June 29, 2012

Can We Stop Calling My Daughter Fat Now?

So about this time last year I wrote about people commenting on how chunky Evie is.

And I am sad to say it hasn't gotten any better.

We are still bombarded with people telling us not to worry, that she will surely slim down soon.

And there is still a part of me that wants to tell these people to shut the hell up. But now there is a bigger part of me that wants to quietly shame them for their comments.

How dare you comment on my 15 month old's weight. How dare you? Don't you know she will have enough of that in junior high and high school? Don't you know she'll have enough of that coming from her own head and soon enough? Don't you know that there are five year olds on diets? Because these kids hear these things and they are absorbing them. I have personally dealt with the ravaging effects of anorexia. I've seen it eat a bright beautiful person away, so let's not encourage that attitude.

I don't care about people who comment on her chunkiness and say they love it. We had one lady stop us to tell us that Evie was "Oh, so juicy!!!" and how she just "loves a juicy baby!" And I thought it was the sweetest thing. We get plenty of people commenting on how she is so beautiful and the prettiest baby they've ever seen - thanks we think so too! But for every one of these we get another with the comments on her actual weight and how she will lose that baby fat someday.

I just want to tell these people that, no she might not. She might end up being a bigger girl. She might end up being a toothpick, but either way as long as she is eating right and exercising, it doesn't matter. This world is made up of all sorts of different types of people, fat ones, skinny ones, tall ones, short ones, black ones, white ones, Asian ones, ones with pointy noses, ones with blue eyes, ones with brown eyes, some with green eyes, pale ones, tan ones. Our culture is made of all different ones.

And all the different ones are all beautiful ones. So let's stop calling my daughter fat now, shall we?

{Pure Beauty}



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June 28, 2012

Toddler Momma Truths

When you are pregnant you get a lot of advice on the early days of motherhood. You'll hear about sleeping when the baby sleeps, the best paci's to use, wether or not to use crib bumpers, the best way to hold a colicky newborn, the best way to feed your baby, the best way to hold your baby, how to make them laugh and develop their early senses.

Then you are a toddler mom, and you realize that no one has really prepared you for the total drama queen bi-polar diva your child has become. So since I am all about the helping other mommas out thing, here are some things you need to know about being a toddler mom.

We Are Toddler Mamas and We Hold These Truths to be Self Evident:

1) We may rip open a bag of m-n-ms at any given moment in any given store to ward off a melt down, without fear of judgement.

2) Go ahead and get a set of tarot cards and set up a lesson with Miss Cleo, because you are expected to be a psychic.

3) We own stock in Cheerios. And wine.

4) We know that the parking spot next to the buggy return is more valuable than the parking spot next to the door.

5) We have learned, and you will too, that chocolate pudding and spaghetti sauce are basically the same thing as body paint.

6) If your toddler has ever, in his or her entire life held an item, it belongs soley to them and should be immediately given to him or her upon demand.

7) At any given moment you must be prepared to become a human jungle gym.

8) We understand that what made our children laugh and giggle with glee twenty seconds ago might seriously piss them off twenty seconds from now.

9) Between answering the same questions about walking, potty training, paci usage, breast feeding, bottle feeding and talking from every stranger in the world, being a toddler momma sometimes feels like sorority rush.

10) You'll consider driving to the nearest PetSmart and buying a dog harness and retractable leash for outings, because the fluffy little bear leashes just don't look like they can contain your precious bundle of joy.

{Do you have any other tuths about being a momma, toddler or otherwise?}



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June 27, 2012

DC and Wedding Recap

After arriving very late Wednesday night and not getting to sleep until sometime very early on Thursday morning Chris and I hit the DC streets ready to explore and embrace our inner tourist.

First we stopped by The United State Holocaust Memorial Museum. If you visit our nation's capital you must go here. This is my second time going to the museum and when we return to DC it will be one we always attend. Beyond the fact that it is free it is powerful and moving. I won't go into too much detail because I actually plan on dedicating an entire post to it later on.

