weekly highlights!

We have had a great week around here.

1. My mom got here on Sunday night and we took Hudson to see The Lion King in 3D at the movie theater. It is his absolute favorite movie- we first let him watch him on the eve of his second birthday. Now he knows all the songs by heart! He didn’t want to wear the 3D glasses. I don’t blame him. I wore mine, but hated having them on. He started singing very loudly in the opening Circle of Life scene and we were able to quiet him down a little bit. We managed to get a couple pictures of him before we went into the theater. He had a wonderful time! If he got out of his seat, he just stood in front of his seat and danced around. I’d say the only “down side” was that he had trouble being quiet. He just loves The Lion King!

2. It has been raining like it’s monsoon season here. Every afternoon around 5:00 we get a bad thunderstorm. We’ve had flooding and lots of debris everywhere. Scratch that– we haven’t had flooding at our house, but our town has. I did get a really cool rainbow photo the other night, but in the background you can see how there is about 4 feet of standing water in the street. There was actually a double rainbow. If that’s not a beautiful reminder from God, I don’t know what is.

3. On the way home from school the other day, we passed the fire station. Hudson shouted that he saw the fire truck, so we turned around and went back so he could get a closer look. We ended up pulling into the driveway/parking lot at the fire station and there was a very kind fireman there. He had his little boy with him and he invited us to get out of the car so Hudson could get a close look at the fire truck. He let him climb up in it and then he even let Hudson hold the little hose! Hudson was so stinkin’ excited! I couldn’t get over how unbelievably kind the fireman was. Not that I didn’t expect him to be kind, but he totally understood that little boys love fire trucks. He invited us to come back any time. I’m sure we will!

4. Like I said, my mom was here this week. They live in Indiana now. I used to get to visit them once a month or once every couple of months. It’s not so bad flying alone with one baby. But I’ve been too nervous to fly alone with two babies. So I just haven’t been able to get up there to see her. So she came here for four days and it was just wonderful. She is so helpful and loves to take care of all of us. We cooked and talked and took naps when the boys took naps. She kept the boys while I went to get a shellac manicure– something I desperately needed. I hate it when she leaves, but fortunately she’ll be back in a few weeks.

I wanted to get a picture of her with the boys. Hudson does not like to have his picture taken these days, as you can see.

But Hayes will always smile for the camera. Poor Hayes is constantly wearing a bib these days because the drool is out of control.

5. Did y’all see Glee this week? I do wish they’d start singing more songs during the episodes. More singing, Glee!

I’ve mentioned before that I was Maria in West Side Story in high school, so I was super excited that this was a West Side Story episode complete with “Somewhere” (one of the most beautiful songs ever written) with Lea Michele and Idina Menzel and “Something’s Coming.”  Did y’all watch? Watch the video of “Somewhere” here.

image via here

6. My blog and twitter friend, Hopsy, from Monograms and Manicures posted these adorable Bible verse printables. They are the cutest design and you can carry them around in your purse or diaper bag to memorize while you’re on the go. Or hand to a friend in passing. Or you could tape it to your bathroom mirror to read while you’re getting ready every day. Aren’t they cute? Visit her blog for information on how to print them– and you may want to “pin” them from her blog, too.

I’m going to share some fun finds with you all tomorrow.

Toodles, poodles!

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our packing list for the beach

Thank you all for our comments on yesterday’s post. It seems like no matter if we have all girls or all boys a lot of us can relate to each other. This is why I love blogging.

Since going to the beach a few weeks ago, I have gotten a few emails asking for tips on what to pack for the beach. So I’m going to go through our packing list, which will no doubt seem excessive. But we did need and use everything we packed.

Thank goodness we now have a very large SUV. One child requires a lot of gear. Two kids require a whole lot of gear. For airplane trips to visit family, we aren’t able to bring quite as much, obviously. We have flown approximately 25 times since Hudson was born, so we are seasoned travelers with babies.

My parents have a pack n play at their house along with an activity gym and a bouncy seat. The hardest part, to me, about traveling with an infant is what to do with them when they aren’t sleeping and you aren’t holding them. You need a blanket to lie them down on the floor. Or bring your bouncy seat if you can.

But this time we were staying in a condo- just our little family of four. We had no idea what the condo already had there for us.

I made a list in my “Vacation Planning” section of my home organization notebook. So many of you gave excellent recommendations on what to bring to the beach and they were all so helpful! I used all the comments when packing my packing list.

