A Montessori Baby Shelf – 12 Months

The type of toys James is interested in has really changed over the last month or two.  Here’s a peek at what’s currently on his shelves!

In his room:

The shelf in James’s room is relatively small, which works well for us because he doesn’t spend a ton of time playing in there.  He usually spends about an hour playing in his room right when he wakes up in the morning, and then sometimes plays in there right after he wakes up from his naps, so he doesn’t need a ton of toys to keep his interest.

Right now, this shelf includes:

Stuffed fox – I got this on Zulily when I was pregnant and can’t find it online right now, but the brand is Manhattan Toy Company.  James is just starting to cuddle with stuffed animals more and it is super cute!

Tin Music Box – I love music boxes for children and this one is very sturdy.  I also love these for slightly older children.

Basket of Shakers – I switch these out regularly, but right now this has a maraca, a homemade shaker filled with dried chickpeas, and this Brio bell rattle (love this brand).

Homemade Insert Work – James is super fascinated by taking things in and out of containers right now, so he has a lot of insert work on his shelves.  This one is a little red bud vase I already had with a peg from a baby hammering toy.  He loves it and really concentrates on trying to get the peg into the vase.

Open / Close Basket – Similarly, he is currently really interested in figuring out how to open and close things.  I think this is basically like a form of a puzzle – figuring out how things fit together.  This basket has three little boxes that I already owned – a paper box, a box made from cinnamon wood, and his favorite, a little bejeweled box that a sweet student gave me.  It also has a little drawstring bag.

This is one of his favorite things on his shelf right now.  He looks SO pleased when he gets the lid onto a box by himself.

Montessori Egg and Cup and Peg and Cup – This is another insert work.  It was given to me in a Montessori baby toy set similar to this one.  He has loved taking these apart and holding the little egg for months, but I just put them back on his shelf given his current interest in putting things together.

Wooden Shape Sorter – My mom just gave this to James for his birthday and he loves it!  He loves taking out the shapes and putting them back in (with the lid off, not through the little shape holes).  He also holds the shapes up to us to name for him.  I can’t find the exact one we have, but it’s similar to this one.

Fossil and Box – James loves to examine rocks, so I put a large fossil (also given to me by a student!) on his shelf.  I found this unfinished wooden box at Target in the craft section and it was just the right size for him to practice putting the fossil in the box.

In the Playroom:

We often spend a large part of the afternoon in his playroom, so there are a few more toys in here.  Currently, we have:

Fox Stacking Puzzle: This came as part of a bead maze toy my mom gave James for his birthday.  We have the bead maze part of the toy in another part of the room and it is super cute too, but James especially loves this stacking puzzle.

Basket of balls – This has a bunch of balls in it including sensory balls, a lacrosse ball, and a really cute butterfly ball we got at our local wildflower center.

Pop Up Toy – This is one we just got recently and it’s super cute.  There are springs under the four pegs, so they bounce when you tap them and will pop out if you hit them hard enough.  James also likes just taking them out and trying to put them back in.

Rainbow Nesting / Stacking Bowls – These wooden bowls are beautiful and nest as well as stack.  I love that when he’s older we can use them as containers, perhaps to organize art supplies in, so I see us using them for years.

Smelling Bottles – These were so easy and fun to make!  I got two sets of inexpensive salt and pepper shakers from Target and filled each with something with a strong smell.  I used fresh ginger, lemon peel, fresh rosemary, and coffee beans.  James likes to hand me a bottle to smell, and then smell it himself.  I love watching him sniff with his little nose, it is so cute! (idea from this post)

Jar of Rings – This is just an old applesauce jar filled with these rings.  He actually hasn’t been using this as much lately so I need to find something to replace it, but for a while taking the rings out of the jar and putting them back in was one of his absolute favorite things to do.

Wooden Dowel with Bracelets – I used the wooden dowel from this rainbow stacker and put several interesting bracelets on it.  James loved the rainbow stacker, but was beginning to lose interest, so I switched out the rings with bracelets to mix it up and spark his interest again.

