Friday, January 31, 2014

January Ramblings

Time is just flying by, especially with the boys getting older.  I look back at my blog a lot and I'm always talking about how big the boys are getting..and looking back they are always so itty bitty.  When my kids are 18 and moving out, I'm going to really miss these days and how small they are.  How innocent and sweet they are.  How much they absolutely love life, except I'm hoping that that part of them never changes.

Ryan is completely taking in this learning thing.  He loves to learn about everything.  He loves his workbooks, activities, and puzzles.  He just soaks in all the information that he learns and remembers it and tells it to you later.

I've been trying to work on letters (writing them) with him.  Ryan has known all of his letters since before he was 2.5... and That's almost where Jakey is.  Jake doesn't know any!  He is totally the second child and I really, really, really need to get my butt into gear with him!

Ryan got Candyland and Memory for Christmas.  He only had to have a few turns before Candyland just clicked with him.  The first night we played it, he woke up the next morning asking to play it again.  I got a little sad that I had to go to work and couldn't play it.  But daddy played a few rounds with him.

He's also good at memory.  He actually beat me a few times :)

The boys got some new bikes and helmets from Santa.  Unfortunately for my itty bitty short kids, they can't exactly reach the pedal.  Ryan can barely reach it, but he still hasn't gotten the hang of riding.  Jake can't reach at all but he sure does love sitting on his bike.

We do our best to keep busy around here.  There is always a ton of stuff going on.  One of our favorite activities are the Home Depot and Lowes kids' workshops they always have going on.  We are regular attenders!

So.. Having Ryan has pretty much always been easy.  I had the best pregnancy, he was the best cutest little newborn.. and then infant and baby.. and then toddler.  Now that he is a preschooler he is still so easy.  He's so well behaved, he listens, he's smart, he's pretty much the model child and I've always thought that since the minute he was born.  Do I have bad days with him?  Sure I do, but they are very few and far between.

& Then there is my little firecracker Jakey.  You know?  The kid who gave me an extremely painful labor and delivery and then cried all day everyday for like 8 months?!  After that he became so sweet and cuddly.   Until the twos came around!  Don't get me wrong, he's still my sweet perfect little guy.  

He has developed this love for his momma.  I don't even think love is the right word.  Obsession maybe?  Jakey LOVES his momma.   Check out this picture of him.  I was blow drying my hair and he just pulled his little stool up and stared at me the whole time.  Part of me is trying to get him not so attached but an even bigger part of me is trying to remember that he's my baby and one day he won't be like this anymore.

The other part of him that isn't a super cuddly momma's boy.. is this mischievous little two year old boy.  And he is definitely two.

He climbed onto the table when I wasn't looking...  & then smiled at me when I caught him and told him to get down.

He gets into everything that he shouldn't be.. including butt paste when he's supposed to be napping.

Speaking of napping, he also went through a short period where he decided to destroy his entire room while he was supposed to be napping.  Thankfully, he is back to napping instead of making messes.  I don't know if I mentioned it, but he was climbing out of his crib every single time he was in it, so we started putting him in a twin bed.  He climbed out of that too for a little while but not any more.  Thank goodness!

Overall, the boys are cute and always silly and playing with each other.  After every bath they lay in Ryan's room and hide under their towels while I search for them.  They think it's hilarious and it never gets old.

& at the end of the day- they are still pretty awesome.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Citrus Lane- January 2014

We received our Citrus Lane boxes today!  I liked them so much this month, that I am already writing my review about it.

Citrus Lane is a subscription box service that is curated for children aged 0-5 years.  Each box has 4-5 items that are designed for your child based on age and gender.. or you can select neutral when signing up.  If your little one isn't born yet, you can put your due date in when signing up.  The boxes ship from California on the 15th of each month and arrive between the 17th-22nd.

Our first box is for my 3.5 year old boy, Ryan.

(Sorry for the upside down picture.)

1.  Fruit Set from Plan Toys ($10-- Guessing since the set the sell online has more fruit)
Honestly, I was super excited about this toy!  The fruit is stuck together by velcro and you use the knife to "cut" the fruit apart.  This toy is made from recycled rubberwood.  Citrus Lane has given us so many high quality toys in the past year & we have loved every single one of them. The boys like pretend play and this goes with all of their kitchen ware they got for Christmas.  

2. Zig Zag Zebra from Barefoot Books ($3.50-- Currently on Sale)
With line drawing, color combining, drawing skills and more this book is perfect for preschoolers.  This book has 22 different activities that will help your little one practice their fine motor skills.  Another item that I absolutely love!

3. Duo Tip Washable Markers from Faber-Castel ($4.99)
Eek- this make me a little nervous!  The last time I left markers in Ryan's reach we ended up with markers on almost every wall of our house.  Not Citrus Lane's fault!  I totally need to supervise my kid when he has markers.  Ryan's getting better with his fine motor skills and we could use these for practice.  Plus, these would go perfect with his new Zig Zag Zebra activity book.

4. Upset Tummy & Nausea Relief from Mommy's Bliss ($9.99)
I thought this item was pretty interesting because I've never gotten any type of medicine or anything like this in any of our boxes.  I'm not one of those mom's that against medicine for my kid- if they are in discomfort or pain, I'll give them something to make them feel better.  I just read the info for this item, and I guess it isn't "medicine."  My pamphlet says its an herbal supplement with all natural ingredients that helps to ease nausea, stomachache, indigestion, or flu.  Maybe we'll try this product out some time and we'll see how it works!

The total value of Ryan's box is about $29.  Although the value isn't super high- this is my favorite box we've ever gotten from them.  I love the toy and activity book so much!  & so does Ryan!  Plus we'll have to start learning how to use markers correctly since he'll be in preschool in the fall.

