Dear N: 4 Months Old

Norah 4 Months Old

Another month behind us and my have you grown! And not just in size. I cannot believe how quickly you are picking up on things and trying them out on your own. From vocalizing just about everywhere (the folks at Costco loved hearing you chat today) to trying to master sitting, you are a woman on the go!

Curious about anything and everything, you want to be front and center when people are around. And you always love when your siblings come to play with you morning, noon, and night. While I think they’re a bit smothering, you don’t seem to mind one bit.

I’m still amazed at how easy going you are. Go with the flow, able to adapt, and all with a smile on your face. You truly are a blessing to our family.

N 4 Months

I’m not the only one to think you’re a blessing. I see the way others react when you start chatting with them. Or share your smile with them. You light up the room and everyone knows you’re there. And even though you’ve been under the weather with a cold for a majority of this month, it’s not slowing you down!

I’m constantly getting comments about how alert you are. But you’ve been alert since day one. And? I’m fairly certain you’ll be moving any day now. From the way you can spin around in a circle when you’re on your tummy, to how you try and lift up your butt already when on the ground. We’re going to be in trouble soon.

Trying to Sit at 4 Months

You’re still a chart topper and your doctor was very pleased with where you are developmentally. While he gave the green light for food because of your development (he mentioned starting around 5-6 months but saying that you were ready now), we’ll be waiting a bit to really start. However we have been giving you small tastes here and there.

We’re so blessed to have such a healthy and happy baby and are so looking forward to this next month! Keep doing what you’re doing baby girl. We love you.

4 Month Stats:

17lbs 4oz – 98th percentile

26 1/2 inches – 97th percentile

44cm – 97th percentile

4 Month Comparison

4 Month Comparison

Seeing Myself Through My Daughter’s Eyes

Seeing Myself Through My Daughter's Eyes

This past weekend I headed up to Temecula, a short 45 minutes north of San Diego, to attend Bloggy Boot Camp with the SITS Girls. While I learned a lot about the business side of blogging, networking, etc., I also learned far more beyond blogging.

In addition to the great tidbits about the latest social media platforms (::cough, cough:: SnapChat?? No, maybe it’s Periscope…), Tiffany Romero of the SITS Girls shared ways to simply be a better person.

Now I’m totally going to paraphrase this because I’m no good at exact quotes but when Tiffany suggested that we stop and think of our daughters in our shoes. Then look at what our daughters are doing and tell them what they need to do – more sleep, less work, exercise and eat right, never give up – basically giving myself the advice I would give my daugther should she be in my shoes. And this opened my eyes a bit more to how I’m living my life.

After Women Get Social last year, also put on by the SITS Girls, I had taken away quite a bit that I actually put into action. I made office hours, I hired a Virtual Assistant. Heck… I even hired my house keeper back after a long break without her (and my friends thank me every time they come over and have to use our guest bathroom that is also my son’s bathroom). But there were a few things I hadn’t been doing and now I need to start working on weaving those into my life.

I also want to start considering what my daughters see when they watch me. I want to be more cognizant and aware of how I’m living my life and make sure that I’m living the life I want to live and being the person I want to be. But I also want to portray that to my daughters So that instead of just a frazzled, crazy woman who’s over-extended herself in an effort to do everything, they’re seeing a dedicated, hard working woman who loves to support those around her.

I have stopped saying negative things about my appearance and myself in front of her. When I weigh myself in the morning I smile even when I want to cry. And when I’m trying on clothes I make sure to critique the fit of the clothes, not the look of my body in the clothes. Because she’s watching… she’s watching everything.

And it’s only a matter of time until she starts to look at herself in that mirror. It’s only a matter of time until she’s over-extending and wondering why she feels like she’s the only one drowning. Until she realizes that she’s not alone. And it’s ok to feel that way.

Oh, and the photo above? I had my daughter take it. I’m going to have her take a lot more photos of me too…

Creating a Comfortable Learning Environment + 10 Classroom Hacks for Teachers

This post featuring classroom hacks for teachers is made possible thanks to Mohawk, who has graciously donated a bound Mohawk carpet to my son’s kindergarten teacher so she could create a comfortable learning environment for the kids. 

