Tuesday, February 20, 2018

mommy and me date

my first mommy and me date :  so much has changed in the past year; my husband wrote it best in my valentine’s day card ‘our hearts are 1 munchkin fuller.’  finding time with either of the boys, solo, has certainly been a challenge.  i’m trying and failing and trying some more.

this past weekend i went on my first mommy and me date with carson.  it was the best!

having a two year old is SO MUCH FUN!

i think I share that every age is my favorite but i just love TWO!  (i’m sure i’ll love 3 and 4 just as much.)

my little spitfire and i attended the mommy and me dance hosted by the des moines variety club over the weekend.  i can’t say we did a lot of dancing – or any at all – but we sure did have a good time.

i bought a ticket to the evening dance right after they went on sale.  my girlfriend, libby, and i were planning to take our boys together but she ended up with another conflicting event so it ended up just being a carson and mommy date.

cody and i had been mentioning all the fun we’d have since dinner the night before.  we talked about the super heros that would be there and the music.  he was very excited….and then forgot a few minutes later.  #toddlers

we reminded him before nap on saturday.  he wanted daddy to go.  sigh.

when he woke he eagerly got dressed and helped style his hair.   (so cute!)  we snapped a few pictures outside and then headed out.  i had no intentions of eating at the dance and instead wanted some special time – just the two of us – for a meal out. i thought i’d take him somewhere real nice, somewhere he loved – chic-fil-a.  haha!  he loves the sauce!  we ended up at panera for the mac’n’cheese and he cheerfully paid, like a true gentleman.  (that kid warms my heart!)

we nearly had the place to ourselves.  i mean, it was 5:20 in the afternoon.  he chose a table next to ‘daddy’s car’ outside.  he was such a good helper and very well behaved!  though he pointed to the highchairs as we walked past he wanted to sit like a big boy.  dinner conversation was sporadic and centered around the ‘hot’ fireplace behind our bench seat.  we also talked about the baby and his hair and he sampled my salad.  he told me he didn’t like it.  toddlers make for interesting company!

before we left i asked him to take two more bites.  he did.  then he told me to take one more and proceeded to feed me a small bite.  we killed time by snapping selfies and making funny faces. (can he stay this little forever?!)

parking downtown at the hotel was an event in itself but we made it.  i dusted off my skirt from squeezing between the cars just before loading the elevator with my boy in tow.

he was being extra bashful by this time.  we checked in and headed for the cupcakes.  he’s definitely my kid!

the entire top floor was dedicated to the event and the kiddos were all having the time of their little lives!  carson loved the music and bopped to it in his chair but he wouldn’t step foot on the dance floor unless he was suctioned to my leg.  he would dance from the very back and run as fast as he could to the flashing lights but just couldn’t find the courage to go cut a rug.   i let carson roam wherever he wanted – back and forth from the dance floor to the raffle bikes and then to the face painting station.  he was brave and patient while we waited to get a dinosaur painted on his cheek.  he wanted to hold my hand.  it was very sweet.

we talked a lot.  about nothing.  and about everything on his little mind.  he’s very busy.

an hour in i asked him where he wanted to go next to which he replied, home.  it was his night.  he was certain he wanted to go home so that’s what we did.

he showed off his face paint to dad with a roar that scared the baby and wore his glow bracelet to bed.  i think he had a good time.

and i loved every minute of it!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

a letter to my boys

two of my favorite humans stand less than 3 feet tall and know exactly how to push all of my buttons and put me on the brink of a mental break down before melting my heart with an open mouthed kiss or the sweetest ‘mama, i wuv you’ you’ve ever heard.  they’re my boys.  this valentine’s day i wanted to write them a letter.  here it is; a letter to my boys.

to my boys (now and in the future),

when i found out we were having not one but two boys my heart nearly exploded!  being a boy mom is a badge i wear proudly.  it’s a calling.  it’s an experience.  this is for you; a letter to my boys.

my heart may never know what it means to mother a girl.  to buy tiny hair bows or frilly dresses.  to have a forever companion for the occasional chick flick or pedicure but it will know love and fierce loyalty like that which you can only get from a son.

my heart swells every time i think about the responsibility that comes with raising a son.  it’s both tremendous and terrifying.  being a boy mom means creating men of the future.  men with integrity and heart.  it means allowing for failure and then emotion.  it means modeling strong and healthy relationships.  it means encouraging your heart, nurturing your intellect and embracing the jump, throw and wrestle which will make you strong.  it means trying new things and stepping out of my own comfort zone as i try to relate and stay relevant in your lives.  it means being a positive role model and a good person.

