[the blog, not the life. tupelo honey is definitely a lifestyle.]
until life pulls me away and i break again.
but i’m learning not to let it [the blog. blogging. being a blogger.] stress me out. i’ll blog when i feel like blogging and i’ll take breaks when i need them and if you’re ok with that, i invite you to keep following this story of mine.
with that said, let’s get to it.
whew. what a month it has been. maybe a little over a month? i don’t know, but it’s been a while.
we’ve had a lot going on in the carmine house. a lot of exciting changes coming our way. a lot of big decisions to make in the upcoming months. while some might find just the thought of it all overwhelming, this is when andy and i thrive. we welcome chaos with open arms, always have- BRING IT ON!
we’re really excited to share the most exciting news of all with you… we’re adding another member to our family! we are thrilled and can’t wait to meet this sweet little baby growing inside of me.
questions we get a lot:
1. when is the baby due? mid-october. a libra!
2. how are you feeling? good, not great. i can’t complain, i’m making A BABY after all, and that’s all that matters. but i’m dealing with more symptoms this 1st trimester, some i never experienced with bean: N/V/morning sickness ALL.DAY.LONG, increased back pain (didn’t come until 2 trimester with mads), exhaustion (on non-work days, i’m napping 2x’s per day, 2-3 hrs at a time), nightmares i can’t shake the next day, insomnia (call me @ 4-5am… i’m up), weight loss (my mom keeps saying this is the best i’ve ever looked- and i’ve had a baby and pregnant? heck yeah), oh, and my husband’s personal favorite- i’m terribly HORMONAL!
3. do you want a boy or a girl? whether we have a boy now or later, we definitely want a boy. but it will not hurt my feelings one bit if we have a girl… i’ve always wanted a sister and nothing would thrill me more than giving madeline the second greatest gift of all (besides life)… a sister <3.
4. are you going to find out what it is? we thought about being surprised, but then i remembered that i’m lindsay carmine and there is no way i could wait. i’m too type A, too control freak, too OCD to not find out. besides, i like knowing what i’m carrying for all these months, i like calling them (we hate “it”) by name. i loooove dreaming about what they’re going to be like, and it’s too hard for me to do that without knowing.
5. do you have names picked out? yes. since i was 13 yrs old. hahaa seriously though, our boys name will not change, our girls name is pretty solid but open for discussion. i will reveal them when we find out what we’re having.
6. (and the most awkward one of all…) did you plan this pregnancy or was this an ‘oops!’? the original plan was to wait until april/mayish- we were going to take a trip to italy in april, drink lots of wine and eat our faces off- and then start trying for #2 once we got back. but then andy realized that would mean another february baby and with our yearly winter schedule already jam-packed (thanksgiving-christmas-wedding anniv-new years-my bday-mads bday-valentines day), he put in a last-minute special request for a fall/halloween baby.
for those of you that know andy, he doesn’t ask for much. so when he does, i try to deliver. so i told him that it was either an october baby or italy… you can guess which option he went with! needless to say, we starting trying in january and i was pregnant by madeline’s first birthday!
the pictures above were taken the day WE found out**. technically, i already knew… the morning of madeline’s first birthday, i didn’t tell anyone, but i took 2 pregnancy tests. both produced the faintest of lines… so i kept the news to myself, crossed my fingers all day (and whispered to mads to wish for a brother/sister when she blew out her birthday candle) and just enjoyed the day with family and friends. the picture below? it’s our first family photograph of 4. a new baby, A NEW BABY!! eek!
**these pictures we taken the day after madeline’s bday party, a sunday. andy had gone into the office for a bit that morning, and i took 2 digital pregnancy tests (no lines, just pregnant/not pregnant) and 2 reg tests while he was out of the house. both digital tests read “pregnant” and i got 2 + lines with the regular tests! it was now official, so i came up with a fun way to tell andy that he was going to be a daddy again… i grabbed a white onesie and a black sharpie and got to work. madeline was waiting in the window for andy when he came home a couple of hours later- nothing thrilled me more than seeing andy get just as excited this go-round as he was when i told him we were pregnant with madeline. he’s the best dad ever.
and as they say, the rest is history. here we go again!!!!!
i’m setting up a group for all my tumblr\twitter peeps who love a little friendly competition! email me firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on twitter tupelohoneylfc to let me know you’re interested. $5 to enter, more details to come…
sometimes, when andy’s at work and bean is sleeping (such as now), i’ll play my favorite songs while standing in front of the large mirror in our living room, pretending i’m on stage singing to my thousands of fans. these concerts may or may not include props and really dramatic arm gestures.
i cook. a lot. which means i’m always in the kitchen. madeline, my little sous chef, is sooooo interested in preparing meals and going through our fridge and pantry- she loves helping mommy! so we thought it would be fitting to get her a play kitchen for her birthday.
right off of our kitchen is a sitting room that we’ve wanted to turn into a play room for quite some time. when the grandparents asked us what to get mads for her birthday, we told them about our playroom idea and they immediately jumped on board. my mom and dad gave her the grocery store stand and andy’s parents purchased a table and chairs for tea parties, as well as the grocery cart.
