Chaotic First Week

As promised from Chloe’s birth story, I have to share the chaos that ensued the first week as a family of four.

For reference I gave birth on a Saturday and we were able to come home by lunchtime on Monday. We had a lovely half-day on Monday as a family of four full of snuggle time on the couch and the most adorable display of sister love that made my heart melt.

Using the boppy as support, Lily held Chloe and proceeded to love on her….sometimes a little too much. No kidding if Lily could make out with her sister she would!

chloelily Tuesday Mike dropped Lily off at school in the am and when he picked her up we knew something was off. She was a little warm and her teachers said she was pretty quiet all day… not the norm for my crazy two year old. Then she woke up from her nap with a 103.5 temperature. Since we had a newborn we called the pediatrician to have Lily checked.

The thing with toddlers and temperatures is that typically you wait 1-3 days to see if the fever goes down before visiting your doctor because most cases your kid has a virus and there is nothing you can do for them besides treating them with some TLC. Since 103.5 is really high and we had a newborn we called the doc…but there was nothing the doctor could do since they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. So Chloe and I were banished to my room for lock down.

chloelily1

Also on Tuesday I noticed that Chloe’s coloring just seemed off…call it mother’s intuition. I kept telling Mike that even her eyes seemed to be a little yellow and glassy looking. Towards the end of the day I just felt so uneasy about it that I called the pediatrician and our doc’s husband (who is also a doctor) agreed to squeeze Chloe in before they closed. Sure enough my feelings were confirmed and Chloe had jaundice. My post partum weepies kicked in and I broke down in tears in the office that one of my girls had a fever and now my newborn had jaundice.

They took blood from Chloe to test her jaundice levels and we went back Wednesday morning for another round of blood testing. We were relieved Wednesday afternoon when her second results came in and showed that her jaundice numbers were lower showing she was in the clear. (Picture below shows her yellow coloring. You can tell the difference between her forehead and hand)

chloejaundice

By Friday I was still on ‘master bedroom house arrest’ to keep Chloe away from Lily’s temperature…yes she still had a temperature four days later!!! I cried everyday and a few times each day because I couldn’t be there for my first baby while she dealt with whatever virus she was fighting. We called the doctor and had Lily go back in to be seen and sure enough they still found nothing wrong with her. On Friday I had to go back into my OB because my episiotomy was not healing right and I wanted them to check it before the weekend and refill my pain meds (lowest tolerance for pain right here!).  Luckily Lily’s fever broke overnight on Friday, but to be safe we kept the girls in separate rooms until Sunday just to be safe.

chloelily2

So in the first week as a family of four Lily went to the doctor twice, Chloe went to the doctor twice and I went to the doctor. The only one who survived anything physical was Mike, but of course the stress of caring for all three of his girls right off the bat sent him to enjoy his bourbon before 5 o’clock. As chaotic & stressful as the week was, it was bitter sweet. Leading up to delivery and during my stay in the hospital I became really emotional that I wouldn’t get as much time with Chloe as I did with Lily. With your first-born you can put life on hold while you soak up all those first moments. With your second child there is no pause button on the tantrums your toddler is throwing. You can’t tell your first kid to hold their pee while you soak up snuggle time with your newborn. So as much as it killed me to not be there for Lily while she fought the virus, I got to have four days with Chloe that I wouldn’t have had. I was able to lie in bed while healing & get that one on one time I was so worried I would miss out on. Bitter sweet I tell ya…

We survived that first week of chaos & now we can laugh about it :) BUT can I say that when you give birth to your first, second or third kid you should be given a grace period of at least a week before reality of toddler tantrums and/or illness takes place….if not for the health of your newborn, at least for the sanity of the parents???

chloelily3

 
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Valentine Roundup

Today I’m bringing you a roundup of past posts and other cute finds from around the web all in the name of love…..well for the holiday of love, Valentine’s Day! Holidays always give a reason to shop, make and create!

Mike and I don’t do the whole big gift exchange on Valentine’s Day. Of course we give each other sweet love notes and Mike always gives in to the whole flower aspect of the holiday (& I don’t mind!). But we’re not into being forced to give big luxury gifts as a token of our love on a specific date other than one that holds special meaning to us. IF Mike was to ever buy a nice piece of jewelry as a sweet symbol of his love, it would mean so much more, to me, if I received it on just a normal day. Don’t get me wrong, we use Valentine’s day to express our love and affection but just not by spending major $$$ to do so! So on February 14th you can expect we will have lovey dovey cards for each other, flowers and a romantic home cooked dinner (well as romantic as it can get with a toddler).

