The Beginning

The Beginning

It makes sense for you to know how this particular journey began.  He was a dad in music class, chasing lovingly after his son, and she, a fellow parent in the class, admiring his diaper-filled back pocket and wondering many (now funny) things about him.  And that was the beginning.

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At that time, they each only had one.

But they blended right from the start.

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And that was the beginning.

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One of the first photos of us ever taken.  Look at his hair!

 

Sh!t Getting ME thru Quarantine

Sh!t Getting ME thru Quarantine

Hi there! Happy Mother’s Day to all who celebrate. So much to say about this holiday, wish I could say it all and wish I could give you a really good review and commentary about the pieces below 🙂 but I want to drop them here because they have totally saved me during this quarantine. Enjoy and pamper yourself. Remember, if you don’t have your oxygen mask on… Be the cruise director that you need to be 🙂

House dress that you never knew you needed

Furry fancy expensive-looking loafers

“Rebounder” (hahah trampoline for us laypeople)

BEST DRY Shampoo EVER

Another house dress but make it sleeveless

The BEST 6 dollar curling iron

New expensive looking but WAY cheap WHITES (hotel obsession)– kids spilling stuffff

A GOOD Heavy LIP!– detract from my wrinkles?

BEST 6 dollar tank EVER!

Double Chin Masks (LOL!)

Sh!t Getting My Family Thru Quarantine

Sh!t Getting My Family Thru Quarantine

Hi everyone! I wish I had a bunch of time to do a good review and commentary on each of the products below, but a bunch of people have reached out asking for links so I wanted to put all of these in one place. Some of them are affiliate… TIA… For kids LOL ENJOY!

Tiny Mills 50 Pcs Assorted Stampers for Kids– We use these to do stamp-a-stories and for other fun stamping activities (stamp inside a block letter) or free form!

PartySticks Glow Sticks Bulk Party Favors 100pk with Connectors – 8 Inch Glow in the Dark Party Supplies, Neon Party Glow Necklaces and Glow Bracelets – I use these in the dark for dance parties (tape them to kids for added stick-figure effect) or form shapes or letters for fun learning!

Assorted Gemstones-I use these to teach the kids about classification; classify by shape, size, etc.  Google a grid upon which your kiddos can sort. Water Beads– SENSORY! (hint- buy yourself an under-the bed storage bin for ease of cleanup). 

Melissa & Doug Adventure Design Activity Kit: 9 Double-Sided Plates, 4 Colored Pencils, Crayon- AMAZING!

Outside Movie Projector-So great; comes with everything you needed including screen and is smart-stick enabled!

Make your Own Soap Kit-Was a HUGE hit and we can ALL use a bit more soap in our lives now 🙂

Brick Tower/ Baseplate Builder-  Compatible with LEGO

Creativity for Kids Big Gem Diamond Painting Kit – Create Your Own Sweets Diamond Art Stickers & Suncatchers – Diamond Art for Kids-Great for all school grades and supports fine motor skills

JENGA!

WORKBOOK 1

WORKBOOK 2

WORKBOOK 3

MINI MAGNETIC TILE ART (GREAT FOR FINE MOTOR)

PAINT SPINNER (NO BATTERIES NEEDED AND BURNS OFF ENERGY!)

UNO

LEARN-TO-WRITE WORKBOOK

GIANT ART BOX (HOURS OF FUN, TRULY)

SCRATCH ART (ALSO HOURS OF SUPER CHEAP FUN!)

OK!  ENJOY AND LMK WHAT YOU GET!

