Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Loving This Season Of Life.

You will have to excuse the extreme amount of emotions today.  You see, being 9 1/2 months pregnant sometimes turns a woman into complete mush.  You know, could cry at the drop of a hat in the grocery store seeing a toddler melt down over not getting a balloon.  Heartbreaking on a normal day, but even worse when pregnant.  9 1/2 months pregnant.  9 1/2 months pregnant with our second son.  I see that I just typed that.  I see the nursery, the gear, the diapers, the packed hospital bags, even the car seat in the car next to our little boy, but I still can't believe it.  I just caught myself tearing up as I brought a huge pile of laundry to fold from the dryer and served my toddler a pizza lunch.  He asked me to sit with him at his little table and eat pizza too.  I'll admit I am totally guilty of turning on my soap that I have watched, I don't know, for some twenty odd years, and eating a little bite while he is across the room from me eating his lunch.  Today I glanced down at my belly and looked at my little boy, who oddly was sitting quietly eating his lunch and I burst into tears.  Knowing there are only a few days left in my pregnancy is exciting, but also just heart wrenching.  Knowing that another chapter of my life is about to close is exciting, yet so very sad.  I cannot wait to meet this precious little boy, but a part of me can.  From the second you find out you are pregnant the time begins to tick.  It's like sand running through an hour glass.  You will never get that time back.  I don't think I will ever forget the second that I found out we were expecting both of our boys.  Two of the most heart pumping, exciting, amazing moments of my life.  And here we are.  Almost ten months of my life have flashed before my eyes again.  The second round of exciting doctor's visits are being tucked away as memories, and friends are checking in through the day to see how we are feeling, or if there is anything going on.  I would love to stop time for just a bit and really relish in these last days or hours of this pregnancy.  I know the journey I am about to embark on.  I know I am looking forward to what will be the second best day of my life when that sweet little boy is placed in our arms and we see his face for the first time.  Part of me never wants that anticipation and excitement of these days to end.  This season of life that I am in at the moment is the most beautiful.  It is filled with toddler tantrums, toys all over the floor, and soon sleepless nights, recovering from childbirth, working hard to breastfeed successfully, and making sure dinner is cooked for my family, and I can hardly wait.  Some days will be extremely challenging I know, but I also know I will look back on these days and know for sure they were the happiest, most fulfilling days of my life and I will long for them back just as I never want them to end now.  Now I am going to take a nap with my first born because he is asking me to lay down with him just like he does every day and every night and I am not going to worry about anything else that needs to be done today and enjoy the last moments that it is just he and I.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mommy Threads.

For almost two years I have been at home with our little boy.  Before I became a mother, I loved clothes.  I loved them very much!  Going to work every day was like playing dress up.  I have a closet full of silk tops, skirts, dresses, and heels from my most favorite past time.  These days I do not have much use for skirts and heels, or most definitely silk tops.  I am now leaning more towards knits.  Knits, so that I can come home from art class and not have to pay the dry cleaner to get green paint out of my beloved light grey peacoat (lesson learned).  So with that being said...What are your favorite easy-wearing, child-friendly, but stylish threads that you wear as a mommy?  Do you have a favorite store or website that you shop?  Here is what I am loving at the moment, in pretty spring color edition for the upcoming season....

Jackie cardiganhttp://www.jcrew.com/index.jsp

J.Crew...For everything...Always.  Recent purchase...This mint cardigan.  Easy.  Clean.  Classy.

White Piko Tunic


This is a cute little online boutique that has some great easy options.  I love this clean white tunic top with accessories at the moment.  A fun bauble.  A great scarf.

Speaking of baubles...

Butter Bauble BibHave you been to this website?...Prepare yourself...If you are searching for jewelry...


I am loving this pretty yellow bauble.

I love to just keep it clean and super simple.  My favorite go-to pants are my J.Crew Pixie pants.  I wear them with everything.

Pixie pant

And last but not least...Flats...I have traded in my heels for flats...Good thing I had a great collection from J.Crew before I had the baby...

There are some really pretty spring trends this year!  Do you have a new favorite color for the spring?

Love and pretty things,


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Planning a Birthday Party for a Toddler.

It is almost party time!  That's right!  We are getting closer by the minute to having a two-year-old!  Curt and I are so excited that we are getting so close to celebrating our sweet little boy's second birthday!  I have not had any meltdowns recently, but stay tuned, because we still have four weeks to go!  With just a few short days left in January, I have spent the previous week trying to party prep so that we have everything together.  February is an extremely busy month for this family!  We have the upcoming birth of my precious best friend's second baby boy John Henry Clark, so I have to be ready to head to Birmingham at any moment now!  Super exciting!  Also, we have Valentine's Day, Daddy Curt's Birthday, and finally Baby Curt's Birthday.  What an amazing month of blessings and celebrations it is going to be!

With that being said, here is a little sneak peak into my vision of planning this year's birthday party...For a toddler...

