Friday, November 27, 2015

H54F|| My Not So Black Friday

 Happy Black Friday, everyone!  For the first time in about 6 years, I am home missing all the Black Friday frenzy.  I enjoy the thrill don't get me wrong, but this season of life is so sweet-- that I'd miss it to stay home snuggling with babies any ole' day of the week.  Once again, joining Caitlin at Coffee with CaitlinDella at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, and Tiff at Bright on a Budget for H54F:)

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I have so many reasons to be thankful. It seems every year I have more & more reasons to thank my Father above for his goodness, mercy & grace so evident in my life everyday!  

A recap of this week's highlights:
Conley's First Thanksgiving: We had a wonderful day filled with delicious food, loving family, & great "nerf gun fights."  We kept with tradition & woke up to breakfast in front of the tv watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  As always, it's not Santa we wait's Snoopy!  And I have to snap a pic when we finally spot him:)  Then we headed out to two of our families gatherings.  If only I had my son's, don't eat.  Give me all the carbs with a side of key lime pie.And I was just reminded how hard holidays are with babies!  This mommy is stiiiillll drag gin'!  The only thing that would have made it better is if we could have spent it with Cade.  We miss him so much.  PS Can you believe I didn't get a Thanksgiving picture of Cam  & Conley other than this?:/  I hate when I'm too busy to do important things...grrrrr.
2.  Mommy Bible Study: It's like God knew exactly what I needed.  Wait, of course he did!  When I met an old girlfriend at the playground a couple weeks ago, I didn't expect her to bring up an opportunity to meet weekly for a bible study-but she did.  And I'm so glad God laid it on her heart to do so!  After spending weeks on bed rest & several more in Knoxville out of church, this girl is feeling spiritually dry.  I'm excited for the fellowship & a chance to grow in Christ with my sisters:)  And can't forget baby snuggles <me + 3 very preggo mommies with future babies to snug> +playdates for our toddler babes!
3.  Peaches & Pearls 3rd annual Christmas Instagram Photo Challenge: this has become a tradition I find myself looking forward to more & more each year.  I love looking back each year at the memories I have captured.  It's especially fun to share the experience with others...I love searching our hashtag to see what everyone did for that particular day's topic.   Wanna join this year?  I'll be sharing this picture on November 30th on Instagram.  Share a picture representing the topic of the day with the topic hashtag along with #peachesandpearlscmasphotochallenge every day in December leading up to Christmas!  Hope to see you there!
4. Lighten Up:  Again, I can't express how fun this was.  I hope we can make it back next year & actually sit in HoHo's lap!  To see more about this event, scroll on down to the previous post.
5.  Hospital Pictures are Ready!  We have the sweetest friend (more like family) that works in Dr.B's office.  She takes the most beautiful photos EVER.  She offered to take some of Cam meeting Conley for the first time & they couldn't be more beautiful.  I am in love.  She captured the moments perfectly & I am so thankful for the memories!  More to come later... but this is my favorite:}
Much love to you & yours this Thanksgiving week!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Twas the Weekend Before Thanksgiving

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
When all through the house, not a creature was stirring
<Well, okay maybe Cam could be heard begging to watch PJ Masks>
Wait YES, Cam's little mouth

Conley was fed & swaddled with care,
in hopes that a long nights rest would finally be there...

I'll spare you & stop there;)   My ability to rhyme is just not on point tonight.  Have I mentioned how I LOVE this time of year?  Well, I DO!  It's just so magical & fun.  What a privilege we have here in America to take a few days to "press pause" on life so we can be present with the things in life that truly matter.  And so many memories that will last a lifetime are made during these days too. 

We might have made a few this weekend.  Of course... in between Cam sticking pens up his nose, pouring apple juice in empty glass vases, coloring the hardwood with highlighters, & completely refusing to be partially potty trained anymore.  Yea, that's all a whole other post in itself but I figured it deserved an honorable mention...
Friday we snuck on over to Knoxville's Pinnacle at Turkey Creek for their "Light Uptree lighting ceremony.  It was hard to resist with pictures in Santa's lap, real snow & reindeer.
Cam touched Santa's hand & sat in "the back of the sleigh" for pictures so I'd call that a partial success, right?  Maybe next year...& I'll share that gem of a photo when they are posted!

