Monday, June 24, 2013

DIY Gel Nails At Home

Broadway Nails at home gel nails

I was at the store today and just by chance discovered a set of "Gel Nails" that promised to provide professional quality gel nails at home, for just $9.99. Anyone who knows me can tell you that there was a time in my life when I always had my nails done. I love a good acrylic set. Since having the kiddos, and having a lot less time to myself - I've given up my nail expense/habit. Until today. I figured for $9.99 it was worth a shot and if it lasts two weeks or more, even better. The average cost for a "full set" is around $20 and about $12 for a "fill in" so really I am still ahead of the game.

What's even better is that I could easily do this during nap time and have it done/dry by the time they wake up. The instructions were fairly simple - apply tips, file to size/shape, apply gel, apply activator. Repeat. Apply polish if desired. The set came with two sets of tips - clear or "French" white. I went with the French. One downside was that they ONLY gave you two of each size tip, which meant I needed to do a little filing to get one or two to fit best. No biggie. I did not add color polish but HIGHLY recommend a clear top coat if nothing else. It really seemed to help the gel harden and set. The label says it drys in 5 minutes. And it pretty much did. But it wasn't completely hardened. If I hits something hard it would make an indent. Once I put the top coat on (not included) it did seem to help and as I type this they do seem pretty hard and comparable to salon quality nails. They certainly seem to withstand key strokes.

Apparently there is also enough of the gel/activator to do a fill in or two too - so we'll see how the next few days go and if I make it to the fill in stage. If think at that point I will likely use a color polish on them too.

---Update: the nails lasted less then 24 hours. I broke one off this morning simply doing laundry. Fixed that one and another broke. In the end I think they would be nice for an event but sadly nothing like the real thing.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

National ASK Day

I am a day late but yesterday was National ASK Day. National ASK Day is about guns/safety and kids. According to Huffington Post nearly 40% of American households with children have guns in the home (to read the full article click here). I won't debate gun control or other issues here. But I will say - "Yes, Yes, Yes" and YES I will ask those three questions before sending my children into any home when I do not already know the answers to those questions. I challenge you too as well.

Additionally I will share my perspective on this. Guns are not toys. My husband is a hunter and one thing that we 100% agree on is that for the foreseeable future we will not allow toy guns of any kind in our home. The only exception may be water guns which do not look anything remotely like a real gun. They will be taught gun safety and know they are not to be played with. Period. We want to train them to have a flight response whenever a gun appears. To a two year old, their tiny minds cannot differentiate between real and fake at this point anyway so to us its the safest option.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fitness Friday

Progress: Lost .4 (total 15.6) not a huge loss but a loss is a loss.

How I am feeling: Much better. I had a day or two where I felt really bloated but I made sure to drink lots of H20 and within a day or two was back to normal.

What I am doing: Nothing new. Gym 2-3 times a week and cardio everyday. Did you know that something "simple" as cutting the grass burns 500+ calories? (Well atleast cutting our yard anyway.) I enjoy it mostly because it's something my dad loved doing and I loved helping as a kid, plus when hubby works constantly what else is there to do? We're also getting out a lot more to the park and outings with mom's group (like the petting zoo - lots of walking) and I am loving it.

Goals/Things to work on: 14.2 more pounds lost, and making a solid routine at home because sadly I think it might be time to drop the gym membership. I don't think the childcare there is doing what they should be as far as sanitizing and/or making sure kiddos aren't sharing drinks. Within 24-48 hours of being at the gym my kiddos end up sick with a fever, runny nose, you name it. I may be looking into something more like Planet Fitness that's open 24 hours a day so I can go before hubby leaves for work and/or when he gets home late at night. (And if their are any preemie mom's reading this, I am open to your advice too about the gym childcare situation too. Should I tough it out or is it best to avoid it. Keep in mind we have no issues in any other social situation with getting sick, etc)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day Recap...

Hope all the dads had a great Father's Day and got to enjoy some relaxing quality time with their families.

