wordless wednesday

C in bath

As if this even needed words anyways…

he’s so sneaky

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be home for dinner with Jason and Carter. This happens zero times during the week as I work part time in the evenings, so it was pretty awesome.

C clearly says “eat!” now when he’s hungry, which is all the time, so when I heard him chirping “eat! eat! eat!” behind me, I didn’t think much of it. I was finishing up getting his plate ready and was about to pick him up and put him in his highchair for dinner.

But he beat me to it.

I caught him mid-climb up his highchair.

I stood behind and “spotted” him and he managed to climb all the way up and get into the seat, legs in the right places, facing the right direction and repeated his “eat!” chirp as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Fast forward to this morning…

As a stay-at-home mom, we all know that one of the “perks” of this job is getting to use the bathroom with the door open all day long. There’s nothing quite like a toddler who wants to shut the door and be in the dark all 98,798,756 times you pee each day.

And sometimes, those dark bathroom adventures are not complete until he’s dragged in his giant fake ATV and tries to stand on it to turn the “wa-wa” on.

This morning, I ran to the bathroom and quickly realized that I was alone. Not only was I alone, but Carter was quiet.

I can certainly expect some sort of trouble, amiright?!

While I was wondering what he could have grabbed to throw into the dogs water bowl, and seriously considering that his entire body was certainly an option, the last thing I expected when I walked out was to see this…

There he was, sitting in his highchair, only this time he climbed up there without a spotter, which means he definitely could have fallen backwards and cracked his head open.

And yet another morning goes by where I earn “Mom of Year.”

He sat there looking at me with that devilish grin and said, so clearly, “Eat, mama. Egg.”

How could I say no to this face?

So I scrambled him up an egg which he devoured, naturally, and he drank some water before he climbed down and washed his own dishes, changed his own diaper and put himself down for a nap.

He’s a sneaky little superhero kid that continues to surprise me every single day.

what’s in that massive bag, anyways?

I read a post my friend Chelsea wrote about what’s in her diaper bag. Chelsea’s daughter is only a few months old, and as I read through her post I realized how much my diaper bag contents have changed over the last 18 months.

So what’s in my massive bag, anyways?

Short answer: everything.

Longer answer, with crappy cell phone pictures, goes a little like this…

For starters, I’m obsessed with my diaper bag. Obsessed. It was a “mother’s day” gift from my husband before I was even technically a mother and before C arrived I used it to tote my laptop to and from work.

Except that’s a lie, because I didn’t actually have a laptop at work at that time, so I used it as a big purse. Because let’s be honest, it’s THAT chic, and I couldn’t wait to use it.

It’s the Timi & Leslie Charlie Tote, owned by one Jessica Alba (although she’s probably moved on to something newer and cooler by now…) and one Rebecca Reed, and that’s really all that’s important.

Here is the classy looking website picture, complete with the accessories it comes with:

And the beauty shot of the inside…

And then there’s mine……

diaper bagdiaper bag2

Almost two years later and it’s holding up pretty well! I have the shoulder strap on there, and use both carrying methods interchangeably.

So about what’s inside.

I dumped the contents of my bag from today’s trip to Harris Teeter onto my dining room table and this is what I found:

everything in my bag

First thing to note…I realize none of my little bags match. I don’t care. They are all individually adorable and are never all out on display at one time (with the exception of this picture…), so I frequently get compliments on each one as they are pulled out for their very different reasons.

My SIL’s mother made each and every one of them for me (the 3 cloth ones at least) and I am so thankful for her! They give me such an easy way to organize all my crap…because even with all those pockets you see in the inside shot above, it’s very easy to lose things in such a huge bag.

Those bags are my diaper bag sanity savers. There are tons of cute shops that sell similar bags on Etsy if you aren’t lucky enough to have Momo in your life.

So what’s in all those bags, you ask?

