Little Bird Creations

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April from Little Bird Creations sent me this adorable bundle of hand sewn bandana bibs, feeding bibs and a changing pad.

The first thing that surprised me about these bibs was the quality. Because the bibs are pretty affordable, I was expecting a cheapie bib that wouldn’t wash well, couldn’t handle much wear, and was mainly a fashion accessory. Not the case here! The bibs are incredibly soft and that softness held through the wash. They are also thick and handled James’s out of control drooling (teething) all day. No more cold, wet ring around the neck of all of his shirts! And they looked pretty cute too.

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The bibs are customizable so you can choose the fabric, the pattern, and the type of closure that you want. Yay for snap closures that James can’t rip off himself and throw on the grocery store floor! The pattern choices are my favorite part. All the patterns  at Little Bird are adorable, but I love that there are a lot of gender neutral options. Take it from someone who didn’t find out the sex of either of her babies, gender neutral stuff is hard to find.

The changing pad was another great surprise, because it was better than the thin, crappy one that came with my diaper bag. I had actually ruined that one when I tried to wash it (yes, they gave me a changing pad that was not washable.) It has enough padding so baby is comfortable when you lay him down on those public restroom changing tables, its washable (!) and it is pretty friggin’ cute. Also, it can be rolled up so it doesn’t take up my whole bag.

I can’t say enough about how much I liked my Little Bird creations. Anything from the shop would make a great gift, and you wouldn’t have to feel ridiculous about how much you were spending on a baby’s bib.

Also there is this, which I just saw and now feel that I need for Reese. Girlfriend would lose her mind for a mermaid tail.

Here is Jamesie killin’ it in some of our samples

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*I was not compensated for this review but did receive free products from Little Bird Creations.

 

On Sisterhood

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As one of four girls, my sisters have been some of my greatest gifts in life, and today, they are my three best friends.

This is not to say that at some point in my life, I wouldn’t have gladly traded one of them for a brother; but now as an adult, I know how lucky I am. Yes they steal your clothes, hog the bathroom and the phone (back in the day of landlines), can piss you off more than anyone else in the world, and in my case, even physically assault you (no, really, we came to blows on many occasions.) But there is comfort in having people in life who know all of you, who are bound to support you no matter what and who aren’t afraid to tell you (loudly and perhaps in public) when you’re being an asshole.

One hope I have for Reese is that she will have a sister.

I used to think about this often and lately, as she gets older, I see that regardless of what happens in the future, Reese won’t miss out on a lot of the things sisters share. And that is because she has her cousin Mira.

Mira is 4 months older than Reese and she is the cool older cousin everyone has growing up. She was Reese’s first friend, and today Reese says she is her best friend. Mira lives close enough that we can see her fairly often, but each time we do it’s like Christmas. They tell secrets at the dinner table, giggling behind cupped hands. They disappear from family parties together and jump on beds. They plot new ways to torture little brothers. They imitate each other. They fight. They chase each other around the back yard and someone usually ends up crying.

I’m not sure that there are many other relationships in life like the one sisters have. But if there are, I would imagine they are a lot like those of close cousins (but without the physical assaults.)

We love you Mira-belle!

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Fitness Blender

Since the holiday face stuffing has now concluded, here is a post about fitness.

Fitness Blender is now my favorite way to work out. I have always been a fan of working out at home. With two kids, and winter upon us, it is really the only way I can get it done these days.

I read about Fitness Blender in Self magazine earlier this year, and before I went to Mexico I purchased a 5 day workout plan. Since then, I have been hooked.

The site has hundreds of free videos with all different types of workouts, for all different levels. The best part about the site is that you can buy workout plans (relatively cheap, the one I got was $5.99) which will give you a workout to do every day for a specific period of time (1 week, 4 weeks, 8 weeks etc.) This was attractive to me because I always found myself getting stuck in a rut; I would get into a certain type of exercise and do it all the time. Not only would it get boring, but my body never seemed to changed because I was just working the same muscles over and over again.  You can access the videos that make up a workout program without purchasing the plan, but the plan shows you how to put them together, in order, so that you work out your entire body while avoiding injury and repetition.

