Sunday, December 4, 2016

Real Life

Let me take a break from real life to show you some snippets of "Real Life" in our house today.


Real Life: I've been working on this laundry all day, but keep finding myself sitting in that pretty green chair playing around on my phone.


Real Life: John and I both do NOT want to go grocery shopping today. But we've got to - the fridge is pretty bare. So, we do as we normally do to settle any disagreement - Paper, Rock, Scissors. Best 2 out of 3 wins. I won, so I was pretty happy about avoiding that chore. But then, I traded him an offer to do the grocery store trip if he would put the lights on our house today. It is currently 41 degrees outside and raining. He REALLY didn't want to go to the grocery store today.


Real life: This is what my children are doing as I type this. Playing Wii, eating goldfish, and Charley has DESTROYED her room today. We've got a looming "If your room isn't clean by tonight we are taking everything away that remains in your floor" threat hanging over her. I'll keep you posted.


Real Life: There is a snowman shaped pancake grease spot on my kitchen table. I can't really remember why the pancake was laid directly on the table but for whatever reason it was and it permanently altered the finish of the table. WHY couldn't that have happened with a regular round pancake instead of the rare time I make snowman shaped pancakes??


Real Life: I LOVE coming home to all the packages this time of year!


Real Life: There is a cleaning brush on my patio table that the girls used on a warmer day a few months ago where they played car wash with the Cozy Coupe. I see it daily, and yet there it remains.


Real Life: I packed away all of my fall stuff Friday and realized my fall stuff has an abundance of artificial fall flowers.


Real Life: This tub of salsa leftover from lunch is sitting on my counter right now without a lid. John cleaned up before I was finished eating and recycled the salsa lid, and went ahead and took out the recycling for good measure.

Real Life: This is my latest photo booth picture on my fridge. It's from last weekend at Stone Mountain, Georgia. Turns out six people cannot fit into a photo booth.


Real Life: We are really starting to get good use out of the basement. Have a few things left to do still, but having a separate TV downstairs so I don't have to get the songs from their current Netflix favorite "Hi-5" stuck in my head has proved invaluable.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


4 years, 6 months, 15 days. 1,659 days. That's how long Charley used her lovey blanket, we dubbed Owlie, as her comfort item.


The good ol' Easter Bunny delivered one Owlie blanket to Charley on April 8, 2012. Charley was 6 months old and immediately fell in love. I'm thankful she declared her love for Owlie so soon because we were able to buy two backups immediately from Target. I guess that's where the Easter Bunny shopped too.

This was the day she received Owlie. It was so clean!
Owlie has gone everywhere with us. 

On hikes,


to 3-D shows,


camping with Grandaddy,


in Grandaddy's chair,


of course to every nap,


lots of time on the couch,


to family birthday parties,


to the beach, 


to Christmas celebrations, 


on road trips, 


to the zoo, 


and a million other places. It took me about 10 minutes to collect all of these pictures. There were TONS of them. Owlie is probably photographed more often than our cat. Sorry, Reese!

Charley essentially used Owlie as a pacifier. She did the same sucking motion as you would on a pacifier, but on the corners of Owlie. Every single corner became discolored and they STANK real bad real fast. They got regular washes on the weekends but Charley rarely minded their smell and love love loved them so.

I wasn't that worried about them either since the dentist had mentioned that they didn't pose the same problem as a pacifier since they were flat. So, I tried some gentle approaches to get her to break the habit. Essentially I didn't want to just take them from her, I just did not want her to put them in her mouth any longer. 

For a while, we talked up her 5th birthday like she was OFFICIALLY going to be a big girl. And you know what big girls didn't do? They didn't chew on owlies. We told her on her 5th birthday she would give them over to us, and then she'd get her birthday presents and she was pretty agreeable about it. So, that morning, in our camper, she begrudgingly handed them over.


Yeah, so, that didn't work. Her and Laney share a room in the camper and I wasn't trying to have two non-sleeping babies that night, so she convinced me to let her just have them at night but that she wouldn't touch them at all during the day. That continued on for another couple days where she even brought them to me and handed them over first thing every morning, but before we knew it she just kept them and then "used" them whenever she pleased. She didn't take them to school or anything, but if she was resting on the couch and watching a cartoon, she liked to have them. I gave up the fight for a while.

We randomly tried to let her test out her own willpower for the promise of a coveted toy. (Monster High girl dolls...thanks a lot Charley's older cousins! haha) We told her she could continue to hold them, but as soon as she put them back in her mouth she had to start all over. I think we put a 3 day limit on it or something like that. But, this was HABIT, and even though she tried to lay there so sweetly only holding them and not chewing them, habit took over and they were back in her mouth before we knew it.


