Weekly Ups & Downs

Weekly Parenting Ups & Downs


Popping in for another installment of my weekly parenting ups & downs. We all have them! Why not share them!


1. Strawberry picking. It’s always one of my most favorite outings every year (sort of like apple picking). The girls totally got into it this year too, Rowan really loved finding all the perfectly red and juicy ones and Finley just eat any strawberry she saw for the whole 2 hours we were there. We drive about 40 mins to a farm out in the country that is a low spray, surrounded by mountains and so sweet and cute I can’t stand it. I will admit that strawberry picking while pregnant is not the most comfortable activity in the whole world, especially when it’s super hot out. We made the most of it though.

2. Potty Training: This will also be on the down list. We woke up the other morning and it was as if all the diapers in our house magically got sucked into a diaper vortex over the night. We realized there were absolutely NO diapers left in the house. We’ve been here before but there is always one more in the car, or my purse, or in the pool bag or somewhere. This time there were NONE ANYWHERE. We have been super casual with potty training Finley but this was the nudge (or well shove) into potty training that we needed. Anyway, we just went full force into it. We’ve been diaper free (other than at nap and bedtime- she’s not there yet) for 2 days. She is stubborn!! But she has peed on the potty 2 times. I feel like is a big giant win for a girl who will hold it all darn day because she isn’t wearing a diaper. Onward and upward!

3. The amount of excitement that Rowan has for doing things is about the sweetest, most heart-warming thing ever. She just finds so much joy in even the smallest things. It’s no joke that she yells “this is the best day ever” like everyday. So when we are actually going to do something exciting she gets all crazy silly and it makes me laugh so hard. She cracks me up! We are headed to the Poconos this weekend to go to a waterpark and other things and she has had her suitcase packed for about a week.

4. Finley has been talking up a storm lately and her little smoker voice is so sweet I can’t stand it. It’s deep and wraspy yet so baby like at the same time. She always copies what Rowan says so half her sentences are much larger than any little girl her age would normally be trying to say. They get all jumbled, with words mispronounced and ohh I could listen to them all day long.

5. Rowan last night said “Hey Mom! You know what? It works out good with the baby in you belly because when we read stories it’s like they get to listen too.” awwwwwwwww


1. Potty Training: Ugh! Oooh there isn’t much I dislike more than potty training. The constant asking if they have to go, the potty books, the bribes, the constantly looking for every bathroom in every store you go to, the germs in public restrooms, the planning your day around how long you can be in the car, out, doing errands, the extra clothes you always have to carry around, convincing them that pooping in the potty isn’t scary, the puddle of pee on the floor of old navy you are trying to clean up before someone sees. The list could go on and on. It’s a stage I know and in the scheme of things passes very quickly but yuck! it’s a gross stage. Remember our potty adventure with Rowan when we tried to get the Christmas tree? Oh man! That makes me laugh now. We had a similar one out strawberry picking the other day- except I totally had the little potty in the car for Finley this time.

2. Rowan’s hair is a little wild. It always has been. I cut her bangs because her hair could never decide on a part and it was always in her face. The bangs are cute, like super cute. BUT her hair is so curly and wavy that they take some care in the morning (especially after sleeping). Care she has no interest in waiting for. Most days her hair is this wild, curly, 80’s sort of do that of course looks adorable on her because she is 4 and what doesn’t look cute. I do try to get her to let me straighten them every once in a while. When we went for a walk the other day, we noticed her look at her reflection in the car and say “ooh I should have brushed my hair before we left.” Ahhh it sort of broke my heart. Did I create come kind of complex in her over her hair? I mean we NEVER say anything negative or degrading about her hair. And of course I do feel like there is something to be learned about taking care of yourself and learning we need to brush our teeth, brush our hair and not wear pjs out of the house sort of thing BUT… it sort of made me want to cry that she looked at herself and thought that. I just want them to have such high self esteem and not be concerned about outward things like hair, especially at 4. I don’t really have a conclusion to this, just wanted to share my sort of #momfail and to remind myself how much of a sponge they are. They’re aware of so much more than we realize sometimes.

