Tuesday, October 30, 2012

one year ago : halloween

Halloween when your baby is only a few months old is not incredibly exciting.  

I'm just being honest, folks.  Last year our little Cormac was, at his mama's choosing, a doctor.  As he is sure to grow up to be, right?  No pressure, Mac.

Anyway, it is cute to dress up the little lump and take some photographs to document that, like good parents, you dressed up your kiddo.

Here is our proof we did our duty last year...

Quick diaper change in the car before taking him to hang out with our friends.  He doesn't look thrilled!
'page dr. c. landon ford to the o.r stat!  just make sure he has a clean diaper!'

looking slightly uncomfortable
I can't even believe a year ago he was this tiny.
dr. mcbaby: it was a rough day to save lives.
This year, with a 15-month-old, it is sure to be a little more entertaining.  We chose the costume based on Cormac's first word besides 'mama' and 'dada'....'dog' - or as he says it: "AWWWWG!"

Here are some shots of our little pup at the fun Halloween party last night at Hubby's office.  He started out scared of Ernie the Elf, but eventually he was following him around everywhere, trying to photo-bomb all the other kiddos pictures with him, and even open-mouth kissed him a couple times...poor Ernie didn't know what to do.

Plus...we are actually going to take him trick-or-treating this year!

Sure, he can't eat 99% of the candy.  But we can. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

the renovation : little sign, big effect

Our house has been address-less for the past few months.  
Not a big deal, unless an ambulance, pizza delivery guy, plumber, or anyone wants to find your house.
Ya kinda need a number.

Might seem a small, insignificant detail, but how you display your house number can add a ton to your curb appeal.
Anyway, we finally ordered our sign.
We knew we wanted one of these classic plaques
that look so nice on many of the historic homes in our neighborhood.
We struggled a bit on color, 
waffling between pewter and antique bronze lettering.
The pewter won, as you can see...
Like my planter?  Both of them were tan when we moved in{see photo below.}  Ah, the power of spray paint. :)

This were our numbers before...SAD!
Much lovelier...

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

And just for fun...a couple pictures of my sweet little guy:
he's actually learning how to smile for the camera - so proud!

at the zoo for daytime trick-or-treating.  he is a puppy this year.  Rrrrar!

Speaking of the little man...he's getting a couple days with his Mimi so that Hubby and I can get a ton of prep work done on the kitchen so we are ready for the reno next month.  Oh, and maybe we'll squeeze in a date or two!!!

Happy weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2012

7 tips for stay-at-home-mamahood sanity

Source: sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net via Greta on Pinterest

I love this quote...because it is so very, very true.

Now, I'm not an expert on anything really, but in the last 15 months as a stay-at-home mom, I've learned a thing or two...
1. Become okay with really comfortable clothes/shoes.  
This one was really hard for me at first.  I was never that girl in college who rolled out of bed and went to class in sweatpants and my hair piled on top of my head in a messy ponytail.  I tried to look 'put together' and fashionable.  Prior to having my baby I was used to dressing up for work.  I had always actually loved dressing up.  Even when the dress code was "very casual" I would wear heels.  Every. Single. Day.  And skirts, and preppy button down shirts.  And I am pretty sure I had the "Editor" style pants from Express in every color imaginable.

I even wore high heels throughout my pregnancy!

Then came baby, and my new job as an SAHM.  The first eight weeks I think I rotated between three pairs of sweatpants.  Big, baggy sweatpants.  I remember feeling completely gross.  {which may have been the hormones and the generally icky recovery process from having a baby with a giant head exit your lady parts.}  In any case, I wasn't used to feeling so unkempt.   Not wearing makeup everyday.
Plus, when I did go out in these first eight weeks, I was kind of stuck between still wearing my maternity jeans, which were way too big and kept falling off my booty, and wearing my pre-baby jeans, which were too tight and gave me an smallish but very unsightly muffin top.

Fortunately, things got better.  I lost my baby weight {read about that journey here} and in the process of that weight loss I became at peace with my comfy new dress code.  Now, unless I am going out to meet friends, M-F I am usually wearing workout clothes.   I put them on immediately in the morning, so I am ready for our morning jog or trip to the gym.  Then, after my shower during his morning nap, I change into comfy {not sexy or uber-flattering} jeans and a cotton shirt or tank top {+ cardi now that it's cool out} and that is how I spend the rest of my day.  I will sometimes put on makeup.  Sometimes not.  I have learned to be okay with the "sporty, casual, baby-friendly, don't care if I get dirty" version of me.  We do a lot of things that require getting dirty and sweaty.

Needless to say, I have saved a LOT of money on clothes and shoes.  Plus, it is extra fun now to dress sexy and flattering for date nights, and stylish and trendy for girlfriend nights and shopping trips!

