Stitches

There are many milestones you remember from the lives of our little ones.

Most likely, from the moment they start invading our uterus, there are a host of special and memorable first time moments we don't want to miss.

Their first steps.
First words.
First food.
You get the point.

But the things we don't look forward to but still hold a natural memory of is sometimes the 'bad things'....the not so cheery but yep, this is a part of childhood type of things. One of those things for us was this past summer when Amaya unluckily got here very first set of stitches.


After all was said and done, she was nothing short of proud to show off her battle wounds.

Mama on the other hand was a ball of nerves and stress when I got the dreaded phone call from her dad explaining there was an accident but that she was okay. Hearing that your sweet little angels beautiful face was busted open and now needed to be stitched together was not the phone call I was expecting to hear on a Saturday morning.


Apparently, while they were out shopping, Amaya was a little rambunctious and was running through the checkout line queues when she tripped over on of the metal signs and smashed her little chin and face on the next metal one. Ouch.


That's the last thing you want to see is your baby hurt but especially if it's something that lead to a lasting scar. Luckily it was a small cut and only required two stitches but it made me sad regardless. Thankfully I wasn't there to witness it, otherwise I may have freaked out more but all is well now and thank goodness it was nothing more serious.

Amaya, on the other hand, does not pass up a moment to practice her dramatics...

I wonder where she gets that from?
Her dad, definitely her Dad.
There is no way those antics come from me. 😉

One Word: Conscious

I always set out in the New Year with the best of intentions to become a better version of myself for the incoming year. I've learned over the years that strict resolutions always left me coming up short and feeling like a failure when I didn't accomplish my set goals, so over the last couple years I've taken to having a 'word of the year' and use that guide me in the areas of my life that I want to approve upon.

Last year, I chose the word Focus.

I chose that word because with the couple months prior to the New Year, our lives changed dramatically and I wanted a word that kept me grounded and had me stay focused on the important parts of my life and wellbeing, instead of dwelling on the negative and staying stuck in my emotions. Choosing that word actually helped me tremendously and actually did keep me focused on making the most positive changes and choices for Amaya and I.

You can read that post here.

For this year, while remaining focused on our goals, I want to put forth a more conscious effort doing so, so I chose my 2018 word of the year to be:

 Conscious 

Conscious - / adjectives / - aware of and responding to one's surroundings, awake

Apparently, if I was one of the cool kids (which I'm not...), I would assume this definition would lead me to being 'woke'.

Oh Childish Gambino, I am not.

But in reality, yes...I want to be aware of my surroundings and really take note to what I'm giving back in this world, whether it be to myself, my child, my peers, or the universe in general. We can all see the shift and negativity that has consumed the world and especially the media lately and it sickens me to think that this is the world we are raising our children in. Sure, I have my thoughts and opinions but I want to try to convey those in a positive manner, so that my daughter can look up to me as a strong woman and mother who was able to have her voice heard while still respecting myself and others.

With that said, here are some areas I would like to put a more CONSCIOUS effort towards:

Myself 
- immersing myself in more of my hobbies
- allowing myself to process my emotions and not apologize for it
- find the non monetary things that will bring me happiness

Amaya
- continue to foster a home of love and happiness
- try to say yes more (within reason)
- implement more behavioral methods to curb discipline and acting out
- get back on track with our routines (which will hopefully help the attitude)
- decrease screen time more and bring in more imaginative play
- continue 'adventure days' and Mommy + Me dates
- continue to enjoy the couch cuddles and rocking because one day it will end

Co-parenting
- continue to keep lines of communication open
- maintain boundaries and expectations of each other
- continue to foster a healthy relationship between all parties
- involve each other in more hands on and one on one time between her
- continue scheduled visitations and custody arrangements

Faith
- purchase the She Reads Truth bible
- find a womans devotional to follow
- attend church regularly with and without Amaya
- find a good base church + sunday school
- allow myself to continue to question and seek counsel

Health
- go to the gym every other weekend
- incorporate more in home workouts
- find and try more healthier meal options
- meal plan more
- be more observant of labels and the ingredients of our food
- cut soda, drink more water
- eat smaller portions

Home
- work on home renovations, such as:
    • plumbing/pipes in crawl space
    • carpeting attic, creating playroom
    • repainting kitchen/laundry room
    • removing finish from deck then staining
- print and hang more of my photography
- deep clean the entire house
- clean and clear out clutter from the basement
- continue to find my home style and implement it

Finances
- pay off debt bills
- continue to create and add to emergency + expenditure fund
- continue to raise credit score
- be more stringent on monthly budget to accomplish these goals
- create a savings account for Amaya
- find expenditures that are unnecessary and that can be cut
- read a Dave Ramsey book....suggestions?

