Thursday, September 29, 2011

There's A Bottle In The Diaper Bag...Am I A Bad Mom Or Lazy Mom?

We have weaned the Bean off of every bottle except for that last bedtime bottle.  My goal was to say goodbye to that bottle before vacation this weekend,  but due to the appearance of the last two eye teeth derailing our routine a bit,  we will returning to that plan when we return home.

 I am not trying to be lazy but well maybe I am lazy...I just do not plan on weaning the Bean from her bedtime routine while we are on vacation.  I don't think anyone would want to start that battle on vacation and so I am not too worried about it.  The problem is that now that we are down to one bottle a day,  Bean is more attached to her bottle than ever,  and I think it may be my fault.

If confessions must be made,  than I fear I have to confess to giving in to her cries for a "BaBa" over the past few weeks.  I justified it by telling myself that teething was making her miserable and that if a baba made her fell better then a baba she would get.

 Lets be honest,  I would have lassoed the moon if  thought it would have helped my little Bean feel better.  Fast forward to present and the teeth are no longer in a state of mutiny but my little Bean now wants her bottle more than ever.  Today I watched her hang from the refrigerator handle crying mournfully for her bottle and sinking to the floor in an angry toddler tantrum when I handed her a sippy cup instead.

While I stood my ground today,  yesterday,  I reached into my diaper bag and pulled out a bottle and filled it with water to delay a supermarket toddler tantrum.  Since I know consistency is key, I see where I am going wrong but in a moment of panic, I gave in.  I did not want to watch a toddler tantrum erupt fully.  I wanted to get my coffee and paper towels and make it to the car where she could be distracted. Of course, this would not have even been an option if a bottle was not placed in the diaper bag, moments before I left the house.

You see, I planned this inconsistency,  I knew I was taking a sleepy baby to the grocery.  I knew I was pushing my luck and I planned an escape hatch and today,  I am paying for my actions, with a whining toddler tantrum begging for what I have led her to believe she can have.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Toddler Communication...Baby Said What??

Bean has hit a stride (or a lull depending) how you look at it with her toddler communication.  While new words have not been flying out of her mouth she is babbling constantly.  It is the way that she babbles that is cracking me up lately.

 If I did not know better I would simply swear she was bilingual and speaking babyese fluently.  She gets going while holding a toy phone to her ear (which is actually a wooden puzzle piece) and the way she talks in streams with pauses and inflection really makes her toddler communication a close mimic to the way adult dialogue sounds.

 Still I listen closely and when she is off and running in a linguistic marathon,  it is rare that I hear one of her "words" thrown into the mix.  I know that toddler communication is a learning process and I know that all children learn speech at their own pace so I am not worried,  more like amusingly confused.

The other day I watched as Bean crawled into her mini Dora chair with a book.  She curled up and opened the front cover and began to "read" with fury.  I watched for a while as she read aloud to herself from my perch at the computer and then I slid onto the floor in an attempt to capture it on film.

 Like always,  once I moved, the action slowed but I did get a snippet of this first reading experience and I cannot wait to show it to her one day far in the future. I am sure one day when the toddler babbling is long forgotten, as we hotly debate a curfew or broken rule,  the memory of her toddler babbling will bring a nostalgic tear to my eye.  For now,  I am content with "mommy,  cookie please" as long as she is content with the fact that what she believes is a cookie is really a whole grain cereal bar.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Toddler Halloween Costume...Has This Crafty Mom Met Her Match?

This morning started like many other Monday mornings,  coffee,  feeding Bean breakfast,  more coffee,  planning my weeks To-Do list over coffee and then throwing on my favorite jeans and heading out to begin this weeks errands.

This week we have an impending vacation to plan for and to pack for but I cannot seem to concentrate on packing up the sunscreen with Halloween just around the corner.  I have been up to my eyeballs in blogs looking for a unique toddler Halloween costume.

