Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today, I Was Not The Best Mother.

Today, I was not the best mother.  

I yelled and I screamed on more than one occasion. I lost my temper and my cool and of course, I regretted it immediately. 

On the third attempt at a nap, I sat and cried while holding my son. But only after I had plainly stated to him that I was so mad he wasn't listening to his Mama, as he started up at me with those huge, bright blue eyes. 

I begged and pleaded with my 16 month old to please. just. nap.

Earlier in the day, I forgot to run the most important errand on my list because I was in the middle of having an argument with my husband via text message in the parking lot of the grocery store. I was seeing red so terribly that I lost all train of thought and drove straight home.

I cursed. A lot.

And then? I blamed him for making me forget to run the day's most important errand. It wasn't his fault. But I needed to blame someone. 

Today, I was not the best wife either. 

I should be thankful that these kinds of days really only find me few and far between but that doesn't mean that when they do sneak up on me that they don't royally suck. I can't stand when I'm knowingly acting like a lesser version of my best self. My nicest self. My most patient self. 

I hate these kinds of days and I'm hoping and hanging onto a shred of wishful thinking that tomorrow will undoubtedly be better. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

RedEnvelope Gallery Wall Review and $50 Giveaway!

I have been a fan of RedEnvelope for as long as I can remember. As a matter of fact, I'm fairly certain my first purchase from them was a set of beautiful sterling silver chopsticks purchased back in 2000. Since then I've purchased a myriad of gifts from them for both myself and family and friends. I even wrote about them and one of my favorite ornaments right on this blog in 2009.

It goes without saying that RedEnvelope is a unique company that offers a wide range of high quality and personalized gifts for everyone on every occasion. One of my favorite personal touches is the special stories behind so many of RedEnvelope's gifts that are often included alongside them. It truly makes the gift in question that much more endearing and one-of-a-kind to both the recipient and the gift-giver. 

With Christmas right around the corner, I have no doubt in my mind that RedEnvelope is the place to find unique Christmas gift ideas for everyone on your list. 

Not only does RedEnvelope offer first-class gift-giving, but they also offer: 
  • Printed catalogs with seasonal themes and specials
  • Exceptional, signature Gift Box presentation
  • Convenient flexible delivery feature
  • Varied, affordable Shipping Options

I have had my eye on RedEnvelope's Deluxe Wall Gallery Frame for months and let me tell you, Loyals, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when, after recently partnering with them for a product review, I was given the opportunity to review the Deluxe Wall Gallery Frame

As soon as the well-packed package arrived on my doorstep, I didn't waste a minute employing The Husband to get to work hanging it in its designated location. Lightweight and incredibly easy to hang, we had the gallery wall assembled and ready in no time. 

The instructions were easy to read, included helpful diagrams and most importantly, included one of those easy-to-hang templates that stick right to your wall and guide you when leveling and placing your nail marks.

The  nickel-plated brass bar, from which the photos hang, is both sturdy and has a beautiful finish. It compliments the furniture and decor in our family room very nicely and it was great to be able to choose from a variety of color finishes for the frames themselves. 

Once hung, I did need to tighten a few of the hooks on each individual frame in order to even them out, but that was accomplished simply by gently twisting them and tightening them into place. 

I am incredibly happy with both the ease of installation and incredible quality of this product. I've already received a handful of compliments on it and am looking forward to showing it off during the entertaining of the holiday season!

Just in time for Christmas, RedEnvelope would like to give one of you, sweet Loyals, a $50 gift code to be used on Of course I would suggest spending it on just one of the many special people on your shopping list, but heck, you may want to save this code just for you! 

Here's how to enter: 

For the Mandatory Single Entry: 
:: You must be a registered follower via Google Friend Connect or RSS Feed of I Love You More Than Carrots. 
:: You must "LIKE" RedEnvelope on Facebook. You can do so by clicking here. When you do, you'll receive an extra 20% off of your order! Sweet!

