Monday, December 31, 2012

Slowing Down for 2013

Just in the nick of time, I managed to get all the Christmas decorations down and am very ready to kick off 2013. This past year has been beyond crazy. We moved to a new city, lived in three different houses, finally became pregnant and gave birth to another beautiful baby boy. Life has been wonderful to us this year, but it certainly hasn't been without its challenges. I told my husband that our main goal for 2013 should be to make things as uneventful as possible! No moves, no major purchases and no getting pregnant. 

In 2013, I'm simply hoping for life to slow down. I want to soak in all the little moments and put my main focus on my children. This year will be all about getting back to basics: running a more efficient household, strengthening our marriage and becoming more financially fit. I'm also ready to kick this post-partum body to the curb and get back to a new and improved "me". 

These may not be lofty goals, but they are the important ones. Cheers to you and yours on this New Years Eve!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top Posts of 2012 and Pinterest Favorites

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas. We certainly did. I might not have gotten to do as much as I would have liked with Ethan this Christmas season, but I think we did pretty good considering. 

Ethan loved his new train set although I do think we will be DIY-ing a train table sometime soon. Jackson was perfect angel and slept through the whole thing. It was certainly nice for us to not travel and I have to say having my husband home these past two weeks has been more like a vacation than any we have been on in the past two years. I'm thinking "stay-cations" are the way to go!

Now we've entered that time of year where we start reflecting and looking forward. To kick everything off, I thought I'd share my top posts of 2012. 

Top Posts of 2012

Pinterest Favorites from Years Past

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Little Update

We've almost made it through our first week as parents of two although in reality my mom has really been handling the first  born along with all the cleaning and cooking while I've mostly been sitting on my rear end with a baby snuggled on my chest. 

Next week it will be back to reality...our new reality...somewhat. Michael will be here with us so I still won't be on my own, but we won't have any additional help so things should get interesting. I have to admit I'm semi (ok, very) fearful of being on my own with two. There were plenty of days where just the one about did me in, so imagining two makes me shiver in fear a bit. But as always, I'm sure I will get it figured out once I'm thrown back into the fire of things. That's just the way things are sometimes.

Life with baby has been so different this time around. Things are just easier. It makes me laugh at how difficult we thought things were with just the one. And really, it was difficult. It was difficult because everything was new and we knew nothing about what to do with babies. This time I am just so much more confident in my parenting skills it just makes everything easier. 

Jackson and I are both recovering quite well. I had a little scare with a possibly infected incision, but things are looking better. I'm returning to the doctor tomorrow to have stitches removed and I have to be honest...I'm deathly afraid of getting them taken out. I'm sure I'm making it worse in my head than it really is, but it's just one of those things I fear. Yuck. Jackson is doing well. He lost quite a bit of weight before we left the hospital, but I can happily say he is quickly gaining everything back. He also has a little bit of jaundice, but after multiple tests it looks like it is slowly taking care of itself on it's own.

Ethan is doing pretty well in his new role of big brother. He looks several years older to me now in comparison to Jackson. He's mostly been ignoring the fact that there is a new little being in our lives, but occasionally comes over to kiss on the baby. Thankfully grandparents have been here to keep him busy, happy and distracted, but next week should really put him to the test although I think he will handle the transition well!

I hope to write Jackson's birth story soon. It's not too eventful since it was a planned c-section but there is still a story to share. I also hope to post some non-instagram pictures of the newbie, but its hard to hold a camera when you never set the baby down.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Arrival!

On Friday December 14th, we welcomed a new little boy into our family. Jackson Reed came into this world via C-Section at 7:47AM weighing in at 8 pounds 11 ounces and measuring 21 inches long. 

We are now home and trying to recover and adjust as quickly as possible. I'm so in love with this new little guy and plan on spoiling him immensely. I refer to him as "my little kitty cat" because his favorite place to curl up and sleep is on my chest. I have to admit I hardly ever put him down and I don't feel bad about it in the slightest. It's funny the things you do differently the second time around. I'm sure there will be more on that later. 