We gave up for a while. She truly didn't use them as often as she used to, and we just hadn't come up with a nice way of taking them away.

A couple weekends ago John went out of town. While Charley misses her daddy when he leaves of course, she also gets really excited because I will let her have ONE sleepover in Mama's bed whenever he isn't home. She chose Saturday night over the long weekend he was gone to sleep in the bed with me. That night I didn't sleep very well and one of the reasons why was because I could hear her sucking on those blankies ALL NIGHT LONG. I sort of thought she used them to go to sleep and that was really it, but that night I realized that she would grab them in her sleep and suck on them periodically throughout the night. I decided I needed to help her break the habit soon. In the middle of the night sometime, I finally came up with an idea that I thought may work.

Safety pins.


I think most people questioned my sanity when I said I was going to put small metal POINTY objects on something that my daughter regularly put IN HER MOUTH and kept IN HER BED. Relaxxxxx, everything's going to be justtttt fine.

I did use larger, sturdier safety pins and put them on every single corner at some point that next afternoon. I decided I should tackle this that very next night because John was still out of town and I could let her sleep in my bed again so I could comfort her and also so her crying wouldn't wake up Laney on their side of the house. Charley was less than thrilled with me when she saw what I had done that afternoon. :(


And that night wasn't very fun at all. Charley cried pretty hard for a good 30-45 minutes. It was tough and I felt really bad for her. She had used that thing to put herself to sleep for YEARS and I felt bad that I hadn't helped her to break the habit sooner. But, before too long, she was asleep and there wasn't a blankie in her mouth at all. My big girl. <3 p="">


But was over. She may have asked for them that next morning and got a little teary eyed a couple times talking about what Mama had done, but that was IT. A few days later I ordered the dreaded Monster High Girl dolls and she was SO PROUD OF HERSELF. Which now, makes me a little teary eyed thinking about.

She still takes them to bed with her (and they are still safety pinned JUST IN CASE) but there weren't any other tears shed and haven't been any pokey accidents, either. She was just ready, I guess. 

It's such an accomplishment to get through parenting feats like this, right? It makes you feel encouraged and strong and ready to tackle the next feat!


Meet Bunny, Laney's blankie that she does the EXACT SAME THING with. I have a feeling - knowing Laney's spunky personality - things won't go as swimmingly with her. I'm gonna........wait a couple more years on that. So much for feeling encouraged.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Kidpik: Box One

Facebook ads, man. Sometimes they get ya. This was the latest one to suck me in.

One random Sunday morning while laying in bed because my angellic children were both still sleeping at 8:18 a.m., I saw an ad for Kidpik in my Facebook feed. It intrigued me for some reason and I clicked on it to see what it was all about. Found out that it was essentially a Stitch Fix subscription box, but for children. I have broken up with Stitch Fix as of April or May I think, but sometimes dressing my children is just as exciting or even more exciting as dressing myself, so without having a second thought about it I just signed right up. 


That is not like me to sign up for something so willy nilly like that, especially when I did the entire sign up process on my phone which I normally loathe, so I must have been high on getting to sleep in or something. Anyway, our first box showed up today. I was so darn excited to see what we got, I opened it up in the bathroom while Charley and Laney played in the bathtub.


Now, if I were a good blogger, I would have taken a picture of this next part, but you'll just have to take my word for it.

So, I open up the box and all of the clothing is wrapped in a piece of tissue paper a la Stitch Fix style. I break open the tissue paper and the very first thing right there on top was.....

...a tshirt with a WORD on it. BLEH. I contemplated shutting the box right then and there and giving it the ol' "it's not you it's me" speech. But, I decided to power through. I DID answer some survey questions about what style I liked/Charley liked, but I don't recall ever seeing a space for me to have written to them that I don't like wordy clothing. You better believe I'll be adding that to my checkout notes, however.

Charley (while in the bath) and I looked through it all right then, and we were very pleasantly surprised! Several things that I never would have picked up, but Charley was loving it all. She has very particular taste so that was a good sign at least. I promised her that after her bath and after I got Laney in bed we'd do a mini fashion show so she could try it all on.

At the bottom of the box was the receipt. You don't pay a styling fee or shipping fee, but just pay for whatever you keep. If you keep it all you get 30% off of everything. I braced myself before I opened the receipt because I assumed that it would be way more than I'd normally pay for 7 items for a child. But, again, I was pleasantly surprised! If I decided to keep it all I'd only be out $80! I think I was expecting more than that so I was happy with that total.

