Preschool Reunion to Support Crews and his Leukemia Journey

On Saturday morning, a couple moms from Hailey’s old preschool group put together a party to celebrate Crews starting Kindergarten. In April, Crews found out he had Leukemia and him and his family have been going through some rough treatments ever since. The first six months is the worst and he was not able to start Kindergarten in August because he couldn’t be around other kids in fear of getting sick. Crews still has 2 1/2 years of treatment ahead of him, but he is now able to start Kindergarten, which is so so exciting!! And definitely something to celebrate!

He lost his first tooth in the bouncy house at his party! 

Hailey was so excited to see all the kids she went to preschool with for four years! She misses them all so much. They played in the bounce house, played inside, ate lunch and had cake!

Hailey made Crews a sweet card too!

I am so lucky to know all these little kids and their families! We are all so happy that Crews is doing much better and that he is finally able to go to Kindergarten!!

After the party, Hailey wanted to get a manicure and pedicure. She has been saving her birthday money since September for this, so she was very happy we finally had time to go! She loved every minute of it!

When we got home, Uncle Joseph (Anthony’s brother) was at our house watching football with Anthony. We all decided to go to Ghostface Brewery for drinks and dinner. Davidson Pizza Company is in the brewery, so they have a ton of food options.

I sat in the back with the girls…and we took some blurry selfies and played with snapchat filters the whole time! 

We met some of our other friends there too and had a blast!

We had a fun Saturday, except Penn State losing again…that was pretty awful! Now, I have to get the house cleaned and get myself all packed for Colorado on Thursday! Andrew McMahon here we come!

Halloween 2017 and my Selective Cheapness

Another Halloween in the books! And it was a fun one! Aurora didn’t have school on Halloween and Hailey’s school doesn’t do a parade or anything, so they wore their festive outfits one more time for the year!

Anthony got out of work a little early so we could eat dinner and then head over to my friend Jaime’s house to trick-or-treat! Our road is not “trick-or-treatable.” The houses are too far apart and its a long windy road with no side walks, so we are lucky to have great friends who invite us to their house to trick-or-treat!

Jaime made “vampire blood” for the girls to drink before we headed out!

If you didn’t see any of my pictures on social media, the girls were Thing One and Thing Two and I was The Cat In The Hat! The Cat In The Hat is one of the girls favorite shows right now, and they both love reading all Dr. Seuss books, so this was definitely a fun one for all of us!

On Halloween, Jaime was six days away from having her baby, so her husband decided to rent a golf cart incase she didn’t want to walk the whole time. The older girls were running ahead at the beginning, so at first, the golf cart was used to help the little ones keep up!

Then, towards the end, when the older kids were tired from all the sprinting from house to house, they got on too!

The golf cart was such a great idea! Thanks Jason!

On the way home, Hailey was exhausted and fell asleep almost immediately.

Aurora, on the other hand, was asking us to play “Thriller” and “The Beach Boys” and was singing along! My, what different kids we have!

All in all, it was a great Halloween for everyone! And the amount of candy the girls got was UNREAL! Now, if I can just have some willpower not to eat it all!

The day after Halloween was Aurora’s costume parade at school. They had a teacher workday on the 30th, so they moved everything to the 1st. She loved walked around and waving to everyone!

So I know I added “selective cheapness” in the title of this post. Ever since I became a SAHM, I have become cheaper than I once was. Obviously, I don’t make any money now, so that is definitely a big reason why, but I am selectively cheap and sometimes it doesn’t make sense at all. For example, say Anthony and I are out to eat on date night and he orders an appetizer, I will make some comment about how the dinner is going to cost way too much money now or something like that. However, Anthony will have the three dollar Bud Light, and I will order the nine dollar glass of wine, and then have another glass, and I won’t think anything of it. It makes no sense and I know that and I guess I’m working on it, haha.

This “selective cheapness” definitely applies to Halloween. It is hard for me to pay a bajillion dollars on Halloween costumes because I know they will be worn for one night and then put in a box, never to be worn again. Some costumes can be used for dress-up and things like that, but my girls aren’t really big into dress-up right now, so I knew when buying costumes this year, I wanted to try and get a good deal.