For Additional Entries, You May Do One or All Of The Following:
::Tweet about this giveaway and mention both @LvdMoreThnCrrts and @RedEnvelope
:: "LIKE" I Love You More Than Carrots the Blog on Facebook. You can do so by clicking here.

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each additional entry! 

This giveaway will be open through Friday, December 2nd. The winner will be chosen randomly that evening and announced on the blog Monday morning.

Good Luck and don't forget to spread the RedEnvelope love! Happy Monday, Loyals! 

**I was gifted the Deluxe Wall Gallery Frame free of charge in compensation for my honest review of the product. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are truthful and solely my own.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

The M Family would like to take a quick second to wish each and everyone of you the Happiest of Thanksgivings!
The turkey is frying, the candied yams are baking and the women have switched into ensembles a bit more conducive to, ahem, stretching. If there were ever a time to rock Leggings As Pants, today would be the day.
We hope this holiday finds you both happy and healthy, surrounded with love ones from both near and far. We'll be counting our very many blessings this year, especially the blessing of one quite opinionated, very independent yet hugely compassionate and caring towhead! What a difference a year makes!
Happy Thanksgiving, Loyals!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Cherry Poppin' So What Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday, Loyals! 

Today I'm guest posting over at my homegirl's slice of the internet, Life After I Dew. It's my cherry poppin' So What Wednesday, where I talk about feigning sleep and sickness and feeding my toddler bread and ice cream all day. 

Head on over and check it out!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday's Tids And Bits.

After a weekend full of marathon crafting fun and family sessions with little joys. photography, Loyals, I am spent. As I'm sure you've noticed, due to my lack of "sass" around these parts, I've been burning the proverbial candle at both ends and it's truly catching up with me. 

Did you know that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year? Even I almost forgot that it was. I've been so caught up in the Christmas! Christmas! hullabaloo that I found myself starting to wish away Thanksgiving. Shame on me.

If I were around a bit more frequently, you'd also know that Husband and I are deep frying our first turkey this year. Don't worry, you won't find us on the local news for one of those Deep Fryer Disasters. Or at least, I hope you won't. Thanks to my many southern Twitter friends like this girl and this girl and this girl, I'm armed with a delicious marinade and a little southern secret or two when it comes to deep frying the annual bird. Of course there will be pictures.   

In other news, we're all still alive and hanging in there. C is cutting what appears to be every single top tooth left in his mouth all at the same time and my sanity is hanging on by a shred. The Husband still hasn't assembled our headboard, which, if you follow me on Twitter, you would know that I have a somewhat sort of pool going. It's called "How Long Will The Headboard Sit In Our Foyer Before It Makes Its Way Upstairs To Our Bedroom?" Feel free to place your bets. I'll let you know, it's not looking good for me or the headboard.  

Speaking of Twitter and Facebook, if you don't already follow me there, you really should. I mean, if you miss me that much, that is. I tend to check in much more there, vomit whatever nonsense happens to be on my brain at that point and heck, I even tend to share more pictures there than I have been on the blog. Believe me, you want in.

Lastly, here's a little peek at what I've been up to when I'm not wearing my Mom, Wife and Photographer hats. As a matter of fact, I think I'm wearing my Martha hat for this one. 

After twenty months of living in our new house, I've finally found something fit for that blank wall at the bottom of our staircase. Inspired by this pin, all it took was a simple frame, a simple wreath and a bit of ribbon. Easy peasy, Loyals. Easy peasy. I have grand plans to switch out the wreaths as the seasons change- heck, I'm sure an "M" will even find it's way into that frame at one point or another. 

Thanks so much for being patient with me and for continuously checking back in with me here in this tiny slice of the internets. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I'll be back soon, Loyals. Pinky promise! Happy Monday! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Simple Little Breakfast Date.. With A Typical AP Fail.

Mornings are rather routine around here. In an ugly, status-quo sort of way. 

The Husband's alarm goes off somewhere between 6am and 7am. Some days, if he's feeling particularly motivated, he'll get up at 6am and trudge downstairs to the basement to work out. Most days? He presses snooze roughly 11 times as I lay beside him, ready to punch him in a kidney. 

