just you

Friday, August 28, 2015

lorelai mabel.

my heart hasn't been the same since the day you entered our world. on that day it both tripled in size and broke at the thought of anything ever hurting you. you altered my whole world into something better and brighter. clearer. you have made me feel more like myself than ever before.

in you, I have found myself.

you have made me a mother.

and for so long, it has been just us. and everything, yours. this house has been yours. our laps, yours. our hearts, yours completely.

now you have a little sibling growing bigger every day inside of my belly. and although you don't fully understand what this means, you love kissing my growing bump just the same, caressing it with your tiny hands while you say "bebe", "bebe" time and time again.

I am overjoyed to be growing our little family and dream of a new, tiny little one that is just like you. with translucent blonde hair and deep blue eyes. I dream for you to have a best friend forever; a constant partner by your side. but my heart aches too, knowing that our time as just us is slowly fading and soon everything that is now yours, will be shared. you will learn to share your room and your toys and your books and your papa and your home and your nighttime stories. I know that you will love your brother or sister unlike anyone else in the world, but I want you to know how special our time as just us has been. it is something that I will carry with me always. long after you start preschool, and go off to college and have a family of your own, I will carry these sweet memories with me. just us.

soon our home will shrink and our hearts will grow, but for now, my love, your hair is the only hair that I will brush and your lips are the only ones that I will kiss. my cuddles and kisses are yours, just yours. your bed time story is yours and yours alone and our early morning lingering in bed and middle of the night snuggles are just for you. just you.

you. you. you. you.

essentials for life with a toddler

Thursday, August 27, 2015

life with a toddler can be stressful, for real. and i'll be honest, some days it seems that going out and about into the hustle and bustle (as much as there is of that in iowa anyway) is not worth the hassle. but most of the time we have things to do and people to see and i love our adventures outside of the house. and so does lorelai mabel.

but oh, how easily toddlers get tired and cranky and hungry and dirty and just plain old bored. lorelai simply does not care that i have not yet sniffed the entire candle aisle or binge shopped my way through the cleaning products at target. no, she really doesn't you guys.

alas, i have found that with some crucial necessities, life with a toddler can be, dare i say, easy? no, i won't go that far because we're being real here, right? but this little list of things certainly makes all day errand-running or skipped nap days easier and happier for us all.

and so,

lily jade elizabeth bag in brandy // this bag. swoooooooon. i'm not sure how i ever survived lorelai's newborn days without it. the style is exceptional, for one, and it is so, so functional which means everything to me these days. it has so many pockets, seriously. but perhaps my favorite thing about it is that you can carry it with short straps, a long cross body strap or as a backpack, making all my dreams come true. i can easily fit everything i need for myself and lorelai when we're on the go. this baby is going to make lugging the belongings of two small humans much easier for this mama come winter.

owies blend roller // because lorelai is constantly skinning her knees or getting mosquito bites and this helps both without the sting. she immediately starts looking for this roller when she gets a booboo. bless her. this is a blend i made using young living oils lavender, melaleuca and balsam fir.

earth mama angel baby bottom balm // to this day, this is the only butt balm that works for lorelai's skin. she very rarely has any skin flareups, which is simply amazing considering my sensitive skin, but when she does this stuff works like magic. and bonus, she loves it!

thieves spray // i use this to disinfect everything without worrying about her (or baby bub in my belly) being exposed to harmful chemicals. it's great for everything from high chairs and shopping carts to lovies that have fallen in the dirt one too many times. basically errry darn thang.

peekaboo barn // i don't think we would ever eat out, travel, or attend any sort of public event if it weren't for this app. okay, i'm exaggerating, but seriously this app is a lifesaver. this is the only app that lorelai has ever played with in all honesty, but she's so obsessed with it. and as much as i don't love her using technology already, she has learned so many animals from this darn thing. she has proudly shown off her animal friends to countless restaurant wait staff... "puppy!" is of course the favorite.

re-play sippy cups // we went through a lot of different sippy cups until finding these. they are the only true non-spill cups that we have found. major bonus that they are simple, adorable and recycled. holla! the snack cups are super convenient too.

