Five on Friday #15

I feel like ever since school started for the girls, I’ve started every Friday post saying, “WHAT A WEEK!” It is so true though! I feel like just as I am getting used to the new routine, something else sneaks up on me and throws me out of whack again. This week, Aurora is still coughing all night and is barely napping because of it still, so we are both tired and cranky! I finally took her to the doctor and it turns out it is a sinus infection so I hope the medicine she is taking works! So lets get to my five on Friday before I fall asleep!

ONE- Another thing adding to our school week is Girl Scouts! Hailey asked me all last week if she could join because someone came to talk about it to the kids during school. I told her soccer was enough and just kind of let it go. Well, we were at a birthday party last weekend and I met a new mom who has kids who go to the same school as Hailey, and that is rare that I meet someone who goes to Hailey’s school! It turns out that she is the Girl Scout troop leader and she let Hailey join even though we missed the guideline! Hailey was so excited and had her first meeting on Wednesday.

Since we signed up late, she got her vest and all the badges, pins and troop numbers to put on them at her first meeting, so I still have to iron them on! 

TWO- Last Friday, I did a quick workout because I decided I wanted to make the 45 minute drive to Trader Joes while both girls were at school. I am so glad I did because there was hardly anyone there and I got to browse solo! I found there pickles and they are so good!

I made some chicken salad, put a scoop of it on a mini cracker and topped it with one of these pickles…YUM!

THREE- Since we finished our basement, a lot of our storage space for pool stuff and other outdoor things, is gone. Anthony has been talking about getting a shed for a long time and he finally went and bought one! Well, they actually build it right at our house, which I thought was pretty cool. I am just excited Aurora won’t cry about not being allowed on daddy’s lawnmower every time she gets out of the car because it will have a new home in the shed!

FOUR- One of the best things about Hailey in Kindergarten for me is having to get up at 6AM. That might sound strange, but I am definitely a morning person, and I haven’t had an actual “job” to get up for in years. I love the fact that I must be up to get things done so early.

Trust me, I’ve been up WAYYY earlier than 6AM in my 6 years as a SAHM, but I find it different to get up with a sick or just an early rising baby. Usually, it’s unplanned and it just means turning on the TV and laying on the couch for those extra early hours. Now, I structurally get up at 6AM and have a plan for getting Hailey fed and ready, sip my coffee, and wait for her to get on the bus.

FIVE- Football Sunday at home is back! (Do I talk about football too much?!) Don’t get me wrong, I love football Saturdays as well, but our Saturdays are usually filled with sports, birthday parties and sometimes even date nights, so Sunday is usually the day we sit at home, invite friends and watch ALL THE FOOTBALL!

With that said, I sometimes find it hard to write my blog on Sunday (I write them a day in advance to publish the next morning, usually) because during Aurora’s nap time, I am making food, checking my fantasy line-up and cleaning up the house. Then, if we have friends over, it’s hard to find time to write. I decided I am going to try and blog Tuesday, Thursday and Friday now (instead of MWF) and see how that goes! That way, I can write while both girls are at school and I will be able to spend more time on each post!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

 

 

What The Kids Have Been Eating Lately: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

I do not consider myself a good cook by any means. With that being said, I try to make my family balanced meals that they enjoy. I am guilty of “beating a dead horse,” if you will, when it comes to recipes we like. I pretty much make them until nobody likes them anymore. Creature of habit once again, I suppose! And most of these meals are quick meals because since school has started, it seems like it has been even busier over here! I also don’t promise to be the greatest plater/photographer, so most of these are real life kids plates with no special staging or lighting…hashtag momlife!

Here is a look at what the girls have been eating lately.

BREAKFAST

Scrambled eggs, sausage and toast

Breakfast biscuit with bacon, egg and cheese 

Breakfast burritos for both girls with bacon, egg, cheese and sour cream 

Cheerios and yogurt 

LUNCH

Chicken nuggets, brown rice, zucchini and ranch

Chicken nuggets, noodles with parmesan, avocado and ranch 

Grilled cheese and green beans 

Turkey “roll-up” with mustard in the middle and strawberries 

SCHOOL LUNCHES

Applesauce pouch, rotisserie chicken, carrots and ranch, crackers and skittles 

Turkey roll-ups with mustard, cheese, pepperoni, carrots and ranch and M&M’s 

Applesauce, pretzels, turkey roll-ups, pepperoni, cheese, goldfish and skittles 

Turkey roll-ups, applesauce pouch, string cheese and graham crackers 

DINNER

Applegate hot dog with mustard, cauliflower, a couple french fries and a couple veggie tator tots

Applegate hot dog with mustard, mac and cheese and zucchini 

Ground turkey with taco seasoning and diced tomatoes topped with cheese, rice, black beans and tortilla chips

Ground turkey stuffed peppers with sour cream for Aurora

Ground turkey topped with cheese with chips and a pepper on the side for Hailey

Noodles with pasta sauce, ricotta cheese and homemade meatballs

Lamb burger cut up with a side of greek pasta salad 

Making their own pizzas…with most of the toppings going right into their mouths

As you can see, there are a lot of repeat meals, but I try to offer the girls something I know they will eat. Sometimes Aurora eats every piece of zucchini and asks for more, and other times I can’t even get her to eat one piece! If they are struggling with eating most of their food and I have time, I try to make a “picnic dinner” (or lunch) outside or just lay a blanket on the kitchen floor. They tend to eat better in a fun setting, like having a picnic, at a friends house or even at school!

What are your quick go-to meals for your kids? 

Do you have any tricks to get your kids to eat more off their plates? 

 

A New At-Home BRCA1 and BRCA2 Test and My Personal Double Mastecomy Story

I was watching Good Morning America yesterday, and they did a segment on a new at-home test for the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations, otherwise known as the “cancer genes.” You send a salvia sample to the company, Color, for $149, and in 3-4 weeks, you get the results back. (GMA said it costs $149, but the Color website says $249, which still good if that is the price.)

This hit home for me because I have the BRCA2 mutation, and in October 2015, I decided to have a preventative double mastectomy. For those who don’t know, people with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations have higher risks of getting certain cancers. In my case, as a female with the BRCA2, I have a higher risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.

Lets back up to how I found out. My grandma, who had breast cancer three times, tested positive for the BRCA2 and told my sister and I that we should get tested. I forgot about it for a long time, and while at an annual OBGYN appointment in 2013, I thought of it and mentioned to my doctor that my grandma has the gene mutation. I didn’t think he was going to be so adamant about getting the blood work right then and there, but he was.

Part of the reason I think this new at-home test is great is because insurance isn’t involved and it only costs $149. My OBGYN and I looked up the guidelines on having the test covered, and because my grandma is considered immediate family, it was covered. But it wasn’t that easy. I had to send in proof that my grandma, in fact, has the gene mutation, and after a lot of phone time with the insurance company, I still received a bill for over $4000. Luckily, that was all fixed and I didn’t have to pay that much, but that is how much the blood test costs if you don’t meet the criteria. From what I remember from back in 2013, insurance would cover the test if you yourself have or have had breast cancer, or an immediate family member tested positive for the gene. You wouldn’t believe how many people talked to me about wanting to get tested because they had grandparents, aunts and even parents die from breast cancer and they want to know if they have the mutation, but because those people have passed away and there is no way of knowing if they themselves had it, it wouldn’t be covered by insurance. Like I said, I had this test done several years ago and this was my experience then. If insurance policies about the BRCA genes have changed, I would love to hear it! But if not, this at-home test is such a breakthrough for testing those people whose insurance won’t cover it…or if someone doesn’t have insurance at all!

