November 27, 2013

a day in the life - nikki

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!  I am so anxious for the next 6-7 hours to go by so we can kick off the four day weekend (YES, my husband has all four days off!  SCORE).  But first, please keep Berkeley in your prayers today, she is having some tests done, and could be declared in remission today if all goes well.  That would be something to be VERY thankful for.

And now, enjoy a day in the life of Nikki.  It sounds like a pretty decent day to me!  :o)


Hi! My name is Nikki,  and I blog over at Nikki's Nacs. I am a wife and stay-at-home mama to 2 little boys ages 8 and 3. I had planned to share a "typical" day in our life, but it turned into a not-so- typical day very quickly. Oh, and I should probably mention that I homeschool our boys. 7:12 - I am awake 18 minutes before my alarm goes off. I am normally up at 7, but it's Friday and we don't have much to do so I thought I would sleep in a bit. I already hear the boys stirring around, so I jump in the shower and then get dressed.
8:00 - I come head down stairs to start breakfast. The boys request waffles, so waffles it is.
8:15 - My Friday morning coffee arrives. My husband has breakfast every Friday with a group of guys and is sweet enough to bring me coffee. Sometimes I get breakfast, too.
Planner is from Confessions of a Homeschooler.
8:30 - We start school for the day. Fridays are usually really short days for us. Today is our last day before Thanksgiving break, so we speed through everything pretty fast. 9:10 - We are done with school for the day. I fold some laundry while the boys color at the table.
I can't make this stuff up.
10:00 - The boys and I load up for a quick run to Lowe's. I have spent a good portion of the last 2 days painting the playroom. I'm still not done, but I need to see if I can find a better option for lighting in this room.
11:00 - We get home from Lowe's and see that our neighbor has a bounce house for the day. This is when our typical day turns into a not-so-typical day. The boys go jump. 11:05 - The house is quite and I am hungry. I never did eat any breakfast. I make myself a sandwich and watch a show that I missed because I was painting last night. This is a very nice treat to actually sit down and eat my lunch. I knew my day had been made when I saw that bounce house. 12:15 - The boys finally come home for a QUICK lunch and then Cade heads back out to jump.
12:30 - Cade is gone, so I make Henry take a nap. He is not thrilled, but he cooperates. He knows that the sooner he takes his nap, the sooner he can go jump. 12:35 - I have a quiet house again, so it is time to try to put the playroom back together. I still need to paint the stripes on one wall, but decide it needs to wait until next week. Of course this means that I go through all of the toys and reorganize everything because we moved one of bookcases out. 1:45 - Henry is up. I watch him walk to the neighbors house so that he can jump with Cade. I should probably also mention that I can see the boys through the window in the playroom that I am putting back together, so they are being watched. I really could not have planned this out any better. (The boys come in and out to get water and snacks a few times, but never stay for more than a couple of minutes.) 5:15 - I am sooooo close to having everything put back together. I decided that I better stop for a few minutes and get dinner going. The boys are still across the street. The birthday party officially starts in 15 minutes, so it will still be a while before they come home. 6:00 - Asher and I sit down to have dinner. Alone. The boys are still partying across the street. 6:30 - We clean up the kitchen and then I finish putting all of the random stuff from organizing and painting away. 7:00 - I work on some laundry. 7:30 - The birthday party across the street is officially over, so I go get the boys and drag them home. I may have let them stay later since it is Friday night, but we are leaving to go out of town in the morning and I know that they will be exhausted from all of this jumping they have done all day. 7:40 - I bathe Henry while Cade takes a shower down stairs. We have to get this done quick tonight.
8:00 - Henry realizes that he is hungry, so I give him a bowl of cereal. (They had pizza at the party and he is not a pizza eater. He ate chips and cake.) 8:15 - Bedtime routines for two very sleepy boys and then lights are out.
8:30 - I come back downstairs and then Asher and I veg out on the couch with coffee and some tv. 10:00 - It's bedtime for this girl. It has been a long, productive day. 1. What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom? How fast they grow up. 2. What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas? To follow your gut and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. 3. What are your top three baby products? It has been a good while since I had babies, but my favorites were the itzbeen, a good bouncy seat, and Target brand diapers. They are so much cheaper than they name brands I used with my first baby and worked really well for us.


Thanks for sharing with us Nikki!

November 20, 2013

a day in the life - megan

I'm a wee bit ready to fast forward to next week so it can be the day before Thanksgiving.  I'm ready to get all the holiday festivities in action.  Oh well.  Enjoy another day in the life with Megan!


