8 reasons why you might want to do a staycation instead of vacation…and 2 reasons why you might not

ever-thought-about-taking-a-staycation-here-are-some-reasons-why-you-might-want-too-and-some-reasons-why-you-might-notThis year we decided that instead of taking a vacation somewhere we were going to do a staycation at home.  Michael had mentioned doing a staycation before and I was kind of meh about the whole thing but after another friend shared their experience it started to sound more appealing so we decided to give it a try!

Based on our experience here are 8 reasons you might want to consider a staycation for yourself:

  1.  You get to sleep in your own bed.  When I was younger I didn’t really care but the older I get the pickier I am about my bed!  I just never sleep as well away from home as I do at home and hotel sheets gross me out.  And even more importantly than my own comfort is the fact that my kiddos got to sleep in their own bed (which is, coincidentally, our bed…but that’s beside the point).
  2. No packing.  If you’re an overpacker like me then packing to go anywhere is an ordeal, but especially on vacation for a week!  And when you add kids into the mix you might as well rent a uhaul for all their stuff.  With a staycation you don’t have to pack anything and you don’t have to worry about forgetting things since you’re at home with all your usual stuff.
  3. You save money.  No hotel costs, no plane tickets, significantly less gas usage…that saves you a bundle and make staycationing a wonderful option for people on a tight budget.
  4. It’s easier to eat healthy.  Maybe not everyone’s top priority but it’s important to me.  I’ve packed food with me on trips before so that I could save money and/or eat semi-healthily and it’s quite a hassle!  Doing a staycation meant I had access to my own kitchen and ingredients and food so that helped so much!  We ate breakfast at home most days, I packed snacks to take with us while we were out, and I had yummy but healthy late night snacks.  Of course we still ate out most of the time (it was vacation after all!) and I indulged some but this helped it not be a total free for all.
  5. Less travel.  If you’ve read my blog for a hot minute you know my kids HATE the car.  Well, Hudson is better now but for two years he hated it and now Parker is following in his footsteps.  Listening to Parker scream for hours and hours on end as we drive to a vacation spot is in no way, shape, or form my idea of a good time.
  6. You can stay somewhat on a routine.  This isn’t so important unless you have little kids…which I do so it was important to me!  They definitely weren’t totally on their normal routine but being at home at least for bed time and in the morning helped a lot.
  7. Your vacation can be longer.  With a typical vacation you are limited by the number of nights at a hotel you can afford and you usually have a couple of travel days that eat up vacation time, with a staycation you don’t have to worry about those things.
  8. Less stress overall.  Vacations, while fun, are a lot of work.  Staycations are (in my experience) much more relaxed and less stressful.

…and 2 reasons you might not

  1. If you need to actually go somewhere to feel like a vacation.  Sure you’re off work and you’re doing things outside of your norm but you don’t have the packing, loading, driving, staying somewhere different, arriving home from being gone, etc. that is typically a big part of vacation and for some people being away from home is important.
  2. If you have a hard time not doing things around the house.  You’ll be at home and might have the tendency to fold laundry and clean the kitchen and work in the yard and do whatever other things you typically do during the week that you wouldn’t do if you were on vacation.

I had some misgivings about staycationing at first.  For Michael getting to stay home from work was a vacation in and of itself, but for me as a stay at home mom staying home is…well…just another day in my life.  Also, I was concerned that I would get pulled into the “Let me just fold this one load of laundry” “I’ll just clean the kitchen real quick” “Oh sure you can come by the house, we’re home anyway” mindset since we were at home.

Thankfully we went out and did plenty of things and ate at all kinds of cool new restaurants so I didn’t feel like it was just another day in my usual routine.  And we made a conscious effort to be lazy, relax, watch tv, hang out, etc. instead of doing work around the house.

All in all it was a blast!  I still think vacations are great and I enjoy going new places so we won’t staycation every year but for right now, at the stage of life that we’re in, it was absolutely perfect!

Would you ever consider a staycation?  Or do you need to go somewhere away from home for it to feel like a vacation?

DIY playdough with essential oils


Recently I hosted a Mommy and Me essential oils make and take event and one of the things we made was oily play dough.  It was SO fun, super easy, and a huge hit!  This would be a great craft for a playdate, homeschool project, or activity with your kids.  You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry anyway!

Play dough with a side of relaxation, calming, and immune support?  Yes, please!


  • – 2 cups flour
    – 1/2 cup salt
    – 2 tbsp cream of tarter
    – 1.5 cups boiling water
    – 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    – 4 drops each of 4 different essential oils
    – food coloring

Mix the flour, salt, cream of tarter, water, and vegetable oil together in a large bowl.  Adjust the water or flour as needed if your dough is too wet or too dry (it was a rainy day and mine came out too wet so I had to add some extra flour).  Divide the dough into four sections (or more or less if you prefer) and add 4 or so drops of essential oil to each one (you may want more or less oil depending on how strong you want it to smell).  Then add a little bit of food coloring to each section and knead it in until it is thoroughly combined (You can see in the picture below that ours started out kind of marbled.  The more we played with it the more mixed in it got and you can see in the picture at the end that it looked more like store-bought playdough.)

We chose to use Stress Away, Citrus Fresh, lavender, and Thieves for our four essential oils.  There are so many other good options too – Peace & Calming, Valor, Joy, Grounding, orange, lime, peppermint…pretty much whatever smells good to you!  (I use Young Living essential oils so many of the blend names are specific to that brand).  I intended to make the dough the same color as the label but my green and red were dried up so instead we went with blue for Stress Away and pink for Thieves – close enough!

