Friday Finds and Favorites Hop #44

Hello friends!

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This week has been a long one filled with appointments! We are so ready for the weekend! John has to work tomorrow, but we are thankful he has Sunday and Monday off. We have plenty of fun planned. πŸ™‚

Do you remember back in April when I mentioned that I would readΒ Bebe Day by Day?Β Well, I’m finally getting around to sharing my thoughts here. (If you don’t remember, check out the post here.)

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Below are just a few of my favorite tips/thoughts from the book:

First of all, I read the book cover to cover and really enjoyed it. I was more so interested in the diet suggestions and things for 3 years olds and up because that’s where D is right now. I definitely recommend this book. It’s very short and great for people who don’t have time or can’t commit to the fuller version.

1) There’s one snack a day.

We have adopted something similar to this for D.

D’s eating schedule:

Breakfast

If he is hungry before lunch, I give him a fruit pouch. Remember those pouches with baby food that you once gave your little before he could eat more solid food? Well D gets those now. He loves them and it’s a great way to get fruits and especially veggies in. πŸ™‚

Lunch

Big Snack- He gets this around 2-3PM.

Dinner

An apple or some other kind of fruit before bed.

This works great and keeps him happy and healthy. πŸ™‚

2) You just have to taste it.

I love this one and it has really encouraged D’s taste in food to expand. I was so proud the other day when he tried a philly cheese steak on bell pepper and actually enjoyed it!

3) Don’t rush the developmental stages.

I love this one because it reminds the mama to chill. It’s okay if Baby John is walking before your son. In France, parents allow the children to learn things when they are ready and there is no rush.

4) Don’t let your child interrupt you.

This is one we are working on with D right now. French parents tell their child, “I’m in the middle of speaking to someone. Please wait and I’ll be with you in a minute.” They stick true to their word and talk to the child once the conversation is over. They also suggest teaching the child to say “Excuse me” in the event of an emergency.

5) Cope calmly with tantrums.

Tantrums are no fun for anyone. We have a new way of coping with tantrums that I’ll be sharing in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

6) Guilt is a trap.

This one is a great reminder to enjoy your time away from the kiddos when you get it. Don’t waste what time you have feeling guilty over leaving them with the sitter or grandparent. I know, easier said than done! πŸ˜‰

7) Don’t dress like a mom.

This one makes me laugh. I know I’m so guilty of wearing yoga pants. (I’m typing this in pj bottoms. πŸ˜€ ) I think our generation has truly embraced this. Moms have tattoos. Moms have color in their hair…not just red, black, blonde, but fun colors like blue, purple, pink, green, etc. We dress in clothing that makes us feel beautiful, but also comfy. I think we are doing this one well. πŸ™‚

8) Your baby doesn’t replace your husband.

I love this one! John and I always make time for each other, even if it’s just at the end of the day. We may only get to chat and watch Netflix, but it’s well worth it. We don’t have a reliable baby sitter yet, so this time is so precious to us!

9) Give kids time to comply.

Don’t expect a child to immediately do something. Be sure to explain what you want done and watch and wait for them to comply.

10) Say “Yes” as often as you can.

You should say no when it is necessary, but remember to say “yes” to your child. This helps them to feel respected and encourages independence.

There are a total of 100 tips in this little book and I’ve only shared my thoughts on 10. Be sure to add this awesome book to your library and let me know what you think. πŸ™‚

Now it’s your turn! Link up your favorite posts from the week. Stop by and say hi to my co-host Camille. (Host posts will be listed with Host next to the name.) Don’t forget to grab a button! (Optional)

 

 

 



Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!!

<3 Anna

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My Pitcher is Empty, but it will NOT go Dry!

Hello all!

Yesterday, marked a huge step in my IC journey. It took me a little over two years to be diagnosed. (I was diagnosed in February of this year.) Since February, I have been treating my IC symptoms with Aloe Vera, Pyridium (only during flares), Benadryl (when needed for allergies, (There has been a few studies done and there is a link between allergy sufferers and IC.) other supplements, essential oils, Tiger Balm, etc. Some of these things have helped me and others not so much. I went in to speak with my doctor about the pelvic ultrasound that didn’t happen (I was in so much pain that I couldn’t make it to the doctors office.) and better ways to combat this thing! We came to an agreement that the pelvic ultrasound needed to go on the back burner. (I’m so thankful for that. I am not looking forward to that day again. I’m glad it is in the more distant future.) I also made the decision before the appointment that if my doctor offered drugs, I would take them. This was a hard decision as well because I was really hoping that natural approaches would help, but so far they are not working well enough alone. It’s time to bring in the heavy hitters.

