Family Tales · Mom Tales

Girls Road Trip.

One of my goals this month was to do something I’ve never done before. I decided to go back to Chicago for a few days with London. My parents hasn’t seen her since April, I wasn’t feeling like I was in a good spot in Minnesota, mainly because I was missing my friends in Chicago, and I needed my hair done. Yes, I’m that person who travels 300 plus miles to get her hair done.

My parents had no idea I was even coming in, thanks to the technology of Facebook, o was able to make plans with a few people and not let my parents know. Shout out to being able to block people from seeing my posts. 

London has driven with us back and forth to Chicago twice now, but this was the first time it was just going to be me and her alone. Arthur stayed in Minnesota to hang with Dobby. Scary? Absolutely. But isn’t life about doing something that scares us? To be able to look back and say ” Yea I totally did that.” Not to look back and think ” I wish I would have done it when I had the chance?”

Our drive there was scary but so much fun, thanks to our Spotify playlist, we listened to everything from Motley Crue, to afi, to the Goofy Movie soundtrack. Considering it was already a 6 hour drive, add an extra hour for having to stop for diapers, we made great time. 

The first surprise was to my mom who was working. If you’re friends with me on Facebook then I’m sure you saw the video of use surprising her. Same with my dad. It was the coolest thing to be able to do, and I’ll never be able to pull that off again because it was already hard enough to keep a secret like that. 

Originally we were supposed to stay til Thursday morning, but we ended up leaving Tuesday afternoon after London had gotten sick. We made the most of our time, missed out on a few things. But a mini get away way exactly what I needed. 

We’re definitely blessed to have the option to go back to Chicago basically whenever we want. Maybe within a few more trips I’ll figure out how to pack us up without bringing every single thing we own. I’ve accepted I’m a very heavy packer.

So our first summer adventure was a success, shortened but still a success. But it’s time to get back to the real world, until it’s time for Vegas for a girls weekend!

Family Tales · Mom Tales

Speech Therapy for Toddlers.

Recently, we made the choice to start London in speech therapy. And originally I wasn’t even going to make a post about this because it’s been hard for me to talk about it. With her progress so far, I’m finally ok and seeing that I’m just making sure she is on the right path and she’ll be prepared for preschool.

So yes, we decided it was in London’s best interest to have her start seeing a speech therapist. Over the last few months, we’ve noticed she wasn’t repeating words, was having a hard time telling us what she wanted, and it resulted in her being frustrated and us being frustrated for not knowing what she was trying to tell us. 

Originally, I started with taking the binkys away, eliminating screen time even more, and switching all her cups to straw and magic 360 cups. None of that was helping her talk to us. 

Her doctor knew it’s been a concern and with our first steps not showing improvement, she set her up to see an audiologist. I can’t begin to explain how scary the thought of her not being able to hear or needing surgery was. But we went to her appointment with positive thoughts and preparing for the worst. The audiologist basically thought we were crazy because there is absolutely nothing wrong with her hearing. 

So here we are doing speech therapy. After her evaluation, London does has a delay in her talking but she is incredibly smart by way of gesturing and being able to do commands when we tell her to hand us a certain toy or show us where the green crayon in. So as we work on her speaking and using her words, she is being taught sign language.

It may have taken me a few weeks to accept the fact London needs help with learning how to talk, but her therapist even said, it’s not our fault and this is helping her to prepare for preschool.

We couldn’t be more happy with the facility we decided on for her, and we’re so proud of how much London has already picked up as far as sign language and the way her words are starting to come together. 

Family Tales · Mom Tales · Wife Tales

So, We Own A Puppy.

Yes, we have added to our family. We have welcomed an adorable 11 week old cavanese puppy named Dobby to our family. Are we crazy? Yes. I mean I think we are. With a two year old, 3 cats, still trying to finish putting our house together, why not add a puppy to the mix.

I guess I’ll explain that first and foremost, this was not a spur of the moment decision. With Arthur and I coming from having dog backgrounds, me more cats, we knew what we were getting into. We’ve been talking about getting a dog before even moving to Minnesota. Our apartment in Illinois didn’t allow dogs so we knew we would be able to once we moved out here. We didn’t get a dog right away because I didn’t want to have to potty train in the winter. That would just be mean to a puppy…and myself.

