Monday, July 29, 2013

what's on my mind {and a giveaway}

Someone recently asked me what's the thing about parenting that surprised me the most? Ha.  Everything.  In all seriousness though, not one particular thing comes to my mind. Instead a hundred different things come to mind. 

First surprise, though, would be the innate worrying that comes along with parenting.  Truth be told, it's not so much the worrying that surprises me (chronic worrywart here),  but instead it's the innate guilt that comes with the worrying.  I've posted this here before, but it completely resonates with me so you're seeing it again. Behind every great kid is a mom who's pretty sure she's screwing it up.  Here's a peek in my mommy brain at night::   Did I read to him enough today? Did I remember to tell him I love him before bed? Crap, it's too late to go in there now.  Did Mr. I-only-eat-popcorn-and-chips get his nutrients today?

Speaking of popcorn and chips, I'm overly shocked and surprised about how creative I'd have to be and what great lengths I would have to go to to ensure that he's getting adequate nutrition.  No, seriously, have you ever tried to stuff shredded cheese into popcorn because all he would eat for five straight days was "popporn.?" I have, I did, and I guess I'll do it again when needed.  I sat there for an hour and snuck cheese into his popcorn just so he'd get some stinkin' protein and calcium. 

Preston's at that age right now that I'm finding it incredibly difficult to keep a straight face when I hear him say something inappropriate or mimic his dad or I in a way we didn't intend, especially when it's for the first time.  It's that age where it's cute and wrong at the same time and I can't always react appropriately.  Mr. Gherkin did something over the weekend (and of course, neither of us can remember exactly what it was now), but I replied with "daddy fail."  Preston immediately chimes in, repeating it.  It's amazing how one little snicker from me can motivate him to keep saying it for days afterwards.  See my "daddy fail" example below. 

Lastly, I'm surprised with how incredibly blessed I feel each and every day for this life that I get to play a part in.  Maybe it was my mom's passing at an early age or the uncertainty of whether P would one day live and breath on his own during my pregnancy, but I'm completely in awe that he and Hadley are my earthly children and I get to be their earthly mommy.  My best day without them pales in comparison to my worst day with them.  Despite all the leaking diapers, the tubes and tubes of diaper rash cream we've been through, and the countless number of sleepless nights we've had, the good always, always, always outweighs the bad. 

So there they are.  A few things that have surprised me about parenting  And speaking of diaper rash, so happy to announce that Dr. Smith's diaper ointment is now available nationwide at Walgreens. You can find the retailer nearest you by visiting

Love Dr Smith's in our house, and it just saved our booties (no pun intended) after living in wet diapers and bathing suits during our weeks of pool/ocean/lake time this summer. Love the tube and the tub.  One I can easily carry with me while traveling and the other I can leave by the changing table. 

In celebration of Dr. Smith's now being available nationwide, the generous folks over at Dr. Smith's are giving away a $50 Walgreens gift card and a supply of Dr. Smith's Diaper Rash Ointment.  Enter below to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 28, 2013

To clean or not to clean?


We've all seen them.  Those 'excuse the mess but we live here' quotes and signs.  Cute and true.  Sometimes though they strike a chord with me.  It almost insinuates that you can't have or do both at the same time.  I disagree. You can have both.  Sure, let's make a mess and have fun, but you bet we're going to sing the 'clean up' song afterwards or at the end of the day and clean up after ourselves.  I've tried to stay as organized as possible with a 2.5 year old, creatively placing coordinating baskets here and there to keep toys and other gadgets organized and put up when we're done playing with them.  Yes, we live, but  yes, we stay clean also.

All that being said, I'll admit that I totally cheat.  I do admire women and moms who do it all themselves.  Clean, stay at home with the kiddos, cook, clean, then repeat and repeat.  I do cheat, though, because I do hire a cleaning lady to come in every 2-3 weeks to help with the deep cleaning.  We're blessed that we've been able to continue to work that into our budget. Cleaning stinkin' bathrooms gets old and I find that's the most time consuming part of cleaning. So I cheat, someone comes and helps clean our bathrooms and do other deep cleaning tasks every few weeks.  It adds up money wise overtime, but it also gives me more time to spend with my family on the weekends.  As for the everyday cleaning, we do it.  Everyday. Me and the Gherkin (along with the nanny's sweet and super kind help when she's not chasing Mr. P).

