Just Me and My Running Shoes

Monday, February 29, 2016

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

I don't know about you, but I am itching for springtime!  Last weekend was a total tease here in Indiana.  Saturday and Sunday were in the 70s and then on Wednesday we had ice and snow.  Go figure, right?  Beside the sunshine and warmth, my favorite thing about the gorgeous weather is the ability to get my runs done outside.  Since I don't have a double jogger, I get to take this time to run and enjoy the time alone.  Running is my stress reliever.  It kicks in those endorphins and helps me push away my weekly stresses that have been building up.  I lace up my shoes, put on my headphones and I'm off for three or four miles in a deep concentration.  Recently I found this amazing radio station that streams all music from the early 2000s. I'm talking about the classics people - 'NSync, Backstreet Boys and Britney.  It is the perfect power station to keep me pushing through.  That is until I got my phone bill last month and realized that I not only went over my data once but I doubled the amount that I was supposed to use in my plan.  Yeah, that one hurt.  And when I called about increasing my data plan my phone company wanted to charge me an arm and a leg for it!  But I love streaming my music and since I am training for a few big races this spring it isn't an option to not use my jams while I run.  I needed an affordable plan that was going to give me tons of data but also offer me the same coverage that I was getting now.

My husband has used Walmart Family Mobile Plus for awhile now so I decided it was time to check it out to see what the plans could offer for me.  I was curious to see if the plans could match up and give me what I needed at a price I could afford.  Another thing I wondered was if I could get the same coverage if I switched to Walmart Family Mobile Plus?  After spending some time browsing the phones and plans, I was sold.  My new plan will give me unlimited talk, text, data and 10GB of 4G LTE Data for just $49.88 a month.  This is a perfect deal too since I just got back my tax refund and I can use it towards upgrading my plan for this amazing value!  Talk about maximizing my refund this year!  Plus, with this plan I get a free VUDU new release rental (a $7 value) each month, which will be perfect to use on our Smart TV during our family movie nights or even for date night with my husband snuggled up in our bed.  But again, I was shocked at the amount of data I was getting for a price that seriously can't be beat. 

My new phone, Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime, was on rollback for just $99 and is perfect to stream my music because the touch screen is huge (5 inches!) and makes navigating through my apps super easy. I love the camera features - it has autofocus as well as a front-facing camera that is perfect for those running selfies. 

It is supposed to be 50s and 60s for the next four days and I can not WAIT to get some miles in outside! I was able to sneak out this afternoon during nap time and stream my music on my new phone for a quick three mile run.  The sky was an amazing blue, the wind felt awesome on my face and I couldn't get enough of the gorgeous sunshine.  I'm ready to get over these Winter Blues and Spring Forward into some warm, sunny weather.  This mama is ready to lace up her shoes and hit the ground running!

 Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/2n6q6 or your local Walmart for current pricing.

Share with Me!
How would you use the extra data you would get by switching to Walmart Family Mobile Plus?  I'd love to hear your ideas!


Busy Mom Hack - Wrap that Baby

Friday, February 26, 2016

 Disclsoure: Special thanks to Wrapy for letting Remy and I test it out and share our thoughts on the blog!

I'm not sure what my life would be like without my baby carrier.  Seriously.  The other day I was able to clean the house from top to bottom, change an explosive toddler diaper and help Cohen clean up after doing his "business" all while holding a sleeping baby close to my chest.  At times these baby carriers have been my saving grave, especially during that witching hour which always occurs before Dad gets home and when dinner needs to get finished.  While I love the baby carrier I have, I was intrigued by these wraps I had seen several of my friends post pictures of on social media.  Their babies seemed so cozy and snuggly and the carrier wasn't anything more than a piece of fabric.  I liked the convenience of these wrap carriers but loved the fact that it wasn't bulky.

So I decided to try one out.

