Baby Swo’s Snuggly Swag

Baby Swo, who you now know is a little lady and I can officially start calling Baby Evelyn has been receiving some delightfully snuggly gifts as of late.  I have loved opening each one, and imagining our tiny gal wrapped up in them, playing on them, or being seen wearing them!  It makes it all the more real that we will have a whole new person in the house soon.

This blanket was handmade by one of my mama’s best friends.  I am excited for the size is perfect for the Hawaiian heat!  My Nana sent the cute fuzzy doll, and then we had a wonderful conversation on the phone.  Even from miles away, I can feel the love in every intonation.

Baby Swo Snuggly Swag

My mama has been a crazy sewing busy-bee! We have adorable burp cloths to spit up on now, adorned with initials, ballerina monkeys, and cute zebra Minnie Mouse ears!

Baby Swo Snuggly Swag

Mama also made E an eye-spy quilt.  I can’t wait to lay with baby and point out all the different fabrics and pictures.  It was extra special as she utilized fabric from her baby outfits, my baby outfits, and themes from our family.

Baby Swo Snuggly Swag Baby Swo Snuggly Swag Baby Swo Snuggly Swag

Mama Wendy found us this adorable Hawaiian-themed ABC quilt!

Baby Swo Snuggly Swag

Now our beach baby will know that A is for Aloha, B is for Banana, C is for Canoe…

Baby Swo Snuggly Swag

There are a growing number of cute outfits in our tiny closet, but three of my favorites are dresses that were mine when I was little.  Baby Vintage!  So sweet!

Baby Swo Snuggly Swag Baby Swo Snuggly Swag

Ev, keep growing my little one.  Thank you to our friends and family for the super-snuggly swag:) We’ll take good care of it!

Dealing with Deployments Part 2: Ideas from Fellow Spouses

A month ago, I took a breath and clicked “publish” on my first post about dealing with a deployed spouse.  It was super-scary, but the outcry of support I received was overwhelming across my site and on Facebook.  THANK YOU for that!

I also opened up a thread on FB to my fellow friends and spouses, asking for their ideas and techniques on dealing with the same situation.  Again, the ideas and opinions left there made me smile, because they were SO GOOD.  I’ve put a few of them into practice, but decided I had to share.  We are a community, and that means extending a hand to help.  Some of my favorite ideas came from fellow mamas.  I have yet to embark down a deployment path as a parent, and know that it will add another layer, another hurdle to overcome.  I appreciate all of the responses, and hope that this will continue to inspire and help fellow spouses!

Sometimes you have to stand alone

I listed the tips from my fellow spouses with initials only.  I want to keep your privacy but credit you as well;)

10 Dealing with Deployment Ideas

1.  Ask a friend for a hug when you need one. Sometimes you really need a hug, and to know someone is right there for you. ~kn

2. Plan something fun for a month or two out. Something to look forward to that’s two months away. Like a visit home, or a friend visiting. Or a new movie, like Hunger Games is coming out and you’re buying tickets for opening day. By the time you get to it you’re like “whoa…. It’s already time for Hunger Games, I just made it two months!” I always had something to look forward to during deployment. It made it seem easier that way. ~kn

3. Date nights with friends, we got together once a month and had dinner sometimes with children and sometimes just as the ladies. ~kb

4.  I get a massage a month each month my spouse is deployed, it’s a me, relax, and breathe moment. ~kb

The following Parent Tips are from kb

5. The kids and I made a box a month for their father.  The kids put in schoolwork and we decorate the items with whatever the month was.  For instance for Halloween, we sent him goofy eye glasses and a skull head!  Even if we could not mail the box to him, we put the box together and set it aside for him to have when he got home.  They were great bonding moments for the family to talk about .

6.  The kids always had a “kiss” box/vase/bottle; every night they would take a chocolate kiss from the bag, give it a kiss, and put it in the box for Dad.  He would then have all their night kisses when he returned.

7.  We also made a chain and had it decorating our living room like streamers, every day we would remove a chain which helped my son when he was really little to understand how much “longer” until dad returns.

