Project 52 - Week 47

Monday, November 30, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

Cohen is an amazing big brother.  Lately he has grown up so much and has shown how big his heart is when it comes to his sisters.  He will hold Lola's hand when walking out to the car after school or lie by Remy and talk to her when she's grumpy.  Today I looked over and he had picked Remy up, but before I could have a complete heart attack, I noticed his hand was cradling her head and he held her body for support.  He's very observant and while he can still be a turd, he really has taken the reigns when it comes to his role as big brother.

Sweet Lola has grown a tremendous vocabulary lately.  I will hand her something and she responds with, "Thanks, Mom."  Or the other day when Remy was crying she yells, "You're fine, Memy!"  While there are some things that are still a bit hard to understand, she's starting to speak in full sentences and is so fun to have conversations with!

Oh Sweet, Remy, how you look drunk in this picture.  Don't worry, you're still cute as a button but lately I can't get many pictures of you when you aren't crying.  While I truly wish I could hold you all day, every day, but Mama's arms are breaking and I need to get things done too!  I need to remind myself this is only phase and this too shall pass.  But damn girl, I only have 2 Summer Shandys left...


Be Thankful, Ya Turkeys

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving is tomorrow - crazy, right?  Today used to be my favorite day of the year as I would party it up with my friends all night long and then roll out of bed the next day and pretend I wasn't hungover at my three Thanksgivings.  Yes, I really had three Thanksgivings to attend in one day...
  Now I will just roll out of bed and pretend I showered because the truth of the matter is - I probably didn't.

So what am I thankful for this year?  Well, let me tell you.

1.  My Family
I love the little family we are growing.  Ever since Remy joined us six weeks ago my heart has been so full of love and happiness.  Now, I may not always have shown this lately due to my grumpy morning demeanor but I truly am thankful for three little bambinos and a handy, helpful husband.

2.  Our Health
It saddens me to see posts on social media about all of the illness and disease that so many families have to go through.  I'm thankful for our health and that when my babies are sick, I am able to stay home and tend to their needs.

3. Old Jobs and New Jobs
Even though I only worked nine weeks as a teacher this year, I am thankful that I have a job.  I'm even more thankful for my husband's hard work and that I am able to stay home with our kiddos.  This new adventure as a stay at home mom is a hard job, but I love being with my family and I know I am lucky that I get to be able to do this for us.

4.    A Roof Over Our Heads
This is one thing that I personally think is taken for granted far too often.   Being able to have a place where my family can go home to every night and wake up in every morning is so important to me.  It's a home that we have worked hard for and that means even more.  But, I'm even more thankful that I have a husband who can fulfill my HGTV ideas and dreams within this house...

5.  Bravo TV and Yoga Pants
You don't think I could really finish this list without being a complete smart ass right?  Seriously though.  There is nothing better than a night alone with the Real Housewives tucked away in bed in your favorite yoga pants hiked up to cover your muffin top.  Don't lie.  I know I'm not the only one who does that.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  Eat your heart out.  And don't forget - the diet can start tomorrow.

Can someone please tell my kids to quit ganging up on their sister?
Sorry, Rem.  Pretty soon you'll be able to hang with the best of them.


Project 52 - Week 46

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

I am amazed at how much Cohen has grown in the last month and a half.  He started a new Pre-K classroom and his teacher is amazing.  He only goes three days a week from 9-2 and has picked up more in the last six weeks than he did in 2 months in his other all day room.  The teacher in me has made a few games to play with him at home to work on letter recognition.  I joked with Kurtis to not be surprised if he came home and the basement was turned into a classroom.  Maybe I'll just start my own school at home...

We are slowly working on this whole paci thing.  Now that she's two, I'm limiting it to bed time only.  Occasionally she will bring it downstairs as she wakes up, but then I have started asking her for it and I'll put it up - out of sight, out of mind. It's been especially difficult because those lovely molars are starting to pop through and the paci is her comfort.  We will make it...we will make it...we will make it...

Remy is starting to get on more of a schedule here lately.  The kid is a hungry hippo though and when she's ready to eat, boy is she ready to eat!  She usually goes about 4-5 hours between bottles at night, if not more.  I think I will start the eat-play-sleep method with her next week to see how that helps her out.  Poor kid has her first cold this week, which has complicated things a bit but Miss Remy has pulled through like a champ nonetheless!


