Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Walker is 18 Months!

How our little man is already 18 months is seriously beyond me. I truly can't believe he will be two years old in six short months! It's true what they say: "The days are long, but the years are short." 

Since I'm not doing monthly posts dedicated to him, I wanted these random postings to be a little snapshot of him in his current state and allow it to be a little slideshow reel, if you will, of sweet Walker. 

He is currently 18 months old, 28 pounds and the sweetest little boy I ever did meet! He's truly all boy. 



Like I said, he's so ridiculously sweet. He loves to give kisses and hugs, and will do it to seriously anyone and everyone. He's definitely a little love! A few weeks ago when I was rocking him for bed {and usually the rocking lasts about two minutes before he points to his bed}, he had his head on my shoulder and I was listening to his breathing get heavier and heavier. He put his arm around my neck, then looked at me unprompted, said, "Hi!", put both hands on both sides of my face and kissed me on my lips over and over. Then he laid his head back down on my shoulder and fell asleep. I'm not going to lie to you: I got choked up! 


Walker is also very silly and loves to laugh. He loves to be tickled, when we chase him, when we hide from him and scare him {he loves saying, "Booooo!"} and he makes funny faces like a pro. He still makes his little loud screeches and will crack up at himself. 

He has been talking up a storm now, and it's crazy to hear his vocabulary expanding. I made him a one-year book and we look at that every day -- multiple times on the weekends -- and he can point to all of our family members and tell you who they are. I love hearing his sweet little voice say, "Papa" {my dad} and "Nana," {my grandmother}, among others. 

He's really become a little "Pete Repeat," as we like to say. He will practically repeat everything we say, and Brandon and I always tell each other that we're really going to have to watch what comes out of our mouths because it will come out of his. 

He's saying the basics, of course, as well: mama, daddy, bye-bye, hi, uh-oh, go, book, milk, this, that, ball, bubbles, car, boat, truck, yes, no, more, etc. 

He can hold up his index finger and show you he's one, and he can say "one, two, three" {"uh, too, tee"} and loves when we say, "Ready....Set..." and he yells "GOOOOOOO!" He can tell you the sounds many animals make, as well as various modes of transportation sounds: planes {"panes"}, helicopters {"toh-ters"}, boat, car, truck {"tuck"}. He can also show you where various body parts are on himself and on others: head, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands, feet and bellybutton. He is fascinated with belly buttons -- so weird!

My favorite thing as of late is when he does something he knows he's not supposed to do, he looks at us and says, "No no no!" while wagging his index finger. It's hilarious! 


He is still a huge animal lover and will go up to any animal and try to kiss and pet it. Of course, we have to remind him to "be sweet," especially when he's playing with our cat, Oliver...and trying to pull his tail. 

He also adores Brandon beyond belief. The second Brandon gets home from work, Walker will stop what he's doing and run full-speed to his Daddy. It's the sweetest thing seeing those two together! He's also a huge fan of my mom, dad, sister Maggie, Aunt Tina and my mother-in-law. 

Walker loves being outside and gets so upset when it's time to come inside. He's still a huge fan of his car, playing with bubbles and his bubble machine, and just running around outside. This summer, he has truly enjoyed swimming, riding in my parents' boat and on their jet skis and sitting on the "beach" at the lake. We're already planning a beach trip for him next summer, and I know he's going to have the time of his life! Indoors, Walker still loves to read, and his favorite book is still "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" with "Little Blue Truck" coming in second. He also still enjoys playing with his Melissa & Doug Vehicle Sound Puzzle and Farm Animal Sounds Puzzle, as well as the shape sorting cube. Of course, he always plays with any car or truck; he doesn't discriminate! While at my parents' house earlier this month, he played with my siblings' old farm and Noah's Ark, and I think we might have to add those to his Amazon Wish List! Ha!


He is in size 5 diapers for daytime and size 4 overnight diapers. He's in some 18-24 months clothes, but mostly 24 months and/or 2T clothes, swimsuits and pajamas. He recently hit a growth spurt and moved up to size 6 shoes. 

He is still a great sleeper! We pushed his bedtime back to 7:30 p.m., so he typically sleeps from then until about 6:30 or 7 a.m., though I've had to wake him up more toward 7 a.m. recently. He takes one two-hour nap at school during the week, and two two-hour naps at home on the weekends. 


