Friday, December 30, 2011

My 3 Year Old Life Coach

So obviously, I am going to skip a Christmas post.  Not because I had a bad Christmas, mind you (The husband even managed to purchase me an actual present for Christmas.  I guess the cash-back option at Target wasn't working.... Juuuust kidding.) I am just completely absent-minded when I'm on vacation, which means I forgot to take any pictures during our Holiday events. Woops....
However, as we all know, the Holidays are ALL about some family time, which suits me just fine.  Both of our families are wildly entertaining.  But I'll have to say that this little Monkey is by FAR the most entertaining character we have around these days.

Hot. Mess. Express. 
So for those of you who don't know, the above picture is of my Niece, Riley.  She's 3, and very good at it.  Homegirl is also fixing to be a BIG SISTER (as evidenced by her shirt above) next week, so the countdown is on for her parents (aka my sister in-law & her hubs).  Anywho, I figured my Sister In-law & Bro In-law could use a night to themselves, so I offered to watch Riley last week so they could go out to her Christmas Party.  I can always rely on Riley to make me laugh, but let me tell you, little girl was ON POINT that night.  Granted, I may or may not have let her eat about an POUND of Christmas Candy to wind her up to get her that way (Sorry Erin), but lawddddd, that child is funny.  Annnnd does wonders for my Ego--especially when she tells me that I am her "smallest, youngest Aunt."  And when I asked her about how old she thought I was, she replied with "Ummm, 9. Yeah. 9."  Um, hello? Stuff like that is why she is my favorite niece (Granted, she is my only niece at the moment, but thats a minor detail.)
In addition to being a little Ego booster, I decided that a person could seriously take some cues from the way Riley lives her life.  Let me provide yall with a few examples....

1) When in doubt, ALWAYS lie about your age.  Higher or lower, it doesn't really matter, just fib if you get confused.  Because if you're cute, you'll get away with it.  
Riley is utterly fascinated by iPhones, so she got a HUGE kick out of the Facetime feature on the iPhone 4.  When she was over, we facetimed my Dad, who asked her how old she was.  Riley's answer, "Ummm 5!!!" I respond with, "Riley, show him how many you are." Then, she proceeded to hold up 4 fingers.  Yall- she doesn't turn 4 until next September.  Regardless, due to her cuteness, I'm pretty sure my dad thought I was lying about her age & she was the one telling the truth.  

I swear, she is only 3.  This was taken in September, I promise.

2) Who CARES what's in style- Express your Individualism.  
Like most 3 year old little girls, Riley LOVES all things girlie.  As yall know, my make-up addiction has led to me having an insane make-up collection, which is knowledge that Riley is privy to.  So, anytime I'm around her, she digs through my purse to find the goods.  And she's no different at our house.  She leads me straight up to our bathroom to try out any new make-up and/or nail polish that her Aunt CeCe has stashed away (Riley calls me CeCe because Caroline = waaay too hard for her to say when she was learning to talk.)
Last week, Riley's big hot button was nail polish, so we had to scour over my bazillion colors of nail polish- half of which are probably inappropriate for a 3 year old.  Don't worry guys, I kept her away from all of my dark purples, blacks, browns, etc.  Call me crazy, but I just didn't really think the gothic nails went with her bright blue hair bow.  So after that debate, she insisted that I paint 5 of her toes in a purple-sparkly polish, 2 toes bright orange, 2 toes light pink, and 1 bright red.  I tried negotiating with her to make them all be 1 color... or even alternating colors, but I lost that battle in a hurry. But hey- whatever floats her boat, right?  
Make-up application was just as spastic.  I always let her do her own make-up application, sooo of course, she not only put blush all over her face, she also found it necessary to accompany the blush on her cheeks w/ about 19 different colors of eye-shadow.  None of which wound up on her eyes, just solely on her cheeks.  Quite the look, let me tell ya! When I questioned her about the eye-shadow on her face, Riley explained that the eye shadow had the MOST SPARKLES so she needed it all over.  Duh, CeCe.  So again, go on with your bad self & do your own thing.  (Granted, I made her take it all off before playing with anything else because she legit looked like she was gonna hit up a late night Rave w/ the 59 colors/sparkle combo all over her cute face. Seriously- all she needed was some glow sticks & she would've been good as gold.)
Riley rationale--I know wearing 1 Tutu is cool, but I think I'll wear 3.  Why not? :)

