Friday, November 13, 2015

Cold & Flu

I am not sure if I have ever shared that Sammy has some respiratory issues. They are minor in the grande scheme of problems like that go- but still something that requires constant vigilance. Waking up to your kiddo not breathing well is something I really hope few parents ever really have to experience. I felt like I really wanted to talk about homeopathic remedies and my feelings regarding medical care. Hint: I think this goes against popular/trendy opinion here.

First of all- if your child is having labored breathing get actual medical help. Don't google- don't call around to your mom friends. Call 911 if it is severe. Get help. Don't mess around with breathing.

Sammy first got croup when he was around three. We'd had no problems with colds or viruses and anything we'd experienced was mild. No cause for alarm at all. That changed really suddenly one morning when I heard a barking cough. He had the stridor breathing and I thought he may have whooping cough. We went immediately to urgent care as it is right down the street. They listened to him and he seemed to get better during the visit and we got some steroids and went home. I stayed home with him for a couple of days and he was much better. We just used a humidifier and some vicks on the feet.

The second time was scarier. We went to urgent care and they sent us via ambulance to a local hospital. He received a breathing treatment en route and then another when we got to the ER room. After you aren't stabilized with one treatment they often require an overnight stay so after the second one we went by ambulance again to the children's hospital. We stayed overnight and his levels were fine. We followed up with his ped and she said it was just croup and he would grow out of it. I of course googled everything and was very worried. I decided to change peds because I felt like I really didn't need another go round of this.

The third time we went directly to his new ped and they gave him a breathing treatment in the office. We were sent home with a nebulizer and enough albuteral for a year. This basically made our croup struggle a non-emergency and things are much easier in this department now. Sammy gets this stridor breathing/croup thing every single time he's sick and we do treatments until he's well. We're managing and I really hope as he gets older and his airway becomes larger that this is a thing of the past. Now for the natural/homeopathic angle to this story.

I was invited to an essential oils party a few months after his hospital stay. Of course being a mom who realizes things like antibiotic resistance and over medication of our children are things that happen- I was interested in a more natural solution. Maybe even something to get us help before it escalated into actual breathing issues.

That party was an eye opener for one reason. Be careful who you get advice from and check for credentials. They were touting some breathing mixes for my son and after further review- those fixes and potions could have killed him. Some oils in there can cause breathing distress in children. The person selling that sure didn't know that but I don't think it would have ever occurred to them that their knowledge and lack of education could be deadly.  With the rise of homeopathic medicine there is also a rise in people making a profit from you and your choice to not use traditional medicine. Be wary of their education, credentials, and expertise. Get medical information from trained medical professionals. Everyone has a bias. My bias is that I  think breathing issues are best treated with medicine like albuterol. I view it as an emergency and we need the best care possible.

Look also for well respected brands in your treatments. Use the name brands so that you know the support items you are buying will stand the test of time. I really don't want to get a nebulizer or humidifier that stops functioning when we really need it. We love crane for the humidifiers. They are cute for kiddos and really stand the test of time. We use braun thermometers because we really need to know if a cold or virus is coming on. We just were sent the newest one that reads above the forehead with no touching and I have to say- it is amazing. We can check in the middle of the night without waking Sammy and I can trust the reading to be accurate and consistent. I need all products to function that way because I am not messing around with the safety of my child.

I made this little pinterest board to lighten the subject a bit from snake oil salesmen and respiratory issues. Check it out :)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Time to Buy....

I decided I am going to start a new series here on the blog called "Time to Buy..." Mainly because I always have a friend or two that are scrambling at the last possible minute to buy some weather/gear related essential and missed the popular buying season.

Right now- buy a coat if you have not already taken my advice and gotten one on clearance in the Spring. Gap has a Friends and Family discount for 40% off.

Get a few pairs of gloves and mittens and a few hats. Find a a sale. Hanna Andersson has 20% off and Boden is 25% off today as well. Go forth and find a deal!

Now is for sure the exact time to buy winter boots. They are going to be sold out soon. Sorel has a couple of nice options, Gap has two decent pairs, and Nordstrom has a few as well. Hunter is a good option for a rainboot/ cold gear combo if you get the fleece inserts but they're pricey if you don't catch a sale. I prefer a duck boot option myself :)

Happy Shopping!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Wrap Up

Halloween! It is my favorite holiday usually. I love dressing up and handing out candy. Aside from giving things to kiddos- Halloween is a stress free holiday because really no one expects anything from you. This feels like a huge break right before Christmas and Thanksgiving where my obligation list gets very long.

I woke up in a horrible mood which really isn't like me. We did some housework and I made breakfast. Sammy had a roll up which are about 100% of his daily calories most days. Thank goodness I buy the healthy stuff so it is better for him.

This Halloween we visited the neighborhood party and Sammy got to bounce in the bouncehouse for a while. That was adorable. It is awesome to see how confident he's getting with climbing up those giant play structures. We then visited the fire dept for a similar event where there was more bouncing. I figured that was a decent plan before naptime!

We got ready for Trick or Treaters and Sammy got up and handed out candy. It was cute to see him race towards the door from the dinner table to give to other children. After some delicious mac & cheese Sammy and I headed out to hit the mean streets and get some candy. It was such a nice night and Sammy did a great job running to the houses and figuring out based on the porch lights who actually was handing out candy. Tim manned our house then we switched. All in all it was a great time - we were thrilled to have it be just our own family and focus on Sammy for this holiday.

I do have to mention that there is a big trend away from Trick or Treating in my area. A lot of moms with smaller kiddos take them to the church trunk or treats or park hikes - which those are really cool. But it is sad to see the tradition of people handing out candy waning. There were many fewer homes with porch lights on this year. Maybe 10 on our street total and it used to be almost everyone. One house a few doors down even accidentally left their porch light on and that was pretty confusing for the small kiddos just learning how this goes.