What is a Wrapy you ask?  Well, its just that - a wrap.  Basically it is a wide piece of fabric (one size fits all people!) you wrap around yourself creating a carrier for you to safely and comfortably hold your baby.  As you can see, Remy is cozily and securely held against my chest allowing my hands the ability to get stuff done.  Her little head is still able to peak out and look around or lie on my chest and take a snooze when she gets tired.  The Wrapy offers four different holds so I can use it as Remy gets older - either facing in towards my chest or even facing outwards looking around.  So it's a carrier that will grow with your family as your baby gets older.

I love that the Wrapy is machine washable, which is good for us because Remy is seriously teething and spent the majority of her time sucking on the fabric while I held her.  I can easily throw it into the wash when we are done and dry it in the dryer, since it is dryer safe.  The fact that is is one size fits all is extremely appealing to both my husband and myself.  We can both wear the Wrapy and not have to worry about adjusting straps each time one of us goes to use the baby carrier.  The fabric offers for easy carrying convenience as well as lets me fold it up and store it away in my closet without any hassle.  I will say the only downfall is that it does take a bit to figure out how to wrap yourself.  However, the directions are straight forward and take you step by step to make sure you are securely putting it on.  After a few practices I felt confident that Remy was safe and snug in her Wrapy.

I'm definitely a fan of these wrap carriers now.  Dinner prep was easy and Remy remained content.  I was also able to freely tend to the other kiddos yet keep Remy happy since she was snug in her Wrapy.  I'm a firm believer in the saying, "Work smarter, not harder."  Seriously Wrapy, where were you when I had Cohen, the child that NEVER slept?

For more information about the Wrapy, check out their website.  You can also order your Wrapy on Amazon too!



Thursday, February 25, 2016

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2016*

This past Saturday it was 72, but super windy.  However we were sure to get the kids out and play until they couldn't play and longer.  This kid was hyped because his neighborhood buddies were outside and they were all back together, with their usual shenanigans.  I love that we have so many kids his age around here.  And Cohen sure does too!

Lola has been super observant and curious about everything around her.  Yesterday morning she woke up and heard the rain.  She then made me open the blinds when we got downstairs so she could check things out.  "It's waining Mom-Mom!"  she kept telling me.  And then it turned into ice and snow later in the day.  Oh Indiana you slay me.

I bundled this little punkin up this weekend and put her in the swing for the first time.  Girlfriend enjoyed the Vitamin D as well as the zipper on her coat, which she tried to eat the entire time she had it on.


Wordless Wednesday - Dancing with Dad

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Kurtis has been working nonstop lately.  So to say we miss him is an understatement.  The other night after dinner we decided to turn on some tunes and let loose.  My kids sure know how to cut a rug on the dance floor.

P.S. Please don't judge me by the amount of ashes by the fireplace.  My Roomba didn't make it over there that day...


Five Postpartum Truths You're Never Told

Monday, February 22, 2016

They say that sometimes the unknown is better however in this case I would totally disagree.  Becoming a mother is a world you know exists but you have know idea how it exists until you experience it.  Motherhood is full of unknowns and you will continue to learn on this journey forever and ever amen.

But the biggest surprise I had about motherhood was the postpartum part.  I mean seriously, why didn't anyone every warn me about these things?  That's why I'm being a good friend to tell you the five most important things you should know about your postpartum body.

You're welcome.

1.  You bleed like a mofo.
I had lunch with my friend Jordan a few months before I had Cohen.  She was a new mom at the time and thank God for her because otherwise I probably would have been a hot mess.  Her words exactly, "It's like a scene out of a horror movie."  And she couldn't be more accurate.  Be prepared - those first 24 hours are a bloody mess my friends.  Embrace the mesh underwear, mini diapers and crotch ice packs from the nurses because you will realize how you appreciate their friendship.

2.  You thought you had to pee when you were pregnant...
Face it.   Your peeing abilities will never be the same.  The more kids you have, the worse it gets.  Unfortunately I have always had issues controlling my bladder.  Three kids later and I should probably become a spokesperson for Depends.

