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Melissa Pearson

Melissa Pearson

I want to first explain how I use my planner, (if you don't want to read this story skip down to "So you have your planner, Now what?" I don't do it like most people.  In 2012 I jumped on the Project Life bandwagon... by March I had fallen off.    In 2013, I started it again with high hopes and good intentions.  By late February I was doubled over in morning sickness and that was the end.   So comes 2014... yes I got this!  I didn't even make it through January!  UGH.  When the planner craze hit and I went to CHA in 2015 I fought it, I was like "yeah, no way... I have too much going on in my crafting to add another facet to it...! Never gonna happen!"  And then I went to the MAMBI booth where they had pictures in the planners, and journal cards, and stamps and stickers... it was like a mini scrapbook!  I was so excited, this was my new "project life" quick and easy to document, no need to spend hours or days on a layout, jot notes, who was where and what we did and then in like a bajillion years when I can sit down to do my albums be it Project life or just pages, all the info was right there at my finger tips!  


Thus began a new rabbit hole and spiral of money spending and time sucking... so as you can imagine, baby #2 in 2 years arrived and there was little energy for stamping and coloring in tiny images and rummaging around for basketball stickers or printing itty bitty photos... so guess what? I fell off of the wagon again.  I felt like this was mostly because of the amount of supplies this uses.... (see basics post for the list that never quit!) 


The reason for this long explanation is because you won't see me teach you how to write out endless lists, or stamp "cancelled" across an event, I don't cancel things because this is a "memory planner" for me.  I like to make these mini pages of my daily life until I can sit down and make an actual page of whatever event.  All the details are here as a foundation for me to move forward, sometime around 2053 I am guessing ;) 


Ok so on to the actual planner... thanks for sticking this through! 


You have your iPlanner... "Now what?" 

There is an app that allows you to open and use zipped files on your iPad, it's called "File explorer" in the iTunes store, but it's quite extensive to get it done versus Dropbox.  If you want detailed instructions here is a site to walk you through that:  iPad Lettering 


I am going to start with a blank slate and walk you through a layout from beginning to end!  

Step 1: place files into your Dropbox that you are going to want to use.  Everything from papers to PNG embellishments and so on... I am using my kit from SIU that was a freebie in July of 2015.


Open your calendar to the week you want.... First let's cover the headers to the sections.  


Hit the plus sign in the circle on the top left.  Select "Image" and then choose your Dropbox account. You can use any JPG or PNG file.  



Since I chose a 12x12 paper I will need to crop this... you need to be in edit mode which means that there are blue dots on all corners and then a green dot on top.  If you are not in edit mode... tap and hold down and select edit from the pop up menu. 



Tap and hold the image and select crop... here you have to "eyeball" about how big to make your square.  Drag the bottom dot up to about what feel like the width of the border. Adjust if needed by either undo or crop option again... and voila!  


The next part is easy... IF you want to use the same tape piece for all simply use the lasso tool next to the "no pencil."  Lasso part of the image, and then hold down, to copy.  Then click anywhere on the page and hold down to select "paste" 



After you have your border, you have to do the opposite side... I personally think (after typing and teaching you this) we did it backwards, you should do the longer side first and then copy and paste that and crop it shorter, rather than having to complete this whole process twice!  #oops


Now to add in some png elements.  Same process simply use the circle and plus sign, add in just like the paper and decorate.  You can see below I added my typical photos. 



Now it is time to add in some journaling and write.. this is where the stylus comes in- and I LOVE it!  

Simply click the pen on the paper tool on the left side: 


Now see that little blue box?  you can move it anywhere you want on the page, and it will zoom in so you can write easily and quickly. 


Here I added my notes and journals.  


There are a few things to note... the Digitally Speaking website mentioned before has a pretty good selection of add-ons, at a hefty price compared to what you can get at the same amount from any of our well known digi stores... but you can add literally any png or jpeg file to your spread.... so if you have "digi stamps" it is easy to import and use them.  To recolor.... well that is post #3! Coming soon. 


But you can see here it is quite easy to build and begin your planning or planner keeping.  


So far pros and cons: 


*Everything at your finger tips.  

*Quick and easy to do anywhere, anytime. 

*If you mess up, UNDO. 

*Keep it simple or keep it busy... your choice.



*It is NOT photoshop.  I often want to add something "under" a photo or put down an image and then  realize that it should be "below" or on top of something else.. you can't change that.  You have to delete the element you want on top, place the "under" and then replace the "on top" of.... kind of weird you can't just move up or down.. but ok. 

