December 20, 2012

Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins

Six weeks away is far too long! I've been writing in my head for weeks, but after a while it just felt silly to pop in for a few short lines.

So here I am:

Every time I thought about blogging, part of my brain would say:

I'm ignoring that part and coming back all the same; there's far too much to catch up on to let my inner Phoebe win.

Later today (or tomorrow, if you're a night owl too) I have drafted a post spilling the beans on everything. Stay tuned!

And also - I miss you. And merry Christmas! And I'll save the rest for later....

Your Long Lost Friend

October 31, 2012

Day 31: A Sweet Halloween

Tonight was our first Halloween as a family of four, and possibly the first holiday of Mary Brooks' that I can actually remember.

She was born on Valentine's Day, which was an absolute blur, but a delightful one. I can't recall a single thing (besides what I captured on this blog) about Easter, Mother's Day or the Fourth of July; they came on the heels of MB's surgery and the shock-induced amnesia that kicked off this spring and lasted 'til fall. It's the oddest thing.

I feel like I'm getting my wits back about me - as much as I ever had them, that is - and I enjoyed trick or treating with my favorite fireman and our baby dalmatian.


Our friends invited us to join them trick or treating, and we couldn't refuse a quiet street with great company and a host of other flashlight-wielding little people carrying jack-o-lantern buckets. Such fun!

Mac was high on life (no sugar required), whooping in the street and squealing, "Happy Halloween! Let's go!"
Upon ringing each doorbell, though, he became tremendously shy, barely managing a "thank you" after getting his candy. Once his little feet hit the curb again, he morphed back into our little extrovert, giddy as, well, a three-year-old on Halloween.

Macky struggled a bit with the bulky fireman boots, but his costume was recognized everywhere we went and the reflective stripes served a purpose beyond looking extra fireman-ly. I call that a win!

Bradley had the difficult duty of holding Mary Brooks, wearing the softest hoodie of all time, as we walked down the block. Not a bad gig.

I hope y'all had a fabulous evening, too! The pics of dressed up dogs and candy crazy kids have made my night on Facebook and Instagram. Keep 'em coming!

*This post is day 31 in my 31 Days of What Matters. And just like that - it's November.

October 30, 2012

Day 30: Pearly Whites

After school today Mac had his second-ever visit to the dentist. Last spring his first visit went swimmingly; he didn't make a peep or move an inch. I presumed this afternoon's appointment would be the same, but I underestimated the three-year-old mind.

Mac knew just enough to be a bit squirmy in the chair (bless that hygienist's heart!) but overall it was more of a sitcom episode than a true disaster.

He was especially particular about the shades they offered to shade his delicate peepers from the overhead lights. First we tried on the blue pair, then the black, then the blue again. Somewhere in between I caught a pic, and it captures the essence of Mac perfectly:

Mr. Cool
He even pointed out the "purple paper towel" that "keeps my shirt from getting dirty" had fallen off. He reminded the hygienist that "you said I haf to have one of those on me, you a-member that? Well, it fell. You think you should probwee get me a new one now, please?"

Half of me was mortified as he sat straight up, waiting for the hygienist to comply to his marvelously high standards before carrying on with the cleaning. The other part was tickled to death at the first-child fastidiousness he has inherited; the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, after all.

When Mac was tired of the cleaning process, he told the hygienist she had "just onnnnnnne minute and then we hafta do something else. Like get that toy you said I could have out of the toy box."

Thankfully all she needed was that brief time period in which to work her magic, and the dentist swooped in to give her own seal of approval. After a nine-minute picture-taking ordeal in which Mac blinked just at the moment the sweet-but-not-a-photographer employee snapped a shot, we were back in the lobby.

Mac asked to play for a bit, as we'd barely walked in the door before being taken to an exam room. (A doctor's office with no wait!)

So Mac bypassed the toy trunk and played in the waiting room instead. Now his teeth are pearly white and, in the name of his oral health, I'll be consuming 98% of his Halloween candy. The sacrifices I make for this kid...

*This post is day 30 in my 31 Days of What Matters. And it went up on time, unlike most every other post this month. Booyah!

