Monday, December 31, 2012

resolutions



It's that time of year again, time to make some promises to ourselves that we generally don't care to keep past about..the second week of January. So I've decided to just make some goals for myself for the upcoming year. 2012 gave me a healthy little boy, and I am determined to live this upcoming year with him to the fullest. So I guess I'm making more goals than resolutions. Are those the same things? For some reason they feel different.

1. Take more pictures.
Since Sage was born I have been a beast with a camera. I want to keep that up. I love looking back at his pictures and videos. I love putting them into this blog. Which leads us to the next goal...

2. Keep blogging.
I have gotten into a blog jive and I really want to keep that up. I love this little corner of the Internet that I call my own.

3. Read.
I've made a goal for myself to read at least 20 books this year. I asked for suggestions on my Facebook and was amazed by the great books I was recommended. I can't wait to get downloading on the Kindle. It's not that I DON'T read, it's that my quality of books have seriously gone downhill. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" has been a commonplace around here -- Sage thinks that's the best! That dang caterpillar just eats so much! When we're not reading about a caterpillar or a "spoon and a brush and a bowl full of mush", I generally don't take the time to read something for myself. When I do read, it's been either trashy celebrity magazines or books that I pick up at the grocery store, which aren't usually the best written books in the world (I know, big shocker there). These books usually include a girl who's boyfriend cheats on her so she leaves, she goes into a depression and then comes out of the depression with a heightened sense of self, making her emotionally ready to be in a relationship with the hotter/more sensitive/successful guy who comes along. These books are fine, but I need something a little more invigorating. Time to put this iPad to good use and fill that Kindle app up with something out of the norm! I'll save the trashy magazines for the treadmill and the bathtub, because heaven knows I can't just give them up COMPLETELY.

4. Work out.
I know, real original here. Me and every other person in the history of the world have this as a resolution. But mine has more to do with losing the rest of this stinkin' baby weight. When I was pregnant with Sage I had the appetite of a linebacker. I could eat constantly and never feel full. Part of this has to do with my gluten intolerance, but the rest has to do with the bottomless pit that was my stomach for ten months. In my head I was eating for two, but it seemed as if the two were both sumo wrestlers. I gained 80 pounds during my pregnancy. I've lost over half of it, but this is the time to lose the rest. I hate not fitting into my old clothes. Because honestly, I had some really cute clothes I would really like to fit in by this summer. So this isn't more of a half year, resolution. I want to have lost the rest of the baby weight by the summer, then keep it off through the remainder of the year. It's frustrating how hard it is to lose the weight that was so easy to put on in the first place.

5. Do more.
I want to get out and do more. I know this is a really broad statement, but it's also a really broad goal. I want to go to more concerts. I want to visit more museums. I want to have more play dates. I want to take a class. I want to plan a big trip over the summer. I want to plan more little weekend trips. I want to learn to cook. I want to start painting again. I want to do more crafts. Basically, when I see an opportunity, I want to take it without worrying that I "don't have time." If I had time to watch every episode of every Real Housewives of every city this year, I definitely have time to do some of these things. I mean, come on.

Those are the main ones. However, I am constantly making small goals for myself. I honestly believe that making small, attainable goals are the way to grow and become better. January is about new beginnings, but for me it's more like a checkpoint where I can look back on the year and think, "Dang, self. You had a good year. Keep it up."

Be safe tomorrow and Happy New Year!!🎉🎉

Sunday, December 30, 2012

baby giggles



Nothing better than baby giggles.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

bubble snap

Sage doesn't like: pants
Sage loves: the bubble snap app on my iPad

christmas dinner



We were lucky enough to be invited to Colin's sister Lindsey's house for Christmas dinner. The food was amazing and I always love when I get the chance to hang out with Lindsey. Girl knows how to throw a party. Somehow I got though the whole night with only three pictures to show for it: one of Sage and Lindsey in the cute cute "my first Christmas" outfit she had given us the night before at the white elephant party, and two from the end of the night. While everyone was cleaning up after an intense GVB (girls vs boys) game of Xbox connect sports -- where I found out that javelin just isn't my virtual thing -- a different kind of fight broke out. I didn't see how exactly it started, but from the other room I heard Lindsey's boyfriend Chris yell, "GET A CAMERA!!" I ran into the kitchen with my phone in tow and saw Lindsey covered in the individual pies she was putting out for dessert. It was obvious that her 10-year-old brother Eoin had thrown an individual pie in her face and Chris was keeping her from attacking long enough for me to get a picture. After she was set loose, Lindsey went in with another individual pie for revenge. And of course she won that battle, because other than being three times Eoin's age and twice his size, Lindsey fights dirty. So Eoin didn't stand a chance...and there were some tears shed.





Dang, pie to the face. What a great way to thank the hostess! It was a great night with great people. Merry Christmas to us!

