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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Left Behind

My heart is aching a bit this morning. A good friend of mine is moving next week. Far far away.

All my life I've been the one who moves away. In Kindergarten, in 3rd grade. In 8th grade. My Junior year of high school.

I'm realizing how hard it is to be the one who gets left. Especially as an adult - I find that some small (highly irrational) piece of me feels rejected. Like she's deliberately not choosing me for her team.

This friend is my 2nd good friend to move away in 2 years. Adult friends are hard to come by don't you think? Especially for me at this stage of life. Most of my days are full of the not-busy-busyness of raising kids. We're not exactly doing "anything" but it's truly hard to do anything with anyone either. Consequently, friends are precious. This particular friend speaks the language of my heart.

C.S. Lewis writes, "friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: What! You too? I thought that no one but myself..." I knew I liked this girl the first time I heard her tell her reluctantly potty-training child that she would just have to deal with wet shorts at the park because they weren't leaving yet. I felt less alone in my parenting style suddenly and my heart did a fist pump for no-BS mothering.

In true mom-fashion I can't find a single picture of the two of us. Maybe we'll have to take one before she rolls out of the 'hood in her minivan. In this digital age I know we'll keep up through Instagram and Facebook and our blogs, so I'm not worried I'll miss out on her life. I'm just sad she won't be a daily part of mine anymore.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Aruba, Jamaica..(and giveaway winner!)

Tell me I'm not the only one silently finishing those lyrics in my head.

B Daddy and I snuck in a trip to Aruba two weeks ago that I didn't tell y'all about. Time to enthrall you with our vacation slideshow...

We snorkled.
We read.
 My pregnant self wore rocked a bikini.

We explored the island. 

 We observed the locals.

 We took selfies.
We saw dear old friends and made some new ones.
Best of all there was a wedding,
and loads of love and happy tears and A LOT of boogying by yours truly and the mister.
The End.

Also it's time to announce the Jamberry giveaway winner! ......And congratulations go to FabricKate! I'll be contacting you for your color choice in the next day or two. For the rest of you...head to Jamberry and order through the amazing consultant Christa Hibbs! She is super nice and easy to work with and these things are seriously fun. Thanks for playing. :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Precious Calling

I loved seeing all the pictures online this week of my friends with their mothers.  As a mother I know how rare it is to be the one in the picture with my kids instead of the one behind the camera, and so I loved these glimpses. Mothers holding babies. Mothers fixing hair. Mothers on Christmas, Easter, wedding days. It was so beautiful to see Motherhood esteemed as the precious calling it is.

P.S. "Esteemed and precious calling" are not the usual terms I use to describe my daily vocation. But it is. Oh how it is. 

Yesterday I slept in til 6:50, rolling over and managing to pee and brush my teeth before the first little guy came in my room with his shy sleepy smile and side hug, his typical morning greeting. Not a minute later his perky sister bounded in, telling me she was “so excited!” about the day. (There was nothing special going on that I was aware of…) Then I heard the first strains of a cry from the littlest and they both informed me that Blue Eyes needed mommy. What would I do without these little helpers?

I’m 28.5 weeks pregnant today. Yesterday I had my 28 week check up, the one where you drink the bottle of orange goo and wait an hour to see how your pancreas responds to the influx of glucose you just downed.  Then I got a tetanus shot (a routine part of pregnancy now?), had my uterus examined and two brown-red vials of blood drawn. Being a momma-in-waiting in no glamorous thing.  My weight continues to climb upward (I'm officially up 30lbs for those of you keeping track), heartburn continues to plague me. My hips and pelvic region ache at the end of each day, no matter if I work out or try to take it easy. And oh my belly. It just keeps getting bigger.

It feels like I've been out of new mama mode for so long. Every now and then I'll say something to B Daddy like, "do you remember how small babies are?" or "what if this baby doesn't take a bottle?" I almost can't imagine what it's going to be like to go through all of that again. 

For this entire pregnancy I've been giving myself the pep talk that this time around will be much easier than last time. Yesterday I ran a quick errand with the kids and as we were nearing home I suddenly shouted to the bigs in the back, "OH MY GOSH ARE Y'ALL BUCKLED!?" Yes Mom was the instantaneous reply and I was transported back to my life when Blue Eyes was a baby and the Squirt couldn't even climb in the minivan by himself, let alone buckle. Sweet B was barely walking steadily and getting those three into the car and buckled up was more often than not a sweat-inducing and bad word causing activity. Now they get in the car and buckle themselves up and I don't even think about it. 

I am trying to appreciate that comparatively speaking, life is pretty easy right now. The kids get the milk out of the fridge for themselves and their little brother. Both bigs can dress themselves, pee by themselves and brush their own teeth. All three kids sleep through the night with regularity. No one is teething. No one depends on me for breastfeeding. I can leave my kids in the capable hands of grandparents or sitters for hours (or days!) at a time. All that is about to change again. 