Okay, back to when I found out. It was around Christmas time of 2013 when my doctor called to tell me that I had the BRCA2 mutation. It was a bit of a shocker, but I was also kind of glad that I could be proactive and get something done about it when I was ready. I met with several doctors, including an oncologist and a gynecological oncologist. The following year, I got pregnant with Aurora, so I was able to speak with several gynecologists in the practice I was seeing to ask their advice about getting the double mastectomy also. I probably asked seven or eight doctors for their medical opinions, and every single doctor said the same thing: If it was me (or my wife), I would (I would tell her to) have the surgery as soon as possible.

We knew Aurora would be our last baby, and I wanted to get the surgery done before I turned 30 because that’s when the risk goes up quite a bit, so I scheduled it for October 27, 2015. It worked out well because my parents were already coming to North Carolina a few days before the scheduled surgery to babysit for a wedding Anthony and I were both in. My mom ended up staying for the week to take care of the girls and I, and then Anthony took the second week off to take care of the girls and I, so it worked out well.

Anthony took me to the surgery and my mother-in-law came to the hospital to wait with him as well. There was a little bit of a complication (nothing life threatening) that made the surgery take longer then expected, so it was about 7 hours long. I had to stay overnight one night and then since I was actually feeling pretty good, we got to leave the next day.

Funny story: I had to be taken outside in a wheel chair by someone who worked there while Anthony went to get the car. Several minutes passed and it seemed like it was taking him waaayyy too long just to drive out of a parking garage. I was calling him and texting him…no answer. The man who wheeled me out looked a bit concerned and told me it normally doesn’t take this long. I jokingly thought, oh man…I get my boobs cut off and he could only make it one day! Haha! No, that wasn’t the case…we are still happily married…phew. He hit a car in the parking garage. Nothing serious, just really bad timing!

There were two hard parts after the surgery.

ONE- Surgical drains. There were two on each side that had to be measured and emptied often. At the beginning, Anthony had to do it and I am so thankful for him, especially for that reason. To shower, I had to wear a lanyard and hang all four drain to it…it was a pain!  They were hard to hide, but luckily it was sweater weather, which made it a bit easier.

The surgery was on October 27, and I actually made it out to a Halloween party with the girls and went trick or treating with them too! Thank goodness for ponchos to hide those drains!

And though it was hard, I was even able to curl my hair!

TWO- Not being able to hold Aurora. Aurora was five months old when I had the surgery so she obviously didn’t understand what was going on. Hailey was four, so she was able to vaguely understand that mommy wasn’t able to do all the things I usually did for those first couple weeks.

I led a pretty normal life during those first couple weeks, except for the drains. I am so so lucky to have had such an easy recovery. I didn’t take any pain pills except for what they gave me in my IV at the hospital. We even got to go on a little weekend beach trip with friends a week and a half after the surgery, and once again, the drains were the worst part. I was even holding Aurora at this point, even though I probably shouldn’t have been before seeing the doctor, but I felt like I could.

Dinner at the beach.

I got all my drains taken out two weeks after the surgery, and let me tell you…that was a GREAT day! I was almost completely back to normal when those things were gone. Hailey actually got her ears pierced right after my doctor appointment so it was a big day of both of us!

Drains out, and earring about to go in! 

For the next three months, I had appointments every couple weeks to fill my expanders in preparation for the reconstruction surgery. During the double mastectomy, they put expanders in that they gradually fill with saline during the months between each surgery, by inserting a needle into the knob of the expander in order to expand the skin. I don’t know if “knob” is the right word, but basically if they hit the expander with the needle, it would deflate and that wouldn’t be good, so there is a “knob” where the needle goes in to fill it up. And yes, they stick it right through the skin.

In January 2016, I had my reconstruction surgery. It was breeze compared to the double mastectomy as one would imagine. I was bummed to find out that I needed surgical drains again though! Just one on each side instead of two this time, and they were gone in a week!

Anthony and I even went out on a lunch day date the day after the reconstruction since my parents were in town to help with the girls. Again, it was the perfect time of year to wear a poncho to hide the drains!

I feel completely normal now, and would not change any of my decisions about getting the double mastectomy at the age of 29. Except maybe trying to coordinate the surgeries into the same calendar year so I didn’t have to pay our deductible twice, but that’s a topic for another day!

I bounced back super fast and was only out-of-commission to my family for a couple weeks total, if that! My thought process going into it was that I would rather be out-of-commission for a couple weeks when my kids are 4 years old and 5 months old, then wait it out with the risk that I would get the cancer and have to miss out on things down the road and for more than just a couple weeks, and in obviously a more serious and scary way.

I am still at a higher risk of getting ovarian cancer, which actually scares me more than the breast cancer. My doctors don’t recommend having my ovaries removed until I am 35-40, so in the next couple years I will be having that done as well. They aren’t as quick to take the ovaries because it will have negative effects on the body, like putting it directly into menopause. I do get blood work and ultrasounds every 6 months to monitor my ovaries until we decide to do the surgery.

The BRCA gene comes directly from a parent, so my biggest concern is for my girls. They won’t test them until they are at least 18 years old, so I am hoping they learn more about it by then. Unfortunately, my sister also tested positive, and she has a daughter as well (men can have the gene too), so there are a lot of future worries!

I don’t think there is one person out there who hasn’t been affected my cancer in one way or another. From having cancer yourself, to knowing a family member, friend or even pet who has had cancer, I feel like it is unfortunately EVERYWHERE! I feel lucky that we now have the technology to find out about cancer risks, and the means to be proactive about it, and I hope and pray that there continues to be breakthroughs and hopefully one day, a cure.

 

 

 

 

 

Five on Friday #14

It’s finally Friday!!! It has been a looonngggg week. Lack of sleep is getting to me and I am hoping I can catch up with weekend. (Wishful thinking from a mom) I will explain my lack of sleep in number one and two of my five…here we go!

ONE- Binky update. I caved. But lets back up… I took the binky last Wednesday morning. Aurora barely napped Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and would wake up crying and wanting the binky and then would not go back to sleep. Same thing happened with bedtime. It took forever to get her to fall asleep and then when she woke up after a couple hours and realized she had no binky, she would cry and I would have to go comfort her until she fell asleep, which took FOREVER! By Friday night, I was exhausted and over it, so I ended up giving it back to her to go to sleep…and I am so happy I did! She has had it just for naps and bedtime for this week, so I guess that’s a good start!

TWO- On a similar note, I still haven’t slept this week because Aurora has a cough, but just when she lays down for her nap or bedtime. She has barely napped all week and wakes up coughing several times throughout the night. She has no other symptoms so I’m at a loss of what to do! I tried cough medicine and honey and those didn’t work. Benadryl works for an hour or two and then the cough comes back. I tried Vicks on her chest and that didn’t help and I just started using her nebulizer so hopefully that starts to work! I. AM. SO. TIRED. and I’m sure she is too!

THREE- Remember back to the past Five on Friday post when I picked a watermelon from my garden WAAAYYY too early and it was white inside?! Well, I waited patiently this time and got a red yummy watermelon! The girls and I were so excited that we were actually able to grow and eat one!

