Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Today I'm linking up with for Friday Favorites!

Favorite #1: Stormy weather!

Most of the East Coast is preparing for the effects of Hurricane Matthew, and my hearts go out to everyone in Florida right now. Here in North Carolina, we aren't supposed to see anything too rough, however, we are expected to get some good storms and high winds. A rainy weekend spent inside sounds lovely to me! Bring on the movie marathon! We got all prepped this week, bringing in all of our outside items and making sure anything left was tied down. I ran to the grocery store to get bottled water, and this was the bread aisle:

Good thing I had an extra loaf in the freezer, or no sandwiches for us! 

Favorite #2: Photo Shoot!

My dad humored me this week for a fun little photo shoot! I needed to get some practice in, and we was a great model. We got some great shots, I think. :)

Favorite #3: This boy!

I could just eat him up. And simultaneously pull my hair out. He is a HANDFUL these days, but I wouldn't change it for anything. This morning he said, "Mom, my throat is dry. I feel like a fish out of water!!" 

I mean, where does this kid come up with this stuff?

Favorite #4: Hair

My hair has been cooperating lately, and that makes me happy :) I'm just a frizzy-haired girl living in a humid world, so if my hair cooperates, it's definitely a good day!

That's all I've got for this week, short and sweet! It's time for some brunch at our favorite local spot and the library to stock up on books for this rainy weekend.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Things I Don't Want to Forget

As there is a good chance that Hannah will be our last baby, I feel the passing of time much more clearly this time around. It's only been three years since Dylan was Hannah's age, but it seems like a lifetime since then. I already feel like I can't remember what it was like to rock his tiny little body, or have him reach for my face while he fell asleep. So, here are some things I don't want to forget...

How Dylan asks "Why?" approximately 900 times a day. It's infuriating sometimes, but I love his hunger for knowledge.

When he kisses Hannah when he thinks no one is looking and whispers, "I'll take care you sissy, don't worry."

When he pretends to make YouTube videos in his room. He'll say things like, "Okay kids, what are we going to do today?! MAKE SLIME!" It's hilarious.

When he points to each individual thing on his plate and declares, "That's disgusting. This is ok. This is yummy. This is GROSS." (a real boost for my culinary self esteem, let me tell you)

When he goes silent in the bathroom for a long time and I ask him what he's doing, and he says, ".....Nuffin!!" Always a sure sign that he's slathered the counter with toothpaste.

That he would swing all day every day, no questions asked.

When Hannah scrunches her nose when she smiles, or does her "aggressive smile"- teeth bared and all.

That Hannah likes to be double rocked... back and forth in the glider while simultaneously being jiggled. It's exhausting, haha!

Watching her systematically clear out Dylan's toybox when he's not around. Barely 9 months old and she already loves getting into big brother's things!

That she's going through a serious diaper ninja phase. It takes all our strength to hold her down during a change, because she wants to flip over and crawl away. Always on the move!

Speaking of the ninja phase, she also doesn't want to sit in the shopping cart anymore. She wants to twist around and stand, like Jack Dawson at the head of the Titanic. She's queen of her world.

How Daddy taught her to wave and now she does it ALL the time, even to strangers in passing! Slowly getting over her shy streak.

Having two young children can sometimes be a test in patience and sleep deprivation, but my kids are my absolute world. They are the best little people, and I take no credit for that. If anything, they are teaching me how to be a better mom every day. 

Love their little hearts.

Have a great Wednesday!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Weekend Recap

A weekend recap on a Tuesday... how's that for behind?! That feels like my life these days. Always one step behind the game! 

On Friday evening, we always have Family Movie Night. It's such a simple concept, but Dylan especially looks forward to it all week. We pick a movie, pop some popcorn, and put away our phones for the night. This time, we watched Room on the Broom. Dylan loves that book, and the movie version is just so cute. 

Saturday morning was Dylan's soccer game, which was even more of a mess than usual. The kids were completely uninterested, too busy roaring like lions and chasing their shadows. Still, endlessly entertaining!

The rest of Saturday was spent cleaning and doing household chores; not the most exciting, but definitely necessary! The kids went a little crazy towards the evening, and we were at our wits end. So, we made dinner at 4:00pm, which tricked the kids into being in bed by 6, and it was GLORIOUS. I recommend time deception to small children any day!

