Just a Quicky About My Loves.

These are my boys:    Boys

This is Finn:                                                                                                                                    He is 5.  He is my first.  He is full of life and love and questions about everything.

Finn

This is Jack:  He is 18 months.  He is a mover and a shaker.  He likes to run.  And climb.  He likes to copy his big brother.  He likes to gives kisses…after he has bonked you in the head.  It is very possible that he might be my challenge (as far as tantrums are concerned…)

Jack

These are my boys.  These are their names.  Red & Roo.  My life and my loves. 

And now you know.  xo 

HAPPY FRIDAY!!

 

Long Weekends are Good for the Soul.

squash

I had a nice loooong weekend.  It was a much needed break from work and I definitely took the time to relax and do some things that have been on my mind, and on the back burner of my “to do” list for quite a while. 

I have officially started my Christmas shopping.  I can’t share most of my finds because some special people read this little blog ‘o mine, but I will share these pillows, which I am so in love with, made by my extremely talented, and much-loved friend Cherry, whose Etsy shop Totally Cherry will be stocked with lots of beautiful pillows & pillow covers for the upcoming shopping season.  She is now offering 20% off for the month of October, so be sure to check out her inventory while it lasts!!!  Be sure to “like” on Facebook as well at Totally Cherry Blossoms.

Pillows!

It’s great to be friends with such gifted people.  While at the craft fair where I bought Cherry’s pillows, I browsed other items and was motivated to get my act together and start creating my own inventory from the ideas swimming in my head. 

I have been sanding some old wooden oars that are in need of some TLC.  I plan to paint and distress them to hang in the entry way of our house which is a lot of wall and in need of decoration. 

oars

I had a helper last weekend, and this weekend, he kept me going by picking me flowers.  Love him.

flowers

Sunday was a cloudy, rainy day.  I loved every minute of it.  Red and I had a few groceries to pick up after church, and on a whim (and with a little persuading by him), I bought two small pumpkins.  He couldn’t WAIT to start carving.  He decided, “I want to make a scary one.” I think he did a good job accomplishing it!  The only parts I helped him with were the top and the mouth.  He drew, and scooped and chiseled his pumpkin to become the amazing masterpiece you see below. 

Carving

I have been trying to be good about letting him do things on his own without as much guidance.  I have to admit, I was nervous about that little carving knife, but once I showed him how to cut, and to make sure to keep his non-carving hand out of the way, he was very good about following directions, and so focused.  It was really cute to watch.

glow

Roo was content to sit in his highchair and watch.  I brought out some new wooden puzzle rescue trucks that he hasn’t seen much of and that bought us even more time.   After the pumpkin fun (and by fun, I mean mess, but it was so worth it), we moved on to Play-Doh.  I thought Roo would love squishing it between his fingers and making different indentations with the tools I gave him.  I also knew that some would inevitably end up in his mouth.  One taste and he was totally grossed out.  Wish I got a picture of that!!! 

puzzle cars

Today it was just me and Roo.  I could totally get used to the stay-at-home thing.  <sigh>  I know the grass isn’t always greener…but it was pretty luxurious while it lasted.

After dropping Red at school, we went to Starbucks and got me a coffee.  Drove around and parked at the beach on the hopes that I would get a nap out of if him.  No such luck, but it was fine since my next plan was to go to Hobby Lobby for craft supplies.  I could spend hours in craft stores getting ideas and finding fun supplies.  If only my wallet would allow it.  I have signed up to be a room mom for Red’s class.  The first party is October 30th, for Halloween of course.  The kids will be painting pumpkins, and the other two moms are handling the supplies for that project.  I am in charge of a game.  After much thought, (and of course consulting with my dear friend Pinterest) I settled on Monster Bowling, as seen here. 

Image detail for -halloween activity for kids handmade halloween game for kids

Sadly, I don’t know who to credit for this image and idea, since the link is just a Yahoo search, but whoever you are – thank you!

