Easy Kid Lunches

If I could change one thing about Paisley and Carson’s preschool it would be to have them provide lunch for the kids. Along with the struggle of “What’s for dinner?” I have to combat the “What are you making me for lunch tomorrow?” struggle too. Paisley is adamant on asking every day what I am making her, and if it will contain any “surprises” – aka candy. ha

The biggest obstacle I have is avoiding any peanut butter (for Paisley and Carson’s class) and egg products (Carson’s class). If I could use peanut butter, it would make packing a lunch way easier! But alas, kids have allergies and I do not want to be the parent to put another child in danger.

I have made up a few of my kids favorite options for lunches and am sharing the wealth! I pin a TON of lunch options, and am working on which ones my kids like the best. I love the Bento Boxes I bought the kids. They keep everything sectioned out for my semi-ocd kids and they do not spill! Plus they come with a cute spork and a flexible lid for the circular/dressing spot. The one down side is there is no room for their drink, it isn’t a problem for now with my kids but next year I am going to get Paisley a Bento Box lunch bag so it acts as a one stop shop for her lunch box and drink.

Here are a few that are sure winners in Paisley and Carson’s book!

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  • Pretzels
  • Snap Peas
  • Hummus
  • Clementine
  • Cucumber
  • Pasta Salad – Chopped ham, peas, cheese cubed, macaroni noodles, italian dressing

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  • Turkey and Cheese Roll Up – Cut up for Carson
  • Snap Peas
  • Strawberries and Blueberries
  • Chocolate Chips

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  • Turkey and Cheese Roll Up – Cut in half for Paisley
  • Snap Peas
  • Strawberries and Blueberries
  • Chocolate Chips

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  • Turkey and Cheese Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Goldfish Crackers
  • Snap Peas and Cherry Tomatoes
  • Hummus to dip

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  • Ritz Crackers
  • Turkey sliced
  • Colby Jack Cheese sliced
  • Celery and Cauliflower
  • Boiled Egg (already peeled)
  • Fruit Snack for “surprise”

I finally found some Silicone Cupcake Liners at Ikea which are the cheapest option, but they only come in pink. I found some multi-colored ones for my Amazon Prime peeps here, and for my Target lovers click here to find yours!

I would love to have more ideas to try! If you have any kid lunch ideas shoot them my way! Good luck pleasing those kiddos and have fun with it!

~xo~

Flying with Kids- Updated!

Another week, another flight! This time we surprised my dad for his 50th birthday!!
By this point we do not consider ourselves experts, but with 10 one-way trips this year (all with kids) we know the ropes.
 
I previously wrote about how we flew with 2 kids, and now that Elizabeth has joined the club it is a whole new ballgame. Brian and I are outnumbered, so we put together a run down of how we make it through a flight with them all. 
 
-Side note: These are tips to fly on Southwest. Brian is A-List and he has companion pass. There are also affiliate links throughout that I make a slight commission off of, but do not charge you anything extra if you choose to purchase an item-
 
Night before:
-Charge Electronics
I am typically in charge of collecting all the electronics (Brian gets stuck folding the laundry or doing the dishes or loading the car!). Our kids don’t typically get electronics while at home, so this is a huge treat. They aren’t bored with the games or shows and love to have control over what they watch or play during the trip. We have an iPad for each kiddo – one with just shows and toddler type games for Carson, and the other with shows and games to meet Paisley’s skill level. Each kiddo has their own headphones, so they can watch their show and we can have some peace and quiet. We download shows and movies from Amazon Video using their app. Once downloaded, you can view the shows for 48 hours from the first time they are watched – you can access Amazon Video with your Amazon Prime Membership
 
Paisley also has a LeapPad Platinum that has a bunch of games on it for her to play. Check the App Store on the Leapster for good deals for downloads. I recently bought 12 full games for under $100.
 
-Pack Headphones
We found the cheapest, most old school ones work the best. They are easily adjustable and fit the kids ears. Our kids do not like the version that go inside their ears.
 
