Tuesday, June 28, 2016

PYNE & SMITH



I'm back from my trip to Los Angeles and I feel relaxed, inspired and happy to be back with my family. I'm planning on doing a two part document of the trip, but in the meanwhile I'm going to share this clothier called Pyne & Smith that I came across on Instagram the other day. They hand make linen pieces that would be great for summer. They are "dresses with pockets, made in California" and they are right up my alley with their comfort, simplicity and versatility.




Thursday, June 23, 2016

FATHER'S DAY WEEKEND


I have really high standards for what a dad should be like...because I have THE BEST DAD. Yep. In the world.  He is wonderful. So it is with great surprise that I find myself being impressed with this guy that I married who is turning into a pretty spectacular dad himself, year after year.  I like that I got to know him as a friend, and then as a boyfriend and husband, and then now as a father. The layers make the croissant more tasty!

I thought about this long and hard, and you know what makes Ken such a great dad? I came to the conclusion that he is a great dad because HE WANTS TO BE A DAD.  It's so simple, but if you know Ken, you know that if he wants something, he goes after it. Like really hard and all in. So since he wanted to be a dad, he does it 100% and I love having front row seats to it all.



This is Sloane working hard on drawing a photo of our family on brown paper, which we used as wrapping paper for Ken's father's day gift.  Hearing her describe why Ken's hair had to be spikey like that, as opposed to what she did to the girls' hairs is my little treasure of the week. 


This was us Sunday morning before we went out for donuts!! Ken wanted donuts for breakfast on Father's Day, and so donuts we went to get. 



I took some photos of them together right before we left. 


Sloane and I are both wearing rompers here and I think it is extremely important to note that Ken picked out both of them! 


These donuts from Papa In's donuts were REALLY good. I could use another Boston creme right about now...its soft and slightly chewy in the way you know you probably shouldn't eat too much, but you can't help it and it's gonna happen anyways...


Later that day, friends came through town and we grilled some food, ate butter on top of a bunch of it,  and washed it down with some rose. This is how I like to do my meals in the summer, on the porch. 


I should have recorded this phenomenon of these little babies going at the plate of watermelon I put down. They went at it and chomped into all of them before any of the adults got to have any.




This face! 


JUST ONE MORE. i can't help it. 



For dinner (I know, I know, so much food!) Ken wanted to make a seafood bake, which is one of my most favorite foods ever, so I was more than okay with that, PLUS Ken made it, and it was delicious.

I snapped about the whole cooking process on snapchat (yep!) and there was just as much dancing involved as cooking. 

Happy Father's Day Ken! we adore you.






Monday, June 20, 2016

THESE DAYS


Sometimes Monday nights dinner look like this. Leftover beer, hummus, a vegetable tray, grapes, a can of salmon and rice, seaweed. Sloane and I ate this a couple of Mondays ago and we thought it was delicious.

It's summer! So I'm a happy person. Unfortunately, it's also been crazy at work, so I've also been a very ovewhelmed person. During the weekdays I feel frazzled and overwhelmed, and during the weekends I've been attempting total relax mode. 

There was a night this past week where I made it through the day, dinner, and putting both girls down and I was so exhausted that I couldn't keep my eyes open but I also really wanted some chocolate chip cookies, so I ate three in a row, chugged a glass of milk and went straight to bed. It's been that kind of a week.

And! I have all these photos on my phone that I want to share, so here they are - daily weekday life, weddings, slow weekend afternoons in the pool, toddling babes and donuts. You guys, I already have anxiety about summer ending...anyone else?






















Thursday, June 16, 2016

LOGAN AT 11 MONTHS


This is my favorite month! 

I think that's how I should start all my baby update posts. It feels utterly true each time. 

I love love love this stage. 
I love the weight and ease of her, slung around my hip with one of her arms holding on to my shoulder. 
I love how she looks at me with pure delight and such interest; how she smiles wide at me. 
I love watching her play. 
I love watching her eat and hold things. 
I love how she gives me hugs, burying her face into me.  
I love how we have quiet moments of snuggling where she puts her head down on my shoulder or arm to look up at me, and we just happily gaze at each other. 
I love making her laugh. It's the closest I can get to creating a perfect moment. 


At 11 months, she took her first few steps. One would think, that having done this all before with my first child would make this second time go-around feel a little less exciting, but that is not the case at all. If anything, it is even more thrilling because you understand the significance of every tiny thing and know where it will lead. Every time Logan does something new, it blows my mind! 

She's not walking as much as Sloane did at the same age, but she is saying more. Ken's theory is that Logan is heavier (and definitely bottom heavy) which makes it harder for her to walk that weight around.  She sure is determined though and if she wants to get somewhere, she will get there. She has this insanely funny way of half crawling half walking, where she is on her feet walking, but she is also using her hands on the floor.  My theory is that she has an older sister talking to her all the time, so Logan's eager to join on in. She is constantly trying to "talk" and apparently the other day at daycare, she said "star" and "moon" while pointing at pictures of each respective thing. I haven't seen it yet so it doesn't count! 

