Toddler Times

Time is flying isn't it?!
I have yet to take Sam's 12 month onesie photos-- bad mommy. My goal is to get it done before he is 13 months, we will see if I make that- (tomorrow)-lol.

So yeah, Sam is a toddler now....
What does that mean?
Well here are a few things I have noticed:
-He is much more vocal.
It sounds like he is speaking another language and has a LOT to say.
He has entire conversations with a lot of vocal fluctuations, really funny.
But he has yet to say "words", so we will be practicing saying actual words over break.

-He is a lot more emotional lately??
At first I thought he didn't feel well and that was why he was easily upset.
But now I think he is just getting more emotional and aware of his surroundings?? He turns on the waterworks really easily these days.

-Lack of patience.
Sam used to really look at things and play pretty continently for a while.
Lately he seems to be into everything and he moves from one thing to another...
And he moves FAST and with FORCE!

-He eats a lot.
Sam can eat a pretty big meal 3-4 times a day.
He loves fruit and squeals with delight at the sight of mandarin oranges.
So funny.

Sam would prefer to crawl rather than walk.
Sometimes he will walk from one thing to another, but most of the time he likes to walk and then sit down and crawl as fast as he can. He doesn't see the need for walking when he can get where he wants to go just find on all fours. And I am okay with that!
Walking (or running- which is what he will do), will be a whole new ballgame.

Sam's daycare teacher told me that they had to "Sam proof" the room because he studied them opening the gate and then went over and figured out how to mail a jail break.
He is a smart, active, funny little guy.


So it is Christmas time...
Is it just me or does Christmas come faster each year?!

Before I actually had a toddler I thought Christmas would look like these images I stole off Pinterest... 

Sam sitting (which is so laughable) in front of the tree looking up at the lights. 

Yeah right.

But in reality since our house typically looks like a tornado went through,
I knew we wouldn't be able to have a tree sitting on the floor with breakable decorations and we don't really have floor space for a tree....
We have a table top tree once again!

I purchased a little tree at The Fresh Market and got out our non-breakable ornaments and set up shop on top of the dining room table.
I pushed the table over by the window so from the road, it might look like we have a normal sized tree??

I did put up a few other Christmas decorations, but scaled back considerably from what I used to do because it just seems weird to decorate and (and get out more stuff), when it feels like there is stuff everywhere, all the time.
Yep, still LOVING my new kitchen!

I hope you are enjoying your holiday season,
Merry Christmas! 


First Birthday!

Sam's First Birthday Party was so much fun!

"Our little pumpkin" was the theme....
 Because you see, last year my friend Abby brought pumpkin cupcakes to my shower, her sister-in-law Laci made them, and I think I have been fantasizing about them ever since!
 I knew I wanted some pumpkin cupcakes (again), and so when I saw these invitations
the fall/pumpkin/chili bar theme was born. 
**I didn't realize that it would be unseasonable cold with snow on the ground, and that squirrels would eat all of my pumpkins outside, and I would have to search high and low to find a place that still had pumpkins in November, but it all worked out :-) 

Happy Birthday Sam!
You are the man!
Love you buddy!


12 months!

Sam is 12 months old! 
Can you believe it?! Has the year gone as fast for you as it has for me?! 
All month I keep thinking, 
This time last year... 
-I had to stop teaching early and was placed on bed rest
-I went in and out of the hospital for pre-eclampsia 
-My water broke the night before I was supposed to be induced 
and then Sam was born at 10:14 the next morning. 
Wednesday evening I read, "The night you were born" to Sam and he surprisingly made it all the way through the book! I was a little emotional thinking back to "the night he was born" and all that has happened this year.  I had no idea what to expect on this journey of motherhood. 
When Sam was born he lifted his head up and bobbed his head up and down and looked at me like, Hey- you're my mom. I was in complete shock (because I had just given birth) and I had never heard of a baby lifting their head up like that- lol! I think that was foreshadowing to what an active and sweet little boy he would continue to be!
Sometimes the year feels like a bit of a blur. Probably due to the fact that it has now been over a year since I slept through the night and since I've slept past 5AM :-) 
But there are other moments that seem like "just yesterday" and will last in my memory forever.
Sam has been a true blessing and a gift from God.
 I love you so much Sammy and I am so thankful I get to be your Mommy!

Okay, now on to some Sam Stats!
And thank you to Abby for taking these beautiful photos for us!!
Sam has 8 teeth, 4 on top and 4 on the bottom. Even with all those teeth, he still isn't great at chewing, but maybe he will eventually get it? He LOVES manderine oranges and squeals with delight when he seems them. He likes bananas and any fruit baby food mixture. He really likes yogurt and carrots... Green beans are okay and so is pasta, but he doesn't get excited for these foods. I would like to try giving him more "meals" but since he still isn't the best at chewing I have held off.

Sam isn't walking yet. He is sturdy when he stands and he can make it side-stepping around the furniture really well, but when he wants to "go" he uses crawling as his fastest mode of transportation. (And he is fast!)

