Family · Home · kids

Alllllll about the pregnancy

You guys! I am so excited for this blog post- it’s what everyone has been asking me- and I promised a blog post soon! To be honest, growing this little human has totally knocked me OUT! It’s such a different pregnancy that what my other 2 have been, and I want to tell you friends all about it!

My stomach has been a mess–like nauseous NONSTOP. And headaches are on the menu as well. It’s fab. Not really. But let me say, with my other 2 boys, I had NO SICKNESS. I was happy. No nausea. No puke. No cravings. Now this time, I crave ALL THE FOOD. And I am so moody it’s unreal. Sorry world. Really, so sorry. (I’m in week 11 now and the nausea *I think* is gone! Thank goodness!)

So–lets rewind a bit…Say…..mid-January? We were headed to Ohio for the Cav’s game–remember? This was the first week I started to feel nauseous…I just wasn’t right-and I knew it! The couple weeks even before that, these boobs of mine-ya’ll. They KILLED me. All day, every day-HURT. So needless to say, I had a darn good feeling I was preggo-but still, I obviously didn’t want to let on that my gut feeling was right.

So we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner, and I felt TERRIBLE after I ate…My bestie with me said ” OH geez-every time we eat at a Buffalo Wild Wings, you end up pregnant!” I laughed-because I felt it..but still couldn’t say… ** Our first pregnancy, I was out to eat with a group of friends, felt the weird urge to throw up, ran to the bathroom, puked, felt great, ran back to sit down. “That was odd..I just threw up…But I feel great now!” Oh then the comments came…”You are so pregnant. You are totally pregnant! Etc…” Sure enough…Preggo. (Also, the only time I remember puking with Ford!) So you ladies looking to make a baby-try BWW. Seems to work for me. Heehehe

Anyways, back to this baby. I kept it hid that I wasn’t feeling that great our whole ohio trip. I even took a test before we left (which at this point, I would have been past 6 weeks) that turned out negative so here is where I start to think I’m crazy. But oh well, life goes on.

So January 16th, we were all 4 camped out in the living room, pillows on the floor, tents made out of sheets, and watching Megamind for the 800th time. Before we get into the movie, we decide we’re going to all tell fun bedtime stories… So at some point, it’s my turn. I start out “Once upon a time, there was a princess, and she found out she was going to have a baby….” Dale turns to me so fast and whispers, “Are you serious??!” I just laughed and said ” No, no. It’s just the story. I took a test.” Well the stories continued and the night went on. We all fell asleep in the living room and as the night went on, we all made our ways back to our rooms. (Couch pillow are not that comfy but one fun memory was made for us that night.)

Well the next day, we put the boys to bed, and I just knew at this point I was pregnant. I had to take another test! So I took it, and within a minute, it showed. PREGNANT. I was in utter shock and totally prepared for that at the same time. Although I think the shocked feeling won over. I walked into the living room and started to tell Dale, “So once upon a time there was a princess…(slowly now) ……and she found out she was going to have a baby…” and handed him the test. Now his face—was pure SHOCK. “Are you sure? Are you kidding? Take another.” This always makes me laugh- every single pregnancy this is Dale’s go-to remark. “Take another.” So I immediately ran to the bathroom and took another. (Yes I can pee on command every. Single. Time.) Sure enough. PREGNANT.

We wanted to be excited. This was something we had talked about for a while now! Especially Dale! (((Lately, every night, dale had been rubbing my belly saying “That’s because my little baby is in there. That’s because we are going to have another little Bebe.” This is way before we even knew! This man-he knows all. Even though this was the running joke, I think he knew too. Deep down, he knows me way better than I know myself.)))) He has been talking baby girl for probably 2 years now… But this timing. Wow. We had JUST put our deposits down on a cruise to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. And I kid you not, were taking probably 30+people with us. They all had put their money down. How were we going to tell everyone? I was slightly devastated. And let me tell you, that is hard for me to admit. We love newbies! How could I find out I’m pregnant and not be ecstatic? It was so hard to get past telling everyone at first. We thought we would be hated!

After a bit, and Dale seriously acting as my therapist ( I’m talking, holding me on the couch, in the fetal position, and letting me cry and him telling me it’s going to be a great thing.) Which of course I knew, but I was so worried about everyone else’s opinion it got in the way of my happiness! After I realized that this was crazy talk, I slowly started to get excited and couldn’t wait to tell my family…Starting with our boys!

We waited until the night before we told our family, because Little Cashy boy CANNOT keep a secret. We pretty much threatened him with all his toys he would receive that weekend if he told a soul. ( Yall this is the way to go! This kid was a VAULT. All I can think is “Huh uh..I’m a vault baby, LOCKED DOWN.” Extra points if you can name that movie.) At any rate, we went to our room and shut the door ( don’t laugh, I am a weirdo) and told them we had something very important to tell them. We then showed them a couple pacifiers and asked them who would use those…And went on to explain that there was a tiny baby in Mommy’s belly! My goodness they were so excited- Cutest thing ever! But again, they had to keep the secret until we told everyone!

We never have gotten to do a big reveal, because I am so dang impatient, I can’t wait 2 days to tell people! This time I FORCED myself to wait..and let me tell you that was ROUGH. We are so close to our family and seeing them almost every day made it a difficult secret to keep on local-down. I almost let it slip so many times!

Ok, So technically we found out we were pregnant on January 17th. We told everyone on Feb 2..Here is how it went!

For 3 years now, my family has done a cabin on my grandparents anniversary and we all pick a name of someone to buy a gift for. This year I got my Granny. Yay! This ended up being so perfect for our reveal! So it finally came time for her to open her gift, and one gift had written on it “Open Last”. After all the other gifts, she got to this one, and inside it, was this! (We open gifts one at a time so we can all see what everyone got!)

(Please excuse the TERRIBLE pics. I just snapped them on my phone in the awful nighttime lighting.)

