Saturday, November 29, 2014

Keep it cute, keep it comfy, keep it cheap - Thanksgiving edition

Counting my greatest blessings!!

 Little man wears:
Long sleeve shirt & vest: Tea, consignment sale, $10
Pants:  The Bailey Boys, consignment sale, $2.50
Shoes:  Pediped, consignment store (accounted for in a previous post)
Total outfit: $12.50

Mama wears:
Tunic:  Umgee, consignment store, $10
Tank Top:  Forever 21, $4
Pants:  Converse, Target, $8
Shoes:  Old Navy, $20
Total outfit:  $42

Baby girl wears:
Dress: Matilda Jane, NWT, consignment sale, $18
Long sleeve top:  The Children's Place, yard sale, $1
Tights:  Consignment sale, $0.50
Shoes (not pictured): Gymboree, consignment store, $8
Total outfit: $27.50 (shoes, including shoes)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Love I Never Thought I'd Find

There's a place I've been looking for
That took me in and out of buildings
Behind windows, walls and doors
And I thought I found it
Couple times, even settled down
And I'd hang around just long enough
To find my way back out

And I wouldn't change a thing
I'd walk right back through the rain
Back to every broken heart
On the day that it was breaking
And I'd relive all the years
And be thankful for the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That ... got me here, right here

It's amazing what I let my heart go through
And I'd relive all the years
And be thankful for all the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That led to you and got me here, right here.


So grateful to be right where I am today with my sweet babies, my mama and my little sister. Happy Thanksgiving, friends and family! Praying that your blessings are many and your worries are few!!!

Keep it cute, keep it comfy, keep it cheap: Birthday party edition

Little man wears:
Long sleeve shirt: boutique, consignment sale, $1
Pants:  naartjie, yard sale, $0.33
Total outfit: $1.33

Baby girl wears:
Romper: yard sale, NWT, $1
Bow:  Walmart, $1
Total outfit: $2

Keep it cute, keep it comfy, keep it cheap: play clothes edition

Little man wears:
Long sleeve shirt: Ralph Lauren, consignment sale, $3
Pants:  Kelly's Kids, ebay, $5
Jacket:  Mini Boden, hand-me-down, $0
Shoes: (not pictured), Pediped, accounted for in previous post
Total outfit: $8

Baby girl wears:
Embroidered tee: consignment store, $3
Leggings:  Gymboree, hand-me-downs, $0
Jacket:  Le Top, yard sale, $1
Boots:  Children's Place, yard sale, $1 (at this age, when they are barely worn, just throw them in the wash, and then wipe them out with a clorox wipe and you're good to go!)
Total outfit: $5

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Keep it cute, keep it comfy, keep it cheap: School pictures edition

Little man wears:
Plaid shirt: consignment store, $5
Pants:  Little English, consignment sale, $5
Shoes: (not pictured), Pediped, accounted for in previous post
Total outfit: $10

Baby girl wears:
Smocked dress: boutique, consignment store, $4.75
Bow:  mall store, $2
Total outfit: $6.75

School pictures outfits:  $16.75 for both kids
Purchasing school pictures:  $48 for a CD of two pictures!  ;)
Capturing memories:  priceless!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Keep it cute, keep it comfy, keep it cheap - tea party edition

Baby girl wears:
Smocked dress: boutique, consignment store, $8
Shoes: (not pictured), Smart Fit, yard sale, $1 (at this age, throw them in the washing machine, wipe them down inside and out with a clorox wipe and you're good to go!)
Necklace:  ebay, $5
Bow:  mall store, $2
Total outfit: $15 (including shoes)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


