Monday, December 30, 2013

Who makes baby jammies have buttons? {A OnePiece review}

I have been blogging for a long time now, like 6 years, crazy!  Although, if you count when I Really started blogging regularly, it was when my sister died, so like 3 good years.

Anyway, you all know my intentions have never been to make money, they still aren't.  But occasionally I will get a really fun surprise, a nice note, an email or a great donation from doing this blog and I always love them!  But just recently I had someone contact me about receiving a clothing item for Levi in exchange for a review of the item on my blog.

Why yes, I will take a totally adorably outfit for Levi and tell all my readers about it!

Don't worry, my blog is not going to become some review/give-a-way blog.  This incident is few and far between, or really just once, since this has never happened.

So Levi received this completely adorable OnePiece outfit from Norway.  Somehow clothes from other countries always seem so much cuter, that is probably why I like H&M so much!


I had never heard of or seen these before, but apparently they are very popular, kind of a big deal, and what the stars are buying for themselves and their kids!  Ok, even better, now my son is a  movie star!  Well, not really at all, but he can pretend to be all fancy in his OnePiece and match babies and Carly Rae Jepsen on UsWeekly.

From a moms perspective, I think any clothing item that is just onepiece, is easier!  Not just that, but Onepiece items that aren't jammies are so great to have.  And even better, for the winter time in Colorado this outfit is Amazing!  It's nice and warm and cozy, with a hood and it's super easy.  It is size 0-6 months so it basically fits forever!  And I don't know about you, but don't you think zippers are a million times easier than buttons!?!?

Seriously, who makes all of the baby jammies have buttons?  There are like a million of them, and when you are trying to do a quick diaper change in the dark at night, its basically impossible and the jammies end up all mismatched with one leg sticking out.

No buttons here people.  Just one giant, stylish zipper!

I would say that for me the one downside is the price.  On their website OnePieces cost 49 Euros (which I think translates to around 69 dollars?).   However, there is a good sale going on right now, and you do get what you pay for and in this case I would say you pay for the quality, style, function-ability and branding, which are all excellent!

look how cool this guy is

They have these for adults also! You should check it out on their site. I really should get Brett one, wouldn't it be great to see bearded Brett in the same outfit as baby Levi?  It would be Priceless.

For now I will enjoy priceless moments with my son.
Oh and I forgot to say, that these outfits automatically make your child cuter!

Visit OnePiece to get your own!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013 & Video

Merry Christmas! 


and Enjoy our annual Christmas Video

Monday, December 23, 2013

Advent season 2013, It is better to give....

When I started this advent season I wanted to keep the tradition of our daily advent activities, we have done it for 2 years now and the girls love it!

At the same time I want to teach them that Christmas is more than getting to do lots of fun stuff.  Don't get me wrong doing fun stuff is ok,
 but if that is all we do it can make everything else a little foggy.  
If you ask the girls what Christmas is about they always reply, "it is about Jesus, he was born!"  
And as much as they say that, I don't know how much they actually KNOW that.

But to remember Jesus shouldn't we all try to do what he asked, at least a little bit?  
I mean I fail at it completely all the time, but I really want to do a better job of SHOWING my girls things that I tell them to do, things that the Bible says.  The Bible teaches us "It is better to give than to receive."  How many times have I told my kids this phrase and yet when we clean the playroom the only toys they want to give away are the broken ones?  And I can tell you right now that if I asked my girls if they would rather get a new Elsa Frozen doll or give one away, they would pick the receive half of that scenario and to be honest so would I.  It is ok to receive, no shame there, but I don't want to forget about the giving part.  And so much of what Christmas is about is giving. 
I mean God only gave us His one and only son, so maybe I can share a latte, right?