14Sept13 061edit

Hey y'all! I'm Megan and I blog over at Girl Meets Camera. I'm a mama of two and an Army wife currently living overseas with my family. This is my second time sharing a day in the life post here but with a move to Korea and a baby turned preschooler I think my day to day has changed a bit. Or maybe it hasn't... Anywho, I thought I'd mix it up a bit and share a weekend with you. Not our regular day to day. Here ya go!

6am - Up with the boy. It's Saturday but we still wake up with the trumpets outside. The joys of living near an Army base! First thing's first. Feed the cat. Nothing else gets done until he eats if I want to keep my legs. Start coffee and curse winter.


6:10 - I put on Monsters University for the boy. While I wait for caffeine I wipe down counters and start the load of dishes in the dishwasher I forgot to start last night...oops. Finally, sit down with coffee and catch up on blogs, emails, and the usual internet excitements.

7am - Oh yeah, breakfast! Let the dogs in and out 100 times. Fold the laundry I left in the dryer yesterday. Talk to some friends back in the states.

8am - Remember a rules test I have to take at roller derby practice the next day and get to studying.


8:45 - Finish up the practice test and sit down to do a puzzle with Timmy now that we are both up and functioning.


9:20 - Realize Layla's slumber party sleep over pick up time is 'before 10' and sprint through the house to shower and get ready. Run to grab her from her friends and come home. Hang out, put away clothes, kids play/scream with each other.


11:30 - I make the kids lunch while the hubs goes to the gym. I'll be a good wifey and wait for him to eat lunch. While they eat I clean up our morning mess and vacuum.


12:30 - Just kidding. I'm hungry and feeding myself. Still waiting for hubs so we can go to Osan (the air base which is where all the cool stuff is aka crepes and smoothies) Hmm maybe I shouldn't have had lunch first. I eat while the kids have a roaring contest in the next room.

2pm - Fiiinally we are all ready and out the door to head to Osan. I'm on a mission to get some coffee and leggings. We'll see what other randoms we find. Of course Layla is toting around her American Girl doll and Timmy HAS TO RIDE in the giant car cart. Between driving and shopping we manage to kill 2 hours at the exchange.


4pm - Leaving the exchange we head out into the Osan ville which is the little strip of shopping right off base. We start off looking for a purse that my sister in law is looking for and end up just walking the whole thing since the weather wasn't too cold. There's always crazy things to see while out in Korea!


5pm - We make it back home and start getting things ready to make dinner. We decided earlier in the day that breakfast for dinner sounded amazing. And it was. Of course it turned into the 'can we use every dish in the house while making dinner' game.


6:30 - Done with dinner. Kids watch the end of The Lorax on tv while we clean up the kitchen mess.

7pm - PJ time! Kids get ready and get in bed to read or do whatever they do before they fall asleep. But they're in bed! Movie time for mom and dad...and the cat.


Ok, now for some questions...

1. What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom? I think the fact that my kids feel like my little best friends is different than I expected. I don't remember feeling like my mom as a BFF until I was grown. I adore my kids and I love hanging out with them. Usually...

2. What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas? Don't lose yourself. Having a new baby is HARD work. Make sure you don't get too caught up in just surviving it. Take time out for you. Happy mamas make happy families.

3. What are your top three baby products? I don't have babies anymore but I want to give a shout out to the Ergo (or any similar carrier) baby carrier. Sadly I discovered it late in the baby years and my son would only stand being in it for a few months before he needed to be down and walking...and well, he's just heavy now. I wish I would have had one and used it from the get go!


Thanks for sharing with us again, Megan!

November 19, 2013

proud(ish) mama moment

This past week the whole fam (including Christopher!) packed up and headed to Georgia.  My parents had been visiting my sister in Miami, and met us in St. Simons.  Chris had two fellowship interviews in Florida, so we made use of his needing the week off and he drove back and forth between my parents place and his interviews.  I'll probably dump some of the photos here in the next week, but for now I had a little story I needed to write down.

On the way back home we flew from Jacksonville to Atlanta, and then on to Kansas City.  Our layover in Atlanta was just under two hours, so we grabbed some Chick Fil A, found our gate and ate our lunch.  Then I was back and forth between the bathroom and the gate, changing Elsie, taking Ryann to the bathroom, using the restroom myself.  I felt like I was all over the place, but at one point Chris had control of both girls so I took a moment to sit down.

