Meagan Musing: September 2012

Meagan Musing


Preschool Bento - Week 3

It was "C" week at preschool and Andrew wanted to bring Caroline's caterpillar for show & tell. I was so proud of him for wanting to talk about his sister with the C name.

Watching Andrew love on and play with Caroline has been one of the greatest things about having babies.

And they got cool lunches this week too.



I used these new transportation sandwich cutters to make his tiny turkey and cheese sandwiches. And he asked for ketchup??

So there's ketchup in the sauce cup along with blueberries, peanut butter crackers and a monkey roll-up.

You better believe he was pumped about the roll-up. He ate every bite of Tuesday's lunch, packed in an Easy Lunch Box.

And if you want to know more about stamping your sandwiches, this post from Wendy, an amazing bento blogger, is super helpful.

For Caroline:


She had turkey roll-ups, sliced Colby cheese, strawberries and pop chips. I think she ate quite a bit of it, but they empty the box so I'm not exactly sure what's left. It was packed in a LunchBots duo. I love this box - it's a great size for little ones.



Ham on plain toothpicks, mustard in the sauce cup, crackers with star-shaped cheese, raisins, carrots and apple cinnamon Chex.

He didn't even open the raisins, so next time I'll have to pour them out so he can see them. They were kind of an afterthought for me.

So I'm in charge of snack for school next week, and I've never done this before. Preschool mamas, what do you bring for snack? And do you bring them in individual baggies for each kid??

I have no idea how this works!

Happy weekend friends!

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Coastal Living Beach House

We had a chance to visit the Coastal Living Ultimate Beach House while we were in Florida.

It was an absolutely beautiful dream home! Our walk-through was one of my favorite parts of our vacation.

(And I'm sure it had nothing to do with leaving the kids with the dads! Ha!)

There were some really cool touches and ideas throughout the house that I would love to incorporate into our home someday.

The basic color palette was bright whites and grays with light color pops throughout. While I personally like more color than they used, it totally works for this Florida house - they brought the beach indoors. And the natural light? Amazing!


The main living area is crisp and clean, but still really comfortable. You could very easily lounge around in here after coming in from the pool.


The master bedroom may have been my favorite room in the house, with a soft chevron fabric used as a wall covering and that beautiful light green for the accent color. So pretty! And I love plates in bedrooms, I think because they are so unexpected. These over the nightstands were some of my favorites in the house.


And how cool are these drawers? No wasted space here!


The modern kitchen is directly off the living/dining area. And off to the side is the scullery. Wouldn't you like a scullery in your house? Beautiful open shelving and another sink and dishwasher.

I actually really like this layout. In our house our kitchen is open to the den and it's often hard for the rest of the family to watch TV or play in there while I'm cleaning the kitchen, running water and banging dishes around.

A scullery totally solves that problem! But you're also in there by yourself washing dishes so I guess it's a trade-off. :)

And another really neat idea:


Hidden outlets.


One thing I felt like I could incorporate pretty easily into our house at some point:

Wall groupings.

They did a great job with these throughout the house. I LOVE those prints around the TV. What an awesome way to fill the space around a flat screen.

We still have many empty walls in our house and I have, oh, a million photos of my kids. These two things needs to come together. Those oversize mats can turn pretty simple prints into a standout arrangement.

And again with the plates in the bedroom. I need to do this in my bedroom ASAP.


There were just so many fun details!

All the bathrooms were tiled with shimmery marble and my mom thought that little nook would be handy for a few different activities - mainly reading or playing Words with Friends.

The ottoman in the game room was one of my favorite pieces in the house. And yes, that's a girls' bunk room. Can you imagine how much fun six twelve year old girls could have in there?

And there was a media room, which I usually think are a pretty big waste - but this one? Oh my!


Those loungers were so comfortable. I'm sure I'd fall asleep every time I sat down, but it would be worth it.

It really was a dream house!

I left with some ideas that I can totally incorporate into my normal, non-dream house house.

If you happen to be in Rosemary Beach I'd highly recommend touring the house - although I think it may be coming to a close soon. They've sold it! What fun that family is going to have!

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Ups and Downs and Stomach Bugs

Friday night I was going to write a post about what fun I've been having as a mom. I mean, we're just in a good phase.

Andrew's been nice and cooperative and seems to have moved out of the defiant, fit-throwing phase thank goodness. He still has his moments, but they've been much better these last few weeks. And he's so good at independent play. His imagination is just awesome.

And Caroline is hysterical.

I'd totally forgotten how much fun 13-month-olds are. She's just a little sponge and she's learning new words everyday. She's also getting in to everything and screeches all the time, but she's still FUN.

She likes to play outside and she's finally, finally interested in reading books. Yay!

And they're even playing together a bit. Andrew likes to call her Caroline-ie. It's the sweetest.


So I was going to tell y'all all about that, but then I got busy working on some design stuff in Photoshop, and I decided to wait until Saturday.

Well, Friday night about 3AM I woke up with that tell-tale tummy rumble, and I KNEW.