Three Piece Wooden Puzzle – James has shown some interest in the puzzle, but so far he only removes the pieces, he does not try to replace them.

In addition to his shelf, he has a few other toys around the room:

Animal Rescue Shape-Sorting Truck – My friend Natalie gave this to James for his birthday and it is SO cute!  He loves examining the little animals and putting them back in the truck.

Bowl of Pumpkins – I got James an assortment of small pumpkins and gourds at Trader Joe’s and he loves taking them all out of the bowl and putting them all back in.  The bowl is glass and makes a great gong-like sound when he drops the pumpkins in.  He also loves chewing on them….

Rainbow Blocks – I’ve mentioned these before, but we are still loving them.  I have these on the window sill right now because they look so pretty with the light coming through.

Comotomo Silicone Baby Teether – I’ve also just started keeping this on the window sill because James is teething and loves to chew on the window sill.  To try to deter this, I have the teether right there for him.

Duplos – We don’t keep a ton of toys in the living room, but we do have a set of zoo animal Duplos tucked away and James loves playing with them.  He hasn’t yet figured out how to put them together, but he loves taking them apart and putting them back in the bucket.  This is extra fun because my husband’s parents sent the set that belonged to him as a kid.

And that about sums it up!  I’m looking forward to making him some more things for his shelves, so if you have any ideas or favorites, please share!

*Please note this post contains affiliate links – I get a small percentage if items are purchased, at no cost to you.  I only include items I have and love.  Thanks for your support!

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Five Tips to Maximize Naptime

As any parent of young kids knows, nap time is super valuable, and one of the best (only?) times to get things done.  I actually find myself wondering how parents get anything done when their kids no longer nap, but I try not to think about that too much.

When I first had James, especially when his naps were often short and unpredictable, I found myself a little frantic during naps.  I wanted to get so much done, but my brain was too foggy to remember it all and I wasn’t sure where to begin.  Plus I also wanted to just lay down and relax sometimes, but if I did that, I just kept thinking about all of the things I should be doing.

Well I finally have a nap time strategy that works well for me, so I thought I’d share.

1. Make a plan – and write it down

This seems fairly obvious, but it took me a while to actually start doing this.  I would come up with a plan in my mind, but I would often forget what it was and I still found myself questioning the best use of the time the whole time he was sleeping.

Now I take a few minutes on Sunday and schedule what I plan to do during each nap time throughout the week.  I enter it all in my Google calendar.  Jame’s naps aren’t always at the exact same time, but he always takes two right now and they’re roughly at 9 and 1:30, so I just use those times on my calendar.

Obviously things change throughout the week, so each night I look at what I’ve planned for the next day and adjust as needed.

2. Don’t save everything for nap time

Sometimes I’ve planned to get something done during nap time, but then I look around and the house is chaos and I decide to spend *just a few minutes* straightening up.  It’s never just a few minutes.  Even if it is, that’s still time I could have used toward whatever I planned.

So I really try to do that straightening up when James is awake.  It is a more efficient use of my time and I also think it’s beneficial to show even very young children that cleaning up is a part of playing and a part of life.  Sometimes it’s comical trying to put things away with my little sidekick following me around “fixing” everything, but I just remind myself that I have all the time I need.  I also do things like folding laundry while James is playing next to me.  Some chores, like sweeping and mopping, are pretty impossible with a baby nearby, but I am often surprised by how much I can get done while he’s happily playing in the living room or kitchen.

3. Divide the time

I’ve pretty much come to terms with the fact that I will never again be fully caught up on everything, at least not for eighteen years or so.  Housework is pretty quickly undone around here, and that’s okay, it’s just part of this (mostly really fun) stage.  Still, I don’t want to spend every minute of James’s nap time cleaning, that’s just no fun and it would leave no time for things I love (like writing this blog!)

