Friday, May 19, 2017

Here We Are

I have a little confession to make. I've had so many ideas for new content and even started a handful of posts, but I can't seem to finish them or I get a little negative and scrap on the idea.  So many of my closest friends had been checking in on me leading up to the one year anniversary of my Dad's passing.  Which happened to fall on the day before Mother's day and my birthday.  I am fairly tough and try to be in control of my emotions so I was confident I was going to stroll through this one OK.  The more I was reminded though, the more I began to get a little sad and reflect on what a crazy year it was.  I put every ounce of myself into Preston and Leavitt that I didn't take the time to ever grieve properly.  Instead I began the constant panic and internal obsession over my health.  Going crazy thinking anything that didn't feel right was something terrible.  A few new moles were shown to three different doctors just to make sure I didn't have melanoma.  I have been channeling my grief into a weird almost obsessive fear of leaving my kids behind.  Maybe it's a control thing, who knows.

Sorry if this all seems a little crazy, but putting it all into words helps sort out why I haven't wanted to blog.  It's not just blogging I have been avoiding without meaning to, I have had a few friends ask if they did something or if I'm mad because I have been distant.  I clearly let myself wander into a rut and have only focused on my family and some of my gal pals who have kept my mind off of the sad stuff and on having fun and celebrating my last year in my 20's.  I'm so thankful for friends that recognize when I'm a little off and help me stay the course.  Where would a girl be without her friends?

We are winding down at school, and have finished our last week of MOPs.  How crazy the year has flown by!  At our last MOPs meeting I realized I was still pregnant with Preston when we started this year.   At the beginning of the school year I was so concerned that adding to our family would create chaos, an unmanageable amount of work for me, and rock my world in a way I could never recover from.  I had a good little thing going and was nervous to rock the boat.  Then came Preston.  The sweetest, little bundle of love there ever was, who completed us all in a way we didn't even know we were desperate for.  He seamlessly filled a huge part of me, so much so it is hard for me to even believe we got by without him.  But here we are wrapping up the year, starting our summer, and that tiny human I was still growing is now a husky eight month old I don't ever recall living without.

I know I am not alone when I say that sometimes I am just happy to be getting by.  If I met my kids needs for the day, and my husband and the boys have heard that I love them, that's enough.  I love when my house is spotless, the kids are in adorable outfits, and I have it all together.  But life happens.   Eventually I will get around to going the extra mile, striving for the perfect Instagram worthy snippets of my life to share.  But in order to be myself, and be a good friend, mom, wife, and daughter I have to be OK with short seasons of getting by.   Letting the details in life go so that I can focus on my relationships is what keeps my heart full when it very well could be a shattered mess.

I am glad to see Leavitt's first year of school end on a happy note.  Preston didn't throw me into a tailspin of chaos.  We can handle life as a family of four.  I also am glad to be free of this first anniversary.  A weight has been lifted and it is time to get back down to business!  So if you are still reading this, thanks for hanging in there with me.  I have missed posting, I miss seeing your messages when I step back, so if I haven't gotten back to you I will do that this week!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekend Recap

With the days being longer, brighter, and warmer - Monday is becoming a dirty word around here.  Our weekend kicked off early Friday when my mother-in-law and I took an impromptu trip to Portland to shop.  I wanted to get a couple things for the boys Easter baskets, and got myself some good transitional pieces for this weird delayed spring we are having.

I rushed back to grab Leavitt from daycare because we had a birthday party to get to.  He was exhausted so the fact he managed to not try to bring their house down was a major win for the mom team.  We both had after party plans - he was going to his grandparents and I was headed to a girls night.  I was already red faced and giggling when I arrived at the second shindig, so it was nice to let my hair down and get some gal pal time in.

My mom is like a pinterest grandma if that is even a thing.  She hosted a super cute Easter egg hunt for her grand kids, and some of our family friends.  It was so much fun to watch the kids finding eggs.  Per usual she was over the top and had filled something like 215 eggs all stuffed with chocolate.  She had made even more Easter goodies inside and we filled our bellies with homemade goodness, and ourselves with new memories.  I love that this is now a tradition, and hopefully it is something all the kids get to do together throughout the years.  Nick and I decided to head to our favorite Mexican restaurant for a date night.  I was honestly pretty tired but I'm not going to turn down an opportunity to have a date night.  I ended up having a few margaritas and was feeling pretty festive by the time we left.  We are opposites in many ways, but share the same sense of humor, I had a pretty good work out just laughing with him.

