Sunday, November 21, 2010

Top 10 Things the Big Man Is Doing These Days

1. Walks the same route round and round the living room with Daddy’s hat on backwards (placed there with his own two hands of course)

2. Finds his belly button and Mommy and Daddy’s, though he’s having a bit of a challenge discerning where Mommy’s is on her body. To be fair, many parts of her are round and squishy. This trick is followed by a squeal, laughter, giant bear hug and the triumphant phrase: “beeeh buuuhhh!”

3. Spends hours outside – hours – despite temps, wind factors or impending storms. These moments are generally filled with chasing the soccer ball, playing magic with sticks, stealing the neighbor’s paper or playing “car car.”

4. Asserts his independence – through refusing Momma’s hand, to pushing her away to go to school to insisting on feeding himself. Though slightly heartbreaking for parents, these are steps we’re grateful for as it means he’s developing into a budding young scientist.

5. Rides, feeds, brushes and kisses Thunderbolt, his wooden horse created by Grandma and Grandpa. He even checks his saddle, the cleanliness of the horse’s ears and then goes cowboy style. In fact, he mounts anything that is the right height, then treats it like a bucking bronco – two hand in their air, up, down, up, down. Items include tool boxes, the poor dog, Daddy, pillows and more.

6. Roars! He delights in his favorite book about dinosaurs, and does a quiet, but meaningful roar at any given time.

7. Climbs in and out of the bath with urgent pleas to get in or the announcement of “all done” when he can’t take the wrinkles and cold water anymore.

8. Giggles, giggles, giggles through dinner in a high-pitched, chattering sort of way. That is, when he’s not feeding himself with “bites.”

9. Hugs – warm, delicious hugs that can last up to 30 seconds, his head heavy on your shoulder, just melting away into yours. Magical…

10. Says “uh oh” more times in one day than one can count. A helpful trick, because he announces prior to doing an act that he probably shouldn’t.

Ok, so there’s way more than 10 – each one more remarkablel than the next. And man are we enjoying counting them and soaking them in, one, by one, by one…

Friday, November 12, 2010

Give and Get...Then Get Some More

The little guy totally scored again yesterday...

Thanks to Nana's great taste and love of a bargain, he's now the proud owner of more clothes than Mommy and Daddy combined, including a vintage rocket ship sweater, loose, skinny and original jeans in all sorts of shades, sweaters that make him look catalog worthy and separates perfect for tooling around the house. And much, much more. On our budget, he may get hooked up with some Old Navy duds too if we're so inclined - we'll see. After all, he's truly deserving, right?!

So get out and spoil yours too with GAPs Give and Get program going on the next couple of days which earns you 30-percent off your entire purchase, including sale.

Try to lure the grandparents in, touting something like it's almost the holidays. The wears are so darling it will make your heart ache. I even picked up the girliest onesies and tutus around to spoil the little "nieces" in our world and can't wait to stick them under their tree.

And don't forget to get yourself a little sumthin', sumthin' too while you're at it.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Major Motion Picture

"I've spent HOURS searching for the perfect song Jen - HOURS. Last night, I was up from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., and today, I listened to 'Children's Folk Songs' on Pandora trying to get inspired. And don't even get me started on the amount of time I've spent dinking in iMovie. What is my problem???"

"Give me 30 minutes," she said, her new baby cooing in the background, the sounds of an ordinary evening filling the white space around her.

And so 30 minutes I did give. And for that, I will never forget.

Lawson-An Ordinary Day

She's amazing. She's magic. She brought our major motion picture to life. It's like all of my dreams came true and are archived in my soul and heart for a lifetime

Thank you, Auntie Jennifer, for bringing our vision to life without spending a dime. You've helped create a small window for our friends and family to see what is our ordinary life with the most extraordinary little boy. These are the magical moments we drop our knees for everyday and show our thanks. And now, they're ours to keep. In good times, and in tough ones. Just pull it up and cry, cry again. With joy. With love. With passion. With care. With words that can't even be expressed that a parent feels for a child.

Thank you, for bringing it to the big screen. We love you!


PS: This whole idea of capturing an ordinary day was ripped off and duplicated from Tyler Wirken. Someday, my friend, we will be able to afford you and you too will bring our magic to life. Can't wait! Meanwhile, we hope you make millions off of this amazingly simple yet profound concept.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We'll See...

I wasn't convinced.

In fact, it had been more than once that the phrase: "uh uh - no way. This woman of substance (read: size 14) can NOT pull off skinny jeans," had come out of my mouth. Then, I fell in love with a pair of boots, that, quite obviously, were best ensembled with...that's right...skinny jeans. And so the search began.

A Nordstrom, Target and LOFT visit later, I recalled a post by my favorite blogger, MamaBird Diaries, who had the cahones to post a picture of herself in GAP's skinnies just months after having TWINS. Of course, with all the stress she was most likely under, she looked fabulous and she was natrually that way to begin with. Nonetheless, she inspired me.

And so, the "Forever Skinny" in dark denim became mine.

And what's super cool, is now I have something with the word "skinny" associated with me. In my house. And on my body. That alone is worth risking literally putting myself out there.
They're pretty comfy. Not too revealing. Sassy. So we'll see...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


It’s official: he’s walking.

Cruising around the house in pursuit of all things amazing at all new levels, his arms straight ahead, mimicking Frankenstein in an effort to build his confidence. His hips are spread wide, feet planted firmly and a grin lines his face so big and prideful it’s as if he just announced the cure for cancer. It’s pretty great.

But the best part?

