Saturday, April 27, 2013

weekend by the oaks

so I posted the other day about my major mishap while on the plains last weekend. Besides ruining my own day, everything was wonderful. The company, the weather, the laughter and the memories were all together on my old stomping grounds that I have missed oh so much. Here are some pictures captured of Saturday in Auburn and Sunday at Lake Martin. Makes me very antsy for football season...

Beautiful orange and blue sunset to finish off the day

Sad day- Tuesday, April 23, the oaks were removed as I watched via webstream

chapped chin from yesterday's wind+slober

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Month 5 & 6 must haves

I have combined my posts for my Month 5 & 6 Must Haves for two reasons. One,  I had already made my Month 5 list but never got around to posting it. Two, Month 6 is kind of a joke. Not really, but it is. This has been a pretty easy month- she is still in love with everything from the earlier months and not much has changed in the feeding/pooping/sleeping department, so I wouldn't even consider Month 6 Must Haves to be worthy of it's own post....


1. Sofie the Girafe teething ring
Due to Rilynn's constant teething symptoms, she wants to chew- nonstop.

2. Aveeno baby products 
Ri has had a bout of eczema this winter and although the doc gave us a prescription ointment, these products cleared up the eczema overnight.

3. Bumbo seat & tray 
You could probably do without this seat, but we use it to feed solids. She is just now getting the hang of the spoon so unless I want splattered and spit baby food all over her fabric items (or my sofa), this has worked out great for meals. It is easy to wipe down and carry along with you. Plus, you can probably find one used for a good price.

4. Tadpoles playmat
I love this thing. So much so that I bought a second one. You can configure it however you would like, and it is super comfy for little bit's head, knees, whatever. Since we aren't crawling yet, I have a little section in my living room, a little in her playroom and a section at the nanny's house so she always has somewhere to lie down and play without worrying about germs, hard surfaces, etc.

5. Baby Einstein exersaucer
Ri has really gotten into her exersaucer. She will occupy herself so I can take a shower, I can move it into the kitchen while I do dishes (nope, not cooking), and she is so proud of herself now that she is figuring out how to use all of the parts to it. We still haven't gotten the "bouncing" part yet, but like her momma, she is a midget and can't really reach the floor yet. We will get there.

6. Boppy Lounger
I first saw this item when I went to pick baby up from daycare and she was chillin on her tummy on this thing.  It is awesome. When baby is too big for the boppy, get the lounger. We can sit on the couch with the lounger next to us, and have Ri lie on her back in the little "nook" and feed her her bottle. It makes it super easy and she will just chill in it. Sometimes even fall asleep.

7. 4moms Breeze Pack'n'Play
This sucker is kinda heavy, but it is still amazeballs. It isn't fugly with all kinds of crap on it, it is super easy to open and close, and we personally use it a lot. Weekends at friends' houses and being at a nanny's house every day calls for a place to nap. She seems to do really well with the Breeze.

8. Oball Rattle ball
As soon as Ri started grasping things, it was on like Donkey Kong. I just happened to grab this ball one day while shopping so she could have something to occupy her in the store. She loved it. Best thing ever. Because of all of the holes, she could easily hold onto the ball. The little beads make it rattle for interest, and it is made out of a rubber so she can bang herself in the head a million times with it. This probably could have been the only toy we had in the house for many many weeks.

I am telling you what, kids. I have had enough of feeding in the bumbo. I think my child has, too. I kinda hate the price tag but kinda love the highchair too much to care. It grows with your child so you can use it for years to come, has a 5-point harness so your monster can't go anywhere and the pads are removable for easy cleaning. Since it will be seen in your kitchen for 3+ years, I guess a piece of furniture at this cost should at least be pleasing to the eyes, right? I know, I just sold you on it too. 

We love this thing. I think it is adorbs and want to play tea party. Ri wants to throw the orange and watermelon while Copper chews the cups. But in all seriousness, it is a great developmental tool as we practice I show her how to put the objects in the basket and take them back out. She loves digging for them! 

3. Remote Control
What is it with babies and remote controls? And they know which one works and which one doesn't. Seriously?! We are almost crawling over here and something tells me that the remote is going to be the objective. 

Any teething ring will do, and we are still obsessed with Sofie the Giraffe, but this thing is precious and I love that the cloth "ears" will catch all of that St. Bernard drool. 

5. Linkies
Not much to them. Pretty straight forward. But baby is ecstatic to throw them around, throw them on the floor, put them in her mouth and twist them in her hands. We keep a pair in the diaper bag and a pair in her carseat. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

i goofed. and its ok.

