Friday, July 22, 2016

H54F || No Rest

No time for rest.  No time for sleep.  Too much to do!  What I would give for a dose of Cam's energy these days!  Anyway.  Happy Fri-yay:)  The first days of school & crisp fall eves are creeping up on us.  I'm reminded everyday by the school supplies that are quickly creeping their way onto store shelves & the "dog days" of summer.  I mean, how much hotter can it get?  Right!?!  

This week in a nutshell...
1. BUDGET.  After a rough couple of weeks (me working minimal hours d/t school being out,  vacation- for hubby to come back to a layoff & new job) we are back to our budgeting (& working) ways & I feel so much more organized & "with it" again.  I can't stand feeling sloppy in this area after we first decided to start this at the beginning of the year.  We've set big goals for our little family & with God's help...he's going to help us meet them:)

2.  No Rest For the Rad.  Is it just me or is this everyones life?  I swear- I start getting mine ready for bed around 7 pm & it seems like it always turns into 11pm before they finally give up the fight.  At THAT point, I'm too tired to put one foot in front of the other to get a n y t h i n g accomplished!  While I will be happy when Conley lets me rest again, I know this is only temporary & one day I will wish I had this time back.  I've said it before & I'll say it again...I'll sleep when I'm dead...or retired from life:)

3.  Preschool Prep.  It turns out, we've hardly had ANY pre-kers (a whopping maximum of THREE) attend our summer camp the past two weeks!  So, Mr. Camster has reaped the benefits.  He has gotten to play with us several days!  He is in hog heaven:)  He still has a year, but I know he is going to be so ready for preschool when his time comes.  If my heart (& my mr.'s) can just handle it!  (We couldn't even hardly handle Camp Carnival for an hour on vacation...YIKES!)

4.  Three Year Check Up. Okay, let me just set the stage for this little tale.  Cam has tagged along with me to Conley's doctor appointments & witnessed "the shot" experience over & over this past year.  When it was his turn for a check up this past week, he continuously chirped all the way there how he hoped he WOULD NOT have to have a shot.  Everyone we encountered in the pediatricians office...the receptionist, medical assistants, fellow children & parents, the doctor... he made SURE he told them, "I don't want a shot!"  

Well y'all.  He had to have one.

So.  I decided to prep him before the nurse came in with the shot tray.  Cue the dramatic crying & shouting.  "Get me outta here, mom!"  Heart breaking.  Maybe a few giggles too.  When that didn't work, he said, "I've gotta hide!"  He crawled out of my lap & under the chair until the nurse came in when he, you guessed it, told her he did not want a shot.  Lots of giggles & then I snugged him close til it was over.  My brave boy.

You could say we survived "the shot" & made a few memories in the process:)  Oh, what a task it will be to prep him for the next one!

5.  Annnddd, I'm just going to leave this little gem right here...(insert laugh cry emoji)
Enjoy your weekend! 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Nutella Iced Coffee

Nutella flavored coffee stole my heart about four years ago.  My cousin owned a local coffee shop & when I had the rare Saturday to stop by, I'd grab her Nutella flavored coffee.  I n s t a n t love:)  I doesn't take much to make me happy.  

Fast forward to about a month ago, I stumbled upon a coffee shop in Wilmington, NC that listed Nutella ICED coffee on the menu.  Score!:)  You better believe I ordered one up.  And from that moment on, I've dreamed of another.  SO.  I decided to try & come up with a recipe myself!  I don't know about you, but I could use a Nutella Iced Coffee at the end of my day occasionally as well as forgo the crazy $5ish dollar price tag.

So here it is, after several attempts with experimenting, my best take on Nutella Iced Coffee from the comforts of home:)

1 cup chilled black coffee  
1 tsp vanilla
1 TB nutella
1 tsp natural peanut butter
1 packet of trivia
1/4 cup of cream
coffee ice cubes
chocolate syrup (optional)

make 1 cup (I used keurig) of black coffee.
pour into metal bowl/cup & chill in freezer for 10 minutes.
meanwhile, whisk vanilla, nutella, peanut butter, trivia, & cream together.
blend whisked mixture with chilled coffee (i used ninja) until frothy.

pour over coffee ice cubes & enjoy!

