Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Resolutions for 2015

With the new year just a day away, I thought I would share some of my resolutions for 2015. I am really going to focus on a few areas of my life that I want to improve so here we go!

-Reduce debt and save money: this is probably the most important one for me. We don't have much debt so it shouldn't take too long to get rid of it but I hate having that looming over us. Especially since we are going to be buying a house, I want our smaller debt gone. Along with that, we have spent so much money getting our family out to Alabama that we need to build back our savings account. I love to have a cushion of money for emergencies like medical issues, car problems, house repairs, etc. I like to have a good amount of money aside for those things so we don't get ourselves in a bind if something happens.

This is the 52 Week challenge but I am doing it backwards so I only have to save $10 in the month of December so we won't have to worry about saving a ton of money and buying Christmas presents in the same month!

-Weight loss/healthy lifestyle: I am really striving to get back to eating healthy and feeling better. Since moving out here, we have been indulging in stuff we hardly ever ate in California. I have been feeling heavy and sluggish and I want to get back to feeling energized. I am hoping to start the year with a detox boot camp (don't worry, I still eat real food!) and I know that once we are in our own house, we will be eating much healthier because I don't buy the crap. I will also have a better opportunity to work out since our neighborhood will be nice and I can go on walks with the kids. Until we get the house though, I need to start things off with workouts I can do in the house while the kids are napping.

Arbonne Detox

-Activities with the kids: I mentioned in the last post about my preschool plans with Brayden and that will definitely contribute to this resolution. I want to focus the kids more on learning activities and make sure we are turning the TV off and staying away from the screen. I haven't been very good at monitoring their screen time and I know Brayden watches too much TV and doesn't play enough. That is going to change for sure! Again, once we are in our own house and the kids have all their toys back and things are organized, it will be easier to manage activities. I will also have our art supplies back (right now they are in storage) so we will be able to paint and color again.

Magnet fun! Can't wait to have these back.

-Expand my Essential Oils business: I have been using and selling essential oils for about 6 months and I am seriously obsessed with them! They have helped my family so much and I am so passionate about them. I want to work on selling more so I can help bring in some money. Since I don't have a teaching job and I stay home with the kids, this would be a nice way to bring in a little money to help out. Look out for a post coming up about essential oils and how they have helped us so much!

This is the Family Physician Kit which is what I started with. Changed a whole lot about my life!

So those are my resolutions for 2015 and I really want to make sure I stick to them. They are not really HUGE changes in life so I think it will be easier for me to make sure they get accomplished. I have already created a plan to save money (the 52 week money saving challenge) so I just need to make the necessary cutbacks in our current budget to insure we save the money each week. At the end of the year we will have saved over $1,000 so that will be a nice little amount to add to the savings account. I also have my detox boot camp package coming from a friend that sells the products so I am ready to start the year off right!

What are your resolutions and what are you doing to make sure you succeed?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Homeschooling for Preschool

Since we moved to Alabama, Brayden hasn't been in preschool like he was in California. I want to get him started in one but we really need to wait until we get a house so we can enroll him in a school close to the house. In the mean time, I want him to still be using his brain and working on skills that will help him grow and become a smarter little boy and be ready when he does start preschool again.

As I was thinking about this, I came across a pin on Pinterest about this exact topic. It had a ton of ideas and would really work for us since the writer of that post is also a mom of two and she does the learning activities while her younger child is napping.

Here is the link to the post I read: 37 Ways to Stay Sane at Home with Your Preschooler

As I get going, I will keep you updated as how things are going. I would like to make each week a theme and then do activities based on the theme like the farm, insects, transportation, etc. Hopefully Brayden enjoys most of the activities and actually participates. I will try to include short videos from youtube to make things interesting and then I would like to find activities that make him move his body. He is such a mover and doesn't sit still for almost any length of time so I don't expect him to sit still for a lesson. I am really excited to start this with Brayden and I think he will really like learning about new things.

Although we will be homeschooling for a while, I still think it's very important for kids to attend a preschool with other children and a teacher other than a parent. Children need to learn to follow directions from others and the social skills learned at school are vital to a healthy, well-rounded child. I know some people choose to homeschool and I think that's great. They find other ways to get their child to socialize but that just isn't what we are going to do. Brayden will go back to preschool in the fall when the new sessions begin.

For now I think doing the homeschooling will just help keep his brain sharp and ready to absorb new information. Hopefully it goes well!!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Festivities

This year was different than years past for one reason. It was our first official Christmas as residents of Alabama. We have been here for a Christmas before but it was just a vacation so this was new for us. It was the first year we didn't get to celebrate in person with my side of the family and that was pretty hard for me. Every single year, we have celebrated with my family. We spend the night at my parent's house on Christmas Eve and we spend the whole day together. Since it was all new territory for us this year, this is how it went down:

Christmas Eve was spent here at my MIL's house (aka our house too) and we Skyped with my family while the kids opened their gifts from them. The kids (and us) were spoiled like usual and it was a great Christmas Eve. I opened my one present, Christmas pajamas that us girls get every year from my dad, at the same time as my mom and sister over Skype. We all put them on and took our traditional picture in our new pajamas.