Let’s start with my diaper changing essentials:

changing essentials

1. Honest Diapers - these are the diapers I now prefer to put on Carter as often as possible. They are all-natural and chemical free. There is, however, a Pampers Cruisers diaper underneath there as I still use them for naps and bedtime because C is a superman in the peeing department while sleeping.

I generally always have 3 diapers in that bag at all times.

2. Wipes – These wipes are the Pampers Sensitive Convenience Pack that I picked up at Target last time I went grocery shopping. I like these because they are cheap, soft and are easy to access with a wiggling toddler on a changing table. They are good for on-the-go, the flip top keeps them from drying out.

3. Baby Powder – It’s Johnson and Johnson and I’ve been weaning myself from using this on C daily because of the bad stuff in it. I have a huge guilty conscious when it comes to natural products with my son and am trying to move towards using all products that are as natural as possible. While I think baby powder is helpful in the summer when it’s hot and he’s stuck with his boy parts cramped up in a diaper, for daily use, I am cutting back.

4. Honest Hand Sanitizer - For obvious reasons, I love having hand sanitizer with me. When you’re holding a toddler in a public bathroom, it’s not always feasible to wash your hands without putting him down to run around and touch god knows what. Having this on hand allows you to feel clean after a messy diaper change. I keep the smaller, 2fl oz, bottle in my bag.

5. Honest Healing Balm - I use this if C has any redness in the diaper area. The trial size has been perfect for the diaper bag.

6. Changing Pad – it came with the diaper bag. It’s awesome and has held up during multiple, multiple washes, and is so necessary for public diaper changes.

The snack bag.

the snack bag

Oh so important for my little guy that eats like a full grown man…especially when he gets cranky and we’re in public. I always have NutriGrain bars, applesauce and raisins on hand whenever we leave the house, along with a sippy cup of water.

Yes, I realize I just admitted to giving my kid food to curb public tantrums. I try to stick to healthy snacks, but judge away if you’d like. Sometimes you gotta do whatcha gotta do….amiright?!

The toy bag.

the toy bag

It looks kinda lame today…what 18-month old wild child will really stay entertained by 1 book and 2 cars? But as we were only going to the grocery store and our local HT has the awesome race car carts, I was counting on us vroom vroom-ing and beep beep-ing our way through our shopping trip, making the toys unnecessary today.

If we’re going for a longer outing, or god forbid out to a restaurant (which I try to avoid at all costs right now…), I fill that bag up with play remotes, blocks and more books that make noise or have flaps. Mostly things for him to fiddle with for 45 seconds and then throw across whatever room we’re in, but I give it a good effort anyways.

The emergency bag.

the emergency bag

Nothing in this bag would solve a real emergency, but whatevs. The bag itself is ugly and plastic-y and stays zipped away in the diaper bag, but it still has some items that I always like to have on hand.

1. Children’s Tylenol

2. SPF50 sunscreen

3. Spiderman band-aids (duh…)

4. Nasal aspirator

5. Butt Paste

6. First aid kit

7. Hospital Vaseline

8. a comb (no idea why…as C’s hair is often all over the place no matter how frequently I brush it)

Mom’s emergency bag.

mom's emergency bag

These items, however, really do solve personal emergencies.

1. Mascara - I use Mary Kay’s Ultimate Mascara in black. Mascara and lip gloss are my go-to make-up items after I slather myself in tinted moisturizer before I leave the house to make myself less scary looking.

2. Lip gloss – As a natural follow-up, I have 3 tubes of lip gloss in my bag, all Mary Kay, too. I keep on hand, at all times, Au Naturel and two discontinued shades that closely resemble this and this.

3. Chapstick with SPF

4. Tylenol – it’s off-brand, but this pregnant girl can’t take anything else and it’s a must for the onslaught of a massive headache while out with a toddler.

5. Honest Face and Body Lotion – it’s the trial size, again perfect for the diaper bag.

6. Scented hand lotion – I got it as a gift for participating in a marketing panel discussion. It smells amazing, and sometimes that’s needed.

