October For Us

Saturday, October 31, 2015

 Sorry for all the blurry pictures, we forgot the camera for most of our trips and had to use the phone.

Happy Saturday everyone! October has been a busy, yet very fun month for us. We've had doctor's appointments, field trips, colds and meltdowns from the kids and myself! Josiah had a complication this week with his skin and the boots so that was a bit tough for him and sleeping, but we have managed to get through the month. 
Today is Halloween and although much of the population celebrates this day, we do not. Halloween for us is just another day. I have never celebrated the holiday myself. We are non-denominational Christians so my family has literally never celebrated this day, I don't remember feeling like I missed out on anything though. Now before you start feeling bad for me and our kids or thinking I take the fun out of the day for them, let me give you a breakdown of what we do instead.
At the beginning of October we buy the boy's costumes and they can wear them anytime they want! Once Halloween is over we will buy the clearance specials for more dress up options. This year they chose Batman and Ironman and they practically lived in them all month. 
They get candy all month long. We give them a candy sporadically as a treat whenever they want, so there is no hyper active kids who have had loads of candy in one night! I couldn't handle the craziness, I am only 1 person!
We went to the pumpkin patch with them 3 times this month! They love it and always have a blast running through the hay maze, doing the hay ride and feeding the farm animals. Of course we bring pumpkins home to decorate the house for Fall and they had a hand in decorating with us.
Our church has a Hallelujah night where kids from our church and the public are welcome to come and play games, do arts and crafts, win prizes and candy. The kids look forward to that night every year and literally never want to leave the church when it's time to come home!
Last night we did a movie sleepover night in the living room. We watched 'Shaun the sheep' and 'Home', which by the way are very funny kid movies and the boys loved them. We stayed up until 10pm laughing and snacking and they were so happy I slept with them in the living room on our bed made of layers of blankets (yes I woke up with a crick in my neck). Today our church is having a special service, so we will be attending that.
So as you can see our family stays busy the month of October and the kids don't feel they miss out on anything. The only reason we don't celebrate this day is because it has nothing to do with God. Every holiday has a meaning for celebration: Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, Easter to celebrate when Jesus rose from the dead, Thanksgiving to be thankful for what God gives us, such as family and friends. Halloween has no Godly representation and a lot of the holiday represents evil. Abram and Eli actually get really scared around this holiday and watch a lot less tv cartoons and hate the scary decor in the yards and stores. I have to remind them that none of that stuff is real and the scary stories are not true.
For those of you going out tonight please be safe and indeed have fun. For great safety tips check here! Have a great start to November!

Trust Your Melody

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

In September I ran across a post on Facebook saying I could win this book, which chronicled a clubfoot mom's journey, by commenting (basically bragging!!) about the best dad I know. Of course my father has been an amazing man to me, and I love him to death! However I have never seen a man work for 10-12 hours a day and still come home and do what Luis does, so naturally I bragged about him. I remember thinking, "there's no way I'll win." I have never won anything in my life! The surprise came a few days later when I checked Facebook and I had, in fact won! I was so extremely happy, I could not stop smiling!

I waited for the mail to bring my anticipated package for days! It was coming from Australia so I had to be patient, but honestly it was hard. When it finally arrived I could not wait to dive into it and forget the rest of the world.
 I was finally going to read and connect with someone who had endured something I had.
 Honestly, I love the clubfoot moms I have found on Facebook, we all seem to understand each other so well and cheer for our little champs with every milestone.
 I already felt connected to Lana and I have so much love for this woman for being such a huge voice in the clubfoot community and speaking out for all clubfoot mamas.

I will not go into too many details about the book because I feel it is a book every mother should read and enjoy without spoilers- besides anything I say will fall short of how you will feel while reading it yourself.
Trust your Melody chronicles Lana Mayes and all her raw emotion from the time she was told her unborn baby boy would have Clubfoot. Zachary turned her world upside down and although she felt constant fear and faced trembling hands, over time she learned to trust her mothering melody.
Zachery endured not only clubfoot, but reflux as well, in turn Lana had it tough for a first time mother.
 I cannot even put into words how much admiration I have for this mother. She is not afraid to go into detail about what she felt and how vulnerable she was through it all. She offers tips to get through parenting, clubfoot, reflux and general life! Her wisdom is astounding.  The book will captivate you from start to finish.

