Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blogging Bad Times

There is that eternal debate on mommy blogging. Basically that other moms will see your blog and feel inadequate. I did some thinking about this. I always want to be my authentic self. I really don't sugar coat anything and am the single worst liar in the history of the world.

But that being said- I am a person and who in the world wants to air out their worst moments? And relive them thought editing and comments? I certainly don't. I do try to share tips I have learned the hard way, and I think anyone can kind of infer the experiences may not all have been rosy.

I am an eternal optimist and when something bad happens I generally just try to view it as an example of what did not work. For example- this morning Sammy woke up at 6:20. That was good; I had decided to start getting him up around then so he could play more before we needed to get moving in the morning. We watched three episodes of Clifford and were a bit late. So that didn't work. Clearly. I should have seen it coming but he wanted to be snuggled and play with this new stuffed "Rabbit". I enjoy that so I was not complaining.

I mainly blog about clothing and toddler boy's fashion which I think is sadly under served. I enjoy seeing the highlights of my life in this blog- that I use to share things from my life and experience as a mother and to serve as a fun reminder of the joy I felt when picking out little outfits for my child. This is my highlight reel. Don't compare your lowest, weakest moment to one where my son is smiling and the world is at peace. I have those low moments too. I just don't photograph them and share.

Life for us is generally pretty happy, we do have our setback unfortunately, but I try to look at them through a positive lens. That is the only way I am getting through this crazy time in our life. Without my optimism and positivity, I am not a happy person and for me to be happy and share that love and sense of joy with my son is such a goal of mine. I want him to look back in 20 years and think that we just had the best time growing up.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Monday- I went crazy at Carters and wanted to start getting the new stuff in the mix. I just did some fun layering. This Gap sweater is amazing. 
Tuesday- Bright fun colors! Tea thermal and some Gap jeans. 
Wednesday- Fun colored jeans with a nice toned down shirt. He has a bear shirt on today with his mocs. Very darling. Pics to come. I changed his pants after I took pics. And put a sweater on. Sometimes it is hard to find exactly what Sammy has. So I just either make another fun look or approximate it.
Thursday- We will layer and make it bright. Fun Toms botas. 
Friday- These plaid pants are so cute. Boden has a great Spring line. That Valentine's shirt is going to be worn out. I am pretty much of the mindset that all Valentine's stuff is basically a year round decoration. If you heard a loud smacking sound- my mom just hit her head on the desk. But I think love isn't seasonal so the decorations shouldn't be either!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Herding Cats

Getting a three year old boy ready in the morning is pretty much like herding cats. This morning he needed to play with the dogs, watch Clifford, and then he needed to eat blackberry toast.

Needless to say.. We were kinda late. I need to double down on the getting out of the door at the correct time. It was bad this morning. I know he'd so much prefer to stay home and play for an hour or two until it is time to go to school. He goes to Threeschool by the way. Pretty cute this little buddy.

We were able to get the mocs on his feet. He decided they were "Brother Bear" shoes and wanted to wear them immediately. Fashion that is Disney inspired is ok in my family!

Here is an adorable picture of Sammy this weekend. It just melts my heart. Good thing I am his Mommy because I am pretty much obsessed with this cute little boy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Refused the Shoes

I have been feverishly working on a review of some mocs for the blog. I have been saving my pennies for a long time to get Sammy a pair of moccasins that were handmade and unique. (spoiler they are so cute!)

Sammy refuses to even put them on his feet. Flat out will not put those shoes on his feet. One is now lost behind the couch. Or I hope. They are so adorable and I am just afraid the dogs will think they are a toy. But I am pretty sure the other one is behind the couch.

He pulled the same thing with the Bogs he got for his birthday. Little Dude does not appreciate some stylish footwear I guess. Honestly my mistake is really that I asked and didn't just stick it on his foot when we were getting ready to head out of the door.

Having toddlers is like a giant game of chess sometimes. One that they frequently win.

On another note, my car was being worked on last night and the our Bugaboo Bee had to come out of the trunk to get to the tools. I decided to give it a good scrubbing. (I spilled tea on it during Christmas. I cleaned it then but sticky residue) I look over and Sammy has attached the wheeled board onto it. I was a little creeped out. I cannot believe how able he is to get stuff done and figured out sometimes. Not much holds back a toddler mind.

