Friday, April 24, 2015

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Grant's 4th B-day Party!

Earlier this year, we came across this book entitled The Backyardigans Secret Spy Agents. It was such a hit with my secret spy boys that I thought of the idea to base Grant's 4th b-day around it. The party was super fun, and as always- I really enjoyed putting it all together. Some parents like to make things for their children, such as blankets or clothing....I do parties for mine! :)

INVITATIONS: I forgot to take a pic of them, but I just hand printed them on these blank white puzzles, then broke them apart and put them in envelopes for the children to put together. They were definitely costly to mail, but thankfully we were able to hand-deliver most of them. 

Suspicious looking footprints led the way to our backyard gate where guests were greeted with this:

Homemade signs read: SPIES ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT and MISSION: GRANT'S 4TH BIRTHDAY PARTY!. Yellow tape read: INVESTIGATION IN PROGRESS.

Used more of the yellow tape and red crepe paper across our backyard patio posts. Balloons in yellow, black as well as penguin spy ones from the movie Madagascar were added to each post as well.

I always try to have some type of ice breaker in place for the guests to do while we wait for everyone to arrive. For Christmas my sister gifted us this I SPY game, which fit perfectly with our theme and held the attention of 4 year olds quite well. Mini magnifying glasses were found here for kids to use during their search, as well as double as table centerpieces.

Loved this fun tablecloth (note that the top layer is clear, so as suggested by Oriental Trading Co, I backed it with another tablecloth in solid yellow).

Activity here was for all of the secret agent spies to make their own name badges. I pre-printed the guests names on plain white paper, cut them out, then had the children stamp their thumbprint on it with this inkless stamp pad (figured it could be kinda messy to have kids running around with ink on their fingers!) Second basket contained black gloves for all of the spies to wear when handling the precious diamonds (which was an idea that came from the previously mentioned spy book).


Here's a shot of the cool laser beams Bart created on the fly just about 20 minutes before the party....I just gave him some red string and the garden stakes and told him to think Catherine Zeta Jones in the movie Entrapment. ;) Our secret spies had to carefully step through each laser beam so that they could return the diamonds to the Museum.


Here's a shot of the party table inside. I was beyond thrilled when Lees told me they had the secret agent Madagascar penguins as a cake topper! Also glad I listened to my Mom when she suggested I just order a cake....on busy days like this, it's important to know which things to outsource. ;)

Snack bags and table covering (painting drop paper from Lowes) were stamped with this cool TOP SECRET stamp which has also come in handy for the thank you cards. Spy Snack Sacks contained the following:

Pretzel Shields (pretzels), Spy Sticks (carrots), Red Laser Beam Jello (strawberry jellos), Secret Punch (Fruit punch juice packs) and Chocolate Mystery Cake for dessert!

After snacks and cake were served, the secret agents had one last mission to complete...to find their Secret Spy Bags (aka goody bags). I came up with 4 clues (since Grant was turning 4) that I placed ahead of time around our backyard.

At the end, each spy went home with a precious jewel ring pop (yes, even boys like these!), TOP SECRET pencil and notepad.


. Thank you to all of you who joined us as secret agent spies as we celebrated Grant turning 4..........
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Finally...

....a new headboard for us! Last month Downeast Outfitters HOME was having an additional 10% off all of their headboards and I knew instantly that this Houston style in Natural tweed fabric (which is upholstered all the way down the floor btw) was exactly what I'd been hunting for all these years. Perfect height, perfect quality, perfect shape. Read all about our previous headboard purchase gone wrong 3 years ago here.....


Lamp shades in tan ticking fabric from Pottery Barn (purchased back in 2011) silver lamp bases from Lowes
Bedding ~ Nautica comforter. Shams, bolster pillow, and quilt Betthany bedding by Pottery Barn (purchased back in 2011) 

Finally discovered an easy way for me to work-out and I owe all of my thanks to The Gym Box via Amazon. It's kinda funny to watch the expressions on my kids faces while I'm doing the videos....they either read: "Is she actually doing this?" or "We better get out of the way!"

