Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Finger Food | Snack trays

Last week I mentioned that I would be making snack bins for Seb, but after a little more thought I realized that they wouldn't be terribly budget friendly since we're trying to cut back on the amount of snack foods I buy, there would still be some unavoidable daily prep, and seb would only ever pick his favorite items and not touch the healthy mystery foods.

So today we tried something a little different, and I'm really pleased with how it was received. Last night I filled one baby food freezer tray with nuts, dried fruit, pretzels and even some dark chocolate covered super berries, or something like that. I filled another one with cucumbers, green peppers, pepperoni, and shredded cheese.

It turned out to be a fabulous way to present Seb with lots of options and still sneak in a few things that I wanted him to eat. He of course went straight for the good stuff, like anything chocolate covered, but when it was gone, it was gone, and there were other options.

The other bonus is that even though it takes nightly prep, our snacks are taken care of for the day, and since our trays come with lids, I can even throw them in the diaper bag for a day out.

I'm really excited to play around with the veggie tray a bit more. Seb is finally getting into dipping things, so I'd like to put some hummus, peanut butter, and plain greek yogurt in them to add some variety to his veggies.

P.S. True story: Seb went shirtless all morning because we ran out of clean shirts for him. And not just a clean shirt... a shirt that hadn't been worn more than 3 times already. I swear it's been less than a week since I did a load of something other than diapers. Fortunately, Seb prefers the shirtless look.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mama | This day and the next

The chaos can't and won't very well go away, will it? Should it? Our days generally start out so promising, with cute, sweet smiles, crazy bedhead, and clean diapers (after the dirty ones, of course).

Then sometimes I'm "with it" because I spent hours the night before on pinterest trying to come up with ideas of what to do with a toddler, so that his mind is enriched, and he gets all kinds of learning experiences, and his brain doesn't turn in television wires like poor jimmy jet, and we do something fun for breakfast like make "monster toast" with milk and food coloring and a paint brush.

Of course, said toddler will really just want to dump the milk all over the floor and table.

At which point mama needs biscotti and coffee.

Then we'll continue our painting themed morning by busting out some watercolors for the first time! And again, said toddler will just want to dump the water all over the floor, but mommy might be there to intervene this time.

Of course, such enriching projects take up the whole morning and the tv set isn't even thought of once. In my dreams, that is. After the 10 minutes of painting projects, the tv seems like the only option. The baby needs fed, or snuggled, or rocked to sleep, and the toddler is insistent that a movie is really the only thing left to be done. And so, mommy gives up in defeat, hoping for better things and less tv tomorrow morning. But then, maybe I'll throw it out tonight, or at least hide it in the den.

Of course, we'll probably take a break to try on some fancy shoes.

Later, nap time goes off without a hitch. Oh wait...

How is it that each day can be such a terrible wonderful mix of chaos, ugliness, tantrums—adult and toddler alike—sweet hugs, kisses, creativity, messes, and learning? I'll never know, I'm sure, but just as Christ showed the disciples that thousands can be fed with just a few fish and loaves of bread, so to can great things be done with these silly mornings and weak hands.

Here are mine, Lord. Make them do better things tomorrow.

P.S. I have my mom to thank for the monster toast, not pinterest. She did it with us when we were kids.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mama | So I can see you better

Seb broke my glasses—just tore the earpiece right off—so I need to get some new ones and I'm thinking about doing something crazy (for me, at least). I mean, why do glasses have to be all about what's going to make me look more like a model or something?! We all know that's not going to happen anyway, so I'm thinking of going for a pair where it's all about the glasses. Yes?

This pair is Warby Parker's Preston style in gimlet tortoise. I'm broken-hearted that Ainsworth is sold out. I might just have to wait until they restock. Thoughts? Do you throw all caution to the wind when it comes to glasses, or do you stay on the conservative side?

P.S. Forgive the stellar photobooth photography complete with glare. Did I ever tell you that I temporarily lost my camera in Ohio? Yea, that's why the photography on my blog has fallen to pieces. I'm still incredibly grateful to my little sister for letting me borrow her old camera. I was about to cry thinking of Bruno's first month being undocumented. Anyway, my camera was found, and is snug in Ohio waiting for me to return.

Mama | Because birth is beautiful

I've been meaning to share this birth video with you all for a while. Maybe it was the postpartum hormones talking, but I could barely keep it together when I first watched it.

And this photo is simply stunning. Babies are just lovely, aren't they? I'm so thankful for those who dedicate their lives to bringing them into the world.