The minute he turns the shower on, C wakes up. Like clockwork. I stumble out of bed, wander half-asleep downstairs to fix his morning cup of milkies and grab the iPad on my way back up. After a quick diaper change, C merrily sits in his pack and play, watching the Movie Du Jour. Most days it's Tangled. Some days it's Cars. This morning? It was Curious George. 

While the Husband gets ready for work and C watches his movie, I crawl back underneath the covers in an attempt at just a few extra minutes of shut eye. By 8am, it's out the door and off to the office for The Husband. By now, C is practically throwing himself from the pack and play and that's usually my signal that it's time to venture downstairs. 

If it isn't Carter hurtling himself from his confines, it's Sheepie's hot, moist dog breath breathing directly in my face. 

Our already monotonous day typically continues with coffee for myself and some semblance of a frozen breakfast for C. French toast sticks, mini pancakes, etc. Don't worry, I usually fancy it up with some fresh cut fruit and a small bowl of yogurt. 

Are you bored yet? Don't worry, Loyals. Be honest. Because this morning? I woke up and decided I wasn't going to fall victim to The Same Old Day. 

As I dressed Carter for the day, upon waking at 7:30am, I also managed to throw together tonight's Crock Pot dinner. Believe me, Carter was just as confused as I was about putting on his day clothes before lunch. 

This morning? I had a diner breakfast date with my handsome little man. And I'm so thankful we decided to switch it up a bit. 

We loaded ourselves into the car and drove off to our favorite little run-of-the-mill diner. Chock full of greasy breakfast foods and happy little elderly folks. C was loving it and so was I. It was so nice to get out of the house for a bit, especially during that slow, sleepy part of the morning. 

We shared a plate of hash browns, smoked sausage, french toast and Carter's personal favorite, scrambled eggs with ketchup. In between waving at each and every diner patron and making friends with our waitress, we practiced our words and even sang some songs. 

So. much. fun. Loyals. 

As C began to throw his potatoes onto the floor, I knew it was time to head out. And that's when I realized it. A certain Mama left her wallet at home. 

Story of my life. 

What's a Mama to do, right? I quickly thought about shmoozing our way through our bill. I  mean, my kid is pretty cute, right? Certainly worth the $8.69 it would cost to get us out of there. And then I remembered that I'm the world's worst shmoozer. So? I called the Husband. And begged and pleaded with him to bail us out of the pickle we so quickly found ourselves in. 

Thank god The Husband works close to home. And the diner.

Happy Thursday, Loyals! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SAHM's and Cleaning Ladies. A Rant.

I really wish I had the skills to save screen shots of people saying stupid, ignorant things. Because if I did, you would be able to read this and it would be awesome. But since, alas, I do not, I shall go on to explain to you what it says. After all, I only wasted part of Carter's nap time trying to PrntScrn, save, stretch and doodle. 

That, dear Loyals, is a shoddy screen shot of my Facebook wall. Yesterday, I put out a call for help. Something that I very rarely, if ever, do. So when I do? It's kind of a big deal. I'm not above help, I just like to think that I'm capable (and crazy enough) to do everything, all the time, by myself. And well, Loyals, that isn't the case. I know, welcome to reality, AP. 

You see, Loyals, I've been in the market for a cleaning lady. Just a little extra help around the house once (preferably twice, but we won't go there) per month so that when I do spend some time cleaning the house each day, I won't get ridiculously upset and angry six minutes later when Carter has absolutely destroyed it again. 

This cleaning lady? Believe me, she comes with a handful of sacrifices, as does pretty much everything these days. The money that I earn taking pictures? Well, it's pretty much going to finance some extra help around the M household. But you don't really need to hear that, much less care about it. 

So, there I am. Putting out the call for help on Facebook. Asking local friends and family if they have any experience with a wonderful cleaning service that they would love to pass along. Seems easy enough, right?

