Friday, December 1, 2017

Our 2017 Christmas Card

Tis the season for holiday cards and I am pretty excited. I love choosing our Christmas cards from Shutterfly. There are so many options to choose from, you will most definitely find a design that fits your style. I am pretty certain I will forever send out Christmas cards because it is just so much fun, plus there is something about getting a card in the mail that brightens my day, so I hope it brightens yours as well.

We teamed up with Shutterfly again this year for an amazing card! We have used them several times in the past, both kids birth announcements and birthday invitations, they never disappoint. The quality of the cards exceeds my expectations every time. I am in LOVE with these cards, and I am pretty certain I say that every year. As usual, when I put the card together on their website, by the way it is super user friendly, I  was obsessed, but then they came in the mail and I was even more obsessed; I could not wait to address them. I hope you love them as much as I do.

We had family photos about a month ago and we went with more of a fallish theme, even though it was 85 degrees that day, so that was my hope for the card. I will be honest, it was hard to decide. There are so many options. We ended up going with one of their foil stamped cards and I couldn't be happier with what we chose. (found here).

Ordering the cards is super easy and you can customize them however you want. Originally I thought I wanted a single picture on the front and then a few pictures on the back, but you can tell ultimately I decided to add a few more pictures to the front. If you have a hard time deciding like I did, you can save the card to your favorites, by clicking the "heart," and then go back and pick which one works best. I am sure whatever one you chose you will not be disappointed.

Finally there are many options to add on to customize your card a little more. I chose to round the edges because I like that look. You can also chose to foil your envelopes, which I decided to not do this year, maybe next year :) What might be my favorite option is Shutterfly will address all of your cards for you. You create an address book and they will put the addresses right on the cards. I did not have all my addresses in one place when I ordered so I did not take advantage of this, but I will be uploading them for next year. I did chose to have them put the return address on the envelopes for me though.

If you still need to order your cards go visit Shutterfly and get designing, you will be so happy you did and so will everyone receiving them. Shipping is super fast and the customer service is exceptional! Shutterfly currently has 50% using code BEST, ends Sunday 12/4, so hurry! Happy shopping and cheers to the holidays.

Thank you to Shutterfly for another amazing Christmas card. This post is sponsored by Shutterfly.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Zander - 18 Months

I seriously can not believe this boy is a year and a half already! We are officially closer to two than we are to one now. It really makes me pretty sad! We are almost 100% certain he will be our last so that means no more babies for me!

I didn't realize I didn't do a 15 month update on him so it has been awhile. The last update I did was for his 12 months.

Stats: You are 24.2 pounds and 32.9 inches tall. You are one solid little boy. You are currently wearing 18 month pants and mostly 24 months or 2t shirts. You are in size 4 diapers and we will probably stay there for a little while longer. Your head is still really small. I am not sure what is going on with this but the doctor isn't concerned so we will just keep an eye on it.

Sleep: Well lets just say you are a dream little boy! You are so drastically different than your sister in this department. We did sleep train you at 11 months and you caught on like a champ. You are one early riser though!! You were doing well with sleeping until 6-630 but lately it is more like 5-515, you are up and ready for the day. It is a little early if I am being honest. You do go to bed at 630 though so really I guess I shouldn't complain. I wouldn't mind pushing your bedtime back until 7 but most nights you are surely ready at 630. I use to put you in bed every night but about 6 weeks ago that changed. Now you like your daddy to put you in bed. I turn on your diffuser and sound machine and we all read some stories on the couch. You give us all kisses goodnight and daddy takes you to your room for a few songs. Some nights you roll around in your bed or talk for a few, but you get settled right in. You have a random night here or there where you wake up during the night, but for the most part you sleep from 630-515am. You are currently napping one time, usually 1230ish-3ish. Daycare really made us transition to that one nap a day but you are doing pretty well with it.

Eating: You are one picky boy, funny looking back your sister was the same way. You love your fruits and veggies, but not much meats. The past month you have gotten worse and hardly eat dinner. I think teething is playing a role in that but we just go with it. You love yogurt and most of your breakfasts are cottage cheese and a fruit. You drink whole milk from a cup with a straw. We got rid of the bottle of the bottle right before you turned 1 and thankfully it was an easy transition. Some days you eat a lot others nothing much at all. You are still nursing in the mornings, but mostly because you get up at the butt crack of dawn and I love those morning snuggles with just you. You have weaned from breastfeeding all on your own. For a good time we were doing night and morning but at night you wanted to play with your sister and had no interest in breastfeeding so we just stopped trying. I think I wanted it more than you. I am not sure how long we will continue with the morning session but we will just play it by ear. I truly cherish this breastfeeding journey we have had.

