Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016...I Survived

On Halloween night our very small town comes alive. I like it. I love the community feeling, seeing all the kids dressed up, watching the progression of Jack becoming a big boy, and people watching. We live out in the country so we don't get any trick or treaters. I do miss giving out candy but watching Jack, Bennett, and Maybree trick or treat is too cute.

Our night didn't start out too great. I surely thought we were headed for a disasterous night. My mom, my sister Samantha, my nephew Bennett, my niece Maybree, Jack, and myself decided to get some supper before we headed out to trick or treat. There was only one table of people when we got there and they were already eating. After we sat down three more tables filled up. The waitress was baaaaaaaad. I honestly felt bad for her. After 45 minutes and seeing everyone else get their food I got up and said something. I then noticed the waitress walk over to the counter and get what I am sure was our order and take it to the back. She forgot to take our order to the back! I went up there and asked her and she said no that they have had it. I know it was a lie. We didn't know if we should just wait but we really wanted to head out before it got too dark. Just as we decided to leave they brought our food out so we had to throw it in to go boxes. I wasn't happy that they didn't at least give us a discount. We then felt very rushed and aggitated.

We decided to go to a neighborhood that is in a big circle so we could just park and walk to a few different houses and call it a night. We already had way too much candy even before we left to go trick or treating. We were pretty much going just for the experience.

I'm so proud of Jack! All of our talking and practicing paid off. He walked right up to the door, knocked, said trick or treat, got his candy, and said thank you. He loved it! He would say his thank you and then was anxious to get to the next house. I even stood back and let him do it and he did perfectly. He only got scared once where a house had a person in a full monster costume. He didn't cry but ran behind my legs. All the other scary stuff he laughed at. I think it scared him because he thought it wasn't real but when it moved it made him nervous. Bennett was scared of a few more things but never flipped out. He just wanted to be reassured. We went to about 15 houses and called it a night. We hadn't eaten yet so we were pretty hungry. 

Well tomorrow is November 1 and so another cycle of holidays are ahead of us. I'm excited and anxious to get it all in. I just hope with November comes cooler weather. 

I hope your Halloween night was boo-tastic!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Oh The ER Visits

Saturday morning Jack woke up at 4:30 am and requested milk and "strawberries" (which are fruit chews). He has milk and these fruit chews daily. We were getting ready to go shopping in Little Rock to find some things for Jack's new school and the final touches for his Halloween costume. At around 6:30 that same morning it looked like he had an ant bite under each eye. As the minutes passed it got worse and then his arm broke out.

I took him to the ER and they gave him a prescription for steroids but the spots had pretty much vanished before we even left. We decided to hold off on the shopping and ended up carving pumpkins instead. Those steroids had him so hyped up. When he finally laid down he slept for about an hour and woke up broke out again. After about an hour they disappeared. Later that evening he broke out again and it was worse than it had been before. We took him to the ER in another town. They gave him Benedryl and sent him on his way.

Sunday we broke out some but not like he had the previous day. So, the plan was for him to go to school and me to go to work. Well this morning he broke out again so our plans changed and I made him a doctor's appointment.

Dr. Young said the meds that he was prescribed at the ER probably wouldn'd do the job so he gave him a different steroid. He also discovered that Jack has an awful ear infection. He hasn't run any fever and hasn't complained about his ears at all. So now I'm waiting for his meds to get ready. Hopefully this will do the trick but the doctor did say that he might break out a few more times.

Jack's allergic reaction was the center of our weekend but we did carve a ghost and spider pumpkin and made pumpkin cookies. Today Jack and I are going to check out his new school and introduce him to his new teachers and classmates.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Planner Life

Yesterday I got my new planner, stickers, and extra notepad/graph paper. Oh I can't even convey how excited I am to start using it all. I LOVE new planners. I never stick with one for a whole year and that is okay. Sometimes a planner might just be for a phase. I'm in a very hectic time of my life right now so I think a new planner is just what I need to get myself organized and excited about planning future events.