Immediately, a high school acquaintance writes, "you're home all day, do it then and save the money!" Followed by what I like to call a "judgey smiley."

OK. I get it. And we all know she's not the first one to assume that just because I'm home all day, I should have an immaculately clean house, immaculately groomed toddler and dinner on the table each night promptly at 5. Which, for the record, wouldn't even fly in our house considering The Husband doesn't get home until at least 7 each night. 

But, I brush it off and in response write, "If it was that easy, I wouldn't need a cleaning lady! Toddlers and trying to clean a house do not mix well together!" Meanwhile, friends and family are commenting left and right, sharing the names and numbers of their cleaning ladies. And their friend's cleaning ladies and their friend's friend's sister's cousin's cleaning service. And I'm so grateful. 

Until what I can only assume is ignorance prompting said offender to respond again. Wait, isn't this conversation over? Oh, no Loyals. No, it's not. 

She writes, "lol i have a 10 year old and a 7 year old and 2 dogs (1 very hairy), after working an 8 hour day and taking care of kids and dogs i still have to clean at the end of the day, haha."

Okay. First of all, I would like to address that adding "lol" or "haha" to whatever you're about to say, doesn't automatically make it funny or less sting-y. That's basically like starting your sentence off with, "I don't mean to be rude but.." Because we both damn well know, you're about to say something ridiculously rude. 

For those of you who don't really know me, I try and live my life both respectfully and gracefully. I save the snark and the sass for the blog as where I feel it's most appropriately suited for that. Not to mention that I just don't have the time to be all snarky and sassy in real life. It takes too much energy. 

I thought long and hard about responding to that high school acquaintance. Part of me wanted to just let it all go and forget she ever said anything. But then an even bigger part of me is just so sick and tired of people assuming that as a SAHM I have nothing but time on my hands. So I wrote back. And I talked all about how although I do not work outside of the home, I'm busy just about every second of every day. 

When I'm not playing with Carter, teaching him letters, numbers, manners, animals, raising him to be a polite, caring and compassionate little gentleman, learning with him, loving all over him and downright Mothering him, I'm writing. I'm editing. I'm responding to emails. I'm writing some more and editing some more. There's mom-dates and play groups and story time. 

There's laundry. Even if it's on it's fourth cycle in the dryer, it still needs tending to. And on the rare occasion that my child naps? I'll prep dinner or mop the floor. Sometimes I mop multiple times per day, depending how much of a mess he makes.

When he's awake and eating lunch in his high chair? I'll vacuum. Because for those 11 minutes? He's contained in one place, on hold from running around the house like the Crazy Toddler Wildebeest that he is.

We go to the park. Every day. We run around like crazy people. We swing on the swings. We pick flowers. 

I am busy. We are busy. Every day.

Newsflash, but I am not sitting around all day watching Real Housewives and eating ice cream. As a matter of fact, Carter doesn't even like the Housewives. 

So when I ask for a little bit of extra help? It's because I need it. It's not so that I can sit on my ass and watch TV or paint my nails. It's so that I can be a better mother to Carter and a better wife to The Husband. 

I know. Perhaps she was having a bad day. As I'm sure there are a myriad of outliers that could account for one feeling the need to respond in the fashion. 

But as a proud SAHM, it needed to be said. And by no means is what I do all day meant to discount the work of any other Mother. We all work. Mothering in itself is a job. Some of us continue to work outside of the home, some of us from inside of the home. I freelance write and I'm a children's and family photographer. I also spend an undisclosed number of ours per week blogging. That, Loyals, is a job in itself. One that I absolutely love doing.  

Please don't assume because I'm home all day that I have countless free hours at my disposal. If it were true? I'd fill those hours with manicures and pedicures and personal trainers. Oh heck, and maybe even an episode of Real Housewives or two.

Happy Wednesday, Loyals. Thanks so much to those of who who've reached out, emailed and Facebooked me, wondering where I've been and if I'm alright. I am. It's just another case of Life Getting The Best Of Me. I'm up to my eyeballs in editing incredible family sessions with little joys. and am so thankful that this little passion of mine has taken off like it has. So, so thankful. 

