Adoption | Ashlyn | life

Talking about Adoption to our Children

By on April 27, 2017

  Since Ashlyn is adopted we talk about adoption randomly and are very open with the children. Now that Ashlyn is getting older I try to talk about it a little more than before because I know she is going to start understanding things. 

Ashlyn and YaYa in October 2016

Tonight we were reading a book from her first mommy called Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You. I love this book so much. It is seriously such a great book for children who are adopted. The book is read by her YaYa so in the beginning she says this is a book for you Ashlyn from your Mama YaYa. It’s a great way to remind her that she has two mommies and how lucky she is to also have two sisters. 
Tonight I told Ashlyn that she was in YaYa’s tummy. When I asked her whose tummy she was she goes JoJo’s. I was like no you were in YaYa’s. She laughed and said no JoJo’s, Gavin’s Mommy. She thought it was so funny. 
This is the interesting thing about an adoption. We are learning how to talk to our children about it and when is the right time to tell them certain things because we aren’t quite sure they will get it. This was a time when I realized I really needed to make Ashlyn a book about her adoption and family so it’s less confusing. 
Another funny thing the girls do is when we talk about Ashlyn’s sisters she will then ask who are Everly’s sisters and I will tell her you are. She doesn’t get yet that she has two extra sisters so then they both just say they have two more sisters. I know as time goes on things will make more sense to them but it is funny to see how they process things. Ace gets everything way more than the girls and seemed to understand it a lot earlier too. I think the girls have a harder time because they don’t understand why one has something the other doesn’t. They don’t really know how to separate themselves from each other in that way yet. 

I am curious how other families talk about adoption with their toddlers. I never want it to be a shock to Ashlyn so we have always talked about it, talked and met up with her first mom so hopefully it will just be her norm.

 

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life | Must Haves | parenting

5 Must Have Spring Outdoor Toys!

By on April 12, 2017

  Hello Spring! I love this time of year. It hasn’t hit that sweltering heat that Florida gets in the Summer so we really try to get outside as much as possible. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase an item from one of the links you click on from my site I will receive a small portion of that sale. This in no way affects you. 

 
Some of my favorite items for Spring (and Summer for those who haven’t gotten a break from the cold yet) usually have to do with being outside. We spent majority of our time in the pool or running around the neighborhood till dinner time when I was a child. Since times have changed we really can’t expect our kids to be outside alone for hours on end. Here are some fun must haves to make hanging with your kids outside a little easier and a whole lot of fun.

Water Balloons. Yep, I said it, water balloons are so much fun. I love getting into this with the kids. Last Summer my best friend introduced me to these easy to fill water balloons and we have been hooked ever since. Just make sure to clean up the balloon debri afterwards. We told the kids prior to playing that if they wanted to play they had to clean up the water balloon pieces and they were good with it. We made that into a game of who could clean up the fastest, whatever works, right? Follow it up with a popsicle and it makes for the perfect cool off activity. 
 

 
Bubble Machine. Just turn it on and they will run around chasing bubbles till you are ready for them to stop. I bought this one because it had great reviews and I must say I am impressed with it. Even I was mesmerized by the amount of bubbles that come out at a time. We had this Gazillion Bubble Hurricane Machine one awhile back and it works great, similar style to the other one but the piece that holds the bubble liquid comes off to make it easier to refill, which is nice, but made is easily breakable. Both work great though. If you get the second one just make sure you have kids old enough to not take it off and accidentally break it.
 
Slip N’ Slide. One of my favorite activities from childhood. If you want a good old fashion one you can get it here but now they have so many fun ones you really can’t go wrong with any option you pick. This one might looks super fun. Kids love being able to slide down these slippery slides that you might actually get a little time to sit back and relax. 
 

 
Sidewalk Chalk. This is the one thing that is a staple in our house year round. The minute I am running low I go buy more. My kids are obsessed and I love that it is a creative outlet as well. The girls got these awesome Walkie Chalk “Stand Up” Sidewalk Chalk Holders for their birthdays and they love them. We also love these sidewalk holders to make them a bit less messy. 
 
Sidewalk Chalk Paint. So this one is a favorite but not something we take out often. I love this because the kids have so much fun with it but it is messy. This is a good one to take out when you are doing something with water right after. Have them play with this in their bathing suits as well. It’s definitely a must have though because it is so fun. 
 
