16 1 / 2012
it was bound to happen. after three separate christmases and 9 days in NC, our house turned into a full blown disaster area overnight. at one point during the unpacking process i got so overwhelmed that i took everything the kids owned, tossed it in their room and shut the door. for once i figured out of sight, out of mind, right?? stuff was EVERYWHERE. i woke up on new year’s day stressed out but determined to get started on one of my yearly resolutions- simplify ALL THE THINGS.
i decided to spend the first day of 2012 organizing and de-cluttering madeline and charlie’s room. i also wanted to continue working on making their shared nursery a little more gender neutral. charlie sleeps next to us in our room but we keep all of his clothes, blankets, and toys in their room.
i love a good before & after photo set, so here are a few that i took on my cell phone that day:
have you ever heard of eloise wilkin? i gave madeline a collection of eloise wilkin stories for christmas and we haven’t put the book down since. the stories are simple and endearing, reminiscent of the books my parents read to me as a child. i adore the artwork too and i’m hoping to purchase some of her prints for the nursery soon.
we also cherish our PK Hallinan collection. i know i’ve mentioned these books on here before- tj maxx and marshalls always have a few of his books in stock at a great discount. be sure to check ‘em out if you haven’t already.
hey buddy! this little cutie woke up from his nap and decided to join us on the nursery tour.
my very helpful assistants and i took a break for a bit to play with the abby & emma magnetic dress up set madeline recently received from her aunt deb & cousin jack. i wasn’t sure how well she would do with these and thought i would have to put this gift away until later this year, but she knows exactly what to do! she’s such a fantastic little stylist and very opinionated- “no mommy, SHOES! no boots. shoes with knee socks!”. she’ll totally call me out if something doesn’t look good. hilarious.
i love this activity because it’s something we can do together and it keeps her entertained for more than 15 min. ((that’s like, 3 hrs in toddler time))
madeline’s first authentic pair of cowboy boots purchased in austin, tx; a french children’s album; custom made wooden blocks that were gifted to us just after charlie was born.
these blocks are really cool- you can order them for your loved one here.
by the time i was done with the room re-do, i had thrown away 3 bags of trash and set aside 5 huge bags to donate (part of our 1 good deed a week resolution, but that’s a topic for another post). and as for the stuff i decided to keep? let me introduce you to what i like to call my monica geller closets:
hot mess, right?!?! there’s a method to my madness, i swear! i even designated the bottom half of one of the closets to new toys. whenever we’re bored and stuck inside, we’ll head over to the closet and pull out something new and fun to play with. fingers crossed this works- it’s been really cold and windy these past few days and i have a feeling this winter is going to be brutal.
a mother’s work is never done though! i’m now logging off to tackle the laundry room- madeline’s been sick for the past 4 days and there isn’t a clean bed sheet or blanket in sight… wish me luck!
12 1 / 2012
i love blogging. i love the people i’ve met through blogging. i love the way my life has changed due to all that i’ve learned from my blogger-turned-IRL friends… but for a while now i’ve accepted that this blog isn’t going anywhere. it will never be anything other than (poor grammar) ramblings, lots of exclamation points & picture-posting while talking about myself and my loved ones, occasionally sharing something cool i see or read about… you know the drill.
i’ve thought about shutting this blog down a hundred times over the last few months. whenever i mention these thoughts to andy, he reminds me of why i began blogging in the first place. tupelo honey was created to document the every day of my life. our life. the little things that add up to big things that make the every day really, really beautiful… a photographic journal. and at the risk of sounding self-absorbed, most of my friends and family read this little blog and enjoy having a sneak-peek into our daily routine. i also can’t tell you how many times i’ve run into someone i haven’t seen in years and they mention that they read tupelo honey and were inspired by something i said, or the emails i get on facebook from high school friends (hi!) asking about something i’ve recently posted or offering advice when i have questions. SO, SO AWESOME y’all.
i miss putting words to pictures. i miss telling our story. and if i don’t start blogging again and documenting the every day of our days, i will regret it.
