26 August 2014

Palmer's Fall Fashion Favorites

With the crisp fall air moving in on us and the cool days getting closer, I am excited to find some new fall outfits for Palmer. I enjoy finding great pieces that will mix and match well with other items. I tend to gravitate towards pieces and outfits that are similar to my style but I do enjoy cute little dresses for Palmer too.

I am loving some of the fall items at Old Navy and Gap for toddler girls right now and you definitely cannot beat the price (especially when there is a 40% off sale every week.)

25 August 2014

Whitefish Photo Overload!

The weekend before last, Mitch, Palmer and I went down to Whitefish. I was excited about going for a few reasons. First, we hadn't really gone anywhere all summer so I was in desperate need of a little getaway. Second, Whitefish is one of my favorite places to go. There is just something about the crisp mountain air and the beautiful scenery that I just love.

We left early Friday morning. We were able to take the Going To The Sun Road this time. I had never taken it before (it is only open certain times of the year as it is not safe to drive on in the winter due to its narrow, windy roads and steep mountain side edges). It was stunning. The views were just amazing. You climb to the top of the mountain, and you can see the river in the valley, glaciers beside you, waterfalls of ice cold glacier water.

We stayed at this cute little farm cabin just outside Whitefish. It was 20 acres of land with a farmhouse and a guest house (which we stayed in) along with farm animals running free. Palmer absolutely loved it. She made a new friend in the kitten, Rascal. She adored their dog, Cooper. She was amazed by the horses. When they were in their barn, she would walk up to each window and pet the horses nose and say "naaaayy." 
 There were chickens that laid fresh eggs everyday (which we ate). There was a garden to pick vegetables from. It was like no where I have ever stayed before. It was a special little place to stay; refreshing to be in the wilderness, away from the hustle and bustle of real life. Mitch and I enjoyed the evenings sitting on the deck of the cabin, listening to nothing but the wild and great conversation between one another.

Looking for the chickens

Touching the glacier water

It was a great weekend spent with my favorite people.
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24 August 2014

Currently - Catching Up

After a 10 day hiatus from blogging and the computer, I'm back with another edition of Currently//A Mama Collective link-up.

// thinking about // how being away from the computer for the past 10 days has been refreshingly nice. We took a little vacation to Montana last weekend which was great (post to follow soon). Then during the week, my mom was here to watch Palmer for us while we worked. This also gave Mitch and I some time to get some chores and errands done. I honestly spent less than an hour on the computer over the past 10 days.

 // (not) reading // With my time away from the computer, I really didn't read too many blogs. I read a handful of blogs (literally, maybe 5 posts total) over the past week. In one way, it was nice to not feel bombarded with reading the posts of every blog I follow, but in another way, I feel like I need to catch up on my favorites!

// thinking about // the fact that summer is over. We played in a golf tournament on Saturday, and we were literally bundled up and wearing toques and mitts. Its August! Every other year we have played, we were lucky and its always hot. This year was rainy and cold.

// thankful for // the fact that Palmer is finally starting to feel better. Poor girl came down with a fever Monday morning and came home from the dayhome early. Tuesday she spent the day between grandparents while we were at work. Wednesday she broke out in horribly yucky blisters and we got the confirmation that she had come down with Hand Foot and Mouth. Poor girl was just not herself. I'm so happy that we are finally on the mend and that most of the blisters have started to disappear.

// thinking about // our sweet Palmer turned another month older this past week. 19 months! That means we are 5 months away from having a 2 year old! AHH! We need time to slow down, just a little bit!

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15 August 2014

Oh Hey, Friday

one | We are heading down to Whitefish this weekend for a nice mini vacation. It'll be nice to get out of Lethbridge and into the mountains. Whitefish really is gorgeous. Its a quaint little mountain town with all kinds of outdoor activities for both summer and winter. We often go once or twice a year, but we are hoping to start heading down more often.