Creating a Comfortable Learning Environment + 10 Classroom Hacks for Teachers

One of the keys to a great learning environment for kids is creating an inviting and comfortable setting. My son’s kindergarten teacher has done just that with her classroom and it allows the kids to feel at home when they’re away at school. From the warm colorful walls to the cozy nooks found in the different centers she has scattered through the classroom, the kids never have to worry about being uncomfortable.

Two of the learning centers she has set up next to one another is the listening center and the literacy center. A cozy section of the classroom dedicated to books and reading. The carpet she had in this area of the classroom was looking a little sad and wasn’t as comfortable as it once was for the kids. With the help of Mohawk we’ve spruced up this area and now the kids are greeted with a plush, comfortable area to read and learn.

Creating a Comfortable Learning Environment with Mohawk bound carpet

Mohawk’s new SmartStrand Forever Clean is the toughest, easiest to clean carpet on the planet! How, you ask? It has Nanoloc spill protection for quick and easy spill cleanup (a new nanotechnology to protect the fiber) and is the ONLY carpet with built-in stain and soil resistance that NEVER wears or washes off. 

Since classrooms are filled with kids for a majority of the day, being able to clean the classroom easily is important. Most stains on the Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean carpet comes clean with water or a little mild detergent. No harsh cleaners needed – which is perfect for a classroom or playroom setting! And an added bonus is that it’s environmentally friendly because it’s made in part from renewable resources. 
Creating a Comfortable Learning Environment - literacy center
Another awesome thing about Mohawk is that any SmartStrand carpet can be cut and bound in the size you want! Visit your local Mohawk retailer to shop styles and colors and choose a carpet that’s perfect for your classroom.
Now for some great classroom hacks for the end of the school year!

10 Classroom Hacks for Teachers

10 End ­of­ Year Classroom Hacks for Teachers

1. Create a ”Closing the Classroom” checklist. As you finish up the school year, check off each item to ensure you’re on track. Scholastic has a great list, but you’ll want to personalize it for your unique situation.

2. Before you pack up your classroom materials at the end of the year (especially if you’re moving to a new room, school, etc.), purge your belongings. If it pains you to throw things away, set up giveaway stations for other teachers to peruse before you break out the trashbags. This will allow you to begin the new year without clutter from the previous years.

3. Let the students clean their desks and work stations with sanitizing wipes. It’ll help them work off some nervous energy during those last few days.

4. Create a summer reading log to encourage your students to read during the summer. Love the book worm treat bag with gummy worms, too!

5. By the end of the year, your canisters for pencils, crayons and markers have seen better days. Revamp your canisters with some pretty scrapbook paper, ribbons or other embellishments.

6. Get a jump start on your organizational bins. You’ll need weekly, monthly and themed unit bins prepped and ready to go for next year.

7. Be prepared when you have parent volunteers to help. We love these volunteer bins with papers to copy, books to be leveled, etc.

8. Organize the markers, pens, pencils and other office supplies in your desk drawer using revamped cereal boxes. Cut them off, and use contact paper or scrapbook paper to make them pretty.

9. Do you feel irritated whenever you have to look for another parent communication form because someone lost theirs? You won’t have that problem next year! Create a parent communication station with clearly labeled forms. The students can grab what they need whenever they need it.

10. Parents and teachers alike can use this command center idea for papers that need to go home or back to the school, library books, communication and more.

How are you preparing your classroom for summer?

Find more great ideas and reasons to use Mohawk Flooring on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Google+.

On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials

This shop featuring summer beach bag essentials has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CokeHappyHour #CollectiveBias

On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials

The best thing about living in San Diego AND working from home is that if it’s a nice day I can choose where I work. Most times during the summer I love heading out in the afternoon and spending some time at the beach with friends (and sometimes our dogs).

My kids like to call this happy hour. They don’t truly understand what the traditional happy hour is yet but our version is pretty awesome.

I keep a packed beach bag in the trunk of our car for just these occasions. I’ll share exactly what I keep in this bag and how you can make a bag filled with beach essentials too. Since every beach trip requires refreshments, I like to stop by Walgreens to pick up a few bottles of Coke to enjoy at the beach when we get there.

