Friday, December 2, 2016

#Kmartdidthat | ep.1

Hi, guys! Welcome! I hope you are prepared and pumped to enjoy our steals and deals we spot at our local Kmart stores! Want a background on why we're up to this? Head over here for a brief explanation!

Follow us at: @Kmartdidthat 

For our first update I'll start with some of my absolute favorites!

I was completely smitten with this perfectly modern welcome mat for your front stoop. I can't pass up a great block font and heart anything! Priced at under $15 it can't be beat and will be perfect for any season of the year!

Adding to the rug theme, I spotted this rug which is a great size [40" x 60"] and at $24 is priced for any budget. I have a similar one in my home's entryway that I bought from a home decor store for much more!

And finally, I purchased two of these black and white stripe runners, hand sewed them together, and got a "custom" size runner for my hallway for less than $60!

Thanks a million for checking us out and we hope you give your Kmart a fighting chance! Hashtag your fav Kmart finds with #Kmartdidthat so we can see all the other goodies we might have missed.

And, I promise, there is some really great stuff still left to share!  

Joi and Anna

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Three Is Almost Over [actually it's been over for months!]

Oh, three.

Like Dave said, we started off rocky, cruised through the middle and are ending a little bumpy. Just like every parenting adventure thus far... just when we think we have it all figured out our little guy goes and changes all the rules. He's kept us on his toes since his second week of being alive and I expect him to do nothing less for the rest of our lives. My spirited, independent, button-pushing, and sensitive little boy, I love you so. So much it hurts. Cliche but absolutely true. 

I want to remember all of the things about you that make me swell with pride and cringe with embarrassment. You are such a Theron Drake and we couldn't be happier to be your parents!

Theron Drake, 

This year...
  • You broke your hand falling off the couch
  • You got potty trained right after turning 3 and little school helped SO MUCH!
  • You only drink water at home...verdict's still out if you drink your milk box at school
  • You can count to thirty-ten :)
  • You can recognize all your letters and LOVE to have us spell out all of your friends from little school: Scarlett, Bob, Tyler, Carter, Lyla, Paige, Avery, Gracyn, Rhett, Eli and Brinley
  • After that, you love to trace your letters on your easel and on the driveway with sidewalk chalk
  • You go to big school after little school and get speech 15 minutes a day
  • You love riding your tractor 
  • You talk with such intonation!
  • You use your hands to talk -- it's adorable!
  • Some of your favorite words you fill your stories with are "yesterday/somebody/"I told you..."
  • You hold your book up and read to momma and daddy like your teachers read to the class
  • You love playing with magna tiles, trucks, your barn-house, and coloring
  • You like to "get close to the horsies" by our house
  • You like to eat dry "cer-a-del"
  • You could live on turkey sandwiches from Subway and fish sticks + mac n' cheese--but NOT the spiral kind!
  • You are obsessed with the color orange and here lately, purple and red
  • You have behaved so well in school up until this last month; you've been on yellow once at little school and had two "X" marks at big school
  • Your teachers say you like to repeat instructions to your classmates and are kind of bossy--haha!
  • When Miss Jodi spells kids names you yell at them to get in line because you understand
  • You love wearing sweatpants
  • You have a hard time changing up the shoes you wear everyday
  • You are working hard at holding your marker in a tripod position
  • You love getting souffles at Bread Co. 
  • You like to go to Ace, Rural King, Target, and in general, like going places
  • You went to your first movie, Zootopia, a couple weeks ago. You asked if the movie was done after the previews went off. Haha. 
  • You've started acing haircuts!
  • You went through phases where you loved gummies, suckers, and popsicles
  • You phased out of liking Thomas and choochoos and have a real love for mid size truck toys
  • You like to play matching games and do tons of puzzles all of the time 
  • You like "Taco Tuesday" and "Pizza Friday" 
  • You just learned to dip and LIKED your toasted raviolis in marinara sauce this week!
  • You've been really obsessed with Paw Patrol and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but have never seen an episode or movie of either
  • You know the months of the year, days of the week, and always ask "What time it is?"
  • Your daddy is your best swiend [still working on our 'f" sound]
  • Your brother lights up and gave his first true giggle to you
  • You like to help mommy "cwean" and mop
  • You go to bed by 7 and sleep with tons of books
  • You love BIG bubbles in your bath
  • You can put your own coat on! Thanks, Mrs. Kelso, for teaching T how to put the hood on first and then the arms
  • You have never blown your nose, but we're trying!
  • You get annoyed by Bear Bear but also love her to pieces
  • You're getting more adventurous going down the slide and can swing like a pro
  • You challenge us daily, and most days we have at least one tantrum, but you are starting to understand breaking the rules has consequences
  • When you get mad you throw your shoes or cry and say, "No!"
  • You ride in your car seat like a champ!
  • You worry about Maw Maw's leg hurting her
  • You're super fast and can kick a mean soccer ball
::I wrote this months ago but it sat unpublished forever. Today I post it so I never forget::


