Stocking stuffers for KIDS! Affordable, Simple + Easy

Friday, December 15, 2017



Our kids are still young and have simple needs so I like to keep like the stocking stuffers easy and fun. I found most of ours at the dollar store so it doesn't need to be expensive! I try to avoid crap I know will never get played with or tossed out so my rule of thumb is useful and minimal. A good rule of thumb is to get them things they need or things that you might not traditionally "wrap" like animal figurines and individual play dough containers and art supplies. I try to add something that my kid's always ask me for at the store but I never want to buy them - like an over priced Star Wars Keychain for Krew's backpack. One thing I'm excited about is glow sticks! They're at the dollar store and the kid's love them in the bath or to play in a fort with. Cheap fun! For girls I think it's always fun to get them lip gloss or cute bracelets, maybe a more expensive one that matches with mom? So cute! Anyways, here are some fun and easy ideas... pick 5 and you're set!

LITTLE KIDS

Playdough
Animal Figurines
Glow Sticks (pack of 20 at the Dollar Store!)
Bubble Bath or Bath Bombs
Stickers
Candy or (Healthy Snacks)
Nail Polish
Hair Clips/ Bows
Tooth Brush
Socks
Sips Cups
Crayons or Markers
DVD
Bubbles
*Small toys you don't want to wrap!


BIG KIDS

Socks
Movie Tickets
Gift Cards
DVD
BackPack KeyChain
Candy
Watch
Art Supplies
Beanie or Gloves
Phone Case
Jewelry// Bracelets
Hair Accessories
Lip Gloss// Chapstick
Card Games



A Season of Life

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

I've probably re written this blog post in some way or another at least 4 or 5 times trying to find the right words to share. Beyond finding the courage to share that I'm in a bit of a rough spot in the mother and personal identity areas of my life I've struggled more to find even the time and energy for it. I've shared with many close friends and family often times "over sharing" how hard this time of life feels and how complexly exhausted I feel but I think it's important that we share these things. The truth has a way of cleaning our slate and giving us a breath of fresh air and I'm hoping that maybe some other mamas out there can relate, and if you can't -I'm truly happy for you because enjoying motherhood is sincerely one of the greatest joys of life.

Right now things are hard and uncertain. I'm struggling to find who I am as a person, wife, mother while juggling my children's needs and being home full time. There are a few changes in life ahead.. ( my husband Dylan is going back to school and working full time, and we are very proud and anxious) etc. Our son Dash has increasingly had behavioral and speech problems to the point where it's affecting our family and our ability to do things that used to come so easily. And personally I feel stuck in our current lifestyle. It seems like thinks have been building up and the last month has felt like chaos as Dash's sleep schedule has radically changed and we have started getting some therapy help at home. Now, I don't share these things to label our son. I just think it's important to share that we noticed Dash not progressing in speaking to us and starting to change his behavior and become more well, crazy than normal haha. There are many normal things about having crazy little boys but I've been learning through talking to other moms and experts that when you feel like something is off or you aren't able to help your child the way they might need that it's always a good idea to seek help. And we are so glad that we have! It's still very new to us and I will continue to share more about speech therapy as we learn and hopefully progress but right now its just HARD. It's taking every second of my energy and time and I have felt over whelmed. I want to admit that I'm not a perfect mom and have struggled so much to be able to manage my 2.5 year old that has taken up so much of my energy lately, I have hardly had time to eat, sleep, run errands let alone take care of Krew my oldest. It can drain you as a person to not be able to leave your kid's alone, have furniture broken and sleep as little as when you had a newborn! But we are trying and dedicated and sometimes I can't see through this storm.
As a mom I think the most important thing is finding a balance for yourself and being HAPPY. And when we're not it's easy to feel like a failure. Our children notice and it effects them just as much. But then the guilt sets in because when you're in a funk like this you can't see a way out. You feel mad at yourself for not being happy and confused as to what went wrong or why things feel so much harder for you right now. " So and so has 5 kids and seems like life is perfect!!" I know for me personally I compare myself constantly and have the tendency to "react" to things before I have a chance to think it through and I've always felt so guilty about that. Especially when it comes to my children. I want nothing more than to be the happy and loving mom they deserve and when I'm hurting inside it's so hard to give up more than I have to offer.

