Easter 2015 In Photos

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Easter 2015easter 2015easter 2015easter 2015 easter 2015easter 2015easter 2015 Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetThe sugar high from Easter has come and gone.  I’m not super into holiday crafts, so the fact that we dyed Easter eggs is pretty impressive in my book.  Parker absolutely loved it…it’s really priceless to see her light up over new things.

I’m a couple of weeks late at getting this post up, but I couldn’t have a major holiday go undocumented!



Pippa Grace :: 8 Months Old

Monday, March 30th, 2015

8 months old 8 months old 8 months oldIn my last post I mentioned how I forgot Pippa’s 8 month update…but it dawned on me just before she turned 8 months old that I had been telling everyone she was almost 9 months old.  I clearly have not been getting much sleep.

This sweetly stubborn girl is not a fan of beauty rest.  After attempting weeks of sleep training I’m convinced that this child is just incredibly strong willed and some sleep strategies simply won’t work on certain children. That being said…I’m incredibly sleep deprived.  I’ve literally been on my knees praying over this child that prefers screaming over sleep.  I just don’t really know what to do.

Food is a fun new part of the day.  Pippa loves to eat, and she can put away quite a bit of food.  She loves chicken, apples, pears, cheese and broccoli.  Well, she’ll actually eat anything that’s put in front of her.  And she drinks out of normal cups (assisted of course).

It’s funny how kids are so different in their development.  By this age Parker was pulling her self up and crawling all over the place on her hands and knees.  Pippa army crawls, dragging herself around and doesn’t seem interested in pulling herself up yet. And honestly I couldn’t be happier she’s taking her time; the last thing I want right now is to chase after two mobile kids!

Her babbling sounds pretty much just consist of “ma ma,” and of course that makes me happy. She curls her top lip over her gums and looks like an old lady when she babbles…it’s adorable.  She’s addicted to her pacifier–Parker was not a binky baby, so I’m starting to get nervous about the weaning process; hopefully that won’t be too difficult.

She squeels with delight while playing with Parker…Pippa absolutely loves when Parker is around and fortunately Parker is quite fond of Pippa too.  Seeing their relationship develop is pretty much the highlight of my life.  It’s so dang sweet.

Parker’s 8 month update is here.



#Motherhood

Monday, March 16th, 2015

motherhood motherhoodmotherhoodMy laptop has been gathering dust over the past few weeks…I swear it grew eyes and every time I’d walk by it was staring at me and I could hear it saying, “Are you ever going to write again?”

I miss this space.  But it’s been a season of life that has called me away from “me time,” and has instead had me torturing my snotty children hourly with a nasal aspirator, swaying back and forth and comforting sweaty, feverish children, giving bubble baths at 3 am because coughing fits turned into puking sessions, and simply being with clingy, needy, sick babes for the last few weeks.  My husband and I can’t remember a time we’ve been so sick.  It’s been a long winter and we haven’t quite put away the children’s Tylenol or Vicks Vapor Rub just yet; we’re about a week shy of spring and I’m praying the new season brings health.  (I may have also just bought every immune boosting tincture, serum and essential oil on the market to prevent this from ever happening again).

But life goes on.  Five years of marriage came and went…somehow Pippa became an 8 1/2 month old.  I missed documenting her 7 and 8 month updates which makes me a little sad.  Parker passed the 2 1/2 year mark…we attempted one day of potty training before “the plague” hit our family which has caused me to hold off.

While I’ve been house bound with the girls and intentionally spending less time online, I was struck with how lonely motherhood can be. I’m surrounded by amazing women with children of similar ages, but even when our families are healthy it’s hard to coordinate schedules to meet up more than a couple of times a month.  Add sickness to the mix and you can literally go months without seeing your friends.  And if it’s a new friendship it’s even harder to develop closeness when so much time passes between meeting up.  And lets get real…there’s very limited time to have “deep” discussions when you’re on a play-date; the reality is you can’t really look someone in the eye for longer than 10 seconds when you have young children because conversations are constantly interrupted by, “‘Don’t touch that,’ ‘Don’t put that in your mouth,’ ‘Share please,’ and ‘Did you poop?'”