FOUR- Target has their Halloween section out already and the girls HAVE to go check everything out every time we are there! (and we are there a lot!) They are actually a little scared of some of it, especially the TV that has a head slowly pop out through the lost reception, but they want me to push the buttons over and over again!

FIVE- Hailey’s elementary school allows the parents to come eat lunch with the students on their assigned day each week. It is alphabetical, so mine is Monday, and since this week was Hailey’s first Monday of school, I surprised her and met her for lunch! I brought her a smoothie, which she was pretty excited about!

And I got my first Pumpkin Spice Latte to enjoy as she ate her lunch!

I hope you all have a great weekend! Hailey has her first soccer game, we have a birthday party to go to, and of course, lots of football to watch!

Low-Carb Southwest Cauliflower Rice

I love using vegetables to make low-carb options for dishes that aren’t otherwise low in carbohydrates! When using riced cauliflower, I usually turn it into a pasta type dish by adding ricotta cheese and sauce, but when I was out of pasta sauce, I changed it up and made up a really tasty dish! I am sure there are other similar recipes out there, but as I was making this, I just used what I had on hand and added random ingredients as I went, and it turned out so yummy!

First, I sautéed onion and garlic until tender.

Then, I added a frozen bag of riced cauliflower and cooked that until tender also.

I threw in some salsa, black beans, shredded cheese, shredded rotisserie chicken, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes, mixed it all together and that’s it!

I topped it with some avocado and put some sour cream on the side and it was a really filling meal! It also only took about 10 minutes total to prep and make, which is a big thumbs up in my book!

It may not look very pretty, but it has a TON of flavor! 

Print

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 12oz bag frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 cup cooked chicken I shredded a rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes optional

Instructions

  1. Sauté onions and garlic until tender  

  2. Add frozen cauliflower and cook until tender 

  3. Add Salsa and black beans and stir together 

  4. Add cooked chicken and shredded cheese, stir again 

  5. Season with salt and pepper (red pepper flakes, optional) 

  6. Top with avocado

  7. Serve with sour cream on the side 

 

All Things Fall

This weekend felt sooo much like fall and I loved every minute of it! We celebrated Hailey’s birthday with Anthony’s side of the family and watched a lot of football!

Uncle Joseph bought Hailey a hammock for her birthday and they set it up in her room! She actually slept the whole night in it on Saturday night.

Aurora and I represented Penn State on Saturday with our outfits! I had my jersey on and she wore a dress my Aunt Brenda (who just retired from Penn State!) bought Hailey years ago…got to love hand-me-downs!!

My Aunt Brenda also got me these Penn State ice cube trays and made the suggestion that I should use them for Jell-O shots instead! Of course I thought that was a great idea and made it happen!! Thanks Aunt Brenda!

Anthony’s dream came true and he was able to watch football on two TV’s at once in the new basement!

And with the fall theme of the weekend, I enjoyed one of my favorite pumpkin beers while watching football!

The fall candles are out in full force, and I am definitely making a trip to Bath and Body Works this week to stock up! Oh, and it you look in the background, here’s a sneak peak of the shelves Anthony and Joseph made for the basement!

I decorated the house this week too! When I was in Erie on Labor Day weekend, we celebrated my birthday. My birthday is in May, but we hadn’t been to Erie since March, so I got some presents and they were all fall decorations which I was so excited about! I think I was meant to have a September birthday! My Aunt Lori got my this “Thankful” sign that is a perfect fit for my living room…thanks Aunt Lori!

Here are my built-in’s with ALL THE PUMPKINS!

And some of my table and counter décor!

In true fall fashion, I also made chili for football Sunday!

Gosh, I love fall so much!! I am looking forward to lots of football, baking and pumpkin everything!

What is your favorite thing about fall? 

 

Five on Friday #13

Another strange, fast paced week over here! We got back from Pennsylvania on Monday night and raced against the clock to unpack, grocery shop and get ready for Hailey’s second day of kindergarten the next morning! Hailey also had soccer Tuesday night and then Wednesday was Aurora’s first day of preschool AND Hailey’s sixth birthday, so I didn’t feel even a slight sign of relief until Thursday! It looks like we have a pretty low key weekend planned and then will wait and see what Hurricane Irma has planned for the Lake Norman area!!

ONE- I am going to back up to our trip to PA. We lucked out with Hailey’s scattered start to kindergarten and left Thursday morning instead of Friday after school, which is originally what we thought we would have to do. It gave us an extra day and a half and made a whole world of a difference!

On Friday, we took the girls to the Erie Zoo. It was the perfect size z00 for their ages! The highlight was the train ride!

Aurora didn’t like most of the “big, scary” animals. A big monkey was banging on the glass at her and she was not happy about it! Grandma didn’t mind him though!

It is so nice to have a zoo so close to Grandma and Papa’s house! My niece, Claire, goes all the time and was excited to show us the ropes!

After nap time on Friday, we went to Erie Brewing Company, which is right next to Penn State, Behrend, where I went to college. Smart location if you ask me! They had a bunch of good IPA options, which is my beer of choice, so I was definitely a fan! My brother-in-law even bought me some to bring home! Thanks Brian!

The little ones loved the food too!

Saturday, I met Carrie and Kara, my friends from high school, and their two beautiful daughters, Norah and Lily, out for breakfast! Aurora and Hailey came to say “hi,” but then left with Anthony to do some more visiting!

Anthony and my dad had their Fantasy Football draft that day, so the girls stayed home and baked cupcakes and hung out until bedtime!

Sunday was Hailey’s birthday party, along with several others on my mom’s side of the family. We haven’t been to Erie since March, so we even celebrated Aurora’s birthday!

Disclaimer: Aurora is NOT drinking a bud light and scratching a lottery ticket in this picture!! Haha!

We had a fun trip and can’t wait until next time!

TWO- Speaking of trips, I really hope I don’t have to make a trip back to Erie too soon…like maybe this weekend because of Hurricane Irma!!! It looks like the Charlotte area is going to be affected by this one, and I’m starting to freak out a bit! Prayers to all those in its path!

THREE- I did run to Target and stock up JUST IN CASE! Aurora and I went while Hailey was at school and I let her look around in the dollar section. They have a TON of Fall and Halloween items right now and I’m loving it! I picked up these wine glass, just because! They were only $3 for a pack of two and had a few different Halloween sayings on them!

FOUR- While we were in Erie, we also did a little shopping and I got some super cute sandals on sale for like 7 or 8 dollars!

I can’t wait to wear these on Saturday with my jersey! WE ARE!!

FIVE- I would feel weird writing this blog without mentioning all the milestones that have happened this week! (Even though everything is plastered all over my Facebook and Instagram!!)

As you know, Hailey started Kindergarten last week, and this week Aurora started Preschool…and she started it on Hailey’s 6th Birthday!

And of course I made a collage of Hailey…one picture for every year! *Insert crying face emoji*

Hailey gets to pick any restaurant to go to on her birthday, and she picked the same restaurant two years in a row! We love Alino pizzeria as much as she does, so there was no complaining here! Her Gammie and cousin, Anthony, even made it to dinner with us!

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and to those who may be affected my Hurricane Irma, stay safe!!

