29 February 2016

Shit My Toddler Says

I'm no expert (that's for damn sure) but toddlers have got to be some of the most blunt individuals on the planet! For the most part I find Mallory's candor to be downright hysterical. I mean, I regularly have to remind myself that I'm supposed to actually parent this small person, not just laugh and enjoy the 2 year old hosted comedy hour.

Listen to this shit...

In the throws of our move to post, I naturally had to spend a bit more time on the phone than usual. Mallory made her displeasure with this apparent by spittin' my mommin' game right back at me...

"Mommy Woodward! Listen a me!"

Recently Michael has been working on using the little push walker thing. I pulled Mallory into my lap and said "let watch Mikey walk!" She apparently thought my suggestion was quite funny as through her cackling she said...

"Nooooo, wets watch Mikey fall down!!"

One particularly lovely morning, around 5am, I went and collected a very awake little girl from her crib and zombie walked it down to the kitchen. As I was prepping my coffee and answering the first 50 toddler questions of the day, Mallory arduously grabs my cheeks and with a pained look on her face asks...

"Mommy brush teeth today?"

Michael was recently upgraded to a convertible seat and thanks to updated carseat safety statistics, Mallory was downgraded back to rear-facing. On one of the first car rides with our new arrangement, through the screaming and fit throwing, Mallory demanded

"Mikey NO look at Mally's cars! Look at Mikey's cars."
 (Look out your own damn window bro!)

Just a week or so ago, Mallory so astutely after nearly a year of watching me breastfeed her brother caught a glimpse of my stretch marks. With her signature look of pure repulsion and shock, she asks...

 "Dats dat Mommy?! Mommy got owie?"

And on that note--Mommy out!

PS. She is a for hire food critic if you dare you're interested!

26 February 2016

7 Years Ago Today

As I type this I'm laying on my bathroom floor thanks to a stomach bug gifted to me by my lovely germ buckets children. Is totally insane to be thankful for this? Thankful for the sweats and chills, a pounding headache and the inability to keep anything, even my saliva down. There was a time in my life, roughly 7 years ago, where I literally prayed for "problems" like this. I can vividly remember trying to negotiate some kind of trade with God.

"Hey, so uh, I've been thinking...How bout I give you both of my legs AND this cancer shit? Deal? Deal. Legs are high maintenance anyway. Always needing to be shaved... no thanks!"

I'm so incredibly thankful for the stress that surrounded not breastfeeding Michael following my most recent scans. Or the tears I cried over leaving Mallory at home with Kyle so I could go to Texas and get those scans. The reality is I now have a loving husband, two beautiful children, a couple of  amazing dogs and the most supportive family and friends; it's the life I'd always dreamed of--and it only began AFTER hearing the horrific words "you have cancer." 

It has been 7 years since I was diagnosed with cancer. Crazy, huh? I choose to celebrate my "cancerversary" on the anniversary of my last day of chemo. I wanted to celebrate a happy day instead of diagnosis day which is pretty much the ultimate as far as shitty days are concerned

Today, please, appreciate the life and "problems" you have--somewhere, someone else is praying for them as they fight for their life. 

22 February 2016

Something For Him, Just Because

During our premarital counseling, we I read The 5 Love Languages (I know, don't we all...) While neither one of us pinpointed "gifts" as our primary or even secondary love language, Kyle still takes it upon himself to surprise me from time to time with gifts. I mean, I'll bring home his favorite beer from the grocery store even if it wasn't on the list but that certainly doesn't an extravagant random gift giver! Kyle, though, he can be quite generous and sweet with this stuff. For instance he recently brought home a FitBit after hearing me mention wanting one, granted, a risky gift for some, for me, it was amazing! After he surprised me with flowers for Valentine's Day last week (even though we don't explicitly acknowledge the day). I realized, I don't ever really return the "just because" gifting favor and that's pretty lame.

So, I began scouring the inter webs and planning a few random gift ideas for Kyle. Assuming that I'm not the only one deficient in the spontaneous present department...Let's get those gift giving juices flowin'!

one || two || three || four || five || six || seven

Kyle is a pretty "basic" dude (what do they call even call "basic" guys? You know, the hunting, fishing, beer drinking, handy-man, sports fan, fashion-dumb kind of guy?) He likes what he likes and doesn't really deviate. That can make gift giving kind of a challenge because generally he either already has it or doesn't care about it OR has something uber specific expensive in mind and I don't want to touch that idea with a ten foot poll!

Hahaaaaa! Oh this wasn't funny at the time, but it didn't take long... Something I will NOT be gifting Kyle? A table saw.

Ok, so funny story about a multi-tool... I had the kids at story time last week and Mallory pulled the ol' lock the bathroom stall door and crawl under and out maneuver. Having encountered this with her before, I pulled out my keys and credit card to get the door open. A woman who was changing her kids' diaper behind us goes "oh, don't worry about it, I'll take care of it. I have a multi-tool in my purse. I'm an Alaskan woman." I shit. you. not! I didn't know whether to be impressed or offended. Note to self: Stash multi-tool in handbag to not be out shined in the restroom lock picking games. Anywho, multi-tools. Story time moms and my husband dig em'. Bonus points if you have it engraved!

