Emma absolutely loves being included in everything we do. She wants an empty mug to hold if we’re drinking coffee, she wants to type on our laptops, wear our sunglasses, and to try a bite of anything we’re eating. So, for her birthday, Rodney made this cool learning tower (sometimes called an activity tower) – it’s an Ikea hack that I found on Pinterest and then we tweaked it a little. Now, my husband loves to build things, but if you prefer just to buy things, here is a list of some store-bought learning towers.
Here is the original post and instructions we followed. Rodney tweaked it a little by adding the tiny shelf in front of it to make it flush with our counters and to “give her her own little workspace” haha.
I hope everyone had a great weekend! I just wanted to tell you about something I’m having a ton of fun with at the moment. I recently downloaded the Chatbooks app onto my phone. It’s really cool because you can sign up for a service where you link it to your Instagram account and every 60 images you post, they’ll automatically make a 6×6″ book for $6 (the price is going up to $8 soon, but if you sign up in the next 6 weeks or so the $6 rate will be grandfathered in for the next 2 years!) and ship it to you. You can also create custom books really easily. I have a private photo stream on my phone that friends and family are invited to and where I post a ton of photos of the kids. We all love the stream so much that I got it printed and made a bunch of copies. I’m a professional photographer and I still take 90% of the photos of my kids with my iphone & I love that this is such a simple and fast way to get them into my house/hands/real life.
You’ve got to get your photos off your computers and phones or you’ll lose them or never look at them again – get your photos printed! Even if it’s just your instagram photos – it’s perfect for busy parents because you sign up and then never have to think about it again – books will just start arriving. I’m really way too busy/lazy to have it any other way!
I’ve been doing a lot of this lately. I’ve been getting my work done but mostly reading stories, having dance parties in the living room, going to swim class, sorting shapes, and stacking cups. This blog is getting a little neglected (don’t worry, I have a bunch of posts in the works!), but at the end of the day, all I really care about is the time spent with my family. I’ve never been so acutely aware of how short a period of time 18 years is. I mean, I keep thinking about how 9/11 was 14 years ago and it feels like it was just last year. In that short a period of time, Emma’s going to be 15. It makes me so sad sometimes that I’ve actually started crying. Crying real tears because my 1 year old and 3 month old are going to be going off to college any day now. Which sounds crazy I’m sure unless you’re a parent. And then sometimes well-intentioned strangers (I’m looking at you exterminator guy from last week) will say something like “it’s only 18 years and then you’ll get the house back to yourselves and can go on trips and do all the things you want… blahblahblah” and I’m like “Are you insane?? What are you talking about??!!!” This is the only thing I want. I’ve been on trips. I don’t want the house “back”. I want to freeze time and remember every little tiny detail of every single day. I’m reminded of a great parenting quote “You’re raising a human being, not managing an inconvenience.” I think I’ve gotten off track. The point is, I have this very strong sense that I’m currently living in the best years of my life and I’m just doing everything I can to soak it all in. And I know I’m not blogging much, but, you know, #sorrynotsorry xo
It’s a couple months late, but I wanted to share some images from Emma’s first birthday. It was simple and sweet. Just family. (I had just had a baby a few weeks earlier). The theme was rainbows – I got some rainbow decorations for her crib and high chair, a colorful ball pit (inflatable pool with ball pit balls from Amazon), my sister made rainbow pancakes, and I’d bought a felt rainbow “Happy Birthday” banner a while ago (I wanted to get a banner that wasn’t paper – that would last so it could be a family tradition for years to come). We also got a smaller version of the same pool and filled it with water for Emma to do a little swimming on the driveway… In fact, if I’m being honest, I might have overdone it – she had balloons, bubbles, pancakes, presents, swimming, photos, a picnic lunch, like 4 outfit changes, cake, a ball pit… By the time we got to cake she was totally overwhelmed and crying. Poor kid. It’s just that I LOVE holidays SO much and can’t help myself!
We did the last of her monthly photoshoots – this time with bubbles!
Rodney made her this cool activity tower (I’ll be posting more about it next week)! She loves being able to stand up at counter-top height to see what we’re doing.
Emma never smashed her cake – she took a few delicate bites. And how cute is her little birthday crown from A Tiny Arrow?!
In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend here are some links to things around the interwebs celebrating motherhood… Because I love my mom to pieces and I love being a mom more than anything and everyday I come across another mother out there who is nothing short of inspirational.
This story here brought me to tears – the good kind. It’s beautiful and talks about becoming a mother in several different ways.
My talented friend Megan wrote a beautiful piece about her mother called “Aging Gracefully” and took gorgeous photographs that have been published in The Village Magazine, Issue 2. Check out their website and blog and maybe do like I did and order your own lovely copy. The Village is “…a quarterly parenting publication dedicated to bringing back sisterhood, love, support, friendship, inspiration, kinship, and joy to your everyday. It is filled to the brim with inspiring interviews, delicious recipes, heartwarming essays & poems written by mothers from across the globe and all walks of life and so much more.” It reminds me of Kinfolk, but geared just towards moms. What more could I want in a magazine? Nothing.
I’ve been following this adoption story for a little while now and they have this wonderful etsy shop where all proceeds go towards helping them bring their son home.
So, it’s pricey, but how amazing is this Mother’s Day Gift Box???!! I want one so bad and I haven’t even read what all comes in it yet. I found it on 100 Layer Cakelet, where they had a few other ideas as well…. Ugh, I just looked at it again. I want it.
What an amazing year it’s been. And now I get to start the monthly photo series all over again with Steven. The trouble with having them so close in age is that we’re going to be done having little babies in the house pretty soon and it all goes by so quickly. Maybe in a few years I can convince Rodney that we should have a third… 🙂