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Nadine

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You’re Gonna Miss This

Zoe trying on one of my shirts and shoes after a shower.
This picture reminds me how tiny she is.

Time is weird. Parenting is weird. When kids are little, we are so focused on milestones that happen at different stages. When they can hold their head up, sit up, crawl, walk, etc. But I never really think about when these things become a distant memory, or when we stop doing certain things.

My sister dropped some baby items off to me last weekend that she had borrowed for my great nephew. I was putting them in the attic, and thinking about when Zoe used them. When did she stop needing the swing? That thing was an essential part of my sanity there for a few months.

Since March, Zoe basically dropped naps. The first day home, she didn’t want to take one and I was still trying to figure out how our days were going to look, so I let her skip it. We had been skipping naps most weekend days anyways, knowing she was still getting a good nap at school all week. But after that first day, she never took one again. And now we are 6 months of no naps, and I cant remember the last time she did nap for me? When did these stop? It’s like you don’t even know its happening when it does.

I try to remember that feeling, as she randomly asks me to pick her up throughout the day. She is around 37-38 pounds now, which starts to get pretty heavy when you are holding her for an extended period of time. But one day, she is going to stop reaching for me and asking me to pick her up.

Right now, I sit on her bedroom floor at night until she falls asleep. I have been doing this since we came home from Gatlinburg in January. Ever since we moved, she had a hard time going to bed at night. I guess being in a new room on a different floor seemed big and scary. I just found it easier to sit up there with her, than to fight with her about going to bed and listening to her cry. I take that time to scroll social media or read a few chapters of my book while I wait for her to sleep. I made a joke one day about how it’s not like I am going to have to go off to college with her to do this. It is just a phase. But that is the thing, it is just a phase. One night, she isn’t going to need me up there anymore. One day, she is going to stop grabbing my hand as we walk up the stairs to go to bed. That breaks my heart.

I know a lot of people have looked at 2020 as the year of complete chaos, but honestly, it has allowed me to slow down some and really enjoy spending time with the two people who matter most to me. I am not going to lie, working full time at home while trying to keep Zoe entertained, schooled, and coming up with new things to do is hard some days. And it came be so lonely and isolating as well. But we have created so many memories over the last several months.

I am sharing all of this to say, that if you are a parent in a certain season, it is just that. A season. Maybe a particularly hard one, where you are going through a sleep regression, trying to break the paci, potty training, witching hour, whatever it is. Just remember that one day, this will all be a distant memory to you. One day, they are going to sleep through the night again. One day, they will be going to the potty without any assistance from you. One day, they are going to move out on their own and break our hearts.

You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this

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Currently

Linking up with Kristen this morning! What am I currently doing right this second? Chatting with another mom in a mom Facebook group about how lonely and isolating all of this has been. And how we have realized we don’t have any real hobbies. I mean, I blog and read. But other than that? Nothing really sticks out. Do you have any hobbies? Anyways, I am currently….

Reading: Layla by Colleen Hoover. Has anyone has received this from Netgalley???? Is is anything what you expected???? I cant decide if I love or hate the whole thing. It comes out in December. Honestly, I hit sort of a reading snag this month. I started two books and couldn’t care about either one of them, so I grabbed this one because Colleen Hoover is always a solid read for me. And then I got into it and I was like WTF is going on here???? And when I give my review next week, I don’t even know how much I want to disclose because I feel like saying anything will give it away. Someone talk to me! Also, fair warning, this may be the only book I have finished by then!

Layla

Watching: I was reading Rebecca’s blog last week and realized that Lucifer is back on Netflix. YESSSS! I absolutely love this show. If you have never seen it, now is the time to get caught up! I was so said when it ended, and couldn’t be more happy about Netflix picking it up.

