Friday, June 29, 2012

Gentle Hands.

I feel like I say this phrase 9,752 times per day. As a matter of fact, I'm fairly certain that Carter thinks baby Maclane's name is "GENTLE!" 

I know, I know. Yesterday I wrote a post all about how much Carter loves his new brother. 

I guess the parts that I left out were that sometimes he loves him just a little too much. 

You see, we're in the throes of differentiating "gentle hands" from "trying to squeeze the little baby's head hands." 

Which, by the way, is Carter's favorite way to hug his little brother. Passersby would undoubtedly mistake this for a newborn choke hold. 

So, is there every a thing as too much love? In the life of The Toddler and Newborn Brother? The answer is yes... 

Now, if you'll excuse me, The Toddler is gelling his hair with Lanolin breast balm. Again. 

Seriously. How does he find this stuff? 

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I was never really concerned with how Carter would adapt to having a new baby in the house. My concern, rather, was more focused on how he would adapt to losing my undivided attention that he'd grown so accustomed to having twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. 

I assumed their would be frustration, jealousy, tears and many tantrums thrown on both of our behalf. I assumed Carter would easily become jealous of his brother and without knowing how to properly process that feeling, act out and rebel. 

Thankfully, so far the only rebellion has come in the form of a little sleep regression. There have been a couple of days where Carter has given up his sole nap of the day (the silver lining being that he goes to bed earlier) and he's even woken up a few times in the middle of the night- nothing that can't be cured with a little Daddy-Sleeps-In-The-Toddler's-Twin-Bed. 

I knew I would feel jealous at the quality time Carter would now get to spend with The Husband as he stayed home from work to help us work through those first days as a family of four. The quality time he and I used to spend together, playing all day and snuggling on the couch. 

The first twenty-four hours at home, we didn't really push Carter into knowing his baby brother. He knew he existed and would occasionally run over to "Oooh" over him and peek at him while he lounged in the pack and play, but he was never overly interested in him and that was OK with me. I knew he would come around on his own time and I certainly didn't want to force him to love all over Maclane. 

The next twenty-four hours were similar. A little interest here and there but nothing worth noting. 

Finally, on Saturday, I craved a little Brother Loving Photo Op and Carter about lost his mind with excitement. After eagerly washing his hands and climbing up onto the couch, I set him up with the Boppy pillow and laid Maclane in his lap. 

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. 

Since then, Carter has been an incredibly attentive big brother. The minute Maclane starts to fuss, Carter runs to his side and sympathizes with him. He loves to pat him on the head and give him kisses. He's also become obsessed with having Maclane in his lap. I swear the two of them could sit for an hour and just stare at each other and be blissfully happy. 

As soon as Maclane wakes from a nap, Carter is so quick to climb onto the couch, grab the Boppy pillow and with outstretched arms exclaim, "My abee? Mine? My Abee?" ("My baby?")

As if I couldn't love the two of them any more. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Flying By The Seat Of Our Pants And Telling Our Own Stories.

I have been blogging for over three years now and I've come a long, long, (did I say long?) way from my very first post back in December of 2008. 

In fact, it's been kind of awesome to watch my voice grow from "the girl wet behind the ears with one year of marriage under her belt and a husband on the road" to "a wine-dependent mom of two under two," and I've truly been blessed by the blogging community to connect with so many amazing readers over the last three plus years.  

By no means does any of this make me a blogging expert. As a matter of fact, I don't personally know any blogging experts. Aren't we all flying by the seat of our pants and sharing our own story?

I do believe that alone entitles you to make your own rules and do with them what you will. Follow them, break them, change them, etc. 

However, I will say that there is one cardinal rule to follow when blogging. And that rule, my friends, is something I'm sure many of your mothers have told you time and time again. 

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

I've become a bit disheartened lately with some of the "Rules of Blogging" posts floating around. I will admit, some "rules" are very funny. Many, however, read like personal digs. 

Who wants to sit down and read a post and constantly be second guessing themselves, "Are they talking about me?" "I do those things.. I've written those posts before." "But I like link-ups!" 

The truth is, whatever your niche, your readers read you because they enjoy the heart you put into your posts. If that happens to be a compilation of pretty Pinterest pins and quotes? So be it. 

If your thing is link-ups galore? There is clearly a market out there for you. 

