Being Brickner : September 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's The Little Things: October Excitement

Happy, happy OCTOBER everyone! :)  I'm pretty sure I speak for everyone when I say we are excited that it's official now, the next three months certainly are some of our favorites.  Waverly Maye & I kicked off the week with a few festive photos, she was so excited when I showed her this cat dress & kept saying "hi, kitty!!".  One of her current favorite books is all about animals & she always remembers the cat page the most, so this little ensemble was totally her jam.

H&M Dress (Last Season) & Target Cat Ears (From The Costume Aisle)
Also in the spirit of the season, we made our first batch of chili & painted Waverly's first pumpkin of the year over the weekend!! :)  I went back & forth about letting her have at it, but ultimately decided to go for it since she really has turned into an arts & crafts lover lately.  I knew she would go crazy for it, she did & has asked every single day to paint again. :)
I used our oil clothegg crate & washable Crayola paint,  all of which I have been using for our painting sessions lately because they really work out so well.  We have also been going out in our front yard, with the weather so seasonable it's been perfect & Waverly also loves to wave at the neighbors as they go by.  I don't know that everyone would think so, but I was so proud of Waverly's final product (even with all the colors blended together into a weird grey color). ;)  I am already planning some more ways to decorate some pumpkins in the next few weeks & of course, can't wait to carve one for each of us, too!

Hope you are all having the best week so far, we wish you the HAPPIEST October full of lots of "little" moments with your sweet families!  See this post if you need a reminder of how to link-up.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Footwear

We hope you ladies had the best first weekend of fall!  Our weekend was busy, yet so much fun, we spent lots of time outside & I am excited to share pictures later this week!

In the meantime, I can't resist sharing a little fashion to kick off this first full week of fall!  Shoes are my obsession (so my shopping weakness) all year long, but especially for fall.  I love the return of boots after spring & summer, plus I especially love that in the fall, it's chilly enough to wear them but not too cold to wear them with dresses or jeans with short sleeves.  For the past few fall seasons, booties are my go-to for Waverly Maye & I both, they are so comfortable but cute at the same time (my number one & two criteria for shoes, especially for moms plus their toddlers).  I recently got these western-inspired booties for me & a coordinating pair for Waverly, I can't decide which ones I like more!

My Booties (Waverly's Last Season)
I thought I would round up a few more fall footwear favorites for mama & mini, such a fun yet dangerous thing to do! ;)

MAMA:  Leopard Flats, Tall Boots, Booties (Similar), Hunter Boots
MINI:  Converse, Leopard Boots, Fur Boots, Booties (Similar)
Even though I didn't include any boy shoes, I adore shoes for little men & have even gotten a few pairs for Waverly.  These leather boots & these docksides (both from Zara) are way too much, if we have a little boy one day he would totally be rocking these!  Another gender neutral pair of shoes I can't get enough of, red hunter boots, we recently got a pair for Waverly & she loves them almost as much as I do.  If you follow me on Instagram (ashleywbrickner), you may have seen this picture of Waverly recently playing in the puddles.  SUCH a mess after yet one of the highlights of her life to date. ;)

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fall Bucket List

Happiest Friday & also, a very heartfelt thank you to those who took the time to respond with such helpful tips on Waverly's new bedtime moves.  I am thrilled to report that she hasn't attempted to escape the last few days, yet we are still taking this as the official sign that it's big girl bed time!  We have one, it's been at our house for a few months, but we had decided to make that the last step in her big girl room since she had been doing so well in her crib.  We honestly were shocked that this hadn't happened before, Waverly has no fear at all & is constantly climbing on everything so we knew it would come eventually.  I am definitely planning to use your tips so thank you, I hope to have a good update on our transition soon! :)

And onto some fall festiveness, I thought it would be fun to share some of what we have on the agenda for the next couple of months.  Like last year, I am beyond excited for fall with a little one!  Waverly is at the absolute best age for this type of stuff & I live for making these kinds of memories, so excited is definitely an understatement.  We can't wait!