So this is the packing list (not including items for TC and me):

Clothes for both boys (pajamas and one outfit per day)

A pack of diapers for each boy- regular diapers and swim diapers- (you just never know how many you’ll need. You can always buy them when you get there if there’s a good store where you’re going.)

Swimsuits for both boys

Swim shirts for both boys- I love those SPF protectant shirts. We’re a fair-skinned bunch and it would absolutely terrify me if my boys got sunburned.

Beach towels

Hayes’s bath seat- for him to sit in while on the beach

Baby pool- for filling up on the beach for Hudson to play in

Tailgate tent- we ended up using our tailgate tent because it was big and provided lots of shade. It was easy for all of us to sit under it.

Baby pop up tent- this is the tent that Hayes slept under. We kept it under the big tent and we could close the flap to keep sand and wind off of Hayes.

Activity gym- we were able to lay Hayes down on the floor to play while we were in the condo

Hudson’s favorite movies- we brought Finding Nemo and The Lion king

Portable DVD player- for the drive and in case the condo didn’t have a DVD player

Beach cart for transporting the tents, towels, shovels, chairs, etc. – this made our lives so much easier! I love this thing and will not take a beach trip without it!

Pail and shovel for the beach- Hudson loved shoveling the sand and collecting shells

Small folding chair for Hudson

Large folding chairs for TC and me

Battery operated stroller fan- this clipped on to Hayes’s bath seat and gave him a little bit of relief from the heat

Sunscreen- duh.

Pack n Play- Hudson had his own room and slept in a twin bed there, but Hayes slept in his Pack n Play so we didn’t have to rent a crib

Bottles- I brought enough bottles for a day so I didn’t feel pressure to wash them as we used them.

Bottle Warmer- My baby likes his bottles the way he likes his bottles– warm!

Formula- There was a very small grocery store that didn’t sell our formula, so I’m glad we brought a full case.

Toys- We brought a couple of Hudson’s favorite puzzles and his Schleich animals for him to play with at night and in case of rain.

White noise machines for both boys

A small fan for Hayes’s room

Stroller

Baby Bjorn

Water wings for Hudson

Baby floatie for Hayes

This was everything we brought. For a normal trip (where we could get to a Walmart or Target), I wouldn’t bring so much formula or as many diapers. We also wouldn’t need the tents. If I’m flying, I don’t bring the pack n play or the activity gym. We just get a crib from the hotel if we’re going to a hotel and use a hotel blanket for Hayes on the floor for him to roll around.

Small babies need a lot of stuff and traveling can be very overwhelming just because of everything you need to pack.

I’ve tried to do a “flying with babies” and “road trip with babies” post a few times, but even writing the post overwhelms me! Ha! It’s really not that bad, but you just don’t want to forget anything, if possible. And the good news is that if you do forget something, you can pick it up on the way or when you get there!

Do you have any tips to share?

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I’m a boy mom

Boy mom.

I hear this title used a lot. It’s not a title I ever thought I’d have. I always imagined myself having two girls and then having a baby boy. You know, when I’d play M*A*S*H in school and plan out my life with a mansion, a Ferrari (just like the one in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and my two girls and one boy.

I’ve been writing this post in my head for so long and I’ve just been afraid to put it all down. But I do want to talk about it.

When I first got pregnant with Hudson, I was convinced I was having a baby girl. I only browsed the girl aisles in stores and was looking at bows and sweet shoes. I would talk with my mom for an hour on the phone every day and imagine my life someday having the same conversations with my daughter.

And then we found out that we were having a baby boy. My first thought, if I’m being honest, was, “I don’t know anything about little boys. What do they like?”

But I figured it out. I figured out that he is mine and he is a perfect little person who has crazy wild moments and super sweet tender moments. After a day of letting it set in that I was not having a girl, I finally understood that the gender just did not matter at all. I mean, duh. This should be obvious, right?

With Hayes, I just always knew that he was going to be a boy. It was just a feeling I had. I knew that Hudson was going to have a brother and they would (hopefully) become best buddies. Hayes is so different than Hudson was because he, too, is his own little person. But I wanted him to be a boy. I knew that if another little boy was anything like Hudson, it would just be the best thing in the world.

I was talking with a friend the other day. She’s a boy mom, too. And we discussed the part of being a boy mom that is “hard.” It’s the pressure from other people. And there’s the “loss” and mourning of that future mother/daughter relationship when I’m 50 and I’m an empty-nester.

