Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Celebrated Chris' birthday today starting with early morning kisses, coffee, cards, & a birthday bran muffin in bed. Capped off tonight with homemade pizza, beer, cake, & heart cupcakes. Plus 31 birthday spankings + a pinch to grow an inch ;) 
Happy birthday to the most amazing husband and father in the entire world. We love you! 

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Our Weekend

A quick recap of our crazy busy weekend:
Thursday night was swamped with work but had a long lost friend from college come over with her boyfriend (slash boss) while they were in Chicago for work. Turns out they were right next door to us actually. Opened a few bottles of wine and cheese & crackers & had a really fun night chatting & catching up after 6 years of no-contact.
Friday went to a "homemade pizza & beer tasting" party over @ Tristan's mom's place which was really awesome and totally inspired me to host a party like that in the future.
Saturday afternoon we took Landon to his first concert @ the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival :) We have a very musically inclined child....he's got some pretty sweet dance moves up his sleeves too. He has a nice "sway" and can also get realll low. I will have to post a video so you truly understand how amazing it is.
Saturday night Lizzie came up to chill with L while Chris and I went out to celebrate Chris' 31st birthday with friends. We went to this place Fifty/50 and had the whole second floor rented out and had a blast. Of course I got carried away with all the birthday props.
Sunday consisted of The 3 R's: rest, relaxation, & recuperation. Chris got up with Landon in the morning and I slept in until noon! Holy begebees. And NO, I only had two glasses of wine on Saturday night. This mama was TIRED! Boy did it feel good. The rest of the day was filled with Madagascar, yoga, laundry, cleaning, cuddling up to The Good Wife....which leads me here.
I didn't take any pics on Thursday or Friday but here's a photo dump of Saturday's concert & birthday party:
Landon's first VIP bracelet
"dad, this band's pretty good huh"

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fab Finds Vol. 5

1. Home organization knick knacks from Russel & Hazel. Need Want this, this, & this.

2. This faux fur snood. (The girl is also adorable). Can buy it here for only $26.

3. This dress please [shop]

4. Judith March's Spring 2012 Collection. 
This seersucker ruffle back dress in particular:

5. High waisted, brightly colored, super skinny jeans:

$40 @ TopShop? don't mind if I do. [shop]

6. Spring break bikini cover up crochet shorts...if only they weren't so much $$

7. Not fashion but something to keep you laughing: Damnyouautocorrect.com  If you have some time, go on this site, it is absolutely hilarious... I was totally chuckling out loud to myself and Landon was def looking at me like I was a crazy, but sure to brighten your day. 

8. Lastly, I need to make this & hang in our house:

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Featured Blog Post: Don't Carpe Diem

Introducing to you my new favorite mom blogger, Glennon Melton who blogs over at Momastary. I just stumbled upon her blog and she is one pretty amazing mama with a God given talent of beautiful, heart spoken, truly inspiring writing. 

