March 29, 2013

I Knew I Was Wrong

I knew I was doing things wrong as a mommy the day I let this bother me and get me worked into a complete frenzy:

You see, we have a rule in my house.  Shoes are supposed to be placed in our shoe basket.  My father started this rule with the boys when we were living at his house, and let me tell you that it worked.  The kids listened to their Grumps.  Unfortunately they don't do the same for me.  

So this past week we're getting ready to go to school, and Ryan can only find one shoe.  I tell him that he should look close to where he found the first one because surely the second one would have to be close to that.  After all, who doesn't keep their shoes relatively close together?  Children don't that's who.    

We literally race around the house multiple times, and that other shoe is no where to be found.  I'm getting ticked off, which is just increasing the frantic feeling in all of us.  I should also mention that our boys only have one pair of shoes.  Yes, we're crazy or perhaps cheap like that.  

So the only choice we had was snow boots.  His pants hardly covered them up, and honestly he looked a little foolish.  And it was at this moment that I FAILED.  

I was angry.  I was mad that the kids had not listened about where to put the shoes AGAIN.  My mind was blown on how a shoe could be completely missing...and just one shoe.  I was upset thinking about what others would think of me for letting my child dress like this.  In my reaction and through all my worries, I was setting the example to make my son feel self-conscious.  That is NOT a feeling I want to breed into my children.  I had an opportunity to instill confidence.  I had an opportunity to teach a positive lesson, but instead I was too focused on the negative side of that missing shoe.  I made a mountain out of molehill and forgot that all my actions are teaching my children lessons.  As I dropped Ryan off at his school, still feeling worked up about him wearing those darn boots, I knew I had been wrong. 

While I'm not happy with my reaction in the moment, the only good thing about his missing shoe is that Pat and I have come up some ideas of positive reinforcement to help the kids learn their chores and follow the rules of the household.  I'll post more about this later.  

And if you are wondering where I finally found his shoe, it was inside the toy bucket that was in the cabinet in the family room.  We never would have found it in time for school no matter how hard we looked.  

March 26, 2013

Stop The Coughing

One of the worst things as a mom is listening to your child suffering and not being able to do anything to help him.  

Every time Ryan gets a cold it is ALWAYS accompanied by a terrible, dry, and unproductive cough.  It has been this way with him for as long as I can remember.  We've tried everything to help him--children's cough and cold, teaspoons of honey, nasal spray for post nasal drip, allergy medications, sleeping with a cup of water, you name it we've probably tried it.  We've also brought the issue up to doctor after doctor and we get no answers at all.  

I just feel so awful for my little boy.  The poor child coughs all night long and inevitably when there is a cold/cough plaguing him it means he will come to my bed at 5 a.m. every morning and wake the rest of us up.  I cannot blame him though; the poor boy just wants some comfort and relief.  

The amazing thing about Ryan though is no matter how little sleep he gets or how much coughing he does, he's always full of life.  Nothing can hold that boy down.  I don't think I know anyone with a bigger personality.  

I just wish motherhood came with the super power to cure ailments.  

And on that note, I must leave you with the joke my Dad would tell me about all this:

A funeral procession is going up a steep hill on main street when the door of the hearse flies open and the coffin falls out then speeds down main street into a pharmacy and crashes into the counter. The lids pops open and the deceased says to the astonished pharmacist, "You got anything to stop this coffin ?"

March 25, 2013

The Middle Child

Sometimes I worry about my middle child.  He's not the oldest or the youngest....but calling him the middle child just doesn't do him justice.  He's my Sean.

Sean is the second child in our family and the second boy.  Because he's only 22 months younger than Ryan, he and Ryan are often doing the same things.  As a result I feel like we often forget that our little Sean is younger.  He's only 3 years old, but because he is often included with Ryan we treat him like he is older.  That isn't always a bad thing, but I do worry that we may sometimes neglect his needs.  And the last thing I want to do is to rush any of my children to grow up.  