8.  I made sure I had lots of caregivers lined up. I needed to get away by myself at least once a week. I felt better after that time and was able to tackle being both mom and dad after those little getaways. ~bp

9.  Surround yourself with positive people who will make you feel like the superwoman you are. ~bp

10. Get out for a walk.  The activity alone and fresh air can do wonders for clearing your head and getting through another day. ~lc

Thank you to all that continue to keep finding the light, even on your dark days!

Pumpkin UP!

I always have a blast putting together holiday decor, and this year I’ve finally been stepping it up a notch.  But stepping it up I mean I’m really DOING it.  I think it is easy to be in the “deployment slump” of no one is really going to see this every day but me, but that’s just it…shouldn’t I do it for myself? It makes me happy, it makes me feel more at home.  Also with Baby Ev on the way, I’m reminded of all the work my own mama put into making our house fun and seasonal.  It makes me feel great to do the same!

It was past time to make things Pumpkined-Up! The strips below tied to the railing are actually from old fabric of my mamas.  I love that I can incorporate them in a whole new way.  The wreath I made from burlap ribbon (orange), a straw wreath, and pinning/winding decor mesh around the wreath in strips.  I attached a few sparkles and hello to Halloween cuteness!

Halloween Decor 2014 Halloween Decor 2014 Halloween Decor 2014 Halloween Decor 2014 Halloween Decor 2014 Halloween Decor 2014

My second favorite spot is the BOO table! My mom and I made this easy table runner  last year together, so it was fun to display and enjoy this season! I filled a vase with a little ghost and some more sparkles from the craft store, plus a big BOO I bought at Target years ago.

Halloween Decor 2014

Have you decorated for Halloween yet this season?

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Tales from the Barre: How’s your baby?

I teach dance five (sometimes 6 or 7) days a week.  I’m passionate about my work and feel extremely fortunate to have a “job” I enjoy.  I put JOB in quotations because most days it does not feel like work, it feels like exactly where I am meant to be.

Now that being said, I have a collection of endearing memories swirling around in my head each week.  Precious moments with young dancers as they find their feet.  I want to share those stories to hopefully bring a little smile, a little more joy into your day, and to help me remember on those days that are a bit more rough that there is a greater reason for why I do this.

That baby!

 

Recently I have had some of the cutest comments in my dance classes.  All the dancers now know that Miss Lindsay is expecting a baby, but that does not stop their curiosity or them telling me exactly what they think.

A few favorites:

“Whoa Miss Lindsay you are getting BIG. That baby is growing, huh?”

I told them we were having a girl.  A HUGE Hooplah of HOORAYS.  Most of them are ladies, so I think they are thrilled to have another one joining the pack.

One girl asks me every week, “when is she coming?”  “She’s still not out yet?!”  Her impatience makes me smile.

I started to show a leap, and was met by a chorus of 7-year olds saying, “don’t jump!  You have to be safe!” Thanks girls.

The funniest moment has been when I asked them all to gather close.  I was going to talk to them about the upcoming recital.  But they are 5 and at baby level.  That belly is distracting.  So instead of listening to my story (they of course did after) I soon had 12 little hands pressed to my belly saying, “hellllllo in there!”

I am fortunate to keep teaching at a job I love through this pregnancy.  Each day at the studio brings me joy for the group of dancers I get to spend time with.  Each little belly rub is a blessing.

52 Weeks of Happy: 41

Hello and Goodbye Week 41!  This week I was loving:

A cloth diapering class I attended.  I received enough information and support to finally make a choice, and then I set about finding mamas moving their own stash! We now have a great stock of diapers to choose from, although I don’t plan on starting cloth until a few months in, newborns seem tricky enough;)

Happy Week 41

This week I also loved:

Making a long to-do list to find focus and energy in what is left that I want to complete this month.  Part of that was sending out our online Baby Registration invites!  I feel so good knowing that this mama is getting a little more prepared every day.

