Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Favorites

Here's what I'm loving lately......Happy Friday!!

Bubba water bottles for kids
So, I had used the cute Camelbak ones for Emma and recently decided I was DONE with those - for her and me.  The parts were just too hard to clean, and the mold/mildew that built up in the straw was impossible to get off.  We soaked them in bleach, put them in the dishwasher.....nothing worked.  And it wasn't like I let it sit with a drink for days.  I decided to get a bottle without a straw or any other parts, and this Bubba one is perfect!  They come in all different styles, and both Walmart and Target have them.  Emma loves it, and it's easy to clean!

OFF mosquito home spray

Brent bought this at Lowe's and we have loved having it.  We spray it more than the recommended timeframe, just because our yard backs up to spaces that aren't treated.  It's way cheaper than Mosquito Joe's (which I also hear only works if you and your neighbors go in together).  Emma always gets bites when we are out, and I am paranoid about being the first NC case of it;s been reassuring to have this.  But really, I'm ready for the first freeze and no more bugs in general!!

TRX workout

I have loved this workout!!  It's something I do once a week at the Wellness Center, and also on my own when I go to workout there.  It's so customizable, and works every muscle you could ever want.  I love that I can control the movements, and feel secure that I am hanging on to something (in case I lose my balance)  My plan is to continue until the babe arrives:)

Beautycounter tint skin, dew tint

So I could rave on and on about ALL of Beautycounter's products....and probably will in later posts.  I was never really into "safe" beauty, and still am not overly concerned about it, but I love these products because they honestly just work.  (I would read the Never List of ingredients that they refuse to use in their's eye opening for sure!) I had the dew tint (#3) for summer and loved it - it is so soft, silky, and lightweight.  It was just enough coverage for me - not to cover all my freckles, but enough that I looked put together for everyday.  I went with the tint skin (linen) for fall and winter, and it's a bit heavier than a normal tinted moisturizer.  If you want to try their products, I have several friends who sell in the area (who are also super non-pressure)  I would recommend reaching out to them and getting a sample set of the colors so you can get a good match.

Durham consultants Karen and Dana
Wilmington consultant Brandi

Also, Target is running a limited edition of Beautycounter products, so it's a great way to see some of them in person (they are the actual products, not ones made special for Target - only difference is size and price).  I highly recommend the Cleansing Balm, and Color set:)

S'well water bottle

Brent wasn't happy that I spent this much on a water bottle, but I treated myself.  It really does keep my drink cold for over 24 hours, is lightweight, doesn't sweat, and looks oh so cool!  The teakwood is hard to find, and I got the last one at Urban Outfitters.  But I did see that Papersource had some left the other week.  I can totally see myself pouring wine or beer in here for outdoor adventures after baby comes:)

Living Proof Hair products

I am loving the Timeless collection.  I buy the travel sizes from Ulta before I commit to anything.  L'oreal Professionel used to make an again line, but discontinued it.  Before you judge, "aging" really just means it's moisturizing and volumizing at the same time (or at least for me!).  I need moisture because I color my hair, but I also really need volume and softness. I have found these lines (which are hard to find) perfect for me.  Ulta also had a free gift of the 5-in-1 styling treatment, and I am loving that too.  I love the smell, and I love the softness my hair has, but yet not weighed down.  Next on my list is the Restore line, because I like to rotate based on the weather and needs of my hair.

Jason Aldean's New Album

Once again, Jason does not disappoint.  I own every single one of his albums, and love every single one.  I think if someone ever told me that they didn't like his songs, we may have to break up as friends:)  Kidding...sort of...  Emma is loving it too...mama is proud when Emma sings along!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Not a baby....

I know every parent has had this know, the one where your child waltzes down the stairs by herself one morning like a teenager and immediately plops herself on the couch and starts barking orders at you. She didn't yell for you to come get her out of her bed and didn't want a morning hug.  All of a sudden, your sweet baby/toddler has turned into an opinionated, strong-willed, and cranky little adult.  You immediately miss the days when she used to cry for you from her crib, or her bed, and start scrounging for any bit of parenting advice you can get because let's face it...the struggle of disciplining and raising a caring and competent human being is just as hard, if not harder, than late night newborn feedings and sleep deprivation.  One is physically draining, the other - an emotional draining roller coaster that never ends.  

