Being Brickner

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mama's Day Exchange

Happy halfway through the week, friends!  I'm so excited to stop in and share a few fun little goodies from an Mother's Day exchange I recently did with some lovely ladies, all who are fellow mamas that I absolutely adore.  We love fun mail at our house, Waverly gets so excited when she drives up to see "a package!" (it might happen way too much), and this was especially fun because it was mainly for me!!!!  A nice change indeed. :)


Amanda sent over the sweetest, most thoughtful package ever!  It was full of stuff for my new business, along with stuff to relax, a scrub, nail polish, and even a cute romper for Avalon.  I truly loved it and am so thankful to have friends across the country who are so supportive of me and my little family.  I've said it a million times, surrounding yourself with good people, especially in this season of life is so important, and I am forever grateful for people just like these.  The biggest thank you to Amanda and her little cuties!  We got to send some fun stuff to our friends Jess, Cam & Louise, you can see what we got them here.  And for a list of the other moms & blogs that participated, look below!

Laura @ Tiny Toes, Little Nose
Jessica @ The Newly
Jessi @ Jessi's Design
Courtney @ A+ Life

Lastly, this weekend can't get here fast enough!  I'm so excited to celebrate the women in our life, something about being a mom yourself just makes you appreciate those women that much more, right?!  The weather is supposed to be nice so I'm thinking lots of outside time, lots of relaxing, and lots of brunching is on the agenda.  If you follow me on IG, you may have seen that we got a headstart on that, Avalon's first donut!  And she loved it, she's got a sweet tooth like mama & sissy. :)


Wishing you all a lovely day!
XO

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Mama Moment

I think most of my fellow mama friends would agree, it's always more fun to talk about the good parts of motherhood.  The days where you rock it, your kids are patient, sweet, and smiling, well-fed, clean, looking adorable & even color-coordinated.  The floors are swept and the sink is free of dishes, and crazy enough, the laundry is clean and put away in its correct places.

We have a lot of those, and they are wonderful.  Absolutely 100% wonderful.  And most of the time, we have a lot more of that than the hard stuff.  I've said it before, our transition to two has actually been fairly easy, definitely way easier than we ever thought it would be, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't look at both my daughter's faces & think that my heart literally may burst.

But sometimes I think it's okay (and important) to talk about the difficult parts, too.  The moments that you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and overworked.  We all have them, and we all deserve to, without feeling bad about it.  And the entire reason I write that is to remind myself of exactly that.

I had a few difficult days in a row a couple weeks ago, pretty much a string of hard moments that usually aren't that big of a deal but for whatever reason, they were.  Waverly was being "three", Avalon was being mobile & shutting her fingers in drawer after drawer, the house was a mess, and I felt like I couldn't keep up with anything, work or home related.  I found myself counting down the minutes until nap or bedtime and then, feeling the biggest case of mom guilt ever for it.  Which of course made everything worse, until finally, I unraveled.  I officially lost my patience, raised my voice more then I should have with Waverly, sat Avalon in her crib and just walked away to give myself a little time-out of my own.

As horrible as it felt to hit such a low, I look back now & am so glad I did.  Sometimes it takes moments like that to build yourself back up, and while you are at it, to give yourself some grace.  I think as moms that we all put way too much pressure on ourselves (I'm at the front of the line), and that at the end of the day, we need to remind ourselves that there is no reason to be ashamed or feel bad for feeling tired or overwhelmed.  We are human, and most importantly, we are not alone.  For every moment that you feel that way, there's another mama somewhere feeling exactly the same way, we are all in this together and we will all push through together! :)

I'm reminded all of the time of how incredibly resilient children are.  I felt so bad for losing my patience with my girls & was positive that they would remember it forever.  Of course, Waverly came running in within minutes wanting me to play tea party and dolls with her, telling me how much she loved me & saying "mommy, I missded you".  Avalon was coming in for kisses, her new favorite party trick that seriously melts me every time.  I'm not always perfect, but to them, I am.  And there is no better feeling than that.

