I Heart My Shoes*

I mentioned that I’ve been doing some thinking about the future of my blog.

I’m not going to lie, right now I find it very difficult to find time to write. Between taking care of the kids, trying to stay on top of the house and attempting to spend a little time with the Hubster, I don’t have a lot of extra time to throw around. And honestly, when those magical “free moments” appear, I’m often too burnt out to write anything coherent.

That being said, I’ve been thinking about my little blog, and I hate that I’m not writing. I started I Heart My Shoes eight years ago (eight years!) and I have chronicled so much in that time. I think about who I was back then–a newly married university student who was struggling to find herself in a new city–and I marvel at how far we’ve come. From those first posts as a shoe-obsessed second year university student, I’ve written my way through my undergrad, teacher’s college, my job search, my marriage and my entrance into parenthood. There is so much here.

But I also look at this and think: is this still me? When I started this, it seemed natural to title it after something I adored–shoes. Oh, shoes. Eight years ago I had over 100 pairs in my closet and I coveted every cute pair of heels that I saw.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love shoes. It’s just not in the same way. My collection has dwindled and quite frankly, these days I’m more interested in comfort than the latest fashion. I can’t even remember the last time I bought a pair of shoes just because I wanted to. They just aren’t my passion anymore… so I sometimes look at my blog and feel like it and I don’t fit together anymore.

In the last few years I’ve realized that my passion for shoes has diminished as I’ve discovered new passions in running my home, cooking, and my career as a teacher. I don’t feel that I’m the same person that I was when I became Shop Girl and began I Heart My Shoes. Should that matter? Does it? Should my blog change  as I’ve changed over the years?

So, what do I do? I know that I want to keep writing, I just need to feel more connected to where I do it. I’ve debated whether or not it was time to end my journey here and start somewhere new, but that didn’t feel right. This has been my home for too long, and I don’t want to leave it just yet. My question now is whether  it’s time to leave “I Heart My Shoes” behind and take on a new name–something more reflective of who I am today.

Thoughts?

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Summer Lovin’*

Just Me & A Wee-Bean*

Just Me & A Wee-Bean*

I honestly don’t even know where June went. I feel like it was the end of May then all of a sudden I blinked and it’s July 8th. It was a jam-packed month full of loveliness–here’s a few of the highlights!

I began the month with a momentous occasion: I went out by myself for the first time since Hank was born. My hair has been falling out like crazy, so I finally booked a hair appointment and chopped off five inches in length and about five pounds in weight. Hank and I have been attached at the hip since he was born and he wasn’t terribly happy that I left, but it was so nice to have two whole hours by myself.

The head massage was pretty nice too. :)

The rest of the month was a blur of play dates, birthday parties and visiting with friends. It seemed like we had something on every other day, and while my poor chore chart sat neglected, Ruby’s social life thrived. My little bean loves to be around other kids, and I feel bad that most of the time she is stuck hanging out with me!

She is growing and changing faster than my heart can handle. She has lost all her toddler rolls and is now a tall, beautiful little girl. She is so smart, funny, independent and determined–and we’ve learned that she definitely has a temper to match her red hair. June brought us a wave of defiance that had us pulling our hair out for a while, but she seems to have calmed down and will do just about anything to avoid a time-out. Her vocabulary is the best part–every day she comes out with some new word or phrase that I have no idea how she learned. While she definitely lets you know when she wants something, her manners are wonderful and I’m so proud of her!

Today was Hank’s four month check-up, and our “little” boy weighed in at 20lbs 4.5oz. I’m not going to lie–I’ve been a little concerned about his size because he’s just so much bigger than Ruby ever was. He’s perfectly proportioned, but he’s just… big. I spoke to my doctor about it, but she had no concerns. He’s totally healthy and all his measurements are on the same curve (above 95th percentile) and she just thinks that Hank is going to be a tall, strapping young lad.

Hank has the sweetest little personality and is almost always ready with a smile. In the last four weeks he learned how to roll over (both front to back and back to front) and he surprised me with his first word: “mum”. He’s not much of a napper during the day, but he sleeps pretty well through the night so I can’t complain. :)

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Hank the Tank*

June also brought my 29th birthday, and a visit from the Hubster’s mom! We were so happy to have her stay with us, and we spent a wonderful week together. Ruby is still asking, “Where’s Grandma?” The Hubster took a week of holidays, and we took a trip out to Center Island, went shopping, visited with family, ate too much and probably slept too little… but it was so worth it. We’re already looking forward to her next visit!

