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Marlowe's HULA (Hoop) Party

I'm not going to lie, it's totally been a rougher month around here. Well, compared to this year, I guess it really hasn't been that bad-- but considering I've been on a slow upswing, it's been rough. I know I keep saying it, but we just keep passing around the germs. Before, Alex would usually catch something, then M would get it, then I could fight it off and we'd all get better. Now, since my immune system is off wack, it's the three of us passing around the germs and the cycle doesn't start. I don't know, I guess I really want to save this sick-stuff convo for another post, another day-- cause there's a lot more to it, but for now, I just want to say, I'm pretty happy that we managed to somehow pull together another last minute birthday party around here! Marlowe had requested a hula hoop party a few times lately-- which was interesting and easy enough. And I decided I wanted to take it another step further and make it a HULA (hoop) party. You know, luau style ;) I thought it was a pretty cute idea :)

We started the day how we start each of her birthdays, with load of balloons in her room to wake up to. And every year, she seems pretty unimpressed, but we love it and do it anyway ;) We also made a big ole' batch of chocolate chip brownies for her to bring to school to share with friends.

I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a cool mom // over the weekend, we party prepped and fought off sniffles. We hung up decorations, bought ten million hula hoops, and made a big ole' batch of sangria.

Every year Marlowe asks for a cake for her birthday. Every year Marlowe hardly eats any of it. This year she ate half her piece of cake--- we were impressed ;)

We put up a piñata again this year, but without Jerry to break it, it took quite a bit of time to get all those little arms to break the piñata ;) Miss Marlowe ended the day, just about the same as she ends any good day, saying "this is the best day ever." I'd agree, it was a pretty good day. I was mostly out of it all day, cold hardly focus and was foggy as all hell, but when you're surrounded by friends and/or family who know whats going on, it's not so bad-- they let you be completely out of it without judgement ;) And hey, the dads got super drunk, so me being sober and foggy was nothing ;)

Unlike the previous years, I pretty much left my camera in another room and only took a small handful of photos, which is, whatever. I think I took just enough to hope she remembers this day and smiles :) And I took a short video of my hula hooping queen! She picks up a hoop maybe once a month, but nails it every time. She can do three/four hoops at a time now-- no problem! It's crazy!

Happy birthday, my pineapple princess <3

Luau decoration are c/o Party City--- which were awesome, but I think will be even better when we plan an adult 60's themed luau party-- Mad Men style ;) 

Pictures By Marlowe

It's been a while since I posted Marlowe's photos, but they've been slowly collecting, so here we go! I like to call this one 'we love jeans'. 

balloons + flowers from our second sparkle party. she even took the time to line them up.

a bee man. bzzzzz. 

daisy chain making in The Berkshires.

her chalkboard art. 

and taking photos of cooking... and her wanting to do it too. 

she likes to help set up the flowers. from oatmeal photo taking day.

a fox propped up on her lazy mama.

she decided to wanted to make a cookbook too. it came out pretty amazing--- this is a fridge. then there's photos of recipes and food. my mom is keeping it, it's so good. 

us at the green market this weekend. and my kombucha that looks like booze ;) 

The Best *Adult* Coloring Books

I'm not going to lie, I think it's a bit silly that they've started marketing coloring books towards adults, am I right? Coloring is for everyone, from 1 to 101 (or older, you know, if you're older)! That being said, I'm also totally happy about it because it seems as if this "adult" coloring book push is just opening up the selection of coloring books that much more-- which is awesome.

I have a love hate relationship with coloring (mostly love though). I'm definitely one of those people who is unsatisfied unless I'm doing multiple things at once. Doing one thing? Unproductive. Doing multiple things? It means I'm getting things done! But with coloring, it's definitely one of those things, where you can't do anything else, but color. You can't read, you can't watch anything, you can't eat (not neatly anyway)-- you just have to sit still focus, and color. Which makes a lot of sense to why they (whoever they are) are saying coloring is just as effective as meditation. Marlowe and I have always had a pretty amazing stack of coloring books, but with her recent birthday this week, well, we're set for a long time-- not only did she get some (more) of the best books, but also major coloring sets too. It's amazing really. So now, the whole family has been spending hours on end well.... meditating ;) At least thats what I tell myself I'm doing every time I get antsy and feel like I should be doing ten more *productive* things.
So here we are... I wanted to share with you guys some of favorite coloring books around here. Some are targeted to kids and some are to adults-- some are pretty challenging (teeny tiny coloring spaces) and some are not, but all are really stunning!

