Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017 toddler {& baby} boy christmas wishlist

you guys!  christmas is sneaking up on us!!!

and i for one am not at all upset about it.  in fact, i am totally eating it up!  carson is now starting to understand the whole present thing and that alone makes it a little more fun.  last year we didn’t have a tree or our own home to decorate so it was somewhat bittersweet.  not this year!  i am getting the tree out this weekend and can’t wait to fill every room in our house with christmas decor in the years to come {one thing/room at a time!}.

instead of creating a wishlist for myself i decided to make one for the boys and had waaayyyy more fun thinking up all the things i want for them – most of which we have.  it’ll be fun to see how these wishlists change over the years as they grow and give me ideas all their own.

and truth be told i had so much fun i almost created a GIRL wishlist….not because that’s on the horizon – oh no!….but because our adoptee this year is a little girl and i am so insanely giddy over the idea of shopping for a girl.  my mom has the biggest heart and has adopted multiple children every year for as long as i can remember around the holidays and it’s something i’m starting to do with my boys.  this is the first year i’ve gotten a GIRL so it’s pretty special.  it makes me feel so incredibly humble knowing how lucky my babies are to have two loving parents, a roof over their heads, food on the table, warm clothes and toys to keep them entertained.  they are so blessed.  we are so blessed.

one.//  t-ball set – carson’s birthday is late fall and with christmas right on it’s heels i’m always looking for things i can pull out ‘new’ in the spring.  a t-ball set will be perfect + it’s his daddy’s sport so that alone makes my heart happy.  i know dad will be just as excited as carson to play with this one.

two.//  an activity cube –  something that would be perfect for our littlest babe as he learns to pull himself up.  this one appears to be reasonably priced and has so many cool learning features.

three.//  a balance bike – i see this getting a lot of good use come next spring.  and it’s already been purchased for carson!!  my sister-in-law had one for our nephew and after a couple of years using it he was able to hop on his bike {without training wheels} at only 3.5 years old!!! who knew?

four.//  these chunky farm animals – my brother is building tatum a barn just like he did for carson.  i love that my boys will have something hand crafted from him to keep for years to come.  carson has his own set of animals but as a mama who wants her boys to each have their own – within reason – i’m adding these to t’s wishlist.

five.//  books – you can’t have a ‘read’ gift without a christmas book, right?!  at least while their little and we build our collection.  i’ve already purchased each of the boys’ books this year and am absolutely loving how into books carson is right now!

six.// we gift our boys 4 gifts each year: want, need, wear, read + a bonus ‘santa’ gift.  can you guess the bonus gift this year?!  a peg perego john deere gator!  my dad pitched in on this guy for the boys and both he and cody wanted to bust it open in july when it arrived.  over my dead body!  that’d be a pretty flashy ‘just because’ gift in my opinion.  carson is going to lose his little mind and tatum will most definitely need to be strapped tight.  haha!

seven.//  scout.  we got a scout last year for christmas and have used it every night since.  ours is personalized for carson so i want another for tatum.  carson plays with it often and for tatum the bedtime music will come in handy.  if this isn’t on your baby wishlist – add it! {there’s even a girl version!}

eight.//  i about died when i saw these hats.  they were definitely a splurge but…yolo – can’t believe i actually used that acronym – haha!  you girl mamas can have all the bows – i’m most definitely into hat wearing these days!  i have a matching top and i’m just sure those boys of mine will love a photo-op with their mama all matchy-matchy.

nine.//  baby vans.  all the heart eyes! i linked the exact pair i ordered but these were close enough.  i dress my boys in ways my husband doesn’t understand nor necessarily approve but my time is limited.  i think he thinks i’m a bit ridiculous at times but these shoes!, how could you not?!  and since i buy 95% of their clothes second hand i figured what the heck.

ten.//  toddler boxer briefs.  carson has started using the potty – intermittently.  is it sad that this year his ‘need’ gift is going to be a potty chair?!

eleven.//  baby + toddler carhartt gear.  i am most definitely placing this on the grandparent wishlist for the boys.  they love being outside and as much as we are able we’ll get them down to the farm.  having durable, warm outside gear that can get dirty and be used for all the next in line is a big deal PLUS babes in grown-up like stuff is just so swoon-worthy!

twelve.//  christmas jams.  gap has the cutest christmas pjs and i love the look of a classic two piece.  i’ll most definitely be making a purchase and plan to pair with their book for our christmas eve box.

what’s on the list for your littles?!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

the days i just can’t


the pace of life the past few weeks has had me in a total funk.  i’ve felt so overwhelmed and hella tired.  before this past weekend there was only 1 in the last 8 week stretch that we were home and all that travel has been hard on this busy mama.  i barely had time to switch the laundry much less plan for the next week’s travel or the night’s meal.  chicken nuggets are a meal right?!   on top of that:

tatum and carson had been fighting a virus for what seemed like months and then daylight savings. {it was barely october when there were pink eye and hand, foot and mouth notices on the daycare doors.}

now that i’m back to work and getting regular paychecks we’ve had to take another look at our finances and make decisions on what to do next.  i hate doing that!  {growing up poor and being told ‘no’ more times than i care to remember i hate it when i have to make tough, responsible choices with our money – blek!} needless to say i’m glad we’ve gotten that chat out of the way.