So I roughly divide what I work on by his two naps.  I generally use his morning nap for computer projects, like the blog, freelance writing, working on his baby book, planning trips, emails, etc.  I then use his afternoon nap for cleaning and prepping dinner.  This helps the house not get too out of control, but also ensures I have time to work on other things.

This also works for me because I’m a big time morning person, so it makes sense to do the things that require thought / creativity in the morning.  I think it helps to figure out what time of day you do your best work.

Obviously he won’t always take two naps.  When he moves down to one nap, I’ll probably either divide the time in half, or alternate days, depending on how long his nap winds up being.

4. Commit to relaxation

While it’s tempting to use every second of every nap trying to catch up, that would make me crazy.  Everyone needs some time to just chill (and we’ve already established we’re never catching up anyway, so might as well take a break).

I usually use at least one Friday nap and read a book.  This is one of my favorite times of the week.  It feels luxurious to sit with a book in the middle of the morning and it’s something nice to look forward to at the end of the week.  Because I’ve planned it ahead of time, I have an easier time just relaxing instead of thinking about everything I should be doing instead.

5. Be flexible

This is definitely the hardest for me.  While I do think it really helps to have a plan, obviously baby isn’t in on this plan and he may only sleep for thirty minutes, regardless of what you need to get done.

One thing that helps me with this is setting a minimum nap time.

I didn’t do this when he was younger, and would often wake up crying, but now I pretty much always make nap time at least an hour, even if he wakes up sooner.  He stays in his bed until it has been an hour (this isn’t a hard and fast rule, I would certainly go check on him if he was really upset).  He usually just talks to himself in his bed when this happens, and sometimes even falls back to sleep!

How do you maximize your time, any tricks?

Are you a morning or night person?

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A Weekend Away – Wine Tasting in Fredericksburg

This past weekend was my sister’s bachelorette party.  It was the first time I’ve ever been away from James overnight (and I’ve only been away once for bedtime when he was less than three months old).

I thought about this weekend on and off for months.  When I was having a hard day, I’d look forward to it.  When James was being clingy, I’d worry about it.

As it approached though, I was pretty confident he’d be just fine.  He loves his Dad so much and I knew they’d have a blast together.  I was really hoping I would be able to relax and enjoy the time with family and friends without worrying too much, and that was a success!

The weekend went by so fast and I didnt’ take nearly enough pictures.  Still, I want to remember this time, so decided to share a short recap anyway.

We went to Fredericksburg, TX for the weekend to go wine tasting.  If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s about an hour and a half from Austin in the heart of the Texas hill country.  There are many vineyards there and also lots of cute little shops and restaurants.

We rented a house through Airbnb and it was SO cute.  There were so many adorable details and we seriously could not get over the house.  It was so nice to be able to sit around and hang out together instead of going back to separate hotel rooms.

We were getting in kind of late Friday night, so I just made taco stuff ahead of time and brought that and we had margaritas.  I somehow managed to stay up until 2 AM, which I certainly haven’t done in a LONG time.

Despite the late night, I woke up pretty early Saturday and enjoyed some time sitting in the amazing outside space at the house.  I was so sad to realize I had forgotten my book at home, but it was still nice to sit out there with a cup of coffee.

People got up gradually and we drank mimosas and ate bagels with some great homemade spreads my mom made.  Eventually, we headed out to do some wine tasting.

If you’re ever in Fredericksburg, I highly recommend the 290 wine shuttle.  It’s a great compromise between hiring a driver and driving yourself.  Many of the vineyards are along the same road and the shuttle runs between them every 15 minutes.  The daily pass is only $25, so it’s much more cost effective than a private driver, and also more flexible.

We went at a very leisurely pace and only went to two vineyards.  Both were beautiful and the weather was really great.  It was so nice to sit outside with live music sipping wine with family and friends.