The videos can be searched by length of time, calorie burn, type of exercise, difficulty level, equipment needed etc. It’s convenient and even if I only have 10 minutes to work out, I can find something to do. Also, the videos are seriously challenging. I have used other sites where the workouts labeled “most difficult” didn’t always feel hard enough to warrant my only workout for the day. Not so, with this site. The most difficult videos left me feeling as tired as  I would have after running 5 or 6 miles, and I felt like that was all I needed to do all day.

These are the best free workout videos I have found online so far and that’s why I am sharing, I wasn’t asked to write about this site and I wasn’t given any free stuff, promise!

 

 

 

 

Christmas 2015

This Christmas Reese got it. She understood the whole Santa thing, and her excitement was contagious. For Andrew and I, Christmas is once again as exciting as it was when we were kids. We bounced out of bed when we heard the faint knock at our door at 7 AM on Christmas morning.

When I was little my dad would always go downstairs before all of us kids, to “turn on the tree.” I suspect he was doing other things as well (making coffee probably, since it was literally ass crack in the morning) because waiting for him to give us the “ok” to come down always seemed to take an eternity.

This year, I sat on our couch waiting for Reese to come down.

We got Reese a bike, goggles, a Frozen snow globe (random, but she wanted it), an outfit, coloring books, paints, fashion plates, and pajamas. She got countless other gifts from family;  a new coat, shoes, a playhouse, books, clothes, dress-up outfits, etc.

James got a car, a toy tool set, truck books, clothes, coloring books, Legos, and toy trucks.

Christmas Eve was church in the evening, then dinner at our house with grandparents. Christmas morning was opening presents, eating quiche and cinnamon rolls, and riding new bikes in the church parking lot across from our house. Just the four of us.

Then it was on to Christmas Day celebrations with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

Here was our Christmas.

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Stoopin’ It

This is how we have been filling the space of time after dinner and before bath time.

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We call it “stoop sittin'”, “stoopin’ it”, or when we’re feeling boring, just “sitting on the stoop.” We don’t have a real stoop, but the three steps at our front door suffice. Here, James climbs up and down the stairs repeatedly, Reese plays any variety of games including “Guess Which Princess I Am”, and Andrew and I people watch. There is quite a cast of characters that frequent the intersection outside our front door, so the people watching game is hot. Yes, we live at an intersection, and it’s as glamorous as it sounds. But without it, stoop sittin’ wouldn’t be so fun, so we can’t complain.

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Talking Back

Andrew <to Reese, while building with magnets>: What are you making?

Reese: A Sani-Can

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Reese: <yelling at me>: When I’m 32 I’m going to do whatever I want!!!


Reese: Today, at school Eshaun blew bubbles in his milk, and the milk went all over his face and all over his glasses.

Me: That’s hilarious. Did everyone laugh?

Reese: No, because it wasn’t funny. The teachers didn’t like it at all.

Me: Oh right, it’s not funny.

Reese at 4 Years

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Early this morning I heard the sound of small feet running down the hall. Then a faint knock at my door. When I opened it, I found you,  bleary eyed and crazy haired. You looked up at me, not fully awake, and said, “Am I four?”

For you, I’m sure it has seemed like a long road to four. For your Dad and I, it has been the blink of an eye.

You have become so smart. Too smart sometimes. You are kind. You are creative. Your imagination is wild and crazy and it is one of the best things about you. You make us laugh so much.

You are girl through and through.

A couple of week ago when you were supposed to be in rest time, I came upstairs to find you in my room, standing in front of my mirror, holding an eye lash curler against your face. You said, “My eyelashes were flat, and they needed to be up.” Oh. My. God.