fruit snacks // enough said. but not the yellow ones because lorelai hates the yellow ones.

baby wipes // even after lorelai is potty trained i will continue to carry baby wipes daily. for everything y'all.

all the coffee, iced or otherwise // for mama.

i'm tempted to put our stroller on this list too, because i'm obsessed with it and its luxuriously oversized basket underneath. i usually consider it an essential depending on what we are doing. basket + multiple seat settings for lorelai + sun protector + easy strolling + quick, easy folding. yep. this thing pays for itself every time we use it. i'm hoping that we will like it as a double just as much.

i'm also going to add, although it's not for days out and about, a sound machine. lorelai still sleeps much better with her sound machine from when she was a baby. there are no complaints here because it drowns out any household noises after bed time. for us, this means we can still watch the walking dead at a reasonable volume because all innocent ears are hearing is the comforting sound of a mother's heartbeat in utero. (yes, she still listens to it on the heartbeat setting for newborns, which i happen to think is extremely adorable).

there you have it! i'm sure i missed some, but all of these things (plus binkie) are our essentials for daily life with a toddler on your hip.

what's on your must have at all times list?


summer bucket list

Friday, August 7, 2015

In true motherly fashion, I started this blog post in June.... the beginning of summer, to share our bucket list for the summer ahead. Logging in now.. two months later.. it's mid-August, summer is almost over and this blog post still sits in my drafts. What can I say.. the days are crazy around here guys. We plunged into this summer head first and didn't look back. Once that first trimester fog lifted there was no stopping us, adventure after adventure. Summer with a toddler is so, so much fun. And exhausting, but mostly just fun. I love exploring the world through her big, curious eyes.

we've been: visiting the beach ● playing at the splash pad  road tripping to nearby states  attending the eaux claires  music festival ● therefore witnessing all sorts of transcendent events that cannot be put into words ● live performances from the national, bon iver, sufjan stevens, the tallest man on earth, spoon, sylvan esso, the lone bellow, the staves and many, many more ● watching my belly grow and grow and our sweet, little baby wiggle around on the ultrasound screen ● relaxing on the back deck for hours on end while lola explores the back yard and splashes in her water table ● drinking all the fair lemonade we can find ● ice cream ● ice cream ● ice cream ● going to the drive-in movies ● visiting our animal friends at the zoo ● perusing the farmer's market ● gazing at fireworks and starry night skies ● watching parades ● dinners al fresco ● devouring sweet corn on the cob ● and watermelon by the truckloads ● lounging by the pool ● catching lola over and over and over again as she jumps in the pool ● backyard barbecues and s'mores ● tea parties and grey's anatomy marathons in the air conditioning on the hot days ● clipping flowers from the backyard and scattering them throughout the house ● milkshakes  even watering the flowers is an adventure with this girl ● diffusing fresh & summery combos like lemon + stress away and joy + peppermint ● napping every chance we get ● making lists of baby names ● finally satisfying my craving for sushi (just cooked & veggie rolls, don't worry) ● sunflowers galore ● a lot of cinnamon toast crunch ● reading a bit, mostly lola's books, but I've really enjoyed this and this ● starting to collect teeny, tiny newborn things ● popsicles and hide & seek ● hammock lounging ● lots and lots of pies

I can't dream up a better summer than this one. We still have a few tricks up our sleeve for rest of the month and adventures that we plan to embark on before summer dwindles, but deep down my heart is leaping into autumn, my very favorite. We've already ordered Lorelai's halloween costume and my fall/winter oils are ready and waiting to transform our home into a warm, snuggly oasis from the cool, crisp breeze. We have a cabin booked for a week away this fall, which we are anxiously anticipating. A babymoon of sorts to take in all that fall in the midwest has to offer. But before we get too ahead of ourselves, summer still has much to offer. Before we say goodbye to summer 2015, we would like to:

maybe, possibly, (still-not-sure-yet) find out the sex of the bub in my belly  press flowers to save picked on our neighborhood walks ● play in the rain  adventure nearby caves  weekend getaways  pizzas on the grill  walks by the river  more BLTs  sitting around the chiminea talking about our plans with my guy after lola goes to bed  catch fireflies  picnic in the park


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