Friday, February 28, 2014

One Little Word II {Fail}

Mama: "Owen, don't DRINK that!"
Owen: "Why not?"
Nathan {from across the house}: "DRINK WHAT?!"
Mama: "Owen, don't you DARE dump your Fruit Loops!"
Owen: *dumps cereal while staring me in the eye*
Nathan: "DRINK WHAT?!"
Nathan: *crushes cereal underfoot as he stomps into his bedroom*

Sigh. Of course this happens the night before I scheduled a post with "calm" as the topic.

Remember back in early January, when my posts revolved around plans for the new year? I talked about how I'll become a better person in 365 days via my choice for One Little Word. I also vowed to report back once a month to take an inventory of how I'm doing and share my successes {and struggles} with you. The word I selected for 2014 is calm. I'll let you venture a guess as to how I'm doing.

I am having trouble, y'all. I am catching myself coming and going and I often feel like I can't keep up. I allow my patience to snap and my nerves to thin, and I can become desperate for relief. One bright spot, however, is that it's not constant. There have been moments of calm this February, and those are my small victories. Spare minutes stolen to flip through a magazine or disappear into a book, sunny afternoons on the porch swing, and quiet moments when no one is fighting, no one is yelling, and no one is seconds away from googling Poison Control.

As a matter of fact, despite the heated exchange last night {Laundry detergent, y'all. It was laundry detergent}, we are actually doing well this morning. I've started this post long before the drive to primary school, because my children have been awake, dressed, and ready to roll for the past 30 minutes and still have 15 to spare. All three are watching cartoons as I recline with my cozy blanket sandwiched between my lap and my laptop and a cooling cup of coffee on the side table. Pretty solid definition of CALM in my book.

I'm thankful there are still ten long months left in this challenge to step back and take a deep breath, but I'm starting to realize I'm going about it wrong. I'm an inherently stressed out person. Sometimes I look cool as a cucumber, sometimes I don't, but the majority of the time I'm freaking out on the inside. If my to-do list grows too long, I lose control. If the kids lose their minds simultaneously, I lose control. If the freshly cleaned house is destroyed in thirty seconds flat, I lose control. Control is a tough word for me. I have such a strong obsession with hanging on so tight, that I think it's time to start doing the opposite. I think my calm will come when I let it go.

There is no parenting law that states everything must be perfect. I have a sneaking suspicion if I attempt to release some of these ideals, I will find what I need. I also have to go back to the parenting resolutions I spelled out last year and repeat Number One until it sinks in. I have to realize my kids are just being kids and life will not follow plan. Messes will happen, fights are inevitable, bad decisions are a way of learning, and I can't always be in control.

But I can always pray for long naps. Keep your cool today, y'all. Here's hoping for a happy Friday and an even better weekend. Enjoy your day, snag as many quiet moments as you can, and remain calm. I solemnly swear to do my best.

{Cue perfectly timed Fruit Loops hitting the floor. Who keeps feeding this kid?! One, two, three, four...}

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Warm Home, Warm Heart

Once upon a time, I married a boy who had a sister. That sister moved to the frigid, arctic north four months after my firstborn arrived, and made her trek home to sunny Arkansas last summer.

I'd say it's time the woman got a proper welcome, wouldn't you?

Not too long ago, all the pieces fell into place for her to snag the perfect apartment, on a hilltop in central Arkansas. This place took away her work commute, brought her closer to her parents, and gave her a blank canvas to decorate as she saw fit. Once her place was set up just so, her good friend Tiffanie decided it was high time to show it off. She threw her an amazing homewarming party last weekend, full of delicious eats, games that were basically my wheelhouse, and grand tours for all. Although I had zero to do with this party other than attend as a guest, make sure my children stayed outside, and sweep the competition in all of the word-themed games, I have a strong desire to write about it. These girls did an amazing job with every detail of the party, and my SIL has done an incredible job making this space into a home.

Since I played photographer for the night, I have all sorts of fun to share. Let's start with the most delicious part, shall we? I'm not sure what was a bigger hit at this shindig, the homemade chicken salad croissants or the delectable cucumber crostinis. {Personally, the latter was my favorite. I might have eaten two. And a half.} Not pictured are the cute little caprese bites, a big bowl of pasta salad, and some tasty spinach dip. Although most of the kiddos {read: mine} turned their noses up at all the green, the hostess pleased the pickiest with three flavors of mini cupcakes.

