End of an Era

Today marked the end of an era. You see, for the past two years I have hung out with two girls who have boys the same age as Connor. Each week the three of us would meet up at a park, at a house, or really anywhere for the kids to play and us to get some adult time. They are my first true "mommy friends". These girls get me. They get the stage of life I am in. They are fun to be around. None of us take ourselves too seriously, yet I know these girls totally have my back. 

But you see, something big is happening. Next week all three boys will be in preschool, in different classes, with different schedules. Besides holidays and summers, our boys will no longer be getting together to play all the time. tear

But the good news is, we all have younger kids as well. So here is to hoping that the play dates continue because everyone knows play dates are really for the moms! The other good news is, I know these are people are good friends. Our relationships may change and alter, but friends we will stay. 


P.S. How weird is it that Connor will start making his own friends now?! No more mommy choosing his friends for him. 

A Dentist Visit for Isla

After Connor's dentist appointment last week, you can imagine my apprehension going into Isla's dentist appointment. To make matters worse, I had to wake Isla up for her appointment. I HATE waking my sleeping children for anything. Then, Isla didn't want to brush her teeth. Awesome, I'll be the mom who takes her kid to the dentist with unbrushed teeth and morning breath. I even had my MIL give it a try when she arrived to watch Connor. Isla actually covered her mouth. So to the appointment we went, with completely unbrushed teeth. Just to clarify, my teeth were brushed.

When we got to the dentist, Isla didn't want out of the car. I had to carry her from the car kicking and screaming. Thankfully, once we got inside and I pointed out the fish tank to her, she calmed down. And she had so much fun scribbling on her new patient forms that the receptionist hooked her up with a clipboard of her own to "write" on.

Then it was time for Isla's appointment. They put her in a room of her own. This made me a little nervous, like they knew she was going to scream. Thankfully, while I waited for the dentist, Isla was entertained by the tv in the ceiling.

Though Isla cried during her exam, she didn't fight the exam at all and that made things much easier. The dentist was able to clean her teeth (using the uber scary scraping tool) and then coat her teeth with whatever it is they coat teeth with. As soon as the dentist was done, Isla was all sorts of clingy to me. Of course, once she was offered a sticker, she went right back to her normal bubbly self. 

And just as we entered the dentist office kicking and screaming, so we exited. Isla didn't want to leave. She was having too much fun playing in the waiting room. 

This Mama Just Wants to Sleep

Isla looking all cute the other morning after a full night's sleep

I remember when I worked a paying job that when I worked late into the night, I would come in a couple hours late the next day to make up for it. Or even when I worked at Starbucks and had to be there late for a meeting, then open the next morning, they would pay for a taxi for us. 

With motherhood, there is no reprieve. Last night, despite our best efforts, Isla did not go to sleep until almost midnight. Midnight folks! Then she preceded to wake up four times (FOUR TIMES!!!) before deciding to get up for the day at 6:30am. 

And now I am finding myself pretty useless this afternoon whereas Isla is finding herself still full of life and energy...oh and full of extra cries and needing mom to hold her constantly. All I have to say (if only this were all I had to say) is where is my mom to hold me?!? Or at least hold Isla so I can sleep?!

Here's to hoping tonight is a better night because otherwise I am so calling in sick to work tomorrow! I don't get paid enough to deal with these working conditions ;)

DIY Iced Coffee

For those of you that don't have a coffee background, iced coffee is basically double strength coffee. And if you want to be real legit, you will cold brew your double strength coffee, rather than hot brewing double strength coffee. The cold brew way takes more time, but it also makes the coffee taste more smooth, as it removes some of the acidity from it. We cold brew. It tastes better and besides the wait time, really isn't any harder. What we use at home to make our iced coffee is a Toddy
. It's a cheap and easy to use system for making iced coffee. 

The Toddy system comes with five parts - brewing container, reusable filter, rubber stopper and a glass pitcher with a lid. 

To make iced coffee, there are only two ingredients - coffee and water. We use about a cup of whole beans for each batch of coffee. And though we now use home roasted coffee beans, I also recommend Trader Joes smooth and mellow coffee for iced coffee. But back to making the coffee. All that is needed for the Toddy is a cup of beans and the Toddy pitcher full of water. 

