So Many Changes

Six short years ago, I fell head over heels for a guy in a bar.   To be fair, it was only happy hour (does that make it better?), and it was a charity date auction in which I volunteered my perpetually single self to be put on display.  I had nothing to lose, right?   Apparently, Mr. C didn’t want to lose $80, but slyly decided to chat me up after hearing the words “sold!” awarded to some other guy.  Whoever he may be.

4 short years ago, we were married.   We have always been quick to life changes.  We bought our first home and brought our first son into the world all before celebrating our 2nd anniversary.   That being said, we took time to live.  Time to learn how to be parents (though this is an ever-evolving skill), time for The Mister to work his tail off to graduate with his MBA, time to plan a trip of a lifetime to reconnect as a couple in Ireland, and finally, time to enjoy our little guy.  He has definitely brought us more smiles and laughter than tears and frustration, but as he is approaching two and a half, each day brings its own set of unique challenges.  Like I said, parenting is an ever-evolving skill that I don’t think anyone truly masters.

You may have caught me mention our “first son”.  That’s right, we are expecting to bring our second son into the world before Halloween!  This will officially turn our home into boy territory, and this girly-girl is embracing every minute of it.

Upon learning this great news, we made the decision as a family that I will no longer be working that full-time job of mine as a teacher, but will instead take the year to stay at home with my boys.  I know that it is an amazing opportunity for all 4 of us, and I am excited to take on this new challenging role.  I will admit that I did feel a twinge of emptiness when it came time for teachers to report back to work this week.  It is a job that I am good at, and a role that will always be instilled in me, as I raise my own children.

This year will be full of reflecting on my career, as I watch my toddler grow into an even sweeter, smarter little man, all while adding a newborn to the mix.   After the whirlwind of the past 4 years as a family, it’s okay that I’m not sure what the future has in store.  At least that’s what my heart is telling me.  The life-planner in my brain is still trying to catch up with my heart.

If you’ve followed my silly little blog thus far, with its few and far between posts, stay tuned.  I am planning to revamp and start anew with a new site.   I will link it when I’m ready…I just need a little inspiration first 🙂  Until then, here is a look at our little family of 3 in June, when I was 22 weeks along, and still looked cutely pregnant.

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Hey Babe!

Two boys are fighting over me. Yes, this almost-30-year-old has two very cute guys vying for her attention. You’re probably looking for advice on how to become this sought after. Let me tell you my secrets. It must be those greys sprouting up & my new reliance on hair dye. Maybe it’s my less-than-toned tummy, or the fact that yoga pants, sports bras, t-shirts, and pony tails are oh so irresistible! Perhaps, though, it’s the fact that I’m a youngish wife to a man who drools at the drop of cake batter and newish mother to a sweet toddler boy.

Yes, I’m currently raising a tiny mama’s boy.

A very jealous mama’s boy.

On any given morning, Mr. C will leave for work before me, giving me a goodbye kiss on his way out. Normal? Yes. A disaster waiting to happen? You bet. Baby C grabs my legs mid-smooch and pleads, “mommy up?” As soon as I give in, I get a toddler hug & smooch. This is a double win for me, and a twinge of sadness for Mr. C, as a toddler hug and kiss for him takes more coaxing.

A typical Saturday morning means a coffee date on the couch while the little guy plays at our feet. It really sounds like a sweet scene, doesn’t it? In all actuality, this scene involves hand grabbing, (as if Mr. C should even try to hold the hand of Baby C’s true love!) pulling, and pleading of “peeeeaaaaassse Mommy pwwwaaay!” Do I give in? Usually. Who can really resist that sweet voice? Poor Mr. C.

In addition, we constantly hear, “no! Mommy do it!” This mommy can do anything and everything in Baby C’s eyes and Daddy, well, I guess he’ll do if I’m not around. Again, poor Mr. C.

If Mr. Cupcake ever needs an ego boost, however, he just needs to remember that our son mimics his every move. He is watching, listening, and studying how to be a great man, just like his father. And what an amazing example he has. In fact, thanks to his daddy, Baby C has recently starting practicing his pick up lines on me. Ladies and gentlemen, your daughters are in trouble.

Happy Fall!

As Halloween is upon us, I feel like this fall flew by with hardly any recognition from me!  I love fall.  It’s starts off with a bang with one of my favorite days of the year (my birthday of course).  Add in college football, hoodies, PSL’s (pumpkin spice lattes for those who aren’t into acronyms), running in the crisp weather, Punkin’ Ale, and the crock pot, and you have yourself the best time of the year!

It has been a struggle to make sure that we fit in our fall activities and decorating.  I feel like I’m on teacher duty, then toddler duty, then house duty, and before you know it, i’ve collapsed and another day is gone.  Of course, Mr. C and I have definitely tried to make time to enjoy a Punkin’ Ale from Dogfish Head, just to make sure that we actually talk to each other a few nights a week 🙂 That being said, this past weekend, we were able to not only fit in a trip to the local pumpkin patch, but I was able to get crafty and change up our front door decor.

