Friday, February 22, 2013

{Project 52} Notice the Details

Everyday Oliver plays with his Star Wars guys. He has been collecting these little action figures for months and has yet to get sick of them. Everyday they do something different. One day Chewbacca will be saving Princess Leia from Greedo in the Millennium Falcon. The next day Skywalker and the Storm Troopers are taking over a pirate ship. 

To him. It never gets old. 

I see it daily, I walk around the 'land minds' along the living room floor, careful not to step on anything (ouch!) But I never really stop. I never stop and notice the details of this imaginary play. I mean I see it. I see him and hear him and I will sit and watch him but I never really see it. 

So I have been forcing myself to slow down. It take it all in. To stop looking so much at the bigger picture and start paying attention to the smaller ones. The important ones. 

I am trying to remind myself that this is fun. All of this is fun. Even when it's not. Even when there are toys all over the living room and milk has been spilled for the 3rd time today. Its fun. Even when it doesn't seem like it at the moment. 

I am trying to slow down and take it all in. The way Oliver's face looks when he's concentrating so hard on playing.  How his little bottom lip still gets sucked in and his chin sticks out. The same way it did when he was a baby. 

Landon's cheeks. So chubby and soft. The way that his plump little lips hang open. The roundness of his eyes like brown M&M's. 

Watch it Lindsay. Look. Really look. Because eventually he will look different. Older. He may grow into those cheeks that you love so much. And he will be a boy. Not a baby. 

Watch Oliver play. Really watch him. The way he makes his friends talk. The way they treat each other. How he tries to carefully to get them to stand to protect the Death Star and all the characters who live inside. 

Notice his love for this. His ability to play and imagine. To go to another world where this, to him is the best thing ever. 

When you feel that life is moving a little too fast. That you're trying to balance everything and yet, nothing is going right. When one thing in your life seems to be out of control. Just stop, Stop and pay attention. Notice the details of the life around you. Forget the messy living room or the fact that your children are still in their pajamas at 3 in the afternoon - those things don't matter. At all. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

{Project 52} Embrace the Moment

Before I move on to this weeks challenge, I wanted to kind of update you on last weeks challenge. My goal was to turn off the computer for a week. I quickly realized that I use my computer a lot and that I had some recipes for our meals saved so I did need to turn it back on and look up somethings. But I kept it simple and I didn't go google 'why do onions make me cry' when I started to get misty eyed cutting the onion for dinner.

The first day was easy. I played with the boys and we watched movies. Hotel Transylvania is hilarious and Oliver loved it so that's all that matters. Things were cleaned during the day and laundry was finished. I did check in at night though, after the boys were in bed and Ryan was at the gym - I spent a small amount of time reading some blogs. However, once he got home, I put the computer away and the phone went on the other side of the room.

I didn't last until Monday, I actually posted on Saturday but I feel different about the computer/Internet now. I am more present in the day to day when I am not playing around on the computer. I seem happier too. Sometimes having all this information thrown at you all at once can become overwhelming. That time away, gave me some perspective that whatever I need to look up, or whoever I need to talk too will be there later.

Alright moving on. This weeks {Project 52} is Embrace the Moment.

I liked this challenge because it forced me to pay attention to the little things that go on daily in our life, and around me.

This particular day, Oliver was very lovey towards Landon. Now, he is generally nice to him (most of the time) but this day he was extra nice. It was the first time that I really saw the love that they have for each other.

A lot of my day is spent explaining to Oliver that Landon is still little and doesn't understand that it's not nice to hit or bite. I've tried telling that it's because he gets excited that he may get a little carried away and end up hitting him or biting him -  kind of like Oatmeal. This day, Oliver reminded Landon of this all on his own.

A few minutes before this picture was taken Landon was being the typical annoying brother to Oliver. He was trying to take that puzzle piece from Oliver and Oliver was getting upset. Then instead of shouting at Landon, he looked at him and said, "Baby, I am playing with the puzzle, but I love you so you can have it!" Yeah, that! I just sat and watched it all unfold. Landon took that puzzle piece, chewed on it for a few minutes and then laid down. Oliver then went over and laid next to him.

I didn't want to move from my spot on the chair but I wanted to get a picture of them laying together. I grabbed my phone and that's when Landon moved his hands. They were holding hands but I didn't get that part.

