Weekend Shenanigans - Perfect Fall Weekend

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This weekend was absolutely gorgeous.  Sunny skies and temps in the 70's.  For us Central Indiana folks we'd call this weather nothing short of amazeballs.  It made my husband and I seriously think our current location.  I reminded him that there are places in the near United States that offer this kind of fabulous weather throughout the horrible winter months.  I may be just one step closer to getting my beach life 24-7...

We thoroughly took advantage of the weekend's warm temps.  Kurtis raked the leaves and the kids played in them.  Don't worry.  I watched.

I know.  The world's smallest leaf pile.

Lola decided to take a super long and wonderful nap.  I got in a warm three mile run (when I wasn't running into the wind) and caught up a bit on some of my reality T.V.  Then we decided to take an evening trip to the local pumpkin patch.  Seriously, best idea EVER!  Cohen had a blast and I'm pretty sure Lola was quite excited too because she didn't even realize that we were out almost an hour past her dinner time.  That's big news my friends.

Sunday was just as gorgeous and we lucked out because we had family pictures scheduled in the morning.  Holla!  Despite it being during Lola's nap time and Cohen acting like a wild animal, I think Michele got some great shots.  Thank God she's our friend and it's okay if she judges because she knows us.
The remainder of the day was spent cleaning, resting and playing.  For some reason Sundays go by WAY too fast.  It makes me sad to think we probably won't have another one of these beautiful weekends until Spring again.


Where's my beach?

How was your weekend?

Lola Girl's 11 Month Update

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I'm having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that my little sweet pea is just one short month away from turning a year old.  How has it already been one year since I was last pregnant?  While I don't enjoy the whole being pregnant part, I did truly enjoy the after excitement.  All I have ever been told is how much faster it goes with your second one and it really is true.  The reality that I was getting ready to go on maternity leave this time last year is hitting me hard right now.  I now have a four year old and an almost one year old.  
When did this happen?

Lola Girl you are the sweetest and absolute chillest baby.  While you may have your diva moments, I still am amazed at how graciously you take the rough and toughness from your big brother.  The world is your oyster and you just take every bit of it in.  These days you are crawling and climbing on everything.  We have set up the officially "Lola Gate" in the living room, blocking off your entry to the kitchen.  There's only so many times in one day that I can clean up Brady's water as well as fish those pieces of Pedigree out of your mouth.  While you stand like a champ, you aren't too interested in taking steps and I'm completely okay with that.  However you can climb those stairs like you a boss.  It's almost time to transition you into a big girl car seat but I'm really trying to put that off for as long as I can (plus your dad and I continue to have the debate of the century about which car seat will be purchased for you.)  You truly are just too cute to boot and I'm pretty sure you know this too!

So what has my Lola been up to this past month:

Size: Lola was 19 lbs 8 oz at her last doctor's appointment -- she gained 2 lbs in 2 months!  The Buddha belly is growing and is starting to preciously hang over the top of her diaper.  She still fits in 9-12 month clothes and size 3 diapers.  I did up her diapers to size 4 at night for extra absorbency and that has worked out pretty well.   

Eating:  Lola takes four bottles - 6 oz, two 4 oz and 6 oz.  I tried formula in the sippy cup and she thought it was a joke.  However, she loves water in her sippy so I'm not too worried about the cup transition.  Once she gets a nice cold glass of milk, she'll change her mind.  My plan is to slowly phase the middle bottles out this month and replace them with sippies once I'm done with this container of formula.  But can the girl get hysterical when she sees that bottle.  Don't ever show her a bottle that is empty either...

As far as food goes this kid can put it down!  She eats pretty much anything we eat.  The other night I made chili and she had no problem chomping it down.  Lola also has a large love for Annie's bunny mac and cheese.  Peaches, pears, apples and bananas are her favorite fruits while avocados and sweet potatoes are her favorite veggies.  I will continue to cross my fingers that she will not be a picky eater like her brother.

Sleeping:  There was a two week period where I thought I had a newborn again.  However an ear infection, sinus infection and the ability to cut 4 teeth in one month would probably suck for me too.  Unfortunately my Fall Break definitely was not a vacation when it came to the sleep department.  The following week my mom was in town and Lola got caught up on her sleep.  Lately she has been doing much better and has quickly fallen back into her 7:15 pm -7:30 am routine.  She even slept in on Saturday until 8:30 - thank you Jesus. God this child needs to teach her brother the art of sleeping in.

