Friday, May 23, 2014

Five on Friday

I'm linking up for Five on Friday today!


I have been working a ton lately covering therapy groups for other therapists while they take time off for some vacations. Yesterday was a 10 hour day. Whew! The best part is that I totally love my job and so I actually love working so much. Derek has been a rockstar dad over the past several weeks as I have been working several evenings and late nights. He does dinner and bedtime-- sometimes even 4 times a week and he doesn't complain!


Belle has had a made big strides in potty training this week. Fortunately (for me) her worst accidents have been for our babysitter and my mom! Sorry guys! I just bought some pull-ups today. I had NO IDEA they were so much more expensive than diapers. Also, she made a blog post on Mommy Shorts... she's practically famous. :)


I downloaded the classroom version of Hooked On Phonics when it was offered for free on Mother's Day. Jackson has been using it probably every other day. It is SO cool to watch him learn and to see him read! It's one of my favorite things to do when Belle is napping! He's been reading "-at", "-an", and "-ap" words along with memorizing some sight words. It is a fantastic app and I'd probably say it's worth every penny that it may cost.


We signed up for the summer reading program this week! Both kids found some books they want to earn as a prize and are really eager to get some reading in. Jackson doesn't know it yet, but he'll get practice with writing his letters when he writes down the book names! We are registered for all of the summer events at the library each week at 9:30 and so we'll have a super fun and yet full-of-learning summer!


We are kicking off the summer by going camping this weekend! We've been in full preparation all week. Jackson came in my room this morning and let me know that today was finally camping day!!! We've tried to get the kids super involved and to get this excited! Jackson helped pick our site that we reserved and both kids have helped me get food preparation ready. We have read several camping books from the library, too! Derek and I are hoping for a really fun weekend--we both love camping!

Here is the only pic I have from this week.  It's been warm and we got the sprinkler out one day. I love these action shots. 

Have a great weekend! And while you spend time with friends and family welcoming in summer, be sure to remember the reason for our 3 day weekend and honor those who have offered the greatest sacrifice for our freedom! Happy Memorial Day!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Being Three

Three year olds: the highs are high. The lows are lows. Being pregnant with a three year old in the house is a good way to feel super confident for bringing another cute, sweet little person into the world one minute. And then the next, you feel like a complete crazy person for signing up for this gig another time around.

Belle has the capacity to be the sweetest little person on the entire planet and sometimes makes me stop dead in my tracks from what can diagnosed simply as "heart melting into goo."

Like the time we were in the check-out line at the grocery store and Belle wouldn't quit saying how much she loved me. Over and over. The surrounding ladies were completely smitten with her.

But when things get ugly around here, boy do they get UGLY. It's to the point where my parents (who think all of my off-spring are perfect angels who do no wrong) have finally seen and will acknowledge that I don't make things up when I call to tell them what is happening in our house.

Like the times when Belle stomps her feet, screams the loudest closed-mouth scream she can muster, and storms off into her room because she has to take turns. 

In my sweet little girl's defense, being three is hard. She wants to sit without a booster, but can barely see above the table. She wants a big fork like the rest of us, even though it's practically the size of her forearm. She's got a big brother who bosses her around and she's about to be shifted right into middle child. Life can be rough. Also, she doesn't sleep. We've tried short naps, early naps, no naps. This girl can keep herself awake for hours, in complete darkness, in her bed with no toys, and not fall asleep.

Like the time I kept checking to make sure she was in bed and she was rehearsing the entire movie of Frozen, practicing her rhyming words, and having other miscellaneous conversations for THREE HOURS! She talked for three hours without stopping before falling asleep after 11pm. Unbelievable. 

Congress should hire her for a filibuster. Is that something she can get paid for? It'll help with the cost of diapers. I've tried every trick in the book to get her onboard the potty train.
If you use the potty, you can be a big girl! Don't you want to be a big girl? Nope. I already did! {once!} I am a big girl.  
If you use the potty, you can get a special toy from the potty toy bag! No thanks, I already have toys! 
Do you want to wear your big girl Minnie panties today? No, I just want a diaper today. 
Belle may be in diapers well into elementary school simply because she lacks motivation. To do anything. Well, anything that requires even the tiniest iota of work. But she is an expert in being polite about it and excusing herself from participating in whatever chore or task we may me working on.
It's time to pick up the front room. I think I'll just sit instead. 
Help us clean up, please! No thanks. I don't want any money.  
I need you to help Mommy. But I want to cuddle, Mom. I just really like you!
See what I mean about sweet? She crawls into bed in the morning, snuggles, and wants to "pat" the baby. And just last week, she snuggled with me on the couch and started singing a song to the baby. Most of the words captured on this video are jibberish, but she was saying things like, "I love you baby. Can you come out?"


