Friday, November 29, 2013

Proportions


Every time I wander down the hallways and past the foreign tchotchkes and ceramic angels in my grandmother's house, I feel an odd sensation that the proportions are off.

The enormous portraits that feature a different season of life are much smaller than they used to be. My tiny mother sits atop her mother's lap, flanked by siblings in matching outfits, eager to capture one second of 1962. I used to crane my neck to look into each of their eyes. I stopped in my tracks as I strolled past them during our visit earlier this week. My head lined up with the wallpaper above the frame.

I followed Owen into the living room as he took a self-guided tour of one of my favorite homes on the planet. It was then that I noticed the grandfather clock wasn't nearly as intimidating as I thought it was. Its booming chime didn't startle me nor did its scale compare to my height. It was strange how different everything seemed, but my youngest son's eyes lit up on the hour, every hour.

Later that evening, Jonathan told me he needed to step outside for some air clear of cat dander. He and I bundled up and stepped onto the back porch. The brick railing that lined the tall concrete deck and kept kids from falling several feet barely hit above my knees. There were much fewer steps leading down to the yard and the expanse of plush grass and golden hardwoods had shrunk in recent years.

The squishy recliner, the round wooden table, the sun room with a gorgeous lake view, and the waters of the deep green lake itself - they all felt small. Too small.

I stood there thinking everything in this house looked out of place, and then I realized what was wrong. I'm a far cry from the kid who treasured grilled cheese cut into perfect quarters and chicken soup in an over-sized mug. I'm years from the little girl who sat on the dock with pen and pad and let the movement of the water inspire lines of poetry. It's been decades since I have rummaged through my grandma's closet for warm afghans, worn dolls, and hats from a time I'd never seen.

Her house isn't different. I am.

As I sat mourning my childhood, I saw my oldest son head to the hall closet of my Mema's house, the one that used to be stacked from floor to ceiling with board games and puzzles. He pulled down a classic and took a left to my Mema's room. He walked up to the giant bed that would require a jump and peeked beneath it to try to spot a cowering cat. Then he stood on tiptoes to peek through the high windows for a gorgeous view into a vast body of water full of happy fish, playful turtles, and the snakes my late grandpa would've warned him about.

Carrying that dusty old board game, he walked into her bathroom and he found her. He looked up into her warm eyes and he didn't miss a beat.

"Mema, do you want to play Chutes and Ladders with me?"

She didn't miss a beat in response and headed to the kitchen table that spread out large before him. Nathan shuffled a stack of paper and pencils out of his way. Among his work included a very factual story about giraffes, a picture of a princess, and a love note to his Mema. Beneath his work were writings pulled from the formerly gigantic desk in the corner office. They were filled with eerily similar stories penned by my nine-year-old self.

Once the game was in place, he scooted his chair closer to her so he could reach his blue game piece and he did a happy dance each time it landed at the base of a ladder. We were a few minutes late to dinner that evening, but it didn't matter. Nathan wanted to play a board game and my Mema was not going to miss out on that.

It was in that moment that I saw it. I found the magic.

My childhood is not gone, y'all. It's just in a different body.

Well, three actually:



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Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Bauer Blessings

Although we should remember to give thanks on more than one day of the year, today is specially reserved for counting our blessings. In true Bauer fashion, I sat down with my family of five last night and didn't let them off the couch until they provided the following lists of the three {plus} things they're thankful for this year. Enjoy:





Name: Jonathan
Age: 30
Thankful for: "I am thankful for these three awesome kids, my beautiful and loving wife {aw!}, and good friends - that's the only kind I have!"




Name: Jessica
Age: 29
Thankful for: "I am thankful that my children love me unconditionally despite my flaws. I am thankful for time to connect with my husband as people and not just parents. I am thankful for my family who is there for me no matter what, and the friends I consider family for that very reason. {And also Jesus Christ, who gave His life so all these people could be in mine.}"




Name: Nathan
Age: 6
Thankful for: "I want all the people in my family to see this and be happy, so make sure you put everybody's name when you say I'm thankful for my family. I am thankful for my school because I like to learn. I am thankful for my Ninja Turtle toys because when I'm not learning I like to play."






