Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Tag: overalls

Days with Red

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Last year, I remember thinking that next winter (this winter) would be challenging. The combination of freezing weather, active toddler, and giant dog is not exactly a dream for anyone. Last winter was mild, and it was so easy to just zip Redmond into his snow suit, bundle myself up, and take the whole crew out for a long walk. And that was kind of all he needed for stimulation and excitement…Not so much anymore.

I’m much busier this year with everything than I was last year and am away from Redmond more. We only have three days a week that we are fully together–the rest of the days are partial or half days, so they don’t take as much forethought. But I’ve tried to get creative with my stay-at-home mom days for a few reasons.

Reason one: I actually really, really, really do not like “playing” with kids. I don’t enjoy driving cars around. I don’t like chasing toddlers and having tickle fights and riling them up. I am basically a huge fun sucker, and you pretty much are never going to find me sitting on the ground with my kid while he tells me what to play. Because of that, I make sure to find alternate ways to spend quality time with my son.

Reason two: I’m an extrovert and staying home all day just makes me grumpy, lonely, and sad. Redmond seems to be trending towards extrovert as well, and he likes to be out and about.

Reason three: I want Redmond to be well behaved when in public. If I can rely on him to listen and respond when we are at a restaurant, or in a store, it makes me want to take him to do special things more. My dad always said that he wanted to have children that he could enjoy. And I feel the same way. Practice makes perfect, so I try to give Redmond Public Practice with relative frequency.

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All that being said, I have been trying to be creative with our at-home time as well. So I thought I’d compile a little list of things we do out, and things we do at home. I try to imagine filling Redmond’s little bucket while I fill my own. He needs physical touch, ways to get his energy out, unadulterated attention, and learning experiences. And I need some alone time, a daily work out, and the ability to maintain the household tasks that fulfill me (like cooking.) So, with those things in mind, here are some of the ways we fill our day.

  1. Gym time. I talk about this all the time on here and with my mom friends. To me, it is the “me” time that I need. I attend 4-5 classes a week and then I’ll usually run, or do yoga, or just go to the sauna afterwards. There is a fantastic childcare room that Redmond always enjoys, and I love that he is getting those hours of socialization since he doesn’t go to daycare. My passes pay for two hours of childcare, and I usually take advantage of most of that time.
  2. Shopping dates. This one is pretty basic. And Redmond loves shopping. Nowadays, I often will let him walk next to me if we are just going in for a few things. He oohs and aahs at everything, but usually abides by my “only looking” rule and keeps his hands to himself. Its the best place to practice that skill.
  3. Coffee dates. Nick and I used to eat out quite a bit Pre-baby. Now, we are a bit more careful with our income and keep it to just a few times a month. But I still enjoy the luxurious feeling of being out at a coffee shop, or treating myself (and Redmond) to a pastry. Redmond enjoys the individual attention (since I always put my phone away for these things) and I enjoy eating/drinking something I didn’t make.
  4. Greenhouse outings. A lot of these photos were taken at our local greenhouse which is one of my favorite places around. We go there allllll the time. Lots of space for Redmond to run around, plus there is a friendly cat in residence and a whole bunch of birds. Usually we end up buying a little plant or something, but it is basically free entertainment for the family.
  5. Swim days. My gym has an amazing indoor pool and on mornings or afternoons where I want to take up a few hours, we will hit that up.
  6. Library. Obviously. Nothing new there. We actually rarely take books out…I’m horrible about returning them and we have a ton of our own…but I lead a baby story hour once a week, and we will just hang around playing in the kid area afterwards. And sometimes we visit libraries in fancy towns just to use their fancy toys.
  7. Woods walks. When it isn’t freezing/muddy/icy/raining, we will go to our local woods. Redmond walks on his own and collects things, and I try to keep our dog from running into the wilderness. c557b551-84cc-42e9-a2ca-04ec0d9883932799081f-735f-4852-b7c6-b931ee96384d(I know this photo is blurry, but it so fully encompasses Redmond at the greenhouse.)fe08b300-ee52-4c38-8935-d2fa7863b7a9

When we are at home, I’ve been making an effort to spend time being still with Redmond. I have such a tendency to be always multi-tasking (I am currently typing this with Red squirming on my lap and taking everything out my desk drawers) that I sometimes forget to just be with him. Just me and him. With no distractions. When I have two children, this will be even more difficult, so its a muscle I’m learning to flex now. He loves to read stories, so we read together a few times a day. I don’t enjoy playing with children, but I do love reading to them.