no joke, we looked at play kitchens FOR MONTHS before finally choosing the perfect one… the little tikes deluxe wooden kitchen and laundry center. this sucker has EVERYTHING! a fridge w/ ice maker, a washing machine that ‘dings’ when the laundry is done, a dishwasher, microwave, oven that has a ‘magic’ view window, ironing board, portable phone and chalk board to write down msgs, and a little lazy susan to store dry goods.
a good play grocery store/produce stand is hard to come by. i didn’t like any of the ones i found online, so when i came across this “wonder shop”, i figured i could make it a grocery stand now and use it as a lemonade stand or workshop later.
you can’t have a grocery store without food, right? we’ve been collecting wooden food for months. a girlfriend of mine told me that she clips the “40% off one item” coupons for michael’s and ac moore from the coupon section of the newspaper each sunday, and then buys a wooden food set each week. i had no idea craft stores even sold melissa and doug products, so i was thrilled that we were able to stock the grocery store without breaking the bank. thanks for the tip, kelly!
needless to say, madeline LOVES her new play area. she has so much fun picking out groceries, putting them in her cart, and then unloading them in her new kitchen.
this is madeline’s new table. andy has been teaching her how to safely get on and off the chairs- so cute! it’s the ‘my first table and chairs’ set from pottery barn, so it’s the perfect size for little beans like madeline.
aunt cindy did a great job keeping mads hydrated during the marathon play session that took place on saturday with her cousin jack. jack is 5 and he was having just as much fun as madeline… which leads me to believe we picked the perfect gifts for her to grow into. yay!
when it came time to open gifts from the other guests, we let jack open the gifts and hand them to madeline to play with. it all happened so fast! but it was nice to include jack and mads loved having an ‘assistant’. (and we’re pretty sure the guests enjoyed not having to sit through an hour of watching a one year old try to unwrap each gift!)
my favorite gift of all was the one i made for mads- her video. at one point during the party, everyone gathered in the living room to watch it. it was great to share our journey over the past year with all of our loved ones.
a million thanks to everyone- especially mom, dad, betsy, ken, and cindy- for making this party such a magical time for our little family. we couldn’t have done it without you!!!!
when your theme is “let them eat cake!”, there best be some cake in the house! there were 5, to be exact, all made by my MIL and SIL. unfortunately, i didn’t take any pictures of the other cakes, but that’s ok… the only cake that mattered to me was the one that was placed in front of our little birthday girl to devour in any shape or form she pleased.
someone loves cake!
our normally reserved daughter threw caution to the wind and dove head first into her birthday cake… over.and.over.and.over again. it was hilarious! andy and i were both on standby to intervene every couple of minutes with water and wipes. surprisingly, removing cake from the inside of a baby’s nose isn’t as hard as it sounds!
madeline normally loves to share her food with everyone and anyone… but apparently this doesn’t apply to birthday cake!!! i love it.
while looking for the perfect party dress, my sister in law cindy sent me a link to the most adorable british clothing line of vintage dresses… coincidentally called “let them eat cake”. check them out here and here.
the dress that i immediately fell in love with was the aubree:
but after hours and hours of research, i sadly realized that these dresses are impossible to find. i just couldn’t get this dress out of my head though… so being the crafty sister team we are, cindy and i decided to make one ourselves. after drawing up a similar design on paper, we picked out the fabric, buttons, zippers, and ruffles and got to work measuring and cutting. cindy did the sewing, so all of the credit goes to her, but i’m so proud of the finished product!
a pretty party dress for our pretty birthday girl.
in our family, food is everything… so it was important to us that the cuisine be appetizing to all of our guests but still tie into the theme.
on the menu- french cheese plate with honey, nuts, and homemade strawberry preserves, croque monsieurs on mini croissants, fruit skewers with a marshmallow cream dip, and pasta salad (ok, not french, but the french fry bar idea went out the window when we realized someone would have to man the deep fryer). i bought some really pretty (and super cheap) serving dishes/cake displays at marshall’s (that i knew i would use over and over again), and then threaded them with ribbon that i purchased from michael’s.
and what’s a marie antoinette-inspired menu without sweets? lots and lots of sweets! we had macarons hand-delivered from bisous, ciao in NYC (thanks, aunt cindy!). my OMG TDF moment happened the second i took a bite out of the salted caramel and rose flavored macarons. other sweets included petit fours and handmade sugar cookies (i dyed the icing with food coloring and topped w/ edible sugar doilies that i ordered off esty). because we didn’t want our guests to miss out on the cake, we provided white w/ pink polka dot goodies bags so our guests could take some of these delicious treats home with them.
for the adults in attendance, we set up a mimosa bar with prosecco, champagne, and fresh, hand-squeezed orange juice.
other beverages included beer, bottled mexican coke, and my mom’s sweet tea.
i woke up on sunday to andy kissing me goodbye, saying he was heading into the office to get some work done. i could tell he was sad to miss out on all of the sunday morning fun, so when he called around noon to say he was on his way home, madeline and i had a surprise waiting for him.
we laid a blanket down on the living room floor and set up a picnic lunch for the whole family to enjoy!