Both girls liked the idea of being Thing One and Thing Two when they saw the costumes, so I thought I lucked out. I was buying them from Target.com and at the time, there was a “buy one get one half off” deal. The description of the costume said “Thing 1 & 2 Deluxe Kids Costume” and was $40, so I thought I was getting a great deal for BOTH girls and decided that since I would get half off of another costume, I would get the Cat In The Hat for me because it was only going to be around $11. Fifty dollars for all three of us seemed like a steal!

Well, it turned out I should have read the kids package more thoroughly because when it came there was only one costume in the bag. It threw me off because there were two kids, each wearing a costume on the picture, and it says “Thing 1 & 2” on it as well. Bummer! I had to hurry back online and buy a second costume so it would get here in time for Halloween. I ended up spending almost $100 dollars on costumes that we wore for about three hours. That is frustrating for a selectively cheap person!

Hopefully the girls can use them in school for Dr. Seuss week or something like that so I can feel better about getting my moneys worth! Now if I could only find one of the two “number 2’s” Aurora lost in those 3 hours!

 

 

 

Halloween Costume Ideas From Years Past

Happy Halloween! Now that both of my girls are at the ages of being excited to dress up and trick-or-treat, I am really looking forward to tonight! I will show you all this years costume choices on Thursday, but for now, I thought I would recap some of our past costumes.

I am also including some of my sister, my brother-in-law and niece, and also my parents. My family loves Halloween, and my sister is super crafty and has made almost all of her own costumes…and some of mine too!

At age one, Hailey was a gnome!

At age two, Hailey was an owl.

This was a fun one! Papa Deano and Grandma surprised Hailey and dressed up with her at our house when she was three. Papa Deano and Hailey as Buzz Lightyear and Grandma as Mrs. Potato Head.

When Aurora was five months old and Hailey was four, they were Rapunzel and Pascal from Tangled. My sister made Aurora’s Pascal costume and it came out great!

Last year, when Aurora and Claire were one and Hailey was five, they dressed up as PJ Mask together. Papa Deano surprised them and was Romeo, one of the “villains” from the show!

That same year, my sister, mom and I dressed up as the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus! My sister did a lot of work on these costumes too! I thought they came out pretty good!

When Claire, my niece, was seven months old, they dressed her up as the Abominable Snowman, my sister was Rudolph and my brother-in-law was Yukon Cornelius. Awesome!

This year, they are going to be Nemo, Dory and Hank from Finding Dory!

One of my favorites that they did before Claire was born was when Brian was a Walmart greeter and my sister was a headless ghost. My sister made her whole costume and it was amazing! And kind of scary!

My parents really get into dressing up too! Even to just give out candy! One year, they were lawn gnomes!

They are really big Cowboys fans and went as a football player and cheerleader!

And maybe the cutest one, Santa and Mrs. Clause!

My family loves Halloween and I can’t wait to have a fun night with the girls. I am dressing up with them in a themed costume this year, and I really hope I can pull off getting a good picture! Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone!

Do you have a favorite costume that you or your family wore for Halloween? If so, what was it?? 

 

Fall Leaf Craft for Kids

My girls love to go for “nature walks,” especially in the fall! They pick out pretty leaves, acorns and anything else they think is an interesting find.

After our last “nature walk,” Hailey asked if we could do a craft with the leaves they found. I had just printed off a bunch of pictures from my phone, so we grabbed those and got started!

We glued a picture to a piece of construction paper and then glued the leaves around that picture. The girls favorite part was holding down the leaves to make sure they would stay on the paper. They would hold each leaf down together, which made for some pretty cute teamwork!

They were so proud of their work!

They both wanted to use pictures with their cousin, Anthony, so we are giving these to my sister-in-law and mother-in-law for little fall craft decorations!

This is just a fun, cute and toddler friendly fall activity that is great to give to family members! I was born missing the “crafty” gene, so this project is definitely foolproof! The girls were so proud that they could basically do the whole craft themselves and are so excited to give them as gifts!

 

 

A Day in the Life of a SAHM, 6 Year Old and 2 Year Old

The last time I did a “day in the life” post, I remember it being a crazy day with Aurora not listening and me having a lot of good material, if that’s what you want to call it. The girls weren’t in school, so I am sure that this day will look a lot different!