3.  You think twice before bending over
Your farts now have a mind of their own.  Laughing, coughing and sneezing all come at a price now.  Not only will you be trying to control your bladder but you will be praying to God that no one heard the stinker you accidentally ripped.   Chances are they slip out when you didn't even feel it coming.  Facts of life now.  Like I tell my kids at school - everyone farts.

4.  You Will Shed 
And I mean you will shed to the point where you could quite possibly make a wig collection that would put Kim Zolciak to shame.  I think this is the one thing that drives my husband crazy.  My hair is everywhere - in the shower, on the floors, stuck in the lids of the kids' sippy cups.  Surprisingly though you actually are left with hair at the end.

5.  You Will Get the Boobs You Always Wanted
But they come at a price.  They will leak when someone mentions the word, "baby" and hurt like a mother if you go longer than 4 hours between feedings or pumpings.  They are perky and perfectly shaped but a huge serious, mess.  And they don't stay.  They actually become flat pancakes when you decide to dry them out.  It's quite sad, especially after all of the hard work you put into the whole thing.

If you're reading this then you most likely already realize that motherhood isn't all rainbows and puppy dogs.  But my hope is that you don't show up to the party completely unprepared.  Just keep your eye on the prize -- because trust me, event though you will probably pee your pants when you laugh 99% of the time and have to buy a training bra in the pre-teen section at Target, your babies are totally worth it.



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2016*

The past week has been rough for this kid.  I'm not sure if he's on a sugar high or what but I started to see old behaviors pop up that haven't been around in a long time.  My plan is to give him a little one-on-one this week in hope's that we can straighten things out.  It may be Spring Fever as well, which wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Pigtails for the win my friends!  I need to get her haircut (umm, Gwen call me back) but we will just pull it up until then.  She earned a cookie after this one because she said her bun-buns hurt.  Hey kid, if you won't wear bows then it will be pigtails.  I'm winning this war.

This face is mid-squeal face.  Oh how love her cheeks and eyes and voice.  I want to eat up every part of this little baby and not let her grow up ever.  Yo, Peter Pan.  How can I get some of that magic fairy dust?


Remy 4 Month Update

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Remy // 4 months
Weight:15 lbs 12 oz
Height: longer than 26 1/8 inches

Welp, my child is huge.  She actually is bigger than Lola was at 6 months.  Which most likely means I will be going shopping in the near future because NONE of the adorable rompers I have awaiting the arrival of warm weather for Miss Remy will fit her.  Actually, maybe they will since they are shorts.  I will just pray that I can button them up over her adorable little chub.

There has been a lot of change for this little booger lately and it all seems to be happening so fast.  Like faster than my other two kids.  The good part about this all is there is no "going back to work" looming over my head which normally, about this time, is what is happening.  I'm quite content knowing that I get to continue to watch Remy, Lola and Cohen grow on their merry ways.  Just not too fast children.

Here is what Remy has been up to the last month:
As mentioned, she is bigger than Lola, by a lot.  She currently is in size 2 diapers and anything 3-6 months, and 6 month jammies.  She is 75th percentile for her weight and 90th for her height and head.  Big noggins run in the fam y'all.  I'm hoping maybe she will decide to start rolling soon and burn a few calories because I will just DIE if she can't fit into any of Lola's old rompers.  #RomperProblems people.  I have a serious obsession with these things and this obsession is not going anywhere.

As of today, I am officially done pumping.  Why you ask?  BECAUSE MAMA IS GETTING LASIK!!  I would be lying if I said I haven't had serious mom guilt about not pumping anymore but today at her pediatrician appointment he quickly told me to shut the hell up because she will be just fine.  I have a decent frozen stash so I think she will be good for another month or so but then we will be using Similac Sensitive.  I'm not against formula - not at all actually.  It is quite convenient and so much easier for my busy lifestyle.  But I feel guilty because I can make the milk, so I should be giving it to her.  Okay, done with my pity party.  Back to Remy.  She will eat every 3-4 hours and normally wakes up once to eat at night.  However, the last two nights she has woken up twice which makes me think she is hitting a growth spurt.  We are still taking about 5-6 oz every bottle.  I started cereal with her last night and will continue with that for the next month.  I can't believe I need to start thinking about making her baby food soon.  Tears. 

