Baby. Parties. Pictures. Cooking. Design. Baking. DIY. Play. Crafting. Shopping. Skinny. Real Life.

Tuesday, August 28

Swimming {home}school

I contemplated over and over again putting O in swim lessons.  I desperately want him to be water safe ASAP because we have a pool, but I couldn't wrap my brain around what they would teach him that I couldn't teach him myself at this age,  I was a certified lifeguard, after all, for a brief summer.    

Then one of Coco's friends came over who is an actual swimming instructor and gave us a little mini lesson, showing me what skills we should actually focus on at this age.  We've been working with him everyday since at home on getting his face in the water and blowing bubbles.  Not a problem, since pool water is apparently delicious and practically a food group for O. Just kidding, slightly.  I swear though, his stomach looks distended after swimming.  I feed my child organic 98% of the time, including the $5 raspberries he loves, and I'd rather he gulp some pool water while learning to swim than drown.

We also work on him floating on his back (more of a challenge) and kicking his feet while horizontal.  Huge success there.  The hose is a huge incentive to get from point a to point b. One of us will hold one hand under his belly for support.  

Ty cheering, O clapping for himself.  Oh, and just in case you ever wondered where O got his penchant for short shorts...there you go. 

going in for the High Five 

 just a few pictures which normally would strike terror in the depths of my soul if we weren't in water...

Or, maybe he could just be in the Sea World dolphin show...

Alright, there's a Pretty Little Liars marathon on now, so when O wakes up, he and I are going to play with some felt and make some quiet books and figure out who A is.  My guess now is it's Ezra, Paige, Toby, and Caleb and probably everyone's mom too...definitely Jenna, and probably Maya who I don't think is dead.  

Monday, August 27

DIY Button Growth Chart

I saw an idea for a growth chart in a magazine at the doctor's office and have been dying to make my own version of it.  Luckily, my friend Danielle is having a baby soon, so I had the perfect excuse.

Two Yards of Linen-look fabric 
72 mismatched buttons (one per inch for a girl...for a boy maybe add a few more)
Embroidery Thread
Acrylic Paint
Misc. fabric for backing
Burlap wired-ribbon (to hang from)
Wooden or plastic dowel
Needles, thread, hot glue, chalk

I started by marking off the inches with chalk, plotted my pattern with the buttons and glued them in place.  That's super important, otherwise your toddler will try to pick up all the button and scatter your carefully laid out pattern everywhere. This also allowed me to take the project with me so I could stitch on a car ride and in bed during a teen mom marathon.   Very crucial.

I sewed the buttons to reinforce them, and stitched a backing on.  I used embroidery thread for the inch markers.

I painted the numbers using a stencil I made on the cricut, but I suppose you could be brave and free hand, but that's far too risky for me. 

Danielle was decorating her nursery with an elephant theme, so I couldn't help myself when I found these buttons.

I rolled the extra fabric on the top and bottom around a plastic dowel to weight the bottom and secure a ribbon from the top.

I cover both ends with a wired burlap ribbon and voila!

Saturday, August 25

Pirate's Lair {Major Energy Suck. Love}

This is a total follow up on my last post about our pending day at DL/food post.  Mainly, because it has to do with DL and food and really nothing to do with the actual previous post.  Also, this is a follow up to my previous post about little-known Disney gems.

One of the big reasons we love DL is because of the food.  The gumbo is by far the best I've ever had...the mint juleps...the freaking dole whip...the beignets...need I go on?? Because I can, for days.  Anyway, if we're going to enjoy an actual sit down meal at the park, that requires a sleeping O, because O lasts about 15 minutes at a nice restaurant.   I'm not complaining, that's totally normal for a 16-month old.  Sitting in a high chair is boring, I get it.  He doesn't quite understand the joy of gossip shared over a meal, I can deal with that.  

 I make it my mission to tire him out, so I can happily spend a lot of money on a lot of calories.  This is actually somewhat tricky at DL since what helps to tire him out is letting him run around.  You can't just let your baby run free, though,..there's like a little area in toon town and the petting zoo, and otherwise you're in crowded pedestrian areas and they're likely to trip themselves or someone else and you will get lots of dirty looks.  

Here's where Pirate's Lair came into play.  I hadn't been over to the little island since it belonged to Tom Sawyer.  It's amazing.  It's not crowded and little ones have tons of space to run around and explore.  Plus you go on a boat to get there.  Boys love boats like woah.

