Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Sibling Snapshot

My favorite kind of post today: a sibling snapshot of our trio. They're all at such fun, but different, ages, and each is just so uniquely their OWN person. This has been both the craziest and busiest season of life, with all of us home ALL DAY EVERY DAY, but at the same time, I've really gotten to see them change and grow up before my eyes. The difference one year has made always takes my breath away, and looking back at pictures from February of last year, before quarantine began, really just gets me every time. They were so little.

 Oskar: 6.5

Equally brilliant and emotional. Our homebody. This whole year cooped up inside has kept him 100% in his comfort zone, learning 1:1 with a teacher he already knew, snuggled up in our makeshift home school classroom. And he wouldn’t have it any other way without lots of nudging. His perfectionist self is always afraid to try new things, so we end up having to really push him to so. He always ends up shining when he does, a roller coaster of emotions that eventually ends in pride in himself. Lover of LEGOs, Mo Willems, and wrestling with his brother. Master reader, bike rider, karate student and roller-blader. Reading and LOVING Indian in the Cupboard. An early riser, a picky eater, a deep thinker, and on a mission to be right ALL of the time.  A mama’s boy forever and ever.

Biggest parenting challenge: encouraging him to try new things, which includes both activities and food.

August: almost 5

Imaginative and scatterbrained, August never stops talking. Knows and plays with all the things that big brother is into and is growing up so fast for that reason. Always dressed up as something, but most of the time Luigi, a Stormtrooper, or one of Oskar’s long-ago forgotten Halloween costumes. Is the BEST at independent play and listening to his made-up dialogues between his LEGOs makes my heart explode. His teacher said he spends most of his days looking for things that he lost (SO August), but is also constantly surprising us with what he knows. Classic middle child has said, “I always knew that, but you never asked me!” more than once. The only one of his siblings that often sleeps in, and goodness I love him for it. His emotions are big, but most of the time he’s goofy and happy-go-lucky, wanting to make everyone around him laugh.

Biggest parenting challenge: getting him to not give up on everything so easily--he truly just does not care most of the time, which is such a change from his big brother who is almost obsessive. A happy medium would be helpful 😉.

Maren: almost 1

Our beautiful baby girl, most often found pulling up on mama’s legs and yelling “UP, UP”. Crawling everywhere unbelievably fast, but also wanting to be upright and standing against everything. Loves pop-up Peekaboo books, music, and walks in her carrier. Throws all baby toys aside in lieu of specks of dirt, cords, her brothers’ toys, or phones. We also call her "magpie" because she looooves shiny objects, including my earrings and necklaces that I can barely wear anymore because she wants to rip them right off. Says “mama” and “dada and “DA!” for both doggie and duck. Fiercely attached to mama with a serious case of stranger danger, in true quarantine baby fashion. Napping 9:30-10:30a and 2:00-3:00, and sleeping  through the night, 7:00p-6:00a (on a good day). Eats almost everything she’s given, bless her, and is still nursing 4 times a day. Her three-toothed smile lights up our entire world, and we’re all constantly doing everything we can to get her to giggle. My 2020 resolution was to soak up every last bit of her, our last baby, and I’m forever grateful I’ve had this time with her. I only wish I could bottle her up and keep her this age forever.

Biggest parenting challenge: getting her to sleep in (which really means until at least 6a). We've had plenty of mornings starting in the 5s lately, which are notoriously brutal 😑.


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

My Favorite Purchases from 2020

Friends, hi! It's February somehow, and here I am with a 2020 post two months later.  Life has been busy, yet the same old same old, with the boys continuing remote school through the next 9 week period, and Maren being shuffled around between me and any willing and able family members while I do my best to also work. The good news? I can ALMOST feel the end in sight, with a return to school date of April 1st for all parties involved--SO very needed for the boys, of course, but bittersweet for our littlest girl who has no idea what's coming. We have big transitions ahead for both of us,  moving to one afternoon nap and slowly weaning, and this also makes me super sad.  I want to get a sibling snapshot up on the blog because they have all changed SO MUCH this last year, so hopefully I can get that together before 2021 is over. Oof. Anyway, as for today's post. A round up of my very favorite purchases from 2020. All of my most loved items to get me through one crazy year.

