Travel Day(s)

November 26th, 2014

I will start by saying I’ve had massive amounts of anxiety for the past week! Work has been very busy! On top of that, we were gearing up for our first trip EVER with Turner! Not only were we traveling for the first time with Turner, but we were driving from Charleston to New Jersey!! If that wasn’t enough stress, Turner got a sinus infection the day before we were set to leave! I had to do some major deep breathing. But, guess what, all turned out better than I could have planned!

I took Turner to the pediatrician Monday and she gave him an antibiotic. I’m not big on antibiotics, but the thought of traveling with a toddler who was sick and would get sicker was enough to make me have a mental breakdown. So, I started him on it Monday night and he was good to go!

We scheduled our dog to be dropped off at the doggy daycare on our way out of town. We were packed up and ready to hit the road Tuesday morning!

We left the house around 11:30am. I planned that so we’d get about an hour in before Turner fell asleep in the car. We drove for 3 hours before stopping. Turner started getting antsy at that point! Unfortunately, it was raining the entire time, so he couldn’t even run around outside! We found some sketchy McDonald’s with a fenced in courtyard (if you could even call it that). It was drizzling but we let him run around to stretch his legs. He literally ran in circles for about 20 minutes.

Then it was back in the car to reach our goal of hitting Richmond by dinner time! We got to our hotel around 5:30. We walked in the front door and there was a tower of warm gooey cookies at the front desk. HOW DID SHE KNOW!? We all ate cookies while our sweet lady friend checked us in.

Turner and I played in the room while Stew ran across the street to get dinner. Turner was surprisingly happy after 6 hours in the car!

I was also stressed about the sleeping arrangements. Turner’s never slept in a pack and play, nor has he slept in the same room as us since he was about 5 weeks old! But he did great! We set him up in the corner. I put his monitor there so we could sit in the hall until he fell asleep. I knew that, if we sat in the room, he wouldn’t relax! He fell asleep within 5 minutes and we snuck back into our room. Mission accomplished.

The second half of our drive was awesome too, other than the weather and stupid drivers. Turner woke up at 5:45. I don’t even think he lifted his head up before he shouted “MAMA!!” He must have been so excited to wake up and see us in the same room as him.

We stopped twice this time around. It was still raining and it turned to ice and snow as we got farther north. There were a few accidents on the way, but nothing too terrible. Turner napped for about 45 minutes both days. The rest of the time he played peekaboo, read books, and watched videos of himself on Stew’s phone. Oh, and there was a lot of snacking.

We were SO excited to finally arrive! We got in today around 1pm. We picked up a pizza and went to my dad’s house first. It was awesome! Turner was so excited to see his pop-pop! He was walking all around the house exploring and showing Pop-Pop his toys.

After a few hours, we went to stew’s parents’ house, where we unloaded the car and got settled. It felt good to get our stuff out of the car and get organized! Turner was so good, I couldn’t even believe it! Poor little guy was so exhausted tonight but he would not stop playing! We gave him and bath and put him to bed a few minutes before 7. He was OUT.

I’m so excited for Thanksgiving! We will start the day with Stew’s family and then head to my aunt’s house so Turner can meet my cousins and their kids! It will be so busy but so fun! I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

Turner’s 2nd Birthday Party

November 15th, 2014

Turner will be 2 on Monday! I can’t believe how time flies! I feel like he was born yesterday! He’s getting so big and learning things by the second.

Tonight we had some of his friends over to celebrate. We did a superhero theme. I attempted to be Catwoman. The mask lasted long enough to get a picture. Same with Stew’s Batman mask. Turner was Batman too, and he actually kept his costume on all day!

All the kids dressed up too! It took me about 20 minutes to get them together for a picture, but it was worth the effort. It was so precious!

I had SO much fun planning! I got some expert advise from a friend of mine who knows all there is to know about superheros. The most exciting part to plan was the food, obviously!

On the menu:
“Thor’s Hammer” (a.k.a. Mjolnir)-Cheese squares on pretzel sticks

“POPcorn Cups”- I took pictures of some comic book pages and printed them out. I used a hot glue gun to make cones.

“Pick Your Super Power”- I chose a few different powers to go in some fruits and veggies.

“Hulk Punch”-1 carton lime sherbert, 3 (32 oz) bottles lime seltzer, 2 cans frozen limeade concentrate

Spider-Man Cake-courtesy of my mom

I made a separate cupcake just for Turner. It’s a healthy cupcake because I can’t buckle and give him sugar yet! Here’s the original recipe. I swapped out the zucchini for a mashed banana. Everything else was the same!

“Wonder Dogs”-hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls baked at 375F for 15 minutes

I also had goody bags (that I forgot to give out) with some stickers, tattoos, erasers, and sugar cookies. Here is the cookie recipe and the icing recipe.

I basically used the table, balloons, banner and chalkboard as the decorations.

