Letting them be Little

Ages three and five are so special!  On one hand, they’re not little itty bitty babies, but on the other there is so much they can’t yet do! If there is one thing I constantly focus on, it’s letting them use their imagination.

In world of On Demand TV, iPads, phones, Kindles, etc…it’s so easy to let the hours pass by and let the littles indulge.  I’m not saying we never use technology, we do!  The kids love Angry Birds and have a ton of fun little learning games.  We just try to limit the time they’re on it, like maybe a little in the morning while some family members still sleep…or if we are stuck inside on a rainy day, or even if we’re just feeling low key.

BUT, as the weather has gotten nicer, we are teaching them that using your imagination is much more fun!  It’s amazing what they come up with on their own. The latest favorite was “pretending to fly a drone like Daddy.”

They were using this toy and running room to room, window to window looking for their pretend drone.

Time is fleeting; I remember being excited when our store got these new green carts and they could both sit & drive together…someone is getting too long and not quite fitting any more though.

Changing of seasons meant new clothes!  This boy outgrew all of his clothes from last year and we headed right to Wal-Mart to grab some cute and inexpensive shorts.

This one goes through phases; will I be a kitty? A puppy? A human? She’s also obsessed with the movie, Matilda.  Her personality is something else for sure!

We took them for the first official ice cream of the year.  Someone was not happy he had to wait for mama to snap a photo.

We signed them up for Spring Soccer.  They do pretty well! This dude hasn’t done any classes of any sort quite yet, other than mini camps at the Y in the Summer.  He loves dribbling the ball and scoring goals!

Her class gets a little more into game playing etc, and she’s pretty good too! Daddy has fun ‘coaching’ her from the sidelines already.

If it’s one thing that is super tough for me, it’s finding the time to cook healthy meals while working the real estate, keeping the house, the puppy, pre-k, dance class…it’s as if I world went from 0 to 100 real quick.  I found myself getting into the chicken nuggets and whatever zone. FAIL.

It may not be the BEST option, but since dance classes are the hardest nights, I try to keep it easy.  This night it was a run to Wegmans for a rotisserie chicken, carrots and Brooke loves shrimp.

We all know how important lean protein and veggies are, so we are working on that.  I also made yummy blueberry flax muffins the kids were obsessed with. I’ll share that recipe as I need to make more!

We helped organize flowers for the pre-k fundraiser, so Bradley got to sit in on snack time.  He fits right in!! I know he’ll be more than fine next year. I can’t wait to see him grow leaps and bounds.

Brooke loves shoes and we recently added some jelly shoes to our collection. Who remembers these!?

Batman helped me make dinner.  He loves stirring and dumping the ingredients in.  Actual forming the meatballs? Not so much.

In this crazy season of life, there’s not much I can control.  I can’t even keep my floors cleaned for too long with a puppy, but I’m trying to just keep up as best as I can, ignore the mess and focus on at least one clean spot.

Buying flowers/candles helps too.

I thought about getting rid of the stroller, but it seems we are just not quite ready.  I’ve been pushing this thing around for 5 years and it’s still going strong. They are a load to push but they still love it and man it’s a good workout!

They use my old phone to take photos/videos and there’s always a surprise or two when I check.  Selfies of her feet in her water table. I about died.

We had our last “helper day” at Pre-K and it was Teddy Bear day!

Her and her bestie at school.

The last time she’ll hug these puppets…

The last time she’ll ring the bell…

To have been able to step in and be there for these helper days is not something I will take for granted.  I sometimes get caught up in the whole, “I should be doing more” (thank you Pinterest) but I have to turn that thought around and focus on all of the good and positive things I have been able to do.

I think back to the little 3 year old girl we sent off to preschool two years ago, and I stare in awe at the beautiful and silly 5 year old that will be walking out.  She said she was scared of Kindergarten, and I understand that a new big building will be a little scary, but she will thrive and flourish.  I can’t wait for all of the new things she’ll learn and do in school.

