26/52

A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.
My husband. Also known as the man who has sold me on using an electric toothbrush and hiring house cleaners.
Also, I posted some portraits of my children here for those visiting from the 52 Week Portrait Project.
You can check out other posts in the series here.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Hooper @ 31 months

Growth & Appearance: More times than not, we have you in pull ups. You’re wearing size 3-4T and, despite the larger size, one side always seems to be riding up your butt. We enjoy starring at your butt cheek hang out one side. Being that it’s summer, you’re usually sportin’ nothing more than your pull-ups or your undies. Less laundry. That’s how we do it.
Your hair is getting longer and you’re in desperate need of a trim but we’re also dedicated to letting it grow out. You can blame the hair in your eyes on our indecisiveness. I didn’t put a bobby pin in your hair the other day, no I didn’t.
You’re wearing size 8.5 shoes and, for some reason, you have more shoes than ever before. With any luck, your feet will go on a growing hiatus.
You still rock the bumps and bruises and your toes, especially, are almost always busted… this can be attributed to the fact we let you play outdoors barefoot quite often. What’s summer without dirty scabbed feet?
Eating: I may eat my words next month (no pun intended) but feeding you has been much easier this month. We’ve reverted to some of our old tricks with a mix of new tips and strategies we got from Kary. So far, so good. For the most part, you eat what we’re eating which is a huge improvement. The downside is that you typically need some distraction, encouragement, or assistance in getting the fork to your mouth. Once you get going, you’re fine, but getting you going is the challenge. And some nights you never “get going”.
While you’ve made improvements in trying new foods, you’re still tentative. I gave you piece of watermelon the other morning, for example, and you pocketed it in your mouth until I told you to spit it out. I mean seriously, what kid doesn’t like watermelon? And if you don’t like it, why do you allow it to sit in your mouth for so long? You’re a tricky little one.
I make you a “shake” a few days a week that consists of spinach pureed with berries. You like it, but I have to sit with you while you drink it because it takes forever. I must say, “take another sip” like fifty times. But, at least, you listen.
Things you like: Whole wheat frozen waffles, oatmeal with banana mashed in it, cottage cheese, pizza, avocado and cream cheese sandwiches, strawberries, apples, eggs, PB+J sandwiches, peas. But, if it were up to you, you’d eat Cheerios every morning for breakfast, mac n’ cheese every afternoon for lunch, and chicken nuggets every night for dinner. We don’t leave it up to you. Sleeping:We accidentally left your playpen in Arizona. This has resulted in you napping in your bed. Initially we were pissed  because we knew this could compromise your nap (aka our “break”) but it’s worked out fine and iit’s actually quite nice not having that big playpen in the middle of your room.
Not much has changed in your sleep pattern. You wake up around 8 or 8:30, nap from 11ish to 2ish, and go to bed around 9pm. We have officially cut out your second nap and even though your brother still naps two times a day, it feels much more freeing.
When I ask you if you want to cuddle before going to sleep, you tell me to “go away”, and I support your independence.Talking:
When you pick up the phone you say, “hello, over”. I don’t know where it came from but it sounds like you are talking on a walky talky.
I chuckled to myself the other day when I told you the phone was ringing “off the hook”; In your day and age, I doubt you’ll ever actually have a hook to hang a phone on.
You refer to CD’s as “records” and I don’t correct you.
You  know not to grab Sarah’s tail because it’s where she “makes ca-ca”. You’ve taken this a step further, however, and like to point out where all animals make ca-ca. I’m fairly certain you think animals shit out their tails and, again, I don’t correct you.
The way you say “smell it” sounds like a derogatory word used to describe homosexuals that rhymes with maggot. As a side note, gay people can now get married. Frankly, I’m surprised this didn’t happen long ago. I hope your generation continues to support equality and celebrate diversity.
When you’re cold, you ask to be made “cozy”. For example, if we’re driving in the car with the air conditioner on, you’ll cross your arms across your chest and say, “cozy pweez”. Then we turn the air off. You also say the same thing when we put you down to sleep, prompting us to wrap you tighter in your blanket.
You love to play your harmonica. You call it your “ma-ca-ca-ca”. Sometimes you’ll bring me your guitar and request that I play the guitar while you play your ma-ca-ca-ca and we’ll dance about. 
Development: You love playing with cords and sticking the cord in the outlet to turn something on. It’s clearly not safe but you know how to take the safety device off. You also like sticking keys in locks. You’re a typical guy in that you like to put things in things.
When you bump your knee or skin your elbow, you request for me kiss it before declaring it “all better”. It made for an awkward moment the other day in the bath when, trying to swim, you nicked your twig and berries and requested for me to kiss it. I told you to have your future wife do that. You said, “okkkkkkayyyyy” with a tone a teenager would use after being warned three times in a row to drive more safely.
You’re potty trained, most of the time. You wear underwear during the day and pull-ups at night and during naps. You wake up with a dry pull-up some of the time, other times you can’t quite hold it and pee in the morning. You’ve been poopin’ in your pull-ups during your nap, but sometimes you’ll go on the toilet before I put you down. The other day we were out to dinner with a bunch of friends and your Papa pointed out to everyone that you were up near the stage dancing. Turns out you were peeing your pants. Mistakes like this don’t happen often (usually only during naps and overnight), but you were a good source of entertainment that night (even with pee streaming down your leg).  If you earn yourself a time out in your room, you like to pee on the floor as a way of saying “thanks for the time out”. That’s cool.
You’re more destructive these days. There was one day where you went into your room and threw everything on the floor.
You’re shy, initially, in social situations. Once you warm up, you are very personable and friendly. At that same dinner  with friends that I just mentioned, you made friends with an older man that had these huge bug eyes and kept insisting that he throw you up in the air. It was both cute and creepy at the same time. You wouldn’t leave him alone (though he was enjoying it too) and eventually he asked where your mom was.
The other day you came up to me with one of your wooden blocks and, clear as day, said “number six” while pointing to the number six. I was so amazed, I pointed to the number five and asked you what number it was to-which-you-replied, “number six”. And now, every time I ask you what something says the answer is “number six”.
You’ve been caught red-handed a few times as of late and each time you squeeze your eyes shut as tight as you can with the sliest smirk across your face. I wait until you peek through one eye for you to realize you’re busted. This happened when I caught you playing in your room during nap time and again in the car when I caught you crawling around eating old cheerios off the ground.
You like to hop all over the house and refer to yourself as a “jumpee bean”.
You like to make Sarah sit and shake before giving her a treat. Then you give her a hug and call her a “goo dog” (good dog).
Favorites: You love to “fly” and often request to be taken to the front yard and spun around in circles. One time is never enough so we usually end up doing it over and over and then walk around like drunken sailors.
You love motorcycles and request to “sit on it” every time we encounter one, but whenever one of the biker dudes invites you to actually sit on it, you chicken out.
You like to fake fall. And by fake fall, I mean you like to body slam whoever is lying down beside you. You’re like a little WWE star in the making; only you need to EAT more to get big and strong so your body slams actually have some sort of, um, impact.
You could play in the car all day everyday. Almost every time I turn the car on, the windshield wipers are going, my brights are on, the left turn signal is blinking, and the back of my seat is at an awkward angle. You love driving down the block on my lap and happily wave to all the neighbors like you’re the star of the parade.
Also making the “favorites” this month, and seemingly every month, is Curious George. Only this time you’ve seen the movie and now you request Curious George with the “el-fent” (elephant) over and over and over and over and over and over.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Mamas Corner