my anxiety is at an all-time high.  probably because i haven’t been able to sit still long enough to finish a thought.

my work cases are heavy.  i don’t talk about what i do much but let’s just say it’s the tough stuff.  and it requires a strong moral compass, being sharp and knowing your stuff when the stakes are so high.

and i’ve learned a little {ok, a lot} about keeping friends and even some family at a distance for the sake of not giving too much of myself.  i can only support, love and encourage so much before i need that for myself to also feel fulfilled.

 while i generally try to keep this light sometimes you just gotta vent.

rant over.


if you made it this far, thank you friends!!!!!!!   so what do i do on the days that i just can’t.  if we’re being real we all know a day ‘off’ is not an option when you’re a mom or dad but sometimes it takes a little more than your own gumption to get out of bed and ‘do’.  i can’t even tell you how many times in the past month+ i’ve wanted to pull the covers over my head {at 5:45 AM on a saturday morning} and just hide.  so on the days i just can’t… i do.

on the days i just can’t// i focus on self-care.  it may only come in the form of a {re}warmed cup of joe over a nap but that’s still something i try to do for me.  i’ve mentioned it here before, and as most of you know, working out is important to me.  it has the most positive impact on my ability to be a good wife, mother and employee.  it’s not easy to squeeze even 20 minutes in these days but i do it – either early in the morning or late at night, when those babes sleep.  other times i go get glam – lashes {oh yes!}, nails, hair.  sometimes i just need the time away and those things all help me feel good about myself.  because i’m #notonlymama

on the days i just can’t// i pack up and go.  honestly i’ve found that it’s easier to go places with my littles than stay home some days.  carson is used to stimulation and playing with others so trips to the park, library or play dates with his friends are great for keeping him busy while allowing mom to breathe a little.

on the days i just can’t// i ask for help.  i’m not to proud to say ‘i need help’ these days.  and i’ve realized that if i don’t ask for it we won’t get it.  so when i know we need a break that’s when i reach out.  what i do need to work on: asking before we get to the breaking point.  progress.  this is progress.  i’m not super human and neither is dad.

on the days i just can’t// i focus on what i can do + get the babes involved.  i break it down and look at what’s immediately in front of me.  on these days victories come in the form of a toasted frozen waffle for breakfast before the toddler cries or remembering to floss before i leave the house.  on these days i dig deep to focus on putting one foot in front of the other until my caffeine kicks in and then tackle one job after another.  sometimes these days are my favorite because even in the haze of to-dos and exhaustion i am moving slow enough to soak in some of life’s best moments.  i ask carson to help with the laundry and setting the table and in picking up his toys – believe it or not he can be very helpful.  i workout with the baby and lay with them during nap.  we walk the dog together and play chase with the vacuum.

on the days i just can’t// i surrender to the chaos.  on the days i realize it’s just too much i give myself a little grace and remember it’s all going to be ok.  me, them, us.  we’re all ok.

so how about you? what do you do?!  gimme all the tips and tricks lord knows i need ’em.

my tee // thread tank

my leggings // alo

tatum // hanna andersson

carson // oshkosh


Thursday, November 2, 2017

week + end // carson turns two & halloween

i’m on a cuteness overload after the weekend and tuesday!

between carson’s ‘donut grow up’ birthday party celebration on saturday and our first ever trick or treat + all the Halloween festives it’s been a non-stop train of cute!  birthdays and holidays are so much bigger now, now that i’m experiencing them through my boys’ eyes as their mama.  i love making them ‘special’ and it’s been!

saturday morning we hosted our closest friends and family for carson’s second birthday.  he’s a donut fanatic so donuts it was!!  so easy to pull together and with activities like donut decorating and jumping i don’t think the house was quiet for a solid six hours!!

the cake took me all of 2 minutes to put together and the kiddos left sugared and tired.  carson wanted to blow out his candles ‘again’ and ‘again’.

fighting an ear infection this little babe slept most of the party but got snuggled lots!

the house was a complete disaster – wrapping paper, sugary treats and loads of new toys.

as a complete surprise cody made a video montage from pictures and video clips we’ve taken over the past two years and shared it with everyone.  he’s just the best!  had it not been for a room full of people i would have been a weepy mess but i held it together.

these little girlies played the morning away while the boys ran wild!

with all his little buddies, watching the ‘mombine’.

carson is one lucky little guy!  i spent most of sunday figuring out where to store all of his new treasures.

tuesday was halloween – carson’s third and tatum’s first.  but it was the first year since becoming parents that we actually dressed up and went out.  and by ‘we’ i mean the kids….and little allie.

being the planner that i am i settled on a costume idea in july during my leave when pj masks came on after mickey mouse.  it was perfect!  and as luck would have it by the time halloween rolled around carson knew who they heck the pj masks were – winning!  around september i ordered the pajamas and reached out to our super talented neighbor about crafting up a mask for each of the boys and capes for all three.  she nailed it!

