. . . for Lauren and Lauren: September 2013

September 30, 2013

Apple Picking

sweater: old navy   jeans: target  rainboots: amazon

This is the outfit I attempted to wear apple picking.  While it was the first day of Fall and seemed pretty cool, the hot sun forced me to change out of my rainboots and wear different shoes.  

It's so exciting to me that we know have a baby to do these fun things with.  While she won't remember any of them yet, I know we'll have pictures to show her and it's such a different experience doing these things as a family of three. 

Now our trip didn't quite go as planned.  It was so crowded that we ended up not doing any apple picking.  Addilyn wasn't too happy and quite hungry and we had a somewhat unsuccessful nursing experience while we were there. 

But thankfully we accomplished the most important thing, which is eating apple donuts and drinking apple cider.  

Now I'm not quite sure why I needed to put my head on top of the steering wheel and not in the huge space in front of it. 

Hoping going to the pumpkin farm in a few weeks is a little more successful. 


September 29, 2013


I am learning quickly that it is time I stop counting on things going a certain way in terms of motherhood.  I was so happy that we started getting into some kind of bedtime routine with Addilyn.  Stories, praying, swaddling, nursing and bed.  It worked pretty great for about a week and half and I started counting on having an hour or so before I went to bed.  

While I'm happy we started a routine I think it's set me up for disappointment when this last week three nights in a row Addilyn had no desire to go to bed until after 9:30.  

Tuesday nights are normally small group nights but I stayed home while Chris went.  I was greatly looking forward to putting Addilyn to bed and having an hour or two of alone time, which is something that I thoroughly enjoy but have had pretty much zero of since Addilyn's been born.  I had made cookies earlier in the day and had this great plan of putting her to bed, eating cookies and catching up on blogs/emails while watching tv.  Sounds super exciting right?  Well it sounded absolutely wonderful to me. 

Clearly Addilyn had a much different plan.  Long, exhausting story short, it was a couple hours of almost asleep to wide awake on repeat about two million times.  Rationalizing with a ten week old does not work. But believe me I tried. 

And I cried and was really frustrated that my plan for the evening went the complete opposite.  By ten o'clock when she was finally asleep I was exhausted and stayed up to shove two cookies in my mouth before I went right to bed.  Only to get in bed and stare at my baby and her flailing arms as if she was a ticking time bomb ready to explode and need me at any second.   I won't go into the all to exciting details but thanks to my sister's analogy, it was like trying to put a restless kangaroo to sleep all night long. 

So welcome to putting my baby's needs and plans ahead of mine. Welcome to giving up my "plans" and attempting but failing at going with the flow.  Welcome to sacrificing alone time and routines for the time being.

Welcome to motherhood, right?


September 27, 2013

Words of Wisdom

I'm unbelievable excited to be off to spend a long weekend with this sweet niece and nephew, and the rest of my whole family.   This will be the first time my sister gets to spend time with Addilyn and I am so excited for her to be with her Aunt Laurens and cousins.   If you don't already follow me on instagram for pictures!

While I'm gone, today I have a sweet friend who is sharing some words of wisdom with me (and of course all of you). I love Preethi and her blog lace etc.  She's become one of my good blogging friends.  Plus she has adorable kids and a really cute sense of style. 

Hello, For Lauren & Lauren readers!  My name is Preethi, and I blog over at lace, etc. about style, vegetarian food, the occasional naptime-friendly DIY, and my generally-cute-but-occasionally-demonic kiddos (Nat, 2.5, and kina, 11 months).  Katie is one of my oldest blogging friends, and she is just one of the sweetest, most sincere & lovely people on these old Interwebs.  I count myself lucky that I've gotten to e-know her!

