Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A little Thanksgiving tune by Liam

Liam has been learning some Thanksgiving songs at school, here is one of them (a bit hard to hear due to his enthusiastic playing of a Mickey Mouse guitar, but cute nonetheless):

Happy Thanksgiving, from our family to yours!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thankful kids

Jake made this in Sunday school last week, but I forgot to share the has a nice spot on the front of our fridge right now, I love it! :)

In case it's hard to see his words with the glare, it says family, brother  (bruther), school, and house (hous)

Liam didn't make one in his Sunday school class and was bummed, so I printed one for him to do:

His says he's thankful for family, God, house, dinner, friends, and Gracie :) 

Monday, November 24, 2014

I just can't stop myself...Christmas is coming.

It's one of those unfortunate years where Thanksgiving falls late in November, thus making the time between one holiday and the next super short.  I know I've blabbed here about how much I love fall...and I absolutely do!  But really, fall gets a lot of time, you know?  I usually put out my fall decor and start getting excited for changing leaves and PSL's the week after Labor Day.  That's nearly 3 full months of fall!!  But Christmas?  Christmas is really just a small time period when you think about make Thanksgiving a bit later and bam....Christmas is left sobbing in the corner!

That's why this year is the year I decided to say screw it...screw the stigma enjoying Christmas before Thanksgiving, and screw my own self imposed rules that I've forced myself to abide by over the years.  This year, I'm all in and I'm all in early.
I cranked up the Christmas music last week when it came on the radio. 
image courtesy of

 I drug out my Christmas dishes over the weekend. The pumpkins were thrown out.

 We put up our Christmas lights. 

image courtesy of
 I told the kids we could watch a Christmas movie the other night and even let them wear their Christmas PJs when they begged to do so. 

someone invaded my space halfway through the movie.
I even let the boys write out their Christmas wish lists for Santa over 2 weeks ago:


Funny note: there were a few things that didn't make it onto each kids lists after a little chat.  It's really the first year that either of them have asked for something that I just knew Santa wouldn't be able to bring.  For Jake, it was an iPad and "either a jersey, helmet or poster signed by Big Ben".  For Liam, it was a baby sister in a purple hat.  He plans to name her Elsa and take her to Target.  I have no idea what this says about me and my shopping habits. 

So.  As you can see, it's 3 days before Thanksgiving and we have completely ignored any type of holiday rules....maybe we're just starting our own type of family traditions?  Don't worry, we are still very much looking forward to Thanksgiving...and I promise we will take the time to enjoy it that day and acknowledge that it is its own holiday :)

When does the Christmas season start for you?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What we've been up to!

We haven't had too much excitement lately, and this past weekend was nice and low-key which is a great change of pace. And the end of last week was nice because it was BOGO at Starbucks, so a coworker and I treated ourselves to the new Chestnut Praline Latte that I was so excited to was very tasty!!  Not too sweet, but just sweet enough to make me love it :)

E-M-M-I-E....close enough.

Brian headed up to Erie for his annual fishing trip with his dad and some family friends.  Unfortunately for him, Erie looked like this over the weekend:

 Yikes!  But they had a good time anyway.  I always give him a hard time because they go on this trip every year, Brian has yet to actually catch a fish and Danny sometimes catches some (but not this year!) so I tease him and ask him why he goes.  But I know that it's for the experience and the time with his's the same reason that I love Black Friday shopping with my mom and mother-in-law so much, and why I love going to girls nights with my's not about what you're doing, it's who you're with.

 The kids and I headed to Washpa for the weekend to enjoy some time with GG and Pappy while Brian was gone.  For the most part, we just relaxed, but on Saturday morning we headed over to my friend Cortney's house and the kids were excited to play with her daughter, Liliana.  We hadn't seen them since over the summer so it was nice to catch up and the kids had a blast and even made some Christmas ornaments.