I will post about the better half of this weekend's trip later. This post is strictly for all the mommies beating yourselves up for having fallen victim to a "Mommy No-No" at some point in your lives. Boy did I mess up this weekend...

This weekend we took a trip to Auburn for the last rolling of the trees, and then spent the night/Sunday afternoon at Lake Martin. You can read about how much I was anticipating this trip here. I guess I have failed to mention at times that I am ridiculously Type A and can get quite anxious in settings where things have to go smoothly just right. Saturday was one of those times. I planned and planned so there would be no room for error (mishaps, bad moods, weather malfunctions, etc.).

Well, if there was ever an experience to teach me that as a parent, I just can't plan it all...

We were dressed, loaded and in the car on time. We were on the road and in Auburn within 10 minutes of the ETA on my itinerary. We found a spot in the intramural fields for all 4 cars to park alongside each other so we could tailgate in the grass and let the baby play. Kickoff was at 1. Half the crew went to the game while the rest of us packed up the stroller and the babe and set off to Toomer's for pictures and souvenirs.
While there were some people at Toomer's when we arrived, it was easy enough to get some good pictures and walk around campus a bit. The men had no intentions of shopping so they went to a local watering hole. My MIL, sister and I went and bought Ri all kinds of crap, just loving every minute of it. I noticed within an hour that people seemed to have a similar idea- go to Toomer's before the game is over so it isn't so crowded. Well that defeats the purpose when everyone does it, right? You betcha.
The next thing I knew, we were starting to have to bob and weave through people with the stroller. It was starting to make me a little anxious. We decided to go behind Samford and change Ri's diaper and give her a bottle before we all met back up and got the heck out of dodge.

It was a nice, shady spot to recharge; not very populated. My MIL changed Ri as I got her bottle ready. And then it happened. One of my biggest nightmares came true. Right smack in the middle of a town of which I am no longer too familiar, with 83,000 other people there, I realized I had left the nipple to her bottle in a different bottle bag...back at the tailgate... a good 30 minute walk away.

*Sidenote: I have one of those children that is happy as a lark one second and then, a light switch goes off and Mr. Hyde appears. She is suddenly ravished and you better have a bottle ready, and ready now. So we were trying to prevent this all-too-common reaction of hers altogether. 

My mind starts racing as I am mentally screaming at myself. Are you serious? Did you really do that? Who does that? How COULD you do that?! What the heck are you going to do to fix this problem, you idiot!?
My MIL, calm and collected after having raised 3 boys, tells me to run over to Toomer's Drugs (we are sure they sell bottles) and just buy one. She will pacify the baby until I get back.

I take off. And am halted 5 seconds later at the corner by a sea of people. I start trying to weasel through, knowing this is the courteous thing to do, but getting me nowhere.

My child is hungry and needs me. And it is my fault. 

So I just start pushing. The corner is blocked off for a band. I have to turn back around to where I started and go to the other corner. This cannot be happening right now. 

Toomer's Drugs only carries souvenirs now. No drugstore-type items. Really? I stand in the corner for a second, not wanting anyone to see my panic as I try to calm down and slow my brain enough to THINK. Ok, what should I do?! Where is the nearest drugstore or grocery store? Not within walking distance.

Store next door has none and tells me to try Toomer's.

I am now panicked and trying not to lose all composure in front of a bunch thousands of strangers. There are so many people now that the my phone won't even dial out. I wonder if the baby is screaming. My MIL probably hates me by now. Should I try calling hubs again? And if it works, how do I explain myself? 

I go back to the bookstore where we had just spent a fortune on a happy baby an hour or so earlier, and pushed my way to the cash register. My voice and lip quivered as I spoke those words that sounded so shameful to me, "Do you sell any baby bottles?" I just knew that because of the look on my face, the lady would immediately be thinking, "What a horrible mother would forget the necessities to feed her child?"
I could also hear all the breastfeeding moms out there thinking, "If you were doing the natural thing and breastfeeding, this never would have happened." 

Instead, all she said was "No, but we have some sippy cups... Are you ok?"
And then... the floodgates opened.
I lost whatever composure I had left, right smack there in the middle of the store.  "No, I am not. I am an idiot and left part of my child's baby bottle at the tailgate a gazillion miles away. She is only 7 months old and she is hungry. I can't get to her because of all of the people and the phones don't work to call my husband and tell him I am a mad woman running around town with a starving child waiting nearby." The guy in the framing department motioned for me to sit in the back room as I tried to catch my breath (yes, I was hyperventilating from the anxiety). The cashier found me the ONE sippy cup they had left. I don't know if she even said anything. I was back out the door in a dead sprint to where my MIL was undoubtedly rocking my screaming, starving child.

