Being a “Boy Mom”

Well, parenting boys has been a real adventure.  I mean it.  It has been eye opening and at times shocking.  Sometimes I get really pissed and sometimes I laugh my ass off at my boys.  There are definitely things you must get use to to survive being a “Boy Mom”.

Here goes:

10.  Noises from the body.  Honestly, I have never really had an issue with this one b/c my family has always bored a little on the crass side with burping and farting and I can see the humor in it.  However, my boys take this to a whole new level.  They drink liquid just to see who can burp the loudest.  It goes on for hours (not really but it seems that way).  The farting gets on my nerves. My oldest spawn thinks it is super funny to come up to another family member and pass gas directly on us or in our face.  That is just rude and I tell him that every time.  It doesn’t seem to sink in.  Even when I yell and get crazy, I see him disappear around the corner and giggle.  UGH!!!!!!!

9. Hungry Much:  I always heard boys could eat you out of house and home. Well, it is absolutely true.  I only have two and we go to Costco once a week.  Yep, you heard me right.  We buy those big cartons of fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and grapes) and these monkeys wipe it out.  Sometimes they eat more than John and I eat in a seating.  And they are always snacking.  The snacking never ends.  My pantry door doesn’t get a break after school and on the weekends.  I dread when they are teenagers.

8.  Safety:  It doesn’t exist with boys.  Their frontal lobe of their brains don’t develop until late in life…you know…the part that actually thinks through actions and sees the possible results or consequences.  My youngest spawn wouldn’t care what the consequences and results are, he would do it anyway.  He is 110% all the time whether he should be or not.  He runs as hard and fast as he can, he climbs up things that weren’t meant for humans and has literally had more black eyes than I can count.  We have had stitches, a bead up a nose, tons of scraps and bruises and just recently staples in the head.  Funny enough, most of the serious injuries have been with my oldest.  I blame his parents because we don’t hover over him so much.  He is my calm, responsible child.  Maybe I should rethink my take on him since the staple incident.  Don’t worry, I say my prayers regularly in hopes that they don’t end up with worse injuries.  Our charts at Children’s Hospital are impressive.  We are lucky though….no broken bones yet…but my oldest is only 5.  I’m not sure what is going to happen when we add a 3rd child!  Yeesh…especially if it is another boy.

7.  Bath Time:  This might be my favorite because I don’t get crazy on this one.  John does.  Boys do not calmly bath themselves.  Our bath time looks like a bomb went off in the bathroom.  Water on the walls, on the floors, on the parents.  John usually loses it at least once a bath night.  Our youngest spawn can’t control himself (frontal lobe issues) and has been yanked out of the bath more times than I can count for his bad behavior.  Not to mention…they love to pass gas in the bathtub and grab each other (see #4).  Nothing sets the giggles off from my two like seeing bubbles rising in the bath!

6.  Clothes are a joke:  Clothes are a joke to my boys.  They only wear them because I tell them they have to everyday.  They ruin them.  You wouldn’t believe the things I find grinded into their school uniforms and everyday clothes.  I can’t tell you how many how to remove the stain articles I have read and followed.  So if you see me out and my kids look rough, yep, squarely blame it on me.  It is totally not worth putting them in nice clothes.  I’m fine with being judged in this regard.

5. Clothes really are a joke:  There is nothing my boys enjoy more than their own bodies.  One of their favorite things to do: get out of the bathtub and run around nude.  They chase each other, they wrestle and hit each other….all while nude.  I imagine my house on any given day or night might look like a scene from a Greek bath.  Not to mention, they love laying in bed with no clothes on.  Can’t say I blame them.

4.  Touching it:  This goes with the nudity.  I have never witnessed the likes of what my boys do everyday.  They are always touching themselves. Grabbing their “tallywhackers” as we call it in our household, is a hobby, a way of life, a leisurely activity.  I can’t tell you how many times a day it happens but it could be while eating a meal (yep, they go right back to eating after the grabbing), in the bath, watching tv, hanging out with friends and family, and most inappropriately in public.  I have become immune to it but it still is crazy to watch!

