Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Feeling: Overwhelmed. There is just so much going on in my life right now (hence the minimalist blogging stance I've apparently taken for the month of June). It's one of those times where your mind just doesn't get a break because there's a backlog of things you have to do/figure out/plan/prepare for.

Seeing how stressed out I am, Brayden has started
wiping down his tray for me after meals. What a doll.

Excited About: Brayden's birthday party. It's definitely on my "things to be stressed out about" list as well, but I'm so happy that some of our family can make the trip out here and spend the day with our little guy. Even though we're not throwing a huge bash, it feels like there's still a million things to do for it. Perhaps my knack for being overly ambitious came into play here once again.

Working On: The big first birthday present. I told Lauren I wanted him to build Brayden a toybox for his first birthday. Knowing that the task would be a bit tricky on his own, my husband enlisted the help of his super-handy brother. They built the toybox a few weeks ago (it looks SO good) and now I'm working on the paint job. I've settled on the idea of baby animal pictures and am just finishing up sketching them before the painting begins.

Work in progress.

Enjoying: My little guy's newest quirks. Recently, he's decided he simply must try to pick up objects that are almost as big as he is. Large empty boxes, big throw pillows, packages of diapers. He's started heaving them up like a superhero and then forcefully throwing them on the floor and giggling. He's also decided to learn how to breakdance. At completely random times over the past few weeks, he throws himself onto the floor, barrel-rolls across the carpet, then gets up and flops around into strange contortions. (This kid keeps me pretty amused throughout the day) And I can't say I'm not loving the fact that Brayden adores interactive books right now (Dear Zoo is one of his very favorites. He hands it to me to read to him - while he opens all the flaps - at least six times a day). He's also been really loving the Look Book I made him. He especially likes the page with Auntie Cole and her little dog, Zeus. (He points to them, smiles and babbles every time)

Morning storytime.

Break it down now.

Watching: True Blood. So excited for the next season. It's funny how I watch almost no television and one the few things I do watch is a trashy guilty pleasure. (I think the only other things I really watch are cooking shows and Newsroom)

Love me some Eric.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Baby Lesson #308: Enjoy the Little Things

Babies might not have the motor skills to pass a field sobriety test. And children might not understand basic laws of physics. But it doesn't mean they don't have their own lessons to teach adults of the world.

There's just so much you can learn from watching babies, children, and even teenagers. A few weeks ago, my husband was outside chatting with one of our neighbors (another young father). They were talking about how excited kids get at absolutely everything. Lauren commented that everything they have - whether it's a paper clip or an empty box - is the greatest thing in the world to them. The fellow father responded by saying he couldn't even remember the last time he was that excited about something.

♥ Happy just because. ♥
Babies have it right. The world is an exciting and joyful place. It's easy for adults to get carried away in the day-to-day responsibilities and forget to appreciate the small wonders in the world. But I love watching how thrilled Brayden is each and every day. He gets excited about the funniest things - the produce sticker on a pear, pulling my credit card out of my wallet, seeing the dogs race down the stairs when I call them. And I love how I can give him a completely random item and it (usually) will keep his interest for a period of time (this is typically attempted while cooking dinner and he wants to be held. Winning items have included a pastry blender, slotted spoon, and the typical measuring cup + bowl combination).

For babies, there's this overwhelming sense of wonder and excitement. Everything is new and everything is amazing. For children, there's curiosity and joyfulness - always something to be happy and run around about. And when they get older, there's this hilarious self-importance that defines the teenage years. When I taught high school, most people asked me how I could put up with all the drama of 9th and 10th graders. Honestly, though, I absolutely loved it. Every single thing in their world was the. most. important. thing. ever. A new haircut. Choosing an outfit for a weekend party. Getting to stay out until midnight instead of 11:30. Their current boyfriend, girlfriend or BFF. Everything is life or death to teenagers. Everything is passionate, dramatic and full of importance.

And even though it can get over the top sometimes (there's really no need to cry if you get an answer wrong, darling), in so many ways, it's better than the ambivalence that is abound in the adult world. Too many people don't let themselves get excited or feel the intense emotions about things that they used to. And it's a shame. Living with the excitement, wonder and passion that kids do is something we should never outgrow.

It's funny how we spend so much time teaching children how to do practical things and most of us never recognize what they can teach us (or help us remember).

I'll leave you with a charming video of my son from yesterday's dinner. He is quite giggly about the fact that he's learning to feed himself oatmeal. ♥