Greg is away tonight so I was snapping photos of the bed time routine to send him. I realized halfway through that I should write about this because I love the routine and even though I hope it won’t – I know it’s all going to change when baby girl arrives.

Lyle is 15 months and Greg typically does this by himself or we tag team with Greg doing the majority of the work. Since his work days are long this is pretty much the only time the two of them have on week days and they love it. It is also helpful at this point because being 31 weeks pregnant and getting down to bath level is not the most enjoyable thing!

Here goes nothing …


Downstairs playing, reading, watching a little TV or chatting happily with dad and suddenly an unnecessary sad fit or the tenth eye rub indicates it is bed time. This is about 6:45 but can range from 6:15-7:00pm. (We aim to have him in his crib after 7 so if its 6:15 that’s when TV happens.) We simply say “Lyle are you ready for night nights?” And he walks to the stairs. I know. It’s crazy. My mother in law said Greg used to do the same thing when he was little but I didn’t believe it until I saw it with my own eyes. So up we go …

First the bath is run and the door is closed so sneaky sneak can’t get in. We move to his room to get things set – white noise on. Overhead light off. Side lamp on. Pajamas and diaper laid out. Towel acquired.


*this was taken at the end of the routine, so you’ll see 7:30 on the clock – this is definitely a late night for Lyle

Back to bathroom to strip down and get clean! Lots and lots of splashing happens. We give him a range of time in the tub. From 3 minutes if he is cranky and we are tired to 15 for when we are trying to drag out bedtime a bit. Usually bubble free in this house but he is not for lack of entertainment.


Next is the towel-scoop. I’m pretty proud of myself for figuring out how to do this alone. Greg gave me props for the trick. I might patent it. You’ll need a cute hoodie towel, a closed toilet, and a cute wet baby. Place the towel on the toilet with most of the towel bunched up at the top and only a little over the bottom edge with the hood at the top.  Armpit pick up wet slippery baby. Plop on towel. Lift hood. Scoop baby and smell their good smelling bodies. Giggle in the mirror.


Next we are off to his room for the diaper-pajama wrangle and the paci-lovey acquisition.



Annnnnd it’s book time. Lyle usually tells us which ones he wants and will often read his own while we are reading another one. He has recently started snuggling closer and closer. I love this time of day so much. He is so active that this is the only time we get to snuggle.



After 3-5 books it’s a simple lights out and sing the ABCs as we walk to the crib and lay him down. (White noise has been on this entire time – it is an indicator that sleep is coming. He really enjoys sleep so I think he finds it very comforting at this point.) As for what is in the crib. About 3 months ago around his first birthday we introduced this blanket as a pillow and this blanket as his blanket to sleep under. It has helped significantly to keep him laying down and not doing as much rolling/crawling/walking in the crib that he was doing. He stays under the blanket a lot of the time. There are still nights where he moves a lot and it is off him but for the most part he uses it like and adult would. I think it’s amazing.


(this is not the A&A blanket, nor is this photo from the same night, but this is how I found him one night at 10:30pm – he hadn’t moved a muscle!)

He falls asleep in about 5-10 minutes. Mostly playing with his lovey in that time. And he is up 11-12 hours later around 6:30-7am. Ready and rearing to eat!!!

And this is what I enjoy for the rest of the evening:





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A few weeks ago I Instagramed [new word!] a photo of myself walking into Target with an empty basket asking, “Do you think I can make it out of here without spending $50??” – Many people laughed, one even said, “I think they should just collect a $100 bill when you walk in the door!” As predicted I spent $62 when all I was planning to get was a birthday card. #fail

How easily do we all spend $50, $100 without even blinking. How about spending less than $40 on four toys that will keep your 6-12 month old happy and entertained? Here are four of Lyle’s favorite toys that he has been playing with for months and still loves them today, less then two weeks before his 1st birthday. [ahh!]

Melissa & Doug’s Triple Stacker – $13.50 

I found ours at Marshall’s for $9.99!

He cannot get enough of this toy. He is so good at it too, it’s kinda crazy. He doesn’t stack them in order at all, but he just takes them on and off and on and off and on and … you get it. Love. He also likes to put them on two of the stacks and then carry it around by the third. It’s heavy. I don’t know how he does it! It’s a freaking wood toy. Regardless, this one is such a winner and I know he is no where near done with playing with it! 


