Oh My God, No One Told Us That!

No one ever told me that one night, a half an hour after putting your oldest to bed, she would literally bust into the bathroom, in just her underwear, while you are taking a bath.

Her eyes still adjusting to the light, she would immediately spot the bag of jelly beans that you were enjoying and say, “What are you doing with those?” Then, after you remind her that she’s supposed to be in bed, she’ll turn to leave, look over her shoulder and ask, “Have you seen my ballet suit?”

 

Talking Back

Reese <while in her car seat on the way home from school>: Shit! I forgot to go potty before I left school.


Reese <while driving home from the park>: Can you roll up your window? It’s too much wind!
Me: No, because I am hot and need air.
Reese: You had air at the park.


Reese: You wanna feel my esophagus?

 

James Eli at Two Years

 

DSC_0911

Dearest James,

You are two years old.

I will start out this post the same way I start out all the birthday posts,  by saying how quickly your first two years have come and gone. Probably because there were two of you, and I seemed to be always running after someone, cleaning someone, feeding someone, getting someone dressed, or rocking someone to sleep. I hope I haven’t missed too much. I hope there weren’t many times when you were trying to show me what you can do, and I was too busy to see.

You look just like your sister.

People always ask me, “is he ever unhappy?” Yes, you are, but not very often. Your smile cracks me up. It just radiates happiness. It is one of my favorite things about you.

You love the moon. You love trains and trucks and airplanes and motorcycles and the Count from Sesame Street. Your favorite thing to do is to go look at construction sites with your Dad.

You roll with the punches like a boss. You are ok to stay out past your bedtime, ok with being carted around on errand after errand, and you were a champ at the movies and at a seemingly never-ending Disney on Ice show.

You say so much. “Again” is your favorite word. When you hear a siren you say “Quick! Quick!” and point to the window. This means, we are supposed to pick you up and run to the closest window so you can see whatever emergency vehicle is speeding by. When we are in the parking lot, you always yell “Watch out! Cars!” in a tone that is very familiar and which I can only assume is mine.

You still like your sleep. You go to bed around 7 or 7:30 and usually wake up between 7 or 8. Occasionally, you’ll sleep till 9 or 10.

Your favorite books are Choo Choo, Katy, The Polar Express, Pout Pout Fish, and My First 100 Trucks.

You LOVE cheese. For the past couple of weeks that is all I can get you to eat consistently. Mealtimes are not fun right now.

You love your swimming lessons. You often push the  other kids, and sometimes the teacher, out of the way so you can get to the slide first. So unlike your mother, but I like your grit. Please hold on to a little bit of this.

Reese’s school may be one of your favorite places.When we pick her up in the afternoon and she heads down the hallway with her little friends, you are always running behind the pack, barely mobile in your massive winter coat, laughing your head off. If you could talk I think you would be saying. “Look at me! I’m one of the kids!”

You are mischievous, but your sister is a tattletale, so you don’t get very far in your endeavors before she is reporting to me, “James is STANDING on the coffee table!”

You are a momma’s boy and I love that.

You are in awe of your big sister and you are quickly learning how to push her buttons, as little brothers do.

Cheers to two years!

IMG_5231_phixr

IMG_4799_phixr

IMG_4617_phixr

IMG_4542_phixr

IMG_4946_phixr

IMG_4867_phixr

 

Talking Back

Pediatrician: So Reese, do you ride a bike?
Reese: Yep!
Pediatrician: Do you wear anything on your head when you ride?
Reese: Yea, sometimes bobby pins or bows. Sometimes headbands.


Reese: <pointing at a picture of herself and Mira>: Is that me and Mira?

Me: Yes

Reese: We’re beauties


 

Reese: James is wagging his penis at me.


 

Reese <upon entering Trader Joe’s>: Can we please stop at the cafe down there?  <referring to the free sample counter.>

Firsts

This past weekend we took Reese to her first movie.

She had been asking to go to a movie in a theater for a while. It was cold, dreary, and we had a full Saturday to kill. The only kids movie playing at our local theater was Kung Fu Panda 3.