We also don’t go overboard with an expensive Valentine gift for Lily. Just something small that she will love and go gaga over. For Lily’s grandparents were opted for a sweet keepsake last year…a small canvas bearing her tiny handprint!

So take a look at some previous posts to spark some ideas for your holiday…

ideasforvday

One of my all time favorite crafts with Lily was the Glitter Keepsake Handprint we created for the grandparents. The only messy part of the craft was applying glue to Lily’s hand and then transferring it to the small canvas…otherwise the rest was super easy. Her tiny handprint is still on display on a gold easel in our kitchen! Click HERE to check out the project

For something sweet try making the delicious pink and white cookies that are so easy to make! Check out the post all about these cake box cookies for a tasty treat HERE!

For another sweet keepsake try framing a picture of your kid(s) holding up letters spelling out ‘DAD’ or ‘NANA’ for an adorable gift that will be treasured way past Valentine’s Day! Click HERE for more details.

A sweet treat that is actually healthy??? Lily LOVED the DIY fruit snacks I made for her in the shape of hearts! Click HERE for the recipe!

Instead of gifting roses, why not give other pretty flowers that are already in a chalk painted planter! If the plant/flower dies the gift receiver can toss it out, fill the chalk planter with a new plant and scribe the name of the new plant with chalk on the planter. A super easy DIY project that makes a charming gift! Click HERE to read all about it.

If you have a little girl then make her a cute little tutu to wear on the special holiday. Check out my super easy DIY tutorial HERE and see how simple & cheap it is to make!

Now for some finds from around the web….

vdaywebfinds

Looking for some ideas for Lily’s teacher I found this FREE printable from Eighteen 25. You can grab the printable with great directions on how to make her “Thanks a Latte” card where you insert a Starbucks gift card for the teacher who definitely needs caffeine to put up with a classroom full of toddlers!

Another cute FREE printable for teachers was the one I found from Happy Money Saver! The quote is so true… “It takes a big heart to help shape little minds”!

I know I said Mike & I don’t exchange gifts like jewelry for the holiday, but it doesn’t mean I can’t gift myself something cute & small to wear on the 14th!  I adore these small quartz earrings from Shop Gussied. The chunky organic stone is dipped in gold (or silver) and for a price of $16.99 the jewels are perfect for any day of the year! Check out her bangles too!

Pretty smitten over these heart skinny jeans for your mini me. They are on sale now at the Gap.

LOVED this DIY gold glitter tote bag from The Glitter Guide! It was made as a bridesmaid’s gift, but of course you could use it for any occasion! Find the tutorial over at Style Me Pretty!

 

 

 
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Simplicity Series

I’m so thrilled to be a part of the Simplicity Series over at one of my dearest friend’s blog, Miss Emily Ley! Emily has been featuring this wonderful series on her blog for awhile and I was tickled to be a part of it! This series features women in different stages of their lives sharing six products and/or tips that help make their life more simple so they can spend their time on what matters!

So hop on over to Emily’s blog and check out my part in this fabulous series! Click HERE

simplicity

 
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  1. April 28, 2016 Reply

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  3. May 20, 2016 Reply

    Kittenese817I can’t believe there are so many people who are commenting that he’s hot… he looks a lot older than his age here, and if his drug habits persist, it’ll just get worse.

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2014 Is All About Living…

Typically people take some time leading up to New Years Eve or in the beginning days of the New Year to reflect and plan. Reflect on life over the past year. Figure out if their life is on track. What goals and milestones they’ve reached and ones they have yet to accomplish.

Then there are the New Year’s resolutions that have people planning. Planning on hitting new or old goals. Looking back last year I entered 2013 with the perspective of focusing on what matters. To me I planned on focusing on my faith, family and my health. I planned on building my relationship with God. I planned to devote more time to my relationship with Mike. I wanted to focus on being a better mom to Lily and concentrate on being more in the moment with her. And of course I had planned on continuing on my road to losing my baby weight (read more in depth HERE).

But life happened and we were graced with a pregnancy in June. And if you follow along with this blog you know that it has been a difficult pregnancy. With 8 weeks left I am still struggling with nausea. After June I gave up on my 2013 goals and focused on just trying to get through each day of the rough sickness.