The elf said it.  "Kids don't cry when it comes to reindeer."  #elvesspeaktruth #allimsayin
The evening just seemed Christmassy.  We finally had chilly weather, sipped on mochas, & listened to Christmas music all evening long.  The boys were so sweet & snuggly.  With the chilly weather I tried to keep Conley in the warm stores while Cam braved the line with Lala to meet Hoho.  As we made our way back to the car Cam asked, "But where my toys??"  Ohhhh boy.  I guess seeing HoHo isn't very amusing for a two-nager if he isn't dishing out sacks of toys.
The rest of the weekend was pretty much spent indoor eating making cookies & such;)  

I've really had a struggle with getting Cam to eat anything other than "french fries ketch" or junk food lately.  SO thankful that at L E A S T fruit comes to the rescue when all else fails.  So much for mother of the year! <insert crying smiley face emoji here>
And with all the sickness I'm hearing about...this will probably be one of our last outings until everything dies down.  I really don't want a repeat of last Christmas OR my babies getting sick...
So thankful for you who read along:)
Wishing you & your family the sweetest Thanksgiving ever.

Friday, November 20, 2015

High Five For Friday// H54F

Woo Hooooo, it's Friday!   Over the past three weeks, I would say it's safe to say we are gradually falling back into normalcy again-- just in time for the craziness of the holidays.  So excited for this weekend & the Thanksgiving week ahead!  We are kicking everything off with a trip to see Santa, reaaaal reindeer <that's right;)> & a tree lighting this evening.  Fingers crossed that our picture with Santa will be Christmas card worthy!  

I am also super hopeful that we can finally sneak to see the Peanuts movie this weekend as well! This Snoopy fan is dying...  And with that, it's time to link-up for High Five for Friday with Caitlin at Coffee with CaitlinDella at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, and Tiff at Bright on a Budget.  These past few weeks have been brought to you by...
1. Baby Smiles  Holy cuteness.  If you are ever having a bad day, just think of this picture, stare at your/a baby, or google baby grins.  If that can't make you smile folks, you just might as well pack your bags for Mt. Crumpet & join the Grinch for a little wallowing in self pity, staring into the abyss, & self-loathing sessions.    
2. Cam-ism's  (which may become a weekly high five)  This boy is too much for words.  I have always said I can't wait til my kids start talking & having conversations because I've always loved to hear kids share what's going on in that little brain of theirs.  Cam's brain has A LOT going on.  Sometimes it just straight out scares me just how smart he is & how much he remembers!
        -(stole Lolli's reading glasses) Lolli: "Cam, let me have my glasses please."  
          Cam: "But I need them Lala." <his excuse for everything--but I NEED it>
          Lolli: "I don't think so, they'll hurt you're eyes!"
          Cam: *whine* "But I CAN'T SEE LALA!"

        -Conley is crying a lot.  Cam wakes up: "Pet him, Mom!  PET him!"  

        -Cam often okay always refuses nutritional meals & picking his toys up.  

          "But I playing Mom."
           Me: Okay, but you have to clean up & eat supper before we go to bed.
           Cam picks up some sunglasses & puts them on his face upside down while 
           sauntering around the living room kicking & picking up items of interest.  Thirty         
          minutes pass & I clean up 1/2 the toys encouraging him to help.  He doesn't listen.
          Lala goes to get her hand shaped flyswat.  
          "Cam, do you see this?  If you don't clean up your toys I'm gonna have to use it."  
          His face lights up & he runs over grinning with his hand in the air...
           "HIGH FIBE MOM!!"  **How do you keep a straight face**

          -Lub on me, Mom!      ||my personal favorite||

          -When he gets in trouble: "But you're my best friend!"

          -"I be back later guys,  My got to go do my homework."

          -"Mom!  Watch me jump like a mermaid!  Or a flower."

3. Cold Weather  We are finally getting some cold weather here in the South & I am SO ready!  Every time I think it's gonna get cold it warms back up, but I have an inkling it's just about time for it to be around to stay.  Cue the snow!  I may just have to give up my iced coffees for hot mugs of mocha...And I'd really love a reason to stick boggins on Cam & Conley's cute little noggins!

