Friday, June 26, 2015

Five on Friday

Did you catch my mom of boys post from yesterday?? I'm learning fast over here....

Here are my five for the week including a few already seen pictures from Instagram!

I got a super fun haul of new things to embroider in the mail this week! Matching jams and seersuckers and I am sure lots of match matchy cute kid pics to follow. We are all about that match...and about that bass.

Here is a little recap from Instagram...are you on IG? Some days, I feel like its my blog. I like to recap here, since this is all encompassing, but still, so many good shares and tidbits on the ole IG feed. The story with this image went a little something like this... 

Little Annie M wanted to order at the Publix Deli all by herself. My Mama heart was beaming with pride. She walked up, asked quietly for "a pound of Boars's Head turkey..."

The lady didn't hear her well and asked her to repeat herself.  

Annie M turned to me and yelled, "A POUND OF BOAR'S HEAD TURKEY, RIGHT MOM!?" 

.....except she substituted an H for the B in Boar's Head. 

Close enough, girl. And yes, a pound. 

Yall know last time I hung stuff around the house, I dropped a hammer and broke the top of the other toilet. My husband forbid me from any more home improvement projects with out his help but I went rouge this week and did a few more. 

In my hangings this week, I found that our master bath toilet is OFF CENTER. Like by a few inches. 

My Dad says, "when ya gotta go, ya gotta go" and that I wont notice it. So far, I've noticed it every time. 

Yesterday, I thought, "I wonder how hard it is just to rip out a toilet and move it." Not seriously, but seriously. Its making me nuts. 

Guess who is getting ready for some new jewelry!? Moi!!! Stella & Dot has a new line coming out in July and I am ready! I am booking Facebook shows, in home trunk shows and office shows! I have seen a bunch of sneak peeks and pieces I already have my eye on and can't wait! Here is my new Avalon Tote Handbag and my new Utopia necklace that came out in the pre-launch.  

Hello holy handsome-ness!!! 

My boys are officially outfitted for my sisters wedding! There is nothing more precious than these two little men - and babies in tuxes are officially swoon worthy!  

Yall have a great weekend! Ours is filled with wedding festivities, birthday parties and dinners with friends. I plan to sleep in, clean a tad and enjoy the time with my fam bam! 

5 On Friday: DarciAprilChristina, & Natasha Friday Favorites: A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals, & Grace and Love Oh Hey, Friday: September Farm & The Farmer's Wife

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Learning About Little Boys

Lets just say that I am quickly starting to learn the ropes of little boys.

Don't misunderstand me here, the wild side of kids, I am fully aware of.

Annie M has her moments, she is just a bit more delicate and a bit more sensitive than sweet Brother. He is wild - but also rough and tough and is of the beat em up and knock em down mentality.

Also, Annie M has never just dropped her drawers and tee teed where ever she pleased.

Its only happened once but, once was enough. I was mortified, Annie M was screaming and I am sure half the neighborhood packed up and moved out after my kid OPENED THE FRONT DOOR and utilized my front stoop as his restroom.

He even announced to me, "Look Mom! I not go tee tee in the house!!!"

I mean, I had no words.

"Um, Good job, bud??"

"Hey, awesome! Thank you for not going in the house?"

"So....can you rinse that down with a hose?"


I have seen other kids just "go" as needed and we've always giggled and said they were cute. Now that my kid thinks the world is his oyster potty, its just not as cute.

Open the door, drop the drawers, potty, wave to neighbors driving by, claim we are multi-tasking, close door, done.

Okay, so maybe not the waving/talking/multi-tasking part, but you get the drift.

I have NO clue where Brother learned this. He has never seen anyone just take off their pants and go and I know he didn't learn this from my husband!!!

As much as in the past, I assumed that little boys do this because they witnessed their Dads or siblings or friends do it, now I am eating my words. Honestly, it was like it was just second nature to him.

So now this begs the question and thought from you veteran Mom's with I just roll with it or do I stop it?! Are their rules for this?? Is this okay or do all of you want to crawl in a hole with me when your boys do it?

