November 30, 2012

Why we don't travel & a few updates

Happy Friday!

On my Thanksgiving weekend update on Monday I told you that Kyla didn't do so well traveling to Tyler's mom's.  Our plan was to go up Saturday morning and come home Sunday.  But both of his brother's and their fiances were going to be staying Saturday night and we didn't want to keep everyone up all night.  And while we were eating lunch on Friday, Kyla was showing no signs of going down for a nap (she doesn't like to nap when Daddy's home).  So we decided to pack up and head up that day.

We got up there around 5:30 after both kids were great in the van.  We made it there with no stops!  We weren't going to stress about getting her down at her normal bedtime at 8:00, but rather wait until she was good and tired.  About 8:30 and she was definitely ready for bed.  So I tried to do our same routine that we do at home and lay her down in the crib.  She cried for about 10 minutes and she was out.  She was a tired girl!  I thought maybe it was too good to be true.  She woke up crying a few times before I went in there to go to bed.  And then at midnight she woke up bawling.  I brought her in bed with Tyler and I, which now that it's done and over with, is kind of funny.  For about the first five minutes I thought she might actually fall asleep.  And then all of a sudden she started talking, playing with my face and sticking her fingers in my ears.  Laughing the whole time.  So back to the crib she went.  As cute as she was, I hadn't slept yet and knew it was going to be an early morning.  I wasn't exactly in the mood to play.  She cried for awhile (although not as long as I thought she would) and fell back asleep.

Kase woke up to eat at 6:00 and as soon as I got him back to sleep, Kyla was up.  And all morning she was so crabby.  I couldn't take it anymore so Tyler took both kids on a drive so I could shower and get ready.  He drove around for about an hour and she was in a much better mood when she got back.

It was a long night/morning.  She is just not the type of kid that will sleep anywhere.  We hoped she'd sleep the whole way home Saturday night because she was so tired.  Unfortunately I think she was so over tired that she cried for a LONG time.  I felt so awful.  I wanted to stop the van and just hold her.  But I knew if we did, she'd cry again as soon as I put her in the car seat.  She was crying so hard at one point we thought she was going to make herself throw up :(  Amazingly she didn't wake Kase up.  He slept the entire way.  We were all happy to be home!  Traveling with kids is just plain exhausting.

In other news, I thought I'd give you all an update on my weight loss journey since I haven't said much lately.  I posted almost a month ago about my goals.  I wanted to lose 10 pounds by Christmas.  Well, in a little less than a month, I am down 9 pounds!  I'm very happy with that, but still have a ways to go.

Lastly, I posted about Kyla's swimming lessons after her first week.  She LOVED it the first week.  Couldn't get enough!  Well, every week after that she has hated every second of it.  I'm not sure why because I know she's not afraid of the water.  I had a mom ask me one week if she's afraid of baths at home.  I kind of chucked because she LOVES baths.  But yes, we have been *those* parents that make *that* girl cry every week.  I usually get her out and let her sit on my lap and watch the other kids for awhile so she can calm down.  But I get plenty of stares and dirty looks.  One mom shakes her head at me like I am the worst mom ever.  True story.  Anyway, she freaks out anytime the male instructor even thinks about looking her way, much less come over and help her kick her feet or make waves by her.  I have had other mom's tell me their daughters were the same with men so I'm not concerned or anything.  But this week, Tyler said she did great!  Kase and I stayed home because I had a migraine (which I'm wondering if that has something to do with her doing so well).  I was so proud of her when they got home.  She didn't cry once and participated in everything the class did.  Tyler said she even let the instructor come over and help her.  And since I absolutely believe in positive reinforcement and praise, she was rewarded with some M&M's.  Don't judge.  The girl loves them, but doesn't get them often.  And I love her.  And was so proud.  So we both enjoyed a few together :)

Don't worry, we made it educational by reviewing the colors :)

I think she thought I was going to eat hers so she started shoving them in.

I think maybe she just might like swimming next week too :)

Have a great weekend!  We are getting Kase baptized on Sunday so I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures to share on Monday!