A man approached me, a pilot I believe who was traveling home.  He asked me how old Ryann was.  He said he'd come across many children in airports and in the air, and began praising me for how well we had obviously raised Ryann.  He continued with, "She is so articulate and well spoken.  Listening to her converse has been a real treat.  I can tell she is very intelligent."  My cheeks flushed and a smile spread across my face.  I thanked him as I turned to look at my sweet girl. 

And I just had to laugh as I said, "Just ignore the fact that she is currently licking the window."

Strong work Ryann, strong work.  :o)


November 18, 2013

it's just monday.

I've been staring at this screen for far too long during my precious 'me' time with nothing to show.  I decided I don't want to run any more half marathons this year, maybe a 5k, maybe not, and I don't foresee my eating habits getting better again until after the holidays, so 'Move it Monday' seems kind of pointless right now.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still moving it (3.5 miles this morning!), but I'm pretty sure anyone who still pops in to read doesn't really need to hear about the same stuff over and over again.

What I'm trying to say is, after today, no more Move it Monday until after the new year.  I have grand plans of making 2014 more about me, and trying to get back in shape.  I feel like I've spent a long time with my body being used by someone else ahem, Elsie, and I'm ready to take back control.  When I'm done nursing of course.

So until then I'm going to do my best to not gain 20 pounds over the holidays, and to get in my 500 total miles of running for the year.  I've only got about 50 to go, so if I keep averaging 14-16 a week it should be no problem.

Side note, yesterday when I left to go running at 6am it was 66 degrees, stupidly windy, but 66 degrees and I wore a tank top.  This morning it was a not so toasty 34 degrees.  Obviously a temperature I'd expect in November, but come on Kansas.  What the heck is going on with the weather?


Feel free to link up a health and fitness related post below!

November 14, 2013

elsie - nine months

trying to get pictures of this kid on the stupid quilt pretty much had me fuming.  when on Earth will I learn my lesson and not plan to have some sort of regular photo shoot?  oh yeah, probably never...

How in the hell is my baby less than three months from being one?  That is simply insane.  Chris and I still are baffled by the fact that she is going to turn in to a 'real little girl' like Ryann.  I feel like I'm just going to have a preschooler and a baby forever.  As sad as I am that she is growing up, I'm slowly but surely getting quite excited for Elsie to be a little older.  Life keeps getting crazier, but more fun too :o).


Elsie's nine month check-up fell right on her monthly birthday, so at exactly nine months she weighed in at 17lbs 5oz (24th percentile) and measured 27 inches (31st percentile) long.  She is slowly dropping in the percentiles, but hasn't completely dropped off her curve and is still growing, so nobody is really concerned.  They did measure her length like three times because they thought they got it wrong (she was actually in the 69th percentile at six months), but my guess is that she is just going to be on the shorter side, and/or they had it wrong at six months.  My sister has never hit the five foot mark, so I wouldn't be surprised to have a shorty in the family.  She is wearing 6-12 month clothes, size 3 diapers and size 3 shoes.  E also sprouted a second tooth October 12th.


Let's back up to that doctor's appointment for a minute though.  It was a COMPLETE disaster.  I had both girls by myself (which isn't the end of the world but not ideal, obviously).  We get back to the room, I situate Ryann with a book, the nurse starts asking the questions, and Ryann's nose starts bleeding.  Yay.  Then the other nurse tries to measure Elsie's head, and she starts screaming.  Then Ryann decides she needs to go to the bathroom.  We get back in the room, I give Ryann the ipad, and we move on.  Then they told me they were out of the nasal mist and Ryann would have to get an actual flu shot.  Not a huge deal but I hadn't prepared her for that.  She did pretty good, but she started crying after she got her shot, and it was bloody boogers since her nose was bleeding before.  Elsie cried throughout her check-up, and then screamed during her shots.  And then Ryann started crawling around on the floor while I was nursing Elsie to calm her down.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  Not at all.  But it's over and we survived.

The doctor said overall Elsie looked very healthy.  To be cautious with anything that might contain rice or oatmeal.  To start her on miralax here and there to help her system keep up (along with regular prunes in her diet).  And she decided to wait until her 12 month appointment to worry about her tear ducts.  My fingers are still crossed that they will decide to clear up on their own by then.


