Thursday, February 26, 2015

for rowan{give a little bit}

In just over a month our baby boy will be 1! I'm not quite sure where this year has gone but if time could do me a solid, and slow down just a bit, I'd be forever grateful!

I've been thinking about and bouncing around ideas for his birthday party probably since he was six months old. But, we didn't start discussing it in earnest until a few months ago. During one of the many conversations Doug suggested that we donate blood as a way to say thank you for all that had been done for us. If you've read Rowan's birth story, you know that it was a fairly traumatic and critical situation for me and the baby. I lost about two liters of blood and had to receive a blood transfusion. We received such good care! I'm not sure either of us would have survived without it.

I thought his idea was terrific. This has been such a special year for our family. To mark Rowan's birthday and in honor of everything that it made this year possible, we decided to hold a blood drive.

Starting March 1 we are asking friends, family and anyone that is moved to do so, to give blood. Donations will be collected at all Hoxworth Blood Centers. You can schedule an appointment or simply walk in to any of the neighborhood donation centers. When filling out your information /registration form please use the code: ROW to help us track the donations made in Rowan's name. Check out the Hoxworth Blood Center website for places to donate, hours and directions. The blood drive runs from March 1 until March 25. If you're not local but you know someone that is in Cincinnati, please share the story with them and if you don't know anyone locally please think about donating to your local blood bank. Every bit helps!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

note on parenting{sometimes you forget}

I try really hard to avoid being judgmental about the parenting choices of others. And for the most part, I remain pretty judgement free. The" mommy wars" are stupid and as long as your choices don't hurt my kid we're all good.

However, I've come to realize I may have been a bit dismissive of the parenting problems of those with little ones. Having been through it all, I roll my eyes a little when I hear of sleepless nights, potty training battles and toddler tantrums. I would gladly take a 3 year old melting down in the Target checkout lane over a screaming match in the front yard(as your neighbors try to proceed with their very normal lives) because your 15 year old daughter has been caught trying to sneak out of the house again. In my head waking up every hour to feed your baby safe and sound in his own room is exhausting but better than laying awake terrified that you're going to a call your kid has wrapped the car around a telephone poll the first time you let her take it out unsupervised at night. Parenting takes nerves of steel and you need every bit of them when taking on tw/teens!

This week I've been humbled. February is always the gray and dreary. Why does the shortest month of the year drag itself out for so long?! The temperatures have dropped dangerously low-below zero before you even factor in the wind chill. We've had more snow in the last week than we typically have all winter. And then of course there's the cold/flu/general ick that keeps circulating through the house. As soon as we're all healthy two weeks later someone brings home a new germ and it starts all over again. Good times, I tell ya'. This is all to say that for last week I've trapped in house with a grouchy 11 month old. Late Friday evening we'd created the perfect storm. We had a meetup with some other moms and babies which was great but left him over stimulated. He fell asleep for maybe ten minutes on the way which left him grumpy and any attempt to get him to take his afternoon nap was thwarted by a barking dog or ringing doorbell or noisy sibling. By 5 o'clock he was in full meltdown mode. By half past 5, so was I!  Nothing made him happy! He didn't want me to read to him but when I stopped he screamed. He didn't want to eat his snack but when I took it away, he screamed. He didn't want to play with any of toys but when I put them away, well you get the idea. Doug and I took turns handing him off to one another so try to stay sane. It goes without saying that by 6:45 we were all in our pajamas and most of us were asleep. Those that weren't, were quietly tucked into their crib and soon drifted off.

So here's the thing I forgot while being so smug, when you're in it, it can be really, really hard! Yes, angst-y and disrespectful teens are hard. Particularly when you know that the mistakes they tend to make can really mess up their lives in the long run. But that doesn't mean that dealing with an overstimulated toddler screaming and crying and wanting ALL the things isn't just as hard to navigate. It's just different. What's the old saying-Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting their own hard battle-even if that battle is with a very tired 11 month old!        

Monday, February 23, 2015

6&7/52 [the52project}

I'm a week,actually two(...shhh!) behind. I've been taking pictures but there's been a slight lag in blogging about them! February is brutal!

Still love watching him while he sleeps even if he's not doing much napping these days. Those crazy curls are out of control!

Bath time antics and baby chub.

A portrait of my son once a week, every week in 2015.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

worn{two of hearts}

what's a girl to do on Valentine Eve when one of her best friends graciously takes you as her plus one to The Cincinnati's Ballet production of Alice in Wonderland?

