Showing posts with label Baby Boy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baby Boy. Show all posts

July 14, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude {Motherhood Challenges Series}

Lately, I've been counting my blessings. Twice.

There is nothing really major going on in our life, or any health scares that would make me appreciate life that much more. I just think it's part of growing up.

Hubby and I spent our anniversary weekend staying in, cooking, relaxing and spending time together (while Jonathan was visiting the grandparents). We didn't go out to any fancy restaurants or did any extra curricular activities, but simply relaxed  without the toddler running around (read: pure bliss). I think out of all the times that we did plan to 'do things' last weekend was the most memorable. It made me realize how blessed I am.

That is one thing I struggle with, especially when I start comparing my life with other's. Comparison truly is a killer of all joy! There are many things I can complain about, and find negative in my life, especially when you look at social media staged perfection. But when I look closer, when I actually see how many things I'm blessed with, my heart overflows with gratitude.

I'm beyond thankful for a supportive and caring husband, who cares so much for his family. I'm blessed with a man who understands that time doesn't stand still, life is short and family is the most important.

I'm so thankful for the privilege of being a stay at home mom. It fills me with gratitude knowing that we are taken care of, and I don't have to work to support our family. Knowing that my husband takes care of us so that I can take care of our home, be there for our babies and spend time doing what I love is beyond humbling.

I'm thankful for healthy and happy babies and the ability to carry them myself. Seeing so many women struggle with infertility or raising special needs kids breaks my heart. Besides the aches and the pains, the swollen ankles and weight gain, it's the most amazing thing that happens in a woman's body.

I'm so thankful for having my family close by, and the ability to have babysitters. As much as Jonathan gets spoiled (read: a lot) whenever he visits his grandparents, I'm so grateful for the memories he's making with them. My heart melts seeing him follow his grandpa and the special bond they share and when he's playing with his cousin, having the most fun of all.

Gratitude really is a change of perspective and all depends on how you look at things.

When I start feeling sorry for myself that it's hot and my ankles are swollen at the end of the day, or that I have to clean up the house for the nth time, or that laundry never (ever) ends I think of my grandmother. A woman, who carried seven children while living on a farm with cows, pigs, chickens and the whole shebang, also had acres of land for crops and daily cooking, cleaning and laundry all the while living with her critical mother-in-law. She worked from sunrise (sometimes even before) until midnight without taking a break and without slowing down. At that moment, my little pity party starts to look silly and I know I have nothing to complain about.

Slowing down and changing the outlook on life, as well as counting how much we have instead of what we don't have brings such a change, It helps see things in a whole different light giving us an attitude of gratitude.

June 12, 2015

Books We Are Reading Right Now

Jonathan LOVES to read. He reads first things in the morning, then all throughout the day, while I'm doing chores and before bed time. We don't have a bed time routine with book reading but we sure do enough of it during the day. Sometimes I wonder why it's so quiet in the house as he sits on the couch and reads a book all by himself. It makes my heart melt and I'm so glad he is developing this habit so early on. Here are a few of our favorite right now and if you are looking for cheaper prices, Amazon is the best with delivery time (if you have Prime) and price point.

Good Night Moon
This book has elements of unexpected and still carries a lot of meaning. Also, it's a classic. Jonathan loves reading about the moon and talks how characters do the same nightly ritual as he does before going to sleep. It's super adorable.

Thomas (Magnetic Book)
Let's just say Jonathan is obsessed with all things trains (especially Thomas). I bought this book before leaving for our trip down south and he loved playing with it on the way back. Unfortunately the magnets get lost easily so beware.

Blame It On The Big Blue Panda
He knows exactly what's going on in this book and it's a book with awesome moral. He asks me to read it over and over again. It has large drawings and big enough to entertain him for a while.

Llama Llama Red Pajama
This has to be my favorite children's book in English (I love my old Russian favorites more). It has a cute rhyme and very easy to read. Jonathan requests it a lot and helps me long as he scolds the crying little baby llama. It's hilarious!

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
This book is so sweet! I love reading and tickling him, plus it's great for educating kids about how different our world is. Every time I read it I'm ready to tear up because it's just so heart warming and adorable.

The Little Engine That Could
This is Jonathan's favorite book. He brings it over to bed first thing in the morning and we read it together. Then he asks to read it again after breakfast, and after nap, and after dinner. I practically have it memorized and sometimes get annoyed by how many times he wants to read it. But I love that he is developing a love for books so early on and have to remind myself that it's a million times better than TV.

Have a great weekend!  