3. Oh the Drama! We have a household of girls with LOTS of feelings. Always knowing how to best parent those feelings is tough. I want to allow them to feel those things but there is also a balance to becoming a little over dramatic and whiny. It’s tough being a parent- you want to do your best for them at all times but sometimes you just don’t know what that is. It takes time to figure each other out, what works and what doesn’t.





Feel free to share your own in the comments!

Weekly Parenting Ups & Downs




It’s halloween!! Yippie. It’s one of my most favorite holidays. I just love dressing up. I am all for a little fun spookiness with cheesy ghost and skeletons but I am so over the gore and terror that has taken over. I tried to find a festive hayride for us all to go on but it was impossible to find anything other than things like “Field of Screams” and other stupid named horror shows. Why?? Why??

How was your week? Have any cool plans for Halloween? We had an overall pretty good week around here. Just thought we’d share a few of our ups & downs…


1. SLEEPING!! Can I get a woot-woot? WOOT! WOOT! Remember our “down” from a few weeks ago? Hallelujah we are in a really good place right now. It took a few months of persistence and this lovely clock (and maybe a little of letting Finley whine in the morning before going and getting her) but everyone is sleeping till 8:00am. Seriously, I am over the moon… like jumping up and down high fiving myself!! You better believe I’m not taking this for granted. I know this too is a stage and I am sure something will change (daylight savings UGH!) but for now I am so freakin’ happy.

As of right now our sleep schedule goes like this… Girls wake up at 7:55am. That’s what time I have the clock set to change to let Rowan now it’s ok to come out of her room. She knows she can play or read books if she wakes up before that but I am pretty sure she wakes up to the minute that clock turns. Kids are crazy weird with internal clocks. Finley usually wakes a few minutes before but we won’t go and get her till 7:55am when we get Rowan. She has actually been sleeping till about 8:30!! Rowan hasn’t taken a nap since she was like 2 years old but Finley definitely still needs and takes a nap. We finally hit the sweet spot for the one nap a day. She had a rough go there for a little while with the transition from 2 to 1. But ideally her nap time is 12:30 or 1ish. This doesn’t always happen because of daily plans and things but if we are home this is when she naps. She will sleep for around 2 hours. Then both girls go to bed any where from 7:00-8:30pm. Finley going down first and then Rowan soon after.

2. The age of four. So far four has been pretty good to us. I know we are only a few weeks in, but Oh man! Rowan is just the best. I love that little girl so much. I love four. I love the questions that four brings. Soooo deep and profound. You can just see the wheels working up there as she really begins to process the world around her. Like today she asked me how people know how to read words that go up and down (vertical). Or she asked me the other day if the tooth fairy was real. This afternoon she said to me “I don’t feel so well. I really need some tea because I have the shivers and they are driving me crazy”. Hahaha

3. Finley learning how to tell secrets. It’s just gibberish with a “Roro” thrown in there but it’s about the cutest thing ever. She climbs up on you. Pulls your hair aside, gets real close and then leans in to whisper sweet nothings (literally sweet nothings) in your ear. She then throws her head back and laughs. HEART MELTED THANK YOU VERY MUCH.


1. Potty training. How are we entering into this stage again? I don’t think Finley is quite there yet but we created a potty monster over the weekend by having her sit on the potty like Rowan. Every second of every day since then Finley has been pulling her diaper off to sit on the big potty. She sits for 5 seconds, doesn’t go potty and then wants her diaper put back on. I know it’s process. I know she is just starting but I am venting because ugh! potty training it just not super fun and we are too busy to spend our entire day taking diapers on and off every second as a big ol’ game.

2. Snacks. Oh snacks are my arch nemesis. I swear the girls are looking for food every minute of the day. Why? Are they really hungry? I don’t know. Do your kids do this? I only give them healthy options (apples, carrots, celery and peanut butter, etc…) and they will eat it all but every.mintue.of.the.day. HALP!

I leave you with the sweetest pictures of little miss Fin to date. She was loving this day with her sister…











Happy weekend my friends!!


Jeans: LOFT (best legging jeans ever)
Button down: J.Crew (25% off)
Coat: H&M (similar)
Boots: Similar
Glasses: c/o Coastal

Girl’s shoes: Vans
Finley’s vest: Target
Finley’s buffalo plaid shirt: Target
Rowan’s Sweater: H&M (boys section)

My Weekly Parenting Ups & Downs



It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these posts. Trying to make it more of a regular kind of thing. I really like them. I also really like hearing from all of you as we share stories in the comments section. Nice to know we’re all going through this crazy motherhood journey together!