*Every time you want to move something you have to tap and hold edit... tedious.  BUT I also find this to be a pro, you aren't going to "accidentally" delete or move anything!  And let me tell you with the children I have literally running around it is nice to have seen my 2 year old get my iPad when i was capturing the 1 year old and see that she didn't demolish all of my information! 

*It is new and it is a learning curve... so be patient.  


Have fun and enjoy... follow me on instagram for layouts and ideas @Planitup365


Stay tuned for part 3- recoloring elements using Keynote and adding stamps, yes your PHYSICAL stamps to your planners!  :) 



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Digital Planning: Part 1 - The basics

Let me start this story by saying I had seen something inspiring on FB which led me to an Instagram account which led me to another IG account which led me to a hashtag and on and on this goes somedays and when all of a sudden *BOOM* I saw this post by @flamingoplanner about a digital planner.  Surly not, this is silly, it looked JUST like an Erin Condren this could not be.... say what! 


Well the rabbit hole went on, all.  Night.  Long!  I was fascinated... I LOVE my planner, I kind of love buying all the supplies and funsies for it too (psssst, don't tell my probably reading this husband that last line!) Then life happens, I have to work, or I have to go somewhere, or good grief I want to watch Netflix and want to watch it on the big TV so tracking upstairs is just not desired....  or what if we go on a trip for the weekend?  In order to "plan" I have to bring:  stamps, ink, pens, washi tape, stamp blocks, my mini photo printer, photo paper, pencils to color in stamps, stamp cleaners... wait what, this is ridiculous, I didn't even grab the bulky planner or the satchel yet!  My husband is going to kill me for packing a second suitcase full of stamps!  


Ok, so enough rambling. 


Here's the basics you *need*  just like any endeavor it can be sort of costly to start.. but after that the savings on tangible supplies cease to happen meanwhile this continues to produce! 


This does work on iPhone, however, in my trials the screen is much smaller than an iPad, so clearly it makes things a little more difficult to decorate and doll up, but it is doable!  Especially if you use a stylus!  



*iPad (and stylus- I am using the Apple Pencil, it is AMAZING) 



  Goodnote or other PDF reading and editing app (for Android devices check here the     MetaMoJi app even states that Digital scrapbooking is an option in this app cool!) 

  Keynote: Optional and only necessary for some parts of the decorating and changing of    items process. 

 Dropbox: I followed the Dropbox instructions on the iPad and computer to link my accounts and make it a seamless transition to add things to and from computers / iPads! 



*the iPlanner this in my opinion was shockingly expensive, but when you think about the uses and longevity of the project, it boils down "not so bad."   I also think that she is the only one who currently creates these digital planners, so for now, there is no competition in price.  To get the planner (and maybe other goodies) you will need to purchase from:  Digitally Speaking.  The good news is that if you buy a planner now you get all of 2017 free!  So that was an added bonus for me! 


Getting started: 

1- Download the Goodnotes app. 

2- Sync your Dropbox (or start a Dropbox account) to store and move files. 

3-Update Keynotes on your iPad

4-Acquire your iPlanner. 


Once you acquire your iPlanner you will need to save it into Dropbox, and import it into Goodnotes. This is super easy.  Just click the "+" sign on the top left, select "import" and bring in your iPlanner from Dropbox.  




Now that you have your iPlanner I personally chose to save a back up to iCloud.  


A few things to note... if you start clicking away and nothing is happening you need to turn "off" the pencil tool, what you're doing is making tiny marks by drawing and not navigating.  



To navigate between pages and items all you do is tap + hold different aspects of your planner, the mini calendar will take you to the year over view, any tab will take you to the month, and then you swipe left or right to turn pages. 


There are tabs at the top that allow you to have personalized sections for notes, or addresses, or just doodling.  :) I will show you what I am using mine for in a later post ;) 


A few notes: 

1.  This is NOT my ingenious idea, I am NOT claiming to be the all knowing guru of these planners.  If you look around all of the info I am giving you can be found... but I am trying to save you the research and frustrations I felt going back and forth and searching.  And trying to eliminate the "trial and error" phase that technology so often provides. 


2. Sandy from Digitally Speaking has many videos you can watch... I personally don't have 56 minutes to watch her digitally create a week and not have my questions answered so I am attempting to alleviate that process for you.  They have good information, but I would rather create for that hour than watch her slowlllllyyy teach these items. 


3. ANY digital supplies that you have you can use... This is awesome.  Those super summer kits you bought!  BOOM planner ready.  Those cute digital planner stickers you planned on printing and cutting... no need to print and cut now, just crop and go!   The possibilities are endless!  