Walker still loves to eat, but he is 100% eating what we eat now. No pouches {other than yogurt}, no special meals and no variations. {Of course, unless it's spicy.} He eats what we eat at dinner and I love that! We stopped with the Nutrigrain breakfast bar in the mornings; he now gets scrambled eggs and fruit or cheese toast on Ezekiel Bread and fruit. After spending a week at my mom's house, pretty much any sign of pickiness is gone, hallelujah! He eats breakfast, two snacks and dinner, getting milk at his meals and water at his snacks and anytime he wants it. 

He really loves scrambled eggs, watermelon, cheese toast, grilled cheese, broccoli, PB&J, sweet potatoes, grilled chicken with ketchup, blue corn tortilla chips, asparagus, milk, and graham crackers.

He has six teeth, but I see a couple of the bottom and top molars {finally} starting to poke through. These teeth are coming in very slowly, but that doesn't keep him from chowing down.


He loves to open and close doors, "vroom" his cars around our house, push the buttons on the front-loading washing machine and dryer, read, pull Oliver's tail, give kisses, cuddle in your lap when he's waking up in the mornings, going to check the mail, knocking down his blocks, going on walks outside, running and watching airplanes fly by. 


So there you have our sweet Walker! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Must-Have On-the-Go Mom Products

If there's one thing I've learned in this 18-month-long journey into motherhood, it's this: BE PREPARED. 



Yeah, no, but seriously. I've had my fair share of Walker having horrid blowouts while we're out and about, only to find that I forgot to refill the diaper bag with diapers. Or an appointment lasting longer than I expected and he's ready for his snack 15 minutes ago -- and is screaming at the top of his lungs in annoyance. 

I always like to have things handy that he and I will both need when we're out-and-about and/or traveling in the event that massive blowouts happen; Walker becomes angry {hungry + angry} or we just need 'em.

So, here's what I like to keep on hand: 


one || two || three 

four || five || six 

seven || eight || nine 

ten {1, 2}

-ONE-
Of course, you have to have something to carry all of this in, right?! My mom gifted me with this diaper bag for Christmas right before Walker was born, and I love it. It has a ton of space, and I love that it doesn't look too "diaper bag-y." Plus, I love the extra changing pad that's included. 

-TWO-
You can't go anywhere without diapers! Walker is currently in Pampers Cruisers and/or Pampers Swaddlers. I know they're a little more expensive, but he has a sensitive bum and these really seem to help. Bottom line {pun intended}: have some diapers in your bag!

-THREE-
Keeping on the sensitive train, we love Pampers Sensitive wipes, and these travel packs are awesome. Plus, as you know, wipes are awesome for things other than just diaper changes: messy hands, a quick spill clean-up and more. 

-FOUR-
Boogie Wipes are great for those snotty, crusty noses -- especially in the winter! These wipes have saline in them that help immediately dissolve boogers. They really seem to help with Walker's crusty nose a little better than regular wipes, so I like to keep them on hand.

-FIVE-
Especially in the hot Texas summers, I like to keep water handy for Walker to have in the car or if we're out and about. These Camelbaks are wonderful because they don't spill! I don't know about your child, but Walker likes to throw things in the car and I love that these don't spill or leak when dropped.

-SIX-
Wet Ones are the best! Like wipes, they can be used for multiple purposes, but I like them better for messy hands since they're antibacterial. 

-SEVEN-
Even before I had Walker, I kept a bottle of hand sanitizer in my car...germs! I still keep a bottle in my car and a little travel size bottle in Walker's diaper bag. You just never know!

-EIGHT-
I've talked about these placemats before, but I had to include them here again. They're wonderful when you're eating out at a restaurant so you don't have to put your child's food directly on the table, or deal with them throwing a plate on the floor. {My kid has never done that...yeah right! ;)} Each placemat is disposable and sticks on the table on all four sides of the rectangle. They're awesome. 

-NINE-
Snack Traps are wonderful because you can allow your kids to take snacks in the car without worrying about them getting everywhere! {These are like the Camelbaks, but for food.} I typically put plain Cheerios or Goldfish in these and hand them to Walker when the car ride gets a little long for him. 

