A Mouse For Valentine's

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The windows are open in the Hill house with the fresh air rushing it, and it feels heavenly. Fresh air is just good for the soul, and I'm so looking forward to more days like this. What I'm looking forward to even more is the mouse that has taken up residence in our home to be gone. Oh yes, you heard me right, there is a mouse in my house. Let me explain...

Yesterday, husband woke me with breakfast in bed to kick off our Valentine's Day. As we started eating our pancakes, he looked at me and said, "I don't know how to tell you this." I was a little nervous, because what in the world did he need to tell me that started off like that?? He went on to explain that after I had gone to bed the night before and as he was prepping for the next morning he came across mouse droppings...IN OUR KITCHEN. He told me he had set traps and was so hopeful that he could tell me, "there was a mouse, but it was taken care of." Instead, he had to tell me that there was a mouse who had escaped from the trap and was still somewhere in our house. 

If you know me, you know how terrified I am of all rodents. It's a completely irrational fear that paralyzes me. I can't look at them, definitely can't get near them, and can't even have someone joke about them with me. Nope, just can't handle it. So upon learning that a mouse was in my house, not the basement, not the garage, but actually in our home, I could have died. I tried to convince husband to stay home from work, but obviously he couldn't. He set more traps and told me if I heard a noise he would come straight home. I lived on the couch or in my bed for the entire day. With the exception of that time my daughter was ready for her morning snack, which could only be found in the kitchen.

Y'all I put on my rain boots, and literally worked up a sweat as I stood in the foyer trying to make myself go into the kitchen. I knew I had to do it, but I really didn't want to. After five minutes of talking myself into it, I stepped into the kitchen, grabbed the snack and water as fast as humanly possible and got back out of there. It was my own personal Fear Factor experience, and I never want to do it again. On top of that emotional chaos, I ended up really hurting my toe in the process. Apparently, I had my toes curled in my boots, and that first lunge into the kitchen was more like a big stomp. I heard my toes crunch, but couldn't focus on that while I was trying to avoid the monster mouse. But when I finally took a look, I bruised one of my toes, a toe that happens to have a pin in it from surgery five years ago *ouch* and doesn't have the bending capability that it once did....well it kind of does now. Needless to say, it hurts a lot this morning. All over a mouse. Good gravy. 

If you watched my Instagram stories yesterday, you know all about this. And some of the backstory of how husband figures this mouse made its way into the house. Let me catch you up if you missed it...last week as husband was walking from the driveway to the front door, a brown thing dashed in front of him, followed by a hawk swooping down to grab it. Well the mouse escaped down the drain that leads to the driveway, and the hawk went hungry. Husband thought it was the coolest experience, while I was alarmed and worried that there was a mouse in our yard. I know it's nature, but still! Husband thinks the mouse snuck into the garage, which should have just been fine. But, he ended up down there over this past weekend to start work on another house project. Our 1950's ranch doesn't have outlets in the garage, so he cracked the door leading from the garage into the basement to run an extension cord. He left that door open, well barely cracked all night. That's when the mouse must have come into the basement, and found its way to the kitchen. 

Unfortunately, husband told me this morning that the mouse-with-nine-lives, escaped the trap once again. So here I am, sitting on my couch, feet high off of the ground and paranoid. I can't even. If this mouse isn't gone by tomorrow morning, I'm quite possibly going to lose my mind. Who am I kidding, I think I'm already losing it a little.

All this to say, we ended up spending our Valentine's Day apart while husband ripped apart the kitchen to find the darn thing and throw away/sanitize everything the mouse had left droppings on so he could track the little stinker better. Luckily, we have a date lined up for tomorrow night, so we'll be celebrating then. And I hope we're toasting to a Hill victory over Stewart Little while we're at it too! 

The Perfect Pair Makes for Spotless + Clean

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cleaning house is not one of my favorite things, but it certainly is the best feeling once it's all done and your home is fresh and tidy. You know you love that rewarding feeling too! Over the years, I've found numerous different ways to clean our home best. But, when we bought our current home, I wasn't prepared for cleaning all of the hardwood floors that cover 90% of our home. It almost felt impossible to keep them clean, and vacuuming alone wasn't cutting it.

Then I discovered the perfect pair...the new generation of wood floor mops, the BONA Hardwood Floor Mop + the BONA Hardwood Floor Cleaner solution. When put together, they make the best way to get our hardwood floors spotless and keep them clean. The base plate is the largest in the industry, covering more floor at one time, cutting down my mopping time. And as a busy mom, who doesn't love spending less time on the chores?? Not to mention, the edges are made of rubber, protecting my baseboards and furniture from scratching when I accidentally knock into them. 

I'm a fan of the Bona Microfiber Cleaning Pad, which offers different fibers to break up grime and absorb more dirt. A fine mist is all you need to properly get your floors clean. Our hardwoods are loving the GREENGUARD GOLD certified hardwood cleaner, which means it's safe for using around my family. And that's a big deal when you've got a toddler running around and playing on these floors. Not to mention, it dries fast with no dulling residue. Can I get an amen? 

The best part about the mop is the ability to use it with a variety of BONA cleaning products. So you can get your hardwood floors shiny, then swap out the cleaner for the Tile & Laminate and get your bathroom floors spotless too. And the secondary grip gives you extra leverage for getting those tough-to-clean stains.

Be sure to check out all the ways the BONA mop is amazing! Receive free shipping plus $5 off of  a mop when you visit the BonaFide Fanatics page on their website. When you purchase the mop, it comes with a full-size cartridge of the Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Original Formula, its perfect pair! And like I mentioned, you can swap that out for the other cleaners they offer. 

