My little family!

My little family!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bottle It Up.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

(I'm writing this in between episodes of Breaking Bad... do you watch? Holy amazing show. I'm half way through the 2nd season and flying through these episodes in between naps/bedtime)


SO.

How is everyone??

It's a lovely, gritty, cool (although a random 70 degree Fall day) and eerie Halloween. This is the first holiday that Layla is truly aware of.. I have to say, it's pretty amazing. I am not sure she fully understands the whole trick-or-treating part, but she loves the idea of yelling HAPPY HALLOWEEN and of course loves the dressing up part. Layla & Benny are Minnie Mouse & Mickey Mouse this year and if I could, I'd eat them up for dinner while they wear their costumes. So adorable.

I'm starting a new weekly update... titled Bottle It Up. There are so many moments in my life I'd love to bottle up and remember forever -- but with the days flying by and months turning into years, I need to remember the small moments. The every days.

Sometimes this stay-at-home mom gig is tough... I sit on the verge of tears because it's hard. Way harder then any job I've ever had. And it's literally 24 hours. There's no break. Nap time usually means my first chance to sit in quiet - but I'm always cleaning or doing laundry or balancing the checkbook.

But it's perfect, too. There are these small moments in the middle of the day where Benny climbs me like a tree and buries his head in my neck and I smile because if I were at work? I'd miss it. I miss those small, teeny moments.

So..
A few "bottle it up" moments from this week.

1. The other day, while getting ready for school... I asked Layla to put her boots on. Her response?
"Mama... 5 more minutes!"
I almost peed my pants.
Sassy little two year old ;)

2. Benny is getting really, really good at having a catch. His favorite toy by FAR is a ball - any kind...basketball, football..you name it. He will have a catch for a long time and is getting good at throwing & catching. Layla is also pretty amazing but at 9 months, Benny blows me away.

3. Bedtime is a science in our house (that's a post for another day)...and lately, after I get Benny to bed.. Layla asks me (over & over)...
"Mama, wanna read me Lorax?"
It's in the sweetest little voice. And I love it so much. 
Then Josh carries her into bed.. it's just a lovely minute.

4. Layla's obsession with her cousins. I mean.. it's a serious, sweet, adorable addiction to her cousins - specifically Abbey. If she sees Abbey, all bets are off....
Over & Over & Over.
"HI ABBEY! HI ABBEY! HI ABBEY!"
Swoon.

5. Every Monday, my Dad, Benny & I go to lunch. It used to be Layla - now that she's in school, Benny has taken over her spot. When he first started sitting in the high chair at restaurants, he was fairly miserable. Now that he eats real food, he's (usually) a breeze to go out to eat with. This past Monday was one of his finest afternoons ... he stuffed his face with eggs, hash browns, pickles, puffs... anything I put in front of him, he ate. He looked all around at the busy restaurant, people watched and was a perfect gem.
I love my sweet boy.

OF COURSE there were 5867699 million more moments and I can't remember any of them... my goal is to write them down as they happen.

Benny's up. Byebye!!!




Monday, October 21, 2013

Top 5!

Top 5 things on my mind....

1. I'm tired. I mean.. what mama of two isn't a little sleep deprived? After months of pretending I could get away without (re) sleeping training Mr. B, it was time to start again. It all began leading up to the Outer Banks.. and since then, Benny's sleep has been less then stellar. Some nights are better then others..but it is exhausting. It's my own fault for constantly nursing him at night to avoid the alternative (a crying, non-sleeping babe at 3 AM) -- so last night began the real deal of sleep training. He woke once around 11:15 and it took a little over and hour (and LOTS of tears) before he fell back asleep. We went in every 15 minutes to console him and eventually he gave in. I'm hoping it gets better as the week goes on and I can get in some long stretches of sleep.

2. Jamaica! In less then 2 months... the 4 of us will be en route to South Florida for our longest stay to date... we'll be with our Florida family for 2 1/2 weeks! Pretty amazing!! While we are there, Josh and I are escaping real life and heading back to Jamaica for 5 days. Plans include SLEEPING, eating, swimming, drinking..and sleeping some more. I'm SO excited but of course SO nervous. That trip will be the first time I leave Benny Boy and the 2nd time I'll leave Layla for more then a night. It also means  I will need to end nursing Benny. We will be a bit shy of a year of nursing (same as Layla) -- except this time, I'm SO SO sad to see it end. With Layla, I was ready to have my boobies back (ha!) but with him..it's different. I am not sure why? SO.. while I'm SO SO SO excited for this trip, I'm a bit sad too.

