Monday, March 3, 2014

Reasons I like living in Florida....

It's no secret that having our families live so far away is sometimes rough. 

I get VERY homesick every fall.

Florida has no fall season. It's hot here all the time and there is never a point where the leaves change, the wind blows cooler and things start to feel a bit chilly. 

That doesn't stop us from wishing for it. Matt and I long for "football weather" (though we both could probably count on one hand the number of football games we've been to when the weather was actually perfect "football weather". This weather phenomenon is a complicated mix of cool, crisp air, sunshine and low humidity.)

Since the chances of this weather happening in Florida are pretty much zero I definitely miss Alabama and the cooler weather and fall colors. By the time we make the trip home for Christmas, things start to change. 

One, because we usually are in Alabama for an extended period of time and by the time we head back home to Tampa I am ready to be in my house again.

Two, because Tampa in the spring is AMAZING. Almost as soon as we get home after Christmas we can start wearing shorts, short sleeves and lighter clothing. My heavy wool jacket, scarves and gloves are no longer needed. Everything seems greener and brighter. Poor Alabama has lost it's fall splendor by then and most everything seems brown and gray. Coming back to the sunshine in Florida feels pretty amazing and you start to feel lucky that you live in a vacation hotspot.

So needless to say - THIS particular time of year I am not quite so homesick. I know it's snowing or at least probably below freezing in Alabama tonight. And I'm not homesick for that in the slightest. 

So, here are some reasons I like living in Florida in the spring.

(and gratuitous baby photos thrown in for good measure)

Your baby can get away with wearing this dress in February.
Out to eat.
On a Friday night.

She can go barefoot as often as she likes.

I can turn photos of azaleas blooming in my backyard into pretty water colors.

You can take hilarious photos like this one in the water park at Disney World.
On the first day of March.

You can meet your husband downtown for lunch and go for a walk beside the bay and see pirate ships.

You can rock your baby to sleep on your front porch swing.

You can let the kids play without clothes when you babysit.

Your goofy husband can dress up like an Olympic speed skater for an Olympic watching party and not freeze.

Your husband can work on his Christmas present in the sunshine.

You can lay on a quilt outside under an umbrella in your backyard and just enjoy being a family.

Homesickness stinks.

But having my little family to enjoy the sunshine with me helps remove the sting.

Home is truly where they are anyways.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Things I'm loving

1. Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets.

These aren't cheap, but they're worth every penny. Bea loves to chew on them, cuddle with them, and be swaddled in them. I don't swaddle her in them as her night swaddle since she can pull out of them and wake herself up - but for just cuddle swaddles they are perfect. I use them in the bed, carseat, stroller and everywhere. They are soft, lightweight and perfect for the weather we have down here. We have several different sets, but of course I'm partial to the bee design. We use these daily in our house.

Bea plays with this every morning. She bats at the toys, grabs the toy rings, kicks the piano, talks to the baby in the mirror and basically can entertain herself with this toy long enough for me to eat some breakfast. Another baby item that gets daily use in our house. 


Confession: I am not a fan of Nutella. 

Shocking I know, I'm just not a huge fan of the hazelnut flavor. I can eat it, but I don't just LOVE it. So when I saw these spreads by Hershey that are just CHOCOLATE in all it's glory I was stoked. I eat a lot of peanut butter and apple slices as a snack. Now I add in a spoonful of this chocolate goodness with the peanut butter and my apples are heavenly. 

P.S. Can't believe this stuff is selling on Amazon for over $10 a jar. Makes me want to go stock up at the grocery store and start an at home business....

4. Songza

This website/app is wonderful. It gives you great music playlists based on the time of day, the time of year, etc. Like on Saturday morning it will suggest music for working out, sleeping, cleaning, or going to the beach. Lately it's been offering music for watching the Olympics. There is an children's instrumental music station for sleeping that I used with Bea EVERY night when she was first home from the hospital. Now I turn on this app when we go for a run and I put the phone down by her head in the stroller. She will be out for a nap before I reach the end of our street. I also used this app for great running mixes when we were prepping for the 1/2 marathon last year. It's free and isn't filled with commercials. I highly recommend it.

I got this DVD for Bea and I love it myself. It's classical music pieces set to cute animations. It's designed for babies and small children. It includes music from Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Irving Berlin, Schumann, and other composers. The music is very recognizable and pretty. The visuals are engaging and the segments are short and easy to watch. Bea seems to like "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker the most. It's a sweet little DVD. It's nice to have the music in the house and I'm glad it holds Bea's short attention for just a little bit.

Photo taken in Glacier National Park, August 2011

Bea, January 2014

This app cost $2.99 but it's been worth it. It takes your photos and makes them look like a water color painting. I love the results and I love playing with it. Every photo seems to turn out differently. I've printed a couple of these and they look great printed too. 