3) Pick your battles, because if not, no one will wind up happy.    
Like I said before, Riley is 3... and good at it.  Sometimes trying to get her to do something is like trying to herd a group of cats.  Its ridiculously impossible.  So, there are just certain times where you have to just bargain with her to get her to do what you want her to do.  When she was over last week, homegirl straight up refused to eat her dinner (Easy Mac... usually her #1 favorite meal in the world), yet she was DYING to eat Gummies.  So obviously, when there are starving children in African, I'm not gonna waste a whole thing of Easy mac if there wasn't a chance in hell she was gonna eat it.  Instead, I told her if she could find something in my pantry to be her dinner, she could eat Gummies as a dessert.  Done and Done.  Granted, she opted for a bag of Kettle Corn, but hey- its still relatively healthy & she ate dern near the whole bag.  Then, I was happy because she had some (quasi) dinner & she was happy because she got her Gummies! Everyone wins.  
4) Do things JUST because you can.  
One of my absolute favorite Riley-isms is her ability to justify WHY she does certain things.  One such example went as follows:
Me: "Riles, why exactly was she jumping up & down on our couch?
Riley: " BECAUSE I'M 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Hmmm. Can't really argue with that justification, can you?  Or, how about this?
Me (after realizing she fed Hudson, our dog, half a bag of giant marshmellows): "WOMAN! Why have you fed Hudson 8000 marshmellows???
Riley: "Cuzz..... I just wanted to CECE."
Well, again, I can't really argue with that rationale either.  Its not like we've ever had a heart to heart discussing Hudson's dietary habits, so if I was 3, I'd probably want to feed Hudson marshmellows too.
The best example came when she threw this little curve ball at me....
Riley: "CeCe, you & Keeebbbin (aka Kevin) should have a wittle BABY!!!"
Me (Completely flabbergasted & at a loss for words): "Ummmm, uhhhh.... why on earth do you think that, Riley?"
Riley (Looking at me like I'm slowest person on Earth) : "Cuz.... you CAN!!!! And you're silly!"
Oh, well then, in that case, I'll be sure to get right on that because those are such valid points & will make child-rearing a complete breeze......

So basically, if you're on the fence about a major life decision, just go ask Riley her thoughts on the matter.  I'm sure she'll coach you through the whole thought process :)  Sure, her methodology might be a tad unorthodox, but you can't really argue with the sentiment behind her thoughts!  

Anyways, I cannot believe New Years Eve is tomorrow!!  Our plans consist of watching UK (hopefully) put a beat down on those dirty UofL Cardinal birds, and then, as my sweet girl, Steph,  so eloquently stated in her post yesterday, yall know the Kentucky Bourbon will be flowing like crazy as we ring in the New Year w/ a party with all our dear friends! So So So excited for the festivities to begin.  Lets kick this 4 day weekend off w/ the sweetest NYE song of all time.  I am completely obsessed.

Now all thats left for me to do is find a dress :)  Have a great New Years yall!!!!! Xoxoxo

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh my gosh, are you sick?

We all know how I visit Web MD on a regular basis to self diagnose myself, Kevin, my parents, my dog, etc.  However, what I've failed to mention is that I absolutely despise going to the doctor, even when I need  to go.  It seriously takes me having a couple days of 101 degree fever for me to actually make an appointment.  Anyway, so when I actually do take the initiative to go to the doctor, I try to get out every medical concern that I have had in the past 3 months.  Lucky for me, my doctor is used to this & is adequately prepared to deal w/ my 800 health related questions.  She is amazing.  However, because I try to fit in my zillion concerns in a 20 min appointment, I sometimes fail to remember everything.

I've had seasonal allergies for as long as I can remember.  Living in Lexington, those allergies are exacerbated exponentially.  Last I heard, Lexington was ranked one of the top 5 worst cities for Allergy sufferers, so I chalk any kind of cough, throat, or stuffy nose issue to being a Lexington Resident.
Beautiful Scenery = horrendous allergies
Anywho, over the past year, my voice has continued to get more & more raspy.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that on most mornings, I sound like I smoked a carton of Marlboros & its painful to get words. Again, I just figured it was all related to my allergies.... Probably a pretty accurate assumption, seeing how I have so much medical training & all.  Oh wait, not. at. all.  
So after the combination of dealing w/ people asking me on a daily basis if I was sick & then one of my customers told me I might have a thyroid issue, I finally took the bull by horns & made an appointment with my ENT (Ear, Nose, & Throat specialist).  
I assumed that the ENT would just ask me a few questions, do a quick diagnosis, and write me a script for some miracle product that would help my voice.
I. Was. So. Utterly. Wrong. 
Much to my surprise, homeboy looked at his watch & told me he had time to do a full scope today.  He sounded really excited about it, so it never entered my mind that a scope would be a bad thing.  Um, don't worry kids, please look at the little camera gadget that was stuck down my nose so my ENT could get a better look at my throat.  Its cute mini size is beyond deceiving because it was a devil machine.

