Yes, I'm still alive.

It's been two weeks since we moved and things are still pure chaos around these parts. Between painting, unpacking, a power outage, water in the basement (with all of our unpacked boxes down there), family in town, hosting a birthday party, deck construction, Chris working 70 hour weeks, a wood ant infestation, refinishing hardwood floors, chasing a toddler around and trying to keep our sanity, I have had little time to sit and write a coherent post.

Chris leaves to Washington DC next week, so we're on a mission to get a bunch of projects completed before he leaves Monday evening. Please bear with me for the next couple weeks as we try to settle in a bit more, I have so many pictures and stories to share with you guys, I'll get back to regular postings eventually.


One More Thing

One more quick thing.  I got a couple emails last week with people asking if I'm on Instagram, and the answer is Yes!  You can find me @madebymonica. I love Instagram, in fact, I'm slightly obsessed with it.  I find it infinitely better than twitter (which by the way, I closed my twitter account).  Anyway, long story short, I update Instagram multiple times a day, so if you are wondering what's going on with us over the next few weeks, go on over to Instagram for lots of picture updates daily.


Our Easter and a Setback

We had a lovely Easter weekend. The weather was absolutely perfect, which meant most of our time was spent outside (when we weren't running errands and packing, that is).
Our Easter Attire (notice Cohen's mouth is filled with peanut butter crackers from his Easter eggs)

Chris and I were completely shocked by Cohen's egg hunting skills, it was as if he'd been hunting eggs for years.  He picked up every egg, put them all in the basket, and even knew how to open them up. Once he figured out there were crackers inside, I think each egg was opened in less than a minute:) He was pretty cute to watch.

I'm glad it was Easter weekend so we could keep our minds off the house issue we unexpectedly ran into Friday.  Long story short, our closing was moved from Monday (yesterday) to Wednesday because there was an issue with the seller's bank.  Not a huge setback, but still annoying.  I'm an extreme planner, so when things like this pop up at the last minute, I tend to get more stressed out than I need to be.  Keep your fingers crossed everything goes as planned tomorrow, we have really busy schedules for the next 2 weeks, so any other delays would be really difficult.

On the subject of really busy schedules, I know I've often said we are busy lately, but this time I really mean it!  No really!  The next two weeks will be insanely crazy around our parts, so please be patient with me, as I'd be shocked if I find the time to write anything over the next few weeks. Here's why: The rest of this week will include: Three 4 hour round-trip drives (between our old house and new house), closing on our new house, two important phone interviews, a going away party, a 30th birthday party, the movers arrive to pack our house, and Chris has a conference in Des Moines.  Next week: The movers will deliver all of our belongings to the new house, my parents arrive from Washington on Tuesday, we have tons of new house projects to attempt while my parents are here to help, unpack a bazillion boxes, we're hosting Cohen's first birthday party with family, attending the Olympic Trials, and hopefully we'll have time to visit my cousin who just delivered her son 15-weeks early (major prayer request by the way).

Oh and did I mention, do all of this while attending to our one year-old's every need.

Phew!  Tired of reading my explanation of why I'll be MIA for awhile? Cause I'm tired of writing about it. Next time I write, I hope to have lots of pictures of the new place!  Be forewarned it's a MAJOR fixer-upper, so get ready to see lots of house projects in the near future.

Until next time, Monica


An Easter Basket

I had grand plans of creating an entirely handmade Easter basket this year, but between our move and being a single mom most days it just didn't happen.  I did manage to make an Ugly Doll-esque Easter rabbit, but everything else was picked up here and there. Hope he likes it.
1. Playschool Pop-Up Toy (here)
2. Giant Bug (similar here)
3. Monster Puzzle (similar here)
4. Handmade Easter Rabbit (Love This Handmade Rabbit here)
5. Annie's Bunny Fruit Snacks (here)
6. Books (The Dumb Bunnies Easter (here) & The Story of Jesus (here))

