Birthday Party.

We did it. Bentleigh turned 4 and I did not have a complete and total meltdown. This year for his birthday I wanted to do something that he is interested in, but with a more modern twist. I knew he was getting a bike for his birthday, so we went with that. It is made to look like a motocross bike and he has always been fascinated by them. He has a signed checkered flag from a racer he saw and I thought, “How perfect!” We are still, yes still, in the process of redoing their room with a black and white theme, so it worked perfect to use items we already had. We used orange as an accent color and I think it turned out perfect. Let me tell you the lack of items at the party store was a joke. Apparently anything not cartoon themed is not worth the space on the shelf. Even the cake…no motocross themes. I just picked a background that worked, told them not to put any toys on it, and bought my own. So we made do with what we had and got creative. Used some cones from my dad’s work truck and lots and lots of streamers and balloons.

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I like to keep it semi simple as far as locations go. Some of his friends are still young as well as Hurleigh, and I know even Bentleigh can get overwhelmed when there are too many things going on, so we had a small get together at my dads. That gave the kids a chance to run around with each other and play with out getting upset that they have to stop and play for things like cake and presents. Also the parents could talk without worrying their child was going to run off and get taken…or destroy anything lol. It was small and intimate and I totally loved it.

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He was totally spoiled. He loved every gift. His hat and tee are from the amazing Slyfox Threads! Thank you Hannah! He loves them and you (:

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Thank you to everyone that came and to everyone that gave him gifts. It was so amazing and he had the best time. Now off to plan a second birthday lol (:

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Memorial Day Sales!

Memorial Day sales are in full effect! As promised here are a list, that I will update as needed, of all the great sales I have found so far (: I hope you all had an amazing weekend! We spent it outside, with family and friends, enjoying the weather and celebrating Bentleigh’s birthday which will be on the blog soon! And lets not forget what today is really about. Always remember the soldiers serving and those who have served for us! Thank you all!

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Slyfox Threads // 20% off with code “Memorial”

One Hip Kid // 25% off with code “STARSANDSTRIPES

Sailor Janes // 26% off with code “MD26”

Swankaroo Backpacks // 12% off with code “MEMORIALDAY”

Opposite of Far // 15% off with code “SUMMER”

Mini Joops // 20% off of order $100 or more with code “mweekend”

Louis B Kids // 20% off additional sale items “memorial2014”

Carolina Keiki // 15% off with code “MEMSALE15”

Sophie and Lili // 15% off dolls and totes with code “MEM15”

ILY Couture  // 25% off all sale items with code “EXTRA25”

Mindy Mae’s Market // additional 10% off with code “xoxo”

My Pebby Forevee // buy 3 get 4th free

Tribe is Alive // 15% off with code “SUMMER”

Shop Sweet Threads //20% off with code “BIRTHDAY”

Little Adi Co // $20 bummies

Its OK Apparel // 25% off with code “okspring”

Leia Roux // 15% off with code “MEMORIAL15”

Fawn Shoppe // 30% off summer collection

Little Urban Apparel // 20% off with code “MEMORIAL”

Dot Dot Smile // 15% off with code “MDAY15”

The Mini Classy // 30% off with code “MEMDAY”

Stay and Co // 20% off with code “STAYSTARS”

Good Seeds Apparel // 20% off with code “MEMORIAL”

Still Rad // 20% off with code “MDAY20”

Sweet Kiddo Co // 20% off with code “memorial”

Kindred Oak // Free shipping within the US

Svnsetlove // 25% off with code “MEMORIALDAYSALE”

Mag+Pie // 20% off with code “THANKYOU”

Lisa Leonard Jewelry and Gift // 15% off with code “15memorial”

Ahoy Tees // 20% off with code “SUMMER20”

Ryder Rhenn // Free shipping with code “MDFREESHIP”

DeadBuryDead // 20% off with code “Grateful20”

Xylo Kids // 25% off with code “MEMDAY25”

Kickin Legs // 15% off with code “MEMORIAL15”

Seven & Co Boutique // 25% off with code “memorial2014”

E W McCall // 30% off, no code needed

Camp Wolf // 50% off kids jackets with code “JACKETSRULE”

Tiny Whates // 20% off with code “MERICA20”

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If you see any sales you think should be added to the list, feel free to comment and I will add them ❤

Birthday and everything in-between.