Although the food was in my top three favorite things about this party, I think my most favorite thing was visiting Bridget's place for the first time. From the gorgeous aqua-and-yellow bedroom to the wall displaying photos of past generations, she gave every room its own special touch. Feathers on the wall here, a collection of prized books there, and happy, bright painted pieces throughout. Sunlight bathed the floors through huge windows, and an open craft room sat full of potential {and hopefully *many* future lessons for me}. Here's a quick sample:

Even though I spent the morning correcting Owen when he was tuning up his pipes to sing "Happy Birthday" to his beloved Aunt B, this party was not without presents. That sees of mine has such a sweet group of friends and family that she racked up nicely at her housewarming. She can officially make toast, blend margaritas, cook macaroni and cheese, not burn herself on the macaroni and cheese, and store said macaroni and cheese in an airtight container. Also, my kids got her a cat cutting board. Not that it's a competition, but they win:

Speaking of my kids, I bet you were wondering what metaphor I was employing earlier when I made reference to keeping them outside. Oh no, my friend, I meant every word. Do you really think I could've whipped the competition at anagramming HOUSEWARMING with three babies hanging off of me? Aside from a brief cupcake break, they were banned outside. Thankfully, their aunt was smart enough to arrange bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and lots of other children for entertainment:

{Okay... maybe we let ONE kid play games. She gave me a run for my money, too!}

This party was such a success, y'all. A million thanks to the hostess for inviting me and my crazy family and to Bridget for opening her home and allowing me to spend time with her, meet a few of her friends, and catch up with a few of my own. We loved hearing about her awesome adventures in Maine, but I'm so excited to be with her for the next chapter in her life. And now she has a gorgeous home to set the scene.

I know I speak for the whole bunch when I say I am happy she's home.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

{not so} Wordless Wednesday

Hey gang. Just thought I'd slap together a Not-So-Wordless Wednesday to tide you over for the day. I snapped this one after a quick diaper change at my SIL's fantastic housewarming party. Baby Nora's eyes matched the duvet cover much too well to let this photo go unpublished. Stare at these sweet cheeks today, then come back tomorrow for full party details. I only attended as a guest/winner of all the games, but I feel as though you have to see it. Therefore, I blog. Happy Hump Day, y'all!

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Bauer Boy Babbles

That moment when you realize your six-year-old can pronounce "granola bar" with the greatest of ease and "banilla bars" are a thing of the past? It's heartbreaking, really.

I don't know if I'm just amazed at how a baby I gave birth to can grow to string words together into coherent thoughts, stories, and frequent rambles, but I'm under the impression that my oldest son has always been extremely well-spoken. He's quite a few reading levels ahead and he's already racked up two creative writing awards this school year, so there are at least a couple people out there who agree. However, this first-grader who's been known to adjust adults' grammar and correctly use the subjunctive wasn't always a stickler for the rules. The adorable speech impediments, mispronunciations, and flagrant misuse of the English language were pretty darn adorable a few years ago. So much that I refused to tell him the correct way to pronounce "spaghetti" and was a little sad when he discovered it on his own. Therefore, I must make mental {and digital} notes of Owen's babbles before he, too, goes the way of the educated.

Now that it's written out in black and white, this sounds like a horrible premise for a post, doesn't it? Capture incorrect language before it corrects itself? Whataver, it's cute and I'm the mom. So there. Here's what Owen has been saying {but probably won't be saying for long}:

  • Waywee = Blanket
  • Nudder Waywee = Another Blanket {he needs anywhere from two-six at bedtime}
  • Pick-Ups = Hick-Ups
  • Fadetti = Spaghetti
  • Felly = Smelly
  • Fokey = Smokey {he's got an interesting f-s thing going on}
  • June Bug Ride = Dune Buggy
  • Poo Pool = Purple {that's a fun one}
  • Coffee = Copy {as in "Don't coffee me, Nathan!"}
  • Too = Cool {"too truck, dude!'}
  • Fickle Me = Despicable Me
  • Teety Totters = Tater Tots
  • Chicken Fries = French Fries
  • Sucka = Sugar {uninformed parties would think he's insulting my grandma's cat}
  • Widdy. Widdy. Needit. = Really. Really. Need it.
  • Pop Toe = Pop Tart
  • I'll be RIGHT back = I'm going to do something wrong.
  • Don't TALK-a Me = I've done something wrong.
  • Mama, Nathan just HIT me = I just hit Nathan.
  • Baby Sisser got a tractor on her head = Baby Sister probably has a tractor on her head, better check.

