Going Back to Work-A SAHM story.

It’s been an emotional few months to say the least. After taking a full time job opportunity in the medical field and leaving my comfortable “stay-at-home-mom” gig, I feel like my emotions have been all over the board. Being able to stay home with your children is such a privilege, and obviously, not everyone is able to for one reason or another. And that’s totally fine! I got to have a little over 3 years with my babes and it was MAGICAL.

MAGICAL: -exciting, hard, discouraging, encouraging, exhausting, relaxing, empowered, chaotic

Anyways, it’s been fun. But the opportunity arose for my husband to pursue his passion and nitch. He enrolled in Grad school and is getting his aster’s degree in teaching. He plans to teach high school History.ย  I could say I am proud of him, which is true, but I am really envious of his ability to change careers and go for what he really wants. That takes courage and strength in a whole different way. In order to support him and make the next year and a half go by much easier, I took this new career opportunity so he could be home with our kids, and get his school work done at times other than 12 and 1 am.

The first few days were awesome. It was like all the things I did complain about, about being a stay at home mom were fixed. I got to drive alone in the car???? This had bee a foreign concept to me for many years. I actually got to listen to what music was being played on the radio- which that excitement lasted 2 hours in traffic when I realized it’s crap and very repetitive. I got to go talk to other adults all day. This was so exciting as I pride myself on being a very social person ๐Ÿ™‚ I got that little “break” every day away from the house, away from the dishes and cleaning and screaming. And then, real life sunk in about 1 month into working. I realized I was never going to get to be home again with my youngest at the age he is right now. It hurt so much! I knew he was well taken care of and getting some awesome bonding in with his dad, but me! What about me?! We had been inseparable for almost 2 years now. I remember driving home about the 3rd week of work and just bawled. Turned on whatever sad song was playing- not Justin Bieber- and bawled. I think I cried the entire drive home which is an unpleasant 50 minutes. I thought about all the milestones I was missing, the laughs, the nap time rocking, the owies he was going to get without me being there to make it all better.

Once I got a hold of myself, pulled it together, approximately 1 second away from our driveway, I felt better. I needed to grieve my former job, former self, former life. I only cried like that once. Sure I’ve gotten teary eyed a few times here and there thinking about things or hearing things I’m missing, but I needed that 50 minutes to myself to wallow. And I think that’s OK. There is no book for the emotions and trials you will deal with when you go back to work. Well there is probably LITERALLY 100 I’m sure but…not my point.

Basically things have changed and we have all adjusted. Was my husband as scared as I was to make this transition? Absolutely. Is he still figuring things out every day like I am? Yup. The pressure we all have to do our best at every “job” in life or title is so exhausting. We feel the need to be the best student, the best mom, the best wife, the best employee. We are all just figuring shit out and doing the best we can! Well most of us ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband, has completely won at stay at home chef, and maybe needs some improvement in stay at home house cleaner ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

I have re-learned the expression TGIF. I have now cleverly changed it to TGIFF. You can probably guess what that means. My weekends are SACRED. They are golden. I now appreciate Saturdays and despise Sundays just like the rest of working America ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband has now forgotten what day of the week it is. I have to now brace myself in the garage before I walk in the door. I am flooded with “MOM, mom, MOmmy, MAMMMM, MUM” before I can get my purse or shoes off. “Listen to this song I learned, listen to me read this new book, watch my new trick, look at my owie I got today, he hurt me, sign this now please, help me with my homework, why can’t we go to the park? why don’t we ever do anything fun, you never are home, can I go play? Look at this giant mess I just made!” …..etc etc etc. Then when all I want to do is go change out of scrubs and into my sweats, my little one wants to be glued to my hip. I have to stop and appreciate this because I actually have MISSED him all day. It’s such a battle in my head between what I want to do and what I feel like I need to do. UGH. Soccer games, school functions prettyย  much take up my non working time, and then I get left with the guilt of not having time to myself- me, Alison. I am hoping time will heal all…LOL or at least help me get my sh*t organized!