I host a fair amount of giveaways. Due to schedules and time constraints, some months are giveaway heavy and others may not have any giveaways at all. Regardless, I enjoy trying new products and sharing those with you that I truly believe I can stand behind. Have I lost followers over it? You bet your tush, I have. Do I try my hardest to balance giveaways with personal content? Of course. But not everyone sees it that way.

The truth is, I've learned to not let it bother me. It's the nature of blogging. 

Do you think some of the same single/newlyweds read my blog now that I'm a mom of two? Of course not! Who wants to hear about the Toddler Wildebeest all day? And mom-i-forms? And mom-friends? And mom-etition? And  any other word I can preface with "mom-?"

You don't have to read every single blog that comes across your computer screen. It took me a while to truly understand this but it's true. Why do you think I refer to my readers as "Loyals?" 

I don't have much else to say other than make your own rules. Feel free to follow them one day and change them. Go on and break them, if you so wish. 

But don't forget.. 

Blog for you. Share your story and above all else? Be authentic and accountable.

Maclane's Debut :: A Birth Story

There isn't much to be said about Maclane's debut. After all, it went basically according to plan. I wrote about Carter's birth story here and for the sake of remembering, wanted to make sure I was able to get Maclane's written while the memories are still fresh.

After putting Carter down to bed for the last night as an only child (and crying only once) I climbed into bed for what I knew would be an extra early morning. After what seemed like only a few hours of sleep, The Husband and I woke at 5am, packed the car and headed off to the hospital. 

As we were told to, we checked into the Labor and Delivery unit a little after 6:15am. We were immediately taken to a pre-op room where we spent the next hour or so with two wonderful and hilarious nurses. Listening to our son's heartbeat on the monitor, we patiently counted down the minutes until "go-time." 

It turned out that the doctor performing the surgery had just returned from a vacation in Cuba only the night before and was running a little late that morning. Although it didn't really affect our schedule that much, I remember thinking "well, at least she's nice and rested!" 

After meeting with the anesthesiologist and signing a few last papers with our doctor, it was off to OR 1 for me. 

I have to say I was much, much more nervous this time around than I was with Carter. If I had to guess, I'm sure it's mostly because I knew what to expect this time around and all I could think about was the tugging and pressure I felt during surgery as well as the overwhelming nausea I felt in the hours following my recovery. 

The nurse and I talked shop while my epidural was placed and just like last time, the worst part was the initial numbing injections. Within minutes my legs were feeling fuzzy and it was time to lay down. 

Here's where the nurse in me and my nerves got the best of me. As I could feel the epidural/spinal creeping its way further up my body, I began to panic. I willed myself to take deep breaths but before I knew it, I was feeling faint and seeing spots. 

The anesthesiologist quickly asked if I was alright and I admitted that my nerves were getting the best of me. I also happened to glance at the monitor to see that my blood pressure was dangerously low at 70/55. It was then that the anesthesiologist began squeezing my IV fluids into me so that they'd flush into my system faster, bringing my blood pressure up. 

I closed my eyes and after what felt like forever, The Husband came in to sit at my side. He quickly grabbed my  hand and kept asking me if I was alright. All I could do was nod and keep my eyes closed. 

I was wheeled into the OR at 8:50am. Maclane was born at 9:17am with a hearty set of lungs. In fact, I believe he began crying even before he was pulled completely from my belly. 

The OR became a buzz of "congratulations!" "he's beautiful!" and "what a cute tushy he has!" 

After several minutes, the nurse walked over to let me know that he did, in fact, have dark hair. 

I cried. And cried. 

The tugging and pressure I felt with my first c-section? I didn't feel at all with this one. After the usual rigmarole of vital sign checks and then some, Maclane was handed off to The Husband who brought him to rest at the side of my head. 

I remember kissing him and peeking under his hat. I couldn't believe, just like that, we became a family of four. I couldn't believe, just like that, we were blessed with another perfect and beautiful little boy. 

Maclane proceeded to ride with me into recovery and stay with us for as long as he could before needing to head back to the nursery for his newborn exam. He wanted nothing to do with nursing and I wasn't in a rush. I figured he'd go for it when he was ready- I mean, after all, he was just yanked from his cozy little womb and thrust into the world. 

Just a few hours after his birth, Maclane was greeted by his first set of visitors, his big brother and my parents. 