Friday, March 18, 2016

Townes Nova // 5 months

Townsie is just a smidge over 5 1/2 months and has been a total sweetheart lately! 

  • Weighs approximately 15.5 lbs.
  • No clue how long he is!
  • Is in a size 2 diaper
  • Comfortably fits in his 3-6 month clothing

  • Being held!
  • Playing with Sophie and his soft blocks
  • Cuddling his lovie when he goes to bed
  • Getting his lotion rubbed on his belly
  • Seeing Theron [he adores him!]
  • When you blow on his tummy
  • When Dave talks to him
  • Being out and about 
  • Being worn in the Beco carrier

  • Taste of banana and he LOVED it!
  • Time at the Physical Therapist and didn't cry the whole time!
  • Trip to Wal-Mart [I think...]
  • Trip to Bread Co. and Dierbergs!
  • Trip to the Airplane Park in Edwardsville
  • Sitting up, sort-of unassisted, for a few seconds!
  • Stroller ride to the park with Grandma Carol

Townsie is still nursing about 6 times a day and I'm pumping twice a day at school. He usually wakes to nurse 1-2 times a night. He nurses well and is becoming more efficient since he wants to know what's going on around him. I feed him in a quiet room most times if I know he needs to eat and is getting distracted. He doesn't comfort nurse like his brother but still enjoys it. I love it this time around, too. I get all emotional thinking about it being over. 

We gave him some banana to gnaw on the past couple days and he loves it! We plan on trying to do BLW this weekend! I have a chart printed out and have researched it. We'll see how it pans out! We're not going to be hard on ourselves if it doesn't work or becomes a challenge for Townsie or us! No pressure!

Townes is starting to figure it out...I think! He semi-regularly takes two good naps at Grandma Carol's house during the week and MOST times doesn't protest too bad. They can last anywhere from about an hour to over two hours. He is finally not protesting almost at all at home as well. It makes me so much more relaxed when he doesn't cry to go down for a nap. 

At night he still is pretty inconsistent. We still lay him down awake and he 9 times out of 10 goes down without a fight. I nurse him in his room, make sure he's awake and David reads a story or two to him. He takes his lovie and usually goes right to sleep. Since he can roll over he seems to prefer his belly. 

The biggest pattern that I've noticed is that he has been making it almost 6 hours for the past two weeks for his first stretch. After that, sometimes I fall asleep in the glider with him and then put him back down. Even if he's awake he doesn't fight it--which is a HUGE success to me. If he wakes another time is really a guessing game. 

  • He loves to play with Sophie the Giraffe [Theron hated it!] 
  • He enjoys playing with his keys and sucking on his hands and his blankies
  • He like to sit in his bumbo 
  • We'll try him in the jumperoo again since he got the go-ahead from his PT
  • He has stretched his awake time to close to two hours and could go longer if out and about
  • He goes days without cooing and then coos up a storm. 
  • He laughed in response to Theron for the first time the other day and it was the best! In the past, he had just smiled and done a silent giggle. Or laughed because I tickled him. Knowing he gave Theron the first giggle made my heart swell! 
  • Townsie still has very sensitive skin and I use the prescribed ointment when his eczema flares up and put the aquaphor on him 2-3 times daily. 
  • His head is often times inflamed and I use the ointment when it's bad and spray coconut oil on it as needed. 
  • He has about a bath a week to make sure his little body doesn't dry out too bad.
  • He is still going to the PT once a week to strengthen his neck muscles due to his torticollis. My in-laws take him during the day [we are so lucky!] and the physical therapist is super impressed with his progress. She has to remind herself what side he actually even has trouble with!   
  • I keep thinking he'll get a tooth here soon, since Theron got his in his 24th week, but no signs just yet!

