Friday, September 23, 2016

Five things: Bandaids, DIY and end of leave


So it's "officially" fall- but I'm not buying it with these 90 degree temps in KC!!!  Looking forward to next week when it's a HIGH of 70s each day- yes!!!  

{ONE}

First things first.  How is September almost over???  But remember about the link up/Instagram posts promoting Noah's bandage project!!!  Even if you can't grab some bandaids or donate- I so appreciate your support in spreading the word about this amazing project and family!! See this post for more details and the image for the link up for next Wednesday!






{TWO}

You know I'm a sucker for DIY projects.  But DIY with all the supplies provided + you can bring your own drinks in...I'm sold!!  A girl I went to college with recently opened the most amazing store called Pink Antlers that I've been dying to go check out.  So when I saw the post about a workshop October 2 where you get to make this adorable double sided sign....



...I immediately asked some neighbor friends if they were interested in going with me!!! And now I'm so excited for a girls afternoon DIY session and for this amazing sign!!!!  And j can't wait to see the whole amazing store!!


{THREE}

 How about some more DIY for super cheap?  I'm SO excited to try out this DIY sign that a friend and other local KC blogger from Baby by Oakley posted earlier this week.  I've had an idea to do a sign with Jimmy's favorite toast about the bar area my dad put in earlier this year but wasn't sure I wanted to spend a ton of money on a personalized one.  So this is just the perfect way to give it a try with some extra scrap wood, chalk and paint pens!!!  Thanks Mackenzie for an awesome tutorial and tip!  Check out her blog post here.



{FOUR}

While we didn't have fall weather this week...we sure pretended with a fire pit (pot) and some smores!  In Iowa last weekend, the house we rented had a fire pit out back and Charlie was just dying for smores.  Even though we didn't get any, Papa held his promise that Charlie would get some!  And be delivered Wednesday night!!  We all enjoyed some yummy smores - but they would have been much better with Reese's instead of just chocolate!  But isn't everything better with peanut butter????!!




These two are crazy!!!






{FIVE}

This guy.  He was two months old this week - which is crazy!!  With the end of the quarter coming and the beginning of another forecast cycle, I'm back to work in just a week and a half, which doesn't seem possible.  We had a minor day care issue--- but I'm so relieved that's resolved and I'm happy to say that Mikey is starting up on October 5, which is the same day I go back to work. 

I'm going to miss his ADORABLE face and snuggles and the amazing smiles!!!!! Ugh - he's so awesome!!



Charlie is going to miss the Mikey snuggles and morning silliness!!!  Mikey - likely not so much :)


Me and my babe!!!!!!!




And so are the lazy mornings where I can drink and enjoy coffee and my breakfast with my little man and the Today show.  Such is life.  I am excited to see my coworker's (because they are the best!), but I'm anxious about the morning routine.  I have gotten into good daily workouts and eating healthy and want to continue!!! So I'm kicking off my first challenge group and there are some amazing ladies in it and ready to kick some work out butt starting October 3 (want to join in the fun???  Go here for more details!) Ahhh!!! I can do this!! 



We have some fun weekend activities planned and I'm looking forward to my last weekend before my last full week of leave!!! Happy Friday!




Linking up with:

Sept Farm | Oh hey Friday!
A. Liz Adventures | Five on Friday
Momfessionals | Friday Favorites 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mikey at TWO months!




Two months come and gone- time is FLYING!!!

Length: 24 in (88%)
Weight: 13 lbs 4oz (71%)
Head: 15.75 in (76%)

This sweet boy is getting so much bigger and more interactive.  I'm just absolutely loving his expressions and smile and laugh.  The end of our one on one time together is growing quickly to an end, which does make me really sad, but I know he will love his time with Miss Marie and when I get home from work, he will be sooo excited to see me.  The feeling will be mutual :)

Look at him grow!!!




