Tuesday, October 25, 2016

They See Me Strollin'

As a stay-at-home mama of THREE littles, there is only so much time we can spend indoors before we all go stir-crazy.  We are an outside-loving family.  And also a neighborhood-walking/running-loving family.

So when Britax and Atlanta Area Moms Blog provided me with the opportunity to try out the new, 2017 B-Ready Stroller, I jumped at the chance.

I consider myself knowledgeable when it comes to strollers - in fact, before adding the B-Ready to our repertoire, we already had six - yes SIX - different strollers in our garage.

So now, we're up to seven.


I can honestly get rid of quite a few of my strollers now that I have the B-Ready!  And I'm not sure who is more excited to have more garage space - me or my hub!!

So, let me tell you why the B-Ready can handle almost all of your strollin' needs...

I was so excited when the box arrived, but decided not to even open it until T got home since he is the master of putting together ALL THE THINGS.  Once the kids were in bed, he got down to business and was quick to let me know that it was one of the easiest kid-related items he had ever assembled.  He didn't even have to crack open the instructions - it really was that easy.

Because it was nighttime, I wasn't able to test it out other than pushing it across our kitchen - so we loaded it into the car in anticipation of the celebratory picnic we'd be having with other Atlanta moms in the morning...

So bright and early on a Tuesday we met at a local park, and as I loaded Everette and strolled over to the shelter I immediately fell in love with E's new ride.  It was definitely the smoothest stroller I'd ever pushed in my five years of motherhood!

We celebrated Britax and all things B-Ready with some yummy treats thanks to Squash Blossom Kitchens while listening to the stroller experts tell us all about the features of the B-Ready.  Some of these I had already discovered, and all of them gave me even more reason to l-o-v-e our new stroller!

~There are twelve different seating options/arrangements.  TWELVE.  What other stroller gives you that many options?!
~There are all kinds of extras you can purchase to make your B-Ready even better.  I chose the second seat so that I can have 2/3 kids happily contained at one time.
~The top seat can be forward-facing or rear-facing - depending on your mood and if you'd rather look at your kid or not.  Ha!  The top seat is for kids ages six months to 55 pounds.  (To give you some perspective, my five-year-old isn't even close to 55 pounds and can happily ride in it!)
~The second/bottom seat is from birth to 35 pounds.  It lays down flat, so yes, Brooks can safely and comfortably join us while we're strollin'.
~Do the brakes on strollers ever drive you crazy?!  Maybe it's just me?  Well, the brake on this stroller is the best one I've ever encountered.
~It is the most user-friendly stroller ever, you guys.  It's just so intuitive and every aspect of it just makes sense.  It was clearly designed by a mama!
~There is a zipper storage compartment on the bottom, so all of the things you throw under there aren't just hanging out and available for people to grab.

The Britax experts made me love our ride even more, and I couldn't wait to take it around our neighborhood... where it did not disappoint!  I usually only take the BOB stroller (also made by Britax, by the way!) for our walks/runs, so I was anxious to see how the B-Ready would compare.  And I loved it.  It was so smooth and so comfortable for the kids... and my older two were arguing over who got to sit in the top seat!
Thanks to Britax, we're all much happier when we're out and about... and we also have a lot more space in our garage!

*This post was sponsored by Britax, but all commentary/opinions are my own.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Friday Five!

Obviously I'm not able to blog right now like I want to, and it's killing me.  I have so many thoughts, so many emotions, so many things I want to get written down.  But life is like OMG right now so sitting down and pouring my heart out and finding therapy in my writing is having to take a back seat.  So I'm attempting to document our lives a little bit, because it's the only way I'll ever remember life during these blurry, crazy days... and I'm hoping one day in the near future I can get back to writing from my heart, because oh how it soothes my soul.

Obviously the main reason for my lack of time starts with a B and ends with a ROOKS.
Oh this boy... I still absolutely cannot believe he is ours.  We all just love him to pieces.  He certainly isn't the easiest baby (see:  I HAVE NO TIME TO BREATHE DURING THE DAY)... but I don't really think it's his fault.  He's got some reflux issues, and it's basically impossible to try to start working toward a schedule/predictable routine with two other kids in tow - so poor caboose always has to deal with things changing minute-by-minute.  I really am hoping that as we get a little more settled into life as a family of five, I can work toward making his day somewhat predictable - and really it's more for him than for me.  I truly think babies thrive on a flexible routine - or at least CK and E sure did.  It's just so hard to manage things for him the way I was able to for the others, ya know?