So this year we mixed it up a bit.  If I took the girls to get a treat somewhere,  then we got a treat for someone else, a neighbor, a friend, etc.   If they got a new book they got extra books to give to others. When we bake, we gave the treats to others. They still got to do the fun activity, or eat the yummy treat, but they also gave.  I could have tried just the giving part, you know lets just give our neighbors a fun treat and you don't get any, buttttttt that's would have been met with sour faces and whines.  As much as I would love to say that my angel children would just give up everything for others and take nothing for themselves that's not reality.  The average age in my house is 3, so for now trying to teach the concept of giving means there is a bit of getting involved.   I could be doing this totally wrong, and ruining my children because I am not allowing them to be total self sacrificing, or then again I could be just allowing them to be kids. 

Not every activity was about giving, some of it was just tradition or fun.  The girls still got to meet
santa, twice
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And we spent lots of time in the kitchen! 
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Of course some dancing DSC_1055

Some Special time with Grammy & Poppy
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Some Plain old fun
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And a little time giving DSC_0980

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 And some of the giving was met with receiving in return.  Maya gave a girl at school a new book, and a few days later Maya came home with a brand new book from the girl she had just given to. We dropped of treats at a neighbors and they gave us treats in return.  We brought dinner to another mom and she came and brought is dessert! It was really sweet and fun to see!

I am not trying to make other people feel bad they aren't doing the same, my real hope is actually to encourage others.  I had a lot of people start doing the daily advent activities that our family did,  so I thought maybe if I do it this way others will be encouraged to do something similar, you know like a pay it forward thing.
And if not, we had fun!
Merry Christmas


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dear Carrisa letter # 3

You all knew it was coming, my annual letter to Carrisa.  I have written letters # 1 & #2 already and now I have to keep the tradition coming.  More for my own sake and therapy though.

Dear Carrisa,

I have had such a busy day, hardly 2 seconds to breathe until this evening.  But I am thankful for this evening, my time to just be quite to think of you again, to allow myself to fully remember you and to just take a moment and stop.

Today is December 11th, the day you left us 3 years ago.  I dread this day as it approaches, the memories that are triggered, and the emotions that come. I think back to that very last text you sent me, the one with Norah's social security number.  I remember as soon as I received that message I felt the urge to call you, but I did not.  A millions times over I wish I would have called you, to hear your voice, one last time....... I am sorry that I didn't sis.....

How has it been 3 years?  Does it feel long to you up in heaven? Or is it just like a flash, so quick that you can hardly grasp that you even waited for us to join you?

I don't know why this day, the day you left is harder than the dates our other family members left.  Maybe it is because more time has passed since they were gone, maybe it is because all of those other dates, Sept 22nd, and April 13, those dates have new meanings now (happy birthday Sarah & Maya), or maybe it is simply because your death wasn't just you simply leaving, because after all you left something behind.

Besides bringing Norah into our lives our family has evolved in so many ways!
We had another baby, ha!  Can you believe it?  I have 4 kids.  Continue laughing please, because I never pictured it either!  And do you know what is even more surprising?  We had a Boy! 
 Amazing, isn't it?  
His name is Levi Paul.  
He shares his middle name with dad.  
Tell dad sorry we didn't use his first name, but we could quite settle on a name like "Eugene", as classy as it is.

Dad actually told me in a dream that we were having a boy.  He almost laughing told me, "of course it's a boy, we have to have some sort of redemption in this family."  You probably knew that just as well though.  Speaking of dad, can you give him, Darren and Fran a great big hello and hug from me.

Man, it seems like every time we talk I have another baby, we should really talk more often, or I should really stop having babies, sheesh!

So now we are 3 girls and 1 little boy.  Levi is such a precious bundle, he continues to remind me of the joy and precious blessing life is! Sarah makes me laugh all day long.  Maya, she is in Kindergarten and super social with all kinds of boy problems.  Can you believe that she was only 2 the last time you saw her?  And Norah will start Kindergarten next year, I am only having a mild panic attack about that.

