Friday, November 22, 2013

five on friday

1. Better Life Bag.
 Have you heard of this company? They design custom purses and bags for a really great cause. They hire women who would not otherwise be able to work in urban Detroit and teach them how to sew and give them an opportunity to earn an income for their families. I have been searching high and low for a medium-sized cross body bag. We don't always need our giant diaper bag anymore so I was looking for something that would be a multi-functional diaper bag/purse/laptop bag when needed. This bag fit the bill! It came in the mail yesterday and I just love it! The workmanship is very high quality and it's the perfect everything bag for a busy momma! 
2. Evening walks. Our family was in the habit of getting up after dinner and taking Lucy for a walk around our neighborhood. We love those walks where we can chat about our days without any distractions. However, now that fall/winter is upon us, and it's getting dark sooo early, the walks have migrated to before dinner and are missing Nick, since he's still working at that hour. Our walks aren't as chatty, but it's the perfect way to get a little exercise and get out of the house even if it's just for 45 minutes.
3. Rainy days. We had our first real rainy weather of the season this week and for once I didn't mind it. Hayden and I had a really nice day on Wednesday, staying in our comfy-cozies (aka sweats), listening to Pandora, making homemade soup, and coloring Thanksgiving cards.  It was really peaceful. (Plus he took 2 long naps- never a bad thing ;) 
4.  Thanksgiving! I keep thinking that it is sooner than it actually is. We are celebrating our first of two Thanksgivings this Saturday with my family. Then it's go, go, go next week with a small party that we are hosting, Nick's 10 year reunion, Thanksgiving #2, and a birthday party for my mom. Bring on the Holiday Season! 
(Hayden @ last year's Thanksgiving)
5. Amazon Mom. Can we talk about this great program for a minute?! I signed up about six months ago because of their enticing offer of 3 months free, and I wouldn't dream of giving up this membership. The annual fee is $79 but with all the free next day shipping, it more than makes up for the cost. I can't tell you how much more I rely on online shopping now that I am a mom. When I'm close to running out of wipes, I can order them in bulk and know that they'll arrive in 1 - 2 days, instead of having to run out to the store. It's been my go to for birthday gifts, Hayden's halloween costume, and so many other things. Seriously- with the holiday season it is so worth it! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is he walking yet?

If I had a dollar for every well-meaning stranger or acquaintance that asked me that question... We get stopped a lot in stores and people will first ask Hayden's age and then 90% of the time their next question is: "Is he walking yet?" When I answer, "No, not quite." I usually get a sympathetic look or "Oh he'll get there soon" or "Don't worry." Now, I know that no one is considering that this seemingly innocuous question could be troublesome. 
All these responses make me feel like I should be ashamed that he's not walking.  When I get asked this question, suddenly the entire focus of this brief conversation is shifted into what my baby isn't doing, not all the amazing things that he can do! 
This question bothers me, not because I feel defensive about the fact that my son isn't walking at 15 months. No, it bothers me because I feel like there's so much pressure for everyone to "hurry up" "make it to the next milestone!"When he was younger, I would get the same type of questions, "Is he sleeping through the night yet?" "Is he crawling/sitting up/ eating solids/ applying to college yet?" (kidding) The hurry-up mentality is something that tends to be part of our culture these days. For me, I want things to slow down. I want to savor this time and this small thing that still links my toddler to his babyhood. 
I really am not worried at all about the state of Hayden's walking or non-walking. Most babies walk between 12 and 18 months, and of course there are some outliers on either end. I know Hayden's not going to crawl forever. He has always done things on his own time, and I have no doubt that when he is ready to walk, he will. However, when you are asked the same thing multiple times a week, sometimes a little doubt can creep in and you do wonder "when?". It's happened to both Nick and me and we have to stop and remind ourselves that his non-walking is completely normal and age appropriate, and not something that we need to worry about at 15 months. 
Instead of asking if my baby is walking, ask me "What is your favorite thing about this age?" I will happily tell you about his words, how he loves to laugh and be silly, how affectionate he is, his friendship with our dog, his ability to do puzzles, color with crayons, and his pride at figuring something out on his own.  I'll tell you about his messy attempts to feed himself, his love of playing at the park, and how adorable he looks when he gets a book of the shelf and reads by himself. I'll tell you about his open mouth kisses, and hugs, and how excited he is to see us always. 
So, next time you meet a new baby, resist the urge to ask if they've made it to their next milestone. Instead ask, "What is your favorite thing about this age?"  

Monday, November 18, 2013

big boy room

As Hayden has grown, his toy collection has as well. Gone are the days when he was content with a small basket of toys on a blanket on the ground. Now, he enjoys playing with many things at once and has amassed quite the collection. All his toys were in baskets or just on the floor and things were looking a bit cluttery. I wanted some type of shelf to get the toys organized and up off the floor. However, with a changing table, a dresser, and his other furniture, I did not want to add a bookshelf or anymore furniture in the room. 
So we took a trip to Ikea and got two 3.5 ft. Lack shelves. (We had the longer ones in our old apartment seen here). The shelves were $16.99 a piece so they didn't break the bank. Nick carefully hung them, anchoring them in the wall and using 10 screws for each shelf.(Safety first with a toddler around!) 
 I didn't want to overload the shelves, instead I just putt his bigger toys on there so Hayden could clearly see all the options available to him. 
 (Later this week, I'll share some of the other organization that I've done for the rest of his toys.) 
I love the way the shelves look and how much more organized and clean this room is feeling.
I added a small felt ball garland from Anthropologie, for a little bit of whimsy.
I added a second garland to his bookshelf wall.
While I was in the decorating mood, I added these Anthropologie alphabet cards that I've had for the last 3 or so years on the crib wall. We originally didn't have anything up there because we were afraid of anything fall on Hayden in an earthquake. However, these cards are light with rounded corners, so we aren't worried about them.
 When I decided on a gray and white nursery, some people thought that it would be really boring and not kid-friendly. My thoughts at the time were that his toys could be the things that bring color into the room. Now, I feel like it's the perfect backdrop for his colorful, fun toys.
So that's the current state of Hayden's room as it transitions from a baby room to a toddler room! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

