Monday, July 29, 2013

Colorful Dates!

A while ago, on another blog I saw a mom take her son on a date doing a 5k color run!  I thought it was such a fun and great idea for a date, so I stole it, well kind of.  I told Brett it would be a good idea for him to take Maya on a date doing the same thing.  See, I don't come up with these ideas on my own,  I steal them from other people and you can steal them too!

Even better he found the Color in Motion a 5k run on Groupon and we didn't have to pay for Maya since she was only 5.  So it didn't cost much at all and they had a blast!

Norah, Sarah and I got to be part of the audience and it was fun even just watching.

They got doused before they even started, you should have seen the smile on Maya's face!


Plus, I let Norah get involved in some of the color action.


Ready, Set, Go! 

Sarah loved watching!
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waiting at the finish line
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They did it!

 I know it looks like more like Maya a zombie run, she just ended up in a lot of red, it is stuck right below her eyes and mouth
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Next year, Norah's turn!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Life Lessons # 3 {the disease of parenting comparrison}

I remember before I had kids

All the things I thought I would or wouldn't do. 
 The times I said " I won't EVER do that" 

The ways I looked at others parents with screaming kids in the store and thought, "psshhh my kids won't ever be like that."

The time I told a friend, " I will NEVER let my kids eat in the car"

The way I thought I was going to be a totally awesome parent, better than the rest.

And then something really humbling happened.  I had kids.  And now lots of them.

I have given in

Had a screeming kid(s) in the store

And, I let my kids eat in the car like all day long.

I have learned to have a little more grace toward my own parents, my friends, and the mom who has the screaming toddler, because I don't know why the heck they are screaming and it is not always as simple as it seems.

But one thing that I have been guilty of and am still guilty of is this disease our culture has, the disease of "parenting comparison"

It is so hard for our generation, so hard not to compare, with facebook, blogs, magazines, all the social media. You either find yourself thinking you are a terrible parents or you find yourself thinking you do things better or wondering why a parent would ever do such a thing!  I mean, I must be a better parent, right?  Wrong.  Stop for just a second, stop comparing.  I don't even parent my own children the exact same way, so why would I expect another parent to parent exactly like me.  And you aren't a bad parent at all, nothing is ever as it seems online.

I am so guilty of this, that is why I am writing about it.  It has been one of my biggest life lessons, just to simply stop judging and comparing myself to other parents.  Not all people, including my friends are going to make the same decisions for their children, but its ok, because they aren't my kids.  Really what it comes down to is that other parents love and care for their children and are not harming them, it doesn't matter if they use the same diapers as me, home school, vaccinate or not, that is really their business.   I may not agree on some things, but I don't have to judge them. 

I do think their are decisions and things we can do as parents that can make our lives easier, less stressful and more able to enjoy parenting, so sometimes it is hard to watch parents caught in the the trap of exhaustion and stress from choices they have made, but I need to let them figure that out.  I don't need to give unsolicited advice or judgement.  If someone really wants advice they will ask.

I think the best way to learn is always by example.

I have seen children, who are exceptional, and that is when I ask, ask the parent "what did you do, what are you doing, tell me your secrets"  They don't have to solicit their opinion on me, because I can see the fruit of their labor.  

I first did this with my best friend Sarah, I saw her baby girl, the way she behaved, the way she slept, her general demeanor.  I saw good parenting and Sarah didn't have to say a word to me because I could see it all and so I asked! 

I do remember one mom telling me, "you will find that people who parent similar to you is who you will be closets to" and it is so true! My closets friends have similar parenting styles, but it doesn't mean I can't be friends with those that aren't like me.

So I just encourage you next time you are in the store and you see the mom with the feisty toddler instead of judging them offer a hand

Maybe simmer down on comparing and start encouraging

Give advice when asked

And ask for advice when you see good parenting

And give others a little grace, including yourself

(ps. i do realize that this whole post is unsolicited advice, so you don't have to hear a word if you don't want to)

Monday, July 22, 2013

July thoughts and moments

Our neighborhood does a movie night at the pool once a month in the summer, seriously one of my favorites.  Plus, she got to try this for the first time

I have had a few freak out moments about Maya starting Kindergarden in 16 days!!!!!!

I never knew getting uniforms could be so stressful, complicated and expensive!

I really don't like that summer feels like it is over in July.  Summer is over September 21st, not August 1st, sad......

I know 8 girls in Colorado Springs that are pregnant and having babies within just a few weeks/months of me, and every single one of them is having a girl, except for me!  I missed that memo.

Here are 5 of us in order of when babies are due

The work we have to do in our backyard is overwhelming, but I am loving the grass we had installed (yep it is artificial, and saves millions of buckets of water and hours of mowing).

We had a duck crossing recently in our neighbors yard DSC_0466

We had so much fun when our friends the Hornaceks came to visit in June.  I still haven't posted photos, but it has been the highlight of my summer!
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What is so special is not just the connection I have with my BFF Sarah, but the connection my husband has with hers.... I just love it.  Guys need good friends too!

Maya & Norah are little fish in the water.  I don't really know how, but they can both swim and love to do it!  I would sign them up for a swim team if I had any idea how.  GOPR0580

Here is a video of Brett made of some pool time with the Hornaceks

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Boats & wraps

I always love finding easier ways of doing things.  Easier ways that really don't take a whole lot of effort or money by me.

So I am going to share one with you, something that has made my summer a whole lot easier!!