I absolutely love Trust Your Melody not only because it is a clubfoot community book, but because it is such an empowering book. It's not just a story it's fact. You feel like you are there while you're reading it, like you are living this journey with them- although sometimes you'll wonder, how she even does it! She shares her life so beautifully and makes me proud to be a clubfoot family. In the end you get up from that last chapter ready to take on the world, deformity in the way or not!

Thank you so much Lana for sharing so much of yourself and your family, you did it so exquisitely. Your book is pure perfection! You inspire me to continue my journey as a clubfoot advocate with my freelance writing. You are truly amazing.

I urge you to pick up a copy of this well written book and trust me your life will be changed. 
You can find it at the links above. If you have Facebook you can follow Lana here.
Thanks for reading!

Get To Know Me

Monday, October 26, 2015

I want to do a monthly "get to know me" post, where my readers can ask me stuff about myself, my family, products I use, routines, Josiah's treatment, etc. So I will start it this time, but over the next few weeks feel free to email me or reach me at any of my social media links, with a question you would like answered for the following month. 
I will start with some basics that I have already been asked by readers and also some things I want to share about myself.

-Why did I start a blog? When I first started blogging in 2013 I was just blogging to find my voice. I needed a place to vent. Eli was just 6 months old and looking back now, I'm pretty sure I had some sort of postpartum depression. I felt very isolated and alone after having him. Luis went back to work some rough hours and I was alone most of the time with the kids. I had lost a few friends and the ones I had labeled me a "snob mom", but the reality was I felt like I had lost myself somewhere in the process of becoming a mother of 2 and nobody understood me. I even remember my mom having issues with the way I was mothering at that time, so that fell really hard on me as well. I felt like blogging was my little voice trying to be heard. Like somewhere someone, maybe, could relate.

-How big is my family? I am the youngest of 8!.... Yes 8! Both my parents were married prior to meeting. My dad had a boy and a girl, and my mom had a boy and a girl. Once they married, they had 2 boys and 2 girls. So that makes a total of 4 boys and 4 girls, me being the youngest and most protected by all- which made it tough to do anything! Trust me I define the word 'overprotected'.... but really, I absolutely love having a big family. I can't imagine not having all my siblings. I love them to death! I am glad we ended up having 3 boys because siblings is literally the best gift you could give your kids. You automatically have best friends and someone to play with and talk to everyday!

-What is my biggest pet peeve? Okay this is probably going to sound really weird, but I cannot stand having a dirty kitchen when I am going to cook. If I have dishes piled or the counters are busy, I have to clear all that before I can start cooking. I don't know why, but yeah, that's something that gets me in a pretty messed up mood. Especially if I'm hungry! Haha

-What is one thing my household cannot live without? Oh my gosh, there are so many things that run my household that you would think we are crazy if I list some, but the main thing is wipes. My family could not be wipeless. We have wipes in the bathroom, clearly for all the butts I clean. In the kitchen for quick clean ups when someone has sticky hands. In the car we usually carry 2 because kids just touch everything and aside from sanitizer, wipes are my go to. Plus sometimes I'm in a hurry and forget to restock the diaper bag. If they are not stocked in any of these places something usually goes wrong. Wipes.

-What does my husband do? I get this question a lot. People always ask how we can afford me staying home with 5 mouths to feed and 2 dogs mouths to feed. Well, Luis is a 911 dispatcher. He has been doing that for 10 years now. He works 10 hours a day, sometimes 12- 4 days a week. It's tough because he is away a lot, and when he is home he sleeps a lot. However during his time with us he really does give us 110% of himself. He helps me so much with the kids and around the house. He cooks and cleans and takes great care of our landscaping. He plays with the boys everyday! I rarely see him rest, he really does try hard to give us everything. We couldn't ask for a better head of our home.

-What kind of skincare routine I have? I have spoken about this before, but this is probably the most popular question I get. I wash my face daily with Purity by Philosophy. I swear by this stuff, it is the only thing that works for my skin. I used to have really bad acne and this stuff put a stop to that. I also pair it with my Calrisonic Mia, which gives me a deep clean when I really feel my skin dirty from all the makeup and grime of the day. I pat my face dry with a washcloth I switch out every 2 days. I then apply my absolute favorite eye cream Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream. I love this eye cream because despite the fact I do not sleep very well, most people can never tell. I feel like I have bags under my eyes that fall to the floor, but you can never see them. It has caffeine in it so it naturally wakes up and refreshes the skin. For a day cream I use Sheer Transformation and for bedtime I use High Potency Night A Mins by Origins. My skin is the best it's ever been so I really recommend each of these products. My friend started this routine a month ago and has already seen a difference! 