Ever the optimist, today I wanted to share some of my own personal mommy FAILS.  Inspiring, right? ;)  But you know what I do think?  I think that we moms are generally way too hard on ourselves.  Because we all fail.  Moms fail, dads fail, kiddos fail.  And our mistakes teach us to be better.  But you know?  I'm learning from each of them, and each of them has the very important role of actively teaching me to be a better mom every day.
So here are a few mommy fails with which I personally struggle, and what I'm learning from them:

1. YELLING: About a year ago, my son, Nat, started pretending to type on my laptop, even though he knew he wasn't supposed to play with it.  As I went to stop him, I realized I was too late - he'd somehow broken the command key so that it was permanently pushed down.  For those of you with Macs, you'll know this means that my computer thought that any time I pushed a key, I was making a command.  For instance, whenever I pushed the letter "P," it thought I was trying to print.  Letter "F" meant I was trying to find a word on the page.
I was...not the happiest I've ever been.
Which is a nice way of saying I kind of lost it.  It had been a long and frustrating day and I admit - I yelled at my 2-year old for breaking my laptop.
I recognized a while later that I was the one who needed to be forgiven.  I had acted poorly, far more poorly than he had.  While his error was unintentional and driven by curiosity, mine was just me being a meanie.
Last week, we were hosting some little friends for our weekly coop preschool.  My son really wanted the blue plate, but I told him that everyone would just get what they got.  He started to have a little meltdown when he got the yellow one instead, and I wouldn't let him trade.  We went to his room to cool down and I started to yell.  But then.  Then!  Then I stopped myself.  I crouched down and I gave him a hug.  And he trusted me and looked in my eyes and hung onto my neck.
I'm obviously still not perfect.  I clearly still started to yell.
I'm not there.  But I'm getting better.

"Hurry and get dressed so we can go to playgroup!"
"Hustle and finished eating so we can go to the park!"
"Hurry and go potty so we can go to bed!"
I'm an east coaster through and through and I'm 98% sure I've said all these phrases (and more!) in the last week (at least).   Lately, I've felt especially busy and in some ways, bogged down.  I've been loving the summer and cramming in lots of fun activities, but then part of me thinks, isn't summer for rest?  Being lazy?  Is it really relaxing to rush to the pool...to relax?  I read this article recently and it really touched a chord that I've been considering a lot lately.  Should I really be "hustling" so much myself, and making my kids do the same?  I really think we all would benefit a lot from me just taking the time to let my kiddos chat some more during meals, read one more book, and take their time to ask questions and tell stories as we stop on the landing of our stairs.  If I take an extra 30 seconds to crouch down, look my son in the eyes and respectfully explain to him why he can't wear the too-small shoes on our walk, well, that's 30 extra seconds of loving, respectful interaction with my favorite little boy in the world.
So yesterday, as we were coming up the stairs, trying to get in the house for naps, I stopped.  I laughed.  On the STAIRS.  Without ignoring or hustling or worrying.
I'm not there.  But I'm getting better.

3. BEING DISTRACTED: I'm writing on my computer and also flipping over to check email.  I'm glancing at Instagram in between reading a book with my kindle app while also folding laundry.  I'm listening to my audiobook while making dinner and also trying to answer a phone call and field questions regarding Legos and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Women in general tend to multitask, and I epitomize that blessing/curse.  It's rare that I'm only doing 3 things, much less one.  My son, on the other hand, will spend a solid 20 minutes examining one book with about 10 pages, or take half an hour showing his sister how to cram all the toys in the washing machine (true story).  My daughter will spend a quarter of an hour playing with her block train, or be equally content just sitting and looking at people and "chatting" with them.
A few days ago, I sat on the floor.  I looked my kiddos in the eyes and chatted it up.  I played some airplane, despite my usual "non-fun-mom" status.  It was just for a little while, but I wasn't distracted.
I'm not there.  But I'm getting better.

Thank you so much for sharing your words of wisdom and encouragement Preethi! I'm thankful for woman I've met like you that I can learn from!

September 26, 2013

Wisest Kid in the World

Well we all know that each parent is biased about their own kid, but I have to say that Addilyn is quite advanced for her age.  Besides looking older than she is, thanks to being super long (okay and heavy), she is quite alert and has been since she was born.  She also rolled over when she was five weeks old.  I mean it could be because the weight of her somewhat heavy and large head, aided her over, but advanced nonetheless.  

While Addilyn isn't talking real words.  And no where near it, I'm pretty sure I know that she is saying some quite profound things. 