7. Aveeno Natural Face Sunscreen – SPF50 – you can never have too much sunscreen on hand.

Only thing missing in there is a bottle of wine, right?

The extra pockets.

extra pocets

1. Boogie Wipes – between teething and a cold that has lasted since November, having saline wipes on hand is really crucial for me as C’s nose has been running like a faucet.

2. Wet Ones – antibacterial hand wipes. For obvious reasons, right?

3. Stroller straps – they came with the bag and are clutch for keeping the diaper bag off the ground.

4. Tide To Go Stain Pen - again, a no brainer to have on hand.

5. Brush – who even knows.

6. Bibs

So there you have it! The multiple contents in a massive diaper bag of a mom of one 18-month old. I usually keep an extra shirt and a pair of pants/shorts in there, too, for accidental spills or tumbles while out and about, but in an effort for full disclosure, that back-up outfit is MIA from the bag at this time.

I hope that this was helpful for mothers who may be transitioning from a baby diaper bag to a toddler diaper bag!

For other moms with kids of a similar age to Carter, do you carry anything extra or different than the things I keep on hand? Any must-haves that I’m missing?

daddy diaper bags

Over the weekend, J and I took Carter around town with us and we went grocery shopping together. It’s not something we usually do as a family, primarily because our time as a threesome is very limited with my work schedule, but also because who wants to spend an entire weekend afternoon spending money on actual necessities?

I saw a few men out and about with their kids sans-mommy and couldn’t help but notice the “diaper bags” they were carrying with them, most especially the bright Vera Bradley-pattern that one unfortunate daddy was lugging around.

This post on MomFinds circled me back to what I noticed over the weekend. Dads have a wide array of methods for transporting diaper supplies when they are out without the convenience of mom’s diaper bag.

Jason takes the separate bag I keep inside my large diaper bag that holds changing supplies (extra diapers, wipes, diaper cream and a changing pad) and keeps that in the car with him when he has Carter by himself. I’m not sure what he’d do in the event that C needed to change clothes or got a cut/scrape that needed some minor first aid. There’s no room for snacks in my smaller bag, either, so I don’t think he has those on hand for meltdowns.

He’s never complained, but then again, I’m not sure if he’s ever been out long enough without me to warrant needing the back-up supplies I never leave the house without, and I don’t know if he’d admit it if he did.

Does your husband carry a daddy diaper bag?

MomFinds has a whole page listing various styles for dads, but between the prices and the fact that J would never wear any sort of fanny pack, nothing there would fit the bill for our family.

Petunia Pickle Bottom just released some new bags for dad that I actually really like! The Satellite Sling looks like the perfect size for J and I could actually see him lugging it around.

petunia pickle bottom satellite sling

Unfortunately, it’s $99, and I think it took an act of Congress to get J to drop $150 on my diaper bag that I carry around with me everywhere. I could hardly see him thinking that’s a good use of the money (and with all the awesome maternity and baby girl clothes out there, I would have to agree with him)!

I did find two options from ThirtyOne Gifts that are a little more affordable:

cross and fold tote - 31gifts

Cross and Fold Tote – $60

organizing shoulder bag - 31gifts

Organizing Shoulder Bag – $42

I might have just found a practical Father’s Day gift!

What does your man do when out and about with the children alone? Any other reasonably priced recommendations for daddy diaper bags?

15 Fun Facts About My Little Guy

I received an email this morning from a mama blogger I really enjoy, Gina, challenging us to participate in a blog challenge by posting 15 fun facts about our kids. I enjoyed reading a little more about her three little ones and about the other children of the women who participated.

So here we go, 15 fun things about my Carter:

1. At 17.5 months, he is super busy. There’s no sitting still, we’re at 50mph from the time he opens his gorgeous blue eyes until we take a nap or go to bed at night.

