Thursday, December 21, 2017

Right Now: December Edition

I've been a slacker lately on my blog. December is such a busy month for us! Between preschool and Playgroup Christmas parties, celebrating Ayden and Rylee's birthday, and Christmas, there's been so much to do! So I thought I better sit down and write a (not so quick) post.

Reading: Ayden got Pete The Cat for his birthday, and it has quickly become a favorite. We are also still reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas on a frequent basis. The kids can almost recite it by memory now, and correct us if we miss a word or say something wrong. It's quite humorous actually.

Watching: Hallmark Christmas movies!

Listening: Christmas music, of course. Favorites around here are "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (of course), "Away in a Manger," "Jingle Bells," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

Drinking: Water, but not near enough lately, and Minute Maid Light Lemonade.

Eating: I just finished a bowl of ice cream. Chocolate Brownie Thunder. Mmmmmmmm.

Wearing: My flannel softball pj pants that Tony made for me several Christmases ago. Seriously, he actually sewed them himself! With his mom's help. I'm also wearing a very worn out t-shirt that a friend brought back for me from Alaska many years ago, and a long sleeve softball shirt over that because our downstairs doesn't get any heat and I am freezing!

Loving: The kids' excitement for checking our advent calendar and finding our Elf on the Shelf, Macaroni Cheese, everyday. Ayden is especially excited about it and can hardly contain himself until he sees what the Elf may have left for him each morning. Sometimes it's just a note, and other times it might be a little treat or gift.

Anticipating: Tomorrow we are taking the kids to an overnight trip to the coast for their birthday. The hotel we are staying at has not only an indoor pool, but also a splash pad and indoor playground. Every room has an ocean view. We are looking forward to them being able to watch their first sunset at the coast. They've been noticing the different colors in the sky at sunrise, and occasionally at sunset if we are out and about, and commenting about how pretty it is. This will be our first time at the coast when the sunset will be before their bedtime!

I'm also anticipating Christmas morning. They will be so excited that Santa came. Although, I also fully anticipate them being a little pissed off at not actually SEEING Santa when he stops by our house.

Hoping: For very few meltdowns over the next few days. Ayden's been having a bit of a rough time lately, so we will see...

Following: I suppose I'm a little boring. Other than blogs (and not very well), I'm not really following anything right now.

Wondering: If I will ever finish painting our house. I haven't picked up a paintbrush since we did all the painting when we first moved in. I am unmotivated to get it all set up while the kids are in preschool, only to have just a bit more than an hour to actually paint before I have to pack it all up again before I leave to pick up the kids. Someone asked me awhile back if I could just leave it and paint when the kids are home. Uhhh, that is a big NO. Ayden and Rylee have to help with EV.ER.Y.THING. They always want to be right there, no matter what it is we are doing. I have no doubt that Rylee would insist that she is a really good painter.

Trying: To get Ayden to actually pee IN the toilet! Oh. Em. Gee. So much pee. And I am so tired of cleaning it up. He waits until he really has to go, so of course he then pees at full blast and is hitting the back of the toilet, through the seat, which then floods the floor. I'm not talking little drips here people. I'm talking about having to use half a roll of paper towels to soak it all up. This happens at least once a day, but more like 2-3. Tony says that Ayden just needs to grow a little taller. I completely don't understand this logic, since this has only been a problem for the last month or so. He didn't get any shorter than when he was able to hit IN the toilet before! Ugh. I'm so tired of cleaning up pee, and having our bathrooms smell like pee all the time.

Worrying: About Ayden's meltdowns. He has such big emotions and is so sensitive. We have no idea what has brought this recent bout of meltdowns/full on fits, but it's breaking my heart when he is so, so sad. It's also completely frustrating when it's about not wanting to share, or over something he thinks he needs to have. We took the kids shopping for each other last weekend. We went to Toys R' Us; Tony took Ayden and I took Rylee. Of course their little minds were blown over all the toys, and they just wanted to buy something for themselves, but we are trying (unsuccessfully) to teach them that Christmas isn't all about GETTING, but also giving. At one point during this little adventure, Ayden actually yelled at Tony, "you're ruining everything!" because Tony wouldn't let him pick out something for himself. This wasn't one of his major meltdowns that has us concerned (we actually thought it was a little humorous), but it is another incident of selfishness. I know some of this is normal at this age. I KNOW that. Rylee has her own 4 year old selfishness about her, too, but Ayden seems to take it to a whole other level.

Planning: To sign up for another 5K after the holidays. I have not had any time the last few weeks to get out and run, because I needed to take advantage of those few hours the kids were in school to get things done for their birthday party and Christmas. I plan to get right back to the running after the New Year though, and need sign up for another race to keep me on task with something to work toward.

Contemplating: Going to bed. Actually, I'm not really contemplating. It's exactly what I'm going to do as soon as I hit "publish" for this post. Good night!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

We have a new obsession in our house. Ayden has completely fallen in love with the story of the Grinch! I tried to read How the Grinch Stole Christmas to the kids last year, but they never really got into it. I think it was too long for them then. This year is a completely different story! They both sit and actually listen to the entire book. Ayden and Rylee both enjoy it, but Ayden is completely enthralled!

When it's his turn to pick a bedtime story, he picks the Grinch. He takes the book to bed with him every night, and he "reads" it during nap/quiet time. He falls asleep with it next to his pillow every day.