We were fortunate because we had "Dadda" all weekend long. Two whole days to have him all to ourselves! Unheard of during the summer around here. We debated for a little bit about what we really wanted to do on Saturday but ended up deciding on a trip to one of our favorite beaches. And I am so glad we did. It's something we'd like to do every single summer with the kids, even if just for the day, and it's been amazing to see how much they have changed since each year and how they enjoy it more and more. I also have to admit that not once but twice I got a little choked up thinking about how nice it was to just grab two sippy cups and the diaper bag and go. No fuss. No medical/feeding supplies, no "baby" stuff, just us. Not having to worry about where the nearest ER was that could handle a feeding tube mishap. No worries. And then again when we sat in one of our favorite restaurants and remembered how on their very first trip to the beach, they weren't even eating big people food yet! This time they even asked for "Peeza and fries".

Can you believe it... then & now - What a difference 2 years makes.

Sunday we did absolutely nothing. Ok well not true. We both did some yard work and cleaned the garage, but other then that we just hung around the house and enjoyed playing with the kiddos. I am sure hubby enjoyed relaxing before returning to work today.

Here's a few photo's from our Adventure.

Addison's First Sea Shell Find!!!! I can't wait to help her decorate it for a souvenir. 
I absolutely love this one. Jake snapped this one while we were playing in the water. She loved loved the waves!
Blake on the other hand thought the water was a bit too chilly but loved the sand.

And we couldn't help it, we HAD to get an old time photo done. How stinking cute is this!

I hope your weekend was just as great! <3

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Fitness Friday

I know skipped a week. BUT first and for most - I've changed my weigh in day from Thursday to Sunday. For a few reasons. The biggest one being that Sunday's usually are my rest day, usually and I don't know, but Thursdays just seem so "in the middle" so moving it to Sunday just felt right.

Progress: As of this past Sunday 6/9 - I am down 3.6 (keep in mind last post I had gained 2.2 so I've lost that 2.2 plus 1.4 more) bringing my totally weight loss to 15.2! I've surpassed my most recent goal and I couldn't be more proud.

How I am feeling: Accomplished. Like I am out of the funk and back on track. I am seeing a difference in the way my clothes fit and noticing a huge difference in my stamina and endurance.

What I am doing: I actually took a huge step for me personally and went running at the park. In front of other people. With the kiddos/stroller. In the heat. LOL. I'll admit that while I am able to do more outside then I could when I started, I am not quite as good as when I am on the treadmill. That said, there are a lot of variables to consider with that AND I certainly do get a better workout running outside with the kiddos. I haven't really done C25K in about a week, but I started back with week 3 again. The first day back at it was tough and I had to slow my pace by the end of the last "jog" round (and I def cannot do week 3 outside when I've got the kiddos in tow YET). I'm going to keep at it and move forward. The weather has been pretty crappy here a few days this week so it's all indoor stuff and hopefully if the weather is nice today - I might actually take my workout back outside. I'm also doing a routine at home 3 times a day too, crunches/jumping jacks/squats/etc... that I found on Pinterest it burns 100+ calories each round and I find it keeps me going during the day.

Goals/Things to work on: My next "weight" goal is to loose another 14.8 pounds total. Taking it 5 pounds at a time though. I want to keep on with C25k and the June Ab Challenge. Sleep is STILL a struggle here, mainly because I choose to wait up for hubby to get home. But we are both working on making more of an effort to get in bed sooner when he is home at a decent time and/or days he doesn't work (aka-once a week). I need to do a little bit more work with my nutrition because while I am still sticking to my calories, I am having days where one or two meals aren't as balanced as they should be. It's a work in progress.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Being a Mommy is Overwhelming

Last night Blake woke up crying and wouldn't settle so I brought him down to our room and we cuddled up. He wanted to lay his head on my chest - it was the only way he would go back to sleep. Then he wrapped his hand around my finger.

In that instant my mind drifted back to the first time I held him. So tiny, so fragile and oh so amazing. He had on his little fuzzy blue hat to help keep him warm. It was the smallest they had but still too big. He literally just fit on my chest - so tiny. I barely felt his weight then.

