First birthday

First birthday

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Samuel Snapshot: (almost) 1.5

Our sweet boy is about to turn 18 months old next week! Crazy. Eric says we shouldn't say how many months he is anymore. He thinks it's confusing. I think most mom's are cool with months til age 2, but whatever. Here's a little about what he's doing now:

Talking: We figured Samuel has about 20 words that he says on his own right now. Granted, a few of those are animal noises, but I think that counts. ;-) He's currently obsessed with body parts, particularly noses and eyes and toes (I guess because those are the ones he can say most clearly). He's getting pretty into "mouth" and "knee" this week too. He loves to touch different parts of our faces and tell us what he's touching. It's sweet, but he has no concept of gentleness, so we have to seriously watch out or else we may end up eyeless before his toddlerhood has ended. 

Eating: Should I even bother with this section? He loves food. Period. In fact, we just came from a playgroup where he seriously begged every mom for their kids' food once his was gone. He loves going to Trader Joes and Harris Teeter with me because he knows I will give him samples when we're there. We still eat around 6 times a day. And I have to cut him off from drinking milk because he would probably have a whole gallon every day if I let him. 

He did discover watermelon the other day, and, unsurprisingly, that was a huge hit. Yay, summer!

Reading: Oh, everything! And tearing our books up too.. but only the ones with flaps/spinners etc. I bought the Nose Book (similar to the Foot Book) this month, and, as you can imagine with his current nose obsession, it was a HIT. He loves to bring it to me and say "nose! nose!" And when I'm reading it, I'll let him say "nose" when I get to it. It's precious. 

Playing: He's been loving his tunnel lately! He can open it by himself now and often drags it into us saying "Duh-bel!" (his word for tunnel). He's also learned how to climb ladders - eek! Not fun for mommy! We went to a "big" park the other day (like 12-15 foot slides big) and he totally climbed up 2 ladders to the highest part and I had to hold him while we went down the slide. I was legitimately scared. Seriously, this kid has no fear (though after burning himself on a hot slide a few weeks ago, he's much more leery of those.)

Another funny anecdote - Yesterday I went to pick him up from the Y and I caught him putting toy dinosaurs down his shirt (onesie). I guess he thought he was going to sneakily take them home with us?? 

We got a children's museum membership and he's also really been enjoying that. Sometimes he just wants to run around the whole place, but we went last week and he actually spent a pretty significant amount of time playing in their little kitchen area and "napping" with the three bears and exploring their letter section. He's still pretty ADD, but it was nice to see him concentrate more!

Sleeping: He seems to have gotten over trying to climb out of the crib/getting his legs stuck, thank goodness! Now he thinks it's fun to take the crib sheet off or hide himself/his toys underneath it. Because we obviously can't see them under there... ;-)

Baby boy has been extremely cuddly with me the last few weeks. I LOVE it. It may not last, but lately when I carry him places, he's just been hugging me and cuddling. We spent a few mornings cuddling on the couch watching tv and reading. He likes to come over and give me hugs out of the blue. It's SO endearing, and almost makes up for the terrific tantrums he throws when he's frustrated. (I could still live without those though). 

Parenting is still so hard, but I feel like it's been a little easier lately. Maybe it's because Eric's home more or just because Samuel's understanding more. I still have days where I think I'm going to lose my marbles, but all in all, 17 months has been a super fun age! I love this crazy kids more than words can say. :-) 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Stitch Fix

The last few months (years??) have been kind of tough clothes-shopping for me. Ever since Eric started residency my two options have been 1) Go shopping for clothes with a baby/crawler/crazy toddler or 2) Don't go clothes shopping. The latter has won out for the most part. 

I have had some luck with ordering a bunch of stuff online, trying it on at home, then returning what I don't want (usually most of it). Going in to return things with Samuel is way easier than shopping and trying things on.

So when my friend Tiffany told me about Stitch Fix back in May, I got really excited. It sounded right up my alley - a designer looks at my pinterest page/style, my measurements and what types of pieces I am looking for and then sends a box of clothes I should like directly to my house for me to try on. Then I keep what I want and send back what I don't. It's $20 to try, and that money goes toward any purchases you make. It seemed worth a shot.

I got my first box in this week. While not everything was exactly my taste, there were a couple of things I really did love and wish would have fit a little better. I ended up keeping a necklace since it was only $8 over what I'd already paid, and decided to go ahead and try another box next month. When returning the items, you get to say specifically what you didn't like about them and make notes for the person picking your stuff out.