Friday, December 28, 2012

christmas eve

Sage's first Christmas Eve was a perfect night. We first went to Colin's mom's house for a white elephant party. There were great appetizers and Brenda's meat pie -- the pie looked like something out of a catalogue and smelled even better, and from the sounds of it it tasted just as good! Sage cuddled with Colin's sister Lindsey and poked his brother Joe in the eye while trying to steal his glasses.







While leaving to spend the rest of the evening with my family, Brenda came out of the spare room with a wrapped box as big as her and declared that it was a gift for Sage. She went on to explain that the contents of the box had been a Christmas tradition for their family and they were now passing the tradition on to Sage. As I drove home I wondered what could be in the giant beast of a box. We got in the door and I went to get my dad so he could help me bring the box inside.

Sage opened the present (with some help) and inside we found a full Christmas train set. It was the Christmas train that had gone around their tree...and now it was ours to enjoy! After eating even more treats and reading the Christmas story from the Bible and The Grinch, we opened up the box and my dad and Sage got down on the floor to build our very own Polar Express. Once it was up and running, our little conductor sat for hours watching the train go around the tracks, his head following the train as it passed and then jerking back around to the other side to wait for the front car to come back around.









Finally I tore him away just long enough to put pajamas on, then back to the train he went to watch it go around the tracks until he fell asleep. Forgive me for the poor quality cell phone video, but I just couldn't help including this video my sister took. Talk about full concentration! For HOURS he sat just like that.


I hope your holiday was wonderful and full of family. I hope we can all find our own version of "Polar Express" joy and wonder.
xo

Thursday, December 27, 2012

currently



Watching: I really haven't been watching anything consistently lately! With Haydn and Sean visiting and Colin in town there isn't much time for tv, and I'm okay with that! We've been watching a lot of movies (mostly Christmas movies) and last night I actually went to a movie in the THEATER *gasp* for the first time since Sage was born. Haydn, Sean, Kylie, Andrew, Colin and I all went to see Les Miserablestogether while my mom and dad watched the baby. It was amazing! Colin didn't love it (or even like it) but he was a good sport about it. Right now Sage and I are watching Up because someone doesn't think they should be sleeping at 12am.

Listening to: I have been listening to the Regina Spector station on Pandora and it is so good. When I need something more mellow to fall asleep I switch to Lana Del Rey.

Planning: I'm planning a trip for Colin, Sage and myself. I don't want to say too much because it's a surprise, but it will be coming up fairly soon so expect details and pictures! The trip is my late Christmas present to Colin. I originally had another trip planned but due to a certain NHL lockout I am having to think on my feet for another destination!

Thinking about: Today is my parent's 27th wedding anniversary and I'm amazed at their love and long lasting relationship. They are definitely an example of love for me and my sisters and I can't imagine not having that constant model of a strong relationship. So many people these days don't and I am so blessed in that way.

Looking forward to: this winter break! I go back to school a week from next Monday and it still seems unreal that I have this kind of time off from work to spend with my munchkin. This teaching job is trying to say the least, seems impossible at times, but is worth it for these 17 days devoted completely to family. I have some grading and lesson planning to catch up on, but this way I can do those things In sweats while watching a movie. Not a bad trade!

Reading: I just downloaded a book called 600 Hours of Edward that my mom recommended. I'll let you know how it is, but if she says it's good that usually means it is!

Making me happy: family. I love having everyone home. There is always something going on, and even when there's not its nice to have someone to sit and talk with or watch a movie with. And Sage is growing so fast. He makes me so happy and proud to be his mom, and just when I think he can't get any cuter or I can't love him any more he surprises me. Now I have a Disney movie about a house and some balloons to get back to.

xo



what I wore to: white elephant party





Colin's family had their annual white elephant party on Christmas Eve. I wore a dress I borrowed from Haydn that had tiny white elephant print. Perfect! I paired the dress with black leggings, a black boyfriend sweater, and moccasins. It was cute and (bonus!) super comfortable. We had a wonderful night full of goat cheese and meat pies; giggles and holiday cheer. I'll post the rest if the pictures from the party soon (when I figure out how to get all of the pictures from my iPhone, iPad and camera into one place).xo

Sunday, December 23, 2012

bits + pieces

It's a crazy and busy and wonderful time of year. We have been so busy and a little bit sick, so here is a glimpse into our life these days.xo


1. vintage dress and grandpa sweater // 2. treat // 3. beautiful tree // 4. mirror friends // 5. big kid // 6. favorite toy // 7. white Christmas // 8. snuggles with George // 9. upset tummy // 10. guy time // 11. ribbons and wrappings // 12. Christmas tree shopping // 13. much needed nap // 14. pho date // 15. watching Rudolph for the first time

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

6 months old?!



