Monday, January 30, 2012

Project 366 Week 2

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Teeth & Deal

Just look at this picture. My little man has two bottom teeth! I sat up a little "at home" photo shoot yesterday because I needed some pictures for our Valentine's Day cards. This isn't the picture we used but I love how his little teeth are visible here. He's growing way too fast for my taste ;-)

If you haven't ordered Valentine's Day cards, I just wanted to let you know that now through Monday is putting their cards at $0.99! Even photo cards! {use code vday99}. Hope you can take advantage of this deal! I love tinyprints. They did our Christmas cards and I was impressed with how good the quality was. I'm excited to put together Landon's first valentines. I remember so vividly in elementary school bringing my valentines cards for all my classmates and we each had a little mailbox on our desk for our "deliveries". :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Music, Book and Sleep

I have not done a good job at all lately of keeping up with this blog and I hate it. I think it's mainly because Joe is doing OB anesthesia this month and next and the hours are LONG. Most nights he gets home just in time to help me put Landon to bed. I'm pretty much carrying all the load of "household things" so blogging has gone to the back burner.

Yesterday Landon and I had our music class. It cracks me up because he's the youngest child in our class {which is mixed ages} and he just sits so still and stares at all the other kids. I worry our teacher thinks he is totally sheltered! Hah!

I know I am so late to the game but I am about halfway through Hunger Games and if you haven't read it I would recommend it to you!! I have been staying up way too late after putting Landon to bed to read. I heard they're making a movie too!

Speaking of putting Landon to bed, we have officially relinquished the swaddle and it has been a rough transition. I think I'd like to take it back and maybe swaddle Landon until he's 18 because he woke up every 30 minutes the first night because he kept accidentally (?) rolling over and getting frustrated. I hope he starts to do better soon! He just loves being hugged, snuggled, swaddled and waggled (maybe not but it rhymed).

Happy Thursday!

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Project 366 Week 1

Sarah at Life Sweet Life posted a great tutorial for Project 366, aka taking a picture every single day of the year. I'm a little scared of the commitment but I think it's such a nice way to document day-to-day life. So here's week one! :-))

{click to enlarge}

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valentine's Day Mailboxes

I've been trying to come up with an easy Valentine's Day craft because I'm hosting our monthly craft club for February. I saw (somewhere??) that Target had little tin mailboxes in the Dollar Spot so I went and bought some to experiment with. They are so cute for $1 and mine had red, white, turquoise and pink ones :)

I wanted to put them on a stand of some sort and I was at the Dollar Tree when I ran across these little black wrought iron candleholders. Right there on the second row down. Score!!

When I got home I just hot glued the mailboxes to the candleholders (the short one worked best upside down).

Michael's had all their scrapbooking embellishments 40% off so I got some odds and ends to dress up my mailboxes.

Of course I will monogram or initial anything that will sit still long enough, but I think you could also use some cute address like "101 Lover Lane" on the side ;-) - be creative!

And then I just added little stickers and things until I was satisfied. Landon's needed a little bird sitting on the top and mine got a butterfly :)

For my craft club I'm going to have each of the girls write a valentine for everyone else and put it in their box to read later. Won't that be fun? :)

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Raising A Little Boy

Only a handful of people who are very close to me know I actually *wanted* a boy when I was pregnant. I know, it's kind of wrong to actually hope for a certain gender. I can tell you that now because it worked out - hah!

We didn't find out the gender while I was pregnant (and of course I would have been thrilled to have a little girl!) so when I saw our baby was a boy on delivery day I was so excited. I have always thought raising a little boy would be so fun. I think I am up for the task of raising a generous, energetic and loyal little boy. And, maybe a little selfishly, I know that boys have a special relationship with their mothers that girls don't. I will always be the first woman in my son's life and I know someday I will get replaced by another woman - his wife - so I want to do the best job I can now to lay the groundwork for an amazing man and husband. I have seriously, really, really always wanted a little boy.

I ran across something on another blog that made me cry so hard over having a little boy. I love it so much :)

25 Rules for Moms with Sons
1. Teach him the words for how he feels.
Your son will scream out of frustration and hide out of embarrassment.  He'll cry from fear and bite out of excitement.  Let his body move by the emotion, but also explain to him what the emotion is and the appropriate response to that emotion for future reference.  Point out other people who are feeling the same thing and compare how they are showing that emotion.  Talk him through your emotions so that someday when he is grown, he will know the difference between angry and embarrassed; between disappointment and grief.

  2. Be a cheerleader for his life
There is no doubt that you are the loudest person in the stands at his t-ball games.  There is no doubt that he will tell you to "stop, mom" when you sing along to his garage band's lyrics.  There is no doubt that he will get red-faced when you show his prom date his pictures from boy scouts.  There is no doubt that he is not telling his prom date about your blog where you've been bragging about his life from his first time on the potty to the citizenship award he won in ninth grade.  He will tell you to stop.  He will say he's embarrassed.  But he will know that there is at least one person that is always rooting for him.