So it got me thinking, if I’m feeling lonely and I’m fairly outgoing and intentional about meeting other moms, there has to be a ton of other lonely moms out there!  So I’ve had an idea brewing in the back of my mind that I’m working on (unfortunately it will just serve local Tacoma mamas), but it’s a pretty basic idea that anyone can copy (I’m sure there are already people doing it).  The details aren’t quite all worked out yet, but if you’re local to Tacoma, stay tuned!

 



Instagram Killed The Blog Super Star

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Hellooooo? Anybody out there?  Have you missed me?  I took an unplanned blogging/social media hiatus because I was feeling overwhelmed with life. We had 2 ER visits, a 911 call, full body hives, raging fevers, and a nasty virus that has taken down each member of our household.  It’s not how I would’ve imagined we’d be spending our 5 year anniversary…but this is real life. Even before all the sickness,   I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog…and why I blog, and blogging in general.  So much has changed over the last 5 years.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging consistently for over 5 years.  For me, blogging has always been a fun, creative outlet–I’ve developed really awesome friendships via the blogging community and have had some awesome opportunities come my way and have made a little extra cash too. Most importantly I’ve been able to document some of the most precious memories of my life which I look back on often.

But my motivation is waning…I’m knee deep in diapers, growth spurts, tantrums, and entirely too sleep deprived. For the first time in 5 years I’m kinda over blogging…so much of blogging for me is documenting, and now with Instagram, I can document with photos and write a snippet about that photo and not have to spend an extra hour editing photos, resizing them, making sure my grammar is correct and wondering if anyone is going to even read it. Plus I get instant gratification of likes and comments; blog commenting has declined dramatically over the years even though my readership is significantly higher than it was when I started.  Not that comments are what it’s all about…but it’s validating knowing that the time and effort you put into your post is reaching someone.

I’ve seen lots of bloggers come and go over the years.  I’m not sure how I feel about it anymore…Initially when I started blogging it was kind of an online journal; I think I want to head back in that direction. If I wax poetic about mommyhood I want it to be because I don’t want to forget the little things about my precious family as we grow.  I believe I’ll be blogging more sporadically these days.  I’ve enjoyed spending more “offline” time with my family and not looking at every single thing I do as a possible blog topic.  And my husband has enjoyed being able to eat a meal without me taking 700 pictures of it first.

At least that’s where I’m at today with this whole blogging thing.  Thoughts?



Pippa Grace :: 6 Months Old

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

6 months old6 months oldI’m a couple weeks behind on an update, but I didn’t want to miss documenting how much this sweet little girl has grown and developed!  I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to leave her with her grandparents very much when they were visiting us in San Diego, but her anxiety issues have calmed down quite a bit.  I’m so thrilled because now I can finally leave her with a sitter without her screaming bloody murder for 2 straight hours!  Hooray!

We ventured into solids this month; so far she likes avocado, bananas and mum mums. I’m looking forward to her eating more food as I’m hoping it will help her sleep a bit better at night.  She still wakes up every couple of hours…I’m surprisingly used to it but I cannot wait to get a full night’s sleep.

She also sits up now!  I love the stage when babies can sit but can’t quite crawl yet…I’m hoping she doesn’t crawl for awhile because the moment she does is the moment I have to start regularly cleaning my floors.  When she’s sitting she loves grabbing her toys and slamming them into the ground.  Little board books are her favorite toys to play with.

It’s hard to believe 6 months has come and gone so quickly.  Reading through Parker’s 6 month update makes me realize how similar these girls are! (Minus the sleeping through the night and cuddliness).