I had stopped crying but could not even swallow- my mouth was dry from hyperventilating and running for the last hour. As soon as I turned the corner and spotted them, I fell apart again. Uncontrollable sobs- of pity- and thankfulness that I had gotten back in one piece and my child was still alive (I know, get a grip).
The men are standing there. They had apparently walked up right as I had taken off on the hunt of my life. First thing out of my husband's mouth? "Why wouldn't ya'll have just started walking to the tailgate?" Not.helpful. I could have killed him right then and there. And my child? Sound asleep in my MIL's arms.

I looked like a lunatic. I was shaking, exhausted- mentally and physically, feeling the mommy guilt for forgetting such a thing and anger towards my husband for just 

I am responsible for every little thing this human being needs and does, as well as myself. Umm... that is a lot of pressure!! I am my biggest critic. I expect there to be an oops once in a while but this was one I just couldn't quit shaming myself for. And in a moment of panic, in the middle of such an event, one's mind doesn't really think things through before just jumping into action. I thought I was doing what I had to do in order to keep my baby from losing it as well.

Being a new mom is the most challenging thing I have, and will, ever do. A challenge that no matter the obstacles, it is one I will never ever regret.

Yes, one day, I will look back at Saturday and laugh. I already am, a little. But until then, to all you new moms out there- it is OK to forget things, have a little down time, not get everything right the first second time around. It is OK to look like a crazy person over the well-being of your child (or at least I am going to tell myself that. To all those strangers, I just looked like a crazy person) AND it is ok to cry about it.
And we need each other to vent and fall back on for encouragement because although I love my husband, let's face it- in a MOMMY situation, he is clueless to what I am going through. He has no idea how detrimental it was to me that I forgot one lousy nipple.

So! That is my crazy lady story of the day that I am no longer ashamed to tell. I know there are other moms out there, tight-lipped in fear of public opinion. I have decided that if I am not completely honest with myself and others, and stand by my actions, choices, and goofs, I will never be able to let go of my anxieties and completely embrace my role as a mommy. 

Here are some articles I definitely needed to read after Saturday. Hell, after any day.

Friday, April 19, 2013

One Last Roll

After spending the good part of tonight packing our life into Chris's truck, the fam is headed to the loveliest village on the plains tomorrow morning.


I have been anticipating this day for months and will be up at the crack of dawn to make sure we don't forget anything for our first semi-long car trip with baby, first major public outing with baby, and the last rolling of Toomer's with baby.

It is the annual Spring scrimmage; baby's first A-Day. And not just any A-Day. Tomorrow marks the last rolling of the Auburn Oaks at Toomer's Corner. The Oaks that I have been celebrating under since I was a child.
I remember getting my face painted at J&M's nearly 20 years ago, walking with my parents to the grassy field (that is now a massive parking lot & freshman dorms) to tailgate with my older cousins who were in school there at the time. I remember following the crowds down to Toomer's Corner after a win- shakers in tow- excited to squeeze my way through the sea of people to the trunks of those trees, just to try my best at catching & throwing one of the flying rolls of toilet paper. I remember the countless times I took a look around at it all and thought to myself, "One day, I will go to school here. I will live here."
And I did.
And it was one of the best times of my life.

Now, I am nearly 30 years old with a daughter of my own. And on her first encounter with the trees of my past, it will also be her last. But I am so thankful she will get to experience them at all. 
I don't care that she will have no clue or memory of it.
I will, and it will be one of those moments that I will treasure as a parent- to be able to share my love of something with my child. 

The magnificent trees will undoubtedly be replaced with something suitable, but never will the replacement be as remarkable as the oaks. Tomorrow will be the last time Auburn's family celebrates under the trees. Someone from a rivalry team poisoned the Oaks over 2 years ago. Everything has been done to stall the inevitable. They will be removed next week.

I couldn't care less about the actual game of football tomorrow. Tomorrow, Rilynn gets to see those trees. And I get to see it unfold.

Some well-written articles on Auburn's Oaks and their story.
Final Roll Call 
Bidding Farewell

Very precious children's books written about Auburn and/or the Oaks.
Auburn Tigers Children's Book "War Eagle!" by Pat Dye

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's here!

It is here! The Spring 2013 edition of to & from. Seriously, I love this thing. Always such fabulous gift options for every celebration of the seasons, and in such a timely manner. I mean, Mother's Day is a few weeks away but if you are like me, last minute gift ideas suck.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

current lustings

I want, I want, I want. Does that ever actually end?

