Sunday, October 9, 2016

Weathering the Storm

I don’t think it was much of a secret amongst our family and friends that we wanted a large family, once we started building our family.

We had our share of challenges when trying to add to our family in 2011-2012 that included two miscarriages until we got our Aleesia rainbow baby.

2016 has turned into a year that I never imagined from a reproductive standpoint.

In February we were pleased to see two pink lines of a pregnancy test – cautiously optomistic and quiet about our new little secret. The day before my first OB appointment I started spotting and I just KNEW in that moment that this wasn’t going to be a positive outcome. After a series of appointments, phone calls, blood tests and so much uncertainty, false hope and a whole lot of tears – it was confirmed that pregnancy was lost. It was a really hard, emotional, period for myself and Mike. But it also confirmed that yes, we with 100% certainty did want to add to our family.

Fast forward to late April/early May, another two pink lines. This time we had a chemical pregnancy – but that didn’t make it any less sad or disappointing.

Fast forward again to the end of June, you see where this is going? Two more pink lines. This time we went through weeks of blood tests, more uncertainty, and ultimately the loss of another pregnancy.  I can’t begin to explain to you the dark places my brain was going at this point and I was back to wondering if this was going to be the path for us to add to our family because, quite honestly, I don’t know if I could handle another consecutive loss.

We decided to go back to the RE just in case – the OB office I have gone to for a long time was really unhelpful throughout this entire year of sadness and hearbreak and confusion. We went through more testing, additional genetic testing, etc. etc.

The biggest surprise of all – is that the same cycle we were getting our ducks in a row with the RE, we got pregnant, again. To say that I was absolutely terrified would be an understatement. But I was also confident that I was now in the most capable hands. I received constant attention, weekly ultrasounds and a lot of “this is going well, we are doing all we can” reassurance – and at 12 weeks, I was released from the RE to regular OB care.

I am still scared and really guarded but that is not to downplay the excitement. Everytime I see/hear that heart beating I cry, a lot. I feel a little less scared and a little more excited.

In April, if everything goes as planned, we will be adding our 4th take-home baby to this crazy happy life. Proving that as a result of every storm, there really is a rainbow at the end.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

#SharetheLuv–diapers are a necessity! #spon #ad

A lot of our friends are living the diaper-free life, but we are not quite in that boat yet. I spend a lot of time (& I always have) trying to figure out which diapers are a) the best fit and b) the best deal so I feel as though we’ve tried them all many times!

I’ve been given the opportunity to try Luvs again (thanks, iConnect!) – they have made so many improvements since I last tried them.

Luvs Product Pack Shot

Luvs are now softer and more absorbent than ever before and they feature large, refastenable stretch tabs – this is one of my favorite parts because anyone who’s ever diapered a wiggling, squirming kiddo knows that you don’t always get it right the first time! More than that, ensuring that right fit remains through toddler running and baby crawling is important too – the contoured Luvs shape really keeps a great fit adn the softness is gentle on baby’s skin.

The ultra-leakage protection (with Nightlock PlustTM) is a great quality – sometimes we get busy and don’t get to that diaper change soon enough or sometimes (for those lucky parents….) they sleep a loooong time at night, so that extra protection is key to a dry wakeup!

In the spirit of keeping life as affordable as possible, Luvs is offering a $2 off any diaper pack coupon*. Print this coupon at home and use it any mass, discount or grocery stores where Luvs Diapers are sold –they come in size newborn to 6 with fun designs.  (you might even find some other useful coupons on, too!)

Luvs $2 Print-at-Home Coupon Image


Don’t just take my word for it, though – Luvs has the Luvs Money Back Guarantee – if you aren’t satisfied with the leakage protection of Luvs, they’ll refund your money – visit fo rmore inforamtion. I had no idea they did that!


Find out more about Luvs Diapers at their website ( or the brand social media channels


Check out Luvs (again, if you have in the past), use the coupon and report back to me if you find them to be a great fit for you little one – #SharetheLuv!



*excludes trial/travel sized diaper packs and coupon expires 30 days from the date printed.

This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Practicing Grace

We were recently at a park with the girls and Mike and I noticed a set of parents pushing a double stroller and a single – I smiled at them thinking to myself what a full life they have right now. The mom stopped me on our way out to the car and asked what the age difference in our kids was, she thought they might all be 2 years apart, like hers, and she was so honest with me (a perfect stranger)– asking, when does this get easier?!  It turns out her kiddos were 3.5, 2 and 1 month old – and I told her, just as honestly, that it won’t feel easier for a while but then one day she’ll realize that it just IS easier than it was the day before. I encouraged her to keep doing everything she was already doing and when there was a moment of quiet in the chaos to hang on to it and remember it when that chaos ramped back up because she was doing a great job.


This season of life, it is so difficult to navigate some days (and by some, I mean a lot) and can feel so lonely. I am a little bummed that we were at an out of town park or I totally would have asked her to meet me for coffee or back at the park but I hope that quick conversation helped to keep her going the next time she was feeling the heat of taking care of three little ones.

