June 30, 2014
There's been a lot of talk around the internet (and in the real world too) about mom's either "being real" or "not being real." The whole subject is so confusing to me and I'm in the camp of, aren't we all just doing this motherhood thing the way we best know how? Why do I have to have a messy house, kid, hair, etc. to be "real?" I don't get it. I like to keep my house clean - it keeps me sane. I like to put on something other than sweatpants every day - also, helps me feel sane. I don't get why mother's who take care of their home and self get so much slack for it? The thing is, my house isn't spotless every day (or any day for that matter) and I'm not naive enough to think that anyone's is. I'm able to read other blogs and look at other instagram accounts and know that what I see online IS REAL, but It's not the way things are ALL THE TIME either. Online, folks have posted photo's of their sloppy kitchens, laundry rooms, etc saying "this is real life." And while that certainly is part of real life, (at any given moment you can find at least 5 half full cups of water on my night stand, but I just don't show you that) so are the 'pretty' moments other's choose to share too. The last time I checked there were no fake humans roaming the earth soooo......
I think what it comes down to is our own ability to feel confident in ourselves and to not feel the need to constantly be comparing our lifestyles with others. We do that. Women. And I'm not quite sure why. Becoming a mother myself gave me a new found confidence in one regard because I never felt so sure of what I was supposed to be doing in this life than when I became a mother. But like anything, you begin to question all of your choices. Should I be using cloth diapers and stainless steel bottles? Should we cosleep or have her in her crib? Should I use timeout or redirect every bad behavior? The list goes on and on, but what I've come to learn is that however we mother, no matter what that looks like, is okay. You are doing a good job if your house is messy and you are doing a good job if your house is clean. I wish the sisterhood of mother's would rally behind one another instead of knocking each other down because the way someone does something doesn't look the exact same way another does. Let's give each other a break and celebrate how we are all amazing in our uniqueness, k?
It's pretty safe to say that books are by far my girl's favorite things. There is a constant trail of them throughout the house at any given moment and several times a day she'll sit for a good 20 minutes by herself paging through book after book. Her favorites are in constant rotation and right now these five are pretty high up for her.
/ First Words. This book is so great for learning and recognizing every day words. A few or Ru's favorite include 'orange' 'fish' 'train' and 'girl' - i'm pretty proud that she can correctly name and recognize every single page of the book.
/ Hello World. This book is coming back around as a favorite of ours because Ruthie is now able to say hello in each language illustrated! Her favorite is Jambo- Hello in Kenya! It makes me laugh out loud every time she says it. It sounds more like 'Bamo' but she says it with such gusto, I just love it.
/ Map Work from the Bobby and June George Montessori collection. Ru loves the globe and animals so this was a home run for her.
/ Pantone Colors. This is brand new but since getting it just a day ago, we have looked through it at least 15 times. It's beautiful and the large pictures of an animal on each page stand out so much. We have also been playing I spy at the end of the book and she has been loving that.
/ The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She goes right to her favorite page to name all the foods she sees.
Her love of books has been such a tool for her language. She is such a talker and developed a fairly large vocabulary pretty early and I honestly do think a lot of it has to do with how much we read around here.
June 27, 2014
"a portrait of my child each week, every week in 2014"
I got her her first set of 'art supplies' and all week she has been saying 'cahloh' (color) and creating little works of art with her markers, crayons and watercolors. I've been hanging them all on the fridge because well, I love them.
June 26, 2014
We have recently partnered up with L'enfant Sauvage and I have to say, their children's apparel is such great quality and so dang adorable. This bird romper is just beyond and has quickly become our go to play outfit. If it's not in the hamper, Ru is wearing it! We also own the polka dot and lady bug tank (which we have been using as a dress :) and a couple of their tee's. The kitty Cat tee shown below is one of Ru's absolute favorites. She loves to point out the cat face on it and make the 'meow' sound. It's not cute or anything.