There's a lot of skulls, which, if you believe designers of baby boy clothes, everywhere, are the flowers of the little boy world.

There's water and ducks to chase, always a win for this family.

There's gold coins that they CAN'T CHOKE ON. Fabulous.

There's a graveyard, good time to start explaining death, I suppose??

And there's things for them to turn and pull on and push.  Oh, did I mention they can run amuck??? 

Big 'Ol win for you, DL.  We're happy to be back from our summer exile.  

Wednesday, August 22

A Day In O's Diet

I'm a total procrastinator.  I work on it everyday, I really do.  I learned quickly though, being even a little bit disorganized and being a mom are like a natural disaster waiting to happen.  So I've been working on anticipating needs and being prepared.

We decided this evening to go see Mick Mouse tomorrow.  

Packing toddler food for a day trip such as this is no joke.  For me, it involves preparing and packing 3 meals and at least 3 snacks, because let's be honest, at least one of those snacks is going to get thrown on the ground at Downton Disney.
(I freaking love T.V. and can't wait for all three of those shows to be back.)

Anyway, this may not seem like a big deal to non-parents, or even to veteran parents, but I'm pretty proud of myself for having this together early to prevent those stressful minutes before leaving the house with a young toddler. 

What's on O's "To Go" menu*:

Breakfast On The Go: Whole Wheat Granola Waffle, 1/2 Banana + Blueberries + Milk
Morning Snack: Peach-Apricot Sauce (in the green Beaba pouch) + Orange slices
Lunch: Elephant-shaped Cheese Sandwiches + Edamame + Raisins
Afternoon Snack: Freeze dried Pear Slices + Goldfish (IF I'm not feeling neurotic about having orange crumbs everrrrrrrywhere)
Dinner: Turkey + Ham Roll-ups + Steamed Carrots & Greenbeans + Organic Superfruit Snacks + Milk
Dessert: Greek Yogurt

We share a lot of this stuff (i.e. the yogurt, orange, ect.) to prevent waste, and according to Dr. Greene, it encourages lifelong healthy eating if your child sees you eating the same (healthy) food as them.  I grin and bare it only for O.   

I really just want some popcorn. 

*I'm always, always trying to come up with new things to make and pack for O to make life interesting.  I would absolutely love any feedback with your favorite foods to give to your kids.  

Tuesday, August 21

16 Months {Why My Brother Is No Longer Allowed to Babysit}

Wow, time is flying by.  I can't believe my little one is 16 months old.  I swear everyday I fall more and more in love with you.  You are SO much fun to watch and to be around and to play with.  I'm cracking up all day long with think they funniest things are hilarious.  Like today, you were taking huge bites of pear and laughing hysterically when you had to spit some out because you bit off too much.  And poor Roxy, you laugh all day chasing her around.  She's a baby-hater, I'm sorry, babe.  It's nothing personal.

28 lbs  (75th percentile)
34 inches (<97th div="div" percentile="percentile">
I see you everyday, so I don't realize how big you are until we're out in public and people think you're two.  Why are you so big, again???  

You have 14 teeth and working on your bottom canines.  SO glad those top two came in!! 

Mental Development:
You are jabbering non-stop.  Your Grandma Jan says it sounds like you are speaking Chinese and does a completely racist impersonation of you. 

New Words This Month:
Bird (every day in the pool you point out birds in the sky..totally normal)
Big Bird (Nana taught you this by showing a picture of Big Bird on the Sea World map, not normal)
Bye Bye
Nooooo (very exaggerated)
Waaa for water
Vroom (You make this sound when playing with your little cars or trains)
Tuurrr-ulll (turtle)
I'll have to come back and add the rest as I remember them!

We've been working this month on different body parts.  Your favorites to point out are your tongue and your toes.  I should not have taught you body part by pointing to them on a Jellycat bear, because this made you think your ears on top of your head, when they are in fact not.  We are re-learning ears.  :)
You love love love water and we go in the pool daily, sometimes twice a day.  You are not afraid of water at all, both a good and a bad thing.  You don't mind going under one bit.  You love it when I ask you where the turtles are in the pool, and you immediately point out one of the turtles tiled into the pool.  Your favorite one to point out is the "baby turtle" on the baja step.  You love playing with your dad's torpedo in the pool.  I swear you could play with that thing for hours.  You also learned how to turn the lights on and off in your room and constantly switch the light off.

