The Real World: Wilmington

This is the true story … of four family members … who chose to move to the south … live together and have their lives blogged … to find out what happens … when people stop being polite … and start having babies … The Real World: Wilmington.

Change February 13, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 4:12 am

Change, now that’s something I don’t handle gracefully. I like routine, it makes me feel more peaceful since my head isn’t a pro at being rational and calm.  I am also a highly sensitive person, so change brings out all kinds of extreme emotions. Isn’t Jamie a lucky man?

Are you ready to hear about this massive change going on in my life? The suspense is killing you? You will never believe it, no one has ever gone through this before…my baby boy is turning one. I know. You’re impressed I’m still breathing and able to type. But seriously, time…WTF?! Time is the most mind boggling thing to me. I just graduated from college (15 years ago)! It’s so bizarre to be complaining about my huge belly, swollen everything and heartburn one minute to now sitting here tearful because my last baby is about to be a one year old. I started talking about him in days, then weeks, then months, and now the years begin. Wild.

I’m not romanticizing this past year, there are moments I’d rather not revisit, c-section recovery, cracked nipples (too much?) and sleepless nights I’m talking to you.  But oh my word, the joys. The snuggles, the giggles, the firsts. Being able to be in the moment this time, because I wasn’t suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety. It was all so beautiful, maybe more so because of what I have been through.

Let’s now visit the topic of Charlie being  last baby. Last is so final. That doesn’t feel good although it does make sense. I know in my mind it’s right but my heart has a longing that is probably just a permanent part of my make up. It’s not something I will dwell on (I hope) because I already have a family that I am very grateful for. Even though time can be a total bugger it also allows me to witness miracles. I’ve watched my babies learn to walk, talk, read, ride a bike, eat their first ice cream cones, say I love you. Thank you time, I know you are a gift even though I sometimes complain about you. When I look at Charlie I just can’t even. Hey, that’s catchy, feel free to borrow that phrase any time y’all. His chubby cheeks, soft brown eyes, fuzzy hair, all make me a puddle. He has also been a laid back and cuddly guy, he didn’t crawl until he was 10 moths old because he would rather be cuddled on a lap, be still my heart. He’s been so gentle and sweet. I know he can’t stay a baby forever and I am already seeing signs of toddlerhood which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a change. Change is always going to come so I need to continue to deal with it in reasonable ways.  Since taking to my cozy and safe bed for a couple weeks isn’t a realistic or healthy option I have adopted this mantra; “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Some folks attribute it to Dr. Seuss but I don’t think that’s a proven fact, although it does make me love it even more. I have zero tattoos but if my mantra was shorter I would seriously consider it. For now though, I have it printed on a mug.

Now back to my Charlie boy. I will love this precious guy forever and he will always be my cuddly little brown eyed baby boy (sorry Charlie’s future wife (or husband), I’d like to introduce myself, I’m your crazy mother in law who doesn’t deal well with change, welcome to the family, I’m sure this will be an easy transition).



Update January 14, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 4:34 pm

I haven’t made the time to keep up with our family’s blog, but with our baby boy set to arrive via c-section on Feb. 12th I’d like to try to start it up again so I can write about him just like I wrote about Elly and Miles when they were babies. We will see if I’m able to make it happen, but it’s a nice thought! Also, I am great at putting off things that need to get done and right now my ‘to do’ list is a mile long so of course I’m sitting at the computer doing something I haven’t done in almost a year. Makes perfect sense.

For those that know/read about the struggles I had with post partum anxiety and depression you may be like, woah, girl is crazy to be setting herself up for that again. And I’ve had those thoughts too, but I made the choice to not let the fear dictate my decisions. Choosing not to listen to my fear driven thoughts is a daily struggle for me. My mind is an interesting place to be, hello life with an anxiety disorder. But, I work hard to be as balanced as I can be, I am in a healthy, happy place, and I am trying to be better equipped to deal with any issues that may arise after my sweet boy arrives.

There was a lot of good in 2013 for my family, but just like anyone else we dealt with some struggles too.

