Monday, June 30, 2014

the end of a good thing

For a while now we've been having issues with our computer. I'll be working on something (or let's be honest, more often than not, browsing the internet) and it will just die/crash/turn off/freeze. This weekend it died on me four times while I was writing one email. Granted it was a little bit long, but still, a computer should not die like that. I turned it on this morning and it died another three times. Oh dear. 

We are going to be bidding adieu to our once trusty and faithful friend. The hubs surprised me with the computer after we were married. He opened our apartment door that he had been living in before we got married, and two steps in (we had a little apartment) he turned me to see our computer. I was so shocked and surprised; he knew I liked Macs but thought they were overpriced (true :) so I never thought he would buy one. It has lasted a good five years and ten months. 

                                       

But now, we aren't sure he can last another full day without freezing up on us -actually, we know he can't, so we're making sure everything is backed up on the external hard drive before our buddy decides to just not turn in. Sad day. 

Until we find and purchase a new computer my posts may be infrequent, short, and lacking in pictures.  Though maybe that's your favorite kind of post to read? Speaking of favorites, what are your favorite types of posts to read? What do they include? Do share! 


Friday, June 27, 2014

some thoughts on watching tv and having cable

When I was growing up my family didn't have a tv until I was probably seven or so, at least not that I can remember. Even once we had a tv, we never watched it. For our birthdays the birthday person got to pick out a movie to watch with the family and on Easter we got a movie, it was usually a Disney movie: 'Beauty and the Beast', '101 Dalmatians'...  which ever one was in the stores at the time [or was on sale I suppose]. On a rare occasion we got to watch some Tiny Toons on Saturday morning, if the station was coming in clearly. But this was so rare I think it happened all of seven times or something. I didn't know any different and didn't really care all that much about not watching tv. We played in our rooms or outside, we helped do some chores, or we read books.


Then when we moved to Papua New Guinea a few years later there was definitely no tv watching there. All we had were the videos we brought with us. A movie was saved for Friday or Saturday night and we would watch it as a family. During the days we played, read, did chores, and did our school work. I really didn't miss not having tv shows to watch, I much preferred reading and being outside.

After I graduated from high school and came back to the states for college I was shocked that nearly every dorm room contained a tv, some had two. My room was the only room on the floor [and probably the whole dorm for that matter] that had no tv. I'm not sure if my roommate anticipated me bringing a tv, but she seemed fine without one. I obviously didn't care if I had a tv or not - there were classes to study for and lots of other college things to keep my busy. Plus, if I ever wanted to watch tv I could just pop into any of the other rooms on my floor and watch a show or a movie with friends. ...oh college, you seem a lifetime ago... 

When Landon and I got married and moved to our first little apartment we had cable. I'm thinking it was included with the monthly rent. It was really the first time in my life I had access to watching tv whenever I wanted and was able to watch whatever I wanted to watch. Though I worked and stayed busy during the day it was nice to have at night because Landon would usually spend his evenings studying on campus or in our apartment so it gave me something to do, kept me from bugging him all the time if he was home, and it kept me company -as sad as that may seem, it's the truth.

Over the next few years we had cable off and on. If there was a good deal, we'd sign up for it and when the company raised their prices, we would cancel it. Really, we just needed it for basketball season. So as long as we had it then, things were good. We had it when Emerson was born, for which I was so thankful as all I did was sit on the couch and nurse him for the first six months of his life. ...or so it seemed.

Anyhow. We haven't had cable for a while now; when we moved to Illinois we decided it was a luxury and wouldn't fit in the budget. But now... after looking at our internet bill, our budget, and what an internet and cable bill would be, we realize that it would only cost a few extra dollars each month to have both. So, just recently we have thrown the idea of getting cable around. But I don't know. We don't need cable [though, who really needs it?] and am happy without it. But then there are times it would be nice to just plop on the couch and be mindless for a bit, to be entertained by shows and what not. And of course, for basketball... Who knows if we'll get it or not, but that's what's going on around here these days. Exciting stuff, I know.

