Princess doesn't talk too much...

Another thing that has created quite a few conversations between S and I.....the fact that our Princess just doesn't talk.
Ehhhh, don't get me wrong.  She does. 
A little.

She fits into the criteria of her age - which is: does she say 5 to 10 words?  Yup....dada, mama, dog, bird, cat, up, butt, "bellybutton" (her version of course!), hand, eye, mouth, no (her favorite!!), hi,
bye-bye, and lots more.

So what's our issue?

I guess it comes down to the fact, that we keep comparing her (lack of) talking to the Dudes ridiculous amounts of talking when he was 18 months old.  Peoples ears bleed when they hang out with Dude! LOL!   By 12 months, I swear to god, Dude was a ridiculous chatterbox and had the most amazing vocabulary.  I'm not exaggerating in any way when I tell you that he was saying dinosaur names by that time.  It astounded S and I to no end.  Everyone who talked to Dude was astounded by his vocabulary. 

Why on earth do S and I compare Princess' talking skills to Dudes?
Seriously, why?

We know that all kids are different, honestly, we know this.  But how can parents not compare their kids in some way?  We always talk about how their hair is different (yeahhhh, we think Dudes hair was prettier), how Princess is the cautious one, how she needs to warm up to people before she will even smile at them, how Dude will talk to literally anyone (which is starting to be a big concern of mine!), how Princess is still a petite little peanut, how Dude has Ss skin tone (year round tan) while Princess is pale as hell like me, the list goes on and on.  So really, why wouldn't we compare something like their talking "skills"? "abilities"?  Whatever you want to call it. 

Since DAY ONE, Princess has been the cautious one...as a baby, she was quiet and observant (scarily so!), checked people out hardcore (she cried while looking at my parents for freaks sake until she was about 5 months!!) To this day, she intently watches people until she thinks it's ok to smile at them. Princess is definitely the more reserved of the family!

How concerned are we about Princess not talking?  Well, I know that she's not speech delayed.  I actually looked online the other night, doing research for this post and found this on BabyCenter.  Because obviously I should take to heart eveything that I read online.  And when it comes down to it, Princess shows all the "readiness signs" that are talked about.  Princess will do things that you ask her to (she can obviously hear), she communicates in her own way, and she points to things that she wants.  She will pretty much repeat, or try to repeat any word you say to her, it's just that she doesn't usually say them on her own, or string any words into "sentences". 

When we took Princess to her 15 month check up, we talked to her pediatrician about our concerns of course.  She said to give it time, that all kids are different, that Princess was still in her guidelines.  But that if we were really concerned about it, we could make an appointment with Child Development Services to have Princess evaluated.  We hemmed and hawed...and decided to leave it until her 18 month appointment.  Well, her 18 month appointment rolled around, and we were still at the same point....so I said..."let's just get her evaluated and get it over with."

Probably not the best way to explain it, but that's basically what happened.  So we had the Pediatrician put in a referral to have Child Development Services call us and set up an appointment for them to meet Princess. 

What has happened in the two weeks since her 18 month appointment?  Well, Princess has of course started saying more words, and will hang on our pants while chanting "up up up". 

Because, you know, as soon as you start seriously freaking out and whathaveyou, your kid will prove you wrong.

We still plan on having CDS come and "evaluate" Princess....but since S and I know deep in our hearts that nothing is wrong with Princess, this appointment will be for nothing except a peace of mind. 

It's helpful and awesome to have so many people tell us that there is nothing wrong with her, to have my parents point out that I didn't talk for a long time, for people to say "she's your "baby", so you baby her and know what she needs without making her say it, to hear that even Dude knows what she wants without her having to say it, to hear that probably she can't get a word in edgewise because Dude talks. so. MUCH.  Yes, we know all of these things, but we still need to hear it from a professional...sorry.