October 29, 2012

Day 29: Sick. Again.

Today marks my sixth sinus infection in as many months. That doesn't include the ear infections, bronchitis and strep throat that hopped in the mix during that time period as well.

I'm not sure what on Earth is going on with my insides, but I am hopeful that this super long round of antibiotics (this time they came with an ENT's phone number) might do the trick.

I take vitamins, exercise, sleep, eat (relatively) well, drink water - what am I missing?

*This post is day 29 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 28, 2012

Day 28: Home Again, Home Again!

Look who's back under our roof:
And her brother too, I promise.
Mac and Mary Brooks arrived on our doorstep this afternoon via Mimi and Grandpa's chauffeur service. They went straight to bed for belated naps and slept right through our small group gabbing away in the living room. Fantastic timing!

Even at times Mac and MB would have been sleeping, our house felt extra-empty without them this weekend. I'm thankful for the extra hours with B, but we were very glad to have our tiny people back in our arms.

With a trip to "Mimi's library," a full-on hayride and Halloween party extravaganza and a massive Southern breakfast under their belts this weekend, they were worn out and awfully cuddly this evening. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

*This post is day 28 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 27, 2012

Day 27: Solo Saturday

Mac and Mary Brooks are still in Columbia with my parents, so today was spent taking full advantage of our sans kids time.
The smile is a lie here; it was still dark out!
We woke up at 5:45 am (eep - that hurt) for a group run across town on Furman's gorgeous campus.

Biscuit tiiiiiime!
I was far happier afterward, when we were headed for breakfast. Mmm!

After a morning on Caesar's Head enjoying the view and marveling at the freezing temperatures (how is it so much colder just thirty minutes from home?), I indulged in a long mid-day nap. Heavenly. It's amazing how much longer a day seems when you rise before the sun; that's a new feeling for lazy ol' Anne.

After naptime came a two-hour phone call, long overdue, with my best friend, plus a luxurious hour of getting ready. All by myself. It was a total flashback to pre-baby years!

Upstairs solo fashion show!
B and I enjoyed some "on the town" time, and took in the spectacle of some truly, er, original costumes. Holy nudity, y'all. If you can make a costume "sexy," somebody tried. Sexy hamburger, sexy nun, sexy plumber. It was bananas.
We fuddy-duddies enjoyed the good giggle, and after my relatively long (for me) run, my legs were thankful for the walk.

Here's hoping we can sleep in tomorrow, since we didn't today!

*This post is day 27 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 26, 2012

Day 26: Truck Stop Trade Off

Packed up and ready to go
Tonight Bradley and I drove our kids down I-26 to meet my parents halfway between our home and theirs.

In the light of a truck stop parking lot, we handed off our children as one might gingerly pass along the goods in a drug deal. It was (almost) as shady as it sounds.
Mimi!!! Grandpa!!!
But the excitement - wowsers. The giddiness was in the air, both for Mac and his Mimi and Grandpa; my eardrums are still ringing.
As soon as we pulled in and saw their car, the squeals were unstoppable. Mary Brooks, turned backwards, was confused but couldn't stop giggling at the hoopla.

I don't know who's going to have more fun this weekend - the big people or the little ones. I'm grateful to  my parents for loving our bambinos so well, and I'm excited to have one full baby-free day on Saturday. It's a foreign but fabulous feeling, and just imagining all that free time makes me smile.

I'm off to bed for an early morning - earlier than if Mac and Mary Brooks were here. Whew. Wild weekends are a thing of the past, kids.

*This post is day 27 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

Day 25: Driveway Conversations

There's something about conversations in the car - they just flow a bit more easily.

Maybe it's because you aren't looking directly at whomever you're riding with, or you feel more at ease because there are many roadside distractions?

Whatever the cause, I find car rides to be the source of pretty deep conversations, all things considered. You  might be passing a delapidated building or a row of port-a-potties, but your words veer into deeper waters - things that don't always pop up across a dining room table when you're face-to-face, trying to talk.

I didn't think these kind of chats would start so early for Mac, but today we had a long conversation in the driveway that took me back. I suppose he's so busy when he's not strapped in that sitting still lets him dig deep.