-Extra clothes for all kiddos
Even if your kids are potty trained, they might spill a drink or food on their clothes. It is always nice to have a back up set!
 
-Pack in separate carry on
My daughter has her own roller bag that she likes to be in charge of in the airport. All electronics and accessories plus a few coloring books, crayons and stickers go in her bag. We got her bag at Target. Her Lady Bug version is sold out, but there are a ton of different styles online!
 

I pack all the snacks (non-messy snacks i.e. fruit snacks, popcorn, pretzels, etc.) and toys (cars and books for Carson. Baby rings, rattles, etc. for Elizabeth)

 

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I make sure my nursing cover, 2 burp cloths, extra clothes for Elizabeth, and extra pacifiers for both Carson and Elizabeth are in this bag. I found it is easier to keep toys/games separate from diapers and wipes. I know which bag I need to grab and I don’t fumble through searching for it.

 

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-Child Restraint 😉

Carson is our adventurous 2 year old. He has a hard time staying in one place for too long. He hits his limit an hour and a half into a flight and wants to walk up and down the plane. When I flew solo with the 3 kids from California to Kansas City I bought this harness. It turns the airplane belt into a five point harness. Super easy to do and it keeps him in his seat. One good tip is to make sure your kiddo is NOT wearing slick pants. Carson wore slick basketball shorts and slid down the seat. I read somewhere to use shelf liner to prevent slipping. I will be sure to try that next time!

 

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-Brian’s Carry On
My husband likes to be in charge of the documents. I take the kids and he checks us all in. Brian puts all travel docs in his carry on/backpack. We usually just use our passports and stuff the birth certificates in the passports, that way they are all together for check in and security. 
 
Day of:
-Allow 30 extra minutes 
Kids come with a lot of surprises, so having the extra time allows for less stress.
 
-If you are traveling with a spouse, one of you parks the car while the other one stays with all the kids and your stuff at curb (hence the additional 30 minutes).

This eliminates some of the hassle and gives you a shorter walk to the check in counter with all your stuff! It is WAY easier to do this. Your other option is to park the car with everyone, drag your luggage and kids and carseats from the car, load them on the shuttle, unload them from the shuttle, lug them across the lanes of traffic and to the check in counter. We discovered the first version and haven’t looked back.

 

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-Bring a stroller
We love our BOB Double Stroller. It fits through a normal doorway width, and acts as our pack mule. I wear Elizabeth, Carson is in stroller and Paisley walks with her carry on. Carseats and carry ons get thrown on top to get us to the ticket counter and on through the airport. At security, you have to empty everything out of the stroller and TSA will test it. We have not had any issues and just load it back up with all our items to get to the terminal. 
-Buy carseat bags from Southwest ticket counter
Brian and I do not gate check the carseats, so we opt to place them in Southwest carseat bags ($17 at the ticket counter) and check them at the counter. The extra bonus is they are huge (this is also a downside – just ask Brian), but we typically can throw in “extras” that didn’t fit in the suitcase. We bought ours the first time we flew with Paisley, almost 4 years ago, and it has held up decent on all our flights. 

Kid items do not count towards your bag totals (carseat, pack n play, stroller). But if you do not need them at the final destination I suggest you leave them at home! Just more junk to haul around.
We gate check our stroller, just so we don’t have to carry everything through the airport. Plus it keeps Carson contained for the critical time in security line and walking to your gate. I wear Elizabeth the entire time. I have the Lille Baby Carrier and I can get through security without having to take her off.
 
-Security
Brian leads our security line (he has all documents to show TSA at once). He has A List Status, so we all get to skip the long line and tag along with him. Adult will have to have empty water bottles, but kid cups are okay to have liquid – they just test them once you get through the security screening. If you are traveling with kids, you will most likely have your snack/diaper bag flagged.

Depending on the TSA agent and airport, you all can go through the metal detector as a family or they will split you up. Brian usually goes through the Xray machine, but myself and the kids go through the metal detector. Once through, Brian wrangles the kids and stuff while I get my hands tested (because I keep Elizabeth strapped on). 
 
