Thursday, June 23, 2016

Our daily routine...

As hard as it may be, I really LOVE being a stay at home mom.  I love taking care of Emma and the house, and my husband.  Sorry...that's so corny and lame:)
Around 6am, I get up.  Brent sometimes (about 2-3 days a week) gets up before then to workout - sometimes at 4:45 (ugh..).  Most of the time, I am up before 6, which doesn't bother me because I like to eat and have coffee in peace.  Emma *used* to get up around 7-7:30.  But this past week, she has gotten up at 6:30ish.  This isn't so bad, because she's in a good mood.  It just makes for a LONG day....and I mean LLLLLOOOOONNNNGGGGGG.
Anywho....I eat the same breakfast everyday.  Since January.  I may have a problem. (In case you care, it's Quaker's Steel cut oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts.)
Emma has started coming out of her room on her own.  She used to just sit up in bed and wait for us to come get her.  One morning a week or so ago, she opened her door on her own, turned her fan off, shut her door, and came looking for us.  Now, it's her routine.  I kind of like's a sense of independence for her, and I don't have to keep checking the monitor to see if she's up or not.
She drinks chocolate milk, religiously, every morning while watching some her shows on TV.  (I have no idea where she gets her sense of routine from!!??)
If Brent works out, he gets home around 6:40, makes himself some breakfast, and watches TV with us.  I usually am checking my phone and drinking coffee - anything to drown out kid TV.  He normally leaves before 8am.
I usually have made childcare reservations at the gym around 9 or so, so we leave the house about 8:45.  Emma prefers wearing dresses, and getting dressed herself.  This adds about 15 minutes to what used to be a 3 minute process.  I have gotten into a little routine at the gym and I am loving it.  I also love, as weird as it sounds, that I'm usually the youngest one in my classes:)   I feel like all these mother hens watch out for me - except at Ballet Burn - more people my age take that class:)
Mondays: yoga and either elliptical or the bike
Tuesdays: spin class
Wednesdays: yoga at lunch
Thursday: Ballet Burn
Emma has no problems whatsoever going into childcare, and I love it.  I am not fighting her to go, and she has a great time.  I love having some time to myself, too:)
Afterwards, we run errands - usually the grocery store or whatever needs to be done for the day.  Sometimes, I'll take us to lunch.  And once a week or so, I try and take her in the pool with me after my workout and we will swim for a bit, then shower at the gym.  She really likes doing this together.
During the afternoon, I try and have rest time for Emma.  She *was* napping, but has since stopped.  I may try it again....not sure.  I do make her either rest in her room or on the couch with a movie.  I use this time to clean, do laundry, or make jewelry.  And sometimes I just veg out and do something mindless like watch my own TV:)
After rest time, we either run another errand (depending on whether we have been out of the house enough!!), or go outside and play on the playset.  She loves her playset and has such a good time on it.  The weather has been nice, so I have not minded being out there one bit.
I am trying to do one fun thing with Emma a week - lake trip, movies, museum, park, fun errand (like the candy store), story-time, play-date, etc..  (today we are going to see Finding Dory)
I try and have dinner ready by 6:30 when Brent gets home.  We are trying to eat healthier - but I am all about some easy recipes...any suggestions???  I am running out of ideas:(
Dinner time is usually chaotic - we are both yelling at Emma trying to get her to eat or stay in her chair, etc...  It really is exhausting.  And by this point in the day, I am done.  Emma is sweet, but she pushes the limits and can definitely be defiant.  Triggers seem to be: meal time, getting ready to go anywhere, getting ready for bed, and getting in the car.  I have no idea how people with multiple kids get anywhere on time - they must leave like an hour early just to be there 10 minutes late. 
We try and get Emma to bed by 7:30-8.  This is a challenge.  She gets this sudden burst of energy about this time and I feel like we live in a circus trying to get her pj's on and her upstairs.  Someone usually loses it (me), and I have to walk away for a few minutes.  We brush teeth, and use the potty (Emma has stopped pull-ups at night and has done great so far), and read 2 books.  Then one of us stays with her for a minute or two to says goodnight.  We take turns, but Brent gets to do it more since he is gone all day (oh, and my patience has ended at this point too - I'll own that).
Once Emma is in bed, we usually clean up the kitchen, and make coffee for the next day.  By this time, we are both so tired, and it's only like 8:30 (we suck).  We love to watch Parenthood on Netflix, or Fixer Upper.  Most of the time, we are in bed by 9-9:30, and I always fall asleep before Brent. there's a typical day.  This was a super boring post, but I know I will want to look back on it someday.
Some things on my mind lately:
Emma has been getting up earlier, going to bed later, and not napping.  What. the. heck.
I need to get Emma some swim lessons.  And even then, I have no idea how I won't freak out watching her go under the water and play on her own without swimmies.
Why won't my child eat?
It's been 3 weeks at home, and I'm already needing a break.  I'm sure that's normal, but Emma may be going to camp earlier than planned this summer......whoever invented summer camps was a genius.
I need to work on patience.  I have none these days.  I go from sweet mom to Mrs. Trunchbull in 20 seconds.  I hate it, but my fuse is short these days:(
I have a lot of house and yard work to do....I feel so overwhelmed.  I have no idea when I'll get it done.  I think I've passed the stressed out point and have just given up:(
I could go on and on, but I know no one cares!!  I'm off to make more jewelry for an etsy order and an appointment at a local store Friday:)  Then it's yoga and the movies for me and Emma!  Happy day to all!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Life lately

