recovery mode and bindi irwin makes me cry

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Almost a week late, but whatever.

We came back late (laaaate) Sunday night after spending a few days with our Jones family in Dallas. I kept saying to C, "Wow, this has been SUCH a good trip" the entire time there. We stuffed ourselves with food, and I tell ya...leftover turkey sandwiches with avocado, bacon, and cranberry sauce are almost as good as the main event on Thanksgiving day. The kids loved playing with their cousins, and well, that pretty much just made everything. I could have sat in the airport for four days doing nothing else and it would have been worth it just to see them with family. Mind you, I would have probably been wild-haired-looting the Hudson News candy stash by day two, but it would've been worth it.

And now that we're back, we're still in recovery mode. Pato didn't wake up till after nine our first day back, and I definitely had that, "Um, I really hope he's still breathing" thought. I'm also in "Oh-my-gosh-I-have-to-make-Christmas-memorable-now" mode. I feel like this might be the first Christmas where the kids really start remembering, so I'm trying my best to make it one where the kids don't look back and just remember sitting in front of the TV overdosing on Daniel Tiger and Doc McStuffins.

I'm pretty sure that come January, I'll be dying to take a long luxurious bath to recuperate from the holidays. I mean, I think baths are still a luxurious thing, right? It's been so long...I don't even know, guys. 

ps. Anyone watching Dancing With the Stars? (Don't make fun. I gave up the Kardashians long ago.) But this season! That Bindi Irwin makes me cry EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I actually started crying about a month ago just telling someone about it. I blame the hormones. Or just Bindi. Darn you, Bindi!

Nuna IVVI Stroller...and what we love about it :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


With each passing day, I'm not only noticing my belly getting bigger and bigger, but it's been hitting me how much older my girl is getting. Long gone are the days where we would stay up watching her on the baby monitor as she would often randomly wake up and stare into her dark room without making a sound. Now I have a fully certified little girl with opinions of her own...opinions that she's definitely not afraid to share with us. 

Edamame: yes.
Dogs: no.
Peanut butter and jelly: only on occasion. 
Bunnies: can't get enough of them.

The same goes with J. Just last night, I was singing a song to him, and mentioned how he is still my baby. He quickly corrected me, and said, "But mama! I'm not a baby!" Lately, we've noticed that he's become more attached to his stuffed animals, and often will call them his "childs." Several times a week, he will go as far as put them down for naps; blinds drawn, sound machine on, and his piggy night light set on green. I think this is one of the ways he's getting ready for the new baby. 


We recently received a new stroller and baby cot from Nuna, and the second I put it together, he wanted to put his stuffed animals in! He waited anxiously in the room as I assembled it, which luckily took close to no time at all. I was a little unsure how I'd be able to handle it with the belly in the way, but really, a snap here, a snap there, and it was ready to go. For a second, I kinda felt like superwoman there with all my put-things-together powers :)  

Technically, J is still big enough for it, so he was more than happy to sit in it for its first test run to the playground. It was so chilly outside, that I actually had to convince him to get out of it! (S, of course, needed no convincing because she just loves being outdoors. He (and I) thought it was so fun that it could easily go from forward facing to backwards facing, and I'm already so excited for when we get to use it with the new little guy!

S actually was a big fan of the baby cot attachment. As soon as I took it out of the box, she quickly ran upstairs and said, "Don't go anywhere! I have the perrrrfect thing for it!" She came down with a little pillow for it and proudly said, "See! When the baby comes i'll give him the pillow and he can lay in there! It will be so great!!"


Right now, Nuna is running an awesome deal for Black Friday where they are including the cot for free (!!!) when you purchase an IVVI stroller from Nuna.eu! The deal starts tomorrow (11/25) and runs through Monday (11/30). There are so many little things about it that I keep finding. You know when you go, "Ohhh, that's awesome! Oohs I LOVE how it reclines! And the canopy!" Things that I never imagined saying ten years ago!


I tell ya. I really am already dreaming of those days when I can push this little baby along for walks. It goes by so quickly. Too much so.

Oh, and hey there feet! Glad you're still there!

*Thank you, Nuna, for partnering with us! 

Breaking the silence with muffins.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Breaking the silence over here. Feels like several times a year, I go on a bit of a blog hiatus. And I always feel like I have to do that "I'm sorry for being gone for so long" thing. But, I've had several friends tell me lately that I need to stop apologizing things for so much, so I'm not going to do that. C's Granny is a bit like that. During our college days, C and I would go over to her house for Sunday dinners. Her meals were always delicious and warm...not warm as in temperature (although, they were that) but also warm as in "this feels like home" warm. Without fail, every week she would apologize for her "meager" meals, and we had to reassure her that she needn't apologize, and that it was much a luxurious alternative to the Hamburger Helper that we'd probably be making for ourselves anyway. (Not that I'm dissing Hamburger Helper. I will proudly admit that C and I are secretly big fans of it on occasion. And I only feel a little guilt about that.) 