But then there's that one annoying person, yes, the Ex....who, when she heard that Princess didn't talk yet (it was during a Skype call when K tried to talk to Princess and S explained to K that Princess doesn't talk yet....and Princess was about maybe 14 months old at the time!) the Ex decided that the best move was to make a snarky freaking face and roll her eyes.  Really?!  When I heard about this I lost my mind.  Because you know, she has SO MUCH experience with a second child!  I can't wait to see what kind of snarky faces she makes next week....


And as I write this I wouldn't be surprised if Princess wakes up tomorrow speaking in sentences.

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Ohhhhhhhh Bloglovin'....why do you cause me problems?

Sooooo, I've been reading about how GFC is going away, and honestly I've been hoping that it's just a horrible myth running around the internet.  BUT, just in case it isn't, I'm here to tell you about my Bloglovin' account.

I find it annoying.

Yeahhhhh, I've really only heard people rave about it, but I found GFC so user friendly...

What's my problem with Bloglovin'?  It doesn't show my recent posts.

Yeah, you heard that right.

I know I have a lot of followers on Bloglovin' and I sincerely hope that they have figured out that my last post wasn't back in April of 2012!

I have sent emails to Bloglovin' and I have veified my RSS feed, so what's the problem?  I think it's because a while ago, I changed my blogs name to what it is now.....and the posts under the new blog name are the posts that don't show up.  Ugh.

I'm seriously starting to think that I should just start all over (kind of).....start a new blog, with a new name...all that jazz....of course I'll keep you all updated if this is what I decide to do!  First I need to see what happens with all of my other avenues that you fabulous readers can follow me on!

SO....for all of my lovely followers, I would SERIOUSLY recommend that you follow me on my blogs Facebook page, or on my Google+. which is where I am most of the time.  I also always post my new posts on my Twitter, ...hell I always put my new post on my Pinterest!!  

By all means everyone, of course I would love for you to follow me on Bloglovin', just please know that it doesn't update my new blogs...yet! 

Thanks everyone!

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Wordless(ish) Wednesday - Summer Vacation?

There has been SO MUCH going on lately, it's like we're taking advantage of summer vacation around here...although we technically don't have that yet!  I could write posts about all of these things that we've been doing, but right now, I'll leave you with some highlights!

Princess and I in the mall before my wedding dress fitting! 
We were actually headed to Victoria's Secret in this picture   ;)
I wish so bad I could show you pictures of my fitting...but I can't!  So just imagine all the pictures you'll be able to see after the wedding LOL!

S and Dude went out camping one Saturday night.  Legit camping, in a tent, on the island of a nearby lake and they did lots of night fishing....when they got home then next morning, we all went out to breakfast....and this is what happened when we got home!

What happens every day when S gets home!

And of course both the kiddos have to sit on my lap during playtime...

On our bookwalk with our Home Headstart teachers.
Of course I have LOTS of pictures from my surprise Bridal Shower, and you can expect a post soon, but this one pretty much sums it up!

My son the monkey!

Beautiful cautious girl.

It was so bright out we could hardly look at the camera LOL!

One of the stunts my son did to give me some more gray hairs!

At the beach! 
Annnnnd that's our son over there, trying to mack it to some 8 year old girl.....*sigh* 

<3 <3 <3

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The Dude Likes to Pretend That He's Shooting Guns {AKA: One of My Problems with the Public School System}

*This is going to be a tough one, and I'm sorry if it gets a rise out of you, because that is NOT what this is supposed to be about...but it's a subject that is wreaking havoc in my life right now.*

Let me start by saying a few things: 

Do I like guns?  Nope.  Not at all.
Do I understand guns?  Nope. Not at all.
Do I know that guns are a part of our lives?  Yup, in more ways than one.

I HATE, with a passion, that there is so much violence in this world.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I cry when I watch the news sometimes.  I couldn't watch the news for daaaayyys after the school shooting in Connecticut (my heart goes out to you!).  I watch the news and look at my babies and die inside, because I can't even begin to imagine this for my children.