On one hand I have seen so many cute ones that just require a two second swipe of the card but I am a crafty mom!  Currently I am an unemployed crafty mom and so I have no excuses,  if I am ever going to attempt to make a toddler Halloween costume,  this seems to be the time.  It is not like I have not found ideas...Martha Stewart (my go-to How-to guru) has tons of ideas including this precious little chicken with rubber glove feet!!!



My Owl Barn also has a wonderful little owl idea that has been floating across the back of my mind.



However it is the wings at Llevo El Invierno that have been keeping me up at night.



I am in love and so my first stop was the fabric store.  This seems like it should be fairly simple after reading her very detailed tutorial but an hour later,

I had fabric strewn all over the store as I chased the bean between rows.  Every captivating color and pattern had this project growing in my head until I finally walked out with empty arms.  I am not giving up on these wings but I may have to return to the fabric store sans my little assistant.  I know I should be making a toddler Halloween costume but it is an overwhelming prospect.  Surely I will be just as motherly if I take the easy way out this year and simply buy a costume.

I don't know what I will end up choosing,  I mean the Bean has never even had candy so I don't think this years Halloween trick or treating is going to be more than a trip to the grandparents.
Want to find out what I decide?  Join my blog or follow our adventures on Facebook

A Trip To The Local Fair Becomes A Favorite Toddler Activity

Last week was a whirlwind of activity as I disappeared into life with my Bean and so I am back to fill you in on the Bean and I's adventures.  I am always looking for new toddler activities and with the first hints of fall in the air,  the local fair season is upon us.

 For the next few weeks there is a local fair within a twenty minute drive almost every single night and with my love of all things fair food,  I am in heaven.  My husband and I took our Bean to the fair last year,  she was barely three months old and she slept soundly,  as we wondered the fairgrounds sampling fried foods and malted milkshakes.

 This year is a bit different.  For one thing the Bean loves animals so our first stop is not the cheeseburger stand,  it is the live stock barns.  We entered the barns and the Bean pointed to each pen,  one at a time; "dat, dat, dat".  As we approached each pen,  she would look at each goat individually and with her sweetest prom queen wave would say "HI" before looking to the next goat with a personal greeting.

We lingered past the rabbits and pigs as the bean said her hellos and as her bedtime came and went we finally made it t the food stands.  We were equipped with bananas and yogurt but the Bean was in her glory tasting her first corn dog (which she liked for about three bites), french fries and ice cream sundae. She went to bed like an angel after a night of her new favorite toddler activity.

Apparently a walk through rows of farm animals and french fries are all it takes to make my toddler smile. Oh who am I kidding that is usually all it takes to make me smile and the fact that it doubles as an exciting toddler activity is just an added bonus!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Crafty Mom Finds Her Stride...All It Took Was A Deliciously Selfish Break

I love being a crafty mom! I seriously LOVE it and as an Interior Designer,  I love when I can combine the two things and make something for the house for cheap,  cheap,  cheap.

Well the other weekend,  while my husband was out of town,  I came across a project on one of my favorite design blogs Parlour Home .  She had made a light that left me breathless and dying to try it!  The problem was that I had a ton of other stuff to get done.  For one thing I had promised myself I was actually going to clean and I had freelance work backing up and I was supposed to be finishing clocks for my upcoming spot in a local art show.

After going back to her blog and drooling over the pictures,  I knew it was not happening and I took the Bean out to collect my supplies. This was the easiest (if not the most time consuming project) I have taken on and I am drooling at the effect so I thought I would share it with you all.

First, I went to Pier One and grabbed a paper lantern for under $10.  Second I bought a box store out of their small coffee filters and then home I went.  That night when I put Bean to bed,  I did not clear the dishes from the sink,  I did not even look at my laptop and I certainly did not work on my clocks.

I poured myself a large glass of wine,  rented the kind of cheesy romantic comedy that would surely have my husband groaning and I got to work. Now I wish I could say I finished that night but alas three long nights later I was just approaching the end,  still the result has my inner crafty mom beaming with pride as I dream up my second attempt. (I wonder if you can dye coffee filters?)