I've introduced the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas movie to them, the cartoon version. We have watched it on repeat. It might be my best find from the last consignment sale. It was one of my favorite Christmas specials on tv when I was a kid, so it's so fun that they are enjoying it too! When we were flipping through Netflix the other day, they saw the newer version with Jim Carrey and insisted on watching it. They even enjoyed that, despite it not being a cartoon!

Ironically, Ayden's Christmas stocking is the Grinch! My Aunt D made all of our stockings. Tony (his has reindeer) and mine (has a teddy bear) were made over 20 years ago. She made Ayden and Rylee's (her's is Hello Kitty) when they were born, so she would have had no idea how big the Grinch would become, but it's perfect. I bet we heard "my stocking is the Grinch one" a good 50 times (at least) over the weekend. It's so fun how excited he is about it!

There is nothing that compares to how amazing Christmas is through the eyes of your children. I have always loved Christmas. It by far has always been my favorite holiday, but I had no idea how much better it would get! Christmas really is magical with kids.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Microblog Monday: 5k in the Books

*Whelp, I tried to get this in for Microblog Monday, but I missed Monday by 15 minutes! haha. So it reads Tuesday at the top instead. Oh well. Here it is anyway.

I did it! I completed my first race in over 3 years. Despite not getting enough training runs in the 3 weeks before the race, I feel like I killed it and I am so proud of myself! Okay, when I say killed it, that's all relative of course. I'm not fast by any means, and I walked close to half, but when you take in my activity level (or lack of) over the last 3+ years... I killed it.

This was a small town event, about 45 minutes from our house. I might have been the only person there that was participating by myself. I didn't care though. Going into it, I was nervous about bringing up the rear of the race. I quickly discovered that wouldn't be a problem. Not that it would be a bad thing. Someone has to finish last. I just didn't want it to be me.

I used to run with timed intervals, such as running 5 minutes and walking 30 seconds. Not this time, and most likely not any time soon. Now I just set landmarks as my goal, talking to myself along the way.

Okay, I'm going to run to that light pole.
Now walk to that leaf pile.
Run to that stop sign and then walk to that car.
Run to that bump in the road.
Oh, I can go farther. Let's go to that van instead.
Walk to that tree.
And so on, and so on.

My final stats (according to my Fitbit) are:

3.22 miles, with a complete time of 43:47, at a 13'35" pace. I finished under a 14 minute pace! That was HUGE for me! All my training runs jog/walks leading up to this race, I was somewhere between a 15-16'00 minute pace, so this was a big improvement.

My fitness level is not even close to where it used to be. I mean, seriously, Not. Even. Close. I'm embarrassed of how I look and feel in my own body. But I am PROUD of myself for finally doing something to change this. Now I just need to keep it up. Time to find another race to sign up for!

It was 39℉ and drizzly the entire race, so the hot chocolate afterward was nice!

I did it!

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, click here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Whelp, running jog/walking has been derailed. Last week I didn't get out running while the kids were at school because of one thing or another. I had to go grocery shopping early in the week, and then I spent two days making cookies during that time. The city of Veneta does a huge holiday bizarre at multiple locations throughout town the Friday/Saturday before Thanksgiving, including the preschool that Ayden and Rylee attend. I committed myself to contributing cookies for the bizarre. The kids didn't have school on Friday because of the bizarre, so I didn't go running then either. And then we were gone all weekend at the in-laws, celebrating Thanksgiving with Tony's family. 

Yesterday I missed running again, because I had to go grocery shopping for Thanksgiving stuff, and because our cupboards and fridge were getting pretty thin. I promised myself I would get out and run jog/walk today, regardless of if it was pouring down rain or not, but wouldn't you know it? The kids are home sick. They both have coughs and low grade fevers. Ugh. We actually had a break in the rain this morning though, so I did manage to get the kids outside for a short walk to get the mail and was able to rake the leaves in our yard while the kids enjoyed playing outside for a bit. Other than that, we are having a very lazy day at home today. Their school is closed the rest of the week for Thanksgiving break, so I won't have a chance to run then either. Maybe this weekend I'll be able to...

It's dark when Tony gets home from work now, thanks to the time change, so getting out at night isn't an option. I am signed up for that Jingle Bell 5K next weekend though, so next week I'm REALLY hoping I can get out early in the week for a few decent runs.

Either way, I'm not too worried about being able to finish the 5K. I just might be walking more than I would like, or had planned on. I'm still committed to making running more of a priority and plan on finding a race to sign up for after this upcoming one, even if I am currently at a standstill.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Birthday Party Planning

These two goofballs will be FOUR next month! I'm a little sad, nostalgic, overwhelmed... at the thought of them being four. I mean, that is only ONE year away from them turning FIVE!!! And that just seems too old for my babies to be. It's such a total cliche, but they are growing up too fast! They aren't allowed to be big kids already! No. Just, no.

Aaanyyyywayyyyyy, so now I'm in the midst of planning their birthday party. I'm not a party planner. I don't come up with fancy themes. I don't label food to match said fancy theme. In fact, we had their first birthday without a theme AT ALL! *Gasp* For their second birthday, we had an Elmo birthday candle, Elmo plates and napkins, and there wasn't a single other kid at their party. Last year, I got inspired and actually did go a little overboard with the whole Dinosaur/Princess theme, and even gave out goodie bags to all the kids in attendance, but that's not something I want to do every year.