Today he asked me about God, relayed his day at school, wondered what people do in heaven and told me why he loves Mary Brooks so much. ("She's mine. She's just my baby sister. God put love in my heart so I can give it to her.")

I hope these kind of talks never stop coming, and I might just start driving the long way home from school...

*This post is day 25 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 24, 2012

Day 24: Dimmest Bulb in the Box

Tonight I made a batch of beef vegetable soup while Bradley fed Mary Brooks and whipped up some baby food.

After all the cooking, I really wasn't in a 'soup' mood for supper, but I was still flattered when I saw Bradley had made me a bowl of it and left it on the stove top.

Having changed my mind, I poured my untouched bowl of soup back into the pot as I wondered if Honey Nut Cheerios could pass for a dinnertime food.

It wasn't until two-thirds of the bowl's contents were out that I realized I was dumping Mary Brooks' freshly pureed plums into a meaty, tomato-based pot of soup.

I scrambled to salvage what I could of both the plums and the soup, as I don't think the two flavors mix particularly well.

Lesson learned: pay attention when you pour, don't presume Bradley has made you supper (you are considerate, B, but not usually that forward-thinking), and cereal does in fact constitute an evening meal.

I hope the soup is just as good tomorrow, though I'm sure I'll 'taste' plums even if every bit is long gone.

The Dimmest Bulb in the Box

*This post is day 24 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 23, 2012

Day 23: Boy Mom, Girl Mom

A year ago I couldn't imagine being anything but a "boy mom." Even at two, Mac seemed every inch a boy; it was hard to envision our house with anything pink in it.

Today, I find that the balance (at this age, at least) is pretty easy to maintain.

In one corner of our house, Mac finds a handy spot to stow his preschooler-sized basketball.

In another room, I'm squealing as Mary Brooks tries on her first bow.

I get a little bit of everything these days, and it's pretty darn fabulous. I hope MB enjoys my massive scarf collection one day; it will make me feel far more justified at having so many.

One of my very favorite "see, I tried!" scarves.
(My everyday uniform is jeans with flats or boots and a tee topped off by a scarf. It's my "look like you care but you've actually just peeled yourself off the sofa" trick. Not sure if it's working, but it's the best I can do...)

If scarves are out of style when MB's a teenager, this poor girl will inherit absolutely no accessories or noteworthy pieces from her mom's closet. Maybe I should start diversifying?

*This post is day 23 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 22, 2012

Day 22: A Case of the Mondays

Our weekend was jam-packed and we four Smiths weren't alone for one minute of it.

I'm an extrovert who thrives on socializing, but Bradley is not - and even I need a little downtime after the busy-fest October has been so far.
Any day that starts this way is headed in the right direction.
Today has been just as mundane as I'd hoped: philanthropy work, kiddie play time, a push-myself run and a long walk with a friend, MB beaming up at me from her Bjorn.

A lot of parenting is hard work, with days that feel longer than they are; today wasn't one of those.

Mac testing out B's prototype bar stool for our far-too-tall counter.
Why build a counter taller than any chair on the market? Craziness.

Mac asked to be held this morning and sat beside me most of the day. It wasn't in a needy, draining way; he just wanted to be near me. He told me funny stories, complied when I asked for a little time to work and engaged with me as only a three-year-old can. I hope I remember days like these.

Me in an ancient tee and a post-run grin.
Mac in khakis and the pj shirt he wore 'til nearly suppertime.

I'm barely getting this post in before the midnight Day 22 cutoff, but I've been soaking up an easy, full Monday at home.

Tomorrow morning kicks off another crazy stretch, so I'm off to bed before it's officially Tuesday.

Hope your week started off wonderfully, y'all!

*This post is day 22 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 21, 2012

Day 21: Old Friends

Yesterday we had another fabulous time in Tigertown. Noon games are always hard for non-morning types like me, but the payoff is well worth it.
The other photographer was crazy tall, hence my space out, upward stare.
Mac and Mary Brooks had a fun day with their grandparents while Bradley and I enjoyed a Tiger victory and a few hours with grown-ups.

