Friday, May 31, 2013

Cloth Diapering vs. Disposable {PFALO}

This is the start for me to participate in a series about Preparing for a Little One. Wifessionals has  been doing this series for 9 weeks now, and I wanted to join in!   I'll actually be one of the featured bloggers in the coming weeks, so I'm super excited! Check out other moms on this subject by heading over to her blog!

Preparing For A Little One

I use disposable diapers and I have for both of my girls.  It never crossed my mind to use anything else with Hadleigh.  I had so many other things to worry about doing, buying, getting, and learning that it really never came up on my radar.  I had heard a few things about it here and there, but I wasn't interested.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an opinion one way or the other.  I just didn't use cloth – lack of time, lack of knowledge, both? 

With Hayden, I actually strongly considered doing the cloth diapering.  I had read a couple things on it, but the thing that was making me consider it even more was that I was on the verge of potty training Hadleigh.  She had no interest what-so-ever, and one of the things I had read was that cloth diapering was good for helping toddlers potty train.  They feel the wetness a whole lot more with cloth versus disposable.  I guess I was thinking it would make the transition easier?  Needless to say, I didn’t go through with the cloth diapers.  In the end, I found it to be a daunting task.  You’re already changing so many diapers among all the other things that need to get done, with a toddler running around.  Disposables were just the way to go for our family.  In hind sight, toddlers are ready to potty train on their own time regardless of cloth or disposable diapers. 

With both girls, we didn't have issues with rashes or allergic reaction, so there wasn't a need to try different alternatives.  Now, I do have a huge opinion on the brand of disposable diapers :)  I hate Huggies.  They are stiff and don’t move as well as Pampers or Luvs.  I have even purchased the Target brand of diapers, but they don’t absorb the smell as well.  They absorb the liquid just fine, but the smell of pee was strong even after the littlest bit. 

My Pros to Disposable: 
You can stock up
You're not doing diaper laundry (you're already doing a ton with clothes!)
You can use a diaper Genie - easy clean up and your main trash doesn't smell like dirty diapers
Less stressful for other care-takers that might be watching your little one for you.  That would be a lot to ask my mother in-law everyday to deal with on top of watching my girls.

What have you used?  If disposable, do you lean to one brand?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

May Cara Box

I’m so excited to write this post about my May Cara Box partners!  To read more about how to sign-up and what exactly a Cara Box is go here.

This month I sent to Brittany who originally is from Virginia (yay!), but is now in Texas.  She loves true crime, running, and is super sweet.  Go check her out here.

My other partner was Jenny.  She’s a nanny, so naturally is amazing with kids.  She also runs and lives in Georgia.  I love a fellow Southerner J Go check her out here!  She went above and beyond for this month’s Cara Box – I’m loving everything! 

Hair clips for the girls – They are flowers & ladybugs and SO CUTE.  Both girls have worn them already.
Bubbles for the girls – Hadleigh & Hayden both have played with them.  Hadleigh actually had me outside minutes after I opened my box!
Reusable Water Bottle – She knew I wanted to get back into working out, so this was perfect!
Candles – They were packaged in mason jars. Southern. I love it.

Basket – cute basket filled with journal, recipe cards, a pen, and an “e” stamp. All great!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ABC's of Thankfulness

I’m linking up with Marquis over at Simply Clarke for the ABC’s of Thankfulness.  I have so much to be thankful for, so I decided it was perfect timing to let everyone know just what I’m thankful for!

Avocados – I’m on a huge avocado kick right now. I love them any day, but I can’t get enough recently
Blogs – Friends blogs, my blog, other blogs…all of them, what they represent, and the whole connection.
Coffee – No explanation needed.
Daniel – The love of my life!
Earrings – I love a fun dangly earring.
Family – Simple. Life would suck without them.
Girlfriends – Talk, Laugh, let loose.  I have the best girlfriends!
Hadleigh & Hayden – they are the other loves of my life!
Income – So thankful to have two coming into this household.
Jeans – love them
Kisses – yep.
Love – It’s what I live for.
Marriage – Such a great but hard honor to have.
Naps – I can’t sleep late, so naps are a nice treat.
Ocean – Take me there!
Planes – Love them so we can have the opportunities to travel
Questions – As much as I hate admitting this...I love questions.
Relax – Who doesn't love to relax?
Sweet Tea – Cannot live without it.
Technology – Even if it is bad sometimes, I still love it.
Underwear – a Must. Thankful for whoever came up with this amazing idea.
Voice – Love that everyone has a voice.
Wine – Love red. Love white. Love blush.
Xel Ha – Resort area Daniel and I visited on our honeymoon.  It was so fun!
Yellow Sun – Good moods when the sun is shining.
Zoo – Love seeing all the animals!