My Shoes - Bag C/O Seaport Stitches
Wishing all of the moms out there the happiest Mother's Day week!  You are strong, beautiful rock stars - and I promise you, your little ones are positive that you hung the moon.  Even on the days that you definitely don't feel that way about yourself.  Lots of love & hugs from me to you! XO

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Groupon Coupons

This is a sponsored post; all opinions & thoughts are my own.  Thanks for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! #GrouponCoupons

You know we love to spend money around here, which also means that we like to save money - because that totally justifies buying more later, right?!  I might just be a believer in the whole "if it's on sale, you have to buy it, it would be wrong if you didn't!".  And I might just be raising two little girls who love shopping as much as their mama.


We have been big fans of Groupon forever, I've found so many good deals on there, mainly on fun events to take the girls to or a random good deal on getting my nails done (which happens once a year or so!). I was recently introduced to Groupon Coupons, which I love even more!  So many of these are fashion-based, stores that we all love and are looking for a good excuse to go to.

Some of my favorite deals right now, the ones at Nordstrom & at Canon.  Both places I would love to get Mother's Day gifts from, if anyone close to me that has a name that starts with the letter J is reading. ;)

You can find out more information about Groupon Coupons on both their Facebook page and their Twitter.  Happy, happy shopping! XO

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Strawberry Picking

Over the weekend, we took the girls strawberry picking, one of our favorite traditions of the year!!  Last time we went, I was 36 weeks pregnant, hot as hell, and dreaming of what bringing both our little ladies would be like.  And of course, it was way better than I ever imagined.  These kinds of memories are the absolute best, the ones that make all the craziness so very worth it.

Waverly's Dress (Similar) - Avalon's Shirt
We came home with buckets of strawberries, some crushed, and made a steak & salmon dinner with the yummiest strawberry shortcake for dessert.  We have had a crazy start to the new year with my new job & things are finally starting to settle down, this little family outing was exactly what we needed and I enjoyed every single minute.  
Even the random gas station we had to make a pit stop at for an emergency toddler potty break AND the strawberry stains I have been cleaning ever since. :)

PS.  One for the memory books, because I'm seriously obsessed with everything Waverly Maye says lately.  On our drive she asked Avalon what she wanted for her birthday (from her), then of course answered for her, "oh, a horse, I'll get that for you.  Or candy.  Which one?"  Because obviously they are exactly the same sort of thing.

PPS.  Kids hunter boots like the pair Waverly are wearing are on sale!!!  There are three options, these for toddler, little and big kid, and these or these for just little and big kid.  We LOVE Hunter boots, they are some of Waverly's favorite shoes to wear and they just make everything extra cute.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pastina & Probiotics

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyLittleRemedies #CollectiveBias

Happy Monday, I'm excited to kick off the new week with a tried & true recipe that has been passed down in my family for many generations.  My grandfather is Italian and no doubt the cook in our family, some of my favorite memories growing up are days spent running around in their huge backyard and then coming inside to a kitchen table full of food.  All made with so much love! :)

One of my favorites was always pastina, a chicken-broth based soup that is simple and delicious.  We always had this, especially when we were sick, my grandmother would even drive it to my house, in tupperware & wrapped in aluminum foil with a hand-written note on top. ;)  Now they do the exact same for my girls, Waverly loves it so much and it's become a favorite of Avalon's as well.  The little noodles and simple taste just make it perfect for little ones.  


Ingredients:  One 32 Ounce Box of Chicken Broth, Two Chicken Cubes, One Box of Orzo Pastina, Grated Italian Parmesan Cheese, Salt & Pepper to Taste.


1.  Put the chicken broth in a pot & bring to a boil, dissolve cubes in broth and reduce heat to simmer.
2.  Boil the orzo in water according to the directions on the box.
3.  Drain orzo and add to the broth.
4.  Add 1/4 cup of Italian cheese or your preference.
5.  Salt & pepper to taste.

And enjoy!