I hope to post more on the birth and our first few days at home later on, but as you can imagine life with 2 is slightly hectic at the moment. Thank you all for your prayers and congratulations. This is a very special time for our family!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Baby Jackson's Elephant Nursery

Tomorrow is the big day! Baby Jackson should arrive by 8AM if all goes well. My nerves at this point are at an all time high so I thought this would be a great time to distract myself by posting fun photos of his nursery! 

I absolutely love the way everything finally came together (and by finally...I mean last night). It is so different than Ethan's nursery and while I loved that one as well, I love this one in a different way. Ethan's was very craft-tastic, but for Jackson's I took the easy way out and mostly used Etsy (and my mom) for all the details. I guess that still makes it craft-tastic...just not by my hands.

Pregnancy does funny things to your brain. With Ethan, all I could see were birds for his nursery. This was elephants. Pregnancy has also made me use some very bold colors in the house (let's hope I still love them tomorrow when I'm officially un-pregnant right?) and Jackson's room was no different. 

So without further adieu....


Wall Color: Silver Lining
Crib: Previously owned...purchased at JC Penney's but can no longer find
Crib SheetsPottery Barn Kids
Dust Ruffle: Made by my mom
Vinyl Wall ArtVinyl Concepts
Elephant MobileSugar and Spice Studios
Rug: Greek Flokati Rug in Natural Grey from Rugs USA
Dresser: Previously owned...purchased at Flea Market, repainted in Valspar French Olive
Elephant PrintDelivered by Danielle ; Frame: Michael's
Stuffed Elephant: Ikea
Glider: Previously owned...USA Baby - Jory in Chocolate Brown
Elephant Pillow: Made by my mom
Every Little Thing PosterDean Works Studios

InspirationE, Myself, and I

I hope you all love it as much as we do! Can't wait to have Jackson in it. Prayers and good vibes would definitely be appreciated. We will be heading to the hospital tomorrow morning at 5AM to pick up the final piece that will make the nursery truly complete. I'll be sure to post pictures at some point to keep you all up to date! I'll probably post on Instagram or Facebook first in case you just can't wait for the blog post :)

Please take a second and hit the "Like" button...

Monday, December 10, 2012

The State of Things on Monday

Time is definitely nearing for baby J to arrive. Friday is baby day in fact. Yeah, this Friday. EEEEKS!!!

My mom is coming today to help us finish getting ready for baby-time and Christmas-time. Michael and I have been working our behinds off trying to get this new house feeling like a home and set up for baby, but there is still a lot to do. Isn't there always? All of my Christmas decorations are still sitting on my dining room table. The tree has lights, a star and two paper ornaments that Ethan made at school. To be honest? I'm scared to put anything else on it. Anyone else feeling like Christmas is one big..."Yes, son it is pretty, sparkly and tempting but for the love...stop touching it!". Sigh. 

The nursery is pretty much complete at this point. I am waiting on one other piece to put up then I will be ready to share the final product with the rest of the world. It turned out super cute and so different from Ethan's. 

Speaking of Ethan...I'm planning on soaking up as much time as possible with him this week. He has been quite a handful lately and I'm hoping it's just all to blame on him sensing the change about to come. I envisioned these last few weeks being a special time for us, but's purely just been frustrating. I'm hoping with my mom here, I will get to have the opportunity to do some special Christmasy things with him this week. 

I kinda forgot how much preparation was needed for a new baby. All the washing, the assembling, the planning and the cleaning. Yeah. Lots has fallen by the wayside this time. I think part of it has to do with the fact that I've put the actual birth to the back of my mind. Don't get me wrong...I am SUPER excited about holding a squishy newborn again...I'd just like to skip the surgery part. It's scary. It hurts. It makes me anxious so I've just been trying to put it to the back of my mind. 

I guess I should get back at it. There's a carseat that needs installing, a swing that needs assembling and a bag (or two) that needs to be packed....just a few more days!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How to Remove Old Stains from Baby Clothes

Like many moms, I packed all of Ethan's old baby clothes in hopes of being able to use them for baby number two. Unfortunately when I pulled them out of storage I found most of them to be covered in stains. I'm fairly sure these stains weren't there when I originally packed them away, but stains are tricky and tend to come out over time.