We are having a good time so far this summer!  Here's a look at what our life has been like lately....
On a recent grocery store trip, Emma wanted to stop and take a picture by this tree (???), so I obliged. 

I had to take Emma to work with me one morning (she did great, by the way), and we had lunch with dad at Cantina 18 (a great little Mexican place in Cameron Village).  She was being a bit difficult and wanted to climb all over daddy.  Now he gets why I'm so exhausted by the end of the day:)

We met some friends at Carolina Inn for music Friday night, and Emma had fun dancing to the  music.  It rained for about 3 seconds, but just enough to clear out everyone, so it was heavenly to have the lawn to ourselves! I used to love going here, but lately, it's been SOOOO CROWDED.  I am just not into crowds...any other suggestions for fun outside evening activities????

This past weekend, our lake held a tournament, so Emma spent much of the day in the water.  It was an awesome time, but I was exhausted after being in the water and sun all day!  The weather could not have been better - low humidity and cooler temps.

I got Emma these goggles from the bargain section in Target, and she loves them!  I am loving how brave she is getting in the water.


Sunday was Father's Day, and Brent left the lake to go take his dad to lunch in Morehead (they do it every year), so I was solo with this rascal.  We had some moments...she loves to push my buttons and make me upset, so I am trying to ignore her and not let it phase me in hopes that it will stop soon.  But, she is still full of personality...



At the end of the day, my dad was saying goodbye to us and Emma grabbed his hat and insisted on wearing it every way but the right way.



Despite this enthusiasm, she was asleep before we even hit the paved road leaving the lake:)  This week, we are back to our normal routine....more on that in the next post!
I hope everyone is having a great summer so far!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Emma's birthday celebrations

Emma got to celebrate her birthday a few times this year.  Awhile back, we had decided to take her to Great Wolf Lodge for the weekend, instead of having a party. Emma is not a crowd person, and really only has a few friends.  Plus, I knew Emma would rather have the fun with us than have a party at our house with mostly adults and family.  Almost ALL of our friends have kids that are either older or boys, so when we hang out with friends, Emma is always the lone girl:(  Anywho, I wanted her to feel special and I knew she would love this trip. 
But I also wanted her to have a cake and birthday song too, so Thursday night we invited a few people to Chickfila for dinner and cake.  I let Emma pick out her cake Thursday at Whole Foods - she had said she wanted cupcakes, but when we got there, she spotted a cake that she had to have. 
I let her wear whatever she wanted (she picked her butterfly princess outfit and fancy shoes). 