1. I really feel like we are in a good groove lately. It’s a nice feeling. Of course, there are crazy moments (see “downs” below), but really, I know in the scheme of things they aren’t all that terrible. Everyone is at a super fun age (when they are in good moods, of course) and they make the best little buddies. They entertain each other like crazy and it makes my heart explode every time I hear them laughing together from another room. Siblings are seriously the best thing ever! I know some parents choose to only have one child and I totally think that’s great but I could not imagine our family with out these two. I can’t help but think about how differently Finley gets to grow up because she has Rowan around. I guess there is good and bad to that but the first person she calls for in the morning when she wakes up is “RORO”. Finley is fiercely loyal to her. Whenever Rowan leaves the room, within seconds Finley is searching for her saying “where RoRo go?”. Finley is also in a pretty intense Daddy stage. I don’t mind — there is nothing better than seeing your children madly in love with their Daddy.

2. Homeschooling is going so great. Of course, we are still working it all out and getting into the swing of it but each week is getting better and better. Rowan loves learning and it warms my heart to hear her tell people about the things she learned that week. Now, whenever she comes across something she doesn’t really know much about, she asks if we can learn about it in school. Umm? So Cute! She asked me the other day if we could learn french. We have a little learning area set up downstairs so that when we are working on school work, Finley can be down there with us playing in the play room. I am really, really loving it so far. We’re going to be taking it a year at a time but I am excited about the possibilities for our family to grow, learn, and hopefully travel together more often if we continue to homeschool.

3. Finley has been soooo into books lately. I LOVE it so much. As soon as you mention nap time or bed time she goes running to her room. She’ll grab her blanket, giraffe and then pull out piles of books. She laughs at every page, no matter what the book even says. She’s just over the moon sitting together and reading books. When we picked her up from the nursery the other day after church, one of the volunteers even said she just wanted to be read to the whole time she was in there. I hope we can continue to foster her love for reading as she gets older.

1. Finley. hahaha. This girl is seriously the craziest little child I have ever seen. She is hilarious and so in love with her family but… If she doesn’t know you, hasn’t had a nap, or is in a mood. Oh boy. Watch out. I use to think Rowan was active but whew! I was wrong. Rowan is totally a first born (ever read one of those birth order books?). She loves to follow rules, gets very upset when she realizes she has done something wrong and has to take care of everyone. Finley on the other hand LOVES to cause trouble. And she does it with this mischievous little smile on her face that you can’t help but laugh under your breath at. She keeps me on my toes thats for sure. I’m not wishing away this age but I am looking forward to her being able to communicate just a little bit more so it’s not so frustrating for her. Almost 2 is a tough one.

2. The morning time. I am not a morning person. I’ve tried to be one for years, but I’m finally accepting that I am just not cut out for it. I’m a night owl through and through. Why don’t children sleep in? I’m not even talking super late. I would kill for like a 7:45am wake up time. I hear Moms saying they have to wake their kids up because it gets too late… Ahhh teach my your ways!!! No matter what time my kids go to bed, they wake up at the same exact minute every morning. If we get them to bed early that’s fine. They’re mostly rested and ready for the day (it’s still too early…) but, chances are we’re not getting them into bed at 7pm though. There is always stuff going on, or it’s just hard to rush through the evening when they don’t get to see Kev till like 6:00. They want to play with him and he wants to play with them. Rowan is finally at an age where I think she would sleep a little later but Finley is up at the crack of dawn screaming and crying for her. She always wakes Rowan up. They both have fans in their rooms for white noise and both the doors are closed but their rooms are right next to each other. Then Rowan is upset because Finley woke her up but won’t go back to sleep and Finley is tired and cranky because she still needs another hour as well. BUT NO ONE WILL GO BACK TO SLEEP. Why?!?!? Please tell me what time your kids go to bed and what time they get up. I am dying to know what everyone does.

