valentine’s gift ideas

Hi!

Happy Thursday  Well, mostly happy.  Long story long – I have had to take it majorly easy this week with my feet up because this baby is pinching a nerve and it.is.painful.  Hoping a couple days of feet up and a visit to a chiro will help make this more manageable. 8 weeks to go.

In the meantime, my favorite holiday is coming up – Valentine’s Day! Sounds stupid but this has been my favorite holiday since I was little.  I ALWAYS had a Valentine in my Dad and no matter what and no matter where I lived – a box of chocolates and a very “dadish” card would be at my doorstep.  He even joked that when we got married the Valentine’s would stop because we officially had our own but he couldn’t resist and continued the tradition up until he was gone.

Besides always loving my Valentine, I just love that there is a day dedicated towards telling people that you love them.  Sounds silly, but it is such a happy holiday and I look forward to it every year.

This year, I put together extra special Valentine’s for the girls and wanted to share just incase you need ideas for your little ones 😉

Okay, my favorite thing I purchased for Valentine’s is actually from Jordan to the girls.  They are OBSESSED with doing puzzles with him when he gets home from work.  It’s so cute how patient he is with them and how they have actually become good listeners while doing it.  I even see Bea helping Poppy do puzzles outside of this time with Jordan and she teaches and talks to her the way Jordan does – it’s really sweet.

Anyway – I put together a Shutterfly book for them with pictures from our trip to Disney.  I also had a personalized puzzle made with a picture of the three of them from the trip.  I’m so excited to give it to them!  Click the link below and look at a few other ideas for VDay

Personalized puzzle HERE

Family t-shirts HERE

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Heart pajamas HERE

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LOVE book HERE

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Heart leggings HERE

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Heart purse HERE

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Love Bug PJs HERE

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Be Mine purse HERE

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LOVE book HERE

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Activity book HERE

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Heart Apron HERE

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Mini spatula HERE

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Valentine’s Pez HERE

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xoxo

Hillary

 

milestones at the weidners (part 1)

Hi!

So many milestones at the Weidners over the last couple of weeks and I feel like I need to document!  Some of you follow along on Instagram (@hillarykweidner) but if you don’t – head over.  I have been posting so much more in my Insta story just because it is so much easier and more convenient!

Anyway!  I had some things I wanted to make sure happened before baby #3 comes (April 9th is the target date!).  I wanted Poppy potty trained, Bea to be able to swallow her medication, Poppy to finish up with the pacifier and officially move Poppy and Bea into the same room.

Yes, there are a lot of things but I gave myself until January 1st to start tackling.  I had a timeframe I wanted each thing done but basically, I wanted all of the above completed by April 1st so I had time to get the nursery ready and fully stocked for baby #3!

#1 to tackle – having Beatrice swallow her medication.  I

f you remember, Beatrice has to take an immunosuppressant at 7:30am and 7:30pm every day.  You can’t be early with it, late with it, and mot certainly can’t skip it.  Her life literally depends on this medication as it shields her liver from being rejected.  (Rejection can still happen but likelihood decreases when on this medication).  When administering this medication, we always emptied the pill into a dish, mixed it with 1.5ML of water, drew it in a syringe, added .5ML to the dish, mixed it, drew it again with the same syringe and gave the whole 2MLs to her.  We did this twice a day and it was super complicated, time consuming, and I – personally – dreaded doing it. BUT – we were doing it this way because her pills are HUGE.  If you want to envision size, think like a One a Day pill or a Mike n Ike.  Huge.

End of last year we were chatting with Dr Campbell and she brought up that continually taking the medication like this can put Bea at risk (very small risk, but still a risk) of tongue and throat cancer.  If you think about it, the way we were giving her the medication wasn’t protecting it until it reached her belly.  It was directly hitting her tongue and throat.  Just the word CANCER was enough for us to spring into action.

I made an appointment at CCHMC with their psychology department.  I had been wanting to make a contact there and build a relationship long term anyway.  With a daughter who has some limitations and could run into body image issues with a scar as big as hers – I wanted someone I could chat with (and she could chat with) if any of these issues ever arose.  Learning how to swallow a pill was the perfect excuse.

Long story LONG – we met with a wonderful lady Michelle and she showed Bea and I how to work on some things at home.  This appointment was in early January and we all set the goal that by April 1st she would be able to swallow her medication with water.  To get to that point, we would take a couple of weeks and work on swallowing a little sprinkle.  Then we would move up to a Nerd.  And then a Jelly Belly.  And then a couple of weeks swallowing a regular Jelly Bean. And the last couple of weeks practicing swallowing a Mike n Ike.

