Oh Hey

Here are some things I’d like you to know:

+ We are going on another vacation this year. !!!! To Denver to visit the same dear friends we visited last Spring. After feeling like vacations were a distant memory in that phase of we have two babies under two years old, two vacations feels like we won the lottery. We’re bringing the kids and we are so looking forward to a long a weekend away.

+ ALSO I got to have a long girls’ weekend in Austin this year. I know. It’s crazy.  Plus the kids were sick as I was literally driving down the road.  Matt called and said both girls just threw up on themselves in their carseats.  #cringe  Before you think I’m a horrible mom, I offered to turn around three times but my darling husband told me to go on.  Thankful for him and my mother in law who helped out all weekend.

+ Matt and I have taken to having (almost) weekly lunch dates at our favorite authentic Mexican food place. He picks me up from work on my lunch hour and off we go. It’s so nice having that time, just the two of us to chat. Also the Wednesday special: puerco en salsa verde is ahhhhmazing. I get it every single time.

+ I scratched Run a Half Marathon off my bucket list. It truly was an amazing experience. I wish I would’ve written about it much sooner when the memories and endorphins were fresh. I crossed the finish line in just under 2 hours and 10 minutes, and I was pleased as punch with that time. My average pace was about 9:40 and I just cannot say what a great experience the entire thing was – from training, to crossing the finish line, to seeing all the runners and supporters, to my sweet family waiting for me at the end. I’m grateful for it all.

+ In keeping with one little word for 2016 I embarked on a new business adventure with Rodan and Fields. I’ve been intrigued by this company for years and this was the year I took the plunge. First, I love quality of the products, I love how my skin feels, I love helping people feel great about their own skin, and I’m also loving the business side of things. I’m stretching and growing and being challenged in ways that are so new to me.  Of course I’d love to share with you if you are at all interested.

How are you?  It’s been a while.

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Categories: As of Lately List, goals, M + M, Married Life, Matt, motherhood, Vacation My Love Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Five Years

Matt and I celebrated our five year anniversary this year in Mexico.  Specifically we stayed at the Excellence Cancun Riveria based off several recommendations from different and unrelated people.  It’s an all inclusive adults only resort and fit our bill for low key and worry free.  We had a super lovely time.

We drank, we lounged, we read and read and read, we went to the spa and got massages and hydrotherapy, we ate, then we ate some more.  It was so amazing to be able to sit and just be.   Then I got really stir crazy and demanded that we get up and actually go do at least one thing.  Turns out I have a limit on how much lounging and relaxing I can handle.  (Two days is lovely, three days is really pushing it.) So we went on an excursion and had a really great time! I’m sure I’ll post about our day away from the resort someday soon.  (hahahaha – “soon”)

I’m so glad that we were able to have this time together.  We haven’t been on a “real” vacation since before our oldest daughter was born – she’ll be three in May!  We returned refreshed and super excited to see our girls.

p.s.  Unrelated thoughts: While I was in the shower I had an idea for a new blog name!  I know, I blog so much right?   I’ve actually had quite a few different blog names but nothing ever seems “quite right” – because it matters #sarcasm.  Turns out motherhood, marriage, work, and laundry take up a lot of time.  But I love writing and sharing photos… I can’t quite call it quits and so sometimes random ideas hit me.

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Categories: M + M, Married Life, Matt, Vacation My Love Tags: , ,
Happy Father’s Day

Gosh, we sure do love this guy!  I’m so grateful he’s ours.  Happy Father’s day to my love and to all the great dads out there!

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Categories: celebrations, family, kiddos, Married Life, Matt Tags: , , ,
A Wheels on the Bus Birthday Party

Earlier this month we celebrated Alice’s 2nd birthday by throwing her a small Wheels on the Bus themed party.  We kept it small again (see her 1st birthday party here) and just had family in attendance.   To say that Alice loves music would almost be an understatement and the ever popular Wheels on the Bus song has definitely been one of her top favorites.  The idea to throw a Wheels on the Bus themed party for Alice this year, came to me several months ago.  In gathering some ideas, most of the ideas I found on pinterest were either gender neutral or decidedly boy-ish.  Not that it matters too much, but I wanted to add some girly pink to her decor so that’s just what we did.  Overall I think it turned out simple and cute.