And mostly, we waited til we were more prepared to own a dog. Being new to the area and getting use to everything is still a process, but after being here for almost 8 months, I’m more comfortable being out with London and bringing a puppy with.

It’s been almost a full 48 hours, and I’m exhausted. Having a puppy is literally having another child. But we’ve somehow made it through two mornings, and only 2 accidents from Dobby in the house. So I think I’m doing something right.

Exhausted or not, wondering what else I need to do for Dobby, I don’t think I’ve ever seen London so happy. She loves waking up and seeing her puppy each morning, helping us feed him, playing in the yard with him, and her favorite, getting a good night hug from him. 

Here’s to hopefully a not even crazier household…with a puppy added to the mix.

Family Tales · Mom Tales

Step Out Of That Comfort Zone, Mama!

If you knew me before I was pregnant, and even now, you know that for how loud I am, I rarely step out of my comfort zone. I like sticking to what I know and enjoy. But every once in a while, I catch myself doing something I never thought I would do.

Like last May, while Arthur was working up in Minnesota, I took London around to be a tourist with me. First time ever being in Minnesota and we just went. We went everywhere and packed in as much as we could in the 5 days we were here. When we lived in Chicago, I never took her to the city,  but I had no problem walking around St. Paul looking for the children’s museum.

Since moving to Minnesota, I find myself looking to do more, to better myself as a person and a mom, and to live my life as an adventure. In a previous post, I had talked about how I look at my life as an adventure. It doesn’t necessarily mean going to new places or trying new things everyday. It’s enjoying the life ideas given, because I only get one life. Which is why I post my goals in the Best Me I Can Be section and why even when it’s freezing or rainy, I do stuff with London everyday. Hi Target dollar spot, you make for a great rainy day basket. 

Something I did recently, very much out of my comfort zone, was take London out to dinner…by myself. Does it sound silly? Yes. Was I nervous about doing it? Absolutely. Did we have so much fun that I’ve been doing it week. Hell yes. 

Being a first time mom, I was always nervous about taking her anywhere alone. It took me forever to be comfortable enough to go shopping with her because I was scared I would forget her somewhere. So the thought of taking her out to eat was even scarier. I don’t know why I allowed that fear to continue for so long. But randomly one morning I decided I didn’t want to cool dinner or order. And I had a taste for shrimp. 

I’ve done a girls night dinner once a week with her and plan to do it every week. Some may think it’s silly to eat out once a week, but isn’t that your Starbucks money for a week? But it’s not about spending unnecessary money, it’s about having those traditions with my girl. Living life how I want and having the memories because sooner or later she’s going to be cool to want to go out to eat with mom.

Family Tales · Mom Tales

Oh Twodles, Happy Birthday London!

We just celebrated London’s 2nd Birthday in Chicago with our family and friends, and my goodness did she have the time of her life! 

With pretty much making it a last minute thing, I was still able to make a few center pieces and set up a birthday party to be able to have photos for her to enjoy when she gets older.

From seeing her family and friends, so many presents and a custom made Toodles cake, we couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate her 2nd birthday. We are beyond grateful and blessed for everyone in our lives who care for and love London.

Of course, I completely slacked on actually getting all of the photos I wish I did. Isn’t that just how it goes mama’s? But again, for what I did get and for everyone who was there, I’m incredibly grateful.

Happy 2nd Birthday London, we love you more than words can say, to Hogwarts and back, to inifity and beyond.

Family Tales · Mom Tales

Our Baby Is 2.

Before you continue, I’ll just warn you now this post is full of photos. I’ve gone through and pulled a few of my favorite photos of the last year to show you, and London, just how great of a year it was for her. 

Now then, I’m so full of happiness to be celebrating my girl turning two! I can believe where the time went and I know where the year went. Hi, I’m mom I’m was there, and I made sure each and every one of these moments happened. Plus more.

London is 33 pounds and just shy of being 3 feet tall. She loves to help me clean and cook. Her favorite foods include scrambled eggs, peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, ham, and green beans. When she’s not being a book need, she’s letting her imagination soar in her playroom between her kitchen set and cooking up some yummy meals and she is quite the artist these days. From crayons, pencils and paints, we have a ton of London originals.

