2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Children & Teenagers

So, listen – this group of peeps [Children & Teens] can really be one of the hardest groups to buy for. They’re fickle. They’re opinionated…or not opinionated – with zero middle ground. They think they know what’s best. They have short attention spans. They have little life experience from  which to make solid decisions. All of this makes gift giving a real mess for the giver.

Now obviously, if you have one of these special creatures in your life on the regular you probably know some real specific things they are desiring. For instance, Cooper (4yr old) is dying to get his hands on a street sweeper. Yup. He’s watched a million YouTube videos about them, seen several in person, and is ready to have one in his little hands with which he can enact some sweet street sweeping scenarios. Ashley  knows this because she lives with the dude, and he basically tells her every thought that he has.

BUT if you have a child or teen to buy for and you have no clue what they want and THEY have no clue what they want. Well, this list is for you. So let’s dig in, shall we?

  1. Big Book of How – $13.51
  2. The Land of Stories Hardcover Gift Set – $62.88
  3. Game of Phones – $20.00
  4. Echo Dot – $49.99
  5. Headphones (w/ Bluetooth) – $34.99
  6. Cashflow for Kids (board game about learning financial skills – ages 14 and up) – $65.90
  7. Watch Ya’ Mouth Family Edition – $14.99
  8. Dream Tent – $21.48
  9. Thumbs Up Phone Holder (2pk) – $8.99
  10. Children’s Chair – $79.88
  11. My First Trampoline – $127.04
  12. Spooner Boards –  $44.95
  13. Magformers – $33.74
  14. Marble Run – $22.99
  15. Space Hopper – $10.75
  16. Netflix Subscription – $7.99-$13.99 per month

That’s it you guys… 16 carefully selected gifts for that kid or teenager in your life. What do y’all think: any of these going to be added to your gift list??

What We Wore Wednesday

Hey y’all! Happy Wednesday!! We are pumped for our Wine Wednesday Chat on Facebook Live later tonight at 9… click over and like our page so you get notified and can join in on the fun! For now though – we here to show you what we’ve been wearing the past week. So without further adieu … let’s get to the outfits!

Rhonda –

Let’s get real here.  I spent a lot of next week depressed, barely put on real clothes, and definitely didn’t take pictures.  Happens.  But hey – I wore team gear when I watched football.  With leggings.  It’s fine.

LSU tee: Old Navy last year. Southern Miss hoodie: campus bookstore in 1999.

Ashley –

Sweater: Target last year [similarPants: Target Shoes: Burkes from like YEARS ago [similarEarrings: N&S Brown Cut Out

Flannel: Target Last year [similar] Shirt: Target  Leggings: Danskin Earrings: N&S Black

Sweatshirt: Target (last year) Leggings: Danskin Earrings: N&S Blank Canvas

Best for last! 😉 Shirt & Headband: gift Leggings: Target Sandals: Walmart (these aren’t on their site but I saw them still in the store just last weekend)

 

And that is all folks! What are you guys wearing today?

 

RHOD: Reunion Style

Well, here we are….it’s time for the reunion shows.  These episodes tend to be the most dramatic of them all.  It makes sense really – after the taping of the final episode, these ladies have some time to take a step back and let the emotions subside.  Time to really think about it all… then they’re put back together on stage.  Things are bound to come back up again and again and sometimes, new things surface.

I really intended to come into this post and hash out the nitty gritty, but to be honest, it didn’t feel like anything new or revolutionary was revealed.  Same old explosive fights and nasty quips.  I mean, don’t get me wrong – it was dramatic and petty and was here for it.  But, I just don’t feel like me typing it here would add anything.

The highlight for me was the reunion fashion, specifically two of the ladies.  Let’s take a look at everyone’s look and then I’ll tell you what I thought.

 

Kameron was, as usual, decked out in pink.  Her dress was super matronly and actually looked cheap, which we know wasn’t.  She had her Barbie ponytail going, which served to accentuate her signature disapproving facial expressions.