We never know if he’s going to be Batman, Spiderman or Black Panther.  He even ran around the house as Captain America the other day.  He insisted that he had to sleep with this mask on…so I let him.  I then crept in and removed the mask for the night after he was sound asleep.

Being a momma is …

exciting.

scary.

exhausting.

magical.

worrisome.

awesome.

I could go on and on about what I thought motherhood would look like, but really you just have to welcome the season you’re in and just be. 

The more I try to primp, prod, fix, set up, worry and try to control, the worse off we all are.  If I can just get up each day with a happy mindset and just do my best, we all have a better day.  Sure there are times when I’m ready to pull my hair out (enter a 3 year old who is so tired he didn’t want to nap…and then he falls asleep in the middle of the hallway as opposed to his bed.)

I just keep telling myself, this is 3  or she’s 5.  It’s just a season.  You’re going to miss this. Life won’t be crazy all of the time .  I even go as far as to picture myself lonely and alone with nothing to do but read a book…and that usually makes me teary eyed, so I will give into one more bedtime song, cuddle or kiss.

I’ll embrace the mess that is.

This is what life and motherhood is about…the little and mundane moments that together create our very existence of memories.

Mother’s Day 2018

I still can’t believe that I’ve been a mom for 5 years.  It seems like yesterday I was just meeting Joe, but really that was ten years ago.

Crazy.

Sunday morning Joe got up with the dogs (after miss Bailey woke me up at 4:30!) around 7 and shortly thereafter Bradley woke up and then Brooke.  Joe wanted to go grab some breakfast for us and took Bradley.  It was nice to just lounge in bed with my girl!  Soon the boys were back with breakfast bagel sandwiches and my beloved Green Tea Latte from Starbucks.  It’s one of our favorite little traditions in the Summer–he pops out for a bit and brings back treats.

He knew I was out of my water bottles; I either lose them or I wear them out!! I’m loving the ones that keep your water cold all day.  Thanks babe!

Brooke gave me two cards and a potted plant she made in pre-k. So sweet!

We just had a nice quiet morning; Joe went and visited his grams with Bradley, and I did some dishes and got ready for our outing!

This year I wanted to go out for brunch at one of our favorite restaurants, The Revelry.  My dad, step-mom & sister joined us and it was perfect!  We enjoyed lots of oysters, cornbread, and I ordered mimosas & shrimp and grits.  OMG so GOOD!! Anyone have a good shrimp & grits recipe?? I need to try to make that at home…

The kids were excellent and loving their special tiki drinks, aka pineapple juice.  We went for a little drive afterwards and then home.  Joe took Brooke to grab some dinner items, while I cuddled with Bradley.  Heavenly!  Once he got home, Bradley ran downstairs and I was alone watching Fixer Upper for about an hour.  I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself!  It was weird, but enjoyable.

I came downstairs to quite a spread! My husband had his new smoker going, the grill, stove and sous vide.  Not to mention the chaos that is our children/dogs all together around dinner time.  I definitely giggled as I heard from above the noise.

 

Caprese salad, green beans, sautéd mushrooms, bone marrow with garlic crostini and a dry aged steak we picked up at the meat market down town.  Holy. Cow. It was so amazing! I couldn’t believe how delicious it turned out to be…even down to dessert which was a mini key lime pie he grabbed at Wegmans.

It was a beautiful day; no stress and full of love and relaxation…and full bellies!

The boys.

I am for sure one blessed momma.

Thank you Brooke and Bradley, for making me a better person.  I didn’t know the depths of love and selfless giving until I had you.  You two make our world a much better place by being in it.  Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy.

Sunny Weekend

For the first time in what feels like forever, (cue the Frozen song) the sun was shining!! I swear it gave everyone an extra pep in their step and the extra smiles on everyone’s faces.  It wasn’t hot by any means or really truly that warm, but man we could escape outside for some fresh air and vitamin D without freezing our tails off!