In her only 2 years, London has done so much that I’m actually shocked at how much I did with her, that I never thought I would have. It’s scary being a parent not knowing what you’re actually doing. But we made it another year. And as it should be, this year was even more fun than the last!

This past year has been a busy year. And bless her little heart for sticking it out and trusting her mama and daddy that it would all be worth it. 

From moving to Minnesota,  a ton of plane rides, a Disney vacation, a road trip, zoo trips, exploring new places, and making an unfamiliar place into a home, I couldn’t have imagined a more fun year for her. 

We don’t have anything as crazy as moving to a new state in mind this year, but a few vacations and new adventures are planned. I mean life just only gets better as your kids get older right? 

I couldn’t feel more blessed to call her mine. I’m thankful everyday I was chosen to be her mama. She makes me a better person and teaches me something new everyday.

Our adventure together is just starting, but I plan on making the most of everyday together and every adventure, new or old, worth an amazing memory.

Family Tales · Mom Tales

Hey Terrible Twos, Just Stop It.

My goodness, I never believed “Terrible Two’s” where a real thing. Honesty. I thought it was just some clever word play mom’s said. 

Let me just say, they’re real, and they start before two. We’ve had the lovely honor of dealing with London and her ridiculous terrible two’s attitude for quite some time now and all I can think of is that it’s just a phase and we’ll be dealing with another phase she’s in. So my adorable little baby will always be my little girl with the attitude of her mother. So with that, I say ” thanks Karma..”

I’ll admit, I thought I was going to be that mom who miraculously didn’t have a kid go through a terrible two phase, or maybe I just thought people exaggerate and that phase really isn’t that bad. Nope, no miracle and it really does suck. And no comments about how 3 is worse, I’ve heard it and I’m mentally preparing myself for it. 

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

That’s how I feel almost all day, let’s be honest, I say that all day because talking to London is the same as talking to someone whose not even in the room. Even though she’s standing right next to me. Her hearing works just fine, so this can’t be reasoned with bad hearing, she just ignores me. Cool, thanks London. Talking to a wall is one of my favorite past times. 

So if she’s allowed to ignore me, why can’t I ignore Her? Who says I can’t? Because I most certainly do ignore her sometimes. 

Now before you make that ” WTF kind of mom is she for ignoring her kid” face, when I say ignore, I’m talking about not getting into a screaming fest with her. There is absolutely no way to reason with a two year old. They don’t understand “let’s do this and then you can watch Mickey Mouse.” If she doesn’t want to do something as simple as change her diaper and wants to scream at the top of her lungs, guess what? I’m not going to stand and just watch her scream. I turn my back and continue with making dinner or cleaning up the kitchen. 

Now, again, before I find myself explaining myself to any mom shamers, we very much practice getting down at her level and talk through problems. It’s a little difficult when she can’t tell us why she’s upset, but being a parent is learning for yourself, and teaching your child how to communicate. While London is still learning her words and how to use them, her main way to communicate is actually showing us or pointing. Well how is she going to point at being upset or angry? She’s not, she’s going to scream. I do my best to try to avoid her getting to that point, but that’s sometimes impossible. 

Bribes. Bribes. Bribes.

Oh yes, I have no shame in admitting I bribe my kid. If she’s having a melt down in the car, I’ll bribe her with a binky; even though we don’t give them to her during the day anymore. I mean does anyone want to listen to a toddler screaming because she can’t see the airplane anymore? I sure as hell don’t, I want to listen to my music because it’s not the Hot Dog Dance song. 

Do I bribe her with being able to watch cartoons if she picks up her books from the living room? Absolutely. Why? Because I just spent half the day cleaning up after her and she needs to start learning how to pick up her stuff. 

The days are longer now, there’s no schedule anymore. Remember when I was that mom who tried to keep everything on a schedule? Yea that went out the window real quick. I find myself struggling each day to have enough to do to keep her busy and avoid the monster in my toddler coming out. Which is also why I make so many to do lists, bucket lists, and I spread out what we’re going to do during the week over a couple of days. 

