December 19, 2012

Smiles are hard to come by...



We've officially reached the "I will make every face possible but will not smile at the camera" phase with Kate.

Photo sessions go something like this these days:

Me: Kate - smile for momma! Show me your pretty dimple!

Kate: Yike dis?

Me: No Tay! Show me your pretty smile!

Kate: Sure momma! Hur go! Hur mile!

Me: No Kate - not a silly face! A smile!

Kate: {laughs hysterically} TayTay so silly! Yook!

Kate: {laughs some more} I pincens (princess) now!

Me: Oh Tay! You make the most beautiful Princess ever!

Kate: I know! {Smiles a big, huge, real smile}
(side note: we are working on being humble)


My goodness smiles are hard to caputure these days!

But all of those faces before the smile? They are so Kate and I am so glad I have documented her true spirit!

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December 18, 2012

P&G eStore Stocking Stuffers!



Stockings are a big deal in my family. At some point during my early teen years, my mom decided she was tired of buying stocking stuffers for everyone and implemented a new stocking stuffer system!

Every Thanksgiving day we would draw names and were responsible for stuffing a family members stocking. We set a $25 limit but hardly anyone every actually stuck to that. After the first year, we quickly learned that my Dad was the best stocking stuffer EVER. His stockings were easily worth $75! We all waited rather impatiently to see whose name Dad pulled after Thanksgiving dinner.

If it was your name? You were the lucky one. You were guaranteed an AMAZING stocking come December 25th!

As my kids get older, and truly understand Christmas traditions, I hope I can implement this tradition in my house as well! I'm certain Alex, like my Dad, would give the best stocking. I think it is just that mans mentality - buy whatever and completely disregard the set budget!

I am a major planner. In all areas of my life but Christmas shopping. I guess I thrive off of last minute gift purchases? Either way, more often than not, the recipient of the stocking I threw together stuffed received a random mish mash of whatever Target still had on December 23.

I am an on-line shopper. If I can order it, have it wrapped, and shipped to your house? I will have an awesome gift to you on time! However, if I have to go to the store and buy random stocking stuffers? I will procrastinate. I will think up every last thing that would be PERFECT. But I will end up missing out because I waited to long to start buying!

Thankfully, P&G has a great solution for people like me - and really, anyone who wants to make stuffing a stocking so much easier!

Have you heard about the P&G eStore? Well, I'm here to tell you all about it!

The P&G eStore has been created by shoppers, for shoppers to be a premiere online retail site. The eStore strives to provide confidence in purchasing household and beauty products on-line and includes brands such as Olay, CoverGirl, Tide, and many more!  There are so many amazing deals right now for products that would make amazing stocking stuffers!

The best part?

Free Shipping for all purchases over $25!
15% off your first purchase!
(use promo code: A9Z-MN5-KY3-ISA)
Free Samples with every purchase!

One of my favorite products available in the P&G eStore?

CoverGirl LashBlast 24HR Mascara























 
 
This mascara is AMAZING! I am so picky about my mascara but this stuff? Plumps, thickens, and lengthens my lashes beautifully! There are also a few CoverGirl special offers (while supplies last) right now:
FREE CoverGirl Cat Eye Look w/$69 purchase. Includes:
Promo Code: CATEYE22
 
2 FREE 24HR LashBlast Mascara w/$25 purchase.
Promo Code: LASHBLAST8

Also? There are several wonderful options for the men in your life! Be sure to check out the Braun and Gillette products and promotions and start stuffing those stockings for the men in your life!

Does your family have any gift traditions? Who stuffs your stockings? I'm always so interested to hear how everyone else does it!


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December 17, 2012

Christmas Card Carousel - 2012


I'm linking up with Faith for her fifth annual Christmas Card Carousel! I'm sure most of y'all know how much I love paper products. I adore stationery, announcements, hand written notes, etc.

My love for paper product means I adore Christmas cards! I love designing our card, addressing them for all of our friends and family, and most importantly, I LOVE receiving cards and admiring beautiful designs, growing families, and my friends' beautiful children!

We had family pictures taken with Allison of Lentille Photography in November and I just adore all of the images she captured! I had so many wonderful options for our card this year!

I went pretty basic and love it! I love that the pictures of Kate and Will are the main focus! I saved this from the preview image Pear Tree Greetings had and I have to say that the cards printed out much better than this image appears! Everything is much more crisp, and not blurry at all, in the actual card!


I can't wait to look at all of the cards linked over on Faith's blog!
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December 12, 2012

2012 BlogHer Gift Guides

I am a HUGE fan of gift guides - whether it be toys for a specific age group, wonderful charities, fun new gadgets, or gifts for your social media loving best friend! I just love learning about new products and charities and this time of year lends itself to sharing wonderful ideas!

