Saturday, December 31, 2011

Playrooms are where smiles come alive...

We were blessed with a new tv for Christmas which led to a major room switch in our house. Joe has always determined we would never put a tv in our room as to not spoil "our time" together. So with the option out of putting the tv in our room we had to come up with another solution. Our office and playroom needed to switch.

Joe was home this week on vacation, so we hired a couple movers for the big stuff and made the switch. We sold some items on Craigslist and bought a new tv stand and a couch with a pull out bed.

I'm still getting used to the big move but overall I think it was a great one! The kids love the extra space upstairs and we like the convienience of having our office stuff downstairs. I'm really looking forward to when the kids are a couple years older and can have all their friends upstairs while we get some adult time downstairs. But we are enjoying watching them grow now and love exploring in the big room.

Judah gives you a tour:

I wonder if I'll start enjoying my time at home more now? If you need a playdate I'm always open on Monday's and Friday's! Come play with us.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Elfster (how to make a christmas wishlist)

I have to admit that my sister-in-law, Lisa, got me addicted to this site - which allows you to create gift wishlists and will even draw names for gift exchanges.

About 3 or 4 years ago our parents decided we were old enough to buy presents for our cousins in a gift exchange format. Last year was the first we used elfster. It's a great tool for drawing names, creating lists, setting price limits, and connecting with those in your exchange. It worked perfectly for our family too. We have 11 people in our cousin exchange including all the new spouses- (and 4 kids which are all get spoiled this year). Then we decided to do it amongst my siblings/spouses as well. The system worked great last year. It paired us all up, we stuck to a $20 limit for our cousins and a $40 limit in our immediate family and all got and gave items that we wanted. It made the shopping a ton easier too.

This year I had my cousin Caleb. He wished for the "Hunger Games" new book. I looked it up on amazon and they had the whole series (3 books total) that I could buy in our $20 price limit. He just texted me the other day that he finished the first book in 2 days and is on to the second one...success right? My cousin Brittan had me and she got me a super cute shirt from Nordstrom's that I have already worn...I'm wearing it in this picture with my niece Ella (not the best picture- i was trying a new technique with my hair that Lisa told me about and I don't have any makeup on...):

The site also works for Birthday wishes too. If you are a hard person to shop for...I totally suggest making wishes on elfster to make it easier for your friends/family and make you a happy receiver too...

If you have time- go check out the site and see if it's useful for your fam!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Child proof door purchase on my list.

My two-year old has decided he wants to be a baby again and get special attention in the middle of the night. He wakes up and walks into our room demanding a bottle aka milk around 2am. My two-month old on the other hand sleeps from about 8pm-5am...I should be a happy mom getting lots of sleep, but Judah thinks otherwise in the sleep department.

I think I've mentioned before, I'm pretty sure his love language is physical touch. He loves cuddling and being close to whoever will give him attention. Good news for me since my love language is the same- but bad news since he is no longer confined to a crib which is much easier for the "cry it out" method.

We have tried lots of different suggestions, and I've received lots of great mom advice- but I think I'm officially going for the door lock at this point. Child abuse? I think not. I'm pretty sure it's going to be my sanity at this point. Great for tantrums, bed and nap times.

I'll let you know our progress once they are purchased and installed. My sweet little boy who gets his way now (due to my exhaustion in the middle of the night) is in for a surprise once he attempts his first escape.

Love and door locks!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ireland's Birth Announcement...

My mother & father-in-law allowed us to get newborn photos taken for our Christmas present this year...I absolutely loved them all and will cherish them for life!

Thank you to Tori Wible for your patience to capture these precious moments.

Shutterfly is giving me a $10 credit for posting the card in the enjoy!

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blogger mobile app...

I'm laying in bed on my phone and just discovered the blogger app. I'm thinking it might help me stay a little more updated with this whole thing.

My two kids are crashed in bed and I'm waiting for my husband to get home from a late work deal. So- this is my first lame blog after having my beautiful little girl, Ireland Laine.

Ireland is perfect in every way- a great addition to our family and another huge life adjustment at the same time. I'm pretty sure she is completing our family (meaning we are probably done having children) but they always say now is probably the wrong time to evaluate that situation.

Stay tuned for a more interesting topic to come- but for now...I'm enjoying this app and enjoying our newest addition!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ireland's Updated Dr. Seuss Room

Well, I've only got 7 days left to prepare for a big change in our family. Ireland Laine will be arriving on Thursday, September 22 (I'm getting induced!). I'm ready to not have my big belly swinging around in front of me anymore - it's starting to really get in the way of things I want to do.

So, thanks to my wonderful husband and amazing mom, we made some progress in Ireland's room. I was extremely blessed at her shower, and was able to take a lot of goodies home with me to decorate and update the more boyish nursery to girly frills (thanks to Aubrey Stewart for her craftiness).

Here's a look at our improved nursery:

We just added bows to the curtains (which are really shower curtains but it tied in the Dr. Seuss theme and added some color to that side of the room) mom updated the lamp shade with left over fabric and rosettes from the shower...and my sister-in-law Alicia created a bow frame for me that matches all my wild colors!