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So I now have a few medications that I’m on. I’m not happy about it, but I’m hopeful. It has been a discouraging and an exhausting time in my life. I want to pour into others, but I know that right now my pitcher is empty. There is a long road ahead to fill it up. I’m happy to be on that road now.

Today, please look at yourself. Are you eating well? Are you drinking enough water? Do you need a little sunshine in your world? Do what you can to take care of yourself. Autoimmune Diseases creep in without warning…If you neglect your body, it will turn on you. Take care of you, so you can take care of those around you. ***Self care is NOT Selfish!***

<3 Anna

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VA Beach Trip!

Hello Friends!

We just got back last night from our BIG beach Β trip. D has talked about this trip for TWO months straight, so to say he was excited would be the understatement of the year! πŸ˜‰ The forecast was pretty sad leading up to the trip. We really didn’t know what to think, but everything turned out well. The rain was surprisingly easy to work around and there were enough breaks to get in some outdoor activities. Yay!

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Gorgeous view!

We hit the road on Thursday evening to put a 3 hour dent in our trip. We were thankful to find a nice and moderately priced hotel. We enjoyed snacking, watching Full House, and then sleep. Glorious Sleep!!!

We were able to get back on the road again around 8:30. The view above is what we were working so hard for! Unfortunately, due to the weather being poop—Friday was our only beach day. We had to make the most of it and we definitely did!

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Beach Smiles! We finally made it!

We spent Friday on a small island off of Virginia Beach. It was lovely! No crowds and plenty of room to enjoy the sun, sand, and water. <3

Our tall boy! <3

Our tall boy! <3

D with his sand castle. This is all he wanted to do! ;)

D with his sand castle. This is all he wanted to do! ;)

I love how expressive he is with his arms! <3

I love how expressive he is with his arms! <3

After spending several hours on the beach, we decided to grab some dinner and then head towards the hotel that we would be staying for the remainder of the trip. We would be meeting Grammy and Granddaddy there. (John’s stepmom and dad)

After dinner treat...Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream!!!

After dinner treat…Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream!!!

We just had to make a pit stop at Baskin Robbins! πŸ˜‰ #eatallofthedessert #vacationfood

It was nice to finally arrive at the hotel and get our stuff unpacked. We were happy to finally see Grammy and Granddaddy. It had been quite a journey! Sleep was needed!

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Declan and Abby with Pocahontas.

We woke the next morning ready for the days adventures. We grabbed a quick breakfast in the hotel lobby and then met up with Uncle Mike and Abby for a fun day in Jamestown and Yorktown. The archaeologist nerd inside of me was freaking out. πŸ˜‰ History is truly fascinating! It was so great getting to share this with our boy and sweet niece. Great memories! <3 (You can check out more pictures on my FB and IG accounts. ;))

Splashing in puddles before heading out to lunch at a local pizza parlor.

Splashing in puddles before heading out to lunch at a local pizza parlor.

After a super full day out, we took the kiddos back to the hotel for pool time. D is currently going through a fear of water phase. We are working through it. It’s interesting because he did an amazing job his first week of swim class and all of a sudden…he is afraid. It’s tough, but I’m thankful he is starting much earlier than I did. He will conquer his fear. <3

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Pool time with Abby.

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I seriously love this picture of my boys. John is soothing and calming D as he is working out his fear of the water. <3

Yesterday was our travel day. We met up with Uncle Mike, Aunt Rebecca (We were so happy to see her as she had to work on our Jamestown/Yorktown adventures day.), and Abby for a big breakfast at Cracker Barrel before heading home. It was nice to chat, eat, and enjoy the brief time together. Our server was wonderful and our breakfast was a feast for kings and queens. πŸ˜‰ #somuchfood The time with family that we don’t get to see often enough was so precious! We are so thankful that we had the opportunity to spend that time together. Until next time! <3

Do you enjoy visiting the beach? Do you go often? Name your favorite beach.

<3 Anna

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Friday Finds and Favorites Hop #43: Swim Lessons

Hello Friends!

