Ari J…and then he was 3

 On July 24, 2011 my life changed in ways I never knew possible.  My heart grew to a size I never imagined and in a single instant I went from being Heidi to being Mom.  That moment was filled the most intense emotions I have ever felt.  This was the day I met Ari.

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Towards the end of my pregnancy I was swollen and hot and just when I thought I couldn’t make it another day here he was.

8 lbs, 8 oz of perfection and he was all mine.

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Looking back from last year to this year SO much has changed.  The progression from 2 to 3 was gradual.  He changed a little each day but BOY did this little boy turn into a kid (OR for those that know me in real life) more like a mini Mike.   Ari has the most contagious personality.  You can’t be around him without wanting to smile.  I dare you.  Seriously.  Come have a meal or a conversation with him and I bet he can make you crack up.

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At age 3, here are a few things about Ari….

He has the biggest heart.  We cannot leave daycare without him giving his friends and his teachers a hug.  Some even get a kiss on the cheek “we only kiss our family on the lips” is what he says.  When I tell him to tell his friends to have a good night.  What does he say?  “Have a good evening everyone”.  His vocabulary is ridiculous and he loves using new words every chance he gets.

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He’s become a master negotiator.  Whenever he wants something he uses please.  But when that doesn’t work he throws in a “Is that a good deal?  Mamma?”. Wheeling and dealing already and has me wrapped around his finger.

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Ari just adores his sister.  Their relationship has been so amazing to watch from last year to this year.  Every morning when it’s time to go to daycare Ari goes in Giada’s crib to wake her up.  She saves her biggest smiles for him.  On most nights he’s hanging out next to her high chair “sharing” a yogurt with her and spooning it into her mouth.  He talks to her like she’s on his same level and watching them interact is one of my favorite things to do.

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He loves strings.  Cell phone chargers…. belts…. straps for bags…. regular old string… you name it, he will find it and play with it.   We will be at friend’s houses and he will somehow find strings at their house to play with too.  Not sure the significance of the strings…but whenever I am missing a belt or shoelaces, I know who to ask!

Ari has quite the memory.  If I tell him he was going to do something or I need him to remind me to get something specific at Target the next time we go, you better believe he will not forget.  In fact most times he remembers my Target list better than I do!

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This year I’ve watched him make friends.  Like really make friends, not just arranged play dates.   He has conversations with them, plays pretend with them, and asks to go to their houses.  Luckily I just so happen to get along great with his friends’ moms!

Being his mom I’ve learned never to underestimate him.  He’s capable of so much and shows that everyday.  Over the past 3 years he’s taught me so many things and made me see the world in a better way.

Happy Birthday Ari Joseph, We LOVE YOU!!!!!

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The Ultimate Hair Bow guide!

…because a girl has got to have options!

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When I was expecting my second child at exactly 15 weeks, 6 days I found out I having a girl.  At 16 weeks on the dot I began buying hair bows.  It seemed my whole life I was dreaming of accessorizing a little girl.  I bought some headbands from target and some from carters, but I wanted something different. I didn’t want the same headbands and hair clips that every little girl had. I wanted options.  Obviously I started shopping on etsy.  It’s become an addiction.  My little lady is just over a year and has more headbands than there are days in a year.  No joke.  You can’t put your babe in the same headband day in and day out.  You need a variety.  Luckily I am a headband expert and can share the BEST headband styles & shops out there!

Darling Delilah

These are some adorbale bands made with fabrics and flowers.  Best part?  The owner will custom make to any outfit or dress! She also makes bow ties for the boys if you need a brother/sister combo!

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Giada Pic15_copy

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Wisely Crafted Originals

These bands are also a combination of floral and fabric, but on a larger scale.  The few I have bought have at least 5 different elements to the band! I just love the different textures she uses and the color combinations she comes up with!

