Thursday, October 27, 2011

going green... er?

If you know me well - you know I try to live green. I make all of our cleaners (with the exception of Pledge - that stuff cleans stainless steel appliances better than any natural cleaner I've tried). I'm wanting to make the switch to natural/organic soaps and toothpastes and things (but am waiting to run out of our old stuff first - being wasteful isn't exactly green). We had our go with composting and will definitely do it again the moment we have a garage or basement (Silly worms kept busting out onto our kitchen floor... gross). And if I had to guess I'd say we eat about 70% organic and I'm continually trying to make that percentage higher and higher (as long as economically we can afford it - because there's no denying organic is much, much pricier a lot of the time). We also did cloth diapering for 9+ months and still use cloth for around 4 diapers/week. It's definitely harder to find the time for that extra load of laundry with two kiddos (the second being the baby girl I'm nannying 40-50 hrs/week). And I even just bought a steam mop about a month ago for our hardwood floors to kill germs with no harsh, toxic chemicals - just steam! Love it.

I mentioned to Michael last night, "the next thing I want to buy for our house is..." and I paused because his face was seriously stressed - as in "What else could you possibly want to do right now?!" (I should mention my list is always fairly long). "... buy some green plants for inside." And that's when relief washed over hubs' face, ha! I plan on going this weekend after payday to get one or two green plants for our house - I'm thinking one for the living room and one for the bedroom. We don't have a single plant in our house... kind of disappointing and I'm so ready to change that. Anyone have any suggestions for greenery that requires little to no sun? I'll keep you posted on what I decide on.

And another small thing I want to do is buy a salt rock lamp. I had never heard of them until last night but this post from young house love had me sold. I searched Amazon and have found dozens for around $10. Hopefully Santa will bring me one this year! :)

Having a baby definitely opens your eyes to how much harmful stuff is in your house and makes you want to get rid of it (I'm even contemplating throwing out all of my nail polish and non-organic make up this weekend) and then it makes you realize not only should you get rid of that for the kiddos - but you need to get rid of it for yourself to improve your air quality/life as well. But just so long as we're making an effort - I'll be proud of us :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

photo shoot!

I had my second ever photo shoot yesterday and it was so, so much fun! I was going through the pictures and I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. Ashley is such a beautiful pregnant woman, she just has that pregnancy glow - plus she's just so full of joy about all of it, and it definitely shows! It was just so much fun capturing a glimpse of this pregnancy for her. So, here are a few of my faves... enjoy!

Showing off that awesome bump! I love her face in that top one, so proud!

I was excited she quickly jumped on board with my "have David paint on your belly" idea. :)

I got some good ones with Rooney looking at the camera, too... but I just love this one!

Such a gorgeous fall day. We definitely took adavntage of it :) I'd love to hear your thoughts... I'm enjoying this photography thing way more than I ever imagined. :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

These are from last year. Crazy how much changes in a year!

We have yet to get pumpkins to decorate for this year... but I did buy some finger paints yesterday so Caedmon will be able to get in on the fun with us. Hopefully there will be some cute photos after this weekend of our creations :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

first a recap, then our 15 month old!

This is where I would normally link back to this post - but seeing as how a certain creeper caused me to delete my old blog that's not quite possible anymore. Luckily I still saved them all so no worries, I'll be sure to just include old ones here and there. 

Today is Caedmon's 15 month birthday. I wanted to list some of his developments but first I thought I'd start with where he was 3 months ago - on his first birthday!

My boy is 1. I know you already know that… but I haven’t told you about all of the new things he’s getting in to.
  •  not interested AT ALL in walking - he knows, for now, crawling is way faster
  •   little mister has seven teeth!
  •   blowing kisses
  •   mimicking sounds - says “brmmm” for cars and says “ah ah” for monkey he also will say “laa la” when I sing to him (heart melter…)
  •   little stinker is STILL waking up once a night (after 7-9 hours of sleep)
  •   2 naps a day - both usually a little over an hour (sometimes he surprises me and takes a 2 hour nap in the am, though)
  •   loves sticking his tongue out and holding it
  •   loves to share everything he eats… even if he’s already chewed it some
  •  mommy is still the most awesomest person in the whole world. he does fine with other people but if he can see me - i have to hold him, no one else will do. 
  •   gives kisses on occasion… he really makes you feel special when they happen because they don’t come easy! he’s stingy. but he passed up the open mouth kiss fairly quickly and now he sort of puckers… it’s PRESH.
  •   he weighs 19.24 pounds (10%), is in the 50% for height and the 30% for his head. The stats just help know how he measures up in comparison to other one year olds… we’ve got a skinny boy - no adorable chunky leg rolls, here!
  •   Because he’s not 20 pounds, he’s still rear facing in the car seat - but he’s okay with it - even though if he stretches out his feet touch the seat
  •   We’ve starting the weaning process so he’s nursing just 3 times a day (and once at night) plus eating 3 meals… er, when he eats those meals! more on this later…

That’s it! Such a fun, fun time having a toddler. Loving seeing this little man’s personality shine brighter every day!

