Saturday, November 30, 2013

Before Kids and a video for mom's

It's funny how things that used to be som simple before having kids now have become impossibly hard! Before kids I worked and went to school. I still somehow managed to always have a clean house, make nice homemade meals, keep up with the launry and spend quality time with the husband. Now it's a major plus if the laundry gets folded instead of picked out of a laundry basket for weeks! I used to think that by becoming a stay at home mom as compared to a working mom I would have way more time for everything. But that is so not true. Some days I wander where all the time went. The second I finish washing the floors, or doing the laundry or putting the dishes away there is always one more dish in the sink, or a spill on the floor or a stain in an outfit that needs to be taken care if. I'm telling you this Stay at Home Mommy business is hard work! I know my husband thinks my days are filled with disney movies and play dates but that is so not the case. Kids can make the most simple task nearly impossible to finish. In the best way possible of course but I thought it would be funny to look at how I did things pre-baby

1. Running errands-Running errands with 2 toddlers is a nightmare. A simple trip to the grocery store for some milk and bananas takes 3 hours. You have to get the kids out of the car, load them into the shopping cart, ply them with snacks so you don't find yourself ripping open a box of goldfish right off the shelf and deal with your toddler screaming because you won't walk by the toy aisle. Then when you finally get to the checkout line there is a huge wait because the woman in front of you is mad because the store won't accept her coupon and now you have two kids having major meltdowns in the middle of walmart. Sigh. And husband, when you get home you will be doing all the grocery shopping with both kids in tow. I think it's only fair

2. Getting dressed- Oh how I used to love clothes and taking the time to do my hair and makeup. Now my hair usually gets thrown in a pony tail, even if I do take the time to style it because both kids think my hair is theirs. I went to church Sunday with my little pony stickers in my hair that I didn't notice my daughter had put in for decorations. And clothes! I live in yoga pants. It never fails that the minute I put on a nice outfit one of the kids will get sick or come running at me with stained hands that go right onto my nice shirt

3. Shopping- Not grocery shopping but actual shopping. I remember those days of perusing the mall, buying outfits to wear for each and every event I had coming up. Now I compare the price of diapers or formula to the price of a shirt or a pair of pants and end up not buying either. And I can't even remember the last time I went to a mall. I do most of my shopping off amazon. Best site ever!

4. Eating out- I vaguely remember the days of picking a nice new restaurant for the husband and I to try out. Now we pick a place based on their kid's menu and their price range

5. Movies- The husband and I love movies. We could spend an entire weekend laying around watching movies and relaxing together. I can't even remember the last movie we saw in the theater or watched together. I have spent my nights watching episodes of bubble guppies or disney movies for months now.

6. Simple tasks. The other day my oil light came on in the car and I realized that I was vastly overdue for an oil change. The thought of taking both kids to the auto repair shop and waiting in a smelly, dirty waiting room made me want to gouge my eyes out. I debated about getting a sitter to watch the kids but couldn't justify getting a sitter for that. So off we went. I spent my time waiting trying to get Gianna to stop eating leaves off a plant in the corner and Ethan from licking up his spilled milk off the floor. that's right. He was on the floor, licking up spilled milk like a dog. Just another glamorous day in the life of me

7. Leaving the house-Remember when leaving the house meant deciding what you wanted to do and then just opening up the door and leaving. How easy was that. Now it is a process. First you have to make sure everyone is dressed. Then you have to assemble the diaper bag and make sure you have enough juice boxes, sippy cups of milk, toys, snacks, diapers and wipes. Enough to supply a whole army. Then you have to get both kids to put their shoes on and then you have to make it out the door carrying your diaper bag, the bag and all the toys your toddler can't ride in the car without before you finally make it to the car and have to buckle the kids in and pass out said sippy cups and snacks. When I finally make it to the driver's seat I'm exhausted from the work out and ready to go back inside

Oh how times have changed. And I wouldn't change them for anything. Stained clothes, stickered hair and all. I love being a mom and am so thankful for my two little blessings

Friday, November 29, 2013

Mommy/Me Date and a Thanksgiving Recap

Wednesday I took Gianna out for a mother daughter date. We went to go see this movie
I loved it. I thought the story was so cute and I can listen to India Mendel who does the voice of Elsa sing all day. We ran right out afterwards to buy the soundtrack and Gianna asks to listen to it so she can dance around the house.

It is a must see. I especially love how Disney is reinventing their definition of what true love means and is focusing on other areas of love, in this movie the love between siblings instead of the love between a "Prince and Princess". I also love the strong characters the women in the movies have become! I will be adding this to our dvd collection the minute it comes out

 She loved the popcorn. She ate her bag and mine!

