I wish I could have a conversation with myself two years ago. I had an 18 month old and a newborn, and life felt out of control. The newborn was extremely clingy and fussy, and wouldn’t nap. I know in the scheme of things, it could have been much worse, but in the moment it felt like I was a prisoner in some sort of horror film that I couldn’t escape. Looking back, I am pretty sure I had a mild case of postpartum depression. But I digress…. That was a tough year. I couldn’t think past that day, that hour, or fathom life could be anything other than what it was-tough. Both my kids were very dependent on me, and any time I took my eyes off them it seemed like they made it their mission to try to kill themselves (I wish I was exaggerating. Normal household objects became an invitation to a funeral). I couldn’t imagine a time when my kids wouldn’t need me so intensely.
Now, here I am, two years later. My two-year-old and five-month-old are napping, and my 3.5 year old is having rest time in my room. I can ask my oldest to go and brush her teeth and she will, sans any help from me. I can ask my two oldest to clean up their playroom, and they will (grumbling, but it will get done). I can trust them to play without any supervision, and expect that they will follow the established rules and not hurt themselves.
I often joke with moms that have kids older than me how it feels to have them so independent. How nice is it to just walk into church and they go into their classroom on their own? (Said satirically, but with a heavy dose of desperation.) Because while it may not be as hard as it was, I know for a fact that it will get easier.
I wish I could go back and give myself a hug and tell myself that it will get better. They won’t need me as much. I will get through the really hard times.
Guys, this weekend was so good! Friday night we went to Barcelona and I failed the Whole30 in style. No shame. I already hit my weight goal and felt much better in general, so I consider that a success. #justification
Saturday was awesome. We met up with friends and went to the Equine Affaire. If you love horses and live in New England, you must go! So much fun. The kids had a great time and it was totally worth the effort.
Sunday we prepped for an open house and made it to church. Nothing like hearing a great sermon to get you ready for the week! Pastor preached about prayer, and he told a very relevant home-prayer story as our open house was happening. God works in crazy ways!
Sunday evening we hung out with my sister and her husband and relaxed. It was the perfect end to a busy weekend!
I have loved the #igotdressedtoday tags on Instagram! You girls are so awesome. Keep them coming!
By the way- have you checked out Instagram today? Head on over there to win a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins. Seriously. Hurry and go enter!
I hope you have a great week everyone!
What a week. I have so many emotions I am trying to work through. I am trying to stay off social media as much because the climate is just harsh. Anyways… Onto Five on Friday!
This week has been nice. I purposefully planned to do less because we have been a little overscheduled. I needed a break! And I think the kids did too. So we relaxed a little and spent more time around the house.
Do you follow me on Instagram? Because you are going to want to come next week. I can’t say exactly buuuuuut…. if you have young kids that like to wear things on their feet, you are in for an AMAZING giveaway! Head on over there (user name nicole.warner) and make sure you are following me so you don’t miss it!
We have been working on naps with Eloise this week. Don’t get me wrong here- she is a great baby. She is WONDERFUL. But her naps just aren’t great/long. It is probably mostly due to me doing too much, not allowing her the opportunity to learn how to nap well. So after a couple days of teaching, she is napping better! Yesterday she even had two suuuuper long naps. Mama is thrilled!
My husband just informed me a few hours ago that we are going out tonight to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday, which normally I would be super excited about. Except today is day 26 of the Whole30 my friend and I are doing. I’ve never made it this far and I really want to finish, but we are going to Barcelona. Has anyone been there before? It is my ultimate weakness! Give me all the wine and cheese please!
Back to Instagram for a second- I am starting a new challenge called #igotdressedtoday. As much as I love leggings, I need some motivation to get a nice outfit on more often! So go over there and join in on the fun and send me your outfits! I’m thinking I should do some sort of competition. Would that be fun? Let me know below! Here was my outfit from today.
What are your plans for this weekend? We have a great weekend planned, full of family visiting, Equine Affaire, moving things out of storage, and more. Hope you have a great weekend!
As winter approaches (and is knocking on our door-temps of 25 degrees in the morning yesterday!), we really were needing a fun place inside where the kids could get their energy out. We have a large living room with lots of toys, but not a place where they could really throw a ball around. I was over my friend’s house a few weeks ago and was checking out her playroom in her basement- it was brilliant! They had an older home like ours, but the space was still useful and fun for the kids. I don’t know why we didn’t think about adding a play area in our basement previously, but I was inspired. So I mentioned it to Marcus and he was fully on board.
We got started almost right away. Because the mister was so enthusiastic, I had to snap a quick before picture, in true blogging fashion. So, warning- it isn’t pretty. But it gives you an idea what it looked like!
On a related note, how do we have so much junk?!
Since our home is on the market and we won’t be here for too much longer (we hope), we didn’t want to put a ton of money into it. So we tried to be as cost-effective but safe, and fun, as possible.
Since our basement isn’t finished, we had to do a few small things to make the area safe for the kids. That meant rearranging everything, clearing an area, moving anything dangerous like chemicals or paint, and padding the support poles. Our first stop was Home Depot to pick up the not as fun materials. We then ran over to Toys R Us. Not because we needed anything in particular, but we did end up leaving with a [eafl id=742 name=”hotwheels” text=”Hotwheels playmat”] and a [eafl id=743 name=”paw patrol poster” text=”Paw Patrol poster”] (my attempts to thwart were futile- I’m not a huge character fan. I mean, they don’t even watch the show. I know, boring mom).
Then came IKEA. Oh IKEA, I could sing of your organizational praises all day long. We made it out sticking pretty close to our list, which is a miracle in of itself. And no meltdowns from anyone, even after three stops and being out all morning. Win!
