Friday, March 30, 2012

Well Motherhood, Just Go On And Kick My Ass Why Dontchya?

Motherhood has certainly had it's kick-my-ass moments these past twenty months but I have to say that nothing could have prepared me for Wednesday's events. 

Remember that nasty Man Plague I wrote about here? Well, after it attacked poor, sweet Husband the piece of shit moved onto the weakest, most innocent member of the family as it ferociously made it's way through C's system early Wednesday afternoon. 

Despite quarantining The Husband off from the rest of the family and obsessively wiping down every orifice and crevice of our house with Lysol wipes, that damned virus still managed to claim another member of the M family. And Loyals? It was not pretty. 

Our day started off just like every other. An early trip to the grocery store followed by a delicious breakfast of strawberries and french toast sticks, a romp in the playroom and before I knew it, it was time for a nap. 

I carried C up to his crib and laid him down at 1:15pm. Sick with an upper respiratory infection of my own, I decided to lay down in our room (directly across the hall from the nursery) and hopefully sleep away some of my own sickies. 

1:40pm. That's when I heard it. The Cry. Moms, you know the cry I'm talking about. It wasn't the "I'm frustrated cry," or the "I'm lonely cry," or the "I don't wan't to take a nap right now cry." It was "Oh my god what just happened to me Mom? Hurry up, come help me cry." 

The smell hit me like a ton of bricks before I even made it to the hallway. 

I silently muttered a prayer of "please God, don't let it be a lot of vomit" as I went to survey the damage and scoop poor, sweet C out of his crib. 

The vomit was. everywhere. 

Lovie, Ugly Doll, Crib Rail Covers. C's pillow. C's clothes. Everything was down for the count, covered in a thick red mess of half-digested strawberry and curdled milk. And then there was my toddler- with big fat tears streaming down his face. 

Oh, just rip my heart out. 

I quickly scooped C up, carefully removed his clothes and began wiping him down with a baby wipe. As I sat him on the floor, I began to disrobe the crib. All the while, trying to ignore my own bile that was rising in my throat. 

You see, I'm a "puker when others puke" kind of girl and it's not pretty. 

Before I knew it, C was crouched on the floor in the middle of his room, whimpering and touching his mouth. I knew this wasn't over. I could only hope and pray it would be quick. 

Every 10-15 minutes for the next several hours, this continued. Just as he would wind down and rest his head on my shoulder, the whimpering would begin again. 

In the beginning, I just crouched next to him on the floor, rubbing his back, telling him what a good boy he was and that it was OK to be sick. He would clutch my hair, my shoulder, my knee- anything to help him keep his balance as he threw up on the floor. 

We went through blanket after blanket after blanket. 

Bathroom rug after bathroom rug.

I tried introducing The Puke Mixing Bowl but all it did would frustrate him to have a large pink melamine bowl shoved in his face. I'm sorry, C-man. 

I finally broke down around Hour Three when all he wanted to do was sleep. Between heaving he would look up at me and in the tiniest voice, cry "Night Night, Mama? Night Night?" 

Oh, for the love. Just rip my heart out, stab it and then shred it into a thousand and one pieces. 

Never in my life have I felt so awful. So helpless. Like I would give anything to see those bright blue eyes light up again. I prayed after every throw up that it would be his last. I even tried bartering with God. 

"I'll throw up one thousand times if C could just catch a break." 

All of my nursing knowledge flew out the window. All I could think about was wet diapers. And for several hours there were none. I tried to feed C an ice pop or two. Those miniature ones that he would beg for as he would stand in front of the fridge and hang by it's handle.

After a few bites, the retching would take over again. The nurse in me kept track on my phone. 

Finally, C was able to fall asleep on the floor of the family room. It was now shortly after 4:30pm. He slept the longest sleep since The First Vomit at 1:40pm. I breathed a sigh of relief as I left his side for the first time, only to begin what would be the most horrific laundry attempt ever. 

I threw out the crib sheet. 

At 5:15, C woke up only to throw up again. And again. And again. Just when I thought it was over. Thankfully, by 6pm it was. 

An ice pop stayed down. Followed by a few sips of watered-down Gatorade. And then another ice pop. And another. 

