Monday, June 30, 2014

The Hungry Little Bookworm

It may be way too early to tell, but I feel like Noah might become a bookworm. Both his momie and dada were bookworms, so that makes sense. He has been really into books lately, and is very focused on one book at a time. He also has a strong attraction to signs that he can "read" and anything at all with letters on it, including license plates. Letters fascinate him. (Heart bursting with pride!)

An interest in books is great because this means we don't have to buy him anything, we just go to the library. He thinks it's magical there when there are no distractions like other kids in the children's section. Even if I don't have him strapped into his stroller he climbs in it, sits, and looks through a book he has decided to peruse. What a funny little man!

A love of reading is something both Brendan and I hold dear and hope to foster in our son. Seeing the way people write nowadays is disheartening. Reading a lot in your formative years really helps to develop and enrich your language skills. I want Noah to be able to express himself coherently and intelligently. For now however, he is still just yelling and whining.

Reading a lot of different types of books in many genres is one way to ensure several things:

1. He'll be interested in life and all it has to offer. Everything cool in the world can be first discovered through reading about them.

2. He will know how to use the correct expressions rather than base his knowledge of them on what he's heard from others, who may be wrong. i.e. Deep-seated, not "deep-seeded".

3. He will hopefully become aware of proper spelling and grammar as well. Seeing people use "your" when they mean "you're" makes me want to "lose" it, not "loose" it.

4. He won't be daunted by summer reading lists and book reports when the time comes.

Once again, I'm getting ahead of myself! Right now Noah is 17 months old and getting his canines in, and is very clingy and crabby. We're not quite in sonnets territory yet, but more of a We're Going On a Bear Hunt fifty times in a row territory. Cool your jets, momie. Happy Monday!

Friday, June 27, 2014

17 Month Favourites: Momie & Mini

Mr. Small Human is growing up so quickly. Some days, I feel like he looks like such a big boy, especially compared to the infants we see in the neighbourhood, but other times he still looks like a little Mini next to the preschoolers and I breathe a sigh of relief.

He's at a fun and moderately easy age now. Him not being able to communicate with words is still a bit frustrating for both of us, but he's always babbling so I'm not worried. I'm glad he's a pretty easygoing kid, not too demanding, very independent, and mostly happy. The only hard part is keeping up with his boundless energy, but that's hardly a problem.

Each new month brings new favourites, here are some of them we'd like to share with you:

Mini Boden Towelling Poncho

Of all Noah's summer essentials, this towelling poncho from Boden was our best purchase. I got it for a bargain at $17 in the spring, so I think the key is to buy ahead and always keep an eye out for random sales. Instead of having to deal with towels and wrestling a squirmy, wet toddler into tiny pieces of clothing, I just change Noah out of his swim diaper and swim trucks and throw this on him. It's comfortable, dries him up and he can just wear it to go off and play. Sanity saver.

Wood Alphabet Magnets

Our Small Human loves to "read", so he's into arranging these wood alphabet magnets on the fridge or carpet and reading them aloud for us, it's the cutest thing. He seems to favour the letters D, B, and V. The set we have is by Melissa and Doug. Right now we're only using the uppercase letters because the lowercase ones are still a choking hazard.

We're Going On a Bear Hunt

There's something about the rhythm of this book that Noah loves. He makes me read it to him 15 times a day. My old bestie from high school gave us this awesome set that comes with the book and a little plush bear that Noah likes to kiss and giggle hysterically at! This makes me happy because I loved singing the story when I was a little girl too.

Crocs Rain Boots

I really hate Crocs on adults, but baby Crocs are so stinkin' cute, especially the rain boots. Noah loves his and wants to wear them everyday, so I can only assume he finds them comfortable. We got to splash around in puddles today with them, but I quickly realized my son needs some kind of rain hazmat suit because he likes to roll around in puddles, not just jump in them.

Lilibeth's Summer Favourites:

BKR Water Bottle

I am a water fiend. I feel like I drink more water than other people, so I like to have my water bottle on hand most of the time. BKR bottles are made of recycled glass, come in an array of pretty silicone sleeve covers, and I don't have to worry about plastic leeching into my water. Gross. Also this way I can bring my cucumber water with me everywhere.

Toms Chambray Correa Sandals

These sandals are my summer staple because they go with everything, feel like clouds on my feet, and are super cute. A big bonus is that these have gotten stepped on a million times by dusty and sandy toddler feet but still look clean.

Target Dresses

About 95% of the dresses I wear during the summer are from Target. This is because every year they have a buy one, get one half off sale, so dresses end up typically costing $15 to $25 a dress! Can't beat that, plus they're cute and I don't have to worry about ruining them with weird baby stains since they were so cheap. I have this dress in three different colours.