A few days earlier, Brayden helped make gingerbread houses!!

After Skyping with my family, we set out the milk, cookies, and carrots for Santa and his reindeer and the kids were off to bed. They looked so cute in their new pajamas and we got to read their new Christmas stories.

Life is hard when you open presents, get new pajamas and eat a cookie before bed. Oh toddlers!

Once the kids were sleeping Chance and I put out all their gifts and we headed to bed ourselves. It was an early morning since I needed to prep my traditional breakfast sticky roll. The kids were up around 7:00 and they were so excited. Well actually Madison wakes up excited every morning but Brayden was extra excited. We opened gifts, Skyped with my family again, ate breakfast, and played with their new toys. 

My traditional breakfast sticky roll. It was delicious!!

Checking out Santa's footprints!

Officer Brayden.

 Later we headed to hubby's grandma's house for the family celebration. We ate tons of amazing food, the kids got spoiled AGAIN and they played for hours outside in the fresh, crisp air.

(We did not get her a bike. This is a cousin's bike that Madison clearly enjoyed sitting on.)

It was seriously an amazing Christmas even though we weren't with my family. Next year we will most likely be in California for Christmas and try to switch off so everyone gets to spend the holidays with us.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pigs Flying?

Wow. I have neglected this little blog of mine for WAY too long now. Life got pretty crazy with Brayden in school, Madison's first birthday and then a pretty huge change for our family.

We moved across the country!!

Thats right. Hubby got a job, the job he has been working so hard for, and it happened to be back in his home state of Alabama. This Cali girl packed up the apartment, quit her job, said goodbye to her WHOLE family, and headed for the South. We are finally adjusted, although that will change when we get a house of our own and we have to pack/unpack all over again.

For now we are doing great. Its been almost two months since the big move and we are all adjusted, finally sleeping normal again and as you can see, I can finally get back to my sweet blog! I have missed it so much!

I know I have a lot to catch up on with you all but I will start with getting back to the daily, normal stuff. Right now, since its just DAYS before Christmas, thats what I will be posting about. And probably for the next week or so.

The kids saw Santa a couple of days ago and this year, like every year in the past, turned out a fantastic photo.

Poor Madison did not like Santa AT ALL but for the first year, Brayden LOVED him. He was so excited to see Santa and tell him what he wants for Christmas this year. He literally ran up to Santa and hopped right up onto his lap. I had to rip Madison's fingers off my sweater and walk away to get the photo. She was pretty devastated. The photo couldn't be any more perfect though!

Thankfully, I have all my Christmas shopping done and everything that has been delivered is wrapped and ready for Christmas morning. I still have a few more packages coming by Christmas Eve so those will still have to be wrapped but other than that, I am ready for Christmas. I can't wait to see the kids' faces when they wake up Christmas morning to see all the presents under the tree.

On a side note, I promise to be back at least once a week with an update about us!

Madison's First Birthday!

It's been a while since I have blogged but I am hoping this is the start to blogging regularly once again.

I am back with a super fun post...MADION'S BITHDAY PARTY!!

My sweet baby girl turned one over 3 months ago and we had an awesome party to celebrate her officially becoming a toddler.  I will get to the party in a second but for now I want to share some details about my crazy girl!

-being held
-playing peek-a-boo
-trying to keep up with her brother
-nuzzling her face in pillows and blankets
-chasing after Brayden while I hold her
-baths...pretty much any source of water (including the dog water!)
-dogs and cats
-knocking down stacks of blocks
-digging in the trash

-being strapped down
-long car rides
-things being taken away from her
-getting out of the bath

She is FINALLY sleeping through the night. Whew. Seriously, for a minute there, I thought it was never going to happen. I weaned her off breast feeding (well, she pretty much weaned herself) and then she stopped waking up at night. It has been amazing to finally get a full night of sleep again! I forgot what it was like for a while!

She is still small for her age...weighing in at only 17 pounds, 15 ounces at her one-year check-up. Her doctor wasn't too concerned but if she doesn't gain a good amount of weight before she is 15 months, she will have to go on a high-calorie diet. I have been giving her so much food in hopes that she gains weight and her next appointment goes well! She still wears 9 month clothing and I have so many cute clothes for her when she finally grows into 12 months.

Now onto the fun stuff! I threw her a Watermelon Picnic party and it was so fun!

It was a perfect party and I can't believe it took me so long to post about it! Oops! More updates coming soon!!