Monday, November 25, 2013

Growing up

Change isn't something that usually happens overnight, instead it tiptoes in slowly, quietly leaving its mark on your life. I realized that this morning as I chased my ten month old around the house, playfully dashing after him while he crawled at light speed. "Where has my little newborn gone?" I stopped and thought to myself while catching my breath. The chubby little rolly polly who couldn't even sit up on his own and nursed what seemed like every hour? It seems as though it was just yesterday. At times the days and weeks seemed to drag on, while other days flew by. In a few weeks my little baby will be eleven months old and no sooner will I blink and he'll be a year. They say the days are long but the years are short and well, they couldn't be more right. 

{Newborn of my all time favorite pics of him snoozing so peacefully. ♥}

Its a beautiful yet incredibly bittersweet feeling to watch your children grow up. I have good days and bad days as a stay at home mom, but always try my best to soak it all in. To cherish the days filled with more kisses than I can count, to capture the moments when he does something new for the first time, and to just remember him how he is now, at this very moment. ♥ I know he will continue to change and grow, and I am so grateful for the chance to witness it. 
{Dancing on his changing pad. For some reason it was always his happy place♥}

These days he is curious, stubborn, playful and sweet. I am constantly amazed by how fast he learns new things. Recently he started calling me "Mama" and I can't deny it melts my heart every time he says it. :) 
{Getting him dressed is definitely a challenge now that he can move so fast!}

I'm so lucky to have such a smart and smiley little boy. His favorite time of the day is bath time! He loves splashing and playing with his bath toys, along with eating the bubbles every now and then. ;)
{Bathroom selfies! So fresh & clean after his bath.}

He is learning everyday and has recently started snuggling anything and everything he can. Every time he does this, I die a little, simply because its so damn cute. ;) I can actually tell him to go snuggle Elmo and he will go find him, pick him up and snuggle him!! ;') 
{Elmo & Bubby snuggles♥}

He's also a fan of his monkey. ;) These two are the things he loves to snuggle most, other than me! 
{Sorry its blurry, but this little guy moves fast!}

 Recently we took Bubby to a park near our house and he got to go on the swings for the first time. Seeing the smile on his face as the wind rushed past him was a memory I will cherish forever. 

We're also trying to start good habits by brushing his four little teeth everyday which proves to be quite the challenge. This little guy sure gives me a run for my money when it comes to this! ;) 
{Toothbrush shenanigans...}

Things are changing each day around here, and its a beautiful thing.♥
What's changed in your life recently? 

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas on a budget

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays but it seems like every year it gets more and more expensive as our family grows! Normally, (when I was working) I spent most of my money on my nieces and would get several gifts for each of them, followed by one for everyone else in our families. This year we have our own little munchkin to think about (who also happens to have a birthday 2 weeks after Christmas!) so things are a little different and I am all about saving lots of money and still getting great gifts. I started my shopping earlier this year, knowing that I would need to spread it out across a few different paychecks. Luckily this year retailers have been having great Christmas sales way before Black Friday even arrives! 

If your looking to save some cash and have little ones to shop for but are trying to avoid the Black Friday madness, check out target and their awesome coupons from the kids catalog. They have tons of $5 off coupons that can help you save! If you don't have a printer you can text the phrase "kidsgifts" to target on your mobile phone and you will get a text back with a link. Just click the link and when you're checking out the cashier can scan the barcode and your coupons will automatically be redeemed! Easy peezy right? :) If you have family across the country like I do then you can order online and simply enter the online code to get your $5 off. Lots of toys on their site also come with free shipping until 11/27/13. I ordered my nieces gifts earlier this month and they already arrived! :) 

As for my little one, I used the Fisher Price coupons from their website to save a ton of money. I literally purchased $120 worth of toys for $30 at walmart! I did this by using a total of 12 coupons, 6 for $10 off and 6 for $5 off. 
{Gifts from Walmart...Total spent: $30!}

I was able to combine some more fisher price coupons with a few of the $5 off coupons from target and scored two of his big presents there, saving a total of $15 per toy. Basically I only paid for one of the toys and got the other one free since both were originally about $30 each. As for stocking stuffers, I picked up most of the stuff shown on the sides in the dollar section at target. 

I was able to complete my son's Christmas and birthday shopping, all for under $100. Saving money never felt so good! ;)
{Gifts from spent $60}

Unfortunately fisher price is no longer offering the printable coupons, but Walmart is having a Pre Black Friday event starting today with tons of Black Friday prices on toys and lots of other items. I hope you all can score some great deals like I did, and finish your shopping without all the stress!

 Have you started your holiday shopping yet this year? What gifts are you getting for your little ones? 

