Monday, June 30, 2014

parenting in the middle

Before I had Hayden, I had a set of ideas in my mind about how I wanted to raise him and some of those included some extremes, like no electronic toys in our house, only organic food, etc. For the most part, 2 years in, we are parenting Hayden the way I imagined we would. However one thing that I've absolutely learned is that I'm not a person that can live by extremes. We are more moderate in our parenting decisions and I am totally okay with that. For example:
  • We cloth diaper- 90% of the time. On trips and occasionally on diaper washing days, Hayden wears a disposable. Sometimes I forget (or don't want) to wash diapers at night and we rely on our stock of disposables. I could plan better or ensure that he's always in a cloth diaper, but I'm not concerned with that 10% of the time.
  • Hayden doesn't usually watch TV, but he loves Mickey Mouse and sees it on occasion, when I need to get ready in the morning or have a work call. We don't really want him watching TV, very often but we don't feel guilty when we do turn it on every once in a while.
  • We planned to do Baby Led Weaning with no baby food at all. But you know what? Those pouches are so useful, especially when your child is on a fruit and vegetable strike.
  • Other things we planned on: no family bed (Hayden sleeps in our bed once every few months and used to a lot more frequently when he was teeny tiny), no electronic toys (he has a few and enjoys them), no sugar (ha... He doesn't eat sugar everyday but the boy sure knows what ice cream is!), no processed food (we can control what he eats in our house but out and about or at parties or relatives houses, he has a little more freedom in his eating), only organic food (there's a lot of great, healthy food that's not organic), a precise bedtime (he usually is in bed by 8.... But sometimes later, and it's fine).
I read all the time about mommy-guilt on the internet and it's a very real thing, but if I've learned anything about being a momma, it's that all these rules and expectations we set for ourselves can make us constantly feel like we aren't doing enough. Being a good momma for your kids means loving them like crazy and trying everyday to make good decisions. I know my kid will turn out just fine in spite of his occasional Mickey Mouse watching, goldfish eating, and iPad time. Hayden is a happy, healthy, easy-going almost-2-year-old. Maybe other mommas are better at sticking to their guns about things in which they really truly believe. That's so awesome for them, but for me- I can't be as extreme as I thought I would about everything. I have my principles and I can bend the rules a little and understand that while I'm not the ideal "perfect mom" in everyone's eyes,  I'm still being the perfect momma for Hayden everyday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WAHM: One Year In

It's been a year since I finished my teaching job and transitioned to being a work-at-home-mom.  We took a little while to get into a good rhythm and to figure out how to manage baby needs, home needs, and work demands, but we are making it work every single day and I love this life- even on the hard days (which are few and far between!). 
In the beginning, I was really nervous about trying to do any work at all when Hayden was up- I would ask my sister to come over and watch him so I could take a 30 minute call or work for a a couple hours uninterrupted, but  then she got a job and I figured out how to manage on my own.  We've always had some form of childcare/help for the 2 days a week that I go into the office for collaborative meetings, but other than that it's just the two of us. 
I try to work as little as possible when he's awake, which means my working hours can be a little unpredictable and unusual- 5 am to 8 am in the mornings, 1pm - 3pm in the afternoons, and anytime after 8 pm. Sometimes weekends too. I occasionally have conference calls and phone meetings when he's up but everyone I work with knows that I work from home with him and many people also have a kid on their end too- so it works.
I actually really love what I do- I get to be creative, I get to work in the field of education, and I get to interact with people on a daily basis. There are very few days this past year where I've wished that I didn't have to work at all. I'm more than grateful for the way that everything worked out. It's always been a dream of mine to stay-at-home with our baby and we really are making it work. Nick has been a huge help in the transition as well- sometimes getting off work early so I can take a video call, taking Hayden out some evening if I need a break or need to get something done, handling the bedtime routine solo when I have a deadline at night, always willing to pick up dinner or clean the kitchen and being really understanding if he comes home to a messy house. 
So, yes. This WAHM thing is working out splendidly.  We get to go to library story time, the park, take long walks, play in the backyard, be part of a playgroup,  take smoothie breaks and read 10 million books a day, and still am able to work at the same time. Some days naps are cut short, Hayden is grumpy, or the house feels chaotic,  but most of the time it's just really great and I'm so happy for this opportunity. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

first "first day of school"

Today was my baby's first day of preschool. He's enrolled in a summer program and will attend the same preschool in the fall. He was very excited to go to school this morning, dragging his backpack out to the car and telling me it was "so so heavy". He got a little shy when we first got to the classroom, but warmed up quickly when he saw a play kitchen and was happily cooking when I left. He is in a 3 hour program 2 days a week, which is perfect for my work schedule and for a transition from home to school. In the fall he will go for a 5 hour day twice a week. I can't believe how big he is already, with his second birthday just around the corner! Ahh, my sweet, sweet boy. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Momma and Mini: 4th of July Style

Momma and Mini: 4th of July Style

Peasant top / J Crew clothing / Gap 1969 Denim Cutoff Shorts - strawberry field / Gap Convertible Microcheck Shirt - blue allure / Gap Sunwashed Slip On Sneakers - lipstick red / Flag pocket tee / Slub bleached stripe tee