1.  Family trip to the pumpkin patch.  Possibly one of my favorite family activities of the entire year.  I love it so much, last year we made a tour of most of the patches in our city during the entire month of October. ;)  This picture of Waverly from last year makes me smile ear to ear, do pumpkins not make the absolute cutest backdrop for kids?!

 2.  Pumpkin-painting.  Now that Waverly is more into crafting, I am really looking forward to helping her make her own little fancy pumpkin this year.  I love that she will be able to help pick out her own decorations this time, I am thinking either a mod-podge with tissue paper or just letting her have at it with some paint.

3.  Fall dessert-baking.  Such a fun time of year for food!  We love soups at our house so we are definitely planning to add them back into our weekly rotation starting this weekend.  We also love fall sweets, I made this apple dessert a couple weekends back for Sunday family dinner.  It was such a fun take on apple pie & Waverly had the BEST time helping me unwrap the caramels to put in it.  The recipe can be found here.

 4 - A trip to the farm & farmers market.  I was totally bummed that I could not find a place to take Waverly apple picking, I called everywhere around where we live & couldn't find any options.  We are going to settle on a farm with lots of fresh food & tractor rides for kids, I'm sure she won't know the difference & will be equally as impressed with tons to room to run free.

5 - Halloween Kids Party.  I took Waverly to the kids gym we go to for their annual halloween party last year, we had so much fun!!  It was the perfect way to practice trick-or-treating before the real thing, & to get two wears out of her ghost costume.  I can't wait to take her again!!  My mother-in-law has started making her costume, she also did it last year & I couldn't have loved it more!

6.  Fall family walks.  We love family walks, all year long but especially when the weather is perfection like this.  It's our go-to family activity, we took Waverly down to the beach last weekend to enjoy the weather & how quiet it is now that it's mainly only locals left! 

Are there any fall activities I missed?!  What does your family do to stay busy in the fall?  Also, I am beyond thrilled, I got Waverly & I tickets to see Sesame Street Live the first weekend in October!  She is going to go crazy, I cannot wait to see her reaction! :)  She loves Elmo so much that we have started counting him as the fourth member to our family.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's The Little Things: Besties & Bedtime

Happy Wednesday & happy FALL!  I know you are all just as excited as we are. :)  We have already had quite the week so far, a couple of really busy days that have flown by with some really high moments & a couple we could have done without.  On the plus side, Waverly is doing really well with her sitters, I am so proud of her.  Each night before bed, she asks where she is going the next day & each morning, remembers exactly what I told her.  When we reunite, she shows me her "fun work", explains the color she learned & we add it to the board of worksheets from this year so far.  She also gets to spend one day a week with my sister & each Friday with my grandparents, we really have such a great situation which continues to make this transition so much easier.  I still miss her so very much, but live for these moments during our afternoons together.

Also a highlight of our recent days, watching these two play together after a day apart.  The love that Waverly has for Bogger grows all the time & it completely melts me.  She practically breaks the door down to see him at the end of the day, they have a tradition of running through the downstairs together to celebrate.  And every single time when we go anywhere (like every single time), she tells him "bye, bogger, be a good boy!".  It's only a matter of time before she puts him in time-out like she does to her babies lately, I'm sure he will take (yet another one) for the team & do it, no questions asked. ;)

And lastly, the latest milestone of the week, definitely not a "little thing" that I want to experience again but that I would love your advice on!  Waverly jumped out of her crib for the first time, & then the second, third, fourth ... she has pretty much been showing off her new skill all week long.  It came out of nowhere, she has always been a really good sleeper & I can't even remember the last time we had an issue at all.  Each time she has jumped, it has been right when we put her down for the night, she has been crying & asking us not to leave or turn the light on almost immediately.  We have tried everything, rocking her, bringing her an extra baby to sleep with, letting her go potty, nothing so far seems to work.  I'm thinking that she either just doesn't want to stop having fun or is scared of the dark (or both), & that it is just a phase.  That, or it is officially time for the big girl bed, something we had decided to put off for a little while longer since she was doing so well. ;)  Suggestions?!

