Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Buying for Guys


I’ve never been great at shopping for guys. I don’t know why, but I think they are SO hard to buy for. For the guys in my life that I’m particularly close to (like Kevin and my Dad), I know what their hobbies are, but I would NEVER be able to buy them something that fits with that hobby.

Take my dad for example. He loves to fish. But could I walk into a store and pick out a rod and reel, or a lure, or anything worthwhile? Nope! In fact, I remember when I was in elementary school, there was an infomercial on TV for “Magic Bait” and I thought my dad just HAD to have it. If he had this stuff, there would never be a day when he went fishing and didn’t catch a million fish. Y’all. This Magic Bait stuff was supposed to smell good (think cakes and candy) and the fish were supposed to SWARM to it.  

So, we bought it. And let me tell you, it was the most horrible smelling stuff that I’ve ever smelled in my life. The smell might have been worth it if we’d caught anything, but nope. No fish at all. Magic bait fail. And so at the ripe old age of 9, I realized I couldn’t buy my Daddy anything fishing related unless he’d already picked it out himself. He knows fish. I do not.

And Kevin. He’s a golfer. I may know what a driver, wedge, and putter are and I may know that they make regular shafts and stiff shafts, but in no way, shape or form am I qualified to go pick out a golf club. Waste of time and money. Just like fishermen, golfers are picky about their equipment.

So buying for the guys in my life is pretty hard. One thing that I can always fall back on is that both my dad and Kevin are sports fans. I grew up in a Clemson household. My mom actually grew up in Clemson and both of my parents went to college there. And then, so did my sister and I.


Kevin grew up in Georgia and is a huge University of Georgia fan. We go to at least a game or two every year, though Karsten kind of threw a kink into that this year and we missed out on going to ANY football game in 2014, though Kevin was able to take Kate to a game.  I have a feeling we will be making up those missed games this year.


In addition to his beloved Bulldogs, Kevin is also an Atlanta Braves fan. Can’t forget baseball!


Needless to say, sports apparel is usually a safe bet and my default gift when it comes to buying for a guy, or really any sports fan (guy or girl). There are several sports apparel producers, but one I’ve recently discovered is Majestic Athletic, who is actually the current uniform provider for Major League Baseball.

In addition to sports apparel for your favorite MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL or college teams, Majestic Athletic makes general athletic wear. Score again. Because even if you’re not a fan of a particular sports team, who doesn’t love athletic wear? Though it is a paradox, athletic wear is the cornerstone of comfortable, relaxation clothing.

Needless to say, until their closets fill up quite a bit, I’m pretty sure I know what my go-to gifts are for the guys in my life. And if you’re still guessing, it’s not a fishing pole or a golf club.

Do any of you have the same issue buying gifts for men?  What are your go-to gifts? 

DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Majestic Althletic. The opinions expressed within this post are completely my own based on my experience.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Southern Snow Day

Here in SC, we rarely get snow.  And when we do get snow, it's usually a "light dusting".  Every winter, meteorologists always call for some HUGE snowstorm that typically doesn't pan out. So, earlier this week when all of the weather stations were calling for the biggest snow storm in SC history, I didn't really give it much credit.  And then the Governor of our state declared us in a State of Emergency nearly 4 hours before the storm actually reached us.  So I started wondering if we really were going to get snow or not, but pretty quickly decided that it was all just a lot of hype for nothing.

And then, it actually did snow.  However, we didn't get the 8-10 inches that they'd called for.  Instead, we got THREE WHOLE INCHES.  I am being a little too sarcastic, because three inches is a LOT for us.  And we were lucky, because most of the areas in our state got all rain and no snow.

So snow day it was.  And thus the reason for the picture overload below- Kate's 2nd real snow day, and Karsten's first!




I can't believe how big she is looking these days.  No longer a toddler, and though she really is only 3, she looks like a school aged kid to me!  Tear!


Last Monday, we got a good bit of snow/ice mix that froze into a thick crunchy blanket as it fell.  Kate woke up and saw that the ground was white and thought she was going to get to build a snowman. She was pretty disappointed when she realized it was all ice.  But today - she built a snowman!

