The past week in pictures...

My new lens thankfully arrived last week!!! 
Baking cookies with all 3 boys...OY!

End result....YUMMY! {Smore's cookies}
Jude checking out the goods...
Jordan's own version of a baby carrier... lol 
So comfy...
Jude glaring at Luke haha
He is so STRONG!! 
That's all for now...
One day I will be back to a normal blogging schedule {maybe}

Guest Post {Jessi} On Teenagers!!

My name is Jessi, I blog over at Notes of Life and Love.
I'm a 22 year old mama of two boys (Nolan, born April 23rd 2009 and Archer, born October 5, 2011) and married to a devilishly handsome man named Matt who stole my heart basically four years ago. We started dating February 25th, 2008, and had a really fast, whirlwind romance that The Notebook would be jealous of. Just kidding. Our love story involved a little bit more irresponsibility, we partied a lot and basically spent every waking (and most sleeping) moment together. I got pregnant early on in our relationship, at basically 6 months in. It wasn't planned but from the moment we both read the results on that pee stick, it was meant to be. Things haven't always been easy but, if they were, they probably wouldn't be worth it.

When Allie told Twitter she needed some guest posters, I was all over that like a fat kid on cake. (Who am I kidding, I was all over it like I am on cake. Heh). I've been reading Allie's blog since I was in the late stages of my pregnancy with Archer and since she was in the earlier stages of her pregnancy with Jude. I just adore Allie, and her blog! She makes parenting two look way easier than I find it, and she's basically a domestic goddess. Plus, any day now she'll be having baby number 3 and I bet she'll still kick ass at everything she does!

Allie; please sprinkle some domestic goddess magic my way, because I'm seriously lacking! I've never been a Suzy Homemaker, my attempts at baking things from scratch have always been disastrous. I can cook, but I'm no pro. My specialties are oven baked things, pasta, and crock pot meals. Anyways...I can't wait to see pictures of baby Jude, and I can't wait to hear about Allie's birth experience! I hope he comes soon! February 25th would be a swell day to have a baby, since that's the day my husband asked me out ;)

Anyways, I asked Allie what she wanted me to write about and she said anything your heart desires, which sort of overwhelms me because I write like I speak - stuff just flies out of my head, through my finger tips and onto the computer screen without my control or interference. So, I apologize ahead of time if this post is all over the place and doesn't make any sense. Since Allie knows all about adding a newborn to the mix, I'm not going to write out any tips or whatever. She rocks this parenting gig better than I do and I'm the one who goes to her for advice SO instead, I'm going to blog about teenagers.

Yup, you read that right, teenagers. The teenage years. The time that I fear more so than having a newborn, and not just because teenagers are capable of making newborns (GASP! I'm scaring the crap out of myself), but mainly because of that dad that shot his daughter's laptop as a punishment and how it got me thinking about actually having to parent my boys as teens one day. I'm noticing a trend with the younger generation.

I can only count on one hand the people a mere 3 years younger than me that have actually graduated high school. I can only count on one hand the people 3 years younger than me who know what they want to do with their lives, who have at least a part time job and know how to be responsible and accountable. Most of the people 3 years younger than I am are still living at home, still working on getting their high school diploma and don't have a job.

They still get their parents (or parent) to pay for everything they want, and they want a lot. The sense of entitlement makes me totally sick.

The sense of "I want it, give it to me now" is just...barf.
These kids don't work, don't make their own money, and yet spend like it's going out of style.

They have the latest gadgets and do whatever they want whenever they want. And that's why I totally agree with that dad. I would post a video response to a Facebook slander post at me. I would shot a laptop. But...I'm hoping it never gets to that point. When my boys are older, if they want a cell phone they can get a job and earn the money to buy one. Screw data plans, screw the latest iPhone...if they want any of that they can damn well pay for it themselves.