Sunday I woke up feeling more tired than normal thanks to those margaritas, so I got the boys ready and struck off for Starbucks.  Leavitt ended up wanting to go with his grandparents to camp for the day.  When I pulled in to drop him off the screamed "that's so awesome!"  seeing his grandfather's fishing boat hooked to his truck.  I love his enthusiasm for all things outdoorsy.  I also love that he has someone to do all that stuff with because I couldn't keep up with all that all the time. They ended up bringing him home after less than an hour because he threw up in the car.  I thought we had avoided the stomach bug that had been going around, but with our social calendars packed it was only a matter of time.

We spent the remainder of Sunday resting, snuggling, and watching movies.  While the boys took naps I tackled the laundry I normally would put off until Monday.  My husband had invited friends over for sushi Sunday night.  The boys were already in bed, so if everyone gets sick I'm blaming bad seafood! Ha! 

Busy jam packed weekends are my favorite and I am so excited for our weekends to feel more like this as we get into Summer.  If only I could cram a girls night, family time, and a date night into every single weekend I would welcome Monday with a smile a little more often!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Mom Bod - Spring Essentials

Well spring is here - kind of.  I woke up to snow today, and a text from one of my gal pals that Tuesday it would be 70 out.  The girls at Mops were also talking about promising spring weather next week, which had us all giddy and ready to kick cabin fever.   So with talks of lunching on the patio at the Sea Dog, and mom park play dates, I am talking all things mom bod and spring wardrobe essentials!

I live by the motto I am built for pleasure not speed.  Meaning I enjoy eating, drinking, having/making babies (too far?), and I truly hate to run.  I have big boobs, I don't think God designed  me to run.  My neighbors also don't want to see me running, they do however enjoy the apple squares I drop off after we go apple picking a dozen times, and leave with an abundance of apples every single time.  Keeping the mom bod is actually just an act of community service.

I am a true believer that calories consumed with friends, on the weekends, or off my child's plate don't count.  This is also why I will never be skinny, because those may be the only times I actually eat.  Also see above for why this is true.  That being said the mom bod is going to rock it's happy self right into the warmer weather, new wardrobe and all.  

Every year I invest in a pair of white jeans.  I don't buy expensive ones because I only want them to work for one year.  The obvious reason for this is that they are white and need to be washed after every wear.  I also use bleach on them which ruins the elasticity, which in turn ruins the fit.  The fit of white denim must be good.  White denim shows lumps and bumps, and saggy white pant butt, looks like a diaper - not cute.  I usually grab a pair from the Gap, this year I found a distressed pair and a regular pair at Old Navy.  I also found a great pair at Target last year while pregnant, you can find them here... expecting mamas invest in these ASAP!!

I am also loving all things ruffled sleeves, off the shoulder, chambray, and give me every pink shoe ever.  I almost think the pink shoes need a post of their own but here is a sneak peek into what I have invested in so far!  Loose tops that flatter and conceal mummy tummy, and mid-rise jeans that don't show your bottom when you bend over are my jam.   These are my favorite outfits I just know will be heavy in the rotation as soon as its warm, and my car isn't covered in dirt.   

Jeans | Mules | Top similar |

I love these white distressed jeans so much.  I got them super cheap during one of their online sales for $22.  These mules are everywhere right now.  I live for the blush and bow combo.  The leather feels luxe, and the sole is a nice heavy wood.  They feel more expensive than they are.  The top is Beachlunchlounge.  I link them a lot because I love their fabrics and I found this one at TJ Maxx, that being said I couldn't find mine online, but I found one similar that I like more for you guys, so jump on that!  Also be sure to look for their stuff at your local TJ Maxx, and as always shoot me a message if you find something, or if you're in Maine and think I need to check a store out that has tons of it! 

