Sleep, Precious Sleep

My next post will be about products that I have LOVED having while living in our camper. But this one is going to be about sleep….again.
That’s our biggest issue with living in the camper.

M & C would both beg for me to lay with each of them, which isn’t possible for one mom to be in 2 different beds, plus – there was NO WAY I was going to try to get in that top bunk again!

C got the a point where he would fall asleep on the sofa and then I’d put him in his bed. Then after about a week of that M wouldn’t fall asleep in the bunk house either. So I was letting them fall asleep in the living area and then moving them to their beds. That worked for a little bit. Then they started to whine and cry when I’d pick them up to move them. In an effort to let the baby sleep I just let them stay where they were. Right now R has the whole bunk house to himself and the 2 big boys are sharing the table bed.

Plus I have to sit with them while they go to sleep. There have been a few nights where I actually fell asleep waiting for them to fall asleep… At least that means I got a little extra shut eye, right? On top of the above sleep situation, one or two of the big boys end up in MY bed nightly. It’s always C and sometimes M too. C doesn’t just get in the bed anymore, he wiggles and it feels like he is trying to become one person with me. He presses up against me so hard that I end up having to tell him to move over. Half of the time J is in such a deep sleep he doesn’t even realize a little one has climbed in our bed.

I’ve sleep trained each of my children when they were babies… but I’m going to have to figure out how to sleep train M & C in their own rooms once we are in the house (pray for me when that time comes). Speaking of the house – we should be moving in about 2 months!

xoxo Amanda Jo

Little Space for 3 Little Ones to Sleep

Camper living really isn’t horrible until bed time… that’s the hardest part. 4.5 year old, 2.5 yr old, & 9 month old all sharing a room. M is on the bottom bunk at his request, C is on the top bunk, and R is in a pack n play.

Since M is on the bottom, I usually sit or lay on his bed while everyone goes to sleep. C has been asking for me to lay with him. One night last week C begged enough and in an effort to be fair I told him I would lay with him for a little bit. Yall the ladder is made for kids, not adults (especially plus sized adults)! I got up there ok, it was the getting down that I thought I was going to face plant.

Finally I got all the kids laying down. C wanted me to cover him, then he didn’t want that blanket and tossed it out of his bed. So I covered him with his other blanket. In the mean time, M grabbed the big blanket that C had tossed. It wasn’t even 5 minutes later that C decided he DID want the big blanket. So we had to negotiate so they would both stop having fits. And of course R keeps waking up through all of this. Just when I think they are all falling asleep, M has to pee and that wakes up R AGAIN! I think it was close to 10pm before they were all sleeping!

After that night it took some tough love from my husband for me to stop staying in there when they are going to sleep. It has now been about a week. C is having a hard time, but he will fall asleep on the sofa and then I can put him in his bed. M gets up for ALL the reasons, he needs to potty, he needs to potty again, he needs a qtip, he need a hug, anything he can come up with.

No matter where they fall asleep, one or two of them end up in the bed with me (usually after J leaves for work or he’s on nights). I’m so ready for everyone to have their own spaces again. Maybe then they will go to sleep and stay asleep!

xoxo Amanda Jo

SOLD!!!

I hadn’t said anything about having another contract on our house because I didn’t want to jinx it. I’ve been holding my breath since we went on vacation the last week of July!

We accepted an offer, then came inspections, then the appraisal, now here we are and we have SOLD our very first home.

We spent 3.5 years there. We brought two babies home there. We celebrated birthdays and holidays together there. We need more room, but it is putting our first home behind us.

Sitting here I’m thinking of: The times I fussed M & C for going up the stairs to the 2nd floor of the shed The skinned knees from running on the cement Telling M & C to put the rocks back where they belong When M had a gash on the back of his head falling and hitting it on the steps to the shed The call that C’s blood work wasn’t right and we needed to go to the ER for further testing I’ve nursed and rocked 2 of my newborn babies all night long in that living room We have played cards with friends in the dining room and on the patio Hosted plenty of seafood boils and BBQ’s The laughter that would fill the entire house when J would lift the boys high or when they were running around like crazy The sound of our children, Godchildren, nieces, and nephews playing and making so many memories together Sitting on the swing with our babies or watching them play

I hope the new owner makes plenty of memories just like we did!

So many memories flood my mind and to be honest, my eyes have been watering. While the part where we lived in our first house if over, I am excited for the adventures that are waiting for us in our new home!

Our last photo at our first home

xoxo Amanda Jo

School for M

M had his first day of Pre-K 4 two weeks ago. We woke up and went through our morning routine. We went out and took a few photos while waiting for the bus. The bus pulled up and the driver asked ‘which school?’. We told her and she nodded. When he got on the bus I took one last picture and he went to find a seat.

