Thursday, June 22, 2017

Oliver is two

Oliver celebrated his second birthday nearly two weeks ago now, so I thought I'd get his little birthday letter up. Maybe this letter will inspire me to get Emerson's fourth birthday letter up [since you know, he turned for in January!]. But today is all about Oliver . . .


Today you are two years old! It's a little crazy to think it has been a whole two years since you came into this world, where has the time gone? But at the same time, it seems like you have been with us for so much longer. It's amazing how time works like that.

You are a blessing and a joy and I love spending my days with you. It seems as though just recently your little personality has just popped. You've always shown us who you are, but in the last month or so you're a whole new little boy. Maybe it's due to the fact that you are growing into more of a little boy than you are a baby, or being in a new house in a new place is good for you, or you're feeling better all of the time these days. Whatever it may be, I love it!

Your favorite things include: snacks [all the live long day], watching shows - especially Paw Patrol, Daniel Tiger, and Curious George, being outside, coloring [crayons/paint/chalk... doesn't matter], reading books, playing with toys - especially farm animals and Paw Patrol pups, your blankie and paci [you drag that thing around all day every day and hate parting with it, your paci is mostly just in bed now. mostly . . . we're working on it . . . ], cuddling with mama, looking out the window, spotting turkeys or bunnies in our yard, and stickers.

Right now you are a boy of very few words. Your limited vocabulary includes: Ma [how you say mama], Da Da, ba ba [bubble], pa-pa [for Paw Patrol], Daa Daa [for Daniel Tiger], eesh [please], Rubble [again, you're pretty smitten with that Paw Patrol ;], baba [balloon], don [done], and those are the main ones in rotation right now. When you see a picture of Peppa Pig you snort to let me know that's what you want - the book, picture, box, or show if we happen to have the DVD at home. You said "breakfast" the other morning when I told you breakfast was ready, when opening one of your birthday presents you said, "a present!" You have said a few other words and phrases here and there, but these ones are pretty much all your words right now. No one else would understand you, but you say: "here I am!" and "there he is!" - we play peek a boo a lot. I pray for your words to start flowing from your lips and I know that they will, soon, and then I will be trying to remember what the days were like before you talked non-stop ;) For having such a limited vocabulary though, you sure know how to get your point across and let us know what you want [most of the time - especially when you aren't bucked in your seat at the table]. You will either walk to where/what you want and get it yourself, point to it if you can't reach it so I can get it for you, or you take me by my hand and walk me to where/what you want and then put my hand right on it or point and "uh uh" if you can't reach it. When we are playing you do the same, if I'm playing with something the wrong way or playing with the wrong toy, you'll take my hand and put it on the thing you want me to have. You have a few signs up your sleeve: more, please, sorry, bird, drink, food, airplane, all done, and help. Your face is so expressive and you use your hands to gesture a lot too, like raising them in the air for "where" or clasping them together to pray, or covering your eyes to play peek-a-boo.

You love one on one play or reading books. You pour over and study the pictures. Animals are your favorite to look at, especially farm animals, and you'll choose most any animal book you see. Lift the flap books are one of your favorites, and you love to play "where is _____ ?" when we read together. Doreen Cronin's books are your absolute favorite, I can't even tell you how many times we've read "Dooby Dooby Moo" or her others. When we play you love to put a toy in my hand and move it how you want it to go and die laughing when I make the toys interact with each other. Even though you prefer playing with me, or sometimes Emerson [though right now you two still haven't mastered the playing together nicely most of the time skill], you are really good at independent play. I've caught you stilling in your bedroom playing with your horses or pups or cars or building towers. You take your horses for gallops around your room by crawling around on the floor, a horse in each hand. You love to play, I love to watch you play. Emerson never played like you do and has only to play like that recently, but you play and it's the sweetest.

Outside is one of  your favorite places to be, but when you're ready to come inside, you're ready to come inside. We've even been at the park before and you've walked over to the car because you're done playing and ready to cool down, have a snack, and a drink. You love bubbles and drawing with chalk [or drawing in general ;] and would do that all day if you could. We were gifted with a bubble machine in May and a certain little boy broke it [ahem... ] so you got a replacement as one of your birthday gifts, it broke just shy of you having it for a week [ahem ...]. I'm really tempted to get you another one, a more durable looking one, but they take tons of batteries and if you break it that's $10 gone so for now we're sticking with bubbles wands, which you love just as much. It's all good.