Finally my children were clean, one was asleep and the other was DYING to try some things on. We went into my bedroom/bathroom so we had a full  length mirror to play fashion show in front of.

First we try on a skirt, dolman tee and pleather moto jacket.


The skirt is cute and fits well, but I'm not loving it with the dolman. The dolman is actually really big and wide, so I don't even know if it is worth saving for next year. The jacket though is adorable and is truly something I wouldn't even pick up in a store. Of course it IS the most expensive thing in the box. Naturally.

We tried to also put these shoes on with that outfit because these shoes are 100% Charley, but they were sized small. Womp womp. It looks like you can exchange for another size though, so these are still a possibility.


Besides making my 5 year old look way too old, we were off to a decent start for our very first box. We moved on to the next outfit...a cute A-Line black and white dress.


ADORABLE. This was Charley's favorite thing in the box by far. Like, she wanted to wear it to bed tonight. It was extra extra cute with the moto jacket, too.



Next we had to try on the dreaded WORD tee. It also had a cat on it, and Charley can't read (nor does she share my hatred for word tees) so she liked it! Also, have I mentioned that Charley's aversion to jeans has ended? This fall she's asked for a couple pairs of jeans to wear, so tonight we went to Target and got her a pair to try from the Cat and Jack line. So, these jeans aren't from the box, but we needed to try them on too so it made sense to try them with the cat tee.


The jeans are very cute, but again, make her look too old (!!) and the tee thankfully is just too tight so I convinced her it was a no. Whew. Dodged that wordy bullet.

The last thing in the box was some sort of strappy wrap bracelet, but it didn't fit well when wrapped two times around her little wrist and I just am not a fan of that style on my 5 year old. So I'm definitely using veto power on it if she asks to keep it.

So, what  do you think? Here's where the math gets me:

If I keep the following:

A Line Dress..............$24.50
Moto Jacket................$29.50
                      I'm at...  $69.50


If I keep it ALL and take advantage of the 30% discount, the total is $81.55. So, I'd save $12 to only keep what we like, but Laney would eventually wear the shoes if we didn't exchange them so they wouldn't be a total loss, and the dolman tee could be a maybe next fall, so, possibly not a total loss either. What do you think? Do you disagree with what we are considering, and think it all is too mature for a 5 year old? I definitely can see that side of it too so that wouldn't be offensive to me at all if you think that. I mean really, the moto jacket while cute, is not very practical at all. And the skirt I could take it or leave it,..although I can really see it with some black and white converse, so, I'm leaning towards keeping it. See?! I change my mind halfway through a sentence, so I'm in no shape to be making these (first world) decisions tonight.

Help me out. What do we think, bloggy friends? I DO think we will continue the subscription box no matter what we decide to keep with this one.

(Also, if you are thinking of trying it for your own daughter (so far they only have clothing for girls sized 4-14), awesome! I wish there was a referral program, but there is not. So, here is a link, but it is not a referral link: Kidpik.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Never Ever Have I Ever II

One of my favorite posts I've written is the Never Ever Have I Ever post from last year. Immediately after I posted it I came up with a couple more items to add to the list so I started a drafting a part 2 right away. 18 months later, I finally have a list long enough to share. I cannot come up with even one more "never". But how much ya wanna bet I'll come up with a couple as soon as I hit that publish button?

Anyway, if you are unfamiliar, this comes from a drinking game where you take a sip every time someone says something they've never done that you HAVE done. So I've never smoked a cigarette but if you have then you would take a sip of your drink. Got it? Ok. Get your drink ready and here goes.


Never ever have I ever....

...smoked a cigarette.

...had mastitis or a clogged duct.

...been scuba diving.

...drank Everclear.

...gone for a test drive. (bought lots of cars - never wanted to test drive them)

...been to a counselor or therapist.

...been to a chiropractor.

...eaten with chopsticks.

...been sailing.

...had a sinus infection.

...been to a rap concert.

...been to a strip club.

...paddle boarded or surfed.

...gone hunting.

...shot a gun.

...played hockey.

...been house shopping with a realtor a la House Hunters. (I've always wanted to though!)

...been to a MLB game. (That's a lie...I just remembered I have been to one!) Let's change this to:
...been to a major league soccer game.

...been to a state fair. Plenty of local fairs, never to THE state fair in any state.

...had an ingrown toenail.

...bobbed for apples.

...attended a protest.

...milked a cow.

...received an "F" as a grade.

...rode a unicycle.

...dyed my own hair.

...gambled in a casino.