4.  Missing My Mr  This week I have really been trying to focus on the good times we had when he was in & countdown to Christmas when he will be flying back in for a couple weeks.  I miss him so much sometimes it even makes me mad!  Haha...That's pretty bad, huh?  He was so much help with the boys during that first week & a half.  He truly is my best friend & things just doesn't feel right in our family with his absence.  I miss his humor, holding his hand, sitting on the couch having Netflix marathons when the babies go to sleep.  I trust the Lord has a plan-it's just putting my faith into practice which is always so much easier said than done.  But how blessed I am.  So blessed I could just sit & cry for days.  And I do.

5.  It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas  From the decorations springing up in stores to Holly XM & those crazy controversial red cups that have blown up Facebook the past few days, it is definitely starting to look & feel like Christmas around here!  I am coming to hate the toy commercials because Cam shouts, "I need that from HOHO!"  Mom!  I NEED IT!"  Unless of course it's girly...then he says, "dat for girls."  There's the occasional girl toy he likes in which he says, "that not for girls, that for Cam."  Aye Aye Aye.  He has been helping decorate (the first year ever-something I have always been so excited about) & he LOVES it.  While starting the decorations this week, he stuck a broken broom stick in the tree & "Jungles" the Christmas balls.  Thank the good Lord for plastic balls!

NOW.  Back to my Christmas music humming Conley to sleep from the mamaroo & my little post to get my work done before we head out for some Christmas fun:)  Check out our website this evening...adding a lot of Thanksgiving outfits if you are in need!  Are you guys doing anything special this weekend?  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Post Partum Update || 3 Weeks

I recently found an update with a different spin on pregnancy updates after the baby is born-- it's all about taking a moment to talk about momma, post labor and delivery after following along all 40<ish> weeks of that momma's pregnancy...herrreee goes!
How Far Along? We made it to 38 weeks and one day.  I cannot believe I actually made it to 'term' with a ".9 cervix"- by God's sweet grace he kept Conley snug in my belly for a whole 38 weeks!  The same amount of time I carried Cam.  From 28 weeks to 36 weeks, I was scrambling like crazy from my bed rest post to make sure we would be as prepared as we could be for Mr. Conley to make his grand appearance!  I had been convinced (along with everyone who treated me) that our baby boy would be an early bird.

Size of Baby?  At birth Conley weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces.  Conley lost weight at the hospital & upon the first few days at home--but only about 8% of his birth weight (up to 10% is normal).  He was extremely not alert & it super stressed me out trying to breastfeed.  Those suggestions to just wipe him down, strip him, or tickle him/nudge him just did NOT cut it.  SO...We reached out to my favorite local nurse ;) who continually graciously weighed Conley & helped me survive an extreme newborn sleep pattern & breastfeeding.  At Conley's two week appointment, he had gained an ounce a day since his last weigh in, so our pediatrician was more than happy with his growth.  SO Thankful!!

Maternity Clothes?  I have made it through both of my pregnancy with buying minimal maternity pieces.  Not because I don't believe in them, (the maternity jeans I bought were FABULOUS!) but it was just not feasible for us.  SO, I tried to purchase longer tops I could wear later & do the "hairband trick" with my pants.  I can fit in all my jeans again without the hairband, but I am still enjoying my lose fitted tops & leggings just for comfort & the pooch that will only go away with some ab attention.  It helps not having to get out in public much;)

Weight Loss?   By my scale at home I gained around 30 lbs during this pregnancy.  Probably a few more lbs during the three weeks I was in Knoxville, but I didnt have a scale to check!  The day I left the hospital I was down 10 pounds.  Currently I've lost 19 lbs & have about 11 more lbs to lose to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight.  If I'm being honest with you, I eat WAY too many Christmas Oreos everyday & with that, anything my little heart desires.  So if I really attempted to eat healthier (I have established a no dieting allowed while breastfeeding rule...) I'd say I'd lose it in a week lol.  Breastfeeding metabolism is INSANE.  BUT-- I may just enjoy my oreos for now while I can...I'll keep you posted.  

