Thursday, May 31, 2012

Will I ever learn?

In 1991 I was a freshman in high school. Tight-rolling your jeans and curling your bangs were still cool, barely.

I can remember exactly where I was standing when I swore to my dad I would never not tight roll my jeans.

I can still hear him laughing at me. Probably because he actually is. I'll never live that one down.

Well, I certainly didn't learn anything from my fashion faux-pas or my extreme way of thinking.

This time I swore, before I was actually a momma, I would never let my child wear a bikini. I didn't want my baby to be...

...I don't know. I really did not think this one through before I got all judgy.

I never even tried to put a bathing suit on a baby, wet or dry. Ever.

I learned very quickly!

Alright, this bathing suit from last summer is more like a tankini.
Just wait until you see her new bikini!

Maybe this time I will learn, never say never.

Crap. I did it again.

Thank you Growing up Geeky and Letters to Mo for this post topic!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quality time

Once a week Jeff and Leila head out on an adventure together, just the two of them. They hop on my very girly pink bicycle, cruise down the boardwalk, and walk to the end of Crystal Pier.

This weekend I decided to tag along.

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(I spaced on bring my camera, so these phone photos will have to do.)

She was Daddy's girl the entire morning. I don't blame her though.

He's the one that let her sip from his soda...

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Look! They both make the same "I just had a sip of Diet Mountain Dew" face.

Climb up the railing...


Pick her up when she asked...


...and made it fun!

Quality Daddy-daughter time.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Toddler art {Outdoor messes}

I have no problem with Leila getting messy.

I just don't want it happening in MY house.

The outdoor space at our apartment is limited which leaves us Leila only a few opportunities to get really messy.

We will happily crash your patio if you invite us!

Finger painting

Sponge painting

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Shaving cream with finger paint

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Messy girl

Thanks Mommy to Elodie for letting us make a mess at your house!


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Most books about infant and toddler development list milestones your child may be approaching in each month of their early life. I've always had a difficult time living in the moment, and these books did not help me in that department. I just couldn't help but read ahead to see what Leila would be learning in the months to come.

The first milestone I really anticipated was solid foods. We started on the earlier side than most books recommended after the doctor suggested rice cereal may help her acid reflux. I thought she could use the food! At four months old, Leila was a tiny thing weighing in at just under eleven pounds.

Sleeping through the night was a life changing milestone for me! At seven month's old, the same week she stopped nursing, Leila began consistently sleeping through the night.

I knew that Leila would be an early walker with her strong desire to move around and be independent. I caught her standing on her own at my parents house when we visited last July. By the time I left to return to San Diego she had take her "first" step!

10 months old

Leila officially became a toddler on her Grandee's birthday last August when she walked to me. The look on Leila's face was priceless. She was proud, grinning ear to ear. This was the milestone she had anticipated the most!

What am I looking forward to next?

I would love for this girl to need a haircut! Chopping off her femullet doesn't count. I am still waiting for it to grow back.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Baby Shower {Children's book theme}

Last Saturday I hosted my first baby shower.

Our friend Courtney is expecting her first baby boy this summer.

Doesn't she look amazing!

I spent some time on Pinterest, of course, searching for a theme that was not too over the top. With the beautiful backdrop of the restaurant patio, I knew simplicity was key!

I loved the invitations I found here.

Our no-sew version turned out just as cute!

I purchased some stuffed animal and book sets at Kohls and used them as table decorations. (If you don't already know about their $5 book and stuffed animal deals, check it out here.)

One of the books was set out for guests to sign. You can see in the picture that I glued the invitation to the from cover.

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The dessert was homemade by Betsy! She made Lemonade Rice Krispie Treats and Red Velvet Ding Dongs (Courtney's favorite). I had one of each and wanted more.

I asked everyone to bring a book instead of a card. Guests that were not able to attend sent books too. Thanks to everyone's generosity, Baby boy T has quite the book collection already!

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I purchased enough fabric to make this double sided pennant banner. I wish I could take credit for how perfect this turned out! My mom and aunt Carrie planned and executed the whole project. I love the buttons they sewed to each corner. The weight of the bottom button held the fabric in place in the breeze.


Courtney was showered with love and gifts. I think everyone had a fun and relaxing time.

We cannot wait to meet her little guy this summer!

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

I get it now

I hate to admit it, but when I was simply just a daughter and not yet a mother, Mother's Day was just another day.

Yes, it was a day to celebrate mothers everywhere, especially mine, but not a day that I could really understand.

I get it now. I recently realized that Mother's Day is more important to me than celebrating my own birthday. (My birthday has always been an excuse for a week-long celebration!)

My feelings toward my own mother have changed since becoming a mother myself. It is overwhelming to realize how much she loves me. I am forever grateful for everything she has done (and still does!) for me.

My wish on this Mother's Day is for Leila to feel the love that I feel...forever.