7. Publix Pizza Dough

It's in the bakery section. Let it sit unrefrigerated for at least an hour before using. It's easy, cheap and delicious.

Just thought I'd pass these recommendations on. 

Happy Friday!

(Little Bit is 15 weeks old! Time is FLYING BY!!!)

Gratuitous photo/painting by Waterlogue of the cutest baby in the world!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lately..... (part 3)


This little nugget turned 3 months old. 
 The nerve!
I have submitted paperwork to her requesting she slow down this "growing up" business.
There is no need for it.
She has yet to get back to me.
Uh, bureaucracy.

Seriously, don't you agree that something must be done to stop all these nuggets from growing up so fast?! 
We should picket. 
It's an epidemic!

Here is photographic evidence of my own nugget whose growth can been seen in these monthly photos.
From L to R: One day old, One month old, Two months old, Three months old.
It's a travesty, I tell ya.

Ok, ok...I digresss....
Where was I?
Oh yeah....


Little B prefers to be clothed in diaper and bow only.

She also likes snuggles on Momma.

I am loving these bee shoes from Cracker Barrel.

We've been teaching B the awesome sport that is American football.
She's pretty good.
She's a little hung up on chewing on the football right now.
It's a start, though.

I love this sleeping face. 
She's like a little doll.

B has spent some quality time in her Johnny Jumper. 
She loves the lady bug toy. It has a chime in it and she loves to make the chime ring.
She looks so grown up in this!
I hope she reviews my "Stop Getting Bigger" paperwork request soon.....

Wil needed some snuggles.
Bea is usually in his spot.
He's been a good sport about it.

Come to think of it, he's probably looking forward to her growing up and clearing out of my lap...
I wonder if he has sabotaged my paperwork!?

I will have to check his crate......

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thoughts on being a mom

*Most Baby B post are on her blog - - email me for access

Watercolor from the Waterlouge app on my iPhone 

I was thinking today about being a new mom and all that this job entails. There is so much I have learned over the past 11 weeks. I feel like I was somewhat prepared as I had been around kids before, but there's nothing that prepares you for what it's like when that kid is yours. When it's something you are completely responsible for.

So I find myself doing the typical stay at home mom things - or at least I think they're typical. Here are some questions I keep asking myself.....

When do Mom's get dressed? 
I've found that I save a lot of Laundry when I stay in yoga or PJ pants all day. Sometimes I manage to put on a if I want to check the mail or something. Most of the time I wear a tshirt or tank top. No reason to put on my good clothes since B will just spit up, pee, snot, or worse on them. Another good question would be WHY do Mom's get dressed?

On the days I DO want to get dressed I have to be sure the atmospheric condition are just right. B has to be content - this means I have to make sure she is fed and changed before I dare leave her to put on jeans. Lest the wrath of BB be brought down on my head.

And thou shalt fear the continued wrath of B if thou shalt intend to dress HER as well as thyself. Prepare for meltdown. Lady B prefers her naked form.

When do Mom's eat?
I haven't sat down for a meal more than a handful of times since becoming a mother. Most of my meals are scarfed down while B is in one of her content periods. Sometimes these content periods match up with regular meal times. Other times I'm eating "Lunch" at 4:30 p.m.

When Matt is around we trade off during meal times. He'll hold Bea if she needs attention while I'm eating and then I'll take her and he'll eat.

I admit a few of my meals have been serenaded with baby screams in the background. Nothing helps that PBJ you quickly slapped together taste better than when it is served with a side of crying.

When do Mom's pee?
I admit - prior to B my morning routine was pretty regular (if you know what I mean). Nowadays I am lucky if I remember I had to pee 5 hours ago. Sometimes going to the bathroom is a great way to get a short break. Sometimes I sit there in the silence and think, "This is what it has come to?"

When do Mom's sleep?
WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS! Most valuable piece of advice I read and actually followed. So what if - especially those first few weeks - there is housework to be done? I have learned to rest when BB rests and that is SO valuable. I don't function great on small amounts of sleep. I need it. And B's a good sleeper so I am EXTREMELY grateful for that.

When do Mom's blog?
When I can. Which is why my blogging has been sporadic since her arrival (though in full disclosure it was sporadic before then too...)

I say all this not to complain. I LOVE this kid. I love being her mom. I love that my husband works SO SO hard in order to provide me the chance to be at home with her everyday. I love that I can't pee, sleep, eat and live like I used to. I appreciate what I had then and I appreciate what I have now.

I say this because I'm recording my life as it is right now. It's pretty awesome and sometimes hilarious and usually wearing PJ pants and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

B's First Christmas

Most of my postings are now over on Bea's blog:

Email me at for access to the baby blog. Like I said before, I don't keep it private to keep people out - it's private for Bea's sake. Someday she may not appreciate all her baby details being published for ALL to see. This way I have some control. So join us! I am attempting to blog about each week for her first year.

