Friday, September 12, 2014

Letting Go Is The Hardest Part

Source: NHNE


There are a lot of topics I could apply that title to, but here, I'm going to focus on the hardest part of co-parenting-- letting go of control.

Last Friday was another exchange day. I packed the kids' medicine bag, we had a snack and then headed out the door at 5 o'clock for St. Louis. Our drive is normally an hour and a half which is long, but good time to talk with the kids. This time we talked about the weather and how cool it would be to ride a cloud. Good stuff!
 
We met with the kids' grandparents and I was feeling okay about things, until they mentioned that they passed a bad accident on the way in. Car accidents are a very negative subject for me. Several years ago I was in a bad car accident and subsequently was diagnosed with PTSD a few years later. I have actually gotten over a lot of my fear and I can drive about anywhere now and feel safe. However, something about the news set me off. I kept my cool and said good-bye to the kids as usual...and then cried the entire way home.
 
Normally I don't have that hard of a time with exchanges, but the anxiety took over. I know that the kids are safe with their dad and his family, and I know that they are perfectly good drivers...but there's something about having the kids with me where I can be the one to protect them that makes me feel better. And I'm going to take a wild guess that's true for all parents.
 
As a mom, I have been given this awesome responsibility to take care of my kids. It's something that makes me feel proud...and something that scares me to my core. When they are away from me I worry constantly. Are they taking their medicine? Are they eating right? Are they getting enough sleep? What if _____ happens?
 
In reality, I am not in control or responsible for every single minute of their lives. I can do my best when they are here and the rest of the time I have to give it to God. This entire situation that we're in was not my plan, but His. There is a reason for each time the kids are away and I just have to trust that everything will go alright. And sometimes I have to accept that even if things aren't alright, that's the plan too.
 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Canadian Adventures Part Two

In the year and a half that I had been with Jordan, I never once saw him sleep in- until our honeymoon! He got up around 9:30 on our second day and then woke me up at 10 with breakfast in bed. It was a great start to my day!
 
One of the things that lured us to Canada was the mountains. The second day was devoted mostly to driving the back roads and seeing where they would lead. Here are just a handful of my favorite pictures-
 
On the road just outside of Canmore, about a mile away from our resort.
 
Coming into Canmore...
 
Canmore itself was really cute, but the best part was being able to see the mountains in the background everywhere you turned.
 
Leaving downtown Canmore for the Provincial Park
 
 
Going up!


These goats were everywhere!
 
 
This lake was a few miles above Canmore.
 
 
Other side of the lake...
 
 
 
 
 
We were still close to Canmore but it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere.
 
 
 
 
This beach was one of my favorite places that we visited on our trip. In fact, we went again on our fourth day. It was hands down the most peaceful place I have ever been to. I could have stayed there forever!
 
 
I'm going to end this part with a picture of our rental car. We arrived in Calgary with the expectation that we were getting a sedan of some kind, instead we got this, one of my favorite cars-
 
 
I will share more gorgeous mountain pictures next week!
 
 


Thursday, September 4, 2014

We have a little announcement...

 


That's right, we're expecting baby number three!
 
We knew Emily would be very excited. She loves being the oldest and she's a great big sister to Ethan. They may fight a lot sometimes, but she always looks out for him. Ethan on the other hand has been mom's baby for almost five years. I asked him what he would think about mom having another baby and his first response was, "NO".
 
 
Surprisingly, he didn't react that way when he found out the other night. Emily was the one to tell him before we did and I have a feeling she had something to do with his attitude. He was excited and told me he wanted to tell everyone. So we made a video!
 
 
The night that we told Ethan about the baby, he got out of his bed to see me after everyone else was asleep. The conversation started with- "Mommy, I don't know if I can be a good big brother... I don't have a car or my license to take the baby places."
 
Then he cried.
 
I didn't want to laugh and make him feel bad, but it was too cute. We talked about all of the cool things he could do with the baby instead. It didn't take long for him to get excited again. Now he can't wait to teach the baby how to blow spit bubbles. (NOT my idea)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fall Fluff Baby Shower Giveaway



 
James and Heather, a husband and wife team, launched The Parenting Patch: Where Parents Grow on September 15, 2011. Even more excitingly, The Parenting Patch family is expecting baby number two in late October or early November. In honor of the third anniversary of the website and the impending arrival of a second baby, The Parenting Patch is hosting a huge baby shower giveaway.
 
