Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bye....for now.

I had a fabulous and yet scary family vacation this summer that I had all intentions of blogging about. I feel it's probably too late now though. We lost Victoria.....twice. I planned on trying to make other moms feel better about their uh-oh moments from this but never got around to blogging our vacay. Now that I've mentioned it....I will explain briefly. The first night we were there (the beach...in the same condo as last year)...the hubs went to the resort bar as per his tradition. I finished unpacking, gave the girls a bath, and put them to be in their bunk beds. Hubs came back and couldn't get the deadbolt to lock. He didn't want to wake the girls (bunk beds were a redone hall closet) by fighting with it so he locked the handle and called it good. We went onto the balcony to listen to the waves crash. Later hubs went inside and the phone rang. They had a missing girl with the last name Lewis....Amanda Lewis. The pizza delivery girl had run into her (there is a pizza place for the resort). Hubs said no we don't have an Amanda. About 20 min. later we got another call...hubs checked the beds and Victoria was gone. It was our Victoria that had slept walk for the first time ever. We were less than 150 yards from the beach. We were on the first floor. If she would have walked down that boardwalk we probably would have never seen her again. That pizza lady saved her life. Victoria blames it on Tinkerbell. I don't think we're bad parents. I think this could have happened to anyone. Next time was after I sent her down the boardwalk. We did this the day before and it worked fabulously. Emily was just waking up and Victoria was in swimsuit and sunscreen ready. I walked her down the hall after talking with hubs (who was one the beach) and told her to just walk down the boardwalk and Daddy will be waiting for you. He was. I went back in with Ems and got her ready....me ready...snacks ready....and headed to the beach. The next day however a rainstorm popped up right when V was walking down the boardwalk. About 2 min. after being back in the condo I get a text that says hubs is still with the tent....I had a heart attack and said she was already out there. I went out and about halfway down the boardwalk I see hubs running towards me....then he ran back towards the beach. Thank goodness a lifeguard snapped her right up. Geez.......how many times can you lose 1 child on vacation!?!?

So there's that story. It was still a fabulous vacay.

So....then I was going to blog about my first ever concert (Kenny Chesney in Atlanta, GA). It was AMAZING!!! I didn't though.

So now we are to now. I'm done blogging for now. I feel at peace in my life and I am super busy. There is a tattoo I want to get on my side that I recently saw...well...it was a pic.....it says "it is well with my soul" and has an anchor at the bottom. That's how I feel about life right now. It is well with my soul. There are relationships that have been lost that I am sad about but have realized (another saying I have seen on FB "maybe it's time to stop crossing oceans for those that won't jump puddles for you.") that life is good. It's more than good.....it's great! I am happy and God has blessed me many times over. I have loved and I have lost and I have learned. This blog acted as a diary for me during some really hard times and was started because of a hard time....my difficulty to conceive. Maybe I'll be back. Probably I won't. I appreciate the kind words (generally through private messages on FB) that I have received. I am a really good place though of loving and praying for those that have hurt me and/or my family....heck even those that haven't as it was all I could do this morning to not stop and hug an elderly man that was in a 3 car accident (I just wanted to hug him....let him know that it's ok.......I'm weird).  Thank you for being there for me during these times in my life where I felt I needed an outlet though  (few readers that there are). Now though.....It is well with my soul.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Emily Awoke

Tonight, Emily woke up. She woke up after going to bed at 8 pm and before 6:30 am. This has not happened in some time here at home. It was AMAZING when she started to finally sleep through the night around 19 months. Tonight though....tonight she woke up around now (10:30ish). As I nursed her back to sleep I stared at her in amazement. She has gotten so big! As I switched her sides it was a difficult task that wasn't so much so just a year ago.

I stared at her and I thought of how I almost lost her. I almost lost this sweet, perfect, trouble causing babe at 6 weeks. I thanked God again for the gift he had given me in her. Little Emily is pure trouble. She is hard headed and does what she wants. This is what got her through though. I 100% believe that even at 6 weeks she was trouble...always in to trouble....never giving up. She didn't give up then and so sometimes I wonder why I think she would give up causing trouble now.

She is so precious and looks so sweet and innocent....that girl is trouble! Do not let her fool you. She also moves my face to hers to give me a kiss. She also wakes up asking for "sissy." She also bows her head to pray before meals. She says please and thank you. She is trouble for sure.......but she is also purely amazing. Never gives up.

She is my fighter and I wouldn't have it any other way. Not during the middle of the night or any other time because she is God's gift. A gift I almost lost. A precious, amazing, firecracker I will always be thankful for.

It's amazing the things we think of while staring at our little ones at night while they sleep.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

No Poo Update

I figured I should update from this post about no poo. I really, really, really wanted it to be awesome. I also wish I could have had the will power to stick it out a lot longer..........but I didn't. I ended up making it about 10-12 days...not sure anymore. I know it was at least 10. It was not fun.