Look how handsome he is!
He was so proud to be going to school!

The bus did not have a dinosaur and was not the number we had been told, after they pulled off I started to panic that he had gotten on the wrong bus. I made J call to confirm. Then my head went spinning because what if someone was pretending to be a bus driver for the school and was really kid napping the little ones?!

It’s a good thing we had a busy day of packing planned – that occupied my mind for the most part. I still found myself with watering eyes a few times. At one point J & C were outside and R was napping. I paused from packing, leaned on the counter and cried. J happened to come in and see me. He asked what was wrong. My response, ‘What if he gets cold and isn’t comfortable asking his teacher for his jacket out of his bag’. As silly of a thing as that may seem, I was so WORRIED about my baby being cold at school (he’s cold natured and asked to keep his jacket in his bag just in case).

Just before 4pm the bus arrived to drop him off. The driver asked us his name and we told her. She began calling for him to get off the bus. She continued and when he wasn’t moving fast enough she roughly said ‘come on, you’re holding me up’. He is FOUR years old, it was his FIRST day of school! He has only been on a bus one other time and that was over a year ago on a daycare field trip with multiple adults to guide the children. How was he supposed know exactly what to do when he had never done it before? I was less than pleased with the bus experience. He made it to school and back safely, that’s the important part. (It has improved since then!)

At first he didn’t tell us much, but before bed he got to talking a little. He ate breakfast at school. He didn’t take a nap, but did lay down. There is a girl in his class that he knows from when he was in daycare. And he didn’t want it to be the weekend because he wanted to go back the next day!

I pray that he keeps his love for school! We will see how he feels about school in a few more weeks.

xoxo Amanda Jo

Raising Good People

As parents, part of our job is to raise our children to become good people. I know that I am always worried about how good of a job I am doing.

M & C throw tantrums, they whine, they fight with one another, they yell & cry when they don’t get their way. This all happens when they are with us. So I assume they do these things when we aren’t around too. This stresses me out so much. Even though daycare teachers, aunts & uncles have told me that they give no issues when they are with them, I still worry that they will do these things to others.

While camping at Indian Creek in Woodworth, La we allowed M to ride his bike around our loop of the camp ground. On the Saturday evening while we were making smores an older couple was walking their dog and they saw M’s bike at our campsite and they stopped. The lady said ‘that’s the bike he was riding’, I walked over to them and she said ‘I wanted to tell you that the boy who was riding that bike is so polite’. I told them thank you and they continued their walk. I beamed with pride and I’m tearing up writing this.

Now just last week at the sitter I was told that they can definitely tell that C has discipline! I almost had to physically pick my jaw up! C is is MASTER of ignoring and totally does his own thing. For someone to tell me that they can tell we discipline him! I was shocked and so proud of him for behaving for others!

Even when we feel as though our efforts are wasted, keep going, keep pushing through all the tantrums and fights, keep teaching your children to be good people. Eventually you will see that your efforts are not unnoticed.

xoxo Amanda Jo

Busy Busy Busy

Phew! I’ve been wanting to write, but life has been HECTIC and there just aren’t enough hours in a day. Here is a quick update, detailed posts to follow (hopefully in the next week).

We have a contract on our house! Please pray, cross your fingers, and send closing juju to us that it all goes through. We have spent lots of our time packing and moving things to the storage unit. We are pooped!

Last Sunday, all the boys went to bed like normal, but around 10pm R woke up and didn’t go back to sleep until after 2am. Monday night was the same story. Tuesday morning J brought him to the pediatrician and he was diagnosed with an ear infection. The horrible sleep lasted all week. Thursday night he was up until almost 5am! Last night I started sleep training him, hopefully that helps soon!

Friday M had his first day of PreK-4! He was so excited and was sad that it was only for one day that week. Next week he will go Tuesday-Friday, I hope he keep liking it.

Last Monday C started with a sitter. The first day he didn’t appear to be sad that I left. By Thursday he didn’t want me to leave him but the sitter said he eased up after only a few minutes.

We went on vacation a few weeks ago too. We went to 2 camp grounds and got to spend some time with my little sister in law (she’s amazing)! We had a great time and I can’t wait to tell you about it!

Stay tuned to for details! You can subscribe if you’d like to get an email when I make a new post!

xoxo Amanda Jo

Baby. Breastfeeding. Bottles.

Last week our littlest turned 7 months. 7 months has never gone faster. I swear that time goes faster with each child! This is my first baby that has had mostly breast milk for this long and that feels pretty good. He has only had formula twice when I felt like I just couldn’t keep up with his appetite.

