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June 2016

    Travel

    Our Happy Place

    Yesterday, my husband and I took our two girls, two checked bags, one carry-on, two diaper bags, a stroller, carseat, and carseat base on a trip to our happy place. However, my husband got right back on the same plane and flew home thirty minutes later. IMG_7042This was planned. Unfortunately. I mean, how was I supposed to get all of that up to the mountains alone? So, Kevin came along for the ride, a ride that actually does not include any funny stories, crazy tantrums, loud screams, or even tiny baby cries. Because, my kids were perfect.

    I know, you probably don’t even want to read any further, because, well, boring. But, I truly can’t believe how smooth the flight went, especially because I am not the kind of person to stress and plan ahead. I really went into this flight just hoping everyone would behave, and I got lucky, they did.

    Did you know that there are only four oxygen masks in every row of three seats? Well, there were four of us, so the woman who was assigned the third seat in our row had to move. I apologize, woman who had thought she secured an awesome aisle seat in the second row, but this row is ours. So, my husband called dibs on the baby for the flight, and I was in charge of Juliet. Well, Anniston slept almost the entire two hours and Juliet enjoyed some new snacks (I searched the aisles of Publix for snacks she had never seen before, so each one was a new surprise!) and watched some of the best episodes of Peppa Pig and Doc McStuffins that iTunes offers.

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    When we landed, my husband helped get everyone and everything off of the plane, walked us to baggage claim, then went right back on the plane to fly home. He’ll be back in a few days, and we can’t wait to see him. But, until then, we will be exploring, shopping, hiking, swimming, and enjoying our happy place.

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    Matching Rompers // Juliet’s Bathing Suit

    Motherhood

    A Day in the Life

    Just in case you decide to have your kids 13 months apart…

    4:30am – Anniston starts to wake up. She still sleeps in her bassinet in our room, so I give her a pacifier and hope she will fall back asleep.

    5:01am – Anniston is definitely not going back to sleep. Kevin gets up and makes her bottle, he comes back in the room to get Anniston and change her. This is one of the best arrangements we have. He makes the bottle, changes Anniston, then I feed her while he goes back to sleep.

    5:30am – Anniston falls asleep in my arms after her bottle. My husband will be getting up soon for work and will be making a lot of noise. I decide the best chance I have of her staying asleep is to keep her on me.

    6:32am – Anniston wakes up as Kevin leaves the house for work. We go out to the family room for a little tummy time.

    7:29am – Anniston falls asleep on me again and I put her down for a nap.

    7:45am – Shower. If I don’t shower now, I will never shower again. In my life. At least that is how it feels every morning as I race to shower before one of the girls wakes up.

    7:58am – Realize I forgot to grab clothes from the bedroom before I put Anniston down. I can’t go grab clothes now because that will definitely wake her up. Walk out to the living room and see that yesterday’s laziness pays off. I have a hamper of clean clothes from yesterday that I never put away. This load of laundry consisted of pajamas and gym clothes, I opt for the clean pajamas.

    8:05am – Now that I have solved the clothing issue, I am faced with my daily hair dilemma. The guest bathroom is right across the hall from Juliet’s room, so if I blow dry my hair in there it will most likely wake her. Anniston is asleep in the master bedroom, so blow drying my hair in the master bath is not an option. Top knot for the win today.

    8:07am – Make smoothie and scroll through social media.

    8:38am – Anniston wakes up. Change her, make bottle, feed her.

    8:45am – Juliet is awake and talking in her crib. She will have to stay there until Anniston is done eating. Hurry up, Anniston.

    9:04am – Juliet is quiet again, Anniston is still eating.

    9:14am – Get Juliet. Realize why she wasn’t yelling to get out of her crib. She was busy reading. IMG_6801For months now I have allowed Juliet to bring one or two toys to bed with her each night. Those toys used to be her Lambie and a baby doll, but lately Jules has wanted to bring a book with her. Fine with me, but my husband calls her a nerd every time.