The place we are going to be staying at is a little "guest house" cabin on a family farm. It's a short 5 minute drive to downtown but you are peacefully hidden away among the forest (or so I've read anyways). They provide you with fresh eggs in the morning to cook up for breakfast. There are animals roaming around which Palmer will LOVE! They have horses, lambs, dogs, chickens. The reviews on the place are great and say we won't be disappointed. I think it'll be a great place to stay. And we all know how much Palmer loves animals (see photos here), so I think it will be great!

two | I picked up The Fault in Our Stars from the library for our trip. I picture myself sitting out on a chair in the morning, drinking some coffee while enjoying the beautiful surroundings of forest and mountains, maybe while Palmer is watching the animals. I've been wanting to read this book since I saw the movies previews. Anyone else read this? Seen the movie? (I've not, but I hear you'll go through a box of tissues for sure)

three | Palmer is turning into the sweetest little girl. I did a post the other day about a special moment we shared this week. Read it here.

four |  I'm kinda excited to do some fall clothes shopping for both Palmer and I. We can usually find some really great deals down in The States. I'm swooning over some of the toddler fall stuff out right now. I've resisted the urge to buy anything though so I'm hoping we can score some great stuff there.

five | And last but not least, I was a feature blogger over at BlogHer this past week. Super exciting. It's pretty cool to be recognized among thousands and thousands of posts!! I'm grateful for the site featuring my post on how life changes with a toddler! I write things that are on my mind and I'm excited to know that others like to read what I've written!!


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12 August 2014

This Girl of Ours

Palmer is turning into just the sweetest little girl.

This sweet girl loves to give out hugs

Palmer will hug all the kids at the day home (often times more than once) before we can finally leave out the door, and even then, she will stand outside the door and wave bye-bye and smile.

She will hug Mitch every day when he comes home from work and gives him kisses. Her kisses are the cutest little thing. She will press her lips to yours and say mmmmmaah Or she will blow kisses by putting her hand to her mouth and making the mmmmmaah noise.

We get hugs every night before bed. And as I'm laying her down in her bed for the night, I say I love you, Palmer and she gives me a little extra squeeze, as though to say I love you, mama.

But, this morning was the sweetest hug yet. I was extra tired this morning and just wanted a few extra minutes or two, or thirty, of shut eye after being up until 2am trying to flip back off nights. So, when Palmer woke at 7:30 I brought her in the bed with me and turned Bubble Guppies on the iPad. I laid my head back down on the pillow and closed my eyes. To my surprise Palmer wasn't interested in the iPad. Instead, she wrapped her arm around my neck and laid there beside me with her head across from mine on the pillow, looking in my eyes. At that moment, we both smiled. We just laid there smiling. It was one of those little moments that makes your heart melt; when you realize just how lucky you really are. In that moment, I didn't care how tired I was and that my eyes were burning with sleepiness. In that moment, I thought of nothing but how amazing this little girl of mine really is and that she is ours. This amazingly wonderful little girl is ours.
PC to my good friend Cora
Linking up with Ashley // Words About Waverly and Jess // Sadie Sky Boutique for The Little Things

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Toddler Independence: An Occasionally Frustrating Adventure

Toddler independence is something we are trying to take with a grain of salt these days. Some days are frustrating for us as parents and equally as trying for Palmer. Being unable to effectively communicate what it is she wants or is trying to do is the first battle. Then come the tantrums; the kicking and screaming and flailing around on the floor. Then the frustration sets in. I all too often find myself getting frustrated with Palmer when she doesn't listen, but I need to imagine where she is coming from; her point of view.

She is a child learning about her environment and trying to gain the knowledge to succeed. Sometimes, allowing her to make mistakes, although it may be difficult to watch as a parent, will be the best way she can learn.

Here are a few things I am working on to make the transition a little easier on all of us.

1. Let her make her own decisions.
 I don't mean all decisions. I mean things like apple juice or orange juice with breakfast. Or do you want to wear this shirt or this dress? Simple things that can make her feel like she has the control. Palmer will happily point to which snack she wants after her nap or will choose from a variety of books which one to read before bed. It's simple things like this that can help her feel independent and allows us to keep our sanity, at least in that moment.

