Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sprucing Up the Space - One Pillow at a Time


I am the worst at decorating.

Not for holidays. I'm actually pretty good for holidays. But when it comes to every day decor, I am paralyzed by indecision. I love the things I see in the stores, but when it comes to actually spending the money to get things to make my house look pretty, I freeze. I would rather make no decision than the wrong decision. Which is just ridiculous.

This is why my throw pillows essentially came from the dollar store...and look it.

When Adam and I first moved into the house, we bought several rooms worth of furniture. I was able to buy pictures for the walls somehow, but for some reason I decided that the old throw pillows from my college apartment - some of which were given to me as hand me downs from my in-laws - still worked.

Ten years, two kids, lots of spills and a lot of use later, I still haven't replaced them.

About a year ago, the girls started pulling the stuffing out through the rips in the seams. Rather than buy new pillows when I had two crazy toddlers, I stumbled upon some throw pillow covers at Dollar Tree and thought, hey, these'll work until I'm ready to replace them.

Spoiler alert: This is not a good or a long term solution. These pillow looked - and felt - worse.

Wayfair has been my gateway into home improvement, so I clicked on over to get some ideas. Pillows and throws? Don't mind if I do. Kids or not, some things just need to be replaced.

Now I can very easily become overwhelmed on sites like this. But because you are able to refine your search so specifically, it wasn't a big problem. I wanted machine washable, first off. I wanted to try a pattern instead of the solid covers that show stains so easily. I wanted a color that could move between our living room (dark greens and burgundy) to our family room (sage and brown).

I looked at a few that were very tempting.

I loved how delicate this print was, but I couldn't get the right color combo.

I was so intrigued by this, but it seemed a little too modern for me.

These were great too!

I loved this look, but realized that I wasn't looking at pillows that could move from room to room. I needed to go darker. Something that would pop against the brown in the family room without clashing with the forest green and maroon.

Finally, I settled on these. They had the versatility to go from room to room and the durability we needed in our common spaces. In the winter, they'll go beautifully with my holiday decor. I still may get another set for  a  light look for the spring, but right now, they work! (Look at me, going from dollar store pillows to seasonal pillows!)

Little by little I'm getting over my fear of decorating. And I'm remembering that while the dollar store is great for some things, decor is not one of them.

The best news for you, readers? I am offering an exclusive promo code here for 15% off ANY pillow, pouf or throw! The code WFPTP15 is valid 11/20/14 through 11/24/14. Whether you are thinking holiday gifts or just sprucing up your own space, it's a great time to save!

I received product compensation from Wayfair in exchange for this post. However, all opinions remain my own.  photo mediumsignature_zpsbff01a79.png Pin It

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trusting Our Gut and Losing the Tonsils

Last year, when we were concerned about Reagan's speech, we visited Madison's old ENT to see if Reagan, like Madison had, would need tubes.

Reagan is a weird kid. Her ear infections always presented strangely, so we weren't quite sure how many she'd had. But her ENT knew us, knew Madison's situation, and thought that tubes were a good idea. So the week before Thanksgiving in 2013, Reagan had tubes placed.

Well, to be honest, the ENT thought there was something else going on. When we walked into the office, she greeted me and the family as old friends, and before opening the chart, looked at Reagan and said, "so, you're here for adenoids?"


As soon as she opened the file, she realized we were not, and focused on Reagan's ears. But once she confirmed our suspicions, she brought the conversation back to adenoids. She asked about Reagan's sleeping habits and vocal tone and how she typically breathed and how often she was congested. But to be honest, I hadn't thought much about it. She told us that Reagan appeared to be a case for an adenoidectomy.

Adam and I hemmed and hawed and hemmed and hawed. Finally, we opted to just do the tubes. We knew it was an easy surgery, and we knew that if it was going to impact her speech, we'd know quickly. Adenoid removal before two had to be done at the hospital - not the surgery center - and would need an overnight stay. After our experiences with Madison, we wanted to avoid that. So we put it off.