Life
- once again, finding a life I am happy with
- creating memories and moments with Amaya
- allowing myself to take time for myself
- keeping my heart guarded yet open to new possibilities
-living my fucking BEST LIFE!

Because really, isn't that what we're all aspiring for?


There are so many peaks and valleys that life throws at us and I'm sure this year will be in some part the same. The struggles of last year have only strengthened me for this year and have added to the layers of the woman I am becoming.

I'm not the same Ivy from a year ago (thank goodness) and while some coff at the resolutioners, I applaud them. Sure, we may not meet every goal or make a dent in the diet we've been longing for years to achieve but I see nothing wrong with wanting to be better yourself and aspiring to become a the best version of yourself whether it be for a day, month, or year.

Hats off to you and to everyone looking to make the positive changes in your life for yourself and for the ones around you that you love. Here's to a New Year and the blank slate ahead of us.

Koziar's Christmas Village

There are a few holiday traditions that my sister and I hold dear from our childhood through out the eighties and nineties, and one of those is visiting Koziar's Christmas Village.

In Northeast Pennsylvania, it's a family tradition for many people and the insane miles upon miles long lines to get in, prove that fact. Ever since I can remember going there, it has always been like that....which led my sister and I to leave earlier every year before sunset to avoid hitting the massive traffic clog it becomes.

And the thing is...
It's not some crazy interactive theme park of Christmas, but just a plot of land out in the middle of nowhere between subdivisions and farm pastures that is lit up from head to toe in Christmas lights and decorations,

There are a few Christmas scenes set up in little shed-esque houses and many yards of homemade Christmas Story signs, but to my memory, most of it has not changed since I was a little girl.


Although my sister and I have seen the same exact thing year after year, it's a beautiful and new thing to see it through the eyes of our children.


My oldest nephew has seen it for many years now himself, so the novelty is some what wearing off, but now that I've introduced him to photography he's learning to see everything through a different lens (pun intended) and was still into it this year.

The littlest littles on the otherhand are utterly fascinated. For the last couple years, we've taken them out of our own Mommy wishes, but this year it was so much fun to see the joy in their eyes as they took in all the lights and recognized the characters and stories.


Seeing the sparkle in Amaya's eyes as she squealed at all the lights and seeing Cinderella, princesses and Peanuts characters on the story boards, was well worth the wait and lines.

I hope to continue this tradition with her and hope that she looks back on these memories and trips with fondness like my sister and I have. If not, mama is still going just for the cinnamon goodness of the churros and hot chocolate. 

To The Christmas Tree Farm, We Go

Christmas has always held a close spot in my heart, as it probably does for many.
During my childhood, some points of it were quite rough for my sister and I but no matter what was going on, Christmas time was always a point of celebration.

We'd go pick out a tree from a local seller and then it was on to who could put the balls and tinsel on the quickest. Oh yes, tacky silver tinsel and all.

So knowing how much I value holidays and traditions, I've made it a point that even through this family transition phase, that I would continue to create memories and traditions with my daughter that I hope she will look back on fondly when she's older and know how much I tried to make it magical for her.

With that said, we have held the tradition that we go to the Christmas tree farm and pick and cut down our own tree. We went to a more local one the past couple years, but last and this year we tried a new one recommended by a coworker and WOW, COLOR ME IMPRESSED!



It is called Ponduce Farms, and it is seriously the cutest place ever.
Imagine all your little Christmas dreams all wrapped up into the cutest farm experience.

First, they pick you up in a tractor wagon to take you to your separate tree picking areas of the farm. We tend to be a Douglas Fir family, so we got off on the first stop. You can choose to physically cut down your tree yourself but if you need help, they have helpers that drive around in pick up trucks waiting to chainsaw it down for you and put it on their truck/wagon to take it off the hill for you.

After that, you take the wagon ride back down to the shop and as you wait for them to tie up and return your tree, you can enjoy the restaurant with lots of homemade goodies, the gift shop where they play Christmas movies or just stop in to enjoy their complimentary cookies and cocoa.

Seriously, I was so impressed and in love with the whole thing, and the reasonable price for our tree was an added bonus.



