We'll be counting stars

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Our year was mostly spent preparing for Tucker and then adjusting to life with two kids. 

Babies are a bit all consuming it seems. 

Tucker just turned 4 months old on Christmas Day.

We love him and he's a mellow soul to help balance out our crazy family. He's still a TOTAL mama's boy, and although it's exhausting to be the one he always wants... no one has ever made me feel loved quite like he does. Tucker has eyes only for his mama and he lights up or calms down as soon as he sees me. 
I'm so grateful for this baby boy.

Tucker Stats:
14 lbs 
According to a study we're in at UNC, 
he's testing 2 months ahead in visual, language and fine motor skills!
He's a tad behind in gross motor skills--boy does not want to do tummy time and learn how to roll!
(of course when you can howl and people pick you up why do the hard stuff?)
His eyes are looking more and more brown
His hair is coming in "thick" (for a tippets ;)
He goes to bed at 9:30 and can often sleep til 4:30 or 5
But if not, he'll be up every 2 hours... ooy

Zoey is a crazy whirlwind of a 2 year old! 

We are fully in the throes of tantrums, screaming phase, picky eating, and asserting her independence. 
The doctor says it's because her language skills are so advanced...
whatever that's supposed to mean.
She is a clever girl and often keeps us laughing with her impeccable logic. 
She seems to regularly prove us wrong, or provide a sound argument for what she wants. 
It's a real challenge to feel like we're effectively parenting her,
but when she's interested in being "good" she's about as sweet as they come. 
My favorite is when she comes up out of the blue and says,
"Mama, I love you sooo much!"

Cary and I are exhausted and happy. 

Here's to a fabulous 2014! 

She keeps me laughing

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The latest Zoeyisms

"Dad! kiss Carla bye!" ... haha it cracks me up when she calls me Carla

Grabbing Cary's face "Look at me, look at me! Time Out!"... it's a special moment when your kid throws your words back at you.

Right now we give her stickers for being good (we're trying to reduce tantrums) and she gets so excited. So excited in fact, she now will do things like hit her brother, so she can then kiss him and say sorry, thereby being "good" and getting a sticker.

"Mom, I got a water for you." "Thank you, zoey" "You're welcome, it's pretty good? huh!" 
(I wish you could hear that one in person, hilarious)

We were at a neighbors house and their son runs in "Zoey's pooping!" Since I hadn't packed diapers I said "ok, let's head home." Zoey runs in "No! No! I just tooted!"

Have a very merry Christmas

Friday, December 20, 2013

oooh ee... it's been a busy month! in the best way.

usually the week ticks along with hump day being the most dreadfully long (because cary doesn't get home til 9 pm) and then slowly, finally saturday is here and gone in the blink of an eye.

But this month, we've had so many fun christmas activities the days have flown and then it's like "oh, hey today's Friday! Sweet! Tomorrow we get Cary all day!!" (I also think I'm starting to get the hang of this two kid business... sort of)

Just some of the adventures we've taken Zoey and Tucker on...
horse drawn carriage rides (they're actually really fun when it's 70 degrees out :)

christmas parades,

to see at least 4 different Santas (she still doesn't like him... "I scared of Santa mama!")

a ward christmas party, a neighborhood christmas party, and party with friends

to see lights and the downtown durham christmas trees,

and the creche display (she's equally scared of baby jesus and usually blames him when she wakes up with a nightmare)

This time of year is truly magical and I'm so grateful I get a break from retail/restaurant work to bask in the season and teach my kids about our Savior.

I hope your weekend is full of holiday celebrations!

She doesn't own a dress, her hair is always messy

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

So Zoey had her 2 year check up and is 33 inch tall and 25 lbs. If you believe the saying double your kids height at age 2 and that will be their final height... 5'6'' is respectable. I'm very happy about this ;)

Zoey has also fully embraced the "terrible two's" and I'm struggling with all the tantrums and lashing out; however, at least the girl makes me laugh every day and that makes life better.

Now on to my favorite Zoeyisms of the past week:

-Zoey loves putting on her dad's deodorant. She sneaks into the bathroom when I'm detained with Tucker and smears it all over her armpits and belly. It's weird, at best, to have your 2 year old daughter reek of Old Spice.

-When I tell her she has to hold my hand to cross the street she looks at me matter of factly and says I hold this hand (then grabs her own hand) and walks right into the street.

-Peoples huh? (Her ice breaker throughout the day, said everywhere in relation to anything)

-She loves the disney channel cartoon Doc McStuffins, and so she bought a dr kit with her birthday money. She loves to give me check ups and this is how the latest went...