Anywho. In fact, I've had a very good reason for this break. Baby number three is on the way, and the first trimester really threw me for a loop. And by loop, I mean it feels like someone threw me into a washing machine on the heavy duty cycle. But, more about that later. 

So, since my last post, not only have we added to our family, but also moved all the way across the country. Philly is home for now, and we're really growing to love it. It has certainly been an adjustment from our life back in Williamsburg, and I'm pretty sure that as hard as I try, I'll never stop mourning the loss of having a Trader Joe's five minutes away from me. 

We are adjusting to our life here and finding our groove. I think we almost have it down now. It's certainly not fast paced or glamorous, but I doubt we'll ever have much of those options anyway. I love our mornings where we have nothing planned except to make breakfast together. The muffins pictured were ones S and I whipped up last week. Now, I'll admit, I've never actually made muffins from scratch. Scratch that. I've never made berry muffins from absolute scratch. I may never again because these were so delicious! I'll be adding the recipe at the bottom, lest you think I actually whipped these up in my brain. HA. Now that would be something. 

So, here's to more blog posts and more muffins!

Blackberry Muffins: from SimplyRecipes 

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream (I used vanilla yogurt instead) 
1 teaspoon milk
1 cup sugar
8 Tbsp warm melted butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups (about 5-6 oz) of fresh blackberries, cut in half (often available at Trader Joe's, you can use frozen blackberries if fresh are not available, defrost and drain them first.) (I also threw in some fresh raspberries)

Method
* Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a standard 12 muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups. (Actually, with the berries you'll have more batter than just for 12 muffins. This batch made 18 muffins.)
* Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
* In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, milk, sugar, butter and vanilla.
* Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the berries. (If you are using frozen berries, defrost them first, then drain the excess liquid, then coat them lightly in flour.) Do not overmix! Overmixing will cause the muffins to be dense, not fluffy. The batter should not be smooth.
* Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, 17-20 minutes (or longer). Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack.
Serve as soon as possible, preferably within a few hours of baking. (This wasn't a problem. We ate ALL of them within a few hours!)

Mama

Sunday, August 9, 2015



Mama.

I remember really being hit with the fact that I was a mama to a tiny little person when they wheeled me out of the hospital after having S. It was hot, dreadfully humid, and it hurt for me to even turn from one side of the bed to the other. But, I was on cloud nine. As I watched my husband put her carseat into our car, I looked back at the hospital where I had just spent the last three days and thought, "Wait! Hold on. Wheel me back in there! You're just going to let us LEAVE with her?? You know we've never DONE this before, right? What kind of real hospital are you to just let people walk out with babies?!"

Thank goodness we had help from people that knew what they were doing. And when you set the bar low, like "Okay, let's first work on just keeping her alive for now" low, it turns out you can surpass your own expectations pretty quickly.

Back to mama.

I tell ya. Sometimes, I wish my kids would call me annnnything but that. Call me any name under the sun- just don't say "mama" for one entire minute.

One time, I decided just for kicks, I'd count how many times I heard my kids say "mama" on the ride home from church. It was pretty close to twenty, and the ride was about fifteen minutes long. I think the average is much higher other times.

And there are so many ways of saying it, aren't there?

Here are just a few I came up with:

"Mama! Do you know where my Lightning McQueen issssss??" He only loses it like a million times a day.

There is also...

"Mamaaaaa....pleassssse! I want to paint my nails nowwwww." Did I mention we are now the proud new owners of a pink nailed-polished blanket. (Just grin and smile. Grin and smile!)

Oh, and you can't forget the...

"Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. MAMA. Watch me! ARE YOU WATCHING?!"

But then, there are the "mama's" that make your heart almost skip a beat.

"Mama. Will you cuddle me?"

Lastly, my all time favorite: "I love you, mama."

And doesn't it just get ya when they tell you that you love you after you've had a particular crummy day where you didn't exactly nail it in the mama department? It's like they know.

Last but not least, there's just "mama."

This morning, S came quietly into our room saying that she didn't feel well. She crawled up next to me, and just said, "mama." She said it in a way that I knew she hurt and I knew she needed me. So she laid with her head on my chest for the next hour or so, and I just held my little girl. I kept repeating, "I'm right here, baby," as I stroked her hair.

I am the luckiest to have two amazing little people call me "mama." Sure, sometimes I feel like my day is like a broken record of "mama's" but there's no other name that is more important to me. Inevitably, they'll outgrow the "mama" phase and move on to just calling me "mom" and that's okay, too. But, I'll forever treasure these mama days, and remind myself that they're short, so I'll take every version of "mama" I can get.