As the months go by I feel like this momma of a baby thing gets easier! I'm confident the more sleep you get the better you feel thus the more energized I am! I am staying up later at night and doing things like blogging, spring cleaning, catching up on Teen Mom and Real Housewives and pampering myself which makes me feel like me, ya know? I know that even if he wakes before midnight, we will let him CIO, and I'lll go in there if need be after 5 hours. Knowing that I'll get sleep is so relieving. 

Townsie, thanks for being patient with us as we navigate the parenthood waters! We love you and your little grin so much! 


Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Day In The Life

So I guess I don't want to forget these busy days with my two littles. And maybe in a few years or months [one could hope! --haha!] I'll look back and laugh at the lack of sleep? Maybe. 

And, I know this post is more for me and less for readers...if any of you still exist...haha!

-Night of February 18th and Day of February 19th, 2016-

The evening before...

9:40 p.m.  I've been asleep for about an hour and I hear cries. Noooo....uggghhh...Townsie has only been down for a little over three hours.  It's his shortest first stretch of sleep in like a week. Always inconsistent, this kiddo. I check the monitor, he's on his belly and ok. I set my alarm for 10:30 p.m. and go back to bed. We're sleep trainers, and it worked wonderfully for Theron and we're trying for Townes. We know he can go nearly 8 hours because he's done it a handful of times. 

10:30 p.m.  My alarm goes off--looks like I fell back asleep--but Townsie is still crying.  I have Dave go in and rearrange him so maybe he's more comfortable. 

It doesn't work. Dang. 

11:00 p.m. I go in to nurse him. He takes about 45 minutes and he's back in the crib by just before midnight. 

4:10 a.m.  Townsie calls again! I go in to nurse him and lay him back in his crib at 4:50 a.m. He doesn't protest...small victory that's taken his whole little life to overcome!

4:50 a.m.  I stay up because I am usually up at this time anyway getting ready. I never know when Townsie will need me so getting up early to get myself and the day's stuff ready has really helped with our morning flow. Dave gets up at 5 a.m. and showers.

5:30 a.m  Dave and I are busy making breakfast, packing lunches, putting away dishes in the dishwasher, setting up Townsie's probiotic, administering Scoutie Bear's eye drops, and putting all of our school stuff in the cars.

5:50 a.m. I go in to wake Dude...sometimes hes already awake but today he's still snoozing. Yes! He's in a good mood. Of couse he asks, "Where's Daddy?" Loves Dave so much! He gets to wear sweatpants and his favorite color orange shirt because he's been on "green" all week at little school.  He almost got the privilege taken away last night because he was throwing a fit about wanting to do one last puzzle before bed. 

5:55 a.m. We go out in the dining room and he eats his dry cereal [usually it's sausage and toast but here recently he has stopped eating the toast and we ran out of sausage last night]. Dave joins him. I go get Townes and he's still sleeping.  Lately he's been awake already, but because his last feeding was so recent I'm happy and not surprised that he isn't up yet. 

6:00 a.m.  I medicate/Vaseline him up and change his diaper. He is battling really severe [at least in my momma eyes] eczema right now.  And I absolutely hate it that we can't get a handle on it. He seems like he's in a good mood. Two outta two! Sweet! Happy Friday to us. 

6:08 a.m.  I go out in the living room to nurse Townes and he nurses well.  Lately he's been getting distracted. Theron is playing with his magna tiles and Dave is cleaning up. 

6:20 p.m. Dave gets Townes into the carseat--sans tears! And then he puts Theron in his. I'm on my way to GC to drop Townsie off at my in-laws and head to my school day! Dave drops Theron off and then is headed to school himself.  Theron doesn't have big school today and is pumped because it is supposed to be unseasonably warm today! 

7:00 a.m.  I arrive in GC without any screams from Townsie. He got a little miffed right when we got to GC but nothing too major. Kid has hated his carseat since about birth. 

7:15 a.m.  I nurse Townsie again but not for long. He's more interested in toys. He's so busy lately. 

7:40 am.  I leave for school, which is just about a mile away-talk about convenience! 

8:00 am.  School starts! I have a student teacher and she is good. Sweet! She is in her intensives so she is teaching all of my classes. Thus the reason I am able to type this up--haha! 

