*Dress + headband c/o Baby Beau & Belle*
We made it! We’ve reached ONEderland and it feels so bittersweet. If you’ve been following along, you know how much we struggled with Margo as a newborn and we felt like we were in survival mode for her first 6-7 months of life. I used to want to hit a fast-forward button to a year later to skip all of the crap we were going through. Now I wish I could rewind us all, I miss her babyhood so so much.
Her last 5 months, however, have been pure joy. Boy, what a contrast we’ve experienced over the last year. I still look at her now, and wonder how in the heck we got so lucky with this amazing little being. I think I appreciate her more because of the crazy we faced. She is completely worth all of the stress, frustration and tears that were felt.
This precious child of mine is as happy a baby as they come. She smiles at every person she meets, she’s social and vocal around other children and adults, she laughs and excites more than she grumps, she naps and sleeps like a dream (*thank you, thank you, thank you*), she’s a wonderful eater (doesn’t ever stop, really), she adores her big sister, she’s in love with her “Da-da”, she’s so affectionate with her “Ma-ma”, she’s fascinated with the outdoors and is truly in her element when the sunshine touches her skin and the fresh air flows through her hair.
She’s so smart! She problem solves and copies others. She tries to put her shoes on, she tries to brush her hair with her comb, she tries to brush her teeth. She pushes large objects around the house to use as a step-stool to reach high places and objects. With body language and grunts, she asked me to change her wet diaper a few days ago by taking a clean diaper out of a drawer, saying “Ah! Ah!” while reaching up to the top of the changing table. She grunts at me and points at the fruit on the counter when she wants a banana, apple or pear. When she puts something in her mouth that she’s not supposed to (which happens all of the time, still), I’ll rush to her saying “What’s in your mouth? Open!” and she opens up wide and spits it out for me to see (usually a teeny-tiny toy of Mia’s). She walks over to me with one of her hair clips in her hand and holds it out for me, grunts, and stands still so that I can clip her hair out of her eyes. While changing her clothes, she practically pulls her shirt over her head and off once I’ve freed one arm. I’ll name things and/or people in the room and ask her where they are. She doesn’t yet point to them, but she correctly looks in their direction and makes eye contact with it/him/her. She amazes me each day with all she’s learning and I love every bit of watching her grow.
The only time she’s fussy or difficult is when she’s hungry and/or tired. I manage to avoid both of these moments, though, by always knowing when she needs to eat, nap and sleep. Being one step ahead and getting her fed and ready for bed on time and before the fussiness creeps in has really been a key part of my daily routine. She’s also pretty awful when she’s being changed (diaper and/or clothes). She pretty much hates it and doesn’t cooperate, leaving me looking like a fool in order to distract her by making ridiculous faces, noises and dances. Whatever it takes, right?
She’s finally walking!!! I’m so crazy excited for this milestone. Mia began walking at 10 months and Margo began at 11.5 months, just in time for her first birthday. Everyone warns you to prepare yourself when they start walking, you’ll never rest again. I think that may apply more to first time parents. It’s been nothing but helpful for us. So often, before she began walking, I wanted to put Margo down while at the park, the store or wherever but couldn’t because the floors were filthy, there was tons of sand, sticks, wood chips or rocks around and this kid puts literally everything in her mouth. I carried her a lot. Now that she’s walking well, I can set her down wherever we go. Sure, I’m following her around more but I already was with Mia so it’s not more work for me. I can finally let her free at the park with her sister and she’s paying more attention to climbing and walking and exploring rather than picking up every item on the ground and shoving it in her mouth. She can finally follow her sister around the house and backyard and keep up with her more than when she was crawling. She hates when anyone leaves her behind, so she’s more involved and included with all of the happenings. Plus, she’s got the cutest baby waddle when she walks that I hope to never ever forget.
