We’ve kept it pretty low key the past week plus since this poor guy has had a tummy virus. Obviously, it’s not getting in the way of his mood or his appetite, though! I sure do love dem cheekies!

corey douglas

Also… no one mentioned “stool samples” whenever I signed up to be a Mama. Gross. I’m a little emotionally scarred from that… endeavor. I’m gonna need more hand sanitizer and a big glass of wine to erase that memory.


I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to get this friggin’ bookshelf for Corey’s playroom for LITERALLY almost a year! IKEA had been out of the color I wanted that whole time (down here in Houston anyway), so I thought I’d visit the Dallas IKEA. Fate had a different plan… while we were up in Dallas, they ran out of the freaking color of shelf I wanted.

ikea

How. Neat.

It was time to just get a different freaking color bookshelf. I couldn’t handle the playroom being unfinished anymore (OCD problems). So, I grabbed my poopy toddler and threw on my “getting it done” Mama shoes and headed down to Houston’s IKEA.

RANT TIME

**Can I just say, IKEA, that you SUCK when it comes to helping moms navigate your maze of a store. I didn’t have but ONE person offer to help me with this big bama.

He weights 70 pounds, and this Mama had to hoist it onto the cart by herself [with said poopy toddler] and traipse alllllll the way through the whole store. It wasn’t until I got outside that a nice fella who worked for YOU, IKEA, offered to help me get it in our Suburban. I’m just saying… And no, I don’t want to drop my kid off at your in-store daycare, thanks. You need to make your shopping experience accessible for everyone, including me and my poopy toddler.

Mama out.**

ikea kallax bookshelf

I actually put this big fella together all by lonesome self. My poopy toddler was there to supervise and cheer me on. [He now says, “Good job, Mama!” in his own little way. Adorable. But still poopy.

The one thing I will say for IKEA is that they’ve invented this little black plastic thingy that holds the little tool thingy that comes with all IKEA furniture. No more scars from having to turn and turn and turn that little tool while it digs into your skin. Well played, IKEA. But I’m still mad at you.

ikea

Did I mention this big guy weighs 70 pounds? I feel like one Bad Ass Mama.

ikea

Here’s the finished product! Yes, yes, I know. I’m missing a friggin’ bucket. Did I mention my poopy toddler? I’m sure I’ll find this lost bucket somewhere very intriguing in a few months. Until then, I bought another one because it bothered me too much (OCD problems again).

KALLAX Shelf Unit

Pillowfort Striped Fabric Bin – Large – Gray 

ikea

Okay, one more positive thing for IKEA (still mad at you)… I got a ton of great dishes for next to nothing. That kitchen section would be the death of my credit score except that these little babies cost less than $8 each! Score, baby.

Also – they’ve got some awesome picture frames for just $1.

ikea

So, real life moment. I had major plans to whoo my man with a roast chicken + mashed potatoes on Friday night. He’d had a long week – half in Houston and half in Dallas – working his adorable hiney off. So, I wanted to be all Barefoot Contessa and have a yummy, comfort food-y type meal on the table. The mashed potatoes were amazing [seriously… amazing], but the friggin’ chicken wasn’t cooked all the way. The recipe was delicious (as we found out a day later), but we ended up eating some chicken sausage instead of the chicken I’d been working on for two days. That’s life though… A for effort?

standard grill million dollar chicken

Happy Monday, friends!

monday is a mullet

I looooooove to shop for baby boy stuff! I’m horrible with little girl things, I’ve got to be honest. I can barely dress myself most of the time. But, when it comes to Corey, I usually do a pretty good job. I can also tell you that as much as I love shopping for little man, I equally hate spending too much money on his clothes/shoes. What’s the point? They’re just going to get mud, boogers, milk, and unknown brown substances on them. I refuse to spend too much on his stuff, but I do expect good quality when I buy something for him.

I’ve made a list of some of the best quality shoes I’ve found that work for active boys with chubby feet. Enjoy!

I definitely just bought these little pieces of perfection {thank you, Nordstrom note}. I can’t help myself. Mommy and Me Chuck Taylors? I think so! I hope they’ll work with Corey’s feet, and most importantly that they stay ON his feet.

Chuck Taylor All Star Simple Slip-On Sneaker

baby toddler shoes

Corey had a pair of these that he wore all the time before he started really walking like a mad man. They’re great for those chubby feet of his because they extend wide enough for me to shove his foot inside. They’re also so stinkin’ adorable!

