Autumn is really upon us here in northern New Jersey. The air is cooler, the leaves are turning beautiful colours, and Halloween decorations are going up everywhere. Lately, Roman has been living in his Jack + Lily moccasins. They are perfect for the summer/autumn transition weather.
Jack + Lily makes a whole line of baby footwear. Roman has a pair of baby “Mocs.” They are soft, but also durable — he’s been wearing them since spring & they’re holding up great. We just love the sweet little owl on the toes, too.
I’m so excited to be doing a little giveaway with Lily + Jack today. To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form below.
When Roman was born, he came out with a full head of blond, wet, curly ringlets. For me, that is what cemented our name choice for him. He reminded me of a handsome little Roman gladiator with those curls.
From the time that I knew he was going to be a little blondie, I had visions of growing his hair out to his shoulders. I’ve always loved that shaggy surfer look on little boys. In the beginning, however, his hair did anything but grow. As is the case with most babies, much of his baby hair fell out. On top of that, because he nursed so frequently in the beginning, he developed lots of bald spots where his head rubbed against my arms while nursing. At one point he had a bald ring right around his head that made him look like a monk. It drove me crazy.
Eventually his hair grew back and by the time he’d reached sixteen months, it had gotten quite long. (You can see it at its longest here.) I still wanted to grow it out, but it reached a point where it was irritating his eyes. No matter how I tried to brush it out of his face (or even use product to keep it back) it still made its way to his eyes. When I saw an increase in redness and rubbing of his eyes, I knew I had to cut it. I can’t stand to see my baby in any type of avoidable discomfort.
I thought about just cutting the bangs/fringe, but then I had these visions of a baby mullet and I just wasn’t about that either. So I decided that for his first cut, we’d go all the way — just pull off the band aid so to speak. (You can see the finished product here.)
I took him to a local children’s salon and it was a great experience. They had fun seating to choose from — like a Lightning McQueen car and a safari Jeep. We chose the Jeep. The stylists work exclusively with kids so they know just what to do. There are television sets right in front of each station so that kiddos can focus on the screen. I chose Mickey Mouse as Roman’s distraction.
Most of these things probably weren’t necessary for Roman, though. He’s such a well-behaved toddler, especially when we’re out of the house. He is always so curious about things that he just sits there patiently taking it all in. He recently had blood drawn for the first time. The nurses sat him on my lap, made me pin his legs between mine, and hold his arms down. But, it was all unnecessary. He didn’t even flinch. The nurses looked at one another in shock. The haircut was pretty much the same. He was a little champ.
The salon gave us a cute certificate to celebrate, “Baby’s First Haircut,” with with a little bag stapled to it containing a few locks of his hair. So that was really sweet and made the whole thing a bit less painful for me. Roman also got a green balloon — oh how this child loves “boons” — and he happily carried that around for the rest of the day.
Another check off of the “Baby’s First” list — bittersweet, indeed.
The 52 Week Project – A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for one year.
38/52 — We’ve missed quite a few weeks of the project while I’ve been sick. Still I’d like to continue on with it whenever I am able. I really enjoy scrolling through our portraits from each week and watching how Roman grows & changes. It’s pretty amazing.
He looks very different in this portrait because he’s just had his first haircut. I’ll make another post about the haircut soon. This portrait was taken over the weekend at my hometown picnic, a few hours after his haircut. He had a great time and his favourite part was the petting zoo.
Last weekend, I ventured out of the house for the first time in months. Lately it seems I only get out for doctor appointments, but I’ve been feeling a bit better and decided to take my annual trip to the Renaissance Faire. It’s a tradition that my best friend & I have had for nearly twenty years. It’s such a special, magical place to me. I am glad that I made it out this year despite everything that’s been going on.
Typically I take many more photos then what you’ll see here, but this time around I was focused on enjoying the fresh air and taking it easy.
Thank you to everyone who has been asking in on me & sending well wishes. I hope to do a full health/status update sometime soon. It’s just a matter of me feeling ready and also gaining some more certainty around what is actually happening. I am so very grateful for your thoughts & prayers. ♥
A look back at past Renaissance Faires: 2013 // 2012 // 2011.
Halloween is just around the corner and anyone who knows me, knows that I’m super excited. (Halloween is my favourite holiday!) I really can’t get enough of all things pumpkin, candy corn, and adorable babes in sweet, little costumes. Halloween decorating & preparation always start early in this house. This year I’ve been having a lot of fun with our new RTGS LED string lights and finding ways to include them in my Halloween plans. A couple of projects that I’ve been working on so far are these pretty “glowing” mason jars and Roman’s “Trick or Treat” candy basket.
