Thursday, August 29, 2013

No-Bed Baby.

I always thought that by the time Elliot was born that I would have his room completely set up. Crib, glider, decorations, toys, books, etc. All is true except for the glider and crib. The TWO main important items. It was hard when you think about the fact that we had just moved in and needed actual things to survive like a washer & dryer, a fridge, sofas, you get the deal. The crib kind of got put on the back burner and now I feel like it's been time. Of course I wasn't comfortable putting Elliot in one when he was born and he had his own little bed, meaning, his play pen. As he grows and grows I feel like he should already have a more formal place to sleep in and not a play pen. I think I should only use that now for actual play time. This is kind of a big deal because I feel like Button doesn't sleep comfortably in there anymore. I feel like I'm a bad mama for not thinking about this sooner!

However, I have been doing my research for a while now looking for the perfect crib to match his room (although I'm planning to have it in our room for a while) yes, I'm THAT mom. I just feel like he will be so far away from us in his room since our bedroom is downstairs and his is upstairs. Great thinking when we bought the house!

I also reaaaally wanted this Jenny Lind crib (and still could be a contender) I mean, look at it, what's not to love? It's vintage, it's beautiful, and the most inexpensive of the three but I read both good and bad reviews on it so now I'm over thinking it. Jack wasn't crazy in love with it either which makes it harder.

Anyway, I have found the perfect two and I'm having a hard time deciding. I'm also wondering if white is the way to go since it's usually a crib color picked for girls (I think?). As I said, I have been trying to decide between these two and I just love them both. Help!

I have no idea which one to get! I better decide soon or one of us will have to end up sleeping on the floor so that Button can sleep on the bed ;) 

Yay for Thursday!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Seven Months.

Sorry guys I've been crazy busy these past few days and I'm posting Button's update a little late. It's just beyond crazy to me how smart and amazing this little creature is. He's learning so much at such a fast rate. I know as mamas we say that about our kids all the time and to everyone but seriously, how can we hold back such information about our little ones when they're so awesome!

Excuse the half erased board. This kid could not get his hands off of it.

Weight: About 18lb. Your next appointment is not until nine months.

Clothing size: 6-12 the six month stuff I got you is going out the door pretty soon. 

Diaper size: 3 I seriously think we will be getting 4's in no time.

Feeding: Your schedule is pretty much the same as last time but you don't drink as much formula as you used to because you like your solids a lot more. And you drink water now too. I'm not going to let you drink juice until you're older.

Milestones: You are literally days away from crawling. I also love to stand you up on my legs because you push yourself up and down. I love that!

Loves: We recently got you a baby remote control. You crawl (or slither rather) your way to it and you press the buttons changing channels left and right. While all that is cute, we opted for one just for you. It plays songs, numbers and it lights up, you love it. We also bought you a Glow Worm and you are mesmerized by the way it lights up. I give it to you when I lay you down and you lay on your side touching its lit face. Your absolute most favorite toy is a monkey your auntie Yams bought you when you were born. We hang it from your car seat and you ALWAYS hold on to it when you're in it. Even if you're asleep. If we forget it (cause grandma takes it out so you can play with it) you look for it and you give me a look as if you want to ask me "where the hell is it mama?" It's the cutest thing.

Dislikes: You're starting to give us a hard time with diaper changes. You don't complain but you are so squirmy and try to get your hands on everything you can find on the bed while we are changing you. I think you just don't like not being able to do what you want during that time. When you're congested, you hate saline and the bulb. You already know when we get close to your nose and you start swinging your hands and turning your body away from us. I don't blame you on this one, it probably sucks. You also have never liked ANY teething toys. This has given us a hard time because although you love your hand, it's not enough to calm the itchiness of your gums.

Adventures: Everyday is an adventure with you! You did hit your head on the high chair because since you want to grab and touch everything, you were looking down on your little safety belt and you were slouching and hit your head. You cried for about 2.5 seconds and went about your business. You also love leaning all the way to the edge of the tray and biting it with your gums. It probably feels good since you're teething. 