As she opened it, the whole family caught on. “I knew it! I knew it! She’s pregnant? Are you pregnant? Is this a joke? Oh my gosh you ARE pregnant!” FYI the “Is this a joke” comment is totally valid. We like to prank our family into thinking everyone is pregnant. But I promise, I would never do this to my 80+year old granny y’all. She is too presh!

So after all the happy tears and excitement cooled, we got to explain it all to everyone and then Dale immediately called his family. They happened to all be together as well, so that worked out nicely! (Kind of sad I didnt’ get to tell one certain person myself, but ya know, life goes on.)

So there it is yall! Our little story for the third baby! We are so excited and it’s so fun to hear our little guys tell people about he baby in Mommy’s belly. They want a girl 100%…So we are trying to let them know it could be a boy. Well they refuse to accept that so here in about 5 more weeks, our life could get interesting..

Now, I am on to start looking for Maternity clothes and needing to start stocking up on diapers! Life is getting crazier by the minute, and I’m kind of in love 😍.

Any thoughts? Questions? Let me know! And of course,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

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Deals · Family · kids · Travel

Family Time and our newest baby

Hey yall! Just a little life update-blog style!

I am so hoping you all enjoyed your time off with family and friends this week! We have taken advantage of every second off work/school so far and I know we will be so sad when it’s over!( Family leaving always makes us so sad.) It’s not too often you get 3 weeks off school….The out of town family comes in for a week+… Then (hopefully) head to Kentucky to see the little sister and party for a while. (I love to always be on the run-it’s embedded in me and I hope it never stops!)

At the moment, were spending time in Greenville with family and its just what the doctor ordered.(Literally. I work for a doctor and he told me to enjoy time with my family this week. Boom. I actually can follow directions.) Sometimes being with the fam is just what we need right?

And while family being in town is BEYOND fun, it’s slightly exhausting. We party hard yall! Ok by “party hard”, I might mean eating every piece of junk around and playing cards til the wee hours of the night. And let me tell you-these peeps don’t play around. We stay up until 2, 3, 4am+, and while it’s all fun and games when we are at it–the next morning is ROUGH. This poor mama can’t hang that late! I am a SLEEPER. I seriously love my sleep and NEED it. (Lame I know.) Kudos to all you people who can roll with the big dogs and stay up past midnight every night. I’m way jealous.

Catch this: At one point this weekend, we had almost 30 people at our house. 30 PEOPLE!And you know what? It was one of the most fun family nights I can recall! I wish I would have taken some pictures to share with you–but I am a firm believer in the “if I didn’t take pics that night, it must have been a great time” mantra. Well, this was one of those nights. Definitely one for the books. So you will just have to take my word for it, K?

And while I wanted to get my kids to sleep at a decent hour, everyone begged to let Ford stay up with the other kids. Sheesh. Any other Mama’s out there let the guilt get to them? Well I gave in and let him stay up past midnight. (He is usually in bed by 8pm.) So what does this mean for Mom? Let’s just say a “not-so-easy-day.And keep in mind, they have stayed up so late for several nights in a row now and ooooooh it kills me! I am a creature of routine when it comes to my kids bedtimes, because I know how they work. It’s so important for mine to stick to the plan or everything at some point will fall to pieces. Nonetheless, I am trying to sway a little bit for this week so we can enjoy family and I hope those little boys appreciate it!

Either way, sometimes amidst all the craziness (and crabbiness) you need a new toy or puzzle or SOMETHING to keep the kids happy.

In our case, enter the CRAFT . She has been a lifesaver this week! Our tiny people were BEYOND THRILLED to get to open this big box in the mail. When I told them it was Blog mail for them, they instantly did a little happy dance. (I am the same way boys… Blog mail is my favorite!)

So I, of course, have to share with my favorite people on my corner of the internet about our sweet CRAFT. He is a creature from a faraway planet with the softest fur and sweetest cuddles any toy could give. (Ok so maybe he isnt technically from another plantet, but we are rolling with the storyline given with him. Or, in our case, her.)

My Cashy Boy promptly named his CRAFT Kiri (which- I am so proud of. I can’t lie. He usually wants to name everything Lightening. Or Jackson. So to pick a girl and give her a cool name is fun for me. I keep finding myself talking about Kiri because I like her name so much.)

Some highlights from our newest lady? The softness is out of this world.(Pardon the pun.) No joke– I can’t think of any softer fabric!

She also has extra long arms and legs for giving the biggest hugs! On the website, they come in a variety of colors, designs, and different animals-all equally fun and sweet!

Another plus, and in my opinion, maybe one of the greatest bits about these sweet creatures? They are wonderful for children with autism or anxiety disorders! Check out this fabulous article written HERE for some in depth information.

Our boys have been having the time of their lives with Sweet Kiri. They have taken here on our little weekend family trip and they already are talking about taking her to see auntie Jamie in Kentucky! I guess this soft little bear is the newest part of the family. Maybe she will become a regular blog guest. πŸ™‚

Now my boys are 3 and 5 and are ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE with this lovie. They have a couple of things that have to go with us on every trip including Ford’s baby blanket (I made it when he was 6 months old) and Cash’s pillow.I have a strong feeling baby Kiri is the newest family member and will now be making every trip with us…I wish she was around when they were smaller! She is currently sleeping with my boys and it’s the cutest thing I have ever seen. For real real.

Little Kiri has given us a little bit of peace this wild weekend and I felt like you all needed to know how awesome she has been to us! My kids have been walking around telling people, ” This is our first Blog-mail!” It’s the cutest thing ever, I’m tellin’ ya.

Don’t you think these would make the GREATEST keepsake gifts for any kid you know? I also thought this would make one of those awesome animals you take a baby picture every month with-from newbie on up! It would be such a cute gauge to show how much they have grown each month, and every year after!

They are bound to quickly turn into one of the kiddo’s best buddies! Fortunately, ihelpmoms.com is giving us a coupon code to buy one for everyone on your gift-giving list! Just enter code: ihelpmoms10 at checkout! Yall, check the website QUICK because so many CRAFT animals are on super clearance and will be finding new homes fast! Grab a few for the grand babies/nieces/nephews/EVERYONE.