For the mason jars, I simply decorated a glass jar with some Halloween-themed washi tape. Then I stuffed an LED light string inside to give it that pretty/eery glow. What I love about these light strings is that they are indoor/outdoor safe. So you can use them as centerpieces for your Halloween party whether it’s inside or out. They would also look so dreamy lining the walkway up to our house in the evening, wouldn’t they? I might make a bunch more for just that purpose.
For Roman’s candy basket, I picked up a couple of sweet, little baskets at the dollar store — one for Roman and one for his cousin, Aden. Then I wrapped each one with an LED light strand. The lights are so easy to use and they wrap around anything effortlessly. I just love how the lights make their little faces glow. Plus, it’s a great safety feature. As it gets dark on Halloween evening, little ones will be much easier to see holding their glowing baskets. Once again, the lights are weather-proof so they’ll glow strong no matter what mother nature & Halloween have in store for us. You could even incorporate the lights into your kiddo’s costume. How sweet would a little glowing robot or alien be!?
The possibilities are endless with these lights. They come in lots of beautiful colors & sizes. Halloween is just the beginning. I’ve got plans to use them for Christmas decorations and can’t wait to use them for camping next spring, too. This post is in partnership with RTGS products — be sure to check them out on Facebook at Facebook.com/RTGSproducts. Thanks for supporting the partners that help me keep this blog going.
Early in summer, my mother-in-law gifted us with a used wagon from the thrift shop where she works. Little did we know then that the wagon would become such an important part of our summer harvesting ritual.
A few times each week, when M. got home from work in the evening, he would load little Roman into the wagon for a pull around the yard and to our gardens. M. would pluck whatever was ripe from the vine and hand the treasure to little Roman who waited patiently on his seat in the wagon. Roman took his job very seriously. Once the vegetables were in his hands or in his bowl, he would not let go of them. He would keep everything tucked carefully inside while M. continued to pull him around the yard and water the gardens and the lawn.
Later the boys would return inside, where Roman would come running to me (always at top speed!) to show off the fruits of his labor with pride. After much applause and excitement over the picks of the day, he would finally turn over the veggies for cleaning, slicing, and devouring.
Our summer gardening didn’t go quite as planned — but then again what did this summer. We got things in the ground too late and the plot that we chose for the larger garden didn’t get enough sun. Our large salad tomatoes took forever to ripen. Finally one night we knew that they were ready and planned to pick them the next morning for a big salad. That night, however, one of our friendly local deer paid the garden a visit (for the first time all summer) and ate every last tomato. We still had a nice crop — especially considering that I started more than half of it from seed. Our green beans, cherry tomatoes (red & gold), and eggplants were the star performers. We also learned that Roman is truly tomato-obsessed. I’ve never seen a child devour a tomato like he does. (Sometimes the cherries never made it into the house.)
I attempted several varieties of flower from seed, but the zinnias were the only to make it to bloom. I was tempted to cut a few for a bouquet but there weren’t quite enough and, more importantly, they’ve been drawing hummingbirds to the yard almost every day! That has been a real treat.
In any case, autumn is upon us now. The air has turned cold and soon our garden will fade as we move into the long, bitter cold months. For now, though, we’re enjoying the change of season — pumpkins, sweaters, & boots.
“Harvest” is the September writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Courteney of The Titled Blog. A few words from Courteney — Hello! I’m Courteney from “The Titled Blog” I live up in Canada (in Abbotsford, British Columbia – just East of Vancouver) with my husband, one year old daughter Lucy, a pug named Minnie and an angry flame point siamese cat named Bigsby. My blog has evolved over the last 7 years from random rants and social commentary to lifestyle and now most recently to being a mom. My daughter was born with a lot of health problems and I often write about the challenges that have come with having a baby that has spent a good chunk of her first year in and out of the hospital and how to deal with those challenges head on. When I’m not blogging, I work as a photographer with my own business (Courteney Rodda Photography) sing in my jazz band “Courteney Rodda and the Other Guys” and most recently I am sewing for an awesome local company making baby moccasins called “Minimoc”
You can also find me on Instagram, where I post too many pictures of my daughter, dog and cat.
Hello, friends. Just stopping by for a moment to say that we have not, in fact, fallen off the face of the earth. I am still dealing with some health issues, so it will likely be a little while until things are back to normal around here. I hope that you’re alright and that these last days of summer (or winter depending on your hemisphere) are full of love & light.
