Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Bebe Stroller

Remember the great Christmas present that my sister got Kate?  You know, the small stroller for Kate's baby doll?  (The doll that she calls her "bebe".)  Well, I had a blonde moment and showed Kate how to sit in it and apparently the stroller has now become Kate's new chair...



Oops!  She's just a BIT too large for it. :)  My bad!

Monday, January 28, 2013

First Hair Cut

On Saturday we took Kate for her very first haircut.  I'd been putting it off because we love her long hair, but she really needed a trim to just even things up a bit.  She got MAYBE an inch cut off so most people probably can't even tell that she got it cut at all.  It was a big day though! (So sorry for the tons of pictures that follow.)


We took her to Snippits, which is a kids-only hair place and they have got it DOWN.  The lady that cut Kate's hair said they do probably 40-50 first hair-cuts a week, and you could tell.  They had cookies, goldfish and puzzles to keep the kids entertained while in the chairs, and it seriously took her less than 10 minutes to do everything. 







We were told that Kate had 4 year old hair, not 17 month old hair. :) It was a fun day, and definitely worth dealing with the crazy traffic.

A Giveaway! Coffee, anyone?

I've teamed up with 28 other amazing girls to bring you one a pretty awesome giveaway, because let's face it, I couldn't give away one of these things all on my own...

 photo birthdaycollage_zps3570f226.jpg

I'm not a huge coffee person unless it's already made and sugared up, like a White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks.  But, for those of you that drink coffee, how would you like to win a Keurig? 


I haven't tried the new Starbucks Verismo but if you would like to choose that instead, your wish is my command.

Not only can you drink coffee with these, but you can drink tea, hot chocolate, etc. So even if you're not a coffee junkie, there's something for everyone!

Still not interested? How about winning the CASH instead? Excited now?!

Just enter the rafflecopter below and cross your fingers! Contest will remain open until Friday, February 1st at 12:00 a.m. EST and the winner will be announced once all entries are verified. 

Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Day, but Not Quite Yet

I have loved every minute of being a mom.  Kate's adoption was pretty perfect and at some point we definitely want to give her a little brother or sister (Kevin says brother).  We have always said we wanted more than one child.  Kate's already 17 (almost 18!) months old, and even though she is still very small, some days I miss this...


And this...


Oh, and this...


Yes, I do miss the little-bitty stage.  We always said that we would start the adoption process again when Kate turned 1, which was the soonest that our adoption agency would let us.  But when Kate turned 1 back in August, Kevin and I looked at each other and said "No way!".  We were definitely NOT ready for another baby.  At some point we will be going through that little-bitty stage again, but not just yet.  So right now, we're enjoying this...


And this...


And yes, even this...


And when we're ready to adopt again, we'll know.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Kate-isms

There are certain things that are just SO Kate right now (Kate-isms), and I want to be able to remember these in a few years.

I have been working to get Kate to say "please" when asking for something.  Lately, when she asks for a snack I'll say to her "What do you say?"

Her response: "Gobble, Gooble"


Kate has really learned what the word "snack" means so she loves to point at the cabinet where we keep her food and say "'nack 'nack".  This was especially bad when all of our pantry food was temporarily in our dining room.  She would be able to SEE all of the food, but not get to it because we had baby gates up.  She would just stand at the door, point to all of the food, and whine "'nack, 'nack".


Kevin is no longer "Daddy", he is now referred to as "Daddies" and I'm sure this is my fault.  Kate is into EVERYTHING and it seems like most of the no-no items that she likes to grab are Kevin's. She'll grab his wallet, his keys, his laptop, his phone, etc.  When she grabs those things, I'll usually say "No, those are Daddy's." Apparently that has led her to believe that his name is really Daddies, so that's what she calls him. :) Kevin has told me I can't tell her that anymore.  I have to say "Those are not yours" or "Those belong to someone else" so maybe we can break this habit, which I happen to think is cute.


In the past week or so, Kate has started saying "hee-go" when she gives us something.  It took me a few times before I figured out she was saying "here you go", it just happens to come out "hee-go".


She LOVES her shoes, and if she sees a pair, she has to put them on.  She calls them her "ooosh".



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Toddler Time

When Kate was sick, she was inside for almost a solid week.  It was pretty cold and yucky outside so she probably wouldn’t have been out there anyway, but she is SUCH an outside girl.  She was definitely getting a little bit of cabin fever, and there is only so much that will entertain a 17 month old.  So after going through all of her toys for the hundredth time, I decided I had to be a little bit creative.  I pulled out a little box that was left over at Christmas and a stack of painted popsicle sticks that were with all of my craft stuff. 
It kept her entertained for TWENTY minutes.  I’m sure some of you don’t think that’s a very long time, but believe me, in toddler-time twenty minutes is a lifetime!  She played with them all by herself, putting the sticks in the box and then dumping them all out.  I couldn’t believe how those two simple things kept her entertained.



