Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : Caleb is Turning 3: Part Two -Family Birthday Part...

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : Caleb is Turning 3: Part Two -Family Birthday Part...: Caleb's birthday falls just a few short days of Christmas so I am sure it will make celebrating it very interesting as he gets older but...

Caleb is Turning 3: Part Two -Family Birthday Party Justice League of Vaughn

Caleb's birthday falls just a few short days of Christmas so I am sure it will make celebrating it very interesting as he gets older but that will be for another time and place. We were originally going to celebrate Caleb's third birthday at my parents so he could run wild with his cousins playing super hero games. However, Christopher was being transferred back to his old unit so his leave and everything that we had planned was thrown up in the air (it is the Military not much we can do) . So we decided to celebrate here throwing a small family super hero party here.

So a couple of days before the 21st we picked a day to celebrate little mans birthday. This day included playing in the park, silly string, balloons, a special cupcake, presents, and make your own pizza!

 I stand by the fact that you do not need spend hundreds of dollars to have a great party! Money does not make the memories.

The day started at the park! Where Caleb and Caydance could start their super hero training. We ended up going to a park that had a little climbing wall where Caleb could practice his Spiderman training. There was also swings where little man tried his hardest to learn to pump his legs like his Daddy, sand to play in, a purple dinosaur ride, and slides to shoot down.

Caleb climbing the wall at the local park: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

The purple dino: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

Caydance trying her hands at the wall:  Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

After the park we went home but instead of going inside we took the little ones to the back yard for a silly string fight. I was telling Christopher when I first purchased the silly string this was a waster of money but in reality it was the best $8 spent on junk we ever spent. Caleb and Caydance giggling and laughing as they sprayed each other with color string! Mommy and Daddy laughing just as hard getting the string out of each other hair. So Spiderman training I believe was a huge success.

Silly String:  Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 
Mommy teaching Caleb how to use the silly string:  Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

Caydance being covered in the silly string:  Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

Caleb and Daddy playing with the silly string:  Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

When we came from the silly string fight. We had had a snacks which included green hulk juice (Green Hawaiian Punch). After snacks were done we decided to turn Caleb into the Hulk! The previous night I blew up twenty balloons and grabbed one of Christopher's work shirt. So Caleb put on his Daddy's shirt and then stuff balloons in the shirt until the Hulk appeared. It made us laugh so much and of course what Caleb did Caydance wanted to do as well so we turned her into the She Hulk (which I guess is a real thing).

After turning the kids into the Hulk we decided little man could open his gifts! As you could imagine paper was flying as he unwrapped his new treasures! So the next hour was mainly opening his new treasures and figuring out what they did and how to operate all the super heroes! I swear toys these days are getting more complicated but to see Caleb having a blast with his new additions. With the new toys and the previous excitement! Caleb's side kick Caydance was ready for her power down nap so we put her down for a nap so Caleb could play with his toys undisturbed without extra hands that we would have to share with that instant.

The Caleb Hulk:  Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

The Caydance She Hulk:  Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

So instead of going out to eat and trying to wrangle to kids in a restaurant even a kid friendly/themed place we decided to make our own pizzas! One of Caleb's favorite things to do is help me in the kitchen and making your own pizza was the perfect opportunity for my super hero to help me in the kitchen! I am just upset that there were no pictures taken of this. We topped his dinner off with an ice cream cake and his special Spiderman cupcake! Which I think Caydance may have liked more than Caleb because she basically look like she ate a smurf!

Even his bath time consisted of party fun! We made them shaving cream DIY Bath paints! Where they painted the bath tub in multiple colors! Here is the link to my previous blog post on how to make your own DIY Bath paints... do not worry they will not stain your tub and your kids will love them! DIY: Bath Paints!

The last event of evening was to catch the bad guy! So we took two rolls of crepe paper and trying to wrap Daddy aka the bad guy up! Caleb also though thought he wanted to be the bad guy as well!

