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Happy 2nd Birthday Baby!

18 Jul

Dear Myles,

Love is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel about you. You are the best thing I’ve ever done. Every single cliché about a mother’s love is 110% true. You amaze me on a daily basis. I laugh when you laugh, I cry when you cry (when there is actually something wrong) and I believe that my life is infinitely better with you in it. You are everything I never knew I wanted.

I don’t think anyone could possibly love you as much as I do but you father and grandparents will tell you different.  You have brought so much joy and love to all of our lives. It has been so fun to watch Grammy and Grandpoppy with you (because they were never like this with me). But the 8am Tootsie Rolls need to stop. Period.

You are such a special child. And I’m not just saying this as your mother. There is something so different about you from other kids. You’re so observant and intense. Everyone says you have an old soul. You are so smart and so full of personality. You talk all the time and the things that come out of your mouth are the funniest, most random and sometimes very poignant.

Here are some of your favorite things (that change almost daily):

Favorite foods: tomatoes, cucumbers, spaghetti and chicken meatballs, blueberries, mango, waffles

Favorite toy: anything that isn’t actually a toy like our shoes, the remote, our phones. But you also love your little suitcase and a Radio Flyer scooter that you call your skateboard.

Your favorite tv shows: Yo Gabba Gabba and the Fresh Beat Band. Elmo is coming in at a close third.

Your favorite person: Daddy (your very best friend)

Your favorite place to go: anywhere you can run around freely and you’re quite the people watcher

Your favorite book: Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too and Llama Llama Red Pajama

You also love to sing, dance and play your guitar or “rock out” as you call it.

These past two years have been a joy. It’s also been exhausting, hard work and an enormous challenge trying to balance being the best mom I can with working and keeping some semblance of being my own person. But you are so worth it all.

We probably have thousands of pictures but here are just a few of my favorites from the past 2 years.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY PRECIOUS PUNKIN’! I LOVE YOU IMMENSELY. THANK YOU FOR THE BEST 2 YEARS OF MY LIFE.

only a few hours old and already “looking at people sideways”

one week later….

7 months

one year

two years!

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Save or Splurge: kids’ table & chairs

15 Jul

The time has come to reclaim our family room and create a designated space for Myles to play and keep all of his toys. Part of my vision for his “play corner” is a table/chair set where he can eat, color, play, etc. While it needs to be toddler friendly, I want it to function well in the space and not scream “kiddie table.”

I regularly peruse the Buy Modern Baby blog for inspiration. She posted some very cute options but at this time I’m looking for pieces that are a little more budget friendly. But I absolutely love these oversized number tables. They would be a cute addition to any playroom. These Tambino tables retail for $185. The oversize number 2 is my favorite!

via Tambino.com

 

I found these adorable table & chairs at the Land of Nod. The table is $149 and the chairs are $69 each. I love the bright, fun colors of the chairs paired with a white table. Great contrast!

White Here, White There, Anywhere Table @ Land of Nod

 

White Parker Play Chair @ Land of Nod

 

I found a nearly identical set at IKEA. The SUNDVIK table and chairs are $39.99 and $19,99, respectively. Unfortunately, this set does not have has many bright color options. It comes in white, espresso and grey/brown. However, any toddler chair could be paired with this table to add color and I’m sure the chairs could even be painted.

SUNDVIK children’s table

SUNDVIK children’s chair

Watch for the play corner reveal to see if I decided to save or splurge!

Let Sleeping Babies Lie

12 Jul

Nap time is one of the most welcome times of the day! Myles is SUPER busy, on the go every second that he’s awake. His naps are a welcome opportunity to eat, shower, or even just sit still for a few minutes. I used to run around and try to be “productive” during his naps but now I take it as “mommy time.” I like flipping through a magazine, perusing wedding sites and now blogging.

But for all the parents out there – have you ever been paralyzed with the fear that your kid will wake up “any second” and therefore you get nothing done? I’ve seen many hours of precious time slip away because I was fearful of starting something when it seemed like Myles was on the verge of waking up but then ended up sleeping for 2 hours as I stood there in anticipation almost the entire time. Sometimes I do enjoy just watching him. I think God made babies exceptionally cute when they sleep so that you forget just how much they test your patience when they’re awake!

But I’ve learned to enjoy all time to myself, be it 5 minutes or 3 hours. I’ve also taken the pressure of myself to be “productive.” No big deal if I don’t work, clean, cook, do laundry etc. I’m embracing and enjoying this down time. Now, when will it no longer be frowned upon to enjoy a glass of wine at 1pm? =)

Speaking of Birthdays….

