Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Home | Today

Today was long and hard, but I've noticed that even on the worst days, God gives you moments of sunshine. These boys are so sweet to one another. Their imaginations are growing and they are becoming best friends. And somehow I'm in charge of all this? It's extremely daunting. Those dinosaur feet didn't add much to the day (although they did make an appearance later when Cody and Seb pretended to be living in a dinosaur house in Seb's room).

How do I make these days full of life, instead of yelling, and quick tempers? My dearest friend gave me this book, and I spent some time in it this evening. It is simultaneously the most convicting and encouraging thing I've read on mothering. I feel crushed as I read it, and then full of hope as I finish. Tomorrow can be different, but it will take selflessness, patience, and a willingness to engage with my kids on their level.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Seb | Tissue paper sun-catchers

All you need for this project is contact paper (find it with shelving liner at Target, Walmart, etc.) and tissue paper. I was hoping it would eat up a little more time than it did, but after meticulously placing individual pieces of tissue paper onto the sticky shapes, Seb took handfuls and piled them on—done! I took the front pieces and put them on the now tissue-covered shapes, and trimmed the edges. Seb helped me punch holes, cut some baker's twine, and string it through the holes. We then washed the window, because we couldn't very well hang them on a dirty one, now could we? And then Seb hung them just where he wanted with some tape.

I loved this because it was easy for the youngest toddler to participate in, with guaranteed beautiful results. These would be great to make and send to family far away. Let me know if you try it!

Original idea found at No Monsters in My Bed.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Seb | Scrub scrub scrub

Sometimes I think that entertaining a toddler has to be the single most hardest thing in the world. Other times, I slap myself, because the best activity ever was so obvious. Like this one: washing toys. Duh. There should be a coalition of people that collect and distribute obvious ways to entertain these little people in our lives. I know that Pinterest tries to be that, but mostly I just find complicated activities that take hours of mommy prep and 5 ingredients that I don't have, and Target doesn't have them, either.

So what's the best so-obvious-you-almost-missed-it activity that you've done with your toddler?

P.S. In case you missed it, cloud dough has changed our lives. It's like a sandbox for the indoors, and the only thing Seb has wanted to play with for days. In fact, they are our cloud dough encrusted toys that Seb is cleaning right now.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Home | The park in my slippers

This morning I drove Cody to school at 10, realizing as we were rushing to the car that I was still wearing my slippers. Little did I know that an adventure awaited this mama and her slippers. (As a mom, I use the term "adventure" lightly).

When we got home, Seb uncharacteristically really didn't want to get out of the car. I was okay with this because I thought if we drove around for a few more minutes, Bruno would fall asleep in the car. So... we headed out again and somehow ended up at Lyon park. Unfortunately for us, this park was designed for 5-12 year olds, so as a not yet 3 year old, there was very little that Sebastian could safely tackle. We hopped back into the car with the promise that we'd drive around and look for another park. Durham is scattered with parks, so it only took us about 2 minutes to find Forest Hills park by way of a few gorgeous, hidden away streets, strewn with the most stunning houses. We had been to this park once or twice before, but my GPS always took me on main roads, and for some reason, this made the park feel like quite the jaunt. Taking a few back roads suddenly made it feel like it was in our neighborhood. After sloughing a few ice chunks from the slides, it was the perfect place to spend our morning.

We can't wait to go back and play again soon, maybe next time I'll remember to leave my slippers at home.

Bruno | Breakfast out of reach

This morning, Cody and Sebastian are sleeping, and Bruno and I are eating breakfast—oatmeal for him and coffee for me. A rarity in this house, for just the two of us to be the only ones awake at 9 a.m. Bruno is on his second heaping bowl of breakfast. Perhaps he's realizing he needs some extra stores of energy after standing up to the open dishwasher just a bit ago. Earlier, I had the hardest time wrestling him into his clothes because he couldn't stop playing with his toys for two seconds. I hadn't remembered that it started this early. This baby is growing up.

P.S. On an unrelated note, perhaps our next boy should be named Wulfric? It seems like he was a pretty cool guy. Through these first days of Lent I'm realizing that giving up of myself is far from easy or simple, or straightforward. I'm so thankful that we not only have Christ as an example, but all the saints.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Seb | Cloud dough heals all wounds

Seb always sinks into a bit of a depression whenever visiting family leaves. It's been this way since the summer he turned one. Poor little soul. I grew up with my entire extended family, so I have never experienced what he has to go through so frequently. I knew that when he woke up from his nap yesterday he would still be pretty upset about Mamaw and PawPaw having left, so when he didn't have the desire to play with his toys and asked for a movie, I came back with this: cloud dough! He measured the flour and oil, and we both mixed it with our hands. He was hesitant at first, but it only took a minute for him to dig in and forget everything else around him. I kept restocking his supply of toys for, oh an entire hour—at least. Did you even know that any one thing (besides movies) could occupy a toddler's attention for that long?! I was in heaven, and he got a nice relaxing dose of sensory play, and time to process those feelings that he can't quite express. Win win win.

