Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
When it comes to raising babies, there are few things more labor intensive than diaper changes. I think back fondly to my very first parenting class in the hospital before the birth of my first son and I laugh at the task they set before us: to diaper a stationary baby doll.
Sure those first few months the baby does indeed lay before you nice and still, a willing subject to the numerous diaper changes throughout the day and night but somewhere around the sixth or seventh month, those days of stationary baby diaper changes are long gone.
In fact, that's the kind of test that hospitals should place before new parents. Someone should be wiggling that baby doll all around, tossing and turning him, replicating even the craziest of alligator death rolls as they try and attempt the diaper change.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
The Ultimate Crossover Stroller? Good Question. A Review Of The Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect Jogger.
Sometimes there isn't enough storage, other times it's not a smooth ride. The handlebar is too high, the wheels aren't big enough to move from pavement to hiking trails or maybe baby just isn't comfortable enough for any sort of trip longer than a quick jaunt around the mall.
And then you are given the opportunity to test out the Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect Jogger and suddenly you think you've come awfully close to having it all in a single stroller.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I can remember all the way back to high school chemistry, afternoons spent working with caustic chemicals behind hoods, goggles and other protective barriers, learning how they mixed (and did not mix) with other substances and what type of effects these chemicals had on the environment around them and on those who used them frequently.
A few of these chemicals were ones that I now see in my every day life, chemicals such as phosphates, chlorine and sulfur oxides. Chemicals that I once used to disinfect and clean the surfaces of my home.
As a mom, my outlook on the use of some of these chemicals in the home has changed. I try my best to be mindful of what products I use around my children and the effect it may have not only on their little bodies but also their environment. As cheesy as it sounds, I try to be more mindful of leaving them a world that will be safe to grow in.
But, I also want a sparkling clean, germ-free bathroom! Is that too much to ask? I would be lying if I said I once thought I couldn't achieve that without harsh chemicals!
That's one of the main reasons I was so excited to test out some fantastic household products from The Honest Co., a company devoted to embracing the belief that we can make the world a better place for our children through the use of non-toxic, safe and healthy products and with more than twenty products to choose from, they are succeeding at redefining the "family brand."
To read all about my sparkling review of the following safe, healthy, non-toxic products in the bathroom and how I decided to make the switch, click the picture below!
Sweeps Rules (4/24-4/30):
Monday, April 22, 2013
Friday, April 19, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
As parents, I believe the moment we opened our hearts to the idea of you, we silently took an oath to forever put ourselves, our needs and our priorities second. We knowingly committed ourselves to this responsibility and although at times the weight of it may seem heavier than we can bear, we shoulder on with the hope that one day when you're fully grown, we'll look upon you with pride and know that the blood, sweat and tears shed, on both of our behalves along the way, was more than worth it.
It has never been clearer than it is today that our future is not guaranteed. Navigating the unknown waters that lie ahead may not be easy but it is because we love you more than life itself that we have committed ourselves to guiding you along life’s path.
Long before you were born, your father and I spent countless nights dreaming of your futures. When we learned that you would be our sons, our hearts could hardly contain the joy we felt at the task that lay ahead of us, the task of raising gentlemen.
It was then that we began making promises to you, our sons. Promises that, although at times may prove difficult to uphold, they would become some of the most important undertakings we would ever commit ourselves to.
We promised each other to teach you humility but not so much that you doubt your own significance or lack the confidence to stand up for yourself and your ideals. We promised to teach you bravery in the face of adversity, strength in the form of words and actions. We promised to support you and encourage you in your endeavors, to be your biggest fans whether that meant celebrating victoriously or humbly accepting defeat.
We hope that each of you will always love intentionally and unconditionally. We want for you to maintain a kindness in your hearts to strangers and those less fortunate. We hope you will be able to look upon your neighbor with compassion and sympathy and most of all, we hope you will always treat others the way you would want to be treated.
You'll learn that the world around you doesn't make fulfilling these hopes and promises easy. Everywhere you turn you will see malice, violence, hatred and those who will intentionally go to great lengths to steal your joy.