Milestones:  Lola is a moving machine!  She is climbing, standing and crawling all over everything.  While she has taken a few steps on her push walker, she isn't too much interested past that.  She does scoot and move around the furniture pretty well and will walk holding your hands for a little bit.  Lola has officially mastered the steps and it's really cute to see her little diaper butt push herself up each step.  Her top teeth have officially cut all the way through and now she has two more on the bottom so we have 6 total teeth.  Plus right now one more little toof is coming in on top and I'm pretty sure she's cutting the molars because of how she is chewing back there.  When it rains, it pours, right?

She loves to mimic people.  If you clap, she claps.  If you tap the floor, she will tap the floor.  My favorite thing to do is find something that makes her giggle and then she will mimic me and keep doing it all while laughing her sweet little laugh.  She will move her mouth like a little fish and look at me doing it until I do it with her.  Can't.  Handle.  It.  

Likes:  This kid LOVES meals -- breakfast, lunch or dinner she will make sure you are aware that it is time for her to eat.  If you are eating something you either need to eat it real fast or hide it because the kid expects you to share it with her, or else.  Lola also loves her bed.  I know that sounds silly but the kid sleeps like a dream in her own crib. I get it though - there's no place like home. I'm also going to add that she LOVES to milk her dad.  He can't make eye contact with her or she will bust out that fake cry until he picks her up.  I know.  Damn good already.

Dislikes:  Lola's worst enemy right now it the word NO.  If you tell her not to do something, the teenage version of herself appears.  I'm talking the fake tears, loud shriek and the dramatic head toss backwards.  While she is sweet as can be 90% of the time, that 10% sure ain't pretty.  She also absolutely HATES her car seat.  I think it's the fact that she is restrained and not allowed to move that ticks her off.  The kid is a pro at the back arch.  Makes me think that she will be quite flexible one day...

My mind is in super first birthday planning mode.  I'm sure I will probably plan and pin all of these fabulous ideas that won't become a reality until the Friday before her party.  Think pink and gold baby.  Her invites are adorbes too.  I'll share those when I share her party pictures.

Lola Colleen it is time you stop growing!  Every month I think, "Okay, this is my favorite month," because I remember how much fun each month gets the older you get.  Your little personality is sweet and caring.  When someone says hi to you, you are sure to wave right back and melt their hearts.  When someone is crying (a.k.a. your brother throwing a fit) you get a very concerned look on your face and sometimes will cry with him.  I think this has made your brother fall even more in love with you because you can't pass him without a kiss on the head or a big, brotherly squeeze.  This is your last monthly post until you are the big 1.  We love you so much Lola Bug!

Party Like the Hard Rock Roxtars + Giveaway #ThisIsHardRock

Monday, October 20, 2014

Disclosure: No celebrity or musician has endorsed the “Does Your Child Look Like a Rock Star” contest. The information, gift card, gift pack and giveaway have been provided to me by Hard Rock International. 

Cohen loves music.  The kid has always loved to dance and sing the second he hears any kind of tune. I knew when I got this opportunity to dress him up as a rock star he would be up for the challenge.

I told you so.

Recently I received a super fun package from Hard Rock International with fun stuff for everyone in
the family including our very own Hard Rock Roxtars.  These Roxtars were created to inspire kids big and small to rock their cool and let their originality shine.
Band members include:
o   Razzi™, “the motherly type” who is famous for squishy hugs and keyboard skills
o   Sir Kingston™, a British-invasion inspired rock-and-roller on lead guitar
o   Styler™, a free-spirited and accompanying guitar player
o   Buddy Jr™, a wild man who loves nothing more than a good drum solo
             o   Skiddley™, the lead singer and “Mr. Cool” of the group             

So why is Cohen dressed up like a rock star again?

Well, right now local area Hard Rock Cafes are hosting a super fun contest, "Does Your Child Look Like a Rock Star?" to get people excited about these adorable Hard Rock Roxtars. For one night, your kiddos will dress up like a rock star and you can take the family to your local Hard Rock Cafe.  These rockin' kids will get their very own Hard Rock Roxtars activity book along with a super cool guitar shaped plate to go along with the themed menu.  How does Skiddley's "Not-so-diddley" chicken breast sound?  Super skiddley-licous to me!  Did I mention kids eat free with a paying adult?  Seriously, I'm not playing.  Plus every rock star will have the chance to win some cool prizes including Hard Rock Cafe gift cards or even a 2015 birthday party with up to eight of their friends and family.

