Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Lovely Saturday Evening

I feel like maybe I complain a lot on this blog. I know I've discussed the many challenges of motherhood and particularly staying home with two young ones. So tonight I thought I'd share with you all what a wonderful evening I had with my family.

After afternoon naps, we decided to head to Palo Alto and check out the couch we intend to purchase. I like to visit things multiple times before we buy them. Wait, that's not true. If I'm waiting on tax money before I can actually buy something, then I like to visit it, otherwise I'd just buy the damn thing and sit on it at my house.

Anyway, we went to visit the couch and decided to eat at Max's which is an awesome restaurant that's a fav of our family. I sort of dread eating out with both kids because Max usually gets really loud (read: throws a tantrum) out of boredom and Ben usually needs to be passed around to be kept happy. As we take our seats I realize how utterly unprepared we are. I don't have my phone so Max can't watch Elmo clips on You Tube in case of emergency and I didn't bring a single thing for Ben. No Sophie, no teething biscuits, nothing. I immediately think, "Well, we're screwed".

But, as time goes on I realize just how lovely the entire meal is. Max happily watched the piano player and drank his milk without purposely dumping it on the ground. Ben chewed on a spoon and happily played peek-a-boo with a napkin and stayed in a high chair the entire time. Max shared my chicken with me and even picked up all the food that fell onto the table and piled it onto his plate so his area was nice and tidy. Ben just smiled and laughed the entire time we ate. Ritchie and I enjoyed conversation amongst ourselves mixed with playing with the kids. Enjoying them. Laughing with them. Giving each other bites off of our forks and exclaiming how wonderful all of the food was.

After dinner was cleared Max and I walked to the cake display and he pointed to the carrot cake and so we ordered him a piece (that we all shared) for dessert. Nobody cried, nobody shouted. We were there for OVER AN HOUR with zero meltdowns. Both boys stayed seated the entire time and were engaging and well behaved.

It was the stuff dreams are made of.

And then we came home, I bathed with the kids and they both went to bed - Ben WITHOUT crying.

Sometimes things are really, really good. I know that all meals out won't be like this but I'll take a positive outing and run with it. I enjoyed my kids and husband tonight. I was truly happy to be with each of them. I don't have a single complaint. And THAT is worth blogging about!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, March 30, 2012

7 Months of Bennett

Oh, Bennett, Bennett, Bennett. What can I say about our sweet little 7 month old? I don't know why I get the feeling that this child of ours is going to keep us on our toes, but I certainly feel that way.

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Let's start with the basics:

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Sleep: We had a few good nights of sleep meaning that we got a couple of four hour stretches. Then the whole house got sick and we're back to every 2 hours or so. He naps wonderfully right now though and I can almost always count on a solid 1 hour 30 minute (+) nap from him at least once a day. He always takes more than one nap, but one really good long one. I appreciate that, Ben. If you can figure out nighttime sleep then I'd really really be grateful.

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Eating: In addition to nursing round the clock, he's now noshing on wheat baby biscuits and mum-mums (rice rusks). He eats two meals a day of fruits or veggies. He loves the mesh feeder now and we fill it with banana, avocado, frozen purees for his teeth, and mango.

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Size: He didn't have an appointment this month so I actually have no idea what he weighs, but he's in 9-12 month clothing consistently. He's filling out and we're noticing new rolls every day. He's got a perfectly round head that makes us laugh. Haha!

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Demeanor/activity: This past month has been a fussy one for Ben. He's been sick and teething and eager to move, but doesn't like to be on his tummy. He's just recently begun to roll and sort of scoot on his tummy to reach his desired object, but he has to be in a pretty content mood to be patient enough to deal with that. Everyone who predicted our mover and shaker would be crawling by 7 months was wrong! Haha! Myself included! He's beginning to want to be held a lot. There's not many times I can put him down to accomplish anything during the day. I have noticed that if Max is in the room with Ben, I can leave it, so I just have to figure out how to get Max to stay in a room without me and to entertain Ben and I'm golden.  Ben is easy to make laugh and still easily bursts out in tears over seemingly nothing. The newest thing is "strangers". Read ANYONE who is not Mommy, Daddy or Max. Tears and the most terrified look you've ever seen. Oscar winning.

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His favorite toys are anything that Max is playing with or my computer. He got his first tooth on his 7 month birthday and has enjoyed chewing mommy's nipple with it. I'm honestly about to go on a nursing strike if he doesn't knock that crap off.

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All the drool washed the chalk right off the board today. 

Everyone in the family just adores him. Max often squeals with delight and shouts, "Bennett smiling at you!" which is because Bennett has flashed him his winning grin. I can't walk past him without stopping to coo and laugh with him. When I pick him up he snuggles right into my neck and lets out happy little grunts of pleasure. When Ritchie gets home he lights up like a Christmas tree. He loves his daddy so very much. Ritchie always gets this look on his face when he sees his littlest boy light up for him and he looks like he's just melting inside. He sure has brought our family a new kind of joy. We love you, Bennett! I cannot wait to see what this next month brings for you! I predict big things for our littlest boy.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Insta Friday 3/30

I don't know about you guys, but I am pretty freaking excited that it's Friday. We were all sick this week and last week, too and I'm just ready for some R&R and hopefully (Ben willing) some sleep!!