Please, if the kid had asked for a pony, I would have been off to the nearest horse farm. He wanted more ice pops? He could have the damned box for all I cared. 

Finally, a saltine or two. 

We had survived the first Toddler Vomit Virus. You know that scene in The Exorcist when Linda Blair's head rotates? I seriously thought that's where we might be headed. 

Puking toddlers are the pits and I wouldn't wish Little Human Vomit on my worst enemy. Sure, I know it was "just a stomach bug" and I darn well know it won't be the last, but that doesn't mean it was any less horrifying.

Watching your tiny little toddler, so vulnerable, retching over and over, with no understanding as to why he feels the way he does. 

Oh, Motherhood. You cruel, cruel wench. 

Determined to spend the next day outside of the house as much as we could, Carter, who woke up, back as his usual bright-eyed self, couldn't help but stop and smell the tulips... with what I hope was absolutely no recollection of the day's previous events. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Love For The Little Crane Smocked Shoppe & Giveaway!

I am so in love with today's ILYMTC April Sponsor and I'm so thrilled to be sharing them with you. Not only do I get to share just how great their children's smocked clothing is but The Little Crane Smocked Shoppe has also offered to give away a free outfit of choice to one lucky ILYMTC reader and in addition, will send any ILYMTC reader who declares in the comments section on their blog that ILYMTC sent them, a 10% off code for a future purchase

How could you not already love them?

As I'm sure you know, I am a sucker for adorable, quality and affordable smocked clothing for Carter. Not only is The Little Crane just that, but they have such incredible customer service and will do anything and everything to go above and beyond the natural call of "just selling goods." 

I "met" the wonderful cousins (and best of friends!) behind The Little Crane Smocked Shoppe a couple of months ago and I cannot share enough just how much I adore these women. Moms themselves, they have such a passion for not only their children and their smocked clothing but also for the children of every single one of their customers. 

Not only do the Moms behind The Little Crane Smocked Shoppe work together each week to offer the sweetest array of smocked deliciousness for little girls and boys but they also post almost daily on on their personal blog as they share their every day trials, triumphs and tribulations as Moms and Mom-preneurs! 

I can only speak for myself when I say that it's one thing to tune in weekly to Facebook-style smocked auctions, bidding on items from who-knows-where but it's another when you get the chance to "know" the women behind the hard work and sales and I truly believe it makes what The Little Crane Smocked Shoppe has set out to do, that much sweeter. 

Speaking of Facebook auctions, The Little Crane Smocked Shoppe currently hosts auctions every Wednesday at 8:30pm CST. As I mentioned earlier, you're going to want to head over to their Facebook page immediately and give them a "like" so you won't miss any of the cuteness that I'm about to share with you. 

Among the handful of The Little Crane pieces that hang in Carter's closet, I was recently given this scrumptious blue seersucker shortall in exchange for my honest review of the product. 

It goes without saying that I loved this shortall so much that I immediately ordered a matching bubble for M2! The quality and ease of wear in this piece is simply amazing. 

The seam work and craftsmanship  of this shortall is up to par with many of the much, much, much more expensive smocked children's clothiers that I have ordered from in the past and I cannot wait to see both of my boys sporting their Little Crane wear!

I don't make a point to tune into many Facebook-style auctions any more but one that I refuse to miss is The Little Crane's! 

So, have you already been to their Facebook page? Will you be tuning in every Wednesday at 8:30pm CST to share in the sweetness that is The Little Crane? I sure hope so! If not, WHAT ARE YOU CRAZIES WAITING FOR? Have I ever let you down in the past when it comes to cute and adorable smocked clothing? Of course not. 

Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win this giveaway! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

27 Weeks, A Wedding and The Man-Sickies.

Whew. I have a couple of confessions to make. 

First, it was never my intention to suddenly disappear from my little slice of the Internets. After all, it's a rare occasion that I go missing around these parts for more than a couple of days and even though I've only been gone since Wednesday, the "Ahh, Are You OK?" emails have already begun to pour in. 

Second, I have done a terrible, horrible job at documenting this pregnancy. Like, beyond terrible. I could very well win the award for Most Awful Job At Documenting Said Second Pregnancy. 