Matt’s mom made Alice’s cake again this year and it turned out perfect!  So grateful for my mother in law and all she does for us.

What a difference a year can make!  The best part of the day was seeing Alice take it all in and really enjoy herself.  This time around she took notice of her cake, enjoyed the “happy birthday song,” and tore into her gifts.   She’s certainly well loved by so many people.

p.s. Here’s Alice’s 1st giraffe themed party (please excuse the blurry pictures, apparently all my old posts prior to the WP transition have blurry photos – maybe one day I’ll get around to fixing them…)

Also my Kiddo Birthday Pinterest Board where I file away ideas and inspiration for my girls’ birthday par-tays.

Alice’s Wheels on The Bus Bday invitation here.

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Categories: celebrations, family, home sweet home, kiddos, Matt, memories, motherhood Tags: , , , , , ,
Our Typical Weekday

I seem to be on the 4-5 month track for writing these “typical weekday” type posts. Although the basic outline of our weekdays have remained the same, the change in so many of the details amazes me. When I looked back on my last weekday recap, I immediately felt a huge sense of relief. Everyone is definitely getting a lot more rest these days and a full night of sleep makes allllllll the difference in the world!

Here’s what a typical weekday looks like for us right now: Alice age 2, Elaine  9 months, and Matt and Melissa married 4 years and 3 months

610 am: I wake up 10 minutes before my alarm. This is what happens when babies consistently sleep through the night!!! (!!!). I debate snoozing for another 10 or getting up. I decide to get up.

Quiet as a mouse, I head into the bathroom with the monitor after letting Penny Lane outside. Everyone is still asleep. Today is one of Matt’s work from home days so he and Alice will sleep in till 8am before he drops her off at daycare and returns home for a morning at his desk.

620 am: Still trying to be as quiet as possible, I exit the bathroom with makeup and brushed hair. I get dressed in semi darkness so as not to disturb Matt too much. Although Elaine has been sleeping through the night (CAN WE SAY, HOORAY!!!) she wakes very easily in the mornings and I would really like for her to remain asleep till 7am.

630 am- 7am: I head into the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee. The bean grinder is super noisy, but a necessary evil. Elaine squawks. I check the monitor. She doesn’t appear fully awake and I watch her pop her paci into her mouth and lay her head down while she strokes her lovey. Sweet girl. I hold my breath. She’s quiet, so I continue with my routine and make myself breakfast. These days I’ve been having scrambled eggs and cheese on toast. A breakfast sandwich. Elaine makes more noise but luckily doesn’t become upset. I’m able to finish my breakfast. I make sure my pump bag is properly stocked with enough bottles to pump twice during my work day, I fill up my water bottle and pack it into my enormous work bag.

7am: Elaine is officially up and wants everyone in the house to know it. I head into her room and scoop her up into my arms. I sniff and kiss her sweet little head. She is happy, giggly, and bouncy! I immediately settle into the glider in her room and nurse her. She acts like she hasn’t had any nourishment in days. This is a sweet time, just the two of us. While she nurses, she grabs my hair, my shirt, anything she can get a hold of. I stroke her hair and marvel as I do everyday over her golden highlights and bright blue eyes. She gets both these traits from her grandfathers. Matt, Alice, and I all have brown eyes. Alice’s hair is reddish but Matt and I both have dark hair. (Although Matt had blonde hair when he was boy and so did my dad.) Genes are a funny thing.

710-730 am: Once E is through nursing she has a diaper change and is dressed for the day. She panics, as she does everyday, when I slip her onesie over her head. I assure her that it’s just a shirt and she’ll be okay. She believes me and calms down. Fully dressed I set her on the floor of her bedroom with a few toy options. They entertain her for a few moments before she pokes her little head out of her bedroom door to see what I’m doing in the kitchen. I’m busy making myself one more cup of coffee and blending up a smoothie for my mid-morning snack. I finish packing my work bag, grab E’s bottle bag that I packed the night before as well as my pump bag. I load all three things into the car along with my coffee. I scoop Elaine up, she’s made it to the living room and is being chaperoned by Penny. I buckle her into her car seat and we’re backing out of the garage by 730 am.

730 am: Summer traffic means that 5 minutes is shaved off our commute to daycare. It takes us 10 minutes to get there today instead of the usual 15. I decide to take a break from podcasts (I’ve been listening to lots of Joy the Baker lately) and we listen to music on our drive.