Elsie is still nursing about six times a day.  I keep thinking we'll be able to drop one or two of those sessions soon, but girlfriend will crawl over and try and shove her face down my shirt, so I guess she isn't ready.  She is also eating three meals a day, but only maybe 5 ounces of puree total throughout the day?  I'm not really keeping track.  She loves to eat.  The good news is that so far it is still just the Earth's Best infant cereals that she has had any issues with.  I was all proud telling the doc that she has eaten a little bit of wheat bread and some crackers without a problem, and she reminded me that those probably aren't made with rice or oat flour... thanks for bursting my bubble!  I'm truly starting to believe that it is just something in the Earth's Best products though.  Who knows, only time will tell.  We introduced the Gerber little crunchies (which are made with mostly corn), just to see how E would do with chewing and swallowing food, and she loves the stupid things.  She also loves to much on apple slices and just this morning she ate some bits of pancake.  Time to add more table foods because she is doing great with it!  She has also almost mastered drinking out of her sippy.


Sleep hasn't changed much from last month.  She is up for the day between 6:30-7, goes down for an hour or so nap between 9-9:30, is up for about three hours, naps for another 90 minutes or so, and is in bed usually by 7pm, 7:30 at the latest.  The only thing that has changed, is that I've caved way more than I wanted to with nursing her to sleep.  She CAN put herself to sleep, but now that she is super mobile, it can take forever for her to decide she actually wants to nap.  And with Ryann having activities at certain times, I kind of need her to take her naps at certain times, so it is a lot easier to just, well, force it.  She is waking up once in the night, and I always feed her.  Sometimes she falls asleep nursing then, sometimes she puts herself back to sleep in the crib afterwards, and sometimes I wind up back in her room an hour later because she just couldn't get herself to sleep.  I am looking forward to no longer being her sleep prop, but honestly?  I LOVE the snuggles.  She isn't a snuggly baby, so the only way for me to get some is to nurse her to sleep.  So it is pretty much a selfish thing :o).  But I do it out of love!


And yes, Elsie is a VERY mobile baby now.  Her crawling speed is picking up every day.  She is pulling up on everything and trying to climb everything.  It took her maybe two tries to master going up stairs.  E is constantly getting in to trouble :o).  The honest truth is I HATE this stage.  Taking care of her is simply exhausting, especially with Ryann around.  E is always trying to get to whatever Ryann is doing, and for the most part I'm trying to get Ry to understand that she either has to play in her room or be prepared for Elsie to get in to her stuff, but I also don't want to let E destroy her creations or drawings or whatever all the time.  And I'm always worried that Elsie is going to fall and get hurt.  Yes, eventually she'll learn and get stronger, but sign me up for the padded room and baby helmet.  That would make me feel a little less worried.


Like I said I'm sad to watch the baby slowly disappear, but man, some of the things E is starting to do are so much fun!  She enjoys playing a 'chase' game of sorts with Ryann, as well as 'yelling' back and forth with Ry.  A couple of weeks ago she started playing peek-a-boo too.  The first time we saw her do it was with the kitchen rug, she pulled it up in front of her face, held it there for a bit, and dropped it down with a huge grin.  Repeat repeat repeat!  She also loves to play it with her towel after bath time.  And speaking of baths, she somewhat recently truly discovered how to splash, and can make quite the mess.  Bath time is pretty well loved in our house.  She does her own little version of dancing when she hears music.  Her favorite toys are anything that isn't her toy, or anything we don't want her to touch.  That is real fun, obviously.


Over the past month Elsie has become OBSESSED with our cats.  She chases them all over the house, tries to kiss them and just gets super excited when they're around.  She babbles more and more and we swear she is trying to say 'kitty'.  She'll kiss pictures of cats in a book, and loves cat stuffed animals.  It is funny to see her preference for cats emerge.  I completely understand the interest in the moving fur ball in the house, but I'm surprised that she can pick them out amongst toys and in books.  And speaking of books, she still doesn't really like me to read to her, but she is more interested in books in general now, so maybe we're getting close to a reading stage?  Fingers crossed on that one.


Elsie loathes diaper changes, as well as getting dressed, and pretty much turns into a crazed lunatic when I attempt either.  As of late she generally winds up without pants on, simply because it isn't worth the fight of trying to get them back on.  She also hates getting her nose or face wiped (not surprising), which is unfortunate since she has an incredibly runny nose right now.  E is also starting to get kind of pissy when we take something away or move her away from something.  Which also means she doesn't exactly let Ryann get away with hogging all the toys anymore either.  I think Ryann is really in for it over the next couple of months...


There are probably a million more things I can write about, but overall I just love Miss Elsie to pieces.  She is super cute and learning new stuff every day.  Can't wait to see where we're at next month.  Love you so much Elsie Jo!

