One of the (many) parenting lessons I’ve learned since having Avalon & becoming a family of four, is that when you double the amount of kids you have, you are just about tripling the chance of someone being sick.  At the least.  Last year was by far the sickest our house has ever been, it pretty much felt like one of us was sick at all times and then as soon as that person got better, they passed it on to someone else.  So with school starting back in just a couple of weeks, I am preparing myself for the worst, and hoping for the best!  Through googling, a little bit of trial & error, and polling some of my IG expert mamas, I have learned some tips for surviving (and keeping your sanity) with sick little ones, and I thought I would share some of those today.

1 – Fruit juice popsicles.  My girls are popsicles addicts, and when they are sick and pretty much refusing to drink or eat anything, this usually does the trick to keep them hydrated.

2 – Cuddles and snuggles and their favorite DVDs.  Unless it was directed by our pediatrician, I learned long ago that there is no reason to separate them if they are sick, they just pass it to each other one way or another anyways.  They both love DVDs and a little rest and relaxation is usually all they need.  Bonus points if you get to jump in, too!

3 – The BRAT diet.  Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.  My grandmother used to always tell me this and now I remember it for my own kids!  We also make this recipe (that I shared here), that our girls love even when they are not sick.

4 – Blankets in the dryer.  Waverly loves to put a warm blanket on, even when she is feeling just fine, so it’s nice to be able to give her something a little extra special when she’s not.

5 – A pillow under the mattress.  We did this for Avalon when she was really little and had reflux, and also rely on it when either of the girls are congested.

6 – Painting nails, coloring, I Spy (one of our favorites!) or other laid-back activities.  Waverly can be as sick as I’ve seen her, and she never ever says no to painting nails.  Pull out some of these activities!

7 – Gentle massage.  We love this anytime, but especially for some extra love for our babies when they are sick.

8 – For teething or sick babes, baby Tylenol and Motrin, or even switching it off.  And frozen washcloths or baby feeders for them to much on!

9 – Puffs Plus Lotion.  We rely on this year round, but especially when our girls are sick and during cold/flu or allergy season.  Puffs Puff Lotion is America’s #1 lotion tissue and is dermatologist tested to be gentle on sensitive skin, which we LOVE, because us redheads have some sensitive skin.  You can buy Puff’s Plus Lotion at Sam’s Club in a huge pack that will last you all winter long, and can enter at the bottom this post to win $500 to Sam’s Club, $250 for yourself and $250 to give to someone else.  How fun is that?!!!  Good luck! #soothingsorenoses

10 – And when all else fails, drink all the wine!  And just remember that like every other part of parenting, this shall pass, too.  It always does. 🙂

Do you have any other secrets to survival with kids who aren’t feeling well?!  I would love to hear!
And don’t forget to enter the giveaway, best of luck friends!

Puffs Plus Lotion

I was compensated for this post, but all thoughts & opinions are my own.  #stockuponsoothingsoftness

I rarely share weekend posts anymore, but this one was just too good to pass up!  My brother came home from Colorado to celebrate both of our birthdays, our days are exactly two weeks apart and I have so many memories from shared birthday parties when we were little.  The girls always are so excited to see him when he visits, and it’s always fun to have a reason to be way cooler than we usually are and get out out of our usual weekend evening routine.  My favorite part might just have been Waverly & Avalon running free and ridiculously happy on the beach at 8:30 in the dark (we don’t let them out at night much).  And of course, shopping sans kids was pretty amazing too.  You guys!  I even got to try something on in the fitting room! 🙂
Waverly ran into my room the morning of my birthday with the biggest smile on her face holding a card that of course, my husband had gotten and she had recited to him what to write.  It said “dear mommy, happy birthday.  i would like a baby and also to go camping”.  May she always write me birthday cards JUST like that.
PS – I got the dress I am wearing over the weekend and love it so much!  It is super comfortable and can also be worn with leggings, and comes in lots of other prints!  Definitely getting a few more and definitely recommend it.

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

We absolutely love baking around here, I’ve loved it since way before I was a mom and appreciate it even more now as a way to make memories with my girls.  There’s just something so sweet about being in the kitchen with kids, Waverly has adored it since she was really little and likes it even more now than ever before.  It helps her practice some independence, to follow directions, and is such a great way for us to bond!  Sometimes we do it as a “big girls” only activity and other times Avalon joins us in the solly wrap and loves to watch, a win-win for everyone!

We recently teamed up with Pillsbury to practice our baking game and try out their new Pillsbury™ Girl Scout™ Baking Mixes, which are inspired by girl scout cookies.  You guys, is there anything better than combining the taste of all-american, delicious girl scout cookies with brownies & cupcakes?!  Um, no.  They are so, so good, we absolutely loved them (and of course loved making them, too)!

