Opening Up Shop

I’m getting ready to re-open my Etsy shop after what feels like the longest break, ever.

I’ve been updating some of my most popular items, and getting rid of the least popular. What I’m most excited about are the newest additions, and that’s where you come in.

I had a few ideas already for new prints, but I’d really like some feedback about favorite quotes, favorite color combinations. Or any other sort of design elements you’d want to include in your child’s room, or that you’d want to give to friends or family.

Any feedback or suggestions would be much appreciated, and as a thank you, I’ll send you a free printable 5×7 design! Make sure you leave me an email address in the comments, or email me at spiteorflight[at]gmail.com

Twenty-Two Months

I can’t speak for Gus, but I’m ready for fall. Actually this summer hasn’t been too unbearable, but moving, bad vacations and sick babies have me ready for October. Speaking of October — Second Birthday planning is in full effect (already?!) And speaking of second birthdays, that’s when I plan to stop writing these monthly updates. Mainly because I’m more and more likely to forget them lately, but also because I think they’re getting a little repetitive, and two seems like a nice place to stop.

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Likes: The love affair with Curious George has ousted Elmo from his top spot. Thankfully we’re past the phase of full on meltdowns when it’s time to turn off the tv. We bought a radio flyer tricycle that Gus loves to ride around on or push through the neighborhood while we walk the dogs.

Dislikes: Diaper changes still top the list but he’s more agreeable once we get the process started.

Sleep: I’m getting ready to move Gus to his own room. We’ve been talking a lot about his big boy bed (which is just his crib) and I got him a little toddler pillow in an attempt to bribe him to sleep. I’m nervous and dreading it, but it has to happen. I’m hoping if I’m consistent it’ll be ok.

Eating: For 10 long months I gave up dairy for this precious baby, and now the only thing he wants to eat is cheese. Sure, he’ll ask for an apple, but then he just throws it on the floor before demanding more cheese.

Clothes: My stringbean baby can still wear all of his 18-24m stuff, but then I have some 2T pjs that are highwaters all of a sudden. So I don’t know.

New Tricks: If we’re playing and I shush him, he’ll reach up and smush my lips together, which he thinks is hysterical. Now if you ask him where something is, he’ll immediately give you one of these: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, which I think is hysterical. He’s also taken to wagging his finger at you (or more likely at the dogs) when he says “no,” and all of a sudden he’s yelling “HI-YAH!” whenever he throws something (we have no idea where that came from).

Teeth: Those second molars are stalled, right under the gums, but they don’t see to be bothering him quite as much. Tooth Talley: 16.

Vocab:
Mama/Dada
Nan
Woof!
Daisy
Jake
No
Night night
Yay!
Toot-toot!
Gus Gus
Yes!
Up!
Down!
Elmo
Nose
Uh-Oh!
Quack
Meow
Moo
Whoa
OH!
Daisy, no!
Cheese
Shoes
Juice
Roar
Monkey sounds
This
That
Bubbles
Hello
Wow!
You
More
Please
Hi
Bye
Boat
Boo!
Fish
Go
Do
oink-oink
snake sounds
Owl sounds
Baby
Me
Aaaachooooo!
The Letters: H & O & T
Beep-beep!
Bath
Hot
Cracker (now applies to chips, cookies, granola bars, actual crackers, and Cookie Monster)
Yuck
Hush
Book
Box
Hat
Help
Oh no!
Butt
Toot
Eww
Ouch
Apple
Rock
Run
Burp
Arm
Hand
All done / All gone
Elephant (Appa)
*Wet
*Bike
*Mike
*Knock-knock
*Trash
*Bug
*Nemo
*Big
*Sad
*Whale
*Blue
*Hair
*Airplane
*Fork/Spoon (foon)

*new this month

Mom

A few days ago, all of a sudden, Gus stopped calling me “Mama,” and started calling me “Mom.”

At first, I thought (hoped?) it was just a fluke, but he’s showing no signs of stopping.

All day it’s, “Mom, juice.” and “Mom, help.” or (my personal favorite) “NO MOM!”

I knew it would happen eventually, but I sort of figured he’d be older.