(Not an essential oil user yet?  Check out my post here about how to get them.)

fullsizerender-1img_5905The food coloring part can be pretty messy so be aware if you are doing this with young children!  Most of it washed off easily though.img_5906
Then play, play, play!  The dough feels very similar to traditional play dough.  It’s a little more crumbly but still totally great to play with and definitely smells better!fullsizerender-2You can see here in this picture that the more you play with it the better the colors get mixed in.diy-essential-oil-play-doughWhich essential oil would you pick to put in your play dough?  

my weekly cleaning schedule

Back before I had kids I would do all of my cleaning in one day.  During the school year when I was working my cleaning day would be Saturday (or Friday evening or Sunday afternoon if I was busy on Saturday).  I loved that – I would clean for several hours, run a bunch of loads of laundry, and get it all knocked out at once.  And for at least a small amount of time everything in my house would be clean all at once.  Very satisfying.

Then I had children.

I really struggled after Hudson was born finding my groove in the housekeeping area.  There was no way I could find a big chunk of time like that but I hated the thought that everything would never be clean at once anymore (ummmm…I shouldn’t have had kids if I expected that, huh?).

So it took me a while and I had to try a few things but I finally found what works (at the moment, life is always shifting and changing as the kids grow) for me.

What I decided to do was to assign one task per day that I could get done in 30 minutes or less.  I considered doing one room per day but then quickly realized that it would be a bit of a hassle to get the broom out every day and the vacuum out several days and the cleaning rags out every day, etc. and that it would be much easier to do one task each day, i.e. cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the floors, etc.

So here’s my schedule.  I am not super strict about it, in fact I love how flexible it is.  If I’m going to be super busy one day then I double up on tasks another day.  Or if I have an event at the house early in the week I go ahead and get everything done the first couple of days.  If life gets crazy and I just don’t get something done that week…no big deal, I’ll get it the next week.my-weekly-cleaning-schedule

Monday: Kitchen

I have to wash dishes, wipe down the counters, and sweep more than just once a week but I found that after the weekend with us running here and there and Michael being home all day things pile up and the kitchen gets extra messy so first thing on Monday I work on getting it tidied back up.  I do the dishes, clean all the counters and surfaces, wipe down the stainless appliances, and declutter.

Tuesday: Floors

Up until a month ago this was my most time consuming day.  I would move the chairs, baskets and bins, smaller toys, etc. and sweep, then Swiffer, and then mop all of our hardwood floors.  Recently though we bought a Roomba that has been amazing (I’ll save that for another post) and so now I only have to mop after it’s done doing its thing.

Wednesday: Dust

Just a quick dusting of exposed surfaces.  I move a few things to dust under/behind them but I don’t do a super thorough job each time.

Thursday: Bathrooms

Clean counters, sinks, mirrors, and toilets.  I should do the shower weekly too but I don’t.

Friday: off/grocery/catch up

I don’t have a cleaning task for Friday.  Going to get the groceries is my main “thing” for Friday so I don’t schedule a specific thing to clean but if I’ve gotten behind or skipped a day then I use Friday to catch up.

In addition to my weekly tasks we also (usually) pick up all the toys at the end of the day every day.  It seems silly since the boys are going to drag everything back out the next day but it really does make a big differenc.

You will notice that this is pretty bare bones.  It’s definitely not a good, thorough cleaning but it’s enough of a surface cleaning that it keeps my house presentable and livable and able to have people over without freaking out.  My blinds are dusty, my baseboards are dusty, and there are fingerprints on the glass doors so it’s certainly not perfect.  I have a 2.5 year old and a 7 month old so I’m not going for perfect!  Also this is just the downstairs.  We don’t really use our upstairs that much other than to bathe the boys and spray out cloth diapers, so I do clean the upstairs bathroom pretty regularly but we don’t so much dust or vacuum up there every week.  Once the kids are actually using their rooms I’ll add that in to the schedule.

I’d love to eventually have a monthly schedule of tasks that I do one week out of the month or specific things that I focus on each month, but so far I haven’t gotten organized enough to do that so I just clean the other things as needed or when I get the urge or whatever.

Something like this – I actually really love this one because you deep clean each area twice a year, I just haven’t gotten around to implementing this routine myself.  Maybe this will inspire me to print this off and get started!  (graphic source)

deep-cleaning-schedule-2016And one quick note: I do not have outside help cleaning.  Not that there is anything wrong with having someone else clean your house, don’t misunderstand me.  If you have a cleaning person that is great.  I’m only mentioning this because on occasion I’ve been reading a blog where someone shares their routine and their house is amazing and then you find out they have someone who comes each week and also cleans…well of course their house is going to be super clean!  Their daily spot cleaning is in addition to someone else doing a lot of the cleaning too.  So I only made this note so that you know that this is what I myself get done each week – it’s not much but it works for me.

Do you have a set cleaning schedule?  If so, what is it?

Parker’s 7 month update

Finally getting caught up with Parker’s updates too!  This has been a very eventful month as far as milestones go!