At the end of the day though, I couldn’t imagine how boring our life would be if she wasn’t here. Those hard moments really being out our parenting survival skills, and believe it not everyone has the ability to survive their toddler. 

Even as I sit here and write this, and look over and see she just dumped a container of flash cards all over the hallway, all I can do is chuckle and say “oh well, I’ll clean it up later.”


Family Tales · Mom Tales

Beauty and the Beast Night.

Not only is Beauty and the Beast one of my favorite movies, so you can probably assume how excited I am that the new Beauty and the Beast is in theaters now. Unfortunately, London is too small to take to the movies and date nights are rare for Arthur and I. So I have yet to see it, so no spoilers please.

Instead, I decided to make a Beauty and the Beast night for us. 

Not only did we wear our Beauty and the Beast best, we had BATB table pieces. Our dinner was inspired by the film as well, but toddler friendly. Meaning, cresant roll hot dogs and cupcakes with the “grey stuff” 

With London being almost, less than 3 weeks, to being 2 years old, I decided to start making dinners a more fun part of the day. She knows that when dinner is over, it’s playtime for an hour, reading time then bed time. And no toddler wants to go to bed..atleast mine doesn’t. I don’t want her to be bummed out that dinner time means the end of our day.

So this was our first theme night dinner and I threw in the great of being able to watch the originally BATB cartoon before bed. I’ve already planned out more of our theme dinners and cannot wait to share them with you!

Craft Tales · Family Tales · Mom Tales

Spring Bucket List.

Happy First Day of Spring! I couldn’t be more excited to officially be in the season of Spring, now I just need Mother Nature to get the memo and bring us the weather we’ve been waiting for. 

So until then, London and I have been brainstorming what we want to do this Spring, meaning she just says yes to everything I ask her. Instead of making a page on here of a bucketlist, I made this more kid friendly and I encourage you to do this with your littles for whatever season or reason you want to make a bucketlist. 

I’d also like to mention, I’m definitely not the artist of our family. 

We started our Spring bucketlist a few weeks ago and currently have it hanging on a wall in our family room. We put it up where we see it everyday and it’ll be easy to pick something off the list and just do it a day where weather is permitting. 

Family Tales · Mom Tales

Mama’s Inner Battle.

How many times do you catch yourself doing the dishes and turn around to see your living room looks like a toy bomb exploded? How many times did you clean up the living room mess to see now the playroom has been ransacked and the floor seems to have disappeared? I don’t know about you, but I never thought I would I would be that mom who bought toys and books all the time. Yup, I buy London toys and books multiple times a week and I go completely over board with holidays. First time mom here, of course I’m going to be spoiling her. And while toys don’t take the place of our love or learning, they’re great to have a variety of for the rainy or cold days. 

But my point of this whole post, I cannot be the only one who walks into a room and just shakes their head at the mess. I feel as though my days of a spotless and organized house are so far behind me that it would be weird if I was able to have more than one room organized. 

Even our bathroom isn’t safe from being taken over by books or toys.

And guess what, I don’t want a spotless and perfectly organized house. I love that London has free range of playing where she wants and pretty much doing what she wants. I feel awkward walking into a house that looks like a showroom, almost to scared to even sit down because I don’t want to leave a wrinkle in a couch. 

While about 70% of our house London friendly, meaning areas I find toys all the time, I still have my 30% that I can decorate and organize as I wish. 

If you would have asked me a year ago how I was keeping our apartment so clean and organized with a toddler my answer would have made you cry because I cried everyday trying to keep everything organized and “company ready.” I’m pretty sure anyone who comes over knows we have a toddler and is expecting some toys and mess, and would probably think it was weird if our house looked like it was just the two of us living there. 

I used to worry about what people would think if they came over or if they saw all the toys in the background of pictures. I have dishes in my sink right now, but it’s almost craft time with London. Dishes can wait. The laundry can be washed during nap time. As I’ve said before, you will not find amazing professional looking photos here, you will see and read very real everyday life happening. 

My house will never be fully cleaned, there’s always dishes and laundry and sometimes dust. My biggest inner battle was finding it in myself to be ok with a messy house and not everything is or will be organized.