D’Andra?  Well, it was pretty boring and it looked like she was a postpartum mother headed to a military ball.  I mean, that’s not a bad thing to be, but it just didn’t work with all the other stylish, sexy, or edgy looks on the stage that day.  I also didn’t get her hair.  Just did nothing for me, I guess.

LeeAnne always has hair looks that I love, so she definitely had that going for her again…soft and youthful.  Her dress was perfectly sparkly and fit very well, but something was weird about it that I just can’t put my finger on.  I think it’s the way the seam/trim comes up from the slit.

Brandi has come a long way since last season in terms of style.  Her hair isn’t as big as last year and her makeup is so much better.  She looks radiant lately and her dress was super cute on her.  It didn’t blow me away, but I’m sure my opinion doesn’t matter.

Aaaand my favorite two looks!

Stephanie looked fucking amazing.  The color was perfect on her.  The neckline with the sparkly texture.  All.  Amazing.  I am always jealous of anyone who can wear a midi dress.  As someone who is 5′ tall, I can confidently say I can NOT wear that.  She looked chic, sexy, and sophisticated and isn’t that how we all want to look?

Cary is such a spitfire and I see a lot of myself in her, right down to clothing choices.  Her dress was something I would definitely wear, as I can never say no to lace-up elements or short hemlines.  She always looks fashion forward and her haircut this season is giving me life.

Well, I am sad to see the season come to a close and I am certainly rooting for a Season 3!

Week In Review: Rhonda

I know, I know…I literally say this every single week.  But seriously – where did the week go?!

Monday, I did some much-needed meal planning and grocery shopping.  I also took Quentin to Target to spend his birthday money.  It is always one of my least favorite things to do, because I end up continually talking the kids out of buying shit with a million tiny pieces or stuff I know they won’t play with.  I was thankful that he actually made some good solid decisions and it was fun!

Wednesday, true to my extra self, I designed and ordered Thanksgiving Dinner invitations to send to my parents and ex-husband.  I love how they turned out (the black rectangle is actually blacking out my address, not part of the design).

The rest of the week was full of working my business, recovering from an epic Wine Wednesday (seriously, you have to show up for these live broadcasts if you aren’t already), wedding planning, and juggling mom life.

Then the glorious weekend rolled around and it was time for football, day drinking, and lots of relaxing.

We rounded out Sunday with hair cuts for all the boys (and a fake out snip for Claudia who can’t be left out of anything), which was needed in the worst way.

How was your week?  Do you watch football on the weekends?

Week In Review: Ashley

Hey there! Another week has flown by…we are getting dangerously close to Christmas and the end of the year. I’m just going to be one of THOSE people and say “I can’t believe it’s the end of year already!” I’m also going to be one of those other people and say how this whole time change thing was a real doozy this past week. I mean, I really really like that it is daylight now by the time I get up between 5:45 and 6 am. However, when it turns dark by five pm – and I look at the clock around 8 or 9 – it literally feels like I’ve just been through the longest night ever cause it’s not even close to being finished. Seriously. It really felt like the evenings were just super longggg.

Besides that? What did we do? Oh you  know – the usual. Side note alert : I really hate when I’m talking to someone I haven’t spoken to in a while, and they ask me “So! What’s new…or what have you been up to? etc.” I’m just always like – the usual. lol Like – do you want to know the nitty gritty details of what’s going on? Cause if so I do actually have a lot to say. But I mean, if you’re just wanting some huge new thing that’s happening – wellll I’ve got nothing for ya dude. Anyone else feel that way? Anyone else feel annoyed by that? I’m not saying don’t ask me how it’s going…just maybe you know – ask something more specific, because most likely you are actually curious about one thing in particular OR you don’t actually care and you’re just asking out of social politeness.

So anyway, things have been really good and relatively calm around here. Cooper is doing AMAZING at dropoff. He’s just walking into that classroom like its no big deal. He doesn’t even say goodbye. 🙁 🙁 I might have teared up in the car one day … BUT I’d much rather have no goodbye hug than leaving a distraught little boy at school.