Breastfeeding?  It seems that my days are nurse, pump, ten minutes of freedom, repeat.  I've heard many say they feel like a milk cow & I guess that's a pretty accurate description.  I'm just thankful to be able to breastfeed without any complications.  Cam was a lot more difficult, being my first born & I know how stressful it can be to struggle. Despite the work, I can honestly say it is totally worth it & such a wonderful experience...

Sleep?  Conley is an A M A Z I N G sleeper.  We're talkin' - I have to WAKE him up to eat on most 
occasions...every three hours night & day.  Surprisingly, that's almost <if not more> difficult than having him wake me up to feed him!  Trying to feed a sleeping baby is a bit like feeding Cam lettuce.  It ain't gonna happen!  Heck, today I dripped some ice cold water from my water bottle on his head while carrying him in his wrap & he didnt. move. a. muscle.  Can I order a nap like that?  That all being said, he is growing more & more alert every day, Hallelujah!  :)

Food Cravings? Just bring me a dozen Christmas oreos & decaf coffee and call it dinner.   The sweet cravings are real???  I can't believe I've actually lost any weight at all.  I drink tons of water & that's about the only healthy habit I can verify...I've really got to focus on more nutrition in my diet!

What I Miss?  I knew all along I'd really miss being pregnant.  Up until those last few weeks of waddling around like a penguin & rolling like a flipped over turtle to get up out of bed that is.  I'm currently enjoying the state I'm in. A full time momma:)  The nights?  Yea, I dread them.  I get at least two very heavy painful headaches a week probably due to lack of sleep...but I'm making it!  And I'm so happy.  The only thing that can make me sad is dwelling on Cade being hundreds of miles away.

I know when I go back to work, I will definitely miss being pregnant.  50% of that may be because I was so lazy and did nothing all day on bed rest (oh, how my world has changed!), & 100% of that would be not being able to spend all day with my boys.  

Symptoms?  Initially, I cried a lot.  I cry because I'm happy// I cry because I miss Cade// I cry because I know time will fly by & I never want this time of life to end//you get the picture--it's a mixture of emotions!  I feel exhaustion, & as I mentioned before--the headaches.

Belly Button?  It looks like a deep wrinkled cavern.  It hasn't been the same since I had Cam, but then again...I have two beautiful baby boys to show for it so I'll take my crazy looking belly button any ole' day;)

Best Moment of the Week?  Spending time with my baby boys.

  Annnnnd that's a wrap to my first three weeks with Conley out of "the oven."
Can I just say I have the sweetest baby boy ever?  Okay, maybe I'm partial but he is truly precious.  A true gift from my Father above.  SO. BLESSED.  Can't say it enough...
Have a great evening, y'all!
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Just The Three Of Us

Okay, so we're just two days in...but it's two days I never want to forget.  Just me, Cam, & Conley--all alone.  The beginning.  As expected, two is harder than one.  I am back in the stage of life where I stress over getting all three of us out the door in one piece & in under five hours.  Me dressed & ready?  Well, I've had one shower since I returned from the hospital.  Kidding.  Currently, I take bubble baths at midnight.  || With ninja turtle bubble bubble bath.||  But for real--somedays I find myself carefully plotting how I will be able to squeeze in brushing my teeth or running for a quick pee before one of the boy's need my attention.

It's surprisingly less stressful than my experience with Cam because I had shear terror of leaving the house.  I always forgot a change of clothes, a diaper, wipes, my nursing cover-- something essential!  I can't believe it, but I'd say I've done pretty well at packing our bags when we leave the house on the rare occasion.  I've about got our "to do before leaving" list engrained in my memory for eternity.  Knock on wood.
| swaddle |
First grocery trip?  Cam may have played chicken with every oncoming cart in Ingles & decided that he would actually TELL me when he has to go #2 <which he never does in the comforts of home> when I'm standing in the check out lane with all the groceries scanned & Conley calm & collected while in the carseat snuggled safely inside.  Yeah, poo happened.
Just the essentials: Christmas Oreos, Cookie Cake, & Ony food.

First gift shop trip?  Cam knocked over a mannequin with a monster truck shirt on it.  It scared him to death so maybe he will be more careful next time?   Not a chance.