Fortunately, it's been a combination of the beautiful weather we've been having, my earnest attempt at Soaking Up The Moments and Finding Balance and my beautiful, finally-official, brand-new sister-in-love's wedding weekend that had been keeping me away from the computer.

And a horrific case of The Man-Sickies. However, I'll get to that in a bit. I can already feel the bile rising in my throat at the mere mention of the plague.

The low-down, just one week shy of my third trimester: 

Total Weight Gained?: Full disclosure? Twenty-five pounds. Seriously. Despite running my tush off after The Crazy Toddler Wildebeest, I've still managed to pack on the ol' el-bees. However, if this baby follows his Big Brother's lead, which according to my doctor appears to be the case, we're in for another nearly-ten pound newborn.  

Sleep: Kind of awful. I'm up once or twice per night to use the little girl's room and another couple of times because the pain in my hips is killer.  

Best Moment of the Week? Fitting into my {heavily altered by the grace of God and magic hands at David's Bridal} bridesmaid dress for my newest sister-in-love's wedding and pretty much rocking it, if I do say so myself. 

Movement? All the time. So much so that it's slightly uncomfortable at times.  

Food Craving? Juice. Seltzer with lime. Really, really ice cold drinks in my Tervis Tumbler.

What I miss? Once again, in the spirit of full disclosure, I miss non-pregnant clothes. Being skinny. And drinking and ice cold beer (or three). 

What I'm looking forward to: The office-turned-new-nursh has been cleaned out. The carpets vacuumed. C's Big Boy bed has been picked up and delivered to Maryland and we'll begin painting the new nursery and changing out the crib in April. M2's crib bedding has arrived and The Husband is in charge of rebuilding the interior closet. 

But M2 remains nameless. Baby steps, right? 

Moving on- let's talk about what it takes to go from the above picture to this: 

If you guessed spackle, putty, some string, a little bit of tape and a pair of false eyelashes? You'd be spot on. 

All kidding aside, I'm so thankful that I wasn't So Pregnant that I couldn't enjoy the incredible weekend and celebration of my newest sister-in-love's wedding. I don't need to tell you that she looked absolutely stunning, that I danced my Tory Thora's off or that people actually laughed at the joint toast given by myself and The Husband. That all goes without saying. 

But I will share just one more picture of the bride, just so you can see her in all of her newlywed-ed bliss and glory. Gorgeous, no?

And so the M Boys are married off and our little in-law family is complete! 

Speaking of M Boys, I should have been writing this post from the comforts of my little desk in the playroom of our home in Maryland, but when The Husband wakes up at 7am, the estimated time of departure and doesn't leave the bathroom until several hours later, all kinds of inhuman, guttural noises emanating from beneath the bathroom door, all plans are off as C and I took to running for the hills. 

Or rather, the nearest CVS to stock up on pedialyte, gatorade, lysol wipes, pepto and immodium. Poor Husby. As of right now, it looks like we'll be staying in New Jersey for an undetermined amount of time. 

Happy Tuesday, Loyals. Stay tuned for an incredible skin care line review, down right adorable kid's clothing review and giveaway and the introduction of some pretty amazing April Sponsors!  

.... Anybody have an extra Haz-Mat suit lying around?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another V-Log :: Thankful for Blankets and A Girl Crush?

It's true. I almost didn't post this week's V-Log video. But? I love Alison and her shop, aPEARantly sew, way too much to hold out on you all any longer. So, here I am. Again. Linking up with the darling Mandy from House of Rose Blog and her weekly "SASTR Link-Up."

Please, no laughing. Or counting of the chins. Or if you do choose to do either, just quietly point and stare from behind your computer screens. This is what I get for refusing to do these videos with more than one take.

Stop and Smell the Roses

What are you waiting for? Go! Link up with Mandy now! And please be sure to check out Alison's incredible shop. Happy Wednesday, Loyals!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On Being A Forgetful, Hormonal Mess.

Remember that time I went to the grocery store with the Toddler in tow, which we all know is no small feat, and shopped for nearly an hour and a half only to get home and realize that I had left the $30 of meat I purchased on the bottom rung of the shopping cart that was now sitting in the grocery store parking lot? 