**Side note: The following pictures are from a little cake smash session I put together last minute. She’s wearing her birthday party outfit and both pieces (which I LOVE) come from Etsy shops. See below this picture for links.**
She’s a dancer. If there’s music from a song, a commercial, my phone’s alarm, even Darth Vader’s theme music on Star Wars…she’s moving and grooving. The best is when she’s standing and she drops her little tushy so low she’s practically touching the ground. She loves watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV (and that’s pretty much it), and she has grown attached to a blue, plush puppy that her Uncle Chris gave to her for Christmas. She carries it around and sleeps with it at every sleep, just like Mia does with her “Mama Bunny.” There really isn’t a food she doesn’t like and she samples just about everything we eat at the table (all veggies, chicken, beef, rice, pasta, tuna and chicken salad sandwiches, eggs, bread, cheese, all fruit, oatmeal, PB&J sandwiches, avocado, and more). A few nicknames I have for her are: Margo-licious, Margs, Margo Blue-skeez, Margo Bubbaloo, Little Blue and Baby Blue.
She snuggles and hugs her Mom and Dad often, which is something Mia didn’t really do much as a baby. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate these particular moments and how much my heart fills when she walks up to me and squeezes tight to my legs or when she rests her head on my shoulder, right under my neck and just holds me. Another big difference between Margo and her big sis is that she adores her Daddy. Mia was anti-Dad for a whole year and beyond. They sort of have a love/hate relationship now. But Margo has been the opposite. She says “Da-da” way more than she calls out for me. She can hear his truck pull up when he comes home from work and she shrieks with excitement and heads to the front door to wait for him. She allows him to do just as much for her as I do (like change her, put her to sleep, comfort her) and Mia always wanted just Mom. You can imagine how stoked he is over the love and affection he gets from her.
This kid has a true zest and love for life and her family. She’s always a source of light, simplicity, love and peace for me. Her addition to our family has truly strengthened my Mama-game and has turned my love for being a mother into a passion for both of my girls. I’ve learned so much about myself as a person, woman and mother from her in this past year and we’ve still got a lifetime together ahead of us. I can’t even imagine how she’ll change me throughout each year, but I’m so eager to find out and feel so blessed to get to do life with her and her big sis.
Happy 1st Birthday, Margo Blue! You are loved by so many and you give that love (and then some) right back. Thank you for being. Thank you for being ours. xoxo
- Technology: Ugh, I’m totally that old lady (but in a 33 year old body) who hates trying to figure out new technology and the latest gadgets. I’d rather avoid them altogether, to be honest. I have an iPhone (don’t even ask which one, cuz I don’t know!) and this post I came across was totally written for me. Before reading it I thought, “Guarantee I don’t know even half of the tricks in here.” I was right and now my mind is blown. So if you’re like me and only know the basic functions (and by basic I mean minimal) of your iPhone, check out “15 Tricks Every iPhone User Should Know How To Do.”
- This post from a mama blogger that I follow (she has the cutest girls!) served as a little “pick me up” for my worried Mama soul. I know that I shouldn’t feel guilty for taking time out of my day for me and only me. I know that my girls are just fine, having time in their day to play independently with each other (or separately). I know that this is beneficial, even. They’re learning on their own which is powerful and important. But, I still do feel guilt, always wondering if I’m giving enough of myself to them. Sometimes I get some of that pressure from my own people. I’m always feeling like I’m being pulled in so many different directions and that I can’t be everything to everyone at every minute of the day. It’s just so nice to find support from other moms who get it and who encourage the rest of us to just do our best because our best is enough.
- Confession: I’m a pretty good speller, but to this day, I still can’t remember how to spell “vacuum”! Are there two “C”s or two “U”s? Such a weird freaking word. And because my mom speaks with an accent (she’s from Mexico), I grew up pronouncing it “v-AH-kyoom” rather than the short vowel “a” as in “apple” sound.
- I joined Society6 in hopes of selling some of my artwork! It’s not a big deal, anyone can add their art for sale there. Not like I’m special…yet :) I do plan to add my art as prints for sale in my Etsy shop, but I’ve yet to find a the right printer and type of paper combo that I’d like to use to produce my work with. In the meantime, I think this may be a good option for some exposure and who knows, maybe I’ll make some sales. I don’t have to do any of the work. I won’t make as much profit with Society6 than I would on my own, but it will do until I’ve figured out how to move forward with printing them myself. You can check out my profile here. I’ve only got a few simple art pieces up that I created as “guinea pigs” to order prints from different companies with. A goal for this year is to get back into drawing and painting again and creating some artwork that I’m really proud of. Gotta start somewhere!
