Friday, September 30, 2016

Catching Moments: {38/52}:

*Let's Play House...
Playing with her Critters & Log Cabin is by far Charli's favorite thing to do. I find her in her room throughout the day just sitting, playing, and making up the most imaginative lives for these little critter families {seriously adorable}! When Bubs is napping she can usually con me into coming in and laying on the ground with her and playing with them. Here, she said the mommy otter was reading the newspaper just like Nana does! 

*My little Handy Man...
It's never too early to start em young, am I right! He is just picking up where daddy left off! Crew loves walking around with his tools, but mommy has to keep a watchful eye on this dude and make sure he isn't smashing walls like I have caught him doing! I sure will love the day when I have two handy men in my life!! ;) If he is anything like his daddy when he gets older he will be able to build his mommy all sorts of goodies! Lucky me!  

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Noah's Bandage Project Link Up:

September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month and today a group of some of my amazing blog friends are linking up to spread awareness about childhood cancer and Noah's Bandage Project! When asked about a month ago by one of my blog friends, Brittany, over at Just Another Day In Paradise if I would participate in this Link Up it was a no brainer. As a mother this is definitely something I felt passionate about. Our babies are our world and I couldn't imagine ever losing them.  

Noah's Bandage Project was started by little Noah while he was going through his own treatments. He noticed the bandaids were boring and at times could have up to 10 bandaids at once due to all the pokes and pricks that come with treatment for pediatric cancer. He thought if he felt this way about the bandages than other kids must have too. He started a drive to collect fun bandaids {which all our kids love to wear} and he distributed them to the other kids at Children's Mercy Hospital in KC where he was being treated. This small drive turned into much more. The KC Royal's got involved, the News, etc. Noah unfortunately lost his battle to Pediatric Cancer last June at the young age of six but his project lives on through his family and friends. 

That's where this Link Up begins. 
Brittany lives next door to this amazing family who is working endlessly to provide cool and fun bandages to kids who need them as well as raising funds for Pediatric Caner Research. We have all chipped in to support this amazing cause by sending them our own bandaids. The best part was having the kids involved {more so Charli}. I sat and talked to Charli about little Noah and all of the little girls and boys who are sick and can't be at home because they are in the hospital. We talked about what it is like to get shots and we talked about how it feels when Mommy puts a bandaid on her boo boo's and of course which bandaids are her favorites. Watching Charli talk about how much these little boys and girls are going to love the bandaids she picked out and how they are going to really help heal their boo boo's and help take care of them melted my momma heart. 

So now, this is where you can help!! If you are interested in donating fun bandaids to Noah's Bandage Project you can do so by sending them to the PO address where they are collected:

Noah's Bandage Project
119 N Parker Street Suite 110
Olathe, KS 66061

If you have a blog and would like to share all of this information with your readers please feel free and Link Up with Brittany! If you don't have a blog you can still participate online by snapping a photo in support of Noah's Bandage Project and share on your social media by using one of the following hashtags:

Here is Noah's Story

Thank you for helping support Pediatric Cancer! 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Catching Moments: {37/52}:

*So I have been super sick during this home renovation due to the actual renovation itself {seriously, only my immune system would have such a severe reaction to all the dust that has gone airborne in the house}, and now that it is taking a toll on my health Steven is taking extra measures. Due to this we have really tried to stay OUT of our house as much as possible. So this weekend we took a family trip to the Zoo and the kids got to do one of their favorite things... feed the Giraffe's! Charli has inherited her love of Giraffe's from her Mommy!!  

*Crew got to help daddy wash the cars over the weekend. Charli was helping too, but Crew was taking his role much more serious than big sis, who was spraying herself behind me. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Our Home Tour: Playground:

As I sit here and type this in what feels like a construction site... Concrete floors beneath me, inches of dust layered on inches of dust {probably another reason why I can't rid this cold}, and every tool known to man everywhere I turn. I thought I should go ahead and start sharing some of the projects we have completed thus far. 