Since your days as a brand new babe, you've been a pretty good sleeper and I just pray that continues! Right now you go down to bed between 7 and 7:30 and I usually don't get you up until 8 in the morning. You usually wake up before then, but play quietly in your bed. I'm not sure when it started, but now there are a few toys and books in your bed and you play and read before you fall asleep and once you wake up. I'm not sure what your sleep will look like once you're not in your crib any more - but hopefully that day won't come too soon.

You are one picky eater and it drives me bonkers! I never know what to feed you. I give you what I fix for dinner or lunch, but a lot of the time you end up eating plain bread and applesauce. Though you like Mexican rice and jambalaya so, I don't even know. I'm trying to figure out at what point you get what you get and that's it. The few times I've done that you've just marched into the pantry and helped yourself to the box of Cheerios, so yeah. Help! Also, please just eat what I fix, it would make my life so much easier. You love to snack and it seems as though you snack all the live long day [maybe that's why you don't eat well at meals?]. But if I don't give you snacks you get mad and then you still don't eat your meal. I just don't know. [This is where I welcome all of the feeding toddlers tips and tricks and advice. For the real.] For breakfast every morning you eat a big bowl of steel cut oats. They must be steel cut with brown sugar. Any other way and it's not going to fly. haha.

because at GeGe's house you can eat your oatmeal however you want . . .

For the most part you like your big brother, but your relationship is special. Sometimes you love him and he cracks you up and you play sweetly together, but more often than not you're hollering because he's making you angry or taking your toy or something. I just pray that you'll be the best of friends when you get a little bigger.

Things you don't like include going grocery shopping or to any store for that matter. Our shopping trips are always very loud and wild adventures and we get the attention of everyone in the store thanks to you and your brother. Bath time is iffy for you - you mostly hate them and scream in protest [have you ever tried to bathe a screaming toddler? It's not fun] for the most part you hate them, but the last week or so you've been happy to take one and have even played in the water. Let's hope that continues. You hate having your diaper changed - there are more important things you have to do, you know. And not getting what you want makes you so angry. Oh man. But in general, you are a very happy and chill little guy.

We're having to wait to take you in for your two year well check because of new job/changing insurance reasons, and I hate that so I don't know your stats or anything like that. But we went to the doctor for other reasons about a month before your birthday and you were about 21 pounds, your height I'm not sure about. I suppose I could measure you myself, but I just haven't. haha. You are healthy and growing though so we are thankful for that. You've had another rough year health wise, in and out of the doctor more than I care for, but you have been in good health since our move and I'm praying it continues. Maybe you were just allergic to Illinois or our house there? Hopefully Kansas is good to you health wise.

Speaking of moving... You moved! We moved about one month before your birthday from Champaign, Illinois to a Little Town in Kansas. We had a crazy few weeks before the move and of course the week of the move was nuts too, but you did really well. Adjusting was a bit hard at first, though I think that was mostly because I was busy unpacking and your GeGe and Poppy tried to keep you entertained - you just missed me and our usually daily happenings. You love having a bedroom of your own now and you love running around our new home. Hopefully it's the last time we move.

Oliver, you are such a blessing and a joy. I love your sweet little personality so much and am just so very thankful for you. I want to remember everything about you at this age and sometimes wish you didn't have to grow up - but you do and I know that will be good too. My prayer for you is that you will love Jesus and seek after him all of your days, that you are a God-fearing man, and that you are filled with generosity, wisdom, and courage. I love you so much.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

coffee date

Let's pretend for a minute or more that we're having coffee together, because who doesn't like a good little coffee date? I think today I'd pick an iced coffee, I hear there's a new coconut drink at Starbucks, so that might be my pick. Anyhow, if we were having coffee today I'd probably tell you . . . 

