Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, y'all! I don't know about you, but I'm so thankful today is the start of the weekend. It's been a busy, full week and I'm excited for some downtime with my little family for the next 2.5 days. 

Here are some of my Friday Favorites this week: 



-ONE-
First and foremost, y'all have heard me rave on and on about the Contigo Kids Water Bottles. We are completely obsessed with them in this house because y'all, they do not spill. Period. {And all the mamas said "Amen!"} 

But does anyone feel like their kids are always the ones getting the fun stuff? I don't know about you, but I will go to the store and pick up some outfits for the boys, a shirt for Brandon...and I'll come home with nothing for myself. Epitome of #momlife, right? Well, Contigo was so sweet to send me something for me! It has been so much fun testing this Contigo AUTOSEAL Chill Stainless Steel Water Bottle out this week, and it was the perfect week to do so since Texas still thinks it's summer outside. {Eye roll}



I always love to carry our water bottles with us while we're on the go, and this one was no exception. I threw it in my tote bag wherever we went this week: preschool drop-off and pick-up, Walker's karate lessons, errands upon errands and Bible Study...and on a few occasions, even left it in the cup holder of my car in the Texas heat. And let me tell you what: this thing kept my water ice cold! Color me impressed. Just like my kids' water bottles, this one didn't spill {thanks to their AUTOSEAL technology} and I appreciate that because I'm so clumsy and am constantly dropping things. And did I mention they're dishwasher safe? Y'all, this product won me over -- and not just because I finally got some happy mail for myself...ha!


The name stickers on the boys' Contigo Kids Water Bottles can be found here

I'll definitely be adding these to my stocking stuffer lists this Christmas...they're that good. I'm all about products that make mom-ing just a little bit easier, and this one is no exception. So thanks, Contigo! Y'all are awesome. 

-TWO-
We had a repair guy out Tuesday to fix our broken ice machine, and he let me in on a little tip: use Goo Gone to clean your stainless steel appliances! He did it for me with a microfiber cloth and I was completely floored. It works! And the best part? It doesn't allow handprints on your stainless steel after you use it! No more spending money on that expensive stainless steel cleaner and having to clean my refrigerator daily! {Also, DFW-area people: the guy was from Appliance Repair & Rescue and he was awesome!} 



-THREE-
After Emily blogged about these jeggings last week, I had to order them. ;) Well, they came in yesterday and let me tell you what, they're going to be on repeat this fall and winter! They're so comfy, cute and the perfect blend of, well, just what "jegging" means: a legging meets jeans! 



-FOUR-
Did you catch Wednesday's post about my favorite Halloween outfits for little ones? I'm in sheer denial that it's already time to plan for Halloween {wasn't it just Christmas like yesterday?!} but alas, it is. If you missed it, you can read it here. Happy shopping! :)





-FIVE-
Knox is 16 months old today and I just can't believe it. I know 16 months is no milestone, but he's just at such a fun age right now: walking all over the place, chatting up a storm and his little personality is really shining. He's such a sweet little love, but my goodness, he also has a fiery personality {just like his mama}. So thankful to be his mommy. {And his brother's, too, of course!} 



-SIX-
One more for today because I'm obsessed -- completely and utterly obsessed -- with my latest Influenster Vox Box. They sent me three products from Ciaté London and they're so good that I'll be ordering the full-sized items when I'm out of these samples. They sent me the Dewy Stix highlighter, Fierce Flicks liquid eyeliner and Wonderwand mascara

The Dewy Stix is an awesome highlighter with a dewy look. Since my skin is getting more -- ahem, mature -- it's perfect for me to have a refreshing, younger look to my skin...especially around my eyes. I also like wearing this on my bare skin on days when I don't apply makeup. 

I have always been so hesitant about liquid eyeliner because I don't have a steady hand, and any liquid eyeliner I've ever tried is gloopy, runny and always looks like a Kindergartener applied it. Well, not this one. It's so, so easy to apply and it's seriously like a little marker and takes seconds to apply. But what I love most is that it lasts all day long. No need to re-apply! I'll definitely be purchasing this! 