Milestones:
  • SMILING!!! Huge and super fun milestone
  • Also rocking tummy time and that strong head skills. I love that because game changing milestone is plopping a baby on your hip- so go Mikey go!!!
  • I always get sooo nervous talking about sleep because I feel like bragging about it totally jinxes it and I just can't have that.  Let's just say- Mikey is one amazing sleeper and I do not take this for granted because my other two kids- nope.  Most nights down between 7 and 8 and up to eat around 4 or 5am. I know that will not stick (sickness, growth spurts, teeth) - so I'll take it while I can get it. Let's just pray he doesn't flip a switch when I go back to work and need that sleep!!
  • Still in your crib with the Dock a tot in there at a slight incline.  Once you start rolling in a few months, I'll take that out, but for now I love it!
  • Rocking 3 month and 0-3 month clothes quite well. It's fun to pull out Charlie's old clothes and put you in them!
  • Wore size 1 diapers all month but we are getting close to moving to size 2 because 1 is getting a little tight
  • Your hair is growing back on top- yeah! But not sure if it's red! 
  • You still get one bottle at night before I nurse you (about 1 oz) mixed with Gerber Soothe (per pediatrician recommendation because it has probiotic + vitamin D).  But you have had to take a bottle a full times and you rock it- THANK GOD!
  • Lots of "talking" and noise making too- loud baby, but you make yourself known!!

Things you like:
  • Eating. Eat every 2 hours during the day still from me.  I can for sure tell when you are going through growth spurts and not!
  • Still love being held but getting better at chilling in the rocker too- which is nice for some things I need to do that require both hands!
  • You love outward facing in the bjorn with dad and in the ergo with me!
  • Your siblings are obsessed.  You get slightly terrified- rightfully so. 
  • Pacifier still!
  • You like the playmat better and staring at the tv (oops!).  
  • Papa can ALWAYS make you smile which is so sweet 
  • Bath, a drive or walk (in car seat) are definitely things that will help calm you down!
Things you don't like:
  • Gas still!! Getting better at burping faster but you toot all the time!!!
  • Being hungry or when you get impatient and no one is paying attention to you- sorry babe, we are trying our best!
  • 5-7pm have not been your favorite hours either, which makes for interesting evenings! They said that is the peak fussy time for 6-8 weeks so hopefully that will stop now!

Special memories:
  • Busy second month of life!!! First college football game and first Royal's baseball game.  Old settlers day fun and your first LONG road trip to Iowa!!!  I'm so glad you have a laid back personality because kid, your life isn't going glad slow down anytime soon!
  • First time of mom playing solo mom while dad went on a 5 day business trip.  It was CRAZY but so thankful for the help of our family's!!!
  • We did attempt at least one lunch out as a whole family (maybe 2?), but you do great as long as you are fed and changed- so cheers to that!
  • You get to watch mom work out every day - there have been somedays where you are not so happy about it, others day you sleep right through it and sometimes you wake up and just stare at me and the screen!
  • We do less during the day which is nice- as mom is attempting to not spend #allthemoney during weekday Target trips! 
  • One trip to the urgent care this month- don't worry, it was nothing- but in going there found out my work had not actually correctly added to my insurance. AHHH. So glad we figured that out and got it fixed!!!
  • Still had some great visits from family and friends and loving that!!
  • The highlight of month 2 is for sure meeting Great Grandma.  What a treat and something I know I will hold dear to my heart and she will too!


A note to our sweet boy:

Mike dog....you are so great.  I'm so thankful that you are YOU.  You are so handsome and adorable and your sweet gummy smile just melts my heart.  I love how much we all love you.  Maddie still screams BABY MIKEY when we go to pick her up everyday (like she still can't believe you are there! Ha!).  Charlie wants to hold you and kiss you all the time and pouts when he doesn't get to kiss you good night.  Your dad loves you a lot too- but you are for sure a mama's big. Which I love- but I know soon enough you'll be wrestling with him!!!!

We are so blessed to have you in our lives and our family and here's to a new month and new fun and milestones!!!

Love,
Your mom (and dad)

**************************************************************

Just for fun - here is Charlie and Maddie's one month side by side picture.



They all look different to me, but are all so cute (mom biased!).

 


By the way- I love the light in Mikey's room, but these photo shoots with just me and a kid that can almost hold his head up aren't easy! Lol! At least he's a good sport!










Month two is in the books and so thankful for his easy going personality, love of sleep and eating and completely adorableness!!!!

PS I have YET to post his newborn pictures OR his birth story.  In the works because I will forget all the details soon enough!





How toddlers are like drunk college kids

A few weekends ago we took our three kids to their first college football game.  I noticed as I was constantly yelling at my two year old to get off the sidewalk by the tailgate and out of the way of the folks walking by - MANY of them were drunk college kids hopping tailgates.  As many of them stumbled by and I yelled after my toddler attempting to cross the busy street, it dawned on me how similar going to a college football game with a toddler is just going with your super drunk friend in college.  Good luck!!  Here are some of my observations....



