2015 One Little Word

2015 sunflowersWe’re already done with half the year but I figure this post is appropriate for my first post back from a long hiatus. It was a couple months into 2015 before I realized I needed to change my one little word for the year

I had huge plans for this year. It was going to be the year of me.  After childbearing and raising a baby for almost two years, I was ready to have my body back. I was ready for some “me” time and focus on my needs. I was  more than ready to have more grown up conversations and less baby talk.

But things didn’t quite unfold this way. First off, we found out we were expecting (!!@??!$%!).  We were most likely going to have one more kid but definitely not so soon. I was already six weeks along before I figured out we were expecting. So we had to adapt.

Then, KT got a job offer that we couldn’t pass up.  We had to make a major change to our schedule because KT could no longer work from home as often. We adapted.

Finally Logan was going to start school (I know right?? Already!?!) And I was going to have at least two months to get ready for the new baby before he arrives. Unfortunately the weekend before his first day of school, I was admitted to the hospital and was treated for preterm labor. Now I’m strictly on bed rest. I missed Logan’s first day of school which was heartbreaking. And KT has to take leave from work to care for both Logan and me.

Talk about having to adapt, right? This has been a year of curve balls and surprisingly, we’re adapting really well. We definitely see the silver lining along the way. Although we have an unexpected pregnancy, it has been a breeze compare to the first pregnancy –even with the all day nausea that lasted well into the second trimester. KT’s new work schedule actually allowed him to be home and present more often than before. And well, with the bed rest, it’s just awfully nice to have KT at home with us for the next few months. KT can get some house projects done while Logan is in school and I can finally catch up on scrapbooking in bed.

I’ll be honest, for the first couple months of the year, I kept thinking “but this was suppose to be my year!”.  Once I figured out my one little word should be adapt, it’s been my guiding light and has significantly changed my perspective. This is still my year, just not the way I had planned it.

Hello 2015

 

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I’ve mentioned a few times before how I wasn’t sure how I would handle my work schedule when Logan arrives. So it’s no surprise that I got a work email on a Monday after I sent out the announcement email just two days prior when I gave birth, right? Actually, I was floored. I quickly replied that I haven’t been discharged from the hospital yet (duh!) and that I will address the email when I return home. Honestly, this is what I get for even checking my work email at the hospital.

Before I knew it, I was back to work after I was discharged, working after Logan gone down for the night.  After six months of working into the early mornings, I was exhausted.  By nine months, I was a little resentful of my demanding job and just went offline.  I stop checking into work.  I was so sick of looking at my computer that I even ambitiously thought I might stop keeping up with my favorite blogs.  That didn’t happen but I did manage to check into work only a handful of times the last five months and only dealt with emergency matters.  I stopped posting here at the same time and I stopped looking at pinterest.  It was my unofficial, unplanned maternity leave, nine months late.

2014 christmas

It’s a brand new year and I am feeling refreshed.  KT and I talked about my work schedule and we decided that I was only going to work on projects I want.  I am going to start saying no.  I’m not going to let myself get overworked.  I’m going to take care of Logan and make time for myself.  I will stop doing brain-numbing work and do more creative work.  That leads me to my one little word for this year: Balance.  Here’s to a more balanced new year.

logan's first park

 

Raising Logan:: 10 Months 3 Weeks

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Everybody usually wants to hold a baby when they see one right?  Except for those people who are afraid of babies, of course.  I hear about babies that lets anyone hold them but Logan is not one of them.  Just in the last couple months, Logan developed a strong sense of individuality and awareness, which inevitably led to stranger anxiety.  I find myself constantly making excuses when he wouldn’t let other people hold him.  “He just woke up so give him some time” or “he’s teething so he’s cranky.”  Or I’m making suggestions like “just play with him for a while on the floor until he warms up to you.”