Memorial Weekend Recap

I’m just getting back into the swing of things since this weekend!  I took a couple days off before and after to get some time in with Daniel and the girls, since I was gone Friday-Sunday.  It was a great break with some friends, but I was happy to see my little family on Sunday!

Topsail Beach was so nice!  I had not been before and it did not disappoint.  All the girls came into town on Friday, so we settled and chatted before getting ready for dinner.  The taxi company really came through for us by showing up with a bus! Amazing!  Dinner was delicious and then we headed across the street to a small bar where they were hosting Karaoke.  So.Much.Fun.  12 girls rolling into the bar and immediately took over the “stage” and microphones.  Everyone in the bar probably wanted to kill us, but we didn’t care.  We were those girls.

Saturday we all woke up and pretty much immediately got ready for the beach.  Packing drinks, snacks, and lunches so we wouldn’t have to go back to the house.  I was dumb and put ZERO sunscreen on.  After the first 90 minutes, I was told I was pretty red, so I did put suntan lotion on from then on out.  Didn’t matter.  I was burnt to a crisp.  And I got lectured by two of my girlfriends.  Honesty at its finest!  I think I finally learned my lesson, and will be wearing sunscreen from now on.  {even though it might only be 8, it’s a step up people!}  Saturday night was a very low key night as we hung inside and made dinner.

Sunday I headed back to RVA and then drove out to my parents River House.  I was so happy to see Daniel and the girls.  Hayden was not happy to see me, so that upset me a little.  I think it was her payback to me for leaving her.  After about 30 minutes, she finally wanted to see me.  Hadleigh was sweet, giving me hugs and kisses.  Once we headed back to our house, we really just hung out and ran a bunch of errands.  Then Last night my sister and nephews came back into town for a short visit to surprise my parents.  We all went to dinner - the kids were ridiculously excited to see eachother!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Social

Best Summer memory as a kid?
In middle school and high school, I loved going to the beach.  Between my family vacation and friends vacations, some summers I'd be there for a month or more in total. Heaven. If only I could get away with doing that these days :)

Favorite summer drink?
Well, Sweet Tea any day but if it's really hot, I just want a big glass of water I can chug.  For an adult beverage - an ice cold beer or chilled wine.

Favorite Summer TV show?

I don't watch anything on TV when it is actually on.  I always DVR shows.  I don't have a very sophisticated list either, but the things I watch are: Revolution, Teen Mom, Married to Jonas, Duck Dynasty, other than those shows - I'm watching Disney Jr or ESPN.

Best outdoor summer activity?

Laying out! I love getting sun.  Being at the pool, river, or beach laying around, playing with the kids in the water. Doesn't get better than that.

Summer vacation essentials?

a nice hat, flip-flops, bathing suit cover-up, snacks, cold beverages, and good company. Done.

Sunday Social

Friday, May 24, 2013

High Five 4 Friday!

1.  This cutie is 10 months today! Holy Moly! 10 Month post update to come later next week.
2.  My loves were playing so well this week together - here's to hoping it lasts!
3.  I'm headed to the River on Sunday evening to be with my hubby, the girls, and both of our parents for the night. 
4.  This is the reason I won't be at the river until Sunday evening. I'm headed to Topsail Beach for the weekend!
5.  Topsail beach with these 3 girls and a bunch of other lovely ladies! We will be celebrating my friend Mary  as she is getting married at the end of June. 

What do you guys have planned on this holiday weekend??

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Photo Dump

So, Daniel took some photos of the girls and I on Mother’s Day…well tried to. It’s so hard to get them to sit still, look at the camera, actually look happy and/or content.   Here’s what the series looks like…

Arm chewing and picking at an ear - check!

They both look like they are trying to get away


Even better of the girls , but me? We won't even go there!

aww sad.

You have to be animated when you have kids!

I'm the only one in on this picture

Action shot of a tickle fest!

We thought maybe the sitting on each others laps would work...clearly it didn't

Whew! I’m exhausted looking back on it J It definitely takes a lot for us to get a good picture out of everyone – where everyone is looking at the camera.  I love all of these pictures for different reasons. Although we aren’t looking and smiling in the pictures, we had fun on this day and are living it up! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May is For Moms - An Interview with my Child(ren) {Link-up}

This week I attempted to interview Hadleigh.  Her imagination is running WILD these days, so you never know what the heck she is going to come up with.   I didn’t really get much out of her…

What is your favorite thing that you and I do together? Toys

What is something important I have taught you that you will always remember? (i.e. Be nice to everyone, Always make your bed, etc.) I had to ask this a little different and give an example of sharing with her sister.  She repeated me pretty much by saying "Share my toys" and then proceeded to tell me that Hayden hit her head and then they had to go to the hospital.  The girl loves the doctor and wants to go to the hospital any chance she gets. For the record, Hayden did not hit her head and we did not go to the hospital.