I purchased the "me & my BIG ideas Create 365 The Happy Planner, Hello Life". It runs from July 2016-December 2017.  I got it from Amazon for $26.99. It is beautiful and I already love several features. I also purchased the "Important Sticky Notes" by Create 365. I love that they have mini to do list stickers so you can write a few things on them.

I also went ahead and purchased a package of note and graph paper that I can add to my planner. In the package it was half note pad paper and half graph paper. I knew I would want extra paper to write down ideas, bucket lists, wishlists, and such. I've already started a page of Christmas gifts to buy.

Here is a look at what I bought.

Monthly view
I like the big boxes and the notes section on the side

Big Picture
At the start of each month there is a page to write down what is currently going on in your life (I love this), birthdays, monthly goals, and important dates

Added notepad pages
I bought these added pages and they slipped right in. I love that it has a place for the date on each page so if you wanted to write a journal this would be perfect. 

Weekly view
I like that it isn't broken down by hour because my day isn't broken down into hours. I like that each day has three big boxes to write down important information. I actually think the boxes are big enough to write out the important stuff in the top box, my work to do list in the middle box and use the last box to write my home to do list. 

There are other accessories that go with these planners and I hope to get some of those for Christmas. One of my favorites is that you can get a carrying case for your planner. I for sure want that and may not be able to hold out for Christmas. I want to be able to carry it with me to most places without having to carry it in my purse where things have been known to get ruined by spills or lipstick tops that come off. 

How do you stay organized on paper? 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Confession Time

1// I love the presidential debates. I'm a political loving person so these things excite me. I love hearing analyst discuss afterwards as well. The political science behind it all is what I really love.

2// I'm having the best time putting together Jack's Halloween costume. I'm not going to reveal just yet but I hope it all comes together and looks as cute as I think it will.

3// Teen Mom OG is my guilty pleasure. Farrah is the rudest person I've ever seen. You can tell that she is like that in person. I don't see how her parents let her speak to them that way. She is setting it up so her daughter is going to treat her the same way she treats her mom and it serves her right. I think Maci is the best mom on the show and I adore Ryan's parents.

4// I've learned that I drink my calories. I'm in love with the PSL at McDonalds and I love having a large Dr. Pepper to drink on during the day and then crunch on the ice. I want the PSL before work, the Dr. Pepper during my workday, and then another on my ride home from work. Even before I make it to my PSL I have a coffee from home. Once I get home from work I'm good with drinking water but something in me wants that caffeine or taste or both during my day. I need a different alternative.  I do not do diet drinks. I've never liked the taste.

5// Sometimes I stay up super late, like at least one or two nights a week, just so I can have a little alone time. I always pay for it the next day but I really need my quiet time.

6// My new favorite show is Designated Survivor.

7// I really want to like the big hit show This Is Us but I can't really get into it. I've never been a fan of going back and forth. The overweight woman meeting this great man (even though I find him annoying) at her first meeting is just so unrealistic and reminds me too much of the Mike and Molly storyline.

8// I am looking into Jack taking horse riding lessons. Someone gave me a name of a man who is out of town but not too far that does them. I'm going to contact him soon and see if I can set that up.

9// I"m also thinking about getting Jack a beagle for Christmas. I never thought I would want another dog. It isn't that I don't love dogs, I do, but they are hard work. I've done some research and I think a beagle would be suitable for Jack. I really want Jack to have that one childhood dog that is his best buddy.

10// It's time for me to get my hair done again and I plan to get it done before I head to Fayetteville in November.

11// Weight Watchers is not going well. I'm broke right now which makes it hard to eat healthy.

12// Jack got accepted into the ABC program. He will be attending a different school under the same director of the preschool he goes to now. I'm nervous though. It is going to be in a different building across town, a different schedule, different teachers, and this mama is nervous. The big positive is that it is free! Him being in this program will save me $400 a month.

