Dealing with Fussy Time

My normally happy two year frequently morphs into someone decidedly NOT happy in the late afternoon after her nap. Ideally I take her to the park or even play with her in the back yard but that is not always possible as fussy time of so conveniently coincides with dinner preparation time. #allthesarcasm And of course our weather is not always conducive for outdoor play. 

It helps to have some tricks up your sleeve. One is that I will often stockpile unopened toys that we have received as gifts and will save them for opportune moments. But when I put a new toy into circulation I try to stealthily take one out of circulation. The benefit is twofold as it helps us from getting totally overrun by toys ( totally lying we ARE overrun by toys) and two I can wait a few months and reintroduce the hidden toy and it will be like new all over again and of course help us when we’re having an out of sorts afternoon. 

Another thing I like to do is scour Pinterest for easy toddler crafts and keep them in my aresenal. The mess is completely worth it!

My daughter loves to help so I try to incorporate her in my household tasks and when she is feeling ‘important’ and ‘cooking’ she is less likely to meltdown. 

Lastly I place children’s books in my library hold list, that way they are waiting to be picked up in the reserve section with any nontoddler reserved material I may have requested. That way even if my daughter is with me when I pick up the books it is easier to conceal the ones for her than it would be if we chose them directly from the children’s section of the library. Being stealthy pays off as I can surprise her with a new book and stop a tantrum in its tracks as I did yesterday with a new to her Peppa Pig book.

Now I am totally a work in progress on this and far from an expert in toddler mood wrangling. So am soliciting for advice: do any of you have any tricks of the trade? 

Have a wonderful week!


Friday Favorites

Good morning! I am linking up with AndreaNarci and Erika for Friday Favorites. 

Life Changer:

Okay, finally getting on the coconut oil bandwagon might be the smartest thing I’ve accomplished in 2017. I drink a small spoonful in my morning coffee–I enjoy the flavor and as an added bonus my lips end up feeling moisturized! Speaking of moisturizer, I slather it on my skin and it makes my skin feel incredibly soft but not at all greasy. I don’t even need to use it every day as on day two after application my skin still feels so soft. 

Home Improvements:

We have been so busy with simultaneous remodeling projects–the upheaval is not fun but watching things progress has been really inspiring. Love seeing our much loved house get a face lift! 

Cancer Awareness:

My dear friend was recently diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at the age of 44. Her prognosis is a good one but she is facing months of treatment followed by surgery. Her battle would almost certainly be less arduous if she had had a colonoscopy sooner but at this point colonoscopies are not typically recommended until age 50. My friend didn’t get hers until her symptoms demanded it. So please, if you are having any persistent gastrointestinal issues, please get the colonoscopy–colon cancer is not exclusively an ‘old person’s disease’.

And if you would like to promote awareness, you may buy this shirt my friend designed here the proceeds all go toward cancer research. 

I hope everyone has a fun weekend!



What’s Up Wednesday

Today I am linking up with ShaySheaffer and Mel for their monthly series: What’s up Wednesday which links up the last Wednesday of every month. 

What We’re Eating This Week:

Monday: Spicy Baked Chicken tacos, a mix and match recipe found here

Tuesday: Take out from our favorite Thai place. Volcano chicken, yum!!!

Wednesday: Baked cheese stuffed shells with salad and garlic bread.

Thursday: Vegetable soup and apple muffins. 

Friday/Sat: TBT 

What I am reminiscing about:

I LOVED delving into my photo archives for yesterday’s Show and Tell Tuesday post. You can read that post here.

What I am loving:

Assembling goodies for Easter baskets. I got this sweet bunny purse for my two year old daughter. 

It can be found here.

What I am dreading:

Our upcoming kitchen remodel. As excited as I am to have a new kitchen, the upheaval will be tough. 

What I am working on:

Lots and lots of appointments and decisions for our various remodeling projects. 

What I am excited about:

Our roof being finished! Today is day three and both my toddler and my dog are at their wit’s end with all of the noise and commotion. 