The supplies to this wreath have been sitting in my garage for the better part of 3 months now, so I decided to get to work.  I started by paining a wooden ‘S’ from Michael’s (where all of my supplies came from.  Gotta love the 15% teacher discount!).  I have a slight obsession with all things black/white polka dot, especially when you add in yellow accents.  As I didn’t have time to run out to the store, and our garage is extremely disorganized, I couldn’t find any of my little brushes.  Q-Tips made the best substitute and almost-perfect polkas.

Black with white polka dot ‘S’.

Back to the actual wreath.  I improvised with what I had and added some fall leaves, berries, and sunflowers.  I’m really anti-semetrical, but know that everything needs to be balanced in some way.  Since I only had the small window of Baby C’s nap time, I quickly glued the floral arrangement on.  It is minimal, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Wreath after arranging the flowers. I tried to keep the leaves in a circular pattern.

The finished product hung on the perfect, sunny Fall day.

And finally, here is a sneak peek from our trip to the pumpkin patch.  I’m so glad that Mr. C was able to put off his 10 page paper and be a part of this family outing.  Baby C’s first trip to the pumpkin patch was a day to remember!

BabyCakes-a-Saurus

My toddler has a slight obsession sorry, an infatuation with anything dinosaur related.  It all started when he was given the book, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight by Jane Yolan, for his 1st birthday.  This book is cute and fun to read.  So fun, in fact, that we read it every.single.night.  Mr. C and I have even been known to do a duet-recitation of the ever popular children’s book when dealing with a fussy toddler in the car.  The obsession, however, does not stop there.

Baby Cakes thinks that dinosaurs have a raspy, growly voice.  We’re not all that sure where this started, but you can ask him “how does a dinosaur say ______” and he will repeat whatever has been requested in his little growl.  It’s been an extremely fun party trick, especially when we decide to ask him how a dinosaur says random words such as “spatula” and “ladle”.  Our friends and family giggle when they get him to say their name in the famous dino voice.

We love our little dino so much, that we thought it appropriate to purchase a new winter hat, courtesy of the Etsy shop, Mrs. PTB Makes.  These hats are customizable by color, and she even has other animals to choose from.  Our little dino loves his hat, and loves seeing himself on video.  Here is his latest “flick”.  Enjoy!

a mini-post

Well, I did exactly what I said I wasn’t going to do, and that is get wrapped up in rushing around as a professional, as well as a mommy.  It’s really hard to not think about work when I’m at home, but it’s all in the profession, I suppose.  I’m trying to stay positive, and keep blogging.  Projects have been put on hold for now, except for a few *wedding present surprises* that I can not divulge at this time.

We have been eating fairly well since adding another working parent to the mix.  It has been easy, however, because of Mr. C’s busy schedule, I really only have to cook 3 days a week, and we have enough food for lunches too.  I’ll try to post sample menus next week, as we’ve been dealing with a sick toddler and trying to throw in some birthday celebrations in for me (although, acknowledging 29 is not a priority!).

Until next time, when I’ll try to get my head unjumbled and actually remember what we’ve been up to lately!

An 18 Month Brag Post

 

Baby Cakes is now 18 months old.  A whole year-and-a-half!  Baby Cakes has always had huge personality, but now Mr. C and I are truly seeing the comic, the scholar,  the sweetheart, and the rambunctious spirit come out in the boy that we have spent the past 18 months (well, 27, really!) getting to know.

I don’t know when kids are supposed to show their sense of humor, but BabyC has his stand up routine down pat.  He has a signature “Dinosaur Voice” in which he will repeat anything you say in a low, gravely growl, as long as you ask, “How does a dinosaur say ____?”  Of course, this is the funniest thing in the world to him, so he always has to throw his head back to force out his toddler cackle.

Our little 18 month scholar is learning letters and building his vocabulary.  People have asked me how many words he knows, and honestly, it would take a long time to create that long list, and I’m sure some words would get left off. Recently, I purchased magnetic letters for the fridge.  He immediately took to them, started pulling them off one-by-one and to my surprise, he was naming them (correctly!).  Thank you Cookie Monster, for your letter of the day.  You have truly made my child a literary genius.

Baby C has turned into such a little person, with his own opinions, style, and sense of humor.  We can’t eat one meal without requests of “ah-deh?” (that’s Adele for those non-toddler speakers) and “dancey?” as Rumor Has It blasts in our kitchen.  Everything is a show while Baby C is on the go, yet I live for those moments when he winding down for the night.  He will fake “ni night” and snuggle up close with his “B” (his little lovey blanket).   Being a mom of a little boy is such an immense joy.  I can’t wait to see all of ways BabyC will continue to amaze us as he is over the  hump and on his way to a big 2 year old.

 

Another Toddler (and Daddy) Tasty: Strawberry Shortcake Muffins

As my summer time at home is winding down, I thought I’d make some treats for the few “Daddy Daycare” days that we have coming up.  Here you have Strawberry Shortcake Muffins — Dashing Dish.  These were very easy to make and require only a few simple ingredients.  The only things that I had to go out and buy were the fresh strawberries and old fashioned oats.