After spending a good two-three hours in the HMM we lightened things up a bit with the Air & Space Museum. Chris is a pilot (in fact I have a whole family of pilots) so he was in heaven. We rode in a fighter jet sim that Chris said was nothing like flying the real thing, but still it did barrel rolls and we had a good time.

After hitting up the gift shops for presents for Evie, Leo and Gus we grabbed a coke and snacked on some freeze dried ice cream. Yum!

{If you don't love freeze dried ice cream I'm not even sure we can be friends anymore.}


After leaving the Air & Space museum we walked about a mile back to where our car was parked. The only problem with this was that it was ridiculously hot in DC that day. We live in the Deep South too, so when Mississippians say it is hot outside, by God, it's hot outside. On the walk back we sweated a ton! We had already checked out of our hotel in DC and since our hotel for the wedding was in Ashburn, we had no place to get cleaned up for our dinner date at Founding Farmers. We ended up wiping our arms and legs down with a wet napkin (hooray for always carrying a bottle of water) and changing in the car in a parking garage. I was so afraid we were going to be arrested.

After getting lost (AGAIN, in the like four blocks it took to drive to the restaurant) we managed to dash into the restaurant just in the nick of time for our 6:30 reservation. Let me just say I am so impressed with this restaurant. As someone who has become increasingly passionate about food sourcing it was so nice to eat at a place that believes in supporting local farmers, buying organic and scratch making. On top of that, the food was incredible. For cocktails I had a mojito (cold, minty and refreshing after an insanely hot day? Yes, please.) and Chris had something called (maybe?) a Farmer Jon. We had homemade chips with a trio of dips to start. I ordered a Rueben sandwich for dinner and Chris had a burger. There were lots of fancier things on the menu, but after walking all day and skipping lunch we both felt like some good solid food. We were so full that we took dessert to go. We ordered a chocolate mousse for two and ate it later while watching TV in our hotel room. Bliss.

{Mojiiiiiito!}



{Farmer Jon???}



{Housemade chips with Pimento Cheese, Onion Dip and Green Goddess Dip. So amazing!}



{Reuben!}



{Chris' Burger!}



{Mmmm! Dessert in bed!}


The rest of the weekend kind of went by in a blur. I went shopping at a nearby outlet mall (thanks for the recommendation Erin) and got some new clothes for Chris, Evie and me. The rehearsal dinner was great and the wedding even better. This group of guys is so outstanding to be around. The boys obviously love each other as they've stuck together for thirty years, but all of the wives and girlfriends get along so well also. We went shopping together, laughed and had a great time.

I even mentioned to H that she better be sure before they got married, because these boys come as a package deal. If you get one you get them all.

N & H are a beautiful couple with such great things ahead of them. I've loved N for a long time now; he's so special to my husband and a great guy, but it's so nice to see him so happy with such a wonderful woman. H is smart, witty and obviously very kind. I feel like we've known each other for a long time (via facebook) but getting to know her in person was even better! I am so glad we got to be a part of their beautiful, special day!

PS Sorry for lacking in pictures. Like an idiot I left my Nikon at home because my crazy, frazzled brain couldn't come up with a way to get my camera bag onto the plane with my carry on and "personal item". Of course, immediately upon landing I figured it out. So yeah, iPhone pictures it is. Also, I have not included any pictures of N&H's wedding since they are on their honeymoon and I am not sure if they are ok with it!

PPS Could you spare a vote? We've slipped some as I've been away. Click once on the banner below & then on the owl on the left. Thanks!

PPPS Be prepared for a giant comment frenzy from me in the next while as I catch up on ALL that I have missed! :)


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June 25, 2012

We're Back

Well, we are back. We had a great time. We didn't kill each other driving through the center of DC. We survived the traffic in NOVA. I only muttered "Damn Yankees!" a few times. :)

I'd say that's a win. I'll be back later to update on the food, the wedding, the shopping and the overall amazing time we had with some very special friends.

