Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Picking my battles - a hump day post...

Happy hump day! The hubs left today for a few days of travel, so the rest of the week will be a bit touch and go for me and E. We don't function well when we aren't all together as a family. Wish me luck (prayers accepted).

I've talked a lot about my challenges with E and her attire. Eventually, we took the "fancy" dresses out of her dresser and put them in the closet. Now, when we send her to her dresser to pick out her clothes they are out of sight and mostly out of mind. So far, so good.

Yesterday E wore this adorable outfit. My cousin sent her the skirt for her birthday and she was really feeling the color pink. In fact, I joked that the day was brought to you by the color pink....

Today, same skirt. But a WHOLE different look. I wasn't interested in fighting with her this morning. The skirt was not really dirty and siting in a pile of clothes to be put away. If it wasn't "dirty" and in the dirty laundry basket, then why couldn't she wear it again. This was an argument I was interested in fighting, we'd already had one of those (more on that below). So, in the end, I gave up the process entirely and this is what she came up with. She loved it. I think it both looks ridicules and looks like a 4 year old choose her entire outfit herself.

In other E news...

Last night when we were heading up to bed, she said she couldn't walk because her back hurt. Really kid? You're 4. It's hurts from too much apple juice and Doc McStuffins? Give me a break...

E and I argued this morning about the following:
1. The number of suns there are - or as we call them, Mr. Suns
2. How many arms and legs Mr. Sun has
3. If Mr. Sun has friends

I wish I could make this stuff up. I also tried to put face wash on my loofa in the shower. Awesome.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Confessions of a Mommy

I feel like I should have a bottle of wine sitting next to me with a straw coming straight into my mouth while I type. But, I'm sitting with a sanpellegrino. Not fancy, but delicious none the less.

Can I just start by asking what it is that happens when daddy walks out the door in the morning and E and I loose our ability to function? I think our emotions and hormones go crazy and we stop being able to communicate with our indoor voices. It's nuts.

Today, however, went to a new level. Today, my 4 year old and I had a screaming match. For the first time, she yelled back. E has developed a very particular sense of style. It includes no jeans, no bows, no jersey dresses, no footless tights, no legging under dresses, no sequins, no sneakers, and no ponytails. Basically, she wants to wear the equivalent of an Easter dress with tights, sparkly mary janes, with a headband to school. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. She paints at school. Falls or is pushed to the ground most days. Fancy dresses belong in church, not a preschool every day. We fight every morning about this. Some days are worse than others. Today was the worst. She doesn't feel beautiful in anything else.

I think more than anything, she is looking to control what she can since she has experienced a lot of chaos and change at school. New teachers, a lot of new kids, new class and her bestie leaving the school. She thrives off of a schedule and knowing what to expect. So, her response, I hope, is to control what she can (or thinks she can) - her wardrobe.

Moms - help! How can I expand her wardrobe choices. She said she might consider shorts in summer. maybe. ughfhdklasfdsajklghdsl;afjksdkla;. That's pretty much how I feel on the subject. I locked myself in my room and called my husband who was traveling with his boss today to talk me off the ledge. It was nuts. Stupid really.

In other mommy confessions....

I often in snacks after E is in bed, or in a closet because I don't want to share.

I hate giving baths. I'd rather her shower with me (or not at all) than give her a bath. I hate it.

When the hubs is traveling I go home 30 minutes to watch reality TV by myself before swooping into E's school at the last minute to pick her up. I need that time for my sanity.

I have conditioned E to sleep with me when her daddy is traveling because I hate to sleep alone. Now she thinks it's some type of special treat... it is. For me.

For a long time I said I didn't want another baby because I really didn't think I could handle it emotionally. I'm in a much better place now.

I struggle with patience every day. I pray for patience with E every day.

My greatest struggle as a mother is balancing her happiness with how much it will affect my own.

The evening that E had her febrile seizure was the single scariest moment of my life. Even just thinking about it, to this day, makes me cry because I remember how scared I was. Now, it's no uncommon for me to check on her breathing in the night. Or wake her up. Just to be sure...

Dang. I had know how idea how emotionally screwed up motherhood would make me. It makes me nut, but also the most emotionally fulfilled I could ever imagine. These are just some of my confessions. They aren't pretty, but I own it. What about you?

I just wish every moment could be as sweet as watching these two cuddle on a tiny loveseat. Holy cow, I love them.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An update on my kid and her school bully, but mostly a thank you!

