Tag Archives: Kids

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Our’s was crazy-busy (there’s a reason I’ve disappeared for almost a full month!). Just before Christmas we had had the triplets fifth birthday, then Christmas, then New Years, and then we all got a lovely stomach bug that has been making it’s rounds. The last man standing was Matthew and he finally succumbed last weekend.

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There’s so much I want to be sharing with you, but I know I can’t just rush and throw it all out there. There’s the triplets Growing Up post, Peter’s 19 month post (yea, I know those are more for me than anyone else). We started finishing some major home renovation projects that I’m really excited about. Our iPhone 5C exploded and caught fire (no one was hurt). One child, he who shall not be named, decided to try and close my laptop with Legos in it (the Legos won). Needless to say my computer time has become severely limited.

I have been reading so many good books that I can’t wait to share with you in the next few weeks, as well as some of my really fun Christmas gifts. One of my friends has a fantastic new book that just came out, that I have yet to read and am so looking forward to. I started a Moms Group at our church, which is a whole other ride. It’s been crazy!

How have you been? How were your holidays? How are your families?

I hope everyone is well and I’m really looking forward, and hoping, to getting back to my space in the ether!

Must Haves to Surviving Christmas with Toddlers

***This post contains affiliate links: Read my disclosure policy here.

I kind of consider myself an expert on this topic, particularly given the battles of THREE toddlers at once trying to scale the tree. We are now onto our fifth toddler trying to tear down the tree and constantly unplug it. I hadn’t put most of my tricks in place and was wondering why I was losing my ever-loving mind!

Must Have #1

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Swivel Base Christmas Tree Stand – I bought this YEARS before we had kids. I was sick of fighting with a cheap tree stand that would fall over, leak water, and never keep the tree straight without spending HOURS underneath it tightening and loosening screws. This thing is FANTASTIC! It literally takes me about 5 minutes to get the tree in the stand, in the house, and straight. I have never had to anchor a tree to a wall with this thing….the tree can be at a 60* and still not come crashing down (I may be exaggerating, just a touch, at that last one.)

This is how cock-eyed the bottom of our tree was this year….

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You wouldn’t know it to look at the tree, other than my teetering star that still needs to be secured.

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Must Have #2

img_2477On Off Ornament Switch – I think I splurged on this when Avelyn was a toddler. There are a bunch of different kinds if you look on Amazon, I think we paid about $25 for our’s, but it has been well worth it. I’m able to tuck the plugs behind furniture that little ones can’t get to and still be able to easily turn the tree on and off. It’s a very simple thing, similar to the “touch” lights of old; you just plug your light string into the box that attaches via a wire to the ornament, and that gets plugged in the wall.

Peter was driving me up the wall (our ornament needed to be rewired…not a big deal, but I hadn’t put it on yet). He was constantly plugging and unplugging the tree. No amounts of no or anything else helped. I finally just had it and had to take the 5 minutes to fix the wire on the end of the box and move the plug back to the outlet behind the dresser. Problem solved. He hasn’t touched the lights since.

Must Have #3

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Baby Jail – We had bought one of these for Avelyn to have a place to play when we had our store, but quickly remembered it when we had the triplets at 11 months and needed to protect the tree. You can make the corral as big or as small as needed. The nice thing is the sides are very rigid and the thing is not easy to move: It was a much needed wall of NO around our Christmas tree.

Must Have #4

A Sense of Humor – As with anything with children, a sense of humor and LOTS of GRACE seem to take the edge off of things. A healthy dose of lowering your expectations works wonders too. We’ve had our share of mishaps, but for the most part have avoided any major Christmas-Catastrophes. It has also helped that there have been years that the tree gets lights and beads and that’s it, mostly because I just wasn’t up to the effort of full out decorating Christmas trees (ie. I was pregnant with the triplets and with Peter).

The most important thing to remember is that Christmas is a magical season, not just for children, but for adults too. No one wants to spend every waking minute of it saying or being told NO (and other, more PC, alternatives).

 

How to Have the BEST SUMMER YET!

How to Have the BEST SUMMER YET! (and what does that even mean) @JessicaMWhite.com

It’s official: Summer is here!

School finished last week, swim lessons are soon, and the temperatures are rising: There are just some things that just ooze summer. Particularly when it comes to magazine articles and ads all toting the same message: “MAKE THIS THE BEST SUMMER YET!” That somehow by using this product or buying that gadget, our burning desire to experience the ABSOLUTE BEST SUMMER YET will be fulfilled.

Here are some easy tips, that I’ve tried, that certainly help me to enjoy the best Summer has to offer:

How to have the Best Summer Yet
{in 3 easy steps}

How to Have the BEST SUMMER YET! (and what does that even mean) @JessicaMWhite.com

Stop

Stop racing around, feeling like there are a thousand things to accomplish, because summer is only so long. If you’re racing all over the place, you’re not enjoying what you’re actually doing. Look at the schedule, make some changes. Maybe it means not having the kids in so many activities, canceling a few engagements, or reprioritizing what’s on the agenda.

