[BOY MOMS] Jess from Strawberry Swing

Monday, March 31, 2014

Hello! I'm Jess from Strawberry Swing, and I am so excited to be talking about our little boy, Cameron, who joined the world in July 2012! I am a full-time teacher, Chad is a chef-turned-consultant, and we run a family business with my mom. I mostly blog about our family, but throw some food, wine, travel and product reviews in the mix every now and then! 

I have to start by saying that I am SO not a boy mom. I like my manicures, dislike worms and dread the day that Cam carries a dead bird over to my side while I am sipping on a cocktail in the backyard. Ick. BUT, you girl moms are totally missing out. I've never had more fun bashing trucks into each other, jumping in mud puddles and shopping for matching father/son outfits!

Speaking of father/son, the bond between these two is unimaginable until you experience it yourself. My heart literally explodes when I watch them together. 

Cam has no fear. I don't think this is a "boy" thing, but it scares the heck out of us! I am surprised that we have not had an ER visit yet...

But he's such a love. He's so sweet and gentle. He's patient (for a toddler) and he's kind. He shares.
He's SO SWEET. I eat it up. 

Sometimes I get extremely jealous when moms get to dress their daughters with a wardrobe that includes bows, bikinis and tutus...the thought has crossed my mind to add a blue tutu to Cameron's Superman t-shirt. But I digress...dressing a little boy is just as fun! Baby GAP has some of the most adorable "little man" outfits, and Cam now has a few pieces from JCrew, too, which are too cute for words. It makes him look so much older!

Button-up, jeans and sneaks...

Skinny jeans

button-up with a sweater and chinos

dapper little dude

Chucks, red pants and a button-up

jeans, Merrells and a cold one on a fall afternoon....

baseball tee and shorts

At the end of the day, I thank God for my healthy baby boy. I know that had the ultrasound shown a little girl, I would have been just as in love, but Cam is my little man. He was made just for me. And, he will be the most amazing big brother someday. I am secretly hoping for all boys so I can experience this again, but if God gives us a little girl, I will learn how to be a "girl" mom just as easily as Cam has made this first experience for me!

Thanks for letting me show off our amazing son...to all of you boy moms out there, isn't is amazing??? I know little girls are just as cute and fun, but I am enjoying this stint as a boy mom. :)


If you would like to share a post about you and your son, email me at elizabethrose84@gmail.com .
I would love to feature you! You don't have to have a blog to participate!

Five on Friday | My Favorite Things

Friday, March 28, 2014

Last Friday I had the unexpected pleasure of staying home with Mason all day...and what's even better than getting to be home all day with my little man was the fact that being off on Friday didn't include having to work on Saturday! Hallelujah!

Bare with me today, my Five is a little different than usual. I also hadn't really planned on narrating the day until halfway through so apologies for all the words and not very many photos!


The morning started off relatively early as I knew I wanted to get up and get ready before Mason woke up since we had an appointment later in the morning and I didn't think he would take a morning nap for me to be able to get ready then. So, I got up, got ready, and just as I was finished, Mason woke up. 

It was now 6:30-6:40am-ish and we headed downstairs for breakfast. Mason is not a morning person (even when he wakes up by himself) and he started whining immediately for food. I made him some breakfast, turned on some Mickey, did the dishes, and made myself some breakfast : Frosted Mini Wheats with fresh strawberries on top. I rarely have time to make a real breakfast during the week so this was a treat for me (is it sad that I think that cereal is a "real breakfast"??)

We hung out for a little while and then headed to...


... for a few things...which turned into a few more than a few things...which reminded me of this article I saw last week. Seriously. Never a truer article! Anyways, I got what I went in for...and then headed down the dollar spot aisle and the Easter aisle and got a few more things that weren't on the list. But hey, at least I am advance planning like I always say I will do and never do.
and #mommywin?

We came home, I got Mason a snack, put away the Target goods, and cleaned up a little while Mason played. I was done a few minutes before we had to leave so I grabbed the...

mini bubble gun

... that I had just put away and gave it to Mason. I have been trying to teach him how to pull the trigger and turn the fan on and it seems like he has FINALLY gotten it! Seriously the. cutest. thing. Especially since he gets this HUGE smile on his face like "YES! I just did that BY MYSELF!"
Melt. My. Heart.

We got in the car to go to his appointment (which was why I had the day off - an appointment at 11:30am doesn't really allow for much time before or after for working when you add travel time on) and I let him bring his bubble gun. The kid could not have been happier.