Cool and Casual Crib Shoe by ROBEEZ

baby toddler shoes

Corey has a pair of sandals just like these. I love them because they cover his toes, they have Velcro to hold the shoe on his chubby foot, and he can run into the water/mud with no worries. Just spray them off and let them air dry and you’re good for another fun day!

Toddler Boys’ Howell Hiking Sandals by Cat & Jack
Currently BYGO 50% off!

baby toddler shoes

These are some of my favorite of Corey’s shoes. He’s only allowed to wear them to church and back home [even then, I sometimes take them off before we get home]. These don’t deserve to get dirty!

Polo Ralph Lauren Kids Ethan Low EZ Sneaker

baby toddler shoes

How cute are these perfect little Easter shoes?! They’re dressy, but they’ve got Velcro so they’ll stay put! I also love the little anchor detail on the strap.

Just One You Toddler Boys’ Jeffrey Boat Shoes
Currently BYGO 50% off!

baby toddler shoes

Corey has a pair of boots just like these that look unbelievably adorable on him. They actually stay on quite well, but can be kind of tough for a beginning walker because of the high ankle. Once they’re on the move for good, you can definitely expect these to be a big hit!

Toddler Boys’ Corbin Hiking Boots by Cat & Jack
Currently BYGO 50% off!

baby toddler shoes

Corey wears these shoes probably more than any of his others because a) they’re friggin’ adorable and b) they’re easy to put on and c) he doesn’t wear socks with them. They don’t stink at all even though he’s run outside with them too many times to count. He always looks so sweet when he wears them [okay, I think he looks sweet pretty much all the time], but these really take the cake.

Sperry Cruz JR Boat Shoe

baby toddler shoes

What are your favorite shoes for little boys? Or girls for that matter?

So I’m not joking when I say that we spent a small fortune trying to find the right baby gates for our stairs. I bought almost every trial gate online, which then meant we had to return it via UPS or FedEx and eat the shipping cost. Nothing at Target, Buy Buy Baby, or anywhere else was quite working for our new (beautiful but difficult) staircase.

baby gates for stairs

We didn’t want to drill any holes in our walls, so we use all spring-loaded gates. We even bought these little guys to help protect our walls.

Baby Gate Guru Wall Protectors

[amazon_link asins=’B01LZV0JZP’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’atalioraeweya-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’5a8b8635-6976-11e7-835d-23a450c60d47′]

baby gates for stairs

baby gates for stairs

We went with this little number for our upstairs gate. You can adjust the springs to fit so it worked with our baseboards and our pillar. Jon adjusted the springs perfectly (I tried to do it myself, and that didn’t work out so well), so I don’t worry at all when Corey goes and shakes on the gate like a monkey in a cage. It’s super secure! It is NOT auto-closing like our downstairs gate, however, so you do have to make sure you lock it in.

Summer Infant Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate

baby gates for stairs
baby gates for stairs
baby gates for stairs

This is our gate at the bottom of the stairs. This was BY FAR the trickiest staircase to ever try and baby proof. One up me. I dare you.

On one side, we have an uneven surface because of the “baseboard” and the wall. On the other side, we have a tapered pillar surrounded by wrought iron. It was almost the end of my sanity trying to make this work. In the end, we found the things listed below that worked for us!

This gate is extremely secure (our son and nephew have both but it through the ringer) and it’s also an auto-closing gate. That’s awesome when you’ve got your hands full going up or coming down the stairs. No worries there! This bad boy isn’t going anywhere.

Dreambaby Chelsea Extra Wide Auto Close Security Gate

baby gates for stairs
baby gates for stairs
baby gates for stairs

We also needed to extend the gate to get it past the wrought iron, so we bought this extension to go with the gate.

baby gates for stairs
baby gates for stairs
In order to use the spring-loaded gate on the banister, we had to order these little accessories.
baby gates for stairs
You can adjust them based on the width of your banister, which for us, was thinner at the top and wider at the bottom.

baby gates for stairs

baby gates for stairs

baby gates for stairs

We wanted to be able to have a solid place to put our foot on the bottom step, so we had to angle the gate in order to get this space. It doesn’t look the best, but it works just fine and dandy, thank you.

baby gates for stairs

Whew! Corey’s only 14 months old, and I finally feel like his “nursery” is finished.
#momfail

Between selling our home, living at my mom’s, living at our in-law’s, moving into our new home, then having to move everything from the second floor out and back again [in a matter of 9 months], I’d say that I’m almost insane. Almost. I finally feel like we’re finished with Corey’s nursery/room now, so I’d like to share the final product!