Learning Curve Stack Up Cups – $3.99

Lyle is OBSESSED!! At first he crawled towards them and knocked them over whenever we stacked them. Now he can stack them and sort them and bangs them together and he simply can’t get enough of them. It’s amazing, $4?! Get two sets! 


Soft Shapes Book – Trucks – $10.00

Also available in colors, counting, shapes, animals, & dinosaurs! 

Lyle is a book lover – YAY – although he still prefers board books to story books, we’ll get there soon – and this one is great because he can flip through it and pop out the shapes himself. We love to “drive” the cars around and he laughs whenever we say “vroooom vroom” and drive them on his legs. 



Fischer Price Rock a Stack – $8.79

(We actually have an Infantino Brand one just like it but I cannot find it online anywhere, it is hand-me-down from my niece and nephew so it’s a few years old)

Again, I know I have said it with the first three but Lyle loves this stacker too! He carries it around with him from room to room. This one he can accurately stack the right sizes in the right order. 



Little Tikes 5 in 1 Adjustable Gym – $40.00

And one bonus toy – this on is $40 all on it’s own – but Lyle has been playing with it since he was a tiny baby laying on his back underneath it, now he walks up and sits on it and pushes the buttons to play the music. Then he dances. It’s hilarious!  

Hope that you guys enjoyed that – I love to know what kids are playing with because although Lyle loves these toys I can already tell he is starting to get over them!  Any suggestions for a 1+ year old are welcome!


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New Normal

Week two of my new normal started out a little wonky. Yesterday, Lyle was up about 45 minutes earlier then usual. Then he took a super early nap and woke up barely an hour later. We managed to head out to the library’s story time and he enjoyed himself there but the trip to the park right next door lasted less then 10 minutes due to crankipotimus signing for sleep. So nap number two started before noontime, ooh boy it was going to be a day. Thankfully he woke up happy and we headed over to my aunt’s pool with Kiki for a quick dip to tide us over until dinner time and dad’s return home. 

So that’s Monday, but Tuesday, well this is where things get wonky on my side. For the last seven months I’ve been working in an office Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We have sent Lyle to a wonderful daycare center that we love and he loves and thrives at. Recently, though, I stopped working outside the home. Well, I stopped ‘working’ for anyone but myself and my family. That’s great, you say, but here’s the strange part – we are keeping Lyle in daycare two days a week. Tuesday and Thursday he will continue to go for a full day of daycare. [We are looking into other options for a shorter day, but this center only allows full days and most places who offer 1/2 days the child needs to be 2.] So here I am on a Tuesday, Greg at work, Lyle happy at school, and me – well I’m at home and I’m not sure what to do with myself.

Now I know a lot of you probably want to punch me in the face. I know I am beyond lucky. I know I am beyond blessed. But this new normal for me is just so abnormal that I’m not sure what to do with myself. I really try make the most of our days together – playdates, outings, book reading, playing outside at the water table, everything is all about Lyle those days. Tuesdays and Thursdays are about doing errands, chores, preparing food for the week, organizing and planning our lives. Oh and they are supposed to be a little about me — and what about that second baby I’m growing? Yeah, him/her too. 

One thing I do know about this new normal, is that I need to learn to focus and accomplish things or this time is going to fly by without me even knowing it. Only 6 more months until our somewhat stable lives are turned upside down again by another little life – now *that* will be a really new normal! 


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Relationship Advice

As someone who didn’t date much post college I try to avoid giving my single friends relationship advice. I met Greg during college (we dated briefly) and then “grabbed dinner” after I graduated and have been together ever since.  So clearly, I’m not good at the “should I text him?” “should I sleep with him?” “why did he say I love you if he didn’t want to move in with me?” type of questions. Because of this, I don’t like to say “well you should do xxx” or “he shouldn’t be doing yyy” … but I do have three pieces of relationship advice that are really general, but in my experience pretty darn accurate.

1) You cannot be happy with someone else until you are happy with yourself.