I've really tried to be community minded this year- and it was a little sad to see so many people not handing out candy. Hopefully as Sammy gets bigger this trend reverses itself because it is such a fun right of passage to ring those doorbells and get your big bag of candy. (We swapped out the candy for some legos because Sammy is the only kiddo I know that actually doesn't care for candy.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday! Finally. Tips for Sizing Up!

Happy Fall!!

I wanted to share a few tips that keep us sane when changing seasons and cycling through the stored up wardrobe.

Sammy is going through a growth spurt and we're breaking out more and more of the next size and putting away the 4T. I usually don't put away a size run at once. I find that everything is sized just enough differently to make some things work a few more months than others. Carters is really bad about this! I thought I would share our process for working new things into the cycle and for putting things away.

The process of marking an item for retirement is as follows for us. I usually notice an item is on the last wearing as we get dressed in the morning. All dirty clothes are folded in the dirty clothes hamper and they go into the washer/dryer once a week. When I take everything out for cleaning things that are being put away get a special once over for loose threads, stains, rips, or anything else that might need attention. If the problem cannot be solved usually the item is thrown away. (We don't donate things we would not wear ourselves).

Storing clothes that we're saving is a pretty easy process after we've had a few years practice. I use space bags for clothing. I just fold the clothes like usual and when I am putting away clothes in closets- outgrown clothes go into the space saver bag. When I am done with a size run I mark the bag and seal it up.

I store the clothes that are too big in the closet on the far rack. I coordinate by item type- pants go with pants and so on. I try to store by length. Pants go from shortest to longest so I don't miss anything. If I need a new pair of pants I can guess that the ones that are smallest are the better bet. Same with shirts. I wash before storing so everything is ready to wear. Eventually it is all mixed in because we need a shirt to wear and I just put three away. That is our general process.

As a mom I notice I have a process for everything. Everything. I just have to have them in place to keep myself together and everything accounted for- and not just in my mind. I rely on systems because I can't rely on myself to remember everything. Find your systems! Don't be afraid to over complicate something you think is simple if the end result is a smooth way to accomplish your needs.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Time for Fall Pics!

I know everyone is going to be getting their pics done for Fall! And they will be gorgeous. Who doesn't love changing leaves and plaid with layers. Pumpkin everything is my motto!

We're having a lovely photographer friend do Sammy's Fall pics this weekend. Of course I am stressing because I am not 100% sure what he'll be wearing on his feet. We're smack in the middle of a growth spurt and I am cheap. And it may rain. Hunter boots maybe FTW? I do love them that is for sure. I was thinking lovely buttery moccasins. (When am I not thinking that right?!) With the rain and orchard location I am thinking our best bet may end up having to be waterproof. First world problems right!

I am in love with the cooler mornings and crisp nights where we can leave the windows open. Maybe mainly because it gives the house some good air. Our Pug Archie is stinky and it helps! Real life. The weather needs to cool down finally because I am tired of sweating. I am not a Summer person really. I do love the fun adventures that Summer brings, but really love being outside in comfort.

Sammy is working on turning 5! Mainly we're working on how to accept no with grace and being more patient. Adults struggle with these lessons as well so he's in good company. This morning he came into my room after my husband jetted off to work and wanted to snuggle. I decided that was probably the best thing I could do right then because he's going to get older and want nothing more to do with that. He is such a little love and I pray he always stays so sweet. I'd always hoped that my kiddos would be kind and sweet and I just won the lottery with that little guy!

I will update with pics soon! I can't wait until it's picture day.

Fall Pics!

Fall Pics!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fall... Please Visit Soon!

Randomly I visited Target's kiddo section. I haven't been a regular because I am not finding great sales and honestly I can have it shipped to my house for less from better brands. They do, however, have a lovely Where the Wild Things Are  collection that is pretty much something that will jump right into your buggy! Pottery Barn has a wonderful costume series from the book as well. I highly recommend it.
Summer shorts are also currently 30% off at Target for around $5. I like to go 50% so I am waiting it out. I purchased about four pairs from there last year on clearance for $2.70 and it made a big difference. We need a LOT of shorts given that Sammy comes home looking like he's a regular on the dirty jobs show. But if you don't want to risk it head on over!

I ended up being able to get most of Sammy's Fall/Winter 5T wardrobe second hand on the Gap Boys Resale page on facebook. Most of the things are timeless so I will start doing the weekly outfit posts once it is not so hot out. That will be coming so this space won't be so barren. I do have more inspiration lately so that has been a great feeling.

Boden is back in action a bit. We did buy a few things from there. They take paypal which is amazing. I view it as Mommy Currency and I love that I can really count on paypal to keep me safe. Hanna Anderssen is still not my thing but sometimes they have a one off piece that we get. I still find shopping online is the key to saving money.

Carters is having a $10 off $30 sale through today so if you are in need of smaller kiddo clothing- hit that up! We are semi done with Carters for Sammy because the styling isn't really edgy enough to suit our tastes. Also we prefer somewhere with a loyalty program so we can earn back money and points towards free clothing. Also Carters changed their savings polices a bit after Sammy turned two and made it more expensive. Gap on the other hand for us is always the cheapest option. They just sent me another $10 off today. Woot woot!!

I am gearing up for Apple picking and pumpkin everything. I love Fall. I know it's "basic" of me. But the crisp air and the lack of sweating is really my thing. Sammy and I take a morning walk these days before we jet off to school/work and I would love it to be really cool out.

So Happy Back to School! Sorry no back to school posts yet. I feel like August pretty much happened and we are still trying to catch our breath!