When it comes to kids and baking, the biggest thing I have learned along the way is to really let your little one take part in every step.  Sometimes the end result doesn’t look as perfect (or maybe even taste as good, or good at all) as it would have if you have taken charge more, but that just adds to the sweetness, right?!  The good news with these is that it was so easy that Waverly really got to be involved and they still tasted good.  We chose to make the Girl Scout™ Thin Mints™ Cupcake Mix, and it was basically like following any other box recipe for a cake, and then adding the topping on at the end.  Waverly helped with every part, even adding the topping part, and both girls loved eating them. 🙂

These new Pillsbury™ Girl Scout™ Baking Mixes are available at Target, in addition to the Girl Scouts™ Thin Mint™ Cupcake Mixes, we also got the Girl Scouts™ Brownie™ Baking Mixes. There are also other flavors as well!  There is currently a cartwheel offer to save 20% off purchase of product from 7/31 to 10/1.

Happy halfway through the week, friends!

We are at the point in our life, with our babes, that our days are pretty much a roller coaster.  When life is good, it is amazing.  The kind of moments that I have always dreamed of and ones that truly can take my breath away, these girls that we made (we made them!) are so incredible and I am beyond grateful that I get to raise them and forever be their mama.  And then when it’s not, it’s not.  We’ve had more than our fair share of toddler meltdowns this summer and to be candid, they can be an epic trainwreck.  They can easily make you question your sanity and make you want to completely meltdown yourself.  
And sometimes, you do.
But at the end of the day, everyday, I choose to remember the good.  Because there truly isn’t a day where we don’t have SO much of it.  I would take every hard moment ten times over for all the others, these are 100% “the days of my life” and I don’t ever want to take them for granted, or to forget any little part of them.  So I thought I would round up some of of the little things I adore so much about my girls right now, their little habits and tendencies that we have grown to know so well, but that we know from prior experience, will be gone all too quickly.

Miss Waverly Maye.  There are so many things about her vocabulary that I love so much, and that I know I should correct her on, but my heart just wants her to do them forever.  Anytime she is talking to both me & my husband she says “you twos” instead of you two, apparently she is a Jersey girl! 🙂  She calls herself “me”, and says “mama, is me big” or “did me be a good girl today”, and calls the aquarium (which she loves), the “aquariarium”.  She sings everything, especially when she knows she is in trouble, and insists on performing a dance recital at least once a day.  She changes outfits hourly, packs an entire bag of random stuff any time we leave the house, and has to (like really has to) match Avalon’s pajamas each and every single night.  Thunder petrifies her and she comes into our bed every morning around 5:30, she never misses an opportunity.

Sweet Avalon Elle.  She has so many little faces and habits right now that just melt me.  She does them so often that I just feel like it’s part of her and that she will do it forever, but I look back on Waverly from that age and know that she won’t.  She has this little face where she purses her lips together, and anytime she sits down on a couch or bed, she leans back into it with everything she has.  When she wants something, she stands at your feet and opens & closes her hands, and puts her head straight into my shoulder anytime we see a stranger or walk into anywhere new.  She smiles ALL the time, especially when she hears music, and playing peekaboo with her big sister can give her the biggest belly laughs.  She calls her daddy “DA!!”, says “please” with a lisp, and anytime she sees a camera, she immediately says “CHEESE!” (love her so much!).  She hates the vacuum and we are impressed if she lasts ten minutes in a high chair, she has a little baby bunny that I got randomly at H&M for 12 dollars and she is obsessed with it, it doesn’t leave her sight.

And a few pictures from our weekend, we are soaking in these final days for summer for all that their worth.

Hope you & yours had the most lovely of weekends!

My husband is the kind of person who would rather make anything than ever buy it, something I love so much about him.  It also drives me crazy.  At least once a month I bring something home & he tries to send me right back with it because he is convinced he could do it on his own, and better.  Which he can, and will, but you better believe I’ll be waiting at least three more months for it, because he’s such a perfectionist he is going to be make sure every detail is perfect.

In the meantime, can’t I just buy out the home decor section at Target???

That was totally the case with this bed.  It was my Christmas present a couple months late, he worked so hard on it every night after the girls & I went to bed and was so excited to put it in our room come February.  Per usual, the wait was more than worth it, I LOVE it so much and most of all, love the fact that it is meaningful and something we can have in our home forever.

I knew I wanted something wood with a bit of a rustic feel, and also something that was timeless, and I think he nailed it!  Literally. 🙂  I only asked for a headboard but he ended up adding a matching footboard as well, which might even be my favorite part!  I’ve asked him to summarize what he did to share here, the steps are below.

1 – To get the measurements for the bed frame, he used our old one, which was also wood and about the size of what we wanted.
2 – He cut the inlaid pieces first, which are all just randomly cut wood pieces from other house projects that we have done.
3 –  The bed frame, headboard frame, and footboard frame are built out of fir, bought at a specialty lumber yard.
4 – He glued and screwed a piece of 3/8″ plywood to the frames, then started gluing & toenailing all the pieces to the headboard and footboard.
5 – He used a router to install these brackets to connect the bedrails to the headboard and the footboard.
6 – He bought 1″x4″ common boards from Home Depot to span left to right of the siderails, which is what supports the boxspring and mattress.
7 – After everything was built, it was finished in a heavy coat of lacquer.

With the start of fall coming, we are itching to start some new projects and hope to be sharing some soon!  And happy weekend, friends!