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Ruby Blue Inc

Their instagram profile used to read “Warning insanely cute stuff your husband doesn’t want you to know about,” and that couldn’t be more true!  Ruby Blue makes “messy” headbands and I cannot get enough!

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Little Town Boutique

This mamma uses a lot of felt in her bands and has a lot of my favorite colors; mint, gold, and coral!!  These teeny bows were perfect size for a newborn, and her flower clip was a great addition to a lace headband!

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Sola Bowtique

Simple bands that add something extra to any outfit! The mom behind the biz is always willing to customize too!

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Made With Xoxo Boutique

I’ve shared this shop before when I posted about turning old baby clothes into hair bows.  This shop makes “knot” bows for the ladies and bowties for the little men.  She can get many different fabrics for the bows and they look cute as a clip or on a headband.

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ClosetofHJK

This mama is an instagram based seller, but has customer service second to none.  She makes bows that can be worn as headbands or bowties.  DM her your needs, and with a selection of over 100 fabrics she is usually able to ship your bows next day!!

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MaddyandI

This is another instagram based seller that makes knot bows and turbans.  She was the first shop I bought from on instagram last year and when she posts her sales, her bands go quick!!!

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Know of someone with a little lady or one on the way?  Make sure to share this collection!!

 

Successful parenting. Hard work or Luck?

It seems like every single day (often multiple times a day) there’s a new parenting post getting shared around social media.  Usually with a “Love” or an “Amen” agreeing with author’s parenting point of view.  The very next day another article surfaces and it gets shared in the same fashion and so on and so forth.  I read one today titled “Things that do and do not make you a good mom”.  Author laid it out there in 10 easy steps.  Of the 10, one of the points made was that if your child hit their milestones on time or early that does NOT imply that you are a “good” mom.  It was shared by several people agreeing that certain milestones like sleeping through the night and potty training were not indicative of parenting skills, but just pure luck.

I could NOT DISAGREE MORE.

I’m not super mom by any means and I have many parenting flaws, but babies are not born knowing certain things. Sleeping; on their own outside of the womb is one of those things.  Us parents are there to teach them and to guide them and provide them with the tools they need to self soothe.  Hence the HUGE assortment of sleep training books out there for parents. It’s not luck by any means.

When my first was born I read the books, spoke to other moms, and through trial and error settled on a strict routine.  I did the things that were proven to work.  We kept a daytime schedule, we swaddled, and used a sound spa and guess what?  He was sleeping through the night by the time I went back to work at 12 weeks.  So many people told me how “lucky” I was and implied that surely it was nothing I was doing.  I smiled and laughed it off but for real it wasn’t luck.  Fast forward to the birth of my second.  I did the same things with her but surely we couldn’t get lucky a second time?  Oh wait we did.  My daughter was an amazing sleeper as well. At 6 weeks she was in her crib sleeping most of the night. Of course we got told that we just got 2 “great sleepers” that’s it.  Lucky people we are!

Then came time for potty training. Let’s not talk about the hard work, commitment, and consistency that us as parents and caregivers had to have…. Or the millions of poopy underwear I had to clean because I didn’t want to send mixed signals to my son by putting him back in pull ups.  My son hasn’t worn a diaper since 27 months.  What do you know.  I got lucky with 2 good sleepers AND an early potty trained little boy. I really need to play the lotto.

Wrong.  I’m not lucky.  I’m determined and I work hard.  I set goals and I develop plans to reach them.  Being a parent is just like being in a relationship, or being in school, or in a career.  In order to be successful in any of those things you need to work hard.  Things don’t just happen to you.  Of course some children will catch on to certain skills easier than others, but their parents and caregivers ultimately mold them into the people that they will become, and it doesn’t start with luck.

We all have the same goal; to raise independent, hard working children.  I’m no expert, but rather than call others lucky, why don’t we start praising them for their hard work.  I’d like my children to grow up knowing that it’s hard work, NOT luck, that will get them to their goals in life.

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