Porkins & Henbains

Hey, everybody! I’ve been MIA over the holidays “enjoying some quality time with my family.” Now that that’s over, I’ve compiled a new list of “Adorable Crap My Kids Say” post. Here are the top 10 most adorable things they mispronounce.

  1. Porkins = steamed dumplings from Chinese take-out


  2. Henbains = headbands


  3. Poopah = their maternal grandfather, aka my dad


  4. “Waddle my baby up” = swaddle


  5. “On that farm-y had a horse…”


  6. They are also still calling band-aids “bain-bains.”


  7. Chewbockis = Hubs’ Chewbaca slippers


  8. Kep-chup = ketchup in Lillese


  9. The “Binch” who stole Christmas


  10. “Mom, do you bemember ______?”


    Do your kids have any cute mispronunciations? Hit me with them in the comments!

Holiday Gift Guide for Preschoolers by Preschoolers

I swear this is my last post about Christmas gifts, because DUM-DUM-DUM… I am DONE shopping for my kids! To that end, Gabby wanted to write a gift guide all her own, so here it goes.


  1. If it’s a pink princess dress, I want it. Even if it is too fancy to ever be worn by a three-year old, I want it. Especially if it is a Victorian-style princess dress with what looks like a corset, I want it.
  2. Elsa’s castle. Seriously, kid? That movie came out forever ago and my kids still want all things Frozen. Sigh.

    Image from Walmart.com

    Image from Walmart.com

  3. All of the crazy expensive tents from The Land of Nod. My fault for letting her look at the catalog.
  4. More baby dolls with blinking eyes and a pacifier. Because it only took me 2 months to find the one I got her for her birthday…
  5. Books! Well, luckily I can handle this one. Remember that review I wrote for Bookroo? Well, they have a new incentive program for current subscribers so you can get one free box for every friend you refer this holiday season! If you are not currently a subscriber, you can sign up here and make sure you share Bookroo with your friends so that you can get free boxes too!

*This post contains referral links, but all thoughts and opinions belong to my three-year old.*

What’s on your kids’ wishlist this year? Let me know in the comments!

5 Essential Oils You Need for Your Family

I’ve been using essential oils to keep my family healthy for about a year now. I recently went to a class at a friend’s house and my passion for essential oils was reinvigorated. I thought I would share some of my favorite oils and their uses with you guys in case you were interested in what they can do for your family.

From the YoungLiving website: “Helichrysum essential oil has a clarifying, stimulating, and grounding fragrance that makes it ideal to diffuse when studying or doing homework. Helichrysum can be applied topically to improve the appearance of tender skin.”

I love to diffuse this oil when working on a difficult task or powering through a challenging blog post. It makes me feel focused and helps me to complete tasks.

Everyone knows that lavender is soothing and calming. I use this in my kids’ laundry, I diffuse it before bedtime when they are especially cranky, I put a couple of drops in my bathwater when I am stressed, and I also place a drop on my kids’ pillows when I change their bedding. No home is complete without lavender.

Lemon is energizing when diffused, it can be used in cleaning solutions, and you can even add a drop to water or tea for a flavor boost. It’s a very versatile, fresh-smelling oil.

AKA Tea Tree oil, has antiseptic properties and a very fresh scent. You can add a few drops to a spray bottle with water and lemon oil to make a great household cleanser. It is also great for clearing skin blemishes and mild eczema.

Thieves is a blend exclusive to Young Living that contains eucalyptus and clove oils, among other things. It is great to diffuse to give your home a cozy feeling and it is also great to diffuse if someone in your family has a respiratory illnesss, as it helps to open up the airways. YoungLiving has a whole line of household cleaning products made from Thieves oil.

So how can you get started? One of the best ways is with the YoungLiving Premium Starter Kit. In the kit, you receive eleven of their most popular essential oils; a diffuser; sample packets of NingXia Red; and shareable materials, including sample packets, a roller ball, and more. It’s everything you need to discover the products for yourself and get immersed in the Young Living lifestyle. If you love Young Living oils, you can sign up to be a distributor and you will receive 24% off reatil price with each purchase, among other benefits. Click here to find out more information and start on your family’s essential oil journey.

What Gabby wants for Christmas – Part 2 (The Land of Nod edition)

Gabby wants everything she sees on tv, so in order to evaluate what she really wants for Christmas, I thought I’d give her another catalog. This time it was The Land of Nod (another crazy expensive venture). 

Let’s take a look at some of her choices…

She circled a TON of tents, thanks to her dad’s recent introduction of indoor camping. Also, there’s no way she’s passing up a doll bed. 

She picked this rocket ship tent for her BFF, Danny. 

This fabric dollhouse is beautiful and she would totally love it. I’m considering it as a splurge gift. 

Surprisingly, she wants this tool belt and workbench, so she can “be a builder.” I was thinking maybe a Lego junior set might fulfill that wish. 