Rowan: I am only good at one hiya ninja move
Me: What is a hiya ninja move?
Rowan: HIIIIIIIYAA! (as she jump and kicks her leg out).




^^playing hide and seek in the maze garden at the park





Weekly Parenting Ups & Downs


“The days are long but the years are short.”

I am tired. I am very tired. This quote has been ringing in my ears a lot. I’ve also been wearing this sweatshirt a lot lately too because it makes me laugh at how true it is. It’s like a sad, sad joke. After a month of vacation and holiday travel we’ve spent the last few weeks trying to get in our groove at home. That especially means with sleep. We have been neck deep in sleep training with Rowan and well, it just is not going well. She got a little to use to sleeping all together (most nights in the same bed) and doesn’t want to stay in her room. We’ve made a few advances here and there but then something comes up… like more travel. Having 2 kids that are literally up every half hour all night long is wearing. Physically and emotionally. I swear if it’s not one, it’s the other. I can’t even imagine what a full night of sleep feels like. It’s been over a year that’s for sure. I am continually praying that I can find wisdom and have patience over it all. 3 year olds are smart little creatures. Much smarter than we give them credit for. Rowan knows exactly what to say in the middle of the night to get me into her room. I try to resist but then my mom guilt gets me. I start thinking “what if she really is thirsty? What if her poor little throat is dry and I am denying her a drink? I’m so terrible”. Ha! Oh man the inner struggle. I know she’s bested me when I bring her that drink and she throws it to the side without even taking a drink. Then says something like “but my back is so scratchy now”. Oh the excuses.

It’s true. Some days on this journey called parenthood are long. They can be very long. But you know what else is true? The years really are short. When I think back to Rowan being a baby, I really don’t remember the struggle all that much. I know it was there. But where there was once frustration and anxiety over being a first time mom, its now filled with lots of sweet memories that overpower any of the bad. So with that perspective in mind I am whispering to myself with each middle of the night wake up call… “This is just a stage, this is just a stage”. I know this too shall pass. Soon enough (and really it can’t come soon enough) they will both be back to a good sleeping schedule and we will all be sleeping through the night. Until then though, I will try to embrace the tired and keep wearing my sweatshirt as a warning to others.

NOTE: I am currently in a hotel room in Chicago all by myself. ALL.BY.MYSELF! After an extremely long day of a bunch of canceled flights, I am left all alone in a city I wasn’t supposed to be in. I WILL SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT TONIGHT! I am super pumped about it, even with a 6am wake up call. Get this though! It’s almost too quiet. When you are surrounded by chaos all day, everyday, when you get a chance to be alone it’s almost too quiet. Why is that? I am sure that thought will pass in about 2 seconds when my head hits the pillow and I get 6 glorious, uninterrupted hours of sleep.

I miss my babies though.

I digress. Anyway. Whatever your parenting struggle is right now. I hope you can find comfort in remembering it’s a short road on this long journey. It will pass. You will look back on the years and remember the great joys, the struggles will be but a distant memory.








Finley’s scarf from Little Hip Squeaks
My sweatshirt from Hello Apparel
My glasses are from Bonlook

Weekly Parenting Ups and Downs


We got a trampoline last month and it is so fun! Rowan and Kev have the best time out there together. Can you believe growing up they sold those things without the nets? So bad. I remember jumping on ours without the padding even on it -with dish soap and a sprinkler no less. Here are my weekly ups and downs…

1. Seeing the two of these sweet girls play together makes my heart want to burst. Finley is so in love with Rowan. It never seems to fail that just as I am about to tell Rowan to be gentle or to give Finley some space, Finley will burst out laughing. She can not get enough of Rowan. I love that she can sit on her own now and interact a bit more with Rowan.

2. Speaking of sitting up on her own… Don’t you just love that age? The age where they are a bit independent but not mobile yet. You can sit them on the ground with some toys and know they will be entertained but won’t be getting into trouble somewhere? I love it. Finley has been all smiles lately (well, as long as I am near her. see below). Her 2 little teeth are about the cutest thing ever. Always peeking out as she smiles.

3. Rowan is like the best little buddy. She is so entertaining lately. A real little lady. The things that she comes up with crack me up. Always making jokes and saying ridiculous stuff. This age is hilarious!