We’ve started to really let Cooper play video games on the PlayStation. The whole thing began as a reward for keeping it together at dropoff – now he’s just freaking obsessed. I’ve had to learn to navigate turning the thing on and changing out discs which was pretty comical one night when I had to resort to Google’s help in the matter since his Dad wasn’t answering the phone. But – we’re doth doing pretty well…sometimes I’m even able to help him get past parts he can’t figure out in certain games. It’s been one of those moments where I look at him and stare in disbelief at the little boy he’s becoming. He’ll be five in four months which is so crazy. I see other parents with five year olds, and those kids just seem so much older than him…because in my mind he’s still a little baby. Gah. Excuse me while I go cry for a few minutes….

Alright – what else …what else? I feel like I’ve been doing laundry everyday all day and yet every morning the hamper is full again…what is up with that? That’s mainly what we did this weekend – chill and do chores. On Saturday, we hung out with Aunt Grace and hit up one of our local nature trails. The weather has finally been cool enough to be outside for an extended period of time without melting away! Oh and – Something monumentous that happened? I cooked breakfast on Saturday morning. I hate cooking. But I especially hate cooking in the morning. But I was craving Stuart’s Omlet and since I can’t drive to Fort Worth real quick – I had to try to do one on my own. 🙂 I did get to have dinner with my sister, brother in law, and friend Michael on Saturday night which is always always a blast. Sunday we went over to my parents. My Mom is out of town so we definitely missed her, but it was still a really nice day. And then we went home in the early afternoon to settle in and get ready for the upcoming week!

What about y’all – what have you been up to?

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Men

Another week has gone by and we’re here with our second list of gift ideas. Today it’s all about the men in your life. We wanted to give you a list that would appeal to a variety of ages and lifestyles. So let’s dig in shall we?

  1. Whiskey Stones Set – $34.95
  2. Double Old Fashioned Glasses Set of 4 – $35.93
  3. Collapsible Back Moccasin Slipper – $60
  4. Sittingbridge Nap-Wrap, Travel Armrest, Phone Holder, Ear Muff and Eye Mask –  $19.99

  5. Mortier Pilon Fermentation Crock, 2 L – $38.20

  6. Adult(ish) Tshirt – $15.99
  7. Pray for my GPA Tshirt – $19.99
  8. Heavy Duty Waxed Canvas Work Apron w/ Pockets – $31.95
  9. Cards Against Humanity – $25.00
  10. Beard Apron – $8.99
  11. Beer Socks – $13.95
  12. Couch Coaster – $25.00
  13. Back and Body Shaver – $29.95
  14. Wood Frame Sunglasses – $32.77
  15. Razor Sharpening Block – $25.95
  16. Tech Fixit Set – $31.99

There you have it you guys! I hope you found something on our list that will suit a few of the men on your gift lists. And like we said before – obviously many of these things could apply to anyone – so feel free to add to your own wish list. 😉 If you missed last week – be sure to click over and check it out. We showed you our Holiday Gift Guide for Women.

Happy FriYay!

Sleeping like a baby – and other necessary developmental myths.

There are a few things, in regards to motherhood, that I get a little cray and jump up on my soapbox when they come up in conversation. I know that we (here at RATMM) and a lot of other mom’s say that it is so so so important not to compare your child’s development to any other child. That’s incredibly hard not to do. I mean, even the standards by which your child is judged at the pediatrician’s office is basically a huge ass comparison to all the other children that are your child’s age (i.e. that percentile shiz). And obviously, it’s important to have some kind of guidelines so that you know where your child stands and if he or she needs some extra help in a certain developmental area. But for real though there are a lot of milestones that our children are expected to hit at certain ages that are not necessary. Let’s just take a moment to do a brief sidetrack into an example of an expected level of development that is basically unnecessary –