so here i am, blogging again ::wipes dust off keyboard:: and i’m excited about it! i’m also excited to catch you up on all that i’ve been up to while i was away. for those of you that follow me on twitter & facebook, you’ve probably seen most of these photos, sorry about that.
ok, so here we go, catching up with the carmines//life in de these days
first thing’s first- charlie’s here! i’ve written his birth story and someday i might share that with you, but until then, here are the highlights-
10.13.11 i was in labor for almost 3 days before charlie’s birth day. i was finally admitted to the hospital when we realized that i was almost 6 cm dilated and not feeling contractions. crazy, right?? our hospital is in a different city than the one we live in, so it was important for me to be at the hospital should i continue to progress and not know it- no home birth self deliveries on my watch! i was allowed 3 support people with me, so i asked andy, my mom, and stephanie (one of my oldest friends/maid of honor) to be in the room when charlie arrived.
after months of discussion and research and pouring over birthing books, andy and i agreed that the safest place (for me) to deliver charlie would be in a hospital. it was a very personal decision for us, one we didn’t take lightly. we respect a woman’s choice to birth wherever she’s most comfortable- for us, that place is a hospital. ((i’ve heard people say that hospitals are for sick people, but i see it as a place where miracles happen)) i was determined to have the birth experience that i wanted and i was willing to do whatever it took (including letting go of the stuff that didn’t really matter) to have a healthy, happy delivery. mission accomplished.
i delivered both of my babies in a teaching hospital. if it weren’t for teaching hospitals, i wouldn’t be the nurse that i am today. when the L&D nurses asked me if i would mind sharing charlie’s birth with some of the student nurses and residents, i told them to bring it on… teach, learn!!!! the amount of people in attendance was comical- 12 total and 9 (myself included) were medical professionals. it was a straight up parrrr-taaaay in the delivery room, and rightfully so- we had a birthday to celebrate! we were laughing and joking around, music was pouring out of the speakers we brought with us, charlie’s birth was so fun. ((the morning nurses and student nurses even stuck around after their shift was over to support us and meet charlie. i love that kind of commitment!)) i can’t say enough about the love and support and pampering we received and the resources that were available to us during our hospital stay- ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. i had complete control over the birth, i was able to make the best decisions for my family without pressure from staff and with minimal intervention (i did get an epidural that worked on my left side only from 8-9cm, then wore off before i started pushing). it was a far cry from my first delivery and everything i wanted (epidural included) out of a birthing experience. I AM PROOF THAT SOMETIMES, A WELL EXECUTED BIRTH PLAN CAN WORK. I AM PROOF THAT YOU CAN HAVE A WONDERFUL BIRTHING EXPERIENCE IN A HOSPITAL.
charlie arrived just shy of 6 hrs after we arrived, weighing in at 7 lbs, 8 oz. it took about 35 minutes to push him out, with everyone coaching and cheering me on every step of the way. at one point my OB looked at me and told me to focus while pushing- i was busy socializing! haha but seriously, it was surreal. euphoric. i still can’t wrap my head around the perfection of it all.
it goes without saying that madeline absolutely adores charlie.
my boys <3
charlie is the spitting image of andy as a baby, but there are days when i see myself in him, as well as my brother (charlie’s namesake).
there was a professional photographer that went around and took pictures of all the newbies the day after they were born. charlie had JUST been circumcised (that’s a topic for another day) so he was uncomfortable but a few pictures from the session turned out ok:
48 hrs after we arrived, we left the hospital with our newest addition… our little charlie bucket. our missing piece.
since then, i’ve been spending my days…
playing with my family.
sleeping with my little buddy.
having deep, intellectual conversations while sister naps.
getting to know my son.
playing dress-up (halloween) and making art.
getting buff at the gym.
playing in the backyard.
relaxing with my boos.
splashing around during tub time.
taking family walks with our new double stroller that is OMG all kinds of awesome.
remembering all that i have to be thankful for.
hosting very exclusive tea parties.
wearing my babes.
cutting down christmas trees.
chasing after this little nugget.
teaching my sous chef how to bake my my super secret ingredient sugar cookies.
hanging ornaments on a gorgeous 12.5 ft tree that committed suicide 2 weeks later.