Jeans | Top | Shoes |

These jeans are also from Old Navy and a ridiculous steal at $25 everyday.  They are a nice mid-rise and I won't care if I ruin them and need to snag another pair.  The top I got at TJ Maxx for $19.99, it is way pricier ( $69 ) on the designer's website so check out your local stores first!  The shoes are also  a TJ Maxx find from a couple years ago but you can still find them online!

 | Jeans | Shoes | Top similar |
This top is a Max Studio find at TJ Maxx.  I could not for the life of me find one online anywhere.  I got it for $19.99 and am obsessed with the sleeves.  The linked version is super cute too!  The sandals I have had for two years and go with literally everything.  I know Tory Burch sandals are pricey for flip flops but if you're going to invest in a pair these would be the place to start!

 | Top  similar | Jeans | Shoes similar |

This top is a TJ Maxx find that I couldn't find online so I linked a similar one.  I am all about this bright pink.   These sandals I was able to link the current version.  Mine are the Miller 2 and have a metal logo in the middle and have been discontinued.  I love the preppy stripes with pink top combo and will be rocking it on the regular.  

Jeans | Top similar | Shoes |

The top and jeans I have already told you about above - but let me tell you about these lace up pink flats!! They speak to me!  I love the lace up detail, and bright color.  They aren't pricey which is good because I don't think I will get more than a couple years out them unless the lace up flat trend sticks around longer than most.  Get them during a Gap sale when they include shoes for a really good deal!

   | Top similar | Shoes | Jeans |

These blush jeans are super cute on.  They are just blush enough to not be white, with tiny spots of distressing.  The stock website photo shows a hole in the knee and mine came with light distressing on the knee.   The stock photo also shows a darker wash than what came in the mail.  I like the stock style better but I snagged them during friends and family sale for less than $20 with free shipping so no complaints here.  

As you can see I will be mixing and matching most of these outfits to get me through the spring.  I strongly suggest finding things you like online, knowing your retailers sale habits and watching them to make sure you are getting the best deals.  Gap and Old Navy run 30-40% off on a regular basis.  I would wait to buy anything from them until I saw a 40% off my purchase sale.  I also find good deals on current styles at TJ Maxx, if you live north of Portland here in Maine you are probably hurting for options to shop locally.  As always message me with any questions on sizing and fit!    

Monday, April 3, 2017

Teething: Take Two

Motherhood has been pretty magical.  I have moments of pure bliss every single day where I am positive every ounce of good karma my husband and I have, was used on our kids.  We have been abundantly blessed with healthy, happy, good natured children.  Sure the toddler has his moments, hell, I have my moments.  You'd be hard pressed to be close to me and not see my impatient, and sometimes demanding side.  I can be a little dramatic, and high maintenance.  There isn't a day that goes by I don't roll my eyes at Leavitt wondering why he calls everything disgusting, or why he's constantly asking "whats that noise", only to realize I say the same things over and over again.

There is a lot of chatter amongst moms right now about how hard it can be.  Some even go so far to say they rarely shower, or have trouble getting out of the house.  While I have been lucky to be an early riser - getting a head start on my family most days, I still have days filled with doubt, and stress.  I'm always trying out new baby gear, and adapting our schedules to work smarter not harder- so to speak.  

My youngest is 6 months old and cutting teeth.  He gets so aggravated when he can't seem to soothe his gums with his fingers or a blanket.  He also is getting his toes wet in the new foods department.  However he hates being fed with a spoon.  He instantly gets this horrified look on his face and spits it out.  He prefers to have something soft he can kind of chew on.  I had poked a bigger hole in his bottle and added some organic baby oatmeal and fruit to his formula, letting him use the bottle helps because it is familiar.  We call it his baby smoothies, but it makes me feel bad that he's not actually getting to taste the fruit alone.  Insert greatest new baby product ever.  The Nuby EZ-Squee-Z is a soft silicone bottle, with a wide spoon shaped end.  The end has little holes that pureed food will come out of while he chews on it soothing his gums, but also giving him a taste of new foods.  I am in love with this because it is the same concept as those little pouches us moms love, but it is so easy to make my own food for him and put it into this little bottle.  The bottom part is also silicone so he can easily hold it, and squeeze himself.  I love that it encourages him to self feed, and look how happy he looks using it!  I laughed the whole time he used it for the first time because he couldn't get enough of it, he was so proud of himself.  It comes with a hygienic cover that is great to toss in your bag for on the go self feeding.  As always you know anything great for him is a hit with me if it cleans well and is BPA free. The Nuby EZ Squeeze is Coming Soon to Babies R’ US. Can’t wait to shop? 
Shop similar item by Nuby here: Nibbler : Amazon & Babies R' US.  
Squeeze Feeder: Walmart , Babies R' US  &  Amazon