Once Roo was napping, I began another project that is the cornerstone to all of the above craftiness that I am working on.  Since moving into our house in 2010, Mike has taken over the basement, with half as his workshop/storage space, and the other half, which is unfinished, as his man cave.  He has it made down there, complete with a bar, two TV’s, a beer fridge and lots of cool (though really “manly”) accessories, such as fishing poles hung overhead, license plates on the walls, sports paraphernalia, and many interesting artifacts that he has found through his years working for a marine construction company.  (Hence the aforementioned oars).  I’ll have to take a picture of some of the stuff he has.  Eventually, I’d like to move some to the main part of the house because there are some very cool antiques!  Anyway, my point, is that he has pretty much taken ownership of the entire ground floor.  But today, I carved out my own space and created a craft area – and I plan to eventually own one half of the room.  Ideally, I would love a little shed in the yard that has a power source so I can have a “studio.”  Mike, I know you are reading this – so consider it a formal request.  <wink, wink>

But even in the small space I have claimed, I have set-up my sewing machine, laid out all of my paints, organized my brushes and other art supplies, sorted through all of my ribbon spools and folded my fabrics.  Everything has a place…  My theory:  In sight, in mind.  It feels so good to have everything where I can see it, which will make it easier to start working. 

Back to the daily grind tomorrow, but this weekend has given me a renewed sense of energy and motivation…not so much for my current 9 to 5, but to come home to a new space, and begin to work on the stuff that renews my spirit and brings me joy – besides my fam, of course!  Love them, but the challange will now be to find a way to steal an hour or two to myself…  I think the basement is going to see a “play/family room” re-do in the very near future as well, so we can all enjoy it together.

Happy Monday!!  xo

PS – Linking up with Annapolis & Company!!

It Is What It Is…

DIY-ing with this guy-my helper!

DIY-ing with this guy-my helper!

I’m back.

It’s been a crazy, hard, chaotic month.  I am sad that I haven’t been writing more, but coming home from a job that has been stealing ALL of my mental energy is not exactly motivating.  Besides the fact that I could barely keep my eyes open past nine o’clock, and Roo went through two solid weeks of 18 month old sleep regression, mixed in with a few night terrors just for fun.  Yeah…it’s been that kind of month.

So, my feelings about this j-o-b thing…it’s taken some processing.  That comes in the form of over-thinking, over-analyzing, and second-guessing.  I wasn’t even sure I should post anything about it because things are still so up in the air, and no one knows what will be happening at the end of this month.  But then again, this is MY space, and I am not going to feel as if I can’t spill my guts about things that won’t leave my mind alone.  Writing about anything else would feel fake right now, though Mike is so supportive and the boys are great (other than that freak sleep thing – hope that’s over for good!!)

There have been lay-offs, and my boss was one of them.  Though she isn’t leaving until the end of the year, the rest of our team’s fate will be decided by October 28th.  A colleague and I just spent the last four weeks conducting numerous training sessions for a new system and new business process that a lot of people don’t agree with or like…and of course, the messengers (us) always bear the brunt of the aggression (them).  All of that happened while doing the rest of my normal job functions which already keep me busy on a normal day and…blah, blah, blah…so it goes.  My head has been spinning.

I remember talking about careers and jobs in my philosophy class in college.  Many people say that they don’t want their job to “define” them, but career is a big part of who we are.  Since this is the case, I want that something, the thing I have to do 40 hours a week (sometimes more), the place where I spend more time than with my sweet family, to be productive, inspiring, and fulfilling. 

Maybe this is an opportunity?  The fate of my job has already been decided.  It is out of my control – it is just a waiting game.  There are days when I feel like I can see where the senior Directors might fit me, but the more days that go by, and the whispers among our team take place, and questions from others are asked…the more I have let doubt creep in.  The fact is – no one knows.  Any of us can go.

But here is what I do know. 

I am smarter than my current job.  I am educated.  I am a creative, a thinker and a doer and I want much more of that to be my day-to-day.  So, as I have been repeating to myself again and again…It is what it is.  Whatever shall be shall be.  I’ve been seeking new roads, and maybe there is a plan in all of this that is out if my hands, but good things will come. 

In the meantime…I hope to be around this space a lot more.  This is my refuge and if I could swing it – THIS would be my day-to-day.  Maybe someday it will be!!!  (Hello, DREAM JOB.)  Props to the amazing bloggers that do it so well – photographers, crafters, foodies, fashionistas…you are all my hero’s and my inspiration (Casey Leigh, Annapolis & Co., Dear Baby blog, Under the Sycamore..to name only a few!).  Reading these blogs on particularly hard days and nights has been encouraging and has driven me to keep up my own posts, I’ll make it happen as successfully as they do someday too….and that alone makes me feel better.  So I will leave with a few October “heart swell” pictures…because this is after all, my happy place, and these are my happy peeps.

Watching Roo sleep while I get ready for work.   I heart them both.

