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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Charlie: Eleven Months

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It's SO difficult to believe that the next update I'll be writing will be when Charlie is one full year old.
It's breaking my heart and making me beam with happiness all at the same time because this first year has been so wonderful.
We are so in love with our little man and love him endlessly.

Weight: 18 lbs 9 oz
Height: 28 1/2 inches long
Charlie won't have another checkup again until he's 12 months old (a whole year old!), but I do feel as though he's growing steadily!
Y'all, I took this picture last Sunday & for some reason to me he just looked like such a BIG boy all day. He ate pizza like a big boy (& had the pizza stains to prove it!), was dressed like a big boy, and was talking up a storm in the stores like a big boy. He's so fun!
Charlie's growing out of his nine month clothes at a rapid rate!
I bought size 12 months in a lot of his shorts & t-shirts because they gave a little more room than the 9 month and he's starting to fill them out.
We've found great deals on footie pjs from Old Navy and Target and I've been trying to find some deals on Facebook resale groups for pants & shirts for Fall and Winter.
Some of our favorite clothes are from Smock It Like It's Hot (a Facebook pre-order group) I don't buy many of his clothes brand new, but when I do, many of them come from here.
Charlie's sleeping great; he goes down every night at 7/7:30 and wakes up between 7/7:30 in the morning.
He'll take his first nap at 9:30 AM and his second nap at 1:30 PM
Just going to leave this from month 10-he's still rocking this sleep schedule!
It's not a popular toy for a little guy, but his favorite car-toy is this cow flag that one of our sweet friends handed out to us at a trade show. Charlie loves to have it to play with on card rides and he loves it so much, we even took it on our Chattanooga trip!
Charlie's on a great schedule with two naps per day, four nursing sessions, and three meals of finger foods.
Our local antique store has a quarter pony that is just on a switch so when we were perusing the store the other day, Charlie got his first ride and loved it!
Still a happy, healthy little boy & we are forever thankful!
Basically the only time Charlie cries is when he falls (which happens a lot now that he's trying to walk & pulling up) or when we tell him no. He's such a happy guy!
I do feel the need to put this in this section just because I personally want to remember; but when we tell him no (for example, when he's opening cabinet doors that he's not supposed to) he looks at the cabinet door and shakes his hands and head at it and makes this little pouting noise, almost as though it's the door's fault that he was opening it.
I try very hard to keep a straight face and be stern when telling him no, but that little routine makes it really difficult to stifle my laughter!
Eating! Charlie loves to eat & some of his current faves are cheerios, pizza, pancakes, mangos, cotton candy grapes, and all the berries.
Being outside; he would crawl around and play in the grass all day-he plays so independently outside
Riding the Gator (a utility vehicle we use on our farm)
Mooing at the cows
Playing with his trucks and tractors
This is cotton seed, for those who don't know-it's one of the feed options we use for our cattle at times...Charlie just thinks it's cotton pickin' fun to play in!
Still not a big fan of people he doesn't know really well
Being told no (and so it begins πŸ˜‚)
Has six teeth
Bought his first real pair of cowboy boots (they're adorable)
Had his first sip of Chick-Fil-A lemonade (this is a recognizable milestone in our house πŸ˜‚)
Size 3 diapers
Places You've Gone:
Old School Antiques (a local antique store with a free coin-operated horse that he LOVED to ride!)
Chattanooga to the Commodity Conference
Tennessee Aquarium & loved it!
The last time Charlie went to the aquarium (in Atlanta) he enjoyed it for the colors and movement, this time (in Chattanooga) he enjoyed interacting with the animals & with the divers! I love this picture of him sticking his tongue out!
Mama & Charlie's Favorites:
I picked this book up on a whim from Target when they were having their buy one book, get one half off sale. It's SO cute. I of course love the cow parts, but there are so many funny, sweet parts and I think Charlie likes it, too.
I found this freeze dried fruit at Target and fell in love with it for Charlie.
There are so many different kinds and they're all Charlie's favorites-haha!
The ingredients are simply just fruit and perhaps pectin or cinnamon in the cinnamon apple slices. Charlie really loves the strawberries, raspberries, and apples but there are lots to choose from.
Charlie has tons of clothes, that's no secret.
But although he has an entire drawer full of onesies that are his daily outfit, when the rotation comes to one of his three button front rompers I'm always a little excited.
These are as comfy as a onesie, but they are a little more finished looking and so cute for a little boy.
This is a super affordable sound machine from Amazon & in preparation for our trip to Chattanooga, we purchased a second one since we would be in the same room as Charlie.
I love how loud this little machine gets and the white noise options are great, however they only last one full night on battery power-so either bring extra batteries or the power cords and make sure they're plugged in...don't ask me how I know, but I know πŸ˜‰
When Charlie first started showing interest in pulling up and walking, I picked this toy up from Target. It was the less expensive of the options and Charlie really enjoys it.
It's helping him learn to walk and giving him confidence, plus he just really likes playing with it!
If there is nothing else that you buy from any of my favorites lists, then this is the one thing you need to get!
If it's not available on Amazon, their website is the best place to find out when and where you can purchase.
Basically, Charlie is used to sleeping separately from us & is unable to rest well when he can see/hear us.
The SlumberPod is a breathable, blackout "tent" that fits over your pack-n-play to give your baby an ideal sleep environment.
We didn't get to test it out at home before we left, so I was a little anxious that it wouldn't work, but it worked like a dream.
We were able to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, get up and get ready in the mornings and even pack up without waking him up the final morning.
I can't sing it's praises enough!
Until next time. . .