When I am cooking dinner, I pull his little stool up (we have this one from Wildkin) and give him a few things to “help” with. Lately, that has been a jar with a spoon and some things to “stir” up (vegetable peels work great), or a cookie sheet of flour with cookie cutters and spatulas to make shapes with. The mess is easy to clean up, and its worth the peace and quiet I get with him standing beside me at the counter and not begging to be picked up. We do the same thing when we bake together for fun. And I always let him lick the spoon. 7f878796-5c0f-444c-91cc-14237c0b0cab

And of course there is nap time. I know that once our family expands I probably will no longer have the blessed two or so hours of quiet. But for now I treasure them. Just as I try to treasure every day with my little one. Because the hard days will fade away, and I will only remember missing the weight of him on my lap, his arms wrapped around my neck, the way he calls me in the morning when he wakes up in that little sing song voice…And I want to know that I didn’t let the hours escape from me. That I didn’t miss out on his little childhood.

I would love to hear what you all do to keep yourselves happy and sane and your babies content and stimulated! Leave ideas in the comments or on my Instagram (@simply_hannah.joy).

photo 1 details: black and white throw c/o modern burlap// distressed jeans c/o// wooden block toy c/o smiling tree  toys//Redmonds romper c/o Shedo Lane (UV protected)// Redmonds moccasins c/o sweet n’ swag//

photo 2: arrow sheets c/o modern burlap// love quilt c/o Addison Belle

photo 3: my overalls c/o// Redmonds joggers c/o Shedo Lane

(thanks to Cupcake Mag for connecting me with so many small businesses. I love being able to help support these companies)

 

Dog Days of Summer

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The past few weeks have been peppered with super hot days. Like the sort of August days I remember as a kid. For some reason, summers in New England seemed much warmer then. Maybe kids just don’t get cold…which would explain how we were able to spend hours in frigid ocean waters while I can barely get past my knees now.

Last weekend, we went on a spontaneous little day trip with some friends of ours to Hampton Beach. Its only about a half hour from our house, and I used to go there as a child with my grandparents every summer that we were in the U.S. But for whatever reason, I have never been there as an adult. It had a real cool sort of west coast vibe to it with surf shops and taco joints and smoothie shops. I wore this vintage-y swim suit from PakPak and was feeling all California cool until I actually put a toe in the water and it was insanely, insanely cold. Like, aching numb feet cold. Like, you probably couldn’t have paid me to get all the way in cold. So cold. Needless to say, we didn’t do any swimming. But we DID have a really great lunch at the secret spot— a taco for me, a fish burrito for Nick, and a green smoothie for Red. Although, let’s be real, he ate half my taco too. We are going to have to start ordering him his own meals because the kid eats so much. img_8225

Don’t be misled by his grumpy face. He had a straw in one hand and a smoothie in his sippy cup and all was right in his little worldimg_8219img_8221

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As a teenager, I was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe in particular and 1950’s/60’s style in general. I spent hours scouring the internet for vintage inspired swim suits back in the mid 2000’s, (is that what one would call 2004/5/6?) with very little luck. So, the fact that high waisted swim suits have been in for the past few years brings me no end of joy. NO END I tell you. Add to that the fact that I don’t have to worry about that extra bit of post giant baby belly skin to the mix, and I’m one happy beach bather. Also, I love the pattern. And the fact that I was the only girl on the beach wearing a suit like this. Again. I really like to stand out from the crowd. I’ll admit it. I was a theater major for goodness sakes, its in my blood. Running through it like a show-offy wine. I’m kidding. I’m not kidding. Maybe I’m kidding.