Paper Boats

Yes, totally lame and silly and not at all environmental (don't report me to the EPA)

But so much easier for serving meals and snacks, yes, like all lunches and dinners and every time guests come over, this is what we eat out of!

Why use them, do you ask?
It has saved me about a million hours of cleaning, dish rinsing, and dish washing (so there, I am being environmental, using way less water!) So I have had more time for other stuff, like my girls!

Not kidding I ordered about 1000 of these from amazon, and they were so much cheaper, less bulky than paper plates, and so much more fun!  
Look perfect for all meals even spaghetti!

I accidentally ordered the really small boats at first, ones that are for like 1 bite to eat, so I had to reorder. But I have used the small boats for snacks and smaller meals.

Big Boat, small boat, boat boat boat!

Snack sized 

I think you can get them at Sam's club, but we don't have a membership there and if Costco had them I would be sure to buy them there ( you hear that Costco?)

I use them every time we have guests over!  If you have been over to dinner at our house this summer you have eaten out of one of our classy boats.   And if you haven't eaten out of one of our classy boats it just means you need to come over!

I take them to the pool when we grill out, they are easier, cheaper, and less bulky.

I take them on hikes, bikes and with trikes.  Well, no, none of those, I just felt like this blog needed a rhyme. 

They have simply, just made my life easier.

So here's to boats!

You want to help make my life easier too?  Well, I need some advice.  I need a good Wrap/sling for when the baby comes (like to carry the baby). I  have a feeling I am going to need one a whole lot more.  I had the moby wrap with Sarah and didn't love it..... I had one with Maya too, the Hot sling, but it wasn't all the great.  So I need a good wrap, that I can understand how to use, and put on myself and put the baby into it myself, that is safe.  
What are your suggestions?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

More than a Room, Maya's own room

We decided Maya needed her own space when we moved, so we gave her her own room.  And it has been such a healthy and good choice for her at this time in our lives!

Her room has taken time, but slowly has come together.

When I decorate my children's room it is more than just decoration,  I spend time thinking about my kids, what they are like right now, what is reflective of them.  But more than that as I decorate their rooms I pray over them.  When I paint, I ask for the Lord's guidance in my child's life, that their walls will be a place of safety and protection.  I don't make it complicated, simple prayers for my children, it is really nothing profound.

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the curtain fabric is from, my sister Danae made the "Maya name" and I did the art on the wall.
the hooks are from Ikea
this used to be Maya's crib, now converted into a full bed.   Art work done by me, photo is an engineer print from staples, Duvet cover from ikea
  I did simple art using canvas' from hobby lobby, some cut out scrap booking paper, ribbon and mod podge, about $7

When I was painting Maya's room the song, "Amazed,"  by the Desperation band, kept going through my mind, I even played it as I painted.  And this one phrase just kept standing out to me, so I had to put it on her wall.
"You dance over me, while I am unaware"
I just think it is such a picture of God's hand in our life, he rejoices over us and so many times we have no idea.  I want her to know that the Lord celebrates her life!

I did let Maya participate in some of the decorating also, when I say participate, it is more like a guided participation.  When I went to pick out paint colors, Maya picked dark purple, forest green and yellow........ ummmm no!  So I just gave her a choice between different pinks and grays, and I also let her decorate her bulletin board the way she wanted with what photos she wanted.
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Maya really wanted to pose for some photos in her new room
she really wanted one with the blanket
her dress even matches
Pretending to sleep
my sweet girl!
I want my home to be a place where people are welcome, and feel safe, where the Lord's presence is sensed, where needs are provided and love is felt.  I want it to be more than words written on the walls, but what is actually present. I want this for my children and for anyone who visits.  Sometimes I get it wrong and worry to much about how it "looks" or whether or not it is "clean" enough, I am still working on priorities and what really matters, like these precious children of mine.

Monday, July 8, 2013

7 months Pregnant (with little man)

Yesterday we took off Sarah's diaper so she could  go poop in the potty, and she did!!!

1 minutes later, while her diaper was still off, I see her in the corner of the living room trying to push out more poop

I quickly grab her

But a large piece of Poop falls from her booty onto the floor

I step in it


and then pee my pants because it grossed me out so bad


Welcome to being 7 months pregnant with a 1 year old who doesn't like to wear diapers anymore.

Still loving it though :O)
just wish my bladder could hold more
that acid wasn't bubbling up in my throat constantly 
and that maybe my due date wasn't coming up so quickly

I am closer to being 8 months pregnant, but with being so busy and out of town lately I didn't have a chance to grab a photo of my actual 7 months pregnancy date, that's ok though!

I have photos at 30 weeks with my previous pregnancies, take a look!
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And 7 months with Sarah & baby brother  

I am definitely bigger, but am ok with that. It's the 3rd pregnancy I have had in the 3rd trimester and I am sure to be bigger, plus its a boy!
And about that Boy, we have a name, and are pretty certain on it, we just aren't sharing it, we are keeping that one thing a secret for now
And Maya, she loves him so much and does this on a daily basis.  It is one of my favorite things

7 ish Months!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The 4th

Last year we missed out on our annual Kansas City adventures for the 4th of July.  This year we returned and it was great!  The 4th of July is like the quintessential summer day!

Time with family
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Mostly spent outside

t's hot

and bounce houses seem to be a standard DSC_0173 the4th4

There is usually always some kind of water involved

Lots of BBQing &
Eating some kind of melon
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Lots of fun!
Best day of Norah's life


with bubbles of course
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Blowing stuff up
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And celebrating our freedom
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I love it! it is one of my favorite days, with some of my favorite photos
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