29 January 2014

It's the Little Things

 One of my goals for 2014 has been to let go more and enjoy the simple, every day occurrences around me. I am very much a list maker|calendar planner|control freak and I've found that in my mad dash to always be keeping up with my junk lists, I end up missing out on what's actually going on around me...you know, the truly *real* things.

So imagine my excitement when I came across my girl Jenny's blog post talking about a new link-up hosted by Ashley over at Words On Waverly. Simply put, it's all about enjoying the simple things in life and I'm all about a little more positivity and happiness in my world. Here's a look into what's making my world go 'round lately:

Pure Joy

{Screaming "YAAAAY!!" in Target. I can't blame her. The place has that effect on me too.}

It basically goes like this: My daughter smiles and my heart explodes. The End.

Let's be honest - the terrible twos have a way of sucking BIG. TIME. So I'm soaking up every minute of my beautiful girl's joy, happiness, laughter, and silliness when she dishes it out. Seriously tho - remember when a little cup of ice cream used to be all it took to make us happy? It's the little things!

Holding Hands

Chickie's new favorite thing is holding hands with mommy and daddy. "Mommy, hold my hand." in that little sweet voice.

I die.

And when her father and her do it? Fuggedaboutit!!! Too, too precious.

It's all about the little things! What little moments have you enjoyed lately?

Hump Day Mommy Confessions

1. Our Christmas tree is still up | I have yet to figure out if it's because of sheer laziness or that I really enjoy the tree but it's still up. And still lit. Every day. 

2. Pantry hiding | I've been doing a lot of this lately. Why just today, I stood in our pantry with the door closed, eating cookies, and counting the dust bunnies on the floor. It was fabulous.

3. Darth Vader | Chickie has taken to calling Darth Vader "hot" lately. I'm not quite sure where this came from but I do know this: 1. I'm pretty sure in the history of Star Wars, Vader has never been called "hot" and 2. I'm going to need a lot more wine to handle these types of comments and conversations. Ay yi yi...

4. Cookies | I've gotten into the really bad habit lately of eating milk and cookies every night after Chickie goes to bed. My head says, "Life is too short - enjoy dessert!" while my ass says, "Stop. Please stop. We're suffocating in your jeans." #nomnomnom

5. Trash | On most days, I usually have a bag  a couple of bags of trash sitting outside our front door waiting to go to the dumpster. They make it there...just not always immediately.

6. Music | I'm "that mom" that straight rolls up into day care with music blaring. And it's usually to something like Macklemore (Chickie *loves* Thrift Shop), Lil John, or the like. We are bouncing it out and I kid you not, Chickie bounces her head and waves her hands like #whatwhat !! 

7. Pinterest | I use to adore Pinterest and would spend time hours pinning inspiration, ideas, and great info for use. But lately? SNORE. I mean, how many times can we really see the same "I'll be glad I pinned this one day", regurgitated, spinach and artichoke dip recipe or door hanger tutorial. I guess this is the reality of what happens when a popular site takes off but it's a bummer. 

So fess up moms! I'd love to hear what your gems are as of late - spill it!

27 January 2014

The Birth Diaries - Madeline's Birth

Happy Monday, friends!

Today, I'm pleased and honored to be sharing Madeline's birth story on one of my favorite daily blog reads, Hand and the Heart. Andrea has an amazing and engaging writing style that I quickly became attracted to. Couple that with her honest, witty, and true look into parenthood and it's easy to see why I fell in love with her blog
Back in December, Andrea started a new series entitled, 'The Birth Diaries.' To quote Andrea, the purpose of 'The Birth Diaries' is to:
"use this space as a way to connect with other mothers and help one another with love and grace. So often as women we are shut down, and aren't given a place to explore and express our emotions, especially if we have had an unexpected birth experience and are struggling to understand our feelings about it. I hope this serves as a place to learn from each other, offer support and education, and give others a chance to empathize and gain perspective."
Out of all the things I've talked about here on Shiraz In My Sippy Cup, I've never discussed Madeline's birth and how hard it was on me, how much of a disappointment it became, and my journey to finding peace with it all...until now. When Andrea so kindly offered me the opportunity to share my story in her series, I immediately said yes. Thank you Andrea, for offering me the chance to share my story and for being a part of my healing process. 