With each child you raise there are certain aspects of worry.  With Sean I worry that we won't show him enough how individual and special he is.  I fear that he doesn't get enough solo attention.    

He may be the second child and second boy, but he is so beloved.  He has such a sweet and affectionate nature to him.  He is smart and kind.  He has his daddy's temper and sweet tooth.  He is a loving brother to Ryan and Leah.  

While there are challenges to raising the middle child, there are some benefits too.  Sean is able to follow Ryan and learn from him, and he is also able to teach Leah.  Sean is able to relate to both his siblings.  Even though he is in the middle, just like the meat in a sandwich, he is so important and nothing would be the same without him.  

I strive to make sure I take enough time to show him how important he is.  He's my Sean, who just so happens to be the middle of the birth order, and I could not love him more.    

March 23, 2013

My First Stitch Fix

I've told you about Stitch Fix before.  It's a personal shopping service.  You sign up and they send you 5 items to try on.  It is $20 to receive a box, but if you buy anything your $20 goes toward the cost of the item(s).  You can schedule boxes for whenever you want them.  Ask me if you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to give you more details. And if you use my referral link, I get $25 credit....and then when you get your friends to sign up with your link you'll get $25 for yourself.

So my first box came.  Once it was shipped I was googling the contents that were listed inside it to see if I could find any pics online.  I am awful about surprises, just ask my husband.  So after finding a few items, I began to worry that my whole box was going to be black and white.  It wasn't all black and white.  Here's what I got.

See there are two items of color.  You'll have to forgive me I don't have the names of the brands anymore.  So I'll just describe as best as I can.  My items ranged from $58-118.  The $118 was pretty much a no before I even saw the item.  For me to spend that on one item it has to be the most amazing piece of clothing I've ever seen.

This was a knit top with heart detailing.  I had seen it online and was very happy to see it in my box.
See the cute heart details?  I liked this top, but I just didn't love it.  I didn't feel like I would keep grabbing it out of my closet.  I tend to prefer longer tops than this one too.  It was definitely cute though.
The detail of the back was also really pretty, but again, just not perfect for me.

This top was an absolute no before I even tried it on.  Just so not my style.  And the bare eyelets on the midsection, really?  I kind of feel like someone could pull this shirt off, but that someone isn't me.

This was a french terry blazer with lace detail.  I had asked for a blazer and told them I was hoping for the pink one I had seen online.  Obviously they cannot accommodate every request, but this one was just not a good substitute.

Don't get me wrong.  I do like this blazer, quite a bit in fact.  But this was the $118 item.  And a cream colored blazer for a mom of three little ones is just not the brightest idea.
This was a very light, soft, and comfortable material, but I had been hoping for a bit of a more traditional and structured blazer.
It had cute detailing, but honestly the unfinished edges made me feel like I'd be CRAZY to pay that amount of money on this item.  If you have this or love it, I'm sorry.  I like it, just not so much that I'd pay that amount of money for it.

This next dress was okay.  It's a drawstring dress.  It was a very soft, silky material; nicer in person than it appeared in pictures.  It's something I could totally wear, but I just didn't like it that much.  This is when I began to question if they had looked at the information sources, like pinterest, they had on what types of styles I liked.
It had a pretty sporty feel to me.  I like more feminine dresses.  So another item that there wasn't anything wrong with, but it just wasn't me.   I had hoped for a cute dress, but this one wasn't very cute.
The part that bothered me the most was probably the neckline/shoulder area.  It was a high neck and wide shoulders.  I think there has to be more flattering and prettier dresses out there for me.

I thought this last blouse could be a winner until I saw the ruffle on the sides.  It was a great orange color and had a cutout detail at the neckline.  It was nice and long too.

I liked the material and cut of the shirt in general...but...
The shoulder ruffle that looked like wings just didn't do anything for my body.  I could have kept this one, and I think I would have worn it the most.  However, I just didn't feel very confident in it.

So I guess you could say my first fix was a bust.  I was kind of disappointed, but I did enjoy the anticipation and excitement of trying things on.  I have already scheduled my next fix for a few weeks from now.  I gave very detailed feedback on the above items and told them exactly types of items I was looking for in my next fix.  I am hopeful that I'll keep something from the next box.  

