Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Schmonday...I Nailed It!

Usually Mondays are a little rough.  Both Liam & I have a hard time adjusting to Daddy being back at work, and it takes awhile to get in our own little groove again.  Well not today!  I owned this Monday!  I just nailed motherhood & life in general.  This is a day to be celebrated!  Please, please, please bring my more days like this!

I want to savor every last minute of today (and the last drops of my wine), so I'll keep this to a condensed version of the highlights:  

Liam slept in and then spent the morning coloring, so I was able to actually relax and sip (instead of chug) my cup of tea.  Early afternoon trip to the Children's Museum where I can into some friends from my toddler La Leche League group!  Impromptu mommy time is the best!  Liam was mostly excited about the drinking fountain...he's still working on how to use it exactly.  Sometimes he misses his mouth...

Home for lunch, where Liam actually sat on the counter and helped me cook!  In the past, he has spent his time in the kitchen whining & holding onto my legs, but now he loves to be a part of the action and help with whatever I'll let him get his chubby hands on.  Today's official job: cheese grater.  He even sat down at the table with me and ate a good portion of the quesadillas I served up!  Naptime followed and was much much shorter than I would have liked, but I wasn't about to let anything spoil our happy (whine & tear free) day!

As soon as he woke up, I threw on my running shoes and headed to the gym.  I dropped Liam off at the daycare and to my surprise he didn't cry!  I kissed him goodbye and told him and I was going for a run but would be back soon.  "Mommy back soon," he said back to me; he finally gets it!  I busted out a 4 mile run (in 38 minutes, toot toot) and got back to the daycare as soon as I could.  To my absolute amazement, Liam had a huge smile on his face and was playing with blocks.  This was a first!  They told me that he didn't cry once!  He was happy to see me, but was pretty focused on building a tower.  The silly boy didn't want to leave!  I told him we would be back tomorrow, so he waved and said "buh bye friends!"  Mama fit in a workout & Liam played with friends!  Winning!  If he continues to enjoy daycare, I will feel more comfortable doing longer workouts and finally getting back into yoga & spinning!  Now I can actually look forward to this part of our day, instead of feeling guilty about leaving him!

After a quick trip to the grocery store for dinner ingredients, we played away the rainy afternoon in the playroom.  I built quite possibly my best train track yet!  Giggles & "choo choos" were in no short supply until Conor arrived home!  We cooked dinner together (this divine little pasta recipe with grilled chicken on top), and again Liam devoured more than I thought his little stomach could handle!    When Liam eat, the rest of the family can eat.  This was a huge dinnertime success!

A glass of wine was poured, I showered while Conor bathed Liam, 
& then I nursed that sweet boy to sleep in record time!  
Monday April 28th, you were good to me!  
Let's keep this happy train rolling through the rest of the week!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

21 Months Old

Only a few more monthly updates left (I think I will stop when he hits 2)!  I was looking back at his older monthly photos and thank goodness I finally cut his hair!  While it took me awhile to adjust to his new look, I think he looks much more handsome now (albeit also ten times older).  That baby hair was getting a little ridiculous in the last few months.  Okay, commence the bragging...

Favorite Foods:  He continues to eat a little bit more, but not like all the other toddlers I know.  He's particularly fond of quesadilla's "dee-a's", pizza, canadian bacon, smoothie's, & hummus.  He's typically not interested in what I'm eating but will occasionally crawl onto my lap towards the end of dinner and sometimes take a few bites.  He actually put back quite a bit of steak the other night, and I was thoroughly impressed!  If he doesn't want to eat, meal time can be very challenging..  It looks a little something like: refusing to sit in his own chair, so mom's lap it is, wants to use mom's utensils to play with her food but still not eat, hang on mom's back, crawl down, tug on mom's arm while cry-whining, beg mom to come play until I finally do.  Let's just say I can eat fast.  Very fast.  Finishing my entire stuffed burger before Conor has finished loading up his plate fast!

Breastfeeding:  Nursing for naptime, bedtime, through the night, and sometimes one other afternoon session.  He's held this routine for the past couple of months and it doesn't appear to be changing soon.  I continue to love our breastfeeding relationship and those extra snuggly moments.  One day at the zoo he continued to ask for "Nini", so I decided to nurse him on a bench by the apes.  Since that visit, he thinks he now always has to nurse when he gets to the apes!  It cracks me up that he made this association after just one time!