I love what I’m doing, and I love helping patients heal. I love my new co-workers and I love the providers I get to work with daily. I keep getting asked “Do you like working better? Do you think it’s easier than staying home?” The answer to both of those is yes and no. Yes I enjoy working, helping people, interacting with adults and meeting new people. No, I miss my kids, I miss being able to have my own schedule, I miss having more patience with all of them. Yes, I think in some respects it is easier to work than stay home and a big NO at times it is much easier to be a stay at home parent than work. The debate is dumb and shouldn’t even exist. Every day is different and everyONE is different. I will say, my husband has an entire new respect for me and what I did now. He expresses it daily ๐Ÿ™‚

So that’s what’s been going on around here lately. I apologize to any friends, parents, people I have ignored or forgotten to call back over the past few months. I have been a complete scatter brain trying to figure this all out and learn TIME MANAGEMENT all over again!!!

**Thank you all who have supported us/me as a family and individually in making this transition for both Brent and I, and the kids as easy as it could be!!**

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pillow Talk

Hi, hello! It’s been 2 months since I’ve last posted! I have been busy blogging over at SugarBabies about awesome kid stuff, and most recently- I started a new job! I recently started working at Virginia Mason and so far I am loving it!
Today I wanted to talk Toddler Pillows. Most of you probably didn’t even know that was a thing. It is. It’s a very good thing. I started realizing Luca, my almost 2 year old { enter sad sad sad face } whom we still bed share with, was not only stealing my entire side of the bed, but stealing my pillow all night. He hadn’t done this before. He now sleeps like a normal human, with a pillow and all. Which again, is super sad. I don’t know why but it just is! So I realized that he actually may need his own pillow. So many questions came up:

    Are toddler pillows even a thing? Are they safe?Do they fit in cribs?

Yes, yes and yes.

I always head over to Instagram these days to find any kid/baby related product I am interested in. They usually have a page, or I can usually check a hashtag and find loads of info on products this way. Sure enough #toddlerpillow brought me to ClevaMama.

When I first began researching toddler pillows, I discovered a whole new world of these tiny little pillows I had no idea existed. They do indeed make pillows JUST for our little toddlers. And yes, they fit in cribs! Even though I do have two older kids, I had never used a pillow for them until they were in their own twin bed. It didn’t even occur to me. I guess, my main reason was safety. How could a pillow, which in some cases is used for smothering, be safe for MY BABY?! There were about 5 top leading brands and pillow types in this toddler pillow category. The ClevaMama pillow definitely stood out among the rest.

There were, like I said, around 5 other brands of top rated toddler pillows. One seemed all too “fluffy” for a crib. It didn’t seem at all safe to me. One pillow seemed extremely tiny for even a kid. It almost looked like a doll sized pillow. And then just like Goldilocks finding the perfect fit, I found ours.

Behind the Pillow:

The ClevaMama brand is a Dublin, Ireland based company founded by two moms, who are also sisters. Their moto is “Designed by mums, for mums.” Seemed perfect. The pillow is made of a type of foam that is scientifically designed to reduce the pressure on the back of your baby’s head by 50%. Manufactured using fabrics and foams that are hypo-allergenic, PH balanced and toxin free makes the pillow suitable for use with toddlers who suffer from asthma and allergies. The AirFlow fabric draws away moisture and increases airflow which makes it safe to breathe. These were all HUGE factors in choosing this pillow. Luca’s head and spine would be in perfect alignment while using the pillow, and I didn’t have to worry about suffocation. I read a few awesome reviews and decided this was the right pillow for us.

Our Experience:

ClevaMama was so generous to send Luca a pillow to try out with their adorable boy themed replacement pillow covers. I was SO excited to try the pillow out that night! I think he was excited too as he tried to pry open the box before I could grab a pair of scissors!

ClevaMama Toddler Pillow Review

 

I laid it at the top of his crib, which fit perfectly in to place. He struggles all night with thrashing around the crib from one end to the other and I was hoping this might help that with having a specific spot for his head to go. We used it first at nap time that day. After laying him down with is head on the pillow and walking out I quickly ran to my monitor to see what he would do. He laid on it for a while, and then sure enough fell asleep just below the pillow. I was just happy he didn’t try to use it as a toy to distract him from sleeping. That same night, I laid him down and was watching him on the monitor. He seemed to be keeping his head on the pillow….and then he fell asleep in the correct position. I was SO PLEASED!

