Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday Confessions

Lets get right too it!

1. I am crazy, crazy excited for this weekend. After an unprecedentedly, unbelievably busy month at work, I feel like I've seen my husband for about a total for 8 minutes in February. And Norah has probably seen him less. So we are pumped that Dad is taking off work tomorrow for a family day of FUN. Also, Nanny (my Mom), and Aunt Paige and Aunt Brooke (my sisters) are coming to visit on Saturday, so we are really in for a treat. Did I mention the weather will be in the 60's? #thankyouJesus

TBT to my wedding day. I find this picture hilariously unflattering. I am the poster child for resting b-word face. I swear I was having the best day of my life. Ha! Aunt Paige freezing to death and Aunt Brooke who couldn't wait to take off her shoes.

2. I haven't eaten a proper dinner all week. Triscuits? Sure. Leftovers from Norah's plate? Why not. I really need to get better about preparing toddler and mom friendly meals, but it's just so easy to throw something together for her at the last minute and forget about myself.

3. We've been making some progress with the reno plans and I am so, so ready for them to get started. Basement contractor has been found. Basement waterproofing scheduled. Kitchen cabinets, countertops, and layout is selected. Kitchen demo should begin this month, so fingers crossed that actually happens. The basement will be in March or April. Lord give my inpatient self strength to deal with all of these timelines that are completely out of my control!

4. I have been shopping like a crazy person. Not in abundance, but just this here, that there. In my defense, I have actually needed most of the items. Some of my favorite finds lately are my S'well water bottle (I have a ton of bottles and this is the best. I got bikini pink from the satin collection), this top, this toy we can't wait to give Norah, this bag to carry her things in (I'm over my huge diaper bag. Grabbing this and my small cross body purse [similar] will be so much easier), and this dress that is on it's way to my doorstep. Links included if you are in the market for something new and fun! Almost all of these things are on sale right now, too.

5. Last week marked our 5th Valentine's Day together. We celebrated with a lazy weekend, play time at the book store, and an awesome steak dinner with some friends and their daughter. 5 years sounds so short, but also so long to me at the same time. Here's to many, many more half decades!

insert laughing until you cry emoji

That's my girl.

Linking up with Jess.

Monday, February 15, 2016

a day in the life - norah (almost) 18 months.

Since Norah is almost 18 months, I decided this would be as good of a time as any to write another day in the life post. She is really changing and growing into her own person, and I feel like she's aged a decade in the past few weeks.

6:30am - 8:00am.

Your wake up times are still all over the board. Some mornings you're up and ready to party before 7:00am. Some nights you sleep in your crib until 8:00am. That one is rare, but it does happen. And some mornings, you end up in our bed in the middle of the night, and on those nights almost always sleep until 7:30am-8:00am.


Everyone gets fed. Mom gets coffee.

Regardless of what time we're up, by 8:00am the dogs have been let out, fed, watered, and given their medications. If Dad is in town, his lunch is made. Mom has coffee. Norah has breakfast. That breakfast generally consists of 2 or 3 of the following items: bowl of cheerios and milk, waffle with honey peanut butter, fruit, yogurt, and/or turkey sausage.

8:30am - 9:30am.

If we have morning plans, an activity, or errands, we will spend this time getting ready and getting out of the house. If we don't have morning plans, we'll spend this time cleaning up the kitchen from breakfast and the night before, watching the Today Show, and playing downstairs.


Morning play.

We almost always have a play date or some type of activity scheduled in the mornings. Lately though, we've had a lot of contractors and service people in and out that we've had to wait at home for, so we've had to be a little less social. Also contributing to our lack of activities are the freezing temperatures and snow. If we don't get out of the house, we'll spend the morning playing in your room, trying to clean or get laundry done, work on a small project for the house, and probably watch an episode of Mickey. We also have a small snack mid morning, like cheerios or crackers.

I'm really looking forward to Spring and Summer so we can spend this morning block of time taking advantage of our awesome new neighborhood. We have lots of neighbors to take walks with, several parks to explore, and we're going to join a club this year, with a pool and splash pad, which Mom is super excited about.


Lunch time.

please disregard the futon and boxes. this picture is pre-furniture delivery/total unpack!

For lunch we usually have a vegetable pouch, some fruit, a sandwich, and veggie straws or bunny crackers. This is also the point in the day where I realize I'm starving and have probably eaten little aside from your leftovers. I'll eat at this time too, but usually dinner leftovers or something breakfast related.



At 12:30 we start winding down and playing quietly, andNorah is almost always out by 1:00pm. Naps vary a lot, but Norah usually wakes up around 2:30pm.


This is by far, my LEAST favorite part of the day. After being up and at em for 8 hours, I start to get Mommy fatigue. Norah is usually a little cranky due to being bored, sick, teething, or who knows what lately. She's begging to watch TV. I'm saying no. We're out of games to play. Meh. In the warm months, I think I will love this time because we can get back to the park or the pool. But in the winter, I've usually already used up all my tricks. We might bundle up and walk anyway. Or just play inside and try to find new ways to pass the time. On days I need to grocery shop, this is when it gets done. If I'm desperate for something to do or we really need a change of scenery, the library is a always a hit. Sometimes we will watch our first or a second episode of Mickey. Since Norah is literally obsessed with it, I try to keep it to 0-30 min a day of "screen time", but sometimes I'm weak, and it is what it is.