BlogHer is currently running and editorial series of holiday gift guides and I had so much fun reading through all of them!

I'm sure it's no secret that I love social media. I love the relationships I have made through blogging and twitter! Most SAHMs can agree that twitter is a sanity saver on those days when you don't leave the house and need just a few minutes of adult interaction during nap time! Having a community of moms at my finger tips, day or night, is such a wonderful blessing! I had so much fun looking at the Social Media Lover gift guide! While the twitter handle necklace might be a bit "out there" for me and my style, I LOVE the hash tag earrings! Such a fun, subtle touch to pay tribute to social media!

I also loved the Charitable Gifts Guide! I'm not sure how I didn't know about Women to Women International but I cannot stop reading about this charity and all of the amazing things they are doing to help rebuild the lives of women in eight countries where war and conflict has devastated lives. Women are sponsored for enrollment in a one year training program that helps teach job skills and business training so these women can go out and making a living! What a wonderful thing! This would be a wonderful tradition for a family to start during holidays - sponsor a woman who has literally lived through hell so she can become successful and provide for herself (and family if she has one)!

Y'all go check out the gift guides - I'm confident you will find several things you will want to give or add to your own list this year!

This post is part of BlogHer's Holiday Gift Guides editorial series, sponsored by Open Roads Media.



December 7, 2012

Sickies...Again...

Our house has gone from this:

To this:

In less than 14 hours.

Both kids had fever this morning. Kate's was much higher than Will's (102 verses his 100.9) but unfortunately both were diagnosed with strep throat this morning. They are pitiful. I literally have not seen Kate this puny since she was receiving chemo. Breaks my momma heart so very much.

I'm also having a really hard time dealing with our new normal/ fever guidelines for Kate. Kate is considered a normal 2 year old right now. We are so thankful, and so blessed, to be at this point. But I have lived my entire motherhood journey with fever being a big enemy. I've been told that any temperature over 100.4 means an automatic visit to the Texas Children's ER since Kate was 6 weeks old. That's over two years of intense fever watch.

And now? All of her doctors have informed me that as long as her temperature doesn't get over 104, we are good to stay home. That we should expect her to have a high temp for 48-72 hours due to the strep.

That it is normal.

She is normal.

What a miracle.

While I'm adjusting my mindset for Kate, I am still living under fever guidelines for Will. Such a strange place to be - letting go and yet still holding on.

While Will's fever should warrant a trip to the ER, Houston is currently experiencing a major flu outbreak and his doctors have decided that he is safest at home until his fever gets over 101.5. We just can't chance him getting the flu from other kids at the hospital.

Please keep these sweet babies in your prayers - I am terrified that Kate's new immune system won't be able to fight off her first big illness post transplant. I'm also terrified that Will's platelets (which are already dropping fast) will drop even faster due to illness.

To sum it up - I'm worried for my babies! I worry for them daily - but it takes a lot for me to vocalize my fear. And y'all I'm terrified right now! We need Will to get better without his counts dropping. We need Kate's immune system to fight off this infection and come out stronger!

I need to know that the Lord is taking care of these sweet babies!
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November 29, 2012

Santa!

I have been dreaming about the day I would take my child(ren) to meet Santa since 2008 when Alex and I started trying to have a baby. Thanks to infertility and major illness, it took 4.5 LONG hard years to make this dream come true.

But? We did it.

My kids.

My beautiful, amazing miracles.

They met Santa.

And it was PERFECT.

And so very normal. Oh my have I missed normal!

This is the first year that Kate has been medically "cleared" to meet Santa. In 2010, her ANC was extremely low, we were searching for a diagnosis, and encouraged to not take her near a germy Santa. In 2011 she was just a few months post transplant.

In 2012? She is a THRIVING two year old that desperately wants Santa to bring her a pink bike. You better believe she will have a pink bike waiting for her Christmas morning!

After Kate's horrific less than stellar reaction to all of the characters at Disney (side note: I've finally started working on Disney posts - should be up by next week) I was so worried that Santa was going to be a gigantic bust but Kate surprised me!


Yes the kids are looking at me and not the camera. BUT! Both kids happy? And smiling? It's a Christmas miracle!

Kate even got to see Santa with her best friend, and fellow transplant survivor, Colt!


I took some pictures of these two after meeting Santa. They keep me laughing! This picture is totally unposed. Kate was determined to read Colt her new book!

Thinking about how far they have both come since last year brings tears to my eyes. It really is so amazing!

Kate loved all of the Christmas decorations too! She loved them so much that she picked a poinsettia and hid it in Colt's stroller so she could take one home! We laughed so hard when we discovered the stowaway!
I'm so glad we visited Santa early so that we could avoid lines and germs!