Yesterday started like any other school day. My alarm went off at 6AM. I snoozed once, then got up, turned on the coffee and by 6:20, I was waking Hailey up to get ready for school. She came downstairs, ate breakfast and wanted to practice her reading.

I packed her backpack with her lunch and all her things for Girl Scouts, which was after school that day. Then, she got dressed, brushed her teeth and I did her hair. Today was her Fitness Fun Run, so she put her sneakers on and was ready to go out and wait for the bus!

Anthony got Hailey on the bus, which is around 7AM each day, and I went down in the basement to get my workout in. Today, I just ran 6 miles on the treadmill.

When I was done, around 8AM, I came upstairs to find Anthony all ready for work and Aurora just getting up! She slept in…late! She is usually up by 630-7oo. Anthony fed her breakfast and changed her while I took a shower. It was orange day at school for Aurora so her and Hailey wore their matching outfits from Gammie!

I laid out Aurora’s book bag, coat and shoes. Much like every other day, Aurora did not like my shoe choice. For some reason she always wants to wear shoes that don’t match her outfit AT ALL! At least today she wanted to wear Hailey’s old, worn down black shoes instead of her brand new ones. Still frustrating, but at least I didn’t have to fight her about wearing bright pink shoes!

She looked at daddy proud like she beat me this time! However, I definitely won, because she at least wore shoes that match her outfit and there were no tears in the process!

Anthony took Aurora to school so I got the toilets and bathrooms cleaned and continued to get ready. I am so excited we finally have FALL temperatures here! I put on some warmer clothes and headed off to see Hailey run in her Fitness Fun Run!

It was such a cute event! They had a starting line and played fun, loud music to amp up the kids to keep running! ANNDDD her school raised over $40,000 with the donations from the run, which is awesome! Thanks again for all who donated in Hailey’s behalf!

After the run, I still had about two hours until I had to pick up Aurora, so I ran some errands and then ended up at Target…shocker! Molly blogged about mules the other day and included these beauties in some of the ones she liked under $100. These were actually one of my favorites that she posted about and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were from Target and were only $25! Now, I have no idea what I am going to wear these with, but I bought them because they were the last pair in my size and I just kind of love them!

After shopping, I picked Aurora up from preschool and we stayed after to play on the playground for a little bit.

I told her no less than 20 times not to fight me on leaving and that when it was time to go, it was time to go. She obviously got her selective hearing from Anthony. She fought me several times, until I had to pick her up and carry her out screaming and crying. (Not before I snapped a picture for this blog post, haha) Hashtag real life.

Aurora fell asleep for her nap in the car on the way from preschool like always, so I transferred her into her bed.

Then, it was time for me to unpack the car and get started on this blog post! I was starving and wanted something quick, so I popped a mini bag of popcorn and had a La Croix.

Aurora woke up a little less than an hour before we had to go get Hailey. It was a shorter nap probably because she woke up so late this morning. She had a little snack and we played for a little bit.

We went to pick Hailey up from Girl Scouts and then stopped at the house at the top of road to look at all the Halloween blow ups! This family does this every year for Halloween and Christmas and the girls love it!

They had a snack when they got home, and dinner shortly after.

In the middle of dinner, Aurora decided she wanted to eat on a yellow plate instead of a blue one, and she had a mini meltdown when I wouldn’t move her food to a new plate. Oh Aurora!

We tried to roast our pumpkin seeds from when we carved the pumpkins Sunday, but apparently they get moldy if you don’t cook them right away. I was so bummed. Mom fail.

The girls got early showers because it has been a busy week already and we decided we would stay in for the night. Aurora was caught going upstairs while it was Hailey’s turn to shower. I ended up letting her play in the playroom by herself with constant yells to make sure was okay and constant check-in’s. She did pretty good!

I let them watch their phone and IPad for a little bit while I cleaned up, threw in some laundry, swept and swiffered the floors. For some reason, they both like to sit/lay in my room on the floor, on either side of the bed. I think a comfy couch or actually on the bed would be a lot more comfortable!

