I used to read a book nearly every two weeks (that was B.K. –before kids). Now I’m lucky if I can finish one in a 3 month time frame. It’s just not realistic for me to sit down and have quiet time to flip through a new page turner. Even with the little time I do have to myself at night, reading makes me tired + I’m sure to fall asleep with the book on my chest and drool on my chin.
Over the past few months, we’ve gone back and forth on allowing more technology into Luca’s life, and cutting back on screen time. Its hard to navigate this territory as there hasn’t been any precedence to this situation, and likewise, the foregoing continues to advance quickly therefore, studies on the subject become outdated faster than they can be published. Even Miles and I are on a hamster wheel trying to keep up, especially since both of us are heavily within the realm of social media.
Location: VULNERABLE BLVD.
True to form, the New Year is off to a quick start…How we’ve already made our way mid-month blows my mind. Enough small talk though, I feel like I’ve been keeping so much from you, and I want this year, this new season, this new chapter of this place to be different. Lately, it feels like the reason I haven’t felt as connected is in the way I’m partially leading with a front, and holding back so much of what is going on in my world for sake of being embarrassed or exposed, and that makes me nervous. I also know what a blockade that has made between us, and that changes now. My body is literally begging for me to be more vulnerable with you, and I have to admit, that is hard for me. Maybe I should read some Brene Brown? But until I can schedule more time to get on that task, I thought I would start by listing all the things I’ve been afraid to tell you and then some.
We had a few days of really hot weather here, and we’d be cooped up in our house, all fans running, until the sun’s rays began to relieve themselves a bit. We like to be out as much as we possibly can, especially with two little boys. I try to put some sort of learning activity in all we do, especially with Luca who is such a sponge. So I quickly put together a little nature scavenger hunt, and totally underestimated what a hit it would be. Luca had tears streaming down his face as we walked back to our house saying “But we didn’t find the berries, mama!” “I know, I know, next time,” I reassured him. I love that we can reuse this little map over and over again and experience different finds each time. (P.S. if you can’t find some of the items on the list where you live, I suggest grabbing a few items from in your home or where you can, and then scattering them about as you go. Even if they aren’t in their “natural habitat,” it just makes it more exciting for littler ones to be able to check everything off the list.)
We colored the sheet before we left (ahem, I colored the sheet because L was too anxious to get his shoes + backpack on– he just wanted to get on with the hunt, go figure. #boymama) but I intentionally left the printable in black and white so you and your little ones could make a coloring activity out of it too!
We did most of our scavenging in our complex’s yard because I knew there wouldn’t be any poisonous plants that would be dangerous to touch within our private grounds, but if you are deep into nature just be sure the leaves you are picking aren’t poison ivy or anything! I found this app to be helpful for foraging, which offers to identify what plant or flower you’ve found by simply snapping a photo of the flora on a white background. Also we made sure to wash Lu’s hands the second we got home and before he touched anything. Currently loving this foaming hand soap for small hands!
^^^We found a mushroom + the smallest pine cone I’ve ever seen along our way too!^^^
The patch of clover was such a trip for Lu as well! He thought it was so amazing that each leaf on each clover was shaped like a heart. Nature really does put on a good show for us, sometimes in the most unexpected of ways.
Dandelions were by far, the most “fun” find, as they seemed to be everywhere, which left Luca to blow tirelessly at each one he’d come upon until they were stripped bare.
Once we walked further towards the coast, we found all sorts of exotic flowers and leaves of all different shapes and colors. When we go on walks, I always wear my favorite New Balance athletic shoes. They are light weight like Nike Free Runs (but half the price, woop!), and so, so comfortable. I can walk and run for hours in these without the slightest discomfort.
I love that these walks require me to get active too without really even thinking about it. Harlow loves just cruising in our lightweight stroller and when Lu baby gets tired, well, it’s a piggy back ride for him and a good sweat for me. What type of outdoor activities do your kiddos love the most (aside from the traditional park going)? We are always looking for new ways to explore our town and be outside. I hope one day L + H look back and remember how much fun we had together. I know I will. Heck, I already do.
I’ve created this free printable for all of you to enjoy with your little ones too! I hope you love it as much as we did!
Luca slept with us from the age of one up until a few months before Harlow was born. I never intended to co-sleep but we did. In the very beginning when Luca was first born, he slept with us, just as Harlow does now, but transitioned at 4 1/2 months to his crib where he slept until he was a little over one. He caught a cold a few weeks after his first birthday, which looking back was probably the onset of his asthma, and the rest is history. We slept together night after night, for two years, and to be completely honest, I didn’t hate it. Sure, Miles and I, felt it wasn’t the ideal scenario especially in regards to intimacy at times, but we both also knew the logic behind benefits of co-sleeping and how prominent it is in other countries outside of the U.S.