Talked for a long while about setting up a little school in our home but finally did it this week! I will try to share pics sometime. Basically we just moved our Pottery Barn mini kids table and chairs into our guest room/my craft closet room and hung up some fun learning visuals and a wipe board. Bring on summer school with Mrs. Mom as their teacher!

Decided I finally need to cut back on my carb intake. My in-laws gifted us this cool gadget, so hopefully I trick myself and others that vegetables are pasta.

New bedtime routine here! We all used to procrastinate and postpone bedtime. But after my last post, I really did decide I want to be the ones who put our handsome little men to bed. The kids and I have been going to the library for years now, but just recently got into the habit of picking up chapter books to read together (found in the Juvenile Fiction area) and the boys and I now so look forward to this time together every night with all 3 of us scrunched in one of their twin beds. Sorry Bart, I know you loved doing this too, but it's nice for Elyse to have some one-on-one time with her Daddy since I still get to put her down for her naps!

Ok, I am heading back upstairs now....unidentifiable bumps and thumps are occurring and Bart is staying late after work tonight for a meeting so I better do my best with managing our time and keeping us occupied in the right kind of ways for the rest of the day! :O



 p.s. hope you all had a fun EASTER! If you live in Utah, you know how perfect the weather turned out to be on that EXACT day of Easter Sunday. Thurs. and Fri. before...chilly. Monday after, rainy! LOVE all of the epic fun we shared with all of my family as we hunted for eggs, raced with eggs, decorated eggs and had wars with our eggs! Church that day was lovely too followed by family photos taken out in front of our home and Easter brunch on our backyard patio. Oh how I love SPRING and spending good quality time with family....thanks again Aunt Konnie and family for traveling out here!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

That Moment.

Perpetual boyhood: illustration for Peter Pan by Kathleen Atkins. Illustration: Courtesy of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity

Watched the movie Finding Neverland the other day (currently on Netflix) and connected with it so much. It's right up there with my favorite children's story...Wynken, Blynken & Nod. I can't predict when certain people, things, sayings will grab me, but when they do it's like they strongly take hold of my soul....quickly sending to me tears. Good tears though. Like when you feel it so much it hurts and feels good at the exact same time.

Favorite quote of the movie...."Little boys should never be sent to be bed because when they do, they're always a day older when they wake up." There are so many bedtimes when both my husband and I are rushing through the motions...they're tired, we're tired...it feels like so much extra work at the end of a long day! But really, bedtime is a magic time...stories are shared, cuddles are had, connections are made. These reasons are reasons enough for me to get into my pj's sooner and just give in to the day!


Other special moments....

Bart brushing our daughter's hair in the middle of the night (after showering due to bouts of her throwing up :O) and telling her she's going to be okay...it just doesn't get any sweeter (she's fine now btw). 

Kids running around (some clothed, some not) in our backyard to the AC/DC song THUNDERSTRUCK...I'm convinced one hasn't lived until they've really let loose to this song.

Benjamin making a chart for Elyse illustrating all of her recent milestones like her...Jumping with both feet! and....Doing the splits!

Grant following suit and drawing a picture of Elyse getting his shoes for him. ;)

Elyse joining us in our bed in the middle of the nights and always instantly falling right back to sleep in between the two of us.

Realizing Elyse will probably be our last...had this moment back while in labor with her but wasn't sure when I'd be ready to share it. In a way, I'm glad that I know this. Other times I get nostalgic about the wonders of pregnancy, exciting joy of welcoming a new being into this world, choosing their name, and changing the dynamics of our family in such cool new ways.... I also know we don't always get to be the decider of these things just the feeler, but right now we feel like we're complete!

Remembering the day I made the decision to stay home with our children for as long as I am needed, and feeling the complete freedom and support to do so.



