Thursday, July 31, 2014

Liam: Official Chipmunk Spotter

Last weekend we wanted to escape the incessant heat we've had, so we headed up into the mountains for an afternoon hike!  We can be in the mountains & at a trailhead in about 20 minutes; this is one of the incredible things about life here in Utah!  We started at a small lake where Liam could explore at his own pace, find some sticks, & spot some wildlife.  Our little boy can find a chipmunk just about anywhere!  Not everyone has that skill...  We passed by a family with two little girls who were discussing "the mouse, or maybe it was a fox" that scurried by. similar, I know...

We let Liam walk/hike when he wants to, but he also enjoys being on Conor's back for a rest and pretty spectacular view!  This particular day we did an almost straight up & rocky hike, so Liam got to relax while we did all the sweating & heavy breathing.  We made our way up to a reservoir that was just beautiful.  Liam was in rock heaven!  He ran around gathering up the biggest ones he could find and then plopped them in the water for a big splash!
The views were spectacular & the weather perfect!  We spend 2 1/2 hours hiking around, and the time just flew by.  We attempted to take a less rocky trail back down the mountain, but this was a poor choice.  About half way down we were lost.  Somehow we ended up on a ski trail and were on our way to Brighton resort.  While I had a mini panic session thinking about having to hitchhike to our car, Conor talked to a fellow hiker (with PBR in hand, smart guy) and got us back on track.  We ended up doing lots of trailblazing and then found ourselves walking amongst some beautiful ski-in/ski-out cabins.  I always love a little "cabin" window shopping!
And then we ended our day with a sunset dinner on the back deck.
The things summers are made of right here!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's the Little Things watching your two favorite boys 
run through a simple sprinkler on a damn hot day!

Both of their faces make me smile so big!
I just can't enough!

Thanks to Ashley & Jess for the link up!

Sadie Sky Boutique

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Breastfeeding: 2 Years

I have officially been nursing for two years!  While I was always open to "extended" or "full term" nursing from the beginning, it was hard to picture myself here.  It was hard to picture what nursing a toddler looked like, since I really hadn't been exposed to it much.  So here is a brief glimpse of me & my 2 year old nursling.

It's calming.
It's connecting.
It's squirmy.
It's loving.
It's bonding.
It's reassuring.
It's mothering.  
It's nourishing.
It's comforting.
 It's natural.
To me... it is beautiful!

I have never had an end date for breastfeeding; instead, my hope has always been that Liam will self wean whenever he is ready.  However; A big however... I also really wanted to be pregnant by the time Liam turned 2.  Well, his birthday is now behind us, and unfortunately we do not have another little one on the way just yet.  It has started to seem as though we may need a little Rx help to get there, like we did with Liam (Clomid).  We really hope this would not be the case, the second time around, but it may be becoming a reality.  I cannot be breastfeeding while undergoing any treatments, so eventually we will need to make that difficult decision.  I am starting to realize though that in my heart, the gift of giving Liam a sibling close to him in age far outweighs the gift of or desire for self weaning.

He is still not yet ready to wean, and I am definitely not ready or prepared to start the process.  For the near term, we will continue to explore & exhaust any options we may have available to us now.  Nursing a toddler is just an incredible experience that I am so happy to have and not ready to give up.  I want it to end when we decide, not because of any challenges with fertility.  Fortunately, I have a tremendous support system of friends & family to help me through it.  Although our decision to breastfeed into the toddler years may not be so "mainstream", we have found a wonderful community here in Salt Lake City that makes it feel like just that.

I have become such an advocate for breastfeeding.  I never thought I could be this passionate about a parenting choice, I just love helping & supporting other moms and I hope that someday I can become a La Leche League leader so that I can continue helping others on perhaps a grander scale.  It fills me heart to hear that this little blog has already been a resource & support system for some.  Breastfeeding is by far the topic that I get the most emails about, and even more so now that I am nursing a toddler and trying to conceive.  I'll say it... I'm a full blown "lactavist"!

With this milestone in Liam's life, I wanted to share a peek into he and my continued nursing relationship. My hope is that it will bring some insight and/or encouragement to those who may be curious or struggling on their own.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Weekend Recap

We just had one of those perfect weekends.  
The ones where you don't have plans but manage to fill the days with tons of excitement!
Conor surprised us & came home from work early on Friday.
I had a girls night at book club.
Saturday morning was spent at the waterpark.
Liam is a fish and insists upon swimming on his own, 
whether or not he has on his floaties.
(Note: he cannot swim without his floaties)

Birthday party prep that afternoon.
I am about to have a 2 year old?  No way!
Then something magical...

Liam only woke up twice Saturday night!!!!