Once you get through security it’s smooth sailing. Breathe easy! You are almost there! If you gate check your stroller or any carseats, just go to the desk at your gate. They will issue you a tag for the items and you will drop them at the end of the walk way before boarding the plane.  
 
-Boarding the Plane

Since you will be flying with kids (at least I assuming so because you made it this far on the post! ha!), you can board in between the A group and B group – as long as you have a child 12 and younger. If you were diligent and checked into your flight on time (24 hours prior to your flight!) and got A boarding group, then just board with the A group – obviously! 

Brian has his fancy A list boarding pass, so he boards the plane first and takes his carry on plus another bag. He gets on and saves us an entire row, plus the aisle seat right across the aisle. We try to aim for a row closer to the front of the plane (de-boarding the plane goes quicker, and this is the time the kids are usually the most antsy). I board with the kiddos during family boarding (between A and B groups). There is no “line” for family boarding, just kind of gather by the check in station.

-On the Plane
Because Brian boarded before us, he has time to set up Carson’s harness. It just slips over the seat back (under the tray behind his seat) and has two holes where the seatbelt slips through. Once he is situated, we set Paisley up with an Ipad or Leapster. She is a flying champ! Literally all she asks for is snacks. Carson is our wild card – sometimes we whip out the Ipad right away, or sometimes he can handle just hanging out for a bit. We bring cars, building blocks or stickers to entertain him, too. Play it by ear and do what works best for you and your kiddos. 

As much as it makes me cringe, we literally throw all “rules” out the window for flying. If the kids want to watch shows for the entire time, we let them. We bring extra snacks and some candy, in the chance they get antsy. I figure there are very few things that are more stressful than being the parent on the flight with the fussy kid (trust me, we’ve been those parents! It is NOT fun!). So instead of trying to win any “mom of the year” awards by bringing Pinterest worthy activities, we stick to what is easy! It makes the trip much more enjoyable for us, but also everyone else on board!

De-boarding the plane is a piece of cake compared to getting everything prepped for the trip. We just shove everything back into the bags, get the stroller and go. Balancing bags and carseats is always an adventure and challenge, but you have the worst part behind you…until it is time to fly home!

Have other tips and tricks? I’d love to hear them! Happy travels this Thanksgiving and Christmas Season!

~xo~

Mom Guilt- We All Have It

This has to be my biggest struggle to date. I have self-confidence issues, I would be terrible at a diet because I like candy and ice cream too much, I have a hard time following through with a workout plan, my house is not perfect and my kids might look a mess because they like to dress themselves. The hardest thing for me to overcome is Mom Guilt. It is what is the underlying issue to all of the above mentioned “problems” in my daily life.

Self-confidence issues are a result of not putting myself first (or so I think). I have always been a giver – thinking of others before myself. That quality is great, as long as you take time to give yourself something back. If you are always focusing on others, you struggle to see what is good about yourself. You struggle to develop your talents and constantly compare your achievements to others.

Sticking to a diet means putting time in to plan, prepare and stick to a meal plan, a work out plan, and not making excuses – cue Mom Guilt and being a giver – we give so much to others that we rarely put any time to focus on our needs.

I wish my house was perfectly clean and I was able to stick to a cleaning routine, but again I feel that I should be giving attention to my kids and my husband – playing with them, taking care of them, helping to relieve their stress levels.

My kids get to choose their clothes, it is not a battle I want to fight, but it also fosters their independence and confidence in making their own choices. Mom guilt comes in when I drop my kids off at school and realize all the other children are wearing matching clothes and their hair is done (haha).

We all deal with mom guilt (dad guilt) all the time, every day. Our house did not get clean because we were playing with the kids. The house got clean, but now we feel guilty because we did not play with the kids. Mom and dad have a date night because we need it. Mom and dad should be there to tuck the kids in bed. I am still in my pajamas, but my kids are dressed to the nines. I got ready today and my daughter ate dinner in her pajamas. There is no way to win.