Sunday we had plans to go to the Seafood Festival, but we got rained out. Instead, we went to a nice lunch at Red Robin (campfire sauce for the win!), browsed the mall, and went to Sam's Club. When I was younger, I thought there was no place in the world more boring that Sam's Club (or Costco). Now that I'm an adult, it is the most MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH. It's like Disney. I mean, a 35 pack of Diet Coke for $8?? 

Sam's Club. Feeding my addiction one amazing deal at a time.

It was a low key weekend, but much needed! Next weekend is Mumfest, one of my favorite events of the year. Can't wait!

Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Favorites!

Today I'm linking up with AndreaNarci and Erika for Friday Favorites! 

It's been a crazy week, and I am SO glad it's Friday! Let's get right into it...


The song "River" by Bishop Briggs is my ultimate jam right now. It gets me so amped up, and I sing it like nobody's business in the car. SO GOOD! If you haven't heard it, go listen right now!!


Shortly after Dylan was born, I stopped painting my nails. For a multitude of reasons, mostly because I was not interested in the upkeep that comes with removing polish every couple of days. Not to mention, who has an hour to wait for their nails to dry? Not this momma!

I recently started painting them again, and have really been enjoying all the new fall colors! Something about having my nails painted just makes me feel like myself. One of those things that fell by the wayside when I became a momma, and I'm so glad I'm coming back to it now!


I don't know if I can really count this as a favorite, but I watched the debate for the first time in my life! I was really uncomfortable the whole time, but I eased the pain by face swapping the candidates :) Follow me on snapchat for more! (ashley.laporte)


This is a double favorite! I'm loving the cooler weather that Fall is bringing us (and by cooler, I mean like 80- Fall in Eastern North Carolina is more like summer!) and I LOVE that Hannah is now big enough to ride in the wagon! We've been doing wagon rides everyday and it's so much fun for everyone. This particular wagon has seatbelts, so she is secure in there, and she loves riding around like a big girl. Santa brought this for Dylan for Christmas, and I can't say enough good things about it! If you are looking for a wagon, I highly recommend this one!


I love Fridays, because we do brunch with my Dad every week! He recently retired, and I've loved having him around more. And a big old brunch ain't bad, either! We've also got plans to hit up the library today, and make SLIME! I'll share this on the blog next week!

Have a great week, everyone!!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My Favorite Baby Items

As a second time mom, I am by no means an expert on all things baby related, but I do feel like I have some serious experience under my belt! There have been a few items that I've used in the past three years that have made motherhood so much easier that I'd like to share with you!

Ikea ANTILOP Highchair

This highchair is AMAZING! With my first child, I bought a super expensive, padded, fancy highchair- and I immediately regretted it. Trying to get smooshed banana out of that padding after every meal? No thank you! This highchair is so budget friendly, and amazingly easy to clean. It's super cute and streamlined too, so it doesn't draw too much attention to itself. No one wants a spaceship looking highchair in their dining room!

HoMedics Noise Machine

I swear by white noise for sleep for my babies! I love it too, but it's especially sweet for getting those little babes to fall asleep and STAY asleep! We live in a smaller home, and this is great for drowning out any noise we may make after the kids go to sleep. I have two of this particular one and they are great!


I am still using the same glider that I had when Dylan was a baby, and it has held up like a champ! I have always loved rocking my babies and find that it's an amazing way to cuddle and bond at bedtime. 


I've had my eye on a teepee for my kids for years, and I recently found the ultimate deal on one from Target on clearance! The kids have had such a blast playing in it, it's equal fun for Dylan, who is almost 4 and Hannah, who is 9 months! It's rare that I find something they both enjoy playing with so much!

Vera Bradley Diaper Bag

Now, I know Vera Bradley is not everyone's cup of tea. I, for one, have always loved it and have a pretty extensive collection. I even have Vera Bradley potholders! But, my love for the patterns aside, let me tell you- this is THE BEST diaper bag. Tons of pockets, easily washable, lined interior for easy wiping, lightweight, long straps... I could go on and on. It also comes with a coordinating changing pad! I got mine when Dylan was a baby and am using it again with Hannah! And, bonus! It doubles as an amazing overnight bag! 

There you have it! My most used and my most loved baby products. I hope you enjoy!

Shop the post:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Hannah: 9 months old!