3.  And the Award goes to:  I thought girls were dramatic…ha…that’s a joke.  My boys are all drama.  If they aren’t fighting over something, they are whining about something and the crying never ends.  No, it is not a lack of parenting.  They are just dramatic.  The emotional meltdown that transpired after the oldest spawn gets beaten hanging on the monkey bars by the youngest spawn is one to remember.  Or the sob fest that the youngest spawn has every night when he can’t use mouthwash like the oldest spawn.  Or the epic meltdown when I ask oldest spawn to make his bed in the morning and put his pjs away.  Or every Friday morning, both kids not wanting to get out of bed because they are so tired from the week.  Whining, crying, pouting.  It never ends.

2. Messy:  I should have known better.  My husband wasn’t exactly a neat freak when I met him.  He had mildew on his towels and it didn’t bother him.  I should have known what came from his loins would be no different.  My boys have been known to drag every toy known to man out into the floor and then be upset that there is no more room to play with even more toys.  Clean it up!  Yeah, right!  Dropping blobs of food on your clothing would concern most…not my boys.  Having a bowel movement in your pants while at the park would entice most of us to want a change.  Not my boys.  They go for the dramatic fit (see #3) because they have to stop playing at the park.  Or how about peeing on the toilet then dripping it down their legs.  Nah, no biggie, they don’t clean up the toilet (see #1) and they wipe it off their legs with their pants.  Awesome.

And for the grand finale….

1.  The never ending battle with the toilet.  Seriously, I never imagined this one would be so hard or gross. I thought it should be fun for the boys.  You get to hit the target.  Oh, yeah….not so easy.  In the short time they use the potty, their minds wander and there is pee on the other parts of the toilet, the floor and walls.  Really!?!  Mind boggling.  I try to be diligent about making sure they do a good job with putting the lid down.  Unfortunately, it backfired.  They leave the seat down and pee on it.  Then I sit in it.  Yuck.  And flushing…this is a hit or a miss.  Sometimes they do it.  Sometimes they don’t.  Cleaning up after boy’s in a bathroom is just simply gross.

For all of you “Boy” moms out there, I salute you.  We live in a war zone everyday and sometimes it is hard to come out on the other side with our sanity!

Taylor’s Milk and Cookies Baby Shower

We traveled home to NC over Memorial Day and I was one of many hostesses for my cousin Taylor’s baby shower.  We decided on a milk and cookies theme because if you know anything about Tay, she loves milk and sweets!  It was an absolute perfect day for an outdoor shower and we were lucky enough to host it at Shuford House DSC_1950in downtown Hickory.  It DSC_1949was such a lovely location that a wedding party showed up for photos.

We decided on a rustic theme with light coral and light aqua as our color selection.  Those colors are some of Tay’s favorites.  My super crafty cousin and sister to the mom-to-be, Mackenzie Queen, made most of the decorations with a little help from the rest of the hostesses.  She has her own store and makes the cutest home decor.  Check it out at D&M Designs.


Here are some of her creations used at the shower.


If you noticed the bows and mustaches in the pic, my dear friend Kristen Lail made these and man, were they super nice.  She brought them with her all the way from Cali!  Here is the tutorial.  The Take A Guess chalkboard was courtesy of Homegoods and will go in Baby Pugh’s nursery!  Tay took it home and we will see soon, who was the closest!  We also used If You Give A Mouse A Cookie for a guest book and we also sent the guests home with a big cookie!

Another important aspect to this baby shower was the food.  All the food you see is gluten free because Taylor has celiac disease.  Although you would think it would be tough to come up with cookies, baked goods and desserts that are gluten free, it wasn’t at all!  Everything we made fit the bill!