We had such a great time celebrating our five year old, y'all!  And I still cannot believe she's so old!!  From making her feel so special on her actual birthday, to a PreK party, to her actual birthday party, it's safe to say CK loved every minute of turning a whole hand.
And as for her birthday party - I had the cutest invitation made by my friend Amy at One Good Name - seriously, y'all, she is the BEST and will create just about anything you want!

I had big dreams of having a movie theater-themed party with popcorn, a concession stand, personalized popcorn buckets, etc.  But then I had a baby and life was like WOAH and CK decided she wanted to watch a princess movie and have a princess party.  And so I threw all my Pinterest-like party plans out the window, let CK pick out all of the princess-themed decor she wanted from the good ol' Dollar Store, grabbed some bags of popcorn and cheeseballs, baked a quick cake, kept the invite list very small, and called it a day.  It was basically the opposite of anything you'd ever see on Pinterest, and CK declared it to be the BEST BIRTHDAY PARTY EVER.  The kids watched Beauty and the Beast for about 25 minutes before deciding they'd rather run around and play with balloons and make lots of noise.  Then it was singing and cake and presents and more running around, and my girl's day was made.  So take that, Pinterest.

I had my six-week, postpartum checkup this week and I basically skipped into the doctor's office so excited to be cleared to start running again!  Until I got shot down.  No running yet, womp womp.  This body needs a couple more weeks to heal before I can try to start jogging off this jiggle (she types as she eats a KitKat).

Anyone else obsessed with the Cat and Jack line at Target?  I want ALL OF IT for my kids.  It is just so so cute!
Like this hat!! I'm also obsessed with the kid in the hat... absolutely cannot get enough of his personality lately. <3

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Whole Hand



Sometimes when my kids call me mama, I still have to do a double-take - are they talking to me?  ME?!  I'M A MOM?!  When did that happen?  Am I even old enough to be a mom?

It all still feels so surreal.

And now, I am the mom of a five year old.



To my girl,

Today you are a whole hand!  And you are so incredibly excited about your birthday.

Me?  Well, I have mixed emotions.

I am sad that you are already five... 

...sad that five years have already passed since I heard your daddy yell, "It's a girl!"

...sad that five years have already gone by since you made me a mama.

...sad that five years of you have already happened.


I am so proud of you, my five-year-old.  So proud of the little girl that you are - a little girl who wants to please her mommy and daddy, who adores her little brothers, who cares so much about her friends, and who loves Jesus.

A little girl who is still obsessed with her Ellie, who thinks preschool is just about the best thing ever, and who loves raspberries, watermelon, pizza, and Smarties.

A little girl who needs time to warm up to new people and new situations, who doesn't function well when she's tired, and who loves to come out of her room once we've put her to bed.

A little girl who is so incredibly smart, so incredibly kindhearted, and so incredibly thoughtful.

A little girl who is type-A OCD, who still loves long sleeves, and who has an amazing imagination.

A little girl who is stubborn, who hates having sticky hands, and who wants to take care of everyone around her - especially her baby dolls and her little brothers. 

A little girl who, more than anything, just wants you to stop what you're doing and play with her.

A little girl who changed my life in the absolute best way possible five years ago today.

You are my mini-me, my sunshine, my best.

I love you, Cameron Kate, to the moon and back and more than anything in this world.  Thank you for the past five years, for making me want to spend every second I'm given trying to be a better person, a better woman, a better mama.

You make me so proud, bug, every single day.

Happy whole hand!

-Mama <3

Sunday, October 9, 2016

One Month of Brooks!

It's been one whole month with our sweet caboose.


How is that even possible?!

Wasn't this just yesterday??

Our first month as a family of five has been a whirlwind - we've been learning how to navigate our new normal, trying to keep everyone afloat and happy and.. well.. alive.

It has been the fastest, happiest, most exhausting month of my entire life.  

And I cannot describe the feeling of peace I have knowing that our family is complete -

Because of you, Brooks, my heart feels full and whole and like all of its pieces have found their place.