**Next time you or your kids are eating Mike n Ikes…look how big they are.  They are slightly bigger than Bea’s medication but not by much.

We went home that Friday with our plan and Sunday while Poppy was down for a nap, Jordan and I pulled out the thing of sprinkles and a cup of water.  We walked through and Jordan demonstrated.  We handed a sprinkle and cup of water over to Bea thinking this was the start of our 2 weeks with the sprinkle challenge.

She swallowed the sprinkle right away.

Totally shocked, we moved on to the Nerd.  Again, did it right away.

Could she do a Jelly Belly?  Oh yeah – no problem.

No way she would be able to do a regular Jelly Bean.  Literally, no sweat.

At this point Jordan and I were laughing so hard (I was definitely laughing through my tears) that Bea could just do as instructed without any issues.  She has always been a rule follower but her ease in taking on each item was alarming to me.

Do we try the Mike n Ike?  It’s huge.  What if she chokes?

We slid a red Mike n Ike across the counter, she looked at it, put it in her mouth, took a sip of water and stuck out her tongue.

I was shook.

I burst into tears.

For someone that has had such a challenging path, she somehow makes these types of things seem so easy.

SO – long story long.  Bea hit her milestone on her first try and I was able to breathe a MAJOR sigh of relief that we wouldn’t have to go through the arduous process of convincing her to swallow her medication.  It is SAFER now for her, it has cut down on major time for us, we can leave babysitters to give the medication in the evening, and the daily dread of being Bill Nye the Science Guy is over.

Win. Win. Win.

Thank you Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for providing us with a great resource for this milestone to tackle and for always being a great partner in Queen Bea’s care.

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xo

Hillary

 

 

simplify in style

Hi!

I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend – I certainly did 🙂  Jordan and I were able to get out of town one last time before baby #3 arrives and it was just the recharge we needed.

If you follow along on my Instagram stories (@hillarykweidner), you know that I had a BIG week last week getting our play room organized.  I am in full nesting mode and feel the need to get everything put away, washed and ready before this baby comes.  I still have 11 weeks so PLENTY of time but it just makes me feel good to get things crossed off the list.

SO – our house doesn’t have a basement so the main play area for the kids is right off of the mudroom.  It is a more casual family room and has the perfect set up for toys and lounging.  The only issue is – when the mess is out – anyone who pops over is privy.

Since we officially moved in August, we tried to just put stuff away in the built ins but there was really no rhyme or reason.  I kept feeling like I would take the time to organize it myself but the task just seemed overly daunting – hence why I looped in reinforcements 😉

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Simplify in Style is a small business that is owned by a young Cincinnati mom named Danielle.  Danielle and her team specialize in organization and moving services and seemed like the perfect fit to help me with this playroom!

Danielle and I chatted and she popped over one afternoon for a free consultation.  I’m serious, you guys – CALL her for this free consultation.  I learned so much and she was very open about the space and had immediate ideas of what we could do to whip it into shape!

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It was only a week or so later that she scheduled to come back to set the space up.  Her team typically assists in sorting, purging, and organizing the space as a whole but I really felt strongly that I needed to go through all of this stuff and figure out what could be tossed, donated, and kept.  If ANY of you reading this have kids – you know how hard this task is with little sticky fingers running around.  They wanted every toy I pulled out even though they hadn’t seen it in MONTHS and it seemed I was making more of a mess than I was cleaning up.

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All in all, it took me a few hours to go through everything and start the sorting process.

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Danielle and her team came last week and picked up my slack.  They took everything I had sorted and pulled it out, re-sorted, and started categorizing from there.  Danielle purchased all of the bins, supplies, and labels, and by the time I got home from work – it was completely arranged and organized.

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What.A.Relief.

Danielle made this extremely easy and, dare I say it, FUN.  She really helped craft a space that is super organized but functional.  Everything is labeled so it all has a place during clean up – and we can rotate toys in and out based on what bin we want to play with that day.

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SO – if you are moving or just need help cleaning up your closet, pantry, bathroom drawers, kitchen, garage….anything….you are in great hands with Simplify in Style.

We are so grateful for this partnership as it led to a much more FUN environment and is a great lesson in teaching the girls that everything has a “home” and how to clean up accordingly!

xo

Hillary