November 13, 2013

a day in the life - justine

Good morning!  Hope you enjoy today's 'day in the life' post!


Hello Domestic Wannabe readers! My name is Justine and I blog over at little dove creations, a diy blog where I share all things that can make your house into a home! :) I am a knocked-up, stay at home mom to two little ones (soon to be three!!), and when I say stay at home, I mean it pretty literally. My husband and I have been a one car family for about three years now so pretty much every weekday is full of the same monotonousness routine. I know, aren't you excited to read about my day in vivid detail now...? ;)

6:20 am- I slowly start to wake up. We're still adjusting to the time change at our house and this is the first morning in three days that I don't hear the little pitter-patter of my 3 1/2 year old son's feet running into our room to snuggle with us. Probably because he and his sister both had tough nights last night and woke up a few times. It hits me that I'm 27 weeks along today (November 6th) and I can't believe this pregnancy is going by so quickly. I hear my 18 month old little Miss fussing in her room and when my husband, Mike, gets up to quiet her back down, I'm really tempted to blow off my morning jog. But instead I get up, get dressed, check the temp (49 degrees, which is 6 degrees warmer than yesterday! Whoop whoop!), and head out the door.
6:50 am- By the time I get home my daughter is up for real and is in bed snuggling with Mike. I start collecting laundry to be washed, turn on the frying pan to start heating up, and go get little Miss ready for the day while Mike showers.
Since we share a car, sometimes (usually every other Wednesday) the kids and I drop Mike off at work so we can use the car to run errands, but today is not one of those days.
The three of us (little man is still not up) have breakfast together, which is rare for a weekday. Then after a family prayer, Mike walks out the door, entrusting the care of our impressionable children to me, ha!
7:45 am- My daughter is finishing up her breakfast, so I go and check on my little dove who is awake laying in his bed. I ask him how his sleep was and tell him we have doughnuts and eggs for breakfast, which he is psyched about. I get him set up at the table next to his sister and then I sneak out to the garage and start a load of laundry.
9:00 am- After we're finished with breakfast and everything is cleaned up (and I've done some blog stuff really quickly), we get ready to go on our walk. We used to go early and have breakfast afterwards, but with the change in season it's too cold so we've pushed it back to later in the morning. As we pass through the garage to get the stroller, I switch the laundry over to the dryer.
10:00 am- We're home and any other week day this would be the time that I put little Miss in her Jumperoo and did some pre-school with my son, but Wednesdays are the one weekday we don't do school. On the Wednesdays when we're not gone running errands I try and set up a play dates for my son, but we're all recovering from a cold so today we're friendless. I use the electronic babysitter and put in the movie Brave so I can hop in the shower, feeling fairly confident that my kids will be able to avoid burning down the house for 5 minutes.
12:00 pm- The morning passes by quickly with the movie and playing with blocks. I've pulled the laundry from the dryer and I'll fold it later. I make some quesadillas for lunch and while the kids are chowing down on those and some bananas, I spend a few minutes on the computer.
1:00 pm- My son does something he has never done before, he walks into his room and starts climbing into bed; I guess he's ready for naptime! I put the two little munchkins down for their naps, but despite the fact that he said he wanted to nap, I spend over an hour trying to get him to lay down and go to sleep. Usually he's really good about napping, both my kids nap 2-3 hours a day; but sometimes he fights me on it and won't end up napping at all. In between trying to get him to sleep, I eat my own lunch, fold laundry, and work on a craft project for my blog. FINALLY he's quiet for about 30 minutes and I figure he's really out, so I head into my room my own nap.
3:30ish pm- I wake up out of a DEEP sleep, the kind where you know you're awake before your eyes even open and you can't move at first. I hear my little Miss fussing in her crib so I go and get her, then spend some one on one time with her snuggling and playing until brother wakes up.
4:40 pm- Little dove is up. Mike could be home anytime from 5:00 - 6:00 pm, so I usually start dinner around this time. Tonight we're having corn chowder so I decide to get going on that. I put in The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special so my little helpers won't come into the kitchen while I'm working on dinner.
5:00 pm- Mike is home and dinner's not ready (of course). After I go outside with him for a quick minute to point out some branches I think need trimming before we lose all the daylight, he takes the little man for a quick walk and leaves me with little Miss to finish making dinner.
6:10 pm- Dinner is finally ready, geez. Somehow, I always forget how long it takes for the chowder to thicken up.

