Friday, March 24, 2017

Life in Suburbia

Since our move to Texas over 3 years ago, our adventures have taken a more suburban turn. For a home body like me it's perfect - and Houston is big enough that Chris finds activities to satisfy his less-than-suburban desires. But my heart loves these wide open spaces, the pretty flowers planted in neat rows, the colorful pond fountains, the lovely bike trails, and the neighborhood park. I never dreamed we could live in such an idyllic setting.

Time inches like molasses, the sticky brown sweet goop that makes everything better, as we strap the baby into her bike seat and head out for an evening ride. These moments are my fuel - nourishment to be the best mom and wife I can be - memories that will far outweigh any material possessions. Just flipping back through these pictures can ease my anxiety at work and be a reminder that life is so, so good.

Happy Friday friends!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Designing a Nerdy Playroom

Maybe second only to my love of outer space is my love of all things home. I love organizing, decorating, diy-ing, designing, and experimenting. But I'm also thrifty and want everything in my home to have a purpose or a story - not useless china just for the sake of having china. You know?                                                                                                                                                                         With Zara on the verge of walking and her first birthday barely in the rear view mirror our home felt like it was bursting at the seams with 'baby'. Toys everywhere, books disorganized and a confused baby, since she had no place to really call her own. We decided to convert our loft space from office/space memorabilia to Zara's playroom and we love it so much!!                                                                                                                                       The first step was to swap the glass shelves with the cube shelves originally in the music room. It was a pain getting these up the steps, so I suggest building them in place if possible. Then I swapped my space collection with the toys and books and blocks and stuffed animals, and and and. So the space collection is safely displayed downstairs in my 'mom' room (the music room) and Zara has ample shelf space for all those baby items! The natural light from the big french doors just adds to the cheeriness of the space. Altogether the room swap-a-roo cost me less than $200 by re-purposing the big items (both shelf units, 4 of the storage bins and the big comfy chair - a hand me down from Chris's mom). One of my favorite touches is the space-themed travel posters above the shelves, you can download these for FREE from NASA here. The bright primary colors mimic her nursery decor as well - since I'm not crazy about pink I decided to just go rogue and use lots of colors!

Download these amazing posters for FREE here. 


Sources (or similar): 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Nerdy Momma's Guide to Child Rearing

Child rearing is the least scientific venture well, ever. There is no formula, theory or method that fully encompasses what it means to be a parent; you can read, seek advice, and sign up for parenting classes all day long, but that baby will do stuff no Pinterest article can prepare you for. She will constantly surprise you - and what worked one day has no guarantee to work the next.

To combat the seeming chaos I employ a mental flow chart of sorts to organize the questions: is she crying? yes? is she drooling? yes? probably a new tooth. Find a carrot. Wait, she's not drooling? Is she hungry? Do her britches smell something fierce? Diaper change! Why isn't she going to sleep? Is she hungry? Does she need a diaper change? Why is she laughing? Wait, did she just poop again?! Another diaper change. Did I remember to buy diapers at the store? Crap, like, literally, crap I forgot.

Usually food, water or a clean diaper is the way to her heart. But there are other times that are just baffling, so you end up trying everything and literally anything to make her happy.

take slow deep breaths
talk in a low voice
talk in a high voice
turn on Pandora
bounce her on the exercise ball
play peek-a-boo endlessly
try a diaper change just for good measure
go for a walk or a bike ride (most likely not a car ride)
play in the grass
dance around in circles
call upon the voodoo magic gods
make up words to nursery rhymes when you can't remember the real ones
let her bang on your piano
strum the ukulele
blow in the kazoo
chase the dogs while holding her in a superman position
make food into puppets
give her some belly raspberries
find the paci (dangit, where is the freaking paci?!?!)
read a book
no, let her gnaw on the book
give her a bath
read her this list in an English accent

like I said, anything.

If its not clear already, my "guide" is to do what works best for you and your baby. And don't feel guilty about it because nerdy mamas don't have time for that! 

But if you are dying to get a little more 'nerd' in your routine, here are a few recommendations!

We'll start with bedtime, because well, it can be amazing or it can be frustrating - for us its always a crapshoot. But after the bath and PJ donning we read a page from 30 Second Theories. Zara is drinking her night time milk with Chris or I and the other one reads aloud - sure, these little chapters are mostly for our benefit, but Zara hears us reading to her which is always a plus. Chris and I learn something and chat about it, so it keeps us awake and entertained!

A book that Zara loves (that I also love) is Rosie Revere Engineer. It has great pictures, and of course an amazing story about a little girl who wants to be an Engineer. There are also other books by the same author that I hear are great as well!

When Zara was a newborn I needed Pandora. A lot. All the time actually. Soothing tunes helped me get through those tough first days as a new parent. And now Pandora has become our secret weapon. Zara is conditioned to settle down when the Piano Guys or Baby Rock stations come on. (It also helps if she is fighting sleep at bedtime). 

But music is also one of her favorite activities. She especially loves the maraca-like egg from this set of baby instruments (thanks Aunt Vicki!). Our music room has become her playroom - she is an expert on kazoo, recorder, drums, and piano! Find some instruments she can't destroy!!

And finally, you really need the Boon Flair High Chair with pink inserts if you want to call yourself a nerdy mama - this space age seat looks cool, rolls around easily, and can easily be taken apart for cleaning (I throw the detachable surface in the dishwasher daily). Put it on your registry or see if a friend has one you can borrow!