we've been having a bit of sleep regression happening around our house the past couple of days and this mama has been slightly zombielike.  we will be flying down to san diego tomorrow for a long weekend and i'm looking forward to relaxing in the sun and a few beach bonfires.  i never like to stay in one place for too long - always feeling a need for a change of scenery and a new city every couple weeks or so.

a small glimpse into our week so far...

1. sometimes when you don't have the time or energy to put on make-up or do your hair, you just have to throw on something fancy and suddenly the world is right // shopping in a store i never thought i would set foot in (but oh how holden loved it).

2. lunch bayside on the warmest and calmest day yet this year.

3. we met daddy for lunch and stumbled upon the most amazing park.

4. holden helping with a few chores.

5. walking two very different animals.











we have been so lucky and had some gorgeous weather in the past couple of weeks and over the weekend, we couldn't resist stopping by our local nursery and picking out a few flowers to plant, knowing that a few potted plants would result in hours of entertainment for holden.  he was euphoric, pouring piles of dirt on top of the succelents we were attempting to plant, even finding a snail buried in the soil of one of the pots.

there is just something about boys and dirts.



when i was little, i spent my days with an imaginary dog named elizabeth that came everywhere with me.  when my little sister turned five, she received a pair of ruby red glitter slippers from "dorothy" in the mail and we spent our days making wishes with them.  when i started school, i spent my days writing stories of faraway lands where princes and princesses reigned.  in college, i nannied for a two-year-old little girl and we spent our days running wild in a garden surrounded by fairies and animals that could talk.  and now as a mama, i spend my days creating a fantasy land around my little one, exploring, adventuring, and re-discovering this world that we live in.  because a child's job is to play, and i suppose it's a mama's job as well.

young children learn by using their imagination, pretend play helping to develop emotional and social skills, language skills, and thinking skills, so the more you can engage your little one in this type of play, the better.

i read a story on npr that discussed the importance of pretend play and it's role in building critical cognitive skills. pretend play "actually helped build a critical cognitive skill called executive function. Executive function has a number of elements, such as working memory and cognitive flexibility. But perhaps the most important is self-regulation — the ability for kids to control their emotions and behavior, resist impulses, and exert self-control and discipline. Executive function — and its self-regulation element — is important. Poor executive function is associated with high dropout rates, drug use and crime. In fact, good executive function is a better predictor of success in school than a child's IQ."

one of our favorite activity as of late has been collecting things in buckets.  we have started bringing this green dollar store bucket with us everywhere today and it has been the greatest source of entertainment, always imagining that our treasures are so much more than they are.  we spent this morning at the park, collecting green leaves for all of the caterpillars.  holden carefully gathered each and every green leaf in his close proximity, looking up proudly with each find before running back to drop his finds into the bucket.  after we had a bucket full of leaves, we went on a caterpillar hunt, looking under rocks, in the garden bed, and on the path for any sign of caterpillar life.  we didn't find any, but the search itself was more the point of our game anyways.

to create your own game with your little one, all you need is bucket.

you can even incorporate color, shapes, numbers, or other things your child is currently learning into the collecting activity.  sometimes i ask holden to find all of the green leaves or all of the yellow leaves  and other times i ask him to put only two leaves into the bucket.  we collect acorns, woodchips, sticks, pinecones, or whatever else we can find on the ground around us, and then often carry the bucket around as we look to share our acorns with the squirrels or our sticks with the birds.




mama is wearing: f21 sweater, jbrand coated jeans, gojane booties

little man is wearing: beekid beanie, splendid cardigan, beekid leggings, thrifted rain boots (similar here)

this week, it finally got cold here, a dry, bitter cold that wraps its frosty fingers around your bones settling a deep chill in you that you can't quite shake despite the excessive layering.  and although i always lament about my love for outdoor play, we have been on the hunt for fun and affordable indoor activities in our area.  i came across two amazing resources, macaroni kid and red tricycle, that provide lists of daily local kids activities that are always affordable and more often than not, free!  so if you're looking for something to do with your little one today, head to these sites and see what is going on in your area.  we will be checking out a free ornament craft session at one of the local libraries this afternoon and then possibly a light festival at one of the local parks this evening.




i stumbled across this article over on a Cup of Jo and found it particularly fascinating as holden is currently obsessed with the game of hide and seek.  he climbs into closets, tiny spaces, or simply crouches around the corner of a dresser and whispers hide, hide hide.  we will pretend to look in places all around the room for him as his little head peers out from his hiding spot, his eyes wide in fascination as he watches us search for him, mesmerized by the entire production of it.  we squeal in mock shock when our eyes land upon him and he breaks into a huge grin before quickly ducking his head back down and whispering hide, hide, hide.  and the game of hide and seek resumes and can last for a good half hour or so.  it doesn't mater that he's in the exact same spot or not really hiding at all, by ducking his head down, he truly believes that he is hidden.  ah, the magic of childhood.



little man wears: baby gap hat, h&m sweater, h&m pants, minnetonka moccasins

holden loves reading...can't you tell?

we spend more than a few hours every single day reading holden's favorite books.

when he wakes up each morning, i usually ignore him in an attempt to get a few more minutes of sleep.  so holden climbs out of bed and always comes back to bed with a book in hand which he puts right on top of my face to ensure that i actually wake up.

we read during any down time throughout the day.

and then we end each day in the rocking chair, reading a handful of bedtime stories before I rock him to sleep.

my mom tells me i was the same way when i was little.