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October 2016

    Motherhood

    My Favorite Age

    21 months.

    Nobody talks about 21 months. It isn’t some huge milestone, nothing big happens at this age, but for me, 21 months is everything.

    At this age, the smallest things are exciting. When Juliet sees an airplane (we live near a private airport, so we see them often, a lot of them), she screams, she dances, she waves to it, she jumps up and down. Then, as it flies away, she says, “bye airplane, mommy, more airplane.” She loves them so much that even I now get excited to see airplanes.

    At this age, she calls every man she sees with a mustache Daddy Pig.

    At this age, everything is beautiful. A beautiful flower. A beautiful rock. A beautiful french fry. She thinks rocks are so beautiful that when she finds one on our walks she insists on giving it a kiss and holding onto it tightly until we return home, where I let her leave it right by the front door, waiting for her.

    At this age, she has checked to see if mommy, daddy, or Anniston have a tail. Dogs have tails, bunnies have tails, Suzy Sheep has a tail.

    At this age, the hugs are big. I could hug this little girl all day, and I almost do, but now, she hugs me. If I am sitting on the floor playing with Anniston, she comes up behind me and wraps her arms around me. When I pick her up, she doesn’t just sit in my arms, she throws her little arms around my neck. At night, when I put her to bed, she squeezes me so tight it makes me want to go in five minutes later and let her do it again. And I have. My husband has too.

    At this age, she has learned to make funny faces. She then asks to FaceTime all of her aunts to show them her funny face.

    At this age, she has learned how to make her sister cry. This includes pouring water on her head in the bath, sitting on top of her in the wagon, throwing toys at her, taking toys away from her, you name it and Juliet has tried it.

    At this age, she has learned how to get her sister to stop crying. Sure, she is usually the reason why she is crying to begin with, but to turn around and see her giving her sister a big hug to try and get her to stop, well, that has to make up for it, right?

    At this age, she loves being tickled. Juliet is extremely ticklish, and I may take advantage of that just to hear that infectious laugh of hers, but now, she grabs my hand and makes me tickle her. We even use one of her play oven mitts and call it the tickle hand. She now brings me that mitt, waits as I squeeze my hand into it, then stands next to me, just waiting for me to tickle her.

    At this age, she insists that everyone’s name ends in shark. This all stems back to a children’s music video, called “Baby Shark”, that we played for her one time on vacation to get her to stop crying. It is now her favorite song, and everything must end in shark. Mommy shark. Daddy shark. Nemo shark. Dori Shark. Juliet shark. Everyone is a shark.

    At this age, they make up words. I can understand almost everything she says these days and her vocabulary is pretty big, but when you are at the mall and your 21-month-old points to a white wall and yells “Seegy!”, now that is just made up.

    At this age, she has learned about the drive-thru. I may be guilty of a few too many drive-thru Starbucks runs, but when she hears me talking to the man at the window, her little hand goes straight up as she starts chanting “pop-pop, pop-pop.”

    At this age, the temper is big and it is quick. If she eats all of her yogurt, tantrum, she wanted more yogurt. If I put her in the wagon, tantrum, she wanted to walk. If I let her walk, tantrum, she wanted to be held. If I let her take Sofia to bed with her, tantrum, she wanted Amber. I give her Amber, tantrum, she wanted Mommy Pig.

    At this age, she wants everyone to be happy, and if you tell her you are sad, she will yell, “happy!”, followed by the biggest smile you will ever see.

    At this age, she is so much.

    21 months.

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    Dress – Charlotte Proper

    Motherhood

    15 Things I Wish I Knew Before We Put Our House Up For Sale

    My husband and I purchased our home two months after we got married. We had been living downtown and didn’t want to give up that lifestyle. Plus, it was just us, so we got a small three bedroom home close to downtown and a mile from the beach. Three bedrooms! Two more bedrooms than we needed, and way more space than we needed or were used to. Then, only four months later, I was pregnant with Juliet. Okay, so now we had a nursery and a guest room. Perfect. Then, only four months after Juliet was born, I was pregnant with Anniston. Still okay. Sure, no guest room, but a bedroom for each girl, what more could we need?

