Stuck On You Personalized Labels

I have to admit that the idea of having to pack a lunch, backpack, ANNND dress a child every single day for an entire school year makes me kinda nervous.

I am by no means the most organized person on Earth, but I do alright... and I am still nervous about having my game face on five days a week from August until June, ya know??

So when Stuck On You offered to send us labels to help get organized for back to school, I might have just gone ahead and kissed them.

Stuck On You let me chose which labels would work best for our family and while they have literally tons of options, I settled on the Kid's Designer Labels because I liked the simple classic circle design.

I thought the plain old circle would stay relevant with my ever growing kids... rather then say, a flower shape, that could go out of style with the quickness for my fickle beans.

Aside from pleasing the kids... you know I was thrilled to have the labels show up and make my life easier.

I write with an actual writing utensil so infrequently that the idea of writing my children's names over, and over, and over again on their school stuff sounded like a big pain in the ass to me.

I mean jeez-us... why are their names so damn long?? And why do they have so much stuff!!!!

Circle stickers that would make my life easier? Yes please.

Thanks to Stuck On You, all kinds of adorable stickers with their too long names came in the mail just in time for the back to school chaos to begin around here.

It was fun. I went labeling crazy and even stuck some on their heads... (hey, I've got a lot of kids, name tags every once in awhile wouldn't be so bad if you ask me).

Psssstttt... Like Girlfriend's lunchbox & backpack?? They are both from Stuck On You, and on sale too!!!

I went ahead and used my stickers on every last thing that Boyfriend would be bringing to school...

Including all of the Tupperware that I've been putting in his lunch box.

These stickers, aside from being cute... are also dishwasher and microwave safe.

I've washed them one hundred times so far and there is no peeling, no fraying... still good as new.

Even the one that I wipe every single day inside the lunch box has held up awesome.

Ohandplusalso... Boyfriend says he is the only one in his class with, "name stickers," and all of his friends are jealous so... cool Mom points for me.

Each package contains fifty personalized stickers... that's a helluva lot of labeling going down.

Another reason I love this company... they appeal to my kid's fickle-ness.

So even though there's tons of stickers in the package, (on sale now for less than $15!!!!), they're not all the same.... nope, they come with four different designs.

So you basically pick a theme, and that theme offers different designs in case your kid decides they hate pink or blue or green or whatever one day... there's a new one waiting to be used in it's place!

Seriously, thank God for that cause my kids change their minds like every minute.

Since Boyfriend currently loves red, I figured that was a safe bet to start... in a month when he decides that red sucks, I've got others to play around with.

Stuck On You also sent me labels for the shoes (also on sale right now for less than $15!!!)- I know, genius.

Last winter when we got one fafillion inches of snow, another boy in Boyfriend's class took home his boots.... three times.

Now thanks to these adorable little heel stickers, that wont happen.

Sending the dolls to school is hard enough without having to worry that they will lose their things and get upset.

Sooo.... I labeled every damn thing that wasn't nailed down; backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, shoes, jackets, folders, pencils, notebooks.... basically anything that I would have written on, I stuck something on instead.

No one is losing anything up in this place... Mama done put their names on alll the things!!!

The personalized sticky labels were easy to use, and give me piece of mind ... what's better than

This guy is resting easy while the Big Kids are at school! Find his personalized onesie here!
Stuck On You has been helping kids prepare for Back to School for 17 years, and they know their stuff.

If you're labeling your children's bottles, bags, books, and boots for school this Fall... you have got to check out their stickers.

They come in all different kinds, not just the small circle ones that we got... and the best part... they are all on sale!!

Have fun!

***Stuck On You provided us with all of these back to school goodies in exchange for an honest post about their products. I  have a long standing love affair with everything they make and I am always thrilled with their quality... all opinions belong to my cute little self.


An Open Letter to My Almost Kindergartner

My dear, sweet, handsome, loving, caring, sometimes fresh, always creative Son...

This is it. The eve of your first day of Kindergarten.

This day has haunted me since they placed you into my arms five years, two months and 27 days ago.

It was on that day, way back in May of 2009, that after eighteen hours of labor, and a hurried emergency c-section, that my overly medicated self took one look at your adorable pink smooshy face and proclaimed that: No; you in fact, did not look like an alien at all.. you looked like a bull dog.

Needless to say, my first moments of being a mother did not turn out as I had hoped.

I had no idea what the Hell to do with you.

