Books.This girl loves her books! She's really into the Sandra Boynton ones right now and as obnoxious as they are, it's cute to see her dance to them. The way that they read, you can't help but sing the words. She also really loves "Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?". I got a copy at Home Goods that includes a little door on each page that she slides back and forth to see what animal is coming up next. On a side note: I always buy her books at TJ Maxx or Homegoods; you save at least forty percent.
Sensory Balls. My dad got her this set for Christmas and she loves them! She carries them all around the house, kicks and throws them. They are the perfect size for her little hands and she can even run around the house while biting on to one (teething problems).
Sidewalk Chalk. This is her go to activity in our backyard. She runs around the yard drawing on everything, which is fine because it's easy to hose off once we're done playing. We use this Crayola brand that I bought at Target. Petit Collage Flash Cards. My dad also got Logan these for Christmas. I had originally tucked them away in a closet because I thought they were a little beyond her. One day when I was looking for something new to entertain her with, I took them out and she wants to look at them every day now. She says "bird" when I show her the appropriate card, tries to say "doll" when that card is up, and even makes a noise that sounds a lot like "quilt" when showing her that card. It's definitely helped develop her language skills and they're super cute.
Punch and Drop Toy by Plan.This was a birthday gift from my sister. Logan mastered the hammering pretty quickly and she now puts the balls in place, hammers them through, and replaces them to do it again. She is engaged with it for several minutes before needing to move on to something else; she's a girl on the move. Stack and Roll Cups by Fisher Price. Probably one of the coolest toys I've ever seen. I really like how you can stack these two different ways and also make them into individual balls. These were a birthday gift from my mother in law and Logan loved them immediately. It's easy to keep her entertained with these for a long period of time because of all the different ways you can play with them. We are either stacking them, rolling them (in ball form), or lining them up from biggest to smallest. I recite the numbers and the colors for her and she really seems to like counting them when they are all lined up. Her absolute favorite thing to do with them though is have mama or dada pull them apart from their ball form and she makes a grunting noise (that too hard to open pickle jar noise I mentioned in this post); she thinks it's hilarious.
I think I will make this into a series and post about Logan's favorite things every few months or so; what do you think? If you are a mama who has some favorite toddler toy suggestions, I'd love to see!
Reading:I just read "Peter Pan" again. Do you watch "Once Upon A Time"? I started watching it on Hulu about a year ago and as cheesy as it is, I am hooked! I am pretty irritated at this season though. If you know me well, you know about my deep love and emotional attachment to Peter Pan; I don't know why.. but for as long as I can remember, it has meant the world to me. I own every Peter Pan movie, have watched every television special, tear up on the Disneyland ride.. it's no joke. The way "Once Upon A Time" depicted Peter this year, the way they roped him in to being other characters, and the way they demonized him really pissed me off. I sat down with one of my copies of the book and re-read it all to find some peace, to fall in love with the story again and to stick it to "Once Upon A Time"! Doing: Walking. I have been walking a mile and a half on weekday mornings with Logan for a few months now. It's my way to get out, get exercise, and to just have something to do to feel like I am bettering myself. It's so nice to get up and have that routine.. though there are definitely days I don't want to do it. Thinking about: How much has changed over the last year. Last January, we had a tiny newborn, were totally out of our minds confused, holding on tight to friendships that were already fading; we were just kids then. I feel like we've come so far.. Logan has taught us so much and changed us. We value the friendships that made it through this last year, we (sort of) know what we're doing as parents, we acknowledge we want to better ourselves each day; everything we do is for Logan and for each other. There is always room for improvement, but I am happy where we are right now.
Watching: House Hunters. I found an ungodly amount of seasons available for free streaming on Amazon Prime the other day and it's been my go to show. I have always liked looking into other peoples' houses and the couples who are buying are pretty hysterical. It's always the tight pocketed man and the wife who wants to redo everything accompanied by lots of whining about granite and stainless steel. It sort of makes you sick that a perfectly charming house is getting ripped a new one by some stuck up housewife, but it's entertaining nonetheless. Eating: Paleo. I have been more strict the last several days about my eating habits. I was doing really well over the summer with Paleo, but I got lazy and succumbed to lots of soda cravings. It's really important to me to feel better about myself and to take care of my body, so here I am.. doing it. I have been making lots of paleo recipes for dinner and finding things to eat for lunch so I am feeling good and ready to really feel good. Listening To: Mariachi El Bronx. So so so good; a punk band (along with my favorite trumpet player from the Mad Caddies) playing mariachi music.
Loving: how much Logan is growing.. even though it's sad at the same time. My baby is this real girl right now; a walking, talking, real food eating little girl! She signs "more" at everything she wants and then remembers to sign "please" afterward. She dances like a crazy person when Yo Gabba Gabba is on. She calls every animal "kitty". She waves hi at any passing stranger. When you say "open", she makes a grunting sound you'd make while opening a not so easy to open pickle jar. She kicks and throws balls now. She knows where her hands, shoes, nose, tongue and ears are. I feel like she's understanding so much all of a sudden and it's only a matter of time before we will be able to have full on conversations with her.. it's kind of nuts and it's amazing.
