• #sponsored When you become a parent, there are so many new things to learn about and I feel like each person latches on to something they’re passionate about / can’t stop reading and learning about. For me? That’s car seats! Thankfully some states are finally updating their laws to conform to recommendations from the APA. We have tried quite a few different seats and this 3-in-1 Pria seat from @maxicosiusa is the nicest! The chest clip is magnetic, making it easy to clip and unclip with one hand. The straps stay in place thanks to their out-of-the-way spring assist, so no more twisted up straps. And the cushions are both washer AND dryer safe! Yay for no more hang-drying! On top of that, it’s rear-facing up to 40lbs, forward-facing up to 65lbs and then a booster up to 100lbs. #ParentYourWay #PriaMax3in1 #happilytrista
  • 6 weeks of this angel girl ✨
She is still waking up once over night most nights. She just started smiling at us these past few days. She loves tummy time but rolls herself over all of the time so we have to roll her back. She loves to be worn and snuggled. And we have to restrain her brother from kissing her 193739 times per day. 🤪 #happilytrista #newborn #sixweeksold #fourthtrimester
  • We are currently paying the price for last week’s easy bedtimes. I’m trying to get Ben to sleep in his own room. So you can guess how happy he is about that. His yelling has Blaire awake still, she’s been out of her room about 25 times. And Sloane is passed out on the couch. At least someone is asleep. They’re lucky they’re adorable because holy moly I’m tired and just want to veg out on the couch. #gotheftosleep #blairebenandsloane #happilytrista
  • Yesterday was almost 60° and today it “feels like” 21°. We had a handful of fall days and it’s not fair because I’m not ready to skip right to winter. There’s nothing better to get us all out of the house than a walk, especially because wearing Sloane puts her right to sleep. Anywho, trying to squeeze in a nap before we get Blaire from school because once we get home it’ll be a mad dash for me to shower and get everyone ready for Blaire’s first kindergarten parent/teacher conference. AND it’s book fair at her school. Who still gets excited for the book fair? 🤭🙋🏼‍♀️ #happilytrista
  • someone changed out of their pajamas today. it wasn’t me.
#happilytrista #rainbowbaby
  • daylight savings vibes... casually pouring coffee in my eyes today. what time were your kiddos awake? 
#dst #daylightsavingssucks #happilytrista #targetstyle
  • Sorry if this made you yawn. 🤭 I just love that Sloane feels the sleep dust when I’m wearing her, just like Benny did! 💕 Hope you’re having a weekend as great as this girl. She is one month old today! Still waking just at 1:30am most nights to eat... occasionally around 5am, too. When she’s awake she likes to look at lights and stare at mama. Whenever she does tummy time she rolls right over to her back. 🥰 #happilytrista
  • Tried some Pinterest-y nail art while the two older kids were at school this morning... and I’m ready to remove and do something a little less crazy when they’re all in bed tonight. 🤪 Real wild Friday night plans, am I right?
#nailsofinstagram #nailsoftheday #essie #manimonday #happilytrista
  • Sloane’s first Halloween... the one where it snowed 3 inches and was 20° outside. Woody and Jessie lasted about 30 mins trick-or-treating, then they wanted to head home to hand out candy. What was the weather like where you live? And how many pieces of candy do people give out where you trick-or-treat? Here, it’s a tie between “choose two pieces” and “grab a handful.” #blairebenandsloane #halloween #halloween2019 #happilytrista
  • ...when your mom takes too long in @target. Realized when we got out to the car that his binky was lost somewhere in the store. 20 mins into bedtime tonight I FINALLY found one in a diaper bag. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 #tristalovestarget #happilytrista #terribletwos
  • Today turned out to be the most beautiful day and we spent it at the zoo for “Boo at the Zoo”. Soaking it up while we can since Thursday is calling for snow. Think our kids will be fine with staying in to hand out candy? 😂😂 #thepetersoncrew #happilytrista
September 6, 2017

7 questions to ask before deciding on a preschool


This time next year, Blaire will be in preschool full time. In Iowa, 4-year-olds can attend preschool for free. Since the daycare center she’s in now works with her on numbers, letters, Spanish, arts & crafts, etc. so we didn’t feel she needed to be enrolled in preschool this school year. BUT, most preschools hold their registration between January and March, so now is the time to start begin looking at our options of preschools she can attend. 