6:50 pm-  On Wednesday nights Mike usually has church stuff to do, but not tonight! It's so nice to have some extra time together and have help getting the kids ready for bed! We give the kids a bath and get them ready for bed: teeth brushing, story reading (tonight it's The Foot Book), prayer saying. :)
7:30 pm- Little Miss goes to bed without any issues, snuggling up to her stuffed giraffe and giggling. Mike spends some one on one time with the little man, building towers and castles with blocks while I finish cleaning up the kitchen.
8:00 pm- We put the little man down for bed and I take shower #2 for the day (what can I say, I like to be clean and it's usually my one chance to relax during the day!). Then I turn on an episode of Bones on Netflix while I work on a craft project (a different one from earlier) and Mike works on some paperwork and cleans up the blocks, I love that man. :)
9:50 pm- I am EXHAUSTED... for real. Running after two little ones and being a human incubator is hard work! Thankfully, for the second night in a row, I'm in bed before 10:00 pm, I'm so proud of myself! :)

-What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom? Honestly, how exhausting it is. I grew up in a house with three siblings and for a good portion of my childhood my mom was either a SAHM or worked for a school so she had basically the same hours as us. I could see how much she had to do everyday and that it never ended... but as a kid I guess you don't really grasp what that means. Not only do I spend a good deal of my time being tired physically (especially while I'm pregnant), but it can be really mentally draining staying at home with kiddos all day and never really having much of a break. Sure, occasionally you get to go out to dinner alone with your husband, or have a fun night out with the girls, but somehow it's never enough to make up for the rest of the time. I'm not saying I think it's harder to be a stay-at-home parent rather than one who works outside the home, then has to come home to the chaos, but I do think it's different. I hope I don't sound ungrateful, I am SO glad I'm able to be a SAHM while my kiddos are young, but I really do believe it's one of the most physically and mentally exhausting jobs you can have; and when I think about the fact that I'll soon have three kids under four years of age, it makes me want to huddle in a corner, rocking back and forth sometimes.

-What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas? Sleep, sleep, sleep! Everyone will tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, and that is because it's excellent advice! Sometimes it's hard for me to follow my own advice because I know there's so much that I should be doing, but if you don't take the time to rest and recharge then you're not going to be the best mom that you can be. A well rested mom is a happy, fun mom. And when mom is happy, it sets the tone of the whole household!

-What are your top three baby products? (1) I am in lurve with the Aden & Anais muslin swaddling blankets. I got a set when I was pregnant with my first and they have been well used for both of my kids so far... so much so that I registered for another set with this baby! They are so large, soft, and stretchy and make the best swaddle! Plus, in a pinch I've used them for nursing covers and a clean place to lay my baby down. (2) I love my Puj tub for new babies too, it is the easiest way to wash those small, slippery babes when they're too little to sit up on their own, or even hold their head up. Bonus- it doesn't take up a ton of room like most baby tubs do! (3) I think one of the most important things (to me) is to have an awesome diaper bag that works for you. I know lots of mom just like to use their own purse, or use a simple backpack, but I'll take a diaper bag with lots of pockets and a waterproof liner any day! My first was a Timi & Leslie and I used that thing every single day for 2 1/2 years, regardless of if I had my kids with me or not because it was such a beautiful bag and didn't even look like a diaper bag! I tried a different brand (that also is very popular and most people seem to like), but I've been disappointed... I'm hoping to get another Timi & Leslie bag for Mother's Day next year. ;)

Thanks so much for hosting me Ashley! And thanks to everyone who actually read through my day!


Thanks for sharing your day with us Justine!

November 6, 2013

a day in the life - boni

I've been staring at the screen for far to long trying to thing of something interesting or witty to start this post off with, but I've got nothing.  Take it away Boni!  :o)


Hi, ya'll! I am a southern girl who loves to laugh, Mexican food, shopping, Jesus, petit fores, shoes, matching outfits, sweet tea, big bows, margaritas, the beach and my family. I am married to my super handsome, laid-back, go-with-the-flow husband, Travis. We have three daughters (I KNOW...THREE GIRLS!). Emma is, our 9 year-old, is in the 4th grade. Hannah is 6 and in 1st grade. Catherine just turned 4 and is in Pre-K. Our house is what I, lovingly, refer to as "organized chaos". It's a different kind of chaos from when the girls were very young, but each new season in life brings new challenges, (and usually shows up just as I get the current one figured out). I work in the Walmart/Sam's supplier world in NWA. My husband owns his own flooring business. As you can imagine, the dirty laundry and drama are not in short supply around our house!

