Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shoptastic Saturday

Yesterday we packed up the kids{that still seems so strange to say} and headed to Sunrise, which is a little over an hour away, to do some shopping at The Sawgrass Mills Mall and Ikea. I had some Gymbucks to Gymboree that I needed to use by the end of the day and I thought I could get more mileage out of them at the Gymboree outlet. We also have had a list of things we have been wanting to get at Ikea, so we thought we would make a day of it and hit them both on the same day.

We headed to the mall first. This was by far the biggest mall I have ever been to in my entire life! They have both and indoor and outdoor mall consisting of both regular and outlet stores. Heaven on earth! 

The map of the mall

I'm pretty sure that everyone had the same plan for Saturday because it was INSANELY packed...


We opted to leave our stroller at home so we would have plenty of room in the trunk for the purchases to come. I knew we could rent strollers at the mall but didn't really think about how we would fit 2 kids into it. We ended up with one of these guys...

We sat Jude in his carseat on the bars across the shopping bag portion and then Isabelle sat on the seat where the bag is in the picture and we set off through the crowd. { I got an amazing deal on a tandem stroller online and can't wait until we get it}

We checked our map and located Gymboree then slowly wiggled through the crowd until we made our way there. For those of you who don't know, I have SERIOUS anxiety issues when it comes to crowds. I try to not let it keep me from going and doing but I thought I was going to claw my eyes out by the time we made it to Gymboree. Isabelle, the diva deluxe, wanted to pick out her own clothes of course so we shopped in there while the boys piddled around in some stores across the way. We found lots of good bargains and filled our bag in record time. I was getting things done, going to be in and out! Super proud of our speedy shopping I went up to the register to check out and hand over my Gymbucks. The cashier, in the nicest way possible, says, " Mam, you can't use these at the outlets. They can only be redeemed in the regular store, I'm sorry." WHAT.. The ENTIRE reason we came to this huge, over populated mall was so I could spread my bucks further. I had about 150 dollars worth of clothes in my bag that, hello, I was NOT going to pay full price for, so we walked out of Gymboree feeling defeated{No worries, I was able to redeem them online when we got home}   My spirits were quickly lifted when my hubby, who had been piddling remember, told me he got me a surprise!

Hubs did good

After all that drama, we all had to use the potty. Isabelle and I first, then Luke, then I took in Jude since he had already pottied in his diaper of course. While waiting, Isabelle spotted a carousel she wanted to ride and we snapped a pic of our "date mate" shoes...

Our awesome matching jeweled sandals we found while feeding Jude in the shoe aisle at Target

Isabelle rode the zebra

Feeling revived, we headed back into the mall craziness to see what else we could find. I found this AWESOME store called A'Gaci. At first glance I thought this store was to rich for my blood, but then I spied a sign that said 14.99! That was all I needed. It reminded me a lot of Forever21. Isabelle helped me pick some things out and then gave me her opinion on them all in the dressing room. Meanwhile, Luke and Jude found a corner to park in and waited very, very patiently{thanks for not huffing babe} Here is what I ended up with...


After 4 hours in the mall and only actually making it into maybe 4 stores, we worked our way out of the madness and took a breather while waiting on Luke to pull the car up to get us...

My two little shoppers

Showing off her doll

Jude, doing what he always does

We were off to our next big adventure...

Holy home furnishings Batman! Ikea is a crazy place, plus I'm almost positive that all the people from the mall followed us here. Like I said, I had never been to an Ikea before, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. We followed the heard of fellow shoppers in and loaded the kidlets into a cart. We were here for only a few things. Nightlights for the kids, a bookcase for Isabelle's room, one for our living room, and some magnetic knife holders for a pinterest project I have up my sleeve. For those of you who are like me and have never been, let me give you a little run down on how this whole Ikea thing works. First, you get your cart, or if you have 2 kids, carts...

Then you get a map, a large bag, and a pencil. You then are herded into the Showroom, where everything is set up like it would be in your house...

You travel through all the different areas of the home where everything has a tag on it. If you see and item you want, you use your handy pencil and write down the name, aisle, and bin number so you can locate it after you have made it through the whole showroom. Once again my anxiety kicked in and I thought I was going to puke, pass out, or punch someone in the face. List in hand,  you move to the next level to locate your smaller items...

This is where I was working to locate my knife rack. I searched for all of 5 minutes before becoming overwhelmed and saying " Forget it". Luckily, we found the night lights as soon as we walked in so now it was off to find our bookcases which were housed in a self service warehouse...

We located one bookcase with no problem. The other, seemed to be out on the shelf. So after looking it up on a computer and asking 2 separate workers, we found out it was indeed out of stock but there would be more in on Tuesday. Ahhh, this means we have to come back! Now, this place would be awesome on a less busy day, without 2 kids, and not after 4 hours of mall shopping. This trip was like trying to navigate through Dante's stages of hell. Very confusing, anxiety producing, and hot!

After all the excitement of yesterday, we are taking it real, real easy around here today.

Lots of coffee

Trying on mom's new shoes

I told her to make a sassy face 

Working on some letters

Jude, doing Jude

Isabelle's Ikea light


Now I am off to order pizza, take a shower, and take a nap. Happy Sunday to you all :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Isabelle's First and Last Day of School

Isabelle has been doing great as a big sister. She doesn't get overly jealous {although she has moments here and there}, she loves to help out in taking care of him, and enjoys "playing" with him but we decided she needed something that was just about her. So, we decided preschool might be something she would enjoy. We looked into schools a couple weeks ago, and Tuesday was the big start day! Isabelle was beyond excited. She had her bag all packed up the night before, her clothes picked out, and even colored a picture for her teacher.

