septembabbler.

Vivi follows Addie around at gymnastics and whenever she has a clear view of her, she shouts “HI, ADDIE!”  She’s a terrible distraction.
She scores a perfect 10.0 in Gymnast Addie distraction techniques.

FALL IS COMING. FALL IS COMING! I’ve already worn boots, sweaters AND my favorite leather jacket. BRING IT ON FALL. BOOTS FOR ALL!!

Over on Babble:
5 ways you may be hurting your spouse (and not even realize it.)

WHEN I GET SCARED MY EYES GET BIG AND I TALK FAST. This is a video of me scared.

17 things to do in Charleston, South Carolina. (Even if you don’t care about Charleston, I must say the photos on this one are worth the clicks.)

A hotel in New York averages $281/night. A single family home? $3.4 million. A look at the ten most popular US travel destinations and what a 2,500 square foot home would cost you there.

Toad Suck, Arkansas. Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Just two of the 20 most unfortunately named locations in the US.

How to survive potty training (Hint: Expect it to be terrible.)

The 16 milestones of potty training (like their first launch off an automatically flushing toilet)

This is me not coming straight out and talking about poop. Go me!

Sponsored:

12 Disney costume edeas for siblings or couples. (Vivi and Addie won’t be themed this year, unless Disney is a theme, WHICH IT IS.)

The 6 best things about Addie being back in school.

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Last question, if you like to make ice cream at home, what’s your favorite flavor or recipe? I’M ON A KICK. (thanks!)

plum kids giveaway (a super good one!)

A special thanks to Plum Kids for sponsoring this post.

There may constantly and forever be a special bag tucked away in my car with kid essentials for as long as I have them (kids, not bags or cars) around. Right now each kid has their own, Vivi’s is full of diapers, snacks and toys while Addie’s is full of snacks, books and stuff to color. If you’ve ever been stuck somewhere (side of the road, mechanics office, after school activity, grandmas) with a kid and nothing to keep them entertained but your own body and maybe a few random bits of paper you found in your wallet? Chances are you went straight home and packed a bag of essentials as well.

Remind me to tell you about the time I entertained Addie for an entire day with nothing more than a pack of plastic bangles, a banana and a sticker book. I’ll even show you the medal I was never actually awarded that day.

Here’s the secret to packing as few toys as possible, yet keeping your kids as happy as possible: MULTI-TASKING TOYS.

The best stuff is the stuff that can be stacked, tossed, hidden, counted, lined up, knocked down, and turned into a dozen other things aside from what it actually is. Which is to say the best toys are the ones that require a little imagination, bonus if they trick your kid into learning a thing or two. We received our own cloth banana full of letter tiles last week and Addie has been spelling out new words, dividing them into vowel vs. consonants, stacking them, making sentences and Vivi has always been lurking in the background to toss them all over the house.

TODDLERS! YAY!

One day we may even get to play Bananagrams as intended, without the “help” of Vivi.

Then there’s the snacks, it was my sister and her son who first brought Plum Kids Fruit Shredz into my life. She had some in her diaper bag when she came out to visit us earlier in the year and my children made sure she didn’t go home with a single snack she arrived with. My kids have never met a fruit snack they didn’t like, but it wasn’t until these little beauties entered my life that I felt a mutual adoration. No high fructose corn syrup and no artificial colors or flavors — even better? They’ll eat them, none the wiser to the nutritional sneak I pulled over on them.

Plum Kids wants to know what your after school essential is, and by sharing it, you’ll be entered to win a fairly amazing after school prize pack from yours truly. Everything featured in my video — from the snacks to the Kindle Fire — could be yours simply by visiting Plum Kids on Facebook or commenting here. Bonus entries available for additional engagement!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

just in case I had you fooled.

I want to come here and furiously write some brilliant combination of words that will make your head twirl.

But that’s not going to happen.

I’ve been lurking online a lot lately, peeking in on your lives, reading the ‘viral’ articles that either rally people together or split friends right down the middle.

Then there’s Miley. She’s kind of everywhere in not very much clothing, isn’t she?

Had paparazzi been following my every move when I was 17 (I realize she’s 20, by the time I was 20 I had already been married for a year) and you could have all witnessed my scantily clad exploits via the Internet you would all be blaming me for ruining society as a whole and psychologists would write articles about my breakdown and probably blame my parents, or maybe the state of Utah. I’d like to blame high school. Yeesh. High school.

Here’s the thing, whackadoodle me fell in love with a boy not long after some of my roughest brushes with various and assorted illegal and immoral behavior. That boy changed me for the better and helped lift me up to where I am now. I hope Miley falls in love with a boy who grows into a handsome man. One who cares for her and helps her realize her potential as a fully dressed, successful woman who doesn’t lolly about licking chains.

Though never stop with the red lipstick or the fair skin, Miley. Those things you have totally right.