Giving up the Binky/Pacifier

The dreaded binky!!! Okay, okay…I do have a love/hate relationship with that little thing. On May 11, 2015, Anthony and I swore our next daughter would never have a binky…and on May 12, 2015, when our beautiful daughter started crying and was immediately soothed by said binky, it was a whole different ball game!

Hailey was a “binky baby” too. She took one whenever she got fussy and at nap and bed time, so pretty much all day, every day! Hailey, however, gave it up with pretty much no fuss, and she was way younger than 2 years and 4 months, which is what Aurora is.

Both of these baby Hailey with her binkies. 

I am writing this because today is Aurora’s first day of preschool ever, and I have been telling her for about a month or so that when she starts “big girl” school, she has to give all her binky’s…yep, all 37 of them (37 is a bit of a stretch, but girl has a lot of binkies!) to the babies who need them. We plan to have her throw all the binkies in a bag for daddy to take to work today for baby Stella, who is a her 8 month old friend who takes a binky also.

With that said, I probably have a better chance of winning the powerball than Aurora just giving up her binky cold turkey…but a mom can dream! I am open to any outside advice on this topic because I am sure I will be trying ALL THE THINGS before Aurora actually decides to give it up for good.

How many pictures has her binky ruined??? (But how many nights of sleep has it saved?!) 

Here are a few things I have heard works when trying to get rid of the pacifier.

1- Take the binky to the store and “trade it in” for a new toy.

2- Have daddy or mommy take them to work to give to other babies.

3- Cut the tip of the binky so that it feels “broken.”

4- “Binky fairy”- Have your child collect all his/her binkies and put them at the front door over night and the binky fairy will come and take them and leave a present.

5- Wean the binky before age 2-opps! Apparently the younger, the better.

Not in the mouth…but sooo close! 

Unfortunately, Aurora also knows about thumb sucking!! I am worried she is going to switch to that when we take the binky and I have no idea what I would do if that happens!

Also, she still puts EVERYTHING in her mouth, so that will be another issue we are going to run into. We usually just throw the binky in her mouth if she starts putting toys in there, so hopefully she grows out of that faze soon!

ANNDDD…where are all her binkys anyway?? If you have ever had a child who takes a pacifier, you know that they can get lost very easily, especially when you child is older and can hide them. I’m pretty sure we have a few strays somewhere around the house, so I am really hoping she doesn’t find one before I do!

It was so easy to give that new baby a binky to stop her from crying…and boy did it work, but now I regret not sticking to my initial “no binky” rule because I have a feeling this is going to be a long and painful process!

Here we go! 

Next step…potty training!! Ahhh!!

Do you call it a binky or a pacifier?

What ways did you wean your child from the binky? No seriously…HELP!!

 

 

Building Relationships at a New School, for the Kid and the Parent

This week has been filled with all kinds of emotions! It is so hard to believe that my oldest has officially started Kindergarten!! Not only is the fact that she is growing up a very emotional thing, but she is starting at a whole new school with a whole new group of people.

Hailey had been at the same preschool for the past four years, and with the same group of kids pretty much throughout. Now she is starting at a different school with almost no kids she knows. There are not a lot of kids from her preschool going to her elementary school, maybe two or three, and none of them are in her class.

When Hailey started preschool she was one, so for us, and for most of the other families, this was the first big social setting we were putting our kids into. Relationships grew through the many years we all have been together and it’s sad to leave and start over for both Hailey and I.

The moms (and dads) I met four short years ago when Hailey started school have become my friends. From playground chats, birthday parties, field trips, play dates and even girls nights, I have formed so many amazing relationships with the people I have met through preschool.

It is always so nice to have parents to talk to who are going through similar life events and challenges as you are. We have all been there for each other through happy times and challenging times and I am so lucky to have been able to go through all the ups and downs of figuring out this whole “parenting thing” with those parents!

Even though I am so excited for Hailey to start this new chapter in her life, I am also bummed to be parting ways with many kids and parents who Hailey and I call our friends. I know we can make time to see them, but with a full-time school schedule and extra-curricular activities, I’d be naïve to say it won’t be hard.

I know we will both meet new people at our new school, and I will still be able to see some friends who still have little ones in preschool with Aurora, but it will definitely be a change! It was nice to be able to send a quick text to a friend to make sure I didn’t mess up what day to bring a pumpkin in to decorate with the class. I’m sure I’ll get there with new parents at her elementary school, but it does kind of feel like I am starting over.

I am looking forward to all the new friendships Hailey and I will build at this new school, but I will miss all my old friends for sure! Thank you all for the laughs, advice and listening you have done in the past four years!

Hailey is usually very social, especially with kids, so I am hoping she makes friends quickly. For me, there are a few things I plan to do to meet new people at this new school.

*Get involved- Whether that means PTO or just going into the classroom when I can help with special events, I definitely want to be a part of Hailey’s school experience some how.

*Don’t be shy- It is easy to walk into a social situation with your head down or just nod and say hi and walk away. I am going to try and start up conversations and be social with the other parents so I can get to know them.

*Go have lunch at the school- At Hailey’s new school, parents are able to go eat lunch with their children once a week. Each family is assigned a day based on their last names. I plan to go as much as I can!

*Plan a play date- Once Hailey and I get to know people, I hope to set up play dates, whether it be at a local park or at our house, to built relationships further.

With that, I hope you all have a great day and holiday weekend! We are off to PA tomorrow, so I will be back to blogging after labor day!

Do you feel like you are starting over when you start at a new school?

What are some things you do to build new relationships? 

 

Fantasy Football Draft 2017 and Some Weekend Fun

We had such a fun weekend…which started after Friday morning, when Aurora got her staples taken out! That was almost as terrible as her getting them in!

Anthony had Friday off to get the house ready for the draft, so I decided to take Aurora by myself to the doctors and let Hailey stay with him while he mowed the lawn. I really wish I could have had another person with me, especially because I had to help hold down her legs and I so wish she could have seen my face during the removal for some comfort. The nurse had to hold her head down…it was awful! She did find her sisters purse in the car and took it in with her. She was pretty excited about that!

We took a walk on our road with our neighbors when we got home and then after nap, we met some friends at The Blue Parrot for dinner. The girls love it there because they have sand they can play in while we are wait for our food.

Our friends came to dinner by boat and invited us to go for a ride on Lake Norman after dinner. The girls have been asking to go boating so this was a perfect end to our day!

Hailey even got to drive the boat and did great! (There were no other boats close by of course.) Aurora was her co-pilot which apparently meant honking the horn a million times.

On Saturday morning, Anthony took the girls to his mom’s house so we could get ready for the Fantasy Football draft. While he was gone, I made four Stromboli’s! Here is the recipe! Two were for our draft, and Anthony had another draft after ours, so I made two for that one also.

I love draft day! It’s a 14 team league and we have four guys who don’t live in NC anymore, so they drafted live from the computer.

We drafted in our basement which had the perfect set up! We don’t have many decorations yet so the blank walls worked out well.

I was sporting my Steelers earrings to represent my team! Here we go!

I liked my draft. I went WR heavy early because we are changing the scoring to half point PPR and we are using decimals. I picked 13th out of 14 because I came in 2nd last year, and I did not like that spot at all. After the two almost back to back picks, it seemed like it took forever to get to pick again!

It was such a fun afternoon and my face hurt from laughing so much! A lot of the guys have been in the league for 8 or 9 years and it’s always fun to get together and talk football. Here’s to hoping my team stays healthy and does well!!