An upclose look at the frame:

An upclose look at the lamp shade:

The three circle rugs are from ikea ($10 a piece) and cover up three windows that used to let in a ton of light (a brilliant idea my mom came up with). We then hung the "Ireland" banner across them for that personal touch.

We switched out the blue changing pad with a red one:

Probably my favorite part of the room. The "Izzy" letters wrapped in yarn and the hanging fabric that just gives it that girly feel. I still might paint the knobs on the dresser, just not in the mood for another project quite yet.

Well, in just a few short days we will be asking for a table for 4 instead of 3. Excited about our growing family. Feeling ready to meet our little girl!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pacifier Give up . . . (aka "wuba" in our house)

There are so many names for pacifiers out there...each family has their own catchy name and a good reason for it as well. Ours just happens to be "Wuba"'s short for the brand of pacifiers we have bought: Wubanubs.

My sister-in-law got us addicted when she picked up the first one at Starlight Starbright in Folsom. Judah took to the pacifier right away and this particular brand was great because they are hard to lose with the animal attached. My doctor warned us to get rid of it before he turned 18 months, but we didn't listen. He told us it would be harder because Judah would be able to communicate what he wanted, throw tantrums easier and the longer you wait, the more addicted they become. He was probably right, but I wasn't willing to give it up at the time because Judah was still teething and it was one of those "easier said than done" kind of things. Judah also is my first, so he's probably more spoiled and catered to than needed...but it's what we chose to do. Poor Ireland, not sure if she'll get the same special treatment :).

Over Judah's first year of life we collected 5 different wubanubs (some we bought, some from grandparents). In the last few months, we were down to 2 (I did lose a couple and he chewed through one as well). We accidentally left Judah's last working wubanub at daycare on Thursday of this past week and decided to maybe attempt to pull him out of the bad habit. He kept asking where it was and finally it stuck that it was left at daycare. We have a couple back up pacifiers without the stuffed animal attachment that we were using for naps and bedtime...but on Sunday, we finally misplaced all the backups as well. So we went cold turkey (cause neither Joe or I were going to go out and buy a replacement at this point). No wuba for naptime or bedtime. He didn't really cry for it...just whined a bunch and talked our ears off. This kid is a talker and becoming a parrot as well. It probably took him an extra hour of talking about where wuba went to finally fall asleep.

He woke up about 1 hour earlier than normal and whined for wuba again. He probably would have fallen back asleep had we given it to him, but we bit the bullet and woke up at 6:30am to much more talking. He hasn't really stopped talking since.

I headed out for a dr. appointment this morning and upon my return I found a pacifier in his mouth. He had dug in a toy chest and found one that we thought was long gone. So, I took the advice from a facebook friend and we went to the street to give wuba to Jesus attached to some balloons. We told Judah that Jesus needed his last wuba to give to a new baby. Maybe even baby Ireland would get it from Jesus. He didn't really cry, just looked a little dazed. We've been repeating all afternoon that wuba is in heaven with Jesus cause he needed it for another baby. Take a look at the video here:

In the car ride he brought it up again, wuba is in heaven with Jesus for another baby to have:

Luckily, Judah loves falling asleep in the car, and we timed his nap perfectly today to make that happen. He is out like a light right now, and we are praying that he takes a nice long one without any random wake ups.

This pretty much is day 2...and I think he's taking it like a champ. Now it's up to Joe and I to make peace with all the extra chatter. At least he's a good conversationalist.

Maybe a Part 2 to follow...I'll keep you updated on the progress.

What's to come in my everyday life:
1. I'm officially getting induced on September 22 if Ireland decides to stay put until then!
2. I'm moving offices at work as soon as a new desk arrives (I've got 1 week to prepare to go on maternity leave)
3. I'll let you know how Judah does at daycare without a wuba.
4. We'll let you know how Judah does with the transition of his baby sister's arrival.
5. I most post the post-laundry party blog...but for now just view pictures on facebook.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Potty Training Day 1 {part 2}

So...we started off the morning by striping Judah's clothes and taking a moment to sit on the "potty seat" first thing. He definitely enjoyed getting his M&M after that first trip. Sitting on the seat wasn't the hard part, we knew what lied ahead for us was actually "going" in the toilet.

We headed downstairs for breakfast in the nude which Judah was thoroughly excited about (until his little booty sat right on his "big truck" and gave him an "owwwiii") But he moved on quickly. We kept with the reminders of saying "it's time to pee pee on the potty seat" and he would slowly walk to the bathroom to await his M&M for trying. That probably happened about 3 times in the morning. We felt like we were off to a great start. Then it got strangely quiet and I heard a little stream (luckily most was on the tile) we rushed him into the bathroom and explained that you need to go on your "potty seat" not in the living room area. He didn't seem to mind peeing freely at all.

