Monday, August 21, 2017

Back To School

Today was the boys first day back to school! I always love the start of a new school year and I have been praying that this will be a wonderful year for both of my boys. Today was an exciting day for us and we are all exhausted because of it. We got our year off to a good start though and I'm looking forward to seeing what the year will bring for us.
Before we left for school I had about 10 minutes to snap some pics of the boys on our front porch. I love back to school photos. I always enjoy the photos everyone shares. They're such a keepsake and it's so fun to compare first day vs last day. I know Bennett will look so much different in his last day of school photos from these we took today.
Bennett had a great first day! He seemed excited to be there and was ready for me to put him down so he could get busy with all of the fun toys. His napping got a little thrown off today so he was really tired and fussy towards the end of the day but overall I'd consider today a success for him. He has two other little boys in his class and his teachers are so sweet. He ate everything in his lunchbox except for a few leftover strawberries and his teachers said he was such a sweet baby.
I dropped off Bennett first then Campbell and I headed towards the preschool building to get him situated. The preschool building and the toddler building are very far apart. I keep wondering if there's some kind of secret quick way to get between the two buildings that I don't know about. I'm definitely going to be getting a mini exercise in during drop off that's for sure!
Campbell knew today was a big day for him and that this was going to be different than the previous years. He seemed very excited. He was super cooperative for photos which he typically only does when he's excited about what we're doing. We got to his building, I took a picture of him in front of the preschool sign, then we walked in, ready to take on a new year! He spotted his teacher and got a big smile on his face and that made my heart happy. I knew when I saw that, that all would be good. He walked into his classroom without even bothering to tell me bye.
When I picked him up he was happy, said he missed me, then proceeded to tell me all about his day. He did all kinds of fun crafts. One was a special "my first day of preschool" craft that I'll keep forever and another was his name that he had traced. I thought he did a great job of tracing his name and I know he's going to learn so much this year and have so much fun! I'm excited to see what the year will bring for him!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Pointer

Happy Friday folks! This week has gone by fast for us. Always nice! This was our last week before "school" starts, our last week of summer. I have a lot of things on my summer bucket list that I haven't accomplished yet so we may have to spend our weekend checking things off! I've enjoyed our lazy days but I am really ready to get back into a routine. I think the boys are too. Once school starts back, my Bible study will start up shortly after and once that happens it feels like we have so much going on. It's nice having a routine and a reason to get up and moving but I'm actually usually ready for a little break from it all once the holidays arrive!! We're going to soak up our last weekend and do some fun family things. Try to make some memories. All that good stuff. I hope y'all have a great weekend! Here's some pics of my little guy who points at everything he wants right now.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Open House and a Vet Visit

We've had a busy day. This morning was open house for Mothers Day Out. Bennett went first and I'm so sad to say that he won't be in the class I was hoping he would be in. I knew he wouldn't be. He was assigned to it but when we got there I told the director that he isn't walking yet so he got bumped down to his old class. Bennett is being such a stinker with walking. He will walk holding onto just one of my fingers with just one of his fingers. He can totally do it he's just scared to. It's fine, really. It was meant to work out this way but I can't help but be disappointed. On the bright side, he will have the same teachers he's had for a while and be in the same classroom too, so I do like that because that just means he'll be really comfortable and his teachers are so sweet. I don't know what we'll do once he does start walking....I guess we'll just have to wait and see. So there's my low of the day. Womp Womp.
After Bennett's open house we had a short break before Campbell's open house. So I went to Starbucks and just drove around for a little while before going back to our church. Scott met us to attend Campbell's open house since he will be in preschool and it will be different than it has been for the last few years. I surprised myself because when we were standing in line to purchase his workbook, I got a lump in my throat. It felt very school-like and big boy and I just thought "take me back to 18 month old Campbell." Even though it's the same place with the same people, it feels so different in the preschool building. We purchased our book then found Campbell's classroom and met his teachers and I think we're going to have a good year! His teachers seem so sweet and one of them knew Campbell from his class 2 years ago (the one I was hoping Bennett would be in) and she said she was excited to see Campbell was in her class. Campbell had fun playing around and when we left, I snapped a photo of him in front of his nametag/hanger where he'll just hang his own backpack up like he's in elementary school or something. #holdme
Campbell seems really excited to start back to school and his class is full of the same little friends he's been with for the last two years and that makes me happy. I'm really excited to see what the year holds for both of my boys!
After open house we grabbed a quick lunch at Chick Fil A, came home to rest, then I took the girls to their annual check up. I'm happy to report that they had a perfect report and I am so glad. I did book an appointment for them to get their teeth cleaned. It's the first time for them to do it and even though it's a routine procedure, I'm nervous about them being put under anesthesia. Ivy's teeth look good but Madison will have to have some extracted. They booked it for a Friday and I was all like "what if something happens over the weekend? Can I have your cell number?" My girls have only been put under one other time and I didn't handle it well. When I went to pick them up and saw how pitiful they were, I passed out. Yep that's right. Scott still talks about how embarrassing that was for him.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Favorite and Least Favorite Times of Day