And I highly suggest becoming an Amazon Prime (try if for 30 days free!) Member. We have it and ordering all of these items is super easy and inexpensive. Free 2 day shipping isn’t bad either! 
What are some of your Spring or Summer must haves for playing outdoors? We love getting new ideas. 

 
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Ashlyn | Birthday | everly | life

The Girls Unicorn & Donut Birthday

By on April 6, 2017

Better late than never right? We did a joint party again for the girls this year. Originally I thought I wouldn’t get around to doing one because things had been so crazy but Ashlyn kept talking about having a birthday party so I threw one together last minute. I called my best friend Kat and told her to come help me (because I don’t do parties without her) and she was more than happy to help with the festivities. I planned it during her girls Spring Break and St. Patrick’s Day. So perfect! 

 
I wanted to do an early party because that is when my kids are at their best. This also made food easier and more difficult because it wasn’t really breakfast or lunch time. We decided on donuts, muffins, cupcakes, confetti popcorn and fruit. Drinks we easy since we had water and juice. 
  
 Since we have a large front yard on a cul de sac we put everything out front for the kids. 
I wanted to have a bunch of activities for them to do so I knew for sure we would have our Little Tikes bounce house out (seriously best purchase we ever made when Ace was a toddler). I also bought a bunch of crayons from Amazon, this bubble machine, sidewalk chalk and a big unicorn coloring poster. 
  
Kat and her oldest daughter made the cupcakes. I bought little unicorns from Target’s dollar spot. They worked out perfect as little toppers.  I also got the favors from there too. They had wood unicorn and robot painting kits. Seriously, I love Target’s dollar spot. I also got unicorn stamps and sunglasses for the girls there. 
I picked out these dresses in purple and aqua for the girls to wear for the party. Then she put on this dress and then Everly decided it wasn’t happening so she wear some random pair of shorts and t-shirt. I finally got her to agree to put her dress on for cake pictures and she put a Mickey zip up on over it. Such a stinker. I also realized I didn’t get any great pictures of the girls together but I did at school for Everly’s actual birthday so you get what you get, right? 

Everly’s Dress

Cart

!
This picture cracks me up. They were waiting for us to sing to them and were like hurry up!

Bubble Machine / Ashlyn’s Dress

Bounce House

 


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parenting

Our 5 Favorite Bedtime Books

By on April 4, 2017

Bedtime is one of those times you want to make peaceful and sweet. You want your child to go off to dreamland feeling cozy and calm. One way to do that is creating a bedtime routine and finishing it off with a book or two (or three or four). My children look forward to that bedtime story every single night. Here are some of our all time favorites. 

1. Goodnight Moon. This is probably not a shocker for most parents but I have to put it out there for any new or expecting Moms. This is a book I began reading when Ace was a baby and my kids still love it to this day. The rhyming, repetitive nature is reassuring and calming for them. I always end it with a whisper “Goodnight noises everywhere.” to help keep the mood calm and peaceful. 
2. Little Blue Truck. This has got to be one of the cutest books with a great message. We are huge fans of all the Little Blue Truck books (my favorite is Little Blue Truck in the city). This is a story about a truck who helps a rude dump truck and sets an example everyone begins to follow. 
3. That’s Not My Bunny. Short, cute and colorful. These books are always fun to read because my kids can easily remember the words, they are textured so they love feeling the animals and they are short. If you have a night where you need to get through a book quickly this is a must. 
4. Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You. This is probably my all time favorite book for my children to listen to before bedtime. This is actually a book we got from Ashlyn’s biological mother and she recorded her voice reading it. It is a very sweet reminder that a Mother’s love is always there no matter what. If you are an adoptive Mom and have an open relationship with your child’s biological mother I highly recommend this book. It ends with I love and I think that is a great way to end a book. 
5. Pajama Time. Fun and silly! This book is another one I have been reading to my kids since Ace was a baby. It’s just such a fun read and it’s silly too. I love books that send my children to bed with a smile. 
 
What are your favorite bedtime stories for your little ones? 

Want to save these book titles for later? Pin this image to make it easier to find!
 
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