    So glad you asked.

    We need more space!! We need a play room. We need somewhere to hide the eight million toys that are currently under our television, well actually, if I am being honest, they are currently all over my living room, kitchen, dining room, bathroom… you get the picture.

    So, when we finally decided it was time to give up the beach and our downtown lifestyle that is currently nonexistent, I could not have been more excited. The day our realtor came over to list our house was one of the most exciting days ever. Finally, we would get the space we needed!

    But then there are showings. Oh, showings, such a love/hate relationship I have with you. To be exact, there are 15 reasons why the hate part of the relationship seems so much stronger.

    1. Our house did not sell after the first showing.
    2. They will always be scheduled at the worst possible times, on the worst possible days.
    3. People have weird smells, and I can still smell them when I get home after a showing.
    4. Every person that has looked at our house has worn men’s work boots. I swear. Tracks and tracks of work boots across my wood floors. Every time.
    5. Our house did not sell after the second showing.
    6. People have the most absurd feedback. Like they didn’t want wood floors. Okay, great, why did you even come look at our house? My kids could have been napping, thank you.
    7. They are always running late. One time I decided I could drive around with the girls during the 30 minute showing window. That worked out great until the people were 45 minutes late. My girls got an amazing two hour tour of the city that day.
    8. I am constantly cleaning. Like, a different kind of cleaning. The kind of cleaning you do when you know people are going to come in your home and judge every inch of it.
    9. I wish I could do the showings. Tell the people to buy my house, and be done with it. Easy.
    10. Our house did not sell after the third showing.
    11. They have turned what used to be an exciting activity – going to Barnes and Noble and playing with the “choo choos” – into something that is no longer fun. Plus, I think every employee in there now knows us and wonders why we have nothing better to do than trash their children’s floor everyday.
    12. I am constantly nervous that a perfectly good day is going to be ruined by a phone call saying that we have a showing in one hour.
    13. I need them. I hate that I need them so much. I don’t even have the opportunity to say, “No. I don’t feel like letting people look at my house today.” Because what if they were the people.
    14. It is super creepy to leave your house knowing that strangers are about to pull up and walk in. I don’t like it.
    15. Our house did not sell after the fourth showing.

    So there it is. 15 reasons why I hate showings. Now I’m going to get back to staring at my phone, hoping my realtor calls with another showing. Somebody pleeeease buy my house!

    Around Town, DIY

    The Most Fall Weekend in Florida

    We spent our weekend doing all things fall. It never actually feels like fall in South Florida, so the only way to pretend that there are actually four seasons down here is to partake in fall activities.

    To get us in the mood, we started on Friday by hitting up Trader Joes for every pumpkin thing we could find. We baked pumpkin bread, ate pumpkin waffles, and picked up way too many mini pumpkins for Juliet to play with around the house.

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    By Saturday we were knee-deep in fall and ready to take on the pumpkin patch. We went to Bedner’s, about thirty minutes from us, and by 10am it was already swarming with people. My husband made a beeline for the donut truck while I plotted out how we could squeeze in as many activities as possible in the quickest amount of time. Well, those activities included the corn maze, so quick was no longer an option. After getting lost for at least a half hour, we managed to find our way out of the maze and into the pumpkin patch. The girls each got a pumpkin and we were back in the car hurrying home for nap time.

    img_1938img_1959fullsizerender-copy-5img_1979img_2064img_1960img_2065Girls’ Pumpkin Outfits – Little English

    On Sunday it was time to decorate our pumpkins. And for the girl who loves pink… we had to have pink pumpkins. We made “cupcake pumpkins” with the two that the girls found at Bedner’s, then used the easiest decorating trick ever, like ever, for the mini pumpkins we had picked up on Friday.

    fullsizerender-4img_2054fullsizerender-copyimg_2021fullsizerender-6Girls’ Outfits – both from The Beaufort Bonnet Company

    For the “cupcakes” I just used acrylic pink paint to cover each pumpkin, then used a small brush and various colors for the sprinkles. And yes, that is paint on Juliet’s bottom lip… apparently she thought they were actual cupcakes.