Z: "Mom, checky heart"
M: "Ok zoey, check my heart"
Z: "Cry Mom"
M: "You want me to cry?"
Z: "Yes"
M: I proceed to fake cry
Z: "Oh don't cry, it don't hurt. I checky knees.... (Big eyes) OH there's a spider in there! You ok. Checky eyes, Checky ears find out how much you grow! (starts singing the Doc McStuffins theme song)

(The take away: Zoey has excellent language skills for a 2 year old. We watch too much tv still. And she's aware of my spider fears and may some day use it against me)

-She's learned most of the song "I am a child of God," but when she gets to the end she sings "teach me all that I must do... to HALLOWEEN!!!!" and then we've lost her. 

-Several months ago she would just yell at us to pray. all. the. time. Now she's decided to interject during prayers what she wants. So we had her say the bedtime prayer last night:

"Thank you for dinner, for juice, for milk, for water, umm yeah, AMEN!"

Tucker's 3 month mark

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tucker is 3 months old!!!!

Hallelujah! We're coming out of the newborn phase and I couldn't be happier!

Baby boy has almost doubled in weight... last weighing in at 13 lb even.
He has started smiling and even having laughing fits. He's still pretty stoic most the time, but will then randomly bust up laughing. It makes my day.

He LOVES zoey and watching her always makes him laugh.
He HATES the car... still... ugh.
His favorite book is chicka chicka boom boom.

Oh and his poop smells like buttered popcorn. 
It's weird, and I'm merely writing this to compare to the next kid, oh and to complain that popcorn might never taste the same ever again.

Family Pictures... that time of year

Sunday, November 24, 2013

We had a friend, Monica, take family pictures last week. I'm realizing it's a lot harder with 4 people to get a good picture--but I'm pretty happy with these!

We're up all night to get lucky

Monday, November 18, 2013

Today is November 18th.

It's Cary's lucky day...
according to a fortune cookie we got in the hospital after Tucker was born.


In Cary's world this means he is going to win the lottery.


I'm trying to convince him that a "lucky day" would be winning $100, $50, heck even $20 and you only need to buy a scratch off to win that...

But, bless his heart, the man dreams big. Ya know. Go big or go home!

So here's hoping and praying he doesn't spend too much on tickets ;) and that maybe we actually do get lucky! How fun would that be? It'd sure make for a good story, and I LOVE a good story.

*Side Note: We realize gambling is wrong and a serious problem for some people and I am not in any way encouraging gambling
**Although I'm fairly positive none of my friends or family buy lottery tickets, I feel obliged to say if you have a problem gambling there is a helpline posted on the back of your ticket (877) 718-5543
***Ok, now stop being a prude and judging. Let Cary have his fun--it's not very often I loosen the purse strings ;)

I'm trying to be like Jesus

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Zoey-isms: Church Edition

Zoey hasn't had so many funny sayings as she has developed an evil cackle. At church she sneezed in Cary's face and then cackled. Everyone around us thought it was hilarious.

On sunday, sacrament meeting was 15 minutes past the hour when the branch president got up to speak. Zoey was totally spent at this point and we told her as soon as he sat down she could go to nursery, so she stands on Cary's lap and screams at him "GET OUT!"

For family home evening, we have been doing the nursery lessons and this week we learned that Jesus and Heavenly Father love us and we can pray when we are thankful, or need help or are scared. Well, that backfired. Now she cries in the middle of the night "DAD!!! I'm scared!!!" And when we ask what she is scared of she always says "Jesus."

We want to sing to you today

Monday, November 11, 2013

Zoey is 2!!!!

I'm inclined to say "I can't believe she's already 2!" or "where did the time go?," but really, I regularly have to remind myself that she's just 2.

Zoey is a bright, clever little girl that is more intelligent than her age signifies. She regularly puts things together I wouldn't expect, asks questions to which I don't know the answers, and seems to be one step ahead of me at all times. The doctor is always shocked at the advancements she's made and honestly so are we.

She is a bundle of energy and rarely pauses to catch her breath. She is also one of the most clumsy little kids I've ever seen!

She loves learning and constantly asks "what's that?"

She forever changed our world 2 years ago and i've finally forgiven her for being 2 weeks late ;)  Although she pushes me to my limits I wouldn't want it any other way. We're truly blessed to have this little spirit help us grow and become better people and parents. We love our Zoey girl and look forward to all the shenanigans we'll have this coming year!