On the way home from school, Sam used to fall asleep and get a little nap in on the drive home. Now he rarely falls asleep and instead, he chatters, looks out he window, talks to himself in the mirror and takes off his shoes. And whenever he sees me looking back at him in the rear view mirror he has a good old belly laugh. Even though I think he could still maybe use that nap, it is fun to "talk" on the way home.

In the past few weeks Sam is becoming more interested in climbing in and out (and bouncing of course), in his PB chair. He is more interested in his books-- He likes taking them out of the bookshelf and dropping them on the floor, but he also likes listening to the stories...
He REALLY likes his touch and feel books and his owl puppet book-- that is his all time favorite.
Sam has such a good little personality.
 He is a happy bouncing baby boy!

Thank you for being you Sammy!
This has been the best year of my life. I look forward to all the years ahead! 
All my love,


Rambling Renovations

I have been meaning to share this for a long time, had the draft started but never got around to it.

Rambling Renovations is the name of a blog that I found several months ago and I am in love with their home so I thought I would share. 
I love the details of her home, every inch of square space is utilized and full of beautiful design.

(Looks kinda like mine, don't you think?!)
Soo happy I have a kitchen like this now!

This is their bathroom... 
Love the colors and the way they used that little space behind the door for storage. 
The file tags are such a cute touch. 

 Here is a picture of their basement. Not huge, but a perfect example of designated space.... entertainment area, play area, craft area, and where they have their home office.

How adorable is this little play space under the stairs... swoon! 

And how cute is the stairwell down to the basement?! 
(And if you look inside the mailbox it is painted turquoise-- attention to detail-- nailed it!)

Um, that bathroom door?! Amazing!

And at the bottom of this link there are more house tours for you to view! 
I LOVE house tours! 


The wall

Several people have asked me "what's on the other wall in your kitchen?" 

I've shown you the main wall in the kitchen: 

And the small wall where the fridge is:

But if you've been to my house before you know that I have another wall in the kitchen.....
What's now on that wall?    


I am embracing the fact that we have the wall and therefore I'm using it to display artwork! 
This painting used to be in the living room above the couch
(sorry not at all a current photo of the living room but you get the idea)... 

 I am using the IKEA cart that used to serve as my microwave cart/counter for the stove, as my little Sammy Station. I have his food in the cart and I keep his highchair right here for easy access to the sink (he's a messy eater-- haha) so it works out perfectly and keeps the floor space nice and open so Sam can play while I am working in the kitchen. 

About the wall: 
The kitchen remodel was expensive. Period. Therefore, taking the wall down was out of the question. And since we ended up paying even more than we originally had planned, because we had to get new floors, I am really glad we decided not to push the budget and take the wall down. 
During the planning stages, the contractors were not able to give us a "hard" price for the wall removal because they couldn't tell us 100% until they opened the wall up if it was load bearing or not. It was not.... 
BUT, it was recommended by another company that even if it isn't load bearing, to add an additional header because removing all the plaster which has held the wall up for MANY years, could cause cracks in other areas-- ceilings and tile in our bathroom upstairs etc. because of the shift in the weight. So the cost of opening the wall up, adding a header, paying for cabinets and additional granite would have been really costly.  
Even leaving the wall and adding more cabinets would have been really costly. 

So, I had a plan. 
I would embrace the wall as a way to showcase artwork and by not having additional cabinets, I then in turn had more floorspace... I am embracing the floor space as well!
And so far it is working out really nicely! 
I like the flexibility that it gives... 
If I want to move the cart out to the center of the kitchen and add bar stools I can easily do that. 
If I want to get rid of the cart and put Sam's little kitchen on the wall I can do that. 
Later down the road if we wanted to add a larger eat-in-kitchen area, we can do that too.
Maybe even a TV or something?
Lots of possibilities with the wall. 

And just in case you were wondering, I am still LOVING my new kitchen!
For a few weeks after it was finished I would almost startle myself in the mornings as I came in carrying Sam at "dark o'clock", ready to make his bottle... Then I would blink and think, Oh my gosh- I actually have a new kitchen! And the dishwasher--- oh man, life changer, seriously.  


Sam's Christmas List

I know we just celebrated Halloween, but has anyone been thinking about Christmas already? 
Each year I try to think of Christmas gifts earlier and earlier, because it seems like time slips away from me faster and faster, so if I don't get started (with all things in life) early, it doesn't happen.....

I am so excited about sharing all things Christmas with Sam.
Oh what fun!

So what's on Sam's Christmas List?!

Boss and Mimi are getting the boys kitchens
(not these exact kitchens, but you get the idea)
It is the year of "New Kitchens"... haha. 

When I tagged along with a friend to IKEA a few weeks ago, and I couldn't pass up this little play table and chair set.
It is hard to see in this picture, but what sold me on getting this (other than the nice IKEA price), was  the little silhouette of a scottie dog on the back of the chair-- how perfect!
I got a red table and two white chairs. 

My good friend Abby recommended this book... I love the illustrations and since I love shopping online, through good old Ebates, this was added to Sam's Christmas list.

Then one thing I know Sam actually wants is this...
When I visited a friend earlier this year her son had a Rody and Sam LOVED it.
She explained that this is a great toy because kids use it for years.
And we all know Sam loves bouncing! 

What's on your Christmas List?!