All the very best moments from 'Lucifer' season 5 on Netflix – Film Daily

Cooking: I mean, when am I not cooking or making a snack for someone these days. I was throwing together some crock pot BBQ chicken yesterday, while Zoe was sitting at the bar in our kitchen having lunch. She looked at the ingredients when I was just tossing things in (homemade sauce) and asked me if it was hard. She said, “Mommy, your BBQ chicken is so good, does that mean it is hard to make?” And I just looked at her and said, “Honestly, some of the most simple things to come together are the best things to make. Just because something is good doesn’t mean that it was difficult or elaborate.” And I think that sums up everything there is to know about life. But in all seriousness, I think we have all perfected our skills while being home.

I wanted to share my quick and easy, low carb friendly BBQ sauce. It is so easy to throw together, and it tastes SO good!

15-16 ounces (either 2 8-ounce cans or one 15 ounce can) tomato sauce

4 TBSP worchestershire sauce

4 TBSP apple cider vinegar

1 TBSP liquid smoke (I always splash a little extra in)

1 TBSP yellow mustard

2 TSP salt

2 TSP onion powder

1 TSP smoked paprika (optional, I toss it in when I have it on hand)

1 TSP minced garlic

**optional (if you like a sweeter sauce) 2 TBSP of either Swerve brown sugar or regular brown sugar**

And that is it! You can dump it just like this in a crock pot with meat, or you can heat it up in a pan on the stove. I keep any extra in a mason jar for dipping in the fridge. This is Chris and Zoe approved! I know it sounds like a lot of ingredients, but it really isn’t, and I bet you have most on hand.

Loving: I purchased this Aerie sweatshirt on sale (it’sunder $20!!!!) and I am in love!!! It is so cute how it falls off the shoulder, and I feel more put together even though I am just lounging around.

I may or may not have also ordered these leggings. I normally do not do printed bottoms, but after seeing a few photos of normal sized women wearing them, I thought, why can’t I pull them off too?!

Feeling: Uninspired lately, if I am being honest. I had a few projects that I was so excited about a few months ago, and I have pretty much dropped the ball on all of it. That is really not like me. I feel like with fall coming up, I am sort of having a renewed source of energy. I hope that I can channel that into those things, because I really feel that they could be something if I put my time into them! Have you been feeling this way about things lately?

Decorating: I am not usually one to decorate for fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving. I sometimes change a few things out for seasons, but don’t go all out until Christmas. I want to change that this year, especially now since we moved. We have a lot more space to decorate without things looking cluttered. I want to curate a collection of holiday and seasonal decor that I absolutely love, and want to see year after year. I ordered this tiered tray a few weeks ago, and it finally came in. I can’t wait to make a trip to Hobby Lobby and the Target dollarspot to find some fun fall things for it! I really love white pumpkins, and I think that is what I might do for most areas in our house. I may get a few traditional orange things for our kitchen….and keep white and more neutral ones in the dining room where this tray will be, and the living room area. What is your favorite way to decorate for fall? Do you just add a few decor items, or do you change out pillows, welcome mats, hanging decor, etc and go all out?

Laughing:

Stupidly Funny Posts For Maximum Day-Brightening (37 Memes)
jacki long: Day 2800: It's Okay.
Keep it in the junk drawer - Imgur
(10) RVillage - Group - Comic RELIEF!
@ViralDads 🤣 Parenting Humor on Instagram: “Deep breaths everyone... Just make sure your deep breathes are at least 6 feet away from someone else taking deep breaths 🤪 #ViralDads”
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Weekend Shenanigans – The Time We Went Somewhere

It’s a funny thing, this whole quarantine thing. If we can still call it quarantine? I mean, lot of places are opened, but we still aren’t doing most of it. But this weekend was a big one for us! We will get to that, but first, let’s talk about Friday!

Friday, Chris was supposed to have a day off (he never truly does) and I was working, but also waiting on a lot of data to come in, so sort of stalled in what all I could get done. I took Zoe for a midday car ride just to change up the scenery. When we got home, Zoe found a caterpillar friend crawling near our retaining wall.

