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Definition of Summer

12 Aug















You guys, I took 100 pictures of my child eating his first slice of watermelon. But the good news is I was able to whittle it down to these photos…..not sure what I’m going to do with them yet, but they definitely need to be on display every summer – they just make me happy. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a love so pure as Parker’s new-found-love for watermelon. Head over heels that kid. Can’t say I blame him. I also think I may have ruined him from ever eating vegetables. I mean how are you supposed to give a kid some broccoli after knowing there is something as sweet as watermelon?

I also learned a couple things.

1. Banjo does not like watermelon. Took a lick and walked away.

2. Knuckles likes watermelon. Picked up, carried into the middle of yard and ate it like a proper gentleman leaving the rind behind.

3. Baby does not like it when you take away his watermelon. Not even when he drops it and you’re just checking it for dirt.



Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

19 May












Yesterday was finally the perfect weather I had been waiting for! I’ve been so excited for Parker to experience his first “pool.” A drink bucket we received for a wedding present worked perfectly. I tried to teach him to splash and play with his toys but he was only interested in eating his soapy hands. Oh well! But he must have wore himself out because as soon as we came in I put him in some clothes and put him on the play mat so I could go change and by the time I got back this is what I saw!


I’d call it a success!

Banjo the Babysitter

14 Apr

Banjo gets it. Sometimes all you can do is sit there and let them cry it out.

Thank You March…

23 Mar

….for providing days when we can do this










“We were together. I forget the rest.” -Walt Whitman

Mattingly Family Christmas Card 2011

22 Dec

This is the front of our Christmas Card this year. I admittedly have issues when it comes to our yearly Christmas card – like start thinking about it before summer is over issues. I’m highly competitive with myself and probably definitely put way too much thought into a card that people hang for a week or two and then toss in the trash.  I can’t help it. I want our card to be one that people want to hang & show off, not  toss in a basket on a table. I had decided on the photo concept back in October when i saw these “I’m the Big Brother” dog shirts from Babawowo 40% off on a flash sale on  The dogs will definitely be sporting them again the day we bring Parker home from the hospital and probably for our newborn photo shoot as well.  Here is the inside of the card:

Last year I started the tradition of including a highlight of the years big events so I knew I wanted to find a card that allowed for that again. I’m also a member of the flash sale site (yes, my inbox receives LOTS of emails due to my flash sale site addiction) which concentrates on items for babies, children and mommas. Peartree Greetings was offering a $40 voucher for $20 and after browsing their site and seeing they had many timeline-type Christmas cards to choose from I bit the bullet and bought the voucher.  I was so happy with their customer service and quality. The first time I received my cards in the mail they accidentally printed the inside upside down and so I immediately went online where they offer live chat and within minutes they had apologized and had a new order on its way. I’m already considering using them again for our newborn announcements. They have so many great options! We went with the Christmas Tales – Vertical Recycled Photo Chrismas Card. Here is a zoomed out view of the inside so you can get a better idea of the layout.

Now as for taking the photo, I originally intended to do it outside but we had hit a rainy weather streak and frankly the dogs get more distracted (and dirty) outside. So I decided to do it in the nursery in front of the chevron wall I painted. I set up our tripod and crossed my fingers the dogs would behave. The best part about not having our faces in the photo (besides not giving a care in the world what our faces looked like when taking a picture for once) was that Eric could hold a treat between his teeth. That was all it took. As soon as they saw the treat they immediately sat down and focused on the prize while I was able to mold them in whatever position I wanted. It was kinda unreal how much they did not care that I was moving their tail so they weren’t sitting on it, straightening their shirts, arranging the stance of their paws and scooting them close to each other while centering them between Eric and I.  I would then go and hit the timer and run to position in front of Eric.  Honestly the only reason it took about 5 takes was because of me having to run back and forth. I would either forget to straighten my own shirt or stand a few inches off so the dogs didn’t look centered. But as long as the dogs got a treat inbetween takes they were good to go all night I think.

Needless to say Parker is going to be in for his own treat next year when he’ll actually be around (and more than 10 months old!) to show his face for the chaos of mommy creating the Annual Mattingly Christmas Card.

And thank you to everyone that we have received a Christmas card from! Our card clothes line is actually much fuller than when this photo was taken, but we appreciate and feel all the holiday love!