Playtime was entertaining watching him do what he normally does with many trips to the potty seat and 1 M&M for every time he tried (maybe that's where we failed :). Lunch came quickly and I knew that a #2 was going to be in our near future. A few minutes after eating we went to the bathroom to attempt "the big one." He told me he had to go, and he even asked to hold my hand to squeeze (probably too much info)...but he really wanted to please us, you could just tell. Well, we read a book on the potty, hung out for about 5 minutes after squeezing to no avail.

I let him loose and headed to the kitchen to start cleaning up lunch. I should have known the eery quietness came too quickly. I asked Joe if Judah was in his sight and he said "no" and I started getting nervous. Calling for Judah he came around the corner. I asked him what he was up too, and he grabbed my hand, took me into our living room and pointed to a little nugget on the car which he quickly exclaimed was the "doggies." (we don't own a dog, but we were watching our neighbors dog and his explanation actually made sense) I asked Joe where the dog was and asked if he noticed the dog going potty. When ...Joe pointed out that it couldn't have been the dogs because there was a "big boy log" in Joe's eye line by the couch. Then I started dying laughing because I had no clue how in the world Judah had managed to take a #2 right in front of Joe (he was watching football and must have zoned out)then be smart enough to blame it on the dog. Wow, our child is a genius.

Needless to say, Joe cleaned up that one. Luckily nothing was runny at this point (again TMI, I know)...

We headed to my parents pool after that last incident and decided to take it easy over there. He enjoyed riding in the car with no diaper (it was actually easier to buckle him in too), then swimming with no diaper was a blast...we sat on the potty seat 2 times at my parents, had no accidents over there but no success stories either. Then headed home for nap time (I cheated and stuck a diaper on him for that because I wasn't wanting to wash any sheets). He woke up dry and we were happy.

More trips were taken at this point to just sitting on the potty seat with his reward. When in the middle of cooking dinner...the little stream sound appeared again...he backed up from his puddle on the tile and blamed it on the dog again (probably cause we laughed so hard the first time)...Now all his potty accidents were the dogs fault.

Grandma & Papa came over for dinner to give us some encouragement. Judah ran around in the nude for a bit...then we showed them how Judah could wear "big boy tractor undies" which he wasn't a fan of at first since he had been nude all day...but quickly learned to like them over diapers. They took a few turns with him on the "potty seat" but nothing happened. I decided to stick a diaper on him for bed and we called it a day.

I have to say it was quite eventful. Humorous even to some point. We hung up our hats and decided to go out for the weekend and not push him. I'm sure I could've won a few battles if I tried, but got out of the mood quickly. We wanted to enjoy our weekend together. So...we'll get there again.

Judah will be heading to Capital's preschool when I go back to work after having Ireland. He has to be in the process of potty training and wearing pull ups at that point, but he will be closer to the age, watching other friends do it...and maybe it will just work out better. I'm not stressed, we had a good day exploring that world.

We can wait till he's ready.

And the journey continues.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Potty Training Day 1 {part 1}

Judah has been showing some interest for going potty on the "big boy seat" so we decided to try and dedicate Labor Day weekend to seeing if it sticks. He's almost 2 (just one month shy) and I've been told Joe was potty trained before age 2, so we are thinking maybe it'll run in the family.

Our first advice we were told, was to take him on trips to get "big boy undies," a potty seat, and some M&M's. He was really into purchasing all of these items.
1. Tractor undies for Gap Outlet

My mom also splurged and got him some shark undies too:

2. Potty Seat at Babies R Us (Baby Bjorn)

3. M&M's- big bag from costco to last us for the weekend (plus the parents get a treat too right?)

We have sat him on the seat (without actually going) a few times now, just to test it out and get him excited about the M&M treats, etc. I also was informed about the Pull Ups "I Go Potty" app, so both Joe and I downloaded it for free. They have a funny "Potty Dance" video that we have watched a few times and tried to emulate (I'll have to get that on video as well).

He's still sleeping, but first thing on the "to do" list today is to get him stripped down and let him walk around naked all day. I'll let you know how it goes. Stay tuned for part 2 of day 1.

Here is the video of our way to Baby Gap outlets for "tractor undies"...

(PS- guess we need to get rid of the pacifier too- one step at a time people, one step at a time)

Impossibly Easy Quiche Muffins

If you know me at all, you know I hate to cook. We recently had a MOMS group brunch, and needed a type of egg dish. My mom had altered a dish she found from Betty Crocker for my shower so I headed to her house for a tutorial.

We started from this recipe found here: Impossibly Easy Vegetable Pie and altered to fit our needs. At my shower, she created this recipe in muffin cups. We realized it's easier to peel from foil cups then paper, so for the sake of these photos below- it's in mini-bread shaped foiled muffin cups. Regular foil cups would work just fine.

I always like following recipes with photos due to my ineptness when it comes to I hope this makes a for a quick easy tutorial for you if needing a brunch/shower/breakfast recipe.

1. Heat oven to 400.

2. Place foil cups in muffin pan (in this case we used a regular glass baking dish). Spray with Pam (or non-sticking spray of your choice).