Do you have cable? What are the perks for you of having it? Or, do you not have cable? Do you like not having it? Did you grow up being able to watch tv? What do you do when it comes to letting your little ones watch tv? ...just wondering :)

Have a happy weekend you all!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

now I lay you down to sleep

Shortly after Emerson was born and was waking once every two hours to eat during the night [and during the day for that matter] I knew that I not only needed to but wanted to start getting us both sleeping better through the night and for Emerson to be taking regular naps during the day. I was only a little sleep deprived during those first few days weeks months. I had talked to friends and read many a book and blog about how to teach your baby to sleep better at night and during the day. I also knew that for both of our well beings I needed to start a routine sooner rather than later. Plus, I was used to school bells running my life and was having a rough time adjusting to life without a set schedule. I need routine. So I decided to make one at home for me and the babe and try to start sleep training him. I realize this post/link up is about toddlers sleeping, but we started a routine when he was a wee one so I just have that to go by. 

Once Emerson was old enough to bathe, I started giving him a bath each night, reading a Bible story and a few other books to him, then I'd nurse him and lay him down for the night [so basically for the next two hours until he would wake up hungry]. I was consistent with his bed time routine and soon he was used to the routine as well.

Nap time was a little bit different. We stuck to a "Baby Wise" eat, play, sleep routine and it worked for us. I figured out how much time after he finished eating until he would start to be sleepy and then I'd ready him a story and lay him down for a nap. In the beginning he would fight it a little [or a lot] bit, but with patience, prayer, and persistence he was finally falling asleep on his own and sleeping in his bed. I found a book that I read every day at every nap time; it was short enough so that he wouldn't conk out while I was reading it to him and long enough that he would be nearly asleep by the time I finished reading. This book with cute little Pip the Penguin is what helped us have no more crying and tears at nap time. 


Because we started a nap and bed time routine when he was so small it has helped him fall asleep on his own and without a fight these days. Any more I let him pick a book to read at nap time and after we read it together I give him a kiss and lay him down. Usually he'll go right down without a peep; sometimes he'll fuss for all of five seconds and then he's out. 

We still have the same bedtime routine, I stopped letting him nurse to put himself asleep when he was around five or six months and just fed him before his bath. But the routine is the same: he gets a bath, we brush his teeth and hair, read a Bible story together, he chooses another book to read [though these days he just toddles around his room while we read stories], say prayers, give hugs and kisses, I'll sing him a song, then I lay him down for the night. And down he goes without a fight. If for some reason he wakes up in the middle of the night we will usually sooth himself back to sleep. Though there have been times when he's woken up screaming and I go in to rock with him for a him to calm him down. It's rare, but it happens. 

I'm definitely no expert on this matter, and it took us quite a while before he slept through the night, but as far as getting him to sleep on his own I think the key thing for us was to start getting him in a routine from when he was just a wee lad and being consistent with his routine. And thankfully we don't have to battle with him when it comes to bed time. 

What are some of the things you do for bed time and nap time? What ideas or thoughts do you have to share when it comes to getting your toddler to bed? I'd love it if you'd share! 

I have enjoyed doing this series so much with all of you and am so thankful for Sarah and Heather for all of their hard work! Even though this is coming to a close today we are doing a round two and I couldn't be more excited to share more of our stories and insight with each other. I know I've learned so much from all you mamas; I hope you've enjoyed it too! 





From Here to EternityWords About Waverly
my delicious adventure Photobucket
My Delicious Adventure                  The Life Of Faith
Running From The LawThe Olive Tree
         

May 8:          Taming the Temper Tantrums
May 15:        Weaning from Breastfeeding or From Formula to Cow’s Milk 
May 22:        Dealing with Mommy Guilt
May 29:        When People Share Their Opinions and How to Lovingly Handle it
June 5:         Traveling with your Toddler
June 12:       How to get your toddler to eat their veggies…or their food at all
June 19:       How to make time to blog in the busyness of motherhood
June 26:       Bedtime Battles (nap or bedtime)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

after dinner strolls

One of my favorite things to do as a family is to go on walks. Even Boady is enjoying our walks occasionally these days. I'm thankful to live in a neighborhood with nice sidewalks and a really nice park for Emerson. Though, most of the time he just wants to 'walk' Boady more than he wants to play. So he does.