Lately, right in the midst of baby giggles and playtime with Logan, my mind wanders to a place where I am lonely. I think about how much my relationships have changed and how I feel that it's only us; only me, only Rory, only Logan. I have come to realize how much I have secluded myself from people that I used to really care about. I secluded myself from them because I was beginning to see our friendships as one sided. I seclude myself from my husbands family; I still feel like it's his family and I am afraid to open up.. to be myself. I seclude myself from my own family because of past hurts. My mind is in a constant battle of wanting to feel close to people and the anxiety that the mere thought of closeness gives me. When someone reaches out to me, I smile and thank them and am grateful, but I am still closed off; I am still choosing to be alone.
Loneliness is a feeling that cripples me. When I feel forgotten and left behind, I curl up into a self pity ball for days.. perhaps a week. I have moments where I am laughing and smiling because my baby girl is laughing hysterically right next to me, but I am still not fully in the moment; I am still alone. That sounds sort of ridiculous.. spending time with my husband and my daughter and feeling alone. Loneliness sucks the life out of me.. it makes me lethargic, emotional, nonfunctional.
I can put this out there and feel like I am talking to a friend as I am typing away, but I don't want to think that it's always right to only connect with a keyboard. Some days I yearn for someone to call and cry to, vent to, talk to.. but I never make those calls. Again, people reach out and I stay secluded. My one healthy outlet has always been writing and it's so easy for me to take a few moments to myself in the evenings to write and to be alone and to not struggle with words and to not be nervous about how things are coming out because I can see the thoughts as they come.. it's good, but in all reality, I should be trusting in people. I should be trusting in those handful of people who reach out to me, who stay in touch with me, who have made it known they care for me.. but somehow I have reservations about connecting fully to them still.
In a few days, it'll be fine; like I never felt this way, but it always comes creeping back. All I can do and hope for is personal growth. I hope to not sink into the depths of myself when I know I have been forgotten.. feel I have been forgotten. I hope to overcome my negative feelings and fully enjoy the days I have been given by God. I hope to open up to the people who are present in my life right now so that they may stay.
We had a pretty quiet weekend over here; which is always nice. We hung some more solar shades in our little yard because.. my God, it's January, it's already hot, and I want to save my plants. I've never lived in a place that gets so much direct sunlight ALL DAY LONG! It's super cozy out there now and I'm glad we did it before summer actually hits us.
I hope you all had a great weekend. Did you do anything fun? and happy birthday to my Dad!
I love being a stay at home mom and I wouldn't have it any other way, but let's get real.. sometimes it's boring. Life isn't about watching Logan crawl around or move slowly with her toys that used to be interesting; we are on the move and we need stuff to do!
It's been so windy here
lately, so sometimes we have to stay inside and on those particular days, it seems
like forever until it's time for daddy to come home. I do as much as I
can to keep her attention until she remembers she'd rather watch "Yo
The mornings always go by so quickly and then as soon as she is awake from her nap, time seems to drag. Long gone are the days of wandering around the mall or thrift and antique stores... this girl needs to be engaged and outside and running now! I take her to the park sometimes, but I don't really like the play equipment at any of the parks around here (they seem to be structured toward elementary school aged kids). We've been playing in our tiny backyard a lot lately. We've been drawing with chalk, chasing bubbles, dancing to music, kicking and throwing balls, and playing with the few outside toys we have. The other day I thought she was at the right age now where I could make her some playdough and add that to our outdoor activities; she wasn't impressed. Personally, I could sit down with playdough or clay and feel totally happy. Moving that around in my hands is like therapy; forget paying a therapist for all my crazy.. I just need playdough! Logan touched it a few times but mostly ran around with the little non serrated knife I gave her. I feel like these days wont be here for much longer; so as much as I may be bored at times, I know I'll be longing for these "homestretch" afternoons.
What are some activities you enjoy doing with your kids?
Most of you know the scene: kids are asleep, you're finally sitting down and you're mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest; pinning your next project or inspiration for the overhaul of your home.. or even pinning your pretend wedding or vow renewal ceremony. Pinterest is such a life sucker and I love it. The last couple of weeks I've seen this quote in my feed a few times "Be the Parent You Want Them to Remember" and it always resonates with me. Forget about how it looks pretty and how someone went to great lengths to write it out in chalk or even great lengths to make it look like chalk on some computer program I could never navigate through... it's the words that sink in and make me want to "pin" it.
As I was lying in bed the other night, reflecting on my New Years goals, I started to think of this quote that I've been seeing. I was thinking that I need to remember it often and definitely need to live it often. I want to always put having fun with Logan first. I love chasing her around and the way she laughs at me. I love letting her paint freely (down with those mess free "art supplies" by Crayola!). I love letting her explore. I love experiencing new things with her. I want to always remember to make time for her to discover the world and to just enjoy being a kid.
A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014.
This little sassy pants' answer to everything lately is "Noooooo".
So I'm sure you've seen this portrait challenge around other blogs and I decided to jump on the bandwagon. One of my goals for this year was to take more pictures so I am hoping that by doing this it will motivate me to bring my camera along with me everywhere we go.
You can also follow along with my friend Jenna's blog to see her darling babes each week. xo -Ali