Until then, I leave you with a pciture of what is, I am sure, the entrance to The United States Ministry of Magic. Someone told me it is a metro station. I call shenanigans.



Missed y'all lots!

(Also, this reminds me. I still need 2-3 guest posters for mid-July!)

{Thanks for voting daily! I really appreciate it!}

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June 23, 2012

Guest Post: A Mother of Two

I have two kids.  I'm not a first-time mommy anymore.  I'm a seasoned vet, or I'd like to think so.  When B entered the world, I was ready.  I knew what labor and delivery were like, I had experienced the physical recovery of birth, I was aware of how difficult the first few months would be, I knew it would all get better.  I felt like I understood how to handle the stages of life I had already experienced with Tyler. 

What I wasn't prepared for was how very different two kids can be.  Holy cow! 

I knew raising a girl would be different than a boy.  I knew they might have different personalities, but I guess I was assuming what worked for T would also work for B.  Ummm...not so much.

Raising B is like learning everything all over again.  Our experiences with her are completely different than they were with T.  I wasn't prepared for that...at all.  It was almost as if I had to throw my "how to parent" manual out the window. 

This doesn't even glaze the surface of the differences but, T was a difficult baby.  He cried A LOT, he was difficult to put down to bed, he refused to take a binky, he was always on the big side of the "norm" and he was on-the-go early on.  He slept on his stomach right away (I know...scold me), loved the swing, walked with a walker with gusto, could be held by anyone, learned to sign early, could never get enough milk (and still prefers it), walked at a year, and became attached to a lovey at an early age (good ole Buddy). 

B has been a very easy baby.  She can go down for naps or for the night awake, and never makes a peep.  She is OBSESSED with her binky, wants nothing to do with a lovey (hair please), is a tiny little peanut and has been from the beginning, hated the swing and preferred the vibrating chair, always wants to be held...by me, was slow-going getting moving, still isn't walking at 14 months, prefers water to milk, and was very slow to learn her baby signs but knows way more than T ever used.

They couldn't be more opposite in behaviors, sleeping patterns, hitting milestones, and eating habits...and it freaks me out. 

I had convinced myself this parenting thing would be easier the second time.  I knew what to expect, right?!  Wrong. 

It's clear to me that raising each child is a completely new experience.  They require different things, have different likes and will challenge us in very different ways, and not just because they are different genders. 


They are both, however, the lights of my life.  They will fulfill different roles in our family of four.  Although I'm nervous how many other differences there could be as I go through the stages with B that I already figured out with T, I'm excited to see what amazing things they will do in their lives.  I'm so amazed that hubs and I could make such distinctly unique individuals from our combinations of genes.  I am so blessed to be able to watch these two very different little people grow and learn.  I know I will learn a great deal from parenting my little ones, despite how differently I might have to do that.  I'm ready!   



Come read about the hilarious journey we are on raising our two tow-headed kiddos @ Running Through Parenthood in Heels










~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for taking over for the day Mrs. Monica! Y'all be sure to stop on over and visit her blog!




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June 22, 2012

Guest Post: A Lifetime of Awkward

Hi! I'm Jen, a thirty-ish year old mother, wife, sister, teacher, daughter, and friend. I grew up in the Midwest and have chosen to live my adult life in sunny San Diego.


600 w


I started the blog Leilaland three months into my pregnancy with our daughter, as a way to update far-away family and friends. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed writing (and over-sharing on the internet) until I began. Now I use my blog as a way to remember our family's life and to share what I'm learning about motherhood.

Thanks for having me!

A lifetime of awkward

I never planned on naming my child a unique name, and we didn't. The name Layla was ranked in the top 50 baby names since 2009 and has steadily moved up on the popularity list.

The problem is, we decided to spell it differently. L - e - i - l - a.

As a teacher I wrote lots of names, lots of times.  I had a student a few years back that spelled her name this way. I loved how easy and smooth it was to write Leila and how none of the letters fell below the line. (Who thinks of those things?!)