1. Holy Cow! We’ve had 2 major melt downs this week. I honestly have never dealt with them to that magnitude before. It was embarrassing because of course they happened both times in a store. I think Rowan has been a little over tired lately and it all sort of came out these past two days. We ended up having to leave the stores and head home so that Rowan could have a time out/nap. She would wake up in a better mood, ready to carry on the day, but yikes!

2. I have been so anxious about our trip to Austin this weekend. My mom is coming to our house to stay with the girls which is good. I like the idea that they get to stay in their house, with their things but oh man! it is hard to leave. Finley doesn’t take a bottle great and I wasn’t able to pump enough milk for the entire time gone. I’ve been trying to introduce a little bit of formula just to supplement until I get back. It is slow going but I know she will be ok. My friend is letting me borrow her hospital grade pump and I made a batch of “Milk Cookies” so hopefully I will be able to keep my milk up. I’ve gotten a bunch of helpful tips and tricks that we are going to try. I will be glad to share them all when we get back in a blog post. I know I could just take her. I have literally flip flopped on the idea like a billion times but I think reconnecting with Kev and having sometime away together trumps all else at the moment. Some may disagree but that is the decision I think we are leaning towards. I still have 5 hours until we leave though. Which leaves me 5 hours to flip flop a 100 more times.

3. Rowan has always been very independent. She never had separation anxiety or got upset when we have left her. She always ran ahead of us never looking back to see if we were there. Finley on the other hand… What a little mama’s girl. I need to be holding her or with in 3 feet of her at all times. As long as one of those 2 things is happening she is the happiest little baby around but if not- watch out! We have been trying to work on it a little. We bring her to the gym with us and put her in the kids corner area. She last about 20 mins before we get the page to come back and get her. She does love her Daddy and her grandparents though too. It’s funny how different she is than Rowan.








Rowan’s adorable jewelry was a gift from Juniorbeads (she is obsessed!)
and Finley is chewing on pretty jewelry that Moms can wear and toys from Chewbeads.

Weekly Parenting Ups & Downs






Remember these posts? Ha. It’s been a while. I really liked writing them each week and hope to post them more often. I write about my parenting ups & downs not to focus on the negative aspects, but to share how even in down moments of life there are always ups! The high times almost always over power the low moments. Together we can find solidarity in each others struggles and triumphs!

1. Rowan is out of control funny lately. She is just constantly talking about things! The funny things she comes up with crack me up. I love hearing her little mannerisms emerge and how she says words. For example she calls a “bee” a “buzz buzz”, too funny right? She was making me laugh the other night when I tied a swaddle blanket around her neck and “Super Rowan” emerged.

2. The relationship between Rowan and Finley really is amazing. It kind of makes me want to have a million more kids. Rowan is so sweet to Finley, I truly think she loves her. Rowan is pretty much the only one that can consistently make Finley laugh (like a laugh out loud giggle)- holy cow that makes my heart melt.

3. I am not going to lie, hearing people say that Finley is a Mommy’s girl is pretty much the best thing ever. Not only does she look just like me, but she is pretty obsessed with me too. I love it. I love that no matter who is holding her, she always scans the room for me. Ha! Is that selfish? Rowan was always a Daddy’s girl, so I am going to enjoy this mommy love.

1. Rowan has always been a good sleeper. We have had our struggles for sure, but nothing that a night or two of sleep training couldn’t fix. Finley has been an awesome sleeper too. I think we have taken it for granted because for the last month each one of them has on average been up a minimum of 2 times a night. I swear we sleep no longer than an hour at a time before someone else wakes up. I am pretty sure we are slowly going crazy. If it’s not one of them than its the other. I wake up like a zombie every morning. I know it’s just a stage and this too will pass but good golly I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

2. The foot stomp. Oh Rowan. What you think you are accomplishing with that little foot stomp is beyond me. But you sure like to show you are mad with it. We are trying to work on expressing our feelings in a different way. We don’t tolerate being rude around here.

3. Teething. Why, oh why can’t it last one day and be done? Poor sweet Finley just got her first 2 teeth. They popped through one night and we finally realized why we weren’t allowed to put her down for the past week.

Hi, I'm Jen!

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Jen Loves Kev