1. They stumble down the road when they are walking.  As the parent or semi-sober friend, you might find yourself yelling "{Insert child/friend name} watch out for that tree branch!!", as they inevitably walk right into it and then start crying.

2. You MUST hold their hand when you attempt to walk across the street.  Toddler/drunk college kid will not think twice about darting into the street to get to the next treat/keg party.

3. Finding your seat is a nightmare. As you walk through the stadium and walk by all the vendors, toddler/drunk college kid will immediately demand *all snacks* because they are hungry and constantly have the munchies.  And walking up the stairs and through the aisles to find your seat?  Good luck.  You need a leash and specific instructions to not touch everyone in the row. (In this instance of touching, most strangers find when toddlers do it to be cute, while it could be called attempted assault for drunk college kid).

4. Good luck staying in your seat.  Remember all those sippy cups of water/solo cups of beer they had? Lots of bathroom breaks. And then, of course, the game is not adequate entertainment as they demand more attention and cannot sit still.

5. Keeping them clothed.  This one is slightly different cause and effect...but toddlers eating cotton candy/popcorn/lemonade/anything = sticky stuff everywhere.  Then they will spill the $10 drink all over themselves and cry about it.  Time for an outfit change or rocking the #noshirt.  Drunk college kids (girls in particular...unfortunately), in my observation there is not much there to start with and I'm guessing one spill later in the night might cause the same result as a toddler spill...just in a fraternity house.

6. The aftermath.  The next day??  Good luck doing anything productive...being up too late, coupled with no nap and add in a carnival stomach due to too much sugary juice/jungle juice will make for a not-so-fun next day in trying to do anything with the toddler/drunk college kid.

Obviously these are just my personal observations and comparisons.  No judgement, as many moons ago I was a drunk college kid (but I did wear slightly more clothes...).  But just be aware of these similarities next time you go to a college football game...and hopefully it's not with your toddler (and preschooler and infant...)!!!


Monday, September 19, 2016

Noah's bandage project link up - September 28 - GET YOUR BANDAIDS!!!

YOU GUYS.  I am in shock.

So I sent an email a few weeks ago to some of my blogger friends that I had done other exchanges/link ups with.  It was pretty casual but just reaching out to say I had a small idea.  Our next door neighbor's lost their son, Noah, to pediatric cancer in June 2015.  His story is amazing and he was one amazing little boy (here is my KCMB article with a little more details and see the YouTube video below that is amazing).  Well, they have a sign in their yard since it's September and it's pediatric cancer awareness month and EVERY single time I drive up/leave our house...I see that sign.  And it makes me think of Noah and all the little kids and their family's out there affected by pediatric cancer.   I kept thinking - there HAS to be something I can do.  

All I did was send an email to some bloggers.  I told them Noah's story and I said...wouldn't it be a great way to give back to such an amazing cause (Noah's bandage project) AND involve your kids in this?  Use it as a way for them to pick out bandaids and teach them more about the serving attitude that all of us need a little more of?  I said...just if anyone was interested, they could post on September 28 about NBP, the pictures of their kiddos buying bandaids and send me some bandaids that I could pass onto Deb and Scott, Noah's parents.

I knew these were some great ladies...but MAN.  Within a matter of hours, I was receiving emails from bloggers that I had never heard of.  Two, three and four forwards later to just a few of their blog friends, turned into who knows how many people that saw that original email that I sent about this idea.  I'm in shock and so moved.  Deb is so moved after I told her about my little email.  What an amazing community of bloggers out there - thank you thank you thank you!

Instead of just having everyone send to me (while I will be collecting), I have some more details if YOU want to help with this cause or you want to share more details with your readers on where they can send their bandaids.  AND I'll be hosting a link up on September 28 that you can link your post on Noah's Bandage Project so we can see just how many amazing family's are talking about and giving to this amazing cause.

Here is the image you can post for the link up - along with some hashtags if you want to post on your Instagram!  I know I have had some people say that they want to participate, but they don't have a blog - not a problem at all.  Just post this picture or a picture of you and your kids (if you have kids) getting bandaids - or whatever you want and hashtag this.  I'm literally beaming with excitement about this!!!  The love from this blogging community around this amazing project that sweet Noah started is unbelievable.