This post was quite silly and babbling, but I wanted to establish some info before we actually got started... see post #2 on how to get "pretty" 





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Coloring Medium Comparison

Recently I came across a feed in my Facebook for those Chameleon color changing markers, and though I have been fighting the urge for over a year I finally caved in.  Let me explain. 


When I was at CHA in January 2015, I was NOT into planners, stamping and coloring.  I was NOT into or had even ever tried a Copic marker.  I was a "stamp with black ink and call it good" kind of a card stamper. (yeah yeah... lazy I know) Since then that has all changed... so after many reviews and questions about products and "what do I REALLY need?"  I decided to put together this comparison for you.


**NOTE:  I am in no way affiliated or paid by or even given free product by any company I am discussing today, this is purely personal experience and sharing.  Also, I am NOT a professional colorer nor do I say my examples below are perfect! **


Ok so on to the nitty gritty!  I used three sets of markers:  Chameleon "magic color blending" markers, Copic sketch markers, and Bic markers.  These are ALL alcohol based markers that allow for shading and layering of colors.   I also compared using markers to colored pencils and even added a colored pencil "blending" technique using Mineral Spirits.


Here are all 5 images together:



First let's talk about the Chameleon markers:

Being as how I have some experience with Copics, and watched like 12 YouTube Videos it didn't take very long for me to dive in with these.  Actually to be honest this was my fourth colored item! HA  


This took only 4 markers to complete and about 4 minutes.  


Pros:  Once you get the hang of the blending and the times you need to hold the markers to blend, it really is quite simple.  I loved how for this small image I was able to quickly color and not have to think much more than "one Mississippi, two Mississippi...


These markers ARE refillable and never dry out.  They come with extra nibs, and instructions on how to to color, plus tips and tricks.  


Cons:  Some of the colors are quite "bright" for my taste, this is the only pink in the set and it is exactly as it is called "bubblegum".. and for a gal who like pink I am not a fan.  Although there are more colors coming out this month... the basic box of 22 leaves more to be desired.  


I am not in love with the blending process it is a little tedious but if you put on some Netflix and get to coloring it isn't even noticeable.  


You really can only color "one way" meaning it is back and forth strokes, if your color begins to change too soon, you have to quickly stop and reblend and start all over... this "glitch" fades after time and if you print the "blending charts" from their sites here


All in all I do like these pens and as long as you don't tell my husband I will more than likely buy the 30 additional colors when they release!  These are PERFECT for cards and planner images! 



Ahhh, Copics!  The beloved Copics! 


This is a learning process.. I have taken classes, I have watched videos, and I am still far from a "pro."  But I do LOOOOVVEEE these markers! 


This same image took me TWELVE markers to the 4 Chameleon ones, and about 7 minutes between capping recapping, checking the numbers to make sure I didn't color the dark in the light, and the chart to verify the colors I wanted etc.. it was / is a lot more work, but....


PROS:  There are 358 colors to choose from and they are beautiful!  These are also alcohol based markers so they will be bright and resistant to fade and mixed media mediums.  These are refillable markers, so once you buy it you have it for life.  They never dry out, and often times you can go to a LSS or post online and share refills. 


CONS:  They are expensive sometime ranging around $7.99 per marker, and even with a coupon not cheap or guaranteed to be in stock.   



They are a bit difficult to learn to blend with and if you don't have the coordinated colors the desired look may be difficult to achieve.  As you can see from my picture above, it took me 3 of most colors to get a blended look and you can see the gradient change because I am missing a color just above the threshold of the two softer ones I did have. 


Bic Markers

Also alcohol based. 


PROS: The cost is quite affordable and you can easily find these at literally any store.  From Sharpies at the dollar store to huge packs of 36 colors at Walmart for $14.98, these are easily obtained!  


CONS: They don't have quite the same qualities as the Copics with the many many color / shade variations. Making the blending a little chunky sometimes.  These are not refillable and often dry out, but easy to replace as singles at about 1.99 each. 


As you can see from my example, I used only the 36 pack of Bic (I could have added in several sharpies to fill the gaps but wanted to keep the example pure to the challenge)  and in that pack, the pinks and purples were just too far apart to smoothly blend.  But it is still the same technique and if you practice it enough you can achieve a beautifully colored image.  


Colored Pencils: 

I used Prismacolor pencils for this example... although I happen to use just about every brand from Crayola to Stadtler.  I just happened to choose this one because these carry a premier status and I just saw a set of 24 colors at Walmart for $14.95, which is a rockin deal! 


