Friday, December 12, 2014

A few of my favorite things: Piko Shirt

I talked a bit about fashion last week and how I shop for myself based on what looks good on me and feels comfortable and not on what looks good on the model. So I decided to start a series where every once in awhile I'll highlight a find that I've been willing to splurge on because it is so very worth it.

One of the challenges of my post-pregnancy body is that things are just lumpier than they used to be. I'm working on firming things up but in the meantime, I needed something that would flatter my shape but not be clingy. Enter the Piko Shirt from Shop Sosie:

Cozy Long Sleeve Top in Light Grey by Piko

This is not a paid advertisement. I wish! It is just me spreading the news of this wonderful find.

I now have this shirt in a long sleeve green, a short sleeve gray, and the black v-neck is on my Christmas wish list.

It is sooo comfortable and the loose, flowiness hides my slooowwwly shrinking love handles. Plus the sleeves are very fitted so it still somehow flatters my body shape. Not to mention the wide neck shows a bit of clavicle so it doesn't look like a frumpy mom shirt. At any rate, it's a total win in my book. I know it won't fit everyone's body type but it happens to work just fine with mine so it made it to the list!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Disneyland Recap

I forgot to recap our trip to Disneyland/So Cal to see family. It was so much fun... a lot of excitement including a trip to the E.R. and as always, way too short!

Miss "I'm such a professional plane flyer now"

Ryan is actually a month younger than Maddie, believe it or not.

She was speechless when she saw Cinderella. But still managed a great pose and smile.

On her second favorite ride, the carousel. (#1 is Dumbo, of course)

Waiting for Heimlich's Chew Chew Train

Still waiting...

All the good pictures of the kids have my sister in them. She gets to be the cool, fun, single auntie for awhile. 

Allie got to wear her "pretty dress" the second day.

Grandpa and Maddie

My aunt, uncle and cousins joined us the second day

The crazies in the front row

My cousins' kids got balloons but then they fell asleep so Allie got to play with both. She was pretty happy about that...

Silly faces with Uncle Carl

My sister, her husband, and older son.

Sisters with Mom (Victoria lasted 5 minutes holding Maddie in the Ergo)

The big kids got to ride Radiator Racers while Grandma & Grandpa hung out with the littles.

Brian is way more artsy than I even think about being.

Cousins. Atticus is trying to escape the death grip/hand holding.

And... we have fun.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Interviews with Allie

It's crazy that in just a short amount of time, Allie has gone from singular words to stringing together sentences. I thought I'd start a diary of some of the things she says that make me smirk from day to day.

Me: "Allie, time to pee in the toilet."
Allie: "No. I peed in the toilet yesterday."

Allie: (listening to "I wonder" from Sleeping Beauty) "What's this?"
Me: Sleeping Beauty
A: No, it's Cinderella.
Me: I think I would know. It's Sleeping Beauty.
A: No, it's Cinderella.
Me: Fine. You win. It's Cinderella.
A: No, it's Sleeping Beauty.

Me: "Allie, please be gentle around Maddie."
A: *makes a face at Maddie, who giggles in return* "Look. It's happy."

Me: *cleaning her nose out with an aspirator*

*Maddie is fussing in her chair*
A: "It's okay Maddie. It's okay. I've got you."

Literally every single time she goes to the bathroom.
And yes, even in public places like church, or restaurants. She comes back and announces it with such enthusiasm, arms raised up like she's just finished a marathon. It's my own fault, I suppose, for making such a big deal out of it in the first place. Curse you potty training tips on Pinterest!

And a funny incident... Brian was cleaning up from making waffles with Allie, Maddie was asleep on our bed, and I was showering. He heard Allie walk away and realized it was too quiet. He walked back to our room to find Allie holding a very awake Maddie. Actually she wasn't holding her and I'm not sure I can convey the awkwardness of the situation. Just imagine what it would look like if a toddler decided to pick up a sleeping baby. Allie just informed Brian "I hold my baby."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Old school

So I made the plunge and got a pair of Vans. It was one of my birthday presents. To me.

Just kidding my mama got them for me.

But I did surprise myself with a few birthday presents. I loved them all. 

Anyway, the first time I wore my Vans, I had the thought of "Maybe... I'm too old to be wearing Vans?" Which got me thinking... can you ever be too old for a fashion trend? I've noticed these days that it's popular to wear crop tops with high-waisted shorts (umm... yes, the 90's called and they want their fashion trends back.) Obviously I haven't seen anyone over the age of 30 sporting this look (although I'm sure somewhere in the world, there is) so the question begs... At what point are you too old to be sporting the same trend as the kids half your age?