Sure there are challenges with living with a three-year-old, but there are so many fun parts that I'm just not ready to wish away yet! The way Belle chooses her ice cream flavor as anything that's pink. The way she insists that the shape of a star is called "Starfish" and that the American flag is actually the "Captain America Flag." The way she snuggles in bed with me each morning and the way she feels Daddy's cheek for scratchies before she gives kisses. It's so fun! :)

Let no FroYo go to waste!

Okay, well, I don't feel bad wishing away the part about changing her diapers. She's welcome to become potty trained any day and I won't look back!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Mom Selfies, aka Melfies!

At the beginning of the month, a favorite blogger of mine started a new challenge in honor of Mother's Day. The concept is simple-- get in the pics WITH your kiddos instead of just snapping and sharing tons pics OF only the kids.  I love the convenience of having a nice camera on my cell phone because I just love snapping "every day" pics. I take lots of pics capturing our life, not just picture perfect moments. I share a tons of pictures here on this blog and my friends and family will say to me time to time, "we'd love to see you in some pictures!" So, I decided to have fun and challenge myself to some selfies this week, which really aren't my thing, but when it's a mom-selfie it becomes pretty fun! 

There were prizes involved for participating, but I had fun doing this even though I didn't win. I sort of feel like I did win though, because looking back at the pics I took over the past couple of weeks makes me smile. As I was thinking back over the last two weeks, I recalled some of the big things we had going on (like Mother's Day and Jackson's graduation) but my thoughts on the every day life was that it was busy and chaotic... and that life is an exhausting challenge of three-year-old attitude and five-year-old energies right now. Yet, looking through these pictures shows a completely different story-- so many moments of smiles, silly faces, and kisses! These are the things I want to remember and these are the pictures that I want my kids to see-- that I love being their mommy and we always have lots of fun! 

Mommy Kisses

Smiles en route to drop Jackson at preschool!

"I'm a princess cowboy, Mommy. Will you be my horse??"

Outdoor Reading!

Oh man, this was snuggle time after a very exhausting day. (Remember, I'm pregnant, so every day pretty much feels exhausting.) 

Me and my daytime gang! Two kiddos, two nephews!

Every night at bedtime, I'll ask Belle if she wants one kiss or one hundred. She'll always say one hundred. 

Easter picture outtakes

Last day of preschool-- the kiss was his idea! 

I had fun trying to be creative with our daily pic trying to capture moments that told a story and weren't just cramming into a picture. I only managed nine out of fifteen days, but I'm so glad I did this! I even enjoyed browsing through the pictures that other people were submitting-- you can check it out here!

Are you on instagram? Let me know and we can be insta-friends!!! Follow me here or comment and tell me your instagram handle. I can assure you there will be much fewer pics of me coming up, though I'm going to try to remember to sneak in a picture or two from time to time!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jackson's Preschool Graduation

Tonight was Jackson's preschool graduation. On any other day, I'll give you an earful about how our society overemphasizes non-achievements (such as preschool graduations, medals for everyone, etc...), but not today. We were excited to celebrate this little guy tonight! His "hard work" and big improvement over the year was his participation in performing activities, like doing motions to songs or stories. Plus, earlier today I watched him read some (very short, very simple) books on his own. It deserves a celebration, don't you think? :)

 I quickly thought to take a pic of both kiddos right before we went in and I ended up with my new favorite pic! If you look close, you can see my brown-eyed boy and my blue-eyed gal! 

Jackson performed a few songs with his class. I made sure to have a full battery on my phone before graduation, but I didn't check my storage! Unfortunately, I ran out of room for videos on my phone and so I only have a few pics. Fortunately, most parents were videoing as well and one agreed to send me a file of his video! 

The first song they sang was "Where is Thumbkin" and Jackson was absolutely hilarious with his concentration on getting his ring finger to cooperate. In this next pic, he is wearing sunglasses during a song about driving a car. It was cute. 

Getting his certificate from his teachers!

We're proud of this guy!

I asked him at dinner about his favorite thing about preschool. His answer: recess! Play is a child's work, they say... in which Jackson worked VERY hard this year. 


Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Recap

Yesterday was a wonderful day! Derek and the kids did a great job of making me feel special and appreciated. The kids had flowers waiting for me when I got home from work on Thursday night. I love them!

Jackson and Derek prepared Sunday lunch on Saturday afternoon. and yesterday morning, Derek made breakfast and the kiddos helped. As we sat down to eat our breakfast, Jackson said, "I think it's time for you just to do stuff for us for the rest of the day!" :) Derek's parents joined us for lunch and I enjoyed a nice afternoon nap! For dinner, we packed a picnic and spent the evening at the park. It was a beautiful day! We topped off the evening with some frozen yogurt. Yum! 

My favorite part of the day was during church and Jackson was sitting in "big church" with us. The last worship song happened to be the song that he performed with his choir last week and so he was eager to sing along. Hearing him sing next to me during worship, that was my favorite part.