Go away to Neverland and you won't regret it...it's a beautiful place once you surrender to the imagination, love, and curiosity of children.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

It All Counts



Giving myself points today for making it to the gym this morning, AND squeezing in some time to unload where we're at in this blog post, AND coming up with the idea to get a babysitter for this evening so that Bart and I can spend some time together (sadly our Valentines day plans were cancelled last month so we're making up for it!).

Why points you ask?

Well, around 4 p.m. yesterday I was getting close to the end of my rope on the child raising front so after my husband came home from work, we came up with this new tool to use in our parenting toolbox. Btw- it involves waaaay less drama than time outs and has so far been very effective for our two competitive young boys.

Here's what you do: Get a wipe board/chalkboard/paper + pencil and write your child(ren)'s name on it with 5 points (written like tally marks) under their name. Explain that every day they are given 5 points, but one point is taken away every time a Family Rule is not followed (I made us a Family Rule Chart about 2 yrs ago that I still keep posted up...it lists things like listen the first time, no whining, hitting, or yelling, ask to go outside or in garage, and be nice to your siblings). Doing thoughtful things for their siblings or going above and beyond with something can also earn points. At the end of the day as they're getting tucked into bed and ready to do their show + tell (we always have them do show + tell before stories- they each love having sole attention!), we'll ask them how many points they have left. Bragging rights are HUGE in our house so this is all it took for them to care about it and try their best to follow our Family Rules every day. We'll take it!

Notes on our children:

Benjamin had his kindergarten evaluation this week. Just recently he's become very vocal about how he is sooooo ready for kindergarten and has even tried to have me take him there in the mornings when I tell him it's a preschool day. It feels very special to be experiencing the first of our children to start school (even though we still have 6 more months) and I was so glad I was the one got to take him into his new school for the first time. I could tell he was taking it all just as I did whay back when....asking which desk would be his desk, staring at all the fun things on the walls, asking where the playground is for recess, etc. LOVE that he's at this stage and so eager to keep on learning! He was also sure to share with his teacher and the teacher aides how he has a racing bike and likes to skateboard. That's our Benjamin!

Earlier this week Grant began a Tumbling class on his own. He's actually been taking since Jan. but with his brudder (aka brother). End of last month, Benjamin had officially grown out of it so I told Grant he'd be in his own class now but since these two are so close, I could tell this news was making Grant a bit sad. Benjamin quickly took on the older bro. role and told him he'd stay in his class with him, but I told him we didn't pay for him to be in it this month so Benjamin ran into his room, dumped out all his change in his piggy bank and filled his gym pants pockets up with all his money declaring that he would pay for him to be back in Grant's class! Super sweet of him, but I instead just explained to Grant that we'd all stay today and watch him. ;) It didn't take Grant long to get right in with his new class and the best part was when it was his turn to snake his body through the hula hoop he instead.....jumped through it head first complete with a double somersault at the end! Benjamin, Elyse, and I couldn't help but cheer. That's our Grant!

Elyse is like our little bird. I thought of this similarity one morning when the birds were out singing and she jumped up from eating her breakfast to point outside at them in the trees. Whenever we read books, she likes to point out all the birds while saying "Caw! Caw!" She's also still as light as a feather but always certain which direction she wants to go.....some days it's all about finding out what's in the kitchen cupboards, other days it's chasing after big bro's, other days it's holding her be-be's (baby dolls). Pretty much every day she likes to draw + color! She's also started pointing out letters and sings her very own version of the ABC's. Such a smart and bright young lady with a smile for everyone she sees. That's our Elyse!

I am....
  • planning out our summer (loving that since Grant will soon be 4 he can now take classes + camps together with Benjamin)
  • picking out paint colors to re-paint our family room (last room to remove wallpaper in...hallelujah!)
  • looking forward to Easter
  • creating G's super fun 4th b-day party 
  • enjoying the smells of spring
  • being present in all the days I have to spend with our kids and feeling so thankful that I can take part in so much with them. Although constantly busy, I know it all counts. I feel this in my heart and soul.