What is your most special memory about me? play with toys and play with my tea party

What is something nice I always say to you? I don’t know (she was over the questions by now)  I always always praise her.  I make sure I tell her how pretty she is, how smart she is, and what a good job she is doing.  It’s a tough world we live in, so I’m, really big on making sure she has self-confidence.

How are you and I the same? How are we different?  I don’t know.

I know it wasn’t too much of an interview, but I will cherish the answers she said. I love playing toys with her!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Keeping up with Kaitlyn

Today I’d like to introduce you to my blog “big” Kaitlyn at Keeping up with Kaitlyn.  She’s been so helpful with all my questions I have for her concerning anything and everything! This blog world is so exciting, but a bit intimidating and she has been great!  Meet Kaitlyn:

Hi everyone! My name is Kaitlyn and I blog over at Keeping up with Kaitlyn. I just graduated college (YAY!!) and have moved back home. I plan to go back to school to get my nursing degree. I blog about my everyday musings as I try to find my place in this world!

Just me at Disney World, wearing a tutu! NBD
Today I'm sharing with you FIVE FUN FACTS!

1// I was born on Christmas Eve and the nursing brought me to my mom's room in a stocking (after having a little bath) and I use it still to this day as my stocking on Christmas morning!

2// I'm a pretty indecisive person. For example, I'll walk around a store with a clothing item debating whether to get it or not, while I look around at everything else and end up putting it away in the end because I can't decide.

3// I don't like tomatoes, but I do LOVE ketchup, salsa and spaghetti sauce. Anyone else like this?

4// I never played an organized sport, but I did horseback ride and do ballet throughout my childhood.

At a horse show in 2008 

Throwback to my senior solo dance in 2009

5// I switched my major twice during college (biology to international affairs) and now I'm returning to school to get a bachelors in nursing. Told you I was indecisive!

Thanks for letting me take over your blog today Erin!

We are both the indecisive type J  Don’t forget to Check out her blog and read all about her life as a new graduate! Congrats Kaitlyn!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day at Maymont

We originally had planned on going to the Zoo, but they are closed on Sundays (who makes their schedule?! Fail)  We decided to go to Maymont, which is a local estate with a petting zoo, gardens, a nature center, and lots of lawns to relax on.  It was perfect.
We started things at the petting zoo.  Hadleigh had been talking about “seeing the animals” all morning and I was excited for her to see them.  She loved the chickens and the birds the most.  She was very hesitant around the goats and HATED the donkey & the bison.  I couldn’t even stop to look at either because she was telling me “no no no no no mama! You go this way!” as she was pointing the opposite direction.  It was funny, but we really thought she would enjoy all of the animals.  Hayden took everything in – just going along with whatever we were doing.

They have a Japanese Garden section that has stones you can walk across the pond on.  This was Hadleigh’s favorite part by far.  Daniel and I took turns taking her and letting her jump the stones.

We walked uphill and up steps with a double stroller.  Well, Daniel was really in charge of the double stroller, but I had to help him lift it…not fun.  After you get to the top of the hill, you come out to the lawns.  So many people were out having picnics with their families.  It was really busy, but the place is so big, you didn’t really notice too much.  We laid out a blanket, had snacks, took some pictures, and rested before we started our walk to the Nature Center.

We hadn't been in the Nature Center before, so we decided to pay the $3 for Hadleigh to at least see the otter.  They had turtles, snakes, fish, and an owl throughout the center.  Hadleigh was too busy running to the next thing to see, so she didn't really take too much in.  At the end, the otter demonstration was going on, so we stopped and watched that for a few minutes. 

After the Nature Center we started the walk back to the car.  The girls were tired from the playing and mommy and daddy were tired from the walking! So happy my mother's day was spent with the 3 people who have made me being a mommy possible!  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May is for Moms - An Interview with my Mothers! {Link-up}

I’m back again this week (a little late) with the May is for Moms series.  Since I have an amazing mother and mother-in-law, I decided to ask them both these questions.  Obviously, my mother-in-law is answering in regards to my husband, Daniel.
My mom & I

Daniel's Mom & I 

They're both beautiful, aren't they?

How did you feel the moment you found out you were pregnant with me?
My Mom:  Very excited
Daniel’s Mom: very happy-finally 

Was I a wonderful surprise or carefully planned?
My Mom:  carefully planned
Daniel’s Mom:  planned for a long while

What was the most challenging time in my childhood? Why?
My Mom:  Middle & High School - you challenged and debated just about EVERYTHING
Daniel’s Mom:  Second year; a lot of ear infections, problems breathing when sleeping due to enlarged adenoids

Did you worry more about me as a child or now that I am an adult?
My Mom:  as a child
Daniel’s Mom:  Worried more as a child; pretty fearless

What is one thing that you thought was deeply important when I was a baby that you now realize did not matter at all?
My Mom:  I can't recall anything, as I wasn't passionately intense or much of a worrier, as your dad did enough to that for the both of us.
Daniel’s Mom:  hitting the milestones, walking, talking, etc.  He accomplished all of these things in his own time

I love hearing how they both answered these questions!  It’s not every day you ask questions like these and being a mother myself – can 100% relate.  Don’t they wish we understood back then?! I know, I know…payback is a… J

Friday, May 10, 2013

High Five 4 Friday!!