Lillebaby Complete All Seasons Stone The Lillebaby Complete All Seasons baby carrier from Lillebaby offers more carrying positions, lasts longer, and includes more features than any other baby carrier on the market. The All Seasons features an adjustable center panel. Zip up for warmth and zip down to reveal cool, breathable, 3D mesh. One lucky winner will receive one (1) Lillebaby Complete All Seasons baby carrier. (Actual product color may vary depending on availability.) (Retail value $135)
 

 
Pretty Mommies Three-Step System The Pretty Mommies Three-Step System from Pretty Mommies includes four ounces of Let’s Be Clear Facial Cleanser, two ounces of Truth Be Told Skin Brightener, and two ounces of Protect & Reflect SPF 30. All Pretty Mommies products are free from formaldehyde, paraben, phthalate, dimethicone, petroleum, sulfate, phenoxyethanol, oxybenzone, artificial fragrance, and colorants. For more information, check out the Pretty Mommies Three-Step Maternity Skin Care System Review from The Parenting Patch. One lucky winner will receive one (1) Pretty Mommies Three-Step System. (Retail value $119)
 
 
Buttons Diapers Trial Pack The Trial Pack from Buttons Diapers includes one (1) one-size diaper cover and three (3) daytime inserts. Buttons Diapers is an all-in-two diaper with two sizes of snap-in inserts. For more information, check out the Buttons Diapers Review from The Parenting Patch. One lucky winner will receive two (2) Buttons Diapers Trial Packs. (Retail value $42)
 

 
Baby Butz Cream Baby Butz Cream from Baby Butz is the safest and most effective diaper rash cream available without a prescription. The only ingredients in the cream are zinc oxide, corn starch, lanolin, and petrolatum. For more information, check out the Baby Butz Cream Review from The Parenting Patch. One lucky winner will receive one (1) four-ounce jar of Baby Butz Cream. (Retail value $12.99)



Pink Lemonade Shop Pink Lemonade Shop is offering one lucky winner one (1) $25 gift card to the PLS website. To learn about the cloth pads available from PLS, check out the Pink Lemonade Mama Cloth Review from The Parenting Patch. For more information or to make a purchase, visit the Pink Lemonade Shop website. You can also follow Pink Lemonade on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.



WubbaNub Sponsored by Kissed by the Moon, WubbaNub is a BPA-free pacifier made of medical grade silicone that includes a soft plush portion that provides comfort to the touch. The plush portion also allows for easier manipulation by little hands. One lucky winner will receive one (1) WubbaNub in choice of in-stock animal. (Retail value $12.99 or $13.49)



Oko Creations Hooded Baby Bath Towel The hooded baby bath towel from Oko Creations is a beautiful towel with a delicately printed hood that gently wraps baby after each bath. Made with superior quality organic terry cotton, the hooded towel is soft, thick, and highly absorbent. One lucky winner will receive one (1) Oko Creations hooded baby bath towel in choice of color/print. (Retail value $43)



BabyKicks BabyKicks is a family owned and operated business located on the beautiful eastern shore of Maryland. Since beginning in October 2000, the company has been dedicated to designing and making modern cloth diapers and baby accessories with the best natural and organic materials available. One lucky winner will receive one (1) BabyKicks Premium Pocket Diaper in choice of in stock color and closure and one (1) package of BabyKicks washies. (Retail value $37.45)


 
 

Small Wahmies Wet Bag and Diaper Safari One-Size Blue Cover Zephyr Hill Blog is providing one (1) small Wahmies wet bag and one (1) Diaper Safari one-size blue cover to one lucky winner. (Retail value $18.90) IMAGE Spray Pal Frustrated with your cloth diaper sprayer because you are forced to wipe down the bathroom every time you spray a diaper? Save time and keep your bathroom clean with Spray Pal, the cloth diaper sprayer splatter shield. One lucky winner will receive one (1) Spray Pal. (Retail value $25)



Feeding Baby: A Cookbook Feeding Baby: A Cookbook offers simple approaches for raising a healthy baby creating a lifetime of adventurous eating. Feeding Baby is more than a cookbook, providing parents with a trusted parenting resource empowering parents to teach taste by adding herbs and mild spices to baby food; encourage self-feeding skills and self-regulation recognition. One lucky winner will win one (1) signed copy of Feeding Baby by Clancy Cash Harrison. (Retail value $19.99)