I've been doing these monthly updates for Hannah on Instagram, and I thought I'd share this month's on the blog as well!

This beauty is officially 9 months old, and getting her picture this month was an ordeal, let me tell you! She is crawling all over the place and wants nothing to do with sitting still. She has 3 teeth and is working on her 4th, two on top and two on the bottom. 

She is eating pretty much everything we are at this point; she has completely sworn off purees and spoons. She wants to do everything herself! Her favorites are puffs, cheerios, and shredded cheese. She can also get down on some chili, as she proved last week :)

She is in the 73rd percentile for weight and 17th percentile for height.. my chubby little shorty :) 

She still sleeps like crap, she's completely unpredictable and needs A LOT of attention in order to fall asleep. I always laugh when I see other parents post pictures of their kids falling asleep in weird locations, or while watching TV, etc. Hannah needs the sound machine at the proper volume, the appropriate level of darkness, rocked at a precise speed (not too fast and not too slow or she'll never close her eyes!). She also needs to be wrapped up in a soft blanket with her arms inside, or she'll claw your face off instead of drift peacefully off to sleep. I can't wait until she's a teenager, I'm going to wake her butt up everyday at 6 am :)

She is starting to really enjoy playing with Dylan, when he calms down enough to play with her, that is. I can't wait to see the kind of relationship these two develop.

I can't believe my baby girl is 9 months! She's going to be a year old before I know it. Please excuse me while I go cry my eyes out...

Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Day in the Life of Us!

I love peeking into other people's daily lives, so I thought today I'd do a little Day in the Life of Us for you!

I picked a this particular Tuesday because it was Dylan's first day of soccer practice, which we were all excited about :)

Up at 6am to get this crazy train rolling! I have to get up really early if I want to get a shower before the kids wake up, and even then I don't usually make it. Dylan is having his breakfast before preschool and I am having my hot chocolate... I hate coffee, but love having a warm drink in the morning!

Off to run our errands before preschool! I like to get my running around done earlier in the day so the afternoon can be saved for naps and catching up on ALL THE THINGS, so we ran into Target before dropping Dylan off at preschool.

Being in Target at 8:05am also means you can be a little goofy in the One Spot :)

Dylan is off to preschool! He's going to our church for preschool and really loves it so far. He only goes 2 days a week, but that's plenty for now. While he was in school, some of the other moms and I had a baby playdate with all the younger siblings. It was so nice to catch up and spend time with mommy friends.

After preschool, we headed home for lunch and naps. This little chunky girl has been giving us a run for our money the last few weeks, 8 month sleep regression is no joke! She is up 5-6 times a night and fights naps with everything she's got. This photo was me celebrating getting her cute little butt to sleep! :)

While the kids napped, I did laundry and picked up the house. I also spend about 15 minutes during naptime browsing social media, and having a little "me time". It helps me refresh for the evening!

It felt like we were in the car ALL DAY! I woke the kids up from their naps and we hustled out the door to pick up Daddy from work and head to soccer practice. Dylan was so excited to wear his new shin guards and cleats!

That gummy grin and nose scrunch just kills me.

Soccer practice was endlessly entertaining, watching the coaches trying to wrangle six 3 year old boys was hilarious. Dylan did really well, and seemed to really enjoy the games they played. We set up camp for the hour on a blanket to watch them and had a nice afternoon in the sunshine and breeze.

Once soccer practice was over, it was a mad dash home to do dinner, baths and bedtime. I didn't plan ahead this day, not realizing how crazy it was actually going to get, so I didn't have anything planned to do for dinner. We ended up having PB&J sandwiches and leftovers. Now I know, the crockpot is my friend on Tuesdays!!

After the marathon of getting the kids bathed and into bed, I collapsed into bed myself with an episode of the Office. The best way to end any day, in my opinion.

Whew! I'm tired just reliving this day in pictures :) It's not the typical day for us, but it was definitely a fun one!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Back at it!

It's so weird to me how I have such a hard time keeping up with this blog. I literally read blogs EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. So why on earth wouldn't I remember to update my own?! The brain of a sleep deprived mom, I suppose.

It's been a few months since I've checked in, so let's do some kiddo updates!