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

What's Up Wednesday [7.31.2019]

Hi friends!
Can y'all believe that tomorrow is August?!
I'm just in total disbelief at how quickly this year has flown by...but let's jump into What's Up Wednesday!

1. What We're Eating This Week. . .
This week is a crazy one!
Monday, I had to go to Auburn to the Vet School to take Forrest to get a booster shot so my sister & I (and Charlie & Forrest) ended up grabbing some Chick-Fil-A and having an impromptu picnic on the lawn at Samford Hall with Charlie & Forrest-so fun!
Tuesday was my brother-in-law's birthday, so my MIL cooked & Chris brought me a plate from there. She cooked fried chicken & it was divine.
Today is a busy, busy day because we leave for a conference tomorrow & I've got lots of canning & cleaning to do (not to mention packing) so I'm thinking that some pork chops will be thrown on the grill this evening.
Thursday-Sunday we'll be out of town, so those will be dinners with friends & banquet meals.
2. What I'm Reminiscing About. . .
This is the same thing I was reminiscing about last month-but I'm still hung up on looking through my baby's pictures from when he was little!
He'll be one in September and I love, love, love the stage he's in now but I miss my teeny-tiny sleeps all the time babe.
3.What I'm Loving. . .
The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
I've been trying to get back into doing some canning and preserving this Summer & this book is basically the Southern gal's Bible when it comes to putting up fruits and veggies.
I've followed several recipes out of this one & they always turn out just right. The fig jam recipe is awesome!
Clinique SuperBalanced Makeup
I try not to wear foundation on a regular basis, especially since I'm usually just at the farm or home with Charlie. But when I do put on makeup and need it to last, I've been leaning on this foundation & loving it! It lasts literally all day and blends on my skin just right. I'm a big fan.
Target Woven Mules
I purchased these at the beginning of the Spring & have worn them on and off all Spring & Summer long. They have worn really well and are awesome for times when your pedicure doesn't look great or for whatever reason. The price is right on them too & they'll look great going into Fall.
Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Toner
I got a sample of this in my last Sephora Play! box & it's been one of my all-time favorite things I've gotten in there. It's a chemical exfoliant and it's been really helping my skin tone in the past week or so that I've been using it. After having Charlie, my skin has changed SO much and I haven't been able to use many of my favorite skincare products it's been looking less than wonderful. But AHA is safe for breastfeeding so I'm happy to have finally found something that is making a difference & is safe!
4. What We've Been Up To. . .
Things have been crazy busy, but as always-fun!
We've been making a point to spend more time at the farm lately & Charlie is loving it. He likes to check cows on the Gator & moo at them (he's a farm boy from the start πŸ˜‚).
Chris & I have also been enjoying a lot of at-home date nights and they're pretty much my favorite. We have two great outdoor spaces and have been soaking them up after Charlie's bedtime. It's nice to light the Big Green Egg, sit back in a patio chair, ice down something in your Yeti cup, and just hang out with your best friend.
We also made a trip (myself, Charlie, my sister Julie, and Forrest) to Auburn for Forrest's booster vaccines and had the best time. I always leave wishing we could've spent even more time!
5. What I'm Dreading. . .
There are a lot of things that I'm putting out of my mind because I'm dreading them, but I'm not going to dwell on them today because I'm so excited for a weekend away with my two guys that nothing is going to dampen that.