Today I went live on my Facebook page talking about the mega dose of mom guilt I had for taking a shower. I am a big believer on spending quality time with your kids. I try to avoid using the TV as a babysitter, but today I woke up in a terrible mood. I forced myself to spend time with the kids prior to my shower- playing cars, building Magnatile houses and coloring. After putting Elizabeth down I made the choice to take a shower. Momma need an attitude adjustment – aka time alone to relax and check something tangible off my daily to do list. So I put on the TV (it was at least an educational show) and took a little me time. The kids watched the show and built with Magnatiles for about an hour – and this momma got dressed, did my hair and makeup. It felt great!

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Carson’s Car House (and yes, that’s a purple pacifier in his hand…)

As soon as I got done though I was hit with some mom guilt. I should have woke up before the kids and got ready. I should have taken the shower during naptime. I should have blah, blah, blah…you know the drill. So many reasons how we could have done something different, better, etc.

I decided that it did not kill them to watch an hour of TV today. The saying “if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is a true thing. In our house, I feel that my mood sets the tone of the home. Taking it upon myself to get in a better mood was what needed to happen today. I took the shower. I did my hair. I even put makeup on! And I am giving myself grace.

So this is me, giving you grace the next time you want to take a shower because you NEED it! You need to take time for yourself, even if it is only 10 minutes. Self-care is a big deal. I wrote a few different posts about self-care, the importance of self-care and different ways you can take some time for yourself. We must fill our cups before we can fill others – an empty cup has nothing to share.

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My little bucket heads aka my bucket (cup) fillers

You have my permission to leave the dishes in the sink and take a bubble bath while you read a good book. You have my permission to sleep in, just this once, because you want to. You have my permission to snuggle those babies a little bit longer and let the laundry sit in the dryer another day. We all need to take a step away from being a mommy, a wife, a whatever- and remember what it is like to be YOU.

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My little ghost baby (PS- my sweater is on sale right now!)

~xo~

Another Self Reflection Moment!

It has been almost 3 MONTHS since I sat down and threw my thoughts on paper (not actual paper, but you get the idea…). This whole new baby that makes 3 kids + trying to sell a house is NOT easy. I am struggling with organizing my time and my day, but I should get points for trying. This topic has been on my mind for a while and I am working through some personal things with it, so I figured why not put it all out there – be SUPER vulnerable – and see what you all think!

I have always compared myself to other people, finding flaws in me and pointing out the good in them. What I realized is that does nothing positive for me at all. All it does is continue to make me feel bad about myself. Last weekend, my husband went to Arizona for a Fraternity Leadership School and I gave him the hardest time for leaving. I was stuck here in California with no family and my three kids (I promise I love them, but doing it on my own is HARD!)…I had this crazy idea to drive the kids and myself 15 hours to our family reunion in Utah…did I mention I’d be doing it ALL BY MYSELF?!?!?…just to get out of being alone for the weekend….crazy talk right? Well let me reassure you that the trip most definitely did not happen. And the weekend actually was not all that bad…who knew! ha

The thing about this trip that I wanted to take was that Brian felt very strongly that I should not go. I, of course, jumped immediately to some fault he was suggesting I had (not the best driver, could not handle it, would want to turn around after a few hours, etc.) and not the actual reason he was against it – he did not want anything to happen to me and the kids. Our car has been slightly wonky lately and he did not want to put our lives in the somewhat un-trusty hands of that car. I only realized this conclusion after he had left and I sent a rant worthy text to him about the situation. It was then that I realized I had, yet again, looked at my own faults rather than searching for my strengths. He was not trying to bring me down even more – he was wanting to protect me.

All of this brings me back to what I continue to refer to in multiple posts, that I am still struggling to appreciate myself and what I am worth. I feel like I can trace this back to middle school (although it most likely has gone on longer than that!), but I for sure can pinpoint different situations in middle school that continue to feed this negative self-image and viewing others’ lives as WAY better than mine. I received a strong “kick in the butt” from my wonderful husband yet again. The text message he sent in response to my somewhat snarky rant said many things, but one important piece stuck with me. He said “If we are not happy, we only have ourselves to blame”. He is so right. I am the one to blame for my unhappiness. I am the one that can change my thoughts. I am the one that has to change how I feel about myself. I am the one who can make our house a home. I am the one who has to force myself to remove focus on others and put a little focus on myself. I am the first to say I need a break and the first to say no when given the opportunity.