For years, many of you have been praying for a very special little man, Denny. I've never even met this little man, but he was blessed to be born into an extraordinary family, and every day my babies and I pray for Denny and his family.
My heart was so broken that it took me an entire day to share this post from his mom, but I share it now to ask for your prayers. Prayers for miraculous healing for Denny, and prayers for strength, comfort and peace for him and his entire family.
Today the team told us that they don't have a curative treatment to offer at this time. We will be shifting our focus to enjoying Denny enjoying his life for whatever time that is.
We will be giving Denny angiogenesis inhibitors - this blocks blood vessels which would give the tumors the blood that they need to grow. The goal is to stabilize the tumors. As an example, they have a child that's been on them for 8 months and is still running around playing basketball. We would love to see Denny feel great for that long.
Other things that we'll be doing to help Denny feel super awesome are to take out his drain in the morning and generally reduce the time he spends at the hospital wherever we can. (We head back to Raleigh tomorrow afternoon.)
Of course, no one knows exactly how everything will unfold. But they explained to us that generally what happens is that Denny will continue to feel like his general little badass self and then he'll start to experience some pain as the tumor grows - and we'll be ready for that. Our focus will shift completely to managing the pain.....but all that is hopefully months from now.
My sister asked me today if we were on the same page that the next few months should basically be a "make a wish lifestyle". YES!!!!! That's exactly what I have in mind. There will come a day when we're sitting in our house staring at Denny - but that is not where we are yet. Sometimes making Denny happy is going to be things like going to school and learning his letters - I still want him to feel accomplished. And sometimes, it's going to be us flying to Disney World. (And going to see Annie at the DPAC, Annie is touring in Boston right now and Denny's desire to go see this is kinda ridiculous.)
This is going to be a very confusing time period for all of us and I don't expect us to get this perfectly or know exactly what to do. I would like to ask you to be cognizant of what you say in front of your children as you're processing all this. One of Denny's greatest joys is to get to be around classmates and Darian's friends - and he is very much full of life right now.
And again, I know you're wondering. "But really, are you guys ok?" "Is the rest of the family ok?" We are all either ok or will be ok. We adore Denny and don't want his sweet little spirit to leave us. But, I think that we all feel capable of moving on from that feeling and enjoying our many more moments together.
And in addition to your prayers, I have another request, if you feel so incredibly blessed this Thanksgiving season, please consider giving back.... to Denny, and to his family.
This is Wendy, Mandy's sister. Thank you all so much for the kind emails, texts, Facebook messages, banners, balloons, and gifts you've all been organizing after Mandy's post last night. We are all feeling very loved and supported by Team Denny!
The most common thing we are being asked is some form of "how can I help facilitate this make a wish lifestyle?" In response to that, we have set up this funding page:
Mandy and Doug can use the money to do anything our little man chooses to request. We know some days that will be eating a bunch of M & M's and some days that will be vacations, but this will leave them some flexibility either way.  
Thank you again for everything you've done to support our family. You are all absolutely amazing.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Keep it cute, keep it comfy, keep it cheap

Baby girl wears:
Dress: boutique, consignment sale, $10
Shoes: puddle jumpers, consignment sale, $5
Total outfit: $15 (including shoes)

Little man wears:
Shirt: Ralph Lauren, consignment store, $9
Pants: brand unknown, yard sale, $0.50
Shoes: Ck, consignment store, $9
Total outfit:  $18.50 (including shoes)

Keep it cute, keep it comfy, keep it cheap

Little man wears:
Top:  Mulberribush pumpkin tee, consigment store, $4
Pants:  Little English, consignment sale, $4
Shoes:  Pediped, accounted for in previous post
Total outfit:  $8

Baby girl wears:
Fleece hoodie:  Gymboree, yard sale, $3 (hand-me-down from brother!)
Orange leggings:  Gymboree, hand-me-down $0
Blue top with collar:  brand uncertain, consignment store, $1
Shoes:  Target, $5
Bow:  Walmart, $1
Total outfit:  $10 (including shoes)

Keep it cute, keep it comfy, keep it cheap - Halloween edition

Baby girl wears:
Cowgirl costume, consignment store, $8
Long sleeve top, hand-me-down, $0
Handkerchief, found at home, $0
Cowgirl boots, Rack Room $22 (splurge!)

Little man wears:
Sheriff costume, consignment store: $8
Long sleeve red top, brand unknown, yard sale, $0.50
Shoes: pediped, cost accounted for in previous post

Mickey Mouse trick-or-treat bucket: yard sale, $0.50

Total Halloween cost:  $39

Keep it cute, keep it comfy, keep it cheap!

Feeling a bit overdue for a keep it cute, keep it comfy, keep it cheap post (i.e. i'm still procrastinating and trying not to pack!!)  ;)

Baby girl wears:
Tunic / dress:  Hanna Andersson, consignment store, $5
Polka dot tights: George Davies, Strasburg outlet, $3
(these tights are extra special to me, I bought them when I was pregnant with Harper, before I even knew I was having a girl!  I just knew I was having a little girl, and if so... she needed to have those pink polka dot tights!)
Boots, Carter's, yard sale, $1 (at this age, throw them in the washing machine, wipe them down inside and out with a clorox wipe and you're good to go!)
Bow: Walmart, $1
Total outfit cost:  $10

Little man wears:
Top:  (need to check brand), yard sale, $0.50
Pants:  Naartjie, yard sale, $0.50
Shoes:  Pediped, consignment store, $15
Total outfit:  $16

Yes, I live with my mom!