6. What I'm Working On. . .
Currently working on canning tomatoes & peaches.
I love fresh produce, but we can only eat so much and we love having "fresh" fruit throughout the year so the best way to do that is to can.
It's an old-fashioned thing that I really enjoy.
7. What I'm Excited About. . .
This weekend!
We're heading to the Alabama Farmer's Federation's Commodity Conference which is being held in Chattanooga, TN this year and we're looking forward to seeing friends we don't see often and squeezing in a quick aquarium trip for Charlie. 
Our friends are also up for a big award this weekend & so I'm looking forward to seeing the results for that, too.

8. What I'm Watching/Reading. . .
Still trying to get through Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered. It's so hard to focus on a book, so it's going to take me forever to get through it but I'm almost done. And I have SO many books on backup.
As far as watching, I recently binged the first season of The Society on Netflix and really ended up surprising myself by liking it. Now I've moved onto Downton Abbey on Amazon Prime and I totally get the hype. It's really good.
Also, watching the new season of Harlots on Hulu and loving it.

9. What I'm Listening To. . .
I've been listening to Murder Squad podcasts and lots of 80's & 90's country on XM Prime Country.

10. What I'm Wearing. . .
Constantly just rotating between my comfort color tees and Nike shorts with no shame πŸ˜‚.
I never posted about my N-Sale finds, but I will share them here because I'm getting SO excited to be able to wear them (whenever Alabama weather decides to chill out-literally).
Nike Dry Tempo Shorts
Currently sold out on the Nordstrom website, but they had these for $22 during the sale & I had a $20 Nordstrom Note, so I spent it on these because you can never have too many pairs of these as often as I wear them.
Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Lite Island Cardigan in Bisque
This is still available on sale & I highly recommend it.
It's still pricey, but these cardigans are so good. This is actually my fifth(?) Barefoot Dreams piece (all in different styles and colors) but I can't get enough because I wear them daily during the Fall & Winter.
When I was teaching, I lived in these all year long.
SPANX Faux Leather Leggings
These leggings are always super hyped up & usually sell out very early during the Nsale so I ended up just grabbing them to try, knowing I would get free shipping & returns so I didn't feel too much pressure.
Well, I thought I would send them back but y'all-they're really good. They're comfortable and light, not restricting at all like you would think SPANX would be, they hold everything in but are still comfy. And the faux leather doesn't look cheap at all. I can't wait to wear this Fall with tall boots and tunics or sweaters.
I've been on the hunt for some more great basic tees that I can wear with shorts or jeans, basically ones to wear lots of different ways and I had heard great things about this brand.
They were under $20 a piece, so I snagged the red & the white and was pretty happy with both. I think they'll look especially good with leggings this Fall because of the tunic length.

