Perhaps we are approaching the “terrible two’s”? Or maybe it’s because I am raising a daughter? There, I’m sure, are many reasons why my sweet, goofy, little girl has turned into a waking dictator, who, at the crack of dawn, decides that her wrath of unknowns is ready to be unleashed. 11014991_10101758473192693_2560095276888936951_n

I am coming off of two straight weeks of shortened sleep cycles, crying first thing in the morning and trying to get a toddler to just eat and poop something, in a normal pattern. I know, I’m crazy for thinking this is possible. I believe we are teething, constipated, battling a cold, dealing with knowing what we want to say but not having the full ability, and two labs that just ruin the world.

My mornings have started by tears, diaper-change refusal, 7 books read, and one of the last two binkies being clenched in mouth as little M hollers her orders of leaving the room, then going back in, then turning on the light, then grabbing a toy, then throwing the toy {which makes more tears flow}, then smacking the dogs who are licking her face. By the time we make it downstairs to try to get a drink and food, no one is keeping calm.

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M is going through food refusal so she and I sit with the fridge and freezer door wide open as I use her as a homing-beacon to figure out what she may want to eat. {Meatballs and ice chips? Sure! Why not…} After I get them ready to eat, she walks around with the bowl sideways so everything spills out. Back to zero. Deep breaths. Keep calm and what?

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The rest of these mornings I tend to be followed by a very hangry toddler, who is refusing to eat, can’t poop and teeth hurt. I feel her. I really do. I’ve come to work looking a bit disheveled for the past two weeks, and I think this is just the new look I need to learn to rock.

As much as life during these mornings can be difficult, I wouldn’t trade them for anything and I secretly love every minute. Cheers to you moms and dads that can understand and goodonya for being able to have the humor to get through!

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Since I am currently a full-time working mom, I have limited time to get to go out and enjoy the outdoors, with my little M in tow. My time to get out and explore is limited to the weekends, which will have to do for now.

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We recently went out to a local spot, pre-Spring, that was fun to explore and had plenty of gravel and stairs to keep two young gals busy. Visiting a local Botanical Garden is the perfect way to get outdoors, and give little ones a fairly safe environment to let loose.

They had a blast running around the open grass, practicing balance on inclines, and smelling the flowers. Well, the only ones that had bloomed.

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I hope to get out again and explore more of the PNW. We did try to do a little hike last weekend, but apparently didn’t find the right trail and putting M in rain boots was not the best plan. She insisted on being carried for the majority of the “hike” and cried whenever there was a mud puddle. I guess we need to get out more!

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“Giving Up for Lent” …. some may read that as “what are you going to give up for Lent?” or you may read it as “I give up from giving up things for Lent”.

I grew up in the Catholic Church, which took Lent very seriously. We all looked forward to Ash Wednesday, where we would all giggle at each others ashen crosses on our foreheads, but we never were actually being reflective and grasping what the next 40 days meant for our eternal life. It is all a bit heavy for a crew of 26 elementary school kids.

As my faith journey has progressed throughout my life, I still don’t have the best grasp on Lent, but the one thing I have always had an issue with, is that Lent became something very materialistic and social. Everyone would post and boast about the chocolate, soda, alcohol, etc. that they were going to try to give up for Lent. I highly doubt when our time comes that the gates of heaven are going to swing open for all those years of chocolate you gave up.

I have turned to wanting to be more reflective during Lent, finding something I can give up or “take on” during Lent that help my community, my faith, something more deep than my waistline or health. While giving up unhealthy things are great, let’s not use Lent for doing something that only really benefits ourselves.

I know it’s about a week behind, but this Lent, I am going to read a devotional and work on my faith and being reflective on what Lent really means. I am partaking in this Lent series that is beautifully put together and can be downloaded through an app on your phone {ok that’s amazing!}. Here is a link to the plan that you can read through to figure out how to get the app on your phone.

This site has some awesome devotionals that would be good to take part in any time in your life, but Lent is a great time to start!!

 

{Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. The plans appear to be free online. While the app is free on phones, you do have to pay a small fee for the plans. It’s worth it, I promise!}

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a home that has multiple rooms that allow you to separate kid stuff from the adult stuff? Some of you may be fortunate enough to have this, but we do not! So, when you need to get creative – there are certain things you can do! For me, insert IKEA.

IKEA gets a bad rap from “all of the manual labor” needed to put their furniture together. While I think they do a great job of putting together some simple instructions and making it easy for most to accomplish, I always browse the “AS-IS” section and hope to find something I need – already put together!

I loved IKEA’s Expedite shelving, although never bit the bullet to buy one, but continued to dream of the day I could bring it into my home. I finally made the decision to use their shelving unit as the central location to store toys and to create a “playroom space” in our living room that wouldn’t make the entire room feel “just for the kids”. The shelving unit at IKEA is now the KALLAX system, which I don’t see too much difference in. I went in to IKEA on my own and was pumped to buy the unit, when I saw how huge and heavy the box was, and slowly lost my excitement of being at IKEA alone…darn.

As I slumped away, trying to come up with a plan on how to convince my husband to come back with me, I slugged through the AS-IS section and found the exact unit I was looking for – including two drawer units already installed. Discounted price, already put together, and with the drawer unit?? THANK YOU JESUS!! I felt like I conquered IKEA. {I will leave out the part where I basically had to tear my car apart to fit it in…}

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This unit is gorgeous – and really adds a nice area in the living room. It gives everything a place {glorious organization} and brings the “play area” into one central location.

Most people then buy the IKEA bins that perfectly fit in the cubbies. I went a little outside the box and found 4 gallon garbage pails at IKEA that fit great in the cubbies as well! I thought it added a fun look! I may spray paint them another color, but am liking the white on white right now! They fit so much! I was able to round up all of the toys from various areas and fit them in these bins – it was great!

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Need an easy DIY Valentine’s Day gift? Or a gift for an anniversary, just because or to show someone how much you love them? Here is a inexpensive, easy and customizable gift to give to someone you love this Valentine’s day…or any day!

Items needed:
Picture frame (any size, recommend 5″ × 7″; make sure the glass is in the frame)
Any color scrap fabric
Choice of scrap paper
Color printer (optional – if you have pretty penmanship you can certainly write on the paper!)
White board marker
Hot glue gun + glue sticks

Directions:

1. Open a Word Document (or grab your pens!) and type up or write out, in the font of your choice: I love you because…

2. Print out, cut to size of frame opening and place in frame.

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3. To make the fabric roses, take the scrap fabric and fold, lengthwise so that the fabric is only about 1/4″ wide.

4. Reserve a small amount of fabric to cut circles that will be used to adhere to the frame.

5. Hold one end and twirl/wrap the remaining fabric around tightly, wrapping it like a flower.

6. Use the hot glue to secure the final piece, trying to secure and glue on the side that will be on the bottom.

7. Use excess fabric reserved earlier to cut a circle that is less than the base of the fabric rose. Hot glue this piece to the base of the flower. This will help secure the rose to hold shape.

8. Hot glue to your liking on the frame.

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9. Take a dry erase marker and write a sweet note on the glass to answer the “I love you because…” phrase and give to your loved one!

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