So if you feel like being the sweet parents for a minute, order one of these sweet babies for your little and thank me later.

Ok so now that my rant about our newest love is over, how is your winter break? I personally am loving having Dale off of work for a WEEK STRAIGHT and seeing him have so much fun with his family in town. It’s the cutest! And getting to forego housework for a week is pretty killer too( Minus all the laundry that comes with 7 extra people sleeping here.) Other than that, we are living it up over here in Knoxville. What about you all?

At any rate, thanks for checking in here I will see you guys next year!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · Home · kids

Ectopic Pregnancy -My experience

*This is another one of those Lady only reads y’all…Believe me . Men-step away.*

So what is an ectopic pregnancy?

Most women refer to it as a ‘tubal pregnancy’, and most women would never think it would happen to them! It is when pregnancy occurs in the Fallopian tube instead of the uterus where a healthy pregnancy has to take place. Tubal pregnancies only occur in 1-2% of all pregnancies and can be life threatening to the mother if not treated.

I know a few people already know, but in between my 2 boys, I had an ectopic or “tubal” pregnancy. It was one of the -for lack of a better word-weirdest experiences of my life. *Please know, this is just my experience and everyone’s will be different! Please don’t let this freak you out at all! I just wanted to share with you all. If you think you are having any issues with your pregnancy, see your doctor!*

Like I said, it was after I had Ford, and we were just in the process of talking baby #2. Want to know my whole story? Grab a snack because this is a long one…

I was going to be spending the day with my Mom, dropping her at a routine appointment and knew she would be a while. I decided to run to the mall for some fun shopping to kill some time!

The shopping fun ended up being short lived. I can remember exactly where I was standing when I got the most HORRIBLE pain in my lower left abdomen. I could pinpoint it, it was so direct. ( I also happened to be underwear shopping in VS..and 1 year old in tow.) So as I get this striking pain, Ford is running around VS like a wild man. I am doubled over next to a table of pretties, and feeling some of the worst pain I can remember. I knew something was wrong and right then got a call from my Dad asking for me to pick him up at his truck.

I book out of the mall to the car. As soon as I got to the car, it hit me. Oh shoot…. I have to poo..It’s bad. Gotta go. .. *Keep in mind–I never get this feeling. Ever.* So here is where it gets gross…Men, if you are still here, turn away now! I ran back into the mall, to the bathroom, and there was no poo. At all. Just total blood. The toilet was full and I was scared. So not knowing what to do next, I just got cleaned up, hopped in the car and drove to get my Dad. He jumped in the driver’s seat and I moved to the passenger seat and laid my seat back. He asked, “What are you all going to do today?” I was in allllllll the pain and still freaking out, but just said “ahhh…probably go to the ER.” He looked over at me and said “Why? What’s wrong with you.” Then I am shaking a little and say ” I’m in awful pain and I am bleeding.”

He goes into total Dad mode and says so matter-of-factly, “I’ll keep Ford. I’ll drop you off at the ER. Then I will pick up your Mom and we will be back over here right after.” *Her appointment happened to be right next door to the hospital, so overall, perfect conditions for this crazy situation*

I couldn’t get a hold of my Hubbs to explain to him that I was in the ER for quite some time, and while ‘ectopic’ was in the back of my mind, I didn’t mention it to him when I finally reached him! He was on a job pretty far away, and he said he would be over right away but I told him not to worry. “By the time you get here, we will be gone. No worries! I”m fine! I’ll see you in a few hours!Love you!”

In the meantime, I am getting all of these tests done. Ultrasounds. Bloodwork. Urine tests. Everything. I can’t remember exactly how it all went, but after so long one of the nurses asked me the million dollar question “Is there a chance you could be pregnant?” I proceeded to give her my million dollar answer. ” I mean, I’m married. Isn’t there always a chance I could be pregnant?” I am still in decent spirits at this point, mind you.

At some point, one of the nurses is finally brave enough to tell me what is going on. Before this moment, not a single one would leak even a smidgen of detail! I can picture them all now outside the nurses desk talking “Awww..how awful….I don’t want to tell her!……Well, I certainly won’t be the one.” Etc.

Whoever the brave soul was that stepped up, explained to me that I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. She told me my HCG levels were raised just enough to show I might be pregnant, but not like they should be. She then showed me the ultrasound of the tube with the tiniest little dot/blur ever! “You see that little tiny dot? That is the start of pregnancy-but it’s stuck in the tube. When babies come-in order for them to survive-they have to be in the uterus. I’m so sorry honey.” This is the vague explanation which was accompanied by condolences that I don’t quite remember, but I know they tried to console me in some very nurse-like way.

But at this point, I am in total shock. I can’t believe my first inclination was right.

Now I have to call Dale to explain, that I am technically pregnant, but our baby won’t live. So I make the call and I am crying and trying to explain this….”I’m pregnant but…” He is saying so happily, “You ARE?? You ARE PREGNANT??” And of course I lose it. “Babe, It’s an ectopic pregnancy. The baby can’t live.” He had never heard of one and was so optimistic “No I am sure there is something we can do. There’s gotta be something.” I had to tell him I would explain it all when I saw him, that it was the same thing that happened to our family member. We just caught mine extremely early. The nurse said I had to have only been 2 days pregnant or so and that’s why it was so difficult to 100% “diagnose”, hence every test known to man being done.

They told me as long as HCG levels were rising, the baby was still “alive”. When the levels started to drop, we knew the baby had passed. I want you to know how hard that was-to know I was still growing a baby that had no chance at life. And was just waiting for it’s life to end. It’s all I could think about! So over the next two weeks I had to continue to get blood drawn to check HCG levels ( I think I went twice before the levels dropped.) *This makes me feel so sick now to put in actual words for the world to see. I feel like there is no delicate way to say it.*

So now we knew the baby was gone, but it was still in the tube. The doctor gave me a couple options-and was so gentle and sweet with the way he worded it all. I can’t remember his name or exactly what he said, but I remember his demeanor and thinking how it was so crazy to me that a man could be this understanding to a mother. He said he would take all the time needed to explain to me the options as to what to do next, and would do his best to make us comfortable. That meant so much to me and I am still so appreciative!