My little man is 6 months old today. Wait... WHAT? Where the heck did the last 6 months go?! I can't believe this last 6 months has flown by so fast. Before I know it he'll be running around getting into cupboards and I'll be planning a birthday party and a cake smash for a one year old. A TODDLER. This last six months has seemed so surreal. I've never had so much love for another person as I have for Sage. I just want to look at him and kiss him and take pictures of him all day long. Every time he looks up at me and smiles (which he does A LOT) my heart melts. He wakes up every morning with a smile.

For Sage's 6 month birthday I'm going to do a "currently" post about what he is up to.

Sage is currently

watching: Handy Manny, Jungle Junction, Baby Einstein, The Backyardigans

listening to: everyone tell him how dang cute he is. I can't take him to the store, to church, or even into the living room without someone grabbing him up and tickling him to hear his giggles. He is quite the popular little person.

planning: our first Christmas together! I'm stocking up on all sorts of clothes and sensory activities to try as Sage grows and learns.

reading: The Very Hungry Caterpillar is our favorite right now. We have been looking at Christmas picture books. I love watching Sage as we look at new picture books. He gets so excited every time we turn the page and he sees a completely new scene. He squeals with excitement and kicks his legs as he takes in the pictures. I hope this is just the beginning of his love for learning.

eating: so far Sage has eaten bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, carrots, turkey (from his mesh feeder on Thanksgiving! You can see pictures from Thanksgiving here). He has also tried the Graduates snacks in sweet potato, cheese flavored, and apple cinnamon. He seems to love the apple cinnamon best. He's a great eater, anything he doesn't love right off the bat he loves with banana mashed into it. I am excited to try more foods with him!

loving: to be on the go! Sage loves to be in the car and in his stroller going shopping. The picture for this post was taken while we were Christmas shopping last weekend. He loves going into stores and seeing all of the colorful things on the shelves and looking around at the new sights. He definitely is not afraid of new places and things.

At 6 months old Sage can:
sit up
roll over
hold his own bottle
make various sounds and respond with baby sounds when I talk to him
bring is knees up to crawl and then lift himself up on his arms, just not at the same time (yet)
reach and grab anything in arm's reach and put it in his mouth
respond to his name

I am so happy to have such a happy and healthy little boy. I love every minute that we spend together.xo

Monday, December 17, 2012

we need a change

After talking with some friends and after recent events leading to a sick and uneasy feeling across the country, I feel like I have to share my thoughts--even to just get this off my chest. I'm worried that we live in a time where parents don't know how to be parents. In my job I see kids five days a week who only see structure while at school. Administrators are reluctant to use suspension as a punishment when home is less safe than school. Teachers are blamed for students who can't read or perform at grade level when parents don't read at home with their families. When calling the parents of a disruptive and disrespectful student, the response from the mom was a non-chalant, "well I don't know what to do with him. He doesn't respect me either."

After the horrific events in Connecticut last week, I've heard many people calling for a change. Many people demanding stricter gun laws and more secure school entrances. I just ask for parents to do their jobs as parents. Teach your kids the meaning of respect and teach them integrity. Instill a level of care and tenderness along with a strong work ethic and a love for learning. Hug your kids. Love them but hold high expectations for them. Let your kids be kids. Too many kids I know play the adult role in their homes. Show them an excitement for life. Congratulate them when they succeed. Pick them up when they fall. Be a parent. Be a parent above anything else.

"No success can compensate for failure in the home."

Friday, December 14, 2012

5 blogs I love right now


http://bleubirdvintage.typepad.com
This is my new favorite blog right now. I love this mom. I love her creative way of mothering her four kids and her the way they strive for a simple, country life. They have days full of crafting and exploring and reading together. All in vintage clothes.

http://www.smallfryblog.com/
The group of moms at Small Fry feature the cutest things for little ones. There are always new clothes, books and activities for little people and their moms.

http://ohjoy.blogs.com/my_weblog/
This graphic designer has an eye for pretty things. She draws "what I would wear" outfits for different occasions inspired by real clothes. Her latest post I love features place mats she designed with various Roald Dahl quotes. LOVE.

http://blog.modcloth.com/
I love ModCloth clothing and now I love the ModCloth blog. They feature vintage-inspired clothing and spaces. They interview cool and kitschy people and blogs worth checking out. AND with Christmas coming up they have been posting lots of gift ideas.

http://smileandwave.typepad.com/blog/
Okay, this girl is awesome. She has the cutest kids and they do the cutest things. My favorite thing they have done so far involves decorating and posting happy notes around the town for random passer-bys to find. Right now she is running an "advent activity" series of things they are doing as a family, such as making snow globes and doorbell ditching gifts for friends in their town.

