Monday, October 26, 2015

Our New Jersey House!

Today, we officially closed on our New Jersey house and we are so so excited to move in tomorrow! We have had enough of our hotel/nomadic life style and are only too glad to put down roots here. Since we finally own the house, I feel comfortable sharing the pictures of it. All these are from the MLS listing and include the previous owner's furniture. The house is classified as a tudor/craftsmen house. My favorite things so far are all the beautiful moulding and the space- so different from our CA house!
 sunroom/side of the house
 dining room
 view from the front door (living and dining room)
 stairs to the kids' rooms
 view from the top of the stairs (front door to the left)
 Charlotte's room
 Hayden's room
 Kids' bathroom
 Master Bedroom
 Master Bath

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

our trip to the pumpkin patch and parenthood right now

This weekend we went to a local pumpkin patch and had a wonderful time and took tons of cute pictures of the kids all bundled up.

Telling you about our trip to the pumpkin would probably be boring to read, since we did all the typical fall-activities that everyone else with small children does right now. Instead I'd like to share a little slice of life right now that might be more entertaining. 
Let me start off by saying hotel life hasn't been too terrible. We have plenty of space and two bedrooms and a playground, so it works for the short time. (Although we are beyond ready to move into our new house!) However, Friday night, as I was attempting to cook dinner,  I got a text from Nick that he would probably be a little late that night- no problem... So, I have Hayden standing on a chair taking over the precious18 inches of counter space in our kitchen playing with measuring spoons. Charlotte is on the floor with some toy cars. While trying to chop onions, I look over and Hayden is wiping his face with the kitchen sponge... As I take it away from him, Charlotte decides she is over playing with toys on the ground and starts getting ornery. So I plop her in the highchair with a few halves of cherry tomatoes. She throws them on the ground and yells for something else. My onions are starting to burn, so I quickly put a dollop of yogurt on her tray, knowing full well that this is the messiest thing I could give her/ she'll love it and be content for a while. This gives me two free seconds to cook. Trying to entertain them both we are playing dance music on my phone, and I'm doing silly dances to distract them both from the fact that I can't hold them and cook. Meanwhile, I look over and Hayden is now sitting at the kitchen table with a tipped over box of pumpkin cereal, eating straight from the box. At this point, I'm repetitively checking Nick's location on my phone, seeing if he's left the office yet (he hasn't) trying my best to cook dinner in an ill-equipped kitchen. By the time Nick did get home, I had tomato splatters on my shirt, yogurt in my hair, and a glass of wine in hand, but both kids were happily splashing in the bathtub after more-or-less eating the dinner I threw together. 
These types of scenarios sometimes make me crazy, but I think that there will be a time in my life that I will really miss the chaos and the humor that life with 2 little ones brings.  So, parenthood right now isn't all adorable pumpkin patch pictures; it's chaotic and messy and many times we are in survival mode, but I love it so! 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Five on Friday

Wow, I can't believe it's already Friday!
1. This is our first full week in our new city/state and we have been exploring the area and getting to know our way around (which is not to say that I've been able to take a single drive without my navigation!) Here are some things we've been enjoying in our new-to-us area (story time, park trips, a children's museum, and a mom's group).

2. I joined a gym! I had given this up back in California because the daycare hours were really inconvenient  (5:30 - 7:30 pm) but this one has hours most of the day, every day. Now that Hayden doesn't have preschool and we don't have extra hands around, I feel like going to the gym will give me a little me-time during the week. Poor Charlotte will have to get used to a little time away from Momma- her first visit was full of tears. 
3. The wedding last week was so so much fun and so gorgeous! It was a whirlwind weekend but I couldn't be happier for my BFF and her new husband! Sadly my phone died before we even left for the ceremony so I have a few pictures from other people's instagrams of the event.
4. Halloween costumes. I need to start getting crafty! Hayden is dead set on being a stoplight for Halloween and I've been planning out the costume in my mind. I don't want to run out of time when we actually move into our house so I'm planning on working on it next week.
5. We are officially 10 days from our closing date on our new house and I couldn't be more excited! This a picture of the sunroom in our house (I want to wait till it's all the way off the market and offline before sharing more!)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