I'm not perfect nor am I trying to portray that, and I get that life is short and those sweet memories need to be made.  Truth be told I started laundry on Friday and put three loads on to wash since then.  Well, all three loads are in the dryer as we speak.  Together.  I just kept adding the wet clothes to the dry clothes and restarting the dryer.  We were having too much fun this weekend and the laundry just didn't get a second glance. My goal is to get it fluffed again, folded, and finally put up by the end of today though.

Getting off soap box now and turning it over to our guest contributor, but I guess my point is that there can be and I feel there should be a nice balance in the whole 'excuse the mess but we live here.'

So today's guest writer and contributor is Isabelle.  She wrote an article to share, and since I did have a little bit of an opinion on this I decided to accept her offer and her article.  Here's Isabelle.


If you're a busy parent who takes pride in your home, you've probably weighed up the benefits of hiring a cleaner before. Of course, there is a huge satisfaction in starting at the top and working your list methodically, seeing the end result of your beautiful sparkling home and taking pride in your efforts. There's nothing like the spring clean, when we get rid of everything that we don't need and polishing and scrubbing everything we do until it's all in nice and neat again.  This sometimes feels as good as a new home. It's your very own home, just rejuvenated. The truth is, if you want your home cleaned, you may feel that you're the only person that clean it the way you want. Sometimes you're the only one who know exactly where everything should go and how it should look. That old saying, 'if you want something done properly, do it yourself' can really hold true in this case.

Unfortunately, not everyone has time to care for their home the way that they'd like, especially if you're a parent whose priority will be running after kids, cooking meals, and packing lunches. It can be easy to let the silver polishing slide. Having children means being ready for what they need at any given time of the day even the unexpected things like sport practice, accidents, play dates, tantrums, allergic reactions and homework projects. That's where outsourcing can come in handy. By hiring a professional cleaner to come at occasionally (the interval doesn't even have to be that regular, could be once a month or once a week), or even outsourcing some of the less particular or the more labour intensive tasks to someone else can help give you more time with your family. These tasks can be things like mopping, toilet cleaning, dusting, wiping the insides of cupboards, and/or cleaning the shower and bath. Those tasks need to be done periodically, but they are general tasks that can be done by anyone. Having those tasks moved off your list can be a huge relief and can free up time in your schedule. That means you'll have more time and more availability to play with your kids. Everyone wins!


Thanks for writing for Pineapples and Pickles, Isabelle.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

da bump :: 26 wks

I went to see the high risk OB for what I hoped again would be the last time ever.  Wrong.  I will see her again in four weeks.  Hadley's abdomen measured a week smaller, which was a new development.  Truth is the doctor is not really worried about the size discrepancy as she says that rarely do babies grow symmetrically all at the same time.  At some points in pregnancy more energy may go towards a specific organ growth and less towards other parts of the body which can create some asymmetry.   Her main concern at this point though was that my placental resistance was very high with Preston at one point, but the medical team deemed that a response of my body to Preston's cardiac condition. 

Well, my placental resistance was a little high with Hadley yesterday.  So the OB just wants to recheck again in four weeks to make sure the change in her growth is in no way related to any placental resistance.

This has been such a great pregnancy, and I pray it continues to be a smooth and easy pregnancy. Truth is I've spent much of this pregnancy fearful that the other shoe would drop.  One friend said she thinks I have PTSD from my pregnancy with Preston. I hope this isn't my fear coming true.  

On the bright side, I get to have another ultrasound in 4 weeks and until then I will remain always of good courage (2 Cor. 5:6).  Miss Hadley would not show her face for any pictures yesterday.  The tech was laughing because no matter how hard she tried to move her, Hadley kept her face and profile buried in the placenta and uterine wall. She's still breech and very much transverse.