I ran to the bathroom and was sick for the first of many, many times over the next 12 hours.

I told Brian and he grabbed his pillow and ran (after bringing me crackers and water of course.) - smart man.

And I didn't leave my room again until Sunday morning.

You see, last year in September Andrew got the stomach bug. It was our first stomach bug experience and we just didn't know how aggressively contagious it really was.

I thought we were safe at first, but Brian and I were sick within two or three days and then it spread like wildfire: my sister and brother-in-law, my mom and my mother-in-law and lots and lots of friends. It was really awful.

So this time I knew to stay quarantined, and so far we're safe - no one else is sick. But I'm still totally on edge, and I'm sure I've just jinxed us.

But isn't that just how parenting goes? Right when you think you're in a really good place and things are going well, a wrench is bound to get tossed into the mix.

Sleep habits will change, someone has a growth spurt, you'll go on a trip and throw everything off. I think change is the name of the game when you're parenting little ones.

We've got to stay on our toes and be ready for anything.

Which is so hard for me! I'm a sucker for routine. Before Andrew was born I pretty much did the same thing everyday. I've been through phases where I'd eat the same thing for lunch every single day for YEARS!

I's kinda weird.

But while kids need structure and routine it's really hard to keep up a steady schedule with all those changing needs.

So I try to keep a daily routine - breakfast, dressed, morning activity, naptime, lunchtime, playtime, snack, outside, dinner, bath and bed - but the timing is always different.

And I've learned it's best to just go with the flow. There will be daily ups and downs and there will be weekly ups and downs and hopefully, very, very seldom there will be stomach bugs.

But I know they always feel secure and safe and loved. Which lets me know we're doing something right around here.

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Preschool Bento - Week 2

I'm getting a little faster with these bento lunches. I have to admit, I'm still pretty slow, but I've only done two weeks worth so I know I'll get better with practice.

Right now I'm making a game plan the night before, getting my supplies out and washing fruit. Then it's not quite as crazy in the morning getting us out the door - hopefully!



Andrew had rolled ham and turkey. I put some on these letter picks with his initials.

He had crackers and cheese cut into animal shapes. He loves these. I added some sliced bell peppers and strawberries.

And he ate every single bite.


Caroline had ham rollups with a little C pick, not that she had any idea why. Ha! There are cheese stick bites under the pretzel sticks and I mixed oranges and strawberries in the bottom tray.

Caroline's cutting a molar and had a pretty rough day at school, so I don't think she ate much of it. Poor baby. :(

Also, I'm going to have to get my speedlight out for these photos. It was cloudy on Tuesday morning and these were taken virtually in the dark. Oops.



Puzzle-shaped turkey sandwiches on top of pop chips, celery sticks with peanut butter and cheese triangles and raspberries. I used a little food divider on top of the raspberries for fun.

And again he ate every single bite. I thought for sure he'd only eat the peanut butter off the celery, but nope. He's a pretty good eater - some days. :)

Caroline had his remaining sandwich piece (it makes four) for lunch at home with me, lucky girl. She only goes to MDO on Tuesdays.

I got some new supplies today, and I can't wait to try them out next week!

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Family Memories

Our first family vacation was a driving trip through the great state of Texas. We toured the campus of Texas A&M and stopped at about 30 different county courthouses. We stayed in Holiday Inns and Howard Johnsons and we waded into the warm waters of the gulf, careful to dodge the jellyfish.

It wasn't fancy, but we were all together for a few days and it was a big adventure for a little girl from Oklahoma.

I like to think that trip set the stage for our future family vacations because after that they got better and better: Disney World, New England, Washington D.C., a Hawaiian cruise and after our husbands joined the family, the Amalfi coast and the French Riviera. We've had a blast and we have wonderful memories and funny stories to share.

And those memories? - They're what matter.

At the end of a trip you may only have a silly new t-shirt to add to your suitcase, but you've got a weeks' worth of memories.

I'm looking forward to many, many more weeks of vacation fun with my people.


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A New Baby (but not for me)!

I'm so happy to tell y'all that my beautiful sister is going to have a beautiful (probably tiny) baby....



Another girl in the family!

My nephew is almost two and the new baby girl is due early next year. So between us we'll have had four babies in under four years.

How's that for a baby boom? :)

Years ago I told everyone that Brian and I needed to have a boy and a girl and then Kelsey and her husband needed to have a boy and a girl. As close as our families are the kids would essentially have both a brother and a sister, but each couple would only have to have two kids.

It made perfect sense to me, but everyone kind of scoffed at that would happen!

Well, here we are.

I'm so excited that the baby will get to wear Caroline's clothes. And that Caroline won't have to be the only girl anymore. (Not that she's been having trouble holding her own, no ma'am.)


And I'm excited for Kelsey that she'll get to have one of each.

Oh what fun our crazy kids are going to have together!

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A Few Beach Photos

We're home from a wonderful week at the beach with family!

And I'm so tired I'm going to fall asleep on my dirty laundry pile.

I have a TON of photos to go through: pool pictures, dinner pictures, beach pictures, posed family photos.