Friday and Saturday nights we hosted our friends Traci and Matt from the Lowcountry; we were excited to have them back for their first Clemson game in ages. Mary Brooks enjoyed four new arms to squeeze her, and Mac took advantage of fresh voices to read him his favorite stories.

We had a low-key lasagna and veggie supper on Friday, Bradley whipped up his signature Lowcountry boil (mmm, shrimp!) after the game Saturday evening. We wrapped up the weekend with a big Southern breakfast and now we're looking ahead to another busy week.

I think both our babies wanted to go home with Traci!

We miss these faces already! I'm so thankful football season gives us an excuse to catch up with old friends.

*This post is day 21 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 20, 2012

Day 20: C-L-E-M-S-O-N

Today we'll be in Clemson cheering on the Tigers and catching up with some friends we haven't seen in ages. I love big games that bring folks in from far out of state!

Mac and MB will be with their grandparents while we tailgate, but since it's a lunchtime game we'll all be back home for a Lowcountry boil at suppertime. (Not sure if you've ever eaten B's version, but you won't find anything tastier.)

Have a gorgeous Saturday! xox

*This post is day 20 in my 31 Days of What Matters

October 19, 2012

We Have a Winner!

I'm so excited to announce the winner of The Beaufort Bonnet Company giveaway! I tossed in all the comments that made it up by 10:00 am, and the winning entry was....

Congratulations to Ashley of @TheStratPack! I'll put you in touch with The Beaufort Bonnet Company so you can design your little one's newest accessory.
So much to monogram, so little time!
For those of us who didn't win, The Beaufort Bonnet Company has offered to extend their $1 monogram promotion with the code AnneSays$1Mono


The discount will be valid on any TBBC bonnet, bucket hat, gift or clothing item until next Wednesday, October 24, at noon EST.

I hope to snag some monogrammed pieces for Christmas gifts; you know I can't pass up a good coupon code! There are lots of spirit bonnet options for your tiny fashionistas to sport at tailgates this fall, too.
Not my team, but I do love the houndstooth!
Many thanks to The Beaufort Bonnet Company, and thank y'all for participating. Ashley, we want to see a picture of your little man in that Beaufort bucket hat!

Now get to shopping and monogramming, girls!

Day 19: Luna

Yesterday Uma Thurman, who gave birth this summer and has been photographed with her baby daughter many times since, finally announced her newest child's name.

I'd wonder why she waited so long to reveal it, but I think her child's initials speak for themselves: RAAAFT-B. That's pretty similar to my exclamation upon reading her name in its entirety: Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson.

I realize the actress was born Uma Karuna Thurman, but even she was saddled with just three little names. Baby "Luna," as she will be called, might reach legal driving age before she's able to spell each of those inspired selections.

Her older brother and sister, Maya and Levon, won't bat an eyelash at the addendum Luna's birth certificate will require. Their other younger half siblings, via their dad Ethan Hawke and his new wife, are Clementine and Indiana.

Meryl Streep's children must feel like real Hollywood outcasts with their monikers. Ms. Streep, born Mary Louise and called "Meryl" for decades now, has four children: Henry Wolfe, Mary Willa ("Mamie"), Grace Jane and Louisa Jacobson Gummer.

Considering Mamie's headlining a new fall TV show, I suppose their gentried acting background and classic names have served the Streep/Gummer clan well.
Take a look at these other celebrity names, or click my "names" tag below, to see that sweet Luna is in good, if unfortunate, company.

Next time I feel bad that Mac goes by the first half of his middle name, or that Mary Brooks goes by both her first and the second half of her middle name, I'll remind myself there's not an Arkadina or Pilot Inspektor in the bunch...

(And surely using only family names give me a little leeway, right? Or is that what Uma said to herself before shoving all 14 words together and calling it a name? Eep! What've I done?)
Don't forget to leave a comment on Tuesday's post to win a Beaufort bonnet or Beaufort bucket hat from The Beaufort Bonnet Company! The giveaway closes this morning at 10:00 am EST.

