Happy 1st Birthday, P!

My dear sweet baby boy,

I truly cannot believe it has already been one full year. You have grown so fast and have brought so much joy to our lives. It seems like just yesterday we were heading to the hospital. I remember waking your sister up and telling her we were going to the hospital to have baby brother. She was so excited to meet you. I remember when you were born and you came out wailing. You let everyone know that you had arrived and you were not happy about it.

You have one of the most amazing smiles I have ever seen. It is infectious. You smile and it instantly makes anything better. Your laugh is just as sweet. You squeal and giggle with pure mirth. You are one of the happiest little guys I have ever met. Sometimes, something makes you upset and you cry. Oh, how you cry. You get the saddest little frown. You don't let that ruin your day, though. You are happy again soon enough and bestowing that cute smile.

You love equally (well, mostly). You love playing with your sister and all of her toys. You stretch out your arms for your daddy and grin when he picks you up. My favorite thing is when you reach for me and hold on. You grab onto me like your life depends on it and then rest your little head against my chest. Sometimes, you even make cooing sounds. That absolutely melts my heart.

Determined and adventurous are some of the best words I can use to describe you. You get an idea in your head and you latch on to it. I can tell you are going to be my trouble maker. You already have a mischievous little smile when you are up to something you know you shouldn't be. When I pick you up or remove you from something you should not be touching or doing, you go right back to it. We try to keep you out of the kitchen because we don't want you playing in the dogs' water or food. Again and again, you try to crawl in there. I'll call out to you and you will stop, look at me, grin, and then go right back to your mission. It's hard to get frustrated when you smile so charmingly.

Speaking of crawling, you are a speed crawler. It's strange having a non-walking baby at your age simply because your sister was already walking by now. You love to move. You are super mobile even though you aren't walking. You disappear in a matter of seconds.

Oh my darling boy, there are so many things I love about you. I am so excited to see how this next year changes you. Happy birthday, baby boy!


A Letter To My Children

My sweet babies,

The past few weeks have been rough where we live. A few hours away, a little girl was killed. Then, this past week, a baby girl just three months younger than P was killed in the same neighborhood your grandparents live in. With all of these terrible things happening, I am reminded just how special you both are.

Life as a parent is rough. There are many times when I am exhausted. I just want time to myself. There are so many things I feel that I need to get accomplished and the day seems short of hours. By the time the evening arrives, my temper is running short and I want to rush through our nightly routine. I want to read a short book instead of a full story. I don't feel like arguing about dinner consumption or baths. At the end of the day, I don't want to snuggle, I just want my time alone. I want to be able to sleep in. I want to do things on my schedule. I wish I could just take a weekend away, but I would miss you too much even for such a short amount of time.

But the past few days have reminded me how truly precious you are. You, my darlings, are the lights of my life. Everything I do is for you. It may not seem like it, but I always have your best interests at heart. I may not always seem like the fairest mom or the best mom, but I'm okay with that. It stings when you call me a mean mommy or say you don't like me. It's okay, though, you are children and to you, a time out or toy being taken away is like the end of the world. I will do whatever I can to ensure that you are provided for in education, material needs, and emotional support. Never doubt how much love I have for you. I will be happy in any sacrifice I make to give you better lives. In the same way, I will discipline you and give you rules and structure. I do this because you are the world to me, but to the world, you are just people. I do not want you to feel that you should be handed everything in life. I want you to know the value of hard work and the importance of building and maintaining relationships. My rules and my discipline are just another form of the love I have for you.

As your mother, I promise to always love you. I may not always view your decisions as the right ones, but I promise to be supportive. I will always put you first in my life. It is hard to effectively communicate just how I feel about you. Every triumph, from your first steps to the first time you wrote your name, makes my heart soar. When you hurt, I hurt. Every tear, every disappointment cuts me to the core. I want nothing more than for you both to have happy and full lives. I hope you always feel that you can come to me with your troubles without fear of judgment. No matter what mistakes you make, my love for you will not diminish. 

A and P, you are blessings to me. You bring me so much joy and fulfillment. I never knew how much I could love until you came into my life. From the first moment I knew of your existence, knowing you were growing inside me, you became my first priority. No matter how old you get, even when you are out on your own, you will always be my children. I am forever grateful of the gift of you. So when you feel down, when you experience heartache or doubt, when the world judges you, remember you are loved. I love you with ever fiber of my being. To me, you are special. To me, you are everything good in this world. You give me hope. You inspire me. 