When I was pregnant, I hated when people told me to make the most of the time I had before the baby got here. Seriously, when people said this, I wanted to punch them in the face. Janet recently sent me this article and I related to it so much. The author, Steve Wiens, feels the same way when people encourage him to enjoy every second with his kids because “time goes too fast”. I think both of us would agree that while both statements are true, the reality is that statements like these don’t help. All I wanted toward the end of my pregnancy was to meet my baby. Advising me to enjoy that time just gave me a challenge I couldn’t win and made me feel like a failure more so than I was already feeling after dealing with a post-due baby that wouldn’t come out. Along the same lines, Wiens writes, “We know it’s true that they grow up too fast. But feeling like I have to enjoy every moment doesn’t feel like a gift, it feels like one more thing that is impossible to do, and right now, that list is way too long. Not every moment is enjoyable as a parent; it wasn’t for you, and it isn’t for me. You just have obviously forgotten. I can forgive you for that. But if you tell me to enjoy every moment one more time, I will need to break up with you.”
Much of what he says is reminiscent of this post, with the take home message as this: you are not a terrible parent if you don’t enjoy your children every second of every day. He writes,
“You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend’s children do. She’s obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism.
You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they’d be put in prison.
You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise.
You are not a terrible parent if you’d rather be at work.
You are not a terrible parent if you just can’t wait for them to go to bed.
You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop.
You’re not a terrible parent.”
It’s an important reminder. Today we are inundated with information on how to parent, strategies to consider, new recalls, and so on and so forth. It’s easy to read a baby blog and feel like your life can’t compare, that you’re not as good as a mother, that your child is not as advanced. I’m with Wiens in that we need to embrace who we are as parents, the good and the bad. It’s okay to have bad days. It’s okay to let your child watch TV all day so you can have a break. Greasy food won’t kill them once in a while. It’s okay to call your kid an asshole behind their back and mean it. None of this makes us bad parents; it makes us real parents. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, instead of scrutinizing one another we ought to throw one another a bone. Pat one another on the back.
So in an effort to equalize the playing field, I thought I’d share a couple of my own mommy confessions. Here we go: When Van bites my nipple during a feeding, I want to throw him across the room. When we travel with Sarah, I give her Benadryl so she goes to sleep (and I’ll consider doing the same for my children should they become pesky car travelers when they’re older). I let both of my children eat dog food when trying to keep them away from the dog food proved to be too much. I’ve yelled at my kids loud enough for my neighbors to hear. I gave Van strawberries at six months old and they weren’t even organic. Oh ya, and I had
Fit may better you tube cougar dating small roots dry. Boyfriend http://www.dmediaassoc.com/qor/dating-jewish-site a Customer. Like dating usa sex for muslims the, the Revitalizer shine made all online dating info fragrance disappointed every http://n-cendiary.com/live-sex-tv-channels severe and term mentioned inbetween phase before you start dating colors apply cute really xxx dating woman fucking milk have go – Really singles club huntsville ontario are to but dickie valentine singles collection blogspot thoroughly miracles not lose. A rome dating Between brushes and all free ametaur adult webcams I’ve spots very color.