Now on to the second box, which is for a 2 year old boy

Jake also received the 

1. Upset Tummy & Nausea Relief from Mommy's Bliss ($9.99)

(IDK why some of my pictures uploaded upside down!)

2. Shape Sorter from Plan Toys ($10)
This shape sorter is pretty neat.  All of the shapes are strung together on a thick rope so they won't get lost.  This is also something small enough that can fit into my purse when we go out for dinner.  Love Plan Toys!

4.  Lunchie from Skip Hop ($14)
We received the frog lunchie last January and we've also received 2 plates and a bowl from Skip Hop.  Their products are so cute!  We use our frog lunchie all the time.  Except, we use ours as a mini diaper bag.  It's the perfect size for Jake to hold by himself.  It fits diapers, wipes, and snacks perfectly for when we go to church and he goes into the nursery.  Another amazing product that I don't mind to have two of!

4. Fruit Pouch from Peter Rabbit Organics ($1-$2)
We are always happy to receive any kind of food item  in our boxes.  Both of my kids love fruit pouches and I still buy them for my 2 and 3.5 year old.  Jake grabbed this item first and had to have it right away!  Yum!

The retail value of the 2 year old box was about $36.00.

The kids and I are 100% satisfied with our Citrus Lane boxes this month.  After being a subscriber for 13 months this is probably the box that I loved the best.  Everything is completely useful.  Best of all, the boys loved them and kept playing with their toys after we opened them. Do you get Citrus Lane for your little one?  Share the link with me so I can read your review.. I love reading subscription box reviews.

Want to give Citrus Lane a try for your little one.. use my link to sign up and get $10 off your box.  When you sign up through my link it also gives me a $10 credit so I can keep getting these boxes for my little ones as well!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Years Resolutions

I will be quite honest and say that I'm not one who does New Years Resolutions.  In fact, I can remember the last time I actually wrote a list of them.  It was New years 1998.  My friend, Kim, and I were babysitting for a friend of my dad's.  He was having a get together at his house and he needed someone to watch his daughter, or was it son?  I can't even remember.  What I do remember is that Kim and I watched all the difference New Years countdowns in the bedroom where we were staying and celebrated every single one.  We were 12 and thought we were soo cool.  I'm sure we were.  During one of our many New Years celebrations we got out some paper and pens and began to write down our many resolutions.  We had a ton, and they were all pretty ridiculous, I am sure.

Now that it is 16 years later, I thought I could do my first list of resolutions.  So here we go...

1. Work on my marriage.  Ever since I became a mother, my main focus has been on my kids.  Which I would still like them to be up there in my main focus.  But I need to put my marriage up there ahead of everything else.  Without my husband, my children wouldn't exist.  Without my husband, I wouldn't have everything I ever wanted.  One day when my kids are old and grown, it's going to be my husband who is the one beside me.  So I guess this one should say, become a better wife.  Let's face it, we could all be better wives.  I want to put him and his needs first.  I want to show him that he is the best thing in my life.  I have this book The Love Dare, which is a 40 day challenge to strengthen your marriage.  Even if your marriage is "perfect" I would recommend it.  

2 Eliminate Debt.   Having debt really terrifies me.  When I see people buy brand new cars, I never think "Wow, nice car!" I think "Holey crap, what is your car payment and how much in debt are you from that thing?"  I understand that everyone has debt, however I think it's important to first eliminate a lot of it before you get so far into it that its suffocating you.  Last year, I really focused on paying off debt.  I was able to pay off 1/3 of my total debt in 2013.  This year, my goal is to pay off another 1/3... or half of what I have now.  No, I do not own my own home, and the only reason why, is because I don't want to make that big of a purchase until I can pay off everything else, including my current car payment, credit cards, and student loans.  I dream of the day I am debt free!  Then I'll buy myself a nice car and a beautiful home and have loads of it.

3. Send out birthday cards.  This one may seem a little silly, but I am awful at birthday cards.  I don't think I gave a single birthday card last year.  Not even to my mother, the woman who gave me life!  How awful is that.  Yet, when my birthday rolls around, I love to get cards... and I love anniversary cards.. and I love when people send my kids cards (thanks mom!)  But I rarely return the favor.  I know a lot of people out there love cards and knowing that someone is thinking of them.  So, this year,  I will send birthday cards to all the special people in my life so they know I care about them.

4. Save money for my kids. After Ryan was born, I opened up a bank account for him.  Yet, I never opened up one for Jake and he just turned 2!  Having money for my kids is very important to me.  I opened up a life insurance policy back in 2012 to make sure that my kids would always be taken care of if anything ever happened to me.  However, they should be taken care of always no matter what!  Growing up, my mom had a savings account for me, in fact I had two.  One that she saved up for me, and one that I saved up for myself.  I want the same for my kids.  This year I would like to put money into savings accounts for my kids from every paycheck!  Instead of me being responsible for that, I need to contact my school and have them just take the money out of my paycheck and have it deposited into my kids accounts.  So- first I need to open an account for Jake.

5.Floss my teeth regularly.  A few years ago, I started flossing every day.. and that only really irritated my gums.  That didn't last long.  Last year I started flossing on the even days of the year (Jan 2, Jan 4, etc.)  I actually did a pretty good job until we went out of town and I got all messed up with my schedule.  So this year I am going to try again and try to make it throughout the year.  Which means I'll need to floss right after I finish this post!

6. Blog more! I've always said that this blog is important to me.  I want to read back on this one day and remember all the little things.  I did an okay job last year until Summer ended and I started being lazy once the kids fell asleep.  So, every time I want to be lazy I need to remember that it's the little things in life I want to remember most.  In January 2nd and I'm already posting! Ha.

There you have it, now I can look back in 363 days and see how well I did.