And just like 2013, 2014 started out with another life moment that is inevitable…death. My grandmother passed away.

grandma

She entered the hospital and five days later she took her last breath. A couple of hours after entering the hospital we found out that she was having some heart issues and I had a gut feeling that if I didn’t get up to Augusta and see her that I would carry so much guilt not being able to say goodbye if she passed. At 8 months pregnant I knew I only had this small window to get up there before it wasn’t safe to travel. Mike stayed home with Lily and I hopped in my car to make the 8+ hour drive (its normally a longer drive but I have a lead foot) to Augusta last Thursday.

Friday I spent all day with my grandmomma. Unfortunately her health took a turn for the worse early Friday morning and by the time I arrived she was struggling. However, I was blessed to have had that day with her. She opened her eyes throughout the day to speak to her loved ones. Her memory had been slipping and I can’t express how happy I was that she recognized me, remembered to ask about Lily and even quized me on prospective baby names for baby #2.

Friday I was able to shower my grandmomma with love and laughter. I helped feed her a few spoonfuls of orange sherbert, rubbed her hand to let her know I was there, and laugh along with our family while she unleashed her famous sassy attitude. Yes while in ICU my grandmomma still had enough of her spunk to blame Obamacare for her dried lips.

We learned Friday that her organs were slowly shutting down and it was only a matter of time before she would meet her maker. I drove home on Saturday to prepare clothes for my mom and dad for the funeral and on Sunday at 7:15 pm the good Lord called her up. On Monday Mike & Lily drove back up with me so I could be with the rest of the family to pay our respects to my fabulous grandmother.

Over the last few days I have done nothing but look back over the memories of my beloved grandmomma.  We went to her house to go through her belongings to see if there is anything we wanted to take…but I couldn’t. After looking though a few things I was overcome with emotion as I sat on her piano bench. The same piano bench that I would sit on as a little girl while tapping on the keys. The same bench that still held music sheets and my Aunt Jane’s paper dolls that I would rifle through as a child believing they were treasures. I left her house with only one physical object….a handwritten recipe card from her pantry for homemade pecan pie (my favorite). I left with tears but with a heart full of love from remembering all the good that came from that house and that woman.

grandma1

My 2014 started off with a huge loss. A loss that can never be physically gained back. Only time will make the grieving easier.  The time leading up to the funeral and the long drive home was my period of reflection and planning. My plans for 2014 are simple…to just live.

My grandmother lived a pretty amazing life. With only a high school education she started working for Southern Bell at entry level and after 42 years she retired as a senior engineer. She continued working on her education (even attended MIT) all while she was employed and raising two kids. She never truly retired. She focused on my grandfather’s cancer diagnosis and though her love and devotion he lived nine years longer than the few months that doctors had given him. My grandmomma had a heart of gold and lived her life devoted to God, her family and the community.

She was involved in countless volunteer projects. In the trunk of her car, living room and spare room she has bags and bags full of lap blankets she was about to deliver to the veterans and nursing hospitals. She had plenty of toiletries waiting to be shipped to the men and women serving our country. She even had bags of hand stitched teddy bears and store bought stuffed animals that needed to still be delivered to law enforcement. That way if a police officer or fireman ever entered a home of a scared child they could offer them a stuffed animal to help them through any kind of trauma.

So I want, plan and hope that I can live my 2014 with the same level of love and passion my grandmomma did. I enter 2014 with the reminder that life is such a precious gift. Sure I can make a resolution to lose the baby weight from this pregnancy in X amount of days/months…but who knows what will happen this year that could throw me off a weight loss goal. So no real resolutions for me….I want to just live 2014 to the fullest.

grandma3

To read more about my amazing grandmomma click HERE.

 
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  1. Emily Ley commented:
    January 11, 2014 Reply

    So sad about your Grandma, Ames. I still miss mine. Love you so much. Please send Bentley back because Brady ACTUALLY cried today looking for him. :)

  2. Sarita commented:
    January 11, 2014 Reply

    Amy, I’m so sorry about your grandmomma’s passing. What a character! You have written here a beautiful homage to her wonderful and blessed life. I hope knowing what a long and fulfilled life she had, and peaceful passing with you all near will help assuage your grief.

    2014! The year of LIVING!

    Love,
    Sarita and the boys

  3. shauna anderson commented:
    January 16, 2014 Reply

    So sorry for your loss, Ames. Your Grandma sounds like an amazing person and I know this post would make her proud. I love you!