Pardon the paci above.  He had just hit his head and wanted his paci.  I selfishly seized the moment knowing that he'd actually let me hold him for a change for a photo op.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Five on Friday

Joining Darci and friends for the  Five on Friday link-up again.

one ::
Anyone want a little sneak peek of HEV's nursery?
All white bedding makes my heart beat wildly (and keep the door closed like a crazy lady so the dogs won't go near it).

two :: 
My OB and I talked about scheduling my c-section for 10.28.13 (unless, of course, something comes up between now and then) which means that I will likely be bringing Miss Hadley home on 10.31.13, halloween, and my 34th birthday. 

 So in the spirit of her first halloween, I want to make this for her first halloween costume. The husband vows he used to be the ultimate tie-dyer back in the day so surely he'll share those skills with me. 

three ::
We've been letting this boy wear big boy underwear off and on.  We've cleaned up plenty puddles of pee. This week though he wore them for a few hours straight without an accident.  He did say he needed to 'pee-pee' a few times so we raced to the potty, but he never peed (but he never had an accident either). 

four ::
Speaking of potty training, did you guys read this?  Super sweet and personal story that I know I can certainly relate to.  So glad she shared. 

five :: 
Target kills me.  Target kills my wallet.  Target might be the reason my husband leaves me one day.
Target does stuff like this.  I'm banned from Target until, well, for a very long time.

Happy Friday!  Happy weekend!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Houston Mom's Blog

Houston finally claimed its spot in the City Moms Blog Network!  The official page hasn't launched yet, but you can start following on Facebook here so that way you can know when the official launch date is and stay up to date with more exciting announcements. 

in dump trunk heaven

Back in June (I think, I'm so far behind in going through my pictures), we took Preston to meet his cousin, Hunter, at what I like to call dump trunk heaven.

(yes, we had full permission to be on the property)

After a super sweet cousin hug, they were off to explore.

Believe it or not, Lauren and I did not intentionally dress them alike.  We exchanged a text the day before saying that they should wear their fishing shirts.  Nothing in that text said, a blue fishing shirt, with navy shorts, and matching Sperry's!  Great minds think alike :)

Thanks, Aunt Lauren, for inviting us out to explore with you guys.  Maybe we can do it again when it cools off.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

da bump :: 25 wks

Currently craving anything watermelon, and sent my brother on a hunt last night for Izze Sparkling Watermelon beverages.  Couldn't quit thinking about them.

I could also live off of Chick-fil-A cookies n cream milkshakes.

Love feeling her move so much.  I don't think she's breech anymore, but we'll see next Friday when I have my next ultrasound.

Five on Friday

I'm finally getting a post up, getting some words down, and linking up with Darci over at The Good Life blog.  Woohoo!

First up ::
I'm addicted to this stuff.  I pretty much have a spoon full or two every single night. It does a baby and a momma good.

Secondly ::
The little man is gone for the weekend.  Staying with his Grrr (my dad) and his Bubba (my brother --- and it sound's super cute and super sweet when P calls him Bubba) this weekend.  Date nights and shopping for the Gherkin and I.  Also need to clean out our garage.  Lord, help me or perhaps more appropriate --- Lord, help my husband. 

Third ::
I'm completely smitten with my little surprise gift courtesy of Personal Creations (more about that later).  Pineapples are my love language.  No surprise then that Hadley and I will need these in our life, right?

swimsuit // tees

Fourth ::
Miss Hadley's bedding arrived from Cottage and Cabin.   Her window treatments also arrived.  I love the way it's coming together.  Sometimes I just walk in there and stare.  I think it's a super sweet space. Just a few more decisions to make and a few more things to order then her nursery will be ready to go.  Surprisingly, it all came together so quickly.  I am using quite a bit of the same stuff I used for Preston's nursery though, just with pops of pink and lots more white!