Watching Roo sleep while I get ready for work.
I heart them both.

Playful spirit!

Playful spirit!

My Peeps. Building with Legos.

Flying.

Flying.

More to come … soon.  XO.

Heart Swell – September Edition

I am seriously slacking in my posting – and for that I apologize to those of you who continue to visit my little blog of percolating thoughts.  I have been missing this space, and though my heart wants to come here and help my brain empty itself all over the page, my brain keeps circling other things.  Things that are sucking the life and energy out of me.  Things that are burning me up inside.  Things that involve work, and corporate craziness which are consuming me in ways I never wanted or expected.  So more may come of that, when I am ready, and / or when the time is right.

But for now, some of the things that have been making my heart (and life) swell…

Soccer has officially “kicked” off!!

kickinit

Concentration face.

…obviously running around all day leads to sleepy heads at night.

sleepy

And speaking of sleep, last Sunday, Red and I returned from church to this scene – the only way Mike could get Roo to sleep!!  Not a bad way to snooze if you ask me…

My handsome boys.

Sleepy Babes

soapy mohawk

Who doesn’t love a soapy mohawk? Who???

surprise presents

Surprise presents and dreams of a jam band.

groovin'soundcheck

sound check.

Play Nice

Legos definitely make my heart swell…and my feet too when I step on them!

Loving that they are playing nicely (and quietly!!) together.

learning

Learning to count.  He says: uuuh, two, tee…

Going over football strategy

And all that counting preps him for football season kick-off!!! 

Here, Roo is explaining strategy.

And so it goes in these parts…sports and music…and until I can get my head back in the writing game…enjoy!  I’ll be back in the swing soon!

xo

 

 

Navigating…

First Day of K!

So it’s been over a week, and among other things, I owe a first day of kindergarten update! We made it – and with big excited smiles to boot! Maybe I should re-phrase that – I made it, with tear ducts intact. I kept a brave face. Partly because there was no bus ride involved. For a few different reasons, we abandoned the bus and enrolled Red in a before and after school program that gives him time to play and socialize and get out some of his energy. It is a benefit for all of us.

The day before school, we met his teacher, and toured his classroom and met his classmates. He sat in his chair and checked out his new supplies. He was not nervous, but was quietly taking it all in. The next day, he woke up early and was ready to get out the door waaaaayyy ahead of schedule. Why can’t every day be like that???

He came home gushing about the day and his favorite part – recess, and how he saw some of his old pre-school buds, and played “poison ball,” which from what I can gather is just a cool way of renaming the classic game of dodge ball…yea, I’d say it was a good day of fun.

Never a dull moment with this guy:

goofball

So now, I am navigating the world of organized routines, guiding homework assignments, and trying to pack a healthy lunch that he will actually eat, that isn’t the same every day. Any and all suggestions are welcome to help with this one!! A few hints…he doesn’t like sandwich condiments, I tried pinwheels to no avail, we are in a nut-free classroom, and he has already said no to my novel snack idea of baby carrots with ranch dressing, but it’s not as if I haven’t tried to get creative.

Second day of K!

Second day of K!

Schedules are only going to get busier in the comings months. I have signed Red up for Lil Kicks soccer which takes place on Saturdays. He hasn’t really been exposed to organized sports, but only because we haven’t enrolled him until now, since he never expressed an interest.  It was on a whim that I signed him up.  I figured it’s just another way to meet new kids (and for me, parents), get some exercise and learn something new.  I can’t wait to be on those sidelines on Saturday mornings, hot coffee in hand, cheering for Red to “kick the ball!” and laughing at the hilarity of cleated kids racing back and forth with no attention to competition or teams, or even where their field ends and another game field begins…

Red also begins Sunday school this weekend. It was something I was putting off and procrastinating for whatever the reasons…I actually have no excuses that are very good. I have been wanting to get back to church myself, and after reading a few inspiring blog posts from some other amazing mamas, specifically this one from Natalie Falls (who has such an amazingly sweet family, and a way with words that is almost poetic, yet relateable), I realized that I needed to reach out and get it done, for both Red and myself. I was very honest in my email to the Sunday school teacher. Both of my boys were baptized at our church, but I sheepishly admitted that is the last time we attended (which was February!) I also explained that having an active 17 month old made it hard and suggested a “crying room” would make it so much easier for moms with littles. Lastly, I had to be very honest in my intentions, and explained that we (I) couldn’t always commit to attending the service / Sunday school every week, but that at least a few times a month we would be there. That was the biggest part of my hesitation, because would that be acceptable and ok???  To my relief, my message was met with understanding and support. So we’ll see how it goes and will hopefully try make it on a regular basis. 

