Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April Brain Dump


I love this picture from Easter!

--

I'm annoyed that people keep asking me about having more babies and laugh when I say I have a plan. My sister likes to give me a hard time about trying to "play God" by dictating when I'll get pregnant again. It assaults me left and right,  from women who were due when I was and now they're already pregnant with their second kid, people saying Shepherd needs a sibling. You know the drill. It is nothing new. Usually I don't care. All the time I hear women say the typical things women say, about strangers touching their bellies or touching their babies or whatever. None of that bothered me. This does though. I guess because we, meaning Bryan and I, are so, so incredibly far away from having our second baby. I honestly couldn't feel farther away from the idea. We have so much to get in order, so much on the horizon that it wouldn't be fair to us, to Shepherd and even to the baby to try to wrestle that in there.

Mostly, with each question and comment about the next baby, I feel it. The disappointment in my last pregnancy, the weight of failed breastfeeding. The huge crap pile that was my life in 2012 and 2013. I can't go back there. I can't revisit that. I can't have pre-eclampsia again and the longer I wait, the healthier I get, the better I learn to deal with stress and anxiety, the better of a chance I have at carrying the baby to full term. To experience birth and motherhood the way it should be. But we aren't ready yet, I'm not ready yet. I can't do it and I don't like the comments. I don't like the feels that come along with them.

--


We went to a local Mexican restaurant on Shepherd's birthday and he loved playing in the fountain!

--

I'm in the beginning stages of applying for a program that will enrich my knowledge of school business and help to push my career forward. For the past few years I've been in a holding pattern because I always thought this was a bridge job. I would use this job to bridge the gap until I became a stay at home mom. Since that isn't happening, I feel like I owe it to myself to dive deeper in my career so that I can move up as much as possible.

I definitely cannot say that my brain and heart have completely surrendered the idea of being a SAHM. It's been hard to adjust my thinking to this is what I'm doing for the long haul. With this program, there is no going back. Personally, I'm devastated. Giving up a dream is hard. Especially when that dream is so rooted to the core of you. At the same time, I'm not just giving up a deal. I'm pursuing a new one which is really scary. Hustling to meet goals and realize your dreams is not easy. It's not supposed to be or the payoff wouldn't be as sweet. I'm starting to get into deeper waters and I feel so out of my element. I'm ready for the challenge though. I think it's right.

--


I am obsessed with the app Perfect365. I told my friend Denise about it and we constantly send each other selfies. I definitely think I should die my hair blue. Also.... I need lavender contacts STAT. How cool are they?!

--

Bryan is so, so close to finishing his album. I can almost feel the energy in the air. The next few months are going to be a whirlwind and I could not explain why, but I feel like this moment in our lives is huge. It's going to propel us somewhere. I don't know where, I don't have any idea if it'll be a good place or bad one, but this step is going to take us somewhere unfamiliar. It's exciting, exhilarating and terrifying at once. I've convinced Bryan do to a little side project with it and I'm super stoked that he is on board. More on that soon!

--


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tribe Tuesday: All about Easter

I don't know about you but this weekend was pretty great on our end! On Friday, Shepherd and I went to Bryan's moms house to spend time with the family. We ate tacos and watched as everyone dyed their eggs. After everything was cleaned up, we sat around in the garage talking and Shepherd danced his little heart out and we sang to some classic rock. I was too busy being in the moment to take any pictures. It was lovely. I always have a great time when I hang out with them!

Saturday was an extremely busy day. Bryan's paternal side of the family have been doing the 'Easter Campout' for years now. I know it's been happening over thirty years, but I'm not sure if it's gotten to thirty-five yet... Anyways, everyone shows up right after lunch time (or nap time if they have kids) they set up awnings to chill under and the whole day is filled with different activities! A lot of family members pitch tents in the area surrounding our cousins house and spend the night. We haven't done that in a long time, mostly because Sunday is always so crazy with travelling to events on my side of the family.