We had a little time between drafts, so a couple guys stayed to swim for a bit. Of course I had already done my hair and makeup so I couldn’t go in…hashtag women problems.

I am not in the second draft, but I go every year to hang out and sometimes help if they need it.

They had three guys drafting from afar too, so I sat at the computer to input all the picks so those guys could see the who was taken.

Then they got the fight and I fell asleep on the couch before it ended. This mama is not used to staying up that late!

Sunday, Anthony and I went to breakfast just the two of us. Then I did my long run while he went to pick up the girls. The girls had a blast at Gammie’s house per usual!

I had a ton of stuff to get done around the house and I went grocery shopping for the week.

Hailey starts Kindergarten on Tuesday, but we are starting her on her new bedtime routine Sunday night so that she hopefully gets used to it. Her school does a scattered start so only five kids go at a time, on one day of this week, and then they all go together next Tuesday after labor day. I wanted to get everything together Sunday for her first day of school since I had Anthony home to help with Aurora.

The three of them played some games.

After dinner we went on a nature walk so the girls could collect leaves, and then they frosted the carrot cake they made at Gammie’s house this morning!

This is a bad mom and dad fail because the cake is in a pumpkin shaped pan with the face on the other side. We were suppose to flip the cake out of the pan AND THEN frost it….duh! *eye roll*

This was a great last weekend at home before school starts! Next weekend we are making a quick trip to PA for Hailey’s 6th birthday!!!!!! and yet another Fantasy Football draft for Anthony!

 

 

 

 

Five on Friday #12

It’s been two weeks since I wrote a blog and I feel like so much has happened in those 14 days! I took some time off because I wanted to soak up what was left of summer with my girls and I also had family visiting! My “five” today will basically be a recap of some of the things that have been going on, both good and bad!

**Number one has a couple bloody pictures. They aren’t terrible, but if you have a week stomach, maybe skip that one!

ONE- Last Thursday, Aurora fell off our kitchen bar stool and hit her head on the molding at the bottom of the wall. I was cooking dinner when she fell, so I ran over immediately to make sure she was okay. She has fallen off the stool before, so I just thought it scared her, but a couple seconds later, I realized her head was dripping blood!

It stopped bleeding quick, so I didn’t rush her to the ER like I thought I was going to do. I asked her a bunch of questions and made her follow my finger to make sure she didn’t seem disoriented. I put her in the shower because there was so much blood in her hair I couldn’t see the wound.

After her shower, she ate dinner while I decided what I was going to do. It was still hard to see the wound because her wet hair was matted down on it, and as you can imagine, she didn’t like me touching it.

We finally went to urgent care and they said she needed staples. My mother-in-law met us there, and thank god for her because she was calm and knew what questions to ask and I was a nervous wreck! Thank you Gammie!! Anthony made it for the staples too!

They messed up one of the staples and had to take it back out and re-do it!! Oh, that part was just awful! Aurora was such a trooper through the whole thing!

Even though it was 8:45 when we got home, we let her pick out whatever she wanted from the store and she chose a giant cupcake!

This was probably the worst mom experience I have ever had!

TWO- Anthony had plans to surprise Hailey with a “before Kindergarten” trip to Carowinds (amusement park) the day after Aurora fell. He ended up telling her the night of the staples because she seemed a little traumatized by the whole thing and we wanted to give her something positive to go to bed thinking about!

Carowinds wasn’t too busy, probably because it was a Friday and some of the schools around here have already started. She got to ride a ton of rides and go to the water park! She had a blast!

Since I knew I would have a day with just Aurora, I thought we would swim all day because it was going to be hot, but since she had staples in her head, plans had to change.

I didn’t want to take her to the Y because of the staples, so we went for a 4 miles walk/run.

Then, we went out for lunch and went to the store to pick up flowers and a cookie cake that Grandma and Papa Deano called in for her! She was very excited!

Then, it was a very low-key rest of the day and night!

THREE- Anthony took that Friday off work for Carowinds because he had to work Saturday, so the girls and I decided to get ready and drive 40-45 minutes to Trader Joe’s! I LOVE Trader Joe’s, but there isn’t one close to where we live, so I haven’t been there in so so long!

My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, brother in-law and nephew actually were all coming from a baseball practice when we were headed that way, so we met them for lunch right across the street. I got the girls settled and then shopped by myself, which was amazing because I wanted to look at EVERYTHING!! It would have been awful trying to wander with the girls in tow, so thank you Gammie, Uncle Joseph and Aunt CaCa (Jessica)!

Apparently I went on the right day because they were celebrating their 50th anniversary with some good deals, including 50 cent avocados! JACKPOT!

They were also giving tattoos to the little ones!

And I forgot how affordable their wine is! It is so worth the longer drive just to stock up on our Trader Joe’s favorite things! I would say it was a very successful trip!

FOUR- On Sunday, my Grandma and Aunt made the trip down to North Carolina from Pennsylvania and stayed until Wednesday morning. We swam, got my grandma’s favorite ice cream, shopped, saw the eclipse, went to dinner and just hung out at the house! We had a great time!

FIVE- Tuesday was Hailey’s Kindergarten orientation. We lucked out that we had family visiting to watch Aurora so we didn’t have to bring her along.

Hailey was so excited and couldn’t wait to meet her teacher and see her classroom! Anthony even got out of work early to go with us!

We explored the school and met some of the kids in her class. We are all so excited for this big next step! Good luck Hailey girl!!

It is so nice to get back to writing. We have Fantasy Football draft weekend at our house so I better get studying! I hope y’all have a great weekend!

 

 

Five on Friday #11

Happy Friday everyone! I feel like this week was a weird one. It rained a lot and for the last couple weeks it has been oddly cool for July and August in NC. Our pool is usually around 86-89 degrees in July and August, which Anthony says is too hot, but I like it. It’s been barely 80 degrees because it gets so cool at night and in the morning! On the other hand, I love not instantly sweating when I step outside, so I guess there are pros and cons! Anyways, let get into it…

ONE- If you follow me on Instagram (lifeofamomfromatoz), and watch my Insta-stories, you know I read The Sinner in 2.5 days! I started Monday afternoon during Aurora’s nap time and then read it that night. I read it all throughout the day Tuesday when I could, mostly at night, and by 11PM that night, I only had 80 pages, of 387, left, but I HAD to go to bed! Aurora woke up crying at 5:30AM Wednesday morning, so I went up to her room, gave her a binky and rocked her back to sleep. (I say that like it was easy, but only 2 out of 10 times would she go back to sleep that late in the morning.) I felt so awake and eager to finish the book, so I just stayed up and finished it before we left for the Y!

When I went to bed Tuesday night, I was telling Anthony about the book and how I thought it would end, and I was almost all the way right by that point (80 pages left), but up until then, I changed the way I thought it would end several times!

I thought it was really good…really disturbing at some points, but really good! It definitely has some disturbing sexual aspects, so it is for a mature reader. I just couldn’t put it down and I needed to know how it was going to end.

TWO- Blue Moon’s pumpkin beer is out! I know, I know…its August (says my husband)…but it has been feeling a bit like Fall because of the cooler mornings/evenings!

I will never, ever, ever turn down a good pumpkin beer, and Blue Moon has a good one! Just the right amount of pumpkin flavor!