Mommy and Daddy could not get through the month without: Still your paci but mostly all your toys. You can play with anything and you stay occupied for a good while.

I am also loving the stuff that Old Navy is coming out with and seeing that Fall and Halloween is almost here and reading other blogs it seems like everyone is in the spirit already! So why not join them?

The toys were purchased at Target and the PJ's and onesie from Old Navy.

More on ON. Seriously, I snagged this onesie as soon as I saw it. I love it!

Happy Wednesday! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Place To Call Home.

First off, did you guys watch Project Runway last night? It was such a good episode. I mean I never miss one but last night's was awesome. I got teary eyed when Heidi told Justin he was out. Ugh! Granted his dress wasn't his best but it really wasn't his time. Then he goes to say bye to the other contestants and they all cried! I cried right with them too. Then when Tim Gunn started crying and used his save for Justin? I was on the verge of more tears. That darn Tim Gunn. Gotta love him. Ahhh I love that show. Okay okay, post time!

When we purchased our home it was a foreclosure and it had been vacant for an entire year. Previous to that, the owners were renting it, and you know, when you're renting you don't give a crap about your yard. At least this was the case with this house. It was a disaster. Literally. I hated coming home to a dirty, ugly yard. As I walked inside it felt like home but I wanted the whole driving-up-to-my house-and-loving-it feeling. I didn't get that before.

We got a few estimates and some were just outrageous. No way anyone is going to pay you that much for landscaping dude. All we were asking for was grass, rock and brick. Something simple and cozy. After some research, we went with a landscaper recommended by two coworkers. He did such a good job! He was always on time and did exactly what he said he was going to do in the time frame he promised. Seriously, most of the time working with contractors is a nightmare but this one was easy breezy.

We also had major rain which is why all the dirt is on the sidewalk. Nice. Gosh I cringe when I look at this pic. Please mildly glance at these ;) Thanks.

Finally the landscaper began and he rooted about six dead trees. It was a mess but it already looked a million times better. I didn't mind all the dirt, I was so excited about getting to the final product.

Finally almost done! He still needed to do a couple more things to the irrigation and finish planting the rest of the grass and clean his shit up.

End result! (for now). What a difference right? It's a completely different home. I think now you understand what I was saying!

 It truly feels like home now. Granted, it still needs work, we plan on getting a tree, maybe a palm tree and a couple more plants because it looks a little bare, but maaaaan I get home and I get happy upon seeing how it turned out. You know how they say "it's the little things" I take that literally. Stuff like this makes me happy. I think that having a home means being proud of it and having it exactly the way you want it. I know with a house you're never done and you need a whole lot of money, but we take it day by day and work on a small project every weekend. I feel like this was one of the major ones we had and we finally tackled it and accomplished it. Thank God all this was done before Jack's birthday! We couldn't be happier.

Aaaaand it's Friday!! What more could you want? Have a great weekend! Cheers! (you know it) ;)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Birthday Madness.

What can I say. This weekend was one of the best we have had in a long time. We finally got to break our house in with a mini party for Jack's birthday and all I can say is, it all went as planned.

We had so so much fun. Family and friends joined us Saturday night and we had the music blasting, alcohol going and Elliot was passed around to family and friends and although he was a little scared at first, he was loving it. I put him down for bed and he passed out. I didn't leave him at my mom's house because a few of our friends wanted to meet him.

My sister in law made the cupcakes for him and I just made some quick little flags with washi tape and put one in each cupcake. They were so delicious and cute!

I had a menu planned which consisted of finger foods like cheese, fruits, nuts, chips, dip, etc. Aaaand forgot to take a pic. These flowers were the centerpiece. Everything looks prettier in a mason jar.

I opted for black and white and got some chevron napkins, black and white straws, washi tape and white and clear glass serving platters and bowls.