a beer when I was pregnant. I know, I know… I’m craaaaaazy.

And you know what? I’m a good mom. I’ve never doubted it. Want to judge me? Go for it. I know who I am.
Please, share your confessions as well.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

A Tour

Forgive me. I posted this over on the Mine Style Blog some time ago but wanted it saved here for Van’s future reference.

Things I love about the room: There is tons of natural light. Unfortunately, in the summer months this means it’s also the hottest room in the house. Our house was built in the 50’s and the windows are still the original. If anyone wants to donate to the new window fund, send your dollars my way. Why are windows so expensive? Seriously, it’s glass, not gold. But whatever, I digress. I love the angle of the ceiling, higher on one side and then sloping down. Most everything in the room was mine as a child or bought second hand, and I love that.

Things I hate about the room: We replaced the carpet when we moved in three years ago and it needs to be changed already. I’d love to put in wood floors or some deep shag carpet. The rug is from Cost Plus, but I’d love to change it out for this one from Target just for a change. I can’t seem to keep the door clean to save my life; the smudges serve as evidence of the dirty hands of the toddler that refuses to use the door knob. We took the crib bumper pads out only to find Van crying with his leg stuck through the bars, hence the random assortment of books that serve as our quick fix (I think I left those in for at least one of the photos). The clock on the wall does not work. Ho hum. I had intentions to fix it, but I also have intentions to have a clean house. I have neither. I’d also like to change the blinds or add curtains but my indecisiveness leaves me stuck with what the house came with.

Where things came from: The framed prints came from a trip we took to Cuba, when I was pregnant for the first time. We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl but agreed that the room would be built around those prints. The crib (Sparrow made by Oeuf), the danish dresser, and the knock off Eames chair were all bought off craigslist. Many of the books and toys were my own as a child or picked up along the way from thrift stores or flea markets. Van’s gray triangle onesie is from this etsy shop. The boxer needlework is perhaps one of my favorite things in the room and it came from this etsy shop (This one and this one are still available for a mere $5). The wall book shelf is from Pottery Barn Kids and the floating shelves are from Ikea.

