everly | life

It’s Positive!

By on July 15, 2017

Yesterday I was browsing my Facebook Memories and I came across a post that reminded me about when I found out I was pregnant with Everly. I can’t believe it has been 4 years. Four years ago I took a pregnancy test, a pregnancy test I did not think would be positive but it was.

If you have followed my blog for awhile now you know it took us quite some time to get pregnant with Ace. We tried for over a year before discovering I have PCOS. It was hard because I rarely ovulate so trying to get that exact time wasn’t a 1-2 shot in a 28 day span it was more like a 1-2 shot in a 90 day span. Not fun. Anyway when we decided to try for a second baby we knew it would probably take time. We tried for about 6 or 7 months and the last month we tried it was more of a last minute ok lets make this the last month try. I actually ovulated on my Mom’s birthday. I think she may have had a hand in Everly.

So back to the day I found out I was pregnant with Everly. The day before we had just had Ace’s 2nd birthday party. I even remember telling one of my friends that we were waiting to try for one more. I really truly did not believe I got pregnant when we tried a couple weeks before his birthday. So the next day I was at my sister’s and we were in the pool talking about how Branden and I decided to wait to try again. We wanted to do some more things with just Ace since he was getting to a really fun age.

Later that night I got home with Ace and put him to bed. Suddenly the electricity went out so I was sitting on the couch in the dark waiting for the lights to come on. I had just text Branden and when I picked my head up I felt really dizzy. I thought it was weird then I realized the date. I knew it had been almost 2 weeks since I ovulated. I ran upstairs and took a pregnancy test. Still thinking it would be negative but wanted to rule it out. The electricity came on so I remember turning the tv on and almost forgetting about the test for a few minutes. I didn’t even stare at the test like I normally would. I went back into the bathroom and had to do a double take. It’s Positive! I seriously felt like I was one of those idiot people who run around looking for the box trying to figure out what two lines means. I was in that much shock.


I seriously just sat there not believing it. I don’t even remember if I called anyone yet. I may have called my best friend Kat but I know everyone else I waited to tell. That night I could not sleep. I wanted to tell Branden in a cute way so I was laying next to him in bed with butterflies in my stomach.

In the morning Branden went to work and I rushed over to Carter’s when it opened to get Ace a “Big Brother” shirt. I had a play date at my friend Erin’s house so while I was getting Ace out of the car I told her to look at the shirt I had gotten Ace. She looked at it and totally freaked out. We were having a play date with another friend who recently had a miscarriage so I felt horrible not telling her but also didn’t want to tell her and upset her. Erin would look at me randomly and whisper I can’t believe you’re pregnant. She is probably my favorite person to tell things to because her reactions are always hilarious and extreme.

After the play date I headed home and waited for Branden to get home. I asked him to give Ace a bath and then go change him into the pi’s I left on his changing table. I was sitting in our room when I heard him say “What? Wait, this isn’t real?” Sure enough it was!

I feel like that was the start of our journey to not just having Everly but Ashlyn too. Our girls are such a pair. We literally found out about them a month apart. It wasn’t like we got pregnant with Everly and it was awhile before we found out about Ashlyn. We literally got pregnant and a month and a week later decided to adopt Ashlyn. We even found out that they would both be girls I  think a week or two apart. These two were meant to be little partners in crime, a sweet duo. I love that they will grow up together.

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life

Why We Moved…Again!

By on July 4, 2017

Hey guys! So, yes, we moved again. I know I look like a crazy person but the first move was not right for us. We found a house we loved, it ended up falling through and rushed into another house. It was a cute house on a great cul de sac but it never felt like home to me. I quickly realized we should have just done the big move to South Daytona/Port Orange area like we have dreamed of doing for years instead of moving locally. 
  moving with kids
A little backstory on the new location. When Branden and I moved down to South Florida we never planned on staying there. It ended up being a huge blessing in disguise since I lost both my parents so that time I had with them was precious. Prior to this, we had talked about moving to one of the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia or by my best friend in Port Orange, Florida. That was our main goal and two days before we found out we were expecting Ace we had come up and talked about us moving up there and even met some of my best friend’s friends. After I had Ace I didn’t want to leave my parents. I loved having them around for him and called my best friend and told her our plans were put on hold. I remember telling Branden, crying, because I knew he would be disappointed. Thankfully we stayed and got that last year with my parents.
 