Everyone says that it's necessary to have cell phones in this day and age, but I disagree. We survived before, didn't we? We will have an xBox, but my kids will have an hour a day during the school week after homework is finished to play it. After that hour, they save the game and turn it off - or I take the cord. If they abuse this privilege, they lose the xBox. Weekends will be two hours a day. I want my kids to find other ways of entertaining themselves - with books, with outdoor activities. And you can bet my kids will have to do chores. We all will. If they don't do the chores, they'll loose things again. And if I have to shoot a laptop to make a point? Well, I'll do it. But I'm really hoping my kids won't be that dependable on technology.

And I know, I can say all this stuff now and of course it sounds easy enough but I'll probably have my struggles but I don't care, I don't care if it's the hardest thing ever to keep my kids from being that self entitled and goal-less. I will do it, because parenting isn't easy and I don't want a 25 year old living in my basement on my dime without a high school education.

What is with kids now?? High school wasn't all that hard! You basically passed if you went every day and did the homework to the best of your ability. In my final year, I was told that I didn't have enough credits to graduate (due to missing too much school because of  my health problems). So what did I do? I took a four period co-op and did extra hours to equal out to the two missing credits. I did everything I possibly could to ensure that I would graduate when I was supposed to.

Now? Kids get discouraged and slack even more, then spend years getting their high school because of all the alternative schools out there that let kids do it at their leisure. And the whole job thing. Well...I think we know who's to blame for that. Of course kids aren't going to want to work if they get everything they want when they want it. Why work? I wouldn't want to either. That's why I'm going to put my foot down. You want cool things? Get a job and pay for them yourself. Or go without. Save for the things you want. I'll pay for clothes and shoes but I won't be buying the latest DCs every other month or whatever. Extras will be on their dime. I don't think that will make me a bad parent, even if my sons' will probably disagree with that.

I'm going to work hard on those two because I love them. I want them to have a strong work ethic, a strong sense of self. I want them to know how to save and manage money. I don't want them making the same mistakes I did. I will be strict with them, because I want them to be able to provide for their families one day. I want them to thrive as adults, not just barely get by and be unhappy.

So, I tip my hat to the father who had the balls to parent the good old fashion way in this day in age. And I laugh at every single person who thinks that it's "abuse" to take away a material object as a punishment. Shooting it was just awesome. Telling her to pay him back for the software upgrades was ingenious, and so was telling her she could buy her own again when she gets a job. MINT.

Seriously; he's got some great posts up over at his blog, I particularly enjoyed the Dr. Phil response.
 And Allie; good luck girl! I hope I didn't frighten you (or the rest of y'all) too much with talk of parenting TEENAGERS on day. We'll have to form a support group, or something ;)

{Guest Post} Meet Amanda....1st Time Momma!

Hi Allie's readers!  
I'm Amanda from ASquared, I blog about life as it comes to me. 
I'm pretty random, sometimes I can blog daily, and other times I just go through blogger block.  
Happen to you, too?  
This is my first ever guest post, so I hope you guys don't run screaming from Allie's blog!  LOL

I was so excited when Allie said that she needed guest posts for a little while after 
Mr Jude (FINALLY) makes his big entrance! 
Are her boys not the cutest things you have ever seen?!  

I'm a 28 year old, married woman, pregnant with my first child.  
My husband, J (as the blog world knows him) and I have the sweetest furbaby, Sullivan Peabody. 

J and I have been married for just over a year, and are really excited to be on this journey to parenthood.  

So I thought, who better to guest post for than Allie, she has to have Mommies galore for followers!  
So, I'm hoping you guys will pop over to my blog and go on this journey with me 
and help me keep my sanity.  

Don't make me beg...I'll do it!

Random factoids about me::

*Right now, I don't feel very pregnant, I'm in the "is she pudgy?  Or newly pregnant?" stage.  
Come on, you all know you've looked at someone and wondered!  LOL!  
I live in tshirts, because that's the most comfortable for me right now.  I'm typically not a tshirt girl.  