***

"Mama" necklace c/o Leila. You can find the exact necklace here. I haven't taken it off since I got it :) I'm a sentimental sap like that. 

A little confession and our summer essentials.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


So I'm about to say something that's going to make a lot of people think I'm crazy.

I don't like summer. At all. 

And that's putting it mildly. The heat, the humidity, the lack of boots and layers! Come spring time, I always get a little bummed because I know summer is just around the corner. When I tell people this, I often get the, "This girl is crazy! I'm going to back away slowly" look. 


But, the kids have no idea of this, and insist that we spend as much time out and about as possible. And you know what? Their enthusiasm really has a way of rubbing off on me. And the fact that we're no longer in Virginia really helps! (Sorry, Virginia! You know I love ya! But your summers are brutal!) I actually turned to my husband the other day and said, "You know what? This may be my favorite summer ever!" 

The summer here in Utah has been absolutely gorgeous. It cools down at night, and today we felt an amazing breeze as we were playing outside. If all summers were like this than, boy, call me converted. 
I think another reason I'm not crazy about summer is that I miss my leggings and sweaters too much! Anyone with me? I have one or two jackets hanging in my closet in hopes that maybe I'll need it one day soon. Or maybe I stand in the closet, put my leather jacket on, close my eyes and pretend it's hot cider weather. No? No one does that? 


Seeing as how summer is inevitable, and there's no way we could spend our entire day inside just for the air conditioning, dressing my kids in things they can run and play in, while still keeping cool (and cute) is super important. And while I know it cuts way down on laundry, I can't just let Pato sit in his undies all day...though I'm sure he wishes I would! 


Is it normal that a three-year-old have such strong opinions about what they wear? S prefers dresses and rompers over anything. My guess is that it's because she hates to sit still, and would rather I get the dressing over with. So, most days, she slips on a dress and is ready to go. I love dresses that can be used for play but also to wear to nicer places, like to church on Sundays. Again, cutting on the laundry.


Rompers may also be so prevalent in her closet right now because I have a mild obsession with them at the moment. Why can't they all come in my size?! I love these especially because sometimes it's a little cooler in the mornings and evenings.  


As for little Pato? He doesn't care much what I put on him. He's more of a shoe guy anyway. His favorites are anything he can slip on "alllll myself" and "blue!" 

I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe, next year my confession will be that I actually like summer? 

Eh.....that's to be seen :) But, at least these two sure make summer look cute! 

*** This post was a collaboration with H&M. H&M has always been one of our go-to stores for children's clothes, and we're excited for this chance to collaborate with them! They were the perfect place to have our summer essentials covered. 


We don't eat sand pies.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


I overheard S having the following conversation earlier today...
Little Girl: Look! I made some sand pies! Do you want one?
S: Um. No, thank you. We don't eat sand pies.


I took the kids to the "beach" today because we were missing some of our favorite things we used to do back in Virginia. I say "beach" though really, it's a smallish area of sand on a man-made lake in our neighborhood. The kids didn't turn their noses up one bit at it, and they didn't even seem to mind that the sand was definitely not as soft as the sand we're used to. 


As for this guy? Well, I had to stop him from pelting the poor ducks with sand. 


(And yes, yes I know. Those sandal tan lines. Pato had those tan lines before the summer even started. As in...they were last year's tan lines. Oh, I hope he won't hate me when he's a too-cool teenager with Saltwater tan lines from his toddler days.) 

Later in the day, we were all cuddling on the couch, and Pato turned to me and said, "Mama, thanks for taking us to da beach. Dat was fun." Bless his heart. 

I really needed to hear that. With the couple of off days we just had, it felt so good to have a GOOD day. To not go to bed thinking, "I just need this day to be over." Aside from the drama of S experiencing her very first bee sting (hey, the good news is now we know she's not allergic!) I'd say this day was just what I needed to re-charge. 

Another good thing? I wore those two out so much, that come bedtime, they went down without a fight. That's what beaches are for, right? Wearing kids out? 

It's okay.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Today I've been off. 

Well, that's not true. I've had a couple of days where my kids could tell you that I've been a less than stellar mama.

I've grinned and smiled till the impatient monster snuck out of me and I was speaking in a tone much louder than I would like. I immediately felt just awful, but was too frustrated to say sorry.

As I sat in the car, trying to choke back the lump in my throat my mom turned to me and said, "It's okay. It's okay."

And she's right. Because at the end of this day, I would say these two are some of the most loved kids I know. I hope most parents could say that. But I love these two with every fiber of my being, and I'm so lucky because they give me do-over after do-over.