Hurraw Tinted Lip Blam

I rarely wear lipstick anymore, and I think that's largely due to the fact that I have cute cheekies to kiss. When I want a bit of colour so that I don't look like Zombie Momie, I keep a stick of Hurraw's Tinted Cherry lip balm by the door, slick it on and throw it in my purse. You don't even have to look at yourself to apply it, so easy.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, it's the last weekend of June, eek it's going by so quickly!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Señor Rambunctious

When I was pregnant with Noah, I had so many romantic daydreams about motherhood. I knew about all the nitty-gritty stuff like lack of sleep, poop explosions, temper tantrums, picky eaters, biters, and the like. But before you get initiated into that world, new mothers think about things like going to mommy and baby activities, like mommy & baby yoga, or story time at the library.

Flash forward 17 months and it's a totally different story. My Small Human is a rambunctious little fellow, the sort of kid who begs to go outside so he can run and dance and hunt for the perfect twig or maybe chase neighborhood squirrels, or French kiss French Bulldogs (appropriately)!

This morning at the library during toddler story time, he was not interested in sitting still to listen to stories. He does it at home with me, but in public everything else is so much more interesting! For the entire thirty minutes, he sat still for about sixty seconds. He much preferred socializing with the bigger kids and the mommies, and randomly shrieking with excitement. Shrieking is kinda Noah's "thing", which is fine except for the fact that we make 20 people a day jump out of their skins when we pass by them.

Looking around the library room, I saw happy toddlers sitting in their mommies' laps or just standing there rapt with attention. I was the only one sweating from chasing my child who was running around and exploring. It's very fun and adorable, but I realize now that story time just isn't his cup of milk. I can completely understand why sitting in your mom's lap would pale in comparison to a new room full of people and furniture to explore.

We definitely won't be trying mommy & baby yoga. I might leave feeling less zen and more zonked. Noah's more of a zoo kinda guy!

Checking out the Komodo Dragon's claws

Ooh a giraffe

Getting a boost from Dada to see the giraffes

Hi Giraffe!

Noah and this loose peacock had a screaming match and the peacock won.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bit of a Rough Day

I haven't really been able to focus today because I didn't sleep very well. I was very rudely awoken by my cute, blind bunny Toby at 4am who decided to chew on our bedroom door as loud as he possibly could, and couldn't get back to sleep for over an hour. Then Noah had a 10am diarrhea-like poop, we had a 10:30 appointment to rush off to, and another runny poop at noon. I really hope it's nothing.

Just when I thought I was home free during his nap, Small Human randomly woke up after 45 minutes. So now I am typing a post with a baby on my chest, laundry on the dining room table, and toys and food stains littering the carpet. At least the laundry's folded.

To keep myself accountable, I'm updating my What I Felt Good About Accomplishing Today list:

1. I folded the laundry and washed the dishes.
2. I changed the Brita filter finally.
3. I ate kale.
4. Got the baby to go back to sleep.
5. Did 5 minutes of planks.

Even if you feel silly for writing something down, just go ahead and do it. Give yourself credit for accomplishing the task. This way, you don't look back at your day and feel like you did nothing at all, cause we all know that isn't ever true!

Enjoy your Tuesday everyone, rain or shine. xoxo

Noah, closing a deal at the office.

Casual Tuesdays

Monday, June 23, 2014

First Weekend of Summer in Pictures

I hope you are all having a great Monday and start to the week! Mine started with a little boy joyously raising both arms in the air while I held him, and brought them back down with a hard double handed slap to Momie's face. Then he kissed me on the cheek. Having a toddler is like being in an abusive relationship sometimes.

We had a great weekend, it was sunny and mostly warm and all Noah wants to do is be outside so we're both getting pretty tanned, even with all the sunscreen. The park near our house finally opened up the wading pool for the season and I think I was more excited about it than Noah! I also thankfully got to go for a massage, and on Sunday we went over to our friends' house for a fun cookout and more wading pool fun. We were at the wading pool again this morning if you can believe it.

This summer looks promising! 


Everybody get in the pool!

My musical babe

Friday, June 20, 2014

Too Hard on Ourselves

I am just gonna come out and say it: I am way too hard on myself, and I always have been. Because of the internet and social media, we constantly have access to information about how to be a better parent or how to raise your children the right way. Being a parent is stressful enough as it is without feeling like we have to hold ourselves up to impossibly high standards of parenting perfection.

When it boils down to it, all you need to be a good mom is to care about your children's well being, and to love them and be there for them. Once you start focusing on providing only the best, or completely ignoring yourself, things start to get dicey. Your mental health and well-being are compromised and you end up unhappy and stressed out, which can be a recipe for disaster. It is for me anyway.