But for now, I'm just going to leave you with this little sneak peek.

Because I was totally serious about that laundry pile. :)


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Time Management Lesson

I'm not naturally prone to productivity.

I wish I were.

I wish I could wake up bright and early ready to conquer my day and my miles-long to-do list.

But usually it takes me a while to get going.

I need to have my coffee, feed and dress my kids, dress myself. Read my email, check facebook and play dinosaurs with the three year old.

You get the idea.

Some days it's almost lunchtime by the time I get around to the productive part of my day.

I swear I wasn't always this way.

I think a lot of it's being a mom. Andrew and Caroline are still little and need me all the time, pulling me away from what I'm working on. After I stop to break up a scuffle, get a cup of water and find a missing toy, I've forgotten whatever it was that I was doing before.

Which is fine. That's why I'm home with them. I want to be there for that stuff. But it does not lead to great productivity.

And I know a lot of it is the Internet. Oh, Internet friends how I love you and learn from you and want to comment on your cute kids on Instagram. But you sure are a distraction!

I just want our days to run smoothly. I want to get a healthy dinner on the table early enough that Andrew and Caroline aren't melting down and begging for snacks before it's ready.

I want to make time in my day to walk on the treadmill.

I want to get enough sleep so that I'm rested and energized enough to wake up smiling.

I want to make time to be a good wife and a good friend.

I want to have time to read a book and play a few Words with Friends words every day.

I want to have time to do my new Good Morning Girls Bible Study I'm starting this fall.

I've gotten a little better at managing my time recently.

I'm using a new Erin Condren planner and it makes me crazy happy.

I'd been trying to use just my Google calendar and I was failing miserably. I need to see my week all at once and be able to write things down in ink.

I need to get back to list making.

I used to make a to-do list every day and somewhere along the way I stopped. I can put simple things like empty the dishwasher and make lunches on there. Then at least I'd feel productive.

And I'm going to set NO INTERNET hours. ::deep breath::

I'm shutting off the computer from 4PM - 7PM.

This is the craziest time of my day, and getting distracted by emails and tweets and Facebook updates does not help one bit.

This time of year is a great time for new routines and goal setting. So I'm jumping in with both feet.

How about you? How do you keep your day running smoothly?


Preschool Bentos

This has been one heck of a week.

A week ago last Sunday - so over ten days ago - I got an earache. Within a day or two I decided it was an ear infection, and it wasn't going to go away on its own so I went to PrimaCare.

I saw a very sweet doctor who confirmed I did indeed have an ear infection and gave me a prescription for amoxicillin.

But she said I should skip the decongestant since I'm still nursing and that all would be better in a week.

And the pain did get better, but then it came back.

Now I feel like my head is underwater, and I can sort of hear with my right ear if I press on it just right and tilt it a bit.

We're leaving for the beach soon, and I've been running around like crazy trying to get us all ready to go.

I'm going to need a vacation to recover from getting ready for vacation.

And if you have small kids I know you'll give me an "amen!" on that one. :)

Caroline has decided she's a full blown toddler, and I'm so not ready for it. Our house used to be baby proofed, but then Andrew figured out how to open it all.

And since he climbs on every single door and drawer in our house all the hinges are loose so the old baby proofing latches don't latch anymore.

Seriously, kids destroy houses. Mine are on a mission.

But one thing I was winning at this week?


This was Andrew's lunch on his first day of school.


He loved it! I used little cheese triangles tucked into the top of the dinos to make their spikes. It was so fun.

And this was Caroline's.


The food wasn't as exciting as Andrew's, but she ate most of it, and it was super easy to put together. She'll probably get some variation of this most weeks.

This is what this little bento box looks like put together. So cute!


And Andrew's lunch Thursday.


Again, he ate almost all of it. And it was so colorful. That makes it more fun I think.

So it was a good first week of easy bento lunches!

I'm off to finish packing up our entire house to take with us to the beach.

Y'all have a happy weekend! Do you have any big plans?

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First Day of Preschool

Today was Andrew's first day of preschool and Caroline's first day of Mother's Day Out.

I thought I might be sad about leaving them, but when it came down to it I was pretty excited.


So was Andrew.

And I know I was worried about him having all new kids in his class, but I think he's made new friends already. He said there's a Gray and a June and a Mountain in his class...hmmm. Not so sure about one of those. :)


The moms all signed up to bring a snack one day this fall so someone brought a snack for the kids today. I asked Andrew what they had.

He said they had chocolate chip cookies!

Ha! I don't know if that was just wishful thinking or if it was true, but he sure was happy about snack time.


Miss Caroline was as happy as can be once she escaped Andrew's grasp. She didn't cry at all even though this was the first time I'd left her in a school setting.

She danced through music, ate all her lunch and took a good nap.

But she was reaaally grouchy this afternoon. I'm pretty sure she's going to have to have an early bedtime on school days. Whew.

And I'm going to have to have an early bedtime on nights before school. Getting them both dressed and fed and photographed with lunches packed was hard work!

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