Through the last weeks, months I've spent days crying the whole day calling my mom, my husband, not leaving the house and rebounding hard trying to over compensate for a shitty day as a mom and trying to make it up to my kids. I've spent days trying to find what works for Dash and what I can do more to help him stay active and happy and how I can better understand what he may be frustrated with, and I'm often left feeling burnt out or temporary relief. I've felt guilt leaving him for any amount of time with someone else and resentment for not being able to take care of myself at all. I've had people tell me they think I have tall together or I seem so happy or relaxed and I have to laugh because if you talk to me for more than 2 minutes I'll lay down the truth for ya right there haha. It's also opened my eyes to realize that there may be other mamas out there that I admire or think seem so happy that may be struggling too. I think about my minor problems with Dash, (no disorders or disabilities) and think wow I can't imagine if this was worse or there was no way to help my son and try to put my small problems in perspective but I want to also emphasize that our problems may be insignificant to others but they are real to us and it's okay to hurt and it's okay to say THIS IS SO HARD AND I FEEL LOST.

I've talked to many experienced moms who have shared "this is just a season of life" and while I absolutely know they are right! it feels like a season that won't end. It feels like life should be getting easier or I should be handling this better and things are getting worse. But I also look back on times in my life that were this hard or much harder and realize it's just so true. I've experienced harder and this too shall pass. So in the mean time I want to share yes I'm alive and things are generally pretty good here. I have many many blessings and things to be grateful for and while I'm crying at the end of the day and my poor husband doesn't know how to help me, I say my prayers and thank God and continue to pray for help and guidance. Because as a mama what more can we do than rely on other women and God? I hope if you have felt this way or are feeling this fog of motherhood that you know you are not alone and that you are doing an amazing job if you are trying your best and praying to be better each day. This motherhood thing is ROUGH and so beautiful. I've tried many times to add a silver lining to an IG post lately but in reality I just can't. The silver lining is that we made it through the day and that's about it.

If your a mama hurting or just feeling stressed don't give up. Make a list of a few things that make you happy or call someone you can trust to come and help you. (Thank you mom so much for getting Dash down today and making me lunch! 445 am was way to early for me to function 3 weeks in a row with difficult toddler) When you feel like you can't do anymore you probably can't and should take a break for yourself to regroup and come back ready to try again. I need to remember that too. You got this mama, it's just a season of life.



A Day in the Life

Monday, November 20, 2017

One of my favorite bloggers (henandcompany.com and @henandco) has done this blog
post a couple times and I love it so much!


Right now with me at home with the kids, our days are far less chaotic than they used to be. I have taken a verrrry long break from school and work since having Dash. Sometimes it's the best decision I ever made, some of the time I wish badly I had extra income and a place to get dressed up for. Everyday is appreciated and has it's unique set of challenges and blessings.

I have been a full time working mom, a mom in school, a mom that works weekends, a mom that works evenings, and now a mom that doesn't work at all. I have to say that a happy medium is a real IDEAL thing but by far being a SAHM mom is the most exhausting and rewarding! I am so so grateful for all of the opportunities I have had as a mother and to share what life looks like at every stage. Right now life looks like...

I wake up at 7:30. My kids are great sleepers so I am easily able to get up before them if I make the effort. Not going to lie I stay up late a lot of the time trying to relax, unwind, and get a few things done for myself so often mornings come quickly. I try to make my coffee, bed and throw myself together before the kids wake up but usually I stay in pajamas. I also always start a load of laundry or two to be folded at nap time.


I wake the kids up around 7:45 and Dash immediately walks to the kitchen table for breakfast. Krew is less of a morning guy so I lay out his clothes for him and he gets ready for school and watches a show. He prefers to grab a banana or bagel for breakfast on the way to school so usually it's just Dash and I eating in the morning. I love toast and hard boiled eggs for convenience but Dash would eat cereal for every meal if I let him.


While kids watch cartoons or play I get Krew's backpack ready, make sure theres nothing that needs to be sent to school and either pack his lunch or snack depending on if he wants to buy lunch that day. I always saw myself as a mom that only made home lunches but I've decided it's more about what makes the kids happy and truthfully I am really impressed with the school lunch menu so I happily let him decide which he wants that day and it's working out great!