3. My mom liked the use of bacon in this particular recipe- so we used the pre-cooked kind that you stick in the microwave for 3 minutes. Simple, easy, and tastes delicious (can be subsitutuded for various meat products or veggies). Break into pieces and place at the bottom of the muffin cup.

4. Saute veggies (we used red and yellow peppers, onions, and cooked over oil) on the stove then place over the bacon.

5. Sprinkle chedder cheese on top of veggies until they are covered. (other cheese substitutes can be used as well)
6. Mix together eggs, milk, bisquick batter mix (amounts are on the original recipe link above)7. Pour about 1/3 cup of the mixture on the top of the cheese.
8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. And you have yourself a nice little egg dish. You can also danish with a tomato, etc...but I ran out of time...Enjoy!

Here is a picture of the muffin size cups from my shower:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

on a budget . . . buy invites at costco!

I'm trying to figure out how to write short and to-the-point blogs. However (as my husband would point out)...I'm kind of long-winded. Trying to get over it...I just like giving lots of details (even though you could live without some of them).

I discovered for Judah's first bday that you can print custom invites from costco's photo center. So, he's turning 2...and i did it all over again. It's only $14.99 for 50 bday invites and envelopes included. That's a steal (especially since you can customize). They are 6x7.5 and they even throw in a few calendars w/ a photo of your choice for free. Under the "more" tab they have an option for a custom template. Check it out if you are into designing your own cards...

Take a look at Judah's 2nd bday party invite...=)
Thinking of Joe (I blurred out the contact info...)

Note to self too: I did a little survey from moms with kids on facebook as to what time to throw a bday party. There was an overwhelming 10am-12pm we are going to try it out...I'll let you know how it is coming soon before baby #2 hopefully!

Ps: Thanks again to Alyssa Ballisty for shooting the photos of Judah in the laundromat!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

San Fran LOVE with Judah . . .

One of our favorite places to vacate is San Francisco. Joe and I often take mini-weekend trips there for anniversaries, time to get away, and family shopping trips as well. This last trip was different though. It was all about seeing the city from our almost 2 year olds eyes (22 months). We discovered new places, and experienced love for boats, buses, and otters like never before.

I have some of the fondest memories taking family vacations. Some were elaborate (Disney World, Hawaii) and others were simply time-well spent together. Either way, my parents made it a priority to make "us kids" a priority. This is a tradition that Joe and I decided we would like to continue. The biggest trick is that you (Joe/I) often need a vacation from the kid-focused vacation too (all something we will figure out how to balance in time).

There is nothing that moves me more than seeing Judah in his element. I love watching him experience life, knowing he is loved, and seeing joy written from cheek to cheek. We only took two days in the city, but they were packed from sunrise to sunset. We started our journey with a trip to Discovery Bay Museum. Neither Joe or I had ever heard of it before this trip, but after looking online - we had a gut feeling it would be something Judah would love - and LOVE he did. There were things to explore, touch, see, climb, get dirty . . . all things a 2 year old live for. We got to play in water, paint, push tractors, look for treasure, jump on trampolines, mini-golf, see curious george, train tables, boat tables, and more!

We timed our departure perfectly so he would crash on route to our next location - lunch on Union street. Since becoming a mom, I've discovered a couple boutiques in San Fran that I love. We always hit up this fun urban area of the city to eat and shop. Judah slept so it felt like a date for Joe and I. Some of our favorite places: Jovino (great breakfast/coffee), The Brixton (food), Bubble (baby boutique), Sprout (baby boutique). There is so much more, but those are a few that never fail us.

A trip to San Fran isn't complete without a trip to Fisherman's Wharf. Judah loves seeing the boats, the sea lions (which he calls "otters" or "doggies"), the candy store, good food, etc. So we met up with one of Joe's old college friends/family and had a blast exploring with them and catching up! We didn't take any pictures which I'm now bummed about. It was the perfect ending to a great day. We were wiped out.

We woke up in Union Square (used priceline to get the hotel for the first time- not too bad) and headed for breakfast. Judah could hardly sit through it - he new we were going somewhere new and exciting again. The San Fran Zoo! We had never been and he loved it. They have a great farm space, all the animals he can name - we even got to go on our first "choo choo" ride. We did whatever made him smile and wore him out!

All in all- it was our first family vacation success! We were exhausted and grateful that we got to experience life through Judah's eyes. Nothing like getting to hang out with all the attention on him. A great memory before Ireland arrives...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

swimming lessons . . . just keep swimming, just keep swimming

I'm sure most of you have seen Finding Nemo at some point in your life. If not, it's a cute story of a little fish who has to prove how brave he is and ends up getting captured but then has a great escape moment. My little man is similar - he likes to think of himself as an adventurous spirit and once he sets his mind to something, it's really tricky distracting him away from his goals.

For mother's day, my mom got me a gift of swim lessons with Judah. They have a pool at their house, and it's a great way to get him used to the water, teach us some tricks on how to make it fun and also learn some safety tips. We got a deal on Living Social at the Swimstitute which has worked out well since it's pretty close to our house. We are in the class for 6 month-24 month olds. Judah is the oldest in the class and also probably the loudest. I wish the 6 month olds new how to say the word "NO" as well as he does.