Allen's Naturally The liquid laundry detergent from Allen's Naturally cleans clothes thoroughly yet is gentle on fabrics leaving virtually no residue or perfume that can irritate sensitive skin. One lucky winner will receive one (1) gallon of Allen’s Naturally liquid laundry detergent and one (1) dispensing pump. (Retail value $47.45)



Nicki's Diapers Gift Certificate Give It Love is providing one lucky winner with one (1) $25 gift certificate to Nicki's Diapers. (Retail value $25)



Imagine One-Size Pocket Diaper The Parenting Patch is providing one (1) one-size Imagine pocket diaper in marigold (yellow) with two (2) one-size Imagine inserts to one lucky winner. (Retail value $12.95)



Petunia Pickle Bottom Cross Town Clutch The Parenting Patch is also providing one (1) Petunia Pickle Bottom Cross Town Clutch in Brilliant Brussels to one lucky winner. (Retail value $90)




Eddie Bauer Sling & Hip Carrier The Parenting Patch is also providing one (1) Eddie Bauer Sling & Hip Carrier to one lucky winner. (Retail value $29.95)


Philips Avent Natural Bottle The Parenting Patch is also providing one (1) Philips Avent Natural Bottle to one lucky reader. (Retail value $7.25)



One lucky reader of The Parenting Patch and the other participating blogs will win one (1) baby shower prize pack valued at $665+ that includes the following amazing prizes:
  • One (1) Lillebaby Complete All Seasons baby carrier (Retail value $135)
  • One (1) Pretty Mommies Three-Step System (Retail value $119)
  • Two (2) Buttons Diapers Trial Packs (Retail value $42)
  • One (1) four-ounce jar of Baby Butz Cream (Retail value $12.99)
  • One (1) $25 Pink Lemonade Shop gift card
  • One (1) WubbaNub in choice of in-stock animal (Retail value $12.99 or $13.49)
  • One (1) Oko Creations hooded baby bath towel in choice of color/print (Retail value $43)
  • One (1) BabyKicks Premium Pocket Diaper in choice of in stock color and closure and one (1) package of BabyKicks washies (Retail value $37.45)
  • One (1) small Wahmies wet bag and one (1) Diaper Safari one-size blue cover (Retail value $18.90)
  • One (1) Spray Pal (Retail value $25)
  • One (1) signed copy of Feeding Baby: A Cookbook by Clancy Cash Harrison. (Retail value $19.99)
  • One (1) gallon of Allen’s Naturally liquid laundry detergent and one (1) dispensing pump (Retail value $47.45)
  • One (1) $25 Nicki’s Diapers gift certificate
  • One (1) one-size Imagine pocket diaper in yellow with two (2) one-size Imagine inserts (Retail value $12.95)
  • One (1) Petunia Pickle Bottom Cross Town Clutch in Brilliant Brussels (Retail value $90)
  • One (1) Eddie Bauer Sling & Hip Carrier (Retail value $29.95)
  • One (1) Philips Avent Natural Bottle (Retail value $7.25)
To enter for your chance to win the Fall Fluff Baby Shower Giveaway, simply use the following entry form. And please offer a huge thanks to the sponsors, co-hosts, and participating blogs of the Fall Fluff Baby Shower Giveaway! Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway The Fall Fluff Baby Shower Giveaway is open to legal residents of the United States of America. The Fall Fluff Baby Shower Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on September 30, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random. The winner will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. The Parenting Patch and the other sponsors are responsible for prize fulfillment.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Giveaway Event: Petbrosia Customized Pet Food

Petbrosia Customized Pet Food Giveaway

Petbrosia33

Sponsored By:

Petbrosia

Hosted By:

Deliciously Savvy

Co-Hosted by:
&
Proudly Bring You The Petbrosia Customizeable Pet Food Giveaway! A BIG thank You to ALL blogs participating!
Petbrosia
I was lucky enough to be asked to do a product review for Petbrosia Pet Foods, which is a customized, all-natural pet food! Petbrosia determines the right Petbrosia diet for your dog or cat based on their breed, age, weight, food allergies, activity level, and other needs you feel should be brought to their attention. They use only the highest quality, all-natural ingredients, grown and raised by farmers across America. No corn, No wheat, No soy, and No by-products. Go online to Petbrosia to customize the perfect diet for your pet!

Check out my review HERE

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Petbrosia33

Monday, August 25, 2014

What This School Year Means For Us

Emily started school on Wednesday last week and Ethan started school today. Before I share pictures, I want to share a bit about what I'm thinking this morning. The first day of school is a big deal for kids and parents. Unfortunately, every first day for Emily has been in the midst of change...except for this one.