Then, the girls had a snack. They picked Oreos which I was not thrilled about for several reasons, but I said yes anyway. I do a little happy dance ever night when I have cleaned up the last meal/snack that Aurora has to eat that day. She is still so messy!!!

The girls brushed their teeth and then we read some books. Aurora wasn’t happy that Hailey was reading and not me. When Anthony isn’t home, it is really a struggle to get reading time in with Hailey without Aurora ruining it. Hopefully that doesn’t stall her learning how to read.

At 7:30, it was time for Hailey to go bed. Aurora followed shortly after. I immediately regretted starting laundry because I was exhausted and just wanted to chill out. I folded and put away the laundry (except for the girls because they were sleeping), finished this blog and then watched some TV before bed.

This was a good example of a normal day for us! Filled with busyness, fun, tantrums and bed!

 

 

Grandma and Papa Deano, an aquarium, a pumpkin patch and lots of sports watching!

What a weekend! I am exhausted and I have to get the house ready to host my women’s life group tomorrow!

My parents got here on Thursday at 2PM. They left from Pennsylvania Wednesday after work and stopped after about 2.5 hours to go to the casino right at the end of PA. They got here right in time for Aurora to get up from her nap and to get Hailey off the bus. We hung out for a little bit at home and then headed to Barcelona Burger and Beer Garden for an early dinner because Hailey had soccer practice at 6. We walked around the antique shop and a kids consignment sale before dinner too!

Barcelona did not disappoint and everyone loved it!

Anthony came and picked up Hailey for soccer and the rest of us walked around the antique shop for a little longer before heading back home.

The rest of the night was filled with watching football and baseball playoffs!

The girls had off from school on Friday and Anthony took a half day, so my parents, the girls and I headed to Concord Mills to the SEA LIFE Aquarium before Anthony got home from work.

It’s a little pricey for the size of the aquarium I would say, but it was still a great time! Aurora was kissing the fish through the glass, haha!

They have an area where you can touch starfish and other little creatures so Hailey and Papa Deano spent some time doing that. I am more of an observer and not a fish toucher!

They have a little display where the kids can crawl up into a little bubble and actually see all the fish and turtles around them! If you look closely you can see Hailey in the middle and a big turtle right above her head!

After the aquarium, we did a little shopping at Concord Mills mall and Grandma took the girls on the merry-go-round!

Anthony got out of work as we were leaving the mall, so we all met back at home and did some swimming! We turned the pool heater on that morning so it wasn’t too cold.

The Cubs played their first playoff game Friday night, and that’s my parents team, so we watched that and hung out in the basement!

In the morning, the girls made pancakes with grandma and then we all got ready to go to Hailey’s soccer game!

Aurora ended up falling asleep for her nap really early, so I stayed home and let her sleep for a little bit before making it to the last half of the game!

When the game was over, the girls, my mom and I left together to head to Patterson Farms for a pumpkin patch birthday party!

Aurora loved the corn pit and played in there with grandma a lot of the time!

They had spray on face paint and Hailey got in line to get hers done almost immediately!

Aurora, on the other hand, was not a fan of the spray on face paint so they didn’t get very far with hers! They tried to paint some purple flowers over top of the blue, but she wasn’t having that either, so she basically walked around with a blue forehead the whole time!

The girls rode on these little cows pulled my a tractor around the farm. That didn’t make me nervous AT ALL!! (*sarcasm*)

It was such a fun birthday party! Happy Birthday Brooks and Gracelyn!

When we got home, the men were watching football and getting ready for the Cubs second playoff game. The Cubs didn’t fair as well on Saturday night and ended the weekend at 1-1.

On Sunday morning, my parents left before any of us were awake. I ran, did some laundry and got ready to go to my friend Lisa’s baby shower. Josh, Janelle and Stella came over so that Janelle and I could go together and Josh and Anthony could watch football and the kids.

When Janelle and I got back, we all had dinner, let the kids play until bedtime and then I was in bed shortly after that!

It was a long, fun and eventful weekend and now I have one more day to get the house back in order and do some shopping before I host my women’s life group on Wednesday!

 

 

Pumpkins, Mums, Soccer, Sushi and a Beer Festival!