New Words Phrases:  Liam's vocabulary continues to grow like crazy!  He frequently uses 4+ words together and is developing some signature phrases!  He says lots of "I did it!" & "That's funny!"  He also uses the word "pretty" and it is so sweet coming from his little lips.  Sometimes mommy is pretty or her flowers are pretty.  Sometimes it's Daddy or even Liam that are pretty.  He still talks in the 3rd person occasionally, which is adorable too!  He knows almost everyone's name in the neighborhood and loves shouting them out!  

Sleep:  Somewhat exciting things here!  Liam is officially starting the night in a big boy bed!  The change was extremely easy; we just put his bed together one weekend and then told him we would be going "night night" in the big bed!  He's been excited about it every since.  We nap in his bed together, and I put him to sleep in his bed too.  Once he wakes up for the first (or sometimes second time), we still bring him to our bed.  We've gotten a few 3 or 4 hours stretches from him, but in general he still wakes up fairly frequently.  Still waiting for the day that he decides a stay down for a solid 6+ hours!  He's also doing better sleeping next to me, instead of on top of me; so, I am sleeping much better and my back isn't nearly as sore in the morning!

Favorite Interests:  We have been spending as much time outside as possible!  He's either on his wiggle car, digging in the dirt, running down a grassy hill, or coloring with sidewalk chalk.  If he's not outside, he wants to be at the sink "washing hands".  He is a super clean kid, but he loves running his hands under the faucet and trying to sneak a cup or bowl in there as well so he can make a big watery mess!  However, books are still his most favorite thing!  He is starting to memorize many of his favorites and will sometimes "read" to himself.  This is especially true for Go, Dog, Go!  I love watching him flip through the pages and trying to "read" everything that he can possibly remember from that page.  

Potty Training:  No big developments here.  He voluntarily sits on his potty now, especially if I am going potty.  However, he refuses to sit on it naked!  Flat out refuses!  He's a by the rules kind of guy; therefore, he always wants a diaper on.  He's waking up from his naps dry about half the time, but will not sit on that potty bare bottomed afterwards.  Hoping this changes soon, but we're letting him do it on his own time.

His little mind is working like crazy these days.  He knows all his colors (although he often mixes up blue & green as well as yellow & red).  He counts to three and occasionally five (but almost never says the number four).  L loves spelling out his name, but still needs help remembering all those letters!

He's starting to ask for what he wants whether it be a particular food or activity.  He lets me know if he's up for the zoo or aquarium or park.  I love how much we can communicate.  I now have to prepare him for transitions, so I typically tell him the next 2 or 3 things that we will be doing.  He fights me hard on diaper changes as well as getting dressed or undressed.  Those are the most exhausting daily activities for me.  Hoping this phase ends shortly.

This month he has already been much more attached to me than usual.  I'm not sure if it's just a stage he's going through, or if it has been brought on by going to the gym daycare and being separated from me for a small bit during the day.  He's also started to show his sensitive side, especially when playing with friends.  He is such a gentle boy who loves to share, but can easily get upset by others who are a little rough.  He's the youngest of the kids in the neighborhood, but I think it will help toughen him up.  I love his spirit and how sweet & caring he is.

Both Conor & I are so proud of the little boy he is becoming.  Each new day we continue to be fascinated with him.  Excited for what this next month will bring!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's the Little Things hearing your child's first spontaneous "I love you!"

It was Monday, April 21st, 2014.
He had just woken up from a long nap that was spent sleeping on my chest.

Liam: Mommy, up!
Laura: Yes, we will get up.
short pause
Liam: I love you.
Laura: (huge smile)
Laura:  I love you too!

Then many I love you's followed.
And hopefully they continue each day for the rest of my life.

Thanks to Ashley & Jess for the link up!

Sadie Sky Boutique

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

Amazing.  Our Easter was amazing!  Liam continues to bring a extra amount of excitement & joy to each day but especially to the holidays!  He loved every minute of it, which makes me believe that he has his mama's holiday-lovin' heart!  He hunted eggs, ate far more chocolate than any almost 2 year old should, & ran all over the place in his "new shoes"!
Saturday we attempted our first ever naturally dyed eggs, and they turned out beautifully!  I followed this method and was quite impressed with how easy it was.  Conor was quite skeptical but pleasantly surprised at the end.  Who knew red cabbage makes a blue dye?!  I will be dying eggs the natural way from on and can't wait to try out more colors next year.  Stuff like this makes my little hippie heart so happy!
That night, Liam planted jellybeans with the neighbor girls in hopes of waking up to some suckers...  This was obviously way over his head, but he enjoyed the planting nonetheless!  As I tucked him into bed that night, but I was full of excitement for what the next day was going to bring.  Liam had no idea that the following day would be full of surprises!  I slept horribly and woke up early, because I just couldn't wait to get all the fun started!