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    That’s a nicely made answer to a challenging question

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Baking Cookies With A Toddler

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler!! So don't stress about the mess & make some memories with your kid!! A HUGE part of the holiday season, for me, is baking delicious cookies. I have wonderful memories baking cookies as a kid and it became a tradition with not only my mom, but with my nana too (my mom’s mom). My nana and I would always make gingerbread men. I remember standing on the chair, decked out in my mini apron, making a mess and enjoying sneaky tastes of batter/frosting/toppings. I can even recall picking off the raisins (used for buttons or eyes) because I hated the way they tasted after baking.

Lily is at the perfect stage to start this favored tradition. For an OCD freak, the thought of baking with a toddler would normally have me heading for the hills. Well today I have some thoughts & tips on how to bake cookies with your toddler!

Take A Chill Pill. Not literally….but go ahead and take a deep breath before you start. Most likely this will be a messy experience…but take it for what it is…an experience for you to make a memory. Your toddler may or may not remember, but you will.

Choose an easy recipe. Don’t make this harder on your self and choose a recipe with too many ingredients and 12 steps! For Lily’s first cookie experience I went super simple and used a cookie mix from a bag that only needed two additional ingredients! It was also one that didn’t need egg, so I didn’t care if she stole tastes of the dough!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! Let your toddler help. What fun is it if you do all the work and your kid only gets to stir for a hot second? With the cookie mix, I let Lily pour the bag into the bowl (with assistance), and I let her hold the measuring cup of liquids when we both dump it into the bowl. Lily’s favorite part is the mixing. I give her a spatula and let her go at it for a while. After a minute I’ll grab the utensil and with her help, I will finish mixing the dough. If you need to use a hand mixer allow your toddler to place one hand to help guide. Obviously before you use the mixer explain that your toddler’s fingers need to stay away from the bowl and/or bottom of the mixer or they will get a Boo-boo. The warning of getting a boo-boo is enough of a warning for Lily!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! Prep. Before you even get your toddler involved make sure you are prepped and ready! Make sure all your ingredients and the correct measuring cups are out. Melt your butter first. Beat that egg first in a small bowl that your toddler can easily pour into the mix. I don’t have one of those toddler step stools, so I just pull a chair up to the counter. This is another reason to have the ingredients ready because you do not want to leave your kid standing on a stool while you grab the milk from the fridge! To continue the apron tradition, my mom gifted Lily & I matching monogrammed aprons! Now whenever I tell Lily we are going to bake she bolts to the pantry to grab her apron…it is so adorable that I always stop and watch her do it! If you don’t have an apron, put one of your husband’s t-shirts over your toddler’s clothes! It will help keep them clean….or cleaner than if they didn’t have it on! OR if you’re like me and you plan messy activities in the am…just keep your kid in their pajamas! After the mess, just toss the pjs in the hamper!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! If you are making sugar cookies using cookie cutters like we did then I have a great tip. To contain the mess (as much as you can) and make an easy clean up, use a cookie sheet that has edges as your work station. Damp a wash cloth and place it under the cookie sheet so the tray stays still and doesn’t move around on the counter. Sprinkle some flour on the tray and then let your kid spread it around and help you pat the dough out!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! My best advice is find a cookie cut out that has a handle to make it easier on your toddler! Now most likely your toddler will just go crazy with the cutter and will not place the cookie cut outs right next to each other…who cares! Let them have the fun! Just keep rolling the extra dough together, pat out again and allow them to continue making their cookies!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! Sneaky sneaky. They WILL attempt to eat the dough or place utensils in their mouth. It is inevitable! If you are uncomfortable with the whole raw egg, then you might want to try one of those bag cookie mixes that do not require eggs. But let’s be honest….licking the spoon and testing some of the cookie batter is part of the whole experience!!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! Frosting. We went simple (again) and bought pre-made frosting that came with a small pack of sprinkles. Once the cookies were cooled, Lily got her own small cup of frosting with one of her toddler knifes to spread on the cookies. If you set your standards high for some Martha looking cookies…then you need to re-think again. While your toddler is having fun smearing some frosting you can decorate a few on the side….so you can have some pretty ones! But more than likely you will have some crazy looking cookies with way too much frosting or barely any! Remember it is all about the experience!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler!If you are adding sprinkles place some in a small bowl and allow your toddler to pick up a few at a time and sprinkle. I have used the kind of sprinkles that you normally just lightly shake over the cookies…but with a toddler there is no light shaking. The one time I used those with Lily, she ended up dumping most of the sprinkles on one cookie!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! Remember to just have fun with it. You will have more of a mess to clean up than usual. The cookies might not look as pretty as your usual ones. BUT they will taste yummy and your toddler will have a blast!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler!