- Consigning. Have you ever consigned your kids outgrown clothing? I just did for my second time at LA Kids Consignment Sale, a pretty stinkin’ huge sale that is put on a few times a year (spring & winter) in a few different locations. They take 500+ consignors and sell all of their stuff in a huge abandoned department store. I look forward to shopping at this thing every year and it’s honestly where I buy 90% of my kids’ clothes and shoes (at an average of $3-$5 for shoes and I won’t spend more than $5 on a clothing item). I’m not at all above hand-me-downs and the quality I’ve seen here is next to new! The staff/volunteers check every single piece of clothing that comes through for any stains or rips and won’t accept dingy stuff. They check the toys, books, equipment….EVERYTHING…before it’s allowed to be sold. And there are actually a lot of items that are brand new with tags still attached that have been discounted by 50%! You’d never know that my kids’ clothes were used. And c’mon, kids clothing (especially the crawlers) get stained and roughed up in a matter of minutes/hours anyways and I’m not spending full price on anything that’s not going to last longer than a week. Anyways, I’m so glad I decided to consign this year. It’s a lot of work to input all of the items into their online system and tag each item with your printed price/bar code and then to lug it all out there and check them in. But, I made $360 this year (I took home 70% of my earnings, they keep 30%) and I used it to buy new clothes, swimsuits, shoes, a bike helmet, a new piggy bank for Margo, some new artsy kits for Mia’s birthday, a butt load of books (have you seen Mia’s “library”?), plate/cup/silverware sets, and more. I’m already signed up to consign again at their next sale in April, and this time, I’m not shopping. If you live in southern California, put yourself on their email list to be notified of when consignor registration opens or to be notified of their sale dates so you can shop til you drop. I highly recommend NOT bringing your kids and taking a stroller (if you still have one) to help carry all of your loot :)
*Above: Some of the clothes I purchased for Margo, which came out to around $35 for these 9*
*Above: Some of the clothes I purchased for Mia, which came out to a little under $30 for these 9.
Welcome, month 11! What a bittersweet month for a Mama. It’s the last month in which I’ll have a “baby” before Margo enters toddlerhood. But let’s be honest, I’ll be calling her “my baby” for life. Still, the thought saddens me that her sweet, pure, chubby little babyness is coming to an end. And at the same time, I’m excited and anxious over all of the wonderful milestones that are around the corner.
The last month, in Margo land, has been pretty fantastic. I can’t describe the joy and peace that she brings to my life and fills my heart with. Like, literally guys. I’ve been going through some emotional challenges lately and this baby of mine is my guiding light. She just brings everything back to basics, always reminds me of my purpose, shows me how to be in the present moment, keeps me cracking smiles all day, helps me to appreciate the smallest of moments, and reinforces the fact that love is the greatest feeling and motivator in the whole world. Everyday, I’m thankful for her. Everyday, I tell her this.
- Margo is still not walking on her own, without the help of holding onto something. She stands perfectly, unassisted. She even squats down and stands back up on her own, but still hasn’t made any great attempts at taking steps.
- This baby is like a human garbage disposal. She eats everything and seems to have a bottomless pit for a stomach. If anyone in sight has food in their hands, she’s by their side within minutes and begging for a taste.
- She’s still the happiest and friendliest baby I know. She’s always smiling and she loves people. She waves her chubby little fingers and hands to strangers all dang day and the people love her!
- Whenever she comes across a pillow on the floor, she takes a minute to lay down and rest on it before carrying on about her day. My mom tells me that I did the same thing when I was her age.
- She LOVES her big sister, Mia. Margo lights up at the sight of her, smiles and laughs at her, always wants to touch her, pull on her shirt, follow her into every room, play with any toy she has and even barges into her room in the mornings to wake her up because she just can’t stand to go another minute without her. I’m just glad Margo doesn’t understand yet, when Mia yells “Leave me alone!” “Stop following me, Margo!” “You’re not my sister anymore!” “I don’t like you anymore, Margo!” Oh, it would break her little heart. She just responds with a big, chunky cheek smile.