Taking the time to slow down and really pay attention to everything that is going on around me is important. I want to hold on to these moments and not rush from minute to minute. Everyday the boys change in so ways and I just want to remember everything -- the only way I can do that is to write it down and be present.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

This is Three

Three years ago today, I sat in that hospital bed in labor and delivery waiting patiently for the moment that Oliver would arrive. I was hooked up to the monitors, IVs in my arms, blood pressure cuff on the other side. As we watched the needle jump higher and higher, Ryan would let me know that it was a big one. He didn't need to tell me, they were my contractions - I didn't need a computer screen to tell me how big they were. But I let him tell me anyways, if anything he may have been doing it for himself.

The moment they placed Oliver on my chest, that was it - I was hooked. He was mine and I was his. Forever.

Oliver, you made me a mother. I will admit that I was so very scared when the nurse handed you to me and said, "Here he is, your baby boy!" There have been some rocky roads between us, but every day we learn a little bit more about each other.

Looking back now, bringing you home was the easy part. The feedings and late night diaper changes were simple. Now that you're almost three, your father and I have been trying to raise a person, not a baby. A person who will go out into this world and be something. This is the hard stuff. Because I have no idea if we're making the right choices. There is no manual that tells me what to say during situations. There is no manual that tell me how to react or how to fix it. I just have to go by my gut and I'll admit to you, sometimes I don't make the right choice - sometimes I let emotion guide my decision. Sometimes I am so wrapped up with what is going on in my own world that I forget that this is all new to you. And exciting, and you just want to share your excitement with me. Yet, you're forgiving and understanding. You love me anyways - faults and all.

On this thrid birthday, we have watched you grown into a child. A little boy, no longer a baby -- but always my baby. You are sweet and so very funny. There are moments when I look at you and see your father. It makes me happy to see how much you are like him. Yet, you are sensitive and observant. For a child - this amazes me. Its almost like you have a sense of when someone is hurt or sad. You will go out of your way to try to make them feel better. You heart is huge Oliver, please don't ever lose that.

Watching you is like looking into a mirror. I have to be careful with what I say and do, because eventually you end up doing it too. You don't know any different, you're learning from me and your father. But we don't always make the right choices, and we need to be a little bit more mindful on how we react to certain situations. We're only human Oliver, and we make mistakes too. I will always admit to you if I was wrong. You will learn by my words and actions and if anything I want you to learn that you are loved and are lovable.

You are courageous and compassionate. Keep that, don't lose those qualities that make you, you. Life will be hard sometimes and throw things at you that will make you question everything - hold on to that compassion. But mostly, be compassionate with yourself first. You deserve that. As for the courage, don't ever let fear stand in your way. You have the courage now, as a child - don't lose it as you grow.

You are an old soul, Oliver. Full of kindness and love. Our lives were so very blessed when you entered it. In this family we will always encourage you, to be yourself. On your third birthday and always, we love you -- the most.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Oliver Gets A New Room

This year we wanted to do something different for Oliver's third birthday. We've done the big parties and had everyone over to celebrate, but honestly its exhausting to plan for so many people and in February there is always a chance that the weather won't cooperate and we'd have to reschedule.

So, Ryan and I decided to have a small party on his actual birthday with just family and a few close friends. Then for his gift, we would redo his bedroom. He would get a real, big kid room. And it was going to be a complete surprise. I have spent months picking out paint and bedding, choosing the colors and the little details. This past weekend all our planning finally came together.

Sunday I dropped Oliver off at my grandparents to spend the night, Ryan stayed at the house to start the painting.  Just to give you an idea of what we were working with, here are a few before pictures.

So yeah, as you can see there wasn't much to it. It was cute when he was a baby, he had a woodland creatures theme with the bedding and wall decals. I painted the tree while I was pregnant with him. It was hard to watch Ryan paint over it. It was like closing a chapter. I still remember that day, I remember what I was wearing and I was listening to Jeff Buckley sing, "Hallelujah" while Oliver danced around in my tummy. It was his favorite song, and still is. I was sad to see the tree go, but I was so excited to give Oliver a room of his own.

We worked all day to make sure we had it finished by Monday. Ryan painted all the walls, I did the doors, windows and trim. Then I put everything together. By the end of the night I was so exhausted, but the room turned out better than I had ever expected.