Happy halfway through the week, friends! :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Garlands & Other Great Things

Happy Monday, friends!!  Another weekend in the books, hope it was a great one for you!  We stayed busy with a few fall activities, once again the weather was beautiful & we loved every minute.  Now that it's finally feeling like fall, my mind is racing with family picture ideas, fall fashions, & of course, Waverly Maye's halloween costume.  I think we came up with the perfect idea that couldn't fit her personality better, can't wait to share it soon! :)

We also started dressing the house for the season, it's been way too long since the last holiday & we were totally due for some festiveness for our decor.  I ordered this garland a few weeks back, I have decided that I have a garland obsession & I am not sure if it is healthy. ;)  Really, nothing puts me in the holiday spirit more than bright colored tassels hanging from our mantel.  I am in love with the colors in this one & how great it matches with our gold pumpkin trio!

I also picked up a burlap garland in the dollar bin at Target last week, one of my favorite recent finds!!  Target is once again killing it with their fall collection, I wanted to buy everything & then some.  I settled on the garland & a matching burlap pumpkin I found in the seasonal aisle, and will probably go back soon for more. ;)

This fall marks the first time in years that my entire family has been in the same city during the school year.  Like since I graduated high school & left for college thirteen years ago.  A couple years after I left, my brother did, then a few years after he left, my sister left for the same reason.  Now finally, all of us have graduated, moved back home, & all six members of my family are in VB.
Still, life is busy, so a couple weeks ago we started Sunday dinners at my house.  It's the best thing ever, I'm so glad we can do this again!  The only person who is happier than me about it is Waverly, she waits for them all day Sunday while repeating every single person's name.  It's the sweetest, I love that she has them to grow up with!

Best wishes for a fantastic week ahead!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall Days & A Giveaway

Happy Thursday, everyone!!  We have had the best week so far, Waverly has been in such a great mood, showing off few to no tantrums & her sweet, hilarious side that we love so much.  We had the most adorable tea party last night (Waverly's idea), she gave my husband & I each a treat cup that she pretended to pour tea in before pouring herself one.  We all "drank" from our treat cups for a while before bedtime.  Her imagination & creativity right now is my absolute favorite, I wish as we all got older that we never lost that!

And the weather.  Perfection.  In the 70s & chilly enough at night for jeans & a light jacket.  I have decided that I am all for this kind of weather year-round, I would never, ever get sick of it.  It makes for some amazing afternoons, we have been on lots of walks, bike rides, & to the park more times than I can count.

 This kind of weather screams cardigans for me, I was so excited to pull out Waverly's from last year (we bought them big & just keep rolling them up, I'm thinking they will last at least a few more seasons!).  I am also once again obsessed with this dark yellow, the perfect color for fall!  Melissa from The Prettiest Bow sent Waverly some bows for the new season, & I could not get this one on her fast enough!!  It is so beautiful in person, high quality, & the perfect shade. :)

To celebrate the new season, I have teamed up with some amazing ladies to offer one lucky reader a $120.00 gift card to Anthropologie!!  I can't think of a more perfect place to stock up on some fall goodness, for both yourself & your home!   You can use the Rafflecopter below to enter. The giveaway will run from 12:00 am EST on September 18th until 11:59 pm EST on September 25th. All entries will be verified. Good luck & happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's The Little Things: Mini Ears & Mall Dates

First, in fashion news, we pulled out Waverly Maye's cat ears over the weekend & I am in love!!  We had a couple last year but recently added this set from Target, the fact that they are leopard makes them that much cuter.  Another reason to love fall fashion, especially for little ones since they obviously look so much better in this stuff than any of us ever would. ;)