So I propose a little exercise. When you get a spare moment, write down five things you accomplished today that you feel good about. There are no guidelines or criteria for why you think that particular thing made the list, that's up to your discretion. It's not about listing the five most incredible moments of life, but about what you feel good about.

What I Felt Good About Accomplishing Today:

1. 30 minutes of cycling
2. Washed all the bedding and put it back on before it got super wrinkled in the dryer.
3. Added items to my Goodwill box.
4. Passed by the bakery and didn't get a delicious slice of cake.
5. Helped Noah play soccer with some big kids in the park.

The point of this exercise is to stop selling ourselves short. Humility is indeed a virtue, but it's important to recognize that what we do every day is great too, even though there are no medals or speeches made in our honour for it. We all work hard and I don't think any of us give ourselves enough credit for it.

ROCK MOMMYHOOD! Have a wonderful weekend everybody. xoxo

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Totally Bonkers

I know I'm a real, full fledged mommy because if anyone who knew me back when I used to wear very tight jeans, 4 inch heels, and a full face of makeup every day saw me, they would think I had gone bat shit crazy.

Once again, we were in the car on our way home during naptime, so I was trying to keep him awake. For twenty solid minutes, I repeated the phrase, "Noah, does Horton hear a Who?" over and over again in different voices, pitches and speeds, just so that my Small Human would giggle hysterically in the backseat while my hair turned into a giant rat's nest in the wind. TWENTY MINUTES. The real clincher is that it didn't bother me at all.

Back when I was a babysitter, I feel like that would have been an exhausting task but as a mother it was a piece of cake (Mmm cake). However, when I was stopped at a high pedestrian traffic intersection, I was getting confused looks from people crossing the street and smiles from the ones that realized someone was laughing really hard in the car with me.

Basically, I had turned into a goofy parent like my dad. To this day, he will still say, "Look Lilibeth, a train!" if we drive past one even though I'm 35 years old now. Long gone are the days of my coolness, but it's ok, I am happy wearing jeans that fit me, not much makeup and cute flats. I guess that has nothing to do with mommyhood, but I'm happy in my skin which is important.

I know my priorities now: A happy baby is far less exhausting than a crying baby, and that keeps me sane.

After his nap he ecstatically tried on his new rain boots

I think he likes them 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Fearless Little Human

Toddlers are so funny because you can never, ever anticipate how they are going to behave. You can make an educated guess, but it's really all up to chance, how the weather could be affecting them, or because of the moon's orbit. My point is that toddlers don't behave like well adjusted adults.

Small Human has had his fair share of tumbles in the playground, and as a parent you wonder if they've learned anything from their mistakes and if they'll start to make the right choices. Well, Noah has fallen down concrete steps before, so he is now extra careful around them, choosing to back down them, sometimes 30 feet away from the top of the stairs! (even if it's just one step) It's a bit ridiculous, but so sweet and funny. He must have really learned his lesson.

Yesterday though, he took a nasty tumble down the metal staircase of one of the play structures in the playground. He wasn't badly hurt, so much as gave himself a good scare, which was a relief to momie. You know what that kid did as soon as he was done crying? He went back up the same steps to conquer them.

I was so impressed with my son, I think my heart was going to burst with pride. One of the traits that I hate the most in myself is when something is hard or I've failed at it initially, I get really daunted and tend to either give up entirely or shy away from whatever it was for a while. I really hope Noah's attitude towards life stays the way it is now because it will come in handy when faced with life's adversities.

I had no idea it would be so beautiful and fulfilling to watch a personality develop and grow out of the tiny creature you made with your partner. It makes all the hard bits of parenthood less hard. The cuteness helps a lot too.

There was a mama duck with her ducklings that he was really into

Sometimes our park feels very Jane Austen-y

Hipster Noah

He demanded to hold the kale

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mister Red Riding Hood's Weekend In Pictures

Unlike last year, Father's Day weekend was kind of rainy and gross. I guess we shouldn't be too surprised since we live in Seattle. However, staying indoors with a rambunctious little fellow just isn't an option anymore so we made the best of it. As a result, here are a bunch of pictures of Noah all over Seattle in a red rain jacket. :)

At the Volunteer Park reservoir near our house
He would scream bloody murder if I tried to take away this bottle of thermal hair protectant from him

Father's Day got off to a bit of a grumpy start

My boys

I love this picture of my monkeys

checking out Madison Park Beach

He kept saying, "Bath!" and wanted to hold my hand when the waves got a bit scary.

"I don't trust this bath..."

King of the playground!