  





Kate kept insisting that she wanted her snowman to be a princess and wear a Cinderella dress.  We had to convince her that a cowboy would be much better.  The real reason is that those princess dresses are too expensive to put on a melting snowman!  And we have outside dogs, so there's no telling what would have happened to it!


By the way, those are Hershey Kisses for the eyes and nose! 


Tadaa!  Finished snowman!


We got the best amount of snow to play in, and by 5pm on the same day, it was about 90% gone.  That makes for a perfect snow day.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Splash!

Y'all. I'm on a roll. Blogging two days in a row.  Mark it down!

Tonight, I put Karsten in the big girl tub with Kate. I don't know who was more excited, Kate or me.  Kate was excited to have her sister in the bath tub with her to play.  I was excited that I didn't have to give two separate baths, so it took about 1/2 the time!

The jury is still out on whether Karsten is ready for this to be a regular thing or not.  She tolerated it, and then got a little soap in her eyes and that was the end of the big girl bath.



In another month or so, when she can sit unassisted a little better, I think we'll all be ready for this. But not quite yet. 


Another one of our baby's firsts is in the books. 




Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rambling

I've been in a bit of a blogging rut lately. Though, this seems to happen around this time every year.  Probably has something to do with busy season.  And exhaustion from having a 4 month old night owl probably doesn't help either.  I'm slightly exaggerating.  But only slightly.  Karsten still wakes 1-2 times per night to eat. Luckily, she's really NOT a night owl.  By that I mean that she typically eats and goes right back to sleep, instead of waking and wanting to play. BUT, that doesn't make the waking up part any easier on us!  I am pretty sure we're gonna throw a party when we get a full week of normal sleep.

In true second-child fashion, I honestly haven't pulled out my camera quite as often.  We've spent a lot of time inside (hello, 10-degree temperatures last week!) and have had a pretty low key winter.  That's not to say that we haven't been BUSY. Two kids will do that to you.  Somehow, just normal days are c-r-a-z-y.  But for the most part, low key.  So the real camera hasn't seen much action.  I did pull it out a few days ago when Kate asked to hold Karsten after her bath.  I think this was just a bedtime delaying tactic... but it worked. This is what Karsten apparently thought of the camera (or of Kate holding her).


Talk about giving Mom the evil eye!  This picture cracks me up, but it does give the wrong impression of her overall personality and demeanor.  Unlike this picture, she is the most smiley, happy baby. Especially when she first wakes up from her naps.  She grins, coos and laughs and is SO much fun.  She is really only fussy when she is getting tired and ready for a nap. Other than that- happy baby!


Picture taking is HARD. Kate is no longer "into" all the picture taking like she used to. Gone are the easy smiles for the camera and in place are the fake, cheesy, totally non-real smiles. And she thinks that smiling means that she squints. But I digress...

I do love watching these two sweet sisters together, and watching their friendship form. Karsten is so enthralled with Kate, we can no longer feed her a bottle when they are in the same room.  Instead of eating, she will watch Kate (who of course, does not stay still), so Karsten's little head goes back and forth across the room watching her sister zoom from one toy to another.  We've resorted to feeding Karsten nearly all of her bottles in her room and then bringing her out to play with Kate after she's finished. 


But seeing them together is special.  Kate is starting to understand her strength, but we're still working on that some. And Karsten's getting bigger so it's becoming less and less of an issue. Karsten will probably be an early walker... just because she wants to be like her big sister and keep up with her.  Ha!  Who knows if the early walking part is true or not. Secretly, I hope not!  


And this girl is still challenging us every day. She's still pushing our buttons and testing every single rule.  She is strong willed and independent.  While they're both great qualities to have, they definitely make our job of guiding, directing and teaching her a little more difficult!  She doesn't enjoy taking instructions.  She has the biggest imagination and we find ourselves daily wondering where in the world she comes up with things.  She still makes us smile and laugh ALL the time.  And we still thank God for her (and for Karsten), every single day. 




Monday, February 16, 2015

Little Valentines

Saturday was Karsten's FIRST Valentines day and Kate's FOURTH.