But you were patient with me, and we learned together.

It was in those first few months that I realized that parenting, and motherhood... will never be what I had expected them to be.

But you... you were exactly who I expected you to be.

You were (are) beautiful, funny, snuggly, sweet... you were very much so the light of our lives.

Our family cradled you and cooed you and loved you like the first baby that you are.

I like to think that there is a little bit of all of us in you; me, Daddy, all of your grandparents, and aunts and uncles... you were surrounded by family and love at all times as a baby.

Over the years you have taught me just as much as I have taught you... and again and again I am surprised by this job called Motherhood.

I never would have guessed that you would start talking at seven months, that you'd poop on the grass at the outlets, or scream swears out our windows when you were two.

I never would have guessed that you'd be so creative... leaving us inventions all around the house at all hours of the day and night.

I never would have imagined how fiercely you could imagine, and how deeply you could love.

Way back when you were just my squishy bull dog Baby, I never would have guessed that one day, your lack of sleep would make me cry, and that the way you hurt your sister would make my blood boil.

I never would have guessed that I could feel frustration, or anger towards you... but that is all part of motherhood and parenting, too.

I started to really fear Kindergarten after the tragedy at Sandy Hook. I have since wrestled with anxiety about letting you and your siblings out of my sight.

This might never get easier for me, so please be patient if I attempt to re-attach the umbilical cord every so often.

Know that I am trying, and that I only worry because I love you so very much.

You and your siblings are my heart and my soul.

You are all of the breaths in my prayers, and all of the hopes in my dreams...

You are the very best things that I have ever done in my entire life...

And I want so desperately to always keep you safe.

Someone once told me to ignore my anxiety, and to instead, trust myself and the job that I have done with you so far... trust that I have given you the tools you need to succeed, and that you will.

And so, with fear, and hesitation that only a Mother could understand... I will.

I will do the opposite of what I know how to do... I will let go.

You and I have learned together every step of the way... you... who taught me what it means to love and be loved... you, who made me a mother.

We've done absolutely everything together since you were born.

We've gone to every park, every playground, every lake, every museum, every Mommy & Me, everything, everything, everything that our corner of the state has to offer.

I was Hell Bent on giving you the most exciting, fun, creative, loud toddler years imaginable... and I did.

We've been traveling the state as a team for five years and tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.... I will put you on a bus, and watch you drive away without me.

My heart aches, my throat closes, and my belly hurts as I type those words.

I am so sad that my baby is old enough to not need me for hours on end.

I am so sad that this wonderful, amazing, fun time of your little life is over and now you'll grow faster, faster, faster... than ever before.

I look at your lanky limbs, your dirty finger nails, your super hero shirt... and I know that even though you will always be my baby, you are no longer a baby.

You are a boy.

One who knows how to spell, and read, and has opinions all his own.

You are so ready for this new journey and dare I say... so am I.

Over the last few months I have watched you turn into a boy who is excited about learning, about the bus, about new friends, a new school and a new life.

I am proud of your ability to embrace uncertainty in a way that I have never been able to.

I'm proud of your sensitivity, your kindness, and the way you care for your family.

I'm proud that you know just how important it is to be yourself... a good friend, and a leader.

I can say, without question, that I have poured my heart and soul into your first years... that I have given every last ounce that I have to give.

And I will continue to do so, today, tomorrow, and every minute after, for the rest of my life.

My job isn't done yet of course, we have years and years of more fun to have ... but tomorrow will change everything.

Starting tomorrow, you will go to someone else each morning, and I will wait eagerly for you to come home to me every afternoon.

There are so many things that I want to tell you, to remind you:

To wash your hands, to be nice, to look for someone who needs a friend, to be respectful, be accepting, be strong, be brave, that being different is cool, to wipe as best you can, bring home your lunch box, raise your hand, try your best.... tell me everything, everything, everything that happens when we aren't together.

But I wont, just like I wont let you see me cry, I wont ruin your day by being a lunatic.

I wont.

I wont.

I wont.

I am so proud of you Son.

I am so proud of the boy you have become, and I know that you will treat others with kindness, and enjoy every single second of this new adventure that you will take...

All by yourself.

I will be here waiting, just like I always am.




The Happiest Day

I started writing this post three times and couldn't figure out the right way to say what I wanted to say.

I kept trying to say something funny, or witty.... but for once, I am at a loss for words.

Husband started a new job this week, and I can honestly say that this is absolutely life changing for us.