    9:18am – Put Anniston in her rocker while I feed Juliet.IMG_6800

    9:51am – Juliet starts saying “Peppa, Peppa, where’s Peppa?” I turn on one of our 21 recorded episodes of Peppa the Pig. Juliet starts waving, saying “Hi Peppa! Hi Peppa!”

    9:57am – I change Anniston and the two of us sit down together to watch some Peppa while Jules plays in the family room.

    10:11am – Juliet finds that laundry basket that came to my rescue earlier. Leggings, socks, and sports bras are now all over the floor. Awesome.

    10:32am – Juliet asks for cookies. I say no.

    10:38am – Juliet asks for cookies. I say no, again.

    10:41am – Juliet gets into the pantry and brings me the first thing she can reach, a bag of popcorn. I say no, and put the popcorn on the couch, out of reach.

    10:49am – I text with a friend who is also flying with her toddler next week. Each of us hoping that the other has all of the secrets to traveling with kids. Neither of us have those secrets. Meanwhile, Juliet has gotten a hold of that out-of-reach bag of popcorn, and is now shoving handfuls of it into her mouth. I should probably stop texting. I grab the baby and we all head to the nursery to play.

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    11:29am – Too much play time for Anniston. She is now screaming and crying. I realize what time it is, and I put Juliet down for her nap. She only takes one nap and it needs to be before her swim lesson, so into the crib she goes. I pick Anniston up and try to get her to fall asleep.

    11:44am – Anniston is still fighting sleep, I can hear Juliet throwing everything that was in her crib on to the floor, and Miguel shows up. Our lawn guy comes about every two weeks, but we don’t have a specified day or time. So, right now, nap time, this is when Miguel chooses to come. He uses his mower, edger, blower, and every other contraption designed to make as much noise as possible, and both girls are awake.

    12:20pm – Miguel is done. Juliet is asleep, and I am able to put Anniston down for a nap. Now seems like a good time to get to that laundry that is now all over my kitchen and dining room floor.

    12:57pm – Anniston cries. I change her, make a bottle, and feed her.

    1:11pm – As I am feeding Anniston, I realize my TV has been paused on The Real Housewives of Dallas since I put Jules down for her nap. I am two episodes behind. Looks like it will stay that way.

    1:52pm – Jules is awake. I change her and bring her out to the family room, hoping she will not make a beeline for the master bedroom where she knows the baby is sleeping.

    1:54pm – Get a text from the swim instructor. She is running thirty minutes ahead of schedule. Super. I now have to change Juliet again.

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    2:00pm – Swim lessons start. The instructor comes to our house, and in week 5 (we are now in week 6) we realized that it is best if I am not outside. So I grab Anniston and the two of us watch from the Kitchen window. The entire lesson consists of Juliet floating on her back yelling, “Mommy, Out! Mommy, Out!”

    2:11pm – Swim lessons end and Juliet gets her stamps. I swear the only reason this child still gets in the pool with the instructor is because she wants her hands stamped at the end.

    2:20pm – I make lunch for Juliet, chicken nuggets and peas (the only vegetable she likes), while Anniston hangs out in her rocker.IMG_6865

    2:55pm – I put Anniston down for a nap and start to clean up from lunch. While Juliet plays, I do more laundry.

    3:37pm – I need a break. We FaceTime Nana because Juliet keeps asking for cookies and I need to take her mind off of the cookies she is not going to get.

    4:15pm – I clean bottles, glasses, sippy cups, and dishes. Juliet talks to her reflection in the oven then grabs anything she can reach out of the pantry. This time, it’s quinoa.IMG_6808

    5:11pm – Anniston wakes up. I make a bottle and feed her. Wow, I just realized now that she slept for over 2 hours, it seemed a lot shorter yesterday.

    5:28pm – Make dinner for Juliet. She seemed to really want that quinoa earlier… so quinoa pasta shells it is!

    5:43pm – Kevin gets home from work and starts to eat Juliet’s dinner.