As always, thanks for reading! I'll be back soon! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

C, Sheeps, The Leaves And A Super Cute "Monstah" Hat!.. And A Little Something Extra.

Happy Wednesday, Loyals!

For a little extra sass and bit less fluff, head on over to one of my FAVORITE reads, "I Pick Pretty" to read the guest post that I veritably sweated over writing. No joke! "Just When You Thought It Was Safe..."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My House Can Have A Christmas List, Right?

It's no secret that our house has been a work in progress since we moved in back in March of 2010. At the time I was six months pregnant and relegated mostly to painting walls and scoping out the nearest HomeGoods and Pottery Barn Outlet. 

We did a lot with our house when we first moved in. We painted every single wall, refurbished our kitchen cabinets, replaced carpet upstairs and in the basement and laid down new hardwood throughout the first floor. Oh and shortly after doing all of this? We welcomed a baby. 

And the house "stuff" was quickly moved to the proverbial back burner of life. 

Now that we've become pros at this whole parenting gig, we've slowly started to jump back into the home remodel and renovating saddle. Once again, my job is purely home decor. 

So today, rather than do important things like plan dinner and fold laundry, I've decided to share with your our home's Christmas list. Or rather, simply a hodge-podge and more importantly never-ending list of things I'm dying to pick up for our humble abode. 

First up? Nailhead trim Headboard. I know, I know. Back in the day I was all about making our headboard. From scratch. But let's face it. Craftiness of that degree and a toddler? Don't mix. And since we have grand plans to upgrade our bed within the next couple of years, I can't break the bank when it comes to the price. As a matter of fact? I may or may not have already bought this just mere seconds after writing this post. Merry Christmas, House.

So, I may or may not have repainted our living room. You know, again. Since we painted it when we first moved in. It really was a very pretty green but as is with most things in my life, I quickly tired of it just months after painstakingly throwing it up on the walls. Now? The living room is a beautiful grey color. If I didn't swatch 8 different greys up on the walls, I would remember which one we chose and let you know. In any case, I'm now in the market for a brand new accent chair or two and I've had my sights set on these beauties for a while now. 

Since we finally furnished our dining room with a brand new table and chairs and gorgeous server, a mere year and a half after moving in, mind you, I've been on the hunt for a pair of beautiful sconces to flank the antique mirror that sits above the server. Clearly these are way out of my budget but I'm hoping to find something similar? Or win the lottery

I know what you're thinking. And you're right. The only thing that has stopped me from buying this ladder shelf months ago was the fact that I have a Crazy Wildebeest Toddler running amok in my house. I have wanted one of these shelves forever, Loyals. And it would be the perfect finishing touch to our family room. Perhaps I could distract C from knocking it over/scaling it if I include a basket of his own little toys on the bottom shelf? A girl can dream, right?

And last but certainly not least, a final piece for the newly redecorated living room, The Benchwright Reclaimed Wood Console. You had me at "reclaimed wood..."

This last piece literally has me drooling every time I lay eyes on it. I'm a huge fan of rustic meets semi-modern and I just love the authentic look of this piece. I do not, in fact, love the price. Even the sale price. Perhaps Santa is feeling extra generous this year? One can only hope, right? 

Well, there you have it Loyals. Just a little sneak peek into some of the drool-worthy home decor items that somehow found their way onto my the house's Christmas wishlist. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sheepie Love, Vacuums and More!

With the holiday season upon us, I have some really amazing giveaways coming up. I truly love that I am in a place where I have the opportunity to partner with such amazing companies and share some of my favorite products with you. Do you want to know what's in store? Oh, perhaps just a little giveaway from the fine folks at RedEnvelope and Oreck. Oh, yes. You heard me right. I'm gearing up to give away a vacuum, Loyals. An amazing one at that. I just need to video tape myself using one first. Hot, I know.