Pizza for birthday dinner

Possibly her favorite part about her birthday: a balloon

Don't touch my toys!

 So excited she got money!

Not my prettiest cookie cake, but it tasted good!
And she even blew out the candle herself!

Pushing her shopping cart of goods

More presents in the mail! Thanks emily

I made her "makeup" (empty containers filled with dried nail polish)
and she loves it. She puts on makeup 20 times a day now.

Help me find a way (ok this song thing may not be working now that I have a toddler)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

(whew long title, no?)

Ok we're 3 weeks into the challenge and we survived Cary's birthday, the fair, and Halloween!

The first week=success! I lost a pound and Cary lost 2 (say what? i know, boys)

The second week I lost another pound! Cary lost 1 pound... he wasn't able to work out much but he still made progress!

The third week... well... I lost 1/2 pound and Cary didn't lose anything. We had a rough week and workouts and healthy eating took a hit.

What I learned from this week?

The importance of starting the day off with a healthy start and not letting your hunger get away from you. On monday, I had a lot of running around and was only able to grab a bar for breakfast and a small sandwich for lunch and by 6 pm this nursing mama was famished! So what did I do? Eat half a frozen pizza... naturally. Yikes. Followed by some pumpkin bread and too many chocolate chip cookies (they were for visiting and home teachees--but when you haven't eaten all day you somehow think that justifies eating ten billion calories in one sitting).

Cary's excuse? He had a sweet invite only job conference at the Umstead Hotel and Spa (that's my man!) and I'm informed he had some of the best meals of his life. (I can't blame him. If I got to eat at 4 star restaurant food for free I'd want to try everything too).

Anywhooooo ... so tidbits for success that I'm gonna be sure to follow this week:

1. Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up 

2. I try to eat something every 3 hours. The 5 "meals" a day doesn't always work for my schedule and I like to eat a more traditional dinner with Cary, but I at least try to squeeze in some fruit or nuts or veggies in between meals.

3. Drink at least 2 liters of water a day, but I'm aiming for more since I'm nursing.

4. Measure proper portions.

5. Make sure every meal has carbs and protein to curb hunger and boost metabolism!

And that's the update. Off I go to walk the kiddos around the block a few times!

This is halloween, this is halloween

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I gotta admit I was the Grinch of Halloween this year.

The stress of coming up with cutesy, matching themed costumes for the family got to me. Too much pressure, too much time and money we don't have led me to curse this silly holiday.

But then the actual holiday rolled around, and my heart grew 3 sizes.

Halloween with Zoey was a blast this year! She finally put on a costume! She mastered "Trick or Treat" followed by "thank you soo much." And she got REALLY excited about the concept of asking for candy and people giving it to you, she started asking everyone she saw.

She's seriously cute that kid.

We had a great day filled with festivities at southern village, neighborhood trick or treating, Chipotle for dinner, and a few treats at the mall too.
 look at tiny t standing!

Next year sure has a lot to live up to :)

Just a man and his will to survive

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Parenting is like psychological warfare

meets advanced torture techniques.

where the enemy employs all the best tactics.

think about it...

those big cute eyes

then BAM loud shrieking noises for no reason for hours on end

a cuddly hug with chubby little fingers wrapped around yours

and BAM bodily fluids coming out of all potential openings all over you

"mom, i want to go to the store with you!"

next thing you know "WAAAAAAAAA, NOOOOOO, GO HOMEEEEEEE" (lying on the disgusting floor)

oh and the sleep deprivation... (just notice when most of my blog posts occur)

Yes, parenting can be wonderful, and your kids are cute and you love them more than anything you've ever loved before--but, if you honestly try to tell me you've never thought the CIA directors developed all their means of extracting info from their harrowing experiences as parents...

well, I won't believe you.

(If you can't tell... today was a parenting fail all around. I lost the battle.
But I'm determined to win the war!
Perhaps I should watch some more Cosby Show and get some expert tactics)

Does whatever a spider can

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I have arachnophobia.

I don't just dislike spiders like normal people do. I'm not just afraid of spiders. It's extreme and irrational.

Despite knowing this, it only enables me to laugh while simultaneously veering on the edge of heart attack.

I have previously posted about spiders here and here.

Now this particular story I'm about to share was foreshadowed by my sister texting me last week telling me about a spider incident in the car and knowing that of anyone, I would be able to appreciate that it scared her. I assured her I most definitely knew how she felt and would have reacted worse.