What is your favorite part of your day and your least favorite part of your day?
My favorite part of my day is morning, even though I'm not a morning person. I love how happy and excited my boys are to see me every morning. It makes me smile so big even though I'm barely awake yet. I love the quiet and calmness of the mornings and making my boys a yummy breakfast. Once the boys finish eating, I make myself a big cup of cappuccino. We go in the playroom and I sit on the sofa and watch Good Morning America while I sip on my coffee and the boys play. I also like to leave my phone in my bedroom until 9:00 so I'm not starting my day by looking at it. It's just a nice time of day and I've always enjoyed it. I'm soaking it up while I can because I'm sure once my boys are in school, mornings will be my least favorite time of the day and I'll feel frantic trying to get out of the house in time!!
My least favorite part of my day is around 4:00. It's almost time for me to start cooking dinner (we eat around 5:00/5:30) and by this time, I'm spent. The house feels chaotic for some reason. I'm trying to cook dinner, the boys are usually hangry and I'm so ready for some help from my husband so I'm anxiously counting down until he's finished working. By this time I'm really looking forward to the kids bedtime so I can have some peace for a few hours until I go to bed. It's just a hard time and I don't think I'm the only one who probably feels this way!
So what about you? What is your favorite and least favorite part of your day? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Nap Mats

In keeping with the back to school theme, I thought I'd share about the nap mats we use. Campbell won't need a nap mat this year since he'll be in preschool and they don't take naps anymore. He had one for two years though and loved it. We still use it actually. Whenever Campbell does "quiet time" in his bedroom, he loves for me to get the nap mat out so he can lay on it and play games or whatever he likes to spend that time doing. We have used it for much more than just nap time at school and I'm glad we have them and can use them for many different purposes!
When I was first told that Campbell would need a nap mat, I got online and started searching. I decided on this nap mat from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child. It has a built in pillow and seemed thick and comfy! Bonus points that it matched Campbell's room since we decorated his room in this RH grey color and he has baskets in his closet with both of these prints! It seemed like a good one so I ordered it and was so pleased with it. Campbell's teachers have commented on how nice it is and Campbell slept perfectly on it! It washes really easily and still looks perfect after two years of use.
Since I've been so happy with Campbell's nap mat, when it came time to order one for Bennett I didn't even bother searching. I got on RH and ordered this one. It came in a few weeks ago and it is so nice. It's the exact same as Campbell's except the pillow has Sherpa fleece fabric and it is SO soft. I have to imagine it will be extremely comfortable to sleep on and I'm sure Bennett will love his nap mat as much as Campbell has loved his!
So if you're in the market for a nap mat, I really can't recommend these enough. I have been so happy with them and like I said earlier, Campbell has used it more at home than he has at school. He likes to lay on it to watch TV in the playroom or for quiet time in his room. I predict the boys may enjoy having slumber parties in the playroom one day and using their nap mats to sleep on! You can shop the Restoration Hardware nap mats HERE.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Rain Drops