PROS:  NO BLEED, you can use these in planners, and on card without having them bleed through.  They are soft and sweet, and easy to use. I still used 10 pencils to achieve my look. 


CONS:  I really have no cons for pencils.  Pencils rock, you have to keep a moderately sharp point or the coloring can look sloppy and you will either miss the edges or go outside of the lines but other than that simple, no guess work.  Just flawless.  


I was introduced to the technique of using mineral spirits over your colored pencils to get a more "smooth" and even look and I love it.  I like how it takes the pencil lines and strokes out of the image and makes it look more similar to the marker look without having to use markers.   You can get this at any hardware store or on the bottom shelf of the paint supply section at the craft store.  


I hope that you have something to compare too when deciding what you want to use to color your images in.   If you have any questions please contact me or leave  comment below!  Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY COLORING!  

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Add those magical Videos to your LAYOUTS!

That's right you read that correctly... add videos to your layouts! We will be using QR codes which any smart phone or tablet has an app to read!  I have been doing this for years and I am so thrilled to share my quick and simple process with you! 

Let's start with a question that I get asked A LOT.. "How do I know that in 10 years the QR code will still work?"  Well a QR code is a series of dots that withhold information, specifically website information, much like a barcode in a store.  If you use the proper web info and keep the links to the video short they will never be "outdated" and at worst if in 20 years I am lying to you, you will still have your video on YouTube so you can just push a little button and the holographic version will play!  Imagine the princess Leia calling for help... I would be ok with that too! ;)

Ok so let's get started! 

Step 1:  Create a YouTube account, if you don't already have one. **Note: I am choosing YouTube because the links are often super short and i have the option to publish or make things private, the longer the link the more complicated the QR code is and the potential for misread later**  

Step 2: Upload your video to this account.  Here is the kicker... I choose to make my video "Private.. only those with the link can view"  this way my cute little baby dancing in her diaper to Doc McStuffins ins't cruising around the web or found under some random search.  This is KEY for me, may not be for you but this option keeps it hidden so only anyone logged in or scanning the QR code can view the video!  

**You can do all of this from your smartphone as well, just use the YouTube app, and then the QR stuff website.**

Step 3: Once your video is done loading copy the link and then head on over to and upload the link.  Once you are here you can even choose a color to match your layout...say what!  YES, it is true!  (You can see below that I changed mine to green!) 

Step 4: Open your QR code from your Downloads file on your computer, size, and print.  

Step 5: Add it to your layout or journal card! 


I hope that you find this helpful and add plenty of those cute clips to your pages!  For questions or help please comment below!  

~Happy Scrappin~  



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On the 10th Day of Christmas

... We bring a new gift to thee.....


Come on sing it with me now??   Who has carols pumping through the house and their tree up?  Now that we are in the spirit let's round the bend and get our cards done and out the door! 



I'm BACCCCKKKK!!! And today I bring a quick tutorial on how to add and change out drop shadows!  In this tutorial I am using CS6 version, in PSE you can follow along in most versions until I separate the shadow onto a new layer.  In older versions of PSE you cannot put the shadow on it's own layer but you can still change the color... and of course I will show you how! 



To get started open up the template for the card #10 given to you in the email. 


1) Choose a chunky or bold font to type out your title.  Here I used Cooper STD, which is free.


2) I typed each letter of "merry" on it's own layer, so that I could change the colors or add pattern as I desired without changing the whole word.


3) Use the tutorial on alignment and distribution from Dec 2nd (here if you missed it).


4) Now I used papers from the kit this card was made from because I like the texture added in.  But you can easily just change the color of the letters to suit your needs. 


5) Now that each letter is complete with pattern paper, you can merge it and make it into one word.


6) First you need to rasterize the type and then make them all one layer.  Select ALL the layers of the word you are working with.



7) Add a stroke to the word.  I used size of about 20 here. 

Layer --> Layer Style --> Stroke





8) Put the stroke on it's own layer by clicking the word "Stroke" on the layers panel and using the drop down menu that says "Create layer"


9) Once it is on its own layer you can manipulate the color and or add another pattern to it as well.


10) Finally I decided I needed a little more oomph to the word so I added a SECOND stroke to both the "merry" and the stroke outline... only at 7 this time and a green to make them pop.


11) Add in a small drop shadow and you have a beautiful title on your card. 


Note:  You can do this for more than just words.  I repeated this WHOLE process to add an exact matting around the rectangle in the template so I wouldn't have to guess size or alignment!  Give it a try!  Here is my finished card... Be sure to share yours with us!  ENJOY! 