Prepare and eat dinner. Sometimes this includes Dad and dinner is more elaborate. If it's just us girls, dinner is a closer reflection of lunch, just with pasta or a protein instead of a sandwich.


Occasionally we have evening plans or go out to eat, but most nights we're home, and this is our "wind down" time. Read books. Play in Norah's room. Take a bath. Just general end of the day stuff. We try to be in pajamas by 7:00pm and are usually in the crib shortly after, but it's flexible depending on what's going on.

And that's that.

Obviously the grown ups don't go to bed at 7:15pm, but honestly we are generally so beat from the day, not much happens after that worth mentioning. A little clean up, a lot of laying on the couch, checking emails, taking care of any bills or correspondence, and watching a show or three.

I'm almost always in bed by 10:00pm, then the next day, we're back at it.

This stage is difficult because we are in the throws of "separation anxiety", where N wants me to be holding her or next to her almost all the time, but most of the time, I actually enjoy that :) The days are long and stay at home parenting is not for the weary, but I cannot imagine it any other way.

Favorite Toys: little people, step 2 slide, mickey mouse clubhouse figurines.

Favorite Books: lady bug girl and her momma, where is baby's belly button, spot books

Favorite Activities: library, park, our mom + baby "school" program (basically preschool but the parent stays), thursday morning play group, museum center

Our activities and play groups have been my saving grace. I recommend all parents, especially stay at home parents, find a network of parents with kids in a similar stage of life. It's been great for my sanity, Norah's social skills, and I've met some of the most wonderful friends.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

a moving update

And just like that, its been over a month. Yikes. I was really hoping to post about each and every step of our move, but turns out there was just no time for that.

2016 has been off to a great, but also challenging start. Mom is busy coordinating everyone schedule, visiting pre schools, working with contractors, and still trying to keep N in our routine. Dad has been working hard. And Little Bit has been teething and wishing it was warmer so we could actually go outdoors, but thriving besides that. Getting into everything just like a toddler does.

Life in our new house has been great. Since it's winter, we haven't been able to walk to as many places as I'd like, but the few nice days we had this month did allow us to get in some good walks around the new town, to Starbucks, shopping, etc. I've tried to sneak in work on at least on project a day, but that doesn't always happen. We still have to cook, eat, and clean up three meals a day. We still pray daily nap time and bedtime will go well. We still have our usual play dates and activities. I think the biggest change so far has been having much more around us/shorter drive times places, and having to adjust to a smaller house. Living space here is perfect, as I thought it would be. But the storage is definitely going to be an adjustment. We are getting creative though and I have high hopes that we will soon forget about the abundance of walk in closets at our old house. We'll see!

So far, on the "project" side of things, we've managed to:

-Select and install a new mailbox | here
-Update the light fixtures in the entry way and dining area | here and here
-Paint the entry way, living + dining area, back hall area, bathroom, Norah's room, Norah's bathroom, and start painting our bedroom. We went with all Benjamin Moore paints. Silver Satin for the main spaces. Baby Green for the kid spaces. Serenata for the bedroom spaces. Simply White for the bathroom. I will eventually post before and afters.
-Buy and build wardrobes to make up for our lack of closet space
-Decorate approximately 70% of the house
-Unpack everything besides kitchen items and maybe 2-3 small boxes

We are hoping to soon be able to :

-Finish paining which includes finishing our room, and starting and finishing the second downstairs bedroom, all the trim in the house, and maybe the doors
-Possibly paint the mantle
-Update shelving in the front closet
-Replace the bedroom closet doors
-Finish decorating
-Touch up some dings in the bathtubs

A lot of this has been mildly on hold because we're still waiting on our couch, living room chairs, a rug, and a sideboard to be delivered. Thankfully, the sideboard and couch should be here this or next week. After several weeks of waiting, this is music to my ears.

The kitchen details I think I will save for another post, but long story short, demo isn't even schedule yet. Insert eye roll emoji. We're hoping that will begin at some point this month.

And that's that! I've moved a lot in my life but moving with a toddler is a whole other ballgame. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

part of the club

Am I the only person who feels like they spend 90% of the day in the kitchen? Cooking, cleaning, dishes, meal prep, three meals, a snack, milk and water requests. Sometimes I wonder why we even have the rest of our house. As much as I love our open floor plan, it sometimes makes me feel like I spend my entire life in one room. While at our new house the living and dining room is combined, the kitchen is separate, (but still has sight lines) and I'm pretty excited for that. 

In other news, I've gone to Pure Barre twice in the past week or so and I think I'm going to keep it up. I'm not disciplined enough to go to the gym and create my own workouts, so classes are my best bet. I love hot yoga but in the warmer months it's kind of a drag to go from hot, to hotter. Pure Barre seems like something I can keep up all year around, and I have a lot of friends that go which makes it more fun.