STAINMASTER PetProtect running at the beach

We also love surprising out of town guests with a summer essentials bag too when they come visit. It’s the perfect way to welcome them into our city and allows them the opportunity to take advantage of our beautiful beaches.

I also love stuffing in a few coupons for places around town including the zoo, local restaurants, and other attractions.

On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials - share a Coke

On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials

What you’ll need: 

  • large bag (something you won’t mind getting dirty)
  • towel for everyone
  • straw beach mat
  • magazines
  • tablet or laptop (to work)
  • sun glasses
  • hat
  • sunscreen
  • snacks
  • Coke

On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials - unpack at the beach

What you do: 

  1. Pack the towels, beach mat, magazines, hat, and sunscreen in the large bag to stay in the trunk.
  2. When you’re ready to head out to the beach, grab the tablet or laptop and your sun glasses and add them to your bag. Grab the the kids (and/or the dog) and head out for some fun.
  3. Stop by Walgreens to pick up some snacks and grab a few cold Cokes to share with friends. Take advantage of Coke Happy Hour at Walgreens while you’re there (more about that below).
  4. Head off to the beach!


On-The-Go Summer Beach Bag Essentials - easy to grab and go

Every Wednesday through Friday from 4:00 to 7:00pm, Buy 1 Coca-Cola 20 oz. bottle and Get 1 Free 20 oz. bottle to share! You can load the coupon instantly on the Walgreens app or click here for more information.

From May through July you get 3,000 Balance Rewards points when you buy participating Coca-Cola products when you purchase $10 of participating Coca-Cola products.

Coke at Walgreens

Who will you share a Coke with during happy hour

Dear N: 3 Months Old

Norah 3 Months Old

Oh my little nugget! You make our lives brighter every single day. From your cooing to the unending smiles and expressions you share with us, I couldn’t imagine not having you in our lives.

You are so fun to be with and love watching your brother and sister play around you. You also love when they give you hugs, kisses, and lots and lots of love (including a bit of petting and smothering). And you take it all in stride even if they go a little overboard in their afffection.

You’ve come to love your hands and I find them in your mouth just about 24/7. You’re also starting to use your hands to bring other things to your mouth like Daddy’s fingers, your toys, and your blanket and clothes. Anything you can chomp on is as good as soaked.



We recently got you two new things to help keep you entertained: the exersaucer doorway jumper to put outside so you can watch as I garden and take care of the chickens or when your sister and brother play outside, and the jumperoo (below) so you can stay happy and play as I make dinner before Daddy gets home or when I try to get a little extra work done when you’re awake.


Being the size of a 6 month old at 3 months really helps with this! You are holding up your head like a champ (tummy time isn’t a problem) and love practicing to sit. We call you our little weeble wobble.

And when we put you down on the ground for some playtime you manage to move your body in big circles on the blanket. You’re definitely learning to move and explore and we can’t wait to see what you explore and learn next.

We love you baby girl!!

Unofficial 3 Month Stats:

16lbs 8oz (with clothes/diaper on)

3 Month Comparison

Going Beyond I Love You This Mother’s Day

This post is brought to you by CafeMom and Hallmark. 

Going Beyond I Love You This Mother's Day

Often I’m reminded of the fact that I don’t have the relationship I thought I’d have with my mother. The image I had in my head of what was to be of our relationship once the whole mothering thing was out of the way. The vision of a good friend who I’d run to with anything and everything, or the person I’d chit chat with about nothing at all over a cup of coffee or glass of wine after a long day. Someone who I could regularly see whenever I needed or wanted to. I guess we never got to build on our relationship after the “I hate you” phase of my teens.

Big spoiler: I never really hated her. Surprise, surprise.

But with her moving shortly after I graduated high school, I grew into adulthood with her being a plane ride away instead of a car ride away. And it was a bit different than me going off to college somewhere else since the home I knew wasn’t the home she was living in. Visiting her didn’t seem like “coming home” because her new house was never my house.

Going Beyond I Love You With Mom

All of this doesn’t negate the fact that I love my mom. And that I love what she’s done to ensure that I’m the woman I am today. Sure, we don’t have the friendship that I see others have with their moms. And of course I can’t just drive over and drop my kids off at her home while I go out and do errands or call her for coffee whenever I please.