The bookshelf is my favorite part of his room. It includes everything that Oliver loves. I feel that it represents him well and I love that things are at his level now. He can touch them and look at them close up.

Speaking of close up. See that Star Wars picture on the top of the bookshelf? Let's get a closer look at that.

Do you recognize those two people? That picture was taken in Disney on our honeymoon. It's Oliver's favorite picture. For the longest time he would walk around saying, "Daddy is Luke and Momma is Princess Leia" It was only right to include it in his room.

These modern pictures are from boxes of toys Ryan found for Landon. We cut them so they were even and just hung them from string with some clothes pins. I'd love to take credit for this - but it was totally Ryan's idea. I really love it. The shelf was in his room before - the Disney characters were a gift from my uncle. It's an ongoing joke in the family - my side are Yankee fans and Ryan's side loves the Red Sox so every year the boys get something Yankees and something Red Sox. Don't worry, there are a few Red Sox things around his room too - unfortunately when I went to take a picture, they were all blurry ;)

Major transformation going on in this room. We really tried to use the things that we had. The table next to the bed was my grandmothers, and it was in my bedroom growing up. She painted it black for me a few years ago. Oliver really wanted a lamp, so I thought that table would work perfectly next to his bed. The lamp is new, its from The Christmas Shop. Oliver was with me when I picked it out - actually he picked it out thinking it was for me. The bedding and comforter are from Target. The headboard is from his crib. The bed frame and mattress are awesome. We knew we wanted to get Oliver a full sized bed, it was the next step in his whole convertible crib thing so I look around and did a lot of research online. I found on Walmart some great reviews for the Spa Sensations Steel Smart Base Bed Frame it had almost   1,500 reviews and most of them gave it 5 stars. I loved it because he didn't need a box spring. We were on a budget and I really didn't want to spend a ton of money on a bed frame plus a mattress and box spring. After searching for frames I looked at mattresses. The Slumber 1 Mattress In a Box got my attention. This bed had almost 1,200 reviews and most of them were 5 stars. I also loved the concept of the whole bed in the box. I am serious - watch the video, its crazy how this bed works.

This bed is fantastic. It is so comfortable, you would never know it was shipped to my house rolled up and in a box. I am so happy with both of the purchases.

The paint was from Home Depot. It is Behr - the gray is Gentle Rain and the blue is Peaceful Night.
The three prints over the dresser are from Walflower  on Etsy. The two prints over the bookshelf and the other two (not shown) are from Pikselmatic on Etsy. Ryan got the vinyl decal over the bed on Ebay along with the glow in the dark stars. 

We surprised him with it Monday afternoon. Ryan was waiting in his room with the camera while we walked up the stairs. I asked him if he could help me with something in his room. When he opened the door he just stood there and looked around. He didn't say anything but took it all in. Finally we asked him if he liked it and he said, "you did this for me?" That moment made it all worth it. He is so special and now he has a special place, just for himself.

Linking up here

Old Navy's Kids & Baby Sale

With two growing boys, I have a hard time keeping up with their clothing. Oliver is growing so fast, yet his waist is so skinny that finding pants for him is always a challenge. That's one of the reasons, I love Old Navy so much. They make pants that actually fit him. If you aren't familiar with how their kid's pants work, they have the adjustable elastic on the inside so you can size up and still tighten the pant to fit the waist. Genius!

Last weekend Oliver and I went shopping for some new spring clothes, it may still be cold and wintery here but Old Navy had a great Kid's and Baby Sale going on. I wanted to stock up on all the favorites and for some great prices.

 We must have went on the perfect day because it wasn't crowded at all. We were free to roam the section of kids clothes alone without distraction. The tables were neatly covered in T-shirt and their dress shirts with little baby bow ties were hanging nicely. Seriously, is there anything cuter than child in a bow tie?

Oliver is all about picking out his own clothes, so I let him have at it. His first choice was a red pair of high tops. The kid has style, what can I say? They were marked at $10! Ten dollars! That is a great price for kids shoes. Then I let him pick out some outfits. A new pair of jeans for $12 a few shirts and he was done. The I let him help with some clothes for Landon. He had a lot of fun trying to find things for his brother to wear. We got him some shorts and a few shirts too.

