Friday, October 19, 2012

planning ahead {tiny prints}

Whether it's laying out clothes the night before, or grocery shopping according to our menu-plan, everybody knows that planning ahead makes for less stress. I've been trying to do more of these types of things. (I did laundry on a weeknight, you guys!) I could use less stress.

In the next 2 months we have:
  • Halloween
  • My mom coming to visit for 2 whole weeks (!) (not really a stressor, just a little something that alters the routine.) (in a good way.) (love you, Mom!)
  • Oliver's birthday party
  • Thanksgiving
  • My cousin's wedding, where I am a bridesmaid, Nick is the minister, and Oliver is the ring bearer (yes, I'm serious)
  • The rehearsal for said wedding (admittedly, this is all Nick. I have an appointment in my calendar reminding me to attend the meeting with the bride & groom.)
  • and THEN maybe I can think about Christmas. Yeah, like, right before Christmas.

Sooo, if I want any chance at pulling it all together, I've gotta start now. Since there's really only so much you can do ahead of time... at the very least, I can streamline. Here's what I'm thinking:

Photo Christmas Cards

  1. Get Oliver's birthday/Christmas pictures ASAP (as soon as November 1st, they'll have the Christmas stuff available at the portrait studio). I already do this all in one session - just makes sense with his birthday in November.
  2. With a few exceptions/additions, anyone I would send Christmas cards to has also been invited to his birthday party, so this can kinda double as a birthday/thank you type thing.
  3. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Tidings of Comfort and Joy and Bring Me Some Figgy Pudding!

What do you think? Is this totally against protocol and I'm crazy for thinking I can combine birthday and Christmas like this, or am I totally inspired (by Jess) and you're excited to see the result?

This is a sponsored post. I'm receiving a credit to Tiny Prints in exchange. You can check out their special offers here. Can I take a nap now?

(Please say excited!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

what did we do today?

Last year when my mom came to town and stayed with us around Oliver's birthday, she unknowingly started a "thing". Turns out it was an awesome thing!

Every night after bath and teeth brushing and stuffed guy choosing, either Nick or I sit in the chair with him for a few minutes before putting him to bed. Thanks to my mom, our way of getting him to wind down and settle in for sleep is to talk through the day.

It started out, like I said, with my Ollie & my mom discussing all the fun things they had done that day. We went to the store! Grandma bought you a Car!

Now it's an every night tradition and I LOVE IT. Most days are the same... we went to school, ate lunch with friends, came home & had dinner and playtime... but it's the perfect way to remind yourself to look for something good and fun and positive in every day.

I highly recommend it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

oh, drafts folder. you suck.

I found the following in my Drafts folder, dated September 5, 2011.

I'm posting it as is, for no other reason than to have it as a reminder. It contains only the good stuff from last summer, when everything sucked except for my sweet baby Oliver. He was busy growing, learning, and becoming so smart that my heart wants to burst from my chest and my eyes well up with tears. Just reading through this list made me remember... and realize how much he has grown. This was one whole year ago, when he was just sprouting this little personality, and now we have conversations and he's potty training like a boss and his imagination runs wild and he makes up songs and tells stories...

I know I've said it before, and I'll say it again: He. Is. Pure. Joy.

If only she could know him now.

So here is the awkward draft, unedited:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

oh, what the hell.

I have a case of the happy. I'm doing well, Nick's fine. Oliver's a good kid. We have lots of summery, outdoorsy plans going on and I'm throwing myself into it.

He's going through some behavior issues at school, biting other kids and not listening and being a general shit and while it stresses me out, I'm happy to report that the whole "positive reinforcement" thing, both at daycare and at home, have really been working for us.

But still, I have this weird feeling. Not the kind that lodges itself in the pit of your stomach (that thing that can sort of be described as dread mixed with anxiety?), but the kind that attacks your brain, nagging and gnawing at the back of your thoughts.

I don't know what I want to say.... I don't have any planned out words here. I'm just gonna lay it all out there, so forgive me since I'm sure this will be a mess.