So, while I hunker down and get the ball rolling on those, could you spare a minute and click that picture or click here to vote for everyone's favorite Sheepie? You see, we have the chance to win $100 to and I would love to spoil the big fluffy monster for Christmas this year. After all, he was our first baby and we love him to pieces. 

It would mean the world to me if you could spare us a quick vote! Thanks so much, Loyals!

Friday, November 4, 2011

$25 Christmas Carol Mickey: It's Whats For Dinner.

For the fifth day in a row, I had forgotten to run a couple mindless errands. The bank, the post office, the car wash, etc. By the time 4pm rolled around yesterday, I knew I'd wasted enough of the day and needed to do something with it in order to consider it a productive success. C also happened to be in the throes of cutting his second molar and we'd just run out of my sanity children's ibuprofen. 

As I finished up at the bank, I decided to swing by the grocery store to pick up some pizza sauce for the night's last minute dinner idea: Jersey Pizza Bagels. 

Within minutes of walking through those sliding doors C excitedly starts clapping and screaming at the top of his lungs, "MICKA?!" "MICKA?"All the while he is contorting his body, just minutes away from throwing himself from the moving grocery cart. 

The object of his affection? Way atop a candy display stands Christmas Carol Mickey, beckoning "come hither" not only to my child but also half of this week's grocery budget. I make mistake number one by pulling "Micka" from the shelves and handing him over to C, as if I wasn't already sure that he was the "MICKA!?" in question. 

Here's what I was met with:

If you can't tell, that's a picture of true love. So much love, in fact, that C would not allow for Mickey to ride in the large basin of the cart but rather I had to troll the grocery store with both C and Mickey riding front and center. Because that's not embarrassing

And the minute we got home? C insisted on carrying "MICKA!?" all throughout the entire house. 

Oh and Loyals? In case you were wondering what The Husband thought? He reacted just as I had anticipated. "You actually bought it? You brought it home? WHY did you spend our food money on Mickey? Great, now we're not going to have dinner." Oh, Silly Husband. It's "MICKA!?" to you... 

And the best $25 I've spent in a long time.

Happy Friday, Loyals! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Your {Four} Questions, Answered! Wow, How Lame Does That Make Me Sound?

So, back when I wrote this post, without coming out and saying, "for the love of all things holy, please leave me some questions to answer," I hinted at perhaps giving some of you Loyals the chance to ask some things of me that I don't (or haven't) necessarily divulged on the blog. 

Well, Loyals, way to make a girl feel like a loser

I kid, I kid. I'm quite thankful for those of you who asked some questions, albeit some really great ones. And hey, perhaps this little list is just the perfect manageable amount for me. I mean, after all, I am getting back to you in a timely manner, no?

Or maybe it's that my blog pretty much reads like an open book. In which case? I'm flattered

Cari asked, "Have you ever been to my neck of the woods (New England)? If so, where and if not, where would you like to go?"

I have been to a bit of New England- my first trip was back in high school when I was college hunting and spent a weekend touring both Boston College and Boston University. It's also where I got stuck in my very first elevator in a parking garage. Needless to say that's an experience I will never, ever forget! Since then, the Husband and I have more recently spent a few days away at a  charmingly sweet bed and breakfast in Martha's Vineyard and attended the amazing wedding of one of my dearest friends out on the Cape. I would absolutely love to return as Boston is one of my most favoritest cities- not to mention that I have been dying to spend a weekend away in Newport, Rhode Island! 

Jess, one of my favorite favorites, asked, "1. What's your favorite Chardonnay? 2. What was your favorite girl name when you were preggo with C? 3. What will you do differently with a newborn next time around? 4. Any good suggestions for finger foods? And how did you get C to use a spoon, eat well, etc?"

1. Hands down, my favorite Chardonnay is Cakebread followed very closely by Dry Creek Chardonnay from the Saralee Vineyard. Now, as always, I have to be honest with you. That first bottle of wine? Is a roughly $40 bottle of wine. We now solely drink it on special occasions. That second bottle of wine? Was sent to use by the case fulls when we once belonged to a wine club way back in a former life. It now retails for somewhere around the $35 range. They are both delicious and must-try for any Chard lover! 