You will want to put your rubber stopper in the brewing container, then put in your reusable filter. On a side note, you have to store your reusable filter in the refrigerator or freezer...random, right? And I realize our filter isn't a pristine white any more, but the two filters the toddy came with have lasted two years.

Next you want to grind your beans. You want the beans ground pretty course, like for a french press. 

Then you are going to put about half your water in the brewing container. Top it with about half your grinds and allow the grinds to soak into the water themselves. DO NOT STIR IT. Then you will repeat the process by adding more water and more coffee grinds. Once you are done, top with some cling film (you know, to keep flies and small people's hands out) and a rubber band and let the concoction sit for 24 hours.

After the 24 hours, while holding the brewing container over the pitcher, pull out the rubber stopper. Then set the brewing container on top of the pitcher and allow the coffee to drain into the pitcher. And, tada, you have yourself some amazing tasting iced coffee for way cheaper than Starbucks. 

And for you, a little tip. Since the pitcher isn't required for the brewing process, when you find yourself running low on iced coffee, start a new batch brewing, so it is ready when you run out. 

Ian and I both drink our iced coffee the same - no sugar, but with a little cream. I prefer to drink my coffee with a straw and the reusable iced coffee cups are my favorite. I've used ball jars before, but I prefer the coffee cups because they have lids AND fit in the cup holder in my car. 

And just to confuse you a little more, you can also do this method with a french press...using less coffee and water obviously. Just make sure after the 24 hours is up to not store your coffee in the french press with the grinds. Also, you will want to filter it again just to make sure all the grinds and grit are out of the coffee as the mesh filter in a french press doesn't do an amazing job. 

So now that you know how easy it is, save yourself some money and start making your own iced coffee. But don't blame me when you find yourself drinking way more than you should! And if any of you out there currently make your own iced coffee, I would love to hear about your methods. 


For months Connor wouldn't go in our backyard due to the neighbor's dogs. Ian put up the swing set and he instantly went in the backyard again. Sure, we have to leave the back door open (even when it is super hot outside). But that is a price I am willing to pay to enjoy outdoor play with my kids.

This week:

  • Connor learned about ringing doorbells to get the neighbor kids to come play. Now he just wants to ring their doorbell all the time so they will come out and play. 
  • Isla refused to nap 4 days this week. It wasn't pretty. And whether she thinks so or not, she so still needs to nap. 
  • I drove a stick shift for the first time in 6 years and totally rocked it. I didn't even stall it once. Yes, I am bragging.
  • Remember the sparkly shoes I talked about yesterday? I may or may not have worn them every day since I got them. I told you I liked them! 

So that's it. Oh, and I am feeling totally ready to rock this coming week! Connor has his preview day at preschool (and starts in another week!) and Isla has her first dentist appointment.

What I Wore {fifteen}

For my entire adult life, I have been a t-shirt, jeans and flip flops gal. Totally casual. Sure I could get all dressed up for work or a special occasion, but that was it. Now that I have no reason to get dressed up, I have gotten tired of my normal look. It has just become blah. I want to look put together without too much effort. That's not too much to ask, right?!

As I have noticed a shift in my clothing preferences, I have also put more thought into what I buy. First, I don't buy nearly as many clothes as I did years ago. In fact, I hardly ever go shopping. But when I do, I make sure to only buy things I love, that fit well and look cute with minimal effort. Oh, and these said clothes must NOT be dry clean only. Because, HELLO, toddlers.

A big thing that I have found to make myself feel better about what I am wearing are shoes. A cute pair of shoes on my feet can go a long way. Sure you will still find me in flip flops 50% of the time...but that other 50%...

Ian may not be a fan of shiny things, but I sure am! I found these lovely things on clearance at Target on Monday ($4.50!!!). This was my first time wearing them and I seriously had a smile all day because of them (that makes me sound like such a simple person!). They are currently adorning my feet and are still having a pretty dang positive effect on my mood.

shirt: Forever 21
necklace: Forever 21
shorts: Gap
shoes: Target
purse: MadeWell

And just a little PSA for all you non-shorts lovers out there. I am not a fan of shorts, but have truly embraced them this summer and these shorts from Gap were one of the reasons. They fit well and go with mostly everything. And it just so happens they are on clearance right now. Go buy yourself a pair and thank me later. 

P.S. I am NO fashion blogger, so you will have to excuse the posing.