And finally, the mascara is awesome! I've told y'all how my eyelashes have gotten thinner and shorter since having kids and getting older {but the RapidLash is definitely working!!!} and this mascara makes my eyelashes look like they did when I was 16: thick, full and long. It dries quickly, isn't super wet for forever, and doesn't flake at the end of the day. I actually have this on in the picture above and that was at 7 p.m. -- and I applied this around 8 a.m. that morning. Totally obsessed!



Linking up with: April, Amanda, Andrea and Katie
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: Coffee Talk

If we were sitting down having coffee together this morning, there's a lot we would talk about. A few things:


\\ 2017 has really been a year of "all things breaking" in our house and while I know it's just the "joys of home ownership," it's getting really old...and really draining on my budget. We started off the year with a rogue dishwasher leak that ended up in having to move out of the house for two weeks while that was all repaired and ultimately had to replace the dishwasher; then the power steering went out in my car and that had to be replaced and reset; then our A/C had to be replaced; then someone hit my car at Target and didn't leave a note, and we had to file hit-and-run on our insurance and pay the deductible; a ding-dong rear-ended me a few weeks ago (thankfully he had insurance and claimed liability); and then finally this week the ice maker went out in our fridge and had to be replaced. I know these are all "things" and can be replaced/fixed, but they've all been such big-ticket items and I'm just really wanting to catch a break. I'm honestly praying that 2018 will not be quite so crazy in the home/car department. 

\\ It's late September and it's still hot as blazes and humid as all get-out here in North Texas. I've decorated for fall, but it still feels like summer. I'm so envious of you Northerners who are actually getting a fall right now. I sent my kid to school in shorts and a T-shirt this week. Although the Farmer's Almanac is calling for a colder, wetter winter for our part of the country, and I honestly wouldn't hate it. It's been humid and around 70* on Christmas Day for the last two years and I would love if it wouldn't do that again this year. 

\\ Brandon and I are celebrating seven years of marriage in a couple of weeks, which is just crazy to me. I mean, weren't we just those young 23- and 24-year-old kids getting married? Where did those seven years go?! We're heading to Scottsdale for the weekend next month to celebrate, and you know you're old when all you discuss is how excited you are to sleep in past 6:45 a.m. 

\\ Tuesday felt like such a whirlwind day...and then I looked at the clock and it was only 9:20 a.m. My morning was nuts! I had gotten the boys up, fed and dressed; made a full meal to take to my step-cousin who just had a baby; cleaned the kitchen; vacuumed the house; called and scheduled the ice maker repairman; called and scheduled a rental car pick-up time and a car drop-off time for the ding-dong who rear-ended me a few weeks ago; took Walker to school; did a load of laundry; got Knox laid down for his morning nap; started the dishwasher...whew! I felt like I'd run a marathon by 10 a.m. #momlife 

\\ I went into Whole Foods the other day and can I just say that I never feel cool enough to go in that store? I'm all, "What's ghee?!" #facepalm 

\\ I am loving "Dancing with the Stars." Brandon even got into it with me earlier this week, too! My favorite is seeing those big athletes doing the cha-cha out there -- something completely out of their comfort zone. 

So what's on your heart this morning? What are you confessing? 

Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Julie

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: My Favorite Halloween Outfits for Kids

It's hard to believe that Halloween is just over a month away! We love getting festive and dressing the boys up in precious Halloween-themed jammies and outfits during the month of October, and since I recently purchased some cute outfits for them, I wanted to share my favorites from around the Internet that I saw while I was shopping. :) 

I broke them down for little girls, little boys and even some gender-neutral ones that either could wear. Someone with a little girl, please scoop up those leggings; they're too fun to wear on Halloween!



one || two || three

four || five || six 


one || two || three

four || five || six 




one || two || three

four || five || six 



Linking up with Jessi and Jenn 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Weekending

We had such a wonderful weekend in my hometown in southeast Texas. So much so, that none of us wanted to leave yesterday morning to make the four-hour trek home and I most definitely cried in the car as we were driving over the lake to head out of town. It was always hard living so far from my family, but it's even harder now that we have kids -- especially one who's old enough to understand how far away his Foxy and Papa and Nana and Pah are. But, it's wonderful how sweet our time is when we're all together and how special it is to spend that time with each other. 