Nuby also has these great IcyBite teethers that go in the refrigerator  but are on a ring that he can easily hold without his fingers getting cold.  They have multiple teething surfaces, including the cold surface, a soft rubber surface and the hard textured ring. 
Shop the Nuby Icy Bite Teether Keys at:

I am still learning how to navigate these infant trials while loving and raising a toddler too. We are on the go so much more than we ever were when Leavitt was an infant. Being in the trenches some days of constantly being tasked with their needs and complaints can be trying.  I am grateful to be the one doing life with them, and for great products that make the tough stuff a little easier.  OK mamas, I want to know what else do I need to make teething easier?  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring Fever

Lately I have been in a real mood.  I am generally someone who sees the light at the end of that dark winter tunnel and doesn't complain but this winter won't quit.  We set our clocks ahead, the calendar says spring, time hop is showing me pictures of last year where we already had Easter and the ground was snow less.  Mother nature didn't get the memo and is killing my vibe.  

A gal pal of mine was saying she had been shopping more than normal and I realized I had been taking advantage of all this indoor time by online shopping for spring outfits.  Trying to stay optimistic warmer and brighter days are ahead with retail therapy is apparently how you avoid seasonal depression around these parts.  Give me all the white denim, chambray, off the shoulder, ruffles, and blush a closet can hold.  

It's not just my wardrobe I am sick of and shaking up.  I have been struggling with decisions about what next school year will look like for our family.  He currently goes to a private school - because he is still too young for public options - I decided to complicate my life and try to choose between part time, full time, christian, and non faith based options.  You know because I don't have enough on my plate.  While we take his education seriously, we are adamant our kids be encourage first and foremost in these precious young years in their wonder and self confidence.  I am more inclined to encourage his love of fishing and his love of family than I am to push a competitive educational agenda.  I am definitely airing to the side of "let them be little" - but the temptation to give him the academic edge is still taunting me a little.   

I am also becoming a little bitter with time.  While the weather is in a holding pattern, the growth of my new precious baby  is not.  We have weathered sickness after sickness, and I am beyond anxious to get him outside in fresh air, exploring this world he lives in.  I can't wait to experience all of those great Maine firsts with him.  Quite frankly I am growing impatient and a little pissed off we are cooped up still.  I can't wait to get him downeast, toes in the Atlantic for the first time... you know a good old Maine baby baptism.  OK, I might be taking this a little far, but as he grows more, and more into his personality I am impatient to start the adventures of being a mom all over again.  Leavitt and I adventure so much during the summer months, and we are so pumped to have another buddy to bring along!  I can't help but think that if Leavitt does attend a full time school schedule next year that I need to make the most of our time this summer.

So spring, show your face or I am moving back to Florida and taking this Maine brood with me!

Photos are from last year by Danielle Brady Photography 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Snacks with SkinnyPop

While we have been recovering from yet another blizzard, I am filling our house will all things spring.  As most of you know I am not the crafty type so when I want to create with my little man we head to the kitchen.  I was asked by SkinnyPop popcorn to come up with a spring recipe for you guys and decided I would let my favorite helper in on the action, after all he can't get enough of all things popcorn.

This is the simplest little snack that your kids will love helping you make, and they will definitely enjoy.  The good news is zero measuring, so they can take the lead if you set all the ingredients out.  Even better there is no baking time so those impatient little ones will only have to wait a few minutes for the white chocolate drizzle to dry!