It's not to late to share the fun with friends.. get them in on the 12 Days of Christmas cards and envelopes by signing up here


For this card I used the "Christmas Wishes" Digital kit that can be found in my shop at the "store" tab!  




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Day 2: 12 Days of Christmas 2014

Hello!   Today I am here with my Christmas card for sketch and template #2 on the route for the 12 days of Christmas Cards and Tutorials!   Here is the card I made using CS6 digitally with the template and then I printed it out both the card and envelope so they are ready to send off! 




In this tutorial I will show you how to use one of my favorite techniques to align your elements and perhaps photos and mats perfectly and quickly every time!   I will show you screen shots from PSE 10 since that seems to be the most common program ... enjoy!  


We are going to add stars to the circles in the template.  


1) So once you open the template and clip your pattern paper to the circles merge the layers for easier movement on the card. (Shortcut CMD + G for Mac  Alt + G for PC)



2) Now add the star and drag it over near the circle.  As you can probably tell it is pretty difficult to get it to line up perfectly and evenly inside that circle.  So here is the secret...


3) Select BOTH layers, the star and the circle embellishment.  Now for PSE go to the top where it says "Align" and select the option to "Align vertical centers" from the drop down menu.  Repeat and select the "Align horizontal centers" option to make sure it is centered completely inside the circle.





4) Add a little drop shadow to each of the two layers and it is perfect! 


*Quick tip:  You can do this as well if you have embellishments that need equal spacing.  By using the option right next to "Align" the "Distribute" function.  This is perfect if you are adding in buttons or something.  You can Align them so they are all even along the bottom or top, and then distribute them evenly along a certain space!   Great tools for making things even and spaced! 


For this I just duplicated one of the circles and made it three.


1) Choose the "Align" menu and align the bottoms of the circles because as you can see they are not even after I copied and moved it.


2) Select the distribute menu now and distribute centers:



EASY right?   I love this little trick for adding in buttons or sequins and having things spaced for me so I don't have to do all the zooming and guess work! 


For this card I used my brand new "Christmas Wishes" kit available in my store, head on over to the shop tab! 



Thanks for stopping by... if you have friends that want to join in on the fun be sure to have them sign up for the 12 Days here


So you have a Silhouette machine...WOOHOO!  Let me guess, unless you buy the item from the Silhouette store to cut out it doesn't get used much right? 


WRONG...!  I am going to help fix the fear factor in using your Silhouette!  I know I was there too...


"Wow there's a lot of buttons.. what do they do?"


 "How do I make these things that people are posting on their blog / pinterest?" 


"Change the settings... yeah, um, no thank you!" 


"Well I tried that and it didn't work... I'm just going to stick to quick simple cuts."


Sound familiar?  I have been there.. the trials and errors, the fails, the frustrations. It is all very daunting and makes you sometimes just not want to do it.  But think about when you first started scrapping.. "ooh what is a cropadile?  An eyelet... say what!?"  "line the punches up how to make a border?"  And yet we kept at it until we mastered it!  Now we are pros!  I am going to unlock the fun of the Silhouette and you will love it!  Ready?  Here we go!


Today we are going to tackle the elusive "Print and Cut" - primarily with sticker paper as now SIU 365 offers monthly planner stickers all set up for you to use with your Silhouette! 


1-First you are going to take the PNG file of your stickers and open them in your Silhouette software.


2-Open the registration marks menu and turn them to "ON" once you see the hatch marks and registration marks, align your file to fit within this and the red cut line boundaries.




3- Print page on sticker paper WITH registration marks.


4-Open the Trace menu, click "Select trace area" and draw a box around all of the images on your screen.  *BE SURE NOT to move the elements on the page at this point.  They are already calibrated and printed, you will have to reprint the sheet!**



5- UNCHECK the "High pass filter" box, and then change the threshold (I go all the way to 100) and scale upwards (around 30-50) until all of the items are "yellow" in color. Once it is all SOLID as shown below, click "Trace outer edge"

This process is a little bit tedious because you have to toggle the bars until it has a "smoothish" edge. don't worry it looks awful in yellow, it will be a smooth line when you hit "trace"




Once you hit "trace outer edge" you will see red lines around your images.  These are the cut lines! 


6- Change the settings under the cut menu as follows:

-White sticker paper (at the bottom of materials)

-Blade 3

-speed 4

-Thickness 18

**Be sure to change the blade depth on the blade itself!**




7- I would suggest doing a "test" cut to see if it cuts through the paper only, if not, decrease your blade depth and thickness setting.


8- Send to your Silhouette.  If it says "registration mark detection failed.  You simply have your printed material too low on the mat.  Remove it and place it a little higher and try again.