$42 later, yes you read that correctly, two adult tickets and 1 child’s ticket at our outrageously expensive movie theater, came to $42. James was free, thank god, otherwise homeboy would have been left behind.

All in all, it didn’t go great and Reese asked to go home twice during the course of the movie. Our heads were saying, “hells no you can’t go home this just cost us $50”, but our mouths said, “it’s ok Reese, just cover your eyes at the scary parts.” Plus, we needed to see if Po got his chi back.  She spent a good portion of the movie with her eyes covered. Kai, the bull in the movie terrified her and no amount of lollipops or popcorn could fix it.

I honestly did not think it was that scary but unfortunately, Reese is JUST like her mom. I was scared of everything growing up, (including clowns which most children find delightful and hilarious) and to this day I don’t watch Dateline if I’m home alone at night.

Twice during the short car ride home Reese said, “How about you never take me to this theater again when Kung Fu Panda is playing.” Later, when Andrew was putting her to bed she asked, “Why did Mom want to take us to see that scary movie?”Also, for the past two nights at bedtime she has said that she can’t stop thinking about Kai. Awesome. A scary bull from ancient China is haunting my four-year-old’s thoughts.

So I may or may not have ruined the first movie theater experience for Reese. James, on the other hand has learned that movies include unlimited candy and popcorn so he is lifer.

Little Bird Creations

DSC_0978

April from Little Bird Creations sent me this adorable bundle of hand sewn bandana bibs, feeding bibs and a changing pad.

The first thing that surprised me about these bibs was the quality. Because the bibs are pretty affordable, I was expecting a cheapie bib that wouldn’t wash well, couldn’t handle much wear, and was mainly a fashion accessory. Not the case here! The bibs are incredibly soft and that softness held through the wash. They are also thick and handled James’s out of control drooling (teething) all day. No more cold, wet ring around the neck of all of his shirts! And they looked pretty cute too.

IMG_5087

IMG_5089

The bibs are customizable so you can choose the fabric, the pattern, and the type of closure that you want. Yay for snap closures that James can’t rip off himself and throw on the grocery store floor! The pattern choices are my favorite part. All the patterns  at Little Bird are adorable, but I love that there are a lot of gender neutral options. Take it from someone who didn’t find out the sex of either of her babies, gender neutral stuff is hard to find.

The changing pad was another great surprise, because it was better than the thin, crappy one that came with my diaper bag. I had actually ruined that one when I tried to wash it (yes, they gave me a changing pad that was not washable.) It has enough padding so baby is comfortable when you lay him down on those public restroom changing tables, its washable (!) and it is pretty friggin’ cute. Also, it can be rolled up so it doesn’t take up my whole bag.

I can’t say enough about how much I liked my Little Bird creations. Anything from the shop would make a great gift, and you wouldn’t have to feel ridiculous about how much you were spending on a baby’s bib.

Also there is this, which I just saw and now feel that I need for Reese. Girlfriend would lose her mind for a mermaid tail.

Here is Jamesie killin’ it in some of our samples

DSC_0986

DSC_0989

*I was not compensated for this review but did receive free products from Little Bird Creations.

 

On Sisterhood

094

As one of four girls, my sisters have been some of my greatest gifts in life, and today, they are my three best friends.

This is not to say that at some point in my life, I wouldn’t have gladly traded one of them for a brother; but now as an adult, I know how lucky I am. Yes they steal your clothes, hog the bathroom and the phone (back in the day of landlines), can piss you off more than anyone else in the world, and in my case, even physically assault you (no, really, we came to blows on many occasions.) But there is comfort in having people in life who know all of you, who are bound to support you no matter what and who aren’t afraid to tell you (loudly and perhaps in public) when you’re being an asshole.

One hope I have for Reese is that she will have a sister.

I used to think about this often and lately, as she gets older, I see that regardless of what happens in the future, Reese won’t miss out on a lot of the things sisters share. And that is because she has her cousin Mira.