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We have been using the ClevaMama Foam Toddler pillow for about 2 weeks now and he LOVES IT! Though he still ends up in our bed, using MY pillow half the night…the first half he stays on his own pillow sleeping soundly.

The cool part for me as a mom, is knowing he is getting healthy spine alignment and his breathing is not affected. It almost feels like a mini Tempurpedic toddler pillow. Spoiled little thing ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall Luca and I would give this pillow 5 stars and I would highly recommend to any momma out there!

The ClevaMama company not only has toddler pillows but so many more awesome baby products I would highly suggest looking into! I have linked the pillow URL below if you wanted to check it out!

ClevaMama Foam Toddler Pillow

**This products was given to us at no cost for reviewing purposes. All thoughts and opinions about this product and company are my own.

 

 

 

Why You Won’t Have Anything Nice Till You’re 80

Hot damn. I have developed a much higher patience level since my little Luca was born. I’m older, wiser (hehe) and don’t have the work stressors anymore. BUT this toddler has hit toddler’hood’.ย  I was having some difficulty or inspiration on my next post. It’s been a while. But every morning I realize I have the best material for a “mom blog” post there is. Here is why you won’t have anything nice till you’re 80.

Vibrantly Living- Why You Won't Have Anything Nice Till You're 80

I really don’t think my writing anything here will help you understand what is going on in this picture. It’s very obvious. Well, obvious to a mom who once liked nice things. Like Laura Mercier makeup brushes. If you aren’t the biggest makeup lover, you will need to know, this brush costs roughly around $40-50. I know, I know. That is a ridiculous price to pay for a brush. But when you are a grown up with kids, you start asking for these things for birthday, Christmas, heck even St. Patrick’s day presents. You can’t afford to spend that amount of money on that.

on anything for yourself actually ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

SO I was upset. Upset that my adorable almost 18 month old digs through my make up drawer every time I need to get ready. He pulled looked at the brush (I’m assuming, I was getting ready) decided that he would try to use all his toddler strength, and pull out all the bristles on that nice brush.

Because it’s fun that’s why.

So that was fun. I looked down and went “NOOOOOOOOOOOO” like on of those really drawn out, cartoon sequences no’s. Then, that little bundle of joy went “NOOOOOOOOOO” back at me. And then I laughed and got over it.

RIP Laura, RIP.

Vibrantly Living- Why You Won't Have Anything Nice Till You're 80

That’s a whole lotta damage right there. OK. Here from Left to Right we have….Anastasia Beverley Hills Eye Shadow Pallet, Bobbi Brown Lip Stick, and of course a LIMITED EDITION Bare Essentials highlighter. That I might add can only be purchased on Ebay now. Why you ask? THEY DON’T MAKE IT ANYMORE. If you look closely you can see little baby fingernail markings in the highlighter. Trust me, I am still using these. I slowly open the eye shadow and I very carefully apply the lipstick. I am 28 with three kids and technically one income, you will NEVER see me throw anything away. Unless it’s something important of my husband’s that he needs the next day. Then you will find it in the garbage truck just leaving our house.

LOVE YOU honey.

Vibrantly Living- Why You Won't Have Anything Nice Till You're 80

Now this, is not because of my toddler. Can you guess who the next culprit is? Our dog. Basically this post will apply to any person/persons who have either a child or a dog in their household. Again, why you won’t have anything nice till you’re 80. When we first moved into our new house I expected some regression from our dog. That’s normal. What I didn’t expect was 3 ripped up pairs of TOM’s, 2 Dolce Vita shoes and my husband’s pair of italian leather Ferragamo’s. That one took a while to get over. And it’s your dog. So all that cuteness that makes up for it afterwards when your kids do stupid sh*t, isn’t there. All they do is run from your like you’re some psycho who is coming after them. Just me? eh. I have had my mother in law sew this pillow already. But for some reason it continues to get ripped open. God only knows what my little fur ball is doing when i’m not home to completely destroy this poor pillow. I don’t even want to know.