    6:01pm – Jules is done eating, Kevin has the baby, so I decide to put Juliet in the doll stroller and race her up and down the hallway. Sometimes I really just need to entertain myself, this was one of those times. After I get tired of running and pushing her around, she decides she wants to do the same thing with her doll.IMG_6810IMG_6812IMG_6811

    6:28pm – Anniston is sleeping on Kevin and Juliet sets off every single toy we own that plays music, talks, or makes some other kind of loud noise. Anniston wakes up, awesome.

    6:32pm – Bath time.IMG_6813

    6:50pm – Put on Juliet’s pajamas, give her a sippy cup of milk and sit on the couch with her.

    7:00pm – Put Juliet to bed. Change into workout clothes, and leave for the gym.

    8:08pm – I get home from the gym and as I am unlocking the front door I hear Anniston crying. I walk in, take one look at my husband, and realize he has had enough. Looks like my shower will have to wait. I take Anniston and give her a bath.IMG_6816

    8:22pm – Kevin feeds Anniston so that I can shower.

    8:33pm – Eat the dinner that my husband made while I was at the gym. Quinoa pasta (he clearly didn’t steal enough of Juliet’s food, so he had to make more) with broccoli and brussel sprouts.

    8:52pm – I take Anniston and try to put her to sleep while we turn on Bloodline, our current Netflix obsession.

    9:01pm – Write an email to a friend that I was supposed to write last week. Bad friend. Need to get this done asap.

    9:19pm – Email is sent but I just realized that I have missed everything that has happened in the episode of Bloodline that I am supposed to be watching with the hubs.

    9:20pm – Realize that Anniston has officially fallen asleep on me. Glance over at Kevin and see that he has also fallen asleep. Okay. Well at least we will both have to rewatch that episode.

    9:34pm – Husband wakes up and says “I’m tired.” He apparently doesn’t think I noticed that he had been asleep for the last 45 minutes. We go to bed.

    9:58pm – Send my mom a list of everything we will need from the store for our vacation next week. Turn on Forensic Files. Go to sleep.

    That’s it. That’s what life is like with a toddler and a baby. No great secrets, no cool tricks, just living life, minute-to-minute, trying to keep them both alive and happy.

    Motherhood

    Officially Summer

    It is officially the first day of summer, and for us, that means three months, with three trips, and traveling with two kids. Brand new territory for us. Luckily, my husband and I were smart and made sure that our final summer vaca did not include the two babes, but we still have to make it through the first two before we get our much deserved break.

    Our first trip is this weekend, which means this week will be a hectic one. Juliet is in her final week of swim lessons (which I will blog about soon because I get so many questions about this!), I have some last minute shopping and errands to run, and I need to pack for Juliet, Anniston, and myself for a vacation that is almost three weeks long!

    I am exhausted just thinking about all I have to do, but I could not be more excited for the fun summer we have planned for the girls!

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    T-Shirt // Skirt //  Sandals // Sunglasses

    Juliet’s Bubble // Baby Jacks

    Motherhood

    The 5 Questions You’ve Been Dying to Ask…

    Ever since I got pregnant with Juliet, I have been amazed at the questions that complete strangers have asked me. I don’t even know your name, I am just trying to enjoy my latte and stroll through Target, and you think it’s okay to ask me that?!

    Well, here it is, the 5 questions you have been dying ask… because everyone else I meet sure is.

    Was it planned?

    For some reason, complete strangers think it is okay to ask me if my second daughter was planned. Really? I don’t even know your name, but you want to know whether I am just crazy for having two kids so close in age or if I made one of the most life changing accidents possible. Well, to all those wondering the same thing, I am just crazy. I am one of four kids, and I have loved everything about growing up in a large family. I want four kids. And I want them close in age. So, yes, she was planned, and, as of now, we plan on having more.

    Are you going to try for a boy?