When Emily started preschool, I was still married to her dad and we were barely hanging on. While her first year of preschool was meant to be a happy time, our family fell apart. I remember going to her school one afternoon to pick her up and asking her teacher if we could talk outside. I was getting ready to leave my husband and I knew it was going to crush the kids, especially Emily since she's the oldest. Her teacher and I both cried and prayed about it, and she assured me that Emily would be taken care of at school. It didn't fix the situation but I felt better knowing that she had support.
 
 

By Kindergarten, Emily was attending school at her dad's. I drove 30 minutes to her dad's to pick her up and take her to school on her first day. I was happy to have that moment with her, but sad because I wouldn't be the one to see her when she got home. At that time, I had been separated from her dad for only a few months and things were still very unstable. When I left her at school that morning, I honestly didn't know when I would see her again.
 
 
She looks so tiny in this picture!
 
I have looked through my pictures and I can't find one from the first day of 1st grade. I don't remember if I was able to be there or not now. But she had a first day here in Illinois in November (blog post here). It was in the middle of the school year, but a happy time for sure! By that time, we were home and things were more permanent.
 
 
She was annoyed with my pictures :p
 
Needless to say, the last few years have been a roller coaster of emotions. I've looked back at the past many times, but never so much from the perspective of the kids and how it all relates to what's happening in their world.

This is a very exciting time for our family. Not only is it the beginning of second grade for Emily and preschool for Ethan, it's the beginning of consistency. We know that at the very least, the kids will be home for school. They will leave one house, and come home to that house at the end of the day. It may not seem like much, but to this mom, that's pretty awesome.

First day of 2nd grade!
 
First day of Pre-K!
 
 
 
A word of advice to ANY parent- school is a great place for kids to have support. If your marriage is struggling, if you are a divorced parent co-parenting, or whatever the situation, talk to your kids' teachers! When they are aware of the situation at home, they can work with them at school. Teach your kids that school is a safe place and that there are people they can talk with. School counselors are there for a reason!

The Click & Chat Social Media Link-up

I have had a lot of fun co-hosting the Click & Chat Social Media Link-Up this past month!
 
The Click and Chat Social Media Link  Up!  Ready to grow your social media like a champ? Come on by and take part in this awesomely effective link up party!  @ Adventures in Mindful Living
 

The Click & Chat Social Media Link up Party #19!

Thank you so much for stopping by The Click and Chat Social Media Link up Party!
We are all about networking and helping you grow your social media numbers!
This month we are excited to announce that this linkup will appear on 12 amazing blogs!! That is 12 times the exposure for you and your links!
We are also looking for co-hosts for the coming up months, so if you are interested please contact either Amber or Kim on any of their social media and we will chat about it!
We will also have a featured blogger every week. Being chosen for our featured blogger spot means that we will share your picture (or logo) and your social media links just to let even more people see your awesome blog! To be considered for that spot you must have shared about the link up on at least one of your social medias and of course had good blogging manners and followed or liked the hosts and co-hosts on at least one or more of their social medias.
Ready to meet this weeks featured blogger?
 
My Photo

Go on by and say hi and check out all of her great social media links!
 
Now come and meet your hosts and co-hosts!
 
The Click and Chat Social Media Link  Up!  Ready to grow your social media like a champ? Come on by and take part in this awesomely effective link up party!  @ Adventures in Mindful Living
RebeccaFutures / Katie-/ Sarah-Baking with Mom
Miranda- A July Dreamer / Cassie- True Agape / Heather- Krafts and Kiddos
 
To make it easier for you to follow your hosts and co-hosts we have put them in the first couple of spots in each link up section. Ready to link up? Great! Some quick and easy rules- 1. Please follow your hosts and co-hosts on at least one or more of their social medias! It is just good blogging manners! . You can find all of our social media in the links below! Have you already followed us on one? Find another one to follow us on! We post great stuff on all of them, you won’t be disappointed! 2. This link up is all about networking and meeting new friends! Make sure to visit some other links on any list you leave your link on!This makes it fun and really helps get the exposure on all the blogs that they deserve! You are all awesome- now go meet some other awesome people! Now if you want to be super awesome you can always tweet, share,+, or pin this link up! facebook1 twitter1 bloglovin1 Pinterest1     instagram1  
Thanks for stopping by The Click and Chat Social Media Link up party!!