2. My favorite girl name when I was pregnant with C was "Charlotte Allen." It was actually our front runner had C been a she. That has since changed and a new girl name is now a top our list. And no, we don't agree on it. But what else is new, right?

3. What will I do differently with a newborn the next time around? Have them stay in the nursery over night at the hospital. Rooming in is for the birds and I have a feeling I'm going to not only need that sleep but also cherish it. Hmm.. What else? Probably transition them to their crib much sooner than 5 months. And heck, I may even formula feed much earlier on. As for everything else? I think C turned out pretty good, don't you? We must've done something right! Ha!

4. Our favorite finger foods are sweet potato fries, halved cheese cubes, french toast sticks, spinach and cheese nuggets and whole peeled and cored apples!  

5. C has always been a good eater. I joke and say that it's mostly due in part to the fact that he came out toddler-sized and has always had a ravenous appetite. There are very few things he does not like- as a matter of fact, the only thing I can think of is broccoli. In that regard, I think we just really lucked out. He'll go through phases where he only prefers bread and cheese but eventually snaps out of it. His favorite food? Sweet potato fries and peas. 

As for using a spoon? That's just something he picked up on his own. When he began reaching for ours, I went out and bought a myriad of toddler spoons- some are easier to use than others. Mostly Nuk brand. And he just took to it! I'm truly amazed at how well his hand-eye coordination is. I think it's just a series of trial and error and when they're ready? They're ready!

Dannielle, a super awesome Mommy and longtime Loyal who doesn't yet have a blog, aka another one of my favorite favorites, asked, "What do you feed C for breakfast? (Owen is bored with his foods lately..) and When is baby #2 coming?"

1. Breakfasts are usually fairly static in our house. Most days he has microwavable french toasts sticks or miniature pancakes with a side of fresh fruit and occasionally a scrambled egg. Some days it's just an egg or two and a banana cut in halves. Other days it's some oatmeal and a muffin frittata! On any given day you can almost guarantee a fairly steady rotation of all of the above.

2. Hopefully sometime in 2012!

Lindsey asked, "What's the best thing and worst thing about having a baby? Honestly."

Truly the best thing about having a baby? There are so, so many things. If I had to narrow it down and absolutely pick just one? It's just being privy to this little person that you and someone you love more than life itself created. Watching them learn and grow and change is just so incredible. And to be responsible for that? Amazing. 

The worst thing? It truly changes your relationship with your significant other. Most days? It's for the better. But it certainly brings with it a whole new set of challenges. Every day is a learning experience. I think that and the lack of sleep. You will never, ever sleep the same again. Regardless of whether or not your kid sleeps through the night. Honest truth. 

Thanks so much for the questions ladies! It was fun sharing just a bit extra with you! If there is anything else you're dying to know, just ask! If you're lucky.. I'll answer! Happy Thursday, Loyals! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Step Away From Your Readers!

Hmm.. Well, that was interesting. And tomorrow, Loyals, I'll be writing a post all about having a twitchy trigger finger who hits "publish" rather than "save!" And how you can sneakily trick your computer into thinking you were just kidding about that post even though you went and deleted it and it still showed up  in people's Readers! 

Seriously, do ya'll sit around with your Readers open all day? Damn, you guys are quick!

Thank god for Google. I have a feeling I'll be getting quite a few emails tonight. Happy Wednesday, Loyals! ;o)

iPods for Cohen & A Word From Our {Super Awesome} Thirty-One Sponsor

Thirty-One is the perfect place to do your Holiday shopping! We have gifts for everyone, even those hard-to-buy-for folks that we all stress about. 


This month's customer special is the Littles Carry-All Caddy. With any purchase totaling $31 you can buy a Littles Carry-All Caddy for just $1! That's cheaper than any gift bag you could buy, and it has so many great uses! 