Eventually we headed back to the house to hang out for a while before dinner.  At this point, I tried to do a video chat with my husband and James.  James had been doing great the whole day, but when he saw me on the phone, he definitely started looking a little concerned.  He was making little whimpering noises and it was so sad, so I hung up pretty quickly.

My husband reassured me that he was doing great and sent me lots of pictures from their adventures.  I think seeing me on the phone just reminded him that I wasn’t there.

We went to dinner at the Treaty House and it was so, so good.  It was small plates and they were all delicious, but my favorite part was probably the craft cocktails, which were some of the best I’ve ever had.  There was also a really cute little jazz band and some couples dancing.  The atmosphere was great.

We hung out at the house some more and went to bed.  The next morning, we opted for more bagels and hanging out over our original brunch plans and it was a super relaxing morning.

As we made the drive back to Austin, I got more and more excited to see the little guy!  I had a really wonderful weekend away, but I could not wait to see him.  My husband had the window on the front door open and James ran over and started waving and giving me the best smiles.  It was a pretty great feeling.

Even though I didn’t get much sleep this weekend, I feel really refreshed after a little time away and so excited to just hang out at home with James today.

Have you had any fun weekend trips lately?

If you’ve had a bachelor / bachelorette party, was it pretty low-key or totally crazy?

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What I’m Reading Lately

Good morning!

I’ve been reading blogs since college, so for over ten years (yikes…I’m getting old.)

I’ve found a few new (to me) blogs recently though that I really love, so wanted to share!  Please share your favorites in the comments, I love finding new blogs to read!

A Day in Mom Life: I really love her down to earth writing style and variety of topics.  Plus, she’s an RN, so I feel like she’s got a lot of great advice!

Fishies in a Row: I discovered this blog a couple of weeks ago and have been reading through her old posts, love it!  She writes about Montessori at home, as well as other things.

The Montessori Way I just started reading this one, but have already found so many great ideas I want to copy at home!  She posts beautiful pictures of the Montessori work she uses for her baby at home.

Hashtag Mom Fail: This is the most recent one I’ve found and she writes with such honesty and openness.  I’ve been reading through all of her old posts and really love how brave she is with what she shares.

I’ve been reading these next few for longer, but these are some great Montessori blogs I love as well:

Montessori Maniac: This is written by my good friend and mentor, Natalie, and it is great!  She is an amazing Montessori teacher and also a mother to two boys, so she offers a great dual perspective of a mom and teacher.

The Kavenaugh Report: She writes about Montessori at home and has great ideas and beautiful Montessori home spaces.

How We Montessori: She also writes about Montessori at home and shares all sorts of beautiful Montessori spaces and ideas.  She also wrote a Montessori kids cookbook that I can’t wait to buy for James in a year or so.

If this isn’t enough reading, check out these articles I’ve recently written for Motherly!

Have you found any new blogs lately? Please share or link to your own!

 

 

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Four Thoughts from the Library

Our car was in the shop last week so I walked to the library story time near our house.  On our walk, I did some reflecting, and wanted to share these four (random) thoughts.

1. The library is awesome

On a day we otherwise would have been stuck at home, we were able to walk to the library for a great storytime with other babies.  I love that these story times offer a free opportunity for James to interact with other babies.  I don’t really want to pay for a baby gym class or anything at this point, but I do think it’s beneficial for him to practice interacting with other little ones.

Plus, on the walk there, I was listening to a free audiobook from the library website (Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, I liked it).  Did you know that this was a thing?  I just recently realized they offered free audiobook downloads and I think it’s kind of amazing!

2. Gender biases start young

A little boy brought over a ball to someone else’s mom and she said “Thank you.  Boys love balls”  Why???  I’m not trying to judge her because I’ve said about a million things that I later think I shouldn’t have.  I do think it’s interesting though.  Sure little boys love balls…and so do little girls.  Why put these stereotypes on one year old children?

It just made me realize how soon this stuff starts and I know it will only get worse when he’s out of the house and away from us more as he grows.  Do you have any tips for combating this at home?