That’s a big title, but we had such a busy weekend and ended up all over the place! Friday, the kids swam in the hot tub, and actually went into the pool despite it only being 78 degrees! And when the girls were in bed, Anthony and I enjoyed some hot tub time too!

Saturday, we were up and ready pretty early for Hailey’s second soccer game of the season! She played goalie for the first 10 min of the game and blocked some goals! ANDDD…she scored her first goal too!! Proud soccer mom over here!

After soccer, Hailey changed into her pumpkin shirt, to match Aurora and I (cheesy fall mom!), and we headed to get our pumpkins and mums! I should mention that Anthony came too, however, he just did not wear a pumpkin shirt.

We went to a place close by that has a ton of great choices for pumpkins and also has games for the kids to play!

Pumpkin bowling!

Football toss

This is the best picture of the three of us we could get! Aurora was distracted by all the pumpkins!

When we got home, Anthony and Hailey went to work on decorating the house outside while I did some housework inside and Aurora napped. Anthony is the decorator of the family, so I leave all that kind of stuff to him!

When Aurora woke up, she wanted to help too!

I think Anthony (and the girls) did a great job and it came out awesome!

Mid-decorating I got a Facebook update about a local Beer Festival going on until 7PM that day, so of course we decided to stop being productive and go have fun outside with friends!

Oh, Aurora.

It was called the Lakefront Hops Festival and it had 13 different breweries from around the area showcasing 3-4 different beers of their choice. Our friends Josh, Janelle, Stella and Dana came by to enjoy some beers with us too!

Then, we said bye to our friends, and headed to a late dinner at Pisces, a local sushi bar that everyone raves about but we have never been to. I can’t believe we waited so long because it was so so good! Anthony and I got Karyu sushi roll, which was a spicy tuna roll topped with avocado, spicy aioli, grilled jalapenos and sriracha.

Hailey ordered sushi off the kids menu too!

And Aurora had the kids bento box.

For dinner, I got the hibachi shrimp and scallops and Anthony got the hibachi chicken and it was all amazing!

The girls stayed up way past their bedtime, but did pretty good considering! I would HIGHLY recommend Pisces to anyone, and I can’t wait to go back and try something else on their menu!

Sunday, I ran 8.5 miles, went grocery shopping and then took Hailey to her first birthday party for someone in her Kindergarten class! It was nice to actually talk with some of the moms and dads of the students in her class and get to see some of the little ones she hangs out with all day!

We came home to watch football and Gammie and Papa Keith stopped over for a little bit too. Aurora also got her first lesson in leaf throwing from a pro!

It was a great FALL weekend and I can’t wait for all the other fall things to come!

 

 

 

Hailey’s First Sleepover and the Panthers vs the Saints

Hailey’s birthday is September 6th. This year it was particularly difficult to plan a friends birthday party because she had just started Kindergarten at a brand new school with brand new kids. I was going to let her invite her preschool friends one last time, but we decided to go a different route…her first sleepover!

Hailey invited her friend, Emersyn, to sleepover this past Saturday. They have been friends since they were one, and luckily, our family is really close with her family, so we invited her parents and sister over for dinner too!

She wasn’t excited for Emersyn to come over at all…haha! 

I set up a craft table in the basement for the kids, while the adults watched some football.

That didn’t last too long and the girls wanted to go play outside. They jumped on the trampoline and played on the swing set.

We ate dinner, sang happy birthday and Hailey opened her presents!

Aurora actually ended up sleeping over at her Gammie and Papa Keith’s house which is why she is MIA! 

I thought it was the cutest thing that both girls wrote each other notes about how excited they were for their first sleepover!

When Emersyn’s family left, the girls played with Hailey’s new die cutter machine that Gammie got her for the birthday.

Then it was PJ time! Hailey picked out these ADORABLE “best friends” shirts for them to wear to bed!

They watched Moana, which came with a lot of giggles and loud singing, and around 9 o’clock, it was time to turn the movie off and try to get them to go to bed! Surprisingly, they went down pretty good and slept the whole night!

They did wake up a little on the early side. It was 6:42AM when I heard my name being called from the basement. I had plans to get up early that Sunday already though because we were going to the Panthers football game!

The girls ate muffins and yogurt while Anthony made them pancakes! 