THREE- Anthony and I both like to run. I run a lot. I’ve cut down in the past couple of months to do more classes to mix things up, but on Sunday, I usually do 8.5 on my hilly road, which is a great workout!

We have led my example for Hailey, and now she enjoys it too! She will ask to run with us a lot, but I love when it actually works out and we have time to run/walk a few slower miles with her!

She usually runs a lot of the first mile, and then takes a little rest.

The we walk more of the second. I am so proud of her for wanting to run with us and I am so happy she enjoys it!

FOUR- I was a vegetarian growing up, and went back to it when I was pregnant with Aurora because of aversions I had to meat. I eat meat now, but I still sometimes fall into old habits and go for vegetarians options.

I have been making this quick lunch or dinner for a while now and thought I’d share!

I use either cauliflower rice (pictured), spaghetti squash or regular pasta, and mix it with ricotta, sauce and red pepper flakes. It is so good and quick and easy! Ricotta cheese makes everything better…at least that my motto!

Anthony made meatballs this week and I added some to this for a balanced dinner!

FIVE- I love watching Insta-stories (is that hyphenated?!). I thought I would share with you some of my FAVORITE people to follow.

Busy Phillips!! She was in Freaks and Geeks, which I watched growing up with my parents, and also Cougar Town, which I also loved!

She is hilarious! She has two small daughters, which I can relate too, and occasionally co-hosts at Live with Kelly and Ryan, which is a show I love!

Bevcooks! She also cracks me up! She is a mom/food blogger who does a ton of stories on Instagram as well.

I hope ya’ll have a great weekend!

 

 

Lay’s Potato Chip Flavor Contest

The girls and I went grocery shopping last week ,and I came across the new Lay’s Potato Chip flavors: Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese, Crispy Taco and Fried Green Tomato. I am actually a fan of all of those things, so I thought it would be fun to buy all three and do a taste test!

I had to include the girls, of course, and they were very excited that I was letting them eat three different kinds of chips at once!

They dug right in and didn’t hesitate to give me their opinions!

Aurora looks like she is taking this very seriously, haha!

THE VERDICTS

Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese

Me: I thought it tasted almost just like sour cream and onion. I didn’t get any “everything bagel” flavor. I really like an everything bagel so I was definitely disappointed when I tasted this one. It tasted good, just nothing like the name. This was my least favorite.

Hailey: This was Hailey’s favorite! She didn’t care that it didn’t taste like an everything bagel, she just liked the flavor.

Aurora: Aurora liked this one too. But she is two, so she liked them all.

Crispy Taco

Me: I was really impressed with this one! I thought it was going to taste like a chip with a packet of taco seasoning thrown in, but that was not the case at all. I could taste lettuce and ground beef flavoring, and I didn’t hate it! It was really good if you like tacos!

Hailey: Hailey didn’t mind this one, but she was set on the Everything Bagel flavor and didn’t want to give this one a real chance.

Aurora: Still two. Still just wanted to eat chips.

Fried Green Tomato 

Me: I loved this one! First of all, it’s a wavy chip, which I think is way better than the original ones. It starts off kind of tangy, but then there is a little kick at the end. This was my favorite of the three!

Hailey: She didn’t like this one. I don’t know if it was the slight spiciness at the end or just a flavor she has never experienced before.

Aurora: She liked this one too, it was a chip after all!

CONCLUSIONS

I would say the Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese is the most kid friendly. No bold flavors but still tasty.

Crispy Taco and Fried Green Tomato have more elevated flavors (for a potato chip, that is!). They are both really good and taste like their names.

And, two year olds just like chips.

That’s all for the Lay’s Potato Chip taste test. We had a fun time trying the chips. Now what else can we taste test!?

What is your favorite potato chip flavor? 

 

 

 

Back-to-School Shopping for a Kindergartener

I can’t believe I am writing a post about Kindergarten! Hailey starts school in less than a month and I am full of all kind of emotions about it! I am happy, sad, anxious, excited…I’m sure all the same emotions all the other moms out there are feeling or have felt!

A fun part of getting ready for school is, of course, the shopping! On Saturday, Hailey and I left the house right after breakfast to go shop for all she needs to start Kindergarten.

She was excited to be shopping for herself and to have all mommy’s attention on her! She even brought her purse, which is an old purse of mine my mom found from a homecoming or prom!

We went to Target and TJ Maxx and pretty much got everything we needed at those two places! They are in the same plaza, so we got really lucky. We did shop for three hours though! At Target, we tried on some of the clothes I thought she would be in between sizes in, and took some fitting room pictures of course!

Hailey needed some fuel after Target, so we stopped and got some popcorn and Gatorade before our walk to TJ Maxx. We actually did stop at Home Goods and Michaels that morning too.

Target didn’t have “fat pencils” which were on her Kindergarten list. I had no idea what “fat pencils” were, but I thought Michaels might have them. They didn’t, but Amazon did! Amazon for the win, always! Along with “fat pencils,” I also now know what a folders with “brads” are too…thank you google.

I wasn’t sure we were going to find a backpack Hailey liked while shopping that day, but at TJ Maxx, she loved this North Face one! It’s actually an adult backpack, but when we compared them to the kids backpacks, it wasn’t that much different!

Okay, so here is the haul!

School supplies…minus the “fat pencils,” which are on the way! 

I wanted to make sure to get some long sleeves and pants because she has some stuff she can still wear to school that she got at the end of preschool and throughout the summer.

I love the cold shoulder black shirt! 

I love that Hailey likes to wear different things. She goes through dress fazes and she also goes through workout shorts and tee-shirt fazes.

We bought a couple more short sleeve shirts and tanks because they were on sale!

Target had a buy one get one 50% off kids shoe deal, so we picked up two new pair!

And we couldn’t forget about Aurora, who starts preschool in a month too! She also got two new pairs of shoes with the Target deal, and some new clothes too! She does have a lot of Hailey’s hand-me-downs, so she didn’t need as much!

A big thank you to Grandma and Papa Deano for sending back-to-school shopping gift cards to help my wallet out a bit!

And also to Gammie and Papa Keith for these super cute Sperry’s for the girls! I love them!

I think we got a lot of good stuff! Hailey has a birthday at the beginning of September, so anything we didn’t get, she will get for her birthday! My aunt gets her new sneakers every year, so I already know those are coming soon!

It was so much fun to shop with Hailey and enjoy some one-on-one time! We even got to go to lunch, just the two of us!

I can’t believe my first little one is going off to Kindergarten in a few short weeks! I know she is so excited and I know she will do great!

Do you take your kids school shopping? 

What are some staples that you get every year? 

 

 

 

Five on Friday #10

Oh, how I love Friday’s! We have had a pretty low-key week this week which was a nice change from last week, and we are looking forward to a pretty low-key weekend as well!

Let’s get right to my five on Friday!

ONE- I mentioned in Monday’s post that Anthony was out of town last week. The girls missed him a ton so we decided to surprise him with a big sign!

Everything always has to be blue and yellow because Anthony’s love for the University of Michigan sports has rubbed off on Hailey! They were so excited to hide and jump out in front of the sign when he got home!

TWO- A Clean Juice Bar opened in Mooresville over the weekend, so Hailey and I decided to stop by. She was so excited because they had so many fun things at the grand opening! She got to talk to and take pictures with Spider-Man and Elena of Avalor.