*I am quite quirky!  I recently confessed on my blog  that I MUST separate my skittles 
into color/flavor order prior to consuming them.  
What order is that?  Eaten in Yellow, Green, Orange, Red, Purple the best for last!  LOL

*I'm rather sarcastic, I swear it's genetic because my entire family is full of smartmouths!  

*I won't take someone's opinion about someone else.  I must form my own opinion about each person.  I feel that's only right

Random questions I need Allie's Mommie army of followers to help me with:

*I'm going to breastfeed and pump, since I will be a working Mommie, best breastpump for daily use?  

*I'm also going to make Baby's food instead of buy commercial babyfoods, can you guys share recipes?

*Do we get the 4D, or save the money?  Insurance won't cover it, and as long as Baby shows "The Goods", I just don't see the need in spending the money.  I know they're really neat and all...but really, we can buy something else for Baby with that $125.

*Do I really care anything about getting a Boppy?  I see them, they're nifty, but really?

So, pop on over to my little blog, I told you, I'll beg if you don't.  HELP A MAMA OUT!  

Friday Randoms....

Lack of pictures=broken lens...
  Canon EF Zoom lens - 18 mm - 55 mm - F/3.5-5.6 - Canon EF-S
Which also = very sad mom! 
Thankfully Jordan loves me and we ordered a new one...
My camera got dropped a few months ago {Vincent}
but the lens was fine until the other day it stopped focusing....
Thankfully it was only the lens and not the body or else I would be in deep do-do!
I also ordered a camera bag 
{since my purse/diaper bag was not working}
I went with the Lowepro Sling 
Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag 
I got it yesterday and I love it..I can fit plenty of goods in it {wallet, diapers, everything}
The padding for the camera is also amazing....
I love it, I can't wait to get my new lens and take the bag for a trip to the park!! haha

Yesterday we took the boys for a walk but left Verner at home....
That is until half way around the block he comes barreling down the sidewalk...
He nudged his way out of the sliding door with his nose then popped the lock on the fence gate...
He is seriously the smartest dog ever....
I am glad he found us right away, not sure how excited people would be over a loose German Shepherd!
Silly Vern-Pup!

Hunger Games...
What the crap is up with all the rage!?

In my day we had to use plastic hippos for our "Hunger Games".
HAHAHA....He makes me giggle...Oh how I miss Scrubs!

Some great finds on Pinterest....
so incredibly true....
I need this house....
in LOVE with this house 
With this in the backyard....
this as well could work for fluffsalot 

Another babe for Tori!! Heck YES!! idol...
Tori Spelling Is Pregnant 
She totally knows how to rock out with lots of kids....
If you haven't read all her books...they are a must! I read them ALL in a week...

Jude is AMAZING....
He is a great sleeper...
We go to bed about 9pm and he wakes up 1-2 times to eat and sleeps the rest of the night....
It is amazing...
I remember V&L being a lot harder in the middle of the night...
{Luke was a MONSTER....bad memories from those nights haha}
This is a total change for us...
I am loving getting a little sleep!:)
He is also gaining weight like a champ...
He went from 6lbs14oz at birth to 7lbs6oz and is now 8lbs6oz! 
I have a feeling he will be a chunky monkey like V&L!!

That is all for now...
Hopefully my lens comes soon so I can catch up on some picture taking!!

Guest Post {Nicole} ::In-Laws::

Hi!  I'm Nicole from Table For Four... (come by, say HI).

First I want to give Allie a big "You Go, Girl" for having baby Jude!  Always exciting to welcome a new baby into bloggy world.  

So when I found out I'd be guest blogging for Allie, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write to you all about.  And after about 2 minutes, I decided... In-Laws.  I've been living with my in-laws for the last 7 months and in the process, I've learned to love them.  Yup, that's right!  But, there are things in this post that I would never dare write on my own blog, so I'm also going to be letting off some steam.  