Unless you feel adventurous & want to add some chocolate syrup:)

If you're brave enough to try, let me know what you think!
happy coffee making;)  
Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Favorites || July Rambles

It seems kind of insignificant to talk about the simple things we enjoyed about our week when so much of the world is mourning actions of hatred & violence.  All I can say today is look UP.  Psalms 121:1 & 2 comes to my mind when I feel fearful of our world & when thinking about raising my babies here: 
 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
In keeping this verse close to mind & heart, I feel at peace.  A peace that only comes from above!  Now.  Though insignificant, I will continue sharing life as lived mid July 2016.  We can't change what happened, but we can encourage one another to think on things "lovely & pure" as we remember one another in prayer.  My lovely & pure things are as follows:)
1. Conley is STANDING!  Yes, he is 8 months old & can't crawl!  BUT he can stand:)  Little brother is following in his big brothers foot steps.  Love his sweet baby heart.

2.   Movie Matinees & Play Dates.  We have so enjoyed a week meeting up with friends & those movie matinees to get a break from these last few dog days of summer!  P.S. The Secret Life of Pets is a d o r a b l e & held Cam's attention as good as his large blue icee.
3.  Hallmark Christmas Tradition Marathon in July.  Enough said.  It makes the list again because it brings cozy & warm feelings of Christmas to my heart. #imcornylikethat
4.  Storm Watchin'.  They have been a tad aggressive lately, but there is something about watching a storm blow in on a hot summer day.  It a m a z e s me. (Annnnddd my three year old weather man who constantly monitors my radar on the weather channel app!)
5. THIS verse.<3

I leave you with the words of Cinderella,
"Have Courage & Be Kind," World<3
Love (GOD is love) is stronger than hate!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Conley Scout || 8 Months

Weight: X lbs X oz. lbs
Birth: 7 lbs 14 oz
Width:  X inches
No doc appt this updates!

Let's just face the facts.  I am horrible at being on time with my children's monthly updates.  But here I am at 11:08 pm typing away, even if it feels like ripping off a toenail tomorrow morning when my alarm goes off to rise & shine for work.  My blog will be updated...priorities, right?  Gotta give myself credit for this one (eye rolling myself right now)

My little Conley.  Where to begin?  His personality has arrived in month eight like never before.  He knows just how to get exactly what he wants, & he's not afraid to do it.  He is o b s e s s e d with Cam.  All he wants to say is dada & he has the best gummy smile of all time simply because he's full of it.  When he gets excited he makes this AH sound that is similar to a duck quack.  He slaps his hand down & beats his high chair when he thinks something is r e a l l y tasting good.  And if little brother is in a good mood?  He will have his little tongue stuck out waiting for you to do anything (were talking give a dog a treat) to set off his giggle box.

whats new...

water, being tickled (he is SO ticklish), smiling, being in someones arms toted around to look at everything, hanging upside down, flirting with girls till they hold him, laughing, sticking his tongue out, eating, riding in the car, splashing, gumming on paper, puppies, being outside

sitting down to play by himself, getting his hair washed, when Cam tackles him or tries to rip his head off (who can blame the poor little fella?), life jackets, having to be still throughout the movie, pacifiers

play & cognitive development
Little brother is l a z y & totally content with being a mommy's boy.  He is all about mommy toting him everywhere.  So this limits a lot of the mobility he should be achieving at this time.  He is, however, getting tired of not being able to move around like his big brother.  Conley can sit like nobody's business.  From the sitting position, he can pretty much get in any other position he'd like including pulling up on things (though it can be a struggle for him).  He can, I guess you'd call it, army crawl, as he scoots around on his belly mad as a hornet.  We've been trying to teach him to wave.  He has mastered the little rascals he man woman haters club wave, but for a traditional wave-he pretty much just sticks his hand in the air and holds it there.  It won't be long before he will be talking away with big brother, running so fast I can't keep up, & getting into everything.  That's something I've learned this time around-enjoy & don't rush:)

He is a fan of food.  If you can't tell by his leg rolls, then maybe his triple chin will do it for you:)  Conley basically loves everything other than mashed potatoes.  And that's basically because he was foundered on them during the cruise.  He still likes to nurse.  The blue cape still makes those little legs kick but I think it's mainly a comfort kinda thing.  This little boy rarely culls anything!:)  Let's just hope that continues in the coming years!

