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Snow White’s Queen in Disneyland

Have you been to Disneyland? If you have, then chances are you saw the queen above the Snow White ride – she peeks out (animatronically) every minute or so, peering down over all of the people waiting in line… and it is kind of creep if you ask me!

However, it was one of Zane’s favorite parts of DisneyLand. I am not even kidding. We had to visit the queen a few times each day. She loved the anticipation of waiting for the queen to peek out – she would scream “There she is!!!!” every single time.

We got home safe and sound and went about our normal daily lives, and I wondered what sort of impact taking my two and a half year old to Disneyland would have had on her.

And then she did this.

The Queen

She gets behind the curtains and closes them, and from behind the curtain, you can hear her saying “Where’s the queen??” until we repeat it. Then she ever-so-slowly opens the curtains, peeks down for a second, and then closes them just as slowly.

It is one of the funniest things EVER.

I would say she remembers her trip!

What is something YOU remember about a trip to Disneyland?

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Zane Loves L.A. Beaches!

First time on the Beach!

That face says it all.. Zaner loves the beach!!! We had a great time exploring different L.A. beaches a few weeks ago, and I have to say it is hard to choose favorite. Each beach is different and I have basically fallen in love with each of them for different reasons.

This is Huntington Beach – which has a cute little diner at the end of the pier called Rubys. They were PACKED so we ended up getting fajita’s at Gregs along the shoreline.

HBrunning

HBsandintoes

HBwaves

Unfortunately it was a little cold and windy to really ENJOY the beach and all it has to offer (AKA swim or even really touch the water at all) but that made for a beautiful day for flying a kite! All of these were from ONE guy who had them all set up. He was giving Kite lessons!! I want to go back and take a lesson – HOW FUN!

kitesatHB

We ended our day at Laguna Beach – the most relaxing beach to me. They have a fun little play area for Zane to run around, slide, play in the sand and SWING (her favorite).

lagunaswings

So do you have a favorite beach?

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So… I quit my job.

Today marks the end of a season for me, and the start of something new!

Today is my last day on staff at church. It has been a transition two years in the making, and now that it is here, I have very mixed emotions.

I have been on staff at our church working in the business office for almost 7 years, and on and around the staff since I moved to Washington in 2002. I LOVE my church. I LOVED being on staff. I LOVE working with our staff (we have one of the best!). And now I enter into a NEW season!

I have had a lot of people approach me and ask what’s next – so I thought I would blog it!

The short answer is I will be a stay at home mom. In other words I am not leaving to take another job somewhere else. However, I hardly plan to stay home :) With Brandon traveling a lot, and Zane the age that she is, it is very easy for us to take the opportunity to travel together! We love building the local church and being a resource to Pastors around the country as we represent our home church of Champions Centre and our Pastors Kevin and Sheila Gerald. It is an honor and an opportunity I have great appreciation for when Zane and I get the chance to travel with Brandon. I am happy we get to do this together. God has been so faithful as Brandon walks in his path of purpose, and this is just one more step for us as we follow after what God would do through us in this life.

Of course, we won’t go on every trip (thank goodness, because there are a lot of them!) That is when I am so excited to spend more time with my girl for the very short time we have until she is school age. She is such a sponge right now, soaking up everything she learns. So I am excited to get her in some classes (ballet maybe?) and spend some time outside!!!

To the question ARE WE MOVING – NO!! We are very firmly planted here in the PNW and in our home church Champions Centre and we are very happy to call this home base. Our roles are a bit different than they have looked in the past years, but we are very much still involved with the life of our church.

To the question ARE WE PREGNANT – NO! I am not preggo – and I don’t plan to be any time soon. Unless the Great Lord has other plans, we will just be the 3 amigos for awhile.

To the question AREN’T YOU GOING TO BE BORED – NO! I literally have never been bored a day in my life, and I don’t plan to start now. I have so many plans and looking forward to the freedom to explore!

All in all, I am very excited for my new season. I am excited to experience new things on the road as a family, and to pour into my little one at this very crucial age.

So what does this mean for my blog?
Well I will potentially have more time to think, be creative and produce more, which means there will be more to blog about! I will also be blogging about my experiences traveling – especially with a toddler (OH THE STORIES) and I hope to be a resource for you in many different ways!

Thank you for coming along with me on the journey so far, and I look forward to what this new season holds!!!

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I kill you… I kill you… the things toddlers say.

Toddler talk. It’s so fun, right?

Thumbs Up!