Then it finally hits me.  Of course you need to give him time to warm up to you!  You don’t just invade the personal space of a person you just met, right?  You have to build a relationship first.  And that’s exactly what Logan needs. So next time instead of getting upset or hurt feelings when babies won’t let you hold them, just playing their favorite games with them and you’ll be halfway there.

This line from Dr. Seuss finally made a lot more sense:  A person’s a person no matter how small.

Raising Logan:: 9 Months 2 Weeks 5 Days

 

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I’ve been sitting in the living room watching Logan play on the floor.  It’s been an especially rough day.  Logan looked up from his self-appointed job of shredding our junk mail and saw me watching him.  He seemed so happy to see me. He excitedly crawled over to me with this huge grin on his face.  I picked him up, held him close, and just started sobbing into his little body.  He thought I was playing with him and he started laughing.  His beautiful baby chuckles.  In that instant I was so grateful that my tears did not affect his happy disposition.  I can’t help but wish that he’ll never know disappointment or have his heart broken.  I won’t be able to shelter him from it forever but for as long as I can, I want to make sure he’ll only cry for a bottle or a nap or a diaper change.

Some days are just easier than others.  I’m so glad to be able to stay at home with our little man but lets be honest here.   An infant is oh so needy and my patience is tested everyday.  The days are usually so monotonous.  Babies needs to be constantly entertained but their attention span is that of a gold fish.  Then something would happen that makes it all better.  He’ll squeal with joy when he sees me and I would feel like I must be doing something right.  He’ll feed himself steamed broccoli for lunch and my heart would swell with pride.  And at night, when I put him down to sleep and watch his peaceful face, all I can think about is how lucky we are to have such a healthy baby.

Raising Logan:: 8 Months 3 Weeks

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Yesterday I was on a work conference call for about half an hour while carrying Logan around. Surprisingly it was a nice break from our typical day of eat, play, and nap.

I didn’t have much of a plan when we decided to start a family. I bet KT is smiling smugly, thinking I never have a plan for anything. In a way I’m a last minute procrastinator who just does whatever feels right at the moment. But then again I often find myself stressing over the smallest details for hours and hours. I’ll have to revisit this self exploration in another post.

As I was saying, I didn’t really have a plan for starting a family. Sure, we talked about “wouldn’t this be great…?” And “I would love to do that…” But nothing concrete. At least not in my head.

For work, my clients would ask when I’m planning on taking my maternity leave and when I expect to be back at work. My response was that I’ll try to work up until I can’t (or don’t feel like) working anymore and then I’ll see how I feel about going back to work after the baby arrives. Not the best answer, eh?

I figured I would have it figured out by the time Logan was two months old. Or at least by the time he’s four months. But we’re going on nine months now and all I want to think about is planning his first birthday and our backyard projects.

I do know one thing for sure. I know what kind of parent I want to be. I think I’ve always known. I’m the mom who will let her kids fall because that’s the best way to learn. I’m the mom who let’s her kid play on the floor, with dirt, dog hair and all.  I’ll paint his walls with phrases like “mighty oak from little acorn grows”

But I won’t just be mom, I’ll be me. I’ll go out without them and do things unrelated to them. And when I’m asked if I miss my baby, I’m not afraid to say “no.”  Sometimes we just need to get away and be ourselves because being a mom is not what defines me, it’s just a part of me.  And as for “the plan,” we’ll just keep taking it one day at a time until it doesn’t work for us anymore.

What Logan Eats || broccoli & rice

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Serving size:: 4 tbsp or 2 oz (2 tbsp rice cereal & 2 tbsp broccoli puree)

Broccoli purée::

  • cut a head of broccoli into 2 inch florets and place in microwaveable bowl
  • add a cup of water
  • microwave on high for about 3 minutes until soft
  • let cool then purée broccoli and water in blender
  • add water (or breast milk/formula for desire consistency)

Rice cereal instructions here.

*refrigerate portions you will use in the next three days and freeze the remainder for up to four weeks.
*i like to freeze it in ice cube trays and once frozen, transfer to airtight freezer safe containers.