This was his room at our house in Dallas, and while I loved it for all the [late night feeding and crying] memories it held, I’m happy to have updated and upgraded his room at our home in Houston. The items in his room now are all basically the same as they were then, so the links should still work for the pieces.

nautical nursery

nautical nursery
nautical nursery
nautical nursery

nautical nursery

nautical nursery
nautical nursery
nautical nursery

nautical nursery

nautical nursery
nautical nursery

nautical nursery

nautical nursery
nautical nursery
nautical nursery

I had to hang this fun gift up in his room! Our family friend named a star after him on the day he was born, and I couldn’t love this anymore! I think it’s so cool and such an awesome gift!

nautical nursery

This sweet quote is just outside Corey’s room – in between the other [hopefully future] kid’s room. I found the quote on Etsy, and it just really spoke to me. It reminds me daily that children are a gift and a miracle.

nautical nursery
I had to throw in a picture of pure joy. This kid here is enjoying the free froyo at Jason’s Deli. You can see it in his eyes that’s he’s his daddy’s son. Sugar is his life now.
nautical nursery

I can’t believe that one of my closest friends having TWINS! I’m beyond excited for she and her hubby to experience the absolute joy that babies bring. I’m also beyond excited because it’s just so fitting that she’s having two at the same time.
Tea for Two twins baby shower
Back when we were youngins, we would joke that I would live on her property (because, of course, she’d be totally rich, duh) and I’d take care of her kiddos. She’s very career-driven (and damn good at what she does), and I’m the domestic-type. Our little plan was working out so well until we both fell in love and got married. Put a kink in the “I’ll raise your babies” idea.

Tea for Two twins baby shower

But… now she’s about to experience the absolute best job she’ll ever have. She’s going to be an amazing mommy, just like she’s already an amazing friend, wife, coworker, etc., etc. Is she beautiful, or what?

Tea for Two twins baby shower

To show her how much we adore her, some of her friends and I put on a Tea for Two babIES shower. It was just perfect! Everyone did their own pieces and we pulled it all together right before the shower. Most of us didn’t even live in the city where we had the shower, so it was a lot of Google Sheets and Pinterest boarding that got us organized. These girls were so much fun to host with!

Here are a few of the details from the day:

Tea for Two twins baby shower
Tea for Two twins baby shower

One of her friends tied these faux flowers onto tea bags. It added such a sweet touch!

Tea for Two twins baby shower
Tea for Two twins baby shower
Tea for Two twins baby shower
Tea for Two twins baby shower
Tea for Two twins baby shower

We had a fun game where the guests wrote something funny or encouraging on diapers. That way, when mom or dad are changing in the middle of the night, they have something to brighten their very tired eyes.

Tea for Two twins baby shower

We went with books instead of cards and everyone signed their book. Love this!

Tea for Two twins baby shower

Anne’s friend just “whipped” these up after a long work week and a flight from California. No big deal. She’s kind of fantastic.

Tea for Two twins baby shower

She also arranged the absolutely gorgeous flowers for us. They matched the decor perfectly.

Tea for Two twins baby shower

For food, we kept it simple with tea-themed items, like these homemade scones.

Tea for Two twins baby shower

Cucumber dill + pimento cheese finger sandwiches

Tea for Two twins baby shower

Smoked salmon + cream cheese finger sandwiches

Tea for Two twins baby shower

We ordered these small bites from a wonderful local bakery: orange citrus tarts + chocolate fudge brownies + [my fave] Mexican wedding cookies

Tea for Two twins baby shower

These sweet napkins with the babies’ initials added a very sweet touch.

Tea for Two twins baby shower

For my gift, I decided to get my sweet friend some things that I’ve been given and loved.

These bags are just the right size for a weekend bag for baby and toddler. I use ours for every trip we go on! They’re also extremely adorable. [I purchased ours at a local boutique – Magpie’s Gifts in Cypress – where I had them monogrammed. Love Magpie’s!]

Tea for Two twins baby shower
Tea for Two twins baby shower
We also asked that guests not wrap their gifts so that the mommy-to-be wouldn’t have to bend over and go through that work. Instead, we went around and would explain why we purchased the gift we did for her. It was very sweet to hear what everyone had to say!
Tea for Two twins baby shower
 I also stocked the bags with some things that I’ve found to be my staples for a happy baby (and mommy).
Tea for Two twins baby shower
It was so much fun to shower my sweet friend and her babies with love. I can’t wait to meet them!