Thursday, July 9, 2015


The last few months I haven't felt terribly inspired. My son is now 4.5 and I still love buying him adorable outfits and he is still such a joy. (That will never change!) But since he is now school aged the daily fun outfits are mostly at an end. He needs to wear things for school that he can get dirty. (It kills me)

I have often said that boy fashion is just as fun and exciting as girl fashion and I wholeheartedly believe that. I often look at girl clothing and am just drawn back to the boy section. I know that this rut is because Summer is hard to dress a child because of the play clothes factor and that he's just getting a bit older.

Until he started actual school I had never purchased anything for play or specifically that he can get dirty. It just wasn't needed. Now I have a set of almost identical shorts that he wears to school. We do have some rockin cut outs and some amazing swim wear (see below post) so those are making my heart happy while I wait for Fall to roll back in so I can get some plaid and sweaters on my boy and sit back and enjoy.

I hope everyone's summer is just fantastic. We have rain - basically perma rain and I am ready for some steady sunshine.

Happy Summer!

Swim Roundup 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Little Boy Meets Playground

Little Boy Meets Playground

Target... I am side-eyeing you right now.

Usually I can enjoy shopping at Target in the small kiddo section often. They usually have several things I want and it is a joy to pick something adorable out for Sammy.

Not lately. It has been so boring and lame in there - my money is quite safe. The husband is probably wondering where this sudden boon of income has come from. I am sure I will find something to spend my hard earned pennies on but- Genuine Kids and Target come on!

Friends have told me it is the same for the girl's section as well. I found the same to be true a couple of years ago. Some times target is just hit or miss. I probably am over annoyed at them but I am just going to let myself be mad.

That along with Sammy coming home from school looking like a box car kid daily- there has been a shocking lack of inspiration lately. I know that will pick up soon. I did get some adorable sandals and he looked pretty darn cute this morning. So ebb and flow I guess.

Happy Wednesday! We have a three day week this week. Friday the hubs and I are spending the day in Cincinnati where Jungle Jim is located. We clearly need cheese! That and Sammy is going to make the change from toddler bed to twin bed. He's not keen yet. I am hoping a bed setup in his room will be appealing. I am excitedly trying to decide on bedding so that has been something I am enjoying. More to come on that!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Montessori Update

We just had our first conference and were so pleased with the results and feedback given.

Seriously if you are on the fence about a Montessori education for your child- I can't tell you how much it's enhanced my son's life. Apparently he is also extremely social and has many friends which pretty much is the best feedback I've been given.

We just don't have the same problems we did before. The peace and understanding there are amazing. The kids are so much more like Sammy and our family. Before we had problems with punching and random violence that children should not be exposed to. We have not had that issue in the slightest at Montessori.

Sammy is surrounded by true diversity. There are children from all kinds of backgrounds and I am so proud that he gets to learn in an environment that respects culture so richly. The teachers are supportive of anything going on at home and he is just so at home there.

I was never nervous about this change but I can tell you it was the best change I've made for Sammy. We are thrilled and I want to encourage everyone to listen to your heart about education and doing what you think is best for your child.

Happy Tuesday.

(yesterday i managed to completely break the computer at work and a tech had to fix it... so anything above that is pretty much winning!)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I bought some Nikes

Sunday was a pretty great day, weather aside.

Sammy and I went to the mall to check out Gap and Nordstrom. Sammy had outgrown his shoes and needed a school-friendly pair. Kind of backstory; my dad picks Sammy up from school and usually kids are in their sock covered feet at school- no shoes because they work on the floor as is pretty common in Montessori.

My dad is a disabled veteran and has a knee injury. Getting small shoes on and laced is a job. Frankly it's a job I try to help avoid because he's already doing SO MUCH! He has been lifting Sammy onto the very tall cubbies to tie shoes on the 2-3 days we've sent non velcro or slip on shoes. So it's been on my mind that Sammy needs school shoes that work for him to put on himself.

So that is the backstory. I probably could have told you dear reader that we needed velcro shoes but I feel confident that everyone loves a little glimpse into our madness.

Buying the Nikes was easy enough- I really would have preferred some cute moccs that were oddly situation in the girl's section. Hmmph. Unisex thank you! My sister did not agree and I got major side eye. (along with some adorable cut offs from Gap that I just decided I am going to go back and get!) I let her know that there was only one person present in Nordy's shoes with a fashion blog thankyouverymuch. But she is lovely and the best Aunt in the world so I can't exactly say she was wrong or be mad- just didn't have the internal vision of amazingness that would be if I had both said moccs and cut offs on Sammy in an adorable spring ensemble!

I have felt for the last few weeks that I'm stretched thin. I am the sort that can't operate in a mess. And my house can sure feel messy to me in a hurry. It's large so I am not sure why that is - but I have some accomplished messers in my midst. They're cute so they at least have that grace. Since we have some company staying with us for Easter and family coming for dinner I've been focusing on getting my house back in top shape.

The blog has suffered because I need things to be orderly and pretty before I can be creative. I need Easter to pass, my house to be clean, and to be on the other side of March before my head is in a good place. I am toying with the idea of trying to sell our house to get something that is just easier for me to keep clean. Or a maid. That would be lovely!
PS I would show the Nikes but they are plain and frankly I need a little more beauty and less plain going on so maybe after I start feeling more like myself.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Easter (More. Can you tell I'm obsessed?)

Easter (More. Can you tell I'm obsessed?)