5 Jul

America almost had to share her birthday with Myles. My original due date was July 4. But my strong-willed son made is debut in dramatic fashion, 11 days late and via emergency cesarean. His first birthday was quite the ordeal – our “ONE-derful” Celebration took me months to plan and while it wasn’t crazy expensive, it certainly wasn’t a drop in the bucket. I stressed out for several weeks leading up to the party, the day of and for a couple of weeks after (about sending pictures and timely thank-you cards). The turn out was nice, the kids had fun, Myles was fast asleep by the time we were singing happy birthday. Nonetheless, we sat him in front of his cake, sang and posed for pictures while he slept. (How is it that he’ll wake up at the sound of a pin dropping at home?)

Now with his 2nd birthday just 10 days away, I have no plans. And I have zero desire to throw a party. Is this wrong? Am I a bad mom? I’m bombarded daily with the cutest and most creative images of kids’ parties on Pinterest. Typically, I love throwing a party for any reason. But this just feels different. I’d much rather do something simple and intimate with immediate family. Why not save the pomp and circumstance for when he’ll actually remember and actually understand that it’s his birthday.

Some days I am fine with this decision. Other days the guilt is overwhelming. Are kids’ birthday parties a right of passage? Is it ok to just be practical and put any money we would spend on a party into his savings account?

But just in case I have to throw something together at the last-minute, here are my top two inspirations:

Yo Gabba Gabba – Myles favorite show
via Pinterest

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Myles’ favorite book
via the Hostess with the Mostess

Red Tricycle Goodness

19 Jun

I’m a BIG fan of Red Tricycle Los Angles. This site is full of family fun including local activities and events, helpful articles and sometimes some great contests! I love the variety of activities they detail and that many of them are free or at least low-cost. We probably wouldn’t have discovered Underwood Family Farm and the awesomeness that is picking your own fruit if it wasn’t for Red Tri! Even if your city isn’t featured, there is still plenty of good stuff.

Right now they’re running a contest where you could win the ultimate family vacation. With Disneyland ticket prices now skyrocketing to $87 each this is actually a pretty valuable prize package. I know what you’re thinking, “I never win anything.” I used to think the exact same thing until we won an Orbitz Stroller System at an event at a local baby store. So now I enter everything because it really is true that you have to be in it to win it.

So yes, I was hesitant to share this contest with anybody – I don’t want to decrease our chances of winning =) – but it’s so easy to enter and the prizes are great so what the hell. Check it out and enter by clicking here.

Good luck!

Anybody else a Red Tricycle fan?

Save v. Splurge: toddler (water-friendly) shoes

18 Jun

We could build a castle with all the sand Myles tracks home everyday. I’m amazed that there is any left at the playground. Moreover, even on the warmest, driest days, he manages to find some water and create a sticky/muddy/sandy paste. This mess is always caked on his shoes. So for the summer, I set out on finding something that was more protective and easier to run in than flip-flops but that I could still rinse off daily. And they absolutely could not be Crocs (despite my aversion to Crocs, the entire family actually has a pair but I still hate them).

I obsessively get Myles’ feet measured because I once went about 10 weeks in between and his foot grew 2 sizes. I he never once complained about his two-sizes-too-small shoes and I still feel guilty about it. Anyway, during our May trip to Brooks Shoes for Kids I saw these Native Jefferson shoes but was very hesitant to spend $35.99 on plastic shoes. However, they do come in some fun and bright colors!

A couple of weeks later I was in the Gap and saw these perforated slip-ons on sale for $12! I got them in red (see Happy Birthday Myles photo). He is obsessed with his “wawer (water) shoes” and wears them all the time. They usually retail for $19.95 so you’re still saving over the Jefferson shoes (and Crocs) and getting the same functionality. Plus, in my opinion, these are stylish, fun and look adorable with shorts!

 

It’s worth mentioning that the Native Jefferson shoes can be found cheaper, depending on the retailer. They’re currently on sale at Zappos.com for $26.99.

Once again, the budget buy wins out!

Happy Birthday Myles!

16 Jun

Thank you for an amazing and challenging 23 months! You are a joy (most of the time). To be so young, you think so intensely and have an incredible curiosity about everything. But you also laugh hard and play hard. You don’t walk and talk, you run and yell. I love you more than words can say.

It also means I only have one month left to figure out what we’re doing for your 2nd birthday. You’re 1st birthday was quite the affair (which you slept through) and I’d rather do something much more low-key this year. Does it also mean that we officially stop counting your age in months?

We recently took a trip to Underwood Family Farms to pick some fruit and vegetables. You took the tractor ride very seriously, contemplating the best methods for strawberry picking. But you quickly returned your true form of running and yelling as soon as you saw the animals.