Here's a peek into our weekend: 

\\ FRIDAY: 

+ Brandon took the day off, so we were able to get on the road around 9:45 a.m., which was a great early start to our weekend! We made the four-hour drive, only having to stop once for lunch and a bathroom break. Once we got into town, we immediately drove out to my grandparents' house {where we stay when we go home} to get the boys down for naps and just relaxed ourselves, visited with my grandparents and got unpacked. 

+ We met my parents out at their house after the boys woke up and we all went out on a family ride around the lake on the Mule, followed by dinner and baths for the boys...and they clearly think their Foxy and Papa's bathroom is way cooler than theirs at home! ;) 





\\ SATURDAY: 

+ We had a lazy morning at my grandparents' house, where the boys played with mine and my cousins' old toys and played on my grandmother's piano while they waited for breakfast. My grandmother made a homemade egg/sausage/cheese casserole and biscuits, and the boys sat at this sweet little table my grandmother has kept for 50 years; the boys are the third generation to sit at it and I love that sweet family tradition. 



+ We all went to my mom's store for a bit, then I dropped all three of my boys off with my Dad for a guys day while my sister and I went to work with my Mom. We had lunch on the porch of my mom's store from my favorite local restaurant and enjoyed spending time together just us girls. 


+ Walker and Knox took naps and when the girls returned home, my Dad took Brandon out flying for a while. I was a nervous wreck the entire time, but I know Brandon had fun. ;) 


+ My grandparents came over for a family dinner: beef tenderloin, autumn chopped salad and macaroni pasta salad, along with cake from my favorite local baker to celebrate my Mom's birthday a little early. She made our wedding cakes and I seriously crave them! 



+ After dinner, we all took a sunset cruise in the boat, which was the perfect ending to a wonderful day. And yes, we put Walker in the Barbie life jacket for old time's sake. ;) And yes, Knox was in a pink life jacket. My poor boys. Ha!






+ We put the boys to bed and stayed up far too late watching the Texas game {my grandparents are Texas grads so we'll cheer for them when Baylor's doing horribly} and were so sad to see them lose. But they played a great game! 

\\ SUNDAY: 

+ My grandmother made a delicious French Toast breakfast casserole and bacon for breakfast {we were so spoiled on this trip!} and then we got ready quickly to get on the road early. We met up with my parents outside their church to say goodbye, then made the long trek home. We stopped in Dallas to eat at one of our favorite restaurants before heading out to the 'burbs, and it was absolutely delicious! 


+ I did a ton of unpacking and laundry, made a run to pick up my groceries at Walmart and then got supper ready while watching the sad Cowboys game {womp womp}. I was so worn out last night that I took some ZzzQuil and called it an early night...like 8:30 p.m. early. ;) 

I hope y'all have a wonderful week! 

Linking up with Biana

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday!

Happy Friday! 


Here are some of my favorites this week: 

-ONE-
I am dying over this adorable ruffle sleeve sweatshirt! Sheaffer posted it on Monday {see her cute outfit combination here} and ever since she posted it, I can't stop thinking about it. Give me all the girly, ruffly details, please! 


-TWO-
Y'all know by now that I'm kind of a history nerd and far too obsessed with the British Royal Family that I'd like to admit. I love to watch any and every documentary about them {"The Queen at 90" is a recent favorite} and read all the books I can about them. So, I checked this book out from my local library and have found it very intriguing -- especially given the recent 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. But of course when I picked it up to start reading Monday night, Brandon said, "Oh my gosh. Don't you already know everything about her?! I mean, what new could you find out?!" Hahaha! He knows me all too well. ;) 



-THREE-
One of my favorite evening rituals is playing "Candy Land" with Walker for a few minutes after Knox goes to bed. He loves it (and it's a great way for him to learn his colors while simultaneously learning how to sit still, take turns and be patient) and it's such a fun time for us to spend some special one-on-one time with him each day. 