My materials and Personal Assistant- Murphy

Day 1- Seriously that was an entire romantic comedy and an episode and a half of Project Runway

Day 2 - My finger has a burn blister but it is taking shape and I am giddy with anticipation

Day 3 - and I ran out of coffee filters...DOLT!

FINISHED

Installed!  And I wish I knew why this picture will not load correctly!
Let There Be Light!

Struggling As A New Stay At Home Mom

The last month has been a roller coaster of changes,  I went from being a full time working mom to a part time working mom to a work from home mo to a stay at home mom and the transition has thrown me for quite a loop.

 The thing is that as I sit here typing this my daughter is sound asleep beside me, there is classical Baby playing quietly on the TV and the dishwasher humming (not so quietly) in the next room.  The windows are open and those first smells of fall are blowing through the house and I should be overjoyed.  This should be my perfect day and yet I am struggling to be content!

I am used to having a lot on my plate,  I am used to juggling,  I thrive on juggling and here I am spinning in circles.  I depended on my part time work and my work at home work,  they gave me an outlet that was something other than being a mom.

 I was a writer and designer and well I was a grown up and I was working hard and I miss that.  I LOVE being home with the Bean I love hoarding all those baby smiles but I wander if I am doing her an injustice as I sit on my laptop looking for other work to fill my tank and then I wonder if I even want other work right now.

These moments are so precious and I should be cherishing them all.  I should leave my phone (and Ipad and laptop) in the house and I should go outside and really just enjoy the day with my little Bean.  I should work at setting up a new toddler routine so that her normal nap does not get cut short and end up with her napping on the sofa.

I should be looking for new ways to get a healthy toddler meal past those tiny pouty lips so that I can stop buying the expensive organic hot dogs ( I mean what the heck is an organic hot dog any way).

Still,  somehow if I ignore the  things I feel I should be doing like preparing for my art show and making new DIY Hair bands for Bean,  the day ends and I feel like I got nothing accomplished.  So how do I change that?    How do I get to the point where staying off my phone and playing in the yard with the Bean feels like an accomplishment.  How do I take a deep breathe and realize that this is the much needed break I have been dreaming about for months now and just enjoy it for what it is.

Turning my inner crafty mom into a work at home mom job


If there is one thing that most people would think of if they were asked to describe me,  I think "crafty mom" would be right there in the top five (probably right under snarky & sarcastic)!

I am constantly trolling stores that we cannot afford on one income and giving things the once over as I decide whether or not I can make something similar on a shoestring budget.

Two years ago as I tried to come up with a crafty Christmas gift for my sister,  I came up with a clock made from magazines and old vinyl.  Since my sister is way cooler than me and knows tons of people in our local art world, I found myself making new clocks for an art gallery and then custom clocks for paying customers and suddenly what started as a new project for this crafty mom turned into a work at home mom job.

Now it wasn't a life changing work at home job,  but I have sold pieces and this week,  a local online art magazine featured me in an article in preparation for a big art show I am in on Sunday! Since I don't have a problem with shameless self promotion...

Check it out- http://discerningeyesmouthpiece.com/2011/09/21/and-the-show-goes-on-jessica-jack/

To say I am beaming with pride is the understatement of the century!  I have not stopped smiling and will not admit to anyone how many times I have read the article.  I am a mom that REALLY loves her glue gun and craft bin and while I don't know if I will ever feel worthy of the label "artist" !  I may secretly have a dream of  my crafty mom taking over and one day being enough to be a real work at home mom job (the kind that dependably pays the cable bill).

Until then,  I am crafting at nap time between blogs,  while the laundry tumbles in the dryer.  I am certainly not the most glamorous crafty mom but I am a mom that loves to craft and this week ,  that is making me feel like I am at the top of the world!

