Boundaries

I am going to leave this here for one to think about:

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It took me almost three decades of a lot of emotions to realize how true this is. But in today’s world where boundaries are even more obscure and diminished by social media, our smart phones, etc., how on earth is it possible to raise a child who establishes strong boundaries from the beginning?

Why is this is important? I can only tell you why not creating healthy boundaries impacted myself to illustrate the importance.

Firstly, over the years I learned to say yes to everything. Even to the detriment of myself, and I firmly believe my husband is the same way, though he would never agree. This has meant weekend after weekend of driving all over the place to make sure we make it to everyone’s big event. It didn’t matter how many times these people had flaked on us. We had to make it to every last event. I felt like I couldn’t say no. But here’s the flip side, most people flake on us. This left me feeling hurt, bitter, and resentful of those relationships. So over the past year, I have really worked on not over committing myself.

Another issue I feel this applies to is any working adult. Kyle and I are perfectionists, both type A personalities, and while at times it can be draining, I do firmly believe this is why we are successful. But, and this is a big but (not trying to be funny), it creates an unhealthy working relationship with people we work with. Now, over the years it has proven to be our bosses in some cases, sometimes it’s our coworkers, or sometimes it’s both. A prime example of this is when all my coworkers bailed on my boss to go home early. I was one of two with kids, my other coworkers kids were older. But somehow he expected me to stay, because I couldn’t say no to him. I stayed hours late, not because I wanted to, not because it was my work package, because he knew he could take advantage of my lack of boundaries. And I let him.

These are small instances of why having boundaries is important. But how do we make sure K and G have this down at an early age? I know a lot of this is going to be a learning process for them. I also know they will do what we do, and that’s why I find it so important for K and I to be the best versions of ourselves we can possibly be. But this one is a hard one for us…

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Pumpkin Patch Mayhem

I love Fall. For some reason, one of my favorite holidays has always been Halloween. I am not morbid, I just like scary stuff. But being a parent and the holiday season can bring on stress that you never knew existed in your childhood days. Last year I decided to make our Halloween costumes, we were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Wow, what an undertaking for such mediocre costumes. The boys sure looked cute, but this year they insisted on being Minions. They want hubby to dress up like Gru(?). I’m pretty excited to see them in the adorable costumes.

Part of the Halloween fun is the pumpkin patch. And since we live near multiple it’s kind of fun to see what all the farms have on hand. We have been three times just this year, once was for K’s preschool. Friday we went as a family, and yesterday we had our Godson’s 7th birthday party, and it was a blast. Friday was a beautiful day, so we decided hubby would take work off early, and take the boys.

I couldn’t believe the amount of things they had for littles to do. I was really impressed. Duck races, an entire truck pit with plenty of trucks to dig in for all littles. They had tons of old props around the area that made for some great pictures. They had this blob jump thing, which I have a love/hate relationship with because most of the kids on there act like complete idiots without any regard for their surroundings. It’s easier to hold the boys’ hands to help keep them upright, and safe. They had bubbles, a tire mountain, petting zoo, et cetera. This place is by far my favorite we have been to over the last couple of years. It’s so much fun watching the pure joy the boys have over this stuff. It literally makes my heart smile.

3 Duck Racers

Here are all three of my guys participating in the duck races. The boys thought it was so cool that Daddy could do it so quickly. He’s their hero!

G and K Duck Races

G was so serious about these races! He would get down and sprint to make sure he could get the duck, and he would sprint back to Kyle to get him to do it again, and again, and again…

G driving tractor

And then they found the tractor/truck pit. Honestly, I think they would have never left if we didn’t entice them with picking out their pumpkins.

K driving truck

All he ever wants to do is play with trucks.

Pumpking Patch 2015 Kyle and Grayson

I feel so lucky, blessed, and more. Happy Pumpkin Carving to you and yours!!!

Command Center

It’s no secret that I am a bit of a type A personality, ask my husband, and he won’t say a bit, he will say all of me is. I thrive off of making things more efficient for myself and my family. I also like doing anything that will save money and time. And really, time is money, right?

Whenever people come over they always ask about our command center. They seem to think I am crazy, but when I start talking them through it, they all of a sudden seem to love it. Here it is in its glory:

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The calendar is obviously for making sure all of our schedule activities are up there, sometimes in the hustle and bustle K and I forget to tell each other about something. I also love to include the boys in our menu planning, and it helps them get excited about upcoming events. In the magazine file we have categories for each area (recepits, bills, school papers, coupons, and papers that need to be brought down to our office to be filed for later). This really helps us keep organized in terms of money.

The calendar has two purposes for our family really. First, as I said it’s our planner. With preschool, one currently working on their MBA, and one of us about to work on finishing up their MBA, we have a lot of stuff between our school and personal lives. It’s a life saver.

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Also, I plan out our menu in one or two week spurts. Originally I tried to do this for an entire month but I find that our fridge just simply cannot hold enough food for a month. Two weeks is stretching it with the amount of produce and almond milk we buy. And heck, our boys are only 2 and 3. The teenage years are making me contemplate buying a second fridge, kidding… maybe.

After I make our menu plan, I sit down and make out our grocery list for every item we need for our week, or two. I make my list by how I shop the store, that way I’m not running all over with two kids and a huge cart. After my list is complete, I make sure to check the fridge. If anything is there then I cross it off the list. Then I go to our pantry and do the same. For me this just makes the most sense. And saves me the most time.

Between the 4 of us, we try and shop for around $100 a week. It is really hard, considering we do like to indulge in some adult beverages. I am pretty happy with that number considering we eat a lot of produce and drink a ton of almond milk. We do typically save one meal a week for going out to eat with the kids.

I love finding more ways to save our family money!!!

