1 large tote ::: 1 medium back pack ::: 1 small cross-body bag
sunglasses ::: black choker ::: simple gold necklace ::: 2 earrings ::: 1 bangle ::: 1 watch
It’s been two whole months since we welcomed our sweet Vera Charlotte into the world. I’m trying to savor every single moment because I know she’s our last baby. Each night-time waking, each nursing snuggle, each little smile and even those heart-breaking pouts and sobs. She’s a sweet chub of a baby, so different than her older sister. I remember Emerson feeling so fragile in my arms whereas Vera feels so hefty – so solid.
We’ve all fallen into what feels like a good routine. I know the routine will constantly be changing, just as quickly as little Vera. But for now I feel like I’m slowly getting my groove back.
Emmie has been overall wonderful in the transition of being an only child to suddenly having to share her parents with another little human, who really doesn’t do much but sleep & cry. Emerson has already fallen comfortably into the role of big sister. She is constantly informing me when Vera starts to fuss that I need to either “pick her up,” or “give her breastmilk.” And my sweet, tenderhearted Emmie will tear up and join in the crying if Vera is left fussing or crying for too long. Car rides are the worst, when I can’t actively soothe Vera, no matter how loudly Emmie demands it.
Slowly and surely I’ll get back into writing more for the blog.
It’s been particularly quiet over here and while I’d love to say that we’ve been wrapped up in the holiday hustle and bustle, we’ve actually been wrapped up in something a bit more somber.
A few weeks ago on a regularly scheduled ultrasound our second baby was diagnosed with CPAM, congenital pulmonary airway malformation. A rare diagnosis of 1 in 30,000 but a diagnosis with a good outlook. Instead of normal lung tissue our daughter has a malformation in the lower left lobe of her lung. This tissue won’t function as normal lung tissue and it most likely will need to be surgically removed. Once it’s surgically removed, the life outlook is fabulous with no real restrictions or complications down the line. For this, I am so incredibly grateful. Terrified, nonetheless, but grateful beyond words.
We were scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound to see what the mass would do over the next two weeks. Sometimes they disappear altogether, sometimes they don’t. Her’s didn’t change. Her latest ultrasound revealed that the mass was still there and we are in the process of being referred to a pediatric surgeon.
Whenever you receive a diagnosis, or told there might be a problem, you automatically go through a process of “would-have,” “could-have,” and “what if’s.” There is no rhyme or reason to why a child develops CPAM and they stress that it’s nothing we could have prevented. This does nothing for a mother’s guilt. For my guilt. Immediately thoughts of all my maintenance medications I take for Cystic Fibrosis crept into my mind. Was it one of those that caused this malformation? Was it the daily Dr. Pepper I have been treating myself to? Was it the lack of spinach I was eating? Or was it truly just luck of the draw. I don’t seem to be particularly lucky when it comes to genetic abnormalities.
Needless to say, I’ve been tired. Physically tired. Emotionally tired. Our days have been jammed with daily appointments: for me, for baby & for Emmie (she started twice a week speech therapy). And our nights are laden with quiet anxieties while we toss and turn pretending to sleep. The house and dog have fallen into the category of borderline neglect and an already hardworking husband has been picking up my slack without saying a word or heaving a sigh. Yes, these past few weeks have been hard on everybody.
All we can do at the moment is try our best to go about our daily lives. We’ll be surrounded by close friends and family for the holiday season and there’s nothing more healing than laughter and love.
Just the other day something incredible happened. I received an email. Now, this email was like no other email I’ve ever received. This email was from a company, specifically Pink Blush, asking if I was interested in collaborating with them as a blogger. Say what? Cue the happy dance. No, really, I did an actually happy dance – my husband can testify to this fact, I’m pretty sure he wishes he recorded it as it was a really sweet dance.
I’ve also rounded up some other amazing options for the holidays on the Pink Blush website which could be yours because Pink Blush has so graciously offered a $75 gift card to their store for one of my readers! Make sure you head over to my instagram to find out how to enter. Not pregnant? No problem! Pink Blush isn’t just maternity clothing, they also offer women’s, plus size, cute baby items, and even things like accessories and shoes! Seriously, what are you waiting for? Go enter this giveaway!
I received my amazing plaid dress for free in return for my honest opinion. This has been your friendly disclosure statement.
You’re funny, daring, silly, caring, and oh, so darn cute!
You even get me to giggle when you exclaim, “Oh, Emmie toot!”
I love the way you try to negotiate
to increase the pee to jellybean rate.
Or how you count, “Won, two, REE!”
It always gets a smile from me –
But heaven forbid you ever utter “four.”
since it’s your favorite number to ignore.
You can bust a move to any song
and when you’re laughing you can do no wrong-
except for hitting, that behavior is new
Daddy and I aren’t sure what to do.
You never want to apologize
even though tears stream from your eyes.