Swim Lessons

Connor had his last swim lesson today. And, well, I guess I can say he (and the teacher) survived the experience. Poor guy just has so many fears and deep water (like any water deeper than a foot) and pool filters appear to be on the list. Yes, you read that correctly, pool filters. The kid has an extreme fear of them.

blowing bubbles

But I must say, this last lesson ended on a good note. The prior three lessons were very challenging for Connor (or more, Connor was very challenging for his teacher) as he didn't want to do anything and would wrap his legs around the teacher to keep himself out of the water.

It's funny to watch Connor's little personality come out in situations like this though. When his teacher told him she wanted him to get his ears wet (because she wanted him to go further in the water), he turned his head to the side and stuck his ear in the water! Such a smart little boy.

He did actually calm down and cooperate enough this lesson to put his whole face in the water and blow bubbles, kick around the pool on a kick board, "swim" (while the teacher held his mid section) and float. He really has trouble with floating. He totally gets the concept, but hates having water that close to his face, so literally cries the whole time.

On a positive note, Connor willingly got in the pool each lesson...something he doesn't even do at his grandparents house. Here's to next year and better luck with the pool.

Squid Water Squirter {nuby product review}

So let me just get this out of the way, as a bath toy, the Nuby squid water squirter didn't work too well for us. As an outside/pool toy, we LOVE it. You see, the first time we tried it out was in the bath. Connor pointed it at the bath wall and squirted it and all that water bounced off the wall and went all over my bathroom. So an outdoor toy it became.

But let me tell you, this is a pretty amazing outdoor toy. Connor loves it. I thought the concept of putting it in the water and pulling up the handle to fill up would be a hard one to get, but he got it right away and hasn't stopped playing with it since. And what makes it really fun is it shoots water about 7 feet. So it's pretty fun to chase your friends (or your little sister) with.

The Nuby squid water squirter can be purchased at BuyBabyDirect, CookiesKids.com, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, BuyBuyBaby, echildstore.com and Diapers.com.

I did not receive any compensation for this post, although as part of the Nuby Mommy Blogger program I may receive items to sample or review. All opinions are my own and 100% honest. 

You can stay up to date on all things Nuby by liking the Nuby Facebook Page, following Nuby on Twitter, following Nuby on Pinterest, and watching for Nuby Photos on Instagram.

A Dentist Visit for Connor

Someone has to have that kid that freaks out at the dentist and gives the dentist great stories to tell around the dinner table. So, you are welcome for taking one for the team and allowing that to be my kid. And to think it started out so well...

Connor wasn't even scared going in. Then there were bean bag chairs in the lobby! How could this visit go wrong?! When we walked in the back, he even obediently opened his mouth and allowed the assistant to brush his teeth for a minute. Of course, as this point I was thinking "Who is this kid?!". He hates having his teeth brushed. Well, not long later, the novelty of the situation wore off and the "strong willed" and "independent" (as said by the dentist) Connor came out. 

After working with him for almost an HOUR, he had to be pinned down just for the dentist to count his teeth. He was crying hard core. The assistant was holding him. And the dentist was talking all calm and cool the whole time. I felt horrible. Next, they decided to have me go knee to knee with the dentist and have Connor on our laps. That didn't work so well. They had to bring out the tool that keeps his mouth open and keeps him from biting (and totally gave me dentist visit flashbacks from when I was a child...apparently I wasn't too cooperative either). Well, a good cleaning never happened.

On the plus side, Connor was excitedly talking about the new toothbrush they give him. And the dentist was assuring me that she is sure my daughter will do much better next week...um, sure...cause no one can have two strong willed children!


Better late than never, right? We played it old school this {last} week and Connor had fun pushing the button and running to get in the picture. And I have to admit, the outtakes were my favorite part. And because Isla wants to be just like her brother, she wanted to try doing it too. But well, this outtake was my favorite because just look at the smile on my little girl's face. She looks so genuinely happy. And that is Connor on the left, uber close to the camera.  

This {last} week:

  • We went for a family bike ride and Connor chose playing in a playground over getting ice cream!
  • Connor had a swim lesson and judging by how he acted during it, wasn't in the mood to listen or cooperate. 
  • Isla hasn't napped for the past three days. It's been kind of awful and she is in full on meltdown mode by 5pm. For the record, she goes down for naps, but just chills in her crib, talking away and banging on the wall. 
  • I had to take my mom to the train station early one morning. I was driving to her house thinking, "so this is what it looks like when the sun is rising". I am so not a morning person. 
  • I went into the ghetto (like hardcore ghetto) to buy something off craigslist. It wasn't a smart move. Nothing happened. But I will be sticking to public places from here on out. 