I believe strongly in the statement there is no such thing as a coincidence. My mom is such a positive influence in my life and she continually reminds me of this thought. She says that God has a plan for all of us and these “coincidences” are His way of letting us know He is there and that all things will work out.

If Brian had not gone on to Leadership School, I would not have sent the mean text, which would result in Brian not having to send his reply. If all of this did not happen, I would have never heard the words that I so desperately needed to hear. I am terrible at putting myself first and seeing myself in a positive light. This text made me realize that I am doing myself and those around me a disservice. The more miserable/jealous/incompetent/etc I see myself, the more that projects onto others.

The more I write these thoughts down, the more I hope they stick. So here is my somewhat apology for continuing to repeat these themes throughout some of these posts. I need them repeatedly throughout my life so that I can take them to heart. My hope is that the more I express my frustrations, the more likely I am to work out these personal issues and get past it. I am surrounded by wonderful people in my life who continually remind me of my worth. My mother continues to remind me that I am who I am supposed to be. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter and a daughter of God. I am special. My husband loves me unconditionally – even with the constant self-put downs and nagging. Out of all the people he could have chose, he chose me! My children need me to be the best mommy I can be – and the example that I set for them about self-image and worth needs to be positive. There are so many other people who influence my thoughts and I thank you for being one of them!

If you have made it this far then I thank you! This is a deep down and personal issue that only I can change. Bare with me while I work through this, as it is all an attempt to better myself – for myself – but also for those around me. Here goes another attempt at resetting my internal thoughts and forcing myself to point out the positives! We are always a work in progress – and as long as we are progressing, then that is enough. We are enough.

~xo~

 

Love & Logic: Review Part 1

One would think that a clinical social worker can handle herself and her children in the best manner – at all times – how not true that statement is!

Parenting and motherhood is THE hardest thing I have EVER done in my entire life! I taught multiple parent trainings that centered around self care, emotional awareness, regulation skills and cognitive stimulation. These trainings only grazed the surface on what all went in to parenthood, but I felt like I knew more than the average person about child development and what to do in tricky situations. Boy was I wrong…ha

Making the decision to start a family is a HUGE decision in one’s relationship. It comes with life style changes, husband and wife challenges, and oh yeah…those cute little babies! The thing with babies is they grow up and turn in to toddlers, threenagers and beyond – all with their own challenges.

If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I our oldest daughter has given me a run for my money lately (check out these posts here and here to get an idea of what I’m talking about). The two kid challenge has really tested my social work skills and mommy brain – now with the third on the way (within 2 weeks!) – my stress level has peaked.

With all this going on I decided I need to stop complaining and start doing something about all my miscues and stress level. I went back to some training material and was reminded about a few different parenting books that were used to give tips and tricks during parent training. One of which was Parenting With Love And Logic by Cline and Fay.

I have not opened this book since my early social work years, and have yet to finish it – there are so many good points that I figured a mid book summary was okay! I will say, I am not TOTALLY convinced on EVERY.SINGLE.THING they promote, but the general gist of the book and the ability it has already had to make me stop and think about my words is working for me.

Cline and Fay begin the book by talking about the basic premise of being a “Love and Logic Parent”. This meaning that the parents are raising responsible children who learn from their mistakes and consequences – whether positive or negative – (they call them Significant Learning Opportunities). A Love & Logic parent helps their children “move from total dependence on us to independence, from being controlled by us to controlling themselves.” This theme carries itself throughout the entire book and is referred back to throughout the scenarios and tips given.

They jump next in to different parenting styles – and here is my disclaimer: I am not promoting any of these nor am I trying to make anyone feel guilty about which one they “fall” under. I think each person needs to find what works best for them and focus on improving that skill as a parent. I find myself in different categories that they describe at different times in my motherhood – I’m trying to focus on changing some things I do personally that works best for my kids and my family and so should you!

