The Day I Became A Boy Mom

I’ve been the mother of a boy for approximately 4 1/2 years. But I just became a “boy mom” yesterday. When I went to pick Turner up from camp, it had been drizzling all day. We saw hundreds of tiny little frogs jumping around on the sidewalk. When I say tiny, these were about the size of my pinky fingernail. Turner was so excited about them that he just had to have one. Of course one turned into three. But that’s beside the point. I obliged as they were pretty stinkin’ cute. So we scooped them up into a plastic bag with an air hole and we drove straight to Petsmart to get what we needed to make them a home.
I searched for someone who could help me, as I am not a frog expert. I mean I grew up with frogs, lizards, and snakes as pets because my brother was quite the nature boy. But I didn’t actually do any of the work. So I found a little critter keeper for five dollars just so I could get the frogs into something other than a plastic bag.

The exact transformation to “boy mom “status happened next. As I stood there holding a critter keeper full of three tiny frogs, I listened to the sweet Petsmart worker tell me that I would need moss to line the cage, and that I would need to spray it to make sure it stayed moist. And they are too small for crickets at this size, so what they need for food is wingless fruit flies. At that point she picked up a tiny tube of fruit flies crawling all over each other. I nearly dropped dead in my tracks. But at this point what was I going to do? Sneak outside and let the frogs go free? I won’t lie to you, I entertained the thought. But we’d already gotten this far, so I figured let’s just give it a try. So we got home and created a home for our frogs. We lined the cage with moss, dirt, and a tiny cup of water.

So, as I feed our new frogs wingless fruit flies and spray their moss as to ensure optimum moistness, I breathe in and I breathe out and I mark the day that I became a “boy mom”.

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Dream Stay-cation

Stew and I just got home from the most amazing stay-cation of all time. Hands down. BEST. EVER! We celebrate our 8th anniversary on the 20th, so we wanted a quick getaway but couldn’t go too far because of our work schedule. So we snuck away to The Restoration in downtown Charleston for two nights. My words can’t even describe how incredible it was. So I will use photos, a lot of them, to help me describe it.

This hotel is a boutique style hotel right in the heart of the city. There is not only a hotel, but a rooftop restaurant, bar, and pool. There is a coffee shop on the ground level that serves incredible coffee. This is coming from a self-proclaimed coffeeholic.

Our room had the perfect mix of rustic, meets modern, meets southern charm. There was a full kitchen with gorgeous stainless appliances (although who would use them because the restaurants in Charleston are incredible). The kitchen, living room, and bedroom each had a set of double doors that opened up to our terrace.

There is a room called “The Library” that is set up as a meet and mingle type of space. Every afternoon they serve complimentary wine and cheese for their guests. Then at night, they have homemade cookies out as a little after dinner treat!

In the mornings they deliver breakfast served in a picnic basket right to your door! You choose what you want from their menu the night before, and it’s sitting at the door with the daily newspaper when you wake up! I couldn’t even believe the attention to detail! I jumped up and down, literally.

Our nights out on the town were equally as incredible. But the blog-worthy moment was our supper at R. Kitchen. This place is quite literally a hole in the wall! It’s a tiny building on Rutlege Avenue with no signs! They only advertise by word of mouth. My sister in law told me about them, and Stew magically got us in! It takes months to get a reservation! But, you want to know why? They can only seat 16 people at a time. And you’re actually in the open kitchen with the chefs while they prepare the meal. It’s not the type of place where you walk in and get seated and choose from a menu. They have set dinner times, and they let guests in only at their reserved time. They get a delivery of local, fresh groceries each morning and create the menu that day! It changes daily and you don’t know what you’re going to eat until you show up. The chef sets a four course menu and it’s a flat $30/person. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.

This vacation was one for the books. Really amazing. I can’t believe it’s over already! But we cherished our time together and our freedoooooooom!!! Happy almost anniversary to the love of my life and the best baby daddy out there!

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Time To Make The Donuts!

Last night, as Stew and I sat on the couch watching TV, I did my usual Pinterest perusing and came across a luscious doughnut recipe. Something came over me, and I just had to have them! I got up right then and there and made the dough. I let it rise overnight and finished the process this morning. Needless to say, they were scrumptious. Soft, fluffy, and warm with a little crunch on the outside. I filled a few with the cream and topped the others with chocolate glaze and sprinkles. The chocolate ones were a huge hit!

I’ll admit I’ve never made doughnuts before, because the idea of frying things seems daunting and makes me nervous! The kids helped, and it was actually quite fun! It looked like a bomb went off in our kitchen, but it was well worth it. Have a great weekend!