Yet, somehow, here I am planning a big birthday bash. We went round and round, tossing out different ideas for their birthday party. What I REALLY wanted to do was have it at the local fire station, but I found out that they only do tours and that wasn't quite what I had in mind. We considered renting out a bouncy house place, but it's pretty expensive and would limit who we could invite to the party. We thought about having it at our house, but our new place isn't set up to accommodate everyone either. If we did just family and didn't invite friends, we'd probably be okay, but we'd really like to invite all their little friends.

We settled on renting the local community center. And now we are inviting their entire preschool class!! Oy. It's a lot, but since we are doing it at the community center, there will be room and we figured, why not? So now I have to come up with activities to keep a bunch of preschoolers entertained. Double oy.

We are doing a Christmas themed birthday party. Tony didn't like that idea at all, saying he thought we needed to keep Christmas and their birthday separate. I completely understand, considering I'm the one that REALLY hoped they wouldn't be born on the 24th or 25th just so they would have their own special day. Their birthday ended up being on December 23rd, in case you didn't know that already. However, I see nothing wrong with having a Christmas themed birthday party! What is the difference between that and the two Halloween/costume parties we went to in October? It's not a CHRISTMAS party, just the "theme." Tony has finally come around on the idea, or at the very least, has backed off his objections and is rolling with it. A very good thing, because as I stated earlier, I am not a party planner! Plan A at the fire station was nixed, and if he didn't agree to the Christmas theme.... the thought of coming up with a Plan C made me want to hurl myself off a bridge! Not really, but you get the idea.

As of right now, we've got the venue booked, invitations done, and their birthday t-shirts ordered (by my good friend at Double Blessings Designs; she is amazing). I will order a Costco Cake and make finger foods, and so far the activities include cookie decorating and pin the carrot nose on the snowman. I just need to come up with a few more activities/games/crafts for the kids to do. Suggestions are welcome!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Preschool Update

Ayden and Rylee are loving their preschool, and so am I! It's not always the easiest to get them out the door in the morning, but they are always excited and happy once we get there, running off to play with their new friends. Ayden sometimes says he doesn't want to go to school and whines about it, but again, once we get there he is raring to go! And they are always happy when I pick them up (although that happiness sometimes almost always turns to whining/crying shortly after we get in the car or get back home).

They can both recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have learned the days of the week. They often sing new songs that they have learned at school. Their coloring skills have improved drastically, especially Rylee's. Not to say they aren't still scribbling all over, but at least it's more intentional. They are tracing letters and learning the sounds that vowels make.

I have been told that they are two of the best helpers in class and do a great job following directions. Not only do they pick up the toys that they were playing with, but when they have their area cleaned up, they help clean up other toys as well.

I love that their school does fun things like having a Grandparent's Tea, field trips to the pumpkin patch, and holiday parties. They also do Dress Up Friday every month. Today was dress up day and the theme was Superhero's/Princess. The kids were SUPER excited to dress up again, so soon after Halloween! Rylee got to choose between wearing her Anna dress or her Snow White dress. She chose Snow White, which didn't surprise me because it's a much more fancy dress, lol. I found Ayden a used Spiderman costume on a Facebook for sale site a few weeks ago. I kept it hidden until yesterday, and oh boy, was he pumped! Of course, Rylee was a little bummed that she didn't get a new costume to wear too.... She was still excited to wear her Snow White dress to school though.

As for me, I'm not accomplishing much while they are at school. Actually, that's not true. I HAVE started running jog/walking in the last few weeks. I feel very accomplished in that. I also do get some uninterrupted cleaning done. But I still need to finish painting the inside of the house! At the very least, I need to finish the living room so the walls aren't polka dotted with spackle. I just can't get myself motivated to do it when 2.5 hours goes by SO FAST! It feels like I will be getting all the painting supplies out, and barely get started painting before I have to put it all away again. There's no WAY I can leave it all out for the kids to get into. I'd love to be able to paint while they are home, but they insist on helping with everything! There's no way. I would lose my sanity, which already holds on by a thin thread sometimes.

One of these days I'll get the painting done, but for now, I'm going to just be proud of myself for pushing myself out the door and running again.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Toddler Interview, Round Two

Technically, I guess my kids aren't toddlers anymore. They are preschoolers. But Preschooler Interview just sounds so weird to me. Well anyway, I did this interview with the kids back in January, and thought it would be fun to do it again to see how the answers have changed.

What is your name?

How old are you?
Ayden: 3
Rylee: 3 (Holding up 3 fingers. Last time, it was an attempt at holding up 3 fingers. Now she can actually do it!)

When is your birthday?
Ayden: I don't know
Rylee: October 13
(Obviously we need to spend more time on this. Oops. December 23rd is the correct answer!)

How old is Mommy?
Ayden: (shakes head) I don't know. (giggles)
Rylee: (shakes head) I don't know.

What is your favorite color?
Ayden: orange (He has stayed very consistent with this answer. I believe he likes orange because that's his daddy's favorite color.)
Rylee: blue (This comes as a surprise. For the past few months it has been pink and purple.)

What is your favorite food?
Ayden: Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches
Rylee: Turkey sandwiches

Who is your best friend?
Ayden: Doggie. My doggie. (as he's holding up a toy doggie)
Rylee: Gigi! (her little Beanie Baby poodle)

What is your favorite song?
Ayden: Old McDonald
Rylee: Umm. A Christmas One. (asked again later, she answered Little Bunny Foo Foo, which is probably a much more accurate answer, as it's a song I am requested to sing to her multiple times every single night at bedtime)

What is your favorite animal? 
Ayden: Alligator and a doggie
Rylee: My friend, Gigi (pointing to her Beanie Baby)

What are you scared of?
Ayden: A bat. Bats flying. Bats fly every time. (they learned about bats a few weeks ago at school)
Rylee: I'm not scared of something.