She will eat anything, and has recently been demanding that she gets to eat what we do. The other day, I was eating a spring roll at a restaurant and before I knew it, she had grabbed it out of my hand and taken a huge bite of it, with great satisfaction. The one thing she isn't enthusiastic about so far is sweet potatoes, which is strange because I ate so much of it when I was pregnant. Maybe she's telling me she needs a break. 

Anytime music comes on, she likes to dance along. She has this one move that is my favorite where she waves her arms around in a slashing motion back and forth while twisting her upper body along with the arms. It makes me laugh so hard.  Since Sloane loves singing along to songs, I can often hear Logan trying to "sing" along with her sister. 

She claps, hip hip hoorays, waves, and points. She sleeps through the night, mostly. Some days are better than others. 

Even when she has a hard time falling asleep in the middle of the night, in the mornings, she has been waking up quietly. By the time I go get her, she is already awake (so many times I don't know how long it's been) and she is sitting up, playing in there by herself.  When I walk in, she turns to greet me with the best smile ever. 

I am really enjoying nursing lately. Pumping is still annoying, but less so, and it is worth it to be able to have sweet moments of nursing time with her. I often dissolve into a puddle of contentment during these times. 

The other day, I was sitting with her in the armchair next to the window and she held the window pull, studied it, and then pointed at me and then pointed at the pull, as if to say, "you pull it".  It was as clear as day, and it stunned me. It's the same phenomenon that I describe in my post about Sloane's 11 months, where I realize how cognizant this baby is becoming, and get the sense of "wow, she is watching us!" 



One of my favorite things she does is this outstretched hand gesture with her palms up. She will do it to any of us when we come into a room, in a greeting, in a request to be picked up, in a moment of joy, and towards Rusty. It is indicative of her personality I think - outstretched and upturned hands.


When Rusty came back from his long stay at my MIL's, Logan was extremely dubious of him, but now she is obsessed. She makes these squealing noises whenever she sees him, wants to give him pats and hugs, tries to throw some of her food down to him when he comes begging, and makes these noises and hand gestures at him (like the photo above) where its apparent she is telling him commands, like she sees us do. 


dfd










Sunday, June 12, 2016

SUUMMMMEER



Summer is here!! We hung out with some of our closest friends this past weekend to kick off the summer and it was wonderful.

Friday, June 10, 2016

MOTHERHOOD THESE DAYS




If you're in the mood for some ramblings on motherhood, you're in luck!


But first, a brief note about your babies looking at each other. To have two beings that you grew in your body and brought into this world, then grow and become cognizant of each other, and not only that, grow in love for each other, and then also express joy at seeing the other....I MEAN. C'MON. It's the best thing on the planet earth. 



It was really hard to drop off the girls at daycare this week. I walked away with my heart aching, my arms feeling empty and the car felt eerily quiet as I drove off to work. Some weeks are harder than others when it comes to being away from them, and this was one of those weeks.

Our days are full, from the moment we rise to the moment we fall into our beds. But even at the weariest, there is a tinge of sweetness to it all because it is summer.  Thank goodness for summer. Bare arms and legs are happy to be free and the longer days make us all feel a little more free, even with our schedules.  Motherhood these days has me thinking about how I am just one version of my ever changing self. I remember a time when a busy life with one kid seemed packed to the brim, but now there is two, and more house, and more responsibilities and somehow, we are content.  That tells me that as life gets fuller, we expand. Our heart's capacity to hold and handle gets bigger, in a way you don't think possible. You also get much better at saying no to things and saying yes to the right things.

So every spare moment is filled with something these days and I'm trying to figure out not just our priorities, but what things I can do without right now. I love this age that Sloane and Logan are right now and I'm sharply aware that it will slip through my fingers all too soon. That knowledge helps me see everything in hyper focus. It's crazy; trying to get out the door with both girls by 6:50AM, getting back home a little after 6:00PM and then having to put Logan to sleep just an hour later at 7:00PM. It can get taxing physically, but also emotionally. What is this ridiculousness? The time I have with Logan is too short and I'm feeling the brunt of that.  I'm trying to make up for it with the half day that I get on Fridays if I get into work earlier during the rest of the week, and after a couple of weeks of practice we seem to have gotten the hang of the schedule. These days I'm telling myself to pay attention along the way: get an extra hug while dressing Sloane, say thanks to Ken for the little things that he does, give Rusty a thorough pat and ear scratch, look at both my girls lovingly while enjoying our brief breakfast time together.

