Friday, October 26, 2012

{this moment} photo booth

A Friday ritual. A single photo, without words capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, wonderful moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. -via soulemama.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Preparing for Post-Partum Recovery, Part 2

In preparing for my post-partum recovery with this pregnancy, I'm doing something I didn't do the first time--I'm preparing for it. Or at least I'm trying to prepare. I'm not making any assumptions. I want to be ready for anything. And at this point, I need to be ready for anything because there is still so much I don't know.

We had a follow-up ultrasound at 28 weeks (I'm 34.5 weeks now) and my placenta was still partially covering my cervix. We have another ultrasound scheduled for 36 weeks to check it's position again. I'm feeling better than I was a month ago and I haven't had any negative symptoms (such as bleeding) so I'm convinced the placenta is moving. My point in mentioning all that (aside from reminding you all to think happy thoughts for my placenta--thanks in advance!) is to point out that I don't know where I'll be giving birth yet. It all depends on whether my placenta is clear of my cervix when the time comes. Baby E is healthy, strong, and growing just like she should be. 

That tangent aside, regardless of whether we end up with our ideal home birth, a vaginal delivery in the hospital, or a scheduled cesarean, I'm going to take time to recover. I'm going to be in my own home and I'm going to savor the time to bond with my baby and my family. It's going to take us a while to figure out what life is like as a family of four (five, counting our dog). I'm going to do everything I can to put aside unrealistic expectations* of myself post-partum.

What am I doing to prepare?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Savoring Family Time (or, Simple Homemade Gifts)

Welcome to the October 2012 Simplicity Parenting Carnival: Holidays
This post was written as part of the monthly Simplicity Parenting Carnival hosted by The Lone Home Ranger and S.A.H.M. i AM. This month we are discussing how we simplify the holiday season. Be sure to read to the end to see a list of the rest of the excellent carnival contributors.
***
This year preparing early and keeping Christmas simple is a necessity. (Yes, it's October and I'm talking about Christmas.) Simple is our preference every year but I'm generally working on projects and rushing to finish gifts up until the last minute. This year, with a baby due between Thanksgiving and Christmas, preparing in advance is not optional.
Salt dough ornaments waiting to be painted...
I'm really looking forward to the holidays. I'm only just barely resisting the urge to turn on the Christmas station on Pandora. I love winter. I love Christmas. I love creating family traditions (especially now that we have kids. I remember how important family traditions were to me as a child and know how children use them to integrate the different parts of the year).  I love the smell of a Christmas tree. I love seeing our home filled up with messy holidays crafts and decorations.

Friday, October 19, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo, without words capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, wonderful moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. -via soulemama.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Miss Representation

Last night I was able to attend a screening of the documentary film Miss Representation.* The film "explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence."**

I'm still wrapping my head around all the information and my thoughts about it. I don't yet have words to describe how creepy I think these Halloween costumes are (although the costumes weren't actually in the movie, I found them on the Miss Representation Pinterest board #NotBuyingIt).

Anyhow, the film itself was incredible. Eye-opening, unsettling, inspiring...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Water Beads (the new favorite in toddler entertainment)

This will be a quick post...but I just had to share L's favorite new activity! Last week a friend introduced us to "water beads". They're also known as "water gems". They're intended for use in floral arrangements but they are so fun to play with!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Date Night (or, thoughts on romance, skunks, and dog washing)

Friday night L had her very first sleep over--her very first sleep-over away from home without mom and dad. For the first time in nearly three years I didn't sleep in the same house as my daughter.

I was nervous but she didn't even look back. She packed her special suitcase at 7am Friday morning and told me every five minutes for the next 11 hours that she was ready to go. She was so excited to stay the night with her Mimi and Pop. When the time finally came and I dropped her off with my in-laws, she gave me a quick hug and kiss and off she went. Like I said, she didn't look back. It was time to enjoy a lovely date night with my husband.  
He was enjoying being an only child for an evening...
I picked up J at work and we had a nice dinner out. We ate slowly and savored the silence and the calm of the restaurant. Once we got home we tried to relax. We talked about how quiet and empty the house felt. We wondered how long it took L to fall asleep. We decided to watch a movie so we wouldn't spend the whole night talking about L...

Totally romantic evening, right? Yes, it was awesome. It was peaceful and lovely. We're easy to please--just some quiet time alone at home is romantic. No need to add anything extra. I know, I know. We're totally lucky to have family nearby and have an opportunity enjoy an evening alone before the baby arrives. You might be thinking, yeah, it seems like a nice evening--where does the dog washing fit in?

Friday, October 12, 2012

{this moment} mama time

A Friday ritual. A single photo, without words capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, wonderful moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. -via soulemama.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Planning Meals (or, trying to keep myself from cooking the same thing every single week)

In answer to a few questions I've received about meal planning...I have a confession to make. Meal planing is not my strong point. Seriously, it's a challenge every week. Breakfasts are usually some combination of yogurt, fruit, toast, smoothies, pancakes, cereal, eggs. We rotate through the same snacks and lunches (PB&J, fruit, cheese slices, hummus and veggies, nuts and dried fruit).