And Gianna loved it. Although for someone who gets so irritated by her baby brother, when we dropped him off at the babysitter's she kept asking and looking for him and anytime a baby cried during the movie she would turn to me and go Mom. Ethan's awake. So cute!

Our Thanksgiving was nice and relaxing. Our guests didn't come until 430 so we spent the morning and afternoon just playing and hanging out at home. When the kids napped I started packing for our trip home to WI
I don't know how all of this is going to fit in my car along with my two dogs. We shall see how that goes!

Getting a decent picture of a toddler is impossible

 I am so thankful for my little blessings and for being a mommy. They make my heart full and my life meaningful in ways I never expected or through possible

Some thanksgiving prep

 Simple and easy with a plastic tablecloth and paper plates and napkins
 Roasting turkey. Yummy yummy
 My goofballs making a mess of Ethan's room
I made the usual, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, turkey, pumpkin pie and stuffing. My friends brought over an amazing sweet potato casserole. Everything was delicious and I have a fridge full of leftovers. It was a great night visiting with close friends and I couldn't have asked for anything more. Except maybe the husband being home. We have officially reached the one month mark until he will be home again! Woohoo

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and if you braved the sales today that you are finding lot's of good deals. The kids and I will be in our pajamas mowing down on leftovers!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


 Thanksgiving last year.

What a difference a year makes. My heart swells watching my kids grow and change each day. If only time could slow down a little bit!

I have so much to be thankful for this year. Most importantly welcoming my husband home safely from Afghanistan and my two beautiful babies. I am grateful to have such a such amazing friends and family and of course I am thankful to God for allowing me to be a mommy to these wonderful blessings and for all that he has provided us with. I am truly blessed

Happy thanksgiving everyone

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday

Years past I loved going shopping on black Friday. Let's be honest, I never turn down a chance to go shopping. Or I never used to and balck friday was no excuse. And who doesn't love a good deal. But now I'm more of a online shopper so black friday has lost some of it's luster. I also did my fair share of working on black Friday which added to my increased dislike of black friday. Getting up at 3am to head into work in order to find parking before all the shoppers took all the spots was never that exciting

I saw this and had to laugh because in a way it is so true
Some people take their black friday shopping seriously. And although people are usually out shopping for christmas gifts for their loved one's black friday shopper's can be extremely rude. I guess waiting in long lines for one item will do that to you

Maybe if the thought of taking two toddlers out shopping on the busiest day of the year didn't make me want to gouge my eyes out I would be more of a shopper. Maybe if the husband and I didn't buy things whenever we needed them I would be scouring the sales ads for that perfect gift. Or the electronic item we don't need but have to purchase because of the amazing deal. Or maybe since becoming a mom holiday's have once again more of a purpose and have become more meaningful that makes me not want to go shopping. Who knows, but while I could care less about shopping on black friday, I also don't care if people do go out and shop on black friday. Some people do make it a family affair and it becomes their own thanksgiving tradition. And who doesn't want to provide their kids everything on their wish list and getting certain items on sale allows them to do so. So be it. Happy shopping

I do however have a huge problem with stores that are staying open on thanksgiving to allow shoppers early access to the sales. I mean what is another day to wait. A day that is supposed to be about family and giving thanks for our blessings has been turned into another.

I also find it sad for the people that can't get off to spend the days with their families. I'm sure you all have differing view points about this but to me Thanksgiving is a day spent with family and friends. And that is what I plan to do on thanksgiving. Make a delicious meal, loosen up my pants and relax with those I love most

I'm sure many of you have read Matt Walsh's various blog posts that are constantly reposted on facebook or through the blogosphere but I think he captured the thought of shopping on thanksgiving the best. Click here to read his post

And sorry if I offend anyone. I know everyone feels differently about this. I also can relate to those who aren't near family and are alone on thanksgiving. Maybe going shopping that day give them something to do and makes them feel less alone. I guess we can always try and see things both ways

On friday I will be back with our Thanksgiving and My mommy daughter date recap

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Prep

I love thanksgiving. I love spending the day with family, in the comforts of someone's home, eating yummy food and spending time with one another. Perfect day in my opinion

Since I moved to NC in 09 I haven't been home for a thanksgiving. Boy do I miss it. We have been lucky to spend our thanksgiving with good friends these past few years but still something is missing. I am hoping that as our kids get older it becomes as magical of a holiday as I thought it was when I was a kid.

