Sunday, July 31, 2011

Random Photos

Just for fun, here are some very random photos, some of which Logan took himself.

New Home Tour: Kitchen & Bathroom

It's taken a few days but I finally snapped a few photos of these two rooms. I love our kitchen. I've always wanted a kitchen sink that looked out into the back yard so that I could keep an eye on our babe playing. He is OBSESSED with being "ou-tah" and since the entire yard is fenced and safe I am okay with letting him play while I do some dishes.



Ahh, dishes. We don't have a dishwasher. GASP! I know. I swore up and down we'd never ever live in a home without a dishwasher and lo and behold the yard won me over. Actually, funny story. I had no idea that there was no dishwasher until the day we moved in. B actually said "hey, s, you know there's no dishwasher, right?" and I was like "omg-how could I not have noticed?!" At that point it was too late. We'd already signed our lease and honestly, it's fine. I got the big deep bathtub and the large fenced yard my heart has longed for and for that I am okay with washing dishes 96 times a day, give or take.



Our stackable HE laundry is in the corner of the kitchen and it works out nicely. Now, I know you're noticing the open cabinets. There are covers of a sort and they slide and they stick and after doing lots of sliding and sticking for the first few days I nearly ripped them out. Actually I did rip them out, gently. I actually like the open look and this is not the final look we're going for. I want to get some pretty wallpaper to line the bottoms and paint the back some fun color. This will all have to wait.



Also, the blue antique cabinet needs new shelving in it and once we get that then all the food will go there acting as our pantry. All of our appliances work great and I've enjoyed cooking meals, that is, when I'm actually home to cook. The only other downside is the lack of counter space, something which was a deal breaker when we were house hunting. The good thing is that the total space is actually more than what we had at the apartment and I feel like it works out fine.

This is our tiny bathroom. Small, but it just happens to be the most updated part of the entire 66 year old house. Lovely tile outlines the inside of the shower and half of the walls around the room. I've always wanted a pedestal sink, but with such a cute sink you get very little storage. We've had these metal storage units since we first got married and they've worked out great everywhere we've lived.

See that window? Yeah, next to the deep tub it's my most favorite part of the bathroom. It's been open since the day we moved in a month ago and I love being able to look outside (into our yard-not at neighbors!). I also love our original medicine cabinet mirror which has a small dent in it.

Next up: Logan's room! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Home Reveal: The Living Room

Our living room has finally taken the shape and desire that we have been hoping for and I am very excited to share this special room with everyone. Over the years we have collected pictures and mementos, things which I was no sure how I was going to fit into the small space of our 1000 square foot home. Then I discovered Pinterest and with that learned that the new, fun, hip, designer thing to do is a wall photo collage. I showed B a few of the collages I had found on Pinterest and he was totally into it. So a few nights ago after Logan went to bed we poured some wine, turned up The Strokes and began putting our wall together. Our house has a bit of an odd shape, one which is rather difficult to fill certain spaces and I am positive that without this awesome idea this wall would be super boring.

This room is our be-all room. We are in this room 98% of our day and I really wanted it to be something that was comfortable. I am not crazy about the TV on the coffee table but we have to work with what we have for now. Also, the curtains came with the house and we have every intention of personalizing those as well. Our landlord as given us free-rain on what we chose to do as far as decorating and painting goes. Since the collage wall is up I have no plans on painting it, although I do have plans of painting a few of the brown frames random colors to make them pop more.

Our couch is our newest addition, one of our biggest purchases since we married almost 3 years ago. We had lived on college and hand-me-down furniture since then and could not way to literally put our feet up. The couch is a chocolate brown microfiber which is super easy to clean (my biggest concern), comfortable AND reclines on both ends. We love it.

There are some quirky things about the house especially being that it is 66 years old. The first day we were here I pulled the metal latch on the window up to open it and it broke off in my hands. The screen on the back door has nearly come all the way off due to high traffic from the dogs and Logan. If the big door is open then Logan will throw toys inside or outside. Silly man! There are a few cracks in the ceiling from water damage and we are really hoping that once winter hits that there won't be any roofing issues. So far with all the rain we have had that has not been an issue. The carpet is super old and at the seems, like where it meets the kitchen linoleum you can feel the staples. That is annoying. The one and only light fixture in this room is inside the ceiling and was so dim that B put in a better energy efficient bulb and even still we need lamps.

I love that I can open the windows on both ends of the house and feel a wonderful cross breeze, especially in the mornings. We don't have AC so it's super important to keep things as cool as possible.