Wild Child Carter

2. Carter is a phenomenal sleeper. He sleeps a solid 11-12 hours a night and gets 2-4 hours of sleep during the day, too. He’s consistently in bed between 7 and 8pm and usually wakes up every morning between 7 and 7:30am.

Of note…I have become really comfortable with his sleep patterns and hope that he’s such a rockstar because of my awesome mommy-ing, and not because he’s a baby that just loves to sleep, so that our little girl will be the same way!

3. Carter loves playing with his pirate ship toy that he got from his aunt, uncle and cousins for Hanukkah this year. He uses it as a cup holder for his milk/water/juice and likes to both ride it around and push it at top speed in a circle from the dining room to the kitchen to the entryway and back again.

Carters Pirate Ship

4. He loves to be read to as much as he likes to look at books by himself. He regularly brings books to me and asks me to read them to him. He usually loves the same books for an extended period of time, and likes to hear them over and over and over. Right now it’s a series of Elmo books.

5. There’s some word he’s trying to say right now that sounds way too much like “cock” for me not to laugh every time he says it. I know that’s bad parenting, I admit it, but good lord is it bizarre to hear that word come out of his little mouth.

6. Carter and I love to shower each other with kisses. When I pick him up from the crib he gives me a giant hug around my neck and a huge open mouth kiss. We’re working on the puckering, but as his mama, I can’t get enough of it.

7. He loves to roll call the room. He’ll say everyone’s name that he knows. He calls out for his Bubbie, his Aunt Ray Ray and his cousin Oie all. the. time. Too bad they live in Virginia and Georgia. :(

8. J and I taught him, “what does a pirate say?” in response to our best friends making this video.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcWE5ms-nHc]

Now, any time we ask him what his name is, he replies with “arrrrrgggg,” the same thing he replies with when we ask him what a pirate says.

9. Carter still throws his cup off his high chair, along with his plate. It’s been something he’s done for months and months and we can’t seem to get him to stop. It’s fun.

10. C was an exclusively breastfed baby and took to solids very well. He eats like a horse. His grandfather is constantly amazed by how much he eats in one meal.

11. He’s a very loving little boy. He loves to give bear hugs to his friends that sometimes end up being more like tackles.

12. He loves steering wheels. He runs up to them on the playground and loves to sit in video game seats and pretend to drive.

Carter driving the new car

13. When Carter first went down a slide, by himself, feet first on his belly, it was the first time it hit me that he wouldn’t be dependent on me forever. How quickly he’d be wanting to do things independently has completely blown my mind.

14. When I ask him where mama’s baby is, he tries to pull my shirt up and says “seestor.” It melts my heart.

15. I get emotional when I think back on being pregnant and questioning whether or not I was cut out to be a mom. When I look at this little boy, I can’t fathom a time in my life when I didn’t love him. He’s taught me so much about myself.

So there are my 15 things! Leave a comment telling me some fun facts about your children!

If you decide to go over to Gina’s blog and participate, link back to me, too, so I can read about your little ones. I’d love to hear more about them!

the not so pretty picture

These kind of days always start a little “off.” I don’t always realize it when I’m basking in the fact that it’s 7:45am and Carter is still sleeping, but by now, I should.

He slept till close to 8 this morning and woke up a complete nightmare. It’s been one of those days where you kick yourself for getting smug about this parenting thing. You watch your kid spout out animal noises and point out letters from the alphabet and think, for just a second, that maybe you are figuring this gig out.

I watch him bring me toys when I ask for them, say “peas” and “tank you,” eat all his vegetables at dinner and take three hour naps and I fall into a false sense of security.

Yesterday we spent the day playing with friends in the morning and taking a 3.5 hour nap in the afternoon while I devoured a young adult novel (shaking head…) and completed 3/4ths of a chore before I decided we should use the rest of the day to go for a run outside.

It was an awesome day. A pretty picture demonstrating the life of a stay-at-home (during the day…) mom.

If only every day were so super sweet, right?