When it came time to check out the girl who waited on us was so nice. We were talking about my gift card and she asked how she got it. I told her that I was a blogger and I was given the gift card to shop at Old Navy. She admitted that she always wanted to start a blog but was nervous. I hope I convinced her to at least try - she was so very sweet. I'm sure she's make a great blogger.

The overall experience of shopping at Old Navy was great. The kids got some new clothes for the spring/summer and it didn't cost a lot of money to dress them nicely. I truly love that store and their selection of children's items.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dont Forget Your List!

Ryan always jokes around with me that I would forget my head if it wasn't attached. I'm not offended, it's the truth. I am forgetful. I can't count how many times we have gotten down the road only to have to turn around and come home because I forgot something, or more importantly the very list I needed to take to the store with me.

Its frustrating, especially when I am carting two kids with me. The last thing they want is to be out and about longer than they need to be, because their mom is forgetful.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Tracy and Kim, they created the app Don't Forget Your List that works by GPS. So, it actually reminds you that you have a list and its on my phone. I may forget my list a lot, but I never forget my phone. I was excited to check it out.

First of all, its very easy to navigate. The opening screen shows you how the whole thing works.

Once inside it is simple to select your stores.

The black lines aren't part of the list. I just blocked out the addresses.

After the stores are selected. You can click the little gear and select how you want to be notified. I chose while I was in the parking lot. I only had two stores that I needed to go too so I didn't need the mile away option. However, I do love that - because there have been many times I have driven right past were I needed to go. Annoying. 

The All Items tab makes it easy to add to your list. In this tab you can see all the items and what store they belong too.

Overall, I am extremely happy with this app. The ease of using it makes me actually want to use it. And the best part is that I don't have to try to remember my list when I leave home. I've been using it for a week now and I am pleased. I think you should check it out, especially if you're like me and a little forgetful!

I received a promo code to download this app for personal review. All opinions are mine. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

{Project 52} Unplug

Week 5 of {Project 52} is to unplug.

I will admit I am addicted to the computer. Social media. The whole shebang. I feel almost panicky if I leave home without my phone. Its sad, because honestly there is nothing to miss.

So this one is important to me. It's a challenge. I love my computer and my phone, (most of my friends actually live in it!) but I need to put some distance in between us. Its something that I have really been trying to work on more and more. Especially during the day when the boys are up.

I have noticed when I step away from the computer, things actually get done. It's like a miracle, who would of though, really? The boys are happier too. I love them and I want them to feel important. I want them to know that I value my time with them and you can't really do that when your nose is behind a computer screen, or cell phone.

I want to give them my undivided attention, because I expect that from others - my children (and husband) should get that from me. I want to be a good example to them, that it's okay to not have the tv on, or the computer or the ipad. I need my phone on because it is our only phone in the house - but it's alright for it not to be glued to my hip. Its okay to go to the store without it. We all survived years without cell phones, one little trip to the grocery store isn't going to hurt.

So this week I am shutting it down. I am actually going to turn it off, not just close it. I am going to put it away in the back of the closet and not check it again until next Monday morning. I am going to engage in the days with my kids. I am going to really listen to them and watch what they are doing. I am going to talk with my husband face to face and not be distracted by my facebook feed. We can sit and watch a movie and I will actually watch it and not half watch it, half play around on pinterest.

This week will be full of dancing, and crafting. Planning and parties. Next week I plan to share a secret with all of you - its about a little boy who will be turning 3 very soon.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Confessions

I thought this looked like fun, so I decided to give it a try. Plus I have a few random things just floating around in this here head of mine.

So, these are my confessions.....[is Usher in your head now?]

1. I am over being sick. I am over my family being sick. I am over boogers and coughing and just the crappy feeling.

2. I have been practicing highlighting and contouring my face and I can see a difference. It's pretty awesome and a lot of fun!


3. I hate snow. It hasn't even been bad this winter but I am over it. It can go eff itself. It's the worst when I know Ryan has to drive in it.

4. I've been forcing myself to drink more water. So far its been working - I feel like I am floating.


5. I've been on a cooking roll lately. I should probably share some of the amazing things I have been making, but I haven't felt like blogging much. I've been spending my down time reading - when it's crappy and cold all I want to do is curl up with a book and blanket and read. All day. Too bad the minions need me to ya know, do stuff for them and teach them things. ;) totally kidding. I love it. [most days]

6.  And then there is the Superbowl. I don't really care about football - but I do like the food. And Beyonce.


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