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Yes, we made it! It’s the weekend! I’m going to keep this post brief as I’m currently packing for an upcoming trip. I’ll leave you all with a few awesome pics from D’s swim class.

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As you can see D is really enjoying his swim classes. He has taken to water like a fish and I’m sure he will be swimming on his own in no time! <3

Did you teach your kiddo(s) to swim? Did they take swim classes?

I’m very thankful that we are starting D out earlier than I did. I was much older and became very afraid of ducking my head under the water. I’m mostly over that now, but I wish that I was able to start earlier and have a more healthy relationship with swimming and the water in general.

What was your first encounter with water like? Do you think being exposed to water and swimming earlier is better?

Join me and Camille and link up below! Grab a button! (Optional) and drop a comment on a few posts. Make another blogger’s day! πŸ™‚

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!!

 


<3 Anna

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Mother’s Day 2016

Hello all!

I know I’m a little behind on posts, but I hope that you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day! I definitely did. We attended church, had lunch at Panera Bread, and wandered around Barnes and Nobles for a bit.

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The beautiful flower D painted for me at church.

Selfie at Panera Bread

Selfie at Panera Bread

I enjoyed some reading time and quality time with my boys. I feel very blessed that I have such an awesome husband and sweet son. They find little ways throughout the year to make me feel special. <3 We also called our moms and D was able to FaceTime with Nana and Nono. πŸ™‚ It was a lovely day!

I hope that all of the mamas out there were able to have a wonderful Mother’s Day! I hope that you were able to recognize the Moms in your life. Moms are not always mothers by blood, you can recognize a Grandmother, Aunt, Stepmother, Friend, etc. Moms are made in the heart. <3

<3 Anna

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TN Trip! (Pt. 2)

Hello all!

I’m back for Part 2 of our awesome vacation! Our TN trip was truly a much needed break for all of us. We are feeling the same about our upcoming weekend trip. It should be a nice little getaway! πŸ™‚

Before I get started, I wanted to let anyone know that might be curious know—I was able to talk to the nurse yesterday. I now have my new medication and should start it soon. I’m praying that it will give me some much needed relief.

Day 3:Β The kiddos stayed with Nana for a few hours while the parents went out for a bit.

John and I had lunch at The Blue Moose. It was tasty!

John and I had lunch at The Blue Moose. It was tasty!

We then hooked up with the others for a fun game of mini golf.

We then hooked up with the others for a fun game of mini golf.

This is the Adventure Mini Golf course at Pigeon Forge. It was a really fun course! (We rode a “train” up to our first hole.) We were put on the Diamond course, but I think next time we will do the Gold course. The ending of the Diamond course was rather anti-climactic in comparison.

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Everyone met back up at the cabin for a Luau themed dinner. The kiddos loved it! We had pineapple, ham, marinated chicken, veggies, etc.

Luau fun with my love. <3

Luau fun with my love. <3

After dinner, family game time commenced! We played Family Feud followed by Pie Face! Pie Face was the hit of the night.

Getting wild! ;)

Getting wild! ;)

Everyone loved when Nana got pie-faced! :D

Everyone loved when Nana got pie-faced! :D

Poor D missed the game night festivities because he became so miserably tired. We tucked him into bed and were very thankful that it was just exhaustion.

Day 4:Β Jessica, Tyler, Karson, and Miya left early that morning for home. My mom, Brandi, and our clan decided to explore Pigeon Forge and then Gatlinburg some more.

D and I were Goat Rangers for the day at Goats on a Roof.

D and I were Goat Rangers for the day at Goats on a Roof.

Our little goat.

Our little goat.

Close up!

Close up!

Declan loved feeding the goats.

Declan loved feeding the goats.

After visiting the goats, we met back up with Nana and Aunt Brandi. We stopped by the Three Bears General Store and watched the bears for a bit.

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We ended the day wandering the streets of Gatlinburg. It was nice to enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes, etc. Speaking of tastes, we had an absolutely delicious dinner at Johnny Rockets.

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I spotted several beautiful roses on our walk. This is my favorite.

I spotted several beautiful roses on our walk. This is my favorite.