13// Yesterday I ordered myself a Hello Life planner. I also ordered the stickers and the extra notepad and graph paper. I hope for Christmas I get the carrying case and other accessories. I was going to start working on my Christmas planner but decided to get this instead and order the extra paper so I can add in to put my Christmas plans on and then add into the planner. I needed a planner where I could be detailed but also a place to write down big ideas to work from. I'll let y'all know how I like it.

14// Mother Nature has betrayed me. It has been in the 90's and will be until Thursday. Jack has cute long sleeve Halloween shirts that I wish he could wear. My plan is to put one on him each cooler day because around here it might be chilly one day and then hot the next. I shouldn't have waited so long to put his Halloween shirts on him. Plus, boo to the heat. I'm a gal who loves the 70 degree weather.

15// I've been in a reading rut and I'm looking forward to some books I have on hold to become available. I'm always the one who either gobbles up books or reads next to nothing. Once I get back into a reading groove I will read book after book and then my reading halts.

Do you have any confessions you would like to share today?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pumpkin Patch 2016

I did NOT want to go to work today. I thought about calling in sick numerous times and it felt like someone was pushing me into death row. Sleepy is an understatement. I was pure exhausted. Boy was I surprised when I found this cup with this saying on it which was full of chocolate. I love Parks and Rec so getting this mug made me so happy. 

We had a wild time at the pumpkin patch. Everything with Jack is full force and if you don't hold onto him he is gone. I literally lost him twice and one of those times was in the corn maze. I had to just run around like a crazy person until I tracked him down. I have to remind myself that each year going and doing things will get easier. Last year a pig bit him and this year it was a horse so at least there is that tradition. 

As soon as we got home on Saturday he told me to put my shoes on because we had to go ride a horse. It was his favorite. 

It was so hot that I had to just take his shirt off. This was the only time he was still and that is because I was getting his ice cream ready. 

Lots of climbing. 

This was the most decent picture I got of Bennett and Jack. I wish we could have managed to get one with Maybree also but this was chaos enough. 

Sunday we baked ghost and pumpkin cookies and painted our pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. I took zero pictures, just was in the moment. The cookies were delicious and the pumpkins were hideous. Fun was had by all!

Friday, October 14, 2016

5 on Friday (Past to Present)

1// This weekend we are going to the Pumpkin Patch! I'm super excited. It is in the top five of my favorite fall activities. The boys always have a fun time and we get lots of cute pictures. This year we get to take Maybree with us and I know she will look super adorable. I ordered Jack a precious monogrammed iron-on and I straight up screwed it up. I like for him to wear a monogrammed fall shirt but this year he is going to have to sport a Halloween shirt that I recently picked up from the mall. I've had to just let this one go. 

2// My friend Brooke and I are getting ready to take our prilgrimage to Fayetteville. We are going in November and then when we return we'll get to have Jack's birthday party. We always have the best of times there. I get to visit with my friend Betsy, watch Razorback football, eat amazing food, go out for drinks, see beautiful scenery, and just relax in the best way.

3// Last Halloween I really enjoyed putting together Jack's costume. He looked like the cutest scarecrow ever, it was cheaper, and it was a creative outlet for me. This year my sister texted me saying mom had a Zulilly credit and she was going to order the kids' Halloween costumes. All they had in his size was a policeman costume. I wasn't thrilled about it but since it was free I decided to just take a break from it this year. Well it came in today and my sister ordered the wrong size. It is HUGE on him. I'm now a little nervous about trying to get him a costume but yet I'm also excited that Jack won't be wearing a plain cop costume and also excited to get a chance to be creative. 

4// I'm missing the beach and not just the actual being at the beach part but also all the planning and talking to the girls about our plans. We had many of group texts that kept me laughing and kept me in an excited state. Being at the actual beach was so nice. I loved everything about it and the only things I would change is I'd like to fly and come back a day earlier. Being away from Jack for that long was too hard and by that last day I was aching to see him again. Then I really was aching on the way home from all the sitting. 

