Friday, November 21, 2014

Georgia Picture Dump

A crazy busy weekend is ahead of us. In about an hour we're heading down to Tradition for Food Truck night, I swear the Fried Oreos start calling my name as soon as the truck pulls into the lot. Tomorrow I'm going to a fun "Holiday Bazaar" with my mom and grandma- we used to go every year when I was younger, though I haven't been for the past three or four. I am wayyy too excited to get out (kid free, thanks Daddy!) and enjoy all of the crafts and Christmas goodies! Then Austin and I leave for Texas on Monday. So in between our weekend adventures I'll be cramming to run all of my errands, wash and pack our clothes, and turn in two weeks worth of homework. I have yet to get out that promised Georgia post, so I'm just gonna go ahead and picture dump it on you guys.
Because, hello, Fried Oreos.

Austin's first trick or treating experience was an amazing success. My cousin has a double seat Radio Flyer wagon, so the boys were able to ride between houses. Candy and a free ride, they had it good. Austin was the man when it came to getting his candy, he had no problem marching himself up to each door and holding out his bucket. When the candy was left outside for trick or treaters to choose their own, he so gently grabbed just one piece. Only once did he get a little fiesty and grab three. Boy after my own heart. 

Our days were spent enjoying the company of our cousins and the beautiful fall weather. I wish you could just feel the weather through these sweet pictures. The cool season just invites you to stay outside for hours!

One evening we went to Steed's Dairy, which I believe is all set up for Christmas now. It's hard to believe that it could get any more awesome than what we saw, but I'm sure they make it happen for the Christmas season! It's funny how you can go to the smallest towns and find so much to do. A fun crowd really does add to the experience, I think my cousin Katie and I could have a good time in a hay field just watching these dudes. 

It's sad to think about the next time these guys will get to see each other, I can't even pinpoint a date. Not a month, not even a year. Okay, tone it down with the dramatics. I hope we'll find time next year, but with a fifteen hour drive from Texas to Georgia… it seems like a far fetched idea for the near future. Come to think of it, it's their turn to come to us. So Katie, Brandon, and little Tyler-- go buy some boots and pack your bags, y'all are coming to Texas! 


I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your families and friends! Eat, relax, and enjoy the moments spent with your loved ones. These are the days!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Road Trips with Toddlers

A few weeks ago Austin and I road tripped up to Georgia for a little cousin bonding. We got a late start heading up so we spent the night in Jacksonville to break up the eight hour drive. That ended up doing more harm than good for us- Austin was a restless monster the whole night. The kid needs his own crib, and he will make sure you are well aware of that if you try to get him  to sleep on two couches pushed together. So to my dear best friend Ihla, who put up with the little troll all night, you are truly a saint. And, needless to say, the eight hour drive back home was done in one day.

I don't think you can ever fully prepare for long road trips with toddlers- you just have to be ready for anything, expect anything. Based on what I experienced and wished I had done differently, I put together some tips and tricks for taking on a road trip, alone, with your toddler. I hope you find it helpful!

1. Bring a DVD Player/Laptop: And don't just bring it- prepare the movie before you get on the road. Find a set, secure place to position the laptop, or it'll be sliding back and forth and jumping off the center console with every lane change. God forbid he hears Mickey Mouse but can't see him because the blasted laptop has fallen again. I wish that situation on no one. My laptop's DVD drive has gone kaput, so I ended up relying on iTunes for the Mickey Mouse episodes that I had already downloaded. Luckily Austin didn't notice or seem to mind that he was watching the same two episodes on repeat.

2. Stretch: Every time you stop for gas, get the little one out of the car. Even if it's just for a five minute game of chase in the back of the Waffle House parking lot. It's probably time for a diaper change any way. Tire those baby legs out as much as you can!

3. Pack a variety of snacks and keep the snack bag handy: Pack some new snacks that your little one has never had before. Austin gave me the most reassuring whooaaaaa with each cool, new snack I handed back to him. Then of course some got the this tastes like shit reaction and were hurled back up to the front seat. Obviously pack some favorites in case the new snacks are a bust. If your kid is half as obsessed with bowls as mine is, pack some toddler sized snack bowls. And of course, plenty of sippy cups, because Lord knows he'll tell you the world is ending if he drops his. With your tag team being understaffed, you'll want to just grab a new cup and pour something in it instead of blindly groping around the back seat for the dropped one.

4. Find out if your car seat has the recline feature, and if so, recline that puppy back. Austin takes some of his best naps in the reclined car seat. After each nap, I sat his seat back up so he could watch the other cars and see out the window. He loves that.