Since then she has played with the popsicle sticks and box at least every couple of days.  Oh the things that will entertain a child. :)

PS: If you haven't checked it out yet, head on over to my online Kelly's Kids party.  You can place orders online anytime between now and February 14th!  And just let me know if you'd rather have a real catalog. I'd be happy to mail one over to you. You can email me at kelleyandkevin(at)yahoo.com. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Micro Mini Scooter

When we visited New York City last month, one "must do" on our list was to walk through Central Park.  We had terrible weather, but it wasn't something we were going to miss out on.  So on Sunday afternoon, we took a stroll through the park in the pouring rain.  Surprisingly (or not since it is NYC), there were people EVERYWHERE.  There were tons of runners and lots of families with kids.



As we were walking, one little kid, probably around 4 or 5, came FLYING at us on a scooter.  I first thought it was a little Razor scooter (like those ones that everybody just had to have circa 2000).  When I looked a little closer, I saw that this scooter was a little bit different.  Instead of having just one wheel at the front and one in the back, it had TWO wheels in the front and one in the back.  It was obviously a lot sturdier and easier for a 4 or 5 year old child to use, and he was having a blast.  He raced past us, laughing the whole time.

Well, it turns out his scooter was a mini micro scooter and they're made especially for "little kids" (target age 3-5).  Kate LOVES hers, but at 17 months she's honestly too small for it right now.  She does love for us to push her around on it and literally cries when we put it away.  I can already see that this thing is going to get a lot of use in the future.  


Because the Micro Mini Scooter has 3 wheels, instead of just 2, it's so stable that Kate is even able to balance on it all by herself.  Now, she can't push herself (yet) but at least she is able to stand and hold on.  She loves it so much, we end up having to hide the scooter in our formal living room until we want to allow her to play with it.


Now I'm pretty sure this is NOT what you're supposed to do with it, but regardless, Kate loved when her Aunt Kristi pushed her around the house.  At the end, Kate is even trying to get Kristi to do it again. :)


So if you're looking for a great birthday present for a child between the ages of 2 and 5, I would highly recommend this.

Disclosure: I received the mini micro from Kickboard USA in exchange for this review. All of the opinions are 100% my own. We love this product and think we will get lots of future use from it. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Pantry Organization

When Kevin and I bought our house, we knew there were a few things we HAD to change.  One of them was the pantry.  It is tiny.  Seriously. The door to our pantry is about 1/2 of the size of a normal door.  Maybe even smaller. 


When we moved in, there were about 6 shelves.  Not good shelves, but some kind of 1980's leftover counter-top boards that had been recycled.  They were so close together that you couldn't get anything in and out, so we ended up having to remove 3 of the shelves.  Which now meant that we only had 3 shelves TOTAL.  Oh, and they were installed on a slant. On purpose.  We hated them, so it was on our list to update the pantry pretty quickly.  

Five years later, we're finally getting around to doing it. :)  Here's the final product...


And now, here are a few before and after pictures, since that's always fun...



I realize that to some people the "after" pictures don't seem much more organized than the "before" pictures, but it definitely is.  We went from 3 terrible shelves, to 5 shelves that aren't too deep, and are level.  And we added the shelves to the door itself.  It's a big improvement for us. Just wish we'd done it sooner.

It ended up taking about a week to finish everything up because we had to rip out the old shelves, repair the drywall, install a board on either side of the pantry to secure our shelves to, paint, and then measure, cut and install the shelves themselves. It was a bigger job than either of us really thought it would be.

In the meantime, all of our food lived on our dining room table, and SOMEBODY thought that meant that she could get snacks anytime she wanted...


So that's part of what's been going on at our house this week.  Have any of you been doing some home improvements lately?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nobody Said It Was Easy

Being a Mommy is hard and some days are harder than others.  Some days you just feel like you can't do anything right.  Sunday was one of those frustrating days. It was filled with toddler tantrums and lots of tears.  I felt like I was a repeating record of "no, no, no".  There was time-out (multiple times) and even a spanking.  Kate is such a strong-willed child.  I know we have got our work cut out for us.  She has definitely hit the terrible two's a bit earlier than we had expected.

Some days you are just glad for bedtime to come. Some days you are just ready for the next day to be here. Some days you just want your happy, easy-going child to come back.


Being a mom of a toddler is not easy.  The smallest things can set them off.  They're learning.  They know what they WANT to do, they just don't know how to do it.  They know what they WANT to say, they just don't know how to communicate that.

So I get that a lot of times, her tantrums are just frustration-related.  She will be building with blocks and accidentally knock them over and then completely freak-out.  Or she'll be pushing her cozy coupe car around the house, hit the wall, and not be able to turn it the way she wants so she'll flip out. She's frustrated and doesn't know how to express herself. I get it.

