picture for some reason.

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|Bonus| A dad and his gals. I love these three so much I might burst!

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I Get to Do This.

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Some days in motherhood it’s so easy to focus on the negatives. Kids can drive ya crazy! I can’t tell you how many times both girls are screaming, I’m exhausted, the house is a wreck, the dogs are barking, and I just want to walk away.

I want to lock myself in a room. Alone. No, not alone. With a coffee and a donut. Scratch that. A dozen donuts.

I just want to shed all the responsibilities that come with raising little people. I often feel like I do all this work with no appreciation or proof.  It’s hard and some days just feel downright sacrificial.

When I get into this head space, it often lasts much longer than I would like to admit. Then after some time, and a whole lot of praying for patience, I am always struck with one thought.

I get to do this.

I am one of the lucky ones. I am so blessed. There are so many women who long to be mothers, but it hasn’t happened for them yet.

Our little family took a walk to the post office in our small town the other day. Nora was walking with Collin as I pushed Ivy in the stroller. Just outside we met a sweet older woman who smiled sweetly and made conversation with the girls. Before leaving she turned to us and said, “two beautiful children, you’re really lucky.”

The way she said those words really stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t help but think there was a story behind her words. I don’t know what that story was, but for some reason in my heart I felt like maybe it was that she never was able to have children she had longed for.

As we walked to the park and watched the girls play for a while I couldn’t help but keep thinking about that thirty second encounter. I was flooded with thankfulness for what I have been given. Thinking about how unfair it is that I whine, complain, and throw a pity party about tough days when so many women would love to trade places with me.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s okay to have hard days and feel those hard feelings. It will happen. Guaranteed. I just think we would all benefit from doing all we can to make a list of all the things we are thankful for in those moments. Stop the negative thoughts, realize how many women out there are longing to be in our sticky shoes (with babies crying all around us), and then put on our positive pants!

I don’t know if that lady at the post office has the story I imagined for her. Only God knows. But I am so glad I had that encounter, in a small way it changed me in those split seconds.

Motherhood is a gift. Every messy part of it. I know now that my perspective has been changed. I pray now that I will remain in this. I know hard moments will come, but the blessings God has given me in my two little girls will always far outweigh any hard day that comes.

I get to do this.

Thank you Jesus.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot…

… like Christmas!

In true Smith fashion we decked our halls before Thanksgiving! It’s how we like to do things around here!

Our tradition is to have a fancy dinner (this year I think we picked a regular… Creamy Sausage Spinach and Gnocchi soup with Joanna Gaines’ biscuits), listen to Christmas music, decorate the tree + house, and then have our traditional Cherry Christmas Braid.

In past years I have done a much better job of documenting, but our day was pretty wild. So I am in no pictures, we staged the star picture so we could get a cranky Ivy to bed, and the house was trashed in all the pictures. I did however clean it up the next day and take some pretty pictures of the results!

At the very bottom are the year-to-year pictures I started taking! I wanted a little something different for both girls so Nora does the light pose an Ivy gets the ornaments! Can’t wait to add more pictures (and more kids!)

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Jump for Joy

I love these pictures.

I love this girl.

Her absolute pure joy in life is contagious.

She’s simply the best.

Melting my heart since February 2016.

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“Please, let them be little,
‘Cause they’re only that way for a while.
Give them hope, give them praise,
Give them love every day.
Let ‘em cry, let ‘em giggle,
Let ‘em sleep in the middle,
Oh, but let them be little.”

― Billy Dean

Ivy Corinne | Eight Months

Ivy at 8 months

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S T A T S
Weight |18lbs
Height |27in
Diapers | Size 3
Clothes | 6-9 month

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W H A T ‘S N E W

| Ivy is crawling everywhere! She still scoots fairly often, but she crawls on al fours most of the time!
| Pulling up on everything! She is a pro now at pulling up and attempts it on everything in sight.
| Gives big open mouth kisses when we ask! It is the sweetest thing ever!
| Ivy can go from laying down to sitting up position flawlessly!

L O V E S
LOVES playing with anything that is not a toy. Now that she can crawl so well she is all over the house and into absolutely everything.
LOVES shaking her head back and forth with a big smile on her face.
LOVES playing in the dog’s water bowl. Momma doesn’t love it so much.
LOVES food. She is far more interested in table food than her bottles.

H A T E S
HATES having her face wiped off after eating.
HATES being tired or hungry.

So glad there are more loves than hates!

E A T

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Ivy officially weaned five days ago and it really couldn’t have gone smoother! It was the perfect timing and was really what was best for both of us. She transitioned to formula with no issues and takes a bottle well. Right now we do table foods, a pouch and then a 4 ounce bottle three times a day, 6 ounce bottles in between.

She is much more interested in table food and purees than her bottles and it can be a struggle to get her to take a full bottle. But she’s chunky as ever and very healthy so she must be just fine!

S L E E P

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Finally Ivy is consistently sleeping through the night! It took her much longer than I would have liked and I am so glad she’s figured it all out! Now I would say she is a great sleeper except she still has not adjusted to daylight savings time (maybe never will), and is waking up far too early now!

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

|5:30am wakes up, eats and goes back down in her crib until 6:30am.
| Morning nap between 8:30-9am. This nap lasts about an hour and a half.
| Afternoon nap between 12-1pm. This nap is typically two 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!

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Ivy,

This past month has been the best so far! You are on the move and so incredibly active. You have become so much happier now that you can move and groove on your own! Your smile lights up a room and you are a major momma’s girl. I don’t mind though cause you are the sweetest! Love you with my whole heart Ivy Corinne.

 

Look How You’ve Grown

~7Months to 8 Months~

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YUM| Creole Alfredo

Every once in a while I come up with a recipe I just have to write down and share! This was birthed from a night where I forgot to thaw chicken or beef from the freezer. I had a little smoked sausage in the fridge and threw this together. It was inspired by a similar cajun pasta recipe I make often, but I changed it just enough to have created something new!

It was a hit with the whole family! Even Nora gobbled it up (its only a tiny bit spicy, especially if you’re slurping individual noodles like she did).

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Creole Alfredo

|What You Need|

  • Smoked Sausage
  • Broccoli
  • Peppers (Bell or Sweet Mini)
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 8-ounces pasta
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

*I’ve linked the seasoning I used, but you could buy any kind of creole seasoning or even look up how to make your own! 

 

|What You Do|

One| Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Two| Saute broccoli and peppers in the butter until tender. Add sausage and continue cooking over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

Three| Add cream and Creole seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently for 3-4 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.

Four| Remove skillet from heat, stir in parmesan cheese. Add pasta to sauce and toss.

 

Enjoy!

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Photo Dump | Instagram

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I know that not everyone has Instagram and I post a ton of photos on there! Many of my family members read my blog daily, but aren’t able to see my Instagram photos. So I wanted to post of the most recent ones! If you have Instagram and don’t already follow Everyday Smith, click here to do so!

I do these posts every once in a while for those who don’t have Instagram. It has been a few months since I have posted one. So here are my most recent Instagram photos! 

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