On the menu, we had milk shake shooters that were as simple as making vanilla and chocolate milkshakes and pouring it into shot glasses.  Another fantastic treat were the gluten free chocolate chip cookies by Immaculate Baking Co!  These are the best gluten free cookies I have ever had and they are take and bake straight from Harris Teeter.  Other stores carry them as well.  We also served rice krispy treats, cupcakes from My Local Bakery, fruit skewers, and strawberry lemonade push pops (recipe courtesy of Push-up Pops by Courtney Dial Whitmore).


Get these shot glasses off of Amazon or any kitchen supply website!


Best Gluten free cookies ever! The jar should say Baby Pugh! My brain is mush!


The cupcake stand was courtesy of Mac! The adorable pendants were bought on easy at angieheartsjared.



These are beyond easy and great for kids and adults! The wood blocks were made by John! Drill some holes and paint!













Cutting up the fruit and threading on the skewer takes some time but the presentation makes it worth it!











The buffet came together beautifully thanks to a fantastic group of ladies!

For beverages, we provided a milk bar, tea, and flavored water with small milk bottles for cups.


These bottles were adorable and reusable!


Love the mason jar drink dispensers!


Got to have all 3: Strawberry, Chocolate and Just Plain-o Milk!

Here is a few shots of the shower!

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Mom-to-Be Tay, Aunt-to-Be Mac and Grandma-to-Be Patty


Tay and the Hostesses!


This is our Grandmother Marge and her granddaughters. She turned 88! We sang Happy Birthday to her!










Tay, we hope you enjoyed your self and we can’t wait to meet Baby Pugh!

Penny Dreadful…Showtime has a hit on their hands

First, let me say, I don’t do horror.  At all.  I just find no need for it.  I don’t enjoy being scared.  Matter of fact, I just hate it.  But what I do love is all things Victorian England and paranormal stories.  I know…very strange combo and considering a good deal of paranormal stories have been turned into bloody horror films/tv shows.  But I can admit, I love Vampire Diaries and the Originals.  Sue me.  Well, I am eating my words a bit with this series….I love Penny Dreadful even though it is horror. It is full of all the things I love and hate in a tv series.  Should be interesting to see if I last to the end!

This is Showtime’s description of the show: Some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. PENNY DREADFUL is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.

Without really even looking at the show page, I decided to watch it based off a preview.  That isn’t like me at all.  I usually research things to death before I commit.  Well, I didn’t this time and I am glad I just went for it.  I was hooked after the first episode.  It pulled me right in.


The cast is fantastic and includes a number of movie actors: Eva Green (I think she is absolutely stunning and loved her in Casino Royale) as the mysterious and alluring medium Vanessa Ives, Timothy Dalton as the brave explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, and Josh Hartnett playing a role that fits him well, a befuddled American named Ethan Chandler who doesn’t understand what’s going on, but is willing to come on the ride along.  We are also introduced in the first episode to Harry Treadaway as Victor Frankenstein.  This group comes together to help Sir Malcolm on his quest to rescue his daughter (the future Mina Murray who is more than likely based on Mina Harker from Bram Stoker’s Dracula) from what Vanessa refers to as “the demi-monde” .  Vanessa explains it to “A half world between what we know and what we fear,” Vanessa explains. “A place in the shadows, rarely seen but deeply felt.” A place where “unfortunate souls are cursed to live always.”

There have only been two episodes this season so far and I believe only 8 are slotted for the season.  Episode Two didn’t disappoint.  Enter Dorian Gray.  I love him in literature and I sure do think I am going to love him on this show. Wow.

Watch it.  Be intrigued with me.


Tease Trailer by Sophie Jordan

TEASE by Sophie Jordan
Book 2 of The Ivy Chronicles
On-sale 5/27/2014

A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She’s always chosen her hook-ups carefully, and she’s never broken her three cardinal rules:

· Never let them see the real you.
· Never fall in love.
· Always leave them begging for more.