Name: Owen
Age: 2
Thankful for: "I am thankful for juice and Nathan and Poppy and Daddy and YOU! And I love Baby Sister and apples, too. And Paw Patrol. And when you let me play your phone." {I let him slide on breaking the three count.}





Name: Nora
Age: 4 Months
Thankful for: {as dictated by her oldest brother} "She is probably thankful for her family, her bottles, and the way I make her giggle."







Hungry for more Bauer Blessings? I love doing this annually because it's fun to look back on what we've said in past years. Click here for the 2012 list and go back even further by clicking here for 2011. {Owen's thanks is probably my favorite from that year.} Also, click here for my personal list from 2010. It doesn't involve cute Bauer boy quotes, but I figured you might need something else to read before you slip into a tryptophan coma.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!


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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Hugs



To be perfectly honest, Thanksgiving 2012 was a crappy one.

If you can recall {once I'd admitted it weeks later}, I was fully convinced that I had suffered a miscarriage right before I joined friends, family, and turkey to count our blessings and stuff our faces. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper and with good reason. Definitely not a diagnosed reason as I'd later learn, but a reason all the same. I went through the motions and avoided the subject of my possibly ending pregnancy. I cleaned my plate, played with my kids, and faked my smile. I am certain I failed miserably at hiding the fact that my heart felt completely empty.

It is so strange, as I cradle this 15-pound baby girl, to think that was only a year ago.

That particular story had a happy ending, but many do not. That moment led to the birth of my gorgeous girl the following summer, but I've had a holiday or two when my sadness was warranted. I'm writing this to say that this year, I know many of you will not have a picture-perfect Thanksgiving. Family frustrations, miscarriages, loss of loved ones, job issues, depression, anxiety, and the list goes on. For most, I would think, it's hard to fathom reaching the end of the road you're traveling.

You may not be cradling a baby next year, but just imagine how much could change for you in 365 days. Your heart could grow and your life could brighten. Doors could open, winds could change, and all sorts of other cliché analogies for happiness could come beaming down with the sun's rays. Life doesn't always work the way you want it to, but I sincerely hope you are able to look back on this year's festivities and feel as amazed and as grateful as I do right now.

Last year Nora was the size of a poppy seed. A little speck whose heartbeat could not be detected by ultrasound. That speck has come a long way since last year and although she won't be feasting on any turkey or mashed potatoes this year {looking at you, Nana}, I am so thankful to have her here, cooing and giggling. She is my sweet shining star and I cherish the sugar and spice she has poured into my life. We have an amazing connection and I can't get over the fact that I thought it had vanished just a year ago.

So today, if you're sitting at home anxious to make it through all of tomorrow's merriment and cheer because something is weighing heavy on your mind, I want to tell you it can get better. You will make it through this trying season and you will come out on the other side. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in a year, but you will. A round of holiday hugs to you all.

"You have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy from you."

-John 16:22




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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday


Thanksgiving is only seven days away. It's time to get literal.

In recent years, many of my Facebook friends have jumped aboard the train of stating one thing they're thankful for each day in November. It's an awesome concept and a great way to make yourself look at the big picture for a few minutes a day. I've enjoyed reading everyone's updates, but I will report that I am not participating.

I can barely remember to shower, what do you expect from me?!

As I've been reading through everyone's blessings the past three weeks, one particular friend caught my eye. She's doing things a bit differently this year. Instead of going through the motions of being thankful for her kids, her husband, her job, etc., she has forced herself to think outside the box. Her posts have not been robotic or rushed, but have brought insight to those who read them and I'd imagine to her, as well. Out of pure inspiration, I decided to smush all of November into one post. I'm not going to force 21, but I'll make it an even 10. Multiples of five are my favorite.