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with GG and Pappy (I talked GG into watching the first Christmas movie of the year with me..."Let it Snow" was just ok)

Pappy was in charge of bedtime stories
GG helped with homeowork

Gracie caught up on naps:

We headed home Sunday morning and had to face the reality of stuff like doing laundry and finishing homework...blah!  My mom had got the kids these cute little turkey door hangers so the kids worked on that when we got home so that I could unload all of our stuff:

We have a busy week ahead of us this week with some evening commitments....I'm already counting down to the weekend!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Public breastfeeding, Kim Kardashian, and the irony of it all.

 *stepping up on my soap box for this've been warned*

I consider myself to be a retired breastfeeder.  I haven't breastfed a baby in well over 2 years, but I did breastfeed 2 babies for a combined total of 2 years and 5 months.  29 months.  116 weeks. 812 days.  Countless hours, countless nights.  So it's not recent experience, but it's a pretty good track record of experience in this department. It may not be something that is on my mind much now, but it was a big part of my life...and one that I look back on as a highlight of both of the boys first part of life. 

Breastfeeding Jake in the beginning was a struggle; without going into too much detail, I will just say that for the first week or so, each feeding required a breastpump, a syringe with which to feed him, a try at a "regular" breastfeeding session, followed by crying.  The crying was my own. It was an exhausted, overwhelmed, and frustrated cry over the fact that something that seemed like it should be so natural was not working for us.

Eventually, we worked it out, Jake and I...and we were able to ditch the vicious cycle of pumping and syringe feeding, thankfully. One thing I never did figure out with him?  How to feed him in public.  I felt strange doing it....and not because I thought it was wrong at all.  In fact, I'd see other mothers doing that and become envious, and wonder why I couldn't just get over my own insecurities and feed him.  Because feeding him in say, a restaurant booth discretely, would have been a whole lot easier than what I usually did...which was retreat to the car, where I would sit by myself to feed him. Don't get me wrong, that wasn't every single time...if I was at the mall, I could tell you the exact location of the nicest changing rooms at any location inside that place :)

With Liam, I was slightly more secure....maybe because I had grown to be more comfortable as a mom, but also probably because I was left with fewer choices.  If I was out somewhere by myself with the kids, I didn't have the luxury of dragging Jake with me to retreat somewhere to feed Liam.  Pulling a 3.5 year old in a small, hot dressing room to feed a baby for at least 20 minutes?  No thank you! So, I learned to be ok with it when I had to be.

Rant ahead.....

The bottom line?  I was never super comfortable with it....but that was just ME.  It burns me up like nothing else to read comments from people about public breastfeeding who say things like, "well, my sister breastfeeds her kid, but she ALWAYS goes somewhere so that she doesn't expose herself in public"  Well, good for your sister for knowing what SHE is comfortable with.  Maybe she's like me....I wasn't worried about the general public having a heart attack over feeding my baby, it was my own anxiety that kept me from doing it the first time. 

Which brings me to my whole point in saying all of this....breasts are for feeding, people.  Feeding little babies...little babies who should not have to eat in a bathroom stall.  Or with a blanket covering up their entire head when they're already pressed up against a hot body.  So if you are one of the people out there who say that it's an indecent thing to do, that women shouldn't expose themselves, and that (my personal favorite) "no one wants to see that"....did YOU look at the Kim Kardashian picture?  Were you ok with that?  Because I can tell you that I saw a whole lot more of Kim K just scrolling through facebook the day those pictures were blasted everywhere than I ever see of a breastfeeding mom out in public. Thankfully, we never have to see anyone's bare backside while they're breastfeeding either, so there's that. 

And speaking of seeing things...I don't know what people are really seeing when moms are breastfeeding out in public.  I would love to know if the people who are up in arms over it and think it should be "banned" (which yes, I did actually read online...I really must stop reading comments on news articles!) have ever actually SEEN anything when a mom has been publicly feeding her baby?  Because I find it very hard to believe that the mom literally pulled off her shirt and bra and starting to feed her baby right then and there.  Even without a blanket over top of a baby's head, the little bit of skin that shows is nothing in comparison to what other girls and women are wearing.  It's actually less than a lot of bikini tops I've seen...should we go ahead and ban those too, while we're at it?