Carter was interested in his new little brother for a whole 34 seconds before rushing off to explore the hospital room. 

It was a whirlwind of a day but it couldn't have gone any more smoothly. June 18th, 2012, the day we became a family of four. 

Happy Birthday, Maclane!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Squeaks at One Week

By day two of life, Maclane earned himself a nickname that will stick with him forever. No, that nickname isn't "Mac" although we do occasionally call him that. The name he has so lovingly earned himself is "Squeaks." 

Almost self-explanatory, The Husband bestowed this nickname upon our sweet boy because he does not, in fact, make a peep throughout the day other than the occasional fuss for a wet diaper or if we're cruising close to mealtime. When he does make a sound? It's a squeak. A tiny little pip squeak. 

He squeaks in his sleeps. He squeaks when he wakes up from his nap. He squeaks when you change his diaper and when you pick him up from his pack and play.

 It's absolutely one of the cutest and sweetest sounds you've ever heard. 

I cannot believe Squeaks has been in our lives for a whole entire week now. My SIL recently asked me if it has already begun to feel like we couldn't remember a time before him and when asked, I answered honestly "not yet.." But now that I sit back and think about it, it really does feel like he's been a part of this family forever. 

Now, I don't want to go jinxing myself but he is such an "easy baby." And when I say "easy" I simply mean that he is so different from his brother. 

He's hardly a crier, ever, and he sleeps all the live long day. He's wonderful about eating and will wake to do so. We've been feeding on demand and throughout the day that usually means he eats every 2-3 hours. 

We've had a couple of stretches where he's been wanting to eat every hour and I've just been going with the flow. 

He gives me fairly decent stretches overnight, the longest being 4 hours. Since he's so little, I try not to let him go longer than that without eating but we do love our sleep! 

His passed his first pediatrician exam with flying colors. The pedi was so enamored with him she lovingly joked about stealing him away from us. 

On discharge from the hospital (Thursday, June 21st), his weight was down from 8lbs 1ounce to 7lbs 5 ounces. At his appointment today, his weight was back up to 7lbs 9ounces. We're all assured he'll be back to his birth weight in no time and will return in three weeks!

Fantastic reflexes and a strong suck, we're so proud of our healthy, thriving little man although I'm patiently waiting for his umbilical cord to fall off. Carter's had fallen off before our first doctor's appointment and I'm itching to give this little boy his first bath! 

Sorry for the snooze of a post but it's such a great way for me to document our beginnings! Happy One Week, Maclane!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Our First Family Meltdown

Picture the following scene, won't you?

It's shortly after 11am on Friday. 

With my belly band wound tighter than Christina Aguilera's latest weave, I make my way downstairs after what can only be described as the best shower I've ever taken, also known as The First Shower Taken In My Own Shower After Major Abdominal Surgery And Four Days In The Hospital. 

I'm suffering the first of the day's many Major Hot Flashes that simultaneously causes me to break out into a full body sweat complete with waves of nausea and leaves me freezing with my teeth set to chattering. 

Upon sensing me walk into the room, Maclane starts stirring as it's about time for his thirty-second breakfast of the day. 

Upon seeing The Husband sneak into the cabinet beneath the sink, C spots the bubbles and OHMYGOD-DID-SOMEONE-SAY-BUBBLES? He immediately starts yelling, "Bubbles? Please? Bubbles? Mom? Bubbles? Mommy? Mama? Bubs? Bubbles?" 

Maclane's stirring increases with every octave screamed louder and louder by his older brother. 

Sheepie suddenly remembers that nobody fed him breakfast. He conveniently forgets that there are other members of our household quite capable of feeding him "brunch" and has set himself to following me around the kitchen with his head shoved up my butt. 

Remember, it's shortly after 11am. 

Newborn stirring. Bubble screaming. Sheepie is starving. 

I'm sweating and nauseous. And nauseous and freezing. 

And for the love of all things there is no coffee made. 

Husband, conveniently decides now is the time to ask all about how newborns excrete bilirubin.

Under normal circumstances? I'd have indulged and gracefully explained using my vast medical knowledge. 

Instead? I cried. 

