I Blinked.

I say the same thing every year: I don’t know how it happened.

Somewhere between the nighttime feedings, scrapped knees, ice cream dates, daycare pick ups and potty training, my itty bitty baby turned into a three year old.

Three years old.

I know what happened … I blinked. Truly a mother’s curse.

I’ve never been so scared and yet so anxious to blink.

I remember when we were finally able to bring her home from the hospital. Those first few days were a hazy dream. Those newbies can s l e e p  t h r o u g h  t h e  d a y. Wrapped up like a baby burrito, just like the nurses taught us in the hospital, our tiny Madeline quietly slept in her bassinet as her dad and I picked ourselves off the floor, literally*, and slept in our own bed until that first nighttime feeding alarm sounded.

{*What they don’t tell you — when you bring that baby home, you are a hundred ways out of sorts. We didn’t sleep in our bed, but on the floor and couch, because we didn’t know what the hell to do.}mads and j

I blinked.

I started carrying her from the bassinet to the crib … in her own room. And as new parents, this crib in her own room might as well be described as being located a lifetime and a half away from our bed. The baby burrito transitioned to just a tiny blanket and NOTHING ELSE. <enter bumper-terrified-get-everything-out-but-a-pacifier-and-THIN-blanket-ONLY-stalking-baby-video-monitor parents> Nighttime feeding alarm sounds. I’m up!

I blinked.

The nighttime feeding alarm exited as the tiny whimpers / giggles / tears entered. I rushed to her room to “just check on her real quick”, which ultimately led to nighttime snuggles and Eskimo kisses as I drifted in and out of consciousness in our gently-used rocking chair. 3 a.m. rolls around too quick. Eventually, I laid her in her crib … again.

I blinked.

No whimpers. No tears. So quiet at night. {And I realize this is a blessing.} Adjusting to not being needed in the darkest of night … I watch the monitor as my head rests on the pillow.

And I noticed that the nighttime blinks turned into light naps. The light naps turned into full hours of rest. My nights were consumed with blinks. It was all happening so fast. During the greatest moments of recharge and rest, our babies turn into toddlers.

During the daylight, the blinks are separated by tea parties, sidewalk chalk and superhero capes. Running, jumping, dancing, swimming and peddling. And even during these daylight hours remain a series of blinks that will never cease.

Blink. An involuntary action beyond our control.

We can’t stop time but only savor those moments between the blinks. Be present and aware of the magic that happens right before you open your eyes … because in that moment, everything might have changed.


For a trip down memory lane …

Throwback Thursday of Mads :: Eat. Sleep. Market.Mads and Flower IMG_7669 IMG_7721IMG_7477 IMG_7510

link up with us


Toddler Activity: Pasta Art

I saw a fun toddler sensory activity circling around on Instagram and Pinterest that I thought would be the perfect start to an art project: dyed pasta. It’s seriously one of the most simple DIY sensory projects ever, and the entertainment lasted for hours … on multiple days. Score. Added bonus: we used it for a really sweet art project for family and friends to enjoy.

Quick Dyed Pasta Recipe

// Vinegar (1 tablespoon for each color)
// Food coloring
// Plastic bags (any sandwich-size bag will do) – one for each color
// Uncooked pasta of choice

In a plastic bag, mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with food coloring. The amount of food coloring is up to you. Go as bold and bright as you wish. Once the vinegar and food coloring are mixed, add in 1/4 cup of pasta.

Once the pasta is coated in the vinegar/food coloring mixture, dump the pasta onto a paper towel lined baking sheet to dry. I let the pasta dry overnight to make sure it was completely dry.

The next day, we had so much fun sorting and counting. I was actually surprised how much fun we had – a total family affair.

Noodle Rainbow | Toddler Activity | Sorting color pasta

Sorting, sorting and more sorting. She’s a rockstar in a princess dress. Loving her.

Noodle Rainbow | Toddler Activity

The next day, I drew a few rainbow templates. I was a little anxious and started the project by gluing a few pieces of pasta to the rainbow template. I like to call it “following the leader” and that was my moment to lead. She was able to finish it, though. Don’t worry. :) {Don’t say kid projects can’t be fun!!} Also, just LOVE her little hands at work. GUSHING over here, friends.Making a noodle rainbow | Toddler Activity

Her little mind at work on her second rainbow. This time, she was in control of the colors and glue stick. Rainbow #2 is a work-in-progress and nothing short of amazing, obviously.Noodle Rainbow | Toddler Activity

Our finished masterpiece! Hope you enjoyed learning about this activity. It was definitely one that will be repeated in this house. I’m thinking mama needs a new necklace …

linking up with jennifer

Leave a comment

Thursday Thoughts: If Every Day Were Saturday

If Every Day Were SaturdayIf every day were Saturday…

// this post wouldn’t be a day late.