Happy Week 41

Happily loving that my Halloween decor is up! I’m already dreaming of a little girl pointing at interesting things next year;)

Happy Week 41

Also happy and loving:

That my Fitbit arrived! I’ll be writing a full post on how it’s going soon!

That the tradewinds came BACK making it a lot less hot in my home (yay!)

Many lovely phone-face chats with my love.  Not long now.

On we go into Week 42!

Living Room Re-Arrange

Our house has been getting a major face lift since we found out about Baby Swo.  I’ve been organizing and re-arranging like a mad woman.  I’ve FINALLY found that sweet spot where I’m looking around and feeling like “okay, now we REALLY live here”.  It feels like home as soon as I walk in the door.  I still see so many more potential spaces to continue to improve on and make baby-friendly, but it feels more streamlined then what it was, and I actually know where things are!

I also let go of two pieces of furniture to make space.  Our chair and my childhood desk left the building, and already it refreshed the whole apartment.  The tricky part of moving every 2-3 years is that we’ve had to select pieces that can continue to go in multiple spaces, meaning they also don’t always fit or make sense in each space.  However it has also been an advantage because I’d consider what we’ve paired down to as living lean.  We do not have anything that is unusable now.

Living Room Re-Arrange

Want to see it? Here’s how we are now re-arranged.  The big white canvas on the wall will become something special hopefully by December, and Mama W. and I organized the art differently for a new, more balanced look.

Living Room Re-Arrange

My funky blue lamp was moved downstairs to light up the night, and pull some more of that lovely blue from the vibrant carpet.

Living Room Re-Arrange

We moved the heavy black bookcase from being lined up with the baker’s rack. Just doing that made the living room feel bigger and lighter.  I also moved the little painted button table next to the couch, so that I have a spot to put my feet up and leave a drink;)

Living Room Re-Arrange

The area to the right is still the “under construction” place.  Those bins will be moving upstairs and stashed when I’m not crafting, which is the same as the sewing table.  That can fold up and be stored under the sofa.  My final plan is to be able to house a pack and play in that space so baby has a place to hang out/sleep when mama needs to go outside for laundry or do chores.

Living Room Re-Arrange

This is the other location for great potential.  The table has a leaf in it right now, and I’m going to return it to circle format soon.  This table still gets to me with the size, but as it “came” with the apartment and is not allowed to leave, we’re working around it.  Miranda and I are also almost done with my scrap cabinet, which is going to hang out in this corner since I won’t need quick access to it.  I hope to make a large family-themed art piece for on top of the cabinet.

Living Room Re-Arrange

Looking back through our comfy abode, it is just that…comfy.

Living Room Re-Arrange

I can’t wait to keep working on our home, adding those personal touches that make it extra special.

Travel Throwback Thursday: Kwang Jang Market, Seoul

Travel Throwback Thursday has also become a bit of a Thankful Thursday for me, because I get to go look and relive these special travel moments we’ve had.  It makes me crazy grateful for all we’ve seen and experienced.

I have been craving Korean food like mad lately.  I can get certain things here on island still, like kimchi and I even found a pretty true bibimbop and hand rolls. But nothing beats my favorite market, actually located IN Seoul: Kwang Jang.  I LOVED the mandu-guk soup there, and the delicious mung bean pancakes.  Holy yum.  My belly is growling just imagining the spread of delicacies there.

Kwang Jang Market Kwang Jang Market Kwang Jang Market

I still get my fill of fun market flair in Hawaii, but Korean markets hold a different special place in my heart.  A more full story of Kwang Jang is located at the first link, the second a super-fun look at when I took my mom and dad there in the heat of summertime 2012.

Kwang Jang Market 

KJ with my Mama and Daddio

Do you have a favorite Korean dish?  What is it?

Hallway Office Closet

When I was cleaning the apartment and organizing back in August, I got a brilliant idea.  What if I could utilize our hallway closets with smarter storage?  Better yet, what if I could create a place where all our essential office supplies were in one handy place?