We all love you so very much.  Your dad is still in disbelief that he has two sons, your big sister thinks she's your little mama, and your older brother is equally curious and infatuated.  <Don't mind his attempts to remove your limbs.. he's still trying to figure you out>

And me?  Well, I am just so proud to be your mama, and I am not sure what we ever did without you here.  I am breathing in every breath of you - my last baby - as you are already growing way too quickly.

You resemble your brother and sister, but also have such a unique little look that is all you.  Your hair is getting so light - and your eyebrows and eyelashes are blonde.  Your eyes are bluer than CK's and E's ever were - I secretly hope you'll have my eye color!

You are the loudest, gassiest, most spitting-up baby I've ever seen!  You poop all the time, hate a dirty diaper, and love a paci.  You recognize our voices and are starting to smile at us, which makes my mama heart want to explode.

And you make the sweetest little sounds that I call your chipmunk noises... <3

Thank you for surprising us, thank you for completing our family, thank you for making my heart whole.

I love you enough, I love you so big.


Friday, October 7, 2016

5 on Friday!

Happy, happy, HAPPY Friday!
I've got the workout itch you guys!  I am four weeks postpartum and am dyyyying to go for a run!  Obviously I haven't been cleared to exercise yet, so I've just been walking around the 'hood with both my boys in the double Bob.  And I know if I even tried to run my pelvis and bottom would hate me... but I am counting down until I am cleared to work on this jiggly mom bod!

Who is excited about fall tv?!  This girl!  We all know T and I revel in the guilty pleasure of DVR'd shows once the kiddos are in bed.  I am so excited about all of the shows starting back up, and some new shows - here's looking at you, This is Us!  And we just finished watching the entire Breaking Bad series on Netflix - such an awesome show!  Now I need to decide what we'll binge watch next...

Y'all, we have been absolutely spoiled since Brooks arrived.  Local friends have been bringing us dinners and all kinds of goodies (y'all are the BEST) - I cannot tell you how helpful this is!  The post-preschool-pickup, pre-daddy-getting-home time is rough... I don't know how I'll ever manage to get dinners cooked during that time while managing the witching hour with a 4-year-old, 1-year-old, and 4-week-old.  It is only because of my awesome friends that are we eating decent dinners!  
And it is only because of my kids' grandparents that our house is not completely upside down.  They have visited and loved on us and completely spoiled us by cleaning the house from top to bottom, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, etc.  But the best part?  Seeing them play with CK and E, who are understandably a little neglected right now as we find our new normal.  My trio sure does love when their grandparents come to town! And also when other family members drop what they're doing and make the trek to visit - here's looking at you, Aunt Whit!! <3

Caboose update - he's eating, sleeping, crying, pooping, and snuggling!  We're loving him to pieces, and he's already growing way too quickly.  He had a great checkup last week, and had gained over two pounds in two-and-a-half weeks!  He has a poor, torn-up bottom that we just can seem to get clear - the doctor prescribed a prescription cream to hopefully get the rash outta here.  And poor buddy spits up like no other...  So we've started some Zantac and we really do feel like we're seeing improvements!  It's so cliche to say, but I absolutely cannot believe we've had our little B for four whole weeks!

And I can't believe how well the big siblings have adjusted to life as a family of five!  I really am so, so proud of CK and E.  Cameron hasn't missed a beat, and is just the sweetest little mama with her littlest brother.  And Everette - gosh he seems so grown up all of a sudden!  And I won't lie - he cannot be left alone in a room with Brooks, because he will lay on top of him, squeeze his hands, try to pull off his toes... BUT, I truly believe it's just a way to express his curiosity, the way he is exploring this tiny little human that has taken over our house.  It's been tough with E, honestly, to try to teach him to be gentle - and he's had a few more timeouts than normal - but I am so proud of and surprised by how well he's adjusting, all things considered.
The big kids are spending a couple days in Atlanta this weekend at their Aunt Beth's house, and I am incredibly thankful we have family members who make them feel so special during a time when they've had to be so patient and understanding.  Meanwhile, T and I were gifted with two days during which we only have to parent one kid!  And with that, I'm off to enjoy my last 24 hours in a much quieter house!  I hope to soak in some relaxing newborn snuggles while also finding the motivation to be productive...
 Have a wonderful weekend!