But I know at some point he will put on those shoes and I will move the review process along.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Little Dude... & Literacy

Reading is pretty serious in my house. My husband had a few authors that he follows religiously. So do I. I am a total Jane Austen junkie and read several of her greats a few times a year. We've read nightly to Sammy since he was born. I read somewhere back during my pregnancy that for Sammy to have the best vocabulary- that he needed to be exposed to as much language as possible.

We've had some big payoffs recently in regards to Sammy's literacy and interest level in books. I read to him when he wakes up usually and when he goes to bed. I try to read to him for 30 minutes per day. Most of this happens as we're getting ready for bed. He selects one of his favorites and delays bedtime book after book. We want him to love reading and this has paid off for us.

1) Early talking. Sammy was an early talker. I feel like he came out ready to talk. He will talk your ear off. He speaks in clear sentences and isn't hard to understand. His vocab is pretty impressive these days. He walked late and crawled very late so I think he was busy talking and not moving!

2) Imagination. I think this is part books and part no TV. He will now read me his books and make up the stories. Sometimes his version is pretty impressive. He is starting the imaginative play part of his toddlerhood. It is really adorable to see.

3) Since we read the same books over and over his memory is pretty great. He has memorized several of his books verbatim. This sucks for my husband because several of Sammy's faves my husband cannot stand and makes up the words to. Not anymore.

Now of course I think Sammy is a genius. Every mother does. But I mostly think this is because of the hours and hours spent reading to him. We want him to know that the written word is extremely important. We want him to know other worlds and meet new people all of the time thought books. I grew up with books as a focus in my life- spending my time reading and letting my mind create worlds instead of the TV doing it for me. I just want to pass that along to my son.

We are purists over at my house- no kindle or iBook. They are both fantastic, but kids books are so cute and Sammy likes to hold onto it, bring the books to the car, and bring them back to his bookshelves.

March the 2nd is Dr. Seuss's Birthday. We are celebrating the entire week. This post kicks off our celebration. Highlights include obviously Green Eggs and Ham, Planting a Tree, When Exactly is Octember, Watching Horton Hears a Who, and other shenanigans. We have a big week planned and are really excited to share it. And share our Dr. Seuss Fashion at the same time!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Monday- I wanted his outfit to be a bit more formal for school that day. Monday getting back into the groove of things. 
Tuesday- I LOVE this shirt from Tea. I just cannot get enough of it. The color is perfection and it is really unexpected.
Wednesday- Layers. Its is 40 today. I feel freedom for the first time in a long time. 
Thursday- Just a nice hooded long sleeved shirt and some khakis. Red chucks to kick it up a notch.
Friday- Funny graphic  tee and Gap jeans. Red chucks and praying for more Spring weather.

The weather is better so we're using more chucks. I have black pair for Spring and want to get a high top pair of blue ones. We'll see. Also on the horizon are some amazing mocs and some more Gap jeans. Cannot wait for Spring and Sammy. He is ready to picnic and have a blast.
The Gap jeans have proven to be a great investment. We have some in mustard and they go so well with a lot of outfits. They also fit well and look nice and still have room to grow. They are well worth the investment. 
Happy Wednesday. (Does anyone else HATE the expression Happy Hump Day?!)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Swim Roundup

Swim Roundup

After doing some checking on the usual haunts for swim gear. I decided nothing really screamed BUY ME NOW!  Last year Boden had it and more! Sammy was able to still fit into the baby boden one piece UPF 50 zip up and some 2-3 trunks. The trunks had some vintage ships and the zip was navy with bright yellow stars. Really cute stuff that was well made. I was thrilled to buy his swim gear last year.
If you can find something like that zip up from Boden get it. So amazingly great for indoor swimming. We belong to the Y and swim there year round. These dry so fast and are such a great option for little swimmers. Also Sammy is clearly a redhead so sunblock and UPF are something we find to be a must in the summer time. 