We're ok with Kim K.  We're ok with hollywood starlets showing off sideboob in their gowns at award shows.  We're ok with Lady Gaga wearing pasties under a sheer dress. Maybe you in particular are not ok with this, but as a society in general?  We seem to be ok with it. But a mom sitting in a restaurant booth feeding her baby while trying to enjoy a meal with her husband...this, we have a problem with?

Let's pull it together here, peeps.

I was so sick of seeing and hearing about the Kim K picture until I saw Alyssa Milano's response to it...which was so very perfect:

Not only was I applauding Alyssa Milano (just like my friend Dawson above), but I found something even more amazing when I went to her Twitter page to pull the quote....I found that since she wrote that last Wednesday, people have been tweeting her like crazy to say thank you.  Women from all over, thanking her for being an inspiration and for giving them the self confidence to not be ashamed by what they're doing.

So what have we learned here today?  A repeat of a childhood lesson that I say to my own kids all the time....if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  And to build on that for this scenario...if you don't like what you're seeing, turn away and stop looking. 

*stepping off soapbox*

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jake's 2nd Basketball Game

Last weekend was Jake's 2nd basketball game, and kind of the first real game for him (they did a very short scrimmage the very first week and he missed week 2 because of Aunt Amy's wedding)  I felt bad, because it was obvious that he had missed some of the rules of the game the week before so he had to do a bit of catch up, but he caught on pretty quickly.  These pictures are pretty blurry, I only had my phone instead of the real camera...but Jake is easy to spot, he's the one in the bright orange socks :)


Two videos:

Favorite Finds Friday

Linking up over at Friday Favorites....

Favorite Find #1: Old Navy Need Coffee PJ Top

If you've ever seen me before I've had my coffee, I sincerely apologize for how I looked and anything I might have said. Sometimes even the kids say things to me like, "um...mommy?  Have you had your coffee yet??"'s BAD.  I saw this PJ top featured on another blog and it made me think of myself, haha!

On a related note, I'll just go ahead and leave this may or may not be applicable to my life and loved ones:

Mug available here, image courtesy of Etsy shop ChantillyStay

Favorite Find #2: Alex and Ani Bracelets

While these adorable bracelets aren't new by any means, they're new to me and my wrist :)  My mother in law recently got me this one with my initial and I've had it on everyday since:

They're adjustable to a certain extent, which makes them nice to pull off and on and not have them falling all the way down to the middle of my hand when my arm is down (which is what happens with other bangles that I have)  They're cute, fit well, and they're made in! 

Favorite Find #3: Cheesy Made-for-TV Christmas Movies

Confession:I have a thing for cheesy Christmas movies.  In fact, the cheesier, the better!  Some of my previous favorites include "Christmas in Handcuffs" starring Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Melissa Joan Hart) and AC Slater (Mario Lopez) and "Christmas with Holly" starring no one that I know, but was super cute and cheesy so it makes the list. 

Imagine my excitement when I saw this ad in a magazine last week:

I don't even know what this movie is about, but it doesn't matter because KELLY KAPOWSKI, people!!!  (if you don't know that name, google it, then spend the next few days of your life binge watching "Saved by the Bell",'ll thank me later) 

Others that I'm looking forward to watching star Candace Cameron (aka-DJ Tanner from Full House!):

this one actually premiered last year, but I didn't have a chance to watch it...I've already DVRd it so that won't happen again this year! Being shown again this Saturday, 11/15 at 6pm!
Premieres on November 29th!!! Get your DVR ready!
Another one from last year that I have my DVR set for:

showing on Monday, 11/17

So what about you, do you have a thing for cheesy Christmas movies?  If so, what are your favorites??
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