Aberdeen, South Dakota 2016: Storybook Land

By | Bailey, Birdie Mae, Travel | No Comments

So Bailey, Birdie and I went to Aberdeen together last week. It was such a great time of bonding for Bailey and I. I loved seeing Bailey at all the different stops. This was where I lived for a year of my life so seeing my kids here was so much fun. I know there are pictures of me in similar poses with the same statues.

Storybook Land is a place in Aberdeen that has little statues of all the Mother Goose and Brothers Grimm Stories. It also has an entire section of it that is dedicated to the Wizard of Oz. It is so special to me.




My dad came with us and we had a blast going around the park together. It was exhausting but so fun.


My Little Pony

By | Bailey | No Comments


Season 6 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is on Netflix. So you better believe that Bailey and I are spending all day in bed. We are cuddling and watching our favorite bonding show. I love that we can watch it together and I’m not bored or over it. We also have a bunch of the ponies so we play with them and recreate some of the scenes while we watch.

I love this girl. She’s the best.


First Day of Kindergarten

By | Bailey, School | No Comments

So it was Bailey’s first day of school. I can’t believe it. We all walked to school together. When I say all I mean three of my neighbors with all the kids plus Bailey’s friend Charlie and her parents. So there was a big group of us.   This morning Bailey and Sean both woke up at 630 and were ready to go downstairs and start breakfast. So I acted like a good little housewife and made homemade waffles, coffee for Sean, apple juice for Bailey, and lunches for both. And before Sean went to work him and Bailey hugged and looked like the cutest ever. ❤️

When I got home all I could think of was how weird it was. I didn’t feel like crying I just kept thinking “What just happened?”
We last minute decided to car pool with Charlie since we live right next to each other. So I grabbed her mom and we went to pick them up. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have heard about how we have a huge parking drama at our school. So picking up was even more crazy. We had to double park which was weird. Well we finally got Bailey and Charlie in the car and decided to go to get some fro-yo to celebrate.  
We had a blast I tell you. I’m just so glad that they have each other in the class. And now they are off in Bailey’s room playing while I get to lay on the bed and watch more Friends.

How was dropping your kids off this year? Was it traumatic for anyone? Did anyone else just feel weird and kinda lost afterward like me? 

Sprinkler Fun

By | Bailey | No Comments

Last summer, we had spent money on a pool. A pool that I would spend hours and hours filling. A pool that Bailey loved… and a pool that after I had spent hours filling, would get slimy in like a day and Sean would dump out because it was “ruining his grass.” Also, by the end of summer, it had a big hole in the side… So this year, I don’t feel like spending money on something that would just make us waste water and would get a hole in it. So we took a tarp from Ikea ($7) and a sprinkler that Sean had already picked up from the store for the grass, and we let Bailey go crazy.  She loves it. It’s just as good as a slip ‘n’ slide or a pool right? Well if she wants to go actually swimming, we have a beach that is free for us to use really close by. So we’ll just do that.

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First Beach Day of the Season

By | Bailey | No Comments

Where we live we have a couple public beaches, one in particular is really nice and the best part is that where we live, we have to pay $10 bucks a year (per car) and we get a sticker and we get in completely free to the beaches! It’s pretty awesome. We did not take advantage of this at all last year. This year, I plan to. We got our stickers in the mail yesterday, and so when this morning proved a difficult morning with Bailey being restless and difficult most of the morning, I thought of the beach.

Now getting me out of the house is not an easy task. I’m such more of a homebody than I’d like to admit. But after I suggested it, there was not turning back. So, should I go with my new Old Navy tankini (I got it for those occasions when I didn’t feel like baring it all) or my old bikini. Bailey told me, “No mommy, I don’t want you to show your belly” with the most outrageous look of disgust when I asked her if I should just wear my bikini.

So we packed towels, my book (which I wasn’t even able to read because I was too busy watching her. I don’t know how parents do it.) sand toys, an umbrella, two chairs, and two lunches and a water bottle.


Checking ourselves out to make sure we looked beach ready.


And if you can see the little speak of a head in the water in the middle, that’s her. She was in so quickly. We loves water and the beach. She had such a good time! And the water here was perfect for kids. She could walk all the way across to the mini beach on the other side which was such a great adventure to her. She kept giving me a thumbs up if she went underwater on accident to tell me she was alright.

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She kept coming back to me asking if she could be a mermaid, or if she could be a dog, or whatever… and she tried to make friends, but most people came with friends and weren’t interested. So next time, I think we’re going to have to bring some people with us.

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Lunch time with PB&J for me, PB&Nutella for her, carrots for her, pickles for me, grapes for her, cherries for me. She dropped her sandwich in the sand and still ended up eating the whole thing. And the fact that she sat so good while we ate, definitely blew my mind. She usually can’t sit still.


Before we left, she just had to go on the playground there. I didn’t realize it was there because the only other time we came, a friend took her over to this part of the beach so I didn’t really see it. I was starting to get sunburned at this point so I told her we had to leave soon, but she insisted she only needed 5 minutes. And she was pretty good. I let her stay 10 but when I said it was time to go, she was totally okay with it.