we met up with our friends adam and jade and thier kiddos for pizza after work before bundling the babes and heading out.  it was a complete circus in the best way possible.  we lasted a whole 30 minutes yet the kids made out well with half full buckets of candy.  tatum was a trooper and slept the entire time.  carson made me so proud!  he was eager to march up to the houses all by himself, following trice and taylie’s lead, to snatch up a goodie before saying ‘tank you’ and ‘bye-bye’.

i think i am going to love this baby + toddler stage!!

boys birthday tees // moment gear

custom capes & masks // custom

pjs // hanna andersson

my cardigan // loft

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

tatum matthew : five months

one of the things i love most about being a second time mommy is the appreciation for how quickly time passes.  i mean, saturday marked 5 months since you entered our lives and it hardly seems possible to remember what life was like before you were here.  you’ve fit so perfectly into our circus and haven’t missed a beat!  we are soaking up every bit of you – from your barely there blond fuzz to your knee rolls all the way down to those perfect little toes.  we are loving life with our tatum boy!

routine// there aren’t a whole lot of changes here other than the four month sleep regression meant that you have been a little more of a handful going down for bed at night.  occasionally now you’ll wake twice but more often than not you wake once, eat, and go back to sleep.  it’s usually quick so neither of us mind all that much though it’s time for you to start sleeping in your crib.  carson will start the transition to a bed later this month and so too will you.

looks//  you are growing like a little weed!  6 month clothes all the way with a few 9 month pieces here and there.  at this rate i’m honestly hoping that 9 month stuff still fits by Christmas…because i’ve already started shopping.  chipotle ain’t got nothing on your burrito sized thighs!  you even have rolls on your knees!!!  i’d take you no other way!  you have the most perfect toes and long little fingers that find themselves clutching mom’s hair or her fingers almost always.  and the sweetest little face.  so perfect and those baby blues are everything!   daycare says you look like mommy but i see lots of daddy and carson…and uncle joe.

personality//  you are showing us your personality and oh tatum, you are such a happy little guy!  it just pours out of you!  unless you need food, a diaper or nap you are so, so happy!!  anyone who smiles at you gets a big ‘ol gummy smile back and often the best baby babble ever heard!  YOU LOVE COMPANY and are so easy going.  you want in on the action all.of.the.time.  so we bring you with us wherever we go and as long as you’re there you’re content.  you’re loud.  good heavens you are loud.  talking up a storm already with big stories to tell.  i just wish i knew what you were saying.  when you cry, like really cry, it’s this cry that is almost a screech.  it reminds me of cousin julia.  it’s a bit dramatic little sir and a little unnerving.  it’s a good thing we don’t experience it often but when we do i can sure tell you it’s effective!

development// you are hitting all of the milestones without concern and soaring through expression.  we are so very lucky to have a healthy baby!  you still have a lingering startle reflex that requires your arms to be swaddled at night and a need to get everything you grab into that drooly mouth of yours.  you have pretty good head control and can be carried on my hip with relative ease.  you are a tummy time champ and can lift your chest and head until those arms get tired.  you love sitting in your baby booster seat; up high and in the action.  your eyesight is also improving.  you saw me from across the room the other day and followed me all the way to your side with the biggest grin.

eats//  breast milk for now.  mommy is still able to keep up without dipping into the freezer stock pile but starting next month you’ll be introduced to cereal and maybe some baby food fruits.  better tasting things coming your way!

nicknames//  you are our ‘lunker baby’ and most recently i’ve started calling you ‘t-money’.  of all the names, something gangster?!  it just rolls out.  daddy still calls you ‘tatum boy’.  carson has started to call you ‘baby brudar’ or just ‘baby’ for short.

loves//  milk.  mickey mouse.  mommy’s hair.  neck tickles.  being pushed by carson in your rocking seat.  snuggling.  car rides.  your crinkle toys and taggie blanket.

other bits and pieces:

every day brings you something new and exciting.

this month you visited the pumpkin patch for the first time and attended sobotka nationals.

you’re learning that iowa has four seasons and are completely on board with hats.  {mommy loves putting you in all sorts of hats.}

you’ve started interacting with carson this month and he makes you smile.  we are still learning about soft touches and how to tickle but you’ve been a trooper through all the pokes, pacifier jabs, kicks and suffocating hugs.  he really does love you.

you’re lovins though are my favorite part about this stage.  i’ll take your slobbery smiles, full belly giggles and snugs any day of the week.  it’s such a pure love.

a gunky eye all day every day doesn’t seem to bother you any yet it drives mommy cray!

you have personality to boot and love to be a part of the action or the center of attention.

easy on the eyes and already giving mommy the feva!  – i simply can’t get enough of you!

so much joy from one tiny human.  how do you do it?!

i love everything about you!! i could swallow you up and smell you all day long. i love listening to you find your voice and giggle at my floppy ponytails.  i love watching you ‘play’ and explore your world.  i love it when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and smile like you’ve never smiled before.  i love getting to squeeze your happy little squish each and every day and even how your diaper bunches in clothes that barely snap these days.  i love watching you smile and interact with daddy and lately am enjoying your high pitched, early morning coos.  love you to the moon and back, infinity baby boy!

t h r e e month // photo dump