If you do have a blog and want to post about this and give your readers the chance to participate as well - here's some additional details:

  • Bandaids cannot be sent directly to hospitals, as they are hospital supplies, so funneling them through NBP is the way to go!
  • Monetary donations are also always welcome - the Wilson's are working to increase the lack of funding there is nationwide for pediatric research (only 4% currently!!!).  So far, they have raised $100K and that number continues to grow (donations can be made on their website: www.noahsbandageproject.com)
  • If you'd like to send bandaids to them, here is the PO address where they collect them:
    • Noah's Bandage Project
      119 N Parker Street Suite 110
      Olathe, KS 66061
  • Link up at www.justanotherdayinparadise1.blogspot.com on September 28 to promote NBP and pediatric cancer...OR use one of the hashtags on the image above on Instagram or Facebook to show your support
THANK YOU again for all your amazing support with this.  It's just such an amazing organization to give back to and we all know how much our kids love bandaids, so think of how much a child that is undergoing cancer treatments will love them when they get a Batman or Elsa bandaid instead of the boring tan one during their normal treatment.

Hope to see you back here on September 28 - if you have any questions, you can email me at brittanycarter410@gmail.com.






Sunday, September 18, 2016

Visiting Great Grandma


This weekend we finally bit the bullet and decided now was as good as time as any to go visit my grandma.  It's been something we have wanted to do since even before Mikey was born, but obviously had to wait a little bit until he was a little less "new" version of newborn.  My grandma is in hospice, so while the days are numbered, we prayed that we would get to make this visit and we are so happy, despite the challenges of traveling with a 4 yo, 2 yo and almost 2 month old, seeing her was worth it!

We set off on Friday morning because it's supposed to be around a 6 hour drive...but we knew it would be much longer than that.

With the addition of Mikey, all the kids took up the middle row in the van and I got the back seat.  We have so much stuff...but somehow we crammed all the luggage and people in there. #thankgodforminivans


On my road trip must do list??  Address Mikey's birth announcements (that I've now had for like a month- ahh!) and write thank you notes.


One thing that we were not short on this trip was constantly stripping down- the kids, not us, thank goodness.  Maddie was the first to pee on the side of the road, Mikey pooped on his outfit and had to be stripped down and Charlie had to make a roadside stop on the way back (along with Maddie on this one...).  If someone invented some sort of car seat pan (instead of a bed pan) for kids and road trips, they would be rich.  SO.MANY.STOPS.


But after many potty and feeding breaks, and some lunch at Panera in Council Bluffs...we were finally "almost" there!!!  Gotta love these Iowa views when there is nothing for miles but beautiful crops and sky.


Our first stop (btw, we didn't make it until 5pm...left at 9am so it was 8 hours versus the normal 6ish), was to see my grandma.  Maddie was hapoy to be out of the car at her nursing home, despite her ridiculous outfit and high pants.


Mikey and I went in first to see where her room was, while the big kids played on the playset that was out front to get some energy out.  She was SO surprised because I guess no one told her we were coming to visit.  My uncle told my dad that she has been constantly asking the nurses how the baby is and telling them that he's probably gotten so big.  They had no idea who the baby was or if she had even met the baby.  So you can imagine she was absolutely over the moon and crying when she saw Mikey.  What a special moment between these two.  She couldn't stop touching his little hands and feet.  It was amazing.


The older kids and Jimmy came in to say hi for a bit.  She had to eat and so did Mikey, so we hung out in the other room and when she was done eating we said our goodbyes so we could feed our clan.  Small town Iowa doesn't have the most options, so we order pizza while we were in the waiting room and picked it up on the 25 min drive to Okoboji where we were staying.  According to Jimmy, it was a momentous moment because it was the first time in his 32 years of life that he had ever eaten pizza in the car.  Bummer for mom because no dairy diet while breastfeeding = no pizza. Boooo.


We completely broke routine because all the kids were talking about since Thursday when we told them we were going to Iowa was SWIMMING! So even though it was late and way past bed times, we headed over to the awesome indoor water park at the resort we were at (we stayed in a vrbo house on the Bridges Bay resort...it was awesome and came with 6 daily water park passes).

The heater was broken (of course), but they were still happy to be there!


Extra bonus: I think I finally understand snap chat (I'm slow!!).  I had a lot a fun using it this weekend- way more than I thought I would!! So find me and I'll follow you!

