My favorite clothing store for kids is actually H&M. They have a killer selection of simple and adorable graphic clothing for modern kids. For funsies I made a few boards of outfits that I'd match the kids in if I was the type to match children. Which by the way I totally am. I don't do identical outfits but I tend to put them in the same color family or similar themes, especially if I were to take them somewhere like say...
Horton's Hayride or other Musical Events
The LA Zoo
A Church Picnic or Spring Wedding
Knott's Berry Farm
I made these boards months ago and then you know... the kids. They took over.
In my copious free time (sarcasm) with the two kids I've been continuing to pretend I have a kitchen to design. Once you start putting things together that you like you start noticing where you're lacking or what you're overdoing. After I put all the basic elements together you see the top two rows I realized man, all that black white and grey makes it look really you know... black white and grey. But it's an easy enough fix: add some color/warmth. So the accessories like the colorful bowls we have, wood shelves, wood cutting boards, flowers, copper accessories, these things will help warm it up and make it more us. 'Cause I love b/w/g but I am all about pattern and color too.
The other things on the board aren't specific or exact.
Things we already have that we wanna work with:
- The black hardware pulls
- The Samsung fridge
- The Samsung microwave
Things I know I want for sure:
- Farmhouse sink from Ikea (it's cheap and has two sections unlike most farmhouse sinks).
- A dishwasher that disappears into the cabinetry.
- A chef style range that slides in and is flat on top (like no buttons by the backsplash area) and either looks like the one above or is the Samsung version. Honestly an oven is an oven to me. I've made amazing food with cheapy stoves so I just want something that's gas and works and is purty.
- Subway tile backsplash with white grout or grey grout. Not sure how much contrast I'll be into. I'm also into the beveled style subway tile.
- Countertops either marble style (could be cheaper quartz or whatnot) or plain white. I keep thinking what will photograph well or look good when we host and set out buffets.
- Grey lower cabinets and white upper cabinets. A few glass front cabinets too.
- Gingham backsplash. Like this but gingham pattern.
- Chrome faucet and pot-filler.
- Pendants over the island that are not very showy and almost disappear.
- An island that can seat 4 with simple counter stools with backs.
I bought a copper paper towel dispenser awhile ago and while I love it and it looks good in the kitchen, something about it made me feel it wasn't quite right with our kitchen. That's when I realized to make copper work in a kitchen like the one that I want which would be a more traditional / english country kitchen / modern farmhouse the copper has to look vintage, not modern.
Observe: modern copper.
Vintage looking copper. See the difference?
Here's some modern looking kitchens with vintage copper things.
I have seen some kitchens where that modern copper look really fits but, for a modern traditional kitchen, gotta go with a vintage looking copper.
We've had two kids for three months and I can honestly say it's been a lot of highs and a lot of lows. The highs and lows are a heightened level from our abalone. She's cute, sweet, smart but now with the addition of the second kid she's experiencing a lot of jealous moments and acts out just because well, she's two, and because she doesn't know how to explain "Hey mom, I want you to stop looking at him because I am worried that you'll love him more than me and and look at me instead so I'm gonna throw things so you can pay attention to me."
There are days when she is a legitimate terror. Basically she seems to think that she's the only person in the house that matters and we should all bow to her whims and wishes. I want this, I want that. Who cares if mom, dad, or little brother need to eat, sleep, or poop, it's all about her her her. Thursday in particular was rough after she threw a giant tantrum about not wanting to take a nap and then later on about taking a bath. All this while I'm trying to pack for a weekend for the three of us and let me tell you I learned my lesson. From now on if I have to pack, I gotta do it when she's asleep. The boy is a piece of cake but she needs to be out of my hair to be able to do anything otherwise she's just all up in my business and setting me back to zero. I wish I could tell you I handled it with grace and patience but no, I told Matt to take her before I lost my mind. As I changed her diaper I just told her "Alice, you are not the only person in this household. Mom and dad are in charge. This is not Alice's house, Alice lives in this house but she is not the only one. I want you to have fun and give you everything you want but Mom, dad, and Wally have to eat and sleep too. " I dunno if she understood any of it but she was at least quiet as I told her this. It's a mantra I have to repeat to myself honestly.