You’ll tell us, after, hitting made you feel sad
but never what it was that made you so mad.
We’re really hoping it’s just a phase
and that you’ll soon be back to performing your ballets.
Some days you’re helpful: loading dishes or folding socks –
while other days you’d prefer to play outside and collect rocks.
You love playing keep-a-way with Oliver’s doggy bones
and always demand the “cow game” when you see Daddy’s phone.
You love the library and each week when we go,
it’s so much fun for me to see how you’ve grown.
When we started you just sat there- so quiet,
and now you’ll sing & dance. Yup, it’s a riot!
A little quirk that I find so funny,
anytime you find a penny you say, “Here Mom, MONEY!”
Another oddity that you’ve begun
is requesting random songs to be sung;
a “turkey song,” a “silly belly song,” and “Daddy comes home” are just a few.
Oh Emmie, I do hope you know just how much I love you.
Being your mother is such a treat,
but watching you get older is bittersweet.
While you test your limits and boundaries for sure,
the love you exude is just so pure.
You’re special to me in ways you’ll never know
And every single day my love for you grows.
Yes, my love for you knows no bounds-
Emma Claire, you make my world go round.
Every now and again I get sent some awesome things through influenster* to try out in exchange for a review. This is one of those times. Although I received these products for free, these are my own unfiltered opinions.
I love makeup. As a teen I would often hole up in my room on school-nights and give myself grand makeovers. Bold and daring lip colors, wild eye-shadow combinations, and trying my hand at the latest makeup tricks from the trendiest magazines. It helped that I had an older sister who paved the way into luxury brands for me. I would often get in trouble for sneaking into my sister’s room to raid her ever-growing luxury product collection in hopes that I could save myself some money but still wear the good stuff. As I got older and my preferences got more defined, I felt comfortable splurging on high quality makeup products, always with the help and guidance from my sister, the lovely Sephora staff, and of course Youtube’s top beauty guru’s.
Now, as I’m gearing up to leave my 20’s and enter my 30’s I feel very confident and comfortable with my makeup skills and product selection. As a SAHM, or Stay At Home Mom, it’s important to me that I still wear makeup because it makes me feel put-together, confident, and normalizes my life in bouts of sickness. I know I can still look decent even if my Cystic Fibrosis makes me feel like an 80-year old chain-smoker. Because of this, I still love trying new brands and new products I wouldn’t normally purchase myself. Sometimes all we need is a little nudge outside of our comfort zone to discover a groove we didn’t know we had!
When I was chosen to review some Lancôme products I jumped at the opportunity. A luxury brand that I haven’t ever really dabbled in. I have used one of their mascaras in the past, but that was about it. So when I was greeted with a bright purple eye-liner, I was ecstatic. Just what I needed to leave the comfort of my daily neutrals and vamp up my everyday Mom look.
My go-to for eyeliners that last all day, have intense color, and glide on your face like butter is Urban Decay’s 24/7 line. I’ve tried quite a few other liners but these still win out every time. Imagine my surprise when I use Lancôme’s Drama Liqui-Pencil for the first time and I had to double check to make sure I didn’t accidentally pick up my UD 24/7 liner. The texture was creamy, easy to manipulate and the color payout was fabulous. It was easy to smudge on my lower line and most importantly it stayed put all day long. I even had my daughter poke me in the eye several times for the sake of the experiment. Okay, so that was purely coincidental, but Emmie really did jab my eye lids a few times since she was pretty enthralled with my new purple eyes. While the purple colored pencil was beyond my expectations, the deep noir color dissappointed me. I had high hopes for a comparable Urban Decay Zero type black, but it lacked the intensity I hoped for. The pencil was also not quite as easy to use when lining my waterline and needed a few passes. Overall, if I’m looking for a colored eye-liner to add to my collection I will definitely be considering Lancôme’s Drama Liqui-Pencils.
Mascara is another item that I am ultra picky about. I have decently long lashes, but they’re pretty thin. I like my mascara’s to be volumizing, dark, and non-clumping. I aim for a very natural look. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s clumpy, flaky lashes. I am also pretty picky about my brushes. I find that the little spiky brushes lend themselves well to my goal of natural-looking lashes. Lancôme’s Définicils Mascara claims to be a lengthening and defining mascara for a natural, yet striking look. It definitely lengthened my lashes but one coat was not enough to cover my need for volume. I swiped on 2-3 coats. There was minimal clumping and hardly any fallout over the course of the day. My biggest gripe was the brush. I found it awkward to use and hard to manipulate my lashes to get an even coat. My final verdict is a pass. I love that it stayed on all day, but it just doesn’t suit my specific needs for fuller lashes. If I needed luxuriously long lashes I would be singing a different tune!
