Friday, February 27, 2015

Glorious Friday

It's Friday! The best day of the week I think. Well Saturday is pretty stellar as well. I thought I would throw up some links to things that are on my mind.

Easter is coming so that means we're getting those baskets ready. My mother and grandmother are making the trek from Atlanta to our house so we can celebrate together. Mom is nice enough to pick up part of the present this doll. He is getting the bunny of course but I love the look of their dolls and Easter seems like a great excuse to add this to our collection.

I don't go crazy at Christmas at all but Easter is proving to be my downfall. I also got him the entire Janod Far West Set. That coupled with a shirt with a train and some "railroad" pants. He won't eat candy so I feel like Easter is a great time to get him a few basics. We also don't buy many toys outside of holidays and birthdays so I don't feel bad getting him this train set. We saw it displayed at a museum and loved the look of it.

I also got myself a pair of these. Years of Ballet make taller boots look funny (along with being short) so these are darling and I will so enjoy them in the rain.

We're making Toad in a hole this weekend inspired by this amazing book. You can surely find it at  your library- that's where we always get it. The story is cute and after we read it we make the "toad in a hole" which toast with a fried egg inside. Super yummy and such a fun treat.

By the by, Sammy helps us in the kitchen with the help of this helper stand. We painted it a bright cheery blue and it is amazing. If your spouse is handy- see if they can give it a try. Much less expensive than the learning tower branded ones and just as functional.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day. I am stuck down again with a cold- and got about four hours of sleep so I am just hoping to make it until 3pm when we have a doctor's appointment for Sammy. He's had some breathing issues on and off associated with croup. Now that he's 4 they are looking at him for asthma so fingers crossed that he does not have that issue. But I think we don't and am looking forward to celebrating afterwards with a nice froyo!

Happy Friday Friends!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How We're NOT Freezing...

How We're NOT Freezing...

Two posts in one day?! Pretty amazing feeling over here! Haha really just wanted to share something while this item is still on sale and in stock over at Patagonia.
A word to the wise about the brand. You're paying for effectiveness. It's thick, amazing quality fleece that will make a difference. Their shipping costs are not amazing. Just be warned in that direction. Buying on sale and ahead of time is pretty key for expensive and technical winter gear. 

First the Patagonia fleece jacket. It's currently on sale. I have bought every one I thought I could get use of. So maybe three! I love them. The red one is adorable as well! The hood is pointy and really gives the whole outfit a little something. They are thin enough that I feel comfortable putting Sammy in the car with this jacket. It is warm enough that it does something to fight off the cold. 

So... We layer. I think this is not groundbreaking, but I think sharing common sense solutions with other parents is a nice thing. I start off with a nice flannel button down. I may put an undershirt or not depending on if he will be outside. If only inside today I will skip. I put a nice wool sweater over that. I like a button down for this because the shirt is next to his skin so he is protected from the wool everywhere. I don't want him itchy. I then add his lined jeans. These block the wind and are very warm. I may put on some babylegs up to his knees if he's going to be outside a bunch. Then a good pair of socks. 

For outer wear I love to add some heavy duty mittens and actual winter boots. I think they are easy enough to walk in that he can use them for a functional pair of shoes most days it is very cold. They are usually ok to get on and off, and they're warm. The pair pictured are from Gap, but Osh Kosh typically makes an amazing pair, and we have thick fleece socks from Hunter that pair with rainboots that also are extremely effective. 

I think the key to making it work for us is the layering and not being afraid to buy actual technical products instead of the popular kid brands and hoping they'll be good enough. Shop North Face, Sorel, and other brands that are more expensive and know you can size up a bit and get two years of wear. Or buy on sale. Having things that fight against the cold make that morning drive/bus stop wait so much less nail biting! 
Stick a blanket in the dryer and pull out right before you all climb in. Such a treat on really cold days! (It was -11 not including wind chill. I was debating bringing my heated throw!) 

We used to have a remote start on our car, but when we upgraded to our minivan I decided I would do without the remote start- for a couple of reasons. I felt like it only worked at home and never at work so it was aggravating. Secondly it wastes a good amount of gas (the way I used it for sure did), we poluted more, and I felt like it might not be great for the engine. My minivan takes a long time to warm up so we're missing it right now. As I am sure we can all tell because cold and being cold is pretty much my tune on repeat right now. I hope Spring comes soon for everyone's benefit!