Like tonight when she was telling Chris all about how she doesn't care to wear headbands.  And she'd probably be more comfortable wearing simple onsies, then the stiff dresses I sometimes put her in.  She also told me that she'd go to bed at a more normal time if we only we put her in the place she'd want right away, instead of taking forever to figure out what she wanted.  She'd also probably tell me to start cooking again, and that I can cook easy meals if I checked out some of the delicious, quick and family friendly recipes at www.campbellskitchen.com.

So maybe it's a good thing she isn't talking yet so I can keep dressing her and putting her where she wants. And not cooking real dinners.  Which, let's be honest, it's really time I start. 

While not clear words of wisdom, I still shared Addilyn's wise "words" on Campbell's Wisest Kid in the Whole World site.   The Wisest Kid widget allows moms and dads to share, with their social networks, the wise, random, and funny things their kids say.   I've have enjoyed checking out other kids' "wise words."  

My nephew Travis would definitely be a contender with his words.  Like the other day when my sister put my two year old niece in a toddler bed instead of her crib.  He stood in the room with his arms crossed and just kept saying, "Guys, she's not ready for this.  She's just not ready guys."  

So make sure to head over and share your child's wise words!! 


September 25, 2013

My best idea yet

on the night you were born

I know I mentioned this book before Addilyn was born, but I have to share how we used it because I'm pretty sure it's been my best idea in terms of baby projects or presents for Addilyn.  The first time I read this book in Barnes and Noble I cried.  You can partially blame it on hormones but it also is the sweetest book I've ever read. 

We brought the book to the hospital, along with a permanent marker, so that visitors could write a note to Addilyn on the pages.  The book is now filled with sweet messages from family and friends that love Addilyn so much!

signed baby book at hospital

My favorite part of the book is that we had the nurse put her footprints on the last page.  I was quite impressed that in my post tramatic birthing state, I remembered to ask Chris to get the book out while they were doing her footprints.

Sadly a few of her toes started smudging so I bought some sealer spray and that has seemed to work! I'm so glad that we have this book.  We already read it many nights before bed time and I still get teary eyed once in awhile.  I get excited thinking about Addiyn being able to read and understand how many people were so excited to met her!

footprints and signature for baby book


September 24, 2013

Things I'm bad at

top: old navy   pants: loft   sandals: target   necklace: c/o choies.com

Taking pictures anywhere besides my deck.  I have a hard time fitting in outfit pictures as is. 

Sleeping.  Unfortunately I am a high maintenance sleeper and need it to be dark and quiet with a fan to sleep well.  I was a poor sleeper long before Addilyn so trying to take advantage of the breaks between night time feedings doesn't always work so well for me. 

Spelling words like maintenance without spell check.  You can also add supposed and physical to that list. 

Avoiding mosquitoes bites.  My family used to have me lie down in the middle of the room when there were mosquitoes in the house because they would fly right to me.  Of course the idea was to kill them before they did but it kind of sounds a little abusive when I think about it now. 

Talking in front of a group of adults without getting red faced and nervous.  Talking in front of eight years old I'm a pro at, but in front of their parents not so much. 

Not being annoyed.  Chewing loudly, tapping, snoring.  You name it.  It annoys me.  And that is the only thing that annoys Chris.  My many annoyances.  

Caring about and talking about politics.  While I feel a little ignorant in this area I honestly don't care all that much.  

Singing.  The first time I sang Addilyn a song when she was a baby she started crying.  It certainly did not help my self esteem in this area one bit.  Thankfully I think she's gotten used to my poor voice.  

Using the proper tense of run and ran.  It's a good thing my mom always emails me to correct me when I use it the wrong way on my blog.  Although slightly annoying, I appreciate it mom.

Following through at mailing letters.  I have great intentions to send letters, thank yous and once in awhile packages.  And I write them. Even address them.  But getting them stamped and sent out is somehow an issue.  My birth announcements are sitting on my counter.  Addressed and stampless.  


September 23, 2013

Chalkboard vase

If you thought these projects that I shared last week were easy, this was can beat it as it took less than five minutes.   I found this old vase at Goodwill for less than $3.  

I bought some chalkboard spray paint at Hobby Lobby for $4.  I sprayed on one good coat and let it dry for a few hours.  Then wrote on it with chalk and filled it will fall leaves.  