Play: You are into EVERYTHING! You love to climb on everything and explore. Your sister continues to be a favorite of yours, though lately you two have really been pushing each others buttons. You guys love playing hide and seek and chase throughout the house. You love to read; some favorites are Brown Bear Brown Bear, Snuggle Puppy, Halloween Eekkk (you love making the robot sounds from this book), and I Love You Every Little Bit. You love to be outside playing at the park and have recently discovered you can go down the slide by yourself. Bubbles are a favorite as well and trying to ride Kinley's tricycle...soon enough buddy. We did do a beach trip, which  you were pretty unsure of, it took you a little to sit in the sand and start to enjoy yourself. You probably could do without without the beach; you can stay with Daddy while Kinley and I enjoy our beach days :)

You have 12 teeth with 4 left and then your two year old molars. I will for sure be happy when this teething non sense is over. You have a handful of words, but not too many. We will continue to watch that and hopefully you will explode like your sister did around 2. You started daycare this past September and you do so well. I was really worried, but you love your teacher and enjoy some play time with kids your age.

You love the bath and being crazy with your sister. You absolutely hate getting your diaper changed and it is a fight every time. You got your first hair cut and look like such a big boy!!

Happy year and a half birthday buddy! You are so laid back and usually a go with the flow type of guy. Not too much makes you upset, except a diaper change or your sister ripping toys from your hands, other than that you are one happy boy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Kinley Reese

It sure has been a minute so I thought I would do an update, one kiddo at a time. Things have been extremely hectic and finding time to blog just hasn't happened.

Lets start with Kinley. Oh my gosh!! 3 is hard!! This has really been a challenge for us! She has always been a hard kid, demanding and wanting things her way all the time. I have always said with this girl, she is not going to do something until she is ready and not a second before that. Remember my birth story with her; I pushed for 5 hours and ended in a c-section. Yep this girl has her own agenda, always has. Matt and I have learned to step back a little and let her assert this independence she has. She is so strong willed and sassy right now, but the sweetest thing. She is our sour patch kid. Sour one second and sweet the next.

The tantrums are off the charts! The kicking, raising her hand like she is going to hit, slamming doors and yelling. It is a lot! We have very high expectations of her and really have to step back and remember she is 3.5 and has to learn things, while instilling manners and kindness. There really is a fine line with disciplining her and letting her figure things out. We do put her in timeout in her room when she gets out of control. Mostly because I know she needs the time to cool off and I don't want her putting any holes in my wall or her brother's head with the toys she throws. I pick her up, put her in her room and tell her to come out when she can say sorry. Usually she is screaming her head off and then quickly calms when I pick her up, saying "No thank you mom, I don't want to go to my room." Then I tell her yes she is going to her room and she can come out in a few and then the tantrum starts again. She will yell and scream for a few but then calms herself down and comes out. Most times she doesn't come out and say she is sorry but she is calm so we let her come out. She eventually will say she is sorry at sometime throughout the day and it ends up being a very random time, but she does it when she is ready and I never have to tell her again to apologize.

She usually is not mean, but we have had a few episodes of her being mean. I struggle with this. She is not a mean child. I don't know where it comes from, other than her just figuring things out. It really is hard to remember she doesn't have the coping skills we have and just sometimes doesn't know how to deal with situations that are frustrating. I mean really; sometimes I want to to scream at the top of my lungs and cry my eyes out too when things get frustrating. How can I tell her she can't do that?! Ahhhh parenting is tough! Most of the times she is the sweetest thing though! And the love she has for her brother melts my heart daily!

We had her speech tested a few months back because she isn't enunciating some syllables and words correctly and we wanted to be proactive and do something now if something needed to be done. Do you know how hard it is as a parent to admit there could be something wrong with your child?! So hard guys, but we knew we had to put our feelings aside and do what was best for Kinley. Thankfully the speech therapist said there is nothing to worry about. She does have a little bit of a frontal lisp but it should correct itself by the time she is 5, the struggles she has are 100% normal for her age and she is right on track. The therapist said she is one bright child and her articulation was above average. She had a great year in preschool and I know she has grown so much with her social skills. She amazes me everyday with things she tells me. They watch EVERYTHING, even when you think they are not watching, they are!

We had her in swim lessons since her 3rd birthday and decided to take a break for the summer. We will probably start again in the fall when hopefully things calm down a little. We wanted to give her a chance to participate in other activities as they came up over the summer. We tried gymnastics and she really liked it so we might start that up again as well. She is moving to a new preschool in the fall so we want to get through that transition first and see what activities they have to offer.

I can't believe she is going to be 4 in just a few short months! Like I said 3 has been tough for us but it has really been an eye opening learning experience for Matt and I. She is a great kiddo and we are so blessed to call her ours! While we have had a few downs with her the past few months we have had many more ups and we are very lucky! She is healthy, happy and loves her brother more than anything in the world!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Summer Bucket List

Now that the warmer weather is here I have started to think about some things I really want to do this summer. It is hard to fit things in working full time but we always make time. I love summer, but most days are too hot for little ones here in VA Beach so we get out early! What is on your list for summer?

15 Things to do this Summer

1. Get to the beach. You would think living at the beach we would go frequently, but not so much. It is quite the feat to get to the beach, especially with two.