I'm Still Here

I've neglected the blog again. Sorry! I have so many things I want to write about, but something always seems to come up. The constant laundry and dish piles keep calling my name. Of course there are the two kiddos who like to cry for my attention as well. Rest assured, I'll be back to posting soon and as much as my schedule allows!


A: 3 Years

My sweet baby girl is three. She's starting school this fall. She's taking dance class and gymnastics. This little girl is growing up so fast and I want time to slow down.

A's three year stats were 37 1/2 inches tall and 27 pounds, 8 ounces. She is still a tall, skinny little thing. In pants and skirts, 3T is a pretty good fit in the length, but much too big in the waist. I try to stick to bottoms that have the elastic that can be tightened in the band. Most 3T tops fit fairly well, but 4T tops are good in length too. As for dresses, 3T are kind of short and 4T are baggy. I've just been sticking with the 3T and putting shorts under them.

At three years old, A is constantly singing. She walks around the house singing her made up song. Songs have topics such as "Daddy building a tower and I knocked it over" and "I want to eat that." Anything that is on her mind goes into a song. I love listening to her melodies and hearing her stories through song. Another big favorite is reading. Little Miss loves her books so much. She recently acquired another dinosaur book entitled "How Do Dinosaurs Go To School" in preparation for her preschool debut.

A's personality is something else. Sometimes, she is so sweet and loving it would melt your heart. Other times, she is downright aggravating. She makes demands, as toddlers do, and loves to test boundaries. We've had quite the issue with her attitude and talking back to us. We'll ask her to do something and she'll cross her arms or put her hands on her hips and say "No, I not going to." She'll also threaten to put us in time out or tells us that if we do something, we're going to get in trouble. There are days when this drives me absolutely batty and I want to rip my hair out. At the same time, there is that sweet little girl who walks around with a song and dances without a care. She loves cooking me dinner with her play food and is almost always willing to help. While the toddler attitude can get me down, I really could not ask for a better daughter.

Dance and gymnastics are all the rage around here. A has one class of each every week. She's still pretty wary of the balance beam, but I'm hoping she'll get up the courage soon. Of the two, I think gymnastics is her favorite at the moment because they do more and she loves showing us what she's learned. Her dance class is one hour long and consists of basic ballet, tap, and tumbling. She had her first dance recital this past May after attending only one semester. I see her improving every dance class and she really seems to enjoy it.

Little Miss is becoming quite the independent thing. She can brush her teeth all by herself and doesn't swallow toothpaste. She does her own routine of turning on the water, wetting her toothbrush, filling up her cup, brushing, and rinsing all by herself. Her dentist (aka GaGa) gave the go ahead for her to stop using toddler toothpaste and switch to children's. A is also able to use the toilet completely by herself. She has a stool in the bathroom that she uses to get to the toilet and also the counter and the light switch. She puts her toilet seat on the toilet by herself and then does the rest of her business. I'm so extremely proud of her for being able to do that.

Some of A's favorite things are coloring, painting, and bubbles. She is such a clean freak, she really hates to finger paint so she was thrilled to get a watercolor paint set for her birthday. Bubbles are always requested when we play outside



After a brief blogging hiatus, I'm back. The blog has changed a bit and become a bit more anonymous. Although, let's face it, how anonymous can one be anymore? While I still intend to talk about the children and our lives, I'm also incorporating more of my own hobbies, interests, and reviews in the mix.

If you are new around here, allow me to introduce myself. You can call me, C. I'm married to B and we have two beautiful children, A and P. A is my darling 3.5 year old little girl and P is my sweet 9 month old baby boy. We live fairly ordinary lives, but I love it. I get to stay home with my children and watch them grow and learn every day. Some days it gets repetitive and exhausting, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Aside from being a stay at home mom, I'm interested in a whole slew of things. I love reading. I will read pretty much anything I can get my hands on although I do love historical fiction or a good mystery. They tell me I'm a stellar baker, so I'll add that to my list of credentials. I do love to bake, but I don't eat a ton of it. I also really love trying new recipes for everything. I'm a DIY wannabe but I usually fail at my attempts to be creative. I also love to travel and end up daydreaming about places I'd like to go. I'm clumsy, tell bad jokes, and can be completely awkward socially.

B is the bread winner of the family. After a five year stint in the military, he now works in law enforcement and has quite the busy schedule. We've been together for 7.5 years and married for 4 years. In his spare time, B's into video games, graphic novels, and guns. He's my geeky guy and I love him to bits.