Drop

Once in a while drop what you’re doing and take 10 seconds, 10 SECONDS; close your eyes, breath and feel what’s around you, really taste that berry, or relive a favorite memory. Don’t even think about telling me you don’t have 10 spare seconds in your day, because ain’t nobody that busy. Those 10 seconds will give you enough time to process what your thinking about, and give you a momentary respite from the chaos.

Roll

Roll with it. If you have a crazy whim to forego dinner and get the kids an ice cream…it’s seriously not going to kill anyone, but I can guarantee you the kids will remember that ONE TIME {or more} that mom let them have ice cream for dinner. If someone calls you about a spontaneous get together, do it {even if it means going to the grocery store and bringing a deli salad}. Or invite them over. Don’t think about what your house looks like, think about spending time with your family, a friend, a neighbor.

If you can do those 3 three things, I can pretty much guarantee that your summer is going to be the best yet, because you actually took the time to remember it, to experience it to the fullest.

Those advertising people are sneaky. Somehow they convince us that we need their things in order to be happy; to have a Summer that is actually worth bragging-rights come the Fall. Psst….we don’t. All we need to have the best of any thing, any experience, is to actively pursue God’s desires for us in this life, which is to enjoy the world He has created for us and the people he has blessed us with.

“But seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6:33

Now, this doesn’t mean since we were kind enough to include God in the things that we think are the “best” for us, that it will be given to us. We must pursue what God deems best, what He would have us find fulfillment in, which is Him; activities and things which will draw us closer to Him. That is always what is Best.

As long as we are seeking our own enjoyment, we will be left disappointed. Having missed out on what truly is the best of anything. As long as our heart is motivated for ourselves, not God, we won’t find fulfillment in what the world deems the best-ever-of-all-time anything.

Summer is here, a time of year we all rejoice in. Seek not the best of the world, but the best of God in the world. The beauty He has created for us to enjoy, drawing our hearts and minds to Him, and all the best He’s created just for us.

“The heavens declare the Glory of God; the sky proclaims the work of His hands.”
Psalm 19:1

Every summer already is the “Best summer yet”, because every day is new, every day is a fresh start, a new day for us to seek God and His will for our lives, to go deeper in His word and draw closer to Him. Why settle for less, when God will ALWAYS give you the best?

How do you plan on truly enjoying your Summer?

 

This post originally appeared on my other blog, on 6.30.14.

Peter 8 Months

This month has been incredible for Peter. For mommy, not so much. Every day the baby is being taken over by the little boy a bit more.

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8 Months Old

  • Wearing 12 and some 18 month outfits
  • Weighing 21lbs, 28 3/4″ tall
  • I’m thinking he’s not going to be in his infant car seat much longer
  • Continues eating like a champ! Loves sweet potatoes, avocados, peas, carrots, squash, beef bones, and pretty much everything you put in front of him.
  • Still sleeping through the night, taking 2 good naps a day
  • His top 2 teeth are sitting right there….you can see their complete outline and a red line at the bottom where they’re working through
  • Big advancement…he’s now army crawling, rolling, and pulling himself everywhere
  • We did trim his bangs, because they were always in his face…I’m thinking the back will get trimmed this weekend

And all his hair is long enough to be pulled back into one ponytail.

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One More Step {a Review}

There are days, weeks when taking another step makes me want to scream into a pillow. The very thought of another sibling fight, another meal to be cooked, another life issue to be dealt with makes me want to leave my life at the kitchen table and walk out the front door, never to return.

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Life is hard. Sometimes, the thought of taking another step is daunting, another step in faith feels impossible. Because why did God call me to THIS mess, when someone else’s seems so much tidier?

A couple of months ago I requested to review Rachel Wojo‘s One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving Up, and then it sat on the shelf, because life was becoming too much and reading a book was impossible. With the new year I was determined to clean up the book reviews remaining from the old. I planned on just “getting through this” as best I could.

Sitting on a last minute flight I managed to read over half of One More Step; I sipped tentatively at it’s pages, before taking life giving gulps from it. Logically we know that other people “get it” that we’re not the only ones struggling through life, but we need that reminder so often. One More Step is that reminder.

Rachel Wojo shares about her struggles as a single mom to a terminally ill little girl and her journey to and through marriage and becoming a mom of many, while struggling through the loss of her own mother. She talks candidly about her frustrations, her anger with God, and her continual struggle to deal with life and releasing it to God over and over again.

At the end of each chapter Rachel shares a few Bible verses, Pillars of Truth, as well as a Stepping Stones…questions for you to think about and record in a prayer journal. Rachel does a fantastic job of sharing her knowledge and giving you the tools you need to discover for yourself how to take that next step.

Whether you feel like you’re lost at a dead end or just looking for how to avoid burning out, this book is book will help you unravel the rats’ nest of chaos that’s presiding in your life.

*I received this book for free from BloggingforBooks.com in exchange for my honest opinion. You can find my disclosure policy here.