It is supposed to take 1-3 weeks for your hair to return to normal. If you wash with a cleansing shampoo it is supposed to shorten the time (I didn't). I run......well ran....getting back to it.....about 4-5 days/week and so I wash my hair a lot. I had doubts about this but it just seemed to have a great outcome from people online. It didn't work for me. My roots felt like I had put Crisco on them and then after about an inch it felt like straw. I just couldn't stick it out that long. A big part of it was I had an interview......but I couldn't have stuck it out much longer anyway. I like the shampoo + conditioner softness.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Consignment Shopping

            Since the time I found out that I was preggo with my first (June 2008); I started looking into consignment shopping. I of course still had that "new mom" thing of wanting some new gear but I wasn't too crazy about it. As an example....I had a hand-me-down swing so I didn't bother registering for one or buying one....until I needed it when Victoria was 2 weeks old and realized it didn't work. Oops! Should have checked that out sooner. My sister-in-law told me about this great local consignment sale called Duck Duck Goose. When I started going it was pretty small, but not as small as it was when my SIL started going. Now it is crazy big and in A LOT of locations. It's a great sale! I kind of prefer smaller sales though so I've started mainly going to Jack and Jules. The idea is still the same. Clothes...heck, all baby stuff....is crazy expensive! Even at Target and Walmart the majority of clothes are $12 and up not on sale. I mean they do have a very small mix and match section which is usually around $4-$6 each. That stuff is generally not my style so I have had to take to searching for the good deals. Consignment shopping was great when Victoria was smaller. You can find GREAT pieces....name brand pieces, for amazing prices!!! I still remember 2 of my favorite finds from when Victoria was like 6 months....the first was a set that included: a Gymboree jumper, shirt, tights, headband, and shoes for.............wait for it........$10!!!!! YES!!!! The second was a Janie and Jack set (jumper and shirt) for $7!!!! Those aren't boutique brands but they are still super expensive if you buy them new not on sale.

               It has recently been brought to my attention that I spend way to much on clothes for my children (edited: at least that is what some people think), so I wanted to share my recent consignment trip. It is actually a more expensive trip so probably not the best to give examples of but here goes. There's a lot of pictures so this is going to be long! It just frustrated me that some people have no idea how much I spend on clothes wants to judge me....and I KNOW other momma's go through this.


Let's start with jammies. Anyone who has looked at jammies knows that Carter's are usually rock bottom...$7-$10...let's not even get into how much Gymbo and Gap are! Jeez!!!! I usually get jammies for $2-$3 each but at this sale that was not the case! They were overall much higher priced but heck...I got a pair of Gybo for $3 and a pair of Gap for $4!! The Halloween ones were a splurge, but they were the only Halloween jammies in size 6 I could find AND the skeleton is not cracked at all. All of these are in far better condition than what I normally find.



Next is what I got Emily. She has a BILLION hand-me-downs from Victoria, but for some reason not many dresses. I wanted her to have some dresses for church so I got her these. Do you see that $2 Gap dress?! I wanted to get some cow Baby Leggs to go with but talked myself out of them (although it was 4 pairs of Baby Leggs for like $7). Yes...other than a coat, that's all I got Emily. 


Talking about coats...here are their winter coats. They are those 3-in-one coats so they have a removable fleece shell on the inside. 



Now we're moving on to Victoria.....let's start with shoes. Kids have to have shoes right? I'm pretty sure they do. At Target and  Walmart they start at $14. I don't really care about brands in shoes. She needs tennis shoes, black flats, and brown flats. I like her to have white Keds, brown and black boots. Her Keds still fit and she'll probably get a new pair for Christmas or her birthday from my parents. So this is what she got (5 pairs of shoes for less than the cost of 2). Those black sparkle were special because she got a black/silver sparkly skirt as a hand-me-down and I thought they'd go well together. 



Now to Victoria's actual clothes. She got a lot of hand-me-downs that are awesome so really she probably didn't need this much, but she LOVES dresses. She didn't get a lot of dresses as hand-me-downs so that is mainly what I focused on. 

Garnett Hill is pretty expensive new and it along with that TCP dress scream Victoria. That child won't wear anything she doesn't like so I really had to try to channel my inner V while shopping. LOL! It was hard. 



I really liked the Gymbo but was on the fence and looking back...I think I should have passed it up. Victoria doesn't care for it so I may try to resell it at another consignment coming up in Oct. (that I'm NOT shopping at). The purple outfit is something I KNEW  Victoria would LOVE so that's why I got it.


Seriously....Tea Collection dress and tights for $10!!! Yay!!! The pink and brown will be Victoria's Thanksgiving outfit and will match a hand-me-down of Emily's. It's more than I normally like to spend but just could not pass it up. I had soooo many people commenting on it even when I was sorting through what to keep and what to put back.