What makes you happy?
Ayden: (I didn't get an answer. He was losing his attention span by this point and I forgot to go back and ask again later.)
Rylee: Umm, my dog and my new boots. (I had just given them knew rain boots earlier today)

Where is your favorite place to go?
Ayden: going to Playgroup
Rylee: to get a Christmas tree with Daddy

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Ayden: a race car astronaut. A race car driver. (pretends he's driving a steering wheel)
Rylee: umm, umm... A baby. I want to be married when I grow up. (quite the contradiction there kid 😂)

What does love mean?
Ayden: You!
Rylee: umm, your momma

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Right Now: November Edition

Reading: I am actually reading a grown up book for pleasure! Yay! My Aunt D gave me this book to read a few months ago with the deadline of this coming weekend to get it read, because she is coming for another visit and would like to take it home with her to let someone else borrow it. I'd never heard of this author before, but it's a good book and a fast read.

Watching: This is Us and The Voice. Although, I'm a full week behind on The Voice, so that may taper off. Who has time for watching tv when you've got a good book to read?

Listening: I'm venturing into the land of podcasts. It's something I haven't really gotten into before, but I've started running jog/walking again just this past week, and thought that maybe listening to podcasts will help pass the time while doing it. Any suggestions to good podcasts are welcome! A gal I used to work with has a podcast, Ali Reti: Activate a Life You Love. For now, I'm starting out with that.

Drinking: Water, always water. I did splurge and have a Diet Coke though, when I took the kids to Subway for lunch one day after school and at the movie theater yesterday.

Eating: I just ate a Zone bar, and I snacked on a little bit of Pirate Booty before that.

Wearing: My pajama bottoms and an old shirt of Tony's. Yes, it's 2:45 in the afternoon and I'm still in my pj's. I can't even say it's been a lazy day, because I've done two loads of laundry, swept and mopped the kitchen and dining room, changed Rylee's bed sheets, and put dinner in the crockpot. It's been a productive day in between snuggling and playing with the kids, but who wants to get dressed if you don't have to go anywhere?

baseball pajamas

Loving: That I'm actually reading a grown up book! It's only the second book for pleasure I've read in four years!

Anticipating: A 5k I signed up to run on December 2nd! I am so happy to be doing something for myself. I know myself though, and need to have something to work toward in order to keep it up, so I made it official by signing up for a race. Tony plans on bringing the kids (weather dependent) to cheer me on as I cross the finish line.

Hoping: That I can continue running jog/walking without getting shin splints or any other hinderance that will slow me down. My right shin does feel on the verge of getting a shin splint when I'm running jog/walking, so I need to remember to take it easy.

Following: I'm not really following anything at the moment. Or I can't think of anything anyway.

Wondering: In my last Right Now post, I was wondering when my period was going to start. This time around, I'm wondering if it will ever end! I am on day 19, day 24 if you count the days I spotted before full flow. I do feel like it's starting to slow down finally. Which is a good thing, because Tony's been afraid I'm dying. Kidding. Kind of...

Trying: To eat better, along with my newfound motivation to get out there and run. I'm not menu planning or being really strict. I've eaten a LOT of Halloween candy this last week, but I haven't bought any ice cream or any other junk food for me to binge eat.

Worrying: If Ayden is getting sick again. He spent last weekend with a raging bout of diarrhea and missed school on Monday. THANKFULLY, he was better by Tuesday and could enjoy all the Halloween fun! Phew! Now this weekend he has a crazy runny nose that will not stop dripping, even at night! I spent Friday night in bed with him, wiping his nose as needed. It was actually keeping him awake and the poor kid was miserable! Today he has a low grade fever. I'm hoping it doesn't turn into anything more than just a cold. I've also been wondering if this could be his 4 year molars?

Planning: I reallllly need to start getting on the ball, planning the kid's birthday party!

Contemplating: Life! So many things, like WHEN am I finally going to get around to painting the rest of our house? WHERE are we going to have the kids' birthday party. When will their party be? What am I going to make for dinner tomorrow? Next week? Buying a new bed. Ours is falling apart, and it's only 4 years old!!! But alas, it's breaking down. Tony has patched it up as best he can, but we WILL need a new bed soon.

Friday, November 3, 2017


Is there such a thing as too many hugs from your children? I know this sounds terrible, but I think there is!

Rylee has become a world class procrastinator. I'm not kidding. She is such a sloooooooooooooow eater. She takes FOREVER to get dressed, which she has actually mastered doing by herself, but holy moly does she make you want to scream trying to get her to actually do it. Even when you help her in the hopes that she will get dressed faster, she still flits and prances around so much that it's nearly impossible to put clothes on her.

And now recently she has started this hugging thing. Both her and Ayden are amazing snuggle bugs, which I really appreciate and love. But she has taken it to a whole new level.

"Rylee, go in and go potty and wash your hands." She needs a hug first.
"Rylee, sit down at the table. Let's eat." She needs a hug.
"Rylee, it's time to go." Hug.
"Put your shoes on." Hug.
"Rylee, it's time to pick up your toys." She needs a hug.