As a teacher, I should have realized, that I was subjecting my child to a lifetime of awkward moments with that unique spelling.

How could I forget the times my last name was mispronounced when I was growing up? It was embarrassing when everyone looked at me when I corrected the teacher for saying my name incorrectly. Even more embarrassing, was how the teachers pronounced it.

Poor Leila. At the beginning of each school year she'll be saying, "It's Layla," when a teacher call her Lee-la or Lie-la.  She'll be cursing me for causing another awkward moment in her life. (There will be plenty, I'm sure.)

So now I have decided to make it my personal mission to get her name out there... pronounced correctly!

Go ahead, share my blog. Help me stop the awkward moment before it happens.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Great post Jen! I now pronounce her name correctly after we had the E-V, LAY-la, discussion! Thanks so much for taking over, and y'all be sure to stop on by Jen's blog. It'll make you jealous YOU don't live in sunny San Diego. You stay classy!

 
 
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June 21, 2012

Guest Post: A Funny First Date Story

Hey There Y'all!
I'm Andie, and I blog over at Sweet. Southern. Spirited, where I like to chat about life, southern-isms, motherhood and all sorts of other fun stuff.  I am a lover of good food, taking pictures, LSU & Saints football, and most importantly, my family.   I am a new mom to my little guy Andrew, wife to my dear husband, Scott, and also fur-mom to a crazy Schnihuahua, Maggie. (and that is not a real breed, fyi- there is a story on my blog of how we determined this!)



I found Sarah's blog one day when I was blog surfing and came across her candid stories about PPD/A- right after I had battled with it myself. Fortunately, these days, life is much brighter and easier as a mom and my blog is a bit of a chronicle of this and that- some of my photography, favorite recipes, motherhood stories, fun moments, and everything in between. I hope you'll stop by sometime!
When Sarah offered me the chance to guest post, I thought about coming up with a post filled with photography tips or even maybe sharing one of my favorite recipes (i am the daughter of two full blooded Cajuns, after all). In the end, I thought it would be most fun to share the funny story about the first date between the hubster and I.  Would you believe we've been "dating" for 13 years and we'll have been married for 10 this September? It's been a while, I'd say, yet I can NEVER forget the night of our first date.


So without further ado-

How about a Funny First Date Story?

It was a warm, humid Saturday night in early May at Friar Tuck's, a popular bar in Uptown New Orleans. (which is now closed) When I met him, he was cute and funny. I'll never forget what he was wearing- and trust me-it plays into the story-he was wearing a white polo shirt, jeans, and a blue TQ Hot baseball cap. (does anyone remember that TQ Hot stuff?)

Anyway- we exchanged numbers that night, and well, he called me a few days later to see if I wanted to join him at the Cuco's Cinco de Mayo Block Party in Metairie, not too far from where he lived. I told him that I would meet him at his house (which was also his parents' house) because I didn't see any point in him driving all the way out to where I lived to turn around and go back to Metairie where the party was.
 In order to make a good impression (you never get a second chance to make a FIRST impression! - one of my favorite ad slogans) - I wore a cute sundress and high heeled brown strappy sandals. I am pretty sure my sandals were at least 3" high. (Again, there is a point to why I am laying out what I was wearing that night- you'll see) Anyway- I think I looked pretty cute.
I drove to his house and find his parents' house with no problem. I walk up to the front door and ring the door bell. As I ring the bell I see the curtains in the front window move a little and then I hear him come to the door. And he opened it. At that point, when he opened the door, I tried my best to cover my shock and smiled and said hello.
 What was the shock, you ask?
 HE WAS BALD.


Like almost completely bald, with a little bit on the sides. (and the reason this was a shock? when I met him- he had a hat on, so I had NO IDEA!)

The first thought that popped into my head: "Oh. My. God. I'm going out with a 40 year old dude who is still in college and lives with his parents."


