Wednesday, April 29, 2015

32 Current Favorites, by a 32-Year-Old

Well, I'm 32.

I have to say, I truly have loved my 30s so far!  I feel stronger and happier than I ever have in my entire life.  And also?  Despite my mushy, post-two-babies figure, I also feel the most confident I have ever felt, so proud of my 32-year-old body and all it has accomplished.  Birthdays really don't bother me, getting older really doesn't bother me because - to be honest - I'm happy to celebrate getting to live this life for another minute, another day, another year!

To commemorate turning 32, I thought I'd throw together a "Current Favorites" post to mark what things are my jam at this point in my life.  Hopefully I'll remember to do this each year around the time of my birthday so I can compare/laugh/make fun of myself.  Here goes nothing!


Song: "Girl Crush" by Little Big Town.  Or if I'm running, something totally cheesy and overplayed, like "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor or "Shake It Off' by T Swift.

Dessert:  Cupcakes.  Duh.  And in terms of flavor, I'm a big vanilla (boring, I know) and Oreo-flavored-ANYTHING lover.

Drink:  Non-Alcoholic?  Regular Coke.  Mmmmm.  But I don't let myself drink it anymore, because LBS.  Alcoholic?  Red wine (right now I'm loving Pinot Noir) or beer (Blue Moon or Michelob Ultra Amber).

Breakfast:  English muffin with peanut butter and honey, a banana, and coffee.

Lunch:  I usually eat a salad most days since I'm working on my fitness.  BUT I love a deli sandwich and could eat one everyday.

Dinner:  Oh man.  Anything seafood.  Or a big chef salad with good, homemade ranch dressing.  Or pizza, I always love pizza.

Time of Day:  About 7:30pm, when I'm putting E to bed.  I nurse him in his quiet room, usually sip an adult beverage, browse a little social media... and soak in the peacefulness and the perfectness of my sweet baby.

TV Show:  Homeland, hands down.

Sleeping position:  On my tummy, head laying on my left ear, arms tucked into my body.

Day of the Week:  Friday.  I love how everyone is usually in such a good mood on Fridays!

Piece of Jewelry:  Well, it was a gold bar necklace that said, "Never Lose Hope."  I had it made while I was pregnant with E, even wore it while I gave birth.  But it's gone missing. :(  And another one can't replace it, because it held too much sentimental value, so I'm crossing my fingers that it turns up!

Guilty Pleasure:  Bad reality tv, like the Real Housewives of EVERYWHERE.

Candy:  M&Ms... plain, peanut, almond, peanut butter.  I don't discriminate.

Blog:  This girl.  I stumbled upon her a couple years ago, and adore her.

Sound:  CK making E laugh.  Oooooh my heart.

Thing to Wear:  Workout clothes.  I feel the most confident and comfortable in good workout gear.  And I try to work out most days, so wearing the clothes keeps me motivated and it's also a great stay-at-home mama uniform.

Restaurant:  Local?  Probably Little Hawaiian.  But my all-time favorite is The Melting Pot, and I NEVER go!

Ice Cream Flavor:  Cake Batter from Coldstone with tons of rainbow sprinkles (yes, I know I'm not 12).

Store:  Target, of course.  Though TJ Maxx has been awesome lately.

Cereal:  T and I have been all about some Kroger brand Raisin Bran Crunch.  Ha!

Way to Exercise:  Run.  By myself.

TV Channel:  Love me some Bravo and all of its trashiness.

Way to Relax:  Oddly enough, run.  But it's only "relaxing" if I'm by myself.  And I'm a new bath-lover, as long as the door is locked so no threenagers can get into the room.

Sport:  3-year-old tee-ball!

Vacation Spot:  The beach.  St. John, preferably.

Fruit:  Pineapple!  Though I don't eat it a lot.  I do eat a banana in the morning and an apple in the afternoon, almost every single day.

Vegetable:  Steamed broccoli.

Household Chore:  Vacuuming  and mopping.  I actually enjoy doing it and seeing the final product.

Flower:  Tulip.

Color:  Navy Blue.

Smell:  Honeysuckles.  Clean Laundry.  And babies, especially mine.

Bible Verse:  Oh, this one is tough.  Right now it's a tie between three:   "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer."  (Romans 12:12)  "You can make plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail." (Proverbs 19:21)  "Be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you through Christ Jesus." (Thessalonians 5:16)

So here's to saying goodbye to 31, and welcoming 32 with open arms!  I am excited to see what God has in store for me as a 32-year-old, and I am so thankful to be celebrating another birthday living this crazy, chaotic, wonderful, brutal, beautiful life! <3

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I'm Sorry... Wait - No I'm Not.