And that's it!  I love how it looks on our fireplace mantle and it cost less than $7.  Plus I'm excited to use it for other holidays as I can wipe it off and write something else!  Sorry for the poor quality phone picture. Someday I'll learn how to take good pictures with a real camera. 

Happy happy Fall!


the pet tracker

Our poor Molly has been slightly neglected since bringing Addilyn home.  I know I've shared before about how Chris used to treat Molly like his own little baby.  
Since bringing Addilyn home, that is definitely no longer the case.  While we of course still love Molly, she definitely doesn't get the attention that she used to.  Soon after we got home Molly started eating diapers.  Clean ones thankfully, but I know it's because she is jealous. 

When Chris took her to the vet last month she had gained ten pounds since last year.  Now I'm sure a few are because she's just getting older, but I'm sure a few are because she's not as active as she was before Addilyn.  Which is why I was so excited to get a chance to try out the Tagg Pet Tracker.  The light weight, durable device attaches to your dog's (or cat's) collar and monitors their activity level throughout the day.  It also has a GPS tracker so you're able to tell where your animal is at all times.  It comes with an app for your phone so its easy to access information.

Read more about my story with Pet Tracker here

September 22, 2013

why you won't want to sleep at my house

If sharing that I found a tick crawling in our bed last spring doesn't make you not want to sleep at my house then this probably will. 

The other night I was nursing Addilyn in the middle of the night and thought I felt something crawling on my side.  I told Chris I thought there was a bug in our bed to which he was no real help at all and I couldn't see one so I thought I was just feeling things. 

While same thing happened the next night, but I was convinced something was crawling on me.  I swatted at my side, while feeding Addilyn and saw an earwig crawling in our bed.  I somewhat panicked, trying to get it off our bed.  I put Addilyn down, mid feeding to which she started crying and I started leaking milk, all while frantically looking for the earwig.  I couldn't find it so I finished feeding her, put her back down and had to use the light of my phone until I finally found it.  

Needless to say I was grossed out and had a hard time falling back to sleep.  So please come stay at my house.  Ticks, earwigs, and a crying baby in the middle of the night.  And if you're really lucky there will be a torn, eaten up diaper from Molly laying around the house too.  Sounds quite inviting don't you think?  


September 19, 2013

Two months already

Dear Addilyn Jane, 

It's hard to believe that you are already two months old.  It's crazy to me how much you have changed this last month.  You no longer seem like this little baby.  You are SO long, which your daddy and I think is so funny since we are both pretty short.  You haven't fit in newborn clothes for a few weeks and even some of your 0-3 month clothes don't fit.  It makes me a little sad that you are growing so fast, but I also love it too. 

You've become so alert and we love to play with you.  It's been so much fun finding out what kind of things make you smile, which you do a lot!  You love when we say "boo" to you or make noises with our lips.  You just started loving looking at books and we can sit on the floor or bed and read for 15 minutes.  You favorite book is "Peek a Who" and you laugh every time we read it.  You also LOVE your stuffed animal pig, which you "talk" to for at least five minutes every morning. 

The mornings are your favorite time of day, as you are so happy!  We get the most smiles out of you right after you eat and we sit on the living room floor and talk and play.  Bedtime has become another favorite part as we just started more of a bedtime routine.  We sit in bed and read a few books and then pray together.  Most of the time you are so content and happy.  

You've been quite inconsistent with your sleeping during the day and at night this month.  I thought I had it somewhat figured out and then you changed your mind! I'm guessing you will keep doing that for awhile! You have started sleeping longer stretches at night and while it's been inconsistent, those few longer nights of sleep have been great!

You got your first cold this month and it was sad to hear you coughing and sneezing.  Thankfully it didn't last long.  You also got your shots this month which I hated!  You handled it like a champ and only cried for a few minutes.  

We are pretty busy and find something to do most days.  You've had a few play dates and made some new friends.  We're excited for lots more play dates together! 

I look at your one month picture and can't even believe how much bigger and different you look.  Sometimes I get sad at how fast this time is going.  I don't want you to grow up too fast, but I'm also excited for each new phase that you're going to go through.  

 I still look at you all the time and can't believe that you are ours.  You are such a happy girl and a beautiful blessing to us.  We love you more than you know and will keep telling you how special you are to us!