Sunday morning brunch of bacon & lemon poppyseed pancakes.
A little more Nordstrom Anniversary Sale shopping.
House projects, including the new stairs to our deck made by Conor.
(They still need flashing & a railing, but are otherwise functional)

Dinner on the deck with friends.
In the middle of a warm summer storm.
That quickly turned to a downpour, complete with thunder & lighting.

Lots of dancing in the rain.
A bonfire.
And much too late bedtime for little L.

We just can't get enough of his sweet face!
Or his kisses; he really lays them on!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Oh hey, Friday

Since I need a place to put all my randomness, I'm joining the new Friday link-up, oh hey friday!   Thanks to the two beautiful hosts Karli & Amy!


It's my favorite Friday, book club Friday!  Lets the drinks & dessert never stop flowing.  Well, they'll stop when it's Liam's bed time...  That's my call to head home.  Anyways, tonight we'll be discussing to Mormons, with LOVE.  It's about a non-mormon family moving to Utah.  It should make for some interesting conversation, since only two of the women grew up in Utah and none of us were raised Mormon.  I too could write a whole book about the cultural difference upon moving here, good & bad.  Perhaps I will do a little post about that one of these days.  

My garden has been growing like crazy with all this hot weather, so I am finally starting to harvest some produce!  I'm most excited about the zucchini.  My zucchini bread recipe is phenomenal; you all need to try it!  It's also one of my most pinned posts, so get after it!

We all know that Noosa is the best kind of yogurt out there, hands down.  And just when I thought that mango was by far the most superior flavor, Whole Foods surprises me with having some coconut Noosa hit their shelves all of sudden!  There is shredded coconut in that little tub of goodness!  I have no idea why stores don't typically stock this flavor because it is the best!

My other food addiction this week is this bag of salted caramel baked corn!  Anything salted caramel is my jam these days, so I spotted this bag at costco about a mile away.  We also ate the entire ginormous bag in less than a week!  And I'm going back for more today!

Liam is not a big fan of selfies.  Sometimes, he's not a big fan of my camera at all.  I tried to snag some cute pics of us on our hike yesterday, and this is the best I could do... I swear he loved it, but that pouty lower lip is trying to say otherwise!

T.G.I.F. friends!
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mom Dates

We have lived in Salt Lake City for a year and a half now, and I am finally feeling settled & established.  It has been much easier to make friends with this move, because we have Liam.  Moms just love to meet other moms; they do!  However, I'm a rather shy person around strangers, so it can still be a process.  Making friends is just like dating.  You start out in a group setting perhaps, then you start up a friendly conversation...  Realize, hey I really like this person... You wonder if they like you too...There's that awkward moment when you ask for their phone number and say you should get together again...  Maybe you try to find them on social media instead.  You get together again, hoping the honeymoon phase isn't over... Eventually you hit that level of comfort and bam! you're friends!  Sounds fun doesn't it.
I have always been active with La Leche League, but those meeting are only once a month so it's incredibly difficult to establish any sort of relationship with that kind of frequency.  Nonetheless, I loved those monthly meetings & being surrounded by like minded moms.  Then I heard that there was an LLL playgroup, and that was a game changer!  The Salt Lake playgroup gets together almost twice a week (usually one playdate & one toddler hike) which has quickly busied my schedule!  I just love this group of women.  Spending my mornings with them and their little ones makes me feel like I am living the stay-at-home-mom dream!
As if this playgroup wasn't enough, one of my friends Bethany told me about an Attachment Parenting group that also meets monthly and has playdates as well!  They also hike, camp, get together for yoga, and just enjoy all the beautiful outdoors that surround us here in Utah!  I love having deep discussions with other moms who parent very similar to me.  Being able to relate with one another & empathize with each other has made for such a tremendous support system.  I feel lucky to know these women & to be in a city that brings us together!
Today we spent about 2.5 hours in the mountains.  Liam hiked a bit, and rode on my back for a bit.  He watched some squirrels chase each other,  and talked about all the wildflowers.  Ate some snacks, and shared some snacks.  Nursed a couple times, and then played peek-a-boo with a new friend!  The sun was shining & the temperatures were relatively cool due to the high elevation.  We've already filled our day with excitement and it's only nap time...

I look forward to many more days like today!

Monday, July 14, 2014

History of the Apron

A couple months ago I saw a blog post about the history of aprons, and it completely resonated with me.  I have tried to find it since and have been unsuccessful.  Unfortunately I cannot credit that writer, but it did trigger this post.

Years ago, aprons were standard in every household.  Every grandmother, mother, & daughter would don them while working in the home.  They helped carry in produce from the garden.  They wiped away the tears & blood from many children.  They quickly dusted off old furniture or dishware when unexpected company arrived.  They protected clothes when many women had a limited wardrobe.  So much of this tradition has been lost.