Lacing It Up and Hitting the Pavement - My Healthy Me Time

Monday, November 23, 2015

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

I started running after graduating from college.  With the stresses of a new job, new town and basically a new life on my own, I found that running was a healthy way to channel my stress.  Since then I have been an active runner, trying to get in at least 10-15 miles a week.  But being pregnant and running wasn't easy for me.  So with each pregnancy I have had to take a break from running, which as crazy as it may sound, was really hard for me.  After I had Lola I decided to make a goal and train for my first half marathon.  I successfully ran the Indianapolis Mini Marathon six months after she was born.  It was tough trying to find time to train but it was an amazing accomplishment.  I'm proud that I could do it and hopefully inspired other moms to do the same for themselves!

Now I'm in the same boat with Miss Remy.  I was recently cleared by my doctor to gradually start working out again and my heart is so happy!  I decided that I want to start training for the Indy Mini again this spring.  The race is still over six months away so I want to throw a few other races into my training program to help with my training schedule.  With three kids now time is a little scarce if you know what I mean...

The hardest part about the training has been the lack of sleep.  One's body can only endure so many restless nights, even with copious amounts of coffee.  On top of the restless nights my body is still getting used to my exercise regime and my muscles are at an all time soreness.  Remy also caught her first cold at a mere six weeks old, so our nights have been quite a mess.  Luckily Kurtis is off for the week and has offered to help and do a couple of the nighttime feedings.  I may have cried a few (or several) tears of joy.

Last week I had to stock up on baby essentials and I stopped by Walgreens on my way home from grabbing Cohen from school.  After what should have been a ten minute trip that turned into thirty minutes (mom of three problems), I was ready to check out and get home!  But after a week of training, my muscles were still super sore.  I grabbed some Advil to help ease the pain.  Since I knew Kurtis was going to be home this week I grabbed some Advil PM as well because when the pain keeps you up, you need a healing night's sleep!  

I took Kurtis up on his offer last night and this morning I feel like a whole new person!  It was amazing to get more than a three hour stretch of sleep but also not to wake up to super achy muscles.  Even though we got three inches of snow this past weekend the weather forecast is calling for temperatures in the fifties and I'm pumped to get some training runs done outside this week!  We may have added to our family but it's still important that I find balance and get some healthy me time.  For me, that means a run by myself to help me get back to that peaceful state of mind.  I'm excited for my upcoming race next month but I'm also crossing my finger the weather won't be negative temps and snow!

Now off I go!

Share with Me!
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Happy 2nd Birthday My Lola Girl

Sunday, November 22, 2015

As I put Lola to bed Wednesday I couldn't help but have a little bit of a sad heart.  The last two years have gone by so fast with her.  I'm sure part of it is because I was pregnant the majority of this past year but it really does feel like yesterday that I was in the hospital waiting for her arrival.

This girl is so sweet and kind.  Okay, I lie.  She does exhibit some diva moments but for 90% of the time she really is a sweet pea.  Lola loves everything Cohen and will do anything that he does.  But when he pushes her buttons, oh boy, watch out!  She has the biggest heart and loves everyone and everything.  She blows everything a kiss and says good-bye to anything that she sees.  The other day we were leaving her room and she yells, "Bye paci!" and then blows it a kiss.  I'm telling you, she melts my heart.

At the doctor today she weighed a whopping 26 lbs, which is 50th percentile.  I love to look back at her monthly posts and compare them to Remy because Lola was such a petite little thing and still is a bit.  We just bumped her up to size 5 diapers and she barely is a 2T in her pants.  The only reason I buy 2T is for the length.  But the kid is still my good eater and I love it!  Except when I have a plate of food, even if she just ate dinner she will stand by me, look at my plate and say, "Bite?"  Of course I share because how can you say no to that?

Lola loves all things Frozen still and I have to be honest, I could really use a day without hearing "Let It Go" or hear her asks for Anna and Selsa, as she calls her.  She also is very much into babies, which I'm sure transpired from the arrival of Remy.  But I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy shopping for her birthday present.  It made me super excited for Christmas this year because girl toys are so cute - almost as cute as girls clothes, but not quite of course.  Really all girl things in general are just too damn cute and now I know why people say girls are expensive.