September 18, 2013

The truth

The truth is that although unlikely, I was maybe hoping that after writing this post yesterday, some of you would tell me that I really am funny.  Someone besides my mom and my sister.  But no such luck.  Good thing so many of you can at least relate and also wish you were funnier.  Now thankfully there are some bloggers out that that really are funny.  Like Karly.  

Karly Kim's blog always makes me laugh, and is one of those bloggers like I was talking about who I'm envious of their humor. Like this post, which is when I realized we share a serious love of candy.  Or this post which was by far the funniest "five things" post I read on Friday.  And speaking of five things, Karly is sharing some of her top fives in life.  Plus she's giving one of you a $50 gift card.  Funny and generous? Yes she is. 

Hi, I'm Karly & this is my dog Hufflepuff.  We blog over at Karly Kim.  I do most of the writing, but he helps with visuals.  I hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit about me.  I broke the information down into categories and kept it short because it's Wednesday and who wants to read a novel?  And more importantly, I didn't have the brain power to write one. 

Five things I have a passion for
1.  Mouthwash - I truly believe the world would be a better place if everyone used it.
2.  Underground rap battles
3.  High heels
4.  The person who invented eyeliner
5.   Laughter

Five things I'd like to do before I die
1.  Invent a new candy
2.  Learn how to play the piano
3.  Have a butler.  Preferably Geoffrey from Fresh Prince if he's available.
4.  Hoard pets
5.  Leave the world a happier place.

Five reads I love
1.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 
2.  A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
3.  Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella 
4.  Bossypants by Tina Fey  
5.  My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler

Five favorite movies
1.  Life is Beautiful
2.  Mean Girls
3.  The Notebook
4.  Bad Boys 2
5.  Grease

Five places I'd want to travel to
1.  Des Moines, Iowa - because why not?
2.  Phuket, Thailand
3.  The Maldives
4.  Curichiba, Brazil
5.  New Jersey 

Five things you'll learn from my blog
1.  How to upset your neighbors
2.  How to get cast on The Bachelorette
3.  How to respond when someone calls you ugly
4.  How to be serious 
5.  How to take too many pictures of yourself

Thanks Karly! If those five things you'll learn from her blog don't motivate you to go visit her, then I bet a chance to win a $50 giftcard to Sephora will.  Enter below! :)

Thanks for entering!  Winner will be contacted after the 24th!


September 17, 2013


top:  target (beach coverup)    jeggings:  jcpenney   shoes: target 

Sometimes, I wish I was funnier.  Sometimes when I read some other funny blog posts first I laugh and then I feel a little jealous at their sense of humor.  

Overall I was pretty shy growing up and didn't care too much to be the center of attention, until one time in high school I decided that I wanted to start being funny.  And I tried.  I think I tried pretty hard.  Which is a little pathetic.  Even more pathetic that I wasn't even successful.
Occasionally I get a little proud of a post that I think is pretty funny, like this one, but then I read the "funny" post a few days later and wonder if anyone besides my sister Lauren is laughing.  But I guess since she is the one who I started this blog for, I should consider her laughter to be a success.  


September 16, 2013

How to spell pumpkins and two super simple projects

I've finally done not one but two craft projects since Addilyn was born.  Both super easy!  The chalkboard one would've been even easier if I knew how to spell pumpkin.
yes. I plan on getting some pupkins this year. 

Thank goodness it was easily fixed.  I originally bought a chalkboard pen to use but it didn't work.  Regular, cheap chalk worked so much better.  

Next is the banner, which honestly took less than ten minutes.  
Which is about the time Addilyn was entertained on her play mat next to me. 
Here are the super simple directions. 

All you need is some burlap, stickers, twine and sharp scissors.  

Cut out 9 triangles (or however many you want.)
I realize that this is a terrible place to take pictures but I was a little stuck as this was next to me. 
And we weren't going to waste anytime moving somewhere else. 

 Sew your triangles to your twine or rope.  You could probably use a hot glue gun as well but with burlap, glue gets quite messy and it was easy to sew. 

Then put your stickers on and hang it up.  And that's it! 

Now it's time to get out the rest of my Fall decorations! I love this time of year!