Next up: the kitchen and bathroom! Stay tuned. :)





Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Most Favorite Poet

To fulfill an elective writing minor credit I took Creative Writing in the last semester of college. I knew anything with creative in the title would suit me and that I'd have no problem applying myself. This was also the same semester in which B and I first started dating which could only mean one thing: my puppy-love, star-gazed, emotional cup was overflowing and that my writing would have a very pointed subject: Love.

My instructor was awesome. She encouraged writing workshops and gave us wonderful prompts to get our juices flowing. Sometimes that was all I needed to write about something I just could not get down on paper. As part of my final project I had to compile a number of poems written by different poets on the subject of my choice while also integrating a few pieces I'd written over the course of the semester. Obviously, the subject was Love and it was not hard to find poems about love. However, it was hard to find good poems about love that were not gag-me material.

E.E. Cummings quickly became my go-to poet. The poem I included in my compilation was i carry your heart in mine.



(click for source)

That is only part of the poem but doesn't that one little part just make your heart melt? Doesn't it make you instantly think of the person(s) whose heart you carry? Mine are B and Logan, obviously. But even more for Logan as he grows older and develops into a little person.

Before Logan and before our marriage B and I committed to writing our own wedding vows. E.E. Cummings was my go-to inspiration. I knew it might have been a little cliche so I tried to find a poem or verse that was not so well-known, that spoke even more to me about the love I felt for B and that is when I found Since Feeling is First:


since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a far better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
–the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

And there you have it friends. The opening of my wedding vows to B read: "When e.e. cummings said 'we are for each other' he had you and me in mind..." And since then this simple yet deep phrase has shaped our love and the meaning in our marriage and family. That is how this blog name was born and once more for my birthday (in just a few weeks!) I will be inking this on the inside of my foot. I've always wanted a tattoo but never wanted to get something that did not have enough meaning to want forever. Now I have it. I found that one thing that will always be etched into my heart and remind me how much I love my family, through all the highs and loves, goods and bads.

If you have a tat, what does it mean to you?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Awkward

I've never been one to get normal illnesses. I get the normal ones and then I also get the really odd, weird, and not so common ones from time to time. Now that I work in a hospital my awareness for illnesses has only increased with "I cannot bring this home to my family" in the front of my mind at all times.

When I was 9 I had tonsillitis and was out of school for almost 2 weeks. When I was twelve I had strep throat and spent another week out of school. During a family vacation to Florida over the Christmas holiday I, and eventually my entire family, came down with the 24 hour stomach flu. When I was in college just a month away from finals I got pancreatitis and spent another good week getting my strength back. Logan and I passed Thrush back and forth to each other when I was nursing him and I ended up with an abscess (different from mastitis). And now, dear friends, I have something you really only hear about children getting. It's even dubbed a children's disease and is rather rare among adults either because they had it as a child or they have a natural immunity to it. I, clearly, did not have it as a child nor do I have an immunity.

Now, what is IT, you ask? Well I'm a little embarrassed to admit it and only because disease is at the end of its name. How unfair! It's not really a disease. It's an illness! So remember on Sunday when I mentioned that I thought I had the flu? Wrong. Those body aches were in fact the first signs of Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease--minus the hands and feet part. Sunday I felt terrible. Monday I worked, only feeling very weak, tired and carried around a terrible headache. As the night went on my throat really started to bother me. I'd noticed Sunday that my glands were sore and swollen but again, attributed that to the flu.

When I got home I peeked in the mirror at my throat and saw spots that I was sure indicated the onset of strep. First thing yesterday morning I headed to the doc and walked out with a totally different diagnosis. Those aren't the puss spots that come with strep. They're blisters and within a few hours my entire mouth was covered in so many blisters it hurt to talk, swallow, and eat. Today I'm doing a little better. More energy and hanging out with Logan but found out I cannot go back to work for 5 days because of how contagious this is. There's a huge change Logan will get this since he has been exposed to me the entire time. However, I've heard it is not nearly as bad in children as it is in adults. There's a 4-6 day incubation period so if B or Logan end up with it we should know pretty soon.

Please pray my blisters heal quickly and that B and Logan don't get this nasty thing. We have a wedding to go to on Saturday which I should no longer be contagious for. I can still feel new blisters under my tongue and it's so painful! Awkward post, I know. But I just had to get it out.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dear Logan

You're 17 months old now and by far the coolest kid I've ever known. How lucky I am to be your mommy. Not a day goes by that my heart gets bigger and bigger from all the love I feel for you, if that's even possible. You're so smart. I've never known a smarter kid your age. You have hand-eye coordination that could put me to shame. You can open and close the smallest of things and the look on your face from amazement is priceless. You have the cutest smirk that crosses between your cheeks that says "Oh yeah, I'm awesome" or "I am totally digging this".