The defiant “UP!” that precedes his every start-up attempt to venture into this new mobile world. His jeans folded high above his ankles to avoid tripping, he tripods his body over his little belly and hangs his head low in the downward dog, takes a deep breath and says “Up!,” motivating himself to move forward on this new journey. His voice a little lower in pitch and much more serious, it’s like the shotgun firing before the runners cross the line at the Chicago Marathon. And you know what? It seems to work.

I’m thinking of implementing this tactic myself when setting out to do new, hard, or de-motivating tasks. Think of all the things I’d get done! “Clean! Work out! Cook! Be nice to Daddy! Take the trash out! Walk the dog! Finish that project plan!” Seriously, it could leave to productivity like I’ve never known. Great idea, buddy.

And we’re so proud of you. With each step, may your heart grow bigger and your devilish grin wider. And may you know we’re here to support you every inch of the way. It’s a big, big, fabulous world out there little man – may it be kind to you and may you find delight in its beautiful things. Meanwhile, we’ll be behind you filming it all and learning from you as you learn from that very same world. Happy walking Monkey!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Girl Can Dream

"So, I have a proposition for you," I say to Mike, watching him fight rolling his eyes and quickly creating a 10-page list of what THIS one will be.

I shared my little secret of the appointment I had sat through the day before, spending nearly two hours at Wirken photography, literally shedding tears over a family I had never met, the life of their 18-month old daughter becoming so real it was almost as if she was mine. Having come in to discuss portraits, the idea was immediately discarded as Tyler shared his new concept of following a family around for four hours of "normal day," capturing all the little moments that for our family, are more meaningful at this point in our lives than awkwardly trying to convince a 14-month old to pose in the fall leaves, perch on a cutesy blanket in some bizarre, white, clean home or ride a rocking horse the child has never even seen before. I imagined what this would mean for our home: a wall full of photojournaltic shots of our child's unique, goofy grins, his new Frankenstein toddle, the pointing, the way he tosses his blanket over the edge of his crib as he sends me a goofy grin, our moments tucked in the chair reading stories, stealthy food transfers between he and the dog, the runaway car down the driveway, the look of complete concentration as he studies his toys, his ability to select books, dance to Toddler tunes and so much more. Hours, minutes and fleeting seconds of pure magic. And for a mere $500 for just the shooting and editing time, it too, could be mine. Sigh.

Check out the sample here and don't tell me your heart doesn't melt:

Normal Day session from Tyler wirken on Vimeo.

I'm off to open a credit card or something. I don't know - maybe sell a kidney. Or my car. After all, who needs to get to work when you have these beautiful memories hanging in your home?

PS: Mike so didn't vote yes to proposition drop $1k on photographs given we need a new dishwasher, Christmas is around the corner, etc. etc. Although, he has promised to shoot a normal day this weekend. I'll keep you posted on how it all turns out!

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's About That Time

Some say I’m outdated. Or missing out. Inefficient. Behind the times.

Instead, I like to call it creative. Visual. A planner.

Either way, I’m so ready to order. To grab up my MomAgenda before it’s too late. To line it’s pages with all the events to look forward to in 2011, including my brother’s wedding, babies’ due dates, travel adventures, work meetings, new experiences for the kiddo and lots and lots of social plans. Not to mention the occasional doctor’s appointment, to-do list and goals and dreams. After all, Franklin Covey says it’s still proven that those who write it down have a much higher likelihood of completing tasks. Of course, this is the same dude who is selling daybooks.

Either way, I’m in love. And I’m not turning back. So now the question is: zebra or teal?

New Uses for That Ol' Pumpkin

The night has passed and hearts are happy with memories of small children waddling up to the doorway, beside themselves with anticipation of what you may drop in their pillowcase, their costumes consisting of penguins, legos, princesses, puppies, scary clowns and of course, the occasional teen dressed inappropriately. The remainder of the jack-o’-lanterns candle hangs on into the night, despite the cool breeze and dropping temperatures causing the last of the green grass to spot with frost. Candy is brought to work, the orange and black are packed away and preparations already begin for the day of thanks. But, what to do with those pumpkins you so lovingly picked with your family off a farm just a few weeks ago? Here are some ideas:

1. Paint a word of thanks or celebration: grab any kind of paint from your cupboard or nearest Hobby Lobby for less than five dollars and get creative! Grab a Sharpie and write “Thank you!” and line the rest of pumpkin with polka dots in your child’s favorite colors, then send it to school for their teacher to enjoy. Put your artistry skills to use and color up a pumpkin or two for a friend who’s birthday is in October/November, is welcoming a new baby or has just done something nice for you. They’ll appreciate the nice, unique gesture for weeks to come, and it’s still appropriate for Thanksgiving!
2. Decorate for Thanksgiving: repurpose your pumpkins and place them throughout the home – up high in your kitchen, accessorize them with cornucopias and turkeys and drape fall-themed leaves around them. Poof! Instantly transforms from Halloween to Thanksgiving.
3. Make a pie or seeds: yum!
4. Donate them to your local zoo: the animals love to eat non-rotted pumpkins! Drop them at the zoo for the lions and tigers and bears to enjoy.
5. Toddler toy: keep them busy for an hour and listen to the cooing of their voice as they say “bumpin” over and over and over again. It works, and you already own it. Plus, it will give you time to sit for a minute!
6. Smash ‘em: take your anger out in a safe zone. Try to be alone so no one witnesses your little tantrum. Then, do you best to clean up afterward or pray for rain.
7. Recycle ‘em: stick them in you or an obliging neighbor’s compost pile so it re-enters where it came from.
8. Dump em’ for Deffenbaugh: make good use of those ginormous containers they leave you with and insist you stick in your tiny garage along with your two SUVs.

Whatever you chose, enjoy. And cheers to yet another fabulous weekend of ghosts and goblins, tricks and treats!