We don't get terribly dressy for Easter here. I will probably wear a cotton dress and the hubs will probably wear about what he'd wear to work. 
Sammy is going to wear his Zara jeans with suspenders. Basically because I love them and cannot find enough excuses to get his cute self into these pants. I bought a pair of suspenders that just go on any old pants but honestly these are easier because they don't clip on. They button on. 
I am on a kick to determine why my friend Robin loves Gymboree so much. Aside from the fact that her kids always look flawless in their clothing- I can never find anything for Sammy there. I probably need to tag along. The shirt is Gymboree and the sweater is Osh Kosh from Target. These boots are from Tea Collection. I really like them and find that they're nice for things that need a bit of style and waterproofing!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March Goals

Back in January my husband and I decided that we were going to focus on mini goals. We decided that we're always trying to accomplish the same big goals and that we may not have the skill set needed to get there. Enter the mini goals.

Limit Carb Intake to Net 25 grams per day
Work out 3x/week
Listen to each other more- no interrupting
Get outside and play when the weather cooperates
Go to bed at a decent time.

We've done so well at not drinking sugary drinks. I was able to cut out Dr Pepper! I am actually so proud of the fact that even though I've been sick with my third virus of 2015 that I haven't caved. It's been a while- maybe a month. That is pretty amazing for me.

We need to work on the working out.... Yikes. I practice yoga and have had a rough go of it lately because two weeks ago I got the plague. Or a nasty virus. We'll see if I make it a few more weeks. Ugh.

Hoping Spring can really help us elevate our energy levels. We're both feeling pretty good these days. Trying out best to keep the positivity and happiness in our lives. We've done good work at eliminating people and things that bring us down and I feel like we're stronger and a better team for that effort.

Do you have mini goals or a big 2015 goal you are working on?

Update... Dr Visit

I mentioned before that Sammy was being evaluated for asthma. I am happy to report that everything looks great and he isn't afflicted. Cue enormous sigh of relief!

I wanted to put this out there because I know it is really scary to do research on croup and find that usually three years old is the cut off. Sammy is four and we've had two incidents since his birthday.

The airway on a small child is vulnerable. Whenever he gets sick it seems to settle in his throat/airway and gives him croup/stridor breathing first. He can go to bed without a cough or runny nose and wake up with trouble breathing and that horrible croup sound. We were given a breathing treatment machine so I feel that we're ready in case it should happen again.

So if your child has this happen please know you're not alone. And big hugs. That feeling waking up to your child making that sound is horrible. (This is probably why I still use two monitors)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Easter Bunny is Bringing...

Easter Bunny is Bringing...

We had a bit of an Old West theme going apparently when I decided Sammy's Easter basket things. Like everything I like to buy ahead of time so I'm not breaking the bank all at once. 
We saw this Janod train set before Christmas and I really love it. I thought it would be cool to focus on a set so that Sammy can build up a world instead of just connecting trains together. 
The railroad jeans are from Gap and the shirt is from Old Navy. My mom was so nice and picked up Sammy's stuffed animal over at Blabla kids in Atlanta while she was in the area. Luckily she was parked illegally and only had minutes because that store can get expensive quick! We actually got the Georgia Cow because so much of my family lives in Georgia and I thought it would be a fun way to tie the two together. Especially since my family is coming up for Easter. We have big plans for the weekend here!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Glorious Friday

It's Friday! The best day of the week I think. Well Saturday is pretty stellar as well. I thought I would throw up some links to things that are on my mind.

Easter is coming so that means we're getting those baskets ready. My mother and grandmother are making the trek from Atlanta to our house so we can celebrate together. Mom is nice enough to pick up part of the present this doll. He is getting the bunny of course but I love the look of their dolls and Easter seems like a great excuse to add this to our collection.

I don't go crazy at Christmas at all but Easter is proving to be my downfall. I also got him the entire Janod Far West Set. That coupled with a shirt with a train and some "railroad" pants. He won't eat candy so I feel like Easter is a great time to get him a few basics. We also don't buy many toys outside of holidays and birthdays so I don't feel bad getting him this train set. We saw it displayed at a museum and loved the look of it.

I also got myself a pair of these. Years of Ballet make taller boots look funny (along with being short) so these are darling and I will so enjoy them in the rain.

We're making Toad in a hole this weekend inspired by this amazing book. You can surely find it at  your library- that's where we always get it. The story is cute and after we read it we make the "toad in a hole" which toast with a fried egg inside. Super yummy and such a fun treat.

By the by, Sammy helps us in the kitchen with the help of this helper stand. We painted it a bright cheery blue and it is amazing. If your spouse is handy- see if they can give it a try. Much less expensive than the learning tower branded ones and just as functional.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day. I am stuck down again with a cold- and got about four hours of sleep so I am just hoping to make it until 3pm when we have a doctor's appointment for Sammy. He's had some breathing issues on and off associated with croup. Now that he's 4 they are looking at him for asthma so fingers crossed that he does not have that issue. But I think we don't and am looking forward to celebrating afterwards with a nice froyo!

Happy Friday Friends!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How We're NOT Freezing...

How We're NOT Freezing...

Two posts in one day?! Pretty amazing feeling over here! Haha really just wanted to share something while this item is still on sale and in stock over at Patagonia.
A word to the wise about the brand. You're paying for effectiveness. It's thick, amazing quality fleece that will make a difference. Their shipping costs are not amazing. Just be warned in that direction. Buying on sale and ahead of time is pretty key for expensive and technical winter gear. 

First the Patagonia fleece jacket. It's currently on sale. I have bought every one I thought I could get use of. So maybe three! I love them. The red one is adorable as well! The hood is pointy and really gives the whole outfit a little something. They are thin enough that I feel comfortable putting Sammy in the car with this jacket. It is warm enough that it does something to fight off the cold. 

So... We layer. I think this is not groundbreaking, but I think sharing common sense solutions with other parents is a nice thing. I start off with a nice flannel button down. I may put an undershirt or not depending on if he will be outside. If only inside today I will skip. I put a nice wool sweater over that. I like a button down for this because the shirt is next to his skin so he is protected from the wool everywhere. I don't want him itchy. I then add his lined jeans. These block the wind and are very warm. I may put on some babylegs up to his knees if he's going to be outside a bunch. Then a good pair of socks. 