A few nights ago your daddy was out of town and I wanted nothing more than to hold you close all night long so I broke our no baby in the bed rule once you'd fallen asleep in your own bed. I swept you into my arms and you settled in next to me. Your little head nestled under mine and I could smell the sweat from your day out in the pool.

While laying in bed with you I learned a few things: you sleep like me, mouth closed, breathing so quietly I had to put my hand on your belly to feel you breath. You side sleep, just like me, and you are a relatively light sleeper. When the dogs would shake their collars you are sure to stir if not fully wake and say "mama" as I rubbed your back to soothe you to sleep. When I was a little girl and my dad went out of town for work one of the things I looked forward to was sleeping with my mama. Me and my brother would take turns and it was so fun, gathering my PJs, tooth brush and a book. I hope that is a memory I can create for you.

We fell asleep together and not three hours later did I wake up in a fit of terrible body aches. I was unsure of what was happening but knew that whatever it was I had to keep you from it so our night in bed together was cut short. I moved you to your room and you drifted off again easily.

Nothing has been harder on me as your mommy than when I'm sick and you want all my attention. I'd give anything to do whatever you wanted but the risk of you getting sick was too high. It broke my heart to hide in my room while you tried to turn the knob of my door open. Your uncle did a wonderful job distracting you and keeping you busy for the day while I slept. I had the flu. Worst bug ever. Good thing about it, though, is that it's gone as quickly as it starts. Not 24 hours later and I'm feeling better, just weak. Now after I've totally cleaned the house of any germs I'm still praying you and daddy don't get sick.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

about that shotty internet

It's still shotty. That being the main reason my writing has really lagged lately and honestly I am so missing meaningful posts! I am even having a hard time catching up on all of yours. I want to thank Randalin AGAIN for writing such a wonderful post. I hope to have her write for us again! Her blog and little man are just so yummy (ha! no pun intended). In the mean time if you'd like even more to read I have started another blog dedicated to all things childbirth/midwife. It is not for the fait of heart, people. So if you get a little squeamish about female-ish things or just don't care to read about those subjects then no hard feelings. For the most part, I am using it as a way to keep track of things I want to remember (much like a personal blog). But I also know there are others out there like myself who devour this subject matter. I LOVE IT! Please, if you know of anyone who might enjoy it, share and enjoy!

Midwife 101

Monday, July 11, 2011

Guest Post: Harvesting Kale

I am proud to feature one of my most favorite mama bloggers, Randalin from Harvesting Kale. Kale, her sweet little boy who is just a few months younger than Logan, has the most beautiful blue eyes and a strong love for the outdoors, just like Logan. Randalin, like myself, is a first time mama who has embraced the love, challenges and rewards of becoming a mother. She embodies aspects of attachment parenting that I wish I'd had the discipline for when Logan was younger. Enjoy this beautiful post.

***

When I offered to do a guest post for Sarah while she settled into her new home I gave her free reign on choosing a topic. Oddly enough she picked something that has been on my mind a lot lately – how do I stay connected to pre-baby me now that I’m a mom? How do I maintain a love and passion for the things and people that came before Kale? A nice easy topic, right?

Before Kale was born I assumed my life would continue in a slightly altered way. Instead of giving up nights hanging out with friends and sipping wine, I thought I’d just bring Kale with me and find him a comfy place to catch some zzzz’s. Rather than wasting away Sunday’s watching reality TV and John Hughes films with my cat, I figured I’d watch 16 Candles with a baby snuggled up to me. Cooking meals that take two hours of prep? A baby would enjoy watching me caramelize onions, right?

Oh don’t worry – I’m totally embarrassed at how na├»ve I was. You don’t have to tell me.

Then along came Kale. High-needs, gassy, colicky Kale. A head full of hair and blue eyes that saw straight through my naivety. A baby that made my heart swell and break all at the same time. A baby that refused to be put down, wouldn’t sleep without being held,

and balked at the sight of a swing, stroller, car seat, bouncy chair or any thing else that might allow me enough time to pee.  There was no wine. No John Hughes. And definitely no onions.