Remember that time The Husband wouldn't agree to my most favorite baby name and I broke down in The Ugly Cry as I tried to talk some sense into him while sitting on the couch watching DVR'd episodes of NCIS? 

And by "Ugly Cry" I mean "turned into a sobbing, whimpering, stuttering, sniffling heap of snot?"

Remember that time I put the brand new tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream away in the fridge and the brand new gallon of milk away in the dishware cabinet?

Remember that time I locked myself and The Toddler out of my parents house while dog-sitting for them as they frolicked the beaches of Sunny Puerto Rico and I had to pay a Creepy Russian Locksmith $185 to let me back into my house with what looked like a blood pressure cuff and two puffs of air? All kidding aside, that's literally all it took for that man to break me back into my house. Three and a half minutes and a bulb of air. Scary. 

Remember that time I sat in my car while parked in my driveway and cried because I couldn't remember why I had just walked out of the house and where I was headed?

Oh, good. You don't remember?

Thanks to Pregnancy-Brain coupled with Mom-Brain, I don't remember either. Even though every single one of those events happened to occur within the last three weeks. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

How To Be A Cleaning Machine And Maintain Your Sanity

I know I'm not the first person to think of this. The idea of a Fancy Cleaning Schedule. But just bear with me, OK?

Like many of you, I struggle with maintaining a clean home, happy Husband, well-adjusted Toddler, healthy Sheepdog and my sanity on a daily basis. 

This past February marked the second anniversary on the close of our home. Shortly thereafter we began renovations and necessary updates to the house while I was six months pregnant. Before we knew it, our life was turned upside down as we welcomed Baby C into the mix and any semblance of structure and organization in our lives went out the window. 

As a newly "unemployed" stay-at-home wife and mother I had a lot of adjusting to do those first few months and truth be told, I'm still adjusting. With every new milestone reached, a new "schedule" is created and the previous "schedule" is tweaked and shifted so that it fits with the days' needs.  

Pre-Fancy Cleaning Schedule, the thought of trying to keep our house clean intimidated the bajeezus out of me. Every day I would make excuses to myself and The Husband saying things like "well, I couldn't clean the bathrooms AND make dinner AND play with Carter AND blog AND vacuum the upstairs so something had to go." 

And usually that something was dinner.

I hate to admit this but in the two years that have passed since closing on our home and the twenty months since we welcomed C, I've finally come to the realization that a "cleaning schedule" is precisely what I needed to keep that overwhelming "oh my god how am I going to get all this done today" feeling at bay. 

You see, I'm a list-maker at heart and I've always thrived on lists and schedules and it truly amazes me that it took this long for me to restructure our lives so that I could, in theory, "do it all." 

During the first trimester of Complete And Utter Exhaustion my second pregnancy, we entertained the thought of hiring a Cleaning Service to help out around the house. As tempting as that was, however, I had to think about how much I love having some extra "play" money at the end of each month to buy new clothes for C or M2 or even a new pair of these for Mama. 

Until I'm ready to forgo those simple extra luxuries, which looks like it may not be for a very, very long time, I am the "Cleaning Lady" and so today I thought I'd share with you just how I breakdown my "chores" each week so that I'm not curled up in a corner in the fetal position, stuffing my face with Cheese Puffs muttering a string of profanities.  

Here's what my personal "chore chart" looks like. I started with a list of the typical cleaning chores that are required to keep our household running smoothly and off the radar of TLC's hit show Hoarders. 

I then simply divvied them up into a schedule of sorts that didn't send me running for the Cheese Puffs. I also  made sure to leave the weekend as just that. The Weekend. You see in the M household, there is no cleaning on the weekends. This, by far, has been my favorite adjustment. 

I cannot tell you how life-changing a simple "chore chart" has been for me. I'm sure many of you out there are saying, "Duh, AP. I can't believe you hadn't thought of this sooner" and believe me, Loyals, I had the same face-palm moment. 

This simple little chart has been laminated and stuck to our fridge for nearly three weeks now and each day I go at it with a dry erase marker checking off the tasks that have been completed for the day. 