That encounter has been on my mind for the last week or so, mostly because despite being surrounded by a truly wonderful, supportive village - there are a lot of times that I still feel very alone and isolated.  As hard as I try to make sure everyone (& that includes me) is respectful, following the rules, being kind and helpful there are just (so many) moments where that doesn’t happen & I find myself feeling so defeated and thinking “why can’t we all just get along.” Moments of the day where these three blue-eyed beauties are truly running right over me – and then doing it all over again.


I’ve found myself lately really beating myself up for the moments that don’t go well and that just isn’t fair at all - I need to remember the advise that I gave that mom at the park – to find a memory of peace and joy to hang on to as I pull everyone through a tantrum & then pat myself on the back (really quickly) for a job well done when the chaos subsides.


It can be hard though, we dwell on the things that don’t go as we hoped way too much instead of the things that went perfectly. In the middle of one of those especially chaotic moments between the hours of 4:30 & 8 I heard the lyrics “it won’t be like this for long” and just cried a little – because it won’t. It won’t be this type of toddler/preschool/early elementary school chaos for long – it will be replaced by something else, I am certain, but someday the chaos won’t be followed-up by dance parties and sweet toddler snuggles.

For now, I need to remember to practice grace (for me and in my parenting), to remember it’s okay to lean in on my village when I need it and that it really won’t be like this for long – these moment’s don’t last forever and whatever frustration is happening will be gone soon.

So, I’m reminding you too – give yourself grace, you are doing the best job & if today didn’t go the way you wanted, tomorrow is a new day. We’re in this together – raising up awesome little humans and also raising ourselves (& our spouses & friends) up as we continue to grow in life.

And if everyone could be as happy as Aleesia is when she gets her face painted like a cat, the world would be a much smilier place!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tidbits & Hilarity

Life is constantly a special type of chaos, blessings & hilarity.

The hilarity (& chaos) is usually brought about by the girls, naturally. Having a threenager alongside 2 other kids has been a challenge - it is hard to keep a watchful eye 100% of the time! Some tidbits and snipits from our summer:

- Aleesia drew a mural on the dining room wall. While in timeout. To her credit, it IS a good cat...

- Aleesia also cut her own hair while I thought she was coloring.

- Vivian learned to open the doors and has let the dog out more than a few times.

- Gianna learned to ride her bike on 2 wheels and has experienced the freedom that comes with that. Such an awesome big kid milestone. Also one I never experienced!

- Vivian learned to climb out of her crib. She's only done it once so far, but I am not naive enough to believe that will be the last time.

- they all three love to put the boppy pillow around the tops of their heads like a wig and make each other laugh until they cry. It is hilarious!

- Aleesia learned to swim under water! And Gianna has improved her swimming skills so much as well. Vivian just wants to walk right off the edge of the pool & give everyone a heart attack.

- The kids have spent every moment we've allowed them playing with all of the neighborhood kids & it has been busy but amazing watching their friendships grow & these memories made.

There is so much more that has happened and memories that have been created - someday I'll get to all of them!
School starts this week for G and next week for A - we are ready but not at the same time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Disney World 2016: Hollywood Studios

Our first park day this trip was to Hollywood Studios. There is a lot of dreamworking going on in this park right now so we planned a character dinner and waited until after lunch to head to the park. It was a really nice, low-key morning at the pool which helped us to enjoy our park time!

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The Disney Jr. characters are outside of the Disney Jr. theater instead of inside like they have been in years past (inside now is Star Wars themed, Mike and G met Chewbaca!) so the kids were hot and sweaty, but I think my littles enjoyed meeting some of their favorite animated characters even if they seem a little skeptical!


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We had a snack break after riding Toy Storia Mania (which remains one of the most fun rides!) near where the new Toy Story land will be – that is going to be a super fun part of the park.

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Then we found Mickey and Minnie. The line was slow moving so I was glad we had some entertainment with us!

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We followed this up with dinner at Hollywood and Vine – Minnie’s Springtime Dine ate here last trip and the food was terrible. This time? That was thankfully not the case! The food was great and the character interaction was superb! I tried so hard to capture Aleesia’s amazing surprise/happy face that she made each time she saw a character – it was the best!

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Our next stop was to see Olaf! This was for sure the kids’ favorite.5.30  (182)

We did Frozen Forever which is the best sing-a-long ever. The kids had the best time. Then we rode Star Tours – it was my first time riding it and it was fun even if I have never seen Star Wars.

We stayed for Fantasmic (we got VIP seats with our dinner) for the first time since we’ve gone with kids. I am so glad we stayed, even if Aleesia got scared at the end. Gianna LOVED it!5.30  (194)5.30  (195)5.30  (1)


Right now, in my opinion, this is a half day park – especially if you take advantage of late extra magic hours and/or don’t have thrill seekers who want to ride ToT or Rockin’ Rollercoaster. There are huge improvements coming and we can’t wait to go back to Hollywood Studios once all of the new areas are finished, it is going to be so great! And hopefully next time I can convince at least one of the kids to ride Tower of Terror with me!