Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Keeneland and Company

Last Thursday, my parents kept Caroline for the day so that Juston and I could have some baby-free time to hit Keeneland, one of my very favorite places for a day trip.
 
 
We got there around 12:00 and first post time wasn't until 1:00, so we took some time to just walk around and enjoy people-watching and horse-watching. There are few places more beautiful than the Bluegrass in the springtime and Keeneland is a perfect example of that beauty. I'm no photographer and all of these pictures are just snapped from the iPhone, but you get the idea.
 


I always love standing around the Paddocks watching them parade the horses around before their race. There is something so mesmerizing about watching these thoroughbreds. They really are the most impressive, gorgeous animals. 



I always joke with Juston that things just work out for him all the time...Parking place right in front of the restaurant, he gets it. Best seats in the house for an open seating event, he's in them. You get the idea. So as we're walking in to Kenneland, a man stopped us and asked if we wanted to get in free. He apparently had friends who couldn't come but already had their tickets so he just gave them to us. It's always nice when things working out for Juston work out for me too :)  So at this point, parking was free and we got free admission. You know what that means! More money to bet!


We sat in the infield area, bet the first four races of the day, lost enough money to realize that we didn't want to bet anymore and decided to head down to the Track Kitchen to eat before heading home. The Track Kitchen has great food, think fried chicken, mashed potatoes, banana pudding, etc. That's where the serious betters hang out, too so you can get some tips on how to play the ponies. 



On the walk down to the Kitchen, we went past all of the stables and you can see the horses being washed down and even walk through to see them in their stables. You can't pet them or anything, but it's still very neat to just meander and look. 



Since Juston had taken vacation last week, we went Thursday because Friday rain was moving in and it was closing day so we really didn't have a whole lot of options. Unfortunately, going Thursday meant none of our friends were able to go with us, but we made some new friends watching the races and had fun just hanging out with each other without having to chase Caroline around. She really enjoyed Keeneland when we went in the fall but I was frazzled and exhausted by the end of it, so I was glad it was just the two of us this go around.
 
Friday afternoon, I judged cheerleading tryouts for one of the school groups where I teach tumbling and Saturday afternoon, we stopped by a birthday party some friends of ours were having for their kids and Caroline had her first Bounce House experience. At first, she wouldn't go near the thing, but once the kids cleared out, she had a big ole time bouncing around having it to herself. She even got her Daddy to come in for a bit with her. Where Daddy is concerned, I don't think there will be a whole lot Caroline won't be able to get him to do.
 
 
Saturday, our Goddaughter came to visit from UK and her dad, one of our very dear friends who lives in North Carolina was in town as well, so we cooked out and caught up and had a great night. Caroline was up until 11:00 partying hard! 
 
Sunday was church day, time to play with the cousins and just relax. It was a great long weekend with great company.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mother's Day Wish List and Gift Ideas

Mother's Day will be here before you know it, and I've started making my list for Juston to choose from, so I thought I'd share a few things from my list, plus a few of my favorite things that other mama's might love. 

If you love a monogram but you've never heard of Moon and Lola, you're missing out! The first time I came across this company was on a trip to Charleston, SC and their products are all so cute and on trend. The monogram jewelry is classic and timeless, so even though it's all current now, I think it still will be years from now as well. A couple of my favorites...



Sticking with the monogram, Number Four Eleven is based out of Savannah, Ga and they have some of the most gorgeous monogrammed linens I've laid eyes on. I would personally love monogrammed linens as a gift, but it's not everyone's cup of tea, but this bathrobe could be a more universally well-received gift. I think it'd be cute to include a gift certificate for a spa day along with the robe. Massage, mani, pedi sort of deal. 


Bourbon and Boweties...I have been loving this line of bangle bracelets since I first heard about them a little over a year ago. I have quite a few already, but am always looking to add to my collection, because while they're cute to wear just one or two, they're so fun to stack and the fact that they're made in the USA just makes me love them more. A few of my favorites...