-TEN-
Finally, I always carry a couple of toys and books with me for entertainment. Walker loves his travel flash cards and this remote control, but we also take little board books and some cars. Always carry toys! ;) 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekending

Happy Monday! Linking up with Biana and Meghan today.


-THURSDAY-
I found some really cute stuff at Home Goods during my lunch break and came home after work and styled it; it's slowly but surely coming together in our house!  


-FRIDAY-
Walker came down with a summer cold {aren't those the worst?!} and fought us going to sleep Thursday night, and then was up at 6 a.m. on Friday morning. So, I took him outside to run around after breakfast, and he hopped right into his little plastic pool in the bottom half of his pajamas with Oliver right there trying to jump in the pool with him...all before 7 a.m. That's our real life, y'all! 


He "helped" me do some stuff around the house, and then was my little grocery store companion. When I told him it was "time to go bye-bye," he ran in his room and got his little Texas Rangers hat and ran out into the kitchen and said, "Bye bye!" I melted. {And please ignore my clothes "hanging" to dry on the back of our kitchen chairs!} 


Brandon has half-days on Fridays in the summer, so he came home early. I'm going to miss when these end! 

Brandon's mom and her best friend, who is in town from Mississippi, came over to see Walker; then I got a haircut; and we just lounged around and were complete lazy bums, as evidenced by my child hanging out on the couch: 


Friday night, Brandon and I had a little date night at home and had some wine and watched "The Other Woman," which was stupidly funny. I'm glad we didn't pay for it, though; I just recorded it off HBO and was thankful I didn't waste money on it. ;) 

-SATURDAY-
We lazed around all morning, which was so nice! When Walker woke up from his afternoon nap, he was thrilled to see Brandon had brought him a little basketball goal for his tiny plastic pool. {Seriously, we look like the Beverly Hillbillies with all this crap in our backyard!} 


That evening, we went over to my in-law's house for a family dinner to celebrate my father-in-law's retirement. It was a fun time with family eating a yummy meal! 

L-R: My brother-in-law, Todd; Walker; my niece, Ellie Kate; Brandon 


Ellie Kate and Walker on their third helping of watermelon 


"Excuse me, mama, but I'm out of watermelon and want some of hers."


Can't get over this cute little thing in his Baylor smocked John-John! 


My in-law's with two of their three grandchildren 


Family pictures after dinner
L-R: My sister-in-law, Becca; my niece, Ellie Kate; my mother-in-law's best friend, Joyce; my mother-in-law; me; my brother-in-law's girlfriend, Nikki


-SUNDAY-
We lazed around all morning, then had lunch at Chipotle, followed by a Target run. Walker had his first Icee, which he loved and I loved that it bought me some time in the store! 


When we got home, Walker did some finger-painting with this mess-free paint and paper, which was awesome and almost zero clean-up! Clearly he loved it! 


We went back outside three separate times to play in his "pooh," as he says. {And don't worry: we have on sunscreen! It's just so much easier to stick him in a swim diaper and a hat when it's just us three in the backyard!} 


I hope y'all have a great week!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday!

Happy Friday!!!


-ONE-
First and foremost, thank you all for your sweet comments on yesterday's post. We have had this decision made for a few months, but I couldn't tell anyone. It's so nice to just have it out there, have told everyone at work, and to let you all in on it! :) I'm absolutely thrilled about our new adventure and am so thankful, as I said yesterday, for this blessing and the ability to be able to do it. It's definitely not without some sacrifice, but it's what Brandon and I have decided is best for our family right now. And, I'll reiterate what I said yesterday: let's not judge others, make rude comments or be ugly to people because what they have chosen or have to do is different from what you have chosen or have to do. Being a mom is a tough job all around, and we, as women, need to support each other regardless of our circumstances.


-TWO-
Anyway, WOOSAH! 

Have y'all heard about SheInside? As I was cleaning out and reorganizing my Pinterest boards last week, I stumbled upon a shirt I had been wanting forever: the beige long sleeve contrast ruffles shirt. I couldn't turn down the $10.50 price tag, either! 

If you go through Ebates right now, you get 6% cash back, and SheInside has various promotions going on through their site that you'll see at the top of the website. I got this shirt in three days, too! {And I love it!} Just be sure to go up one size, as it's from China and sizes run smaller over there than they do in the United States. 