ENT Homeboy was excited because that little number is not only a camera, but it is also a flashlight & a magnifier.  Its like the Swiss Army Knife of doctor gadgets.  If it hadn't hurt like hell, I would have probably been pretty pumped about it too.  
Anywho, the scope ended up showing the ENT exactly what was causing my voice to mimic that of a 59 year old with emphysema.  What? You all are dying to see the gorgeousness that is also known as my vocal chords?? Well, as luck would have it, I kept the pictures.  They're obviously pretty frame worthy.  
**(Side note- I feel like I should preface this picture because it is kind of ummm, graphic.)**

Let me decode for yall: 
Top pic: My vocal chords w/out me talking--> note that you can still vocal chords (diamond shape in the middle)
Bottom Pic: My vocal chords w/ me trying to talk --> Note you can't see the little diamond shape at all.

So, what does that mean?  Apparently, I have Stage 4 Vocal Chord Nodules.   What? you've never heard of them?  Yeah, me neither.  But apparently, Adele has been suffering from this same affliction, which is why she recently underwent surgery to get them removed.  Yes, I said surgery.  The worst thing about Vocal Chord Nodules is that there are ZERO medications to help them improve. 
 Oh & Don't worry, along with weekly speech therapy, they gave me this handy little sheet with explicit instructions on pointers to possibly downgrade the nodules to a lower stage.  

So, if you see me out, please sweet Jesus, don't ask me about my voice.  #1, it takes forever to explain, and #2, while I'm explaining this random affliction to you, I'm having to talk more, which ends worsening the dern nodules.  Its a lose lose kind of situation.  But who knows, maybe I'll end up sounding like this after I eventually give in the the notion of getting them surgically removed.


Moving on, regardless of that little roadshow, I'm finally in the Christmas Spirit.  Don't believe me?  Our friends' annual Tacky Xmas Party last night, and I love this party more than I love Halloween.  I'm not kidding.  
One year, I was a life-sized stocking. 
Feel free to stuff me full of wine.  Thanks.  
And last year, we were life-sized Candy Canes.... (that kind of resemble Wheres Waldo, Christmas-edition, but hey, still unique.)
Clearly, Kevin loved it.

Pretty ridiculous.
This year our costumes weren't nearly as elaborate as they've been in the past, but they were definitely equally as festive.  Check out our 3rd Grade Throwback sweatshirts & please tell me you all remember making these back in the day in Art Class ( know, before everyone got so sensitive about Christmas in public schools. Sigh. )

My Beautiful Sweatshirt

The Masterpiece I made for Kevin

So so so hot.  Especially the purple eyeshadow :)
Only a few shopping days left yall!  Who's ready for Christmas?!?!? Ummm, I'm not, so I better jump off here & get to some online shopping.  Thats it for now yall! xoxo

Friday, December 9, 2011

My name is Caroline, and I have an addiction problem.

The first step is admitting it, right?  Lucky for us, none of my addictions are hazardous to my health.  However, they have might have potential to become hazardous to our bank account.  My problem lies in the fact that when I like something, I tend to buy a gazillion of whatever that particular item might be.  And honestly, I like to think of myself as a pretty self-aware & sane person, but ummm, now that Kevin called me out for my insane buying habits, I'm not so sure.  At all.  Like, I'm honestly scared I might be a potential candidate to be on TLC's "My Strange Addiction."
Let me show you all Exhibit A

Say hello to all of Caroline's eyeliners.  Alllllll 34 of them.  32 of which are in the same shade of BLACK.  Now, why does one need 34 eyeliners?  Great question.  I have no earthly idea.  I think I must have some subconscious quest to find the perfect eyeliner, which results in me buying every single new black eyeliner that comes out.  To be honest, I had no clue I had this many, until Kevin was giving me grief over returning from the grocery with yet another black eyeliner pen.  While trying to prove to him that I didn't own as many as he thought, I totally and completely shot myself in the foot.  Needless to say, I'm officially on eye-liner lockdown.  Dear ole Kev challenged me to not buy any more "of that black paint stuff" until I was out.   
Ohhh, okay- thats my ticket to getting early parole!   I'm sure some of those bad boys are dried up by now, right?  False.  Soo utterly false.  And lets review how Caroline shot herself in the other food.