So much has happened since Bentleigh birthday. He had such an amazing day. I could not have ask for a more perfect birthday for him. I can not thank Hannah and her family enough for everything they did with us that day. We love y’all so much! Since then we have been staying super busy. Shaeson had work training on Bentleigh’s birthday. This time was extremely hard for him. He kept asking to go pick dad up from work and when he was coming back. I do not think that we were home for more than 3 hours at a time except for when we were sleeping.

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Bentleigh’s Outfit

Tee & Hat // Slyfox Threads

Shorts // H&M

Sandals // Saltwater Sandals

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Hurleigh’s Outfit

Top // Slyfox Threads

Bloomers // Bobo Choses

Shoes // Toms

The first few days, we spent visiting some family friends. Bentleigh was still overly excited about his birthday so he had to share it with everyone he saw.

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Bentleigh’s Outfit

Top and hat // Slyfox Threads

Leggings // Levi and Marley on etsy

Shoes // Walmart

Hurleigh’s Outfit

Top and bottom // Mini Rodini

Hat // Slyfox Threads

Moccs // Freshly Picked


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We also had Bentleigh’s 4 year check up and a weight check for Hurleigh. I have been dealing with the weight issue since Bentleigh turned 1 and started walking. Weight checks are not a new thing for me. Bentleigh did so good, he gained a whole 3 pounds to bring him to 28 lbs lol and Hurleigh gained 2 lbs!! We were pretty excited. Over the last couple of week I have watched Bentleigh start to be more responsible and I just feel like he got older over night, which he did lol. When we were at their appointment it really hit me. They both had to get shots and Bentleigh said, “I’ll go first. Then Hurleigh won’t be scared and cry.” Melt my heart right then and there. Of course Hurleigh still cried, but Bentleigh made sure to tell him it was okay and get him a sucker and sticker.

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Bentleigh’s Outfit

Top and bottom // H&M

Under shirt // Gap

Hat // Slyfox Threads

Moccs // Minnetonkas

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Hurleigh’s Outfit

Jacket // Gap

Onesie // Slyfox Threads

Leggings // Old Navy

Moccs // Freshly Picked

Hat // Similar

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We had such a great, overly busy week, but we were so happy for daddy to come home. He got to come home a day earlier than expected so we surprised Bentleigh. He was over joyed. I know I have been so slow lately, but I have so many amazing brands to share with you in the next week. Bentleigh’s birthday party is on Saturday and then after that it will be back to normal. I want to thank each and everyone of you that Has visited the blog and shown so much support. I love each and everyone of you!

Elexis ❤

Happy 4th Birthday Bentleigh Aaden!

The day is finally here, and I am no where near ready. I slept a whole 4 hours last night. Where did the 4 years go. I remember it like yesterday, going in to get monitored again and being told “well lets just have a baby today.” After only 3 hours and a few pushes I brought an amazing, tiny 5 lb 13 oz baby boy into this world. I was scared and excited all at once to have my first son. He was so tiny and sweet. He had the perfect little nose, and I could not get enough of him. I had no idea how much he would change me. He is wild, so sweet, crazy, but very cautious. He is my know-it-all and I love how particular he is with everything. He is the best big brother I could ever ask for Hurleigh. He never for one second made me think otherwise. He is always making sure Hurleigh is okay and if he is not he has to make it right. We spent the fist year of his life, learning this whole crazy thing together alone. He is my little best friend, my cuddle buddy, and my Superman. He can make anyone happy with his sweet little words of encouragement. He is definitely 4 going on 16. He is wise beyond his years. He is so smart. I could gush about him all day. The love you have for your first child is so indescribable.

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I look back at all these memories and I am so proud of the little man you have become. You are definitely one of a kind.

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Today we are spending the day with some amazing people. It is the first year he for sure knows, today is about me, it is MY birthday. He made sure to tell everyone that yesterday. He’s turning 4, maybe 5 lol. He wants everything and anything he sees for his birthday. I am so excited to see what the years to come bring fory him. I know he is destined for great things. I love you so much Bentleigh.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope you all are having a great Mother’s Day. Today I am holding my babies a little tighter and am so thankful that I get to spend the day with them. All week I have watched a community band together to support a wonderful mama, Jacqui, who lost her little boy too soon. For the whole story head to Diary of an Addict. So today, keep Jacqui and her family in your hearts and check out #redballonsforryan on Instagram for ways to help and support their family in this time of need.