First up on our Project To-Do List was the Backyard and creating a play space for the kiddos. We are on just over half an acre with both a beautifully sized front yard and backyard but to us, the back was unlivable and something we wanted to tackle first. We consider ourselves backyard people and truly enjoy spending our time sitting out back letting the kids play but this was something we were unable to do as the yard had not been maintained previously and needed a lot of TLC. We have a beautiful Live Oak in the center of our backyard that no grass grew around and would turn into a dirty mud pit which I hated. We decided to incorporate the Live Oak into maybe a playground for the kids with building a tree fort down the road for them which is how this project unfolded. So alas, a playground became our very first home project! 

Steven and I both only wanted an all cedar set and ended up pulling the trigger when we saw the company having a 4th of July Sale over the Summer. Everything got delivered and our backyard plans were approved through our HOA and Steven was ready to build {or not sure what he had gotten himself into}! Seriously if you could have seen just how many boxes there were and how many pieces of cedar in each box. Pure Craziness! 

Thankfully my husband has an Engineering background and is really good at this stuff. Through his high demanding job and working full days he would come home and get to work outside and building the swing set. The swing set literally had 10,000 parts as nothing was preassembled and it had very little predrilled spots either.


It ended up being a nice little weekend project and he even had a little help from some little hands from time to time! 

After the swing set was built we added a timber "flower bed" around the perimeter so we could mulch the entire area in so that it would look and feel like a playground. He had to remove the existing sod, align & nail the timbers into place, and rolled out the biodegradable weed mat.

The finishing touch was a truck full of cedar wood chips that were delivered to fill in the entire area! 
I would say we had two happy kiddos when they could come outside and play!

The playground has already been well loved on and the kids have played on it every single day the past 3 months it has been built! When I look outside now I can't even imagine the backyard without it. It truly was the perfect addition! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Charli's Chapter: My First Soccer Practice:

The day had arrived
September Ninth
A day mommy dreamed of
For all of her life

So now it's my turn 
To be just like her
Run, Kick, and Dribble
And learn about Soccer

My very first practice
Was an absolute blast
I had so much fun
And can't wait to go back! 

a note from mommy:

If you know me well than you know just how excited I was to have our first child officially start Soccer! I have been dreaming and waiting for this day since as long as I can remember! I started playing Soccer at around the age of 3 and played for 16 years straight {non stop, throughout the year}; between School Ball, Rec Ball, Traveling Teams, you name it. I made all Conference and All District in High School and was asked to play at the University of North Florida {which I ended up politely declining}. Soccer was my passion, it was my love, and it still is! Steven has even recently tried to see if I still have it in me and I schooled him {sorry honey ;)}. 

Charli had been asking to play Soccer for a while too so I was even more excited knowing that she might be following in my footsteps! Her very first practice went so good. She did absolutely amazing, listened to everything her coach had to say, did her drills, and they had a little scrimmage at the end. One thing I noticed about Charli that I pointed out to Steven while at practice was that her love for running sure did show. She was the ONLY kid on her team that ran the entire scrimmage. Not one time did she stop. While all the other kids would be walking or standing, there was our Charli running after the ball. Her energy, determination, and heart will take her so far in this sport along with every single thing she does in this world! We cannot wait to watch her succeed into the little Soccer Star we know she is!

Here are some shots I got from Practice:

And we can't forget about Charli's Cheering Section... Although this was the only time Crew actually sat down because he was eating... Other than that he was trying to run onto the field. Thank goodness daddy got to be there and could run around after him! haha! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Britax: ClickTight Review:

It is Child Passenger Safety Month and with little babes to keep safe I was all in when asked to participate with BritaxCity Moms Blog Network, and Jacksonville Moms Blog for a Car Seat Event. Unfortunately due to my Health I was unable to attend the event in person but because Jax Moms Blog is so amazing they kept me in the loop with everything going on at the party {thank you again!} while I rested at home. 

The event was to introduce the moms to the new Britax Advocate ClickTight car seat and Anti-Rebound Bar. This car seat is not only amazing, but so simple to use, and in three easy steps you know your child is as safe as can be. The Advocate ClickTight uses the cars seatbelt instead of car seat latches, whether the seat is rear facing or forward facing. You turn ClickTight Key to open, You place the seatbelt through & Connect, and Click it down to close. 
With those three easy steps the seat is as stable and secure as it should be. 

