Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Last Day of October!

I think that's the best part of the day. Knowing that after today is over, we will wake up to November.

And great things happen in November -- like the boy's birthday. And Thanksgiving. And Black Friday. So excited.

And the best part? Like you didn't know. We get to turn the clocks back next weekend. An extra hour of sleep, y'all. Total bliss.

I am slightly nervous about how the boy will handle the time change. I am assuming that he'll just go to bed an hour earlier and wake up an hour earlier. So I guess I should say that I am slightly nervous about how I will handle the time change. I'll keep you posted on that riveting piece of information.

Anyway, back to the October 31 festivities.

The boy enjoyed a hearty breakfast of apple oatmeal. He's currently lying on the floor with his feet on the coffee table, watching Curious George and attempting to suck that last elusive drop of milk from his morning bottle.

Hopefully, he'll go down for a nap in an hour and sleep until about 2. Then we will pack up our gear and head over to my parents' house for lots of oooohing and aaaaaahing over the cute baby and a little bit of trick-or-treating, or as Dada likes to call it, "Give me Reeses, please."

I hope the little guy can pull out enough charm to get random strangers to fill his entire bag with candy.

And then, we'll go home, the boy will go to bed, and Dada and I will sit indian-style on the living room rug and divide the candy fairly between the two of us: Snickers, Twix, Kit Kat, and Skittles for me; Dum Dums, bubble gum , and the store-brand stuff for him.

That's only fair, right? I mean, I am the one doing the work here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Startng a Tradition

There's a nice set of traditions my family is known to follow. And we're pretty serious about our traditions.

Like ice cream cake at every birthday celebration.

Black Friday shopping.

Grilled cheese sandwiches after church on Sunday night.

Well, let's go ahead and add another one to the list: pumpkin decorating.

I would say pumpkin carving, but, well, that's not something I want to dive into just yet. Something about the boy running around wielding a knife doesn't sit with me too well. I mean, I like the kid and want to keep him around for a while, you know?

So we opted for paint. Well, I opted for paint. Dada suggested Sharpie markers, but how lame is that? Not to mention, how permanent-on-the-skin-for-a-few-days is that?

Cohen should thank me. Because, y'all, the kid had a blast. Between taste-testing each color (I'm pretty sure the stuff was non-toxic. That's probably a mom-fail.) and throwing the paint bottles and carrying them around toddler-style, I managed to milk out almost an hour of entertainment.

And then we decided to actually do some painting. My biggest stipulation to this new tradition is that the boy has to be in complete control of the decorating process. I want it to be his thing, not mine.

This year, well, he's probably still too little to express himself through pumpkin art, so I did have to help him a little bit. I put a dab of paint on the pumpkin or his hands and let him go to town.

And the boy went to town.

The baby? Thoroughly enjoyed himself. The pumpkin? Proudly displayed on the front porch.

I think it's safe to say that this new tradition is a good one.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Boo Bag -- Mama Made It!

We are now officially ready for Trick or Treating festivities on Monday.

We've got our super-cute Max costume (made by Mom), so cute it's guaranteed to cause rational adults to throw handfuls of candy at our son. Candy that probably cost them $10 a bag.

Candy that Dada and I will surely enjoy for months on end.

And now, we've got a bag to hold all the loot in.  Totally handmade by Mom, a good use of a naptime.

I used this tutorial. I spent the most amount of time making my own pattern for the bag, because those apparently just don't exist. I mean, I know the bag is really just two large rectangles sewn together, and anyone with half their brain should be capable of cutting out 12x18" rectangles without a pattern. But, dang it, I want a pattern!

The bag is bigger than the boy, but it's sure to hold lots and lots of sugary goodness. We'll be able to use it throughout his candy-gathering career. Or until the thought of carrying around anything that, gasp, Mom made embarrasses him too much.

For now, it thrills him. And that makes me smile.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sometimes You Just Gotta Smile.

Today I'm thankful for
1. The wonderful love of God.

2. Peek-a-boo with my sweet boy. I love the squeals and giant grins that follow.

3. Bible board books from the dollar store.

4. This precious time that I can stay home and love on my son. It's been 5 months, and it has flown by. I cherish each moment.

5. Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner! This is my favorite time of the year.

6. The spark of hope I see in my husband's eyes. God is working in our family. I'm trying to be patient and sit back and enjoy the ride. It's hard.

7. I've finally gotten some stuff done in anticipation for Cohen's first birthday party. I really only have 2 more weeks. Eek. I'll be relieved when that's over.

8. I made these bacon pinwheels to take to this morning's Bible study. They were gobbled up quickly. Because they're that good. I love super easy recipes that make me look like a rock star.