And of course I can't leave out a picture of this cutie pie in his American flag sunglasses. ;)



-FOUR-
Allow me to blow your mind. You can buy postage stamps on Amazon. I repeat: you can buy postage stamps on Amazon! This was such a game changer for me and I got way too excited about this revelation thanks to Janie. No more lugging my kids to the post office, dealing with less-than-enthused employees, begging Walker to not ring the bell for package pickup and Knox to stop grabbing boxes for sale and throwing them on the floor...all to buy sticky paper that allows me to mail a thank-you note. Mind. Blown. 

Also, please file this under "Boring Amazon Prime Purchases Now That I'm a Mom"/"Things I Never Thought I'd Blog About." KThanks. 


-FIVE-
You know those people who make the perfect charcuterie board? You know, those perfectly placed cheeses, perfectly rolled meats, amazing olives stuffed with blue cheese on an adorable slate board with their equally as adorable handwriting telling me about a cheese from Greece I've never heard of but now must have all the time? Yes? Awesome. I am not that person. But, let me tell you what: Gifts.com recently compiled a guide on how to build the perfect charcuterie board and I was all over that! I mean, yes, please, tell me the exact cheeses, meats, accompaniments, and appropriate portion sizes! So, if you're like me and can't seem to get that charcuterie board just right, check out that link. It is so helpful to me and I've been practicing for our next wine night! ;) 


Linking up with: AprilAmanda, Andrea and Katie 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: Roll Call: East Texas-isms

I love how April does a "Roll Call" on her blog, and so I thought I'd borrow the idea today and do one for some East Texas-isms. 

Over the weekend on Instagram Stories, I shared a few of my "East Texas-isms," including the way I say "foil," what I call that thing you push at the grocery store, and that road you exit off onto from the freeway. And the responses I got were amazing! So I figured I'd continue it here today...and I want y'all to comment and tell me what y'all say, too! I love hearing what people call certain things from all over the country. 

Here are mine: 

+ I say "foil" like this: "fol." Not like my husband, who says it, "Foiiiiii-uhl." 

+ That thing you push at the grocery store: a buggy 

+ The road you exit off onto from the freeway: a feeder road (or just a feeder) 

+ I say "tennis shoes" or just "tennies."

+ That thing to change the channel: a remote 

+ Everything to me is "Coke." For example, "Do you want a Coke?" You respond: "Yes!" Then I'll ask you, "Which kind? We have Coke, Dr Pepper, Sprite..." 

+ I say "I'm fixing supper." I know the correct thing to say is, "I'm cooking dinner," but that is just one of my things! 

+ And yes, I say "supper" instead of "dinner." Breakfast, lunch, supper. :)

+ I also say that I'm "fixin' to do something." I don't say it often, but I will catch myself: "I'm fixin' to do it!" 

+ Y'all. Always y'all. And we pluralize an already plural "word" by saying, "All of y'all" or just "All y'all." So, for example: "We are planning to go to the game with all of y'all." 

+ "Bless your heart." This can be used in a bad or good way. For example: if Walker is crying because he fell down: "Oh, buddy. Bless your heart. You're okay!" But in a bad way: "That girl is wearing leggings as pants and you can see her panty outline. Bless her heart." 

+ I've been told I pronounce the word "insurance" differently, too: "In-surance" as opposed to "Ensure-ince." 

+ "Don't be ugly" is also another one, which basically means "Don't be rude." 

+ I pronounce "Whataburger" like the below: "Waterburger." Haha! 

+ And, the way Texans (including me) drop syllables is something I never notice until I go up North or out of the country. For example: 

\\ Florida: "Flor-duh." 

\\ Anything with an -ing is usually dropped. For example: Going = Goin'; Doing = Doin'; Driving = Drivin', etc. 

+ And finally, I truly did not know there was a "d" at the end of "Iced Tea" until I was in high school. I always thought it was "Ice Tea," because that's how we say it (emphasis on the long "I" in "Iced) and was dying when I found out there was a "d" at the end of that word. Ha! 