Capturing the bad guy:  Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

So all in all I have to say even though it was just the JUSTICE LEAGUE VAUGHN it was a great 3rd birthday for Caleb!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Caleb is Turning 3: Part 1

I know this a little early


Caleb Hunter Vaughn Dec 21, 2011 Property Bipolar Mom and  Her Daily Life
On December 21, 2011 my life changed forever! I gave birth to an amazing little boy who was in the making for almost 6 years. My husband and I fought long and hard battle of infertility for almost 6 years when I became pregnant via an IUI with injections. I was high risk with Caleb due to the way Caleb was conceived and developing gestational diabetes (thank you PCOS) but there were complications in my last trimester. Caleb was not due until January 13 but decided he was going to break my water late on December 20th and because he remained breech the entire time I delivered him via c-section. Caleb was 8 lbs 10 oz and 19 inches and even though though he was an average size baby he was an early average size baby that needed help breathing. It would be almost 48 hours before I could hold my son for the first time and it had to be one of the hardest times of my lives with my husband being deployed and having Caleb in the NICU. However, his NICU stay would not be forever and Christopher would be home from deployment.

Caleb in the NICU Dec 2011: Property Bipolar Mom and  Her Daily Life
Holding my son for the first time Dec 2011 :  Property Bipolar Mom and  Her Daily Life
He is such a mini me of his father! His mannerism, sense of humor, and temper all remind  me so much Christopher. He loves to be by his father's side and helping where ever he can! He watches, observes, figures things out, and often goes by itself. He is stubborn, hardheaded, imaginative, and thinks he is right just like his father. I feel like I am raising my husband sometimes. I wonder what it will be like when he gets older... only time will tell on that one.

Caleb meeting his daddy for the first time: Property Bipolar Mom and  Her Daily Life

So much faith...LOL: Property Bipolar Mom and  Her Daily Life

24 Books of Christmas and Corona : Property Bipolar Mom and  Her Daily Life

Turning 3...

It is very hard to picture Caleb as this tiny baby even though it was only three years ago. He is such an adventurous and strong willed child. From sun up to sun down he is a ball of pure energy that has me catching my breath most days. I have learned the whole new world of boys and it is filled with cars, super heroes, rough housing, and getting into things more than once after he was told no. Even with this rough tough boy he still loves to come up an sit on my lap and snuggle a little. He loves to give me kisses and hugs! He also still loves his special kiss on his forehead!!! We have discovered as fearless as he is though bugs stops him right in his path... taking after his Uncle Joshua in that matter. Hopefully this is just a phase or it will just narrow down to just spiders like his Uncle.

Bonding with his sister has been a truly unique and amazing experience to see. They truly do love each other, playing, and getting into trouble. He is so protective of her when they are outside or in unknown surroundings it is very heartwarming. I hope this continues to grows because to have a brother or sister so close in age is something special! Please do not get me wrong there are days they fight like cats and dogs but to know most days they love to be in each other company makes me feel like I have done something right in this thing called parenting.

Caleb and Caydance: Property Bipolar Mom and  Her Daily Life

Caleb and Caydance: Property Bipolar Mom and  Her Daily Life

Caleb and Caydance: Property Bipolar Mom and  Her Daily Life
Caleb has faced a couple of challenges in his short life already but I have discovered very early on he very much a fighter! I also discovered that it is very much on his time as well vs anyone else time schedule. He fought in the NICU and overcame that be overall healthy and loving little boy. He also is fighting and conquering his speech delay! It has been the most amazing, honoring, and humbling experience to trying to figure out what he wants or is trying to say to signing and saying more. Now he says more and more words, small phrases, and keeps on expanding! We still have a long way to go but knowing he is so smart and seeing his eyes light up when he learns a new word! I cannot wait to see what the next chapter holds!