8:30  Make my to-do list and start on it. I enter some teaching stuff into a database to keep my certificate current, call to order candy for our Foreign Language Club, pay off Dave's balance for our teacher/student Italy tour this summer, send texts to confirm a location for my student's salsa dancing field trip, & call Townsie's pedi for more eczema advice and for a possible dermatologist rec. 

10:00  Duty calls! It's time for my first pumping session of the day. Luckily my student teacher is here and I can do it during the peer tutoring study hall and not my lunch half-hour. 

10:30  Eat lunch [chicken flavored rice, a banana, and some oreos--yup, still dairy free!] and chit chat a bit before the kiddos role in for 4th hour. 

11:15 a.m. The pedi calls back and confirms that I can continue to lather Townes up with the prescribed ointment. She calls me in a bigger prescription that will last longer. I make some calls to the tour company for our Italy trip again [this time for clarification on some major points], fill out paperwork for FLC candy fundraiser, and call a Jostens representative to order more medals for a student recognition ceremony I'm in charge of. Check email and pop in to my fourth hour to make things are going okie dokie!

12:15  Stay to watch my 5th hour start and make sure they're ok!

12:30 p.m.  Duty calls yet again! Time to complete my second pumping session of the day. I pump in the open office next to my room with a giant window. The sun is shining and I catch up on social media. 

1 p.m. It's almost my prep hour! I head out right at 1:10 p.m. to run some errands and pick up some aquaphor for Townsie's skin. Here's hoping it seals in the moisture! I make a quick stop at Lee's Chicken for two teas for my student teacher and me. The windows are down and it feels heavenly, besides having a major weird looking bug in my car--¡no me gusta! 

2:10 p.m.  The last class period of the day is beginning. I'm still waiting on EF Tours to call me back and meanwhile I use my time to write some tardy referrals--dang, kiddos. Get to class on time! This class is loud but fun. They like to learn and they really love my student teacher. It makes me happy.  

3:10 p.m.  School's out and I'll be at my in-laws in less than ten minutes! I'm hoping Townes is still in a good mood and napped well for my mother-in-law. She wanted to take him on a walk and I'm anxious to see if they went and how he tolerated it. It's eerily like the carseat he doesn't so much love so you just never know. 

4:00 p.m. I head home and hope Townes takes it easy on me. He was a little "off" for my mother in law and just seemed to be not himself. Just when I thought he started tolerating his carseat he goes and flips it on me. He does take it mostly easy and we're home by 4:45 p.m.  I got to fit in a quick talk with my Texas best friend since Townsie fell asleep. 

--The night time flies by with dinner, playtime, baths, and story time. Theron's in bed by 7 p.m. and Townes beats him to it by being in bed by 6:30 p.m. He goes down easily and I'm hoping for a long first stretch--fingers crossed!

9:40 p.m.  Uh oh...I hear my Townsie crying....and so it begins....


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Townes Nova // 4 Months

Of course I thought I'd be better at updating, but alas, time has passed me by! I am excited though that so far, I've only missed one month--haha. We'll see how it works out come 12 months. 

Townsie is a little over 4.5 months and here's a little about him these past few weeks! 

  • Weighs 14 lbs 11 oz & is 25" long
  • Still rocking the dark brown eyes!
  • His skin is still super dry [and we actually made a special trip back to the doctor for an eczema flare up all over his body] and his scalp still has cradle cap. We have been lathering him up with cortisone per the ped's advice and then covering that with vaseline. His skin seems very sensitive and randomly gets red and bumpy out of the blue. We wash his belongings in Tide free and clear and haven't changed anything but his little body has flare ups a lot. 
  • He fits comfortably in 3-6 month clothing and size 2 diapers.

  • Being held 
  • Sitting [straight!] up
  • Playing with his toys 
  • Smiling and cooing
  • Being with his favorite people and is starting to have distinct preferences

  • Rolled from back to belly, but got mad doing it! [first week of February]
  • Slept over 8 hours last week [first week of February]

  • Breastfeeding is still going well and he eats on demand. While he's away from me when I'm at work he takes about 3-6 oz. per bottle/twice in an 8 hour period. He's still not a comfort nurser, but if he gets tired and we're out, he most likely will fall asleep! We're waiting to start him on solids because we are contemplating doing Baby Led Weaning. I don't know if I'm up for it, but we shall see. I think, if we decide to do it, we're going to wait until the first week of March or so, when Townsie is over 5 months. 