March 2, 2015

Ideas for Indoor & Outdoor Toddler Activities

Winter is long and brutal around these parts of the world. Most of the time we are indoors because it's either too cold or we are stricken with another disease. Although there were times when we actually ventured out and left a few footprints on the snow. It's fun and tiring at the same time. When we are indoors we try to stay busy with different kinds of activities but I wouldn't say we are extremely creative. Most of the time new and unusual things will keep Jonathan occupied for a long time. For example a 3 foot Styrofoam bendable cable that daddy had left over from one of the projects is a substitute for a stick - it's soft and safe, he can fall and play with it as he wants.
Her are some other ideas


Build a Fort: kids love nothing more than small spaces they can crawl in and out of. They love forts and those aren't hard to make. Just grab couple chairs and old blankets and make a fun day of play inside

Finger Paint
This might involve a little more work and a lot more supervision but kids love it. Finger paint is cheap and can be purchased at Dollar Store or any craft store. They love to get their hands dirty and making a colorful splash on paper will be beyond exciting

Jump Over Mountain
Jonathan is constantly building huge piles out of pillows and blankets on the bed or on the floor. He loves jumping on them and because it is soft, it's quite safe. Just make sure to supervise if it's on the bed because they loose orientation quickly and can fall right off.

Balloons: every kid (and adult) loves playing with balloons. They are a cheap and fun entertainment that won't annoy you for long and you can be sure will keep the kids occupied. Grab different colored balloons and blow them up to fill a whole room. Play to your heart's content and then pop them when you are done. 


Sledding: grab some sleds and make snow tracks. Although the temperatures may be freezing the kids won't be cold because they are constantly moving and enjoying it. Plus they will sleep so much better after getting some fresh air

Ice Skating: grab some skates and drag that kid on the ice. Chances are, he/she will like it. It is tiring and physically exhausting activity for both parents and kids so there won't be any fighting about bed time.

Walking: bundle up and take a walk. It seems like a lot of work because you have to put on a million layers first on your child than on your self but they will enjoy a change of scenery

Visit the Library: most public libraries have a children't section. It's free and it's fun, with new books and pals to play. What could be better? 

Hardware Store Lessons: most hardware stores offer Saturday morning classes for toddlers and up in which they have many hands on activities. It's free and all you have to do is sign up.

How do you battle winter boredom? What's your trick to keeping toddlers occupied? 

Thank you for stopping by
xo, Anna 

xo, Anna 

February 19, 2015

Blue & Red Train Themed Boy Birthday Party

The main table with snacks and decor. Can you spot a train? 

DIY bunting and favor bags by yours truly

Favors decorated with left over material from bunting...

Adults table with water and apples as centerpiece. Nothing else seemed grown up...
Personalized train napkins by Tiny Prints 

Hubby and I built the cardboard train for the party

The kids table complete with train tracks...

I just love this simple idea for kids table. And I didn't even find it on PINTEREST!

Kids snack station so they don't have to ask parents for juice and stuff

Lots of fruits in red and blue.

Popcorn train and rail road signs

Another look...

And another.... 

The kids loved the train. Our wall however will never be the same

Never looks into the camera

Singing happy birthday...

And then dropping his birthday cupcake... Haha

He didn't seem to mind 

 Popcorn train turned into cupcake train for dessert. Can you spot the fallen over cupcake? ;-)

Obviously, I loved taking pictures of that table.

The train before it was (a little bit) destroyed 

The adorable magnet favors

 Jonathan turned two last week and celebrated with family, friends and a train. His favorite thing right now is all things trains and choo-choo is the word we hear a lot in our house. He loves when we go by the train station and I can't wait for summer to enjoy long walks and see his excited face when he sees a train in person. I made train cars out of honey-graham crackers and marshmallows, as well as little signs out of waffles and cherries. I ordered pistachio cupcakes with blue sprinkles (Sugar Babes gourmet Cupcakes) and made the rest of the food myself. Oh, and the train was a labor of love for sure! Lots of work but he definitely enjoyed it!

February 13, 2015

Jonathan Turns TWO!

Today we are celebrating this little character - you can tell by the pictures, there isn't a dull moment around these parts. I can't believe my little boy is growing up and honestly wish the time would just slow down because having a tiny little baby around for a couple of years is totally not enough. 
You are smart
You are funny
You have your cute ways of doing things
You love all the tools that daddy uses 
You love your grandpa more than anything in the world
You talk too much most of the time
You love being outside
You want to listen to my belly and hear the baby
You love going place but your favorite is the train station
You are obsessed with trains
You love helping me cook
You are an easy going dude (most of the time)
You are the joy and sunshine in our lives

Happy birthday little man.

January 30, 2015

Things He Says [Part I]

As Jonathan's vocabulary grows, he is becoming fun, interesting and more adult-like. The things he says at the most unexpected times, are just pure hilarious sometimes.