Here's a basic run-down of what I got:

This necklace, which I kept. $28 (but I'd already paid $20). Probably not something I would have picked for myself, but it was sparkly and cute and has a different shape than most of the necklaces I own. (Plus Samuel recently destroyed about 5 of my favorite necklaces, so I'm in need of some new ones).

These Kut from the Kloth jeans. They were about like every other pair of jeans I try on (I have horrible luck with jeans):
1) Too stretchy
2) Stuck out about an inch at the waist but hugged my big ba-donka-donk a little too much
3) Hung down about an inch in the crotch

So at $98, these were a big fat no. 

This Market and Spruce crochet-back shirt was really really cute. I love the color. I really liked the style. But the sleeves drove. me. crazy. I tried pulling them up further. I tried stretching them down. But I couldn't bend my elbows right for the life of me. So sad. But maybe not that sad, because it was $68, and I would have had a much harder time deciding if it would have actually fit right.  

Ah, this dress. So pretty, right? And in this picture, it almost looks like something I should have kept. Except... the material. It was soft and comfy. But it hugged every one of my curves. Every. single. one. I don't have a ton of fat on me, but it showed every little bit of what I do have. So, while it made me a little sad, I knew there was no chance of me keeping this $88 piece. 

This Market and Spruce shirt didn't stand a chance. The print is tolerable, but it was way too big, and made me feel like a blimp. At $48 (or $28 after the styling fee I'd paid), it was the closest to my actual price range. That was pretty much its only redeeming quality. 

So there you go, Stitch Fix #1. I'm totally pinning this... maybe my super stylist will take a peek?? We'll see what next month has to offer! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

17 Month Snapshot

I'm not sure why, but this month felt really really LONG. Probably because it was Eric's last month of intern year (woo-hoo!!) and I've SO been looking forward to him finally having some extra free time to spend with our family and us actually getting to feel like (sort of) a normal couple again. He spent 5 of the last 7 weeks on nights and slept in our guest room when he was home, so we haven't even gotten to sleep in the same bed for practically months.

But enough of that. After weeks that seemed to drag on forever, intern year in D-O-N-E.

Samuel has been a trooper through it all. I feel like he's been improving the last few weeks as far as obedience/staying away from dangerous things goes. Or maybe my attitude has just gotten a little better about it, I don't know. In any case, I'm not feeling as much like "what in the world am I doing?" lately. I'm sure that will change again soon, though. Who really knows what they're doing parenting, anyway?

Anyway, here's a little about Samuel right now:

Talking: He loves to talk and can only say about 10 words really clearly. So he says them over. And over. and over. and over. "Bubble" is his far and away favorite. "Go" has been extremely popular lately too. Of course, "banana" is always a winner. "Shoe" is starting to come out more. "That" and "this", "teddy," "da da," "cat" "ma ma" etc. He's also started going "sssss" for "please." He actually says "eeeese" for "cheese." (That can be a little confusing). "car" comes out a lot now. And there's the classic "all done" and "down." He also makes a few animal noises (moo, baa, and quack), and randomly said the word "turtle" the other day?? Sometimes he really catches me by surprise! Oh yes, and he's super into saying "eyes" "nose" and a not-so-clear version of "ears." And "diaper." Can't forget that one! (he likes to point to his crotch when he says it. Lovely).

Samuel repeats (or attempts to repeat) so much of what we say! Unfortunately, his enunciation is terrible. It makes me laugh. He usually gets the syllables and inflection, but that's about it. He likes to come tell me things -- I usually have no clue what he's saying. He gets pretty upset about it when he's super bent on sharing information with me and I don't understand. It's a little sad, but I know he'll be talking well soon enough. Surely his word explosion is coming soon???

Eating: Pretty much all the time. He seems to be getting pickier, and is pretty into throwing his food on the floor when he doesn't want it or is done. We have been making progress in that he's started putting his food into the little cupholder on his high chair tray instead of throwing it... once it gets full, it's back on the floor though.

Pretty much any fruit is a winner with this guy. He also likes chicken nuggets, anything cheesy, yogurt, milk, and most types of bread. Crunchy peanuts and carrots are also hits. We do beans occasionally as well. Getting veggies in is always a chore with him. I do what I can though. If anyone has any veggie suggestions, let me know!

Reading: We've had a pretty good variety of books circulating around this month. Previously he's really latched on to one or two books at a time, but I feel like we're doing a better job of making the rounds now. It's way less annoying than reading the same thing 20 times in a row!

Playing: Taking all the shoes out of the closet is a current favorite. Blocks, puzzles, and, of course, blowing bubbles (all by himself).