3. I need to start filtering

On the walk home, I was waiting, along with two other pedestrians, for the crosswalk to turn.  Right after the walk sign came on and we started going, this guy pulled up right across the crosswalk, looking the other way to see if there were any cars, and never even saw us, even though he almost hit us.  I called him an idiot (he couldn’t hear me).

I realized that I really need to start filtering what I say more.  I don’t use terrible language, but I definitely curse when I stub my toe or something.  For some reason, I never once had a problem with this when I was teaching, but I think it’s because I’m obviously more myself and unfiltered at home than at work.  I’m not sure how to go about doing this, but I know at some point James’s vocabulary is going to explode and I’d rather it didn’t explode with f-bombs….

4. It’s hard to balance your own beliefs with others’ expectations

This was definitely the biggest one and something I thought about most of the way home.  I believe pretty strongly that adults should interfere as little as possible in children’s conflicts (I wrote about Montessori conflict resolution here if you’re interested).

However, I realized this is going to be hard for me when I’m around other non-Montessori parents.  I don’t want them to think I don’t see James doing something or that I don’t care.  I also don’t want to lecture these almost strangers about my parenting philosophy.

So my solution was to interfere when James did something (took a toy from someone) and not interfere when someone did something to him (more stealing of toys).  This was obviously a poor solution and I felt pretty terrible about it, though he didn’t seem to care.

I don’t know the answer though.  I’m going to ask my friend Natalie when I see her because she always has the answers!

Do you ever have trouble maintaining your parenting philosophy in groups with other parents?

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James at 12 Months

People told me time would fly by and, for me, it both has and hasn’t.  I would say the first weeks and months actually felt really slow.  I don’t mean that in a bad way, but I did not feel like time was flying by.  Each day was really long.  As the year progressed though, time sped up and I would say the last six months have definitely flown by.  I’m sure this will continue to be the case, so I want to pause and document James at one year.  Going forward, I’ll likely do these posts every three-six months instead of monthly.

Eating

Everyone who visits our home comments on how much, and how quickly, this little guy eats.  He seems to take after his Dad lol.  He will eat pretty much anything at the moment (except birthday cake…), but his favorites are definitely cheese, peas, blueberries, bananas, black beans, and pizza.  He is not much of a meat eater at this point, except for salmon and sometimes a little ground beef.  I’m guessing this might change once he has more teeth, but who knows.

We’ve started introducing cow’s milk to him and so far, I’d say he’s confused by it.  He drinks some, but also spits a lot out.  I think he’s so used to drinking water, anything else surprises him.

I’m still breastfeeding him, but am going to be out of town for a couple of days this month, so wanted to introduce milk so he can drink it while I’m gone.  I’m not too worried though since he loves cheese and yogurt and eats a ton.

Can you tell someone likes to rearrange the cookbooks?

My favorite thing with his eating right now is, before almost every bite, he holds his food up in the air until someone tells him what it is.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell what he’s holding and if we say the wrong thing, he just keeps his little hand up in the air, staring at us until we get it right.

At twelve months he had two teeth, but one of his little top teeth just poked through last week.

Sleep

Sleep is definitely the best it’s ever been.  He goes to bed at 7, almost always without complaint.  We generally don’t hear from him until the morning, around 6:30 usually.  He takes two naps a day, around 9 or 9:30 and 1:30 or 2.  He is napping much better these days, which is amazing because it lets me get some things done, but also because he is so happy when he gets enough sleep!

I admit that when I think about when to have another child, sleep deprivation weighs heavily on my mind….

Physical Development

James is walking!  He started walking really short distances at 11 1/2 months, but now he is full on walking (and fast!) all over the house.  He still crawls sometimes when he’s in a hurry, but more often walks.

He is also climbing all over everything and it is a little bit scary.  I need to buy / make something safe for him to practice his climbing skills.

