Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter

We had an amazing weekend full of family, fun, eggs, and surprisingly gorgeous weather. After temperatures in the 40s and 50s the past few weeks, we were graced with a gorgeous mid-60 degree day on Saturday. Perfect for egg hunting! This was Landon’s first egg hunt, and I think its safe to say he loved every minute. Watching him have so much fun just fills my heart. I love Landon being at this age and getting to have so much fun at every holiday.

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Happy Easter from our family to yours.

He is Risen, He is Risen, Indeed!

Monday, March 25, 2013

squinty eyed.

This kid. Everyday he is learning something new, testing his boundaries, and making me laugh. Lately, his favorite way to smile is with this squinty eyed look. It gets me every single stinking time. It’s the “I know I shouldn’t dunk my shoes in the dog’s water bowl but I’m doing it anyways” grin.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

landon / 15 months

Its been a while since I’ve done an update on Landon, I can’t believe three months have passed since I wrote his twelve month post. Where has the time gone? It really goes too fast. This little booger is nearly impossible to photograph lately, so these are from Valentines day. I have every intention of taking Easter pictures, but with temps in the 40s, its been too cold to go outside. This weather is just ridiculous for March! Bring on warmer temperatures! So here we go…15 months…
 
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Landon, Monkey, Buddy, Monkey-Moo, Silly Kid, Monk, Lil Man, and any other crazy nickname we may call you, you have started your second year off with a bang. You are busier than ever, learning new things everyday, and a constant joy to watch.
 
Wednesday we went to your 15 month doctors appointment. You weigh 20lbs 5oz and are 30.5 inches tall. You were so proud standing on the real scale for the first time! You are perfectly healthy, just on the small side.
 
Currently, you are wearing 12 month clothing. You have always been skinny…that’s no secret, but really? You’re making it kind of difficult for me to buy spring and summer clothes because I keep waiting on you to have some insane growth spurt and chunk up on me. No such luck. You also wear size 4 diapers and size 4 shoes. Grow a little, will ya?
 
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Favorite toys: that would be anything with wheels. You can constantly be found pushing around your cars, trucks, and trains. You love your Cozy Coupe Truck that you got for your birthday, and you still love stroller rides. Ms Liz has taken you to the park some, and you would rather ride in the stroller than play on the playground. You also love blocks, wooden spoons, and Josie’s water bowl.
 
You have started “talking” or saying things that at least your daddy and I understand. Current words are “Hey,” “Bye,” and “Go-gie” (Josie), and “Cai”- Callie (Ms Liz’s doggie). You are constantly pointing at things and babbling like you know exactly what they are and what you’re saying. I have no doubt you will talk my hears off before too long. Still no “mama” or “dada” which makes me sad.
 
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You.Are.Busy. You started walking just before your first birthday, and there is no slowing you down. You walk around the house pretty much nonstop during the day.
 
You still love bath time and showers.You think its super funny to hear yourself echo in the shower and just shriek with excitement when you shower with us. In the tub, you splash, and play, and actually cry when its time to get out. Such a water baby, and I love it.
 
You LOVE Josie. You go up to her constantly and pat her on the back, lean in to give her kisses and cuddles, and giggle when she licks you. We have loved seeing her finally come around to you and see your bond start to grow. She is so gentle with you and would let you do anything to her.
 
We started leaving you in the nursery on Sundays at church, which is something that completely tugs at my heartstrings. We are so fortunate that you aren’t in daycare, so to drop you off and let you play in the nursery is a big step. You don’t even think twice about it, and have never cried (thank goodness). You play, and seem to love it. And we’re thankful to have a peaceful Sunday morning in church. I am so thankful that the church we go to has great kids programs, and can’t wait for you to grow up in that environment.
 
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We celebrated your first Valentine’s Day! I never realized how much even the smallest holidays mean when you have kids to celebrate it with. I can’t wait to start Valentines traditions with you and help you pick out your valentines for school when you are older.
 
We transitioned away from the bottle in January, and it took a while to find a cup that you liked to use before finally we gave up on sippy cups all together. Yep, you went straight from the bottle to a real cup with a real straw in a months time. That kills me! You’re growing up too quick. Stop it. You aren’t a huge milk drinker, and we found that the sippy cups just frustrated you because you couldn’t enough out, so the regular cups/straws work great.
 
You are still a pretty good eater, you love anything with cheese (grilled cheese, mac n cheese, etc), you love bananas, mandarin oranges, and peaches, green beans (finally!), carrots, sweet potatoes, and your absolute favorite right now seems to be blueberries.. You would eat the entire carton if I would let you. We are working on using a spoon- you think its a toy half the time instead of something to eat with, so that’s a challenge. You’ll get there!
You dance everytime you hear music..even commercials on tv. You stop whatever you are doing and just start bouncing to the music. Its pretty cute.
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You point at everything. Birds, trees, out the window when we are in the car, everything. You just take in your surroundings constantly.
You are working on your molars right now, which means you are fussier than usual, fighting sleep, and waking up in the middle of the night. Typically we can bring you to bed with us and you fall right back asleep.
You are a total daddy’s boy, which breaks my heart and makes it melt at the same time. I knew you two would have a special bond, and its definitely true. You love your daddy so so so much.
So there you have it, the past three months in a nutshell. They’ve been so, so fun. Each and EVERY day I cannot wait to see what you do or learn. You are every emotion I ever thought I could have, times ten. I look forward to our car rides in the morning on the way to drop you off, and I can’t wait to pick you up each day. I look so forward to watching you as you learn more words, and we can really start having conversations. I know you are going to have a lot to tell us!
We love you, Landon!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

home.