Anyway. We wrapped up our beach day with a naked diaper bum baby (after he covered himself in sand) and a peek at our friends new camper van. Which made me really want a camper van. Which made Nick really want a tent. Which caused us to spend a day at L.L. Bean looking at tents…Nick was starry eyed imagining the fun we’d have in some remote area and I was imagining the special kind of crazy it would be to camp with a one-year-old who loves the hell out of his crib and his ten hours straight a night in that crib….would that mix with the great outdoors and a sleeping bag? Would it? I’m willing to find out, but only if we stash a good bottle of tequila in our backpacks….img_8224

Outfit details: swimsuit top and bottom (super affordable) c/o/ heart shaped sunglassessimilar sandals/overalls (Mine are sold out, but I love this flared version for fall)beach tote c/o and on sale

 

True Confessions

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Ok. So lets start with the good stuff. Which is basically this entire outfit. I have been FIENDING for a pair of overalls this Spring, and have kept holding back from buying a denim pair. I just felt like I would be too warm to wear them in the summer, and Spring is (typically) such a short time here in New England that it felt indulgent and wasteful to buy a pair for just a few weeks of wearing time. Enter these overalls from J Bella.They are made of a super light linen knit and have that perfect slouch factor. I’m obsessed. Expect to see them again and again folks. Also, I have been loving the bandanna trend and have been on the hunt to buy one without having to order such a small item online. My husband used to be a farmer before he finished grad school, and he had a few that he used for actual farming…I found this one and was SO EXCITED because a. its perfect and b. I saved myself some $$. So. Outfit wise, Saturday was a good day.img_4076

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But, on to the true confessions. Here’s the thing. I’m not a super moody person and I don’t typically suffer from wild hormones. Even when I was pregnant, I was pretty steady. My husband attests to  this– the only time I was emotionally uneven was in the last week or so of pregnancy when I couldn’t sleep due to discomfort and I was so ready to be a mom and not an elephant. So when I DO feel super emotional, I really don’t know what to do with myself. And my poor husband is caught completely off guard. This weekend I was…well let’s just say I’m not terribly proud of the way I behaved. I was so grumpy, so quickly offended, so…crotchety. There were about a million examples of this, and I shed quite a few frustrated tears, but I’ll just stick to one confession since I’m guessing you don’t have all day…img_4064img_4070

I wore this outfit to walk the three miles to our favorite ice cream joint (I changed into flats after these photos.) We stopped at a beautiful historic house museum on the way, and while we took these shots, a few locals decided to stop and watch and marvel at what we were doing. OHMYGOSH so embarrassing. But anyway. We finished our stroll, and I ordered my kiddie cone (the sizes at this place are huge) which is TWO scoops, and I got one peanut butter pie scoop, and one campfire smore’s scoop (there are about 100 flavors at this place.) I was holding Redmond at this point, and he got his plain (ice cream less) scoop, and I had my towering cone, and my heart was basically singing because HAVE I MENTIONED HOW MUCH I LIKE SWEETS and all was right with the world. Until I realized that Nick was holding onto his cone and our ice cream crazy 90+ pound dog…and I had to get Redmond into the stroller without losing my ice cream. And sure enough…I lost my ice cream. And Nick started laughing. And suddenly I felt exactly like the three year old at the picnic tables who was wailing because her treat was gone…I was SO MAD. And I actually teared up behind my sunglasses. And Nick offered to share his with me and I was all, no I hate coffee ice cream. And he said, ask for another. And I said, the line is SO LONG LETS JUST GO HOME. And I stomped away. And our dog ate my two beautiful scoops that were lying forlornly in the dirt. I knew that I was acting ridiculous. I knew that I was making a scene. But I just couldn’t stop myself. I couldn’t shake the itchy, angry feelings. I did end up I turning around and waiting in line because I really wanted ice cream and they got me two new scoops. In a cup. Just to be safe. And the evening was saved. img_4063-1

This photo was taken moments before the Great Disaster. See how happy I was? And don’t be fooled by Redmonds’ nonplussed face. He was happy too. img_3907

Anyone else want to share some true confession?

Outfit details: overalls c/o/Bandanna/Similar heels/Sunglasses

Redmonds Shoes c/o