Vibrantly Living- Why You Won't Have Anything Nice Till You're 80

This might be my last piece of evidence for this post, but I assure you, this is not the last thing they will destroy. My couch. I don’t even know if you can technically call it that anymore. It’s like a bacteria infested, pee stained, juice drenched large piece of fabric located in the most used room in the house. My favorite part is when you explain how you need a new couch to other mom’s, or even better, people who don’t have kids but like to chime in on stuff. You start complaining how gross it is and how your kids have completely destroyed it.

“Well, my kids aren’t allowed to drink in the living room” Oh really? I actually tell my children to have a free for all in the living room on the most used furniture in the house. Trying to monitor and control three kids and friends is dumb. I agree, I could enforce this “rule” more but I actually have twenty other things I am doing. The toddler, likes to run away when I am changing his diaper. He starts crawling all over the couch with his little “peepee” touching everything. While I am still on the floor waiting for him to return to get his diaper on, he looks over at me, sticks out his belly and little manhood and pees. On the couch. Then laughs.

So I am sure you understand by now why if you have children or a dog you won’t have anything nice for a while. But why 80?

My husband and I figured this out one night as we were looking around our kid trashed house. Right now we have babies and kids who obviously ruin things. Then we will have teenagers who will be smearing pizza grease and cheetoh’s on everything. Not to mention our son ruining all my towels (ahem). Then just when you think you can breathe for a minute and go out and by yourself a new Sellens couch…

BAM

They return with THEIR kids. The cycle starts all over. So when we are 80 or so, maybe we can invest in something nice. But then we will probably die a few years later and our kids will get it and then let their kids ruin it.

Cue music…… “The circle of liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife.”

END SCENE

Baby Carrying & Things My Kid’s Say

It’s that time again. One week, actually 6 days. The iconic Adam Sandler chime is on repeat in my head… “Back to school, back to school…” I mean we all love our kids…but come on. 3 months of one on one??? That would drive any person crazy. This summer was a bit easier than last summer when I was trying so hard to figure out how to manage 3 kids. This summer I had that part down…it was how to control all of them! Nap time is twice a day. Which means this can be accomplished if we don’t do ANYTHING that day. Trying to get your baby on a routine when you have 2 other children is extremely difficult.

8 am: “Mom, mom, mother, mommy…what are we doing today? Where are we going?” Me: “You mean we have to go somewhere again today? Monday we were at the pool, Tuesday we were at the lake, Wednesday you played with a friend all day, Thursday we went to the park, and today? Today we are staying the eff home so your brother can take a friggn NAP!”

And that gets me… “You might as well be like a foster parent.”

*HEAD in palm. GO BACK TO SCHOOL CHILDREN. *

Today…the baby is sleeping, the older ones are playing with friends and I am writing. It feel so good to write!! At least you listen to me, and I don’t have to repeat myself fifty times. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

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Now that I have summed up our summer I wanted to share with you guys something I have used a lot this summer and how it has been a game changer! My Ergo baby.ย  I had never used a baby carrier before with the older kids because a) they weren’t that popular back then and b) I couldn’t have been bothered trying to figure them out. When I was doing research on all the BEST baby gear to get for this new baby this was definitely something I wanted to try out. I have some disc problems in my back and I really wanted to find something that wasn’t going to aggravate it. I needed to be able to carry my baby e=places like the soccer field, zoo etc because I have other kids I needed to keep up with. I went to Sugar Babies down in Sumner- The baby experts- and tried a few on. They had the Baby K’tan which is more like a Moby wrap with a pouch in the front, and they have the Sakura Bloom Slings. I found the Ergo to be the most comfortable and easy to use. They have a wide variety of adorable patterns from anchors, to owls and my favorite the Petunia Pickle Bottom black floral.

*How can you use it? I was able to use this carrier for my newborn with the newborn insert. I watched a youtube tutorial and it was SO easy to figure out. I was able to use this when I was by myself without help from anyone. My baby instantly fell asleep whenever he was put in it. This was aย  LIFESAVER for the first few months when he wanted to be held while I was trying to make dinner and cook. Now that my baby is 15 months I find it easiest to use on my back. Again very simple to put on and get him in and out while I am by myself. We just went back to school shopping. This is a feat for any mom with 3 kids. I brought the stroller which did it’s job for an hour and then he was done. Instead of putting him at my front which I knew he would be pissed, I put him on my back and he was HAPPY.