Even though my girls love this sick or not, it's definitely our go-to when any of us aren't feeling well.  Which this year, has happened more than ever, I think a direct result of Waverly being in preschool for the first time.  We have been trying to do everything we can to stay well, eating & drinking well, washing our hands like craaaaazy, and another recent favorite, the new Little Remedies® Probiotic Plus Electolytes.  These dissolving powders (which are berry flavored!) are great dietary supplements for little ones, they support digestive health and help maintain hydration.  And they are the only pediatric product that combines a probiotic and electrolytes in one convenient packet!  They contain no artificial flavors, artificial dyes, or parabens.  We've used Little Remedies products before and have loved them all, they are a great option for mamas who want to give their children the best, which I know is all of us!  

You can find Little Remedies Probiotic Plus Electrolytes in the digestive aisle at Target, find more reasons to love them here.  And take advantage of a fun special offer, a $5 Target gift card for purchasing one Little Remedies product, which runs through May 14th.


Here's to healthy and happy little ones. :)  And wishing you a very happy week! XO

*This statement has not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Spring Bucket List

I know we're already a few weeks into spring, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the things we have planned to get into over the next couple of months!  Being outside is our favorite & nothing makes me happier than the weather warming up after hibernating inside (or at Target) for what feels like forever.  I'm extra excited this year since I'm not in my third trimester of pregnancy, so I'm a little more mobile, and Avalon is old enough to actually enjoy most of what we do!


1.  Bike Ride.  We bought a bike trailer a few years back when Waverly was little, it fits two and I'm so excited to put both girls in it for some family bike rides!

2.  The Zoo.  One of our favorite activities, we are really looking forward to be able to do this again!  They also have a splash pad when it really warms up.

3.  Homemade Popsicles.  Love this round-up of two ingredient recipes, I know both girls would absolutely love them and I feel like if it's only two ingredients, it's realistic that I will do it.  And how cute are these molds?!

4.  Picnic at the Park.  We did this the other night on our back porch and then the following day for lunch, it was such a refreshing change.  Would love to try it at park in our neighborhood as well!

5.  Sidewalk Chalk & Painting Party Outside.  I'll be the first to admit that our afternoons of painting were few & far between over the winter, it's just so.much.MESS that the thought of it is sometimes too much.  But outside?!  YES! :)  Hope the neighbors don't mind the sight of two naked girlies outside painting soon.

6.  DIY Projects.  We have quite a few house projects we want to attempt, painting our fence and cleaning out the backyard are two of them.  And an inside project, my husband drove to Ikea last week to get the hemnes coffee table (since we love our dresser so much) and I'm so excited to hack it.

7.  Botanical Gardens.  Can't wait to do this!!!

8.  Wash our Cars.  We've never done this with Waverly & I feel like she would be all about it.

9.  Adventuring.  We've already been doing some of this lately, just spending time outside!  Our backyard is great for this, one of my favorite parts of our house.


10.  Beach Trips.  This is one of my favorite times of year to go to the beach, since it's not quite that busy yet or too hot to really enjoy it.  The girls & I have ventured there just to explore lately and it is so, so much fun, the perfect activity to just let them be free and tire them out for bedtime.

And a couple photos from yesterday, we pulled out our spring dresses for the sunshine and oh, how happy it makes me!  As do they.


What are some of your favorite activities for spring?!  And wishing you all the happiest weekend with WARM weather.  XO

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sister Similarities & Differences

I often find myself comparing the girls, or being surprised when Avalon loves something that Waverly hated or when she does something a way that Waverly never did.  Sometimes it makes me feel guilty (damn you mom guilt), they are two entirely different people & I shouldn't forget that, but at the same time, I know I can't be the only one.  As moms we are just trying to figure it all out, learning along the way, and once we get to baby #2 we naturally expect it to go down the same way it did the first time around.  Which is fine, sometimes we are relieved when it doesn't or others we realized how easy we had it the first time and regardless, we love every single little part of them both and wouldn't ever want to change one thing about either of them.  Just like everyone said, our heart literally bursts for them both and we have never felt it so full.

So I thought it would be fun to own it, to compare my girls at their ages so far, things we have noticed that are alike and then others that are so very different.  If nothing else, I thought it would be fun for them to look back on one day, it will be interesting to see how much of their personalities we could already see at such young ages! :)  And because I have to start a sister post with a photo of the sisters, one from yesterday that just perfectly explains their relationship.