Happy Friday everyone! This has been the longest week ever for me. It's rained a lot so we've been stuck indoors doing nothing. We've just been bored. All of us. We decided to change up the scenery and go down to Little Rock for the weekend. We're headed that way in just a few hours and I'm looking forward to it. Scott has been working SO much for about two months now but he is finally done with all of this stuff that's kept him so busy these last couple of months and I am so glad. We decided to getaway to celebrate and just chill. Hopefully Scott and I can squeeze in a date night while we're in Little Rock because we desperately need it!
A few exciting things did happen this week. One of them is that the foundation for our home got laid. We start framing next week. So exciting! It's the longest process ever. I can't wait for the day that we get to move in. That's still so far away but we're inching closer each day!!
I have bags to pack and things to do around my house before we head out of town so I better get moving. I hope you all have a great weekend! See you back here on Monday.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Back To School Lunch Ideas

School is back in session for a lot of kids. Our school district starts next week then my boys go back to school (aka Mothers Day Out) the following week. I'm a part of some mom groups on Facebook and such a common question is "what do you pack in your toddlers lunch box?" Today I thought I'd share what I put in my boys lunches + what they take their school lunches in.

I am a big fan of the Skip Hop lunch items. They're really cute and there's so many options available. Campbell and Bennett both carry a Skip Hop lunch box and it has worked out perfectly over the last few years. What I like about all of the Skip Hop items is that they fit together in the lunch boxes perfectly. I usually just pack the lunch kit + the straw bottle but if I want to mix it up and send something hot for lunch, the thermos is perfect and does a great job of keeping their food nice and warm!
My kids are kind of picky so I struggle with lunch ideas myself. I tend to send the same things over and over. I asked one of the teachers if I'm the only mom that always sends the same stuff every time and she said that most kids come with the same foods in their lunch boxes. That made me feel better! I try my hardest to do a variety and also do foods that are neat and clean. I don't want the teachers to have to deal with messes so that automatically eliminates my food selection.
My go-to "main dishes" tend to be:
-Almond Butter & Jelly Sandwiches (our school is peanut free but we can do almond butter)
-Chicken Nuggets, Corn Dogs, Pizza, Quesadillas, or Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in the thermos
-Zucchini Bread (I get it from Fresh Market)
My "sides" are always
-Chips/Goldfish/Crunchies/Crackers
-Fruit
-Yogurt (I stick it in the freezer about 20 minutes before we leave to ensure it stays cold)
-Fruit snacks
-Cheese sticks
-Applesauce

It's basically the same things over and over but my kids don't seem to get tired of it. We also have to send a mid-morning snack option and since it's still early I prefer to do a breakfast type food. I'll send a package of mini muffins, cereal, a granola bar, etc.


Another way I like to pack lunches is by sending a Yumbox. I feel like not a lot of people know about Yumboxes and they are so great! They're compartmentalized into different categories and Campbell LOVES eating out of them. His teachers say he always gets super excited about it. Whenever I pack Campbell's Yumbox I usually put tiny almond butter and jelly squares in the grains box, fruit in both the fruit and veggies section, veggie straws, crackers, goldfish, etc in the protein box, and a tube of Choboni yogurt fits perfectly (if you fold it in half) in the dairy section. In the tiny circle section I let him have a fun treat like fruit snacks, yogurt melts, M&M's, Teddy Graham's, etc. It really is a fun way to pack his lunch and I want to order one for Bennett to have this year as well!