Not like I'm going to be waltzing around in a crop top anytime soon. I happen to think that a woman's clothing choices should mature as they do so that means you stop shopping at Forever 21 and start shopping at places where the shirts cost more than $5.90 and last longer than 2 weeks. But that's just me.

Which also has me thinking... as I get older, I see the value of spending a little more money on a classic, basic piece that will last me many moons. I also see the value of buying what I like to wear as opposed to what I think looks good on the mannequin. Like v-neck tees. I must have 52 v-neck t-shirts but it's because my go-to uniform on a daily basis is a v-neck tee with leggings. Which are pants, right? Please say yes.

Because if you say leggings aren't pants, then the only pants I own that fit are maternity pants. And we all know that maternity pants, without a giant preggo belly, will have nothing to hold on to. So basically if you say leggings aren't pants, you're condemning me to walk around with my pants continually trying to make a break for it. Or I'll be wearing suspenders. But wait... am I old enough to be wearing suspenders? Don't you have to be at least 70+? Hmm.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Let's catch up and remember life.

Let me just recap the past few weeks... We went to L.A., tons of fun, came home and were attacked by the flu (despite Brian being forced to get the flu shot 2 weeks earlier), I was the last man standing so pretty thankful I felt good enough to take care of everyone. Finished the bathroom floor (finally),  gearing up for Thanksgiving, my sister coming to visit, and more work on the bathroom.


But enough about me. Let's talk about something fun that I was just thinking about last night.

Before kids
  • Time it takes to watch a 2 hour movie: 2 hours 
  • Saturday nights: Go out to dinner, maybe catch a movie, relax at home with some dessert before calling it a night around midnight.
  • Shopping: Grab your purse, head to the mall. Browse for a few hours, taking your time to try things on, before making a few purchases and finally coming home, happy that you got what you came for. 
  • Spare time: craft, bake, crochet, exercise (because you have a gym membership, of course), watch TV/movies, read blogs, keep up with the world
After kids
  • Time it takes to watch a 2 hour movie: 3.5 hours pausing for potty breaks, rewinding to hear what happened because you can't hear over the toddler/baby chatter, pausing to get snacks every 10 minutes
  • Saturday nights: Pile everyone in the car to get pizza, after 45 minutes, arrive home with pizza, find the latest Tinkerbell movie on Netflix, watch until kid's bedtime, clean up pizza off the kid, high-chair, floor. Bath kids, pj's on, brush teeth, put kids to bed, try to watch a grown-up movie but end up falling asleep on the couch. At 8:45 pm. Forget about dessert.
  • Shopping: Load up the diaper bag (including diapers, extra outfits, snacks, sippy cup), purse (make sure you have extra wipes in there), stroller (don't forget the 2nd seat attachment), and kids. Drive to the mall. Unload and set-up stroller, get everything into the stroller (including children) and set off. Hit up Nordstroms first to see the fish and get a free balloon. Stop at the bathrooms for toddler potty break and baby nursing session. Finally head to the stores you want. Quickly browse, grabbing several things to try on. Head to the dressing room and try things on for 30 seconds. Spend 5 minutes trying to keep your toddler from opening the door and flashing the dressing room attendants your stretch marks. Spend 10 minutes trying to calm fussy baby. Second nursing session. Leave the dressing room with nothing you want because everything you grabbed was the wrong size and you're too tired to try again. Head to the Disney store and spend the rest of the time recuperating while your toddler watches cartoons. Decide you've had enough shopping for the year and head home. When the kids inevitably fall asleep in the car, sit there and do some online shopping on your phone and give thanks to God that such an option exists.
  • Spare time: Sleep. 
Then when Brian watches the girls and I head out on my own, it feels like a vacation. "You mean I get to browse Target without worrying about keeping Allie preoccupied or making sure she doesn't grab everything off the shelves? Yes please!" And then I miss them. "Aww what a nice display of Christmas ornaments. If Allie were here, they'd be on the floor. I should bring her. She'd love it."

Yep. That's parenting. Only for the masochists.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Allie's Play Kitchen

Phew. That about sums up this whole process. But the moment is finally here. Allie's kitchen reveal...

I'm going to spare you the long gory details of how this all came to be and hopefully let the pictures talk for themselves. It still needs some paint touch-up but this poor girl has had to wait long enough so maybe if I get in the mood one day, I'll do it. Most likely not. Also, I tried to link as much as I could in the lists below, but it's been so long that some of the stuff isn't even sold anymore.