What I’m reading/watching:

Shauna Niequist’s Bread and Wine. And as for TV I have been watching The Voice. 

Listening to:

This week it has been hammering, hammering, hammering from 7 AM until 7 PM. But the end result will be a nice new roof. 

What I am wearing:

Lots of layers as the temperature can fluctuate wildly. Lots of Hunter Rain boots as we have had tons of rain and then mud. 

What I am doing this weekend;

Lots and lots of errands! We have so much to take care of regarding our remodeling! 

What I am looking forward to:

Easter! Bunny pictures at the mall, egg hunts, beautiful service at church, a great meal with family–I love it all!

What else is new:

My stepson just began golf team which is exciting!

Favorite spring wardrobe piece:

A pedicure!!!! Does that count!?! A pedicure ALWAYS makes me feel prepared for the arrival of spring!

Show and Tell Tuesday: Top 5 pictures

Today I am linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday, today’s prompt is to share our top 5 pictures.  

This was my first ‘bump’ picture deep into pregnancy. First pregnancy pictures get a lot of attention!

This is my daughter at about 4 months old. This makes me chuckle because my now two year old daughter’s days of lounging around the house in a cream colored Janie and Jack sweater are WAY behind her as I imagine it would only last minutes before it succumbed to ketchup stains! 

As evidenced in this photo taken when she was about 14 months old–I was making no bake cookies involving lots and lots of chocolate and allowed my daughter to ‘lick the spatula’ for the first time!

This one was taken more recently and although our outfits are obscured we are representing our team, The Green Bay Packers. little Miss’s big smiles *may* have more to do with the accompanying snacks than by the game. 

Okay for something totally different! My stepson about 5 years ago requested a Halloween costume that was both scary AND funny. Pinterest to the rescue! This costume in which he is holding his own head in a jar was a BIG hit during trick or treating as were the subsequent photos. The best part? It only cost us about $5.00 in materials. We used my husband’s old overcoat so all that we needed to purchase were some extra safety pins and a gigantic plastic jar of cheese puffs from Sam’s Club. 

This was fun! I can’t wait to snoop through everyone’s photos!



Weekend Recap

Good morning! Lots of commotion at my house today as we’re having our roof replaced. Quite a jolt to my Monday at 7:15 AM having the workers banging away AND my dog barking hysterically AND my two year old frantically shaking her tambourine!

Luckily I am still riding the wave of a great weekend which makes it easier to brush off the upheaval today. 

Friday night I met a girlfriend for dinner and A LOT of laughter. And I took exactly zero pictures. Too busy enjoying her company to even think to document it. We sat for 2.5 hours but we were sure to WAY over tip our waitress, like I think we gave her a 60% gratuity to offset the fact we were hogging her table for much of prime dinner time. 

Saturday meant errands too mundane to discuss here. And we visited my stepson at his place of employment for lunch. I will be so happy when winter hat season is behind us as my daughter’s fine toddler hair does not survive outerwear. #messyhairdontcare

For dinner my husband and stepson made chicken kick for dinner–it is a Cajun-y pasta with chicken (duh), andouille sausage and lots of peppers. It was wonderful to have a home cooked meal that I had absolutely no hand in preparing! 

Sunday was church–it was camp Sunday where there is a presentation on the various Methodist camps and potential scholarships to them. I missed that portion of the service as I was teaching Sunday school yesterday. But I did get to watch my daughter thoroughly enjoy the tent and pretend campfire that were set up in our fellowship hall during lunch. 

Again, crazy hair–the static electricity generated while rolling around in the tent did not help matters! But would rather see her having fun rather than look perfect. She is dressed super causal because when it was time to leave for church there were torrential downpours so I decided she would be more comfortable in pants. 

For dinner we at an Irish pub/ restaurant. It was delicious but they weren’t really set up for family dining probably because it was more bar and less restaurant. I had misremembered it as being more of a restaurant which had a bar but in actuality it was more of a bar that served great food.  I wanted to eat quickly and get out of there but our food took forever, more than an hour! And the constant refrain in my head was Reese Witherspoon exclaiming about the baby in the bar in a scene from Sweet Home Alabama! #momfail Next time, we’ll get carry out! 