November 29, 2012

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Finds

I left the house at 6:30 last Friday with a plan.  First up, Target!  I got my new camera that I have been wanting forever.  I ended up getting the Canon Rebel T3.  I considered the T3i, but didn't want to spend an extra $150 when I have no idea what I'm doing.  I am just excited to have way better quality pictures.  I'm already obsessed with it.  I saved $150 because of the sale and got an extra 5% off with my Target card.

I also have had my eye on a Dyson vacuum.  Our vacuum is awful and we finally realized that you get what you pay for.  I'm sick of being cheap with them and being frustrated with how bad they are.  The Dyson's were on sale so I pulled the trigger.  I got the Dyson Ball DC41 Multi Floor.  I tried it out on Sunday for the first time and LOVE it.  I wonder how long the excitement of vacuuming will last?  This was also $150 off and an extra 5% saved with my card.  I also got a $10 gift card for spending so much in the home department.
I went to Best Buy next on the hunt for a new laptop.  After them charging me an extra $100 and giving me the wrong one, I got the one we had picked out from the ad.  Tyler has it all set up with our wifi, but yet I'm still using our old crappy one.  He said the new one is a lot different and will take some getting used to.  And I just don't have the patience for that yet.  This old one's fan is really loud and sounds like it's going to blow.  And even when the battery is fully charged, if you unplug it, it dies.  And now the cord to charge it is all screwed up so you have to twist it just right for it to actually charge.  So we were definitely due for a new one.  One of these days I need to transfer all our pictures and documents to our external hard drive before this one kicks the bucket.  I got the new one for $200 off the original price.

Carter's was next.  I didn't need anything, but just like looking around and I had a $10 off coupon to use.  I ended up getting Kyla two pairs of pj's and 3 pairs of socks for $11 total.

I spent a lot of time next door at Old Navy.  I got myself a sweater on clearance and Tyler a few things for Christmas.  I can't share those though because he reads this :)

I went to Famous Footwear basically just to look.  I want a pair of ballet flats for myself, but didn't want to spend $35 on them.  And Kyla needs a pair of size 6 tennis shoes, but again, I wasn't paying that much considering she'll only be in them a couple of months.  I have a new coupon for Kohl's so I'm going to check there this weekend for some new kicks for her.  Her cute Nike ones I bought awhile ago are size 7 and are just a tad too big, but her 5's are squeezing her little toes.

So other than Tyler, I didn't get any Christmas presents.  I have no idea what anyone wants/needs, which is frustrating.  I love buying presents for people, but hate spending money on things that I'm not sure if they'll like it or need it.  But I was happy with my purchases.  My dad gives us money for Christmas each year and tells us to make sure we buy something with it and not just put it in savings.  So he bought me a camera and Tyler a laptop.  Thanks, Dad :)

And can you believe I went to all those stores and completely forgot to open up my Shopkick app?  Total failure.  I would have earned a Target gift card just from that day!

I did get a few presents ordered on Cyber Monday.  I can't share those either because some of those people also read this.  But I got some great deals on clothes for the kids.  I put my first ever order in to Naartjiie.  It's an international company that has the cutest, funky clothes.  I can't wait to get them and do some photo shoots!  I also ordered from Gymboree.  They had some great sales and I had a 20% off my entire purchase that I could use as well.  And now I earned some Gymbucks that I can redeem in January on some spring/summer sales!  I got some stuff for now and some for next fall/winter.  Tyler is going to probably kill me, but I got a TON of stuff for awesome prices.  He forgets all about it when he sees the kids dressed cute.  Right Ty? ;)

I shopped around for a rug for our living room, but couldn't find one I liked.  We have carpet in our living room, but because of our debacle with sippy cups, we have a lot of milk spilled on it.  I want to get a rug to put in the middle of the floor to at least protect it a little bit.  Will it be weird to have a rug on carpet?  And does anyone have any suggestions on where to get a nice one, but not spend a fortune?