above all it means showing you love in a way that can be taken for granted because it will be something you should always know and be able to give unconditionally in return.

being a boy mama isn’t for the faint of heart.  there are days.  goodness, are there days.  even you know the ones.  and there will be so many more.  days of worry and angst and of sheer frustration.  days where i’ll worry sick until i know you are safe and right where you need to be.  days that i’ll hate all the loud noise but know in the back of my mind that it’s only for a short time.  the days, the years, the moment – it’s all short.  days when the never-ending hot laps around the house and banging may seem annoying but in reality it’s music to my ears. being a boy mama isn’t for the faint of heart.  i just hope that i’ll learn to let go or lessen my fear in the unknown and trust in HIS greater plan with more confidence.  for your sake and my sanity.  someday.

when i look at you.  i see all my happiness.  i see boys that will make their mama proud beyond measure.  boys that already have.  when i look at you i know it’s going to be dump trucks and dinosaurs instead of makeup and dolls.  when i look at you i see sassy mini mes, more in demeanor and attitude than in looks.  when i look at you i see your daddy.  and that makes me oh so happy.

some day you’ll grow up and move on.  you’ll move out and i’ll have to find a new purpose.  a new way to be your mommy and a new way to be in your life.  but I’ll always be there.  you will know that through action, thought and words.  you will know. without a doubt.  you will know.

until then i want to teach you so many things.  i want to teach you about women and flowers and how to be gentle.  i want to teach you resiliency and model it just the same.  i want to teach you how to cook and do laundry and leave all the ‘manly stuff’ up to dad.  i want you to compete but not to compare.  i want you to see people for who they are on the inside. i want to teach you how to build others up but showing you the same in return.  i want to encourage your heart all the ‘you did it’s and the ‘you’re so strong’s.  i’ll be your biggest fan.  for all of time.  for all the things.  oh my, i have my work cut out for me.

until then i plan to hold you for as long as you’ll let me.  you are my babies and forever will be.  the world won’t see you the way i do and that’s ok.  you’ll forever mean more to me than you know.  until you have your own babies.  until then.

when i look you i see your curiosity and zest for life.  both for it’s little things and also the big.  i hope you never lose that quality.  i love all the bits and pieces of you, my boys.  my boys now and any in the future.  i’ll love it all.

i love you.

i love you.  to moon and back.  i love you.



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

slay : the mommy workout that works

when i mentioned my 20-25 minute {max!} workout in a previous post {here} my inbox was flooded with messages asking for the details.  well here it is my friends.  my life-is-too-cray-and-i’m-busy-af-but-still-managed-a-workout workout.  it really is the ultimate mommy workout but aside from the babe that forced a condensed sweat sesh it really is a good one for anyone.

equipment needed: supportive tennis shoes, a timer {i use my phone} and maybe some 5-8 lbs weights or a lunker babe.

why it works:  this workout is high intensity and i give it 110% each and every time.  that’s why it’s effective.  the key is: once i feel like it’s becoming ‘easy’ i take it up a notch by adding more burpees, a tae bo jab sequence, mountain climbers or modifying my plank.  as long as you are practicing good form you’ll feel the burn.  if you don’t know good form check out youtube.

where & how i do it:  i typically do this in our living room….in the dark…while the rest of the house sleeps.  early in the morning or late at night is when i get it done.  i love that i can do it anywhere…and have!  i love that it gets me out the door in the morning on time and that i can squeeze it in while they’re watching an episode of mickey mouse.

for the sake of breaking this down by the minute ‘recovery’ consists of running in place.

0-:45  – warm-up – jog in place, stretch – just get the heart pumping

2:00 – jumping jacks

3:15 – burpees

3:30 – high knees

 3:40 – RECOVERY

4:40 – jump squats


5:30 – deep squats or alternating lunges

5:45 – high knees

6:45 – jumping jacks

8:00 – burpees

8:15 – high knees


9:45 – plank {i’ve started alternating leg and arm lifts and bring my knees to my shoulders for an added challenge – there are tons of progressive plank moves on youtube}

11:00 – stairs {i run up and down ours as many times as i can in this time frame – bt. 9&10 times}

12:15 – jumping jacks

13:30 – burpees

13:45 – high knees

14:00 – RECOVERY

14:45 – leg raises {back on floor}

15:55 – bicycle core {slow and controlled movements are key!!}

16:30 – v-sits or flutter kicks

17:45 – jumping jacks

18:45 – burpees

19:00 – high knees

19:45 – push ups or lateral raises

20:30 – tricep dips or extensions

21:00 – RECOVERY

i’m out of breath just typing it out!