Crazy to think that Kevin and I celebrated FOUR Valentine's days together as a family of two, and now we have celebrated FOUR Valentine's days together as parents.  I have to say, we had a five year plan when it came to kids. I'm so glad we decided to move that up a year.  Because now we have this:


We might get to 8pm and both be exhausted, and frustrated, and just so READY to have two kids tucked into bed so we can have a short break from the tears and constant questions, but believe me, we wouldn't change having these two for anything! Being a parent is no joke, but it is the most rewarding job we'll ever have. The smiles and laughs and hugs are worth more than we can measure and we look forward to each one. 

We definitely prayed for these girls, and God knew just what was in store for us. In fact, we put this verse on the wall of the nursery, the room that we brought Kate home to and now the room that Karsten was welcomed into:

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.
1 Samuel 1:27

Yes.  Yes, He did!

Of course with this being Karsten's very first Valentine's Day, I had to document the day. So while Kate napped (or pretended to nap), Karsten and I took a few quick pictures. I cannot believe how big she has gotten. Time just needs to slow down a bit!



Oh this sweet little profile. 




Our Valentine's day was low key. We didn't leave our house all day and spent more than half of it in our PJs, watching movies, coloring and doing normal household chores. It might not have been big or grand, but hopefully some of those normal, every day, at-home memories will be ones that our girls will look back on and remember forever!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Counting My Blessings


Count your blessings, name them one by one. 



Count your blessings, see what God has done. 
Count your blessings. Name them ONE by ONE.





Count your many blessings, see what God has done!!



Saturday, February 7, 2015

Karsten: Four Months


Baby girl turned 4 months old yesterday, but I had some issues getting her pictures made and posted. First, she wasn't quite up to her normal photo shoot standards, after having her 4 month shots Friday morning. What a way to start off your monthly "birthday", huh?  They didn't bother her TOO bad, since this was the picture I got after I went to work:


It is always fun to get picture messages of both of my girls during the day. :) 

While the shots didn't make her extra fussy or cranky, they definitely made her tired.  She slept like a champ, and went to bed by 7:30.  I fed her at 11pm and then she slept until 6:45 this morning.  Hallelujah!!  Honestly, because of her earlier bedtime, I just didn't have time to take her pictures last night- so today it is!  So I just took them today (one day late- not too bad!)  Here is what Miss Karsten is up to at 4 months old...


Little girl is getting big!  She is 27 inches long (77%) and 13 lbs 14 oz (45%).  She is now wearing size 2 diapers and has moved into mostly 6 month clothes. Some of the 6 month stuff is still a little big, but 3 month clothes are just a bit tight on that belly. :) 


Her little personality is starting to come out and I have to say, there is nothing LITTLE about it!  She cracks me up with the faces she makes. 


We think she may be starting to teeth, because she LOVES chewing on her Sophie the Giraffe and loves it if you rub on her gums. I'm sure we'll see some baby teeth popping through before too much longer.  Who knows though. I thought that was the case with Kate too and I think she was 7 months before her first tooth came through.  The sweet toothless smiles sure are fun!

Sweet girl isn't sleeping much better (with the exception of last night). She is still on a 3 hour schedule during the daytime, starting at 7am.  We give her a small bottle at 7 (before her bath) and then another small bottle after the bath, before tucking her into bed.  She typically wakes up around midnight, and then again at 3 or 4, before she "wakes up" at 7.  Luckily, her night feedings are pretty quick.  She's not up to play, just to fill up and go back to sleep.  While we are SO incredibly ready for her to start sleeping, I know that when she does, that will be just one more way that she'll be growing up on us!


She can hold things in her hands, and transfer them from one hand to the other. She knows how to get things into her mouth!  She loves to coo and laugh, and definitely makes her presence known in a room!

We haven't started solids yet, and probably will hold off on them for a little bit longer. Those bottles are just so convenient in the diaper bag!


Big sister Kate is doing well and loves having a baby sister around, for the most part.  She will occasionally get a bit jealous, and when I'm holding Karsten, she'll sometimes come give me a hug or lay her head on my shoulder and say she wants to cuddle Mommy and Karsten.  For any other kid, I'd think she was just being sweet (and she is!), but she is so NOT a cuddly kid and never has been, so I know it is a little bit of jealousy.  I'll take my cuddles however I can get them! No complaining here!

And for fun, here is a comparison of the past 4 months with Karsten.  Baby girl has grown!!



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