In the meantime, we had a great Labor Day weekend and did not labor a bit…well, except for a day of cleaning and grocery shopping and cooking on Monday. But it paid off well – nothing like a nice clean home and a delicious meal to brighten an otherwise grey and gloomy day.  A colleague of mine had given me some fresh beets from her CSA (community-supported agriculture), as well as a huge head of butter lettuce, peppers, and green tomatoes. YUM!

So I bring you my roasted beet salad. I roasted with garlic, kosher salt and pepper at 450 for an hour.  I then topped mixed greens with the beets cut into chunks, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette.  I took inspiration from this recipe, courtesy of the blog Susan Nye – Around the Table, which I found by chance on Pinterest (of course) but her blog is pretty darn lovely, and I strongly suggest you giving roasted beets a try – your taste buds will thank you. 

Fresh

beets

beets

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Walnuts

And just in case you were thinking it – much as I would love to – I don’t think I could choose this as a healthy option in Red’s lunch…  🙂

Summer has been oh so good – but I look forward to navigating all of the “new” we are approaching in the coming months, as well as fairs, fall harvests and any recipe that involves pumpkin as an ingredient!  Bring on the golden rays of “Indian summer” and say goodbye to the humidity – that I can certainly do without.

p.s.  linking up with Annapolis & Company

Weekend ramblings…

boat day!

Me and Roo

anchor up!

We’ll get to these pictures in a minute…

Over the weekend, as I got distracted while doing laundry (or distracted myself since I didn’t want to fold the baskets and baskets conspicuously waiting around the house), I meandered to my craft drawers. They are a disorganized mess (despite my last cleaning project) and as I began shuffling through them, organizing bits and pieces, odds and ends, winding ribbon spools, sorting, organizing and re-discovering, I began to think of all of the fun projects I should be working on, and the lovely little beauties that could be spun from my idle hands….especially when they are not busy folding laundry. And then I really got to thinking. I have plenty of plans to craft more, especially as I begin to think about Christmas gifts, and as the warm weather begins to fade to fall. So, stay tuned because I fully intend to step up this B (for blog of course, though it’s also my nickname for another bit of slang, and since my blog is a she, I’ll let you figure it out for yourselves).

HOWEVER…

Since yesterday was a gorgeous day and the last free weekend of truly free summer fun before school starts, I had to abandon the craft ship and board our real vessel. Boat day! Roo’s first time out did not disappoint!! As I snuggled him, he simply looked around, taking everything in, bundled in his life jacket which tends to creep up to his chin. Red and Mike were busy crabbing and fishing and guiding us on an adventurous journey up the river. The sun was high in the sky and it was warm, but not unbearably hot. I was happy to get my pale, Irish skin some color, even if it was red and resulted in more freckles. I love my freckles by the way. I love any freckles, and Red has earned a few more scattered over his nose this summer, which I think is just the cutest thing ever.

chillin'

crab pickin'

This would be Mike, pretending to have the crab pick his nose. Classy. Don’t worry, this crab was not harmed during the making of this photo, other than having a little less dignity when he swam back to his friends.

Jelly!!

Can you spy the jellyfish??

crabs

Too short.

It was a welcome outdoorsy day, since Saturday was a day dedicated to Red’s haircut and back-to-school shopping at the mall. The sole mission was to find him his sneakers. As I mentioned in this post, he had his heart set on “light-up sneakers.” Well, that was totally fine, until I tried finding them. You would think in a place that has no less than 7 shoe stores, we would have been successful…

I only had one requirement. They had to have laces, no Velcro. The last pair he had were Velcro, and that dang material begins to unstick after a while… Oh, and they had to not be ugly…ok, so two requirements. Um, have you laid eyes on some of the light up sneakers out there? Many have super-hero’s on them, like Iron Man or Spiderman, which a. he has no concept of who these characters are because he is far too young to watch the movies they star in, and b. it is my opinion that the damn marketing license for such characters drives the price up on an otherwise cheap pair of sneakers by about $10! I wasn’t paying $45-$50 on ugly sneakers that would unstick and he would probably ditch once he saw what other kids were wearing anyway.