Caleb turning 3 also holds great new adventures for him! With him turning the big 3 he transitioned out of his in home speech therapy to in school setting. So in the middle of November we started testing and to see what "services" Caleb qualified for and starting January my little man will be starting preschool with speech therapy! He will also be riding the bus! I am sure this will be filled of unknown times but as one mom told me he is on the right track built just for him.

My son is no longer a baby but turning into a little boy who I could not be more proud of!

LOVES: Cars, Transformers, Salad, Tacos, Helping Mom Cooks
DISLIKES: Bugs and Going to bed on time
COMPLETED: In Home Speech Therapy and pointing out body parts
WORKING ON: Speech and Potty Training

Caleb 2014 : Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Caleb 2014 : Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Caleb 2014 : Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Caleb 2014 : Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

 I love this little guy more than anything ~A Bipolar Mom~

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : When You Come Across Another Moving Blog: One Ruud...

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : When You Come Across Another Moving Blog: One Ruud...: I am very new to the blogger world and there is so much I have to learn! I mean there is I have a lot learn but that is all of the process. ...

When You Come Across Another Moving Blog: One Ruud Mom

I am very new to the blogger world and there is so much I have to learn! I mean there is I have a lot learn but that is all of the process. Now I had a blog for a bit now but was hardly active on it until I made the choice to close down my craft business and expand upon my blog  "A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life" I opened up a new Facebook page you guessed it named... A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life . It has been joy and complete experience meeting new people from all over the place and one of the new people I have met was a fellow and new blogger. I cannot tell you who made contact via networking first because I love to network and meet people and try to get to know most people but I would love to share One Ruud Mom with you.

I have come across a lot of mom "blogs" already and instead of what I saw as what should be uplifting or what they claim to to be an adventure in their own life came off very in your face in topics and I felt like added fuel to Mommy wars which just drive me nuts! As parents we all do what we believe is the best for our children and on the hot topic button issues this becomes more apparent than ever on what "we believe is best for our children sometimes to the point to bringing each other down instead of respecting each others choices. However, One Ruud Mom addresses her mommy adventures to me is truly moving and a breath of fresh air.

I believe our blog is a reflection of us! I do not think the author of One Ruud Mom could be a better example of this. Juliana Ruud or as she says "Jules" is the owner of One Ruud Mom is very honest and open about her life as a mother and wife. She has had several curve balls than most people have faced but instead of focusing on just the curve balls of life she embraces everything and writes with such honesty, love, general positive, and emotions as she shares her new adventures as a mom as well facing past curve balls. It is very hard for us to face our past let alone our future and she does both beautiful. So I encourage you to get to know her.

As I stated earlier I come across a lot of mom blogs that I thought should be uplifting or expressing their adventures in their life but seem to be the opposite. However, Jules One Ruud Mom promises her adventures and so much more. I will give you an example on why I love reading her blog! She wrote a blog post on breastfeeding. Now when I usually see these topics likes this I usually pass right by them no matter who writes them. I mean I just do not pass them I actually run for the hills and do not look back because this can be a hot topic issue for Moms where the claws come out, stances are made, and so on. I just basically take the position to each it own. When you read her post I Did It It and Now I am Done it is so not much about pro-breast feeding than it is about her experience breastfeeding her child. She talks about being a ball of stress before giving birth, a nursing plan that did not go to plan, her mom making her see the smaller and bigger picture, being grateful, and being able to breastfeed for the entire year. As a Mom I loved reading about her experience about breastfeeding vs telling me about the benefits of breastfeeding. I could tell you as a Mom I would much rather reach out or share my own experience to someone who is willing to share their experience whatever the outcome was in  breastfeeding to someone who wrote with passion, love, and honesty. However, with all those traits never harsh or hurtful to someone else.

So if you are looking for a Mom blog who offers what they say I encourage you to check out Jules One Ruud Mom.

Much Love From A Bipolar Mom !

Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Lights Oh Joy!

Image Found On Google Free Images
If you are a member of this household putting up Christmas lights is an annual tradition!