our potty training journey

I'm calling this a journey because we definitely were not one of those families that potty-trained our toddler in 48 hours, no problem. It's been a process with some bumps along the way, but nonetheless, we are at a good point in the journey- far enough along for me to share some thoughts about it with you other mommas!
I will start off by saying that Hayden is a march-to-his-own-beat, take-your-time kind of guy. He didn't walk until 17 months, and he's always done things when he's good and ready to do them, and not a minute before. I love this about him, and I constantly have to remember to pause and let him go at his own pace. 
So, that being said...our original plan was to start potty-training well before Little Sister made her debut and blessedly just have one kiddo in diapers at a time. Ha! This did not work at all. We tried to start shortly after he turned two and it was a catastrophic disaster. We all shed tears that weekend and decided to shelve the idea for a few months. Then we tried again in the fall, before Charlotte was due - again, no dice. We gave up the one-kid-in-diapers-at-a-time dream and didn't approach potty training again until Hayden started showing the signs of being ready. This was at about 2 and a half years old. He could articulate when he was going and when he needed to be changed. He stayed dry often at naps and was interested in the potty (checking all the boxes). This time we decided a completely different approach- one that I cannot recommend enough, if you have a laid-back kiddo like us. I read this book and it totally changed my mentality for potty-training. I know there's a ton of books out there (trust me, I've read my fair share!) but this one resonated with me the most and really worked for us. I highly recommend reading the whole book (they have one for girls too), but in the meantime, here's our potty-training pro (hahahaha) tips: 
1. Potty Training Sessions, not days: We did potty-training sessions where Hayden would be in his undies for an hour or two at the most. It did not disrupt our lives- we weren't imprisoned at home until he was completely trained. This approach was a million times more manageable and less stressful than our previous attempts.  We held our sessions whenever we were at home and when he was in the mood. I didn't push him if he wasn't feeling it and we didn't have him in undies consecutively each day. If he had an accident or a success, I asked him if he wanted to stay in undies or go back to a diaper. He really guided the process. 
2. Patience, patience, patience: This is a process, y'all! After about 3 days of sessions with 0 successes, we had a bunch of yay! moments in a row and no accidents from that point onward for about 2 weeks. He quickly moved from wearing his undies at home only to wearing them all day long (except for naps). Even now with our summer of transitions, we have had some backwards steps and we know this journey isn't quite over. We were ready to give up pull-up use at night and during naps until we moved... Now we're back in them again and that's okay. We still have the occasional accident, but it's all part of the process and we feel really confident about H's ability to use the bathroom independently. 
3. Rewards: I have no shame in offering him small rewards for bathroom use. We went to the store and let Hayden choose his treat. He chose gummy bears for #1 and bigger red vines for #2.  Having them out in his line of sight was a reminder to use the potty instead of his pants. 
4. Exposure: We had a potty seat in Hayden's bathroom from the time he was 20 months and would let him sit on it and inspect it whenever he wanted. That way it wasn't scary when he started using it. We also read potty books for months and months (so much so that I would have to hide some of them at bedtime so that we could read something a little more entertaining). We moved from the potty to a kid's toilet seat in the first couple weeks of potty training. Now we are at the point where he's able to use any bathroom without a special seat. 
Here are some of the items that made our potty-training a success:
Potty Training Essentials

1  // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 //

Finally, my secret weapon for potty-training (and also part of the reason that we failed the first 2 times)....
No, no not for Hayden- obviously! Seriously though, a little imbibing helped us through some of the more challenging days that came along with potty-training. And also, to celebrate success ;)  Since our first two attempts were when I was pregnant, this crucial factor was missing! I will say that potty-training has been my least favorite parenting hurdle, but at the same time I feel rather accomplished about making the transition out of diapers. For anyone that's just starting the process or still on the journey, like us, hang in there and have a glass of wine ;) 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Five on Friday!

1. My best friend's wedding! We are in Ohio to celebrate my beautiful bestie and her handsome husband-to-be! I'm can't wait for the wedding festivities and am so excited that the big day has arrived.
2. New Jersey// Fall: When we left California last week, it was 90 degrees. We arrived to some beautiful fall weather and the changing leaves. It makes the transition so much easier....
3. Red rain boots... speaking of fall, Hayden didn't really own any weather appropriate shoes so we ran out and picked out these adorable red rain boots. He loves to put them on and wears them every day, rain or shine.
4. Speaking of fall attire... I (thoughtlessly) packed up some of my own fall jackets and boots when we were staging the house and then didn't remember to pull them out to take with me. They are in storage now until we move into our new house. However, I got this cute jacket and am definitely eying these boots so that I can match my little mister.

5.  The Intern  Last week when I was staying with my parents, I had the rare opportunity to go to the movies with my mom and sister (thanks Dad for babysitting!) We saw The Intern because I absolutely love Nancy Meyer's movies and it was wonderful. I loved the interiors (as always!) and the story was sweet. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Halloween Fun

I feel the need to discuss one of my favorite holidays- Halloween - which is less than a month away. Ours will look a little different this year since the majority of the month prior will be spent livin' it up at the Residence Inn (holla), however, that won't stop me from trying to create some Halloween fun for my babies- especially since it Charlotte's first Halloween. 
Loving all these cute Halloween-themed items for the babes: 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

9 months

Hey hey, baby girl is 9 months old! This has been the weirdest month so far... We moved out of our house, moved in with my parents for two weeks, and then moved to New Jersey. Luckily, in spite of all the transitions our sweet girl keeps on smiling! She is such a happy girl all the time and more than able to entertain herself. She loves to explore and has gotten her army-crawl down pat. She can make it across the room surprisingly quickly, particularly when there are power cords, shoes, or cellphones to be tasted (her top three choices of things to put in her mouth). Charlotte also pulls herself up to standing position and lets go with one hand, although it's hard to find things that are at her height- she's still such a tiny thing! 
She weighs in at 16 lbs and is in the 10th percentile for weight and below the charts for height. She has really taken to solid foods and loves everything we put in front of her. Her favorites though are blueberries. She has them with almost every meal.
She loves to swing at the park and holds on very tightly but giggles the whole time. She loves her brother, bath time, and dogs.
Her sleep has been meh this month which I will attribute to our constant changes of scenery. We are hoping for a solid through-the-night schedule when we are settled in the new house later  this month.  
I can't believe it's been 9 months with this sweet thing! She has changed so much from a cautious and reserved baby to a happy, joyful one and we love her so!  
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