I'd like to start by saying THANK YOU! I wrote a post on Monday about how I was at a bit of a loss because I thought E might be getting bullied at school and I wasn't sure what I should do about it. Was I overreacting? Could kids get kicked out of preschool? Who should I talk to?

The outpouring of support via comments, email, texts was amazing! Thank you! You all gave me the support and confidence to talk to the Assistant Director of E's preschool. I felt like I had all of you with me, supporting me when we had the tough conversation this morning. It should be said that I couldn't connect with her on Monday, so I sent her an email to initiate the conversation. We didn't connect yesterday either, but another teacher mentioned that she had talked to them. But, finally, this morning when dropping off E she shared with me the conversations with all the teachers that E interacts with and the plan they've come up with. I won't get into the details, but I'm pleased with how they've handled it.

You place an enormous responsibility in the people that care for your child. You hope they love them enough and help them feel safe. I've had concerns and issues with E's school in the past, but they really stepped up to the plate here. They prioritized her. They valued her emotional and physical safety. They came up with a plan that, at least for now, will keep her happy and healthy. And that, is so valuable to me. No one is getting kicked out. Parents are being kept in the loop. Communication is happening and hopefully behavior will change. That's the best we can ask for when working with 3 & 4 year olds, right?! So for now. We'll see. We'll keep an eye out. We'll keep talking about it. We'll keep loving our kiddos!

E has had a lot of change at her school since we got back from the holidays. She cries more, naps less, and in general is having a "tough time," as she calls it. But, in the next two weeks her life will be returning a lot more to normal. Her besties and her will be reunited, and I think she'll start to feel a lot more comfortable and safe in her environment.

Again, seriously, thank you! I HATE confrontation. I'm not good at it. Even when I know it needs to be done and I know it's for the good of my family, I still really struggle with it. But, I so appreciate your support and help.

That's all I've got for you today... but tomorrow, I've got some confessions, including the details of a yelling match I had with my 4 year old this morning. I'm not proud of it. But it happened. And this time, she totally yelled back.... oh boy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Finally, some color!

Since the move to CO, I've committed to bringing more color into our home. We've always had all brown furniture with mostly neutral "accents." Think a lot of beige and sage green. BLEH!

Chevron Curtains
Floral/Home pillow
Navy pillow & Grey Chevron

Land that I love
California Love
Tennessee Print
YOU ARE subway: gift from hubs

To say that I'm in love with the way it's turning out is truly an understatement. I've spent more time than is appropriate to admit on pinterest and etsy finding items to buy and inspiration to arrange. I'm not entirely convinced that it's done and may always add something from HomeGoods or TJ Maxx. Those two places are seriously my go to for fun, inexpensive items.

More than anything I want our home to be a place for friends and family to be together. I want color and comfort... function and fashion. It's a balance. Our home is becoming a reflection of our family. We're warm and inviting, but fun too.

And, I'm really just dying over my curtains and how it pulls it all together. I'm in love!

Where do you go for reasonably priced home goods? Any suggestions on additions to what I've got going on?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mom Moment Monday - I need mommy advice!

I'm mostly just thinking ugh, it's Monday today. The weekend is NEVER long enough. There is always too many errands, too much laundry and not enough naps or cuddles. I finally tackled the laundry monster on Sunday evening. Seriously, it had taken over the bedroom. I had like 3 laundry baskets full of clothes to hang up...and a closet that was mostly still full. It's embarrassing  I love clothes. And now, I can totally justify it by calling some "seasonal" clothes. A luxury I didn't have at home in CA. muwaahahha!

But, while this weekend was jam packed, I did manage to capture one particular gen of a conversation with E. We were having lunch, or dinner or something  The point is that we were eating meat. We love meat. It's delicious. My kid agrees... This is what she told us.

"There is turkey inside beavers and its yummy.
I can actually eat cows and fish because its yummy and they have bones in them" 

None of this makes sense, and yet it is genius.

On a side note, I'm seeking some Mommy advice. For the past few weeks E has been complaining about two boys in particular being mean to her. She is a kid that LOVES school. She has cried on the weekends because school is closed and she can't go. Last night she told me she didn't want to go to school any more because these two boys are mean to her. Now, I'm no helicopter parent. I hate that. Kids needs to work out their issues and learn to deal with one another. But, I mentioned it to one teacher a few weeks ago because she one one of these boys pushed her down and spit on her. That wasn't the first time something like that happened. Basically  the kids a jerk. I got the "we know he's a bit aggressive  but ya know, his mom's pregnant...." speech. While I think that's a bunch of crap, I tried to be patient and let the teachers do what they do with the situation. But, I think I've about had enough. She says these boys push her down all the time and she was in tears because she didn't want to go to school to have it happen again. Moms: what should I do? This seems to be a problem and a pattern. The teacher's can't be there every moment of the day to supervise, but I expect E to be in a safe environment physically and emotionally and I just don't think that is happening right now. Do I let it work it's self out? I feel like I've been patient for several weeks with no change. Or, should I mention it again and ask for something specific to change or be done? Can kids get kicked out of preschool/day care? 