He's sleeping good at night!  He fights all throughout the day but at night...he may not want to go at my scheduled time of 8:30 for him, but when he's out & I'm with him (form your opinion as you like:) he's good.  I do however have the occasional "where do you sleep?" comment when someone sees our sleeping arrangement.  But I always find a way!  During the day, I'm lucky if he takes a good 2 hour nap in the morning.  Occasionally he'll doze off for a VERY short evening nap-but very rarely.

eight month photo dump

Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday Favorites || Post Vacay

The days following the fourth mean one thing, & one thing only.  It's time to prepare & hype up the excitement for F A L L of the year.  I even made myself start planning Conely's First Birthday Party (because, you guessed it.  It will be a fall theme of course:)  One of the many reasons I was so excited to have a Fall baby!  Not only that, but I'm feeling a bit Christmasy as'll see why below  

Here are some highlights of our week to share along with the girls & bloggers of High Five for Friday (H54F) & Friday Favorites.  What were the highlights of YOUR week? :)

1.  Pictures.  I went on a picture printing f r e n z y this week!  I'm one of those people who prefer books to ebooks.  I like real pages to feel & turn when I finish reading a page.  I like to write my grocery list on a piece of paper & mark things off rather than typing it into my phone & pressing backspace to delete.  Call me old fashioned, but it's my preference.  As for pictures, you'd think the opposite as I am terrible to print & share, but lately I have made more of an effort.  Now to find where to put them...frames or albums?  
2.  Christmas in July.  Anybody else enjoying Hallmark's Christmas Keepsake Holiday Preview in July marathon?  I sure am!  Okay, so it doesn't officially start until today, but they have been airing Christmas movies all week!  I plan to buy up some hot chocolate, turn the AC extra low, grab a cozy blanket & end the day with at least one movie every night this week.  I am sooooo excited:-)
3.  July...Resolutions?  Yes.  I mentioned yesterday how I have been thinking a lot & reflecting on life.  I truly desire to be more intentionally prayerful & to trust in God with all my heart & to put Him first in my life.  Please pray for me as I try to do what he would have me to do.  

4.  Finding Dory in 3D.  This kind of goes along with my little resolutional thinking.  I'm trying to give my full attention to the boys when I'm with them.  They are growing so fast & I want our time together to be quality time.  SO...Thursday we decided to do a mid-day matinee for the 3D Finding Dory.  Conley flopped all over me the entire time (maybe he was taking note from the fish out of water in the movie...) & Cam was totally consumed with his giant ICEE & glued to the movie until about 10 minutes til' the end.  He became restless.  "When is it going to stop!?"  Totally another - #whenyourthree moment, but he claimed he LOVED it as we were leaving.
5.  Three New Christmas Ornaments.  While we were cruising, we picked up three ornaments from each place we went...a fun tradition for us when we go to a unique place or shop!  Our first stop, we found our ornament in "Hemp Heaven."  Yes.  It's just what you are thinking.  A shop for pot accessories.  But for some odd reason, they had a Christmas Tree in the windows & it was like a tractor beam...sucked me right in.  
Brownie points if you can guess what movie that quote is from!  
And I totally had to get Cam's picture to commemorate the moment.  There weren't many options to choose from people, okay??  Laughing.
In Grand Cayman, we found a sea turtle Santa ornament to remind us of our visit to the Sea Turtle Farm.  Cam also broke an ornament in the shop here.  After he had been told 3,453 times to be careful - everything there was b r e a k a b l e.  Boy moms out there, hear me when I say, e s p e c i a l l y when your son thinks he is HULK 99.9% of the time, ain't n o b o d y got time for a shop like that.