So today, after mama put herself in time out for a little bit, I walked back to my kids, and we hugged it out. I promised that I would try to be more patient, and they said, "It's okay, mama. It's okay."

I know at some point in our lives, we become hardened and distrustful. We no longer forgive at the drop of a hat. I hope they can stay that way as long as they can, and when the time comes, learn that forgiving, while hard at times, is so much more easy to carry in your heart than anger.

***
J's romper c/o June & January

"It's only for children who have underwears!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Would you know that while I was taking these pictures, they were singing and dancing to "Shake it Off?" 

To hear them sing it cracks me up, especially since the only lyrics they actually know are "shake it off...ah ah...shake it off!" 

So...now that we live so close to an ikea, I decided to see why I've heard so many moms talk about what a great place it is to take kids. 

Two words: chocolate cake. And play place. So, four words. 

I decided to go way out of my comfort zone, and dropped S off at the play place, and have some one-on-one time with Pato. He couldn't go with her because as she will tell you, "Its only for children who have underwears!" She marched right in there, telling me not to worry MOM! That she would have fun and make friends. As I filled out a little sheet out before the the drop-off (I felt like I was signing a form to let a total stranger take her to Abu Dhabi or something) she was basically begging me to hurry up. I quickly scribbled out some contact information (although who knows if it was even legible...I'm telling you...she was insistent) and off she went. When the lady working up front asked if I wanted to leave her for the full hour-and-a-half or just the hour I almost fell over. 

"Just an hour. Wait...do I have to leave her the FULL hour??"

"No. Of course you can pick her up earlier!"

I made it a full forty-five minutes, folks. 

But, those forty-five minutes were so good! I let Pato pick out any treat he wanted, and naturally, he went straight for the big honkin' slice of "chocowet cake!" He only let me sneak in three bites, and he finished the whole thing. I do not know how he does it! In between bites of cake, he mostly wanted to talk about his sister, and I can't blame him. When I asked him if he was ready to get her, he leapt out of his seat. And so did I, for that matter. We were ready to get our girl.

I peeked in on her for a second just playing contentedly by herself and I wanted to scoop her up and smother her with kisses. So when she ran out with that huge smile on her face, I did just that. 

One of those parenthood moments, you know? 

***

In totally unrelated news. Anyone else watching Grey's Anatomy? UGH. Just ugh. McDreamy? Why?! I'm never watching again. Well, that's a lie. I'm watching it now. BUT, I'm mad. I can't stop because I'm a sentimental sap about everything. I started binge watching this show right when S was born to pass the time as she nursed. So, I feel this silly little tie to it because it reminds me of that time. 

Hanging in there.


Daniel Tiger I tell ya. I wouldn't survive in a world without it. I mean, I get it. Billions of people do manage to go on living their meaningful lives everyday without it, but as for me...I wouldn't make it. I'd be a nutcase of a mother. If there's two things that bring these two together in the worst of times, it's food and that little tiger. And it usually buys me about twenty-three minutes of peace. 

And right now, I'd do just about anything for some peace. 

Things have been pretty quiet on the blogging front, and for a good reason. In the past few months, our lives have been turned upside down. I feel like I was inside a Christmas snow globe, and an over-zealous toddler just shook us up. And shook and shook and shook. In a span of two months-ish, we traveled across the world, came back, packed up our entire house, and drove across the country.

To be honest, I don't know how I held it together. I think I came pretty close to just throwing all our things in the trash and never looking back. But, with the help of my mother-in-law, and friends who feel like family, we got it all done. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how. 

Now, I'm sitting here battling our two that don't want to go to sleep because I swear it doesn't get dark till like midnight here. I feel for them. I really do. Both were so heartbroken to see all their belongings packed into boxes and out of their rooms. We are trying so hard to make our temporary Utah house feel like home to them, but I know they miss Virginia. I miss it, too. 

Well, not the heat. Certainly never that. The temperatures have been simply glorious here. That eases the pain a bit. 

But, I'm so proud of our two monkeys. I know they are trying hard to keep it together as well, and sometimes when I see them just cry and cry over one thing or another, I wonder if it feels good to just release all those feelings. Those "mom-and-dad-took-all-my-stuff-and-strapped-me-to-my-car seat-for-five-days" blues. And the "my-toys-are-gone" blues. And the "our-little-best-friends-live-so-far-away" blues. 

And Sof! Bless her heart. Bless that little girl's heart. Everywhere we go she gives herself a little pep talk. She says she will be brave and make new friends. And so far, she HAS been so brave. Just in primary last Sunday I watched her shyly, but also confidently say, "I'm Sofia Jones, and I'm from Virginia." And after church she couldn't wait to tell us about how she wasn't scared and that she had made new friends. Sigh. 

Oh, Virginia, we just weren't quite ready to quit you. 