5// Although Arkansas had an upsetting loss against Alabama, it was expected. I'm ready for another game. We dress the kids in their Razorback gear, eat something yummy, and all visit during the game. It is always a fun time. Hopefully, the kids will be exhausted from the pumpkin patch and will be chill during the actual game. 

What are you most excited about for this weekend?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Favorite Toddler Halloween Books

As a librarian I have an extra special love of books that I want to pass on to Jack. I want him to be exposed to many different books and enjoy different versions of characters that he loves. I know how important it is for kids to make connections. For example, he knows when he sees Pete the Cat that he can expect similar phrasing and illustrations. I want him to be able to know that we are reading a counting or rhyming book. What I really enjoy is holiday themed books.

For Halloween I purchased five new books. Jack loves for me to read to him. He enjoys hearing the same book over and over. Yes, it can get a little annoying but I have been very intentional about never saying no to reading a book even if I just read it.

I store books in a book bin in the living room, have a few on the nightstand, and some on a shelf in our bedroom. Currently, I'm not storing certain books until that holiday comes around. Once we get moved into our own house I'll be able to store and rotate books easier. I put all the Halloween books in one area so they are easy to grab. Plus, they make great holiday decor. Once Halloween is over they will go into the book bin so they are "put away" yet still available. I have no problem reading a Halloween book in December.

I want to share with you our new favorite Halloween books.

Jack loves all the Little Blue Truck books and this one is super cute. He likes making the animal sounds and the beep beep sound for me. It also has flaps that add a little extra fun to the reading experience. 

Jack also love Pete the Cat. I'm not as impressed with this one as I am with the others (my favorite Pete the Cat book is Four Groovy Buttons) but it is a counting book and a Pete the Cat book so Jack loves it.

This is another counting book. It is very cute and not long. Jack enjoys counting the pumpkins on each page.

Jack loved "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" so this one I was super excited about. This one is his favorite. It is another book with lots of sounds so there is room for you to be very animated.

I love all the "There Was An...Who Swallowed" books so I originally purchased this one because I knew it would be cute and be fun to read. As each page continues there are more words but Jack likes to finish the sentences.  With each added swallowed thing it says "open wider" and Jack likes saying that part and opening his mouth wide.

What is your toddler's favorite Halloween book? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Perfect Toddler Gift For Halloween

At Jack's daycare/preschool they do treat sacks for the kids each major holiday. Most parents bring candy which I completely understand. It can be fairly cheap and easy to just throw in the buggy. Since I already know the kids will get lots of candy I enjoy doing something practical, yet simple, but not something that is just a toy that gets thrown away after the first day of play.

Last Halloween I found really nice flashlights for a dollar. I tied a tag on each one and I think they made a perfect Halloween gift. We actually used the one Jack got this week when we went on our ghost hunt. A year later and it is still working and not torn up. That is almost unheard of in this house.

This year I decided to do a book. I purchased 20 from Scholastic. I printed some simple Halloween labels and now that task is done. Now I can focus on what to put together for Christmas. I went with this book because it is age appropriate and each book was only a dollar. Score!

I can't help myself when I get on Scholastic and ended up purchasing books for us to enjoy this month, some Thanksgiving books, an ABC train puzzle for his birthday, and then a few books that he will receive from Santa. The books he gets for Christmas are not Christmas themed but books that are about construction vehicles. I'll purchase a few Christmas books closer to the middle of Thanksgiving. I don't like buying Christmas books too early because there will always be new ones that come out closer to the holidays and then I'll want to buy those too.

I love Scholastic for finding themed books, special character books like Paw Patrol, activity books, and educational games and toys. I'm really excited about him opening the ABC train puzzle. He loves the alphabet and trains so I think it will be perfect. 

What do you like to gift to toddler friends for Halloween? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Going On A Ghost Hunt Toddler Activity

This Halloween season we are loving the book We're Going on a Ghost Hunt. We also love the book We're Going on a Bear Hunt so when I ran across the Ghost Hunt book I knew Jack would love it. He does! We've been reading it since October 1. 