 
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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    December 24, 2013 Reply

    She’s so cute! I love the determination on her face. So excited to see her big girl room, too! Merry Christmas, Amy!

  2. April 29, 2016 Reply

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Planning Lily’s Big Girl Room

Part of prepping for baby number two is turning Lily’s nursery into a toddler or big girl room. Baby number two will be using the crib Lily sleeps in now, so we thought it would be easier to start the transition to a toddler bed now prior to sleepless nights with a newborn. The baby will sleep in our room in a bassinet for awhile, but with Mike travelling for work coupled with the inevitable extreme exhaustion that comes with a newborn…worrying about sleep training Lily in a new bed on top of that would just be insane! So this week is all about changing Lily’s room! (Check out posts on her nursery here and here)

toddlerroomnursery

While pregnant with Lily I was on a total girly girl kick…and ended up painting her entire nursery a pale pink (called “cotton candy” by Benjamin Moore). After a while the in your face color started to give me the itch to re-paint it, so I’m thrilled this week it’s going bye bye! We purchased a large rug for her nursery after Lily turned one and we saw that our new carpet was beginning to show wear in the area by her changing table. The rug is from Pottery Barn Kids- for my friends that know me this is no surprise…most of my house hails from that store- and it’s called the Camille Butterfly rug (no longer available). It is a large grey soft wool rug with purple, pink and cream butterflies that hug the edge. Using that grey rug along with Pottery Barn kid’s online pictures of their rooms we opted to go grey for wall colors and use lavender for her big girl bed.

toddlerroominspiration To start off we are changing the color like I said from pink to a pale grey. After several samples of various grays we settled on seashell gray by Valspar from Lowe’s. I attempted the darker grey like the inspiration from Pottery Barn Kids, but it just didn’t work out for us. Lily is a vampire and only likes to sleep in pitch black conditions, so we have her window blacked out. Instead of purchasing drapes lined with black out material, I purchased a blackout shade from Walmart. I cut it to fit the window and adhered it to the glass with blue putty. Since the blackout screen is taped to the window it stays pretty dark in there unless her overhead light is on. We choose a paler grey paint so her room wouldn’t feel like a total cave! I found the color to show you (below), but it looks too beige…so if you Google the color and click on images to see examples from around the web you will get a better picture of the new paint color.

toddlerroonpaint We decided to upgrade the crib to a twin instead of a larger bed because I wanted to keep more space in her room for playing. I fell in love with the Lewis headboard from Pottery Barn Kids and the slipcover and bed skirt will be in lavender. For her bedding I choose the Tory Quilt, also from Pottery Barn Kids. Lily already has PBK’s anywhere chair so we bought a new slipcover in lavender. We are getting rid of the tall white Ikea bookshelf and got PBK’s Cameron 3-shelf bookshelf in simply white. Lily can’t reach the top shelves so I opted for a shorter bookcase for the new room. I am going to hang white bookshelves on the wall at toddler height to make it convenient for her. I purchased some hanging shelves from PBK, but I’m not sure if I’m keeping them for Lily or placing them in the new baby’s room…jury is out. And my last purchase was just swapping out her pink lamp shade for this cute gathered bow shade in lavender from PBK.toddlerroomaddiotionsI will post picks once the room is completed…but wish me luck with the toddler bed transition!!!

 
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Bliss On A Budget: Comfy Beanbags

If you have been following along with my blog you know I like to bring attention to two very similar products, one being the expensive option (the “splurge” item) and the other a cheaper version (the “save” item). The posts are typically labeled Splurge vs Save.

Well sometimes I find wonderful products out there that are affordable, yet don’t have a cheaper or “save” item to compare it to….this is where Bliss On A Budget comes into place. I’ve added this new category to the search bar on the right and you will be able to find all past/future Splurge vs Save posts along with any future posts with just one item that is easy on the wallet!