We're still in epic clean up mode from E's party a week ago. This is one of my favorites.... She looks like such a young lady... dying!
Tomorrow I've got pictures of our (mostly) finished living room/formal dining room decor! EEEK!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday, Bottles of Wine and a sneak peek!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Happy Friday friends! Is it just me or can Friday NEVER come soon enough! Linking up again for Friday coffee dates with Alissa over at Rags to Stitches....I feel like I can just act like Alissa and I are besties now.. Because if we were to have coffee this week I would share that I got to google "hang out" with Alissa and another one of my favorite bloggers, Erin at Living in Yellow and a few other ladies with blogs I now adore!

For... Longer than I'd prefer to admit, I've been a blogger stalkerazzi (yes, I've coined that) of these two. They are honest, funny, and fun. They have fab pics and make readers feel like friends and not "stalkers"..... They post about their real life , something I think we can all relate too.

Well, this week I spent an hour and a half soaking I. Their wisdom when it comes to figuring out this "blogging thing.."

If we were to have coffee this week I'd share that the purpose and direction of this blog is a constant struggle for me. When I started this whole shindig, I entered the blogging community as a way for me to keep friends and family aware of our life... And love story.. But has turned into a really important community for me. It is a source of advice on writing to express myself, marriage, faith, motherhood... And mostly just life.

Life is hard, right!? Am I setting my kiddo up for success? Am I giving g back enough? Am I working on my marriage enough? Am I developing my faith enough? Is it ever enough? In a pinterest inspired world with ever growing pressures on women, I find that the blogger community is an amazing place of support. We build each other up, advocate for one another's causes, share in sorrows and celebrate successes!

If we were to have coffee this week, I'd also tell you that during this little google chat, I finished my very own bottle of wine. By myself.... It was not my finest moment if life or motherhood, but I own up to it. It was some yummy wine and fun conversation. I highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity with Erin from Living in Yellow. Each month she has a guest join her and you get to ask great questions and apparently drink in excess by yourself..=)

Finally, if we were having coffee today, I'd tell you that our formal living room/dining room is DECORATED! I'll be sharing the pictures on Monday. But, I have to share a sneak peek because it is just too colorful and fabulous to keep to myself!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

E's birthday in pictures

Months ago E came home and asked for a "flower party." I'm still not really sure what that meant, but I did my best to capture it. However, because I WAY overinvited, I didn't even have enough time at the party to capture the "flower decor" of the party. I can tell you we painted pots, played pin the pot on the plant, had flower decorations, and had lots of other cute pink and blue decor... and picnic food.

We had a total of 20 kids and 20 adults in our home. It was CHAOS. But, also kind of wonderful to have so many people that love our girl in one house. She was over the moon. 

My mom, grandma, and niece flew in. We spent Friday at the American Girl store. E picked our Caroline weeks ago and basically tore through the store until she was able to carry her in her arms. She also ended up with Caroline's cat, nightgown and a matching nightgown for herself. I was also able to get my AG dolls restrung. They seriously sent them to the "doll hospital" in a hospital gown. It was insane. And, because I thought you'd never believe me, I took a picture...

Please don't judge me by the tragic state of their hair. They've been sitting on my grandma's doll couch for at least 10 years....

The birthday celebrations were wonderful. My girl smiled for days. She gave hugs and kisses and was thankful to those in her life that came to celebrate her. It's incredible to see the tiny person she is becoming. She truly is smart, kind and beautiful. She loves to love others. She is growing up to be someone that I'm proud of and that I am honored to mother...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Looking back...

In celebration of my girl turning 4, I thought I'd use "wordless wednesday" as an opportunity to take a look back....
2013, fourth birthday

2012, third birthday

2011. second birthday
2010, first birthday

2009, birth day

 Call me crazy, but I think she looks so much like the day she was born. Her lips and eye look the same to me. love love love this perfect girl!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

For the love of a giraffe

It's no secret among my friends and family the I love me a giraffe. I'm not really sure when it started, but I seriously can't get enough of them. My pinterest boards are littered with photos, prints, stuffed toys and jewelry of these majestic creatures.