2. Patience.
This is a time of learning for Palmer; a time of figuring out the world around her. This won't happen in a minute/an hour/a day. It will take time and lots of patience from us as parents. So it takes Palmer 4 minutes to try to put on her shoes, yet she still gets it wrong. That's OK! Allot that extra 5 minutes it takes for her to get herself ready. So she's trying to use a fork but ends up with most of her spaghetti on her lap? This is why she eats naked for 95% of her meals! She can't eat with her hands and be this messy forever or she'll never get a date. No better time to learn.

3. Pick your battles.
I'm sure we have all heard this all too often. Is it really horrible that Palmer wants to wear two different shoes? No. Is it the worst thing in the world if she wants to wear a toque in the middle summer? No. Ridiculous? Yes. Horrible? No. Is it really worth watching your toddler throw themselves on the floor and acting like their entire world just came crashing down? I think not!
hey, at least they are the same kind of shoes, and there is a left and a right!
4. Keep your sense of humor. 
  I find Palmer will react better to my requests if I incorporate something silly. Making funny noises and silly faces will make her forget what she was mad about and help me clean up the toys. Keeping things funny will help you keep your sanity! I'm sure the people in the grocery store think I'm some kind of whacko crazy person, but at least I don't have a crying child!

This stage of toddlerhood is her finding the balance between her need for independence and her need for dependence. It can be difficult but also so amazing to watch Palmer grow and become this little person doing things for herself. Obviously, there are many things she still needs mom and dad for, but trying to differentiate what she can and can't do is hard.

Some days she wants to do things by herself. Other days, she wants mom and dad to help. Whatever type of day it is, we must remember, our little person is trying to develop into someone who knows what she wants and can think for herself.

And to remember....it's just a phase. It will pass, thank goodness!!!

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8 August 2014

Oh Hey, Friday {5}

Another week has come and gone; good news for me is after this horrid long stretch of 6 nights at work which ends Sunday, I get a whole glorious week off to spend with my family. So unlike everyone else, Monday morning cannot come soon enough!!! 

Now, on to my 5 for the week.

One | I cannot believe how big Palmer seems to be getting! I am certain she grows 2 inches and 2 lbs over night. As I left for work Thursday night, I snapped this photo of my sweet, not-so-baby girl.
I mean seriously, how big does she look here? Practically filling up the length if her crib!!! *tear*

Two | Palmer and I met up with my friend Cora and her girls for an impromptu photo shoot the other day. She was able to capture some really great pics of Palmer and I. Palmer and I don't get a lot of pictures together as I am usually the one taking the picture. We will definitely have to get some family photos done soon and I have kinda asked my friend Tawnya, who is also a great photographer, to do them. She takes amazing photos. Go check her out. 

Three |  I've not been running too much over the past couple weeks. In fact, I don't remember the last time. Oops. I'm planning on doing a 10km race in September though, so I need to start again soon! My poor excuse is that I find it hard to run when I'm working nights. Anyone know of a good 4 week 10km running plan?? 

Four | I've never talked about this on the blog before, but I use to play soccer. I played for many many years starting when I was young. I continued to play through junior high, played in the Saskatchewan Summer Games winning gold, and on through high school, playing on a variety of different teams (school, rec, provincial, etc). I then went on to play in University. However, after my second year, I made the difficult decision to give it up. Playing at the University level was hard. Very time consuming. We practiced 4 days a week with games every weekend and did a lot of traveling to other schools. I started to see my schooling suffer and knew I had to choose. It has now been 9, almost 10 years, since I've played and I miss it. I'm thinking about getting back into it. Nothing super serious. All fun. A friend of mine told me if I ever wanted to play, she would try to hook me up on their team! I may just take her up on it! 

Five | Our little Palmer has turned into quite the little jibber-jabberer (I know, not a word). She is always telling us stories of some kind. 98% of the time we can't understand a word she says, but it's cute nonetheless. Check out my latest video on Instagram (@alyciapalmer). Your heart will smile for sure!!! 

 Karli//September Farm and Amy//The Farmer's Wife
Jenna//A Mama Collective and Jenna//Dearest Love

ALSO, a sneak peek of my guest post on a Peek Into My Paradise, going live Tuesday. DIY Canvas Art
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