So about that second child. Who is Walter Rey Fredrich? He is cute. He is smiley. He is easy. He's gotten into a routine now and we did pretty much nothing to make that happen. I told a group recently if I'm gonna give you any advice it's "don't listen to any advice". Everyone had their ideas as to what works when getting a kid to sleep through the night and I honestly think that they just get their on their own. Wally started sleeping from 11pm-6am on his own with very little effort on our part. At first I fed him every two hours, then I fed him every three hours, then I fed him every four hours, and then one day, it was longer. He did that. His body just got big enough where he needed sleep more than food and that was it. Wally also falls asleep so much easier than Alice. He actually falls asleep in the bouncers and swings faster than if I try to rock him, almost like it's too much stimulation. He of course falls asleep easily in car seats, strollers, and in baby carriers. Sometimes I've laid him in the crib or on the floor on a play mat and I hear babbles and then silence and he's out.
He babbles. It's my favorite favorite thing. I stare at him and just talk and talk to him and he loves it. He seems to think he's telling me some super important information. We do a lot of chatting at night when sister is asleep around 9pm before he starts getting super fussy and needs to sleep. Changing his diapers are great times to chat with him. He makes eye contact and just smiles and coos and your heart just soars and melts. He is holy crap, SO stinking cute. I can't get enough of the little baby hands and toes and rolls and his round head and the way his ears stick out and his happy smiles and just... everything. He's a total adorable angel. I freaking love him.
We recently took steps to ensure that Wally would be our last baby. (Thanks Matt! You're a trooper!) It's bittersweet knowing this is our last baby and it's going by so quickly and I can't do anything to slow it down! I even remember in the midst of the annoying round the clock wake ups having moments of this will be the last time I have to do this try to enjoy it. Even on days when the two of them are demanding my attention and I can sneak away and nurse him quietly and do nothing but that it helps my well being so much. I get taken out of whatever I'm doing and I just sit and hold my baby and feed him and stare at him. Who wouldn't want to just stare at that beautiful boy?
Lately, a lot of things have revolved around Alice. Alice activities. Alice tantrums. Alice Alice Alice. I feel bad that Wally doesn't get as much attention as he should and especially whenever I'm holding him or looking at him, Alice will want me to pay attention to her or want me to put him down. She does think he's cute and she likes going "Hi baby sister!" "Brother!" we keep correcting her. And he has started smiling at her. Poor kid, ignorance is bliss.
We're still figuring out the balance of one on one time with either of them and quality time in general. I find myself calculating priorities in minutes or seconds. Hmm, they're both asleep, should I nap myself, blog, put things away, take a shower... what can I do that I need both hands for? I could use a third hand when nursing, seriously. The extra one could feed me while I feed the baby.
Time is going by quickly and my maternity leave ends on June 1 after which I'll be going back to work when weekends will be my only time to have such luxurious thoughts about improving quality time with my children. It makes me sad to think about all that I will miss while at work. But a momboss has gotta do what a momboss has gotta do.
Last month Matt's grandma was hospitalized with pneumonia (amongst other things). When she was discharged we went to visit her so she could meet Wally. We saw her on Easter and she seemed like she was doing good, we had normal conversations, she seemed fine. But unfortunately four days later, her heart gave out and she passed away at home.
It's hit the whole family and particularly Matt pretty hard. She was 87 years old but you still just assume people will be with you for awhile. She was the grandparent Matt saw the most, for all holidays, and even lived with her for awhile after college. Just on Easter she remembered that he likes apple juice and brought some for him. I've only known her for 9, almost 10 years but she was a big part of my life and an important member of our family and we will miss her very much.
Matt's mom Jill asked me to help make a program for the service and I was happy to be able to contribute something. Here is the link to it on dropbox. Check out her bio, she lived a good life.