What Logan Eats || butternut & acorn squash puree

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Serving size:: 2 tbsp of butternut squash and 2 tbsp of acorn squash

Acorn squash puree::

  • peel and remove the seeds and strings
  • cut into 4-inch chunks and place into microwaveable bowl
  • add 1/2 cup of water
  • microwave on high for 5-7 minutes until soft
  • let cool then puree squash and water in blender

*refrigerate portions you will use in the next three days and freeze the remainder for up to four weeks.

*i like to freeze it in ice cube trays and once frozen, transfer to airtight freezer safe containers.

*each of my ice cubes are 2 tbsp

Before/After :: Painting Lamps

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The nursery gets excellent daylight throughout the day and it has overhead lighting for the evening.  However, we needed something dimmer/softer for bedtime.

I immediately thought of a pair of lamps I bought many years ago from Target that was just sitting in the corner collecting dust.  The only problem is….

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They’re pink & brown.

KT wrinkled his nose at them when I showed them to him.  Not exactly what we had in mind for a boy’s nursery.  The solution fell out of my mouth even before I had a chance to think:  “I’ll painted them! Black and white strips!”

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Easy Peasy.  I’m glad I was able to breathe life back into these old lamps.

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Black and White Nursery

IMG_8114 IMG_8115 IMG_8208 IMG_8209 IMG_8210similar Crib//rocking chair//gifted hand painted canvass//hot air balloon mobile//Similar musical mobile//TIDNY fabric curtains//elephant clock//similar london skyline wall decal//rocking airplane from craigslist

 

Here it is. Logan’s nursery.

We wanted something simple.  Something neutral, so we can layer it with colors and accessories, then change them out whenever we feel like it.

In addition to keeping the walls white (with a black chalkboard wall treatment), we went with white furniture.  The white changing table was handed down to us by one of KT’s friends.  We are considering doing something interesting with it but we don’t have anything specific in mind and it’s not on our priority list at the moment.

Our white rocking chair is surprisingly very comfortable.  I read all the reviews and knew it worked for some people and not for others so I am delighted that it’s working for us.

I used the IKEA TIDNY fabric to make the curtains.  I had to make multiple trips to IKEA to get my hands on this fabric. It was constantly sold out and I can see why.  It’s beautiful, right?  I’m thinking of letting Logan color in the curtains when he gets older with fabric markers.

While keeping the room very neutral, we went a completely different direction with his closet.  First, here is the before picture.

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And the afters:

IMG_8104 IMG_8105 IMG_8106 IMG_8107similar ALgot closet system//bassinet-turned-toy chest//Manhattan toy winkel//Manhattan Toy Natural Skwish Rattle//Kiki squeeze and teethe elephant//fabric balls//vintage handmade wooden wobble round stacking toy from etsy//yellow teether ball//playforever midi bonnie race car//willow tree our gift statue

 

I did a lot of research on what kind of closet system I wanted to use in his room.  I liked the idea of some dark wood shelving system but since we’re going with the bold color walls in his closet, it only made sense to go with a white shelving system.  I also wanted a customizable closet system that can change and grow with Logan.

I considered the elfa closet system from the Container Store, the ALGOT system from IKEA,  and ClosetMaid which you can find at Home Depot or Target.  Although I really liked the look of the elfa system, we couldn’t pull the trigger on the nearly thousand dollar price tag.  ClosetMaid have options of wood kits and wire kits.  Although the prices are awesome, the wood kits feels too heavy and the wire kits didn’t feel substantial enough.  The ALGOT system has a good mix of solid panel shelves and wire baskets and the prices are still at the lower end.  If you still can’t tell where I’m going with this… we went with the ALGOT system.  Our configuration costed us less than two hundred dollars and it’s been working great for us.

We’re still working out wall art placements and I’m going to add some black out curtains to the current ones.  On our to-do list are also installing crown molding, painting the dresser, and repainting the door.  Other than that, the room is pretty much done and I’m happy with how it turned out.

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