Halloween 2016

November 1, 2016

I thought last year was going to be the last year I would be able to get away with coordinating costumes, but lo and behold, we pulled it off again. The kids went as PJ Masks {a disney junior show, for those of you not currently in the throws of toddlerhood}. It worked out because there are two boy characters and one girl. I found the boys’ costumes for a steal online back in September and stacked on a coupon code. I figured I could DIY something to make Merritt be Owlette fairly simply and off we went.

Hudson likes Catboy and Beckham likes Gekko so it worked out perfectly. I didn’t really get any pictures of the three of them together because it is unseasonably hot right now, but I did manage to take some pictures individually to remember this year, the spunk and all.

Because the weather has been so NOT fall-ish, I opted out of making Merritt wear her owlette costume to school on their fall festival day. She also had quite the cold and I took her to the doctor that morning, so to minimize the effort on my part, I put a mexican dress on her and said she was Frida Kahlo. I was tempted to give her a unibrow but just couldn’t. A couple of days later I remembered she has a flower crown so I decided it would be a missed opportunity if I didn’t make it happen for a picture.

I hope you all had a Happy Halloween!

Fishing Party

October 31, 2016

I can’t believe Hudson is FOUR! Like, it’s so surreal to me that my baby is getting old because didn’t I just have him?? Anyways, this was the first year that he actually knew what was going on without me having to tell him his party was coming up and he was so, so excited. A few months ago, we sat down and talked about what kind of party he wanted to have and fishing was at the top of the list.

If you know me, you know I love a good themed party. The details and the coming together of all the things feeds my creative side tenfold. Links to my sources below.

The decor started with a pack of 10 white paper lanterns, I painted the bottom half red and then cut strips of cardboard {a dr. pepper case} to use as the tops. I hung them all over the house in bunches.

The red fish netting {I cut in half} and the bass balloon?were also purchased on amazon. Other random decor I either had already or purchased locally at TJ Maxx or Walmart.

I filled the top tray of a tackle box with gummy worms and swedish fish, and made cake ball bobbers – which are significantly more difficult than they seem. I purchased the cutest sugar cookies from my friend Carrie {check her out on instagram @thecookiemomstercarrie}, made a simple two-layer sheet cake that I decorated with blue icing, swedish fish and cake ball bobbers, then threw in some goldfish and brownies to round out the intense amount of sugar offered.

I used some of scrap pieces of cedar from the fence we tore down to add a few more textures to the decor by making simple boxes for things to sit up on and add height, and topped the folding table with a wooden desk top I made myself a few years ago. Throw in some chalkboard art and we had quite the setup.

For an activity, I filled a large under bed storage bin with blue water beads?{I only bought that one pack} and threw in a few plastic fish and fishing lures for the kids to find. They were a HUGE hit!

We loved getting to celebrate our big boy this weekend, broken arm and all!

life with three

June 22, 2016

Having three kids, three and under can sound extremely daunting to many people. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been told “You’re busy” when I tell people the spread of my children’s ages. And yes, we are busy, but who isn’t these days. Everyone is “busy” whether it’s with kids, or work, or just life in general.

Life with three littles is mostly fast paced, with small moments of downtime when they get stuck for a few minutes on a toy or show, and many moments of frustration as we attempt to direct them thru, deciphering between right and wrong – but I challenge that it would be that way in any house with a 2 or 3 year old {we just happen to have both}. Since bringing baby home, we’ve had our fair share of acting out. The screaming and crying {not by the baby} make me want to pull my hair out. Decor has been ripped off the wall, a paste of baby powder and lotion has been smeared all over the room and into the carpet, and a certain 3 year old somehow managed to find a bottle of tylenol and tried to medicate his 2 year old brother. I’ve said “no” or “stop _________ (insert something ridiculous you never thought you’d say)” more times than I can even think of, but thankfully, we’re all living and well, my sanity is the only thing up in the air on that.

Many people say they don’t even know how I’m out of the house when they see us out, because they can’t fathom how to go anywhere with three. My only answer is “you just do it.” Like with anything else in life, you do what you can with what you have and you’re so deep into what you’re doing, you don’t even really think about the how, you just do.

One of the things I’ve come to realize in parenting is your two greatest assets is your ability to remember what things are in the vicinity of where your children are playing, if they’re not within direct eyesight; combined with the knowledge of what all those things sound like when they’re being moved or played with. Example: one morning I was getting dressed while the boys were sitting in their chairs eating breakfast, I heard a familiar sound and knew immediately it was the sound of the spoon rest on the counter out of reach from the boys’ chairs. So I knew one of them had to be out of their chair, on the counter. In the time I’ve been writing this, I had to stop because I heard an unfamiliar sound coming from the play room. It was a pen.