If your guy doesn't already have a GoPro and you're planning to go B.I.G in the gift department, this is a no fail idea. Outdoorsy or not, I think most can appreciate what the GoPro is capable of. Kyle even filmed our entire Christmas morning from his GoPro, which I of course love.

Kyle literally doesn't have to think about what he is going to wear ever. He wears a uniform everyday to work then comes home and changes into, what he likes to call "multi purpose clothes." His chill/home/work out/sleep attire if you will. Soooo, I like to take it upon myself to beef up his wardrobe a little... kicks that don't have holes in them or perhaps a shirt, maybe even a little grooming kit or cologne if i'm feelin' fancy. 

If the GoPro is already in his gadget arsenal, get him a GoPro Accessories Kit (currently 50% off!!) The quality and capabilities of the pieces in this particular kit are unbeatable, especially for the price! You would easily pay 5x as much for a fraction of the accessories that are included. 31 pieces, a carrying case, and a 1 year warranty? Done and done!

Alright, enough of this manly business, I have to go help Mal do Kyle's makeup.

Baby Face Makeup
Later! ;)

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FTC Disclosure : I received the Camera Action Kit 
free of charge. As always, all opinions are mine alone.

16 February 2016

My Everyday Lipsticks

Don't we all have that lipstick color? You know, the shade you own in 293478 varieties and keep stashed everywhere. One in your purse, another in the car, a few hidden in random drawers around your home, etc. For me, that shade is any pinky mauve or "dusty rose." I find the color not only complements my skin tone but pairs well with just about any outfit or makeup.

True skinned toned nudes are tough for us fair folk--not impossible, but certainly a challenge. The vast majority of tan/beige/brown lip colors take me from zero to Walking Dead extra FAST! These dusty rose shades are kind of my neutral/nude, "goes with everything" option.

This MAC "edge to edge" lip pencil lives in my purse. It goes on under every. single. shade shown here and some! On me, the cult favorite MAC lip pencils such as "dervish" and "spice" are just too brown/tan-- but "edge to edge" is my lips but better perfection! 

Hands down, the most budget friendly options here are ColourPop's "trap" and L'Oreal's La Lacque "209 / choco-lacque". ColourPop is sold exclusively online (I think) and this baby is only 6 bucks! "Trap" is definitely the outlier of the pack as it more of gray/beige in color, but neutral and easy nonetheless.

"Stone" was actually my first ever purchase from Dose of Colors and let me tell you, I'm impressed! At this point it probably goes without saying that this particular color is right up my alley, but what really make this product amazing is how easily it it to work with. There is nothing standard about this doe foot applicator! Something about the way it is angled makes it really easy for me to quickly slap some lipstick on as I'm running out the door without looking like Mallory colored all over my face. ("Stone" is currently sold out, but I think "rose" is absolutely beautiful!)

Finally, "lovesick" by Kat Von D and "pink plaid" by MAC--created by two of the heaviest of hitters in the lipstick game. They can do no wrong, right? Right.

Have you found that your best everyday lipstick isn't actually a "nude?" What's your go to?

14 February 2016

Brown Chicken Brown Cow

Last week, an appointment in the valley afforded me the opportunity to check out a new home decor/furniture store. Brown Chicken Brown Cow just opened about a month ago and sells affordable (read--AFFORDABLE!!!) upcycled and handmade pieces for your home. I would describe the general vibe as being rustic/farmhouse with a little old school flare. Pure perfection if you ask me!

*Excuse the iPhone photos. I wasn't prepared for this investigative shopping trip to require documentation. ;)

During our visit, we had the opportunity to chat with owner Tammy; a downright incredible woman! She made the decision to open Brown Chicken Brown Cow about a year into her retirement from a career in neurosurgery. You know, just your everyday brain surgeon who happens to be enjoy woodworking, welding and design on the side. NBD. ;) She said growing up she was constantly following her dad around his woodworking shop just taking it all in--she's been hooked ever since!

Tammy would love for everyone to have beautiful pieces in their home which is why she prices the things in her store as low as she does. (For example, you know the popular farmhouse style "Bakery" sign? Well, Tammy made one out of wood and was selling it for HALF of what you'd pay elsewhere!) 

It is also important that I comment on the overall atmosphere Tammy has created for her store. I walked in with my wrecking crew toddler in tow and asked if there was anything specific I needed to keep my daughter away from. She responded "Nope! Let her explore." Laid back, family friendly, and pleasant?! Color me SOLD! Business owners like her are who I'm excited to support as a consumer.

Oh! Brown Chicken Brown Cow also loves custom projects! If you can dream it Tammy would love to work with you to bring your idea to fruition. 

If you are in Alaska, I highly, highly encourage you to check out Brown Chicken Brown Cow in Wasilla!