For outer wear I love to add some heavy duty mittens and actual winter boots. I think they are easy enough to walk in that he can use them for a functional pair of shoes most days it is very cold. They are usually ok to get on and off, and they're warm. The pair pictured are from Gap, but Osh Kosh typically makes an amazing pair, and we have thick fleece socks from Hunter that pair with rainboots that also are extremely effective. 

I think the key to making it work for us is the layering and not being afraid to buy actual technical products instead of the popular kid brands and hoping they'll be good enough. Shop North Face, Sorel, and other brands that are more expensive and know you can size up a bit and get two years of wear. Or buy on sale. Having things that fight against the cold make that morning drive/bus stop wait so much less nail biting! 
Stick a blanket in the dryer and pull out right before you all climb in. Such a treat on really cold days! (It was -11 not including wind chill. I was debating bringing my heated throw!) 

We used to have a remote start on our car, but when we upgraded to our minivan I decided I would do without the remote start- for a couple of reasons. I felt like it only worked at home and never at work so it was aggravating. Secondly it wastes a good amount of gas (the way I used it for sure did), we poluted more, and I felt like it might not be great for the engine. My minivan takes a long time to warm up so we're missing it right now. As I am sure we can all tell because cold and being cold is pretty much my tune on repeat right now. I hope Spring comes soon for everyone's benefit!

Where are my pants?!

Where are my pants?!

First off- sorry for the polyvore image that has the shading and everything on hangers. Both of my favorite pant shops have these in their stock photos; so right now I am just dealing. I will work on this, but don't have time to edit their photos THAT much- and if I were to take pics of Sammy in everything or just of real life pants this would never happen.
Second sorry for the lazy blogging lately. I am freezing and most of my life involves making sure Sammy has enough layers that he survives the car ride to school. Praying that Spring finds us soon because -20 weather is pretty well taking a toll on all of us! I have just been hyper focused on really getting my home in order. Everything in its place kind of order and deep cleaning everything. (read: nesting without the actual pregnancy or pending labor)
I am getting Sammy around seven pairs of long pants in the next size. We really like to wear pants two days at my house as long as they are still pretty well clean and no stains. I try to save the environment and my sanity in small measures! That being said I like to have about a week and a half of stuff so I am not in an emergency laundry situation over at my house. I try to keep up but I am only one mama and honestly I get behind. Often.

Zara is kind of my go to (I typed to go before... I am a genius!) place to get pants with a little something extra. This year I am pretty obsessed with knee details. See the first Zara offering above! Gap is perfect for jeans because they tend to hold up really well for us. I love the fleece and flannel lined styles so I try to have a pair or two of those on hand. They are so great for those days where it is very cold, or apple picking in the fall. I find that they are much handier than I would have though. 
Sweats aren't something I have a lot of usually. Zara is my best bet because I can usually buy a size down and they work out. Sweats usually don't have an inner drawstring to make them adjustable. My kiddo is on the smaller side of things and really needs the length but not the width. I also usually find that jeans are a better option for the activities he is involved in.

I hope this rambling helps you start the internal conversation about what you're going to do for the next size up in wardrobe! As mamas we're constantly having to replace clothing and it is great to always be in the position of buying when you can rather than when you have to. I cannot imagine the expense of buying all of his pants in one fell swoop- it just makes so much more sense to me to buy on sale and get the brands I love at the prices that I can actually afford in my spending budget. Happy Shopping!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Be My Valentine!

Yesterday as we were preparing Sammy for his class party- I asked who he wanted to be his Valentine. Probably Mommy was my thought. But nope... The Pug. Archie and Macy his beloved dogs are his Valentines. He let me know Daddy could be mine. Well true but thanks little stinker!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sizing Up! Sweaters

Sizing Up! Sweaters
I thought it would be a bit helpful to share what I am focusing on for the next size up (5T). This is our last year in toddler sizes. Sammy isn't a big kid so we've been able to remain pretty true to size until now. He's still able to wear some 3T because I like for his clothes to be tighter than some other moms care for them to be. That is all just a preference thing. 
First off - Hanna Andersson striped shirt. I will wait for this to go on sale or find a dupe somewhere. It's nice because it really looks great with some colored pants and ties them in nicely. Secondly is this Genuine Kids sweater from Target. I love it and got a 5T when I got the current one. It's really nice and I get a lot of compliments. Plus the colors in the sleeves are full to coordinate with some colored denim. 
Next is a sweater from Gap. I love the camo and the new way it is done is really cool. The Tiger sweater and navy blue are all from Gap. I love get things there when I can find a deal. Which is often. Sorry about that Gap card bill honey!!!
The green striped pullover is from Genuine kids as well. I love their sweaters. This one is great with so many  things and it is that perfect green for a redhead. Lastly is my love- the Patagonia Fleece. This fleece is no joke. He can wear this safely in the car in the Winter months and it is adorable. Plus he thinks he looks like Gnomeo and Juliet. Win for Mama!!! Hope this helps as you begin to start shopping those sales so you are not forced to pay full price for cold weather items next year. Happy shopping!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Crazy Hair

Sammy's hair is gorgeous. A lovely shade of reddish/auburn. People have always stopped me to comment about it since he was very small. I wonder if we were to have another child would it be easier if they had brown hair like me to blend in. Germs and all of that were kind of an issue with a November baby.

I hate his hair super short. Getting it cut has always been a source of drama to me - so we're growing it out in hopes that it will be easier a little longer. Right now we're in that state of crazy hair. He absolutely hates having the water bottle and brush combo but we're just there now. He woke up and one side was pancaked against his head in the wrong direction and the other side was straight in the air. I would post a picture but if he were to run for office one day or be a celebrity I think he would hate me forever.