torturing charlie for personal enjoyment (christmas cards).
getting tacky farrah faucet hairdos for andy’s firm’s holiday party.
laughing at our sad attempt to document our trip to see santa.
hanging out with my best friend cori.
introducing charlie to my extended family in NC over christmas…
including charlie’s godmother katie. <3
handing out free kisses.
celebrating the engagement of my brother and his gf stephanie… welcome to the crazy, steph!
playing with madeline and her new bitty baby doll on christmas (this is one of the only pictures we took that day. mommy FAIL.)
celebrating our 4 year anniversary with the kiddos in philadelphia on new year’s eve, taking them to rittenhouse square and our old neighborhoods, having lunch at one of our favorite stephen starr restaurants.
((we spent a lot of time that day reliving some of our favorite moments from our years in philly, daydreaming about moving back into center city and talking about what it would be like to raise two kids there. it will never happen but it was fun to think about!))
experiencing santa through a child’s eyes again.
((we woke up at my parents house in NC on christmas morning, then drove to delaware to spend christmas night with andy’s family, so there was no time to “do santa” at our house. with all the presents and chaos, andy and i decided to wait until our anniversary/NYE to set up the kiddos teepee and place all of the treasures we had purchased for them inside. we rang in the new year drinking a bottle of fancy champagne out of plastic cups, celebrating our good fortune & playing on the floor with our children.))
so that about sums up the end of 2011 for us. what a year! since then, i’ve gone back to work 2 days a week and madeline started preschool! i’m happy to be with my patients and coworkers again, and madeline is having a blast with all of her new buddies. charlie is hanging out with grandma while i’m gone and andy is busy as usual with work and projects around the house.
my goal is to post here once or twice a week, sometimes more, sometimes less depending on what’s going on. i’m hoping i can keep up with this goal- we’ll see. i hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! i truly enjoyed reading everyone’s accounts of christmas and new years celebrations.
speaking of birthdays and celebrations, madeline turns 2 on february 5th- super bowl sunday! i guess that means i have a birthday party to plan… where to begin?!
24 8 / 2011
i’ll be the first to admit that i am terrible at replying to messages. i let them build up for so long that i finally just avoided them all together. in an effort to be a more hands-on blogger, this is my first attempt at answering some of the most asked questions in my inbox.
moving forward, i promise to respond to each one of your messages/emails/comments either by blog post on private message. if you have already asked me a question and i didn’t/don’t answer it here, ask again! ((and please don’t be anonymous, i want to know who you are- share your blog address or email!))
thanks for reading and showing personal interest in our little family and life in delaware… it’s because of you that i continue blogging and share our story.
1. hands down, the #1 question i get the most is: where did you get madeline’s play kitchen and grocery stand?
the kitchen is the little tikes deluxe wooden kitchen and laundry center and can be found HERE. as for the grocery stand, we wanted THIS ONE, but it wasn’t available, so we settled on the wonder shop play store. shop around for the best price(s), we didn’t pay over $160 for the kitchen or more than $100 for the stand. what’s great about the wonder shop is that you can transform it into something else when the kids get tired of having a market- like a wood shop or lemonade stand.
2. what kind of camera do you use?
we use all types of cameras, but i think the one you all are referring to is our Nikon D3100. we added it to our collection last december after the camera we received as a gift for our honeymoon was stolen (grrrrrr). we purchased the D3100 at best buy (again, grrrrrr) as a package deal- including a 18-55mm lens, a 55-200m zoom lens (both with VR/vibration reduction), camera bag of my choice (i pushed for this, normally comes with standard bag), and memory card. we spent a lot of time going back and forth between canon and nikon, but the nikon won. honestly, i don’t think you can go wrong with either of these brands. our friends all have canons, as well as our cousin who is a professional photographer. it’s all about personal preference.
3. what do you do to get your photos looking the way that they do? nothing special, just the editing options on iphoto. i almost always boost color, and then play around with exposure, contrast, and saturation. sometimes i’ll get fancy and log onto picnik, but it can take a long time and i get annoyed easily. i do not pay for a membership, the basic tools work for me. one of these days i’ll cave and get photoshop, but that’s a big investment and i really need more free time to learn how to use it properly. christmas gift, perhaps? (<-andy!)
