Monday, August 27, 2012

I don't even want to go there

Here's what I've been posting on Instagram lately (@c525600).

good coffee and my favorite mug (gift from my MIL)

getting my room set up

good size watermelon that my husband grew

Josh thinks he can catch the dog with a butterfly net

waiting for the rain to let up at Ramblin' Rose

volunteering in the rain isn't too bad when you have a nice view - firemen helping with a bike chain at Ramblin' Rose

a visit to Polo Ralph Lauren for opening staff meetings - decals all over the place

getting ready to flash the "I love you" sign - I love the dimple in his chin

pretty good fetch partner

delicious dinner date night

the calm before the storm

School started for me today and I'm at a new school, teaching *relatively* new-to-me classes, and I'm swamped, stressed, missing my babies, and trying hard not to be overwhelmed.  I'm trying to stay positive which is why I don't even want to talk about it all.

I hope your week is off to a good start!

Remember, there are still four days left to enter my craft kit giveaway. Looks like you've got a pretty good shot if you're interested!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

top ten favorite things about being a mom of a 6 and almost 3 year old (at the moment)

  1. When he's so easy to take for granted, the kids make me super-thankful for my husband.
  2. They still build with blocks, enjoy playdough, and like craft projects.
  3. They're both too big for the jogging stroller now = no more running pushing a stroller.
  4. Sometimes they make me feel like if I can be their mom then I can do anything.
  5. One still naps and one doesn't which provides a little time for one-on-one time.
  6. We don't argue about curfews, cell phones, and haven't had to have "the talk" yet.
  7. No more sippy cups.
  8. No more diapers.
  9. The six year old can read to the three year old.  She can also push him on the swing.
  10. Being interviewed by an almost three year old with a marble stuck on the end of a Nerf dart as a make-shift microphone is just plain hilarious!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

thirty four months

Dear Joshua,

Yesterday you turned thirty four months old. I just read the letter I wrote to your sister when she turned thirty four months and the similarities are eerie.  It seems we're always saying, "Julianna didn't do this!" or "Julianna did ______ instead" so it surprises me a little bit to read how much you act like she did at this age.

You are all Spiderman all the time.  You have Spiderman pajamas and Spiderman underwear and you saw a little boy on his Spiderman bike the other day and you about flipped out.  You almost climbed out of the stroller just to make sure that I saw the bicycle he was riding.  I wish I had your enthusiasm sometimes.

Your desire to be independent is also very strong.  You can go to the bathroom all by yourself and you INSIST that the door be closed and no one in the bathroom with you.  I worry that you're sticking things in the toilet and playing where you shouldn't be but thankfully this hasn't happened yet and you just do your business and then come out grinning with pride.  The cute thing is that usually your shorts are pulled up halfway and twisted round so that your underwear is sticking half out of your pants, but you did it!

Over the last month you've really started to resist napping.  In fact, you skip nap altogether at least one or two days a week.  This week at the sitter's house you haven't napped at all and I'm hoping it's just because we're all adjusting to a new routine and that when Julianna goes back to school on Monday you'll find naps more appealing.  If you do sleep during the day though, you'll usually sleep about two hours.  (At this point Jules was only sleeping about an hour and a half for nap.)

You like to sing loudly just like Jules did at this age.  You soak up new words to songs so quickly.  If a song comes on that you don't know however, you often demand that we turn the radio off.  Sometimes you can be quite bossy and I have no idea where that personality trait came from (wink, wink).

Your sister said "sine" for "fine" and couldn't say French fries hardly at all.  You say your "Fs" well but you struggle sometimes with "Ss".  When you spell your name it sounds like J-O-etch-H.

Your daddy pointed out to me the other night that you're quite the collector and he's right.  You like to gather up as many Squinkies in your hands as you can and carry them around.  You also ask for any and every stuffed animal to be placed in your bed and if one is missing you act very sad.  You treasure certain Lego's on certain days and you'll hoard all of the little Lego swords one day and then the wheels the next.  You don't like that we won't let you take them out of sister's room.

Speaking of which, you've gotten a little temper this month and often you'll look at us and scream, "NO!" when we even suggest that you do something or don't do something that you don't like.  You wrinkle up your nose and scowl at us like we said the most absurd thing you'd ever heard.  You even stomp your little foot and jump up and down in anger.  It's quite amusing.

This summer you've taken a liking to using scissors.  You will cut an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper into a gazillion pieces and then you'll beg to do your worksheets.  I love that you still love learning new things.

I'm going to miss spending so much time with you this school year, but it's also going to be nice to see you grow and thrive without so much dependence on me.  Happy thirty four months, Buddy.  In just two short months we'll be singing "Happy Birthday" to you and marveling over the fact that three years have flown by in the blink of an eye. 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

what's the bomp anyway?

Love this little guy!

20120819 193243 from c525600 on Vimeo.

In case you missed the last post, I'm giving away a cute kids craft kit.  Click here for details.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

she's crafty :: plus craft kit giveaway

A couple of weeks after Josh's playdate we had the pleasure of hosting a playdate for several of Julianna's friends.  We hosted a creativity party with the help of MommyParties and Creativity for Kids and five little girls were able to come do some crafts with Jules as a sort of back-to-school bash.

We made bottle-cap necklaces

decorated cute little handbags

made our own rings

colored in a fashion notebook (which she still plays with days later - she just finished another dress design)

and embellished headbands (which Jules has surprisingly not stopped wearing).