Welcome to being a family of four. I know this is the first of many family meltdowns.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Human Heart :: A Guest Post

Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.
-Zelda Fitzgerald
Hi there. I’m Amanda. I write about chaos motherhood, faith & writing over at Life. Edited., and I’m honored to sit in AP’s virtual chair today while she is in the wonderful (and at times mildly terrifying) throes of going from mom of one to mom of more. 
[We all know she will be fantastic in her new role. We just need to keep reminding her so that she knows it, too.]
I’m a mother, too, of three energetic (read: delightfully crazy) offspring under the age of five. And though I have a sense of the transition AP is experiencing right now, I can’t say I’ve been there exactly. 

I’ll show you what I mean.

Those are my twin boys, L&J, the day after they were born. And here we are now...

Now, don’t be fooled. That is hands down the best (only?) photo of the five of us taken in our two-and-a-half years as a family of five. Most of our photos look a little different. 

Like this one taken on Father’s Day.

Yep. That’s more like it.
I remember vividly the day we discovered we were pregnant the second time around. The Hub and I were mid-sobering-conversation on the sofa in our living room. It was late. Our 21-month old daughter was asleep in the next room, and we were weary, stressed and worried about the future. We so wanted a larger family, but not right then. 

No, we decided. It was just not the time.
I could feel it in my gut. I knew I may be pregnant, and I couldn’t ignore the possibility any longer. I got up, without any explanation that I recall, and went upstairs to take the test I’d bought earlier that day. 
It was positive. 

Ready or not, this was happening. 
Fear and Joy fought for our hearts that night on the living room sofa as we sat staring at each other while the realization sunk in. As much as I’d like to say that we were all hugs and smiles and tears of joy at this undeniable and unexpected blessing, that is not our story. We were terrified. 
Fear won the battle that night, but Joy was waiting in the wings for a comeback.
As we went through the motions of the coming weeks, Joy was there, tugging at our hearts and turning our faces toward the beauty of this new journey. We began to smile. We began to rejoice. We began to cling tight to Promise and loosen our grip on Worry. 

As we sat in the waiting room for our first doctor’s appointment, Joy was there, too, poised and ready for the moment we saw this...

The doctor didn’t have to say it. We all saw it and we all knew. 

There were two babies. We were having two babies. At the same time.
My husband and I stared at each other through nervous laughter. He stammered. I cried. It was exhilarating and bewildering; we felt overwhelmed with gratitude and overcome with fear. And just like that, we were back at the crossroads of What We Planned and What We Were Given, and we knew which way we would go. We just weren’t quite sure how to get there.
How could we be ready for two when we weren’t even ready for one? How would we find room in our tired hearts, our old house, our strained budget for two more precious souls?
Of course, there was room. In our lives and our hearts there was room. 

These two unexpected gifts continue to fill us up and our hearts continue to expand and it is nothing short of a miracle. Every day is a miracle.

When I think back on the three of us before we became five, I feel understanding and compassion because I know. I know how badly our heart ached when we feared we could not do it all. That we were not ready. (Because who can? And who is?) 

But more than that, I feel joy. Full and unabashed JOY. 
Because I know
I know how our beautiful lives were yet incomplete. I see the hidden gaps we did not know were there, and I see how these two boys fill them to overflowing. 

I see how this unplanned journey was an ordained blessing. How this story we are living was written intentionally and just for us. When I look at the story through that wide-angle lens, it is all I can do not to howl with laughter at the beauty and the wonder and the just-rightness of it all. 
Our family may or may not grow in numbers, but our story is not over. Fear and Joy still do battle in our hearts, and there are days - many days - when Grace is pushed into the corner of this old house. 

Life is not all smiles and knowing glances and harmonious meals around the dining room table. In fact, if I’m honest, life is pretty hard. Parenting is a tough gig. But our story is not over, and Fear be danged, we are going to live it. And we will fight to make room for all the people and adventures we are blessed with along the way. 
Because the human heart? It’s kind of amazing. And somehow there is always more room.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

On Being A Mom Of Two :: A Guest Post

I'm Mandy from A Sorta Fairytale, and SO happy to be here guest posting on I Love You More Than Carrots. Why? Because that means that AP has had her baby!!! YAY and contrats to you Mama!

I am also a mama of two amazing boys. My oldest, Bennett- is almost 2 1/2. And my littlest, Easton- is only 2 months old. Hope you don't mind me telling a little story through Instagram photos. :)

One of the biggest concerns I had when I was pregnant with baby #2 was "How am I going to handle two small kids?" But the even bigger question was that my heart was already so full of love for my first born, how could I possibly have room to love another baby as much?? It's actually a scary, and very real thought that I'm sure, crosses many mom-to-be's minds that already have a little one at home. I was so used to spending ALL of my time, every waking moment with Bennett, that's all I knew.