As with any class, there are parts he likes and parts he doesn't like. He loves singing the songs, climbing in and out of the pool and playing with the toys (balls, floating sticks, and his new favorite "turtles"). He's not a huge fan of getting dunked, having to trade off to the instructor holding him, and sometimes once he climbs out he thinks he should stay out of the water (the instructor today chased him around the pool for me - I think she felt sorry for me cause I was struggling climbing out w/ the prego belly...)

Regardless of what we learn (or if we walk away a swimmer), it's been a fun bonding time for us and it wipes him out too. I also invested in a washable swim diaper (like $7- which you can find at Target, Walmart, etc) and it's saving us some money (they don't allow disposable diapers in this pool). We've only got 2 more classes left and it's been a fun journey. However, I'm thinking next summer is really going to be the fun one for him.

I wish I had on camera the moments of tears and his loud echoing "no's" but I try to capture the happy moments. Here is a quick glance of blowing bubbles:

It's nothing really too significant today, just the summer Saturday morning routine.

Enjoy your weekend!

Oh to be more like "momo" aka Grandma . . .

I'm not sure if it's just because he's my child and I have to get things done around the house, work, grow another child inside or me, etc...but there is something so unique and creative about the way my mother interacts with Judah vs. how I operate.

Growing up, I always wanted to be like my mom - I guess things never change. I truly had a great and spoiled childhood. I remember various arts and crafts and adventures for treasure that my mom would take us on. Our home was never boring. I don't remember my mother ever laying on the couch watching TV while we played quietly by ourselves. It was quite the opposite. It was full-tilt, full-energy all the time. I'm sure she's probably thinking, "Glad that's all she remembers!" But it's true or it's what stuck with me. I want those same kind of memories to be part of my kids history. I still have that desire to develop into the mom that God wants me to be (which I know is a work in progress). I know He is the supplier of all things creative, energy, life, fun, etc- maybe I just need to tap in a little more.

We dropped Judah off for a night with "Momo & Popo" and he runs instantaneously into their arms with abandon. He knows that he's going to have the time of his life with them. They have the ability and time as grandparents to give him their undivided attention and say "YES" to everything he wants to do. It's amazing too - because he just goes through a routine of his quirks with them:

1. Do laundry
2. Play "hoop" with the ball (basketball in other words- he stands on a stool and they cheer wildly- I need to get the video from them to show you what i'm referring to here)
3. Play with the "turtle" slide (a little activity toy)
4. Play the "trump" with Popo (my dad learned how to play Hammer Noah and If You're Happy and You Know It on the trumpet)
5. Take a nice little stroll in the backyard
6. Pick some blackberries (I new found favorite)
7. Eat lots of treats
8. Play the Piano
I know there are lots more- but I'm drawing a blank right now...

You get the picture though. The best is just the dialogue that occurs. My mom could probably talk to a wall if it was socially acceptable, but she's just super talented at carrying on conversations with an almost 2 year old (or any aged child for that matter). She creates super interesting stories that captivate his attention and keep him wanting more.

For instance, when we were dropping Judah off - she got out the Noah's ark boat and animals and had them all talking to Judah as characters. I probably would have given Judah the ark and said, "Wow, isn't that cool- an elephant, giraffe, bear, etc - have fun playing with it" how entertaining is that? Don't get me wrong though- I do have some good days where my mind starts rushing with stories (or I copy a story I've heard my mom do with him)...

I'm not trying to go for a guilt trip here either. You don't have to pump me up with how good of a mother I am (haha)...Just saying that I think I realize sometimes where my weaknesses are- and thinking if I tapped into God a little more (as stated above) that I would find that renewed since of awe and rambling it takes to keep a 2 year old entertained.

I guess this is all just a reminder to myself (and hopefully and encouragement to you) that we all have our good and bad days. The best part is- God asks us to throw our burdens and cares and "tiredness" on Him- because He wants to carry that load. The more in tune I am with God (hopefully this isn't freaking anyone out) the more energy, joy, love and excitement I have for life - and I want to then share that enthusiasm with Judah (and Ireland to come)!

Just a wordy blog today. Heading to San Fran this weekend for a mini-family vacation with just the 3 of us before Ireland's arrival. I'll have picts and videos to come I'm sure! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Makeup Must-haves in summer heat...

For those of you who know me well, or see me on a regular basis, you have witnessed my NO-makeup face often (especially since becoming a mom). I've never really been into makeup. Even when I was little, it really wasn't an interest of mine (except to create another mess for my mom to clean up). I'm not really a girly, girl - I don't accessorize much (unless my mom puts my outfit together- and don't get me wrong, I'm 28 years old, and YES, my mom still dresses me for important occasions). Regardless, there are a few makeup must-haves that I have come across (partially from stealing these items from my mom's makeup bag...haha).