Since having kids black friday means a day of lounging around and eating leftovers. As a kid/teenager it meant getting up at the crack of dawn and going shopping with my dad. As a college student it meant working all day  at Victoria Secrets and chugging starbucks to stay awake. As a newlywed it meant begging and pleading the husband to get up to go shopping with me. He usually did. Hey, the best vacuum we ever bought was a $25 dirt devil that was a target doorbuster. Take that dyson!

I was invited to a few places for thanksgiving this year and  debated about going on a Thanksgiving cruise down in Destin  but decided to host a dinner at my home. My good friend and her family are coming over to eat and spend the day with me. Although I have become a lackluster cook since having kids I love cooking a big Thanksgiving meal. I would make it every day if I could

My menu looks like this...
Mashed potatoes and Gravy
Green Bean casserole
Pumpkin Pie
Now I have to admit. I am going pre cooked on the mashed potatoes this year. Since I am leaving a few days after thanksgiving to begin the trek to Wi I wanted to cut down on dishes used and my cooking and cleaning time. Also I go boxed for the stuffing and that is just due to preference. The husband and I aren't a fan of homemade stuffing and have found that we prefer Stove top. Yummy I am starving just thinking about it

I don't do anything fancy with my turkey either. I add a little salt and pepper, cut up butter sticks and place it all around the bird and cook it as so. I baste it every half hour to an hour to make the skin nice and golden brown and that's it. We've had it fried, cooked in peanut oil, and smoked and the husband still prefers it the simple way I make it. So that is what I do year after year.

Since we are hosting people for thanksgiving I wanted to go and decorate the house for the occasion but went simple. I found these cute paper plates from Target
Along with some matching napkins, table cloth and a Give Thanks banner. Perfect and simple. Usually the day after Thanksgiving is reserved for putting out our christmas decor but since we won't be home for the whole month of December I will not be decorating this year.

I love that Thanksgiving is a kick off to Christmas and the perfect time to reflect on the years past and to give thanks for our many blessings. And of course I love to look back at the previous holiday's with my kiddos.

Gianna's 1st Thanksgiving 2011

Ethan clearly wasn't a fan of his 1st Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving 2012
Although the husband won't be home this year for Thanksgiving we are grateful that he will be home for Christams

Any tips or recipes that you want to share? What do you serve for your thanksgiving meals? Any fun traditions that you and your family do to celebrate thanksgiving?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Currently Loving: TV Show edition

Now that Fall is well under way, I thought I do a recap of my favorite shows this season. (When the husbands is gone, I tend to collapse in front of the tv after the kiddos go to bed and spend mindless hours watching it. I need a hobby!)

What I'm Loving

Reign. I am loving this show. I am a sucker for anything historical fiction and this show does the trick. If the show was based on a book series I'd be running out to buy it. And oh the dresses the girls wear on the show. Beautiful.

I am also loving the Witches of East end. It's fun, light and carefree entertainment. And who doesn't wish they were a witch in some way!

I am loving AHS this season. Last season I wasn't a fan but the story line is fun and spooky all at the same time. I love the mother daughter theme that this season has going on.

I have been a fan of Parenthood from day 1. I am still surprised it is not more widely watched. Every episode leaves me crying and laughing. It is so real. Although I do not like the turn the show is taking with the solider taking pills and starting fights. At first I really liked that they showed how hard it is for soliders to reintegrate into every day life after serving in the military and going through a deployment. I just really hope they don't make it negative like most shows usually do when there is a storyline with a soldier involved

This show took me by surprise. I loved the first few episodes then thought it started to lose steam. Too ma unanswered questions, too little clues and then a fizzle with one story line. But it does seem like the show is picking up again. Last weeks episode was so good. But come on, a FBI agent who specializes in profiling people hasn't figured out that Red is her dad. Or that her husband may not be who he says he is. Give me a break! I will keep watching to see what happens though

Def one of my favorites this season. It has everything a good show could want. Great chemistry with the characters, an interesting story line, a hint of magic, mystery and history. Loving it

This show is hilarious. If you are not watching it you should be!
And of course I will turn these shows on when there is nothing else to watch

I used to watch all the Real Housewives but now it's just getting old. The endless catfights, drama and petty behavior between the women gets exhausting to watch. One minute they are all friends, the next they hate each other and so on. And these women are not young. Most of them have teenaged children.  I would hate to have my children see me acting the way these women do. But still it's mindless entertainment

I still tune into Glee but I miss Finn. It's just not the same

What shows are you loving?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Lives of Mom's-Amazing video

Back when I worked I used to feel so important. Here I was with two degrees, a full time job that meant something and a nice paycheck. It's hard some days to feel that I do more than just fold laundry and change diapers. I mean I don't regreat being a SAHM for anything but there are days when the tasks of motherhood are mindless and monotoneous. I saw this video floating around on facebook and had to share it with you all for it is truly beautiful. As mom's we all have days where we are tired, stressed and worn out. It is hard to see the beauty in motherhood. But this video depicts all that. It shows you the beauty of being a mom and how challenging yet rewarding motherhood truly is

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Little Ballerina

From the moment I found out I was having a girl I envisioned signing her up for ballet as soon as possible. I had no trouble imaging her first pair of ballet shoes, a sparkly tutu and watching her dance away at her very first recital with her dad and I cheering her on in the audience.

