Making Life Easier #1: Baby Wipes, Baby Wipes, & More Baby Wipes

This is a topic I will continue to add to over time, but I will begin with the first little tip that makes my hectic days a little less crazy…

#1  Baby wipes in every room. It may sound crazy, but its seriously so nice to not have to go running desperately from room to room searching for a wipe! There’s a little bit of an extra initial cost, but in the end its so worth it. I bought the plastic tubs of wipes…one for just about every room in my house. Once I had the tubs I just bought refill wipes in bulk to save money. As each tub runs down, I fill it up. And I have to say I am rather picky when it comes to wipes. For a lot of things, I’ll mix it up depending on what’s on sale, but wipes are different for me. After trying several others, I now never veer from my trusty HUGGIES Natural Care wipes. For me, they are the perfect thickness, texture, and dampness for a wipe to do its proper job. Thank you, Huggies….I love you!!!

P.S. I label my tubs, but if you choose to do so I recommend using scotch tape and a permanent marker.  Not writing directly on the tub will allow you to re-purpose it…most likely for toys, crayons, markers, etc! =)

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Things I Wish I Had Known Sooner #4: A Tender Heart

Note to Self: Remember your child’s heart is tender. Guard it, protect it, do your very best not to hurt it.

Sometimes we forget that kids are not little adults. They don’t necessarily get our jokes or our sarcasm. They may be more easily hurt or embarrassed than we realize. One evening at dinner, I was telling my husband about an incident earlier that day in which my three year old had struggled with her behavior. When I was about half-way through my story, I noticed a shameful and embarrassed look on her face…the kind of look that makes me cry when I think of it. I realized right then, this was not a good time to tell Daddy. She and I had already talked about her behavior earlier and she had already apologized. There was no reason for me to make her relive her mistake over the dinner table, especially when she was seeing Daddy for the first time that day. I imagined myself being put in that same situation and how embarrassed I would have been. I realized I didn’t want to do that to her. True, there are times that it is necessary for both Daddy and I to sit down with her and discuss an inappropriate behavior, but I want to be sensitive to the time and place in which I decide to do so. Her heart is so precious to me and I want to do everything I can to guard it!

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Signs You Are a Mom…#12

You know what it’s like to live in a gated community! =)

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Happy Birthday, Kenley Joy!!!

As of Sunday, my youngest baby girl is one year old! My husband, Sean, and I can’t imagine our little family without her. She has been a blessing to us both and a wonderful addition to her big sister’s life. Currently, s he loves bananas, baby dolls (especially baby Julia), her teddy bear appropriately named “Hugs”, wrestling and tickles (she’s my little rough-houser =)), and the stairs!!! She is full of energy, excitement, and determination! I can’t    help but return the smile when she gives her big open mouth, four-tooth expression of unrestrained joy! It’s just beautiful! Happy Birthday, my “little duck”, my “little joy”, my precious Kenley! I love you!

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Things I Wish I Had Known Sooner #3: Generic Formula

Store brand formula can be just as good as the expensive stuff! Now, you may have a child that has a more sensitive belly and can only have a certain formula… if that’s your case, disregard this one! My little ones haven’t had picky bellies and boy has it saved to buy generic! I have been a breast-feeder with both of my girls, but I was fortunate that I could use formula on occasion and they had no problem switching back and forth. Initially, I used one of the popular name brand formulas, but when I learned that a generic brand contained all the same ingredients, I switched and was AMAZED at the price difference! If you are uncertain about making the switch, ask your pediatrician. (I also recommend trying store brand diapers, but I know some kiddos have skin that is more sensitive than others and have to use a particular brand, but both my girls ended up doing just fine with my store brand of choice! Note: Not all store brands are created equal….I prefer Target! =) )

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Proud Mommy Moment

So today was one of those days that I found myself trying to grasp my reality. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever had those days that you suddenly realize you are the age that you are, you’re someone’s wife, someone’s mom, etc.? Well, maybe you don’t have those moments, but from time to time I have those little eye-opening realizations of “oh yeah, I’m an adult now!” And I think to myself, “Where has the time gone?”