I think I feel a kindred spirit to them because they are so tall, occasionally clumsy, but mostly just graceful and amazing. Not entirely unlike myself... =)

So, imagine my delight this morning when I discovered this article. Holy crap balls friends! Breakfast with a giraffe? Giraffe manor is pretty much my dream come true! While I'm not sure I want to kiss a giraffe like the lady in the last photo, but I for sure want one to join me for my morning coffee or afternoon walk!

You can learn more about this little gift from heaven on their website. We're looking at a possible 2015 cruise with friends, or given the recent bad luck of cruises and all inclusive resort. I wonder how my friends would feel about trading in the beach or Africa and breakfast with Giraffe?

Husband, take note! This must be added to our vacation dream list. I'm not even joking.

I mean... COME ON, just look at this face!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mom moment Monday

So, I have a few new readers 'round these parts, joining is from Life of Bon! Welcome new friends!

On (most) Mondays, I have a little thing called Mom Moment Monday. While many days are filled with mom stuff, Monday is dedicated specifically for the humorous sharings of my adorable kiddo - E.

This weekend was filled with mommy moments. E celebrated her 4th birthday! My baby is 4! She is so excited to be 4 and on Friday was just so excited to really, finally be 4 the next day. It was all she could talk about.

My mom, grandma and niece flew into town LATE Thursday night. So the real celebrations began Friday morning with Mickey pancakes....

Followed by a trip to the American Girl store. I got my first AG when I was about E's age - Samantha. Followed a few years later by Felicity. These ladies were beginning to show their age and are now on their way to the AG hospital to be restrung, cleaned and hair detangled. They shall return as good as new in 4-6 weeks and $85 later.
Weeks ago we got the AG catalog and E fell in love with Caroline - an 1812 historical doll. So, naturally they needed to have matching nightgowns because they are best friends!
Next door to the AG store, a local restaurant advertising as "doll friendly." Obviously this was the only place to consider for lunch.... E and her cousin loved it! Fortunately, the food was good too!

We ended our weekend with several inches of snow. My CA niece was so excited, she had to eat more than she played with.....

This is just a snipit of E's party and bday weekend. Once I come out of my cupcake and food coma from the weekend, I promise to share the flower party in all it's glory. In the teamtime, I have to share this "conversation" E and I had over the weekend...

I heard E crying in another room.
Me: E, what's wrong?
E: I don't know yet!!!!! (more crying)
Awesome. Can't wait for the hormonal teenage years...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday's T&B

So, I don't have a whole blog worth of anything to say on any given topic. But, I do have a little bit to say on a handful of things... so, I'm creating a Tuesday Tid-bits.


I got up way too early over the weekend and was watching a Luke Bryan Spring Break Special about the special spring break EP he puts out each March and I learned two things. (It was early and he is so beautiful it made being up that early a bit easier.)......

1. I love LB even more because of his sorority girls song that mentions DDD. Love.
2. I'm a little heartbroken because I learned that our love may never be. You see, he's married. Yes, I know I'm married too, but I always knew that should Luke Bryan descend on our home and proclaim his love for me, Jason would graciously understand and not get in the way. But now, I've got this TOTALLY ADORABLE Mrs. Luke Bryan to deal with. ugh. (please note that I am totally not crazy and am very happily married, but, heck, a girl can dream, right?). Oh, and as a final betrayal, he has an also really adorable son. ajrkle;ajfkldjagkl;sdhgjk;ashdkl;ajfkls;ajfklsdhgjlashdl. That's how I feel about that.....

Yes please!
In just 4 days, E will be FOUR! I am in full party planning mode and really excited about how the "flower party" is turning out. I was given no instruction from my very particular client (she stands about 43 inches tall and loves Fancy Nancy). But, despite my party planning free styling, I'm really excited for party day! In a related note, we got her birthday pictures taken yesterday and I'm dying over how cute they are. Here's a sneak peak, be jealous of my adorable tiny human:

And, finally, wanted to share something that I'm DYING over and desperately need in my home for both CA and TN.

You can purchase this for me in teal here.

 Who knows, maybe I'll keep up Tuesday Tid & Bits as often as Monday Mom Moment.... What do you think? And, please tell me you're as heart broken over LB's marriage as I am (ps they were married in like 2006, how did I miss this?!)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mom Moment Monday

Every Friday is "show and tell" and E's school. She literally asks all week if it is "show and tell' and then spends endless amounts of time choosing the right toy to take. We're working on days of the week and what we do each day. Right now, Monday-Friday is school. Saturday = dance and Sunday = church. Once she starts up swim again, that will just complicate things.

