Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nora is 2 Months!

At 2 Months, You ...
- are really starting to smile and coo at your mom and dad. 
- are trying to get this sleeping all night thing down. 
-have taken a bottle very well. 
- love kicking while sitting in the Momma Roo.
- love to be held.
-love to sleep on someone's chest.
- have pretty much outgrown your newborn outfits. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Shopping With My Boy

First off, I would like to say thank you to all the people that sent me sweet messages about my last post. After hitting the publish button and then putting it on my Facebook status, I was a little nervous. However, I also felt so much lighter. When writing that post, I wasn't looking for sympathy from people but the sweet words and offers that people wrote to me (those that offered to watch my kids for me...BEWARE...I am probably going to take you up on that!) meant so much. It was so humbling to hear from ladies that have or are struggling with the same thing I am struggling with. So thank you for reading my blog and thank you for letting me be transparent. 

Now on to today - 
What a special day this was! My sweet boy is heading to Kindergarten this year. I am lucky because though I haven't gotten to stay home with my kids for the past 6 years, I get to have them with me when they head to school. I feel so blessed to have this privilege. (Hopefully I will still be saying this at Christmas time...I kid I really I do hope that it is going to go as great as I think it is.)
So I had told John that just him and I would go shopping for his school supplies and we would get his birthday party supplies at the same time. Last night I had told him we would go after I fed Nora. Now in my mind, I was thinking her 9:00 am feeding. So after feeding her at 6:00, I headed back to my bed and John met me in the hallway. He was all dressed and said "Ready to go Mom?" I couldn't disappoint, so I said "Sure". So I slipped on clothes, brushed me teeth and brewed myself a cup of coffee - and off we went!

First stop was Dunkin' Donuts. We hadn't been to the new one that opened up in Blue Springs so we thought we would give it a try. I did refrain (oh so hard to do but I have to fit in my clothes for school or buy a new wardrobe - Matt prefers I try to fit into my clothes. :)) but John approved with his 3 kinds of doughnut holes. 

Next stop of Wal-Mart to get the goods. My son is hilarious. These were big decisions for him. What color folders to get, what lunchbox to pick, what box of Kleenex to select, and the decisions went on and on. Then on to birthday supplies. What to put in the party favor bags, what cupcake liners to choose, and most importantly what plates and napkins to serve to his guests??!!
But all the decisions were made and we got checked out. He put all the bags in the cart and talked to the cashier the whole time. She knew everything that had happened this summer and what was going to be happening in the next month of our lives. I finally had to cut him off and tell him there were people waiting to check out behind us. As we were walking, I told him we would have to pick out his "first day of school outfit" another day. He looked at me and said "Why do I need a new outfit for the first day of school?" Ugh...such a boy. I simply explained it was a special day and I always got a new outfit for the first day of school (still do) so I thought it would be special for him to do the same. He looked at me and said, "Okay mom, but NOTHING fancy. I mean it." I giggled and told him that he would get to pick the outfit. 

I love this picture above. I think it just captures how excited we were and how much fun our shopping trip was this early Friday morning. 
Here is the sweet boy with his school supplies. He is most excited about his lunch box. It has a cool dot that turns blue when things are cold inside. He also says his teacher will love his glue because it has an apple on it and all teachers love apples. He is such a crack up. 

Have a great night. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Day That I Woke Up On the Wrong Side of the Bed

So I knew it was going to be a rough day today as soon as I woke up this morning. Yup...I got up on the wrong side of the bed. It started at 4:15 fussing, followed by a 5:30 cry and feeding. (Side note- I am very blessed that Nora slept from 11:15 to 4:15, then went back to sleep so I didn't have to feed until 5:30. I do recognize this...but I could still tell it was going to be a rough day.) When I woke up again at 7:00, I went for a run. Well, I walked and ran, probably more walking than running, however, I did run so I am going to call it a run. 

Anyway, my hope was a chance to breathe in the beautiful air and have some alone time would fix this "off feeling". Nope. NOT. AT. ALL. Actually then I was really tired so that made it worse. I really didn't even want to nurse. After 3 cups of coffee, I declared it a lazy day. Looking back this is hilarious. My kids, especially my oldest, does not do lazy. They just looked at me and said "Mom, do you want to play Candyland?" Sure, that is a pretty lazy game.