They also climbed up the walls, which was making me a nervous wreck! They both made it all the way to the top and were doing it over and over again. I was so close to getting through the whole sleepover with no tears or wounds, so luckily the wall climbing ended with no casualties!

All-in-all the sleepover was a success and they were both asking when they could do it again!

We dropped Emersyn off at home and then headed to Concord to take Hailey to Gammie and Papa Keith’s, where Aurora was, so we could meet up with our friends Josh and Janelle and head to the Panthers game.

Stella photo bomb!

We got to go to a tailgate party that had drinks and food provided! (Thanks Ron!)

I was especially excited about the game because I have Kelvin Benjamin and Michael Thomas on my fantasy football team AND I was playing Josh, who was at the game with us! Michael Thomas scored almost immediately and I was definitely giving Josh a hard time about it! Then, a couple short plays later, Kelvin Benjamin gets hurt…and Josh’s team ended up kicking my butt! Karma!?

It was soooo hot at the game! At one point, Janelle and I went to the bathroom and discovered that in the walkway to get back to the stands, there was air blowing, which felt like a giant fan! We stood their for quite a while and took this selfie so end to the guys so they knew we were okay and just getting some air! Fall…where are you?!

After the game, we decided to walk to dinner instead of sitting in traffic. We went to Cowbell, which did not disappoint! We shared two appetizers. The Sinatra, which is deep fried hand pulled mozzarella dressed with prosciutto, fresh basil and red sauce. We also had the deviled eggs which were served with crispy prosciutto and garlic pickles. Both were really good!

For dinner, I had the PM Burger, which was really good too! It was a beef patty on a pretzel bun with Guinness beer cheese and deep-fried jalapenos. It was suppose to have pulled pork on it also, but I got it on the side. Nothing to complain about here!

We had a fun and busy weekend with great friends!!

 

 

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? 

 

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? 

 

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!

 

 

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? 

 

 

 

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? 

 

 

How to get your baby/toddler to enjoy the pool

Summer is just around the corner! With the temperatures warming up, getting into the water with your little ones is always refreshing in those hot months.

Last year we put a pool in at our house. Hailey was four and learned how to swim pretty quick and loved it. Aurora, on the other hand, had just turned one and did not feel the same way. She would get in for a couple minutes and then run around the perimeter of the pool, want me to take her life jacket off and want to go swing instead. It took some time, and I think the older she got, the better she did, but I came up with some ways to help keep the littler kids occupied while swimming.

1- Swim School Tot Trainer: This life jacket shirt is Aurora’s favorite! She started wearing it at the end of last summer which means she would have been a little over one year old. She doesn’t feel confined and can swim around in it without getting her face in the water. She will leave it on even when she gets out of the pool so I’m less nervous about her falling in.

2- Lollipops: Aurora is my messy child, and that is an understatement. All those doctors appointments in a baby’s first year of life means a lot of lollipops being offered, so I found out quickly on a car ride home just how messy they can be…especially if your child fails to use the stick at the end of the actual lollipop!

She loves suckers though, so last year I thought to give her one in the pool and it was genius, if I do say so myself! She is always so happy to get one, it’s mess free in the water and they take a long time to eat. They do sink when dropped, so I’m thankful that her big sister likes to help out and dive down to get it!

3- Personalized Playlists: My girls both love music! When we put the pool in, we purchased a couple Sonos speakers so we could make the music loud enough to hear. We made a couple playlists for different occasions, but we made sure to make some with different songs the girls enjoy too!

We have some Moana, Sing and Trolls, along with songs that they like to sing with Anthony and I when we are in the car or listening to our favorite music at home. It’s a win, win!

4- Swim with friends: This is kind of a no-brainer, but distractions help keep a baby/toddler interested. Other kids laughing and playing games, or multiple adults to swim around with always help Aurora stay in the pool.

5- Different and fun floats: We bought Aurora a couple fun and interactive floats on Amazon last year and she would switch from one to another and stay in for a longer time.

6- Portable High chair with snacks poolside: If your little one just isn’t wanting to be in the pool, you can always set them up within arms length with their favorite snacks so you can enjoy the water!

Do you have any tricks to help keep babies/toddlers in the pool?