We decided to go with a Methotrexate shot. It sometimes can be used when a person has Cancer, as it rids your body of anything foreign-anything it doesn’t recognize. In this case, the embryo of our lifeless baby. This was such a difficult concept for me to wrap my head around, but we talked with the older men in our congregations about it. They explained to us this shot would be ok since we already lost the baby, and would have had no way to develop as it was. One elder in particular, also couldn’t believe he was hearing this for the second time–as a close family member had an ectopic as well. They are so uncommon, and we both ended up having one. Hers, on the other hand, was much more severe.

She was further along (I think 7-8 weeks?) and knew she was pregnant for a bit. She started to have some pain and slight bleeding and finally made it to the ER for surgery to remove hers…Long story short…Her’s ruptured while they were operating. If she would have waited a few minutes longer, she could have died! Thank goodness all is well and she is healthy and great now! No problems at all. * I did get permission to post a little about her story, but since it isn’t mine, I will leave it to her to maybe guest blog one day. : ) *

Now mine was different in that it was so small and caught so early I didn’t need surgery. The ‘shot’ would take care of ridding my body of the embryo. *Once again, I feel like there is no delicate way to say any of this. It all sounds so harsh. I wish I could sugar coat it a bit more, but this is all I am capable of dolls.* (They did make me wait 2 weeks to get the methotrexate. This threw me for a loop, as I knew when my family member had one, once they knew what it was, they had to act fast. Not to mention, I had already had to sit and wait for a baby to pass that I knew would never make it. I just wanted this to all end and we could move on! )

Little did I know this shot would send me into full on LABOR. After so many hours, I started getting pain and pressure down low as if I was in full-term labor, ready to push! I was not prepared for that in the least bit. This went on for hours, every few minutes feeling this intense pressure near my rear, and after several bathroom breaks, suddenly, it was over. No more pain. Nothing. Over just like that.

After it was all over, and my hormones started to level out, we got ourselves back to normal! Overall, I look back and think how much worse this could have been. I am so happy I went to the doctor that first moment as I never go to the doctor for pain!

I also, as awful as it sounds, am happy I didn’t know I was pregnant going into it. If I would have known, even for a day-even for a minute-that I was pregnant, I would have been crushed to the core. This is also one of the reasons I think emotionally I bounced back as quickly as I did….. And now thinking back, we always wonder “Maybe that would have been our little girl! Or what would he/she have looked like?” Either way, give or take 6 months we were pregnant again with sweet little Cashy boy and can’t imagine life without him! While we were all thrilled when we first found out, we were also terrified it would happen again! (Your chances are higher to have another ectopic if you have had one before.) Low and behold, everything was perfect and he has been the craziest little addition to our home. We are so thankful for the boys we have, and just can’t picture life any other way.

Ok there it is. One of the craziest parts of my life is now public. As most of you now realize, I am an open book, but for a while, this is something I was not ok to talk much about, except with a few close friends. Now I am to the point I am ok to share, and welcome any questions or comments you all may warrant.

Thanks for reading through my craziness and know, it was over 4 years ago-so it’s not 100% a complete story, but it’s the best I can remember! Again, please, if you think you are having any type of complications with your pregnancy, see your doctor!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Huge thanks to Jeremy at Upsplash for letting me use this beautiful flower pic!
Family · Home · kids

Bad Moms

Any other bad mommas out there? Raise your hand….

You know, the ones who truly love their kids with every ounce of their being, but still get frustrated over tiny things. The ones who want to be patient, but can’t keep calm when the kids are pushing them over the edge. The ones who truly are trying to do what’s best, but struggle. It happens, I know. I’m there. It’s so hard for me to look back at being the parent of one child and remembering how easy it was. I know I have said it 100 times already, but ask anyone–I loved it. It was simple. We got every single line in the book when we told people I was pregnant-the biggest being “Your life is about to change forever!” First of all: that’s terrifying. Stop telling newbie parents that. Secondly: it isn’t always true. Our first baby was a breeze, and I literally can’t hardly remember getting frustrated with him unless I knew he was acting out on purpose. Now no one ever tells you baby number 2 will “rock your world” or “change your life” but maybe this is the time you should start sharing this knowledge with parents. Little cash money gave us a run for ours, and it was simple for a bit, but as time went on, life got hard and Momma got frustrated. You can see it on my face now-I show the frustration in a second. I can’t handle the noise. Literally, my children are walking, talking, noises. Make that YELLING noises. They tear the pillows off the couch and this. Oh this is my pet peeve. You know why? Because I end up picking them up. Me. Yup. Not the little tornadoes who wrecked the place. It’s. a nightmare. You know what else ticks me? The fact that any other person can tell them “No, no, Let’s not do that” in the sweetest little tone, and when I tell them to stop it has to be at the decibel of 100k UT fans screaming because of the last second Hail Mary catch to win the game.You want to know why I have to be so dad-gum LOUD?? Because they are CONSTANTLY YELLING. Literally-nonstop. Inside voices don’t exist here and it’s beyond my comprehension. Either way, every once in a while, i have these “I am a terrible Mom” thoughts. They sneak up, they take over, and they are the worst. I asked my husband a few nights ago, ” Do you ever get the feeling that you have failed as a parent?” And I am not talking about raising my kids to be decent. They are. But, I mean, feeling like you exploded too hard that day. Or ignored them too much that week. It’s a rough road ya’ll. I had my week last week, and I had my epiphany. When Ford was a babe, I had no smartphone. I had no job (except to be his momma) and I hardly ever got upset. Fast forward 5 years to now, and I have 2 boys who have screaming matches nonstop and send me over the edge sometime. But I can’t blame them. I spoke with a sweet momma friend yesterday who said she tells her son “When I get frustrated, remind me that you are only 5.” And he told his Dad not long after that, ” I am only 5 Dad.” This made me giggle, but I think it’s so important! We have to remember our kiddos are only kiddos, and sometimes life ain’t perfect.. K? I have made a goal for myself to be more present as a mother. To put the phone away as much as possible and really make an effort to be a better Mom. To play longer. To read to them more. To throw the ball for the 700th time. To listen the stories-because to them-those are the really important aspects of life. And you know what, there is some serious wisdom to that. All of us would do well to unplug for a bit. And while I realize, I have a blog, I have to be present in the internet world, I intend to do so at the right time. To not let it take over. I know this will be a long road, but I want to get better by the day. I truly think most of my most frustrated moments could have been avoided if the phone was down. If I wasn’t thinking about what to say to this person. If I wasn’t trying to respond to that email. It’s so hard to balance, but I wan’t to make a concerted effort to do so! In quick addition, can I take a moment to thank all of you all who say I’m “real and it’s refreshing”? That is huge for me . I do my best to be an open book and let you know about the real moments in my life–and be authentic. If you can’t be real, then what is the point? I also do this little bit on Instagram most day that I like to call “Carline Chronicles” where I just give the lowdown on my day. It’s goofy. I know-but you never know what I will say or share, and the element of surprise is always fun, right? SO make sure to follow fun journey Here. Nobody want’s to see fake perfection. So every post, (and Instagram story) I am going to try and be as real as possible. And hoping to improve every week. Anyone on board with me? Does every mama feel this way at some point? I can’t be the only one. Lord, please, tell me I’m not the only one. Fill me in ya’ll. Let me know your thoughts and let’s hope, we aren’t actually bad moms. Per the usual, All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · Home · kids

