Monday, September 29, 2014

My [Current] Favorite Things!

Do you ever notice that when you come home from a girls' trip you end up with a list of about 15 things that you just HAVE TO HAVE?! All of my gal pals and I are always gabbing about what we are using and loving. I also love reading my blogger friend's posts on their favorite things…it's like a secret peek into their closet/pantry/purse, and isn't that what the internet is all about?!?

Recently I've had a couple of friends suggest that I put together a favorite things post. So here you have it, a few of my current favorite things!

First up, things for the ladies…because everyone else gets to go first all day long (at least at my house)!

  1. Two Faced: The Secret to No Makeup Makeup - I actually scored this one from my friend Chelsea's favorite things blog post. Unoriginal or not, this is a must have. It's the perfect that glowy "I'm not wearing makeup (wink, wink)" look and its all in one simple palette! It even comes with a card to show you where to put the concealer, brightener, luminizer, blush (2) and bronzer. It is quick, easy and pretty. All you need is a little mascara…
  2. 3D Fiber Lashes - Speaking of mascara… Y'all. Never would I ever would I EVER have thought in a million years that I would get into direct makeup sales. Roll out the pink Cadillac, right? All kidding aside, there is nothing else out there that compares to these lashes. It's like fake lashes in a tube for $29 and just a few minutes. And, it's natural ingredients like beeswax and green tea fibers…you know my little hippie heart likes that!
    Here it is kicking my favorite Dior Blackout' butt!
  3. All In One Bag - Sleek enough to carry out as a clutch, compact enough to throw into your diaper bag to keep your stuff separate from the attack of the gummy bears and 4 day old goldfish! Pretty versatility goes a long way in the mom game!
  4. Lifeproof iPhone Case - OK, not the most attractive iPhone case but it has definitely gotten less bulky since the first model. Carrington thew my phone in a pool this summer so I was definitely glad to this. No need for phone insurance with this guy!
And for the kiddos…
  1. Bento Box (and here) - For whatever reason, food that goes in bento boxes gets eaten. I know this are on the expensive side, but they completely cut out the need for plastic baggies and can be used like a lunch box in themselves! We used to use the Dr. Sears Nibbler tray but I'm not seeing it on Amazon anymore. Cooper outgrew that one but its the perfect size for Carrington now!
  2. Sound Machine - Again, on the expensive side but well worth it. Plus, it's on sale on Amazon right now. My kids are light sleepers and this sound machine is the only one that actually moves air instead of just playing noise on repeat. We can have a college football watching party in the living room and not hear a peep from the kiddos. It's the price of a night of babysitting so that's how I rationalize the purchase…and the party!
  3. Rain Boots - After my tadpole post, I had a few friends ask where I got Cooper's light up rain boots. (Nordstrom) These were an awesome purchase and the first shoe Cooper has been able to put on all by himself. This is great except when we are trying to actually look nice or put together, but we've come a long way from the days when he would only wear Tom's!
Also, thank you to Aunt Phyllis who sent Cooper the Superman Animated Series…much more appropriate than Inappropriate Superman and a quick climb onto our favorites list!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dear Monsters…Love, Cooper

Cooper has a thing about monsters coming into his room at night. (Why did we ever invent the idea of monsters for our kids?!) I'm always scrambling for reasons as to why monsters won't come into our house. i.e. "Kona will scare them away." or "They're afraid of Daddy's big muscles!"

One night, I had the bright idea to tell him that monsters wouldn't come to our house because I put a sign on the door that says: "NO MONSTERS ALLOWED!" Well, Cooper thought this was an excellent idea and now EVERY NIGHT we have to make an actual sign to put on the front door.

He dictates what to write and "writes" along with us. We come up with gems like this:

"Dear Monsters,

If you come to 
our house I will
blow you down and 
smush you like a 
pancake. And, I 
won't make you
a cake.


AND, for some reason, said sign has to be accompanied by two candlesticks and one outlet safety plug. Don't ask, I don't know why!

Whatever works, right?!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Tale of 200 Tadpoles

A couple of Sundays ago it was raining in Houston. (Shocking.) Cooper had just gotten some new light-up rain boots and I was bound and determined to prove to Kyle that this was not just another idle demand from the boy and indulgent purchase by me. So, all geared up, we had a little Norman Rockwell moment and went outside to play in the rain.