You are becoming your own little person more and more each day.  You love playing solo with your trains or flipping through books, but then will enjoy some serious cuddle time.  I secretly love it when you cry "Mama" and reach for me when someone else is holding you.  You were never that attached to one person as a little baby, so I'm enjoying a tiny bit of this now.

A fun story from this month:
You've always loved playing with phones, and have been holding mine up to your ear and having convos for awhile now. But this month you learned how to answer my phone...very dangerous.  This afternoon, your Uncle Ryan #1 was watching you while I was fixing my hair.  He came in to tell me that my phone rang and he let you answer it.  What the heck, right???  Sure enough, I go into your room and you are sitting with my phone up to your ear saying "Da da?" over and over again to none other than my Gyno, calling to give me some lab results.  It was pretty funny after the fact, and of all the professional people to call and have you answer, I guess it was best that it was the one who delivered you.  

But Uncle Ryan, you're fired.

Sunday, August 19

That Awkward Moment When Your Panties Fall Out Of Your Jeans...In Church.

Abercrombie and Fitch was having their jeans sale this weekend, and I took full advantage of it.  Yes, I'm aware that is very 15-year old of me.  But I'm also aware that they make the best jeggings on the planet.  Yeah, I said jeggings.  In this case, they're really just a super, super skinny jean (read NOT denim colored leggings), but since Abercrombie already has a "skinny" style and a "super skinny" style, I guess they had to get creative.   They're insanely comfortable, albeit lowww, but come highly recommended from someone who is incredibly picky about their jeans.

Anyway, the last pair of jeggs I bought in June is too big now, and I went to replace them and my everyday jeans.  Major downside of losing weight = replacing your clothes constantly.

So, there I am this morning, sitting in church in one of my new pairs, blissfully enjoying my Sunday donut.  Don't worry, I only eat the frosted part, saves a few cals.  I cross my legs and I notice some black lace sticking out of the bottom of my jeans.  I pull it out and realize it's a thong.  I of course think "these are new jeans, these must be someone else' disgusting!"

I relax a little, recognizing it is in fact, my underwear. It must have gotten stuck in my pants after I tried them on last night, and apparently then stripped naked.  I can't really remember the details. And I can't relax too much either, because I'm sitting in church with balled-up panties in my hand.  I have nowhere to put them because my diaper bag was checked in with O in Sunday school, and it's not like I can run in the nursery and be like "Hi, I'm Oliver's mom, I have to put this lacy black thong in his bag real quick!"

Moral of the story: Don't be lazy when you take your pants off.  Or else your panties may come back to haunt you.

Hope you all had a happy Sunday.

Friday, August 17

Cloud Dough, Snow Cones & Who Wears Short Shorts?

It's been another crazy hot week.  But, that doesn't stop O from his need to be outside, so we tried our hardest to keep cool despite the 97 degrees.  The plus is, he is getting great at his kicking in the pool thanks to our two-a-day swims.   A few pics from our week...

I made up this batch of cloud dough a few weeks ago, but finally got it out today.  I absolutely love this stuff!!!  It's so soft, but little hands can mold it and then watch it crumble when they apply too much pressure.  And it smells really good too, always a plus with the DIY sensory play materials (in contrast, the homemade finger paint smell makes me want to vomit).

Anyway, here's our experience...

O helping me set up some buckets and scoops.  The drop cloth is a MUST for this activity.  Unless  you're crazy.  This stuff is oil-y flour, people.  Use in a hose-able area, too.  

Still suuuuch a sucker for the hand dimples...

I molded up little cloud balls for him to pick up.  His face was priceless when they would crumble in his hands.  It was cool to see how he started to progressively pick them up more gently...

 ...and then smash them on the ground, laugh hysterically....and then try to put them back together.

If you want to make cloud dough at home, simply mix 8 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil and store in gallon-sized ziplock bag.  

It's like a 7 on the messy scale (with stupid finger paint being a 10) dusts off about the same as sidewalk chalk.

This is the face he gives me every time I say "big smile".  I couldn't love this child more.  I freaking adore how he interprets the world and responds to it.

 It was getting miserable, so we enjoyed some snow cones.  I had Dr. Pepper flavor, and since it's my mission to protect my son from the evil lures of sugary beverages (which is one of my many vices), O enjoyed tangerine and strawberry juice flavor.  I made the juice myself...verdict = NOT worth the effort.  I came up with a better plan I will try tomorrow halfway through juicing cuties.