Yesterday I got the idea that Jack and I could go on our own ghost hunt. Jack isn't a scared kid so I knew he would have fun and not be scared. 

I googled a ghost outside and cut out six different ghosts. I then taped them around the house in dark areas like closet walls and behind doors. 

I equiped Jack with a flashlight and read the book in the dark. We then went on our ghost hunt.

We walked around the house and found each ghost. He loved when he discovered a ghost. As a little extra I had my mom throw a sheet over herself and hide in the utility room (she would not let me capture her as a ghost). We saved the biggest ghost for last. When he opened the utility he smiled the biggest smile. He really is not one to get scared so I knew it would go over well. He screamed "Gem is a ghost". 

Now he wants me to keep hiding the ghosts and keep the game going. It was so fun and a great way to show a book to real life connection. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up

This was a weekend full of all. the. crazy. I need a weekend from the weekend.My niece Maybree and nephew Bennett got to spend the weekend with us. It was a jam packed weekend! 

I cooked, broke up fights over trains that are exactly the same, did crafts, read books, and was basically entertainer for all of Saturday and half of Sunday. Halloween costumes came in the mail, small naps occurred, cakes were baked, debates were watched, lots of Paw Patrol, watched Arkansas get beat by Alabama, had a cookout, did LOTS of cleaning, and tons of prepping for the week ahead. 

Y'all I'm tired. My assistant at work is out this week and it is going to be so busy because fundraiser is over this week. I have to check all the orders and deposit all of the money. Plus, my mom is working so she can't pick up Jack from daycare. It is all going to be rush rush rush. 

We have some fun plans for the upcoming weekend so I'm excited about that but until then I'm going to white knuckle it through this week. 

Below are a few pictures from our weekend. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Stitch Fix Baffles Me

I'll be the one to say it. Stitch Fix clothing is too expensive for me. There are many great things about Stitch Fix-you have a stylist, you get clothes delivered to your house, it is very tailored to the customer.  I love looking at various blogs and seeing the pictures of women trying on their newest Stitch Fix. Seriously, if I run across one of those posts I am always going to click.

The clothes are cute but not $70 for one shirt cute. Gals, they got cute shirts at Target for waaaay less. Maybe it is a quality thing. I've never ordered from Stitch Fix so maybe the material is what you are paying for.

Image result for stitch fix

Don't get me wrong, I love the concept but at least for me, the clothes are expensive. I understand spending good money on nice jeans, jackets, dresses, but not t-shirts. I've seen $50+ t-shirts on Stitch Fix. It seriously baffles me.

I know for a blogger sometimes these fads become things and they snowball. Before you know it you are seeing numerous Stitch Fix posts a day (which I love) but how are y'all affording these boxes each month? I don't even spend $100 a month on clothes, shoes, or accessories so I couldn't imagine spending double that. Stitch Fix has become the equivalent of a bill for some people each month.

Am I missing something (I probably am)? Is it really worth it?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

September Goals Recap + October Goals

Image result for october pictures clip art

1. Read two books. Fail! I still haven't finished The Energy Bus. I use Overdrive to check out ebooks and I'm in line for several books I'm dying to read. 

2. Cook more. I won't say I've been cooking up a storm but I've cooked more in September than I have in awhile. So yay for progress!

3. Work on potty training Jack. You can read about that here

4. Putting together some fun work outfits. I have really upped my work outfit game. I'm getting up a little earlier and buying myself new clothing regularly. Just this weekend I purchased two new shirts and a pair of pants. Now, to find some new booties that don't kill my feet. 

5. Make our fall bucket list. You can see my list here.

6. Have fun at the beach. I had an amazing time and leaving Jack wasn't as bad as I thought. I was so ready to see him and even tried to get the others to leave a day early, but it all worked out. On the second day they put him on FaceTime and he said "hey mama, you at the beach" and then he ran to play. I then knew all was well and I could really enjoy myself. 