So, if you are an on-the-go mom like me...but still need to appear "awake" every once-in-a-while, check these items out!

1. Smashbox Photo Finish with SPF 15

1. Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner

3. L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara

4. CO Bigelow Lip Gloss in various flavors and tints

1. Smashbox Photo Finish link on Sephora
If you are like me at all, you forget to put on sunscreen or it's just a hassle. This is the perfect solution! It has great texture that makes your skin feel silky smooth with a little sun protection! It is pricey- but it's a splurge (especially when I'm not buying makeup every month).

2. Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner link on Sephora
My mother got me addicted to this eyeliner. I don't think it's waterproof, but it still works wonders and will stay on through sweat and tears.

3. L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara can be found at Walgreens, Target or your local drugstore...
I love this mascara and it last for a while. I've got a friend (you know who you are) that is addicted and buys a new mascara every 2 weeks. I on the otherhand...can go for a year or more with the same tube. Take it or leave it. This stuff works.

4. CO Bigelow Lip Gloss can be found at Bath & Body works or link on Amazon.
I'm not a lipstick person, but this lip gloss is the key to any summer dryness. I think it also has SPF in it as well. There are several flavors and various shades. I've got one in almost every bag I carry.

There you have it. It's short and to the point...but it works wonders for moms on the go! As my mother would just "perks" you up a little...or makes you look a little more "awake."

Enjoy the summer glow!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Splish, Splash I was . . . . playgrounds

In researching for Splash Playgrounds in the Sacramento Area...I've been finding some helpful websites...and then searching for others on my own as is a collective list of what I have found...

First, one of my favorite Sacramento Blogs with great pictures of the spray parks:
Sacramento Sidetracks includes:
1. Bridgeway Lakes Park, West Sac
2. Kunsting Park, Elk Grove
3. Lonetree Park, Rocklin
4. Morse Park, Elk Grove
5. Seely Park, Sacramento
6. Swanston Park, Sacramento
See photos of the parks and addresses on the above link...
Funny thing is, I haven't tried any of these out- but it's on my list of things to tackle this summer!

Then, I decided to put some into categories based on location . . .

We live in Orangevale, and there are absolutely NO spray parks in our region from the park and rec district (minus the community pool which has a cost) the next closest to me is:

Folsom Area:

1. Livermore Park (6004 Riley Street Folsom Ca 95630)
The fun feature here is the little mini-creek. Bring boats or anything that floats to keep the little ones entertained. It kept Judah's interest for about 5 minutes. Then there is a big bucket that dumps and is great for the big kids (or little ones if your kids love getting splashed). The water features are nice and unique, but it didn't keep Judah too enthralled. The park area is nice and spread out. They have outdoor sand volleyball courts, some slides and swings...but overall it wasn't our favorite.

2. John Kemp Park (1322 Bundrick Drive Folsom, CA 95630)
Judah and I LOVED this has great shade, the perfect playground for toddlers and the water feature was just right for a 2 year old as well. The sprinklers just puddled and there wasn't anything too crazy going on. Great park benches for eating lunch too. We will go back for sure. Here is a link to the Folsom Park & Rec District for other listings. These 2 above (I believe) are the only spray parks in Folsom.

2. Folsom Aquatic Center (1200 Riley Street, Folsom)
Never been here, but I drive by it all the time. Check out a great stay-at-home-mom's blog (The SAHM Account) for more information on this one!

El Dorado Hills Area:
1. Promontory Park (2700 Alexandra Way El Dorado Hills, CA 95762)
I've been told this park is also referred to as the "Bug" park. We haven't made our way out here yet, but we are going with Capital MOMS for the Water Park Bonanza event on July 29 (if we don't get out there sooner...) Their park district does a great job with photos, click here to view more details!
2. Peter Bertelsen Park (860 Redwood Ln, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762)
Again, never been...and i've heard it's a small water feature, but when it's 100+ and you have to get out of the house with your kiddos, might be worth a shot-especially if you are close by the neighborhood. Check out photos here!

Rancho Cordova Area:
1. Stone Creek Community Park (3625 Spoto Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670)
We have now had a few MOMS group events out at this park and it seems to be a hit. It's a pretty central location for the Sacramento area with a fun water feature, cool skate park, good slides/swings and seating areas. Great for a good get-together in the hot sun.
2. The Village Green Park (3141 Bridgeway Drive)
This park is across the street from Lowes/Chilis/Subway/Starbucks- great shopping area and meet up spot. The spray park is a hit for the neighborhood and it has restrooms, ampitheatre, and sitting areas. There are no slides and swings at this particular spot, but you can take a 2 minute walk to the neighborhood park if it's a must for your kids.
Here is a link to the Rancho Cordova Park District.

Elk Grove Area:
1. Elaine & Jim Wright Park (9370 Sierra River Drive at Trolio Way Elk Grove, CA 95624)
So, I don't live out in Elk Grove, but I've got a great friend and family that does! This is my absolute favorite right now. Great shade, great play structures (they even have a work out are for parents- that I have yet to use)...and a great spray feature. The kids always love it here and we do too!