Do I cheer for the "no diaper, go where you please team" or do I punt for the "lets keep the diapers for a bit longer so your not going all over creation {literally}" team.

Boy moms, CAN I even do anything about this or is this just a "welcome to the world of boys" thing and are you laughing and yelling through the internet for me to just 'suck it up, buttercup' and hang on for the ride.

Have mercy....and send help...and a mop...or a new front porch mat??

Anyway, enough potty talk, but lets just say its been exciting around here.

Other things that I have quickly learned about boys is that going places is kind of like that book "Going On A Bear Hunt." We have to go through obstacles and run everywhere and if we cant go over, under or around, we always go through. Barge through, in fact. Jumping over furniture, scaling walls and flinging our bodies over things that bodies should never be flung over are just bonus points in boy world.

Oh yeah. And more bonus points if you do it naked. All the bonus points in the world for naked running, jumping and bashing your body into things. If you gross your sister out in the process, you have won all awards in life and have achieve it all at the whopping age of almost three.

Lastly, and certainly not least of my recent indoctrination into the world of boys, the more silly or crazy the thrill, the more giggles and the more better. If you follow me on Instagram, you already heard most of this story. On the chance you don't follow {which you should - duh}, here's the recap...think, old lady sunbathing, Brother fills up cups, walks up to unsuspecting lady and dumps.

As I tried to stop him {i.e. him running at the lady, me running after, screaming and chasing} I am sure everyone at the pool was thinking that I needed to get my kid in check. It was not that I was being negligent. My kids were playing on the pool steps and in the splash pad. The lady was between the two, so they were going back and forth and I was right there...just not thinking he would attempt to dump water on old people. 

I got to him as he flung the water and was too late. I TRIED to be all "Brother! You cant just pour water on people you don't know! Apologize, now!!" 

...did he apologize? Nope. 

Instead, he cheerfully said, "scuse me! Whats your name?" 

I did think it was pretty smart that he put together that maybe if he knew her name he could dump more water on her. The lady smiled and wasnt angry, but clearly wasn't going to give the two year old pool terror her name! 

Anyway, its been nothing but fun, excitement and fast initiations in to the wild world of having toddler boys! 

Tips anyone?? Is this just the beginning? Are you going to tell me just to brace myself and hold on for the ride? Eeeek. Hubby says Moose is more wild than Brother. 

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Princess Ballerina Birthday Party

As I was linking a bunch of posts to their new pages yesterday, I realized a major mom blog, party planner, all things recapper fail as I have never posted all of the details from my own kids parties this year! 

Though little Annie M will soon be prepping for her fifth birthday, I wanted to post all of the makings for her fourth birthday party! 

Initially, she requested a ballerina party. As the day got closer, she really wanted a princess ballerina party, and so that is what we went with! Before the "princess" part was added, the invites went out. 

I took a long rectangular piece of tulle, folded it in half and then just stitched a needle and thread across the top {where the two folded sides met}. I took the thread on both ends and pulled, and it formed my tulle into a little circle. I tied it off and had these little tulle tutus you see pictured below. 

I saw the picture below {a decorated cookie} on @doughmestichousewife's Instagram {seriously, follow her!} and thought it was just the cutest little ballerina. I used it as the inspiration for my own invite and of course our cookies! 

First, I used a blank white notecard for the invite. You can see below how the ballerina's bun went all the way to the top and connected - as in I did not cut this because on the inside is where I wrote the party info! I traced the circle using the bottom of the tulle thing - it was the perfect size and added arms! 

Next, I colored all of them and then I cut and assembled. You can see below, that the inside/back/bottom of the invite however you want to describe it, was cut larger than the top {face} circle. I did this to give me more room for the info and for support for her tutu. I used a glue gun and just a dab of hot glue to tack on her tutu and did that to the back of her head. 

There were a few boys invited, so I used the same idea and just made them little fancy top hat men instead! I thought they turned out cute, though they did take some effort to make! 