11. What I'm Doing This Weekend. . .
We leave for Chattanooga on Thursday afternoon, so we'll be doing farm tours on Friday (we're headed to a big dairy & a winery!) and then we have a dinner on Friday night with the State Young Farmer's Committee.
Saturday we have some seminars we're going to go to and then hopefully the aquarium before a banquet that evening. Sunday morning we'll do breakfast & head home (or take Charlie to the aquarium if we didn't get to go on Saturday.)
It's going to be a busy, but fun weekend!

12. What Else Is New. . .
I can't think of anything else, although I wish y'all could come and keep me company while I can and clean and pack today, I know my mama-heart would love to have some grown up conversation πŸ˜‚
Until next time. . .

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Christmas in July with Basic Invite

Don't get me wrong, I love Summer.
I adore Summer.
The swimming, the Fourth of July, the sun going down later, grilling out, sipping wine on the patio, trips to the beach...I love all of that.
But, around July-especially here in Alabama, the heat starts getting to your head & you start wishing for those cooler Fall days (which don't come until basically October down South).
And then after wistfully thinking of Fall, you start having visions of pine trees decked out in the Christmas best and homes decorated in holly and ribbon and wrapping paper galore!

Just me? I doubt it!

Seriously though, with those visions of cooler days ahead I can't help but start daydreaming about our photo Christmas cards-one of my favorite things about the holiday season.
My husband & I have done Christmas cards every single year that we've been together & almost every year, it's been a mad-rush to try to pick just the right one and get it just right in time for delivery to mail out to all of our friends and family. And guess what? I'm usually still not 100% satisfied with something about the card.

Cue Basic Invite-the card design website that gives you the ability to get everything just right (including the price).
Here are a few things that set Basic Invite apart from some of the other "Big Name" card companies out there. . .
Almost Unlimited Colors
Basic Invite is actually one of the few websites out there that allow their customers the ability to choose almost unlimited color options & you get an instant preview online. You can select and change the color of each individual element on the card with over 180 options.
This means the cards are 100% personalized to you & it greatly decreases the odds that your cards will be carbon copies of anyone else!
Custom Samples
Basic Invite is an anomaly in another area-they are one of the few websites that allow their customers to order a printed sample of their actual invite so they can see what it looks like in real life and test the paper quality as well before they commit to a full-sized order.
Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes
Basic Invite is just as colorful with their envelopes as they are with their invitations!
They allow their customers to choose from over 40 different color options for envelopes so that they can make their invitation or card stand out before the reciever even options it.
The envelopes are also peel and seal so that the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed-with no licking required!

Address Capturing Service
Basic Invite also offers an address capturing service that allows their customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends & family's addresses which will then be stored directly in that customers Basic Invite account & then can be selected for use during the design products.
Basic Invite also offers recipient address printing at no cost on all card orders-perfect for streamlining your Christmas card orders or even party invitations!
A beautiful addition to Basic Invite is their availability of foil designs in gold, silver, and even the ever-popular rose gold. Customers can choose from flat or raised foil on all of the foil designs that Basic Invite offers.
I had the opportunity to test out some of Basic Invites products and while I'm not quite ready for Christmas cards (I want to wait until Charlie is one in September to start planning for those photos!) I did want to test out the quality by choosing some stationary to refill our card drawer and y'all-I was so, so impressed.
It was so easy to select the different color aspects and the cards really feel personalized.
I also loved that you could adjust the different elements and change the fonts & font sizes.
It was an awesome experience & I can't wait to start working on our Christmas cards!

They even have options for your business' Christmas cards if you send those out, options start as low as $.82!
So tell me, are you getting excited for holiday photo cards too? Or maybe just for the cooler weather that comes along with all the holiday things?! πŸ˜‚
If you do decide to check out Basic Invites selection of holiday cards, make sure you use the code 15FF51 to get 15% off your order-this is an awesome deal and you'll already have something checked off of your Christmas to-do list!

Until next time. . .