ONE: I have finally been investing into GOOD skincare, and with the help of my insanely versed sister, landed here.  Vichy Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Elemis Cleansing Balm, Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream, and Neutrogena Eye Cream. This combo has BEEN IT for me, and my skin has been so dewy, glowy, and healthy.
TWO: All I wear, jewelry wise.  These diamond hoop earrings plus a Beth Macri necklace with the number 3 for my trio.

THREE: The end of 2019 ended on a ROUGH note for my hair, which got so incredibly damaged from being bleached. I had such significant breakage all around the crown of my head that 2020 was spent doing all the things to restore it back to health: heat protector spray, a silk pillowcase, continuing to take my prenatal vitamin, using these hair ties, a new hair dryer, and this Olaplex shampoo. Together, they've made all the difference. Plus, I stopped dying it, and have only sparingly highlighted.

FOUR: Eufy Stick Vacuum: The best money we may have spent last year. We use this thing CONSTANTLY on our hardwood floors. This even sucks up Cheerios, which none of my other vacuums have ever done.

FIVE: Athleta Leggings: It is no exaggeration that I've lived in these for a solid year. I now have 3 pairs. They are incredible.

SIX: Peloton: After months of being holed up, Matt and I needed an outlet. And we. are. hooked. Since I used to be more of a "frolic around outside for an hour and call it a day" in terms of exercise kind of gal, the Peloton took me a few weeks to warm up to but now I'm in love. And I've never been in better shape.  If you’re also interested in taking the plunge, I have a referral code (WMM8CX) for $100 off of accessories at purchase!

SEVEN: Solo Stove: Matt got this for his birthday in January of last year, and we had no idea the kind of year we'd have in store for us. We used this more than we ever thought possible to get outside and to safely gather with friends from time to time.

EIGHT: Since I had not much else to do but clean and purge, all of our old sheets from 10 years ago got the boot, replaced by this dreamy set with about 100,000 5-star reviews.

NINE: This heater / cooler combination has been SO NICE for our room that lives above the garage. Bonus? It's made for overnight use and never gets hot to the touch, making it safe for an into-everything-Maren.

TEN: Very late in the year came these beauties. I took the combat boot plunge. They are so buttery soft and look good with everything. I love them so much and feel like a cool mom now 😉. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

My Favorite 2020 Christmas Book Finds

As August keeps saying, "It's the hap-, happiest season of all!" We love a good Christmas book around here and display them all around the boys' rooms to really up the decorating ante with some of the beautifully illustrated covers. They're also tucked away in special baskets for easy grabbing and reading throughout the day. Our collection grows every year, and below are some of my favorite finds from 2020. For previous favorite finds, see my posts here and here!

Little Red Sleigh: The Little Red Sleigh has one big dream―to one day become Santa's big red sleigh.

Reindolphins: This book has won just about every award there is. A funny story about how Santa’s reindeer fall ill and a team of dolphins step in to save the day. I don't know how I had never stumbled across this one before but it's a new favorite.

Elf: Our favorite movie in book form.

Olive the Other Reindeer: Olive is merrily preparing for Christmas when suddenly she realizes "Olive... the other Reindeer... I thought I was a dog. And so, a dog joins Santa’s team and turns out to be the biggest helper of all.

The Nutcracker: the classic story in a beautiful pop up version. I got this for Maren this year.

12 Days of Christmas: A beautifully illustrated traditional 12 days of Christmas poem that we like to sing along to.

Silent Night: Another one by Lara Hawthorne, I especially love that this one represents Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus as people of color.

Goodnight Krampus: Not a creature was stirring...except the mischievous Krampus who's too excited to sleep! It's Christmas Eve and Santa has a lot on his plate, but his biggest challenge is convincing little Krampus to go to bed.