4. where do you get/what kind of hair bows does madeline wear?
((playing with her kiddie stethoscope (it has beating heart noises!) and my old nursing palm pilot))
if i’m purchasing them new, i’ll visit hansel and gretel in wilmington. madeline has been wearing bows in her hair since the day she was born- it’s her signature accessory- and the wee ones brand is the best on the market. some of my favorite bows that madeline owns are used and came from once upon a child. lately, we’ve been using these barrettes (purchased at target), the same ones i used to wear when i was a little girl. so cute!!!
5. where did you get that [fill in the blank] dress/outfit for madeline?
i receive a lot of questions about madeline’s clothes. i try not to purchase all of them from carters, target, or gymboree, but it’s hard- they’re so cheap. i also love a good gap sale. if i pay full price for an anything madeline wears, it better be an OMGHAVETOHAVEIT moment. baby clothes go on sale too often to have to pay full price. i’m also not willing to pay the kind of prices boutiques are asking, i don’t go to trunk shows, and i’ve realized that too many adorable etsy purchases will bankrupt me. i usually buy a few items for each season from all of the locations above- but my favorite places to shop for that one-of-a-kind outfit or item is goodwill, the flea market, and once upon a child. the clothing items i get the most inquiries about/compliments on are gently used/vintage. i’ll try to be better about posting where i got what.
6. where did you get your coffee table?
crate and barrel, almost 4 years ago. i am kindamostdefinitely obsessed with it, it has so much storage space and is gorgeous (IMO). 3 top lids open up for extended surface space and you can place drinks, food, etc on them. it’s hard to explain, i’ll have to take a picture next time it’s open. regardless, LOVE IT.
7. I remember you saying a few months back that you had a theory as to why madeline was such a happy baby. what is that theory?
ahh, my “happiest baby on the block” theory! gah, that was so long ago… theory may have been the wrong word… hahaaha ok, so to post or not to post??? i’m afraid people might read this the wrong way, which is why i’ve been dragging my feet about posting it. now that i’m a more “seasoned” mother, i don’t honestly believe that this is the only way to raise a happy child, or that this technique will work for every baby. what i will say though is that my child is hands-down the happiest baby i have ever met (i was a nanny for a good portion of my life and worked in a pediatric hospital- i know babies) and she fusses maybe 1% of the time. yes, we got lucky, but i also have to believe that andy and i must be doing something right… so here’s what i think worked for us when she was an infant and helps contribute to her behavior:
you know how you’re supposed to chart and document every poop and pee diaper for the first 12 days of life? i took that assignment one obnoxious step further- i documented EV-ER-Y-THING- when she feed, how long she fed, how quickly she fell asleep during/after feedings, nap times, length of nap times, play times, what type of play it was/level of play, bedtimes, bedtime routines, levels of patience during outings based on time of day, how long she could sit in the bouncy chair/swing/boppy lounger before getting fussy… you get the picture. after the first few days or so, i started charting patterns. these patterns became mathematical equations that i solved. a+b+c would result in x outcome. this allowed me to quickly anticipate her needs and cater to them before she would get fussy or have meltdowns. i knew what she wanted even before SHE knew what she wanted! eventually, i got used to this way of thinking and started charting in my head. now i do the “math” without a second thought. even though i never pushed a schedule on her (that came around 8 months), i was able to map out our days according to her internal schedule. i never found myself stressed out or scrambling to figure out what she needed. THIS WAS CLUTCH FOR MY SANITY. even now, i (surprisingly) rarely get frustrated, feel like i want to pull my hair out, have a bad day because of her behavior, or loose my cool with her. using the above technique for her wants and needs, i hit the nail on the head the first time, 95% of the time. yes, her needs as an infant constantly changed, but as long as i documented those changes, i was able to stay
one half a step ahead. now that she’s a toddler, this technique isn’t so easy to use, but i try to make it work as much as i can. so far, so good! when charlie comes along, i hope to test this “theory” once again… i’ll let you know how it goes. (you guys are probably like, “we all do this. it’s common sense.” and if that’s the case, just ignore this post!)