Last but not least :: 
I haven't done a product of the week post in a long time, but this is definitely my current product of the week. I bought the Sea Salt Soap while shopping with a sweet friend in Rosemary Beach last month and just ordered another four bars. I've been wanting to try it forever.  It didn't disappoint.  It smells so clean and fresh, and the exfoliation is perfection!

available here

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

4th annual trip to Hyatt Lost Pines

We went to Hyatt Lost Pines last week. It was our fourth year to go.  Gherkin and I went when I was 18 weeks pregnant with Preston, and we've made a tradition of going since.  I usually hit up a medical conference while there so that we can kill two birds with one stone, I get a few hours of continuing medical education and we get to have some family fun time.  Win, win!

Here's my 18 week bump picture with Preston taken at Lost Pines --- our very first year there --- and my 24 week bump picture with Hadley from this weekend.

Some of my instagram/ iphone favorites from this weekend.

Preston got to actually roast his own marshmellow for s'mores this year.   Does he think he's a big boy or what?!  Then he tried it, didn't like it, so the Gherkin and I gladly finished it off. 

he loved the animals

This was the first year for Preston to go down the slide.  I laughed so hard because he'd have this look of terror on his face as he came down. 

I thought he would most certainly freak out as soon as he hit the water.

But no, he was all smiles, begging for more, more, again, again. 

1st year with Ribeye in the background// 2nd year on T-Bone // 3rd year and again on T-Bone

This wrapped up our last of 3 vacations and trips we had planned this summer (I still have one to document).  This also means that unless another spontaneous trip presents itself, this is very likely our last trip as a family of three.  That thought was constantly on my mind while we were there.  So blessed to have these two boys in my life, love my time with these two and cherish all these sweet moments that I got to spend with P-man. Super excited about the new life that will join us on our family vacations from this point forward. 

Keeping a Clean House with Lively Kids

Trying something new here.  A handful of people have contacted me recently about guest posting here on Pineapples and Pickles. I didn't know how to proceed initially as I like tend to be a little particular about the content on this blog. Control freak, here.  End the end, I decided to give it a shot, and I've clearly been at a loss for posts and content lately.  I know that some bloggers charge a fee for guest posts, and some of the guest bloggers have offered compensation in exchange for a guest post.  I didn't quite feel right about charging so instead I've asked guest bloggers to make a small contribution to Texas Children's Hospital here or into a paypal account that can then be sent to TCH.  All that being said, let me know if you're interested in being a guest author on Pineapples and Pickles.  So enough rambling, here's Lisa.


Hello Pineapples and Pickles readers! This is Lisa Jolan and I am glad to be here with you. Thanks to Tiffanie for allowing me to do a guest post here, today I am going to share some tips about how you can keep a clean house with lively kids. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.

Having kids and having an impeccably clean house at the same time are probably impossible. As with many things in our adult lives, this is also where we need to make compromises. Children, even the most quiet and peaceful ones, need to constantly grow and develop, and for that they need to break and smear many things around the house before they learn about boundaries and consequences. So, if having kid’s means doubling our efforts to keep the house decently clean, this is what we have to do.

Discipline and Games:
The best thing you can have in your home is team work in all areas of family life, including tidying up on weekends or whenever you have time. Everyone should help out according to their capabilities. Children’s chores are usually vacuuming and dusting on weekends if you don’t have vacuum than you need to visit here to see a great collection, shopping for everyday groceries like bread and milk, washing their dishes after each meal, setting and cleaning up the table for meals, etc. The sooner you teach children to do these things, the better.

Some kids are lazier than others, some are stubborn and rebellious and it is not easy getting them to cooperate. Thanks to games, all this can be fixed. Children need motivation to do things that are not fun and pleasant, so instead of threatening them with punishment or telling them that they must clean, it is much better to turn tidying up into a game. Who’ll cut carrots quicker? Who will vacuum dirt from under the bed and prevent dirt monsters from forming? Who can make the kitchen shine and be prettier than all kitchens in the neighborhood? Of course, it doesn’t hurt to include prizes from time to time for the best cleaner.