But, I digress.

So, all week, she wanted to take these two pink bears (one normal sized, one tiny) that we named Mitzy and Bitzy. Then, this morning she dug out this bear from the bottom of her closet and changed her mind.

When she drug him in our room declaring she was taking this bear instead my heart skipped a beat. No! is what I wanted to scream and demand that he was a home toy that we are very, very careful with. See, this bear is...was mine. I've had him pretty much my whole life. He came from my great-grandma that passed away when I was about 2. She didn't like anybody, but she loved me. And because of it, I always loved this bear. I once left him in a hotel room while traveling for a dance competition. I was in high school mind you and was in tears when I discovered he was missing. Thankfully the cleaning lady at our hotel found him and they gladly shipped him home. I've not made the mistake of letting him leave the house again.

His name is bear. He has a battle wound that my dog, Snickers, gave him in high school. Yes, I slept with a teddy bear in high school. I also slept with a monkey that the hubs gave me until we got married. Now, occasionally I'll sleep with my kiddos tiger. Hello, my name is Crystal and I LOVE sleeping with stuffed animals. And no, I'm no ashamed.

While I was explaining to E that if she HAD TO take him, she had to be really careful and not share him with her friends. Yes, I went there. She declared that she wanted to name HER. Now hold the train! Bear is a boy, not a girl, and bear already has a name. We went round and round about this. Again, yes, I argued with my (almost) 4 year old about the gender and name of a bear. Yes.

At some point she said to me, "Mommy, the bear used to be yours when you were a BABY, but you gave it to me and I want it to be a girl and name it." Alright my tiny lawyer.... she has the negotiation skills of a corporate lawyer.

In the end, she gave up the fight because I stopped engaging in it. I was getting upset and knew that it was kind of a ridicules fight to begin with. E took Bear to school and was over the moon to take mommy's bear to show her friends. She promised that he wouldn't get ripped, because then we'd have to throw him away. (that would never happen. I'd stitch him back up, obviously)

Yup, this little negotiating, bear stealing freak is so proud of herself!      

Friday, March 1, 2013

Coffee Date

It's been a while since I linked up with Rags to Stitches for a Friday coffee date. Our family has been so busy regular blogging in general has gone to the bottom of the "to do" list most days. Which is a shame since it is something I really do enjoy....

If we were to have coffee today, I'd tell you I'm exhausted. Jason traveled for 3 days this week leaving E and I to hold down the fort. Single parenting, even for a few days, is exhausting. Throw in our 3 pets and 1 foster dog and it's even harder.

If we were to have coffee today, I'd tell you that I didn't get a full nights sleep all week because of our dog, Ginger. She is having some serious tummy issues. She needs to go out to poo at least once, usually twice a night right now. I try crating her and she just parks until I take her out. And, Manny cat has decided that he wants to purr like a motor boat and try to sleep on my face. Our pets lose their minds when Jason travels. Instead of a blissful situation of our bed all to myself, I end up with E, two 75 pound dogs and a bed hog of a cat in the bed. It's awful for me, amazing for my little herd.

If we were to have coffee today, I'd tell you that another side effect of Jason traveling is that I basically forget how to cook. The only dishes in my sink right now are coffee cups and a knife from making myself a PB&J for lunch today. I've had just one fresh veggie in days. I feel like a college student well on her way to gaining the freshman 15. Let me assure you that my tummy and waist line are PISSED. But, Jason returns tonight. I've decided he packs my domestic skills and my self respect in his suitcase when he leaves.

On a more positive note, if we were to have coffee today, I'd tell you that E has been the most amazing little girl while Daddy was gone. She is always initially excited for him to go, only because that means she gets to sleep with me. But 24 hours in she is crying for him to return. But, this week, while she was really sad and missing Daddy, she listened so good and was a big helper by getting herself dressed every morning. It looked a little something like this....

This coming week is very exciting for us! My mom, grandma and niece are flying to visit for E's birthday party. A trip to the American Girl store is on the calendar and I think I'm the most excited one of the group! Hard to believe that we are just over a week away from having a 4 year old in the house. Where does the time go? Apparently for me, it's not to cooking, cleaning, or doing laundry if the husband is away.... I basically live like a frat boy... I know you're jealous.