5 on Friday

1. Sweet sick little baby. Hayden's had a high-ish fever for the last few days with no clear illness behind it. (Back to the doctor we go...) He's been falling asleep in our arms and preferring to be held all week. Despite not feeling well, he's still his happy, sweet self, full of kisses, hugs, and laughs. I feel so blessed to be this little guy's momma. 

2. Mercy Academy. My high school got some national attention this week over their new ad campaign. I have to say that I'm so proud to be an alum of this school. An all-girl's Catholic school may not sound like the most exciting but I feel like it really shaped me into the person I am today- so much more confident and strong! High school was  definitely a character-building experience for me- in the best possible way!
3. Day night day. Last Sunday, Nick and I went on a HowAboutWe date to San Francisco. We went to the Mission Bowling Club where we enjoyed brunch, a few cocktails, and a hour of bowling. It was fun and out of the ordinary for us. We decided to make a commitment to at least one date a month. 

4.  Currently reading: Deliberate Motherhood. I have been so inspired reading this book. I think my biggest take-away from the book is to slow down and savor this special time with Hayden. If you are a momma- I'd highly recommend this book. It's a quick read and really relevant. 
5.  Currently drinking. In an effort to lose a little weight and feel good going into the holidays, I've been focusing on eating really healthy (last Sunday notwithstanding) and exercising a lot more regularly. So, I've had a lot of these delicious green smoothies. They are actually not terrible but they aren't the best either. I don't really follow a recipe, I just make my own version and keep adding things until it's drinkable. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Momma & Baby: Reindeer Art

Now I did just say that I'm savoring this Thanksgiving time of the year... However, I thought that a little reindeer art could be a good transition from fall to winter. I picked up two tiny canvases at JoAnn's because they were both 40% off and came to a few dollars a piece. 
I started the project by pulling up a google image of a deer silhouette and copying the image onto clear contact paper.
Then I carefully cut out my drawing, making sure to save both the positive and negative space. 

Momma version: 

On one canvas, I laid out the outline of the deer, so that the actual shape was not covered. I had to use some painters tape because the contact paper wasn't cooperating well with the canvas. 
Next I took it outside and gave it a quick coat of metallic gold spray paint. (Surprised?? I thought not.)
When the paint had dried, I just peel off my contact paper stencil and called it a day. 

Baby Version:

Because I didn't have as much luck getting the contact paper to stick on my canvas, I decided to just use painters tape this time to make the deer silhouette. 
(See those sleepy eyes and rosy cheeks? Poor baby had a fever all day but was still wanting to have fun with Momma, even though he wasn't feeling well.)

I opened up a few colors of Hayden's (non-toxic and washable) finger paints and let him take over applying paint to the canvas. I helped him a little bit to make sure the areas around the deer were covered so you could see the outline. 

I wrapped the outside of his painting with gold washi tape to disguise any drips a long the edges and to give it a more finished/framed look.  Then I hung his painting on the little wall between our kitchen and dining room. 

Two easy Fall/Winter themed art projects for less than $10!  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Downstairs House Tour

We've made so house many updates over the last 18 months of living here and sometimes, when you take a while to complete things, it's hard to see the dramatic changes. However, looking back at when we first moved in, it's clear that we've made some significant changes. Today, I wanted to share all the improvements we've made to our downstairs.
This used to be the view when you first walked in: 
and now: 
from the other direction: 
and now: 
Still on the list: 
  • Add transition strip at the front door
  • Potentially wallpaper the wall  
  • Add trim around the green pantry doors
  • Add a pendant light fixture in front of the mirror

Bottom of the stairs
Still on the list: 
  • Get rid of those shutters!! We originally planned to knock out half the wall to make a breakfast bar but heard from several contractors that it would be very difficult and costly since most of the upstairs is supported by this middle wall. So, we have made piece with the weird little window and decided the best thing we can do is just remove the shutters. 

another angle: 
and now:

Still on the list: 
  • New countertops and backsplash
  • New under cabinet lighting 
  • Baseboards under the cabinets 
Dining Room:
and now: 

Still on the list: 
  • Find and paint 2 more chairs white so that we have 6 chairs around the table. 
  • Move light fixture so that it is centered over the table.

Living Room:
and now: 
another angle:
Still on the list: 
  • Add another lamp (it doesn't have any overhead lighting
  • Trim curtains with black ribbon (like the dining room) 
  • Potentially stucco the fireplace and add fireplace doors (we currently have a picture stuck in the fireplace to block a certain someone from crawling inside...)

Downstairs Powder Rook: 
and now: 
Still on the list: 
  • Paint or replace the vanity 
  • Remove the medicine cabinet and add shelving
  • Replace the old light fixture 

So that's our downstairs in it's current state! It is really starting to feel like home and I love the mix of colors and textures down here. Of course, we still have things on our list, but (besides the countertops) most items are smaller projects that we can do over time. 

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