8. what is the recipe for the super bionic wikikale shake?
madeline loves this smoothie!
this answer is more for my twitter peeps- i promised them i’d share the recipe for my go-to morning power boost that makes me feel like superwoman. NO JOKE.
even though i was the juice shop smoothie queen in the 90’s- i made smoothies for the better part of my high school days, i won the juice shop scholarship and my picture is still on the wall (just sayin’)- i can’t take credit for this recipe. it comes from my buddy matt.
2/3 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
2/3 cup strawberries (frozen or fresh)
I/2 peach (optional)
2-4 cups kale or more (however much you can put in without significantly impacting taste)
1/2 cup All Bran fiber cereal (get mine from trader joe’s, cheaper than grocery store)
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt or 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (i use/bought powder from TJ’s)
1/2 tbsp flax seed oil (i use the seeds, cheaper)
splash of milk, and apple juice or OJ to taste (milk for me, less sugar)
1-2 splenda packets (i don’t add this or any sugar, splenda=BAD)
1-2 cups ice (i do no less than 2, but it makes it harder to blend)
blend all ingredients except for the ice together, then add ice and blend again. After you drink it you are ready to take on anything - it’s like rocket fuel! also, if you prefer an even more shake-like consistency, unpeel the banana and freeze it in syran wrap over night.
madeline wants me to tell you to enjoy… YOUR OWN OF COURSE, because this little one ain’t sharing.
9. what is the recipe for your homemade peach/strawberry ice cream?
we own the cuisinart frozen yogurt/ice cream/sorbet maker and the recipes came straight out of the recipe book included. i’m totally that girl that always changes recipes up a bit, but this recipe needs no altering. it is seriously the best ice cream i have ever tasted. as the name suggests, this machine also makes homemade frozen yogurt and sorbet. a great investment, IMO, especially if you have kids, love creative flavors (add whatever ingredients you want- cereal, candy, fresh fruit!), or entertain often. c’mon, who doesn’t like ice cream????
Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Makes about fourteen ½-cup servings
3 cups fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. cups sugar, divided
1. cups whole milk
2. cups heavy cream
1. teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine strawberries with lemon juice & ½ cup of the sugar. Stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in
the juices for 2 hours. Strain the berries, reserving juices. Mash or purée half the berries.
In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and remaining granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved,
about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, reserved strawberry juice, mashed strawberries, and vanilla. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture
into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the reserved sliced strawberries and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft,
creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove
from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
Note: This ice cream will have a “natural” appearance of very pale pink. If a deeper pink is desired, add red food coloring sparingly by drops until
desired color is achieved.
For Fresh Peach Ice Cream: Substitute 3 cups sliced fresh peaches for the strawberries.
10. what was your breastfeeding experience like with madeline? in short, it was great! she took to the breast immediately, no latch issues, no supply issues (initially), and she was a fast eater- BFing took me 20 minutes each feed, tops. i wasn’t one of those women who had enough milk to build up a good supply in the freezer, but madeline was never left hungry after a feeding session. i’m going to be perfectly honest here- i don’t LOVE breastfeeding and you’ll probably never see me BFing in front of anyone. sad, right? i feel pretty guilty about it too… why don’t i love it like most moms? why can’t i be more comfortable with it? **i’m not judging anyone here… i’m admitting this because i want other women who feel the same way to know that they are not alone.** it’s so weird, i’ve taught other women how to breastfeed as a nurse, but when it comes to me doing it, i get really uncomfortable. i am a huge advocate for breastfeeding though… i always want to do what is best for my babies, so god willing, i did/will breastfeed each one of my children until i’m unable to provide nutrition for them on my own. breastfeeding was the one aspect of parenting that i was most nervous about so i was surprised to find that it wasn’t as weird as i thought it would be. that said, i get upset when i hear other women preach to non-BFing moms about how important it is to breastfeed for the connection. sure, BFing made me feel connected to madeline, but there are so many other ways to connect with her that i don’t NEED to BF for that reason. don’t beat yourself up (like i did) if something should happen and you’re not able to BF. for me, i had to stop around 3.5 months. i had gone out of town without mads, forgot my pump (ooof!) and by the time i got home, my supply was almost gone and i was in a world of pain. i even had andy bring the pump to the airport when they picked me up and i pumped all the way home- nada. i did everything i could to get my supply back up but it was too late. i finally had to supplement with formula and it went downhill from there. i was devastated and felt like a bad mom for being so irresponsible. i wish i had been more educated on techniques and options. this go-round, i’m much more informed and motivated to go the distance. wish me luck!