Friday was Brooke’s ‘Helper Day’ and Joe wanted to go in to spend it with her.  Our Pre-K is parent run, so every day there is a parent in helping and one of the student’s has a special turn at being the class helper. They had tons of fun!

I made it to the gym 2 days in a row and was trying to snap a sweaty selfie, even though I wasn’t sweaty any more.  Brooke insisted she be in the photo with me!

Friday night we had our fist Book Club meetup.  We were hoping to gather around the corner at the cute wine bar, but it was super packed and there was no room….so we moved to Bar Louie which was also really busy, but fun nonetheless!

It was hard to talk about books in a loud place so we made the most of it but decided next time we will gather at someone’s home.

It did prompt me to start making more time for books again.  I have been listening to my audiobooks but I have not been making the time to pick up actual books.  I am almost done with this and am SO anxious to see where it is headed! Saturday was the perfect combination of cuddling the kids, getting to the park for a little fresh air and resting. My body needed it.

And in puppy news, she’s doing so great!! I’m not gonna lie…it’s been a challenging few weeks of adjusting at times.  Bailey and Holly love to play but they do get a little aggressive so we have to make sure they can’t fight over certain toys or get too rough with each other.  She’s just 12 weeks old and we have had her for one month.  Puppies are a lot of work but as we continue to work with her and train her, she’s really fitting in well.

I wonder how long she will fit on this bottom step for…

Sunday was kind of a laid back day.  Joe got up early to run some errands for the houses and the kids and I resumed positions reading/playing with ipads/kindle.  I made a big breakfast and we did a little Target run, had sushi and visited our friends’ baby Aiden.  The kiddos got to play outside and it was so nice to feel that sun!

We wrapped up the weekend with grilling chicken for the week, I worked on the Pre-K Newsletter and walked the dogs one more time.  It was refreshing and just what my soul needed; we need more weekends like this.  Summer, please hurry!

After such a long stint of cold crappy weather, I am so grateful for the sun.  I think this may be the 4th day in a row of sunshine and we are not taking it for granted!

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Happy Monday Friends!

March Favorites

Here we are in the beginning of April, so I figured I’d share a few my favorite things from last month!!  March is typically one of my least favorite months.  It’s SUPER long. STILL cold and just overall crazy!  This past March didn’t seem to stray too much from that!

#1 Favorite–

I would say the biggest favorite of the month of March was getting our puppy Bailey.  She is also the biggest adjustment and so much work!  She completes our crazy little family in ways I almost had forgotten about.  When we got Holly, we had Sadie.  For the last 3 years Holly has been an only dog, and honestly I haven’t been the best dog mom.  With two kids, 4 and under, life was nuts!  We are nuts for getting another fur ball, but we love her so much.  My husband and I laugh at how we will look back at these times and just shake our heads.  I need to make sure I keep blogging about all of this beautiful, messy, chaotic life of ours.

Accessories–

LOVE these Rose Chandeliers. Obsessed.  I think because it’s still freezing and grey outside, any pop of color helps beat these Winter blues.  I am all about the statement earring trend these days.  Toss on a black shirt, add a fun pair of earrings & bronzer and go!

Booties-

I ordered a pair from Jane.com but they did not fit.  My friend Shelby swore these pretties from Target were comfy and a must have! She was on the money.  I normally am a solid size 9, but she suggested I go down half a size and I did. 8.5 fits perfectly without any socks.  Score a pair here.

Drink:

This was even more amazing than I anticipated. Joe gave me this for my birthday and I was saving it for a celebration. We had a particular house that was, well, tricky to say the least, with our company, 585 Rent to Own.  I said back in the Summer, that when we sold said house, we’d pop this bottle. I’m not sure if it was the taste of sweet success, or just really good champs.  I’ll sip to both!