But I can still go to her if I need advice. And my kids will always have a grandma who loves them and will do anything for them.

Going Beyond I Love You - Grandma Meets Granddaughter

Beyond “I love you” is a bond that will never truly be gone even if there’s distance between us. And as Mother’s Day approaches I’m reminded of what my mom has given me outside of a close relationship. She’s taught me to become a strong, independent woman. Who can grow and blossom as a mother myself because I had such a good role model.

She gave me the opportunity to figure things out for myself and not be dependent on her. To realize what and who I wanted to be without any outside influence. And to achieve the goals I set for myself. Or change them along the way into new goals.

And she’s showed me, perhaps without even knowing it, who I want to be as a mother to my own children.

Going Beyond I Love You and putting pen to paper

This Mother’s Day I plan on going beyond I love you. Beyond sending flowers. Beyond a box of chocolate covered strawberries. Okay, maybe I’ll still do all of those things. But in addition to this, I plan to put pen to paper… er… card… and tell my mom how she’s helped me grow, evolve, and succeed in becoming a person I hope she’s proud of. Because I’m sure proud of who I am. And where I came from. And what I have today.

I can only hope that I’m half the mother to my children that she was to me. And that they know how much I love them, and how much I’d do for them, when they’re older. Because it’s more than I love you.

How will you go beyond I Love You this Mother’s Day?

Great Tips for Gardening With Kids

Gardening with Kids

We’re starting to plan what we’re going to plant in our raised bed for spring right now and can’t wait to get our hands dirty. One of the best parts about gardening, for me, is the fact that the kids get involved in every step from planning, planting, and growing.

Over the years of gardening with them I’ve come to find that gardening with kids isn’t as hard as it sounds. In fact, it can be quite fun! The bonding we do over our garden has deepend our relationship and has acted as a teaching tool for life lessons.

Below are some great tips for gardening with kids that you can use if you’re just starting or have been gardening with your kids for a while.  [Read more…]

Pregnancy Issues in the Third Trimester

I’m taking care of pregnancy issues and LBL with Poise® Microliners as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #LifesLittleLeaks

Pregnancy Issues in the Third Trimester including LBL #LifesLittleLeaks

I’m about a third away through the third trimester and I have to say that it is not as easy the third time around! From aches, pains, LBL, and more, I’ve found that there’s new pregnancy issues just about every day.

Luckily I’ve found a few ways to help these issues and make them more tolerable as I count down the days to meeting my third little bundle of joy.  [Read more…]

Car Care: Tips to Keep Your Car Organized

We’re sharing tips on how to keep your car organized using Rubbermaid Backseat Mobile Organizer products from Walmart, as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #WalmartAuto

Tips to Keep Your Car Organized - if you have little kids, you know how messy they can be! Here are some tips to help. #WalmartAuto

Before having kids I had no clue that car care would completely change once the little ones arrived. Now that my kids are older I’ve started to realize why cars are now coming out with vacuums built into them. OMG these guys are messy!

Luckily there are some great solutions to keep your car organized and make sure that the “stuff” that kids bring in either find a home or find their way back out of the car.

I’ve come up with a few tips to make sure this happens in our family car. And I’ve made sure that the kids are involved every step of the way. I mean it is mostly their mess we’re organizing so it’s only fair!  [Read more…]

Preserving Summer Memories: How to Make a Great Photo Book

I’m proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy for the “Summer Snapshots” Photo campaign featuring how to make a great photo book. All opinions expressed about CVS/pharmacy are my own.

Preserving Summer Memories How to Make a Great Photo BookIf you’re like me, and I’m sure most are, you probably take a lot of photos with your smart phone to share on social media or via text or email. But what do you do with your photos after you’ve taken them? Do you take the time to download, transfer, or even print them out?

Since my trip to CVS last month I’ve realized how easy it really is to turn those photos I post to Facebook or Instagram and create a fun memory book full of all of the moments I captured.

I shared how easy it is to make a photo book at CVS but didn’t go into the details of what to include in a photo book to preserve those summer memories. Below I’ve outlined a few tips that have helped streamline the photo book process for me.  [Read more…]

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