 I am sure you want to hear about Norah though, she is yours and always will be, but thank you for sharing her on earth, because our family needs her.   She fits in perfectly,  it is like she has always been here!  She has grown up so much and become such a great helper!  She just loves on her little brother so much,  she just wants to hug and squeeze and love Levi to death, much like you did to all of our animals growing up!  Now don't get mad sis, we all know that you loved babies and animals more than anyone else, but you had a hard time with something we call "gentle" and Norah got that skill from you  :O)

Remember how I told you about Norah's traumatic hair cut last year?  Yeah..... well she has done it 2 more times since!!! Can you believe it!  Go ahead and give me a gold star for mom of the year.  Do you have any advice for me on this one?  This is when I need you here, to get inside your brain, because it is just like Norah's and ask why?  Why would she keep doing this?  But then I remember maybe it's not so much a problem Norah has, but one that I do.  God is continually humbling me. 
But while your up there with Him, could you just please ask Him to give me a break on the whole Norah hair cutting thing?  I'm totally over it.

And you know what?  This morning, on the anniversary of your heaven birthday Norah came up to me and said, "mommy, I am really sad today....."  I wrapped my arms around her, waiting for her to say something totally profound, and then she said, " I am sad because I can't be Elsa from Frozen"  Oh Norah.......... She just wants to be a princess so bad.  She does have the whole, "her mom died" part of the princess story, like everyone else from Disney, she is just missing the prince charming thing, and the castle and a few other small details.  But on a day that my heart was feeling so sad, her comment made me smile and forget for just a second that she is still so young and doesn't carry the burden of your loss on her shoulder and I'm good with that for now.

Norah also got glasses, yep, I was shocked too!  I had no earthly clue!  I know I know, you probably would have figured that out, but I have this condition that keeps me from realizing all things about my kids, it's called "having a lot of kids."  
She looks totes adorbs in them though.  What? you don't know what "totes adorbs" means?  Ha, I forgot.  I think you left before that type of lingo started, but it means totally adorable!

Facebook is still around, of course, but earlier this year we noticed that you accepted a friend request from someone....... um super strange, Facebook has already made it's way up to heaven? Yeah, I didn't think so. We later realized that you had friend requested someone like 3 years ago and they finally accepted it, man were they out of the loop.

I miss you sis. 
I still feel so sad that you aren't here anymore.
I feel sad when I stare into Levi's tiny little face and know that he will never meet you.  I feel sad that you never got married, although I know that doesn't matter to you now.  I feel sad that Norah didn't get a chance to know you more, to remember the way you loved her.   I sometimes even feel sad when I am alone at home with the kids, knowing that the only reason I am a stay at home mom is because you are gone. I feel sad simply because I don't have life to share with you......

Although there are still many things that bring me sadness I do have a joy just knowing where you are, knowing that you are better and forever will be.

I wish could just stop time, 
at least for a while, 
then our time apart from one another wouldn't be quite so long,
 because 3 years seems to long now....  
It is time enough,
for others to forget,
to not remember you quite so much,
to lose the sense of who you were,
but not me, I won't ever, no time will ever change that.

So we sent your balloons

Did you get them yet?

Can you hear Norah's saying "merry Christmas mommy Carrisa?"

Merry Christmas to you Carrisa, I love you so much!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Beards for Babies

My husband is going to grow out his beard........ for a very long time, hopefully.

Hopefully? Yes, I never thought I would say that!

But then I know why he is doing it, and that makes me not just ok with it, but happy!  Happy that my husband has such a big heart, that he will think of some funny and creative way to do something for someone else.  This is so much of who he is!

So why is he growing it?

My husband is doing a project called "Beards for Babies"  Totally ALL his idea.  He is growing out his beard to raise support to open Child Survival Program in the Dominican Republic through Compassion International.   The Child Survival Program helps give babies a fighting chance, it gives necessary medication, tools, supplies, and education and support for mothers.