After their deaths we had a lot of things to deal with and ended up buying one of my good friend’s parents’ house. We loved it. It was in a great neighborhood and we had awesome neighbors but once the girls came we thought a bigger home would be better. We found our house but again never felt like home. I called my best friend crying the first night in the house and she told me not to stress because it was not our forever home, we would eventually move out of South Florida and be where we were meant to be. After a couple weeks I told Branden we needed to start talking about seriously making the move. I told him I was not going to move where we knew no one and the people we are closest to and the place we love are in Port Orange. We gave ourself a year to look for a house and move.

Port Orange Beach

We randomly looked at some houses but one day a house two doors down came up for sale so we jumped on it. This was a huge sign for us. I drove up to look at the house but unfortunately the inspection showed the house was not insurable. The owners were very difficult and we decided to look at another house. This house was made for us. The set up, the lake, the location was all great. It was only 2 minutes from my best friend and the neighborhood was great. We made an offer and it was accepted. We quickly closed and are now in our new home. I instantly felt at home here. Everyday I look around and think about how lucky we are to have this house. 
I truly believe we had to get out of our first house into the second for me to get out of my comfort zone and move out of South Florida where I grew up. We have wanted this for so long but I always hesitated. While South Florida was a great place to grow up, it has changed a lot. It’s very crowded and just became too much for me. It definitely will be nice to go visit but I am glad to be where it is much calmer. 
 
The kids are a lot happier here too. They love the new house. I think having a one story is a huge benefit for them.  Before they had their rooms upstairs with some stuff to play with then their playroom but they always brought everything out of their playroom and never used it. It was really frustrating because the flow of the house just didn’t work for us. I think if our kids were older it would have been a better house for us. This house has the playroom and their bedrooms right off the living room so they can be playing and still come out and see us if they need. It’s also a lot easier to clean everything up.
 
We are definitely finding our groove here and so far are really liking the parks, library and beaches. 
If you made it this far congratulations. This turned into a novel!

Port Orange Beach

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life | Must Haves | parenting

What’s in my…Mommy Purse

By on June 1, 2017

  A couple years ago I did a similar post but now that my little ones are older I no longer have a diaper bag. I must say, not having to carry around diapers, ointments, wipes, bottles and formula for now one but two babies has made getting out of the house much easier. 

This post contains affiliate links. 

So what do I keep in my Mommy purse with three children 5 and under? Lets take a look…

1. Wallet. Yep, this will be forever a staple. I actually just got this wallet a couple weeks ago at WalMart, I don’t usually go there often because we don’t have one super close and when I did go I was shocked to see such a cute wallet. Can’t be that it was under $10 as well, but will it last? Only time will tell. I also found this similar one that is really pretty.

2. Water. Depending on where we are going I usually will just throw a water bottle in my bag in case anyone gets thirsty. If we are going to the park or beach I will pack individual thermoses for each of them since I know for sure they will use them. These are my absolute favorite. They last forever and keep drinks cold. 
3. Snacks. Another one that will probably always be a staple in my bag. It never fails that we will be out and someone gets hungry. A quick and healthy snack is a bonus. We recently were sent these snacks from Beech Nut and my kids love them. Their favorites are the fruit & veggie melties  and blueberry cereal puffs and you probably will be stealing their quinoa crispies and fruity oat bars. If you have smaller ones these oatmeal pouches are a perfect way to feed your baby on the go. 

4. Pens and notebooks. I try to remember to bring these because all of my children love to draw. It keeps them busy and preoccupied when I need them to calm down and chill out. It is also great for when you are at a restaurant and they are over coloring. 
5. Bandaids because my children are always getting some kind of boo boo at the park or outside. I love being able to have character ones but my children think of them as stickers and end up crying wolf on boo boos so I had to switch to the skin colored ones. 
6. Benadryl Itch Relief Spray. Ace and Ashlyn are both allergic to mosquitos so this is a huge life saver when they are freaking out over their monstrous mosquito bites and being crazy itchy. 
7. Starbucks Gift Card. A sweet gift from one of my students. These kids know the way to my heart. I am seriously going to miss them when they graduate. 
8. Random socks and toys. Because it would’t be a Mommy purse without something random of your children’s. There was also a random silver flashlight keychain my kids play with in there.
9. iPhone charger. I got this teeny charger awhile ago and it charges super quick. 
As you can see my Mommy purse has a lot less than my old diaper bag days. I definitely don’t miss having to make sure my bag is stocked every night. 
What are some of your must haves for your purse or diaper bag?