Cereal and Hot Chocolate

It’s time for a shoutout.

Ready? It’s for my oldest baby. This kid is amazing. I mean like—phenomenal, and I feel like we as parents always seem to put child no.1 on the back burner for a minute to try and not let child no.2 be a total butthead. (We slack as parents on kid 2. Don’t deny it.)

But this first child? He catches on to everything. He is smart-beyond smart and his little mind goes where other 5 years olds don’t always wander. Ford is always digging deeper into issues than we could ever even imagine he would go, and at the same time, we find him digging himself deeper into our hearts. He wants to understand death. He wants to know how our heart/brain keep us going. He wants to know how trains can wreck if they are always on tracks. (This one I loved) His wonderment blows us away.

He has always had an interest in books and has loved me reading to him since since day 1! He was turning pages in books by himself since he was an infant ( Like hello Mom? You aren’t keeping up with me!) and talked early and clearly because of it!

At 2 years old, Like we had just met and wanted to make sure it was the appropriate way to address me, he looked at me and said “Mom…….can I call you Mom?” What kid does that??? At 4 years old looks at me and says “Mom I have to pee.” So i give him the look of -you can do this yourself/no need to ask permission and say “Okaaaayyyy”. He pops his head up and says “It’s NOT OK. IT’S A DIFFICULT EMOTION.” I could have lost it. Not saying that is some genius kid comment (He obviously didn’t quite comprehend his sentence–I’m just saying-he was 4 years old. What 4 year old says things like that?

And to top it off, his teacher thinks he is phenomenal and that means the world to us as parents. We had parent/teacher conferences last week, and she relieved us of any and every worry we have about him at school. I want to share all the sweet comments she said, but afraid she want’s to keep it confidential as not all kids may have had the greatest reviews. I will say this. She mentioned “I am a nice person, but I am also honest. I am here to talk about each child’s strengths, but I am also here to share the hard stuff with you parents…….And I have none of the hard stuff to say about Ford. He is truly a special child. He cares for everyone and is so good-hearted. I have taught for a long time, and every once in a while you will get one of those truly amazing kids-and Ford is one of them.” I swear there was light beaming from my head from the pride I experienced at that moment. And not even from the academic standpoint, (Which really, if you know me, this is SO IMPORTANT. ) But to know that he is good-hearted. That got us. We couldn’t help but smile when she said he was beyond smart, so helpful and cared about his fellow students. You feel like you are doing something right as a parents when your kids are praised like that.

But lately, he is gaining independence. It’s beautiful and saddening at the same time. So nice to know it’s getting easier around here, but sad to know he is growing so quick!

This past weekend the poor child has had a stomach bug that has knocked him out. Even still, I heard him tell Cash today “Cashy, You have to be quiet! Mom is sleeping!” He knew how exhausted I was from both of them being up several times last night. Then, he made a bowl of cereal for himself for the first time ever-without me knowing. He was so proud to tell me he did it himself! Then when we were standing in the kitchen, Cash wanted a bowl, and Ford said ” Mom, I can do it for you. So you don’t have to.” Sweet, sick angel child. “Ok-go for it.” He climbed up on the counter to get a bowl, reached in the fridge for the gallon on milk, and poured that bowl of cereal like it was for the first place trophy in the counter-climbing olympics. sorry, we used every single small appliance I own today-hence the counter mess

*So sorry–we used every single appliance we own in the kitchen today-hence the huge mess.*

Later, he came into my room and it sounded like I was about to get a multi-million Dollar business proposal thrown at me. “Mom, I would like for you to please show me how to make my own hot chocolate.” Hands folded, Eyes big.

Wow. What a way to ask! “That’s ok bud. I can do it for you.” “I want you to show me.” So off we went to the Keurig! He learned, and I am sure this is just the beginning of this independence. Cereal and hot chocolate. Cereal and hot chocolate made me realize my kid’s growing independence.

Now while this may not seem so huge to you all, it’s crazy hard on this mama to think the boy who made her a mommy, this tiny infant who needed me every waking second, is now wanting to help her.When did the tables turn? His teacher is right. He is phenomenal. Through and through. And tonight I just felt the need to acknowledge it.