 So that I don't drag this post out full of negative comments, the day just got rougher. Spilled smoothie, spilled lunch, (yup and we had just mopped the night before), black face paint all over my children's arms and faces (that stuff is hard to get off, it leaves a faint grayish color), spit up everywhere, the list goes on and on. I finally gave up and said "Movie time - my bed- everyone!" Even though it was a beautiful day and the weather is amazing right now, I had a movie time. I just wanted to lay down and I knew I would be safe in my bed. If I lay down outside, there is a chance I would get jumped on, sprayed with the water hose, or hit with baseball/soccer ball/basketball.

Dinner fixing did go pretty well, except for the fact that John told me "Dad lets us do more stuff to help with food than you do." This was when I wouldn't let him cut the onions with a super sharp knife or touch the raw hamburger. Yes, I am the meanie. I just stared at him because I didn't have anything nice to say. When Matt walked in, I must have looked rough because he instantly said, "Why don't you go to Scooters for 2 hours after you feed Nora with the gift card you got from Pam?" I didn't hesitate, it was an instant OKAY!
Well, I learned that Scooters closes at 7:oo, so Starbucks is where I planted myself. 

As I was driving, I was thinking about my day. This too shall pass and I know that but it is hard to think that way when you are standing in it. I read these silly signs that talk about messy floors, dirty dishes, but happy children, blah, blah, blah. People tell me to not worry about my house right now, cleaning can come later. But wouldn't it be nice to have a clean house for 24 hours? Just 24 hours...

Going from 2 to 3 has been a huge adjustment. I am not sure what I thought it was going to be like, but not like this. We no longer play man to man, we play zone. Our third doesn't even hardly move yet, so I can't imagine what is yet to come. I love my kids with all my heart, but this is a hard job. And I beat myself up about it all the time. It has been laid on my heart to share some negative days. We have this awesome way of showing off our kids, accomplishments and so on through social media. I am super guilty of this. I usually only post the positive and cute things. However, this isn't real life and it leaves people feeling alone and thinking "I should be doing more." Since Nora has been born, I dealt with post postpartum depression. Actually I don't like to call it depression. I like to call it  postpartum anxiety and overwhelming feeling. It sucks because you feel like you are in a world by yourself. No one talks about it and everyone talks about how happy this time is. It is a happy time, but it is really hard. All of you stay at home moms, you are truly amazing. All of you out of home working mommas, you are amazing also. I have actually wrote a post about how I have dealt with this postpartum stuff and it isn't quite ready to post, but I will at some point. 

 This is my husband. He is my best friend and the love of my life. I thank my sweet Jesus that he put us together. When he took the vows 9 years ago, for better or worse, I don't think he knew what he was getting into. He has been so supportive of me, especially through this time since Nora has been born. He has seen me at my lowest and he has loved me through it. He has loved me when I have attacked him with words and when I have said " I don't know if I can do this." He has hugged me when I have beat myself up for not living up to these stupid, make believe expectations that I have set for myself. He grounds me and helps me see the real world. He loves me through thick and thin. I caught myself a good one. 
 And then I see these 2 crazy kids. They are both so different and I love them to death, even on our "off days'. Even when I have had some of my worse days, they always say "I love you momma." They don't hold grudges and they wake up each day with the idea that this is a new day ahead of us. They love their new little sister more than I could have ever imagined, even though they do get tired of her eating all the time. ( I hear ya kids.) God blessed Matt and I with these 2 gifts and I am grateful that he has loaned us these sweet souls. They teach me something each day. 

And then there is this little munchkin. Oh my gosh...can you get any cuter! She has started grinning at us and it melts your heart. She has changed our lives and I wouldn't trade it in for the whole world. She already knows John and Sophia. You can tell she is already going to adore them. And she loves me. Through the times that I have held her and cried, telling her that "Everything is going to be okay", she still prefers me above anyone else. She calms down when she is in my arms and especially when she is on my chest. She is my "little bit" and I can't thank God enough for loaning her to us. 

What is so cool, and scary at the same time, is that God has entrusted Matt and I with these sweet souls. He has sent them to us for us to teach them and help them grow. But what I have learned through each of the kids, is that he sent them to us to teach us things too. And boy, have they taught us things. 

So it was a rough day and it really did suck, even though there were some good things that happened. However, tomorrow is a new day and I am thankful for that. 