Today, I’ve watched my precious little boy:

  • throw a book at my face
  • smile knowingly, then proceed to do whatever it was I told him he’d get timeout if he did again
  • throw his milk across the kitchen
  • try to drag the dog across the floor by her leg
  • spin in circles until he falls down…repeat, repeat, repeat…
  • climb on top of a small box and try to jump off
  • attempt to climb over the gate at the bottom of the step

He’s currently down for a nap, thank god, and I’m reflecting on the first half of today and not feeling badly, at all, that lunch consisted of a chocolate dirt cupcake* and I’m taking some time to blog and not so shamefully watch an ABC family show I DVR’d.

*I should note that I made these with chocolate cream cheese frosting instead of what the recipe called for, which, in my opinion, made them that much more awesome. They are leftover from J’s 30th birthday celebration, and I figure it’d be a shame to waste them. If you have a free afternoon and love chocolate, I highly recommend making these.

I fully understand that his behavior is just a reflection of his age, but “broken record” was totally missing in the definition of “mother” that I read.

Which makes me wonder what other parts of the definition are conveniently omitted in those stupid pregnancy books…

In almost 18 months, I’ve become way too comfortable around poop and puke, have had my hair pulled out, shirt pulled down, and cheeks pinched more times than I can count.

I’ve gotten all sorts of food on clothes that range from Target cheap to boutique chic and have cried, yes, actually cried, over spilled milk. It was breastmilk, and 7 or so ounces of it, and I was a pumping mom at work trying desperately to maintain my exclusive nursing status. It was heartbreaking.

I’m part stalker, creeping in on my son while he sleeps several times a night. I’m part actress, pretending that reading that Elmo book for the 5th time in an hour is still exciting and singing Old McDonald Had a Farm is my idea of a fun car ride home from play gym.

Those are the mom lessons you have to learn by experience, or by the help of bloggers that like to reveal too much about their parenting trial and errors.

What do you think? What are some parts of the “mom” definition that get left out while painting the pretty picture?

it’s a…

GIRL!

We’re having a daughter!

Carter’s getting a little sister to terrorize and protect forever and ever and ever.

I’m getting a baby girl to dress up and teach all sorts of things to like how to be a strong, smart woman and not take any bullshit from anybody.

Jason gets to show me how a father should treat his daughter her entire life, not just for the first 14 years, and gets my full permission to fall in love with another girl.

We’re over the moon excited!

Let the name debating and baby clothes shopping commence!!

Mommies with daughters…tell me what I should be most excited about!

gender guessing

So are chicken nuggets part of a healthy pregnancy diet? Because if they’re wrong, I have no desire to be right. I have been inhaling Carter’s dino nuggets like my life depended on it. I don’t know if it’s as a result of swearing off McDonald’s nuggets forever and ever and ever, you know, like when you quit something it’s all you want? For normal people it’s pie and cake and sugar and sweets, maybe coffee or cigarettes or alcohol. For this girl, chicken nuggets all day every day.

Anywho, 2 weeks from today I’ll know the gender of this baby in my belly. I have such mixed feelings about it. I considered not finding out. I can’t imagine a bigger surprise. I was all amped to wait and then a girlfriend of mine who did wait said, “it’s kind of anticlimatic – it’s either a boy or a girl.” Well, womp womp.

She’s right though. And it’s the same surprise at 40-weeks as it would be at 19.

So my next appointment is 2 weeks away and we have the ultrasound scheduled. Carter will be coming with Jason and I to the appointment to catch a glimpse of his brother or sister in the only way a 17-month old can. I doubt he’ll understand, but it’s been pretty interesting to try to tell him there’s a baby in mama’s belly. He pulls my shirt up a bit, stares at my belly and then looks back at me with eyes that say, “nice try, stupid. There’s no baby there.”

He’s getting way too smart. He’s going to be smarter than me soon.

So I have 2 weeks left of pondering whether or not I’m baking another son or if there are some additional she-parts inside of me. I couldn’t be more conflicted about what I would “prefer,” it depends on the day, my mood and how many chicken nuggets I’ve eaten.