*this is a referral link: if you sign up via this link and I get points. Points for what? I don’t really know, honestly, but I figured if they have a referral link, why not use it? And this has been your honest disclosure statement *
Hubby and I had fallen into a nighttime rut. It consisted of putting Emmie to bed and then going to our respective electronic devices to play games, read blogs, and browse the internet. With baby #2 on the way we both felt we needed to spend more quality time together, sans electronic devices, but we didn’t have the energy, or money, to hire a sitter every weekend for your average “date night.” We looked into subscribing to a “date in a box” type service but being the crafty DIYers that we are, decided that we could come up with our own versions of date nights that could be done at home after the kids are in bed. And so, our At Home Date Night series was born.
I rounded up some ideas, wrote them on some big Popsicle sticks and placed them in a jar. Each Monday we pick out a Popsicle stick so that we have the week to prepare anything needed for an “at home date night.” Our first date night in this series was “build a terrarium.” Building a terrarium was something both my husband and I had wanted to do for a long time. It was the perfect date night for the long weekend. We spent Friday evening rounding up our supplies. On Saturday we tucked Emerson into bed, put on some music, poured some wine (well, juice for me) and built our terrariums. We had such a blast and it felt great to be doing something with each other rather than spending the evening zoning out in front of the TV or computer.
Here’s how you can create your own DIY terrarium date night!
Gather your supplies:
Terrarium Container: Glass jars, vases or bowls work well for terrarium containers. You can decide if you want your terrarium to be an open container or a closed container; both work well.
Plants: Gather plants that have the same needs. You shouldn’t mix plants that require different levels of water or light. Succulents do well in open terrariums, but look for other plants if you’re aiming for a closed terrarium. Grab a bag of sheet moss for covering up the open spaces between plants, which helps the plants retain the right level of moisture.
Rocks: You’ll need some type of rock so that you’ll have a nice drainage layer. We chose some river rocks as our big drainage layer, and then layered some aquarium pebbles on-top of that.
Activated Charcoal: Activated charcoal can be found in pet stores with the fish supplies. This helps filter your terrarium to keep it clean and your plants healthy & happy.
Dirt: Choose a high quality potting soil.
Build your terrarium:
Step 1: Set up your draining layer, aiming for the biggest rocks on the very bottom and smaller rocks on top, about 1″ total. Add a layer of activated charcoal about 0.5″ deep to finish it off.
Step 2: Put in roughly 1-2″ of potting soil
Step 3: Arrange plants in your terrarium container, filling in spaces with more soil as you go
Step 4: Add moss on top of any open dirt, surrounding the plants
Step 5: Add enough water to moisten the soil, then admire your new terrarium!
Keep following along so that you’ll never miss a new At Home Date Night.
Halloween is officially over. We’ve packed away our spooky decor and gorged ourselves on tasty treats. Emmie had a nice time trick-or-treating this year with her friends. She was slow and shy in the beginning but as the night wore on she turned into a pro: running up to houses, yelling “trick or treat,” and remembering her manners with a thank-you…well, most of the time. She had so much fun that after every house whenever we’d say, “Okay, let’s go,” meaning onto the next house, she’d cry out, “NO! No go home!” She loved wearing the Princess Sofia costume I made for her, so much so, that she’s worn it every day since. I think it’s safe to say Halloween was a success this year.
Over the weekend we crossed another Fall Bucket List item off of our list. We went to a pumpkin patch! Pumpkin patches, or farm fall festivals are a perfect way to spend a morning or day together as a family. We especially lucked out as we had a chilly morning that lent itself to the perfect fall vibe we had going on. We donned our long sleeves and set out on our adventure.
So how can you get the most out of your pumpkin patch? Try following these tips!
If you’re searching for even more ways to maximize your pumpkin patch experience you can bring things like themed books, hot cider in a mug, or a pumpkin patch scavenger hunt checklist. It also can’t hurt to bring extra wipes because sometimes you just get dirty. But a dirty kid, is usually a happy kid. I mean, just look at this cutie. She was covered in head to toe dirt, from falling, pumpkin hunting, and wiping her face, but she was in her element.
Fall is here and with it cooler temperatures. Living in Florida means we’re still going swimming, but we’re no longer swimming in humidity. <Okay, okay, no more bad jokes> Just because our fall weather looks a little different than what we’re used to, we’re still planning on having a lot of fun this season! Here’s a peek at what’s on our Florida Fall Bucket List:
Decorate for Halloween
Pick out a pumpkin at a ‘pumpkin patch’
Visit a farm
Go to the fair
Carve a pumpkin
Roast pumpkin seeds
Have a fall scavenger hunt
Drink apple cider
Eat apple pie
Do a fall-inspired craft
Have an outdoor fire
We have already started checking off things on our list, and some activities we’ll be checking off again and again. (Apple cider anyone? Yum!) What’s on your fall bucket list?
Don’t forget to download your very own Autumn Scavenger Hunt for Toddlers to join in on our fun!