Motherhood On A Whim

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Rain Coat || Rain Boots (option 2; option 3) || Blush Leggings
I think there is no greater joy in the whole world than being a mama, and that's even on my worst mothering days. There aren't adequate enough words to describe the way it feels, how it shapes you, and the rewards it provides. In the very same breath, motherhood is also the hardest, most anxiety-inducing role of my life. There are days my heart plummets to my feet as I watch a near miss when Greer's feet slip out from under her. Or the way my mama heart also has the new-found capability of imagining the very worst scenarios when I let worries get to me. I know I'm not alone in this, because I have mama friends who have expressed the same sentiments.  We mull it over together, and thank goodness for a tribe of women who just get it. There's encouragement in that even when knowing that these motherhood anxieties will just evolve over time with each new season of life. 

One area of motherhood that used to cause me a lot of dread was dealing with the milestones. And I'm not talking about birthdays or those first steps. I'm talking about things like 1.) when to take the pacifier way, 2.) transitioning out of the crib, and 3.) potty training **moans**. I would start to fear their arrival because I didn't feel like I had a clear course of action in knowing how to handle it. My type-A personality needed an answer and a concise plan, both of which I did not have.

That's when mother's intuition kicked in, and I listened to it. One afternoon, following a nap, I just decided it was time to initiate a new rule for Greer's pacifier. From then on, we have only allowed her to have it at nap and bed times. A simple explanation was all it took, and Greer went along with. It took a couple of days to fully adjust, but the on-the-spur-of-the-moment decision was exactly the right time.

This initial success didn't erase my anxieties for other upcoming milestones, because I figured it was a lucky fluke. I had some time before any other big adjustments were on the horizon, which kept the worries away for awhile. But as soon as we started discussing the transition to a big girl bed, I started fretting the small details and didn't feel like I could pinpoint when we would make the leap. Just like before, a moment in time happened and on the fly we completely rearranged Greer's room one Saturday morning and set up her big girl bed. She was thrilled to give her crib to Junebug and take on a big girl bed. We've had no problems since making the change, and she's done exceptionally well, confirming our timing to switch up the bedding situation.

Next up is potty training, and while we have had successful potty-using every now and again, I know that it's not quite go-time for pursuing it 100%. We've made sure to talk about it with Greer, but that's the only consistency we're keeping. I feel certain that when the timing is right, I'll know and we'll tackle it full-steam ahead. But, y'all, I'm not worrying about it. Not one bit. And that feels great!

Basically, what I'm saying is that there really seems to be no clear timing to do something or implement a big change. I can't speak for all the mamas, but this does ring true for me. I've learned it's about listening to your gut, and when it comes to your littles, your gut is typically right. Waiting for the right moment, within reason of course, has worked well for us. It's really helped me lose all the dread and built-up anxiety when it comes to these milestones. Like I said, I'm no longer worrying about when to start potty training. Instead, I'm paying attention to Greer (to see when she's ready) and listening to my instincts. Explaining this all to husband (and since he's lived through two on-the-whim transitions at my beckoning) has given him trust in my process too.

W A Y S    T O    F I N D    S U C C E S S 

  • Making sure to be clear in explaining the transition to your little. From what's happening, the new rules/boundaries, to why. We also encourage Greer to share back to us what all is going on to make sure she is grasping it. 
  • Keep open communication with your husband. Let him know where you're at and find out where he's at too. Discuss the transitions that await, get on board together, and work as a team when it's time to implement. Being on the same page is so important for your child and for your marriage.
  • Don't compare your timing to others'. Every little is different and so is every mama. Trying to make a big change in your household for your child should be on your timing and not when you feel pressured to do it. Again, I think this is all in reasonable timing. 
  • Give yourself grace. If you feel like it's the right time, but things aren't transitioning smoothly, stick to your guns and persevere. If you feel certain that your decision is right, don't beat yourself up if it's not the easiest-going. 
  • Talk with your mama friends to share your experience and gain new perspective. Just sharing is also a great way to process for yourself and find encouragement! 

Ultimately, you love your little and you want what's best for him/her. Motherhood on the whim when it comes to these transitions is just another way of saying that my mama instinct is in control and definitely worth listening to. Trusting yourself to make the call, and of course knowing your child, is what really matters!

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My Two Girls

Friday, February 2, 2018
Thank you all SO much for your sweet words on our gender reveal! I still can't believe I'm going to have TWO girls. There will be two little ladies running around, and it makes me feel extremely happy to imagine it. I can't wait for the matching outfits, girl dates, and all the sister things. Most of all, I am thrilled for Greer to have a sister to grow up with. If she's anything like her mama, who was also the big sister to a little sister, she's going to be a little mother hen....and also a tad bit bossy too ;) Any other big sis

Husband said from the beginning that we would be an all-girl family, and we're holding true to it for it now! He's such an amazing girl dad, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him with both of his girls. I think it's going to be the sweetest. And as crazy as Greer is about her daddy, I have a pretty good feeling this little girl is going to feel the same way. 

Our little family of three is going to be a family of four in 20 weeks, give or take a week. I am in awe that I'm already at the halfway mark in this pregnancy, and June will be hear before we know it. Just yesterday I was telling Greer that Junebug would arrive when the grass was green, the flowers were in full bloom, the trees were full of green leaves, and the weather was warm. She's been happily telling me the markers for baby girl's arrival since. 

As we prepare for little gal's due date, we have lots to get done....like transforming the office/guest room into a nursery, stocking up on newborn diapers, and getting essential baby clothing for those warmer months. While we have all of Greer's clothes to hand down to baby, they are different seasons. So we'll need to fill the gaps until the sizing evens out. And you know I don't hate the idea of some new baby girl clothes! Here are some of the pieces I've got my eye on!

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