Any shooting, seriously, any shooting, sends me into nightmares.

When I first got together with S, he was a Marine (who am I kidding, once a Marine, always a Marine) but didn't know his passion for guns.....this led to a lot of fights once he came home from his second deployment.  Dude was a few months old, and I didn't want guns in the house.  End of story.  No more discussion.

Well, S had some guns to begin with actually, but I said "no more". 

That worked for a while.

When Dude was about 18 months or so, I gave in and let S buy Dude a BB gun.  S had been taking Dude out when he (S) shot his guns, Dude had been around guns all his life...Dude knew not to touch any gun unless S or I was around.  The guns were in our bedroom at the time. They were locked.  The bullets were in a different place...we had taken all of the precautions necessary.  Dude loved (loves still) that he got to spend that time with S, and yes, S let Dude hold some guns and fire them with S. 

I balked, I protested, I hated it. 

But when it came down to it, I knew deep down, that for Dude to respect guns, he had to know how to use them.  He had to know what a gun could do.  That guns were serious.  That he had to know how to hold guns when walking, that when he got in the house the gun had to go up into a designated area (with Ss guns).

That being said, Dude also used anything in his hand as a "gun".  Water guns, play guns, his plastic forks, toy cars....anything you could think of, was a "gun".

This was "cute" "funny" "what boys do" until a short time ago when we signed Dude up for Headstart/preschool....and we started paying more attention to what was going on in schools since the shooting in Connecticut.  S and I have had many serious discussions about how Dude needs to stop "shooting".  We have always, since he started pretending to shoot, told him to not "shoot" the cat, the dog, people, etc etc. 

Does he still pretend to? Yes, because he's a kid.
Do we continuously tell him to stop? Yes. 
Is it a work in progress since Dude is a particularly strong-willed 3 year old? Yes.
Does Dude know all about guns and all of the reprecussions of using a gun? Yes. 

He's gone hunting with S on numerous occasions and has seen S shoot animals, and then yes, he has eaten that animal.  We have instilled in Dude that you only shoot animals if you are then going to eat them.  That's how hunting works.  That guns are for hunting animals that you are then going to eat...that hunting is for providing for your family.  That you don't shoot an animal unless you are then going to use it in some manor or you are trying to protect your family.

But Dude also likes to play and pretend that he is "HALO" and shoot "monsters" in our house.

Do we have a shotgun leaning against the wall next to our front door?  Yes. 

We live in the "backwoods" "the sticks" whatever you want to call it, and S is gone all day.  Of course we have a gun next to the front door when it's rampant in this area for people to break into houses to steal money and pills. 

When we (the family) went to Kentuckey the summer of 2011, we came home to an apartment that someone had tried to break into.  That weekend, at MY request, we sent Dude to his grandparents for the day and S showed me how to shoot all of the guns that we had, where all of the bullets were, etc.  Just picture me, prego, shooting a shotgun....yup it was funny.  Up until that point I had shot some guns...maybe 3 times tops in my life.  But now was obviously the time to learn.  I had a child to protect, and myself.

Have Dude or even Princess ever touched this gun by the front door?  Nope.  Honestly.  Because Dude knows, and Princess is learning.  They know to never touch it.  Even if they did, like I said, it's not loaded and it's locked.

Now, my problem with the school system? 

For one, there is this which literally drives me crazy.  Suspend a kid because they accidentally bit a pop tart into the shape of gun?  Really?

I am afraid that my son will be expelled from school, in Kindergarten(!) because of his love of all things that include his daddy, which means: boats, fishing, and yes...guns

Why is it ok in some school systems for teachers to learn how to shoot guns and carry them in the classroom, but then our local schools are suspending kids for pretending to shoot with chicken wings (yes, this is something that happened this past school year in our local school system)? 