Sometimes I struggle with what I feel is appropriate to share on my blog, and what I would rather not let the whole world know.

Nine out of ten posts that I have written in the past two years were written while Husband was traveling for work.

I have been alone A LOT.

It has not been easy.

Three weeks ago Husband applied for a job at a company that is 1.2 miles from our house.

I know.

He had been applying for months.. MONTHS... job after job after job... and wasn't hearing back much of anything at all.

His last position had him traveling all over the East Coast, on a moment's notice.

He would leave Monday morning and we would expect him to come home Monday night and instead, we wouldn't see him until Thursday at midnight.... sometimes Friday.

This was not a once in awhile thing, it was the norm.

Husband was gone nearly four days a week, every week, for two years.

The constant driving and on-the-run-ness started to wear him down and before we knew it he was really depressed... and exhausted.

It was a lot for me to handle on my own and try as I might, even I couldn't keep a smile on my face all the time.

As women, and mothers, we somehow take on the role of being the glue that holds everyone together.

And I did that... but sometimes, I didn't want to be the glue... sometimes I just wanted to be pissed that Husband had a shitty job and wasn't ever around and when he was, he was bummed...

But we hung in there and we stuck together... I vowed to always be supportive no matter what, but man oh man were there days that I wanted to just tell someone at that company to eff off.

I'm not sugar coating anything here, it freaking sucked.

So when he called me three weeks ago from the road (of course) and said, "The HR lady called, they emailed me an offer letter..."

I burst into tears. I was SOBBING.

I didn't even know what the offer was, but it didn't matter...

He would be home, close by, not traveling hours upon hours a day.

When I was finally able to read the offer to him, he couldn't even understand what I was saying because I was just a blubbering mess.

Eventually I was able to calm down and we were thrilled with everything that had been offered to us... Husband eagerly accepted and a new chapter in our lives began.

I am SO happy to say that we made it through a long, VERY trying two years that tested my patience and understanding every single day.

I am THRILLED for Husband, who now has a great job, managing a team of people that respect him and his experience.

He deserved this and dare I say... so did I.

This new position opens up a whole can of fun new worms for us...

Will we still move closer to our parents?

Will we move somewhere else??

Will we stay put??

Nothing is clear to us just yet, except that things are one hundred million percent looking up.

There really is nothing like being at home with your family... oh how I've missed it... all of us being together and laughing...

Not having to re-tell play by plays of our days over the phone while the sound of the highway hums in my ears.

I snapped this picture today... when Husband popped home quickly for lunch and surprised us all.

You can tell by the way I'm cheesing... and the twinkle in his eye... this is huge for us, and we are so so grateful for this wonderful opportunity.

You would have thought he came in yelling, "Ho, Ho, Ho," and carrying gifts...

The kids went crazy climbing all over him and clapping and I literally stopped what I was doing and sat down just to watch him eat his lunch.

It was so wonderful to have him home for a few minutes, a quick surprise for no reason other than he could....

It was, the happiest day.


Eyeshadow Perspective

I have eye shadow on my floor...

And ground deep into our rug.

Girlfriend went to the park with it smeared from eyeball to chin...

I had given her strict, "I don't know where you got that but you don't use it by yourself," rules.

And of course, she didn't listen.

So when I found her covered in eyeshadow and lipstick, I took it from her and threw it out.

She never cried or cared or flinched that it was gone... She knew she had done wrong and that was that.

Except, that wasn't that for me. 

That pile of eyeshadow crumbs on the floor makeup haunted me all day... Because it didn't matter enough to me to pick up right away.

That's the truth... I was mad, but not so mad that I had time to pick it up right away, because it just didn't matter in the grand scheme of things ya know??

In fact... I even stopped to take a picture of the damn eyeshadow before I cleaned it up. Seriously... what is my problem??

I mean who gives a shit about a little eyeshadow on the floor?

Not me apparently... but then... why did I get mad at my doll??
So the eyeshadow didn't matter after all... but you know what did matter??

The important stuff... Feeding the kids, baths, two play dates, the sprinkler, dinner, frozen, ice cream, getting tucked in... Four times. Each.

All these things were more important than the still mashed in eye shadow...

And I am only slightly embarrassed to admit that its still there... On the carpet... AND the tile.

That's how little I care... even though I was mad at Girlfriend when she did it, I realize that it honestly doesn't even matter.

So you know what I did...