Dylan: 3.5 years old
This kid is a spitfire. He has the biggest personality, always chatting up strangers, telling them his life story, or walking up to random kids at the playground and declaring them "BEST FRIENDS!" He is a running, jumping, climbing, loud bundle of pure BOY. He is so brave and nothing phases him. We recently took our annual vacation to the Outer Banks and he wanted to climb the Currituck Lighthouse with the big kids. Mike and I couldn't go up, so he went up with his cousins, and was so brave! His favorite foods are ice cream, candy, or cookies.. go figure. He's recently become a picky eater and has to be bribed to eat dinner just about every night (although, my sister-in-law recently told me that instead of bribes, they call them 'goal incentives'... I'm going to start using that!!).

He started preschool last week and absolutely loves it. He is such a social person, it does his little heart so much good to be surrounded by kids to play with. He starts soccer this week, with his first game on Saturday, and I am so excited to watch him!

Hannah: 8 months old
You know how people say most 2nd born children are more chill and relaxed? HA! This girl is just as wild as her brother, giving mama and daddy a run for our money. She has recently learned to crawl and will follow me around the house, begging to be picked up. She is a mama's girl through and through, and would happily be held or nursed all day long. She sleeps like absolute crap, most recently waking up around 4 times a night. I'm hoping that's the 8 month sleep regression and we will get back to 1 or 2 times a night soon, but until then just give me all the caffeine. I've tried sleep training a few times and it just doesn't look like it's going to work for us this time around. She is the sweetest little snuggler, and her little smile with 2 teeth peeking out is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. She is shy with the full smile, she usually gives people a closed mouth smirk, so when she really goes for it, it lights up a room. I can't believe how fast she's grown, it's been like lightning speed the second time around.

She loves her big brother; watching him and eating his toys are her favorite pastimes. She also is obsessed with the cats (we have one and are cat-sitting for a friend as well, so it's like crazy cat lady over here) and she and our new puppy Molly are fast friends.

My kiddos are growing up so fast and I'm hoping to be better about keeping up with it all here on the blog! Follow along on Instagram and Snapchat for more daily updates! (ashley.laporte on snap and alaporte on Insta)

Monday, May 16, 2016

And Then There Were Two...

I have several friends who are pregnant with their second child, and I remember the fear well. 39 weeks pregnant with a 3 year old who seems like he's hopped up on meth all the time, I was completely terrified of having two children. I just didn't see how it was possible to love another baby like I did my first, I didn't know where I'd get the energy or the time, I didn't know how I would do any of it. Most people's comments were along of the lines of "oh just wait, it gets worse!"

Not. Helpful.

So, in the interest of keeping things real, here are some things I have learned by adding a second child to our family:

1. It's AWESOME. Yes, I said it. It is not a nightmare, not scary, and not overwhelming (most of the time). It honestly feels like it was always supposed to be this way, baby on my hip, and hand in hand with my toddler. Not to say that the first few months didn't have a learning curve, because they did.That's the case no matter what you do that's new and unfamiliar. But Hannah is 5 months old next week, and I can honestly say I don't know what I was so worried about. 

2. It is actually possible to love two children equally at the same time. You may laugh, but I was legitimately concerned that I would not love our new baby the same way I loved Dylan. Not a problem, mamas. Your heart is elastic, it expands :)

3. Once you get past the fragile newborn phase, watching the relationship develop between siblings is magical. For the first month or two, the relationship looks a lot like the baby is going to get punted across the room... you will hear yourself say things like, "Don't lick your sister!" "Don't pull her toes!" "Don't lay on her!". That will gradually decrease as the baby gets a little sturdier, and there's nothing better in this world than watching the baby laugh at his or her older sibling doing everything they can to get a giggle. 

4. The time management issue can be a problem, especially if your kids refuse to synchronize their nap schedule. For me, it was tough for a few months to get a shower, make a phone call, or do anything that required concentration. But, you get used to it. You make adjustments. I take a shower before I go to bed, while the kids are asleep and my husband is home. I do everything humanly possible to get them to nap together, so I can have an hour of quiet. Do what you can, and leave the rest!

5. It is more important now than ever for you to have some alone time, mama. Do whatever it takes to make it happen. Even if you have to sacrifice an hour of sleep, that hour spent going to the gym, reading a book, or sipping a glass of wine in silence will do wonders for your mental health. No one can be supermom without taking care of themselves. Have you ever heard the expression, "You can't pour out of an empty glass?" Take that to heart. You can't do what needs to be done for your family without filling up your own glass first. 