I swear Mason is becoming more independent by the minute because every time we go anywhere, I will carry him until it is safe for him to walk (i.e. in a parking lot). So, like usual, I carried him down the stairs and across the street and then let him walk...

holding my hand

... to the building. Recently he's been wanting to be Mr. Independent and do it on his own, without hand holding, so I was totally eating up the fact that he wanted to hold my hand then.

We finished the appointment and headed home. I was hoping the snacks that I was feeding him would keep him awake long enough to get home, but poor boy was so tired (since it was now his nap time) that he fell asleep in the car.... holding his cracker. I always feel so bad waking him when he looks so peaceful sleeping in his car seat but when we got home, I did. We both ate lunch (Mason from his plate and from my plate), watched a couple minutes of Little Einsteins that was on, and then I could tell he was really ready for nap time. To be honest, I was kind of ready for some adult time too, but the...

huge hug

...Mason gave me before I put him in his crib for his nap made me miss him the second I shut the door behind me. Isn't it crazy how bad you can want some alone/adult time, and then as soon as you shut the door and it's just you, you miss them so much? Luckily I get to watch the munchkin on the monitor while he's sleeping...err supposed to be sleeping...aka apparently doing gymnastics.

I popped some laundry in the washer, made my leftover coffee from the morning into iced coffee (and added a little whip cream because...hey it's Friday!) and sat down to start playing with...

 My New MacBook Pro!

For those of you that follow me on Instagram {@lizbir} might have already seen the picture, but I got a new laptop two weeks ago. I've been wanting one for a while now but since they cost more than I would like to pay, we asked for an Apple gift card for Christmas and then since Seth's birthday is in March, we asked for Apple gift cards then. We were actually able to pay for most of it with the gift cards and the generous discount that he was able to get us for working for the government. (Score!)

I love the fact that Mac's are so user friendly. I was in the settings menu trying to figure out how I wanted things to work and they have little demos within the menus to show you what each thing means (like two fingers on the track pad means you scroll up or down on a page, etc. so helpful!)

I spent the better part of Mason's nap playing with the computer (and realizing that I was still wearing the sticker that he refused to wear and put on me after his appointment... it had now been about two hours lol) and finishing Scandal from the night before since I fell asleep half way through (it was a miracle I made it halfway...all the way to 10:30pm! lol)

Mason woke up after a couple hours and we spent the rest of the day playing at home and at the park and blowing bubbles.

I had really hoped that the Frozen DVD that I had ordered online would have arrived, but it didn't come until this past Monday.

Overall though it was a great day with just me and my boy!
Love him so much!


Linking up with The Good LifeCarolina CharmA. Liz Adventures, and Hello Happiness

[It's the Little Things Link Up] Learning New Things

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The bubble gun.

It is one of Mason's FAVORITE things right now.

Mason is obsessed with bubbles right now so a couple months ago when I found this small, little bubble gun, I snatched it up. I figured it would be SO much easier to use to blow bubbles at the speed that Mason wants them (fast! more!) than a regular bubble wand that you have to blow through. The regular wand that comes with the bubbles leaks all over and often doesn't even produce a bubble after you blow. So frustrating.
For mom and dad and for Mason.

So after I bought the mini bubble gun, everyone was happy.

Until I found the jumbo, Spiderman bubble gun that I gave Mason for Valentine's Day. This thing produces like a million bubbles a second and all is right in the world again.

But instead of throwing away the mini bubble gun, I washed it off (so it was no longer sticky and bubbly) and gave it to Mason to play with. He didn't really know what to do with it at first and more just put it in his mouth. But he loves it when I pull the trigger and the wind blows in his face. So for the past couple weeks, I've been showing him how to hold his hands around the handle and how to pull the trigger so the little fan turns on and spins.

He was kind of getting it last week but Friday was when he REALLY got it. I was home with him and we had a few minutes to kill before we left for his appointment so I found the bubble gun and brought it to him. I put his hands around the handle and put his finger on the trigger and pulled. The fan turned on and his face lit up. I walked away to get our stuff together to leave and I just kept hearing the fan turn on again and again.


Best sound ever.

The sound of your child really getting it. 
Really understanding how something works and how to do it HIMSELF.

Best feeling ever.

So it was time to leave and I let Mason bring the bubble gun in the car. Literally the whole way to the appointment, he just kept pulling the trigger and turning on the gun.



He also likes to stick his finger in the way of the fan and it turns spins (it doesn't spin fast at all and it doesn't hurt his finger at all to stick it in the way of the fan spinning). I can't quite type out the way the noise sounds, but it's pretty funny. And he giggles each time. I couldn't help but have a HUGE smile on my face and giggle to myself the whole way to the appointment.