The boat is for Gabby’s house and the car is for Danny’s house. So they can play together and share them. I’m dying from her sweet, giving heart. 


The astronaut one is for Gabby, the bear for  Lillian. Again with the camping obsession. 

Apparently she also needs a camper for her babies. I guess you can’t go camping without all of our kids. 

This was my favorite. Gabby picked some ornaments for her, Lillian, and Danny but then she also picked a menorah and dreidels. I guess the more holidays, the better!

The American Girl catalog arrived and I handed my 3-year old a marker and said…

“Circle anything you want!” I routinely do this with catalogs that come. Pottery Barn Kids, Hanna Anderssen, Mini Boden… I hand it over and let her go to town. I thought twice about doing it with AG, but for some reason, Gabby seems to be satisfied with fantasizing about having all of the things without the promise of ever getting it. Maybe because she’s three. 

Once she was done and went to bed, I went through and the results were SUPER interesting. Originally, I wanted to total up all of the crazy stuff she’d want and post about how AG is financial poison, but Gabby’s picks were not only frugal, but really intentional. 

For instance:

She completely skipped the “design an AG doll that looks like your clone” section and went right for the pet accessories. This was her first pick:

A dog bed and dog leash. Merely $38. No big whoop!

She also wanted all of the clothes. Luckily, she is still to small for the size requirement. 

But, really, who circles clothes in a toy catalog?!? I kind of envy this kid!

Next up, a very specific doll and all of her outfits:

Even $500+ later, I’m not mad. That’s the first “baby” she wanted and clearly, my child is a fashionista, so of course she wanted some wardrobe options. I totally get it. 

And finally, another girl, but only one outfit. No bed, no food, no pets, nothing crazy!

Either letting her go through catalogs satisfies her needs to express what she would really like to have, or I just have an awesome kid. I’m not going to stop this practice of window-shopping. It’s fun for both of us!

Our Diaper Journey

I received free Pampers Cruisers to test for this post from Influenster, but all opinions are my own.

When I was pregnant with Gabby, I did a lot of research about cloth diapers, because I didn’t have a plan to go back to work immediately I figured it would be a good way to save money. I did receive a ton of disposable diapers at my baby shower that I totallly appreciated and used, but once we blew through those and whenever we were home, we used cloth.

We started out with Gdiapers, a brand that was moderately priced and is actually a hybrid diaper. This means you can either use cloth inserts or disposable/biodegrable inserts. I liked the Gdiapers for a time, but I realized there were more economical options. Gdiapers come in sizes XS-XL, but you have to keep buying new pants as the baby grows. Once Gabby grew out of the mediums, I was on a hunt for a better solution.

A friend gave me a variety of pocket diapers. The brands were Alva and Sunbaby mostly, but they were all “one size” diapers, so I knew they would last a long time. I found the pocket diapers to be easy to use and easy to wash. I stocked up, mostly buying used lots on ebay.

Then I found out I was pregnant again. Gabby was 10 months old. Potty training was nowhere in sight and I knew I was going to have two in diapers for a good, long time. I found some good-priced all-in-one diapers on Nickisdiapers.com and Diaperjunction.com and braced myself for the onslaught of laundry.


With two in diapers, it didn’t necessarily get harder. It was just the constant laundry that was getting me down. By the time Lillian was born, no cloth diaper could contain Gabby’s pee and we switched her to disposables. By the time Lillian was one, the daycare started having stricter rules about cloth diapering and that was my out. So after 2 1/2 years of cloth diapers, we were on the hunt for disposable diapers that would be good for growing toddlers, day and night.

That’s where Pampers Cruisers come in. We started using Crusiers when Gabby was a toddler at daycare. They’ve always been our go-to diaper for mobile babies. But the new Pampers Cruisers are even better. Lillian has gone from #SagToSwag. The new Cruisers are more absorbant and have channels for the moisture to go, so we do not wake up to a baby buttcrack anymore. I was thinking about switching her to pull-ups before we got the Crusiers, because it would take her two seconds to just undo the velcro on her saggy diaper and just leave her diaper on the floor. No more. I can actually have a few sips of coffee before I start diaper duty in the morning. What a relief!


So, that’s been our journey. Where have you traveled to in diaper land? What are your favorite brands of cloth or disposables? I could talk about this all day!

The End of An Era

From Infant to Toddler

The Lillian on the left is what I gave to the daycare teachers 15 months ago. She was brand new and we hardly even knew her yet. Lilly’s teachers were essentially the same crew that Gabby had and I knew I could trust them with her, but it’s just heartbreaking to spend time away from a baby so new. She wasn’t sitting supported yet, she was still exclusively breastfed (but started bottle-feeding just prior to starting daycare). I don’t even think she received her second round of shots yet.