I have spotted this rug TWICE on Instagram in the past week or so and it is calling out to me something awful. I would take runners for the kitchen that I hope to have within the year (that's another post altogether), or I would take a large one for Rilynn's nursery (that I will then want to completely re-do of course).

Lulu and Georgia Jaeda Rug, Pink Flamingo

I adore this baby carriage for Ri, although I am skeptical of how well the wheels would hold up to her wanting to push it on the sidewalks. But then again, I have heard great reviews, even of many kiddos who learned to walk with this thing so I think I have mentally bought it anyways.

Manny and Simon

With the current fun, funky fashion of mixing prints and colors, these skimmers would go with just about anything.

Gap Blue Dot Skimmer

I also adore this floral pair.

Gap 1969 Large Floral Skimmer

I love, love, LOVE summer and the warm evenings on the porch. My fondest childhood memories involve the porch, my mom & our swing. So, if the hubs is paying attention, I am dying for a swing on our porch for Mother's Day (wink wink!). This is exactly what I want + super soft cushions. Not sure if it would be worth our time and money to build a custom one so it can be a little over-scaled, or if we should just buy one and paint it...

All Things Cedar 3-Seat Wood All Things Cedar Natural Unstained Porch Swing

P.S. I Adore You & Brickyard Buffalo have daily deals that are just too much. Yet 2 more daily shopping addictions to add to my list. I am currently coveting the baby polka dot skirt that is on sale for $8.00 (and 100% of the commission goes to childhood cancer research!!) at P.S. I Adore You, and I so wish I could suck myself into the girls' size 12/14 so mini and I could match. Scratch that. They must have heard my cries because Saturday they added the gold polka dot skirt in adult sizes! So these puppies should be arriving at my doorstep shortly and I am squealing inside just thinking about it. And I am about to burst your bubble when I tell you that this sale is over. But they have new and fabulous stuff constantly so go check them out!

Rifle Paper Co. is the greatest and I am drooling over alot

Wildflower Thank You Postcards
Thank You postcards
Pink Ombré iPhone 4 Case - SLIM
Pink Ombre iPhone case
I love these cards and don't really see why you couldn't frame them as prints. 
Heck, seeing that there are 2 of each design in the set, that's a set for you and a set for a friend for less than $10 each!  

Assorted Floral Set
Assorted Floral Set- $18.00/2 of each

Vintage Blossoms Set
Vintage Blossoms set

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I was going to post about a bunch of things I want. Material things. But my gut told me that today was not the day to do so. So I will just be silent and reflect on the tragedies of yesterday.

As a counselor by career, I feel it is only necessary for me to post helpful information today. Cool Mom Picks posted an incredible list of helpful resources for talking to your children about the Boston Marathon bombings as well as tragedy in general. 

God be with America, Boston, all those affected by yesterday's horror, and the families of those who lost their lives, as we all grapple with this sickening reality, yearning for answers and peace.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

happy half-birthday, cupcake

I just I know I say it all the time, but seriously, didn't I just come home from the hospital? Didn't I just return to work after maternity leave? The saying is true: the days drag on but the months/years fly by. It really puts into perspective how much I should be relishing in the little daily moments of life as Ri is rapidly changing. We have officially boxed up all of our NB-3m clothing and are in daily outfits of jeggings, sandals and halter tops. I yearned for the day she would be old enough and big enough to wear these and now I am sad that we are not able to just wear our jammies 24/7 and get away with it.
Rilynn has been the BEST child the past 6 months. Seriously, I know there are plenty of other super easy kids out there but I am so thankful that up until now, I can say I have had one of them. Who knows what the future holds, but so far she has been the happiest little thing. She isn't as chill as some of my friends' babies, but just as friggin' happy.

Cupcake is the nickname Ri's wonderful nanny (although I don't like calling her a "nanny" because I consider her more like a dear friend or family member) gave her when we first started with her back at the end of January. She said it was because she just wants to eat her up. So, the nickname has stuck and I am pretty happy with it. I mean, who doesn't love cupcakes?!

She is busy busy busy and could quite possibly be running as soon as she can stand up & keep her balance. She gets quite pissed off as soon as she is on her tummy and can't figure out how to get her flailing legs to move her forward into a crawl. So she just lies there, grunting, whining and kicking like mad. She then gets super pissed if she is on her back and can't get herself onto her tummy. Actually, she has done it a few times and will even sleep on her side some, but I am pretty sure she has learned that someone else can do it for her if she acts pathetic enough.