While brushing her teeth, she puts her arms around me and buries her face into my side, effectively smearing toothpaste all over and making it impossible to brush her teeth.

Doing dishes, hands soaking wet, and she needs a hug from you. Can't cook dinner without having to stop for hugs a million times. Can't get said dinner on plates and on the table without giving a hug.

You get what I'm saying? I absolutely love cuddles and hugs, but it's getting a little exasperating. She's using hugs to procrastinate and get out of doing things she doesn't want to do, and when it's not done in procrastination, it makes other things impossible for me to get done.

Cute, but Oh. My. Gosh.

Sweet, adorable, ornery, exasperating little person!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Best Halloween Ever

We had soooooooooooo much fun last night! Ayden and Rylee had been asking pretty much every day for the entire month of October, if it was Halloween yet. They wanted it to be Halloween so they could wear their costumes. Not so much for the rest of the festivities, like trick or treating, because they didn't really have a full understanding what that was all about. FINALLY, the day arrived!

I had found Rylee's bumblebee costume at the consignment sale. It was brand new with tags, so a great find. Thankfully, she loved it! I took Ayden shopping for some one-on-one time to find his costume. As soon as he saw the Dinotrux costume, it was game over. We walked around so he could see all the choices, and I pointed out a few others I thought he might like, but he insisted on getting the Dinotrux costume. He was beyond excited! I mean, really, what little boy doesn't like dinosaurs and trucks? Combine them, and it's pretty much Ayden's dream! haha!

The Halloween festivities started out with the kids getting to wear their costumes to preschool. I dropped them off, but then had to be back an hour later to volunteer and help with their Halloween party. All the kids were adorable and amped up to be wearing their costumes!

Ayden and Rylee with a few of the kids in their class.

Tony got off work early so he could be home to join us for the evening festivities. We had a quick pb&j dinner before heading to the carnival at one of the local elementary schools. The kids jumped up and down with excitement when we arrived and got out of the car, naming off every costume they saw. We made the rounds for them to play games and "win" lots of candy and treats. We were pleasantly surprised that they opted for the non candy items the most, such as stickers and fake bugs.

Fishing for a treat

After the carnival, we stopped by a trunk or treat. We walked one time through for the kids to trick trunk or treat, and then headed home. The kids were upset at first, thinking our Halloween fun was coming to an end, not understanding that we still planned on trick or treating around our neighborhood loop. This year was their first time actually going door to door to trick or treat.
They were so excited at the thought of going into the neighbor's houses. We had to explain to them that we wouldn't actually be going IN anyone's house! We had to remind them many times that it was important to stand back on the porch and not actually step up into people's houses. We also had to teach them about only going to houses with porch lights on.

Trick or treating was my favorite part of the whole night. Ayden and Rylee literally sprinted from one house to the next! And they were such social little bees, asking each neighbor a million questions.

"What's your name?"
"Why are you wearing that [costume]?"
"Do you have kids?"
If yes, "where are they?"
If no, "why?" face palm
"What's your dog's name?"
"Where's your t.v.?"
"Why are you here?"

We only trick or treated for about 20 minutes, and then headed home so the kids could give out candy to the other kids. Ayden actually said this was his favorite part of the whole day! I gave them each their own bucket, so both of them could give a piece of candy to all the kids. They started out sitting at the bottom of our stairs, which is right by our front door, so they could be ready for whenever someone knocked on the door. It didn't take long before we were out on the front porch waiting for people to come by. Every time a group would come by, Ayden and Rylee wound up at the sidewalk giving out their candy, instead of waiting for them to come up to the porch. They were definitely just as enthusiastic to give out the candy as they had been to receive it, which made my momma heart proud!

Tony and I both agreed that this was the best Halloween ever! We've never actually been big into Halloween. Not since we were kids anyway. In all the years we've been together (25, but who's counting), we've only dressed up once when we got invited to an adult only Halloween party. Everything is a million times better when you experience it through a child's eyes. I never knew the magnitude of that until Ayden and Rylee came along.

Here's a few more pictures taken from the week leading up to Halloween...

Meet Jack. He wasn't a Jack-O-Lantern yet, according to Ayden, because he wasn't lit up.

Rylee's pumpkin

My "scary monsters"

*Edited to add that this is the only Halloween that I can remember in recent history that we actually had FANTASTIC weather! It was a comfortable 57℉ and NO RAIN! It didn't even sprinkle. In fact, it was a clear night!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Preschool Pictures

I am soooooo beyond happy with Ayden and Rylee's first ever school pictures! Seriously, I am so in love...

Rylee with her scrunched up nose and Ayden with his goofy little smile. I can't stop looking at these pictures. They are just so dang CUTE!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

First School Field Trip

The kids had their first class field trip last week to the pumpkin patch! All but three of the kids in their school had at least one parent with them. I'm so glad I got to tag along, and can't help but be sad that I probably won't get to in the future, when I go back to work in a year or two. 

This was Ayden and Rylee's second trip to a pumpkin patch this year, as we went to a different one as a family the weekend before. They were just as excited this time around as they were when it was just the four of us.

Hay ride to the pumpkin field.

They both picked out a pumpkin fairly quick once we got to the pumpkin field, but quickly decided it was too heavy and downgraded. Ayden didn't like how "pokey" the stems were on the pumpkins, but eventually found one without a stem that he fell in love with. Rylee basically looked for the smallest pumpkin she could find, and ended up with a gourd! hahaha

The first pumpkin he picked out.