The Gingerbread Man: The classic story with larger font for beginner readers, I love that Oskar can read this to us and feels so proud of himself.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

2020 Gift Guide for Him

Oh, hi. It's been a long and hard week over here, with work just about as intense as it gets and a saddish, halfhearted Thanksgiving to celebrate tomorrow. So, I made Matt send me all of his picks for this year's men's gift guide, which will probably serve you better anyway. He has--and is a huge fan of--most of these things already, so any questions, ask away! Hopefully this provides some inspiration for whomever you may be shopping for, because I feel like the hardest people on my list are always in this category. Wishing you guys a happy long weekend, and some fun holiday shopping. December is almost here!


1.      1. Bees Knees Spicy Honey: Matt’s new favorite condiment for pizza, wings, sandwiches, everything.

2.      2. Oofos Recovery Sandals: If you want to discuss Matt’s enthusiasm for these recovery sandals, allot 60 minutes. These saved his feet from planter fasciitis and provide tons of relief after standing for 12 hours a day. He is never not wearing these when he’s at home.

3.      3. 8-in-1 Wheelbarrow / Yard Cart / Dolly: As the name implies, a wheelbarrow, yard cart, and a dolly in one. The handiest thing for all the stuff around the yard.

4.      4. Sanitizer Box: Grabbing this to leave in the car for phones, keys, wallets, etc.

5.      5. Toilet Timer – the stocking stuffer / gag gift to benefit us all.

6.      6. Tennis Shoes-Matt saw these and really loved them.

7.      7. Phone Docking Station: a landing zone for all of his stuff before bed: phone, glasses, watch, and a place to empty pockets and to store random junk in a prettier way.

8.      8. Leatherman : Matt’s favorite purchase of the entire year. He is obsessed with this for a variety of long-winded reasons, but assures me that the man in your life needs one too.

9.      9. Meat Thermometer: One of those things that, after we got it, we said “why didn’t we get this 10 years ago?”

Thursday, November 19, 2020

2020 Gift Guide For Her

Oh hi! I'm alive! And I'm here with a gift guide, falala! Since I have little time to peruse the internet these days, I decided to just round up all of MY favorite things from the last year (and a few things on my wish list, too) to bring you inspiration for whomever you may be shopping for this year. Can we all agree pandemics are no fun and it's time to treat yourself?

1. Pillow Talk Lip Set: the color that looks amazing on everybody. This makes me feel so pretty and put together, and now comes in this handy little set for the holidays.

2. Madewell Succulent Earrings: cute and easy to wear with everything.

3. Elemis Cleansing Balm: This changed my skin. It removes all of my makeup and leaves my skin with the healthiest glow. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the Pro Collagen Marine Cream, but wait until it goes on sale.

4. Personalized Jewelry Travel Case: For back when we could travel, remember those days? Still, there are better days ahead, and this personalized travel jewelry case is just the right size with the sweetest little monogram. This has become one of my go-to gifts.

5. Audible Gift Card: The best way for me to unwind and do something for ME at the end of a long day of ring leading my circus: listening to an audio book during a 45 minute walk. I’ve been flying through books this way and love that I feel like I’m actually doing something good for my brain. If you're a mom you need to jump on board the Audible train.

6. Ultra High Rise Elation Leggings: I discovered these leggings postpartum and NEVER looked back. Yes, they’re pricey, but they. do. not. BUDGE. So flattering and look brand new despite being washed a million times. Save yourself the $20 here and there on TJ Maxx leggings (previously guilty) and invest in a quality pair like these.

7. Bow Headband: My new favorite—and easy—accessory that adds an extra dose of pizzazz to any outfit.

8. Bombas Socks: My absolute FAVORITE socks. You’ll never look back. Use this link to get 25% off of your entire purchase!

9. Brazilian Bum Bum Cream: Will forever be on every gift guide. Smells like heaven.

10. Boots: I’ve been eyeballing these for forever. They go along with my “no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” motto I’ve been trying to live by this year because my 2020 resolution was to go outside every day, no matter what.

11. Serving Board: to make the prettiest cheese or snack boards with.

12. Personalized Ring: still one of my very favorite pieces of jewelry ever. This ring is so comfortable to wear, lays super flat on your finger, and reminds me of my babies every time I look at it.


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