Our chunky monkey weighs 20.5 pounds and is 26 inches long.  He is busting out of most of his 9 month clothes and I need to get the 12 month stuff out for him!7-month-comparison

I loved this little suit when Hudson wore it and I tried to wait until fall so Parker could wear it too…we went ahead and put him in it a few weeks ago even though it’s still hot and obviously I waited a bit too long because we couldn’t even button the top button or sleeves!   Still cute though.2016-08-28_08-59-24-copy 2016-08-28_09-27-25-copy


Parker still nurses about every three hours during the day and several times during the night.  He has also hit the “gymnurstics” phase where he turns and wiggles and kicks and punches and in general is a very active nurser.  Hudson did some of the kicking and hitting stuff but never the full body turning around so this is a new (and rather painful) experience!

We also began introducing solid food toward the end of this month.  Like with Hudson we are following the Baby Led Weaning method of introducing solids where we skip the cereals and purees and go straight to table food.  His first food was cauliflower and cucumber and he has since had avocado and yellow squash.  So far he loves gumming on his food!  If nothing else it keeps him occupied during supper so he’s not crying.

2016-08-29_19-10-19-copy 2016-08-29_19-10-58-copysleeping

Parker’s sleep schedule is still pretty much the same. He sleeps about 7:30pm to 6:00am, give or take, plus a morning nap around 9 or 10 and an afternoon nap right after lunch when Hudson takes his nap.  He’s not a great sleeper; naps are short unless I’m laying there with him to get him back to sleep when he inevitably wakes up.  He goes to bed pretty easily but then is up several times during the course of the night.  He also used to sleep until 7 or 8 but now tends to get up at 6:00 or earlier.  Lots of mornings Michael takes him while he gets ready for work so that I can sleep a little bit longer until he has to leave.

It’s not the most productive part of the day but I love nap time and getting to snuggle with my sweeties.  They won’t be little forever so I’m drinking it in now!2016-09-02_13-40-20-copy Parker loves Hudson’s fuffle and if it’s within reach he goes for it.  Somehow even in his sleep he grabbed fuffle from Hudson…don’t worry, I rescued it and returned it to it’s rightful owner before Hudson woke up ;).2016-08-19_13-51-34-copy When you have a home based business and the baby refuses to sleep unless he’s being held then sometimes you just have to get creative about how you get your work done!
2016-08-23_14-15-43-copy Crazy bedhead2016-08-09_15-23-26-copynew accomplishments

Whew this month has been a doozy!  In the course of just a couple of weeks Parker started sitting up well on his own, then scooting all over the place, then crawling, and then pulling up to standing!  I am NOT ready for all this!  I looked back at Hudson’s updates and saw that he too crawled and pulled up to standing in the same week…except he was about a month and a half older than Parker is so Parker is mobile much earlier than Hudson was.

In some ways this makes life easier because now Parker can get to what he wants and it’s frustrated all the time but in other ways life is much harder now!  The biggest change has been having to re-babyproof some things.  I didn’t realize how relaxed we’d been able to become as Hudson got older and didn’t shove things in his mouth all the time or tear books up!  And this time around I’m having to teach Hudson not to leave his things laying around or else Parker will get in to them.

Here he is trying to crawl.  I’m not sure that I’ve gotten a picture or a video of him actually crawling yet #secondchildproblems
2016-08-07_08-52-52-copy Time to find a new sleeping solution now that he can pull himself up on the edge of the crib!2016-09-02_07-32-34-copy In case this picture confuses you we turned our crib into a cosleeper/side car before Parker was born – removed one side and attached it to our bed level with our mattress so that it’s almost like an extension of our bed.  That way he can sleep next to me yet still be in his own space.  Not that he actually stays in the crib most nights…2016-09-02_15-16-14-copy 2016-09-02_15-16-16-copy We have a crib in our church nursery – I sat him in there so I could use the bathroom and he just pulled himself right up!  Oh my!2016-09-04_10-15-58-copy

We didn’t really do much this month due to Hudson potty training and needing to stay close to the house or a bathroom.  Plus Parker still screams at least 50% (if not more) of the time when he’s in the car so going anywhere is stressful and not really worth it right now.  Our most exciting event consisted of watching tons of Olympics.

This picture makes me laugh a little bit as far as how different I am with my second child compared to my first.  Hudson never, and I mean NEVER, watched tv at this age.  We were very cautious about any screen time at all.  But we do let him watch tv now and since it’s kind of hard to keep Parker from watching too he gets a lot more than Hudson ever did (and by a lot more I mean 30 minutes to an hour a day of Signing Time, which is pretty educational, and then the occasional things like the Olympics, but still tons more than Hudson did).2016-08-08_11-19-22-copy
other random pictures

First back wrapping!  I never ever use my woven wrap anymore (I need to sell it actually…any takers?) but my normal carriers were dirty or in the car and he was fussy so I threw him back there to get dinner made.  2016-08-05_18-14-50-copy All my boys
2016-08-06_16-58-00-copy 2016-08-07_13-34-25-copy Love those chubby baby legs!
2016-08-08_18-18-52-copy I recently finished a 90 day bikini body mommy challenge.  When I first started Parker was just barely able to sit up in the Bumbo seat while I worked out.  At the end he was sitting up by himself and scooting all over the place.  Then a week after I finished the challenge he started crawling so now while I work out he unties my shoe laces, tries to eat my yoga mat, climbs on me, sits on my weights, and crawls underneath me.  It’s an interesting experience!
2016-08-13_10-50-45-copyI know this is blurry but I had to share it!  This is his “the light is so bright!” smush face that he makes when he wakes up during the night.
2016-08-20_21-59-59-copy Sweet boys playing together.2016-08-23_09-20-17-copy It has finally cooled down some here and we’re able to go out for walks without thinking someone might melt from the heat.
2016-09-03_10-55-34-copy Happy 7 months little one.  Seriously though, feel free to slow down with all this growing and developing and stuff!