Beach Day

Yesterday we headed to the beach in celebration of a friend's birthday. After hitting traffic on the way there and having to pay an arm and a leg for parking, I wasn't feeling much in the beachy spirit. Thankfully, the beach (and hanging out with friends) changed my attitude. 

Even though Connor had a great time playing in the water the last time we went to the beach, he wouldn't go by the water at all this time. But it worked out. One of his good friends was there and he doesn't like the water either, so they both enjoyed playing in the sand with each other for hours. 

And both my kids seem to have an obsession with soda of any kind. Let's just say its probably a good thing I don't keep it around our house. Isla only got a hold of one random soda. But Connor, well I am pretty sure he drank after every sigle soda drinker at the party! 

Isla went and played in the water a few times with Ian. She loved it. And just a little PSA for those of you with girls out there. Isla has this swimsuit. I thought it looked a little corny, but it is my new best friend. It kept all the sand out of Isla's diaper! And girlfriend was rolling around and playing in the sand all afternoon. I was impressed. 

I have to admit, I think the best part of the day for me was that the kids were almost completely self entertained and I was able to enjoy just hanging with my friends. 

P.S. How sad is it that my calves are killing me today just from the stairs leading from the parking lot to the beach?! So much for the gym getting me in shape! But in my defense, it was a lot of stairs! 

Safety First

It started about two weeks ago. Connor was asleep in our bed when Ian's alarm went off. Somehow Connor thought it was the fire alarm (smoke detector). And ever since, he has been obsessed. And by obsessed, I mean over the top, talk about practically nothing else, carry a smoke detector with us everywhere we go, obsessed.

When we go in a house, Connor wants to walk around and see all their smoke detectors. He wants to talk about them working. If one isn't working, he obsesses over it until it is fixed. He noticed a spot on my parents ceiling where a smoke detector belonged, found out it was broken and obsessed until they finally went to the store and bought a new one. Then he talked all about his trip to buy a new one.

And the old one? Well, it accompanies us everywhere. I've had a clerk or two give me the stink eye when I swear that my son brought that with him in the store and it is in fact not unpaid merchandise. So my kid has a weird obsession, what's it to you?! But I do admit, it is rather funny.

At the same time, the whole thing stems from fear. He doesn't like how loud smoke detectors are when they go off. That kid and his fear. It always stems from loud noises. And I feel for him. I was such a fearful child (heck, I was a fearful adult for a while too). I just hope and pray this phase passes without the obsession becoming a crippling fear.

In the mean time, if anyone is needing any assistance with smoke detector placement in their home, Connor is your man!


I have a little copycat that gets ready with me every morning. She brushes her teeth when I brush mine, she puts face lotion on when I do, she puts on deodorant right after me (well, the cap is still on, but she tries), she rubs lotion on her legs when I put it on mine. She watches what I do, then tries her best to copy me.

Yesterday when I was putting away laundry, she picked out two matching socks of mine, then made me put them on her. She returned a couple minutes later with my gym shoes and had me put them on her as well. She then preceded to walk around the house so proud.

I know she is watching. She is learning all about being a girl woman from me. I know the weight of this. I have seen friends and family walk a dangerous path of searching for perfection. Many times walking that dangerous, unhealthy path because of what their own mothers said to them. I don't want that for my girl. I want to raise a strong, confident woman. I want her to be sure of herself, whomever she chooses to be. I want her to know beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I want her to know how to be healthy and take care of herself. But I also want her to know that what truly matters is what is on the inside.

After I nurse Isla at night, I stand up and have her lay her head on my shoulder. I pace her room, holding her in my arms and pray for her. Besides praying that she will sleep through the night (hey, that's important!), I pray that she will come to know the Lord and have a real relationship with Him from a young age. I pray for health and protection. That time with her at night is some of the most precious time to me. I realize she won't always let me hold her and pray. I realize as she grows, she won't even always be with me, but I will still pray. I hope as Isla grows and matures that she not only has a healthy self image and a real relationship with God, but that she know her mama is always in her corner rooting for her, whether she knows it at the time or not.

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