Allowing and Forbidding:
Children should be clear about things in their home that are off limits and things that are allowed. Basically, everything that might hurt them, like sockets, knives, sharp edges, etc. should be off limits. You should really make it a point of explaining why they can’t play around dangerous areas. On the other hand, forbidding everything is not good for their intellectual development. Why shouldn’t they spin around or jump from a chair to a bed and back? If they never fall, they’ll never learn how to cope with pain, how to get up and continue on their way. It might be fun to allow them a corner where it doesn’t matter if they get some paint on walls or furniture.

What to do with furniture “treated” by kids:
Whether your furniture is old or new, fancy or plain, bought via online shops, Shop 4 Furniture has a great collection of furniture online, or at a yard sale in your neighborhood, you probably don’t want it to be smeared with pens and torn by children who perform all kinds of “operations” on your bed and sofa.

However, you can’t expect children to behave the way you plan them to, so a little smear on furniture here and there is common. When that happens, you should react immediately with appropriate chemicals for the type of fabric on your sofa/chair/bed. If you react too late and nothing helps, you should look into reupholstering furniture and giving your home a new look with new furniture pattern and colours. The best way to keep your home tidy with lively kids is to always include them in family errands and instill in them a love for all aspects of home. Cleaning and redecoration can be lots of fun, and they should learn that very early on.

Image Source


Thanks, Lisa.  I really like the idea of giving children their own 'corner' to paint on the walls or get messy.  I keep telling this husband that Preston needs a chalkboard wall in his new room --- I might just have to do it with out without his blessing.  I also love the idea of making chores a friendly 'game' to help motivate kiddos to help around the house.  Brilliant.  

I'll be back later this week with some pictures of our last couple of trips.  Now that our travels are over, Preston's room is almost complete, and the nursery is in full swing I should have more time for blogging.

There are still a few more outfits left for sale from Preston's closet here.  I've already seen a couple of cute kiddos on instagram wearing some of the outfits.  That makes me smile .... thanks for sharing!

Friday, July 5, 2013

SALE! Boy clothes for sale!

HELP! I'm in trouble --- you guys should see Hadley's closet already. It's over half full and we're more than half broke. Which means I need to make room in this house for more pink and for more ruffles. I'm selling some of Preston's old outfits. I kept a few for myself , but here are some of my favorites I've decided to sell. Happy shopping!
Beehave ivory shortall, 6 mos, he wore once at his baptism reception, $15 shipped.  (a tiny grey spot on the back, the size of a pinpoint, barely noticable) SOLD

SOLD back of Beehive shortall pictured above

Jack & Teddy black velvet jon jon, 24 mos, new with tags, would be perfect with a white shirt for Christmas, $20 shipped.

SOLD Beanies dog jon jon,18-24 mos, pardon the wrinkles, $12 shipped and ironed :)

SOLD close up of   jon jon

SOLD Rock N' Smock 'em shortall, 18mos,excellent condition, $18 shipped.

SOLD Sir John by Rosalina jon jon, 24 mos, was one of my favorites, excellent condition, $20 shipped.

SOLD close up of Sir John jon jon

Jack & Teddy long sleeve shite shirt, excellent condition and still bright white, 18 months, $10 shipped.

SOLD Carriage Boutiques shortall, 6 mos, good condition, $15 shipped.

Sir John by Rosalina bubble, 9 mos, good condition, $15 shipped.

close up of bubble

Royal Kidz, 12 mos, blue and white gingham longall, $15 shipped and ironed :)

SOLD Frankie blue linen/cotton mix bubble, sweet little outfit, 6 mos, excellent condition, $15 shipped

SOLD close up of bubble pictured above

SOLD  Pediped brown suede shoes, 12-18 mos or US 5-5.5, $9 shipped

SOLD Robeez brown leather slip on sandals, 6-12 mos, $7 shipped.

SOLD  Kid Express brown leather loafers, size 22 which = US 6-6.5, $9 shipped.

SOLD different angle and close up of brown loafers above

SOLD Pediped denim shoes, 6-12 mos or US 4-4.5, $9 shipped.
Prices can be flexible --- open to your best offer also :)

To buy please comment with your paypal e-mail address or e-mail me privately at pineapplesnpickles (at) yahoo (dot) com.