Free cabinets from Craigslist

Cutting the cabinets down

Butcher block slab that Brian brought home from a house they demo'd.

Used leftover trim/baseboard paint from our old house

This was the Christmas Eve picture I took. We stayed up until 1 am and decided it wasn't going to get done. It basically sat untouched for 10 months until...

The small trash can came with our trash can that we use in the kitchen. The toaster was a gift from my sister.

The faucet was from Habitat for Humanity, mixing bowl from Marshall's, small whisk and spatulas from Target, other utensils came with Allie's cookie set (linked below).

Wire baskets from Ikea, play food from Ikea or Amazon (gifts from my parents and sisters), red wash cloth from my kitchen, wooden eggs and crate from Michael's.

Rolling pin from Old Navy, metal pans from Brian's grandma, pans, pots, and oven mitts from my parents (linked below)

Cookie set from Brian's parents, metal cooling rack from Marshall's

Towels (Bed Bath & Beyond)
Pots and Pans (Melissa & Doug)
Wooden food (Melissa & Doug)
Wooden cookies (Melissa & Doug)
Toaster (Land of Nod - discontinued)
Fabric fruits and veggies (Ikea)
Rolling pin (Old Navy)

I guess it's not really fair to do an accurate cost break down because a lot of the stuff was what we had lying around but here it is anyway.

Everything from Michaels, Home Depot and Marshall's, we bought with gift cards so it changes the final price a bit. I also bought the Michael's stuff with coupons.

Paint (white and gray): $0 (leftover from other projects)
Wood to fill cabinets and for countertop: $0 (scraps that Brian has collected)
Butcher block counter: $0 (Scrap that Brian brought home from a house they demo'd)
Wooden circles: $4 (Michael's)
Magnetic paint: $3 (Michael's)
Pre-cut plexiglass: $2 (Home Depot)
Metallic gray paint: $4 (Home Depot)
Bowl used for sink: $4 (Marshall's)
Cooling rack used for oven rack: $2 (Marshall's)
Faucet: $10 (Habitat for Humanity)
Handles: $14 (Ikea)
Wire baskets: $12 (Ikea)
Total spent: $36 ($54 if you count the gift card stuff)

So there you have it. We probably could've finished a lot sooner if we didn't move, take on an entire home renovation and have a new baby but what are you gonna do...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Motherhood and other serious things

Motherhood. It's a strange thing...

What is the measure of it? That's what I've been thinking a lot lately. We've been stretched between Brian working overtime, working on the bathroom remodel, keeping up with various activities, all these extracurricular things that have me wondering... what's the point?

Is my goal to get everything checked off my to-do list? Or to spend as much time with my daughters as possible? Do I ignore the state of my home to make sure I'm putting in valuable time with them? Or even more, do I pop in a movie for Allie so I can have a normal, uninterrupted adult conversation with Brian? Or does that make me a bad mom? Is it okay for her to know the words to "Let It Go" as long as she also knows the words to "Trust and Obey"?

Should she be able to count to 5? Rattle off her ABC's? Is she supposed to be eating 3 square meals a day with healthy snacks in between? What if all she's had are refried beans and chips? And what about Maddie? She's obviously not getting as much attention as Allie did. Should I be spending more time playing and interacting with her? Should she be rolling over? Walking? Potty-trained?

I don't feel like I have everything together. There's stuff strewn about the floors, which haven't been cleaned in ages (although to be fair, concrete sub-floors can never really be that clean). The laundry pile seems to be growing even if I've just done 16 loads of laundry. Sometimes dinner burns. Sometimes the fridge has leftovers that have turned into science experiments.

Sometimes I realize minutes before Brian comes home that I haven't brushed my teeth yet. I've learned to ignore the stack of tools and building equipment that have taken over one side of our living room. And that's without even comparing myself to others (which is a deep, dark hole that once you fall into is nearly impossible to climb out of). It's a funny thing living in the internet age where everyone can plaster pictures of their homes all over the place. I don't think my mom ever took pictures of her home to show others. But in our world, this is normal. Comparing ourselves has become SO incredibly easy to do.

I know my goal as a Christian is to bring God glory. But what does that look like? It has to be different for each person, right? Because we're all different. So what's a woman to do?

Keep your head down. Live a quiet life. Work with your hands. Love God and others and do what you've been called to do. And it's okay if it looks different than other people. Because ultimately we are to compare ourselves to Christ and when we see how much we fall short, we rejoice in His gracious work on the cross.

Can I get an amen? Now excuse me while I tackle that laundry pile once again. 

Just kidding, I'm gonna go eat some chocolate cake.