Some highlights:

  • Family trips: Outer Banks, Oak Island, VA, Smith Mountain Lake, Disney!
  • Positive school experiences for the kids
  • Elly’s 1st dance recital
  • Miles’ increased vocabulary (l=w)
  • Monster & princess birthday parties
  • Elly played soccer, Daddy coached
  • Elly learned to ride a 2 wheeler
  • Miles mastered his new tricycle
  • Grew an organic garden
  • Superhero family for Halloween
  • Got a new car and upgraded to a king size bed
  • We got pregnant with a boy!

Now for the not so bright and sunny stuff. We found out in May that Jamie had thyroid cancer, tough news to hear, but so grateful fate stepped in and it was discovered. He had his thyroid and some lymph nodes removed in June, not fun to see your strong man of a husband go through that. We found out about a week before his surgery that I was pregnant. We didn’t know about the cancer when we had decided to go for a 3rd child. Luckily he bounced back really quickly because I was pretty useless all summer once the nausea and such set in. In August we had to live apart for a week due to a radioactive iodine treatment Jamie received to zap any remaining cancer cells. No side effects for him thank goodness but apparently radioactivity and children/pregnant gals don’t mix. His scan  several weeks later showed that he was cancer free!!!

We also lost my Grandmother, Elynor Ruth Keating, this fall. She was just shy of her 90th birthday. I’ve always had a deep love and respect for her and felt a special connection to her, I was thankful we were able to travel for her funeral. Despite the sad circumstances it was wonderful being around the extended family that I grew up with and love so much.

Now on to 2014, the year of baby brother’s arrival. Elly wants to name him Thomas and can’t wait to hold him while I cook dinner, Miles wants to name him Hulk and has mentioned putting him in jail. I think we are in for an interesting year!


St. Patrick’s Day Bags of Gold March 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 3:23 am

As a former teacher I especially love to let my kids’ teachers know how appreciated they are so Dimple Prints designed these adorable bag toppers for us to use. I bought several types of candy with gold wrappers to include in the treat bag but other treats would be adorable too like lucky charms, a shamrock sugar cookie, or several marshmallows dipped in green candy coating.


When I was teaching, a rascally leprechaun always seemed to visit our classroom on St. Patrick’s Day and I’m thinking it would be just as fun if he visited our house this year.

Here are some things that little guy left behind:

  • green footprints (make a fist, dip the side of your hand in green WASHABLE paint, use your fingerprint to make toes)
  • shamrock cutouts thrown about
  • a note that says “me favorite color” stuck on green things
  • a note that says “me homeland” stuck on a map or globe on Ireland
  • a note for each child with a shamrock cookie attached
  • furniture/toys/books/etc. turned upside down or put in strange places

I wonder if a leprechaun will visit you too!


We Went to Disney World! March 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 9:09 pm

When I told Jamie I thought it would be fun to take Elly and Miles to Disney World he let out one of those breaths he saves for times of extreme frustration. It was like he was already transported to the line for It’s a Small World where he’d have to be holding a crying Miles from running a muck. So naturally I bought a book all about Disney and started planning.

Thanks to my in-laws we had a time share at the Sheraton Vistana resort for a whole week! It was great because we had 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, and back porch, which Jamie turned into his office since he was working part of the week. There were also awesome pools for the kids, which Miles had to enjoy in shorts and a t-shirt since I forgot to pack his rash guard and suit. I did a really good job with all the planning!

disney pool 2

We decided that we were just going to Magic Kingdom on this trip since we only had 3 days to visit parks and Magic Kingdom seemed to be the best fit for our kids interests; princesses and Mickey. I’m really glad we did it like that because we had time to explore the park and not feel like we had to cram things in, despite having to leave mid day for naps on 2 of the days. To prepare for the trip we watched You Tube videos of rides, borrowed an awesome double stroller from a friend, and all got Mickey/Minnie shirts to wear. Yes, even Jamie.


After comparing prices and figuring out the time difference between flying and driving we decided to drive to Orlando. I let Jamie make that decision because I didn’t want to be influenced by my issues with flying, which one of these days I will face, with the help of klonopin. We left at 5am and drove straight down which took around 10 hours and it actually wasn’t all that bad, but boy was I glad to break up the drive with a night in Savannah on the way home.