The first pumpkin she picked out.

She was so tickled to have found a gourd!

While out in the pumpkin field, it started raining pretty hard. Thankfully, it was a covered hayride and we didn't get too soaked on the ride back. After lunch, we actually had blue sky and we were able to have a little more fun!

My lil' apples.

They loved their pumpkins so much, that they had to sleep with them that first night!

She fell asleep with her gourd tucked inside her shirt! 😂

Monday, October 23, 2017

Microblog Monday: A Night Away

I got to escape for a night away with a group of infertility sisters on Saturday. This is an amazing and strong group of ladies, that I am so blessed to have gotten to know. I've actually met (in person) most of them only one other time, a year ago. Two of the gals I met for the very first time this weekend. However, I've been a part of their Oregon based Facebook group for several years now. The majority of the group all met years ago through RESOLVE, long before I was ever introduced to them.

One of the gals has a family vacation house on the coast, that she grew up going to as a child. She invited us all for a moms night away, and it was wonderful! It's always nice to connect with other moms, without kids in tow every once in awhile! I don't get that opportunity very often, or hardly ever!

It's really quite an intimidating group of ladies. There are two doctors, two lawyers (and I'm talking big time lawyers. One of them is a defense attorney and worked a murder trial for Pete's sake!), a veterinarian, and a retired police officer (she stepped away when she had her twins). One gal is a fire investigator that is currently being offered a fire chief position. There's also a dietician and a few teachers. As I said, it's quite the line up of intimidating, strong ladies! But they are all so kind, with big hearts, and real life problems, just like the everyone else.

The weekend was just what I needed, to be able to take a deep breath and tackle motherhood and grab life by the horns.

Taking a nice walk on the beach. Our group had the entire beach to ourselves!

We had a nice break in the rain, but it was very windy!

Can you see the heart in the middle?

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, or maybe even participate yourself, please click here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me

Weeelllllllll, turns out I was wrong. Last night I posted that I had been 21 days late. I had trouble establishing what I thought was "full flow" because it was so light. I had a few days of spotting, and then it was a little heavier, but still very light. With my period being so late, I just attributed it to being really weird and wonky. I've been known to have super light periods over the years, but didn't think too much about it.

This morning there has been no question about having reached full flow! Happy birthday to me! If I go by this and consider full flow day one of my cycle, it's officially 25 days late and not 21. So crazy that I basically just skipped a full cycle.

Anywayyyyy, is it weird that I'm writing about all this? Probably. But there has to be other people that go through these things too, right? RIGHT? I question whether this is even worthy of writing about, but then I think about how so many of us did nothing BUT blog about our cycles for so many years while we trying to have our babies and going through infertility treatments. Now it's just onto a new stage...

In other news, today is my birthday!!! I am now 43 years old. It's really hard to fathom that being reality. But here I am, entering this next phase of life.

I haven't had a lot of things to feel good about myself recently. I'm 60 lbs overweight. I have very few clothes that fit, and those that do are tight. I am starting to get wrinkles around my eyes, and also have bags under my eyes. I have lots of sun spots, and have been dealing with acne. I never had acne when I was younger, but boy do I get it now! I struggle with being tolerant and patient with my kiddos and question if I am a good mommy daily.

But! I got a haircut on Monday and I love it! It feels so nice to have something to finally feel good about myself for. I've gone back and forth over the years of growing my hair out and then chopping it off, repeat, repeat, repeat. I think I'm done growing it out though. I'm tired of having long hair that I only EVER put in a messy bun because I can't stand it around my face and sitting on my neck. I think my new do is here to stay!

My new haircut 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

21 Days

In August, I wrote about how my period was 10 days late and how I played mind games with myself over that. Well, guess what? This last cycle I was 21 days late!! 21! This time around, however, I did not even entertain the idea that I could possibly be pregnant. Nope. I'm just coming to the realization that I'm getting old. I mean, tomorrow IS my birthday after all.

So apparently, this blog has gone through being about infertility, and then the early days of parenthood, and now is turning into a blog about menopause. Just kidding. Kind of. I'll try not to bore you with that. Although, I suppose in a way it's all relative, since my lack of egg production and infertility directly correlates with me being perimenopausal.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Day in the Life: Fall 2017

I missed doing the summer link up for a DITL post because we were in the middle of buying our house and moving. I'm so excited to get back on board and get it done this time around. I enjoy going back and reading my past DITL posts and comparing how much life has changed through the past couple years.

If you'd like to be involved in this DITL link up, please visit Liz on her blog at Ellie and Addie.

Welcome to our Day in the Life, from October 11th, 2017...

Tony: 44 years old
Me: 42 years old (till next week!)
Rylee: 3.5 years old
Ayden: 3.5 years old

2:00am - Ayden wakes up crying for the second time tonight because he peed the bed. The first time was at 10:15, right before Tony was about to go in and take him potty. I get him cleaned up and in new pajamas, then strip his bed and throw on a blanket on top of the mattress protector. Grab a fresh blanket to cover him up with.

2:09 - I crawl back into bed and wonder if I'm going to actually be able to go back to sleep with Tony snoring away right next to me. Thankfully I do fall asleep rather quickly.

6:10 - Tony's alarm goes off and he presses snooze. He proceeds to press snooze two more times.

6:56 - I nudge Tony and tell him he'd better get up.

7:00 - He rolls out of bed and I scroll Facebook for a few minutes.

7:05 - I get up and get myself dressed and ready for the day.