I would be lying if I said that there weren't times when I am embarrassed to say "I live with my mom". I mean, let's face it... I never planned on being 36 years old and raising two kids in my parents' home. But I just have to tell you that I. AM. BLESSED. WE. ARE. BLESSED. I was a strong-willed, rebellious child in high school and college, and I caused my parents more heartache than I care to remember. Even once I graduated from college, had a job and bought a place of my own, I still caused them quite a bit of stress (maybe even more!)... right, mom? ;) As an adult, there were so many times I wished that I had the opportunity to go back and live with them, as an adult, get to know them, as friends, and show them how much I really do appreciate them and love them (and always have!) And I got that opportunity. It wasn't something I planned, but on Saturday, March 3rd, 2013, I packed up my babies and I headed HOME to mom & dad's. And we've been here ever since. Dad passed away unexpectedly on Friday, March 7th, 2014. It was the worst day of my life, but I was blessed, and my BABIES were blessed, with the opportunity to spend an entire year with my dad (Pop-Pop! ...the man, the myth, the legend!) :) How many people can say that?!?! And we continue to be blessed to share this time with Mom & Jenn. I can't tell you how many times a day I call Mom to tell her something funny that Holden did or Harper said. She is my person, the one I share everything with (okay, almost everything!) ;) My mom is my very best friend, and I am so grateful that I get to share this amazing time in my life and my children's lives with her. We love you, Mom (Mom-Mom)! Thank you for everything you do and everything you are!!! You know I'd rather get all sappy in writing instead of in person, so I'll just say it here! We love you guys so much! We are happy to be here. And we plan to stay. Thank you for making room for us AND all of our stuff!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Many times... I have been a victim of my own optimism".

I love that quote, I can relate to that quote... when it comes to friends, family and relationships. And, I can say that with a smile and a happy heart. I would rather believe the best of someone and be disappointed, than assume the worst of someone and be wrong.  :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cry it out? Do you or don't you?

I was personally never a fan of letting my kids "cry it out". Fuss, yes, I would let them fuss. But full out cry? I just couldn't do it.
When I first tried to put Holden in his crib (it was towards the end of nursing, so maybe 9-10 months?), he wouldn't have it. So I put him in my bed every night. Around 12-13 months old, he didn't want to snuggle with me anymore. He would wiggle and squirm and move all about. So, I put him in his bed, and he slept through the night like a champ - he was ready for it! That was my first indication that "cry it out" wasn't right... kids are ready when they are ready!
From the day Harper was born, that (sweet!) child wanted to be held! She came out screaming! Aunt Christie affectionately told Holden that her name was "wah wah" because she was always screaming. From day 1, I said she was a high-maintenance child, but no one seemed to understand. They would come, visit, hold her and leave... and it wasn't until they left and she was PUT DOWN that she began to scream! That started 28 months ago and hasn't stopped yet. She is the most high maintenance child I have ever met.
Tonight, Holden wanted me to lay down with him. That doesn't happen often. Normally, he kisses me goodnight and then goes about his business for the next 1/2 to 2 hours. But not tonight. Tonight was one of those nights when I could tell that he just wanted Mama to snuggle with him. I'm impatient, I can't lie. So the second he seemed to be asleep, I would start to disentangle. And he would cry. The next time I thought he was asleep, I would start to move away and he would whimper. My sweet boy wanted his mama to snuggle with him, and you better believe that any and all plans went flying out the window... that child grunts and he gets.
But it made me think...
How many times do I fall asleep next to Harper when she asks me not leave her? I don't know? But you better believe I don't leave her, ever... because she asked me not to!
I was given the blessing of lying down next to my sweet Holden tonight while he fell asleep. He didn't ASK me not to leave him, he didn't TELL me that he loved me, but when I rolled over, he grunted. When I pulled my arm out from under his, he moaned. And let me just tell you, friends... I LISTENED!
I have been blessed... I have a non-verbal child! I have had no choice but to read his non-verbal signs and cues. My point is... if your infant is crying... he/she is simply non-verbal!!!! Do you really let them just cry it out??? Or do you reach out and hug them and love them on their level until they CAN COMMUNICATE?
It is different for everyone, but I can tell you that if my own non-verbal child so much as grunts in my direction, I will positively re-enforce him asking for candy corn, if that is what he wants. my point... meet your child where they are and challenge them!!!! But what do I know... Harper still doesn't sleep through the night! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

We were outside playing and Harper walked over to lawn mower...

Harper:  I want to ride this.

Me:  I don't think it's working right now, sweetie.

Harper:  Why?

Me:  I think it's out of gas.  (truth!)

Harper:  I get gas.  Mommy, you give me some money?

How in the world does this child even know that she needs money to get gas?!?!?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Heiney, please?

I was walking behind Harper as she went up the stairs tonight (she... easily distracted and I... always impatient), so I was tapping her "behind/heiney" (my choice of words!) with my iPad to keep her on track.  She turns around says "Don't play with my butt!".  Despite my reaction, what I SAID was "EXCUSE ME??" and she immediately responds with "Bottom".  "Don't play with  my bottom, Mommy!"  I seriously need to walk around with a video camera mounted to my forehead these days...  I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried...  


Me: Harper, you aren't supposed to be playing with the tape.
Harper: Why?
Me: Because it's not a toy.
Harper: Why?
Me: Because it wasn't made for kids to play with.
Harper: Why?
Me: Harper, put the tape down.
Harper: Mommy, tell me why!
Today might be the day I officially go crazy...
But I did just learn that 409 and a magic eraser make it a breeze to clean ink pen off walls, so at least we will have clean walls when I do!