2) Boys are stupid, girls are crazy. (This is the start and end of every single argument in ANY relationship. Seriously, stop and think about it. I bet you would agree that any argument you’ve had with a significant other was either because he was being stupid in some way, or you were acting all sorts of crazy.)

3) Don’t have a long engagement. (Greg and I had a 20 month engagement. It was torture. You need 1 year, or less. It all gets done, I promise.)

So those are my go-to statements … any other gems I should keep in my back pocket?


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I took so many photos while in Montana and didn’t want to attack your twitter/instagram feeds so I thought I’d write a quick post. Apologies in advance for writing this from my phone!

Ergo *love* – can’t travel without it!


Lyle in his fishing outfit! (Even though his dad went without him!)


My strong man trying to take the lid off his sippy.


The views are just unreal.


The resort where the wedding was held – an hour outside of Bozeman.


Cute family photo (I need to teach Lyle and Greg where to look on the iPhone apparently!)


View from the drive through Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.


Lyle on a bear skin — yup — a real one!


Two grizzly bears playing at “the grizzly encounter” a grizzly bear rescue / zoo type thing. Very cool to see them in an enclosed area!


Just chillin in the big bed with the remote and no shirt — like a man.


My new favorite – what a smile!!


Annnd passed out the next morning on dad on the first flight home.


Okay Mama! I’m DONE with this traveling thing … don’t worry L, I am too!

PS (two teeth!!)


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As requested by the lovely Sabrina I thought I’d update you all on all the cruising going on in our house these days!

Lyle has been cruising around the house for a few weeks now. His favorite things are doors. He seriously thinks these cabinets were made his size on purpose.


His second favorite spot to stand is the front window. He pounds on the window to say hi and bye to people coming and going. He also loves cars, trucks, and bikes. It’s too bad for him we live on such a quiet street!


Hand-me-down toys are the best!! The piano is full of endless fun for Lyle. Check out his plaid shorts/manpris – stylin!


This is an oldie but goodie – he loves to stand in his crib waiting for us to come get him. Sometimes he is still half asleep (like in this photo) but as soon as he wakes up he immediately stands!


Additionally we have been cruising all around the world. Literally!! Since the start of April through the end of May our calendars have been booked solid!

On April 28 I threw a surprise party for Greg’s 30th birthday. We cruised Boston Harbor with 42 of our friends and family. The surprise was a success and Greg had a great time eating all of his favorite foods and drinking plenty of bourbon.


Oh and a quick trip to Baltimore for a Hokie wedding? Why not!! Such a blast to see all of our southern friends. We wish they all lived closer!


Then there was that time my sister and I spent a week in Hawaii. I was super super sick for the first two days but managed to have an amazing time in paradise and see one of my oldest friends get married to the love of her life. The views weren’t bad either!


And finally last weekend we were in Vegas (baby!). Greg had to be there for a work conference all week and I joined him on Thursday to celebrate his actual birthday. We had some time to enjoy the sites and scenes. And man were there a lot of scenes.


This Thursday we head to Myrtle Beach with my family and then to Maine the follow weekend for memorial day with Greg’s family. It’s bananas but worth it for all the memories we are making. Wish me luck with Lyle’s first flight!!


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Update on 30 for 30

I’m only a few days in but I thought you might be interested in a 30 for 30 update.

My surgery last Thursday (successful kidney stone removal!) has really put a damper on my working out. I didn’t realize that I would be more physically incapacitated then I was the last time I had a similar procedure. I won’t go into details but regular sitting/walking is fine but jarring/quick movements are out until at least Friday.

Besides working out (that I will pick back up as soon as I can and add the days missed to the end of the 30) I did have one adjustment to my 30 things. “one hour of tv a day” – ha! Who was I kidding. That slapped me in the face on day three. I really thought it wouldn’t be that hard but the weekend was hard. I decided to change it after I realized why I wanted to watch less TV and that was to spend more time with Lyle without the distraction of tv. So I changed it to 30 straight minutes of playing/reading/laughing/dancing/etc uninterrupted with Lyle. And though that doesn’t seem hard – you realize quickly that it is easy to become distracted and lose focus on what is most important.

Other then that – I am rocking out! I’ve already lost weight and I’m so happy. I’m also taking and tweeting a photo of each of the 30 items. Here’s the round up so far:






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