It truly makes my List-Obsessed Heart squeal with joy and I no longer feel overwhelmed at the thought of trying to "do it all." Sure, there are still some nights that dinner isn't made but I'll let you in on a little secret, Loyals. 

As long as there's a clean kitchen and an empty sink? The Husband hardly notices. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some hardwoods to go steam. 

Happy Monday, Loyals!

Friday, March 16, 2012

We Came, We Zoo'd, We Conquered.

In my v-log earlier this week, I hinted at hoping against all hope that The Husband would be able to take a half day at work on Thursday so that we could take Carter on his maiden trip to the Maryland Zoo. 

You know, because after all he only has 13-ish more weeks to revel in Being An Only Child and I'm this.close to buying him a pony for it. 

If you happen to follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you know that's exactly where we spent a few hours together yesterday as a happy little family of 3.5. In the eighty-degree March weather. 

I don't need to tell you that it was one of the best days of our 2012 yet. I'll let a few pictures do the talking, yes?

First up, the rhinos, zebra and ostriches. Sadly, C was not nearly as excited as both The Husband and I were- he was too busy trying to catch the attention of the The Toddler Girl running amok up and down the walkways of Africa. 

For those of you who are curious, C's shortall comes from the fabulous folks at Just Ducky. You may remember the post I wrote about them here. His sandals are from Walmart (a whopping $10 thankyouverymuch) and his hat was a recent gift from Gammie and Poppy upon their return from Puerto Rico.  

Next we moseyed on over to the gazelles where C's interest was also barely peaked. It's here where I need to admit shock and defeat at just how awesome C behaved outside of his stroller. His hand-holding capabilities just blew my mind. Had you asked me to bet his college savings on whether or not we could "let him loose" in the zoo, I'd have gladly bet the $85 on him requiring duct tape and strict confinement to the stroller. Silly, Mommy.

We then decided to check out the chimps and other monkeys nearby and Carter was absolutely enamored with the fishies we found inside one of the habitat houses. 

Needless to say I have a feeling we'll be making plenty a trip to the local pet store so that he can ooh and aah over a much less expensive (read: FREE) aquarium.  

Who knows, with my luck and utter inability to say no, he may even end up with a guppy-friend of his own!

Can you guess Carter's favorite zoo exhibit? I'll give you a hint. It wasn't the giraffes, the elephants or the lions. It wasn't the cheetahs, the gorillas or the prairie dogs. Thankfully it wasn't the public restroom or the overpriced concession stand. 

Carter loved, loved, loved the penguins. As soon as he saw them waddling around in their tuxedos and dipping themselves in and out of the pool, he started talking and shouting at them a mile a minute. The kid went downright nuts for them. 

As if it's any surprise, the penguins also happen to be his Poppy's favorite too. 

Adding to the list of "firsts," C also took his first zoo tram ride and is none the better (or worse, for that matter) for it. Good thing that sucker was free too. 

On our way out of the park, it was obviously mandatory that we pose with the rather large and slightly scary iron lion at the entrance to the zoo. Please note C's blatant enthusiasm. 

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere in The Handbook that it's part of my responsibility as Mother to document these things, no? 

It goes without saying that The Husband is already planning our next zoo trip- this time to the National Zoo in D.C. 

So, do you believe me when I say it was one of our best days of 2012 yet?

Have a great weekend, Loyals!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mourning A Baby Name Is Totally Appropo, Right?

When "they" say "opposites attract," they sure are as heck aren't kidding. The Husband and I are living proof of that statement and it always gives us a good laugh when we stumble across our blatant opposite tastes. 

For example, he runs hot, I'm always cold. He loves action movies, I'm more of a RomCom girl. He prefers to go to bed early, whereas I prefer to stay up late. Wherein he loves neutral colors, I like a good splash of something bright. 

It's a wonder, truly, that we're so in love with each other and have managed to not only decorate an entire house during our {almost}  five years of marriage but also name our first-born. 

I'm sure by now you can see where this is leading, no? What happens, I dare ask, when you're pregnant with your second son and you've gone and used up the only "boy" name both you and your husband could agree on?