So I want to hear from you! What do you call these things?! What do you say instead?! Let me hear it! :)

Linking up with: Annie, Natalie and Julie
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: Bedtime Sticker Chart-ing

After I posted a picture over the weekend of Walker's new toy he picked out thanks to our bedtime sticker chart reward system, I got a ton of direct messages from you guys asking me to explain a bit more about it: how it works, what we do, etc. And so since I thought it might help someone else out there, too, I wanted to share about it here. 


But first, a little background: 

Walker was always a great sleeper. We did BabyWise with him beginning around 2.5 months and he slept through the night (from 7 p.m. - 7 a.m.) until he hit about 2.5 years old. I'm not sure if it was simply his age, or perhaps the big change of having a new baby in the house, or just simply a bit of both, but his sleep began to be awful. And when I say "awful," I mean things that were keeping everyone in our house up at all hours of the night, something we had never experienced in our household before: throwing epic tantrums after we laid him down at night; yelling/screaming/kicking his bedroom door; trying to find any excuse to get in our bed in the middle of the night {"I can't know how to sleep!"}; not going to sleep until well past his bedtime and waking up around 4-5 a.m. wandering the house...and the list goes on. 

I had had enough. I was exhausting having a young baby in the house, a toddler in the house {and not to mention an exhausted toddler} and my husband travels for business so I was dealing with this a lot of the time on my own. So I knew something had to be done and soon, so Brandon and I started a full bedtime process, including a bedtime sticker chart. We talked with our pediatrician to get some ideas {and were comforted in knowing from her that a sleep regression begins around 2-2.5 years old due to newfound freedoms} and just went for it one night. 

Here's what we did: 

1. We started all of this on a weekend, and on a weekend in which Brandon was home and not traveling for work. That way, if we were up at all hours of the night, Brandon didn't have to go to work exhausted and I wasn't stuck at home exhausted myself with an equally as exhausted toddler. 

2. We purchased an OK! to Wake Toddler Clock and set the awake time at 7 a.m., meaning the time he can come out of his room in the morning. We do make exceptions for needing to go to the bathroom since he's nighttime potty trained now {ALL THE PRAISE HANDS FOR ONLY ONE KID IN DIAPERS!}, if he's sick, or there are extenuating circumstances {e.g. a loud rainstorm, etc.} 

Note: We also have blackout curtains, a nightlight, and a sound machine in Walker's room. 

3. We made a sticker chart, a sticker chart reward system, and set the rules. 
I went as cheap as possible and made ours with a piece of construction paper and a Sharpie marker and purchased stickers from The Dollar Tree, but you could get fancy and purchase a pre-made sticker chart like this one if you wanted to. 

Our sticker chart rules are the following: our sticker chart is on a weekly (7 days) basis. Walker gets one sticker each morning if he stays in his bed until his clock turns green in the morning (save for potty trips), doesn't cry/yell/scream after Mommy and Daddy leave the room and doesn't come get into our bed in the middle of the night. If he follows the rules, he gets a sticker on his chart in the morning, in addition to a delicious breakfast of pancakes, eggs, fruit and chocolate milk. Breakfast, we found, is his currency! If he doesn't follow the rules (meaning no sticker), he gets his least favorite breakfast of toast with jam, a fruit and milk. Trust me when I say that this child is motivated by pancakes and stickers! 

At the end of the seven days, if Walker has five (or six) stickers on his chart, he gets to go get ice cream. If he has seven stickers on his chart, he gets to pick out a toy ($20 or less) at Toys 'R' Us. If he has less than five, he gets nothing. These don't have to be your exact parameters; do what works best for your child, your family, and your family's budget! 