I can vividly remember being a few weeks away from my due date, driving home from a trip to the grocery store. As I rounded the corner into our neighborhood I watched as a little toddler ran out her front door, dressed in ballet shoes and a pink leotard and tutu. I watched as her dad loaded her up in the car and my heart swelled. Oh how great it is to have a little girl. I rushed home to tell my husband all about it. His response of course was she's not even born yet Katie. And what if she doesn't even like ballet! It also didn't help that I had an addiction to the show Dance Mom's. Every time it was on my husband watched, shocked as Abby screamed at her little dancers. And his mouth dropped open when he saw those little girls prance around onstage in sometimes very inappropriate clothing. I was told in no such terms that if I ever allowed my daughter to be talked to that way or to parade around onstage in clothes that didn't fit he would go up there and pull her off. But I'm getting off topic

You see my dreams of having a little ballerina are because I was a little ballerina. My parents enrolled me in dance when I was 3. I can still remember my first recital and dancing to Mickey Mouses' Birthday Party. I danced until I was 18 years old. Although I always envisioned being a Ballerina, I had flat feet and a more athletic body type. I excelled at jazz and lyrical and loved it. Once I joined the dance team in high school dance at my studio went on the back burner and it is still something I regret to this day. But I never regret my years of dancing. It kept me grounded, provided me with structure, allowed me to be myself and express myself and taught me so much more.

So at Boo at the Zoo when I found two ballet studios that would take Gianna at the age of 2 I couldn't believe it. I set about to researching the best studio, ignoring the fact that both were over an hour away from our house and I signed her up.

The studio I chose allowed Gianna to try out a class before officially registering her for classes. The week before I went out and bought her her first pair of ballet shoes, pink tights, a pink skirt and a leotard. And of course a pink dance bag to go along with it. The day of I tried to snap some pictures of her but as usual trying to get a picture of a toddler is impossible. Still she looked pretty cute for her first day of ballet class

We got to her class a little early. Gianna could her the music playing and she was so excited. She kept trying to peek through the curtain and when the teacher put on a song from The Little Mermaid Gianna was jumping around with excitement.

The class we were watching only had 2 girls in it. The class Gianna attended had 10 girls in it. And the moms parked themselves in front of the curtain, peeked in constantly and  due to that the girls kept running in and out of the classroom. In my head I kept telling myself that the class is for 2 year old's and I shouldn't take it so seriously but I couldn't help it. And the dance mom in me took over. I knew that  while I wanted dance to be fun for her and something she enjoyed I also didn't want the class to be treated like a play date. I know she is only 2 but when I signed her up for Mom and Me Gymnastics it was a disaster. She performed when the instructor gave her instructions but the majority of the class was a free for all, with the parents leading and kids running around everywhere. Gianna did not do well in that environment. She got so irriated and frustrated with me which led to me being frustrated. We would end the class with her having a tantrum in front of everyone. We lasted 3 classes out of the 10 I paid for.I did not want a repeat of that. I knew that Gianna would be better off in a smaller class without the distractions, since obviously she is easily distractions.

So when the class was over and I talked to the instructor we both agreed to sign her up for the smaller class. We went back last week and it was a much better environment for her. She loved it, had  a blast with the two girls in her class and the instructor is beyond amazing. She is so patient with them and makes it fun. Technically it is not a ballet class but a creative movements class. There is a lot or ribbon twirling and dancing to princess music. Exactly what Gianna loves and needs. Loosely structured fun. I loved watching how excited she got to go to her dance class  and the beam on her face when her teacher gave her a sticker at the end was priceless. I hope as we continues on with dance she loves it as I once did. Yet if she decides that she doesn't I will be ok with that too.

When we come back from Wi and Gianna resumes dance in Jan they start learning their recital piece. Squee! I can't wait to watch her at her first recital. I know it will be hysterical watching 2 year olds try to remember what they were taught. It will be so cute!