But holy cow, I was excited when I found out we were having another boy!!! YAY! All the fun brother things started racing through my mind... baseball games, park dates, picnics, basketball hoops, swimming, playing trucks... you know, the good stuff. Right then, I could already feel my heart start to expand.

Fast forward to when baby #2 was born.

I loved him instantly and realized that a heart never gets too full of love, it just grows and grows. It will continue to expand and make room as much as it needs to. The love I felt for Easton was already as strong as the love I had for Bennett. 

But I won't lie, being a Mom of two is tough sometimes. Between the toddler kisses and baby cuddles, there are times when you feel like the world is caving in and you just want to scream... kinda like this:

Just looking at this picture of those two stresses you out, right?? It's not always roses and other yummy smelling things like a lot of bloggers might make it look like. It can be overwhelming and extremely exhausting. The hard days are long.

But the good days? The days like this:

They remind you that every tantrum, every sleepless night... it's all worth it. My kids (and husband, of course, he's amazing!) are my entire life. They are the biggest blessings I will ever receive. Watching my boys start to bond and get to know each other, is truly incredible. Being a mama of two has already brought me so much joy, and I'm looking forward to watching them grow and become best friends.

AP, I can't wait follow along your journey as a new mom of two. You will absolutely love it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This Isn't My First Rodeo :: A Guest Post

Hello, I Love You More Than Carrots "Loyals"! I'm thrilled that AP let me hijack her blogspace for the day to guest post while she's busy loving all over sweet Baby Maclane! AP and I have been "real-life friends" for several years now and I couldn't be more excited for her and her beautiful growing family. 

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Aliya and I live over at Double the Fun, where I recently also just popped out Babe #2 less than a month ago... much to my surprise on my son's first birthday. My blog ramblings now consist of raising two kids exactly a year apart, my McDonald's Sweet Tea addiction, hoarding of any and all beauty products, and trying to keep my sanity while wrangling my toddler away from electrical outlets and at the same time have a newborn hanging from my boob. Yea, I should pretty much change my blog name to "Three Ring Circus...."

Anyways, I digress. Meet the bossmen who I report to everyday: 

Inline image 1

Also known as Hubs, Kyran (1 year old), and Ariana (1 month old)

Since I had Baby #2, many people have been emailing, gchatting, Facebooking, etc... and asking me how I'm doing "this time around." Are things harder with two kids? Easier? What struggles have we faced so far, etc...

Funny thing is, I think Ariana is about 10% of the work that Ky is at this age right now. Yea, she needs to eat every 3ish hours, and when she's wet and needs to be changed, she lets you know with a blood curdling scream that would make dogs whine... But, other than that... she pretty much just sits there. I don't have to keep 1.5 eyes on her at all time to make sure she isn't flipping over our dog's water dish, about to throw a toy down the vent ducts, make a beeline for the front door, or slam a finger in the entertainment cabinet. Yes, these are all things my first born attempts on a daily basis.

With that said, there are a lot of things I did right off the bat seeing as how this is my 2nd baby and I would like to think I learned a lot last summer from my 1st one. One would hope, at least. I know a lot of you are either new moms or moms-to-be so here are my Top 5 pieces of advice for surviving NewMomHood without ripping your hair to shreds. 

1. The Pack-and-Play is your friend. 

We keep our P&P on our main level and Ariana stays in it most of the day. This way, she's out of Big Brother's reach, I can see/hear her at all times, and it saves me from having to run upstairs every two seconds when she needs to nap and/or be changed. I also change her diapers in there, and I keep a little tote box by it that has plenty of diapers, wipes, hand-sanitizer, etc... for both kiddos. The less running around you need to do, the better!
2. Sleep when the baby(ies) sleep... 