Today I was sitting on the rocker in my girls’ room, sipping my coffee and just watching them play. I have to say I love those moments. Layla was sitting at her little tea table playing an alphabet game and Kenley was on her tippy toes trying to reach as many little plastic cups and saucers she possibly could without falling (she’s not walking, but pulling up all over the place). I looked at Layla and it honestly was like one of those moments from a movie. You know where they are showing a flashback or a look into the future and there’s that glowing haze around the picture…almost like for a brief moment, we were outside time and space. Layla looked so grown up…her pink dress bringing out the pink in her cheeks and her sandy brown hair framing her round little face. I could start to get an image of her as a teen! And there she was making her letter sounds and singing ABC’s so independently. I had such pride just watching her.

Less than a foot away from Layla was Kenley…what a cutie! She’ll be turning 1 in less than a week and I just can’t believe it. She had such curiosity on her face and such determination trying to reach across the table to get exactly what she desired. With a smile on my face and a slight chuckle, I thought, “This one’s my little fighter!” Something tells me she is not going to be easily deterred in life! About two seconds later, she realized she wanted her sister’s alphabet game. This resulted in a rather passionate lunge from Kenley, a squeal from Layla, followed by Layla’s quick retreat to her bed where Kenley would not be able to reach and disturb her. Yet, another little glimps of what I’m sure is to come =).

But, yeah…it was nice. It was nice to just sit and take in the moment. Moments like these are so precious to me and I know I need to take them while I can get them! They’re a reminder that my little reality is pretty darn great and I’m super blessed to be the mommy of these awesome little girls.

If you have some mommy moments you’d like to share, leave a comment! I’d love to read about them!

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Couponing: Making it Work for Me

Okay, so here’s my take on the whole couponing deal…I never was a big coupon person when it came to groceries, but now that seems to be all the rage. A few months ago, I figured maybe I should look into it a little and here’s the conclusion I came to…I decided putting in a little effort might go further than I initially thought. Now, I am NOT a coupon expert by any means, but I gave myself a few guidelines going into couponing. I decided that 1) I did not want to purchase items just for the sake of a good bargain. I wanted to only purchase items that my family actually uses and needs 2) I did not want to spend more than an hour gathering coupons and making my grocery shopping list each week. 3) I would buy bulk on certain items like wipes, toilet paper, and paper towels, but I just do not have the space nor the desire to turn my home into a warehouse…So with those three things in mind I did a little research and here’s what I came up with….When possible I pick up our local Sunday paper. It contains the coupon circulars like Red Plum and Smart Source. I also go online to the website www.couponmom.com. It is entirely free and I go to the section for printable coupons. (By the way, I have an email account strictly designated for online kind of things which I highly recommend. Just go to google and set up a gmail account. Its super easy and keeps your main email account free of spam!) In the printable coupons section, I see if there are any that interest me and print out what I want. I also go to my grocery store website which happens to be Target and I print out any of their coupons I need. Like many other grocery stores, they will let you combine a manufacturer coupon as well as a store coupon for the same item. I take my coupons and I store them in a binder I lovingly call, “The Grocery Cart” (more on that later). I usually clear my frig, gather my coupons, and make my list on Monday and shop on Tuesday. With this little effort I average a savings of $25-$35 a week…sometimes more. Now that may not seem like a whole lot, but stick with me, Ladies. Let’s say $30 savings a week, every week, four weeks a month, 12 months a year. That’s almost $1500 a year! I don’t know about you, but with that little effort, it’s worth it to me! Shoot that can go into savings or afford us a little extra family adventure. So that’s my take on the whole couponing trend. I want it to work for me, not consume me! Happy saving!!!