This was the perfect little party for Julianna to do this week after having not seen her friends most of the summer.  It was fun and relatively easy.  Even Josh wanted to participate as much as possible so Nanna had to help him some.

All the girls went home with their crafts and much to Jonathan's dismay, I now have a little boy who wishes he could be a girl.

Thanks so much, MommyParties and Creativity for Kids! We had a fantastic party!

Now here’s the part for everybody at home:

I am giving away two sets of these creativity kits to two A is for Beautiful readers. 
  • Rhinestone Rings 
  • Stuck on Fashion Tote Bag
  • ARTivity Book: Fun with Fashion
To enter to win this giveaway, you must do the following:
  • Follow Creativity for Kids on Facebook
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest
  • Leave a comment below letting me know why you want to win one of the kits mentioned above.
In addition, the winners will also receive a Creativity for Kids coupon for additional products. 

Remember, two winners will be selected at random. This giveaway is open to readers in the U.S. only, void where prohibited, and the winners will be announced here on August 31st, 2012 after 6pm EST.

Full disclosure: Included in my In-Home party host kit, I received several Kids Craft Kits and coupons good towards additional products. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rock 'n Learn Party

My kids put on an unforgettable playdate the other day with help from the folks at Leap Frog.  You see, we had some friends from my old mom's group that we'd been meaning to get together with all summer long and so far it hadn't happened.  Then I saw the opportunity from Leap Frog to host a Touch Magic “Rock ‘n Learn” party and I signed up right away, invited a bunch of friends over and watched my kids have a blast with each other.

dueling guitars

We played a game where each kid got to put on a show for us for one minute and then strike a pose at the end and this was hilarious. All of the kids had so much fun (including Julianna despite her first reaction to the "baby toys").  Eventually Josh stopped watching what everyone else was doing for their poses and started creating his own.  As a mama, I loved watching him put his imagination to work.

one of the little boys filming Julianna's guitar solo

Josh checking out the Learning Bus

When everyone got tired of playing games we made a book with the cut and paste activity sheets.  This was perfect for Josh since he's big into cutting these days.

Here is Joshua days later still proud of his "Guitar Master Award."

Both the guitar and bus retail for $24.99 and can be purchased at Target.  We had LeapFrog product coupons for all of our guests and I still have several left over so if you're interested in $5 off/LeapFrog Magic Learning Toy then leave me a comment and I'll send them out.  I heard the other day that Christmas is only 12 weeks away and these would make great gifts for the 2 and 3 year olds in your life!

Full disclosure: Included in my In-Home party host kit, I received a Touch Magic Rockin' Guitar and Touch Magic Learning Bus and coupons good towards LeapFrog products.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Last Saturday we were in the midst of all the back to school shoppers and needed a quick lunch before nap time.  Jonathan said, "Kids, is McDonald's okay?'

Julianna said, "Sure!"
Josh's reply, however, was to point out the window and say, "No, I want to go get free ice cream!"

He was pointing at Jason's deli.


In the bathtub one night after Julianna had run a mile at the park she was stretched out just laying still "relaxing her muscles" and she asked, "Mom, will you go get me some pickles?"


"Yeah, I need you to go get two pickle slices for me.  I need to put them on my eyes."


Waiting for a table at Outback one night recently, Josh got started with the incessant "Why?" questioning.  He kept asking random questions about a fly that he was watching.  The place was pretty crowded and there were a lot of people near us waiting for a table too and listening to Josh's questions.

One time he asked Jonathan, "Dad, do flies have teeth?"  Jonathan told him they didn't and he naturally responded, "Why?"  Jonathan said, "They don't eat anything hard."  Josh looked up at him and said, "They don't eat coconuts?" and the couple sitting next to us got pretty tickled.


Julianna very seriously stated at dinner one night, "I'm stuffed to the broom!"


One night at bedtime:
"Mom, sing that number song to me."
"What number song?"
"Hey I just met you and this is crazy, but here's my number. Call me maybe."


Josh asked me the other night, "What does God have on him?"
"I don't know what you mean, Josh."
"Does he have a seat belt on?"
I replied, "I don't know, Josh."
"Well, does he drive?"


Josh saw a boxer on TV the other night. "Mom, what kind of hands does she have?"
"She has on boxing gloves, " I told him, "She's a boxer."
"Well, is she a crab?"

Sunday, August 12, 2012

we told the kids we were off to tour the county jail

This morning we found ourselves with two wild children and nothing to do so we drove to Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury, NC. We had never been before and had always heard good things about it so we decided to check it out.

First, we played on the umpteenmillion playgrounds.

Then we went on the carousel.

After the carousel we took a little train ride.

I got stung by a stinkin' yellowjacket while waiting for the train ride to be over.  After that we headed to the paddle boats.  It was a gorgeous day.

Jonathan ran almost eight miles this morning so naturally when he made a comment about how women can't drive I told him that he and Jules were going to be our paddle boat drivers.  Then the three of us enjoyed the ride around the lake.

After that we went to the petting zoo and also to mine for gems which the kids LOVED. How many of you have children who thought they were rich the first time they went gem mining? So cute.

Anyway, we had a great time. It was a nice way to spend a beautiful Sunday at the end of summer.

Now off to watch the Olympics Closing Ceremonies!  Goodnight, y'all!

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