 Let's keep in mind, that this was a few days before my college graduation. I was actually home for week between my finals and my graduation ceremony, so I was used to young 20-22 year old frat boys and young bucks with full heads of hair!
July 1999- a few months after we started dating- he
had a small patch on top, that's it! 


(and in all fairness, I'm now on the closer side to 40, but when you're 22, doesn't 40 seem like a lifetime away?)



We left for our date and headed to Cuco's. It was a nice little party!  We chatted with the other people we were meeting there and listened to the Bag O' Donuts play (they are a popular local 80's cover band) and just hung out.
But the whole time I kept finding myself staring at his head. I mean, the fact that I was just taller than him with the 3" heels and the fact that it was sort of shiny and well, BALD, had a little bit to do with it.

So yeah, I kind of stared at his head off and on all night.

Anyway- as the night drew to a close, we headed back to his parents' house and hung out in the den and chatted a bit. Of course, me, being the outspoken person that I am, just came right out and asked him,

"Can I ask you how old you are?"

 Scott: "23"

 Me: "Let me see your license"

He hands it over to me and sure enough, he's 23.

Scott: "I lost most of my hair when I was around 20. I inherited that gene from my grandfather."

Me: "Sorry"

Scott: "No big deal. I sort of expect it now." "why are you so tall?"

Me: "I inherited it from my great uncle."

And then we kept talking. By about 11:30 pm, we called it a night and said our goodbyes- with kisses on the cheek. I thought to myself, "well, I'm not sure how attracted I am to him right now, but he's really sweet. I think we'll be friends."

and we all know what happened after that. :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks for such a great post Andie! Y'all be sure to check out her blog! She's a pretty awesome mom blog friend even if she is a LSU fan. Did I just say that out loud? Just kidding Andie, you know I think you are awesome!



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June 20, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Giraffes!!!

I don't know if your Zoo is as cool as ours is but if it's not come visit because The Memphis Zoo is ah-mazing!

One of their newest attractions is the Giraffe Feeding Adventure. Yeah that's right you get to feed a giraffe. No big deal.
Our girl was named Marilyn and she was the oldest of all the giraffes. She hates to be touched in the face.

Chris was worried Evie would accidentally touch her in the face. I was all like, whatever, "She's a pro! She gives Rocky Top his cookie all the time! Let's do this!"

So we did, and it was incredible. We all giggled like little kids.

{Waiting on the giraffes! I left that random girl in the picture because she kept talking on her phone and telling someone that she was "such a hot mess!". Weird!}



{Miss Marilyn}



{With Daddy feeding Marilyn!}



{With Mommy feeding Marilyn!}


 
I can't wait to go back and do this again! We're going to buy more than one ticket because nine "bites" was not enough and I was jealous that Evie got so many!


 
 
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June 19, 2012

I'm Proud of Myself

And I think I should be.

Other than initially mentioning that Evie would be having tubes in her ears I didn't really bring it up again.

When Dr. Fes suggested going to the ENT for tubes I was some sort of relieved and nervous.

After our initial visit with the ENT I pretty much pushed it to the back of my mind. I had bad bronchitis, a URI and a sinus infections. Evie had croup. My Godson came down with bronchiolitis and RSV. We were insanely busy. Then it was two days before and I took her for her pre-op/pre-anesthetic visit. Then it was the day of and all that pent up anxiety started to come out.

Before we left I opened the medicine cabinet and looked at the orange bottle that contains the Xanax. I thought maybe I should throw it in my purse. Just in case.

I know about eighty of you are rolling your eyes at me. PE tubes are about as minor of a surgery as you can get with a kid. She was under Sevoflurane for a very short time, about ten minutes.

Still though when you have anxiety "issues" as I do, it becomes a different world. For one, I worked with animals coming out of anesthesia for years. Like children, dogs and cats have no frame of reference. They lack the ability to rationally think, "Ok I'll just sleep this off" and instead freak out because the world has become a topsy turvy place. I worried about that constantly knowing, she would be awake for at least a few minutes before she'd be back with me, where I could assure her that every thing would be ok. Worry worry worry.