So for now we combat crazy hair with the water bottle and hair genie combo. It could be worse. This is a first world problem indeed. I am recovering from a stomach virus and just to have the desire to do his hair was a major win today. As Sammy says "back to normal"!

Happy Wednesday.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Not an Easy Kid.

I always hear people asking if babies are "easy" or "good" - and usually that means that they are good sleepers, eaters, and don't scream and cry endlessly. Sammy was pretty easy and pretty good I guess. He slept through the night at eight months old and was pretty happy otherwise. He, I guess, had his days and nights turned around when he was a newborn... Or my husband claimed. I thought he was just hungry. We went with it and it worked out pretty well.

But at around 11 months- that kid got a mind of his own and he has not slowed down yet. He's not an "easy" kid. It gives me some moments of self doubt. Probably more than some. He knows his own mind and will let you know what he thinks. He's smart and creative and kind. I truly think that we place so much emphasis of getting along and being easy going but I think that doesn't really create situations where we get exactly what we need. I could be more like Sammy and let people know my needs and ensure they are met. Like every other mom- my needs are often last. I don't know that equating a child being passive to "good" is really a fair assessment for anyone. All children have lessons before them. As do adults. But not crying when he needs something doesn't make a child less worthy or less good than another. Just differently wired.

Sometimes I worry that people will tire of dealing with Sammy when he's in a stubborn mood. But that is really more a reflection of my insecurity than anyone's commitment to being in his life. My dad watches Sammy a bit after school and I know it can't be easy. I know he takes it very seriously and does an amazing job. I do my best to try to get Sammy to behave- but he's just learning the lay of the land and getting comfortable. I know this is his way and that I need to just trust the process- but I am a worrier.

All of this not listening and working so far to follow Sammy and become the parent he needs me to be has to have a positive result somewhere down the line. I know he is destined to be a wonderful and worthwhile person and all of this effort is just going to pay off dividends forever. I just have to think about that when times are tough.

This morning he was kind of hard to get corralled and into the car. He needed to play with the dogs and do all sorts of random very crucial tasks before we could get going. I had four hours of sleep and got a cold overnight. My patience is pretty shot. Usually he does something so cute I just have to let that melt away and enjoy our time together. This morning was a pretend call to Daddy on his handphone and tell him how much he loves him and how he'd really like to visit the hardware store. He remembered that Daddy took him to the tire store and had so much fun. Those moments are really worth all of the other ones where I feel at the end of my patience. Being a mom is a tough gig but I really do feel blessed to have Sammy. Even if he isn't traditionally good.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Things We Don't Say

This weekend I  took Sammy to the mall. It was yucky outside and he desperately needed to burn off some energy. They usually have great indoor places to run and play. They also have a train and that makes a decent experience for a little guy who has been cooped up for two days at this point.

After all of that I decided to hit up Gap on our way out. Sammy was hanging out at the wishing well with my sister and I had about ten minutes to myself. There was a nice mom with the cutest little boy getting a ton of things. It got me thinking that I should tell her to use a coupon! Never buy full price at Gap. But then I got scared. What if she thought I was rude? Or that I was implying something? I decided to keep my mouth shut.

The thing is that most moms could use a bit of savings on the basics. Then they can spend more elsewhere or maybe get something else they could not afford. If I would have spoken up I may have positively impacted her day. It got me thinking that there are a lot of things I keep my mouth closed on- seemingly insignificant and very large- because I am too scared sometimes to raise my voice. I don't want to be that kind of person - to stand by when I see that I could positivity impact a situation.

I read an article by a mother who lost her young son to a car accident where he was not belted properly. I thought how often do I see pictures on facebook and know that child would benefit from seeing a CPST. But I don't want to come off as a sanctimommy. It is such a tough line to walk. But I want to err on the side of right and good rather than scared and meek. After really thinking about that article I resolved in my own life to be open to constructive advice and criticism. For all of my research I may be unaware of something that makes the difference and another mother might change my mind. And I am going to take the time and energy to say the tough things to people I know could benefit from a little help. From someone who knows how to word things kindly and mean things nicely.

That is my goal- to be open to having tough and meaningful conversations with other parents and being open to what they have to say as well! Happy Monday.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Duds

Friday Duds

Friday! Sammy is headed to the dentist with my husband while I wrap up my Friday work stuff.

I wanted to send him in something cute because he's been in jammies the last two days. Also I usually try to dress him up for appointments. Osh Kosh always has several items that really stand out. Sammy always gets a lot of compliments on this sweater. (sidenote I wish I would have gotten the next size up!) I love a shirt underneath because I worry he may itch. Tall chucks are pretty much a no brainer!

Hope everyone enjoys their weekends!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Now reporting 12344566 lost pairs of gloves


Last night I got my daily report for Sammy. Each day I get a report that tells me what lessons he worked on during school AND any tidbits about his day. Yesterday was a reminder that they were going to keep going outside every day that they possibly could- and parents need to send appropriate cold weather gear. 
Face meet palm. I have sent 4 pairs in as many weeks. Sammy has managed to lose a pair a week. And that is not even counting the random one orange glove I can't match up. Lord help me now. I am praying this trend slows down. I did what any self respecting mother would do in a new school setting... I got some more mittens. Gap is having a 50% off sale event going on so I got a new pair. I am going to try harder to prevent their losses because at $4 a pair they are starting to add up. I am also hitting up target to hopefully find a multipack and stuff his jacket pockets with random pairs. Take that little preschooler bent on making Mommy look flustered. (No need to try! I am doing fine with that on my own!)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Why Montessori?

