We are getting the that perfect baby age. The one where they can sit in a high chair, in a Target cart, in a jumper, on the floor. Where they can crawl to their toy of choice (ahem, anything that belongs to big brother) and chew away at it to their hearts content. Where they interact and laugh and smile and by now you know what (most all) of the cries mean. I love this age and hope it doesn’t go by too quickly (it will).
December 7, 2013 1 Comment
Hello and Happy Veterans day! Today I have a few free downloads for you and an update on my Etsy shop.
But first, a few photos of my kids at Halloween, because who doesn’t want to see more pictures of my kids?
Jake, from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. A favorite around here and he rocked it! This is his Aaaarrrgghhhh face. We just went to his first preschool open house this past weekend. He needs to stop growing up so fast!
Now, for a little Etsy shop update! I have been adding digital downloads to my shop instead of paper cards. Easier to customize and easier for me to get done! I have two Christmas cards, two wedding activity books and two kids birthday suites (including thank you cards and temporary tattoo shapes!!). Check it out if you are so inclined. I will keep adding as I go and will announce any new products here.
And lastly for today, a few free downloads for you! With Thanksgiving coming up I thought I would put together some simple “I am thankful for” cards. You can print these out on plain paper or card stock and use the as-is, or glue them to colored paper for a little extra something. This is a great activity to do before dinner with your family and then to read aloud over pumpkin pie!
Just click on the image to open up the PDF.
That’s it for now. Have a wonderful week !
November 11, 2013 1 Comment
Every once in a while we get a little itch to get out of town. It starts with dreams of long weekend plans in San Luis Obispo but almost always turns into a one nighter in San Diego. We hit up night time zoo since we have passes and stay at whichever hotel is having a deal. This time we stayed at the Lafayette Hotel which ended up being nice, even if we weren’t their target demographic. We hoped to get some pool time in but it was closed to minors for a 91X pool party. Maybe 5-10 years ago but floaties kind of ruin the party vibe, if you know what I mean. We ended the trip with a visit to the ‘pirate ship’ and submarine and were back home in time for Sunday dinner. Success.
September 23, 2013 No Comments
And just like that, my baby is almost 12 weeks old and I start back at work on Tuesday. Cue the nervous tummy-tears-school lunch and outfit planning-anxiousness-excitment-let’s just do this already feelings. I feel slightly better about Isla going to daycare than I did with Declan, which is saying a lot because he didn’t start until he was six months old. Busted out the pump this week… man I did NOT miss that thing. Bryan walked in on me using it the other night and lets just say he turned on those heels preeeetty quickly.
Anyways, I have been pretty good about getting these done each week, with only one or so missing. And I think it’s funny that she is in basically the same outfit for three of them. Totally unplanned. Little lady is growing up so quickly! Part of me wants to freeze time, but the other part is excited for all of the next stages, because it really does get better with each new stage.
While I do have these photos on my actual camera, these are from my iPhone, edited with PicTapGo and A Beautiful Mess and uploaded to my Instagram.
(I wish I would have bought these leggings from Cotton On Kids in every size. They were my favorite!!)
August 29, 2013 1 Comment
Isla (pronounced Eye-La) Erdene (a family middle name that she shares with me, my mom and my grandmother).
A little birth story, for those interested. I still love reading birth stories, they are just so powerful and moving! Her birth was completely different than her brothers. The only similarities were the hospital and my dream team of Bryan and my doula, Courtney.
Baby sister was late. At my 41 week appointment my doctor sent me in for a Non Stress Test and fluid check, just to make sure the baby was still doing good. I passed the fluid check with flying colors. I walked into the Non Stress Test knowing that if they didn’t like what they saw/heard, they could induce me that day. Since I wanted another drug free birth, this was not something I wanted to happen. If the baby wasn’t stressed, I sure was! I sat there for 45 minutes or so, with a big belt on my stomach to track her heartbeat. They wanted to make sure that her heart rate did not fall during contractions. Of course during my first contraction the belt moved and they lost the heart beat completely. Ha! A blank section on a heartbeat track sheet is not a good thing when you are trying to convince the doctor to let you stay pregnant. The nurse mentioned not letting me leave if the doctor didn’t like what he saw on the chart (she was only half joking) but luckily came back and gave me the okay to go. This was on a Tuesday, at exactly 41 weeks. I was instructed to come back Friday morning for a repeat of both tests. The thought of being medically induced had me calling Courtney to see what she recommended.
Since Declan’s birth Courtney had become a certified midwife (yay Courtney!!) so she offered to help naturally speed things along with hopes that baby girl would come on her own, but before Friday! She recommended I come to her office for a back alignment with a chiropractor who specializes in that sort of thing, along with swiping my membranes. I was already 2-3 cm dilated and about 75% effaced so my body had already started things a bit. According to Courtney, this combination of methods had a very good track record with starting labor, and that I should be in labor within 24 hours. Which was good because that’s about how long I had before the next round of tests.
By 7:00 pm we knew that I was really in labor, by 10:00 Courtney had arrived, coffee in hand and by 10:45 we were saying goodbye to my mom, who was spending the night with Declan who would have quite the surprise when he woke up.
We arrived at the hospital and got situated. I handed my birth plan to the two nurses working with me and they each stopped for a minute to read it and ask me any questions they had. They checked me and I was at 6 cm (same as with Declan) and by the time I got to my room It was past midnight, June 7th.