She got her face painted, a balloon Elsa wand and a smoothie of course! We have a great Saturday morning, just the two of us, that ended with getting our nails done!

THREE- After coming home from our fun morning out, the four of us spent the afternoon cleaning the basement. Our basement renovation is almost complete so we had a lot of cleaning to do because we were having people over for the fights that night. I can’t wait to get our furniture and decorate so I can write a post about it!

I snuck away from the cleaning to make a cheese plate for a snack!

When baby Stella got to our house, the girls were so excited! They just love her!!

The girls chatted and the guys watched the fights. It was a fun night!

FOUR- August is here and I am in total Fantasy (and regular) Football mode! My favorite Fantasy Football podcast started this week and I’m so excited to start studying for the draft!

FIVE- Busy Bees Play Center is a drop of child care center in Mooresville. I love love love having this option because if I have a doctors appointment or even something that Aurora can’t go to for Hailey, I can take them (or just Aurora) there and not have to worry about finding a babysitter.

On Wednesday, Busy Bees hosted a rock painting afternoon for kids. It was a free event and included all the supplies, pizza and drinks!

The girls LOVED it! In typical Aurora fashion, she was a mess in the first four minutes.

You should have seen her arms, legs and hands. 

They were so proud of their creations and couldn’t wait to hid them for other kids to find!

If you haven’t heard of the rock painting “craze,” apparently you decorate rocks and hide them in random places for other people to find. You can put a hashtag on them so you can keep track of your rocks on social media.

We went out later that day and hid a couple!

Well, that’s it for me today! Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

 

Low-Carb Breakfast Casserole

A long time ago, when I talked about food prep, I mentioned this breakfast casserole. I love to make it for the girls and I (Anthony is not a big breakfast eater during the week, but he likes it too!) because I can make it in advance and it can be reheated in the microwave each morning.

This recipe (like most of the ones I post) is very flexible. I will tell you what ingredients I chose, but you can really add whatever you want to this casserole. I mean, don’t add cookies or anything, but any kind of veggie, sausage or cheese will be just fine!

First, I sautéed some onion, zucchini and squash in a pan with salt and pepper until browned a bit.

Then, I whisked together 6 egg whites and 2 whole eggs. I used the egg whites to cut out some calories, but you could use all whole eggs if that’s what you like.

Sometimes I buy the pre-cooked sausage (pictured below), but other times I buy one pound of breakfast sausage and sauté it in a pan until browned.

I mix the eggs, sausage, veggies and about 1/2-3/4 cup of shredded cheese in an 8×8 dish and add a little salt and pepper.

Then I just pop it in the oven on 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes and that’s it! To make sure it is done, do the toothpick test in the CENTER of the casserole. The sides will cook and brown a little first, but make sure you cook it until the center is cooked through.

You can prep the casserole the night before and then bake it in the morning, or you can cook it right away and just reheat the pieces in the microwave each morning.

Print

Low-Carb Breakfast Casserole


Ingredients

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage (or a package of pre-cooked breakfast sausage)
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 

  2. Chop veggies and sauté them with salt and pepper in a pan until browned  

  3. Sauté sausage in a pan until browned (Or buy pre-cooked sausage and skip this step) 

  4. Whisk together 6 egg whites and 2 whole eggs 

  5. Combine whisked eggs, sausage, veggies, salt and pepper in an 8x8 dish

  6. Stir in 3/4 cup of shredded cheese

  7. Bake for 20-30 min or until a toothpick comes out clean from the CENTER of the casserole 

  8. Enjoy! 

Because my kids also enjoy this breakfast option, I do not add red pepper flakes when I prepare it, but I do add them to my piece when it is done and ready to eat!

I hope you all enjoy this as much as we do!

What is your go-to breakfast?

The emotional ups and downs of having a husband who works long hours 

Last week, Anthony left Monday morning for a week long trip for work. He is not a big work traveler, but he works ALOT. I didn’t think this would affect the girls much because they are only used to seeing him for maybe an hour in the mornings, on a normal work day. 

For me, I knew it would affect my sleep at night because I don’t like being in the house with the girls alone, and I also like the breakfast and morning routine help. However, as soon as I get the girls in the car for the Y, it’s really like any other day after that! I would also miss a little time seeing him late at night too.

Sunday night, Anthony read the girls some books together and then put Hailey down for bed. I took Aurora back downstairs because she had taken a long nap that day and wasn’t quite ready for bed yet. While we sat on the couch, I could hear Hailey crying, hard. I had to fight back tears and when Anthony came downstairs, I went up to try and calm her down. 

I explained to her that daddy works very hard so that mommy can stay home and spend time with her and her sister. I told her we couldn’t live in our house, have our pool or take fun trips if it wasn’t for daddy. I was successful in calming her, but our conversation made me think…

Sometimes, my appreciation for how hard Anthony works FOR US falls to the wayside, and me trying to calm Hailey down was a reminder of that. 

The next day, Anthony Facetimed us from the airport before he took off. Then, when we got to the Y, Aurora was bawling when I tried to leave her, holding onto me for dear life! Aurora has been going to the Y since she was 8 weeks old (the day she was allowed to go). This was so weird, but I knew immediately it was because she knew Anthony had left. Aurora didn’t seem fazed the night before he left when he was trying to say goodbye, but obviously his absence the next morning affected her. 

Even though the girls only missed out on 5, maybe 6 hours total that they would have seen their dad last week, the fact that he wasn’t here really sent them through a loop. 

I hear other people’s stories about eating together as a family for dinner each night, or a mom relaxing while their husband takes care of bath and bedtime routines, and I get jealous. I wish Anthony was here to see the girls more and here to help me with them. 

It’s so easy to look at other people’s lives and be jealous. I get jealous of people’s husbands who come home for dinner. I get jealous of people whose husbands work from home. What I would have given not to have had to wake up Aurora just to pick Hailey up from preschool everyday. 

But I realize, I shouldn’t be jealous at all. Some people get more time with with their dads and husbands than we do, but some get less. Everyone’s household is different and shouldn’t be compared. Everyone has struggles. 

Me having to explain to the girls why daddy had to leave last week really made me look at the big picture and realize that I shouldn’t dwell on the time Anthony isn’t here, but make the most of the time he is. 

Anthony works so so hard for our family and I know he wishes he could be around more too.

Anthony, if you’re reading this, thanks so much for all you do for the girls and I. We love and appreciate you. 

Five on Friday #9

It has been a LONG week! Anthony has been gone traveling for work, which isn’t very common in our household, so we are very excited to have him back later today!

I wanted to plan a lot for the girls to do while he was gone. He isn’t home much during the week anyway, but just the fact that he wasn’t home at all made them sad, so I wanted to keep them busy.

Now, in normal Friday fashion, lets get to this weeks Five on Friday!

ONE- Like I just said, I planned a lot for this week to keep us busy. We had two different playdates at two different splash pads! On Tuesday, we met friends at the Birkdale Village splash pad in Huntersville. The girls had a blast and I was so surprised because Aurora actually got all the way in the water! She usually just walks the perimeter and doesn’t want to get her head wet.

Then we got ice cream at Kilwin’s! They have really really good ice cream! Maybe the best I’ve ever had!

Our second splash pad playdate was at Hope Park in Mooresville on Thursday. Aurora was back to her old self just walking the perimeter and then realized we were at a park and just wanted to swing the whole time! Sorry Kim!