Then comes Shaw. A hottie from the wrong side of the tracks, he’s immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn’t even try to take her to bed-he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy dark-eyed bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.

But instead of making Shaw beg, she finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she’s throwing out her rulebook. Suddenly, she’s the one panting for a guy she can’t control. A guy who won’t settle for anything less than the real Emerson, who forces her to do things she’s never imagined, including facing a past she thought she’d buried.

A guy who just might leave her wanting more . . .

Sophie Jordan is an international and New York Times bestselling author whose books include historical romances and the Firelight series. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-television shows. She lives in Houston.


Rachel Van Dyken’s Entice Blog Tour and Review



From #1 New York Times Bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken comes the third book in the bestselling Eagle Elite Series…
“As burns this saint, so burns my soul. I enter alive, and I will have to get out dead.”
Chase Winter let the love of his life slip through his fingers and into the hands of his best friend and mafia boss of the Abandanato family. Now that he’s been given a second chance to right a wrong–he refuses to let his own selfishness stand in the way. The only problem? He’s not fully in possession of his heart, so when Mil De Lange, the girl who’s innocence he stole, and heir to the worst of the worst mafia families in the US, asks him for a favor. He actually says yes, not realizing that that one yes has the power to destroy them all.
Mil’s been in love with Chase as long as she can remember, but as the years went by, the love turned to hate, and now that he’s agreed to help her, she’s wondering if she made a fatal error. Because Chase isn’t a teenager anymore. He’s a hot blooded male, bent on owning every part of her body and soul, and willing to kill anyone in his path who dares stand in the way.
It’s time for secrets to finally be revealed…but make no mistake, it’s going to take a lot of bloodshed for those truths to be discovered.
You’ve never read a New Adult Mafia story like this before…loyalties will be tested, lovers reunited, and friendships obliterated. Welcome to the Family. Blood in–No out.


Rachel Van Dyken’s Eagle Elite series is packed with action, romance and a ton of suspense.  In Entice, we are once again submerged into the mafia world.  Entice picks up right where Elect left off.  The Mafia is still in turmoil as each of the four heads t fight for control. While the previous two books were in Nixon’s perspective, Entice introduces us to Chase and Mil.

After being the 3rd wheel in the love triangle with Trace and Nixon in the first two books, I couldn’t wait for Chase to get his chance at happiness.  I always feel a bit for the underdog and man, he was the underdog in the first two books.  Honestly, I was more attracted to Chase’s character than Nixon’s.  Now, the romance in Entice came with an unexpected twist with Mil but she was super entertaining.  Being the only female mafia head would make any of us a bit uptight, aggressive and a little crazy.   The quick relationship between the two actually worked not only because it was forced due to circumstances involving the shaky ground in the mafia works, but their personalities differences is what made them compatible and believable.

Chase and Mil’s romance provides a welcome diversion from the crazy chaos surrounding them as the mafia world begins to crumble a bit.  The story moves at a ridiculously fast pace.  I couldn’t put it down and I couldn’t believe the ending.  I was actually shocked.  Didn’t see that one coming but I guess I should of….Elicit is going to rock our worlds.  I loved the chapters in Tex’s POV.  His character might be the most fascinating yet!  Can’t wait for it’s release.  The Eagle Elect series will not disappoint! ≈



About Rachel Van Dyken:

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at


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“Ten bucks says the only person not packing is Mils grandma by marriage.” Mo said once we’d all finished eating our dinner, which has basically been a painful process of chewing, swallowing,drinking unhealthy amounts of wine and trying to stare at my plate to keep from looking at Trace, while my wife sat next to me. Hell had officially risen to earth and I was smack dab in the middle of it trying my damndest to remember how to swallow without choking — without dying a little bit inside each time I saw him touch her face. And trying not to feel like an ass when Mil caught me staring — again. I’d resolved about an hour ago to actually be the man she needed me to be and I was already failing. Horribly. The second time I looked,Mo kicked me under the table but accidentally hit Tex instead causing everyone to look up, which was probably why Mo said what she did.
We all turned heads to look at the hundred year old woman. She was currently on her fourth glass of wine and looked to be about two seconds away from falling into her chicken cacciatore.
“Nope.” Nixon shook his head. “It’s always the ones you don’t expect. My money’s on Grandma.”
“I’ll take that bet.” Tex rose. “Seems like someone needs to fall on their own knife and all that. This has to be the most depressing wedding I’ve ever gone to and that includes the fake one Mo made for her kittens when she was four.”
“They lived happily ever after.” Mo tilted her head into the air and narrowed her eyes.
Tex leaned down and tapped Mo on the nose. “Yes if happily means they lived for five damn minutes before marching directly into oncoming traffic.”
“I think the wedding just hit its low point.” Mil muttered. “Save us, Tex. I beg you. Find the gun and I’ll give you a prize.”
“Prize?” Tex’s eyes lit up. “As in—”
“As in her new husband won’t punch you in the face. You’re welcome. Yay, prizes.” I did a fake punch into the air. “Now go create some excitement before Nixon starts picking people off with his semi-automatic.”
Nixon rolled his eyes. “Right, like I’d even bring—”
“It’s in the SUV.” Trace answered sounding bored. “Saw it when I took out my dress.”
“Damn.” He looked away.
Just then a very drunk looking cousin Vinnie got up and took the microphone from the band. “Look here! I have a toast to the bride and groom!” The feedback from the microphone mixed with his inability to stand up straight caused him to drop the stand and then fall flat on his ass.
“For the love of God save us all.” I pushed Tex towards Grandma.
We all sat at the table, the very depressing bridal party table, and watched as Tex slowly made his way towards the elderly woman.
“This won’t end well.” Trace said under her breath. “The man has the subtleness of a bomb.”
“Exactly.” Mo grinned from ear to ear.“I did say we needed entertainment, didn’t I?”
“Mo… ” Nixon warned.
“He cheated on me Nixon. Let me have my fun.” She said smoothly.
“He what?” Nixon roared jumping to his feet, curious stares pinned in our direction as Mo grabbed his hand and pulled him back to his seat.
“I’ve got this. You aren’t the only one who knows how to use their powers for evil, brother. Revenge is a bitch, isn’t that what they say, Trace?”
She looked guiltily down at her hands.Yeah, double meanings I could really get without. Hopefully Mo wasn’t going to get Tex shot at our wedding, not that I’d be against it. This was the first I heard of him cheating, granted, Mo hadn’t really been all that for sharing recently. She was as secretive as ever. Something told me it was for a reason,but I’d been too wrapped up in my own drama to even ask. How bad did I suck as a half brother? Bad, real bad. On a scale of one to ten in the suckiness department I’d be around an eleven.
Tex finally reached her chair and sat down next to her, his smile was wide, I couldn’t tell what he was saying but his hands were all over the place, and then he set one hand on Grandma.
“Oh this isn’t going to end well.” Mo chuckled. “She hates being touched.”
“It is Tex.” I pointed out. “She could do a lot worse.”
“Doubtful.” Mo snorted crossing her arms.
Holy shit what the hell? Had I been living under a rock for the past few months? What went down? And how didn’t I know about it.
I winced when Tex moved his other hand next to Grandma’s leg. Probably wouldn’t be a good time to tell him that she’d seen her fair share of murder. I almost closed my eyes when she looked down at his hand.
“Aw shit.” Nixon shook his head. “You had to challenge him, Mo.”
Mo’s face twisted into a murderous smile as she pointed and exclaimed. “Game. Set. Match.”
Grandma had Tex by the balls.
“Ouch!” This from Mil.