  • Helicopter Parent – Cline and Fay describe these parents as those who are always coming to rescue their child. They run lunches, permission slips, homework to school. They are always pulling their children out of a jam. “Whenever their children send up an SOS flare, helicopter parents, who are ready hovering nearby, swoop in and shield their children from teachers, playmates and other elements that appear hostile”.
    • Cline and Fay feel that these types of parents are loving, but depriving children from learning. “Such children are unequipped for the challenges of life. Their significant learning opportunities were stolen from them in the name of love.”
  • Drill Sergeant Parents – They love their children and the more they “bark orders and the more they control”, the better their kids will be in the long run. They are constantly told what to do.
    • “Kids of drill sergeant parents, when given the chance to think for themselves, often make horrendous decisions…these kids are rookies in the world of decision making”. Cline and Fay claim that these types of children are followers because they never learned how to make decisions for themselves.
  • The Consultant Parent – “Love & Logic Parent” As children grow, they move from being concrete thinkers to being abstract thinkers when they are teens. Children need thoughtful guidance and firm, enforceable limits. The authors state that as children grow into adolescents, this parenting style becomes even more important.
    • Children have been taught to make their own decisions. They are offered choices while young (but can still be started in teen years) which forces them to think about choices and the consequences. “In order for children to succeed, their kids need to learn to make their own decisions.”

According to Cline and Fay, being a consultant parent is “the” way to go – again to each their own, and I have found myself at times in all three of these categories. I’m stating again that I am LOVING this book for the fact that it is making me stop in my tracks, reflect on how I interact with my children, and forcing myself to make a better choice of words or actions next time the situation arises.

Multiple examples are given throughout the book which help with understanding – most of which pertain to a little bit older children, but the underlying meaning is still relevant. The authors also put in “Love and Logic Tips” that are excerpts of personal stories they use as teaching moments. These are SUPER helpful and easy to refer back to when needing a refresher.

I think the hardest part of parenting, which they nail on the head AND encourage, is that we as parents have to see our children fail. I mean how hard is that?!?! Look at these cuties and tell me you don’t want to help them not ever have to feel trials!

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However, through these failures come consequences (they refer to them as Significant Learning Opportunities) and are the lessons that children need to learn. The positive end of this for us parents is through these SLOs, children learn responsibility and independence. “Children who grow in responsibility also grow in self-esteem, a pre-requisite for achievement in the real world…there is a direct correlation between self-concept and performance in school, at home , on the playground, or wherever children may be. Kids learn best and are responsible when they feel good about themselves.”

So far I am enjoying this book. The many examples and phrases they say NOT to do, I have done – and they couple that with what I should be saying to create a lasting relationship with my kids. I love that it is making me stop and think – as that is how I best learn as a parent – and learn new ways to interact with Paisley and Carson. It is helping me step towards my goal of 2017, which is to become a better mother, wife and friend.

I will continue to post reviews of this book as I get further in to it. If you have any questions along the way, do not hesitate to ask me! I’d be happy to give my opinion (and it is JUST that…my opinion – you are the expert of your own life!) and what the book suggests one to do.

Thanks for reading!

~xo~

The Last Year of My 20s

I feel like I have posted a lot about reflecting on my past – days, weeks or years – and over time I find that it helps me refocus on changes that I have said I would work on, or focus on what skills I need to improve on.

I write this today on my birthday – my 29th birthday, a.k.a. the last one before the big 3-0! I want to focus on the past year and all the changes that have occurred which bring me to where I am today – a nervous wreck half the time, and a well managed/organized pleasant person the other half! ha

Last year, Brian and I packed up our belongings and moved to California. A land we had never lived in before, where we knew no one. It is by a HUGE blessing from God that we landed where we are. The friends we have here are AMAZING and I’m so glad we felt the need to buy the house we did. We’ve been blessed beyond measure in both Brian’s career opportunity as well as our family’s well-being with this move and leap of faith.