We are out the door by 8:45 every morning to take Krew to school. Usually after asking kids to put their shoes on 988763 times. (You all know about that.) If I have errands to run that day Dash and I are both dressed and ready to go as well. Often times it's just errands and grocery store but on special days I'll go shopping or to play with friends. Whenever a schedule matches up with a friend is a great day for us!  Dash is not much of an errand runner so I try to make those trips short and sweet and be home by 11:30am, NOON at latest.


(*noticed after I uploaded this that Dash is crying and wanting Krew to let get go of the cart haha)

By 12:00pm Dash and I have lunch together and on the days I am not busy we go have lunch with Krew at his school. It's something I love to do and hope I can look back on one day as some of my favorite memories of having littles. He still is so proud and happy when Dash and I come to visit him and I never want to forget him wanting me around and being proud to share his friends and life with me. He is very social and we always have so much fun visiting his class and meeting his little friends.


Dash is a regular napper so I always make sure I am home by 12:30 to get him down. He will nap for 3 hours so he sleeps right up until the time I  go get Krew from school. During nap time I am always cleaning house, doing laundry, paying bills, working on a blog post or etsy order and eating my lunch in peace! Obviously if there is laundry folding, Netflix will be involved and I am unashamed of that hour of peace.


At 3:30 Dash and I get in the car to go get Krew then we are home shortly after that. I like to ask Krew about his day and find something that made him happy or the best part of his day as we drive home. Sometimes we stop for a coffee and the boys get a little treat.
After we get home Dad walks in the door around 4:15 everyday. The boys get to watch a show while I start dinner and Dylan cleans up from work. We usually try to go for a walk or do something as a family at this time before dinner. The boys love their daddy so I usually rely on him to entertain them while I cook.

We try to eat dinner everyday before 6:00. I'm a huge fan of the crockpot but on days I didn't prepare- dinner usually looks like pasta, tacos, or left overs. Sometimes we do breakfast for dinner too which is always a hit and so easy to whip up! I recently made my first casserole, shocking I know. Not sure why I never have before but I'm all about comfort food in the winter so "healthy" takes a backseat.


Our family lives really close to us, so if the weather is bad and we are cooped up inside we will run over to a grandparents house to say hi or catch a football game after the boys have gotten in jammies. But most nights we stay home, watch a movie and start our bed time routine. Although Krew has been wanting to start swimming lessons again so we might be busy doing that in the evening a couple days a week! (It's an indoor pool and great for the winter months when it's cold outside!)

After dinner around 7:00 -one of us loads up the dishwasher while the other starts bedtime routine or straightens up the house a bit. I try to always run the dishwasher at night so we have clean dishes in the morning and always start laundry in the morning so I never forget a load in the washer or dryer at the end of the day. I usually don't start any loads of laundry after Krew gets home from school because I'm bound to forget or be lazy. And I fold laundry while kids are in the bath or we are watching a movie together.


The bed time hours are kind of a whirl (7-830). The boys still bathe together and have always gone to bed together at the same time too ( they share a room) but recently I have been putting Dash down 15 min earlier so that we can have some time to read one on one with Krew. It's really helped with his reading and I think it's just the amount of special time he needs at the end of the day without crazy little brother attacking him and taking most of our time and attention. It helps us all settle down and get ready or bed.



By 8:30 both boys are in bed, lights out, no exceptions. Ha, except for a million drinks of water. Dylan and I always watch a little tv or "our show" together before bed. We both really value some quiet time at the end of the day before the kids go to bed. We are pretty fried from bed time so there's usually not a lot of important conversation but just having that time together is always a necessity. I usually stay up a little later than Dylan depending on if I am working on something or just need some extra mom time but have really tried to make a habit of going to bed earlier lately. Anything before 11:00 is my goal!


A lot of the time our days are even simpler and more boring than this but sometimes they are way more chaotic and crazy. I think that routine is such a healthy thing for people in general but especially littles so we really try to stick to that. I know in the next year our lives and schedule with change again so much so it's always nice to be able to look back on a post like this and see how our daily life went and the things that mattered the most to me in a day.