And thus sets the stage for yesterday's "adventures"

I am participating in a study with Tucker, so I'm heading to my appointment at 1 pm and of course am running a few minutes late (I dare you to get anywhere on time with a newborn... and then please call me and clue me in on how to do this).

I'm about halfway there driving on a two lane back road when a spider crawls on the inside of my windshield right in front of my line of vision. It's about as big as a quarter (Cary says I can't be trusted on size, so read: size of a nickel) and immediately my heart starts racing as the panic attack sets in and my brain is screaming "you're trapped! you're trapped with it about 6 inches aways from you!!! (I'm short ok--I'm pretty close to the windshield).

I veer off the road and precede to jump out of the car. My heart is pounding and I give myself a minute to come up with an attack plan (you'd think it was an episode of the walking dead the way I have to prepare myself for attack). As I look back in the car, shoe poised and ready for the smush, I can't find it.

Now the real panic sets in. My skin is crawling and I'm terrified to get back in the car with that thing lerking anywhere with the advantage of a surprise attack. I call Cary and proceed to cry as I explain my dilemma (now 10 minutes late to my appointment) that I can't get back in the car, but I have to get to my appointment. Oh and this is all just on the side of the road and Tucker is screaming his head off in the carseat--yes, I left my child in the car with the spider while I had a panic attack. Go ahead pile on the mommy guilt. I'm already painfully aware I might not be able to save my own child if a spider were to attack. (Oh and nevermind that no one stopped to ask if everything was ok... better to keep driving past the hysterical girl crying with her vehicle haphazardly pulled off the road, door ajar, and baby in the back.)

Anyhow, Cary finally talks a shred of reason into my brain, that I must get in the car and get to my appointment, so fearfully I get in and continue driving while Cary talks me through the rest of the drive and my eyes nervously dart from corner to corner with the utmost paranoia. (Poor guy probably answered the phone and immediately thought I'd been in an accident, he assured me it only took a few seconds to guess it was just a spider).

I make it to the appointment and jump out of that car and grab Tucker as fast as humanly possible.

Fast forward to the end of the appointment. I now have to drive home.

Well, I know the spider is still in the car so I'm in a bit of a bind. As my heart rate slowly starts to creep up, I pull my boots up by the straps and cautiously enter the car with a nervous sweep of the eyes and attempt to convince myself the spider obviously died during the appointment in the "hot" car (It only got up to 68 degrees yesterday).

About 2 minutes into the drive, Tucker is already screaming (not a fan of the car that one) I decide it would be safest to swing by Cary's building and have him check the car for me.

Well, Cary checks the car and no spider.

I thank him and skeptically get back in the car and start to drive home--Tucker is of course very hungry and very mad at this point.

We barely make it to the edge of campus when the sun shining in my eyes, I pull down the visor and to my horror the spider crawls out of his hiding spot right in front of me. BAHHHH. I veer off the road onto a side street and jump out of the vehicle (yeah, it's still running, middle of the road, blocking a driveway, baby screaming inside) pull out my phone and through tears tell cary he missed the spider!

Well this post is now WAYYYYY too long, so all you need to know is I couldn't get back in that car except to pull Tucker out, and after exclaiming I would have to walk home (still 6 miles), Cary talked the slightest bit of sense into me. The car stayed in the middle of the street until Cary could come save me (20 minutes later) and I waited and rocked my baby to sleep on the side of the street. (Again, despite lots of people passing by on foot, bike and car no one stopped to ask what the heck I was doing... ahh fellow southerners, you disappointed me last night).

Of course, my dilemma is the spider is still in the car. I know it and he knows it.

So, logically, I won't be driving anywhere anytime soon.

Feel free to visit me and the kiddos at the apartment... I'm sure we'll get bored without transportation. Or if you're interested in trading vehicles hit me up, I'm willing to drive anything spider free :)

When the days are cold and the cards all fold

Sunday, October 27, 2013

For those friends not from North Carolina... our state fair is legendary.

It's seriously awesome.

I haven't been anywhere else that has a state fair quite as great.

If you'd like to fly out next October, I'd be happy to take you and show it off.

That being said... taking the littles makes enjoying the fair a little more challenging.

But we had a good time.
We met up with Grandma and Grandpa much to Zoey's excitement... she didn't want anything to do with us the rest of the fair.

The Giant Adirondack chair

And as always the fried foods are a guilty pleasure we look forward to all year... the highlight this year... deep fried samoa girl scout cookies, mmm warm coconut caramel chocolate gooey-ness. Yum.

(Tucker was there. He got 4 vaccinations that morning though, and slept through most of the fair.)