The contractions continued to get more intense, but this time around I wasn’t afraid of them. With Declan, I didn’t know how bad they would get, how I would handle them or if I could actually do it without drugs. This time I knew. I knew it was going to hurt like nothing else. Nothing. Else. But I also knew I could do it, and that I was in a safe environment where if something went wrong I had a skilled team right there waiting. Not being afraid is what made the active labor part of this birthing so much different. Instead of just trying to get through each contraction I spent the time moaning, keeping my voice low and picturing myself opening up, baby girl getting lower and closer to coming out. I have to say, this really helped me handle them better. Focusing on the end result and what my body was doing with each contraction, that was the key. I was laughing and talking between the rushes and having a good old time. And then I had to push.
I was at 8 cm and felt like I needed to push. This is where the fear creeped in. With Declan I pushed too early, I did the ‘instructed’ pushing where everyone is counting to 10 and I am holding my legs, and after he finally came out I had to get a few stitches. No fun. I was afraid of tearing again. I was afraid of that recovery and all that comes with having to get stitches in such a should-always-be-stitch-free area. and so my body stopped. The doctor was in the room, the instrument table had been set up, I was laying on the bed, and it just stopped. I didn’t have a contraction, I didn’t need to push, I just wanted to be done right then and there.
They asked if I wanted to get on my hands and knees on the bed. Sure. Not sure. Want to try your back? Sure. Nothing. How about your side? Way too many options here people!!! I got on my side and my body took over. Holy cow did it take over. Really painful contractions, screaming, grabbing for Courtney and Bryan’s hands, crying. Not pretty. All of a sudden my body pushed. I didn’t do it, my body did. I am in awe over the amazing body God made me, made women, and how it was made to do this. To grow babies and push babies out and feed babies.
With three pushes she was out. No tear. My little Isla. Born at 2:45 am on Friday, June 7th. 7 pounds, 15 ounces with head full of dark hair.
We are all in love. Especially big brother!
August 13, 2013 3 Comments
Soooooo yeah. I was pregnant, and I think I posted a total of 3 pictures of myself throughout the entire thing! Not on purpose. Life is/was busy and blogging has been put on the back burner. But I am going to slowly try to make a little more time for this space, so lets catch up, shall we? Baby pictures to come, but here is how the miracle of growing a child looked this time around. And yes, she was 11 days late. But I don’t have a 41.5 weeks picture. Let’s just say I was big!
August 4, 2013 7 Comments
We spend a lot of time in the main room of our home. It is a large living/dining area that opens into the kitchen with large windows that overlook the ocean. We can’t complain. Yet spending a lot of time there means that a lot of Declan’s toys live or end up out there which made for a constant mess. We finally did something about it a few weeks back and gave Declan his own play area by moving the couches up a bit and putting his trucks and toys behind them, creating a separate seating area from the play area. Not only does the IKEA storage system we purchased keep all of his toys hidden, it also helps him keep things clean up by having specific bins for specific types of toys. Trucks, kitchen stuff, legos, musical instruments, dress up, coloring… they all have a home. While toys still make it to the front half of the room it is 100 times better than before. We might even buy a second storage system and use shelves instead of bins to fit his growing Playmobil collection.
April 8, 2013 No Comments
One of the (many) fun parts of being a parent is getting to experience the excitement of holidays through a child’s eyes. There is nothing like that first Easter Bunny photo (he was skeptical) or waking up to a basket of goodies (the mini whisks were his favorite) or hunting for plastic eggs filled with goodies (thank you Target for the R2D2 ‘eggs’ they were a hit!).
Another fun part… stealing the candy afterwards.
April 4, 2013 No Comments
When I was pregnant with Declan finding the perfect diaper bag seemed like a big deal. Something that would fit a lot of baby things (what those were, I wasn’t totally sure) have a place to change the baby, and be easy to carry. I found all of that in a Petunia Pickle Bottom Backpack from Pottery Barn Kids. And it was awesome for a good 6 months. Mostly while I was on maternity leave and could use it as a purse and diaper bag in one. Once I went back to work it got pretty bothersome switching from a purse for work to a diaper bag at night/weekends. We had been gifted an embroidered Land’s End bag for Declan, which he used for school, so we started using that more and more. As Declan got older and in turn needed less and less stuff there were times when I wouldn’t bring a bag at all. I figured there was always a clean diaper somewhere in my car, or we were just running to Target where I could just buy diapers if it really came down to it.
While going bag-less had its perks, I realized just how unprepared I was for all of the little things that could happen. Runny noses, scrapes, a stronger sun than anticipated. I was at a loss for all of these. So while we still always pack a bag for long outings or out to eat (think diaper/wipes/extra outfit for those FEED-MASELF dinners/crayons/paper/books) I decide to take charge and prep an always ready Mom Kit (that didn’t scream Mom).
I picked up a pencil case and tissue cover from The Pleated Poppy to hold everything. I packed it with the following:
1 and 2. sunscreen stick and aquaphor for my little guy’s sensitive skin
3 and 4. Antibiotic cream and alcohol pads
5. Hand sanitizer
8. CPR booklet (which I understand would be useless in the case of an actual emergency, but you never know…)
I also threw in a pack of sensitive wipes (again, that skin of his. Poor little guy!)
The entire thing fits nicely into my purse, stays contained thanks to the zippered case and leaves me feeling one step ahead no matter where we are. Which is good because these days I usually start off two steps back! With the new baby coming I will probably switch back to the diaper bag while I am on leave, and then back to the Mom Kit and school bag once I go back to work. At least, that’s the plan!
Do you have a Mom Kit? Any items that you think I am missing that you were glad to have on hand in an emergency? I would love to hear!!
March 11, 2013 5 Comments
Is it okay to decorate for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter at the same time? I’m telling myself it is. Have a good weekend everyone! Declan is fighting a cough so I’m home today. Hoping he gets better quick so that we can enjoy the gorgeous weekend ahead!
March 1, 2013 No Comments