Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: Now, that's a first!

The last 2 weeks have been rather busy. I have been focused on my family, my day job and AyoBE Boutique. It has been a busy but rewarding time as well and I am excited for the holiday season. 

We had a couple of firsts in the last 2-weeks. 

JAE had her 18-month wellness check and she did GREAT! She is very smart and even though she keeps us on our toes, her pediatrician says she is progressing well.

An awesome first is that she started trying to talk more as opposed to just pointing for stuff. In addition, she enjoys playing on her own or watching the iPAD and can select her own shows (Disney Jr. and Amazon prime shows). I know not all moms agree with letting their kids play with the iPAD at such a young age. However, I feel like she is learning a lot from it and I credit it with teaching JOE her vocabulary :-).

We are prepping for JOE's birthday in less than 2 weeks. I can't believe how quickly these 4 years have gone by. It is like I blinked and she is turning 4!
Anyways, here's a picture of her cake. She picked it out from the options I gave her. It won't include the towers on top. Just the single layer. 

So if you've been following my blog, you know that doing JOE's hair can be a chore for me. Well, a couple of weekends ago, J went to get his monthly hair cut and I figured I'd ask if they can do JOE's hair as well. 

Queue in JOE's first visit to a hair stylist. 

They were able to squeeze her in and JOE loved every minute of it! And did not complain, even once. I mean, I watched the lady very keenly and with the exception of the products used, she did the same thing I do. So why does JOE complain and fuss so much when I am doing her hair? I don't know but it was a welcomed relief to have someone else do her hair. 
J and I have decided to take JOE there once a month to give me a bit of a break. WOOHOO!!!

She also got her first trim. You should have seen her. She got so scared that we were going to cut her hair. So much so that she started crying. The hair stylist was sympathetic and made sure she showed JOE just how much she took off. She took off about an inch. It wasn't much but by JOE's reaction, you'd think she took off 6 inches.

She was happy again after the stylist put down her scissors.

Her hair was braided. 

And we're good to go. Start to finish was about 35-minutes. So why does it take 90 when I do it?

The next morning, we went out for breakfast. I love our mommy/daughter selfies.

That afternoon, I finished a tee for AyoBE Boutique. Well, JOE was all too happy to model it for me.

We began the process of painting our pumpkins 3-weeks ago. We had to paint it and got so busy we put off the actual decorating for a week. 
Well, the Monday before last, we finally were able to finish our pumpkins. 

J is "humpty", JOE is the pretty pink and purple, JAE is the green and pink (she likes pink and purple too but I wanted her to have her own unique pumpkin. And I am the golden pumpkin that says "Happy Fall".

We have another couple of busy weeks ahead. I often post AyoBE Boutique brand updates and quick person updates on my Instagram accounts daily so if you're not already doing so, be sure to follow me. 

Have a fabulous week and remember to be kind to strangers!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: Learning from children

I love watching and learning from my kids even as an adult. Granted, they are not yet at an age where they understand danger. However, I love that when they see something they want, they go for it!
In the picture below, my oldest daughter JOE got the playdough from her "treasure chest" for being good a few weeks back. However, her younger sister JAE loves to also play with playdough. 
JOE doesn't always like to share. Typical of any kid. However, JAE doesn't let that get to her. When she sees JOE playing at their play table, she pulls up a chair and goes to work. She doesn't let the fear of her sister's rejection stop her. 
JAE sits down and gets comfortable. And often times, JOE ends up sharing and playing with her. 
JAE taught me that just cause others don't want to play nice doesn't mean you give up on your goals. 

Last week while sewing for AyoBE Boutique, JOE wanted to try out the dress I made. She really liked it and immediately ran out to show her dad. However, J was already working out in the basement. 
A typical almost 4 year old would get disappointed. But not JOE, she immediately says to me "mom, I really want daddy to see me in this dress, please get out your phone and take a picture for me then send it to him so he doesn't miss seeing me in this dress." 
JOE taught me that you don't have to settle for the current situation. If it doesn't work, find your workaround and keep it moving!

I am in the process of prepping for JOE's 4th birthday party. She has requested a PJ Masks party. Which ordinarily isn't a problem. The wrench she threw in there for me though is that she wants to be "Catboy." Incase you don't know, catboy is the male character and also the leader of the pack. The female character on the show is Owelette. 
Since I was having trouble finding any catboy outfits for her party, I asked her if she would settle for being Owelette. Her response to me was priceless. She said "no mom! Catboy is the leader and that's what I want to be!"
She knew what she wanted and didn't let the gender of the character stop her. She also followed that up with a "mommy, I know you can make something just right for me!"
OK. I admit, I did give her the side eye when she made that comment because its not like I don't have enough on my plate. However, here is a mock up of her outfit for her birthday. 
JOE taught me that when there is a will, there is a way!

