January 30, 2017

A Day in the Life {January 26, 2017}

I love reading day in the life posts and I saw Elizabeth post one a couple weeks ago that inspired me to do another one.  My last one was May 8, 2015.  Wow, was life different then!

Today is Thursday, January 26th. Kyla is 6 and in Kindergarten, Kase is 4, and Kenley is 22 months.

5:30 am - Tyler wakes up to go out and shovel snow.

6:15 am - I get in the shower and then lay in bed for a few minutes to catch up on the world (blogs, social media, etc.).

6:30 am - Tyler showers and gets ready for work.

6:56 am - Kyla and Kase come out of their bedroom and they're both in great moods! :)  Kyla gets herself dressed and Tyler helps Kase.  Kyla has some milk and a few bites of a pop tart (it is a struggle to get her to eat any breakfast).  She brushes her teeth and I do her hair.

Kase has some milk while he watches the iPad. I normally would pack Kyla's lunch, but she's having hot lunch today.  I'd say she eats hot lunch about twice a week.  The other days I pack her lunch.

7:22 am - I hear Kenley wake up so I go in and get her, get her dressed and get her some milk.

7:33 am - Tyler and Kyla leave.  He drops her off at school on his way to work.  Kase and Kenley watch some cartoons (Special Agent Oso) while I dry my hair and put some makeup on.  I'm trying to drink more water so I fill up my cup!

8:06 am - Kase requests a pop tart so of course then Kenley wants one too.

8:17 am - I pack Kase's backpack and lunch, get everyone's socks and shoes on, and do Kenley's hair.

8:34 am - We're out the door to take Kase to therapy.

8:57 am - We arrive at Kase's school.

9:31 am - Kenley and I go to the post office to drop off some Etsy orders and a few things I sold on Ebay.  I planned on going to Target, which we usually do once a week while the other two are at school, but it was still snowing and the roads weren't great.

9:46 am - Kenley and I get home.  I now have a headache and realized I haven't eaten breakfast yet.  I have a bowl of Lucky Charms (breakfast of champions, I know) while Kenley colors.

10:00 am - I make my to do list on the fridge, which I do every single day.  It always says dishes and sweep, but I still like writing it and crossing it off.  I like to feel like I'm accomplishing something during the day.  I start a load of laundry in the washer.

10:07 am - Kenley and I play, we color some more, we play with Snapchat filters, we wear capes in the front, we do puzzles.  Somewhere in there she has a snack, today it was a graham cracker.

11:06 am - I change the laundry and while Kenley plays, I answer a few emails and Etsy messages.

11:35 am - We have lunch.  Today it was a chicken patty and yogurt.  And a Mountain Dew for me because my headache is getting worse.

12:05 pm - I change her diaper and put her down for a nap.  Then I clean up the kitchen from lunch and work on some of the things on my to do list.  I did the dishes, swept, mopped and then worked on some Etsy orders and new stickers we're coming out with.

1:27 pm - I change the laundry again and fold the clothes that were in the dryer, while watching/listening to some YouTube videos.

1:40 pm - I lay down and set my alarm for 2:00 because I feel so tired that I could actually fall asleep in those 20 minutes.  I got an email that I needed to reply to so I ended up just being on my phone the whole time.

2:05 pm - I get stuff ready to pick Kyla and Kase up.  Kyla's always hungry after school so I take her a snack and some milk. One of our biggest challenges right now with Kase is when we pick him up from therapy.  He will be great all day, but then does not want to walk out to the van or get in his seat.  He loves it there, but he works incredibly hard, and by the time I pick him up, he's just exhausted.  If he does a good job walking out and getting in his seat, he gets the iPad on the way home. He always asks for milk on the way home too so I always pack this thermal bag with a milk cup for everyone.

2:12 pm - I sometimes have to wake Kenley up, but this day she was already awake. I  change her diaper and get her socks and shoes on, which she will more than likely take off as soon as we're in the van.