Do not allow them this thievery.
Your father and I promise to protect you as best we can but sometimes our protection won’t be enough. As much as we may want to shield you from the horrible nature of the world we live in, we know we would ultimately be doing wrong by you.
It is because of this that we promise to introduce you to a most faithful God, someone who loves you even more than we do and we promise to encourage you to foster a relationship with Him. We hope that you will learn throughout your years that it is only He who can protect you in this life for He is the only one who both creates and takes away.
As your parents we take our responsibilities to you seriously. We don’t make these promises to scare you but rather to prepare you. Not a day goes by that we don’t already worry about each of you, as our worries began long before we held you in our arms.
We know as you continue to grow that these worries will only multiply. It is then that we have to remind ourselves that your ultimate future is not in our hands but in the mean time we will dedicate ourselves to protecting you the only ways we know how.
We promise to not let a single day go by without reminding you of just how much we love you. How we would sacrifice anything for you.
We are so thankful that we were entrusted with each of you and we happily accept and commit ourselves to the responsibility of caring for you, cultivating you and continuing to love you with every fiber of our being. We promise all that and more.
All our love,
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
(kissing market buggy brothers)
I could hear the buzz of his hearing aid long before he spoke. When he did, it was louder than usual and a little bit hoarse but you could tell it was full of pride. He told me how happy it made him to see two brothers loving on each other.
It reminded him of his younger brother, the one he lost only two years before. His brother was 83 at the time. His brother passed of cancer, something he said he wouldn't wish on his worst enemy.
He asked how old the boys were. I told him their ages and that they are twenty-three months apart. He tells me about the sixteen month difference between him and his brother. They were best friends although they could "fight like the best of 'em" he tells me.
His hand trembled as he reached out to touch the toddler's blonde curls. Normally such an act would make my skin crawl but he was so gentle. I tried to imagine how he must have looked when he was younger. I couldn't picture it though- it was difficult to guess his hair color being that he was completely thinned and graying now.
He said his wife had curls like the toddler's. They met in a dance hall in 1939. Her name was Annabelle. She, too, had passed.
As tears began to prick my eyes, he told me again and again how happy it made him to see the two of them together, reaching out to one another over the handle bar of the grocery store push cart. Laughing at each other's jokes, jokes only the two of them could understand.
He asked the toddler for a high five, who was more than willing to oblige. I told him that it was like strolling around with the mayor of the supermarket right there in my own buggy. He waved to everyone, offering up the heartiest of "hello's!"
I could do nothing but smile.
As he turned to shuffle off with his small cart of groceries in tow, he whispered something that didn't resonate with me until I had pulled up alongside our car and began to unload the boys into the car.
Blinking back tears, I buckled each of the boys into their seats. The toddler, no stranger to our usual after-errand tradition of grabbing a cake pop from the Starbuck's drive-thru, had already begun chanting "cake pop! cake pop! cake pop!"
He said "bless you and those brothers" as he turned and shuffled off. Writing about it and I can feel the lump in my throat start to grow once more.
It made me pause right there in the parking lot and think. I really am blessed.
Sure there are days when I'm constantly reminding the toddler to use his "gentle hands" and other days when I'm practically blue in the face from trying to teach him the joys of sharing, but I couldn't have asked for a sweeter, more loving big brother. His heart is so big, bigger than I ever thought such a tiny body could hold. I'm so proud of him and the way he loves his brother. It's evident that he loves him with every little bone in his toddler body.
I'm so proud of my husband. I'm proud of us as husband and wife that we've laid the foundation to foster and share a love like that. After all, it starts with us.
I really am blessed and so thankful for the stranger who reminded me so on a day that I sure needed the reminder. As I buckled myself in, I silently whispered a prayer of thanks for him and for those sweet little brothers giggling in the backseat.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
We recently took our Dream Blanket on a stroll around the neighborhood and just as we were rounding the corner home, our blanket got caught up in the wheel of the stroller, getting dragged along the sidewalk becoming dirty in the process. One of the great things about these blankets is the more you wash them the softer they get! A welcome product treat when used around kids and babies all day long as it's bound to get dirty!