In the midst of sleep deprivation and out of control hormones, I began to unravel. I missed myself. I missed having a thought that didn’t revolve around my son. I missed having space, silence and freedom. I missed Molly Ringwald.

Time passed. Kale gained independence (at the rate of a centipede). And me? While I let go. I let go of old me. I let go of old hobbies. Old friends. Old passions. I just let it all go. Because I needed to get rid of all that extra “stuff.” The people I didn’t really care about, but had dragged out friendships with. The things I used to do just to fill up time. The drama, the waste and the wine.

I had to let it go because I needed room for the new me. The mama me. The me that embraced parenthood with a sense of passion and enthusiasm that I never expected. The me that wanted to spend every moment soaking up time with my family. The me that loved making new adventures and doing things that actually mattered.  One of my favourite quotes is: “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new.”

When Kale was born, I was born as a mother. Giving up the woman I was before wasn’t easy. It took time to adjust. To embrace. But here I am. A new person. A mother. No amount of Matthew Broderick and Emilio Estevez could change how much I love being the new me.

Except, of course, if it’s a rainy Sunday, there’s a pot of stew on the stove, and Pretty in Pink and 16 Candles are playing back to back. Then I might reconsider. But only for a second.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

On Getting Rid of the Crib



(Logan's first night on his new bed)

I know I mentioned a few months back that we were transitioning Logan on his bed on the floor, totally ditching the crib. I wanted him to be fully adjusted to a "big boy bed" by the time we were in our new home. According to other mamas and baby message boards this is a bit young to be doing it, however I think we did it at the perfect time. No one has judged me for it and most mama friends are very impressed by how well it's worked out. So I thought I'd share our process and update on how the last week in our new home has been.

Once Logan learned to walk I knew it was time to get him out of the crib. It was only a matter of time before he would be scaling his crib rails and inevitably hurting himself from a fall. He had already mastered climbing onto and off of chairs, couches, and tables, all just a short distance from the floor. A fall from the crib was not something I wanted either of us to experience.

I consulted a friend who had created a Montessori bed for her son at an even earlier age than Logan. I researched different bumpers to buy to help soften a roll off the mattress but nothing seemed worth it. I knew I could figure out a different way to protect him. B was given a large styrofoam roller for his back. It stands about three feet tall and has a pretty large circumference. I stuffed this roll under the sheet of his bed on one side while pushing the other side of the bed against the wall. I placed blankets at the head and foot of his bed should he roll either direction and felt pretty confident in my creation.

Once B had the crib disassembled and put away we anxiously waited for Logan's bed time. He goes to bed between 7 and 8 most nights. Since he was a wee one (we're talking 4 weeks old) I have always laid Logan to bed awake. Only when he was sick and/or teething have I rocked/nursed/fed him to sleep. I believe this has been a huge help in getting him to go down for bed easily.

Night one was a gem. We put him to bed tired with his sleep sheep, blankie, paci and lovie and he was good to go. Within 20 minutes he was out. I kept checking on him to see how the roll was working out and if he was all over the place. Everything was just perfect. I seriously cannot say anything bad about it. And every night since has been just the same.

When we moved in with my parents Logan had a hard time sleeping later in the mornings being that we were all in the same room and he could get out of bed easily so while we were there he slept in his pack n play. Once we moved, the transition back to his big boy bed has been just as flawless as it was the first night. I am sure he must realize the freedom he has to roam his room and check out his toys or read a book. I encourage him to. Letting him play alone quietly for another 20 minutes before laying himself back down (yes, you read that right!) then I am totally fine with it. That being said, he has only once gotten out of bed to play for a little while longer. I'd like to think that he understands that when we put him to bed that it's time to go to sleep. I also know that this is not foolproof. There will be nights when it's a struggle, especially as he begins to assert himself even more with his verbal skills.

So, how do you know if your toddler is ready for this? What should you do to prepare for this?

  • Childproof the entire room. At this point in toddlerhood most everything has been childproofed but not until you leave your child alone do you truly know what he/she can get into that is not safe. It was especially challenging to know what these things were when we moved. We have different curtains with longer pull cords so securing those at a safe distance was our first project. Also the floor in his room is a hard, cork floor so we have to lay extra blankets around the bed because even though it's only 3 inches off the floor a sleepy roll off the bed could smart. We put plug covers in the outlets and are sure to clean up the room so there is nothing to slip or trip over if he should get up in the middle of the night. So far, all of these things have worked out well with no concerns.