School is your favorite. Your teachers tell me that drawing and painting are your favorite things to do. Every day when I pick you up I leave with armloads of your masterpieces.

You can now dress yourself, put your shoes on, get your own utensils and placemat for mealtime, clean your room (kind of), spell your name and your brother’s name, and you know the lyrics to most top 40 hits. Every day you need me a little less.

You love your swimming lessons, but you won’t go all the way under water until I get you goggles. I will get you goggles, but I know you will hate them.

Recently, you have been asking to take ballet, but I suspect it is just for the outfits.

You go to bed around 7:30 each night even though you never seem tired, and you have finally stopped coming out of your room 762 times after we put you down. Although I do kind of miss hearing your ridiculous excuses to delay bedtime, including, “I can’t get my shoes on and my ankle is twisted” or, “my waist hurts.”

You love Frozen, Sofia the First, Curious George, Frances, books, dressing up, eating, dancing, baking, drawing and your grandmas.

So yes, my love, today your are four.I know we will blink again and you will be 24. So please slow down, but don’t change anything else.

Halloween 2015

Halloween is a big friggin’ deal when you are a kid.

This year we went to a Halloween party at a farm, a trunk-or-treat (apparently this is a thing now) at Reese’s school, a Halloween party at a playplace near our house, and then of course the normal trick-or-treating on Halloween night. We got our money’s worth out of this year’s costumes.

I have come to accept the fact that as much as I want to be a crafty person whose kids always have homemade Halloween costumes, I will never be that person. Remember last year’s attempt?

Reese had been asking to be a mermaid for weeks before Halloween. When we were at Target I saw a mermaid costume which was, unfortunately, hanging next to an Elsa costume. Once she saw the Elsa costume, the mermaid was out.

So this year, Reese was Elsa, James was a Dalmatian, and Andrew and I were the un-fun parents who don’t dress up.  FullSizeRender (4) FullSizeRender (5) FullSizeRender (6) FullSizeRender (7) FullSizeRender (8) FullSizeRender (9)

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Mom Friends

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Being a stay at home mom can be a lonely business.

In order to maintain one’s sanity, (and to make yourself take a shower), it is necessary to make other mom friends, join groups, make playdates, talk to people you don’t know.

Kill me.

The best way I can explain how I feel about interacting with strangers is through this Onion article. (I am the one experiencing spikes in anxiety. My husband is the one assaulting other strangers with Game of Thrones trivia and anecdotes about our dog.) But I feel that the article missed a major demographic in its list of offenders; Moms.

For the reasons I mentioned above, moms are on a mission to meet other people (usually other moms, because who else is available for a mid-day, mid-week date that may be cut short after 20 minutes because there isn’t a potty at this playground, and what the hell kind of place is this anyway!?) One can never be at a kid related place too long before a mom asks how old your child is. Then the conversation inevitably leads to your child’s eating/pooping habits. Pretty soon you have a new mom best friend.

Even I, the semi-antisocial, lover of my comfort zone, have become friends with a few other moms who I really like. But when we first met I quickly realized that I don’t even know how to make friends as an adult. Aside from people I worked with, I haven’t made any new, real, lasting friendships since college, back when I didn’t even have a cell phone. Once we hit it off at the playground and it’s time to go, do I ask for her phone number?? Is that a weird thing to do? My first instinct tells me yes. Do I just hope we run into each other again sometime? If I let her go will I have to only hang out with my children every day for the rest of my life? Love my kids to death, but sometimes you need a day where you don’t do the Sofia the First puzzle on your living room floor ELEVEN TIMES.

In my experiences, the other moms ended up asking for my number so we could do a playdate, and I didn’t think it was weird at all. And actually, who cares if I thought it was weird anyway? (Sidenote:I really, really hate the word “playdate.”)

Here is a picture of me with all my new mom friends.

Just kidding, we aren’t close enough friends to take pictures with each other yet. I like to take it slow.

Instead here is a casual picture of my real best friends.

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