There is a list of others above from Sacramento Side Tracks in the Elk Grove Area- as well as this link below to Sacramento Moms Like Me...Check it out! They also give a list to local pools in the Sacramento area...

I really want to check out:
1. Bertha Henschel Play Pool (A St. & 45th St.)

Open June 21/closes August 22. Open 12-4pm for recreational swim Monday-Friday. Open 1-5pm for recreational swim Saturday/Sunday. This might be a fun stop this summer.

I'm sure there are several others that I'm missing. If you have a great one in your neighborhood, let me know! Judah loves to get out of the house...and so do I!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Judah's Toddler Room {Part 1}'s official. We finally sold are old guest bedroom furniture (after convincing Joe that 10 years in storage would cost about $6k and then looking at options for what we could get w/ the money from the set...he was sold).

We went out and got Joe an ipad (mainly to use for work, but he's been playing on it every since)...and then we will head to ikea to get some stuff for our playroom - i'll keep you updated on our finds there as well...

In the meantime...I wanted to post the first pictures of what his "big boy" room will look like...the start anyways. He's super excited about being able to get on and off his bed...even though we haven't put it all together yet.

Reminder: we got all this stuff that you'll see in the pictures below for only $120 off of craigslist (one of my favorite places to shop).
1. Full size bed which includes a book shelf space as the headboard
2. Two nightstands that are the perfect toddler height
3. One- 8 drawer dresser which fits perfectly under his window...
4. One- 5 drawer dresser which will fit lots of clothes.

Overall, it was probably one of my favorite buys of all times. It was old 1950's original furniture that we had to sand, prime, and paint. So lots of love has gone into this purchase as well.

Here is the before:

Here is the after:

Things still to do:
1. We have old frames of artwork that went with our guest stuff, and we are going to paint them and stick family photos or retro artwork in them to liven up the walls.
2. Get knobs for the dressers and those sheets that make the drawers smell good...
3. Get new window coverings
4. Get the full bed mattress (no boxspring for now) we are going to keep it low to the ground.
5. Clean out the closet and move his clothes over (we were using it for storage...=)

But it's a great start...more to come in {part 2} as we piece it all together!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Love . . .

I tend to love summer time. Even though I'm preggo and it's hot, I still like sundresses, flip flops and parks with water features. It just started to feel like summer this week with our first 100 degree day.

I also like how work slows down a little. People go on vacations, so I'm not asked for the 50 million little extra things...and it's like i get to catch up in June and July with all the other things that I haven't had time for...

Then, I go into bored mode for a little bit...and try to think of extra projects to jump into. I think i'm there now...i need something to keep me busy (besides tv)...and if i'm not involved in any projects, i don't feel like i have anything really interesting going on...

Then, I remind myself, I'm about to have another kid. There are plenty of things I could be doing.

1. Baby Room- We are moving Ireland into Judah's current room. It's a Dr. Seuss i'm just going to jazz it up a little with red bows and red accessories (vs. the navy accessories that currently adorn his stuff...The theme is pretty neutral, and i'm saving money...=) I might add something to the walls- just have to figure out what the right thing is...should it be:
a) a quote: "A person's a person no matter how small"
b) her name: do I need to hang her name on the wall somehow? but isn't that so overdone?
c) paint: we currently are renting our house, but if i get the colors pre-approved, I have freedom to paint the walls...
Any thoughts on which I should choose?

2. Toddler Room- We are moving Judah into his toddler room. We have all his furniture painted. We just got the bedding in...these are the last few things i need to do there...
a) accessorize: don't really have a theme, just colors for now- navy, orange, green and yellow (i'll upload a picture once the room is set up) do I need a theme? or can I just find rustic stuff we like?
b) still working on selling the furniture currently in the room- hopefully it will haul out today...we have a buyer coming over shortly...
c) paint: again- should i try painting one wall?
d) keeping judah in there: the joys of seeing how he'll adjust to a "big boy" bed...
He did seem to love helping us out with the furniture...we got all this 1950's furniture (full bed w/ bookshelves as headboard, 2 nightstands, 5-drawer dresser, 8-drawer dresser) all for only $120. Talk about a major blessing! So excited to set it up...Judah was enjoying sanding...take a look:

3. Playroom- we still are wanting to make some finishing touches on the playroom...but i need to get inspired...going to search for more blogs and ideas and stick them on my pinterest board.

4. 10 Year high school reunion- that's right...I graduated high school in 2001. We are celebrating 10 years in August (i think)...getting ready to be on a conference call to see where the plans are and what I can do to help...

So...I guess I have some projects ahead of me. Trying to figure out how to make it all personal with little spending. Probably why I'm stalling on all of these listed above...'s summer...I can go slow! Let's lounge by the pool and dream.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Judah . . . aka "Mr. Clean"

Sitting here trying to get over either food poisoning or the flu, feeling nauseated and uncomfortable, but loving life none-the-less because of the joy i see through my almost 2 year old's eyes (20 months).