Just Jokin'!

Saturday, April 4, 2015


My latest post at What to Expect is up, and I talk about how this little man's sense of humor has gotten us into trouble recently!

You can find the article HERE!

Also. I may or may not be to blame for my kids' dumb sense of humor. 

She Says: I don't want to smile.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


S: Mom. Will you take a picture of me in front of my books?
Me: Sure! But, aren't you going to smile?
S: No. I don't want to smile. Take a picture of me just standing here like this. 

I love this weird kid. Wouldn't want her any other way. 

Sketches by S




About a month ago, we had the grand idea to buy S her very own sketch pad. Most mornings, she wakes up and wants to color. I started feeling bad about all the paper we were going through (sorry, trees!)  and thought this was a good way to focus her drawings more. I've been really impressed by the things she's been drawing and especially proud because I don't have a single artistic bone in my body! I've always wished I could draw or paint, but what I visualize in my head never seems to translate well onto paper. C, on the other hand, is a great artist (though he won't admit it) so I'm really glad that she seems to be following in his footsteps. 

You know what I love most about her artistic side? I love that it's something that SHE loves to do. It is something she decided she could get the hang of, and not something I forced her into. I love the surprising parts of parenting that are like this. Seeing your children develop interests of their own. That's just a really cool thing, you know? Sometimes as she walks by me, humming to herself, with an idea in mind of what she's going to do next, I find myself thinking, "Holy cow! That's a real-life small person right there!" With real-life likes and dislikes! Likes French fries, but doesn't like potatoes. Likes to pretend, but dislikes dressing-up. Likes (loves) seaweed, but doesn't like grapes. Likes to help me cook but dislikes (hates) the vacuum. 

Now, hopefully she can get on board with field hockey. Because, yeah yeah yeah, I want her to have her own interests. But, field hockey is non-negotiable. 

We just made some crumbs for you!

<<Insert chirping crickets here.>>

Between sicknesses and traveling and dance parties and tantrum-ing, things have been pretty busy around here. And things don't really look like they will slow down any time soon. 

Which means that every spare second I have, you can find my not folding laundry, ha! Seriously. How does that work? Over the past two days I feel like I've folded and put away so much but the pile looks just as big. If anyone is looking for a gift for me, a laundry fairy would MAKE my day!

But, really. I miss my *semi* regular posting for the main fact that I know I'm not recording a lot of the good stuff. The boring, mundane, and un-glamorous things that I am so lucky to call mine. 

So to start off this April....a little bit from today: 

After finishing their post-nap sack, S excitedly ran to me and yelled, "Mommy! We just made some crumbs for you! So you can clean them up!"

I mean. How did she KNOW that's exactly what I wanted! Haha. 


Pato Says

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This boy sure know how to make my heart go pitter patter, even if he has been a bit of a grump lately. Don't let him hear you call him that though, or he will let you know, "I am NOT bumpy!"

He's starting to learn the art of teasing his big sister, which sometimes ends with S running to me in tears. The other day she came to me sobbing and said, "Pato says he's not my best friend. But he IS my best friend!"

My guess is she asked him if they were best friends, and he responded with an emphatic "no!" These days, we've been getting a lot of these emphatic no's from him. Or, "I'm sad! I'm sad uh-cuz...nothing." 

He's also constantly coming up to me and saying, "Play wif me, mommy?!" 

But the funniest thing he's been doing is he'll purposely call us by different names, and laugh while doing it. He'll look at me and say, "Hi Daddy!" with a big cheesy smirk on his face. He calls us anything from Mickey Mouse, to Grammy, to any one of his cousins. He thinks it's hilarious. 

Now if only he'd stop waking up before 7.....or 6. Because I'll tell you what. Those early wake up calls are anything but hilarious! 



What We're Reading

Monday, March 2, 2015



One of my favorite things to do with the kids is to go to the library together. I always look forward to our weekly trips, and love that my kids have developed their own love and appreciation of books. J will often carry his favorite book around with him, and ask us to read it time and time again! It's always interesting which one he gravitates to each week.

Last month, we made a goal to read five hundred new books together by the end of the year. We are well on our way, and I thought I'd start keeping track of what we've read. I'll  post the titles here, and will do a quick round-up of the ones we enjoyed most that week. I know that I'm always looking for new suggestions, so perhaps this will help someone else out! 


Here are the books we particularly enjoyed this last week!

Frozen Noses by Jan Carr: This last week we've enjoyed not one, but two snowfalls. This book was fun to read because after spending hours outside, we definitely had our share of frozen noses!

Penguin in Peril by Helen Hancocks: This was a fun one. I bit over S's head, so we had to explain it a little to her as the book went on. I really liked the artwork in this one, and it was fun to watch how the penguin was able to evade the cats that were after him. 