2. Be flexible.  I am a total control freak, but I've learned to control that freakishness since becoming a SAHM.  You can have a schedule, but you cannot control the things that babies throw at you  (Not literally. Well, sometimes.}   One day your precious one might be sick, or teething really badly, and your entire plan for the day gets blown out of the water.  {Or, in my case, all of last week was completely shot because he had a contagious virus that thankfully I didn't get!}   Instead, you will spend it comforting and simply helping your baby get through their illness/teething.  Or you'll get invited last minute to a playdate, so the laundry you were gonna do will have to wait for another day.  Or, let's face it, you might just feel like spending an entire nap hour blogging/napping instead of dusting or prepping for that night's dinner.  Oh well -- it happens.  Breathe and go with it.  Oh, and perhaps convince your hubby to cook or, in our case, order takeout.

3.  Let go of guilt.  I think it is completely okay to do things for yourself during the day.   Do you like running or working out?  Find a gym with a playroom, or invest in a jogging stroller {I do both.}  Love to write?  Use at least one naptime a week to blog or journal.   Adore the Kardashians?  It's completely okay to have an episode on while you hang out and play on the floor with your darling babe.   You NEED to do things for you.  Staying at home is not JUST about the baby, it is about staying true to who you are as well.

4. Be healthy.  I really don't think a lot of SAHMs have time to sit around watching TV and eating sweets.  Pretty sure that is a complete myth men have dreamed up.  However, it might be easy to overdose on empty calories when you are running around after a toddler.  Keep healthy snacks on hand, ALWAYS have a water bottle around to sip throughout the day, and do at least 30 minutes of a workout you enjoy.  Involve baby when possible.  I think your kiddo will appreciate the example you are setting, and hopefully grow to model your healthy habits.  I save all indulgences {wine, dessert, bigger meals} for when baby is asleep or with a sitter so I can actually savor them in peace.

5. Remember: They are watching and listening!  This one freaks me out regularly.  Every time I see Cormac do something that I know he saw me do, I have to remind myself that kiddos are incredibly intelligent and observant, even when they cannot talk.   I see him picking up dustrags and trying to "dust" the cabinets.  He wrestles with the broom to pretend to sweep.  He yelps until I will pick him up so he can push the jogging stroller.  He'll grab my keys, stand at the door and fiddle with them until he finds the 'right' one. He gently pets and hugs the dog.    He finds farting noises funny and laughs uproariously at them. He has meltdowns. Yep.  Pretty sure the good, the bad, and the ugly he saw either me or Hubby do.

6. Don't forget to play!  I like to get a ton done during the day, whether Baby is asleep or not.  When he is awake I will still try to clean some, prep dinner, run errands, all the while trying to involve him and teach him what I am doing, or let him play independently while I get things done.  I have to remind myself daily to take time to completely stop what I am doing, let certain tasks go unfinished, and just PLAY.   See the world through his eyes.  Act goofy.  Really listen to what he is "saying." Look into his eyes and have a quality, one-on-one interaction.    If you have never been a stay-at-home-mama you may think this one should be easy.  It's not.  If you happen to be like me you put a LOT of pressure on yourself to get a lot accomplished.  I have a schedule for housecleaning, I plan and prep all our meals, work out at least once a day, try to keep the house as tidy as possible, AND want Cormac to learn and grow and have a well-rounded experience with me.  IT IS HARD {impossible?}to try to do all these things well.   So I remind myself, every day, that sometimes I am allowed to forget all the other stuff and just PLAY with my kiddo.  Those are usually the best days. :)

7.  Schedule YOU time.  Every week.  So important. Have at least one 3-4 hour period where your husband {or babysitter, or partner, or whoever!} takes your kiddo{s} and you get out of Dodge.  Seriously, just go somewhere by yourself.  Doesn't matter where.  The grocery store, a coffee shop, the mall...just go and be by yourself.  Do things that make you happy.  Actually enjoy a latte instead of chugging down a cup of coffee or abandoning it only to remember it hours later, ice cold.  Enjoy the company of Y-O-U.  Savor the silence.   Remember, this is besides a date with your husband, or plans with girlfriends.

So there they are.  Again, I'm no expert on motherhood by any means, but these are the things that keep me happy and sane.  Well, slightly.  :)

Are you a stay-at-home mama?  
What keeps you positive and motivated during your work day? 

{and please, if you say it is just all easy and wonderful and glorious, the rest of us know you are lying...so don't even go there.}

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

design journal : stainless steel apron sink

As the kitchen renovation looms on the horizon, I thought I would share our most recent addition to the design -- a stainless steel apron sink.  Originally we were looking at white porcelain farmhouse sinks, which I think look absolutely gorgeous.  But while searching for one we both might like, Hubby came across a stainless steel option and threw it out there to me.  I was smitten.  We both agreed it went better with our vision for the kitchen - which hopefully will capture a warm, yet industrial look.  So the sink was ordered and it arrived the very next day.