I wanted to talk a bit about why we decided on a Montessori education for Sammy. There were several reasons and I thought it would be a great discussion.

First being current state of public schools. We live in an amazing school district. Top scores all around. The only problem is that those top scores come from testing the heck out of students so that they pass all of these things that "experts" say need to happen at a certain grade level. I feel strongly that kids should be at school and learning to love to learn rather than learn to pass a test. I object to the down time when testing isn't immediately on the horizon and I object towards teaching our children that the benefits of learning come from good test scores rather an progressing onto more complex topics and better understanding of our world.

Second diversity of children. We're AP loving, pretty crunchy for the most part, fussy parents. My husband is an Engineer and I have a background in Advertising and English. We're both pretty into reading and learning. We both research the heck out of everything. We're usually the oddball parents and we want Sammy to grow up being the norm. Montessori offers that to us with a respect of each other and the environment.

Third - we just love the method and what it offers to Sammy. We love the pace of his learning in three hour cycles. He gets to work on what he'd like to work on. They respect his ability to learn and let him direct himself. I agree that Sammy learns through his own ability to grow and not through anything we impart to him. He is the one with the power and I respect their method towards giving him the tools he needs to get there.

When we have done parent/teacher conferences in the past with Sammy's traditional daycare teacher she has always mentioned that Sammy doesn't do great with circle time. He doesn't want to learn in a group setting. I frankly feel like public kindergarten is a leveling out class. It is a time where my son's abilities are stalled because he's above the other children in terms of exposure to education who have not been to any kind of school (including homeschool). I feel that every moment is precious in terms of understanding and public school has no choice but to teach to the middle and also move at a pace that works for the average student. What if my kid needs a slower pace? What if they need a faster pace? What if I don't want my kid to be lectured to for an hour when he's still so young and can't sit still? I feel like Montessori addresses my concerns there.

Lastly which I just touched on is that I want my kid to move. We have an obesity epidemic here and children are not given the opportunities in the day to move their bodies. They need things like yoga, slides, running around, swingsets, and giggling. Freedom is what teaches these children and I don't want him sitting down all day at a desk trying to stay awake. I also feel that he should be able to move from one subject to another at his discretion. I don't want him to feel like he's a certain type of student based on a grade and test score.

We're really happy with our choice- he is totally flourishing there and even though drop offs can be tough- he really likes it. I know it's a great place for his second home. Our biggest hurdle will be when he turns 10 and we need to move him to traditional school. I am praying a Montessori Middle School and High School open up in this area.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Praise the Lord it is Friday.

This week I feel a bit defeated. I wasn't running particularly on time this week at all. There were too many sugary dr peppers in my life... And I for sure yelled at my husband when I was hangry. Well more spoke harshly to. But I am betting he's not making that distinction.

Really glad to have a few days off and I feel pretty happy I haven't scheduled the bejeezus out of them. I am still doing a few more activities than I would prefer. (sit on the couch with heated throw and netflix anyone!?!)

This sort of brings me to our new goal planning. We decided to stop making the same old resolutions and plans that we've been making forever. We decided that the reason those things failed was that we were thinking about the ending and not about the journey to get there. And that we didn't yet have the skills needed to make it to our goal and needed to break each goal into mini goals so we could build the skillset needed and also stay focused more easily.

January Goals:
Drink only one sugary drink per day.
Always treat each other with respect and patience. Issue polite requests.
Work out 3 times per week.
Find Reasons to eat meals at home instead of out to dinner.

That is our plan. I am not really ready yet to give up my Dr. Pepper. I know it is bad for me. The sugar I do not need to consume but if I could give it up cold turkey I would. I am going to work on this goal for now and then reduce the amount I let myself have. We overall try to do low carb so I know there will be more goals that pertain to that.

So here's to Friday. A day that promises all the best things of the weekend! May it last forever, give way into a lengthy Saturday and Sunday, and return again with some serious haste so we may enjoy another weekend soon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Yesterday Sammy had the day off of school. My husband was off of work as well. Mommy had to work. Boo. Sammy and Daddy enjoyed their day together and I was glad that we didn't have to hire an outside babysitter or send him to wrap around care (which is $30).

I got home from work tired. Verge of horrible period and just not really interested in doing anything. We signed up to bring a dish to a friend's event- A Multicultural Event in Honor of MLK and were to bring a dish. I didn't want to dissapoint and Sammy was still sleeping. I got to cooking and got us ready and out of the door in time to be late. Great right!! My new thing is trying to be on time. Well not working out so great I guess.

Sammy was kind of tired and over it. So many strangers. So we were there about 30 minutes. Most of my dish was gone- that was a win! I fulfilled my commitment and felt like a good friend. Went home and watched some netflix and ate a piece of my husband's lemon birthday cake. Life could have been worse right!?!

So all in all just glad today isn't still Monday. We're making progress through this week and one day closer to the weekend. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Seasonally Appropriate Sales

January has always been my reset month. I am a big fan of resolutions and trying to be the best me for the New Year. Part of that is starting to plan everything out that we'll need and ways to make our dollars stretch farther.

Enter in post Christmas Sales. There are a few things I really like to get now.

* Next size Winter coat. I try to take advantage of sales to get a great coat for Sammy. I have always found really steep discounts and I am able to get a much nicer coat for less. Some places I really like to check... Department stores- if you have a Von Maur this place is amazing for this. Gap, Old Navy, Carters, Target... Ect.

* Winter Boots in next size. Keep your eyes peeled for a good winter boot in the next size(s). I have a few pairs of Hunter boots in storage for Sammy and got them a rock bottom prices. Boys' clothing is so much less trend dependant.

* Winter mittens/hat/scarves. See a theme?!