Let's talk about her hair that finally started growing this summer.  She is now in that awkward stage that I like to refer to as a mullet-mohawk.  Its a serious resemblance to Bill Murray in KingPin. 

See what I mean?

The good news is that I can easily tame it with a cute bow and a precious little ponytail.  
Can't. handle. it.

The past year has been an absolute joy and I love everything about this girl.  It's crazy to look back at these pictures and see how much she has changed in twelve months.  Lately her vocabulary has grown so much too and she picks up on everything.  Her new favorite song to sing, thanks to her brother, is "Diarrhea! Diarrhea!"  Proud Mom moment right there.  But really, we are so lucky to have such a sweet little girl that brightens up our life.  We love you Lola Girl!


Lola Girl,
I can hardly believe you are already two.  I'll never forget the day you arrived - a whole nine days early!  I'm quite certain that was because you knew one day you'd be a middle child and you were just trying to secure that favorite child spot.  Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.  You have the kindest heart and love nothing more than to be around people.  While you aren't a cuddler, I do enjoy the fact that you are 100% a mama's girl, and I'm quite okay with that.  I'm excited to be able to spend the next nine months with you and watch you grow up even more.  I can't wait to see what kind of friendship you and Remy will have when you both get older but I can only guess that it will be a great one by the way you act every time you are around her.  Miss Lola Girl, even though your world was rocked with the addition of another sibling, you have taken it like a champ.  I love your chill manner and sweet personality.  You will move mountains, my sweet girl.  Don't you forget that!

Love you to the moon and back!


My Baby Lovin' Little Girl + Giveaway

Friday, November 20, 2015

One of the best things about being a mom of two little girls is all the girly things.  I'm talking tutus, pink frills and best of all, the obsession with all things baby.  I'm sure the addition of Remy has added to Lola's baby fever, but the little girl has transformed into a little mommy.  It's fun to see her rock her babies, feed them bottles and pat and shush them.  One of my favorite things is how she will copy everything I do when I'm holding Remy.  The other day I was rocking Remy on the couch and I looked over and she was rocking her baby too.  I literally die at the sweetness.

This holiday season I'm excited to add to Lola's baby collection.  One of our first additions to her collection was the Baby Amaze Learn to Talk and Read Baby Doll from VTech.  It is perfect for her age right now and has some great features that will grow with her as she gets older.  

Some of my favorite features include the following:
--Children can actually talk to their baby doll and hear her repeat what they say!  They can also read to her the three vocabulary books that are included that feature over 70 words.  They more they talk, the more the doll will learn and speak!

--There are four activity buttons that activate Talk with Me, Reading, Caring and Music Time modes.

--The baby doll encourages a nurturing role play by asking for her pacifier and bottle, just like a real baby.

It is super sweet how Lola carries her baby doll around.  She loves to feed her a bottle and give her the pacifier.  She doesn't quite understand the talking part yet, but like I said, it will be perfect for her as she grows older and learns more vocabulary herself.  I love how interactive the doll is too, which keeps her entertained longer than her other baby dolls.  Another great feature is the "reset" button so we can reset her and teach her new words all over again.  This was an important feature for us once her brother got his hands on the doll...if you get my drift.  Overall I have to say that the Baby Amaze doll is one of my favorite toys from VTech and I highly suggest this doll as a gift for your baby fever little one this holiday season, which is available only at Toys "R" Us stores and!

Be sure to check out VTech to learn more about the Baby Amaze doll as well as other amazing toys they have to offer for all ages.  Find them on Twitter and Facebook too!

Win It!
One lucky reader will win their own Baby Amaze Learn to Talk and Read Baby Doll ($29.99) - enter the Rafflecopter below.

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Disclosure:  I received a product for this review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Remy Elizabeth -- One Month Update

Friday, November 13, 2015

-one month-

Miss Remy has officially been a part of our family for one month now.  I'd say life has been all about making adjustments for the last four weeks.  My body has quickly accepted the "no sleep" factor and I gladly look forward to that cup of coffee every morning.  This child reminds me more and more of her brother when it comes to her sleeping and eating habits.  Maybe I shouldn't say that out loud because I was hoping she'd fall in line with Lola when it came to the sleep department...