So now I need to actually get my butt in gear and get my Christmas shopping done.  I told Tyler we should fill each others stockings, but I have a feeling I'll be buying myself a few things from Santa.

Lastly, a few pictures from yesterday too cute not to share.

Helping me bake M&M cookie bars for Daddy to take to work.

My handsome little guy!

Kyla likes to rock him in his car seat.

I think he's looking at her and thinking "I will get you back for all of this some day!"

Someone said on Facebook that she probably isn't impressed with the cheerleading shirt.  It was a $3 find at Walmart from my mom.  You can't beat cheap every day play shirts.  But apparently she has higher standards :)

Have a great Thursday everyone!


November 28, 2012

Kase - 3 months

Dear Kase,

 I'm going to make this 3 month letter short and sweet.  You are such a great baby (that is an understatement) and your Daddy and I are so lucky.  We thought Kyla was an easy baby at the time, but now we really know what an easy baby is.  People always ask me if you ever cry because you're always so happy and smiley!  I am so thankful you are here with us and we will be celebrating these holidays as a family of four.  I love you so much!

Love, Mommy

Weight: 17 pounds exactly according to our home scale right after eating 6 ounces
Height: Not sure, will update at your next appointment
Diaper Size: Still in 2's, but as soon as this pack is gone we're switching to 3's.
Clothes Size: 6 months, 6-9 months and some 9 months
Shoe Size: Still not wearing shoes
Eye Color: Still blue like Mommy :)
Hair Color: Light brown
Next Doctor Appointment: January 14th
 (You will be 4 months on December 24th, but they couldn't get you in until January 14th so we're going to do your 4 month and Kyla's 2 year appointments together)

You are still eating your last bottle around 9:00 each night and going to bed shortly after.  You are still swaddled and sleeping until 6:30 every morning.  You usually wake up to eat and then go back to sleep for an hour or two.  You are always so smiley in the morning so I usually snap lots of pictures.  Otherwise we just play with your sister.  You take little naps throughout the day, but I am trying to get you to take at least one good nap in your crib in the afternoon when your sister naps.  Some days you do and some days you wake up after 20 minutes.  You like to hang out on your floor mat or in your swing during the day as long as I am near you, talking to you.  You love attention!  We try to keep you awake after dinner so you're nice and tired for bedtime.  Mommy still holds you to sleep, but it usually doesn't take long.

You are eating anywhere from 4-6 ounces every 2-3 hours during the day.

*You will be getting baptized this Sunday.
*You were an adorable little giraffe for your first Halloween.
*You have found your hands and love to suck on your fingers.
*You have started losing your hair and have the nice little bald ring in the back of your head.
*You still aren't a huge fan of tummy time and have yet to roll over.
*You LOVE smiling at Kyla.
*You are much better riding in the van as long as we are moving.  As soon as we are stopped at a light, you get very antsy.
*You can hold your rattle and love to shake it around and look at it.
*You are close to holding your head up by yourself.  I pulled the bumbo seat out, but you're not quite ready for it yet.
*I think we will bring up the jumperoo soon too.
*You slept in the pack and play for the first time at Grandma Cheryl's and did awesome.  No surprise there!
*You are a drooling machine.

Happy 3 months sweet boy!

November 27, 2012

Women Connect - SAHM of two

I'm linking up with Becky for her first ever Women Connect!  I am always looking for blogs out there written by mom's so we can share stories and advice with each other.  I have already met so many amazing bloggers that I feel like I can actually consider friends.  But as life gets busier, it's harder and harder to find time to get out there and "meet" new friends.  I don't just like mommy blogs though.  Some of my favorite blogs are written by ladies without kids.  So this link up is perfect because you can find blogs that you will love all on one page!  The instructions were easy. 

What do you do? You write. You write and you open up to us. Tell us who you are. Share a story with us. Tell us why you blog. Something that has been challenging for you in life? Something that has been a major blessing. Anything applies. The goal is that you take the time to actually write and the result would be that other women would find you and your blog and connect.