The Lillian on the right is what I have now. She is starting to use two word sentences, is the queen of “MINE,” she dances, and she demands specific songs from me at bedtime. Even though I took the time with Lilly to see her during my work day for close to the first 9 months I still feel like I missed so much. She has matured so much faster than Gabby did. She crawled sooner, talked sooner, tried table food sooner… We’ve been trying to hold her off from potty training for weeks because she is transitioning to the toddler classroom and I don’t want her to have too many changes happening at once.

With Lilly being our last baby, every milestone is a reminder that it’s the last first steps or the last first cheerios. It’s simultaneously so sad and so freeing to think that we are soon going to be parents of pre-schoolers – not babies. It’s the end of an era and the start of a new one.

Why Having My Kids In Daycare Is Emotionally Draining

It all started when I went back to work when Gabby was 7 months old. She had never been away from me and was so attached that I did my best to NOT walk the 200 steps over to the daycare multiple times a day to make sure she was ok. It was good for her to not be ripped from my arms so often. It was the right thing to do.

But the act of leaving meant that I was missing out on the best part of her day.

I’m not saying that she wasn’t happy to be home and with her two loving parents. I’m saying she used up all of her good, happy time at school and had nothing left at the end of the day. We, her parents, had nothing left at the end of the day. And so it seemed pointless. And when it feels like there MUST be a better way, and you don’t change what you’re doing, you enter an emotional vacuum.

It gets better and it gets worse. With Lillian, I DID go to see her during the day a time or two when I could because I wanted to watch her play and hold her when I was having a bad day. She handled me leaving better, because my coming and going was a constant and she started daycare when she was 13 weeks old. But she is a child who needs a lot of sleep. Her bedtime for the first year was 6:30 PM. I literally got one hour with her after work before I had to rush her screaming, exhausted body to bed. Nighttime nursing was as exhausting as it was a comfort to us both.

Sad Lilly

We were all getting a raw deal.

It’s really no different now. I get excellent reports from their teachers:

“Gabby is the first one to follow directions in the whole class.”

“Lillian hasn’t had any meltdowns this week.”

This is the complete opposite of my experience and I know why. Home is their safe place. They know Mom and Dad love them unconditionally. So, when they get transferred back into my care, the listening ears shut off and the meltdown floodgates open because they are tired. They are tired of learning, obeying, following instructions, and being told what to do. They need a release. And I completely get that.

But I still resent missing out on the best parts of their day.

It’s another subscription box… and an amazing value for your family!!! #Bookroo

Subscription boxes are totally the latest trend going around so when I was contacted by Bookroo to work together I was kind of like, “Kids books are not that expensive, how convenient could this be?”

Um… Insert foot in mouth. For $19.99 (no shipping) a month, you get either two regular children’s books or three board books. I was super excited to see what we got but was still wondering what the cost savings would be like since Bookroo says their goal is to help families build their child’s library on a budget.

To our happy surprise, our box arrived on Gabby’s birthday, so… BONUS PRESENTS! The books arrived gift wrapped and bundled in a beautiful presentation. Look!

Gabby was so excited to open them up and the books we got were fantastic. We received “The Bear Who Shared” by Catherine Rayner and “Dream Away” by Julia Durango, Katie Belle Trupiano, and Robert Goldstrom.

Without giving away the stories, I felt that Bookroo really put thought into their choices. The books teach great lessons – sharing and imagination. The books were appropriate for both girls, even though they are 19 months apart. One of the books we received was $16.99 retail and I found the other on Walmart.com for $8.96, so we actually did save a few bucks PLUS whatever we would’ve had to pay in shipping.

I am so excited that Bookroo has also offered my readers a discount ($4 off)! Just click here and sign up. I promise you won’t regret it!

Goodbye Toddler, hello Preschooler!

Well folks, it’s time for Gabby’s transition from Toddler World to Preschool. The pros: she’s been bored for months, she misses her BFF Danny, she’s still clutch-holding a pen and nobody cares. The cons: Change + Gabby = Emotions^17. 

That said, here’s how it’s going…

Day 0: The night before transition month… She just kept stalling bedtime! Mommy lay in my bed. Why? I just need you. Okay, baby. Mommy, I am just sad because so many things are changing! Oh honey, life is all about changes. Cue more tears on both our parts, my eventual need to leave, and Gabby whining herself to sleep. 

Day 1: She visited for one hour. She got to be a weather watcher and participate in music club. When she entered the room, Danny shouted, “My best friend Gabby is here!!!” She had the best day. 

Day 2: her teachers had to drop her off and leave her to attend a meeting. They returned after the meeting and she asked to stay. They asked if she wanted to eat lunch there and she aid no and returned to toddler 1.

Day 3: I receive a report that she ate lunch and participated in every activity in preschool and had to be forcibly returned to toddlers for nap time. 

This progress is so anti-Gabby. At this rate she’ll be fully spending her days over there by Monday. God-willing. My girl needs a change. 

Only 5 weeks til Lillian goes to Toddler 1…