Once at a well visit, my pediatrician asked my then 3 yr old if he knew that he was a boy and that mommy was a girl. He had no fucking clue what she was talking about, and I was shocked that he was even supposed to be aware of that. I said, “oh he doesn’t know that – is that something he should know at this point?” And she said, “Well yeah, that is something most children his age are aware of. Or should be aware of.” I just left that appointment so confused and bewildered and annoyed. Now, I freaking love my pediatrician. She’s the bomb. I’m sure that was just some box she had to check on a form. I totally get that. And I don’t have anything against my child being self aware of his gender. Or my gender. I just wanted to express how knowing that by age three was not something I expected my child to need to know – I’d never pointed it out to him. He just knew the people in his life as people. He called them and recognized them by name –  not by gender. So, my long winded point is that : so what if 99% of all the other 3yr olds are aware of their gender and other’s genders. It’s not necessary or relevant to them being able to function. Why is it even a thing we are measuring?

BUT – to my main point of  writing this post..one of the motherhood/parenthood things that makes me just cray is how much people talk about and define a child by their sleeping habits which is basically indirectly judging your parental skills. For me, the real stressor is when you have a newborn and someone’s very first question about this newborn is “And how are they sleeping?”. They are asking with the expectation of hearing some ‘good news’ scenario wherein my 3 week old is magically sleeping in 9 hour blocks of time. In their own bed. Without being rocked. Sans a paci or nighttime bottle.

Listen. Babies don’t sleep the way we sleep. Generally newborns actually sleep all the time. They just don’t sleep in large blocks of time like we do. At night. Between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am. I used to joke with my mom that if I could just hire a sleep nanny. You know, she’d show up at ten every night and leave the next morning at seven. If I could just do that I’d be so happy and beautifully rested. Pipe dreams, huh?

Sleep deprivation is a serious thing for new parents. We all desperately just want to be able to sleep. The people who love us want us to be able to sleep. So, naturally we (and they) are concerned about the sleeping habits of our babies.

However, when you constantly barrage me with questions about “how well” my baby is sleeping. Like. I just want to … stare at you blankly and then turn away. Cause. My baby is not freaking sleeping and neither am I. Thank you. Very. Much.

A baby’s sleep schedule is shit. I don’t ever want to sleep like a baby. I have. In fact, I still sleep like a baby sometimes – cause my kids still sometimes sleep like babies despite the fact that they are no longer babies. I’m for sure looking forward to those lazy teenage years. 😉

The thing is – let’s just chill out when it comes to measuring ‘how well’ a  baby is doing/developing in regards to their sleep patterns. Let’s stop asking new parents about it. Cause those new parents are already stressed AF over the nonexistent regular solo sleep patterns of their newborn. That new parent has probably sat in her living room rocking chair while holding a newborn that just wants to sleep in her mommy’s arms, but mommy desperately needs to lie in bed to get some real rest. She can’t though. Her baby won’t let her. Her baby just needs to be held. She literally needs it. So mommy is sitting there with giant tears streaming down her face while she muffles her sobs cause she knows daylight is coming in a few short hours – and she’s exhausted. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally.

 

Exhausted.

 

And the most tragic part about all of it, is that new parent is being made to feel like he or she could be doing something to change the way their baby sleeps. Google has filled our heads with thousands of magical ways to establish sleep routines. Step by step guides to get your baby to sleep through the night. A hidden switch that you just have to find and flip. To make you, the parent, feel inferior because you’ve tried all the tricks and none of it is working.

Four years later and your baby STILL doesn’t consistently sleep through the night? He still needs a paci to sleep? And a sippy cup of milk? What in the world is wrong with your parenting?

What’s wrong with me? Nothing is wrong. What’s wrong with YOUR warped expectations of reality???

So, you know what you could do for that new parent in your life? Instead of asking how well their baby is sleeping: volunteer to be that beautiful night nanny. Seriously. I’d have let you. I’m sure most new parents will. Maybe not in week two…or maybe not even in month two. Month three though? I guarantee at that point,  those new parents would sell their soul for a night nanny. Be a peach – and save their souls AND minds by taking the night shift sometime.

