Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday Favorites: Last One for September

Happy Friday, friends! Hallelujah for the weekend is how I feel today. Brandon's been traveling on business since Sunday, and I know three people around here who are going to welcome him home with open arms this afternoon. It's been a long week, but I'm so glad we're in for a blessed 2.5 days together as a family. And I'm hoping for a nap tomorrow because this mama is tired. ;) 



-ONE-
Speaking of being tired, today is International Coffee Day -- and that's a little "holiday" I can get behind. Normally I'd pack the kids up and head to the coffee shop for a delicious latte, but we've got a ton of errands to run today and therefore, I'm taking my home-brewed coffee to go {Folgers Natural Cinnamon with a splash of Califa Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk is my jam these days} in my Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop. It's insulated and keeps my coffee warm for up to five hours -- because let's be honest, when does a mom ever get to start and finish her coffee in one sitting? But the best part: it doesn't spill. Y'all know this is what I love about Contigo's products! And oh, Walker can't yet figure out how to unlock the lock/unlock button on this and therefore can't sneak a sip of my coffee and then be wired...because that hasn't happened before or anything. ;) 



And a real-life shot of it thrown into my messy tote bag because #MomLife

So cheers to y'all on this International Coffee Day! I hope you've had -- or are having -- a cup of coffee today to celebrate! 

-TWO-
Can we discuss how adorable Meghan Markle looked when she joined Prince Harry at the Invictus Games earlier this week?! I need that entire outfit. And to look that good in it. ;)



-THREE-
Knox had his very first dentist appointment on Monday and other than being so serious, he did great! He was a bit apprehensive, but sat in the chair on his own and let them clean his teeth. I was really proud of him! Walker went back by himself for the first time without me and got the full work-up of X-rays, a full cleaning and fluoride, and they said he was awesome and kept asking questions, never once getting upset. I was proud of them! 



-FOUR-
The boys are completely obsessed with "Alexa" -- as in, our Amazon Echo Dot. Knox will walk around the house saying, "Uh-yex-uh!" and Walker, of course, will have her play every song imaginable; his favorites include the theme song to his favorite TV show, "Fireman Sam"; "Ice, Ice Baby" and "U Can't Touch This." He's a fan of 90s music, what can I say? ;) 

Anyway, Walker was asking her to sing "Happy Birthday" on Wednesday night when he slipped up and instead said, "Alexa! Play, 'Happy Birthday to Walker!'" Well guess what? That pulls up a personalized Happy Birthday song! I was floored! Of course, they don't have every name (Knox included), but they did have a lot. Try it for your little one! 

There's a trick for ya to make your little one(s) happy today! 





-FIVE-
I've told y'all before about my love for Wildkin's Pack 'n' Sack Backpacks, lunch boxes and nap mats -- they're the best for school and MDO and are the perfect size for little ones. There's a reason I always add them to my favorite back-to-school items! Well, Wildkin just furthered my love {and Walker's love!} for them when they sent us their monsters microfiber sleeping bag and pillowcase and their Dax two-step stool to try. Walker was thrilled to pieces at his "happy mail" and was running around the house saying, "This is for ME?!" 

The step-stool was so welcomed because we only had one -- and you mamas of multiples know that you can never only have one of anything or fighting ensues. Walker was more than happy to give his former stool to his brother. ;) But honestly, Walker's at the age of independence and I hear, "Mama, I will do it all by myself!" more times a day than I'd care to admit, whether it's brushing his teeth, getting on/off the potty, or reaching something on a shelf. So this step stool has been perfect for his independence, and I've found him using it to re-brush his teeth after we've already done it that morning (because "all by myself") and he's even brought it into the kitchen to "help" me cook. It's lightweight enough for him to carry it by himself, and I like the clean look of the dark wood -- not too kid-like and matches with our décor. 





The sleeping bag is just adorable and is going to be perfect when we travel to my parents' house. He's too big for the Pack 'N' Play, but too small to sleep in a big ol' bed alone. (And honestly, sometimes when family is all gathered, the bed preference goes to someone a bit older than 3.5.) He loves this microfiber sleeping bag so much that I found him asleep in it on the floor in his room the morning after it arrived! He's so very obsessed with it. 