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I know I can not think of a better way to spend my Mother’s Day than sitting on the couch while my husband cleans, I am sitting on the couch now but he’s slacking in the cleaning department. lol There are a ton of sales going on today, so here is a list of a few of my favorite places that are having sales! Get your shop on!

Slyfox Threads

20% off with code “mom”

Kindred Oak

20% off women’s clothing, even sale, with code “happymomma”

Baby, Go Green

Extra 40% off sale items with code “SALE40”

Sweet Luka Mo

20% off with code “MAMALOVE”

SVNSETLOVE

25% off with code “MAMASDAY”

Avenue G

20% off with code “mommy”

The Tote Project

10% off with code “BETHECHANGE”

A Little Lark

25% off with code “BESTDAY2014”

The MINI Classy

25% off with code “MOTHERSDAY”

Riley Clay Design

30% off with code “SUMMERSALE”

Camp Wolf

20% off men and women’s tees and denim with code “MOMSRULE”

Little Urban Apparel

Free shipping with code “MOTHERSDAY”

Finomenon Kids

20% off with code “MOM”

Sugarlime Lane

20% off with code “MOMSROCK”

Whistle and Flute

25% off adult Je T’aime stock including twin pullover deal with code “MOMSDAY”

One Hip Kid

30% off with code “MOMSRULE”

Mag+Pie

20% off with code “YEAHMAMA”

Happy Mother’s Day! Hope you all have a wonderful day and find some awesome items for you and your littles! ❤

Gender roles.

The other day I was talking with a friend about how we do not force gender roles on the boys. Then, as I was searching Pinterest I came across this saying:

“We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons, but few have the courage to raise our sons more like daughters.” -Gloria Steinem

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Gender roles are the social and behavioral norms that are generally considered appropriate for either a man or a woman in a social or interpersonal relationship. I have always been a strong believer in letting the boys decide their route in life. I do not believe in forcing gender roles upon them. For the longest time when I was younger, believe it or not, I went through a tomboy stage. No one so much as blinked an eye when I said I wanted a boy hair cut. I was just going through a “phase” and I would eventually grow out of it. They placed the blame on the fact that my best friend was a boy, or that I was not sure where I fit in because of the color of my skin. So they labeled me a tomboy. I have always hated that term. Because a little girl likes “boyish” things, she is labeled a tomboy. I grew up that life, and I HATED it. I then turned a complete 180, as you can tell, and fell in love with fashion. When I had children I knew I did not want to force them into being something they may not want to be. So why is it okay for us to teach our daughters to be tougher and raise them more like our sons but not okay for us to raise our sons to be more compassionate and raise them more like daughters. Why is it okay for us to allow our girls to do boyish things, but if a boy wants to be a princess for dress up it is instantly frowned upon. Why when my son expressed that he wanted to grow his hair out did people say “you need a boy hair cut” or that people instantly assume Hurleigh is a girl and say “well I saw the hair and the shoes, aka moccasins, and instantly thought girl. Are boys not born with curly hair? I am pretty sure this is his natural hair and not the doing of a perm.

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This hit me very hard when I faced my first deployment. Not only was I newly married, but I had my first child who was only three months old. I was the baby on my mother’s side and my father’s only daughter, so you can imagine how terrified I was. I had to step into a father’s “role”. I had to learn to fix things, take care of the car, do all the “manly” things that a father would normally do. I learned to change my oil and I may have used duct tape a few times, but I fixed a lot of broken stuff lol. Did that make me more manly, or was I just doing what I had to do as a parent? I also was raising my son, my first child, which was scary enough, but a boy. I knew nothing about being a boy. I knew I was a good mom, but I was scared. Then I really sat down and thought about it. Why would I raise my boy any different than a girl. They’re both children. I had made the decision not to raise my children how I was raised so why was it so hard?  Sure, I did not dress Bentleigh in dresses, but we did “girly” things. If you are going to ask, would I be against them wearing a dress, the answer is no. Bentleigh, every time we went to Babies R Us when the halloween costumes were out would put on a princess dress and strut around. He did not ask to bring it home so we left it there till our next visit. Shaeson was not on board when he came home. He was also raised the eldest of 5, 4 of those being boys. His parents were very strict on this is what boys do, so to him it was not normal. He had to slowly come around to realize that by letting Bentleigh do things that he wanted, whether they were “boyish” or “girly” would not hurt him. That by playing with a baby doll would not make him into a girl, but just show him how to be a father and have compassion. By buying him a kitchen, we were not forcing him into a role to stay at home, but rather how to cook so that if he ever lives alone he will not be stuck eating take out every night. That he wanted to paint his nails, play with my make up brushes, and walk around in my shoes not because he thought he was a girl, but that is what mommy did so why couldn’t he. He loves pink and loves wearing pink, so when I saw these pink boots I knew he had to have them. What totally breaks my heart is that I had to sit down and have the conversation with him that if someone says mean things about your boots, just tell them you like them and that is all that matters.

