October 31, 2012

WW: Happy Halloween

Brought to you by my won't sit still for a second green dinosaur.
 
 

PS Tomorow I'll be starting the day off with a Cloth Diaper giveaway for the Thankful for Fluff group giveaway as well as kicking off my Thanksgiveaway Event! Yay!
 
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October 26, 2012

Never Have I Ever...

This post brought to you by eating crow and all those things I said I would never do as a parent, you know, before I was one.

Twenty Six Year Old Me:
My child will never eat processed food. Whole foods all the way here. I can't believe the crap that some people put into their children's body.

Twenty Nine Year Old Me:
Kraft mac-n-cheese, bean beans (green beans, and ps they're always canned) and bananas it is! Sometimes it's been a really long day and I need something quick and hot for Evie's dinner. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. Evie also has an occasional taste of processed white sugar. And oddly enough, I'm ok with it.



Twenty Six Year Old Me:
I will never have baby gates in my house. Why can't you people train your children to stay away from the stove or out of the dog's water bowl?

Twenty Nine Year Old Me:
There are not enough baby gates to contain the whirling dervish that is my toddler girl. Bring on the baby gates. I've got a fever, and the only cure? You guessed it: baby gates.




Twenty Six Year Old Me:
I will not let my house become a dumping ground for baby crap. I will never let my floor become littered with baby toys, jumpers and swings. Why can't people pick up after their kids? It's not a hard concept. Get up off your butt and clean up!

Twenty Nine Year Old Me:
OMG. This house is a mess. There are blocks and magnetic letters scattered all over the place. Evie and the dogs are playing tug of war with my throw blanket again. I'm so tired I can barely nibble on this cookie and lift my wine glass. Eh, the mess can wait til tomorrow.




Twenty Six Year Old Me:
I don't understand why people let their children run around in just their diapers and no pants. This is not acceptable, even inside the house. My child will always wear pants, even at home. Period.

Twenty Nine Year Old Me:
For the love of God, Evie! Could you poop any more today? I'm not wrestling you in and out of these pants again. Diaper, top and sockies it is. Run along kid and go play in the dog's water.




Twenty Six Year Old Me:
I will never let go of who I am when I have children. My house will not become a temple to them.

Twenty Nine Year Old Me:
Time for a bubble bath, wine and TV. Oh, look there is Evie's whale. He is so cute. I sure do miss her when she is asleep.



It's amazing how having kids will change your point of view. What are some of things you said you'd never do that you've done? C'mon. I know you've got at least one or two. We all do!
 
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October 25, 2012

She Loves to Dry Herself Off!

Hey y'all -- I am just popping in to say hi and share this video of Evie! It was too cute not to share with all of you! She loves to dry herself off after bath!
 
 
 
 
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October 24, 2012

WW: Pumpkin Patch

Saturday we planned to take Evie to the pumpkin patch at Cedar Hill Farm. I was super excited to drag out the ol' Nikon and get some super cute pictures of Evie to compare to last year's photos. However, when I got out of the shower Evie appeared with a bright red bleeding scratch down her face. Her Daddy had no clue how it got there. Great. Oh well I could edit that out. Then as we are getting ready I asked Chris where the Nikon was. It wasn't nestled in my camera bag the way it should have been. His face kind of paled as he told me it was locked in a drawer at his office. Sigh. A rather large argument followed in which he wanted to go get the camera and I just wanted to go to the pumpkin patch. I won. So while these were supposed to be high quality good photos, I've got a bit of iPhoneography to share with you!

And you want to know a secret? Even without the camera attached to my hand, we had a great time, and that's what counts.


{Entrance to the patch!}


 {Selecting the perfect punkin!}


{Yep! This is the one!}



{Family Photos! I really love the one of me looking insane trying to convince Evie that the pumpkins were something to smile about!}





{Playing on the tractor after!}



{And just for fun some from last year! Look how little she was!}


 
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October 23, 2012

Shoes!

I'll admit that when I was pregnant I hoped for a boy and I really thought we were having a boy. However, once the ultrasound tech said IT'S A GIRL (to which Chris replied, I guess I'll just give her the credit card now!) I embraced my girl mom status and I've loved every single second of it.

Evie is definitely not a prissy little girl. She's rough and tumble and very rarely cries at bumps, bonks, scrapes and bruises. There is no other way for her to be in our four dog household. But in some ways she is totally a girly girl!