Who am I?  I am a stay at home mom to two of the most precious and adorable babies and a wife to the best husband and dad ever (excuse me while I am a little biased).  I am a Midwest girl who grew up on a farm and lives a pretty simple life.  You can usually find me in yoga pants and a tshirt, but I do love to get dressed up once in awhile too.  I have my degree in Education and plan on going back to teach some day.  I love sports.  I am not a good cook, but always looking for good, simple meals for my family.  I like to share my new recipes because I’m sure there are others out there that like meals that don’t include every expensive ingredient in the grocery store.  And don’t take an hour to prepare because I just don’t have that kind of time.  I am a reality TV junkie and not afraid to admit it.  I started this blog in August 2011 as a way of documenting everything about Kyla for our families to read.  Now I can't imagine life without this little space of mine.  I love having a way to journal my thoughts and connect with other bloggers.  And the best part is that my kids will have all of this to look back on some day.  Their own special baby books.

Married by best friend on July 15, 2006

So if you’re new here, I love to blog about my kids.  Mostly the good stuff, but sometimes it’s just nice to be able to sit down and write about the struggles.  Every day I try to figure out how to balance the kids, keeping the house clean, having dinner ready, running my Thirty-One business, keeping up with this blog and working out so I can lose this darn baby weight.  But this little blog is my way to sit down and unwind after a busy day.  I often get lost in my thoughts and then have to go back to reread and edit because it’s a bunch of complete randomness.  So don't mind the occasional list of bullet points!

I decided I would write about a combination of the things Becky listed.  Something that has been a blessing and a challenge all at the same time.  My 24/7 job.  Being a mom!  I absolutely love it, but I would be lying if I said it wasn't hard.  I always knew I wanted to have kids.  Luckily I found Tyler, who had the same passion for being a parent that I did.  We always thought we wanted 4 kids.  We knew we would be good parents and be able to provide a good home for them so why not?  But now, some days we think two is perfect.  And some days we want more.  Only time will tell I guess.

My silly 22 month old, Kyla Pearl, born January 9, 2011
One of the biggest things I'm struggling with right now with a 22 month old and a 3 month old is finding a good balance.  How do I give each of them the attention they deserve?  I have to say, I am very lucky because I have a VERY good baby.  He will hang out on the floor while I play with Kyla or lay in his crib and listen to his mobile while I feed her lunch.  But Kyla?  She does not like sharing my attention.  She wants me every second of every day and it's exhausting.  I lay in bed every night thinking about how I can do better tomorrow.  How can I make sure I am interacting with Kase enough, giving him enough tummy time, and not letting him lay by himself for too long because he absolutely would?  How do I keep Kyla entertained and make sure she's active and learning new things?  I guess the answer the best I can!

My chill little man, Kase Bradley, born August 24, 2012
Another thing I struggle with is comparing my kids to others.  It's so hard not to, especially as a blogger.  I will read about things other kids Kyla's age are doing and wonder why she's not doing it.  I know every kid is different.  I know Kyla is probably doing things that others don't do.  I know she is doing great even though I wish she talked more.  It's just hard not to compare.  It's one of the few downsides of blogging.

Lastly, and I guess this goes along with the other two, I worry.  And worry.  And worry some more.  My kids are my world so I am constantly worrying about how I can protect them from this big bad world we live in.  How I can make sure they are always safe.  How I will raise them to be good people.   The answer to this one, in my opinion, is to just live.  Although I will try, I cannot protect them from everything.  There will be bruises.  There will be meltdowns.  There will be failures.  And it's my job to make sure they learn from every single one.  But at the end of the day, I will always be their worried Mama.  Even when they are all grown up.