I snuck out of bed to go "grow" the suckers only to find the neighbor girls already outside...  They informed me that Liam should have woken up earlier if he wanted some suckers, ha!  We had to explain to them that sometimes plants don't all grow at the same time, and that some still might be appearing in our yard later that morning, phew!  Upon waking, Liam ran right outside to harvest his treats!  Candy before 9am...? Or, really, just candy in general...?  Why not, it's Easter!
Conor spent the first part of the morning making quiche for brunch and then hiding eggs with some of the neighbors for the big hunt!  I could not handle the cuteness that was Liam after getting him dressed for the day!  Bow tie & Salt Water Sandals with a tucked in shirt!  I also think I see a teeny tiny belt in his future!  We handed Liam his basket and sent him off to find some eggs...  He knew exactly what to do and looked like a pro right away.  He kept asking for "more eggs"!  It was one of those proud parent moments and you watch your child just nail their first hunt!  After about 10 minutes he dropped an egg which burst open with candy all over... it was game over from that point forward.  He only wanted to sit on the front steps and check out his loot.  Ten minutes & three chocolates later, he was still happy as could be going through his basket!

After the hunt, we sat down to Brunch and let Liam discover what the Easter bunny had brought him. I loved putting together his basket and getting to play "Easter Bunny"; it just warms my little heart!  After putting nearly every sticker he got onto his hands & arms, we took some formal Easter portraits selfies and headed off to mass.  Let's just say mass didn't go so well.  Maybe at all.  Whenever it was quiet Liam would proclaim "All done! Mommy up!  Outside!"  We tried going into the kids sound proof room, but it was so packed and noisy that we couldn't even hear the service.  Then we made our way to the back of the Church and we still had a unhappy toddler that would not sit still or be quiet.  So...for the first time ever, we left early.  Before communion even.  It was Liam's worst performance yet!  Please tell me we aren't the only family that has left church early due to an unruly child... Maybe the three chocolates that morning had a little to do with it...

After Liam's amazing church performance, it was definitely time for a nap...for mama & Liam!  Two and half blissful hours of afternoon sleep!  And then I woke up to reality at 4pm only to realize that I hadn't done a stitch of cooking, and I was hosting Easter dinner in a mere 2.5 hours.  Sheer panic set in!  I have never cooked so fast in my life.  And the menu I had planned wasn't helping.  Choosing to make three separate dishes that all needed to be cooked in our single oven was a big mistake.  But it was my lucky day...  Liam was perfectly content playing with some markers & a new coloring book) while Conor & I absolutely destroyed our kitchen.  I love that my hubby can cook!!!

We managed to pull it off in true Keenan style!  Dinner with friends was the perfect end to our little holiday!  Liam went to bed rather quickly, so I even got to enjoy some wine on the couch with the adults late into the evening.  Such a treat!

So thankful for special days like this one to truly appreciate my little family!
Hope you all enjoyed your weekend as much as we did!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five On Friday

Easter Weekend is here!  Our days are going to be filled with plenty of sunshine and lots of festive activities.  And my mouth is already watering over the delicious Brunch & Easter dinner I am planning.  Now let's get to my five...  As always, thanks to all the lovely hosts: Christina, Darci, April, & Natasha!


I'm always disappointed with how my dyed Easter eggs turn out each year.  I'm not really a vibrant colors kind of person, so most of the egg dying kits are garbage in my eyes.  I'm more into the pastels, but they are harder to get right.  This year, I'm thinking about trying this method.  I mean the picture looks beautiful... we'll see how mine turn out.  Anyone have any amazing egg dying tricks?

All week I have been seeing people "practicing" egg hunts with their littles...  Liam has had zero practice and instead is going to be completely surprised by our neighborhood Easter egg hunt!  I'm so excited to see his big bright eyes light up and watch his small feet run as fast as he can while trying to keep up with the bigger kids.  I like that our egg hunt will be his 1st (and only) and hopefully that will help make the event that much more special.   Also anxious to see his hunting skills...

Our new book club book has been chosen, and it's The Alchemist.  This has been on my "to read" list for awhile, so I'm happy to finally have a reason to bump it to the top.  This looks to be a relatively short read, so I'm hoping to fit in another book this month too!

A couple weekends ago Conor & I went out for brunch at Avenue's Proper, which has an eclectic menu.  I barely glanced at it before deciding on chicken & waffles (with a thyme infused maple syrup I might add)!  What?!  Am I pregnant?!  (I am not by the way).  This was my first chicken & waffles experience, and I loved it.  Loved, loved, loved.  And now I can't stop thinking about chicken & waffles!  I think this might be my new brunch staple!