And onto my little thing of the week!!  This one goes down in the books as one of my favorites ever, I'll be laughing about it for a long time.  Waverly & I had a rare mall date a couple days ago, I say rare because most of my shopping is now done online since stores (especially ones with hangers & clothes to pull down) aren't always the easiest.  I decided to give it a try, we got some lunch plus walked around for a bit, Waverly was actually being a rock star & we were having way too much fun.  Our car was parked outside of Forever 21 & as we were walking out to leave, Waverly grabs on to one particular shirt that she immediately fell in love with (not her size, not even close, our Forever doesn't sell kids clothes.)  For whatever reason, she would not stop saying how "cute!" it was, so I let her go try it on because yes, I'm that mom who got way too excited about my daughter's love of fashion.  At age two.  
In the fitting room, she threw it right on & pranced out of the room wearing her shirt (turned maxi dress), showing everyone who would look.  It was the cutest thing, until she realized that she didn't get to wear it out of the store (don't we wish that was how it worked!).  It was a mini-tantrum turned into one of those teachable mom moments where I had to explain to her how shopping works.  Melt my heart.
Fast forward to later that afternoon, when Waverly insisted on wearing her new shirt (turned maxi dress) down the street to walk her babies.  Because yes, I am also that mom who bought it for her because she loved it that much.  She held it in her lap the entire drive home & wore it all night, I'm thinking it will really fit her in approximately 15 years.
Bow & Shirt
(Because you know you want it, too!)
I can only imagine what the neighbors think of us now. ;)  Hope YOUR start the week is great, we are halfway there!  Thanks for all who have been linking-up & continue to, see this post for a reminder.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our Weekend & Monday Must-Haves

First, thank you for your sweet & encouraging comments on our transition back to the new school year.  As a teacher, I feel I get the unique perspective of being both a SAHM & working one.  At the end of the day, they both have their challenges & rewards, we are all moms who are doing the best we can for our little ones.  I hate when I hear people debate the issue & LOVE that in this community, we all support each other in whatever situation we are in. :)

And HAPPY halfway through September!  We spent lots of our weekend working on projects around the house, the next few weeks are jam-packed & as usual, our house to-do list is full.  Over the summer I started a "cleaning" schedule that I loved, doing one task a day, Monday-Thursday, knocking it all out before the weekend started.  That obviously doesn't fly now, the last two weeks I have spent my Friday night on my hands & knees cleaning after Waverly went to bed.  I hate the idea of spending our Saturdays or Sundays doing it, so to me, that's the better option.  For what it's worth, to make it exciting, I popped a bottle of wine & drank a glass (or two) while I did it to celebrate the end of the work week.  It was actually exciting.  I'm telling ya, we get wild.
Any working mamas found a magical way to fit in cleaning?!

My husband has been busy getting our backyard live-able again, making some progress in Waverly's room, & refinishing a passed-down table for our family room.  He also recently did this makeover on a second high chair for Waverly, my mother-in-law got it unfinished for Waverly's second birthday so we could DIY it & make it our own.  I love how it turned out (such an easy update!), the original high chair can be found here.

The other high chair we have is the Boon, which we absolutely adore & have been using since Waverly was six months.  We still use it & plan to, but lately Waverly has been taking two bites of her meal before asking to get up because she is "all done!".  She would rather run circles around the house while eating or attempting to sit on top of the table while grabbing food from our plates.  Our pediatrician confirmed what we already knew, that we were instilling really bad habits.  So we decided to give her a new, (hopefully) exciting alternative with this chair, which still keeps her in a seat but without a buckle.  So far she really likes it, we typically pull it up to our table for meals or she just sits in it for snacks.  I'll let you know what our third bright idea will be in a few weeks when this one gets old, too. ;)

Other weekend news, we spent our Gap cash, I got this buffalo plaid shirt which is so perfect for fall & the holiday season which will be here before we know it! :)  I ordered Waverly a festive Halloween headband & am seriously dreaming of pumpkin patch visits in a short couple of weeks.  We also pulled out Waverly's first boots for the season & have started eating our snacks (plus drinking our coffee!) from these floral coffee cups I  recently found at TJMaxx.
Because every one needs a pretty, disposable coffee cup.  Obviously. 