I think Emerson is trying to kill me. The boy does.not.listen. He doesn't listen. No amounts of time-out, spankings, taking his favorite toy or book away, or reward stick charts work. Nothing. I mean, the kid laughs when I spank him. He laughs. He plays when he's in time-out and says that he doesn't want a sticker. Oh my goodness. We manage though the days, but come nap and night time it's a whole other story. Then it's just me trying not to curse or hurt him. It's not healthy. He thinks it's great fun to get out of his bed and leave his room - over and over and over again. I can't even tell you how many times I've put him back in bed. Sheesh. This morning when I got out of the bathroom, he was in our bedroom! Landon didn't even know it and as soon as I opened the door, Emerson saw me and bolted for his room. Only to emerge a few minutes later. I love him, but he makes me crazy. Four is not better than three. What do I do?!?! 

Finding a balance and routine is hard. I'm trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done, but it seems like now more than ever before there is so much to do. The laundry [more of it - how?!], ironing which I now have to do because Landon has a real job and no time for ironing his own clothes, meals, cleaning, spending quality time with the boys, sorting out bills and insurance that seem never ending, assembling furniture, making returns to various stores, getting the boys to bed at a decent hour, blogging - something I love to do and enjoy - is something I can't do as much because there are all these other things piling up. And Landon is working all the time so everything falls on me. It's hard. 

Our backyard makes me happy. We have a really nice shaded area and Oliver got some fun outdoor toys for his birthday so we don't even have to go to the park for fun play time. The boys love playing outside and I love the wind and the shade so we can without feeling gross after two minutes of being outside. Also, I saw a deer the other night in our yard, so there's that. 

I have anxiety problems. I'm afraid someone will break in when Landon is away traveling. I'm afraid something will happen to the boys if I go away [like if I were to agree to go away for a night or weekend or even a dinner date]. Even if the boys would be with loved and trusted people. I worry something would happen me if I were to leave them. Not that I have opportunity to leave them, but Landon's mentioned it several times and I just can't. I get all worried and anxious. He laughs and tells me it'll all be fine, and I know it will be. But that doesn't change or take away my anxiety. 

Oliver turned two on Saturday. I've been working on a little two year post for him for about a week now. My biggest hold up is the pictures. Apparently the storage on my computer is full [again] and I have to clear some space off so I can upload new pictures. But I have such a hard time deleting copious amounts of pictures from my computer even if they are backed up else where. 

My computer is pretty great, except the fact that it has no storage. I mean, I just deleted tons of pictures and other stuff and haven't added very much to it at all since doing so, and it's already full. It's just frustrating. The computer still works for the most part so I don't really need a new one. It would just be really nice to have one with a lot more storage than my current one has. Is that a good enough reason to justify getting a new laptop? Please say yes :) 

The longer I sit and stare at our bare walls and such, the more I know what I want to go on them - now it's just a matter of finding those things. There's also this bookshelf that I no longer need to use for all of my books and it has become our catch all place and it's driving me bonkers. We're waiting for one final piece of furniture to arrive and when it does I'll be able to move a lot of the catch all stuff to the other piece and it won't look nearly as cluttered and it will actually be organized and have purpose in it's new home. But in the mean time the clutter is making me crazy. 

Have you ever tried eMeals? I've looked at it before and have always loved the idea of it. Someone else planning my meals? And a grocery list and recipes are included? Sign me up! But some of us in this house are picky eaters [not to mention names] and from the sample menus I've seen it doesn't look like it would work for our family. But oh my goodness, I just want to sign up, and cook that meal for dinner and not have to think about it. And if someone doesn't like it, tough beans baby. But of course I can't do that. How do I make my picky eaters not picky anymore?! Help me. 

Thanks for a coffee date and letting me spill my guts to you. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

home decor inspiration

So we have this house, the unpacking is done. The settling in is happening. The living is being done on the daily. We are loving our new home and are already making life happen in a few days we even get to celebrate our first birthday in our new home! I can't wait - but actually I can because I really feel like Oliver's second birthday has snuck up on me and how in the world is he going to be two on Saturday?! Also, nothing is really ready for his birthday and I'm really tempted to go the easy route this year and order him a cake. Which of course I can't bring myself to do because I've never done that before so I feel like he'd be gipped and also he can't have dairy which all store bought cakes have. So there's that. I'll get my grocery shopping game on tomorrow and grab the necessities for his special day and then I'll get working ;)

Anyhow, as I said, we are settling in and enjoying our new home. But there is one thing that is still missing and that is the actual decor part. The walls are bare and there are no sweet little decor items out and about to help bring warmth and personality to our home. I have an idea for what I'm wanting but it's so hard to find it and then of course I think I'm just scared to take the plunge, buy the things and hang them up. Where do you even begin? It doesn't help that I'm used to having bare walls and little decor since our last house was exactly that way, but I have an itch to decorate these walls and make it pretty in here. All advice is welcome :)

In my thinking and looking at what I'm wanting done I've found a few bits of inspiration so I thought I'd share them here.