Once you are done... score and fold in half, punch your holes and add to your binder! 


For questions or help.. please let me know!  Enjoy!  <3 data-blogger-escaped-p="">

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Week in the Life: Sunday

Phew I did it.. all 7 days.  In hindsight I think "not bad for my first year" I know next year what to do differently.  What different pics I missed out on this time that I want to remember for next time.. but all in all I am very pleased.  I think I captured the essentials of what our life currently looks like... or close to it. I got the words down and the pics taken.  So for me, that's a win. 


Today's pics and words:  


Started like most this week. A few mid morning feedings, as usual baby cakes was in bed with me.  I woke up with Kelsey's cold or whatever was bothering her in full throttle. Bummer.  It was also a sadder awakening than most at 745am today because I was alone in bed.  Not because John wasn't home but the "space,"  ... the space I needed to get sleep and recoup from our differences.  I woke up a little burned still but told myself we made good headway in our text chat and he was giving me time which is what I asked for.  I woke up to a half empty bed.. it was sad.  I don't want to do that again.  Let's fix this.  



I went to the nursery and told myself today I will capture the things I want to remember in a year, a decade, when my children have children.  First up the smiles and excitement that Kelsey has when she wakes up... it is lifting.  No matter what you feel like (and note today I feel awful in so many ways) she lights you up.  As usual here she is handing me all of her buddies.




 I cracked up because I put Allie on the chair while I changed kelsey as I looked over she was just hanging out.. too tiny to be what she was but content enough to sit a minute. 



 I wanted to remember the hugs kelsey gives after she is all changed and ready for the day. 



I wanted to remember how much I LOVE the sound of those little feet kicking 100 MPH and how that diaper crinkles and sounds when she is going crazy.  Look she kicked so much her sock fell off! 



 I wanted to remember this face when she is figuring things out.  or this face when I tell her for the umpteen millionth time to "SIT DOWN." 



 I wanted to remember that I don't get many sick days but today I am taking advantage of both John having a day off and his trying to make up to me the last 36 hours of chaos, so I spent almost the whole day in bed.  I got up twice for about a half hour.. but it was a lot of rest today.  


and this... I spend HOURS feeding this child.  It seems endless, I both look forward to moving to the next stage and try to be grateful that this part of motherhood comes easy to me, that not many can pull of non stop nursing and pumping.  I am a lucky one. 



 I want to remember how "girlie" Kelsey is how she loves to copy mama, and how sweet taryn is to put up with it. She is NOT girlie.  I want to remember how rarely Taryn asks me to do her hair.. it's always ponytails for my little tom boy... and how dirty my mirror is.  Once again, thank you kelsey for all your little prints and kisses to yourself!  


 I want to remember that sometimes even when you feel like crap you need to get up and go... go back to school clothes shopping.  Sometimes Newton's law "what stays at rest will stay at rest unless you put it in motion" applies... I felt better after I got up, I mean it was 315pm after all! 



 I want to remember that my 8 year old son made me turn around and face the corner when he tried on his jeans... 


 ..and how as soon as he gave me back my phone I snuck a pic anyways.  One day he will kill me when he finds out this is on the interweb.  For now it's our secret.. haha! 



 I want to remember he is ALL BOY and that when he was done, that dope actually put his pants on inside out and wandered Target with me for about 20 minutes before I noticed.  I wish I could say this was the first time this has happened. 



I want to remember that I was in charge of laundry and John does the dishes. 




 615pm I want to remember that in this day where the kids fight over computer time and iPod time and anything with a screen we do our best to have family dinners.  No TV, no Phones, just us. 




 I want to remember that Kelsey is growing so fast, she just got a "big girl" chair today.. one she cannot stand in!  (or hasn't figured that out yet)  




 I want to remember today as Alyssa's FIRST solid meal, rice cereal.. i think she likes it!  



 705pm I want to remember that Kelsey is suffering from terrible gestro problems and cries every time she has to potty... it's awful and helpless.  But tonight Daddy made it better with a standing bedtime story. 




820pm I want to remember that Cayden is so creative. He spent all day drawing robots. 




 I want to remember that moment I recreated a picture my dad has where he balanced me as a baby on his hand and how awesome it felt.. ps.  she LOVED it! (so did the big kids) 




I want to remember that ONE time my job had me working from home.. haha. And that I got three 100% on my tests, and how John asked me the answer to a question and I was wrong and he got 290% double ha! 




I want to remember that ^^^ is my job and this is my passion.. this makes me happy! 





I want to remember that I LOVE my evening treat.. and I love my routine.  