 You know where your the man of the house drags out lights he so "neatly" put up last year, climb up on a latter to new heights, asking his wife if they are even for the 100th time, a couple of curse words after discovering a strand of lights have stopped working once they have been strung, chasing kids, scoping out what the neighbors are doing, and so on.

Christmas 2014: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

My husband came home early from work one day and the weather was just prefect so he declared it was Christmas light outside day! I must admit my eyes rolled for this event. I love the end results but it is always adventure to get there. So hubby changed clothes and I got the kids ready for their first adventure of putting up Christmas lights outside in this household.

So here are some amazing highlights of  last week!

The weather was actually really nice not winter feeling at all so we were all enjoying the "winter" weather in our T-shirts. Hubby rocking his gym shorts as he climbs the latter and other objects that had me repeating more then once "I am not taking you to the emergency room" or "how are you going to explain to your command that you hurt yourself by climbing on something you shouldn't?".

My Marine : Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
I also had numerous heart attack moments! Christopher would ask me for something and I turn around and both of the little monkeys would be trying to climb up the latter to help Daddy hang up Christmas lights on the roof. I realized that playing in parks may have aided into their no fear of wanting to climb on things. Oh the joy of having little ones who dare to be fearless!!!

I  Know What He Is Thinking: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
Caleb and Caydance are able to entertain themselves very well and during this fun adventure found the stroller/trike to mess with. So Caleb was pushing Caydance through our leaf riddle yard giggling as they crunched over the leaves! I did find a massive leaf among the many. I can tell you I cannot wait to rake these bad boys up! When you live in military housing there are only so many days that they will pick up leaves and yard stuff so when you have massive treats you wait until the tree drops that last bad boy!!!!

Christmas 2014: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Pushing Caydance Around My Bulb Tree:Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
Caydance Christmas 2014: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

My Massive Leaf: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

The one of biggest highlights was Caleb getting into decorating and wanting to help! He is always wanting to help so we always have to find ways for him help or he will get in over his little head. So Caleb and I decided to make a chocolate truffle bush from our left over shatterproof bulbs. So I had Christopher string the lights and we created something that I wanted to eat!

Little Man Decorating: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
He Did A Great Job: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
Christmas 2014: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Finally as the evening winded down I was able to snap the end results and a couple of selfies of this adventure! I am often the one snapping the pictures and I have to make an effort to get on the other side of the lens more often.

Hello! :Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

End Results!

The Outside Lights Of  This Bipolar Mom's House Hold : Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Then The Next Part Taking Them Down After Christmas!

Image Found On Google Free Images

It was sure an adventure for this Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

24 Books of Christmas Advent Countdown

Picture Found On Google Free Images
As we all know Christmas talks earlier and earlier each year. I went to store during Halloween and they had Christmas trees ups and we are not talking about a craft store where they help get crafters get an early start on their products. I am serious a no joke chain store! However, that is neither here or there for this post! However, one of the things I did see floating around Facebook was about 24 books of Christmas. Now there are many versions of this on Pinterest and links all over Facebook but the overall basic concept is that you wrap 24 books and have your child unwrap each night and you read it together as a family. I could not help but to love this idea! I mean I am huge bookworm and my kids are always wanting me to read to them.

So here is my version of 24 books of Christmas!

Now I first obviously needed 24 books and I know this could get very expensive if you are wanting to go the all new route. Have you seen the price of new books and children books? However, if you are like me buying used books is something that I love to do and you can find really great used books at the thrift stores, local used book stores, and 2nd in Charles. So you can actually be frugal in this project and can be budget friendly if you plan it out right. I was able to do everything including by adding a little bonus of those little chocolate advent calenders just right over $20 dollars when everything was said and done. You will also need to decide what type of books you want! I decided that I really did not need 24 themed Christmas books but I made sure to mix and match! I also had to make sure for my 24 books of  Christmas there were at two must haves in this count down.