P.S. I've started writing my birth story! Okay, now that I've said it, I have to finish it. I won't promise it will be done soon, but I am so very excited to share it with you. If you've written your birth story, please share a link. I would love to read it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Little One | Baby girl shoes

All you mamas of sweet little girls, you might want to head on over to On the First Day of Marriage to enter this giveaway. Wow wow wow if shoes can be delicious, All About Heidi shoes are precisely that. And what about sweet little Phiney in her darling new shoes!? Cutey.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Nightstand | VOLUME THREE

Who am I kidding? All I can be credited for reading lately are blogs and kids books. And since I'm pretty sure the best analogy for my life right now is a circus, here is one of my newest favorite books: Ella by Bill Peet.

A good read, to be sure.

It's all about a spoiled circus elephant named Ella, who decides that she is too much of a star to be a part of the circus, and so hides while everyone boards the train and leaves. Well this turned out to be a very bad idea, as you can well imagine, so she attempts to chase down the train. Her plan fails and she finds herself on the farm of one grumpy old farmer named Lucifer Kirk. He works the spoil out of her, and she learns that working hard is really a very good thing, especially when you're doing it for those you love. It's full of fun farm animals, crazy attempted escapes, a good moral, and a big top. What more could you ask for? Rhyming text, you say? Charming illustrations? This is the book for you, er, your little one, I mean.

Inspiration | Fresh faced

I've always been a huge fan of natural, barely-there-but-totally-there makeup (like this), but I find it hard to pull off as a brunette. You lucky blond bombshells, you. I've been talking with my sister about it—one of the lucky bb's—and she thinks the key is a darker eye. She's been right in all areas related to style and makeup since I can remember, so I'm going with it. So since I'm running very low on eyeshadow, I'm keeping my eye open for looks along this vein that I would like to replicate. I'm thinking a taupe smoky eye that can be light or dark for day or nighttime looks. Something like the Naked2 palette, perhaps.  What's your eye look?

Images | Left, Right (love this cake!)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Little One | The pants

These pants were made for Bruno. Commencing... operation "how-to-get-these-on-his-cute-little-tush-like-yesterday."

Home | Life lately (Not according to my iPhone. Don't let the "blur effects" fool you. Those are Seb's fingerprints on the camera lense...)

One & Two
Cody is unanimously voted "best dad ever."

Wednesday evening brought a delightful dose of the stomach flu to my door, and to Cody's on Friday. God bless Miss "Edie" (that's Katie, in case you missed it) for coming to watch Sebastian on Thursday morning so I could sleep. It was a rough second half to our week, Friday being the worst day for me since Bruno was born—it was ugly, I was ugly—but Saturday was the best day since he was born. How that happens, I don't know, but it was a good reminder that God is present in every day, even the worst ones, and... sing it with me, please... "The sun'll come out tomorrow!"

On Saturday Sebastian learned to climb out of his crib. He had done it once months ago, but was left a little traumatized and had stayed firmly put thereafter. Not so this time! Cody stared him down at nap time until he went to sleep, and that seemed to do the trick. We've had no more escaping when he's supposed to be sleeping. Hallelujah! And yes, that is a boppy you see. Sebastian insists on sleeping with it. It's a good thing I find them to be entirely worthless for nursing.

This was Bruno yesterday after a diaper change. He is sporting his favorite outfit, which knocks him out cold because, you know, it's exhausting looking so rad. Thanks, Nanny!
Fact: Linen is the cutest and the comfiest of fabrics.

Six & Seven
That's not an optical illusion you see! I am, indeed, doing a bit of crafting again. It's good to be back. This Saturday I'm co-hosting a baby shower for my upstairs neighbor and I couldn't be more excited. It helps that the invites remind me a bit of Harry Potter, and that I got to use the chicken pencil that my friend Emily got me years ago. Book showers are the bomb-diggity.

Weight loss is calling my name. This is the delightful and enormous cup of green tea that I am imbibing as I type. High fives for skipping the coffee (and sugar and cream). Notice the reflection? That's our laundry drying. Saving money on electricity is also calling my name, so we've even started air drying our diapers, which takes foooorrreeevvvveeeerrrrr. Wendy, I think flats are sounding better all the time. How's that going for you?

We went to the library this morning. You know, me, Seb and Bruno.
Joke's on me.
I want to say, "Never doing that again." But we know it would be a lie.
P.S. In case you're worried that we're enriching our minds too much, have no fear. We came home with about 6 movies, too. Yes, 6.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mama | The words I needed today. Maybe you need them, too?