I am thankful for...

  1. Photographs. I've recently been looking through photo albums from my mom's side of the family that date to the late 1800s. I've seen photographs of Nora's namesake, who just happens to be my great-great-great-grandmother. It's incredible to see her at my age. It's incredible to see where we come from.

  2. Seasons. Living in Arkansas is pretty much my favorite. The showstopping change from one season to the next is amazing, and you better believe all four are represented hard around here. A rainy summer has given way to the most gorgeous fall I have seen in years. Maybe ever. For real, y'all, look outside and tell me I'm wrong.

  3. Dirt. My home was built on top of it. I grow food in it. I watch my children play in it. There's just something about the sun on my neck and dirt underneath my fingernails as I dig into the ground and get a new season started. {I say this on a chilly, rain-soaked November day. Sigh.}

  4. Milano Cookies. Does anyone know why these are so good? Are they magic? Every time I open a package and bite into that crispy wafer of goodness, my mind is able to block all raucous noises and peace overcomes. Move over, Calgon.

  5. Coffee. I have never been a coffee drinker, but now that the Bauer Four has become the Bauer Five, I couldn't survive my SAHM Fridays without it. Less sugar than a Coke, so it's healthier, right? Oh, who am I kidding, an ice cold Coca Cola classic deserves its own place on this list.

  6. Trees. It's pretty humbling to look up at a living organism that has been around for a hundred years. Roots stretch deep in the same place it was planted. Branches grow into the wild blue and the change of seasons bring back its leaves every spring. Sometimes, it's nice to feel small.

  7. Small Towns. There's no place I would rather live than in my cozy little house on the highway that runs through my sleepy town. Growing up, many of my friends were itching to transition to a place where no one knows their name. I was ready to spread my wings, too, but I had every intention of coming back. Not to the same town, but to the same type of village, the same sense of community.

  8. The Internet. Okay, I'll admit before anyone else that this crazy contraption is the worst time-suck in history, but it sure is fantastic. I can know the weather with the click of a button, reconnect with an old friend by tapping a screen, and learn anything and everything my little mind desires. Also, hello, it gives me a chance to share my story and connect with each of you. Yay, Internet!

  9. Windows. Although I don't fly from the bed to throw back the drapes and declare it a perfect day, I do make it a point to notice the sun peeking through the treetops every morning. Seeing past my windowsill makes me realize how much more there is to this world than my bubble. And seeing the sun rise is a pretty good indicator that I'm alive.

  10. Water. A good spot next to a small pond with a fishing pole in hand, a breeze in the air, and a chorus of bugs sounds like a dream to me. Throw in a husband and maybe a kid or three and we're all set. Whether it's lying on the shore of a salty sea, drifting in a backyard swimming pool, or taking a pontoon boat across a lazy lake, the water speaks to me. Feeds my soul and whatnot.

BONUS Here are a few quickies that didn't make the cut: blue skies, slow mornings, hour-long phone calls, dirt roads, date nights, baby kisses, honeysuckle, tomatoes from the vine, pajama days, pizza nights, my comfy bed, the feeling of being loved, and {of course} that Bauer Bunch of mine. Hope y'all enjoyed it. Now go have yourselves a great Thursday. Better get to work on that shopping list!

What are you thankful for this year?
{Thanks for the idea, Sarah!}


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bathroom Victory

{DISCLAIMER: This post is about potty training. Bathroom words are involved.
Carry on at your own discretion.}


Two weeks ago, this happened. Not one to let opportunity pass, I summoned all the courage and carpet cleaner I had, and I dove in headfirst.

You cringed at that last part, didn't you? Sorry.

Let's go back a few years. On Nathan's second birthday, we woke him with a hug and a pull-up. I was under the impression that this was the age of toilet training and we were going to get started, whether he liked it or not. As one would imagine, he simply used his cute little pull-up as a diaper. It didn't faze him in the least. Therefore, when we moved to our current home about four months later, we decided to leave the pull-ups in central Arkansas. It was full-time undies for this kid.