TOP 10 AMAZON BUY-NOWS

TOP 10 AMAZON BUY-NOWS

I don’t love talking politics 🙂 (haha) but what I will say is that I am snagging myself all of those (super high quality lol) Chinese-made Amazon fashion finds that I’ve been storing in my basket for months.  Ya know.  Because #tariffs #muchpolitics 🙂 You’re welcome 🙂

THESE SHOES

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THIS SWIMDRESS

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THIS BATHING SUIT COVERUP

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THIS SKORT/PANT SITUATION

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THIS TANK DRESS

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THIS PERFECT KNOT SHIRT DRESS

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THESE PAPER BAG-STYLE HIGH WAISTED SHORTS

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THIS CAMI MAXI DRESS

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THESE PERFECT SUNGLASSES

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THIS PERFECT-FOR-LAYERING TSHIRT DRESS

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Now- TREAT YOURSELF!  And message me if you have fit, quality, color or other questions!

 

 

 

 

An Epic Reading Nook

An Epic Reading Nook

Hi everyone! In case you’re wondering, I am still suffering through writing the second part of Sammy’s birth story. Yes, it was that bad! In the meantime, I bring to you… The most epic and affordable reading nook!

In an effort to “put those screens away! “I wanted to create a super neat area in our place space that was devoted only to books. I wanted a clear separation between the BOOK area and play area, and I wanted it to have a clean design feel that was fun and attractive to the boys. We have one rule; if you’re in the reading nook, a book has to be in your hand. There are no toys allowed. So far, the kiddos are loving it! I have instituted a D.E.A.R. time (drop everything and read) daily and it has been a blast. Feel free to snag the items I got. They are affiliate links because #4children!

Lol! Enjoy!

TENT

BOOKSHELF

BOOK BINS

FUZZY RUG

FUZZY POUF (ours comes today!)

BOOK SIGN (also coming this weekend)

“Put those screens away!!” She said

“Put those screens away!!” She said

After the new year, I don’t know if it was prompted by other people’s lofty New Year’s resolutions for their kids or if by a push of my own to get the kids re-involved in hands-on kinetic/ sensory learning. As you know, I was a teacher for over a decade and “learning centers ” were always my favorite time of the day to both prepare and to engage in with the children.

So, when the middle of January came along and we had settled from all the holidays and new year, I decided I would pull out a bunch of my old favorites and get to work! Some of the centers are inspired by “breakfast invitations” from Days with Grey (insta), however, our mornings are very crazy and we do not use these invitations to breakfast, however I called them “INVITATIONS TO PLAY.” Without further ado, here are some of the cool ideas I’ve been playing with lately. This is part one and is loaded with affiliate links because… FOUR kids. I will have another part coming soon and I promise I will hit you with part two of Sammy’s birth story as soon as I can!  These are for GENERAL learning centers. I am prepping a post on literacy focused ones as well as number sense/math. Those should be up soon!  Enjoy and if you buy anything let me know how you use it or if you have more ideas!

($8.99) 50 Counting Bears with 5 Cups

($9.59) Learning Resources Three bear Family Pattern Cards

($11.15) Li’l Gen Water Beads with Fine Motor Skills Toy Set, Non-Toxic Water Sensory Toy for Kids – 20,000 Beads with 2 Scoops and Tweezers for Early Skill Development

($16.79) Kinetic Sand Beach Sand Kingdom Playset with 3lbs of Beach Sand (ages 3+)

 

 

Sammy’s Birth Story Part 1: The Room Where it Happened

Sammy’s Birth Story Part 1: The Room Where it Happened

It all really started the day after we saw Hamilton. Hesitant to blame it on the “room where it happened,” I most definitely still have trouble not equating Sammy’s birth with this epic Broadway experience 🙂

As I’ve mentioned before, the beginning of this pregnancy was very hard for me and my family; I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum which lasted about four months, leaving me bed ridden and miserable. My symptoms were fierce and intense; sometimes throwing up up to 30 times a day while not being able to eat or drink anything at all. The aftermath of that was awful as well. I developed scars down my throat and in/on my mouth from vomiting so much stomach acid. I’m not a fan of vomiting at all and I’m still worried that I’ve done my teeth permanent damage. The hardest part was just feeling totally helpless and not at all like myself.  I have gotten sick with both of my other boys; the first way more so than my second. The third, however, almost did me in 🙂