We warmed some white chocolate up in the microwave, and while we waited we grabbed a bag of SkinnyPop popcorn, vanilla cupcake goldfish, pastel citrus marshmallows, and some sprinkles - of course.  I laid a small section of parchment paper out, and scattered small hand fulls of each snack on to the paper.  We used small rubber spatulas to drizzle the melted chocolate, and added some sprinkles for a finishing touch.

I love the bonding time in the kitchen with Leavitt, and he loves snacking so this was the perfect little activity for a cold almost spring morning.  We had so much fun drizzling the chocolate and snacking on the finished product while we watched movies to dodge the cold.  

I wanted to make this super easy for you so below is a picture of your shopping list to make our spring sweet and salty snack mix!  I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do, I also hope you make some memories in the process!

Monday, March 6, 2017

You lose some

 I am in full blown survival mode right now.  Friday I took Preston to the doctor for the second time last week.  The night before his nebulizer had stopped working so I called the doctor to get a RX for the parts I needed.  I set up an appointment to have him seen again before the weekend.  Confirmed with my husband sitting next to me that he or his dad could get Leavitt from daycare because I couldn't be in both places at once.  He of course said he could.  Friday rolls around and we discuss his dad getting Leavitt again... everything seems a go.  I spoke with him, then the daycare, about this.  Nick called his dad and his dad said he was in the woods and didn't know he was supposed to pick him up.  Called me, and said his dad felt bad he missed my text.  If you see where this is going, my husband never asked his dad he simply said he did and never got around to it, then assumed I had taken care of it.  Luckily we hit the daycare lottery and she was sweet about it, even told my husband she hadn't called to worry me.  I had to grab some last minute items at Target and what do you know I get a phone call that Leavitt pooped everywhere.  Never happens on my watch but whatever.  Stressed he puts a swim diaper on him instead of a pull-up despite Leavitt's protesting that's not the right one.  I get home in time to watch Leavitt pee all over his socks.  Have mercy.  

Weekends are pretty hit or miss on the mom front over here.  We are either planned to the max, or end up a bunch of vegetables which creates anxiety beyond belief for me.  This weekend was no different we had plans all day Saturday.  Babysitters lined up for a funeral in the morning and an engagement party that night.  Sunday I just hoped wouldn't leave us taking up residence on the couches, because it is just too much work to actually relax for me.  Preston has been battling a cough all week.  No fever, no runny nose, just a really nasty cough.  We forged on all week with the reassurance from the doctor he wasn't contagious.  Fast forward a week to Saturday Preston woke up worse than I had heard him all week.  Despite being seen at his doctors office twice that week,  like a crazy person when I found his hands freezing, legs a speckled purple color and feet in the same condition I panicked and called my mom who brought over an oximeter my sister has.  Of course his tiny fingers too small for it, and freezing gave us an alarming result which caused me to take him to the ER.  Let me just stop here and say, a rational side of me knew he was fine, the panicked mom in me wasn't sure.  Turns out my precious Preston will be fine in a few days.  Phew.  I also have been banned by his doctor and the ER doc to never use one of those things on a baby again for my own sanity... noted.  

As I sit here, coffee in hand, staring at my reflection in the oven - I pray I don't have to use today, I am fairly certain we are in over our heads in this parenting gig.  My husband and I have a good sense of humor to keep our marriage afloat during these total WTF moments, but really what the.... are we doing? I hope we aren't alone in the wandering in the dark hallows of parenthood, but sometimes I expect strangers to high five me I have it so together, and other days one kid gets left at daycare, another is unnecessarily take to the ER, and there is a poop smell from dad poop-gate I can't get out of my bathroom.  You win some, you lose some.  I just hope the boys aren't sitting on a couch someday talking about these cringe worthy parenting moments to a therapist.  

The upside to this weekend was we made it to the engagement party, there was wine, adult conversations, and my mom is a rock star had both kids in bed by their bedtimes and cleaned my house and did my laundry!  Meme, you're the real MVP! 

Photos are by the lovely Danielle Brady Photography who keeps it real documenting life's perfect moments and bloopers for me.