7:15 - I hear Rylee call out to Ayden. It's time to wake them up anyway. I go into each of their rooms and open the blinds to let light in. I'm surprised to see Rylee still in her bed, as I had thought she was hollering to Ayden from their connected bathroom. While they are getting themselves out of bed, I go to the laundry room to put Ayden's wet blankets into the washer. Then I go into my own bathroom to take care of business. Ayden comes in saying he has to go potty and proceeds to throw his first fit of the day when I tell him to go into his own bathroom. Why can't a mom just poop in peace??? I finish up and Ayden happily pees in our bathroom toilet. eye roll

Then I get him dressed for the day in his beloved "fuzzy pants" and new-to-him Spiderman shirt that I had found at the consignment sale a few weeks ago. While I'm getting him dressed, I tell Rylee to go in and go potty. On her way into the bathroom she tells me "I didn't pee in my panties," which is code for the fact that she DID pee in there panties. This is the third morning in a row she has woken up and chosen to pee in her pants instead of going into the bathroom. I put her (toy) horses up in the closet for time out and she said, "for 5 days." I guess she knows the drill by now. lol. This is only the third time we've ever put a toy in time out. Both times so far have worked to get her back on track peeing in the toilet, but then she ends up regressing again a month or two down the road... Eventually it will just stick, right? 

Tony comes upstairs at this exact moment to say goodbye to the kids and I tell him not to walk on Ayden's bedroom carpet with his shoes on (one of only two rooms in our house that has carpet). WHY does he not care about preserving the carpet? He gets mad and stomps off. Ayden gets upset because Daddy is now leaving without saying goodbye and runs out of his room to go get his kisses and hugs. Rylee runs bare butt out to get her hugs and kisses, too.

I know. Not our finest moments, but this is real life, right?

Tony leaves and I give Rylee a wipe down and finish getting them both dressed. Rylee requests "ponytail braids" and I oblige.

7:45 - We go downstairs for breakfast. I ask them if they want Kix or Corn Pops and they say they want both, so both it is! Rylee doesn't want milk in her cereal, but Ayden does. They sit down to eat and I get them some juice (1/4 prune juice, 3/4 water). Rylee gets a 1/4 dose Miralax in hers. Once they finish their cereal, I give them each a probiotic.

Rylee was mad she "wasn't ready" for the first picture, so she wanted me to take another. This is the smile she gave me. haha! She's such a stinker.

I've really been trying to work on making healthy habits. My focus this week is on drinking more water, with a goal of 100 oz. So far I've been doing pretty good.

The goal is to drink 3 of these every day.

8:00 - Everyone goes potty, then we put on our shoes and raincoats, and we are out the door.

8:15 - We're all loaded in the car and I pull out of the driveway.

8:19 - Pull into the preschool parking lot and get them inside. I help them put their backpacks and coats in their cubbies and remind them they need to go wash their hands (a school rule to help prevent passing sickness). I talk to the head teacher a few minutes.

8:27 - Back home. Eat a few slices of ham. Run upstairs to put Ayden's blankets in the dryer, only to discover that the clothes in the dryer from the night before are still wet. I turn the dryer on and go back downstairs to look at the pics I'd taken already today. I update my notes for this blog post.

9:00 - I get on Facebook for a bit.

9:12 - I swap the laundry out of the washer and dryer and put another load in. Then I fold and put away the clean clothes. After that, I sweep and mop both upstairs bathrooms. I feel a little motivated and even wipe down the baseboard moldings.

9:45 - Eat a Zone bar and scroll Facebook.

10:00 - I get dinner going in the crockpot. It's cream cheese chicken taquitos for dinner tonight. I have to search a few boxes in the garage for the hand mixer that still hadn't been unpacked from our move yet. Thankfully I had a general idea of where it was.

10:25 - Finished loading the dishwasher and got it started.

10:30 - Cleaned the downstairs half bathroom.

10:45 - Switched the laundry around and put in another load.

11:00 - Left to go pick up the kids from school.

11:16 - Back home with the kids.

He apparently colored on himself at school today :)

We are in the house for literally less than a minute and Rylee says, "I didn't pee in my pants" and crawled on the couch. OMG this girl! I hustle her into the bathroom and she had dribbled just a tiny bit, not even worthy of changing her undies. However, had I let her continue to sit on the couch, she most likely would have had a bigger "accident." shaking my head

We had a little talk about how potty needs to go in the toilet.

11:25 - A friend told me about a show on Netflix called Room on the Broom, which there's apparently also a book. The kids are really into Halloween this year, so I thought it could be a good one for them to watch. I turned it on for them while I made lunch. They were engrossed. Rylee especially loved the show.

11:50 - Turn the tv off, wash hands, and sit down for lunch: ham and cheese sandwiches with green beans and grapes on the side.

12:20 - Ayden finishes his lunch and brings his plate to the sink. I wash him up and he goes upstairs to play.

12:23 - Despite saying he was going upstairs to play, turns out he was just going to get some cars to bring downstairs. He asks me to play with him, so we play for a bit, until he tells me his toenails are long. They aren't too long, but he did have a snag on one, so I trim them up for him.

Flying his airplanes while I played with the cars.

She'll finish her lunch eventually....

12:40 - Rylee finally finishes her lunch. She's the slowest eater ever! Since I have the clippers out anyway, I give Rylee's fingernails a little trim. While I'm doing that, Ayden runs upstairs to find Rylee's pink matchbox car for her. They are playing so nicely together and actually sharing, so I give them a few minutes before herding them upstairs for nap/rest time.