Then I worried about her dying while under anesthesia. These intrusive thoughts are part of my every day reality. Tiny things become large scary very threatening things. A boat ride becomes a nightmare. Driving home from work I have convinced myself that someone has impersonated my parents and kidnapped my child from daycare, all because I saw a bumper sticker about Holly Bobo.

This is my reality. Not the reality I live in, but the reality of what goes on in my head. I don't let these thoughts interfere with my my life. I usually can make them go away with some simple visualization techniques and because of this I can function highly without a SSRI. Which is good because they make my physically ill.

In spite of knowing all of this I left the orange bottle in the cabinet. Quite a risky move. No seriously, panic attacks aren't pretty and that meant that my husband could have been dealing with Evie's surgery and me having a panic attack.

And I did fine. I did better than fine, I did great. I only teared up twice and honestly I think that was from NICU flashbacks. The moment when we came through the toy tunnel and the nurse said, "Ok. She'll go with me from here!" felt eerily similar to the moment when the surgical nurse said, "Why don't we let mom see her baby!" and the NICU nurse let me glimpse Evie for the first time then took her away. In a second all that came back to me and it took a minute to place why it was a familiar feeling. A familiar bad feeling for that matter.

My eyes filled with tears and I sent the husband to retrieve my coffee. Those tears never spilled over though. I vented out to my momma telling her I was trying not to "lose my shit" and repeated over and over that it would all be ok. That it would fifteen minutes tops this time and I would get my baby back. Breathe and repeat. Breathe.

And then there was the nurse telling us that the doctor would be back to talk to us, and Evie was waking up. The doctor came and was mercifully succinct telling us we made the right decision that even if her tubes had opened up the fluid behind them would never have drained; it was too thick. And then I was trying to keep myself from running through the recovery area. The nurse handed Evie to me and all of my anxiety dissipated. She cried for a solid ten minutes coming out of anesthesia. She only wanted momma, which let's face it feels amazing. Then she drank some apple juice (special treat!) and we headed to Perkin's for breakfast. We went home, she napped off the painkillers and that was that.

It was like it never happened. Except it did. And it was major for me and for my family. My husband even told me how proud of how I handled it. I am too.

I think I'll take on boat rides next. I'd like to take one without my eyes squeezed shut, one arm wrapped around Evie and the other white knuckling the seat.



 
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June 18, 2012

I'm Drowning

Life is hectic beyond belief right now. Between missing tons of work when Evie had croup and then even more work for her pre-anesthetic visit and surgery I am barely keeping my head above water at work. I'm shoveling random food in my mouth at lunch time as I furiously calculate, write and type. At home it's just as chaotic, except there I have a toddler girl who has suddenly decided that she must get into every living thing and that being chased is like, you know, the coolest thing ever. I also have a mountain of laundry that actually growled at me yesterday; it's turning into a living breathing being, I just know it.
 
Add that to the fact that Chris is in Chicago on business and that this weekend we are going to be in NOVA for a wedding and I am freaking out.
 
There is so much I want to blog about, so many things I want to share like,
 
  • How I made shrimp and grits for the first time and it was ah-mazing
  • How proud of myself I am for handling my anxiety without meds while Evie was in surgery.
  • Evie fed the giraffes at our local zoo and it was incredible and she loved it.
  • How Evie started saying Mama (and she knows what it means!!!) and how hearing two syllables from her mouth can turn me into a big ole Mama puddle.
  • How I am beyond impatient for our trip to Destin in July, and excited that we'll be cloth diapering on the road, but still anxious. I am worried about the water quality and for the life of me I can't find any information on wether or not Destin has hard water or soft water. I just need to know if I need to buy some different rockin' green! So if any of my Southern gals know the answer, help a sister out ok?.
  • How I am super excited to meet my hubby in D.C. this Wednesday and spend a day sight seeing before heading to Ashburn for the wedding. We are having our anniversary dinner right across from the Whitehouse at a restaurant that is just right up my alley! I can't remember the last time we had a date night or just some alone time so I am really stoked about this weekend.
  • And how even though I am looking forward to this mini getaway I am in a state of near panic because this is the farthest and longest I have ever been away from Eive. And how if one more person tells me she will be fine I might explode, because of course she will be, but maybe I just want someone to say they understand.
I want to tell you about all of that and more. I promise I will someday. Just maybe not someday soon!