In full disclosure, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows though.
Any mother of toddlers knows how the 'sour patch kid syndrome' can quickly affect your child.

She was perfectly fine for 10 minutes but then a flip switched in her and she turned into a whiny, crying, pitiful mess. She pouted her way through half of the farm but luckily within a short walk and a quick pep talk she was able to regain her composure. A few silly faced pictures might have helped to.

How was everyone's holiday weekend?
Did you do anything festive with your respective fam bams?

The Girl In The Yellow Dress

If you're a mom, nine times out of ten, your child is definitely much better dressed than yourself.

While I'm dredging around in yogurt stained yoga pants and 5 day old mom bun, Amaya is most likely twirling around in the cutest little fashions from the Cat + Jack line or Old Navy or consignment shop cuteness.

The girl can pretty much rock any look but lately she has favored dresses over anything else so we were super excited when we found this sweet little swing dress at Old Navy a couple months ago.

Dress - check
Marvelous mustard color - double check
And most importantly...
Ample swirl and twirl potential - triple check


No big deal, just making important phone calls on her sunflower phone. 

This dress could have not been any better when we visited the sunflower fields at the end of summer/beginning of fall. We bounced and ran around with her cousins trying to find the perfect sunflower for herself. 


That same day we also went on an ice cream date at Heislers and my little homegirl was ruthless. She completely abandoned her chocolate ice cream in favor of stealing mommy's vanilla milkshake.


We seriously were adventurers this day as we also hit up the craft fair and got ourselves a couple goodies. Much to my Belle loving heart, Amaya chose this Beauty and the Beast book as one of her choices, along with a nap time Shopkins pillow.


As much as I would love for Old Navy to send me this in all the colors for free, this is not a sponsored post. Amaya and I just love this dress that much and I wanted to clear out some of my pictures but still keep the cuteness in a safe place, hence why mama has a blog.

No worries though, I have already prepared for the next holiday season and picked this bad boy up in red so we can still enjoy it throughout the Christmas season.

Lazy Mama Halloween Treats

We have barreled into the season of tricks and treats and if you're anything like me, you've been swooning over your Pinterest board invisioning all the sweet treats that you're going to create with you and your boos.

But then shit....
You remember you have three parades this week, one dance class, 10 hour work days for four days, 5 hours of overtime, a dance class fundraiser, delivering for said fundraisers, amongst the the regular life shenanigans of bathing, grooming, and feeding like a regular functional person.

My head spins when I think of all the things that need to be done and the never ending to do and to buy list on constant rotation. So today, in honor of trying to be a 'fun mom', I picked up a few odds and ends to throw together some simple and fun Halloween treats for the kiddos.

Presenting...


Lazy Mama Halloween Treats 

Package of small sized unsalted pretzels
Package of regular sized marshmallows
Prepackaged and made Rice Krispie Treats
Green Candy Melts
Package of googly eye candy

Now focus in ladies and gents, because this where the shizz gets real...

- Follow instructions on package to melt candy melts
- When completely melted and smooth, dip assorted treats into green candy melts.
- Thickness of coverage if based on personal opinion or how sugared up you want your toddler
- Apply googly eyes with wreckless abandon
- Let melt and googly eyes cool and set
- BOOM! YOU'RE DONE!!!

You're welcome busy and overwhelmed mamas.

Sure they might not make it on to the cover of any publication that Joanna Gaines puts out but it will put a smile on your littles face and isn't that what matters?

Simple can still be special.


Bloomsburg Fair

We try to hit up the fair every year and although Amaya is quite reserved on the usual basis, she was in all her glory at the fair this year. She walked around hand in hand with me, admiring the games and humongous stuffed animals, wanting to eat all the things (that's my girl!), and most of all wanting to play in the corn.

That is all she wanted to do since she walked in the gates to the fair and saw it set up in front of the livestock buildings. Even with all the bells and whistles that the fair brings, she was most content and excited for the most simplest activity there.

If only everyone could still see the world through the eyes of a child and enjoy the simplest pleasures of life.


I wasn't going to spend half of my life savings on fraudulent fair games, but we did play two games, one where we literally picked up a duck that said winner for her purple sword and a balloon game where anyone under the age of nine won a prize. That one was her favorite since she won a Shopkins apple plush.


This is the face of a girl who has her prizes and wants to hit up the corn bin ASAP. 


We look forward to this every year and I'm so happy that she's coming to an age where she is throughly enjoying activities that we go on.

All hail, Amaya the corn queen.