To open this project $25,000 needs to be raised!
  So Brett is willing to continue to grow his beard every month for each $1000 raised.  
So $1000 = 1 more month of beard growth. 
 $25,000 is needed to open the project, so this could be 25 months worth of beard growth!! 
People that's over 2 years.  
This could be pretty Intense! I honestly can't imagine what his beard might look like, he may even surpass some of our Duck Dynasty friends!

This was a few years ago when he grew his beard for just 5 months! Beard: March 1, 2010

Brett decided to start Beards for Babies when our little baby Levi was born in August. 
So it has been growing for 3 months and will only continue to grow with your help!

All you need to do is donate.  This money DOES NOT go to our family, it goes to the non-profit organization Compassion international, it is tax deductible and will go to the La Canasita Child Survival Program - DRCS7

 So if you want to help little babies have a better chance, or if just want to see my husbands beard grow then donate!

You can also check out his website and Facebook page or the direct Compassion Page

There is also a link on the side bar of my blog

I love my husband and that he is doing this and would totally appreciate any support! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

On Christmas 2013

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas, let your heart......

that song gives me a lump in my throat every year ever since that dreaded phone call 3 years ago on December 11

The anticipation of the season is filled with such mixed emotions.  I am so excited for the season, to celebrate Jesus birth, to have special family time and activities, to snuggle in warm blankets by the fire and drink bliss in a cup, but deep down there is a raw sadness.  The memories well up inside of me, the memories of that one Christmas season that was filled with so much sorrow, a plane ride filled with tears, an embrace with my family with one less member, the thought of a child without her mother. The knowing that I will never get to share this season with her again.

To think that was just 3 years ago, and we had only one little girl....
and now we have a family of 6

With a little guy in the mix 

The Lord has blessed and healed our family in many ways, but I still miss her.  
I wish she could see our family now

I still have dreams of her, ones that she returns but I don't know how to tell her that Norah is ours, and that I can't give her up now

They will always be there, those memories, those emotions. 
I will hang her ornament every year
and the one from Norah's first Christmas

and I will always feel a wave of sadness and hurt
December 11 will always come and so will A life to continue, 
one without her, 
but one with a Loving God who sent his son, as a tiny baby to Save us
so someday I will get to see her agian

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Levi Paul {3 months}

Levi Paul

You are my squeely, happy, little man.

You are still pretty little, probably somewhere in the 10lb range.

I think 3 months is one of my favorite ages

You are totally interactive and happy, sleeping a lot longer, you will also sleep anywhere, and you coo and talk a lot!

You love when people talk to you, you always smile, wiggle,  and coo back

You stopped pooping again, sheesh......... I don't know what to do about that.  You will poop once, and then go like a week wihtout pooping, and then poop once, and then go like another week, and the cycle continues.  Maybe we should call you Levi Mcpooperton, or not, since you don't ever poop!

We call you Levi, Lebi, Buddy, and Brother.

You get called a girl ALL.THE.TIME!  Sorry about that buddy.  Despite my efforts, to spike your hair, cover you in a blue blanket, and put football clothes on you, strangers will come up and say, "what a cute little girl....." really?  maybe they look at me and think......."that mom couldn't possibly have a little boy, therefore that must be a baby girl." 

Or maybe you're just to cute!

I love the way you fold your little hands together, clasp your fingers, and wiggle them around while you are nursing, it is so sweet

You gag yourself a lot, in fact you gag really easily, sometimes even on a paci, you must have gotten that from your uncle Jacob

You do take a bottle, but you don't love it.  When daddy gives you one you will initially just push it right out of your mouth and smile at him, like your saying 
"hey you're not mommy, nor is this her booby"

You took your first road trip to HOuston, Tx and loved it!  You couldn't get enough of all of that constant love and attention

You also had your first trip to the beach
levi3months2 levi3months5

You go down easily for every nap except your last..... it's a tricky one and you almost don't need it anymore, but still kinda do

  I love how big you're gettin! 
I can kinda finally see a leg roll

Keep growing, but don't grow up.  Love you!