Until you are walking though the airport with your two and a half year old is walking behind you yelling “I kill you… I kill you”. The things toddlers say.

Then she did it again in the car. She was in her car seat, we were in the front driving (obviously). Brandon and I looked at each other and shrugged. Surly she isn’t ACTUALLY saying that. There must be something lost in translation.

It took me a week or so to actually figure out what she was saying. We were walking through the San Antonio Airport this past weekend and Brandon and I were taking turns running the hall with Zane trying to wear her out for the 4 hour flight we had ahead of us. It was my turn, so we were following the orange stripe on the ground all the way down to the last gate. On the way back to our gate, Zane lost some steam. She slowed her run to a walk, put her arms up and started yelling “I kill you… I kill you mom… I kill you!”

I CARRY YOU. She was saying I CARRY YOU!! She wanted me to carry her – she was sick of walking!! Oh my goodness – BREAKTHROUGH on the communication breakdown. It makes so much sense now!! I had a good laugh to myself as I picked her up and confirmed she was wanting to be carried.

Do you have any trouble with toddler translation?

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She is Pulling ALL Her Hair Out!

I have been having a hard time with something lately, and I have thought about sharing it on my blog a few times but I was always concerned how it would come across or what people would think about my daughter or myself as a parent. But I feel like sharing it will put me at ease and maybe hear from someone who has gone through the same thing.

My daughter likes to pull her hair out. Really, really pull it out. At first it wasn’t that big of a deal, but it has gotten so bad that I haven’t had to give her a hair cut (she basically gave herself one) and she is now almost getting a balding spot at the top of her head.

She pulls her hair out when she is more sedentary – in her car seat, laying in her bed (nap and bedtime) or if she gets into a tired daze.

Now I have read a few things online about what it COULD BE but I don’t really know how to react or respond. I am not really a “lets run to the Doctor” type person, which is what they suggest you do if it continues past a few weeks or if they become bald.

I am not really a worrisome mother, but I can honestly say it has me worried. I don’t feel like it is a habit out of stress – she seems overall very well adjusted and happy. She eats and sleeps fairly normal amounts for a toddler. She is just making herself BALD. Part of my problem is, I am sure, out of sheer vain. Her hair is super scraggly and uneven.

So – anyone have a toddler that did this for an extended period of time? What did you do? Anyone have some words of wisdom to put me at ease?

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Two Year Molars

2 Year Molars

I have been missing in blog-land lately, and the only explanation for it is Two year molars. I thought infant teething was hell. NO, no my friends. That was just getting me warmed up for the GRAND FINALE – the entrance of 2 year molars.

Zane was a dream infant – slept through the night at 6 weeks. Fed & slept on a great schedule.

Then she turned 2.

I didn’t even think turning 2 was THAT bad, but now the teeth are coming in and I am getting a glimpse into what the teenage years will be like (HA! I laugh so I don’t cry)

It is times like this that I have to remind myself that she won’t be small forever. She won’t need me like this forever. Even in the middle of the night, for the 4th time when I have to go and comfort her, I am trying my best to remind myself that I am her momma, and NO ONE can be to her what I am to her.

In the meantime, I will take any and ALL advice on how to get through this time.

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The Toddler Bed or Twin Bed Debate

Toddlerortwinbed

(phone ringing)

ME: Hey Babe!
BRANDON: Well, it finally happened.
ME: What?
BRANDON: Zane just fell out of her crib.
ME: Oh no – is she ok?
BRANDON: yeah, I heard a loud thud, and then crying so I rushed upstairs and she was walking around from the back side of her crib. She was pretty shaken.

….. and somehow I am now searching craigslist tonight for the perfect toddler bed :)

I would like to re-decorate Zane’s room with this transition, and I am now on the serious hunt for a new bed for her. I know it was just the first time she jumped out, and it could be a little while before we ACTUALLY have to transition her, but I would like to be ready when we need to be.

My question for you – did you buy a toddler bed or go straight to the twin bed? What are your reasonings either way. I see a lot of arguments for both sides, and I am having a hard time deciding. Leave me a comment and help me decide!

Thank you ahead of time for your input!

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Toddler Yoga

This weekend, I took Zane to a free Toddler Yoga class they were holding at the local Land Of Nod store. It was free, so I figured it would be a great place to see if it was something that Zane would be interested in, and to see how she interacts with other kids in a class other than church.

The class started with put your finger on your nose. Easy enough – Zane did it. Put your hands on top of your head – Zane did that too! Maybe we have a chance at this class! I cant believe I ever doubted whether Zane would be able to handle this class or not!