Don't Carpe Diem
 By Glennon Melton
Every time I’m out with my kids – this seems to happen:
An older woman stops us, puts her hand over her heart and says something like, “Oh- Enjoy every moment. This time goes by so fast.”
Everywhere I go, someone is telling me to seize the moment, raise my awareness, be happy, enjoy every second, etc, etc, etc.
I know that this message is right and good. But as 2011 closes, I have finally allowed myself to admit that it just doesn’t work for me. It bugs me. This CARPE DIEM message makes me paranoid and panicky. Especially during this phase of my life – while I’m raising young kids. Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I’m not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I’m doing something wrong.
I think parenting young children (and old ones, I’ve heard) is a little like climbing Mount Everest. Brave, adventurous souls try it because they’ve heard there’s magic in the climb. They try because they believe that finishing, or even attempting the climb are impressive accomplishments. They try because during the climb, if they allow themselves to pause and lift their eyes and minds from the pain and drudgery, the views are breathtaking. They try because even though it hurts and it’s hard, there are moments that make it worth the hard. These moments are so intense and unique that many people who reach the top start planning, almost immediately, to climb again. Even though any climber will tell you that  most of the climb is treacherous, exhausting, killer. That they literally cried most of the way up.
And so I think that if there were people stationed, say, every thirty feet along Mount Everest yelling to the climbers – “ARE YOU ENJOYING YOURSELF!? IF NOT, YOU SHOULD BE! ONE DAY YOU’LL BE SORRY YOU DIDN’T!” TRUST US!! IT’LL BE OVER TOO SOON! CARPE DIEM!”  - those well-meaning, nostalgic cheerleaders might be physically thrown from the mountain.
Now. I’m not suggesting that the sweet old ladies who tell me to ENJOY MYSELF be thrown from a mountain. These are wonderful ladies. Monkees, probably. But last week, a woman approached me in the Target line and said the following: “Sugar, I hope you are enjoying this. I loved every single second of parenting my two girls. Every single moment. These days go by so fast.”
At that particular moment, Amma had swiped a bra from the cart and arranged  it over her sweater, while sucking a lollipop undoubtedly found on the ground. She also had three shop-lifted clip-on neon feathers stuck in her hair. She looked exactly like a contestant from Toddlers and Tiaras. A losing contestant. I couldn’t find Chase anywhere, and Tish was sucking the pen from the credit card machine  WHILE the woman in front of me was trying to use it. And so I just looked at the woman, smiled and said, “Thank you. Yes. Me too. I am enjoying every single moment. Especially this one. Yes. Thank you.”
That’s not exactly what I wanted to say, though.
There was a famous writer who, when asked if she loved writing, replied, “No. but I love having written.” What I wanted to say to this sweet woman was, “Are you sure? Are you sure you don’t mean you love having parented?”
I love having written. And I love having parented. My favorite part of each day is when the kids are put to sleep (to bed) and Craig and I sink into the couch to watch some quality TV, like Celebrity Wife Swap, and congratulate each other on a job well done. Or a job done, at least.
Every time I write a post like this, I get emails suggesting that I’m being negative. I have received this particular message four or five times – G, if you can’t handle the three you have, why do you want a fourth?
That one always stings, and I don’t think it’s quite fair. Parenting is hard. Just like lots of important jobs are hard. Why is it that the second a mother admits that it’s hard, people feel the need to suggest that maybe she’s not doing it right? Or that she certainly shouldn’t add more to her load. Maybe the fact that it’s so hard means she IS doing it right…in her own way…and she happens to be honest.
Craig is a software salesman. It’s a hard job in this economy. And he comes home each day and talks a little bit about how hard it is. And I don’t ever feel the need to suggest that he’s not doing it right, or that he’s negative for noticing that it’s hard, or that maybe he shouldn’t even consider taking on more responsibility. And I doubt anybody comes by his office to make sure he’s ENJOYING HIMSELF. I doubt his boss peeks in his office and says: “This career stuff…it goes  so fast…ARE YOU ENJOYING EVERY MOMENT IN THERE, CRAIG???? THE FISCAL YEAR FLIES BY!! CARPE DIEM, CRAIG!”
My point is this. I used to worry that not only was I failing to do a good enough job at parenting, but that I wasn’t enjoying it enough. Double failure.  I felt guilty because I wasn’t in parental ecstasy every hour of every day and I wasn’t MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY MOMENT like the mamas in the parenting magazines seemed to be doing. I felt guilty because honestly, I was tired and cranky and ready for the day to be over quite often. And because I knew that one day, I’d wake up and the kids would be gone, and I’d be the old lady in the grocery store with my hand over my heart. Would I be able to say I enjoyed every moment? No.
But the fact remains that I will be that nostalgic lady. I just hope to be one with a clear memory. And here’s what I hope to say to the younger mama gritting her teeth in line:
 “It’s helluva hard, isn’t it? You’re a good mom, I can tell. And I like your kids, especially that one peeing in the corner. She’s my favorite. Carry on, warrior. Six hours till bedtime.” And hopefully, every once in a while, I’ll add- “Let me pick up that grocery bill for ya, sister. Go put those kids in the van and pull on up- I’ll have them bring your groceries out.” 
Anyway. Clearly, Carpe Diem doesn’t work for me. I can’t even carpe fifteen minutes in a row, so a whole diem is out of the question.
Here’s what does work for me:
There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It’s regular time, it’s one minute at a time, it’s staring down the clock till bedtime time, it’s ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it’s four screaming minutes in time out time, it’s two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.
Then there’s Kairos time. Kairos is God’s time. It’s time outside of time. It’s metaphysical time. Kairos is those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day, and I cherish them.
Like when I actually stop what I’m doing and really look at Tish. I notice how perfectly smooth and brownish her skin is.  I notice the perfect curves of her teeny elf mouth and her asianish brown eyes, and I breathe in her soft Tishy smell. In these moments, I see that her mouth is moving but I can’t hear her because all I can think is – This is the first time I’ve really seen Tish all day, and my God – she is so beautiful. Kairos.
Like when I’m stuck in chronos time in the grocery line and I’m haggard and annoyed and angry at the slow check-out clerk. And then I look at my cart and I’m transported out of chronos. And suddenly I notice the piles of healthy food I’ll feed my children to grow their bodies and minds and I remember that most of the world’s mamas would kill for this opportunity. This chance to stand in a grocery line with enough money to pay. And I just stare at my cart. At the abundance. The bounty. Thank you, God. Kairos.
Or when I curl up in my cozy bed with Theo asleep at my feet and Craig asleep by my side and I listen to  them both breathing. And for a moment, I think- how did a girl like me get so lucky? To go to bed each night surrounded by this breath, this love, this peace, this warmth? Kairos.
These kairos moments leave as fast as they come- but I mark them. I say the word kairos in my head each time I leave chronos. And at the end of the day, I don’t remember exactly what my kairos moments were, but I remember I had them. And that makes the pain of the daily parenting climb worth it.
If I had a couple Kairos moments during the day, I call it a success.
Carpe a couple of Kairoses a day.