Like, I don’t know, 10. Or 5.

I’d have settled for 3.

“Vacation”

Last year, I learned the hard way that vacations with little kids aren’t super relaxing.

I had higher, albeit more realistic, hopes for vacation this year though.

Round-the-clock nursing ended a long time ago. Gus loves water. He’s really into going for walks. He loves playing with other kids, and we’d be at the beach for a week with all his cousins.

This year would be more fun for all of us.

I was, it turns out, mistaken.

Day One: I lose one of my contacts in the pool. I’ve never, ever, lost a contact lens in the almost 20 years I’ve worn them. I didn’t have a spare, so my options were either the ‘ole pirate squint, or glasses on the beach (which I hate).

Day Two: Gus gets a cold. I mean, it happens, but usually not until we get home and all those little kid germs catch up with us.

Days Three & Four: Instead of sleeping, Gus decides to scream at us, at the top of his lungs, every one to three hours, only to eventually decide to get up for the day somewhere between 5-6 a.m. He’s cutting his last four molars. He’s got that cold. We we’re having AC issues in our room. We figured it was all of the above.

Day Five: After more inconsolable nighttime screaming, we notice he’s wheezing a lot, which was new. After a few hours of listening, repositioning, nursing (you name it) we decide to take him to the local beachy medical center. Several hours and hundreds of dollars later, it’s determined he has bronchiolitis – and he’s not a fan of chest X-rays, or his doctor (nor were we).

So we decided to pack up a few days early and head home to follow-up with our regular pediatrician, sleep in our own bed, and let the baby watch his precious Curious George DVDs which he asked for the entire time we were gone.

I did get to eat at my favorite restaurant, I swam in the ocean for a hot second, I managed to get some pictures of Gus and his cousins on the beach, see my family, and I still found time to read a book, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Next year though, I’m sure will be better.

Twenty-One Months

Technically, Twenty-One Months and six days, but who’s counting.

If I had to sum up the last month in as few words as possible, I would have to say: explosion.

His language is exploding. His independence is exploding.

His temper is absolutely exploding.

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Likes: He loves his new-ish Elmo slippers, he mastered sliding in about five minutes (also: he calls it, “Weeeeeee?!” So adorable.) He’s obsessed with bubbles, and water, and rocks. Did I mention we’re the only occupied house on our new street? We’re surrounded by construction sites, so it’s rocks rocks rocks all day around here.

Dislikes: Turning the TV off (more specifically Curious George or Sesame Street) is a big tantrum trigger. Thankfully we’re living without TV (and internet, the horror!) for a few weeks so it’s been easy to avoid. When I do need to turn on some cartoons to get some unpacking done, I’m relying on a lot of smoke and mirrors, and a general out of sight out of mind approach to keep things civil around here, once it’s time to turn them off. I’m not looking forward to his attention span improving.

Sleep: I don’t know if it’s his last four molars, nightmares, or a month away from our bed and our regular routine, but sleep has been iffy lately. Not terrible, but not great, but there’s definitely been a lot more midnight screaming. We’re all very excited to have our bed back.

Eating: Apple juice, goldfish crackers, cheese and (obviously) cookies are the only things I can reliably get this kid to eat. He does like fruit and beans, but some days he eats it all, but really most days he just wants to graze and keep playing.

Clothes: 24 months

New Tricks: Jumping (or nearly jumping most of the time) is a new development. He also wipes his hands together and says, “Phewww!” every time he says he’s all done with something.

Teeth: Second molars are on the horizon. Tooth tally: 16

Vocab:
Mama/Dada
Nan
Woof!
Daisy
Jake
No
Night night
Yay!
Toot-toot
Gus Gus
Yes
Up
Down
Elmo
Nose
Uh-Oh!
Quack (Mmmmmmaaaaaaa!)
Meow
Moo
Whoa
OH!
Daisy, no!
Cheese
Shoes
Juice
Roar
Monkey sounds
This/That (dat)
Bubbles (babas)
Hello
Wow!
You
More
Please (peas)
Hi/Bye
Boat (bo)
Boo!
Fish (vish)
Go (go-go!)
Do
oink-oink
snake sounds
Whooooooo (like an owl)
Baby
Me
*Aaaachooooo!
*The Letters: H & O
*Beep-beep (applies to cars, trucks, bikes, etc.)
*Bath
*Hot
*Cracker (now applies to chips, cookies, granola bars, actual crackers, and Cookie Monster)
*Yuck
*Hush
*Book
*Box
*Hat
*Help
*Oh no!
*Butt
*Toot
*Eww
*Ouch
*Apple
*Rock
*Run
*Burp
*Arm
*Hand
*All done / All gone
*Elephant (Appa)

