A few toddler ideas...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Our recent schedule since I've gone back to work has left very little time for blogging, which makes me sad. It's left little time for showering and sleeping, too, which is another story. But I hope to keep popping in for updates as much as I can. I love this little space and am thankful for you (yes, you!) who takes the time to read it, time gaps and all. 

If you have a toddler in your house, you might be like me... when you come across an idea that actually works for your picky little one, you want to tell the world. Like getting your little guy or gal to eat squash or keeping him occupied for an entire hour. So act like you're getting a text from me with a link to these three little projects, a handful of our recent favorites. 
1. Squash waffles.
Liam's diet consists of three main food groups: waffles, Larabars (which he calls "bar snacks") and fruit (sometimes hummus and eggs make the cut, too). So when I came across this recipe for summer squash pancakes, I knew I needed to try it out to sneak a few veggies in without him realizing it.  The only thing I tweaked about the recipe was to use an all-purpose gluten free flour in lieu of whole wheat flour... and I made them into waffles instead of pancakes. They're Liam-approved, which is saying a lot, and they freeze well. 

2. Dinos in ice.
This idea has made the Pinterest and Facebook rounds, so you may have already seen it. Basically, throw some water, some little plastic toys (in our case, dinosaurs), and a little food coloring into a tupperware container and freeze it overnight. Then let your toddler use a variety of tools to dig and hammer and chop and try to figure out how to rescue the dinosaurs from the ice block. After being slightly confused initially, Liam loved this challenge and loved eventually pouring warm water on the ice block to rescue his beloved dinos. The project lasted much longer than I anticipated (nearly an hour!), which is a win for us.
3. Our little fox.
One of our nieces loves foxes, so when I saw this fox costume tutorial and pattern, Liam insisted we make a fox costume for her. We had Lanie model it, and we fell in love with her all over again. The pattern does seem to run a little small - it just barely fit on Liam's head, but fit 6-month-old Lanie just perfectly.

5 months with Lane Eliette.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

 Dear Lanie Lou,

On the very last day of your fifth month, I decided it was about time to write a little update on you. You've grown and changed immensely this month and have really started to move. It's like one day we put you down on your back and you decided to not only flip right over, but get up on your hands and knees and start to rock. A few days later, you started scooting across the floor to whatever you wanted to get a hold of (usually one of Liam's favorite dinosaurs or books). And when we start to unstrap you from your carseat, you do a complete flip over your right shoulder to get out. You're feisty and active and playful and fearless and I adore that about you.

You're growing hair, thick and blonde, and it's coming in so evenly all the way around. You're learning to self soothe, and when it's time to sleep, you flip over onto your tummy and plop a thumb in your mouth and we watch you lay there quietly with your eyes open before you fall asleep. Never ever after your first three crazy hard months did we expect you to be so easy. Or such a delight.

Liam adores you. When you wake up from your nap, he's always the first to hear you and exclaim, "Wanie Lou is awake!" He bolts upstairs to your room, throws open the door, and yells, "Wanie! You're awake! You look so pretty! You sleep so good?" And then my heart melts into a puddle. You're still so tolerant of him, letting him basically wrestle you on the floor while you just smile and giggle.

You're the smiliest baby we've ever seen. One glance in your direction and your big blue eyes (just like your mom) turn to happy squints (just like your dad). You also have lots to say, especially when you're alone and Liam is away.

We are smitten with you, Lane Eliette. We can't wait to see what our gracious God has in store for your life. You've already blessed us in ways we never thought imaginable.

Love,
Mommy

The name game.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

At 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant with Lanie, we finally landed on her name. Lane was the name that had been right in front of us (it's my middle name), but it took so much time, conversation, and angst on my part to arrive at a final decision. I spent hours upon hours on Nameberry.com and nothing quite seemed to fit. We loved Eliot/Elliot/Eliette/Elliette for a girl, but we have so many girls in our life nicknamed "Ellie" that we wanted to stay away from that as a nickname. We love the meaning of Eliette, though, which is "My God has answered." Our Lanie has been an answered prayer in so many ways. Ultimately, it was Shawn who landed on Lane Eliette (including the spelling) and it just clicked for both of us.

Toward the end of pregnancy, I had been thinking baby names so much that I dreamt of them. In one dream, I was having twins and named them "Tandem" and "Echo" (fitting, right?). I then dreamed we had a boy and named him Canon, which I actually really like.

Anyway, if I had about a dozen more baby girls, here are some names I would throw in the hat. Not sure if we'll have any more girls though, so these are up for grabs. :)

And a few more...
Evangeline
Hattie
Hadley
Lydia
Corinne
Juliet
Fair
Pearl
Claire

Today, I can't picture our Lane Eliette (which we're pronouncing like Elliot) as anything else. Isn't that what always happens? Right now she's known as Lanie Lou, Lanie-girl, or Lanes.

I'm a self-professed name nerd and would love to hear some of your favorites... anyone?

Durant Nature Park.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A free afternoon and a wrong turn landed us here: Durant Nature Park. It was the perfect place to get lost for a few hours, hike around a gorgeous lake, explore a children's sensory garden, and get both kids good and ready for long afternoon naps. If you're in North Raleigh, it's so worth a visit!

Catching up.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Or maybe just trying to catch my breath.

It's what the past 6 weeks have felt like since I've gone back to work as a nurse. If life with two kids ages 2 and under wasn't harried enough, we've added 30+ hours per week at the hospital and juggling childcare.

With that said, though, it's what feels best for our family in this season. I'm working at a wonderful local hospital and am loving the work, the mental stimulation (adult conversation!), and especially the mom I get to be when I get home. I'm able to be fully engaged at work, fully engaged at home. On top of that, we only need childcare a few times a month, the kids are able to stay at our house, and most of the hours I miss with them they're asleep anyway (I work 3pm to 11pm). God knew exactly what we needed when he gave me this position. The only hard part is how exhausting it all is. Much less stressful than working from home, but even more tiring. Don't get me wrong: some moms of little ones are totally successful having their businesses at home. It's just not me. At least not in this season. Going back to work outside our home has actually relieved a lot of stress.

Of course there are hard moments. When Liam sees me walking down the stairs in my scrubs and cries, "Mommy not go to the hospital. Not help sick people anymore." Events I have to miss because, "Sorry, I'm working." Mostly, though, this transition has been such a gift.
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