Then (when almost everyone had left, duh) we sang happy birthday. I only put two candles because I would have burned the whole house down if I would have put the actual amount :) Jack was so happy and had so much fun BUT he doesn't remember blowing out the candles. It was hilarious, I lit them up and we started singing the first "happy birthday" and he blows them out. We all got quiet and started laughing, I had to light them up again and finish singing. I was so glad that everything turned out the way it did though, the food was a hit, there were drinks for days, we had great company and everyone had fun.

I love this man more than words.

We went to bed late and the next morning at six am this little one was ready for some playtime. I think next time he will be staying with grandma ;)

Doesn't matter what this kid is doing, his sock is always falling off.
There were drinks left (not for long) and that's what our fridge consisted of the next day (hey, who's complaining). 

I played with Elliot and gave him breakfast then put him down for his nap. While both him and Jack were asleep I tackled the kitchen. It was a mess! Beer was spilled on the floor, food and crumbs everywhere. Bottles and beer cans galore. We were hurting a little bit, but it was nothing that a little club soda couldn't cure.

We also took Monday off to get some things done and Jack got a couple of gift cards for Lowe's and Home Depot. So off we went! Not really, I told Jack these are for him to buy whatever he wants aka his tools.

I did end up buying these awesome planters that we worked on Monday! They were on clearance at Lowe's. Love love love them!

If you follow me on IG (@shadiabrown) you saw that I woke up to this little cute face and also got to spend all day Monday with him and we couldn't have been happier. 

 I still owe you the landscape remodel post but we are adding some final touches and will post as soon as we are finished!

Have a great Monday! I mean Tuesday for you guys :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Randomness.

Happy Friday! Yesterday was my hubby's birthday and as he didn't want to celebrate, we got some takeout and went home. Me being the procrastinator that I am, ran to Macy's to buy him a couple of shirts as his present during my lunch hour at work the day of his birthday. I get home with my Macy's bag and gift boxes ready to hide them and who sees me walk in unwrapped gift in hand? Jack. I don't think he had any idea but he caught me opening the closet door to hide the damn bag and when I whispered shit he heard me and knew. We both started laughing so hard. Then I said okay well you haven't even seen what I got you as we were laying down with Button and he says "are they shirts?" Shit again. We started laughing again. I guess we know each other so well that surprises are no longer in this family. Oh well at least he liked them.

As I mentioned before, Saturday we will be having a party for Jack's birthday and we are hoping that it doesn't get too big! We started off with inviting a few friends, but yeah, you know how that goes. I have an entire concept already planned out as far as decorations, cupcakes, food, how everything is going to look, etc. I cannot wait to make it happen.

Also, I know I said I was going to post before and after pics of our brand new landscape but we have to put our touches in it so stay tuned!

Okay enough randomness. Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Our Weekend in Pictures.

This weekend was nothing short of relaxing, busy and fun. I will let the pics do most of the talking.

Friday after work I got home to this and just had to snuggle with my little monkey.

I also got the latest IKEA catalog and got immediately depressed upon seeing all the awesome stuff they have for such good prices and we don't have one here. Boo to that.

After drinking a beer and getting over my severe depression (totally kidding) Jack and I decided to install a brand new mirror after taking down a hideous oval shaped one that came with the house in our half bath downstairs. We measured and prepped everything all we needed to do was attach the brackets to the back of the mirror to hang it. I'm in the bedroom and I hear Jack cussing so I go to the kitchen to find that he had broken the mirror while drilling the brackets onto it. Yay! Broken brand new mirror. We got over it pretty quick though and went to Hobby Lobby the next day and got a better one. I forgot to take a pic after we hung it up. Duh.

Saturday we headed to our usual grocery shopping and this little one slept through most of it.

 I can't believe he's sitting up!