That Gybmo shirt was meant to be put back. Oh well. Emily has a matching outfit which is why it made it in the stack in the first place. The $14 Carters is also way more than I normally spend on Carters but it's going to be her her Christmas dress so I went for it. It matches Emily's perfectly! Then that 3 piece Gymbo...I just couldn't pass that up....plus I knew V would adore it.

I wanted to want to put this back so bad and just couldn't. I'm glad because Victoria loved it! 


I don't really like that shirt BUT it went with the skirt and shoes so I got it. 



So that with their hand-me-downs gives both kiddos very full and beautiful wardrobes. Could I have just said I'm not going to spend more than $2/item of clothing and found stuff. Probably. It would have been more than likely very worn, no designs, and definitely not Victoria's style. I think we made out pretty well. I will say in the spring I spend WAY less at consignment because I always find AMAZING sales in stores for spring clothes and both kids get a lot of clothes at Christmas and for their birthdays. Like....a heck of a lot! It works out really well for Victoria because spring clothes are out by then. I buy her clothes for her birthday as well and not toys or anything else. Here's what she got last year (and a few items for Emily). I spend $61.33 at Gymbo for 18 pieces that would have been individually bought (some things were sets that would be bought together). It worked out to like $3.42/item!!! Yes, my kids mainly dress in name brand but at a whopping $4-$7 per outfit average. This picture has 6 dresses, 6 shirts, 2 pair of shorts, 2 skirts, 1 pair of capris, 1 (2) piece set, and 1 jumper. 


Oh...and I'm SUCH a big spender that I even buy some of their Christmas stuff consignment as well. This is going to be from Santa to BOTH girls (they only get 1 Santa gift). Picture is from Jack and Jules site. It has a new batter and NO scratches. These things sell for $300 new...sometimes you can find them on sale for $260 + tax. 


I also got this doll house for V, but I'm seriously considering making it for both. The girls get 3 gifts each for Christmas from us (that's what Jesus got and so I we go with they don't need more than that). Also a picture from Jack and Jules site. It's the 4' doll house...not the stroller (you can't really see it but it's in storage now so I'm not going to be getting a pic). The cheapest in store I have seen is $120ish. 


I'm nervous because I know we are getting close to that age where I can't find a lot through consignment but hey...that Gybmo sale was amazing! I am just going to have to get really good a sale shopping :-) I never spend full price for the kids clothes and hope to never have to. I try to always be proactive and hit the sales. I do spend a lot in one trip...but I usually don't take more than one trip. 

Edited: Sorry for all the grammar mistakes! Eeek! That is annoying! I will proofread next time :-)












Wednesday, June 19, 2013

No Poo?

Have you heard of this "no poo" business? It's where you don't use traditional shampoo and conditioner and instead use a homemade concoction. I used what I think is the more common method of baking soda and water for the "shampoo," and apple cider vinegar for "conditioner." I was going to post some recipes here for ya in case you want to try that business out but I'm not going too.....because I hated it so much and all.

There are some things that you can supposedly do to make it a better experience. You can get a clarifying shampoo and that is supposed to help. You are supposed to give the whole thing 1-3 weeks. I didn't. I just couldn't. "They" say that the transition time is a pretty rough hair time.....whoever "they" are were totally not joking! I mean seriously! My roots...well, the top 4" I guess felt like a grease trap while the remaining hair felt like straw. I couldn't stick it out. I stuck it out for a whopping 10 days. It's supposed to be great!

I wanted to try it for 2 reasons. I wanted to cut out some chemicals and I wash my hair like crazy which is supposed to be not good. I run and I play outside with my kiddos....this equals nasty sweaty hair and I just can't stand it. I wash my hair almost daily. Every once in a  while some time passes but it's pretty rare. Oh...and I get split ends really bad and I thought this whole "no poo" would help. It's also supposed to magically make your hair grow super fast. Maybe it's for you. I still think it's worth a shot if you feel up to it....I just want you to know I couldn't stick it out. If you can't....don't feel bad ;-) If you do stick it out....You are pretty awesome!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Eggs...my current fave food!

This is totally random but I LOVE eggs right now! I try to get cage free (for free which is even better) but the hubs keeps forgetting to ask for them (he has been ridiculously busy lately). So if you cut up for veggies for the week then this is pretty quick and easy!

I wish I had a picture here....I'll try to add it tomorrow (I've been eating this as a meal every day).

It's not really like an omelet...I just put some veggies in a skillet add eggs and voila!

1. EVOO drizzled in skillet.
2. Throw in some minced up garlic (I like garlic so I do like 2-3 cloves). Let it sizzle for a couple of minutes to release the flavor.
3. Throw in zucchini, squash, onions, kale and sometimes tomatoes. (I usually use 2 slices each of the zucchini and squash and then chop it pretty small....I try to use equal amounts of all veggies). Let those cook for 2-5 minutes so they get soft.
4. Crack 2 eggs directly into the skillet and mix it all up.
5. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add some shredded mozerella after they're done and flop it in a plate.