Obviously the first thing we decided on was a theme.  I was really leaning towards a barnyard theme this year, but the baby has a new love and it is in the form of any kind of a choo choo train.  ANY KIND.  He loves them.  So, we thought that sharing a day with his most favorite thing at the moment seemed as though the best way to celebrate turning two this year!  So we are Choo Chooing to TWO!

Next.  The guest list.  We like to try to invite all of our friends and family to celebrate the day with us!  It seems only right to celebrate such a special day with all of the people that you love!  

The invitations.  I love to order inexpensive invitations from Etsy!  It is my thought that the invitation just gets thrown into the trash and placed into our guest's iCalendar, so I try not to overspend on the paper invitation.  Etsy has some really great options!  You can simply purchase the template of most of the options and print your own.  I like to include an updated photo for our friends and family to have to keep!  My Grandmother loves this.  Here is a link to one of my most favorite party planning papier shops:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/PartyPopperStudio

Entertainment for toddlers.  Last year we had such a wonderful experience hiring a face painter through our most favorite form of weekly art education, Abrakadoodle, that we have decided to have them paint faces at our party again this year.  If you are in the area and have not experienced Abrakadoodle quite yet, we highly recommend it!  Erin Bakker is amazing.  This area is in desperate need of more educational children's activities and I cannot wait to see what she does here over the years with our children!  So, face painting.  What is next?  I have ordered a very cute handmade train pinata.  At first my husband said "Do you actually think it is a good idea to beat a pinata until it bursts in front of small children?".  Exactly right.  Crisis averted with a built-in pull string.  No need for pinata violence.  We will fill it with tons of goodies and the children will love it!  The next thing is tons and tons of balloons!  Baby Curt loves a balloon more than anything in this world.  Well, almost anything, trains first.  We have tons of those giant perfectly round red balloons that we used for our party last year, so I will use those, and make fifty trips again to the local grocery stores with my husband and use up every helium tank in this town.  Retailers beware.  I also am hoping to have tons of regular balloons in assortments of fun colors filled with helium and also on the ground.  I am also considering a toddler ball pit.  Last, but certainly not least, I would really love to have a real choo choo for the children to ride on, but we are not quite sure if this will be able to happen.  Stay tuned.  I have the best source in town working on this incredibly important issue.

Decor.  Well, we have already discussed tons of balloons.  I am planning on keeping it super simple this year.  More about fun, less about decor.  You understand, that's really what the first birthday party was for...decor.  I am considering making theses cheery crate paper chandeliers and using train accessories on the food table to keep the theme alive.  Easy.  

Food.  This year we are hosting our party from two until four in the afternoon.  So, with that being said, we will serve lots of yummy toddler appetizers.  I'm thinking fun things like party popcorn, train cucumber sandwiches, applesauce packs, fruit gummies, cheese cubes, vegetables, etc.!  For the adults we will include some yummy dips.  Again, simple is the key word.  We have decided to serve cupcakes this year instead of cake.  Our sweet friend Stephanie will be making our cupcakes for us this year.  She is a very dear friend of both myself and Curt and we are so excited to have her involved this year!

Well, wish us very much luck with the planning!  Hopefully I haven't left that much out!  I cannot wait to share the party pictures with you when it all comes together in just a few short weeks!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Time well spent.

I cannot believe in about six weeks we will be parents of a two-year-old.  I just cannot begin to wrap my head around it.  I'm an emotional mess over this today.  Maybe that is why I have waited a little later this year to start party planning.  Last year, with it being the baby's first birthday, I had everything done way ahead of time in hopes for that amazing first party.  You understand.  First child, first birthday...It has to be perfect.  Maybe because you have never done it before?

The anticipation and the excitement of throwing that first birthday were almost overwhelming.  We had it on his actual birthday, which I wouldn't recommend.  Why you ask?  Well, because for the mommy it is a very emotional day.  Thoughts of what time you went to the hospital, how far you were into your labor at what time, etc.  You don't forget it, well, you may have forgotten some of it due to the excruciating pain, but the love, you don't forget that.  After we had the party, and the baby came off of a sugar high, I broke down.  I cried and cried and cried.  I couldn't make it through The Night You Were Born.  Incredibly fitting since he was indeed born at 8:45 p.m. on a Friday night.

And this year, here we are again, around the middle of January, and I am starting to lose it.  I had a moment today.  Moments hit mother's at the weirdest times I think.  I was at the grocery and I was about to pull the baby out of his car seat when I stopped and stared at him.  I stared at him long and hard as he was watching Chuggington, and thought to myself just how thankful that I was for almost two years with him.  Actually, almost three years.  The ten months that you spend pregnant are amazing.  Each day should be considered a gift.  I am thankful for every day that he kicked inside my tummy.

I have been heartbroken recently to learn of a family who lost their beautiful little girl, who would have turned three this month.  They lost her on a day that was supposed to be filled with joy to a terrible, terrible accident involving a swing set.  God bless their hearts.  I can't imagine the pain and grief.  Not to mention the mother was pregnant with their second little girl, which she delivered just the other day.  A beautiful, beautiful baby girl.  I have not been able to get them off of my mind.  All that I can think of is how every day this little boy needs to know how much we love him.  How thankful we are that he is in our lives.  We are just never sure how long we have.