*Is it Pricey? Yes a little. My theory is you get what you pay for. It has VERY high quality material and clasps and is extremely;y comfortable to wear. It is heavy duty! I would buy this over and over again, and If I could afford it, it would be the gift I would give at baby showers!

I do feel a little bit educated on what baby items actually work, are worth it, which ones you should splurge on and not and what brands are good. This one is one. Go try it on, test it out and see if it works best for you and your baby.

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I am off to 6 days a week of soccer, ice cream socials and classroom volunteering–aka Stay at home mom life…and couldn’t be more excited ๐Ÿ™‚

But seriously though- as long as they are gone for 6 hours it will be ok ๐Ÿ˜‰

The big Yellow, Magical Bus

Let me start off by saying… Ms. Frizzle was an extremely patient, talented super goddess. She not only enriched the brains of Wanda, Keesha and Ralphie every single day, but she was so happy about it! Trying to entertain my little “love bugs” for even 30 minutes was a unreal situation. Every day they went to school and got to ride The Magic School bus. Wow. That must be pretty cool. Good job Ms. Frizzle. At the age of 27 this bus has a whole new meaning to it now. It’s the large, brightly colored thing on 4 wheels that comes through my neighborhood at the beginning of September that brings me sanity. It’s like it’s very own “Calgon take me away” commercial. Don;t get me wrong…I love my kids more than anything on this planet. BUT I just don’t think any combination of humans should be put under one roof every single day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week together. It’s not right.

The summer break came SO fast. BAM Alison has a baby, her third baby and then WHAM school is out for the entire three months of summer. It was an adjustment to say the least. The kids at day 1 started fighting and tattling.

{ A side note on tattling. My husbands grandmother came over the other night for a quick visit and got to see our crazy hectic bed time routine. I forget which child of mine this was but they began to tattle…over and over. She told me that one of her daughters..I won’t say who ๐Ÿ˜‰ used to tattle ALL the time. She said she fixed it by tying a yarn tail to her pants and making her wear it out and about all day. I said “That’s brilliant. You are an awesome mom.”ย  So someone try this and get back to me..k? }

I again had the mom guilt issue of not providing endless hours of entertainment for the kids all day every day. WHYYYYY? I write blogs on this, I speak of this why can’t I convince MYSELF It’s ok to let them play by themselves?! Regardless, we did do lots of super fun things this summer..and I managed to tag a baby along and breast feed in many interesting places. Nursing at a zoo..now that’s fun. I swear people were staring at me nourishing my infant more than the monkey’s doing it in the back ground. GET OVER IT. #breastisbest

I also love how everyone asks the same question… “Do you just love staying home with your kids?” Well there are numerous answers to this. Yes..of course. I feel so blessed I am able to have this experience and closeness with my kids. It’s exhilarating exhausting but I am thankful. I know it is worth every second for me and them. And then there is the other response only my close friends and family get. “GOD NO.” Of course this is always said for the dramatic enhancement. It is so bloody exhausting playing referee with two kids all day long every single day. The manners disappear, the rules start to get more grey and everything kind of falls apart in the summer. Like i said above, It is not a natural thing for this many people to be around each other 24/7. It’s just not. I honestly believe they get excited to go to school to get a break from the nagging mom too. Which is fine.

I went back and looked at this same kind of “back to school” post I did last year and it’s SO funny noticing the difference in how I felt. I had just started staying home and everything was fresh and new and I had never gotten to be one on one with the kids before. They were so happy to have me home and play all summer. I wasn’t pregnant, didn’t have a baby…so we did just that. Played. Then school came and I was almost sad…HAHAHA. Life happens in 12 months doesn’t it?!

So now for the bring it all together-positive end to my thoughts. There always is a positive side- usually ๐Ÿ™‚

Henley started Kindergarten this year. We wouldn’t let her ride the big kid bus last year because well, she just wasn’t a big kid yet ๐Ÿ™‚ Watching her take a giant step up on to the bus that first day absolutely brought tears to my eyes. I forget so often just how little she is. How she looks up to me for guidance, approval and even style ๐Ÿ™‚ She is my little human replica. Her eagerness to try new things and learn is beyond amazing. I am so excited to see her thrive in school and make new friends this year.