    When people see me with my two girls they almost always ask me if I am going to try for a boy. My response? “No. I am going to try for more girls.” It is so crazy how people think a family is not complete until you have at least one of each gender. Clearly, from the answer to the first question, I would love to have more children. However, I have three sisters, my dad has seven sisters, my older sister has a girl, my husband has two sisters, his older sister has two girls. Girls are all we know. I wouldn’t even know where to start with a boy. So, give me all the girls.

    Are you breastfeeding?

    I don’t understand people’s fascination with what and how I am feeding my child. I have never asked someone this question. But, this is one of the most frequent questions I get asked. Well, here’s the answer. I breast fed Juliet for three weeks before we found out she had a milk protein allergy. She would scream and cry in pain after every feeding. So, I had two options, give up all dairy on the spot, or switch to feeding her a formula without the protein in it. I had to feed her about thirty minutes after we received the diagnosis, and the easiest solution to guaranteeing that I wouldn’t be hurting my child was to go to the store and buy the formula. So we did. With my second, I breast fed for 5 days before switching to formula. She didn’t have the allergy, she was gaining weight, everything was fine, but I was losing my mind. It just didn’t seem possible to be breastfeeding while also  looking after my toddler, a thirteen month old that needed my attention all the time. So, it’s formula for both, and I don’t feel bad about it. Fed is best.

    Anniston, like Jennifer Aniston?

    This question actually leaves me speechless almost every time. Whether it is family, friends, acquaintances, or complete strangers, the first question anyone will ask will, of course, be “what is her name?”. I almost always get one of three responses when I tell people my daughter’s name is Anniston. The first, they want to know if she is named after Jennifer Aniston. Do they really expect me to answer that? No. Just, no. The second, they usually want to correct me. They ask me her name, I say Anniston, then they say, “Oh, you mean Addison?” Again, am I supposed to respond to that? The third is the typical “oh, that’s different” response. Yes, it is different, and that is because I didn’t find the name in a name book, I found it in a list of cities. I had gone through almost every name possible for my second, read every list there was from every country and language possible, and I just couldn’t find one that fit. So, one night, on my couch, I googled city names. I found the list of every city in every state in the country. I started with the first state on the list, Alabama. The cities were listed in alphabetical order and one of the first  cities I saw was Anniston. I loved it.

    Were you like that as a kid?

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    Although I know exactly what people are referring to when they ask this question, I usually like to pretend that I don’t know what they mean. They are asking this because Juliet has the most adorable chubby legs. She has been walking for awhile now and still has not managed to lose any of that baby fat. So, not only are people trying to point out the fact that she is a little bigger than most toddlers, but then they are also asking if I was the same way. It must be because her mom was like that. Well, I wasn’t. I wasn’t tiny by any means, but I did not have the fabulous legs Juliet has. I’m pretty sure she got those from her dad. Either way, she is 17 months old, and who really cares?

    Now if only I could print this list and hand it to strangers when they decide to start asking me questions in the aisles of Target…

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    Motherhood

    A Day with Jules

    On weekends I try to make it a priority to get some alone time with the baby. Anniston is already three months old, and I feel like I rarely have time to just relax with her, play with her, and just take in everything she is at this moment. My husband usually finds something for him and Juliet to do together for a couple of hours, and I stay home with her, staring, holding, and enjoying that time with her as much as I can. But it is just as important to me to get in that quality time with Juliet. After all, it used to be just me and her. She’s my sidekick, my best buddy, it used to be just the two of us tackling the world Target together.

    So, today, it was me and Jules. Laughing, playing, eating frozen yogurt, and enjoying every minute of our time together.

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    Top // Shorts // Sunglasses // Sandals

    Juliet’s Bubble // Juliet’s Shoes

    Around Town

    I’d Rather Be Eating

    Last week I took the girls to Young at Art, a children’s museum that I had heard so much about. I had actually made plans several times to go over the last few months, but for one reason or another it just never worked out. So, after months of anticipation, I again got the girls ready and out the door by 10am, and we were off to see what all the talk was about.