This is merely a list from the top of my head, so you know I'll be thinking of more as the day goes by. Maybe this post will get a Part Two, and who knows, maybe baby sister will be rattling off ridiculous things by then. Everyone he speaks to doesn't always understand him, so I hope this Owen-English translation will help you in the future. If not, I hope it at least made you grin on this chilly morning. I wish you a smooth and easy start to the week because if you're anything like me, I know you widdy widdy need it.

Happy Monday from me and the boys!

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Date Night

The original Bauer Bunch circa Christmas 2005.

Do you know your vacuum's Lucky Charm capacity? I can say without hesitation that I do.

But that cute, well-rested girl up there? She doesn't have a clue. She probably hasn't even seen her vacuum in a few months nor does she know the best travel path for cleaning her shoe box of an apartment. A week's worth of laundry is probably waiting in her bedroom and I'll bet you a crab rangoon she grabbed one of five crumpled Chinese food menus seconds after this selfie-before-selfie-was-a-word was snapped. Oh, and also? That girl is deliriously happy.

See that guy up there? Yeah, she's been dating him for about five months and wearing his grandmother's engagement ring for three. Once she allowed their friendship to blossom into something more, sparks flew. They have no idea where their June wedding will take them, and they can't imagine the walls that will stand in their way. All they knew in this frozen moment is that they wanted to do it together, and if that's not reason enough to get married, then I don't know what is. Fast forward a little to see that she found her vacuum, he honed his cooking skills, and married life was the picture of domesticated bliss. Then they made three babies, and things got a bit more complicated. And, here we are.

{Thanks for keeping up.}

Day in and day out, I feel like I'm chasing my tail. While I'm in the kitchen sweeping up one mess, my kids are in their bedrooms making another. Dishes pile into the sink the minute I close the dishwasher and the cycle of dirty laundry is endless. Between the job I'm paid for and the jobs I'm not, life has me running crazy, and I can become desperate for escape. Those two in that picture are still around. They're older, they don't get nearly enough sleep, and they vacuum up Lucky Charms more often than they'd care to admit, but they are still very much in love. And they deserve a break.

Tonight Jonathan and I have dinner and hotel reservations to stretch our Valentine's Day celebration another weekend and enjoy a little kid-free time for conversation, romance, and glorious sleep. You better believe I've perused the menu and can already imagine sinking my teeth into gorgeous filet mignon. It will be the best steak of my life, mark my words. No kiddie menus for our table tonight. Just us.

Life can start spinning away from me, but I know I can cling to him when everything else slips through my fingers. I can't count on Owen to listen to me, I can't count on Nathan to be quiet, I can't count on Nora to sleep through the night, but I can count on Jonathan to hold my hand and walk beside me. I am well aware of how lucky I am for that.

I may complain and whine and moan about the everyday life of a mother, but I do know exactly how good I have it. I am blessed.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Five on Friday

I have been a blogging slacker this week. Plenty of ideas, but no time to write. Here's a Five on Friday style recap, linked up with Darci over at The Good Life Blog {join me if you blog!}. This is what we've been up to this week. How about you?
Hopefully I'll have a few free minutes for full-scale blogging next week, but will this do for now?
There are cute pictures of my kids and everything!

{photo here}

{ONE} I know it's only February, but I am officially in a summer state of mind. Jonathan and I have finalized our vacation dates and now that our week off is reserved, it's time to plan. This year we are going to take our first real, live vacation for two since becoming parents. No kids, no work, no responsibilities, just sun, unlimited fruity drinks, and an ocean breeze. We also happen to be planning it around my thirtieth birthday. What better way to ring in an exciting new decade than with toes in the sand? Only about four months until we head to sunny Florida and settle into those two chairs.