// we would take our waking slow and appreciate the exact moment our eyes opened to greet the morning, realizing it was Saturday.

// the coffee pot would never be empty and morning conversations would never end.

// princess dresses would be appropriate attire.

// breakfast would always be a feast. Truly the most important meal of the day.

// we get all the giggles and all the cuddles.

// fellow park visitors would become friends.

// more drawings would hang on the wall.

// deer drives and evening strolls wouldn’t be a question.

// friends and family would come first.

// dinner wouldn’t be rushed.

// the biggest dilemma would be whether we watch a movie in the big bed or at the drive-in.

// one word: TARGET.

But then again, if every day were Saturday…

// I wouldn’t look forward to the possibility of imagining and treating a day as if every day were Saturday.


Wishing everyone an awesome long weekend, and here’s to celebrating and treating our time together like every day were Saturday!


First Time Mom: 10 MORE Things They Don’t Tell You

The first installment of First Time Mom // Things They Don’t Tell You was definitely a very accurate summary of the first year of Madeline’s life and my first year as a first time mom. It focused on the itty-bitty of it all. The very beginning. Now, we’re winding down the second year. I have no idea where that year went {AND that is one thing they DO tell you – you blink and time vanishes}. So let’s jump in! A few brand-spankin’ new things that rushed in this year …

01. All the feelings. And words.

“She was kind of emotional this morning.” A normal statement, which means she was whiny or squirting crocodile tears and was asked to go chill out on the pillows for a few minutes. I get it. I’m there everyday. Emotions.

Oh, and if they aren’t feeling everything, they are saying the equivalent. “Shut your mouth” passed through my adorable princess’ lips the other evening. My jaw dropped. This sassy girl just talked back with some fierce nasty! I was … proud … shocked and kind of nervous. Enter the beginning of word vomit.

02. Potty training is a sport, apparently.

Once she started to show interest, potty training was in full swing … at daycare. I know, I know. It should have been in full swing at our house too, and it eventually did get to that point, but it took time on the home front. It may sound like an excuse, but we’re busy folks. We didn’t have the luxury of doing the magical “potty training in 3 day” event. I wish.  Next best thing? Strategy. The game plan included stocking up on underwear, saying good-bye to pull-ups and hello to accidents. We followed a schedule, had distractions or “activities” during a sitting and rewards for sitting and going. Boom! Potty trained! Days are composed of wins and loses, but we always remember the strategy. And, consequently, discuss every win and loss at the end of the day. We assess the team’s weaknesses and strengths. It’s CRAZY how much we are STILL talking about bathroom habits (and how often and when and where). And we’re not fazed by it. Not one bit. Shit does not get old!

03. Another sport: getting dressed in the morning.

STRATEGY NEEDED. My girl LOVES dresses. LOVES. If I even want to think about getting her into anything else the following morning, the planning starts the night before by planting the seed of something else. In the end, does it matter? No. She’ll wear what she feels most comfortable in that day. Again, wins and loses. My girl always wins.

04. Other kids have really neat parents.

I mean, who else can understand the supposed daycare nap schedule that every toddler obeys during the week or the running tally of underwear that is tossed each week because we are NOT bringing THAT home? Our kids hang out every day for 7+ hours a day five days a week, making the most ridiculous memories and sharing the best stories. We know a lot about the kids  … and saying hi to those kids’ parents in the morning or evening and tossing a knowing smile is another level of comfort.

05. Kids birthday parties.

Survival tips here. Hint: chill out – they’re a blast.

06. Transitioning from a diaper bag to MEGA bag.

This is just a joke. We are in that stage where Mads is not a diaper wearer, but she’s still a toddler. Toddler means basically a sour patch kid. The result: mega mom bag – the huge “tote” that has EVERYTHING. Because you just don’t know. You’ve stopped trying to predict and just now prepare for Armageddon. I mean, it’s just easier to think that way. Snacks, check. Undies, check. Socks, check. Wet Ones, check. Itch cream, check. Random shiny object that captures attention for 2 minutes, check. List goes on, as you know.

07. Tub Toys. You’ll have a love/hate relationship.

Our girl baths in our tub. I’m okay with this. It’s definitely easier, especially when we are winding down for the night, getting in extra cuddles and catching up on chores. However, I never realized how high-maintenance a toddler can be when it comes to tub toys. I’m laughing as I type this because toddlers are high-maintenance. HELLO. The variety and shapes and colors. You just don’t know true love until you step on Ariel or legos before your 5 a.m. shower… unconditional. true. love.