2. Get frozen yogurt

3. Go to the aquarium

4. Have a water balloon fight

5. Go swimming

6. Watch fireworks

7. Go to the Splash Pad

8. Have a cookout

9. Go on a bike ride

10. Have a picnic

11. Go to the waterpark

12. Go on a date

13. Go to a baseball game

14. Make homemade ice cream

15. Play in the sprinklers

Now to get out and start making memories. I have to say I have the best crew to make these memories with. What is on your summer bucket list?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bye Bye Bink - The Oily Way

If you follow me on Facebook or IG you know I have recently become obsessed with Young Living oils. I got my starter kit about 2 months ago and fell in love immediately.

The first night I set up the diffuser, Kinley fell asleep in 10 mins and she did not fight me or cry. I was shocked! I will be honest, I was not hooked yet but I was on my way. Matt was working that night, so I though maybe it was a fluke, but I sure as heck was not going to quit diffusing.

Second time the same thing. She did not fight me and was asleep in 10 mins. This has gone on since we got our starter kit 2 months ago. Now of course every night has not been perfect but this is leaps and bounds better from where we were 2 months ago. We also use a roller on her at night on her feet. She loves using her roller. We apply while we are reading stories and then right before we say her prayers. She helps me put the oils in the diffuser every night.

It has been a week since she gave her binks to the dentist. I was dreading it. About 6 months ago we tried the "binki fairy." It was a disaster! I am not joking, 3 days of HELL. She screamed at the top of her lungs and was up a million times a night. We were all miserable! No one was sleeping. After 3 days Matt and I decided to give her the bink back and we would try again at a later time. Fast forward 6 months, she had a dentist appointment and I told her she had to give her binks to the dentist because the babies needed them and they were messing her teeth. She was total agreeable, though she was with the binki fairy too so I wasn't sure how it would play out.

The first night wasn't great. She was up a few times a in the middle of the night but calmed down fairly easily. Each night progressively has gotten better. And now a week in, I haven't had her ask for her bink in a few days. I am so proud of her. I would 100% say our oily life has contributed to her being able to give up her binki without much fuss. I know this because we tried without and it was a mess! I am so thankful I decided to purchase my starter kit 2 months ago, best decision ever.

A few other ways I use my oils daily:

A drop of orange on my toothpaste morning and night to promote teeth whiteness

A drop or two of lemon in my water

Roll my roller along my neck and shoulder because I can not stop sleeping with my arm up, so I wake up with a kink every morning

Stress away on my wrists before I leave for work because I hate traffic

Peppermint and lemon in my desk diffuser at work so I stay awake

Gentle baby and lavender in the kids baths

Valor on my feet before bed

Stress away on my wrists and forearms before bed for the calming scent

If you are interested in joining me on this oily journey leave a comment or shoot me a message on FB or IG! I would love to teach you!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Life Lately

I haven't done much of an update about life lately so I wanted to share a few things.We have been so so busy with everything I feel like I can't keep up sometimes. #momlife right?

Zander turned 1 and we went on a little family getaway which was amazing and much needed. I was happy to be home though for all of us to get back to our sleep schedule. Traveling with kids is so hard. I really like being on a schedule so sometimes traveling is stressful. It is worth the memories and I will always choose to travel, but it doesn't mean it is any easier.

My sister came to visit with my new nephew James and we had an amazing time! I miss her so much and wish the kids could spend every weekend together. Some day!

On another note if you have seen some of my recent posts you know I have become oil obsessed.  I got my starter oil kit through Young Living and wonder why I didn't do it sooner! If you have been around here for awhile you know the struggles we have had with the kids in the sleep department. That was my initial reasoning for wanting to try the oils but overall I want to have a toxic free home and oils will give that to me.

I got my starter kit for my birthday just over a month ago and it has been life changing. The first night I used my diffuser Kinley did not fight us and went right to sleep. I wasn't getting my hopes up yet but I was so excited. I am happy to say this has continued since the first night. Now don't get me wrong there have been some nights that have been harder than others, but for the most part she goes to sleep in like 10 mins and does not cry or throw a fit. I have definitely found some oils work for her and some don't.

Not only are we using oils for sleep, but for many other things as well, I will save all that for another post because there are so many ways to use oils and I am so thankful I finally bought the kit after a lot of research. Do you use oils? What do you use them for? Probably a silly question since you can use them for everything but I would love to hear! If you have any questions or are interested in learning more I would love to help you out! Leave a comment, shoot me a message on FB or IG and we can chat oils! You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Sister Time

My sister and my youngest nephew were just in Virginia Beach visiting. We had the best time. It was the first time I had met James and fell in love instantly. I was definitely missing his brother though. It is so hard being far away. The time we spend together is great but never long enough.

All three of these kiddos had a blast! I can't wait to plan our next trip to Colorado. Julie and I had a lot of one on one time because Matt worked Beach Weekend the entire weekend. I already miss her a lot!