I really do think it is a fun service to try.  Even though I didn't keep anything, I am happy with my experience.  In a few weeks I'll hopefully be sharing all the items I kept from my next fix.  

If you'd like to sign up, just click HERE.  

March 22, 2013

Life Lately

I haven't been able to write much because Pat has been away and I was holding down the fort, as they say.  During these two weeks I was reminded of a lesson I almost never take to heart:  the importance of taking some time for myself.  Personal time has been impossible these past couple weeks, but I feel like I need and want it more than ever.

My hope for this weekend is that I may get a little private time either at a coffee shop or even just locked in the bedroom so that I can write, but until that happens, I'll leave you with a couple photos that you may have seen on instagram.  You can follow me there @shellymotto

I think she is just the cutest baby girl ever...but I'm her Mommy so of course I think that.  This little girl cut her 7th tooth this week.  I cannot believe baby girl is already 9 months old.

These two boys are best friends, when they aren't fighting over toys and wrestling that is.  They are really enjoying dressing themselves lately.  Ryan's recent favorite item is the zip up sweater.  Sean would love to live in pajamas.
This day Sean picked out his clothes.  He picked his running pants and pulled a leather belt on top.  You can't really see it in the pic, but it wasn't holding up his pants it was just kind of sitting around his waist.  It was pretty cute.  Under his cable knit sweater is his Patriots football jersey.  I always love seeing what the kids pick out to wear.    

I found a heart in my tea cup.  I figured it was kind of like reading tea leaves, right?  There is already a lot of love in my life, and I feel so blessed.  Do you see the heart too?

This face has to be my favorite thing about waking up.  Yes, she's still in my bed....keep your opinions to yourself if you have issue with that.  She wakes up with a smile everyday, and for that I am thankful.

So that's it.  My first Stitch Fix is coming today or tomorrow.  I'm excited and a little worried.  I have a feeling that they sent all black and white....but I like color.  I'm not too hopefully about this fix, but I will give it a second try if this one fails.  We'll see, and I'll blog about it next week.  

Have a great weekend!

March 19, 2013

You Know You Are a Mom to Boys

You know you are a mom to boys when:

*Long after your little boy is potty trained you are still trying to teach him the importance of holding/pointing it down when he goes potty.

*You are quizzed daily on the names of all the Transformers (or other robot/superheroes of your child's choosing).

*Your child(ren) spend most of the day running around either in costumes or butt naked leaving their clothes thrown onto the floor in almost every room of your house.  (or is that just my boys?)

*You've experienced the pain that comes along with stepping on a lego piece while walking across a dark room.

*A sandbox provides you a much needed break and at least a half hour of quiet.  

And lastly you know that your husband is a little boy at heart when:

*He asks for a Nerf gun for his 31st birthday

These boys certainly make my life fun though!

March 18, 2013

Salad in Jar

Remember how last month I went out and bought a case of mason jars?  I used them to organize my kitchen.  I still had some left over so I decided I had to try the salad in a jar that is all over Pinterest.

I'm sure you've seen it.  If you haven't tried it yet, the basic idea is that you put your tablespoons of dressing in the bottom of the jar.  Then you add your veggies.  It is best to add veggies that won't get soggy in the dressing like broccoli and carrots first.  You could put some tomatoes in the dressing to let them marinate if you want.  Cucumbers work better if you keep them away from the dressing.  After your veggies you can add meat and cheeses if you like.  Then you top with your lettuce.  You can make a few jars to have them ready to grab for some easy lunches.

It really does work pretty well.  I've found this a great way to get myself eating fresh.  I love making it at night so I can just pull it out of the fridge during our hectic days.  You could eat it out of the jar (just shake it first), but I prefer pouring it onto a plate because I stuff my jars so full.