TWO- We also kept busy with some pool playdates this week too! Monday, we had our friend Sutton over to swim!

Wednesday, the girls friends Emersyn and Locklyn came to play!

And Thursday we had the girls friends Walton and Linden over to swim and play!

It was such a busy, but fun week!

THREE- A neighbor of mine brought over a couple purple tomatoes for us to eat.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a purple tomato, but he said in his opinion, it’s the best kind of tomato! It isn’t quite ripe enough yet, but I am excited to try it hopefully in the next couple of days!

FOUR- I ordered bracelets and a wave ring from Puravida Bracelets and I love them!

Everything is very affordable and they have free shipping if you spend $20 or more! I also found a 20% off code on Instagram that I used!

FIVE- Our basement renovation is almost done! The painters still have some touch up work, but other then that, the rest of the work left is for Anthony and I.

We ordered all the furniture we need, so we are just waiting for that. We have to go through all the storage rooms and organize them. And the most fun: decorating!

Anthony, of course, already has two TV’s hung, for football viewing purposes!

The bathroom is just about done and usable, so that’s very exciting! The bathroom is the main reason we wanted to finish the basement. We didn’t want to have to go through the house to use the bathroom when swimming and potentially ruin our wood floors.

We are so happy about how it has turned out!

That’s it for me! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Have you ever eaten a purple tomato? Is it good? 

 

 

 

A Day in the Life…

I wanted to do a post about what a day in our house looks like. I decided to document what we did on Monday. If I hadn’t already decided to name the post “a day in the life…,” I would have named it “What a day looks like with a crazy two year old!” There is never a dull moment with Aurora, and Monday was no different.

I set my alarm to get up at 6:15. That is pretty normal. I am a snoozer, so I finally got out of bed by 6:30. Aurora was up and playing in her bed already, and Hailey has a night light that turns green when she can come down (at 7AM), so she came down then.

Usually morning time is the only time the girls see Anthony, but he had to leave before they woke up Monday, so it was just the three of us for the day! Aurora had a morning surprise for me (a poopy diaper), so she was dressed at breakfast, which never happens. I almost had to change her outfit again after breakfast because of how messy she is!

I packed there snack bags for the Y.

They don’t eat all those snacks. I give them options because they are hit or miss on certain snacks depending on the day.

I got the girls ready. Aurora’s hair was done but she found some bobby pins she HAD TO WEAR, so I had to re-do her hair…even though she hates having her hair done.

She looks happy, but those bobby pins HAD TO HAPPEN!

We made it to the Y…that is NOT the hard part! Aurora has to get out by herself and it HAD to be the front passenger seat today.

Then, I thought we were golden…they were running to the door!!

Oh wait…flowers.

I was kidding about thinking we were golden…this happens everyday.

Then, not pictured, Aurora randomly had a meltdown when I was about to leave her in childwatch. Luckily, she snapped out of it after I left and I was able to get my workout in.

When they leave the childwatch, Ms. Jan, the awesome lady who checks the girls in, has dum-dum suckers for the kids. I kid you not that it takes Aurora a good 3-5 minutes to pick a flavor. She goes through several suckers before she finds the one she wants, and usually she ends up with the same one she started with!

Got one! Nope…she went back after this.

When we got home from the Y, I started making breakfast for myself and I heard something strange from Aurora. She had taken her shorts off and ran up the stairs. She is not allowed to go upstairs and she knows that but obviously didn’t care today.

I ate my breakfast and then had to lock Aurora in my room with me so she didn’t go up the stairs while I was in the shower. I was in the middle of my shower and she ran in to show me what she just found…

She got my purse, found the brightest red lipstick I own…and this happened. 

After I cleaned Aurora and everything else the lipstick got on, the girls made their lunch. I find that if they are involved in the cooking process (though this is not cooking…they made sandwiches) they are more apt to eat it.

We played upstairs in the playroom before it was naptime for Aurora.

When Aurora fell asleep, Hailey wanted to play upstairs still and do her chores for the day. We recently started a chore chart and she is really excited about it! I am glad I got all my house cleaning done on the weekend because I usually use this time to clean, but I got to play with Hailey instead.

She made her bed.

And watered the flowers on the front porch.

Then Aurora woke up and Hailey wanted to get her.

They decided they wanted to swim, so they had an early dinner outside and then got into the pool!

We invited our neighbors over to swim too! Sutton is too cute!

We had a dance party, made some popcorn and watched TV before bed. Then, I got the vacuum out to sweep the couch and floor around the couch because of said popcorn.

Aurora had to get her workout in before bed, haha.

Then we went upstairs around 8:30 to read some books and wait for daddy to call to say good night.

After the girls went to bed, I planted myself on the couch to watch a little TV before I went to bed.

This is a good example of what life looks like around here on a daily basis!

What do you do to keep busy with you kids during the week? 

 

 

Recent Eats

I thought I would write a post of some of the things I’ve been eating lately. This was all part of last week and weekends meals and snacks.

Lets start with breakfast! I don’t usually eat an early morning breakfast. I wake up and have a cup of coffee and then head to the Y. I don’t like to eat before a workout, so my breakfast is usually around 10:30-11:00. With that being said, I am usually starving by that point and love to have something quick and full of protein to snack on as I whip up something more satisfying.

Shredded buffalo chicken that I snacked on while making my real breakfast.

Here are a couple things I ate for breakfast last week.

BLT wrap: a little bit of light mayo, lettuce, tomato and bacon 

Open-faced English muffin with avocado, egg, a little bit of cheese and tomato

Egg white omelet with avocado, tomato, onion and goat cheese from Patisserie Café

Lunch for me is usually a salad, and last week I made the same one almost everyday.

This has spring mix with avocado, tomato, onion, shredded chicken, cheese, crushed tortilla chips and avocado ranch dressing.

On Saturday, I had extra time between my massage and hair appointment, so I stopped at Joel’s Asian Grill and had some sushi.

Crab, cucumber, cream cheese

We went out to dinner at lot this week, which is rare for us. On Wednesday, when our playdate got sick, Hailey wanted to go to dinner. We went to Barcelona Burger. I ate my burger open-faced and it was so so good!

Barcelona classic with the sauce on the side and a side kale berry salad.

This is spaghetti squash that I grew from my garden!! I just added some pasta sauce, mozzarella and red pepper flakes.

On Friday, Anthony and I had a date night and went to Ghostface Brewery in Mooresville. He got the chicken parmesan Stromboli and I got a veggie pizza.

Forgot to take the picture before digging in AGAIN! (insert eye roll emoji) 

Does beer count as a part of dinner?!

I also took pictures of a couple of my snacks this week. I am a big snacker! I usually eat smaller meals because I like to snack all throughout the day.

Cottage cheese with salt and pepper.

This might strike people as weird, but I do this almost every night. I grab one of the girls little bowls and fill it with a bunch of different salty snacks. I don’t have much of any one thing so I can have a variety. I also just want to say that we have a lot of weird snacks at my house right now because of the beach trip and long car ride. I haven’t had a combo in years, but the girls picked them at a gas station on the way home from the beach.

Pretzels, cheesy popcorn, baked Cheetos, taki’s (very hot and yummy rolled up tortilla chips), combos and hot fries. 

And wine…of course!

I plan to do another post like this when I don’t eat out as much, but this is what last week looked like for me! I hope you all have a great Monday!