. . . for Lauren and Lauren

October 19, 2016

Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch last weekend and it was so much fun.  It's become one of my favorite traditions and I look forward to it every year.  We don't stay there long, but enough to take a hayride to the pumpkin patch, pick one out, come back for donuts and then back home.  This year we had my whole family over for dinner after and I loved it.  It's so nice having space to entertain, and I loved having them all over.  I do not take for granted that our family all lives so close by and am so thankful my kids get to grow up with their cousins and we get to do things like the together!

 the best part 

Crazy to think a year ago we had just found out we would be having a baby boy and now here he is, almost 8 months old! 

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October 17, 2016

Addi says what

"When it's really cold outside you have to watch the iPad for a very long time." 

Me: Addi listen to me right now.
Addi: Okay, mother. (In a super rude tone)
Me: Don't call me mother.
Addi: Well you are my mother
Me: Yes, but the tone of voice is rude. 
Addi: Okay. Mom. (In the same super rude tone)

After preschool - "Some of us were good listeners.  Some of us were not.  I was not."

To Chris' missing tooth - "But you'll find it.  It's probably in the woods. Then you'll use tape and it'll never fall out every again."

Me: I love you Addi. 
Addi: I love you too sweetie.

Addi: Are you so happy you have two kids? 
Me: I'm so happy and thankful I have two kids. 
Addi: Thank you God and Jesus for our family.  We love you God and Jesus. 

She heard song lyrics that said something about life being hard and said, "My life is hard." 
Chris: What makes your life hard?
Addi: Like when I can't have dessert all the time. 

"I'm pushing really hard so all my poop comes out so I have to never poop ever again. 

Looking for Chris: "Daddy? Daddy?  Where is that guy?" 

At preschool on school picture day she had the most serious, pathetic look on her face, slouched over on the little stool they had her sitting on.  The photographer was trying to get her to smile and asked if she had any kitties at home.  "Nope.  We had a cat but she peed on everything so she died." 

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October 16, 2016

Getting your kids to write thank you notes

thank you notes: c/o Basic Invite

Growing up my mom was always really good at teaching us to write thank you notes whenever we got gifts for birthdays or holidays.  I remember sitting down and writing out thank notes to my grandparents and aunts and uncles, thanking them for presents, drawing them pictures and sending them in the mail.  I want to teach my kids the same things, and want them to be grateful when friends and family give them things.  

This season with young kids feels really hard to get things accomplished.  Sitting with Addilyn is hard because I am busy with Isaac or keeping up with house things, or trying to get a toddler to sit still for five minutes and do what I ask. But you do the best you can and I'm working on these things to help me make sure we get them done! 

Keep it simple.  Addilyn clearly can't write thank you notes but can tell me what to write and can "draw" on the card, which keeps her involved and is good practice.  So a few sentences from me and some scribbles from Addi and we're done! 

Do it right away.  This is one I need to take advice, as if I don't it probably won't happen.  The same goes for actually getting it in the mailbox.  I will have things sitting on our counter forever just waiting to be put in the mailbox.  I finally compiled all my address into google docs, which helps with getting them addressed faster.  Now to just get them stamped and in the mail! 

Buy cute cards.  We are all more motivated when things are cuter, right?  Work out clothes, planners, anything that is more appealing looking makes it more appealing to actually do, right? When I was contacted by Basic Invite to collaborate on a post, I immediately thought of picking thank you notes to help me be more motivated to write them.  Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows you to choose from unlimited colors with instant previews to help you pick.  Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card.  Not just on thank you notes, but baby shower invites, birth announcements, wedding invites, or whatever other card you choose.  This way you can customize every detail.  Plus you can order a sample of whatever you create so you know you'll love it before you order a ton of them! The envelopes can also be customized, and come with a peel and stick on the fold so you don't have to lick them!  There were so many options to choose from and I love that you could upload your own picture.  The quality of the cards were great.  The picture was bright and clear and I love how they turned out.

 Better late than never.  And if you don't do it right away, it's still worth it.  I figure people would much rather get a thank you note a month late than not get one at all, right?

Thank you Basic Invite for our cute cards! I loved learning about your company and am excited to order from you again.  I can't even believe we'll be planning for a first birthday party soon!
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October 11, 2016

Seven Months

Dear Isaac - 

You are seven months old!! You are still the happiest guy.  It is easy to make you smile just about all the time. Things that make you smile the most: peek - a -boo, daddy throwing you on the bed, Addilyn jumping and running around you.  You get so excited when you see Addi in the morning or when we get her up from her nap.  You love when daddy comes home and cry if he doesn't come pick you up right away.  Pops has been using a scooter for his knee and you love the basket on it. You want to sit in it whenever you see it and are so happy standing in it, ringing the bell on it.  You love the music on little toys and lay on your stomach bobbing your head back and forth so hard and fast. It is quite funny.  You love looking out the window.  You're so happy when we hold you and you "stand" by the window.  You'd easily do that for 20 minutes.  You love being outside.  When I stand by the door with you, you lunge yourself forward and want to get out! 