5. Of course, there's always a last resort. In my case, I had hit the end of my tether around minute twenty seven of his unrelieved, deafening pleas to be let out of his seat. I unleashed the scariest, most threatening "STOP CRYING" that I honestly didn't know I was capable of. Austin was silent for an hour straight, not one peep. I was, and still am, half ashamed and half amused. Poor little guy. Then we got milkshakes.


Different tricks will work with different kids. Some things that my cousin Katie was able to do for her son didn't stand a chance with Austin. I think your best bet is to expect anything- take all of these tips into consideration, but also you have to know your own kid. And of course, it wouldn't hurt to have a shotgun rider suffering with helping you along the way.

On Monday we'll be doing this all again. Except this time, I'll be in slightly less control and thousands of feet in the air. There's something quite unnerving about the thought of flying alone with a toddler… I keep reminding myself that Juan has already flown alone with Austin a couple times, so it's definitely doable. But come Tuesday, if our names have been added to the No Fly List, we may be requesting a ride home after Thanksgiving.

Happy travels!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Five on Friday

Linking up with the ladies again! Two weeks in a row. BAM. 
 Austin and I have been extremely blessed to have such support from my family this past year. After a year of living under someone else's roof, I am so ready to have a place of my own again. My grandma is reading this and thinking likewise, little girl. I know she is more than ready to have her house back in order, and I am counting down the days until I can grant her that wish. Forty three. I still don't have pictures of our house, but I have a few pictures of other homes in our neighborhood. Look at this basement. Thoughts? Creepy. As. ----
This Florida girl has never even step foot in a basement, let alone have one in her own house. I will say, however, that I'm looking forward to having this huge space for storage! And possible man cave? 

In our first apartment, we made our third bedroom a guest room.  If we were still living in that apartment, there's no doubt that the third bedroom would have been made into a playroom by now. At the time, the guest room worked for us. Austin was a newborn so we had lots of visitors coming and going. This home has two bedrooms and a "bonus room", and you can bet your travel size air mattress that it will not be used as a guest room. But if you don't mind sleeping in the playroom amongst a few thousand toys that may or may not sing to you all night, feel free to visit us! We'll even supply the air mattress.

I'm loving these two ideas in particular- installing a shelf underneath the window instead of a table taking up floor space and turning an old end table into a lego table. My parents have a table almost exactly like this one in their garage! Score! 

Christmas is just around the corner, right on past the giant turkey. Like I said here, we spread our shopping out over the course of two months, though I've been buying little presents for Austin here and there since the end of summer. This wish list that I put together has a few items that I'm pretty sure he'll be opening Christmas morning ;) His cousin has this exact trampoline and Austin was obsessed, same goes for the ride on train. And as for the hat- my kid just really loves to accessorize.

More house talk. There's a half bath downstairs and only one upstairs. All of our bedrooms are upstairs, so uhmm, yeah -- Austin, Juan and I will be communal bathrooming it together down the hall. To make things a bit easier on us all, I'm thinking about making a little vanity corner in our bedroom for hair and makeup. I'm picturing something simple: a small, consigned table with a couple drawers and a mirror hung on the wall above it. I'm not a huge fan of the store bought vanities with the attached mirrors, I'm hoping to put together something of my own for under 100. I really like how this one looks. (Insert gold accents instead of silver. Always.)
Table DIY.

Our plane ticket has been purchased for Thanksgiving! Last year we had the best Thanksgiving in Texas, so it only makes sense to go back for seconds (thirds and fourths…). We will be Texans ourselves at the end of the year, so I suppose this Texas Thanksgiving thing is here to stay! Did I call it or what!?

Have a merry weekend! ;)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wish List for Her

There's no denying that I've been in the Christmas spirit since a few days after Halloween. I haven't forgotten about Thanksgiving, but Christmas shopping seems to be about a two month process for us. Juan and I aren't ones to power shop the week before; we like to take our time Christmas shopping- relishing every second of it. Plus, the earlier you start the more sales you'll find, and we LOVE a good bargain. 

I like to think that I'm lucky for having a birthday six days before Christmas. I have yet to actually write down a birthday/Christmas list but my Pinterest Wish List board is getting pretty full. (That's for you, Juanie. And mom.) I've put together a few favorites from my board… maybe some of these beauts will find their way onto your list, too.

A few disclaimers:
1. Not only do I have eyes for this beautiful zebra rug, I'm eyeing just about every large, decently priced rug these days. I'm expecting a lot of dreadful lonoleum flooring in our house on base, so large area rugs are going to be my best friends in the near future.
2. That chair. Can you tell I have just recently become a huge fan of animal print? Because I can only find it online, there's no way to determine its comfort level... but comfy or not, I could stare at it all day and would not mind having this beautiful accent piece taking up space in my living room!
3. The necklace. I couldn't wait for Christmas to get this adorable tassel necklace- I just bought this for myself. Totally justifiable because I wouldn't wear it after Christmas any way. I'm so excited for it to come in the mail ;)

What are some things on your wish list?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Five on Friday

I'm linking up with the ladies for a little Five on Friday action… hoping to make this a regular thing again. We'll see!