So friends, head on over to 'The Birth Diaries' now to check out mine and Madeline's birth story which is featured today and while you're there, take some time to check out Andrea's blog. You won't regret it - it's good stuff and good for the soul. 

Love to all,


07 January 2014

Yeah, It's Filler But It's Funny...

So, yeah. This was my night last night.

All. Night. Long. 

    {Oh you were hoping for a low key night after a long day at work? 
Allow me to sing you the song of my people.}

In her defense, I was completely out of line to tell her "No" when she wanted to use the poopy diaper I had just changed her out of as finger paints. 

So my bad. After that, it was all downhill for the rest of the night. Lucky me!

The good news is that daddy will be home on Saturday and that sweater she's wearing is super super cute on her. The bad news is that I'm out of wine as I write this. 

But that's okay - I foresee a lot of back rubs in my future as payback for daddy's week away. ;-)

Sometimes, all we can do as moms is laugh to keep from crying. What are some of the things you do to keep your sanity when being tested as a parent? 


06 January 2014

Sunday Set | Reset

Two and a half years ago before I had Madeline, I had a Sunday ritual of resetting my life to prepare myself for the upcoming week - groceries, food planning, cleaning, and life maintenance. I am a person who craves order (as much as one can get with a toddler) and operate much more effectively and efficiently when I have a plan of action and am prepared for life to the best of my ability.


One toddler and two moves later, that ritual got shot to hell. Y'all know what I'm saying and how having kids changes life so I'm not going to waste time explaining how my Sunday ritual of resetting my life got put on the back burner. What I will take time to say is that since that happened, I've been able to tell a HUGE difference in the way my life operates without it and it's no bueno.  Lately, my soul has been craving order and organization so I decided to bring back the Sunday ritual of resetting my life to prepare for a smooth week ahead. I'm hoping this little change brings more balance and frees up more time in other areas for my life. 

So without further adieu, here are the top seven things I do on the weekend {Usually Sunday} to prepare myself and my family for a fresh start with the upcoming week:

Wipe down bathroom & kitchen counters & clean up bar space | I know most people don't want to feel like they are spending their entire weekend cleaning but really, doing this only takes me about 15 minutes and allows me to put everything back in its right place while doing some light maintenance cleaning at the same time - change out towels, wipe down counters, and empty the trash in each bathroom waste basket. If I'm up for it, I'll even run the Swiffer mop over the hardwoods. Think of it this way: for most people, the bathroom is the first place you go to on Monday morning when the alarm clock goes off. How much better would it feel to wake up to an organized and clean space vs. clutter and a mess. It really does set the tone for the day and how your week starts. I also like to clean off the bar in our kitchen because it usually becomes the catch-all space in our home for things like bills, paperwork, and odds and ends. Clean it, organize it, and get the clutter out of there!

Wash bedroom sheets and straighten up your nightstand | Bottom line, who doesn't L-O-V-E going to bed on fresh sheets? Wash off the previous week and start anew on Sunday. 

Check your calendar and to-do lists | This seems like something that would be obvious but most people wait until Monday morning to do this. Monday's are usually a crime scene for most of us so get a jump on it by going over your calendar and to-do list for the upcoming week on Sunday. This way, you have no surprises and are prepared off the bat for Monday morning.

Clean out your fridge and restock your pantry and fridge | Get rid of the junk, bottom line. Toss leftovers that you know aren't going to be consumed and stock your fridge and pantry with the essentials you know your family needs. This is also an excellent opportunity to plan your meals for the week since you will know what is stocked in your pantry. There is no worse feeling in the world than to get home from a long and busy day {Especially for you working moms!} to only realize that you don't have what you need to make dinner. Yes, going to the grocery on the weekends can be hell but it is so worth it if you think about how it will benefit you in the long run.