I couldn't resist the fall decor at Hobby Lobby any longer.:

My gallery wall in our kitchen. I'm @colewifey on IG . Come follow me and see how I continue to decorate our new home:

Rustic Glam Gallery Wall by Ellery Designs:

We crashed a friends house and built her a wide plank wall for under $100 and got it done in a few hours! Here's the tutorial and video to create your own!:

Lots of fun ideas and thoughts are floating round my head right now. Hopefully I'll be able to pull them off and make them look just as I hope! :) What tips or tricks do you have when it comes to decorating your house? 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

five randoms

For today there are just a few randoms I have the itch to share, so here goes . . .

an unrelated picture because every post need a picture, am I right? ;) 
also, I love this little nugget! 

one. Aldi
I hate shopping at Aldi. There. I said it. Sure, I know they're prices are impossible to beat and that you save a bunch of money when you shop there, but I still hate shopping there. Before we moved to Kansas I primarily shopped there and at another discount grocery store in town, and I just hated them both. Landon's parents knew this and teased Landon about letting me shop at a "real" grocery store once we moved and he had a real job again, to which Landon agreed. But even still, he talks about how much cheaper Aldi is [it is] and how we should shop there - and how he will shop there after his crazy schedule ends. Ugh. I don't mind grocery shopping, I just don't want to do it there. Does that make me a bad person? All I want is to go to one store and get everything I need for the week, which I can't do at Aldi. sheesh. He's got a lot on his plate and doesn't have the time to get groceries, and it's something I kind of like - if I can go to an actual grocery store and the boy are behaving ;)

two. dinner time
Landon has been working crazy hours lately and this has resulted in him getting home later, that's all fine and good and I understand that. The part about it that I'm not crazy about - fixing two dinners. One for the boys at dinner time, and one for him when he gets home. If you have an idea for ways that I only have to fix one dinner a day, please share them; I'm all ears. It doesn't help that the little ones are somewhat finicky eaters, as is Landon, so fixing a casserole or throwing some stuff in the crockpot isn't really an easy fix for me. And then, there come the issue, do I eat with the boys or do I wait for Landon to come home and eat dinner with him when it's much later? Oh the decisions . . .

three. June 
It's June, you guys! How on earth is it already June?! In just a few short days Oliver will be celebrating his second birthday! How is this possible?! It's really snuck up on me and now I'm over here trying to figure out what kind of theme to have for his birthday and figure out what to do for his cake. He has a few loves in his life, and I'm just trying to figure out which way to go with it. I'm also trying to figure out what to get him for his birthday, I have some ideas, but am trying to narrow it down. He loves to be outside, so I'm thinking outdoor toys would be a good choice. But what ones? We have a sandbox and that's about it. I'd love to get a playset for him [and Emerson] but they are apparently too labor intensive and the hubs just doesn't have time for that right now. sigh. So other fun ideas?

four. routine
Even though the boys and I spent our days at home before the move, our days seem different here and I'm still trying to figure out how to fill them while adding routine to them. I know it will come with time and I'm not too worried about it, it's just something floating around my mind these days, much like the other things I've been sharing.

five. decorating 
Our boxes are unpacked and we are settling into our new home. The only thing left to do is to really decorate our home. Something I feel like I have never really been able to do before. I'm excited to find pieces for our home and hang things on the walls to add warmth. I'm sure it will take time, but man I'm just so ready to just go buy the things I like and hang them up! Then I feel like really settled. In the mean time, I'm enjoying thinking about what will go where and how I'll make it look. The few pieces I do have, I've realized my taste has changed and few things I do have don't really fit any more, I'm just not sure what to do with them any more. Just more fun to be had figuring it all out I suppose. :)

Anyhow. That's all I've got for today. Have a happy weekend, friends!