Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Long Live Summer

The anticipation of fall is officially upon us. Everywhere I look, people are posting things about sweaters and boots, commenting on how they can't wait for cooler temps, and announcing that pumpkin spice mania is slowly creeping into the stores. Usually, I would be right beside these people, anxiously awaiting that first PSL and counting down the days until I can break out my collection of scarves, but not this year. This year I am clinging on to summer for as long as possible. Why? Because saying goodbye to summer means that another season of my baby's life has come to an end, and I am just not ready for it. Not at all. This summer has been the best one to date. Taylor loves swimming and being outside for hours on end, getting her indoors at the end of the day is the ultimate struggle, plus this has been our first summer with little Logan. Life is perfect right now and I don't want it to end, so I'm holding on to summer for as long as I possibly can.

This past weekend was especially top notch. We didn't do anything particularly fun or out of the ordinary (except attend a birthday party for the coolest 6 year old ever), but it was exceptional nonetheless. The kind that makes you wish that summer would linger on forever and hope that someone will finally implement those 3 day workweeks that everyone seems to be in favor of. If we had it my way, we'd all have summers off just like when we were kids (with pay, of course). Summers are meant for pool days, trips to amusement parks, and long afternoon naps, not board rooms and budget meetings. Anyone else with me?!

But enough about that, back to our weekend. It was full of shopping, dinner at our favorite kid-friendly joint, skipping baths, and staying up too late. The weather wasn't smoldering hot for once (which meant we could actually stand to be outside without being soaked in sweat), so we made a point to spend as much time outdoors as possible. We loaded the kids into the double stroller and hiked around the neighborhood and made our way to a couple of different parks in town to run off some of that never-ending 2 year old energy. You know what I'm talking about. What I wouldn't give to bottle that stuff up and sell it on eBay. Surely I could afford to take summers off then!

We pushed our luck on naps both days, the first day was fine and the next Taylor completely lost her marbles at the grocery store (lesson learned). Logan napped for hours on end while the tot and I ate leftover birthday cake and watched Tangled on repeat. We fed Logan sweet potatoes for the first time and laughed as he giggled nonstop throughout dinner, just happy to be included in our nightly routine. Both kids were as happy as could be all weekend (minus our little mishap at the grocery store) which made things that much sweeter. Isn't it crazy how a toddler's mood can make all the difference in the world?

There were fits of laughter, hugs and smooches, and lots of snuggles. Weekends like that fill my bucket to the brim, a necessity after a long and crazy work week. I wish I could bottle up this moment in time and keep it forever. Life is just that good.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Logan 5 Month Update

Let me just start by saying that I love this age. Logan has officially transitioned out of the "I just want to sleep and eat all of the time" newborn stage and is well into the "Please play with me and give me all of your attention" phase. He is covered in rolls from head to toe, has perfected the baby cobra pose, and is finally starting to sprout some hair. I cannot get enough of this little boy, especially the abundance of love and laughter he has brought into our lives. Quite honestly, I'm not sure what we ever did without him!

Our not-so-little man continues to learn and grow with each passing day, and although he's been making big moves lately nothing is as important to him as his big sister. These two are at such fun ages and are really starting to hit it off, mostly because Logan is becoming more mobile and able to interact with her more. Taylor shares her toys with him, tells him stories, and sings to him, and he eagerly eats up her attention. Their budding friendship is everything I hopped it would be, and I die a little every time she says "I love you my little Logi Bears." I know this mutual love won't last forever, so I'm trying to cherish these moments while they still enjoy each other's company. I'm guessing it will end as soon as Logan discovers that Taylor has long hair just like Momma. Ouch.

In terms of mobility, Logan still hasn't figured out how to roll in a complete circle, but he loves to lay on his belly and scoot around the living room floor. He is still sleeping 10-12 hours each night (praise the Lord!) but we hit a rough patch about a week ago when I checked his monitor to discover him lying face down with his nose pressed flat against the mattress. I freaked out and spent the entire night going into his room every 5 minutes to make sure he was still breathing. Sure enough, he was perfectly content, snoozing away while I sat awake and worried all night. Ah, motherhood. Where you worry about everything and nothing at the same time.

This boy is so close to sitting up on his own, but his big noggin gets the best of him and sends him tumbling forward every time. I'm confident he'll have it down down by his 6 month birthday. Teething is an ongoing process, but he has yet to have any actually break through (although those bottom gums are looking awfully white). It's slobber city around our house, and between the drool and my post-partum hair loss I feel like cleaning is a never ending job. Please tell me I'm not the only one losing 4-5 handfuls of hair a day?! At this rate, I'll be bald by Christmas.

What's new this month? Logan has discovered his voice! Whether he's babbling, yelling, or spitting blowing bubbles, he is constantly making some kind of noise. And since he can't speak yet, shouting has become the unofficial form of communication between our two kids. Their favorite place for a shouting match is usually in the car, which is especially fun when you're stuck in traffic or about 5 minutes into your 2 hour drive. Between the two of them there isn't a moment of silence, ever. Thank heaven for bedtime.