One day I will graduate her from the Rock 'n Play.  Actually, my plan is to just do it next week.  But I've been saying that for two weeks now.  She takes one long nap and then 2-3 shorter ones.  The girl is spent by 7 and will sleep until about 3 or 4 when she's ready for her next bottle.  Remy is usually awake by 8:00 but I'm wondering if she will sleep longer when she's in her own room.  We no longer swaddle little Houdini and have been using her Zipadee Zip sack for the last few weeks successfully.

Our girl has not one but TWO teeth.  YES!!! I can't believe it either!  I put my finger in her mouth and felt a sharp little nub.  Sure enough she sprouted a tooth!  It worked out perfectly because that was when Cohen had lost his tooth so we told him the Tooth Fairy gave Remy his old tooth.  I'm hoping we can add rolling and sleeping in our crib as two more milestones this month.

Remy knows who is weak - and that would be her father.  He runs at the sound of her cries and will pick her up at the slightly whine.  She also loves to be held out so she can look around.  Milk is still a favorite around here as you can tell by her size.

We are still trying to win the kid with tummy time, but it's not happening.  Remy hates to be overly tired and will make a scene when she's cold.  The kid also despises being hungry.  Apparently its the end of the world when she can't eat when she wants to either.


Remmers Pie,

I feel you slowly transitioning from infant into a baby right before our eyes.  I'm not quite sure why you thought it was okay to get teeth already because you aren't supposed to be growing up that quickly.  I love your snuggles, your cheesy neck smell and your beautiful blue eyes.  Your smile makes my day and I can't imagine our family without you.
Now will you make this crib transition easy on me?  I'm already sad enough that you won't be sleeping my side anymore.


FriYAY - The Five Best #MomLife Must Haves

Saturday, February 13, 2016

It is Friday - holla!
The only meaning Friday has to me now is knowing that my husband will actually be around.  I usually have high hopes for every weekend but when Sunday rolls around I realize we accomplished nothing but catching up on Flip or Flop and Fixer Upper reruns.  Kurtis and I celebrated Valentine's Day early last weekend with dinner out together.  This weekend we plan on taking the kids to the museum, making mini heart shaped pizzas and eating homemade brownie sundaes.

Amazeballs, right?
One day I'll get a picture with all of them smiling.

Lately I have been making a mental list of the things I don't think I could live without right now.  I mean seriously, what was my life like before these things existed is what I really want to know?

Five Best #MomLife Must Haves

1.  Target RED Card
I could just say Target in general but this RED card has saved my life.  I can order anything and get free shipping.  Like a few weeks ago when I was up feeding Remy and I decided Cohen needed a new comforter set and Remy needed some frames for her room.  Target happens people.

2.  Starbucks Drive-Thru
This one is an obvious but what is life without iced coffee and cake pops for the littles?  It's pretty sad that when we drive past a Starbucks Lola will yell, "Mom! I want a pop!"  I mean, how can you not stop?

3.  Kroger Fuel Points
Don't call me lame, but I literally stood outside taking pictures of the fact that I filled up my 16 gallon tank for $10.79.  Fuel the Love y'all.

4.  Online Grocery Shopping
While I have to admit, I do love my alone time grocery shopping.  But when life gets busy and I don't want to drag all three kids out with me online grocery shopping is where it is!  I order online, determine my pick up time and then pull up in the online order parking space to have them unload my groceries into my car.  My only tip is don't expect the freshest produce.  I literally paid $2 for an organic cucumber the size of a mini pickle.  You win some, you lose some.

5.  Jillian Michaels DVDs
So I love my treadmill but unfortunately it will not give me my Kate Middleton arms that I want so badly.  Jillian is basically the devil in spandex but I can get a good 30 minute workout in and work every damn muscle in my body.  Mama ain't playing.  And I thank her for quick workouts that I can fit into my ridiculously busy day.