1 can of crescent rolls
1 package cream cheese
1 bag of bacon pieces (in the salad dressing aisle).

1. Roll out the cresent dough so you have a large rectangle (just pinch the edges together).
2. In a bowl, mix cream cheese and bacon pieces. Spread mixture onto dough.
3. Roll up the dough so you have a long tube. Put it in the freezer about 10 minutes. Then cut about 1/2 inch pinwheels.
4. Place pinwheels on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in 450 degree oven for 7-10 minutes. I really just eyeball it. When I see the tops getting browned, I take them out.

Voila! So good and super easy. The recipe also works with sausage (although the bacon ones are way better!)

9. Cohen LOVES these Buddy Fruits.
They are basically just apple sauce (in different flavor varieties) in a little pouch. I get them at Publix when they go on sale (less than .60 each, y'all!) and you can get a coupon on their Facebook page. We are entering the busy, squirmy, wiggly toddler stage when all the boy wants to do is go. So my awesome eater now has no patience for sitting down and eating. But he loves these things. And want to know a trick? I wash the pouches and save them. Then I use a medicine squirter to fill them up again with baby food. So at meals when my boy won't even consider the food in front of him, I give him the pouch, and he sucks up the fruits and veggies I put in there. Clever devil, I am. (I swear, Buddy Fruits are not paying me to say this. I just love them so much.)

10. I am just in a really great place right now. At the beginning of the year, I think I dealt with some postpartum depression, and that lasted until about June. Slowly, I have been feeling better and better. Today, I am filled with hope and joy and thanksgiving. Praise the Lord for seeing me through that tough time!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

What are you thankful for this week? You can post in the comment section below if you don't have a blog to post to!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On Being "Helped"

Last night, Dada set out to do the final yardwork of the year. That man is pretty serious about his lawn, and we have a pretty big one, so sometimes things can get a little ... intense.

Cohen and I figured we'd lighten up the mood by helping Dada. And by "helping," I mean letting the boy pester his father while I took pictures. One day, Dada will thank me.

Linking up with Paper Mama for Wordless Wednesday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Advice For A New Mom

This week, I attended a baby shower for a friend. I arrived late, of course, in typical new-mom fashion, and was immediately thrust into the "Let's all give the expectant mom words of wisdom" game.
I didn't really hear what everyone else said because, honestly, I wasn't listening. Between wiping Cheerio mush off my shirt and loosening the boy's death grip from my hair, I had other things going on, you know? So you can imagine my terror when I heard, "Your turn!" and saw about 15 pair of eyes focused on me.

Y'all, I'm not the kind of girl who performs well under pressure.

And these people were expecting a real pearl here. Because, obviously, if you have a baby on your hip, you're full of mom wisdom.

I think I said something brilliant like, "It's ok to lie to the pediatrician."  And totally disappointed everyone in the room. Someone may have even whispered, "Who gave her a baby?"

I've had a few days to recover. I've taken some time to think. And it turns out I really do have something to offer the new mom.

1. In the first days and weeks, you will probably think you've gone crazy. You'll be so happy one minute, and then you'll find yourself crying. You can be scared, lonely, unsure, angry, and that's OK. You are totally normal, and all these feelings won't stick around forever. Well, except the crying part. Cohen's almost a year old, and I still cry over everything.

2. You do not have to do everything by yourself. In the beginning, people will offer help, and you probably won't want it. There's something about moms thinking they have to handle everything on their own in order to be good mothers. That's not true. Ask for help when you need it.

3. Take every opportunity to enjoy your new baby. Soak everything in. The way he smells. The rolls on his arms. The sound of his little grunts. He will grow up so fast, so live in the moment.

4. Things will probably not go the way you had planned for them to. There will most likely be at least one thing that won't work out perfectly for you. That's ok. You don't have to be ashamed or beat yourself up over it. Be flexible. Adapt. That's what makes you a good mom.

5. Take every opportunity to rest. Sleep when he sleeps. Everything else can wait.

6. Never allow yourself to compare your child to someone else's. Never base your expectations for your baby on what another baby does or doesn't do. Love and accept him for who he is. The quickest way to lose your joy is to compare.

7. You are a good mom. Trust in that. You have everything you need to help your baby survive and thrive.

8. You are the expert on your baby. Other people, and even professionals, can give you advice, but in the end, you know best for your child. Trust your instincts. Trust your baby to tell you what he needs. If your baby needs cereal before he's 4 months old, give it to him. If he needs to sleep with you (and you are OK with that), do it. Don't allow anyone to make you feel like less than the amazing mother you are simply because you are not doing things the way they did. Other moms are the biggest critics and judges -- stay away from that.