Have a good night.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Branson Vacation Day 3, 4, and 5

Day 3 and 4
You will notice that as the vacation went on, the pictures get less. So I apologize for that, especially to family, because you got the short end of the deal. 

Day 3 was our last day in Branson. We played at the water park in the morning, stopped for lunch and then headed to Houston to see the family. 

We had lunch at a Hibachi Steakhouse Grill. The kids loved watching the cook make the food right in front of us. John tried new stuff and Sophia ate her veggie straws and jelly sandwich. :) 

Trying out their chopsticks!

After lunch it was off to Houston! When we got there, John jumped on his bike and Sophia went straight to "her room" to play. They love Houston. 

Day 4

A day spent in Houston. The kids helped Pops pick up flowers at the cemetery while he mowed. They earned a little cash - actually a lot of cash. Pops pays well. We ate at our favorite restaurant in Houston, Spring Garden - the best Chinese ever! Spent the afternoon swimming in the river and finished the day with making S'Mores. 

Late night feedings were really the only quiet time Miss Nora and I had. Oh, I just love her to pieces!! 

Pops really wins the reward for the river. He played the whole time with the kids and let them ride on his back as they came up the current. 
Nana catching Sophia as she floated down the river. 
Matt says "So Long!" to John as he heads down the river. 

It was  great day. I have decided every vacation needs to end at a grandparents' house. I was able to do  laundry plus Matt and I got to relax a little before heading home. 

Day 5 
No pictures were taken - sorry Turnbough family. 
We headed home on Friday but made a quick stop in Columia to see the Jensens. (Matt's sister and brother in law and our 2 nephews). There was a bonus because Nana Barb and Papa Mark were there too! 

We ate at a yummy diner- Ernie's Diner- and hung out at Wendi's house while the kids played. It was a nice little visit and it was good to see the family.
We headed home afterwards and it was nice to sleep in our own beds. Now the unpacking begins :) 

Branson Vacation Day 2

Here's Day 2...
Everyone slept great on Night 1 of vacation. I felt proud that, as parents, we did our job of wearing our kids out so that everyone would have a restful night. ACCOMPLISHED!!

We woke up and started our day at the water park. Actually we woke up and Jessica and I did a coffee run-then water park...
It was raining that morning, but no worries because we checked out the indoor part. 
So here you go...

She's ready....hat and all! 

We were lucky because it stopped raining as we walked over to the pool. Here is a sweet family shot. 

This was what Nora did pretty much the whole time at the water park. 

We accomplished our goal again - totally worn out so some rest time was needed before dinner. 

My hottie husband at dinner. 
We ate at one of my favorite places in Branson. So yummy. The cornbread is out of this world!

John drew a picture during dinner. A person with a beard. There is also a background with the sun and clouds. 

Let's feed the ducks! 

Cute boy

Sleeping again...

Yup...we putt putt golfed. This was an experience. John worked hard for a hole in one. Sophia, well, Sophia liked to "chop" at the ball. She would hit it a few times and then use her hands or feet to get the ball in. One time she was so excited that she picked up the ball, threw her hands in the air (which the ball went flying) and yelled out a big "Yeah". She also did this with a club. You have to watch out where you stand when Sophia plays. 

Matt is going to kill me for posting this picture, but I couldn't resist. 

Sleeping again...

Branson Vacation

Vacationing is really important to me. This might sound silly to some but it was a tradition in our house to go on vacation every summer. We never missed a summer. Sometimes the vacations were close to home and other times the vacations were far away. We had decided that since Nora was just born this summer we weren't going to do a big vacation. However, I was adamant that we needed to do something. 

I never understood why vacationing was so important to my mom as I was growing up. She would start planning months ahead of time and she always had a detailed itinerary by the time we left. I understand now. She needed to get away. Away from the house cleaning, grocery shopping, home improvements, work.... you get my point.  Even though the planning, packing, and traveling can be a little stressful - it all seems worth it when you finally reach your destination. 

So when the time came to talk about vacation, we decided somewhere close and it just happened that our dear friends were doing the same thing. PERFECT! Let me sidetrack for a minute. We have some of the bestest friends in the world. We truly live life together. When our families get together it is like a one big family. We truly love each others kiddos. We are actually really lucky because we have multiple family friends that are like this. This time it just happen to be the Sharky family. Our kiddos stair step each other so they get along really well and everyone has someone to play with. Well actually, Sam doesn't yet, but soon he will! When Nora starts moving and grooving, they will have a great time. Sam already loves Nora. He sneaks up next to her when she is sleeping and says "Baby". on to the vacation. 