Where are my pants?!

Where are my pants?!

First off- sorry for the polyvore image that has the shading and everything on hangers. Both of my favorite pant shops have these in their stock photos; so right now I am just dealing. I will work on this, but don't have time to edit their photos THAT much- and if I were to take pics of Sammy in everything or just of real life pants this would never happen.
Second sorry for the lazy blogging lately. I am freezing and most of my life involves making sure Sammy has enough layers that he survives the car ride to school. Praying that Spring finds us soon because -20 weather is pretty well taking a toll on all of us! I have just been hyper focused on really getting my home in order. Everything in its place kind of order and deep cleaning everything. (read: nesting without the actual pregnancy or pending labor)
I am getting Sammy around seven pairs of long pants in the next size. We really like to wear pants two days at my house as long as they are still pretty well clean and no stains. I try to save the environment and my sanity in small measures! That being said I like to have about a week and a half of stuff so I am not in an emergency laundry situation over at my house. I try to keep up but I am only one mama and honestly I get behind. Often.

Zara is kind of my go to (I typed to go before... I am a genius!) place to get pants with a little something extra. This year I am pretty obsessed with knee details. See the first Zara offering above! Gap is perfect for jeans because they tend to hold up really well for us. I love the fleece and flannel lined styles so I try to have a pair or two of those on hand. They are so great for those days where it is very cold, or apple picking in the fall. I find that they are much handier than I would have though. 
Sweats aren't something I have a lot of usually. Zara is my best bet because I can usually buy a size down and they work out. Sweats usually don't have an inner drawstring to make them adjustable. My kiddo is on the smaller side of things and really needs the length but not the width. I also usually find that jeans are a better option for the activities he is involved in.

I hope this rambling helps you start the internal conversation about what you're going to do for the next size up in wardrobe! As mamas we're constantly having to replace clothing and it is great to always be in the position of buying when you can rather than when you have to. I cannot imagine the expense of buying all of his pants in one fell swoop- it just makes so much more sense to me to buy on sale and get the brands I love at the prices that I can actually afford in my spending budget. Happy Shopping!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Be My Valentine!

Yesterday as we were preparing Sammy for his class party- I asked who he wanted to be his Valentine. Probably Mommy was my thought. But nope... The Pug. Archie and Macy his beloved dogs are his Valentines. He let me know Daddy could be mine. Well true but thanks little stinker!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sizing Up! Sweaters

Sizing Up! Sweaters
I thought it would be a bit helpful to share what I am focusing on for the next size up (5T). This is our last year in toddler sizes. Sammy isn't a big kid so we've been able to remain pretty true to size until now. He's still able to wear some 3T because I like for his clothes to be tighter than some other moms care for them to be. That is all just a preference thing. 
First off - Hanna Andersson striped shirt. I will wait for this to go on sale or find a dupe somewhere. It's nice because it really looks great with some colored pants and ties them in nicely. Secondly is this Genuine Kids sweater from Target. I love it and got a 5T when I got the current one. It's really nice and I get a lot of compliments. Plus the colors in the sleeves are full to coordinate with some colored denim. 
Next is a sweater from Gap. I love the camo and the new way it is done is really cool. The Tiger sweater and navy blue are all from Gap. I love get things there when I can find a deal. Which is often. Sorry about that Gap card bill honey!!!
The green striped pullover is from Genuine kids as well. I love their sweaters. This one is great with so many  things and it is that perfect green for a redhead. Lastly is my love- the Patagonia Fleece. This fleece is no joke. He can wear this safely in the car in the Winter months and it is adorable. Plus he thinks he looks like Gnomeo and Juliet. Win for Mama!!! Hope this helps as you begin to start shopping those sales so you are not forced to pay full price for cold weather items next year. Happy shopping!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Crazy Hair

Sammy's hair is gorgeous. A lovely shade of reddish/auburn. People have always stopped me to comment about it since he was very small. I wonder if we were to have another child would it be easier if they had brown hair like me to blend in. Germs and all of that were kind of an issue with a November baby.

I hate his hair super short. Getting it cut has always been a source of drama to me - so we're growing it out in hopes that it will be easier a little longer. Right now we're in that state of crazy hair. He absolutely hates having the water bottle and brush combo but we're just there now. He woke up and one side was pancaked against his head in the wrong direction and the other side was straight in the air. I would post a picture but if he were to run for office one day or be a celebrity I think he would hate me forever.