So here is to Gianna's career as a little ballerina

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Patience and a Reminder

With all that's been going on regarding Gianna's behavior lately there has been a shift in the house. Or mostly within me. I have become the mom I vowed never to be. I am quick to anger, I yell more than I'd like and I find myself resorting to spanking more often than I want to admit.( Spanking does nothing for Gianna so I don't do it that often. So don't yell at me)

I just never in a million years think that my sweet, baby girl would be so hard to manage once the toddler years hit. And who would have thought that my fussy, colicky, whiny baby boy would become such a sweet heart. He is easily now my favorite child( I totally kid)

In regards to Gianna I often find myself at wits end. There have been days I lock myself in my bathroom and cry because I am clueless as to how to get through this stage. 
The terrible 2's have nothing on the sleepless nights and constant nursing of those newborn days. After her first year and Ethan's, I thought I could handle anything. But I am proven wrong day after day

Part of me knows that this is a stage and like all stages it will come to an end. It is also typical for her to act the way she does. She is the oldest child and finally starting to realize that Ethan gets a lot of attention. With only one parent to go around it is a constant struggle to find the time for both of them and she is starting to realize that. Her behavior is a cry for attention and also a battle of the minds. She is trying to come into her own, figure out who she is and testing the boundaries is all a part of doing that

I know all this and yet when she does something to push my buttons I explode. I find it hard to be patient, to explain things to her, to listen to what she is trying to tell me, either with her words or with her actions. I need to stop and look at the situation and try to figure out the cause of the behavior and then go from there in determining the next step. I have to stop immediately reacting because that is clearly not solving anything

As much as I love a good parenting book I have come to learn that Gianna isn't a child that will fit a specific mold. Following A,B,and C with her will not always work. One day solution A may work and the next solution Z may be the answer. As she changes, evolves and grows,  I need to be more patient with both myself and her. I need to give myself grace, therefore showing her grace and I need to go with the flow. Being consistent works to some extent but some days I just need to roll with the punches and stop and truly figure out what is causing Gianna to act the way she does

I also need to be more present with the kids. It is so easy to get caught up in the household chores and to do list when in all reality I should be shoving all that stuff to the side and focusing on what truly matters around here. I feel that as mom's we are always waiting for our children to reach the next stage. Once they are born we can't wait until they can roll over, sit up, eat baby food, then solids, get their first tooth and so on and so forth that sometimes as we wait and anticipate the next stage we miss what is going on right in front of us

At the disastrous circus event the other weekend I was texting a fellow mommy friend. She happens to have two teenage girls and a 3 year old son. I jokingly said that I don't know how the teenage years could be worse than the 2's. She responded that while the 2's are hard, the teenage years are def harder. And on top of the teenage years being hard, you also desperately wish they were little again.
 That really struck a chord with me. While Gianna's behavior is a struggle this stage with her is truly a blast. It is so fun to watch her grow, to have a conversation with her, to hear her likes and dislikes, to watch her play and get have interests. I wouldn't trade it for the world. And by me wanting to find a solution, or spend my day just getting through it I am not focusing on what the things that really matter

Another friend sent me this  as we were talking about how hard it is to keep a house clean with kids running around
No one said being a parent was easy and as Gianna figures out who is is, I too will learn and evolve as a parent and figure out what works and doesn't work. All I can do in the meantime is have patience and give her grace.  Grace goes a long way. Gianna is not a perfect child and I am no way near a perfect, wife, daughter or mother, It is unfair of myself to expect so much from a 2 year old when she is just trying to figure it all out herself


Wednesday, November 20, 2013


It's true what they say, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. I've been married almost 6 years and that husband of mine is still a complete mystery sometimes. It just amazes me how totally different we can be from the way we deal with things, handle our emotions, parent and react to situations. So today's post is dedicated to my husband, the man whom I love more than anything but who can drive me up the wall! And I mean that in the nicest way possible

I saw this on facebook the other day and spit out the water I was drinking as I immediately texted it to my husband
This is the story of my life. When we first me and got married it used to be endearing and something we laughed over. My husband takes his bathroom duties very seriously. I mean the man read the whole hunger games trilogy in a weekend by sitting in our bathroom and reading. And I am not joking. Granted Gianna was only 5 months old at the time so lazy weekends were still a part of our lives. But I still have to give him shit about it

Now though his bathroom habits have lost their endearing qualities. Endearing has given way to infuriating. SO many times after arriving home from Afghanistan he would finish dinner, get up without regards as to the dishes that needed to be cleared or washed or the two screaming kids throwing food across the room and retreat into the bathroom. I still don't know what made me more mad, the fact that he was blissfully reading in the bathroom or the fact that he left me to do all the cleanup of both the kitchen and the kids. ( I think the fact that he was sitting in there reading makes me horribly mad. I haven't finished a whole book in months)

But I digress. This is a topic that the husband and I always talk about. And something that he has vowed to work on when he comes home this time around. I mean by all means take a hour long bathroom break all you want. Just make sure it's done after the kids have gone to bed and you've helped with the kitchen clean up and bath time!