Newborns - So different!  Avalon slept for about three weeks straight, we were actually googling "does my baby sleep too much?", which makes it pretty clear that we were not used to that because Waverly did not. She was awake and alert much more (and cried more) during those first few weeks.

Swaddles & Swings - Both our girls liked to be swaddled, but only for the first month or so.  They both absolutely loved the rock'n'play and took most of their first naps in it, plus this swing, these are forever two of my favorite products!  I've mentioned this before, but we are 0 for 2 on our babies liking the momaroo, though I've heard other people rave about them!

Pacifiers - Waverly looooooved a paci from day one and (please don't tell my pediatrician), still has them at bedtime.  We are working on that! ;)  Avalon has never liked them at all, in fact has always refused to even entertain the idea of one.  We like that so we won't have to wean her, but it was nice to have something to console Waverly with if she needed it.

Car Seats & Strollers - So our kids hate car seats.  As babies at least.  I've heard other people say how much their little ones loved them, how that's where they slept the best or that's where they could calm them down the easiest.  That was certainly not the case for us.  The good news, Avalon's grown out of it for the most part and obviously now Waverly loves being in hers, she's all about going fun places these days.  And strollers.  We had a good run for a while a couple months back when we got our double stroller, but lately the only thing being pushed in that is my shopping bags.  I can't decide whether that's my fault (I give in too easily) but that's just not how they roll, they would much rather be carried or explore on their own.

Don't be surprised if you see those kid leashes in my photos soon. ;)

Eating - Both girls loved to breastfeed and for the most part, are good eaters.  They both seem to love carbs and anything sweet the most - #theygetitfromtheirmama.

 

Sleep - Honestly both our girls are good sleepers, something I am so, so, so thankful for,  Of the two, at least as a baby, Avalon is definitely more consistent, which may be just because we have a little better idea of what we are doing this time around.

Verbal Milestones - Waverly is our early talker for sure, she talked early and has been ever since. :)  She was putting sentences together at a really young age and these days I pretty much feel like I am having a conversation with one of my girlfriends.  Avalon has waited longer, she has found her voice lately though and is babbling more than ever, those little baby sounds are my favorite, favorite!

Physical Milestones - Avalon sat up & crawled way early, she is just now starting to stand and I think she may be getting close to taking those first steps!  Waverly waited a bit longer for sitting or crawling, she started walking at her first birthday party, which we think is because she was waiting for an audience.

Temperament - Waverly is our spirited babe and Avalon is more go with the flow.  For sure!  Honestly we love having both, they complement each other so well & it makes it so there is never a dull moment!  I don't know if I could have ever handled two little ones as high energy as miss Waverly Maye, so Avalon's laid-back demeanor was very welcomed, and I'm also sure it just seals the deal that any other babies of ours will be extra, extra wild.

Play - There is no doubt that Avalon is just more into everything, even though she is much more laid-back, she is grabby.  Her little hands are on everything, nothing is safe, ever!  She also has no fear at all, she climbed up on our fireplace last week and took a face-plant onto our carpet, started laughing and tried to climb up to do it again.


Looks - As newborns, the girls pretty much looked identical, like sometimes I look back on photos and have a hard time figuring out who is who myself.  As Avalon has grown though, she is taking on more of her own look, most people say that Waverly looks more like me & Avalon has more of my husband in her.  Both girls had little hair as babies (but it grows!  look at Waverly's now!), Waverly's had a little more red to it and Avalon's is more blonde so far.  Their eyes are blue, the same bright blue, and it seems that Waverly has my skin tone (sorry sister!) and Avalon's is darker like my husband's.  As for size, their percentiles are almost identical, tiniest for height, tiny for weight, & high for their heads. ;)  Waverly is in the first photo & Avalon is in the second!

 

Mamas of two (or more!), what ways do you find that your babies are similar or different?!  Isn't it interesting how two kids from the same parents can do so different - it kind of shows how sometimes ultimately, your parenting skills just don't make a difference, right?!  Funny how that works.

Happy Tuesday, friends! XO