So, while I had a rough start to the pregnancy, after four months in and until about three weeks before my scheduled C-section, things were really great. I was doing SoulCycle about four times a week and running/walking daily. I felt more in shape than I had ever been. I did feel much larger in my belly than I did with the other boys; when we had our 30 week ultrasound, the doctor estimated that he was already about 6 pounds and my doctor is no joke with that. I don’t know if it got in to my head or if the affects of carrying a much larger baby (my youngest was 6lb4oz at 41 weeks and my middle was 6lb7oz at 39 weeks).  Anyway, my body seemed very unhappy with being pregnant. And although I did not want to be like every pregnant person ever and say that I was “definitely going early, “I felt like there is no way my body would sustain being pregnant for the entire 39 weeks (I had a scheduled C-section for Nov 1, 39 weeks).

So anyway, as the weeks lead up to my c-section date, I admittedly was cramming as much as I possibly could into my days; Miles and Miles of running, #soultogether challenge (10 classes in 30 days), Chace’s Fall fest, Zachary’s Fall fest, Gabriel’s “parent of the day,” throwing Scott’s fabulous surprise 40th birthday party, throwing my company’s magazine Fall launch party, attended my two sprinkles and even a field trip the day I actually gave birth (more on that in a moment).  We even were able to go see Hamilton in New York, an item on my “before baby” bucket list, and it was the most incredible experience! I’m so glad that I was able to get that in before the baby arrived! I went with my mom, Scott and my sister. It was truly awesome. We had an amazing night in a hotel (Scott and I), an amazing lunch with my mama and then the show!  In fact, I am sure that the first words Sammy will say (after dada) is “rise up. “. Lol

We took the train to New York, stayed over in a hotel saw a matinee and took the train home. We arrived home pretty late that night and I remember feeling very exhausted and very off. So, the next morning I had a doctors appointment and I didn’t think anything of it until the doctor came back in the room and told me that there were traces of protein in my urine and that my blood pressure was unusually high. To say that I was stunned is an understatement. My poor husband has heard this about 4092 times in the past two weeks, but my blood pressure is a solid 110/70 almost every single time. In fact, the week prior, That was my pressure. I didn’t have any symptoms of having high blood pressure and was continuing to work out, listening to my body, but not feeling anything different then just…very pregnant. When the doctor saw that my pressure was high(er) and there was a bit of protein in my urine, she sent us to delivery to have my labs run to make sure that I was not preeclamptic and to monitor baby. We all checked out fine; my protein retested and not too bad, and my bp leveled out a bit.

They scheduled me to come in again to be monitored a week later.  The SAME thing happened.  This time my pressure and protein were both a BIT higher but not high enough to be labeled as “preeclamptic,” just “gestational hypertension.” I was sent home again, but asked to come back in two days, when I would complete 37 weeks.  The guidelines state that if a mama has gestational hypertension (comes before preeclampsia), taking the baby at 37 has maximum results.

So, back to L&D we went on Thursday 10/18/18, this time with my husband (I had told him to go to work the previous two appointments only to have him Uber out to me; we learned the third time LOL).  This time, my pressure was high again, and my protein levels were OUT of control (600 for those med nerds).  I was told my doctor would be delivering that eventing!

OK- part 2 to come, because let me tell you, it just gets crazier!