My little boy isn't so little anymore and that makes me a little sad.
BUT what more than makes up for it is the fact that he is learning and growing and becoming such an inquisitive toddler. This makes my heart explode with happiness and I can't wait to teach him so much more!


Boys weekend.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

While Mason and I were having a fun filled Mommy/Mason weekend having Target dates, park dates, lunch dates with Bubbie (his great-grandma), dinner dates with his auntie/cousins/Grandma Judy/Grandpa George, Gymboree dates, and grocery shopping dates, Seth was off in Arizona having a fun filled weekend of his own!

Seth's dad (aka Papa), our brother-in-law, Shawn, and Seth all headed out to Arizona bright and early Friday morning to go to some Angels Spring Training games. Seth was beyond excited since this is something that he has wanted to do for...forever! We've talked about it before but have never gotten around to doing it (since it's such a short window of one month). The closest we got was a Colorado Rockies game last March with Seth's cousins who live in Scottsdale. We did take a little day trip (it was like 20 minutes away from their house) to Tempe Diablo Stadium to see it but the Angels were back in Southern California by then so we couldn't go inside.

The boys left early Friday morning to avoid traffic since this weekend adventure is something that lots of people like to do. They made good time and got there in plenty of time before the game. Friday's game was a home game at Tempe Diablo Stadium vs the Royals. The boys got there early enough before the 1pm start time so they did a little shopping and autograph hunting.

View from their seats on Friday and Papa somewhere way down there waiting for the autographed baseball.

Mason was lucky enough to get a rally monkey and a Josh Hamilton autographed baseball!

The boys had lunch at the stadium, complete with beers, and the Angels ended up winning the game 7-3.
Not a bad way to start off the weekend!

After the game, they checked into their hotel and then headed to Chelsea's Kitchen for dinner. Seth said that it was really good so if you are ever in the Phoenix area, check it out!

Saturday started off by meeting a friend for breakfast at Mike and Ronda's The Place in Glendale and then heading over to the stadium a little early. Saturday's game was vs the Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park. Each team has their own stadium for Spring Training. Most west coast teams are in the Phoenix Metro area in Arizona and the east coast teams are in Florida. This stadium was no more than 30 minutes max from the boys hotel. 

View from their seats at Saturday's game.

The Angels won this game too, 9-6.

Seth says that they must be good luck and need to go to every game now. That sounds expensive.
Luckily he can watch all the games on tv and we have tickets to five games this season so hopefully that is good enough and the winning streak can continue!

Saturday night they ate at Cornish Pasty Co. at the recommendation of a friend and said it was incredible! Their whole menu is made up of different types of pasties. The way Seth described a pasty was that it is a pastry, flattened and cut into a circle, filled with meat and/or vegetables, then folded to wrap up the filling, crimping the edges to form a seal. Again, if you are in the Phoenix area, check this place out!

Sunday they had breakfast at Harlow's Cafe and then headed home.


I am super glad he got to have his boy weekend away but Mason and I were both super happy to have him back come Sunday afternoon! I'm sure Mason was sick of me and I could use re-enforcements :)

[BOY MOMS] Sara from Running from the Law

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hello everyone! I’m Sara and I blog over at Running from the Law. I’m a full-time lawyer and mama to 22 month old wild-child and “all boy” Mac. I’m also pregnant with a little girl (Mim), due in July, so my days of being exclusively a “boy mom” are numbered. I’m thrilled to be here with you today sharing my take on why I think being a boy mom is so incredibly wonderful and a few things that have surprised me about raising a boy.

I’ve always known that I wanted to have a son. I grew up the oldest of four – the only girl with three younger brothers. I think living in a family with so many rowdy, dirty boys gave me the view that kids (and family life) should be loud and rambunctious, messy and busy. Despite my love of dresses and books, I was a tomboy through and through. I grew up in the country, hunting and fishing with my dad, playing in the mud with the boys and dominating every G.I. Joe battle that came my way. I can shoot a bb gun, make a mud pie, pitch a tent, start a fire and clean a fish with the best of them. Whenever I thought about my future “mom self,” I always pictured going on camping trips, refereeing games of cops and robbers and cheering in the stands at baseball games. I'd be the type of mom that can build awesome forts, identify various bugs/spiders, know how to patch knee holes in pants and doesn't mind balls being thrown through the house.  That’s what I was used to.