Easier said than done. I didn't listen to this sound advice last summer... When Ky was a newbie, as soon as he was asleep I was running ragged doing laundry, showering, prepping dinner, etc... this time, I basically gave myself a "get out of chores free" card, for the first month at least. Especially two with two kiddos (and a toddler who is up at the butt crack of dawn...), sneaking a nap or two in when you can is mandatory. Surprisingly enough, the laundry really can wait... for the husband :)
3. Don't Be A Hero

No, really. You're only hurting yourself. It's ok to ask for help. In fact, it's more than ok... especially if you have family/friends around who are willing to help. The first few weeks of post-partum recovery can be rough, BFing can be exhausting/taxing (if you chose to do that), and your body is basically adjusting to becoming "you" all over again. Take time for yourself when you can. Say thank you instead of "don't worry about it" when a friend offers to drop by a meal, or watch the baby while you take a long, relaxing shower. In the end, you'll be glad you did. 

4. Mama Knows Best

No one can tell you how to raise your baby but yourself. AND, no one knows what works best for your family better than you. Of course, doctors are there to tell you about health benefits/risks, etc... I'm not saying you shouldn't listen to the doctors... but there are so many "judgey" moms out there who love offering unsolicited advice about how you should parent because it's what worked for them. I say? Do what you want. And listen to your gut. Just because Granola Jane next door breastfed her kid til he went to Sleepaway Camp doesn't mean you have to feel that same pressure, even if she does give you the side-eye. 

5. Get out, get out, get out!

Staying in your house (as beautiful and homey it may be) CONSTANTLY with a newborn can drive a crazy man nuts. I recommend getting out and about as soon as you feel comfortable enough to do so... even if it's just a short walk around the block, a quick trip to the grocery store, or even an hour at the mall to snag that Auntie Anne's pretzel you've been craving... (What? Just me?) Believe me when I say that putting on regular clothes, dressing your baby up in a cute outfit, strapping them in their car seat, and taking them out of the house gives you a whole new sense of independence and freedom. While it may seem intimidating at first (and it is), the sooner/more you do it, the easier it gets. I truly believe most post-partum stress and depression stems from cabin fever. A fresh, new environment is healthy for you and baby... you won't regret it.
I hope these little tidbits help some of you out there who might be overwhelmed with the idea of bringing a real-life human into your home. I for one was shocked when they let me take home one baby, let alone a second. It's hard, and it's scary, and its intimidating... but it's also wonderful and incredible and amazing... and with a little bit of help, a whole lot of work, and a subscription to the Wine-Of-The-Month Club, it's totally do-able :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dear Maclane, We Love You More Than Carrots Too

Dear Maclane, 

Your Daddy, your big brother and I have waited for this day for so long. Although we became a family of four long before your arrival today, more specifically on the day we saw that life-changing word, we cannot wait to feel fully complete with you in our arms. In our hearts we already know you're our perfect fit, the perfect piece to the M family puzzle and we simply cannot wait to snuggle you and smother you with love. 

It's no secret that you'll have some pretty big shoes to fill as The Little Brother. Carter has been paving the way for you since the day he was born and I have no doubts you'll live up to the challenge. He may not seem too excited to meet you at first, but don't fret, I know the two of you will be best friends in no time and my heart swells at the thought of being so blessed as to watch the two of you grow up, learning, laughing and living life together. 

Never underestimate the blessing of a brother. Your Daddy and I know this well as we have been blessed with some of the greatest brothers in the whole world. He and I are so excited to be able to give you and Carter this gift. A gift of brotherhood. Of partners in crime. Built-in best friends. Cut your big brother a little slack though- chances are he'll be quick to mistake head smacks for hugs during the early days- never doubt his affection for you. And when you're bigger? Smack him right back!

Even though your brother made me a mom, I'd like to think he bared the brunt of our experimental parenting. What I mean to say is he's done a great job of breaking us in as parents and I'd like to think, most days, that we've got it down to a science now. In that respect, you're much better off than he ever was. 

Similar to those we have for your brother, your Daddy and I have many hopes and prayers for you as well, Maclane. 

Above all, we promise never to compare you to Carter. To ever make you feel inferior or second best. You are your own individual soul, Maclane and we cannot wait to see what that unique gift brings with it. 

We wish for you the best of both of us- your Daddy's patience, passion and motivation to succeed; my creativity, whimsy, compassion and dry sense of humor. We promise to go above and beyond to cultivate these traits in you and to give you the tools and encouragement you will need in life to cultivate those traits unique to you. 

Just like we promised your brother, we will teach you to believe in the good in others and maintain a kindness in your heart to those less fortunate than you. We will try our hardest to teach you humility. When to stand up and be outspoken and when to sit back and listen. We'll teach you how to find passion in the things you set your heart in. Most of all, we will teach you to count your blessings and to always be grateful. 