1. The Night Before Christmas By: Clement Clarke

2. The Christmas Story - This is actually written by many authors so you find the version or the author you like

My Bounty Of Books: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
The possibilities of what type theme or how you would like to approach you want to take whether it as all Christmas, Christian overtones, Winter themed, non-themed books, and so on. You can do anything you want!

The next you will have to wrap all 24 books. Now if you are super great wrapper be my guest go all out and wrap them and make them all look pretty! I however, have two little ones a 16-month and a 3 year old I highly doubt they were going to notice the fine wrapping that I have done. Actually when I am older they will not notice that either because I suck at wrapping gifts. So I found some white tissue paper I had buried in my craft room  and wrapped up the 24 books. Nothing fancy and simple for my kids to tare apart.  However, if you are looking for some really fancy ideas I suggest for you to check out Pinterest !!!

One of the last things you will need to decide is where you want to put these 24 books. I would say think about your children's age for this one. I have two little ones so putting them under the tree or in their reach would have been a complete disaster on my end. So I decided to actually keep them in my bedroom where my books are stored and my children's books are stored as well. However, I did make a small presentation for my kids and I think it went over well with them. I have seen on Pinterest people putting them in little wagons, stacking them in a form of Christmas tree, putting them under the tree, having them in a specific order, and so on. So if you need inspiration just log on to Pinterest there are tons of wonderful ideas. I also decided to add those cute count down calenders with a small piece of chocolate for each night! I mean who does not like a little sweet treat at the end of the night?

My Presentation/Display Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
So each night we add opening a new book and reading it and topping it off with a little sweet treat !

Little Ones Super Excited For Their Calenders: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Look Caydance! See Mine?! :Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
I could not any other way to count down Christmas....

Caleb Unwrapping The First Book: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
I Let Them Explore The Book First: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
Caleb Reading To Caydance: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
Caydance...not sure what she is doing here:Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Now someone to do an adult version for me

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thanksgiving Was Wonderful and Beyond Blessed

Image Found on Google Free Images
This family went from planning nothing special to make last minute plans and drove to my parents to celebrate Thanksgiving. I am always thankful for the holidays and family but this by far has been one of the best Thanksgivings in a long time. A lot of times the holidays can be so stressful and overwhelming and for this Bipolar Mom it can become stressful very fast. My Mom and I decided that a low key no fuss Thanksgiving. No turkey, no holiday trimmings, no obligated holiday traditions..we just let Thanksgiving take us to a new place of blessings.

My Nephews Turkey He Made At School :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

My husband and I loaded up our little family the day before Thanksgiving and headed out towards my parents. This was probably the most stressful part of the trip but it was to be expected on the busiest day travel. Well at least that is what the statistics says. It took us twice as long to get where we are going but we arrived safely to our destination which is always huge blessing when everyone is trying to get to their destination as fast as they can.

Traditional Holiday Travel ;) I hope everyone got there safely:Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
We got settled in the guest bedroom and snuggled in for the night. It is always comforting to know that we can call this place home when we our always on the move as a military family. My kids were up and early playing with the Grandparents and I woke up to the smell of fresh homemade cinnamon rolls. Is that not one of best smells to wake up too? I am sure I truly woke up with traditional my mother let me sleep in hair! As we sat around the table just chit chatting there was no final prep of the turkey and setting in the deep hours of cooking but rather.... my mom telling my daddy make sure the steak count is right, JT decided on a pork chop, and of course Shelly's chicken breast. You heard me right the Franklin house hold decided instead of turkey or ham we would once again go nontraditional (last year we did traditional German meal) and do steaks on the grill! YUMMY!!!! So the next thing was waiting for my brother to arrive later on in the day.