Remy is a classic 3 hour eater -- if she goes longer than that it's only because she's sleeping hard.  We were successfully nursing for about two weeks.  Then she started to get really gassy and fussy and wouldn't latch to my right side very well.  So I'd end up having to pump that side and she'd be hungry because she wasn't getting what she needed.  Turns out, like the other two, I was over producing causing her to get way too much at once.  I made the decision it'd be best if I went back to exclusively pumping, which has really been a bummer for me.  But since I went to just pumping my supply has dropped dramatically and now I feel like I screwed myself.  I've never had this problem but I'm sure I can attribute it to the stress and lack of sleep that is occurring right now.  Okay, so it's not as bad as it could be but it's not as great as it has been with the previous two kiddos.  I'm giving it a few more weeks and if it continues to dwindle I'm not messing with it and I'll switch to formula - which will break my heart..and the bank.  My husband isn't really on board with this one but can someone explain to him that there is no magic milk switch here?

Never, ever tell a mom with more than one child to sleep when the baby sleeps because that statement is a LIE.  Well, unless your kids are older and in school all day then it's not but otherwise it's a blatant lie.  Remy will go down around 8ish and then sleeps maybe four hours before her next feeding.  She will be up once more before she's ready to go for the day, which is usually around 7.  I'd be lying if I said I'm wide awake during these feedings.  I have jolted myself awake a few times when I realize the bottle is halfway down Remy's face and not in her mouth.  But I live for the weekends when my husband gets up in the morning with all the kids and lets me sleep in until at least 9.  I don't care if my boobs feel like they are going to explode, I will take that sleep because without it I know I won't be able to function during the upcoming week.  She's not a big sleeper throughout the day either.  Again, why do I have kids that aren't sleepers when I have always enjoyed a good nap...or three?

Miss Remy is a sweet snuggler though and would let you hold her all day long.  Unfortunately that's not in my cards and it breaks my heart that sometimes she has to cry a little bit longer than I made my other kids because there's one of me and three of them.  I've been using the Bjorn with her, especially in the evenings and my friend is going to let me borrow her Ergo so I hope this will help her feel just a bit more snuggly with me.  The kid has a super strong neck too and loves to be propped up over your shoulder to look around the room.  I've also caught her on her side a few times when I've laid her down on the floor to stretch out. 

This mom of three thing is no walk in the park, that's for sure.  But even though I wake up exhausted most mornings I really do feel so lucky that I get to stay home with my three littles.  Slowly we are getting a routine down, and it can only get easier from here, right? 

I mean I've already survived a month.  Can I get a holla??


Project 52 - Week 45

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

Lately we have been trying to teach this one more independence.  Considering I have three kids to feed, get dressed and out the door before 8:45 three mornings a week, I really need this kid's help.  Some days he's Mr. Independent and will get himself around with no problems.  Other times, more often than usual unfortunately, it's like talking to a brick wall only to get a whiny response.  But I'll win this one...don't you worry.

Time out has been a frequent occurrence lately with Miss Lola.  I feel these Terrible 2's approaching but I also think we may have a bit of Middle Child Syndrome.  But her feelings get hurt quickly when you tell her no and usually by the end of her time out session she will give you a big hug and a sweet little, "Sowee," as we wipe away her tears.

It's like looking at a Baby Cohen I tell you.  This is a rare moment for this chica as she is not a fan of the sleep department like her big sister.  However, the moment she gets in the car she zonks and will stay asleep for a good hour or two.  It's okay though, I've gone through it with one child, I can handle it with this least I pray to God I can.


The Joy of Movement with Huggies

Monday, November 9, 2015

It seems like just yesterday Lola was taking her first steps.  I was watching videos of her that I had captured on my phone as she was pulling herself up on her push toy and slowly making the move, step by step.  These days this kid is a full fledged sprinter.  One of her favorite activities is to chase her wild brother around the house, making a huge circle throughout the rooms.  While at times it may drive me bananas, it makes me realize how quickly they grow from itty-bitty baby to wild and crazy movers.  As a parent you cherish these special milestones as well as encourage your little one to try new things and attempt these challenges as they start moving, even though it breaks your heart just a little bit to realize how fast they are really growing up.

