the friday post – vol. 15

It’s December! Finally, or already? I can’t decide. Either way I’ve been looking forward to this month for weeks and I’m so happy it’s finally here. Days of decorating, hot chocolate, cookies, and cheery music are here! We opened the first of our advent calendar boxes this morning and are headed downtown tonight for dinner and the Christmas tree lighting!

I was not ready to go back to school this week after our weeklong thanksgiving break. Charlie is going through a traumatic transition to the toddler room at daycare so nights have been touchy and mornings reluctant. He’ll get used to it all in good time, but the extra tears have been pulling at my heartstrings.

Our house is feeling awfully cramped lately with Charlie’s toys everywhere and only more to come. I feel like my nesting is kicking in hard this weekend. I’ve already cleaned the bathroom and have plans to rearrange bookshelves to accommodate some toy baskets. It’s been driving me batty to have everything out! Updates to come.

I made Chex mix last weekend which always makes it feel like the holiday season to me. My mom always had a tin of Chex around for holiday munching and I’m loving the salty snack at home and taking in a baggie for school. We have tons of Chex leftover so I’m making mike’s holiday favorite next – puppy chow.

And the weather has been perfect lately. Charlie only wants to be outside after school and has figured out how to open the door. Good thing we keep it locked!

What are you up to this weekend? Something nice I hope. Make some sweet memories this weekend friends!

a Wednesday wonder: to tidy or not to tidy?

Charlie’s napping right now, so I just did my quick five minute sweep of the house to straighten things up. He’s become quite the little destroyer, pulling plastics off shelves and toys out of baskets as fast as I put them back. Which has had me thinking: Should I just leave everything until after bedtime when I do another sweep of the house, setting things back to rights? Or do I keep cleaning up a little bit throughout the day to keep my own sanity and to bring him the never ending joy of emptying his baskets?

We have so far limited Charlie’s toys to one basket of wood blocks, one of other toys, and one of books. Call us crazy, but ideally we’ll not ever have much more than this – just transitioning toys out and in as he gets older and as other babies come along. I could see us getting one larger basket to hold the miscellaneous toys, and having multiple others tucked away under his bed to pull out when he wants to play with them. But right now, he’s the definition of a free range baby, finding more interest in non-toys throughout the house in the form of plastic lids, rubber spatulas and the occasional shoe. Of course, he also has a shelf of books on the bookshelf, but he hasn’t found that yet 😂.

So it’s not much, but in a small house, things get messy fast. I love a tidy home (who doesn’t), but my little destroyer loves the thrill of getting everything out. So, what do you think, reader? Tidy throughout the day, or leave it all to the end?

This reminds me of this article I read the other day on Food52 about the apparently controversial practice of cleaning the kitchen as you go, or leaving it all to the end! What are you? I’m a clean as I go! Which maybe answers this whole Wednesday wondering. 😂 It must just be in my nature.

the friday post – vol. 12

dba643e8-dc83-4291-ac6a-e5dacb744420

Ahhhhh Friday! And ONE WEEK LEFT OF SCHOOL! I could not be more thrilled. I had my last classes in the library today (movie week!), and it feels good. Even if you work a “regular” job, I’m sure you’re celebrating this Friday especially because hello long weekend! We don’t have anything special planned which will make it feel even more relaxing.

d2580710-49b2-419f-9e74-f8afec009811

It’s been so rainy lately that we have these sweet little mushrooms popping up all over the garden! The rain has been fantastic for my herbs and the grass, but not great for our enjoyment of the great outdoors. It’s raining as I write this and I’m feeling like this weekend may be a cozy and peaceful one with pitter pattering on our rooftop.

09c59a8d-ca3e-470f-af79-69f911954bee

I made Ina’s chicken parmesan this week with a side of garlic bread from my loaf of no-knead bread. It was especially good. Mike emphatically stands that it’s not really chicken parmesan because it doesn’t have a red sauce. He thinks it’s really just a salad with breaded chicken which is totally fair. But still delicious. I had this recipe on the menu this week for my *new* recipe, but we didn’t get around to it because of a few extra after school events! It’s getting shifted to next week and I’m still excited about it.