Tales of Oliver Pig by Jean Van Leeuwen: I try to get at least one easy chapter book per week. I love the idea of S starting to read books without so many pictures so she can practice using her imagination. One of the stories was about making cookies, so you know S enjoyed that! The other stories were simple, sweet, and very easy for her to follow.

A Mud Pie for Mother by Scott Beck: This one was a huge hit, especially with Pato. He carried "his" library book with him all over the house, and I think we read it no less than twenty times. By the time we returned it, he was able to recite a good chunk of it. The story is about a little pig who wants to get something special for his mother's birthday. He ends up getting her "just what she wanted," but not the way he originally intended. 

Sunflowers by Gail Saunders-Smith: In addition to fiction, every week I also make sure to check out non-fiction educational books. This book is part of a series, and they are super simple to understand. What I love is that S really learns a lot from them, and she picked this one out because she loves sunflowers! She says that she doesn't want to try sunflower seeds, though. Maybe it has something to do with Daddy saying that if she ate one, one would grow in her belly.


Napping together

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I actually took these pictures two days ago. And you better believe I held my breath as I took these shots. S is a pretty light sleeper, and I kept thinking, "You're crazy! Do you really have to take a picture and risk waking them?!" 

The answer is yes. I'm so glad I did, too! This was the first time they had ever slept together. After running around town the other day, S asked me if she and Pato could take their naps together. Right away, he got really excited about the idea, and I didn't have the heart to say no. 

I was sure it wouldn't work. But, ten minutes later, I peeked in and found them like this. I couldn't believe it! The one downside was that someone woke the other up (they both told me the other did it.) Overall, this gives me hope that maybe they could share a room down the road. I love the idea of them being in a room together and having their own little conversations. 

Fast forward to today. We woke up to a hefty amount of snow this morning, and S couldn't wait to play in it. We spent the morning shoveling and making a snowman. After coming in for lunch, S asked if they could nap together again. Sure, why not? I told them to be very quiet and not wake each other up. 

I adore these little sweethearts, and I love that they want to spend so much time together. And if it means better naps, you know I'll take it! 

A little plant for a little girl.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A couple months ago, we stopped by the dollar section of Target on our way in.

I mean, how could we NOT? They put all these stickers, funky socks, and wacky headpieces there knowing full well kids can't resist them. If I prepare in advance, I can sometimes distract the kids with a snack as we go in. Or, I throw them in the cart and pull a "Woah! Look over there!" and make a mad dash past the glitter and seasonal packs of pencils. But, on this particular day, S found a tiny pot that came with a little pack of seeds. The label said it was for some type of flower, and for a buck, I thought it would be fun for her. 

So we took the little kit home. We planted the seeds, pot the little pot by a window to get some sun, and this little girl watered it dutifully. Maybe too dutifully? Not dutifully enough? I really have no clue.

Every day she would look to see if anything was growing from the soil. Now, I may not know a thing about growing a plant, but I do like them, however, because they remind me of my Abuelita. When I was little, I remember that I used to love watering her plants with her. In her apartment, she had an entire wall covered in green. Plants growing everywhere and entertwining. You almost couldn't tell where one plant ended and another started. Leaves and more leaves covered that wall. I can't see a houseplant without thinking of her.

So, when S was particularly sad one morning because there still was nothing growing in her tiny pot, I told her we would go out a search for a perfect little plant. Preferably one that had a head start on the whole sprouting thing. I told her she could pick any one she wanted, and she was so excited because it would be "all hers." 

After about fifteen minutes of careful inspection, she settled on this little guy. She was very particular about what she wanted. (Not too big! Not too prickly!) It may not have been the one I would have chosen for her, but this little plant is perfect.

Now I'm really hoping that green thumbs are one of those things that skip a generation. That's a thing, right? 

Turns out, we all really kind of like each other.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I'm almost afraid to say it, but I feel like we've been in a really good groove lately. I think the cold weather and the recent snow has made us stop and slow down more. Probably because just getting the kids strapped in their car seats and getting them in and out of the car while they're both saying that they're soooo cold has really made think, "Okay...do we realllllly need to leave the house??" Last week, S pretty much forced me to take them grocery shopping because as she said, "Mom. We don't have any food." 

But, the slowness has been so good for us. We've figured out how to enjoy one another without going *totally* stir crazy. There's still some level of crazy there, don't you worry about that. The kids keep learning how to play together better and better and don't need me to constantly tell them what to do.

The other night they were taking turns making funny faces at each other and they were cracking up. I am so glad these two have each other.  

Tonight, after getting up like a dozen times, I decided to lay with S for a bit in her bed. We talked about how much we love each other. I told her I love her more than chocolate, and she told me she loves me more than pink. PINK! Can you believe it? That's high praise. 