Disney World was truly magical for Elly and Miles, it was adorable. They met characters, went on rides, saw shows and watched parades.  The characters are like celebrities to the kids and Elly will tell you meeting the princesses was her favorite thing about Disney World. We even ate lunch in Cinderella’s castle where we got to meet 4 of the princesses. Talk about heaven for our little girl! Miles loved the characters just as much as Elly and even scored some kisses from princesses. I know Elly’s favorite ride was the tea cups and they both loved It’s a Small World. I never saw the fireworks at Disney as a kid (I know, I was super deprived) so I thought that was a special moment on our trip. Everyone who worked there was friendly and helpful and the park was amazingly clean.

disney collage 2

disney collage

character collage

princess collage

It was hard to believe that I was the parent taking my kids to Disney World. Jamie and I both went as  kids so it was surreal reliving it all through our own kids’ eyes. I know I’m almost 35 but I don’t feel like I thought I would as a 35 year old. I never realized when I was younger that I would basically feel like my 20 something (or even younger!) self only with more responsibilities as I aged, so now I imagine that people older than I am feel that too. I love the quote, “Grandmother’s are just antique little girls”. We all gather experiences and change physically and emotionally as we age but we’re all still young inside. We are basically all the same no matter what stage of life we’re in. Whew, that was all WAY off topic, sorry about that! Anyways, I feel really lucky to have been able to give my kids such an awesome trip and hopefully we will get back there before all the magic wears off!



Homemade Heart Pop-Tarts February 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 3:42 am

As I was thinking about what to make for Elly to take on her preschool snack day I remembered pinning a recipe for homemade pop tarts from Bake Me More.


I made the crust because the store bought kind I had at home included dairy, which Elly and another classmate can’t eat. I decided to skip the icing to cut back on sugar (although personally I would have loved it!) and used strawberry jam sweetened with fruit juice as the filling. To get the sprinkles to stick I used an egg wash, thank you google for teaching me how to make an egg wash!



If you can, use store bought crust, it is much easier to work with! The homemade crust was easy to make, but it took effort to roll and cut out all those hearts. I think the end result was worth it though, they were cute and tasty!


Disney Countdown January 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 8:24 pm

We are leaving for Orlando this weekend, should be quite the road trip with Elly and Miles! We plan to get there in time to watch the Super Bowl then while Jamie works from our suite Monday and Tuesday I will be entertaining the kids. I have my fingers crossed that it will be warm enough to swim in the pool since it’s heated. My other ideas are Sea World and the Orlando Science Center which I read about online and looks fun for kids. Jamie thinks I’m crazy to even consider Sea World, but I think it would be fun. Although I am a little wary about spending the money on the tickets only to have to leave early due to meltdowns!

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we plan to go to Magic Kingdom!! We have never taken the kids to any kind of amusement park so it should be interesting to see how it all plays out. I’m excited that we’re giving it a try and spending the week together on vacation in a warm place! Wish us luck!

disney resize


Pinterest Christmas January 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 8:51 pm

I know Christmas already feels like eons ago but I wanted to share some things I pinned to my Christmas pinboard and actually tried out with success during the holiday season. In our advent calendar pockets I wrote a different holiday themed activity or outing for each day. Lucky for me Elly can’t read yet because some days I wasn’t prepared for what I had written down so I’d have to switch it up at the last minute! Not saying I don’t want her to ever learn to read but for now I will enjoy the parental benefits.

Christmas Tree Cones: I let the kids spread green icing on a sugar cone then decorate it with Skittles. They loved this one!

resize tree 2

resize tree

Thumbprint Candy Cane Card: Elly made these for her teachers, they were super cute!


Felt Christmas Tree: This was easy to make and Miles played with it a lot. I used cookie cutters to trace ornament shapes onto the felt. The tree was cut from about a yard of green felt and I just used packaging tape to put in on the wall. Mine was simpler than the one pictured, I didn’t embelish my ornaments but it still turned out great.


Ornaments on Cake Stands: My Christmas decor needed updating so I was happy to use some things I already had ar0und the house to spruce it up!


Hot Cocoa Bar: This was another one where I used things I already had around the house. It gave the kitchen a cozy feel and we definitely enjoyed more hot chocolate because of it!