But this post isn't meant to rag on my husband. For with all his quirks I am right there to match him with all my insane habits. He at least doesn't have all the emotional mood swings that I bring to the marriage

In reality we are a great match. I am emotional, and impulsive. He is stoic, calm and go with the flow. I constantly keep the bathrooms and kitchen clean. Vacuum every other day and change the sheets once a week. The husband would change our sheets once a year if I allowed it. Yet he notices if I haven't cleaned the base boards or dusted the fans. So I leave those jobs for him! We balance each other out in every way possible and I couldn't ask for a better man to share my life with. He is truly my best friend and every time he is gone I realize more and more how much he really means to me.

On an ending note, one area we don't balance each other out is our temperament. WE are both stubborn to a fault. No wander why I am having such trouble with Gianna lately. She is stubborn through and through. Sigh

I love you babe. Bathroom habits and all. One more month until you are home. I am counting down the days

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I won an Award

I am so excited to share with you all that I won an award. I haven't won a blog award since I first started blogging almost five years ago. This award isn't a blogging award though, it is a party award. An award for Ethan's birthday party! Woohoo! I don't consider myself very creative or that great of a party planner so I am so proud of this award

PartyPail sent me an email offering me this award for the creativity I put towards Ethan's party. I have to say, Ethan's party was my best party yet. After going all out for Gianna's 1st birthday party I knew that wasn't what I wanted for Ethan's. I have been to numerous1 year old birthday parties. Some way over the top, and some so low key and simple that some times I have to say that less is more. I mean I love a good party but at the end of the day 1 year old birthday's tend to be more for the parents than the child. Which in a way is fair, since all parent's deserve an awesome party for getting through the 1st year. But some babies aren't the type for big parties. Ethan is way more reserved than Gianna and doesn't like a big crowd. He is more comfortable at home and in smaller groups of people. A huge party with tons of activities would not have been ideal for him. For some babies they are perfect. I think part of planning the perfect party is reading your child and know what would be most fitting for their personality

I had originally planned on going all out. I spent hours cutting and cutting decorations, games and activities for the big day. And the night before I scratched it all and went simple and understated. And it was an awesome party. Everyone loved it, I was able to enjoy it and most of all Ethan had a blast. Although the husband wasn't there he even agreed that the party looked like my best yet. And partypail liked something I did since they presented me with this award.

Thanks for letting my brag about my party. If you would have know how much anxiety I had about deciding all the details about his party, such as figuring out decorations, cake, activities, food, etc, etc you would know that this award really means a lot. Thanks Partypail

And if you've never checked out Partypail's site def check it out for the nect party you are planning on throwing. They have everything from favors, to invites, to gifts, decorations and themes. Plan on spending awhile checking out their site!

Monday, November 18, 2013


Last week was one for the books. I debated about even writing this post but felt I had to. To be honest to myself and to do what I have always intended. To keep this blog real, to use it as a journal and an outlet. So that's what I'm doing.

I feel like I am drowning. My days are becoming repetitive, tiresome, boring and frustrating. Things with Gianna are reaching an all time breaking point. Where has my sweet little girl gone? I have blogged before about her not listening, but lately she is acting out in ways that are becoming very discouraging.

Last week the temperature dipped into the 60's here in Fl. It was heaven. I cracked open the windows. Of course the screens were down but it was so nice getting some air into the house. I took Ethan in his room at one point to change his diaper, leaving Gianna coloring at the kitchen table. I come back out to her missing. I searched the house finding her nowhere. I heard the sound of her laughing and happened to look outside. There she was running around with the dogs. The only exit to the backyard is our patio door which was securely shut and locked. I happened to glance at the window above the kitchen table and saw the screen slightly punched out. My daughter had climbed onto the kitchen table. punched through the screen and crawled outside. I didn't know whether to discipline her or hug her tightly for not getting hurt. I settled on the latter and just brought her inside

Then saturday I took the kids to the circus to get outta the house. Gianna ran around like a crazy person, climbing all over the bleachers, and refusing to sit down. Poor Ethan had to sit strapped in the stroller as I chased Gianna everywhere. When I finally reached her and told her to come sit by me she spit her popcorn all over me. Right then and there I cried

Every day is such a struggle with her.She has become downright nasty to Ethan and fun trips out with the kids turn into a nightmare due to struggling with Gianna to listen and what not. I don't know what to do

Nothing works with her. Yelling, time out's, spanking, taking things away, positive reinforcement, one on one time. Nothing registers. She went into time out three times in a row the other day and each time she got out she would continue doing what she got into trouble for.