So that's how I pack my boys lunches! I actually ordered Campbell a new lunch box from Pottery Barn Kids for his new school year. It just seemed like it was time for a new lunch box. I haven't used it yet so I'm not sure how we'll like it. I've been so happy with the Skip Hop ones so it has a lot to live up to! Do you have any back to school lunch ideas? Leave them in the comments!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blog Makeover

Hey all! If things look a little different around here, that's because they are! Over the weekend I updated my blog and gave it a long overdue makeover. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while. I knew it would be a production and long process so I've put it off but this weekend I finally took care of it, with tons of help from my husband.
I've had the same design since I started this blog, nine years ago, and I'm glad Kara's Stories is updated now! I was super, super nervous while we were updating it. What if I didn't like it? What if something happened and I completely messed my blog up? Lots of what if's but it ended up being a success and today I wanted to talk you through some of the changes!
First off, this blog will look different depending on what device you're viewing it on. I love the desktop version but I know most of you are viewing this on safari (aka your iPhone) so you probably won't ever see what the desktop version even looks like. Ha!
I've created a search bar because for years so many of you have told me you've tried to find an old post and had to scroll and scroll before you found it. Now you can type in the key word in the search bar and whatever you're looking for should pop up. I've also labeled a lot of my posts now which puts them into categories. So for example, if you're looking for all of the posts I've done on baby stuff like my favorite products, sleep training, etc, then you can just click on the 'baby' label and it will all pop up. I only labeled as far back as my pregnancy announcement with Campbell because I feel like most of you don't care about anything before that. #truth You can now hover over my images and pin them to your Pinterest boards if you like! And I've created separate tabs up top for FAQ's, contact info, etc.
That's basically it! I still kept it really simple because that is just what I like in a webpage. So many of my favorite blogs have so much to navigate through and it overwhelms me. This should all be really easy to read and everything should be easy to find. I'm excited about the finished product and I hope you all like it as well!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Cloudy

Here's just a few shots of my Boo that I wanted to share on here. I took them a while ago but somehow managed to forget to share them here. These were taken after Mothers Day Out one day. Our church has the most beautiful grounds and landscaping and it makes for the prettiest photos. If it's ever cloudy whenever it's time to pick the boys up from school, I like to take my camera so I can snap a few photos with the beautiful flowers. I say I only do it when it's cloudy because if it's not, the sun is too harsh and it creates shadows which is my photography pet peeve. I only like to shoot outdoors during "the golden hour" (the first hour of light after sunrise or the last hour of light before sunset) or if it's cloudy. Anywho, this day was cloudy, hence the chance to take photos of this boy in the afternoon.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tontitown Grape Festival

We had an unexpected fun evening last night! We decided, at the last minute, to go to the Tontitown Grape Festival. It's a yearly festival held in our area, similar to a county fair. I have only been once before, when Campbell was Bennett's age. Landon was in town with us so we took him and pretty much the only thing I remember about it was how hot it was!!! Yesterday was a nice day, for August, so I thought we should take advantage of it and go to the festival. I am so glad we did! We weren't sure what Campbell would think about it. We went to Silver Dollar City last fall and Campbell hated it and we were all so miserable and couldn't wait to get home. I know that was a year ago, but you just never know if they will change their minds or not! I'm happy to report that Campbell loved it and we had such a fun time last night! We started slow with the carousel and before we knew it, Campbell was riding the flying bumble bee's that went really high in the air! He had so much fun and it was just a joy to watch him. Bennett is too little, obviously, but he liked people watching and we got him a lemonade to enjoy while he strolled around and he thought that was pretty fantastic. I brought the camera, of course, and am just so in love with the photos I got. The colors are so vibrant and fun. I love to spend some of my free time looking at photography inspiration photos on Pinterest and I've always thought that carnival photos looked so fun and hoped to snap some myself one day. I am glad we got these and I love them so much that we may have to hit up the county fair so I can take some more just like them! These are a few of my favorites.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

I just realized as I was writing yesterday's post that I never shared these photos on my blog. I took them the day Bennett turned one. We had lunch at Cracker Barrel and I had my camera in my bag so I took a few pictures of him sitting on the rocking chairs. I know there are probably a lot of photos that I somehow forget to post so I'm going to try to play catch up and get them on here. I love these precious pics of my birthday boy and this outfit is one of my favorites this summer.