Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Family Pictures and our Christmas Card

We (finally) had our family pictures taken in mid-December...in 8 degree weather. Needless to say, the shoot was quick, but amazing Erin got some great shots!

My Parents

My favorite people in the world

The super-talented, almost-mom-to-three-boys, Jill, created our Christmas card in record time.

 I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and have a safe, fun and reflective New Years Eve!! We will be joining some friends for a small dinner party followed by an entire day in our pajamas. :) 

I will be back in January with my new blogging perspective.

Friday, December 13, 2013

5 on Friday: What we've been up to

I am joining up with these lovely ladies after taking a few weeks off! 


I will be participating in The Workout Mama's FREE Christmas Bootcamp to get myself back into shape...it's been so hard to find time to work out at home and I hate to pick up Cam from day care just to take him to another day care at the gym! Hopefully, this will be the jump start that I need!


We are finally having our family pictures taken tomorrow! I would wait until it's going to be 17 degrees to get this done, but we just honestly haven't had time! I cannot wait to have some updated pictures of Cameron, as well as pictures as a family. AND, my parents are coming, so I will have automatic Christmas presents for them. ;) Now, to decide on what to wear....


Cameron visited a new day care/pre-school this week. He will start in January, and we cannot wait!! It's in our local elementary school, so there's a huge playground, a football field to run on and an actual structured day. They do activities, wash their hands, sleep on a mat instead of a crib...what's happened to my little boy??


My birthday was this past week, and instead of being in Vegas, we were home with my family eating ziti and meatballs. And, honestly, I loved it. I would have loved to have been in Vegas with Chad, but there's really nothing like family. My cousin came over with her son, William, who's 9 months older than Cam, and they have a blast together!

My cousin and me on the left, circa 1987. Our boys on the right circa 2013.


I finally sorta kinda got a picture of Cam in some Christmas pjs...this boy does not like to stand still long enough for a picture, but I finally grabbed one while eating goldfish for breakfast. Don't judge.

Happy Friday, friends!! Stay warm!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mommy & Me: Some Rare Pictures!

I have so few pictures of Cameron and me, and the pictures that I do have show the true me...very little make-up, no fashionable outfit and hair pulled back. But, these are the pictures we will cherish in 20 years, right?

This past weekend, we made an early morning trip to LLBean because, well, they were the only store open at 7 am!! (They never close, which is quite convenient.) We picked up some Bean boots for Peyton and Mica and a few other goodies for our stockings.

LL Bean has this great fish tank with a bubble that allows you to be at the same level as the fish...Cam loved the "fishies" and almost had a meltdown when we had to leave. Chad cannot wait to take him fishing in a few years!!

Have I mentioned that I love this age? Cam is so interactive and sweet. I cannot get enough of him!!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Guest Post: Preparing for Baby #2

Happy Tuesday, friends!!! We were supposed to be in Vegas today celebrating my big 3-1, but alas, the weather had different plans, and I am at work on my birthday. I guess there are worse things in life. #firstworldproblems 

I will take this opportunity to take a break, so in my place, Caroline is here to talk about something that we will be experiencing in a couple of years (not anytime soon...hence the drinking and partying in Vegas!), so I asked her how she's preparing for Baby #2.  I have loved watching Eli grow into a ONE year old and can't wait to meet precious Ethan in January!


Hi, everyone!  I am Caroline from Simply Smithwick.  I am so honored to have Jess ask me to guest post for her while she's celebrating her birthday (with my birthday this week, I'm jealous).

I am mom to a recently turned one-year-old and soon-to-be mom to a baby boy due in January.  Yes, my boys will be just 13 months apart.    Was this planned?  No, but we are so excited about our two precious miracles.  You can read about our journey to parenthood here.

With that being said, how do you prepare for two kids?  I don't know, but I am learning.

We've really only had to purchase another crib, double stroller, and just a few other things (ie. humidifier, wipe warmer, diaper genie, etc.).  With those exceptions, he'll be able to use the same clothes, swing, exersaucer, Bumbo and bassinet that I used with Eli.

Sounds simple, right?  No.

There are other aspects to having two or more kids.  I know that my husband and I won't be getting much sleep, but how will we bathe them?  How will we make sure they are both fed? How will we have that special bonding time with each of them?

I don't know.