since madeline normally eats in her high chair, i was worried about how this transition to floor-eating would affect her food intake. i came up with a crafty way to display all of her goodies by re-using an old container that i used to store pureed foods in. she loved it!
when the picnic was over, i put the lid on the remaining snacks and was able to take the whole container to grandma’s later that afternoon. (**pats self on back**)
ready to eat!
pickles first. always.
beanie doing her happy dance!
andy loved our surprise! we ate. we danced. we giggled. the picnic was a success!
i can’t remember the last time i saw the grass in our backyard, it was definitely before christmas… but to a girl who was born and raised in the florida sunshine, snow always makes the brutal winters up north bearable.
our latest storm last wednesday delivered about a foot of snow. although i had to work on thursday, i got off around 3, picked up bean and 2 sleds from grandma’s house, and met andy at home so we could head outside for some fun. we live down the street from the best sledding hill in town, so we bundled up in our snow gear and headed to rockford park.
since andy grew up sledding here, he graciously let me channel my inner child first by taking a test run to make sure the conditions were safe enough for madeline.
so much fun!
madeline had a blast watching the kids sled and snowboard and tube down the trails.
and then it was her turn to go down the hill. her first run was on the blue plastic sled with andy in front and me in the rear. she laughed the whole way down! which caused us to laugh even harder than we already were… it was perfect, and just the way i had always imagined it would be. i tell ya, this family of mine… i can’t handle it!
as we were leaving, andy snapped a quick picture of the rockford tower. this is where andy spent his days before high school, kicking the soccer ball and hanging with the guys… this is where madeline and i walk when the weather is nice…. this is where we take lady to run around with the other dogs. we are so lucky to live in such a wonderful neighborhood with gorgeous scenery!
don’t get me wrong, i love celebrating other people’s birthdays, but i try not to make a big about mine (except at home- if andy could spoil me any more than he already does, it takes place the week leading up to jan. 21st).
if ever a birthday wish there was, it was to wake up to snow on my birthday. and woke up to snow, i did. it was spectacular.
hubs took a half day at work so he could whisk his girls away for an afternoon of adventure.
first stop? johnnie’s dog house on 202.
i haven’t had a hot dog in forever and i was craving my favorite kind- plain hot dog with ketchup and mustard. i also ordered a corn dog and a chili dog for good measure. i am totally that girl that orders one of everything on the menu and takes a few bites of each- fast food consumption is rare in our house and i like to take full advantage whenever the opportunity presents itself! i was so excited about our next stop that i got all of our food to-go…
because andy took madeline and i over the bridge to new jersey to visit the sea creatures at the adventure aquarium! so much fun! here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip:
we were stoked about seeing the hippos, but one decided to poop right as we walked down to the water observation tank. so gross! so funny.
i have an unhealthy obsession with jelly fish. i blame it on all the jelly fish i used to count in the ocean whenever we’d go sailing on my uncle’s hobie cat. i keep telling andy that i want a JF tank when we get rich and famous. he refers to the ending of seven pounds and all jelly fish talk goes by the wayside. one of these days andy’s going to come home from work and there will be a fish tank set up. (**babe, consider this your warning**)
"hello, mr sharky! helllllloooo!"
as we were leaving, andy took a few moments to snap a couple of pictures of philadelphia from across the river. andy and i moved in together right as we got engaged, and our first home was a block from the riverfront- we had the most gorgeous views of the ben franklin bridge. it’s moments like these that make us miss living in the city.
our original plan was to drive back into philly and stroll around northern liberties (our old neighborhood), stop off at my favorite cupcake place (brown betty’s), and grab a quick bite to eat at the local watering hole. madeline was exhausted by this point, so we decided to to bypass the walking and beelined it to the cupcake shop. priorities, people.
we finally ended the day snuggled up as a family on the couch, watching movies and playing with bean.
as most birthdays go in our family, the celebrating carried into the weekend. but first, we had madeline’s saturday morning swim lesson to attend.
i wasn’t too attractive in this picture so i cropped myself out (yes, i am absolutely that vain) but this cell phone picture was too cute not to share with you. next time, i will make sure our camera battery is charged before we leave the house. oooooooff.
saturday evening, andy’s parents took us out to dinner at brandywine prime… i ordered a filet the size of my head with a side of the creamiest mashed potatoes i’ve ever tasted. dessert was delish- warm fudge brownie with vanilla bean ice cream (bourbon whipped cream on the side, please!).
so there you have it. another successful birthday on the books.
thanks to everyone- friends, family, URL/tumblr buddies- for the messages, phone calls, cards, etc. you all sure know how to make a girl feel special!
actually, it doesn’t suck, which is why we need a new one.
and i’ve heard about the dyson for years. i’m sure it’s a very nice vacuum.
but i’m having a really hard time paying $400 for something to suck up dirt off the floor.
i don’t understand why $100-$150 isn’t enough for a really great vacuum.
we have hardwood floors with area rugs downstairs, hardwoods and carpet upstairs. after reading some reviews on the dyson, people said that they had to use the hardwood setting to vacuum their rugs since the carpet setting wouldn’t work. any dyson owners want to weigh in on this?
do any of you have a great vacuum that didn’t cost a lot?