As I mentioned before, A is 3.5 years old and full of spunk. She came as quite the surprise to us, but we could not imagine life without her. Little Miss currently attends a Spanish Immersion preschool 5 days a week for 3 hours every day. She also is involved in dance and gymnastics and thoroughly enjoys all of the activities. In her off time, A enjoys playing doctor with her stuffed animals, singing, and putting together puzzles. She also enjoys drawing and has a vast imagination. Her favorite food is broccoli and she thinks I'm weird.

P is quite possibly the happiest baby you'll ever meet. He's rarely upset and cheers up quite quickly. Currently, he's rocking the baby thing. He enjoys eating and playing with his sister's toys. He's a total mama's boy although he smiles at everyone. It's so much fun seeing him as he changes every day (though his drool is a fairly constant thing).

Aside from the people, our family also includes Dante, a mini Dachshund, and Herschel, a pit bull mix. They're our other two babies and demand attention and affection. Dante is our trouble child and has the nasty habit of running off to pee somewhere if he's not getting the attention he feels he warrants or if he's just mad at you. Herschel is a real sweetheart, but his kryptonite is stuffed animals (of which we have many).

So, that's us. We're your typical American family minus the white picket fence. Who am I kidding? We're actually just plain strange.


Fall Bucket List

Fall is rapidly approaching. Why the midwest suddenly decided to have summer weather is beyond me. I'm looking forward to soup, college football, and the smell of pumpkin. I'm not the biggest fan of the taste of pumpkin, but I love the smell. Is that weird?

Every year, I have so much I want to do. This year, I decided to make a bucket list to commit to a few activities. There are more things I'd like to do with adults only such as go to a local town known for its wineries and German heritage to enjoy their Oktoberfest activities. While P is still too young to really participate in any activities besides drooling, pooping, or crying, A is at that fun age where she can finally do a lot of things she enjoys. I'm so excited for fall!


Stitch Fix Review #2

After my first Stitch Fix turned out to be less than thrilling, I was hoping the second would turn out better. I left detailed responses for each item I did not keep and updated my style profile to something a bit more form fitting. I figured that, since it was my first fix, I could not expect them to get it completely right. In the end, I purchased a dress I didn't love, but it was wearable.

I scheduled my second fix to arrive on a Monday. I requested the stylist give me some choices that would style well with boots since fall is upon us. The day after my package was shipped, the shipping company updated it to come one day later. The Monday it was supposed to show up, it was actually at the shipping company in my city but "Not Due for Delivery." I ended up getting the package a day late.

First up was the Nile Bird Print Belted Dress by Pink Martini. I have to say, my heart dropped a little bit when I saw this because I specifically asked for no more belted dresses. I wasn't crazy about the print or that it was another belted dress, but decided to give it a go. I did not like the way it draped or anything about it.


Next I tried on the Olive Fit & Flare Ponte Dress by Black Swan. I liked the color. The fit was pretty good, but I wasn't completely sold on the dress. I felt I could go to the store and find a dress I liked more.

After that, I tried on the Thea Ponte Skater Skirt by Sanctuary. The skirt flared out at the bottom and I didn't really like that, but there was nothing necessarily bad about it. I didn't have any tops like the ones they recommended so I tried it on with my white blouse from Anne Taylor Loft.


I tried on the last two items together. The first was a pair of pants called Rizzo Skinny Ponte Pants by Sanctuary. The pants fit in a mid-rise style and had no buttons or zippers. The mid-rise fit is not what I am used to so I was uncomfortable in the pants. They were slightly too long for me, but that is to be expected for short people like me. Other than the higher waist, the pants fit just fine.



The top was the Emeline Metallic Polka Dot Sheer Blouse by Kensie. Looking at it while it was folded in the box, I was excited to try it on. When I pulled it out, my jaw dropped. I could have fit in the shirt two, maybe three, times. It might have worked if I needed a sheer blouse to play a pirate, but other than that, I was absolutely not happy with it at all.


I was very unhappy with the fix in addition to the first one being a disappointment, so I sent an email complete with pictures to customer service. It was promptly replied to and I was offered $20 of credit to try one more fix or a refund. I went out on a limb and chose to try one more fix. I linked my style board on Pinterest to my Stitch Fix account and made notes on my profile. I pinned some of the styles from the Stitch Fix Pinterest page. I'm hoping the third time is a charm.