Ready?  Here we go!
I've known my in-laws for far longer than they've actually been my "in-laws".  My husband and I were youth group friends growing up, so both our parents knew each other well.  I have always loved my in-laws.  They are sweet, compassionate, generous and caring.

But it wasn't until I got engaged that I started to feel a little tension developing between my MIL and I.  She would say things like, "Oh no, my son is much too young to be getting married" or "I hope you don't plan on having kids soon".  And I would really get my feelings hurt.  I am 3.5 years older than my husband, so while he was "too young", I wasn't getting any younger!  And kids... why was that any of her business?  But I just kept quiet.  It wasn't THAT big of a deal.

And then I had Marco (my first).  Everything changed when I had a child.  She became a complete know-it-ALL.  She's from Brazil, so her customs are somewhat different than mine.  And lets all remember that the last time she had a baby was over 20 years ago.  So when she would tell me that the car seat was an over-exaggeration of safety and completely unnecessary and that I should just hold him when he started crying in the car... I was APPALLED!  I literally had a big blow out with her about this because she kept pushing the subject with me over and over again.  She would insist on changing the baby's clothes if he had just slightly drooled on it... my laundry was piling up and I was pissed.  She would take him out of my husbands arms when he was trying to comfort him and insist that her Brazilian wives tales were real. (yeah, right). 

But I kept my cool, for the most part.

Until Jonas was born (my second, and last). Jonas was born premature at 31 weeks, so she flew in from Miami (we were living in Greenville, SC at the time) and babysat Marco so I could go back and forth to the NICU.  It was during this visit that I had HAD it!  I don't know if it was the stress of having a premie, the hormones of just giving birth, or just being at the end of my rope with her, but I blew!  First I told my husband that he HAD to have my back NO MATTER WHAT.  That if I decided Marco needed to drink from the blue cup, then gosh darn it, it was going to be the BLUE cup regardless of what my MIL wanted.  Why?  BECAUSE I AM HIS MOTHER!!!  And I told him to stop being such a Momma's Boy.  Whew, it was not a pretty sight.  But?  It gleaned the results I desired.

Step 1:  Get your husband on YOUR side.  You're a TEAM

From then on, we decided that we were going to stand our ground.  We are the parents.  She could offer her advice and opinion, but we didn't have to take it.  And she had to learn to be ok with that, even if she got mad.

Step 2:  Stand your ground.  YOU are the parent. 

About 9 months after Jonas was born, we found out we were moving to Miami.  Miami is a very expensive city and we knew we would have to live with our in-laws for a period, while we saved enough money to put a downpayment on a house of our own.  They have been so generous, allowing us to live here, hijack their house and not pay them a dime.  It's really overwhelmingly generous.  But you know, living with someone is tricky... living with your MIL is even more!

We've been living here for 7 months already.  And we haven't had very many parenting conflicts with them.  Only a few.  But since steps 1 and 2 were already strongly in place, we had a foot hold.  My husband and I are a strong team and we know our place as parents.

The biggest parenting issue we've had with them has been in relation to spanking.  They do not agree with spanking, whereas my husband and I do.  I believe that it is not at all abusive, that it's necessary with certain children and that it's Biblical.  My in-laws think it's too mean.  But we have told them that it is not their decision to make and that we are choosing to parent and discipline OUR way.  If they have a problem with it, they can look away.

But the REAL biggest issue has been in regards with who is the REAL woman of the house.  Guys, I don't WANT to be the "real woman of the house".  I promise.  That's just too much work.  But it's like my MIL is threatened by me cooking in her kitchen.  I'm only trying to help lighten the load.  Every time I cook, which is 3 times a week, I get comments:  "This could have cooked a bit more", "Oh, this is much too flavorful", "I'm not fond of this sause".  The worst one was when I spent 2 hours in the kitchen cooking Mexican Chicken Enchiladas and she told me that it wasn't "real food"... it was more of a snack.  A SNACK!  I was stunned.  Thankfully my husband stepped in and told her she was being rude and that I had worked very hard preparing a meal for them.  I couldn't even speak.