Brushing her own teeth

Every 5 minutes I had to hear, mom is it time yet, mom can we go, mom were going to be late. Finally, 9 oclock rolled around and we were set to head out...

Yay, I'm going to school!

She wanted a few pics with baby bro before she left of course...

Jude, checking out big sis

Helping out

Time to go...

When we got to the school, Isabelle marched in like she owned the place. The teacher walked her over to the kids where they were having circle time. This is where things start to go downhill. She had it in her mind that she was going to be able to play with the kids as soon as she got there. She wanted nothing to do with sitting in a circle and listening to what was going on. She started to cry and came running back over to me. I had prepared myself for this. I knew she might cry, don't all kids cry the first day? I reassured her that she would be able to play with the kids but that she had to wait until it was time. She begged me to let her leave. This is what I was dreading. The nice teacher took her by the hand, told her to tell mom bye, and offered to show her around the school while the other kids did circle time. 

I was able to keep my composure long enough to make it to the privacy of my car before I started balling like a baby. I gave myself a few minutes to feel sorry for myself then dried my eyes and headed home. The teacher told me I could call to check on her and make sure she had calmed down. I watched the clock like a hawk trying to decide how much time was enough time to not look like one of those "crazy moms". I gave it about a half an hour and then called. The teacher informed me that she was not AS upset as when I had left but that she told her, " Call my mom and tell her to get in her car, drive real fast, pull in this driveway and pick me up" but that she would be fine and I shouldn't worry!! Thanks a lot lady! Why did she have to tell me that. So, I spent another 5 minutes crying before telling myself that she would be fine. I have worked in my mother in laws daycare enough to know this, but when its YOUR child, its a different story.

I was a nervous wreck all day. I thought sending her to school would give me a chance to relax a little but that was the last thing on my mind. I cleaned the kitchen, looked at the clock, cleaned the bathrooms, looked at the clock, did some pinterest projects, took care of Jude, did some laundry, made lunch, and organized my junk drawers, all while keeping an eagle eye on the clock and fighting the urge to call again. Finally, 3 o'clock rolled around and I was out the door faster than Danika Patrick in the Indy 500.

I was relieved to find her sitting at the snack table, enjoying her snack, well, and in one piece. She spotted us an immediately jumped up, grabbed her bag, and was ready to jet out of there. We got to the car and then I started in on the 100 questions.

Did you have fun? Yeah, but I cried.
Did you read any stories? No
Did you sing and songs? No
Did you get to color any pictures or work on letters? No
Well, what did you do? We ate a lot, had to nap a long time, and they didnt have any toys I like to play with so I played with the kitchen.

After more questions and similar responses, I asked her if she wanted to go back and she said Yes. Ok, this is good. Tomorrow will be better I told myself. She didn't mention it much the rest of the afternoon until it was bed time. We brushed her teeth, picked out clothes for the next day and packed her bag up. We tucked her in and left her room thinking all was well.

About 30 minutes later she flies out of her room. "I dont WANT to go to that school!!" She grabbed her clothes she had layed out and put them back in her dresser, took everything out of her bag, and then climbed up in my lap and said, " Please mommy, dont make me go back to that school" :(

Ugh, heartbreak..I asked her why she didn't want to go when earlier she had said she liked it and wanted to go back. She told me that it is too loud, there is too much snack time, there are no toys she likes, and she already knows EVERYTHING and doesn't NEED to go to school. I understood where she was coming from. 3 1/2 hours of the 6 hours she was there were spent eating or sleeping. They have one large room that is separated into different age areas by half walls so the noise level is pretty insane (she has always had sensitive hearing and being home her whole life isn't used to that kind of noise). I told her not to think about it tonight, that we would talk about it again in the morning but that if she really, really didn't want to go, I would not make her. I chalked it up to her being tired and assumed that by the time morning rolled around she would change her mind.

I was wrong. She was very adamant that she DID NOT want to go. I talked to her and tried to explain that she should give it another chance...No, please don't make me go...I will take you to the toy store after if you give it another chance..No, please, please don't make me go.

Now, I understand that there will come a time when she HAS to go to school. That she will not be able to make the choice to go or not go. That being said, I do not work. I am a stay at home mother and I feel like forcing her to go somewhere all day when she doesn't like it is wrong. We work on all kinds of learning activities at home and she is super smart. I know I am her mom and all but she is smarter than most four year olds I have known. We just wanted her to be able to spend time with other kids and have something special for her. So, we will try school again when she is ready but until then she has informed us that she wants to be on a soccer team so we will give that a whirl!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fun With Printables

I have found so many cute printables online for organizing, scheduling and even decorating. Back at Christmas time I found these cute printables via my fav, pinterest, and framed them as part of my Christmas decor...

Since Jude was born I have seen TONS of these for sale online and thought they were super cute...

People were charging 20-25 dollars for these things!! So I decided I would give it a whirl myself and this is what I came up with...

Not perfect, but hey, it was FREE

For my next projects, I enlisted the help of some free printables from IHeart Organizing, which is an awesome blog about duh organizing. She often posts printables that you can download for free or you can purchase custom ones from her Etsy shop. Here are some of the ones we have been using.

The Sweet Family Cleaning Checklist
This one was customized with our family's name and gives me a visual of what I need to get done on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis...

I put it in a pretty frame and use a dry erase marker to check off tasks as I go...

Since Isabelle has started school, I nabbed a few of the free printables to help our morning and bedtime routine go smoothly...

 I framed them up and placed one on an easel for Isabelle to see and the other on the wall. After the morning routine is complete, I will switch them out so she can then see her bedtime routine. This makes her feel like a big girl and makes it easier on me too...

I have several more printable ideas in my future, including a weekly schedule and several for my home management binder..yay!