• #ad Anyone else have kiddos obsessed with music? I am so impressed with how well Ben is playing his @babyeinstein Magic Touch Piano! The sheets of music are color-coded, so he matches the notes on the cards to the keys on the piano and it is so cute! I never played an instrument, but Jason played in the marching band through college and both of our kids love playing with instruments. I can’t wait to see if they decide to pursue an instrument as they get older! You can find this cute little piano at our favorite place, @target. #ignitecuriosity #babyeinstein #benjaminp
#twoyearsold #thisistwo #ig_motherhood #motherhoodalive #honestmotherhood #notonlymama #momlifeisthebestlife #documentingmotherhood #beyond_motherhood #motherhoodintheraw#motherhoodunited #motherhoodinspired #motherhoodgoals #motherhoodandme #motherhoodjourney
  • I can’t believe I’m officially in my third trimester for the (99.9% sure 😬) last time. It’s such a bittersweet feeling... getting so close to meeting the final member of our family, but to know I’ll never get to experience the joy of seeing the tiny heartbeat in the first ultrasound or feeling the sweet kicks (and punches and dolphin flips). Ice cream, sno cones and the AC are my best friends right now. It’s also crazy to me that I still have another season to go before we welcome this sweet baby at the end of Sept or early October! #photobyblaire •
#28weekspregnant #thirdtrimester #bumpdate #bumpstyle #bumpie #motherhood
  • #ad When your mom spends too much time in @target so you just jam out while you’re waiting. I usually make them put back whatever toy they’ve latched onto in the store, but this @babyeinstein Magic Touch Piano is so cute! It doesn’t have any keys or buttons – they actually press the wood and it makes noise. Ben keeps saying “Please open mama?!” so I can’t wait to get it home and let him jam out there, you know, with the sound on the lowest setting. 😂😂 #ignitecuriosity #babyeinstein
  • 30 Second Giveaway! I teamed up with some friends to gift ONE lucky follower a DockATot Deluxe, Fawn Design Diaper Bag, Nano Bebe Breastmilk Bottle 3 Pack, Swaddle Blanket, Wubbanub and pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins 
2️⃣Head to @sweetloops1 and FOLLOW ALL the accounts they are following
3️⃣Bonus Entries: Tag a friend or tell us your favorite show to binge

Ends 7/19 11:59pm PST Winner announced on 7/22 by 11:59pm PST Profiles must be public.

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  • My favorite traditions at 28 weeks: sno cones + this stretchy dress. #photobyblaire •
#28weekspregnant #thirdtrimester #motherhood #sahm #wfhm #tagtheqc #bebold #momlife #survivingsummer
  • Happy Prime Day!! I’m so excited to be shopping all the deals today, how about you?? #ad Lucky for us, my fave @kindsnacks are on sale! You can stock up just in time for the craziness of back to school. This Caramel Almond and Sea Salt bar is sweet and salty with just 5g of sugar! It’s keeping me going while I shop all day. 😉 #kindcollective #bekindtoyourself #primeday #amazonprimeday
  • Blaire cleaned her room and made her bed today. I think it’s so cute when she makes her bed and carefully arranges her animals! She usually cleans her room once a week, Sunday is the perfect day to start fresh. The majority of her toys are in there, she gets them all set up how she wants and I just feel bad making her put them away! Do your kids pick up their toys every night? #happilytristahome
#homedecor #potterybarn #pbteen #homesweethome #livesimple #simplelife #motherhoodinspired #motherhoodintheraw
  • 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
  • messy house, no makeup, and a kid who doesn’t want to wake up from his late car nap... meaning bedtime will be difficult. But what’s so different about that?! 🤪☹️ When your kids come out of your bed for the 1937 time tonight, just know you’re not alone. #happilytristahome
#momentsiwanttoremember #27weekspregnant #babybump #momofthree #bumpstyle #ltkbump #bedtimesucks #motherhoodmoments #livethelittlethings #livefully #thegoodlife #secondtrimester #preggomama #pursuehappiness #darlingmovement
  • If you need me I’ll be here taking a nap. JK. I’ll be in the car, curled up with my maternity pillow eating milk duds... hopefully taking a nap at some point. And I already changed into a comfy tee and some shorts that won’t button for the 6 hour drive. 🤣🤣🤣 How’s your Monday going?
#27weekspregnant #secondtrimester #ltkbump #bumpstyle #babybump #targetstyle #targetdoesitagain #summervacation #babymoon
  • this. kid. He just melts me with how freaking adorable he is. Then he will go and say something like “Mama I want my binky NOWWWW” and then I remember he’s just as crazy as he is cute. 😍😝 #benjaminp
#targetfield #mntwins #thisis2 #momentsiwanttoremember #mamasboy
August 1, 2018