I realized lately that I find myself always feeling the need to explain myself - to apologize - for any and everything...

I'm sorry I look like I'm homeless (while my kids are dressed adorably from head-to-toe)...

Please excuse my home, it's such a mess...

I'm sorry I can't talk on the phone right now, my threenager is throwing a tantrum and I'm trying to get my five-month-old to nap...

Please don't judge my undecorated house.  We spent all of our time/money/energy getting pregnant, staying pregnant, and learning how to live life as a family of four...

Sorry we seemed a little chaotic when you stopped by...

Please know that I wish we could've stayed longer/come to the party/driven for a visit, but managing/entertaining/traveling with two kids three and under is a little crazy...

I apologize for being late, but my daughter refused to put on shoes and my baby had a blowout diaper as we were walking out of the door...

Please don't judge me driving an old, crappy minivan that I'm so embarrassed to drive.  We sold our nice cars to pay for fertility treatments...

Sorry my kids are screaming down the aisles of Target, but I really just need to get some toilet paper and wine (and maybe a few other things)...

Please don't judge my Target Merona shoes, or take it personally if I don't take you up on your offer to go out for breakfast/lunch/dinner/shopping... we're pinching pennies so that I can be a stay-at-home mama with my babies.

I'm sorry if I seem distracted or MIA.  I am.  I'm trying to keep two tiny humans alive and happy and growing and healthy and thriving.

Wait... Actually... I'm not sorry, because my life revolves around keeping two tiny humans alive and happy and growing and healthy and thriving.

Last week one of my girlfriends was over here for a playdate.  I looked over at E, who was happily bouncing in his doorway jumper.  And there was poop running down his legs.  All over his jumper.  All over the floor. 

Even the back pockets on his shorts were full of poop.


All I could do was laugh.  With the help of said girlfriend, we maneuvered him out of the jumper.  Things were wiped/treated/soaked/thrown away/washed/etc.  E had a long bath.  And then it was just about time for the playdate to end.

A couple hours later I felt the need to text my friend and apologize for the chaos, apologize for being such a mess, apologize for her getting wrapped up in our circus.

Then I thought, wait, I don't need to apologize.  What am I apologizing for?  My life?  

I know she gets it.  And this is just our reality right now.

Our reality is blowout diapers, piles of laundry, old cars, and Target clothes.  Our reality is an undecorated living room full of toys, me looking a little homeless, date nights of Papa Johns and Netflix.  Our reality is being a little late, always feeling exhausted, diaper bags and burp cloths.


Our reality is a little girl who needs one more hug, whose giggle can light up a room, who has to kiss her daddy through the railings on the stairs before he leaves for work.

Our reality is "It's a boy!", big gummy grins with two teeth poking through, watching him discover this big, beautiful world.

So no... no, I'm not sorry.  Not one bit.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Five on Friday!

Hi and HAPPY FRIDAY!  After a week that was supposed to be plan-less and ended up being nonstop, I am thrilled to welcome the weekend with open arms and a drink in hand!

I got a Fitbit!  After talking to a lot of people who have and love their fitness trackers, I spent quite a bit of time reading about and researching them.  After all was said and done, I ended up getting the Fitbit Charge, and I love it.  It really keeps me on my toes about how active I'm being, and I love the competitive aspect of it.  At the end of the day if I'm not happy with my progress, you may find me running up and down our stairs to increase my steps/calories/floors/distance!

And speaking of working on my fitness (helloooo Blackeyed Peas), I've got a few more lbs to lose and I need some workout dvd recommendations.  I'm done with Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred, and while I'm so proud of my weight loss and progress, I still have some shredding to do.  My go-to workout is always running... it keeps my brain from exploding and I love being outside.  But I know it's better for my body to incorporate some strength training.  And since it WON'T STOP RAINING (seriously, this is insane), I really need some go-to dvds to do at home.  I have some Jackie Warner, which I like, and I do have Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30, but I'm kind of sick of her.  So, any suggestions?  It can't have workouts that are longer than 30 minutes, because I only get about a 30-minute reprieve each afternoon (see T H R E E).

