Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Book About Me

Today I am loving this. We've started to fill out Bean's My Book About Me book, by Dr. Seuss. I love how she's already so aware of who she is. And I love that she now has the patience to actually concentrate on this for longer than two minutes. She really got into filling this out for about a half hour. My favorite is the picture of her blonde hair. It just cracks me up. Happy Monday.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bye Bye Binky!!

Bean at two months, peacefully pacified by the binky.
I was totally one of those people who said I'd never let my kid use a pacifier once they started walking and talking. I threw that idea out of the window when Bean passed her first birthday and was still totally addicted to the darn pacifier (otherwise known as binky, bink, paci, and even bun during one phase). As a newborn she really needed it. The pacifier did what it's name implies, it pacified her. We could calm her down in an instant by swaddling her and giving her that pacifier. 

At one point, she was so addicted to the binky that she was hiding it in her play kitchen fridge, opening the play kitchen door and sneaking a few sucks on it to try to hide it from us. We'd catch her in the act, and she'd look at us with this guilty look like "huh, what?" Signs of things to come as a teenager? I hope not!!

She's only used it at night for the last 18 months, and in the car, and when we needed her to do anything. We could get her to do anything, go anywhere, or sleep anywhere by offering that thing. I'm sorry, but I wasn't about to give up the little gem that allowed us some control over her random toddler behavior!! 

Until last week. It was just time. With a little help and suggestions from the good people at her daycare, we nipped the top of the binky just a teeny tiny bit, and pretended like we didn't know it happened until she noticed it. We said "oh wow, you've loved on that thing so much, you've worn it down!" She seemed to get this idea, and hasn't used it since. It's the "broken bink" now, which she proudly shows off to her friends. She still holds it every night, and for naps at daycare. But it's not in her mouth. That's all I care about. She can hold it until she's 12 if she wants.

I thought for sure she'd start sucking her thumb immediately after the bink was nipped. I was a thumb sucker until 4th grade. It didn't scar me for life or anything, but I did have some funny looking teeth for a while and I still remember how annoying it was to have to quit the thumb. So I'm glad she hasn't figured that out so far, fingers crossed. She seems content to hold onto the bink and three or four assorted stuffed animals each night.

I have to say, it makes me a little bit sad. That was her last baby thing, and I'll always remember her tiny little baby face covered by the giant binky. Or the little burrito baby wrapped in the blanket, calmly asleep in my arms with the pacifier. Now she's a big girl, potty trained and without bink, all in a month. On to bigger and better things, like being fascinated with what's in the potty!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quotes Wednesday

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. 

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, February 20, 2012

24 Hours in Portland Maine

We just got back from a weekend trip to Portland, Maine, and I have to say this is now one of my very favorite small cities in the US. My husband and I have decided that our new daydream is to buy a small house somewhere in or around Portland as a vacation home if we can ever afford it. I could see spending weeks there with our kids. I don't know what I like best about it. It could be how laid back and nice everyone is. Or how kid and adult friendly it is - there's lots to do for all ages. Or how the food is GREAT everywhere. Even in pubs you can find healthy, vegetarian options. It's a healthy town. Or it could be how pretty it is, in its setting on the ocean with narrow brick streets and English village architecture. We will be visiting Portland often. It was fun even in 30 degree weather. I can't wait to go back when it's warm out! 

First stop, the Great Lost Bear restaurant for burgers and beers. 
Next stop, the Narrow Gauge Railroad museum and train ride. I'm not sure who liked this better, us or Bean?

Next stop, Treehouse Toys for a half hour of searching for the PERFECT toy.

Then on to beers (and lemonade for Bean) at Gritty McDuff's. Love the food menu here, for a pub they probably have the healthiest kids menu I've ever seen.

We tried to get into Fore Street for dinner, but it was packed. We'll be making reservations next time, this place looked amazing.

So we ventured into the German beer hall Novare Res Bier Cafe. Absolutely love this place, great beers and awesome food. We split a cheese plate and sausages that were the best I've had outside of Germany. Bean put on a show dancing for the lit up customers here.
 Then back to the hotel for some monkeys jumping on the bed. Bean was so excited about this trip. She loved staying in the hotel, especially when we let her jump on the bed. 