Catboy outfit loading...

Her party will be at a jumping place so I am adding an attached cover under her skirt so she can still have fun. 

After work one day last week, I decided to take the girls out to play for a bit since its been somewhat cold lately. Yup...Fall is here to stay.
While out, our neighbor came around with her dog. The girls had such an awesome time playing with him.

JOE used to be scared of dogs. Even as recently as May when we visited with my brother and his family. However, recently I have noticed a change in her. 
She has stopped being afraid and instead, she tries talking to the dog. They don't understand what she is saying but she has taught me a lesson. To face my fears and talk things through. 

Me and my little teachers. 

Like I said, it has gotten quite cold in our area. We just turned on our heat today. However, last weekend since we were home, we decided to turn on the fireplace just to get a little more heat in the house. 
JAE is afraid of the fireplace and never wants to go by it. But when she saw me and her sister JOE sitting there, she decided to join us. 
JAE has taught me that sometimes, even though something is scary, there is nothing wrong with surrounding myself with the familiar.

We (and by that I mean) like to stay coordinated when we go to Church as far as our outfits go. Well, last Sunday was purple and green. Not colors you see together all the time but I must say that I absolutely love the girls in their outfits!

JOE requested to wear the bracelet and necklace from AyoBE Boutique because it better matches her outfit. At first, I said no because she often changes her mind about jewelry. However, I decided to let her wear it this time. 
She really loves these pieces and was beaming the entire time at Church. So much so that someone asked me for my business card because she was interested in them.
JOE has taught me that just because I didn't like something in the past doesn't mean I should write it off in the future. Sometimes, it is good to give it another try. 

I have learned that when my kids smile, it really does melt my heart. 

I have learned to be thankful for my husband. Sometimes, I give him a hard time sometimes it is called for and other times, it is just me being me. I am VERY thankful to have a partner who gets me! Even when we have our moments, I look at him and am thankful to have him as my husband and the father of my babies. Being thankful is also a great way to heal an upset mind after an argument.

"Mom, you look beautiful!" The words of a child! JOE said this to me last week Sunday after we got home from church. I've been working on losing weight. I am 8-lbs down and far from my goal weight. However, hearing those words from her made me feel so beautiful! She took this picture and I think I will forever treasure it. 
I have learned to see myself through the eyes of my little ones.

What are some lessons you've learned from your little ones or the little ones around you? I'd love to hear from you. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: Lemonade

More and more with each passing day, I am learning that your outlook on life and how you perceive it, goes a long way in determining your day. 

In the past, I have let external situations either get me down OR play a more important role in my happiness than it should. 
Now, I have determined that only I can create my own happiness. Happiness comes from within. Which is not to say that everyday situations won't affect things but it can only impact your happiness if you let it. 

With that said, I decided to surround myself with things and activities that make me happy. 

Exhibit A. JOE and JAE gave this to me earlier this year for Easter. They made Easter bunnies and I never brought them in the office or displayed them. They say on our buffet collecting dust. 
Last week, I decided to dust them off and bring them into work. 
The joy I get from looking at them everyday is not something I can explain. Needless to say, it reminds me of my "why".

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have been exercising and doing my best to eat better. While the scale needle isn't moving as fast as I'd like it to move, I do love that my clothes are fitting better. Earlier this year, I couldn't button this green jacket. Needless to say, being able to wear this jacket again AND button it was a great feeling.

My babies are learning and growing. JOE has been doing a lot better with her school work and is often really excited to show us what she's learned in the evenings after dinner. She is such an awesome student and even though sometimes, more patience is needed to get her to settle down, she really is awesome. My instant joy!

JAE is learning so much from JOE and mimics almost everything she does. I never had an older sister to look up to (I do have the best older brother!) so I really love how much she looks up to her sister JOE.

My baby is coloring between the lines! WOOHOO!! I know to most it doesn't mean much but it is a development milestone!

The other thing that brings me joy is AyoBE Boutique! Yes, I have given up some hours of sleep in favor of sewing and fulfilling orders (by the way, THANK YOU to all who share/spread the word). I love the extra one on one time I get to spend with my baby JOE while I sew. I love that she asks me questions about things she doesn't understand. And I love that JAE LOVES to model the items I make. I mean, what else can a mompreneur ask for? 

This is my latest creation. The Kion dress. It is a Fall dress/tunic. Perfect paired with leggings or worn alone. I just love that JAE loves it too. JOE is really into the Lion Guard. Hence the name :-).