*This post is day 19 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 18, 2012

Day 18: Sweet, Awkward Moments

Last night as I put him to bed, Mac asked me to stay behind and snuggle with him for a minute; I couldn't turn him down. He recovered from his stomach bug, but is cutting his two-year-old molars, and MB is a few days behind him on that tummy stuff. It hasn't been our most cheerful week, though it's nothing we can't handle.

Mac wanted me to lie down for "just one minute" because he didn't want to "start sleepin' alone. I can do it by myself, but I wanna start with you." Who could resist?

As I got in bed, with his white noise blaring and his lights off, it was hard to keep my eyes open. He knew how to keep me awake and interacting, though - he sang to me.

The number was something he wrote on the fly all by himself, and the melody was as repetitive as it was simple. It's the best song I've ever heard:

"I love you, Mama. You are my one. You love God and Jesus and they love youuuuuuu. I am so proud of you. You are my Mama."

I nearly died. "My one?" This kid knows how to lay it on thick, and I ate it up.

A few minutes later, understanding that flattery is the surest way to earn extra snuggle time my heart, this gem came out of his mouth:

"You know what you're good at, Mama? Lots of things. Cooking, sitting down on the potty, washing dishes, opening curtains, finding my shoes, closing curtains, putting your pants on, sleeping with people... All kinds of things."

My son thinks I cook and wash dishes (victory!); he also thinks I'm good at sleeping with people.

I suppose Mac meant snuggling, but still - this is one story I hope he doesn't relay word for word to his teacher. I'll let you know if she starts giving me "you skank!" looks.

Don't forget to leave a comment on Tuesday's post to win a Beaufort bonnet or Beaufort bucket hat from The Beaufort Bonnet Company! The giveaway closes tomorrow morning.

*This post is day 18 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 17, 2012

Day 17: Running Tunes

After six full weeks of antibiotics, steroid shots and more oral steroids (I'm reaching Arnold Schwarzenegger status), I'm well and ready to hit the pavement again. October weather is perfect for outdoor exercise - cool enough that you don't melt but not so cold you want to stay under the covers.

I need serious beats and up-tempo music to keep me motivated while running. Anything that slows down makes me want to screech to a halt, not push through the pain to get a decent workout in.

To that end, I've downloaded a few new tunes and updated my running playlist. It's different from my "regular" workout playlist in that the music worms itself into my brain and drowns out the "stop, stop, stop, you can't do this, let's take a nap!" voice that follows me when I run.

Here's what I've got so far - I'd love your favorite new running song suggestions!

Disclosure: Don't judge. I buy "clean" iTunes versions so I'm not humming four-letter words to myself when reading Mac his evening Bible story.

I need LOTS of options so I can turn off anything that doesn't cut it at the moment. Also, I fancy myself something of a hip hop maven when wearing spandex, hence the old school Eminem and Jay Z tunes. Whatever gets my legs going and drowns out my to do list!

Cheers (Drink to That) - Rihanna
Whip My Hair - Willow
What the Hell - Avril Lavigne
Want U Back - Cher Lloyd**
Part of Me - Katy Perry
Gangnam Style - PSY
You've Got the Love - Florence + the Machine
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Lights - Ellie Goulding**
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift
Universal Mind Control - Common
Domino - Jessie J
Club Can't Handle Me - Flo Rida
Blow - Ke$haJ
Let It Rock - Kevin Rudolf and Lil Wayne
Closer - NeYo
Hard - Rihanna and Jeezy
Magic - Robin Thicke
Pon de Replay - Rihanna
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
Don't Stop the Music - Rihanna
Breakin' Dishes - Rihanna
Big Pimpin' - Jay Z
Dirt Off Your Shoulder - Jay Z**
I Just Wanna Love U - Jay Z
Run This Town - Jay Z and Rihanna
Izzo - Jay Z
Empire State of Mind - Jay Z and Alicia Keys
All I Do Is Win - DJ Khaled
I Know You Want Me - Pitbull
Look at Me Now - Karmin Cover
Clocks - Coldplay
So What - P!nk
Die Young - Ke$ha
Bad Girls - MIA**
Girls Gone Wild - Madonna
Paper Planes - MIA
No Church in the Wild (Clean) - Kanye and Jay Z**
Flesh and Bone - The Killers
Titanium - David Guetta and Sia
Pound the Alaram - Nicki Minaj
Wide Awake - Katy Perry (cool down/warm up)
**The absolute essential songs to make me move these days.