I should note that we have a European King sized bed, so it slept the three of us very comfortably. We knew Harlow was due to be born soon, and we knew our bed wouldn’t comfortably sleep the four of us. We felt it was time to wean Luca into his twin bed, and so we began to try, which ultimately lead to Miles sleeping with Luca in his twin bed for weeks. Then Harlow was born and Miles was working a lot of hours, so continuing to sleep with Lu to get a good nights sleep while I was up nursing the baby for most of the nights made sense. So we went on with that. Then we moved to San Diego, and Harlow started sleeping much better and Luca’s room (the soon-to-be shared nursery) is directly next to our bedroom, so we figured now was when we had to get Luca to learn to sleep on his own. Our room is so close to Luca’s room, we could be lying in our bed and he in his, and we could have a clear conversation with one another. So we tried everything. We tried explaining to him why he needed to sleep in his own bed, we got him a superhero doll that is supposed to help little ones transition to sleeping on their own, we let him cry it out (hardest thing evvverrr), and to our avail, nothing. We felt like failures.
Luca’s favorite thing right now is little figurines. He likes the tsum tsum disney ones the very best, and Miles came up with the brilliant idea to reward him for sleeping by himself. He told Luca, for every five nights he sleeps in his own bed by himself, he’ll get one new figure. I made him a sticker chart so he could keep track (He also loves stickers–does any kid not?) And I’m not kidding you guys, it actually worked! I know it’s technically bribery, but it works. Playing on your child’s strengths and interests can be a really great way to barter your way into what you want and you both end up winning. Just remember you are negotiating with a 3 year-old so you’ll definitely want to make sure you get something in writing. I’m kidding! Sort of…
Miles and I snuck off to the store as part of a date one night, and we loaded up on a few packs of tsum tsums, and that way we had a good little back stock to help us reward Luca over the next few weeks. He was in hog heaven this morning as he cupped his little hands around stitch from “Lilo and Stitch”). His eyes lit up, and you could tell that he felt proud to have accomplished something. I saw a spark of ambition and success in his eyes. And he’s been good as gold ever since. I can see him getting more confident with every night that passes, and although some nights he still longs to come to bed with us, we’ve stayed firm, but we let him know that, soon enough, Harlow will be sharing a room with him too, and that gives him something to look forward to. We are proud of little Lu, and it’s strides like these that make me realize this growing up thing happens way to fast. Luca, your courage and willingness to adapt, makes me prouder than ever. You’re going to move mountains little one, and we sure can’t wait to watch.
Happiest of dreams to all of you. xx
^^ These two people. Young and in love. I need to remember that enthusiasm + fearlessness^^
Some weeks seem to go on forever. This is one of those weeks. I know it’s only Tuesday but I’ve already surpassed my normal stress level ten fold. I wonder sometimes, if my prayers are heard and answered in discrete ways too small for the human eye to see, but then one day, collectively overtime, answered in a big way…Thoughts I have sometimes. I was in a car accident this week and it scared me. It was a small fender bender but I recked the front of my car and dented the back of another SUV. It was my fault, a complete accident, but one I’d have to pay the price for none the less. These things happen, I know, and I’m grateful, above all else, that Harlow and I were okay, along with the family we bumped into. Everyone was safe, and that was a relief, but what scared me the most is how fragile our safety can be. It also threw me into the mode of, “Had something happened, would I be happy with what I’ve done–did I make any sort of difference in the world?” The answer to this question seemed hazy and kept me tossing and turning for most of the night. I knew I needed a refocus, and in some small way this accident was that, a refocus of what is important to myself and the lives around me. Miles told me to take something from the accident, take a lesson, and keep it to myself, and let it be the take away from this incident because every situation has something to be taken from it. And so I took my takeaway, and yet my deductible still has me extremely mad at myself.
I’m so frustrated by money lately, it could make me insane. I hate focusing on it, but my mind goes there often. Does anyone else feel this way? Not that money is the answer to everything, but it definitely makes things a lot easier, or so I would assume. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t totally poverished. We can afford food for ourselves and our children, and we get by…squeakily, but somehow we always do. Maybe we’re resourceful, maybe it’s because we live pretty frugally.
I suppose I always thought by this age, I would just have it all together, but then the world just laughed in my face. Sometimes being a mom feels like a huge responsibility. You have lives that depend on you, and that weight is heavy. I know we are all just silently whispering to ourselves, “I’m ok,” and I find comfort in knowing no one has it all together. I know I’m where I need to be in this precise moment & I know everything will work out, but the process! My, how digging in the dirt can feel like an eternity sometimes. I’m sure I’m not alone in all of this, anyone else been here before? What has been your biggest takeaway?