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The Children’s Museum

I’m happy to report that our days have gotten much better since my last post! It seems that kids push you to the brink and then totally redeem themselves with snuggles and sweetness! I enjoy the back end of that scenario much more than the front ;o)

It’s been raining for a few days, and we’ve been passing our time with puddle jumping, cookie baking, fort building, and movie watching. But this morning, I decided to take the kids downtown for a morning at The Children’s Museum. We have one of the best I’ve seen! Each room is set up for a different activity. There’s a grocery store, a pirate ship, a stage with puppets and costumes, a water room, a building section with real tools, and an art room. Of course, we did them all!

The last time we went, Stew was with me. So he was on Gracie and I was on Turner (or vice versa). I had a talk with Turner before we got there that since they were just with me, he couldn’t run off into another room without me. He did a GREAT job of staying with me and waiting patiently as Gracie dilly dallied from room to room. They loved it and had so much fun! Turner wanted to stay longer and paint, and my way of getting him out of there without a fight was to promise we’d eat chocolate chip cookies and paint when we got home. So that’s exactly what we did!

Not a bad way to spend the morning!

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Permission Granted

This photo sums up my life lately…

As I look at that face, I laugh. But the truth is, I’m spent! It’s a combination of being completely exhausted and dealing with my children who are in an impossible stage of life. Gracie is entering the oh-so-frustrating phase of toddlerhood. You know… the refusing to listen, throwing food on the floor, hitting Turner, etc. She’s probably had more time-outs by 20 months than Turner’s had in a lifetime. And to add fuel to the fire, whatever Turner does makes Gracie cry or scream and I end up reprimanding him because he’s the older one and “should know better”. But on the other hand, he’s so tender-hearted and innocent and it makes me feel so guilty. They are so stinkin’ cute but so irritating all at the same time! What a phenomenon.

I’ve had little to no time to myself, and when that happens my priorities are majorly out of wack. No wonder I’ve had an overwhelming sensation to re-organize and deep clean my entire house the past week! You know what makes a girl feel better when her world is spiraling around her? Steam cleaning the carpets! So that’s what I did. On top of that, Stew and I emptied every single basket of toys in the whole house and threw out broken pieces and things the kids haven’t played with in years and de-cluttered my life. What an amazing feeling. 

After internalizing my feelings for the past week, Stew and I laid in bed after putting the kids down the other night and I talked about everything going through my mind. He said all the right things, and I immediately felt better. I felt comforted by the fact that I have a supporting husband who will be strong when I am weak, patient when I’m not, and pick up the pieces when I can’t.

I’ve given myself permission to not be perfect. I can’t do it all! I will make time for myself to sit in the quiet and process, because when that piece is missing, nothing else seems to make sense. Today will be a day to soak up time with my wacky bunch and not sweat the small stuff! Wherever we are in life, we need to give ourselves permission to accept what is here and now and to not add unnecessary guilt to our already hard job of raising little humans! Happy Memorial Day, Friends!

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Happy Mother’s Day

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been a mom for 4 years! I barely remember a time that I wasn’t a mom! I feel everything more deeply, I cry more often, and I have more moments in the day where I need a deep breath! But I love it! There’s nothing more challenging and rewarding!

Being a mom to Turner has been amazing! But adding Gracie to the mix has made my heart even bigger and softer! I love seeing them interact with each other. Watching Turner love and teach Gracie so patiently is beautiful. He has a heart of gold. Their personalities are so different, and they certainly have their moments of insane bickering, but at the core they are just so sweet!

Mother’s Day is one of those bittersweet holidays! I have friends who have lost mothers and children. And I’m sure this holiday brings up feelings of sadness! But I love what today represents, because it’s a celebration of ALL mothers, no matter how long or how short. Mothers impact our lives in a huge way. What a great and awesome responsibility we have! I’m thankful that God blessed me with these two angels. I feel honored to raise them!

 

 

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Easter

I LOVE Easter! Not because of the candy or the bunny, but because of what the holiday celebrates, our risen Savior! I’m one of the worship leaders at our church, so we always have Jesus on our lips in this house! But especially at Easter. Turner is obsessed with talking about Jesus and “the cross where Jesus died” which is so cute and disturbing all at the same time. How does one talk to a four year old about God coming to earth as a man, being brutally beaten, and being hung on the cross to suffer an excruciating death, and then defeating death by rising from the grave?? The answer is I don’t know. But I talk to him as if he gets it. And maybe he does?

The weekend was spent celebrating Jesus, spending time together, and of course hunting for eggs! This is the first year Turner was psyched about hunting for Easter eggs. We had a neighborhood hunt on Saturday which was at the park across from our house. They let the little kids hunt first and then unleashed the bigger kids. I thought that was a great idea so the little guys at least had a chance!