Cool boots, man.

Doing the Boy Mom thing.

Cooper let me borrow his frog umbrella.

Sister got in on the action too!

Don't you just want to squeeze those thighs?!


As it turns out, some frogs had laid eggs in the "lake" that is our poorly drained street. (Thanks city of Houston?) And in a couple of days we discovered tadpoles.

What started as a fun Cooper activity...

...quickly became a neighborhood affair and before I knew it I had about 200 of these little suckers in a drink bucket in my front yard!

Let me tell you, I was a little worried about starting a biblical plague in my own front yard.  There were SO MANY TADPOLES! However, it was a good little activity for us and the other kids and I used the "let's go check on the tadpoles" as a distraction many a time. 

Well, as life (luck?) would have it, these guys turned into frogs during the torrential downpour that happened in Houston last weekend. We were happily out of town and returned to find only two cute little baby frogs. Whew.

As Cooper says, "Some tadpoles get to be frogs and others get to be dead." Well put.  


Or, at least a very fun activity/science experiment at the least!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Dreaded Swim Lesson

We went to swim class today and Cooper did NOT throw up.

Not to say that he has gotten sick at every swim class (he hasn't) but it's been quite a journey to get to a happy(ish) place in the pool.

We started lessons back in June. I elected to try private lessons given how AWESOME Cooper is at trying new things and mingling with new people…NOT! Anyway, we show up on the first day and he was pretty cooperative in the pool with someone he didn't really know, until she made the mistake of asking him to put his face in the water that is! Silly, silly swim teacher, this is what happens when you ASK a three year old to do anything! Cooper started to whine and very directly told her "NO THANK YOU!" After this, she promptly pulled the plug on the lesson telling me she wanted him to be a little more comfortable with her and in the water before lessons.

We opted to come back in two weeks after more pool time. At this lesson, it only took him two minutes to tell her "NO!" and earn his "done for the day" card. Yeah, he figured her out pretty quickly. She told me, "I really want him more comfortable here and with me. He should be running up to me excited to start the lesson with a hug and be willing to go underwater." I took everything I had not to laugh in her face. He's got your number, lady.

Private lessons with pushover instructors, as it turns out, are not for us!

Next stop…group lessons at the YMCA in July and part of August.  I felt like he was getting behind and the Y offered two week crash courses where you went for four days in a row. We did three sessions and actually had some luck here. There were kids in his class that were actually terrified of the water so ornery little Cooper came out looking like a shining star! He blew his bubbles as instructed and was willing to swim (assisted) as long as his eyes didn't get wet. Top of the head? FINE! Nose, ears and mouth? OK! But don't you dare get his eyes in the water! No, he will not wear goggles. That would just be too convenient!

His instructor at the Y was a huge college football linebacker that looked like he could have eaten Cooper for lunch. No matter his size, Cooper had that 300 pound teddy bear like putty in his hands by the end of the first lesson. Cooper was the only one not crying. This guy was not going to risk that by making Cooper put his face in the water and you better believe Cooper knew it!

So we finally settled on a once a week swim class with two of Cooper's besties. This is where we should have been all along! They are a lot tougher on the kids and Cooper started making strides from the beginning. Plus, all the parents sit behind a glass wall to watch so I only had to see the crying boy, not hear him too. As much as he would cry and have anxiety before class, he was pretty ok with things after the lesson and my chocolate donut bribe. He was FINALLY progressing.

Until last week.

The day started with the normal pleas from the boy about not going to swim class. I countered with my typical bribes, condolences and encouragement which got us to class virtually tear free. Once inside, he started his wind up and his usual routine of crying and "I want my Mommy" which makes my stomach turn, even from behind the glass. That day they were working on floating on their backs which is really hard to do when you are yelling at the top of your lungs!

The next thing I know, I'm watching his head dipping down into the water. Through the flailing limbs I could see that he was actually coughing up a little water. Uh oh. "Oh man, please let that be water and not…" As soon as I could think it they were putting him on the outside of the pool where he promptly tossed his cookies. Ugh.

I hand Sister over to a friend and she immediately starts crying from the commotion. Awesome day to forget her binky!