This is our sticker chart in all its cheap glory hanging on the side of our fridge: 


4. We let "The Rules" be the bad guy. 
After reading "Parenting with Love and Logic," I was just floored and kept saying, "Why didn't I think of this?!" That book introduced me to "The Rules." Basically, the rules are the "bad guy," not you. For example: If Walker doesn't get a sticker on his sticker chart and is crying about it, I calmly say, "Walker, I'm so sorry you didn't follow the rules and therefore didn't get a sticker on your chart. I really wanted you to get a sticker this morning, but The Rules say I can't do that. So, we'll follow the rules tonight and try again tomorrow." This has helped us tremendously, because I felt like I was constantly getting upset with him and telling him how I felt, how him not sleeping made me tired, etc. And he couldn't have cared less. Before he goes to bed every night, we repeat his bedtime rules as a reminder. 

5. We began and were consistent. It wasn't sunshine and roses the first week, or the second. Heck, even the third. But after about a month of consistency, Walker began to catch on. Now, it's seriously a game to him! He will follow the rules and will come out as soon as his clock turns green, carrying that darn thing in his hand and saying, "I did it! My clock is green! I get a sticker on my chart!" And we go and put a sticker on his chart first thing, and then count them each day. Yesterday morning I said, "Walker! Great job! How many stickers do you have?" [We counted, and he replied, "THREE!"] And so I said, "Three! Great job! How many do you need to get an ice cream?" ["TWO!"] "And how many until you can pick out a toy?" ["FOUR!"] It turns into a little math game, even if his math isn't always right. ;) 

A few things that helped us along the way included:

+ I get up before the boys do, have my coffee, have checked my email/social media/etc. and have breakfast waiting for them on the table by the time Walker comes in bearing his clock in hand. That way, I'm awake and ready to tackle them before they're up in the morning, and I don't have to deal with any fussing over having to wait for breakfast to be made/comments about not wanting what I'm making/etc. This has been a game changer for me...even if it's just me waking up a mere 10 minutes before they get up, I feel like I have a few moments of silence to wake up, sip my coffee and face the world before two rambunctious boys come in the kitchen. 

+ I don't bring up the sticker chart all day, every day. I'm so guilty of this with behavior sometimes and I have to constantly remind myself to not do it. For example, Walker wouldn't get a sticker in the morning because he didn't follow the rules. He would be fussy around 12:30 p.m. and I would say, "Well, if you didn't get up so early, you wouldn't be fussy right now. Let's get a sticker tomorrow, okay?" I mean, I worked in an office environment before and I would get so mad at my boss for bringing up something I did wrong a day before again the next day! So, I try to not do that with Walker. If he doesn't get a sticker, I tell him as soon as he wakes up that he didn't get one because he didn't follow the rules and that he needs to try again tomorrow. And that's that. I don't mention it for the rest of the day. 

+ Understanding his currency. Walker is totally motivated by stickers and rewards. Some kids just won't be. Find what their "currency" is: stickers on the chart for the week and the reward is one-on-one time with Mom (or Dad!); stickers on the chart for the week and the reward is doing your favorite craft Mom doesn't like dealing with because it's messy (for me, that's painting!); and the list goes on. It took me a while to figure out Walker's currency, but once I figured it out, we could begin. 

+ Keeping bedtime consistent. We have the exact same bedtime routine every. single. night., despite if we're traveling or at home, or if we have a babysitter. Our pediatrician recommended this and it has truly helped. She also recommended ending with the same book every night. So, Walker gets to pick one book and I get to pick the other book (which is always the same and we always end on that one). My child is truly his mother's child and thrives off of a routine and order, and this consistency has been a game changer for him. 

+ Limit screen time, especially before bed. Walker loves my iPad...until I take it away. Then it becomes a knock-down, drag-out, epic battle of the wills. I got really used to giving it to him to play on after bath while I put Knox down for bedtime while Brandon was traveling, and it took longer just to pry it out of his screaming self's hands and calm him down than the bedtime routine took, and he was really, really sassy after spending time on it. And I just wasn't having that anymore. So, I changed the passcode on it, hid it and he is only allowed on it when we travel -- and only to watch movies. Of course, you don't have to do such a drastic measure as I did, but I found that this really helped -- especially before bedtime. After reading this article, I knew why he was acting the way he was. Of course, Walker still can watch TV or a movie on the TV, but I do limit that, too. I just noticed a difference in my child and yes, it's more work for me, but I know it's the best for Walker in the long run. Knox has yet to touch my iPad, but if it's any indication the way he is when I take my iPhone away that he's managed to scoop up if I leave it somewhere in reach...then he's not seeing it for a while, either. Please know I'm not trying to be "Holier than Thou" about this -- TRUST ME. I just have experienced firsthand the affects of screen time -- especially via handheld devices -- on my child and I didn't like what I saw. If the iPad works for you and your family, by all means, love it and use it! :)

