Sunday, May 27, 2012

Holding Pattern ...

Ya'll. Life with a toddler is hard work. Unfortunately, our lives at the moment have been in a constant state of tantrums, whine-fests and all-things-two year olds.

Sometimes, that means that things that I enjoy doing, like taking a shower everyday and this blog, for example, have to get put on the back burner until I don't feel like I'm drowning every. single. day.

I guess, that has offended our readers, because "Anonymous" kindly informed me that: blog followers don't like only one or two blogs a month so I will be leaving this blog for ones that are updated at least once a week.


Here's the deal- life isn't always glossy pictures and witty banter about our daily routines. At least, mine isn't anyway. Sometimes, real life is... well real. And for us, it's really, really real.

I would apologize for it; but honestly, I'm not sorry. I don't feel like I need to apologize for being a parent, and a wife, and a housekeeper, and a family cook, and a family activity director and a doula and a friend.

Right now, Casey and I are in the trenches of parenthood with a baby who doesn't want to leave our sides. At any point during the day. Or night. Or any other time. Ever.

For the past few weeks, I've done nearly everything every day with my Lil' Shadow close at hand, including: sleeping, napping, brushing my teeth, putting on deodorant, attending to other, ahem, bathroom needs.

I sat through church today with her squirming on my lap, coloring any shred of paper she could reach, chatting and shushing her throughout prayers and communion; all because she couldn't be pried off my hip when we tried to drop her off at nursery. Last week, she screamed and cried for twenty minutes until Casey went back to get her... maybe it makes us bad parents, but letting our kid cry because she wants to be with us is just something we don't do.

There's this phrase that I tell my doula clients all the time: It's just a season of life. There will be a day that Beatrice Kate doesn't want her mama to hold her hand, to sing her our Goodnight Song, to kiss her boo boos or to even hold her while she saute's spinach over an open flame, while roasting a pork tenderloin and calling Casey to see when he'll be home (you thought I was kidding earlier about holding her 24/7 didn't you?). I see her growing out of the elusive "baby stage" a little more each day and it breaks my heart.

So, yes. I acknowledge that I'm a bad blogger. I owe you giveaway results and pictures of my kiddo splashing around in her backyard Redneck Riviera, maybe a Pinterest find or two. I have three thousand pictures and blog topics all written up and ready to go in my head. And right now that's where they're going to stay for a bit.

Because when push comes to shove and I have to choose between writing about our day or singing and rocking my baby for what feels like the 5th hour in a row... well, I hope you know which one I'll choose. Hang tight, loyals. I'll get back on this train sometime soon. I promise... ok, well, I'll really make a better effort at least...

Besides, you guys don't want me to pull the Preemie Card again do you? 'Cause I totally will.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

From our first moments...

To our more recent ones...
Words cannot express how proud I am to be a mother. It's the best kept secret in the world: Motherhood is so beautiful and SO MUCH FUN.

Having a baby like Beatrice Kate makes being a mother a joy. Having a husband like Casey makes being a mother a breeze.

To all the mother's in our lives, Thank You. And if you're in the NICU... Happy Early Mother's Day! It's the best surprise you've ever been given, huh?


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mom's Wish List: Raising a family rooted in Scripture

One of the things that Casey and I feel most strongly about is that we do our best as parents to ensure Beatrice Kate grows up in a Christian household; firmly planted in the Lord. As an infant, we baptized her in our church and promised to take responsibility for her Christian education until she was old enough to do it for herself.

We do our best at attending church on Sundays but even if we made it every. single. week., she would still only get access to His teachings once every seven days. Casey and I agree that the responsibility to raise a daughter who seeks first the Lord rests squarely on our shoulders, as her parents.

We are the people she sees every day. We model what a loving relationship with Christ looks like lived out in everyday life. We have to be the ones who teach her about patience, humility, gentleness, charity and (especially in light of Amendment One) acceptance.That's a pretty serious task, huh?