Osh Kosh Back to School Style

  1. What is the weekly schedule?
    Since every parent’s schedule is different, you want something that’s going to work with your weekly schedule. That may mean a class that is only 2 or 3 days per week or it may mean something 5 days per week. Is the class all day? If it’s only partial day, do they have daycare onsite or will you have to pick your child up and take them to daycare? Do they have transportation available from the preschool to any local daycare centers?
  2. What is the daily schedule?
    Most successful preschools will have a standard daily routine – since we all know young children thrive with routine. It’s important to make sure they 
  3. Is nap time offered daily? If so, are all children required to take naps?
    While it is ideal to offer rest time to the children, not all children still take naps once they are preschool age. If these children are being required to take naps, that may interfere with their normal bedtime. 
  4. How are the children disciplined? 
    All children make mistakes and act out. Is time out used as a punishment for everything including hitting, biting, and tantrums? Do the caretakers try to help the children work out their differences? Do children receive warnings before being put in time out? Many school use “time outs” as a way to remove the child from the negative situation/behavior. But time out can look different depending on the school. Are they put in a corner alone with nothing to think about their actions? Or are they put in a corner with a book or a toy to help them have a few minutes to themselves? 
  5. Do the children have time for free play? How much?
    Some are very structured and the majority of your child’s day will be spent with all of her/his classmates. Others are play-based and your child will be free to play what they want, for as long as they want.
  6. Will they play outside? Where? How often? And in what temperatures? 
    This is very important for us since we are both working parents. If Blaire does not get outside during the day, she may only get to spend 30 minutes outside once we are home in the evenings. She LOVES to play outside and it helps to get out all of her energy when she can run around outdoors. Her current daycare has a great (age-appropriate) playground. They are also affiliated with a school system, so there are tennis courts near the daycare where the younger kids can run around on warmer weather days, and an indoor gym where they can take a walk to, and then play inside on cold days.
  7. Are all caregivers CPR and First Aid certified?

I know it seems like next school year is far away, but you know how it is when you’re a parent… You blink and time flies by. So it’s never too early to start figuring out where your little one will go to school.

Osh Kosh Back to School StyleOsh Kosh Back to School StyleOsh Kosh Back to School StyleOsh Kosh Back to School StyleOsh Kosh Back to School StyleOsh Kosh Back to School StyleRuffle Top | Distressed Denim | Booties | Hair Clips (sold out, similar here)

One “Back to School” tradition you can participate in whether your child is starting school or not, is back to school shopping! It’s the best time to stock up on clothing for the cooler weather that is bound to be coming around the corner. I am loving the trends at OshKosh B’gosh this fall. From casual graphic tees, to dressier ruffles, to tiny distressed denim, I love that Blaire can be on-trend for a great price! 

It’s not too late to support the B’gosh Jeanius Campaign. You can donate a new pair of jeans in-store or make a cash contribution in-store or online (at through September 18. So far, they have collected over $1.1 million and distributed more than 66,000 articles of clothing since launching the program in 2014.  as an annual effort to support our. 

I wish you the best of luck finding the right school for your precious babe! The imagination of your child is something so wonderful and precious, finding the perfect school to help them thrive is such an exciting milestone. xo

7 questions to ask before choosing a preschool

  • Reply
    September 8, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Just pinned this post for future reference. I never thought of all the things I would need to ask about a preschool, but I think you’ve done all the work for me. Thank you! And thanks for the coupon for Osh kosh!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    This is such a hard one because what they learn is so fundamental to the rest of their academic career. I want my children to love school so that means giving them a great start!

  • Reply
    Carol Davis
    September 9, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Great Blog again ! Very informative for parents ! Of course loved all the pictures too ! ?

  • Reply
    Laura // SSHEART
    September 10, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Oh such an informative post! Will pin this for the future!!!

  • Reply
    Ernest London
    September 20, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    I like that you mentioned to find out how much time the children are given to play on their own and with friends. Free play is a great way to help kids develop social skills, so it is important to me to have some unstructured time. I am trying to find the right preschool for my son. This is something I will definitely be asking about, thanks.