 

 
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life | parenting

What Kind of Mom Are You?

By on May 6, 2017

Originally published May 6, 2016
 This post may contain affiliate links
In honor of Mother’s Day this year I decided to talk about the different types of Moms I have come across. Now, this obviously is not all types of Moms but overall it is some of the most common ones I have come in contact with. Which Mom are you?

 
The First Time Mom
 
All of us Moms have been there. You get pregnant, envision this perfect cherub faced child who will nurse every few hours, sleep in between and you will sleep when baby sleeps, piece of cake…
 Then reality hits and you are crying over your cheerios and breast pump. You haven’t slept more than an hour at a time, your baby nurses for eternity, passes out at the boob, wakes up the second you put him down and you kind of want to strangle your husband because baby only wants you and he gets to sleep. You might hover over the baby while he sleeps or stress about which organic formula is the best. Is he eating, sleeping, and pooping enough? You are your own breed and we love you for it. Don’t worry it gets better, I promise! Then you can your second baby and realize how fun it is to have a first time Mom as a friend. I mean it really is entertaining. 
 
The Fun Mom

This Mom is the one who is running around the playground with her kids, pretending to be Captain Hook while your kids are the lost boys. She isn’t afraid to get dirty or look silly. You love her for her free spirit and energy. Your kids love going to her house for play dates because she has the best dress up clothes and games. It’s never a dull moment with her. She is also awesome when it’s a Mom’s night out and can party with the best of them. You can always have a guaranteed fun time with her. 
The Perfect Mom

She is always dressed in a comfy cute outfit, her child is dressed to the nines and she is the nicest person.  And let’s not forget her house is perfection. Does a child live there? Who knows! You would hate her for all her perfection if she wasn’t so sweet and threw a wicked awesome party. Lets be real though, she seems perfect but as we all know no Mom actually is but she comes pretty close. 
The Hot Mess Mom

She is the Mom who is running into play dates with her kids running in all directions, probably forgot to brush her teeth and needs a drink. She has a heart of gold and makes you feel better for not exactly having your shit together. She is the Mom who will help you when you need someone to watch your child and they will have the best time because even though she’s kind of a hot mess, she is also the Mom who makes everyone’s child feel like they are special. She also is the best Mom to go to when you are having a rough day, life is crazy or you just are miserable because she is empathetic and gets it. She somehow knows exactly what to say to make you feel better.
The “Expert” Mom

This is the Mom who you turn to when you are busy crying over your cheerios and breast pump and your baby baby won’t sleep. She reminds you how hard the first couple months are and promises it will get better. She offers any and all support to help you through. She seems to have some kind of powers over getting your baby to sleep and calming down. She has been there and you can count on her to help you through the toughest parts of Motherhood. She is probably your own Mother, Aunt, Cousin, Sister or Friend and you love her!
The Overprotective Mom
The Mom who knows how to baby proof a house in 2.5 seconds and can see a safety hazard a mile away. She might even be there the whole first day of kindergarten because let’s face it that day is harder for Mom than child. Her child will never see a bruise from falling off their bike or skates because you better believe they are covered in knee, elbow, shin and any other kind of pads on the market and of course a helmet. These Moms are serious about safety and you can count on them to know what kind of scary sh*t is out there. Stuff you didn’t even know you should worry about or things that seemed small are a bit more scary because this Mom knows what is up. She is the WebMD of your Mom group and you probably would have a broken child without all her knowledge. 
The Drama Mom
There’s always one, right? This is the Mom who you try to get to know or include but it just doesn’t work. Nothing seems to make her happy or she finds issues with other Moms. You can’t quite figure her out and what the problem is. She constantly has problems with someone in her life and it doesn’t seem to matter who but it’s a constant. You realize that maybe it’s not everyone else but her, common denominator if you will. After your best efforts you learn to steer clear of her. Hey, at least you tried!
The Best Friend Mom
Does it get any better than the best friend Mom? The one who you either met when you became a Mom or your best friend who also has children. She is the person who you rely on for support in all aspects of life but having that bond over being mothers at the same time makes everything better. She gets what you are going through and knows that all you need is an ear to talk to or someone to say “I get it! I’ve been there.” You’ve cried together, you’ve laughed together, you’ve been there for each others’ child’s milestones and it’s the best thing ever! Your kids grow up as best friends or even like cousins. You are fiercely protective over their child as if they were your own and you would do anything to make Mommy hood easier for one another. If your lucky you have more than one of these like me! I wouldn’t survive motherhood without these girls. They know who they are and this post (except for the drama Mom) was based on all of you. You are all a mix of these Moms and have made my life as a Mom amazing. 
Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing Moms out there! 
So…which Mom are you? Which Mom is your favorite to hang out with?