We did swim lessons this month, and little man LOVES being dunked under the water! he can also hold on to the side of the pool by himself, blow bubbles in the water, and splash pretty darn well. ;-)

I don't know if this counts as playing, but Samuel now has a couple of "chores" now... well, as much as a 17 month old can have. He helps me put away toys and pick up food he's thrown on the floor. He also takes Eric a soda every night (in a can) and sometimes the silverware. And he "helps" me sweep. Sweeping is his favorite.

He also loves anything and everything he can climb on. There isn't a playground big enough for this guy!

Sleeping: Naps have been a little iffier lately, but we still get a solid 11 hours at night, so I'll take it. Samuel gets a nap every day, it's just not always as long as I'd like it to be. Sometimes he tries to fall asleep at 11 instead of 1 and then he doesn't want to take a nap when it's actually time. So that's fun. He also has been getting his legs stuck in the side of the crib (over the mesh bumper) occasionally, which leads to a lot of crying. We're working on that though. Overall, I can't complain!

I'm sure there's more I'm leaving out, but it's taken me three days to get this much down, so it'll have to do. ;-) Month 18, here we come!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I can't sleep tonight. Eric's on his last shift of intern year (!!) and my brain is going 80 miles an hour. Here are a few things I keep recounting from today that make me chuckle.

At VBS this morning, with 4 year olds:

Me to a boy and girl who came in together: "are you guys brother and sister, cousins, or just friends?
Boy:" she plays at my house sometimes."
Girl: "he's my boyfriend!"

Sounds like a healthy relationship.

Next girl comes in...


And tonight, as Eric is preparing to go to work.
E: "ugggh I don't want to go to work.
Me (teasing): "You know Gary Chapman spoke Sunday about the verse in Philippians, "do everything without grumbling."
E: Well that may be true, but Gary Chapman never had to do a pelvic exam.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dresser ReFurb.

There are so many things I need to do right now, but blogging seems like fun. :-) I am so grateful to be feeling sooo much better these days. The last month I've been back to having a crazy schedule (thanks to Eric's long month of night shifts and my needing to keep myself entertained) and having my brain run a million miles an hour and my to-do list be 10 pages long. I love it. I feel like I'm getting things accomplished and learning and growing and that's a very very good thing!

One of my "accomplishments" the last month has been my fabulous dresser re-do! Our bedroom furniture is a mish-mash of things that Eric inherited from his grandma, some other relatives, and one nightstand I got from Wal-Mart right after we got married. Our bedroom is gray and purple and all the furniture is some shade of brown soo... yeah. Not the most attractive, even for an eclectic look. The dresser has been bugging me for ages. After four moves and a lot of wear and tear, that poor thing looked awful. We couldn't really notice it at our old place because it was so dark in our room, but here it was BLATANTLY obvious.

(Notice the scratches on the bottom drawer. Those weren't from me!)

It took me quite a while to convince Eric to let me re-do it, and then even longer to agree on a color. I finally talked him into letting me do it black, though, and I'm SO glad I did!

It wasn't the easiest process in the world, especially during a month where I was essentially a single mom (we saw Eric approx. 20-30 minutes per day). It took me a week or so of sanding the drawers down during nap time, a day of Samuel being at preschool to sand down the body of the dresser, and another preschool day and nap time to actually stain the thing.

We also don't have a garage or any really good place to do these things, so I had to haul the thing outside and down the stairs to the driveway to sand and backyard to paint.

Because of it's age, the holes for the drawer pulls were not standard size, so I had to special order them. It was almost a full month before everything was done and put together, but I think it turned out great!

Now that the dresser is black, I'm itching to do the headboard too.... I think I may have found a new hobby. ;-)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bye-Bye, Pacifier!

                 I've been dreading trying to get rid of Samuel's pacifier for a while now. I knew he was getting to the point where he really shouldn't have it any more. That became even more evident when his top teeth came in spaced out and crooked, most likely from all the paci-ness that'd been going on for the previous 15 months. He carried that thing around everywhere. In a way it was nice, because it did it's job - it pacified him. Any time he wanted to throw a fit or if he woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't self-sooth, there it was, his little attachment and, for so long, the key to our sanity. But he was relying on it so much, and would go nuts any time we took it away.

               So when the pediatrician confirmed at our 15 month appointment that it was time for the paci to say "adios", I started formulating a plan. I knew we would be traveling to Arkansas the last week of May, so I detailed week by week when he would be able to have it/not have it starting the first week of June. I geared up for a miserable month or so,  imagining the constant screaming and crying and tantrum-throwing that was sure to occur.