There are moments when I just need a break and I’m thankful for a husband that realizes that and offers me moments to get away, even if they’re after bedtime. Sometimes a girl just needs to spend an hour doing nothing and everything at the same time.

Is my house clean? no. Am I always the best parent? no. Do I make mistakes, or raise my voice? of course. But I am immensely thankful for the three little lives I’ve been entrusted with day-in and day-out. Life with three is all of the things you can imagine, but above all else, it’s filled with so much love for three little souls.

When potty training doesn’t take 3 days

April 11, 2016

If you have toddlers, I’m sure you’ve heard of the 3-day potty training method. Follow all the steps to a “T” and you will have yourself a fully functioning human who {for the most part} can successfully use the potty on a regular basis.

Awesome right?

But what about when that doesn’t work. Or any of the other methods out there. Seriously, none of them.

Then what?

Well, I don’t have the magic answer, but I can say for your own sanity – you aren’t alone.

We’ve probably potty trained Hudson about 4 times at this point. Yes, 4 separate times. We started at 2.5 and he wasn’t ready so we went back to diapers. We waited a little bit and tried again, same thing {times two}. Finally, this past Christmas, Santa brought underwear {again}, and we’ve held firm on not turning back.

He started out great, hardly any accidents at all! For 3 weeks, there was maybe one accident in there and right as I thought to myself whew, I’m so glad to have that behind us, accident upon accident upon accident. I’m not kidding, 4+ times a day. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BASICALLY POTTY TRAINED TODDLER?

Some people suggested regression so we tried every suggested method to reverse the regression. Nothing worked. After multiple days in a row of repeated accidents {and more laundry than I have time to do}, I texted his pediatrician to see if maybe I’m missing something. He suggested we bring him in to just make sure there was no infection as the root cause.

It wasn’t.

Back to square one.

I tried rewards, big and small. I tried sticker charts. I tried showing him how fun being a big boy could be. All the suggestions, I tried it.

He got better, until he didn’t. A few weeks later, we were back at the same spot, 4-6+ accidents a day.

We went back to the pediatrician and after an x-ray had orders that I’ll spare you the details on, but they involved several different types of laxatives, hoping that was the problem.

After that dreaded weekend, he seemed to be doing awesome! I started a new sticker chart, a sticker for each day he went without a single accident and at the end, a BIG SURPRISE, as he called it. Problem solved.

For 3 weeks.

He went an entire three weeks without a single accident.

Until he started having them again, multiple in an hour. Frustration would be an understatement. As a parent, you’re always trying to make the best decisions for your children, everything it seems can be placed under a microscope and evaluated. What were we missing?

This went on for about a week and I wanted to pull my hair out. I started making him do his own laundry because “if you’re going to pee your pants THAT many times, you’re going to help me wash you clothes. Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Yep, my 3 year old was helping with the laundry, something I thought would be a push not to have an accident… turns out, he thoroughly enjoyed it.

Instead of trying the same dreaded weekend again, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I told Brandon I wanted to try to change his diet and see if anything improved before we moved forward with any other treatment options.

The funny thing is, these kids eat fruits and vegetables like they are going out of style.

Anyways, in an effort to minimize his bread, cheese, and random junk intake, we started re-thinking breakfast. Let me pause for a second to mourn the loss of cinnamon rolls and cinnamon toast in the mornings for this pregnant lady. {sigh}

We started making smoothies in the morning using a friend’s recipe, adding in spinach and flax seed. Since he’s already taking a fiber supplement, we’ve also added a probiotic to his daily regimen. Top that with a slight shift in some of his snack options, and we’re giving it our best shot. Being even more intentional about every single thing he puts in his mouth has been work, I’m not going to lie, BUT Friday was our first {multiple and single} accident-free day in well over a week, and our first accident free WEEKEND in who knows how long.

I made him a brand new chart and I let him pick out the colors. He was so, so excited to get his first sticker that I feel like we are maybe {hopefully} getting somewhere… 3.5 days months later.

I’ve watched kid after kid after kid get successfully potty trained in a fraction of the time it has taken us so far {and we aren’t even there yet!}. It can be discouraging, to say the least. If you’re struggling with potty training too, I just wanted to raise my {non-alcoholic} drink to you and say, “You got this, keep on going!