Since I had gone down the "ballerina" party route and then she really wanted a princess included, I quickly just tweaked some of my decor to include that. For the girls, I used scrap fabric and made everyone tutus and I picked up crowns and wands from the dollar store. I used extras of all of the above to make a fabric banner for the mantle, threw in some balloons and that was about it. My Dad snagged shields and swords for the boys, also from the dollar store! 

Excuse the scraggly-ness of the bottom! She was trying it on for size, but I had not yet trimmed it to make it even! 

Tutu's and ribbon or fabric birthday banners are really easy to make. For the tutus, I took a piece of elastic, measured so it fit around Annie M's waist and I stitched it in a circle on my machine. Then I took pieces of tulle or fabric and tied it around the elastic with a knot. I repeated this til it looked full and covered and til I was satisfied! There were eight girls coming, so I made a variety of sizes and one for each little princess ballerina who would be in attendance.

I used the same method with the birthday banner but tied the fabric and tulle to twine instead! Really no method to it - just tie it on and I think the more full, the better, but total preference! 

This is also a great way to use fabric scraps or older patters you may not need! It really made the party look festive and Annie M and her friends still have their tutus's from that day. 

Kristin came over the night before and helped me make the cake and decorate the cookies. Our goal was for the ballerina cake to resemble the invites! Basically, I made two layers - one in a 8" round and the other in a 10" round. The 8" became her face and the 10" her tutu. 

It was pretty simple. We spread pink icing on the bottom layer for her tutu and added sprinkles - birthday girls request! We then put on the next layer and spread it with the peachy color for her face. We made a bag of brown icing and did her hair and then added her eyes, rosette in her hair and pearls for her bun! 

For the cookies, we did them the same way...tutu, pink with sprinkles, face, hair, eyes and bun! Honestly, my cookie icing was a bit funky and so they were a bit sloppy. They tasted delicious and Annie M was ecstatic, so we rolled with it!

For food, I went fast and easy. Cheese and crackers, pretzel rods, popcorn, turkey roll ups and then of course, cake and ice cream! We had a bunch of cupcakes too, because Smallcakes has Gluten Free ones so for special occasions, I order some for the Hubs! 

Annie M was having a great time at her party with all of her friends and halfway through, the doorbell rang...

My Mom had a former student who was willing to throw on a cheap Cinderella costume and come smile and take pictures with the kids. She read them a story and Anne Margaret asked her if she knew how to sing "Let It Go."

Poor Cinderella...goes from cleaning to having to pretend to be Elsa! She was a champ though and thankfully, her background in performing arts paid off as she just smiled, sang and acted her role the entire time!

It was such a fun day! Now that its almost been a year and we are around the corner from Birthday number 5, my little princess is requesting another princess party. She says this time, she wants Elsa! 

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Our Celiac's Story

Not that you want to hear his Celiac's story {told by moi!}, but since I mentioned yesterday that Hubby is gluten free, I thought I would share our experience.

Ever since I have known him, he has had trouble with his esophagus and throat muscles tightening over time. He would choke on food, not be able to swallow and sometimes it would have to be forced back up {since it wouldn't go down.} Yuck.

It would get worse over time until he would often be having the swallowing episodes and we would go back to the gastro and they would say he needed it stretched again. This was happening every year and a half or so. His gastroenterologist would do an endoscopy and basically use a little balloon thing to stretch the muscles back out, allowing him to swallow better and to help relieve the resistance.

Even though we were in Middle Georgia, he was coming back to Atlanta for his procedures. His doctor diagnosed him with GERD or reflux and put him on a prescription for that. The doctor also said that it was more than likely the cause of his throat issues....lots of acid, muscles constricting, requiring the stretch, etc.

That was basically the story from about college til a few years after we had been married and living in Middle Georgia. Finally, we decided it was time to find a doctor closer and someone that could be more accessible. Lets be honest, the Atlanta doc was fine, but trying to schedule an appointment, driving a few hours for that, missing work, coming back, scheduling outpatient procedures, driving up, spending the day in Atlanta recovering, then driving a few hours back home just wasn't the ideal scenario.