 And finally I wanted to remember that less than 24 hours later everything is fine again.  Hubby and I ended the night with a brand new series... *squeal* I love ZOMBIES and even had a few kisses while we sat in the dark wondering what was going to happen next.. who was going to turn first and if we were going to keep watching.  The answer... YES!  ;) 



I want to remember this week, the right now, the who is who and what is what.  I want to remember how much we all love each other and how silly we are.  I think I did a pretty good job.... and now I sleep with a non empty half of the bed and have scrappy dreams about putting my album together.  The words and pictures are here and that is the most important.  


1120pm.  I am off to bed.  Thank you and goodnight! 


%AM, %23 %265 %2015 %05:%Aug

Week in the Life: Saturday

I woke up at 243am and wander to the bed.  I sneak into the bed careful not to wake a quietly sleeping baby!  As I slither under the covers I look over and ask myself "when did I become a co sleeping parent?"  NONE of my other babes were given this status of being able to sleep in the bed with me time after time, or nursing to sleep.  I am sure I am setting myself up for trouble but she can't sleep in the nursery with Kelsey because Kelsey refuses to sleep and instead goes bonkers and jump up and down like a monkey in her crib until she wakes up "bay-bee."  Hmm... 


I love this baby pose, reminds me of a froggy.  Her legs all silly like that!  oh my heart.... I will cuddle you till you are 18 if you can sleep so cute baby girl! 


Well I make it into bed and decide to peruse the interweb (see like I said family joke) and realize I haven't done anything for my WITL and while I look at other people's blogs via Ali Edwards' blog I start to feel like a "failure" because I am comparing my pics and stories to theirs... and then at about 315am I realize what I am doing.  and STOP... reset and think of how great their stories are and how mine is JUST as good... deep breath, and set up a plan...!  Oh but all the pictures I missed... guess what, it's ok.  I don't need every second I just want a view of the week.  There is always next year!  


Now it's 327am.. no sign of sleep.  436am.. law and order is on.. ooh i like this show... still on interweb, taking notes on my phone... and wondering when I will sleep again my window is getting small to get quality sleep.. they will all be awake soon.. and he  is not home to help!  
























Finally about 515am, back to sleep... then it happens 745am.. this looks promising right?  Look at that happy face! (kidding!) 

 Right after this she is begging for "buh-buh" again.. I decide to start the day off like yesterday. Hoist her up into his bunk and let her get some hugs and kisses... he was a good sport yesterday on no sleep today will be awesome.. and hey maybe I will get that pic I missed!  Oh but wait only minutes later a tired boy hides under his blanket... hmm this isn't going well... I suggest he gives a quick hug and we will retreat and let him sleep. Then it happens... both kids collide and are in tears!  Kelsey smashed her face and is in pain, Cayden feels at fault, and I burst into tears, after the disaster that was yesterday today CAN NOT start like this!!! I reassure Cayden it was my fault and console both children only to quickly retreat into my room to cry myself.  I HATE THIS!!! 



I pull myself together, to find Taryn reading (yay) and snippet whining to go out.. If I repeat "Snippet needs to go outside to pee as soon as you guys wake up or she will pee in the house." One more time.. I am gonna make her sit in their rooms till she pees in there and not in MY scrappy space.. again!  



I try to break the rhythm.. I am the decider of how today goes, not the events... I cannot let today be like yesterday.. I can choose.  Quickly I snap.. i tell john not to text me all day.   I don't have the strength to play nice with him while he is happily tossing frisbees and drinking beer and we are all on edge and crying... no not today.  


And then some days it's a frozen "raffle" and foot in your bowl while watching cartoons for breakfast kind of day... #keepthepeace #choosemybattles #pleaseeatsomethingtoday

 After a LONG nap period.. thank heavens.  We head out to make good on my promise to the big littles.  We will finally get chocolate chips for the belated welcome home meal for Cayden.  While we are out since dad is gone the big decision is which sugary no good cereal can the kids get... guess what you can have both.  Mom is the best...!!!  HA! 

 We did get SOME good food.. ;) 

315pm  Off to subway promise #2, no meltdowns in like 18 minutes... we might make it.  Although let me add "Kelsey please sit down" to my list of repeat sayings for the day.. we managed about 1,604 during this 22 minute subway trip.  


Oh look Taryn is still reading.. AWESOME!  



512pm Trying to get back into routine.. bath time right on schedule 515.  As a busy mother who is often juggling the household alone due to work schedules I find it so much easier to multitask simple things... i.e. showers and bathing babes.  