Parker’s 6 month update

Half a year old already!?  So hard to believe!


At his 6 month well baby visit Parker was 19 pounds, 8 oz and was 26 inches long.  He is now in 9 month clothes.6-month-comparisoneating

Parker still eats every 3ish hours during the day and several times during the night as well.

We went ahead and bought him a high chair, partly in anticipation of him starting solid foods in the next month or so but also because he can now get out of the bouncy seat and the bumbo and we needed something else in the kitchen for him to sit in!2016-07-06_10-23-11-copy 2016-07-06_10-25-12-copysleeping

Pretty much the same sleep schedule that he has been on for the last few months.  He’s not an amazing sleeper but he’s not terrible either.

There was one (yes, ONE) night where Parker slept through the night!!  It hasn’t happened again since, unfortunately, but it was amazing!  He slept from 8:30pm to 6:00am, woke up to eat, then went right back to sleep.  I then took this picture at 8:15 and they were both STILL asleep.  Amazing.  Too bad it didn’t last!resize
Napping boys2016-07-26_13-58-19-copyMichael took this one before he left for work one morning.  I’m not usually so lucky that they are both still asleep when he leaves at 7:00 so it’s a nice treat when we can sleep in!2016-07-28_07-14-40-copynew accomplishments

Parker found his toes this month2016-07-23_11-16-59-copyHe also started sitting up unassisted.  He’s not super steady yet but he’s getting there!2016-07-20_11-17-36-copyWe did his 6 month pictures right after he started sitting up and that caused a bit of an issue because he wasn’t quite steady enough to sit up on his own really well for pictures but he also only wanted to sit up and would get mad if we laid him down on his back or belly!5 Mommy had to do a lot of coaxing and singing and tickling and kissing to eek a few smiles out of him!31 adventures

We had Vacation Bible School at our church this month.  It was a pirate theme so the first night we all dressed up in pirate attire.  Isn’t Parker cute in his pirate hat?2016-07-10_17-08-58-copy 2016-07-13_23-26-25-copy Big boy in the nursery class
img_1819We also went one day to visit my mom and brothers at their church camp.  Parker was mostly just along for the ride in the stroller or the carrier but he enjoyed all the attention he got too!2016-07-19_11-48-16-copy Splashing in the creek with Uncle Riley2016-07-19_11-43-39-copyother random pictures

I sure wish this one wasn’t blurry!  The look on his face is so cute!!2016-07-05_18-56-03-copyI did a side-by-side comparison of Hudson (left) and Parker (right) both in the bumbo chewing on Sophie.  I don’t think they look a bit alike, do you?  2016-07-06_07-31-39-copy This picture makes me laugh because it looks like Parker is as big as Hudson!  It’s totally the angle of the picture, although he’s not too far behind him weight-wise.  Speaking of looking alike, I think they have the same eye color and will eventually have the same hair color (Parker’s has been lightening up the older he gets).  That’s about it as far as similarities go though.2016-07-06_07-22-46-copy Such a happy boy!2016-07-14_15-32-56-copy 2016-07-18_08-27-45-copy The days of the bumbo seat are numbered.  Parker now slithers out of it on to the floor if he stretches far enough to try to grab a toy.  The first time it happened he didn’t make a peep, I just looked down and saw him laying on the floor and couldn’t figure out how on earth he got out!  Then I saw him do it again later and figured it out.
2016-07-26_12-23-46-copy Cheesing with Daddy.
2016-07-28_17-44-59-copy Happy half birthday, littlest love!

Parker’s 5 month update

Getting caught up…here’s Parker’s 5 month update (only a few months behind…)


We did not weigh or measure him this month so I really don’t know. 5-month-comparisoneating

Parker is nursing every 2-3 hours during the day with longer stretches at night (sometimes up to 5 hours!) but still wakes during the night to eat at least once if not more.


Pretty much the same as last month still – 8pm to 7am, roughly, waking a couple of times during the night to eat.  Two to three naps during the day.2016-06-17_15-03-21-copynew accomplishments 

Honestly I can’t really remember if Parker did anything new this month!  I’m going to guess no since he was rolling over prior to this month and didn’t start sitting up until 6 months.


We took a little trip to my mom’s house for one night so that we could go see my brother in the play Oklahoma.  Up to this point Parker had done really well in the car, especially compared to how horrible Hudson was in the car.  But for whatever reason on this trip he decided he hated the car and screamed most of the way there.  And that hasn’t stopped!  He’s still not as bad as Hudson was about the car but he cries at least half if not more of the time when we’re in the car.  It’s not fun :(.

But thankfully he did great at the play!  I fed him right before the play started then put him in the carrier and he slept the whole time.

This is me huffing my Stress Away…traveling with these two by myself, especially with a screaming Parker, is quite the stressful venture!