-THREE-
I'm on the hunt for a new entryway table in our house, since ours is currently black and honestly, I've never really loved it. I'm pretty obsessed with this one from World Market, and it's currently on sale. Thinking I might have to bite the bullet and get it! 


-FOUR-
After finally watching "The Astronaut Wives Club," -- of which Brandon and I both really like -- I decided I wanted to read the book it was based on...because I'm nerdy like that! I ordered it on Amazon and it came in two days thanks to my Prime, and I'm really loving it so far! You can order it right here for yourself! {I ordered mine in paperback for $10.60, but they also have the hardcover, audio book and Kindle versions.} It's really cool to read the backstory, and frankly, I think ABC did a pretty bang-up job of keeping it pretty similar to the real life version.


-FIVE-
I'm getting my hair trimmed this afternoon and I can't wait! This is pretty much how I feel about my hair in its current state right now {and yes, that's my child!}:


Linking up with:

April + the Five on Friday girls


Amy and Karli



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Well, I Have Some News...

...and no, I'm not pregnant. 

My big news is that I'm going to have a new boss in a few weeks. He's 18 months old and his name is Walker. 

In other words: I recently put in my notice at work and, after much prayer and thoughtful consideration, I am going to be a stay-at-home mom. 



In all honesty, this is something I have known I wanted to do before I ever had Walker. And then when he was born, the desire intensified. I'm more than thankful to God and to my husband for allowing me to have this opportunity; it's the best gift - aside from Walker - that I could ever receive.

Many of you aren't going to like what I have to say next; I'm definitely not one to sugar coat things! But because I've been a working mom, I have the perspective and can say wholeheartedly that being a mom is hard. Being a working mom is super hard. 

When you stay at home and your kids are up sick all night, you are able to stay home with them and not have to worry about switching shifts -- you can be what they need when they're sick: mom. You don't have to get dressed, wear make-up, leave them, look presentable and be fully-functional to other adults who are relying on you to do what they pay you to do for eight hours while you're simultaneously worrying about your child. That's just one example of the struggle. 

Working moms do everything stay-at-home moms do - with a full-time job. They are the default parents most of the time: they make sure dinner is on the table every night, unload dishwashers, do 17 loads of laundry, craft Valentines, bake Christmas treats, make sure children's drawers are filled with the appropriate-sized clothing, do the grocery shopping, take kids on play dates and to doctor's appointments - and work 40+ hours a week. Working moms can never truly leave work - or their families - behind. It's tough to balance home and work life and feel like a rockstar at both. 

I've heard other moms say they would never send their children to day care because A) They felt like they would miss important milestones in their children's lives and/or B) Because they wouldn't want someone else raising their child. 

I never felt like I missed any of Walker's milestones. He crawled for me. He walked for me. His daycare never, ever told me if/when he rolled over there first. That was a policy. For all I know, the first time Walker crawled, it was for me. On that same note, I never felt like someone else was "raising" my child when they watched him for eight hours a day. 

However, on that note, I realize that staying at home isn't all rainbows, sunshine and roses, either. It's tough being the only one home with your child during the day: it's on your shoulders to ensure they are prepared for Pre-K or Kindergarten - and that's a big weight. It's tough to not have adult interaction some days from the time your husband leaves for work until he returns home at night. It's tough when they're screaming and throwing tantrums and all you want is a break for five minutes to pee alone. Trust me, I get it. And in a few weeks, I'll experience that, too. 

I don't look at staying at home as giving up my career - and I don't feel that way, either. I look at it as starting a new one. I'm all about women in the workplace, and I will only encourage that to my daughter, if I have a daughter one day. But, I always felt like a ball had to be dropped somewhere in my crazy hectic life of balancing work and home life, and a husband and a child...and unfortunately, a lot of times, the ball that dropped was my family. It broke my heart every time I didn't get to kiss Walker goodnight because I was at an evening event; or didn't get to pick him up from school because I had to work late because of lack of planning on someone else's part; or was sending a work email on my phone when we were out for a walk. I worked in a job that was about kids, yet my kid was always the one who had to sacrifice.