Today I bring you a awesome deal on comfy beanbags. While shopping at Target I noticed they had a similar beanbag lounger compared to Pottery Barn Teen’s sherpa beanbag. Lily already has PB Kids’s Anywhere chair, so there is no real need for extra seating…but as I sat there looking at the comfy seat I felt a bit nostalgic!  Growing up my brother and I had beanbags….the old school kind. You know the ones that were made from shiny vinyl. If you sat to fast or jumped on the bag you always risked the inevitable hole that would unleash the tiny white ball filling that took forever to clean up. Yep those old beanbags!

beanbags
Well these comfy beanbags have a super soft cover rather than the annoying old school vinyl I had. For all of us women who love a monogram, Pottery Barn’s beanbag has that option (for an additional $7) where Target’s doesn’t. Pottery Barn has them on sale currently, but even with a discount the one at Target is still significantly cheaper!

Splurge: Sherpa Beanbags (Pottery Barn Teen) $199-$219 on sale $149-$185

Save: Bean Bag Lounger (Target) $44.99

 
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First Frosty

frostyI hope you all enjoyed a fabulous Thanksgiving with your family & loved ones. This year we were in Pittsburgh and were thrilled to get a much colder climate than expected! It snowed…a first for Lily.

Growing up in the ‘Burgh Mike has had plenty of snow experiences, and living only three hours from Tahoe gave me plenty of memories of sledding, boarding and building snowmen. So Mike and I were tickled when we awoke to a white blanket of snow while we were there.

frosty1A day before the inches stuck we were able to bring Lily out as a few snow flurries started to descend. Lily really didn’t understand, it was as if she was just playing in the rain. It wasn’t until the next day when everything was covered that she finally got it.

frosty2

frosty3Like most things Lily was hesitant at first. She was having a blast getting bundled in a new jacket, wearing a hat & gloves because these are items we rarely wear in the sunshine state! Not wanting to freely walk out into the cold we had to carry her out and place her boots in the snow. It took less than a minute for her to break through whatever fear she was having and then she was running through the snow having a blast.

Mike and Gram rolled balls to make Lily her first frosty. A carrot for a nose and two olives (it was an Italian frosty!) for eyes, Lily had her first snowman. Our time in the snow was short lived because the falling snow turned into a chilling rain. Sadly said rain eventually melted frosty.

frosty5These firsts are what life is all about and being able to relive them through a child, especially your own, is just priceless. Watching Lily’s complete joy was exactly what I needed while I suffered more extreme nausea over our trip. I have only 14 weeks left until baby number two arrives and today I entered the final pregnancy trimester. Seems that this nausea is here to stay. Bleh.

frosty4With Christmas right around the corner thought I re-share some old posts for any new readers! If you haven’t yet set up your tree or your pulling out your hair keeping your toddler from breaking ornaments read this tip! There is also a great playlist of old classic holiday tunes along with some great modern Christmas songs in that same post. Need a new cookie recipe & you’re an almond cookie lover??? Then try this recipe…it is my favorite recipe and the sweet treats actually melt in your mouth! An added bonus is that you get a great tip on how to bring butter to room temperature in a matter of seconds. A great tip to have with all the holiday cooking!

 
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A Semi DIY Bee Costume

A cute (semi) DIY Bee costume for toddlers! The tutu is a super easy & cheap DIY project. Pair it with some black tights & shirt...all you need to buy is the wings & ears! Is it really Halloween already? November is this weekend? Where has this year gone?

Taking full advantage of still having control over Lily’s wardrobe choices I picked her costume this year. I’ve tried to ask her what she wants to wear, but she has yet to really take interest in choosing her clothes. This is fine by me because I like dressing her and I’m not looking towards the days she fights me on mixed matched outfits or totally inappropriate hem lines (I swear I’m going to blink and she will be 15 tomorrow).

Rambling off costume options Lily said yes to every one I gave her….including Rambo & a trash can. Not knocking those options…but just a demo that she will say yes to anything. Wanting to keep her costume easy and something I could semi create… I went with a bumblebee! A fabulous excuse to put her in a tutu.

beecostumeThis costume was even easier than her ghost costume from last year! I used a black shirt from Gap (that she already owned), pair of black shoes from Target (that she already owned) and I purchased a “bee set” from Amazon that included her wings, ears and the stinger that clipped to her tutu (cost $23 including s&h). The only thing I made was the tutu and I used the same steps from my super easy DIY tutu tutorial. I did purchase some black tights from Target the day before a costume festival only because Tampa received a random cold front.

beestingerThe tutu literally took me 15 minutes to make and cost less than $5 for the tulle (I had plenty of elastic band from other tutus!). The tutu will be re-used whenever my husband’s beloved Steelers play. Being lazy I opted to just order the “bee set” from Amazon instead of driving around searching for one. After it was delivered of course I found bee accessories at my local Target. Oh well.