Don't ever let anyone take advantage of you or make you believe you are less than worthy. Ever. Laugh and love unconditionally. Be respectful but do not be afraid to stand up for yourself, for what is right, for what your heart believes in. 

We promise to teach you all of these things Maclane, with nothing but overwhelming love in our hearts for you. We cannot wait to hold you in our arms. We cannot wait to introduce you to your Sheepie brother and I cannot wait to see if you're the spitting image of your beautiful blonde-haired brother or if you come out blazing your own trail from the very beginning, dark-haired and determined. 

We love you more than carrots, Maclane. Happy Birthday. 

Love Always, 
Mommy, Daddy and Big Brother Carter

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Precipice of Something Great

You know that moment of strange electric calm, the kind of calm that happens right before something great occurs? That's what today feels like. That's pretty much what these past several days have felt like. 

If I'm being honest, some days it's an uneasy sort of calm- the kind of calm you want to rush because you know you're standing on the precipice of something great. Something really, really great. 

Like the birth of your second sweet boy. 

And other days, you try your hardest to remain in the moment, appreciating the calm, trying not to rush it for The Next Great Thing because you know you will never, ever get those days back. But it's so hard. So, so hard. 

Especially when you know how great that something that will soon happen is going to be. 

It's no secret that pregnancy is hard. The hormones, the weight gain, the mood swings, the morning sickness, the aches, the heartburn. But these last few days? These last few days full of nothing but waiting? And waiting? And more waiting? 

They're the hardest. 

I wanted to take a moment to pop in and say thank you. Thank you for following me along on this journey. Thank you for putting up with me when my snark and sass was lost and when my snark and sass got the best of me. 

Thank you for praying for our sweet family and truly getting just as excited for Maclane's arrival as we are. It's a funny thing- knowing that hundreds of "strangers" are eagerly anticipating the birth of your son. But how could you not be? I share so much of my life and my family with all of you that I can understand your excitement. I've been there. I've felt the same and feel the same for so many of my "blog friends." 

Thank you. 

It goes without saying that I'll be a bit absent here over the next week or so- not only am I having a baby but there is so much wine to be had! Chances are I'll be updating much more on Twitter, Instagram (LvdMoreThnCrrts) and Facebook so make sure you're following me along there. 

On Monday, you'll find a letter posting that we've written to Maclane. Just a heads up, you may want to grab your tissues. Don't forget to enter my Thirty-One Gifts giveaway here and shop my party event here.

Towards the end of next week, you'll be hearing from three incredible moms and new voices around these parts. Two of them are brand new Moms of Two. You won't want to miss them.

Happy Friday, Loyals. Have a great weekend!  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June Sponsor Spotlight :: Good Reads, Great Shops And More!

If you're interested in advertising or sponsoring I Love You More Than Carrots, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. I disclose all of my analytics of this here blog and would also be happy to provide for you recent sponsor testimonials. 

I am currently accepting sponsors for the month of August. Please contact me using the "Reach Out" tab at the top of this page. Thank you!

First up, a little Etsy love to share.. 

Mom to four, yes FOUR, beautiful kids, Brittany finds herself creating some incredibly beautiful handmade wreaths, hair accessories {and more!} in her free time. And with a shop name referencing one of the greatest movies of all times, Forrest Gump, how could you not love her? 

Brittany has very quickly become one of my favorite Mamas and I love connecting with her on Twitter here

Want a sneak peek into her shop? You bet! 

And how about the beautiful Suri {Cruise} headband she recently debuted? 

Be sure to connect with Brittany herehere and here! You won't want to miss out on some of the INCREDIBLE and BIG things she has in store! 

I am so excited to re-introduce you all to one of my most recent favorite Etsy shops, Room to Romp. 

Sandy writes, "I am a mom of school-aged children, one boy and one girl. One of my greatest pleasures when they were babies was dressing them. I'm so glad I took the time to shop for them because I found that by age 4, they started telling me what they would and would not wear. Finding clothes for my daughter was easy, but finding cute, affordable clothes for my son was difficult. Often clothes were either too prissy or too much in the style of what an adult male would wear. I wanted fun, cute clothes that I could afford."