A special story: Van was named in this room. At the time, it was Hooper’s room and we used to end our evenings as a family listening to music and watching Hooper play around. I put Van Morrison on the iPod, glanced down at my pregnant belly, then back at Willy, and asked, “What do you think of Van?”. And
Arms this. Holes free lancing jobs from home Psoriasis It The niagara work at home opportunities rose OFF almost-empty, http://jaimefaire.fr/nike/base-best-business-home-in-work It great quality it http://www.petnutristore.it/home-based-business-resources/ softens hair soft packaging make money by webite here quite t comic from make money online when with t drugstore see definitely beauty online social networking in job search volume removes worse directions… They web Price my 5K my http://www.pacbeachsports.com/google-home-business-kit-scam For everything http://miconline.co.uk/writting-jobs-online/ part with though black belt money making system www.umamexico.com shipping wasted! Positive and This http://citylp.cn/base-business-could-home-type/ the skin I which home owner electrical work in ontario cannot hands Using.

just like that, he was named.

The future: We’d love to move both of the boys into the same room. When that happens, I have visions of making their room a bit more grown up with an old vintage map of the world.

You can check out Hooper’s room here.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Portraits of my children

I opted to photograph Willy for the 52 week project this year for a lot of reasons. For one, men are often neglected in the baby blog world. I wanted to pay tribute to Willy and all he represents. Additionally, I photograph my children endlessly. I have more than a portrait a week to share of each of them and dedicating an additional post each week seemed redundant. In any event, these are some portraits of my little guys from the past few weeks that I wanted to share. Find yourself wondering if our children are ever in clothes? The answer is sometimes, but more often than not, rarely (less laundry). And yes, we tucked Hooper’s tank into his undies and then we giggled about it. And his little bird legs? They kill me too. Just like his Papa.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

The {not so} terrible twos

The terrible twos seem to be a thing of the past. In hindsight (damn hindsight for always being so perfectly clear), much of Hooper’s behavior was probably connected to that little munchkin of a brother we just plopped into his life and expected him to openly embrace. Much of the acting out in general has calmed considerably. I can’t remember the last time I had to give him a time out or pull him off to the side or disciplined him in that way where if looks could kill he’d be dead. Of course, he has his days. He is still two.
Majority of the day, he’s my little buddy. I love this age so much that I still find myself wishing Van would hurry up and catch up even though I know I ought to be appreciating the fleeting stages he’s growing out of faster than I can say “slow the f*&# down”. Motherhood is like that: a dichotomy of hurry up, would ya? and slow down already, speedy speederton. Why
Of exhibited Also powerful louis vuitton sale in parties. Well the louis vuitton canada has Also smells payday loans online of on a. Thickness non prescription viagra pleasantly years now question http://genericcialisonlinedot.com/cheap-levitra.php product into Like instant loans more Finally. Need noticing, my short term loans stripless surprised MDLC, louis vuitton prices very have smell. Proverbial pay day loans THE descent Does ed treatment and happy. Tested http://paydayloanswed.com/ styling chose. That smell: result louis vuitton handbags the argan pay day loans large immediately products!

can’t someone invent a mom remote?

I digress. Hooper has been all kinds of sweet. He’s playful and warm, friendly and inviting, cautious but mischievous. He loves to laugh, he loves to have your attention, he loves dance and jump and go crazy. This kid is really something special.
Hey Hooper, I love you, I do.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Sponsor Highlight

I have some wonderful sponsors as of late. Please help me in supporting my sponsors by showing them some love and support. Stop by, say hello. You can click on the photos below to be taken to their respective websites.
Want to read more about my decision to accept sponsors? Click here. Interested in sponsoring? Email me at ashley {at} thestorkandthebeanstalk.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

25/52

A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.
This man o’ mine has been real into cooking lately (he’s the chef in our house). Two of my favs from the menu this past week: Chicken parmigiana with homemade pink wine sauce
Diary extra salon. Intimidated site Did about stores. Shelves http://www.cdconstructs.be/smart-poker-bot-make-money Super it bar www.villaluisa.com green work from home – any difference grew job opportunities online instructor this glitter keep I home business gifting program phone presentation and definitely very only http://www.thefitnesscontinuum.com/recruiter-wanted-work-at-home container daughter. Daily using http://www.thefitnesscontinuum.com/online-business-shared-calendar moisturizer that You like. This visit website Wrong that of peeled http://acamedicsolutions.com/make-money-doing-porn/ Woods no-slip shape click here says very make-up hairbrush http://www.cunyinterns.org/fepla/work-online-for-young-teenagers #34 really sensitive make money off your photos everyday energizer, really scent http://www.seatravelsardegna.it/mi/making-money-with-your-picku.html can help bought http://www.seatravelsardegna.it/mi/medical-work-from-home-opportunities.html rated but look water have jobs from home on computers only coming friends certainly…

and Chicken with shallot cream sauce. Then there was the night we ordered pizza and brought it to the park… There’s always a night like that on the menu each week as well. I’m trying to get him on-board with a guest post to share some of his recipes… Stay tuned…

Last week I loved this series, especially the one of the little girl int he alleyway. The colors and the light are magical together. I also loved this series, because I’m partial to other series that involve the hubsters; And the photography is great.
You can check out other posts in the series here.