We also had the pleasant (and some what scary) surprise of getting the chance to welcome a new baby into our family. Everyone says the 3rd kid is what did them in…so we welcome all the positive thoughts and baby wisdom you have! We are very excited, but at the same time a little nervous to see how this one goes.

Every time I feel overwhelmed, I think back to my daily scripture study and how that is helping reassure current decisions we make and my mothering skills. Through countless trials and tribulations, there are many examples of people overcoming these fears through trusting in the Lord. That is what I am aiming to do. I know there are feelings of insecurity throughout my daily life (in all aspects!), but putting my trust in Him is only helping me push through. This faith and hope of good is what helped us get to where we as a family are today.

If we hadn’t trusted Him with a move to California, the house and ward we are in, and the thoughts of adding another baby to our family I’m not sure where we would be. Brian and I have grown closer as a couple and stronger as parents. Our children have met some pretty amazing friends and found out what it is like to strengthen those relationships. We have been blessed beyond measure as a family and both Brian and my testimony have grown!

Even though I’m a bit nervous about this upcoming year, I am excited to see what it brings. Our new baby will be here in a month or so (OMGOSH!!!!!), a new sister (Cannot believe my brother is getting married! But so excited for their future!!!), and there is an upcoming BIG changes for our family – will give more details when we know more! Reflecting on the past year and seeing all the positives, blessings and joys we experienced only makes me that much more excited for the last year of my 20s!

~xo~

The Coming of Stinky Pete!

It’s rare that a post gets me super excited to write, but this one has been a long time coming and it’s about my baby CARSON! I wrote about Paisley’s birth story a few months back (it too was WAY overdue) and it took me right back to those two wonderful days. I am just as excited to dive back in to my memories and share with you all Carson’s story!

Carson is our energetic and overly active son! He just turned 19 months and I am not sure he has slowed down since he figured out he could move. From the day he was born, he has been all boy. The kid loves dirt, balls, trucks and running around. We love this kid and cannot wait to watch him grow!

About 15 months after having Paisley, Brian and I made the decision to try for another child. Knowing that with Paisley it took us 8 months to conceive, we figured we would have some time. And we were right – it took us 6 months to get pregnant, only to find out that at 7 weeks we miscarried. Flash forward about another 2 months and bingo…prego eggo. Going to that first doctor’s appointment was nerve racking. Would we see the precious babes? Would we hear the heartbeat? I was so scared we were going to be disappointed again, but luckily we weren’t. Every doctor’s appointment after that was a little anxiety provoking for me – each time I was relieved to hear the heart beat and the good news.

Pregnancy with Paisley was totally different than Carson. With Paisley I craved all things salty, bloated to over a 50 pound weight gain, had carpel tunnel in my wrist the last trimester and swelled like a balloon daily. Carson on the other hand was not as rough on my body. Maybe it was the active toddler I had to chase around, or maybe it was my brain actually working right – I kept my weight gain to a healthier 40 pounds, didn’t swell as much, craved all things sugar and managed to get out and about a lot more. I was super sick with Carson during the first trimester, actually getting the flu shortly after finding out I was pregnant, but that sickness died down around 13 weeks. It’s funny how each pregnancy is so different! Shot below of my 3rd Trimester with Paisley (left) and Carson (right).

Anywho – enough with the pregnancy progression details – now it’s the good stuff. The actual lead up to the birth and there after!

If you guys read Paisley’s birth story, you know that we made a fatal mistake…we went to the hospital TWICE! #newparentfail This time with Carson, I didn’t want to go in until we knew for sure we’d be staying. It was a Sunday and the contractions were getting pretty bad – not bad enough that I couldn’t bare them, but progressively worse. We called Kelly and she came over to help watch Paisley as Brian and I went on a walk around the neighborhood, we were going to be sure that we didn’t have to go home. HA! After walking about an hour, we made it home and decided that Paisley should stay with family for the rest of the day. Contractions were getting more intense and closer together BUT we didn’t go in just yet. Brian and I went to lunch at Tanner’s down by the Plaza in Kansas City (the hospital we delivered at was 30 minutes from our house – Tanner’s was closer than home and we needed lunch, too!). I sat at the table and clocked the contractions, now they were getting to the point that I had to put my food down, take deep breaths and wait for them to subside. WE STILL DIDN’T GO IN!