{TWO} Speaking of sun, the weather has been incredible, hasn't it? {Okay, if you are not in Arkansas or its neighboring states, I am sure you read that with immense sarcasm. I'm very sorry for your snow-covered situation, but don't worry, spring is on its way. Maybe?} Yesterday we were so close to 80 degrees that I could already smell tomato leaves and thick air. We have been spending afternoons on the swing set and roaming the yard for the first dandelion. I know winter could come roaring back, but the bright blue, cloudless skies seem to say otherwise. Today I will throw open my windows, breathe in the fresh air, and pretend that spring has sprung. Join me?

{THREE} My Valentine's Day was the sweetest. I was Nathan's date at his first-grade party and I came home to bright and happy tulips from my boys, paired with six chocolate-dipped strawberries. That evening, the five of us got takeout from our favorite local fish joint and sat around the table laughing with each other. Our actual just-the-two-of-us date isn't until tomorrow night, so I wasn't expecting such an awesome holiday. I couldn't ask for a better way to feel loved. Plus, chocolate-covered strawberries!

{FOUR} Every Thursday my husband works late and I do the nightly routine of homework, dinner, bath time, and bedtime solo. Last night was a particular trying one. When I was changing Nora, Owen was playing 52-card pickup in my bedroom. When I was searching for Nathan's favorite pajamas, Owen was flooding the bathroom. When I was doing the dishes, Owen was dumping the contents of the pantry onto the kitchen floor. I sense you've discovered a common theme here? Not only is Owen hard to keep up with alone, it's even harder when he {and his brother} are asking for their daddy every five minutes. I'm VERY thankful for Jonathan and I'm VERY thankful when he comes home.

{photo here}

{FIVE} Tonight the Bauer Bunch and I are headed to dinner with my side of the family to celebrate the birth of the one and only Grampa {also known as my dad}. The boys and I are very excited about a night out together at a new restaurant surrounded by family. Although my dad is a pretty awesome reason to kick back and celebrate, the Internet tells me tomorrow {my dad's actual birthday} marks National Margarita Day. What a coincidence! Bottoms up and Happy Friday, y'all.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Never Say Never

I'd like all the mamas to think back a few years for this one.

Back to the days when parenthood was just a twinkle in your eye. It was a magical experience in the near future, sure to fill your hearts with love and your homes with laughter. Seven years after making that decision, everything I just said is true, but you and I both know it's not always the case. Maybe your kids are my age, maybe you just started, or maybe you're still in the planning stages. Wherever you are on this parenting journey, I think {hope?} you can appreciate this post and agree with at least one of these.

Remember when you had an idea of how your life would be once the sound of little feet could be heard up and down your hallways? Remember when you saw your friends and family struggle with the art of raising kids, and you swore you'd do things differently? Remember when you saw those two pink, positive lines for the first time and you immediately started ticking through your dos and don'ts? Remember when it all blew up in your face?

Humor is my intent here, but I can assure you I'm being 100% honest. Even if I didn't utter a word of it, I will admit to thinking each and every one of these statements at one point. If there's one thing I've learned in the beginning stages of parenting, it's never say never:

I will never have to pull a foreign object out of my kid's nose.
"I will watch them so closely that there will be no possibility of a renegade popcorn kernel finding its way into my son's nose. Also, I'll just never give them anything small enough to fit in there. Case closed."

I will never let my child sleep in my bed.
"Crib from day one, y'all. Good habits die quickly and the second I break down to those puppy dog eyes, it'll be high school graduation before I reclaim my bed. Forget monsters in the dark, late-night coughing spells, and beds without railings."

I will never let a word of foul language slip in front of my children.
"That's just bad parenting. Obviously, adults can be in control of their emotions well enough not to curse in front of their children and censor themselves around listening ears. Never will my child shout 'SON OF A FISH' while playing a game."

I will never overload my children with screen time.
"I've seen those moms who hand their fussy kids iPhones in restaurants or plop them in front of the doctor's office television to get them to be quiet. I can't believe they'd rather rot their kids' brains than explain to them that their behavior is unacceptable. Plus, there's no way a two-year-old could possibly understand iOS7."