That’s the other thing, part of America (the part I am very disappointed with) thinks the new Miss America is too brown to be Miss America while she is considered TOO BROWN to be “pageant worthy” in her own culture. THE HELL, SOCIETY? I didn’t even realize THIS WAS A THING. Clearly my blue eyes and fair skin need to move to India while Nina’s dark complexion can stay right here in America where despite warnings of skin cancer, tanning salons still exist ALL OVER THE PLACE.

I mean.

There’s been arguments about people only showing the pretty stuff, fabricating elaborate lies and sharing our lives in a narcissistic and desperately needy way.

If you haven’t seen Tracy Clark’s post about reality reframed, you must. Go, now. I’ll wait.

Good, right?

That’s what we’re all doing with our lives, picking out the lovely bits in all the ridiculousness and sharing it. Or at least that’s what I’m trying to do.

You know when you turn on your camera to take a photo only to realize SURPRISE! OH HI IT’S YOU AND YOU TOTALLY WEREN’T EXPECTING TO SEE YOU!

I think those moments are funny.

Because when I mean to turn the camera on myself I come out looking like this:

I put my full support behind BITE lip color. This one is cashmere lip cream in Sancerre. My other favorite is the lip crayon in either pomegranate (red) or velvet (pink)

(Also worth noting: Bite Lip products ARE THE BEST EVER. Gluten free. Cruelty free. Go. Buy. Now.)

When I don’t mean to have the camera on me? This happens:

Untitled

I don’t even know what’s going on there. I like to call it “There ain’t no filter for crazy.”

Which is a lot closer to my reality than the aforementioned glamor shot showing off my favorite lipstick.

My reality right now is that there are a lot of stretchy pants and not a lot of makeup. Thoughts are all kind of jumbly but the sun is shining — most of the time.

And this, there’s lots of this in my life right now. (Given it’s peppered with foot stomping, boneless fits of terror, and unholy amounts of shrieking — but still, this.)

swearing with addie

Last week I had a few hours alone with Addie, a lot of it in the car where she was forced to listen to whatever I had to say and answer whatever I asked.

I took a deep breath and had the swear word, sex, molestation, touching, and your body is your wonderland talk.

Part of it was to find out how much she knew, while the other part of it was to have her hear most of this stuff from me first.

Also to make sure she knew she could ask me about rough stuff and not have to be shy or embarrassed by it.

They're reading Spider-Man. #LookForTheLovely

At the suggestion of a friend I bought her The Care and Keeping of You book and it’s been a treasure trove of information for her. Aside from her chasing Cody around the house with her book open to the different stages of breast bud development I’d say it’s gone really well.

I know this raising girls thing is going to get a whole lot harder before it gets easier. But with this first big conversation out of the way (and knowing that no one has approached her about touching, seeing or other terribly inappropriate things) there is a weight of my shoulders. The conversation has been started, it’s up to me to keep it going and up to her to keep listening.

The best part is was when I spelled sh*t out for her and after a long pause, she asked “Now, is this said with a long i or a short i?”

How have big/awkward/weird/uncomfortable talks gone in your family?

 

pot talk.

Potty training with Addie nearly killed me dead.

I won’t go into details because someday her boyfriend will read this, but you know what? Her boyfriend had to be potty trained too, if he’s not you need better taste in boyfriends, Addie.

Vivi on the other hand, she said one day “I NEED TO GO PEE!”, stripped herself naked, sat on the pot and peed.

Just like that.

No sticker charts, no jelly beans, no elaborate schemes to convince her that peeing takes place on the pot and not in your pants.

She’s done it several times since as well.

We got her a padded seat and now she never wants to leave.

I can tell the logistics haven’t all clicked in her little brain just yet, right now she just considers it her super cool party (potty?) trick.

She’s almost a full year ahead of Addie in regards to timing (not that I’m comparing, I NEVER COMPARE MY CHILDREN.)

The funny part is I have to give most of the credit on this one TO Addie. She was the one taking Vivi into the bathroom with her to hang out then putting Vivi on the pot when she was done, you know, “Just to show her how it’s done.

If you’ve never potty trained a child I’m sorry, this is why mom bloggers get such a bad reputation. POO! PEE! POTTY! But underneath my crunchy candy shell, I am a mom blogger. If you have potty trained a child then you’ll know the momentous occasion it is to have your kid decide they’re ready to start doing their business where everybody else does.

Which also means more public restrooms in my future. *packs extra wipes*

Even better than the day they ditch the diapers? The day they can do everything totally unassisted.

Horizontal stripes: leggings only a toddler can rock.

I mean, once you get them housebroken it’s basically off to college, right?

cat tails and sad news.

In case I haven’t bummed y’all out enough over the last week, a local friend lost her two month old baby suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday.

Donations are being taken for hospital bills and funeral expenses. When I was with Katy last week she was worried about capturing Shaundi’s elusive smile on camera — not paying for her funeral. Thank you so much if you are willing or able to help.

To balance out this sad news, I give you Vivi playing with Wink’s tail — because even though there’s so much sad out there right now, there will always be cats and YouTube.