When I made my blog about a year and a half ago, The Martinez Men was the obvious choice when naming this little corner of the internet that I call my own. At the time, my life revolved around my three boys. Since then, I've been away from two of them for about a year… so The Martinez Men has been seeming more and more like Just Me and the Kid. We'll all be reunited again at the end of the year, but with all the changes, and more coming, I'm feeling like this little space needs a makeover. A name change. Anyone agree? I have one in mind, but I am welcoming any and all suggestions! Something a little less, well, manly. Ready, go.

We had a great time at Austin's school's fall festival a few weeks ago. I'll admit I was a little nervous eyeing the casually dressed crowd as we walked through the gate- but our costumes were a hit. And who doesn't dress up for a freaking fall festival, any way. We left with three cakes courtesy of the cake walk, two caramel apples, and one skinned elbow from the inflatable slide (mine). Austin insisted we take about eighty two turns, but I swear each slide down was even more fun than the last. The kid is fearless.

Oh Georgia. (You knew it was coming.) My Instagram overload doesn't even do our little getaway justice. I plan on dedicating a post just to our trip, but until then enjoy a couple of my favorite captured moments.

Has anyone else noticed the new Kate Spade Kids line at Gap!? I am totally drooling over the little girls stuff, and really wishing I could squeeze myself into some of it. Maybe I'll settle for that bow headband.  Girl mamas, definitely head on over and check it out. And boy mamas- the Jack Spade line is mighty cute, too. But in my opinion, it just doesn't compare to the girly glitter cuteness. Sigh.

One last little ramble… Juan signed for a house! Because we are so new to army life, we chose to live on base for the first couple of years. We were offered a house super close to Juan's work and I've already been in touch with a few of the residents who live in the neighborhood. I think we are going to love it- despite the super creepy basement. Anyone want to see pictures? Yeah, me too. I'll shoot them out when I can finally get my hands on some!

Have a great November weekend! Is it just me, or did I come home to some cooler weather? It's no Georgia fall, but I can tell Florida is trying. Even if it's just a little.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Rainy Fall Days

You know the feeling when you've mentally made super exciting plans- say, picking up some donuts and milkshakes for an afternoon at the park. What toddler doesn't want to spend the afternoon taking on big kid slides while double fisting chocolate munchkins? You're positive that you must be the best afternoon adventure planner in the history of moms. And you can't wait for the babe to wake up from his nap to get the party started.

Then it all goes to hell in a hand basket because mother nature just took a giant you know what on it all. Now you're trying to soothe the stir crazy baby monster as you watch her rain on your entire parade, donuts and all.

I thank these mini pumpkins for restoring my sanity last week. This fun activity kept little Picasso busy for a golden half hour. Three mini pumpkins, a few permanent markers, and some paint was all it took. There are so many fun possibilities with these mini pumpkins- and they are just the perfect size for teeny baby hands! 

Also the perfect size to pretend that you did actually go and get donuts ;)
A girl can dream.

And speaking of dreaming, or lack thereof, it is the middle of the night and I am wide awake. My body seems to be in some state of denial that it's going to be waking up and catering to the boss in about four hours. So because it is technically Tuesday, I can finally say that tomorrow Austin and I will be taking a road trip to Georgia! I'm either getting mom of the year or dumbass of the decade for taking on this eight hour trip with a twenty one month old by myself. But there really is no question that it'll be worth it.  Dare I say I would take a screaming backseat driver all the way up if it meant we got to see some real fall weather. I'll keep you posted on that ;)

Enjoy your week- and Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

no-pumpkin patch

   I hope we've reached a general consensus about the food trucks, thumbs up all around? I'm so so wishing for something similar near our new home… but my hopes aren't too high, from what I hear we are moving to the middle of nowhere. Hooah! Let's rewind back to last weekend.

We woke up Saturday morning ready to hit the Pumpkin Patch.  These early birds not only beat the heat, but the pumpkin sellers as well. Turns out we were two hours early, so we snapped some pictures, talked to a few pumpkins, and then headed home.  So this weekend we will finally take a pumpkin home. Unless they all rot in this heat before we get back out there. And that's very likely.

Right after our no-pumpkin patch visit, we ran home and put on clothes more apt for the real Florida fall weather before heading to the Farmer's Market. These cool mornings are total fake outs. Just this scarf alone was enough to have me calling it quits after a twenty minute stroll around the market. You can't see in this picture, but our Farmer's Market is right below us and to the left a bit. We're so lucky to have such a beautiful downtown area, right on the river!