Anyways - baby's first Christmas was great.

She was jolly and sweet as she met so many relatives and friends while we were in Alabama. I think she charmed everyone which was no surprise to me, of course. She's a pretty adorable baby.

Santa was good to her - although this year Santa was a bit light on the gifts. He understood Momma and Daddy would have to pack and bring back to Florida anything he brought her. Plus there are only so many toys a 6 week old can really appreciate and enjoy. I'm sure next Christmas will be a different story....

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a VERY happy New Year!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Time Is Here.

Christmas Tree 2013

Christmastime is here! We decorated our house a bit before Thanksgiving so we could enjoy the festive look a bit longer.

Our tree has a lot more whimsy and color than it did last year.

Christmas Tree 2012

I can't imagine what inspired us to be a little more "child-like" in our decorating for Christmas this year...

Oh yeah - I'm sure it's all for THIS little cutie.

I know, I know - I'm clearly biased, but

Loving my quiet mornings with this nugget. 

Bea's Daddy made this excellent "gingerbread" house for her.
Someday they'll be doing projects like these together.
We went to Christmastown at Busch Gardens here in Tampa this past Friday night. It was very fun and Bea did GREAT.

She was completely smitten by the lights. She fell in love and now stares at our Christmas tree all the time.

She's a Who from Whoville - who loves Christmas a lot - just like her parents. :-)

Mesmerized by the lights of Christmastown.

I wish I lived in Christmastown.....

Have you been good this year?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Plenty to be thankful for....

Been singing this song all week:
I've got plenty to be thankful for
I haven't got
A great big yacht
To sail from shore to shore
Still I've got plenty to be thankful for

I've got plenty to be thankful for
No private car
No caviar
No carpet on my floor
Still I've got plenty to be thankful for

I've got eyes to see with
Ears to hear with
Arms to hug with
Lips to kiss with
Someone to adore

How could anybody ask for more?
My needs are small
I buy them all
At the five and ten cent store
Oh, I've got plenty to be thankful for

From one of my favorite movies: Holiday Inn
Sung by Mr. Bing Crosby - of course.

Celebrating the holiday with my best gal, my best guy and my best dad.

It's been a roller coaster fall and despite missing my mom I am counting my blessings this week and find them too many to number. 

Especially when I count each little knuckle, fingernail, toe and hair on Baby B's head as a separate blessing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Baby B Arrives

Baby B has arrived.

She is perfect.

She picked her own birthday (in a round-about way) - November 8th.

She's beautiful.

I can't believe she's mine.

Full story of her birth will be on the Baby B blog. Email me if you want access.

I'm off to snuggle some more with my best gal and her daddy - MY best guy.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Baby B Update

37 weeks pregnant today.





21 days to go.

Maybe less?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lately...(part 2)

Playing a bit of catch-up....

Lately, I decorated our porch to show our team allegiances. There's an Auburn flag on the other porch corner, but it wasn't pretty enough for a photo.

Lately, we went to the beach to celebrate Matt's first cousin's son's first birthday. 
C is a doll and we have loved having he and his parents in Tampa for the past few months.
(Matt's cousin is completing a one year fellowship with some Tampa orthopedic surgeons.)

Lately, Uncle Map shows G the importance of a good game-day face when watching Auburn.

Lately, we received several books and a baby bumbo seat from some very generous friends. 
I took this photo of Matt enjoying the gifts to send to them.
(Every time I typed Bumbo into the text to thank them my phone tried to autocorrect it to "bimbo" - My texts were saying, "Thanks for the bimbo! We love it! Matt is sitting on the bimbo right now!"  
Thanks Autocorrect.)

Lately, we took G to one of the Disney hotels to see some characters there. 
He met Lightning McQueen and Mater in one area.
This is my favorite photo though - he an Uncle Map snuck away to the Lion King area while Mimi and I rested in the food court.

Lately, G showed off his dog walking skills and impressed our entire neighborhood.

Lately, G picked out this swim suit for Baby B. 
Kid's got taste.

Lately, we brought home some okra from the Padgett farm. Ate some when we got home and the rest is frozen for treats and suppers after B arrives.

Lately, I found this book in the Chelsea Antique Mall and wondered what it was about...

Lately, Wil sees my belly as more of a useful prop than something in his way.

Lately, he has also taken over our lawn chairs.

Lately, I decorated my front porch with pumpkins and orange.
It may not feel like fall down here - but at least it LOOKS a bit like it on my porch.

Lately, Stevie has adopted this baby and even dressed it to match her.

Lately, I have been extremely flattered by the responses and hits on my blog about my mom. 
I've had over 600 views of that blog to date. 

UPDATE: Baby B is doing well and had a great check-up at my 36 week doctor appointment yesterday. She'll hopefully be making her arrival in the next few weeks.