She ad a good time - the weather was beautiful and I know she felt special!
The next morning was her birthday.  Her present this year (besides her trip) was a vanity desk with stool. I got some cute things to put on it (nail polish set and other girlie trinkets), and we snuck it in her room after she fell asleep.  We wanted her to wake up to it in the morning and be surprised.
Well....we surprised her 4:30am.  She must have woken up and saw something different in her room and it spooked her.  She started crying and yelling for us.  After we explained what it was and turned her light on so she could see it, she was pumped.  We told her the birthday fairy must have brought it in and woke her up:)  After a few snuggles, she was able to get back to sleep.  But we were already awake, so Brent went and got us donuts for her birthday breakfast.

This was taken right before her hair caught on fire:0  I saw it immediately and grabbed it with my hand to smother it. She has a few crinkly ends and it stank, but we are all good now.
We got ready, packed up the car, and headed to Great Wolf.  Emma looked so pretty before we left, so we snapped a few pictures.  I can't believe how old she is looking, and I must say...pretty.  I just love her smile and personality.



I was glad Emma fell asleep for part of the way there, because I knew she would be exhausted by the end of the day.

We arrived there right after lunch, and luckily, our room was ready before checkin time.  I had already told them it was her birthday, so Emma got a special birthday  bracelet that let everyone know it was her birthday.  When the staff would see it, they would wish her a happy birthday, and Emma thought she was so cool.  Our room was really nice, and on the first floor close to the waterpark entrance and lobby.  I didn't take many pictures because the nice thing about the lodge is that you don't have to carry money or a room key - it's all tied to your wrist bracelet.  We checked out the waterpark for an hour and so, and then noticed there was an outside part.  Of course, I didn't pack any suncscreen because I thought it was all indoors.  Emma loved the outside pool, so I quickly picked some up.  (Side note: they don't sell generic brand here, just SunBum...which I love, but it's horribly expensive. Lesson learned.)
We played putt putt (Emma's first time!), and then went back to the room to rest and shower. 
We stopped at the arcade and bowling alley, and Emma had a blast!!



We tried hula hopping before dinner in the lobby.

And after dinner, there was a magic show.
We actually didn't stay for story time, because we had plans of relaxing in the room with a movie and falling asleep.  But, to our dismay, they didn't have movie service.  (What??!!)  I thought that really odd for a lodge that caters to kids and families.  We even called the desk to ask.  I can rent a movie at any Holiday Inn, but not at Great Wolf.....go figure.
The next morning, we ate breakfast at the buffet, spent the last of our arcade money, packed up, then headed to the pool.  Even though we checked out at 11, you can still use the waterpark until the end of the day.  Honestly, 1 night was enough.  Emma was already showing signs of being tired, and the waterpark wasn't big enough where it required multiple days.
I relaxed while Brent swam with Emma.  Don't judge...we took turns in the pool.

Because I didn't pack sunscreen or a hat, or anything for an outdoor pool, Brent got these sunglasses for Emma at the lodge.  We posed for a picture:)
I took some pictures of the inside part of the park.  Here is Emma going on the giant slide.  I wasn't sure she would do it at first, and you aren't allowed to ride with someone else.  But she was fearless and had a blast.





After a few hours, I knew we better head home.  As we headed to the car, Emma said she wanted a picture by this rock, but could barely sit up.  (signs of a good birthday trip!)

She fell asleep before we even got to the highway...and the lodge was literally right off I-40:)

We stopped at Lexington BBQ for a late lunch/early dinner - my fave!!  It was a really fun trip, and Emma did so well.  Sometimes, staying in the same room all together can be a challenge.  But Emma did great, despite being exhausted.  I think next time we go, it will be during the week (maybe it won't be so crowded??), and hopefully Emma will have grown an inch to be able to ride the rest of the waterslides. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