11. when are you going to finally start posting dinner recipes/ideas like you said you would??
soon. very soon… i hope. maybe? i don’t know.
so that’s it… all the questions i have time to answer tonight. again, if there’s something you want to know, don’t hesitate to ask… and this time, i promise i’ll answer.
16 8 / 2011
(purchased at our neighborhood yard sale a few weeks back, hangs above the tv in our living room)
a home is often defined as a place where one lives; a residence.
our home is so much more than that.
my favorite definition of home and the one we use a lot more often in our household is “the place where something is discovered, founded, developed, or promoted”.
since moving from raleigh to philadelphia less than 8 years ago, andy and i have lived in 3 states and 6 apts/rowhomes/houses. while it’s always fun and exciting to move, i’m really getting the itch to settle down and buy. it’s not the renting part that bothers me so much as the fact that we can’t buy nice items for our permanent home since we don’t know what it will look like. what if we buy a new couch set that won’t fit into our family room? or a dining room table that doesn’t match the house’s overall style? until then, we make do with what we have, we buy a lot of used furniture on craigslist, and have yet to own a bed with a proper frame/headboard.
a couple of months ago, the owners of our old house decided they wanted to tear it down to build a parking lot. we were given 45 days to move out (more on this later). i was 5 months pregnant and FREAKING OUT. we were already in the mindset that the next time we moved would be to NC, and we definitely didn’t want to leave the neighborhood. andy found our new house- conveniently 2 blocks away- in 5 days and we were moved in less than a month later. i call this house “the bachelor pad” since it’s not exactly kid/pregnancy friendly, but we made some adjustments and it’s turning out to be one of my most favorite places we’ve ever lived in. i can’t remember the last time i’ve been this happy- we love it here.
this house is by no means perfect, nor is it what i would design for my family if given the opportunity. however, the architect that renovated this 110 year old house created unique details that combined, make this temporary residence feel like home to us.
our bedroom on the first floor, looking out onto our front porch. in a few weeks, we’ll be assembling our bassinet for charlie’s arrival. i can’t wait to have our little man sleeping with us every night!
2 of my closets. you can’t tell, but the one on the right is holding about 100 dresses. there are also smaller closets above these. it’s rare to find a house in the city with so much storage space… there are closets/built-in storage all over this house!
our bathroom, which separates our room and madeline’s nursery. you guys have seen this room a hundred times already :)
my crafts area filled with years worth of art supplies. i love that i have a little corner that’s all mine for when the creative juices start flowing.
madeline’s nursery. over the last few weeks, we’ve been trying to simplify this room a bit. our goal is to make this room a little more gender-neutral since this will technically be charlie’s room too- he’ll be sleeping in our room for the first few months but we’ll keep all of his clothes, etc. in here. baby steps!
less is more. i’m resisting the urge to paint since i don’t know how long we plan on living here.
there is a glass window occupying the top portion of one wall in this room which allows just the right amount of sunlight to enter from the windows that line our hallway.
it rained ALL.DAY.LONG on sunday, so we found ways to keep us entertained while stuck inside.
boring picture, yes, but you can see how our hallway leads to the laundry room and a door to our back yard/patio. floor-to-ceiling closets line one whole wall of this area, but we store our wagon/3 strollers (soon to be 4!!!) under the stairs for convenience.
our living area is on the 2nd floor. what i love most about this concept are the elevated views. our deck overlooks our back yard/patio and the living room windows overlook our entire street. our dog lady loves to sit on the top of our couch and watch people walk by.