This morning's class was at 6am, which meant I had to leave my house at 5:15am to get there a few minutes early. Have I mentioned I can't wait to live closer to the city?! Anyhow, at that hour of the morning, the roads were dead and the drive was actually pretty peaceful. On my way in, I passed a house I drive by almost every day. I've noticed that three toddlers live there. A set of twins, then another. I always think of the parents when I drive by, about how full their hands must be. I also think the house is adorable, so I imagine lots of happy memories there.

Well today when I drove past at about 5:20am, the kitchen lights were on. Since it was so dark you could clearly see inside the house, and I could see the Mom doing laundry. At 5am! That was a great moment for me. Often times parenting is a thankless job. Kid has 7 blow outs in one day while you have hours of errands to run? No one cares. You did dishes and laundry for a solid 6 hours without peeing or sitting down? Good for you. Again, no one cares. Not that I expect a medal for taking care of my family, but it'd be nice if someone else was around to say "MAN. WHAT a day." Yet here this woman is, hours before dawn, up tackling the day. And I'm sure she might be thinking the same thing as me. Wishing someone were there to say "Wow. 5am and doing laundry? Good for you!"

The point is is that we're all in the same boat. The grind is flawless some days and awful the next, but every day with kids is really an adventure and an example of what life is all about. There isn't always a thank you, but motherhood really is a tribe of women. And I am happy to be a part of that club.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

toddler life

Life with Norah these past four months (she is now 16 months) has been nothing short of remarkable, in good ways and some hard ones. I'll start with the difficulties, because that's a much shorter list.

The unwavering challenge that we've faced as parents since day one, that we continue to face today, is sleep. Right at her first birthday, Norah went from taking 2 naps a day, for 1.5 hours or so per nap, to 1 nap a day, that lasts anywhere from 1 to 2.5 hours. I think 2 or 3 times we've actually gotten a 3+ hour nap, but generally it's right at 2 hours. This has made it easier to get out and about since we don't have to plan around several naps, but also results in some cranky afternoons because N hasn't gotten enough rest throughout the day.

And that's really not even the half of it. I can deal with/easily accept the fact that she's just a short napper. What I genuinely struggle with is that Norah still doesn't sleep through the night regularly. She has, and can. But it never happens on a regular basis. I'd say since turning one we average about 1-2 nights a week of "full" sleep. The other 5-6 nights include several wake ups filled with blood curdling screams and insistence that someone be in her room with her, or she be in our bed. And even when we cave out of pure exhaustion, those resolutions don't always lead to sleep.

We've tried the tricks, we've done cry it out, all of it. Some days I think this is just going to have to be our normal, some days I cry all night right along with her. I feel like in the grand scheme of things, this is a small issue. I try to stay positive and realize that this being my biggest issue in life is a really great life to have. Remember that is will pass one day. Even though that is the case, sleep deprivation for a year and a half has seriously messed with my patience, and overall disposition. I honestly feel sorry for Will sometimes because he travels for work so much and feels bad he can't be here to help at night, then he gets home and I'm cranky and sometimes resentful. Such is parenthood I guess and we know this is just a phase and don't let it ruin our days.

That is really the only challenge I have to report. Of course Norah tries my patience daily. Tells me no. Refuses her vegetables and sometimes meals all together. I can't get her to drink milk from a cup and she loves her paci more than ever. But these are par for the course and I love seeing her turn into a person with her own preferences, even if that means a lot of battles for this or that to get accomplished.

Now on to the good stuff.

I think my favorite thing about toddler-hood is the playdates. When I imagined being an at home parent, this is what I dreamed of. My daughter making friends, me bonding and sharing stories with other moms. Her learning to interact, share, discover new places around town, and get invited to parties where we can dress her up and help other families celebrate their milestones. We have been blessed with such a wonderful community of people in the same place in life as us. Neighbors, family, old friends, people I meet on the street... And I am only half kidding about that one! I've taken Norah to classes/story times at the library, a local school, a kid's rec center, The Little Gym, and have things scheduled in January - March at another school and then a church. Meeting new friends at these classes has been a God send and I can't wait to see who we meet in our new classes in 2016.

Piggybacking off of the above, we have loved all the new experiences. Whether just the two of us, with family, or with friends, we've tried so many new things in the past few months. Different play places, parks, splash pads, museums, restaurants, etc. It's clear Norah really enjoys certain things and I love being able to witness those loves with her.

I also love how determined she's becoming. This is a fun and also trying thing, but I count it as good. Norah LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and asks to watch it all day long, and can expertly navigate my phone to find the videos if I let her. She also loves shoes and brings me various pairs to put on her all day long. Usually dress shoes with sweats, cowboy boots with pajamas, that sort of thing. And she doesn't take no for an answer.  She calls a few of her family members by name, and has her own language (verbal and non verbal) to get her point across. We are officially in small person territory and out of baby territory.

Every day that passes with this little one is different than the last. She loves her Momma just as fiercely as I love her, and I can't wait to see that love grow over the years. The adventure of life with this girl is truly the good stuff.

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