Excerpt 2

By the time I got back to the room, Chase was in the bathroom. The shower was running, and I could have sworn I heard him singing some sort of Frank Sinatra song, but it’s entirely possible I made it up. Trace hadn’t been the only one drinking wine.
With a flourish I fell across the bed and let out a huge sigh — the type of sigh a girl lets out when she’s trying to let the person next to her know that something’s not right.
Lucky me. All I had was a wall.
Right, so I was sighing at a damn wall.
I sighed again.
Well, no time like the present. I wasn’t sure which side of Chase I was going to get tonight. The hot-as-hell arrogant asshole, who made me want to slap him almost as much as I wanted to kiss him? Or the funny, easy-going, hormonal teenager, who had left earlier this evening after staring at my boobs like he was twelve?
I smirked at the thought. Me and my sigh would take either one. The water turned off in the bathroom. The door swung open. I glanced and almost fell off the bed.
Chase naked.
Chase. Was. Naked.
Clearly he wasn’t aware that I was in the room. He didn’t turn, just ran the fluffy white towel around his dripping body. Licking my lips, I felt my pulse jump as he wiped a few droplets that streamed down his face. Damn, I wanted to run my tongue along the trails the water created. My breathing picked up — and I swore under my breath as that same towel ran down his ridiculously tight abs. I was completely wrecked, my body strung so tight I was afraid to keep breathing — afraid that it was too loud — and I didn’t want the show to end.
“How were the girls?” Chase asked without turning around.
Aw, crap. Embarrassed, I cleared my throat and scolded my eyes for continuing to remain on his muscled body. Just one more look, I promised myself, and then I’d be fine.
“Good.” I continued my bold stare. His ass was fine. Seriously. Fine.
“You get some wine and food?” he asked, wrapping the towel around his waist. Bummer.
“Yup,” I squeaked, my voice sounding all kinds of immature.
“So,” he padded over to the bed and sat, “dinner and a show, huh?”
“I, uh—” Laughing, I scooted away from him toward the pillows. “I was going to say something, but—”
“Cut the shit, Mil.” Chase smirked. “You were ogling.”
“Girls don’t ogle.”
“Oh?” That gorgeously perfect idiotic face mocked me with every ounce of hotness. Damn Chase Winter. Damn beautiful man. God should have at least taken pity on the female race and made him short or fat or anything but what I was staring at. A muscled god with dark skin, bright green eyes, and a smile that made a girl immediately want to do anything she could to trap him into marriage.
“What’cha thinking about?” He smirked again.

Last Second Chance has released early! 99¢ until May 12th!


Caisey Quinn has released LAST SECOND CHANCE early!


As a special Thank You to readers,

Van & Stella’s story will be 99 CENTS until its official release date of May 12th!



When Stella Jo Chandler gets an offer to work at the Second Chance Ranch celebrity rehab facility right after graduating from Texas A&M, she’s tempted to turn it down. She wants to help real people with real problems, not spoiled celebrities going on vacation for publicity. But growing up on her family’s ranch left her with a love of horses that draws her to the opportunity. How bad can babysitting a bunch of strung out celebrities be?

What she didn’t count on was being roped into a tangled mess with infamous rocker and three-time rehab drop out Van Ransom on her first day. And she sure didn’t expect to feel the overwhelming attraction that pulls her to the man who has more issues than she can count on both hands. Like the hotel rooms and tour buses he’s famous for trashing, the havoc he could wreak on Stella’s heart would be irreparable.

Van isn’t at Second Chance for publicity or because he’s suffering from “exhaustion”. He’s on the brink of destruction, and he needs the kind of help Stella isn’t sure she can give. But without her, he’ll lose everything. Because he’s on his last second chance.