Don't forget to enter my Willow Crowns giveaway!  These bowties are absolutely adorable, as is everything in Megan's shop.  Liam will definitely be rocking one of his this Sunday!  A winner will be chosen tomorrow.

Happy Easter friends!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

We're Surviving...Barely

Conor left for a business trip early Tuesday morning.  This is something I have been dreading for weeks!  Three full days of solo parenting.  Let me tell you, it's exhausting!  I am trying to stay as busy as possible, so there isn't a moment to sit and realize that I will not be going potty alone for three straight days.  Or showering alone, or eating cupcakes alone (maybe eating cupcakes in the pantry though)!
Day 1 was relatively painless.  We visited a farm with our friends Max & Victoria, followed by a long afternoon nap.  Then it was outside to soak up some afternoon sun.  My sweet neighbors had Liam & I over for dinner which filled the rest of the evening.  I felt like I could actually handle this business trip and was feeling like super mom!

Then he slept horribly.  I'm not sure he ever stayed asleep longer than 1 hour at a time.  And then Day 2 rolled around.  Oh my day 2...  After barely sleeping all night, we were both a bit cranky.  Liam has been sensitive lately and this day was no different.  In between his mood swings, Liam managed to fall down half a flight of stairs (carpeted at least), fall off his kitchen stool, & then fall off the ladder to a slide.  This seriously all happened in ONE day while I was standing right next to him.  I'm worried I need to have the kid's inner ear checked!  Also, he only napped for 45 minutes.  So at 2 pm I was ready for bedtime!  Day 2 left me feeling like an utter failure.
Although the day was long (extra long) and we had plenty of rough moments, we still had some sweet ones as well.  Day 2 made for plenty of snuggles on the couch (each Charlie joined in) & a trip to the children's museum.  Liam is obsessed with the real helicopter there!  He lets me be the co-pilot and will even give me a kiss between all the button pushing!  

Conor knew how worried I was about these three days, so left us a few surprises!  He wrote us both a note for each day he was gone and had Amazon deliver a brand new Little Blue Truck book on Day 2!  I just love how thoughtful he is!  I am incredibly lucky to be a stay-at-home-mom and am so thankful to Conor and his job that support our family.  I am grateful that he doesn't have to travel often; but when he does, I allowed to complain just a little bit!
Today is my last day flying solo and then the weekend is practically here!  Wish me luck!  I think a morning trip to the aquarium and an afternoon trip to the zoo are in order.  Maybe even a smoothie date.  And a fro-yo date!  Let's see how much I can possibly cram into one day...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Liam's Easter Basket

Easter is just a few days away, and I am more than a little excited! I have big plans to dye eggs, make sugar cookies, & take Liam to his 1st ever egg hunt! He is going to love frantically trying to find as many eggs as possible! The holidays are just getting better & better with our little boy! I also cannot wait to give him his Easter basket! When I was growing up, my mom The Easter Bunny always hid our basket somewhere around the house. While I can't wait to do this for Liam as well, I feel that he may be too young for that this year. I'm still thinking about it though. I purchased everything awhile ago and have just been dying to get the salt water sandals on L's cute little feet! I have almost caved every warm day over the past week, but I think it might be possible for me to hold off until Sunday!

1. Salt Water Sandals / 2. Little Blue Truck / 3. Puzzle 4. Icecream cone bubbles / 5. Egg sidewalk chalk / 6. Annie's bunny fruit snacks 

For those of you with little babes who need some last minute Easter basket inspiration, you can view last year's basket here. Apparently shoes, books, & bubbles are this Easter bunny's signature. :-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DIY Mudroom

We have been in our house for over a year and finally have a mudroom! This has been on my "honey-do" list for awhile, so I'm thrilled it is finally complete. Our house has had two laundry rooms (one is right off the kitchen that leads into the garage, the other is in our finished basement). I don't mind taking laundry downstairs and Conor wanted our new dryer to be gas (which the basement one is equipped for), so we converted the main floor laundry into a mudroom. I don't have any "before" pictures, but it was really just an empty space and just begging for us to bring it to life. Typically I have big ideas for projects, along with plenty of "pinspiration", but Conor really handled this one solo. He drew up his own plans in true engineer-with-graph-paper fashion & did all the labor. I merely approved a few decisions and he was off! Actually, that was not all... I had to wrangle the toddler while said project was being worked on. That is no easy feat, but Liam LOVED to "working" with his daddy so Conor did his fair share of keeping him entertained. 