Yesterday was by far one of the hardest parenting days I have ever had with Emma.  It started early with a fight about everything....EVERYTHING.  Breakfast, our outfit, our shoes, our raincoat, our plans for the day....  And to be honest, I felt like my whole day was wrecked before I even dropped her off at school.  Things like that just destroy me sometimes, and I have a hard time getting over them.  I HATE fighting about stupid crap and starting my day off that way.  And I'm not being ridiculous in my battles - Emma has to wear certain things to school (no flip flops, no fairy dresses, a rain coat and boots when a tropical storm is upon us.....)

I tried to regroup as I went to Bible Study, and when I picked her up at lunch, I knew my heart felt distant, but I tried to start over, hoping her mood had changed.  But I was wrong, and Emma was just as rude and disrespectful as she could ever be.  She complained about everything, she was whiny, mean, and perhaps possessed????

This went on the whole day, and night.  I won't mention the 45 minutes we spent in the parking lot at Food Lion because Emma threw a tantrum about getting out of the carseat.  Just picture her screaming, kicking, and whining, and me eventually slumping over in tears wondering what the hell I was doing and whether I could make it through the rest of the day.  I know it sounds dramatic, but if you're a mama reading this and you can't relate, then I wish you well in your plastic bubble of non-reality.

I sobbed all night after it took an hour to put Emma to bed, and immediately felt like I was inadequate as a mother.  I must be doing something wrong, or I'm not doing something right...either way, I have failed her.  

Emma is extremely strong-willed...and test the limits constantly.  I know you don't believe me because she is normally sweet and mild mannered, but when she is not, wow...she is a handful.  

I ended the day being disappointed in her - a feeling I have never felt before, and I hated it.  I wondered worried if she was like this at school, and how I ached at the thought that it would set her apart socially in a negative way.  I have so many desires for Emma, but most importantly, I want her to listen, love, be caring, and respectful.  I want that for her, not for me.  I never want her to feel pain or left out because of her demeanor.  And I couldn't live with myself if it was my fault, or because I didn't parent her well.  Sure, she's probably fine at school.  But I know soon this behavior will filter into daily life away from me, it's inevitable.

So, I'm struggling today.  I'm scouring the internet looking for parenting books (even though I'm supposed to be working), thinking that if I read them all, I will find some nugget of truth that will make this better.  The bottom line is, Emma has to listen to me.  She has to fear me.  It's for her own good.  But how do I do this, all the while letting her know how much she is loved, and that love is the reason I am doing it in the first place??  

If you have any advice, I'll take it.  If you think of us at prayer time later, I'll take that too:)  
I know tomorrow will be better, and that days like these will come but pass just as quickly, but they drain me...and my heart just aches today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Why my house is never clean.....

I spent all morning cleaning, only to walk around the house to find this....

and this....

and this....

and this.....

Emma is the MASTER of pulling things out, spreading them all over the floor, and then leaving them there after 10 minutes.  She loves organizing things....but hates to put them back where they belong.

I'm trying to embrace it...but it drives me bananas!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dance class!

Emma loves dancing and singing....she can recite the lines and moves to all the Disney movies she has watched, sometime even after just one viewing:)  So, I have wanted to get her into a dance class, but was hesitant with my work schedule, and also just had no clue where to take her.  A friend recommended Studio A in Chapel Hill and said it was super laid back.  I wasn't sure if "ballet" was the prefect fit for Emma, and this class that was recommended is "movement" so they do all sorts of dance.  When I found out her friend, Jane, from school was also in the class, and another friend's little girl, I was sold.  Emma changed her mind about 30 times the day before and day of the class.....but I finally convinced her to give it a shot.  I picked her up at 12, and we went to Jersey Mike's for lunch (bribery), and then headed there.  As soon as she walked in, she wanted to change into her sparkly outfit (courtesy of older cousins who took dance and gymnastics) and walked right into the dance room.  She didn't even look back.  She smiled and laughed the whole time.  It was awesome - for her and me.  I got to chat with Jane's mom, so all were happy:)

The pictures below aren't great, but you get it....Emma has already asked to go again today (SMH)

I am so excited for this new season of being a stay at home mom and getting to take Emma to fun activities like this, and of course, hang out with other moms:)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Emma's First Day of Pre-K

I have had lots of anxiety surrounding this day, ever since I made the decision back over the summer.  Pulling Emma out of the only school she had ever known, and placing her into a new place, with new teachers, new routines, and new kids....whoa...this emotional preggo was worried.  Maybe I was more worried for myself than her, looking back:)
Emma rocked it...and walked right into the classroom....