1.  This beauty was parked outside of the hotel I stayed at for two nights this week.  Unfortunately, it’s not real.  How cool would it be if it was?!

2.  Just a little glimpse of my life at the conference.

3.  They happened to have a photo booth there as well, so I took full advantage.

4.  I missed this face while I was gone.  Here she is showing me that she put makeup on her eyes and cheeks. Oh my. It’s definitely my lipstick she found in my purse.

5.  I also missed this face, who just so happened to start crawling for real last night!

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Monday, May 6, 2013

May is for Moms - An Interview with Myself {Link-up}

I should have linked up yesterday, but I was so busy hanging out with the girls and getting ready for my work trip.  Here’s to hoping Wednesday evening gets here super fast so I can go get kisses from all three of my loves!

I saw this link up and I thought it was a neat series to be a part of.  Stay tuned for the next two weeks to see an interview with my mom (hey mom! I’ll be asking you some questions soon!) and an interview with Hadleigh (we’ll see how that goes!)

First up is me J Let’s do this!

Before you ever even had children, how did you feel about being a mother?
I have always wanted to be a mother.  I have always gravitated towards babies and little kids. I loved helping and babysitting whenever I could.  I just knew in my heart r

Since becoming a mother, what is something that has happened that you never thought would?
I never thought I would have as much mommy guilt as I do.  I never thought I could love two little girls so.freaking.much. I never thought a 2.5 year old could be so funny.  I could go on and on….and on.

Is being a mother less difficult, more difficult or exactly how difficult you imagined?
I’m not sure I really knew what to expect beforehand.  You hear stories about it being hard, but you don’t pay attention or really know until you live it.  There are times when I feel I’m rocking it and other times I feel like I’ll never get things right.

What is your fondest memory of being a mother (so far)?
I have to choose one?! There’s no way I can choose just one – or one for each daughter for that matter!  I’ll pick one for each, but it’s definitely not the only!
Hadleigh – When she says “I wuv you mommy” or (ok I lied I can’t stop) the time I was putting make-up on in the car and she goes “mommy, you putting make-up on?” I said “yes, baby” then she says “you’re so pretty”
Hayden – She just started saying mama yesterday and in the right context. I had her sitting on the floor and she wanted to be picked up by me, so she started saying/whining “mama, mama” It’s great hearing those words for the first time. Then of course I love how much love she has for her big sister already.

If your children only learn one life lesson from you, what do you hope it is?
These are tough!  That they are strong & beautiful & capable of anything.  It’s a scary world (am I 40?!) out there and girls are so hard on each other, so I’m really trying to let them know how beautiful they are and how strong and capable they are of anything. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

With Mother’s Day coming up, I figured I’d put together a few things I would love to get {hint, hint}  I figured maybe some of you could use some of these ideas if you’re having a hard time for the mother in your life.

  1. Watch – I love this watch. For someone who doesn't ever wear one regularly, I don’t see the point in spending a ton of money on one. This is perfect.
  2. Dress – I’m obsessed with the peach and coral in this dress! It’s a beauty from Ella Madison Boutique.
  3. Dress – Another from EllaMadison.  I had to put both because I couldn't pick just one. Something about Chevron & Coral gets me!
  4. VCU T-shirt – My VCU Shirts are beginning to be pretty worn, so I think it’s time for a replacement.
  5. New Kent Winery – It’s a local winery around here. I’ve been, but it would be nice to get away on a nice day – drink some wine – enjoy the sites.  It’s a gorgeous winery!
  6. Jewelry - Super Cute necklace & earring set from Charles Emerson Designs. She has all sorts of good stuff & she’s local. Two plus’ in my book!
  7. Shoes – I love these teal wedges from Target! No explanation needed.
  8. Giraffe – ha, no I do not want a giraffe.  I do however want a family day at the local zoo. I’ve been bugging my husband for a while now, and we haven’t made it there yet.  Hadleigh would love it and there’s no better mother’s day than seeing your kids happy.
  9. Card – I love love love a good card.  I found this one on etsy and it’s cute cause your child gets to fill in the blanks.  With a 2.5 year old – the answers can get pretty amusing!

What are you planning on getting the mothers in your life?

The pictures used are all from the websites of the places that the list links to.