               Then we got the most terrible/wonderful blessing in disguise. Samuel got Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (or in his case, just mouth). It was the saddest. thing. ever. I thought he was just teething until I looked in his mouth and saw approximately 30 little ulcers on his tongue and gums and palate. Poor, poor baby. He would try to eat then spit his food out and cry and cry. He would try to put that paci in, but it hurt him so badly that he would spit it out, then just carry it around for an hour or so. He'd wake in the middle of the night and remember his sores and scream some more. The worst part was that, outside of the sores, he felt fine. No fever, no hand/foot rashes, no general malaise. He wanted to play and romp, but he couldn't be around other kids lest they get the dreaded disease. So we were confined to our house and yard and the stroller for days. NOT a fun time.

              The blessing part of this miserable experience? Samuel got so disgusted by the pain his paci was causing him through all of this that he gave it up, cold turkey. All my plans went out the window. I was planning on waiting until after our trip to give it up so I could have it handy to help him chill out while traveling. That plan went out the window too (but that's a story for another day). One day it was just gone.

               He's now gone two weeks without a pacifier AT ALL. It's seriously a miracle. He couldn't go an hour without one before, couldn't sleep without one. We kept one in every room, both cars, every bag. Now, nothing. I won't say he isn't a little more fussy than normal, but I'm SO thankful to not have to fight with him about it. It's a little sad that my baby is too grown up for a paci now... Eric was especially bummed when he came home one day and I told him it was gone for good. Still, I know it's for the best, and I'm SO thankful it was such a short process! God works in mysterious ways, right?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Snapshot (Almost 16 months)

I have about 1800 other things I should be doing right now... with Eric on nights, I've gotten *really* good at keeping myself insanely busy. But I have been a terrible blogger, and I wanted to take a few minutes to write down a few of Samuel's fun almost-16-month-old habits. :-)

Talking: All the time! I still am not always sure what he is saying as his enunciation is terrible, but he repeats SO MUCH of what I say now. He also started signing (and sometimes saying) "all done" in the last few weeks, nodding yes and shaking his head no (usually discriminately!) and (sort of) signing and saying "thank you." (He points his finger to his cheek and says "Day doo"). Some of his favorites lately (other than "banana" "dada" and "cat") are "Cracker," "Teddy," "Car," "Down," and "go". I've also randomly heard "out" "Cheerio" "yes" "please" and "phone." These are not regulars though.

He also seems to understand so much more the last few weeks. He will bring me shoes if I say it's time to go, will go grab the remote if I ask if he wants to watch Clifford, will run to his chair if I say it's time to eat, etc. etc. It's crazy how quickly he catches on to things!

Eating: A little less I think, but still chows down pretty good. He had hand, foot and mouth virus last week, which was TORTURE. He wanted to eat but couldn't stand to because of all the sores in his mouth. It was so sad! He's better now, thankfully, and he's back to eating a banana for breakfast, some chicken or a sandwich for lunch, and whatever I'm having for dinner + 2 snacks a day. He likes to throw things down, but usually chows down at least once a day. I let him try Chick Fil A sauce last night, which may have been a mistake. He LOVED it. I also let him have ice cream while he was sick since he couldn't chew anything. Hopefully that doesn't turn him off to vegetables for life.

Reading: He's obsessed with Goodnight Moon right now! And is still pretty into Mr. Brown Says Moo and  The Very Hungry Caterpillar. There's also a shape book he really likes that literally has 8 words in the whole thing. Not very extensive reading there!!

Playing: Stacking blocks and pushing them over; Putting milk caps in and out of a wipes box; He's starting to like his little twisty block thing (I don't know what you call it - those things they have in doctors offices for kids!), and he loves to sing and dance with his little puppy. He also really loves his cars and his activity table. His FAVORITE way to play, though, is to take EVERYTHING out of the kitchen cabinets/drawers and then run back and forth between the living room and kitchen putting things in different rooms. SO much for toys! Oh, and he love love loves being outside. I think he'd stay out there all day if I'd let him!

Sleeping: We had a few rough days while he was sick, but Sam-man is a champion sleeper - 11-12 hours at night and a 1 1/2 - 3 hour nap in the afternoon. AND the one good thing about having his mouth be so sore is that seems to have broken him of his pacifier! Last night he slept ALL night without it, and he is currently asleep in his crib without one. I was dreading having to take it away from him next month, but *fingers crossed* he may have given it up on his own. Woo-hoo! The best part about it is that now I can see his sweet smile so much more! I love it!

So that should curb my guilt for a little while anyway. Now back to chores. :-)