Yeah. That didn't work, either.

We pushed and he pushed back. He peed on the floor and I cleaned it up. He battled with me, his dad, his grandparents, and his day care teachers until one day, it clicked. Nathan decided he was ready to use the potty and so he did it. I vowed then and there that waiting would be the name of the game during my next attempt at potty training. Waiting and quite a bit of bribery. This, my friends, brings us to the present {well two weeks ago tomorrow}.

Prior to Day One of potty fun with Owen, I prepared the arsenal. I did not study any particular method, but I crafted my own plan and I was going to stick with it. This involved a bucket of potty pops, a package of pull-ups, and a teetering stack of size four undies. A container of Clorox wipes sat at the ready in the bathroom and the Resolve was tucked away beneath the sink.

It was go time, y'all.


Once Jonathan left for work and we shipped Nathan off to first-grade, we began. Every single half hour that kid was awake, I asked him if he needed to potty. Sometimes I was met with a "No, thank you. I fine." Sometimes it was "NO, MOMMY!" And sometimes it was an enthusiastic "Yes!" And wouldn't you know it, that Resolve stayed put all weekend.

{The Clorox is a different story. Aim takes practice.}

I stayed on top of him for three days. I followed him to every room of the house, watching him build towers, read books, and ransack his toybox. If I had a dollar for every time I uttered, "Owen, tell Mommy when you need to potty, please," I would be able to buy him a really good potty prize. I started to get tired of the whole Helicopter Potty Mom routine and feared my little buddy would, too. He didn't, though. I kept asking and he kept answering. This continued for three days until the magical moment when he told me he needed to go. Eureka!

Owen has done awesome. Surprisingly awesome. As in, I'm afraid to write these words because I'll jinx it and he'll pee all over the couch. He's had a few accidents, but nothing major. He simply stops, apologizes, and finishes in the potty. Maybe there was one horrifying episode of tub poop during date night, but we'll chalk that up to breaking in the grandparents. The intensive training was almost two weeks ago, and he's still doing great.

I am pretty proud of that little dude.

These results are not typical, especially for a boy, but if you want a piece of potty training advice, I have one thing: do not rush. If your mom is telling you it's time, if you are sick of buying diapers, if a magazine article says you're behind, it doesn't matter. Your kid will not respond to any method you throw at him unless he is ready to do it.

Then you can jump in with both feet. Watch for puddles!

Have a happy hump day, y'all.



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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Relaxing Read

Tonight I was primed to write about potty training. I had my thoughts gathered, my points arranged, and my flushing metaphors fine-tuned. Then I witnessed the following:



{Don't worry, the potty post is coming. And it should help to know I'm lying about the flushing metaphors.}

Tonight has been hectic. I believe there was a full moon recently and our family did not go unaffected. There was running, there was screaming, there were video game controllers ripped from tiny hands, there was goldfish stomping, and there was even a "doodie-head" thrown around. At about 6:55 pm, I was done.

The extra hour may go unnoticed when DST ends, but the ability to trick your kids into early bedtime is a perk.

The mom rage took over and I let loose a rant that demanded those boys of mine brush their teeth and get into bed immediately. My crazy eyes gave way to the fact that I wasn't bluffing and they did as told. To be sure, I slipped into the hallway and eavesdropped as Owen marveled at Nathan's rinsing abilities. Once he figures it out, I know he'll be a world-class spitter. However, this is not the topic of the hour. Not today, at least.

Once my squeaky clean boys carried their bare feet and wet heads into their bedroom, I relaxed enough to politely ask them to take a few quiet minutes to read. It's no secret that my boys love books. Nathan's reading skills have exploded this year and Owen is known to snuggle into an empty spot on my lap with a stack of stories.