Exploring the world through the eyes/imagination of kids is just so awesome! As adults, we take for granted the newness of things. Young kids are a reminder of how much fun learning can be.

Last weekend, J and I were in the kitchen and we turned and saw JAE watching TV like this. It was so cute that I had to take a picture. My baby is growing up and it really does melt my heart.

JOE and JAE interacting and learning more about each other and how to share their toys.

J was playing his video game on Saturday and both girls took turns playing with the (disconnected) controller. It was fun to watch them "play". Of course, JAE was excited. I don't think she knew that she wasn't actually controlling anything. She was excited nonetheless.

In the D/M/V area last week, it rained ALL WEEK so the girls were primarily indoors the entire time. On Sunday, J went to watch the football game with his dad and brother. A yearly thing they do. So while he was away most of the day, I cooked our lunches for the week. After the girls woke up from their afternoon nap, I decided to take them out to enjoy the bit of sunlight that was creeping through the clouds.

I learned some valuable lessons during this time. I learned that JAE even though small, can hang with the older kids. She is definitely no shrinking violet.

I learned that JOE knows how to play hopscotch better than me! She was correcting my lines :-/

I learned that JAE loves the color green (her scratches are towards the bottom left corner of the picture).

And the most important thing I learned is that when life gives you lemons, accept it, squeeze it, throw in some sugar and make some tasty lemonade.

Have a fabulously blessed week and remember to be kind to strangers!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: Family time

The last week has been good. We've all spent a lot of time together as a family and I am thoroughly enjoying watching JAE and JOE interact. They play together a lot more. They get along great and they really are THE BEST! Not a day goes by that I don't look at them and say "thank you God for making me their mom."

Anyways, here they are having a picnic last week.

In preparation for going to school next year, JOE has been doing kindergarten work. She says math isn't her favorite but we have been trying to make it fun for her. She is definitely a dedicated student though.

We had a couple of good days last week. Fall is definitely here. Check out JOE riding her bike and JAE standing there so lovingly to make sure JOE is OK. #sisterlylove

Work work work!

JAE and her sleep positions. This can't be comfortable but it appears to work for her. Checked out her Minnie Mouse under her. Home girl was TIRED!

Last weekend, we took a road trip to Busch Gardens. We met up with my brother and his family and had a FABULOUS time! JOE and my youngest niece C are months apart and are best of friends. They had an absolutely awesome time!
This picture was taken when we made a bathroom stop.

Having breakfast the next morning before heading to the park. Check out my nephews on their electronic devices. Times have changed!!!

JAE and I taking selfies. We went to a IHOP and I have to say this was absolutely THE SLOWEST IHOP we've ever been to. It took FOREVER to have our orders taken and forever for the food to arrive. THEN after we left, my stomach started feeling funny and I felt like that the rest of the day. NOT fun!
However, check out my AyoBE Boutique tee. I love this tee and wear it a lot. There are a few other options on the site so go snag yours today!

JOE was upset about something during breakfast and her cousin was so sweet. He was giving her a hug and telling her it'll be OK. I love seeing them interact! It is such a blessing and joy.

So this park stroller caused a lot or ruckus! We brought our double stroller to the park. My sister in law rented one for C incase she wanted to sleep. HOWEVER, this stroller was the one ALL the girls wanted to ride in. JAE insisted on riding in the stroller and refused to let the girls push her out. There was lots of screaming and crying about this stroller. Don't let the smiles fool you, they were VERY competitive about who got to ride in there! :-)

And then my oldest baby got to enjoy her first park ride! She LOVED it!!! She is definitely a rollercoaster girl. I only went on ONE and that was the one JAE qualified for. But JOE and her cousin rode 4-5! #fearlessgirls

Here's a video of C and JOE on their first ride. 

Right before JAE went on her first ride. 

At first she was scared but once the ride started, she was all smiles. Check out my nephews in the background.

My brother and the brood! See how they all squished into that stroller? LOL!

JOE on another ride. 

This ogre was ummm...ICKY!!!

Finally! JAE was able to move everyone out of the stroller and enjoy it the rest of the day. The girls rode in the double stroller. SMH. She was all smiles the entire time cause she got to stretch out and was establishing her territory!

During lunch, we were treated to a show. The park was set up for Halloween. It was an entertaining show.

Both girls danced off the small calories they had just consumed. To be young and full of energy!

We didn't get a chance to purchase the family picture at the park so the next morning during breakfast, we snapped one of everyone. 

We had such a lovely time and it went by so fast! We're already planning our next get together! #familyiseverything

Overall, a week filled with lots of family time, love, laughter and building memories. 

Hope you're having a great week so far! Remember to always be kind to strangers!


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