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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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everly | life

My letter to 3 year old Everly!

By on March 26, 2017

Happy Birthday my little Gertie Trudie! We love you so so much. 
 

Outfit

You are our spunky, goofy, raspy voiced sweet pea. 
You are the girl who makes everyone laugh by making goofy faces and being super silly and cute. You have no shame. You finally love the water, thank God! You are obsessed with “baby shorts” which are just shorts but for some reason you like anything to do with babies. You are hardcore in love with babies and baby dolls and being a mommy. You often carry around two dolls or stuffed animals on your hips. It reminds me of the good old (crazy) days when I was carrying around you and your sister all the time. 
  
You absolutely love school. Your teacher Miss Monique is probably one of your most favorite people. You also gravitate to guys, always have. I think because you are such a spunky, crazy girl you love the energy guys put out. You are very similar to Ace and you two are very wild together and will wrestle. 
  
My favorite thing you say is “I love you so much!” it’s not just I love you but you always add that last part. It’s precious. You also say “I swear to God!” Which you really shouldn’t but it’s funny and you know it. Your goal in life is to make people laugh. 
 
You are also my helper and cleaner upper. You take after your Dad a lot in this way. You take after me with your tantrums and dramatics. Very similar to me as a little girl, whoops. 
  
You are very quick and athletic still. You pick things up quickly and are very physical. You love running around, riding bikes and playing outside. 
 
You color inside the lines which I find so cool for a child under 3. You were never taught or told to do this by us you just did it. 
 
You are also so generous. You don’t mind sharing (unless it’s one of your babies) and often will bend to Ashlyn because she is much more stubborn than you. Your best friend is your sister. I didn’t realize how connected you two really were till I saw another child try to come play with you two and you two just had this way with one another that no one else really got till a set of twins came along and for some reason the 4 of you worked. It was super cool to see. 
  
My sweet girl you have grown into such a magnificent person. Whenever I look at you I think of the song “Here Comes the Sun” because your smile is so bright and beautiful. Your eyes shine. You just have this way about you that can make anyone smile. I love you so much my little Gert Gert. 
 Love, 
Mommy
 
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When Schools Take the Day Off & Everyone is Sick

By on February 20, 2017

Happy Monday, everyone! We are all home because it is Presidents’ Day and there is no school. Well, the girls could have gone to school since their preschool does daycare on holidays and teacher work days. I was going to bring the girls but Ashlyn woke up with a fever and completely miserable so I figured it was pointless to bring Everly to school when she could just stay home and play with Ace. 

 
The past week all of my kids have gotten sick so I am sure it is just a matter of time before I get it. First it was Everly on Monday. She woke me up at 5am throwing up on me. Super fun. Then Ashlyn had a fever on Thursday but seemed fine later in the day. Ace had a fever on Friday and after getting medicine before bed he woke up all refreshed and ready for his lacrosse games on Saturday. He played both games and when we got home still seemed good. Well by 3 he was fading fast. He was hot and miserable. 
Sunday Ace was laying around and sleeping all day. His fever had spiked so he just felt super icky. I was glad today was a no school day in case he needed an extra day to rest. He seems good today but Ashlyn came in my bed this morning and was burning up. Poor girl just wanted to be held and lay around. 
I hate seeing my children sick. I think as parents we just want to take it away and make them smile. It sucks seeing them weak and not eating and sleeping.  
I really wanted to do something fun with Ace today since the girls were supposed to be in school but it looks like we will be hanging at home. No biggie. I think we can find something fun to do for the non sickies. 
Anyone else home with their children today? What are you all up to?
 
 
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