Don't forget to leave a comment on yesterday's post to win a Beaufort bonnet or Beaufort bucket hat from The Beaufort Bonnet Company!

*This post is day 17 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 16, 2012

Day 16: My First Giveaway!


Today marks my first, and likely my only, giveaway ever! I'm tickled pink to share something I'm crazy about: a line of timeless children's products made here in America with young moms at the helm.

MB goes after jewelry already...

Have you heard about The Beaufort Bonnet Company? This summer an insanely stylish friend of mine bought the company, formerly known as Susu & John, and has made its products cuter than ever.

The heart of the collection is the Beaufort bonnet, named after the Lowcountry South Carolina town where the style originated generations ago. Mary Brooks got to try on some precious Beaufort bonnets recently, and I was smitten!

MB was cursed with given the same fair skin I have, so neither of us strays far from wide-brimmed hats or SPF one million. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the Beaufort bonnet is that it combines a timeless baby style with a truly practical purpose - and it's washable to boot.

This fishtail monogram is my absolute favorite! And a corduroy bonnet for fall? Love.
Boys aren't left out; they look just as stylish in a Beaufort bucket hat. I adore the monogram you can place on them: vertical or horizontal, one or three letters.

TBBC also offers clothes - jumpers, john johns, bloomer sets, pinafores, diaper covers - and giftables, from bow-tied swaddle blankets to this precious seersucker bow holder, which comes already stocked. Add a monogram and you are in "best gift ever" territory.

The Beaufort Bonnet Company's hats run in sizes from newborn to 3T, so even if your little ones aren't quite as tiny as Mary Brooks, you can still top them off adorably.

As soon as I saw this pic, I ran out and got a haircut.
The Beaufort Bonnet Company is giving one reader a custom bonnet or bucket hat of her choice! You choose the fabric, the monogram and the lucky baby who receives it. Corduroy, seersucker, gingham, college spirit bonnets - the possibilities are endless!

For the rest of us, The Beaufort Bonnet Company is offering $1 monograms on their hats with the code AnneSays$1Mono. Bonnets can be monogrammed on the back or the brim, and each piece is interchangeable, so you can mix and match.

To enter, just leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you! Entries will be accepted until 10:00 am on Friday, October 19th, and I'll announce a winner by noon.

In the meantime, take a peek at TBBC's new website and their Facebook page. Many of you have had sweet things to say on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram about Mary Brooks wearing their bonnets, so I'm thrilled to be hosting this giveaway.

A big thank you to my friends at The Beaufort Bonnet Company for sharing a little pint-sized style with the rest of us!

*This post is day 16 in my 31 Days of What Matters

October 15, 2012

Day 15: Sweet Cheeks

I can't get enough of these. Nothing makes a gray Monday better like taking a gander at my "underweight" little doll's cheeks. And eyelashes.

Gracious, I can't believe she's ours!

*This post is day 15 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 14, 2012

Day 14: Catching Up, Getting Sick and Getting Out

I haven't exactly been on top of my 31 Days of What Matters posting. Last Monday I published my last on time post, and every since I've been mentally blogging in between driving to and from Charleston, Greenville and Atlanta.

I just cheated a bit and caught up on the last six days of blogging, so feel free to scroll down and see what we've been up to - let's just pretend those little bits of writing went up day by day, okay?

Late last night Mac got a brief stomach bug, one that has left him without an appetite today - an unusual happening for sure.

We couldn't take Mac to church so soon after being sick, so we spent most of the day holed up inside and hoping the germs would stay at bay. They seemed to.

This evening we ventured out to Fall for Greenville and gave Mac and Mary Brooks their first taste of one of our favorite festivals. It's such a beautiful time of year in our city, and we love soaking it up as much as stomach bugs and work commitments and football games and travel allows.

Mac wasn't sure he liked Cravin' Melon, a hometown band that headlined the festival tonight, but Mary Brooks seemed to enjoy the people-watching even more than the music.