Monday, February 16, 2015

Proudly presenting....MY VERY OWN Craft Room!!!!

Creating a space to properly store all of my craft/stationery/gift wrapping supplies has been a long time coming....from Rubbermaid containers stored under the bed (townhome #1), to double use of the linen closet in the laundry room (townhome #2), to a large cardboard box in the storage room (our current home), NONE of these places provided me with the organization and ease in accessibility like this new space does. Hallelujah, space for just ME at last!!!

I now present to you our downstairs guest room walk-in closet.....MY CRAFT ROOM!

As you enter, you may notice a large CONGRATULATIONS banner hung on the inside wall...this beautiful banner was made for me by my sister for my first Baby Shower but also served as a way for me congratulate myself for finding the time to organize every envelope, roll of ribbon, pen, hole punch, heck even paper clips from binder clips (I warn you now....my obsession with organizing may be contagious).

My goal for this space was to have a place for all of my stationery, gift wrapping supplies, and crafts. Since I access many of these items quite frequently (and while often in a hurry!) I know I needed everything to be very accessible and easy to maintain. Thanks to this awesome black IKEA closet organizer, I was able to divide up our colored paper by each individual color and really make good use out of space storage vertically.

To the left of this space, the previous owners created this handy little table, the perfect area for me to grab a pen and write in a card, or lay out something for a gift. It also cleared enough space for us to slide our two-drawer filing cabinet underneath it!

Thanks to this awesome blog tip (p.s. I know many have ditched blogs and gone straight to Instagramming, but I still love visiting blogs for great home tips!) I purchased this behind the door organizer which I think truly makes all the difference in this small space. Instead of me not being able to see how many rolls of Zots I have, or getting all of my rolls of ribbon tangled, I now have a space efficient and organized way to see all my crafting goods and get to them in a jiffy!

I was worried about this shelf system being wobbly (I didn't even need to use the hardware it came with to attach it to the door), or it not allowing the door to close properly, but none of those things are an issue, plus I like how you can customize the shelf height to whatever you need it to fit and for those of you with kids, it works well to put smaller items up on higher shelves out of a child's reach. 


Mason jars are fairly inexpensive and a great way to organize little or random bits of things. Since they're glass, it works perfect to be able to see what's inside of each jar too.


Since these mini rolls of ribbon are smaller than the grates in the shelf, I placed a metal tin underneath them to keep them from slipping through.

Love how I can just unroll a roll of ribbon and snip off how much I need without even removing the roll from the shelf.


I'm such a fan of being able to see my wrapping paper! Before I had them in a long Rubbermaid containers and it was deceiving for me to see how much was actually left on each roll, as well as what rolls were in what container. This simple black bin (aka garbage can) was only $4.95 at Lowes and I like how its rectangular shape allows it to discretely slide right behind the door.


Placed larger boxes of things like tissue paper, and party supplies up on the very top shelf.

Thanks to this blog, I was given the idea to organize gift bags on hangers- brilliant! Such a good use of space in a closet too where we already had the clothes rack installed. 

 

Used the ivory closet organizer on the left (Velcros right onto clothes rack like the black one does on the right) to house gift wrapping supplies and stationery boxed sets. The clear storage drawers below now contain plain cards, envelopes, stickers, and printed cards. The brown storage container to the right houses other various craft supplies that we don't use as much along with these awesome craft trays that I HIGHLY recommend from Michaels. I pull them out every time now when I need to gather up supplies for something.



 And last, here's a full shot of the guest room. In case you couldn't tell, this craft room (aka doorway to Heaven) is located behind the door to the left with the black mirror on it. 

Love how easily everything just tucks away!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

3 Loves...



Found time in our day yesterday to bake some Peanut Butter Blossom cookies and decided to display them for my husband so that he saw them first thing when he walked in the door.....card read: "to my sweet hubby....LOVE you MORE than peanut butter and chocolate!" (which is saying a lot ;)).