Kidsme Welcome Baby Gift Set :: Review

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Kidsme Welcome BabyIt’s hard to believe that Pippa is eating solids now.  For the past month she’s been eyeing my food intensely and has attempted grabbing at it, but I wanted to wait until she was at least 6 months old before starting solids.  I’m not a fan of pureed baby food or starting with rice cereal…I used the Kidsme Feeder 2 years ago to transition right into Baby Led Weaning.  When we were on vacation in San Diego we decided it was time for Pippa to try food! We successfully transitioned Parker to solids using the Kidsme Feeder, so it was a no brainer that we would use it again for Pippa.  (I seriously LOVE this product and highly recommend it!).

kidsme welcome baby gift setkidsme welcome baby gift setI was excited to try out the Kidsme Welcome Baby Gift Set; it comes with a few items that grow along with your baby. I was sent this to try out when Pippa was just a few months old and we still use all of the items daily.  The Kidsme Feeder has been stuffed with banana, avocado, and squash so far. It’s so fun to have Pippa sit with us at dinner time and eating along side us…baby girl loves to eat.  kidsme welcome baby gift set

This is a picture from when Pippa was about 4 months old…she loves chewing on her Moo Moo Soother! The best part is that it comes with a lid so you can freeze liquids and use it as a cold teether too…I plan on doing that this summer! kidsme welcome baby gift setThe bath toys aren’t enjoyed yet by Pippa, but Parker absolutely loves them.  Sheepie is her favorite and they are her most played with toys during bath time.  I love how this gift set grows with your child (or can be used by both if you have them close in age).

You can purchase all of the items individually, or packaged together in the set which makes a fantastic baby shower gift.  I love innovative baby products…what are some of your favorite baby items?



Vacation Part 3

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

san diego vacationsan diego vacation san diego vacation
san diego vacationOur San Diego vacation was pretty much perfect.  It was exactly what our family needed at just the right time.  Our final week was spent pretty much like the first two weeks with the exception of making a quick trip to Coronado Island and the Birch Aquarium.  It was kind of strange to be back “home” and have my friends stop by for coffee during the week.  There was a kind of closure that happened in my heart also…ever since leaving San Diego I’ve felt a longing to go back…but there was a deep conviction from the Lord that Tacoma is where we’re supposed to be…at least for now.  Both my husband and I felt it and we were both shocked by it as I’ve been rallying to move to San Diego ever since we got married.  Although I desperately  miss the sun, some of my closest girlfriends, and the laid back lifestyle, it feels right to be back in Tacoma…to be back home.

Read part 1 and 2 here.

 



Vacation Part 2

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

san diego vacationsan diego vacation

If it’s possible, week 2 of vacation has been even more fun than week 1.  The weather has been unbelievable for January–hitting 80 a couple of days!  My inlaws were here a couple of days out of the week and we decided to try and take some family pics with my tripod and remote.  We took a zillion and got a couple of decent ones…it’s hard to not to get shadows on your face because the sun is always out!!  san diego vacation san diego vacationsan diego vacationsan diego vacation

We’ve spent a ton of time at the beach and the bay, have gone on walks almost daily with the girls, have had a couple of dates, and I’ve gotten to hang out with a bunch of my old girlfriends who still live in the area (which has been such a treat)!  san diego vacation san diego vacationI love that San Diego has year round farmers markets…and they are huge.  Parker wasn’t as into the market as her mama…fortunately there was an amazing park down the street from the market and that helped her burn off extra energy.  san diego vacationsan diego vacationsan diego vacationsan diego vacationA lot of vacationing with a toddler is keeping them busy.  What I’m really loving is that Parker can run around all day because it’s beautiful outside and the sand keeps this child occupied for hours. And there are parks within walking distance when she wants a change of pace.  
san diego vacationsan diego vacationsan diego vacationsan diego vacation

(This child has a thing about her hair.  She REFUSES to let me pull it out of her face).san diego vacation san diego vacation

And sweet Pippa turned 6 months old while on vacation. She’s enjoying getting her tan on.
san diego vacation blog1san diego vacation

It’s been such a treat to watch the sun set on the water every night.  The sun, warmth, views, friends, family…all of it has been so good for my soul.



Vacation All I Ever Wanted

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Blogging?  What’s that again?  I cannot tell you how fabulous it has been to truly get away from real life and enjoy lounging around with the family.  The great thing about vacationing in an area that you lived (I literally lived blocks from the vacation home we’re renting in San Diego) is you don’t feel like you’re missing out on exploring and doing all the things.  Andy and I figured out early in our relationship that we are what we call “loungers.”  We don’t feel the need to do and see everything…we just like to hang out in warm, sunny places.  Plus vacationing with kids is really all about keeping the kids entertained and tiring them out…much less about us.

