Candy Corn Cuties

My friend Leslie has done applique and embroidery and monogramming and all that fun stuff for a while now. We decided to get together and sell some things( We've done this before with tutus and bows and monogramming, but we've had 5 more kids since then and were a little busy). First up:
Candy corn appliqued shirts, legwarmers, and
a headband to match.
We did a little photo shoot with the girls ;)
If you've got a daughter, niece, granddaughter, friend, or anyone who you think could rock this candy corn cutie set ( or in need of anything monogrammed or appliqued or need a matching headband or bow for an outfit), let me know!


Oh, Ella !

“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”   Walt Disney
Pictures, pictures, pictures! I stress over this so much with the kids. I don't want to forget what they were like at every stage. They grow and change so quickly the first year. When we were pregnant with Landon Courtney Helton took some maternity pictures & his 3 month pictures.

Then we had to cancel his 6 month pictures because he had surgery. We just took some on the front porch the week after his surgery.

We were in Cincinnati for Luke's softball tournament  around the time for his 9 month pictures, so my sister took them at a park.

This bear is Maximus. He is in Landon's bed at this very moment, and Landon has this picture framed in his room.  His cousin Elyssa gave it to him at Christmas when he was 3 weeks old.

My sister took his 1 year pictures also downtown Louisville at Waterfront Park.
When Lucy came along we hadn't done maternity photos yet ( who does them before 29 weeks??!?). Her 3 month pictures were taken again by Amanda in the living room.
Luke and I just snapped a picture for her 6 month.

We moved to Louisville right around 9 months, and Aunt Amanda took some pictures up at the top of Iroquois Park.

Still not sitting, so we had to use the Boppy.


We needed something cute for her 1 year! Aunt Amanda took these as well in Louisville.

All of Ella's were on here recently, so I won't reminisce all throughout her short 9 months. BUT, Luke and I took some pictures of her last week hoping to get just ONE framable photo. For some reason, she decided to YELL and SCREAM as soon as we sat her down.  I take that back, we got TWO photos taken before she almost toppled onto her face on concrete. I yelled a little and luke stomped his boot a little. We might have scared her. Something might have bitten her. We still don't know what happened.But after that, she frantically cried. She actually cried all night until bed time    =( 
 We are not photographers. We do not know about lighting, how to pose a child, or even have an slr camera. These are too funny not to share, just don't judge our skills!

After these two, it was tears for days!

We decided to drive back towards home, see if she settled down, and maybe try a few more. She cried the ENTIRE WAY HOME. Luke decided we should try again the following day since he was off of work. She was happy all day. We got her tummy full, made a pit stop to renew my license, and then she started! Seriously. She also has a little tooth popping through. Maybe it was REALLY bothering her? When we sat her down, we got this.

Even Sophie didn't help.
We did take puffs this time so we went from this
to this within seconds. 
She was NOT a fan!



She THOUGHT about smiling at Landon & Lucy. Then they got so distracted finding acorns.

She wanted to clap, but she was just too sad!

She might have grass growing out of her head, but she almost smiled!

You think she is saying YAY or TOUCHDOWN.....

But she is trying ANYTHING to get us to pick her up! She's never done this before. haha

While it might look like she is screaming at us and has her hands tight in a fist, we aren't really sure WHAT she was doing. She has puffs in her hands, was chewing and then just opened her mouth like she was gagging--but she wasn't! There's another one with chewed up food on her tongue.

What a cutie.

Swollen, puffy, red eyes. OVER IT.
She also pooped through her last diaper that we had. So most of these she has a homemade cloth diaper consisting of her bloomers lined with a bib =) We had to make a pit stop on the way home to buy more diapers, and of course by this point she was hysterically laughing at Landon in the back seat. What a crazy girl! I think we have one that is frame worthy. If not, I'd probably still be crying because she'd be my only one without a 9 month picture on the wall. Really, I do stress out about that way too much.
Now to plan her 1 year PhotoShoot! Because in a short week and a half we will be able to say that our baby will be one NEXT MONTH!
I'm NOT ready for this.
PS: of course her headband is from Stork Bites & Angel Kisses . I was so excited when I first saw this dress. I knew it would match the gold/white flowers I had and the navy I had gotten to make some Auburn headbands! Like the facebook page if you haven't yet, and be looking this week for something super SWEET ! I'm teaming up with a BFF, and can't wait to post the final product. I've added a few new pictures recently as well, so check out the albums !


Decision time.....

When is the right time for me to go back to work? I have no clue! I know that I have 3 children & a husband in management in retail. His schedule is not the same. Ever. The days he works, and the hours a day are always changing--even on his day off he might get called to come fix an area that is atrocious because someone is flying in the next day from the regional office. 3 children in day care or preschool or an early learning center would probably not be affordable unless I was back to full time work. I've managed to do part time things a good bit since I had Landon. I went back for the last 10 weeks of school and taught when Landon was a baby, I substituted at the school I had taught at during my pregnancy with Lucy ( only on Luke's days off), I taught swim lessons at the YMCA in Louisville until I got pregnant with Ella, I've done some tweeting and facebooking for Blogher campaings, and I'm about to start a little something at a pumpkin patch for about a month and a few weeks.
I do not want to go back to work full time.
We have had seasons in life where we have spent and spent and spent with no worries. We have had seasons in life where we were rotating bills each month( to be late) in order to have gas to get to work and buy groceries and had another week to make that $58 last in the account.
Sometimes we feel like we are drowning. Sometimes we are at Disney with the kids and no worry in the world.