2:20 pm - We're out the door.

2:31 pm - We arrive at Kyla's school.  She doesn't come out until about 2:45-2:50, but I get there early so I can get a close parking spot.  That way I can leave Kenley in the van and just grab Kyla.  If I don't get a close spot, I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving Kenley in the van.  So it's just easier to leave a little early!

2:49 pm - Kyla comes out of school, we get in the van, she asks for her snack, Kenley sees it and then also wants a snack, Kyla gets buckled and we're on our way to get Kase.

3:13 pm - We arrive at Kase's school.  When I walk in he yells, "IT'S MOM!  HI MOM!" and my heart melts.  He walks out and gets in his seat like a champ.  He gets the iPad and milk and is a happy boy.  We head home.

3:42 pm - We get home, I get everyone in the house, and dump the backpacks, jackets, snow gear on the counter.  I take Kase potty and then go through the backpacks and clean Kase's lunchbox out.  The kids play.

4:13 pm - Kyla decides she wants to change into a nightgown to do her homework.

5:29 pm - Tyler calls and says he just left work.  I ask him to stop at Target to get a few things and then I text him a list.  Tonight it's leftovers for dinner because we have lasagna from Tuesday and pork tenderloin from last night.  Both girls choose lasagna.  Kase had one bite of lasagna and then got to have his chips (I hope to do an update on all of this soon with his eating and everything, but the fact that he took a bite of lasagna is a BIG deal).  I also have some lasagna.

5:50 pm - I clean up from dinner while the kids play and watch a show (Mickey Mouse).  At this point we are just counting down the minutes until Daddy gets home.  My head is pounding.  The kids go downstairs and play for about 10 minutes.  I fold the last load of laundry and then put it all away.  Kenley asks to color so her and Kyla color at the table.  Kase asks for the iPad again and I say yes. #dontjudge #survivalmode

6:36 pm - Tyler gets home.  Hallelujah!  He eats a quick dinner (pork tenderloin) because there are three little humans that are all demanding his attention and a wife that just wants to crawl in bed.  He plays with them for a little bit while I finish up a couple Etsy orders that need to go out tomorrow and eat an apple.

7:03 pm - We start baths.  Kyla and Kenley take one together first and then Kase is next.  Tyler does the baths and I help everyone get their pajamas on.  We put Peppa Pig on while I brush everyone's hair.  Kase asks for chips, we say no, so he asks for a cracker. We say yes.

7:32 pm - Tyler brushes Kenley's teeth, reads her a book and puts her to bed.  While he's doing that, I brush Kyla's teeth and put a diaper on Kase (he only wears a diaper at night - otherwise he's in his underwear the rest of the day...YAY!).

7:39 pm - Tyler brushes Kase's teeth and starts reading him a book.  Kyla picks out a book and gets in her bed.  Monday through Wednesday she has two books she brings home from school that she reads to us.  Thursday's they don't bring them home so tonight she wanted Tyler to read her library book, which was a Pinkalicious book.  He reads to her while I get her some water.

7:48 pm - All three kids are in bed.

7:50 pm - Kyla comes out of their room and tells me we forgot to pick out her clothes for the morning.  I go in and help her pick something out.  We say goodnight again.  I do a little bit of picking up around the house, but my headache is really bad so I decide to just go to bed.

8:03 pm - I brush my teeth, wash my face and go to bed.  Tyler stays up and watches some tv.

9:48 pm - Tyler goes to bed.

Add in diaper changes for Kenley and taking Kase potty, and that's a pretty typical day for us, minus the headache for me.  That headache ended up lasting three days.  I like to go to bed with no dirty dishes in the sink and clean counters, but some nights it just doesn't happen.  I'd say I'm usually in bed around 9:00, which is still pretty early.  Once the kids go to bed, I clean up, look at my planner and plan for the next day, do some more Etsy stuff, and go to bed.  I don't remember the last time I sat down to watch a tv show.  I like my sleep too much for that!