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Charlie: Ten Months

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Weight: 18 lbs 9 oz
Height: 28 1/2 inches long
Charlie won't have another checkup again until he's 12 months old (a whole year old!), but I do feel as though he's growing steadily!
I've finally cycled pretty much all of his six months clothes out of his wardrobe & he's steadily filling out the 9 month outfits, so I've been focusing on buying 12 month clothes for the end of summer & fall (it's insane that I'm thinking about Fall)
Also, if y'all have any suggestions on footie pajamas in sizes 12/18 months please let me know!
Charlie's sleeping great; he goes down every night at 7/7:30 and wakes up between 7/7:30 in the morning.
He'll take his first nap at 9:30 AM and his second nap at 1:30 PM
He's an awesome sleeper!
Charlie loves his Mom's on Call schedule. We technically are somewhere between the 6-7 month and the 8-10 month schedule and I don't foresee us moving to the 11 month schedule because it's not breastfeeding friendly.
Charlie is still a super healthy guy!
He had his 9 month checkup at the end of June & his pediatrician was very impressed with his lack of sick visits this year. He did have some sort of slight summer cold the past week or two, but it cleared up on it's own and didn't really effect him.
Very little crying for our sweet, loving guy.
Pretty much unless he's overtired he's a happy, go-lucky kind of boy.
Charlie still loves to eat: his current faves are berries, mango, green peas, and any and all breakfast foods.
Sitting in his own chair.
Riding on his toy truck, tractor, or car.
Petting Forrest
Playing outside
Hats (most of the time)
Having his diaper changed/laying on his changing table
Has four teeth
Began pulling up on furniture
Can cruise along furniture or holding someone's hands
Experienced his first Fourth of July
Can now sit at the table in his booster seat without the tray (if needed)
Places You've Gone:
Sand Harbor Fireworks
Mama & Charlie's Favorites:
Don't get me wrong, I love Charlie in a sweet bubble or jonjon, but as we slowly inch toward one year I am trying to put him in more separates like these short & shirt combos (that are still SO sweet!
They just look a little bit more mature, but don't worry-we're still going to wear our bubbles as long as Daddy will let us!
Charlie is a really independent little guy who loves practicing using a fork, I picked these up from Target in a pack of three for four dollars and they work really well for him.
They even have a little kickstand under the bottom so that the tines don't touch the table when he sits the fork down.
I've gone back and forth trying to find a sippy cup for Charlie.
He doesn't take a bottle often, so I didn't want to start that after he was a year old so we tried several different cups. Our pediatrician recommended that we only use a straw or 360 type cup (for his teeth) and so we stuck with this one and he's actually really getting good at using it!
Charlie got a lovie blankie from this brand at one of my baby showers & he loves it so much.
He doesn't take a paci anymore and so he uses this when he goes down for a nap and to sleep at night.
Charlie has several of these "Noisy" books and he loves them all!
They have textures to feel, sounds to play, and words to have a story.
These books are also super durable and are some of the only ones I can leave out for him to look at because they're very difficult to tear up.
My parents got Charlie this riding truck as a gift and he loves it so much.
He not only likes to sit on it and push the buttons and push himself around the floor, he also loves to push it around and practice walking.
It also has a little storage inside of the seat and so he keeps some toys in there, too πŸ˜‰
Out of all of the things that are on this months list, these are the one thing you should immediately add to your cart!
I have two silicone placemats, but they don't work in every single restaurant (if the tabletop is textured or if there is a fabric topper on the table), so these sticky placemats work great.
They have a sticky strip on four sides and you just peel it off and stick them to the table.
They come off pretty cleanly (the residue comes off with soap and water) and Charlie hasn't torn one off yet which is saying something because he definitely tries.
These that I have come in three packs of twenty so I just toss one twenty-count in his diaper bag. They're also pretty to look at!

Well y'all, the next time I share our boy will be eleven months old-and then a year!

Until next time. . .
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