So, I proceeded to test out every eye liner to check on their usability status.  As you can see, that uh, didn't quite work out well for me.  The Universe is clearly playing a cruel joke on me because out of all 34, not a one was unusable.  Just perfect.  Well played, Kev.  Well played.  

So, clearly, I've had to find something else to occupy my time versus continuing my mission to find the perfect eyeliner.  In turn, I have gotten pretty obsessed with what we decided to do for my niece for Christmas.
At 3 years old, Riley loves loves loves to play dress up.  

Super cute, right?  So about a month ago, we were at a craft fair, and some woman was selling these Tutus for about $40 a piece.  I was beyond tempted to buy one of them for Riley because it was done in UK colors. (Come on- Riley's generation are the future UK fanbase, so it just makes sense to invest in them early :)  )  However, I resisted because A) I thought the price was ridiculous and B) the Tutu had very little fluff behind it.  I kept telling Kevin that I thought I could probably figure out how to make one.  So last weekend, I marched myself to Hobby Lobby & figured out what I would probably need to make one.
Low & behold, a plethora of Tutus were born!!!

How fun are those????   And not to be out- done by the weak UK Tutu we saw at the craft fair, I constructed this little number for Riley to wear on Game Days.

My one issue lied in the fact that I didn't have a 3 year old around to model my handy work, soooo I had to kind of get creative to see what they looked like....

Hudson, along with Kevin, was none too pleased by his new modeling gig.  Homeboy refused to move with that on, and literally glared at me the entire time.  Hrmmph. Whatever, boys.  As long as this girl likes it, 

thats all it matters :)   
Anyway, because I took a ridiculous amount of enjoyment out of making those for my niece, I've decided I think I'm going to start selling them.  No worries, yall- I'm not gonna be charging $45 or anything along those crazy lines.  They'll definitely be under $25, and possibly even under $18, depending on the size needed.   I'm dying for some feedback, so please feel free to let me know what yall think!
Mmmkay- thats it for now! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Delusions of my dear husband & a quick tutorial follow up

There are certain things in Kevin's life that he will swear up & down and until the cows come home that are 110% factual. Often, i tend to ignore these sentiments because these supposed "facts" sound so ridiculously absurd. However, there are other times where I to against my better judgement & argue about his questionable ideology bc I find some of his claims so incredibly irritating. Now, I love my husband more than I even love diet coke, but the boy is just straight confused about a few things he claims to be "facts." For example:

1) Kevin claims he still isn't a "cat person," and he would get rid of all 3 of our cats to get another dog. LIES. This is also the same kid who made me get out of bed & go downstairs to get Lucy the diva from the laundry room, aka her designated & redesigned bedroom, so she could sleep w/ us, due to the fact he was worried about her safety with our temperamental cat. And this is also the same guy who refuses to get up when one of the cats is laying on him, because he doesn't want to "disturb" their slumber.

Lucy & Hudson... BFFs for life.
Uh huh, judging from that picture, Kevin clearly isn't a cat person.  Suuuuure.

2) If you met my husband tomorrow & somehow the subject of snoring came up, he would swear up & down that he doesn't snore much.  And he might claim that his wife is just a light sleeper.  False. Again.  Homeboy literally could wake the neighborhood with how loud he snores.  It is truly incredible.  Okay okay, waking the neighborhood might be a bit of a stretch, but I swear I can hear him from the kitchen if he is asleep in our room.  After arguing with him about this topic for months, I finally decided I would get evidence of his alleged snoring.  So, the next night he woke me up, I filmed this award winning little number of him... (Pardon the Blair Witchness of my camera skills... it was late.)

Due to the fact that the snoring was literally deafening, I'm gonna go ahead & assume that he was dreaming of his pretty wife.  The louder the snoring, the better the dream, right?  Ptsch, if thats the case, then lets get real with ourselves... chances are he was dreaming about Kentucky Football winning the SEC championship.  I mean, have you ever heard anyone snore that loud?  I'm pretty confident that he could wake the dead w/ that sound.  The funniest part about this video is that after I showed him this the next morning, his comment was "I mean, its realllly kind of a soothing sound.  It should be easy for you to sleep through. Kind of like a sound machine?"   Yes, Kevin, you are an exact replication of a sound machine.  Brookstone should probably hire you to do sound effects on their next sleep machine.  Get real with yourself, son.