It’s officially rosé wine season, and I have jumped right on the bandwagon with my whole heart. So refreshing! Such an easy summer bevvie! I want to try this recipe for rosé sangria which sounds amazing. I may just have to host a happy hour so I can try it. 🙂

113bd5b7-bd17-493f-9dbe-6e164d801743

Everything is blooming around us right now! Trees, flowers, bushes! I don’t know why, but I feel like I’m noticing all of it especially much this year. We had our jasmine vine on the front porch in bloom a couple weeks ago, and now it’s the roses. What’s next, I don’t know!

fdeebb09-c114-4f1d-8024-c429e6c1905b

I’m so looking forward to a quiet weekend at home with my two boys (plus Wendy) , lots of snuggling, too many belly laughs, and happy hours every night. 🙂 What are you looking forward to this weekend? Something wonderful, I hope!

xx, em

first mother’s day.

My heart is so full after the sweetest weekend with my two boys. I’m feeling spoiled!

Mike sent me off to have my nails done on Saturday while he snuck to the store with Charlie to pick up groceries for the most delicious Mother’s Day dinner. I’m fairly no frills when it comes to self-care, but getting pedicures is my guilty little pleasure. I only go if Mike sets it up for me for a special occasion or if my mom is in town. 🙂 The last time I got a pedicure, I was 42 weeks pregnant (natural induction attempt 548), so it was such a thoughtful treat. Saturday night we went out for ice cream on the beach with the happiest baby on earth. I had blueberry, Mike, salted caramel. We shared little bites with Charlie and he would’ve eaten the whole cup if we had let him! Rain fell all through the day on Sunday so after Facetimes with both of our moms, we headed to the Norton Museum of Art, our favorite rainy day outing. Charlie’s first visit! He wore his Eric Carle “I Love Mom” hungry caterpillar shirt and everyone commented on what a handsome, sweet boy we have which warmed my mama heart. The Norton is undergoing some major renovations, so open now are only a couple wings of their permanent art collections. The perfect size for a six month old art newbie, and a nice no-fuss outing for our little family. It was my one Mother’s Day request since it clearly was not panning out to be a beach day. Our dinner was amazing. We had an appetizer of shrimp with St. Elmo’s cocktail sauce. Mike made the steak on the cast iron skillet (rain!) and it was so so tender that I think it may be our new favorite way to make steak rather than the grill. Asparagus, smashed red potatoes, and mushrooms cooked in butter topped it all off. My mouth is still watering. And the best part? I didn’t lift a finger. Mike did it all while I played on the floor with our little man and drank my wine. 🙂 Best Mother’s Day ever. The first of what I hope will be many homemade Mother’s Day gifts. 🙂 I hope each and every mom was spoiled rotten on Sunday. You deserve it!

the friday post – vol. 11

Oops. It’s a Saturday post again, isn’t it? Oh well! I was enjoying my post work cocktails too much to muster up the energy to post last night. I made a blueberry simple syrup from Charlie’s leftover baby food and mixed that with torn basil, a wedge of lemon, vodka and soda water. It gave me new life. Happy Mother’s Day weekend you guys! Godmothers, Mothers, Grandmothers, etc. you all rock! Mikey (sweetest man alive, have I mentioned that?) made me an appointment to have my toes done today. I feel like a new woman! It’s been such a good weekend already.

Charlie is seriously on the move now. His scoot has turned into this little crawl with kind of a bum leg that kind of scoots along with him. He’s all over the house! We really have to keep our eye on him – especially because he has an endless fascination with electrical cords and all things Wendy (her food, her toys, her tail). Three weeks left of school! Next week is book fair so it’s going to be a little crazy in the library. The kids love book fair so so much though so it’ll be fun. I put up little string ball lights on the front porch this morning and am just tickled by them. They’re so festive. I tried to capture a picture but it just doesn’t do it justice. I’ll have to try again at dusk. Have an amazing Mother’s Day weekend all! I only wish I could be with my own mom this weekend for Mother’s Day. Then it would be complete. But a FaceTime will have to make do this year.

radiant after birth?

7390d87f-da9c-41b0-9c87-0bea8bf375efThis article made me chuckle last week. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll have heard about Kate Middleton stepping out just 7 hours after giving birth looking fit for the red carpet. It’s been quite the hit in the news lately, and moms are making hilarious comparisons of their own looks after births. I don’t know about you, but 7 hours after birth I think I was hobbling down the hallway, gingerly trying to sit down, figure out how to diaper and feed the baby all while consuming vast quantities of food myself.