 

I have two coin bangles, like the last one pictured and I love them, but they sell out quickly. I prefer getting neutral colors and that way I can mix them in with my pearl and gypsy coin bangles. I also got the pearl ring recently and wear it constantly.

Ribbon Chix  and The White Chandelier are great online retailers for the line if you don't have any in your town or close by.


A Charleston made favorite of mine is Rewined candles. My favorite scents are Cabernet, Savignon Blanc and Mimosa. The scents are all subtle, but so intoxicating. These candles are amazing and a great gift for say a Mother-in-Law. 

Park Hill Collection candles are also a favorite of mine and come packaged really cute so they're ready for gifting. 




If you really want to dream big, or your husband is a big spender, you could always ask for this Tory Burch backpack. Right now, it's 25% off with Code: PS25


I'm pretty lame, so I'm actually asking for a new chandelier to go over our kitchen table. The light fixture that's there now, Juston picked out when he was building the house with the intention of selling it. All but one of the lightbulbs has been burnt out for like four years, but we never change them because we want to change the fixture. We're lame. I usually end up asking for things that I would like for the house but just can't make myself order.  One year, I asked for bar stools for my birthday, a KitchenAid mixer another year. I'm one of those weird women who gets excited over gifts that may tick other women off, but I won't turn down diamonds or pearls either ;)




Thursday, April 24, 2014

Yesterday was a pretty depressing day for me....after trying every way I could think of to get Caroline to drink the breastmilk I'd spent who knows how much time pumping and freezing, I finally had to throw HUNDREDS of ounces in the trash. I wish I could have at least donated it, but it was past the acceptable time limit to donate. I'll know next time if we have another one and I go this route again. It literally hurt me to throw it in the garbage. 


Moving on before I cry, Caroline got some stickers in her Easter basket and just loves them. She's even been sharing them with the dogs.


Poor Dixie. She still can't stand Caroline. She gives her the side eye and gets out of dodge as fast as she can anytime Caroline comes in the room. Caroline just loves her to pieces though. I'm hoping one day those feelings will be returned. 


I think I see a golf scholarship in our future, hopefully to Georgia, even if she is wearing her Auburn shirt :)  She is just loving the little golf club set my parents got her for Easter and she can really whack those golf balls. Her form leaves a bit to be desired since she just tomahawk chops her club on top of the ball, but hey, whatever works. 

Juston is on vacation (sort of) this week, so Caroline has been staying home with her Daddy while I go to work in the afternoons. They jut have a big old time together, but I don't think she gets told 'No' a whole lot when Daddy has her.  We've been having the most beautiful weather so most days are spent outside either watering the flowers, digging in the dirt with her new garden tools, taking walks, blowing bubbles, bouncing balls and just having a big time. She is definitely an outside loving baby. Speaking of outside, Caroline has always asked to go 'side' when she wanted to go out and play and here lately she's started saying outside instead. Well, it sounds like she's either saying 'roll tide' or ' 'hold tight' most of the time, but it's still kinda sad. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend

We could not have asked for better weather this Easter weekend. Sunny and 75. Absolutely the most beautiful weekend we've had so far this year and it made for perfect Easter egg hunting weather.

Caroline must have been a pretty good girl because the Easter bunny paid her a visit. She got a soft little stuffed chick and a book to go with it, some new bath tub toys, stickers, church socks, some money in her eggs and some sweet treats, which were the very first thing she went for, of course. She's her mama's girl.



It was a mad dash to get ready for church after Caroline played with her new goodies and we had breakfast. 

My parents with all their grandchildren.


I just can't pass up the opportunity to wear a fabulous hat :) This one has Derby written all over it in a couple weeks!


The original four. My parents and sister. 

My mom and dad had baskets for all the grandkids at their house, too, so we went there before church for baskets and pictures, which everyone complains about the entire time, especially the men. The pictures, not the baskets.

I just LOVE Caroline's Easter dress. It's by The Bailey Boys (which means made in the USA) and I got it from a shop called Mommy and Me in Gadsden, Alabama.