Pregnancy symptoms and working out

Pregnancy symptoms and working out

Hello hello! I thought this would be an easy post for me to ease back into my blog— A topic that I love discussing; working out! As you guys know, I am kind of a connoisseur and love moving my body in all sorts of ways. My favorite “movement” prior to conceiving, was running as you might be aware, but as my pregnancy has progressed, my exercise routines have as well. I am the kind of person that does not see pregnancy as a reason to slow down. In fact, I see it is the exact opposite; I truly believe that, for myself at least, staying active during my pregnancy is a must. It makes me happy both mentally and physically, and prepares me for birth and recovery. Staying active also affords me the opportunity to care for my other three children while I’m pregnant as I am able to move more and easier than if I was not in shape. While being in shape is always an important thing to me, there are of course some modifications that have had happen since the beginning of my pregnancy. As you might know, I had a very very rough first trimester. My husband and I say that every single day started with the question of whether or not I should go to the hospital. I was vomiting up to 2 dozen times a day or more and had many awful complications along with that. Obviously during that time, I was bedridden and unable to exercise. This affected me mentally and physically, but I had no other choice. When my fourth month rolled around and I was finally able to get out of bed, I started moving slowly but surely. I began with walking on my treadmill (fan in face) for as long as I could. I Started with about 3 miles and slowly realized I could take it up a notch and begin to jog. Eventually I was doing 6 to 8 miles a day of a walk/jog combination. This worked really well for both myself and the baby as I was getting bursts of cardio however I was close enough to my bathroom :-). It made me feel so much more like myself. Most days I split my exercise sessions into two so to allow for my crazy schedule and to give myself to burst of intense movement throughout the day which worked very well for me both mentally and physically. In fact, I’ve been known to take work calls from the treadmill 😂.

Another new-to-me workout that I started after the fourth month of my pregnancy was SoulCycle! I was able to try out a class with my company that we reviewed and suffice it to say, I became hooked! I am absolutely obsessed with these classes and look forward to it whenever I go. I try to go in 1 to 2 times a week. When I do complete a soul cycle class, I still take another sweat session in the afternoon; walking/jogging an additional 3 to 4 miles. Sometimes I will run over to SoulCycle instead to get my extra movement in. Now, please understand that this is what works for me. I’m not telling anyone to start a regiment of a 6 to 8 mile program without you being comfortable. The most important tip about exercising while pregnant is doing what works for you and what YOUR body feels comfortable with. Throughout all of my pregnancies, I have become very aware of my body and I am very well able to read its signs. If I feel any pain or crazy shortness of breath, I know what to do. Stop. Nothing is worth the health of my baby. Luckily I have not had any problems with this thus far and hope that this will continue throughout the last three months of my pregnancy.

Now, I wanted to loop into this post the topic of pregnancy symptoms as this section will be brief. I don’t know if it is because I have maintained myself in good shape, or am just too busy to notice, but my pregnancy symptoms since the fourth month have been pretty minor, thank heavens. As I mentioned, the first four months were really really really awful and so when that fourth mind came along, I was so relieved to feel a bit more like myself. As of now, I only have a few symptoms that are worth mentioning; for one, the arches of my feet have been so unbelievably sore. It is such an odd thing to notice when you are carrying a baby in your belly, but my feet have been really affected this pregnancy. Luckily my husband is a very good foot masseuse, and I have invested in many tennis balls (which my dog loves to steal) that i use daily to stretch out my feet. Minor issue.

Another thing that is starting to bother me is what I think might be sciatica. I feel a pain in my right bum that is usually relieved by typical sciatica exercises. It only happens once every other day so I would call it super minor.

The final symptom I have is just feeling like my baby, who is measuring a week big, is living in one of those tiny houses they feature on TV. I don’t know why it is, but I tend to carry my pregnancy small, to The point where I receive many interesting comments. I have a few thoughts as to why I carry small, the biggest one being that I have. Avery long torso. It seems as if this would be a good thing, however, it does come with some negative impact. My baby is constantly moving, so being that I am very small, I feel every day. Single. Thing. And I feel a lot like a stuffed sausage. Again, I am not complaining as my abs have done me well 🙂 however, I just want to put out there that it comes with some additional nuisances and symptoms!

Anyway, I’m Going to sign off now, at the point where I feel like I’m rambling 🙂

Please let me know if you have any questions and I would love to hear about your experiences during pregnancy both regarding working out and just symptoms in general.

Caring is sharing!