20 July 2012 | Dependent on God's Presence
Those who wait on the Lord . . . shall walk and not faint —Isaiah 40:31
There is no thrill for us in walking, yet it is the test for all of our steady and enduring qualities. To “walk and not faint” is the highest stretch possible as a measure of strength. The word walk is used in the Bible to express the character of a person— “. . . John . . . looking at Jesus as He walked. . . said, ’Behold the Lamb of God!’ ” (John 1:35-36). There is nothing abstract or obscure in the Bible; everything is vivid and real. God does not say, “Be spiritual,” but He says, “Walk before Me. . .” (Genesis 17:1).
When we are in an unhealthy condition either physically or emotionally, we always look for thrills in life. In our physical life this leads to our efforts to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit; in our emotional life it leads to obsessions and to the destruction of our morality; and in our spiritual life, if we insist on pursuing only thrills, on mounting up “with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), it will result in the destruction of our spirituality.
Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence. The experience the psalmist speaks of— “We will not fear, even though . . .” (Psalm 46:2)— will be ours once we are grounded on the truth of the reality of God’s presence, not just a simple awareness of it, but an understanding of the reality of it. Then we will exclaim, “He has been here all the time!” At critical moments in our lives it is necessary to ask God for guidance, but it should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, “Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that.” Of course He will, and in fact, He is doing it already! If our everyday decisions are not according to His will, He will press through them, bringing restraint to our spirit. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
[emphasis added]

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Home | Swimming/Bathing on the balcony

Bruno turns 1 month old today! To celebrate, we decided to do a little bathing and swimming on the balcony. Fun was had by all, except mommy, who couldn't very well fit into either tub...

Home | Sweaty heads and expressive toes

Sometimes I am struck by how privileged I am to be a part of the day to day with my boys.  I'm glad I got to be at the table with Sebastian when he spontaneously started conducting an imaginary orchestra with his string cheese wrapper, and that I get to witness Bruno's expressive little toes curling open and close, and that sweet, enormous smile when I coo at him, and that I can teach Seb how to make snakes and balls and little men with guitars out of playdough, and that I get to take him to the park—chasing him down on that bike that he is getting way to good at riding—all the while sweating buckets because I have Bruno asleep in the sling.

These are the things I want to remember, and say I did with my life.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Home | Shifting gears

I think I can say that things are going very well around here. I feel a bit like I have to re-learn everything, though, which isn't a bad thing, but definitely requires patience and lots of deep breathing. I'm realizing that I have to up my game when it comes to organization or I'll drive myself nuts with my inability to keep things tidy and organized the way I like. Yes, tidiness and organization are closely tied with my sanity, I'm convinced. This week, one of my goals is to make snack containers for Sebastian. We still have some issues with a variety of foods, and a disinterest in food in general, so these will help make sure that if my hands are tied up with Bruno, I can still grab something for Seb when he's hungry. I foresee some entire meals coming out of these snack containers when we're having a rough day.

Also, in case you find yourself having a rough day, I am certain that this will make it better. I still get chills when I hear it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Home | Venturing out

Something big happened today. Well, at least something that I've been dreading since Bruno was born. We ventured out, not in the car, but on our feet and wheels, respectively. The weather cooled down considerably yesterday, so I knew that today might be the day when I had to experiment with taking both boys outside. I even imagined it all out in my head last night, thinking, "It won't be so bad... I'll take Seb to his 2 year well-checkup at 8, and then we'll come home and just do it!" And you know, somehow, it wasn't so bad. Of course, I have Seb to thank for it. He must have sensed that today was the day because he randomly pulled his rain boots on, went to the door, and announced his departure. Of course, he couldn't unlock or open the door, but his determined "bye bye!" got me moving. I ran around like a crazy woman trying to get all the things I needed to load the stroller down with, but it happened, and I didn't mind so much.

Mothers of two or more, I hold you in high esteem.

Of course our walk lasted all of 25 minutes, but Seb was happy, and before we knew it, we were snuggled again on the couch watching Pooh. Ooohhhh our consumption of Pooh is out of control right now.

Next challenge: Grocery shopping. Getting this baby weight off might not be so hard if I keep up my avoidance of the grocery store...

And eventually, start Pooh detox. Eventually.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Husband | Cody and Bruno and the magic heartbeat

Bruno has been going through a growth spurt, wanting to nurse every hour and a half, and has been generally pretty cranky. Tonight there was nothing I could do to get him to be happy or sleep, so Cody took over. Or rather, Cody and his magic heartbeat too over. It always knocked Seb right out when he was a baby, and I guess Bruno succumbs to it's rhythm just as easily. So, of course, I had to capture it from every angle. Those little fists...

P.S. Bruno's 3 week stats: 23 3/4 inches long and 12 lbs. 3.8 oz. As our midwife said, "He's growing through his scalp!" (At birth he was 22 inches and 10 lbs. 1 oz.)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Home | In which Mamaw and Pawpaw meet Bruno...

... and take us out to Bob Evans for some tasty breakfast. These are some cool grandparents, let me tell you. I'm so thankful that Sebastian and Bruno have such wonderful examples to look up to. Remember that feeling you had as a kid when you got to go to your grandparent's house? I get goosebumps just thinking of the years of that kind of excitement that our kids have ahead of them, and am so thankful that Cody's parents and my parents live a mere 50 minutes from each other.