Mira is 4 months older than Reese and she is the cool older cousin everyone has growing up. She was Reese’s first friend, and today Reese says she is her best friend. Mira lives close enough that we can see her fairly often, but each time we do it’s like Christmas. They tell secrets at the dinner table, giggling behind cupped hands. They disappear from family parties together and jump on beds. They plot new ways to torture little brothers. They imitate each other. They fight. They chase each other around the back yard and someone usually ends up crying.

I’m not sure that there are many other relationships in life like the one sisters have. But if there are, I would imagine they are a lot like those of close cousins (but without the physical assaults.)

We love you Mira-belle!

542928_3834620824129_1413523531_n

1014316_10151510861643386_1257154377_n

602796_3957045684674_1495320186_n

IMG_1691

IMG_3158

DSC_0811

IMG_4181

DSC_0870

DSC_0748

DSC_0735

IMG_4006

IMG_3657

DSC_0658

 

 

Fitness Blender

Since the holiday face stuffing has now concluded, here is a post about fitness.

Fitness Blender is now my favorite way to work out. I have always been a fan of working out at home. With two kids, and winter upon us, it is really the only way I can get it done these days.

I read about Fitness Blender in Self magazine earlier this year, and before I went to Mexico I purchased a 5 day workout plan. Since then, I have been hooked.

The site has hundreds of free videos with all different types of workouts, for all different levels. The best part about the site is that you can buy workout plans (relatively cheap, the one I got was $5.99) which will give you a workout to do every day for a specific period of time (1 week, 4 weeks, 8 weeks etc.) This was attractive to me because I always found myself getting stuck in a rut; I would get into a certain type of exercise and do it all the time. Not only would it get boring, but my body never seemed to changed because I was just working the same muscles over and over again.  You can access the videos that make up a workout program without purchasing the plan, but the plan shows you how to put them together, in order, so that you work out your entire body while avoiding injury and repetition.

The videos can be searched by length of time, calorie burn, type of exercise, difficulty level, equipment needed etc. It’s convenient and even if I only have 10 minutes to work out, I can find something to do. Also, the videos are seriously challenging. I have used other sites where the workouts labeled “most difficult” didn’t always feel hard enough to warrant my only workout for the day. Not so, with this site. The most difficult videos left me feeling as tired as  I would have after running 5 or 6 miles, and I felt like that was all I needed to do all day.

These are the best free workout videos I have found online so far and that’s why I am sharing, I wasn’t asked to write about this site and I wasn’t given any free stuff, promise!

 

 

 

 

Christmas 2015

This Christmas Reese got it. She understood the whole Santa thing, and her excitement was contagious. For Andrew and I, Christmas is once again as exciting as it was when we were kids. We bounced out of bed when we heard the faint knock at our door at 7 AM on Christmas morning.

When I was little my dad would always go downstairs before all of us kids, to “turn on the tree.” I suspect he was doing other things as well (making coffee probably, since it was literally ass crack in the morning) because waiting for him to give us the “ok” to come down always seemed to take an eternity.

This year, I sat on our couch waiting for Reese to come down.

We got Reese a bike, goggles, a Frozen snow globe (random, but she wanted it), an outfit, coloring books, paints, fashion plates, and pajamas. She got countless other gifts from family;  a new coat, shoes, a playhouse, books, clothes, dress-up outfits, etc.

James got a car, a toy tool set, truck books, clothes, coloring books, Legos, and toy trucks.

Christmas Eve was church in the evening, then dinner at our house with grandparents. Christmas morning was opening presents, eating quiche and cinnamon rolls, and riding new bikes in the church parking lot across from our house. Just the four of us.

Then it was on to Christmas Day celebrations with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

Here was our Christmas.

DSC_1134_phixr

DSC_1138_phixrDSC_1155_phixrDSC_1149_phixrDSC_1150_phixrDSC_1161_phixrDSC_1168_phixrDSC_1175_phixrDSC_1192_phixrDSC_1177_phixr