Onward... I haven't done this in a few weeks and I've been horrible about taking instagram photos, so I just included my favorite front he past few weeks.

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A brief description from top to bottom; left to right:

1. Max in the tub 
2. Ben in a highchair at Five Guys (YUM!!) for the first time! 
3. I'm watching you. 
4. Max likes to wear my purses around the house. 
5. New hairs. 
6. We've been planning our homestead this year! It will be our first one and I'm really excited to get started! 
7. Max is an expert in separating colors, darks, whites and towels now. 
8. Ben in the swing. 
9. Mommy and Max holding hand at the train museum. 

I'm linking up with Jeannett over at Life Rearranged

life rearranged

Project 365 - Day 88

Day 88:

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Bennett - 7 months yesterday!

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Maxton - He's enjoying dressing up with necklaces lately.


Instagram - Little B enjoying a biscuit.

Happy Thursday!! Friday is tomorrow and THAT makes me a happy lady.

2 1/2 Years of Maxton

What's Max like at 2 1/2 years?

Well...

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He's funny. This kid can make us laugh. Like, coming up with REAL jokes (okay, not like knock knock jokes or anything, but still funny little observations that are like jokes). For example, we often sing "Where is Thumbkin" and the other day I asked, "Where is the carseat?" to which Max sang..."Where is carseat? Where is carseat?" We both got a pretty good laugh over that one.

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He thinks EVERYTHING is silly right now. Silly mommy, silly daddy, silly Gracie, silly book, silly refrigerator... you get the picture.

He's still not very independent. Like, at all. He needs mommy to be holding his hand the majority of the day in our own home. He likes to be played with, but not to play by himself. If he randomly ventures out he quickly comes back. I catch people looking at me, appalled sometimes by what I'm "letting" him do (wander off) but I just smile right back because I know my boy will turn around and come right back within seconds. Now, watch. He'll actually wander off now that I've said this. *sigh*

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He's SO into Thomas the Train. Loves any train really. We took him on a steam engine train and although he was scared of it, he still talks about it every single day.

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He calls his brother Bennett. Not Ben, Bennett. Always the full name. Unless he calls him Little Brother. Like, "Hello, Little Brother" like he's really prim and proper. Then he laughs his evil cartoon laugh because, clearly it's hilarious that he's pretending to be so proper.

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He's not that into art. Try as I may to bring out his creative side, he's just more analytical than artistic.

He's SUPER into music. I guess that's where his art is. He sings "The Scarecrow Song" on repeat all day and night. We love it so we join right in.

He loves junk food. And, while that's all fine and dandy, I would appreciate if he ate something green at least once a day.  I'm working on it.

He loves to count and can count to 20 with little to no help. Then it's all downhill... 22, 28, 25, 19!

He loves to sing the alphabet, too! Unless reminded, he misses H-P every single time. If reminded, he can do the whole thing! He can even randomly throw in Twinkle Twinkle since he knows it's the same tune.  It sounds like this "A-B-C-D little star, how I wonder what you are Q-R-S-T-U-V." Lovely little tune.

He's got an opinion. And he dislikes being wrong. Gee... I wonder where he gets that from? His favorite color is purple, and he frequently calls something that's blue, purple. I will say, "No, sweetie, that's blue" and he'll think about it and then say, "It's blue, PURPLE" with an emphasis on the purple. Because he knows it's blue, but won't be wrong about it being purple. Silly Max. We're now seeing this idea expand into other things. He sees a lawnmower and he calls it a leaf blower. We correct him and say it's a lawnmower - and he shoots back with "lawnmower, LEAF BLOWER". Okay, son. We get it. You don't like to be corrected :)

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He's seriously the sweetest child I've ever known. Soft spoken with new people, but loud and jovial with people he's comfortable with. He shares and empathizes with kids who are crying. He always notices the criers. When he comes home from day care I get a run down of who was crying that day. I think he truly worries when other kids cry. I hope that doesn't go away. I hope he's the kid to befriend the criers and help make them laugh and feel better. He's the perfect kid for that job.

He is a joy. He drives me crazy. Sometimes I ask myself, "Why can't this kid just PLAY for a little bit by himself?!" or "Why doesn't he want to try the ride/tubing/slide/whatever one of the many things he's petrified of?!" But, that's just Max. Cautious, loving, snuggly, love the known and hates the unknown Max. We love him to pieces. I'm so so happy that he's mine. What an honor it is to be his mommy and hold his hand all day, every day.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Project 365 - Days 81-87

Another week another few missed days. But, here are 7 pics of each boy plus 7 instagram pics for your enjoyment (I hope!)