5:30am: My alarm goes off. I give my self one snooze before I finally get out of bed, let the dog out and start the coffee. I check my phone (instagram, know the important stuff), then I take a shower before waking everyone up.

6:00am: I spend the next ten minutes going from room to room trying to get everyone out of bed. Emma gets right up, but she isn't happy about it. Hannah wakes up smiling and hops right out of bed. Travis and Catherine are NOT moring people. They both wake up a little grouchy and don't get up very well.

After everyone is up, I dry my hair and finish getting ready for work. Travis fixes breakfast and the girls make their beds. (Yes, even Catherine makes her bed...not very well, but she's learning). The girls eat breakfast and I lay out their clothes. Travis drinks his coffee and makes lunches. The girls get dressed, brush teeth, etc. Then, I fix everyone's hair, sign some last minute papers from school, rotate the laundry, etc

7:00am: We are out of the door. (Oops...forgot my coffee...back in to grab it!) I take Emma and Hannah to their school. Travis takes Catherine to her "school" (read: daycare). I start my 20 mile commute by 7:30.

8:00am: I arrive at work. I spend a majority of my time in and out of meetings or on conference calls. I love my job! I work with Walmart Corporate offices on what gift cards they should take, how many and where they should be placed in their 4000 stores.

5:00pm: I try to leave the office and head home by this time. Travis picks up the girls from their after school program and we meet at home.

5:30pm-8:00pm: I cook dinner while the older girls do their homework. Travis spends some 1-on-1 time with Catherine. Once Emma and Hannah finish their homework, they take turns taking showers and talking to me while I finish up dinner. After dinner, Travis cleans up the kitchen with Emma and Hannah's help. I give Catherine a bath. Then, we spend a little more time together as a family before bed. We read books, play with Gus (our dog), watch "Duck Dynasty" and just enjoy time together.

8:00pm-8:30pm: I do laundry, because let's face it, if I don't get two loads a night done, I am behind! I also pick up the house, sweep the kitchen, etc.

Around 8:30, I stop doing chores and spend some 1-on-1 time with Travis. We have really be into Homeland lately, so we are catch up on a few episodes together. I also spend a little "venting" time hashing out some craziness from work that day. (He doesn't really understand exactly what I do, so he just nods, smiles and offers some comforting words. Love that man!)

Finally around 10:00, we turn the lights out and go to bed.

-What is the most surprising thing about being a mom? Other than the massive amounts of laundry...kidding (kind of), I think the most surprising thing about being a mom is my capacity to balance work and family. There was a time I thought that I would never be able to manage my job, get the girls taken care of and keep everyone happy. But, some how, we just make it work

-What advice would you give to new or soon to be moms? Kick Mom Guilt to the curb. We all have it. Whether you miss that field trip with the school and all other moms went or you're traveling two weeks in a row. Every mom is just doing the best she can for her kids with the hand she has been dealt. Would you think ill of your friend if she didn't send homemade valentines to school for her child's class? (I've been that mom. Read here) I didn't think so. Then why not extend that same grace to yourself. (easier said that done, I know!)

- What are your top three baby products? I don't have babies anymore and things have changed SO much in just the last 4 years, but our top three things in our house are:
1) An Erin Condren Life Planner and family organization chart. I travel with work some, my girls are in all sorts of after school activities. This planner is a life saver for us. I plan meals for the week based on what we have going on and quite frankly, we would be even more crazy without it.
2) DVD Players in the car. I know it sounds ridiculous, but we spend a lot of time traveling back and forth from school to dance and home, even running errands. These help keep the peace in the back...and me sane.
3) Books. Lots and lots of books. I love to read and want to instill that in the girls early. I read to them. Travis reads to them. They read to us. They read to each other. And, I have found that if I keep new books in the house, they will read like it's going out of style.

Thanks, Ashley, for letting me participate! This is my favorite series on your blog!


Thanks for sharing your day with us Boni!

November 5, 2013

halloween festivities

It has taken me for ever to get my photos edited (and I didn't even take all that many!), and then I noticed that I missed some stuff from earlier in the month that I wanted to blog about (no surprise there), but I wanted to get Elsie's first Halloween documented, (and of course Ry's Halloween too, but you know...) so without further adieu...