  • Is he ready? This is something only a mama can know. If you feel like your child's independence is growing and being confined ends up being more challenging than helpful then he might be ready. If your babe is perfectly happy in his crib that may also be a good time to make the transition. Logan had no issues with being in his crib and since we were not up against each other over bed time I believe this made our transition easy. Every child is different and may or may not be ready for a change like this whether he is 13 months old or 20 months old.


If you make the transition let me know! Good luck and have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Seventeen Months Old



This is Logan at 5 months old still in cloth diapers recovering from horrendous cradle cap and eyes still blue. Now?

Logan has a great head of blonde hair, green-blue eyes, and a smile that will knock just about anyone off their feet.

I know. I can hardly believe it myself! My sweet little boy who rocked the new baby smell of breast milk and baby soap now smells of dirt, sweat, jelly, and juice. Noting this new smell is important. Why? Because I say it is. :)

But wow. I have a full-blown toddler on my hands. He is nothing short of a ham. The kid melts the socks off his parents, grandparents and uncles, aunt, and the like with every smile, every laugh and every hug. A age-appropriate post is long overdue so here is what our little boy (EEEk! Not baby...) is up to.

  • Sleeping on a toddler bed. We ditched the crib before we moved and the transition has been flawless. I wedged a styrofoam roll under the fitted mattress to act as a "bumper" of sorts to keep him from rolling off. Logan loves having the freedom to play in his room once he wakes up. Sometimes he even waits for us to come get him. Post to follow on how exactly we've done this.

  • Walking. No, RUNNING. Logan has mastered walking, tripping, and falling all while maintaining his balance (most of the time). Now that we are in a new home he particularly enjoys running to and from his room to the living room as if the hall way is in fact a run way. Logan bursts into running just for the heck of it and it's quit possibly the cutest little run ever.

  • Sizes. Logan is just under 23 pounds and 34 inches tall. Still in size 4 diapers and graduated to size 6 in shoes about a month ago. Yes, folks. My kid will be tall. He wears mostly 18 month clothing, although because he is so tall and thin he wears 9-12 month shorts. Most 18 month shorts/pants are swimming on him while most 18 month-long sleeved shirts are too short. Go figure.

  • Activities: More than anything, Logan LOVES being outside. Now that we have a yard I have spent more time playing with him in our yard than unpacking and that is totally okay with me. He loves picking up sticks and throwing them for the dogs or bringing me rocks. He would love it even more if I let him play in the bucket of water for the dogs. He's a fish, people, and if he can't play outside all day then he'd be in the water splashing around. We've taken him to a splash park which he loves. When we're not outside or in the water Logan enjoys playing in his room with all his toys that are so brand new to him now that they're out of storage. He loves having books read to him and turning the pages, scratching each one to see if there's a fun texture there.

  • Favorites: Favorite book: Oh the Thinks You Can Think by Dr. Seuss, Favorite Food: blueberries, grapes and grilled chicken, Favorite Music: all kinds. He will dance to our ringtones on our phones. Favorite Toy(s): matchbox cars, Curious George plushie, and balls of any kind.

  • Talking: Not quite. He tries and the syllables he is creating are sounding more word-like. He's mimicking sounds and knows sounds animals make. He loves screeching at the top of his lungs, fully aware that it gets our attention and even a smile or two out of us. He says Mama and Hi. That's all we can decifer at the moment.

  • Teeth: He has 11 now! Both top 1 year molars are almost all the way in. Bottom right molar is making its way in. All four front top and bottom are in.

  • Misc.: Logan gives hugs, blows kisses, waves hi and bye, still uses his paci, mostly for sleeping (although he didn't last night!), has a bottle of milk in the am and pm, can unclip just about anything including his car seat chest clip, understands most of what we say "want a bite?", "all done" (signs), "more" (signs), "follow me", "want to read a book?", "where are the dogs" (goes to door)...just to name a few.


Overall Logan is doing fantastic. He loved watching the fireworks. He is loving, happy, playful, strong-willed, handsome as all get out and most of all our most precious gift from God.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

That's right friends! With the help of my brother, hubby and mom (who took Logan to the park) we are totally moved into our new home! It's a little overwhelming seeing all the boxes that need to be unpacked, the pictures that need to be hung, the clothes that need to be put away....I just keep telling myself it's a process! So as soon as we have everything in order I will post photos and get back to blogging daily. We have super sketchy internet for now until we get ours hooked up next week. Until then would anyone like to guest blog? I'd love to show you off!

Please, in the mean time, have a wonderful, safe and family-filled holiday weekend! Happy 4th!