We live in an area where guns are prevalent in the household.  I honestly don't know of anyone that doesn't hunt, that doesn't have some sort of home protection system. 

Why are schools punishing kids for acting like kids?  Princess is now holding water guns and saying "bang" because that's what she sees her brother doing all of the time. 

I've been told by our home-headstart visitor, that when Dude goes to Headstart that the teachers will work with him on this issue...of him pretending to shoot all the time.  And we continue to work on this issue all of the time at home too. 

It sucks that it has become such a huge issue, that we now have to make our son, not act like a little boy...that he can't play "cowboys and indians" and "cops and robbers"on the playground. 

Where have the days gone when we taught our kids to respect guns, and how to use them correctly?  That guns will harm other people? Why are we teaching our kids to hate guns?  Why are parents afraid to show their kids that guns aren't bad unless they are in the hands of someone that is bad?

In my opinion, it's sick, hateful people who are misusing guns.  Why should little kids, who are playing, be punished?
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Happy Fathers Day to My Amazing Hubby!

When S and I first met, we actually started talking about having kiddos pretty fast...well considering that he asked me to marry him after talking for only a month...us talking about kids was a given!

After moving in with him in October 2008....we actually thought that I had gotten pregnant near the end of the month...I hadn't of course, but we sat down and had the most incredible conversation....do we stop "not trying" ?  And yes, we decided to not prevent a pregnancy in any way...it was one of the most awesome conversations that I had had with him up to that point! 

So when we found out I was pregnant in March 2009, we were overjoyed, hugging and laughing and going crazy in the bathroom while I was holding the test!  We didn't tell anyone until I went to the local clinic a few days later.  S was so over the top happy it was adorable and we started talking about names right away.  Now, while I was prego with Dude, S and I went through a tough time because he was gone on his second deployment. It sucked.  But we worked things out and I will never forget the Skype conversations we had with the camera aimed at baby Dude the whole time...Dude already responded to Ss voice, it was adorable!

I was so happy that we moved up to Maine as a family....and even more happy when during a Fourth of July BBq, with Dude smelling of sunscreen and his hair styled into a mohawk with all the sunscreen, with food all over his face and S and I had another amazing conversation where we made the decision to "stop preventing" again!  It was amazing!

It took a little bit longer this time to conceive...I found out I was prego with Princess in March of 2011 and we were both over the top happy again!  Seeing Ss face when Princess was born was one of the sweetest things I've ever seen in my life, and up until that moment I had neer truly understand "wrapped around her finger".  Let me tell you, S is so smitten with Princess it's a little ridiculous sometimes....

Dude and Princess are Ss whole world.  Since day one, I have constantly been amazed at how good he is with them.  He stays calm when I want to lose my mind, he puts up with the face poking, the ear pulling, the playful kicking.  He is always tickling, wrestling, and kissing them.  It's ridiculously cute watching him put Princess' hair into ponytails, reminding Dude to eat his vegetables, and carrying them to bed.  He insists on going to their doctos appointments, is always teaching them new things, has been more more than amazing by watching them while I'm at work (well, maybe not this incident so much :P ), he bathes them, can't stop buying them toys, and finds it hilarious when they give him wet willies.  My heart swells with love when I see constantly, every, single, day, how much he loves them and that he would do absolutely anything for them.

The best?  Watching him kiss them goodnight, how he tells them "sweet dreams", thanks Dude for going fishing or hunting with him that day, telling Princess that she's beautiful, then pulling their blankets a little bit higher and kissing them just one more time before he leaves the room....

S and Dude meeting after S got home from his deployment, 2010.

S will literally stop anything if the kids ask him to read to them.

at the playground <3

can't take his eyes off of her.

he loves to cuddle her.


playtime before bed

yes, those pushups!

blowing raspberries :)

So, in short, Happy Fathers Day to a ridiculously loving, amazing, playful daddy, we all love you from the bottom of our hearts!