Thankfully, there are some great tools for helping parents like us! This week, as part of our Mom's Wish List Giveaway Series, I want to tell you about two, frankly amazing, pieces of literature for Christian Parenting:
The first, called Together: Growing Appetites for God by Carrie Ward, was written by an every day Mama (my favorite kind):

It's basically her journey of reading through the Bible with her children everyday at breakfast with tips and tricks for you to use with your own family. The story is very humorous, especially when she admits to "skipping" the book of Leviticus, only to have to go back and confess to her kids that she did so (It's totally something I would do too...).

The pages are easy to read, and feature important scripture passages, highlighted in blue boxes :
It's amazing to see the transformation her family makes by taking on this spiritual walk together each day.

The next book, Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments, by Kara Durbin may very well be one of my new favorite Christian books:

It's an easy-to-read, alphabetized (and you know how much I love things alphabetized) book of topics that your children will most likely be confronted with in their lives. Each topic features a definition, scripture guiding your child to the Biblical references, discussion points and action tips. Topics range from contentment, anger, beauty, talent, humility, prayer, stress, hate and (what we think is most important), tolerance:

 I mean, seriously, it's basically a How-To Manual for Christian Parenting! It reminds me a lot of the Moravian version, Loving Hearts United.

I'm really excited to have been given the chance to review these books and I know that they will become staples in our house and our "go-to" books for Christian reference.

I'm even more excited to give two lucky readers the chance to win a copy of these books. Here's how you can get entered...
Mandatory for entry:
  • You must be a fan/follower of Life with Busy Bea
  • Tell me in the comment section below, how you incorporate your religion into your family's every day lif
For Extra Entries (one extra, each):
  • Tweet about this giveaway, tagging @MamaBusyBea
  • Blog about this giveaway on your own blog

Winners will be announced on Monday, May 14. Don't forget, you can still enter to win a month's supply of Skinnygirl Daily's Vitamin Power Packets, too!! The gifts keep on comin'!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mom's Wish List: Skinnygirl Daily Vitamin Power Pack Giveaway ...

I'm so excited to have the opportunity to do something fun this week on Life with Busy Bea!

With Mother's Day just a few days away, I thought it would be neat to do a "Mom's Wish List" throughout the week and include some ideas for the Dads (and kids) who are still searching for the perfect gift for Mama.

The first product boasts one of every mother's favorite things, efficiency:

Skinnygirl Daily Vitamin Power Packets make taking a multi-vitamin as easy as drinking water; because, well, that's all you have to do to take them! Add a packet to a glass of water (10 oz. is recommended) that you were already going to drink and, voila! Vitamin? Done.

I'll be honest, as a mother to a toddler, taking care of myself is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Gone are the days spent obsessing over which gourmet meal to make or which gym to join. These days, we're lucky if I remember to go grocery shopping. And exercise? Unless chasing the Busy Bea through Target counts as cardio... there's not a lot of time for the gym otherwise. So, convenience products are often times Mommy's Best Friend.

Skinnygirl Daily gets that (Hello, it was founded by a Real Housewife, Bethenny Frankel, who's a new mom herself). And besides giving you an easy way to finally put your health first, they also come in four tasty (of course I tried it!) flavors and health functions!

While I can't speak to the effectiveness of the Hair, Skin and Nails or the Immunity varieties, (because it would take longer than a week to see any results) I can tell you that they were pretty delicious. The flavors I was most anxious to try were the Energy and Alertness and the Stress Relief and Calm.

That's likely because the day that samples arrived, Busy Bea was in rare form and woke up at the crack of dawn. Forgoing my normal cup of coffee, I tried one of the Energy and Alertness packs and got the same benefits without the coffee breath, thanks to the vitamin B12, Guarana and Green Tea extract.

Then, Bea rounded out the day by wiping her tiny lasagna-crusted, dirty hands across my linen living room drapes and bedtime couldn't come soon enough. But, the Stress Relief and Calm did a great job of rounding out my day, naturally easing the way to my own bedtime with Valerian Root and Chamomile.

So, here's the best part... two lucky readers will get the chance to try a thirty day supply of Skinnygirl Daily Vitamin Power Packets!