Leila and Grandma, January 2012

Leila and Baba, July 2011

Leila and Grandee, September 2010

Leila and I are so lucky to have such wonder mothers in our lives!

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Toddler art {Mother's Day gift}

Mothers day

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This project couldn't be easier, cheaper, or more adorable...and BONUS! fits right inside the cards Leila got for her Grandmas and her Great-Baba.

craft stick
green pipe cleaner
Sharpie or other kind of marker
white glue
stickers (optional)
  1. Paint your child's hand and carefully press it onto the paper. Let it dry before you cut around the outline of the handprint.
  2. Paint the craft stick green to look like a stem.  I used a sponge-like paint brush but fingers, Q-tips, or a regular paint brush will do the trick.  Set it aside to dry.
  3. Put glue on the back of the handprint flower and position it onto the painted craft stick.  I wanted mine were short enough to fit nicely into the card/envelope I was mailing.  Lay the flower flat to dry.
  4. Make a small loop on one end of the pipe cleaner to look like a leaf and secure it to itself.  Wrap the long end of the pipe cleaner around the painted craft stick, make a loop for another leaf and tuck the remaining part of the pipe cleaner into itself.  (You can also use paper to make leaves. Melissa suggested making green footprints for leaves!)
  5. Add the year, a message, and stickers if you'd like.
Happy Mother's Day!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Budget-friendly toddler adventures

I have said it before, and I will say it again, I LOVE where we live. Jeff and I have lived in San Diego for nine years and we can still feel like tourists any given day.

Who wouldn't love living in a sunny beach town?!

(Honestly, I could do without the high cost of living and underfunded public school system.)

Now that I entertain a toddler on a daily basis, I have begun to see San Diego with a new set of eyes.  The possibilities for fun on a budget seem endless.

A new picnic spot, a local bake sale, a free concert at the, fun, fun!
Leila with my mom and Aunt Carrie

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Watching the local elementary school kids rock out

After seeing this list posted on one of my favorite local blogs last year, I was inspired to make a list of my own.

Here's what I have so far...
Local Toddler Activities

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It's time to take advantage of your hometown! Start your list today.

I plan on adding activities that are not specific to San Diego like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, nature walk, and pet store to mine after reading the posts linked up here...

Please share your favorite budget-friendly activities!

Monday, May 7, 2012

How I got here

If you have been here awhile, you know that I consider myself a temporary stay-at-home-mom.

I never planned on staying home when I became a mom. My teaching career allowed me to work 180 days out of the year AND be home around 4pm. Sounded to me like a perfect way to do the all the things I love.

Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. -John Lennon

Going back to work after my maternity was the toughest thing I ever had to do.

Not because I didn't want to leave my child, I was excited to go back to teaching. I was desperate to get some structure back into my life after three blurry months of newborn filled days. (You know the, sleep, poop, cry. Never in the same order, yet always the same.)

Those six months of teaching were rough on me. I felt guilty leaving Leila and loving the young children in my class. Guilty that I arrived at school ten minutes before class started, and guilty that I rushed home right after school was over.

Ashamed that I still hadn't lost all the baby weight, I spent my afternoons pushing Leila in the stroller while my anxious mind raced with all of the things I thought I should be doing (washing pump parts, bottles, packing my lunch, lesson planning, cleaning house, changing the sheets, going grocery shopping, making dinner...)

I felt like I was giving 110% but no one was reaping the benefits.

I was running on empty.

I learned I would be laid off (for real that year) due to budget cuts and increased class size in a meeting I was, of course, late to. I sat in the back of the room sobbing, wondering if I could take more changes in my life. At the same time, I was relieved it was almost over and afraid I would fail at being a stay-at-home-mom.

This June I will be celebrating one year of being a stay-at-home-mom to my little Leila.

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Sure, this new role has had it's challenges. I have struggled with my new identity, making mom-friends, finding a routine that works for us, and feelings of uncertainty when it comes to my teaching career.

These personal struggles, although not resolved, have changed me. They have shed light onto what's important to me.

Family. Friends. Love. Balance. ME!

Life can be difficult when you have a plans. It can be great when you realize you can change them.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Things I will never understand about my husband

Today is Jeff's 35th birthday.

Happy birthday babe! (Who am I kidding?  He doesn't read this blog.)

He has already started calling himself 36. I just don't get how he never remembers how old he is and that he thinks it's funny to be older.

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In the twenty years I've know him, I have not been able to find the answers to any of Jeff's man-mysteries.

Can you help me out?

Why does he get a tiny hole in the middle of every T-shirt he owns?

How does he manage to lose eight pounds in four days?

Why do his feet still smell after showering?

Why does he refuse to pay for a haircut even though he hates cutting it himself?

Why is it that I am always ready to leave the house before him?

How is he able to snore when he inhales and exhales?

Please. I'm stumped.

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