If you're a coffee drinker, use the automatic brew option on your maker | This is a great tip for every day, not just on Sunday evenings. My alarm goes off at 5:45 during the week with my coffee maker going off at 6. I usually hit the snooze a couple of times but when I do get up, my coffee is hot and ready for me. Better yet, it's one less thing I have to worry with in the morning. Take the time the night before to do this - it only takes 5 minutes if that and you will be super surprised at how much of a difference it makes.

Tackle the laundry | I admit, there are weekends when I just don't get all the laundry done. I've come to accept that it's basically a never ending chore plus, there are times when my schedule just doesn't allow time for it all. BUT I do try my best to knock out a good portion of it on Sundays. If not a good portion, then definitely the staples; undies, pants, and shirts I know I will want to wear during the week. Huge time saver Monday thru Friday.

Kid check | Wash and plan outfits in advance for the upcoming week. Do any school administrative paperwork that needs to be turned in and place it with your child's school bag. Firm up your schedule with your spouse/partner in case alternate arrangements for day care or school drop off/pick up need to be made. If you have a child in day care, pack their bag on Sunday - you know the drill - make sure they have diapers, wipes, blankets for nap, and spare clothing. If you have a child who is toilet training, make sure to include extra extra clothing and underpants. Check the school's menu for the upcoming week to plan accordingly for allergies and meal replacements. 

I know this list seems like a lot but aside from the laundry, the rest takes me only a couple of hours to accomplish. Once you get your own system established and learn what works best for you and your family, it is a breeze PLUS the time you take to invest in being prepared for the week will save you tons in aggravation, chaos, and crazy down the road. I even do some of these things on a nightly basis and it makes my life so much easier. It's a truly beautiful thing!!

What are some things that you do on the weekends to prepare for the week ahead? Share your tips!

02 January 2014

Christmas | 2013

For Christmas 2013, we flew to Atlanta to be with my family. It was an amazing 6 days of vacation and exactly what our family needed for a getaway; fun, rest, and relaxation. My family absolutely adores Madeline and were happy to take her off Michael and mine's hands while we were there so Michael and I were able to have a nice break as parents and also enjoy a night out on the town. It was truly a wonderful week that reminded me what this life is all about - happiness, joy, and family. 

Walking thru DIA | Chickie loved the airport

Boarding for her first big girl flight.

Chickie was an angel on both flights | Ate snacks and watched movies

Ready for take off!

Get the nose up, pilot! We're ready to get to Atlanta!

Watching the world go by.

Christmas Eve | Baking cookies for Santa with G-Ma & Poppy

Mom's beautiful Christmas tree | Lovely

Michael's Christmas Eve gift to Chickie | I die 

Reading The Night Before Christmas with G-Ma

Cookies + Milk for Santa

Wine + cupcakes for mommy

Santa putting together M's gifts | And by Santa, I mean Aunt Jordan. If you look closely, you'll see daddy enjoying a frosty beverage while "Santa" worked. LOL

Christmas morning family picture | Went about as well as M's picture with Santa! 

Opening gifts with Aunt Ashley

My best Christmas presents | Blessed

Enjoying her new Thomas the Train set, BG Rock Band stage, and more!

Christmas night game time - dominoes!

Thursday found us at the Mall of GA | Build a Bear + Carousel 

Pushing the pedal to fill her reindeer with stuffing

Adding the heart

In it goes with lots of lovies from M

Carousel with G-Ma


Friday | The GA Aquarium 


Time to feed the penguins!

Under the sea...

Chillin with Aunt Jordan

Snack time. Goldfish - seeee-food! (Y'all see what I did there?)

After a long day, Michael is toast & M is throwing gang signs for goldfish.
Best. Picture. Ever.

Someones not happy

Friday night family dinner | Michael, my sister Ashley, & her boyfriend Brian

Mom, my sister Jordan, & moi

Jordan + me

Chickie stared down this poor boy for the longest time. She's either making eyes at him or drooling over his pancakes. It's a toss up, really. #flirt #foodlover 

Spending time with my PaPa at his assisted living home.
The greatest man I've ever known.

I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas with those you love the most. Onward and upward through 2014!


Enjoy reading Shiraz In My Sippy Cup?
Make sure to also follow along via the following:

©2014 Shiraz In My Sippy Cup