+ Keeping him in his room. Here's the deal: I love sleep, and I know my kids need it -- and a lot of it. I talked about this in detail in this post. That said, there is absolutely no reason Walker needs to be wandering around my house when he decides to wake up at 4:45 a.m. Or 5 a.m. Or heck, even 6 a.m.! Other people in the house are trying to sleep; it's dangerous for him to be wandering around the house at that hour; and he needs to at least try to, as we say, "Roll over and go back to sleep." So, we keep him in his room until his clock turns green at 7 a.m. I don't care if he is awake at 4:45 a.m....as long as he's in his room. He has the option of rolling over and going back to sleep, "reading" quietly, playing with non-noise toys {e.g. LEGOs} quietly, etc. until his clock turns green. And then he can come out and start his day. This has really been helpful for us and has allowed Knox {and me!} to get a few minutes -- or in some cases, hours -- more sleep. 

I hope this was helpful to someone out there. It was a lot of text to read through, I know, but if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them! 

Linking up with Jessi and Jenn 
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Monday, September 11, 2017

Weekending

Before I begin, I have to address two huge things going on in our country today: the 16th anniversary of Sept. 11 and the devastation Hurricane Irma has caused in the Caribbean islands, Florida and neighboring states. My heart is just so heavy today for these things and, while I hate that both of these happened, I am thankful for the way that horribleness is turned into amazingness when the people in our country come together, regardless of age, gender, religion and the like and just love on each other and help each other. It truly is a beautiful thing; beauty from ashes. 


Some of our weekend highlights included: 

\\ FRIDAY:

+ A trip to our city's new fire station, which of course Walker just adored. He was in heaven and asked me if he could use stay there with the firemen. ;) 


+ A post-nap play date with the boys' best friends at our house. The weather was so gorgeous and we all adored spending every minute outside playing. The big boys loved jumping on the trampoline and the little boys loved playing with the lawn mowers, while the mamas loved visiting. 



+ A quick dinner, glass of wine and the latest season of "Narcos" for Brandon and me once the boys went to bed. 

\\ SATURDAY: 

+ A trip to the Dallas Zoo on an absolutely beautiful Saturday morning! My grandparents graciously gifted the boys with a zoo membership at Christmas, and we've loved using it and will definitely be asking for a renewal this year. The boys loved seeing the new hippo exhibit, riding the carousel, and seeing their favorite animals: monkeys, giraffes, elephants and penguins. 







+ A long nap for both boys, followed by a trip to Target. Walker earned seven stickers on his bedtime sticker chart this week, which meant he got to pick out a toy of his choice ($20 and under). He picked a fire truck, of course! ;) I'll blog more about the sticker chart and our process this week. 


+ A family walk to enjoy the beautiful fall-like weather; Walker ditched his bike for a run in the "comfortable grass," as he said. 


+ A complete non-highlight was the depressing Baylor game; I'm still in mourning for this season...and probably the next four seasons. 

\\ SUNDAY: 

+ Brandon did his greeting duties at church while the boys and I stayed home. Hand, Foot and Mouth was in Knox's nursery class last week and I wasn't taking any chances with that, as it's awful. So, while Walker played with his LEGOs, I did a ton of cleaning and organizing around the house and decorated for fall.  

+ Sunday afternoon football was BACK {all the praise hands!} so we played Candy Land while we watched it. It's the most wonderful time of the year! 


+ Had a lazy afternoon, a delicious dinner and watched the Cowboys game, then just got things ready for the week ahead. 

Have a great week, friends, and our prayers are with all of you who have been and will be affected by Hurricane Irma. 

Linking up with Biana