our dining room table used to belong to andy’s great-grandfather, it’s over 100 years old!
this hutch is one of my favorite pieces of furniture that we own. i bought it off craigslist 4 years ago, right before andy and i got married to store our china and glassware. i’ll never part with it.
where the magic happens. after years of ZERO counter space, this kitchen is a dream come true to me.
the custom made bobble heads were our cake toppers at our wedding. the cookie jar has chalkboard paint on it, so i can let andy know when i’ve made sugar or chocolate chip cookies.
we turned our sunroom into madeline’s playroom. i love that i’m able to prepare dinner each night while keeping a close eye on madeline.
more rainy day fun. these balloons kept her entertained for a solid hour!
our living room. we’ve held off on window treatments for 2 reasons- too many windows, too much money (they have to be custom made due to size). you can’t tell, but the blinds are burgundy and i refuse put them down.
our very first fireplace!!!!!! this was a deal-breaker for me when deciding on a house, i’ve wanted one for YEARS… winters in delaware are snowy and brutally cold, and i am dying to use this sucker alldayeveryday once we find a suitable childproof fireplace screen/cover.
even more rainy day fun. madeline put a stickers on my pregnant belly that said “good work” and “nice job”. andy and i couldn’t help but laugh <3
snack time, watching the wiggles while andy and i finished cleaning the house for our guests this week.
bean loves to share everything with EVERYONE.
our extra bedroom on the 3rd floor. excuse the lack of pillow cases, i was in the middle of washing them.
things we never throw away: books. music. movies.
3rd floor bathroom
our 2nd floor deck. we spend many nights out here grilling out, eating dinner, hanging with friends.
while city homes are not always ideal for pregnant women with toddlers (4 sets of stairs/45 steps from the street to our top floor- yikes!), there is something to be said about living in a historic neighborhood with lots of charm and a stone’s throw away from the most popular restaurants and shops in wilmington. it literally takes me 1.5 minutes to walk to my hair salon. we may not always call delaware home, but we’re happy to say that this is where a very important chapter of our story begins.
08 8 / 2011
i hit 30 weeks on saturday. i’ve been terrible about documenting this pregnancy… i’m so uncomfortable with other people taking pictures of me that my weekly belly photos have been reduced to blurry camera phone snapshots in our bathroom.
i know i’ve mentioned it before, but my nurse manager has been on medical leave for the past 2 months and i’ve been playing boss lady in her absence. she returns to work this tuesday, and as much as i have enjoyed the extra responsibility and income, the additional hours have taken a toll on my body. i’m mentally and physically exhausted and really looking forward to taking it easy the next 10 weeks, while still working my normal tues/thurs nursing shifts up until my due date.
i wish i could say that i’ll spend this time getting ready for charlie’s arrival, but the truth is, we have nothing left to do. we visited the outlets in rehoboth a few weeks ago and purchased clothes, socks, and hats in NB and 0-3 months- all 20-75% off. i refuse to pay full price for items he’ll wear 2-3 times and then grow out of. i also picked up a huge stack of my favorite blankets (again, at a discount- $10-$15 off retail price) since the ones we used for madeline are too girly. other than that, we have everything we need. advice to 1st time parents- register for/purchase everything in gender-neutral colors for baby #1 so you can recycle products. we plan on reusing the necessary baby items and eliminating the excess. i’m proud to admit that i’ve come a long way in 18 months and have finally adopted andy’s “less is more” approach to parenting/life. not gonna lie, it’s so refreshing!
over the past 30 weeks, there hasn’t been one second that i’ve doubted my/our ability to raise 2 children under the age of 2. together, andy and i are a parenting powerhouse. however, i did have a minor meltdown a couple of weeks ago after a frustrating day of running errands with madeline left me wondering how i was going to function outside of this house with 2 babes all by myself. part of my job as ‘house manager’ is to make sure that (most) responsibilities are taken care of by the time andy gets home from work so we can spend as much time together as possible. he works so hard (unbelievably hard) during the day that i want him to come home and relax, play with the kiddos, not have to worry about anything. i really, REALLY don’t want to wait until 6:30-7pm/weekends to run to the grocery store/bank/etc and i definitely can’t sit at home all winter- i’ll go stir crazy. i cried to andy (oh, hey hormones) and after going through a few scenarios that concerned me, we decided that the perfect double stroller would make things easier on all of us.