Ri weighed in at 14.1 pounds and 25.5 inches long at her 6mth doctor's appointment. I am five foot on a good day. Doc said that right now she is on the scale to be 5'3 when she is older. It really freaked me out to think of her as an adult, and taller than me.

She is a fabulous sleeper and doesn't seem too sensitive to sleep. She usually sleeps from 8:30/9:00 PM- 6:45 AM  with 3 naps during the day. We do have our occasional regression whether it is due to congestion, teething, wonder week, etc. but they are few and far between.

Ri is eating a bit more. We are close to finishing our 8 oz bottles at every feeding and are now also eating solids 2x a day. She has done really well with the solids and the spoon. As far as veggies go, sweet potatoes with some cinnamon seem to be her favorite, and Ella's Kitchen Strawberries and Apples have been a huge hit in the fruit department.

Our favorite game is still hide-under-the-blankie-and-giggle. She will now try to play this with anything- her shirt, burp cloth, bib, diaper.
She loves her exersaucer and has started grabbing at things so she can sling them around and then throw them on the floor.

She loves her feet

Trying to pick up one of the eggs from her Aunt Jess
 We are officially past the ooo's and coo's and are now babbling and squealing.

We have had teething symptoms for two months now but I think we are officially about to see some sprouts. At least I hope so! She has not been "talking" much the past few days, the drool now resembles that of a Saint Bernard and not only has she been difficult with naps but for two mornings this week, we have woken up at 4:30 for no apparent reason and has had some awful diapers that have left her poor little bum blistered and makes me hurt to look at it. She uses her finger as a teether and sometimes I look at her and I would swear the chick is chewing gum. WTH? We actually saw her doing it last night as she watched us eat dinner so I am thinking we might be imitating? So funny.

She is still obsessed with Copper but is now trying to grab at his face when he licks her and will then get ahold of his fur.

She is getting better at sitting up on her own every day. We are so close to being there but not quite confident in it yet. I have started letting her sit for a minute or so in her bathtub with me holding her upright instead of her lying on the infant incline. She loves it. Its like a whole new world to be able to see her toys floating in the water.

She definitely has Daddy's lips!!

Hanging out at GiGi's

We still don't have much any hair.

And does it at all come as a shock that I am now considering cupcakes as the theme of her first birthday?!


Friday, April 5, 2013

easter 2013

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! Ours was exhausting, busy and wonderful.

I finished my gold-leaf Easter eggs (you can find the tutorial here), and they turned out fabulous. Seriously, you can't mess these up. I will definitely do them again one year.

Gold-leaf Easter eggs

I bought some el cheapo plastic Easter eggs at Target last week and we have been having LOTS of Easter-inspired play over the weekend. Baby Ri has thoroughly enjoyed throwing them around, seeing the array of colors and listening to them clink and clank around in a basket. We filled some with different materials to make a range of rattle noises (think pasta, rice, etc.), and we are now playing with them in the bathtub for a bit. In the future, I plan to use them to make a busy bag for alphabet matching. For more ideas on using all of those eggies, check out this post.

Easter Sunday I got up bright and early to make sure we were all dressed and in our Sunday best for church. Catholic mass on Easter Sunday somewhat resembles a stampede of animals trying to get to one watering hole. With a 5 month old in tow, I was determined to be ahead of the herd and in my seat well in advance. My anxiety over such things don't play. Therefore, Ri was the only one to get breakfast and the Easter baskets had to wait until lunch.

Ri was great at church until time for communion so we hung out in the foyer.
 Ri's custom Easter dress turned out adorbs. Seriously, I didn't want her to ever take it off. The bonnet was my favorite part. Hubs said she looked like a pilgrim. I told him I was taking that as a compliment. Unfortunately, the weather was not as favorable as one would hope for Easter. It was thundering when we were in church and then it rained until late afternoon. So even though the sun came out a bit later, the grass was too wet to get pics of Ri in her attire.

Some of my family came to our house for Easter lunch. Ri decided to take her only nap of the day at that point, so we got a quick glimpse of our Easter basket and she was ready to peace out. 
My Easter pilgrim checking out her digs. Easter goodies

with my mom and siser
We then hung out and everyone watched Hangover II on tv (I know, we all joked about what a wholesome family movie it is to watch together on Easter). I snapped pictures of Copper playing with his new toy, a.k.a one-of-Ri's-he-decided-to-steal-out-of-her-basket-while-she-was-sleeping. 

We then all loaded up and went to the in-laws for the big Catholic Easter gathering. It was loud, bustling, and full of food. Ri racked up yet again with more Easter goodies and decided there was too much going on to nap again for the day. 

I will be back tomorrow- Ri Baby's half-birthday is here! Tear.