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  • How many kids do you have? Which transition was the hardest? It may not be the traditional answer, but for me, becoming a mama to one was the hardest. I had NO CLUE what I was in for.
The mom guilt.
How long it would take to leave the house.
The sleepless nights.
Losing myself in motherhood — feeling like I had to be with Blaire 24/7.
Adding Ben and now Sloane to our crew has been so much easier for me. It’s like they just fall in line with the crazy. 🤪 And I think being so much more confident in myself as a mom doesn’t hurt either. 💁🏼‍♀️ #motherhoodishard
#motherhood #momofthree #momof3 #clickinmoms #momtog #thelovelysquares #happilytrista #blaireandben #blairebenandsloane
  • ice cream outside with two of my favorite people. when it’s only 70° outside you can actually eat your ice cream without it melting all over us... and by us I mean them. 👆🏻👆🏻 #blaireandben
#2yearsold #5yearsold #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom
  • Prepping for our third baby has been pretty easy so far. I guess when you have an older sister and brother, plus a mama who likes to hold on to everything from her babies, there isn’t a ton of shopping to do. The kids are having fun picking out little gifts to give baby sister in the hospital (something Blaire still talks about from when Ben was born), little toys here and there, PJs, and this @babyeinstein 4-in-1 Kickin Tunes Music & Language Discovery Gym at @target. I wasn’t joking when I said they wanted to test it out! #babyeinstein #ignitecuriosity #socialspotters #blaireandben #happilytrista
  • #ad I can’t believe this girl is heading off to kindergarten! With afternoon pre-k last year, we were lucky to not have to worry about the morning rush. So this year, our go-to is a waffle and a chocolate milk for the ride to school. Horizon® Shelf Stable Chocolate Milk is our favorite since we can easily grab it and go! Spoiler alert: she takes one in her lunch, too. Blaire is so excited, but little brother and I are sad to see her spend so much time away from us. But I am excited to be able to walk her to school and avoid the CRAZY drop-off and pick-up lines while the weather’s still nice, anyways. 
You can find @HorizonOrganic Chocolate Milk at @KrogerCo and you can even save $1 with this digital coupon (7/24/19 – 8/6/19). And you can stock up because Horizon Organic milk boxes are shelf-stable, meaning you can safely store them in the pantry. Shop now through the link in my bio. #blaireandben
  • Well we don’t have a Nordstrom near us, but we do have an Aldi. Most of their summer items are on clearance and we scored this sweet pool for $7. Winner, winner. 🦄☀️ #blaireandben
#summer #momentsiwanttoremember #aldifinds #motherhood
  • This summer hasn’t really felt like summer yet. 🤨 So when we have an 85° day we make the most out of it with a trip to the pool! How’d you spend your Sunday Funday? #blaireandben
  • another day, another doctors appointment for someone in our crew. today it’s Ben. he was up overnight saying his ear hurt — a double ear infection for him. luckily the kid loves taking medicine and hasn’t let his ears get him down! as long as he’s up moving around they’re fine, but the second he lays down... 😭😭😭. hoping our poor buddy is feeling better tomorrow. do you feel like you need a frequent flier card for your pediatrician? just me? okay. #blaireandben #itsfinewerefine
#uniteinmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #momentsiwanttoremember #mybabies
  • When your brother is getting big but you still want to hold him... you gotta pinch his butt because he’s so wiggly. 😂😬😍 #blaireandben •
#petitejoys  #childhoodunplugged #letthembelittle #ohheymama #tagtheqc #mybeautifulmess #thehappynow  #thepursuitofjoyproject #thatsdarling #livethelittlethings #momentsiwanttoremember #everydaymoments #nothingisordinary #motherhoodrising
  • It is definitely bittersweet to leave the house where we brought both of these babies home. But we are excited for our next chapter as a family of five! #rainbowbaby #blaireandben
#pregnancyannouncement #rainbowbabyannouncement #firsttrimester
  • Last night was our first night in the new house. 👏🏻 We still have lots of stuff to bring from the old house and then lots of cleaning over there before the final walk through and closing next Monday. Then we can focus on getting this house unpacked and organized. But first, I would like a nap. 😴 #blaireandben #happilytristahome
  • The snow that never ends. 🙄🥶 Walked out into the snow this afternoon and one kid loved it, the other not so much. “Wowwww! It’s like a wizard out here.” —Blaire 😂
“Yuck!” —Ben #blaireandben
#bestofmom #momlifestyle #momlifeisthebestlife #motherhoodunplugged #mymotherhood #honestmotherhood #slowmotherhood #mymamahood #midwestblogger #eternalmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #unitedinmotherhood #motherhoodrising #polarvortex