I always remember my mom wearing an apron while in the kitchen growing up.  Particularly if she was dressed up for a holiday or if guests were coming over and she didn't want to ruin the fancy clothes she was wearing.  The apron was such a part of her.  A part of what made her "mom'.  I can remember being her little helper in the kitchen and carefully choosing which of her aprons I would get to wear.  They usually fell to my feet, but it didn't matter.  In that moment I got to be just like her.  I would dream about the days that I would have my own kitchen and be whipping up meals for my own little family.  And yes, I have seriously wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom since I can remember!

So here I am; cooking for a family of three and loving every minute of it!  I have three aprons hanging up in my pantry, and while they don't get worn nearly as often as they should, when I put one on the nostalgia hits me!  Now that I have a little one, I appreciate that apron even more.  It truly does catch that chocolately handprint that otherwise would have landed on a pretty dress.  It wipes away the tears from a bad fall.  It cleans up a runny nose.  It catches the drips from hot summer popsicle.  It gets splattered with a drop of wine (or two).  And it is eventually covered in all the flour & sugar that dusts me & countertops while I am making some of my mom & grandmothers' recipes.

Liam is finally at the age where he can actually help me with meals, so cooking has become one of my favorite activities again.  And since little L loves to imitate Conor & I, he was ecstatic when he received an apron of his own!  My sweet friend Jenn recently opened up her own etsy shop (Jenn D. Design) where she sells her aprons along with other goodies for babies & little ones.  I am absolutely in love with this boat fabric, as is Liam!  For the girls, I love this purple one!  What stands out the most about her aprons are the quality & craftsmanship; Liam's apron is flawless.  And it's so damn adorable!  I barely handle the cuteness that is a teeny tiny apron!

Little L was a bit hesitant to wear his at first, but once he realized it was just like Mama's...he was all about it!  He wanted to wear it all day, every day for a solid week!  His apron has already been on many an adventure, helped to prepare some snacks & meals, and it is still in great condition!  I think these are the perfect gift for a little sous chef in the making!

Yay for traditions and
yay for supporting handmade goods & small shops!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Week in the Panhandle

We spent the second half of our summer vacation in the beautiful panhandle of Idaho!  If you have never been, you stop judging right now.  It is beautiful country, with lots of lakes snuck in between the mountains.  Spirit Lake was our home for a week, and lake living treated us well!  My parents have a lake house there that sits right on the water.   I used to say lake "cabin", but Conor continues to point out that it is a far from what most people picture as a cabin.   I wouldn't want you all to think we are roughing it by any means, so a lake house it is!

It was there that we celebrated the 4th of July!  Liam warmed his Mama & Dada's hearts by showing off his American pride!  Little L was obsessed with all the small flags that parents had placed around the yard.  He ran around waving it above his head every day we were there!

My brother's family joined us for the festivities, so Liam & his cousin Hadley (2 months older) had plenty of time to play!  They have become the best of friends; it is incredible to watch their relationship grow.  He calls her Hattie and it is just the sweetest little thing coming off his lips.  Bath time is always more fun when they are together, as is the crazy running around "naked nudey" time they have after.  Wherever the two of them are, loud giggles are always to be heard!

The days were hot, so we spent the afternoons on the pontoon boat!  This is the first trip that Liam was actually excited to drive the boat with Pops & blow the horn!  He was also quite the little water baby!  He would launch off the side of the boat without any assistance, then attempt a dog paddle back to the boat, & climb up the ladder all by himself!  He would do this over & over, sometimes 15+ times.  Over the past few weeks, he has really gained some confidence and is developing into such a strong willed boy!  Always up for an adventure!

One of the days we spent in Coeur d'Alene walking on the world's longest floating boardwalk!  Liam loved checking out all the big boats, while Conor & I did a little window shopping.  I can already picture the day that we buy our first family boat and are (hopefully) parking it on Spirit Lake!

The week was incredibly relaxing.  There is something about being at the lake that makes everyone slow down.  I treasure the time that I have with my family & all the little comforts of being home.  Everyone is such a big help with Liam that I actually find myself with time to enjoy my coffee in the hammock, or to watch the sunset for an extra few minutes with only the sound of crickets.  And all those extraordinary meals that I didn't have to lift a finger to make (unless I want to of course), those are the best!  We sure are spoiled when we're at the lake!

But the absolute best part of each & every visit is the time spent with family!  Living far away continues to be a challenge for me.  I have such a close bond with my family, so not seeing them for a couple months at a time is difficult.  I suppose it makes the time that we do have together so special!  The great thing I love about the lake house is having all of us under one roof!  I wouldn't trade anything for those late night chats on the deck & mornings full of coffee & maple bars!

Until next time...
which is hopefully soon!
I'm already thinking that we need summer vacation #2!

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