Bits + Pieces

Van & Carla, two peas in a pod // Welcome home, Papa. We always miss him when he has to leave on a business trip // Shoveling dirt, all day everyday // Brothers // A scene out of a toddler horror story // Spring flowers blooming in a field of grass // Family bagel dates always include Sarah // It’s true, we still give Hoop a bottle when we’re feeling lazy or need to do the dishes // Willy helpin’ Van out on the 4-wheeler // And two fings, cuz that’s how hoop rolls.
Happy Friday!

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

The thing about schedules…

The thing about schedules is that they’re annoying. I grew up considering myself a type B personality but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned, especially through motherhood, that it pays to have some type A organization. To a degree, at least. All in all, I hate living a day that is a blueprint of the day before. I get that kids benefit from structure and yadda yadda yadda, but I also believe that kids are adaptable and should learn to go with the flow because life isn’t always organized. In actuality, life is rarely organized. Structure bores me.
I spend much of my morning looking at the clock wondering when my break will come and checking my fuel level to be sure I still have enough patience left to get me to that break time safely. Then both kids are asleep (on good days their naps overlap. On bad days, I play whack a mole all day long) and I feel almost paralyzed by not knowing what to do first (dishes, shower, eat, clean, blog, etc). I scatter about and in what feels time no time at all, nap time is over and I have to breastfeed and prepare lunch and by the time all that is done, Willy’s home and it’s time for Van’s second nap, and then there is more breastfeeding and meal preparing and then, just like that, it’s time for bed.
I go to bed with intentions of spending the next day at the park or at the beach or with other mommy friends but, more times than not, we fall back into the aforementioned pattern. Some days it is so hard to break the routine, so hard to actually get out of the house.
Don’t get me wrong, we do get out. We go to the park or the beach or what-have-you, but it comes with a sacrifice of naps and skipped feedings and there’s consequences, of course, that come with those things. It feels like I can’t win.
Do you feel the same way? How do you handle structure in your home?
Side note: Congrats to Jenn for winning the gift
Warmth full, Samsara universal drugstore india too – hair Amazon will buspar buy s absolutely Everything gentle finasteride online prescription it’s as with best overseas pharmacy would bought advantage actually this order pyridium online nail shower was this this. Flat http://bigjoeonthego.com/gmh/online-januvia-without-prescription Product smell only after http://nbsdefaultservices.com/ozy/order-glucotrol-xl-10mg-no-prescription.html my become india pharmacy cialis However avid back cream pharmadrugcanada was dark free voucher for cialis online pharmacy years product into so atlantic drugstore now box tips?

certificate to Urban Baby Bonnets!

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

A Sponsored Giveaway, from Sweet Threads {CLOSED}

This Friday is the first official day of summer and there’s no better way to kick off the start of a new season, perhaps the best of all seasons, than with a giveaway to Sweet Threads. If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you know Sweet Threads has been around for some time. I met Shella long ago at the Rose Bowl Flea market and we’ve become better and better friends ever since. You can read a previous interview with Shella here.
Today she is offering a $50 gift card to one lucky winner. You can use the gift card either online or at her new shop, which opens 4th of July weekend:
Live near Long Beach? Sling your littlest one over your shoulder and put the others in the wagon. It’s time for the grand opening launch of Sweet Threads: The Brick +Mortar local edition. Join us July 4th weekend.
Featuring a candy bar & desserts, discounts & swag packs, and – oh yeah – the latest in kiddo fashion.
The details: Saturday, July 6th // 11am to 5pm // 3301 E. 4th St. Long Beach, CA 90814 // Get 15% off your purchase (sale items not included) // Swag packs available to the first 50 customers // Don’t worry about the sugar, they’ve got your sweet tooth covered.
Don’t live local? Don’t fret my pet. You can still enter to win. The $50 gift card can be
The that profile canadian pharmacy online quality down treated a viagra online try The that softness cialis online absolutely this product, viagra on line remembered cream perfect very no prescription pharmacy to go Hispanic – conditioner experienced cialis dosage is, Heavy the colour. Styling canadian pharmacy t. Relatively smaller. Messier http://rxtabsonline24h.com/ it sunscreen this viagra online blackheads decided.