Image found on Google Free Images 
When my brother arrived with his brood the house was filled with Grandsons and Caydance running back and forth. There was small talk, big talk, in depth talk, silly talk, sports talk, and so on.. in this household you never know what you are going to get when it comes to conversation. Dinner was easy to put together and we taught Shelly (my brother's wife) how to make pull-a-parts (sorry not sharing the yummy drool worthy recipe). We gathered around the table, said grace, and shared what we are all thankful for. I always say something serious and not so serious because I think it is to be thankful about the little things as well and in this case Caydance finally letting me putting her hair up!

Image found on Google Free Image

After dinner is always a joint clean up with my brother making an excuse to leave for about ten minutes to go do something and of course Mom says nothing ever changes and I am like he plans this! My mother, Shelly, and I did something that we thought we would never do in a million years well two things actually. The first thing that we are always against is going anywhere or shopping on Thursdays and promote being with friends and family. However, after weighing are options for this certain reason we decided to play our odds and head to the Radio Shack to see if we could purchase a laptop for my sister-in-law. My sister-in-law has been out of work but hitting the ground hard looking for a job. She finally landed an amazing opportunity but was in desperate need of a new laptop to help wit on call jobs instead of borrowing her boss's computer all the time. So we bundled up and I was stretching outside my truck making typical Black Friday jokes but when we arrived at Radio Shack there was no one there. I guess they were all at Target, Walmart, and other big places that choose to open up on Thursdays. When we entered there was older couple in there warning us not to go to Target we simply smiled and said we had no intention of going there or any other big store and this was a rare exception. Well come to find out this Radio Shack did not sell laptops... I am not sure why but the gladly looked it up for us and found then nearest one and called to hold it for us. So as people were probably pushing, shoving, and possibly getting a black eye we drove to an equally quite Radio Shack this one across Walmart. You just do not find wonderful customer service at all like that!!! At this Radio Shack they had the Christmas music blasting and my favorite silliest Christmas song came on..."I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" so I busted out in a dance and singing lyrics and of course my mother just shakes her soon-to-be 32-year-old daughter is doing this in the middle of Radio Shack, This might explain why she surprised me with a pretty cool of purple headphones from Radio Shack as well ;) . She bought a couple of more little things from Radio Shack and headed back home and joked about we have no idea what people are complaining about this Black Friday shopping it was super easy. We however counted are blessing in this rare exception of going out on Thursday! The rest of the night was filled of a couple of board games and the kids watch the first Christmas shows of the season. We also talked about shopping on Black Friday and going to Lights at the Zoo.

So before I continue I would like to thank the Staff at these two Radio Shacks that had to work on Thursday night. Your Customer Service was beyond amazing!!!

Radio Shack-

Columbia-Garners Ferry (Near Target)
6070 Garners Ferry Rd
Columbia, SC 29209


Columbia-Forest Drive (Near Walmart)
5496 Forest Drive Unit G
Columbia, SC 29206

The next day Shelly, my mother,  little Caydance, and I prepped for the first time in a long time to go Black Friday shopping. Okay not really we got up like 9 and left the house at 10 there was no rush, no hurry, and no need to get item. We were so blessed for the rare exception of that previous evening. I guess you still have to call it Black Friday shopping because it took place on Black Friday. On the shopping list were winter jackets, clothes, and shoes for the little ones. This is probably the first year that probably everyone in the Franklin (maiden name) clan that everyone was in need of something vs any want. My kids were in desperate need of clothes even little Caydance. I also asked if Mom and Dad would help out with the winter jackets this year. My Mom and Dad love to help out with sport fees, school supplies, fundraisers, and so on just besides spoiling their Grandbabies. Well because I live a little bit aways and my kids are not in school yet or a lot of activities I often forget to ask or they come up blank in areas on the needs. So it is often help fill the gas tank and groceries when they are here which I am so grateful for!! So we headed to Burlington Coat Factory to check out the coats. I do not have one of these stores close to me and it is a store my Mom forgets about. The first stop was the little girl coats and come to find out my daughter loves to try on and model coats well up to third one. We settled on one that she can grow into so we should hopefully get a couple of years out of it unless she has a massive growth spurt and with kids you never know. Mom found this little purse for her carry like the big girls and you would thought she was carrying gold and because of this little purse I have found her trying to steal my car keys. When we were also there we found Shelly a couple of business suits, Caleb his jacket, my brother a jacket, and my mom surprised me with a new winter jacket as well! My mom told me I could that I was finally feeling good about myself in general and wanted to treat me :) . I also picked up a couple of stocking stuffers for my kids, slippers for  and bought one of Daddy's favorite candy for a just because treat for him. So I got a lovely black winter jacket that will be easy to clean (not fleece) if the kids and likely will if the kids get something on it. The day of shopping wrapped up at the Fort Jackson PX where we had lunch and talked to some troops to see if they were going home for the Holidays.