I sprayed them with some stain remover, tossed them in the wash and hung them to dry in hopes that they would come out. 

Old stains are tricky though. Apparently they didn't like my usual way of doing things.

Attack number two on my list was to call my mom. 

Mom's know all the tricks right? 

Well, at least experienced moms. 


I'm still earning my badges here people. 

She recommended Biz laundry detergent which I had never heard of...probably because it's the old powder kind. I don't even remember using powder in my lifetime. She said it was tricky to find, but after searching for awhile I did find some at Wal-Mart. 

I carefully measured warm water in my washing machine. I'm weird I like to follow directions to the T. In case you were wondering a small load in a (non HE) top loader contains about 12 gallons of water. Biz recommends 1 cup of detergent for every two gallons of water, I'd read elsewhere to do 1 cup per gallon so I split the difference and added 8 scoops. You can presoak from anywhere between 30 minutes to overnight. I went the overnight route just to be sure. 

The next day I ran the rinse cycle then washed as usual with my normal detergent. 

I had about 25 items in there...sleepers, bibs, burp cloths, outfits. It saved all but one! And, I'm fairly sure that one outfit was one of the ones on top that might not have gotten a full soaking.

I wish I had taken a before and after picture, but alas, I really didn't think it was going to work. 

Biz doesn't know who I am. I'm getting nothing out of this. I just simply wanted to pass this fabulous trick along. 

Save some money, buy some Biz and get to saving those baby clothes folks!

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Ethan's Favorite Things (18-24mo.)

It's that time of year where everyone is looking for the perfect gift ideas and sometimes the best ideas come from seeing what others like and enjoy. Not every kid is into the same thing, but I figured I would share with you what some of Ethan's favorite toys have been in the last 6 months. These have all been tested and Ethan approved!

1. Toystate Caterpillar Construction Mini Machine 5-Pack - These little trucks are so amazing that we own two sets of them and if we received another I wouldn't complain a bit. They are perfect for the sandbox, the bath tub, the car and my purse. They literally go everywhere with us and we must have the complete set at all times because you can't have a bulldozer without a backhoe to scoop up the dirt and you can't have a backhoe without a dump truck to dump it into....or so Ethan says.

2. Melissa & Doug Wooden Take Along Tool Kit (24pc) - Ethan doesn't use everything in this set, just the tools really. He's not so much into putting things together, but hammering...yeah, we are into that. In fact, the hammer is so awesome I was able to put an Ikea dresser together with it. Don't ask...

3. Tourance Baby Blanket - This was originally suppose to be for Jackson, but as soon as Ethan laid his hands on it, he decided it was his favorite and I personally can't blame him. It is the softest most luxurious blanket I've ever felt. I ordered him a toddler sized one just recently from One Kings Lane (the cheapest place to buy them) and I'm hoping I can switch him over. Heck, if I could afford the adult size I would be sleeping with it every night too. 

4. Toystate CAT Big Builder Skid Steer - Ethan has a ton of truck...a ton. This is one of his newest additions and current favorites. I really think it has to do with the size of it more than anything else. It is very easy for him to carry. It lights up, shakes and makes sounds although that isn't necessary for him (he enjoys making his own sounds), it is a bonus. 

5. My First Truck Board Book  - When he can't play with trucks, this book is the perfect thing to satisfy his strong truck addiction. We take it in the car and I leave it with him in his bed at nap time. If your kid isn't into trucks (and your still reading this) I do strongly recommend any of the "My First" board books. They are some of our favorite.

6. Toy Guitar - This little guitar came from World Market and Ethan loves it. He has a couple that light up and make music, but this is his current favorite. He can make his own tunes and it looks like the real deal. 

7. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site - Forget Goodnight Moon, this book is right up Ethan's alley. My mom recently gifted this to him and now we read it every night after we put his trucks to bed. Yes, we put the trucks to bed. I highly recommend it. We usually only look at pictures for most books, but he actually allows us to completely read this book. 

What are some of your kid-tested and approved favorites??? I'd love to know! Santa might not be completely done shopping yet :)
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