This year I will most likely get a long sleeved hoodie rash guard from Gap. I like not having to worry so much about shoulders and belly sunburns. Target has some great finds- all $10. At Carters I will undoubtedly get the surf board set and maybe the shark print. I need at least two options as we do swim often and with the amount of chlorine they put into pools- I need to rinse and have a set dry while the other is in use. If I can get some wear out of Sammy's star zip I will probably be the happiest mom around! Boden sizes nicely and generously. I doubt I can still use it (we have size 2-3) but if we can I will be sure to post some pics of Sammy in it. 
A tip on sunscreen is the Babyganics brand. It has a pretty great EWG rating and isn't super expensive. As daycare moms know- you need at least two tubes of sunblock per season and price can make a difference. It is also not that thick white goop like California Baby. We didn't have any sunburns. I also recommend getting a stick of sunbock- I usually do babyganics in that too. That is great for the face and ears. 

Hope this helps you get into that frame of mind. With clothing it is best to start early for specifics like swimwear or when it becomes time to actually use them- you're left with nothing but ones you don't care for. As nothing screamed my name this time, I am really glad I did look early to find my best bets. I am still holding out hope for the Boden trunks to have a second print release. Their quality is wonderful and I am bummed nothing really looked like a match to my style. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mom Alert!

Target has their basic pants on clearance for $1.25. I got Sammy three pairs of pants for $3.75. Nice deals. They have a bunch of great stuff 50% off.

On another note- their summer shirts so far are lackluster. Hoping some things improve as the season get closer.

Commerical Free Childhood

Two years ago we decided to cancel our cable subscription. My husband was working long hours and going to school at the time. I was home with our then infant. We've had Netflix for years and enjoyed watching shows in seasons all at once. Since my husband was a student - we could not see paying $80+ a month for something like cable that we didn't use daily and could see a way to live without.

Two years later it has had some profound impacts on our daily life, and the way we have chosen to raise Sammy. First being he really doesn't get introduced to things that we don't enjoy also. He's recently been watching Milo and Otis on repeat- but we also regularly watch Thomas the Tank Engine movies and shows and some assorted Disney movies. He's probably never seen an actual commercial. (I have a degree in Advertising hilariously enough) He has stayed young and is happy with lower tech things.

The best thing is the lack of a consumer spirit in Sammy. He seems much more willing to repurpose his items to make due. I think it helps his imagination and creative spirit. Unless we are specifically at Target, he will not ask for a toy or even have any idea that he'd like to have a toy at all. It is really nice. He has a decent amount of toys but nothing amazing. Mostly Hot Wheels Cars and the Little People cars. He has a bunch of Thomas Trains but we buy those as specific rewards or receives them from family members as gifts for holidays. I love that Sammy gets things for a reason and doesn't feel like he should get something all of the time. 

He has no interest in candy or any kind of fast food. He's pretty excited about cheese. And he'll eat a cheeseburger with gusto- but the food is the exciting part not the marketing or the toy inside. He eats when he is hungry. I really enjoy that part of this. He is not on the receiving end of some fast food chain's marketing campaign. He has no idea what McDonalds is - or Chick Fil A. I do sometimes get him meals from there, but he isn't really concerned about packaging so it's just a place to get something to eat if we're really rushed. And dip ketchup. Ketchup is one of his favorite things.

There are often debates about marking toys to boys or girls - and I don't have to get involved in that. There is no marketing done to my child. He takes an interest in something and I then go and buy whatever I feel comfortable with. Usually I introduce him to topics and toys instead of the other way around which I've been pleased with. For example- he decided he liked trains so I bought him a generic train set and over time we included Thomas and Little Engine that Could. We have girl trains and boy trains and pink and blue cars. I want him to have it all- but be mindful that he can determine what kind of person he'd like to be.

Fashion wise- what Mama says goes! Who does not love that. I rely pretty much on pinterest and instagram to get ideas. And what I see in stock places. I feel like I get a better idea of what I really like this way too.

Overall I have been so pleased with having Sammy free from commercial influence. We don't watch TV everyday and usually listen to audiobooks or talk in the car. I feel like he gets enough of technology sprinkled in his life for the time being- I'd really like like him to be small and enjoy what God has given us without distraction. As his mother I know the days are coming when there will be more input from outside sources and I want to lay a strong foundation for what we believe in before it gets here. I am hoping to by the time he sees commercials or product placement at a friend's house he and I will have had time to talk about those things and for him to see what life is like without everyone trying to sell you something- be it an idea or a product.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Playing at the Library

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Monday- Just this fun shirt from Tea. Love it! Thought some bright pants were an unexpected choice.
Tuesday- I kinda went all out. It is so super cold here I need LAYERS! I feel like poor Sammy is going to hit spring and not know what to do with all this added ability to move. Just nice button down from Tea and a sweater. Cute mustard Gap jeans. 
Wednesday- Camo pants and grey sweatshirt. 
Thursday- Some color. Love this shirt from Tea and some Boden jeans. 
Friday!!! Love Day! Sammy is having a party with his classmates so he's wearing a nice pair of jeans and his Valentines shirt. I am not sure what I'm getting him for a present but hopefully something cheap. These winter heating bills are breaking Mama!