7. Make my decision about Weight Watchers. I've joined. Things are going well. I could do better. I did actually exercise yesterday so that is good. I'm making progress!

8. Get into a happy after school rhythm. This area of my life is soooo much better. I have gotten use to going to work and now have more energy after school. The key is to not get home and sit. I knew to stay upright. The more I move, the more I want to move. Once 8 o'clock hits, I'm done. 

October Goals

1. Do all the fall bucket list items. 

2. Send out wedding gifts to two friends.

3. Purchase a few Christmas gifts.

4. Put together Halloween treat for Jack's classmates, my co-workers, and my Secret Pal.

I'm keeping it super simple this month because my fall bucket list is a lot in itself. I'm excited about October. It is always busy but in the best way. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I Have Said Goodbye to Diapers

You may notice that I titled this post "I" Said Goodbye to Diapers. This was my choice, not Jack's. He's been ready and all the signs are there but he is just lazy. He doesn't want to stop during ipad time, or watching Paw Patrol, or playing to stop and go to the bathroom. 

Saturday morning I put him in underwear and we haven't turned back. I nag him to death and often force him to use the potty. We've had a few accidents but none on my watch because I'm very infested in seeing him succeed. He had one accident on Sunday while my mom was watching him while I went to Rhea Lana's and another accident at daycare yesterday. I call that success. Daycare has been exceptional about staying on him to go to the bathroom so I hope that after a few more days of all of us working together we will have this child potty trained. 

Jack has begged and even cried for a diaper, and although it is hard not to just give in, I'm staying strong. We had a battle last night. He was watching Paw Patrol but I knew he needed to go. I paused it and I wouldn't turn it back on until he went. He cried screamed for 30 minutes and then finally said "I gotta potty", went and used it, and I turned on Paw Patrol. 

Being this intentional takes real effort. My afternoons are so busy trying to get it all done that it makes it easy to want to give up. However, we have made it this far and I believe in a few more days this will become the norm for him. Today he and I are going to Wal-Mart to let him pick out new underwear and possibly a prize for doing so well (we will see what daycare says this afternoon). 

Wish me luck that I keep my sanity. When this child gets potty trained I'm giving myself a prize in the form of a large margarita. Let's hope by this weekend I'm saying cheers!
Let's Be Friends

Monday, October 3, 2016

My Favorite Halloween Pins

I love fall and with fall comes Halloween. It hasn't always been a holiday I really celebrated but having Jack has gotten me in the Halloween spirit. Now that it is offically October it is time to celebrate. I'm not the type of mom who has the ability to do all the stuff but I enjoy doing small things throughout the month to make October a little more special. Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite pins that we actually do or will do this month.

These are super duper simple. Last year I didn't do ghosts but instead did pumpkins. I even quickly colored the pancake mix and were able to whip them up. I then used the chocolate chips to make different pumpkin faces. I'm not big into making food too cutesy but this is so simple that anyone can do it.

Don't just make pancakes...make Ghost Pancakes! I make these at least once in October lots of fun.

I've already printed a set of these. I use them with my students and this year I'll be able to use them with my nephew. Jack isn't ready for this just yet because he pretty much scribbles but it is nice to have these to use with my young students.

Halloween Color by Numbers Worksheets:

I printed this one off a few years ago and I still bring it out every October. I actually have it at my work because it matches my other decor and the vibe. I love the font and the colors. 

Second Chance to Dream: Free Halloween Printable:

We did this last year and put them in cheap, yet cute black frames. I even did this project with my nephew and gave the framed result to my sister. She loved it and the boys had fun.

Footprint Ghost Craft - Cute Halloween craft for kids to make! | #halloween #kidscraft #preschool:

I made this for a work week once and it was a HUGE hit. It is super easy to throw together and it tastes so yummy. I for one love sugar and salty together. This is my kind of mix!

Candy Corn Payday Mix

What is your favorite Halloween pin?