This took me to when I had people telling me that I was going to make him “gay” because of how I am raising him. I will say I was completely ashamed and embarrassed to be friends with everyone that said that at that moment in time. A COMPLETELY different topic for another day, but 1. people are not made homosexual. You are born that way and if one of my boys was born that way, I will not love them any less. 2. It is completely ignorant and small minded to say that about a small child that likes to play with dolls or vacuums just because it is not conforming to their gender role.

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When I was pregnant with Hurleigh, I was convinced he was a girl. Then my husband pulled out the, she can do whatever she wants and would wear big bows and dresses every day. I had to remind him, girl or not she would be a child and we would allow her to do what she wanted. If she did not want to wear bows, then no bows it would be. And if she wanted to play baseball, I would be at every practice. Hurleigh was not a girl (: Now having two boys, we love the life we have without gender boundaries. The boys love having their nails painted, they love helping me cook and clean, I am proud to say that Bentleigh’s favorite color is pink, and we spend just as much time in the baby aisle as we do the lego aisle. They both play dress up with my shoes and clothes, but give Bentleigh a baseball bat and he will show you whats up. Hurleigh, I mean, he is so feisty. He has a mean right hook and he is down to get dirty. Do I feel that letting my sons pick what they like and want to do is going to hurt them? Not by any means. I also am not saying that the way we do it is right. It just works for us and pushing gender roles on children is something I feel very strong about.

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I have come across many amazing books, including The Princess Boy, which is about a young boy who loves all things sparkly and his mothers struggles to understand. There is also a book by Diane Ehrensaft PhD, Gender Born, Gender Made, that is on its way to me! It is about raising healthy gender-nonconforming children. I love reading about things like this and I feel that if I can be more aware and open to what my children may want to do, I can help them grow to be the adults they are meant to be. Letting them be who they want to be allows them to blossom. I am always told that I have the happiest children, which I promise is not true. That comes with the blogger persona that their life is “perfect” and I am the first to say it is not. My children have bad days just like others, but I feel that allowing them to be open like we have has made those bad days very limited. It is all about acceptance and love. We just need to remember to love them with no boundaries.

 

 

Sweats are not just for the gym.

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I love, love hats this Spring. They are so fun. I found this one at Target for super cheap. I think maybe in the mens section, not 100% sure. I have a giant head, I am not ashamed to say it, my boys inherited it. Add in the extensions and it makes for one tough hat shopping trip. This one is probably my favorite that I have at the moment. I have dressed it up and today dressed it down. Who says sweats are just for the gym!? I found these little gems at TJ Maxx…for $5. I am telling you, I am so frugal with the items I buy. Everything I am wearing, with exception to the hat, was a clearance item. Including the sandals, that I got last summer from Shoedazzle. If you take care of your items, they will last. The kimono, I bought the year after I moved to Utah…circa 2009! It is 5 years old!! And I wore it nonstop through both my pregnancies. I am almost certain I still have clothes from high school. Another horrible trait, I am kind of a hoarder. My house is not wall to wall boxes of stuff, but if it is still good and still can be worn, I can not get rid of it. I have a problem lol. So, here it is. My super comfy “sweats are not just for the gym” outfit.

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Outfit

Kimono //Buckle 2009

Tank // H&M

Sweats // TJ Maxx

Necklace // Forever 21

Sandals // Shoedazzle

Hat // Target

I love taking casual pieces and dressing them up. While we were running at the park today, I just wore the sweats, tank, sandals, and hat. When we left the house, I dressed it up by throwing the kimono and necklace on. Simple park outfit to errands outfit with just two little pieces.