This morning, when I woke at 4 to bring my feverish three year old a drink of water, I couldn't go back to sleep. My mind was in full gear, thinking about the next several months- what I need to do to prepare for #4's debut, what we need to get done today, this week, this month. 

I finally got up and decided that for today at least, I'm going to Carpe Kairos a little more intentionally. And this summer I'm going to bask in our time at the pool IN SPITE OF my large belly and my definitely not-sexy maternity swim suit. I'm going to SOAK up the days I spend away from the kids at the beach with my high schoolers before this guy makes his debut. I am going to appreciate the ease of having a baby in the belly as opposed to in the outside world. What a precious calling indeed. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Jamberry Experiment and a Giveaway

Like my nails?

I did them all by myself. This may not exactly seem blog-worthy...but I do my own nails approximately twice a year. Usually on a whim. It never lasts more than a day without chipping, so it's rare that I invest the effort required to get so little reward.

I don't prioritize time or money for professional manicures. Even professional manicures don't last long enough for me to justify. The last manicure I got was a gel manicure that chipped on Day 2. Ugh. Before that I think it was the fancy one I got for my wedding (9 years ago...) it was chipped before we got off the plane for our honeymoon. I still remember how annoyed I was to walk around Italy for a week with bad nails.

Pedicures I can justify because they last FOREVER and- the massage chair. 80% of the reason I get pedicures is for the massage chair. The last pedicure I got was in October and I left it on through Christmas. Yes it had started to chip, but only just barely and it was yeah, I get pedicures maybe 4x a year. I'm a high maintenance gal.

To get these purple ('Orchid' actually) puppies, I tried something I've never used before, nail wraps. Have you seen these things? The ones I tried are from Jamberry. They come on a plastic strip and you peel the right sized sticker off and apply it to your nails with heat and pressure. When I first pulled them out of the package I had serious flashbacks to elementary school and my brief but fervent obsession with Lee Press-On Nails. They would pop off the second you tried to open your Capri-Sun, but as long as you sat really still they were fabulous.
It took me about 25 minutes to do my Jamberry manicure that night while B Daddy surfed the internet in bed beside me. I did my toes the next day which took A LOT longer...I can't decide if it was because my huge belly was in the way or because I have straight nail beds on my toenails instead of deeply curved ones, which meant I had to trim the pre-made wraps to fit each nail (the sizes for fingernails pretty much fit perfectly). My kids were awake while I was doing my toes too, and you know how a peanut gallery of three tiny tots makes for a super efficient time doing anything.
I had serious doubts about the wraps from the moment I finished applying them. They looked pretty good right off the bat, my only issue being that the edges looked a little rough (maybe I could have filed them better so they were smoother) but I knew how well professional polish jobs held up to my mom-routine of diaper changing, dish washing, seat buckling and meal prepping and figured these suckers would chip or peel within a day or two.

These are my nails on Day 7 folks. I actually removed the wraps around Day 9 because my nails were starting to grow out and I was over purple. I can't believe they lasted this long. You can see they started to wear at the tips, but no chips and no peeling.  And my toes? My toes lasted an entire month. Even with the extra time it took me to apply them, that seemed worth it.

The wraps come in a set of 18, which the site says will give you 2-3 applications and costs $15. It's more expensive than painting your own nails (although if you do a per-day cost analysis, these might come out ahead).  It is much cheaper (and less time consuming) than going to a professional. Especially if you're not pregnant and your nails don't grow super fast. For me it lasted longer and looked better than a DIY job for sure.

Oh and the fun part? They have tons of trendy nail designs too. I'm not a crazy nail girl, but I love the idea of using some of the design options for special occasions - like football season. ;) If you like the whole nail art craze, I can't imagine that you could find a better option than these wraps.

I liked these enough that I'm about to order another set of wraps and thought I'd offer up the chance for one of y'all to join me and try them out!  Leave a comment on the blog, become a follower or a subscriber (and comment letting me know you did) to be entered to win a free set of wraps.  Share this post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and get another entry.  I'll pick a random winner from all entries by next Friday and you'll receive an email or be contacted through direct message to see what design/color you want! So fun. I'm ordering Haute Pink and Tropical Mirage this time around.

Have you ever used nail wraps? What was your experience like? Which is your favorite Jamberry color or pattern? Tell me in the comments and be entered to win. Contest entry is closed now - sorry! 

**I was given the Jamberry wraps I used in return for writing this post, however all opinions are totally mine and I am sponsoring the giveaway.**

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Five Years

The Squirt turns 5 today. Five years with this kid have somehow slipped by and as I keep on being told, he'll be 18 before I know it.

Right now he's a serious kid. Into superheroes and skateboarding. He loves to read and he loves to ride his bike. He is my most eager to please and my most difficult to please child. He has high standards for himself and for all of us.
This afternoon we're meeting B Daddy at a park for a birthday lunch and then this weekend he'll get some one on one celebration time with his grandparents - my oldest is only 5 years old and I'm already over themed birthday parties with little kids for guests. My poor kids. 

I can't wait to see how he grows and changes over this coming year. Happy Birthday Elijah!
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