January 26, 2017

A Letter to our Families

To all of our family that we were able to see over the holidays,

I know it's been more than a month since we saw you for Christmas, but I still wanted to tell all of you thank you.

Thank you for being so understanding.  Thank you for allowing us to host parties even if it meant more driving for you and your family.  Thank you for understanding that it's less stressful for us to be in our own home where Kase is comfortable. Where he can escape to his bedroom if he needs a break.  And where he can use his own potty while we were potty training.

Thank you for allowing him to climb up on your lap with no warning.

Thank you for being patient with him when he tries to drink your soda.

Thank you for helping us keep him safe when Tyler and I have to take our eyes off of him for a second.

Thank you for the thoughtful gifts.

Thank you for loving us.

Thank you for encouraging us and telling us we're doing a great job.  I will never forget my grandpa holding my hand before leaving our house and with tears in his eyes telling me that he's proud of me, that I'm a great mom and that we have three amazing, happy kids.

I was really worried about the holidays.  I was worried how Kase would handle the parties, the people, the changes in his routine.  I know we have amazing people in our lives that would never judge him, but I still worry about what people will think.  It's just what I do I guess - worry.  My aunt Linda tells me I get it from Grandma Eunice.  She was a worrier too.

Christmas 2016 will be one I will never forget.  Kase opened his first present.  He talked about Santa Claus.  He sang Jingle Bells.  We had four family Christmas parties and he did great with all of them.  We are extremely blessed with such amazing families.

Thank you all SO much.  It truly means the world to us!

January 25, 2017

What's Up Wednesday {January}

Now that life (I think) is starting to get back to normal around here, I'm trying to get back to some regular blogging. We had the holidays, Kyla's birthday, our entire family hit hard with the flu, and then Kyla and I took a trip to Florida and just got back on Monday. I'm exhausted, but SO ready to get back into a routine.

Today I'm linking up with ShayMel and Sheaffer for their monthly "What's Up Wednesday"!

I have been pretty good about meal planning lately, but since I was in Florida until Monday, this week is an "eat whatever we have until I get groceries this weekend" kind of week.  Last night was lasagna and tonight is going to be pork tenderloin in the crockpot. After that, I'm not really sure.

Playing on the beach with Kyla and the beautiful sunsets on the beach.

Kenley's sweet voice as she continues to learn new words and really start to express herself.  My favorite thing ever is hearing her say "HI KYLA!" every time Kyla gets in the van after school.  Sweetest. Thing. Ever.

I mentioned how life has been pretty crazy, especially with us all getting sick.  In a span of three days all 5 of us were throwing up. It was awful.  But (knock on wood), we're all feeling healthy now!

Waiting four months to see if Kase is accepted into the school district that Kyla goes to. I could do a whole post on this, but I'm just very nervous about it and dreading having to think about it until June.

Etsy orders that came in while I was gone, getting some new things listed in our shop, and catching up on house work!

I splurged and bought myself a few new planner goodies and I can't wait to get them.  I will share more about that later.  In case you didn't know, I'm a planner nerd! :) #noshame

I literally don't watch any TV, other than a little bit of sports.  I have so many shows on my DVR, some super old now, that may just get deleted.  I haven't even been watching The Bachelor, although I do read the spoilers so I already know what's going to happen.  Any time that I do have to sit down and watch a show is spent working on Etsy stuff.  Then at night after the kids go to bed, I try to clean up the kitchen, get lunches ready for the next day, put laundry away, and then I'm usually too tired for TV.

Same goes for reading.  I used to read a lot before having kids, but I just don't have the time (or make the time) to read for myself.  I recently started chapter books with Kyla where we read a chapter or two each night.  We started with the Junie B. Jones series and she loves them.  It's fun to talk about what we read the night before and work on those comprehension skills.  She also brings two books home each week that she reads to us each night. I could listen to her read all day!  Kase loves Pete the Cat books recently and Kenley just loves books in general.  She likes to back herself up and plop down on my lap and say, "Book? Please?"