And onto my 15 month old.
  • is mostly walking now! Sometimes he still prefers to crawl - but lately when he falls he'll just get back on his feet. He's been late to start lots of things - but he always picks them up super fast.
  • has eight teeth and is cutting 2 more... so I guess almost 10! I'm thinking about making a dentist appointment for him soon, kind of crazy!
  • still no words for this little man. he can say "ma ma" and "da da" "no" and "choo choo" but none of them are totally clear - I asked the doc about it today and he said he's not concerned. Where he's been learning to walk the past few weeks he hasn't been interested in learning to talk. Dr. suspects once he starts he'll be speaking in full sentences within a week or two :) Guess that's how our boy is going to do things - later than some but a super fast learner
  • He is definitely understanding me. I can ask him do you want this? and he will shake his head and say no, or accept (but mostly I get no's). I can ask him to hand me a book or hand something to daddy and little man knows what I'm saying and does it! It's so awesome. (His comprehension is the reason Dr. W wasn't concerned with him not speaking)
  • Sleeping through the night (happened when we stopped nursing, usually 11 or 12 hour stretches) and is taking one 2 - 2.5 hour nap a day.
  • Will eat like it's his job one day and the next day will eat next to nothing. Apparently it's how all the toddlers are doing it
  • Still rear-facing in the car seat. Plan on keeping him that way til he's 2 - he doesn't know what he's missing
  • Weighs 20.12 down from the 10% to the 8% - Doc was just happy to see he gained weight. I've still got my skinny-legged boy :)
  • he LOVES cars... I thank the Lord for toy cars on a daily basis.
  • With me starting to nanny he's been watching more TV than I like. He knows to hand me the TV remote, then the wii remote... he can start shows all by himself! (We have our wii hooked up to Netflix) But the only thing we let him watch is Thomas the Train and Veggie Tales... at least they have good messages. That's how I'm coping with it.
  • We've started the switch to a montessori room! More on this later - but note it is going to be a slow, slow process. Doc recommended waiting until at least 18 months before moving to a toddler bed/mattress on the floor. So, I'm trusting him and we're going to see how it goes. But excited about all of the other changes - Caedmon is too!
That's about all I can think of! I am one super proud momma. I seriously am head over heels about this boy!

tips for planning a shower

I mentioned yesterday I had attended a baby shower for a dear friend of mine... I thought I'd elaborate a little on that shower as well as some others I've planned and include some tips for some of you who are maybe planning on hosting a shower. Obviously I'm no expert - just thought it could be a fun little run-down. So, here we go...

1. Watch your watch. It's probably safe to say that not all of your guests will know each other - or will be able to spare three hours of their day playing games, eating snacks, and watching guest of honor open gifts. Leave about 15 minutes for mingling at the beginning. but no more. Get the ball rolling with food or any other planned activity. With that, don't stress about time - just be sure to not be sitting on your hands wondering when it's time to move on. I've just been to one too many showers where I chit-chatted with too many people I did not know because host/s weren't quite sure when to start.

2. Have a game or activity. I think you need a game or an activity at a shower. Something for the guest of honor to come home with is especially nice. At the baby shower this weekend I had the idea of a hair bow station. I asked other people planning the shower to bring fabric/crafty supplies so that everyone would be able to make a bow for the baby girl. I also asked everyone to leave a note for the mommy - 1. so she would be encouraged and 2. so she'd know who the bow was from. Ashley ended up having dozens of sweet cards and a boatload of cute new bows for her baby girl. It was awesome to see everyone's creativity with this!

(All are attached to a clip so she can attach them to different hair bands as she wishes!) It was a big hit. I plan on doing this if I ever help plan another shower for a baby girl and would recommend it if you are hosting a shower for a baby girl! But if hair bows aren't your thing - another idea is just the encouragement notes. At all of my baby showers the hosts had guests write a not of advice for me as a new mother. I still have every single one.