And once again, in mid-November, we found ourselves at the ENT's office. The ENT confirmed her tubes were still perfectly placed, and strongly recommended we talk about adenoids again. Throughout the year I'd been doing some research. My google search history proved that I was dwelling on the idea that many of Reagan's toddler trials might have something to do with her head - not just her age.

Adenoids and toddler eating habits
Adenoids and sleep apnea in toddlers
Adenoids and behavior in toddlers
Adenoids and sinus infection

Ok, were these people describing my kid?

The clincher for me was when another mom went through the surgery with her two year old a few months ago. The difference she saw, just by fixing this one little thing, was quick and impressive.

So when the ENT brought it up, I was sold.


She brought up the tonsils. Often, she told us, if there's even a question that tonsils may need to come out, and an adenoid surgery is scheduled, it's best to just go ahead and do both. Reagan hadn't had frequent strep or tonsillitis (she's more of a sinus infection afficiando), but her tonsils were definitely bigger than normal. Her ENT suspected that a year from now, we'd be scheduling surgery number three.

So do we do it?

She wasn't constantly sick.

But all those articles on Google did mention tonsils along with adenoids.

The surgery was more invasive with a longer recovery.

But she'd be done, with (hopefully) no long term memory, and we wouldn't have to revisit.

She'd definitely have to stay overnight.

But she might anyway.

As Adam and I started to hem and haw, we had an overwhelming sense of deja vu...and last time we'd had this conversation, we'd made the less invasive choice and regretted it. We could have been done a year ago - and now we feared we'd be going through yet another conversation a year from now.

So little Reagan, a few months shy of three, had her tonsils and adenoids out with her first hospital stay.

How did it go?

Well that's a story for another day...when I'm not so exhausted physically and emotionally.

Did we make the right call?

We'll find out in about a week when she's all healed up, but her ENT certainly thought so.

Are we glad we trusted our gut?


What would you have done? When the doctors leave it up to you, do you fall to one side or the other? Do you trust your research or trust your gut?

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Capturing The Moments - One Video at a Time

Every once in a while, I look at my girls and think...

When did you get older? How did you learn that? 

As we approach Thanksgiving, I'm just so unbelievably thankful that my girls are growing up (mostly) healthy and (mostly) happy and just love each other so much. On the holidays, when we get to see our families, they just love talking to the girls and asking them all sorts of questions, and they're always blown away with how much they've grown from one holiday to the next.

Because kids do this thing where they seem to grow up so suddenly and right in front of your eyes. One day they're asking for "kaykakes" (pancakes, obviously) and asking to watch "Straw KayKake" (Strawberry Shortcake), and the next minute those little toddler-isms are just gone. 

I just found this app - OneDay - on the iPad and it is awesome at capturing kids just as they are. But instead of just a little random video, it makes a little movie - an interview with your kid and creating the documentary of who they are, right at that moment.

I'm not exactly video savvy. I can't edit to save my life, so typically, you get what you get. But this app couldn't be simpler. You open the OneDay app, choose a topic, ask your kid the questions that pop up, and hit the record button for their answer. Save the moment, add the next, until you finish. Then the app adds background music, edits the questions back in, and creates a movie with your kid as the star. You typically get ten questions, but sometimes a question didn't really apply, so we skipped it, and we ended up with about eight or nine moments. Once you're done, you save it to your device, upload to YouTube, email it to the grandparents so they can die from all the cuteness and forward it to everyone they know, so no one has to wait for Thanksgiving dinner to hear them talk about the things they love.

I keep trying to get Reagan, because I want to capture her little voice, but so far she's walked away mid-recording, so I don't have a movie from her yet. But Madison, ever the ham, has made four so far. And because it's on "her" iPad, she's watched them pretty much endlessly.

So if being able to send friends and family incredible cuteness wasn't enough, you can ALSO win $150 to Amazon! This giveaway is open to the US and Canada, and you can buy all four books I've been in this year. Plus, you know, Christmas presents and stuff. I've heard that Christmas might be coming right after Thanksgiving...I think I saw a sign in a store or something?

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