First walk?  Cam naturally begged for me to hold him the entire time after he begged to "go to the track & walk" alllllll day long.  If I had a stroller handy *mind you* he would have had no part of riding & I would have been stuck pushing the empty thing around the track.  Toddlers.  Conley on the other hand loved it & snuggled up for the ride & fresh air in his solly wrap.  Oh, & they both peed on themselves on the ride home.
First playground trip?  We've had two of these.  One in Knoxville after I dropped Cade off at the airport.  Cam told everyone on the playground that they couldn't play with the things on the play equipment because "it's not yours!" and chatted with the mom's about Hobby Lobby while Conley slept <the entire time>.  

Then, we met one of my friends at a church playground for lunch last Friday evening.  We figured it would give the boys some fresh air & a chance for some "boy time" to run all their crazy energy off.  In the few hours we were there, both boys climbed up the most dangerous "big kid" portion of the play set <in which they could have entirely broke their neck or spinal cord> & were spotted just before they attempted a triple sow cow belly flop into the cold damp mulch.  Cam also seems to have decided to pick up some of the bullying aspects of the playground in Knoxville.  And once again, Conley slept.  Oye!
First Bath?  Conley is not a fan.  Nuff' said.
And at the end of the day, Cam's always going to ask for some bread before bed <and I don't mean the Bible> because his tummy is empty & he is sooooo hungry.  Conley's apparently gonna give the tude' when he has a wet diaper, is changed, has a bath, or is hungry...can't blame the guy--I'm kinda the same way unless it's a bubble bath we're talkin'.   I will probably be awake for the next 5 years of my life or more, but I have decided these are the days.  Call me crazy, but the saying "the days are long, but the years are short" continuously reminds me to cherish every second. I can sleep & comb my hair when I'm dead.  And I'm okay with that.

Monday, November 9, 2015

October Photo Dump

October 2015 will go down in my books as one of the most memorable times of my life.  Not only do I have a hilarious toddler following me around giving continuous commentary about how he sees things in his two year world everyday, but we finally got to meet our sweet baby #2, Conley Scout.  My life was forever changed for the better this month & these pictures help tell & record this special time in our little family's life!  

Early October was spent finishing up bed rest & taking any opportunity to sneak outside for a little dose of sunshine & fall leaves.  Oh, & boo-koos of the sweetest flower deliveries from my little Mr.

Ghost toast in the undies is an October must;)

Early visits to the pumpkin patch--good fun but be prepared for premature rotten pumpkins!
Cam's instructions for this year's pumpkins:  A big mean scary pumpkin for Cam, & a little happy pumpkin for Conley.
Weekly doctor visits to see baby "Conwey," play with Dr. B's toys, & press the elevator buttons
My precious time hanging out with Cam before Conley arrived...we had a blast;)  
Just wish daddy could have been around more!

Going to get daddy at the airport was probably the highlight (besides meeting Conley) of our August-October.  Can't explain our excitement!

 I already miss those little baby kicks inside my belly everyday...
BOO at the Zoo.  If you haven't been, make plans to go next year.  It was the coolest <should I add easiest & most entertaining> way to Trick or Treat with your babes!  I think I had the best laugh of my October see, we didn't have Cam's Halloween costume--so we improvised.  We threw on his Batman shirt & I decided I would draw a mask on his face in the zoo parking lot (great idea, right??).  E P I C fail...the second I removed the paint from his face was the second he drug both hands through the mask & smeared it all over his face.  As you can imagine, we got some strange looks from the fellow Trick or Treaters (especially their parents) but Cam couldn't have been prouder.  As I was fighting him in the bathroom during a potty break, he grabbed his smeared (what looked like tar all over his) face & said, "I love my mask, Mom."  Continuous laughing tears.

Right after the mask tragedy.

And Cam finally got to go to a "Halloween party."  All October long he has mentioned going to one...& at the end of the Trick or Treat trail--they just happened to have a Halloween dance party.  Couldn't have planned it better myself had I tried.  Hog Heaven!  

Check out their dance moves!  And the Conley belly & I
may or may not have done the cha cha slide!
I suppose this Halloween could alternatively be titled, The Halloween of the epic mask fail, simply because he ruined the one at the zoo & refused the one with his costume...note to self* NO masks for Camster next year;)

And then, Conley happened:)

God is so good!  We had the most wonderful month ever.
Excited for what November will bring & the new celebrations ahead.