I also got to snap a few pics of him in this cutest little outfit from Old Navy. We then headed shopping for a few items and one of our stops was World Market. Picked up some olives stuffed with Pepper Jack (get it? Ha) and this awesome bottle opener. We are having a mini party for Jack's birthday this weekend and I can't wait! It will be the first official party in our house. I hope I can make it through the night considering the fact that by ten-thirty or eleven I am out. Such a party pooper.

Sunday morning Elliot woke up at his usual time of six am to have his bottle and miraculously went back to sleep! Know what that meant? This girl got a whole hour and a half extra of sleep and this little Button woke up at eight-thirty. Win for mama. Jack was still asleep so I took Elliot upstairs for some playtime. 

We then cleaned like mad people in preparation for Saturday night. We did so much! We even had time to have a little cookout for ourselves and a glass of wine.

 To add to all of this weekend excitement, our front yard will be finished by Wednesday! Post on that coming right up! Hope your weekend was fun!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Okay, this is far from a baby related post, but, in a way it sort of relates. This is my story about my dad that I have been struggling to write about for a while, I write, go back and delete, then add, and finally I finished! If you don't want to read it it's okay. I will take no offense! I really believe that in a way this is one of the reasons why I wanted and needed to start a blog. Of course also to document my little family's journey, but this is also a way of venting? Maybe. I needed to get this out once and for all. I won't bore you with it again, I promise.

I've been debating on whether to write about this or not. It's been such a hard subject in our family that I thought about it a million times over, asked my sister if she thought it was a good idea, she didn't think so but said that ultimately it was my decision. It's a very sensitive subject for me and one that makes me tear up every time I think or talk about it.

Button doesn't have a grandfather. He probably never will. Jack's father passed away a couple of years ago before we even thought about getting married. My dad was around and I was hopeful. I knew he would be the greatest grandpa ever. I saw it with my niece and he was the most amazing father to me and my siblings. I couldn't have asked for a better example in our lives other than my mom. That is, until he left us.

One day he decided to go visit his family in Jordan. Half way around the world. We all thought, cool, he hasn't seen his family in a while. Our family. He left and we were happy for him. BUT, he couldn't give us a return date.

My dad owned a Middle Eastern restaurant on the West side part of our city. I worked there for four years until it was time for me to start looking for a job related to my degree to gain some experience while I still went to school. My dad wasn't too happy about it. He always saw his restaurant as a family business, and it was, but we all had to move on to bigger opportunities. After that, his interest in keeping his business going slowly started declining. He just wasn't the same anymore. We could all tell (we meaning my mom, sis, brother and I) and it was sad because it was such a good business. It could have easily thrived. He also really wanted to move on to bigger and better things and he was tired of running a business that no longer was successful because he just wasn't interested in making it that way anymore. I really believe this was the last trigger in him and validation that his life here with us was no longer what he wanted or needed. Before he left to Jordan, he sold what we had all worked so hard on for seven years. Built it from the ground up and just like that it was gone. He sold it for pennies. He just wanted nothing to do with it anymore, he wanted to leave.

And that he did. You know, thinking about it, now I realize that he gave us many signs that we completely missed. Or maybe we had our doubts but wanted to blind ourselves? Whatever it was, they were right there in front of us. He had been an avid smoker consuming about a pack and half a day. One day he quit. Cold turkey. We were so happy for him because after so many years of us practically begging him to quit he did. All that meant for us is that he was going to start a fresh new life with us, be healthier, hunt for another business opportunity, be happier doing something else. Then another day, he started running on our treadmill. Running. (Maybe that was a metaphor for wanting to be ready to run away from us? Ha.) He worked out everyday. Something he had never done before. That's when I started getting a weird and funny feeling about all of this, but I set it aside and was happy for him. He felt better, he looked better. Then off he went. It was January I remember perfectly. He said he was going to look for a business opportunity in Jordan and if he found one, him and my mom would eventually move over there. My mom was ok with it, she thought that if he left his country to be with her, after thirty years of marriage, she would do whatever she needed to do to be with him. One month went by, two months, three months and no dad. We spoke to him often on the phone and skyped with him. The skyping was usually done at the wee hours at night his time. He always looked so tired and sleepy we couldn't understand why we couldn't Skype at a different time. It was always at that time.