Be sure to hop on over to the L'enfant Sauvage site to check out all their goodness. And for those curious, Ru's crown was just a little DIY I did for her first birthday several months ago. Felt, a thin leather strip and a hot glue gun - presto!
June 24, 2014
So here's the thing. After a friend's account was recently disabled for posting an 'inappropriate' photo of her toddler daughter, (a photo of her sweet little girl in rain boots lifting up her shirt to look at her belly. NOT INAPPROPRIATE. the scary thing is that this happened because someone reported this photo as inappropriate. The thought is sickening.) My heart has not rested easy knowing that so many eyes have access to photo's of my daughter. It's my fault - my account is not set to private and in just a short amount of time my followers have nearly doubled to now over 4,000. It's not a ton by social media standards, but I probably only know maybe 100 of these followers in real life. I could set my account to private now, but that still allows all 4,405 current followers to still have access to my feed.
These are my concerns. 1. Someone is reporting these harmless, innocent, sweet photo's of children as inappropriate, which means someone's sick mind looks at a photo of a child and is able to somehow sexualize it. NOT OKAY. 2. I do not want anyone using a photo of my child without my knowledge for any sort of reason. Promotion, marketing, etc. Keeping track of over 4,000 followers is impossible, therefore I have no idea if my girl's pictures are being used elsewhere, even though legally they should not be. 3. I have met so many wonderful people through Instagram and the community aspect of it has been so amazing. I would hate to loose that but with that said, what's more important? Clearly the safety, privacy and protection of my child. I have loved being able to share moments of motherhood, Ruthie's milestones and our little life with you all, but I'm at a point where I get a knot in my stomach thinking about what could happen. I would never forgive myself if something horrible happened to my child all because I was too selfish to stop using something as silly as Instagram. It sounds stupid, but I'm really really struggling with this. Does anyone have any advice or stories to share? I'd love to get some perspective on this.
I just learned about the Wild and Free homeschooling conference from Bethany at Cloistered Away and have to say, it sounds pretty incredible. Basically, a homeschooling conference for mama's who are intentional with the way they are raising their children. From reading their website it sounds like there are some pretty amazing women on each panel talking on motherhood, family and education. Something cool too is that you don't have to homeschool your children to attend. I like this: Whether or not you educate your children at home, you believe childhood is a wonder to behold, to be cultivated with love, nature and adventure.
This conference is for woman who believe in that, and honestly, who doesn't?
June 23, 2014
It's been a long while since I've shared instagram photo's here on the blog so I thought I'd pop in with a few of my favorites from the past few weeks. It seems that life since I've finished my final year of teaching has been so, so sweet. Each morning we wake up with the thought that we have a another entire day to do as we please. 'What should we do today, baby?' Is usually one of the first things I ask my girl each morning. She usually replies with 'pak' (park) 'outsiii' (outside) or 'porch' (porch) because those are her favorite places and most often I oblige. I make my girl some scrambled eggs and fruit and sit with her at the table while I sip my coffee. We chat about whatever we see or hear and then we play in the family room for a bit before we head back upstairs to get dressed for the day. I pack our bag with snacks and water and we head out. After a couple hours at the park or zoo or wherever we may be it's time for lunch and a nap (and time for me to get some work done.) The afternoons are usually just the same - an errand or another park. Some snacks and maybe some Daniel Tiger or Sesame Street for Ru to watch while I load the dishwasher. Papa gets home around 6 and plays with our girl while I cook something up for dinner. We might take a walk or play in the yard for a bit then it's bath and bed. This little life of ours is simple and it's sweet, and it's the only way i'd have it.
ps. that little bird romper Ru is wearing in a few of the photo's is from L'enfant Sauvage . You will be seeing more of them later this week!