As a planner, I want to map out every single detail and tell you that they're both going to go to bed at this hour, wake up at this hour, eat then and bathe then, but I know that's not a reality.

I am just learning from other moms that I will have to let it go.  Things will work themselves out and in the first few weeks/months, some of the non-important stuff might not get done and that's ok.  Relaxing and enjoying my two babies will be what is most important.

Life won't always be "picture perfect" or "blog worthy" but I want to make sure life with my two boys is worth living and loving!

If you're a mom of two (or more), how did you prepare yourself?

Do you have any tips for her? 13 months apart is no joke, but I have no doubt she will continue to be an amazing mom...Thank you, Caroline!! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our Weekend: Vegas or Bust

Our weekend was full of laundry, packing and prepping for our baby-less vacation to VEGAS! However, Mother Nature had different plans, and we never even stepped foot on a plane. 

We were supposed to fly from Portland to Philly to Vegas, but Philly was not having any of that! In case you missed it, a massive ice/snow storm hit Philly/DC yesterday and basically shut the airports down. 

We arrived at the airport on Sunday afternoon, saw that our flight was delayed then canceled, booked another flight, went to lunch with my dad, got a call that that flight was canceled, headed back to the airport, booked another flight to DC with hopes that we would just get out of Portland. By the time that our last flight was canceled, there were no flights until Tuesday afternoon, so we just scratched our entire trip. 

To say we were bummed is an understatement. We tried to get a flight anywhere just to have a few days to ourselves, which is much needed, but there was nothing leaving Portland because there were no planes to take anyone anywhere! In the end, we went back home, gave Cam a bath, put him to bed and came to work today. 

Everything happens for a reason, right? I wasn't really read to spend four days away from our little man...especially on my birthday!

Happy Monday, friends!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cameron: 17 Months

My little boy...you are almost 1 1/2 years old! I thought you would be my little boy forever.

Teeth: still 16, but you are digging way in the back...maybe molars are on their way? I hear they're a b*tch!

This month, you have learned so many words. They are all words that you say without any prompting or when you recognize something. They include:
Football, Ball, Touchdown, Book, Apple, TV, Hot, Milk, Water, Loulou, Momma, Dadda, Grandpa, Night night, Bath, Brush teeth, Bear, Doggy, Cat, Elephant, Cracker, Cookie, Pizza, Banana, Jacket, Hat, Bye bye, Hello, Love you, Truck, Vroom, Outside, Fork, Bless you, Thank you, Sit Down, Please, More, Music, Sock and Shoe (your favorite word)

You also know what an owl and elephant say and can move like a robot. :)

You have started to want to do things on your own include putting on your shoes and taking off your jacket. (You aren't successful yet, but you get an A for effort!) You know that when we say it's time to get ready to go, you must have four things: socks, shoes, hat and jacket. I wonder what will happen when spring and summer come along and you no longer need socks, a hat or a jacket...you are obsessed with these things!

Trying on Momma's Bean Boots

Toys: It's gotten to be too cold to go outside, but we have taken the wagon for a ride or two, and we "let" you "help" us bring in the trash cans...it's one of your favorite things to do! You love to read (finally), and have a few favorite toys that I wrote about here.

You LOVE music and you love to dance. If we have to turn off the music in the car for some reason, you point and say, "music" so we turn it back on. We have an adorable video of you dancing the other night...you were going to town!

We started an email address for you...it's quite funny to think that you will be seeing and reading these pictures and emails when you are 18 (if we can make it that long without telling you). There are some naked pics, some funny stories and lots of love. :)

Preoccupied with nursery rhymes on YouTube...our lifesaver when we go out to dinner!

Sleep: You are still taking two naps during the day, but will need to adjust to just one when you start your new day care in January. You will also be napping on a mat instead of in a crib...I'm sure you'll adjust just fine, but it has me a little worried!

Food: You are a very picky eater. You love crackers (and any crunchy snack), cheese, green beans, bananas, cheerios, hot dogs and bologna. That's about it. You aren't against trying other things, but you don't generally like them.

In case you can't tell from our pictures, the pacifier is still a major component of every day life. You've gotten even more attached to it lately; maybe it's because you're teething? I have no idea, but it's gotta go soon!

What happens when I take away your pacifier...oy vey!