All things considered, I felt great after birth. I bounced back fairly easily, didn’t need or want any painkillers that they offered me in the hospital. I was on such a baby high! But makeup was the last thing on my mind and I’m sure I looked like a nightmare. I really didn’t care, and we only have maybe two pictures of me in the hospital to prove it. We were  Thinking about Kate Middleton having to wear heels and makeup just a few hours after pushing an 8 and a half pound infant into the world. Gosh! The whole thing just makes me think about how different each of our forays into birth and motherhood are.

While I was pregnant, women loved telling me all about their birth experiences and I actually love to hear everyone’s stories. I would cluck in compassion about their emergency c-section, gasp at the appropriate moments when they told me about the moment they needed an epidural, and express surprise about the fact that they were induced and never even felt a contraction. Everyone has a different and beautiful story for bringing their baby into the world. For the most part, every story ended the same. “Having a new baby is just the best.” That’s how my story ends anyway. What about you? It’s hard, but so worth it, right?

charlie scoots.

09420d6f-9c90-4076-b0a5-d7e1da2369faa7c22ab1-0774-429f-afe3-a79204583ddcI just had to document this silly little phase. Charlie started scooting around on his belly on Tuesday and it’s hilarious. He moves like a little fish! He pushes off with his right leg and pulls himself along with his arms. So funny. Mike told me that yesterday morning he was crawling around on his knees and up on his hands like a real crawler, but I haven’t seen it yet!

fd658dd4-0662-4607-94d6-818636914bac

And, of course, the first thing he went for? Wendy’s food and water bowl. I had to snap a couple pictures before firmly telling him “NO!” (which he laughed at) and redirecting him elsewhere. We’re going to have to keep a really close eye on this kid now. And we may have to start doing some more baby proofing around the house. We have tons of danger hot spots!

Click here to watch a video of our quick little scooter!

six months with charlie.

 

IMG_9156.JPGOur little guy is starting to seem not so little anymore. We have glimpses every day of the kid he’s going to grow up to be, and it’s a combination of heart-wrenching that it truly does go by this fast, and so fun to have his little personality shining through. At six months Charlie has been eating solids here and there for about a month. The last few weeks we’ve been on a pretty consistent two-meal schedule with nursing every three hours. We’ve even started having family dinners every night at the table, complete with prayer at the beginning which he smiles so big for. He has a newfound love of baths (every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday – when we remember), and for Wendy who he smiles for all the time. She, on the other hand, is fairly indifferent about him which makes it all the funnier to us.

Is Charlie sleeping through the night? Last week I would have told you that it was happening more and more often, but then for the last 4 or 5 days, we’ve had our nightly meetings back again. Maybe Charlie could tell I was feeling a little blue about the end of our night nursing? I’ll need to let him know that he can feel free to just wake up every once in a while instead of every night. He’s off and on for naps – some days it’s two, some days it’s three, but he’s still napping pretty horribly at school. Oh well though, he doesn’t seem too much worse for it.

He’s sitting up on his own for a surprisingly long time, not crying even when he falls over. He even sat himself up on his own from his belly the other day which, I will just tell you, was shocking. No crawling is happening yet, just lots of time spent on all fours trying to figure it out. It’s happening soon! I can feel it! Although, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t mind delaying it for a while longer. Also – we’re still toothless over here, which is totally fine with me because we’re still going strong with nursing.

He happily yells a battlecry all the time, and says “buh buh buh buh” on repeat. He loves trying to drink water out of my glass which is hilarious – the cup a big ring around his face as it spills down his front. He sits up like a big boy in his stroller, and joins us for family runs a few times a week, quietly taking in the scenery. We try to take a daily walk which I’m convinced helps him sleep better at night. The ladies at school love him (we can tell) which makes it easier to drop him off there every day. He wakes up happy, sleeps on his belly (knees tucked under, butt in the air), and still loves his penguin wubbanub best. He grabs everything within reach, thinks beer bottles are his, and has figured out that peekaboo is not a magic trick making it less funny than it used to be. But the most random things are funny to him and it’s always the best to get a big belly laugh. He hugs us, stands up with help, is so ticklish, and he just brings us so much joy every day.

