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}


Mom Clothes #2

jeans: gap, shoes/blazer/sunglasses: target, cuff: vintage, tee: american apparel

cardigan: h & m, bangles/striped blouse: f21, belt: thrifted, jeans: gap

Things are good around our house.  Really good actually.  Friday, was my last day of work in Ames so I'm playing the stay at home mama role until we move to our new home and I start my new job in Iowa City.  I can't tell you how excited I am to move this time around, because for the first time ever we have movers!  Let me say that again, we have movers. If I could shout "we have movers" from every rooftop in the State of Iowa I would. 

So instead of packing boxes for the next two weeks, Cohen and I will be hanging out just the two of us; searching thrift stores for new house trinkets, visiting every park in town, saying goodbye to friends, and counting the days until we move!  Only about two more weeks until we're all living under the same roof again. Yay! Happy Tuesday! {Monica}


snippets 3.15.12

picnic pasta prep

new blue napkins

shoulder ride to the park
smiles cause we're swinging

a prebike for the birthday boy from his aunt and uncle in issaquah.  am i the only one who hasn't seen one of these before?  it has no pedals?

weekend meal (recipe)

cohen + ball + head + delayed reaction = endless laughs at our house

other than giggling at our son's poor throwing arm, we've been pretty low key around our place. enjoying the sunshine, playing outside, packing a few boxes, and counting the days until we close on our house!   happy thursday! {monica}


Cohen Clothes

pants-hanna andersson (gift), sweatshirt- american apparel (gift)

sweater: gap (thrifted), button up: lacoste (vintage), pants: north face (thrifted), shoes: adidas via piperlime, hat: oshkosh (gift)
hat: made by me, cardigan: vintage, pants: old navy (thrifted), shoes: adidas via piperlime

We've been trying to get as much use out of Cohen's cold weather clothes as possible with Spring nearing.  I'm going to miss all these sweet little sweaters and cardigans when the warm weather hits.   Happy Wednesday! {Monica}



all images copyright vasquez.co

It's hard to believe that just twelve short months ago Chris and I were blessed with this special little boy (birth story here).  His big personality, sweet heart, and contagious laugh are what I'll remember most about this first year. 

Happy First Birthday sweet baby boy.  We love you always and forever. 

Happy Tuesday! {Monica}


Weekly Links and a Controversial Subject

One. this soup is on the weekend menu. I hope it's as good as it looks and sounds, but really how can you go wrong with roasted cauliflower and white cheddar? When I find recipes like this, it makes me happy to be married to a former vegetarian who never ever complains about meatless meals. 

Two.  Call me a tree hugger, but I love this idea.  You just fill a suet feeder with yarn scraps, and birds will take the pieces to weave into their nests. I would love to sit on our new front porch and watch sweet little birds make their Spring nests.

Three. This how to remain calm when your child is having a meltdown guide.  Cohen is just starting to enter into the phase of mini-meltdowns, especially in the evenings when he gets overly tired.  Most evenings I'm able to stay calm, speak in love, and dissolve the situation easily; but, there are those rare other nights when I just want to scream.  I'm hoping to use some of these pointers next time one of those "I just want to scream" nights comes around.

Four.  Rarely do I use this blog as a forum for anything even remotely controversial, so I hesitate to even make comments on the Joseph Kony or the Kony2012.com movement I see so many people speaking about these days.  My feelings are this, Is Joseph Kony a deplorable human being? 100% yes!  Does he need to be captured and punished for his horrendous reign of terror? Absolutely! By no means am I anti the Kony2012 movement, the more people who know about him the better, but I'm however on the fence about Invisible Children (the company who launched the Kony2012 film and started this movement). Once again...I said "on the fence", which means I haven't formed my opinion on them quite yet. I'll be honest, I'm always sceptical of these sorts of things when they first catch fire. Rarely do I ever jump on bandwagons or join movements, mostly because I refuse to advocate any social initiative without doing my due diligence first, and I think you should all do the same. Most of you have seen the video, but what you may not know is there are a lot of people speaking out against it. After watching the video, I was a bit suprised to read this, this, this, this and this.  I feel I still need to dig a bit deeper before casting judgement either way, and I think you should do the same too. 

Have a great weekend everyone.  I'll be away for the next four days, but back Tuesday to wish the sweetest boy I know a Happy First Birthday.  Can you believe we have a one year old?  Where does the time go?  Happy Thursday! {Monica}

Update: Since my post this morning, invisible children posted this response to their opposition.


Cohen Clothes.

pants: rei (thrifted), sweater: lacoste (vintage)
jeans: cherokee (thrifted),  flannel shirt: gap (thrifted), shoes: adidas via piperlime (gift)

pajamas: hanna andersson via costco, socks: robeez

You will see from these "Cohen Clothes" posts that we rarely buy anything new.  Socks, pajamas, clearance and special items are pretty much all we seem to buy from "regular"stores.  Not because we can't afford new things, but why pay full price when you can buy the same quality things for a fraction of the price second hand?  You wouldn't believe how many brand new items we have purchased at second hand stores too. Though most of Cohen's clothes are purchased at thrift stores, I'll try to list the brands if the tags are still intact.

Happy Wednesday! {Monica}


snippets 3.5.12

We had one of those weekends where you do a million things, but somehow still manage to feel relaxed. The best kind of weekends, if you as me. We ate great food, met new people, watched the snow fall, cleaned the house, napped, started this book, and ran a bunch of errands.  Sometimes weekends feel too short, but this one felt just right.
Sunday morning breakfast.  Would you believe me if I told you this took less than five minutes to prepare? This is my favorite "looks like it took hours" cheater breakfast. 

As mentioned in Friday's post, this recipe was on the weekend menu.  It was a major hit with Cohen!  He loved the rice noodles and meatballs, in fact I think he would have eaten the entire pot if we would have let him. Chris and I thought it was just "okay".  I added some cilantro and mushrooms to our bowls for extra flavor, but it was still a bit bland for us.  If I make it again, the broth will have to get tweaked a bit.
Sunday afternoon brought a bit of unexpected snow. 
We let Cohen venture out into the snow for a few short minutes.  He kept pulling his gloves off so he could grab the snow with his bare hands...hence, only being outside for a short amount of time.  He quickly realized prolonged snow holding leads to unexpected pain. Poor little guy.

Enjoy the week everyone! {Monica}


Weekly Links

One. A great way to memorialize your child's artwork.  Cut a little square from each treasured art piece, glue them to a large canvas, frame and display.  Some people are so clever.
Two.This is on our weekend menu.

Three. As soon as we move, this declutter your home in a year guide will be inacted in our home.  Seeing as this will be our third home in five years, I'm embarassed to say we've amassed quite the stash of "I'll get to this later" boxes.

Have a lovely weekend! {Monica}