But I have always had the thought in the back of my head that I could be teaching, making over $35,000 a year and getting these DANG STUDENT LOANS PAID OFF. We pay over $400 a month in student loans. That's more than we spend on groceries. That's almost half of our mortgage. Luke still hasn't graduated and I only used my degree for 4 years. What a waste.....But hey, we made some good friends playing basketball and baseball, right? ;)
year 3/3 of playing
Medical bills--both of the kids were in the hospital last year in Louisville. Ella was born--dropped from insurance(!!!!!!!), and I had a 3 day stay in the hospital before I had Ella.
(This is not an open invitation to ask me to sell your products--beauty, health, bags, candles.)
I could do SO much with that money each month if I just went back. We could get those student loans paid off so quickly, medical bills could be gone in a few short months, cars could be paid off almost immediately.
To me, being a stay-at-home mom is not anything like a Housewife of Whatever County, it isn't anything close to a Pretty Wicked Mom, or remotely like a Basketball Wife. I am sacrificing clothes and fun things to be around my kids. I have those 2 outfits I rotate. My kids wear Granimals and Circo, and we buy Monster sale at The Children's Place a year in advance. They don't all go to Mother's Day Out. We do not eat out, and we do not have extra money to buy organic and local and non boxed foods.
I realize I could EASILY go back to work, and be able to do anything I wanted to do. I'm just having SUCH a hard time deciding to do that. 1) I WANT to be with my kids at home. 2) I don't want to work right now =)
Before we found out about Ella, the plan was for me to go back to work when Landon started school. I also was not sure if I wanted to go back to school to become a nurse or go back to teach. I'm turning 30 next week ( AAAHHHHH!) and I do not know what I want to be 'when I grow up'.
I just don't know what to do.
Ideal situation for me-- work in a job share next year and have someone come to the house and watch the kids on those days. I also wouldn't mind working at a home-school program 2 days a week & having someone watch the kids at the house ( Landon would be in school at this point).
Luke still isn't in his own store. He took a step down (position and pay) when we moved back to Nashville. He compared himself yesterday to a player on the bench. He's been in the game, and got taken out. He's sitting next to Coach Store Manager right now, getting some more instruction,waiting to go back in.
I'm just praying there is a dead ball SOON, and he gets his chance to get back in the game!
I've got a lot of praying to do myself with my whole job situation. I know I could ask others their opinion and I'd get 1 of 3 answers:
1) I wish I could stay home with my kids. Why would you go back to work?
2) I don't know HOW you stay at home, I HAVE to work to stay sane!
3) Cherish this time, they grow too fast, you'll never get it back!
I don't know who said money doesn't buy happiness. I fully agree that life is quite a bit easier with 2 paychecks coming in every other week. Stress and anxiety over finances causes quite a bit of unhappiness.
Right now, we will just keep on keeping on! Maybe I will know what it is I am supposed to do soon enough.
On a funny note about moms, these use to drive me crazy posted all day on Facebook. But I pinned a few on pinterest that I think are hilarious.



Are you serious?

Ella Ruth.
Seriously is the most awesome baby. Even though she has had a rough past few weeks, and forgotten quite a few times how to sleep from bedtime until 7AM, she is A DOR A BLE! I've been keeping up with my monthly photos of her , since I did the weekly photos during the pregnancy:
I've told most people, but the weekly photo thing was to REMIND myself that I indeed was carrying a child. I stayed in denial right up until I was waiting with Luke being prepped for surgery. I would look at the picture each week and say to Luke, " I don't REALLY look like this do I?"
Now, I'm taking monthly pictures of Ella to capture and remind me how much she is growing and changing this first year.
SHE IS NINE MONTHS OLD NOW( as of August 25)!She has learned to do SO much in like a week span. She was just a little bit late on the sitting up thing--her head is quite larger than the rest of her body. But now that she is 9 months and sitting, she immediately went to scooting, crawling backwards, propping up on 1 leg, shimmying the blanket under her to try to crawl forward, and she LOVES every second of it. She, just today, decided to pull up onto her knees. She thinks it is HILARIOUS! She is so amazed and amused by all these new things that she is capable of doing. I love to hear her laugh!
I'm sitting!

And I can fall forward on all fours.

Then I can lunge forward and face plant too!

Watch me back it up.

It's SO FUN to be up on my knees!

Peek-a-boo! I have to stick my tongue out to do almost everything ;)

Luce and Landon , look at mommy so I can snap it when Ella looks.....

Luce, Look at mommy!

Ok Lucy, let's sit up so you don't kick her head.

Keep looking at me....

YAY! All 3 looking!

I think I'll just lounge in my bed and kick my feet up.

Yep, still spitting up.  Change my sheets, mommy.
 The kids had a blast taking pictures of her--especially because they think it is so awesome to get into Ella's bed or have Ella in their bed. I love love love watching them love her.
Real 9 month photographs coming soon! I can't wait!
Someone remind me tomorrow that we NEED to lower her bed!
She is seriously getting too big.
Too fast.
For serious!