Of course, she named it Belle since it was a yellow color. She remembered that they turn into butterflies, and asked when that would happen. And also asked if it was related to all the yellow butterflies we usually see in our yard. Seriously, though, why are all the butterflies yellow this year? We have seen hundred of them this summer, and every single one is yellow! Anyways, after that, we decided to have a pizza party for an early dinner! So. Amazing.

We went for our usual family car ride on Saturday. We take the same route, drive by all of our favorite places and then Zoe always asks to drive by Chris’s parents house. When we got down their street, we saw that their car was there. Chris, partly joking I think, said “we could go in.” I called him on his bluff, circled the neighborhood and pulled right in their drive way. We did it. We went inside! The first place we have been other than our house since March 13. We had visited them in their driveway a few months ago, but this time we went in the house and hung out for a little while. It was so nice to see them, and Zoe was in an amazing mood the rest of the weekend. I honestly think it did a world of good for her.

That evening after we got home, I hung up some pictures that my sister brought over for Zoe that my niece is no longer using. They look so cute in her playroom, and ones that can grow with her. I hung them in a way that we can add a few pieces Zoe picks out to it whenever she finds things she loves.

After that we went out on the deck, and Zoe and I found a fun game to play with Mac. He HATES bubbles. Hahahahaha. You can’t hide forever.

On Sunday morning, my sister came over and brought a pinata with her for Zoe. She had filled it with suckers, candy and little dolls. It was fun watching Zoe try to smash it with a stick. Zoe was obsessed with the dolls that she filled it with, and they have provided hours of play since. So thanks, Tracy!

After my sister left, we went for another car ride. This time we decided to try the Sonic drive up option!!! Another big step, as the only outside food we have had, has been through delivery services. I was so excited to have my first fountain diet coke since March. Unfortunately, our trip was a little tainted, as the person who brought our food out to our car was not wearing a mask. We took everything home and zapped it in the microwave and toaster oven to kill any germs. If she wasn’t wearing her mask outside around their costumers, chances are, they aren’t following protocols inside either, you know?

That burger made Zoe so happy though! So I am glad that we went and got ourselves back out there a little. Next stop, a pumpkin cold brew or PSL for me ASAP!!!

That afternoon, Zoe and I had made a chocolate pie and we all enjoyed it! My mom used to make these all the time when I was little, and I remembered how easy and delicious they were. Literally just make cook and serve chocolate pudding, dump into a graham cracker crust and top with cool whip. Boom!

We finished our weekend with a lovely evening walk. My favorite.

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Friday Favorites

It has been a week, hasn’t it? It’s been work, work, work, work over here this week. I have managed to do a lesson with Zoe every day, so I am patting myself on the back for that! We have been doing a lot of sidewalk chalk paint still. We love drawing rainbows, hearts and flowers. The paint always looks so pretty once it dries. Much more vibrant than the actual chalk.

I have been trying to get out and walk around our neighborhood every morning after my workout. It is always right as the sun is rising, and I see the most beautiful skies! There is nothing quiet like a walk to really get your mind either cleared and ready for the day.

Favorite Surprise: Shout out to Lindsay, who I basically text with on a daily basis. She always listens to my rants or feeds my retail therapy addiction. She sent me a Starbucks card yesterday, and it seriously made my week. I will probably cry over my pumpkin cold brew. (Go read this post if you haven’t already.)

Favorite Purchase: I know I shared this link last week, but seriously, these Time and True Crewnecks are the best thing ever and you can get 3 for the price of 1 at Aerie. They look the same, even have that fabulous side slit. I will basically live in these come fall.

Favorite Home School Activity: I thought I would share some of the lessons and activities that I do with Zoe on here, for anyone who might need inspiration. Because I know I do!!! Let me know if it is something you would like to see.

This week, we worked out of two workbooks every day. One is tracing letters and working on same and different. You find two of the same shape in a line, or two of the same letter combinations, etc. Well, we traced the letter “m” yesterday, and I decided to do a fun “m” craft after by make mermaids out of some stuff I had in our craft bin. I think these turned out so cute, don’t you? We just painted popsicle sticks, cut thin strips of tissue paper, and cut out card stock in the shape of fins. We used washi tape for the bikini top on two of them, Zoe drew on on the third. And I put purple glitter glue all over the yellow one. It was so fun creating these together and now she can play with them like little mermaid dolls. Or at least she told me that was her plan for them.