I love YouTube and any time I am cleaning, doing dishes, folding laundry, etc. I have it on.  I subscribe to a lot of mom channels, but I also enjoy planning videos and a few daily vloggers.

Leggings and long, comfy shirts.  All day, every day. #momlife

Kase has therapy on Saturday and Kyla has a play date, but other than that I'm looking forward to a low key weekend spent at home.

Kyla starts swimming lessons and I'm really anxious to see how she will do.  She has always loved swimming, but has been afraid to put her head under water.  I kept encouraging her to do lessons and she never wanted to, but one day she decided she wanted to do them so she could learn to go under water.  So we're all signed up and she's very excited!

School was cancelled today because of a snow storm so it's sure to be a crazy day stuck inside, but I'm actually totally OK with that!

Bonus question this month: Who is your all-time favorite Bachelor?
I love this question because I have been watching the Bachelor FOREVER.  For those of you who don't follow Shay (you should really start) she is Sean Lowe's sister and she actually signed him up for the show. It was so fun following her blog and being able to see a little of the behind the scenes type stuff for his season.

So to answer the question, Sean is of course my favorite bachelor.  And I promise I'm not just saying that.  He really was the best and him and Catherine just seem like such genuine, down to earth people.

I also really liked Ben H. and I hope him and Lauren get married on TV soon.  I will make sure that one doesn't just sit in my DVR like everything else!

Jillian was definitely my favorite bachelorette, but honestly, I liked them all.  Some were a little more boring than others, but I don't think there were any bad bachelorettes.

Alright, that's it for my Wednesday.  What are you up to?

January 12, 2017

Getting Organized (PLANNER GIVEAWAY)

For those of you who don't know, Erin over at Love, Fun & Football and I own an Etsy shop together where we design and sell planner stickers. I love organizing my home and my life and there's just something about paper planners that make me happy.  We love creating stickers to be both fun/functional and to work in all types of planners. I've used an Erin Condren Life Planner since 2011.  They are the best!  This year I have decided to try something new, which I plan on sharing on here very soon!

But today...

-12 full spreads for monthly planning
-Note pages for detailed planning
-Stay on track with functional task lists
-High level monthly goals
-Mini month calendars
-Creative quotes and dot grid pages

-And tons more!

If you're still needing a jumpstart on the new year, be sure to enter below. Only one required entry but we sure would love you to enter with the bonus entries as well ;)

January 9, 2017

Kyla is SIX!

It's crazy to think I started this blog in August 2011 when Kyla was only 7 months old. And today she is 6! We sat down last night and looked at all the pictures of her first five birthdays.  We both laughed and had so much fun.

1 year old
Somehow I lost all my pictures from November 2012 to August 2013 so I don't have her 2nd birthday pictures. I really hope I have them somewhere, but they aren't on my external hard drive with everything else.  Her 2nd birthday was so much fun so it makes me sad I don't have any pictures.

A couple months before she turned 2 and I lost the pictures
Her 3rd birthday pictures were hilarious.  She had so many funny facial expressions!
4 years old!
5 years old and ready for her 4K Christmas program!
After we looked at pictures, I did an interview with her.  She thought this was pretty cool! :)