Because I’m in the social media world a lot, I get to eavesdrop on conversations. I have seen so many sweet friends announce their pregnancies and then announce the sex of their baby. And, I honestly don’t think I’m making this up, I see a lot of people say, “oh! I hope it’s a girl!” And that really hurts this boy mom’s feelings. Why would someone else hope that the pregnant gal would be having a girl? Why wouldn’t someone want a boy? What happened to just wanting a healthy baby?

And what about these statements from a pregnant celebrity/girl mom?

When I got pregnant with Hayes, I felt this strange, unspoken pressure/hope/rooting from other people for him to be a girl. A lot of people said, “I know this is a girl” and when I did announce that he was a boy, people even said, “don’t worry, baby number three will be a girl.”

My friends aren’t saying this to be rude. And there may always be a place in my heart that I have reserved for a daughter. But if I have four boys someday, I will be happy. And maybe I will even be spoiled by them someday?

I know that if I don’t ever have a daughter, my life will still be complete and wonderful and full of happiness.

I read this article and felt like someone finally got my thoughts out there.

I adore my family and I adore my boys. The sweetness mixed with the hilarity can’t be matched and that has nothing to do with them being boys. It’s just because of who they are and who they’re growing up to become.

I’ve said before that I want what my own mom and I have with a daughter someday. And I may always want that if I don’t have a daughter. And if I never get to use my girl name that’s on reserve, I’ll just buy a fish and give it the name!

Kidding.

Maybe.

I often feel the need to shout from the rooftops about how wonderful boys are. I know that prom planning, wedding planning and grandbaby planning won’t be as much fun without a daughter to keep me in the loop and gab with on the phone for hours, but believe me. I am counting my blessings. My precious guys are everything I have prayed for my whole life and never knew it.

Tonight, we were playing hide and seek in the house with my mom and Hudson. My wild boy was having the absolute best time. The smile on his face as he ran through the house just made my heart explode. And later in the evening, when he had calmed down some, he was sitting in my lap and we were singing songs. He accidentally hit me in the face and I pretended to cry. (I know, that’s kind of mean.) But he immediately said, “What’s the matter, Mommy? I’m sorry, Mommy.” Gah. My heart.

Are there any other boy moms who have felt this way? Has anyone ever looked at you and laughed because you have all boys? (If not, consider yourself lucky) We can even discuss the annoying boy clothes that mostly look like teenage boy clothes or a costume. What’s with all the writing on everything?

I was talking to my friend, Molly, the other day and I have decided that if there is a baby number three, I’d really like to not find out the sex before he or she is born. It’s truly the last real surprise! I think it would be so much fun.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

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{vlog} baby books and photo storage

Oh yay. It’s time for another vlog! I recorded this vlog this weekend. I mention in the vlog that I’m trying to use my home organization notebook blog planning section and get some of my blog posts written on Sunday afternoons/evenings and scheduled to post. The main reason for this is that my actual computer time is limited to about one hour per day. I have my iPhone with me way too often, but I just can’t get to the computer. We have a desktop and it’s been up in our bedroom since Hayes was born, so it’s hard to get there with enough time to sit down and take care of business. I never have enough ideas on Sunday to post for the entire week, so that leaves me room to throw something in when I get an idea.

Sometimes, if the idea strikes me at a time when I’m away from my computer, I’ll just type it up in the notes app of my iPhone and transfer it to my blog later.

Anyway, back to the vlog.

Two things:

1. The double chin is quite evident in this vlog.

2. Maybe if I practice vlogs more often, I’ll say “umm” a little less? Maybe?

Links to everything I mention are listed below.

Exposures Charter Memo Photo Album- You can also find the Charter collection without the memo pages

Exposures On the Day You Were Born Keepsake Box- You can also order this to come with magazines and newspapers from the day your baby was born, but I just got the box. We saved the local paper and a couple of magazines and put them in the box. It’s much less expensive not to order the magazines and newspapers.

Exposures Art Files- These are great for storing kids artwork and projects. It’s a big, flat box that’s not very deep and you can get it in lots of different colors.

Way Cool Designs baby books- I love her site and think she just does a wonderful job.

Blurb- printed books that are of the highest quality and so easy to make!

List Plan It- for hundreds of lists to put your world in order

How do you keep up with memories, art work and photos?

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