With him working late tonight, I already know we're ready to head out of town for a day for a good hair cut and a nice dinner (which are coincidentally our plans this Valentines Day weekend).

Now for my 3 loves (other than our 3 lovely children of course and those 3 yummy cookies).....

1. This video is catchy and sweet.

2. This video is fun and romantic.

3. This video and this video are just down right hilarious! (which by the way my boys randomly found on their own....not like they were surfing the Internet without supervision or anything...)


Hope you all are having a fun Valentines week!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Lots of lovin'

Looking forward to Valentines Day! Over the past few years I've really come to embrace this holiday. I think it's because it offers something happy {like love} to think about during these long cold months of winter. Here's some of the little loves I've been buying, watching, and getting excited about....





These gold rimmed dot earrings are as cute as a button! Remember how I once told you that I shop at Nordstrom's Brass Plum (teenage dept) for jewelry? As another blog once advised, you can find both cheap and cute there. Well, I'll now be adding H&M to my favorite jewelry shops because these encompass exactly what I look for in jewelry....classic, inexpensive, non-dangly, and goes with everything. Did I mention a 4-pair pack of these are only $5.95? STEAL!









Be ready to pucker up for your hottie (did I just write hottie?!) with these Color Stain Sticks by Revlon. My friend {thanks Julie!} mentioned them on her blog a couple of months ago, and after receiving an Ulta giftcard for Christmas, I decided to try one....or two. ;) Honey (which I think goes on darker than it shows but still very complimentary) and Cherish (which at first is like a total Barbie doll pink, but totally in right now!). Both lighten up nicely with Aveda's color gloss in Luna on top and the color stays on for a very long time. Love how the applicator is like a crayon too, very soft and easy to apply and cheaper than Clinique's Chubby Sticks. I think these will be a new staple in my make-up bag from now on!




Do you remember how cool Astronaut Ice Cream was when you were a kid? It came up the other day when I was reading a space book to our boys and they couldn't believe I had actually eaten space food before. :O I love it when I can still wow them with my awesomeness. So, I went onto amazon and of course they have some! This is going to be my Valentines present for my boys. ;)






We no longer have cable, but that hasn't stopped me (aka The Home Show Addict) from buying seasons of shows that I like via amazon (the verdict is still out if not having cable is actually saving us any money....). I find this show Fixer Upper to be funny, amazing, and interesting. I just can't get enough of it! Joanna also has a blog called Magnolia. You can check out more of their work here.





I've been on the hunt for a good new book to get into and have heard this one The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton is really good! I just picked it up at the library today, but am super excited to get started reading it and will be sure to let you know what I think. 



Hope you all have a lovely time enjoying your loves, whatever they may be!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Latest Loves of Winter

Did you all have a fun Christmas? A major highlight of mine was getting my children's photographs (read all about it here) as well as my husband surprising me with this below H&M blouse. I was so ecstatic I think I cried...I guess it had been awhile since I had felt that special! I know- sleeveless is not what you'd expect to see during winter time here in Utah, but I wore it with a black blazer to my in-laws holiday party with some red lipstick and felt soooo drastically different from my usual look of thermals and Sorels. I decided it's a good change to feel a bit glam every so often!





Next up is this amazing robe + slippers by Restoration Hardware from my mom and sis. I'm so grateful that they think of me while they hit up all the cool shops in SLC. :) I've been wearing the slippers non-stop (decided slippers are like gloves and socks....you don't know what you've been missing until you find the PERFECT pair that are comfortable and keep you toasty warm).


Hotel Satin Stitch Cotton Bath RobeLuxury Plush Slippers





Confesstion: I spend a good amount of my day in pj pants. Yep, I do. Between changing diapers, hauling laundry, making meals, and playing with my kids, I like to be comfortable. In the past I've gone to JCREW for a real quality pair, but these from Eddie Bauer are cheaper and just as good!




