Friday, July 24, 2015

Sunshine VoxBox Review

So I've gotten a few boxes from @Influenster since I signed up a while back. Some of the boxes have been nice (a free bag of hershey kisses in one and several facial mask samples in another), and others have been a miss (pantyliners.). I thought after the pantyliner box that I was doing something wrong, I mean, a friend of mine got a KEURIG from Influenster to try and review. A KEURIG. And I got pantyliners.

Anyway, I've been totally redeemed by the most recent VoxBox... the Sunshine box!!! This box was inspired by the summer and is full of awesome goodies. These are all products to keep you in tip top shape through these hot HOT summer days. Snacks, Hair, Nails, Skin: It's all covered! Check it out:

BarkThins Dark Chocolate Almond Snacking Chocolate (#breakupwithboring). @BlueDiamond Bold Sriracha Flavored Almonds. #SinfulColors Nail Polish. @Infusium23 Moisture Replenisher Leave In Smoothing Creme. #VaselineSprays Intensive Care Moisturizer. @DickinsonBrands Original Witch Hazel Cleansing Cloths.

What a fun box!! Couple little details: The chocolate bag in the picture is empty, because it took Jordan and I one afternoon to finish it off. DE-LISH. I would buy these again in a quick heartbeat. Just thinking about them makes me hungry. I am a sucker for dark chocolate and almonds. 

Haven't tried the almonds yet, but I also like sriracha, and we've already established I like almonds, so I expect this to be another win. 

The nail polish was surprisingly great. I typically gravitate towards OPI and Essie, but the Sinful Colors polish was opaque in 1 quick coat... a must for nap time manicures. 

The Vaseline spray moisture is a lotion that I can actually see myself using. It smells nice, absorbs quickly, and is the easiest, most convenient application of lotion ever.

The Infusium23 leave in Creme seems nice. I've used it a couple of times and it's not too heavy.

I'm a sucker for facial cleansing cloths. The Dickinson's Cloths are one of 3 types I have hanging out in my bathroom drawer. I was pretty stoked about these until I actually opened the package. You see, witch hazel has a pretty distinct odor. The same odor as the Tuck's Pads I just used 6 months ago for my childbirth-related maladies. So I open the package and immediately remember the less-than-awesome parts about giving birth. It's hard not to think I'm wiping my face with Tuck's Pads. Also, these wipes aren't awesome for getting makeup off, especially waterproof mascara. 

This was a really fun box to receive! I received the box for free in return for a review. I can't wait for my next Influenster campaign! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

More life updates

Gosh, it's been a while since I've sat down and written something other than monthly milestones about Ian. Honestly, I go back and forth regularly about whether or not to even keep this blog open and active because I just don't have time for it. Or lets be totally honest, I choose not to have time for it.

But there's so much history written here about our lives and our babies, that I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon. It's also an easy way to give family access to pictures and kid updates considering neither side of our family lives very close. Plus I'm still getting crazy amounts of traffic on some older blogs and some things that have been pinned.... but don't get me wrong, Pioneer Woman I am NOT.

The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of activity. Jordan has been gone for most of it, which has been hard for me and the boys. I'm not sure how single moms do it. Seriously. The last of our summer activities (aka: trips or obligations that remove Jordan from the home) will come to an end this Saturday afternoon. I couldn't be more thrilled to be done with this chapter. On one hand, I'm so incredibly proud of my husband and the leader that he is, but it requires him to be apart from us often. On the positive side, I consider these weeks to be refining moments, where I am stretched a little farther and in need of some big helpings of grace. Then, I wake up a little more confident and a little more patient. Days like this really bring to life Hebrews 12:11, "For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." It never ceases to amaze me how the parent/child relationship so intimately reflects the relationship I have with Jesus.

Some happenings so far this month: a quick visit from Aunt Casey while she was transitioning from her job in Plano to a new job in Madison, WI. (While I know it has its downfalls, I'm a little jealous of her travel-nursing-nomad-life.... could you even imagine being able to pack all of your belongings into 2 cars? And seeing a new part of the country every 3 months?) We had a quick visit from Jordan's parents AND we also took a short trip to Houston where they live. While in Houston, we met Jordan's new, more specialized cardiologist. It was a good check up and we loved Dr. Lam. I think I spend about 90% of my year in blissful ignorance and then the other 10% remembering that my husband has pretty significant CHD. I'm usually a little anxious when it's time for yearly check ups, so it's nice to have these good doctor checks and hear, "We'll see you in a year or so!!"