I just adore this pattern, too. The Liam the Brave pup is slightly reminiscent of a certain 100lbs. Olde English Sheepdog that shares our home and loves our boys almost as much as we do which has me loving this blanket even more!
If you haven't already visited lil sweetie designs, please be sure to head on over and check out the great line of aden + anais products in stock. It might be hard to tear yourself away from the personalized children's clothes but I promise it will be worth it!
Cameron has graciously offered all ILYMTC readers 20% off their order with code "ilymtc20." Did you see that? A discount on anything aden + anais is practically unheard of! Awesome, indeed. What are you waiting for? Get to shopping! Happy Tuesday!
Monday, April 8, 2013
"And now," Max cried, "let the wild rumpus start!"
It didn't take long for me to realize the kind of birthday party we would plan for Maclane as he turns a year old, our little wild thing. I cannot believe that it's time to start planning and that his first birthday is just two and a half short months away.
Having a June baby is tricky, although not as tricky as having a late July baby. Hopefully the summer heat won't be sweltering and we'll be able to host it in our backyard. A low key gathering of family and friends, great food and lot's of fun.
I am excited to pull the details of this party together. There isn't a whole lot out there in terms of Where the Wild Things Are decor and party preparation which means I get to exercise some good ol' creativity when it comes to pulling it all together.
I don't plan to get too "character-y," but I will be using some of my favorite lines and pages from the story throughout the party. I'm thinking of using a color scheme that involves mostly yellow and grey with a few pops of green and maybe even a little orange throughout. Of course there will be a dessert table, favors and plenty of pom and tissue garland. I would even love to be able to build a DIY teepee that we could later re-purpose in the boys' playroom.
I've already gone ahead and ordered this onesie for Maclane and will soon be ordering a matching t-shirt for Carter. Aliya of Aliya Rinaldi Designs is currently working on our invitations and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with. If time and patience is on our side, I may even try to whip up a tissue paper crown to be used in some pictures of Mac this weekend that we might be able to incorporate into the invitation.
I'm just so excited about it all! You see, this is one of my all-time favorite childhood stories. I grew up with my parents reading it to both me and my brother and it's been a favorite read in our house during each of my pregnancies.
Are you planning any parties soon? Do you start with a theme first and then plan accordingly or do you choose a color palette first?
All images in this post are courtesy of Pinterest. You can follow my party planning board here.
Friday, April 5, 2013
People always ask me, "what's the best way to connect with other bloggers?" and I always offer up the same answer. Put yourself out there. Find new blogs to read and comment, comment, comment! Really get to know the blogger through their recent posts and introduce yourself in your comments section. Not only is it the best way to connect but also to engage and make friendships as well. One of the best ways to do this is to join blog hops such as the 2013 Ultimate Blog Party!
This is my first time in the four years that I have been blogging that I'm linking up with this party but as part of my effort to get back to the basics of blogging and set aside more time for reading blogs, I thought this would be a great place to start!
For those that are new here, I'm AP, the voice behind this tiny slice of the internet. I'm a once-was Hematology/Oncology nurse turned stay-at-home-mom to two little boys, Carter and Maclane. Our days are filled with my many mis-adventures in parenting.
I write a little bit about of a lot of things here. Mostly motherhood sprinkled in with a little DIY and the occasional recipe. I really hate to cook but thankfully my husband knew this before we got married and loves me any way! I can bake a mean cupcake though.
I love wine and wine-induced tweeting. I also love Instagram. Like a lot a lot. I curse but I'm trying to get better at it since my two and a half year old is a s p o n g e and has already taken to running around the house saying things like, "Honey, wee-you ree-yax?" and " Just one more sec, honey. One more sec," which really sounds like "one more sex" and I have to do everything in my power to stifle the immature giggles.
So there you have it. Thanks for stopping by! I'm excited to get to know you!