And Liam. My 96 month old. Starting 2nd grade this year was so weird for me. Like, I have an eight year old? How? At the beginning of Kindergarten he was scared, afraid, and unsure of how he felt about learning and if he was capable. He cried when he felt dumb and felt ashamed for not knowing things other kids did. He had little confidence in himself which broke my heart. Now, starting second grade. My above third grade reading level little man was confident. He knew he could read better than most kids, could write a beautiful story and illustrate it like a pro. He had so much strength this year walking on to that bus and it made me so so happy. The growth I have seen in him is beautiful.

My almost 4 month old still loves spending every second with me…literally. And I him. Brent asked across the kitchen the other night… “I know why you love him the most….because he doesn’t talk” I said “I don’t have a favorite, but yes. You’re correct.” I get to spend my days with this little dude and I could not be more excited. He is probably one of the easiest, happiest baby’s I have encountered. He just loves everything and everyone. Pure Joy.

SOOO The Big Bus is my best friend right now…I am sure it will still be in a few months..maybe by next May I will get sad …but maybe not.

Hashtagilovemykidsipromise

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All you need is LOVE.

Well another holiday has come. It feels like only yesterday I was putting up my Christmas stuff!! The really scary part…My favorite Easter candy is already hit the shelves. Cadbury mini eggs..AMAZING if you haven’t a;ready discovered these amazing balls of delight.

Every year I go over this debate in my head. This contradicts my post about being a “good mom” by standards. My mom sat with my for countless hours making my very own personal DIY Valentines every single year..probably until I was in high school honestly. From ribbon sewed doilies to puffy penned canvas’s, I always had home made valentines to pass out. Of course I hated doing them. I think it was more for my mom’s pleasure (sorry mom). Well since my little ones have been in school..or pre-school..I have dedicated the time and effort into making sure they have THE COOLESt home made valentines in the class. (I lied. There was this ONE year I didn’t do it. I went to Walgreen’s let them pick out The Hulk and Princess store bought, cheap ones….and I felt horrible). BUT..mostly every year I have done them ๐Ÿ™‚

This year..being my first official SAHM year..I HAD to find something amazing. Everyone knew I stayed home, the teacher’s knew, the kids knew, my friends knew…I couldn’t be a let down to everyone expecting something amazing! SO of course I go to Pinterest first. There was tons of print-it-out on your home computer stuff but honestly I was too cheap to buy new ink ๐Ÿ™‚ I ended up finding both of the kids’ ideas from this month’s Oprah magazine! Thanks Oprah! (or her staff who makes all that junk up). ย Henley decided on book marks for her classmates. This deemed very appropriate for her since she is 5 and they were just getting started on reading. Liam chose a very cool (boy style valentine) of Tic-Tac-Toe cards with M&M’s. I was pleased with the choices so off I went on the adventure of—finding everything to make them!

For all you moms who have only a couple days left before the annual “Valentines day party” in your kids’ class..don’t fret! I will list all the materials I used and where I found them..the actual labor time was about 1 hour per kid..

Valentine Book Marks:

Materials-

  • Paint Sample strips- of whatever color your child wants. We picked different shades of Pink..well because it’s her favorite. (I found all mine at Home Depot)–and it’s FREE
  • a Heart shaped hole puncher (This was hard to find..but ended up finding one at JoANNE Fabrics for $4.99)
  • 2 different colors of thin ribbon. (Found a purple and pink one at WalMart for $0.49 cents each)
  • a Black Sharpie
  • some sort of Lollipop or whatever candy you want to attach to the back of the book mark (we used heart shaped ones from Target $2.00)
  • Tape (clear or colored doesn’t matter)

photo 1

How To-

The paint samples I got were very wide..so I cut them in half making skinny long book marks. Once I cut them I had Henley use the heart shaped punch out on every sample of color (see picture). I used the top hole to thread my two strands of ribbon through. I cut the ribbon about 6″ each. I tied them in a knot on the book mark. I used a pencil to write all the kids’ names in her class along the front of the bookmark and let Henley trace them with black sharpie. That way it was in her own hand writing…but everything was spelled correctly. We flipped them over and attached the lollipop with a thin strip of tape to the back. Henley wrote her name on the back as well so everyone would know it was from her ๐Ÿ™‚ VOILA… fin.