Party on friends and contact your local Hard Rock Cafe for more information about this rockin' family event!

A serious action shot my friends.

Planning on taking the family on a trip soon?  Hard Rock hotels now offer the super cool Roxity Kids Club!  Children who stay at Hard Rock Hotel locations with their families will receive a special Hard Rock Roxtars Activity Book at check-in and unlimited entertainment at Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club, a family-friendly, music-inspired haven, where kids can rock to their own rhythm, catch a live Hard Rock Roxtars performance or take part in experiential, engaging and music-infused learning activities.  Now that's some family fun if you ask me!

Check out Hard Rock's website for more information and be sure to follow them on Twitter so you don't miss out on the party!

You didn't think I'd leave you hanging did you?  
How about your chance to win a stellar Hard Rock Roxtars prize package!

The Hard Rock Roxtars Prize Pack includes:
--$50 Hard Rock gift card
--Roxtars plush toy
--Hard Rock adult t-shirt
--Guitar shaped plate
--Roxtars Activity book

Enter the Rafflecopter below and party on friends!

I Want My Mommy

Saturday, October 18, 2014

This was a long week.
Kurtis traveled out of town for a conference and I played "single mom" to my little darlings.  Keep in mind this was after a week of restless nights with a baby who wasn't about sleeping and a four year old who has decided to be Mr. Independent.  
I was beyond scared.  I was terrified.

But have no fear...Mom to the rescue!

No, not me the mom.  My mommy.
Yes. I'm 31 years old and still want my mommy.
My mom came and stayed with me four of the days.  She was nothing short of a miracle.  And it ended up being perfect timing since sweet Lola had decided to spurt an ear infection and sinus infection towards the end of my Fall Break.  It was like having a best friend stay with you only one that wants to cook and clean as well as give your kids baths.  Plus it was nice having someone who wanted to watch the same shows as you and actually understand what drama was going on in the show without trying to switch to baseball when I wasn't looking.  Unfortunately I had to work so I didn't get to spend as much time with my mom as I would've hoped for, but one can only take what one can get.

But this week was another reminder of how lucky I am to have a helpful husband by my side to help me in the household.  Seriously you single moms (and dads) - I applaud you for your hard work!  This motherhood thing is an amazing blessing but I am quite certain it is the hardest job possible.

And a celebratory trip to Target was in store for surviving the week of course.  In the world's biggest cart.

But the one reality that I was reminded of this week is that no matter how old we are, we are never too old for our own mommies.

Thanks Madre for working your magic.  You're the bomb.com.

Ode to Fall Break - Why Did You Go Fast?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I'm pretty sure the last week was the fastest week in history.  Why do breaks fly by yet work weeks drag on to no end?  Oh, because it's work.  That's why.

Here's a little glimpse into my fabulous Fall Break:

We woke up on Sunday as four year old (thank you Jesus).  But not just a regular four year old.  A four year old with fabulous bed head.

 On Monday we started our week off right -- Immunizations and Flu Shots baby!  Just doing my parental duties though.  Cohen decided to take a glorious nap with me while Lola wanted to clean out my cupboards.

By Tuesday it was still raining and cold.  But we managed to bundle up and make it on a walk to the playground until we realized the wind was going at gusts of 20 MPH.  But let's get real -- my girl can rock those Uggs like a BOSS.

I also took Cohen and Lola on their first trip to the Humane Society.  As we left Cohen said to me, "That you Mom for taking me to see the puppies and kitties."
See, he can be sweet.

Wednesday was Mommy Day -- both kids went to school and the sitter and I enjoyed a morning to catch up on stuff for myself.  It was also beautiful outside so I was able to enjoy a run in the gorgeous fall colors.  I made a delicious dinner that Cohen thoroughly enjoyed for once while Lola played puppy with socks (they are clean, I promise).

On Thursday we had scheduled family pictures.  However, the rain had other plans.  So I did a few loads of laundry and took Lola to the doctor since she decided to wake up every night of break from 1-3 A.M.  Turns out she had an ear infection and sinus infection -- she wasn't playing.