Day 5:Β Packing day! Leaving day! :'(

We tidied up our cabin and got the cars packed up for the trek home. Before getting on the road, I snapped a few pics of our beautiful surroundings. It is truly a beautiful and such peaceful place. <3

D trying to give me a heart attack at the creek. There are plenty of eyes on him. No worries!

D trying to give me a heart attack at the creek. There are plenty of eyes on him. No worries!

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The cabin.

The cabin.

We had quick goodbyes because D is currently not good with transitions. He hates goodbyes and moving on to the next thing. It’s something we are working on. On the road again…

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We made a pit stop at the Well-Bred Bakery and Cafe in Asheville for lunch. I also stopped at the Christmas Shoppe and chose our ornaments for the ornament swap and also found a beautiful ornament for my G.G.

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The Well-Bred Bakery and Cafe has tasty sandwiches, salads, and various sides. We kept it simple with sandwiches and kettle cooked chips.

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We also indulged in some goodies from their bakery. Everything was perfection! Here is D with a peanut butter cookie as big as his head. πŸ˜€

All good things must come to an end…So long TN! See you next year!

Where is your favorite vacation destination? Have you visited the Pigeon Forge area of TN? Any recommendations on the sights, restaurants, etc.? (I’m a planner. I can always use ideas for next year. πŸ˜‰ )

Don’t forget you can catch even more pics at my FB and IG accounts. Also you can find Part 1 here!

<3 Anna

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TN Trip! (Pt. 1)

Hi guys!

I’m currently waiting on the nurse at my gynecologist’s office to return my call. It’s been a rough couple of days. I’ve been flaring all weekend (IC talk for bladder pain and tight muscles all weekend. :'( ) This one hit me particularly hard because I haven’t had one in so long. I have the usual day to day pain, but not the intense pain of a flare. It’s awful. I tell you all this for a few reasons. 1) I want to share my journey and experience with you all. 2) I want to raise awareness. I can count on my hand how many people I’ve met that know what Interstitial Cystitis is. I wasn’t aware of it myself until I began researching my symptoms and talking with doctors. 3) If you can’t vent on your blog, where can you vent?! 4) IC is very isolating at times. It can make you feel so alone when you have never met a person who suffers from it. I follow IG accounts and message boards and even though that is helpful…it’s not the same. I have family and friends who are as supportive as they can be, but I know it’s hard for people to understand. So if this reaches someone else who is feeling alone because of IC, Please know that you are not alone. There are so many others out there struggling with this disease and we should all reach out and support one another through the trials and victories. Hang in there! <3

So if you think about it, please pray that the new meds give me some relief. I have a trip this weekend with family and I would like to feel much better than I am currently. Speaking of family trips, I want to share with you some of our pics from our recent visit to TN.

Day 1:Β We left our home on that Thursday morning. We had three different vehicles all on different time schedules, so we planned to meet at the cabin some time after check in that day. On our first day, we stopped to check out the mountain views, grabbed some fro-yo, and checked out a waterfall.

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Selfie break!

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Sweet Frog, please! D chose Salted Caramel with M&Ms. ;)

 

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I chose Cheesecake and added blueberries. Yum!

Total Tourist shot. ;)

Total Tourist shot. ;)

Daddy helping D get a better look at the waterfall.

Daddy helping D get a better look at the waterfall.

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Friendly Falls

Day 2:

We went to lunch at the Old Mill Restaurant and spent the day at Ripley’s Aquarium. It was a very full fun day! πŸ™‚

Baby Karson checking out the fish.

Baby Karson checking out the fish.

I think they would have been perfectly happy looking at this first tank for awhile. ;)

I think they would have been perfectly happy looking at this first tank for awhile. ;)

Chilling with the penguins.

Chilling with the penguins.

Penguin hugs!

Penguin hugs!

Starfish love! <3

Starfish love! <3

D loved the jellyfish.

D loved the jellyfish.

Stop by the blog tomorrow for the remainder of our TN vacation! You can check out even more pics on my FB and IG!Β Thanks for stopping by!

<3 Anna

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Friday Finds and Favorites #42: Soccer Wrap up!

Hello Friends!

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Declan has been obsessed with Garfield and Friends lately, so the above image seemed appropriate. πŸ˜‰

It’s hard to believe that D has completed his first soccer season! As with all three year olds, he had some high and low moments. The low moments were made totally worth it when we were able to see the highs! It was so great to see him smiling and laughing proudly as he ran after the ball. He assisted with some goals and came very close to making a goal as well. We are super proud of our guy. <3

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This wasn’t the best shot I had. I just loved D’s mid-laugh in this one.