So, here we are, getting close to celebrating two years.  How do you celebrate two years of blessings?  With a choo choo party of course.  I'm sure it will be great, but inside there is a mommy who is heartbroken.  Heartbroken that she is "losing her little baby," but blessed beyond belief to have this beautiful little boy with us and healthy.  It has been a day of being reminded how important family is, and that truly nothing else really matters.

This is the day the Lord has made;  let us rejoice and be glad in it.  -Psalm 118:24

Happy and Thankful,

Friday, January 11, 2013

Get Sili!

Great product alert!  This past week I placed an order for these wonderful silicon reusable food pouches!  I didn't realize that I should have ordered at least one in every color!  So, with that being said, let me go ahead and tell you to order one in every color!  Having a toddler who still loves those food pouches, we are talking LOVES them, I was trying to figure out an easier and more cost efficient way to give him the fruits and yogurts, and even our own mix of fuit or vegetable purees without adding an extra fifty dollars to our Target bill for Ella's Kitchen's awesome flavors!

Voila!  The Sili Squeeze!  
For 6-9 month-olds and toddlers there is The Original Sili Squeeze.
The Sili Squeeze with Eeeze is intended for children ages two and up. 
They are top rack dishwasher safe.  
The Sili Company was a Red Tricycle "Best Mom-Run Businesses" Award Winner.  Pretty neat!

The website is really great!  They share some really amazing recipes!  All on-the-go mommies should take a look at these!  Below is one of the recipes called Breakfast Of Lil' Champions that would fill one 6 ounce Sili Squeeze...

This is a hearty breakfast that will keep your growing little one super-charged for the first part of the day!  Essentially, this is a scramble, but thanks to the Sili you can puree this up and take it on the go if you need to.

2 oz eggs, scrambled (approx 2 eggs) *yolk only recommended for babies under 1
2 oz avocado
1 oz tofu
1 oz orange juice

Allow the eggs to cool to room temperature.  Once the eggs are cool, puree all the ingredients until smooth. Serve room temperature or slightly warmed.

Take a look at their website to see which option is the best for you and your baby or toddler!  I'm sure you will want to purchase!  http://thesilico.com/products.php


Monday, January 7, 2013

Mommy Gets Fit.

Happy One Year Birthday to Baby Boot Camp of the Emerald Coast!  This month marks one year since Andrea Moak, who is a mommy of two beautiful children, sweet Finn and Stella, launched her business adventure with Baby Boot Camp of the Emerald Coast!  She has been an amazing motivation for mommies and women around this area!  When I started BBC this time last year it was a great way for me to be getting a workout in three times a week and also a wonderful way to interact with other moms!  Being a stay at home mom, I benefitted very much from these mornings with this wonderful group of ladies! It has turned into lifelong friendships that I will cherish for years to come!  If you are expecting, have had a baby, want to have another baby, want to have five babies, etc., or want to just come to the workout to see what it is all about, you should!  I know we would love to have you, and I promise you will love it!  If you are not in the area you can go to the website www.babybootcamp.com to see what might be available near you.  I am so proud of all of these fit moms!  A big thank you to Andrea for being so wonderful at what she does!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Accidental Potty Training.

A bizarre thing happened this past week.  I recently purchased a "training potty" for Baby Curt in hopes that it might come in handy later.  When I brought this glorious potty home from Target Baby Curt quickly threw down his toys and wanted to examine this newly bought possession in every way possible.  He sat in it on the floor in the living room, after we had washed it of course, and we tried to explain to him what exactly it was, as much as you can explain to an almost two year old what this plastic invention is to help him achieve...We placed it in the bathroom and that was that.

A few days later I caught the baby running through the house for one of those quick diaper changes, where you just grab the diaper off of the baby and let him or her run free for a few minutes...Does anyone else do that, or is that just me?  If you don't, I swear that this method over time has prevented diaper rash...In any instance I see the baby has a funny look on his face as he says..."UH OH!"...I asked him if he needed to go to the potty...He ran to the closed door of the bathroom where I opened it quickly and he ran straight to his potty, sat down on it, and went pee pee.  WHAT?

The only thing that I knew to do was pick up the phone and call my best friend,(which I am sure you will hear a good bit about throughout this blog).  She has a precious three-year-old little boy named Jake who I love like my own, she also has another sweet little boy on the way, so here we are with almost three boys amongst us!  She potty trained Jake in three days.  I will never forget it.  She is an amazing mom.  She did a wonderful job with Jake, where I feel I would have been frustrated, she knocked it out of the park.  So, here I am with an almost two year old,(February 25th), who just happened to use his potty when he needed too!  So, what would you do?  Would you pursue potty training this young in a little boy, or would you consider waiting?  I was hoping to wait until at least two-and-a-half or three so that he would fully understand and we both would hopefully have a peaceful experience.  As peaceful as you could hope for anyway, right?