After about nine or ten months after being gone he came back in October. We were all so happy! We had our dad back and my mom had her partner back. We decided to rent a cabin about three hours away and we all went. We had such a good time. It was all back to normal, almost. There was something about him that was off and we couldn't quite pin-point it. He was constantly on the phone saying it was my uncle calling. We brushed it off but that weird and funny feeling came back. Then after only about three weeks of being back he left once again. His thing was always that he was almost at the end of a good deal in Jordan and great business ideas. We believed him. Or we wanted to.

I started hearing rumors about him through the Arab community (big in my town) and started questioning them. Why would they say those things about my dad? My dad was perfect! He would never do that to us! They were crazy and mean and bad people. I think we badly wanted it to be untrue. To not believe them.

Then my mom went over to our apartment one day because she said she needed to tell us something. I already knew. He got married. To another woman. In another country.

That was only the beginning. My mom confronted him and he denied everything entirely. He even said, how could we not believe him? He told my mom she could believe what she wanted but that she knew how the Arabs loved talking about others and that she should believe him.

That was the end. It's been almost three years and after that last time in October, we haven't seen him again. He tries to contact us by email, text, phone, and me personally, I still can't answer. I can't talk to him. I have no desire to. It went from him walking me down the aisle to get married, dancing the night away at my wedding, being the best father and role model I could have asked for, to me not wanting to ever see or talk to him again. It's very sad and hard to admit, but I lost respect for him. The morals he taught us and instilled in us were all about family, being honest, working hard for what you want, etc. Maybe I am being overly dramatic but I am so hurt by all of this. At twenty-nine years old you would think I would be over it but it's almost harder because I think of all the things my kids will be missing out on without him, what I am already missing out on. He wasn't there for the birth of my child, when we purchased our first home, I could go on and on.

Elliot won't be able to call anyone grandpa and I'm sure that a lot of you out there go through this, it might even be pretty common, but it doesn't make it any easier. He's emailed and left me voice mails telling me congratulations on my son and I cry. I cry when I listen to them and immediately get rid of them. I think about my son and how amazing he is and how much my dad is missing out on. I know Elliot will be fine, it's just the thought of it that kills me. I was fortunate enough to meet my Arab grandfather before he passed away and he was truly a great man. My grandfather on my mom's side is the most amazing example of a man I will ever know. He is the epitome of what a father and grandfather should be. I don't get to see him too often because he lives in Atlanta, but I love him so much. I guess that's also why it hurts me because I know that having grandparents is quintessential in life.

I also hurt for my mom, I'm afraid she is lonely, and I'm sure she is sometimes, but she is such a strong woman. Never depended on my dad for anything. She's the most honest, loving, hardworking woman and I strive everyday to be even a little bit like her.

In his eyes, my dad never did anything wrong. My dad will always be the one missing out on our lives, on everything. I don't nor will I ever hate him. I'm thankful for everything he taught me and all the memories we made. He was a great father. But the fact remains; he abandoned his family.

Okay whew! I apologize in advance for all the sappiness but I am just being honest on how I feel. Thank you for reading!

On a lighter note. I'll leave you with a pic of my button to lessen the load of this post. What a change of pace from my last post to this right?!

Happy almost Friday!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Favorite Baby Items

I have always been a fan of researching before buying. It just gives you an opportunity to read reviews, compare prices, brands, colors, patterns, etc. I think that we also always want an effective but still cute item. I know I do and I always look for stuff that will match existing items that we've purchased for our little Button. Over the course of these six months, as new parents, we have learned which items we really need and stuff that we will never use or that is unnecessary. You come to understand that needs take over wants when it comes to buying kid stuff (although sometimes it sneaks in).