This month’s prompt word is celebrate. Aside from the fact that I’ve been physically unable to spend time on my computer, it’s been difficult to even brainstorm for this prompt. I’ve been suffering and when you’re suffering, it’s hard to think about celebrating.
Still, this set of photographs kept coming into my mind. I took them on our last day of vacation. I cannot help but to smile when I look at them. They remind that even when life is very difficult, there is still reason to celebrate & be grateful.
I wanted to put some words with these images, but writing is not my strong point at the moment. So here is one of my favourite poems which happens to be very apropos to the celebrate theme.
won’t you celebrate with me
by Lucille Clifton
won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.
Come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed. That line just takes my breath away.
“Celebrate” is the August writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Nicole of Rose Runs Wild. A few words from Nicole — Hi! I’m Nicole from Rose Runs Wild! I’m mama to a teenager, wife to my handsome husband and dog mama to our bulldog and pit bull. I work full time and blog in my free time. I love wearing black and white, plants, doughnuts, crappy pop music and working on our home we just recently bought! My blog is basic, it’s just about our life. The good, the bad and the ugly. I try to share as honestly as I possibly can in hopes that one or two other people out there don’t feel so alone. Life is rough, life is beautiful and it’s all about connection through the highs and the lows. That’s all I’m really trying to do, connect and share. And take lots of cute photos of my son (in the rare moment he lets me) and my dogs of course! Connect with Nicole here: Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin // Twitter // Tumblr.
The 52 Week Project – A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for one year.
31/52 — Completely mesmerized by something, though I can not remember what it was now.
32/52 — Relaxing for a moment after devouring a hot fudge sundae at the county fair. He had such fun and was all smiles the whole trip — this shot isn’t an accurate representation of the day. He loved the animals most of all. A very friendly sheep was the highlight of his day.
Things have been quiet around here and, well, everywhere in my online life. There are literally hundreds of emails in my inbox, unheard of for a woman who gets anxious if she has more than ten unread emails at any given time. But, that’s just the way it is. Everything is in shambles at the moment, both online and otherwise.
I have been — and continue to be — very ill. It will certainly be awhile before I am better and I’m not ready to talk about any of it yet. In the meanwhile I will be checking in here to get caught up as I am able. I have lots to share and some fun projects on the horizon.
Oh, how I love summertime. There is always something blossoming in our yard. Every day I incorporate something fresh from the garden into our meals. This has only been my second time ever growing food from seed. There is something about the experience that makes it unlike anything else in the world. There is a satisfaction and a sense of reverence that I can’t put into words. Each evening when I walk out into the garden to pick a vegetable and some herbs to use in our supper, my heart swells with gratitude and pride. The meals that I have been preparing are packed with so much love and labor that you can truly taste it in the food.
Every day we spend a bit of time out in the yard — picking, watering, exploring, and admiring.
^^^ our hosta are in bloom, such a lovely shade of purple ^^^
^^^ lettuce grown from organic seeds — it feels like i’m eating a miracle ^^^
^^^ baby cucumber ^^^
^^^ mama cucumber — our cucumber plants are doing best of all this year, and good thing because Roman loves them! ^^^
^^^ i just love their curly tendrils and it’s amazing to put them on any surface and watch them begin to twirl around within moments — living beings ^^^
^^^ a little jungle of food in the garden box — don’t mind the floppy carrot leaves, I’d just picked them and forgot to move them away for the pictures ^^^
^^^ our big garden at the top of the yard isn’t doing very well, not enough sun — so M. transplanted some of the plants to a new home along our stone wall. here’s hoping. ^^^
^^^ basil — I put this stuff in everything and it’s heaven, heaven, heaven. ^^^
^^^ eggplant blossom ^^^
^^^ baby bell pepper ^^^
^^^ a lonely tomato — our tomatoes are coming in very slowly, but there’s lots of little ones popping now, so it shouldn’t be long! ^^^
^^^ there were piles of wood in various stages of seasoning all over the yard after m. finished splitting them the other day. now they are all neatly stacked and waiting for winter. ^^^
^^^ my little explorer, I’m quite certain that he would spend the whole of his days wandering around outside and exploring every crack & crevice of the earth if he could ^^^
^^^ always climbing ^^^
^^^ spearmint, perhaps the most incredible smell in the world ^^^
^^^ our black-eyed-Susans have popped, sunshine in plant form ^^^
I took these photographs late last week. This morning, some bizarre, unseasonable cold front moved in that’s made it feel like autumn. I am not even close to being ready for that. I hope it moves along quickly and makes way for a long, hot, sticky August. Give me all the sunshine! ♥