Sometimes Mom Just Needs 5 Minutes to Herself

How I've come to miss a little privacy in the bathroom.

Crochet Rose Chain Bracelet

A simple yet beautiful crochet bracelet - free instructions.

Kiwi Crate Review

Check out our review of "Around the World" and get $10 toward your first Kiwi Crate.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

School's Out for Summer

First day of first grade and last day of first grade

I officially have a second grader on my hands. It was no sooner apparent when opening his first grade report card and finding the supply list for next year attached.


So here's to making the next 11 or so weeks of summer filled with memories (since those days will be gone before we know it!)


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Reasons Mommy is Crying: June 12th, 2014

Sure kid, I didn't just clean the house or anything. Go ahead and bring those toys out to the living room, dump them, and walk away #toddlerlife #reasonsmommyiscrying

Friday, May 30, 2014

May Adventures: Here's What We Did Last Month

Here's our May report card :)

1. Bambino Buddy Ball started. E-man is in his third year and it's Bear's first. Bambino Buddy Ball is an amazing program for kids ages 5-20 who have disabilities that prevent them from playing on a typical baseball team. Our family really enjoys the Buddy Ball league, the coaches, and players and families. 

2. My pre-ordered copy of The Honest Toddler finally arrived! I'm a big fan of Bunmi Latidan and her thoughts on parenting. If you're humble and secure in your own parenting, read this article featured on Huffington Post about how children are capable of having magical childhoods without a cruise director.

3. My beautiful mother in law had a birthday and I crocheted for her, this bracelet

3 1/2 . And then I made one for myself (while trying to add inventory to my soon to be opening Etsy store). 

4. Our kids' school had their annual carnival and fun was had with balloon swords, photo booths, games, and cake walks....

5. ...and where I thought I was sneaky by taking some across-the-room-shots of my husband as he waited in line with the kids for the balloon artist. (He was not impressed, lol).

6. We put together a Box of Sunshine for a sweet little gal in our family :)

7. The boys gathered their piggy bank funds and asked to go garage sale-ing one Saturday morning. They came home with some a peter pan doll, a squirt gun, a Stuart Little book, dvds, a game, and a Mr Potato Head set and only paid $1.85. I think they've picked up on bargain shopping from their mother ;)

8. Our Kiwi Crate (affiliate link) arrived and fun ensued! This month was about flight and the boys created kites and rockets!

9.  We swam in the pool three times in May! There was some great weather going on up in here in the Pacific Northwest and we took advantage of those hot days.

10. On Memorial Day, along with the boys' great grandma June, we visited the resting places of our loved ones. 

How was your May? I'm ready for summer!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Day I Pledged to Stop Yelling At My Children

Mr Sunshine asked for a second bowl of cereal and I was happy to oblige. I poured his beloved Fruit Loops with organic milk and headed back to the table. Somehow, I lost my grip on the bowl and watched it, in slow motion, turn upside down and land all over the just swept floor. Loops scattered under the fridge and stove and milk splashed up the side of the cupboard. I was immediately frustrated with myself and dropped to my knees to figure out where to begin. My two year old witnessed the event from a few feet away and saw my sour face reaction. He threw his arms out, stretched as wide as they could be, and threw a hug in my direction. His tiny hands gently patted my back and he nuzzled his face into my neck. He stayed there as long as he felt I needed him. We just sat there on the floor in the milky puddle holding one another for a full three minutes.

And during those minutes I wanted to cry.

I wanted to cry because of the empathy given to me by my pint sized child. I wanted to cry because I was intensely overcome with the guilt of having always scolded my children when they've been in my exact shoes. I wanted to cry for the many opportunities I've missed of moments like this when I should have given the same empathy instead of a stern lecture about being careful.

I just wanted to cry.

But I didn't. At least not on the outside. Even though my heart was hurting, I smiled, hugged my little love, and thanked him for such a compassionate gesture.

And then I cleaned. I cleaned slowly, almost as a punishment to myself. I flashbacked to a few recent incidences of my children spilling apple juice on the living room carpet and emptying a box of Rice Krispies inside the impossible-to-clean-every-square-inch pantry. I was embarrassed of my responses to their "uh-ohs." I recalled scolding them, raising my voice yelling, and having a temper tantrum.

I thought to myself, how would I feel if my husband treated my clumsiness the way I treated the kids' accidents?

And then I did cry. I cried because I haven't behaved very well in these situations. I cried because I want to be a better mom who sets better examples. I cried because of the immense pressure social media has put on moms to be June Cleaver every minute of every day.

Yet it took my child, the little Cindy Lou Who helped Mom's heart grow six hundred sizes that day, to show me it was okay; the world wasn't going to end over a spilled bowl of milk.

* Note: There are some really great parenting sites out there though for dealing with becoming a calmer parent with less yelling, as well as dealing with the dreaded mom guilt we sometimes face. My three favorites are Finding Joy, The Orange Rhino, and Hands Free Mama. All three of these are wonderful resources. 

I have accepted the challenge of Yelling Less and Loving More put forth by The Orange Rhino. I plan to write about the experience in future posts, in hopes of meeting my own No Yelling goals.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DIY: Creating a Box of Sunshine

Last month, I was visiting with a family member when I learned that a special young lady in our lives was having a bumpy go of it. I felt led to let her know in some way that we were thinking of her, praying for her, and just overall loving her from our neck of the woods.

So hubs and I headed to Target to fill up a Box of Sunshine for this sweet little gal. If you've never made a box of sunshine, they're a real treat to put together. I was inspired by some pins on Pinterest and kept most items in the "yellow" sushiney theme.

We found a cute "Apple of my Eye" plastic box, candy like Starburst and Butterfinger, some mini Oreos, mini M&Ms, Easter candy, lemonade MIO, marigold seeds to plant, yellow glow bracelets, yellow flower suckers, a yellow light up jelly ring, some stickers, chevron patterned tissue, hair bands, a glass jar of lemonade, glow stars, lemonheads, note cards, and I even made a yellow crochet cuff.

It was fun choosing items we thought she would love. We carefully wrapped everything up in yellow tissue paper. Hubs even put in a ziploc full of potting soil :)

(I found some free printables all over pinterest and I feel super bad for not being able to remember the sources. Sorry!)

We heard the box was well received and it made my day knowing we made her day.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sunday Morning Reader

 E-Man, reading the Sunday newspaper comics

Friday, May 2, 2014

Crochet Rose Chain Bracelet.

My mother in law's birthday was yesterday. Knowing she wears bracelets quite often, I decided to crochet a simple chain bracelet with a rose accent. I didn't follow a pattern for the bracelet, but it was quite easy, really.

Although you could alter the bracelet and use whichever yarn and hook you desire, here's what I did:

Lion Brand Bonbons Yarn
Aunt Lydia's Size 10 Crochet Thread (for the rose)
US Sz F hook
1.65mm steel hook (for the rose)

Create a chain the length you want the bracelet to be (I chained 15). Then single crochet into your first chain to create the bracelet. Chain another 15 or 16 chains and slip stitch into the single crochet. Chain another 15 or so chains and slip stitch again in the single crochet. Chain another 15 chains and single crochet in the first single crochet. This gives a total of four rings. Fasten off. I wanted a twisty look so I weaved one of the chains before securing.

I then used Aunt Lydia's size 10 thread and a 1.65 mm steel hook to create the rose. I followed instructions for the rose at I'm Topsy Turvy. I sewed the rose on and voila!

I adore how it turned out! I think she loved it too. :)

Note: If you're not a crochet-er and love the look and want your own, I will be opening an Etsy store next month, details to follow.