Hair:

Two things–One, a high pony.  If I’ve curled my hair (or even if not) I am loving throwing it up in a high pony tail.  I think it still looks chic, but effortless!

Dry Shampoo–

This is THE BOMB.  Seriously, I didn’t understand why girls swore by dry shampoo. I had tried a few different kinds and nothing really did much for me.  My friend Stephanie is a mama whose hair is gorgeous.  I had been wanting to try Monat for awhile and I am so glad I did! The scent of this alone is to die for.  I can go 3 days comfortably…I workout and I hate my hair smelling weird or funky, so I can’t go much over 3 days, unless I wear a hat! I will definitely be ordering more of this no doubt.

Quote:

My phone screen for the month.   I try to stay motivated/inspired and this quote stuck with me.  I find that if I change up my phone screen it helps! It’s not always easy to stay positive.  I had a goal this month for my S&D biz and I knew it wouldn’t happen by itself. I have to wake up and make efforts every single day, if I want my dreams to come true.

Podcast:

I love audiobooks, but sometimes I like a quick little something something to listen to.  I’ve been trying out different podcasts and THIS one speaks to my heart.  I could barely get through my workout because I was SO motivated. I wanted to get right down to work on our Rent to Own Real Estate business when I listened to her the other day.

Day:

As I mentioned, March tends to be a tricky month.  Since we were doing a whole lot of work and not a whole lot of playing, I pulled the plug on the last Friday of the month and made us go to the spa.  We got a couples massage and it was SO beneficial.  As much as we are all about the hustle, man you just need to pump the breaks a bit.  If you don’t take the time to step back, relax, rejuvenate and unwind, you’ll burn out and go crazy. During our quiet massages, we BOTH had experiences where we learned something.  Sometimes the best thing to do is sit in silence and let it work its way out. Running multiple businesses, raising kids, getting a new puppy & Joe working full time doesn’t really allow for much “quiet” time other than us passing out from exhaustion! This is something I will make us do more than once a year.

We didn’t even take the whole day ‘off’ but scheduling this time to feed our souls and physical bodies was worth every penny and moment.

Song:

We are getting ready for the disco, so naturally I am listening to that Pandora station!  It’s really hard to be in a bad mood when you’re listening to this.

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Superhero:

My son.  I was having a rough day and may have teared up a bit.  On one hand, I was mad at myself or letting him see me cry, but then the most beautiful thing happened.

“Don’t cry mommy, I am a super hero.  I can save you!”

My heart is still fluttering from hearing that; he’s a lot of work at 3, as most little tykes are.  I know that I’m doing a lot of things right when I hear and feel compassion like that.  Baby boy, your heart it so sincere.  I know you’re a tough little cookie, but your sweet heart is love. You radiate so much compassion. Stay this way always.

 

Tiny Dancer:

She marches to the beat of her own drum, this one.  It’s hard to tell her what to wear, as she has a style all her own.  She loves dance class, but does think ballet is a tad boring.  Tap is her favorite!  I told her to smile for a picture for daddy, this is what she gave me.  I can’t get over how tall she is!

Brookie, you have grown so much (and not just in height!) Since adding a puppy, you’ve shown so much patience and responsibility.  I thank God you’re so understanding and supportive.  I worry you’re a little too like mommy; I want you to have fun, be little and not try to grow up too fast! I love your creative soul and all the joy you bring to our lives.

Book

I have read my 9th out of 52 books for 2018!  This was FANTASTIC!! I love Oprah.  It reminds me of my childhood, as my mother always watched her.  She is full of wisdom and interviews the best people; this book is life changing.  It has introduced me to new authors and I feel myself growing more spiritually and mentally.  I love that feeling.  Oprah reads it, so you’ll be soothed by her voice too!

Humor.

Laughter will get you through so much; lighten up, take risks and enjoy this crazy ride called life! It’s not always easy, in fact most days it’s downright freaking hard, but always worth it.  I just can’t choose that third row; I was born for the front row.