I ran into the pool and scooped him up. One of the lifeguards helped me over to the shower to get him cleaned up. Wouldn't you know that in the comedy of errors that was my crying baby and my barfy kid the lifeguard pulled the chain and started the shower ON ME as soon as I bent over to set Cooper down.

At that point, soaked from head to toe with two crying kids, I considered letting Cooper learn how to swim once he got to college. But, as life would have it, we did go back and he showed up today with no tears and did perfectly fine. I did notice that his instructor didn't really make him go underwater today. Like, at all.

Don't mess with Cooper, he's willing to puke to get out of what he doesn't want to do! I wonder, has he outsmarted this instructor as well or are we finally turning a corner? Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dear Sleep Gods

Dear Sleep Gods,

I truly hope you are busy answering the pleas of my dear friend Chelsea whose 5 month old isn't sleeping a wink. I feel bad even bothering you if that is the case. However, if you have a minute, I have just a teeny weeny favor.

Remember when I had a 5 month old that wouldn't sleep a wink and I all but traded my soul to get just a little more shut-eye? Remember how I told you that I could easily spend the rest of my life only getting up once a night? Remember how I told you I would never ask for anything again if you just granted me a little relief?

Well, here I am, not with another "ask" but just a little teensy tweak. You see, I really wasn't kidding about the once a night business. I would much prefer to deliver milk or a pacifier at 4am and then go back to sleep until 6:30am than get up at 5am with Sister and be up for good. Here's the deal, a 5am wake-up ensures that: 1) I will have 8 hours of entertaining to do until nap time; 2) I will not have had even a sip of coffee before said entertainment; and, 3) I will definitely not be at the top of my Mommy-game for the rest of the day.

Don't you want me to be at the top of my Mommy-game?

I promise that I have exhausted all of my options before even coming to you. I've tried and earlier bedtime, a later bedtime, a shorter nap, a longer nap, warmer milk, essential oils, less visual stimulation during the day…nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. The girl just has an internal alarm clock that we just can't shake!

Seriously, I'm over it. I will take any time with a 6 in front of it.

Your pal,


P.S. Don't worry about Sister. She just makes up for it by falling asleep EVERY TIME WE GO SOMEWHERE. I'm not bitter or anything.

How I find her most days when I open the car door. Sloppy.

Still holding her packet. Impressive!

Strollers are for sleeping! 5am is for playing!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Inappropriate Superman

When the movie Frozen came out, I purchased it but didn't let Cooper watch it until he and Kyle made their trek to Rosemary Beach for vacation in May. I saw what a big deal it was and thought it would be a nice little trip treat for the boys. A new movie for Cooper and a big time distraction for the 10 hour drive for Kyle. Win, win?

Well, that little plan of mine backfired just a wee bit. It was great for the road trip but it did not end there. Frozen turned my three year old into a walking, talking Elsa. I know there was many a kid out there that loved Frozen but I have to think Cooper was in a category above and beyond.

The kid was obsessed. OBSESSED. Every waking moment of the day he was either singing "Let it Go", running around in his Elsa cape, begging and pleading for a "long beautiful dress", asking me to put his hair in a ponytail. He gave up his bedtime books for Frozen stories and would only answer to Elsa. IT. WAS. INTENSE.

This went on for months around our house. MONTHS! When we were both at our wit's end (I mean, how many hours a day can you play Frozen?!), Kyle decided to try to reverse the obsession by getting him hooked on Superman. Because, what's the opposite of Elsa? Clearly, Superman. OK, I bought it. I was desperate! So Kyle went out on iTunes to download a new Superman movie for him.

Enter: Inappropriate Superman

Have any of you out there seen "Superman: Unbound"? This is the movie my sweet husband picked out for our 3 year old. Kyle was with him for the initial viewing and he couldn't stop talking to me about how hot Lois Lane was. The ogling was my first clue to the inappropriateness. May I present Exhibit A:

Um, yeah. Hi Lois. Nice to see your boobs you.

My second clue was when Cooper came to me and asked "Mom, what's it called when the bad guy puts tubes into your head and squeezes until the blood comes out? Also, what's blood?"

OMG. Parental failure.

I went to look at the computer and found out that the movie Kyle picked to cure our Elsa obsession was rated PG-13. "But it was in the Family section of iTunes!!!", he said. "Don't blame me! They shouldn't make cartoons that aren't meant for kids!", he pleaded. 