753 am: I pull into the parking lot at work.  I’m early!  I scroll through social media feeds and listen to more music before heading into the office for the day.

8am – 1 pm. Work.

750ish – Matt gets up, dressed, and makes coffee. He gets Alice up and dressed. They’re out the door somewhere between 8-815. Breakfast is served at 830 am at Alice’s school. On days that Matt has to commute into the office, he and Alice get up much earlier. On commuter days, he wakes up sometime between 630-640 am. Then he and Alice are out the door between 7am and 715am. Basically an hour difference.

Alices’ daycare day consists of three hot meals and a snack. Her daycare emails us a menu every week and I’m pleased with the hot and healthy meals they serve.  She has art and music time. Indoor and outdoor playground time. Spiritual time (she’s attends a Christian daycare) that includes either scripture reading or music. Of course there is also nap time. Just recently she graduated from her one year old class to the two year old class.  Several weeks before the official move, she was spending several hours a day with her new class so that the transition wasn’t a shock in at all.  In fact she was consistently asking to play with the two year old class.  I’ve been so pleased with Alice’s “school”.

Elaine’s daycare day consists of three bottles that I send and meals that they provide and feed her. She also has a light afternoon snack. They read stories, play, listen to music, and occasionally make little art projects. Elaine takes at least two naps while at daycare, she seems to have dropped her third nap. There are around 8 babies in Elaine’s daycare, all under the age of 15 months. The caregivers are a mother-daughter team and do a great job caring for our baby girl.

10am (and 3pm): I’m still pumping for about 20 minutes twice a day. I cut out the lunch time pumping session when Elaine was around 6.5 months for my mental health. I send her to daycare with both breast milk and formula. I nurse her when we are together. When we are apart, she takes formula for Daddy and for grandparents. I’ve adopted a no guilt policy and it’s working out well for all involved. 🙂

1pm: Lunch time. Normally I would head home for lunch and eat something we have on hand. During that hour at home, I also try to do a chore like unload the dishwasher or start a load of laundry.  However today was a treat because Matt picked me up for a lunch date. One of the perks of his work-from-home days. With two small ones, dates are pretty infrequent. So any kind of date is a treat. We go to our favorite lunch date spot for authentic Mexican food.  So good.

After lunch I had a bit of extra time before I was due back to the office so I decided to go for a quick walk.  I wear a fitbit and my short walk afforded me some extra steps. #NerdAlert

2-5 Work.

5pm: I leave to go pick up Alice. Normally I take and pick up Elaine because it makes sense for Matt to take and pick up Alice in relation to his office. But twice a week, when Matt works from home, he picks up Elaine and I pick up Alice. I like to be familiar with both of my girls’ care providers and set my eyes on where they spend so much time. I feel like this makes me sound controlling… but it’s just something that’s important to me.

510 pm: I spot Alice playing with the other kids in her class at the same time she sees me. She runs into my arms. The. Best. I chat with her teachers about her day. We grab her sweater from the morning, her daily report sheet, and the artwork she’s made.  Once she’s buckled into her car seat we make the drive home singing and chatting the whole way.

525-600pm: Pulling into our driveway, I spot Matt and Elaine rocking on the front porch awaiting our arrival. Hugs and kisses all around. Matt has picked up my favorite BBQ! I change out of my work clothes, Matt helps Alice wash her hands, and then we all settle around the dining table for dinner. Elaine is in the highchair and Alice is in a booster seat. Probably doesn’t need to be said, but dinner with a baby and a toddler is busy. In between my own bites of food I feed Elaine. Alice pretty much eats whatever we have for dinner and is mostly self sufficient. Elaine has cheerios, half a banana, and I spoon feed her a partial organic baby food pouch. Today it’s creamy chicken and veggies.

6-ish pm: We’re finishing up dinner and as a treat we’ve let Alice have a little bowl of icecream leftover from her birthday party. It’s nice outside and I suggest we go for a walk. Afternoon walks with my family is my favorite. Getting out the door takes a few minutes and meltdowns (the kids and the dog’s). Shoes are pulled on, the leash is taken out, the stroller is set up, grab a pacifier for Elaine, it’s slightly chilly so the girls are wrapped with lightweight blankets. 10-15 minutes later and we’re finally out the door.