Here's how to win:

Mandatory to be in the drawing:
  • You must be a fan of Life with Busy Bea
  • Leave a comment below telling me how you are able to find time to make your life a little healthier
For extra entries:
 Winners will be announced next Monday, May 14th! So, stay tuned to see if you're a lucky one!

And, if you happen to not be one of the names drawn, you can still get Skinnygirl Daily Vitamin Power Packets at a discount of $5 off a purchase of $14 or more by using the code: MOTHERSDAY (valid through 5/20) at

Good Luck and I can't wait to see how you're making a healthier life for you and your families!

**Yes, Skinnygirl did send sample products for me to try, however, they are not compensating me ANYHING for this review and giveaway. If I had thought the product tasted like mud, I would let you know. But it doesn't. So, trust me when I say, it's just a yummy, easy way to remember to take your multi-vitamin. Ok?


Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Tid Bits ...

  • I have a super fun week planned next week for the blog. It includes five really great giveaways in honor of Mother's Day. So Dads, if you're still wondering what you can get Mom... stay tuned. I'll give you an insight into "Mom's Wish List".
  • I got my first Birth Announcement from a past doula client in the mail today. It made my day week.
  • It was over 95 today. And it's only May 3. Holy Crap, August is going to be face-melting. 
  • Speaking of warm weather, Case and I found a great (cheap) wine at Whole Foods that's perfect for hot summer evenings. It's called Opala Vinho Verde and it's so light and refreshing. It even has a little teeny hint of a bubbly texture, so it's extra perfect for hot weather:
  • In light of the already sweltering temperatures, I blew up and nearly passed out while doing so a little inflatable pool for Beatrice Kate yesterday afternoon. Within thirty seconds, it was clouded with more dirt than our yard; but she didn't seem to mind it. 
  • We even took a trip to Chick-Fil-A (Known as the "Chicken Cow's House" to Bea) to get an ice cream come. Bea ate hers down to the last drop, much to the dismay of the table cleaning crew...
  • Bea has been really into wearing our shoes around the house. So, since it's unlikely I'll find myself in need of a pair of pink high heels these days, I donated an old pair to my girl for dress up. She didn't disappoint:
    Oh, you know. Just doin' a little shopping. In Style.
  • Can I get an Amen for how cute this outfit is? My Mother-In-Law made it for Bea last week and I nearly died when I saw her in it! The bloomers drew all kinds of compliments at playgroup (the center for toddler fashion know-how):
    I think the tiny braids are just a cuteness bonus, don't you?
  • Speaking of cuteness, Bea has been obsessed with her babydolls this week. She insists that they do everything she does including (but not limited to): eating (which is confusing to her when they never finish a meal), going potty, drinking water, washing hands, wearing panties, go down the slide, go to the park, take a walk in the stroller... it's hilarious. Here's an example of her feeding Barbie:
  • Also, I have a post planned to introduce you to her baby dolls. Because, like most things in our house, they don't go by conventional names like, "Sally", or "Dolly". More on that some other time.
  • I have to share this Chicken Pie recipe I pinned and made last week. It was kind of a pain to make, but it was well worth it. We are still talking about how great it was:
  • We were looking forward to a weekend of lounging and bike riding, but unfortunately, it'll be spend fixing one of our cars so we can sell it. Having a braniac engineer for a husband can be challenging sometimes; but when his mechanically inclined skills save us nearly $1200, it's pretty awesome.
What are you up to this weekend? 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Beach Bea

I just realized that I haven't yet posted about Bea's first trip to the beach! So, despite the fact that I have nearly 3,000 more things to blog about- I'll back up a bit and fill you in ...