Valentine's Day is one of the very few days in the year when a dress full of hearts is not only appropriate but it's kind of necessary. A quick prayer to the fashion gods that it still fits and I'm ready to meet the Queen of Hearts.

Monday, February 16, 2015

mood board monday{rowan's wild rumpus}

We're a little more than a month out from our baby's first birthday!! How can this be?! In spite of my deep denial I finally managed to start to put together some sort of plan for his big day.

There are so  too many great ideas on Pinterest. I wanted something fun and not too complicated. Pinterest has a way of making you feel like the most inadequate parent ever! Ultimately, I decided on something that we all love.  Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are  is one of our favorites. Rowan's Wild Rumpus seemed like a perfect fit.

Here's the mood board I sent over to Jen to give her a little inspiration for the invitation design.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

5/52{the 52 project}

A portrait of my son once a week, every week in 2015.

There's an app that lets you know what the #1 song was the day you were born. March 25, 2014 the top song was Pharrell's "Happy". Always quick with a giggle or a smile, it's the perfect anthem for this kid!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

petal pushing{grocery store arrangements 101}

In my other life, I have my own floral and event company . I've been on a bit of a break since having Rowan but I'm looking forward to relaunching and working on new projects this spring. 

Lately, the only time I make something for my own enjoyment is when we're having a party or if I happen to have a few leftover stems from another project.  But, even pros are known for tossing a bouquet in the cart at the market from time to time. When I buy them for myself I prefer to get something local and seasonal from the farmer's market. However, Ohio in the middle of winter doesn't make this an available option. Grocery store flowers it is!  I will usually purchase them from Trader Joe's, Fresh Market or Whole Foods. These stores seem to have a more interesting variety and are a good value for what you get(TJ sells peonies for something like $5-$10 in the spring! This is cheaper than getting them wholesale at the flower market!). 

Valentine's Day is in a few days. On the off chance that a dozen red roses isn't your jam and maybe you'd like something a little more interesting, I thought I'd put together a little post just in case you want to #treatyoself. I stopped in at Trader Joe's and picked up five bunches of flowers for a total of $20!     

I collect milk glass and decided to use one of the containers that has pedestal like shape because it's always challenging for me to design in them and the only way to get better is to practice. This technique will work with any vessel that has low profile-bowls, short vases, etc. 

I like TJs because I can buy bunches of specific flowers. Mixed bouquets usually have things in them that I'm not particularly fond of(hello stargazer lilies, I'm looking at you! ugh!) but sometimes you have to work with what's there. If you can only buy mixed bouquets try to pick up an extra bunch of greens. I know that Kroger sells bunches(typically 5-10 stems)of mixed greens for a few dollars. Once you get everything home unwrap and disassemble the bouquets. Remove any leaves that have brown spots or look wilted. You also want to give them a fresh cut and put them in water.  

The easiest way to give the arrangement a fuller shape,particularly when you aren't using a crap ton of flowers is to tape a grid pattern on your container. I used floral tape. You can find it at many craft stores. I have used packing tape in a pinch but you have to make sure the sides of the vessel are completely dry or it won't stick.

Before you begin remove any leaves that fall into the water. Leaves in water will cause everything to decay faster.

Start with a base of greenery. The greens give support to the arrangement.

This is when you add your first round of flowers. This is also the point when I tend to freak out and think the end result will be shit. Feel free to skip that step;)

Don't be afraid to play with the arrangement. If it doesn't look the way you want it to move some things around!

At this point, I've started to fill in it in a little more with a different variety of flowers and some filler.

And, voila...

The finished arrangement. Not too bad for $20 and 20 minutes!

Here's what I used:
1 bunch of gerber daisies(spider variety)-10 stems
1 bunch of tulips-10 stems
1 mixed bunch-3 stems of alstromeria, 1 stem of spray roses, 3 standard roses
1 bunch of waxflower-5 stems
1 bunch of seeded eucalyptus 

I like for my arrangements to have a loose organic feel and shape to them so I opt for flowers that have "movement" naturally. Tulips and other things like anemones, lisianthus and  ranunculus are a favorite of mine for that reason. The extra greens help give arrangements a more polished and "done" feeling especially if you can find a bunch that has a variety-ruscus, seeded eucalyptus and silver dollar eucalyptus all have a fantastic natural shape to them. There are plenty of options for filler that are not babies breath. Queen Anne's lace and waxflower are two if my go to's. I will often forage in the yard for things like greens, berries, branches and wildflowers. Don't be afraid to use something that you like! It's just flowers:)


Friday, February 6, 2015

4/52{the 52 project}

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.

Talking to your toys. This is a completely new and absolutely delightful thing!