3. I like games. I know not everyone likes games so keep your guests in mind with the type of game you choose. I've done "who knows the couple/pregnancy" best games and those are always a winner. I think the more you can personalize the shower with a game - the better. And then you're not always playing the same shower games over and over. Also, gift cards or candy make excellent prizes... and let's be honest, who doesn't love winning a prize? :)

4. Pick a theme. I'm typically not a theme-y person but I'm learning that a theme makes party planning so much easier! You can decorate, make food labels, menu ideas, anything you can think of after you make your theme. A few examples - Caedmon's first birthday party was balloon themed.

So the invites, food, decorations, thank-yous... all came back to balloons. This shower theme over the weekend was pumpkins - and to make it girly I had the idea of tying pink bows to the stems. Simple, and also really cute! Themes can be as simple or elaborate as you want... I think I'm just better at the simple. :)

And the above are from an airplane-themed shower I threw over the summer. I made "encouragement" cards look like clouds that the airplanes left behind. I may have been a little proud of myself for that one. :) So, my tip would be - simple is best. Unless you're awesome and can do a complicated more-than-one-word theme. :)

5. Enjoy yourself! Remember you're hosting/attending to shower your friend/cousin/sister/neighbor with love. If things don't go totally as planned. Don't stress. If your decorations aren't as cool as you hoped or you didn't get around to making that dip or just whatever - it truly doesn't matter. Just have fun. And take pictures of your hard work AND with the people that you love. Surprisingly it's too easy to forget that last one.

And just one other good idea - my bestie threw Michael and I a baby shower and in the invitation she included a note that said "in lieu of a card, bring a book and write a special message to the new baby" perfect idea! I've done this at every shower now because it is just such a good idea. It helps the mommy to not feel bad for throwing away $4.00 cards that she just doesn't have room after the shower for and it helps the baby start an awesome library (because typically people bring their favorite book!) win-win.

Another good idea is to have all of the guests write their address on an envelope for a thank-you card. The guest-of-honor will truly appreciate this - major time saver - and kind of a money saver since she won't have to purchase the thank-you's herself!

Okay, I think that's all of my shower/party tips. Like I said, I'm no expert - I know I have boat-loads more to learn - and I realize this is kind of random, but hopefully a teensy bit helpful for someone! :)

Happy party-planning friends! :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

baby shower!

Yesterday we had a baby showering honoring this lovely lady. I took a few photos - the one above being by far my favorite! It was so fun yesterday to celebrate Ashley and her baby Lydia. Baby showers are just so fun! I'm excited for more and more of my friends to become mommies, too. (We were the first by a landslide!)
I'm also going to take their maternity photos next weekend so here's to hoping they'll turn out pretty good... I hope, I hope! I'm very excited and have been scouring any and every photographer's maternity shoots. So keep your fingers crossed for me. :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

playing with the camera + life with two kiddos

I'm sad to admit it but ... it had been weeks since I busted out my camera. Caedmon, baby A, and I took advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday and hung out on our patio with some sidewalk chalk. A fell asleep so I brought her inside to nap and brought my camera outside to play. Ah, so fun! It's such a fun hobby... I really, really love it. I'm a little rusty I think - but hoping that I'll pick everything up again fairly quickly!

Caedmon and I both were a chalky mess but it was so fun. I love this weather and I hope we're able to get outside lots more before the cold weather takes over. Well, get out to you know... the patio. It's so incredibly difficult getting out of the house with a toddler, a car seat, plus two bags. I know I'll get used to it but - man! it's tricky. Props to all of you mommas with more than one kiddo. For real.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

two nappers = win

As of last week my title changed from "full-time-at-home mom" to "full-time-at-home-mom-plus-nanny"

That's right. I have two babies under the age of two (both under the age of one and a half even!) in my care a majority of the day.

So far it's been good. Challenging for certain, but good.

But the thing I'm most proud of - today Caedmon AND baby A have both taken two naps... both at the same time! Major, major win.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Same story, new blog

After I found Caedmon's photo on another woman's blog - with her pretending him to be her own son 'Eric' - I immediately deleted the previous blog - the blog that I wrote in for two whole years. I love blogging and documenting my journey as a mother as well as keeping tabs on Caedmon's development and all of the adventures we take as a family.

That's the real reason I decided to make a new blog, because it's a fun hobby for me. When I look back on my posts from the last two years (which I saved quickly into a Word Doc before I deleted my Tumblr account) I'm so very glad I was so persistent with blogging. I have every trip we took, a lot of my struggles, new things Caedmon learned to do and when... all of these things I have that I wouldn't if I hadn't blogged.

So that is why I've decided to continue blogging - and to keep the creepy mccreeperson's away - you have to have a password to access this (sorry for the hassle - but it is absolutely 100% necessary for my own peace of mind as I document my most precious son in the online world).

Stay tuned - I feel like this blog is going to be even better than the last! :)