7 Days of Maxton:

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All above photos are from the train museum that we went to last Saturday!
Our little guy was in train heaven! 
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Just having some great fun at the park! 
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7 Days of Bennett:

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OMG. Look at those rolls. 
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Yes, he's playing with a nose aspirator. 
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Sleepy little guy. 
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7 Days of Instagram:

Little yellow flowers popping up all around our house! 
The Lego Bridge has become a favorite around here. 

I spent all of last Thursday like this. Ugh. 

Max loves windmills! 

More train museum pics. 

Holy YUM! This was so amazingly fantastic. Ritchie kept taking bites and I asked him to save some for me. He kindly replied that he was just making sure he got some because he knew once I got my hands on it there would be none left. He knows me well.

Going Back to my Teaching Days... Part 1.

I used to be a teacher. I actually had parents of my students tell me that I was set when I had kids.

I knew how to discipline yet be loving. I tackled not only teaching, but fostering 20 students' well being and personal growth.

I could lesson plan and teach. I could even make the lessons fun and interactive! I could help kids settle arguments. I could give a warning look from across a room and ignite an immediate response (with the occasional eye-roll).

Here's the catch, though. I could do all of that with 10 year olds. I taught 4th grade, not preschool (but, holy hell - hats off to you preschool teachers. I mean, seriously. You guys should eat cake every single day because the fact that you made it through the day deserves some sort of celebration).

Now, I'm not saying I was the perfect teacher, far from it. But, I definitely managed to maintain a level or organization and my students seemed happy and successful. Why can't I do this successfully with my own two children?! I'm completely lost. Drowning, if you will. Max has really thrown me for a loop. I thought he was handling the whole sibling transition beautifully until lately. He still loves Bennett, but the kid will cross the room with the sole purpose of whacking me in the face. He just seems angry sometimes.

And, no wonder. When I took a long hard look at myself as a parent and our daily routines I began to wonder how I let everything get this out of control. The house is in shambles 90% of the time. The poor kids almost never gets my undivided attention. Why did I give up teaching to stay home? Certainly it wasn't to do a piss poor job with my own children.

Now, yes, I know that I'm in a very challenging time in my parenting career (Dear God, please tell me it gets easier) what with the no sleep and the two clingy children under the age of three. I feel like my entire day is diapers and making meals and snacks and cleaning up messes and wiping faces and "don't touch/eat/throw/kick thats". It's really exhausting. I have every excuse in the book to have a messy, chaotic house and little time to spend with my kids just having fun. There's SURVIVING to be done. Fun? What's that? If we LIVED I'm happy.

But, that's not working for us anymore. Max especially simply needs more from me and our home environment. So, I went back to my teaching roots and started with the basics. I'll do a series of posts on some of the changes I've made and let you know how they're going. Maybe some of you can benefit from my triumphs or mistakes through this process.

So... this week I started making some changes around here. I'll fill you in on those changes as this series continues. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, do any of you have any words of wisdom to share? Or perhaps you're right there with me and can commiserate? Either way, I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Have A Problem

I've been a long time fan of Pottery Barn. Before I could afford to buy any furniture at all, I still got the catalogues delivered and ogled at all the beautiful dark wood furniture and dreamt of furnishing my entire home in Pottery Barn.

We bought our first Pottery Barn pieces off the floor at a discount price. We had been married a little over a year and we bought a coffee table, TV console and side table for the couch. They each had little scratches, but we got them for 25% off so we didn't care. Pottery Barn was officially in our home!

Next came our desk, which at the time was used as makeup table for me.

When we bought our house, our first major purchase (oh, and it was major) for it was an entire bedroom set from good ole' PB. A bed, dresser, and two nightstands.




Our old bedding is from Pottery Barn as is our current bedding. 




Shockingly, our crib and nursery dresser is not from Pottery Barn Kids. They didn't get great safety reviews and so I went another way. But, I did get espresso colored wood so that I could easily pair any Pottery Barn with it in the future.

When it came time to get Max a big boy bed we went with a twin from Pottery Barn. His table and chair set where he eats snack and does art projects is another Pottery Barn goody.



Then we went ahead and got him a coordinating red bookshelf. 



THEN, we moved again and needed a bookshelf, so we picked up one of these beauts:


So... what does that put us at? 11 pieces of Pottery Barn furniture and two bedding sets.

I'm not telling you this to brag. I seriously have a problem. I said to my friend today that I believe myself to be incapable of buying furniture from anywhere but Pottery Barn.

I've decided to just go ahead and embrace it. I am who I am and I happen to freaking LOVE Pottery Barn. Like, A LOT.

So... we need a new couch. It's time. We've had our couch (which we bought off of friends who had used it for who knows how long) over 8 years ago. It's SO time.

We're planning to have this in our home by the beginning of May:


I almost peed my pants just now. I'm SO excited. And, to add insult to injury, I just bought this yesterday:


And, there you have it. I have a problem. And, I've decided that I'm okay with that.

Feel free to judge, because I certainly do.
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