Now go and enjoy your Valentine's Day weekend with a big ass bowl of ice cream.
And chocolate.
Because that's why Valentine's Day is a holiday anyways, right?



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2016*

Okay, so I know this is a little blurry but this is my child in his prime.  He figured out how to slide on the basketball court so he would run down before his team and slide.  I'm taking my other lens this week so hopefully I can get some better close-up shots of this crazy cat.

Miss Diva thought it was a fun game going up and down the bleachers during her brother's game.  After two falling-down-the-stairs incidents last week I'm a bit hesitant when it comes to Lola and stairs.  She then decided to take off and play tag on the court, only to greet me with a big ol' smack in the face when I scooped her up.  I'm telling you people, this girl is a hormonal mess sometimes.

So remember that time this one cut a tooth and I didn't even know!?!? You guys!  She won't even be 4 months until this weekend - how did that happen!!!  I put my finger in her mouth tonight only to be greeted with a sharp little tooth cut right through the gums.  Time is a thief...a big ass thief.  But it worked out perfectly because Cohen has been concerned about where the tooth fairy took his tooth and we told him she took it to give to Remy.  And she really did.


It's Back - Terrible TWOSday

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

So we've hit another milestone in our house - another round of the Terrible Twos.  Okay, if you've followed me long enough then you know the trouble didn't really start for Cohen until he turned into a threenager.  Unfortunately Lola had plans to turn into a raging, hormonal teenager at the mere age of 2.  Seriously, if you want to know if the Terrible Twos are real then look them up in the dictionary and Lola's face will pop right up in the definition.  This kid can flip a switch in the blink of an eye.  And I mean that.  Like if I blink my eyes wrong at her she will go cray cray on me.  I'm sure it's a combination of the age and all of her life changes right now but for real peeps - there are times I want to go hide in my closet from this monster.  

I'm hoping these posts become more light-hearted moments and ones we can laugh about, like they were for Cohen.  But lately Lola has these crazy Jekyll and Hyde moments that will make a grown man (aka my husband) shake in his boots.  You know that song, "Whatever Lola wants.  Lola gets."  It speaks the damn truth.  Yesterday, for example, when Kurtis left to take Sophie home Lola was determined to go.  But she wasn't going so we told her no.  And guess who runs out of the house?  Let's just say it wasn't me because I was stuck with a devil child who screamed and cried for 30 minutes straight.  I'm not proud to say I lured her out of it with a popsicle but Jesus people, the kid is relentless.

It starts like this...

Then will go like this...

And ends like this.

And this is a mild fit.

Let's just chalk it up to middle child syndrome?
Either way it's going to be a long year and I pray to God that he does not test me with a Threenager after this.  If that's the case you can find me hiding in the bathroom with a bottle of wine.

You think I'm joking.


"Doh" You Want to Be My Valentine?

Monday, February 8, 2016

One of my favorite holidays as a teacher is Valentine's Day.  I love to create little cards for my class to pass out.  The last few years I've decided against candy and created Valentines with novelty items like pencils, bubbles and fun straws.  Since I'm not in the classroom this year, I decided to make cards for Cohen to pass out to his friends.  He was very adamant on getting gummy bracelets but as I mentioned the word Play-Doh, he was okay with doing those cards too.

I whipped these puppies out on PicMonkey and it was kind of ridiculous how easy they were to make.  You can print them out on cardstock or use cardstock as a backing to make them thicker.  Then you just cut the little holes out in the middle, put your Play-Doh in there and secure it with a cute piece of Valentine's themed tape that can be found in the dollar bin at Target.

I included the link to the printable below.  When I printed mine, I scaled it to 30% and they came out to the perfect size.  I'm going to let Lola hand out a few of these to her friends from her old class just so she doesn't feel left out.  Okay and because they are too fun to make.

Happy Valentine's Day!