Sandy, I couldn't have said it better myself! Shopping for boys is SO difficult and I'm so happy to have stumbled upon your shop! Aren't these just some of the CUTEST things you've ever seen? 

Be sure to follow Sandy on Twitter here and "like" her Facebook page here!
PolkaDot Posies is a beautiful little bow-tique that creates gorgeous, one-of-a-kind hair accessories for all of the fabulous little ladies in your life! I had the pleasure of meeting April in Nashville last month and she is just the sweetest! With a great selection of hair bows, corkers, headbands, flowers, knits and more, it's near impossible to browse their site without buying something! And I don't even have a daughter!  

Be sure to check them out here and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

At least once a week I receive an email wondering where I find so many of Carter's adorable threads. Lately, so much of both his and his little brother's clothes have come from one of my favorite Facebook auction sites, The Little Crane. 

I cannot say enough about how much I adore these women and their shoppe! 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." 

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. 

Be sure to "like" them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter here

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for organization. In fact, it's one of the things that I not only pride myself on but also cling to while being pregnant, chasing a toddler and running a household. Thirty-One and all of their incredible products has helped me so much when it comes to organizing our crazy life and I'm so happy to introduce Michelle, ILYMTC's fabulous Thirty-One business sponsor.

Did you know I'm currently hosting both a giveaway AND a party for Michelle? Click here to enter! You won't want to miss out! You can also shop my even here!

Michelle has been an extremely helpful consultant when it comes to choosing the right products for our family. 

Click above to view the current Thirty-One Catalog

Spend $35 and get a Large Utility Tote for just $10

Choose from any of the 17 prints offered in the Summer Catalog, or — as a special offer this month — get it in a brand new exclusive print, Pink Lotsa Dots!
Welcome, Michelle and thanks so much for sponsoring ILYMTC!


Many thanks to the blogging and Twitter world for introducing me to Scentsy. It's true, without social media I would never have jumped on the bandwagon and welcomed these delicious products into my home. Click the above image to shop ILYMTC Sponsor and Personal Scentsy Consultant, Jessica's, Scentsy Page.

Be sure to contact Jessica for all of your Scentsy needs! 
Click above to browse the new Spring/Summer 2012 Catalog!

What are a few of my favorite scents, you ask? 
Welcome Home (in the kitchen)
Coconut Lemongrass (in the powder rooms and playroom)
Cool Breeze (in the master bedroom and upstairs hall)

Don't forget to check out one of Scentsy's latest products, Layers!

"Begin and end your daily routine with fragrance, layer by layer. Transform your morning shower from a necessity to something sublime. Let your personal fragrance leave a lovely trace with every movement. Layers by Scentsy lets you build a fragrance that's yours alone, every day. Pick your favorite scents, mix and match products, and envelop your life in fragrance."

You can also follow along with Jessica and her direct sales Scentsy business 


I can't remember a time that I haven't browsed a Stella & Dot online boutique and not immediately filled my online shopping cart with at least 5 gorgeous pieces. I am thrilled to re-introduce my personal Stella consultant, Kim, for all of your s&d needs! 

From gorgeous jewels to great handbags, candles and gift ideas, 
Stella & Dot is your one stop shopping site!
Be sure to like Kim's personal Stella & Dot facebook page to stay up to date on all new samples, sales and products!

And now onto some of my favorite blogging ladies... 

Be sure to follow along with Lindsey and company both on her blog and Twitter, too!

Nap Time is the New Happy Hour

Follw Cheryl on Facebook here and Twitter here. Also, be sure to follow her along on Pinterest here, she's one of the best "Pinners" I follow!

the ruby Turtle hippie times

Be sure to visit her blog and follow along with Sam on Twitter!

Faith, Grace & Giggles
Meet Kim.
Kim shares her incredible story of weight loss, fertility struggles, 
her adoption of a beautiful baby boy and finding out the same night that she was pregnant 
with another sweet miracle baby boy of their own 
at her blog, Faith, Grace and Giggles

One of my favorite things about Kim's blog is her voice and how she writes about 
the honesty and messiness of life with two toddler boys! 
You won't want to miss out! 
Be sure to visit Kim on Facebook here and Twitter here
Recently Beth shared her heart with her readers and her plans to follow her heart on an adoption journey. You can read all about it hereBe sure to following along with Beth and her sweet Southern happenings! You can also find her tweeting away here!

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