While Turner hunted for every last egg, Gracie found a spot to sit and collect rocks in her super cool basket.

Sunday, after church, we headed to my mom’s for an amazing dinner with the family and yet another Easter egg hunt!

There’s nothing better than celebrating Jesus with our babies! They’re at an age where the holidays are so much more meaningful. I love every second of it! I am feeling beyond blessed! Happy Easter. He is risen!

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A Healthier “Easter Basket” & Toddler Snacks

I recently saw a blog post by Danielle Walker on building a healthier Easter basket. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am plagued by the thought of feeding sugar and candy to my kids! Not that it never happens, but when it’s within my control, I try to have healthier (and just as delicious) options for Turner and Gracie to avoid the temptation and help them build healthy habits! Enter the Easter basket…

I just can’t get down with loading a basket full of candy and handing it over to my kids! I just can’t! So, after reading Danielle’s post, I decided to take a trip with the kids so they could pick out some of their favorite snacks from the bulk aisle of Whole Foods. They were actually SUPER excited about this! This is what they picked out: pistachios, dried mango, banana chips, cacao energy bites, and some frozen berries. (I know you’re probably thinking, well your kids are freaks. My kids would never pick out pistachios. But the idea is, get them to pick what they want within the boundaries that you’ve created. And remember, you can always say NO!) So these are the goodies they’ll snack on Easter morning! We had to test it out of course…

While we’re at it, I wanted to share a recent lunch and breakfast idea. Basically, anything that is arranged in a pretty pattern will have my kids gobbling it down! So our lunches recently have been Peanut butter, honey, and Coconut Butter (this is the bomb. Warm it and spread it on bread, or drop a huge spoonful in your smoothies) with a side of fruit, cheese, and pistachios. They tear it up!

Another idea, now that it’s getting warmer, is the smoothie bowl! You can make it however you want. Here’s the deal though, it’s thicker than a smoothie, so that means more work on your blender. I use a high speed blender (like THIS) so it doesn’t explode. Another option is the food processor which works great. OR if you don’t have either of these, just add some more liquid to thin it out a bit. It’s still delicious! So in this bowl I had about (I don’t measure) 2 cups organic frozen berries, 1/2 ripe avocado, 1 cup frozen banana, heaping Tbsp Coconut Butter, 1/2 cup to 1 cup of strawberry cashew milk (use whichever liquid you like), 1/2 cup raw walnuts, 1 Tbsp Acai Powder. Start on low speed and build up to high using the tamper (if you have a Vitamix) to blend completely. Pour into bowls and top with goodies like Cacao Nibs, coconut, and fresh or frozen berries. SO GOOD!

 

Happy snacking!

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Strawberry Picking

We have been picking strawberries for almost a decade now! Stew and I used to go every year back when we were dating! That was so long ago, I can hardly remember it. Who are these two kids?!

Now, I can’t even go to the bathroom without my personal space being invaded, let alone have a proper date with my husband! Anyway, I digress…

Boone Hall Farms has a HUGE field of red juicy strawberries. We probably eat more than we pick!

Our neighbor, Madison, came with us. She is one of our favorites! She loves to play with the kids. I mean, who would blame her?? They’re pretty cool.

Gracie and Stew wandered up and down the aisles eating strawberries, while I competitively searched for the biggest, juiciest strawberries out there! Watch out people!

We will be eating all things strawberry! If I come up with any good recipes, I’ll be sure to share them! I hope your week is off to a fantastic start! Spring is in the air!! Sun’s out…crack’s out?

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Sweet Summertime

So it might not be summer yet, but we went from freezing temps to 80 degrees and sunny in a matter of days! It’s the weather we’ve been waiting for. The pollen has died down and we can enjoy being outside! The windows are open and we are soaking up the sun as much as possible (before it gets too hot)!

The kids couldn’t be more excited. Turner always has a habit of stripping down to his undies first thing in the morning, and Gracie, trying to copy all things Bubba does, follows suit. It’s going to be a summer of chunky thigh heaven!

Turner is in school three days a week, so that’s usually my time with just Gracie. I love it because I feel like I had nothing but time with Turner, and Gracie is such a second child. The other day, I set up a tent in the driveway and the two of us hung out outside eating lunch and playing. It was glorious!

And of course as soon as Turner gets home, he wants to be outside too! We did some gardening the other day which was so fun. He loves to help and Gracie just does everything he does so it’s easy to keep tabs on them both.

They are both at such fun ages! I love our days together and am psyched for all of the warm weather fun to be had!

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