Jun 30, 2014
I know what you're thinking...my goodness this family hikes a lot! I know! I know! I swear it is all that we do. Don't get me wrong, we enjoy it. We really like getting out there and seeing all the beautiful places in Alaska. But the main reason we hike all the time is because we have rowdy children. We are a loud family (blame the Italian genes). Like our everyday normal talking voices sound like blow horns. So taking us out in public...forgetaboutit.
But hiking we can be as loud as we want. Hell we even encourage it to keep the bears away. It happens to keep the other hikers away as well...but that is by default. The boys are constantly yelling about the things that they see, "look a rock! a huge rock!". Chris is usually yelling "come on guys lets keep moving". I am constantly screaming "NO don't put that in your mouth!". Avalon is always yelling "mamamamamama".
We are that family, with that child that has to jump in every single puddle he comes across. We all stop to watch and see just how high he will get, and just how big of a splash he will make. Chris will yell "good one, I give it a ten". I will be thinking "did I bring him an extra change of clothes? Did I bring myself an extra change of clothes? Pretty sure mud just went in my mouth"
We will hike around, most often off the designated path to find cool things. Like this random wooden tee pee that was probably ridiculously unsafe, but incredibly cool. If we had stayed on the trail we would have missed it completely. The boys pretended it was a ship and screamed at each other about who was the "catain" and who was the "pirate". Avalon had a snack, she can't be bothered with make believe.
I will bribe every soul with ice cream so that I can get a family picture. I don't care if you are looking the other way, or how many times I set the camera up and forget to press the shutter button, only to run back and forth. We will make this memory. All five of us. Now say....chocolate ice cream!
And when it is all said and done, and we are tired, our feet are dragging, and we are all covered in mud. I will follow through with my
threats promise and we will stop at Rochelle's ice cream shop to fill our bellies for the ride home.
This is the good stuff people. The days where there are no rules. No need to be quiet. Let loose, because tomorrow will probably be a Monday and you will have to return to your routine.
*for my fellow alaska locals, this was at Eklutna Lake. Stop at Rochelle's ice cream, get the denali mud slide. Tell them Kelsey sent you. They have no idea who I am!
Jun 26, 2014
As a parent one of your goals each and everyday, from the moment your children wake up is to tire them out. Mothers and fathers spend a good chunk of their day racking their brains to find activities in order to dwindle the energy level down, so that by the evening you can visibly see signs of exhaustion. This is not to say that we don't have fun with our children during the day. Of course we do. But come night time you just don't have a lot of fight left in you to argue about what pajamas to wear, the ones they want to wear don't fit anymore. Or the stalling tactics, I'm thirsty, I'm hungry, I need to brush my teeth for twenty more minutes, I peed in my pull-up. You are tired....you need them to be tired as well.
full disclosure: these pictures were taken before Ace's broken arm. now I panic if he jumps three inches off the ground.
So what is a parent to do? For us, the actual getting them to sleep part of bedtime is not an issue. Once they are in their beds, they stay there for the most part. It took awhile to get them like that, but consistency is the name of the game. All of our kids have co-slept so once they transitioned into their beds we kept a pretty strict routine. Baths, brush teeth, pajamas, read a book or two, say goodnight. The boys don't really put up a fight once the routine gets started. It is the build up that they avoid. Avalon is a little different, but she is only one so we cut her some slack. But your days are numbered girlfriend!
The one thing that has been challenging for us since we moved to Alaska is the sunlight in the summer time. The sun doesn't go down until almost midnight!!! I'm talking full on sunlight streaming through the windows. We have blackout curtains in all the bedrooms, but do you think that stops a four year old from opening them, seeing the sun, and then yelling at the top of his lungs "the sun is still awake so it is not time for bed yet". It is rough. There are some nights we can hear the boys bouncing off the walls in their room for hours after we put them up there (clearly I did not achieve the goal of tiring them out during the day). When Chris is home we rock-paper-scissor it out to see who will go up and make sure no one is bleeding from the head.
This is obviously unique to Alaska, but it switches in the winter and the sun sets very early and my children are wanting to fall asleep at 6:30. So, we have our fare share of night wars, but we don't ever give in. Once we put them in their rooms, that is where they stay. Even if they claim to be "steep wawking" we point them right back in the direction of their beds...moon walk your way back in there little minions.
Same goes for nap time. Well actually, Pierce and Ace don't nap, but when they did I just put them in their rooms and said sweet dreams. Right now with Avalon she takes one nap a day, and I rock her for a little bit and put her in her crib (she still sleeps with us at night).
I am clearly no expert on the subject, so just take this from a mama who contemplates a cup of coffee at 5 pm to make it to the 8 pm bedtime. But think about what you want the bedtime routine to look like, what you think will be easy and attainable, and stick with that. And if all else fails just have a dance party in your bedroom....TURN DOWN FOR WHAT played on repeat should lull them right to sleep! Oooookay! (said in your best lil john voice)
May the force be with you!
Jun 25, 2014
Let's dive right in to my newest obsession shall we? bareMinerals bareSkin! I wanted to try this foundation when it first came out, but had just bought another foundation a couple weeks before and really couldn't justify buying one more. So when I was contacted about trying this product I literally did a heel click in my kitchen I was so excited. Beauty products man...they just to it to me!
I have been using this magic in a bottle exclusively for a couple weeks now because I really wanted to give my down right honest opinion on it. And to say the least, I love it. I am IN love with it. I have found so many ways to use it, from light to heavy coverage. But I will admit that it is all about the brush, which is sold separately from the foundation but they are a match made in make up heaven.
Step 1: moisturizer and primer
Step 2: I put 2-3 drops of bareSkin on the brush and buffed it on my face in circular motions.