We met up with Bree and Lyric and Amy and Olivia at Sunset Park.  O and Lyric were having an intense baby convo, which probably consisted of Lyric asking why O's shorts were so much shorter than his and O replying something about it allowing him to swim faster and also that his Mama says "if you got it, flaunt it" and is living vicariously through his firm thighs.

Jess and Peyton came over for some rough housing (on O's part) and cow cuddling (on Peyton's part) and popsicles. I am a big fan of Pey with a white and red beard, if she ever wants to mix it up a little with her look.

Praying for a little bit of a cool down....

Wednesday, August 15

Mind Over Matter Makes Pooh UnFatter { Part 2: My No Fail Plan to Jump Start Weightloss }

As soon as I got cleared to exercise after my c-section, my mind was set on losing weight. Not “baby weight”, which in my case, was a lot of actual baby and placenta and fluids and giant boobs rather than actual fat.  Well, the boobs probably were fat, because they certainly were not filled with milk...but the point is, because I was heavier than I wanted to pre-baby, I was careful not to gain extra while preg, and all that disappeared quickly. I wanted to lose the before-the-baby-weight.

I decided I needed to do something I had never tried before in an effort to lose the LBs:  Exercising.  Exercising a lot.

I never really “worked out” regularly in my whole life.  I would go on long walks and head to the gym when I had energy during pregnancy, but it was never a huge part of my daily life.  So, that’s what I changed.  I hit the gym hardcore, going basically every single day of the week, not making any excuses.  I had to physically go to the somewhere, because at home, there were too many distractions and it was far too easy for me to talk myself out of it.  I’m the queen of making excuses to myself, and I could seriously use ANYTHING to justify not working out. 

I just went, and I just did it. Nike.

I would drop tiny O off at my grandma’s, and go to the sweat lodge known as LA Fitness for as long as I could stand it, or before I felt the sting of my let-down.  I would not risk losing that milk for all the skinny in the world.    Sometimes I could be there for two and half hours, which is seriously a stupidly long time to be at that horrible place.  I almost cried more than a few times, but I stayed.  I mixed it up with cardio, weights, and then, just to keep it interesting, whatever class was going on at the time.  I took them all.  If you know me in real life, you know I am a) uncoordinated and b) not good at following directions.  So these classes were a serious struggle for me.  But being a fatty was a bigger struggle, and I chose the lesser of two evils.

It sucked. I hated every minute of it, except the minutes I was on my way out the door.

But it totally worked. I was losing about 8-9 pounds a month with those daily workouts, and NOT dieting at all (I was actually eating more calories than normal, in a desperate effort to increase my liquid gold production). After about 5 months, which flew by because I was so busy with my new schedule, I tapered off, and figured out some routines at home (more on those later) that would help me maintain my new weight (and actually lose even more!)

Here’s my tips if you are also a gym-hater, but wanting to see some results:

1.  No excuses. Everyone has time to workout, you just have to sacrifice something, be it more sleep,  downtime, facebook time, or time reading this blog (just kidding, don’t prioritize over that).  I had a newborn, the ball and chain of an intense milk-pumping schedule, and an out-of-shape fat ass.   If I could go to the gym, anyone could.  Also, I really REALLY hate the gym, and I really REALLY hate sweating.  Remember, I’m the person who never even owned a sports bra until like 4 months ago.  Physical activity was never my thing.   Just thinking of it now makes me freak out a little bit inside.  The thought of sweat dripping down my face makes me want to die.  But I did it, I went, and I wore a stupid sweatband and everything because I just wanted to lose weight.  

2.  If you can read a book or magazine, you're not really working that hard, and therefore your results won't be as drastic.  I didn't want to believe this, and part of me still doesn't want to, but it's true.  Work out harder.

 3. Doing something everyday is MUCH easier than doing something once in awhile.  Think about it…if you resolve to have working out be something you do everyday, no matter what, you are soooo much more likely to do it than if you resolve to do it “a few times a week”.  If you are anything like me, you will convince yourself that you will do it “tomorrow” over and over again.  I speak from experience.  

So, there it is.  The first part of my journey to skinny jeans.  I know it’s probably not what anyone wanted to hear, BUT I can promise you it 100% works.    So just do it.   Then come and share your story.