If you are expecting your second, I hope this gives you a little comfort. 5 months ago I wasn't sure I'd survive having 2 kids, and now I think that maybe having three wouldn't be so bad, that should tell you something!! 

(No pictures because my computer hates me. Do what you can, leave the rest!)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I confess...

...That I don't bother to clean with organic products. Nothing says 'clean' like the smell of bleach!

...That I can eat an entire package of Oreo's in a single day, and sometimes do. I just can't stop!

...That I have no interest in working to lose baby weight (see above haha!). I'm about 5 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, but everything is about 2 inches lower than it was before. I am just not interested in doing anything about it. I have too many other things to worry about, and besides, mamas are supposed to be soft!

...That sometimes I lock my 3 year old in his room during naptime, even if he's awake, just to get a little peace and quiet. We use the door monkey and it is legitimately the best purchase ever!

...That I absolutely love breastfeeding. I missed out on that experience with my first, and am so grateful it was a piece of cake this time around. The cuddling, bonding and oxytocin can't be beat, and I love that I have perfectly prepared, sterile and warm food for Hannah anywhere we go. No sanitizing bottles here!

...In that same vein, I DESPISE pumping. I am so lazy about it, and I only pump if it's necessary that I leave her. I have none stocked up, and I will always procrastinate until the last minute to pump. Usually this finds me at 10pm the night before I have to go somewhere, desperately trying to squeeze out 4 ounces, cursing my udder lack of preparation (eh? eh!?).

...That I am weirdly obsessed with Snapchat. It's such a raw, unfiltered view of life that I love! The little photos and video clips I get to see of my friend's lives make me feel like I'm there, and I get to feel like I'm filming my own reality show :) Follow me at ashley.laporte!

...That tomorrow is my 29th birthday, and this is the first time in my memory that I am just not that into it. It's not that I've got issues with getting older; it's just going to be an ordinary day. I get off the wall excited about my kiddo's birthdays though, so I guess it's just the circle of life!!

...That I've been hit hard with the postpartum hair loss. I had issues with this after Dylan's birth, but this time around is AWFUL. At exactly 3 months, like to the day, the hair started coming out in great big clumps. I have a few bald patches and have lost a half inch around my entire hairline.. it's really cute. Everyone says there's nothing to do but wait for it to grow back, so until that happens, hats are a girl's best friend.

...We've hit a sweet spot with the kid's ages (3 years and 3 months) and I finally feel like I've got a handle on having two kids. Give it a minute though, I'm sure the 4 month sleep regression is right around the corner :)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Spring break shenanigans

Sorry for the radio silence the last few days, we've had a busy couple of weeks! My husband had some things to take care of with some extended family, so we ventured up to Duck, NC for a few days! The weather was wonderful the first few days, 75 and sunny, which is perfect! We had a few rainy days, but that was fine because we got to take Dylan to his first movie at the theater! We saw Zootopia and he LOVED it, and did so well. I was so glad; we love to go to the movies, and now we know D can handle it too!! It was great to spend time with my in-laws, and Dylan and Hannah loved hanging out with their cousins!!

We were home for exactly one day, just long enough to do 85 loads of laundry and re-pack, and then we hopped in the car for the 5 hour drive up to DC. My parents have an apartment in the city, so we took advantage of a few days off from preschool and a free place to stay, and ventured out into the nation's capital! We rode the metro, which made my train-obsessed toddler's LIFE, and went to the National Zoo. We got there right as it opened, which was a great decision. Very few lines and crowds, and we were able to see all the animals on our list very quickly! When we were leaving around noon, the line to get in stretched around the block, and we all patted ourselves on the back :)

A quick burrito for lunch and it was off the Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs. We did not have a great time here, as it was PACKED. Navigating two strollers around a crowded, multi-level museum is not my idea of a good time. We saw the T-Rex and then booked it out of there. It was such a nice day that we decided to walk around the Mall and see the Washington Monument, and of course swing by the White House. We rounded up the day with a delicious dinner at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate my mom's birthday, then hopped in the car the next morning and headed home. A quick, but wonderful, spring break trip! I snapped the whole day, so if you want to follow me on Snapchat, my username is ashley.laporte!

And now, pictures!