How did we figure out Colton needed glasses?

As I lay here incapacitated from a stomach bug, (yep, I’m the mom that gets everything and I mean everything whenever any of my children get sick), I was thinking about my kiddos last week of school and all the conversations I had with other parents out on the playground.  One in particular stuck in my mind and I decided it might be worth a blog post.  So here goes….

This is the tale of how John and I clued into our oldest minion Colton needing glasses.  More than a handful of parents, friends, and family have asked or are just plain curious as to what the tell tale signs are for eye problems for a young child.  I wish I had a profound list of things you should be looking for but that would be a lie.  `

Well, I would tell you that the first thing to look for is running into things such as walls.  No, I am not kidding.  I know from other parent’s whose children have glasses they watched in horror as their kiddos bounced off a wall here and there.  Kiddos that need glasses also have a hard time with distance perception and sometimes identifying objects both close up and far away.  Did we have these issues? Nope.

What did happen was Colton’s eye test at his 5 year old physical.  The nurse was quick to note that he was having some difficulty with his right eye.  She said it could be his age since they get nervous or quiet but she noted in his chart he had a hard time at his 4 year old appointment.  Of course, they told us at his 4 year old check up to take him to the eye doc.  Did we?  No.  Parent fail. Being the great parents we are, we said ok and pushed it to the back of our to-do list and it never surfaced.  Honestly, Colton never seemed to have any problems at all with his eyes.  So after his 5 year appointment and being slightly embarrassed, we vowed to move it to the front of our to-do list.

So a week goes by and the weekend begins, no appointment made for the eye doc but we head down to the pumpkin patch (an annual event).  One of the activities at the pumpkin patch includes shooting paint balls at various sizes of pumpkins at different depths and heights.  No judgement, please.  I’m from North Carolina and what can I say, we enjoy shooting things!  Yes, we let Colton shoot guns.  He and his brother have more Nerf guns then we can count.  Colton also has his on BB gun courtesy of his Papaw.  He loves it!  Do we believe in gun control and gun safety?  Absolutely.  His parents and papaw have lectured him and showed him the proper way to handle guns and we will continue to teach him as he ages.  But I digress….

Colton wanted to shoot at the pumpkins and we obliged.   Once the paint balls were loaded and John helped Colton into position, he aimed to take his first shot and both John and I noticed that he was sighting with his left eye.  Well that is just plain weird and awkward looking.  It happened again and again.  John and I just stood back and watched and then looked over at each other.  No words were spoken but we knew we had a problem.  We covered his eye and he stated clearly, “I can’t see, Mom.  It’s blurry.”  Once again, John and I figured we deserved a large trophy for parents of the year!  But you hear these stories all the time, right?!  We all love our children and want what is best for them but they tend to milk us like cows more so than their teachers, caregivers and grandparents.  They push our buttons like no one else and they know they can.  So sometimes we think they are crying wolf.  Well, not in Colton’s case.  It was a complete fluke that we figured out he needed glasses but we should have listened to the medical professionals first thing.

Yep, I would say this isn’t the usual story of figuring out how your kid might need glasses but it is our story and personally, I thought it was a bit funny.  We quickly went to the eye doc and he needed glasses for just his right eye.  To help combat the problem, he wears a pirate patch on his good eye to strengthen the bad eye every day.  He has been a super trooper about the whole thing although sometimes I get the whiny why do I have to wear a pirate patch.  The alternative is dilating his eye with eye drops so that the weak eye has to work longer.  Unfortunately, the dilation lasts a long time and Colton isn’t fond of going to school with a fish eye.  Other than that little problems, the glasses were a big hit at school.  I was worried that it would be a pain for him to keep up with and he wouldn’t like being different from the other kids.  Neither was a problem.  Most of his friends wanted glasses too and even wore sunglasses to look like him.

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This was just a few weeks after we found out at Halloween.

I can even tell you he has only broken one pair.  I was surprised because he and his brother are a bit rough…and so are his friends.  There is a great deal of wrestling everywhere!  The glasses have survived and over time his eye is improving.  We shall see what the future holds for Colton and his glasses!

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This is just a few days ago and we are still hanging in there with these glasses and missing a few teeth too!

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.

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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).

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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These bottles were adorable and reusable!

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Love the mason jar drink dispensers!

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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

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Tay and the Hostesses!

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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!

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.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Coop!

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Coop’s 3rd Bday

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Coop’s 2nd Bday

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Coop’s 1st Bday

 

It is hard to believe that our lil’ guy is turning 3 today! Having Coop in our lives could be compared to a never ending exercise class! He has more energy than we know what to do with! We celebrated with family and friends this weekend and it was a blast!  It has been a wild ride with him over the last 3 years but I wouldn’t want it any other way! Happy Birthday, Coop! Keep on dancing’ little man!