  • Oh man, sleep! Such a conundrum. The best word to describe his sleep is that it is consistently INCONSISTENT. I, like a glutton for punishment, track his sleep and wakeup times and they are all over the place. No patterns. 
  • Some nights he has three wake ups and some nights he has one. Some nights he'll sleep 5-7 hours for his first stretch and other nights he barely makes it two. 
  • We've started letting him CIO when putting him down for the evening and he rarely ever even cries. I was hoping that would help him figure out how to soothe himself back to sleep during the night but it hasn't really done that.  I don't mind waking up, I truly don't, but the on-the-clock every 1-2 hour wakeups [especially during the holidays--yay--ugh!] were killing me. 
  • Per the doctor's advice, I feed him around 30 minutes before bed so he goes to sleep used to not having a super full belly. I think this may be helping him. 
  • I have noticed that he is going down better and for longer stretches during the night than he used to. 
  • He is in a sleep sack and uses his lovie and hands to attempt to self soothe. 
  • Oh man, naps! Haha. We definitley didn't want to have him CIO for naps but rocking him and nursing him to sleep were habits we didn't want to maintain [plus--they weren't even working]. We value sleep for him and want him to be able to get rest. 
  • He goes down fairly simple for us [cries or fusses for ~10 minutes] and then usually sleeps around 45 minutes. He can't figure out how to get past that first sleep cycle and I'm hoping he gets it soon. At my mother and father in law's he seems to have longer naps and better success--I wish I knew the secret! 
  • He's never taken a nap longer than 1.5 hours in the crib for me, but has taken over 2 hour naps in the pack n' play for my mother in law. Who knows! 

  • Still battling the sensitive skin issue--I just want him to have baby soft skin always and some days that just isn't the case. It can literally go from hour to hour on how it is. So weird. I'm hoping it gets better every day!
  • At his 4 month appointment the doctor noticed that he had a flat spot on the right side of his head. She was concerned because she didn't usually see that type of flat spot on the front but more-so on the back. She referred Townes to a plastic surgeon and said she was concerned he may need surgery if his skull sutures were fused. Cue mom freak out. Less of a freak out was for the possible helmet. Say what? A helmet? I thought I had done everything 'right' to avoid one. Of course I felt responsible. I was hard on myself because I thought I had made sure he wouldn't get a flat spot by not letting him use the rock n' play & only let him sleep in the swing for naps AND only for a few weeks! Mommy guilt is so strong sometimes. 
  • The surgeon wasn't convinced he needed a helmet and was confident that his sutures hadn't fused. We wouldn't need the surgery [thankfully!] but we did get a referral for a physical therapist. She evaluated him last week, he'll be going weekly for an undetermined amount of time, and will be working on correcting his torticollis [or weak neck muscles]. She said he probably developed them in the womb [which made me feel less at fault--I know, silly, but true] and said that the therapy would help him to loosen up and favor his left side like he does his right side. 
  • The physical therapist wasn't convinced he needed the helmet unless we just wanted him to have a perfectly round head. She said the flat spot would not probably go away per se, but with his head growth and hair growth it wouldn't be all that noticeable. We decided to forego the helmet especially since it is really only noticeable from looking down if standing over his head, which likely won't happen as he ages. 
I don't know about you...but he looks pretty perfect to me. ;-)

  • Townes is such a smiley baby and overall pretty content [unless you're trying to nap him-haha!]
  • He loves reaching out for toys of all kinds and does a silent giggle here and there
  • He finally has actually tolerated his carseat well and doesn't cry when you put him in it and sometimes even coos during the ride! Success!
  • We're working hard on tummy time to strengthen those neck muscles and he actually prefers that to being on his back


  • Overall my anxiety has lessened as sleep has gotten better. Townes being so happy during awake time makes me such a happier momma! I love that Dave and I tag-team everything without even having to remind one another. He's the best partner, husband, and father I could have ever dreamt of having. The week days fly by and the weekends seem so long--especially being awake so early with two little ones. We try to get out a lot so that we keep Theron entertained and keep the days moving! When Townes struggles with napping [i.e. almost every weekend!] it's vital to keep us busy to not dwell on the next nap--haha. 
  • I'm loving Townsie in this smiley stage and am getting really excited for the sitting up unassisted stage and riding in carts stage. 

We love you, Townsie! Thanks for bringing so much to our little world. 



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