  • Babies/kids don’t see the same values in sleep that we do. So they are just not going to willingly sleep the way we do.
  • Don’t let someone tell you that rocking your child to sleep is going to be detrimental. Rocking my babies was one of my most favorite things. You don’t want to rock your baby? Cool. I’ll do it for you.
  • If your child needs a paci, or blanket, or doll, or pot holder, or sippy cup – to feel comforted and safe enough to sleep on their own. Well – give it to them and let them tell you when they are ready to give it up. It’s not hurting anyone. So why not?
  • Hey dad, you should also be getting up in the middle of the night with your finicky sleepers. And you better not be using breastfeeding, your job, or any other lame ass reason as an excuse not to.
  • I wholeheartedly believe in sleep routines. It’s what works for us. We do bath and then straight to bed every single night at the same time. Even if they just had a bath four hours earlier. Even if they just woke up from a 3 hour nap two hours prior to bedtime. I figured all that out after several years of being in the trenches of unsuccessful attempts at finding our bedtime/sleep rhythm. I paid attention to what worked for MY children and ME – I didn’t follow some step by step Google guide.

Listen. Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, Godparent, Grandparent, Guardian – when it comes to getting sleep and getting your child to sleep : You do you boo. Don’t stress it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. And don’t be afraid to tell someone to mind their own bizznassss when they come around with their unsolicited opinions/advice.

Sleep is a beautiful and necessary part of survival – get it girl. However you can.

What We Wore Wednesday

Hey y’all! It’s Wednesday and we are here to show you all (ok some ) of the things we wore this past week. So glad to have you here! AND don’t forget that Wednesday also means we will be hosting our weekly Wine Wednesday Live chat over on our Facebook page! So click over and like our page so you’re notified as soon as we go live at 9pm tonight!

Rhonda –

Flannel: Amazon. Tee: Old Navy men’s, cut up by me. Leggings: Lularoe. Boots: KMart last year. Earrings: Amazon.

Dress: Amazon. Shoes: Target last year [similar]. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Dress: Flying Tomato, old. Sandals: Old Navy last year. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Ashley –

Shirt: Gypsie Boutique Shoes: Rose Gold Sandals from Target Earrings: N&S Rose Gold

Button Down: Men’s shirt from Kohl’s…not online now T-Shirt: Target Earrings: N&S Blank Canvas

Quentin, everyone’s best friend

When my ex-husband and I decided to try for a third (and we intended final) child, I had hope it would finally be a girl but figured that wasn’t likely.  Well, I was right and it was another boy.  I embraced being a boy mom and was excited for the bond my boys could have throughout their lives.

I had no idea what was around the bend.  Quentin is 6 today and I can’t fathom it.  He was born his daddy’s little clone and has remained so.  But he’s my best friend.  He is everyone’s best friend.

There aren’t words to describe his personality sufficiently.  He is joyful, sensitive, caring, and loves to sincerely shower people with compliments.

He has the most precious bond with his siblings.  They all adore him.

Of course, he isn’t perfect.  He can cry for absolutely no reason, he….well, I honestly thought I would list all the little things he does that drives me crazy but he’s freaking amazing.

He loves video games, playing outside, learning, coloring, music (Thomas Rhett is his homeboy), and being with his family.

He was worth the traumatic emergency C-section and post-partum depression.

He is the absolute light of our lives and I can’t imagine our family without him.  Happy Birthday, Quentin Xavier!

Week In Review: Rhonda

Another crazy-ass week in my life.  I guess this is just the norm now.

Tuesday was Halloween and we donned our costumes again and traipsed around the neighborhood.  My daughter has been continually cracked out on candy for over a week now.

Wednesday was Stuart’s birthday and even though we were saving the celebration for Saturday’s party, we did make him cards during our school time.

After a couple of days of party planning, schooling, and working my ass off on my business, it was party day!  I helped pull off an amazing surprise by keeping my mouth shut and not telling Stuart that his sister was driving from Mississippi for the party.

Quentin and Stuart shared a party and they wouldn’t have had it any other way.  It was a YouTube theme, per Quentin’s request.  We kept it simple and it was perfect.

Sunday, we recuperated from another crazy party and just spent a lot of time as a family.

What’s been going on in your life?