...hired a babysitter that wasn't family or a close friend.

...been to the movies in 2016.

How did you do? Can you even read these words any longer? Nice and tipsy for a Tuesday evening?

It took me a year and a half to come up with this second list, so I think next time I need to list weird things I have done so I don't seem as sheltered and inexperienced as these "never" lists make me sound. I've done things! Really! I have! Once I went swimming...WITHOUT waiting 30 minutes after I ate.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week In Review

This is for the week of September 25 through October 1st.

The highs of the week were:

  • Getting our fall family pictures back from the photographer. We (coughLaneycough) didn't give the photographer a ton to work with, so I wasn't expecting any miracles. On the other hand, I LOVE this photographer so much and knew in the back of my mind I'd be pleasantly surprised. And that I was! They are all SO GOOD. 
  • Spontaneously (well, about 10 hours before spontaneously which is almost as spontaneous as it gets when you are parents) deciding to take the kids out to a brewery after work Friday. Ha! They serve food, too, and there's a HUGE outdoor area where a band plays, there are tons of tables, and lots of space for the kids to run around. Plus, BREWERY, so, John and I enjoyed it too. We met one of our best friends there and a couple more of John's coworkers, so while one of us took our shift of walking around with Laney, the other had people to sit and chat with. The weather was good, the pretzels and beer cheese were good, the beer was good, and the company was great! Our friend then came back to our house with us where we played darts and stayed up until almost 1!
  • Untitled
    My two are the ones sitting up in the middle and on the right. They were helping cover the ones laying down in GRAVEL. Filthy dirty kids with pockets full of rocks, but they had fun! I even got a "BEST DAY EVER!" from Charley.
  • Then, at 6:30 the next morning, I got up and went to yard sales with Charley and my mom. It was such a good day, too. We deserved it after a truly bust of a day two weeks prior. Charley got some great things, and I did too! Charley's favorite is a FurReal cat, and then this pink wig. 
My favorite were these two mini globes that I paid $.50 each for. I came home right away and spray painted the cheap looking plastic parts with some Oil Rubbed Bronze (I keep that spray paint color on hand!) and I love them! Perfect bookcase decor for one dollar! 

The lows of the week were:
  • Just all of the rushing around. Saturday especially was non-stop and I even had to cancel one thing I had planned to do. The fall is just so busy with things we have to do and things we want to do (Festivals! Festivals! ALL THE FESTIVALS!).
  • Going hand in hand with that is the way our house is suffering. We've had some help with the actual CLEANING part of it, so it's not dirty, but we just aren't finding time to put everything away. Which is odd because usually it is the opposite where we have all the clutter put away but run out of time with the cleaning part. John and I aren't holding it over each other's head, but it does make both of us feel overwhelmed.
  • A bad customer service experience at Old Navy Saturday. Ran in to do a quick return of 2 things we didn't end up using for our family pictures, and it took almost 20 minutes. They tried telling me the necklace I was returning was not on the receipt that I had. Even though that is the only time I've shopped at Old Navy recently, and the only necklace I've purchased there as well which I politely explained to them. They tried to not let me return it and I was LIVID. The prices matched between the item's tag and the receipt and the description matched as well, but when they scanned it their stupid computer said that item wasn't on that receipt. RAGE RAGE RAGE. Eventually they gave but I got the whole "JUST THIS ONCE" line. Just this once maybe your darn computer should work, jerks. Whew. Sorry. Got mad again just thinking of it. 
The best money I spent was on:
Besides things I've already mentioned (family photos and yard sale goodies) I'm going to have to go with the two cookies I purchased from The Great American Cookie Company on Thursday. Y'all know I used to work there in high school/college, right? Well, I almost always get a double doozie when I visit these days, but this time I went back to a couple of my favorites from back then and OH MY GOSH they were even better than I remembered. First, the DOUBLE FUDGE. It's good, but it doesn't hold a candle to the CHEWY CHOCOLATE SUPREME. Holy moly I forgot how delicious that cookie is. $3.66 well spent.

The book I am currently reading is:

I just need to remove or replace this question because I'm in a very long reading lull.

The TV shows I watched were:

Y'all. I am loving This Is Us. Only two episodes so far, but so so good. Also, my old favorite Survivor. Charley loves Survivor too so that has become something we watch together each week. I think I also watched a couple episodes of Parenthood, too. 