While breast feeding has been the easiest with him of our 3 children, it didn’t come without struggle and we had to supplement with pumped milk for the first few weeks. I’d nurse him on one side and use a silicone pump (like this https://amzn.to/2jJjfSw ) on the opposite side and then have a bottle ready to transfer it to for supplementing.

At this point I’m just not responding to the pump as much as I did when I first went back to work. I’ve tried power pumping, tried using heat, massage while pumping, changed all my pump parts, drinking 100oz of water a day, drinking body armor. I don’t know what else to try.

I have a few bags of milk in the freezer and I pump about 5oz in 2 pump sessions when I’m at work, which is only one of the bottles he drinks while I’m away. We love Playtex Ventaire bottles, you can get them here https://amzn.to/2SeKm4s . We might get through this week without supplementing with formula, but supplementing with formula is coming soon. I’m trying to be alright with that, formula is a wonderful thing that keeps babies fed ♡. My goal was only breast milk until 1 year, I’m trying to be gentle on myself and telling myself that I have done the best I can. I hope to nurse him when we are together, just like I do now until he is a year old.

Tell me, did/do you breast feed, combination feed, formula feed?

xoxo Amanda Jo

Tropical Storm/Hurricane Barry

J was scheduled to work this weekend. Then tropical storm/hurricane Barry decided to come. His job told him to pack enough for the weekend, he will be at work until Monday. We are missing him like crazy and the kids don’t understand any of it. We are ALL stressed.

Camper living and tropical systems don’t go too well together, so last night all 3 kids and I slept in my old bedroom at my mom & dads ♡ M mentioned that it was the best sleepover ever! We are spending one more night in the house since the weather could get rough tonight too. Better to be safe than sorry!

Today M & C played with a cousin for HOURS outside in the mud! R even got a little muddy (from a kiss from M). They played so hard that at 5:30 this evening M was asking if he could go to bed. 

I got so many hurricane snacks at the store, we haven’t NEEDED them, but they sure are yummy!

What is your favorite hurricane snack? Who did you hunker down with?

xoxo Amanda Jo

Rain Rain Go Away

Today started off very WET! We needed rain, just not this much at one time.

I am so thankful for my mom every day, but today she was a hero for me!

Rain was pouring down! There was no way I’d get the kids to their house without them getting drenched. I didn’t call her for help, just to make sure she was awake. Next thing I know she is at the camper door with a rain coat and umbrella. She took the kids one at a time to the house while I finished getting ready for work. Then she brought me her shrimp boots so my feet wouldn’t get soaked!

In the 15 minutes it took me to finish getting ready, the rain stopped and I was able to quickly get to the house and tell the kids bye (multiple hugs and tight tights required from the big boys). In the 7 minute drive to work the sky opened again. Thankful for my inverted umbrella for keeping me dry from my vehicle to the door at work!

You can get one here https://amzn.to/2LSucwq

Anyone else worried about the tropical weather coming this weekend? My biggest concern is the river levels that are predicted to be at an all time high at the Carrollton Gauge. With the river having been so high for so long the increased level of the river has me more worried about it than normal.

So tell me: How did you make it through the rain this morning? Are you concerned about the tropical weather/river level?

xoxo Amanda Jo

Extended Holiday Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! We spent most of the day doing a few fire works, grilling, and swimming. We had a good day until GPaw passed out and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Turned out that he had pneumonia and was dehydrated. He came home on Sunday ♡ The grown ups were all pretty scared. M & C were brave and held Gpaws hands and helped show the medics where he was.

J was off this weekend from his regular job, but Friday and Sunday he spent some time working around the house and doing his side hustle (inflatable rentals). You can follow our inflatable business page here https://www.facebook.com/JohnsJumpersLLC

Saturday was a family day. We spent some quality time together, we needed it with the way he has been working and the chaos of getting the house ready and us moving into the camper. We went to check out the alligators at the diversion first.

Then to Sam’s Club for a new TV for the camper, diapers, paper plates & bowls, dog food, and a few other things. We also had lunch at Sam’s. What do you like to get from Sam’s Club? After shopping we stopped at the new Sweet Rolls location in Destrehan, it was delicious and the kids loved watching them make it!

Then it was back to the diversion to feed the alligators some bread and pizza crust. M & C loved tossing food to the gators! We counted around 50!

Finally we made it back home (to the camper) and after dinner we went for a swim. I think we all needed that quality time together!

Quick house update: The contract we had on our house got cancelled, but it’s now on the market! Fingers crossed we get another offer soon! You can see the listing here https://www.gardnerrealtors.com/property/385341022/452-BARBER-Road-Paradis-LA-70080

Tell me, how was your holiday weekend?

Xoxo Amanda Jo