9. If you make it to the end of the day and everyone is still breathing and relatively happy, you've done a great job.

10. Take time for yourself every day. Make sure you are healthy and balanced.  The best thing you can do for your baby is to make sure you are being well.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Thankful Heart

Today I'm thankful for:

1. Being reminded that the way I so fiercely love my son cannot even be compared to the way God so fiercely loves me.

2. Driving home from Bible study this morning and having my breath taken away when I noticed the beauty around me. The Lord is an artist, for sure.

3. Knowing there are people out there who, without agenda, really do care about me and my family.

4. Being able to celebrate a new baby with sweet friends -- people I've missed more than I realized. Also, even in our state of  "We're poor now," I was able to give the new mom a present. That was such a blessing for me and a reminder that the Lord always provides for my needs.

5. Peace. Total, sold-out belief that my God is in control. I don't have to worry. I don't have to carry the burden. It's not up to me, after all.

6. Receiving a $25 gift card to Outback Steakhouse from a sweet family "Just because we're thankful for you." What a blessing! How loved we feel today!

7. Candra shared a victory today. A family who had been waiting years to adopt finaly met their sweet girl. I know some families who are currently in the adoption process, and this just makes me pray full-force for them. I am so excited about the days when they will get to hold their new children.

8. Waking up every morning to jabbering on the other side of the wall.

9. Help paying for my groceries that come from unexpected places. I am humbled.

10. I wrote last week that I felt like something wonderful was around the corner. I believe we are in the thick of it right now (or perhaps only just dipping our toes in? God is awesome like that). I am amazed as I sit back and watch the Lord unfold His plan. It is absolutely not what I had told Him the best way would be. It makes no sense. It is perfect.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

What are you thankful for this week? You can post in the comment section below if you don't have a blog to post to!

Linking up with Curious Georgi for Thankful Thursday.

My Memories Giveaway winner

And the winner of the My Memories Digital Scrapbook software is ....

drumroll ...

Savanna from These Little Moments!
 Congratulations, Savanna! I'll get with you about collecting your prize.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's a tough life

Final reminder that today is the last day to enter the My Memories Giveaway. It's easy to enter, and you have a great shot at winning free photo software (a $40 value). The giveaway closes tonight at midnight.

We woke up this morning to rain. And cold. Which means the boy and I get to spend the entire morning in our sweats. Snuggling.

I know, how will I ever manage?

On a crummy note, yesterday I cleaned up a little. As I was cleaning the floors, I put a couple rugs outside, and then I forgot about them. Until this morning.

While the boy took a few extra minutes to wake up and snuggle his bottle, the dog and I decided to go wild.

And make these. They're totally homemade. I mean, I opened the can and baked them. At home. It is understandable that you would be jealous of my domestic abilities. 

And yes, I am the horrible mother who let her baby eat a cinnamon roll complete with icing. But in my defense, most of the icing crumbled to the floor when he grabbed the roll out of my hands. So actually, I am the horrible mother who let the dogs clean up the baby's mess.

And I'm OK with that.

Happy rainy day, kid.

Linking up with Paper Mama  and Naptime Momtog for Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh, The Places He'll Go!

Just a reminder -- the My Memories Giveaway is still open! It closes Wednesday at midnight! It's way easy to enter, and you have a fantasic shot of winning the $40 photo software! I mean, I'm giving it away, people!

Photo Submission to Paper Mama's "Colorful" photo challenge.

You know all that free time stay-at-home moms have? Well, I use mine browsing through Pinterest, looking for the next awesome thing to add to my life.

A while ago, I started a board called "Cohen's Big Boy Room". I don't know why I did that; I'm in no hurry to transition my boy from his nursery. But it is pretty fun imagining what he'll be like in the next few years and what he'll be interested in.

It seems like the theme of Cohen's life is on the move. The child does not slow down. He rolled over at 6 weeks, sat unassisted at 5 months, crawled at 6 months, stood unassisted at 8 months, and walked at 9 months. He is curious and adventurous and into everything.

So, naturally, when I envision his big boy room, I see cars and trucks and all kinds of other things that go. When I think of his future, I think of all the great things he'll accomplish and all the fun places he'll go.

So without further ado, here are some Pinterest ideas for Cohen's Big Boy room:

Wall Art Inspirition

Art by Emrick123 (etsy shop)

Art by Printable Scripture (etsy shop)

Art from Graham's Room (she's awesome!)

Art by My Primitive Boutique

 Decoration Inspirition

map garland by Vintage Prints

3D art by berties

Train display by  Green Kitchen
bunting by helenaCRAFTS (etsy shop)

Bedding and Other Fabric Inspirition

From Better Homes and Gardens
pillow tutorial at Grosgrain
I will probably make a quilt and use this as inspirition. Photo from Lola Decor (etsy shop).