So for now we combat crazy hair with the water bottle and hair genie combo. It could be worse. This is a first world problem indeed. I am recovering from a stomach virus and just to have the desire to do his hair was a major win today. As Sammy says "back to normal"!

Happy Wednesday.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Not an Easy Kid.

I always hear people asking if babies are "easy" or "good" - and usually that means that they are good sleepers, eaters, and don't scream and cry endlessly. Sammy was pretty easy and pretty good I guess. He slept through the night at eight months old and was pretty happy otherwise. He, I guess, had his days and nights turned around when he was a newborn... Or my husband claimed. I thought he was just hungry. We went with it and it worked out pretty well.

But at around 11 months- that kid got a mind of his own and he has not slowed down yet. He's not an "easy" kid. It gives me some moments of self doubt. Probably more than some. He knows his own mind and will let you know what he thinks. He's smart and creative and kind. I truly think that we place so much emphasis of getting along and being easy going but I think that doesn't really create situations where we get exactly what we need. I could be more like Sammy and let people know my needs and ensure they are met. Like every other mom- my needs are often last. I don't know that equating a child being passive to "good" is really a fair assessment for anyone. All children have lessons before them. As do adults. But not crying when he needs something doesn't make a child less worthy or less good than another. Just differently wired.

Sometimes I worry that people will tire of dealing with Sammy when he's in a stubborn mood. But that is really more a reflection of my insecurity than anyone's commitment to being in his life. My dad watches Sammy a bit after school and I know it can't be easy. I know he takes it very seriously and does an amazing job. I do my best to try to get Sammy to behave- but he's just learning the lay of the land and getting comfortable. I know this is his way and that I need to just trust the process- but I am a worrier.

All of this not listening and working so far to follow Sammy and become the parent he needs me to be has to have a positive result somewhere down the line. I know he is destined to be a wonderful and worthwhile person and all of this effort is just going to pay off dividends forever. I just have to think about that when times are tough.

This morning he was kind of hard to get corralled and into the car. He needed to play with the dogs and do all sorts of random very crucial tasks before we could get going. I had four hours of sleep and got a cold overnight. My patience is pretty shot. Usually he does something so cute I just have to let that melt away and enjoy our time together. This morning was a pretend call to Daddy on his handphone and tell him how much he loves him and how he'd really like to visit the hardware store. He remembered that Daddy took him to the tire store and had so much fun. Those moments are really worth all of the other ones where I feel at the end of my patience. Being a mom is a tough gig but I really do feel blessed to have Sammy. Even if he isn't traditionally good.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Things We Don't Say

This weekend I  took Sammy to the mall. It was yucky outside and he desperately needed to burn off some energy. They usually have great indoor places to run and play. They also have a train and that makes a decent experience for a little guy who has been cooped up for two days at this point.

After all of that I decided to hit up Gap on our way out. Sammy was hanging out at the wishing well with my sister and I had about ten minutes to myself. There was a nice mom with the cutest little boy getting a ton of things. It got me thinking that I should tell her to use a coupon! Never buy full price at Gap. But then I got scared. What if she thought I was rude? Or that I was implying something? I decided to keep my mouth shut.

The thing is that most moms could use a bit of savings on the basics. Then they can spend more elsewhere or maybe get something else they could not afford. If I would have spoken up I may have positively impacted her day. It got me thinking that there are a lot of things I keep my mouth closed on- seemingly insignificant and very large- because I am too scared sometimes to raise my voice. I don't want to be that kind of person - to stand by when I see that I could positivity impact a situation.

I read an article by a mother who lost her young son to a car accident where he was not belted properly. I thought how often do I see pictures on facebook and know that child would benefit from seeing a CPST. But I don't want to come off as a sanctimommy. It is such a tough line to walk. But I want to err on the side of right and good rather than scared and meek. After really thinking about that article I resolved in my own life to be open to constructive advice and criticism. For all of my research I may be unaware of something that makes the difference and another mother might change my mind. And I am going to take the time and energy to say the tough things to people I know could benefit from a little help. From someone who knows how to word things kindly and mean things nicely.

That is my goal- to be open to having tough and meaningful conversations with other parents and being open to what they have to say as well! Happy Monday.