3. Teach him how to do laundry
..and load the dishwasher, and iron a shirt.  He may not always choose to do it.  He may not ever have to do it.  But someday his wife will thank you.

4. Read to him and read with him.
Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers on the laps of their parents."  Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books.  Let him see you reading...reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles.  Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever.  Writers are the transcribers of history and memories.  They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important.  And Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

5. Encourage him to dance.
Dance, rhythm, and music are cultural universals.  No matter where you go, no matter who you meet - they have some form of the three.  It doesn't have to be good.  Just encourage your son that when he feels it, it's perfectly fine to go ahead and bust a move.
6. Make sure he has examples of good men who are powerful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity.
The examples of men with big muscles and a uniform (like Batman and LaMarr Woodley) will surround your son from birth.  But make sure he also knows about men who kick a$s because of their brains (Albert Einstein), and their pen (Mark Twain), and their words (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), and their determination (Team Hoyt), and their ideas (The Wright Brothers), and their integrity (Officer Frank Shankwitz), and fearlessness (Neil Armstrong), and their ability to keep their mouths closed when everyone else is screaming (Jackie Robinson).

  7. Make sure he has examples of women who are beautiful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity
The examples of traditionally beautiful women (like Daphne Blake, Princess Jasmine, and Britney Spears) will surround your son from birth.  But make sure he knows about women who are beautiful from the inside out because of their brains (Madame Marie Curie), and their pen (Harper Lee), and their words (Eleanor Roosevelt), and their determination (Anne Sullivan), and their ideas (Oprah Winfrey), and their integrity (Miep Gies), and fearlessness (Ameila Earhart), and their ability to open their mouths and take a stand when everyone else is silent (Aung San Suu Kyi).

8. Be an example of a beautiful woman with brains, determination, and integrity.
You already are all of those things.  If you ever fear that you are somehow incapable of doing anything - remember this:  If you have done any of the following:  a) grew life b) impossibly and inconceivably got it out of your body c) taken care of a newborn d) made a pain go away with a kiss e) taught someone to read f) taught a toddler to eat with a utensil g) cleaned up diarrhea without gagging h) loved a child enough to be willing to give your life for them (regardless if they are your own) or i) found a way to be strong when that child is are a superhero.  do not doubt yourself for one second.  Seriously.

9. Teach him to have manners
because its nice.  and it will make the world a little better of a place.

10. Give him something to believe in
Because someday he will be afraid, or nervous, or heartbroken, or lost, or just need you, and you won't be able to be there.  Give him something to turn to when it feels like he is alone, so that he knows that he will never be alone; never, never, never.

11. Teach him that there are times when you need to be gentle
like with babies, and flowers, and animals, and other people's feelings.

12. Let him ruin his clothes
Resolve to be cool about dirty and ruined clothes.  You'll be fighting a losing battle if you get upset every time he ruins another piece of clothing. Don't waste your energy being angry about something inevitable.  Boys tend to learn by destroying, jumping, spilling, falling, and making impossible messes.  Dirty, ruined clothes are just par for the course.

13. Learn how to throw a football
or how to use a hockey stick, or read music, or draw panda bears (or in my case alpacas), or the names of different train engines, or learn to speak Elvish, or recognize the difference betweeGryffindor and Slytherin, or the lyrics to his favorite song.  Be in his life, not as an observer but as an active participant.

14. Go outside with him
turn off the television, unplug the video games, put your cellphone on the charger, even put your camera away.  Just go outside and follow him around.  Watch his face, explore his world, and let him ask questions.  It's like magic.

15. Let him lose
Losing sucks.  Everybody isn't always a winner.  Even if you want to say, "You're a winner because you tried," don't.  He doesn't feel like a winner, he feels sad and crappy and disappointed.  And that's a good thing, because sometimes life also sucks, no matter how hard (as moms) we try to make it not suck for our kids.  This practice will do him good later when he loses again (and again, and again, and again, and again.....)  Instead make sure he understands that - sometimes you win - sometimes you lose.  But that doesn't mean you ever give up.

16. Give him opportunities to help others
There is a big difference in giving someone the opportunity to help and forcing someone to help.  Giving the opportunity lights a flame in the heart and once the help is done the flame shines brighter and asks for more opportunities.  Be an example of helping others in your own actions and the way your family helps each other and helps others together. 