My husband likes his salad without meat.  So he just gets some veggies and lettuce.  I'm kind of a throw everything in the salad type of girl.  This was the first salad I made, and where I learned about keeping the cucumbers on top of the other veggies.
Tomatoes in a balsamic dressing are really delicious.

I've done salads with some cold cuts.  I've also done a salad with some cut up apples and a little pulled pork which was very tasty.  I plan to make a chicken caesar salad soon.  Today I have a salad with avocado and grapefruit.  It's really fun to experiment.  I also find I'm eating healthier because I am prepared for lunches.  I highly recommend making a salad in a jar.  And if you have some favorite add-ins please share them with me.    

March 16, 2013

Talking Shop

Let's take a minute and talk shopping, shall we?

Lately I've been bad...well in an addicted and cannot help myself kind of way.  Look at this:

Okay, but before you think I'm out of control, let me just say that most of the items in this photo I got for free...yes, no money out of my pocket, but that is a story for a different day.  Plus this was bought over a couple months.  And for the record, I almost never spend over $50 on any item.

While I hate to spend much money on any item, I have to say that I was raised to believe "you get what you pay for."  While I love a good deal, I sometimes find the quality and fit of the cheaper retailers leaves something to be desired.  Do I shop there, sure, but only for certain clearance items.  I find a lot of what you find at say Target and Old Navy are great for one season.

Since I cannot seem to help my addiction to shopping, I've decided that I'm going to try to focus on basic, classic, and timeless items that I can wear over and over again.  I know that I would not follow a self-imposed spending freeze, but I'm hoping that if I focus on building the basics in my closet, I will spend less money over time.

So what is my plan you ask?  I joined Stitch Fix.  It's a personal shopping service.  You fill out a style and sizing survey.  Then you can order a box to be sent whenever you want.  It isn't an automatic thing.  So you can just do it when you have some extra money to spend on clothes, which is ideal for me.  You pay $20 to receive a box with 5 items in it.  You get to try them on and see how you like them for three days.  Then you send back what you don't like in a prepaid envelope.  If you buy something from your box, the $20 you paid goes toward that item.  So as long as you like one item it's a no lose situation.  If you decide to keep all the items you get them at a 25% discount.  The only downside that I can see is that the items are a bit more expensive than the stores I mentioned above, but from what I've seen of other people's fixes, they are high quality and timeless pieces.  I love the idea of personalized selections and more boutique styles.  My first fix is coming next week.  I'm super excited and have high hopes of some classic pieces.  I hope I'm not disappointed.  I'll update when I try everything on.

If you'd like to sign up you can go HERE.  There is a little bit of a wait list, but it only took about two weeks for me to move off the wait list.  If you have any questions, just ask me.

March 15, 2013

9 Months Old

Leah is 9 months old.  (Yes, I'm a few days late.)

She has been so happy and smiley lately, which makes me so happy too.  She brings so much joy to our home.  She is rolling and crawling everywhere.  She is into everything and loves eating paper.  I can tell that she is just like her brothers and enjoys being sneaky.  If she's crawling to the kitchen and I ask her where she's going she immediately giggles and crawls faster.  It is too funny.

She is so full of life and personality.  She laughs when the wind blows her hair.  She always smiles if I talk to her.  She snuggles me sometimes at night.  She is very determined.  Just like her brothers she's a bit shy with strangers at first.  She is my baby who is turning into a big girl.

You can slightly see her top teeth in this next photo.  She still has 6 teeth.  She has pretty big front teeth like me, so Pat has nicknamed her Chiclet.  

 I love the way she raises her eyebrows.  It's one of my favorite expressions of hers.

Oh and did I mention that she's 24 lbs 12 oz and over 30" at 9 months?  Yes, she certainly is a big girl, but she's following her own growth curve.  And in my eyes she's perfect.

March 13, 2013

WIWW Polka Dot Casuals

I'm on my second week of the challenge from Frumps to Pumps that I posted about last week.  For the most part I've kept it up.  This week is hard because my husband is away, so there are days when I really don't see anyone but my kids.  Since I want to put in effort but also be comfortable hanging around the house, I'm trying to focus on put together, casual looks.  It just so happens that right now that is a lot of polka dots.  I love polka dots though.  