 The next morning we went to Mornings in Paris for coffee and pastries. Mmm, great atmosphere, and yummy coffee and food. 

Next stop, the Portland Children's Museum, a fun and very interactive museum that we had to drag Bean out of after a couple of hours. 

And finally, to top off the weekend, lunch at Brian Boru Irish pub. Another pub with amazing food, I don't think I've ever had a kale and sweet potato wrap at a pub before!! 

I feel like we got a week's worth of vacation into this 24 hours in Portland. I can't wait to visit again!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Happy Weekend

Is this what you're doing this weekend when you wake up?
via English Muse, via Flickr
Not me. Nope.  No waking up leisurely now, reading a book or the newspaper in bed with a cup of coffee. It's up and at em with the chickens, aka toddler. But ahh, one can dream. I sometimes really miss those pre-kid leisurely weekend mornings. But then again, this morning we woke up to the sound of Bean singing her ABC's to some of her stuffed animals in bed. And at least now the sun is up when she wakes up, unlike a few years ago when she'd wake up at 5am and it felt like the entire world was still asleep. Someday soon Bean will sleep until noon and I'll be the one dragging her out of bed. And I can enjoy my book and coffee in bed once more. Until then, I'll enjoy the sweet sound of her tiny voice waking us up on weekend mornings. One of the best alarm clocks I can imagine. Happy weekend!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Inspired By: The Glow

Have you ever seen The Glow? I love it. It's a site founded in 2011 by Violet Gaynor and Kelly Stewart, to provide a "glimpse into the world of inspiring and fashionable moms." The site sometimes makes me feel inadequate. I mean, my house looks NOTHING like these houses, my everyday yoga pants aren't nearly as stylish as the outfits these moms wear, and my kid wears clothes from H&M instead of small French boutiques. But hey, overlooking that there's some pretty cool photos that inspire me to try to be original, and to enjoy Bean's roller coaster of a toddlerhood.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to All! 

This is what Bean and I made for my husband this year, a paper cookie tray of stamped Valentine's "cookies." We mixed up some grey paint and painted a piece of watercolor paper to make the tray. Then we stamped several pieces of colored cardstock with different stamps. We cut the paper into heart shaped "cookies," which Bean then glued onto the painted "tray." Lastly we cut up some extra paper into the shape of an oven mitt and glass of milk and wrote a Valentine's note. An easy Valentine's project.
The best part of this project was working in my mom's studio with all of her fun paints and stamps. Here's Bean and her "Nunnie" getting started on painting the cookie tray.
The master painter at work
 Our little Valentine

Monday, February 13, 2012

Photos of the Day - Winter Beach Day

A few photos from a winter beach day that Bean and I had the other day. This year is so starkly different than last year, I'm in total shock that we can be out walking on the beach with no hats or gloves. I'll take it!!

PS. These pictures were taken with my new favorite iPhone photo app called Magic Hour, with the Toy Cam lens.  

No leash zone, applicable for dogs and toddlers
 Bean found herself a walking stick, for combing the beach for shells and other fun stuff to put in my pockets.
 My favorite part of Crane's beach, the beautiful boardwalks that cross the dunes to get you from the parking lot to the beach. They always take my breath away.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Perfect Valentine's Day Card

This is the PERFECT Valentine's Day card for my husband this year. I can't think of a better card. Other than my family, those rare naps really are the best thing ever these days! From Etsy seller SadShop.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Quotes Wednesday

...when in doubt, choose the kids. 
There will be plenty of time later 
to choose work. 

-Anna Quindlen

Monday, February 6, 2012

What We're Reading This Week

Today was library day, and we got some very cute books for Bean. These are our two favorites, so far we've read them each 10 times. 

Stella Is A Star, by Bernadette Peters
Cute little story about a dog pretending to be a pig so she can join the pig ballet class. Bean likes the ballet storyline, I like the mixed media collage illustrations best. Found here on Amazon.
Bedtime for Mommy, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
A little girl imagines that she is putting her mommy to bed, and the mommy tries everything she can to stall the process. I like this one for the silly humor. Found here on Amazon.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Weekend

This weekend I'm loving this great Etsy shop and especially this print:
And I definitely want to have a yummy prosciutto sandwich like this one, from French By Design.
Happy Weekend!
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