Hope everyone had wonderful weekends as well and managed to keep their toddlers out of inappropriate settings!


This is 44

Last Sunday was my birthday. In the past I’ve invited my parents and in laws over for a celebratory meal which has always been a nice time. But this year I opted to keep it simple and have a quiet day with my husband and daughter, and I am telling you it was the most fantastic birthday I have had in YEARS! 

My husband set an alarm at Midnight the day of my birthday (which I miraculously slept through) as he wanted to be the very first to wish me happy birthday on Facebook. He also wished me a happy birthday in front of the congregation at our church. 

We had take out tacos for lunch and carry out pizza and chicken wings for dinner, so no dishes or kitchen clean up! We napped and watched movies. We went out for frozen yogurt and I had my own cup from which I did not share. #itsthelittlehings

My husband gave me a birthday card that was simultaneously hilarious and incredibly sweet. 

I did not a bit of childcare, Jeff did pretty much everything at his insistence. He even did some cleaning! 

I received my pretty spring purse.

But what I’ll mostly remember from my birthday is feeling so loved. And the laughter, we laughed a lot. And just being totally and utterly relaxed, other than church, we had a completely unscripted day free of commitments.  It made me realize that some years we have so many ‘plans’ that we end up rushing and in many ways fail to connect. Simple was definitely better for me. 

Friday Favorites

Today I am linking up with AndreaErika and Narci for Friday Favorites.

A Purse Never Makes Me Feel Fat:

That has been my motto for years! My daughter is two and we’re working toward potty training. But even when she is out of diapers, I’ll remain her Sherpa hauling tons of stuff everywhere. But I am sick of diaper bags. So I wanted a transitional purse. Obviously I needed size. But I also wanted something easy to clean as my daughter is very prone to playing with my purse and also very prone to playing with markers! Plus sticky fingers… And I wanted something inexpensive because if it did lose the battle with the two year old I didn’t want a major bereavement. Which my friends, is how I ended up with a vinyl purse! Season of life, season of life, season of life.

If this is also your season of life (or if you would simply like an affordable tote in a pretty spring color) you can find it here

Never Grow Up:

I love being home with my daughter–someone remind me of that at 4PM when I am attempting to cook dinner while she simultaneously issues a reign of terror on our dog. As she did last night, I was distracted rolling out my biscuits while she emptied the dog’s water bowl onto herself…sigh. But back to my initial sentiment, I do love being home because there are far too many sweet moments to fit into my blog. For instance making tea and serving it in her plastic tea set. It was only a smidegeon of extremely weak tea with lots and lots of milk but Julia felt very grown up! 

We had a tea party at her little table and chairs set. She was so tickled to be entertaining momma at her table. I wish I had photos but I purposely kept my phone away as I wanted it to be an experience and not a photo op. Good for life but perhaps bad for the blog. 

Another sweet moment was coming across the table Julia had set. That upside down fork carefully placed on the wrong side of the plate just melts me. Stay two forever!

Throwback Photos:

I love, love, love old photos. I will happily peruse a stranger’s 15 year old yearbook! In that spirit here are some old photos that were shared on social media last weekend in honor of my birthday.

Those are my parents holding me when I was a couple weeks old in all of their 1973 glory. My dad’s white belt is everything to me. 

This one was taken at what I believe was my 10th birthday. It was the morning after my sleepover party. Take note that most of the group opted to lounge in their dance leotards. I was not in a leotard but clearly wanted to wear something equally uncomfortable to watch Saturday morning cartoons in so decided to wear a knee length denim skirt with suntan hued PANTYHOSE!!!!! Also take note of the decor and pin away on your Pinterest boards: Orange table…green shag carpet…table lamp with gold shade sitting askew…hello 1983 on a budget! 

Well this was fun! Come back tomorrow if you want to hear about my birthday weekend. It was the very best birthday I have had in years! 

Have a wonderful weekend!