But, a lot of times she has tantrums just from not getting her way.  She is testing her limits, and pushing buttons.  I'll tell her "don't put that in your mouth" and she'll take it out.  Then she'll wait five seconds before she slowly tries to put the object back in her mouth, just to test my reaction. And the cycle continues until she ends up getting the object taken away from her.  And then tears ensue.

But I can't give in.  And that's the hard part.  Giving in would be SO much easier.  Just letting her "do what she wants" would be so much easier.  But what would that teach her?

Don't we do the same thing with God?  We keep on pushing.  We keep on testing.  We try to get "our" way.  We get frustrated when we don't get what we want.  We want to be the ones in control.  We're just like little toddlers.

So as I parent Kate, I have to remember the ways that God teaches us.  I must be strong and know that He will give me strength.  I have to not get discouraged and remember that Kate will be a better person because of discipline.  And as she learns to submit to the authority of her parents who love her, I pray that one day she will submit to Jesus Christ who loves her so much more.

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Proverbs 22:6



Monday, January 14, 2013

Over the River, and Through the Woods

...and hopefully now we are OUT of the woods.  Last week was a rough one in our household.  Kate got the flu and we pretty much just tried to survive the week.  Battling her 104+ fever was just about all we could handle, and on top of that was the fact that Kevin had not had the flu shot so he had to keep his distance from Kate (ie- Mommy was on her own).

Kate was pitiful. She's been relatively healthy in her first 17 months of life, minus a few colds here and there. We've been counting our blessings on that one.  Needless to say, this is the sickest she has ever been.  All day Tuesday and Wednesday she just wanted to be held and had no desire to play.


My mom was awesome and came up to help with Kate on Thursday and Friday so I could go in to work, and my dad sent a big pot of the best chicken and dumplings.  By Saturday, Kate was feeling MUCH better.  After being cooped up for 6 days straight, she was itching to get out.  She kept going to the door, pointing and saying "go, go".  I decided to let her "go" somewhere-. Sacrifice, you know? (We just went through the drive-through.)


I still kept her at home on Sunday just in case she was still contagious, but she's back to her normal self today.  I hope this was her last encounter with the flu for MANY years to come.

** Don't forget my online Kelly's Kids party.  Today was the first day to place orders, and you can place them anytime between now and February 14th!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

It's A Party- Kelly's Kids!

So, I don't normally do this.  In fact, I've NEVER done this. I've never hosted any kind of party- not Pampered Chef, Thirty One, or Tupperware... nothing!  But of course I will do it for Kate.  That's what I keep telling myself anyway.  It has nothing to do with my love of cute children's clothing. :) Anyway, I am hosting a party- a Kelly's Kids party!  It's an online party, so you can join in too!

Kelly's Kids has some SUPER cute children's clothing for both boys and girls, and their Spring/Summer line is adorable. Here are a few of my favorites...



They even have some cute outfits that would be perfect for Easter. 



Do you want to join in? It's so easy.  You can place orders anytime between January 14 and February 14th.  Here's how you do it...

1) Visit www.kellyskids.com/jenniferlarkins
2) Pick out your favorites
3) Enter Party #10345 at checkout!

That's it!  See? So easy. Feel free to share this information with your friends, and let me know if you have any questions by emailing me at kelleyandkevin@yahoo.com 


PS- if you're one of those people who likes looking through a catalog instead of online, let me know and I can get one sent to you.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

InstaLife Update

Well my baby is sick with the flu so this is the only kind of update I have time for. She woke up Tuesday morning with a fever of 104.3. Pretty scary.  We were at the doctor's office when they opened and confirmed that she did, in fact, have the flu.  She'd gotten the flu shot at her 15 month appointment but as we know, those things aren't 100% effective.  Anyway, her fever has been hard to control- it even got as high as 104.9 and pretty much stayed around 103 for a while, even with tylenol.  We're switching between Tylenol and Ibuprofen and hopefully that will help, although it has not been "normal" since she got sick.  Please pray she recovers quickly and doesn't have any other complications. 
 
 
Can you believe how much she has changed in one year?  I sure can't! I'm pretty sure I won't be able to hold her next Christmas.

 
Kate has discovered this corner in our house and it's become her new favorite place to hang out.  Guess she doesn't know what corners are really for yet.
 
 
Playing around with hats in The Children's Place. 
 
 
We took her with us to the beach for our youth retreat and she discovered the telephone. This was the first time she'd really seen a phone that had a cord. :) 
 
 
Sweet sleeping baby.  This doesn't happen much.
 
 
We should have just gotten her boxes for Christmas.  She LOVED playing with this one.
 
 
She loves her Daddy and her dogs (and just being outside in general).
 
 
She just had to help me put together her Christmas present... a table and chairs from Gigi and Papa Rick!
 
 
 
 
 
 

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