3) Kevin LOVES to tell people that I take forever to get ready before we go out.  Absolute fabrication.  Truth of the matter is... I purposely drag my feet & take forever to get ready because Mr. Big Primpin mirrors the tendencies of a 15 year old girl when he gets ready.  While I can be showered, dressed, and completely ready in about 25-30 mins, Mr. Gray takes at least an hour.
His routine goes as follows:
-Makes a cocktail
-Takes a forever long shower
-Proceeds to follow me around, swearing that all of his fav shirts are at the dry cleaner or need to be taken to the dry cleaners
-Tells me to pick him out a shirt
-He finally chooses a different shirt, that is completely wrinkled
-Begs me to iron a shirt
-Stops everything to watch 15 mins of a (insert sport) game that has no relevancy to our lives
-Makes new cocktail
-Puts on clothes
-Stares/models his clothes/himself in full length mirror for 5 minutes
-Does his hair
-Asks me if his hair looks okay
-Checks his phone... not to see if anyone has called or text him, but to see if there is any new UK news via Kentucky Sports Radio, Rivals, or Twitter.  (Priorities yall.  UK sports > friends.)
-Puts on cologne
-Watches 5 more mins of irrelevant game
-Asks me which shoes (brown or black? Its the same shoe... but yet.. such a dilemma)
-Revisits his full length mirror to check himself out again
-Makes new cocktail
-And finally, asks me if I'm ever gonna be ready to leave.... Yes, I am serious.

So, if we are ever late (who am I kiddin? we are perpetually late), it can probably be traced back to Kevin's hour long routine....
Clearly, weekend nights at our house are a ball.  Scratch that, every day at our house is a ball w/ Kev :)  As I've said before, he could probably do a wide variety of blog posts poking fun of me, but until he starts his own blog, yall get to hear about the oddities of good ole Kev.

Moving on, I got a ton of questions surrounding the needlepoint belt I was making for Kevin's dad for Christmas, so let me fill yall in a bit more.

If you didn't get to see the needlepoint belt in progress...

Why did the belt have to be done by Thanksgiving?
The shop that designed the belt only works with ONE leathering guy.  So, seeing how he's only a 1 man shop, he only has enough time/supplies to complete a limited amount of belts in the small window of time before Christmas.  So, the only way they would guarantee your belt to be leathered in time for Christmas, was to have it turned in by Thanksgiving.

Where do you go to get these Needlepoint Belts?
I always go to the same place, which is a little store in Lexington called "Eye of the Needle."  For those of you in Lexington, it's located right off Clays Mill Road.  For those of you all not in Lexington, they can design just about anything, ie: School logo, sports symbol, liquor bottle of choice, animal, state flags, etc- you get the idea.  The phone number is: 859-278-1401.  Or, you can visit The Eye of the Needle's Website to get an idea of what they can work up for ya.

How much is one of these belts gonna set me back?
It honestly depends.  The pre-printed designs (includes the printed design, the thread, and needles) run anywhere between 60-90ish.  If you want to do a custom design, it'll probably cost you a bit more because they charge per symbol.  And you usually need quite a few symbols to fill up a full belt.  And then, once you complete the belt, you have to pay for it to be leathered, which will cost about $60.  So, yes, these belts are kind of pricey, but I have yet to run into someone who doesn't absolutely LOVE their belt.

Can you do a tutorial to explain how to needlepoint?
Ummmm, of course!!!! As a quick disclaimer, don't judge my nails.  They are a hot mess- Pink Lou Lou and I have a nail date scheduled for this week.  Also, Kevin's cameraman skills are far from that of a professionals, but to give him some major credit- I made him film this & refilm like 4 times because the iphone wasn't focusing well enough on the design for my liking...

Are you seriously going to do another belt for Kevin? 
Color me insane, but yes.  Color me certifiable, but I have actually already started on it.  When we turned the belt in that I had made for his Kev's dad, Kevin went ahead & picked out a UK needlepoint belt.  Yes, I have already made one needlepoint belt for him, but it was a belt dedicated to all things Kentucky!!! IE: Makers Mark, Bourbon, Keeneland, Churchill Downs, etc.  He doesn't have one that is solely dedicated to THE University of Kentucky.  The good news for me is that I don't have the killer 3.5 week timeline for this new belt, like I did with his dads.  My goal is to have it done in time for our 2 year Wedding Anniversary in February.  Totallllly doable!!!

MMkay guys, thats about it for now.  We'll chat soon.