In an interview about me, here's what Jackson had to say. His words are underlined. 
My mom is 30 years old and she weighs 55 pounds. She likes to play Candy Crush. The best thing that she cooks is la-zombie. Her favorite food is celery. Her favorite way thing to do to relax is don't let kids bother her and have alone time. We like to play Mario Wii and snuggle together. She is really good at golf. As you can see, my mom is special because she has a baby in her tummy
And here's Belle's version.
My mom is 15 years old and she weighs 8 pounds. She likes to read books to me. The best thing that she cooks is Goldfish. Her favorite food is pasta. Her favorite way thing to do to relax is change my diaper. We like to drop off Jack at school together. She is really good at swimming. As you can see, my mom is special because Just Because!
Ha. This is cracking me up. Maybe if my favorite food was celery, I'd weigh about as much as they guessed. Also, I have never in my life played golf, so that's interesting! I do like to relax with alone time, but changing diapers is definitely NOT relaxing. I do like to snuggle, play the Wii, and read books to my kids. That's the important stuff that I'm glad they got righty! :)

I hope you had a great Mother's day celebrating the mothers in your life! I am hoping to get to the movies next week with my mom to see Mom's Night Out!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

This past week!

What was going to be a recap post from last weekend will now be a recap post from our entire week! It was a busy one for sure. But full of fun and productivity, too!  

Friday night, I cheered on the Royals with some friends!

Firework Friday! The best part of going on a Friday night. Aside from the $1 hotdogs.

Saturday, we celebrated Great Grandma's 80th birthday up in Richmond! It was a beautiful day for a picnic.

Belle was in dire need of a hair cut! It looks so cute with a lot of the fine, baby hair trimmed off the bottom. 

And we went ahead and took advantage of the haircut sale and got a nice short cut for Jackson for the summer! He makes such a funny face the entire time.

Our little librarian on Sunday morning- scowl and everything! It may seem as if she never smiles from the few pictures of her, but that's not true. She just doesn't smile on demand and she pretty much does whatever you don't want her to do... so that explains it. Three is fun, isn't it?? 

This bucket of water was a highlight of the week. The kids "washed" the car, the cooked soup (as pictured), they watered flowers. This went on for TWO DAYS. Can you believe it?

While the kids played with water, I painted all of the interior doors of the house. This, along with painting the bathroom really took up most of my week. Aside from the usual household tasks and three days of work!

Friday, one of our babysitters offered to come over and watch the kiddos for a couple of hours-- out of the blue! It was such a treat. I celebrated by getting bangs, eating lunch alone and uninterrupted, and with a little shopping! The perfect end to my long week!

Friday night, Jackson's school had a carnival. He talked about the carnival all week long and it didn't disappoint! The kids fed a camel. 

Rode ponies

And played with bubbles. Isn't this the coolest pic? 

And after the carnival we headed straight to t-ball practice! Today was a nice family day and Derek and I snuck out for an afternoon date to check out a new shopping area and theater close by.  I know it was just last week that I was raving about the reclining leather seats, but these theater seats take awesome to an entirely new level.

That sums up our week! The rest of the month I am super busy at work, but we also have some fun things going on-- like a little preschool graduation this week. 


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Scoring big on deals this week

This weekend was a hit at garage sales. It's been eight days since we found out that baby #3 is a girl and we are already well on our way to being well stocked with clothes, gear, and toys! Check out this little outfit. I am in love with it. And for $1.50- how could I pass it up?!?

My mom has been scoring items left and right. I think it's because she also gets to garage sale without kids. I did take the kiddos to some sales this weekend and Jackson found a toy that he really wanted for $4. I told him that I would buy it and that he could earn it by that afternoon. It was the best $4 I spent all week! He was cleaning, vacuuming, and sweeping all morning! 

Mom has been find the big deals at garage sales, but I had came across a good deal online this week! I saved a ton on some tickets to take the kids to Legoland! Jackson is obsessed with Legos and we've been meaning to go, but just haven't ever really made plans or saved up. It's not cheap! I used a website called and was able to save almost 15% off tickets. 

By using you get to make a bid on tickets for attractions, live productions, and sporting events. It's a great way to save box office prices without taking the risk from buying on craigslist or scalpers. You still get to chose your location of the seats and you're bid is either accepted or denied immediately. Since we ordered tickets to an attraction, we didn't have to pick a seating location, but the process was still the same. We added the tickets to the cart, put in a bid and our order was processed. There are never any fees and they mailed the tickets right away. They are sitting in my cabinet waiting for us to go have some Lego fun! I'm thinking it will be a fun activity to do with Daddy before he heads off for a few weeks of army training next month. 

I just checked today and the football schedule is up and tickets are available. If the games we're so close to my due date, I'd already be making offers! Check out the site and let me know if you find a deal on tickets!

I was offered a credit to purchase tickets on to provide a review for this post. But if you've read here for long, you'll know that I love saving money and passing along new tips with friends! All opinions are my own. 



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