12:58 - Upstairs, I swap the laundry out, throwing the clean load on my bed. They pick up all the cars dumped out in Ayden's room. Then we get their teeth brushed and I tuck them into bed for naps. Whether they sleep or not is debatable, but we do "quiet" time regardless. I go into my room and fold the laundry on my bed.

1:20 - Back downstairs, I finish my first 34 oz of water for the day and refill my water bottle. I then settle onto the couch to snack on Pirate Booty, catch up on Facebook, and start this blog post.

1:30 - I have to run upstairs to ask Ayden to stop kicking his wall. Sigh. I'm pretty sure Rylee has gone to sleep. I head back downstairs.

1:45 - I hear a door open up into their shared bathroom. I hope it's Ayden just going potty and he'll go back to bed. Pretty soon I hear them both playing. I hear them shut/slam their doors and run back to their their beds as I head up the stairs once again. Our stairs are creaky and they can hear me coming. Turns out that Rylee HAD been asleep, but Ayden found one of her stuffed animals in his room and just HAD to return it. They make me laugh and pull my hair out all at the same time! lol. I get them both tucked back into their beds.

2:30 - Starts pouring down rain, then hailing, and then comes the thunder and lightening. We are a part of a Nature Mamas/Kids group, and we are all scheduled to go on a nature walk this afternoon. I check in with the other moms to see what the plan is since it's storming outside. Nobody wants to cancel, so we decide to check back in at 3:00, hoping that it will pass. I'm also half expecting one of the kids to come out of their rooms to ask what the noise is outside, but neither one of them do.

2:55 - I hear a toilet flush upstairs. It's time to go get them up.

3:00 - The weather has calmed down considerably, so our nature walk is still on as scheduled. I help get Rylee changed into play clothes and pack some spare clothes and their rain suits. I give them both a kids Clif bar for a snack.

3:20 - Leave for our nature walk at Perkins Peninsula.

3:28 - We are the last ones to arrive in our group. I quickly get the kids into their rain suits and then we are off to play and explore.

Fall leaves

It's a reservoir, and the water level has drastically gone down for the winter during the last month, leaving the "beach" nice and muddy.

He fell in the mud so his hands were a little lot dirty.

My blue eyed babies!

5:00 - I've got us all loaded back in the car and we are on our way home. Once we arrive home, I get everything unloaded from the car, change out of my muddy jeans, and turn on another new Netflix show (Ghost Patrol) for them to watch while I worked on dinner. They snack on raisons and crackers.

6:10 - I finish my second water bottle for the day and am now at 68 oz.

6:15 - Take dinner out of the oven.

6:25 - Sit down to dinner.

6:30 - Tony is home and joins us for dinner.

6:40 - Ayden finishes his dinner

6:50 - Rylee finishes her dinner. I give them both a multi vitamin.

6:53 - We head upstairs for a bath. While they play in the tub a bit, I get Ayden's bed made with fresh sheets and mattress protectors. Tony usually does bath time, but he is battling a gout flare up and can't kneel at the tub to wash the kids.

7:05 - Get them washed up and out of the tub. Both of them put their pajamas on all by themselves. Rylee is Miss Independent and mastered doing this quite awhile ago. Ayden doesn't take as much interest in doing things himself yet; tonight is the first night he has been able to get his pj top on all by himself! Once they are dressed, we get their teeth brushed.

Brushing his teeth

7:24 - It's Ayden's turn to pick a book tonight for story time. He chooses See Inside Your Body, a great little book that they have learned so much from! They know the difference between bones and muscles, can point out where the heart, lungs, kidneys, and bladder, and they know the difference between the wind pipe and food pipe! Their favorite part of the book is the path that food takes from your mouth, to your stomach, and then coming out as waste. I mean, who doesn't love a good poop story!

7:45 - They go potty one last time before bed and we say our goodnight prayers. They give each other hugs and kisses. Tony says his goodnights to Rylee in her room, while I say my goodnights to Ayden. Then we switch. Ayden requires a big hug and then upside down tickles from me. Then he ushers me out of his room and waits for Daddy at his bedroom door. With Rylee, I lay down in her bed with her. There's a few tickles and we sing a few songs. Tonight she only wants me to sing her one song and then wants to sing made up songs all by herself. When I try to give her one last kiss, she decides she has to go potty one more time. Once we're done in the bathroom, I give her one more hug and kiss and get her tucked back into bed.

8:04 - I leave her room and lay on my bed, going through all my pictures from the day while I wait for them to go to sleep. Ayden is quiet and most likely is already asleep or close to it.

8:14 - I hear Rylee get out of bed. She's playing in her room and talking to herself.

8:27 - Rylee is quiet again. I think she is asleep.

8:37 - Tony comes upstairs and lays down on the bed bedside me, elevating his foot for the gout. He forgot the ice pack for it downstairs.

8:50 - I run downstairs and grab the ice pack for him. I take it upstairs to him and then return downstairs to put the leftover dinner away. Then I get to work on this blog post.

10:10 - I take Ayden potty. He barely wakes up. Once he's back in bed, I head downstairs to snack on some sweet potato chips and catch up on social media.

11:12 - I finish my third water bottle of the day to complete my 100 oz. Then I head to bed. Before going to sleep, I sync my Fitbit to my phone. It was a pretty active day!