* Hilariously enough short. Tea Collection and Zara both have amazing sales right now on basics. I try to get those items for very low prices because we end up needing a bunch of shorts and tees in the Summer when it seems like we change clothes every hour.

I mentioned it above but check out Tea Collection's 40% off sale. Register your email and let them send you their million emails. You know first of great deals and get coupon codes that translate into some pretty serious savings. I love to do this at higher end clothing stores where there isn't a sale every day. Tea Collection is a great example. Their clothing is so well made but really pricey. They don't have sales all of the time and sometimes coupon codes are hard to come by- take advantage!

A side note, I really recommend using Google for your email provider for this reason of promotional emails. There are three tabs- one for actual email, one for promotional emails, and a third for all social media stuff. It really helps me be able to just delete out any emails that are sales and brand advertisements. If I'm not in the market for anything I can just delete and not give them a second thought.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Tough Drop Off... Tough Friday.

This morning we were just off. Sammy woke up at 5am and could not get back to sleep. I sort of need him to sleep a little longer so I can be a little more functional in the morning. We're just not morning people.

Really we're both so happy to be awake and there is a lot of snuggling, but we are not productive. Like at all. This has to change! We're going to work on this.

Sammy got to school and it was tears. We are only a few days into the new school thing and it has been ok until today. School was cancelled yesterday and the loss of the new routine was pretty horrible. His new teacher was not in the room because it was music day and the other teacher was sick. And the teacher who was sick is very loving and supportive- just enough to rock the boat enough. He was hysterical. Screaming. Crying. Desperate that I wouldn't leave. I did what all moms have to do in that moment. Leave. It's the most heartwrenching thing in the entire world to walk away when your little one is screaming for you to come get them. But I know that by not leaving I am prolonging this entire episode and hurting him worse.

I called about 20 minutes later and he was fine. No red face, no tears. Circle time with new friends. I'm more shaken than he is. It takes less for him to have everything come crashing down but it takes me hours to rebuild after. I just don't recover at the same speed.

We're planning on having a mini game night with just our own little family. Sammy got his own game that we'll play. Fudge is on the docket. A lovely family moved in next door and we're hoping to bring them a little something to welcome them this weekend. Plus minivan shopping. Hopefully the weekend moves slowly. Like about the same speed Monday and Tuesday seem to pass. :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

First Day of School!

First Day of School!

This top from Target- Genuine Kids is very adorable! I was thrilled to find it. Green looks great on a redhead but it's not cliche with this one.. Just subtle and really adorable. Pics to follow! Some khakis that are more yellow than sand and some velcro chucks. He takes his shoes off when he gets inside at his new school. I think that is lovely. What a fun way to make everyone feel so welcome. Very excited for these changes at our home!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Current Obsession

Current Obsession

Right now these sets are getting a LOT of love over at our house. I am just in awe of the things that can be created and built! My mom got Sammy the playmags set after I noticed Sammy and his classmates were into them at school. They got them in some sort of contest and the blocks were a hot ticket item ever since. The Tegu blocks are a bit pricer but wooden which we prefer. They also have some nice sets that make good gifts. The playmags set is a bit more affordable and I believe they have some off brand sets as well. I'd personally get the cheapest set because it isn't like playmags are super well made or worth so much more than the others. You probably can combine sets but I don't know that for 100%. 
If you are looking for something that is quiet and can keep kids entertained for a while- this is your best bet!

Happy New Year!

Bring on 2015! Looking back 2014 was a tough one. My grandfather passed away in October and that has been kind of the defining thing going on. He told me he had pancreatic cancer the year before (on my wedding anniversary). When the whipple procedure failed I knew. I started grieving then and don't think I've stopped for a long time. It's tough to define how I felt about my grandfather. On one hand he aggravated me. Like so many grandparents he had a harder time with adult Andrea and tended to either ignore or pretend I was someone else.

When he got sick that's when our relationship started to really become close. He asked me to take care of his sister. I was to become her Conservator and Guardian. Big shoes to fill. It was scary. I felt really honored that he felt like I was a good replacement. In many ways that is the most he'd ever really said about how he felt about me and how things had turned out for me. It was a giant act of validation and love. We talked near daily until he became too sick. Hearing the man who didn't even drink on the phone slur his speech from Vicodin was tough. But it made me tougher.

Everything else has been the same in a way- tremendous growth towards the person I see myself in the future being. Friendships- While I added so many amazing friends to my circle of friends- some had to come and go quickly. I feel so happy with the group that is left and a little bit battle worn from the constant drama. It's been my belief that women are above the petty backstabbing and gossip that we are portrayed so often... Turns out that is only true of some women so I had to weed out the ones that didn't fit with my own goals and community pretty early on. Life ebbs and flows.

I feel my marriage is stronger than ever. The hubs had a schedule change and it has left a lot of things to be desired time wise but I really feel that we have connected better in 2014 than we did in previous years. We are currently minivan shopping and it is pretty hilarious. I often wonder how my 18 year old self would feel about how things have gone. I feel confident she'd be pretty mad about the current jean size... But thrilled with with the amazing little boy that got us a wee bit off track. She'd be proud of so many things I think so I am going to leave myself thinking overall she'd be happy- but want some more running to take place in 2015. I am probably going to stick to yoga. I feel like gentle is my new thing. And at some point you have to take a long look and say this is who I am right now. Mama is going to find her mat.

Sammy turned into a little boy instead of a baby this year. Three to four has been an amazing year for him. He was able to give up diapers! He is articulate and funny. He is kind,silly, and mischievous. He loves to read and adores all things trains. He is so smart. Today is his last day at a daycare and Monday is his first day of school. So it beings.

Goals for 2015 are fairly simple. Good health, working on good wealth, and continue to be present and self aware so I can surround myself with good people and great ideas. Happy 2015!