I think Turner had an amazing time! I loved watching him interact with all of his friends. Last year was so different, because he didn’t really get it. This year, every time someone walked through the door, his face lit up!

After we all ate and sang Happy Birthday, the kids ran around like crazy in the backyard. It was so awesome to see!

I love party planning. But planning my baby’s birthday is by far the best! Happy 2nd birthday to our little love muffin!

Best Halloween Ever!

October 31st, 2014

I was definitely excited for Halloween, but this was above and beyond what I expected! The past few Halloweens, we’ve had friends over to sit on the porch, eat, drink wine, and hand out candy. The past 2 years, since Turner’s been around, my mom and step-dad have been the ones hanging out on the porch handing out candy with us, which is always special!

Turner dressed up as a hobo this year, which was hilarious. We started our day, as usual, at the gym. Everyone who saw him loved his outfit! I must say, he sure was a cute hobo.

The rest of our day was pretty normal. He napped while I worked. Then he played while I got dinner ready. I always do soup on Halloween. One of our many traditions. I usually make chili, but this year I did beef bourguignon instead. Yum!

Around 5, I re-applied Turner’s beard and got him dressed back up. Then, we played around in the back yard until Stew was done working.

Once Stew was home, we walked around in the street with Turner’s wagon and waited for Gigi and Paw-Paw to arrive.

We took some photos and chatted with neighbors for a bit. I didn’t want to start trick-or-treating too early!

I invited my girlfriend, Angela, and her husband and son over to trick-or-treat. Turner and her little boy, Duncan, love to play together! I knew it would be fun to have them along. I’m so glad they came! Although, trying to get them to pose for a picture was like pulling teeth!

They had no idea what was going on. At one point, Turner tried to walk into someone’s house. And they were definitely not interested in the candy, which was fine by me.

After Turner had reached sensory overload, we headed home and put him to bed. Angela and her family went home too.

Then, we parked it on the porch with Mom and Michael, popped a bottle of wine, and ate our dinner while we handed out candy. Sitting on the porch, handing out candy, has become one of my favorite traditions each year! We always have someone with us which makes it an event in itself. Mix in some crazy kids in their clever costumes, and it’s quite an experience!

This has been the best Halloween yet! It was extra special to share it with friends and family! Happy Halloween, friends!!

Apple Day

October 31st, 2014

My mom hosted our first annual “Apple Day” at her house. It was so cute! The house was decorated and the apple themed menu was nothing short of amazing!

We walked in, and the house spelled amazing! Gigi was making apple cider donuts as a starter. Turner was thrilled!

Mom had the pumpkin carving station set up for us while they cooked the apple cheddar burgers on the grill. We take pumpkin carving seriously in our family. Well, at least my brother and I do. Stew was on picture duty, and Turner isn’t quite old enough to enjoy it. He happily walked around eating Gigi’s food while we carved.

I’m a hard core pumpkin carver. I make it my mission to choose and execute the most complicated photo in those little books every year. I love the challenge. Ok…here we go!

We had such a fun day! The food and festivities were awesome! Turner definitely enjoyed himself. This has always been our favorite time of year, and enjoying it with Turner makes it even better!

Pumpkin Carving Party

October 26th, 2014

We’ve been throwing an annual pumpkin carving party for the past four years. Every year it’s a different crowd, but we always have SO much fun! I love to go all out with Halloween themed food and drinks. It’s one of my favorite festivities to plan for!

I used Pinterest a ton to help with food ideas. I’ll link to the recipes I used. Some of them I changed up a bit.

Here’s our menu with pictures!
Mummy Dogs

Ghost Pizzas” (basic pizza but with ghost shaped cheese and ketchup used for eyes)

Graveyard Dip” (I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream)

Witches Fingers” (I used candy corn instead of almonds)

Mini Caramel Apples Make sure you DRY off the cut apples before dipping, otherwise the caramel will slide off. Lesson learned!

Vampire Cocktail

So, I would post pictures of our pumpkin masterpieces, but we didn’t quite get to carving. When I asked if everyone was ready to carve, they just preferred sitting around eating and drinking. I’ll take that as a compliment!! Another successful (almost) pumpkin carving party. Happy Halloween!

Momma: ONE, Hand-Foot-Mouth Virus: ZERO

October 16th, 2014

Well, to date, this has been the worst illness yet! Sunday night, I noticed that Turner was feeling a bit warm. I gave him some Tylenol before bed and he slept like a champ. Monday morning, he woke up at 5:30am talking to himself, “HI! HI! HI!”. I went to get him and noticed that he had a few red spots around his mouth. I didn’t worry too much because he gets those from time to time no doubt from the globs of peanut butter that he shoves in his face.

As the day went on, I noticed MORE blisters and spots on his mouth, hands, and bottom. Could it be…. Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Virus?! Sure enough, by nighttime, he was covered.

His bottom was actually the worst part! I’ll spare you the rest of my gory photos. But I WILL tell you the steps I took to help soothe my poor baby’s discomfort. I’m not quite sure what helped, but in order to feel in control of an out-of-control-situation, I had to do something.