Dinner is more challenging. Each weekend when it's time to go to the store, my husband and I look at each other and say:

"So, what do you want to eat this week?"

"I don't know, what do you want to eat?"

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Subtle Ways to Build a Healthy Self-Image

Welcome to the October 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Instilling a Healthy Self-Image
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared confessions, wisdom, and goals for helping children love who they are. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
***


Let's be honest. Over the years I've struggled to build and maintain a healthy self-image for myself. I've struggled with my body image and my self-esteem, depression and anxiety. Now that I have a daughter, I worry about how these things will affect her. I want her to know and believe she's beautiful. I want her to have confidence in her strength and intellect. I want to protect her from the tidal wave of marketing that will tell her she's not good enough. I want her to know image isn't everything. At the same time I don't want to ignore it because it's present in every facet of culture in the US.
These are the shoes she picked out this morning. She prefers that they don't match.

Monday, October 8, 2012

One of those days

I've started and erased this post about five times now. I suppose that means I'm not really in the right mindset to write--at least not right now. So, with that, I'll leave you with something that made me smile today...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Cravings

Maybe it's because we're experiencing the first "cold" weather of the season or maybe it's because I've been seeing advertisements for pumpkin spice lattes every time I turn around. Maybe it's because I drive by a doughnut shop and a Cinnabon every time I leave my house or maybe it's because I'm pregnant.
See? There are leaves on the ground! We're not at home though. Not any leaves falling there...
Whatever the reason, I'm seriously craving fall treats. After watching my husband and daughter share a pumpkin cupcake this afternoon (they were really cute eating their cupcake), I've decided to take matters into my own hands. Thank goodness for the internet. In just a few minutes I've collected a few recipes I'm going to try asap. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Painting Pumpkins (and a lesson for mom)

Yesterday I posted a photo of my daughter painting a pumpkin. It was definitely the {this moment} I wanted to share on Friday but I have to admit the picture is a little misleading. It looks like such a clean, orderly project. It was for a while...but then it wasn't. There was a lot behind that image.
This particular moment deserves a little more explanation.

Friday, October 5, 2012

{this moment} painting pumpkins

A Friday ritual. A single photo, without words capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, wonderful moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. -via soulemama.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Savoring a Good Day

I almost didn't write anything today but decided it would be better to post a quick note before I go to bed that to skip it...even if I couldn't find the perfect picture to include in the post. I'm feeling very thankful tonight and wanted to share. I know that's cheesy. Sorry in advance.

I'm thankful for my wonderful little family. 

I'm thankful every time I feel our little baby moving in my belly.

I'm thankful every time L says, "I love you so much mommy!"

I'm thankful for the feeling of her little arms hugging me around my neck before she got in bed tonight.

I'm thankful for the sheer joy I hear every time she laughs.

I'm thankful we've found a wonderful, supportive network of friends here in our new town. It's still counts as new after more than two years. 

I'm thankful for the amazing friends I have back home and around the country and around the world who are still in touch despite the distance.

I'm thankful I only have to wait two more months to see my parents. I can't wait to see the look on L's face when they arrive. 


Now it's time to sleep. I'm thankful I get to go to bed early tonight. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day!

This post is part of Thankful Thursdays.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Call for October Carnival Submissions: Holidays

Thanks to everyone who participated in the August Simplicity Parenting Carnival! It was a great success! We hope you'll join us again, Justine at The Lone Home Ranger and Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM, for another simplicity parenting carnival. If you’re joining us for the first time, feel free to check out the May and June carnivals as well! Please note that even though we’ve decided to host the carnival every other month, we’ll be posting in both October and November so we can take December off. We’ll be back on a regular schedule in January. See here for more details.  

October 2012: Holidays
The holiday season is wonderful but can be overwhelming in many respects. The pressure to consume, consume, consume can be intense regardless of what holidays you celebrate.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Loving Our Homeschool Co-op

I have fond memories of attending Montessori preschool when I was a child. I really wanted L to have the same experience but it's not realistic at the moment. While there is a Montessori school in town, it's five days a week and not within our budget at the moment. If I'm really honest with myself, even if money were not an issue, I'm not ready for her to be gone from me five days a week. She is still only two--if only for another month and a half.
Instead, we try to do a lot of hands-on activities at home. We encourage her be as independent as possible around the house. I've been reading up on Montessori and joined a homeschooling co-op with a preschool group. My friends and I had been discussing starting our own weekly co-op when we realized we could join an existing co-op. Our children entirely make-up the preschool class and two of my friends volunteered to lead the group so the lessons are tailored to the Montessori style and the experience we want for our children. It's the perfect arrangement. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

It Finally Feels Like Fall

When I woke up this morning it was cooler outside than it was in the house. It was a glorious feeling. We went outside and L said, "Brrrrrr, it's cold!". It was only 72F and it felt great! This evening we had a breeze and a little rain and it was cool enough to open the windows. That's right--we opened the windows. We can do that because my awesome husband put new screening on our window screens this weekend. Having screens in the windows makes me very happy. I love having the windows open.

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