Social: You had quite a few play dates this month: Sofia, Oscar and Jameson. I love watching you around older kids because you share so well and just sort of take it all in. When they grab something from you, you don't fuss (yet), but you kind of just step back and let them have it. I'm sure this will change, but right now, I am a proud momma! You've also been so sweet as we've carted you around from appliance stores to lumber stores to our new house...we started demo-ing this month, and you have been the best! Aunt Stacey takes you sometimes so we can get more work done, but you rarely complain. :)

We celebrated your second Thanksgiving and did it in a very low-key manner. We didn't do much, but we enjoyed our time with you!


Uncle Donnie

I love you, sweet baby. THIS is my favorite age. I am still amazed at every. single. thing you do. You are learning so much; I am always so proud to be your momma. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Working Mom: Our Evening Routine

I was approached by Elizabeth at E, Myself and I about participating in a Working Mom project back in October, so this is my guest post on our Evening Routine that she published last month. 

I teach high school special education to students with moderate disabilities: Emotional Disturbances, Specific Learning Disabilities, OHI (ADHD) and Autism. I LOVE MY JOB. I give so much credit to SAHMs, but I don't think I could ever do it. Teaching is part of me and it helps me define ME. Of course, being Chad's partner is first because nothing else would be possible without his support, love and dedication. 

One of the most important things that I have learned about being a working mom is to be prepared and organized. I am, by no means, super organized or prepared, but I like to think I am in the right places. Like never running out of diapers. Or snacks. Or clothes. For me, I can throw together something "dirty" and make a decent outfit. For Cameron, his "dirty" is a little more, well, dirty.

Our evening routine involves my organization/preparation time for the next day(s), and it goes something like this:

Depending on the day, I may work until 6 at my second job or I may be done at 2:30. Regardless, we usually leave Cameron at day care a little later to take advantage of some "productive" time either at work or at home. We also use this time for doctor's appointments, financial appointments, etc...which all go a little smoother with no baby. :) Some days, however, I pick him up early and enjoy some outside time with him!

5:00 One of us picks up Cameron from day care

5:30 Cameron eats dinner while we take care of dishes, design our dream home or just relax with some cocktails.

My usual view during this time...Cameron's eating, Chad's cooking and I'm drinking a glass of wine :)

6:00 Family play time - wrestling, going for a walk, making forts, playing with toys, playing with the neighbors (and their toys)

6:30 Bath time for Cameron...sometimes this lasts for 4 minutes, sometimes it lasts for 20 minutes. Whoever is not giving Cam a bath is either making dinner (Chad) or doing laundry/picking up (me).

For some reason, Chad can keep Cam in the tub for 40 minutes...when I do it, he wants to get out immediately. What gives?!

6:45ish Out of bath ("nakey-time"), pjs, book and milk for Cameron, continue dinner prep for us

Sometimes we cheers cocktails before bed...don't judge.

7:00 Bedtime for bonzo...we've tried 7:30 because we thought he was going down too late, but 7:00 is our magic number. He usually sits in bed for about 30-40 minutes jabbering to himself, but he's always been great about putting himself to sleep.

After Cameron is in bed, we eat dinner together (we try...some nights, we just eat with him, but we really try to set aside this time for us.) then wrap up the dishes, turn off the kitchen lights and retreat to our part of the house. (We live with my mom and share a kitchen, but have our own living space.)

our typical dinner...psych! Chad is an amaaazing chef, but we usually opt for something much less time consuming like meatloaf or frozen pizza or take-out

Once my bootie hits the couch, I am usually down for the count, so I am always sure that my nightly to-do list is complete: Clean outfit for Cameron, sippy of milk ready for the morning and the house as picked up as possible. I hate cleaning, but I hate living in a mess even more.

Our biggest challenge is that Cameron is still sleeping in our bedroom (in his crib) because we only have one bedroom for now! So, once he goes to bed, our room is off limits. Which means that laundry is off limits (except for swapping loads and folding). This is why I like to use our afternoons to get laundry done - otherwise, it would sit in our bedroom for weeks. Literally.

Of course, every night is different. This is my ideal evening routine, but eating out, visiting family, house appointments, etc sometimes keep us out later than 7:00 which calls for a quick change then right to bed with no bath. Some nights, we just don't give him a bath. Some nights, my mom takes him for a walk which gives us more time to do things together (even if it's just dishes or cooking), which is SO IMPORTANT. We could never be good parents without the support of each other.

What is your evening routine? What works? What doesn't work?

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