We kicked off our Halloween fun with the girls and I heading to a party at my friend Tarah's house.  As we pulled up we could see a bounce house in the front yard and Ry honestly could not get out of the car fast enough.  She was jumping out and down and already out of breath before I ever got Elsie out of the car.  This stage with Ryann, where she really understands what is going on, can be tough, but the fact that she can also get incredibly excited for stuff is so fun too.  When we got inside we found a photo booth, face painting and a spooky maze, and of course lots of good food.  I was exhausted trying to handle both girls on my own, but Tarah throws a great party and Ryann had a blast.  I wish I had video of her waiting in line to get her face painted.  It was priceless.

photo courtesy of Tarah, I was a gardener, obviously.

I guess I should probably touch on the costumes too.  I had these grand plans of having the most adorable sibling costumes.  I had a bunch of ideas, and finally narrowed it down to caterpillar and butterfly (similar to this).  At some point in the process we had changed Ryann to being a bumble bee, or a 'queen bee' rather, because her favorite song is Royals by Lorde (I know I know...).  I thought that was going to be so cute, a bee costume with a little crown?  Adorable!  And if she was going to be a bumble bee, I thought it fitting for Elsie to be a flower.

And then we were talking about Halloween one day and Ryann very firmly decided she was going to be a butterfly.  No amount of coaxing or bribing could change her mind.  Fine, whatever, we could do butterfly.  But then I started thinking about a caterpillar costume for Elsie, and I couldn't come up with anything that I thought was cute, that she could actually be mobile in.  And nothing is worse than a cranky baby (actually there are worse things but you get my point), so I decided to keep her costume simple, keep her a flower and call it a day.  Of course I procrastinated putting together both of their costumes (as in made the tutus the day of the party procrastinated...) so it didn't come out as I had envisioned, but they both looked cute and Ryann loved her costume so that is what counts.

For Ryann's costume, I ended up searching 'butterfly wings' on amazon, and she picked out these.  Again, not my first choice, but it wasn't my costume.  I ordered a leotard and tights from here, because they had 51 color choices and I could get it in time (I ordered orchid pink).  For her tutu, I had originally planed on just making a regular solid color, or maybe two color tied tutu.  But then I saw this image on pinterest, and well, went to work doing my best to make it.  I promise I'll do my best to get around to posting about how I actually made it, but if I could do it again I'd definitely make some changes, and maybe figure out how to sew it (I still did a tied tutu).  I wish I would have made it a touch shorter, and been a little more particular about my layer lengths.  Oh well.  For her shoes we were lucky enough that Target had some high tops that matched almost perfectly.  Oh and the mask was in the Halloween crafts at Target as well.

Alright, moving on, that weekend we carved pumpkins at my parents house.  I had drawn a lovely girly pumpkin face on one, the J on the other, and then left them for Chris to carve while I went and nursed Elsie.  When I came back my sweet girly pumpkin had turned into a scary face.  Rude Christopher, rude.  He claims Ryann asked for it though so whatever.


On Monday the girls and I headed over to Sarah's house for a little Halloween playdate.  Sarah put together a cute little lunch, had a craft ready to go, and we took the opportunity to put the kids in their costumes and take a picture of course.  The group shot, well, it was nap time and Brennan opted not to be in it, but hey.  We tried!  Thanks for having us Sarah!


On the 31st, Ryann had a little fall party at preschool.  Elsie and I attended, but chasing E around the room didn't leave much opportunity for pictures.  Oh well, it was fun to see Ryann interacting with the kids and doing her thing.  She loves school.  That afternoon I attempted to get a picture of the girls in their festive attire.  Yeah, that went well too...


At some point I'm pretty sure Elsie ingested mud and leaves.  Whoops.  When Chris got home from work we ate a quick dinner and then dressed the girls to go trick or treating.  I was worried that Elsie wouldn't last since she is usually in bed between 6:30-7, but we all actually had a good time.  We only went door to door for maybe 45 minutes?  But Ryann had fun, and Elsie really enjoyed being outside and looking around.  There were a few houses that Ryann wouldn't go up to because their decorations were too spooky :o), but she got just enough candy, and was surprisingly ok with only getting to pick one treat from her bucket to eat when she got home.  I truly expected more of a fight about that, but she has been great with it in general.

When we got home I put Elsie to bed while Chris and Ryann passed out candy for a little while.  Ryann took her job VERY seriously, making sure to tell everyone they could pick TWO CANDIES!  At one point she had the door open, yelling at kids on the sidewalk, trying to get them to come to our door to trick or treat.  Quite the sales girl, maybe she really does take after her Auntie :o).


Hope everyone else had a great Halloween too!