And I know, all kids are amazing. We all think are kids are phenomenal. But truly, embrace the little tidbits about them that make them phenomenal! Prove it-talk to others about it. I feel like we all want to shy back from telling the great things about our kids in order not to step on any toes, but let’s share their strengths instead!

Now friends, your turn–tell me what makes your kid awesome. What are their strengths? What do they say that makes you melt? How do they show their growing independence? Let me know in the comments!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · Home · kids

Top 10 things to know about Boys

Life with boys–I’m telling you-it’s like nothing you would expect and everything you dreamed. These boys have me on my toes nonstop and I am all about it. Going into this, though, I really didn’t know what to expect. SO for those who may be having a baby boy–or maybe even have a little one–prepare yourself for these things.

1. Boys are smelly.

Someone-please explain to me how girls can always be dainty and put together and never smell as bad as a boy. And from experience, ( I have teenage nephews) I know it never gets better. They always stink. Why? Girls sweat. They play. But they STILL don’t stink like boys. So buy stock in Febreze and be prepared to spray their feet when they take off their shoes. (Again–poor nephews have been sprayed many a time by this auntie. Sorry guys. Your feet are rancid.)

All I have to say is, thank goodness my kids like to take baths! Im telling you-the little one has the grossest smelling feet and let’s just be honest and say his butt smells like butt. It’s the worst. Boys stink. Number 1 covered.

2. They are dangerous.

Why is it that the male species must always do the dangerous? Why? “Hey Mom. Watch this.” Famous last words, am I right? Every time I turn around, my kids have to be jumping over someone. Jumping over something. Jumping off of the couch. Jumping from couch to couch. Jumping off the swing. Always jumping. Why can’t we just stay on the ground? If there is a high point-they have to climb to it. If there is water-they have to get as close as humanly possible before backing off. It’s like they just want to see me jump in after them. (Weirdly enough, I have never had to rescue them from any body of water.)

Believe it or not, I try to do workouts as home every so often. As soon as I hit the floor for a good ab-workout, a kid is jumping on my stomach. ALWAYS WITH THE JUMPING. I am blaming my lack of abs on my kids. Just roll with it, k?

Back to the water for a sec–our last beach trip, we spent a good amount of our time out on the pier. I swear if every time I turned around, these kids weren’t hanging halfway through the boards looking into the ocean. As if the ocean isn’t huge enough to see otherwise–they have to get THAT MUCH CLOSER. And put me THAT MUCH CLOSER to a heart attack. It’s a boy thing-Give Mom a heart attack. Is this on every single toddler’s bucket list? I am not sure..but my kids sure are trying to test the theory.

3. Boys pee nonstop

Why? Why must you test every bathroom everywhere we go? Why do you want me to stop on the road every half hour so you can pee? Every patch of grass is the same. Every blacktop is the same. Why do we feel the need to pee on every single tree/bush in the yard? Boys? Anyone? Can anyone explain?? Although it’s convenient, it isn’t normal. But I’m sure all my fellow boy mom’s get it.

4. Boys are dramatic.

Ok, I know this is a girl thing. But I am telling you, boys are DRAMATIC. At least mine are. The tiniest scratch-the world is crashing. Someone took the last sip of the drink-prepare for waterworks. The dog is chewing the baseball…ohhhhh man. So for all you who think ” Yay! I’m having a boy! I’m getting off easy!” -Nah. They are drama. Maybe not girl drama-but still drama.

5. Life is all sports-all the time.

Our boys are little sports fanatics….and they get it honest. But I am telling you–it’s nonstop sports here. Baseball, football, golf, basketball-you name it-we are playing it. Cash grabs his ball and glove the moment he wakes up and brings it everywhere we go. Kinda cute if you ask me πŸ˜‰ Ford is extremely athletic and I love every bit of it. He is amazing to watch! At any rate, prepare to buy every single ball at every single store for the rest of your life…and you should probably go ahead and buy a toy box dedicated solely to sporting equipment–or maybe a shed.

6. Boys like to dress up.

Did any other first time boy moms know this? This was one of those things I would like to have done with a little girl-but oh it’s so fun with little boys! They want to be cowboys and superheroes and cartoon characters and it’s a HOOT. I love to see these little imagination’s run wild. We have dressed our youngest as Batman and the dog as Robin for goodness sake! Gah I was dying of the cute-overload then. We have had Spiderman, Superman, Firefighters, and who knows what else. *Insider tip* Wait til the first week of November and stock up on fun costumes for the kids. I buy mine at Bargain Hunt and they are usually $1.00! *

(This was last week- I wish I could post the slow-mo video of the epic battle between Michael Angelo and Bumblebee. It was ground-breaking. )

7. Boys like stuffed animals.

I remember being pregnant with Ford and asking my cousin ” Should I buy him stuffed animals? Will boys play with them?” She is a Mom of 2 teenagers now and said “Of course! My boys loved their Lovies.” Don’t ask me why I thought otherwise–but I will tell you what-my oldest LOVES his animals. If we even attempt to get rid of them the waterworks start. So go ahead-stock up. They love them!

8. They eat NON-STOP.

You have heard it before–boys eat. But like–it’s unreal. As soon as breakfast is over they ask for a snack. Then 2nd snack. Then lunch. 10 minutes later–they are famished. I can’t keep up! My kids are only 3 and 5 so maybe we should set up a Go-fund me page for when our kids are teenagers. Otherwise, we may end up in the poor house…Hahah. Just kidding. But really. #sendfood

9. Farts and Poop are funny from Day 1.

Gross-but true. Literally-newborns coo and smile after a good gas pass. Toddlers learn to belly laugh at a good fart. Smelly poop is hysterical. Long turds are share-worthy. No joke–if the turd is long enough-you will hear one kid yell for the other to come see. It happens in this house all too often. So prepare yourselves-it never quits.