2016-06-10_16-32-38-copy The next day my mom’s neighborhood had a big neighborhood-wide yard sale.  We didn’t participate much in the sale but we had fun hanging out and playing while it was going on!2016-06-11_07-48-55-copy 2016-06-11_12-00-08-copyI shared about Michael’s new car here but that was a big exciting thing this month.2016-06-12_17-52-32-copyAlso the playset was an exciting new addition!  Parker hasn’t cared too much for his swing just yet though.2016-06-18_20-17-37-copy 2016-06-18_16-02-05-copy Hanging out with Mommy while Hudson plays2016-06-18_20-09-12-copy 2016-06-22_11-32-13-copy Napping in the stroller while Hudson plays outside2016-06-20_11-07-31-copyrandom pictures

Parker loves watching Hudson!  It’s so sweet to see how much he loves his big brother.
2016-06-09_17-20-35-copy2016-06-14_19-13-35-copy2016-06-16_08-12-34-copy2016-06-30_09-52-42-copy 2016-06-10_11-48-44-copy These pictures!  Ha!  They crack me up!  Two funny boys.2016-06-13_15-18-17-copy 2016-06-13_15-18-28-copy Most of the time he uses a paci but occasionally he will suck his thumb too.2016-06-14_18-16-14-copy Trying out our new Rowdy Raccoon Lillebaby.  2016-06-15_11-08-25-copy Helping (or not helping…) Mommy work out2016-06-17_11-55-03-copy Lots of chewing and drooling but no teeth to be seen yet!
2016-06-25_19-27-51-copy This right here was a sight that is rarely ever seen in our household.  I see pictures of kids all the time who have fallen asleep in their high chair or other such toy but no, not mine!  I’m pretty sure Hudson has never just fallen asleep while playing.  But one morning I was fixing breakfast and I looked over and Parker had fallen asleep in his bouncer!  I was so surprised!2016-06-29_08-21-51-copyI just love this sweet poochy baby!

Parker’s 6 month pictures

I tell you, I could never be a kid photographer because it takes wayyyy more patience and flexibility than I possess!  Thankfully we have a photographer who is both of those things because Parker-bear gave us a run for our money during his 6 month pictures!  Right from the get go he was not having it!  We tried all kinds of things but it was getting worse, not better.

Shelly suggested we reschedule and try another day so we did.  He still wasn’t the happiest, most cooperative baby but we were able to get through the second session with way less tears and I was very happy with how they turned out!

These first few are from the first session that we ended up cutting short and rescheduling.
2 Big ‘ol pouty lip3 4 THIS is what he did most of the time.  He was not a bit happy to get his picture taken!6He was obviously hot (as you can tell from the red cheeks) so we tried stripping him down to a diaper in case that helped but no, still not happy.13I tried feeding him to see if he was upset because he was hungry.  That didn’t help either but while I was feeding him Shelly grabbed a few cuties of Hudson.8 10 11

Take #2.

He still wasn’t totally into it but it went much better than the first day!  Part of the problem I think was because he had just learned to sit up and so that’s all he wanted to do.  Any time we put him on his belly he got super mad!
18 22 Angry face plant.  Lol poor guy.
24He loves his toes!
27 30 Trying to coax a smile out of him was quite the workout!  Oh and just so you know, those red blotches all over his torso are not bruises.  Parker has very sensitive skin that turns red with the slightest contact (Hudson and I are like that too) so all that redness is just from me picking him up and moving him around to position him for the pictures.31 323436 38 This is one of my favorite pictures.  It wasn’t a good straight-on shot but I love it because he’s looking up at me while I try to get him to smile for the camera and smiling at me with that all-adoring love look.  Melts my heart.41 44Sweet boy!  I’m so glad we got some good pictures…he definitely made us work for it!

If you’re in the Bowling Green, KY area and need a photographer definitely check out Shelley at Sweet Dreams Photography!  She has done all of our boys’ pictures and we love her!

Hudson’s 2 year, 7 month update

This month was all about potty training, potty training, and more potty training.  I mentioned at the end of last month that we had just started potty training so this month was pretty much spent working on that.  I can’t say he’s got it down 100% but he’s doing pretty well.  Maybe I’ll write a separate blog post about our potty training experience at a later date (when he’s actually fully done) but the short version is that Hudson did fantastic at first – we went straight to underwear during the day, cloth trainers (thicker than underwear but much thinner than a cloth diaper) at nap, and still a diaper at night time.  He had some small accidents but nothing huge.  There was a learning curve about a week in where I was letting him tell me when he needed to go (instead of me taking him on a schedule) where he had some accidents (and I second guessed our decision) but that passed quickly and once he got over that he did great.  In the last few days though I think the novelty has worn off and he’s started not wanting to go potty, waiting until it’s too late, not wanting to wash hands, etc.  So while I thought we were free and clear with the potty training stuff it seems it’s still going to take some time.

But anyway, that’s another post for another day!  However since potty training has been our main focus recently we haven’t done any super exciting stuff, mostly just stayed home close to the bathroom ;).

Now that I’m finally caught up hopefully these posts will be a little more detailed but like I mentioned before, I just needed to get them done with as much as I could remember so I could catch up on the last three months!

Sweet brothers napping

2016-07-26_13.58.19 copy I came into the living room and found Hudson reading a book to Parker.  So adorable!  As Hudson puts it: “Hudson a good brother!”2016-07-28_09.56.15 copy Hudson works out with me every day (although mainly that consists of him climbing on me at the end while I stretch).2016-07-28_10.37.15 copy I got a new iTovi scanner that I use to scan people and see what essential oils are recommended for them.  Hudson loves it because it has green lights that flash while it’s scanning and I love that it’s small enough for him to hold so I can scan him (unlike my old Zyto scanner).2016-07-30_09.07.43 copy Cool dude wearing Daddy’s sunglasses.  This was our first trip out anywhere other than church after Hudson started potty training.  We took a quick trip to Sam’s and Michael came too so that if he needed to go one of us could take him to the bathroom and the other could hold Parker.2016-07-30_16.46.19 copyThe older Hudson gets the more of a struggle church is for us.  He used to sit so quietly and play but that is not the case anymore.  We got him this adorable tiny backpack hoping that if he had his own special church bag with a few of his things in it that might keep him occupied.