In Cozumel, I had the hardest time finding any ornament at ALL.  They were all glass pinatas & we a l l know how that will go over with two little boys.  I finally found a wooden hand painted fish & it had to do.  I figured it would remind us of our trip to the beach where we were supposed to "snot-nel";)    

I know it's High FIVE for Friday, but I have to do a sixth thing's why:
6.  Cam's first independent prayer.  I've been trying to explain prayer more to Cam since he is old enough to talk to God rather than continue to do our repetitive prayer he loves from Sunday School.  He has gotten where he is silly & I can tell it just isn't very meaningful to him-more of a routine.  I figured that might be the cue needed to go to the next level of prayer!  He hasn't really caught on until last night.  I don't think my heart could ever be prouder.  I asked him if he wanted me to pray or if he wanted to.  He said, "You pray!" I started, then he said, "No, I'll do it!"  Here it is...Cam's First Prayer:)

Dear God, Thank you for today.  
Thank you for our families.
Thank you for the movies.
Thank you for the food.
Thank you for the drinks.
Thank you for California & the rain.
Thank you for our families.

Is that not precious?  A prayer of praise.
He is worthy of our praise!
And I'm not sure where California came from but HEY...I'll take it!
The things we can learn from our babies;)
Happy Fri-yay!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Happy Birthday, AMERICA!

Another Fourth of July, come & gone!  Can you guys believe we are in the middle of the year?  My baby boy is inching closer & closer to a big ONE year old.  As much as I look forward to Fall, I'd like to prolong that just a little longer:)
I am still trying to get back into the swing of our old routine.  I start working 5 days a week next week (sorry for those of you that work that in general!) but only for half a day.  I do think I'm somewhat ready to get back to some kind of routine as the boys have been wilder & crazier than ever, lately!  We are all creatures of habit & function better that way:)

 Cam swam all week & then came to the lake acting terrified of water #whenyourthree...
And apparently, when your eight months old, life jackets & the lake just aren't your thing.  Conley flipped out about the lake too & that was that.  Soooooo, we turned into our pj's early, strapped on all the festive dollar store gear we could fit on our bodies, & stuffed our faces with key lime pie (okay, maybe that part was just me).  I blame all of this on the fact that we are still trying to recuperate from all the travel. 
We didn't make any fireworks this year, but that's okay.  Sparklers (or "lightners" as Cam calls them) for the win!  He would swirl them around & scream:
In honor of America's birthday, we did a laughably e a s y Fourth version of French toast!
We followed this recipe using texas toast (yet substituted 1 TB truvia for sugar) & garnished with festive colored fruit, then crushed up some blue & red fruit loops to add more blue & red color.
  It was too good, people.

In all seriousness, I've been doing a lot of thinking & reflecting lately.  I'm just that kind of person.  So many times I forget to thank God for all he has done for me.  
Praise should be on my tongue every second of my day.  

I'm ashamed to say, it's a constant battle to put him first in my life.  I get so consumed with my personal life & work, that I put him on the back burner...  I just want to be honest.  
I want to thank HIM for giving us the freedom we have here in America, a day to have fun, people who made such a selfless sacrifice that we could enjoy day's like "America's Birthday," and for my family.  Nothing is possible without Him.  
Thank you, Lord for all your blessings on me! 
I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth:)
Now it's time to put up Fall decorations.  Who's with me?
Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Aruba, Jamacia, Ooooo I Wanna Take Ya...

to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, that's where we wanna goooo...

When you think back on your vacation & words like, "snot-neling" & "Donald Trunk" keep coming to the surface...I think it's safe to say you had a memorable time.  And oh the memories we made:)