simple joys: reading in bed

IMG_8783.JPG

In the spirit of celebrating life’s simple joys, you’ll find a new series here every now and then. Every day, we are left with the vast responsibility of our feelings – both good and bad, positive and negative. I’m hoping this series will help bring focus to the small, simple things that bring joy and happiness to my everyday life, and maybe yours too! I hope they might inspire you {and me} to look at your little life in the big world with a fresh perspective, realizing how nice it is to be positive, and perhaps to appreciate the ritual of making your morning oatmeal, or that ray of sun coming through your window just so, even the beauty of your empty *empty!!* laundry basket. Maybe – over time – we’ll see that there’s a certain kind of satisfaction in noticing that the daisy sitting on your coffee table really is beautiful, and you really are so lucky to have it hanging out in your house. And even if you do inadvertently walk through a spider web with your face while taking the dog out, your coffee really does taste amazing this morning…


I had nearly forgotten that I used to religiously read in bed each night. Then, this weekend, Mike came in with the mail and handed me a rumpled manila envelope with my name on it. Tucked inside the package was a book. A pass along from my mom who knew I had badly been wanting to read Little Fires Everywhere. Joy of all joys! How does one forget that they used to do something religiously for 29 years of their life? It was as natural to me as breathing. I simply could not happily fall asleep unless I read a chapter before bed. Physically I could, that is. But I was happier and would go to sleep with ease if I read a chapter of my book while settling in for the night.

Well, the valid explanation is that Mike and I welcomed a baby into our life who upended everything about our nights. And so my chapter a night habit took an almost six month hiatus because of the baby slumbering next to our bed each night. I loved having Charlie in our room, tucked in his little bassinet. Or even better, tucked in between us in bed. I loved hearing him breathe in and out, even as a metronome, and being right there next to him to nurse him through the night when he stirred. It was time to move him over to his crib though. He sleeps so much better with room to roll over and sleep on his belly or side if he wants to. He stirs and settles himself. But it still gives me little jolt of sadness to think about him in the room down the hall when he used to live right with us night after night. But just a little jolt. Maybe it’s a jolt of nostalgia rather than sadness. If I’m honest, we’re all sleeping better with him in his crib. It was time.

Reflecting on it now, the first couple weeks of crib sleep were a little tense for me. I was torn over wanting him to continue waking up through the night to show that he still needed me, and wanting him to sleep well so that he could get the sleep he needed. The whole wanting your baby to stay a baby, I guess. He’s to the point of sleeping through the night every now and then (two nights in a row this week!) which is a good thing. I’m coming to terms with the end of night wakings. I may be the minority, but I’ve always known that I would miss them when they ended. The snuggling of a sweet baby when the rest of world is asleep just can’t be beat. But our nights are starting to feel a little more like they did before we had Charlie. We have a routine down. Mostly. There are, of course, some nights that are exceptions. But it feels like now, nights (after 7:30pm) are steering back to being about Mike and spending time together, rather than the stress of if Charlie would or wouldn’t wake up. They’re also steering back toward going to bed a few minutes early so I can read my chapter in bed.

I forgot what a peaceful end to the day it is. Just a few pages to settle me down, to quiet my mind and move on from the day. Having a light on in the bedroom at night seems like such a luxury! Finding my pajamas when I’m going to bed instead of at 7pm when I’m starting to get Charlie ready. Flinging the covers off the bed, cracking open my book, turning a page as loud as I’d like, setting my glass of water down on the side table after taking a noisy drink, saying ‘night and I love you’s aloud to my husband. Ah! Luxury! Simple joys here. Its a simple joy to have – getting to read in bed. A thing I have loved all my life, and am remembering to love again.

charlie sits.

And just like that Charlie has figured out the fine art of sitting. It makes me laugh to see him sitting up like such a little human. I’m so used to seeing him laying on his back or laying on his tummy with his little head popped up. He’s still a little wobbly, so believe-you-me my hand is right there juuuuuust out of sight, ready to catch him if (and when) he topples over.

Tonight I sat with him between my legs after dinner. He had a whole pile of toys in his lap, and he proceeded to dig through the mess to get to his pacifier and put it right in his mouth. Basically an adult! No hysterics about toes tonight though. But hey, there’s always tomorrow!