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Two Weeks Down

Happiest Friday, friends!  Another school week in the books & I can't wait for a couple of days to do nothing but be with my two favorites. :)  Now that we have the official start to this year behind us, I thought I would document how the transition back to reality is going so far.  I had been pretty nervous about how well Waverly (& I) would react to me being back at school for a while now.  Now that she is a little older, plus way more aware, I had been hoping for the best, but preparing myself for the worst.

 The first week back was pretty rough for all of us.  I was sad when on day one Waverly was still sleeping when I left, until I realized a couple days later that it was probably easier than the rest of the week when she held my legs & cried while I walked out the door.  It's almost like we are at a weird age with this sort of thing, she is now old enough to understand that I leave, but not yet able to really understand why I do.  As for me, it's definitely taking time to get used to the incredible amount of packing & preparing that's required for this whole thing.  So far I have left my lunch at home, wallet in the diaper bag (at home), forgot to charge my phone on several occasions, & then the kicker, left the lights on in my car one morning so I came out (so excited to drive to reunite with Waverly), to a dead battery.  Oh, & then there was that time last week I somehow forgot to lay out Waverly's clothes the night before, (I have NEVER done that), so I got three missed calls from my husband with a text "I'm supposed to freestyle this one?".  He obviously knew the importance of that task & how nervous I would be about it.

 On the plus side, the days have only gotten easier.  We are settling into our new routine, we have a new tradition of Waverly & Joe sitting on the front porch waving "bye" to me each morning that totally beats the days I had to drive away with her in tears.  Waverly has adjusted to being back with the babysitter with no issues at all, she really loves her & so do we, which makes it so much easier on everyone.  I look forward everyday to reuniting with her, hearing all about her day, & seeing what she learned while I was gone.  We are also loving being back in her kids gym class, we go to a class on Tuesdays that starts 25 minutes after my work day is done.  It's a total rush to get there, but so far we have made it.  It's so crazy to be on my computer putting grades in one minute, & then on my knees doing the hokey-pokey, feeding goldfish to my little lady the next.  It's at those moments that I know I'm doing right thing, that I can do it, & we will make it through!  It's never going to be easy leaving her, but ultimately it's the best thing for our family right now & one day, I know Waverly will really understand why I had to leave her again after each summer.

AND because no post is complete without my girl, we are busy getting ready for fall fashions our way, yet currently, it's hot as ever.  A few more days seeing her with those little shorts & belly out is never a bad thing. :)

I am so thankful for all of your support of this blog, your positive comments & ability to relate really have made me a better mom!  I wish you the happiest weekend!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It's The Little Things: Books & Babes

I am so excited to be back for the link-up this week!  I was thinking about the fact that we have been rolling with this weekly since February the other day, that makes my heart so happy. :)  Thanks again to all of you for your support, participation, & of course, for appreciating the "little things" like we do.  It really means so much to Jess & I both.

If you have read my blog much or know Waverly Maye personally, you know that she is not much of a "sit still" kind of girl.  She is as active as they come, I am sure of it, my experience at kids classes & around other toddlers in general tells me so.  My parents (who have four kids) & grandparents (who have two plus ten grandchildren) say has more energy than any of us ever did. ;)

Yet my girl has always had a love of books, right now more than ever, & if anything can get her to sit still, it's reading.  The sweetest, it melts my heart every time.
I still read to Waverly each night, we sit on the recliner in her room before bed & it really is one of my favorite times of the day with her.  She also asks for a book when I lay her down & as soon as I walk out of the room, she reads to her babies until she falls asleep & most mornings does the same thing.  She also LOVES reading to our dog, she asks him to sit in the playroom with her so "I read to you, Gogger!".  Lately it is the biggest reality check on how smart she really is, she can "read" most of the our favorites herself, saying the exact same lines that I have been reciting to her for months through most every page.  There isn't much I love more than hearing her little voice say the words I have been going through with her since she was a little babe.  I can't believe how well she had been listening all that time. :)