17. Remind him that practice makes perfect.
This doesn't just apply to performance-based activities (like sports and music) but also applies to everything in life.  You become a better writer by writing.  You become a better listener by listening.  You become better speaker by speaking.  Show your son this when he is just young enough to understand (that means from birth, folks - they are making sense of the world as soon as they arrive), practice trick-or-treating at your own front door before the real thing.  Practice how you will walk through airport security before a trip.  Practice how you order your own food from the fast food cashier.  Practice, practice, practice.

18. Answer him when he asks, "Why?"
Answer him, or search for the answer together.  Show him the places to look for the answers (like his dad, or grandparents, or his aunts/uncles, or his books, or valid internet searches).  Pose the question to him so he can begin thinking about answers himself.  Someday, when he needs to ask questions he's too embarrassed to ask you - he'll know where to go to find the right answers.

19. Always carry band-aids and wipes on you.
especially the wipes.

20. Let his dad teach him how to do things
...without interrupting about how to do it the 'right way.'  If you let his dad show and teach and discover with your son while he is growing up, some day down the road (after a short period of your son believing his dad knows nothing), he will come to the realization that his dad knows everything.  You will always be his mother, but in his grown-up man heart and mind, his dad will know the answers.  And this will be how, when your son is too busy with life to call and chat with his mom,  you will stay connected to what is happening in his life.  Because he will call his dad for answers, and his dad will secretly come and ask you.

21. Give him something to release his energy
drums, a pen, a punching bag, wide open space, water, a dog.  Give him something to go crazy with - or he will use your stuff.  and then you'll be sorry.

22. Build him forts
Forts have the ability to make everyday normal stuff into magic.  Throw the couch cushions, a couple blankets, and some clothespins and you can transform your living room into the cave of wonders.  For the rest of his life, he'll be grateful to know that everyday normal stuff has the potential to be magical.

23. Take him to new places
Because it will make his brain and his heart open up wider, and the ideas and questions and memories will rush in.

24. Kiss him
Any mother of sons will tell you that little boys are so loving and sweet.  They can be harsh and wild and destructive during most of the day.  But there are these moments when they are so kind and sensitive and tender.  So much so that it can cause you to look around at the inward, reserved grown men in your life and think, 'what happens in between that made you lose that?'  Let's try to stop the cycle by kissing them when they're loving and kissing them even more when they're wild.  Kissing them when they're 2 months and kissing them when they're 16 years old.  You're the mom - you can go ahead and kiss him no matter how big he gets - and make sure he knows it.   p.s. (this one is just as important for dad's too). 

25. Be home base
You are home to him.  When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble away a little farther and then come back.  When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile.  When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you twenty times in a row, because you're the only one who will listen that many times.  When he plays his sport, he will search for your face in the stands.  When he is sick, he will call you.  When he really messes up, he will call you.  When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious.  Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home, you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun.  Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.



Monday, January 9, 2012

6 Months

Whew! After a two week break from blogging I'm glad to be back!

In the meantime my little dude turned six months old. I cannot believe it! Someone told me during those rough first weeks of taking care of a newborn that the first six weeks of parenthood feels like it goes by in a year; but the rest of the year feels like it goes by in six weeks. They were right!!

Here's what we're up to at SIX months:
- Landon is sleeping in his crib at night and I'm still holding him for most of his naps during the day (I'm still trying to soak up every bit of baby-hood! :). We start his bedtime routine with a bath around 7:30pm and he wakes up between 6-7am with 1-3 wakings to eat at night.
- He is still being breastfed but we've added some solids to our "dinner". So far he has had banana which he hated, and pears, sweet potato, butternut squash, apple and avocado which he loved!
- He wears 6 month sized clothes, with some 9 month sleepers.
- We are still putting him in his infant car seat but he is getting so heavy we are going to switch to a convertible soon.
- He still sucks his thumb :)
- He loves to stand up along our ottoman and pull things off! Hah!
- He can sit up without help for several minutes at a time.
- He *finally* rolled over at 5.5 months. Now he rolls across the room in under a minute!
- He is getting more interested in Boomer and I think he's learning his name.
- He still has a very prominent dimple in his right cheek :))
- He definitely prefers Mama rock him to sleep over anyone else. But he laughs more for Daddy.
- Random ladies at the grocery store can look at him wrong and make him cry. It's kind of funny! :)
- His hair is so long it gets in his eyes. I know we need to give him a haircut soon but I'm so sad to admit it...
- He is wearing size 2 shoes.
- He has two bottom TEETH! They sprouted the day after New Years. I love the little flash of teeth when he laughs :)
- His favorite toy is a random Sassy brand fish and his Sophie the Giraffe.
- His eyes are very bright blue!
- He wears size 3 diapers, we still prefer Pampers.
- We are starting our first mommy and me class this week called Music Together!
- Instead of screaming in the carseat, he usually falls asleep now. This is such a relief.
- He doesn't like being in the stroller because he can't look around.
- He babbles and blows bubbles a lot!

We love our little man!


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