- Margo still naps twice a day, wonderfully. She still hits the hay around 7-7:30pm each night and sleeps until morning (around 6:30am-7:15am). But now with the time change over the weekend, it’s finally worked in my favor since she (and her sister) are waking up at 8am or later!
- Shower time with Dad and Mia is by far her favorite time of the day. She speed-crawls to the bathroom when she hears the water running, squeals, excitedly kicks her feet as I try to wrestle her out of her clothes, she laughs and smiles and claps and it’s all just the cutest thing in the world.
- Her spit-up issue is nearly non existent…finally!!!!!! Over the last month, she may have had spit-up that’s worth grumbling about around 5 times, total. That’s a life-changer, guys. I’m so grateful to have moved past that phase. Mostly.
- She’s wearing size 12 clothes and size 4 diapers.
- She took her 2nd road trip to Utah (to visit my parents) and was perfect on the way there. Not so much on the way home. I don’t think I’ll be making the 6 hour drive with just me and the girls for a while. I’m hoping Dominic can schedule some time in May for another trip out so we can take advantage of some amazing hikes…and of course….Zion. Most of the pictures seen here are from our time in Utah.
- She still puts everything into her mouth. Not kidding. Any and every little piece of stick, leaf, dirt, rock, food (dog or human), paper, plastic, crumb that she comes across…she puts it right into her mouth. Sometimes, her and I will spot the same piece of whatever it is, on the floor, at the same time. As soon as she hears me tell her, “No, Margo, don’t go put that in your mouth,” she takes off in a mad crawling dash towards it so she can put it in her mouth before I can get there to stop her. She’s nuts!
- She still hates having her clothes changed and fights me during most of it. Baby alligator. That’s what she is.
- Margo loves giving kisses and hugs. She gives them on her own accord, and also when asked for them.
- She knows what a hair brush is and what it’s used for and tries to brush her own hair with it.
- She’s currently working on her 8th tooth.
- One of her favorite activities is playing with the pots and pans and opening and closing cupboard doors. Recently, I accidentally let her see me open some that she had yet to discover. The contents of those cupboards were immediately scattered around my kitchen floor. Another point for Margo.
- She tries to climb to the highest point she can. She’s now actually using a square basket (that’s turned upside down and used to hold the dog’s food bowl) by sliding it across the floor to a desired location and then climbs on top of it so she can reach something higher up, like the top of our dining room table, my wine bottles (yup, her and I are gonna be the best of friends in 20 years), the top of my desk and more places she’s not supposed to be or get into.
- She can lower herself off of the couch, well. She picked up this skill very quickly.
- She’s still only saying “Mama” and “Dada” clearly but is “talking” a heck of a lot these days. She initiates little conversations with me and the family all of the time, it’s just too bad we don’t know what she’s saying. She really doesn’t seem to notice, though :)
- We’re noticing a little more that she has some slight curling in her hair right behind her ears. Dominic had curly hair as a child (and I guess as an adult, but he keeps it short so you can’t tell) so we’re all hoping that she has some curl or wave in her hair as she grows.
- We’re also seeing a lot more resemblance to Dominic in her face. I can’t tell you how often I’m told that Mia looks exactly like me. No one sees Dad in Mia’s face and neither do I. I also get told, a lot, that Margo looks like me but Dom is getting some of these comments, too. I totally see his eyes in hers.
- Margo is my little dancing queen. She hears music and she’s just got to move. She sits on her knees and bounces or she’ll be standing and will bend her knees up and down to the music. She understands the word “dance”, too.
With only a month left until her first birthday, I’ll be busy planning and prepping for the party. We’re having a joint birthday party this year for both her and Mia (who is turning 4) since their birth dates are only 11 days apart. Mia was given the job of choosing the theme and she decided on
“Under The Sea” “Pirates” “Cowboys/girls” “Frozen” “Puppy Party”. Yup, she changed her mind a bunch but I finally had to put my foot down on one so Puppy Party it is.