I will never ignore my children.
"Who cares how many times the word 'why' can be uttered in one minute flat, children are naturally curious creatures and it's a mother's job to answer those questions. When I'm asked to watch my child toss a ball for the 63rd time, I will watch with the same enthusiasm as the first time. Never will I turn over in bed and pretend I don't hear a baby's cries."

I will never yell at my children.
"A mother's tone should always be soothing, calm, and quiet. If my child ever does something unsatisfactory, I will take a cue from Super Nanny and get down at eye level to explain why the behavior was wrong. I will follow that up with hugs and praise and we'll be the best of friends."

I will never be unfair.
"Whenever we have more than one child, it will be my daily mission to make sure every piece of cake is the same size, every birthday brings the same haul, and every punishment is court-approved. Never will my children doubt my motives."

I will never be annoyed by the precious lives I brought into this world.
"These darling children will be the light of my life. Their very beings stem from a choice we made, so why on Earth would they get on my nerves? It's not like they won't give me a moment's peace every now and again, right?"

Despite breaking all of the above rules, my kids seem to be okay. They are equipped with enough dysfunction to be funny, and they don't seem to mind the "learn-as-you-go" attitude I've adopted. It's always good to have a plan, especially one you can agree on with your partner, but don't be surprised if your kids turn that plan on its head every once in a while. It's okay to mess up. It's okay to be stressed. It's okay to admit to yourself that parenting is hard. However, I will say there's one more "never" statement I made that has since been proven totally wrong:

I will never feel more love than I do knowing there's a person growing inside of me.
"This exact moment, standing in the bathroom with my husband, is the best one I know. I immediately know this child inside of me and the love that we share is instant and unmatched."

Although true at the time, I can't tell you how much my love for Nathan and his siblings has grown since that moment in the wallpapered bathroom of our first rent house. We were ecstatic, we were head-over-heels, and we had absolutely no clue. And the best thing about the love of your children? It doesn't go away.

Even if you break every rule you set out with, that insane, beautiful, perfect love that started from within will never fade. I think that makes up for a lot, doesn't it?

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Sweet Hearts

Sending love from deep in the heart of Arkansas on this beautiful Valentine's Day!

Nora June has had a wonderful holiday so far and obviously had an outfit for the occasion. I may or may not be in my pajamas as I type this, and the Bauer Boys may or may not be wearing pants, but Nora is dressed to the nines. I'm okay with all of this. Nathan is on Day Two of a five-day winter break and though the walls seem a little closer with the whole bunch home, we are soaking up the love today. The boys have been smooching their newest valentine and she's been rewarding them with grins and giggles all day. Too much cute to fit into a photograph, but I tried.

On this particular Valentine's Day, we had one thing on the agenda. The one thing Owen has been talking about and looking forward to since I {mistakenly} brought it up days ago. Cupcakes. My valentine to the Bauer Boys was to help them make cupcakes for themselves. Sounds like a ripoff of a gift, but they fell for it. Owen poured the cake mix, and Nathan cracked the eggs. Nathan turned on the mixer, and Owen licked the spatula. Nora sat in her high chair and looked bored out of her gourd.

I didn't even snap a picture of the finished products, all iced in pink and sprinkled with hearts. It could be because I had so many kids to tend to, or perhaps this is what happened as soon as I said the word to this hungry little guy:

My bunch and I want to wish you and yours a day full of love, laughter, and a fair amount of chocolate. Our plans for the night include an evening at home, smooching our kids as much as possible. From the valentine I've had since July 2005 to the one who stole my heart in July 2013 {with a couple Bauer Boys between}, I am the luckiest. Happy Friday, y'all.

PS: Congratulations goes to TIFFANY M, whose name was drawn in this week's Sassy Sweet Pea Designs giveaway. I know her little girl will be styling in her new spring headbands. If you weren't the lucky lady this time around, you can still snag a few accessories. Hit up Marie's shop and see if you can narrow down your favorites. Then use the free shipping code BAUERBUNCHFREE at checkout as a little thank you for being so awesome. Offer ends Monday, February 17, so hop to it!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Magic Number

"So, what do you think? Are you going to have any more?"