PS Get excited because this week while I am away I have some AMAZING guest posters lined up for y'all!


{I love ya bunches for your votes! Two clicks! Click the banner below and then the owl on the left. We've fallen two spots and I really want to get back up there! Thanks so much!!!}
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June 17, 2012

To Sir, With Love

Happy Fathers Day! 

Of course to my wonderful amazing husband who is just simply the best father to our little girl. Out of all the people in the universe I am so glad that God chose you as the father of my children. To my father-in-law, thank you for unconditionally accepting me as your daughter and not just your daughter in law. I am so thankful I get to be the daughter you never had. I appreciate beyond words what an amazing Grampie you are to Evie. I cannot thank you enough for your unending patience and love. 

But to my father, my Daddy, thank you for everything you have given to me both material and immaterial. I see so much of you in me.It's more than sharing a similar top lip, the Dickens ears and the same nose. From the way I call Evie "kiddo" to playing High Five! Up High! Down Low! Too Slow!, to saying "Clear Prop!" before going anywhere and "Hot Springs!" upon arrival you have passed so much of who you are on to me. Thank you for pushing me to be and do my best and for letting me know that as long as I was and did my best that everything would fall into place. It really and truly has. You are an outstanding Grampa to my little girl and I have so loved watching you fill that role for her. Trust me, a Grampa has a very very special place in a little girl's heart, even when she's grown and nearing thirty. You will forever and always be my Daddy and I will always always be your little girl. I love you, Daddy. 

Those schoolgirl days of telling tales and biting nails are gone.
But in my mind I know they will still live on and on.
But how do you thank someone who has taken you
 from crayons to perfume?
Oh, it isn't easy but I'll try. 
If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky
 in letters that would soar a thousand feet high,
To Sir, With Love. 

*Song Lyrics by Lulu*

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June 15, 2012

In Her Shoes

A few days ago I took the afternoon off to take Evie to the surgery center for a pre-anesthetic physical. After waiting forever for the doctor, and going home and having a nap I figured it was (of course!) time to take Evie to Gracie Bleu for some frozen yogurt. She and I both love our chocolate covered strawberry themed concoction and it seemed like a nice idea.

I filled our bowl up with low-fat strawberry and chocolate yogurt and topped it with fresh strawberries, m-n-ms and chocolate sauce. I topped it with a few cherries (no dessert is complete without a cherry!).

Once we made it to the register, I struggled to remove my wallet all the while juggling a diaper bag, bowl of yogurt and balancing a toddler on my hip. The girl behind the counter ever so slightly rolled her eyes and sighed. I set the bowl on the scale and right at that moment Evie chose to give a big wiggle and I knocked the bowl a tiny bit causing it to tip over on its side and spill some of the contents out. Commence a huge sigh from counter girl as I flushed red and stuttered that I was so sorry. She stood there and stared at me as I tried to get the mess wiped up (still balancing the toddler and diaper bag). Finally she handed me a wet rag and I was able to get it all cleaned up one handed.

I was mortified at first. The sighs of annoyance, the looks of "better you than me, lady" counter girl shot me made me feel like I wasn't good enough to be at their fancy yogurt shop, with tiny tables, plush red wingbacks and fresh cut flowers on the tables. Then I very timidly asked if they had any highchairs. I got another sigh for this egregious request.