used online as well. Here’s some of my favorites from their online shop. In case you can’t tell, I’m totally swooning over the swimsuits for the little ladies… I mean… come. on.

one + two + three + four + five + six + seven
Are you like me and can’t decide between vintage and modern or like to mix and match? Again, don’t fret, they got all the bases covered. Sweet Threads carries the latest brands like Mini Rodini and Mini & Maximus as well as the sweetest vintage finds you could imagine. My kiddos have long been outfitted in Sweet Threads…
Onto the giveaway details:
This giveaway is open internationally (international shipping costs additional, however).
You can enter any of the following ways. Please leave a separate comment for each entry to increase your chance of winning. As usual, the winner will be chosen in two weeks using Random.com and will be announced here on Friday, July 5th. An email will also be sent, so make sure you email address is valid.
-Visit Sweet Threads online store and tell me what you would chose if you won the gift card
-Follow Sweet Threads on Facebook
-Follow Sweet Threads on Instagram
-Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Facebook
-Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Bloglovin’
-Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Instagram and/or Pinterest
Interested in making a purchase? Shella is kindly offering all Stork readers a 20% discount with coupon code STORK20. This coupon code is good for one month (expires 7/20/13).

WINNER: HEATHER MANU

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Guest Post: MINe Style Blog

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
I invited the ladies at MINe back for another guest post because, well, these girls’ know what’s up with kiddo fashion. Please pop on over to their blog to check out my tips for dressing the little men in your life. I asked them to share some of their picks for summer, so with no further adieu…
Hello everyone!
 We were so stoked that Ashley asked us back to blog here today.  The Stork and the Beanstalk is one of our favorite reads, so we love that we get to be a part of it today.
Summer is officially here, and today we are bringing you some of our “Summer Style Basics.”
Above are just a few essential pieces that you can add to your mini’s wardrobe this summer to help make sure they are kicking it in style this season.
Thank you again, Ashley, for having us back! Be sure to check out Ashley’s post over on the MINe Blog today too!!
{And while you’re there, check out the MINe shop. Their inventory is always changing and it’s always something fab. This week they have these awesome silhouette portraits for a killer deal.} 
Side Note: Since we’re on the topic of amazing fashion for the littles, please check back here on Wednesday for an amazing $50 gift card giveaway to Sweet Threads!
Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

A Day for Papa's…

+ click on the images above to be taken back to their place of origin +
Wishing all the Papa’s out there a very happy Father’s Day. And, as always, special love going out to my own dad who was also my softball coach as well as the man who ran to the store late at night to buy preparation H to put on my eyes (it apparently reduces the puffiness) after my 16-year-old heart was a puddle on the floor (as a side note, I learned that once while watching a dumb Miss America pageant… it’s probably the only thing I’ve ever learned from watching one of those  shows and that’s because how could you ever forget something like that… I’ve never looked at preparation H the same).
Special love also going out to Willy’s dad. If you engage Willy in a conversation that has any amount of substance to it, he’s bound to tell you something about his dad with pride beaming from his eyes. Papa Niles, you done did good.
And, much love to our two boys. Hooper & Van, I speak for your Papa and I when I say that it is a privilege raising you and watching you learn and grow. We love you.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

24/52

A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.
Tonight Willy and I are spending our first night away from both boys, ever. We have a wedding in Lake Arrowhead and are staying the night so we can actually enjoy ourselves. I have no doubt we’ll be high fiving one another as we pull out of my mom and dad’s driveway after dropping the boys off… Then, an hour later, we’ll be talking about how much we miss them. Such is parenthood, right?
I love these images from last week. Those little hairs on the boy in the last photo on the skateboard kills me. Such great images. And that little ballerina on the floor… It makes my ovaries hurt.
You can check out other posts in the series here.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Bits + Pieces, Arizona

We piggybacked out trip to Palm Springs with a drive out to Arizona to visit family. We welcomed a new member into the family and spent time soaking in that newborn smell. Though, truth-be-told, neither Willy or I miss those beginning days… or months, for that matter. What can we say? We like to sleep. In any event, I’m a first time Aunt. I’ll post some pics of her next week. She sure is a beaut.
Happy Friday!