Most days I feel like my world would be more at peace with another boy. I feel confident in my ability to handle another boy until he’s 16.5 months old, and by the time he’s that old, I’ll have an additional 22 months of boy-parenting experience under my belt.

He could be completely different than Carter — like, perhaps he’ll be calm and not sleep ever. Despite C’s inability to sit still when he’s awake, when that boy is tired he sleeps. He sleeps 12-13 hours a night and usually 3-4 hours during the day. He’s been that way since he was 4 months old.

But he could be the same, and if that’s the case, on some days I can’t help but think what the hell have I gotten myself into. Carter x2 sounds like a whole lot of fun yet equally terrifying.

If it’s a she, what’s terrifying is the thought of my husband divorcing me for spending all his hard earned money on baby clothes.

I have no hunches and I somehow have no recollection of what my pregnancy was like at this point last time to compare. I feel like I ate a lot more ice cream, but my memory has always kind of sucked, so who knows. I knew Carter was a boy from the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test. I don’t know how or why, but I did.

This new little one remains a mystery.

Did you find out what you were having? Did you “feel” like it was one gender or the other?

What kind of cute ways did you share this news with your family and friends?

Also, don’t forget to check me out on the Moms Talk Network blogging about a really, really important Motherhood Lesson that I’ve learned: Nobody’s Perfect.

yes, yes AND yes

I am constantly playing catch-up in the blogosphere, the Twitter-verse and in my laundry room. Catch-up, catch-up, catch-up. Life is such a rat race, aint it?

Every now and then I stumble upon an article or a blog post that makes me tear up, either with laughter or just real, genuine “I know exactly how that feels!” tears and I want everyone I know that can remotely relate to read it.

I found one of those this morning, and I had to share asap, despite the fact that the post is a week or so old and has already made it’s rounds on the internets.

Read it, Moms.

If you already read it, read it again. Read it every day.

This whole blog, Momastry, and what it’s all about is fabulous.

It’s a place to stop making motherhood and marriage harder by pretending they’re not hard. It’s a place to laugh till you pee and cry till you laugh.

I want Glennon, the author, to come over to my house for coffee in the morning and go shopping with me and then have a huge dance party with our kids. She writes things like, “She’s better than 3 Red Bulls and a kale smoothie” and she loves Beyonce.

From what I’ve gathered through stalking her blog for an hour or so, she’s awesome.

So go devour her. Join her Monkees and swoon over her gorgeous family and waste an entire morning nap that you swore you were going to take advantage of (like try to sleep yourself since apparently pregnancy insomnia is starting much, much earlier this time around…)

You won’t be disappointed. You might even feel so good about yourself that you no longer feel guilty about those pop tarts you inhaled for breakfast after making your husband an entire day’s worth of P90x-approved healthy meals.

Thank you, Glennon, for making yet another crazy mom feel like she’s not the only one.

baby i’ll paint the sky blue

Beyonce announcing her pregnancy was a blog-worthy event in my life back in August, so it only seems natural that I in some way acknowledge the fact that Queen B gave birth to her little girl this past weekend.

They delivered on a private floor of a New York hospital that cost over a million dollars to rent. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta’.

Conan O’Brien tweeted today:

Thank God Beyonce had her baby and can go back to work. For the past 6 months that family’s had to live entirely on Jay-Z’s salary.

I laughed out loud.

But in the midst of all the media reports and comedian commentary over the birth of Baby Blue, I stumbled upon a new song that Jay-Z recorded in the last couple of days called “Glory.” It’s about the birth of his princess and gives a little inside peak into the struggles the couple experienced trying to have a baby. The song even features Blue Ivy, and there’s really nothing like the sound of a newborn baby.

This song made my heart melt…and despite my undying love affair with both Jay and Bey, I’m not usually teary eyed while I’m watching the throne or putting my love on top.

Take a listen!