I was a l i t t l e leary of taking two "babies" on a Carnival cruise when we started toying with the idea.  We initially wanted to go on a Disney cruise & somehow we discarded the idea & went with more familiar territory.  
Two under three, flying twice to get on & off a big boat, going out of country (having to purchase passports), for 7 days just made me a teeny bit nervous.  
Other than waiting in the Miami Heat (no pun intended) for what I'd sum up to be 3-4 hours with two babes before we could board the ship, I'd say everything exceeded my expectations.  Now I wouldn't get all crazy & call it a restful trip, but I would call it a good time together:)
We had two days at sea & three stops along the way...Jamaica, Grand Cayman, & Cozumel.    We got off the ship every time & did two excursions.  It's kind of hard with a three year old & 8 month old as most excursions require you to be at least 6.  So we opted for a sea turtle farm & a beach/shopping trip.  
Conley was all about any kind of water //give me the opportunity & this little 8 month body of mine will go head first diving into the pool, people//, while Cam was sure the Sharks ate bread NOT people, so they would just give him a high five.  Conley ate bananas & mashed potatoes the entire trip >>>he no longer wants to ever see a potato (without ketchup) again.  Cam was way more interested in the "slood" (flood) that happened while we were on the Grand Cayman Islands than the Sea Turtle Farm.  I swear he is going to be a meteorologist one day.
Cam loved Pina Coladas.  In fact, he guzzled one down in approximately 35 seconds jumped in the pool & threw up everywhere.  It was one of those, did that just happen what do we do kind of moments where you freak out.  So.  We slowly, discretely, creeped our way to the other end of the ship to pool.  Yep, it was nap time.  

Conley Scout is s p o i l e d rotten.  Little brother got to sit without a carseat the minute we left Atlanta until the minute we got back IN the car in Atlanta...why aren't you people holding me?? #aintnobodygottimeforthat
Cam refused to "snotnel" (snorkel) though he whined for "snotnel's" from day three of the trip on.  I could say snotnel 45,354 times & I'd still be laughing.  The things this little homeboy comes up with.  
Cam loved coming in the room after breakfast every morning to find a new towel animal & Conley loved tearing them up & shoving them down his throat.  Cam made it a mandatory ritual to go to the arcade after dinner every night, while Conley made it mandatory ritual that he was to be under his blue nursing cape at 9 pm every night during the shows.

Cam picked up every dead leaf he could find on our walk in Jamaica for me, while Conley tried to eat them.  Cam got a marionette (or puppet as he likes to think) in Cozumel that he named "Samuel"(after our puppet from bible school) & Conley got seven bananas & scored a few tastes of whip cream, french toast, & pancakes. #secondchildperks
  Little brother likes to eat.
Speaking of food...  Hello, chocolate lover's buffet.  I need to go on a fasting cleanse diet or whatever the routine is where you like don't eat food for a month...RIGHT.  That would happen right after Conley decides he can quit being obsessed with nursing like a newborn. :P
The Mr. got sunburned the FIRST day at sea.  I need some sun, he said.  I won't wear any sunscreen, he said.  It will be fun, he said...okay he didn't say THAT, but he thought it I'm sure.  #worstdecisionofalltime
See below: He also forgot his sunglasses aboard & wore his sisters while in Cozumel...
Yes, sunburns are terrible, but he didn't let a second go by without reminding everyone how pitiful his situation was.  a l l w e e k...he walked around like a 405 year old woman, rubbed his nipples constantly, peeling his skin off.  He glowed in the dark, guys!  Neon pink!  
 To love in sickness or in health.  To love in sickness or in health. 
I kid:)
In all honesty, I wish I could have listened to him complain more because the night before he had to leave I just laid in his lap & cried.  Let it out before the boys & I had to watch him get on the plane again for another five weeks or longer.  Okay, that's my sad spill-no more!  
As we were walking back to our terminal, Cam, my 45 lb three year old, asked me to carry him.  I pretty much have been lugging him around all week so why not max my bench press record in children & carry both at the same time?:)  It was worth it...
  Cam snugged in close to my chest & said, "You got your boys mom."  
Okay, I lost it for a second.  He looked at me & said, "Mommy.  Are you crying or laughing?"  He had little tears forming in his eyes as well.  I told him he made me smile & he pulled it together & said we will see Daddy tomorrow.  
I like the way he thinks:)
And here we are.  Another tomorrow.  8 hours of waiting at the airport,  1,243 jogs back & forth between the terminal seating & convenience shop yelling "Ready, set, go--I won'd!", learning the correct way to pronounce Donald "Trunk", & Cam asking me if my Real Simple magazine was God's holy word later.  We're here.
How have your summer vacations went?  Is it as hard for you to put into words as it is for me?  
Much love:)