You see, Loyals, naming Carter was no small feat. I'm not kidding when I say I must have offered up hundreds, no, thousands, of names for C. Each one immediately shot down with a truly ridiculous reason, I'm hesitant to add. 

"That sounds like a 40-year-old African American Lawyer," "Does an ark come with that name?" "I once knew a so-and-so and he was a jerk." 

After many a small tantrum, The Husband and I finally agreed on Carter's name, a family name on my side (can I get an amen?) and I begrudgingly succumbed to allowing The Husband to sneak his name in as Carter's middle name. After all, my Husband is a junior and there was no way I was naming a III. It just wasn't in the cards for us. 

So here were are today, a mere 14 weeks from welcoming our second, nameless son into our family. It's safe to say that I have been throwing out boy names ever since we saw that teenie weenie on the ultrasound machine nearly ten weeks ago. 

I even managed to fall in love with a name, which since I've finally come to the realization that it just isn't happening, I've decided to share with you today. 

That name is McLane. 

I adore this name. No. I that's a lie. I am enamored with this name. Obsessed with it. The Husband? Impartial. Rather, he downright hates it. Why? Because of the damn Die Hard Trilogy. And he thinks it's "only good as a last name." 

I give you full permission to smack him. Please.

Shame on me, I even went ahead and had this name monogrammed on an extra PBK chair cover in the hopes that I could eventually convince The Husband that this needed to be our child's name. 

I've finally come to the devastating realization that it just ain't gonna happen and now I feel like I need to have a funeral for this name. That's just how much I loved it. 

The good news in all of this? M2 has an "almost name." It's actually my #2 favorite name on The List and The Husband doesn't hate it, which is a great sign, if you ask me. 

I'm hoping to have his word in writing this weekend that it's actually what we're going with because we all know, Mama's got some serious monogramming to do and time is a' wastin'! 

So, does anybody need a red PBK Anywhere Chair cover with the navy personalization "McLane?" No? Good. Because mark my word, Loyals, if we have an M3, you damn well know he or she will be a McLane. 

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Because I Made A Promise :: VLog Link-Up with House Of Rose!

It's no lie that I can be a little Awkward Annie when it comes to video/Vlogs. As a matter of fact, you've only seen me in "real time" once before on this little blog but because I adore Mandy and made a promise to her that I would join her link up, I'm putting my awkward self up here on the blog again. Thankfully, I do not use the words "man meat" this time. 

Ever since returning from Blissdom, it's been on my heart to Find Balance. It's something that I continue to struggle with daily but it also helps explain why I've been a little MIA from ILYMTC these past few days and why I'm posting so late today. 

So, without further 'ado, here's what I'm thankful for this week. No laughing and try not to count the number of times I say "Um." My AP English teacher, Mrs. Sandt, would not be proud of me in the least!

So, what are you thankful for this week? What little somethin' somethin' has made you happy or put a little extra pep in your step? C'mon, link up with Mandy and share! You know you want to! You can even use the phrase "man meat" if you'd like!

Stop and Smell the Roses

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mom-Sense: It's Like Spidey-Sense But.. For Moms.

You all know that I mean when I say "spidey-sense," right? I'm referring to Spiderman's 6th sense, the one that he was granted after being bitten by that radioactive spider. It typically implies his ability to sense something being wrong, suspicious or dangerous.  

Well, in case you were curious, Mom's have that sense too. I like to refer to it as Mom-sense. 

Unfortunately, however, I don't believe I was granted this Mom-sense immediately after giving birth. Back then, I'm fairly certain I had no idea what I was doing. However, this sense of mine has been cultivated and honed over the last 19 months of my child's life. 

My Mom-Sense usually kicks in as soon as I recognize that creepy silence that typically occurs at least once a day in our household. I know you Moms know that exact silence I'm talking about. 

The lack of Toddler Wildebeest Feet running amok on the wood floors. That sudden lack of Toddler Chatter. The calm before the storm, so to say, when your Mom Gut knows that The Toddler is doing something he knows he isn't allowed to do. 