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Kiddos Reading Material #3 - Happy Fathers Day!

Let's be honest, there will be another post about how awesome fathers are tomorrow, but for now, let's check out some awesome books for your baby daddy to read to your kiddos!

The first book I'd say you should read?  "My Dad is Awesome" by Nick Butterworth....cause let's face it, dads are awesome!  This book is cute!  From singing in the shower like a rockstar, to being strong like a gorrilla...it will point out all of the things that the dad in your life does!

This next book is a favorite in our household...hence why I can't give you a picture of the actual "cover" of  this book!  "Just Me and My Dad" by Mercer Mayer (yes we love "little critter"!!)  This funny book is about a son and dad that go camping and fishing....which you may know from my blog and FB page..happens a lot around here!

 (yes, S and Dude are out camping tonight, and they took this book along <3 )
A sweet book that's good for the younger kiddo in your house?  This one...that I bought for S a long time ago!  Easy to find, with simple and cute illustrations, you can't go wrong!

Another book we love?  "What Dads Can't Do" by Doug Cushman....I actually found this book before I found it's brother (sister?) which you can read about in my other kiddos reading material.  I love this book..because everything that is mentioned....is S, and the way that he is with our kiddos <3  

I've found that it's a little hard to find books about how much daddys love their kiddos...why is that?  In our house though..it's normal for us to take out books from the library that we think that S would enjoy reading to our kiddos.....books about fish, the ocean, etc etc.....oh, and there's the book about snakes that I always let Dude take out from the library then won't let him read to me.  That's Daddy's job!!  LOL! 
I hope all of you Daddys out there have a wonderful Fathers Day!

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Awesome Hair Turban Giveaway with WEMAKE7!! Check it out and Enter!!

Hey everyone!  You HAVE to check out my friend, and fellow Maine blogger, Bonnie over at WEMAKE7 !!  She has a great blog and she's doing an awesome giveway right now!  Head on over there and enter to win this awesome hair turban!!
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ebody is a new line from e-cloth that brings chemical-free cleaning in to the health and beauty experience by supplying at a good value the most effective and most environmentally friendly cleansing and drying technology available.
Read WEMAKE7's Review to learn more and see what great products they offer.
Winner will receive ONE ebody Hair Turban. Giveaway open to U.S. only. You can enter to win using the rafflecopter below:

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Mommy Moments Blog Hop #46!! I'm Co-Hosting!!

Hey everyone!  I love this blog hop and I'm so happy that I'm co-hosting this week! 
Thank you ladies for having me! 

Hey mamas!
Welcome back for another great week of Mommy Moments Link Ups! Thank you for linking up and for spreading the word! We love all of the great posts!

The most viewed link from last week's Mommy Moments belongs to Katherine from Proverbs And Pacifiers and her post My Struggle With Breastfeeding. It's a very honest and helpful post about everything Katherine and her baby had to go through with breastfeeding.
I think first time moms can relate to a lot of what Katherine dealt with in this post. I know I can!

This week we have Celena from My Stay At Home Mama Life as our guest host! 
My Stay at Home Mama Life
I hope you stop by and make Celena feel welcome!

Now it's time to link up your posts! All you have to do is...

1. Follow Host: The Life Of Faith 
2. Link up your post!
Post can include anything related to mommy-hood, children, homemaking, pregnancy etc. If you aren't a mom yet, feel free to link up your preparation for motherhood, your journey as you try to conceive, or even a post that would be encouraging to the other moms in the party!

3. Add the Mommy Moments button to your post or blog so everyone knows where you are linking up!

4. Explore some of the other posts in the link-up and say hello to some new blog friends! 

5. Tweet or Share the link up on Facebook so we can all make even more friends!

The Life Of Faith
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P.S. We will be having a new guest host every week! Want to be a guest host of the Mommy Moments Blog Hop? Send Faith a message at farmprincess14{at}gmail{dot}com. We would love to have you!

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