Have y'all visited Santa yet? Was it a success or a bust?

And to any Houston readers, we were at Bay Brook Mall - loved Santa - he was so great with the kids and so nice!

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November 28, 2012

Sometimes...A Girl Just has to Dance!


Kate is at such a fun age. Yes there are days when I want to drown myself in wine due to the tantrums.

But? Overall this age is my favorite so far! She is just so funny and loves life!

Girlfriend loves to dance and she often stops what she is doing to start dancing. I'm so glad that I had my camera out during one of these moments!

Look at her face! She is in the moment and just living life!


When Kate isn't dancing, she's practicing to become the next Taylor Swift! She loves to sing almost as much as she loves to dance!

Or making silly faces!


Or just being my sweet miracle!

This girl blesses me so much every single day!

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November 26, 2012

Houston Zoo Lights 2012


Anyone who has read my little blog for more than a few months knows we are HUGE fans of the Houston Zoo! We live less than 15 minutes from the zoo and love spending time walking around and seeing the animals!

Kate took her first trip to the zoo when she was about 6 weeks old for Zoo Boo back in 2010. Look how tiny she was!

And if you didn't follow my blog back in 2010, I had quite the nick name crisis (hence Katie on her onesie). It took me WEEKS to finally decide to call Kate Kate. We were all over the place when she was born. Is she really a Kate (which we planned on the entire pregnancy)? Should we stick with Katherine? What about Katie? Or Katie Beth? And I can say, nearly 2.5 years into it, I highly doubt Kate will stick. I'm pretty sure she will either go by Katherine or Katie as she gets old enough to vocalize a preference other than TayTay.

Will made his first zoo trip at two weeks! Look at him! So little!

Needless to say, when the Houston Zoo announced the first ever Houston Zoo Lights we were on it! Kate is obsessed with "chris-ums" (anything related to Christmas in toddler speak) and was so excited when we set our tree up.

Before Thanksgiving.

Go ahead.

Start judging.

I dare you.

We didn't tell her our plans until about an hour before we were leaving for Zoo Lights. She could not stop talking about seeing the animals and the chris-ums. I was nervous about taking her since she'd been up since 4:30am and only napped an hour but she was a TROOPER!

We had a bit of a wait in the ticket line when we got there and Kate was totally unimpressed.

Will slept the entire three hours we were at the zoo. I just had to unbuckle his car seat (while clicked into his stroller) to document his outfit! Kate still fits in all of her holiday clothes from last year (hello zero weight gain in an entire year) so I had SheShe Made make Will a coordinating elf shoe longall!

Kate was so excited when we finally made it through the ticket line!

One of the first attractions when you walked in was this light up car that was synced to music. Kate started dancing and sweet girl just couldn't stop! She was so in to it!

Again, not impressed with taking pictures. She just wanted to see the lights!

Kate was amazed by all of the lights! She couldn't believe that there were "dancin chris-ums" and "amal chris-ums"! It was absolutely precious watching her take it all in!

She even got to enjoy her very first funnel cake! Love the spots of powdered sugar on her nose!

Every few feet Kate would stop and say "Yook! Chris-ums! So booful! Awesome! Cool! TayTay lub chris-ums!"

I didn't attempt a picture in front of the Zoo Lights sign when we first entered the zoo because it was way busy. However, by the time we left (around 9pm) Kate was so tired that she could barely keep her eyes open for a picture!

I know we will be back before the end of the holiday season! Kate has already asked me if we can call Colty and see chris-ums with him! If any of y'all are local, I highly encourage you to go to Zoo Lights! It really is a blast. But, buy your tickets ahead of time - lines were insane!  I think you can get them at HEB!

I am certain Zoo Lights will be a tradition in the Boggan house for years to come! What Christmas activities do y'all do every year?
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November 23, 2012

We've been so BUSY!

So, yet again, this little blog has taken the back burner! Oops!

We've been so busy! My in-laws flew out last Saturday and we had a BLAST while they were here! Kate absolutely adores her Bebe and PaPaw. She had so much fun while they were here!

We went to the zoo!


Rode the carousel more than once!


Took pictures with Bebe and PaPaw

Photo courtesy of {Lentille Photography}
Fed the ducks and played at Herman Park!
 
These two are the most precious pair ever. Two peas in a pod for sure!
 
 
Visited the butterflies!
 
 
And played at the park after watching the {pretty pitiful} Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade!
 
This past week has been so amazing! While I was in the darkest of my postpartum depression days, I definitely burned bridges. I am so thankful that the Lord has allowed me to recover and rebuild relationships. I do not know how I would survive without my in-laws! Not only do they love my kids, but they love me despite my short comings. I am so blessed! And so are my kids!

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