    As we pulled into the parking lot, we were followed by four, yes four, school buses filled with children. I may have actually screamed “Noooo!” out loud in my car, followed by my toddler then repeating “Nooo, nooo, Mommy nooo” over and over. I should have realized right then that we were doomed, because it only got worse.

    The museum does have a large room for kids to run around in and play, and it does have a various amount of activities designed to keep your child busy for hours, but it is not stroller friendly. So, as Juliet tried to run around amongst the 800 other children, I struggled to keep up with Anniston in the huge double stroller. When we finally decided we needed a break, we went into another room for a sing-a-long music session. Some break. We lasted in there for about five minutes. I already have to listen to my toddler banging her drumsticks around the house all day, why would I want to listen to 50 kids banging all at the same time.

    So, to sum up our day in the words I think Juliet would use…

    I’d rather be eating.

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    Motherhood, Style

    Five Best Toddler Shoes for Summer

    Baby fat. That’s the problem.

    That is what the salesperson said when we went shopping for new shoes for Juliet. Now, anyone that has seen Juliet can tell that she has decided to hold on to some of her baby fat a little longer than most, but who knew that was a problem when buying shoes? Well, it is. That chub on the top of her foot and around her ankles eliminates about half of the available selection in her size. Oh yeah, and I should probably mention her size. Despite the fact that she is 16 months old, Jules is still rocking a size 3, equivalent to about a 9-12 month old’s shoe size. So, with our list of issues, we set out to find the best shoes to take us through the summer. FullSizeRender copy 3

    Baby Jacks

    Why didn’t I find these sooner?! These are the absolute best sandal for summer. They are clearly her most fashionable option, and as a Jack Rogers fan myself, it’s hard to resist a little mommy/mini matching, but there are so many other reasons why we love these shoes. They take approximately thirty seconds to get on my toddler’s foot, and once they’re on, they stay on! That strap in the back has thwarted all attempts Juliet has made at removing her shoes, which has become her new carseat activity of choice, and they are the easiest pair we own to keep clean. We painted in these shoes, basically turning them blue and red in a matter of seconds, and with just a quick rinse in the sink they looked brand new again. They are perfect for the beach and will be our most used sandal this summer.

    Crocs

    As you are aware, Jules loves a good splash pad, and we tend to spend a lot of time finding every splash pad we can in South Florida. I wasn’t totally convinced that the Croc was Juliet’s style, but if it stays on her foot, serves it’s purpose as a water shoe, and keeps her little toes from getting stepped on (because her foot has actually been smashed by an adult at a splash pad) then I didn’t need any more convincing. It’s all about that water safety, people.

    See Kai Run Gladiator Sandal

    By far the best shoe made for play and every day use. This shoe is the perfect walker and manages to close around those chubby baby feet. Juliet rocks these on every play date. We had this pair fitted at Nordstrom and she walked out of the store wearing them. They are the easiest shoe to slide on and velcro shut, and although she plays with the velcro on every drive we take, they never come off her feet. I can tell by how she walks that she is the most comfortable in them and I am loving the new pink leather option for summer.

    Salt Water Sandals

     Okay, so I must confess, this shoe does not actually fit well if your baby has any of those “baby fat problems” as the salesperson so lovingly described. I bought these for Juliet and absolutely love them for every day use. They go with every outfit, are great for our Florida weather, and definitely stay on your toddler’s feet with all of those buckles. I even had Jules wearing them for a few weeks until my mom made me stop. I still stand behind these as one of the top five shoes for toddlers, just not Juliet. They have, however, been packed up and saved for Anniston in hopes that she doesn’t suffer the same baby fat problems as Juliet.

    Elephantito Mary Janes

    For the extremely rare occasion that a sandal just won’t cut it, these Mary Janes are our go-to dress up shoe. This brand is made for a wider foot and how can you possibly resist a pink and white Mary Jane? Another sturdy shoe that Juliet feels comfortable walking in and the perfect compliment to all of her bubbles and dresses.

    There it is. Our top five shoes that will get us through the summer, and I know this because Juliet’s feet seem to have no intention of growing, so they should last us awhile.

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