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    As for the easiest pumpkin DIY ever… I am sending you over to the blog where I got the idea (because I am just not genius enough to come up with this on my own). For all moms wanting a super quick, mess-free Halloween this year, this DIY is the way to go. (Thanks KtMayMcCord for the awesome idea!)

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    Happy Fall Y’all!

    Travel

    Islamorada Has My Heart

    My husband and I have made it a tradition to go back to the spot of our engagement each year on our anniversary. On our first anniversary I was pregnant with Juliet. Our second, we got to bring Juliet while I was pregnant with Anniston. And now, for our third, we got to bring both of our girls, and share one of our favorite places with them.

    Our week started a little rough. Every storm tracker you looked at had Hurricane Matthew headed our way. By Wednesday, we had our hurricane shutters on the house, and had our whole family worried about how our 1960’s home, a mile from the beach, would hold up in the storm.

    We were still planning on heading to the Keys on Friday morning, hoping to escape the storm and relax on a beach that was not standing in the way of the Category 4 hurricane. But, Thursday morning we received a call from The Moorings, our hotel in Islamorada, and they actually offered us an extra night, no charge, if we wanted to come early. I packed up myself and both girls in under an hour and by noon we were on the road.

    It started raining the minute we drove up to our cottage, but we barely noticed, because we knew it was still better than sitting in a house with two kids, and possibly no electricity.

    The best thing about staying at The Moorings is that it is a village of 18 cottages and homes directly on their own private beach. For us, this meant Juliet got her own bedroom, we had a full kitchen, two bathrooms, we didn’t have to deal with crowded beaches, and there is no one in a hotel room next to us to complain about a whiny toddler or crying baby. It is the perfect family vacation.

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    We spent the first day indoors, only leaving our house to grab pizza from our favorite little pizza place down the road. But, the entire rest of the weekend was spent either at the beach or the pool. Juliet had the time of her life chasing the birds on the beach, shoveling sand onto anything and everything, “swimmin” in the pool with her “ducky”, and lounging in the many hammocks, which she swore were swings, along the beach. It was the first time Juliet really enjoyed playing in the sand, and it was hands-down because of her crocs. She has always hated the sand and refused to walk in it, but this time I left her shoes on and she ran laps around the beach. I’ve heard from so many moms that their children won’t play on the beach or walk in the sand, so if you haven’t tried this yet, do it.

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    I’m not sure if a little bit of sibling jealousy has kicked in recently, or if Juliet is just a true mama’s girls right now, but she basically will not let me put her down. That meant that my husband got in a lot of quality time with Anniston throughout the weekend.

    This was probably the biggest factor in making our vacation with two kids, under two, stress-free. I was in charge of Juliet and my husband was in charge of Anniston, for the most part. Kevin hung out on the lounge chairs with our sleepy baby while Juliet and I played, swam, and basically did whatever she wanted to do.  We did manage to squeeze in some pool time with baby A between her naps, and she seemed to love the water as much as her big sister.

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    We also make it a point, every year, to go to Morada Bay for dinner at least one night while we are staying at The Moorings. It is the restaurant where our parents were waiting to surprise me, after Kevin and I got engaged. The restaurant is on the bay side of the Key, directly on the beach, so it has the most amazing sunsets. Although dinners are a little earlier for us these days, and we knew we wouldn’t actually catch the sunset this time, we still wanted to take the girls to one of favorite spots.

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    The weekend flew by, and before I knew it I was dropping Kevin off at the airport for another week away for work. But this weekend was our first vacation as just us, a family four. It was relaxing for us while being almost magical for Juliet. Watching her eyes light up when she saw birds that she could chase, listening to her say “bye boat, bye swimmin” each night as we went for our walks on the beach, and just taking in every ounce of a 20-month-old’s excitement to be in a new place, made this a weekend I will remember forever. Plus, with a backdrop like this, I couldn’t help but take a million pictures of my little beach bum. I could not have asked for a better vacation, and I am already looking forward to next year.

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