The rain decided to still hangout on Friday which meant no family pictures...again.  Apparently this weather is telling me to go to Target until we get our pictures taken to find that perfect outfit.  But the rest of the weekend was devoted to family time and enjoying the last few days of our fabulous time off.

Lola eating and loving it...of course.

And hanging out with Spider-Man.

I love these breaks with my little family.  It made me miss maternity leave x 223487923483.

But now I need to go to bed because my children are no longer my alarms.
5:30 do not come too early please...

It's the Final Countdown! #RaceAroundAmerica

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Ladies and Gentlemen!  We are entering the final stretch!
Remember that beautiful Roush Stage 3 Mustang introduced you to a bit ago when it stopped in Indianapolis?  Well this beaut is headed to Miami in the final leg of its Race Around America.  This is your last chance to head over to Race Around America's site and enter to win one of four trips to Miami as well as the chance to own this fancy Roush Stage 3 Mustang.  Your vote will determine the finish of the race so hurry and get to it!

While you're at it, be sure to grab your Balance Financial Card at Walgreens.  It's that prepaid card you can use anywhere that accepts Debit Mastercard but comes with great perks and rewards -- like a chance to win the ROUSH Stage 3 Mustang!  Use it to get a head start on your holiday shopping or even to stock up on the Halloween candy because then it will  automatically enter you in the sweepstakes once the card has been registered.  I used mine the other day to stock up on party supplies and goodies for Cohen's birthday.  The Balance Financial Card is easy to use as well as convenient and perfect when you are on the go!

Time is a ticking my friends!  Visit RaceAroundAmerica.com to vote and get your final entries in to win this gorgeous car and a fabulous trip to Miami.  But hurry - the sweepstakes ends next week!

Be sure to check out the latest Race Around America webisode with Trevor Bayne as he visits Tennessee to show those Vols what this Mustang can do!

Where would you drive your Stage 3 Roush Mustang?


Teach Them Young with Pedigree Dog Food

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #PedigreeGives

Meet Brady, our first baby. I rescued this sweet boy from a no kill shelter eight years ago. I had never owned a dog before and boy, it was a crazy eye opener that's for sure. However I wouldn't trade my rescue pup for anything - even though he is quite stealth at stealing Cohen's pizza off his plate. Animal shelters and rescues are near and dear to me because of my great experience. Now that Cohen is four he has started to show interest in ways he can help other people and things, which is an amazing feeling as a parent. Recently we stepped up his responsibilities and he is now in charge of feeding Brady because he absolutely adores this dog (well, except for the dog breath). Since he has such a strong love for animals, I thought I'd foster this love and his curiosity to help others by letting him visit a local animal shelter to see how he can help these pets. When I told him our plan he sweetly asked me if we could get the doggies some plain dog treats. Seriously, he melts my heart.

All week Cohen had been asking to go see the doggies and kitties. After a good afternoon of naps by all, we headed to the Hamilton County Humane Society to start our experience. Cohen was so excited to see the animals. When you first walk in there were a few cages of animals in the lobby. The kid was mesmerized by these sweet pets. He kept telling me, "Mommy! They are talking to me! Look!"

We spent a good amount of time at the Humane Society.  Cohen got to look in all of the cat rooms and even watched one of the dogs get a bath, which he thought was hilarious.  Together we attempted to go into the the dog room.  I warned him that it was going to be loud but the dogs were just happy to see us.  We lasted all of ten seconds in that room until he informed me, with his ears covered, that it was too loud.  As we left we stopped at the donation bins to see the items that had been donated for the animals at the shelter.  We also grabbed a list of some of the items that were needed so Cohen could choose some things to purchase for a donation.  

Later that day, we headed to Sam's Club to grab some food for Brady. We picked up our usual Pedigree dog food (it's seriously a steal of a price at Sam's Club!) and then browsed the rest of the pet aisle to see if Cohen could find something he'd want to donate to the Hamilton County Humane Society. Apparently since October is Pet Adoption Month, Pedigree will donate one bowl of dog food to a shelter in need for every Pedigree dog product purchased at Sam's Club. I was sure to gear Cohen towards the Pedigree products so we could utilize this amazing promotion. Cohen decided on a large variety of Pedigree Dentastix for the dogs at the Humane Society.