3. TV. I have ONE more episode of Parenthood to go... then I'm all caught up and able to watch live. This show is fantastic. The writing, characters and overall theme of the show is insanely good. I relate to it and I'm really bummed that I can't watch multiple episodes in a row anymore. On a happy note, it's time to move on to a new show... Breaking Bad! I know I'm late to the game but I'm excited to be in the BB family ;)

4. Money. Last week, I decided to write down a list of ALL of our bills and the total (per month) was insanely high. That amount wasn't including FOOD - whaaaaat? Without my salary, we need to seriously re-evaluate our spending and makes sure we're being smart. I never want to get into a debt situation and I always want to have a big savings for an IN CASE situation. As a side note.. we spend about $280 PER MONTH at Dunkin Donuts. That's insane.

5. Layla. Last night, we had my entire family over for dinner (minus Michael, Abbey & Danielle) -- it was so much fun and yummy (Josh & I made slow-cooker meatballs) -- while everyone was here, I watched Layla playing with her cousins and my heart grew. She gets SO SO SO happy and excited playing with the kiddos and it is so incredible -- we've had lots of play dates recently and I'm so happy and proud of the little girl Layla is growing into. I am teaching her to share, to be kind, to love and to be nice. She is going into time-out about 5 times a day but I think she's starting to learn it's important to be nice ;) Love her so much.

...and with that, I'm going to catch up on cleaning and rest a bit. Lots of love, until tomorrow!
xx
Court

Flashback to Layla ... can't wait for Halloween this year!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Benjamin turns 9 months old!!!



The real Batman.

What up, Ma?

A boy and his bear.

This face slays me.

9 months young.

Laughing at Layla!

Love.

Hi.

Benjamin Sawyer.

Little.




9 month stats:
Weight: 25.6 pounds (97th percentile - back on the chart baby!)
Height: 30 inches (95th percentile)
Eating: 3 solid meals a day. Breastfeeding every 2-4 hours.  
Clothes: 12 month. 18 month. 18-24 month. And the occasional 2T ;)
Diaper: Size 5.  


Pumpkin....
Oh my sweet, sweet boy. Another month has come and gone and here we are again. My big boy. You have grown leaps and bounds this month - I don't mean physically (in fact.. I think you're starting to slim out which breaks my heart) -- I mean you are a boy on the GO! You crawl fast and every which way. You climb in everything and stand up on anything you can (the couch, the fireplace, the wall). You love to hold things and throw them down over & over - especially in the kitchen. Loud, repetitive sounds are your favorite! You love to empty things full of toys (making a huge mess for mama!) and of course everything goes in your mouth. I watch you drink everything in with your big, brown eyes. You stare at me so intently (especially while nursing) and it's the sweetest look. 
While you are my big boy, it makes me so happy because you are still my little baby. You always keep an eye on me and while you are playing, if I call your name you immediately crawl over and climb in my lap. You love to be held - if it's getting to be bedtime (or nap time) you want to be no where but in my arms. Not always easy but I try to enjoy every second because soon you'll be running away from me!! Your hair is so light and pretty -- and LONG. I want to cut it but Mom-Mom is requesting I wait until your 1st birthday so it seems you'll have a mullet a little longer, my friend. I can't wait until I can put it in a Mohawk again! May need to use some hairspray to make it a super-hawk ;) People always comment on your big eyes - they really light up. 
Your new tricks include clapping, high-five and waving bye-bye. You love to dance (sway back and forth) when music comes on. You also "sing" along with Layla & I when we are singing out loud -- it's the funniest face. You open your mouth really loud and sing a deep note. I love it. You don't seem very interested in TV unless it's a sport. Pretty funny - Layla LOVED TV at this age and you would rather play! Your favorite toys are books, cars, remotes and ANY ball - you can seriously sit and have a catch with me. It's insane. You roll the ball directly to me and I feel like you would do it for hours if I let us. A future sports star, perhaps?
Sleep - the ever evolving topic. At the current moment, you're sleeping fairly well at night. You go to bed at 6:30 PM and wake up between 6:00 - 7:30 AM every morning. You still wake up once (sometimes twice) to eat. Every so often you'll sleep through the night and it's a great treat. I keep talking about how I need to sleep train you because I know you don't need the night feedings anymore -- one day soon, I will. You are an EXPERT napper. I don't know how we got so lucky. You nap in the morning for 2-3 hours and in the afternoon for 2 hours. It's incredible and I know I can't complain. You now sleep with a little guy lovingly named Brian -- we'll see if helps you sleep better at night. 
Foooooood - your favorite. You love everything!!! Every morning, you have oatmeal mixed with prunes. For lunch and dinner, it's a fruit or veggie puree. I'm starting to tear apart pieces of food and give it you - you LOVE cheese and bread and anything else I'll let you try. You also like puffs and teething biscuits. And of course - you love nursing. It's such an amazing bonding moment and I'll be SO SO SO sad when it ends. 
You have 6 teeth and I think more coming in - they're so cute!! 
We go to music class every Thursday and you're really enjoying it. You crawl around to all the kids (and parents) and smile at them. You like the music and you love to dance with Layla & I. 
I can't believe it's Fall - the weather is cooler and you look adorable in all of your long-sleeved clothes!!! I can't wait to see you all dressed up for Halloween and celebrate your first Thanksgiving!!!