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Finding a balance

Motherhood is like a balancing act, we have to juggle so much and at times it can be a bit overwhelming. Sooner or later you end up dropping something. Before I was a mom I never understood how parents could put their children above everything else, including their marriage. I used to read marriage blogs and take the advice to heart and really think about the scriptures they included. Looking back I now realize that it was so easy for me to misunderstand this phenomenon, because I simply wasn't a parent yet. Oh how naive I was...

The moment I became a mom everything changed, my whole mindset shifted. I was now responsible for this tiny human being who literally depended on me for everything.

{Meeting my son for the first time after a c-section and 12 hours apart. Sweetest moment of my life.♥}

 Although I don't want to make my husband feel left out or neglected, I had to put my babies needs above his and ten months later, still do. I'm not sure at what point this will change, or rather if it will just become less prominent in our lives. The love I feel for my son is greater than I ever imagined possible. Only now that I am a mother do I realize how easy it is to place everything else on the backburner, (including oneself) once you have a child. Of course I love my husband, its just a different type of love than what I feel for my son. I know its extremely important to continue working on our marriage so we don't drift apart, but right now I am really struggling with this.

{Our last trip sans children. Wilmington, NC April 2012}

We recently moved and our bills have increased, while my husband's paycheck hasn't. I can't even remember the last time we went on an actual date. It's hard because we're trying to be thrifty but we desperately need some adult time to ourselves, just to reconnect and take a break from it all. I know it has been hard on my husband and I am trying to remind myself of the idea that God should come first, my husband second and my child third. It's just so difficult for me! Have any of you ever struggled with this? I feel like I can't be the only one.

Of course being a military family as well we also face unique challenges. Living far away from family or friends I trust to watch my son makes it harder for my husband and I to have a simple date night. I know this is just a transitional period and it won't be this way forever, but it doesn't make me feel any better about where we are. I love my husband and my son, I just wish I could figure out a way to make them both feel loved and valued. For now all I can do is trust in God and keep putting one foot in front of the other. ♥

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Learning the hard way

When you have a baby, you know that sooner or later they will get hurt. No matter how hard you try to shelter your little one and keep them out of harm's way sometimes it still happens. As a mama experiencing motherhood for the first time, this was not something I wanted to think about or believe for that matter. Unfortunately it turns out to be true.

My son is ten months old and has been crawling for a few months now. He is as all babies are: curious, playful and most of the time a bit mischievous. If there is something he shouldn't be getting into, he will. If it's dangerous he will plow ahead fearlessly, unaware of the danger and mini heart attack it causes his mama and daddy. I am learning all too quickly that little boys DO get hurt.

A few days ago I was cooking dinner and my husband was watching my son, (or supposed to be). He crawled into the kitchen while I was cooking and got into one of the cabinets. I called for my husband to come remove my son as some of our child locks on the cabinets don't work well and its dangerous for him to be underfoot. Right as he was coming to get him, my son pulled a pyrex dish from the cabinet and it landed right on his hand.

It all happened so fast. I didn't even realize he was strong enough to grab something that heavy! My heart raced as I heard the crash and looked down to see the glass dish on top of his chubby little fingers. I instantly felt like THE WORST MOTHER IN THE WORLD. Why hadn't I gotten to him sooner? Why wasn't I paying better attention? And why (for the love of God) can't my husband watch him and keep him out of trouble while I'm cooking?! I manage to watch him all day without him getting hurt, so 30 minutes to an hour out of the day should be easy peezy, right?

After all these thoughts rush through my head I realize my son could really be hurt. He is a tough little guy but was crying pretty hard. He did calm down and go to bed after I gave him some tylenol and kissed his boo boo, but he kept waking up all night and I just knew he was in pain. We ended up having our very first trip to the er that night around 1:30 am. His poor little finger was swollen and bruised and again, my heart ached that my baby was hurting. The er doc basically did nothing, except provide a prescription for some motrin and tylenol. We headed home with the knowledge that there was not much we could do.

 At my son's follow up appointment yesterday his pediatrician ordered an xray and we found out my son actually had a fracture. Thankfully he will not need surgery since it's not on his growth plate and it should heal on its own in a few weeks. However, that still doesn't change the fact that this all could have been prevented. I try really hard to be a good mother to my son but on that day his dad and I both let him down. As parents we try to do the best we can and take care of our babies to the best of our abilities. We are still human however, and we too make mistakes. On this journey of parenthood I am so thankful for God's grace and forgiveness when I fail, and now more than ever I appreciate my mother and understand parenting is the hardest job there is!

I am taking this incident as a hard learned lesson and making sure to watch my son much more carefully. In the day to day of things its so easy to get distracted and not pay enough attention to our little ones. Unfortunately at this stage its so easy for him to get hurt and he wants to discover and touch anything he can get his chubby little hands on. It's my job as his mama to kiss his boo boo's and make them all better, but it's also my job to make sure he gets as few of them as possible. Today I am trying to forgive myself and focus on the things I AM doing right as a mother, including loving my sweet boy with all my heart. ♥

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