Not even a year after welcoming our third child and more than a handful of acquaintances have already thrown this question my way. My mother-in-law is likely waiting for the answer on the edge of her seat and others who know me well are recoiling in horror. Just so you don't have to wade through my thoughts to search for the answer, I'll start there: I simply don't know. Most days I go with probably not. Other days I hold sweet, precious newborn babies. I can, however, say "no time soon" with 100% certainty.

This is not from any earth-shattering talk with my husband or a recent decision to become the next Mrs. Duggar {whom I love, by the way}. No, these thoughts come from a quiz I took online because my friend Ashley took it online. This, obviously, led to inspiration. This test measures how many kids you're equipped to handle, and is designed to ease your worries about whether your mental capacity can hold another little person. This friend, who has one adorable little boy, was given the answer that she's all set and she seemed pleased with the results. I went through the questions {answering honestly, scout's honor} and was given the above results.

Would you look at that? I'm thinking this little quiz was scientifically formulated or something.

Before reaching my new status as a mother of three, I had an easy answer for this question. "Yes. I'd like to have at least three. And life will be rainbow-flavored sunshine." Even after Owen proved two is much more than one, there was nothing stopping our quest. I still don't like the sound of a set number, but now that Nora's here, we leave it at "ehhh." Another baby would mean a bigger house, a heftier budget, and a tighter grip on my sanity. This latest addition, though sweet and mild-mannered, has done a number on me. I try to be the mama I want to be, but it's not always possible. Six days out of seven, I'm the keeping-her-head-above-water mama and on that last day I'm lucky enough that they nap simultaneously.

On the other hand, this bunch of mine has me head-over-heels in love and I wouldn't keep the option open if I were totally against it. I'm not. My brain may tell me otherwise, but my heart is hanging on the other side of the fence.

I'm curious as to how one knows when they're done. This decision is often out of the parents' hands, but it's sitting squarely in mine. Maybe approaching 30 makes me want a better answer than "I don't know," but I believe I have a few years before my eggs dry completely. You know, if I had two weeks, three tops, to spend on a kid-free beach vacation, I'd be ready to grow this family in the blink of an eye. However, reality is an excellent form of birth control. I type this as a) Nora purposefully removes her pacifier after an hour of calming, b) Nathan falls from the bar stool for no apparent reason, and c) Owen carries an armful of potatoes into the bathroom {you read that right}. Food for thought.

Although the bliss of a brand-new baby is incomparable, the idea of a margarita while my current three sleep through the night sounds even better. I will not answer that question definitely until there's a bun in the oven or the medical impossibility of one getting there, but for now, I think I'll count the aforementioned drink as my fourth.


So pour yourself a drink {coffee, tea, wine...} and take this quiz, if you feel so inclined. The results tickled me and I'd like to know if you agree with your findings. Let me know what you find out. Also, let me know how you decided what number was right for your family. Inquiring minds would like to know. Happy Tuesday!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Spring Style Giveaway

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

It is cold outside, y'all.

Though spring is inching closer, it's hard to imagine anything other than grey skies through a frosty window. This February has not been a nice one, and it has me wishing for bright colors and warm days. So you know I was pumped when the owner of Sassy Sweet Pea Designs contacted me about letting Nora show off some of her best spring styles {with a little something-something in it for you, too!}.

Before we get to the giveaway portion of today's post, I have a few cute things I need you to see. This is one of my favorite Etsy shops and its owner, Marie, and I have become fast friends as she's styled my daughter's fuzzy little chicken head for months. I was honored when she chose Nora to play model for this particular idea and I have to admit that baby of mine does her products justice. See for yourself:

{ONE} First is the pretty purple number Nora is sporting. Marie has several color options for this little chiffon flower, decked out with pearls and sparkly rhinestones. It looks precious on Nora and I love the skinny elastics Marie has used for all three of these headbands. They're dainty on baby girls, and don't compete with the flowers or accents. I can see this headband with a sweet dress on a Sunday morning.

{TWO} On the second row is a sunny yellow puff that looked so sweet for Nora's seven-month photo shoot. The pale yellow color goes great with her skin and the mini puff makes her look like an adorable little present. This color and simple style will go with everything from fancy dresses to comfy T-shirts and heck, maybe by then she might even have a little more hair to go with it!