I fell in love with this shirt as soon as I saw it in Target.  By the time I decided to splurge and buy it, my store didn't have my size.  Thank goodness I live near two targets.  A quick trip to the other target and this shirt was mine!  I had been really wanting a pair of converse sneakers, and target had some.  Thankfully on WIWW a few weeks ago someone told me that they were being put on clearance.  I stalked, and I scored.  I guess this outfit shows persistence with Target can pay off.  These two items have been sitting in my closet a while waiting for a warm day without snow.  I was pretty happy to get to wear them this week.

The other day we had some snow.  When it's raining or snowy, I feel like I have to keep it casual.  I don't want to ruin any cute shoes with the water or drag the cuffs of pants in the mud.  I used this as an excuse to get one more wear out of my snow boots this season.  

I am definitely getting ready for spring, but I have a feeling that it may still be a while away.  I'm not used to living in New England again yet.  I can't wait to see what spring does bring though....when it finally does get here.  

pleated poppy

March 12, 2013

Sometimes Kids Are Too Cute!

Here is just a very quick post about the cute things I've heard my kids say lately.

Ryan:  You are the greatest mom ever.  You are so special you will get a birthday every year.

No that wasn't said on my birthday....or even near my birthday.  So I must be pretty special.

Sean has an almost compulsive habit of just randomly saying "I love you."  This is mostly just done to me.  It is very sweet but as I said random.  The other day while the kids were playing I heard Sean talking to Ryan.

Sean:  Do you love me, Ry-Ry?
Ryan: Yes.
Sean:  I love you.  

My heart just melted.

There is always something funny being said around kids, but there two instances were just too cute not to share.

Linking up:

March 9, 2013

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Today is my hubby's birthday.  He's as old as I am again.  He loves the 3.5 months where I'm older than him.

Being the bad wife that I am lately, I don't have a cake for him.  And since he's traveling tomorrow a big cake would kind of be a waste.  I am hoping to redeem myself by making brownie sundaes with his favorite ice cream for tonight.  Plus we are having his favorite meal, corned beef.

If my hubby were reading this post, which is very questionable since he can never remember the blog address, this is what I would write to him:

Happy Birthday!  I know I don't show you nearly enough how much I love you.  You are so supportive of me and everything I want to do.  I cannot thank you enough for that.  You are my best friend.  Over the past few years amid the chaos we've sometimes forgotten how important the laughter really is.  I want to make that laughter a priority.  I am so proud of the family we've created together.  I know that the next year may bring big changes.  I am ready.  I cannot think of a better partner to face life's joy and challenges with.  I hope this next year of your life is everything you are hoping for.  I hope I can be the wife you deserve.  I hope that you will find happiness in your family and share in many moments of laughter and joy.  I love you with all of my heart.  Happy Birthday, my love.   

March 8, 2013

Beauty Must Haves {Coffee Date Vlog}

Today I'm linking up with Alissa @ Rags to Stitches.  Have you been by her blog before?  I'm a kind of newbie there, but I promise you that you will get sucked in!  One of the things I love is that Alissa is so real and sweet, anyone would enjoy having a cup of coffee with her.

This week the prompt was about your 5 beauty must have products.  Well, if you know me that could probably keep me talking all day.  I can hardly believe I'm going to post it, but I did a vlog to tell you about my 5 beauty must haves.  Please excuse my nervousness and rambling.

Since it's difficult around here to get a moment without the kids, you may notice my baby, Leah, talking at the end of the video.  But that's how it would be if we were really having coffee anyway ;)

So if this is your first time stopping by my blog, welcome!  I'm Shelly.  I blog about my life--being a mom and raising my children, finding myself and my style again, and most of all living with patience.     I look forward to getting to know you.  And finally here are my beauty must haves:

Have a great weekend everyone!