24 Weeks

27 Oct

If I owned photoshop I would have removed my right arm so Banjo looked like he actually cared more about my bump than snagging the stick – but hey, it was the only way I could figure out how to grab and hold his attention until the camera clicked. Taking this picture was no small feat. In fact, people may not realize but only a couple of my “bump pics” have been taken by someone other than myself. The majority of the time I drag out my tri-pod and put on the self timer. So you can see where having 10 seconds from once you push the button to run to your spot and get a dog to do what you want is so much easier said than done. Although funny enough the first couple of times I was trying to woo him, he happened to jump for the stick right as the shutter went off – talk about perfect timing!

Seriously, the boy has hops. Which is ironic considering our other dog is bigger and more athletic looking, yet is too scared to even consider letting all four paws off the ground at once. Eric and I talk all the time how excited we are for Parker to be raised with our two dogs. While there is definitely going to be a learning curve I know Knuckles & Banjo will turn into protective big brothers and will probably trade their cuddle time with us in order to be with their baby brother. Our biggest issues are going to be the dogs licking him to death and thinking the baby toys are dog toys – which I can’t blame them for that one – ever notice how baby toys are made with similar materials and the same annoying sounds?

But as an update to the pregnancy everything is great! In fact, besides no longer being able to see my toes  I pretty much feel like the same ‘ol non-pregnant Mel. I feel Parker do his water aerobics every day and that’s enough to keep me sane. I think he can already tell I’m the worrying type because sometimes I’ll start thinking it’s been too long since I’ve felt a movement and within seconds he’ll always kick as if to say, “don’t worry about me mom, I’m still here! Just taking a quick cat nap before tidying up the home!” At least that’s how I imagine he spends his time. After all, what mom doesn’t want a son that likes to clean their room?

Speaking of rooms. We haven’t done squat to the nursery since my paint job a few weeks back but we are in the middle of ordering carpet. I’m a wood floors person at heart, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and be practical. Our master bedroom and the nursery are always the coldest rooms in the house. Since Parker will be born in February and since you can’t cover a baby with a million layers of blankets (like Eric and I do in our room to stay warm) we decided it was in his best interest to carpet his room – and ours while we’re at it – to hopefully help the temperature come winter. We also seal our windows, but if anyone has other ideas on keeping in the heat I’d be happy to hear them! More updates & pictures of the carpet after it happens!

Finally, Happy Halloween everyone!! Eric and I finally carved the pumpkins we picked a couple weeks ago. Eric free-handed it with a knife, while I tried to get fancy (read: lazy) and use the electric drill method. We don’t normally get any trick or treaters at our house – but that doesn’t mean we still don’t buy loads of candy 🙂


Past Bump Pics: 8wks, 12wks, 16wks, 18wks, 20wks, 21wks

Gender Reveal Photo Recap

10 Oct

Because pictures are worth a thousand words, I thought it would be better to share a few of my favorite photos instead of posting a lengthy, wordy blog about the day. I included my sources for inspiration at the bottom. And if you missed my earlier post that included a video of the reveal that can be seen here.

Dessert Bar


Team Boy or Team Girl?


Blue icing was stuffed in the middle


Blue Moon to represent Boy. Leinenkugel Berry Weiss to represent Girl.


Some of the guests showing off their guess


The box that hid the balloons (who knew the hot water heater box from May would come in handy?)


It's a Boy!


Floating Away


Eric & I with our excited parents and grandparents (or should I say excited soon-to-be grandparents & great-grandparents!)


Fun with Friends


Banjo is already such a proud big brother! (or incredibly scared because he can't figure out why the balloons keep following him)


Ready to test drive this parenting gig

Sources (If I found the idea online I included the link):
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip w/ pretzels & animal crackers
Baked Brie & Crackers: I mixed dried cranberries, honey & pecans. Poured it over the top & baked it for 20 min at 400 degrees
Cupcakes: “Fun in Da Middle” box mix (I found them at Kroger) w/ funfetti icing
Shortbread bottle & pacifier shape icing cookies: Made courtesy of Aunt Jill & Great Aunt Mary – sorry, secret family recipe
Lemon Bars: Krusteaz brand box mix from Kroger
Bunting: Self-made w/ extra scrapbook paper, yarn & sponge stamps I already had
Chalkboard Signs on Dessert Bar: $1 picture frames from the Dollar Store. Spray painted the glass with chalkboard paint & the frame with yellow spray paint. (I actually already had these on hand from something else & didn’t make them just for the party.)
Cupcakes Liners: A kit from Michael’s Craft Store
Mustache & Lips Gender Guess: It was a play on this idea
Balloon Box: Quilt was an heirloom passed down from Eric’s Aunt. Bought black posterboard, cut it in a heart & wrote “Boy or Girl” in chalk in front.
Balloons: Purchased at our local Factory Card & Party Outlet