Cannot wait for Spring. This Winter has been on steroids and really has outstayed it's welcome with the whole snowing every other day stuff. The cold has been very severe. I am usually not so worked up over weather - but seeing -1 on my car's thermostat day after day is starting to wear me down.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Beating the Winter Weather!

We've been stuck inside for what feels like months. I see how Sammy looks at the playgrounds and swingsets and feel pretty horrible for the little guy.

Here are some things we've been doing to feel better, and more active during these hibernation months. I feel it is really important to give little ones a sense of a healthy and active lifestyle. For kids, being outdoors is really important. This weather is really making it harder on parents everywhere!

1) Look for indoor playareas. Sometimes it's the local children's museum or a nice church- or seriously Chick-Fil-A. McDonalds or Burger King. Lots of those places are good to go and just get out of the house and break up the monotony. Kids need to move and work off that energy. Or they'll work that last nerve!

2) Indoor Camping. Land of Nod has awesome pretend camping gear or make your own. Break out the sleeping bags and make a tent out of some rope and a sheet. It can break up a long Saturday where being outside isn't feasable.

3) Playdates. Setting up a couple can mean a change of scenery and it can help you see your home in a new way. Plus it always gives me a reason to clean the house. Which right now isn't too bad but I could use a maid.

4) The mall has some usually - sometimes with the ride on trains. You can also let your child walk a bit more as there is generally a bit of room. If you choose an off peak shopping time you'll likely run into the Senior crowd who will dote on your adorable child. Sammy is a ringer. I cannot tell you the amount of times some older guy is telling Sammy how adorable he is and giving him a $5 bill. It's an odd but heartwarming occurrence.

So.. Here's to getting out of the mundane. Get camping or playing at the burger joint. Bring some hand sanitizer and try to get them to keep their tongues in their mouths. The news reports about cleaning of those places are pretty gross. Happy February!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gap... Nailing It.

Gap... Nailing It.

I really love the graphic tee selection at Gap this season. I have thought in the past that Gap missed the mark - but lately I could spend a fortune there. I love the whimsy and fun. I think it is amazing when a brand realizes that spending money on boy looks is worthwhile. 
The colors are saturated and fun. The prints are cool and kind of a throwback to carefree days. I think some moccasins and shorts for some of these would be really fun. Cannot wait for warmer days it seems.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Week of Clothing Wednesday!

Monday- Carters camo pants. You know the drill. I sometimes put babylegs in his lower legs to add a bit more warmth. Sometimes he gets warm at school so I like to give him something he can adjust the temp with.
Tuesday- A bit of fun. I am in love with these Boden shirts. The hoodie reminds me of my lovely sister who is a huge Harry Potter fan. 
Wednesday- Today I kind of upped my game. A cool plaid dress shirt under a nice vest. Both are from Target last year, I did a bit of preseason shopping last year. Just some nice chino type pants that are cut so he can run.
Thursday- Just jeans and a nice sweater. 
Friday- I love this awesome saturated mustard sweater with some darker jeans from Boden. 
Shoeswise... We've been trying to wear out the red converse. Sammy has a black pair for the next size run and I am really sad to see these pups go soon. Maybe something cool to take their place?!
I have been so super sick lately. Sammy has remained well- which means I probably got it from him. I've been trying to keep up with everything but have been giving myself some time off here and there. I've really needed to rest and recover from all of the germs. I am probably going to take it easy until tomorrow at the least. 
I am going to organize Sammy's closet and try to post a little video of it. Just for something new and exciting. Hope everyone is staying well in this weather. Snow again. Polar Vortex. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Do yourself a huge favor and stop by target for basics. Tons of winter stuff is 50% off. Great pants and costs. Do it!