Sorry for the goofy pic, but this is my most recent makeup free pic.
I thinkin this one you can tell how tired I am 

Something I love to do? Walk. I love daily walks with my boys. Its clears my head and makes me feel like I have a bit more energy to handle the day. We try to get out daily, but sometimes I get lazy.

So there you have me. Some insight into my life and family. I hope this helps you to get to know me more and feel a bit more connected to our life.
Thanks so much to those of you subscribed and to those who read every post. I really appreciate the patronage and ongoing support! XO

Tough Week

Friday, October 23, 2015

I have had a pretty tough week. I hate to complain and I'm not one to grovel in self pity, but I am one exhausted mother! 
For those of you who think a stay at home mom has an easy job, you are so incredibly wrong! It may seem like we don't do much, but trust me we do. We wake up in the morning to take on the day with loads of coffee and even more loads of grace. We don't get to clock out at 5 o'clock to go home to kids who have missed us and want to tell us about their day. We never clock out and are always home with kids who have colored the walls and thrown tantrums because they can't have popsicles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We make meals, clean the house, do the laundry, wash the dishes, run the errands- all with just one hand- while the other hand cleans boogers and tears, changes diapers, wipes butts, plays super heros and colors endless pictures in coloring books. 
A stay at home mom's thoughts are never her own because they get jammed with legos. She gets interrupted while in the bathroom, if she gets to go at all. She forgets if she showered or not, and while in the shower forgets if she shampooed her hair. There is always screaming or crying in the background of her phone calls, so it's better to just call her back in 5 years- actually make that 10.
There is never a full nights sleep ever again, which is probably the hardest part because she is expected to function and be a superhero in the morning. Just when she thinks she is going to sleep, the next door neighbor's dog barks and wakes up her tired baby who will not go back to sleep until he nurses, yet again- this happens every hour to 2 hours a night. So if you calculate that is only 3-4 hours of sleep total.
Lord forbid stay at home moms get sick, because she can not rest or recoup and on top of that she probably gets everyone else in the house sick as well. Although her whole body may hurt when she is sick she still has to do some sort of gymnastics while bathing the kids. She has to hold those babies and kiss those scrapes regardless of her feeling stuffy and weak.
Once a month she is cranky and irritable and widely misunderstood for being a mean mom when all she wants is a heating pad, chocolate cake and a romantic movie that makes her cry it all out.
So please, next time you see a stay at home mom and think how easy her job may be, think again. Try to remember she is very very very sleep deprived, probably never gets a minute alone, and her house might be dirty, but believe me she is definitely trying to keep it together. Most of us try to juggle it all while staying sane, keeping the kids alive and healthy, and trying to remember we love our life.
 This is my motto these days!

Rain Boots

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Rain boots are a must for our boys. Abram has always had a pair since he was about 2. He loves to play in them even when it's not raining. Well, Abram grew out of the last pair he had over the summer, so he kept reminding us he needed another pair. Eli gets Abram's hand me downs so he always has a pair. We try to make sure they have some before the rain season actually comes because then they are impossible to find!

Carter's Fireman Rain Boots
Yesterday we stopped by Carters and they had these in stock, thankfully because we checked 3 stores before finally finding these. Abram already loves them. 
I thought I should share because these are great quality boots. Abram's first pair ever were Carter's brand and they lasted him a really long time. Currently these are on sale from $44 down to $24 and if you use this coupon in stores or online you can save even more. We ended up paying only $19.00 for the boots! That's a pretty good deal to me for a pair of boots he will most likely use for the next year or 2. We also bought the boys matching christmas pj's for the christmas photo shoot we do every year! I absolutely love them and can not wait to see them in their cute little get up!! I swear Carter's has some of the cutest clothes ever!
Make sure to like their Facebook page to get weekly coupons and read about awesome sales!
Have a wonderful day!!