I love this boy's sweet heart and eagerness to help others out. As a parent I think it's important to teach responsibility but it is also just as important to demonstrate and encourage caring behaviors with your children. After our trip to the Hamilton County Humane Society, Cohen said to me, "Thank you mom for taking me to see the puppies and kitties." I honestly think our trip to the animal shelter opened up his little four year old eyes to a world beyond just the cats and dogs. I was able to take something he loves, like animals, and turn it into a teaching moment on how he could help other animals besides his own dog. This kid is a sponge and if I can foster his eagerness and curiosity to help, then I'm doing my job as a parent.

Be sure to check out Pedigree's Pet Adoption Month Promotion through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

What lessons have you used to teach your children to be caring?

Good-bye Threenager. Four I Welcome You With Open Arms.

Monday, October 6, 2014

This guy is four.

Seriously, I blinked my eyes and he's now four.

It's crazy to think that I started this journey of motherhood four years ago.  I still remember the day I found out I was pregnant.  Time goes by so quickly!

This year was a huge year for Cohen.  The biggest adjustment was becoming a big brother.  I have to be honest I was really nervous about bringing Lola home and seeing how he'd react.  However one of my favorite memories of this past year was when my parents brought Cohen to meet Lola for the first time at the hospital.  He came running in, stopped and then sat down to take off his socks and shoes in my hospital room.  Apparently he felt at home.  The little nugget climbed into bed with me and wanted to snuggle.  Precious little guy.  But then he wanted apple juice and the excitement was over.  He has adjusted so well and despite the fact that he can be a little turd to her sometimes (I mean he's a big brother, come on now) this whole second sibling gig hasn't phased him at all.

Cohen is in his second year at preschool.  This year he's in the 3-4's room at school which is a lot more structure and academics than what he had last year.  I really love his school and he's learning so much.  My main focus at this age is to teach him social skills and how to be independent.  While I know he's learning beyond that, I'm definitely not that mom video taping my kid reciting his alphabet and colors in three different languages.  He's four.  Let him live a little and grow a love for school.  I've only had two notes home about behavior so no news is good news I'm assuming.  But you know what they say about people who assume.  It makes an ASS out of U and Me.
Let's just hope this isn't the case here.

Right now some of Cohen's favorites include Tom and Jerry, Ninja Turtles and Peppa Pig.  I like to refer to this combo as old, new and super annoying.  Seriously he could watch hours of Peppa and every time we go to the library he knows exactly where to find the Peppa books.  I guess it could be worse, but it still is not nor will it ever be my favorite.  Tom and Jerry has been his most recent kick.  He likes to tell me that his favorite is the mouse on Tom and Jerry.  When we find an unexpected episode on this kid's day is made.  Cohen is also into super heroes and Transformers.  This seriously melts my husband's heart.

The things that come out of this kid's mouth are beyond hysterical.  I have posted several Cohenism posts if you are a familiar follower.  He is also a parrot and has the most amazing sense of hearing.  Also known as mommy and daddy need to watch their mouths when Cohen's around.  For example Cohen informed me today he was taking a big ol' dump when I asked him if he was going potty.  That would be words of his father by the way.


This kid has the energy of the Energizer Bunny.  Days with naps are so far and few but we still make him have rest time in his room for at least an hour.  We find that he gets mean when he doesn't get enough sleep which turn into my least favorite times of the day.  The kid loves to be outside so you can find him most nights out riding his bike or playing in the backyard on his swing set.  I have to laugh because the kid doesn't know a stranger.  We will be on walk and he always has to stop and talk to people.  Once at the park he made friends with these kids there of course.  But as they were leaving he says to me, "Mom, I have to go hug my friend bye."  Apparently I need to work harder on teaching him Stranger Danger...

I have to be honest, three was rough around the edges when it came to his behavior.  You always hear things about Terrible Twos but those days mean nothing until you have a Threenager.  I'm not kidding.  I have lost count of the number of times I called Santa or threatened his birthday party.  And the birthday party threat was started in March.  My friends tell me that four is so much better and is seriously their favorite age.  I'm crossing my fingers this is the case because I'm running out of bribes.

Cohen Lee how have you grown up so fast?!  You are no longer our Coco because you are sure to inform us that your name is Cohen.  You are sweet, spunky and full of fun and life.  Every day you learn something new and I'm amazed at that little sponge of a brain that you hold.  You are you and no one will ever compare to my little man.  Happy 4th Birthday my sweet Coco bean!

To a great year and the survival of the Threenager,