Sort of.


I love the days we are able to go out after dinner for a little stroll. It's just a really lovely way to end the day.


And if we stop to let Emerson walk Boady, he is learning to take it very seriously. Walking a dog is no simple task you know.



Is there something you love to do as a family? Do you get to do it often? Once a week?   


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

come on in

Since getting married about five and a half years ago the hubs and I have called a number of different places home. Our first home together was a little one bedroom apartment in College Station, Texas. It was really actually pretty nice -apart for the tiny kitchen it had ample space for the two of us and I only had to be a little creative with storage space -mostly kitchen storage.


Our second home was in Louisville, Kentucky and it was pretty special as well. During the time we lived in Louisville, we also had long stints of living else where: California and Virginia. In both places we had nice little one bedroom apartments.


One thing that I realized as we moved away and into our new home here in Illinois, is that I did a pretty poor job when it came to taking pictures of our homes. Because there are always so many fond memories in each home I wanted to make sure I didn't do the same thing again. So I have slowly been taking pictures of our Illinois home.


This is our living room, obviously, you all are bright so I'm sure you've figured that out already. It's simple and there's not too much to it, but it's home for us.

 
I've never been one with a talent for decorating so decorations are minimal . Though, I dream about what it would be like to have a perfectly decorated room [house]. Maybe if I was willing/able/decisive enough to spend money on decorations and such it would be a different story, but I always have trouble doing that, so I just don't. Which is probably a good thing for our current budget.


I occasionally find myself dreaming about the future - our future home. I think about what it would be like to have a forever home. To not have to pack up and move, again. To be settled. I think about what our house would look like, be like. I think about how fun it would be to actually invest and get some items to make it look put together, a little nicer, a little more Pintrest-y. And I wonder when that day might come? Five years? Ten years? I know we won't be in Illinois for long [hopefully], what will come next?


After moving around my whole life it would be nice to be settled. To have a home that our children grow up in, move away to college from, bring their own families to one day. A home that they know will always be there. I know a house doesn't make a home, it's the people, family, love, laughter, and memories that are made that make it a home. But I still can help but think about what our permanent home might be like.


I always like to see the inside of homes. It shows so much about a person and it's just fun to see all of the different houses and ways to decorate. I sometimes wish I could go into a house just to take a look around, see what it look like, ya know?


Anyhow, thanks for stopping by and hanging out for a bit today. Maybe soon we'll make our way into the kitchen [once I can get it cleaned up for some pictures :] and we can have some cookies and coffee or tea or milk... or anything you like really.



Monday, June 23, 2014

a little weekend and a backyard : playing outside

For the past few months we have been talking about getting a little [big] outside toy for Emerson. He loves to be outside and so do we. We are so thankful for a small fenced in backyard [especially in the winter when it is freezing so we don't have to decide who has to take the dog out :] to enjoy at our leisure. One especially nice thing about our backyard is that it gets the morning sun and afternoon shade. It couldn't be more perfect. 


In Louisville we had a huge yard and nice patio area, but we were hardly able to enjoy it because the mosquitoes would eat you up in no time. I'm always been one to get more than the average number of bug bites, all I had to do in Louisville was step outside for five minutes and I would be covered. Obviously, not quite ideal, especially for little ones. But here? No bugs. We can sit outside for hours and not get one nibble [hopefully me actually saying this doesn't bring them on full force now]. It couldn't be more perfect. Combine that with the afternoon shade and cool breeze and all I want to do is sit outside. 



But, when you have a munchkin running around and have to keep an eye on for fear of him eating dog poop, it's not quite as relaxing. Eh. Such is life. But, because we have such a great little outdoor space and Emerson loves being outside so much, we decided to get him a treat. Like, a big treat. Probably the biggest thing we've gotten for him. We really haven't gotten many toys for him. I'm pretty sure we have only gotten him about three or four toys since the start of his little life; which helped make getting a toy a little easier. Kind of. 
 