Good enough for me.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Simple diy Valentine's Day home decor

What You'll Need:
  • 5''x7'' white frame ($3.00 at Target). (But of course you can make these any size you want).
  • Valentine's Day or Easter inspired scrap book paper (.16 cents a sheet from Joann's)
  • glue (or tape, or small mounting pads)
  • scissors
  • Using a scrap piece of paper, make a heart cut out. If you have a heart hole punch that's awesome, use it. If not, the best way to do this is to fold your piece of paper in half and draw half the heart and then cut and unfold so both sides are even. 
  • Take your heart cut out and trace on the back of the scrapbook paper (so you don't have visible pencil lines) and cut out. You want 12 hearts if you do a similar sizing to mine...perhaps more if your hearts are smaller.
  • Arrange your hearts on a white piece of 5'7'' paper. 
  • Glue/tape/mount hearts down & insert in frame. 
  • Hang or mount on your door, kitchen, wall, or anywhere you please & feel the L♡VE!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

instagram pics

There's not much I love more than a clean, soft baby with the scent of Johnson's shampoo & Burt's Baby Bees Calming Moisturizing lotion sitting on my lap.....best!
 Someday I'm going to miss this view.
 Welp, it's starting already...."mom, give me the keys i'm goin out!"
 @ the Children's Museum...a pretty lazy firefighter
excavating some dino bones.
doin' a little food shopping.
more cartin' around. business as usual. he's very domesticated.
I'm sure he will get mad at me someday for taking/posting all these barenaked shots of him but who doesn't love a little baby tush tush???
Spending most of his days @ his Toy Story 3 Playtable. 
In case you were wondering: yes, he is expanding and taking over the living room now.

I'd wager I spend 90% of my days cleaning up after this little tornado. As you can see he's quite pleased with himself.
Tired little angel. ♡ him.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Grandpa + Mimi come to Chicago

My parents booked a last minute surprise trip out here this weekend and we had a really awesome weekend together. We got our first snowfall Thursday night and I really wanted to take advantage of the snow (& my red Hunter rain boots) so Friday we took Landon sledding & skating for the first time which was so much fun. (How my dad managed to bring my hockey skates with him in his carry-on is beyond me). We went to the Daley Bicentennial Skating rink literally steps outside our building - It's smaller and much less crowded than the more popular and larger skating rink @ Millennium Park, but cheaper ($7 rentals with no charge to skate), and much better to bring a little one to. Landon absolutely hated being on skates, but loved being carried around and watch us skate around him. Eventually he got too heavy to carry so I returned his skates and put his little timberland boots back on him and let him walk around the skating rink. I was happy I got him a bike helmet beforehand because he took a few spills but it didn't bother him at all. Afterwards, we warmed up with some soup @ the new Panera on Michigan and Washington and then hit the hills for some sledding. It was getting dark so we went down a little baby hill nearby and then went back to our place for some takeout, wine, & Cranium (of course Cranium).
Saturday morning we met my parents for breakfast at the Omni, which probably has the best breakfast in the city. (Must go back). Then bopped into a few stores to find Landon a new snowsuit. The kid is growing like a weed and no longer fit in his 18 month snow bib. So my parents bought him some cool new snow gear @ Columbia along with some new winter boots and now he is totally equipped to pick up some little snow bunnies.
The rest of the day we spent at the Museum of Science & Industry. I'd never been before and I'm not a huge museum person, but it was actually really cool. We unfortunately missed the Dr. Seuss exhibit which left last weekend, but was really cool to check out the U-505 war submarine exhibit, the YOU exhibit, and science storms. Landon loved the train exhibit, the Idea Factory, and playing in the John Deere tractors. Could have used a few more hours before they closed so we will definitely be back in the future. Enjoyed it much more than the Children's Museum downtown, (much more to see and to do that is cool for adults and kids, not as crazy busy, and it was also more affordable - kids under 2 are free). Saturday night we came back here and had Mexican night full of homemade guacamole & salsa, quesadillas, shrimp fajitas, more wine, and the Patriots.
Sunday morning got up early for one more Omni breakfast and more sledding before their flight back to Boston. This time we made a game time decision to go to Flick Park in Glenview, which was a real sledding hill, and much more fun. Everyone took a turn going down with the little guy (even Mimi) and towards the end Landon was actually going down by himself in his baby sled (tied behind one of us). Landon was getting a little restless so we ended the day with one final run with Grandpa which of course ended with a collision with 2 other kids. fyi, no one was hurt...although L was a bit shaken up. Wish I got a picture of this because in retrospect it was actually really funny, but I was too concerned for little L and ran down the hill like a crazy mom to make sure he was okay. Called it quits after that & from there drove my parents back to O'Hare and bid them adieu until next time.
All in all, we really had an awesome weekend, with lots of photos to show for it:
Everything is so much more fun with a kid ♡ 
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