Want to check out some of my other crafts,  become a fan of Upcycled by Jessica Jack and check out my future projects (which I plan to finish as soon as I get through this weekends art show)!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A New Day In This Crazy Life With My Baby

As promised,  it is Monday morning and I am getting back to business after a much needed week away from blogging.  Of course, like many things in this crazy life with my baby, my plans,  well, they do not always go as planned.  This morning started like that.  There have been so many changes to our life as a family and I was determined to start this day off right. Since the Bean has only been out of daycare for a few weeks, I had plans for finally getting a toddler routine established and well it did not go well.  This Monday turned upside down when after taking almost forty five minutes to get the Bean and I ready to get out the door,  I discovered that my keys were in the diaper bag,  which was in the car,  which was locked.  I stood in the driveway, with the Bean on my hip, looking through the passenger window as I watched my plans for the morning dissolve into thin air.

I trudged back inside,  looking around the house and realized that this might be the very best thing.  After all my morning plans did not include a workout,  a clean kitchen or frankly any of the chores on my list of things to get done.  I got down to business and realized that sometimes the best thing about life with my baby is the precious moments that you don't expect.  I pulled the baskets of laundry into the playroom and as I folded the laundry,  the Bean played peek-a-boo with the articles of clothing that she pulled out of the basket.  It may have taken twice as long to finish folding the laundry,  but the smiles and giggles made it all worth while.  By noon,  I had finished the laundry,  managed to fit in a Pilates workout (with the bean sitting on my stomach through the Hundred) and had taken the Bean for a long walk around town.  I figure that if my keys had not been locked in the car,  I would still be running way behind and would definitely not have fit in a workout.  My new toddler routine may not be off to start I was looking for but like most other lessons learned in life with my baby,  sometimes the greatest moments come when you are least expecting it.  Don't get me wrong,  I will certainly unlock the car  and retrieve those keys within seconds of my husband getting home tonight but being at home today has been an unexpected surprise.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Boon Snack Cup Review


I Love The Boon Sippy Cup, But The Snack Cup Is A Bust. 

It is just me and the Bean this weekend which means we have been shopping.   We seem to have traveled the county helping to rebuild the economy one dollar at a time digging through the clearance racks for deals and steals. 

On our journey, I came across the Boon Snack ball for $2.  STEAL! I swiped it form the display (ok honestly I swiped three but in a moment of clarity, I approached the register with only one).  I have made it no secret that I love the Boon Sippy cup.  In fact, the Boon sippy cup is something that seems to always be in my online shopping cart.

In addition to the Boon sippy cup, I just purchased the bendable Boon baby silverware which I love and want in every color. You would have thought the Boon snack cup was a win-win.   Here is what I actually think. 

I got the snack cup home and punched it out of its packaging to give it a quick wash before I stuffed it with cheerios.  It is the same color combination as the original Boon sippy cup so I love the way it looks and I love the way it splits in two for easy cleaning.  The first problem is actually what I love the most; it is shaped like a ball.  

While it looks like the perfect container for a toddler snack when I handed it to the Bean she took it in her hands, realized it was a ball and threw it. The ball hit the wall and the lid popped open and cheerios exploded.  Can’t blame Bean for doing what I have been teaching her to do with a ball for months so I picked up the cheerios and started again.  I filled the ball, showed her how to open the lid and handed it back to her.  This time she opened the lid, poured the cheerios out, closed the lid and threw the ball.  

Again there is no way for me to fault her in her thinking.  If she prefers to use a ball as a ball and not a container for a toddler snack, well it kinda makes sense.  It looks like for $2, I bought her an extra ball for her toy box.  I love the styling and colors of the Boon products and as much as I wanted to love the Boon snack ball, I am afraid that it is not a winner in our house.  

We are returning to the “spill proof” snack cups, luckily it was a good sale and Bean loves rolling it across the kitchen floor.  It may not be our favorite container for toddler snacks but I suppose it is not a total bust.