*new this month

 

Table & Chairs Shopping

For the last few years, I’ve dreamed of the day we had a kitchen or a dining room large enough for a giant farmhouse-style table.

Now that we’re moving to a new house, I finally have the space to get one. And while there’s nothing really wrong with our current table and chairs, they’re a little too small for our new kitchen, and well, I want a new table so, I’m virtually window shopping.

I’ve narrowed my table search down as far as style goes, and I’m hoping to get lucky at a Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware outlet (thankfully I live about a hour or so from one of each) and find something like this, this or this. If that doesn’t work out, my backup is this table from Home Decorators Collection, which has a matching bench.

My real problem is the chairs.

Mike & I both like the idea of a bench along one side of the new table, so I’ll need four/probably five new chairs for the new morning room.

In a perfect world, with a perfect budget, I’d get tufted and upholstered chairs. 

But, it’s not a perfect world, and at $250 a pop, these chairs are an investment I’m not sure I’m willing to make. With a sticky, rambunctious toddler, two dogs with poor table manners, and a mother prone to spilling her red wine, I don’t think upholstered chairs are terribly practical.

A slightly more affordable option would be an upholstered parsons chair, and while that saves me some money, it won’t solve my baby/dog/wine problem.

My second choice would be a metal bistro style chair. I personally love the mix of styles and textures (I blame Chip & Joanna Gaines) but Mike is adamantly opposed to a metal chair. 

They’d be light, and durable, and I wouldn’t have to worry about maintaining them too much. I’m hoping I can swing Mike in this direction, but if not — we move on to wooden chairs.

I like the idea of a painted wooden chair, that way we don’t have to worry about matching the stain on the table and the bench. Plus, if I can get Mike on board, it’s a good opportunity to add a pop of color.


For our predominantly white and gray kitchen, the blue chairs are my favorite, fingers crossed Mike agrees.

Terrible Twos

When you’re pregnant, everyone with kids is all, “Oh, you’ll never sleep again.”

And you hear it SO much, you’re like, OMGGG I GET IT, thaaaaanks!

But you don’t. You definitely DO NOT get it, until it’s three weeks in, and it’s 4 a.m., and you can’t remember the last time you slept more than two hours.

Then you’re like, holy shit, they were right.

The terrible twos is a lot like that, I imagine.

Everyone knows toddlers are irrational, and tantrums are awful, and that the terrible twos are a thing. And maybe if you work at a daycare, or a preschool (god bless you, by the way), you’re prepared for what it’s like to have a two-year-old.

The rest of us? It’s trial by screaming, stomping, fire. And by the time you figure out that’s your new reality — just like life with a newborn — well, it’s too late.

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In the last few weeks, we’ve seen our fair share of legit tantrums. I think there are a lot of contributing factors, aside from it’s just that time, developmentally. We’re still staying with Mike’s parents while our house is finished (only a few more days!) and our routine is a little off. We’re sleeping in a bed that’s not ours, and Gus is starting to cut his second molars, so he’s not sleeping well. He’s recently become OBSESSED with cartoons — specifically Curious George — and turning off the TV without a compelling distraction is a big trigger. And despite learning new words at a rapid pace, he still has a hard time explaining what he wants all the time.

And so, he throws himself on the floor, and screams in my face. And if I try to touch him, or comfort him, he loses his goddamn mind.

Thankfully, the majority of the time, he’s still super sweet, and funny and affectionate. And I take comfort in the fact that it has to get better (just like that newborn phase!) or no one would ever have more than one child (…right?)