{THREE} I do believe I've saved the best for last. Marie definitely had Nora in mind when she chose to send this turquoise eyelet flower. It makes her blue eyes pop beautifully. Don't be surprised if you see this one again, and I won't be surprised if this one becomes a top seller. Better read the fine print below and find out to snag a good deal for your sweet pea {don't skip ahead, though, you'll ruin the surprise}.
I am in love with this shop, y'all. Marie's headbands are of the highest quality I've purchased for Nora and she keeps her prices reasonable for what she sells. She has such a huge variety of colors, textures, and shapes that I have trouble narrowing my picks. Plus, if you follow her Facebook page, you'll get in on her weekly giveaways. She also runs a flash sale every Thursday with discounts on some of her hottest items. She's got every season covered, and is happy to custom make a headband to suit your every need. Basically, she's a one-stop headband shop for your little sweet pea. She makes Nora look pretty good, doesn't she? Imagine what she can do for your little one!

One lucky reader won't have to imagine too hard, though, because Marie was nice enough to sponsor another giveaway. All you need to do is enter your information below {it will only be used if you win and trust me, you'll want that email} and then click each of the entries. This giveaway will close at midnight Friday and the winner will be notified later that day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Oh wait.. you want to know more about the prize, don't you? If you happen to get your name drawn from the proverbial hat, you will get not one, not two, but three free headbands from Sassy Sweet Pea Designs. Marie has custom-made a surprise three-piece set in her best spring styles and she can't wait to share it with one of you. While I can't tell you exactly what will be in your prize... check out the adorable possibilities:

You don't have to wait until Friday to start shopping, either.
Fill up the Easter basket, grab a shamrock for St. Patrick's Day, or take the route of "just because." Use code BAUERBUNCHFREE at checkout and receive free shipping on any purchase. This offer is only good for one week, so get to clicking!

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Frosty February

On a grey Friday afternoon, reports of a blizzard hurdling toward our cozy southern Arkansas home filled my radio waves, news stations, and Facebook feed.

Meteorologists said one to two inches of snow could fall overnight and blanket our yard in bright white. Gasp! After sending Jonathan for the obligatory milk, we huddled together, glancing nervously from the window to the radar. The flakes didn't start to fall until after the sun went down, but knowing the temperatures were forecast for well above freezing on Saturday, I figured if I didn't let the boys play now, there may not be another chance. We zipped up coats, pulled on hoods, and Nora and I watched from the heated kitchen as Jonathan rounded snowball after snowball for the Bauer Boys.

Although we've seen a lot more snow than this, this was the first time the boys got their hands on it this winter. We've seen single-digit temps and gone without electricity due to ice, but this was the powdery stuff they were wanting. After running like madmen through the big, fat snowflakes, catching them on their tongues and pelting each other with what they could scrape from the concrete, I called them in for bath and bed.

When my groggy guys made their way into the living room Saturday morning, they were elated to see the grass was still covered by snow. No more was falling, and the temperatures would be rising soon, but it was all theirs for a little while. Thus began the begging.

I told them no as I stood over the sink washing dishes. I told them no as I fed my baby girl. I told them no as I pulled the steaming-hot cinnamon buns from the oven. I told them no as I wished their daddy didn't have to work on Saturdays. I told them no as I watched television and dreaded the cold outdoors. Finally, at about 10:30, I caved. Nora was resting peacefully in her crib, and the boys scrambled into their jackets the second the word "yes" left my mouth.

Then the three of us, jackets zipped to chins and pajamas pants proudly displayed, went outside.

Seeing as how it's February and this is the first snow I've seen all year, I grabbed the camera to capture the magic, even though you can make out the dirty ground beneath the thin veil of precipitation {gross}:

You may have noticed the correlation between the last two photos. Owen was a good sport in listening when I asked him not to hit his brother with branches nor throw his toys in the creek nor pull off his jacket to clean the snowy slide. I assumed "don't jump in the muddy puddles" was not necessary, but apparently I was wrong. Knowing his ankles were freezing, I handed Nathan my camera so I could handle his brother.

It wasn't long before I heard Nathan call out, "Say cheese!" And so I did.

I'm glad we trekked out into this Arkansas version of a winter wonderland, though, because all signs of snow had completely vanished by afternoon nap. All we had left was the photographic proof and Owen's soggy shoes. Happy Sunday, y'all!

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