Later in the day, we had an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids at our house. Since I'd been working in the kitchen since after church to get family dinner ready for everyone, when Caroline was ready to nap, I asked Juston to run to the store and get eggs to stuff, Starburst jelly beans and mini Reese cups for the egg hunt. A simple enough request, complete with even the brand of candy to get...

Caroline really loved it!

It was just about the cutest thing watching her carry her little basket around and pick up the eggs. I swear, she just seems so much more of a little girl now and now so much a baby. 

Caroline with her haul. She made out okay, but didn't get any of the candy inside. 

Back to my mention of my husband doing the store run to get the eggs. The kids all start opening their eggs, and inside they find, rubber bands, bottle lids, zip ties, rope and other random junk that was NOT on my list of egg stuffers. Also, not Reese cups, and no Starburst jelly beans. I mean....just goes to show, if  you want it done right, you have to do it yourself and not procrastinate. Unless you want some sort of redneck Easter egg hunt, in which case, Juston is your man. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

20 Months


This (mostly) sweet chick turned TWENTY months old last Monday! Why does saying twenty months, first off sound a lot sillier than nineteen months and second, sound SO MUCH OLDER than nineteen months? 

A few of Caroline's favorites:


Giving her Papa hugs and reading or coloring with her Mamaw.


Going to the store, even though she wants to push the cart instead of ride, and loving on her babies.


Making ridiculous faces when I try to take her picture.


Dancing on the table (should I worry about that one?) and going to the park to play.


Falling in the floor to pitch a hissy fit when she's told 'No'.


Visiting Daddy at work and being 'side' (outside).


Kicking back to watch Bubble Guppies and playing with blocks, which she loves to punt across the room as soon as you've built anything.


Loving on our pups, Hehe (Lucy) and Diddy (Dixie), both of whom just barely tolerate the newest addition to the pack. 


And of course giving me "The Lip" anytime she's in trouble for something. 

Stats: 22.8 pounds, 32 inches tall, size 18-24 month or 2T clothes, size 4.5 shoe. 

Foods: Macaroni, apple slices, yogurt, spaghetti or really any pasta, pizza, turkey and ham, goulash, breakfast bake, turkey bacon, bananas, watermelon, rice, salmon croquettes, fish sticks, baked chicken, peanuts, vanilaa wafers, and the list goes on. She'll pretty well eat anything we're having. She'll try anything twice and then decide whether she really likes it on her third bite. 

Sleep: She sleeps pretty consistently nowadays. Bedtime is around 9-9:30 since the time change and she'll get up for the day anytime between 6:30 and 8:00. Naps can happen anytime between noon and 3:00 depending on what time she gets up. I still usually hold her the whole time since she sleeps best that way, about two hours most days, but I can lay her down on the days I have to leave for work. 

Play: Her favorite thing in the world to do is to be outside doing just about anything. Blowing bubbles, digging with her shovel, watering my flowers, taking a walk, exploring with woods across from our house with her Daddy, picking out the coolest rocks from the landscaping. I've bought a few of those yard decoration animals and she absolutely loves them. They're sort of on the fence between kitchy and tacky for me, but she loves them, so I put a few out. Inside, she loves to build blocks, play in her ball pit, go down her slide, sneak up and scare people, steal your seat as soon as you get up, climb the furniture, run laps hollering and just generally be in constant motion. Girl can't sit still!

Speech: There's not a whole lot she won't at least try to repeat, especially the words she probably shouldn't.  She's just recently started putting two or three words together, especially when repeating after someone. Everything she says is pretty cute, but my favorites are when she says 'hurwee' and 'mon' (hurry and Come on). 

There are days my patience is so very thin, but even then I know how lucky we are to have a happy, healthy little girl. There are days that I'm pretty convinced I'm probably one of the most ridiculous parents ever, but I know she's turning out great to spite that. There are days I'm convinced I need a week's vacation away from anyone and anything else, but I know these days will be gone in a blink and I'll be wishing for this chaos. So in the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy it all when I can and just soak it in. These are the days.