We’ve recently entered the world of bath crayons. What am I thinking? Anyway, she loves it. And so does my husband. Surprise notes written on the shower wall in the morning AFTER stepping on the toys makes the sting fleeting … or I suppose more bearable, I guess …? :) Worth it.

08. Picky eater vs. eat anything/everything.

In short, I’ve learned to not force anything when it comes to meals. I look at it this way – it’s our job as parents to provide well-balanced, nutritious meals for our babies. They learn by repetition and what they are exposed to, so we offer a few healthy choices at mealtime, and she decides what she would like. Sometimes she eats like a horse and sometimes … sometimes we’re sitting there an additional twenty minutes because it took her that long to realize this was in fact a meal and that’s all she’ll have until snack or next meal.

I choose to not fight this fight. I’d rather argue over which Tinker Bell movie we will watch, because THAT is a real topic worth debating.

09. Google is your best friend.

It knows all of your secrets.

10. Sibling Talk ALL THE TIME

When you’re a one child toting mama, the only people you have to answer to about the possibility of baby #2 are family and close friends. Enter stage right: the first child that is now a toddler. A toddler that can form sentences and have emotional opinions on what direction the wind blows. Yes, that toddler.  Another person asking about #2. A much more determined person. Fierce. She already picked the name and gender. Just saying. {And since you’re wondering, because I know you are, yes, #2 is on our mind.}

That’s a wrap … for now …

So, what do you think, mamas? What else can we add to this list?

linking up with jennifertiffany and emily

1 Comment

Couples Who Coffee: Our Favorite Lattes + Recipes

We’ve started a little semi-nightly ritual in our house: evening coffee. I know. It’s probably the worst habit to develop. But after we put the little one to bed, bubbs and I like to sit down with a cup, relax and enjoy each other’s company. Because I’m a coffee addict, and my hubs needs the caffeine right now to stay away (night shift grossness), we’ve been playing around with simple syrups and making “lattes”.

HINT: Use this trick to make your milk foamy. Ditch the steam equipment and shake, shake, shake.

ALSO: These are sweet. Late night treat, anyone??

Here are a few of our favorites …

Simple Syrups for Lattes, coffee syrup

Honey Lavender Latte

I recently posted this recipe. Amazingly soft and sweet.

Cinnamon Latte

+Simple syrup (1 cup water + 1 cup sugar over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved)
+2 Cinnamon sticks (or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon)
+1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
Optional: add in a splash of maple extract to really get that cozy feeling

Simmer simple syrup and cinnamon together for 5-10 minutes. Syrup will start to slightly thicken. Add in vanilla and maple extract, if preferred.

Pour strong coffee or espresso in your favorite cup. Add 2 tablespoons of warm cinnamon simple syrup and frothy milk.

Cinnamon Dolce Latte

+Simple syrup (1 cup water + 1 cup brown sugar over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved)
+2 Cinnamon sticks (or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon)
+1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

Simmer simple syrup and cinnamon together for 5-10 minutes. Syrup will start to slightly thicken. Add in vanilla.

Pour strong coffee or espresso in your favorite cup. Add 2 tablespoons of warm cinnamon dolce simple syrup and frothy milk.

Vanilla Latte

+Simple syrup (1 cup water + 1 cup white sugar over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved)
+2 tsp Vanilla extract

Simmer simple syrup for 5-10 minutes. Syrup will start to slightly thicken. Add in vanilla.

Pour strong coffee or espresso in your favorite cup. Add 2 tablespoons of warm vanilla simple syrup and frothy milk.

Gingerbread Latte

+Simple syrup (1 cup water + 1 cup white sugar over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved)
+1 tsp Vanilla extract
+1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
+2 tsp Ground ginger

Simmer simple syrup, cinnamon and ginger together for 5-10 minutes. Syrup will start to slightly thicken. Add in vanilla.

Pour strong coffee or espresso in your favorite cup. Add 2 tablespoons of warm gingerbread simple syrup and frothy milk. Optional decadence: top with whipped cream and sprinkle of cinnamon and ginger.

BUBBSAPPROVEDSalted Caramel Latte

Simple syrup (1 cup water + 1 cup brown sugar over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved)
+1 tsp Vanilla extract
+1 tsp Sea salt

Bring the simple syrup to a slow boil for about 2-3 minutes. Syrup will start to slightly thicken. Add in vanilla and salt at the end.

Pour strong coffee or espresso in your favorite cup. Add 2 tablespoons of warm salted caramel simple syrup and frothy milk. Optional decadence: top with whipped cream and drizzle of chocolate sauce.


What is your favorite??

Hope you enjoy!!

linking up with Tiffany