My husband was one of two boys in his family and very much a “guys’ guy.” When we finally found out we were expecting (after a long struggle with infertility), we both “not so secretly” expressed our desire to have a boy first. We weren’t against having a girl (girls can camp and fish too!), but we wanted a son first. Just the idea of a potential future daughter (or son) having an older, wiser and protective big brother warmed my heart. So when the big day came and the ultrasound technician finally confirmed that our baby had “junk,” we both high-fived each other and squealed with delight. 

Even with three younger brothers, and as much as I thought I was prepared to be a boy mom, there are still so many things about raising a boy that has surprised me. Here are just a few of them: 

1. The love for trains, cars, trucks, buses and tractors is ingrained in boys.

It seems like all little boys adore things with wheels. I thought this was something that was learned, but now I know it is hardwired in their tiny brains to become obsessed with trains, trucks and tractors. Despite me doing anything to foster or encourage this love, my child is drawn to vehicles like a moth to a flame. Which in turn, means they are my life now too. I now know the names of at least 20 types of tractors. I point out every single fire engine, ambulance, school bus or tow truck we see because it makes Mac so happy. We go to the zoo exclusively to ride the train, not to see the animals. We watch shows about construction sites, sing songs about buses and read books about the mail truck. Thursday morning is a big deal at our house because it’s garbage truck day. It never ends.

2. Boy clothes are SO easy.

I’m not sure I fully appreciated just how easy it is to dress a boy until I found out #2 is a girl and started buying clothing for her. With Mim, I’m buying tights, leggings, headbands, bows, dresses, skirts, tops, cardigans, etc. With Mac, it’s pants, shirt and sneakers - dressing him is so easy! (Well, other than the part of physically restraining him and keeping him still long enough to get clothing on him.) All of his clothing is pretty inexpensive and relatively durable. Basically everything goes together and matches (even if it doesn’t really). I don’t worry about labels or styles or trendiness. He doesn’t need accessories or matching socks or coordinated outfits. He’s just going to get filthy anyway. As much as I’m looking forward to dressing a little girl, I’m pretty pleased with the convenience and lack of drama of dressing a boy.

3. Boys never slow down.

From the moment he wakes up to the moment he passes out, Mac is going going going nonstop. He is the most active, wild, adventurous, continuously energetic child I’ve ever met. Mac has two speeds: fast and faster. Maybe it’s just me expressing my absolute exhaustedness (give me a break…I am pregnant), but Mac seems to run circles (literally) around every other child we meet. One minute he’s dumping out all the dog food and splashing in the water bowl and as soon as I turn around he’s standing on top of the kitchen counter trying to help himself to a snack. My husband and I joke about possibly feeding him less or putting him on the treadmill every morning to try to wear him down so he’ll sit still for more than 3 seconds at a time. He is wild! Does every boy mom feel like this?

4. Boys are rough, but affectionate.

Believe me, I’ve been in enough knock-down drag-out fights with my brothers to know that boys are rough. They wrestle, fight, hit, tackle and roughhouse. I think it’s probably really healthy for little boys to be so physical, whereas little girls are much more verbal. However, I have been so incredibly surprised by the kindness, gentleness and sensitivity of my son. He is gentle with our animals and loves them so openly. He shows wonderful empathy and sensitivity when someone is hurt. He is very affectionate with us, generously giving hugs and kisses – even though the hugs start with a running leap and end with a full-on body tackle. Those are actually the best kind of hugs.

5. Boys love their mamas.

I’ve heard this a million times, but until you experience it first-hand, there really is nothing more amazing than being the love of your son’s life. Little boys love their mamas. Actually, lots of big boys love their mamas too and I’m hoping that we are raising a boy that will not only grow into an amazing husband and father, but one that will still call his mama for advice and support. My husband is a total mama’s boy (I mean that in the best possible way), so I am constantly asking her advice on how to raise such loving, respectful and compassionate young man. I know that one day (probably very soon), my husband will become my son’s best friend and most trusted companion as they start to go on adventures together and do “boy stuff.” But I also know that despite a mutual love of sports or hunting, I’ll still be his mama and will always be his first love.

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Thanks so much to Elizabeth, for letting me be a part of this amazing series.  I'm now nearly two full years into being a "boy mom" and have loved every single second of it.  It's exactly what I thought it would be and better.  My little man is the love of my life.  However, I can't say that I'm not absolutely beyond excited to try out being a "girl mom" too when Mim arrives this summer.  I look forward to all the wonderful things that we'll teach each other and get to experience together, like prom dress shopping and spa days.  I just hope she likes camping and making mud pies too!  

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If you would like to share a post about you and your son, email me at elizabethrose84@gmail.com .
I would love to feature you! You don't have to have a blog to participate!