After lunch, we decided more walking could only help, so we took a nice stroll around Loose Park. After this walk, contractions were minutes apart. We called the doctor and they told us to come in. The hospital was quiet. The nurse who checked us in said that we were the only patients in so far for the afternoon, which I think was a fantastic blessing. She checked my dialation and told me we were only at a 3 – my worst fear – we may have to go home! How dumb of us…and I felt really dumb because these contractions HURT! She had to have seen the look on our faces because she not only let us hang out in the triage room, she turned on the Royals game for our entertainment.

I’m pretty sure we sat in that triage room for the remainder of the game and even walked around the hospital for a bit before having the nurse check me again. This time I was progressing enough that she admitted us! It was now close to 6pm and Brian was hungry again! (He has this thing about needing to eat every time I’m delivering apparently!) I’m pretty sure he ordered Jimmy John’s once we go to the room, and it probably smelled so good! I got a popsicle or some ice chips probably…yum!

As he settled in with his dinner, I settled in with the birthing ball. We did what any couple would do while waiting on a baby to arrive…we watched Space Jam! After all, what better way to brainwash your eventual 6 foot plus son who’s dad hopes he likes basketball, then to give him an early dose of Space Jam!

As the nurse came in to do her usual check, she asked about an epidural. We told her we wanted to do this with the least amount of intervention as possible…apparently those words are not what you say to a L&D nurse. That means that they won’t check on you for hours and leave you to do your thing! Oops…for real. I made Brian go out and find one of them because the contractions were getting so strong and frequent that I needed to know how dialated I was. If I was only a 5 then let’s call the anesthesiologist, if I was further along I could probably do it again. When the nurse came in she apologized up and down for misunderstanding us, and we did the same! She was amazing. After she checked me this time she mentioned I was at a 6/7 on the way to the transition phase…the worst part of labor! Contractions get super frequent and intense.

This nurse was an angel though and told me about a little drug called Stadol…what a wonder it was! This little baby did the trick in getting me right through that transition phase – when I woke up from my foggy knock-out I was at a 9/10!

Stadol

By the time I reached a 10, it was right on the brink of turning from August 23rd (Tracy’s birthday) to August 24th (My grandma’s birthday). Multiple texts were received from all family members vowing their case for when Carson should be born! ha…if it were only that easy. This labor process felt so long, much longer than Paisley! We were in the triage room a little after 2pm and it wasn’t until 12:34am on August 24th, 2015 that Carson James Gettinger made his appearance…Grandma Marcia had won the birthday battle!

Carson hospital

He weighed in at 8 pounds and 12 ounces, and almost 23 inches in length. The doctor mentioned that he was “really long” and she was surprised at how all of him fit in my belly! Ever since that day, he has been an eating and growing machine. This kid didn’t sleep through the night until he was 11 months old…he was (and still is constantly hungry), eating every hour and half for a long time. At his last checkup, Carson was an inch taller than the 98th percentile for an 18 month old and in the 98th percentile for weight #bigbaby.

One last thing before I close this up and let you oooh and aaaah over all the pictures, many people have asked us about his nickname “Stinky Pete”. I have no idea where it came from, or how I managed to pull this crazy name out of my head. What I do know is that coming from a sleep deprived momma who is seeing all her friends babies sleeping peacefully through the night at “normal” times (i.e. 3 months, 4 months), one has to think of a cute and fun name to call him when he was woken up for the 3rd time hungry…hence the name Stinky Pete. I’m pretty sure he gets called Pete more times than his actual name…he may be confused one day about that. But Stinky Pete was the name dawned on him so that this momma and daddy would get a little laugh every time he woke up!

If you are still reading this, you are a trooper and deserve a good array of pictures. This kid sure is cute and is going to eat us out of house and home! Enjoy!