THEN, the yoga instructor had them start a sun salutation, and…….

Toddler Yoga

Choosing the yoga mat directly in front of the play tent proved to be a counter-productive decision.

toddler yoga tent

She was the youngest little one in the class for sure. However, I would like to continue to expose her to classes. Mainly because I am hoping that eventually she will get the hang of it.

Did you put your toddler in any classes? What age did they start? What classes tended to be the most well received? I know I have a very independent little miss on my hands, and could use any encouragement in this topic.

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Stuck On You Library Bag – LAST DAY FOR GIVEAWAY!

Today is your LAST CHANCE to win one of two $30.00 give cards from Stuck On You! Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for your last chance to win!!!

Zane LOVES books, so I was excited when we got the Library Bag from Stuck On You! We used it for the first time last week – her dad took her to the Library while I was at work. *Photo Credit/Zane’s Crazy hair Credit to Dad :)

Headed to The Library

Continue Reading →

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You Are a Good Mom

Last night Brandon and Zane picked me up from work and we ran to the mall just to wander a bit and shop for an hour. Unfortunately, nap times for Zane have been hit or miss and all out of sorts (this subject is another blog in and of itself), so she hadn’t fallen asleep until around 3pm and they left to pick me up from work around 4:15pm. Not a long enough nap.

We got to the mall, diaper changed, and I was ready to get my deal finding game face on. Zane had other plans. She was, of course, tired. She didn’t want to be held. She didn’t want to be put down. She was starving. She wasn’t hungry. I figured if I just put her in her stroller and laid her back, she would probably cry for a minute or two, pass out and then I could get my shop on. I told B “just head to Nordies – I will take a lap around the mall and then meet you there”.

I.was.wrong.

Zane launched into a full five-alarm, back arching – legs flailing – arms thrashing – demon screaming type of tantrum right there in the middle if the mall. Now I am not sure if you are aware of how GREAT the acoustics are at the mall, but let me assure you, sound travels.

I feel the eyes of everyone on me. At first I was like “oh she will calm down, she has done this before, she is just tired, she will wear herself out and fall asleep”. After walking the mall for a bit and getting tired of people looking at me like “why don’t you stop your child from crying” (as if I would choose not to if there was something I could actually do about it) I decided to head down the hallway and park her facing a wall. I figured if she couldn’t see people maybe she wouldn’t think she was getting attention from someone and start to calm down. She continued to scream and carry on kicking her legs. Every minute or so I would come into view and I would calmly say to her “Zane, you need to start to calm yourself down before we can move on”.

We were near the bathrooms, so Zane couldn’t see but people were still walking past us at a steady steam. I was just about to hit my limit of judging glares when I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn and it is a woman I don’t know. She quickly smiled at me and said “you are a good mom”. It took everything within me to not burst into tears and ugly cry right there in the mall. All I could get out was a “oh gosh, thank you” and then she said “I have a 27 year old, and I still remember times like this. Just know you are doing what you should be doing. You are a good mom.”

One more quick sweet smile and she walked away.

With a renewed sense of discipline vigor, I remained strong for a few more moments as Zane began to wind down. I took her out of her stroller, we had a little chat and she apologized (seriously the cutest thing when she says “I sorry mom”) and we went on our way.

Last week, when my 6 year old niece looked up at me with innocent eyes and asked “is being a mom hard?” I almost didn’t know how to answer. Motherhood is the best job I have ever had. But in these moments, when you don’t know if you are doing things right – and how much more you can handle – it can be really hard!!

Those kind words from a complete stranger “you are a good mom” got me thinking – as women we have a hard job. We are responsible for raising these little kids to be everything that God has called them to be – to not only grow up to be responsible citizens, but to live full passionate lives and fulfill the call that God has placed on their lives. But we can’t do that job alone. As women, we need to be supporting and encouraging each other as much as possible.

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I put this picture on Instagram yesterday it complete embodies what I am talking about today. We act childish when we try to compete with each other, but we truly walk in our purpose as women, and mothers, when we empower and encourage each other. I put a lot of my life out on here – my blog, social media- and a lot of it is really good. God has blessed me fully. But I want to be completely honest and transparent with you as well – sometimes it is just a mess. Sometimes it is a child demon-screaming through the mall. But ONE thing I really want to always be is encouraging. It occurred to me yesterday how easy and effortless it can actually be. It didn’t cost that woman ANYTHING to stop and encourage me.

From now on, I am going to be keeping my eyes open to the opportunities to encourage moms. Will you join me?

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