We talked and talked about getting him an outdoor toy for a long time, but never did anything about it. We are cheap and didn't want to spend money on something he wouldn't like. Then, after he played in a cousin's sandbox last week and loved it, we decided to get him one of his own [and pray that he would like it just as much]. We want him to be outside as much as possible, running around, using his imagination, and getting fresh air that is so good for him. 

 
We found a deal and used some coupons and splurged on a sandbox for him. We talked about getting a small cheap swimming pool and filling it with sand, but as windy as it gets here we didn't think a tarp could hold the sand in. 


After filling it with sand he climbed right in for all of five minutes and then proceeded to sweep the grass with our big broom. The next day he played for a few minutes and after discovering my drink, decided he would rather walk around the yard while holding and 'drinking' my water -though more than half of it ended up on him. Maybe by the end of the summer he'll love it more? Maybe next summer? He'd better, that's all I can say about that ;)


Do you spend lots of time outside with your little one[s]? What do they love to do the most outside? 



Friday, June 20, 2014

father's day, swimming, and chillaxing :)

The other day mentioned how we went and spent several days with Landon's family and even shared some of my attachment issues. Thank you all for your sweet and encouraging words! I appreciate them so much. While I know I have the little attachment battle going on in my head, I still very much enjoy spending time with Landon's family. They are all so warm and welcoming and have made me a part of the family. We will never be in want or need of anything: be it prayer, love, or support. 


It was nice to be able to spend Father's Day weekend with family. Landon and I are pretty simple and cheap, so most likely we would have stayed home and done nothing had we not been visiting family. We planned on going to church that morning, but ended up just taking a handsome little fellow to Sunday School so my mother-in-law could show him off to all of her friends. It just so happened that church started at the same time as Emerson's nap. Neither of us were too keen on having a cranky baby for the day and knew he wouldn't sleep in the nursery [or probably even stay in there in the first place], so I stayed at the house with him during his nap while everyone else went off to church. I can't say I was sad about not being there... is that bad? I was able to enjoy a really good devotional time, so I'd say all things are good in the end. 


Emerson is one blessed little boy to have Landon as his daddy. While he still doesn't say Dada, he knows Landon and loves his hugs, kisses, and play time with him. Every night before bed he is attacked with kisses from Landon. E squeals and giggles and always asks for more. It is so sweet.
 
Emerson, Landon, Landon's dad, and Landon's mom's dad all on Father's Day

Emerson was passed around a lot that Sunday afternoon. It was really funny to see how he would go to come people, but not to others. He was taken with Landon's cousin and laid with him for the longest time. But some aunts, uncles, and grandmas.... he wanted nothing to do with. I wonder why that is?

Emerson's little folded arms in this picture kill. me. I die, he's so cute.  

  
 Emerson's gift to Landon: laying with him. He is never still, and it is all Landon ever wants. So, they had a nice little cuddle. 

On Monday afternoon we went for a little swim. Emerson wasn't really to sure what to make of the water... actually, he really didn't care for it. And he really didn't like the float. We are hoping that he will more of a fan when we are on vacation next month!  


He did however LOVE watching Landon and his sister jump off the diving board. As soon as they popped their head out of the water Emerson would squeal in delight, sign 'more', and say what sounded like 'do it again' only, most definitely not that clear. Their jumping was a great distraction to get him in his float.



We decided to bring him back to the house and let him play in the little pool his grammy and poppy bought him. See what I mean? We will never want for anything!

So, while he was playing in his little pool m noticed the water become kind of cloudy and said as much. Right after this picture was taken, actually. As it turns out it got cloudy so quickly because a little someone ... ya know.

Mamas, here is what I want to know: do the swim diapers you use actually hold what they are supposed to? Because this one apparently didn't. Thankfully we were just at home and not in a public swimming area... but I was under the impression they worked well? Do any of you have any advice/tips/tricks when it comes to swim diapers? I'm now a little worried that this will happen again -when we are in a big pool with lots of people, and that would be just awful! Suggestions and comments are most welcome!


All in all we had a really sweet visit with family. It was the perfect length of a trip and we were all able to enjoy our selves. I even got to lay out in the hammock one morning and read. Blissful.

 

 I have a feeling this weekend will be a quite one spent at home, which is fine by me. I hope you all have a happy weekend!