P.S. We made a half batch (4 c. flour to 1/2 c. olive oil) and here are a few other sensory activities we plan to try in the future.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bruno | Eight months part II

Bruno woke up from his nap and he was just so darn cute with his hat in front of his eyes that we thought it a good time for Cody to get a few pictures of us. Okay okay so I kiss him a lot. Can you blame me?

Happy eight months to you, sweet Bruno.

Bruno | Eight months

You know, one would think that the development of a child would be less interesting to a parent the second time around, but it simply isn't the case. I find myself marveling daily at the new ways Bruno expresses himself (this month we heard the "bababa" and the "mamama"), his physical abilities (he can do a plank, y'all), the things he notices and the toys (or not toys) with which he plays. This morning he scooted at lightening speed after me into the kitchen growling determinedly. I, of course, feigned horror with "Oh no! Bruno's going to get mama!" It was more for a listening Cody's pleasure than Bruno's, but it will only be a matter of time until Bruno giggles at such play in the same way Seb does when he's playing dinosaur and chasing me down the hall.

Eight months. Wow.

Family | Two boys with their Mamaw + PawPaw

We had to say bye bye to Mamaw and PawPaw today, but it was a marvelous visit. Unfortunately we now have two little boys who are quite cranky without them. I'm hoping a little cloud dough after nap time will go a long way in making Sebastian feel better.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Home | Valentine re-do

So I started experiencing a twinge of mom guilt yesterday when Seb got a valentine card from my family, looked at the heart-covered envelope and said, "Vowndown's hawts!" After I figured out what he was saying, I realized that he certainly didn't learn anything about Valentine's Day from me. We essentially did nothing for Valentine's Day, and I didn't even mention it to Seb! Which is just atrocious because we all know that Valentine's Day is best experienced when you're a kid exchanging Bearenstain Bear Valentine cards. So naturally, I tried to remedy the situation by putting my best effort into making his lunch look like a heart, and then we made a welcome sign for PawPaw and Mamaw that displayed a heart that he got to draw himself. I'll admit, it still wasn't the best effort, but we did talk about it more, so that counts?

P.S. I love this post by a friend related to Valentine's Day. Give her your ideas! Obviously I'm not qualified to comment...

Seb thought it was his turn to take pictures...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Home | Love is going to Target

Sometimes, when your list is small, shopping is really fun. Seb always requests to go into Target through the blue doors (favorite color? Maybe because it's the toy side...?), he loves to help carry mama's purse, and yesterday in particular he got so preoccupied with the toys that he said, "Mama 'n' Bwuno keep go'ning!" while he lay prostrate on the floor admiring a big rig carrying monster trucks. Much to his chagrin, I stayed put, but I did let him look at the toys a little while longer. Bruno didn't mind. Later, Seb picked out strawberries, and Bruno faithfully guarded the new sheets I found for $11.48. I mean, who would mess with this guy?!

This is what love looks like, mah friends. Happy Valentine's Day from us.

A note to AEH: you're the reason I didn't mind letting Seb look at the toys for so long. Miss you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Home | Mama and Seb

Fauxhawk bedhead & rainy day snuggles. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Seb | Outdoor adventures

One of my favorite things about living in N.C. is the oh so beautifully mild weather. I mean, 60 degrees before Valentine's day and I'm not even surprised? This comes in especially in handy when you have a stir-crazy toddler on your hands. On Monday, Sebastian and I took advantage of a napping Bruno and studying Dada to bike between rains. Today we kicked a soccer ball around our front yard and after that took a few minutes to chat with the ants.

Also, this conversation happened: 
"Mama, I have a special s'prise fo' you..."[suspensful, let-me-tell-you-a-secret voice]
"Really Seb?? What is it??"
"Issa rock." [whispered. and biggest, sweetest grin in the universe] 

This kid is marvelous.

Shop | Typically Red

I stumbled upon Typically Red, the blog and shop, a few weeks ago, and was instantly taken with what I saw. These knit hats for babies, toddlers, and older children are charming, and it's very obvious that the quality is impeccable. I've been meaning to share this little discovery with you for a while now, but suddenly I'm glad I never got around to it because today Typically Red announced a giveaway! Perfect timing, right? Hop on over to find out how to enter.

image used with permission

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Style | Smiling Baggu

I just love Baggu, don't you? I couldn't help but share this charming little pouch they just released. It would make me so happy whenever I used it that I'm certain I would spend far too much money. Ha!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Home | Typical

A typical evening scene that makes me so happy.

Bruno | Bruno and the blueberries

These are the many faces of Bruno. And boy do I love that face. Now normally I wouldn't post multiples of practically the same picture, but this is a "Many faces of" post, so it's totally allowed, and serves a purpose, so there.

As you can see Brunstar or Bruns, as he is often called around here, likes his food. He is a champion eater, a champion smiler, scooter, and grabber, but not so much sleeper. (Hence the duffle bags under my eyes—not pictured) but hey, he's just a little guy and can't be expected to master everything at once, now can he?