After a stroll along the Reedy River, we made it home in time for supper and an early bedtime for our tiny peeps. Ahh.

I realized just moments ago that Mary Brooks is officially eight months old today. She's still a snuggly, cooing angel baby, but she inches closer to the one-year mark every day, and I'm in total denial. If I could get away with saying, "I have a newborn at home," I absolutely would.

We measured Mac on his bedroom door today and it seems like, despite his pleas to stay "two and a half, not free, because I'm not grown-upped yet," he's also growing up before our eyes. How I wish we could slow this down!

And so we begin another week. Happy Sunday, y'all!

*This post is day 14 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 13, 2012

Day 13: Saying Goodbye

This morning we had to leave Atlanta bright and early to pick up Blue from the vet here in Greenville before they closed.

It was hard to say goodbye to our sweet friends, especially after such a short visit. Katherine's face at the front door as we left made me want to run back, scoop her up and take one extra girl home with us. (Surely they'd never notice...)

Our best friends have a chocolate lab who's just a few weeks younger than our Blue; we told Mac they were brothers and it's totally believable. Here they are a few years back, when they were the only babies in our lives:

*This post is day 13 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 12, 2012

Day 12: A Quick Squeeze

We're in Atlanta visiting our best friends and their darling one-year-old daughter; I'm also here to do a little work.

Bradley is playing Mr. Mom like none other. He's hands-down the best guy a girl could ask for, playing chauffeur, caterer, kid-wrangler and encourager. I'm so thankful for him, especially during this crazy week.

I didn't get to see Mac and MB too much yesterday, but I did get to give my best girl a big squeeze. I'm taking her with me this morning to get a little mama-and-me time; she's such an angel that she's better behaved than I am on chaotic days.

She smells like butter and coconut (courtesy of the fattening coconut oil mixed into her food these days) and lets you kiss her all day long. I can't find a reason not to carry her any and everywhere!

I mean, look at that face. Could you put her down?

*This post is day 12 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 11, 2012

Day 11: Packing Smart

It would take three pages to list what the four of us require for a few days away. A pack and play, two kiddie totes, a suitcase of clothes for the little peeps, clothes and toiletries for me and B, milk, baby food, snacks for me Mac and me, music for the road, books, movies, distracting activities....

The best thing we do is keep Mac and Mary Brooks' bags ready to go at all times. School, church, errands, weekends away - wherever. As soon as I arrive home, I replenish these and leave them in the sunroom by the door. Mac's has a change of clothes, an emergency pull-up, a few books and a stick-on placemat.

Mary Brooks' has a burp cloth, thin gauze blanket, lovey, pacifier, diapers, bib, change of clothes, wipes and a baby spoon. (Hers also has an emergency pull up and pair of underwear for Mac, just so we don't have to carry two bags if we're running somewhere quickly.)

I stash my wallet, cell phone and keys in there (there's already a lip gloss in the front pocket - that's a given) and we're ready to go.

Having these bags stocked up at a moment's notice makes the not-so-spontaneous art of getting out the door a little easier on us.

Do y'all have a hard time managing the ten truckloads of "stuff" required for the tiniest of humans? Any tips?

*This post is day 11 in my 31 Days of What Matters.

October 10, 2012

Day 10: Resting

Tomorrow morning we head out of town for three days, and I still haven't tackled the bags we packed for our foray to Charleston. Whew.

Instead, I'm trying to squeeze in some rest and make lists of everything I need to do now, what needs to come with us and what will be waiting here when we return. The joys of being a type A kinda gal, I tell ya.

I'm a far happier girl (and much more pleasant to be around) when I've had a few moments to myself, even if a full night's sleep (read: 8.5 hours, thank you very much) isn't on the agenda.

I feel a little guilty not leaving our house sparkling clean, but a moment to chill out before piling our noisy family back into a not-quite-big-enough car is just what the doctor ordered. 

Hope y'all get a moment to relax today, too!

A 15-minute power nap in our guest bed = heaven. Don't take my word for it!
*This post is day 10 in my 31 Days of What Matters.


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