Being a mom is the most rewarding thing I could ever do.  I have to admit though, some days (not many) I think it would be nice to go back to work.  But I know if I actually did, I would hate it.  I am meant to be home with my kids.  I do not want anyone raising my kids, but me.  So even though I have bad days where I count down the minutes until my husband gets home so I can escape for a few minutes, I get sucked right back in with a big hug or slobbery kiss.  Tyler will tell me to go take a hot bath and I am so thankful for that little break, yet I sit there and keep playing with Kyla.  Or I say I'm going to escape to Target for awhile and end up taking her with me.  Being a mom is like a crazy roller coaster, but one that I waited in line for and never want to get off!  I am going to hold my arms up and enjoy every turn!  And probably let out some screams along the way! :)


November 26, 2012

Show & Tell Monday - Thanksgiving Recap

Sorry I haven't posted since last Wednesday.  I have been going non-stop every day and literally haven't opened the laptop since Wednesday night.  So as you can imagine, I have a lot to share!  I'm linking up with Becky again for Show and Tell Monday.  I'll share by day and you should probably earn a prize or something if you make it to the end of this post.  So let's get to it.

Thanksgiving morning was busy making a quick salad to take to our family get together and getting everyone dressed, Kase fed, toys packed, and ready to go.  We spent the day at my aunt and uncle's on my dad's side.  It was so great to see everyone and Kyla had a blast with her cousin Skyler.  Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures.  We got home in time to hang out for a couple hours and get ready for bed!

I got up at 6:00 and was out the door by 6:30 to go shopping.  I planned on going later, but I couldn't sleep anymore so I decided I might as well go and get home.  I'm so thankful I did.  Target was dead and I loved it.  I also went to Best Buy, Maurices, Old Navy, Carter's, the Badger store and Famous Footwear and was home by 9:30.  I'll post about my purchases another day, but I did buy myself my camera I've been talking about forever.  So I actually have a few pictures to share!

I wanted to go to Kohl's, but forgot my coupons at home so Tyler and I decided to run back into town to go to Kohl's and Home Depot (needed more Christmas lights).  And at this point, it was complete chaos in Madison.  So we skipped Kohl's and just got what we needed at Home Depot.

While eating lunch, we decided it was probably best to head up to his mom's that afternoon rather than Saturday morning.  Our plan was to head up Saturday and come home Sunday.  But there was going to be a full house Saturday night and I didn't want the kids to keep everyone up.  And we wanted to have the full day on Sunday to unpack, get the kids back on schedule and decorate for Christmas.  I have much more to share about our traveling experience, but again, it's just too much for this post so I will write up a separate one and share this week.

We got to his mom's around 5:30 Friday night and just hung out with Grandma Cheryl and I snapped pictures like a crazy paparazzi.  I'm kind of obsessed with my new camera.  Here are a few of my favorites.

After a rough night, we had a very cranky toddler all morning.  But thanks to her Daddy for driving around for an hour so she could nap, she was a little better when her uncles and soon to be aunts showed up.  Tyler's youngest brother is engaged and they're getting married next September.  And his other brother got engaged last Wednesday and they shared the exciting news with us on Saturday.  They are thinking late next fall, depending on availability of venues.  I can't wait for both weddings :)

Uncle Trevor is such a great uncle!

Reading her favorite book with Aunt Jackie :)

Sleepy girl snuggling with Uncle Trev (as some of you know, she is very hesitant with all boys so this was a big deal!)

Hahaha, she found Grandma's reading glasses.

Uncle Tanner with the kids
We enjoyed our second round of delicious turkey, dressing, potatoes, and anything else I could fit on my plate.  I, of course, ate way too much and the scale is probably going to laugh at me.  I'm going to try not to weigh myself until Friday so I have all week to lose a little of this turkey belly :)

Kyla was so overly tired and cranky so we took off for home around 5:30.  Kase made it the whole way without a peep.  Kyla?  Not so much.  We were all happy to be home!

Another full day.  Laundry, unpacking, cleaning, and lots of decorating.  We got our tree up, house decorated and more outside lights up.  We just have a fake little tree, but I love it.  And we don't have a fireplace so we have to hang our stockings just on a wall.  But I absolutely LOVE having the house all decorated.  It makes it feel so much more cozy!

Although it was very busy and went way too fast, it was a great Thanksgiving weekend!  Go on over and link up and share all about yours!