The dinners we had were:
(Guess what - we didn't meal plan again. We are doing better this week so far, but it's only Monday so we have plenty of time left to blow it.)
Sunday: We had leftovers from the Panther's tailgate John was at earlier this day. So, BBQ, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and beans.
Monday: John had a work dinner at a BBQ place, and I made chicken alfredo for myself and the girls. 
Tuesday: I stopped by my weekly happy hour thing my work does while Charley was in gymnastics and quickly scarfed down some chicken strips. John grilled chicken wings, but the girls actually both had leftovers tonight and we saved the chicken wings for lunches.
Wednesday:  Marco's Pizza
Thursday: This is the only night I can't remember. Which makes me think it was a throw something-anything together night. Peanut butter and jelly, crackers, grapes, strawberries, yogurt, any leftover pizza, green beans, Cheeze-Its, and whatever other thing we can find in the pantry or fridge.  
Friday: This was the night we went to the brewery, so pretzels and chips was it for the kids.
Saturday:   Charley and I have eaten lunch at Cookout after her swim lessons each week, and they give you so much food! So, the girls finished off that for dinner (cheeseburgers, hushpuppies, french fries, and I at least cut up some fruit for them too for some semblance of healthiness) and John and I just ate whatever we could find. 
On Sunday we decided to actually make time to grocery shop for the following week, and man, how wonderful it is to have groceries and not to scramble for every single meal all week. Again though, it IS only Monday...

My favorite picture from the week was:


 Not that wonderful of a picture or anything, but this was from a birthday party Saturday. Laney walked around the kids in the circle and seemed to be standing right in front of each one and backing up to where they couldn't see around her. I knew that was Laney code for her wanting to sit in one of their laps, but of course they didn't know that so they all kept moving away from her while I watched and giggled. Finally though, she found her sister who knew what she wanted. They are so darn sweet....sometimes!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Catch Up Post

Goodness. TIME IS FLYING, Y'ALL. I haven't even been taking lunches very often lately so since that is my prime blogging time, the ol' blog has been dormant. I don't know why I've felt so cannot-catch-my-breath-busy for the last month or so, but it seems like it has been non-stop. Here's some of what's been happening.

I made John stand up for an entire football game so I could rest my legs across his seat.


Charley likes circle time so much at school we decided to do it at home also. Charley, Laney and the toilet make a great circle.


We got started planning Halloween costumes. Laney was thinking Grimace, but we aren't sure yet.


Remember when we dropped out of dance class after I'd already spent the $75 on the recital dress that I promised was the UGLIEST TACKIEST THING EVER that wasn't even deserving of dress up box? Well it's been hanging in my closet for some reason ever since May. I did some cleaning out of my closet and figured I should at least have her try it on.


See? Even uglier than I promised.

QUICK! Let me post something cute as an eye-wash of sorts. I also had Laney try on an outfit I purchased for her to wear in family pictures.


I gave you a double dose just in case. Hope your eyes are okay.

I decorated for fall and Halloween the other night. John was away that night, so I stayed up late and decorated to my heart's content. Around midnight I held up this creepy guy to see where I wanted to place him.


I am not exaggerating one bit on the timing of what I'm about to tell you. AS SOON AS I held him up, just like I'm doing there, the FREAKING COMPUTER started playing some commercial. It was just a lady talking, and I'm pretty sure it was just a Value City Furniture commercial, but DO YOU KNOW HOW CREEPY IT WAS TO HOLD THIS UP IN THE COMPLETE SILENCE AND THEN HAVE SOMETHING BEGIN TALKING??? I considered burning the place down and starting over elsewhere. There wasn't even any browser windows open on the computer. It was randomly from some program running in the background. I nearly needed to change my pants.

Let's see, iPhone photo stream, what else have we done in the last month....

We went camping at the beach during a tropical storm.


I demonstrated my cool demeanor and excellent parenting skills after taking this picture, noticing Laney actually smiled, THEN noticing the cat on Charley's head which caused me to stomp my feet like a toddler and reprimand Charley for ruining my picture. Nevermind her eyes are almost closed.


Turns out that kind of made the picture so I apologized.

We celebrated birthdays. First Daphne's,


Then my dad's.


We attempted to smuggle a baby.


We didn't take advantage of my children playing nicely together, and instead peeked around the corner the whole time and took pictures.


We went to the fair where Charley spent a LONG TIME at the bee exhibit talking to the beekeeper who of course was a stranger. You know who else keeps bees? Her uncle. And he keeps them right next door, yet she's never even shown an interest in them at all.


My serious baby has continued seriousing, despite holding a ball that clearly says SMILE.


And I am TIRED, y'all.


But! Maybe things will slow down soon. There aren't many festivals or holidays or anything coming up right?

See you in January. You know. That month where accountants are never busy.