Work has been sporadic. This is the time of year where my PRN status is most needed and some months I'm barely making my minimum requirements. I enjoy my job so much and I look forward to getting back into a semi-consistent work routine. I'm working on some unit-based education and prepping for my next fetal monitoring class on top of doing patient care. What can I say? I love my job and I'm really passionate about pregnant moms. On a related note, I've been thinking that I may do another L&D series here on the blog sometime soon, so if you'd be interested in submitting questions or reading about the L&D world, leave a comment!

With 2 kids under the age of 3, we've been doing a lot of cooking in the last few months and have been subscribing to eMeals since May. It's been awesome! I get 7 new dinners with side dishes and a grocery shopping list every Thursday. Some of the meals have been huge hits and some have been duds, which is to be expected.  With eMeals, I've expanded my cooking abilities, especially in the Asian realm... pretty much any asian recipe I've tried has been delicious. It's nearly put an end to the grocery store/meal plan battle, and I say nearly, because some weeks still need our old go-to favorites. Plus, like I said, not all the recipes are total winners... "crispy chicken with peaches and cream sauce" sounds revolting, and "ham & cheese sliders with fresh fruit" isn't all that ingenious. I'd give eMeals 8/10 stars for ease and convenience, minus 2 for missing the mark with some of the meals. (for the sake of full disclosure, this is just me rambling about my cooking. eMeals doesn't know I even exist, because the account is under my husband's name. I get zero compensation for the above comments.)

Speaking of compensation, I have a post in the works about my latest VoxBox from Influenster. It's the best box I've received so far! A girl could get used to getting free stuff in the mail.

It feels good to get words on a page again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ian's 6 month update

Ian Michael! I just can't even believe it... you're SIX months old already. That's half a year for anyone keeping track, which means before I can blink twice, it will be time to plan your first birthday party. Oh, little brother, why must you get so big so fast!? 

We "celebrated" your 6 month half-birthday by introducing some food this morning! After weeks and weeks of staring, grunting, and drooling at what everyone else was eating, you finally got a spoonful of rice cereal. And you weren't all that impressed. To be honest, I probably wouldnt be all that impressed with rice cereal either... but just you wait... lots of other goodies will be starting soon! I thought you were ready to drop to 4 feedings and 2 naps, but after a couple of terrible days, it was pretty obvious that 5 feedings is the way to go right now.

Feeding drama aside, you continue to be the happiest baby I know. I thought Isaac was a great, happy baby (which he was), but you, my boy, are a total breeze. You're charming and you love smiling and laughing. Sure, you have your fussy moments, just like any 6 month old, but I'd say 95% of the time, you're pretty content. You still prefer to be held and cuddled, which proves problematic at times, but is pretty endearing. That other 5% of the time, when you're not happy with life, can be pretty painful... you have this shrill, ear-piercing cry that is SO hard to listen to.

We were lucky enough to get another visit from Aunt Casey this month, which was a real treat, because A. We love her and B. She was able to be here while dad was gone. You (Ian), me, and Isaac have spent a lot of time together this summer, and thankfully most all of those times have been smooth sailing. That being said, I'm definitely looking forward to the end of summer camp season. Three weeks out of town and one week of VBS has been a LOT of time away from dad!

You're babbling, squealing, and laughing non-stop these days! (I've even heard a few "mamas" while babbling... I won't go so far as to say it's your first words, but it's pretty heart warming to hear) You're so fun to be around, because your sweet, happy moods are infectious. You still suck your thumb when you get sleepy and just like your momma, you also like to knead a blanket while you're sucking your thumb. I keep wishing and hoping that you'll drop this little habit... but mostly I'm realizing that it's time to start saving for braces. Haha!

Obviously, you don't have a lot of hair on that noggin of yours, but what is there is actually pretty light, maybe even trending towards blond. It would be quite a sight to have a light haired member of this family, so I won't hold my breath on the blond hair becoming a thing. You're wearing size 3 diapers and mostly 9-12 month clothes. Your feet are growing into a size 3, but mostly you still wear socks. Your feet never touch the floor when we leave the house, so what's the point of chasing after real shoes all day? I don't know your weight or length, but I'm sure we'll see Dr. Canales sometime in the next week or so for a check up and vaccinations.
Sweet Ian, I pray you grow into a great man of God. That you are full of courage, quick to forgive, and have the heart of a servant. I pray in this house, you see love and grace lived out. I love you so much and I am so thankful to be your mom!
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