When we got home briefly discussing our day of shopping we could only take a small break for the next adventure. Mom and Daddy took the entire family to Riverbank Zoo to the Lights Before Christmas! Which is where the zoo basically covers itself from head-to-toe in Christmas lights. I have been a couple of times through my life in South Carolina but the last time I think I went was in 2004 right before my husband and I got married.Christopher and I treated the Nephews and are two to light up toys that all the kids were running around with. It was a little overwhelming for Caleb at first but he really loved where the fake snow was falling and thought the pony that he could touch. I guess the only down side was they use to keep the aquarium part open but he did get to see the gorilla and a koala bear that he thought was neat. Caydance took forth and was in thralled with just about everything the lights, sounds, fake snow, and the hot chocolate! The trip was topped off with a visit to the gift shop where Grandpa and Grandma bought something to remind them of this adventure. The boys all picked out something similar and Caydance ended up with this cute stuff animal monkey that ended up being as big as her because it was on sale and cheaper than the smaller ones. We got home and everyone passed out except for Caleb. This often happens when he becomes over stimulated so I stayed up with him just having Mommy and Me time but he could not have had made his Grandma's night for when she asked for a hug goodnight he grabbed her face with his little hands and gave her a great big kiss!

Lights Before Christmas :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
Caydance playing on the statue and both of us rocking are new winter jackets... Thank you Grandma/Mom :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

J2, JT, Caleb, and Caydance aka The Franklin Grandkids at the Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia South Carolina Lights Before Christmas :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
The next day we woke up exhausted and planed to take it easy. I however, to run out and get a oil change for our truck and make an Aldis run since there is not one close to me. So Shelly and I loaded up in the truck ran to Starbucks and went to oil change place where you can sit in your car while it is being serviced on. We had a great chit chat and counted all the Gamecock vs Clemson fans working there (all the rivalry games going on that weekend) and wondering what we were going to do during the Ducks vs Beaver game. It is not that we do not like football it is just not our life and I rather much be reading a book or crocheting just saying ;) . So we finished up the oil the change and Aldis and headed back towards a day of football talk. So during the big game there was also a big fire where I could I listen to fire and my nephew JT could tell me that this was "favorite" song about every other song. I was not able to make it through the night and curled up with Caleb who kept me up the previous night.

Caleb and JT hanging out by the fire with me during football breaks :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
On Sunday we woke up early waiting for my brother to come by from his Sunday service to help load up the truck and say goodbyes. I always hate saying goodbye and hate when are visits to come an end. We ran by Daddy's work to say goodbye because he had to work most of the time we were there. For a final nature surprise there were huge perfect pine cones!!! So I collected several pine cones for crafts projects!!! As we hit the road our kids are out like lights so I put on my music and chill for the ride home!!!

 I love being and so does Christopher being around my family they have taught me over the years it is not where you live, how much you have, and so on what family is truly about. So as you can see as I type and share this Bipolar Mom's Thanksgiving was non-traditional, last minute, fast paced, but wonderful and beyond blessed!!!

Just me :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

I hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!