There is a constant battle in the Keenan house... I always have a lofty "honey-do" list; however (a big however...), I request that those projects are to be completed during nap time or while I'm putting Liam to bed! I'm pretty demanding, ha! It's just that I treasure the time that Conor is home from work, and I want to be spending that time together as a family. I love having a husband that can practically DIY anything, but sometimes I just want to pay the professionals to do it. Still, I find I am very rarely winning that battle with my engineer for a husband. "Why pay someone to do half as good of a job for twice what it will cost me to do it myself!" Fight on... 

One of the little girls in our neighborhood (age 7) is always so impressed with what Conor is working on. She also may have a teensy tiny crush on him... The other day she was admiring our big backyard deck & Liam's swing set that were both built by the hands of Conor, when she informed me that, "When he grows up, he could be a professional!" 'em! First, I feel pretty good about that fact that at age 28 we are not yet grownups. Secondly, I'm not exactly sure what kind of "professional" she was referring to, but at least Conor has a fall-back if his engineering/corporate career doesn't quite work out for him!

Stop with the chitter chatter Laura; onto the room!  The fact that I am not a professional photographer paired with this tight space and the room seeing very little close natural light, makes for some blah pictures.  Nonetheless, I love how it turned out!  The wainscoting, the bench, the cubbies (notice the tall boot slots!), the crown molding, the new key shelf/ledge that matches the it all!  Paint wise, we went with Benjamin Moore Evening Dove, Coventry Gray, & White Dove.  We had used Evening Dove in the guest bath, master bath, and custom (Conor) storage benches of our Seattle house and absolutely loved the color, so we wanted to use it again.  Plus, agreeing on paint colors is quite the ordeal (read: high emotions, possible raised voices), so we avoided that whole process here.  We love the high quality of Benjamin Moore paints, so consider us brand loyal!  We use the Natura line since it is no-VOC and environmentally friendly, for paint.  You can barely even smell this paint, even when it is still wet, skip the primer just apply two good coats; I can't say enough good things!  The shoe cubbies are deep enough to stash 2 pairs of shoes in each toe-to-heal so it can hold 20 pairs of shoes and 4 pairs of boots!

 This room is already getting plenty of use and helping to keep the main floor a lot less cluttered!    However, the room still needs some work in the decorating department.  I'd love to hear any suggestions... I have not idea what to put in the top cubbies at this point, but I'm thinking some big vases on top, behind the crown molding and possibly some small prints or artwork for the walls.  That is, until Liam is adding his own artwork to the house!  I can already picture little L coming home from preschool and hanging up his tiny backpack & coat, sitting on the bench as he takes off his shoes, and telling me about his day.  Life is only getting sweeter!  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Willow Crowns Bow Tie Giveaway

With Easter fast approaching, I thought it was time to for another fun giveaway. Spring is practically calling for little boys to be looking extra dapper, so I was thrilled when Megan sent us a couple bow ties to try out!

I have been following Megan's blog, Willow Way, for almost a year now. She has impeccable style as well as a love for Starbucks almost as fierce as my own! Last October she started making bows, crowns, & headbands and opened up her Etsy shop, Willow Crowns. Ever since I have been swooning over all her creations, just waiting for the day when I have a little girl of my own to buy accessories for!

And then, she added some bow ties to her shop! Finally a little love for the tiniest gentlemen of the world! I just adore bow ties; in fact, I'm really surprised that I'm not hoarding a massive collection of them yet! What I love about the Willow Crowns bow ties is how easy they are to put on! Liam is squirmy, especially when I'm trying to get him dressed, but I was easily able to clip on these bow ties before he could run off. They unclip easy too, which is nice come meal time when you are trying to keep it clear of any mac & cheese on your bib refusing little boy! And the price is more than reasonable at $6 a piece; you could definitely have one to match a few different outfits! 

I absolutely love the blue seersucker fabric and wish I could have one in every color. This bow tie was a little bit on the small side for Liam, but adorable nonetheless. Hopefully it will also get some use down the road from a future (not yet in the works) baby Keenan.

The sage green is a perfect shade for Spring and would look amazing with a yellow shirt or pants. I am now hunting down some yellow to add to Liam's wardrobe. However, yellow can be tricky with blondes...

Now for the exciting part...  One of you will be the proud owner of a bow tie for the handsome little boy in your life!  Enter in the Rafflecopter below and check our Willow Crowns to see everything that Megan has to offer!  She is also giving tiny toes, little nose readers 20% off using the code WILLOW.  Happy shopping!

Disclosure: I received the above items in return for an honest, sincere review.   All thoughts & opinions are my own.  No monetary compensation was provided. 

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