We also talked about what each member of our family likes or loves to do. According to her...

Daddy loves books. He likes reading, going to school, eating lunch, and playing. 

Mommy loves giving kisses and hugs. Mommy also loves going places together.

Pato loves her, being silly, and making funny faces. 

That girl really has us figured out, I'd say! 

How to Properly Drink Hot Chocolate

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Step One: Start drinking right away. You never know when someone's going to come and snatch that thing away right out of your hands. 


Step Two: Pace yourself. Take a breather about every two minutes. It's essential that these breaks are long enough to gather up your drinking energy, but don't make them too long either. (See step #1.) 


Step Three: Bask in that chocolate-y goodness. And hopefully, whipped cream goodness as well. 


Step Four: Knock the last bit of that sucker back. Do not, I repeat, do not, leave any chocolate behind. That would be waste. Huge. 

I yike yo face.


His latest thing is telling me everything he likes about me. He does it at completely random moments, as if he had just noticed I was there. Sounds awful, right? (Wrong!) Whenever he gets started I get all excited and want to say, "Tell me more! Tell me more!"

But I don't. I mean, at some point my kids need to learn that they're not the center of the universe. They'll learn that someday, and I'm sure it will be quite the shock. 

So....here's the run down of what he tells me: 

Mama...

I yike yo face. 

I yike yo eyes.

I yike yo nose.

I yike yo mouth. 

I yike yo dress. 

Yes, I would say those are the top five. 

The other day he watched as I was getting my hair cut. Shortly after my hair was done, I put him down for a nap. The first thing that he said to me once he woke up was, "Oh! I yike yo hair mama! I yike yo hair-cut!" I almost squeezed the guts out of him right there.

Oh, and last Sunday at church, we were sitting in our pew, and everyone was being super quiet. Like, unusually quiet. So quiet that it felt like my kids were breathing too loudly. (Quiet at church?! Imagine that!) During one of these oddly silent times, J climbed up on my lap, grabbed my cheeks and said, "I yike yo face, mama!" He continued a bit longer, and you better believe I just sat there eating it up. 

So, to everyone who had their quiet time interrupted, I'm sorry. BUT. I couldn't just stop my son from declaring his undying love for me. 

I mean, I could. But, I couldn't. 


Please don't leave!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Umm....do I say it?

I'm afraid to say it. 

What if I jinx it?

Yeah, I'll definitely jinx it.

Whatever. I'm going to say it anyway. 

Here it goes...

||For about a week straight now, this girl has been an absolute peach.||

It's like I've found my little best friend again and we've been having so much fun together. Yes, fun! Chatting it up. Telling little secrets. Laughing at lame things that only we think are funny. (She so has my dumb sense of humor.)

Sigh.

I'm really hoping this friend isn't just making a quick stop in town. 

Lipstick

Sunday, February 1, 2015


A couple S moments from today...

Earlier, S climbed up in my lap (I tell ya, I really have to peel her off of me lately) and brushed her fingers through my hair. She then said, "I like your pink lipstick, mama. I hope maybe sometime I can have lipstick, too." 

Oh, dear. 

Also. At church today, the lady seated in front of us dropped her glasses, and they landed next to my bag. I bent over and grabbed them, and returned them to her. After doing so, S leaned over quietly and whispered to me, "That was very nice of you to do that, mama." 

*****
Love ya, girl. But I think we'll hold off on that lipstick. 

I yike kiss mommy.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


Today...

...she cuddled up right next to me and told me that I was her favorite mommy. Phew. I was getting worried there for a second that her other mommy was her favorite. (Also...I don't know where this newfound love and need to smother...I mean...cuddle me came from, but oh boy, I'll take all of it!) 

...he gave me a sorta goofy look as I was carrying him on our way to the car after lunch. He then kissed my cheek, then kissed the other, and ended with a smack right on the lips. And then...get this...he goes, "I yike kiss mommy."

Mark this one down as a GOOD day :) 

The Great Pacifier Break-Up

Thursday, January 29, 2015


The great pacifier break-up.....question mark? 

We are on day four of being pacifier-free over here, and dare I say....it's going pretty great? 

Ever since his 18-month appointment, I've been worried that our pediatrician (who we actually totally love) would call the authorities on us because we were still letting him use his pacifier. Any day, I was sure a SWAT team would show up, carrying away our babies and confiscating all pacifiers on the premises. Then I remembered that they have food in their bellies, more toys and clothes than they need, and get about a billion kisses a day. Yeah, I'd say they're doing just fine. 

Anyway. We've been putting it off and putting it off because of one reason or another. Travel. The holidays. We enjoy our sleep. Etc. Etc. 