A letter for my Emma on her 4th birthday

Dear Emma,
Today you are four.  In some ways, I can't believe it, and it others, I certainly can.  You are so smart...and so much fun to be with.  I love our days together.  You have started to come out of your room in the mornings on your own.  I hear you close your door and pitter patter down the stairs to come see me.  I love it.  It warms my heart to see you become so independent.  And it pains me are a little girl now.  Not a baby, not a toddler...a little, beautiful girl. 
You love to play with your baby dolls, and you always make sure they have everything they need - books, blankets, stuffies, bottles, food, etc...  It sometimes annoys me because we always have so much stuff to take with us for even the simplest outing.  But I'll take it, anyday.
You love to help me grocery shop and get your own cart.  And everything needs to be in your cart...unless it's yucky stuff like vegetables.
You love to have cream cheese happy face raisin bread for breakfast.  And you have chocolate milkie every morning and night. 
Your new saying is "cool donuts" which you learned from me, but tweaked to be your own.  I said "cool beans" one day and you corrected me saying that beans are not cool (so true, my Emma).   But donuts are, so cool donuts it is.
You love, love, love to be with dad when he is home.  So much so that I feel left out a lot.  But the bond you have with him is special, and I am thankful you want to spend so much time with him.  You love helping him outside - it's probably your favorite thing.
You love to watch Curious George, Shimmer and Shine, and Ice Age.  You recite the lines sometimes, and I love it.  You also have a keen eye for what you want - every commercial selling anything you desire is always followed with "Mom, I want that!  Can I have that for my birthday???"  I respond yes because how can I say no to your sweet voice?
You love to organize - a trait I am proud of, for sure.  This is something that will definitely come in handy I the future.  I often find all the crayons moved to another container and organized by color...
You also love scissors.  I was hesitant to give them to you, but you love to cut up pieces of paper, and you follow the rules I don't worry.  You haven't tried to cut your hair yet...hopefully I won't be blogging about that ever.  You cut up your paper and place it in a neat pile in a box.  And you love to make "lists."  You carry it with you on our errands and refer to it.  I have no idea where you got this from:)
Your favorite thing to do in the car is listen to country music.  I am proud, to say the least.  I won't deny that it was probably forced on you, and should you choose to listen to something else, I guess I will oblige.  You love Sam Hunt, Jason Aldean, and Dustin Lynch.  I love hearing you sing the words from the backseat.  But I don't dare look at don't want others to sing or acknowledge the fact that you are singing. 
You are shy and don't like crowds.  You prefer one or two friends close to you.  And this is fine.  I pray you develop sweet, meaningful friendships.
Emma, you are such a precious child.  I fall more in love with the person you are becoming everyday.  You challenge me to become selfless, to love unconditionally, and to be a better person all the time.  You are strong willed, and you push my buttons sometimes, but I know you and God are teaching me lessons.  Lessons on patience, loving, and living in the moment.  I am so thankful God chose me as your mother. 
You are a child of God.... you are wonderfully made, dearly loved, and precious in His sight.
Before God made you, He knew you...there is no one else like you!
Happy Birthday, my

Thursday, June 9, 2016


A few weeks ago, I was at work and got on Facebook.  I noticed a lady in Durham selling an awesome playset for $100, so I quickly texted Brent asking whether he thought I should try to get it.  He said yes (albeit he would have to go get it, take it apart, transport it, then put it back together - and it's not a one man job).  Funny enough, I was lucky to have commented first, because like 20 women after me wanted it (it's first comment gets it on this site).  I was sort of laughing to myself because I could see these other husbands' faces when their wives told them they would be taking on this challenge.  I don't mean to brag, but Brent is BEYOND handy.  And this was no small task.  It took 3 truckloads, and at least 2 men to get the thing to our house...over 2 long evenings. 
Thank you, dad, for dropping everything to help us get it and then put it together:)

We then had to pressure wash and bleach the entire thing.   It is made of cedar, so it cleaned up nicely.  But there were still a few pieces of lumber that needed to be replaced, and it needed a new roof. 
The pile of pieces sat in our yard for a week because we were out of town, and/or it rained.  But this past Tuesday, Brent had off and got to town working on it.  Luckily, the day was not too hot, but he worked his tail off.
He was able to get it put together, minus the roof and picnic table below the treehouse.  Emma and I will stain it next week.  I will take more pics as we get it finished....and I'm sure there will be many, many pics of Emma playing on it.





And excuse the mess, we are still working on our yard plan after completing the shed.  It includes stone paver steps, some planting beds, and a fire pit.  And now, I am thinking we may do some things around the playhouse to make it look like it "belongs" there.  I am loving it - and am so thankful for the hard work Brent does to make our house a home:)