I dug into the trash... And I handed Girlfriend back her makeup.

I gave her a talk about how we only do this stuff with grownups and how I was proud of her for knowing she had done wrong and not throwing a fit (seriously folks... Three year old girl tantrums are legit and this was a huge victory.)

Then... I sat down and said "Okay... go ahead, Do my makeup."

I guess you could call digging through the trash for a three year old's makeup a bad case of Mom Guilt...

But I call it perspective.


All Day, All Night

Sometimes at the end of a long day, after I've put the kids to bed instead of completely face planting into the couch...

I'll sneak back upstairs into the their rooms, and climb into bed with them.

It feels like I'm breaking the rules, to keep the kids up late just to talk and laugh... but it is one of my favorite things to do.

Inevitably, they squeal and shriek and one or the other will get jealous and soon all of us are in one bed laughing.

I know I have written about this before... but those few stolen moments are such a wonderful gift to them... and me!

I always tell my friends to just say screw it, and keep their kids up a few more minutes at night... it puts such a special spin on the end of the day.

Since Boo was born in January, and I am now up and down all night long nursing... I always sneak in and check on the kids while they sleep.

Without fail, they are always sleeping in some weird ass position.

Sometimes I find Boyfriend sleeping on like a legit pile of Legos.

Last night he woke up, sat up, and smiled at me when I found his bed like this at 11 pm...

Once I found Girlfriend just covered in shoes, like seven pairs...

And she like, never sleeps normal... ever.

They are always passed the Hell out and don't realize that they aren't actually comfortable until I pick them up, put them back on their pillow, fix their covers...

...Tell them I love them and kiss them goodnight.

I can see them snuggle deeper under their covers, and they almost always without fail, give me a sleepy smile.

Night after night when I feel their warm little bodies squeeze mine, even as they are still asleep... I am reminded just how forgiving and resilient children are.

Because of course there are some days that I am a better Mom than others ... and just like the sun gets up everyday with the sky... my babies never let me down.

I know that in the coming years they will pull away from me more and more... that with age comes independence...

So I am holding tight to these... and all moments...

But especially those in the middle of the night, when they are just innocent little balls of cute and slow breathing... with the hall light on their face and sleep in their eyes...

And one day when they get older... and they decide that they hate me...

I will remind them endlessly that I never stopped parenting them... not even for a second... all day... and all night.

I've got the pictures to prove it.


Five & Six Months...

Yeesh... where the frig has the time gone??

My baby is already half a year old.

I feel like a broken record when I talk about life with Boo.

He is just so happy, all the time... if you look at him for more than two seconds, he will without fail, every time, smile.

He never fusses, ever.

He started eating solids right at six months and is still exclusively breast feeding.

The second real food touched his lips he just exploded into a solid little man and stopped being a tiny baby.

Boo loves his jumper, nursing, and his brother and sister.

He loves to be scared, to listen to his Daddy make weird noises and he says, "Hi."

For real... it is a dead ringer for the way I say, "Hi," to him... it is hysterical and he has been doing it for a few weeks now.

People tell us every single day that they have never seen a more content, calm, happy baby in their lives and I honestly have to admit that I agree.

It is crazy, he is such a smiley little soul... he is never upset, and he just brightens every minute of my life.

Boo will let anyone hold him, but is still very much a Mama's boy and honestly laughs out loud every time I look at him.

He is still getting up two or three times a night and just recently started to have his first tooth push through.

A typical day for him is to wake up, nurse, and have his big brother and sister crawl all over him the second they see him.

It pretty much never fails.

Boo isn't sitting just yet but he loves to sleep in his car seat, or snuggle next to me pretty much any time of day.

He loves his Sophie giraffe, Aden and and Anais blankets and being tickled.

I go back and forth about who Boo looks like but one night when Husband was traveling I must have pulled him into bed with me to nurse...

I also must have passed out because when I woke up I saw a child laying next to me and I immediately thought it was Girlfriend.

Once my eyes focused a little better I realized that it was actually my little sweet potato... so, maybe they look more alike than I had originally thought.

He just recently started flipping over and is definitely ready to start crawling... although of course I am already planning on pulling his legs out from under him.

Ain't nobody got time for a baby that wants to crawl around and grow up... around here babies stay little forever!!

**I am aware that I am just saying the same thing over and over again... ask anyone who knows Boo, and they will tell you there is nothing else to say... he is just so happy. We are blessed.

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