one year with our home security system


Per Mar Home Security SystemIt has been just over one year that we’ve had our home security system. I am so happy we finally got one! It was something I had always wanted because I am the person who analyzes every little noise I hear. And I typically wake Jason up to ask if he heard it, too, which is annoying when it happens every night for three years. And that was when Jason was home!

Now can you imagine what I was like when Jason was traveling? He used to travel a lot more for work before Ben was born. When he was gone overnight, I did one of two things,
1| Had one of my brothers come stay at our house with us. This usually worked out pretty well, even if it was for 5 nights, because they could take turns (lol).
2| I would stay up late watching TV in bed, with my giant, heavy dresser in front of my bedroom door, both kids in our room, both of them constantly stirring because of the light from the TV. None of us slept well. 

Last summer, right when I was about to return to work from my maternity leave with Ben, my anxiety was at an all time high. My worst anxiety times have always been at night. I would lay awake for hours in bed every night. Usually we are in bed by 10PM and it would be 3AM before my brain would let itself rest enough to fall asleep. Jason finally took me up on my many requests to look in to a home security system.

I decided to get quotes from the three companies I had heard of most. The first was a local company, Per Mar. They were the company used by my previous employer located here in the Quad Cities. Knowing that department store had multiple stores/office building, and trusted them with their security was a plus. Anytime I had to interact with them on behalf of my employer, they were always pleasant to work with. The other two companies were national brands used by other previous employers in college or in friends’ homes.

For all three companies, I filled out the Quote Request forms on their website. All three of them responded to me quickly, but in different ways. Per Mar, I had chosen I wanted to receive my information in an email. So I received an email (that same day) from a Salesman at Per Mar. He requested some basic information from me about our home and asked if we could set up a time for him to come give us a quote. 

The second company I heard back from was the one that is probably most widely known. They are nationwide and they work with contractors located in different areas. I received a call from one of their salesmen in Florida (We live in Iowa). He was a true salesman. He was trying to close the sale at the end of every statement. And when I asked for pricing he said he needed my SSN to let me know what deals I would be approved for. (Get. Out.) By the time we hung up, over 45 mins later, we had made an appointment for someone to come give us a recommendation for the proper equipment at 5PM that Friday.

Guess who showed up at 5PM that same day?  Their installation technician. He told Jason he was there to give us our quote and TO INSTALL OUR SECURITY SYSTEM. Jason had to tell him 5 times that we were still working with other companies and were NOT interested in having our installation done that day. He finally told him we were cancelling the appointment we had scheduled for Friday and we would be in contact if we were interested in rescheduling. 

The main point of me seeking out a security system was to feel safe in my home. And knowing this company had done the complete opposite, from the pushy salesman who asked for my SSN 5 mins in to our call, to the installation technician who showed up 4 days early and was equally as pushy, it just gave us both a horrible feeling.

The third company also worked with regional contractors. We received standard pricing information from them but put them on the back burner pending our visit from Per Mar’s salesman.

