Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Space, New Playroom

Our new house is the most spacious home we have ever had. When we were settling in and giving each room a purpose, it was decided that this big space off of the kitchen would be Logan's play room. We have a formal dining area on the other side of the kitchen near the living room that I originally thought would be Logan's playroom, but the room it ended up in made more sense as the days went on. It is it's own space... there is no interference with the adult living room or dining room, there is direct access to the backyard; the playroom was meant to be there.

Everything from her old playroom fit perfectly and there was even some room to grow.
The easel and table are new additions from Ikea; I wanted her to have a space to sit and do sensory play. I didn't really have an area for her to play with play-dough or color with crayons (we keep the painting outdoors) so when I saw the toddler table, I knew it'd be great for the space. We are planning on painting the plain wood to add some more color to the room... just need to settle on a color (decisions decisions). 
Logan has so much space to play in this room... I tried to capture how big the space actually is, but with the sliding door right there, I had too much glare and that doesn't make for pretty photos.

Her favorite thing to do lately is hide in her tee pee.. if Rory or I are chasing her to wash her hands or go to bed, she runs straight to her little hideout, buries her face in the pillows and starts giggling uncontrollably.

We spend most of our time when we're at home in this room and there's plenty of space for all three of us to interact and make memories.


**the large framed black board on the wall next to her play kitchen used to be a chalkboard but I covered it in felt and it's now a flannel board.**

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekend Snapshots - Nor Cal Edition

Thursday we drove up the coast to the Monterrey Aquarium; it was gorgeous. The aquarium was pretty packed for a Thursday afternoon, but I suppose most everyone is on vacation right now so I should have expected that. Logan did so well on the drive up but had a minor meltdown right when we got to the aquarium; it was lunch time, she'd been in the car for hours with no nap... it was not surprising. She mostly lounged in her stroller with Winston (her stuffed pig) in hand and a pacifier in her mouth, but every so often she'd say "Fish! Oh! Turtle! Look!", so I know she enjoyed it (as tired as she was).

After a few hours at the aquarium, we ate some lunch at Bubba Gump's water front restaurant and hit the road for another hour and a half to visit my dad and step mom in the San Jose area. It was a really great weekend full of family, surprise visits, vintage goodies, the garlic festival, and one really good Boston Cream Pie worth mentioning.

I had my camera with me, but didn't bring it to the festival because I was afraid it'd melt in the 105* weather (yep.. not a typo. It was really that hot.); I also was just trying to enjoy being on vacation so taking pictures was not at the forefront of my mind.

Having a four day break with my family was just what we needed to feel like we "escaped" reality for a bit, but there's nothing like coming home and sleeping in your own bed.



A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014.

She's been talking a lot lately. She says, "Thank you. You're welcome" whenever she hands you something; she also calls herself a "good helper". Something that I'll remember forever is this morning she asked for a kiss and said "I lub you, honey". Heart officially melted!

Monday, July 21, 2014

New Space, New Nursery Tour

Happy Monday everyone! I usually wouldn't say that, but this week is a happy Monday because we leave for our mini vacation on Thursday morning. I thought I'd leave you with a look at Logan's new space while we're off road tripping.

I really love the way it turned out! I feel like it's "complete" and that's a pretty big deal considering we moved in less than a month ago. Everything in her former nursery fit perfectly in to this new space; I was even able to make her her own reading nook with her vintage rocker that's been in the Mellin family for a couple of decades. A few updates I made for her new room were the vinyl rain drop stickers (I cut them out of chalkboard vinyl) and the reading nook decor (I made the bunting flag while I was pregnant and it hung on her old wall shelf. The embroidery hoop art is an Anthropolgie dish towel I had laying around. The Raggedy Ann and Andy art is from a vintage Golden Book. The peg hook is a new purchase from Etsy. And the rug is new sale find from Target)

We've already made a lot of wonderful memories in this room.. most of them being Logan dancing like a maniac in front of her new mirrored closet doors. I honestly thought I wouldn't be a fan of them, but the amount of entertainment we get from them is pretty incredible. I suppose Logan is a narcissist, but she's awfully cute and what one year old isn't!?