I was devastated all morning.  Really, I was. 
Who do you think you are, Miss Emma??? 
I certainly hugged her like a million times when I picked her up and couldn't stop smiling when I saw her. 
What's wrong with me???
What did I do with my 3 hours of ALONE TIME, you ask??? 
Well, I dropped by a friend's house to grab some Beautycounter samples, went to the grocery store ALONE (it took all of 25 minutes, and I stopped to pee!), and ran a few other errands. 
Honestly, I loved every minute. 
It was refreshing to get out of the car and only grab my purse.  It took me like 3 seconds. 
Is this what it was like before kids???
I am certainly entering a new phase of life this month, and I am terrified and excited all at the same time.  Today went so well, it was so reassuring.  Emma couldn't stop talking about her day, and my heart was so full.  I picked up Chickfila for her, so it was waiting in the car for lunch.  She was thrilled.  I couldn't have asked for a better first day...and I am praying the rest of the days are just as smooth and fun for us both!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Labor day weekend

We had a big holiday weekend - filled with a wedding, a visit with good friends, celebrating our 10 year anniversary, and some down time at home.  Oh...and a hurricane!
Here's a look at our busy few days....
We headed east for my sister-in-laws wedding Friday morning.  Emma and I had a luncheon to attend, and Hurricane Hermine had arrived!  First, a selfie to document our 10 year anniversary!!
The trip down was you think we hit some rain??

After the luncheon, we all went to stay with our good friends, the Jones' at their house on the river.  It was pouring, so we all relaxed inside.  Emma and Livi went right to playing and didn't stop until we left the next day (minus when we took Emma to the wedding).  They had such a blast together, playing dress up, singing, and dancing.

We attempted a family photo before the wedding, but this was the best we could do.

Sweet Emma wanted to sit with her great grandmother, who is 99!!

The wedding was a lot of fun, even though I didn't take any pictures.  I left with Emma early because we were both exhausted.  It was about a 25 drive back to the house, and it was dark and stormy out.  Soon after I left the venue, a tree fell across the road and people had to drive through a field!
We all slept good that night, although Brent got up around 3am and he said the river had come up to the first step of the house (the house is high up, so no worries).  Luckily, the hurricane blew threw and the water receded quickly.
Livi was waiting for Emma the next morning, and already had a tea party set up:)

We had the best time talking, catching up, and just relaxing.  I sure wish this sweet family lived closer:)

This was our drive out of their house...still some standing water.  I am glad we took the truck, so we could make it out!

We got back Saturday around 2pm, and my mom was there to take Emma over to my parent's house.  Brent had made special plans for us to go out to the Fearrington that afternoon and evening!!
We got this text on our way out there....Emma is obsessed with this dress (wedding gown???) she got from a friend who had outgrown it.  It's a gorgeous dress and super dressy...totally appropriate for a playdate....
Brent had gotten me a Mother To Be massage at the Spa out there, and I was super psyched!!!!!  I had never been there but always wanted to go.  I was in heaven.  The weather was beautiful - cooler now that the hurricane had come through.  I have had a long few weeks and some pampering was much appreciated.  Brent went to the bar (shocker) to watch he was also in heaven!  He is NOT a spa guy...even though I think he might enjoy it some day.
This was my waiting area...I just loved the rustic table and oversized loveseat!

And my refreshments...the best tea I've had in awhile!

I snapped a selfie!!  Don't I look relaxed??

My masseuse took me to my room...where I also had a bathroom to get ready in after the massage, since we had dinner reservations at the Farmhouse.

It was a beautiful bathroom, stocked with expensive and luxurious lotions, soaps, and hair care:)

And this was my sitting area...honestly, I could sit there all night. 

And my table....where I was in heaven for an hour:)

After my massage, I was so relaxed.  I took a nice, long shower and got ready for dinner.  It was so nice!

I should have tried harder to get a good picture, but these selfies will have to do.

We spent our first night after our wedding there, and had the best time.  This time, I really just wanted to eat there...and save our money for a trip next year when we could enjoy it (sans preggo).

Meanwhile, Emma was at my parent's house making homemade cookies!!

The food was delicious....4 courses and little bites in between each course.  I almost was getting too tired to eat anymore!  It's definitely a long dinner!!
This chocolate mousse at the end was certainly worth the wait!

It was so nice to enjoy each other and have a nice dinner reminiscing about the last 10 years, and what the next 10 will be like.  I am constantly amazed at how much I can love someone even more, even after being with them for 16 years:) 
We spent the rest of the weekend doing chores, playing with our neighbors, and getting ready for the week.  Brent had to rebuild our entire porch columns and railings...they were rotted:(  The 3 day weekend was much needed, as Emma would start her new school this week!!!
Hope everyone else had a great Labor Day weekend!