Eat a banana or some strawberries with it.

I never realized just how easy it was to make the eggs super yummy super quick!! I get in protein and veggies and fruit in a super yummy low cal meal and that just makes it all the better!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

So, obviously this is a little late. 

What did you do for Memorial Day? My little family of four went to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains. I'm not gonna lie. I am so jealous of all those that spent the holiday (especially the whole weekend) out on the lake. I LOVE the lake!!! I forgot just how much I love the lake until last year. This post is not about that though. 

We had a fantabulous time! We planned on going for a hike but the hubs and I had a little mis-communication. Well, we might have had that happen about several things (oh well). We are blessed to live close to the mountains and we really love spend time up there. Granted, not as much as we used to because gas is not cheap and we drive 2 gas guzzlers. We took the hub's gas guzzler this trip (which is very rare). We packed up a picnic and headed out to enjoy our little piece of this great country that many have fought and died for. 


If you live anywhere near the Great Smoky Mountains and have not visited.....what's wrong with you? Seriously you should! There is something for everybody in every season. There are beautiful, historical trails (if you want some serious awesomeness check out....and stay at Mt. LeConte), chalets, skiing, tubing (on snow and in creeks), camping, horseback riding, camping.....really....everything. The Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas are like Myrtle Beach in the Mountains. LOL! Sersiously....just go! The hubs and I are DYING to stay at LeConte Lodge again but financially aren't really able to swing it while I'm not working (well, we could but we aren't willing to give up other things......like a family beach vacay or aniversary trip....but if our anniversary were not in Oct. we would for reals do it for that). 

I'm blabbering. 

We went straight to the Cove... the girls were released out of their car seats and allowed to just hang out. (Yes, that is a seat belt positioning booster...only for her Daddy's F-350 that she rides in rarely...otherwise she's still in a 5-pt. harness.)


Victoria has a small army of toys where ever we may go.....just ignore that.....Caroline had to come....and apparently she needed a bag....and of course Monkey had to come. 

We visited some of the cabins that have been preserved and talked about how horrible it is that the tore down the house of the last person living in the Cove because it was too modern. I mean seriously how sad is that!? It is still a BIG part of history! Oh...and while walking on a trail I told Victoria to not walk in the Mud....Here's that convo (spoiler...she won).

Me: Victoria, walk over this way.
V: Why?
Me: So you don't walk through the mud.
V: Why? (yay....we are in that stage!! Dripping with sarcasm)
Me: So you don't get your sandals dirty silly!
V: Can't you just wash them? 
Me: (Crap :-/) Ummm.....Yeah....okay.....I guess....sure. You're right. I can. (I don't have a problem telling her she's right when she's right.)






We had a little picnic...in a very poorly picked area with a ton of poison ivy...so we carried the girls and wouldn't let them off the blanket.....that was covered in spiders. Yeah.....next time we'll pick a better area. 


I promise Emily had on a blue jean skirt. 

We all stood in a tree. I know. Random. Well....I thought it would be cute to get a pic of Victoria up there and she flipped out! Weirdo. Hence her daddy hanging out behind the tree. Then Emily was like....Oh I want to!!! (she didn't actually say that of course but she ran of there and pointed at and spoke jibberish), then Victoria insisted that Kev and I do the same. So there you have it...our family tree. Get it?! Family Tree?! I totally crack myself up. Poor hubs. 


And then I was done. The girls were being difficult and I was ready to go.....then there was traffic....and because we are used to this...hubs and I said..."That's bear traffic!" We did the only logical thing we could think of...pull over, take the kiddos out, and chase the bear. I kid. No we did do that but we talked about how stupid it was first. I don't have and great pics of the bear because I'm not that crazy. It was a Momma and her 2 babies and I was NOT going any where near her (no one else was that stupid either). 


It was a good day at the Cove :-) 

We went to Smoky Mountain Brewery afterwards....that sounds bad. It's family friendly. It's pretty much our fave place. 

On the way Emily went to sleep for a MUCH needed nap and Victoria informed me she was hungry and wanted strawberries. I told her to not eat too many because we were about to eat. About 5 min. later she said, "Uh-oh! Mommy, I'm sorry. I accidentally ate them all. Well, there's 1 left!" Yeah....I quartered them so 1 left meant a quarter of a berry. LOL! Oh well.....at least it was healthy food. 

When we got to the Brewery there was face painting going on and so V got a butterfly. 



As you can see....Caroline is with her pretty much at all times. She's dying for Saige....umm...ask Santa...maybe. 

Anywho.....it was a pretty perfect day! We had a great time!