Why do I only get about a 30-minute reprieve?  Because apparently I birth kids who do not like to nap.  As a baby, CK was never a good napper.  She slept great at night, early on, giving us 12 hours before she was two-months old.  BUT her naps were always cat-nap-ish and, unfortunately, E is proving to be the same.  Don't get me wrong, I am so fortunate to have babies who sleep at night, but y'all, WHY DON'T MY KIDS NAP?!  I put them down awake, always have.  They have sound machines.  I don't know what I'm doing wrong.  It seems like everyone else is all, "My kid naps for 2-3 hours" and I'm like, "OmiGAH what do you do with all that time?!!!!"  But seriously, I am so tired by the end of the day because I truly feel like I don't get any sort of legitimate break.  Two kids who hardly nap, and whose naps rarely end up being at the same time... honestly it's a luxury if I get to pee by myself.  HELP.

And speaking of my two little bosses, we've had a challenging week with E.  The easiest, most laid-back, happiest, most go-with-the-flow baby has been acting like - well - a baby.  Ha!  In all seriousness, though, he has not been himself.  I feel like part of it is my fault - CK was on such a set schedule by 5 months... I knew when she ate/napped/etc. to a T.  Poor second child spends most of his time being lugged around town, running errands, revolving around the rest of us.  I know the number of times he usually needs to eat and snooze in a day, but that's about as "scheduled" as it gets for him.  And honestly, I think babies/toddlers/preschoolers/kids in general thrive on and crave routine, and E is probably ready to have a day that's a wee bit more predictable.  But also, have you heard of The Wonder Weeks?  I've had a few people mention it, and after seeing my friend's IG post earlier this week and talking to my sisters, I decided to download the app.  Lo and behold, E has just started a new "leap."  (That little baby head on the chart below represents where he is now.)  So interesting!

I feel like this post is so HELP ME, but really, HELP ME.  Anyone ever make your own baby food?  Now that I'm staying home, I really want to try to make E's baby food myself.  I hear it's easy and much cheaper.  I have a Ninja blender, so I'm assuming that'll suffice.  Any tips?  Tricks?  Suggestions?  So far we've done rice cereal and oatmeal (yay E!), but I'd like to get veggies started this weekend!  As you can see, my little butterball is pumped about some food!!
Have a GREAT weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Candid Cameron, Part III

It's been awhile since I've shared some of the things that come out of my threenager's mouth, so I thought I'd do a part three of Candid Cameron!  If you missed it, you can read part one here and part two here.

Lately, CK has been equal parts funny and so, so sweet.  Here are some of her randoms for your enjoyment!

Back in the fall, before I had E, we were on the way home from the grocery store.  All of a sudden, out of nowhere, CK says:  "We're gonna have FOUR babies!"
Me:  "Oh yeah?  Who?"
CK:  "Aunt Whit's baby's name is 'Skywar,' your baby's name is 'Evewette,' Banks' and Raleigh's baby's name is 'Hawwison,' and Aunt Jamie's baby's name is Addy girl!  FOUR babies!!"
*Also, please note that we had no clue if we were having a boy or a girl, but had discussed names with her for both.  Clearly she knew something we didn't!

"What are we having for dinner, Mommy?"
"Silly Mommy... that's not a dinner.  That's when you JUMP!"

CK:  "My foot hurts!"
TJ:  "Come here, I'll fix it."
CK:  "You're not a doctor, Daddy.  You're just a daddy."

"Mommy?  I just need to tell you... I really, really had a fun day with you."  <3

Maybe TMI...
While lying on her bed before her nap time, she stuck her hand down my shirt and grabbed my, ahem,  boob.
"What in the world are you doing?"
CK:  "Oh, nevermind, I was just seeing if there was a big ball in there."

"Cameron Kate, take your shoes off, put them in the shoe basket, and wash your hands."
"Aye aye, Captain Mommy!"

In the middle of lunch, she stands up in her chair and starts shaking her bottom:
"Look Mama!  I'm shaking my tail feather!"

After putting her jacket hood over her head:
"I'm in the neighborHOOD!"

"Mommy... you're my best." <3

"Mom!  This bath water is too hot.  I asked for a JUST RIGHT bath!"

CK:  "Does Bammy have boobies?"
Me:  "Uh.... yes.  Yes she does."
CK:  "Oh good.  I was wondering how Everette was gonna eat while we're at Disney World."

After pooting...
Me:  "Cameron, did you poot?  Say 'Excuse me'!"
CK:  "No, that was a frog."