For instance, she really really LOVES shoes. She is completely obsessed with them. If we let her in our room she immediately makes a beeline for the closet to stare at the shoes, clap her hands and squeal, "Shoes!!!" before picking up a pair and trying to put them on.

About a month and a half ago we ordered her a new pair of summer sandals from Amazon. Chris and I let her try them on right before her bath time. She was IN LOVE. She ran around for a few minutes the whole time looking down at the little flowers on the toe. This was a big mistake because she had to get in the bath before going to a friend's birthday party. When we took those shoes off she lost her little toddler mind. I've never seen such a fit. She cried straight until I put them back on her feet. At which point she smiled and started stomping around admiring her flowers again!

She's constantly trying to steal my shoes and put them on her own feet, while whispering "shoes, shoes, shoes".

She comes by it honestly her love of fancy foot wear, both her Nana and her Grammie are shoe hounds and so is her momma!

What funny things are your toddlers or babies obsessed with? Share yours and come link up with Melissa at Growing Up Geeky for Toddle Along Tuesday!
 
 
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October 22, 2012

My Kind of Pretty

The words slipped out of my mouth before I could stop them, before I could really think about them.

There! Now I'm pretty! Just like you!

I said them to my daughter as I was applying a final coat of mascara and lipgloss. We were about to leave to pick up her Daddy from the airport after his week long trip to Amsterdam. I had spent a little extra time on my hair and make-up because, duh, my husband had been gone for a week.

Many times Evie ends up in the master bathroom with me, watching as I get ready so this wasn't an uncommon occurrence.

This particular time Evie looked up at me and mimicked me "Pretty!" and grabbed my bronzer brush and started rubbing it on her face.

And it hit me. What kind of lessons am I teaching my daughter? Did I just actually say that makeup is what makes me pretty like her?

There's a certain reality about being a girl mom, because lets be honest, at least for me, I'm not going to give up doing my makeup and messing with my hair. I'm pretty low maintenance in the beauty department but just like most girls out there I enjoy a good pampering. I like to dawdle over a leave in conditioner in my hair, spend an extra five minutes on my make-up, get a spa pedicure or buy a new pair of dangly earrings for a special night out. But how do I teach my daughter that while doing these things can be fun and yes, inherently feminine that they don't equal beauty. That her beauty, her real beauty, comes from her heart, her sparkly blue eyes, her observant nature and her smarts? How do I show her that while they can be fun, made-up or made over and pretty aren't the same thing? That true pretty runs deeper than foundation, mascara and lipstick.

It's the flip side of the whole "girl moms have it so much easier in the clothes department/ there's nothing cute out there for little boys" argument. We start telling our girls that there is something important about how they look the second that they are born. It's true. I know I'm guilty of it. I dressed Evie in little matching outfits all the time when she was a newborn.

So how do we girl moms comabt this? It's hard because for the most part we buy into it ourselves too. We wear make up, fix our hair, bemoan our now brassy dye job with three inch roots and would line up around the block to buy the cream that erases wrinkles, stretch marks and would return our breasts to their former pre-pregnancy perkiness. And I'm not saying I'm going to stop any of that, because I know I won't. I don't have the answer, and I can't pretend to. I do know though that the words, "There! Now I'm pretty, just like you!" will not leave my mouth again, especially after I get done applying makeup to cover up my face.

I'm going to start reminding myself that I am pretty, even with blotchy skin, pale eyelashes and circles under my eyes, that my pretty doesn't come in a bottle. And neither does your pretty, y'all. And if you have daughters neither does theirs.

We can't fight all in this world that tells our baby girls that their beauty comes from without, but we can tell them and show them by our example that real life pretty comes from within.

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October 19, 2012

ANNOUNCING: The Great Thanksgiveaway Event!

 
This November I am going to be teaming up with some amazing companies to bring you The Great Thanksgiveway Event! I can't wait!
 
Stay tuned for more info!
 
 
PS -- If you own an ETSY shop or other business that you think would fit in with this event I am still looking for a few more folks to partner with! We love items for momma and baby as well as eco-friendly items! If you are interested please contact me at itsavol {at} yahoo {dot} com.
 