A few moments after that request, I didn't hear silence. I heard reading.

I walked into the bright green bedroom and I saw Nathan turning the pages of "Are You My Mother?" with his younger brother, head in hands, looking at every picture. Hearing every word. Owen answered some of the questions Nathan presented in the book, but not in a way that interrupted or distracted. No book slamming, no pushing or shoving, and not even the hint of a pillow fight. The air was still and it held fast to every word that flowed from my son's mouth. I recorded the video and then I sunk onto the worn carpet. And I listened.

I took a few deep breaths and I let the calm take over my body as my child read to me.

I watched as these two little people, these brothers, these friends, bonded over words. They let the worries of the day melt away while sitting on that bed in their pajamas. All that was left was each other.

And me. And it was just what I needed.


{Photo Credit: Corey Kramer Photography}


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Friday, November 15, 2013

The Bauer Friday Five

I figured it's a good time to link up with Darci from The Good Life Blog for her ever-popular Five on Friday.
It is Friday, after all. Let's celebrate with five tiny posts since I'm too lazy to turn them into whole posts. Yay!
Click the image below to read other bloggers' Friday Fives and be sure to leave your own.


{DISCLAIMER: There are deer antlers from a dead deer featured in this post. Nothing gory at all, and only a hint of fur.
I cropped the photo just for you, but if you don't want to see it, skip this post. Or at least read through number three?}

ONE: Let's start with the most exciting part of today, which would be choosing a winner for my first giveaway. Several readers were hungry to win a credit to one of my favorite Etsy shops, but alas, only one person could win. The winner was chosen via Random.org and just happened to be someone I've known since grade school. Congratulations to MONICA F. whose name was pulled out of the digital hat before I tended to any child this morning {hey, I was really excited!}. Don't fret if you didn't win, though, from now until the end of November, any of my readers can use the code BAUERBUNCHFREE and receive free domestic shipping. Go ahead and click here to head to the shop and check off some names on your Christmas list. I'll probably be right behind you. Headbands and hairbows and bloomers, oh my!


TWO: Remember last Thursday when I wrote a post about starting the potty train tango? I am well aware that potty talk is a faux pas but you should know by now I don't adhere to such rules. It's been exactly one week without diapers and Owen is doing great. Every so often we battle the "But I too little" argument, but he's done an impressive job so far. This is a long way from my last potty training experience and I think it was due to a new approach. Not to worry, y'all, this will be a full post sometime soon. Oh, you don't have to thank me. Babbling mom talk is the reason I'm here.

THREE: This week has been so awesome, despite the fact that my bathroom gives away the addition of a third male user. Jonathan has been on vacation and I have really enjoyed the extra time with him. He's here to help with the shuffle of homework, a hungry baby, and potty trips. He's even done a load of laundry or two! Today is going to be the best, though. After a full day home together, we will enjoy our first date night since before Nora's birth. It's been a long time coming and I am so pumped to sit at a table for two and not worry about grabby hands knocking over my adult beverage. However, I'm not the only one who has been enjoying him:


FOUR: Jonathan has been spending quality time with us during vacation, but that doesn't mean he's missed out on his own fun. Last weekend was the opening of modern gun deer season in Arkansas and let's just say he started with a bang. When I got the call around 9:00 Saturday morning that he had three deer in one hour, I didn't believe him. Then I saw the pictures! Let's just say we have plenty of meat stored for the winter. He still has a few tags left and will continue to trophy hunt to see if he can find anything bigger, but he plans to donate any more meat to Hunters Feeding the Hungry since our freezer is full. I'm so glad he had such a blast camping with his buddies and I love to see this smile on his face:


FIVE: Speaking of smiles, I told that dear hubby of mine that he better remember what it felt like to pose in his deer pictures when we go for family photos tomorrow. I have definitive proof that he can do more than the cheesy grin featured in many photos of the past and he has been challenged to prove it to me tomorrow. This will also be the first official photo shoot of our new family of five. Things will more than likely get complicated, but I have no doubt that the results will be fantastic. And don't you worry, I will gladly share them all over this space. Get ready!