**You can see all of my posts about Logan's nursery past and present here**

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bye Bye July (Almost)

It's pretty crazy that it's nearing the end of July already. July was full of emotions and major changes... though I am happy to have gone through it all and to be where I am, I am glad to soon say goodbye to July.
We have a short week coming up because we'll be taking a road trip up to Nor Cal to visit my dad... we're super excited to take a mini vacation. I'll share some posts of our trip with you shortly after we get back! I am a little nervous about the five hour drive with Logan, but I think she'll do well; she's a trooper in most all situations. Rory had a portable DVD player, but it seems to be broken so there goes that idea! How did people road trip with toddlers before TVs in headrests and portable DVD players and WiFi and iPads? I'd really like to know because we'll have none of those things! Keep your fingers crossed for us and send out no melt down vibes.



A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014.

 We had a bit of a rocky week , but I'm happy to say that we're doing better now and are settling back in to normal life. I love how sweet and thoughtful Logan is already.. she loves to give kisses, likes to hug, shares her water with her stuffed pig, and makes sure her horse is well fed by feeding him carrots several times a day.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Calming with Affection

Before motherhood, before marriage even, I had this fear that I wouldn't be in love or affectionate with my children. I am not an affectionate person myself to begin with... in relationships, in friendships, and with family; I feel very uncomfortable when people that aren't my husband tell me they love me. I can't really say where that comes from and why I am guarded with people or if it's even guarded at all, it's just the way I have always been. I was best friends with someone for most of my childhood and in to adulthood, every time she said she loved me, I didn't say it back. Sometimes my parents will text "I love you" and I just don't answer back.. as horrible as that sounds, it's a weird thing for me to say I love you to anyone outside of my husband and daughter.

During my pregnancy, I felt anxious about what I would feel for Logan and how I'd interact with her; it's hard to envision what your life will be like and how you will change until you actually have a child of your own. When she was born and put upon my chest, I cried.. not because she smacked her gooey bloody little hand right in to my glasses and face, but because I loved her so much. They took her to the little koala care center that was next to my bed, and I just stared at her and cried; I had never felt so close to anyone in all of my life.

My love for my daughter is unconditional and she makes me whole even when she's screaming at me, but I still feel an awkwardness about myself. I see how other moms are with their children, I see how Rory is with her, and I wonder if I am loving enough. I hug her and kiss her and tell her I love her all of the time, but am I giving her all of the love and affection she deserves? Does she think I am reserved and does she need more?

The last several weeks have been very trying, not only with the move, but Logan is getting her second set of molars; she hasn't been the sweetest peach to me lately. It may be a combination of the move and the teeth and that fact that she's a toddler, but she's been having some epic meltdowns lately. Today I had to laugh to keep myself from crying as she screamed bloody murder for fifteen minutes.. it wasn't the greatest of moments. This week has been the toughest and I even noticed her gums were bleeding while I was brushing her teeth last night so I know she's in pain. It's a hard thing to remind yourself constantly that they're in pain and they don't have the words while you're trying to not have a breakdown yourself from the noise and exhaustion. Honestly on Monday afternoon, I had had it.. I was at my breaking point. Logan hadn't slept, she was throwing tantrums left and right, she was telling me to "stop it" all day.. I was really over it and I didn't handle her behavior very well in that last hour stretch before Dada got home. I just kept walking away from her but would say "I'm really done Logan" "You stop it" "Good God, I can't wait for you dad to get home so I can just take a break from you". I felt really guilty as I was saying these things to her.. she's one! Hello Ali, get over yourself. I was able to take a few moments to myself when Rory got home and I missed her terribly (more so than usual) that night while she was asleep. The next morning I met the day with a new goal; to meet her frustration and upsetedness with affection and love. She didn't nap again that day, she was very cranky and in pain I'm sure, but we had a great day. Every time she  would start to explode about something, I'd hug her and tell her how much I loved her and that I was sorry she was in pain... it felt really good to just love her and give her every bit of emotion I had in me to comfort her. There was no feeling of awkwardness or shame in being completely affectionate with my daughter and I want to remind myself to be this open with her every day.
This little girl deserves nothing but whole hearted love and affection; it may be hard for me to just let go of my issues and be affectionate, but she doesn't understand that.. all she understands is that affection is what she needs and I am going to do my best every day to give it to her unconditionally.


Friday, July 11, 2014


A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014.

She is really in to giving high fives, telling me to "stop it", and Peter Pan lately. 


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Around Here

"And the plates were hung in the dining room with care.."