Before this, office supplies were condemned to my mini-childhood desk, which was super cute, but not highly functional.  Or they were scattered about on book shelves.  Neither of us works a job where we need a “home office,” (although some day I dream of a craft room) so a home office hallway works for this stage of our life;)!

Hallway Office Closet

What I did:

I went shopping! That was the fun part after days of sorting and dusty organizing.  I discovered super cute SQUARE shaped bulletin and dry erase boards at Target.  The 9-cubby wall mount was also found there.

Hallway Office Closet

This area is going to be our new Family Information center.  I filled the cubby with all our essential office supplies.  Mama Wendy and I actually made those adorable boxes with the buttons on them out of the cardboard the wall mount came in.  I know that the cubby will be suitable for another office space later, or how adorable would it be in a kitchen?  I can’t wait to turn the bulletin board into my blog-organization center, and keep up with all the baby events/appointments on the dry erase.

Hallway Office Closet

Inside the closet, I used what I already had.  It might not be Pin-spired gorgeous, but hey! I like to save moolah where I can.  The top contains my stationary, paper, extra pens.  The next shelf down has our shredder, more essential family action, and then the middle is hooked up with our printer (we’ve gone wireless-whoop!) + extra paper/stamps.  The last two areas are mainly “the man” space overflow.

Hallway Office Closet

Having a more functional space contained in our closet has freed up even more room for Baby Swo’s things.  I am super thrilled and proud of the results.  I always feel like no matter where we live, we make it work!

What are your home office space solutions?

It’s A…

GIRL!

Strong Women

May we know them

May we raise them

May we be them

It's A...

Our little lady is coming in just a few more months, and I have a hard time even explaining the joy and excitement that fills my heart every day thinking about her.

It's A... It's A...

I sing You Are My Sunshine to her every night before bedtime, because that is the best way I can describe her.  She fills my days with hope and promise, and she gets to be born in this very special place that is full of sunshine!

To you, baby girl:

Whoever it is you are, I hope to help you on your way.  I wish for you kindness, I wish for you joy.  I wish to teach you that happiness is a choice, and that you will have good health, for it is the greatest gift.  I wish you the strength to be fierce, to grow to a woman who marches bravely to her own beat and values herself.  I wish for you confidence, but to know humility.  Baby Girl, you are but one, but already mean so much to so many.

It's A... It's A...

Evelyn June Swoboda, we’ll be seeing you soon.

 Until then, keep growing, keep living safely within me, and know that so much love awaits you in this world.

It's A...

WanderLust Wall Art

I’ve been working on making the art we hang on the walls here in this house truly mean something.  In the past, we were fresh kiddos just married and I slapped up decor that at the time was fun, but maybe didn’t make me feel.  I want to be moved in my home.  I want to feel refreshed and yet at peace.  I want to be reminded of wonderful memories and those yet to be made.

I also want to put my own touches to pieces to make them feel one of a kind.

This project was inspired from several I had seen just like it lurking about on Pinterest.  I found these two golden farm scenes printed on plain cork board in a vintage shop in Brooklyn.  As soon as I saw them, (and the cheapo price) I knew they’d be perfection for this dream project.  I bought some stick on letters at the local craft store, acrylic black paint, and got to work.

Wanderlust Wall Art

We are still a traveling family, and with Baby Swo coming into the world, I especially want that to be present in our home.  I want an appreciation of the wonders of the world to be instilled early on.  I want to pass our innate WANDERLUST on;)

Wanderlust Wall Art

The project did not take me long, and I loved the look.  I put them near our front door, but something still felt like it was missing.

Wanderlust Wall Art

 I remembered that I had two railroad spikes leftover from a hike with my dad in Texas.  Yes, I mailed railroad spikes home to Hawaii, that’s just the kind of gal I am.  But they made FABULOUS art holders! With a little glue, ribbon, and decor nails, now I have two memories hanging up for the price of one.

Wanderlust Wall Art Wanderlust Wall Art Wanderlust Wall Art

I see these signs as soon as I walk into our home, and they make me so happy. I never hope to loose my sense of wonder to wander!