Too funny! D chatting with the goalie. ;)

Too funny! D chatting with the goalie. ;)

Sadly, most of D’s games were during the coldest part of the day and the temps were unseasonably cool. His last game was on a particularly cold morning, hence the jacket.

Proudly sporting his medal. <3

Proudly sporting his medal. <3

It was a good season. D was super happy to get home (where it was warm) and wear his medal for a pic. I’m not sure what sport he will choose to play next, but I’m happy that he gave soccer a chance. I think it was a great first sport for him and I can’t lie, it was fun being a Soccer mom. πŸ˜‰

Now it’s your turn! What was your favorite memory from the week? Favorite find? Favorite post? Share it all in the link up below! Also be sure to check out my co-host’s post here. Don’t forget to grab a button! (Optional)

 




Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!!

<3 Anna

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May Goals

Hello Friends!

I know it’s already mid-month, but I thought it would be nice to share a few goals for the month. Β I enjoy sharing these monthly goals with you all because it keeps me accountable and encourages me to get things done!

Last Month's

  1. ReadΒ Bebe Day by Day.

Check!

Review coming soon! πŸ™‚

2. Organization

Check!

I’m back on track with this one. My closet is (mostly) organized. I also cleaned out our night stand. There is plenty more to go! (More on that in this month’s goals!)

3.Β Register D for Swim Class.

Check!

D is registered and had his first class last week. (The official first class was rescheduled due to rain. We are hoping that won’t happen today, but keeping an eye on the weather. :/) I’ll share more pics in upcoming posts.

4.Β Make time to de-stress for my health.

This one is a day to day challenge. Some days I do great and others not so much. I have added adult coloring books to my de-stress activities. (You can check out pics on my IG!)

5.Β Reintroduction/Choose lifestyle to stick with.

Check!

We are now eating mostly Paleo. Due to sensitivity, I definitely try to stir clear of gluten. We have been a little more lax with dairy, but I try to keep it in check. We buy a lot less cheese than before The Whole 30 and for that I’m very thankful.

May Goals

1) Begin using my Real Life Journal.

I heard about the Real Life Journal via The God Centered Mom Podcast.Β When I was listening to the interview with Charity Reeb, I knew that this was something that I needed to try. I don’t feel like I have the best time management skills ever and this journal helps with putting God first and prioritizing everything else. I’ll begin my journey with this 30 day journal/challenge next Monday. If you think about it, be sure to pray for me. Pray that this challenge helps me to grow and gives me direction. Thanks! <3

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2) ReadΒ Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind, & Soul.

Decluttering has been on my mind for awhile now. So it’s only fitting that this is my non-fiction read for this month. I’m hoping this book will give me even more ideas of how to downsize. Chipping it away, one project at a time!

3) Decluttering Project: D’s toys

I had a great system in place, but it is no longer working. It’s time to change things up! The plan for now is to tidy up the downstairs room and take a few boxes down there. D will have one wooden box for upstairs play and a box or two in the upstairs barn room. Let’s hope this works! *crosses fingers*

Since we are mid-month, I’ll keep it simple and stick with these goals for now. I’m sure they will keep me busy enough. πŸ˜‰

How are your goals coming along for May? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you. πŸ™‚

<3 Anna

 

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Mustard Seed Book Review

Hello Friends!

I was given a copy of this PDF to review. I did not receive any other compensation. These are my honest thoughts. <3

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I recently had the opportunity to readΒ The Mustard Seed by Peter Szondy. This story follows a ten year old girl named Sara. She is like many girls her age until one day she discovers that she can heal the sick in her community. This shocking discovery creates a lot of speculation in the little town she calls home, especially when little Sara shares that she saw Jesus at the lake near her house.

I won’t share too many specifics about the story because I hate spoilers, but I’ll say that this story surprised me. (My expectations were not very high because there are many of these stories out there.) The characters have a small town feel that really draws you in. It’s a very easy story to follow, but definitely has heart. It brings up great topics such as: grieving a loved one, dealing with a long term illness, questioning what happens after you die, and more!

I would give this book *** out of 5 stars and encourage you to check it out.

<3 Anna

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