Remember that super in-depth report I did about jeans last year? Well, I'm back with a new pair. It's the Curvy Straight Leg Jeans- StayShape by Eddie Bauer. Yeah, I'm as surprised as you to be shopping at Eddie Bauer for jeans, but after my new found love with their pj pants, I hopped aboard their jean wagon and REALLY REALLY REALLY love this pair. If you're curvy but still like the look of a straight leg/skinny jean with comfort and style at a good price (plus they come in short) you should definitely consider these!





Lastly are these Pro Meal bars that I found on display in the cereal aisle at Lees. I'm so all about satisfying hunger while staying healthy and on-the-go and these are doing just that! They come in a lot of different flavors and are soft and chewy. Yum yum! 




K, that's it for now....gotsa go to the grocery store. Wish me luck- I'll be traveling with a cart full of kiddos! :O





Friday, January 2, 2015

Remembering When


I've never been one to get sad about our children growing up {yet} but I do enjoy capturing each of their various stages in memorable ways, so for each child I've always been sure to either take them to do a 6 mon. + 1 yr old professional photo shoot, or a 9 mon. + 18 mon. professional photo shoot. Since we live in Logan, that has always taken us to the convenient JCPenneys, but after Elyse's last 9 mon. photo shoot there, I knew that we were done. I was officially craving a look more our style....more modern and fresh, all while still staying timeless and classic. Thankfully, a friend of mine just had a wonderful turn-out at a studio called Camera Shy (located in Lehi, West Jordan, and Gardner Village) and since we were headed down to SLC anyway for the holidays, I jumped at the opportunity to book us a session!

Originally I was just going to have it be for Elyse....it landed on her 18 mon. milestone exactly! But when I learned it was the same price regardless of how many children, I decided to do our boys as well and oh.my.goodness. Can I just say how pretty much every.single.shot of them turned out amazing?! Those of us with kids knows how hard that is! :O I don't know if it was their fun environment, or if our kids just like smiling better for real photographers, but I truly am in LOVE with the entire bunch of our 60 photos that were taken.

Another thing that's cool about them is their pricing. It's $89 per session (it was easy for me to find a $5 online coupon!) which includes a CD with all the photos and rights to re-print on your own. They'll also do prints at $5 per page (or larger if you'd like). We were running short on time on our pick-up day, but it was very inexpensive and easy for me to just hop onto to snapfish.com (they were running a 40% off entire site promo) where I ordered 80 4x6's, a couple 8x10's, 3 5x7's, and a 11x14 for $34...including shipping!!!! So, for $84 + $5 tip for photographer + $34 for a ton of prints = a total of $123 seems like a total deal to me!

While speaking of those adorable 3, here's some written snapshots of memories I know I'll forever want to remember....

Benjamin (5 yrs)
Has already figured that Santa isn't really real.
Asks what the weather is like every time we mention a different place (he's a planner like me).
Takes notice of all the little things...like when I was putting him to bed one night he said to me "Mom, I really like the Christmas towels you hung up in the bathroom." I just love how he notices and appreciates things like that. :)
Wants to take guitar lessons so that he can sing on the radio.
Jumps at the chance to pick out outfits for his little sister....he's been doing this for her ever since she was an infant!

Grant (3 1/2 yrs)
Sings me the song "You Don't Know You're Beautiful"...I die every time!
Is a math wizard.
Likes to help me bake and cook.
Laughs hysterically at the book Polar Babies (it's not suppose to be funny but it really is).
Every few days he'll fall asleep crazy early...like 6:30 pm and sleep until around 9 am the next day.
Remembers the songs he learns in Tumbling class and sings them while either standing on his head or chasing around his sister.

Elyse (1 1 /2 yrs)
Loves sliding down her new slide!
Is now a free roamer around our home....took down all of the baby gates last week!
Put away her high chair and replaced it with one of these floating chairs that we bought back when Benjamin was little (gives us back one of our dining room chairs!).
Happily dances whenever her brothers play the keyboard.
Delights in sledding and doesn't mind falling face first into the snow.
Yells "Mommmm-maaaaaay" quite frequently...as in, right now....