 
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Too Stupid to Give Up

Two weeks ago I posted this picture on Instagram:
 
 

Then I had a mini panic attack, because y'all, the shizz just got real. I'm going. We are going. This crazy plan that Erin and I dreamed up back in early August is really really real. We are Chicago bound.

And then I thought what if I can't do it? What if I fail?

Then I remembered that a very wise man (ahem, my Daddy) told me about a month ago  that the secret to success in business was simply to be, "too stupid to give up." As a man who has built three (or is it four now I can't keep up) very successful businesses from the ground up, I respect his opinion greatly. And let's face it, while this blog is many many things to me, a part of it is a business.
 
So that's where I stand now, I'm too stupid to give up. I've been working really hard. Since July, I've more than doubled my monthly page views, grown my Twitter and Facebook following and I'm now working on sending out emails to companies regarding reviews, giveaways and sponsorships. I'm reading and learning about SEO and Google Analytics and still trying to figure out Google + -- which if you've figured that out, please clue me in.
 
I'm going to do this, and, while I'm still nervous and panicking a bit, I'm really freaking excited about it too.
 
PS -- If you are interested in what my Dad does, check it out here! 
 
 
 
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October 18, 2012

If You Really Knew Me...

You'd know that even though I am not really a girly girl I have a nail polish collection that rivals that of most salons. I love nail polish and am always buying new colors, but since I was sixteen my favorite color has been OPI's "I'm Not Really a Waitress".

You'd know that Top Gun is my favorite movie and has been since I was fifteen.

You'd know that in addition to coffee I love hot tea. One of my favorite pre-wedding events was afternoon tea at The Peabody with my closest family and friends.

You'd know that my momma is my best friend. I can call her with anything, happy news, sad news or just to chat. I don't know what I would do without her. I know a lot of people aren't as lucky as I am to have that kind of relationship with their mom so I treasure it. I hope Evie and I have that kind of relationship one day.

You'd know that I am a hover parent, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. I know I'll have to let go one day, but for now call me helicopter mom!

You'd know that I have a very tender heart. I try really hard to avoid any stories about child or animal abuse. They make me feel so helpless against the cruelty in this world. I was once told by a friend who believes herself to be a psychic medium that I am an empath. That I have the ability to feel what other people and animals are feeling and that sometimes I can't help but to feel what they feel. I'm not sure that I believe that, but I did read an article on mental health issues that stated that people who suffer from anxiety tend to be extremely empathetic. I tend to believe the magazine.

You'd know that I have an Arkansas hilly billy streak that runs long and wide. Case in point I hate to wear shoes. If I am at home I am barefoot, even if we've got company. I'm just comfortable like that.

You'd know that I love to go grocery shopping and I love to bring my kid. She loves the grocery store. We pretend the cart is a racecar and we make sqealing noises when we go around corners and say vroom vroom while walking the aisles. Other shoppers think I am crazy, but we have fun.
You'd know that I am a proud alumnae member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. Some people don't get it, that's ok. I love my sisterhood and all that it stands for, right down to our initiation rituals, secret handshake and password.

You'd know that I never ever trust a blinker, and you'd know why!

You'd know that when I was a teenager and in my early twenties I really really didn't like kids. In fact, to some degree, it took becoming a mother to really get comfortable with kids.

You'd know that I think ranch dressing is one of the four major food groups.

You'd know that I almost never blow dry my hair. It's long and curly and super thick. I just don't have the time for it!

You'd know that I'm still not sure what I want to do with my work life, but that being a wife to Christopher and mother to Evie are the most important fulfilling jobs I do on a daily basis, and that getting to fulfil those rolls is a dream come true.

Thanks to Ashley for the inspiration for this post!

PS If any of y'all do or have done a post like this leave me a link so I can check it out!
 
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October 17, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Football Baby!

{From the archives, because girls can play football, too.}
 
 
 
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October 16, 2012

Lessons From a Toddler Mom: Number 3

 
 
 
 
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October 11, 2012

Rocking My Toddler to Sleep

I always knew that I would rock my babies to sleep. There were thousands of things I questioned before Evie's arrival, but rocking her to sleep was never one of them. My momma rocked my brother and me and her momma rocked her and my momma's little granny rocked my grandma to sleep. I've always thought that above all other things that we let define how we mother that the simple act of rocking your child to sleep is the very picture of motherhood. 