You aren't super vocal, but have started making the mama sound and I love it.  I can't wait till you say it for just me!  Your laugh is just the cutest and one of my favorite sounds.  You are snuggling and so sweet.  You've been giving me some open mouth slobbery kisses and I love it.  

You still don't love the car seat.  Nothing like how it was a few months ago, but you cry whenever we put you in it and are often fussy in the car.  You don't love getting your diaper or clothes changed. You started having a little stranger anxiety and cry sometimes if someone else takes you and I walk away.  But if you don't see me you are totally fine!  

You started sitting up on your own and are happy playing with toys around you.  You still fall over here and there, but are getting much stronger.  You are scooting around and are so close to crawling. 

Your sleep is not good at all and I am so tired!  Some nights nothing I do can get to back to sleep so I've let you cry, and then you'll have some decent nights with two wake ups and you go back down easy after I nurse you, but that's the best it gets!  Other nights I'll nurse you, hold you awhile, have daddy go in and you still end up crying when we put you down. I've tried not going in and letting you cry but it doesn't seem to work for very long, and you're up many times again after a few days.  You put yourself to sleep for naps with little or no crying but rarely sleep longer than 30 minutes.  If Addi is napping, I'll nurse you and hold you for a while to make your nap longer.  I can't wait for you to sleep more and hope it is coming some day in the near future.  I am tired! It's a good thing you are such a happy baby!

You are eating solids and usually eat two times a day.  I've started giving you food we're eating here and there, along with pureed food and there hasn't been anything you haven't liked.  You love bananas, avocados, peaches, pears, carrots and sweet potatoes.  It's so much nicer having you sit at the table with us for meals!

This month we moved into our new house.  We love it!  We have so much space, inside and outside and it's been so fun playing and living here.  We've gone on so many walks on our street, or following Addi around on her bike.  You are going to love it even more once you're walking around and playing outside!

Isaac Jordan - you are just the happiest, cutest boy and I am so thankful you are mine.  I can't believe how fast time is going and feel like you're first birthday will be here before we know it.  I'd love if you slept a little more and you're making my eye bags continue to grow.  But you are so worth it and I couldn't love you more.


your mama

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October 10, 2016


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Two things lately have really been stressing me out and making me feel discouraged.  Addilyn's separation issues and Isaac's sleep.  Or lack there off.  

I signed Addi up for preschool this year, really only because I wanted her to get better at leaving me and having other adults help her, teach her, etc.  The first three drop offs went great and I was shocked. Since then each drop off has been really hard, where the teacher ends up pulling her off of me while she's crying for me.  The last drop off, she started the night before crying that she didn't want to go.  I've talked with her teachers and they say she is fine after a few minutes and she's happy when I pick her up.  But leading up to it she isn't happy about going at all and it's a struggle.  I watch all the other parents drop their kids off and they run inside and play and are happy.  I want that to be us.

Isaac is not a good sleeper.  At all.  We "sleep trained" which I hate that word and he went from a terrible sleeper to a bad sleeper, so while there's some improvement I'm tired and discouraged.  He goes down awake now for naps and night but wakes up often and if we let him cry, he cries a long time and we'll have some days of decent nights, then back to waking up many times.  His naps are still 30 minutes long and I have a hard time not feeling so envious of babies that sleep well.  I can not wait to sleep more than three hours at a time.  

I've been trying harder lately to ask God what he is trying to teach me in both of these areas. Selfishly I keep thinking maybe if I learn them quickly they will both improve, but know that if that is my motive my heart isn't in the right place.  

And while I know God can teach you things in every area, little to big, I think it comes down to the fact that parenting is just hard.  And it's not even or fair.  Babies and kids are all so different and even if you doing everything "right" some just struggle in some areas and no matter what you do, it's just how it is.

So for now I'm working on doing the best I can in both of those areas, and remembering that's all I can do and the rest is out of my control.  Continue to show up with Addilyn at preschool, remind her that I'll come back and know that this is good for us both.  To remember that this phase of sleep with Isaac will not last forever and sleep will come some day.  

To remember that these things might be hard for a little bit or they might be hard for awhile.  But they will not be hard forever.  And to hold on to sweet moments like the one above.

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