Our Easter plans look a little something like this: a family breakfast, Easter egg hunt, church, lunch, drive to Iowa City to do the final walk through on our new house, then hopefully get some sleep before we sign all our house papers on Monday!  That's right we are closing on Monday!  I'm so happy I could cry (oh wait!? I've already cried 3x this week in excitement). What are your plans? Wishing you all a lovely Easter weekend! {Monica}


My Apologies

I'm officially the World's worst blogger as of late.  I'd like to blame it on a myriad of things but really we've just been in our own little world.  We've been preparing for the move, visiting my grandparents who just returned to Iowa from Oregon (where they spend their Winters), and taking time to enjoy this wonderful State we live in.  Friday Cohen and I spent half the afternoon outside, watching my grandpa mow the lawn (Cohen is obsessed with lawn mowers at the moment), playing in piles of grass clippings, rolling down the huge hills in my grandparent's back yard, and bird watching (he's also obsessed with birds).  I'm trying to make an effort to enjoy these last few days of calm before the move, so don't expect to see me on here much in the next couple weeks.  I promise to get back to my regular posting as soon as were moved and settled in.  Oh, and I promise to post some new house pictures soon too. {Monica}


he likes being dirty

Our days look a lot like this lately. Cohen covered from head to toe in all things nature. Me hovering over this sweet baby boy in an attempt to limit his dirt intake. He seems most at peace when he's outside amongst the birds, warm northern winds, and knee deep in dirt. I get a kick out of his hands at the end of a long day outside, covered in rich Iowa soil, they look as if he'd been working on cars for the last 20 years. I'm thankful we live in a place where he can be immersed in a life he loves outdoors. A place where life is still simple and warm Spring mornings exist. But, mostly I'm thankful for being able to spend my days outside with this little boy. Being his mom is pretty darn incredible. {Monica}


Yesterday was a Long Day

Yesterday was a long day.  One of those days that seemed twice as long as it really was.  Cohen had his One Year Wellness Checkup which meant 5 shots and 1 vile of blood drawn.  He screamed, cried, and even shook uncontrollably he was so upset, it was absolutely awful to watch.  On top of that, he's cutting his 14th tooth...yes, I said FOURTEENTH TOOTH (at 12 months old, might I add). Cutting this many teeth at this young age isn't fair, and his high grade fevers that come with his teething aren't fair either. Oh wait there's more...I also thought yesterday would be a good day to transition him from a bottle to a sippy cup.  We've been working on this change for a couple months now and for the most part Cohen transitioned easily.  It was just the last feeding of the day that seemed difficult for him (and us) to get rid of.  We'd try our hardest each evening to ignore his desperate bottle cries, but I'd always give in..  As soon as I'd come to his rescue with bottle in hand, he'd immediately relax and be asleep within 5 minutes allowing us both to get our much needed sleep. But last night was different, I was determined not to give in. As bedtime approached I knelt down to Cohen's eye level and explained to him the change that needed to happen.  He had absolutely no clue about what I was saying, but he looked at me with those puppy dog eyes oblivious to the impending changes.  I put him to bed, turned on some music, and closed the door.  At first it wasn't bad, but five minutes later his calm babbling turned into wailing.  He'd cry, then almost fall asleep.  Cry, then almost fall asleep.  This cycle went on and on for what seemed like hours (when really it was only 34 minutes), then finally there was complete silence. Ahh, I did it.  I really did it.  I couldn't have asked for a better way to end the difficult day.

 It's hard to be a mom on days like yesterday, when everything seems to go wrong.  It's hard enough to make decisions on vaccines and wonder if you are making the right choices, let alone watch your innocent baby boy get needles shoved in his cute little thighs and scream in pain.  Parenting is hard sometimes, but I find single parenting really difficult.  It's hard being alone every week, and yesterday really reiterated the fact that life is much better with Chris around. If he was here yesterday, I'd have someone reassuring me that my decisions were formed with Cohen's best interest in mind, and even just tell me I'm doing a good job. Sometimes a few words of affirmation can put everything back into perspective.{Monica}