I'm pretty sure this is not going to go over too well at Cooper's new school. Double rods? Really Lois, is that necessary?

To the trash, Inappropriate Superman! But, for what it's worth, we did cure the Elsa addiction!

Superman in [couch jumping] action!

In search of a more suitable Superman movie…any suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fall Firsts!

It's been awhile, hi! Just over here blogging while Sister is sleeping and Cooper is at school. Ahhhh, it's Fall (ish), although you can't tell by the weather.

I suppose I have a little catching up to do. We've been mucho busy starting school, traveling to Georgia/South Carolina and going to Carrington's first music class…all within one week! Our Fall has definitely started off with a bang.

Cooper went back to school last Wednesday!

This is the best picture I could get. His Papa gave him a fancy new State Farm brush and he would not put it down! #notaframer but that is one cute mug!

For those of you that have followed from the beginning, you may be curious as to what kind of nightmare adventure I am about to tell you about the first day of school…at a NEW school, I might add. For those of you who don't know, there is only one word to describe school drop offs for the past two years: hellish. The first year he got so anxious he vomited. The second year was marked by crying and clinging. Let me tell you, I couldn't wait to see what year three had in store! [insert sarcastic cackle here]

Cooper had a little preview of his new school this past June during the school's summer camp. Each day they did a different theme: Frozen! Petting Zoo! Water Play! Cowboy! etc., etc. It was a three-year-old's dream. After the camp session was finished, he would ask me all the time when his school would be open again. I was left cautiously optimistic about the new year.

Fast forward to Wednesday drop off…  I had done everything in my power to prepare him. Took him to the class preview party, talked it up, let him pick out his clothes and I even bit my tongue when he wouldn't put down his lovely State Farm brush for a picture. Choose your battles, right? When we pulled into the carpool line my nerves were working but he seemed fine. His teacher came out to the car to greet him and he eagerly hopped out. Gulp. "Bye bud! I love you! Have a great day!" He turned to me, waved and said "Love you! Bye Mom!" Double gulp. After I picked my jaw up off the ground I cried, hard. It was 90% tears of joy and relief that it wouldn't be another hard year of drop offs and about 10% tears of sadness. My baby bird is leaving the nest.

I was first in line to pick up up from school that day. Not because I was crazy anxious to see how his first day went (OK, maybe a little), but because Kyle and I had a plane to catch! We were headed to Savannah to spend time with Kyle's Aunt Phyllis and head up to South Carolina for the opening A&M game.

"Hi Coop! Hope you had a great first day of school! (He did.) See you Saturday! Have fun with your grandparents!" The kids were left in the capable hands of their Papa with a hand-off to Cita and this mom-of-the-year hopped a plane to Georgia. Oh, and did I mention Sister was battling a double ear infection?! And, by the way, she wakes up at 5:15am these days. Have fun!

Savannah had always been on our "list" and it did not disappoint! We ate and drank and ate some more and when we needed to burn some calories we did the tourist thing and walked around downtown. We had an awesome time visiting family and relaxing at their beautiful home.

I'm not sure if it was Savannah or the lack of crazy kids around us, but we sure did the R&R thing right! This view didn't hurt!

The icing on the cake was the Fightin' Texas Aggie win over the South Carolina Gamecocks. Kyle and I do NOT have a great record of wins on the road together. Let's just say one of our first dates was an away game at Baylor that wasn't pretty. We pulled into the stadium conversing about how we "just didn't want to be embarrassed" and walked out with a HUGE win. Gig 'em Ags!

Next up on the list of fall firsts…Carrington's music class! We went for the first time today and she rocked it. She did exactly the opposite of everything that I remember Cooper doing when we used to take him to Gymboree (wanted to play alone, didn't want to sing, didn't want to sit in a circle…). She sat in my lap, tried her best to sing the songs and basically owned the room. She walked around the circle telling people "Hi!" while giving her best head-tilted smile of course and when it was her turn to sing on the "mic" she grabbed it from the teacher and belted out "DA DA DA" in her loudest little 14-month voice. This girl is friendly…and FEARLESS!

Posing before music class!
And, because this had to go on the blog somewhere and I can *kindof* work this into a "firsts" post…will you check out these pink tooters! I mean, ridiculous. 

Happy (almost) Fall!