there aren’t any baby superstores in wilmington- if i need to purchase supplies or big ticket items, i usually have to drive into newark or hope target carries it… thank god for amazon mom!! we do have a lot of fancy baby boutiques, so we visited oranges and lemons to test-drive some of the best strollers on the market. big, BIG mistake. we fell in love with a stroller that is totally, 100% out of our price range, but we’re resourceful and determined to make it ours between now and october… hopefully without selling an organ on the black market. once we purchase a double stroller, we’ll be all set for charlie’s arrival.
after stroller shopping and chores, it was time to get ready for the taylor swift concert in philadelphia. ((hi, i’m lindsay and i adore taylor. judge as you will.)) my in-laws gifted me with tickets for my birthday back in january, and i’ve been staring at the actual tickets in my wallet every.single.day since before i was pregnant with charlie. even though it was just my SIL cindy and i going, andy and i had some friends over for a cookout before the concert. the second madeline caught me in my red cowboy boots, she insisted on wearing hers…
the concert was incredible. i saw her fearless tour last year so i wasn’t too surprised at myself when i reverted back to my 5th grade self, swaying alongside all the other 10 yr olds singing into their makeshift glowstick microphones.
sunday was spent devouring blueberry pancakes, phillies baseball, and lots of couch time, recovering from all the walking/standing/dancing i did saturday night. as you can see from the pictures below- taken sunday morning at breakfast with grandma and grandpa- madeline refuses to take off her cowgirl boots. like mother, like daughter! so adorable.
hope you all had a great weekend as well, can’t wait to catch up on my tumblr dash and see what kind of trouble you got yourselves into…
03 8 / 2011
i can’t believe how quickly the summer days are flying by! it seems like everyone we know is go-go-go this year, more so than usual. the carmines are no exception.
we recently returned home relaxed and recharged after two much-needed trips in july- rehoboth beach, DE with andy’s side of the family, then NC to visit my mom and dad (very low-key, i didn’t even take pictures).
with less than 11 weeks left until charlie arrives, it finally hit me that life is about to get hella chaotic. but instead of consuming my thoughts with pregnancy and labor and “when’s he gonna get here?!”, i’m focusing on the family that’s here right now. instead of wishing the days away so i can be one day closer to meeting charlie, i’m appreciating moments for what they are. i’m enjoying uninterrupted mornings with my husband. i’m cherishing one-on-one time with beaners now more than ever, and spending “me time” actually focusing on ME without guilt. this plan includes doing a lot of things i know i won’t be able to do once i have 2 babes… kinda like my own personal bucket list!
what i enjoyed most about our vacations was the opportunity to step away from the pressure and responsibility of daily life and just relax. it’s such a foreign concept for me, always has been… relaxing is easy to do, just not easy for me to do. for the first time in a really long time, i didn’t constantly feel like there was something else i should be doing. ((oh, anxiety…. i shake my fist at you!!!))
anywho, here is a collection of my favorite pictures taken while in rehoboth. this post is total photo spam (shocker!!) but i couldn’t leave any out, they’re just too cute. enjoy your wednesday, loves!
post-nap rituals- makeshift water parks in the backyard of the beach house
i think i enjoyed the blow-up pool more than madeline did. ha!
after years of BEGGING andy to take me (he’s not a fan of public pools), we finally spent an afternoon at a real water park. so fun! (until i realized that pregnant women can’t go on any slides- lame.)
madeline is currently obsessed with:
waching videos of herself and giggling uncontrollably.
'machines' with buttons.
day trip into lewes, de.
27 7 / 2011
"i’ve always been a talker, a storyteller but for a long time i couldn’t find written words. so i created a style that was so wrong it wouldn’t look like i was trying to be right."