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.