let me know if you give it a try and how it works.

curious to know what all you other busy mamas do and WHEN?!  what’s your mommy workout? comment below to share.

duffle bag//stella&dot

sneaks//new balance


tatum’s tee//h&m

Friday, January 26, 2018

tatum matthew : eight month baby update

oh baby boy!  8 months old already!  baby update below.

the other day i was cleaning out your dresser {for the umpteenth time since your birth} and nearly teared up at the thought of packing away your 6 month stuff.  already well beyond newborn booties and tiny fuzzy sleepers – you are growing nonstop!  every time it is a reminder that these years are going to fly by.

here’s to another month of you!  another month to reflect on your changes, behaviors and stories.

personality// you are such a good baby!  you really are.  happy pretty much all the time and super easy-going.  you do love when people make a fuss over you and light up whenever someone passes you a smile.  you still love a good snuggle and that makes me happy.  stay this sweet forever, okay?!

you are also incredibly talkative and love to hear your voice.  you can play just fine without anyone around but sure do love it when they come near.  you have a tender-heart.  you hate it when carson cries.  if you are crying and overhear him you instantly stop and turn to the direction it’s coming from.  you are also sensitive to scary noises like carson’s rawr.  it gets you so worked up that only mommy or daddy cuddles will calm you down.

nicknames// we’ve been calling you ‘happy hips’ because when you’re excited boy do those hips get going!  we also call you ‘t’ pretty frequently and ‘munchkin baby boy’.  i’m curious to know which nickname is going to stick long-term.

eats//  by now you’ve tried eggs and peanut butter and thankfully don’t appear to be allergic to either – just gag a little on ‘chunks’.  i just can’t get on-board with blw but have certainly let you experiment.  the texture of chunkier things makes you gag and cracks me up (a response completely different from when we had carson and i swore he was choking every time!).  you’ve had avocado and sweet potatoes and a variety of baby food.  you have the whole chewing motion down.  we haven’t had to supplement more than a couple bottles of formula here and there but by this time next month i’ll be close to done with pumping.  enjoy the good stuff while it lasts little guy.

development// baby boy you sure have been busy this month!  you are rocking on all fours, lunging for toys and scouting all over the place on your bottom.  you are very determined!  it’s funny how far you can go without being very mobile!  you are ‘talking’ in that sweet baby babble and blowing raspberries.  we love interacting with you and hearing carson mimic our noises to do the same is just the best!  it cracks you up!  you recognize voices and are interested in allie.  you know the people well who are around you most.  you’re in size 4 diapers and wearing 9-12 month everything.

loves// the play watering can (during every bath you reach for it and tear up when carson pulls it away to give you something else), toes – other people’s toes, driving carson’s car, drooling, jumping in the jumperoo, ‘talking’, mickey mouse, and the breast pump tubes.

firsts// celebrating NYE, sledding, a family trip to the waterpark and science center AND joining your baby friends in the infant room at church.

other bits and pieces

it’s entirely possible you may think your name is ‘nooooo, baby’.  thanks to carson.

speaking of carson, he likes to play this game with you where he gives you ALL of your toys then takes them away one by one.  over and over.  i don’t think you actually think it’s a fun game.  he really seems to enjoy it.

you give the best lovins!  and have started giving us open mouth sugars.  i just love when you go in for a hug and wrap your hands in my hairs and curl your body close to mine.  simply the best!

when mommy and daddy arrive at daycare you get SOOOO excited!  your little arms flap like crazy and your entire being lights up.

we have had several conversations in straight up grunter speak.

sometimes you get a chill and shiver, usually when your eating and the food is a bit cold.  cracks us up every time.  daddy’s trying to catch it on video.

carson colored your feet red this month.   that was fun.

you go in for kisses like ‘come here, i vant to eat your face’.  ohmagosh do i love it!!

with little effort you can flip your pacifier around and pop it in your mouth.  you have it down.

what happened to my newborn?!  it won’t be long – i’ll turn around and you’ll be 25.  i always worry i don’t soak up each stage enough and this month more than any before it i’m wondering where it went and why i don’t have more pictures of you.  you are the bees knees, kid!  you are so much happy in one little being – i want to box it up and sprinkle it wherever i go.  my wish for you is that you keep that happy spirit and use it to positively impact your world.  you make life smile baby boy!

we love you to all the bits and pieces!

e i g h t month // baby update photo dump