6:15ish: We walk around our neighborhood for about 30 minutes. Matt likes to push the stroller and hold Penny’s leash. (Super Dad 😉 We listen to music through a jambox. 
Elaine’s pretty quiet with the exception of a couple times when she has dropped her pacifier. Alice sings and repeatedly says “Hi Mama! Hi Daddy” while holding her hand up to be squeezed by each of us respectively. Matt and I chat about what we like in the houses and yards we pass, making mental notes of what we’d like to do in our home and/or future home. Ultimately we’d both love to live on a cul-de-sac. Did I mention that family walks are my favorite?

650-730pm: Back home we unload the girls. I immediately roll into Elaine’s bedtime routine.  It’s a bath night. We’ve been giving the girls a bath every other night lately. The daily bath was just too harsh on their sensitive skin. While I bathe Elaine, Matt and Alice hang out in the living room. Tonight they are looking at her new set of markers and coloring pad that she got for her birthday. Post bath, I lotion and put E in her pj’s. She’s quite mobile and doesn’t make it easy because she keeps trying to roll over and crawl off the edge of her changing table. Once she’s dressed in her pj’s and sleep sack I switch off her bedroom light, shut the door, and turn on her sound machine. She yawns in anticipation, she’s got this bedtime routine down. I nurse her for the last time of the day. Once she’s full she’s looking for her paci before plopping her head down on my shoulder. Baby cuddles are the sweetest. I hold her close and we rock for a few minutes. At that moment, Alice pushes the door open and yells out “Mama!” Ooops! I forgot to close the door all the way. Matt grabs Alice, shuts the door and I rock Elaine a little longer to settle her back down. It doesn’t take long and I lay her in her crib with her lovey. We don’t hear from her till the morning.

725 pm: While I’m finishing up with Elaine, Matt starts Alice’s bedtime routine. Bathtime, pj’s, and lotion. I give her a hug and a kiss before Matt puts her down for the night. It’s not unusual for her to sing and talk to her lovey and Suzette for about half an hour. During this time I make Elaine’s bottles for the next day and put them in the fridge.

8 pm: I check the baby monitor. Elaine is fast asleep. Alice is still chatting away. I open the door to her room and am greeted by her small voice “Hi Mama.” It’s like she’s expecting me.  She stretches her arms to me and requests “Rock a bye baby.” I give in, of course. I rock her back and forth and sing rock-a-bye baby. She requests it three times and each time I say “Okay, but this is the last time.” She’s satisfied and I lay her back down in her crib and tuck her in. She holds up Suzzette and her Lovey “kisses!!” I give them both kisses and have them kiss her – three times. I tell her “goodnight” and shut the door. Just before the door completely closes I see her roll onto her side with her thumb in her mouth. She’s quiet for the rest of the night.

8-9pm: Matt and I sit in the living room, chatting, watching TV, and playing on our ipads. I get in the shower around 9. I still like my evening shower because helps me wind down for the night.

945 pm: I’m tired. I kiss Matt goodnight and go into each girl’s room to check on them one last time. They’re both asleep. Elaine is still wearing a sleep sack and Alice has once again kicked her blankets off. I cover her back up before climbing into bed. On my phone I check the weather and scroll through social media. This is probably not the best habit because before I know it, 1020. I make sure my alarm is set and I turn off the lights. Matt usually makes his way to bed sometime between 11 and midnight. With both kids now sleeping through the night I find it to be … awesome!

I’ve written two other “Typical Weekday” Posts and although the basic outline of each day is fairly similar, the details are so different! I love having these logs of how our days rolled out at these different stages in our lives. If you’re curious I’ve linked them below:

Typical Weekday # 1: I was 9 months pregnant with Elaine and Alice was 14 months old

Typical Weekday #2, Alice was 19 months and Elaine was 4 months (Whew! This makes me tired to just read!)