This month, our little man weighed in at a whopping 19.4 lbs and measured 26 1/2". He still has a 6 oz bottle every 4 hours and lately an 8 oz bottle before bed. He loves oatmeal but since he is in the 87th percentile for weight, our pediatrician recommended only giving it to him a few times a week. We also decided that mixing it with water rather than formula would cut back on his calorie consumption. We introduced him to sweet potatoes recently, and he can't get enough. I have a feeling this boy won't be a picky eater!

Our Logi Bear maintains his happy-go-lucky, laid back attitude which has made adjusting to life with two kids so much easier. He goes with the flow, loves to laugh, and will be the life of the party as long as he can see everyone at eye level. Strangely enough, he likes loud noises and laughs so hard when Taylor roars "like a dinosaur" at him. His favorite toys include Sophia the Giraffe, crinkly books, Taylor's dolls, my index finger, and anything else he can shove into his mouth.

We love to watch you grow, sweet boy, and are so thankful you are ours. I can't believe next month will be your 1/2 birthday!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Logan's Nursery

This post is a tad overdue since Logan is almost five months old, but here we are nonetheless. I love looking back on previous posts, reminiscing over special holidays and baby milestones, and seeing just how much our lives have changed over the course of a few years. One day, I hope to show our children just how much time and effort went in to making a special place for each of them. A space where we comforted them when they were fussy, changed their clothes and covered their bellies in smooches, and sweetly whispered "I love you" after we laid them down in their crib each night. Time spent in these rooms has created some of my most precious memories, and I never want to forget a single detail.

I knew going into this process that designing Logan's nursery would be much simpler than designing Taylor's. First off, we reused the crib, dresser, and glider which meant all I had to do was arrange those pieces and then fill in the blank spaces with accessories. I started thinking about color schemes as soon as we found out we were having a boy. I wanted to stay as far away from blue as possible but wasn't a huge fan of green or yellow either, so gray seemed like the obvious choice. I came across the wood planks and galvanized letters on Pinterest and knew it would be the focal point of the room, so I built everything else around it. We chose a rich, dark brown stain which sent me on a shopping spree to find coordinating pieces. The hamper, basket, and side table are part of the Threshold line at Target, and the wooden arrows in the corner are courtesy of my handyman hubby. To tie the space together, I purchased this simple grey and cream striped rug from Crate & Barrel and laid it diagonally to make the room feel bigger. This little nook is incredibly cozy, the perfect place to curl up with a sleepy baby (or a good book).

We used Ikea picture ledges for book shelves and added a large round basket to house toys and blankets. The curtain panels aren't technically blackout curtains, but they significantly reduce the glaring sunlight at 8:00 PM when Logan is trying to go to sleep.

We reused Taylor's crib and mattress but purchased new crib sheets and the softest blanket ever as an accent (since he's too little to sleep with a blanket yet). We hung this map above the crib and filled the walls with playful quotes to give the room a sense of encouragement and adventure. A new life brings hope and endless possibility, and our job as parents is to raise our children to believe they can do anything and be anyone they want to be. I wanted to incorporate that message into his room, even if he is too young to understand it yet.

The dresser received a small makeover with a fresh coat of white paint and new hardware (bronze knobs seemed more masculine than the jewel-encrusted pulls we used for Taylor). We kept the decor on top to a minimum by only adding the necessities: Taylor's old changing pad with a new grey minky cover, a brown wicker basket to hold diapers, a glass canister full of the cutest handmade wooden blocks (which we use for Logan's monthly photos), and a piggy bank gifted by Granny & Papa. Let's not forget the ugly diaper pail in the corner which houses all of those smelly diapers. ;c )

The images above the dresser were some of my best finds from the cutest little Etsy shop, Zoom Boone Creations. I purchased several of their designs for Taylor's room, and then immediately started filling my cart with pieces for the nursery as well. They were so easy to work with and created all 4 signs with the wooden background to tie the room together. We housed the images in simple, white Ribba frames from Ikea and used Command strips to hang them so we wouldn't damage the walls.

I just love the way this little gallery turned out, and it seems I'm not the only one since the two most complimented pieces in the room are the pallet board with Logan's initials and this photo gallery. Utilizing artwork in a tiny space like this is essential in creating a fun and cozy atmosphere.

There were two other random quotes that I just had to incorporate into this room, the bottom quote is from "Where the Wild Things Are" (which perfectly encapsulates little boys and the mischief they always seem to go into) and the top is lyrics to Bob Dylan's "Forever Young." I spent many long nights reading these quotes over and over while I fed Logan (and struggled to stay awake), and I realized that, in a way, they're contradictory to each other but in the best possible way. While we want our children to be kind, compassionate, and possess a strong morale compass, we also want them to let their imaginations run wild, to dream and explore, and to just be kids, because childhood is fleeting and kids grow up entirely too young these days.

While I love the laid back vibe and overall functionality of this space, my absolute favorite part has to be the company it attracts. Every night after bath time, we take Logan in his room, dim the lights, and feed him a bottle before bed. And every night just as he's finishing, Taylor bounces into the room asking one of us to read them a story. No matter how stressful our day has been or what tomorrow's agenda may hold, life makes perfect sense in that moment. There is no place I would rather be than sitting in that rocking chair reading a book and snuggling my babies. My heart is incredibly full.