A shopping center nearby had a fall festival where kids could trick-or-treat at the stores giving all the kids a chance to sport their Halloween costume more than once (something all parents can appreciate especially if they spend time and $ making them!). When we put the costume on her to go she LOVED it!

lilybeerunShe ran back and forth on our walkway as if she was flying…stopping to Buzz and shake her tush waving her stinger. I about died it was the cutest sight. It was also impossible to get her to stay still and take a decent picture…

lilybeerunback

This year she totally understood the trick-or-treating part. But like any inquisitive toddler she stopped constantly to spy inside her pumpkin and demanding to eat every single candy. Her father and I had a blast eating it later that night while catching up on our DVR.

beecandyLily was beyond excited to see her girlfriend Makyla…who was the cutest little lamb!

lilycacaAnd you gotta love a two year old toddler…the only way I got her to look at the camera with me is by giving this face…

beesillyfaceAnd this lovely face with her dad!

lilydad

 

 
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  1. Diane commented:
    October 30, 2013 Reply

    Love, love the tutu theme! You did
    an awesome job on Lily’s costume!!
    You can tell she loves it, and that is
    what is important. :)

  2. January 24, 2015 Reply

    certainly like your web site however you need to test the spelling on several of your posts.
    Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very
    bothersome to tell the reality however I will surely come back again.

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An Unexpected Situation

When you become a parent (especially for the first time) you are constantly thrown into situations where you just have no idea what to do and sometimes say.

You have a newborn that just won’t stop crying….it might take you a few hours or days to figure out that the little one has bad gas or just likes to be held in the football position. You have a toddler who is scared of the dark…you might find a book that helps or finally find the perfect nightlight in the shape of Elmo (after purchasing four that didn’t work).

In some situations you might find yourself searching for the right words for your parents, in-laws, friends and even strangers when they might be judging your parenting or even your kid.

This week I found myself in this kind of situation with a complete stranger at a MyGym class with Lily. My baby was literally attacked by another kid not once but THREE times by another child. In this situation I was shocked, hurt, freaked out and beyond pissed that I had no clue on how to appropriately handle the situation at that time.

mygympicThe first attack happened in the first five minutes we got there. Lily and I walked over to a corner to say hello to my friend Elisa and her twin boys, good friends from our playgroup. In that corner there was a little girl playing on a small trampoline and I noticed that Lily started to walk over towards her. I kept a side-glance on Lily because she loves to jump and really doesn’t think twice about climbing on if another kid is trying to jump. My heart literally froze when I saw this little girl lean over and with both hands grab at Lily’s chest. She squeezed and twisted her hands into Lily’s shirt and skin while trying to push Lily down. What made my heart freeze was the look on this kid’s face. Elisa saw the whole thing and after it happened agreed that it was terrifying to see the amount of pure hate that radiated from this other little girl. It wasn’t your typically toddler “I’m pissed that you took my toy” look…no her eyes faded out, lips curled and teeth grit into a “I’m going to kill you” look.

Shocked I told Lily it would be okay but to remember that only one person jumps at a time. Elisa immediately pointed out the kid’s mom who was on the opposite side of the gym, just chilling on the floor completely oblivious and on her phone. Since it was a one-time situation and I had no clue who the kid was I didn’t say anything. Now I understand that Life happens and that sometimes we might get a call or text from a loved one that you pay attention to. So even though I was annoyed that the mom wasn’t there to talk to her crazy kid, I just let it go because who knows what kind of issues she might have dealing with. BUT regardless of whatever was so important on the phone, the mom should have at least been close by and keeping an eye on her kid.

Five minutes later Lily proceeded to walk up a carpeted plank and I noticed that the same little girl was at the top of the landing. Elisa and I gave each other a knowing glance and I walked over closer to Lily just in case. Well before Lily could even make it to the top, the little girl dug a hand into Lily’s hair…digging her nails into Lily’s scalp and proceeded to tug her head back and forth. Time seemed to stand still, when I lunged over to Lily. I looked at the little girl giving her a stern “No” and immediately the little girl’s face switched from that terrifying evil look into a “oh shit I’m caught” face. Besides Lily’s ponytail being a little messed up she was physically okay, but her face broke my heart. She looked confused and hurt. Her eyes looked up to me in a pleading “Mommma what happened?” glance and then my heartache turned to anger in a second.