I was fortunate to receive an early copy of this book from Caisey Quinn. She starts the book off with this acknowledgment: For those of you who’ve ever loved someone who was broken. It takes true devotion to give a piece of your soul to someone else. In her Author’s Note, she explains that Van and Stella’s story is an extremely personal one for her as addiction has plagued her family and it was hard for her to face Van’s story. I love it when an author writes from an emotional place because it provides us a a character who we connect with on a deeper level. The emotions seem so real. Caisey Quinn achieved that her with Van and Stella. I don’t want to give too much away but make sure you pick up this book. You won’t regret it.



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John Talk – The 4 Steps a Parent Needs to Survive Kid Movies, Cartoons, and Shows

Looking at the title, someone without a child or just with a baby might simply decide it is a waste of time or not worth worrying about at the moment. But that someone couldn’t be more wrong.

 And if you are already a parent of a toddler type, I apologize if my words of wisdom have reached you too late. In some respects it reached too late for me, at least the first time. I languished hours of my life away in semi-torment and unabashed horror living in the fact that I must have done something very bad in my life to deserve this treatment. But by kid #2, I knew the tricks of the trade to survive a little easier.

  1.  Most important, repetition. Realize that unless you are some type of an exceptional parent that has the skills to entertain your kids constantly with little to no assistance from the box that is a television, you will be seeing this movie, this cartoon, or this show…constantly and repetitively. I know that kids like to watch the same thing, but not endlessly. My first would want to watch the same 30 minute episode of something over, and over, and over again. This is singlehandedly the most important thing to know. You will likely be around for those car rides with the DVD playing the movie, the DVR or on demand at the house playing the movie, or the iPad or other device playing the movie. Understand this concept because, knowing this, …
  2. Only subject your child to movies/cartoons/shows that you can stand to see, and hear, over and over and over again. So how do you do that? It is as easy as it sounds, watch it first yourself. Yes, might be a slight waste of your time, yes the first one, or two, or seven may be mindless (Sponge Bob) or annoying (Diego) or illogical (Dora, Bubble Guppies), yes it may be painful, BUT when you find those ones that you can stand, knowing item #1 above, the rest of your life during the toddler years will be a bit easier to handle. For me, I found that I could stand/liked Backyardigans (cartoon), any of the Star Wars Lego shows/movies, Prep and Landing (Disney Christmas cartoons, if you haven’t seen them do so this year), and Sesame Street (old school but at least different each episode).
  3. So knowing #1 and #2, understand that you will have to have said movie, said cartoon, or said show available at a moment’s notice. Toddlers can’t really appreciate and don’t really care that you don’t have a copy to watch anytime. Thus, tape to DVR and show them the first time from it, or get a DVD and play it from there. Why? Because when you think it genius to have them just watch that episode and they love it, you can’t have them watch it again. But if you DVR’d it or you have it on DVD, you can play it again and again and again…immediately.
  4. And last but not least, for those truly epic ones that are the favorite (Disney’s Wreck It Ralph, Backyardigans, and the Prep and Landing movies in our house) ones, have a back-up. We were traveling by car to my in-laws one year. It’s a 7+ hour drive from DC. We smartly left early to have the boys sleep some at the start (bonus point), but we also left the Prep and Landing DVD at home. Panic ensued about halfway through the trip as our youngest tends to demand things vocally and he wanted no part of anything else but his beloved Prep and Landing. So what did we do? Stopped at a Wal-Mart and bought a second copy. Now we leave one copy in the house and the other in the car. As for Wreck It Ralph and the Backyardigans, we have DVDs and copies on iPad. Thus we are prepared for anytime need, at any time, on any device.

 So there you have it. Follow these 4 simple steps and you too can handle the toddler years, at least in one respect.

A few of my favorite things…April

I figured I would start sharing some of my favorite things each month. I love it when people open my eyes to new places to eat, new gadgets, new fashion trends (not that I am very good at following them),  and just generally things I love this month.

So….here we go!

Pork Dumplings from Toki Underground. I went to an event at Union Market in April called Thread and it was full of fantastic fashion, home decor and of course food. Toki Underground was a pop up that was only staying for a few weeks in the market and it has been there for months now. These dumplings are unbelievable. My friend Katie, my sis and I were laughing as people actually ran after the trays just to snag one of these.