Animal Kingdom (maybe my favorite of the bunch). Planning on buying Tropical World, buy the same illustrator when this one is all done :) 

Day of the Dead. Not only is it a coloring book, but it also teaches about color theory and things like that :) 

Nature Mandalas! Cat mandala---- need I say more?

The Mindfulness Coloring Book--- this one is great for travel because its super small, we brought it to massachusetts with us :) 

A Scandinavian Folk Art book--- Alex's most recent purchase. It's super cute! 

I've posted this one in the past--- it's one of our favorites. It's fashion based and gives you (or your kid) a lot of prompts for creating your own designs. My only issue is that I wish the paper was thicker so markers wouldn't go through. It's great cause the book itself is super thick with so many pages. My Wonderful World Of Fashion and a second version too!

And last but not least, The Indie Rock Coloring Book-- lots of band references and the royalties go to charity :)  I also want to get THIS similar book, because I think it could strike some more creative ideas in M :)

And our favorite markers: 
for super fine details either the staedtler's or this sharpie set.
for a cheap option, and for bigger coloring spaces this super tip set.
and if you're looking to splurge on an amazing set (alex and I have been sharing this set for 6 years: the double sided prismacolors are where it's at. Again, they're pricey, might be a good gift idea ;)
if you're looking for a good set for mixed mediums (markers, crayons, colored pencils) Marlowe just got THIS one and it's pretty badass.

Okay, thats it (for now) guys! If you have any personal favorite, please do share! We always want more :)  I hope you have a wonderful and meditative weekend. Happy friday, friends. 

Go To Sleep, Kiddo

  We go in and out of sleep stages with Marlowe. Mostly, I think we'd just love her to sleep an extra hour longer. We do the whole nighttime get out and go back to bed game for quite a while each night, usually. Sometimes, she can jump in and be asleep rather quickly, but other times it's not whole bunch of "will you rub my tummy?", "will you scratch my back?", or "but my bed's not comfy" lines. Her bed is one of the comfiest beds in the house. I mean, she could have better bedding, but still, it was pretty comfy before. With the age upgrade, we made a bedding upgrade for Miss M. We put the vintage half polyester sheets aside and put on some new bedding. Now she has no excuses for not going to bed, other than wanting a back scratch ;)

Marlowe got herself some Sleep Number Bedding®-- and now officially has the best bedding in the house ;) The Sleep Number Sleep IQ Kidssheet set is awesome. Silly maybe, but I had no idea fitted sheets could be found like that-- we an elastic at the bottom to keep the sheet neatly tucked in-- and kicking feet unexposed. Marlowe is a super kicker at night (it's a nightmare to sleep with her) so it's awesome to find sheets that are going to keep her in tight and covered! Especially when the "winter" months come in Florida-- and we get that cold front for one week-- her room is the coldest room in the house and now I'll finally have less worries on whether she is covered or not!

Her new cozy, ultra-light comforter is perfect too. It's warm, but not too warm. And my favorite part: it's hypoallergenic. I haven't written about my allergy problems too much but I personally have some allergy issues since getting sick-- so anything that is allergen friendly, I appreciate.

The fitted sheet and top sheet are crazy-- in the best way. The Smart Button Bedding has extra elastics on all corners to ensure it doesn't get pulled up. This is such a huge change compared to our vintage sheet-- and probably something Alex and I should go out and get ourselves (they have it for kids and adults bedding). And the kids fitted sheet has buttons that allow you to help keep the top sheet snug in place. Button some or button them all-- you get to decide your snugness.

We're hoping all this extra and comfort keeps her sleeping longer. Or at the very least, we're happy that it can convince her to not fight off the bedtime routine as much. She loves her new bedding-- and is super happy that all the stars make her think of space and her bed at Abu's house too :)

ps. you can locate a store HERE, if you're not into shopping for bedding online ;)

*this post was sponsored by Sleep Number®

Bye Little Guy Friends

So I've been putting off this post for a little while. Not incredibly intentional, but just because I always rather put up a happy post to a sad post--- but it would feel silly to skip over a very important thing thats happened over here-- unfortunate or not.
With the exception of Jerry the Fish (pt. 2), we had to say goodbye to all our pets. Well, 'see you later' to two of them and 'goodbye' to two. Since getting sick, a lot of things have obviously had to change around here. We've forcibly had to take life a lot slower. We've also had to learn to accept things we couldn't change and be patient with-- well, everything.