It is crazy to think of the statistics when it comes to our children's carseats. The fact that 96% of parents think they are actually installing it properly when only 3 out of 4 really are. The Advocate ClickTight Installation System gives you a safe & easy installation every time, so you are certain your little one is safe and well protected! 

Something new that Britax has released and showcased at the party is the Anti-Rebound Bar. This is a padded steel bar accessory you can purchase that attaches to the foot-end of the ClickTight car seat and is used only when rear-facing. It is designed to manage rebound or reactive motion in the opposite direction of impact during a collision. In their findings, the ARB reduces rebound rotation by 40% and stabilizes the car seat during frontal, rear-end, and side impact crashes. 

If you are currently in the market for a new car seat I would highly recommend this! And right now, during the month of September, Britax is holding an All About Baby Safety Event, where select products {car seats being one} are on sale for up to 25% off!! 

So hurry, you won't want to miss out!
Happy Shopping! 

Thank you again to BritaxCity Moms Blog Network, and Jacksonville Moms Blog
I promise I will make the next event! ;)

Catching Moments: {36/52}:

*I spy with my little eye...
I remember playing this all.the.time. when I was growing up {probably annoying my parents, let's be honest} haha. But this is by far one of the kids favorite things to do! I love sitting back and watching Charli teach Crew new things. 

*Come out, Come out, Wherever you are...
Charli and Crew were playing hide and seek and I snapped this picture of her hiding under the ladder of their playground! Childhood at it's greatest! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Coping with Crohn's: An Attack of Acute Pancreatitis:

I realized I have not posted anything about my health since recovering from my surgery last year mainly because it is honestly something I do not like to focus on. I deal with struggles every single day and most days my health is a real negative and it could get real annoying if I was constantly posting about how bad I feel, so I try to spare everyone except for those closest to me. What I choose to focus on is our children, on happy times, on times I do feel good, and that is what I choose to share with all of you! But, at the end of the day, this is me... I am sick, I am not your average 31 year old woman so for today I choose to share this side with you...

As most of you know I was rushed to the Emergency Room at the start of Labor Day Weekend {and trust me, it takes A LOT to get me to the hospital}. I have a very high pain tolerance when it comes to my stomach as I deal with constant stomach pain on a daily basis. On a good day I'm at about a 3 on the pain scale. So being rushed to the ER sent all of my family into a panic because they know I won't ever go when I really should. Thankfully, at a week later, I am back to my {new} normal self and praying it continues!


I woke up that Saturday morning with such severe stomach pain that I was throwing up uncontrollably and couldn't keep water down. My pain was so bad that I could not stand up straight and our poor babies who are so used to seeing mommy so sick and in so much pain grabbed my arms as I was crying, walking back to the bed, saying "it's ok mommy, I got you, I got you". 

The pain in my stomach got so intense that it moved up into my chest causing me to not be able to breathe with a burning sensation in my back. Something I have never felt before. At that moment we knew what we needed to do and where I needed to be... The Hospital. My brother called some friends who work in the ER and they were at the door waiting for me to arrive when I walked in. They had a room ready for me and took me straight back and got to work {thank you again to my brother}. My parents took the kids so Steven could be by my side through it all... EKG, Chest X-Ray, Ultrasound, Blood Work, more Blood Work, CT Scan, Hida Scan, you name it it was done. 

I spent all of Labor Day Weekend in the hospital {wooooo... yay...} not able to eat. I was finally diagnosed with Acute Pancreatitis with an unknown cause. You see, unfortunately for me between my disease, my medications, and no longer having 90% of my colon I am at risk for a plethora of things. They don't know if maybe this is a side effect from all of my meds, or maybe because my organs have to work overtime in the digestive track... My team of Doctors are getting to the bottom of it and figuring out if I may need surgery. All I can say is I am thankful to be home, to be feeling better, and I am just praying it doesn't happen again.

Thank you again for all of the prayers it truly means the world to me!