Most recently, my Mom-sense perked up when I caught The Toddler sitting in the middle of the dining room table brandishing a pair of craft scissors that I'm pretty sure I left out of his reach, you know, when he's standing on the floor where he belongs

My Mom-sense also kicked in that time that I caught him precariously perched a top the back of the accent chair in our living room, pointing to the canvases hanging above his head exclaiming, "Baby! Baby!" 

Just this morning my Mom-Sense radar went wild when I found The Toddler standing in the middle of the family room dumping his Apple-Berry juice box all over the beige colored rug. Why was he doing this? Oh, only because Curious George had ended and he absolutely detests when "the real children" come on in between episodes to say, teach him something. 

Where am I during each of these escapades, you ask? Oh, you know. I'm usually just in the next room over or in the bathroom for what truly must only be .7 seconds trying to pee with a little privacy. 

So, what has your Mom-Sense led you to find? Please share. I know I'm not in this one alone, Mamas! 

Happy Friday, Loyals! Have a great weekend

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Grey Hairs Are A Direct Correlation To These 3 Toddler-isms.

Today you can find me guest-posting over at Laura's blog My Thoughts-Uninterrupted about my three, count 'em, THREE grey hairs and watch as I speculate just how I may have gotten them.


After all, I blame The Toddler. 

Needless to say if The Toddler keeps these behaviors up, I will be fully grey by the time he reaches pre-school. And let's not even talk about puberty. 

Be sure to head on over to her blog and check out just what I had to say!

Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wee One Wednesday :: The Comeback

Hey, remember when I would gratuitously post a picture (or ten) of my adorable child and lovingly refer to it as "Wee One Wednesday?" Well, it's been ages since I've done one and since I finally fell back in love with my DSLR after a short picture-taking hiatus, I thought I'd sneak a few of my newest favorite pictures of Carter. 

Did I mention that he's 19 months old? That blows my mind. It truly feels like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital and here we are preparing to welcome his little brother in just a few short months and every day he continues to amaze me with his hilarious toddler wit and passion for all things dirt and boy. 

Oh, that hat he's wearing? It was lovingly made for me by this Mama that I mentioned in Monday's post. Please encourage her to start her Etsy shop. She's truly incredible and I just love her to pieces. 

Happy Wednesday, Loyals!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jon Acuff's "Quitter" :: Win A Signed Copy!

Prior to attending Blissdom, I had never heard of Jon Acuff. I hate to admit that, however after hearing him speak and literally having a "hinge" moment of my own, I couldn't wait to get my hands on his new book "Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Real Job."

I so wish I could share Jon's Blissdom keynote with you all. Unfortunately, it looks like I would have to fork over $100 to be able to share that speech with you which means all I can share with you right now are the notes I took and how incredibly moved I was by his words. 

I won't be overly dramatic and say that his book was "life-changing" but it has truly re-ignited a passion in me to write. To write more. To write honestly. To share my story. To work harder at achieving a balance between what I want and what my family needs from me.  

Watch this video. Don't you want to just shrink him down and carry him around in your pocket all day? No? Just me? 

So awesome. 

I've just begun to read my own personal copy of "Quitter" and when given the opportunity to share his book with one of you, I practically jumped at the chance. Actually, that's a lie. I did jump at the chance. As did just about nearly every other person in that hotel ballroom. Talk about a stampede.

So without further a 'do, be sure to enter using this Rafflecopter widget for your chance to take home a signed copy of Jon's book "Quitter." My friend Jen is also giving away a signed copy so be sure to complete the entry listed below "Enter Jen's Giveaway" for extra chances to win! 

You can follow along with Jon's blog here and his Facebook page here

Monday, March 5, 2012

On Meeting My Internet Friends.

For those of us who blog we've all said the following (or very similar) sentiment, "Honey, you know 'Jane,' my internet friend who writes that blog...Well she said..." on many an occasion. 

Personally, I can count on two hands and a foot the number of times I've said something similar just this week alone.

Isn't it funny how we have to preface that friendship with the word "internet?" Granted, yes, we've rarely met these individuals face-to-face but can't we agree that in many cases they know us better, inside and out, than some of our "real-life" friends? 

Real life. I love how that phrase implies that what we do here on the internet is anything and everything but Real Life? To quote one of my favorite Coming-of-Age artists, "Isn't it ironic?"