With 3 months until your 1st birthday, I'm officially in planning mode. I have the date and venue picked out, the cake paid for, outfits bought for me, you & Layla (we still need to get one for Dada) - it will be the cutest mustache bash!! 

We love you so much my dear boy....
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Always together... soon to be Mickey & Minnie Mouse!

OVER IT! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

SAHM



Hi & Happy Friday!!

It's raining, it's yucky and there is an Autumn chill in the air.

While Benny naps and the house remains clean..

It's time to write about my new and very big change.

A little background on my professional life and what has led me here to this extremely difficult and exciting new position.

In May, 2005.. I graduated from The University of Central Florida (Go Knights!) with a degree in communicative disorders (speech pathology). My grand plan was to get my masters and work in a school or private practice.

While sitting on my porch in Orlando the summer after I graduated (my last weeks in Sunny Florida), I got a call from my sister that her Father in Law was hiring for positions working in pharmaceuticals, specifically at Wyeth. I knew very little about the pharmaceutical world but I had taken several science classes and felt it could be a good fit (plus the prospect of any job, let alone one that made a good amount of money was extremely exciting).

I came home (with Josh.. although we later broke up for 10 months..but that's another story for another day, haha) and interviewed. I got the job and thus my "career" began. I worked at Wyeth on a special task force for approximately 6 months before finding out the job would be ending. I quickly starting talking with co-workers and found out Merck Pharmaceuticals was hiring. I applied and landed the job working in data processing. I worked there for approximately 9 months and later found out Johnson & Johnson was hiring. This seemed like a perfect fit so I applied... and I landed the job.

I was a contractor for about 18 months before landing a permanent position. I loved my job. I worked on adverse event reporting and really began to learn my field, attempting to become an expert. I worked with some incredibly smart and talented people who taught me so much.

In September 2009 (about 3 years after landing the job at J&J) I got pregnant. In June 2010, I had my dear Layla Jules.

And it all changed.

I didn't want to leave her. The thought of someone else watching my girl seemed so strange and foreign. I was also breastfeeding and hated the idea of pumping. After a discussion with my manager and HR (as well as Josh), I was able to work part-time. Perfect!!! I spent 2 1/2 days with my girl and 2 1/2 days at work. It was a great fit. I looked forward to my time with Layla and equally looked forward to my time at work. I switched teams, learned a lot new line of products and felt confident and comfortable.

Then..surprise of all surprises -- in May 2012, we found out we were pregnant again.

I marched on and in January 2013, Benjamin Sawyer joined out little family. I went on maternity leave and decided we would extend to 16 weeks (rather then 12 weeks).

In the blink of an eye, the 16 weeks went by. There was NO way I was ready to leave Layla & Benny. Layla began school 3 days a week and I loved my days with Benny. I contacted work and asked for an extension of my maternity leave through summer. I was approved and ecstatic. It was mid-way through summer before I realized I couldn't go back yet... I extended again to October.

And then I looked at Josh and we discussed the possibility of me not returning to work. We had bounced this idea around before...it was (is!) a nerve wracking conversation to have. Could we make it work, financially? Will I be okay, emotionally? How will it all work?

And then we just decided... it was the best fit for us. Let's see how it goes!

So I officially gave my notice and last week I officially cleaned out my desk and returned my computer.

And now..

I am an official stay-at-home Mama.

It sounds weird to say it out loud.

I know how lucky I am. My babies will only be small for so long. They will only rely on my heavily for a short time. I have the rest of my life to work. I have the rest of my days to make money. Josh works SO hard to ensure we are okay. We save a lot of money. We don't go out to eat (as much). We don't shop as much. We are making changes.

It's worth it. The days where I am overwhelmed by dirty diapers and a dirtier living room are worth it.

