Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Contentment


Sometimes, I look at my toddler and am in awe how she can never sit still. She goes from one activity to the next at lightening speed, never really savoring each moment. I look at her and see me. 

I can keep myself busy (as can everyone these days). We are too busy for a date, friends weekend or a night to ourselves. We are too busy to sit because there are chores to be had, a business to run, love-handles to get rid of (aka work-out). I look at myself and see the moments I am not cherishing.

My resolution this year was to be content and it is more of a struggle than I prepared for. How can I be content when I am always looking for the next big thing? How can I be content with the now when the future is looming? Contentment has now become mandatory because when I think of the yesterdays and don't remember them. I don't remember the little things that make up the big. I don't remember the moments that amount to truly living.

"Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for."

Thursday, July 14, 2016

thursday thoughts

Why is it already 12,000 degrees? I love being outside but hate being hot, so you see the dilemma I am currently in. August I may become a hermit.

Toddler words amaze me. Some days we get complete sentences and other days we get one-liners. I threw something in the trash yesterday and got "Good job momma." Another day, she informed Winnifred (the bulldog) who was sitting outside in the aforementioned heat, "Winnie, get in this house right now!" It is now apparent I have to watch my tone.

Yesterday was a tough personal day for me. I won't get into it but am reminded that words are the things that comfort me. "Comparison is the thief of joy"

Monday, July 11, 2016

Zoo Day


Having been on the go for the past several weekends, we decided to take Mary Tilman to her happy place, the Zoo. This kiddo loves anything animal so she is right in her element. We talk about the zoo before our visit, squeal while there and talk about it for days after.



In case you are ever in Atlanta, here are some tips for our (in my opinion) a pretty awesome zoo:
  • If you live in Atlanta or see yourself going more than two times a year, buy a zoo membership. It is definitely worth the money.
  • Go early! They open at 9:30 and we are always there on the dot. The afternoons are packed and make it very un-enjoyable. 
  • In the summer, go early! Did I say go early? It was VERY toasty this last weekend so I couldn't imagine going at 2:30 in July. For an air-conditioned break, visit the reptile house or the treehouse across from the gorillas.
  • If you want a close up view of the gorillas, go to the elevated deck platform past the viewing house. You get to see much more from that angle.
  • The petting zoo is my least favorite area but the kids seem to love it. They usually have goats and sheep but this past week they added two hairy pigs. I have never seen a little girl smile so big than when a pig oinked at her--really makes me feel loved :) 
  • The train. While a kid's dream, it is very low to adult standards. It is a pretty poor train ride resulting in a quick jaunt around the playground and splash pad.
  • The pandas are the biggest attraction being that you can only view them at three US zoos. The viewing room gets pretty packed so plan a visit in Spring or Fall when they are out in their habitats during the semi-cooler weather.
  • While we have yet to partake, you can fork over some cash for a special encounter with the tiger, elephant, panda, tortoise or a few other animals. The website says that ages two and under are allowed to watch but not participate. Either way, it would be pretty neat for people of all ages.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Dressing the Littles

Mary Tilman has been voted best dressed at school and that makes this momma proud. While some mornings are a battle and she has grown quite the opinions, I (or Aaron) generally just pick whatever fits for the day's activities.

I frequently get asked where I get her clothes. I would be remiss without saying my mom and mother-in-law have generously made or bought a good portion of her clothes and I am forever grateful for that. Although, now owning a children's boutique I get to play dress up and dream of ensembles quite frequently now. To be honest, I buy with an eye for what I would personally dress my children in.


Here are some of my lessons learned with toddler wear (infant wear was a completely different ballgame):

Smocked / Southern Clothes
  • If not bought by the aforementioned awesome grandmothers I like to shop around. I also usually don't prefer busy prints especially while she is still so little. Another preference is something unique that not every other kid on the playground would wear.
  • Lately I have had horrible luck with the Facebook auction sites, although I have purchased from them all (Smocked Auctions, Southern Tots, Cecil & Lou, Southern Smocked). While the price is great, the product is either a lower than expected quality or extremely late. For the sake of class I will leave their name out, but I recently ordered a precious outfit that was promised in late April and it arrived mid-June. The customer service was extremely lacking with the only offer of consolation was to cancel the order all-together. I love this little site and think their line is so sweet, but don't think I can continue ordering from there.
  • Some great sources I have found are Zulily (although shipping takes forever), Smocking Bug and local Atlanta boutiques.
  • Brands we love | Viva La Fete, Sunshine Kids, True, Mom & Me, Petit Ami, Dondolo, Little English, Proper Peony, Prim & Proper Clothing, Beaufort Bonnet Company, Shrimp & Grits
Play Clothes
  • If hanging around the house I usually throw a t-shirt on her and some shorts. If I know school is going to be a messy day, then we usually wear an appliqued shirt and short set, courtesy of those great grandmothers.
  • Brands we love | Baby Gap, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren
Pajamas
  • Before kids, I had no idea they go through so many clothes. Now most of our wash consists of pajamas. Mary Tilman wears a new set every night because it either has the remnants of yogurt from breakfast or smell of a pee-pee diaper (gross but #reallife)
  • About 95% of our pjs are Hanna Anderson. While on the more expensive side, they last forever. I purchased Baby Gap pjs for a while but was not impressed on the quality.
  • Since opening J. Wills, I have grown to love Petit Plume. Again slightly more expensive but MT's current size will last her well into next Spring. Also a perk is they are truly pajamas made with a flame retardant material. (Newly learned tidbit - if they are called "loungewear" they don't met gov. regulations on safety guidelines).