I gave him an Aveeno Oatmeal Bath every morning and night.

I also kept his diaper off as much as possible. I actually used disposable diapers instead of his cloth diapers because they seemed to be a little looser. The nurse told me to keep the blisters as dry as possible. Therefore, we spent a lot of time playing outside, naked. Well, Turner was naked. I kept my clothes on for fear of my neighbors calling the cops.

He wasn’t eating, so I did lots of smoothies and Frozen Yogurt. The Fro-Yo definitely worked. I also mixed 2.5mL of Benadryl with 2.5 mL of Mylanta. I mixed them together and gave it to him in a syringe. The Benadryl decreases inflammation and the Mylanta helps coat the throat. That’s what my doctor recommended. I’m definitely not a doctor, so don’t take my word for it! I just gave him a dose of that before bed.

He slept okay at night. He would just cry every so often but wouldn’t actually wake up. His naps were non-existent the past 3 days, which resulted in my having a mental breakdown yesterday around 12:30pm when I realized that would be the longest afternoon of my life. Turner grabbed my face and willed me out of my misery.

Today, while he’s still grumpy and covered in blisters, he seems better. He slept until 8am and took an hour long nap. He actually ate breakfast and drank his water which was a major improvement.

I realize I’m not out of the woods yet. But I also realize that this virus can’t take me! Not today hand-foot-mouth virus, not today.

The Pumpkin Patch

October 5th, 2014

Boone Hall is the local farm right by our house. They grow lots of different fruits and veggies, and we always go to pick whatever is in season. Of course, October is pumpkin time! I’ve been going to this pumpkin patch for probably 10 years. In faaaaact, here is a picture of me and my college roommates searching for the great pumpkin!

And here is a picture at the same pumpkin patch when I was extremely pregnant!

And this one is from last Halloween.

Ok, I’ve made my point. Back to the present. This visit was great, because Turner actually knew what was going on. He had SO much fun! He loved running around and touching all of the pumpkins.

Well, actually, it was a little more difficult than last year, when I plopped him in the middle of a few pumpkins and took a bunch of pictures. This year it was more like, Stew chased him around while I searched for the perfect pumpkins and loaded them into the vacant stroller. Other parents admired my genius.

Boone Hall does such a great job with their pumpkin patch! I am a picture fanatic, so we took advantage of all of the different photo ops!

We came home and put Turner down for his nap. I decorated the porch with my new treasures while Stew did some work in the yard.

Have I mentioned that I love fall!?

It’s Beginning to Look Like Halloween

October 3rd, 2014

I can’t believe it’s October! Time is flying. I’m still debating on a Halloween costume for Turner. I’m between ideas. But now that I have less than a month, I better get on it!

In the meantime, we’re starting to celebrate the season. We have our fall candles out and our pumpkin and apple treats baked. We even went to the library to get some Halloween books! This weekend we’ll decorate the house, get some mums, and go pick pumpkins!

Gigi was in the spirit too. She came over to babysit and brought Turner a few festive goodies!

He was super excited to get his very own pumpkin which Ellie ate approximately 37 minutes later.

She also brought some books and clothes for when the weather starts to cool down!

I’m so excited for fall and the holiday season! Every year gets better and better. The best is yet to come!

Jeni’s Ice Cream

September 28th, 2014

Stew and I went out for Dinner Friday night. It’s been a while since we’ve been out together, so we did it up! We went downtown and started the night at Proof for a martini for me and bourbon for him.

After a drink, we walked down the street to Union Provisions. This restaurant is pretty new. I loved the location, right on King Street! It has these giant windows, so there is some great people watching to be had. The food was delicious too! They have small plates, so we ordered a few and shared.

And for the main event, we ended the night with Jeni’s ice cream!!!

First of all, if you’re feeling bad about yourself, go and see Ryan. He will make you feel like a movie star! He gave us a ton of samples! AND, he told me I was “very pretty”. I’m almost positive he’s not into girls, but I’ll take it!

I went for a mix of chocolate peanut butter and coffee ice cream with a drizzle of hot fudge. YUM!

Such a fun night and much needed! Charleston has the best food and is one of my favorite places ever! I’m so glad I live here.

Superhero Madness

September 25th, 2014

My bestest friend just happens to be obsessed with all things comic books! I’ll be honest, I don’t know a darn thing about them. But I’m willing to learn. He actually made Turner the cutest 16×20 superhero collage (sold HERE) mounted on canvas AND a garbage can. He hand picks the comic books, cuts out each superhero, and mounts them on the canvas or garbage can to make a collage! When I saw them I was amazed!

Since then, he’s made a bunch and has sold them at a local market by his house. I just thought they were too cool not to share. So, here I am sharing! Today, he opened an Etsy Shop where he has listed a few of his recent projects. He will even do custom orders. This one is for all of your superhero lovers out there!