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Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Shape of a Mother


{Oh, look at all my bitty babies!}

Body image is a weird thing to deal with, isn't it?

For both men and women, both children and adults, attempting to stay body positive can be a discouraging process. However, there's just something different about taking that road postpartum.

Whether I'm reading comments from other online mamas, hearing advice among friends, or getting it told to me firsthand, a lot of the talk surrounding our postpartum bodies is that they'll go away. There are billions of pins and magazine articles and blog posts out there about "getting your old body back" or "getting back to normal" after baby. I am in no way here to say we should not promote healthy lifestyles and exercise {though easier said than done, I try my hardest to do my part}. No, I am here to say that body you had before baby? Yeah, it's not coming back.

I've done this three times so far. I have watched my body change and grow and distort and stretch so that the miracle of life could be formed inside of me. I saw myself in the mirror after birth and I've felt ashamed. I have looked at pictures of other women who have the bodies of teenagers weeks after birth and I've burned with jealousy. I have to admit, though, it seems the third time's a charm. I've figured out that whether you have a six-pack immediately after labor or you fall into the more common category, one thing is the same: there is no turning back.

And, y'all, that is not a bad thing. The shape of a mother is beautiful.

The stretch marks across your stomach may fade with time, but they'll never go away. They are part of your story and they are not ugly. Wear them with pride and remember the incredible things your body was able to do. Your skin stretched tight because your child was growing, preparing to meet the world and experience life and love and loss and fear and anger and joy and everything else that waited on his first breath. Your skin did that.

Your hips may be a little wider than before, but with good reason. You laid on that hospital bed {or in that bed or tub, etc} and you pushed a child from your body. You, my friend, are Superwoman. I tell my husband all the time that the best part of each pregnancy is the moment the child left my body. If I could bottle the glow that warmed me from head to toe as I learned what my body was capable of, it would sell like hotcakes. There is nothing stronger than a woman. Nothing. My hips made me feel like that. Your hips did that.

For some mamas, there's a permanent scar on your lower abdomen. It's the spot your doctors used to open your body and bring life into the world. No matter the reason for your c-section, you should own that bad boy. You underwent major surgery to get to your child. You laid on the cold table in the operating room and listened to the doctors work as you anticipated your baby's first breath. From that very scar came the first tiny cries that changed your life. Your belly did that.

For weeks and months and years after that day, you worked hard to build your strength back and tone the muscles that loosened as your body changed. You sweated and cursed and moaned and groaned. Maybe you were successful, or maybe you spent your free time eating Halloween candy in the bathroom {not that I can relate...}. Whether or not your body has undergone big changes since birth, your "normal" is new. You have been branded with motherhood. Marks and scars that remind you every day just how incredible you are.

Two new bodies were born the day you became a mama and both are equally amazing.

When I study the pictures above, all taken just minutes after I gave birth, I no longer feel ashamed by the way I look. It may not be the standard of beauty you see in a magazine, but I can't think of any other time I have felt more beautiful than in the three moments shown.

I am a mother. And I am amazing.

So are you.


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Riding in Cars With Boys


{Boys of the small variety, that is.}

It was a long and lonely commute to work this morning.

The highway was gorgeous today. Bright orange and yellow leaves hung heavy over me as I sped through the twists and turns, past cows, horses, and fields still sparkling with frost. There were no other cars in my path as I made my way from one city to another for this week's Wednesday at work. Music played from the radio station of my choice, and I had nothing but time to listen and think. It was a quiet half hour.

Too quiet.

My little ones stayed home today as their daddy is on vacation and their Grammy and Poppy are down for a quick visit. On the ride into town today, I found that my ride is different when they're not visible in the review mirror, especially that little backseat driver of mine. I found that I missed him terribly.