Stirring in strawberries after blending ingredients

Fresh out of the oven

Yum!

BabyCakes approved!

A year ago…

I’ve been MIA lately, mostly due to my “crap, I only have one week of summer left” mentality, which in teacher reality means, “crap, I have to get into my classroom early to make sure I’m not stressed when I’m really due to report back next week.”  See…more evidence that teachers are truly a hard-working bunch.  While I’ve been slacking in the “Mrs. Cupcake” role of meal planning, sticking to somewhat of a schedule to keep our house together, and going on fun trips with BabyC , I’m mentally doing better in my role as a working mom.  You see, last year at this time, things were pretty bad.  I know I brought a lot of it on myself, but there were many factors that made both work life and home life a mess. So here you have some of my reflections from a year ago at this time.  Things are already off to a better start this year!

A year ago…

  • I cried every morning when I woke up
  • I slept for maybe 4-5 non-consecutive hours each night, with Mr. C getting even less as a grad student
  • I cried dropping Baby C off with his nanny
  • I cried when she texted me to tell me that he wouldn’t stop crying
  • I cried when I walked into my building, lugging my teacher supplies AND a huge bag with pumping gear
  • I cried when I was told I had to pump in the science closet, amongst many other strange locations
  • I cried in meetings when I felt pressure to be that teacher that I was pre-BabyC
  • I rushed home to play on the swings and neglected any sort of housework/cooking
  • I cried when I realized I only had 2ish hours to be with Baby C before bath and bed
  • I cried going to bed at night knowing it would all start over again the next day

Do you see a pattern? Of course, much of it can be attributed to newish mommy hormones, but nevertheless,  here’s to less tears, more sleep, more organization, better dinners, a cleaner house, and more smiles this school year.  Of course, Mr. C and I do have a huge goal of celebrating one more semester of his MBA down with a trip to Ireland in December.  That will keep us smiling for sure!

Messy, Messy (A Ziti Post)

Every week, I try to make one dish that will last for many lunches and those lonely dinners when Mr. C is in class.  This particular ziti dish  from Better Homes and Gardens has been a big hit in our house with both of my favorite guys.  In fact, Baby C was under the weather this weekend, and  is also getting those terrible, horrible, no good molars that I have been dreading.  Let’s just say, his appetite was non-existent and this meal changed it all.  If you know how sad I get about the tiny state of my under-10th-percentile child, you know that this was a huge win on my part!

This meal is also going to be a lifesaver for the ever-approaching hectic days where both Mr. Cupcake and I are working full-time.  I’m also thinking it could be a good staple for some families I know with babies due any day now!  Who doesn’t like food dumped on their doorstep?

In somewhat related news, Baby Cakes has been starting to mimic.  It’s actually a hilarious stage, but we have to REALLY start….seriously, I mean it this time, watching what we say.  Apparently I complain a lot about things being messy.  I didn’t know I used that word so much, until one day he approached me with a towel and said, “Messy, messy.  Face? Hands?” and proceeded to wipe me in the proper places.  Enjoy this little clip of Baby C eating his ziti.

and no, the nose picking is not something that he is mimicking, at least not from me!

A Little Blurb about Baby Cakes’ Baby Book!

It has taken me the almost-year-and-a-half of Baby C’s life, but I’ve finally completed his “Baby Book”.  Before I started, I had high hopes that I would begin scrapbooking again, and include all of his little “collector’s items”.  I have a box full of his ultrasounds, footprints and hospital bracelets, cards, “month” stickers from each photo shoot, and much more.  I even got as far as printing pictures from his first 5 months.  Then I went back to work and never had the alone time that I would need to sit down and concentrate on such a task.  Hence, the photo book.  Thank goodness for modern technology!  Maybe I’ll figure out a way to display these important items some day, but for now, at least I have all of the pictures from his first 365 days in one place.

After much research, I decided I wanted something different for Baby C’s first pictures.  I came across a blog post by a mom of little ones over at Little Red Wagon Photography.  This lead me to the fabulous world of Blurb.com, where I had a lot of fun playing around with their layouts and different sizes of photo books.  It was a decent price too, considering I almost went over the photo limit with my hundreds upon hundreds of pictures that I wanted to include.  It came in the mail last week, and I am so thrilled with how it turned out (despite a missing letter that Mr. C was kind enough to point out.  I can never be perfect, can I?)

Here is the ever-adorable cover.  If this doesn’t give you baby-fever, I don’t know what will! 

For more previews of this adorable first-year photo book, check it out here: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/2807016/69d130d37910f700159f8d55df87be2ae984f6cf.

Blurb allows you to share your book with friends, family members, and the world.  You can also set only a few pages to be viewed as a preview, which is what I did.  It took me many evenings, post-baby-bedtime, and several glasses of wine, but it is finished and (almost) perfect.