Chromecast…..35 dollars and endless possibilities. John and I are constantly behind the curve on the latest technology but at least we try to catch up.  This is my new favorite toy. I am catching up on Scandal, Game of Thrones, and House of Cards. Not to mention, there are so many cartoons and movies for the boys to watch. Strangely, my boys have become obsessed with Super Mario Bros. Super Show. In case you don’t remember, this show came out when I was young. It starred WWE Hall of Famer Lou Albano as Mario.  I wouldn’t say it was an award winner but then again, my boys love it.  t think it has to do with Colton’s obsession with Super Mario World on the Wii.

My Tieks!  Seriously, the best flats I have ever owned.  If you don’t have a pair, pay the price.  They are worth it.  They have a good sole, my feet never hurt even after wearing them all day, and they come in cool packaging.  I mean seriously, everyone loves to get a pretty package!

Klorane Extra Dry Shampoo is making my life easy.  Most of you know how thick my hair is and I really don’t need to wash it but every few days.  This stuff makes it last another day.  Lots of people don’t like dry shampoo but this one has a good smell.  Major downer…small in size.  I also use Dove Dry Shampoo.  It is way cheaper and just as good!

Moving onto my favorite things: BOOKS!  The list goes on and on!  This month has been a book winner…here goes:

The King by J.R. Ward. Seriously one of the best paranormal series I have ever read and this book in the series brings us full circle back to Wrath and Beth.

Bad for You by Abbi Glines. This lady’s Seabreeze series is fantastic. Love the characters and all the interplay. Krit, the lead singer of Jackdown, is to die for. I have been waiting for his story for too long.  I can’t wait to meet her this weekend at the DC Author event.

Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins.  DC local and author of this amazon Young Adult trilogy knocks my socks off.  This is the last of Kaidan and Anna and I loved every minute of it.  Excited to meet her too this weekend!

Nash by Jay Crownover.  One of her Marked Men series.  These guys are a great group and Nash proves no different.  This is the first one where I actually cried.  I was surprised I loved Nash so much but he may end up being my favorite.

Out of Mind by Jen McLaughlin.  Another trilogy coming to an end.  Finn and Carrie are a favorite couple.  Read them all!

Reasonable Doubt by Whitney Gracia Williams.  This is a serial and a hot, steamy one.  I am patiently waiting for part 2.

The Proposition 4 by H.M. Ward.  She is the queen of serials and the Ferro brothers.  I just wrote a review on this one.  Bryan may be my new have Ferrro but I am not sure how long he will be around!

As far as TV goes: you all know I love The Following.  Kevin Bacon is the best!  I can’t believe the season finale and I am hating we have to wait half a year for another season.

Suits:  John and I love this show.The cliffy with Mike leaving is so not cool but back on in June!  Answers soon! Woohoo!

Scandal, seriously where have I been. I can’t get enough of this show and thank you to my Chromecast, I am all caught up! Well, I have another season to go….I mean the angst between Olivia and the President. The First Lady, man, she takes scorned to a whole new level. Olivia’s staff…love them all.

Don’t let me forget my new favorite anthem….Ain’t it Fun by Paramore.  I listen to this on repeat!  Hayley William’s voice is one of the best out there!

Easter and Spring.  My kids love Easter eggs.  I love them too just hate putting them back together.  I love going to church with my family and seeing everyone in my hometown of Bethlehem.

I love fresh flowers.  They make me happy so I am trying to keep them around the house!

Coop’s Bday.  He has a good birthday month.  He was so excited this year about everything birthday!  We celebrated at Mamaw and Papaw’s and had a Minion themed birthday party!  We all enjoyed it!

That’s it for April!


Most of the links are to Amazon and they are not sponsoring this post.  I just happen to use Amazon…a lot.

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