Everyone says be consistent, be firm and clear on your expectations. Or if your my husband, he tells me to remember that she is only 2. None of those answers are very helpful in this situation. 

And let's not even talk about my house. I feel like all I do is clean, do laundry and the dishes. All to no avail. Thursday I vacuumed and mopped the kitchen floors 3 times apiece. And as soon as I finished it didn't take before the dogs or kids spilled, puked, pooped or messed up my floor. I don't even know why I bother.

My living room and play room are constantly littered with play food, fisher price little people, baby dolls and books. The mess is never ending.

Added to the never ending to do list and feelings of failure as a parent is the constant guilt. Some days the only way I get anything done is when the kids are strapped into their booster seats and eating or plopped in front of the tv. Then as I'm scrambling to fold the laundry or clean the bathrooms I feel guilty for not actually spending time with my kids. I promise myself that during nap time(since neither kid naps at the same time) I will spend quality one on one time with them, but I find myself trying to pick up or finish whatever I didn't accomplish that morning. Or showering for the first time in days. And night time is the same. I rush to make dinner and get through bath time to find some relief and quiet time alone but that always backfires. I go to bed every night vowing that tomorrow will be different. That the tv will stay off, that I will fully engage with the kids and ignore the dishes and chores but every morning I wake up, exhausted before the day has even begun and I'm rushing to turn on bubble guppies so I can relax on the couch for at least an hour before really starting my day. And that just makes me feel guilty all over again.

Do any of you ever feel like this? How do you balance it all? Do I need to let the clean house and sparkling dishes go? How do I deal with the toddler years? Help Mama's!

To lighten up the mood I found the following story
The below story goes with the picture above. Author is unknown
A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.
The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.
Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.
In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.
In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened.
He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door.
As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap, and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.
As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.
She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked:
“What happened here today?’”
She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?”
“Yes,” was his incredulous reply.
She answered, ‘”Well, today I didn’t do it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Introudcing Treat: The perfect card for every occasion

With a husband in the military who leaves frequently, it is my number one priority to make sure he knows how much we love and miss him at home. When he deploys I try to send him multiple care packages a month but there are many times that he is unable to get mail for months at a time. Even now, although he is only gone for a training course in the Pacific Northwest, he travels frequently and I am unable to send him little pieces of home. Some days we are unable to touch base by phone and his only way of keeping tabs on the family is through facebook, email or my blog. It is so true that he witnesses all of our kids major milestones via technology. Most of the time he is unable to log on facebook or read my blog and it's days before he sees my statuses about Ethan walking or saying his first word. I try to text or email him pictures but depending on where he is at large picture files don't download quickly and he can't access them. Days can go by before he is in touch with us.

But I'm here today to offer you the perfect solution to let your loved ones, especially those serving in the military, know how much you think of and miss them

I was contacted by Treat, a sub company of shutterfly about their site which deals specifically with greeting cards and other personalized gift items such as coffee mugs, canvas prints and iphone cases.

Now I wouldn't be sharing this with you at all unless I truly loved the products I am telling you about. And since I use shutterfly for all my prints,photo gifts, photo books and christmas cards I couldn't wait to check out the treat site.

As I said above the site specializes on photo cards. I love photo cards. They are so much more personal than regular cards. And if your like me, I am constantly forgetting to pick up cards for various birthdays and occasions and have to scramble at the last minute to go get a card and pop it in the mail. And sometimes if I know the card will arrive late, I don't even bother sending it! My husband is king of calling me the day of his mom or dad's birthday and asking me if I sent them a card. Umm no, I didn't. And the last thing I want to do is load up two kids and head to the nearest Walmart which is still 20 mins away to pick up a card. And Walmart is my only option here in town, so if I want to peruse Hallmark or Target I have to add 45 minutes to my drive. NO way! So in other words, I slack at getting cards due to the inconveincece

But enter Treat. A site dedicated to personalized cards. What could be better? This is perfect for the cards you want to make more personal, for the card you forgot to buy or send, or to send to someone just because. I love that some cards can be a photo collage. Perfect to send to out of town grandparents who don't go online and who are always begging you for pictures of the grandkids!