Back in March, during our visit to New Bern, we took a little day trip to Atlantic Beach so that Beatrice Kate could experience a North Carolina classic- the beach. Living in Durham, we're practically in the middle of the state; with either the mountains or the coast within a few hours drive. Casey and I both LOVE the beach. So naturally, we thought our baby would be genetically required to love it too:
What the H is this place?
 Unfortunately, that wasn't the case:
This is practically child abuse, you guys.
We forgot to factor in one teeny, tiny important factor into our equation- sand. Our child hates (and I mean utterly hates) to be dirty. We never raised her to be "girly" or "dainty" but she seemed to steer that way anyway. So, when we arrived to a giant pit of dirt, our girl wasn't pleased:
What is this? GET IT OFF MY FEET. Now.
Even a little help from Grandma couldn't persuade her to let her toes dig in the sand:
No way, not even the Power of Grandma can make this better.
Plus, there's that giant thing... THE OCEAN, which is practically impossible to prepare someone for who has never seen it:
You guys. What is that? It's so big and could practically eat me.
Eventually, Bea was convinced that we weren't about to throw her in and leave; and she gradually warmed up to the idea of the waves:
I see. So that's where you plan to toss me in?
 Once she got used to the idea of a tide, she marveled at the fact that the water "It go away and came back":
Then she started warming up to the idea of actually playing in the sand:
You brought wet wipes, right you guys?
Grandma was able to convince her that it was kind of like a giant sandbox:
Ok, so maybe this isn't the end of the world.
When Unka Evan showed up, Bea was excited to show him the water front:
See that? It's like a Giant Swimming Pool of Death.
As long as he didn't get too close to it of course:
I'll just look at it from here, you can go closer by yourself.
Casey and I were able to do a little shell hunting and I found this awesome sand dollar:
And my endearing husband promptly broke it the next day...
Casey, of course, forgot we were shell hunting together (hello, bonding time!?!) and started pulling random crap from the ocean:
30 going on 15
Good thing my little bestie was right there with me:
Check this out, Mom!
I think it's a shark's tooth. Or a bone.
I don't think we'll be calling this beach trip a swimmingly great success anytime soon; but I do think it gave us encouragement for a return trip next year...

Oh, and I have to leave you with this image of Sweet Girl's teeny tiny footprints in the sand:
"There is no footprint too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world"


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Child Labor

I'll admit it- we're big fans of free child labor in this house. I mean, Bea had an expensive start in life, so a kid's gotta earn her keep, right?!? Who's with me?

Ok, I'll clarify, before you get mental images of Beatrice Kate working in a sweatshop hemming pairs of discount jeans. (And really, can you actually see Bea tolerating that kind of mistreatment?!?)

You should know I'm talking about the kind of child labor otherwise known as "chores"... For Bea, being only two years old and limited by her height, gross motor skills and attention span patience, her chores are currently only simple tasks. Her favorite?

Emptying the dishwasher:
Strange, huh?
She can be anywhere in the house, and when she hears the sound of the dishwasher drawers rolling out, she'll come running. Shouting, "I help. I can help you"... who am I to deny such a simple pleasure:
Usually she hands an adult the knives. Usually.
She does it with such flair, I can't help but sit back and watch:
Dishwaher Emptying with Jazz Hands!

When she first started this chore, she was content to just hand you the silverware. But now that she's older, more mature, she's ready for more complex tasks. Like putting the spoons and forks away, herself:
Mom, I can totally reach this.
Seriously, it's pretty awesome to finally have some help around here:
Well, sort of.
 She even shuts the drawers back when she's done:
Shutting, cramming. It's all the same, really.
Unfortunately, the drawers can't always close completely, because well, her methods are somewhat questionable:
What? You don't keep permanent markers in your silverware drawer?
 And the results aren't exactly... orderly:
Spoons anyone?
But Gosh-Darn-it, look how much concentration she's putting into this!
One shelf done. One to go.
I've got this!
Ooo. My milk cup. Oh, must not get distracted...

She's nothing if not thorough:
Lucky for me, everything goes in this cabinet. How about that!
It just might take me a little while to dig out my Tupperware from the mountain of various other plastic goods:
It's the "Spatula-Water Bottle-Sippy Cup-Tupperware Cabinet. You have one, too, right?
And she doesn't just put things away. No, no. She also loves, loves (and I mean LOVES) to close the dishwasher... I still haven't figured that one out yet:

And when I see the pride on her face for a job well done...well, you can call me Old Fashioned for encouraging free labor, but I know that my outdated parenting philosophies are just right for this girl:
That's the look of pride, or mayhem. One of the two.