"Mommy... I like being what I am." :)

Me:  "Ok, we need to go run around outside so you can get your energy out."
As she starts crying and screaming, "But I don't WANT my energy to fall out!!"

CK:  "It smells like a beard in here!"
Me:  "What in the world does a beard smell like?"
CK:  "Like this room!"

To her elephant:
"Ellie, I love you.  I'll never let anyone take you away from me, ever.  I promise."

Me:  "Do you like it being just you and Everette?"
CK:  "No, I want a sister.  You have to tell Daddy I want a sister."
Me:  "Why do we have to tell Daddy?"
CK:  "Because he put that baby in you!"
Me:  "Oh yeah?"
CK:  "Yes, silly, in your hiney!"

As we're walking through Lowes, we pass a man in a cowboy hat.
"Who is that, Mommy?"
"I don't know, sweetie."
"Is that the farmer in the dell?"

And one of my all-time favorites:
"Mommy... thank you so much for having a baby for us." <3


Oh, my girl.  I absolutely adore being your mama!

Friday, April 10, 2015


Today, if you ask CK how old she is, she'll happily tell you, "three-AND-A-HALF!"

I feel like just yesterday we were celebrating her third birthday at "banastics," and cannot believe she's halfway to four.

My sweet little girl has grown up so much over the past six months, too.  T and I were just saying the other day how she's like a little adult now, and will have these grown-up conversations with you.  And we're always caught off guard by her intelligence and curiosity.  She's a little sponge, that CK...

To my three-and-a-half-year-old sidekick,

Oh my girl.  I am so proud of how you've grown, who you are today, and who you are becoming.  It brings me so much joy being your mama.

To be completely honest with you, since about two-and-three-quarters, you've been a handful.  We've had a lot of tough moments, you and I, as I've learned how to navigate being a mama to a threenager.  It's tough, ya know, because I just want to love you and be happy together and shower you with hugs and kisses all day long.  But unfortunately, that does not an effective mama make.  These past 8ish months have included lots and lots of discipline.  Having to tell you no, a lot.  Putting you in timeout, a lot.  Making you go to your room, a lot.  You've cried, I've cried.  But you know what?  I honestly think we've turned a corner.  Your daddy and I have seen so much improvement in your behavior lately, and while I think it has a lot to do with you growing out of your threenager phase, I also feel like all of the hard work and effort we put into teaching you about right and wrong, actions and consequences, good and bad choices - all that hard work is starting to pay off.

You have such a kind, giving heart and you are very sensitive.  One look of disappointment from your daddy or me is enough to bring you to tears.  You absolutely love making us proud, which is so very sweet.

You were born to be a big sister.  When Everette was born, you dove headfirst into your new role, helping whenever I'll let you and loving him with all of your heart, all day long.  Watching you with him... well, I can't even put into words what that does to my heart.

I also absolutely love watching you play by yourself.  Your imagination runs wild, and you tend to get very wrapped up in your own magical world of pretend play.  Whether it's playing with your "friends," baby dolls, or your feet (Gaddy and Bussy!), you'll sometimes get so wrapped up in your imagination you'll keep yourself busy and occupied for over an hour.

One of my favorite things you do is sing.  Just like your G Gram, you will make up songs for anything and everything you're doing, and can be heard singing all throughout the house while you play.  And you have such a sweet, singsongy voice, too.

You still love your Ellie, and though it's hard to believe, I think you're even more attached to him (her?) now than ever before.

You still love "banastics," and have improved so much now that you're in the Mighty 3's.  You've also started playing tball, which is one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

You've become obsessed with Peppa Pig, and will often talk about changing your baby's "nappy," taking the "post" to the mailbox, needing to "phone" someone, and taking six "pounds" to the store to buy something.  You also exclaim "Oh dear!" quite often.  I find it all to be adorable, of course.

You are very obsessive-compulsive about your bedtime routine, having little rituals you have to do and say before you'll settle in to sleep.  To be honest, it used to bother me.  "Cameron, just GO TO BED," I'd say.  Now?  Now I realize that one day I'm going to miss standing in your doorway saying, "Don't let the bed bugs bite" over and over again.  <3

And I know everyone thinks this, but you are so smart, my CK.  With some coaching from Mama, you know your days of the week and months of the year.  And with my help and your preschool teacher, Ms. Sandra, you pretty much know all of your letters and numbers.  We've been practicing counting... you still sometimes throw in an eleventeen, and also have a hard time understanding why "twenty-ten" doesn't come after "twenty-nine."