But here's the thing.  I couldn't even speak.  Why?  Because what would have come out of my mouth would have been deadly.  If it had been ANYONE else, I would have sent them straight to hell.  But I couldn't do that with my MIL.  If it had been my OWN mother, I would have told her to go eff-herself.  You can do that with your own mom... but NOT with your MIL.

Step 3: Hold Your Tongue.  
Think about the consequences and repercussions before opening your mouth.  In-laws are NOT your parents and they don't love you unconditionally.  They may forgive, but they WONT forget. 

In living with my in-laws, I have learned the biggest lesson in patience and meekness ever.  Personally I think I needed that.  I'm a very bold, tell-it-like-it-is, nothing embarrasses me, type of person.  But mostly, I've learned to let it go.

Step 4:  Let It Go
Think about it.  Is it worth it?  If it is, then go for it... battle to the death.  If it's not... just let it go. 

The last step is one I'm still working on.  It's the hardest one because it means YOU have to change.  You can't expect someone else to change.  But you CAN change yourself.  Change your mindset.  Alter your thinking.  Become more at peace.  Allow it to seep into all areas of your life.  You see even though I had done Steps 1-4, I was still getting mad.  In my room, I would fume.  I would call my bestie and vent for an hour over all the things my MIL said to me.  I would give my husband an earful about how horrible his mother was to me. Then I realized... it's me... I can make or break the problem.

Step 5:  Don't Be Offended
Remember that no one can offend you without your permission.  Choose not to be easily offended.  Guard yourself against offensiveness.  Be confident in your decisions and choices and know that you DO NOT need the approval of your in-laws.  

It's a work in process.

Now I know some of you have read that and think, "That's it?" I know... I admit it.  My in-laws are pretty great.  And I'm sure some of your in-laws are Satan incarnate.  But, I do believe that these 5 steps can work with anyone.

And maybe in the process of bringing peace to your relationship, you'll also find love along the way. Jude shoot...

The first week with Jude...

Jude will officially be one week tonight at 10:47! 
This week has FLOWN by...
He is seriously an angel...
He sleeps all the time...he rarely cries...and is nursing like a champ...
He is the easiest baby....
{knock on wood everyone}
After Luke, I was VERY nervous...Luke was a horrible sleeper!
Therefore I am feeling very blessed that Jude is so calm and relaxed!
Thank you God!

Also my recovery has been much speedier...
With him being almost a pound smaller than V&L I didn't tear {thank heavens}
I have bounced back fairly well down there haha....
I am just adjusting to my new Dolly Parton "accessories" and lack of energy due to breastfeeding...
I am slowly but surely getting back to normal...
I love waking up to the pounds coming off too!:) 

We have really just doing the normal thing lately...
We are just adjusting to adding Jude to the schedule...
It is shockingly easier than I thought {mainly because he is such a calm babe}
At night he only wakes up to eat then he is out like cold for hours!

I have been going to bed when he does to try and catch some extra z's...
Blogging has taken a step to the back burner
{sorry for lack of comments back guys}
My phone also broke the last week and I have still yet to call and hook up another...
I am kinda enjoying being cut off from the world ;)
It's kinda nice to take a step back and soak in all the wonders of a newborn! 

The weather has also been AMAZING here!
We have been outside every afternoon and just soaking it all in!
Here are some pics from the past few days...
The boys are in LOVE!! 
Luke kisses him EVERY single time he sees him....
It melts my heart....
We found the first flowers of the year....
 And one more baby Jude....
We have Jude's 1st appt tomorrow...I am hoping to have a normal report!:)
I also took a few newborn pics today...I will post those soon ;)

Thanks SO MUCH for all your sweet comments and love!
You guys rock!:)