Did you love advent calendars as a kid? My mom always hung them up for us, and we loved opening the little doors every day in December until Christmas. We always had paper calendars, but I recently bought this one from The Land of Nod for my boys. So cute, huh? It's made of felt, and the pockets are big enough to tuck a little treat inside for each of them, though there will be no chocolate for my 11-month-old (sorry Russ!). It also looks really adorable hanging on the wall in our playroom. Don't you love advent calendars?



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Happy Halloween! We went out for sushi (random) and came home and passed out little packs of organic gummi bears to the trick-or-treaters (no, I did not consider giving out bags of carrot sticks) while the kids ran around in their costumes (one bumble bee and one turtle) and we munched on these pumpkin seeds that I had roasted earlier after the pumpkin-carving extravaganza. Here’s the easy recipe …



We're feeling better here today--thank goodness. The boys are playing. I'm cooking (then again, I didn't stop--we still had to eat!) and writing, writing, writing. In other news: asparagus. I've known that my 2 year old, Carson, was nuts for asparagus for a long time. One day, about 8 months ago, the child who hates most all green vegetables, pulled up his kitchen stool and leaned over to look at what I was making on the stove: sauteed asparagus. "I eat one?" he asked in toddler speak. You can imagine the look of glee on my face. Let's break this down: My 2 year old just asked me for a green veggie. I watched as he ate a small plateful of asparagus. Then he asked me for more. The asparagus love continues today. Whenever I make them, which I did recently--Parmesan-roasted asparagus--Carson's eyes light up. Here he is, eating one raw:



Years from now, I want to remember this moment--morning snack time with Carson, my 2 year old--because it won't be long before he's too old/too big/too busy/too cool to sit down and have a a little quiet time and a snack with his mama (sniffle, sniffle). So, here's proof that we have a standing 10 a.m. date with two little plates of yummies. Me: Crusty bread with sunflower butter and apple slices (which, also happens to be one of my favorite breakfasts). Him: Bread and edamame hummus (his all-time favorite).



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My dear readers, I’ll just say it: motherhood is hard. Joy-filled and wonderful, yes. But it is hard. Are you a mom? A new mom? A pregnant, soon-to-be mom? Then this list is for you. If you’re just thinking about motherhood or know someone who is, tuck this post away for the future (or forward it to that haggard, sleep-deprived new mom in your life–just don’t tell her she’s haggard. But you know that already.). These are the things that make my life just a wee bit easier, and I suspect they will do the same for you, too. This one’s for you mamas!



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(Side note: That is not my child, but isn’t he adorable?!) One of the great joys of motherhood, I’ve decided, is being able to dress your kids up in (funny) costumes. This year, Russell, who is 9 months, will be a monkey. Carson, the 2 and a half year old, is going to be a bumble bee (he picked out this adorable costume himself!) But, if I’d known about the adorable (and affordable!) costumes over at the Etsy shop, DIY Costumes, which I read about over at Green & Gorgeous, I would have had two little lions this year. Here’s how it works: You buy little kits ($15–cheap!) to transform a sweater or hoodie into an imaginative costume.



Paraphrased from a line I read in the current issue of Parenting: "Look at the wear and tear your kids have made on your couches. Imagine what they've done to your marriage." (P.S. That's Carson (now 2 and a half) at age 7 months, with his favorite book on the couch, well love seat (but who calls them love seats anymore, really?!). The poor couch has taken a mega beating.)