So there you have it. This last month has been full of growth and love. She’s been figuring out the world around her, little by little, day by day and it’s awesome to watch. We love you Margo Blue!
- Have you guys checked out Target’s new home collection for kids called Pillowfort? If you haven’t, do you live under a rock? Holy cuteness! They’ve really knocked it out of the park with this great collection. And most (maybe even all) of their pieces are affordable. Temptation is seriously knocking at my door to purchase more than any person should in one shot. But…I do have to admit some major disappointment that they didn’t create any curtains!!! I’ve been searching high and low for the perfect set of curtains for Mia’s room and I haven’t found just what I’m looking for. I ended up making them and they’re cute and will do for now, but what kind of home collection doesn’t include curtains? Get on it, Pillowfort! Here are some of my favorite items: 1) Cage Light 2) Wire Milk Crate 3) Cactus Pillow 4) Pillow Cover 5) Rattan Basket 6) Comforter Set 7) Lampshade 8) Sheet Set 9) Wire Wall Decor 10) Chair This only scratches the surface of my wish list, guys.
- I came across this post on starting a meditation practice and I can’t help but to feel (even more so than I already did) like I should be meditating. I often find my mind racing, wandering, puzzling, stressing, worrying and even spacing out. What it needs is a good “time out”! But in a good way. I do think that meditating will be super beneficial and I’m looking forward to incorporating it into my life. I’d love to hear about any of your thoughts or personal experiences with meditation, feel free to comment below.
- I heard briefly on the radio today that it’s National Day of Unplugging. It’s a 24 hour period – running from sundown to sundown – and starts on the first Friday in March (today). I totally vibe with this idea and think it’s a challenge (yes, it’s a challenge for some people and I’m one of them) that is worth accepting. So, starting at sundown tonight, I’ll be setting my phone in remote location and won’t return to it until sundown tomorrow (maybe even later). I wish I wasn’t so attached to social media but it’s easy to get there when you’re home with 2 littles all dang day and need some kind of grown-up interaction. But I guess I could pull out one of the many books I’ve only half-read, paint or draw some art, sew something or toss the ball around to the dogs out back (and clean the yard while I’m out there). Anyone else willing to unplug for 24 hours, too??
- Wednesday night, I enrolled Mia in a ballet/tap class which was the night before classes began. Being that this is her very first dance class, we didn’t own a single dance garment or shoe. Which means I was on a mission yesterday to find ballet slippers, tap shoes, tights and a leotard. The stars were all aligned because I found both pairs of shoes at Payless down the street and the garments from Target. The classes are held at a recreation center that is literally a few blocks down the street from us so this is super convenient and so mellow and casual. There is no experience needed and it’s only for the month of March. I think this is such a great (and cheap) way to expose Mia to dance and to an organized and instructional class for the first time. Watching her try to follow the instructor beside a bunch of other 3-5 year olds who were fumbling about was pretty dang cute and I was beaming with pride. She did really well! She wasn’t at all shy, attempted to position herself right in front and did her best to focus. I can definitely see this as the start of childhood “dance career” for Mia. I’ve never taken a single dance class (which is something I wish I was enrolled in) so yay for living vicariously through your kids. Say hello to the newest “Dance Mom.” :)
Image via Instagram
- Online classes from one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, are 30% off today. I’ve had my eye on their combo class offer “Photoshop for Bloggers & DSLR Basics Bundle” for at least a year. I think it’s time to make the splurge (at only $87.50 for both) while this deal lasts. I can easily justify this purchase as an early birthday gift to myself. I’m turning 33 years young in just 3 more days, so Haaaaaaaappy Birthday to ME! And maybe I’ll even dig into some yummy cake while I take the course :)
Have a fantastic weekend, ya’ll! I’ll be busy pricing the last of my baby/kid items for a consignment sale I’m consigning in next week. I mean, I have boxes and boxes full and if all sells….I’ll be taking home $500+ so I’d say the work is worth it for me this year.