Sadly it didn’t really work but he is awfully cute with his little mini backpack!  And it is certainly mini…it doesn’t hold quite as much stuff as I expected.  It also comes with a leash attachment if we ever wanted to use it as a leash/harness.
2016-07-30_17.41.06 copy2016-07-30_17.40.59 copyI couldn’t even tell you what specifically caused this since he falls down or runs into things multiple times a day but this was one of his more impressive noggin bumps.2016-07-30_19.24.09 copy Daddy and his boys2016-08-06_16.58.00 copy Oh yes, I am that crazy mom who matches her family when possible.  I mean, how cute is that?2016-08-07_13.34.25 copy Oddly enough (as much as our kids spit up) we don’t use a lot of bibs around here but Hudson found one of his old ones and wanted me to put it on him.  Silly boy.  The caption is very appropriate!
2016-08-08_10.44.34 copy This month our big adventure was the Olympics!  We don’t watch a whole lot of tv around here but the Olympics are a pretty special occasion.  Hudson loved watching them!  Swimming was his favorite, by far, but really he liked most of the events we watched and would try to imitate them.  After it was over he kept asking “Watch Michael Phelps again?  Where Aly Raismen go?  Watch swimming again?”

I know, buddy, I feel the same way.2016-08-08_11.19.22 copy We got a Roomba this month (that’s definitely a separate blog post on its own!) and Hudson loves it.  He calls it Roombie.  He’s scared of it and doesn’t like it to get close to him but he loves to watch it from afar, talk about it, push the buttons to turn it on and tell it to “go work!”, and push the buttons to tell it to “go home” (back to its dock).2016-08-12_00.41.22 copy I finished my 90 day Bikini Body Mommy challenge.  It’s not easy working out with these crazy munchkins but we make it work!  2016-08-13_10.50.45 copyHudson loves oils.  Owie is his favorite and he asks for it all the time….even if he doesn’t have an owie of any sort!2016-08-13_16.57.02 copy Watching Roombie clean the kitchen2016-08-13_17.05.36 copy Singing a song, complete with hand motions and facial expressions, while going potty.  Hudson LOVES to sing and he sings all.the.time.2016-08-15_08.45.40 copy Speaking of singing I forgot to mention in the previous month’s post how Hudson sings church songs constantly, especially since VBS was over.  Some of his favorites include:
– Jesus Love Me
– Booster, Booster
– the apostle song (“Jesus called them one by one, Peter, Andrew, James, and John…”)
– the books of the New Testament
– The Wise Men Built His House Upon the Rock
– The Lord’s Army (or his version “I may march a infanry, yee haw!!”)

Making salt dough Olympic medals with our playdate group.2016-08-18_10.15.44 copy More crazy potty faces…because who doesn’t want to wear a crown while going to the bathroom?2016-08-19_09.41.27 copy One of our local Krogers rolled out a new program (new to us, many other cities have had this for a while) where you can order groceries online then you go to the store to pick them up and they bring them out to you.  I tried it out the first week it was available and am hooked!  It makes life so much easier with two little ones…especially one who has to go to the potty all the time!2016-08-19_10.28.52 copy Parker tries to get Hudson’s fuffle all the time.  This is very distressing to Hudson but he hasn’t learned yet to keep it out of his reach (he has, thankfully, learned to say “Mommy I need help!” instead of just grabbing it and yanking…pulling it out of Parker’s grasp while knocking him down at the same time). Even during nap time Parker tries to steal fuffle!2016-08-19_13.51.34 copy Now that Parker is sitting up Hudson likes to sit either in front of or behind him and say that they’re playing “school bus”.  2016-08-23_09.20.20 copyFunny boy mimicking Mommy
IMG_1918Our photographer grabbed some pictures of Hudson during Parker’s 6 month photoshoot.  Love them!8 10 11 12

Oh my big boy – growing and changing so quickly!  He has the biggest imagination ever and I am always amazed by the things he comes up with!  He’s smart as a tack and remembers (and repeats) everything.  I have way more videos than I do pictures these days because he’s constantly telling stories and singing songs and I wish I could just follow him around with a camera all the time!  He’s also defiant and stubborn and independent as all get out and makes me want to pull my hair out but thankfully the sweet moments outweigh the frustrating ones.

Hudson’s two and a half year update

Two and a half already?  Time is flying!  Here’s what’s up in the world of Hudson.

We had Hudson’s 2 month check up with his pediatrician.  It went TONS better than his last visit six months ago!  The last few visits he has screamed his head off and fought us when it was time to get weighed and measured but this time he was totally cool with it and didn’t fuss at all.  The scales there said he weighed 36 pounds but our scale here that he likes to get on all the time (and is accurate compared to the scale at my obgyn’s office) usually reads 31 pounds, give or take.

He was 38 inches tall.  According to their charts that puts him in the 90th percentile for height and the 94th percentile for weight.  I question that because he’s doesn’t appear to be overly tall or large to me, but I’m not sure I totally understand the charts either so who knows.

Like I mentioned I’m three months behind and playing catch up so I don’t remember all the funny little details from the month but here’s at least a photo dump!