We got there right around three and my father-in-law had already set up an area for us to hang out in. We all hung out and chatted for a while and then the annual wiffle ball game started! I haven't played since the first like... three years I attended. Usually, I will sit and read a book, cheering in between pages. This year I was on Shepherd duty! So we played, watched and I chased him around. When the sun started setting, the shuffleboard tournament started and the fire pit is lit up. We roast hot dogs and s'mores. It's a fun family day!





This is Bryan's cousin Kaci and her sweet baby girl, Spencer.

Shepherd's first Easter Campout!!!

We got home right around ten, so I immediately dyed the eggs we had boiled earlier. To save time and energy, I "decorated" them with leftover tattoos from Shepherd's carnival! I ended up putting a mustache one on my finger and I made Bryan let me put one on him. It was fun. Also, we were so exhausted and delirious at this point! 


The next day all three of us slept in until 10am! Totally crazy. We were so tired but I did not expect us to sleep in so late, so of course we were rushing all morning. I forgot to get a picture of our Easter basket. I asked Bryan if we were going to do the Easter Bunny, since we really don't put an emphasis on Santa. He didn't think we should either so then we had to decide if we were going to do Easter baskets. Bryan didn't think it was necessary but I want our kids to have the experience, so I made the executive decision and planned for a Family Easter Basket. Everywhere, there will be one basket of goodies for the whole family to enjoy and maybe a small individual present for each kid we have. 

This year I did three items, since there are three of us. I purchased a book, a movie and a water bottle for Shepherd. The book I picked up was Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney. I purchased it from Target for $9.99 and now wish I would have checked Amazon. Way cheaper. Dang it. 

The movie I picked up was Frozen. I really wanted The Lion King since Bryan loves that movie, but it wasn't there. I didn't know what else to pick and the basic DVD version of Frozen was on sale so I was like, okay. We watched it Sunday morning and can I just say how much I love Kristen Bell? The only reason I watch that movie is for Anna's character. Anyways, they we took the long drive (a whole five houses!) to my Moms house to eat Easter lunch, hunt eggs and hang out. It was so fun. 

I have been working with Shepherd to pick things up and put them "away". Most of the time he picks something up and throws it, but he's been consistently handing me items and putting them in the toy box when I ask him to help clean up. I figured he wouldn't have the attention span to hunt eggs but figured we'd at least get a photo of him putting an egg in a basket. To my surprise, he loved it! He found some eggs on his own, would pick them up and put them right in the basket. It was just the cutest thing. 







I didn't really think through the fact that I would be in pictures and I had slipped on my brother in laws flip flops to go outside. I look ridiculous with those huge shoes on, but they are the rainbow brand and they are SO COMFORTABLE. I need some. Preferably ones that fit my feet.

Anyways, it was a great day! Shepherd was so well behaved, even though the weekend was full of long days. He is such a happy little guy. The only way this holiday could have been better is if my sister Alison and her kiddos had been there to hunt eggs with us!


Monday, April 21, 2014

A Carnival Themed First Birthday Party! Also, I'm tired.

When I was a kid, my mother would throw together three birthday celebrations a year for each of my sisters. Our huge freaking family would show up, the kids would run around like crazy people and trash the room that we had cleaned (read: stuffed everything into the closet) the week prior and we'd eat and have cake and generally a good time. But even as a kid I would think it was crazy. It was fun, for sure, but it was insane. 

I always knew that when I had kids I would do milestone birthday parties only with smaller, more intimate celebrations in between. My mother-in-law, whom I adore, does a tradition of a homemade cake and the birthday persons favorite meal. Family and friends are encouraged to swing by if they'd like, but for the most part it's a very low key celebration. Sometimes they'll plan something for the weekend with friends or whatever. I dig it. 

That said, the first birthday is a milestone birthday, even if Shepherd won't remember it. I wanted to do something big and I decided a carnival in my father-in-laws big backyard would be perfect. When I told Bryan and tried to get him to let me book a petting zoo for $300, we had to have the "let's be realistic" talk. I hate that talk. I don't want to "talk", I want a freaking PETTING ZOO. 

Unfortunately, I lost that battle. We had quite a few games and activities for everyone, a bounce house, cotton candy and popcorn though. Which is essential when it comes to a Carnvial...is it not? Then, of course, there was hot dogs/chili dogs, frito boats, nachos and zero healthy food, because what is healthy at a carnival? Absolutely nothing!