And now here we are in July, and I’ve somehow gone nearly five weeks without writing again. I’m still not entirely sure how to fit this into my new life as a momma of two, but after reflecting seriously on the future of my little blog (more on this soon) I’m still not ready to give it up completely. I’ll figure it all out somehow.

Someday. (ha)

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Diaper Cream Adventures*

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I’m going to tell you a story.

The Hubster’s birthday was on the weekend, and we had the most lovely day on Saturday. We woke up to a beautiful sunny skies, and decided to go out on a family bike ride to check out some local yard sales. It was the kind of day that you wait all winter for–perfect temperature, beautiful warm breeze and gorgeous sunshine. It was perfect.

We ended our bike ride at the park to let Ruby run around a bit, and Hank had a snooze in the bike trailer. After our bike ride we went out for a sushi lunch as a family. Ruby was SO good in the restaurant, and the Hubster and I gorged ourselves on fabulous food. We ran a few errands after lunch, then came home and spent the rest of the day relaxing and working on a few chores around the house.

Ruby didn’t have a terribly long afternoon nap, and she played hard outside most of the day so we figured she would be pretty tired at bedtime. We read her some stories and put her down a little before 8pm. We normally hear her playing in her room for a little bit, but we weren’t surprised when we didn’t hear a peep out of her. After all, we had had a busy day.

The Hubster and I were watching the hockey game and were just starting to get ready for bed when she cried out a little before 10pm. I normally go in to check on her, so I figured she just needed to be tucked back in.

I opened the door and knelt by her bed. I kept the lights off so I wouldn’t wake her any further… but when I went to give her a hug, I noticed that her clothes felt damp. I thought that maybe she was overdressed and had sweat while she was sleeping, but when I hugged her I noticed she smelled funny. I couldn’t place the smell, but I knew it was familiar.

I quickly switched on the light.

Ruby was covered in diaper cream. My jaw dropped as I looked at her. It was all through her hair, all over her arms and legs, and all over her face.

Then I looked around the room. She had painted her bed +bedding, her table, her drawers, her cupboards and her “Baba”, her blanket that she drags around everywhere. There was also gobs of it on her turtle rug and it was mashed into the carpet. To give you an idea of how much she used, she emptied the jar at the forefront of the photo… and Sudocream spreads like creamy, white paint.

As I took it all in, I tried to figure out how she had done it. We always leave her cream up on a shelf where she can’t reach it. I quickly realized that she had taken her foam chair, carried it to the shelf and used it as a stool to climb up and get the cream.

Clever little monkey.

It was 10pm, and as she was already obviously upset I knew there was no point in getting angry with her. I called out for the Hubster, who walked in the room and just gasped. I took her down the hall to the bathroom, while he began to wipe up her artwork.

As I ran the tub and stripped her down, I realized that she must have been trying to imitate me. She loves to be with me while I get ready in the morning, and always asks for some “lotion” while I’m putting it on. I could see that she had rubbed in on her arms and legs like I do, and it looked like she had run it through her hair like I do with my mousse.

I couldn’t help but laugh as I scrubbed it off her arms and tried to get it out of her hair. A word to the wise– combing baby powder through hair will pull out any oily substance (Vaseline, diaper cream, etc). It’s a life saver.

The Hubster was still wiping down her room when we returned from the bathroom, so we quickly changed her bedding and and ordered her into bed while we cleaned up as much as we could.

We amassed a monster load of laundry, but we got most of the cream off her furniture and removed every bottle of cream and lotion from her room (as well as her chair) before putting her back to bed.

It wasn’t quite the finish we had imagined for the Hubster’s birthday, but at least it wasn’t worse. I wish I had taken a minute to take a picture, but I was just so shocked at the sight of her and her room I immediately threw her in the tub.

Seeing as she has already done her hair with Vaseline (twice), I’m sure I’ll have another opportunity in the future anyway… haha!

How was your weekend? ha.

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100 Happy Days*

I am so glad that the last two weeks are behind me.