When we got home, we came upstairs and took baths and then she watched a little bit of Tangled before passing out, which I knew was going to happen. Although we were only there a couple hours, she definitely wore herself out.

It was such a great day. I’m glad that we did this, to kind of break the ice on the beach for me so that next time it will be more familiar and feel more inviting to me. I think we will definitely go in the morning though because once it hit noon, it got so busy and was SO HOT! Morning Beach times sound better than afternoon ones anyway. 🙂

Progress and Better Sleep Habits

By | Bailey | No Comments

The last couple weeks, we’ve been working very diligently on getting Bailey to move from our bed to her own bed. She has a very nice queen size bed in her own room that we have worked on making it to her specifications, so why is she still sleeping in our room?!

I think one reason is because we have moved to two different states in her life and different places in those states. Several of the places were with family members and were only given one bed. Because of this, there was no other option than to sleep all together. It’s also a comfort thing. When I’m sleeping with people in the house that I don’t know that well, I get uncomfortable and want Bailey in our bed with us. And she has gotten to the point where she has trouble sleeping if we aren’t with her and she’s not completely exhausted.

So steps we’ve made:

Bedtime Routine

I’ve made sure that every night at 830 I say “Okay, Bailey! It’s 830. What does that mean?” or I’ll let her know that 830 is coming in a half hour or ten minutes. And she knows that 830 means that it’s time to start getting ready for bed.

We have moved her teeth brushing stuff from our bathroom to her own so that it is a new routine. We has also started a new teeth brushing regimen of floss, a more grownup kids toothpaste, and kids mouthwash. I think this helps her feel in charge of her nightly schedule. She knows what to do and she takes care of it.

This usually takes anywhere from 10 – 30 minutes. She takes her time and plays a lot. So this summer, when I start our new summer schedule, things will change and we will bring this time earlier so she has time to take her time.

One thing we’ve noticed about Bailey is that she is really bad under pressure. When you are rushing her or making her do something RIGHT NOW she has problems and kinda just shuts down. So helping her have a routine that she knows I think will help her with this because she knows what’s coming.

Options of a Show or a Book

This is something we have done but I don’t think is working for us. We tried saying “You can pick, either we watch an episode of *Whatever* or We can read you 3 books.” The problem for us is she ALWAYS picks the tv show and then is really upset when we can’t ALSO read her a book. So I’m thinking of taking the show option away and reading her a couple books because getting her in bed and listening quietly to a book seems to be a more calming option for us.

Being Consistent on Returning to her Bedroom

I think that one good thing is that she is 5 and we have been doing this for a couple weeks now. So when she comes into our room at 3 am saying she “Just wants someone to cuddle” and I’m half asleep, I just stick to my guns saying “Bailey, We can cuddle a little in the morning, but you need to go to your room by yourself now.” and I just keep saying “Go on, Bailey.” and eventually she goes back in by herself. It’s really sad actually. I totally want to just grab her and drag her into my bed. I totally want to just cuddle her all night. Part of me yells at myself saying, “ONE DAY SHE WON’T WANT TO ANYMORE!” but most nights when she was sleeping with us I was falling out of bed, getting kicked in the boobs, in the head, in the back… It was not fun. So those thoughts remind me that I do need my own space and I can still spend quality time with her that does not include sharing a bed.

Rewards in the Morning

We have been giving Bailey a chocolate bar (a mini hershey’s) if she stays in bed all night and doesn’t come out. I am unclear if this is even doing anything. I don’t know if she actually uses this as motivation at night. Also, I think Sean and I are unclear about the rules. I mean, I know the rules. If she stays in her bed all night she gets a chocolate. But Sean gives them to her even if he has to sleep with her, or if she comes and visits us in the night because she went back… Another problem is that I don’t know where we should stand if she (on the weekends mostly) doesn’t nap and passes out on the couch and is so tired she is carried into her bedroom and passes out until the morning. Should she still get one since she basically is only in her room all night because we carried her there? I’m sure the answer should be yes, because the fact is she did and we are trying to encourage good behavior.


So these are the things we’ve been doing and we are trying to be strong and consistent.  If you have any articles you recommend or any tips for us, please let me know. This is definitely a work in progress. For instance, last night, in particular, she came in to beg us to come into her room 4 times.


By | Bailey | No Comments

I love these days with her.

A post shared by Joy McNamara (@joyrmac) on

Bailey is pretending I’m the Grandma and she’s the Mom who’s pregnant.  This is her bed and when she says she’s SO sick and I suggest to come into bed, she says she doesn’t want me to catch it and that she needs to lay in her own bed. So she lays down in the corner with some pillows and blankets.

She just went downstairs to check to see what Duke was barking at and said she’s too sick and pregnant to come up by herself and needed me to help her up the stairs. So I held her under her arms as we walked slowly painfully up the stairs.

And as we are slowly going up the stairs, she whispers, “Let’s pretend this is the sad part.”

I couldn’t stop laughing and she kept whispering, “Just pretend, Mommy.”

I love you Bailey. You are the best at making me smile.