 Although the aftermath is a little difficult when she is still not 100% but hey if I gotta dress her backwards I will.... I flipped her more than a buttermilk pancake to get those pajamas on but we finally got them on!  


Hallelujah ... she is FINALLY eating.  



 6pm.. yeah she is ready for bed.  NOT!  



745pm a late bringer from a late lunch.. welcome home buddy we missed you!  Chocolate chip pancakes, eggs with cheese, cinnamon rolls, and a treat strawberries with whipped cream! YUMMY 



Remember who was NOT sleepy at all, well I found a soft spot in my Grinchy little heart and let her join us for brinner of course she is back to not eating but she was full of giggles and smiles, finally. 


Those two are peas in a pod I tell ya!  

848pm.. kelsey in bed for the final time.  Kids get to finish their umpteenth YouTube video about Minecraft.  


1015pm all kids are in bed. I finish my post by 1020pm, retreat to the bedroom to hide out.  John is due home any minute and I picked one heck of a fight today while he was 6 hours away.  It's not a good decision of mine I am sure but the balance in the force is off, and the only way I know how to fix it is to throw some ugly punches.  I know I am hurt and sad and he doesn't see that.  It's a guy thing I think.  Maybe I am wrong, maybe he is wrong...  it's a marriage.  Two sides to every story.  I don't want to deal with it tonight, we can figure it out tomorrow after a good night sleep!  


%AM, %23 %231 %2015 %04:%Aug

Week in the Life: Friday

Snuck in a quick hug at 350am when the boy finally came home after a long, long summer away.  I am so happy to wake up and have the whole family together again.  My heart can resume it's normal rhythm. 


Shipped Kelsey up to get a morning hug, she was sooo happy to see "buh-buh" and he happily awoke after only 6 hours of sleep to see her and everyone else.  Everyone slept in late... even kelsey.  She isn't feeling 100% so it was nice to sleep without interruption until now!  


I decided to run out and grab chocolate chips last minute to make a welcome home breakfast... I realized when I got to CVS that I was in my PJs still and hadn't even checked if my eye makeup was running down my face, but the hurry was to make sure John wasn't late for his "dude weekend" he's been looking forward to it for weeks. 



Both babes were screaming and crying BEFORE John even left.. this was going to be awful I could feel the storm brewing in.  Almost as soon as he left at 930am, it was immediately nap time.  No hesitation Kelsey went down and Alyssa and I fell asleep on the couch.. for HOURS!  We all needed it. 


248pm Kelsey has has almost no appetite all week.. I am now puzzled if this is the whole "phase" thing where they say no to everything but cookies or if this is her not feeling well.  She did sleep for nearly ever so I am voting "not feeling well"... at least Lambie now has a seat at the table and he is eating her granola bar.  That will be easy to clean up later! 



Today was a day FULL of naps and resting and lots of TV... intertwined with a lot of whining and crying and older kids boredom. 






I felt awful too added in exhausted, weird to feel exhausted when we all sat around all day but no one is feeling up to par this day so it makes sense.  Headaches and constantly trying to calm one or the other of the babes is just tiring.  Oh and if I get puked on ONE. MORE. TIME... right?  


After many many hours of computer time for the big littles,  I announce that we need a timer system because the girl has hogged it from the boy and that wasn't fair.  Insert eye roll from said tween, and my shoulder shrug.. ok two can play this game.  Computer off!  #momforthewin 


I decide tonight I am NOT cooking anything it's one of our famous "red box" nights.. aka TV dinners the kids can prep by themselves. 




 Trying to get the kids back into routine.. I quickly announce "Bed TIME" at like 850pm... I put a fussy baby down as well.  Within seconds of me sitting down I hear taryn crying.  I sit here for a good 7 minutes before I dig deep to muster up any form of strength and motherhood courage to walk into her room knowing exactly what is coming.  I cannot imagine her pain and hurt from her "father" basically writing her off, but honestly he is a loser who hasn't been anything remotely resembling a father in oh... a long long time.  I don't want to "bash" the guy but I don't have the strength to deal with it... I suck it up and go for it.  25 minutes later I am out, tearful hugs and many promising words.  That girl is awesome, how could he break her like that!  I am furious.  But before I can head to examine those thoughts what is that noise...?!!  Oh, a baby crying, again you say?  YES, of course.  It's a baby crying.. today rocks   sucks!!  

 This is one minute... and then the next... for like 2 more hours!!  

 Finally 11pm she sleeps... I put her in my bed, along with the laundry and box of gifts from phoenix last week, and go to watch some more mindless TV... because why?  I can't think about anything anymore... I am clocking out.  goodnight. 




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