Its been over four years since I have felt at home. I know that sounds crazy, but its the honest truth. The last time I felt like I was “home” was when I was in college. As soon as I graduated, I felt homesick. And I’ve been searching for the cure for it ever since. I think its fair to say my husband has felt the same way.

Life after college meant being thrown into the adult world and finding our way. As soon as I graduated, I moved back in with my parents to finish planning our wedding. In March before we got married, John was laid off of work. The housing market crashed and his job was one that was affected. In a way it was a blessing, because it meant we could move closer to our parents. But it was also a huge challenge.

After five months of living out of suitcases at their house, John and I got married. We moved to Winston Salem where I started my first real job as an oncology nurse, working night shift, as the sole income for our newlywed selves. We struggled to adjust. I struggled to adjust to night shift and my new, really challenging, really scary job. John did a lot of side jobs from carpet cleaning, to finishing his sisters basement, to make money while he was unemployed. I worked like crazy, and slept every chance I got. And I craved “home.” I begged John to get us back to Greenville. But it didn’t work out. There were a lot of tears, a lot of anger, and a lot of praying.

A year later, John was offered a job almost two hours away from where we lived. So we moved half way between my job, and his new job and we both commuted to work. My commute was 45 minutes, his was an hour, sometimes more. I also went to dayshift, which was amazing. We finally felt like things were turning around, we finally had two incomes, and I felt so much better on dayshift. But we still didn’t feel home. We contemplated moving to where his job was, where I could easily find a job and we’d be more centrally located. We’d be able to buy a house, find a church, build a community and finally settle down somewhere. I went on a couple job interviews. I was even offered one, and turned it down. It just didn’t feel right. We were so, so frustrated, and still felt like something was missing. We still didn’t feel home.

Two years after that, we welcomed Landon into our lives and started the huge journey that is parenthood. It became even more important to me to find that “home” that we were craving. So, after a lot of praying and a stroke of good luck, I got a job at the cancer center ten minutes from our house. I gave up my commute, my weekends, my holidays, and welcomed consistency. I started my new job last November, and immediately felt relief. I felt like it was the right step, that it was what worked for us. I could drop Landon off in the mornings and pick him up each day, I had every weekend home, and every holiday home. Something that was so important. Finally, things were working out. About the same time, John was moved to a neighborhood only 30 minutes away from us, cutting his commute in half. We finally could begin conversations about settling down, getting out of our rent house, and finding something of our own.

Last weekend we made an offer on some land nearby. And our offer was accepted. I can already tell a difference in our stress level. We both are so at peace and so happy about this little piece of land that we can call ours.

I finally feel home.

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I can honestly say that the past four years have been the greatest blessing, and the biggest challenge I’ve ever gone through. I’m pretty sure God taught me more about patience, and waiting on His timing for my life than ever. And I can honestly say that it was worth it, because it makes this time for us even more sweeter knowing what we overcame to get here.

Hopefully, next spring we can begin building our first real home. The place we can raise our family. The place we can watch our kids play in the yard, plant flowers, and watch the sunset from the back porch.

I can hardly wait.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

DIY Laundry Detergent

Since having Landon, I’ve become a little more concerned about the amount of chemicals and products that we use in our house. Mainly, the fact that I can’t pronounce half of them.So after scouring the internet, and Pinterest, I decided the first step to creating a more “natural” home, was making my own laundry detergent.

We have always been Tide laundry detergent faithfuls.  After having Landon we used Tide Free and Gentle, which costs approx 12.00 for a bottle that does 64 loads of laundry. If you do 6 loads a week, then the bottle lasts about 12 weeks, or three months. So 12 dollars for 3 months. I doesn’t sound that bad, but that’s almost 50.00 a year, just for detergent. Add in oxi-clean, fabric softener, etc, and the cost per year is near 70.00.

Not that Tide didn’t do a good job of keeping our clothes clean I love the idea that I know exactly what the ingredients are in our laundry detergent. I also love how cheap it was to make, and that according to the world wide web, should last for up to 10 months. Twenty dollars for a year of laundry detergent? Sign me up.

My recipe came from howdoesshe.com. I was a little worried about finding the ingredients, since we live in such a small town, but I was able to find it all at Walmart. It took me about ten minutes to mix the ingredients, and I was done. Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy.

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Here’s the Recipe

1 box (4lb) Twenty Mule Borax (about $5.00)

1 box (3lb) Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda ($5.00)

4lb baking soda (I bought 4, 1lb boxes of the generic brand, which were about 50 cents each, total: $2.00)

2 bars Zote, Fels Naptha or Octagonal Soap, I used Octagonal as it was what my grocery store carries, but Walmart had Fels Naptha. About 4.00 for two.

1.5 lb OxyClean 3.00

1- 55oz bottle Purex Crystals Fabric Softener 8.00

 

Total Cost: Approx 27.00

It is entirely possible that this recipe will last you an entire year. I will let you know how long ours last as we do anywhere from 3-6 loads a week, depending on just how motivated I am.  $27 a year versus almost $70? That means $43.00 savings. $43.00 is almost two boxes of diapers, gas, groceries and a gazillion other things way more important that laundry detergent!

My next goal is to try some various DIY all purpose cleaners, so stay tuned for how those turn out.

 

Note: According to all my “research,” this detergent is completely HE washer friendly.

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