It feels so good to be here.. to call this sweet house home. We've hung almost everything, things are put away in their new places, we're home. It's amazing that three weeks ago, Rory and I were in tears for several days about having to leave our townhouse.. we were lost and had no idea what the future had in store for us; we felt like the worst was happening and we were drowning in anxiety and upsetedness. We made it through the tears and the shock, we made it through the disappointment of not going through with a lease on another townhouse, we made it through re-homing our cats, we made it through moving by ourselves, we made it home. I feel like the last three weeks have been some of the most trying for us. When Rory and I are going through something, we go through it together and we make it out together. All of the emotions we felt and had to work through just gave us that much more confidence in our marriage and our love for each other.. we can support each other through anything.

We've been here for about two weeks and still we look at each other some nights and express our disbelief in that this place is ours to call home. We have both mentioned that we don't miss our old place, that we feel like we belong here and there are no more feelings of sadness when it comes to the townhouse where we became a family of three. Being able to feel settled right now and feeling happy where we are is such a gift because we both didn't think we would find another home in the thick of it all. I was running high on emotions and sinking so low.. I felt like we were going to be miserable forever and that our daughter wouldn't feel like she ever had a home to make memories in. I feel relieved and most of all blessed to be able to recognize Logan's resilience and her comfort in her new environment; she is happy.

We're settling back in to our normal routine, we've had some play dates and are walking to the nearby park to meet Rory after he gets off of work... we're back in to normalcy and it feels awesome. We have a few weekend getaways planned over the next couple of months and though they're just little trips, I'm glad we're able to take small little vacations this summer. I've been really adamant about wanting to take day trips as a family of three on the weekends (no matter how far or close) because I want Logan to have memories of us being active and taking her on small adventures.. not just doing chores or staying at home. We may never have the financial ability to go to Yosemite or Hawaii or anywhere out of state, but we're doing the best we can with what we have right now to enjoy the life we have and are striving each day to follow through with goals we've set to allow us to have a better one.

Soon I'll share some snapshots of our new home with you. I'm currently decorating Logan's bathroom in a Peter Pan theme (anyone that knows me is not shocked by this, I'm sure). She's been obsessed with Peter Pan for the last several months; she has a Peter Pan doll, three Peter Pan Golden Books, another Disney Treasury book with a Peter Pan story, and I have every version of a Peter Pan movie that was ever made on DVD (also the plays on VHS). She talks about Peter, Wendy, John and Michael often... she's thrilled when I start singing "You Can Fly".. it's kind of the best thing ever. Too bad Disneyland raised their prices again because I'd love to take her on Peter Pan's Flight right now; she'd be stoked.

Thank you for hanging in there with me through all of this and my blog silence over the last several weeks. Some days I'd feel so guilty about not publishing something and wished I had some prewritten posts to share, but I was in a really negative mind set for a while and that's never fun to read about. I'm happy to be back here and am excited for all the things I'll be sharing with you in the future.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Starting Anew... With a Beach Day

Hello there! I hope all of my American friends had a great Fourth of July weekend! We visited the beach on Saturday because I vowed to not do any household duties this weekend; I felt we needed normalcy. Logan has been cooped up in the house for a few weeks and since we found out we had to move, we have not kept to our normal routine too much. We had been living amongst mountains of boxes for weeks, so now that we're a bit more settled, we deserved a beach day!
The last time we went to the beach, Logan touched the water a few times and decided she didn't like it too much; she walked away saying "No". This time she was ocean crazy! I put on my suit and got in the ocean with her for the first time since I was a kid.. yes, I was born and raised in Southern California and am not a huge fan of the beach.. mostly it's the sand (gross). We sat and played in the water for quite a while... we got smacked in the face a few times by waves, Rory caught some sand crabs for her, she was dancing in each wave that rolled in... it was a great day to get away and to find a new love for the beach through Logan's eyes. I am quite shocked at myself that I tolerated that much sand all over me; in the moment I didn't care because I was enjoying Logan's laughter and excitement.
As much as I dream of living in the North West on a farm with lots of land and mountains nearby, I am always happy to be such a short drive away from the beach. I am holding on tightly to these memories we're making as a family of three and it seems like Logan is going to be a true California babe. Maybe we'll move one day when we're old and our kids have moved away from us anyway.

We're happy to have had such a beautiful California weekend and are so grateful to come back and rest our heads in our beautiful new house that feels more like home every day. Pictures are being hung, rooms are being decorated, things are getting organized, we are settling and we are happy.
Hopefully I'll get myself together this coming week to get back to regular blogging and picture taking; I realized I missed last weeks portrait, so let's consider one of these pictures it.

**please excuse the grainy quality of the phone photos.. I forgot to bring my camera**