Tonight I can smell the scent of the baby shampoo and he feels more like a ton of bricks laying on me. His toes nearly touching my knees. I won't dare move. I take it all in knowing that soon this moment will be gone forever. I won't ever get it back.

One night he won't need his mommy anymore. But for now he does. And I am glad. For the 1 am wake up call, the kick in the side. The flying hands. The occasional whine in his sleep. To hear the sound of him breathing, dreaming. It's all worth it. He used to be my cuddle bug but recently has grown into his own space. Especially when he sleeps, even when he "needs" me it's clear he needs his space too lol.

Never in a million years did I expect being a mom to be so overwhelmed with emotions, with love, sometimes fear and even the occasional two year old meltdown (times two!) Sometimes the days just get the best of me and I think back, remembering where it all started and my heart just fills with love and joy. To have the opportunity to see the world all over again for the first time, through their eyes. To watch them grow up (way too fast if you ask me). It's all simply amazingly overwhelming. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Blake - I hope as you laid on my chest tonight that you could hear my heart beat and feel every ounce of love I have for you and your sister, and that you both come to know just how very much you mean to me. To all of us. And thank you for that one little moment in time that reminds me what being a mommy is all about. <3

Here We Are!

We've been super busy around here, between therapy and hanging outside - enjoying this decent weather lately. Which, well doesn't exactly leave a whole lot of time for blogging. Hopefully you don't feel to neglected. And to make up for it I post baring photos of the cutest little twins around. (At least in my world.)

We've been exploring different parks around here and I've got to tell you - they certainly do a great job of maintaining as well as updating their parks. There are a few with in a few miles of our house that we have visited as well as a few closer to some other places we like to visit (like Cracker Barrel). The above pictures were taken one night when my Mom and Stepdad came to visit. They were actually coming to pick up my grandmother who spent a few days with me. Which was really nice so I wouldn't have to make the drive back down to MD. I enjoyed her company and it helped break up the long days when hubby is super busy at work.

One of the parks has a little pretend "car wash" that mists you with water. Needless to say it's a favorite. The tot lot is super awesome there!

Seriously -  how dare cute are they? They were holding hands while they were walking and my heart melted.

And THIS ^^^ THIS... like when did this happen. I realize many kiddos have probably already gotten this spoon thing down, but this is HUGE for Addison. Sigh - its official, they don't want need my help at all anymore when it comes to eating (making the food is a different story yet lol). Blake has been working on his spoon skills for awhile now.

And for fun... some pics of Mommy/Daughter and Daddy/Son - notice how alike Hubby and Blake are? Scary right?

I'll leave you with that for now. I know I owe ya'll a few more posts. (I am working on it. Stay tuned.)

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Just Because the Feeding Tube is Gone...

...doesn't mean that chapter is closed. Yet.

For those that have been following Addison's journey from feeding tube to oral eater - we are still having some drainage from her where her feeding tube once was. (It had started to heal and close but reopened a few weeks later when she got sick, and her Prevacid regimen ran out.) We have a consult scheduled with her surgeon in July and have started her back on Prevacid while applying Neosporin and covering the sight in the meantime. It's a long shot but we are hoping that the Prevacid will neutralize the stomach acid and give the site a good chance to heal. (I don't know why I didn't think of trying it again sooner.)

If this doesn't work we are hoping the surgeon will be open to trying Silver Nitrate to irritate the area and hopefully in the end promote healing and new skin growth. I was able to talk with the nurse at the surgeons office who gave me hope and said there are a few other tricks they can try before surgery - but if it comes to that, it's very simple and minor.

For now I am grateful for the Ped and the Surgeon's nurse for hearing me out and willing to give this a try. And even more thankful that this hiccup isn't effecting her weight gain and mostly doesn't even seem to bother her a whole lot. It's more of a laundry problem (and something we don't want to deal with forever. Everything else we will conquer one day at a time. In the meantime please pray that her gtube site finally heals and we avoid yet another surgery, regardless of how minor.

Here's to hope!