Here are some of our favorite things so far:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

1 | The Aden & Anais swaddle blankets are THE BEST. I got these as a gift from my sister-in-law and I cannot say enough good things about them. They are light, comfy and so pretty. Easy to wash, good for summer and winter and awesome to throw in your diaper bag for sunny days to cover the car seat. I love them.

2 | Button is obsessed with this Oball. I think out of all his toys this one is his favorite. It's so easy to grab and it bends and rattles. He swings it like a mad man even hitting daddy on the head. I love that they have them in different colors. I want to buy them all!

3 | Sophie, oh Sophie, what can I say? I love her, I know she's a teether but Elliot loves to grab her and just hit her against his leg for her to squeak. Over and over and over. I don't mind it cause it's cute. I will say that he kind of prefers the rattle version. Maybe cause it's like a little stuffed toy to him. They're both awesome.

4 | I threw in this formula dispenser because with Elliot being in daycare, I have to try to make the girls at daycare and my life as simple as possible when it comes to Elliot's care and I just fill this container up with three servings for his bottles and we are done. No hassle there.

5 | These burp cloths are amazing. I saw them on Etsy and had to get them, they are beautiful! They're a little on the pricey side but this girl custom makes them and you can pick any three prints that you like. I wouldn't use anything else to feed Elliot. They absorb EVERYTHING.

6 | I like these towels from Target. They're on the thicker side and great for bathing the little one (aside from being completely adorable). I have the frog as well and I wash them often without them getting thinner or ugly.

7 | Elliot has very sensitive skin and suffered from Eczema since he was born. These Aveeno products are just too good for his skin. I usually use the lavender vanilla wash and shampoo for his baths then the unscented lotion and I use a little of the lavender vanilla lotion on his face and arms to soothe him.

8 | I've talked about these bottles before. We tested a couple of brands and I hated how the nipples on them were so flimsy even the Medela ones. I read good things about the Avent bottles and gave them a try. We never looked back! The nipple is firm but not too hard and they come with a ring to avoid excessive gas. We have six of these and we don't use anything else.

9 | We bought this jumperoo and couldn't be happier with it (although it plays the same two songs over and over again). Elliot definitely loves this. He plays with the toys, jumps like crazy and hangs out in there for a good while. And it doesn't hurt that it matches our room. :)

We have other things that I am sure I am forgetting but will post about them later!

In other news, we are finally getting the front yard of our house landscaped! It's been long overdue. Will post pics of before and after. Also, we are almost halfway through the week! This deserves a cold beer. Cheers!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Boy Style.

When I was pregnant and didn't know what I was having, I always looked at the little baby girl clothes and thought to myself how they had the best stuff for girls. It was always hard to find cute clothes for little boys. Until I found out I was having a boy. Then I started finding A TON of cute stuff and wanted to buy it all. Although that's impossible, I did do a lot of online shopping for some really cute finds and I'm always on the lookout for boy clothes that are on sale or somewhat inexpensive but still cool. I still walk past the rows and rows and rows of girl's clothes and think how pretty they are but I'm soo in love with boy stuff now. So much that I recently purchased some items for Button online at Old Navy, who am I kidding, I'm always buying him stuff but as Jack says "anything for Button" I take that to heart (ha). They have really cute stuff on sale right now and I couldn't pass the opportunity to snag some of it for him.

How cute are all these little outfits! I'm guessing stripes and skulls are the "in" thing right now for baby boys and they couldn't be cuter. I definitely got him both skull onesies and the gray striped hooded short one-piece. They are so comfy on him. He has a similar hat to this one but his head is a little big and it doesn't fit him anymore, he never wore it so I might just give it away. I cannot wait to get him the overalls and those shoes! I know, I guess my obsession with all things boy is apparent but hey, I'll keep them for the next one ;) Besides, these are perfect to welcome Halloween and Fall. Speaking of, I cannot wait to decorate! Ideas coming soon! Follow my Pinterest board here for Halloween/Fall inspired decorations :)
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