So after an afternoon of setting up and a couple of days of tweaking, we have a playroom! We have spent more hours here than I can count. Safe to say this was a good investment! I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Now it is a basement, so nothing fancy, but our kids love it just the same!
Let’s get right into it. Our basement stairs are located right off of the kitchen, so it is convenient for me to listen (read:moderate/referee). But, the stairs are also pretty steep and the lighting wasn’t the best. Enter, [eafl id=744 name=”tap light” text=”tap light”]. Guys. I can’t stop singing the praises of these things! For short money, these helped illuminate the poorly lit stairs. We placed it low so the kids can just sit and tap it on or off. Simple!
Also, giant box of mac and cheese #SAHM. Real life people.
We set up a little dress up station for Scarlett at the bottom of the stairs. I knew my girl liked to dress up, but wow. Having the dresses hung up instead of in a basket has brought her dress up game to a whole new level. My mama heart is so happy.
Not the best angle, but right past the wardrobe is my workbench. Honestly this will probably move and will be replaced by the kids’ kitchenette once we get it out of storage this weekend. But for now, it stays. In the corner we did a little reading nook. Scarlett was never much of a reader until this year, and now both of the older kids can’t. get. enough. So a reading nook was perfect!
My husband saw these little floating clouds at IKEA and insisted we buy them. I didn’t oppose. I mean, how cute! (And yes, hanging cords. Our kids are very well-versed in safety and know not to touch them, and the first time they do they are going away. Cords freak me out.)
View from the reading nook. We picked up the classic [eafl id=745 name=”KALLAX” text=”KALLAX”] unit with green and pink [eafl id=746 name=”storage bins” text=”storage bins”]. The ultimate for toy storage! And please note our professional pole wrapping job (pool noodle for the win!).
[eafl id=747 name=”pampers cruisers” text=”Diaper”]changing station. Because two kids in diapers.
My daughter is obsessed with horses. As in she will speak of nothing else. So, Marcus had the great idea of creating a little grass paddock area with [eafl id=748 name=”fake grass” text=”fake grass mat”]. Brilliant! And cool story, the barn was originally made by my mom’s maternal great uncle from old wood from a barn. Then, it was fixed up by her paternal grandpa, and then my uncle refinished it for Scarlett for Christmas last year!
Looking back to the stairs. Tents and tunnels, of course.
You can see we created a “wall” to separate the basement into a play area and storage area. We used IKEA [eafl id=749 name=”VIVAN” text=”VIVAN curtain panels”] ($10 a pair!) and hung it up with twine and screws. Fancy, I know. We had to curve the panels around pipes and 2x4s, so it was the easiest option. And, it worked perfectly! (I have these curtains all over my house. You just can’t beat the price!)
I hope you enjoyed our little tour! I know it isn’t anything fancy, and a lot of what we used we already had, but I hope it maybe inspires you. Do you have a play room for your kids? What is your favorite organizational tool? Does your child like to dress up as much as mine? Dress up for life!
Some items used:
[eafl id=745 name=”KALLAX” text=”KALLAX”] shelving unit
This weekend was glorious. We had such a busy summer where every weekend we had at least one commitment (sometimes 2-3 a day!) so we have been enjoying the past couple weekends where we could just relax, spend time as a family, and do some things around the house.
Saturday morning we headed out and got some thing for our new playroom! (post to come this week, hopefully!) First stop was Home Depot (for the not as fun things), then Toys R Us, and then IKEA. By some miracle, we survived all three stops with all the kids! And NO meltdowns. We were close at one point, but we were able to diffuse (insert praise hands).
On a side-note, Levi still uses a paci and he just turned two in September. I have a friend that she wasn’t able to wean her son from his paci until he was 5, so I’ve been scared to let him use it any longer. So, not thinking about daylight savings, we decided today would be the day for him to stop using it. I talked a little about it on my insta-story (you should follow along!) It actually went better than I thought and we didn’t have any trouble!
Once the kids went down for naps, we got into extreme hustle mode, in an attempt to get the playroom ready before they woke up. Spoiler alert, these things take longer than a naptime will allow. Either way, the kids woke up and were thrilled to help us set the rest up and play for the remainder of the evening.
Sunday… Sunday was a funny day. First off, daylight savings. Meh. Anyways, we had planned to work more on the playroom in the morning and then to go to night church, since we had to meet with Pastor to go over Eloise’s dedication for next week (yay!). In a series of unfortunate events, our power went off at 1:30. Apparently a tree hit a transformer and it would be back up in a couple of hours, so no big deal. Then our realtor calls us (our home is on the market, that’s a story for another day). It is 2:20 pm, and she is wondering if we can have our house ready for a showing at 3:45. So of course we say yes, and immediately enter into frantic-clean mode. By some miracle we were able to get the house mostly clean (as clean as possible with no power) and that included folding and putting away two loads of laundry- have I said laundry is my weakness before? I have no idea how we did it. So we are out of the house in time and hanging out at the (FREEZING) park, when a conversation with my realtor says that the people never showed. So all that for nothing? Hey, at least our house is clean to start off the week (my husband is so optimistic, and I am so thankful for that or I might have cried). So we weren’t able to go to church because Marcus hadn’t showered yet after his workout and we couldn’t have orchestrated everything to allow us to go in time. Womp womp.
Our night ended with me giving the kids baths while Marcus ran out to get groceries (have I sung his praises before? He is so amazing!). A little bit of Shrek 2 and then bedtime for all. It was a great, low-key weekend and just what we needed to recharge for the week.
Have you had success weaning from the pacifier? Was it easier/more difficult than expected? Are you interested in a post for how we did it? Share your stories below! Have a great week everyone!