Bottom line: I'm excited about my new opportunity and thankful I can see being a mom from both sides of the fence. We need to support mothers in their decision to either work or stay at home, and not make anyone feel bad or wrong because what they have chosen to do is different from what you choose to do. If there's one thing I can't stand is when people use hashtags on Twitter like, "#SAHM." Where's the hashtag for just "#mom?" I will promise you this: you will never catch me using any hashtags related to staying at home and I can assure you I won't become a blogger who complains about the privilege of staying at home. And, to my sweet friends Susana and Liz: I can promise you I will never wear a visor - monogrammed or not. ;) 

So, join me on this new adventure of staying at home with my sweet boy! Here we go!

Linking up with Annie and Natalie for "Thoughts for Thursday"


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lighten Up

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been on a major kick to lighten up my house. I have just gotten the decorating bug lately after I walked in my back door a couple of weeks ago and felt like it was so dark. Since then, I've been on a mission.

You'll notice in my home tour I posted a couple of months ago that our kitchen cabinets are stained dark, which I loved three years ago when we bought our house. We also have dark hardwood floors that I still do love, but I feel like the combination of them just makes my house feel very dark. 

But now, after my obsession with "Fixer Upper," I'm dying for a white kitchen. However, that just is not in our budget right now, so I've been spending some time trying to lighten the place up, aside from physically hiring someone to come in and paint my cabinets and me making insane furniture purchases. {For our next house -- our "forever home," -- sure. But just not yet.}





One of the biggest things I've tried to do lately is lighten up my picture frames with creams and neutrals and the items above my kitchen cabinets in the same tones. A lot of those things were dark {see above}, and like I said, I really liked warmer colors like reds three years ago, but I've really been gearing towards whites, blues, grays and just a cooler palette overall lately. 

Some of my inspirations have been the following, from Pinterest, of course: 






So, here's what I've done so far: purchased lighter picture frames for my living room -- and that has really seemed to help a good bit; found a lighter buffet lamp for the large piece next to the fireplace, although I'm waiting for it to come in; and starting to find lighter items to put on top of my kitchen cabinets. I've found a lighter tray, but I'm looking for a pretty tall object to put up there, too. 

But my dilemma is this: what do I do with that giant wall above my couch? I don't like those wrought-iron things there anymore, though I do love the bottom two and think they'd look neat somewhere else in my house {I'm just not sure where}. And I really want to either paint or stain my kitchen table, but I'm just wondering if I should bite the bullet on another one. I love the size of my little table, and I know it will be nice to have in a playroom upstairs for Walker and any future children to use to do homework, color, etc. Home décor just isn't my thing, so I'm open to suggestions! 

And I promise to post pictures when I'm somewhat finished! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

On Pinterest and Some of My Favorite Pin-spired Outfits

I've had Pinterest since it was introduced five years ago. We had just gotten married, and I thought, "Man! I wish we had Pinterest when I was planning my wedding!" 

But alas, I've been sucked into the abyss, the black hole, that is Pinterest for five years -- everything from recipes to home décor to clothes to gift ideas...it's an awesome site. 

Recently, I went through and cleaned out my Pinterest boards. {Have any of you done this?} I looked back to see that there were recipes we tried, but didn't like; that my home décor style had changed a bit; and so had my clothing style. So, off to cleaning I went. {And by the way, Pinterest does not make this easy! It was so time consuming!} 

I would add items to my Amazon Wish List; delete pins; and even organized my boards, making two separate boards for clothes -- one for fall/winter and the other for spring/summer. OCD much? Ha! 

Through all of that, I did order a few staple clothing items I couldn't believe I didn't have in my closet or things I knew just were older and needed replacing. {I couldn't pass up these precious leopard pumps, however!} 

All of this was inspired by Shay's post the other day, where she talked about fall clothing. I mean, yes, it's still upwards of 100* in Texas right now, but that doesn't mean I can't start dreaming about fall, right? {Which of course, in Texas, starts in mid- to late-October. Sigh.} I just started to get excited about fall, this summer season we're in, and of course just clothes in general. 

Do any of y'all just get on a kick and can't focus on anything else for a few days? {Please tell me I'm not the only one!} Anyway, that's how I've felt about clothing -- and lightening up my house, but that's another post for another day! -- the past couple of weeks. I just can't get enough!! 

So, all of that to say, here are some of my recent favorite "Pin-spired" outfits after doing some reorganizing over there: 


I'm now officially on the hunt for the perfect trench, a new faux-fur vest and that amazing camel cowl-neck sweater! 

Follow me on Pinterest here!