While I can't show you exactly what our kitchen will look like, here are some gorgeous kitchens featuring stainless steel sinks...

The image below sort of shows how the sink will vibe with the dark cherry cabinets in our future kitchen, and the lighter shade of granite countertops we are planning on.  I love the look! {Um, and that beverage basin built into the island!!!}

What is your favorite style of kitchen sink? 
In what ways does your kitchen reflect your design style/personality? 

What type of faucet do you think we should go with? 
Super industrial or more traditional?  

Monday, October 15, 2012

awkward family photo.

This past weekend my parents drove here from Minnesota to visit us.

I am pretty sure I was the laziest hostess ever.  I cooked only one meal.  I spent half the time in my pajamas.  I didn't refuse any junk food that was offered my way.  I may or may not have gained five pounds.

Despite my laziness, we spent three days doing a lot of laughing, eating, and walking around the city, an amusement park, and a farm/pumpkin patch.

It was sheer bliss, and though I tearfully said goodbye to my parents this morning, I am grateful for the three days we had together.

Anyway, I think there is a book dedicated to really awkward family photos.  While I don't think I have any that are quite awkward enough to make it into such a book, a few we took this weekend made us all laugh when we finally downloaded them and viewed them as a slideshow on our TV.

I might have peed a little.

Here is my favorite:

This year's Christmas card, perhaps???

Happy Monday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

the renovation : pretty pink door

Somewhere along the line, someone who formerly owned our house
  loved pink.
For one thing, the exterior was formerly a pink.
A faded salmon hue, really.

Then, we recently discovered the former state of at least one of our interior doors.

It was white...and pale pink.

We found this out when Hubby removed the door, which was currently non-functioning.  What I mean is that behind it was simply dead space, and drywall, as somewhere along the line someone decided this didn't need to be a doorway anymore.  

So it was just a random door that didn't lead anywhere, right in our kitchen.

This space is actually a blessing in disguise, as it is what our new fridge is going to slide into, so that it can be counter-depth.  It is kind of perfect.

Whenever there are tools involved, particularly sharp ones, this little guy is there to help:

So when the door came off we got to truly appreciate what the previous owner did to restore these extra-tall, solid-wood doors.  He took them from this....

 ...to this:
Refinishing these doors was a fantastic investment, at least in my eyes, as they are part of what made me fall in love with the house!

Another look at where the pink door was formerly housed. Oh, and do you spy the small child wielding a screwdriver?  (I'm a really good mom.)
 "Wow, that is sharp, mama!"
 Anyway, here is the doorway with the trim removed as well.  Still have to remove the framing to fit the refrigerator in.  Another weekend, perhaps?

So that is the current {only} project going on in the 'dream home' right now - removing trim (and eventually the fireplace) that is currently in our kitchen, so that the new cabinets can be installed.  Install projection: late November!

Finally, some of our reno dreams will become reality - I hope! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

3 films

Movies.  Like most, I love watching movies, particularly those of the girlie, chick-flick persuasion.   So here are three that I, as a girlie chick,  really enjoy.  This is not a 'top three' movies of all time, but rather just three I really enjoy...

1. Something's Gotta Give.  I love Diane Keaton and even moreso in this film where she exudes such style AND is a writer...swoon!  I totally buy the chemistry between her and Jack Nicholson in this romance between two older, successful, and very funny people.
2.  The Memory Keeper's Daughter.  Even though the book is leagues better than this TV movie {big shocker} I really love this little story.  I watched it for the second time recently and completely balled my eyes out several times.  I mean, sobbed.
3. Footloose.  Okay, you knew I had to give props to an eighties classic.  Yes, NOT the new version.  The only version there is: the Kevin Bacon version.  I could watch this movie a million times, and each time I am transported back to my girlhood in the eighties with every single amazing song on the soundtrack...which I owned, on cassette, of course.  Even though the gymnastics scene in the grain mill still is beyond cheesy {I mean, check out that pose below that actually made the movie poster!!!} the rest of the movie rocks my little preacher's daughter world.

Linking below with Lauren and Tiffany - only two more weeks of these fun prompts!!!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

carb-lover like mama?

From these pictures you would assume that my son relishes devouring a plateful of spaghetti, just like his mama does.  

{side note: I used to order spaghetti on dates all the time when I was really young. dumb! I also ordered grilled cheese a lot.  lame!}  

Anyway, it may appear that he loves this spaghetti feast, but, in fact, breads and pasta rate very low on this kiddos list of favorite foods.  Sigh.

In fact, he mostly just made a mess with this pile of pasta.

He actually prefers the food groups in this order:
1) fruits and veggies
2) dairy
3) junk food
4) breads/pastas
5) meat

I'm sure this will all change as he gets older, so for now I will just be satisfied that he eats his veggies.