Thank you, Wildkin! 




I hope y'all have wonderful weekends! 


Linking up with: April, Amanda, Andrea and Katie 
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: Jack of All Trades, Master of None

Have you ever heard that phrase, "Jack of all trades, master of none?" That's me, and that's me in relation to parenting. I'm good at a lot of things, but not great {and I'm really bad at a lot of things, too}. I'm no master at parenting -- and newsflash: no one is. 

In the last month or so, I've had three different encounters with complete strangers telling me how poor of a parent they think I am; what they think I should do better; and insinuating that my parenting skills aren't up to their "master parent" level. I've gotten on Facebook and started looking at a news article posted by a local TV station about seasonal allergies, only to find someone leaving an uneducated, vicious comment about "vile" bottle feeding and how if people wouldn't "give up breastfeeding," their children wouldn't suffer from seasonal allergies. I've heard the rants from my girlfriends and myself alike about the mom at a particular beauty store who said her children would "never act like that" when her boys were playing on the floor in the corner while she was checking out, or the dad at Dairy Queen who told me I needed to "beat my children's {expletives}" for laughing and being silly over an ice cream sundae. 

And to be quite honest, I'm downright sick of it. 

And all of this got me thinking. Why do we, as women -- and sometimes men! -- shame other moms, put them down, and make them feel inferior about their parenting? Why do we make a fellow mom feel bad if her choices aren't the same choices we would make, whether it be breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding; co-sleeping vs. crib sleeping; making homemade baby food vs. buying it from the store; eating organic vs. not; a sleep schedule vs. not; and the list goes on an on forever. Just because you don't agree with them doesn't make them wrong. Aren't we all supposed to be in this together? Whether you work full-time, part-time, from home, are a homemaker or whatever combination you participate in -- you're a mom. And it's the hardest job in the world. And we need to be supporting each other. No one is a master parent -- no one. 

I hear women constantly talking about empowering others and how, we, as women, should break the glass ceiling and be all, "I am woman, hear me roar." But, we do absolutely nothing for our case as women striving to be equal and powerful when we put our fellow women down, making them feel awful and like a bad mother, and acting like children ourselves. 

I'm just going to say it. Apparently some moms out there in this world have just "mastered" the art of mothering and feel the need to let everyone know when others don't live up to their expectations. But why? When did we start thinking it's our right to tell others -- especially complete strangers -- what we think they should do, how they should parent, and what we think they're doing wrong? When did this become a "thing?" 

One of my girlfriends said this, and it really hit home with me: "These situations are exactly the ones that make it so much easier to not get out and do things around other children, just out of fear that one of our children won't be a perfect angel, heaven forbid, and that we'll get crap from it from a fellow mom." 

I have no other point to this post than to say this: we're all moms, and none of us are perfect at it. We sometimes yell, we'll sometimes cry because of how crazy are kids are being, we sometimes pour a glass of wine at 4 p.m. because darn it, we need it that day. On the opposite vein, we'll beam with pride when we see the owners of our kid's school at HomeGoods and they tell us how awesome our kid is at school and how helpful they are to others. We'll clap for joy when they finally recognize their first sight word. But yet still, we'll parent alone when our spouse is traveling. We'll deal with our kids pushing a stranger's kid on the playground. We'll be up at all hours rocking our sick kid, or comforting one who had a nightmare, or feeding one at 2 a.m. when the world is asleep. We truly don't know what another mom is going through, what's happening in her life or in her circle. 

So, just do this for me, will you? The next time you see that mom in the grocery store and her child is throwing a tantrum on the ground, don't look at her with a side-eye and silently think, "My kid would never do that." {Because newsflash: they will. Parenting makes you eat your words more than anything in the world.} But instead, flash her a smile and maybe even say to her, "I've so been there. You're doing a great job." You never know what she may be dealing with that day and your kind words will make her feel like she's doing okay -- not make her cry in her car after struggling to load up her screaming kids and her groceries. 

Let's support each other because, at the end of the day, we're all just a parenting jack of all trades and the master of none. 

*Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Julie

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What's Up Wednesday: September 2017

I know I say this every single month, but I feel like I was just authoring this post. September usually drags along, but for some reason, it just flew by this year. I'm astonished. 


But, like always, I'm linking up with Mel, Sheaffer and Shay for "What's Up Wednesday" to answer the following questions: 


{1} What We're Eating This Week
We've had some pretty simple meals around here lately: steak with these potatoes and roasted asparagus; this pasta dish; my aunt's enchiladas; leftovers, of course!; and our weekly Friday night pizza. {Still loving the Udi's frozen pizzas!} 

{2} What I'm Reminiscing About 
We went to my hometown two weekends ago to spend time with my family before the hustle and bustle of the fall season began, and it was such a sweet time. My brothers both weren't able to come home, but we enjoyed a weekend with my parents, sister and grandparents, and it was simply wonderful. We got to spend time together visiting and eating yummy meals around the table together; going on a sunset boat cruise; Brandon got to go flying with my dad; and I got to work with my mom and sister at my mom's store. I'm not going to to lie, I totally cried in the car as we were pulling out of town. I can't wait for us to all be together again at Thanksgiving. 












{3} What I'm Loving
I recently discovered thredUP and am obsessed! I've seen April blog about it and finally decided to try it out for myself, and I found two precious tops -- one that was completely new with tags! I can't wait to wear these pieces. 


I'm also loving these jeggings and now want them in every single color forever and ever. I wore them to church on Sunday {with this top} and will be living in them this fall and winter. 


I also can't get enough of this top that I ordered...from Walmart. Yup, you read that correctly: Walmart! I follow the "Whoa Wait Walmart" Instagram account and when I saw this on there, I knew I had to have it. Love me some Wally World! ;) 



And finally, I'm loving that I finally -- after nearly four years of having children -- decided to do the "Subscribe & Save" option on Amazon for diapers! I found myself ordering Knox's diapers on there once a month anyway, so I just decided to do the Subscribe & Save option since it was ultimately cheaper for us. Oh, Amazon. You never disappoint. {Need a referral for Amazon Prime? Click here!}


{4} What We've Been Up To
We've been getting back into the routine of fall and everything that entails: Walker's school, Bible Study, karate lessons, play dates with friends and gearing up for the busy month of October. 

But aside from that, this month we: took the boys to the Rainforest Café for the first time; enjoyed a little date day to the Rangers game; celebrated Labor Day at my in-laws' house; took Walker to his favorite place -- the fire station -- for a little visit; utilized our zoo membership for a morning trip to the Dallas Zoo; played lots and lots of dress up in Walker's new favorite costume sent to me by my friend Jesica; and are enjoying both Baylor and Dallas Cowboys football being back! 













{5} What I'm Dreading 
While I absolutely love fall, I despise when Daylight Saving Time ends. I can't stand when it gets dark outside before 6 p.m. and how sleepy it makes me...and how it totally and completely screws with my kids' sleep schedules. Everyone else is all, "Wooo! An extra hour of sleep!" and parents are up at, quite literally, the crack of dawn. I'm tired thinking about it already. ;) 


{6} What I'm Working On
I'm trying so hard to organize all aspects of our house before it's time to decorate for Christmas. Our house is relatively small and our storage options are slim to none. I've honestly had to get creative in the ways I store things like toys, extra blankets/pillows, board games, etc. So because of that, I've kind of been purging and re-organzing and just trying to get things in order: my pantry, linen closet, medicine cabinet, toy boxes, and the like. It's an ongoing process, that's for sure. 

{7} What I'm Excited About 
October is one of my favorite months of the year, and I'm so excited about all things October: fall festivals, visiting the pumpkin patch, pumpkin spice everything, Halloween, and this year, our trip to Scottsdale to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary! 

On another note, how on earth are we celebrating seven years of marriage already?! I seriously feel like this pre-Pinterest day was just yesterday! 