This ramp was actually on the side of the gym where this mom had decided to park her butt on the floor so she finally heard the commotion and walked over asking “what happened, what’d she do? Did she push her?” In the most calm voice I could muster I said, “No she tried to rip her hair out.” I must admit that I said it calm but with a slightly pissed undertone. The lady quickly said Sorry but without real empathy and quickly followed with “Well she has an older sister and she was just standing her ground.” I was seeing red at this point that she was offering that as an excuse and not even scolding her child for this totally inappropriate behavior. It took every ounce not to go off on this woman, so I picked Lily up and walked back over to my girlfriend Elisa….who was also shocked and pissed as well.

Ten minutes later Lily was playing with a piece of gym equipment and having fun socializing with another little girl. The two were speaking gibberish to each other and I glanced over to her mom giving her an “OMG this is too cute” smile. That faded instantly when that little girl crawled away and the girl who had attacked Lily twice crawled in next to her. Lily’s whole demeanor changed and she now looked at the girl with a scared face. To see that face on my child broke my spirit but at the same made me furious. I looked for the kid’s mom and this time she was close by, but again she was knee deep into whatever was going on with her cell.

I made myself clear towards Lily but loud enough for the mom to hear when I said “Lily if that little girl isn’t going to play nice then lets walk away from her…” Before I could even finish the girl leaned over to Lily and pushed both hands into her stomach in attempts to knock Lily onto her back. I quickly leaned into the equipment to pull her out while repeating myself again. The mom was still focused on her phone…oblivious to her kid. I did notice that my girlfriend Elisa at this point was informing one of the gym teacher about this kid. A mom standing next to me wispered “That was my daughter last week.” So knowing that this child was a repeating offender made me even more pissed off.

mygympic1Lily started to point to the door and repeated “Go…Go”. Lily no longer wanted to stay and play. She ran to the gate to leave and I followed her running into the gym teacher where I told her I was seeing red and having a hard time controlling my anger. I picked Lily up and tried to calmly coax her into staying. While rocking her on my hip I turned to see the little girl lean over some equipment to attack yet another kid. This time the gym teacher was there and immediately grabbed her and the mom came over. No clue what was said, but knowing the teacher she had to at least have said something that informed the mom and kid that it was wrong and not allowed.

It made me sick to my stomach that even after knowing her kid attacked Lily even that one time (since she was oblivious to the two additional times) and now being caught by the teacher attacking a different kid…the mom let her kid stay and continue to run around the gym. There is no question that if Lily was the aggressor I would have taken her immediately out of the equation. Lily never warmed back up to wanting to play so we ended up leaving. Even more upsetting is that when I got home I noticed that Lily had some claw marks on her back from when the girl had attacked her. My poor Lily.

Like most situations I’ve had time to think over what happened and have come up with so many things I wish I had said or done. I wish that after the second time the girl attacked Lily that I informed the mom that it wasn’t the first time, since she was in lala land. I wish I had told the mom that her ‘older sister excuse’ was not good enough and that it was inappropriate. That no two year old should approach another child with so much hate. I wish I had confronted the mom after the third time. Telling her she should take her daughter home.

Part of me hopes that this mom and kid are at the gym next week. So I can have some kind of redemption and be that strong protector for my daughter. BUT of course part of me hopes that we never run into them again. As much as I wish I could have said/done something else…I’m actually proud that I kept my cool. With Lily being so freaked out I thought it was more important to focus on turning her frown upside down.

As angry as I was at that child for hurting Lily…she is just a child. I actually feel horrible that in her mind that was her idea of normal. I wonder how her home life must be with an older sister who must bully her and with a mom that might look the other way.

I was totally unprepared for this situation. I didn’t think Lily would be running into a physical bully at the young age of two. I wish Lily could continue to live in a bubble of my protection with rose-colored glasses. This situation was a bit of a wake up. Unfortunately we all know that growing up is tough. Kids will run into plenty of similar situations from elementary school to college. Hell there really isn’t an age limit to bullies.

The one positive thing I walk away with from this experience is that while Lily was physically attacked, at no point did she get physical back. I’m glad that at two she still knows love more than hate. I just hope that she will always have more love in her life than hate.

(BTW all these photos are from last year’s Halloween costume party at her gym…where Lily had a blast with her buddies)

 
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  1. Michelle Smith commented:
    September 28, 2013 Reply

    Amy! My heart was racing now that I have a duaghter just reading this blog! You did a great job, there is no way I would have been able to keep my cool after the first incident. Love that you are posting your experiences!

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