But, I decided that if he was fully capable of saying, "I want my pacifier" as clear as day, then chances were good that he was probably too old to be needing one. 

We thought about going the same route we did with S. With her, we decided to go the aviation route. After putting her down for a nap, sometime before her second birthday, I found myself blurting out, "No more pacifier! It's gone. It's somewhere on a plane in the sky." (This was after I had cut off the tops of her pacifiers...didn't work. She would either keep sucking on them or throw a huge monster fit.) She looked at me like I had lost my mind. Like, "What on EARTH is my pacifier doing on a plane, woman?!" Good question. Good question. 

So, naturally, for days S had been asking, "When is Pato's pacifier going to go on a plane?" Like the little mommy that she is. 

Then, on Monday, I decided it was time. Pato has been saying he's a big boy lately, so I thought the "big boy" angle was the ticket. 

All morning I kept telling him what a big boy he was. And I reminded him repeatedly that pacifiers were for babies. He kept saying, "Yup!" 

So when I went to put him down for his nap I said, "Okay, Pato! No more pacifiers! Because pacifiers are for babies, right?" "Yup!" 

Annnnnnd.....that was that. Hasn't asked for it since.

*****

Just you watch. He's going to magically learn how to find this entry, learn to read, and will decide to start screaming for his pacifier just to spite us. 

Also. He's less of a baby now. Well, not at all a baby. 
That makes me the tiniest bit sad. 


An Open Letter to the Universe

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Woah. And just like that...snow!

In my last post, I put it out there. I asked the universe for some snow- and just a couple days later she delivered. Right on my doorstep! I'm going to need to start putting more things out there into the universe since I'm feeling pretty lucky at the moment.

Dear Universe. If you are reading this...here are a few other things I would deem acceptable to be dropped on my doorstep.

A laundry and/or bathroom-cleaning fairy.

Mindy Kaling. (But, don't drop her too hard. She might not dedicate her next book to me otherwise.)

A plateful of chocolate chip cookies.

The British Super Nanny.

Heck, drop all of England on my doorstep. Wait, no. Our landlords probably wouldn't like their house being completely crushed. Make that a one-way ticket to London.

Face lotion. I'm almost all out. Help a sister out.

And that's pretty much it. All very reasonable and realistic things.

Oh, and a potty-trained Pato. You'll have to train him pretty quick because I really start missing that boy if I've been away from him for longer than an hour or two. Potty-training your two-year-old in an hour is totally a thing, right?

*****

Also!

My latest post at What to Expect is up! I tell ya. Having a three-year-old has really humbled me. I used to think I was doing a pretty okay job in the parenting department...and then I realized that nope,  I actually kind of stink at it sometimes, and I'm just trying to keep myself afloat in a pool of other parents of other three-year-olds.

You can read the post HERE.


Can it just please snow?

Saturday, January 24, 2015



Well, things have sure been quiet over here.

January is an interesting month for me. Starting in September, you start getting excited about the holidays. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas.

If there's one day that totally feels so un-festive, so UN-Christmas, it's the day after Christmas.

So, then there's January. It's cold and grey...which I actually love. And its my birthday month, which makes January a bit more fun. If only I enjoyed birthdays.

Don't ask. Maybe some other time I'll get into why I'm not too fond of my own birthday. I'm still figuring it out myself. It has nothing to do with getting older. More of the whole celebrating...eh. Too much pressure.

Anyway. I realized today that someday, I really hope we end up in a place that snows. This is the first year that we really haven't seen snow (except the sad and grey remains while up in Connecticut last weekend), and I tell ya. It's a real bummer. Like, kinda depressing. This winter just hasn't felt right without it. Doesn't help that S keeps asking if it's going to snow.

So, I'm going to publicly put it out there. Virginia, you'd really be doing be a solid if you let down some of the cold, white stuff. 

And all of you Virginians who are already begging for an early spring...don't beg so hard, okay?

Pine needles are the great deodorizer.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015



This is what happens when you are out-of-town for the holidays: it still looks like Christmas at our house. Well, not too too much. Christmas is pretty much the only holiday I decorate for, and even then, there's not a lot of it. 

But, we do still have a tree! It's looking kinda sad at the moment with little needles all over the floor- but the kids love it just the same. Plus, it still smells so heavenly! If it were socially acceptable to walk around with small bags of pine needles under my armpits I so would! (Shhh...never mind the whole prickly part. Roll with it.) 

And the Christmas cards! A couple keep trickling in and I can't bring myself to take them down yet. The kids like to point out their favorites (hint: they're ALL their favorites!) We talk about all the people in them and stories about them. 

I'm thinking maybe we keep them up till Valentine's Day?? I never did resolve to finally start being timely this year, did I? 

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