I missed hearing him recite every line to Kung Fu Panda for the 800th time, I missed him asking me to change the radio station every few minutes. "Not that song, Mommy. That other song!" I missed him fudging all the words to pop's greatest hits. Did you know Lorde wants everyone to call her Green Bean in her smash hit, Royals? You didn't? Well, now you do. I missed him asking me to find the tags on his blanket while I'm watching the road and he is perfectly capable of locating tags. I missed knowing the color of every tractor we passed and learning which cows were the spooky ones and which were the nice ones. I missed his actual backseat driving.

"Stop sign, Mommy! Light is yellow, Mommy! That car is going, Mommy, go!"

Every single bit of it, y'all. Over the past six years of my life {and more recently, the past four months}, I have come to learn that my life is noisy. My life is loud and it's in-your-face. It can be tiring, annoying, and frustrating, but despite it all, I love it. I might not always like every second, but I wouldn't trade any part of it for the world. I created all of this noise and my place is right in the middle of it.

All that being said, if someone were to take my loud children on a day in which I do not have to commute to work, I really wouldn't mind one bit. I'd like to try one of those nap things I keep hearing about.

Have a happy Wednesday, y'all! And don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $10 credit from Sassy Sweet Pea Designs. You can visit the post here. Get your chances in soon because the raffle closes Friday at midnight, and Christmas is only FORTY-TWO days away. I'm going to continue to live in denial about that fact, but you shouldn't. Go enter!


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Monday, November 11, 2013

Sassy Sweet Giveaway

{Disclaimer: The products reviewed in this post were provided to me free of charge.
All opinions are my own.}



For years I swore that I'd never fall into the "bigger the bow, better the mama" crowd. But then the ultrasound tech told me it was a girl.

Although I have done well to maintain a nice head-to-bow ratio, Nora June has been no stranger to accessories in her short four months. Since I've surrendered to the cuteness, I have found a few online shops that have done well to feed my addiction. One in particular, however, has me hooked. Marie is the sweet owner of Sassy Sweet Pea Designs and our personalities clicked after my first order - not to mention she makes a mean bow. You have seen her work in this post and this one, too. She was even awesome enough to send a few goodies for Nora to model and me to review. Check out her work, but don't forget to read the bottom of this post. You know, the part where I tell you how to enter to win shop credit? Just a click or two and your sweet pea could be styling like mine.

First things first, though. I have some cute things to show you.


Look at that sweet baby and that sweet headband! This little gem is so precious and looks awesome on my Nora. Both the color and the burlap texture are perfect for fall and the thin elastic makes the beautiful bow pop. Despite Nora's pout, I think my baby girl approves. You may see this again in our upcoming family photos.


If you've ever taken a peek into Nora's nursery, you know I was pumped to see a little aqua and pink in this special delivery. The chevron elastic is adorable and the pink mini bow sets off the bright blue flowers {which highlight her bright blue eyes}. This wasn't the only aqua and pink item, either. Marie specializes in high-quality, handcrafted bows, but she has a few other tricks up her sleeves, too. We got a little something for the bottom to match the top:



{Chevron. Ruffles. Pink. Bloomers. All things I learned to love when I cashed in my boy mom card this summer.
The thunder thighs tie it all together, too, don't you think?}



When I unwrapped this precious white peony headband the first thing I thought of was Christmas! It's got a little bling in the middle and a lot of sparkle on the elastic. It will be perfect for the holidays and I can see Nora rocking this beneath the tree. Speaking of Christmas, please notice the new rolled satin flowers when you browse Marie's shop. She just added them a few days ago and I immediately added them to my wish list.

Now you see why Sassy Sweet Pea Designs is one of my favorite Etsy shops and should probably be one of yours, too. Lucky for you, you get a chance to try it out! Drum roll, please. It's time for a giveaway!