James also learned how to open doors this month.  Honestly, I’m not too happy with this new skill, as I’m not kind of terrified that he’ll smash his little fingers, but I suppose he had to learn some day.

Language

James pretty much only says “Dada” and his version of no, “neh neh neh”.  He actually used to say “mama,” but hasn’t in forever 🙁  It was really cute though, he called my husband’s dad “Dada” too when he was visiting last week.

While he isn’t talking much yet, I’m seeing so many signs of his growing comprehension and it is amazing!  One of our favorite books is Go to Sleep Little Farm.  There’s a part in the book where the Dad turns off the light and James starts waving when we read that page, just like he waves goodnight when my husband turns off his light at the end of the day.  I didn’t know if he really followed what was happening in the books, so I thought this was pretty awesome!

Personality

He is still mostly very happy, very busy, and very curious.  He is still clingy with me and I am enjoying every last hug.

I think of 12-18 months as sort of a ‘tween stage between babies and toddlers and it’s been so fun to see parts of his little toddler personality emerge.  He loves to test the limits and will look at me before doing something he knows he’s not supposed to do, then throw a mini tantrum after I stop him (this mainly revolves around climbing on his shelf and the tables).  Honestly right now it is really cute, but I’m sure I’ll have to work on staying patient as he does this more and more.

He’s also started to interact a little more with other babies at story time.  He and another little guy were walking around the room together and James would hand him a toy when he came over – so cute! #babybuddies

His favorite things to do right now are playing outside, reading books, singing songs, and eating.

Honestly, I really thought I would struggle with James turning one, but I’m really not sad about it.  I think I was sad beforehand because I loved him being a baby so much and couldn’t picture what it would be like when he was a little toddler.  Now that I can see more and more of his sweet personality each day though, I could never wish that away to go back to the baby stage.  I’m loving exactly where he is now and can’t wait to see more and more of his personality emerge in the coming months.

Past updates:

5 Months

6 Months

7 Months

8 Months

9 Months

10 Months

11 Months

*Please note this post contains affiliate links – I get a small percentage if items are purchased, at no cost to you.  I only include items I have and love.  Thanks for your support!

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I pledge to raise a peaceful child

I pledge to raise a peaceful child.

It’s no longer enough for people to be non-violent, to not add to the problem, we need people who will work against violence.  And in order for those people to exist, we need to help shape them.

Our children can grow up to be the generation to say enough is enough.  To say that human beings are smart enough and kind enough and brave enough to say no to prejudice and hate.  It’s such a very big problem, but let’s do what we can to end it.

I pledge to never laugh at a racist or sexist joke, even if it makes things awkward.  I pledge to say what I believe instead.  Our children are watching and listening, always.  It’s not enough to not be the one making the joke.  It’s not enough to be silent.

I pledge to seek out diverse schools and churches and communities for my son to be a part of.  Because it’s knowing real people, of all kinds, on a personal level, that puts a stop to hate.

I pledge to talk about race in our house, even if it makes me uncomfortable.

I pledge to read books and listen to music and admire art from all different cultures with my son.

I pledge to celebrate different cultures by cooking their recipes and going to eat their food at authentic restaurants because food brings us together and gives us a glimpse into the beauty of different groups of people.

I pledge to say “hello” to people of different races when I see them on the street.  People tend to stick to their own groups because it’s easier and I don’t want to ever perpetuate that, but especially not when my son is with me.

I pledge to talk to him about bullying, about standing up for people, and about connecting with people who are different, or who may look different, but really have so much in common.

I pledge to do everything I possibly can to raise a child who will not only not add to the violence of the world, but who will do what he can to stop it.

It’s a scary world out there and it’s easy to feel like we can’t do anything to make it better.  But we can, and we should.  We can do a million mundane, seemingly insignificant things that help shape our children every day, and add up to something real.

We have a big, often daunting, job trying to talk to our children about everything that’s going on.  But we also have an awesome responsibility and a beautiful opportunity to help them be the kind of people who will work hard to build a better future.