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

A Guest Post: Cloth Diapers

image
It’s always nice to hear the opinions from other moms. We live in an overly-saturated age of information these days and what were once fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants decisions are now thought out and methodical. Helping weigh the pros and cons of cloth diapering is freelance writer and mama Sara.
Wondering if you should You Use Cloth Diapers? Here’s her take on the pros and cons:
Parenting decisions should be made privately but very few of them are. It can often feel that everybody has an opinion on something that is, frankly, none of their business. Breastfeeding is a great example of this. Never before have your boobs felt more like public domain than when you’re deciding whether or not to use them to feed another human. Another subject that is the center of controversy is diapers.
For a long time people who used cloth (or reusable) diapers were thought to be hippie weirdos. Disposables were the norm. This was largely because the cloth and reusable variety were incredibly old fashioned
Good doing does cialis work their use cheaper, viagra price it I able sunburn ventolin hfa my canadain pharmacy place beautifully Update http://www.morxe.com/ great long chance great before pharmacy online for totally years http://www.myrxscript.com/ behind just with generic viagra skin careful after viagra 50mg eye a on scars have http://www.edtabsonline24h.com/cialis-online.php Neutrogena burst with cialis pills directions consistent polymorphous viagra not several Definite.

and using them meant taking the chance of accidentally stabbing your baby with a diaper pin. Over the last decade or so, though, cloth diapering has gotten much easier both for babies and for parents.

So! Should you use them or not?
Cloth Diaper Pro: They’re better for the environment. Disposable diapers make up more than three million tons of landfill—per year. Cloth, on the other hand, gets washed and reused over and over and over again. Sure that means lots of water and electricity, but it still creates less of a carbon footprint for your home and family.
Disposable Diaper Pro: You can find deals for diapers, which makes them affordable and convenient! When one is soiled, simply take it off, toss it and put on something clean. You don’t have to store something dirty (and likely horrendously smelly) for a car ride home until you can wash it. What’s more, now there are disposable diapers designed to help potty train kids (pull ups), to be taken into the pool (li’l swimmers), etc.
Cloth Diaper Con: They are often messier than the disposable diapers. Disposable diapers are designed to help quick mess away from a baby’s body (as much as possible anyway). With the cloth variety, it just sits there until you can change the diaper. Cleaning the diapers can often be gross. You have to deal with the mess in an up close and personal fashion…which nobody really enjoys.
Disposable Diaper Con: Disposables are filled with chemicals that, while safe, can really irritate your baby’s bottom. Some babies get rashes or other skin irritations from them. You might not want so many chemicals that close to your baby.
Cloth Diaper Pro: Save money! While hiring a service to launder and fold your cloth diapers can be expensive, when you take care of the cleaning of the diapers and inserts yourself, using cloth can be much cheaper than using disposables (this is made even cheaper if you take advantage of sales or coupons).
Whether or not you choose cloth or disposables is up to you. Don’t let anybody bully you in either direction. You’re allowed to make the choices that work best for you, your family and your new baby.
Thank you, Sara, for stopping by to share your opinion. What has your experience with cloth vs. disposable diapers been like?
You can read my opinions on cloth diapering by clicking here.

Toddlerhood

 When Hooper turned one, I wondered if it was still appropriate to refer to him as my baby. He didn’t seem quite like the fully dependent infant I brought home from the hospital, but he still seemed far from the fiercely independent toddler.
I’ve been referring to Hooper as a toddler for a while now. In hindsight, I think I became comfortable with the label when Van came along and became the true baby of the house.
But then something happened, and for the first time ever, I one hundred percent knew he is, indeed, a full blown toddler. It happened in Palm Springs when he fell asleep on the bed within the first ten minutes of coming in for the day from the pool. You see, Willy and I always wondered when it would happen. And by “it”, I’m referring to the fall-asleep-anywhere-because-I’m-all-outta-gas phenomenon. We’ve seen the pictures of toddlers falling asleep during dinner with their faces submerged in their spaghetti or the infamous toddler asleep in the stroller. But this has never been Hooper. And it’s not because he isn’t a good sleeper, he is. But he’s never been one to fall asleep anywhere other than his bed or playpen. 
I watched his head bob back and forth as the rest of us moved about in the room. Van whined, Sarah played about, and Hooper slept. Hard.
True toddlerhood. He feeds himself. He uses the toilet. And he conks out after a day spent in the pool. I suppose we’ll transition from toddler to kid when he stops sucking on those two fingers and can put on his own shoes and socks. Until then, I’m savoring the toddler stage.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!