I'm a big fan of coordinating outfits for holidays, especially ones like the 4th of July. I can't believe it's only a couple of weeks away! This year we'll be celebrating in Tahoe with my family  and I'm looking forward to a fun weekend. As much as I love wearing cute dresses, these days it seems like shorts are my best friend when chasing around a busy toddler. Gap is my go-to for Hayden's clothes and they are always having great sales online.  Nick will join in on the coordinating fun half-heartedly, as long as I pick out his clothes ;) 

Monday, June 16, 2014

last weekend

Sadly, our little family wasn't together for Father's Day weekend but we still managed to all have a good time. My youngest brother graduated from college in Oregon on Saturday so my siblings and I road-tripped up there to meet up with our parents and celebrate Matthew. He also turned 21 last week, so we had some extra festive celebrations. 

I missed my boys a lot - especially since we were in New York and away from H last weekend too. No more weekends away from that babe for awhile! Nick and Hayden went up to the mountains with Nick's mom and I got plenty of adorable video and picture updates throughout the weekend, plus a few Facetime calls from my guys. 
We decided to post-pone our Father's Day celebration for Nick until next weekend, so he'll get his pampering and breakfast in bed then. I didn't want to totally ignore the day so Hayden and I made him a little book to celebrate our favorite guy. We sure do love him and all he does for us. He's the best!
This summer has just started but it already feels like it's flying by! Hayden starts a preschool summer program next week, and we'll be traveling again for the 4th of July in another couple of weeks. We're working on plans for both Hayden and Nick's birthday which are both fast approaching! It's going to be a good summer- I can feel it!  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five on Friday

1. NYC. Last weekend Nick and I had an amazing time in New York. My best friend got engaged and it was her fiancĂ©'s 30th birthday so we had lots to celebrate! Nick and I had never been to New York before but we packed in a lot in our quick trip- we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, ate so many good things, saw Grand Central Station, and walked through Central Park. Such a fun trip! 
2. On the road again. My youngest brother is graduating from college tomorrow so siblings and I are road-tripping up to Oregon today. Hayden and Nick will be spending time in Truckee, since the Oregon trip might have been a little too much car time for Mr. H. 
3. Quiet moments. One of my jobs is off for the month of June so I'm enjoying a little extra free time during the day. Not every minute of Hayden's naps have to be dedicated to work so I even had a minute to sit outside a read a book in the middle of the afternoon- what-what?
4.  Speaking of Reading... I've finally had time to read something other than parenting or educational books and I am so happy. I'm currently reading The Goldfinch and I really love it. It's long and I don't have too much time (except those flight back and forth across the country) so it's slow-going but I still love the story. 

 5.  Hayden. What Friday recap would be complete without at least one mention of my favorite almost-two-year-old?! This kid cracks me up on the daily. He has quite a vocabulary and it seems to be expanding everyday. The other morning he was walking around with his toothbrush, loudly proclaiming, "I love it... so soooo much!" He also found my glasses in the bathroom drawer and decided to try them on for size... 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

a lovely friday

Last Friday, Hayden and I went strawberry picking with one of his friends and her momma. We found a organic strawberry farm about 40 minutes from our house and went in the morning before it got too steamy.
Hayden had the best time, finding all the red strawberries on plants and picking them. He would carefully drop them in the bag and then say, "There's one!"  "I see one" and pick another. Together we picked over 3 pounds of strawberries in a half an hour.
He was in such a happy mood and he loved our little morning adventure. I am so excited about this summer and all the other summery activities we have planned.  
(strawberry picking wore him out- he NEVER falls asleep in the car anymore!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

diy console table love

A couple of weekends ago Nick built a new console table for our dining room. Well, I chose the materials and he put it together. (We're a good team!) 
I picked out metal hairpin legs from the website We got legs that were on sale for $20 each. 
For the table top, I picked out a piece of redwood from the same place that we got our mantle, California Urban Lumber. The people that work there are always super friendly. They planed, sanded, and removed the bark off my 6 foot piece of wood for less than $100. 
The legs were pretty easy to attach, according to Nicholas. I was gone at a hair appointment so I missed the process but the table was in place by the time I came back!
We decided to stain it with a Walnut stain to match some of the other wood finishes in the house.  
This was one of the easiest DIYs that we've done in a while and I love the way it turned out!


Monday, June 2, 2014

summer bucket list

This summer is looking like a great one. Hayden is at an age where he enjoys activities and gets excited about things so I made a list of things that I hope our family can do this summer: 
Swim at the pool 
Make s'mores in the backyard and read bedtime stories in the tent 
Go to the library twice a month for new books 
Have a sunset picnic at the beach 
Visit the Oakland Museum for Food Trucks and Live Music on Fridays 
Go to Lake Tahoe 
Make homemade ice cream 
Celebrate a stupendous 2nd birthday (oh and a couple of 29th birthdays too ;) ) 
See fireworks 
Go to the Little Farm and feed the animals 
Visit the Zoo 
Pick strawberries  
Ride a Merry-go-Round  

What fun things are on your summer to-do? 

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