We went to Branson and stayed at Castle Rock. It is great because it is a hotel that has a water park, both indoors and outdoors, right smack in the hotel. This allowed us not have to leave very much, which was helpful when you have 6 kiddos ages 7 and under. I will let the pictures tell the story. 

Here is Day 1: 
And we were off!! The parents got the "super cool" award because we let the kiddos switch cars. We had the older kiddos - totally first born children. They talked about the plans of the vacations and all the details. They also played a math game on Madeline's computer. John played the game and Madeline make tally marks as he passed each level. I hear the other car was full of excitement with Sophia and Makenna. There was talk of princesses, how exciting this trip was, and I am sure the list goes on. Bonus - Nora did awesome and slept most of the time we were in the car! 

When we got there we got some dinner (which was crazy with 6 kids who had been in a car for awhile) and were off to "Ride the Ducks". It was super hot but the kids seemed to enjoy it. Look at this pretty girl as she is happy to be on vacation!
Oh the quakers...they are quite the gem. All the kids got to drive the duck ride, except Sophia who choose not to. John had quite the conversation with the Captain of the Duck. They talked about Blue Springs and what if the springs are green. John also gave some advice on places to go in Branson and places to eat. 
Finally back to the hotel to hit the water park. Yes we did allow our kids to go to the water park at 8 pm. We hoped it would wear them out for a good night sleep and we were right!! 
                                                 Maddie and John - they are besties. Swimming in the big pool.                                                                                                      
                                                 I couldn't resit putting her in a swim suit. She actually has 3.                                                                                                    

Look at those sweet faces. I love these kiddos!

Day 1 done! It was a great ride down and a great way to end the evening. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Crockpot Recipes

Super Simple Chicken and Noodles!

Place 4 boneless chicken breasts in crockpot. Mix 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, 2 - 15 oz cans of chicken broth and 1 stick of melted butter. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Shred chicken. Add 24 oz frozen noodles. Cook for 2 hours on low.
I downsize the recipe - by half - since I'm cooking for 2.
Also to make beef and noodles - sub stew meat, cream of mushroom soup and beef broth.
Anne Beard

Taco soup:

1 pound ground turkey
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can chili beans
1 can corn
1 can rotel
1 package taco seasoning
1 package dry ranch dressing mix
(You can add a small chopped onion, but I don't)
Combine everything in your crockpot, don't drain any liquids, and stir. I usually cook on low for the day. 

It is a popular meal in our home!
Rebecca Tilley

BBQ chicken:

4-6 chicken breasts (I use frozen and put them in frozen)
1 bottle bbq sauce
1/4c vinegar
1/4c brown sugar
1tsp red pepper flakes (if you like a little kick)
1/2-1tsp garlic powder
Mix all but the chicken together and pour over chicken in the crock pot.
Cook on LOW 4-6 hours.
The chicken falls apart. Good for sandwiches. 
I love this recipe!
Julie Theismann

Super Simple Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing

  • 4 Chicken Breasts (Thawed)
  •  1 Box of Stove Top Stuffing Mix
  •  1/2 cup of Sour Cream
  • 1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1/4 c. water
1.The first thing you’ll want to do is place all four chicken breasts in the bottom of your crockpot.
2.Next, you’ll want to open up your box of stuffing mix and just dump it in the crockpot, right over the top of the chicken.
3.mix your cream of chicken soup, 1/2 cup of sour cream & 1/4 cup of water in a bowl and simply dump it over the top!
4.Now all you have to do is put the lid on that puppy, set it to low and wait for four hours!

Jennifer Byrd

 Baked potato soup:

3 cans chicken or vegetable broth
1 can cream of broccoli or cream of mushroom soup
1 bag frozen hashbrown potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon onion flakes 
1 8 oz block cream cheese (not fat free, it won't melt)
Toppings: Shredded cheese/bacon bits/green onion 

Mix all but cream cheese and toppings in crock pot and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-7 hours. Add cream cheese during the last 20 minutes and stir. Top as desired.

Recently changed my life! 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, and a teaspoon of cinnamon, about 8 - 10 apples. low for 6 hours or high for 3. you can leave the peels on and just slice them really thin. Food process if you don't want it as lumpy.

Twila Lahey