Happy 40th, John!!! Here is to 40 more!

Today, my husband turns the Big 4-0! I figured I should give him a shout out for the milestone! We celebrated John’s birthday this weekend in style by heading off to New Orleans with no kids. It was a great time and I believe John will be writing about it later this week. Thanks to Mamaw and Papaw as well as Aunt Courtney and Uncle Matt for babysitting for the weekend!

Today, we have to go about our normal day to day routine but we will celebrate as a family at home with some good food, a few decorations and of course some sweets!

For those of you that know me, I don’t dole out compliments or praise easily but I should tell John more what a great husband and father he is…..so today, I am going to tell him why I am thankful for having him in our lives!
1. You gave me two beautiful boys that I can’t imagine life without.
2. You listen to me, you listen to our boys, you listen to family and friends, you really listen and
remember what everyone tells you. You are a good shoulder to lean on.
3. You put us first…always. You are the only partner in a law firm that I know that comes home everyday
at 5 to make dinner, hang out, play and connect as a family.
4. When life gets tough, you don’t cut and run. You admit your faults, mistakes and try to grow from
them all.
5. And lastly, you handle me with more patience and understanding than any other person in my life has
over the years. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

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Ok, that is enough of the mushy stuff from me. Not really my cup of tea but I will say one last time…

Happy 40th John!  We love you!

Ever Need An Outlet?

I decided maybe I should explain why I decided to start this blog or at least go into a bit more detail since I have had quite a few people ask me. What’s up with all the book reviews and book info? Why are you blogging? Well, there is a simple answer. I need an outlet.

For anyone that knows me well, they know I do better with a ton on my plate and I am not a happy camper when I am not busy. Giving birth to two rowdy little boys has been a huge challenge and it kept me pretty darn busy for the last couple of years. But as any mom can tell you, sometimes raising your kids doesn’t quite hit the spot, so to speak. Now, please don’t read into this too much. I love my kids. I love being their mom. But somewhere in the midst of all the late nights, bottles, potty training, kid activities, I felt myself disappear a bit. I think this is totally normal and I know from talking to my friends, everyone feels this way. It is hard not to lose yourself in the course of raising children. We are tasked with the challenge of turning these small people into good human beings. It is a huge responsibility and sometimes the weight of it can crush us.

So….to give me a place to go and just take a bit of time for myself, I decided to blog. I have always enjoyed reading and writing and this seemed to be a natural fit for me. I spend a good deal of time on the internet looking at and reading blogs that cover everything from DIY, parenting, reading, and cooking. I love stumbling across a post that helps me in my everyday life whether with a recipe, a home improvement tip, an activity with my kids and of course, I can always use another good book to read. I can read book blogs all day long.

As I start my adventure on this blog, I am going to post whatever hits me at the moment. I am going to share a little of myself and send it out into the cyber universe. Yes, you will see a ton of posts on books because let’s be honest, I read like a mad woman. But you will also see a little bit of our life in DC. I hope you enjoy it because I sure know I will because each post I write on this blog means I took a little time to reflect on my life and what brings me happiness and pleasure! So here goes nothing…

Happy New Year!

Sometimes it is hard to focus during the holiday season on the things that matter most.  We get carried away with all the present buying, decorating and party going.  I would like to say that I don’t get caught up in it all but that would be a giant lie.  I always vow every year to try to slow down and enjoy it more.  Every year, it is an epic fail.
I do always strive to put my family and friends first and foremost.  This Holiday season was a crazy one but it also was full of fun memories.  The boys were an absolute blast this Christmas and although at times I felt like strangling them after many meltdowns and too much candy and treats, it was all worth it.  
As a New Year approaches, I once again am going to try to slow down and just enjoy all the moments….or at least try to catch a few good ones!  Happy New Year to all my friends and family!

Another great way to document our journey as a family….it begins!

So I finally decided to write a blog….the main reason…my own sanity!  I love reading other blogs especially all the DIY, photography, design, cooking, writing and parenting.  I surf pinterest all the time, trying out ideas from there or from my favorite blogs.  So, I finally decided I would love a space to tell my story and my family’s story from deep down in our trenches!   My posts will probably be all over the place as far as topics but I think you might enjoy a true tell of a girl…trying to do it all or at least a little of everything.  Sometimes, I fail miserably and the rest of the time I am mentally doing a happy dance when one of my crazy idea comes to fruition.  I can say with all honestly that being a working mom, wife, and mother have tried my patience and pushed me farther as a person than I ever imagined.  So I hope you tag along and check back ever so often!