photo 2

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Tic-Tac-Toe Boards:

Materials-

  • 2 different colors of card stock paper cut to 4X6″ pieces (we chose hot pink for the girls and lime green for the boys- found a large pack of card stock for $5.00 at Walmart)
  • Black Sharpie
  • Large bag of M&M’s
  • 4X9″ clear plastic bags (found at Ben Franklin or any craft store $2.00)
  • Tape

How To-

The cardstock was a full sheet of paper when we first bought them so I cut them into 4X6″ pieces. He had 27 kids in his class so I made enough for the girls and boys in their own colors. We took the black sharpie and made tic-tac-toe boards on every one in the middle of the paper. Then I wrote a cute note above each board “Tic-Tac-Toe Happy Valentines.” ย Once this was complete I had Liam stuff each card stock paper into a clear plastic bag..should fit perfectly along the sides and leave about half of the bag to fold over at the top. Liam took the M&M’s (5 of one color and of another) to use for the X’s and O’s in the game. Place them in the plastic bag so they pool at the bottom. Fold the top of the bag over and use duct tape (we used red) to write the classmates name and your child’s name on and to tape the bag shut. VOILA...fin.

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SO another year has come and will go tomorrow–both the kid have their parties tomorrow due to having no school on Valentines day. Their school dance is tomorrow as well and we plan on dancing our socks off ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a very LOVE FILLED day on Friday with whoever you have in your life to love! โค

No one told me you have to stand on your head…

I am BACK! It has been a long while since I have sat down and just started writing. I have all these thoughts and ideas going around my head throughout the day..days..months..and I haven’t stayed true to the blog!! It has been a busy couple months since we last spoke. School, Football, Soccer, Halloween and now Thanksgiving. OH and WE’RE HAVING A BABY!

The real reason I have not been able or wanting to blog is due to the fact that I have been the most miserable, depressed, sick person for the past 3 months. Let me take a step back into something a little more personal here on how all this came about.

My husband battled Osteosarcoma when he was 10 years old and it is a blessing he came out with only10 surgeries, chemo and a wonderful lengthy life to live. However, when he was in college he was told he would probably never be able to have children of his own due to the chemotherapy he received and age of his developing body. Fast forward numerous years when we met…the best day of his life I am sure ๐Ÿ™‚ I had 2 beautiful little ones…Henley was just 7 months old and Liam was 1 week past 3. I knew the minute we started talking he loved children. He adores kids, all kids, even ones that are not his. After dating for 2 and a half years it was known we would eventually get married and my children would become his. But I knew that deep down, even though he said that would be enough…he wanted a wee one of his own. Me, being the woman…wanted to give this to him so so very badly! I knew I wanted more kids and that we both wanted a large family someday to huddle around a Christmas tree with. We knew we had time so we didn’t push anything or feel the need to be concerned yet.

Our lives were leading us into the direction of thinking of another child at this time. We had been happily married for nearly a year and our oldest, Liam, was going to be 7 in the coming months and our youngest, Henley was going to be 5. The discussion was easy, quick and joyful. Yes, we would start trying for a baby in the next few months. Now this whole event in our lives comes as very new territory for me. Blessed as I am with two healthy beautiful children…I had never planned ahead for them ๐Ÿ˜‰ I had never had to due math, calculations, timing, and gymnastics to get a child before! After a month I figured OK well we should be pregnant by now. And when we weren’t…I would secretly be disappointed. After another month, I would almost cry..that doubt and fear we both had only grew stronger. The third month came and went even with extreme calculations on my end. The question of “How did I possibly get pregnant before?!” truly was a mystery to me. I had no clue how difficult physically and mentally this process would be.