This week I've just been wanting/needing to spend as much time with my girls, without the pressure of anything else. I want to be fully present during that hour with Logan, so I try to prep our dinners the night before, which means I won't be distracted with trying to get dinner on the table when we get home. I want to be fully present for Sloane, so I've been going slow with her bedtime routine, and reading more than I usually do, stopping to talk about various parts. (We are reading Charlotte's Web together! And it is so fun going through it with her.) I haven't gone to the gym the past few days because the stress of having to get out the door at a certain time means I rush time with both of them, and sometimes it means dishes don't get done, dinner might not be prepped, and lunches don't get packed until the next morning. I haven't done any of the house projects that I still have on my list, because I knew it would drain me in a way that would prevent me from fully enjoying time with the girls. Some weeks, I can make it all work (and I am so grateful for time I get to be at the gym), but this week, I just really needed to be mentally all in for them and that's what I did. This is what is good for all of us right now.

These days, motherhood is taking a deep breath when I want to lose my temper because I feel frazzled.  I've had these near miss moments recently when we have gone out to eat - both Sloane and Logan will not stay in their seat (Logan wants to climb out of her high chair and Sloane wants to wander to explore), which makes for a trying meal.

Yesterday, parenthood was getting down on eye level with Sloane along with Ken and having a long talk with her about why it is important for her to stay in her seat during meal time and how it important it is to obey. Today, parenthood was feeling amazed, thankful and humbled at how well Sloane seemed to have heard that message by her actions and obedience during said meal times.

These days, motherhood is being extremely content with any moment that contains my family. I have the thought of, "Wow. This right here is the best moment of my life." in the middle of the smallest of moments: when I'm nursing Logan and her small hand is curled up around my finger, when Ken leans over and gives me three kisses on the lips, when Sloane tells me something she has found funny and laughs with all of her body.

Tomorrow, motherhood is going to be waking up with excitement to greet my girls, letting them love me and need me to their heart's content, and basking in the joy of being their mother.







Here's a photo that Ken's cousin, Karen, sent me earlier today that her fiance took of us and I'm going to include it here because it's such a sweet capture of us. Sloane's smile, Logan's cheeks, and my contentment.



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

SUMMER, TO DO

1. Swim: Spend as much time in and around the pool as possible. Make all of Ken's hard work worthwhile, make sure Sloane knows how to swim, enjoy time with friends, get a nice tan. 

2. Beach: Try to get at least one or two trips down to Virginia Beach, build sand castles with Sloane, visit Ken's grandma, maybe try paddle boarding?

3. Hike: Try a trail here in Richmond that I haven't done before with the family. Try to make a day trip down to Pocohantas State Park.

4. Write: I have notes and plans to write a thing and I finally got Microsoft Word on my laptop. Let's do the damn thing!

5. Popsicles: Make as many Popsicles as possible. Also, summer pies. 

6. Cocktails: I'm really into Manhattans these days, but I want to try experimenting with some gin cocktails this summer.

7. Videos: Make at least one or two videos of summer activities!

8. Get down on the floor: I'm ever so aware of how fast my girls are growing and changing these days. I want to spend as much time as I can on the floor with them, playing, watching, listening to them, without distraction.

9. Travel: We are not taking any huge trips but I am going out to LA for a weekend for my friend's wedding and then all of us are going up to NYC for a weekend for my sister's wedding. So very excited! 

10.  Throw a birthday party for Sloane's 4th birthday: Sloane has been talking about her upcoming birthday and birthday party all year, I want to plan her party with her and have fun doing it! 



Saturday, June 4, 2016

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND


Like I mentioned in the previous post, we finally finished the kitchen and - as I knew it would - I feel one hundred times better about the house, and everything else in general. My shoulders are relaxing, my movements throughout the house are more at ease, and I can tell that I'm starting to emotionally attach to this new place. The kitchen ultimately being the epicenter of it all. 

So this past weekend, we got to enjoy the completion and relax further into the house. To be clear, we are still doing house projects here and there, but it feels like the truamtic parts are over and the sunshine has been signaling a rest period. 


On Saturday morning, I finished an intense Murph workout with my gym, which our crossfit gym does every Memorial Day, and then got the weekly grocery shopping done. When I got home, I had one agenda for the afternoon: pool. We've resolved to make every minute of pool maintenance worthwhile by hanging out in it as much as we can. So far that's not been a lot because it's been raining so much!

But that particular afternoon it was perfect; the kind of the day where the weather cradles you, all your limbs feel relaxed, and you could almost believe that the day will go on and on forever. 




At first Logan was uncertain about Rusty, eyeing him as he roamed around the house, explaining in protest whenever he came near to her high chair trying to eat her food, but now she is smitten and the noise she makes in delight when she sees him is so adorable.



We have lots and lots of watermelons in our summer plans.


All of us are into it. 


We headed to the park for the latter part of the afternoon to celebrate a friends' birthday.










She told me I'm her best friend the other day! 


This was us at the grocery store the other day. I went to go get something in another aisle and when I came around the corner, Logan's face lit up like this and gave me the cheesiest happiest grin. It melted me right into the grocery store floor. 


More friends came to visit from out of town on Sunday and we spent some time by the pool (before it started raining, again!!) and spent the rest of the day talking, eating, cooking and playing with the girls.





I'm starting to really appreciate this house- for the time and space it lets us have with our friends but most especially for the memories we're starting to create with our little girls.