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.

Merry Christmas Eve! December 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 7:17 pm

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. I am so grateful to be helping Elly celebrate her second Christmas and to be celebrating yet another Christmas with Jamie. I feel very lucky and blessed to have this sweet family. We are thinking about all of our loved ones this Christmas as we celebrate for the first time in Wilmington. We miss all of you and hope you have a special holiday!

Peace to All


Oh Christmas Tree

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 2:01 pm

We visited the adorable tree farm of Lowes to find our tree. We found the perfect one, it just happened to be a foot too perfect once we got it in the house. Jamie used his manly skills and sawed off some of the trunk and branches.

He loves working with tools and enjoys fixing and building things in general so he was psyched. He recently had a lot of fun installing a safety gate.  Those deep sighs must have been because he was so relaxed and couldn’t imagine one single other thing he’d rather be doing than installing a baby gate that turned out to be too small for the doorway after all.  I’m sure if asked if he’d like to sit in his favorite chair with the paper and some coffee he’d say, “Heck no, bring on another baby gate. I won’t rest until each doorway has one!”.   I know he doesn’t like these tasks, but I think he’s actually really handy and I always appreciate his hard work.

Despite his lack of enjoyment, Jamie did a GREAT job fixing the tree and I was able to use a lot of the extra greenery to decorate the house, so all worked out perfectly. Once the tree was decorated, Jamie and Elly put on the final touch, our star that never quite manages to stand up straight, but we still think it’s pretty and like it just as it is!


Play Section December 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 9:20 pm

I set up a new play spot for Elly at our house. The kitchen and dining area is all open and we had some extra space that we weren’t really using so we turned it into Elly’s playroom, which is actually just a section of a room.  The amount of toys we have is starting to get a little out of control so it was time to get better organized. I really like the mat we got because the colors blend in with the decor in our house. I also love the look of the storage bin which holds a lot of her toys and it has a lid you can zip closed.

I have had this chair since I was little so it’s fun to see Elly using it now.

Christmas is going to bring a whole new batch of toys and I am excited for all the fun we will have with them in Elly’s play section!



Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 1:39 am

We have been lucky enough to attend several parties this month. Elly is a social butterfly so she has been loving December. Little does she know, the best is yet to come! 

Party #1 

Elly went to a friend’s 3rd birthday party at Fit for Fun, which is a center for kids 5 and under to play and do various activities.  Elly especially loved driving all the cars and playing in the ball pit. Daddy even got in on the fun and wore the crown that Elly helped to make. We got her friend a Fancy Nancy book along with a Fancy Nancy boa for dressing up. 



Party #2 

We attended a holiday party at Auntie Heather’s house. She is a wonderful baker and I first experienced her sweet treats during late pregnancy, so I blame her for how swollen I got there at the end. All those cookies and brownies with Reese’s cups went straight to my ankles and feet.  I can’t be held responsible for my lack of willpower when it comes to sweets while growing a baby.  At the party our chatty Elly had fun mingling and playing with her cousins. She even helped clean up when a drink was spilled, such a good helper. 

cousin Mason


party outfit


clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere


Party #3 

We hosted a cookie and beer exchange for family and some couples from the Mom group I’m in. I didn’t get a chance to take pictures because we were very busy! There were 9 children here age 3 and under. The kids played with Elly’s toys and ate a cookie or 2 or 3 or 10.  A couple kids even decorated some gingerbread cookies. Elly helped decorate one for her Daddy which we let her lick some frosting off of since it was dairy free. Uncle Stephen was nice enough to contribute vegan cookies for Elly to eat. It was a crazy night but lots of fun and I tried my best to ignore the mess until the party was over. A big thank you to Chris for letting Otie stay the night because he would have been a disaster waiting to happen at that party. Jamie and I have lots of leftover cookies to share and enjoy this week! 


Enchanted Airlie December 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 12:10 am

December has been filled with good clean family fun. We went to an event called Enchanted Airlie, which regular readers will remember from our visit last year. The gardens were super enchanting with all the lights that were set up throughout. Elly also checked out Santa from afar. But her favorites of the night were the carolers and the model trains that were set up. She couldn’t stop pointing and shouting at the trains so we hope to take her to the train museum soon. 

She got a lot of use out of one of her new words, ‘dights’, which to the untrained ear might not be so impressive but to her parents ears, she is clearly saying lights. We’ve also clear as day heard her tell us how much she loves us and that she will always listen to us and show us the utmost respect even when she’s 16. Hopefully someday she will learn to pronounce her ‘l’s so that everyone doesn’t think her name is Eddy. 

listening to carolers

enchanting lights

making a wish

watching the trains


The Mottrams Visit Santa December 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 3:21 am

Our whole family, Otis included, headed to the mall to visit Santa. It was pet night, so we weren’t the only crazy people in the mall who wanted a photo of their dog with Santa. We got Elly all dressed up to meet Santa too. We thought having Otis up there with her would possibly give her the boost of confidence she needed not to have a total meltdown at being placed on Ho-Ho’s (as she calls him) lap.

Otis dragged Jamie through Belk, making strangulation noises the whole way. I’m sure people barely noticed us. Jamie was pretty much at the end of his rope after the walk through the department store. We had to wait in a brief line this year. Lucky for us we were behind two of the most adorable dogs, a hairless Chinese crested dog and an Italian greyhound.

Elly has been thoroughly enjoying Santa in the books we’ve been reading, on people’s lawn decor, in the framed photo we have of her and Santa from last year and when she’s seen him from afar at the mall so I had a glimmer of hope that she’d actually get some enjoyment out of meeting him up close and personal. Even though I held out hope, I also know that Elly isn’t a huge fan of being held by people she isn’t acquainted with until she’s had a little time to warm up to them.

Our turn to sit on Santa’s lap arrived. Otis skiddishly tried to run away each time we put him anywhere near Santa. You would think he was a rescue dog who had been severely abused by his previous owners. As much as we wish we could say we were good people who got a rescue dog, we actually paid a pretty penny for that purebred that we love so dearly. As we started placing Elly on Santa’s lap, she immediately broke out in hysterics. Jamie and I looked at each other not knowing what our next move should be, I could feel my face turning red with heat, then Santa’s helpers suggested we both get in the picture to hold our Santa fearing children. So we did.


Christmas Card Photo Shoot Take 2 December 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 2:46 am

Since the photo shoot at the beach didn’t quite work out the way we wanted it to I decided to try to get some good shots around the house. First I tried decorating her crib and getting a picture with her in it. The card would read something like, ‘Happy holidays from our crib to yours!’ Cute, right? I found this idea online. This is how it played out.

Then I put her in her Christmas dress and decided to take some random pictures. These were better, but not Christmas card worhty and plus I hated leaving our son Otis out.

Look how sad he was when he wasn’t part of the photo shoot with Elly.

We finally had to take a snack break. So as Elly was strapped in her chair happily eating Cheerios I wished I could somehow get a cute card out of this moment. This was Elly in her element, doing one of the things that she does best of all.

I will stop the story here so that you will have something to look forward to as you eagerly check your mailbox each day during the month of December tearing open holiday cards in the hopes that it will be your luckiest day of all and you will see Elly’s sweet face smiling back at you. I hope you are still able to concentrate on work and life in general as you await our Christmas card arrival.