Then I got a little pissy. Yeah, I might not have looked my best. I might have had a squirmy toddler on my hip and YES she made a little mess in your shoppe (seriously? who spells shoppe that way?) but counter girl's attitude was not warranted. I cleaned up the mess. I apologized. I was a paying customer and so was my daughter. So instead of mortified I got a little mad. And when she returned I looked her straight in the eyes and said, "I'm sorry she made a mess, but she's fourteen months old and sometimes fourteen month olds make messes. It's just a little stressful doing this all on your own, but she's having surgery later this week so I wanted to have some girl time with her before." I held her gaze as she stuttered something about it "being ok" then pulled the highchair up to one of those teeny tiny tables and went back to her counter.

I then tuned her and her judgmental attitude out and had fun with my kid. Once she gets used to the temperature of the yogurt she loves it and says "mmmm!" after every bite and leans forward with her moth open for more like a baby bird. She also gave me about 10,000 sticky chocolate covered strawberry kisses and that was the best.

I walked out and resolved to never let anyone feel like I had less of a place simply because I have a child. I am not a second class citizen simply because my kid might get sticky finger prints on your wall, make a mess, spill a drink or burst out with random Mama and Dadas at the top of her lungs. I promise I'll clean up the mess and remind her to use her inside voice. And I hope that one day you take a walk in my shoes and realize what a balancing act being a mother is, that sometimes you slip up, make a mess and it takes a lot more grace to clean up the mess than to stand there, sigh and roll your eyes at it.



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June 13, 2012

Happily Ever After...

Three years ago today, my Daddy walked me down the aisle and gave me away to the man who was my future. In a beautiful white dress in front of a church full of family and friends we loved we said "I Do". We promised to cherish one another, to stick it out through thick and thin. So far we've done pretty well. We have a happy home, a good marriage and together we made the most beautiful baby girl.
 
Happy anniversary Chris. You make me happy every single day. We've had a pretty magical three years. Here's to 100 more.  I love you.
 
Our Wedding Day
 
I was so lucky to have the wedding of my dreams. I always wanted to be a June bride, to be married in The Season. I always wanted a very very traditional church ceremony (think old school King James vows traditional) and a huge party after. It was every thing I dreamed of and more. The ceremony was perfect. The man who performed the ceremony also Baptized and Confirmed me, which made it extra special. The reception was so much fun. We had amazing food, plenty of drinks, delicious cake and a blast dancing to The Venus Mission, which is an 80's cover band. We spent our wedding night in downtown Memphis and our Honeymoon in Playa del Carmen, Mexico at The Royal.
 
{(im)patiently waiting for the ceremony to start}
 


 {Picture with my gorgeous bridesmaids!}


 {The First Kiss!}


{Finally! We are married!!!}



 {Being announced as Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Evans for the first time!}


{First Dance!}


{Bride's Cake}


{Groom's Cake! Go VOLS!}



{We took the trolley as our "getaway car"!}


{One of my favorite pictures ever!}


Fun Facts About My Wedding
*because I know you are just dying to know, right?*

1) The day before our wedding devastating tornadoes swept through the Memphis area. I drove through warning and high winds to make it to my rehearsal. Also, the food for our rehearsal dinner was sucked up and they had to remake it. My MOH is from Vegas and was completely terrified of the tornado sirens.

2) We ran into my ex-boyfriend on the way from the trolley to our hotel. Awkward.

3) My wedding planner had no power due to tornadoes and made all of my flowers in the dark. Due to this she missed putting a ribbon on MY BOUQUET. I called her and flipped out on her because of it. Also, the boutonnieres were not what I wanted. I flipped out about that too. My one single Bridezilla moment.

4) Not only was Chris's groom's cake a replica of Neyland Stadium, but the cake itself was orange also. GBO or go home!

5) The pattern on the Bride's Cake was a replica of the pattern of the beading on my dress.

6) Chris and I danced to "Lucky" by Jason Mraz ft. Colbie Callait. My dad and I danced to "Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon. I have no clue what Chris and his mom danced to. I do know he left the CD at the church and they had to play it off a YouTube video on his iPhone.
 
 
 
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