413c820bb21cd09a23535c140057f83729ced692af2597b84f .post-body img { max-width:1000px; height:auto; } Friday We're In Love Google

Friday, October 21

Mom and Me Date: Dedicated Reading Time with BabyLit

I received product in exchange for my opinions, but my love and son's obsession are all our own!

 Remember a few months ago when I wrote a post pledging to allow myself to be the kind of mom I want to be, at least one day a week? I'm trying hard to make sure there's quality mom and kid dates once a week with some very concentrated time doing things I know he'll enjoy and remember some day over just things overtaking my to-do list.

It's a good thing reading is his absolute favorite thing to do right now, and that he can sit for hours looking at the right books and rereading the same one over and over again. I've found when I just pledge to go to a reading nook or sit on the floor with an entire stack and invite him to sit on my lap, he'll get the cutest giddy smile and settle right in for his favorite time.

I reached out to BabyLit Books and asked if they'd like to team up for a post, because they are honestly Mack's favorites. I discovered them at a blog conference, found they sponsored swag at a few more blog conferences, and I had a few on hand before he arrived. I fell in love and purchased several more to gift him for Christmas last year. What I didn't expect was him to become completely obsessed with one and want to read it every single day at least 10 times a day. Don Quixote is on constant repeat and has been since we took to Spain with us. We've joked Mack feels the enjoyment of Spain through the book and just can't put it down!

We love BabyLit for a lot of reasons. I love that they intro classics while still being completely approachable as a children's book. Mack loves the illustrations. Honestly, they are some of the cutest illustrations you will ever see in a children's book! He points to details and makes his cute baby noises while I read most of the books. We're also big fans of how many different types of primers there are- from colors to emotions, numbers to language, sounds to fun silly things; there's just a lot of options for variety! You can't go wrong, but here's our 5 favorite that we both enjoy most:

1. Don Quixote
2. Sherlock Holmes
3. Moby Dick
4. Huckleberry Finn
5. All Aboard: Washington D.C.

And Jane Eyre gets an honorable mention since he loves it about every other week.

I also love that there's some seasonal options too. Dracula and Frankenstein are on repeat through October. Wuthering Heights (a weather primer) will be next up in November!

And I really love that they are always coming out new books. We just started learning some French with Les Miserables, I'm enjoying reading The Odyssey and talking about monsters with him, and he's loving the entire All Aboard series, which should come in handy since heaven knows we don't plan to quit traveling and bringing him along any time soon!

I'm learning more and more that not all children's books are created equal, and it's important to find books you both love. I can honestly say BabyLit are just that for us, and always create the perfect mother-son date. 

Photos by my dear friend Brooke

Wednesday, October 19

Masquerade Ball

We received admission and transportation to this date, but all opinions and experiences are our own! 

Every now and then we take getting fancy for date night for a spin. We love to pull out our nicest clothes, make a lot of effort in the appearance department, and go to fancy places every now and then. 

Clearly we shouldn't be let into nice places, but let's pretend we're capable of taking fancy pictures and being serious about them. 

We were lucky to be invited by Toyota to attend the MASKquerade ball, which was a charity event to raise money for a really great cause- MASK. I know, clever right? MASK is mother's awareness on school-age kids. Essentially it's a charity that knows kids are online 24/7 and moms weren't at that age. There's a lot of issues associated with it- depression, cyber-bulling, pornography, and a pressure that never stops at school. MASK is meant to help educate parents how to help their kids deal with issues and how to be aware of these issues. As a former teacher it's a cause near and dear to my heart.

The fact that we got to wear a mask to a masquerade wasn't so terrible either!

Luckily we have some friends who had a Phantom of the Opera themed wedding at an opera house, and their bridal party all wore fancy masks, so we had our choose of some really cool masks to borrow for the night. Thank you guys, they were perfect for the event and so fun to wear!

When we walked in I felt like I was in a scene from the modern The Great Gatsby. I think even the floor took after the logo! So many fancy people looking amazing all dressed up, with and without masks.

This is when Jacob informed me that people could still see me and the awkward things I was doing even while wearing a mask.
And of course it came out the best shot to capture what I was wearing since people request a pic of it on Snapchat (I'm CamilleWhiting there- come find me)! 

We met some really great people at the auction dinner, a few other bloggers, some local media personnel, and some people who run really amazing companies! But I think I most enjoyed sitting next to Jacob with a little break to not worry about the baby, and just have some intelligent conversation while I stared at him in his custom suit. That thing was the best money ever spent, and I still can't stop staring at him years into owning it every time he wears it! 

Plus any event you get to test drive a new RAV4 while watching your husband wear a custom suit is a winner of an event in my book! 