My new job is hard. MUCH harder then any "paid" job I had prior. It's 24 hours a day. I am the one that is teaching my children (daily) how to learn, how to create, manners, love, listening.. all of it.

It's fun and it's exciting and it's terrifying. But I love it. And I am continuing to learn how to make it all work - how to balance my kids life and make sure I have time for myself. How to organize my days and make sure I'm using my time wisely.

Any SAHM ladies out there...any tips? I love reading and learning what I can do.

So here I am..my new job.

Raising my babies.

How lucky am I?





Monday, October 7, 2013

Currently....

Happy Monday, ya'll! 

Benny's napping and I'm a few minutes away from leaving to pick up Layla so I figured I'd do a quick update... what's currently happening in my teeny world?


I am excited for....Fall. The pumpkins we picked yesterday at a local little farm really put me in the mood for this lovely season. The leaves are changing. The temperatures are (slowly...) getting cooler. Halloween is fast approaching and then THANKSGIVING (my favorite - and we will be home this year for it!) and then Hanukkah and then before we know it, Winter and Snow and Cabin Fever ;) 

I am liking...anything and everything house related. I'm going to have my main floor, stairway and upstairs hallway painted as well as the three bathrooms. I'm ready to decorate and although we've owned our home for almost 2 1/2 years ..it's about 25% decorated. SLOWLY BUT SURELY :)

I am experiencing...a huge change in my life. Being a full stay-at-home mama is going to take a lot of organization and self realization. It feels strange to not have an office. When strangers ask me what I do, I still (sheepishly) reply pharmaceutical work. I answered honestly last week and the nail technician looked at me strange. I need to fully embrace my new fabulous position. 

I am watching...Parenthood. It's about Parenthood. This show is taking over my life. I'm on season 3 and I don't want it to end. I can seriously relate to this show (it's about 4 siblings, all with kids...hello). It's amazing. 

I am proud of...the meatballs I made last night. I put them in a crockpot and they were soooo yummy. We love Sunday Funday ;)

I am planning....our big trip to Florida at the end of December (including a trip to Jamaica!!), Disney in January and...a possible trip to New Orleans for our 4th (!!) wedding anniversary in April. WEEEEE!!

I am dreaming about...a baby that consistently sleeps through the night (last night he did it, praise the lord!), a toddler that listens to me (and she does, most of the time) and a date night weekly for Josh & I. 


Fastest entry ever... till next time ;)

Friday, October 4, 2013

30. 30. 30.

And here I am..
Once again, regretting my lack of blogging skills.
Now that I'm an OFFICIAL stay-at-home mama (more on that later...), I hope to greatly increase my blogging skills and write daily!!!

SO much is happening around here. Exciting, fun, new, different.

It's fall - and yet we are running around in dresses and shorts. (Hi, global warming).
Still, we are fully embracing the outdoors and have been to the zoo, playground and assorted other outside goodness. We are going to Sesame Place, pumpkin picking and apple picking soon.

Layla's rocking her first month at school - she's insanely smart and an update will be posted shortly on my little lady.

But let me do a quick recap of my 30th....

After much discussion, we had a small, intimate party at a local billiard shop (owned by my brother's friend).

The truth?

It was a small.
A lot of people couldn't come/cancelled.
And I was sad about it.

And then my best friend (since birth), Melanie, pulled me aside and said that the people that love me most are here to celebrate. And she put together the most beautiful table of food (along with my mama and sister and Josh) and decorated the room ..

And then Josh. My dear, sweet husband...hired a Pink Floyd cover band and they did 2 hours of INCREDIBLE music. I'm not kidding. And the group of us had a private concert. I mean, literally..a private concert with a light show and all.

It was the best way I could have imagined ringing in this decade.

Surrounded by my best friends and family. Dancing. Eating. And getting really buzzed off of 3 beers thanks to a pause in drinking (pregnant, breastfeeding, pregnant, breastfeeding will do that to you).

I'm so lucky.

A small glimpse in pictures....

My boy & I before bedtime...the last night of my 20's ;) Josh & I had a yummy Mexican date night while my dear friend, Jaime, babysat!

The morning of my 30th! Love them.

The cutest gift - my sister got all of us matching PJs!!

My CAKE! A giant 30 from Heshs.. the 0 is currently in my freezer and I stare at it daily.

My girly and I -- she came to the first 2 hours of the party ;)

My main squeeze.

My sister, mama & I. 

My sissy.

Happy birthdayyyy TO ME!

Best friends since birth!

Jaime & I <3 

The band "Think Pink Floyd"