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Real Chat: The Convenient Babysitter with Grace Patton

May 12, 2012

Today, I get to introduce you to one of my friend’s since college (and old roomie!), and very witty mama blogger… Grace of Camp Patton. I dare you to read through her blog without laughing. While you are there, check out her amazing alteration skills (just a little jealous)! This topic is something every mother will battle on some level with their children. Thank you Grace for your honesty! Read on, and we would love to hear your thoughts!
Way back when my husband, Simon, and I were dating we discussed the fact that we wouldn’t have cable TV in our future home. We both grew up without cable and agreed that it would be best for ourselves and any future children.  A TV-less life would foster imaginative play! A TV-less life would make our children book lovers! A TV-less life would be ideal! A TV-less life would be easy! And then my brother gave our daughter, Julia, a Baby Einstein DVD for Christmas when she was a mere three months old. As fate would have it, three months old is the age in which Julia woke up for the day at 4:45 in the morning.  You can imagine how easy it was to pop Julia in her bouncy seat, pop Einstein in his DVD player and go right back to the comfort of baby-free sleep. So I did. She eventually grew out of that phase and didn’t require a TV babysitter in the early mornings but I started rationalizing a ‘need for screen time’. When I made dinner? yes. When I wanted to shower? absolutely yes. When I wanted to send a trivial email? of course. When I wanted to paint my nails? you betcha. And it only got worse when she was 13 months old and we had another baby. I discovered and quickly grew dependent on Barney, Dora, and Yo Gabba Gabba streaming on Netflix. I silenced my guilty conscience with excuses, “Simon is working 84 hours this week — it’s okay!” or “How else am I going to shower?!” or “I need to make my coffee in peace!” but when “I just had a baby three weeks ago – it’s fine!” turned into “I just had a baby six months ago – it’s understandable!” I realized her screen time had turned into her full-time babysitter.  While we didn’t technically have cable, our 19 month old reaped all the ugly benefits that we were so staunchly opposed to in a previously clueless and kid-less life.

I took one look at “newborn” six month old Sebastian, who now weighs a mere two pounds less than his older sister and easily decided to pull the plug and go cold-no-Netflix-turkey at the beginning of last week. I prepared for severe withdrawal symptoms like tantrums, tantrums, and more tantrums. I knew I wouldn’t be able to shower in relative peace anymore, that dinner might not get made as quickly, that my nails would go woefully unpolished, and that I was inviting misery over for a nice long staycation.
It’s been two whole weeks of deprivation and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well our former addict has taken it. She hasn’t thrown a single tantrum when I say no Dora or Barney, actually ‘reads’ her books, interacts with Sebastian, plays with her toys, asks to go outside, and takes longer naps because apparently engaging in activity burns more energy than being parked in front of the laptop. 
Of course, she also makes triple the mess, makes Sebastian cry more frequently, and can be found whining at my ankles in search of interaction many times throughout the day. I’ve had to make dinner with her ‘help’, shower with a captive audience, and rescue Sebastian from a violent hairstyling session several times this week but overall, the “bad” is so worth the abundant good.
I’m not an idiot. I know that there will soon be an exasperating day in which I am lured back in by the glow of the laptop babysitter.  Successful potty training might warrant a reward by the name of Dora, I might get sick, Sebastian might get sick, or Julia might get sick and the distraction will be nice and almost necessary. I’m completely fine with that. I just want TV to be a special treat, not an expected and daily given.
And now onward and upward to scale the next mountain that is Julia’s “my three hot and heavy blankies go e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e” policy and her gross “taste e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g I find” habit…
One million thanks to Anna for having me over and I hope you all have a superb weekend!
_____

So tell us, How do you balance screen time in your house? An easy or difficult feat?  
With Gabriel and Veronica, we have a show in the morning (usually a musical one – Gabriel loves to sing and dance) that gives me time to get it together! I am thankful for that time to breathe, and it makes me a better momma! I love that like Grace said, its a privilege that Gabriel knows is not a given. Every family has different dynamics and different needs. Would love to hear how you manage this topic! 

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Swatch Style: Summer Plaid + Coral Orange

May 11, 2012

{Necklace: c/o BMB, Plaid: Old Navy (out of stock online), Belt: H&M (similar), Denim: F21, Sandals: Nine West, Clutch: DIY, Bracelet: c/o Poshlocket, Francescas, Rings: H&M, Watch: Fossil}
After creating last week’s swatch style post, I realized that this is how I assemble outfits. I look at pieces in terms of color, pattern, and texture. If you think of your closet in these terms, it makes it easier to mix and match!  ….And a heads up my friends, this is my last post as a Brunette. Yep, I am dying my hair Auburn (or so the box says) today after 5 years of working up the guts to do it. Gabe even went in the store with me to buy it. Says something about my personality, eh?  And its only a three week dye…
I am so excited for Mother’s Day weekend. Its an honor to get to celebrate this Hallmark holiday;) I am just looking forward to spending time with my family. We will be heading to our local lake/beach.
A very special shout out to each of you mamas who love and love tirelessly for your families!
Happy Mother’s Day to You! (Btw, I am sharing what motherhood means to me over here.)
In Case You Missed It:
The Amazing Lace: Traveling Dress Lookbook Post
$50 Shopping spree giveaway to Deloom Boutique
Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling took over IHOD!
Take 3 DIY’s: Driftwood Hanger, Striped Rug, and Screenprinting 
Tomorrow I have a very fun guest (a long time friend) for our Real Chat post – don’t miss!

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Take 3: DIY Wall Hanger, Striped Rug, and Screenprinting

May 10, 2012

1} DIY Driftwood Wallhanger via Lovely Indeed
2} DIY Fleuro Striped Rug via Paper Fashion
3} DIY Screenprinting via Calico Skies
Had to take the opportunity to share some of my favorite DIY’s I have come across recently.
So much creativity to be inspired by, an I hope I can accomplish at least one of these!
Enjoy friends:)
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