God knew first to bless me with a husband that enjoys to clean our home (click here for more details on my amazing husband)...but never in my wildest dreams would I imagine my first-born son to take after his daddy so much. I think his first word after "mama" and "dada" was "LAUNDRY." You're telling me that's a big word...we were blown away. This child gets more joy from doing laundry than anyone I have ever met in my life. He knows where the laundry room is in every house we have ever visited...he has even indulged our neighbors in helping them with their laundry, not to mention both grandparents and brother/sister-in-laws.

Want to see a child throw a tantrum? Take Judah away from the laundry room and it's an outright disaster. You would never imagine how many battles we have had just trying to close the laundry room door.

We thought he was cute and innocent like all other children with the vacuums, brooms wanting to follow in the parents footsteps and help, but then laundry turned into a whole other beast. I haven't even brought up his love for helping with the dishwasher and now, cleaning toilets with the brush. His innocence strangely turned into a weird obsession...but it's an adorable obsession and one we are trying to let him indulge in for the sake of helping around the house.

If only I could teach him how to do it a little quicker. Each experience is about an hour long chore because he takes his sweet time and enjoys every detail.

Here is a quick snapshot at the process for just putting the clothes in the washing machine:

I'll have to film the next step for you all next time. Which includes getting the detergent out, and making sure we don't forget the downy fabric softener which he labeled "blue" because of the color of the bottle. After we put everything in...he gets on top of the washing machine and dances while it moves the clothes around. Again, that video to come at another date. Do you believe me a little now?

My newest discovery with my amazingly talented child is his love for cleaning the toilets. We have 3 bathrooms in our home and I just wish that I would have filmed the mental breakdowns when we finished the first and had to move to the second and so on. He couldn't take the thought that I would have to take the toilet brush away to move to the next bathroom. The sorrow was too great. Then, on the flip side, the joy when he realized he got to do it all over again, you can't put a price tag on cleaning with this kid.

Ok, not the best video to capture...but was a little tricky since this was the first time I realized how important this was to him- i'll get better next time around: all of you who read my facebook post regarding wanting to throw Judah his 2nd birthday at a laundry mat...maybe you now have a better idea...Even if we don't end up at a laundry mat...I think the "Mr Clean" party theme is in the near future...

Look for an update hopefully sooner than later...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

change is in the air . . . how do you do holidays with your fam?

so...a new topic of discussion in our household has been how to handle the holidays. We thought we had it figured out, but we are slowly realizing that pleasing everyone (including ourselves) is impossible.

i know this can often be a heated debate for some, but we thought we had it all figured out. we even discussed it in our premarital counseling. for some reason, it's just not working out like we had planned...

here's the catch: both of our families are in town so we have been splitting a day (it seems most holidays fall on Sundays) and doing half with my fam and the other half with joe's fam. we are super blessed to have both famlies in town, so i would never trade that for the world! but it does seem like it would be easier to make holidays work if we had to travel somewhere- but again- i'm really glad we don't have that challenge in front of us- because i actually would rather figure this out then have to travel to spend time with one of our sides (sorry to all those who have family out of town- i know God helps you all figure it out and you make what works for your fam- it just seems like it would be a huge undertaking- not to mention, kind of stressful- especially when you throw kids in the mix)

so, the half day ends up being lunch after church with my fam (which is kind of a tradition whether it's a holiday or not, then an early dinner w/ joe's fam...the tricky part is, that it's not working out that great anymore. Judah is cranky at lunch time, then wants to take a nap when we are with my fam, and joe's fam feels like they are getting the leftovers of the topic is up for discussion in our home right now (no conclusion has been made)- but, should we (or should we not) rotate holidays even though both families are in town? I guess the stubborn side of myself says- that's crazy- let's just make our families compromise so I can get my way and hang out with both since they are both in town- but the practical side of me says- my husband would be happy and it would make for a less stressful "day."

i guess it's still up for discussion- but we are thinking about making the switch her shortly- now it's just where to begin. Do we start with Easter? As it's next Sunday? Or do we start with Mother's Day (and tick off one side of the family who wouldn't get to see us) and then Father's Day (again, either a Mom a Dad or Joe and I would all be affected on those days depending on where we are spending what day with which side)...the thought of that just seems crazy to me not spending Mother's Day with my mom or Father's day with my dad (or me now as a MOM not being with my fam, or Joe as a DAD not being with his)- but would it make for a less stressful "day"...we would be changing tradition- but sometimes change is good...right?

So...there are my thoughts for the day. Maybe it's a little too much info for some (i guess i just like getting feedback as to what works) or maybe some outside opinions as if my thoughts sound crazy or not...i'm trying to be open to this "change" and make it the best for our immediate fam (Joe, Judah, myself and baby on the way) but then we love both of our extended fam's too...and want to please all parties...

Change is in the air- i guess it's inevitable. it just affects a lot of people around us (including our siblings and grandparents too) what solution do you think would be best without really knowing our famliy dynamics?

This little guy will be happy with whatever we decide I'm sure...