Visit the Brown Chicken Brown Cow Facebook page for more information!

07 February 2016

Valentines Day Gifts for Her

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! While Kyle and I don't celebrate the occasion, I'm always one to have a wish list ready and willing to be fulfilled. ;) No kidding, I have a note in my phone where I keep a running list of things I'm neeeeeeeding. My wish list legitimately helps me to minimize my impulse purchases and spend my "play money" only on things from that list.  Give the wish list note a whirl, let me know.  Ok, I got off topic. Back to Valentine's Day...

A couple of years ago I admitted that I'm terribly awkward when it comes to gift giving. When Kyle and I do exchange gifts we agree on a budget and trade wish lists. Romantic, right? The gift chosen from said list is a surprise, but that's about it. We like to keep the free thinking to a minimum and the expectations crystal clear. When it comes to gifting friends and loved ones who aren't Kyle or my children, I try my darndest to make simple, classic and bulletproof selections-- you know, to minimize the awkward. ;)

Whether she be your wife, paramour, gal pal, bestie (non-romantic girl friend words are tough), or mama, there's bound to be something on this list she'll love. At the very least, this should get your gift idea juices flowin'.

one || two || three || four || five 
six || seven || eight || nine || ten 
eleven || twelve || thirteen

Ok, so perfume. Unless you know the exact fragrance she wants, this one can be tough. I can however make a few suggestions for you to have the best shot at hitting a fragrance home run.
  1. Grab a more classic fragrance by heavy hitters such as Chanel or Dior For fun twist on those more timeless scents, check out Chance & Miss Dior.
  2. Go for a best seller like Flowerbomb or Candy.
  3. Just buy her this.
I think gift cards are not only totally acceptable, but awesome gifts! Pair it with a cool coffee mug, some festive lipstick or a nice bottle of nail polish and you'll be golden.

Tickets are the way to go if there is a concert or sporting event (or play, I guess, if that's her thing...) she's been dying to go to. Plus, you get to go too which may or may not make this a mutually beneficial gift. ;)

Alcohol and alcohol consuming accessories (ie, this dot shaker, a personalized or funny glass) are always a good idea, aren't they?! Unless she's pregnant or something, but you should know that ahead of time... ;) Booze can really be classed up or down depending on your situation making it an excellent Valentine's Day option.

And that about does it for my gift ideas. What are you thinking?

What are your plans for Valentine's Day?! Let me live through you.

For a more Pinterest friendly image, pin the one below! 

04 February 2016

Michael Robert | 8 and 9 Months

Lets just skip the "I'm so behind with these posts I had to combine two months, second child problems" conversation and just cut to the update, shall we?

'Ppreciate it. ;)

(I did take the photos on time each month, so I've got that to hang my hat on. *pats self on back* Black and white photos are from 8 months and the rest are 9 month shots.)

Numbers || Thanks to his 9 month not so well baby appointment (RSV did him dirty) I actually have some stats to offer this time!! 22.5 lbs, 28.5 in in length,18.5 in head circumference.

Diet || I'd say his diet is about 75% breastmilk/25% solids (if I remember to offer them to him.) So far he hasn't met a food he doesn't like! Woo hoo!

Loves || Babbling/making noises with his mouth, sink baths, Mallory, pots/pans, life! Seriously, he continues to be the happiest person EV-ER. He manages to find joy in just about every situation which is totally a trait I admire about him.

Loathes || Being tired, his car seat, Mom not being in sight, being in the stroller

Clothes || We have definitely reached the "ah, this looks like it will fit" stage in the game. As a very loose rule I'd put him in 12/18 month pants and 18 month - 2t shirts. Both of the kids have graduated to size 5 diapers.

Baby Gear || We are getting ready to switch him into a convertible car seat! Dude apparently needs to be able to look around in order to not make his co-passengers ears bleed. (We are going to get him the Britax Boulevard, which is the same one Mallory uses.)

Sleep || UGHH!! Sleep? People do that? We sure as shit don't! Mike will take an early afternoon nap and wants to take another around 6pm, but that second nap pushes his bedtime to like 11:30-12... No thank you! He is waking up 4-5 times a night or whenever my nipple happens to fall out of his mouth. Suffice it to say we are not in a pretty place in the sleep department. On a less whiny note though, Mallory did the same thing around this age and quit nursing around 10.5 months... I'm hoping that isn't the solution Mike is prepping me for. :( I'd love to continue nursing him.

Milestones || Mike is crawling! I don't think he will crawl for long because he seems quite annoyed with it. It's as though he knows crawling isn't the most efficient way to travel. He does pull up to standing and will try to shimmy around using the furniture to hold on to, but it ain't pretty! Also noteworthy is how destructive Michael is! If it's a toy, he now wants nothing to do with it. His preference is for non-childproofed, breakable, expensive things. Oh! I'm 95% sure he is saying "mama" but Kyle is refusing to acknowledge it.

We love you more than you could possibly know Michael! You are such a happy, joyous person and we can hardly imagine our lives before you.
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