Check them out and love them as much as I do.
xo

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

homemade baby food adventure #3: butternut squash

Okay, so right off the bat I'm going to say I feel like I cheated on this one. Things have been so busy with work and getting ready for Christmas, I just don't have the time try different kinds of baby food right now. I know what Sage likes (banana avocado) and I know what Sage loves (sweet potato mashed potatoes), but man cannot live on sweet potatoes alone. So when I saw these "ready-to-steam" cubes of butternut squash at the grocery store I was so excited. Who doesn't love butternut squash? AND the bag was cheaper than actually buying a squash ("WHAAAAT??" I said to myself as I was throwing the bag into the grocery cart and doing a subtle victory dance in the produce section). I got home and in literally 15 minutes I had steamed, blended, and separated the squash into little servings.

But we had yet to pass the real test: the little man taste test. Sage wasn't feeling very good, he had a bit of a fever, so I knew that I was up against a tough critic. Plus, with my luck he would hate something so easy. So when he woke up from his nap I put him into his chair and hoped with everything in me that this was 15 minutes well spent.

He liked it! I even got a smile out of him. He ate every last bite! Happy and full, we snuggled on the couch and watched Christmas movies together for the rest of the evening.xo

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

making a plan for this Christmas season

I am so in love with this little mister today and his already apparent love for winter and Christmas and everything jolly. From now until Christmas we will be doing everything we can think of to ring in the Christmas season! This includes (but is not limited to):

-decorating the tree
-snuggling and watching Christmas movies
-making fires in the fireplace
-driving around looking at Christmas lights
-community Christmas concerts
-going to the mall to meet Santa
-listening to Christmas music in the car
-reading Christmas books at bedtime
-getting bundled up and playing in the snow
-escaping the cold at our favorite local coffee shop
-shopping locally for gifts for our favorite people
-and PICTURES at every turn


I know, I know. He's a five month old. He may not remember any of it but I will always remember and treasure our first Christmas together.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

currently



Watching: Christmas movies! So far we've watched The Grinch and the tail end of Elf on tv today. We have also, of course, watched the Christmas "Handy Manny" and "Jungle Junction". Keeping everyone happy! When I'm not watching Christmas movies, I've gotten sucked into this season of "Parenthood".

Listening to: Guess...? Christmas music! I have my favorites. My number one for as long as I can remember is my mom's CD of 1940s Christmas songs. I also can't get enough of the She&Him Christmas CD. It has that coffeshop sound that I love, and only has the classics. NOT listening to: "Christmas Shoes" and "The Little Girl that Santa Clause Forgot". UMMMM, sad Christmas songs? SERIOUSLY? Not my thing.

Planning: Lessons. These middle schoolers are giving me a run for my money. Considering I am the third teacher they've had this year, the kids are rowdy to say the very least. I'm working on giving the classes some stability and a sense of care and concern for their well-being. After talking to other teachers, I have found out that many of the kids are coming from very unstable homes, and I am feeling a sense of responsibility to give them a sense of blance and safety when they come into my classroom. I can't blame the little monsters for giving me heck, they are expecting me to leave because it's the pattern they've seen in there lives and they don't want to get attached. It breaks my heart but really lights my fire to go into the school full force every morning. Oh, and I need to teach them some math too and get them ready for high school. My work is definitely cut out for me!

Thinking about: How blessed I am to have such amazing people in my life. My family and my family of friends are amazing and I can't explain the overwhelming feeling of happiness and gratitude I get when I think about the life that I have. It may be the time of year, coming out of the Thanksgiving season where a spirit of thanks is in the air to the Christmas season where everything looks and even smells joyous.

Looking forward to: Les Miserables! It's scheduled to come out Christmas Day, and after seeing the trailer about a million and one times I think it's time for the actual movie to come out. I'm expecting a lot of tears because the story has such big and beautiful themes. It's a story I grew up with and one that I've loved for a really long time. If I can't see the Broadway play, this would be a close second. It better be great, there will be some tough critics coming from the Jensen family!

Reading: I haven't been reading the way that I'd like to. I have been reading REALLY light and fun books lately. I finished "White Girl Problems" and seriously laughed through the whole book. It's hilarious and SO light. I would really like to get my brain going and read a quality book soon. There really isn't a feeling like finding a book that changes your whole life and perspective on something. I would love to hear suggestions of a grown up book (haha) to read over Christmas break. For the little mister, we have been starting to read books together before bed. He loves the colors in "The Hungry Little Caterpillar" -- the classics never go out of style!

Making me happy: My new iPhone (RIP lg rant -- haha!) and especially INSTAGRAM. I'm obsessed. I love the ability to capture and share our lives and have pictures all in one place. It's so much quicker than writing a whole blog post, especially after running after middle schoolers all day! This post picture is even from my instagram! Follow me at alyssamjensen and see daily updates of me and my perfect little peanut.xo