As you know The Golden Girls is well... not just one of my all time favorite shows but... a way of life. Sarcasm. Cheekiness. Plants. Pink. Gold. Miami. Geriatric friendship. My current office/guest room has tributes to the show all over the room but I had been thinking about a Golden Girls room that was more on the sophisticated side. Obviously that meant some of the very things that are my way of life: pastel pink, plants, rattan, gold, rose gold, bamboo. Here's what I whipped up:
I am way too lazy to tag the things in the photo but I have a pinterest board that has as much of the things I found for this board plus some stuff that didn't make it onto the board that you can use to put together your own Golden Girls themed room.
My diaper bag search had to expand with the birth of Wally. Forever we used the diaper dude diaper bag that Matt used but I wanted a backpack so I could be hands free with the kids. I bought the OhJoy one and liked it for awhile but the zippers gave out thanks to us overstuffing it and so I figured it was time for an upgrade and got this one which I love, so far because it has so many pockets.
For everyday trips we use Matt's bag but if we leave the house for hours/the day we take my bag which is more prepared for anything. The back pocket closest to the straps has the diapers and changes of clothes. With two kids and the California weather I like to have one short and one long sleeved shirt and leggings for each kid. I keep a sweater for Alice, and PJs for both. If you think the color coordination is an accident: it's not. I made sure the kids tops and bottoms had a color family just for my sanity. I can't match the kids but I like to dress them in similar colors. I also keep a muslin blanket that I stuff way at the bottom of the bag that I can use as a spit rag, a blanket, and a cover.
This little pouch has the accessories like a bib, socks, bows for Alice, and hats for Wally.
The bags, both from SkipHop are great double duty things. The chevron thing is the diaper pad thing. The item on the right is a wet bag with a very special double feature.
So the diaper pad holds diapers, it folds out into a changing pad, and has wipes. So if you gotta change a kid, you just grab this thing and it has all you need, so long as you make sure it's stocked which Matt is great at and I am so-so at. Here it is unfolded and they really thought it through, there's a little bit of padding where the little babes head goes.
The mesh part is where I keep the wipes.
The zippered part is where we stash the diapers.
The wet/dry bag (which I don't see the pattern we bought) also has two functions. The front is a clear mesh thing that I put Alice's clothes in.
The back zipper has a protective lining so you can put soiled clothing in it while you're out and about.
Once I put all those things in the bag this is what the back pocket looks like. The bottom right pocket has Wally's clothes and the left has more diapers.
And this is what it looks like when I shove the diaper changing pad in there.
The top pocket keeps those little saviors we know as pacifiers.
The front pocket, top row (and here the photography got lazy): left to right: I put a toothbrush for Alice, spoon, pen, pencil, notebook, and a reusable bag.
The bottom row has ready to use formula bottles just in case and a bottle that Wally uses easier than those ready to use bottles and once we run out of those ready to use ones we'll have some backup formula in powder form with a dispenser thing in here. The other side holds her snacks, our snacks, and a fetching plastic bib for her to catch her pizza sauce mess.
The cool thing is the three bottom pockets have insulated lining so it'll keep drinks cold or warm should you need that to happen.
Left is a burpy bib that is both burp cloth and can be wrapped around your kid's neck and secured with a clasp to make a bib. Clever right? The right is a nursing cover that can be used for a few things of which I didn't realize one of them until I just now clicked on the pictures on amazon. I shove these two items into the top of this pocket.
The very front pocket I keep the little essentials.
This stuff. I realize I am obsessed with having bandages on me at all times. It's a disease.
The front also has this pocket as well and I keep empty or put my wallet in when I'm out with the kids by myself and don't wanna have a separate purse.
Side pockets hold her and my water bottles/sippy cups.
The back is super padded and comfy.
And has a bonus secret zipper. Feel like I should keep either cash or a knife in here.
And I wouldn't have bought it without this: stroller straps.
Is it heavy with all this junk in it? Oh yeah. But... kinda necessary when we're out all day.