[side note: I do NOT want to discredit people who actually do go through years of trying to conceive and years of medical help and interception. I am very grateful for my children that I do have and I do realize there are SO many others in worse positions..this is just my story. ]

And the fourth month arrives. My mother’s questioning ear every time she calls is getting more depressing and my close friend’s are as positive as they can be. I was done being disappointed every time I peed on a $15.00 plastic stick. I no longer wanted to make it such a BIG thing in my life that the 5 days leading up to a period was as nerve racking as ever!! So this month I told myself I was not going to tell a soul when my period was due, if I felt any early symptoms or not and I was just going to put it in the back of my mind. This worked quite well considering my period was due the day after school started for both my kids. I had been with my husband’s aunt all day and we had touched briefly on how hard it was waiting to conceive and she was mentoring me with her own stories. I came home, kissed my husband goodbye as he left to go to his fantasy league (lol) and I went upstairs to get ready for my night out with my mother-in-law..she was taking me to The Eagles concert! I have NO idea what made take a test at that precise moment considering I was only 2 days late…and had NO symptoms at all. I literally sat it down on the counter and walked away. I returned…flipped on the light…literally rolled my eyes and said out loud to myself..”oh surprise..another negative…” I hadn’t even looked at it yet. But as I did, I would soon see a light second line that made my heart come out of my chest. Getting to experience that excitement, overjoy and happiness was the coolest thing I could imagine. I had not gotten to experience that reaction in the past..and it was long awaited.

Of course the months leading up to this I had been on Pinterest looking up cute ways to tell my husband, family and friends. I had it all planned out how to tell Brent all cute. NO WAY. I ran to get my phone, hands shaking uncontrollably. “BRENT BRENT BRENT. WE’RE HAVING A BABY!!!!!” Brent: “What? huh” What did you say?” Me: “WE ARE PREGNANT!”ย  (my high pitched squealing voice was not going through very well on the receiving end) Brent: “Are you serious? I did it?!” At that momentย  I wanted to cry. Not only could we share this moment of complete excitement together…but this was something much much more for him. The years of feeling doomed and not manly enough to do what he wanted to do..and cursing the Cancer that made it impossible for him to do so. I could only imagine what that moment felt like for him.

Telling his parents might have been even more awesome. A mother who had to watch her son fight for his life at such a young age and now watch him be tormented with the thought of that too taking away something so important for him. When we told her.. the tears and joy on her face were overwhelming for me. I felt so proud to be carrying such an important little person!!

Now fast forward 3 months…Brent has been hands down the best partner, husband, friend to a pregnant lady I have ever known. I have been a nightmare. Nauseated 24/7, vomiting some days all day long and unable to get out of bed. Washing dishes, vacuuming, cleaning, cooking and raising 2 children while I moan in bed and over the toilet. He has not complained….ONCE. He only asks what he can do, and how he can make me feel better. As awful as this is for him to see me in such rare form…he knows it is because I am busy making something he created…and he is in awe.

Being pregnant twice in your life and going through labor twice in your life kind of makes you feel like a know it all. I feel more confident this time around with things, and like I kind of, somewhat know what I’m doing. I really don’t though. This pregnancy could not be more polar opposite of my last two. I had perfect, no vomiting, no breast tenderness, no constipation pregnancies two times over before this. Why would it be any different, I thought. HA. Any and every symptom you could imagine and read about, or watch in a movie has been this pregnancy. I have been the most anti social person for 3 months, my kids don’t even recognize me anymore!! Mommy is sick and can’t make you food, bathe you or play with you has been a daily event. They think this baby is mean at this point.

Welcoming the second trimester now and only threw up once this morning. This must be the start of feeling better ๐Ÿ™‚ We still have a long road to go but I am so thankful I get to walk it with my positive, nurturing husband. I feel so blessed to get to go through this part of life again. I know what is at the end of this journey and I am so excited to start loving another little child as much as I do it’s siblings.

To not feel alone through all of this I have been following a Youtube vlogger and fellow blogger. She is on her second pregnancy just 4 weeks ahead of me and I watch her videos and read her blogs daily.ย  There is something so comforting about knowing someone is going through the exact same thing in their life and getting tips and advice is wonderful. She shared the thoughts and feelings most people are too embarassed or afraid to do and for that I am thankful. Her, her husband, their daughter Emelia and their 6 dogs have a Youtube show they update daily in Ireland. I highly suggest checking it out, even if you are not pregnant. Just click the link below to be linked to her blog and there you can find links to their youtube sites.

http://www.annasaccone.com

Stay tuned for more pregnancy adventures and a gender reveal right before Christmas!!

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