Up until last year, I had never met any of my Internet Friends in real life. This girl popped my Internet-Friend-Meeting-Cherry over beers on the beach and shortly before Christmas, I met this girl for coffee. And? I lived to tell about it. 

One of the many reasons I was so excited to attend Blissdom this year was because I would finally get the chance to meet some of the incredible, awesome and hilarious ladies whose blogs I had been reading over the course of these last three years. Three years. 

After getting over a case of The Major Freakouts (ie: will they still like me? will they still read me? am I just as funny in real life as I am on my blog?) I couldn't wait to spend the weekend with so many of my favorites. 

Let it be known that these women are so much more than their blogs. So much more than what they decide to put out there on the Internets for all of us to see. Only we bloggers could understand forging such strong relationships with other women whom we've never met before. 

Some of my favorite emails and wise words of Life Advice have come from these women. 

And I was finally getting a chance to meet them. Holy crap. Forgive me for the shoddy iPhone photos, would you? 

First up, my roommates. I roomed with the lovely Jen from Life in the Green House and the adorable Whitney from Pretty Whitty. We had such a blast together- so much, in fact, that we had to practically force ourselves to sleep each night or else we could have stayed up all night chatting. 

Then, more of my favorites. Starting with this girl. You may know her as the Blue-Eyed-Bride. In fact, I do believe that her blog was one of the first that I ever started reading and now? We bond over our love for all things boy-mom on an almost daily basis. 

And these girls: 

Myself, Jen, Nina, Erin, Molly and Whitney

Needless to say, they are just as sweet and darling and funny as they are on their blogs. It was so hard to say goodbye to them at the end of our weekend together. 

There is something to be said when you're able to spend a weekend with women you've just met face-to-face but upon meeting them it's as if you've known them for years- which, in a way, I believe is true. 

It goes without saying that plans are already in the works for a variety of summer meet-ups!

And there's this girl who I practically tackled during an evening cocktail reception. I wasn't the only excited one to meet as she kind of spilled her glass of wine down my back. I have to thank her though because since I cannot imbibe on my favorite beverage of choice due to the whole Growing A Human thing, at least I could get buzzed off the fumes emanating from my dress. 

I also spent an evening with this gorgeous girl, with sadly no pictures to prove it, bonding over our inappropriate love of Joe Jonas. I had my first-ever "omgod that's HER" moment as I literally bumped into this girl upon first arriving at the hotel and can honestly say that's the only time I've ever felt "blog-struck." I lunched with this beautiful Mama and loved that I could finally congratulate her on her "we're expecting twins!" news in person and I loved, loved, loved meeting this hilarious Mom of four and fabulous blog designer.

Isn't it a bit surreal seeing all of us together in pictures? Even now I have to stop ask myself, "Did that really happen?" Talk about worlds colliding. 

Another reason I was so excited to get my tush down to Nashville was so that I could see some of my favorite, favorite "Loyals." You see, these girls did not attend Blissdom but the ones who weren't local to Nashville coordinated plans and planes and weekends so that they could be there for a delicious brunch that was planned for Sunday morning. 

Many of these girls have been reading ILYMTC for ever and in turn, I've been reading them for just as long. We've shared your typical highs and lows of life, our pregnancies and the births of our first born babies and for a few us of, we're sharing our second pregnancies too. These ladies are some of my all-time favorite "mom bloggers," mostly because it's the emails and text messages we've exchanged over the years that are my favorite.

  Laura, Annie, Myself, Laura, Elizabeth, Jen, Amber (and Abby)

From the minute we were together to the minute we all piled into our cars to head our separate ways, I don't think a single breath was taken. It hurt my heart a little to say goodbye to these ladies having no idea of when we'll be together again. 

Every single "internet friend" mentioned in this post has been linked to her blog. I cannot encourage you enough to check out each and every one of their blogs, if you aren't already readers. Occasionally people will ask me, "who do YOU read every day?" And the answer? Is these women. 

I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to squeeze these girls in real life. And I'm so thankful to refer to them as real friends. No longer do I have to say, "My internet friend.. who writes this blog.. well.." 

Happy Monday, Loyals!

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