Favorite Recipe: My sister sent me a recipe last week that I just had to try, Tuscan Chicken. Anyways, I shared a picture of it on Instagram and had several people messaging me about it…so I thought I would share the link for the recipe here. It was quite easy to put together, wasn’t a crazy list of ingredients, and all three of us enjoyed it! I served it with a side of asparagus, but it would be just lovely over pasta as well.

Favorite Workout: Still going strong with Heather Robertson and Madfit this week. I really enjoyed this no repeat one from Heather Robertson. I get bored when I have to do more than 2 reps of any move, so this was perfect.

Favorite Funnies:

a bad spoonie day – the autoimmune hippie
Why can't I be comforted by carrots? Why does it have to be chocolate or wine? | Confession Ecard | someecards.com
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Coffee Chat

I was going to start this out as “If we met for coffee…”and then I was like….if I met someone for coffee right now, I would probably cry tears of joy just being out somewhere and seeing anyone. I would probably spend an hour picking out an outfit, because no one has seen me in any of my summer dresses outside of this house and zoom calls. But here we go…

How to tap into the health benefits of coffee

If we met for coffee, I would probably start out by talking about how weird the last six months have been. Because that is where we are, almost six months of this. The amount of activities that have been canceled, the holidays spent alone at home, the decisions we have had to make, the people we miss, the weird environment of the economy and all the unknowns. It is all a lot, isn’t it?

You might want to talk about all the new shows you have watched on Netflix, and I would listen along, fascinated. Then I would tell you that I haven’t watched a new episode of anything since like April. We finished up whatever episodes we had of our usual shows, and haven’t watched a single new thing since. At night after Zoe goes to bed, we have watched the entire series of Friends, and now almost through all of How I Met Your Mother. I did see that season 5 of Lucifer has been released on Netflix, so maybe that will be the kick we need to move on?!

I would tell you that I hit a rut in reading this month for the first time in forever. I have read several books every month since 2013. (With a break for a month or so when I had Zoe.) And I haven’t finished a single one this month. I started getting back into a book on Monday night, so hopefully I am getting out of the slump.

You know who is not in a reading slump? Zoe! We read books multiple times a day, and she has been really into picking a book to read before bed every night. I love her enthusiasm for books, and will never deny her reading.

I would tell you that I am staying away from the news and most of social media, besides Instagram. Everything has really gone to shit, no? What is worse than the media’s click bate fear mongering headlines, is the nasty hate spewed in the comments from all people. I just can’t with it.

I am sure that we would joke about being over meal planning and cooking and dishes at this point. Because I feel that is all I ever do. I am taking it back to basics this week, because I feel uninspired about cooking as I do about pretty much everything.

I would mention that I have been killing it on my workouts the last two weeks. I have been very consistent with workouts since this all began, but I started to feel a little lost last month with it all and just going through the motions. Last Monday, something clicked again. Probably the fact that I turned 37. Yikes. But I am rocking them now. I have mostly been doing Heather Robinson and Madfit workouts, with some Popsugar sprinkled in. And walks, lots and lots of walks outside after whatever video I do.

I would tell you that seeing all the fall decor coming out over the last few weeks makes me smile. Usually I am saying things like, Halloween already??? But there is something different about it all this year. I think I actually might go all out on fall decor. I have been buying sweatshirts and leggings like I can wear them before November.

I would ask you how you think we can make Halloween fun this year. I mean, taking candy from strangers isn’t exactly pandemic friendly. I still want to create some kind of good memories of it for Zoe though. She has already changed her mind about ten times as to what she wants to be.

I enjoyed having coffee with you. Coffee is what fuels me through my days, and it is nice sharing a cup with a friend. I hope that I can for real do that sometime soon.