My sister in law happens to live in LA so she’s been able to come down quite a bit to hang out with us, and my mother and father in law drove down to spend some time with us too…so we’ve been able to get away on a couple of dates which has been awesome.

I’ve taken a gazillion pictures…so I’ll space those out in a few different posts.  Here are a few from our first week in San Diego.  family vacationfamily vacation



Road Tripping With Kids

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

My husband and I went back and forth about whether to fly or drive to San Diego for vacation.  Because my husband can do a lot of his job remotely, and our 5 year anniversary is coming up, and the winters in the Pacific Northwest are pretty depressing, we planned on a nice, long, 3 week vacation.  Nobody in their right mind would want to road trip 20+ hours with a 2 year old and a 5 month old…but at the same time, if we flew we’d have to buy or rent all the kid crap that you need with a 2 year old and a 5 month old. And we’d need to rent a car…Plus you might as well be packing for a year long vacation…because 3 weeks in the middle of a San Diego January means you need to pack for 2 seasons.  San Diego can sometimes surprise you with cold weather.

Once we knew we were going to drive, we debated on the best time to leave.  After much back and forth, we decided to set our alarm to 5am, eat some breakfast and transfer sleepy girls from their beds to their car seats and pray they would continue to slumber for at least another hour or so.  Andy and I woke up excited, almost giddy.  Obviously we must have had some romantic notion of how the days would play out. Our plan failed before it began. We imagined Andy picking up Parker from her crib with her head slumped over Andy’s shoulder and zonking out once we buckled her up in the car seat.  Instead Andy opened Parker’s bedroom door and Parker literally jumped from bed exclaiming “I’m AWAKE!!!” Her enthusiasm roused her little sister enough that when we pulled out of the driveway at 5:45 am we had two very awake children in the back seat.  Road Tripping with KidsPippa fell back asleep fortunately, but we had a very antsy toddler.  We waited for Pippa to wake up before we stopped at our first rest stop and let Parker run around to “get the wiggles out.”  Surprisingly, we had a fairly decent first day on the road and were actually making really good time.  We were looking for hotels on the Hotel Tonight App (use my invite code: ATAYLOR268 for $25 off your first booking) and also looking through options via the Airbnb App.  Fortunately we found a perfect place on Airbnb and ended the day in Redding around 5:30 pm.  Road Tripping with Kids

We were pretty impressed with how the first day went, so we were hoping day two would be similar to day one.  On day 2 we made a little detour to Fairfax California to visit Andy’s grandmother.  We are both very lucky that these girls have now met both of their great grandmothers.  It was such a treat to spend the afternoon with Grandma Simpson and have her meet Pippa for the first time and Parker for the second.  Road Tripping with kids

We didn’t know how far we would get on day two….the afternoon in the car with the girls was proving to be very challenging.  Tantrums, tears, and screaming.  We couldn’t find any last minute Airbnb options and the hotel options were slim pickings.  So we continued to drive and by about 6:30 PM my head was between my knees from pure mental exhaustion of dealing with the kids.  We just happened to pass a shopping plaza with some kid friendly restaurants and there happened to be a really nice looking hotel next to the plaza.  I googled the hotel, it had great reviews, and was reasonably priced.  AND it happened to have a jetted jacuzzi tub…just what these exhausted parents needed to wind down from a long day.  (Plus it was great toddler entertainment). Road Tripping with kidsWe only had about a 6 hour drive left so the next morning we took our time and prayed for a less dramatic drive.  It went pretty well…Parker actually had a decent car nap (which didn’t happen the two prior days).

Road Tripping with kidsWe pulled into our destination just in time to watch the sunset just a few steps from the beach bungalow we rented through Airbnb.  We were so excited to finally be able to get out of the dang car and put our toes in the sand. Ahhhh…vacation!Road Tripping with kids



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