Making Progress

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Yesterday we made the nearly 4 hour drive to Josiah's orthopedic doctor. I was so excited because I couldn't wait for the doctor to tell me he was doing great, but I was nervous that I was wrong, and  instead he would tell me the opposite. 
Well I am so overjoyed to say I was right and Josiah is making excellent progress!!! I thanked the doctor so much for doing Josiah's surgery properly. I hear and see so many stories of parent who are living the nightmare of improper care, multiple heel cord surgeries, or not enough castings done. This was my biggest fear with Josiah's treatment, that somehow we would have to relive everything all over again. I feel so blessed to have gotten doctors who knew exactly what they were doing and explained everything to us not leaving us in the dark. I know God is Josiah's main doctor and he is on constant watch of my little man's feet and for that I have to thank him each and every day.
The doctor said I was doing a great job with Josiah's feet. I realized, then, that I had not given myself credit. Luis chimed in saying how I was, and I am always on top of everything. I felt so glad that I was having a part in Josiah's progress. I am the one who puts his shoes on daily afterall. If I had not been doing it right or not putting them on at all, Josiah's feet would not be doing this great. Clubfoot moms, don't forget to give yourself some credit. Our dedication is our contribution to our kid's treatment.
 Josiah had been in his boots for a month now, and in that month he had gotten a bit of athlete's foot and some blisters. I immediately spoke with some of the clubfoot moms on Facebook to figure out why and what to do. 
Athlete's foot is quite common with clubfoot babies, since their feet are 23 hours a day in boots and don't get enough air exposure between the toes. It had also been extremely hot here lately so the sweat had made some little cuts between his toes. I found that by putting coconut oil during down time and loads of powder in his socks during boot wear, made this problem disappear. I followed that routine religiously for about a week until it finally cleared.
The blisters he had gotten were around his ankle, which from what the boot specialist said were due to the plastic insert material inside the boot. The material had been rubbing on the more prominent parts of his ankles and made them chapped. He put moleskin on that part of the boot to see if it helped. In the meantime I had discovered blister bandaids gave him some relief as well.
I have never been so obsessed with feet before Josiah was born. You know you're a clubfoot momma when feet is something that never escapes your mind. I am, infact, always on top of everything because I know that my sons progress is my #1 priority. I look forward to the day when he no longer has to wear his brace, but until then I have to make sure everything is done correctly, there is no room for error.
 I would say Josiah's first month in boots and bar has been a good one. We have ran into a few hiccups, but nothing we weren't able to overcome. We won't be back to his doctor until January and by then he will be nearing 9 months old, which is when he will be able to wear the boots for napping and nighttime only. I can't wait! We will definitely be celebrating with new "normal" shoes!
Thanks so much for reading, have a great day!

Johnson's On Sick Days

Saturday, October 17, 2015

It has been a hot mess around here lately. Abram started coughing on Wednesday and by Thursday Josiah and I had runny noses and coughs as well. I was so happy Eli was the only one of them who still wasn't sick! Usually he is the first one to start coughing and when he got sick it lasted about a month of hacking and a leaky nose from him. I really believe the probiotics have made his immune system a bit stronger.

Thursday night I got absolutely no sleep. Josiah kept waking up because his nose was plugged up. I had to use the saline drops and the aspirator twice. Part of the night I held him upright on the rocking chair. You can imagine the amount of energy I would have had Friday. When I woke up to take Abram to school I felt like I had just fallen asleep. I was a walking zombie for sure! I ended up taking a nap, courtesy of the hubby!

When Josiah was born a friend of mine gave me a Johnson's Baby gift basket and it came with this awesome product! I use it for the boy's bath when they are stuffed up and it helps them out with all those boogers. I love it and it smells divine, so it's definitely a must have around our house now. 

I have used Johnson's Baby products for all my boys. I have tried other products before, but have not been impressed. My boys have always had sensitive skin and people would tell me to use this or that, however I have never seen a bad reaction from Johnson's. There is a reason they are the #1 trusted product for hospitals. My mother used them on me and they have been around forever! It's affordable and you can find it anywhere. This powder is also a must in our home to help with the chaffing of Josiah's boot wear. It works great clubfoot mammas.

 Next time your little one gets stuffy or a bit under the weather definitely try this product, I'm sure you will love it as much as I do.

On Monday we will be taking Josiah for his 1 month brace check! I can't believe it's already been 1 month of him in his 23/7 boot wear! Time is flying. His feet look great so we are hoping the dr is happy with his progress.
Have a wonderful weekend!

*This is not a sponsored post.
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