But any mom knows that once your baby gets moving, it's important to find good, rear coverage.  You know, a good diaper that covers it and holds it all in as they take off!  While I have always been a Huggies fan, I really love the Huggies Little Movers for this stage of life.  The diapers offer the Moving Baby System that provides outstanding grip, fit and wetness protection so my little one can get the most out of every move with the most comfort and less mess. These diapers have a contour shape for freedom of movement from place to place as well as Double Grip Strips that add to the comfortable movement and a fit that lasts.  Huggies Little Movers also feature a DryTouch Liner that absorbs on contact.  It's a relief to know that my sweet Lola is protected while she is busy on the go!

Now it's your turn to share!  Head on over to the Huggies Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram to post pictures of your little one on the move.  Use the hashtag #SetBabyFree and you could be featured on Huggies social media pages! Don't forget to share your experience with the Huggies Moving Baby System and how it has worked for you.
Our babies grow fast and pretty soon they will be moving even faster!  Let's celebrate these milestones together!


A Safer and Natural Wipe Option

Sunday, November 8, 2015

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Bringing home a baby is scary enough.  A mom shouldn't have to worry about the scary chemicals and ingredients in different baby products.  With each child, I feel that I have become more aware of what I'm using on my baby's skin as well as how they respond and react to these specific products.  Don't get me wrong, many times I will buy something without thinking about looking at the label.  However, all three of my children have had super sensitive skin as infants.   Both Cohen and Lola would get similar rash type reactions to some of the lotions or washes I would use on them, so I'm not taking any chances with Remy.  Life is chaotic enough trying to tame three kiddos under 5 so I refuse to make it more difficult by adding the complication of skin reactions and issues.  It started the other night as I was feeding Remy and I began reading the label on her wipes.  Seriously, when you can't pronounce some of those words then you know there's an issue.  It kind of creeped me out to think of what I could be using on her precious, new skin.  I knew there was a better and simpler alternative.

I had stopped by Meijer last week after dropping Cohen off at school to grab a few things for the girls.  While browsing the baby aisle, I came across a package of WaterWipes, a chemical free baby wipe that contains just two ingredients - purified water (99.9%) and grapefruit seed extract (0.1%).  WaterWipes are durable and effective wipes that are a safer and natural option for my babies without chemicals or preservatives.  Unlike popular wipe brands, WaterWipes aren't interfolded so the package can maintain a sterile environment - there's no need to move the wipes to another container!  I decided to to grab a few packs to try on Remy as well as Lola during our diaper changing escapades.  

Immediately I was in love with the smell and texture of these wipes.  I loved how WaterWipes felt soft yet did the perfect job of cleaning up the diaper messes.  Often times I will use baby wipes to clean hands and faces after snacks, especially while in the car or on the go.  WaterWipes didn't cause any reactions on either Remy or Lola, so I knew they'd be safe to use on all skin and body parts!  WaterWipes will definitely be traveling with us in the diaper bag to help tame all types of messes that seem to creep up.

As a mom of a new baby and two other small children, it's reassuring to find products that are safe and gentle to use with your family, especially when it is a product that is used multiple times on a daily basis.  I love the fact that WaterWipes only contain two ingredients and offer a chemical free option to cleaning up messes, including the ones made during dirty diaper duty.  It's one less thing I have to worry about in my already busy, crazy life as a mom of three.

For more information, check out WaterWipes on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!

Don't forget to check out where you can find your WaterWipes, too!


Project 52 - Week 44

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

This picture makes me laugh in so many ways.  Lately we will find things that give us the giggles and it's fun to interact with him on that level.  It seems that now that he is five, his mind continues to move and turn in so many directions.  His sense of humor is definitely one of my favorite things about his personality.

Lola has been struck by Frozen Fever.  This was taken before the Pumpkin Party at Cohen's school and you'd think she was going to Disney World.  She knows all the words to every song in Frozen and will belt out Let It Go like a pro.  Kurtis thinks its funny to joke that she's a tomboy but as you can see by this picture that is nothing but a joke -- the kid is 100% girly girl.

I love to compare her pictures to Cohen's because the two of them are twins as babies.  Her sleeping pattern continues to resemble Cohen's a little too closely as well as her eating habits.  She sure is sweet though and has no problem letting us know when she's hungry, mad or tired.  Sweet Remy has a set of lungs like none other.