Tomorrow begins another weekend and we're kicking off major Halloween festivities with the Fall Festival at Austin's school… and obviously we have coordinating costumes. Would you expect anything else?? ;)

Have a wonderful and festive weekend- it's the last one before Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Food Trucks

Here we are smack dab in the middle of the week, and I'm finally sharing our weekend adventures! Instead of three days late, let's just call this that tiny bit of encouragement that you needed to get through the last few days before another weekend.

Our weekend was packed full of awesome. My sweet, not so baby cousin was here for the weekend, so we spent the days enjoying her company. On Friday we headed down to the Food Truck Invasion in Tradition. This is our second time going and holy amazing deliciousness, go next time if you're local. Just go. If Fried Oreos aren't your thing, maybe you'll turn down for tacos, lobster, donuts, or chocolate dipped gelato popsicles? No? You cray.

 This place has a crazy variety of food and fun. It's a good time and such an awesome way to spend Friday evenings with the kids! The first time we went, it was just the two of us.  I didn't even take a stroller. It was working out for the most part, until it wasn't anymore. Yeah, use your imagination.

Lesson learned. An extra set of hands is always a good thing and this time we brought along Austin's Radio Flyer trike. He loved being able to see everything going on around him, whereas in his stroller his view would have been really restricted. He pedaled, I pushed, and my cousin and I were able to enjoy the evening- meltdown free. 

I can't tell you enough how much I love this time of year! I feel like our weekends are already booked full with adventures up until our big move at the end of the year! By the way- if you haven't heard where we are going yet, follow along and get caught up on Instagram! Until then, I'll just call our soon-to-be home "The Great Place" ;)

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Thing

Everyone needs a hobby. I have to use both hands and feet to count all of mine. But if I'm not doing these things on a regular basis, can I even really call them all hobbies? I love scrapbooking, but it's been a year since I last scrapbooked. I'm a huge fan of long road trips, but seriously, how regularly do I go on them? So in reality, I have many interests- but hobbies? Only a couple, I guess.

So let's talk ballet.
Before my first adult ballet class, I hadn't stepped foot in a studio since sixth or seventh grade. Like every other five year old girl, I begged my mom to put me in ballet. Then six or seven ballet recitals and 20 or so costumes later, self conscious thirteen year old me begged to quit. About two seconds after popping Austin out I told Juan that I wanted to join an adult ballet class to help lose the baby weight. Thank the Lord that never happened, I can't even imagine how I would have squeezed all of that into a leotard, let alone leap through the air with the slightest hint of grace.
Or dignity.
So fast forward to Thursday morning, about two months ago. I'm not sure what flipped the switch, but I began searching for studios online. I ended up emailing the only one with classes that worked with my schedule and heard back within the hour! She asked me to come in for a class that same night. Oh okay, I haven't stretched my leg above a 90 degree angle in years and I'll be damned if I can balance on my toes for more than a second, but sure, I'll come. I showed up with a pony tail in my yoga pants and bare feet and did my best to blend in with the bun heads in their matching black leotards.

I can't remember half of the french terms, let alone what they mean. I know techniques and how to do the steps, but I cannot (for the freaking life of me) match the movement to its name. To its French name. Ask me to do a Battement FrappĂ©, and I'll tell you sure I love coffee, extra sugar. But put someone who knows what she's doing in front of me, and you might mistake me for someone who knows what she's doing, too.

Next to this dude, I guess ballet is my main thing right now. It's my weekly hobby, matching black leotard and all. Except the bun- there aren't enough bobby pins in the world to convince my hair to stay in a bun during ballet class. And I'm getting pretty used to ponytail whiplash…

Have a good week, folks! I can't believe I'm saying it, but…. we have had a few cool mornings the past few days- and it's been won der ful!

Monday, September 29, 2014


I'll eventually get another post up. For now, I'm shooting out this itty bitty list of thoroughly notable episodes from the latest days of our lives.

We went to the park. Ate some goldfish. Tried out an indoor playground.
Won a giveaway. Did a few reverse rain dances. Ordered new rain boots. Searched for worms. 

Attended a second birthday party. Wore Sperrys to the birthday party.
Got four blisters. Bought bigger Sperrys.
Found a stale goldfish (or six) in the couch. Ate them. 

 Read a book in the car. Drove the car. Discovered scented nail polish. Forgot to post the scented nail polish to Instagram. Went to ballet class (x3). Realized it's been three weeks since my last post. Started a post about joining a ballet class. 

 Is that enough proof that we are, in fact, still alive over here?? ;)
In far more interesting and exciting news… we know where we are being stationed! But, that's a secret I'm going to keep for another week or two ;)

Have a great week!