While pulling a little wooden carriage full of toys, he accidentally runs it into the table.
Jonathan: Oh boy!
Anna: Did you just say ' oh boy'?
Jonathan: Da (Yes in Russian)

As I was making  purple cabbage slaw some of the cabbage ended up on the floor. He comes over from the play room
Jonathan: Oh meeeeeeeess, mama
Anna: Yes dear. Mama will clean it up later.
Proceeds to take his little chair, climbs to find the kitchen towel from the top drawer, then starts wiping the floor
Jonathan (singing): clean up, clean up, everybody do their share

Potty training has finally took off and he hasn't had an accident in a week. As I put him on the potty,
Anna: Go ahead and pee.
Jonathan: I did it. I pee.
Anna: Do you need to go #2?
Jonathan: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm yes. Mama go. Shut the door.

As I'm pulling out of the driveway
Jonathan: Mama, this way.
Anna: no, Jonathan we are going different way.
Jonathan: No this way!
Anna: We can go that way next time, ok?
Jonathan: OK.

We are all together playing on the couch. Jonathan passes gas and starts laughing hysterically
Anna: Jonathan, was that you?
Jonathan: No. Ummmmmm (thinks for a minute) papa!

He wants me to give him another bottle of milk, before bed time.
Jonathan: more moty (his word for milk)
Anna: no more milk.
Jonathan: why, mama, why?
Anna: because you already had milk. you can't drink too much before bed...blah blah blah
Jonathan: why? why? why?
Anna: (more logical explaining) why am I explaining this to you? (laughing)
Jonathan: I don't know. (in the most grown up voice ever)

December 25, 2014

Exciting News

Merry Christmas to me
because I'm a BIG BROTHER to be

It's an exciting Christmas for our family as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and will be adding another munchkin to our family. God has blessed us so much and I'm very thankful for each and everyone of you who support my blog. Thank you for being part of this journey with me! 

Merry Christmas! 

xo, Anna

December 5, 2014

Slow Down This Christmas Season

Christmas can be the busiest time of the year. With all the shopping, party attending and other family activities there is no time to breath. I feel like sometimes I'm running from place to place, making pretty things but never actually stopping long enough to admire the beauty of the season. 

Thankfully, my son reminds me often. 

He grabs my hand, says "c'mon mom" and drags me to the couch where we sit and read every book that he has. Than I'm reminded how special this time of year is. Instead of running back to my boiling pot of pasta, I actually make an effort to put away the social media and just be in the moment.

So no matter what you are doing and how many activities you have scheduled from now until December 25th (and beyond), take time to enjoy the season.

Slow down. Sit on the couch and listen to Christmas music, put away the phone (and the laptop, and the tablet) and simply live. Grab a cup of hot coca, tell your children about the real reason for the season and pray together. There is nothing more special than time spent with family doing things that matter. 

Instead of buying more stuff and caring for what people will think of your Christmas decorations,  think of those who are hurting,  alone or have nothing this Christmas.  Share the love of God with those in need and spread Christmas cheer! 

Enjoy the Christmas season!

xo, Anna

November 7, 2014

Farewell to Fall {Family}

Parent | Toddler | Family | Fall Pictures | Happy Medley

Last month, when it was exceptionally warm and the leaves were still just beginning to change color, we headed to the park for some family time. It was warm and sunny and a lot of fun for Jonathan. He gave me my first leaf (most moms receive flowers as a gift, I get leaves.) It was beautiful.

Most of the time, in the busyness of life, we rush through things. Even that day, husband was on a mission to get things done and we had limited time at the park. But what strikes me the most is that weeks later I don't even remember why we were rushing. I do, however remember, this beautiful sunny day and the time we spent together.

I'm preaching to myself here, people, because most of the time, I'm running around like a chicken with her head cut off, instead of enjoying the moment. 
With the upcoming holiday season, take the time with your family to just slow the heck down. Don't get caught in the consumer driven mantra of the season and instead do meaningful, quality things with your family. They will appreciate it more than any kind of present in the world. 

Thank you for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Here is a list of sales going on this weekend in case you decide to do  some online shopping on Saturday morning! It's the best - never leave your home and score some deals.

Nordstrom -> up to 40% OFF ends 11/11

J.Crew Factory -> 30% OFF everything {use code EXTRA30}

Old Navy -> up to  50% OFF everything

GAP -> 40% OFF everything (ends 11/10) {use code FFSALE}

Banana Republic -> 30% OFF full prices {use code BREXCITED}

J,Crew -> 25% OFF fall favorites and extra 30%OFF SALE items {use code GETWARM}

Ann TaylorExtra 60% OFF all SALE style,  $49.50 select full-price sweaters; 40% off full-price Ann cardigans

DSW: $10 off $74, $25 off $139 or $40 off $199 using code SHOPNOV

Kohl's: $10 off your purchase of $25 or more using code VETSDAY10 in store

LOFT: extra 60% OFF SALE styles in stores & online 

Lord and Taylor60% off all coats & 50% off all cold-weather accessories today & online