Talk about the perfect gift. You could fill it with a thirty-one manicure kit, a thirty-one manicure nail file and tissue paper for a great gift that is under $20! Or maybe you want to fill it with some Scentsy or Avon products! Seriously, I could go on and on with the uses for this great product, but what will you come up with?

November 1-15 I’m hosting a fund-raising party for sweet Cohen Marshall’s charity iPods from Cohen. One person who makes a purchase on my iPods for Cohen party will win a free Organizing Utility Tote. If the party reaches $500 I’ll also be giving away two $45 gift credits for thirty-one products! To purchase just visit my thirty-one website, click on “My Events” and click “Shop Now” on the iPods for Cohen party!

If you're interested in making some money so that you can have a debt-free Christmas or contribute to family expenses, send me an e-mail anytime at kodibevelle{at}gmail{dot}com and I can tell you all of the ways that Thirty-One is helping me support my family for an initial investment of only $99 for over $300 worth of products!

I couldn't think of a better way to start off this month! Thanks so much, Kodi! Happy Wednesday, Loyals!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Requisite Post-Halloween "Come Ooh and Aww Over My Kid In A Costume" Post. With Some Sass Thrown In. Obviously.

I cannot tell a lie. In all of my Mom-Fail glory, C almost, almost breezed through his second Halloween without a costume. You see, I had all these grand ideas. He would  be the Cowardly Lion and I, Dorothy and The Husband, The Scarecrow. And we would go traipsing through the neighborhood as the Cutest Family That Ever Trick-or-Treated. 

And then we each came down with The Plague. Rather, Husband came down with it first. And then he infected Carter. Who then lovingly coughed into my mouth. Repeatedly.

Thus rendering Carter's second Halloween fate to be Charlie Brown. Again.  

But then I quickly realized that Plan B involved craftiness. And purchasing items necessary for craftiness. And craftiness does not jive with The Plague. So? I chalked it up to "he's not going to remember this holiday any way and I bet my Loyals won't even notice that I don't post the "Requisite Come Ooh and Aww Over My Kid In A Costume" post. 

In other words, a big fat Mom-fail.

Until my mother, a true Mother Of The Year, stepped in and took control. Within seconds of us being in Hometown, New Jersey she had pulled hoards of my brother's old Halloween costumes from storage. Preserved perfectly and knowing that I would be kicking myself in the rear come November 1st if Carter didn't get to dress up for Halloween. 

Enter: Carter The Pumpkin.

Pretend like I edited out all that drippy snot you see there, OK? Thanks. I wasn't kidding when I said we each have The Plague. 

With a last minute trip to Walmart to scoop up a black turtleneck, black sweats and the token pumpkin head treat caddy, C was ready to hit the neighborhood. And hit the neighborhood he did. 

He had an absolute blast running up and down the sidewalks and chasing the big kids in their costumes. He wasn't phased by the masks, the wigs, the hanging skeletons or even the pyrotechnics and fog machines. Loyals, this slice of suburbia doesn't mess around. 

Our friends and neighbors couldn't say enough about how cute he looked and how fearless he is. Both the truest of true statements.

Oh and let's not forget to mention the evil troll of a woman, dressed in an ill-fitting wedding gown, might I add, who denied C Halloween candy because he's "only a toddler." Yes, you read that right. My eager 15 month old finally mustered up the guff to actually make it all. the. way. up to a front door and as he stood excitedly in front of this Miserable Witch, babbling and gabbing away, she basically brushed him aside and continued to dole out candy to the elementary school kids who were quickly lining up behind him. 

Oh, the gall. Loyals, needless to say both The Husband and I were seeing red. You know, once we actually got over the initial shock of "did that really just happen?"

All in all I would say it was a successful Second Halloween. You see, even Sheepie shared his spooky spirit. And by spooky I clearly mean "he donned sissy bunny ears."

Happy Tuesday, Loyals! Hopefully you've shaken your sugar coma and are finally coming down off the high that is miniature Snickers and Paydays. My favorites!

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