It’s never too early to start the conversation.

 

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October Goals

It’s that time again!  First, here’s a recap of last month’s goals.  I have to say, they went better than usual, although I think it’s mostly just because I’m setting more realistic goals. #thinksmall

September Goals:

  1. Set an alarm clock: Success!  I set my alarm for 5 or 5:30, depending on how much I had to do, Monday through Thursday all month except for a few days when my father in law was visiting.  I got so much more done and felt much less stressed.  I’m a major morning person and have trouble doing creative things like writing later in the day, so I did most of my writing in these early morning hours.  Also, not setting an alarm Friday through Sunday kept me from getting too exhausted.  I definitely plan to continue this going forward.
  2. Run twice a week: I didn’t keep track, but I mostly did this.  Now I need to get better about rolling / stretching my injured foot because I’m definitely feeling it.
  3. Finish James’s Baby Book: I finished and ordered the first half of his baby book (I’m making it on Shutterfly and it’s too many pages for one book).  I still need to finish the second half, but am hoping to get that done soon because I have a great coupon expiring October 15.
  4. Plan Backyard Updates: I did not really do this.  I did some preliminary research on improving grass and got overwhelmed and stopped.  I did plant some more flowers though, so it’s looking a little better!

October Goals:

  1. Make Montessori work for James: I am super uncrafty, but this post has so many great ideas for simple Montessori work for 12-14 month olds and I would love to spend some time making some of it for James.
  2. Work on long-term writing projects: I’ve started doing some freelance writing, which I am SO excited about, but I also have a couple of personal long-term writing projects that I really don’t want to lose sight of.  I’m hoping to set aside one day a week to work on those.
  3. Find / make fun recipes for James: I was doing great with this for a while, but I lately I feel like I’ve been scrambling a bit with James’s meals (when he’s not eating what we’re eating) and I’d really like to make some new fun things for him, especially to have for lunch.  My friend Laura sent me this website, which looks so great, I just need to spend some time on there!
  4. Choose a half marathon plan: I’ve been running a bit more lately, but still haven’t mapped out any actual plan for the half I’m running with my brother in Januray.  It’s been so long since I’ve run any sort of distance race and I know I need to give myself plenty of time to build up mileage, so I’m hoping to choose a plan soon.

And that’s all I’ve got!  Keeping it simple as usual.

Do you have any goals for the month?

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Recent Highlights, Birthday Edition

I don’t often share weekend recaps because I don’t like feeling pressure to go do all the things (#homebody), and because I often forget to take pictures when we’re out and about.

We’ve had so much fun the last week though that I wanted to share.  My father in law is visiting from Wisconsin for James’s birthday and yesterday was also my husband’s birthday (happy birthday!!!!!)

I don’t think he cares at all, but I actually feel kind of bad for my husband because his birthday is only five days after James’s and I have a feeling it might get overshadowed sometimes.  It’s a good thing he likes pizza parties as much as any kid I’ve ever met 😉

Here are the highlights, sentence (or two) per picture style.

It doesn’t rain much here, so when it does we make sure to watch.

Is one old enough to drink coffee?

James enjoyed helping Dad put together his new walker wagon.

This super blurry photo from his birthday is one of my favorites, pure joy.

He’s working on his death stare.  I think it’s looking pretty good.

The water table was a big hit!

We also made him a family picture board book for his birthday using Pinhole Press and he loved it right away.  I can’t wait to make him more board books!

White or orange?  Every man must choose.

James took an extra long nap Saturday morning and I sat outside and finished this book – it was glorious.

James had so much fun with his Grandpa!

We went for a walk on Austin’s greenbelt and stopped to play in the water – that face!

There’s a park about a mile from our house and I love that he’s getting old enough to play there!  He loves climbing around and watching the big kids.

What’s a recent highlight from your life?

Do you have any fun birthday traditions?

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