June 19, 2014
The thing about mothering for me is that it just never ceases to amaze me. Not even in the extraordinary way - mostly in the ordinary. Like how my child clings to my leg when we first arrive at the playground or how she comes over for a quick hug and recharge before venturing back out in the yard. Somehow I am the one thing that makes her feel safe, protected, loved. It's an overwhelming feeling - to know that I am all my child needs right now. One day way sooner than I'd like, these simple gestures will be a thing of the past and my hope is that she'll face the word confidently because when she was little, mama was there.
It gets hard though too, day after day doing the same ordinary things over and over again. A good and tiresome kind of hard. I cherish these days I spend at home with my daughter so, so much and would not change them for anything in this world, but sometimes it feels like just maybe I'm not doing enough. For her, yes. But what about my husband? I spend my entire day making sure my daughter's every needs are met- that between making meals, wiping hands, changing diapers, tying shoes, I also want to make sure her days are filled with games of hide and seek and dance parties in the kitchen and piggy back rides. I'm here for my child's every need, I pray that I am still here for my husband's. By the time Nick gets home from work, I'm tired. He's tired. Thankfully, somehow, Nick and I have a wonderful relationship - something I thank God for everyday. Despite the fact that we both want to collapse at 7pm, I think ( I hope ) we still do a pretty good job of connecting with one another. We try to talk about things other than Ruthie after she's gone to bed. We like to dream and plan and daydream and adventure.
And that's one thing I've learned as a mother. To be a good one, I need to work extra hard at being a good wife and partner.
June 17, 2014
Summertime is the time of year I want to eat light, healthy and hearty at the same time. Foods that just seem right enjoyed outdoors with an iced coffee or mixed drink. These are a few recipes I am aiming to perfect by summer's end. I have been wanting to learn to poach the perfect egg for some time now and I think this summer might just be the time. Also, smoothies. So many smoothies. During my pregnancy we got hooked on them and ever since we usually have at least one a day and as much as I enjoy our 4 or 5 go to combinations, I always like mixing it up. Bon Appetite!
June 13, 2014
Happy Friday! Hope everyone had a good week and is looking forward to a nice weekend. Tomorrow is June's City Flea, so if you are around town, we'd love for you to come down! There will be plenty of good pickings for all the father's in your life if you're one of those last minute type shoppers (hello, that's me!) and some good stuff for you too! The weather is supposed to be just about perfect and the food trucks will be ready to serve something delicious. It's going to be an awesome weekend.
Side note. This past week I came across some good stuff around the ol internet and wanted to share some of the stuff I've seen or read that has been making me happy.
/ Erin Boyle's instagram feed. Her lovely Brooklyn home has been looking especially lovely with her newborn baby girl now a part of it.
/ This post from Natalie about hair care. Since Ru became a toddler, showering in the mornings has become almost impossible so I started using dry shampoo in the mornings I don't have time for a wash. Natalie has some good suggestions.
/ This pin because my god, Ru needs that romper so bad.
/ This roasted strawberry frozen yogurt pop recipe from Megan. We just whipped out our ice cream maker for the first time this past week and I'm excited to try these yogurt pops as a summer staple!
June 10, 2014
"a portrait of my child each week, every week in 2014"
I'm a week behind- how does that keep happening!? Anyways, here she is in all her outdoor glory. dirty fingernails, mulch and dirt in her hair, searching for rocks. always, always rocks. I love her so.
June 4, 2014
Since writing this post last week, our wheels have really been turning. Absolutely nothing concrete has been decided but we've been having fun playing around with the design process of building a home downtown. Here are a few exteriors that are just dreamy. The first image is from Sarah of Modern Kids. It pretty much is exactly what I'd want. The trick is that, if all this actually does happen, we would be building in a historic neighborhood so there would probably be a lot of design hoops we'd have to jump through. Anyways, for now it's just fun to think about the possibilities!
June 2, 2014
"a portrait of my child each week, every week in 2014"
20 - exploring the driveway always looking for rocks and berries
21 - here mama, i found this rock for you (always.) with her inside out shirt, dirty diaper and messy hair. ah, summer.