Crafts

In the morning if the weather is still too brisk, or rainy, I like to plan a fun activity inside for the boys. A lot of times it is craft centered, but sometimes I do ones that can help with fine motor skills, or something else…K loves Halloween like I do. Probably due to my influence, so I am loving that he loves all things pumpkins and spooky ghosts. I saw a pin that  was to make an apple, so I figured I could do something simliar and make pumpkins out of them.

I always buy my craft supplies from the dollar store. It saves me a ton of money, and I don’t panick if somenthing gets broken, or winds up lost.

Here is what I did for the craft: I took two pages of orange construction paper, folded them in half (hamburger style) and cut them in strips. Then I cut the strips into squares. That way it took me half the time.  It went quick. Then I took one green paper and cut out two stems. After that I took two paper plates, one for each child, and put glue all over the plate ( I didn’t do the border, because I knew they would want to grab the plate, and I figured the glue would gross them out).

I let them get to work!

Here they are gluing their squares on:

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While they were gluing on their squares, I cut out eyes for them to glue on. I let them choose what type of mouth they wanted (silly or scary). Naturally, K chose scary, and G always wants to do what big brother does.

Here is the finished product. It was a lot of fun, and I got some cute pictures of them holding their finished product!

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Beach Time

Yesterday it was gorgeous. By 9:30 it was already 70 degrees, so we hit the beach with some friends. It was so much fun. We threw rocks in the water

Throwing Rocks
Throwing Rocks

We filled up our buckets with rocks and dug with our shovels

Can't even complain with that view
Can’t even complain with that view

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And then we headed over to Ivars, one of my favorites. The boys were such good boys, and they had a blast!!!

What a ham!!!
What a ham!!!

Summer is Here

I honestly cannot believe the weather we have had in the past month! It has been gorgeous here, and I have zero complaints. It sure makes getting out and about easier, and we have so many more options for us to do! Today was filled with lots of fun. I cleaned the kitchen while the boys ate their breakfast and giggled together. After we finished breakfast, the boys asked to paint Daddy a picture. Grayson hates getting his hands messy, but today he dove right in and touched the paint!

Kamden Painting

Grayson Painting

As you can see, Kamden loves to paint his Daddy pictures. Because it often gets messy we have to jump right into the bath, which again, seems to be a favorite for the boys, and of course, they have lots of toys, including some pretty awesome bath crayons.

Boys Bath Time Grayson Bath

Grayson was not a fan of me taking his picture today. Well, he really is camera shy in general. After bath time we got ready for the day so we could go play at a local park near our favorite library. The boys were great, and got to go down the big kid slides. We ate our delicious snack and then walked back over to the library in time for story time. We played for over an hour, and then came home for lunch and nap!

After nap we are going to learn how to dive for our submarine toys in our pool! Let’s hope that is just as fun!!

Strollers

I am all about maximum efficiency in all walks of life. Often I am questioned about our double stroller(s). Yes, we have two. Why? Well, it depends on what we are doing. For anything involved in outdoorsy things I choose to use our side by side double. A lot of times I do like this stroller for quick errands. But for things like going to the zoo, longer trips, etc. I would probably choose our front to back stroller.

My brand of choice is Baby Jogger. Hands down one of the best strollers I have ever driven, and I feel like I researched and tried out a many. After all, when you have two under two (we had two under 1 even for a short while) it’s important you can still go out and about with these little guys!! I have a Subaru Legacy 2012, and I felt like the trunk was spacious, but it wasn’t an SUV or minivan. So I had to be very smart about the stroller(s) we chose. I also wanted it to easily fold. While many strollers promise this, I know for a fact that this is not the case.

I researched the specs of my trunk online, because I knew someone had to have done the measurements prior to me. Sure enough someone had. After much research I realized that only two strollers would work for my car AND for what I was looking for (double). It was the Baby Jogger City Select Double and the Phil and Ted. After researching and reading many reviews I went with the City Select Double. Here is why:

  • 16 different seating configurations. I wanted to be able to put a car seat adapter with car seat in it. Sometimes I only have one kid with me and they want to face me. Sometimes they want to face out. Sometimes I have both and they want to face each other.
  • This stroller can be folded still with one seat in it. Let me tell you, this sucker is skinny. It fits easily in my trunk.
  • I don’t have to worry about if I am TOO wide to fit in a doorway. Let me tell you, there will come a time where you can’t get in or out somewhere and it will induce a small panic in you.
  • If need be, the wheels can easily come off. Weird, but if your trunk space is small… you will need this.
  • Walking our beast of a dog. I needed to be able to handle our 85 pound dog and I wasn’t sure I would be able to do this with a double wide.
  • The canopies on the seats were amazing. I can’t tell you how many times I had walked our oldest when he was small in our first stroller and he was blinded by the sun. The ONLY time the sun gets in their eyes is when we are on our hill that has like a 90% incline and the sun is in the perfect spot to get them!
  • Storage space below is nice. Enough for two baby carriers, a portable potty seat (folding), and some plastic bags
  • Hand brake is nice, although I would really like to see a foot brake on this too.

Next I would like to discuss why I bought a double wide. We went with the Baby Jogger Summit X3 Double in Black. Here is why:

  • Amazing turning radius. Handles well.
  • It has not only a foot brake, but a hand brake. No joke, our hill is so steep, this is a must with a huge dog. I love this aspect of the stroller.
  • I honestly think this stroller looks so much nicer than the Bobs. It’s more round, the color scheme makes it not look from the 1980’s.
  • The folding happens in one motion. I cannot tell you how easy this stroller is to pack and go. I am 5’3 and like 115 pounds, and I can easily pop this sucker into my car with no problems!
  • The canopies are again amazing on this stroller.
  • The rain canopy is nice. We live in Seattle, enough said.