1. What is your favorite color? Purple
2. What is your favorite toy?  Dolls
3. What is your favorite fruit? Apples

4. What is your favorite tv show? Peppa Pig
5. What is your favorite movie? Moana
6. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Spaghetti
7. What is your favorite game? Hide and seek
8. What is your favorite snack? Chips
9. What is your favorite animal? Unicorn
10. What is your favorite song? Jingle Bells
11. What is your favorite book? All the Pete the Cat books
12. Who is your best friend? Avery, Mila and Cosette
13. What is your favorite cereal? Lucky Charms
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Go on the slides
15. What is your favorite drink? Chocolate milk
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Comfy things
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Donuts
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Spaghetti
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Nurse
21. Imagine that you can become invisible whenever you wanted to. What are some of the things you would do? Trick people
22. What are you proud of? That I do good at school.
23. What would you do if you were President? Watch everybody and make sure they're safe
24. What are you afraid of?  Storms
25. Name one thing you do really well? Color
26. Describe what it means to be a good friend. To play with them and be nice.
27. What is your favorite time of day? When I'm at school
28. Describe your best day ever? I would go to the water park with all my friends and family and after that I would go bowling.
29. What is your favorite hobby? Basketball
30. If you could make a law, would would it be? Hmm, I need to turn my brain on for this one (lol)... I would make a law that you have to clean your cars when they're dirty.
31. What makes you feel sad? When my friends are mean to me
32. What makes you feel happy? My sister
33. Pretend that you can fly whenever you wanted. Where would you go?  I would go to Florida
34. If you could choose a new name, what would you choose? Noa
35. Where do you want to go on vacation? Florida (we're going next week!)
36. What is your favorite thing to do with Mom? Sleep with you

37. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad? Play dolls and build legos (Tyler is very good at playing dolls :)
38. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? I would buy 100 dolls and the new table that you want with the bench.
39. What is Mommy good at? Taking care of kids
40. What is Daddy good at? Wrestling with us
41. What do you think Kase will be when he grows up? I think he will be a good Daddy
42. What do you think Kenley will be? She will be a teacher.
43. Is there anything else you want to tell me?  Yes, there is. I love you.

She is seriously the sweetest girl ever.  She's doing very well at school, loves her teacher and has a lot of great friends.  We're having a birthday party next Sunday. She is the best big sister and loves playing with both Kase and Kenley. I'm so proud of the girl she has become and I can't wait to see what this next year brings for her.

And just for fun because I remember this day like it was yesterday, a picture of Kyla on her actual birthday! :)

She's always had lots of hair :)

Happy birthday Kyla Pearl. I love you so much!

January 2, 2017

Goals for 2017

I'm usually not one to make new year's resolutions, but there are a couple specific things I want to work on for 2017.  If I'm going to set goals for myself, they need to be realistic and I need an easy, clear way to measure them.  If you read yesterday's post, you know my motto for this next year is to BE PRESENT.  That really is my main goal for the year.  But here are four realistic, measurable goals that I'm really excited about reaching.

1. Spend less than $1000 each month at Target.  This may seem crazy to some of you, but let me explain.  We buy everything at Target - groceries, diapers, clothes, shoes, everything.  And all of that adds up!  But I am guilty of buying unnecessary things or not paying attention to prices as much as I should.  I also have been bad about coupons and the Cartwheel app.  $250 per week is totally doable for us and this should be a goal that I can reach every month.  It will just take me being more aware when I'm shopping.

2. Meal plan every week.  This will also help with number 1.  I have been OK about meal planning toward the end of 2016, but I need to be more consistent.

3. Workout three times per week.  Last week I splurged and bought myself a gym membership.  I just can't get motivated enough to workout consistently at home.  I really enjoy going to classes at the gym.  I went to one Saturday morning and it felt SO good.  They have classes seven days a week so I'm hoping I can make it to three per week, but I also have the treadmill downstairs too if I can't get to the gym three times.  I'm excited to start getting back into shape and taking better care of myself.

4. Go on one family adventure per month. This past year we did not get out of the house and do things as a family.  It's hard enough with three young kids, but when you have a child with autism, it can be easy to just stay home.  Thinking about going out for dinner or to a water park as a family was just too overwhelming for me in 2016.  Tyler and I thought it would be good to find one thing each month to get out and do.  Our kids deserve it and exposing Kase to more environments and situations will be a good thing.  We already have January's adventure planned!

I'm really excited for these goals.  They're things I'm not currently doing,  but yet I know I can accomplish them.  Isn't it such a good feeling when you feel successful at something?  What are your goals for 2017?  I'd love to hear!