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Signs You Are a Mom

  1. You go out without the kids and discover you’ve taken the diaper bag! (totally been there, done that)
  2. The mom shoulder! You know….the one that’s covered in drool, snot, and/or jelly!
  3. When looking to buy a purse, it must meet one simple requirement…enough room for bottles, sippy cups, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, receiving blanket,a change of     clothes, socks, hand sanitizer, the pacifier, scented bags, toys, crayons, snacks, tissues, band-aids, oh yeah and your wallet! (I’d like to ask Mary Poppins where she got her bag!)
  4. You ALWAYS have wipes and hand sanitizer! They’re like American Express….never leave home without them!
  5. You can nurse and wipe another little one’s poopy bottom all at the same time! That’s right, buddy!
  6. It’s four o’ clock and your stomach growls reminding you that while you fed everyone else hours ago, you forgot to feed yourself!
  7. You find sitting in the dentist chair relaxing! You know it’s true….
  8. You check the rear view mirror to check the backseat even when the kids aren’t with you!
  9. You’ve seen the inside of every bathroom in town! (Mommies-to-Be, pregnancy is just preparing you for potty-training!)
  10. Dessert is being served and you’re just starting your appetizer!
  11. You have 4 different kinds of bras: 1) the sexy, lacy “I want to get pregnant” bra  2) the pregnant “oh my I have boobs” bra 3) the “my milk just came in, I’m about to explode” bra and 4) the post-nursing “oh my, where did my boobs GO?!” bra.

 

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Things I Wish I Had Known Sooner #1: Her Own Identity

Note to Self: My child is not me!

As I was driving my 3-year-old daughter to dance class, it suddenly dawned on me that I could be doing this for years to come. True, she’s only three and she may not want to have anything to do with dance five minutes from now, but at present, she loves it! She dances throughout the house in her ballet slippers. She requests music, and at the end of each song she takes a bow before an imaginary audience with the biggest smile on her face. It’s adorable! I think to myself….this is MY child? I took ballet at the age of 5 and I think I only lasted a month. In college I had to take it as a theatre major and I was literally the class clown!

I grew up playing soccer and fell more into the role of the tomboy as a little girl…going to the creek with the neighborhood boys…shooting the basketball in the cul-de-sac (not that I was any good! What can I say?  I’m short!…okay, and a bit uncoordinated.) Anyway, I just had never really thought that I might have a dancer for a daughter.

It was quite the eye-opening moment for me when I realized that my child is her own person…with her own talents and interests.  They could be either similar or possibly the polar opposite to my own.  And either way?…its okay!

I look forward to watching as she and her sister discover who they are, what they love, and what they don’t.  And, whether its a dance recital, a soccer game, piano solo or chess match, their dad and I will be there…camera in hand, slightly teary-eyed, and grinning from ear to ear.  And they can be confident…we’re their biggest fans!

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Welcome!

Welcome Mommies & Mommies-to-Be! I’m Elizabeth and I too am on this journey called Motherhood.  After desiring children for some time, my husband, Sean, and I were blessed with our first little girl, Layla Christine, in 2008. She was/is just beautiful! Holding her in my arms for the first time made the previous nine months (yes, nine months!) of 24-hour sickness well worth it! My husband and I were so immediately overwhelmed with love for this little one. It was pretty crazy! It was all at once both the best and most frightening feeling we had ever experienced.

Just over two years later, we welcomed our second little girl, Kenley Joy. She too put her mommy (and poor Daddy) through nine months of torture, but like her sister, quickly proved to be more than worth it! She is a little bundle of complete joy, making her name rather appropriate.

Wow! So here we found ourselves…the parents of two BEAUTIFUL little girls and the mighty task before us to love and care for them, provide for them, and instruct them. And my thought…. “Oh Lord, be with me!”

So here I am before you….just another mom, but I want to be more than that. I want to be the absolute, very best mom I can possibly be for my precious ones and I suspect that if you’re checking out websites in regards to motherhood that you desire the same thing. So let’s get to it! Let’s embark on the journey together and be the very best moms we can be!

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