10. Boys love their Mama’s

To finish is off, I have to brag on the love for Mama. Daddy, of course, is the hero-but when everything goes to heck-they call for Mom. When they want a good cuddle..they run to Mommy. When they want to share their latest accomplishment, Mum is first to know. So don’t get too scared by all the crazy y’all. The love they show far surpasses any of the heart attacks they give you along the way. It’s worth every second. Promise.

So all of you boy-mom’s…Did this post ring true for you? What has been your experience with little boys? Fill me in! I want to know!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · kids

Life with boys-The lessons

Boy: (noun)

1. A noise with dirt on it. 2. Most precious to their mothers

My boys–if you know them personally-you would know how sweet they can be. LIke-OMG melt your heart-sweet. And lawd have mercy can they be sour. Yup.  I have sour patch kids.  I think all the little people are though. Right?

When people ask me, “Whew, how do you do it? How do you keep up??” My answer to ANY of the boy questions–  “They keep me on my toes.” Its so true! These kids keep me laughing, and my heart is so full.

Speaking of my heart being full, in a parking lot a couple months back, an older woman and her husband walked past me in the parking lot. (Target parking lot-of course) And she yells as she is going by, ” Wow, you have your hands full with those two.” Now, in theory, she probably didn’t mean anything by it. But at the time, it  struck me as funny, and I answered as she was walking away ” So you can imagine my heart, ” with the happiest smile I could give her 😊 I can’t help but think that she wouldn’t have said that if I had had 2 girls. Why do people automatically assume life with boy is so rough? Now dont get me wrong, it has it’s crazy moments. Ok–more like crazy months-but really-all in all-its amazing.

And I have to say, these boys have taught me so much as a mom. And as a person——-Patience being a main factor. Now this one I am still trying to master, as patience is the virtue that really screws with me. (Pardon le French.)  I am not a patient person. I do not like to wait on people. I hate when people don’t show up on time, and I hate that it takes 20 years for my kids to exit the car. (Yikes TMI.)

Now you know my serious downfall. Please don’t judge me. I am working on it. I pray about it. But having these little people around has really taught me I have to be more patient. That I need to slow down….. Really-I have to walk slower. (Everyone tells me that–“Brandi SLOW DOWN! You are walking too fast!!! Which is quite hysterical, because I am a pudgy little thing with thick legs-but for whatever reason-they walk fast.) And really, it’s slightly ridiculous. I am in the grocery store for heaven’s sake-why do I need to be flying???

Seriously though, back to my point. I have realized patience is something you have to work on as a parent CONSTANTLY and these little ones are teaching me every day. When I am reading to them. When I have to wait on them to potty. When we go the park. Everything is a lesson-and they are teaching me!

Next lesson: Kindness

I have noticed since having these little monsters, I am looking for reasons to be kind. I want them to grow up treating others with the utmost respect–and I want them to help others to feel good about themselves. I have noticed, they pick up on our actions so quickly–and the not-so-good ones will stick quick. So I am doing my best to SHOW THEM kindness, not just preach it. So far, I think we are doing ok at this parenting job and teaching them to be half-way decent people.

Walking up a flight of stairs last month, Cash saw a pretty blonde its a gorgeous emerald lace dress–looks at me and says,  ” MOM-She was pretty.” The lady looks back at him and her face LIT UP. “That was so SWEET!” She walked away glowing and I knew he gave her a smile she would wear for the rest of the day.

And it isn’t just that–it’s Ford calling our 80 year old friend “My friend Neil.” It’s when he wants to hug someone just because. Its every time one of these littles says “Mom I love you” out of nowhere.  #melt btw. It’s hearing them tell another child “I’m proud of you” when they accomplish something they were working on. It’s them wanting to help their Dad in the garage and the sense of pride in themselves afterward.

They truly are amazing and kind hearted little people–and I hope others see that in them as well. The more I see them be kind, I want to do the same–and I tell you what-seeing these little guys in action can pull me out of a mood in the blink of an eye. I’m telling you-amazing.

And love. Y’all, you don’t know love like this until you have kids. I’m telling you– something about these guys makes me change the way I view everything and everyone. It’s phenomenal. Now, I’m not saying if you don’t have kids you don’t know love–that’s not true. Before my kiddos came along, I could promise you I loved my husband more than anyone could ever love anything. Come May 9, 2012. Ford entered this world after 19 hours of labor–and I loved something more…For a second. But seeing the way my husband loved this little person that we made–made MY love for this tall man from Ohio grow deeper.  It’s really just a circle people. All the love flying everywhere… You know those little circle diagrams with smaller circles coming off the one big circle in the middle? That’s like the love–starting with big circle in the middle, and as time goes on the love spreads to other people. That’s the best way I can describe it. (I know, pitiful ‘eh?)

But really, on the bad days, try to look at your little people and see the lessons they are teaching you. There is almost always something there. Even if they are being downright jerks–we can learn something-like–don’t lose your cool in Target Momma. You got this.

At any rate, I just felt like sharing a little about my good-hearted little guys and hopefully get some feedback from you all! Tell me about your littles! I love getting your emails and hope they continue. Everyone who doesn’t mind—feel free to answer in the comments! If you want to keep it private (some have and I love that as well) just shoot me an email!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

 

Deals · Deals · Fashion · kids

One of the best Dollar Tree Finds….And It’s a MUST HAVE.Β 

Hey there friends!

This has been such a crazy month for me–and I am loving it! We have been keeping ourselves busy spending time with family and friends, spent the last weekend at a 3 day bible convention (so refreshing) alll the summer fun outside, party planning, our bible ministry, etc. All exciting stuff .  😬

One of the main events taking up my time this past month? Jack and Jules . Not familiar? It is our local children’s consignment that comes around twice a year…..and I LOVE it. It’s time consuming but SO WORTH IT. It’s a great way to sell your children’s gently used clothes/and to grab some great deals for your littles. (Let me know if you want a blog post on my hanging/pricing process!)