I know I posted about Ruby’s experience with Roseola and how hard it hit my little girl. Two days after she finally started feeling herself, I started feeling a little… off. I was extremely irritable on Wednesday and I couldn’t really put a finger on what was causing it. I didn’t feel well when I went to bed, but I chalked it up to exhaustion after a long week of interrupted sleep.

I woke up in the middle of the night and knew I had a fever… and thus began the worst flu I’ve had in ages. It came with all the bells and whistles–high fever (102), nausea, loss of appetite, night sweats, chills–you name it, I had it. I didn’t really start to feel any improvement until Friday evening, and thankfully by Saturday afternoon I felt much better.

But it was just awful. It was the kind of sickness that just makes you curl up into a ball and cry because you feel so awful.

Which is exactly how the Hubster found me when he got home from work on Thursday. Thankfully my sweet Hubs took both the kids and put me to bed for a nap.

Anyway.

We are all healthy and well now, and I spent the weekend disinfecting my house. (Sickness, be gone!)

While I was sick I spent a lot of time laying down, which resulted in a lot of time spent scrolling through my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I kept seeing my friends post things with this hashtag: #100happydays. Their posts were so cute and uplifting that I decided to do a little digging, and I found a website that asked this question:

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It’s such a simple concept. Of course I can be happy for 100 days in a row… right? The difference is that this challenges you to actually stop and think about being happy, or at least to think about something that has made you happy that day. It asks you to take a minute to think about that something, take a photo, and share it with the world. It makes you press pause on a crazy, hectic, bad day to find something that made you smile.

I love it.

Today was day 2 for me, and I’ll be posting all my photos on Instagram & my Facebook page. Feel free to follow along, and if you’re up for it, do it with me! (Dooo it!)

Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?

(I believe in you!)

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Cleaning House: The Chore Chart*

You guys, I have a confession to make… my house is a disaster. Pretty much all the time.

Since Hank’s arrival, I’ve found it challenging to try and find a delicate balance of meeting the needs of a newborn and toddler as well as attempting to keep my house in order. There are days when remembering to shower and brush my teeth feels like a major accomplishment, never mind vacuuming or cleaning my windows.

Thinking about all the cleaning I have to do to keep up my house is sometimes really overwhelming… so I started thinking about ways I could break things up to make it seem more manageable. I’m a very visual person, so I thought that some kind of organized chart could help.

So, I did what any desperate housewife would do: I searched Pinterest.

I actually haven’t been a huge Pinterest fan until quite recently. Seeing all the beautifully decorated houses and perfect mothers doing cute crafts with their seven children was a little depressing, and really, who needs that.

However, I recently discovered their recipe section and I am hooked. So, I thought I would give it a whirl and see if anything came up. As the page loaded, I scrolled through so many neat ideas others were using to manage their daily tasks. After seeing a few that I liked, I spent a precious nap-time hour organizing my daily tasks and playing around with a document until I had it just the way I wanted it.

It ended up looking like this:

My Chore Chart*

My Chore Chart*

I tried to divvy up my big chores and spread them out across the week. You’ll notice that there is only one big chore for each day, as well as small tasks that I try to keep up with every day. I didn’t include basic things like doing the dishes as those things get done anyway.

Rather than print a new chart each week, I found an idea to make one sheet reusable… and I could have it in a location I’d see all the time. I went to Dollarama and picked up a cheap 8×10 picture frame and some dry erase markers. I inserted the chart, and… voila!

My Chore Chart*

My Chore Chart*

I hung my chart in my kitchen, above the counter where I spend the most time preparing food or putting away dishes. The frame + dry erase markers allow me to adjust the dates each week, and check off my tasks as I complete them. It’s just a simple, silly idea, but being able to check something off and actually seeing that I’ve accomplished something each day feels really good.

That being said, I also don’t beat myself up if I’m not able to finish a task. I’m getting better at cutting myself some slack, and if I don’t get my kitchen floor swept at the end of the day, I know I can always try in the morning. It just makes cleaning feel so much more manageable. Instead of staring at an endless mountain of jobs, I like knowing that I have one or two “big” jobs to try and get done each day.

The best part? This project cost me a whopping $2. Win.

If anyone is interested, I would be happy to email the chart… it’s easy to move tasks around, or delete them all and insert your own! Just shoot me a message on Facebook or leave me a note here and I’ll send it your way.

How do you stay on top of your cleaning? Any tips for me?

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