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  • when your @whattoexpect app tells you baby sis is the size of Buzz Lightyear and your house is Toy Story central. this is baby sis’s only chalkboard pic (third child probs 🤣). Tuesday will be 37 weeks and full term! 🙌🏻
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#36weekspregnant #thirdtrimester #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom #happilytrista
  • #ad In only a few weeks these little legs and feet aren’t going to seem so little anymore. Ben loves babies, so I have a feeling he’s going to love his baby sis. Buuut he really likes cuddling his mama so I don’t know how happy he will be to share me with someone else while Blaire is at school. He’s already nailing it in the big brother department by trying out baby sis’s crib mattress. He already asked to sleep in there tonight! 🤣🤣🤣 And if it makes him sleep through the night then I’m down. This mattress is actually made in Illinois. It’s non-toxic and has no springs. You can use code TRISTACRIB for $35 off your purchase of a crib mattress. There’s a link in my bio to shop. • 
#benjaminp #2yearsold #twoyearsold #terribletwos #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom
  • The one who made me a mama. This will be her first full week of kindergarten and every day her favorite part is recess. 🤣 She just keeps talking nonstop about how excited she is to have another baby to snuggle soon because Ben is “too wiggly” to let her hold him anymore. Today she asked me if I was ready to get this baby out or if I was nervous? Then she said not to worry because she will help pack the diaper bag whenever we leave the house, so I feel like that’s a real win/win for me. 🙌🏻 #blairep
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#5yearsold #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom #happilytrista
  • 35 weeks and feelin’ it. I’m finally nesting which is great because we have a million things to do still. Including getting this house ready for a “half” birthday party for Blaire and Ben this weekend. We were moving so close to their birthdays this spring that we never had a party and Blaire has kept talking about wanting to have all of her friends over to celebrate. Soooo a half birthday party it is. The bonus is the weather is WAY better than in February and March so we can actually have people hang out outside, have a bonfire and make s’mores. So I’m super excited and I guess it’s a good push for a final deep clean of this house before we welcome our final member in (hopefully) less than 5 weeks! #35weekspregnant #thirdtrimester #happilytrista
  • I hit 34 weeks earlier this week and supposedly this baby is the size of a box of Eggo waffles. 🤣🤣 It feels like fall is here and it’s fabulous. I got to sleep in today while Jason got up with the kids. I showered and got ready for the first time all week and I feel like a new person. 🙌🏻 We have a few parties / plans for this long weekend, but nothing too crazy. How about you?
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#34weekspregnant #thirdtrimester #targetstyle #targetdoesitagain #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom #happilytrista
  • Look who started preschool today! 😍 He only went for an hour (they split their class in half the first two weeks) but he didn’t cry at drop off, told me all about his snack and the playground and how he got to play with trucks. I am so proud of him! And it’ll be nice to have a few hours each week to just hang out with baby sis. #benjaminp
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#2yearsold #twoyearsold #terribletwos #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom #happilytrista
  • #ad Sorry baby, when you’re the third child I’m not sure you really get anything just for yourself. This @philipsavent Soothie Snuggle came in the #NewMomBBoxx  from @babbleboxxofficial. Ben immediately claimed it for himself because he is still a binky lover. I shared a bit about each of the products in the box in my most recent blog post.
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#2yearsold #twoyearsold #terribletwos #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom #happilytrista
  • SO many emotions today on this big girl’s first day of school... for me anyways! She was mostly just excited and just a little nervous. We all made bracelets together last night and we are going to look at them today whenever we miss each other. As she was walking away to her teacher, she ran back to make sure we all had our bracelets on. 😭😭😭
It’s such a weird season of life to go from having her home all day, to a year of pre-k for 3 hours a day / 4 days a week, to kindergarten with her gone 7.5 hours a day. Plus a little brother at home asking to go pick her up and soon to be a baby sis home with me too! Ben and I are counting down the hours until we can pick her up and hear all about her first day. ❤️ #blairep
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#momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom #happilytrista
  • #ad The only thing better than a husband who likes to cook, and is good at it, too? A husband who likes to cook with your children! I shared our experience with @RaddishKids cooking box on the blog, including a coupon code so you can try it for yourself. •
#RadKidsCook #RaddishKids #KidsintheKitchen #CookingwithKids #RaddishPartner #5yearsold #motherhoodintheraw #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom #happilytrista
  • today was the due date for our baby who we miscarried at Christmas. It’s a hard thing to mourn this day for our baby in heaven, knowing we will have our baby girl here with us in a few months. it makes me feel like I don’t appreciate this rainbow baby, but I do. obviously. being pregnant so quickly after our miscarriage has helped me to cope, but this day was still hard. my anxiety has been high these past few weeks. I’ve been trying to give myself grace, but as moms it can be so hard to make time for ourselves, to prioritize our own health. —
as I sat in the waiting room at my OBGYN yesterday I couldn’t help but think of all the times I’ve sat there, broken-hearted. during my fertility appointments while we were trying for our second baby. during all of the ultrasounds and appointments for my pregnancy in December. seeing people come out with their strips of ultrasound papers. laughing and smiling over their sweet baby. something I had done before without giving a second thought to the fact that other people in the exact same waiting room might be having one of the worst days of their life. I wondered if anyone there was having one of their worst days and prayed for everyone there. —
I’m not sure there’s really any point to this other than to say life is full of good and bad, ups and downs. if you are going through a bad time now, just know you’re not alone. this bad time will pass.
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people don’t always share their bad, so can’t we all just treat others the way we want to be treated? be kind. be the reason someone smiles instead of being another reason they frown. •
#rainbowbaby #miscarriage #1in4 #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom #happilytrista
  • our ultrasound this weekend confirmed our final little babe is, indeed, a baby girl. I think she looks just like her big brother. If she follows in his footsteps we will meet her in just 6 weeks! so now I’m slightly freaking out about all of the random things we need for her since I’ve basically done 0 prep. 😬 #thirdchildproblems •
#32weekspregnant #thirdtrimester #thirdbaby #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom
August 1, 2018

one year with our home security system

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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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    • 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
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#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
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#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
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#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
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#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
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#bestofmom #momlifestyle #momlifeisthebestlife #motherhoodunplugged #mymotherhood #honestmotherhood #slowmotherhood #mymamahood #midwestblogger #eternalmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #unitedinmotherhood #motherhoodrising #polarvortex
    • Sibling love: hugging 5% of the time, wrestling 95% of the time. Another day... another target trip. And in PJs because it’s so cold and, well, if you’re still in PJs at 4pm, what’s the point of changing? #tristalovestarget #blaireandben
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