This is what I love about this foundation, it is completely build-able. If you want really light coverage just use one or even two drops and you will be good. If you need a little more lovin' just add a drop or two. Also I have never found a foundation that matched my skin tone flawlessly until this one. I used the shade finder tool on their website, and perfection!
I am pretty sure this will continue to be my go-to foundation. I love that it is mineral based, and also contains vitamin C, which has so many skin benefits on its own. It's light weight, no break-outs, and complete coverage! This mama's dream come true! Have you tried this yet?
Thank you to bareMinerals for sponsoring this post. I am truly enjoying this product. And as usual I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, stay at home moms honor!
Jun 24, 2014
It's old school lunch hour....heyyyy! Does anyone else get super excited when they jump in the car and the old school lunch hour is on? All of a sudden you're in an abyss of Montell Jordan, and singing this is how we do it....it's fridaaaay niiiight.... and then you look back at your children staring at you like you with the most confused looks on their faces.
Anyway, to this outfit. When I picked up a new pair of crisp white chucks, all I could imagine them with was more white. Totally not practical with three kids, but that is why I carry a Tide pen or three in my diaper bag!
I am going to keep it short today, I am off to see how else I can embarrass my children.
Jun 23, 2014
There are times that I realize that I am not too shabby at this being a mom to boys thing. Not saying I don't have a girly side, because that is alive and kickin. But outings like this are some of my favorites, when we add in trains, planes, and boats....but old ones. Very very old, antique ones. That's what I like!
*if you live in the Anchorage or Mat-su Valley area, the transportation museum is a great visit for kids and husbands alike!
I can attribute my love for all things antique or vintage to my mother. She was always taking us to old rundown towns when we were little. Just to walk around these houses that were deteriorating, clearly structurally unsound, but she loved to discover old things. To have us all think out loud about the story that they could possibly tell. What things were used for, how they were made. Of course when I was younger I acted like I wasn't interested, bothered almost by her over enthusiasm with these "pieces of junk" as I once thought. But obviously it had an impact because I am a lover of things covered in dust and rust!
We came here last summer a few weeks after Avalon was born, and I can remember not being as committed. Sleep deprivation will do that to you right? Last time we were here I relied heavily on Chris running around with the boys. But this time mom was on her A game...okay maybe not A. But I'd give it a strong B+.
There is a pretty strict rule at this place, I think it goes "you can look but not touch". Rules were made to be broken am I right? I mean how could we not get up close and personal with these oversized toys? We sang the Bob the Builder theme song at the top of our lungs, along with a remixed Old McDonald thrown in there.
It wouldn't be Alaska without some old fishing boats on display!
Chris is like a kid in a candy store once we get close to the old Army artifacts. He makes all the noises, sets up a scenario for the boys, and they run around as if they are recreating scenes from a movie. Or for Chris, just another day at work. But the boys have yet to make the real life connection of what dad does for a living.
We always end our visit with the planes! We live right next to an air field, and have become somewhat numb to the sound and vibration these beasts provide. But walking around them, running under them, and just standing near them in general is pretty awesome.
We are hoping to make it out here one more time before winter. Summer technically just started, but colder temps will be here before we know it, and there is a lot more fun to be had before I welcome any fluffy white flakes back into my life!
Jun 20, 2014
The aquarium! Who doesn't love going to the aquarium? What's even better, is who doesn't like driving three hours to the aquarium? All my moms in the house say yeaaaa! Well, that is what we did last weekend. The Alaska Sealife Center happens to be located in Seward, AK which is about a three hour drive, with limited stopping. Why would parents of three toddlers do such a thing? Because we like to party! Or drive ourselves crazy, either way, adventure awaits!
Actually I have to say the drive down was super easy with these kids, not to mention gorgeous scenery surrounding us. Except when Ace announced that he had to go numero dos, and couldn't hold it. Like it is going to come out. Please let me go in the woods. I am going to jump out of the car kind of deal. All that drama to find a spot that met his potty-ing standards, for him to say, "nope I not have to go no more". Alrighty! Aquarium goers watch out!
Avalon was by far the cutest to watch. She was having so much fun running around to each and every tank. She was amazed by all the fish swimming right by her. This is the day that I realized the profound difference between boys and girls. Avalon was just so chill. Yes she was overwhelmed with excitement and would squeal to let us know. But she was not trying to climb in tanks, or swan diving onto the hard floor like her brothers!
Not only is this an aquarium for people to wander around in all things sea life, but it is also a research center and rehabilitation facility. So many of these animals were abandoned or injured and brought here. Which I think is pretty cool! Lessens the blow of the ticket price tag, obligatory toy from the gift shop, and snack bar!
This place has the most amazing backdrop. The view was worth the three hour drive. The kids loved looking out and seeing so many animals in the water. Boats buzzing by. And so many birds flying right over our heads!
After a few hours in the aquarium, (it doesn't take that long to go through the whole thing, we went around three times because the goal is to tire them out) we decided to spent some time walking around. Seward is a cute small town with a couple streets full of gift shops, restaurants, and specialty stores. So we grabbed some grub and plopped ourselves down on a grassy hill.
The drive home was very uneventful. Avalon and Pierce fell fast asleep, while Ace entertained us with his recap of the days events. And Chris spent much of his time saying "ooo can we stop here so Ace and I can get out and run up that hill?" Is it just my husband that sees an obstacle in front of him and has to conquer it? It is isn't it? Damn! Well I eventually gave in and Chris and Ace just ran around while I sat in the car being serenaded by the snores and heavy breathing of the babes, and finished off a half a pound of cookie dough truffles.
So, all in all good day? Great day!
Here's to the weekend folks!