I bought most of the games, decor and candy from Oriental Trading Company but I also bought some things from the 99 Cent Store and from Rick's Vending, which is local. For the popcorn, I borrowed a machine from my sister's mother-in-law and bought a box from Smart & Final that had packets of kernels on one side and buttery stuff on the other side. Perfectly portioned out! I had no idea they made packets like that - Bryan is the one who told me to pick one up! So convenient. Most of the food was from Smart & Final. I purchased the Cotton Candy from FlossZone. The website is a little outdated but it is legit for sure. Randy was SO incredibly helpful and the cotton candy arrived right on time. It was perfect. I would definitely recommend them if you are looking for affordable, bulk cotton candy. I should mention that I paid for all my stuff and wasn't perked to mention them. I'm just passing along information for any other parent that may need resources for their parties!

For the games, we had a little station towards the back of the yard. We had archery where the kids would knock down bowling pins, lawn darts, ghetto ring toss which consisted of hula hoops and a tree stump, popping balloons with darts, lawn bowling, horse shoes, two corn hole stations, legit ping pong and a bean bag toss game. We also had a photo booth because I'm obsessed with them. Most people didn't do it because they are duds. Laaaame.

My wonderful friend Colleen took photos for me! I'm just going to dump the photos here and explain only when I feel it is necessary. Enjoy the pictures!





This is my sweet niece Emma, but behind her, you'll notice a stick with balloons. We had those all over but a lot of them popped. You can pick up those balloon sticks here. I got the balloons from the dollar store.












Smoosh face! I totally dressed Shepherd in Red and Cream to go with the Carnival theme and also overalls because of Carnival workers. I adore my own self.


Shepherd has learned to dance, which looks a whole lot like squatting and he's in what my husband calls portuguese shoes. How adorable are they?


Here I'm manning the popcorn station and my Dad is asking for more bubbles. The kiddos loved the bubble machine that our dear friends Stan and Tammy got Shepherd!



My beautiful sister Kari and her eldest son, Owen. Kari is a photographing enigma and I so adore this picture.


The favor boxes for the kids can be purchased here. I stuffed them with a ton of candy, some tattoos and of course prizes and toys.


The carnvial themed table decorations and candy were purchased from Oriental Trading Company. That decoration was the closest anyone would ever get to a clown around me. I didn't set those up and I didn't look at them long. I HATE clowns, which is funny because later you'll see me dressed up as one. I make no sense.









He was the main reason why all the balloons popped. 


He loved kicking this ball around. I played with him for a while whenever I got a chance.




I got this table skirt on clearance from Oriental Trading Company. Bryan used it for the gift table and it turned out so cute!





My wonderful friend Colleen. She's currently baking Shepherd's best friend. :)



We taught Shepherd to raise his hands when asked "Who's a big birthday boy?!" Adorable.



Cotton candy placed in treat bags for everyone! We also used these for the popcorn.










I tried to get him to taste it but he's in a phase where we have to taste things first. Once we saw me eat some he went to town on the smash cake!






Of course my father in law Rick pushed his whole face in the cake. Weirdo.









Outfit change! I bought both of these outfits from Kohl's. I loved this little preppy shirt and short combination. Plus, I wanted him to be nice and cool while he was running around.




Denise made it to his first birthday party. Sure is nice to have her around again!



I can't say anything about how much I love this woman and how I adore how much she loves me and my son without getting mushy and teary-eyed so I'll just say that I love her and I can't wait for August!



Typical. Shepherd's cousin Isaac is perfectly perfect and Shepherd refuses to take a picture with him. 


"What is going on right now?"












Any get together where we all are is cause for picture taking. My mom and her girls.


My dad and his girls.


Once most people left and it was just our core people, I took my fat girl butt and got in the bounce house with my boy and hub. It was fun! And super unflattering!




#noimnotpregnant #gottaloseweight



#biggirljumping #watchoutnow



"Who's the big birthday boy?! Shepherd is!"