And my favorite is the digital cards. This will def come in handy when it comes to the hubby. If he can't receive mail a card would be no use, but a digital card that he can receive in his email can be seen in seconds! In april when he was due home from Afghanistan we knew there was a chance he could be home for our anniversary. As it got closer we found out he wouldn't make it home in time and knowing I couldn't send him a card or a package for him to receive on the actual day made me sad. We each spent our 5 year anniversary out of contact with each other besides being able to send the occasional email. If only I had thought of a digital card then. A card full of pictures of us or the kids would have def brightend up his day.

As I browsed Treat's website I loved the options

Or this hilarious card
My husband and I text this to each other all the time

They also have blank cards and non photo cards so really your options are endless. And with prices starting at 0.99 and ranging to 3.49 for the cards you are still spending less then you would have if you bought a card at the store. And you didn't have to waste the gas driving there

Now excuse me. It's my brother's birthday tomorrow and I need to go make his birthday card! 
My brother may not appreciate this sparkly bday card but I am into anything that glitters lately.

Be sure to check out Treat here

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Help.. I'm addicted to my phone

I have to admit I am addicted to my cellphone. As soon as I wake up in the morning I log onto instagram, facebook, pinterest and bloglovin. And as the kids get ready for their day or play before me in the living room I'm usually lounging on the couch surfing all my social media sites on my phone.

Sure I am present but I am not fully engaged in what they are doing. And when I get engaged the phone comes with me of course. I need it handy to snap pictures of the fun things that we are doing. Which of course will immediately be uploaded to the above social media sites.

I saw this video going around onf acebook and had to post it. I am guilty of doing all of these things. Sitting on my phone while talking with a friend, looking at pinterest and instagram while watching my kids play, taking pictures on my phone of every little moment that occurs instead of truly being present. This was a huge eye opener

The part that got to me the most is the shot of the pre-teen swinging on the swings sitting on her phone. Gianna already asks to use my phone all the time. I do not want to be that disconnected family around the dinner table where no one talks and instead everyone sits on their own personal phone or tablet

I need to really start leaving my phone on the counter or in my purse and be fully present in the moment. The hubs and I are terrible about this. The kids go to bed and we sit on opposite couches, on our phones ignoring each other. If we are in therapy 25 years from now because we have totally disconnected with each other it will probably be because of our dang phones!

One blog that I love in regards to this is the Hands Free Mama. Click here to visit her site. You won't regret it
Her book is also coming out soon and I can't wait to read it

Excerpt from Amazon
'Rachel Macy Stafford's post 'The Day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up' was a true phenomenon on The Huffington Post, igniting countless conversations online and off about freeing ourselves from the vicious cycle of keeping up with our overstuffed agendas. Hands Free Mama has the power to keep that conversation going and remind us that we must not let our lives pass us by.' --Arianna Huffington, Chair, President, and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group,

I so needed to see the above video. I need to put my phone down and leave it in it's place. Or at the very least delete all social media apps from my phone. My computer is left in our guest room and the only time i log onto it is to blog. Maybe if the sites are deleted from my phone I won't be so interested in checking them all the time.

Although I love instagram. To me that doesn't really count as social media!

Are any of you addicted to your phones, or the social media apps on your phone? What are your thoughts in regards to leading more of a hands free life? How do you balance social media in relation to family time, etc, etc

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Currently Loving

The Christmas mood is in full swing in our household. Last weekend I finished up all my christmas shopping and spent my sunday night wrapping presents. I stocked up on holiday outfits and pajamas for the kids and started packing for our trip to Wisconsin. It has been 3 years since I was home for Christmas and I am counting down the days until we leave.

Christmas is going to be extra special this year. The husband will be home, the cold weather in WI will make the holidays even more festive than usual and the kids are at such a fun age to enjoy it all. Lots of new traditions being started this year and I can't wait!

Currently Loving
The kids need this play castle from Land of nod. Heck I need it! I think this might be an add on purchase for them.

This dress I purchased to wear on Christmas. I popped into the above boutique to pick up a Christmas gift for a friend and eyed this adorable dress. Needless to say I bought myself a christmas present too
I love the Holiday catalog for Restoration Hardware. Makes me wanna climb right into the pages.

My little Ballerina. Gianna started ballet last week. I can't get over how cute she looked. A separate post coming later
Wise words which was desperately needed last week
And finally I am loving these christmas cards. I think this may be my design for the year. I am lately obsessed with anything black, white and gold in either a polka dot or chevron pattern. If I wasnt going to be spending the whole month of Dec at my parents house I think this would be my theme in regards to decorating the house for the holidays

And finally I am loving that this movie comes out the week of Thanksgiving. I have a mother daughter date planned with my little girl to go see it

Have a great week everyone