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Categories: kiddos, life, Married Life, Matt, motherhood, yours truly Tags: , , , ,
M+AK+E in April

In 2015 I want to do a monthly mother daughter photo project documenting 5 of our favorite little things. At the end of the year I plan to have this photo project printed into a keepsake book.  Here’s what we were up to in April:

Reading >> M – Beautiful Ruins, AK – Wheels on the Bus , E – Goodnight Baby

Wearing >> M – slip on sneakers (similar), AK – pink Mary Janes (similar), E – silver Mary Janes

Playing with >> M – plants and flowers, AK – baby doll, E – musical puppy

Loved >> M – unexpected extra time with Matt, AK – Easter festivities, E – eating meals in the highchair

Accomplished >> M – my 1st 5K, AK – pig tails!, E – sitting up all on her own

p.s. see all posts in the M+AK+E series here 

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Categories: kiddos, M + M, M+AK+E, Matt, motherhood, yours truly Tags: , , , ,
Right Now

+ A blogger I have loved following on the internet has decided to make her online accounts more private.  For the sake, I imagine, of privacy.  Her own, her children’s, her family’s.  I get it.  I really, really get it.  Every time someone I admire comes to this sort of decision I find myself wondering how much is too much to share online.  I never want to share something I would regret.  I certainly would not want to disrespect the privacy of those I love the most, namely Matt’s and my baby girls’ privacy.  And yet I enjoy the online community and the people who put themselves out there and all the sharing and connecting.  I honestly think there is some real value in this avenue of social media… And yet I still wonder, how much is too much?  This is most certainly a question that each person has to decide for themselves.   I don’t have hard and fast rules for what I share online, but I definitely have rough guidelines for what I have deemed appropriate vs. inappropriate.  Every now and then I think it’s a good idea to revisit these and re-evaluate to ensure that everything still lines up with what is right for me and my family.   What are your rules for sharing online?

+ I’ve jumped on the Capsule Wardrobe Bandwagon.  I loosely follow this bloggers guidelines for creating a capsule wardrobe.  I think people are drawn to the capsule wardrobe concept for a variety of reasons.  I created a Winter Capsule wardrobe halfway through winter as an experiment.  I liked it so much that I’ve decide to continue on with having a Spring Capsule wardrobe.  I have several reasons for creating a capsule wardrobe for myself.  The main reason was for simplicity’s sake.  Any way I can streamline and simplify things in my life these days is a must. (Hello I’m a Mama to a 7.5 month old baby and a 22 month old baby.  Enough said right?  Also I work 32 hours/week.)  Another reason was for the sake of storage or rather for the lack of storage.  Our MBR closet is a joke – it’s a doll’s closet.  Being able to see all my clothing options has been refreshing and enjoyable.  I loosely follow the guidelines but I’m not hardcore.  I have adjusted a few of the “rules” because it’s a free country and I do what I want.  Also a girl can change her mind and the point of this entire concept (for me) is to alleviate stress.  Therefore if I want to have 40 items as opposed to 37, or if I want to exchange out a pair of shorts for another pair I know are neatly folded in the hall closet, or if I chose to not count jackets and coats in my 40 items, THEN SO BE IT.  Anyone else ever try out a capsule wardrobe?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

+ I’m still craving more free time.  My cravings have become so specific these days.  As in I want this free time to be during waking hours, not after the babies have gone to bed in the evening and I’m tired and just want to go to bed myself.  I think about things like having the house all to myself.  I cannot remember the last time I’ve had the house to myself for more than 30 minutes here and there.  What would I even do?  CRAFTY THINGS!  Surf the internet!  Cook (hahaha – no! but maybe…), Organize, Watch DVR shows, Read, Write, Decorate.  I can think of a few things I’d do.

+ That being said I’m actually going to have some time away from my family.  It’s that time of year for the annual “Mom’s Weekend” that I go on with Matt’s mom, sisters, aunts, and girl cousins.  It’s going to be four entire nights away.  In the past 7.5 months I have not had an undisturbed night of sleep and fairly soon I’ll have four of them.  I cannot even imagine.  I’m guessing I’ll be waking up every so often in the night anyhow.  And as much as I’m looking forward to a fun trip away, I’m anxious about leaving my family.  Go figure, right?!  At the end of the day I love being a Mama and wife…these people are the loves of my life.   They’ll definitely be fine without me but what if they miss me?  Okay, what if I miss them?  There’s no doubt I will.  But don’t you worry…I’m still going. 😉

What’s going on Right Now with you?

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Categories: Married Life, Matt, motherhood, yours truly Tags: , , ,