When I was little my nickname was HP, House Police, because my parents said I always had to know what everyone was doing and where everyone was.  Aka I was nosey.  Hudson is the same way!  He loves it when we get mail and wants to know “What’s in there?”.  He gets his screwdriver, pretends it’s a pair of scissors, and tries to open my packages for me.  I have to watch him or he’ll actually tear them open!  Christmas will be a bit tricker this year!
2016-06-25_18.30.19 copy Hudson put hats on himself and Parker while I was doing my workout one day.2016-06-30_09.52.42 copy Hudson woke up early from his nap so we laid in bed to rest for a while and he listened along to a webinar with me.2016-07-01_15.30.38 copy We weren’t sure how fourth of July was going to go with the kids this year.  We were afraid that Hudson would be really scared of the fireworks but we wanted to take them if at all possible.  We don’t have any kid sized ear protection but Michael was able to size a pair of ours down small enough that it served it’s purpose.  Hudson loved wearing the “muffs”.

For the fourth we had some friends over to eat pizza and play (we were planning on being outside but it rained all day) and then went to a local church that puts on a huge fireworks show.  Last year we took lawnchairs and set up early and watched them on the church grounds but this year we weren’t up for the hassle, weather, or traffic so we parked on the side of the road and watched from there.  It worked out perfectly – we pulled up less than five minutes before they started and pointed the car where the back was facing the fireworks (since the kids are in rear facing seats, that way they could see out the back window).  We had a great view and Hudson was happy to watch as long as he was in the car with his muffs on.  Parker cried some but that’s normal in the car seat anyway.  Then when the fireworks were over we started up the car and pulled out before the traffic came pouring out.  2016-07-03_16.04.18 copy 2016-07-06_07.18.52 copy Hudson’s face here cracks me up!2016-07-06_07.22.46 copy Hudson is always talking about “Two boys” – “Two boys playing”, “Two boys sitting”, etc.  Here are my two boys in their high chairs together.  It cracks me up how Hudson narrates everything that he and Parker do!2016-07-06_17.28.04 copy We got a new food processor and Hudson claimed the instructions as his own.2016-07-12_11.24.21 copy I know I always have a million pictures of the kids napping but it’s just so sweet!2016-07-13_08.16.54 copy This month we had Vacation Bible School at church.  It was a pirate theme and Hudson had an absolute ball!  The first night he was a little apprehensive, especially about puppets, but by the end he loved it – puppets and all.  2016-07-13_19.39.08 copy 2016-07-13_23.26.43 copy Our neighbors across the street got some of their trees trimmed and that provided quite a bit of entertainment for Hudson!  I moved his toddler tower to the window so he could watch them work.
2016-07-15_16.10.12 copy This is a farm toy that was mine when I was little that my mom let us borrow.  Hudson calls it “animal farm” (“want to play animal farm!”) and has played with it a ton.  I had to take this picture because it cracked me up how he crammed all the animals into the fence.  He better watch out or PETA will get him!  Ha! 2016-07-16_09.59.30 copy We went to visit my mom and brothers for a day during their church camp. Hudson had a blast!  He loved getting to play outside and even played in the creek after a while!
2016-07-19_10.08.38 copy 2016-07-19_11.46.12 copy 2016-07-19_11.58.14 copy Yet more proof that they are watching and imitating everything we do!  Hudson gets his camera and tells us to smile, then turns the camera around to “show” us the picture he just took.2016-07-23_15.58.25 copy 2016-07-23_15.58.37 copyOur big news this month is that we’ve started potty training for real!  We bought Hudson a potty chair at Christmas (right before he turned two) just to let him get used to the idea but have never pushed the issue.  About a month ago out of the blue he asked to go potty so we took him and he peed in the potty!  Since that point he had sporadically asked to go but it wasn’t consistent at all, however since he had been showing interest we decided to give it a try!  We waited until we were done with things like VBS and camp and would have a stretch of time without any obligations where we’d need to be leaving the house.  We bought some underwear and blueberries (his treat of choice for going to the potty) and got started!  As of the end of this month we were just a few days in and things were going much better than I expected!

Hudson’s 2 year, 5 month update

Better late than never, huh?  I may be three months behind but here’s Hudson’s 2 year, 5 month update.

Some funny things that Hudson says and does:
– For some reason he calls clothes “dresses” so he’ll ask to put his dresses on when he really means a t-shirt or other clothes
– He now says banana instead of “bana”.  I’m happy when he learns correct pronunciation but at the same time I miss his cute baby talk
– He says “op a door” instead of “open a door”
– When you ask him how old he is he says “two years older” instead of two years old.