There was a gastro who had been recommended to us and I called and booked the appointment. Hubby had his appointment and I can remember what all was discussed, but since he was having throat issues again and it needed to be dilated again, the endoscopy was scheduled. This would allow the doctor to help stretch it again and see what was going on, along with bioposy anything that needed to be checked.

Post endoscopy and when hubby was still loopy it and coming out of the anesthesia, the doctor came to talk to me and give me the run down. He said the dilation went fine and there was something that he saw that he wanted to investigate a bit more. He said there were "rings on his esophagus" that were similar to the "rings on a cats throat." I had no idea what any of this meant and I kind of thought I heard the guy wrong. He has a thick accent and I was writing notes as fast as I possibly could - all while hubby was slowly coming to and muttering about who knows what!! When I went back and read them later that night, I thought "cats throat!?" WHAT THE HECK!?

A quick google search showed me that in fact, I had heard correctly. Here is a Wiki link that tells more about it as it relates to humans and the esophagus....not that I am a huge Wikipedia fan, but this is exactly what the doc said in our case!

The rings or whatever the doctor saw and noted made him want to follow up with allergy testing. He felt sure that if he could find the allergen, that it may have impact and help with hubby's throat issues. One of the first things he mentioned was Celiac's and an allergy to wheat. Soon after, hubby went to have lab work drawn for a few things, including the full panel for Celiac's Disease.

As you can guess, his numbers came back sky high indicating positive for the disease. We met with a nutritionist and someone to help give Hubby new eating ideas and coaching as he launched into his new "gluten free" diet. Six months after he was on the diet, his lab work was rechecked. The results came in and they were significantly better - basically the autoantibiody number had decreased, showing a positive result from him removing the allergen - wheat.

While his results were much better, according to the doctor, they weren't good enough. I cant remember what the ranges all are, but lets say that normal {non Celiac's} range was 3-12. Hubby's first results came back as like 87. Like the doctor noted that his was one of the absolute highest he had ever seen. Second round of testing {after six months on a gluten free diet}, was mid 40's and then the next round {after another six months on the diet, plus being much more proactive and knowing what to or not eat} was in the 20's. Anyway, basically, the more he implemented the gluten free diet into his lifestyle, the better his results got.

Hubby and I initially both agreed that while the blood tests don't lie, we were also a bit skeptical. Three years later, minimal heartburn, reflux issues and NO MORE esophageal dilation's since, we agree that the culprit more than likely was found.

Remember me saying he was having heartburn, reflux or whatever, daily? This was often blamed on what he ate or stress. He was on PPT's 24/7 as preventatives and in the past three years, he is no longer on prescription meds for this and occasionally just takes a Zantac. He regularly pops Tums if he feels any reflux. He does have heartburn occasionally, but, it is not to the extent it was.

While all of this is great, the other biggie for me, is that we are coming up on three years since the last time he had his throat dilated. Going from every year and a half to now three years and counting, I think, is awesome. We do know that he will probably have to have it stretched here and there as time goes on, but minimizing the number of times to have to do this is fine by me!!

Its been a challenge for me as I have to think twice when it comes to cooking. Though Hubby is on a gluten free diet, we do not have separate toasters, separate cooking pots and pans, etc. Honestly, if you are really gluten free, that is the way to go. Since he has not had issues from minimal contamination's, we haven't stressed that yet.

We {I} try not to contaminate and I don't serve him anything with gluten but if he is not home for dinner, I cook normal for the kids and me. Often times, we eat stuff like meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, eggs, etc. when he is home. We both read labels and we are conscious of even things like cosmetics, Play Doh, lotions and more that have wheat, barley or rye additives.

We have been pleased with the results, thus far. While Hubby's has NONE of the "typical" celiac symptoms, I am thankful for his doctors astuteness to notice and investigate a bit further to try to really reach the bottom of what was going on. I feel like the easy thing would have been just to blame it on heartburn and treat the symptoms. For us, the Celiacs diagnosis has been kind of a pain, but the change in eating and lifestyle has had a huge effect in health, number of procedures and prescriptions.

Anyway, that's our story! I am not a medical professional so take all of this for what its worth! Of course, if anyone has questions, feel free to ask! Pin It Now!
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