I became allergic to dogs when I was pregnant with Marlowe. So it's been about five years now with a mild allergy. With Waylon, I wasn't allergic to him when we first got him as small puppy, but as time went on, and he got his adult fur in, it got a lot worse, but  I hated, hated the idea of giving him up since we had just got him, he was the sweetest pup, and it just felt terribly irresponsible on my end-- and I was healthy and life was fine so we just kept moving forward, even with a dog allergy. But since coming back home from Massachusetts and since getting sick, my allergies have been truly unbearable. Honestly, even with the dogs gone, everyone still gets itchy when coming to this house, probably due to the lingering dog hair and dander. But for me it was especially hard, I would wake up and hardly be able to open my eyes. Jerry's hair was terrible too. I really love that dog more than anything, he's been my side kick for so, so long (8 or so years). I cry a little now when I see him, and he cries too when I can't take him home with me. And even though he's such an easy because he's a terribly old man that doesn't need much attention, we still had to say goodbye to him too. I'm lucky that my brother happily took him in--- my brother and family have always taken him in when I needed the help--- and I'm happy he's there, just a few miles away. And poor Waylon, well he's just a young pup and it felt awful keeping him any longer. No one here had the time or energy to give him the love he needed. Even just petting him would bring up the worst problems with me--- how awful to keep a dog that can't even be pet. Ugh, the whole thing sucks to be quite honest. Marlowe has been okay with giving Waylon to a new home, but has cried a lot about Jerry, I think she knows how truly special that dog has been in my life. She still has hopes we'll be able to bring him back. I'd like to think we could, but I know the reality is we probably wont be able to have him back in our home. Waylon actually went to Eric--- who then also found out he was allergic to Waylon--- and also cried giving him up (sweetest, crazy dog). And now Waylon is with a friend of a friend--- while I wish he was down the street with family, I'm jus happy he's in a home with young kids that wanted a pup. All weekly reports back to us say that the new owners are incredibly happy and in love with Waylon.

And our chickens? Well, both ladies turned out to be males. We always had a suspicion that our white chicken, Little Haiti, was a rooster, but we kept holding out in hopes that we were wrong. But our tiny golden red Ella? We had no idea she would actually be a he. (S)he was so sweet, tiny, and not aggressive at all. But I guess early one morning, while Marlowe and I were still in Massachusetts, Alex woke up to a nice and loud wake up call. And being that our chicken coop is on the opposite side of the house from our master bedroom, well, it must have been pretty loud. It's all slightly funny, slightly embarrassing, and a bit annoying, but it could be worse I guess. When picking out our chickens we had talked to the farmers about our plans-- and they said if there was any problem at all, if it didn't work out, or one should turn out to be a rooster, we could just bring them back. Well, with both of them being roosters, we had to say goodbye to both chicks. We do plan to get more hens soon-- with our "chicken credit" from the farm, we're just holding off until I feel a little better and the weather cools down a touch more. It's still bit too hot out there and we want to be sure that everything can be perfect for them and they can be well cared for. So while we had to say goodbye to our dogs, I am happy to have the chance to at least have chickens for Marlowe to help raise. They were really great pets--- even easier pets to care for than the dogs, if you ask me. Marlowe is dead set on getting the tiny baby chickens, but Alex and I are going to pick up some older ladies (sorry M) to ensure that they're actually females. We don't want to risk caring for more babies and having to turn them away again.

So yeah, it's still a tough year. I'm on the mend, continuing ups and downs, and our family is still stuck in an endless cold cycle due to preschool, but thats life. I hate this post, it's just really unfortunate the whole thing. We've already had to change so much around here, and now giving up part of our tiny family, I don know, it's not fun. We're just trying to move forward in all the tough changes and continue to think positive thoughts for the future. It's sometimes a bit lonely around here without our pups. It still feels weird to open the door to guests and not have the crazies to try to settle down. But I just keep reminding myself that its for the best--- they can be in homes where they have the love and attention they need and I can work on what I've been doing for the past 6-7 months--- mending. 

*garden photos by chelsae anne.