Hope you're all enjoying a fun start to the new year! So far I've spent 2015 de-cluttering, cleaning, and re-arranging. LOVE the feeling of NEW + CLEAN any way I can get it!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What I know for sure....

candle from h&m home collection


Today I pulled my jcrew cashmere sweater out of the dryer. {sigh}. I probably have a grand total of 5 clothing items containing cashmere, all of which are saved for fancy/special occasions except for this one that I snagged on sale last spring. In case you haven't already gathered, it shrunk. That is what I know for sure. ha ha.

I also know I was lucky to have gotten away with washing it in the washing machine for so long (I really don't frequent the dry cleaner much anymore), but alas, this time I forgot to lovingly lie it out to dry and that was that. Good part is that I'm already over it and I think it relates nicely to what this H&M candle so profoundly states (leave it to H&M to be profound, right?) ~ TIME is endlessly continuous. Make it count, don't count it.

In my situation, I take that to mean that I should be thankful for all the times I did get to wear that sweater AND in all actuality, I don't really need a cashmere sweater considering how messy and hectic real life is for us right now. Gaining that perspective came along some mothering wisdom. So, to follow in true Oprah style, here's my latest of what I know for sure (hopefully it's more interesting than my whole sweater saga)....

  • Never underestimate the connection that occurs simply by starring into your child's eyes.
  • Whenever a cry followed by "Mommmmm!" is heard, a hug is always the answer.
  • Always start bedtime a little earlier than you think....the crash and burn of children only intensifies as the night goes on. 
  • Read, read, read books of all kinds as often as possible to your children. I know I could never tire of our children fighting over a spot on my lap (which is trickier with 3 by the way).
  • Let them figure out sibling injustices as often as possible....it's pretty amazing how much social, survival, and cooperation skills can all be learned within the home.
  • "Present the rainbow" - our Pediatrician's recommendation to parents when deciding which kind of food to offer children at each meal. Key word: offer.
  • Be careful not to waste your energy even if that means cutting out stuff you want done because just when you think no day could be as tiring as this one....another can be. 
  • The best time of the day to give out fluoride pills I've found is 2 pm (just in case any one else has been batting the whole leave 1-1/2 hrs before or after consuming milk dilemma).
  • Push in time (notice I didn't say "make time" back there?) for you to work out/zone out/chill out....even if just for a quick 15-20 min! (notice how I used a "!" back there? That's for encouragement to do it!).
  • Remind yourself continuously of the times you saved the day. Compliment your spouse/partner when they do the same.
  • Smile a lot at your spouse/partner, heck, even a wink can go a long way. ;)
  • Keep whatever baby clothes/blankets/shoes/booties bring you joy and take you back to those moments.
  • Get as involved as possible within the world of your children...from their heroes to their fears, from their teachers to their friends, to the things they find cool, to the silly jokes they love to tell. It all matters a lot.
  • Make a plan for the laundry and stick to it without complaining.
  • Maintain excellent food inventory at all times.
  • Try to discover the world as children do.....often they don't even realize they're sharing unforgettable magic. 

I'll proudly take my shrunken cashmere sweater, stained furniture (out ottoman officially bit the dust after being attacked by numerous pointy airplanes, serving as a snack table, and getting covered in a face mask cream), my nobabybabybump (click here for jennifer garner's oh soooo refreshingly and relatable confession about this), and the frantic and exhausting amount of energy it takes for us to ever get ourselves out the door, over being anywhere else today. For to me, these random bits of mothering knowledge also serve as numerous reminders of the life lessons that I've learned during this TIME I've devoted myself to my family....who I know love me in whatever I'm wearing, this I know for sure.


~Wishing you all a Merry Christmas filled with all sorts of unforgettable magic.~