And also, we talk a lot about letter sounds.  You always want to know what letters are at the beginning of words.  Like the other day in the car, we were talking about your friend Ruby.  "What does Ruby start with?" you asked.  "R-R-Ruby." I sounded out.  "R!"  you exclaimed.  "That's right!" I said.  Then you went on to say, "Rrrruby.  But there's a 'B' in the middle, right?"  I was so proud!

I'm always proud, my girl.  You make me so proud, and I absolutely love being your mama.  You have taught me so much in three-and-a-half years, and you make me want to be a better person, each and everyday.

One of your new favorite things?  Dandelions.  Every time we go for stroller runs, you always need me to stop and pick dandelions.  You'll make a wish or two, and then blow with all your might until the stem is empty.

I used to hope you wouldn't see the dandelions... I just wanted to finish my run!  I didn't have time to stop for dandelions!  And then the other day, you begged me to stop just one more time to grab two more dandelions.  And you made the sweetest wishes (that will stay between us, my girl).  

And in that moment, I felt so embarrassed at not wanting to stop to get you your dandelions.


I told myself.


I told myself.


Or something like that.

Truthfully, Cameron Kate, everyday with you I am reminded that this time is fleeting.  You will only be three-AND-A-HALF once, so I am doing my best to soak up every single second with you by my side.  Every little don't-let-the-bed-bugs-bite, and every little wish-making-dandelion.

Happy half birthday, my sweet girl.

I love you to the moon and back and more than anything in this world.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tour de Carolinas

Well, we're back from our Tour de Carolinas and while it may take us a full two weeks to recover/unpack/rest/get back on schedule, it was such a good trip seeing lots of family and friends!  So here is a pic overload to document our week, ending in a snapshot of our 5-month-old (!!) E!

Before we left for our trip, Bammy came into town to spend some QT with my littles, and also help us with the first leg of our trek!

On your mark, get set, go!

We headed to Columbia on Sunday and the kids were happy to have some alone time with their Digby!

Soon we were joined by ALL of the cousins on my side... 7 total... with #8 set to make his debut in August!

The oldest and youngest cousins <3

Pre-bedtime snuggles with my Addy-girl:

Feet... nom nom nom...


The two youngest cousins (Skylar is CRAWLING!):

It was such a treat to be able to hang out with 4 of my five sisters (we missed you Mariah!):

And my two kiddos were doing so well to kick off our week of traveling!

Before we knew it, it was time to load up the car and head to Winston-Salem/Kernersville, NC, to stay with my best friend Lindsey (aka Aunt Yinds):

Bathies with OG!


Good Lord I miss this girl.


We had an awesome girls' night in at Lindsey's house with some of my faves!

And then on Thursday we met lots of old friends for lunch:

And one of my old colleagues even had some Easter fun prepared for the kids!

We walked, shopped, ate a lot, drank even more, laughed, talked, stayed up way too late, and I cried when I drove away...

Then we were off on the last leg of our trip, where we would head to Grammy and PaPa's house and be reunited with T (who had been in Texas all week for work).  CUE THE CELEBRATION!  Acting like a single mama is no joke... acting like a single mama traveling solo with two kiddos is even more insane.  The kids had been great, but y'all, I was tired.

So anyway, we kicked off our time in Burlington, NC, with an Easter egg "hunt" at the city park.  You guys... they blew the horn and all the eggs were scooped up in about 15 seconds.  It was crazy.  Our girl, though, happened to scoop up quite a prize egg - it had a 2015 pass for the city park for an entire family!  Which meant we could ride ALL the rides as much as we wanted, for free.  So awesome!

But first, a picture with the Easter bunny.  Who she LOVED, after being terrified of the characters in Disney World.  Go figure.

Then it was time to ride the train, the merry-go-round, and the tractor ride!

We finished our Saturday by dyeing eggs, hunting eggs, eating some good ol' eastern NC barbecue  and soaking in time with Grammy and PaPa.

And then it was Easter morning!  Y'all, my heart was SO full being able to fill two Easter baskets this year.

New shades, thanks to the Easter bunny.

All dressed up in our Goat and Lulu, of course!

And while we were celebrating Jesus, this little butterball turned 5 months old!

It was a whirlwind week, but it was perfect.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped make our trip so special!