We're talking-about-trying-to-have-another-baby. I want this, so so much. I want to get pregnant. I want to have a sibling for Oliver. I want to snuggle and nurse and rock a tiny newborn.

The problem is, what then?

It's the money. It's always the money and I hate thinking about money and talking about money and I hate money. Because there isn't enough money.

Realistically, putting two kids in daycare... would cost roughly $1400 a month. That's almost all of the dollars I bring home every month.

One side of me, the side that wears rose-colored-glasses says, "Stay home!" Have my two children home with me and do crafts and play toys and take naps and shit. Maybe keep the house clean. Go to story time and the freaking library. I long to be home when Nick gets home from work. I want to be there to see Oliver's face light up when I call, "Daddy's here!" I've had the privilege of pickup only a handful of times when he's not been sick... it's epic smiles and flailing arms and little legs running.

But staying home with a newborn and a toddler? Eep. And would we really be able to make it work? We'd have to go without health insurance and probably sell my car. Would it be so much stress and struggle and cutting back that no one would end up really being happier?

Plus, Oliver thrives at daycare. And as much as I hated having to leave him every day, he loves it... and I've learned to live with it. They love him. He learns so much there and I'm scared that if I pull him out he'll spend way too much time watching Elmo and eating fruit snacks.

So, have another baby? Yes. But then what?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

oh hey, May.

(Insert something here about how I randomly feel like blogging after an extended time of not blogging.)

And then, we jump right in.

The other day Oliver found a "credit card" (an old gift card with no balance left on it). Since Mother's Day was coming up, Nick asked him what he was going to buy to buy for Mommy. He said, "ummmm, Doc Hudson!"

for me
I got my nails done about two months ago. I still have some remnants of that polish left over on my toenails, and it looks downright shameful.

I am waiting not-so-patiently for my cell phone upgrade so I can get an iPhone. June 2nd you will find me at Best Buy or the AT&T store. My mom, husband, and pretty much everyone on Twitter has one, so getting a new phone with zero learning curve will but super sweet. I may or may not have put a couple cases and screen protectors on my Amazon Wishlist.

We have 3 vacations planned for this summer, along with a couple of day trips. We are going to be one busy family. But with the super warm spring we've already had, the happy fun times started early.

We went to Chicago with the Masons last weekend and had a really great trip. Oliver was a sweetheart in the car for 5 hours each way, and while there he played nicely with his friend the whole time.

flyin in the sky (Sky Deck at Willis Tower) on Friday May 18th

My boys have no fear. I don't know what it was... I don't think I'm super afraid of heights, but I could not step out on that glass balcony. Oliver was on there for maybe 5 minutes and I was ready to vomit.

We went to the Lincoln Park Zoo for the whole day on Saturday, but I don't have those pictures with me right now. In two weeks, this will not be a problem anymore since I will be able to take them with my OWN PHONE.

So, if I said I will post the pics from the zoo soon, would you believe me? :)

Monday, May 14, 2012


That's the Cleveland Browns' mascot dog guy. Some friends of ours had him come out to their son's birthday party... and Ollie was not a fan. You can tell by the apprehensive look on my face!


smiling in this pic, only because he doensn't know who's behind him.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January 2012

Last month kicked my butt.

I've been super busy at work, planning for the big show at the end of February. We started meeting and planning and writing and brainstorming and listing and talking about it back in November. Shoot me. I'm now knee deep in editing the website, still finding things outdated or misspelled from last year. I apparently used the word "entrees" instead of "entries" and didn't notice for god-knows-how-long. ::headdesk::

On the other hand, it's been entertaining. I got to stretch more of my creative muscles this year, coming up with some different ideas of things that hadn't been done at the show before. Some hits, some misses, but still... energizing.

At home, we've been equally busy and distracted and just plain old tyring to plow on through.

I intended to start up a little project with my gal pal Heather, and even took some photos and have a three-word draft of a post...

But I haven't had the energy to pull it all together. So my blog sat, unposted upon, but not unloved. Idly twidling its thumbs until I decided to take a lunch break for once.

Personification! Whee!

See you soon!