I happily rocked Evie to sleep every night for the first ten months of her life. Then as time went on it became clear that she was no longer interested in falling asleep in her momma's arms. There were far more interesting things to do, games to play, a daddy to be tackled and tickles to be had; by twelve months it seemed she was done. It was one of those heartbreaking moments in motherhood, that first night that I didn't rock my baby. But time went on and although I keenly missed it, we replaced that time with other special moments: reading a book in my lap, snuggling with Daddy and dance parties before bed. 

Until tonight. 

Evie's room has become a messy cluttered space. We spend so much time in the Summer running back and forth from the lake that our glider had become a dumping ground for half unpacked bags, a pack of swim diapers we didn't use, a plastic bag of bottles that I haven't stored, toys, books and a few stray socks. I promised myself that while Chris was in Amsterdam I would use my spare time (haha) to clean out and organize Evie's nursery. Tonight I took everything off of her rocker and started organizing it. 

And after bath and pajamas and our dance party there the glider sat, empty and inviting with only a blanket my Grandma crocheted for Evie draped over the back. I said what the heck and sat down. To my surprise two seconds later Evie toddled over and held up her arms to be picked up. So I did. I turned off the lamp and turned on her music and projector. She turned into me, and I started to rock. Back and forth, back and forth we rocked, in a rhythm well remembered, while I whispered sweet nothings to my beautiful baby in my arms. Before I knew it she was asleep. Her breath was quiet on my chest, her head was heavy on my arm, her eyelashes lay long against her cheeks and the fabric of my shirt was fisted in her hand like she was six months old again. My heart swelled, and the tears came. Tears of joy and contentment ran down my face unchecked. And I thought again, oh my heart

Oh, how I have missed this time with my daughter. It appears that my well has not run dry. No my friends, no. My daughter only had to remind me: my cup runneth over. 

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October 10, 2012

When the well runs dry.

This place has been and is where I write about the excess of our lives. The joy and the pain and the realness of our real life has always been my inspiration for writing.
 
And this week I feel like I've got nothing left over to give here. I open my computer each night and stare at the screen while the cursor blinks at me like it's yelling, "Write something, Sarah! Write!".
 
But nothing comes. And it's because life has been rough lately. We've had a sick baby, sick dogs, a husband out of town, a momma single parenting and working full time and my work has been crazy. For one reason or another we are looking at the necessity of putting in a lot of extra hours over the next month. Which is fine, but I dread losing that time with my family. And at the end of the day I'm left with nothing left to give, to myself and to this space here. I'm struggling to feel enough about something to write about it, but the truth is I am too tired to feel enough motivation to paint my toenails, much less anything else.
 
And this is it, when the well runs dry, when I feel like I've got just enough to get through the day and nothing left at the end.
 
And I don't want to write just to write. I want to write for it to mean something, even if it only means something to me.
 
Thanks for listening to me ramble, and thanks for hanging in there while I get my mojo back.
 
I love you all to pieces!
 
 
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October 9, 2012

A Polite Little Weirdo

Round about July or so we really started working on Please and Thank You with Evie. She got please pretty much immediately. Thank you we had more trouble with. Whenever we would give her something we always said, "Now Evie, say thank you!". So in her mind whenever you gave someone something you say thank you, not when you are the recipient. It was pretty damn cute, I'm not gonna lie.

Eventually she figured out the proper time to say thank you, and now she loves saying it.

Our mealtimes often go like this:

Evie: Chair! Chair! Bite! (I'm hungry! Put me in my highchair so I can eat!)

Me: Ok, Evie.

After I pick her up and put her in her chair...

Evie: Tay Tyouuuuuuuuuuuu!

Me: You're welcome!

After I put her meal or snack on her tray...

Evie: Tay Tyou!

Me: You're welcome baby!

After she takes a bite...

Evie: Tay Tyou!

Me: You're welcome sweetie!

After she takes the second bite...

Evie: Tay Tyou!

Me: You're welcome honey, but you don't have to thank me after every bite!

After she takes another bite...

Evie: Tay Tyou!

And it can, and probably will, go on like this until the meal is finished, at which point she thanks me for taking her out of the chair.

Just another sweet little quirk in my overly polite baby's personality.

 
 
 Come share your kids' funny or strange quirks and link up with Melissa at Growing Up Geeky for Toddle Along Tuesday!
 
 
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