Do you have a sassy little sweet pea of your own? It doesn't matter if she's as new as Nora or in Nathan's class, Marie's headbands can be sized for girls of all ages! If you don't have a girl at home, remember that Christmas is ridiculously close. I bet you could spy an awesome gift or three. Save yourself the cash by winning $10 toward any purchase in her shop {which would cover just about any headband and then some}.

Entering is simple. Just click the button below to sign up and enter your information. Your information will go to me and only me {promise, I've entered a giveaway or two in my day}. Then, all you have to do is click the first option for one entry, and fans of our Facebook pages get two more chances. Improve those odds, why don't you?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The raffle will close at the stroke of midnight Friday, so get those entries in by then. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted at some point that day. If you aren't the lucky winner, never fear! Marie was nice enough to give free domestic shipping to all of my readers who place an order through the end of November. Use the code BAUERBUNCHFREE at check out and stuff those stockings. {And be sure to thank her - we like good manners around here.}

Good luck and happy Monday, y'all!


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Friday, November 8, 2013

Nora {Four Months}


{Holy Cow, I'm how old?!}

That's my girl! Big round eyes to match her big round cheeks.

Miss Nora June has been hanging out with us for four months and is growing at rapid speed. I'm not sure how much more these cheeks can handle, but it seems she gets cuter with every pound. She doesn't go to her four-month checkup until Monday, so I don't have her exact stats. However, it's probably a safe bet to say she's tripled her birth weight. Which I think is every baby's one-year goal. What can I say? This chunk is advanced.

In honor of surviving more than 100 days with three children and not completely losing my mind, I'd love to share some awesomely itemized information about the one and only Bauer girl. {Also in honor of this sweetheart, I'll be hosting a giveaway next week, make sure to read the end of this post to be in the know.}


{This is the first month Nora noticed the sticker on her shirt. And tried to eat it.
I have a feeling there are going to be pictures like this for the duration of her monthly stat posts.}

  • The super spitup has turned into a fountain of drool. I don't want to call it yet, because I'm not very excited about teething, but I think I can see one little white speck on the bottom of Nora's gums. Both boys started early, so it very well could be.

  • Formula is still the only thing on the menu for now. I know some parents like to give simple foods and cereals at four months, but around here we wait until the six-month mark to start experimenting. I did find two meatballs hidden beneath her in the swing the other day, but I don't think that counts.

  • I say this every month, but I can't believe Nora still has blue eyes. Each time I carry her into the sunshine, those peepers are as bright and clear as the day she was born. There's plenty of time for them to change and they'll be gorgeous no matter what, but they sure are striking now.

  • Do not, I repeat, do not lay Nora down if she isn't sleepy. Sometimes as she's swinging, I see her straining to lift her giant baby head off the pillow. She has to know what's going on at all times. Her favorite position is sitting up on my lap like some kind of big girl.

  • There is no rolling over or tummy time breakthrough to report, but I'm not rushing it. The poor baby is built like her brothers with that classic Bauer head. It's going to take a lot of muscle to get that thing off the ground.

  • We have yet to take the plunge and move little miss out of our bedroom and I'm not even sorry. We still swaddle her like an infant every night, and she sleeps a good 10-11 hours, so I'm not in any hurry for change. I think five months was the record for Owen. We might be ready by then. Maybe.

  • Nora June is basically my favorite little girl. Every once in a while I still get that little twinge of weirdness when I hear someone refer to my "daughter" but she rocks. She laughs when I tickle her, she wraps her little arms around me when I hold her, and she looks at me like I hung the moon. It's an amazing season in my life and even though it gets tough, I am loving every second.


Nora wishes you and yours a very happy weekend!

Wait! I have one more thing. Do you have a little girl or know of one? Good. I am holding my first giveaway next week and I don't want you to miss it. The official giveaway post goes live when the clock strikes midnight Monday. Check back then {or whenever you wake up Monday} for a review of one of Nora's favorite shops and a chance to win one of her favorite accessories. Excited? You should be.


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