When the salesman from Per Mar showed up later in the week, he couldn’t have been friendlier! He was great with the kids and was able to give me a lot of great security insight about our home. He went over different types of protection (glass break sensors vs. open window sensors, the mobile app vs. the key fob, etc.) and really left the ball in our court in terms of timeline and next steps. I loved that he was open to having our conversation via email (when the other companies were set on phone calls) because it was much easier for me to keep track of the various pricing and options available when it was written out in black and white. It also made a world of difference in terms of being able to have Jason in the loop, since he was able to see word for word what I was seeing. When I have to read my notes back to him, I get worried I’m remembering something wrong!

Per Mar Home Security SystemPer Mar Home Security SystemPer Mar Home Security System Per Mar Home Security SystemIt did take close to two weeks before we were able to schedule our installation time. Obviously, the time of your installation depends on what products you choose. Our installation tech was as friendly as our salesman, which is something I always worry about whenever we have had any type of technician in our home (in the past few years we have had professionals here for our heater, garage door, roof, and painters). We always rely on positive reviews from our family and friends because we don’t want to let just anyone into our home. Our installation tech was quick and really, you wouldn’t have known he was here! His tools were fairly quiet, he was quiet when he was going in and out of the doors running wiring and getting the things he was installing.

Once everything was installed, he went through the security panel with me. He let me practice on it to make sure I was comfortable. He also showed me how to set up a profile to be able to access their mobile app. Once I had a profile, I downloaded the app and he made sure I understood how to use it. The app has been updated a handful of times in the past year, and every time they come up with some way to make it better! When my mom has stayed overnight with the kids the past few months, she LOVES the security system. She was also worried about not being able to work it. But I was able to easily create her an account and PIN for our panel so she didn’t have to try to remember our logins or our PIN numbers. She was impressed with how easy it was to use.

In the past year, we have had our alarm go off a few times. Thankfully, it’s never been because we were really in danger. It’s always been one of us! Once Blaire set off a motion sensor looking for us (lol!) and Jason and I have also done that in our late-night haziness when getting up to make a bottle for Ben. We have always received immediate contact any time our alarm has gone off.

We also have the fob remote because I love the idea of having the panic button to immediately dispatch police. 

A home security system, for me, offers so much more than protection from break-ins. Having smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors connected to your system so they can dispatch help if either of them goes off is just as important to me as the thought of knowing it will go off if someone tries to break in to our home. And their pet stickers let first responders know how many of each type of pet is in our home in case of emergency. 

We have had a great experience with Per Mar for the past year. Per Mar Security Systems was founded in 1953, they are still family-owned and based in Davenport, Iowa. They are the largest family owned, full-service security provider in the Midwest with 22 branches across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. They also prioritize giving back to their local communities, which you know is important to me! 

Per Mar Home Security System | home security systems for familiesPer Mar Home Security SystemPer Mar Home Security SystemFeeling safe in my home, especially as our family grows, is one of the most important things to me. I want my kids to feel safe in our home. I don’t want them to grow up with the same fears I have had of house fires and break ins. When Blaire is worried about something under her bed or because her curtains are “moving” from the fan, I love that when all of my other explanations fail, she is reassured when I remind her about our security system that keeps the “bad guys” out.

Even if you’re not located in the midwest, you can follow Per Mar online! They share lots of safety tips on the Per Mar Blog, Facebook and Instagram

We have paid for our Per Mar security system ourselves. After one year of excellent service, I reached out to give them my feedback from our initial search through our first 12 months with their service. This post contains that feedback. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Why We Love Our Home Security System #ad | home security systems for families

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    • 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
    • Happy Halloween! 🎃 👻 #blaireandben
    • Bsquared #BlaireandBen 😍😘☺️
    • This sums up our Sunday. After driving around like crazy people to go to three parties yesterday, today was lazy and included movies, popcorn, long naps, quick trick or treat at the mall and then spaghetti pizza. And I might be eating my kids candy on the couch right now. 😍 How was your weekend? #blaireandben
    • Childhood... drinking a frosty in your teepee. what. a. life. We had a slow weekend. Literally vegged out at home 95% of the time and it was marvelous.  #blaireandben
    • It’s that time of the year again... you were just packing away the summer clothes and then it’s all of a sudden 80°. What’s the weather like where you live? #blaireandben