Tuesday, October 18

11 Months

11 Months 
No check-up this months, we'll find out stat updates at the big one year checkup!

Things I never want to forget:

- He's standing up on furniture and taking the leap for a few steps. His excitement each time is about my favorite thing in the world right now.
- He learned to clap, and he claps for himself whenever he's proud of what he's done. It kills me every time!

- He loves eating, he tries just about everything, and he demands about 1/3rd of my smoothie every morning even if I make him his own. There's a little giddy squeal most the time.
- I mentioned the year mark was coming and thoughts on weaning to Jacob one night, Mack magically learned to make the milk sign that same night. We've been trying for months and I almost feel like he heard me and decided it was time to take matters into his own hands- literally.
- Along with new signing has come so many embarrassing moments for me. He now likes to point and make the sign whenever we're in public. He's pretty much letting me know this isn't ending anytime soon if he has a say.
- The same week he learned we had a church event for all adults on a weeknight. We brought him and naturally he didn't behave well since it was near bedtime. Jacob took him in the hall and then he kept making the milk sign. I came and got him, took him to the mother's room, and starting nursing him. He sat up and made the milk sign with both chubby hands and enthusiastically shouted "YEESSSSSSH!" as he does. He then went back to nursing. I couldn't stop laughing for several minutes. Glad to know he approves. This is still one of my favorite memories of parenthood to date!

- He tears apart everything and we're baby-proofing new areas constantly. But every now and then he realized he needs a hug in the middle of his mischief and scoots over as fast as he can to demand I bend down and hug him.
- He's obsessed with reading. Current favorites are the "Brown Bear" series and almost any BabyLit book, but particularly Don Quixote. I'm amazed how many books I can recite from memory now.

- He's done so well with infant potty training, I've only changed one soiled diaper this month!
- He cried when dad leaves for work and gets so excited when he gets home. I hope the mental image of the love he has for his dad sticks around forever.
- How many people stop to tell me what a tall child I have. I can't get over how many remarks the elderly make about his size compared to mine. What can I say, he's clearly daddy's boy!

Monday, October 17

Food of Barcelona

Eating in Barcelona

I'm definitely ready to move and share Southern Spain travels, but I had to take a moment to include the food of Barcelona our favorite places to eat! We ate mostly around the big most-see locations: The Picasso Museum, The Gothic District with shopping and nightlife that connects to La Rambla, and of course, La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona Gelato
This gelato stop right outside the Picasso Museum was top notch! When I saw the flavors I disregarded it was still technically morning and we decided we should make breakfast part II happen. The gelato of Spain is close to the gelato of Italy, so it's definitely a must while there!

Churros con Choclate Barcelona
Supposedly Churros con Chocolate- the dessert of all desserts in Spain, originated in Barcelona. It's hard to find a bad version there, but it's particularly refreshing in the cooler months. Whatever you do get some in at least one cafe you visit. 

Our favorite lunch spot was Melic del Gotic, right in the heart of the Gothic district. Spain eats differently than Americans do with a large lunch and smaller supper. We found you could get a small feast for pretty inexpensive if you're willing to eat around 2:00 in the afternoon. It's actually often a government regulation my local friend told me, so most places have to offer a fair priced full lunch. 
Bacelona dining on a budget
We loved our starters, our salads and of course the main dish. The best part of all was how cheap it was! We're talking about $12 a person for a full 3-course meal. I really loved how kid friendly they were too! Mack could eat everything we ordered and curled up on the bench and took a nap while we while we finished, and everyone remarked how cute he was. This was right after we'd been turned away from a restaurant for having a child, so I was extra appreciative of good food and good people.

Our dinner stop near La Sagrada Familia was kind of ironic, we decided to try Mexican food in Spain just for comparison at La Cantina Mexicana. And guess what, we were pleasantly surprised!

And my biggest tip- if you can look up TripAdvisor or Yelp before you go - do it! We learned quickly that big cities are tourist traps. If you look up the area you can find some of the best food on the cheap! Both those apps served us well our entire trip in finding food at the area we were in. If you you go to the places right next to La Sagrada Familia you will pay so much money, but only one block away prices are at least half. And the food is typically better with a better variety too! And thus it was that we found a delicious burrito and nacho plate in the of Catalan.

I mentioned this is my La Rambla post, but it's worth your time to stop and eat a meal or a snack at the La Boqueria market in the middle of the walk. Amazing juices, delicious empanadas, ham sandwiches (the most prevalent meal in Spain), and just about anything local you could ever want is in one fun, busy market. It's kind of like the Pike Place of Spain. Definitely worth at least a snack! 
La Rambla Barcelona Market
We ate well in Barcelona, we did it on the cheap, and we enjoyed our day and a half there. Let me know if you've ever been and want to add any other ideas in the comments- I'd love to hear about it!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...