We made these DIY chia pet things at Hudson’s playdate and the hair has grown like crazy!  Hudson loves it, every day he looks at it and says “hair growing!”2016-05-25_09.19.34 copy Everything is for building – paper towels, Mommy’s foam roller…it if stacks, it’s a block!
2016-05-25_09.42.56 copy Out for a walk, both in green and gray stripes (that was an accident but I loved it!)2016-05-26_10.41.42 copy Precious2016-05-27_14.03.07 copy Hudson loves to climb on me while I stretch after my workout (or “yogas” as he calls it…even though it’s not yoga)
2016-05-28_15.39.36 copy My sweet boy picked me some of my favorite flowers – buttercups!  (don’t worry about the red face, that’s hereditary and totally normal when he gets hot)2016-05-30_11.21.45 copy 2016-05-30_11.21.56 copy Hudson is not a fan of water at all.  He like the bathtub (as long as his hair doesn’t get wet) but anything outside of that is a no-go.  There is a fountain downtown, one of those splash pad things that kids can play in, and we’ve been a couple of times with friends but Hudson is too scared to go in.  Michael was off work for Memorial Day so we thought we’d take Hudson and see if he’d get in if one of us got in with him.  Unfortunately it was PACKED.  Kids everywhere; at least one kid sitting on every jet so the water wasn’t even coming out in good streams.  That kind of ruined our plans because no way was Hudson going to go out there with all those kids.  We stayed for about 15 minutes then headed to a nearby park, which was surprisingly empty, and played there instead.
2016-05-30_16.30.14 copy Hudson mimicking my stretches while we workout.2016-06-01_10.45.12 copy Wearing Daddy’s shirt2016-06-02_17.53.55 copy 2 Hudson loves my oils.  He’s gotten to where he climbs up on the chair to get to my oil stash and wants to open them all – he smells them and says “mmmm oil class!”  Funny boy.2016-06-03_18.27.46 copy Sweet diaper babies 2016-06-05_15.15.42 copy I see a lot of wrestling and roughhousing in my future with these two…
2016-06-07_08.09.43 copy Love a freshly bathed, lotioned up kiddo!2016-06-07_11.40.13 copy Hudson wanted to hold Parker.  He was very proud of himself, despite what this picture looks like.2016-06-07_16.13.57 copy Wearing Daddy’s tennis shoes2016-06-09_15.27.48 copy I took the boys to my mom’s for a night so that we could go see my brother in the play Oklahoma.  Hudson did great last time we went to a play but that had been a year ago so I wasn’t sure how it was going to go.  He did ok…the play hadn’t even started though when he was already saying “All done church!  Get down!”  He liked the songs but wasn’t thrilled during the acting and dialogue.  Somehow I was able to keep him relatively quiet and still through the whole thing and we made it until the very end!  Thankfully Parker slept the whole time!
2016-06-10_19.05.15 copy The next day my mom’s neighborhood was having a big yard sale so she set out some stuff and participated.  We had so much fun just chatting with the neighbors and everyone that came by!  Hudson had a good time playing with all of Mamie’s stuff too.
2016-06-11_07.51.16 copy I had a little display for my oils at the sale too.  Hudson enjoyed smelling them!2016-06-11_09.04.21 copy Popsicles to beat the heat after the sale!
2016-06-11_10.03.07 copy I don’t have any pictures but my mom got a new dog.  If you know Hudson’s history you know he is terrified of all animals.  We have no idea why but he’s always been this way, since he was 6 months or so.  Anyway, so needless to say he was not a fan of Maggie.  But it was so funny because after we got home that was all he wanted to talk about!  He would say “Luff Maggie.  So, so sweet” (Luff = love) and “See Maggie again?”…even though I knew he would be very unhappy next time we saw her again!

Some exciting news around here is that Michael got a new car!  We sold his truck (the only vehicle he’d ever had) and for a while now he had been driving my old car (the only vehicle I’d ever had before I got my van a few years ago) but we were putting more money into it to keep it running than it was worth.  He decided to go with an electric car (a Nissan Leaf), which was a totally new experience and he bought it used from Carvana (an online site where you don’t even see the car in person before you buy) which was another new experience.  It’s definitely an upgrade from our old cars!  I still prefer the space that my van has but he loves it and Hudson loves “new car”.  We drive it a lot since it doesn’t use any gas and it’s saving us a lot of money!  Yay!2016-06-12_17.52.30 copy These two crack me up!2016-06-13_15.18.14 copy Cooking eggs and pancakes with Daddy2016-06-13_19.15.54 copy Making ice cream with play doh2016-06-14_15.37.22 copy We had a big month…in addition to getting a new car we also got a swing set!  We had talked about getting one next summer but quickly realized that Hudson was ready for one this summer so we decided to go ahead and get it.  We did a bunch of shopping around before deciding to get one from Sam’s.  Everyone warned us that it was a TON of work to put together on your own and it was a ridiculous amount of pieces but Michael did a great job putting it together!  He pulled some crazy late nights but got it done!
2016-06-14_17.35.51 copy Watching Daddy work2016-06-14_17.44.33 copy Doesn’t it look great?!  Hudson loves it!2016-06-18_14.09.35 copy 2016-06-18_16.00.27 copy 2016-06-18_16.03.02 copy 2016-06-18_16.03.50 copy2016-06-18_20.17.33 copyI got a second Lillebaby carrier and tried out tandem wearing for the first time.  Need some practice but it’s do-able!  2016-06-15_11.12.21 copyPlaying together
2016-06-16_08.12.34 copyAs much as I hated it we were unable to go to church camp this year.  I took Hudson when he was 6 months and again last year at one and a half but this year with him plus Parker it would have been too hard.  But we did go up to visit for a few hours one day and Hudson had a blast playing.
2016-06-16_15.49.03-1 copy Sweets are a rare treat around here so when I make cookies Hudson gobbles them up!2016-06-18_18.16.40 copy Hudson loves loves loves to read/be read to.  His current favorite is this book called “Are you a Cow?”  It asks “Are you a ______?” and then says “No!” after each one, but Hudson likes to answer “Yes!” and then laugh and laugh because he knows he is being silly.  Cracks me up.2016-06-22_15.27.56 copy

Funny boy!  He sure is full of personality!