At any rate, I wanted to share one of my tried and true time savers–and this will work for anyone–especially those of us who hate to iron.

I am not going to lie, when my kids outgrow their clothes, I throw them in the bottom of the closet (sometimes they make it in the Β ” I’ve outgrown It box”, sometimes they don’t.) Nonetheless, they are wrinkled. To the max. Every one of them.

That being said, I think I have found the holy grail of wrinkle reducers, and it’s cheap as dirt. Literally, maybe cheaper than dirt. ( NO joke–try potting all the plants around your house. Its pricey.)

Once again, Dollar Tree has come to the rescue. This wrinkle reducer y’all–all the praise hand emojis..Here. Let me throw one in here just for fun. πŸ™ŒπŸ».. It’s bomb. Do the kids say that anymore? Someone fill me in.

Notice what it looks like here…..

Now promptly leave your house, and go grab a bottle.

It smells so fresh and clean–and it’s so simple to use! Evidently it is the off brand of Downy, which I didn’t realize existed. But I’m telling you, it can’t be much better than this.

Just spray it on your wrinkled item, and give it a pull. Pull the clothing on each side, and then top and bottom. It’s awesome! Notice the difference in this shirt.

BeforeΒ 

After

Ok please don’t fault me as I forgot to spray the bottom of the shirt, ( I was so excited to share with ya people, per the usual) but isn’t the difference AMAZING????? SO MUCH EASIER than ironing.

I also am a huge fan of the “throw it back in the dryer with a wet towel” trick, but sometimes there just isn’t time, ya know? Add in the nice scent boost with it, and you have a solid champ in this wrinkle releaser.

The price point can’t be beat for the time it saves you!

Do you use a spray on wrinkle releaser like this? What is your take on it?? Let me know in the comments!!!!!

Diy · Family · kids

DIY Tassel Earrings

Y’all, I can’t be the only one here obsessed with the tassel earring..I take that back. Tassel EVERYTHING trend. Its so whimsical and I love a good statement piece. I also LOVE a bargain. Combine with my innate need to create as many things as my little brain will allow, and we have, my dears, tassel earrings. 

But really, this actually isn’t a DIY post. It’s more of a “repurpose it” post. And I couldn’t wait to share with you….Now some of you all may think I am crazy. And you are totally allowed to laugh, but some of you are going to say ” borderline genius” when you see this. 

So I really wanted to go out and buy some thread and make my own earrings, but when I saw this, I just had to try them out. I grabbed some—wait for it—WINE CHARMS at my local bargain hunt. You can see these actually came from the Target One Spot, but bargain hunt somehow gets the items that didn’t sell and sells for a better price! I love Bargain hunt btw. Search your area for one, and if you can’t find one, come visit me. We will take a trip πŸ™‚ 

When I was shopping, the earrings I had on, had the exact same setup as the wine charms. I then proceeeded to compare the size of the metal, and it was the same! So instead of making my own, I bought these. And now I am wearing wine charms in my ears as my statement piece. Really, no one would ever know unless I told them-which of course I promptly do every time I get a compliment. (I can’t help myself. I love to share my crafty ideas with everyone! ) 

My set came with 6 charms, or 3 pairs. (Hmm…I’m thinking to include them in a giveaway soooooon) So if you find some you like, keep a pair, then share some with friends! 

The first night I wore them, I got so many compliments and you will too! Now I will say, if you have sensitive ears, this may not be the way to go for you. I can usually wear allll the cheapie earrings (thank goodness) and these didn’t bother me at all! Look at how cute they are !!!!

So if you decide to try this yourself, make sure you:

  1. Check to see that the metal part that goes in your ear is small enough to fit. 
  2. Isn’t so heavy it weighs you down. (Saggy earlobes? Eww.)
  3. Don’t have sensitive ears
  4. Share with friends! 

What do you all think about this? Isn’t it a fun change of pace? 

Family · Home · kids

Summer Bucket List

You guys–school starts in August. How did this happen? How do I have a FIVE YEAR OLD? How is he starting KINDERGARTEN? Ugh. While someone helps me figure that out, I decided I wanted to share with you our Summer Bucket List! These are things i really want to accomplish before my kiddo starts school. 

It’s so hard to plan to do things (especially when your Hubby is a total homebody) but I am DETERMINED to do some fun things before its just me and “Crash” all day every day. (A friend of mine calls the little guy “Crash” instead of Cash and I think its hysterical.) 

So here it is! The List. Get ready. Get set……

  • Splash pad (Visit at least 3 different ones)
  • Go to a park on the Lake 
  • NASCAR Speedpark
  • Visit a Children’s Museum
  • Plant some veggies
  • Paint Pottery
  • Go to a water park
  • Visit Chuck E. Cheese (Yea-were crazy. I know.) 
  • Tubing on the river
  • Go to a drive-in
  •  Take a Hike
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Buy ice cream from a truck
  • Go berry picking
  • Have a breakfast date
  • See the $1.00 Summer Movies

 We already planted a few plants in April, and TODAY we finally harvested some peas! The boys were SO PUMPED to pick the peas!!! I think this is a great one for everyone to try. I have been trying to get the littles to try more veggies and I think this may be a good way to start–get them involved! 

We plan on going to the drive-in tomorrow night. (Pray for me y’all. The movie wont start until after 9pm. My kids are going to be a mess!) 

We also have already visited one splash pad. We ALMOST visited 2 pads, but ugh the first one wasn’t running, so I guess we can’t count that one. Anyways, 1 down, 2 to go!

I am so excited to already be crossing some fun to-do’s off the list (And I LOVE TO MAKE LISTS/cross items off) and hope by the end of the Summer, we have crossed every one of these off the list! 

I know you can look on Pinterest and see THOUSANDS of ideas to keep you busy this summer, but I really wanted to make a list catered to our family, and do things we wouldn’t normally do.  I also wanted to keep it realistic!

 What would you add to this list? Any fun things you want to accomplish before school starts?