{8} What I'm Watching/Reading 
I don't know about you, but I'm so excited fall TV is back! "This is Us" last night: all the tears. Every single episode, I bawl. We seriously love this show! Other fall TV I'm loving: "Designated Survivor" and "Modern Family" {back tonight!}; the Law & Order special about the Menendez Brothers; "Dancing with the Stars," and of course, the Real Housewives of Dallas {train wreck} and Orange County. 

On the reading front, I'm still reading my book about Diana, Princess of Wales, and it's very interesting and offers a lot of insight. 


{9} What I'm Listening To
Would I be a horrible mom if I said here that I'm listening to a lot of little boy fighting and screaming over toys lately?! My boys love each other hard, but they also fight hard. And only over three selected toys in our house that I take away at least once daily: the Cozy Coupe, walker and Anywhere Chair. {Hence why Knox will be getting his own Anywhere Chair for Christmas...} But seriously, they argue over them because Knox has recently started walking fully and loves to practically run across the house pushing these toys and yelling, "Puuuuush! Puuuush!" and Walker thinks it's funny to swipe them from him on the regular, and then vice versa when Walker's playing with these and Knox will scream at the tops of his lungs because he wants it. Brothers. 

#MomLife 

{10} What I'm Wearing 
I'm living in my typical mom uniform of yoga pants, a T-shirt and Nikes daily. But when I am dressed up, I'm living in this top {it's so versatile!}. I have worn it to church, to run errands and am planning to pack it in my suitcase for Scottsdale in a few weeks. 


{11} What I'm Doing This Weekend 
So far, all that's on our agenda is having dinner with friends and I'm getting my hair cut. I'm hoping we don't have too much else going on, honestly! There's nothing better than low-key weekends. 

{12} What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month 
All things fall! I can't wait to see my cute boys dressed up in their Halloween costumes and I'm excited to see how Knox will do with Halloween this year. He was just five months old last Halloween, and I'm thinking he's going to love trying to keep up with his brother and going to all of the fall festivals this year. And, I can't wait to see Walker at Halloween! He is at such a fun age and totally "gets" holidays now -- and looks forward to them -- so I think it will be a ton of fun. 

{13} What Else is New
Not much else to report around here! Have a wonderful Wednesday!  


*Also linking up with Jessi and Jenn

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Weekending

Happy Monday! I was a horrible blogger and barely took any photos this weekend. We honestly didn't do too much and spent a lot of time at home getting things done, but here's a little snippet of our last 2.5 days: 

+ FRIDAY: 

\\ We met my sweet friend Stacy and her little ones at Prestonwood Baptist Church's KIDZ Indoor Playground for a while. The kids love that place and playing together, and these mamas love catching up with each other! 


\\ We had a really low-key evening at home with our weekly Friday night pizza dinner {and some vino, of course!}. Brandon and I watched "The Founder" after the boys went to bed, and it was actually very interesting! 

+ SATURDAY: 

\\ We did the juggle of taking two cars to pick up our rental car, drop off my car at the shop and home, and I'm hoping my car will be fixed by the end of this week from the guy who rear-ended me. 

\\ We met Brandon's brother and our sister-in-law and nephew at Chuy's for lunch, which is always delicious! Walker found a police officer outside the restaurant and was thrilled that he let him try his radio. {I mean, look at the smile on his face!} 


\\ The rest of our afternoon and evening were spent getting lots of things done around the house, watching the Baylor game {so close, but so proud of my Bears!}, having dinner {Brandon grilled steaks and I roasted asparagus and made these delicious potatoes}, and then called it a very early night.


+ SUNDAY: 

+ Knox slept in until almost 7:45 a.m. {!!!} and Brandon and I were just thrilled that we finally have a child who sleeps past 7 a.m. -- or before. ;) 


+ We went to church, but I had extended session and got to be in the itty bitty baby nursery, so I missed the sermon. Brandon said it was so good, so I'll be watching that online at some point this week! 

+ I made my family's meatloaf recipe for lunch and we got lots of cuddles with the boys in before naps. 


+ Brandon and I are both doing BSF this year, so we worked on our study together while the boys napped. I did some laundry, ironed a few things, got things ready for the week and we just had a super lazy evening: leftovers, TV and early bedtimes all around.  

I hope y'all have wonderful weeks! 

Linking up with Biana