Bedtime isn't easy in general, but for reals---- so much more complicated outside of your own house. My parents and sister weren't coming until the next day, so we had the whole place to ourselves...but let's just say we played revolving beds like all night.  Even Mikey moved from his quiet closet location to the upstairs loft with me in the middle of the night.  (PS I'm obsessed with dock a tot- post on that coming soon!). The biggest disaster was that I forgot Maddie's pull ups. I picked some up at the grocery store (went after kids in bed)...but it was too late as she had a poopy mess that poor Jimmy got to clean up. 😷💩


After an early 5am wake up for Charlie, I somehow convinced him to stay in bed playing iPad games until 6:30, I got up to make breakfast, make some coffee and hang with my boys while we waited for dad and Maddie to wake up.


The morning weather was AMAZING.  It was literally the perfect fall day.  I wish I would've brought some of the new sweaters I have been dying to wear.  We ventured out to explore the resort and the lake.  First stop was the playground right across from our house, then we made it down to the dock of the resort.  They had a cool water taxi thing that was like a ride--- even though they said only use once, we broke the rules and did twice! 

The resort was awesome but it was also dead because a lot of stuff closed down Labor Day weekend, but it was still awesome and kind of nice because it wasn't crowded!


Our best find? The doughnut and coffee shop in the resort!! Maddie and Charlie were thrilled!


While we were going to visit my grandma after the rest of the family got there, we knew she was more alert in the mornings, so we packed up our crew, got some flowers and headed back to visit her before *attempted* naps.

Maddie and Charlie were so excited to see her again AND bring her flowers!


It was a quick but good visit because we still had to get everyone fed, but she was feeling more alert and lots of smiles!!!

Poor Jimmy. He attempted nap time with the big kids; they requested to sleep together in the loft bed.  Well...that didn't really go well.  I'm pretty sure they went back and forth (while I fed/held Mikey) for an hour. I even suggested that my parents and sister and her husband go on a drive because Maddie was going to flip out if she saw them.  Charlie finally went to sleep while Maddie didn't.  Eventually, we gave up and just say outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather while Maddie entertained herself. That girl.


When Charlie woke up, we all went to visit her again and got this awesome picture.  Seriously so thankful for this visit and these people.


When it was time to say our "so long for now" (as my grandpa would say, instead of goodbye), the kids gave her a kiss and she didn't want to let go of Mikey.  It was just amazing to see her interact and dote on them.


We went to an interesting bar on the water for dinner. It was outside and fun- awesome because there was a playset and toys right next to our table- but the food was concession stand food- which we weren't expecting at all.  Or the fact that the bathroom for women was called an "Octo-pussy".  Ewwww.  But I did get a Bloody Mary, the kids were entertained and it was a super fast dinner...


And watch out, the Barefoot Bar had signs like this. Hahahha!



After dinner, we went swimming again. No pictures because I left my phone at the house.  But I will say, the easiest (but possibly grossest) way to get your kids out of the pool when they really don't want to is have someone poop in the water. Long story, but some lady told me she saw someone doing it, so I told Jimmy immediately to get out...and the lady's husband told the worker...who eventually closed the pool.  Duh. Gross.

So after baths and major scrubbing...we didn't operate on normal bedtime in hopes for a) good night of sleep and b) some car naps for Sunday.  We were all 5 going to attempt to sleep upstairs in the open loft area that had 3 full sized beds.  Charlie was in one, Maddie and Jimmy in another and then I was in the third and close to Mikey (who was sleeping in the dock a tot on the bathroom floor...again, this thing is amazing).  It wasn't as horrible as I thought...but when I said that to Jimmy he rolled his eyes because apparently our children like to sleep perpendicularly...sorry Jimmy.

While we thought it would be a super early morning, everyone slept until after 6:30...which was nice. After we packed up, it was around 8 when we left.  The kids did awesome for the first 2.5 hours (after a road side pit stop for Maddie 3 minutes after we left the resort).  And then Charlie didn't want to wake up when we got home.  He kept napping while I unloaded the car and then I was still asleep so I just took him to go get gas with me. Silly kid!!


Of course at the very end of the drive all kids were asleep and we could barely believe it!! (Charlie put that blanket over his head- weirdo!!)



However, this kid gets the best traveler award.  Never once did we have to stop specifically for him.  He would start to cry and then calm down.  No blow outs in the car seat!!  And he slept so well in the car and at the house.  Seriously love him.  Can't believe he's going to be 2 months tomorrow.


So so glad we got to make this trip and that my parents and sister and husband came too.  While it wasn't long, it was fun to be together and most importantly, I think it's safe to say seeing Charlie and Maddie and meeting Mikey sure put a smile on my sweet Grandma's face. 

Now it's back to reality with two month shots tomorrow!!! Hope you had a great weekend!!!