So, after a day of schlepping the mall (both boys were actually very well behaved, and thank God for my mom’s help because Red insisted on riding the “electric stairs” {escalator} just for the sheer thrilling fun of it), we left with a buy-one-get-one pack of socks and two t-shirts from Gap Kids. And just to explain about the socks – I completely SPACED and let Red wear his Crocs that day, which if any of you are familiar, if these shoes are worn barefoot (because why would you wear socks with Crocs?) by boys who like to run around in dirt and have sweaty feet, the end result when said shoes are removed isn’t pretty. We’re talking feet caked in grime. Needless to say, we probably gave the poor teenager helping us at Foot Locker quite a disgraceful shock. I apologetically and immediately took him up on his “bogo” sock offer, which we needed anyway. Oh well, I love my bud, stinky, dirty feet and all…which by the way, we finally found really good sneakers for today! They don’t light up, but they are cool looking and functional and were in my price range. Score!

Oh, and today, we had a Mommy-Red date day!!! It began on a high note with the sneaker purchase. He was so excited-he wore them out of the store (obviously) and proceeded to run to every store we visited throughout the outdoor outlets that we were shopping at, because he said, they made him extra fast. We came home for lunch, and then went to the movies to see Disney’s Planes. It was a glorious, be-still-my-heart afternoon in that theatre. To have him so overjoyed with excitement for the movie, to see his reaction to all the previews, to have him randomly turn to me in the dark during the movie for a kiss, to hear him tell me he loves me…I wish I could have those moments every day…I’ll be re-living them in my memory for a while.

One more day off together…we meet his teacher tomorrow which will bring its own excitements, and then Wednesday is the BIG K DAY! New adventures await.

 

So now…
…until then
….. Ramble on!

hangin'

Toddling & Grooving, With a Side of Giggles, & Kisses.

Reading Eyes

Car

Don't Bother Me I'm Busy

Daddy and Roo

I have just been enjoying Roo so much lately. I think this age, 16 months, is one of the best stages of baby – or “toddler” as Red always corrects me. And toddle he does. He is so sure of his steps. Sure of himself.

He loves, LOVES music. Music is usually on while we make dinner. He will run into the kitchen – stop – find the rhythm and begin to groove, legs bouncing, head nodding. Any music will do. Jazz, Pop, new, old, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin… I knew he was a mama’s boy.

He doesn’t say much. He has only a handful of words he knows. One of which is “Da-DDY.” One of which is NOT Mama (much to my chagrin and constant “Ma-Ma” and “Mo-MMY” noises that I make at him daily).

Kisses

He is so much fun to just watch. He is even more fun to engage. His sweet smile when he is learning something new. His big, belly laugh when we (or, more likely RED) is being especially funny. Red sometimes complains in the morning as I am getting ready that Roo hit him, or threw a toy at him…to which I explain that he just wants his attention…that he looks up to him and wants to play.  Red will usually cave to the request, I think secretly liking his big bro status.  I love watching them together – goofing, playing, teasing…a love and friendship in its earliest stages.

Over the weekend, Sunday morning actually, when Mike and I were barely awake after bringing Roo to our bed – out of nowhere and unprompted, he grabbed my face and came at me with his mouth open to plant a sloppy, wet kiss on my lips. So of course I encourage “Kisses!” any time I can..and he cheerfully obliges to both of our delight.
He will also blink flirtatiously when asked where is eyes are…batting his lashes, making me giggle and my heart melt every time.

Surfer Boy

One of our favorite past times is to race cars and monster trucks down the hallway. I’ll say “READY!?” and I’ll zoom it as fast and hard as I can as he watches, and then, chunky little legs run after it, and like a puppy, he retrieves it to do it again..and again..and again. And I never get tired or bored…I could do it all darn day.

Toes

Oh, and he loves trying on shoes.

At night, after we play, I turn down the lights and he knows..and he reaches for me, and assumes his position for a book on my lap. He listens intently and helps turn pages. Then the lights go off and the night light on. It’s our time together at night that I absolutely cherish. He’ll nurse… stop to babble something sweet to me, and then goes back to doing his thing. When done, I kiss him about a million times, smelling his soft, baby fine hair the entire time, before I lay him in his crib.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…and again…and again. I wish I could freeze time. It goes by much too quickly for my liking. But I am thankful every day for every month, and every stage, and phase that I get to witness and take part in. And I am soaking it all in. 16 months (<sigh> Almost 17 months actually…) and so much more to look forward to. 

Feet