Part 3 coming soon...

Tuesday, August 14

Mind Over Matter Makes Pooh UnFatter: {Part 1}

Everytime I see someone I haven't seen in a little while...or even a few months, I get asked the exact same question: "What are you doing to lose weight?"   I should have crafted a better answer by now, but the truthful response is long and detailed and generally not party-chatter.  

I decided to break my experiences down into a series of blogs, which hopefully will spark some inspiration for any friends wanting to embark on the skinny journey themselves.

The Reader's Digest version of the truth is this: Diet and Exercise.  But specifically, LOTS of exercise, and "diet", not "dieting".  

I've been jotting down all the "secrets" of my personal path to having nothing fit anymore for months now, and will share the following (and more!) in the coming days (which might mean weeks, depending on how distracted I am by my latest crafts:

*Jump starting weight loss (getting over my gym-aversion)

*How a having a baby made me skinnier than ever (and you can, too!)

*Myths about weight loss (breastfeeding isn't everyone's answer, that whole "diet is 80% of it" and other BS)

*Becoming a liberated, guilt-free skinny snacker

*Changing up my diet for life

*Keeping it off (Why I froze my gym membership)

Check back soon!

Sunday, August 12

Legoland, Take 2

It was crazy, stupid hot this week.  We're lucky, because we have A/C and a pool in the backyard, but that didn't mean anything to a little boy who just wants to be outside.  And the pool is solar heated, meaning it's a refreshing 95 degrees.  Nice around 7pm.  Disgusting at noon.  And that's coming from a super bath lover.  I don't know why I'm bringing up the heat since it has nothing to do with this post...

 Our friends Amanda and Quinn were kind enough to invite us to Legoland and we had a great playdate...once we got inside.  

Did you know teething has like 20 million symptoms??  Did you know that one of them happens to be the green apple quick step????  Everyone in my vicinity at the Legoland parking lot knows this now.  Mom-win: ALWAYS have extra clothes on hand.  You never freaking know when or what is going to happen. What a cruel, cruel joke these canines are. 2 down, 2 to go. I remember why I brought the heat up, it was b/c O was toting his water bottle all day and chugged 3 bottles before nap time.  So that was fun doing crib sheet laundry. But how cute are these two with the giant Lego's??

 I feel like Quinn should be saying, "Excuse me, strange Sir, do you need to get that close to us to take an iphone picture of a Lego building??"  I totally agree with her.

 Quinn working the boat whistles.

 I like to think this is O holding Quinn's hand to help her up.  In reality, he's probably doing the toddler-hand-push-away...but I'm going to pretend he's being chivalrous. 

We are officially sold on Legoland.  

Becca's Hunger Games-Themed Birthday Party

My dear Becca celebrated another birthday this past week! We surprised her with a mini-party at Taco Tuesday.  OTB definitely thinks we are weird for bring our own table cloths, napkins, decorations, ect. for birthdays, but it's what we do, and hey, we clean up better than they do practically.  As far as a big party goes, Becca planned an entire beer-pong tournament party around the Hunger Games theme! 

I wasn't my usual annoying paparazzi-self because I was sans baby and sans husband, and I needed to maximize my "me" time while I could, so you get what you get :)

They both actually were able to show up later on, but we've learned from experience that O + parties with beer (particularly Bud Light in a can) are not the best combo, so it was baby chasing time after that as proceeded to steal as many of the "weapons" that he could.

Onto the details!

My fave.. mainly because I love that Lenny Kravitz is Cinna...

...and a few of the "weapons" that made it home in a certain little boys hands ;0)

Happy Birthday, Becca!!!  

Sarah & Willie's Wedding

Sarah and Willie's wedding was at one of my favorite places, Leo Carrillo Ranch.  I love it there, I used to eat lunch there often when I was interning.  The venue was perfect for Sarah's Cowboy Rustic Chic nuptials.

And get ready....I shed a serious tear or two.

Background:  Sarah had a baby girl, London, 5 years ago and London's biological father was never in the picture.  Fast forward to Sarah meeting and falling for Willie.  During their vows, Sarah reveals she has secretly already processed adoption paperwork, naming Willie London's father and changing her last name, just in time for kindergarden.  As a mom, I can't even handle it now.  There wasn't a dry eye in the house, not even mine.

Okay, enough emotion, let's look at pretty things...