Some of Waverly's current favorite books are "Brown Bear, Brown Bear", "I Love You Through and Through", & the "Three Little Pigs".  I just got her "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" last week, it's quickly turning into a nightly read, it's great for teaching the letters of the alphabet!  We still are really big on board books, touch & feel books, plus anything with bright colors.  We recently got this bookshelf for Waverly's birthday for her big girl room, the brown one was on sale so we bought it then painted it white.  It's perfect for her to get the books on her own.

We also did a Pinterest project for the books in her playroom, these gutters turned into really cheap shelves that she can also reach!!  I've already added a few Halloween books for the fall, I have been trying to buy a new one each year with each holiday.  Spending money on books doesn't make me feel as guilty, I know we can use them for years to come & most are gender-neutral. ;)

I am always open to new book ideas or suggestions, do you guys have any favorites?!  I hope you all are having the best week, see this post if you need a reminder on how to link-up.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Waverly Maye: Two Years & Two Months

Here we are, only two months into Waverly's two-year old status & I already can't help but update on her!  This is such a fun age, with so many changes each week, I feel like I am constantly taking in moments because I never want to forget how special they are.  I am obsessed with her vocabulary, her little voice, & the things she comes up with!  Yet again, this might just be our favorite age yet, I want to bottle her up & keep her just like this forever.

We had Waverly's two-year appointment with our pediatrician about a month ago, she was still very short (5th percentile) & average for weight (50th percentile).  This appointment followed one we had a couple weeks before, dare I call it a "behavior" appointment?!  I called in for help after a couple rough days with Waverly hitting & throwing just about everything she could find.  Her two-year old status clearly got to her head & I started going crazy in mine! ;)  Just as I thought she would, our pediatrician said it was completely normal & to continue with exactly what we were doing (time-outs when needed & just straight up telling her no!).  It felt good to have reassurance, I feel like I am always second-guessing myself in how I discipline.  Raising Waverly to be a polite, well-rounded young lady is so important to me & I feel like this is one of those things that you don't get a "do-over" on.  We definitely still have our tough moments (& tantrums), but I know that is part of this whole parenting thing & that ultimately, the good moments far exceed the challenging ones. :)

Some of Waverly's current favorite activities are taking her babies for walks, dancing to the music player she got for her birthday, putting on jewelry, & coloring.  We are still Sesame Street obsessed, as well as phone-obsessed, she gets on her phone every day to call her "guys". #troubleahead
 She also LOVES to go to the grocery store with me, as long as it is Target (where she gets to sit in the extra big cart plus get an icee) or Kroger, where she gets to push her own "mini" cart around the store.  It's ironic how that used to be one of our challenges, but now is one of our favorite things to do!  Of course, she is still FULL of energy, most moments of the day. The other morning I left for work (at 6:05), she had already pulled every toy out of the bin & was circling the downstairs with a pom-pom in each hand singing.  Girlfriend amazes me.

We have officially entered the "mine" phase & also, Waverly wants to do everything, all the time, all by herself!  We are working on sharing, we do know our little lady does not own the slide at our neighborhood park, despite the fact that she definitely thinks otherwise.  The sweetest moment the other night though, we were driving home & she kept repeating "my daddy" & "my mommy" while pointing to us, then would point to herself & say "ME!!".  She went through the rotation for about ten minutes straight, laughing constantly, & we loved every.single.minute!

And lastly, in fashion news, we are wearing mostly 18-24 month clothes with some 2T pieces.  Waverly loves to help pick out her clothes, plus attempt to put them on herself, & looks in the mirror to say "cute!" before we go anywhere.
 I really can't put into words how much I love this little girl!  It is too much fun to watch her grow & I can't wait to see what the next few months will bring!