March 7, 2013

Frumps to Pumps

I'm sure you know that I've been having a hard time getting myself ready, dressed, and put together since becoming a mom to three.  There are many reasons for this struggle, some of those reasons are lack of confidence in how I look, lack of motivation, and most of all just being out of the habit.

Last week from another blog I came across a book that intrigued me.  The book is Frumps to Pumps by Sarah Mae.  It's an e-book that amazon estimates to be 54 pages, and it is only about $5.  It's a one month motivotional (motivation and devotional) that discusses the reasons we are stay frumpy and encourages us to get dressed.
I sat down this weekend and read the whole thing one morning.  I really enjoyed it, and there were many parts that have stuck with me since then.  I will freely admit that there were certain parts that made me raise my eyebrows because these parts felt a little bit like a stretch for me to relate getting dressed to the Bible.  However, for the most part it really did motivate me.

Sarah Mae talks about the message that getting dressed teaches your children.  After all, we set the examples that our children learn from.  Until reading this I honestly hadn't thought much about the message I was sending to my kids.  I do know that my mother ALWAYS got dressed and put together when I was growing up.  She was ready to face the day and it showed.  Another thing that was talked about in the book is how if you are feeling frumpy you usually aren't feeling good about yourself.  You will go about your business trying to go unnoticed, but if you get yourself dressed and feel nice you will be more apt to let the light of your personality shine.

Probably the biggest challenge for me in getting motivated is coming to terms with the fact that I usually don't see anyone.  Three days a week I drop my son off at school, but for the most part no one really sees me or what I'm wearing.  So before reading this book, I kept thinking, if no one sees me what is the point?  Now I've decided that the point is the message I am sending my kids, looking nice for my husband, and most of all getting dressed for myself and the way it makes me feel.

I've been getting dressed every day since reading this book.  (Okay, it's only been 5 days so far.)  I have noticed some really significant differences since I started though.  My days are running so much more smoothly.  I am much more on schedule when I get myself ready in the morning.  During my frumpy days I always feel like I'm running behind and playing catch up.  Since getting dressed, I am more productive.  Being productive and on schedule makes me happier.  Being happier makes me a better mom to my kids.  That fact alone makes getting myself dressed and feeling good so worth it and a habit that I am committed to keeping up.

If you need a little motivation to getting dressed, I highly recommend reading this book.  It really has changed the way I view things.  I was not compensated for this review.  I paid for the e-book myself.  It's just my honest opinion that it was a really good book that motivated me to start putting a little time and effort into myself.

March 6, 2013

WIWW remix

It's shaping up to be busy week around here, mostly with school stuff for the kids.  I've been pretty good about making an effort to get dressed this week.  I'll go into more detail on that tomorrow because it is worth sharing.  For today, I'm just going to show you some of the outfits from the week.  You may recognize that the pieces from all these outfits have been posted in previous WIWW posts (I linked to some of them below).  I was able to remix the pieces for my wardrobe this week.

Sorry for the blurry photo.  I think this was my favorite outfit of the week.  You can see the original post for this cardigan here.
Cardigan and Flats//Target
Cords//Lands' End Canvas
Tank//Old Navy (old)

This day I had another meeting at the school, and it was an early one.  I really would have loved to stay in sweats, so I thought a good compromise would be my big cozy cardigan.  And it gave me an opportunity to wear the scarf my mother gave me.
Cardigan//Lands' End
Shirt//Old Navy (old)
Jeans//Lands' End Canvas

During the weekend I had my husband take some photos of my outfit, hence the kind of annoyed look on my face.  He likes to try to make me laugh.  I keep telling him to just focus on the outfit....I'm not sure he'll ever listen.    I also wore the cardigan and teal shirt here.  
Cardigan and Flats//Target
Shirt//Lands' End
Jeans//Lands' End Canvas

Some things I'm noticing now that I'm posting photos...All three outfits are cardigans.  It must be my uniform.  Also, two of the outfits are layered with a teal green shirt.  I have two of I must really like that color.  Hopefully next week I'll branch out beyond the cardigan and flats routine.  While I may have played it safe, at least I was getting dressed, right?

pleated poppy

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