Saturday, April 28, 2012

April's Photo Favorites

Well, clearly I'm done for with P365. It was a good run, but I think far too ambitious. I'll attempt the 52 week project next year for sure. WAY easier to maintain one photo a week of each kid than one a day. I mean, come on, what was I thinking?

FAIL.

Anyway, I am still practicing a bunch with my camera and hope to continue seeing improvement! I'm going to start doing my favorite photos of the month in a post at the end of each month in place of P365.

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We had a week long bubble kick and it was really enjoyable :)

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Cheerios is a new favorite for both of the boys!

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I love this hat! It doesn't quite fit him yet, but we'll get there.

Happy April everyone! I cannot believe it's almost May!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Our Weekend

We were beyond ready for this weekend. After a week of illness it appeared that both kids were finally starting to feel better. Ritchie was also improving and I had (somehow) managed to not get sick at all! It was Ritchie's birthday and we awoke ready to celebrate with well children and the glorious weather we've been having!

Yeah... it didn't exactly go like that. We noticed that Ben had a rash covering his entire head that was quickly spreading down his body and that he was wheezing, so we made a(nother!) appointment with our pediatrician and stalled our plans for the day to make sure our littlest guy was okay.

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Here he is at the dr office - so sad.

They think he was having an allergic reaction to his antibiotic so they gave him a different one and they also prescribed him breathing treatments for his wheezing. It's insanely ridiculous how sick these children have been and how it seems to NEVER EVER end. Yeesh.

Anyway, it was over 90 degrees and we were determined to make the most of our day. Ben just needed to rest so we figured it was fine for him to do that while we visited our local farm for their annual tour. Max needed some time out of the house after being trapped all week. The farm was really fun and since it's spring it was bursting with baby animals.

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Max had a great time seeing all of the animals, but was talking about a peacock and there wasn't one, so he was a bit bummed about that. Overall, we had a great trip there!

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And the birthday boy was happy to get a walk in outdoors and see the kids have fun.

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Ahh.. self portraits.

The only bummer of that trip was that I got some insane sunburn.

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But, I didn't wear sunscreen, so... what can I expect?

Ritchie is one of those people that, while he has favorites of things, he usually won't be able to tell you what he wants in advance. So, I waited until that morning to discuss with him what he wanted to eat on his special day and what kind of cake he wanted. Is it just hilarious to me that he went into ornate detail describing this light, lemony cake with creamy frosting that had just a hint of lemon taste that he wanted but when I asked him what I should cook for dinner he said, "Chili-cheese dogs. With tater-tots!"

Umm.. okay? Ask and you shall deliver birthday boy. And, he's not that crazy because it was all delicious.

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I'm proud to say that the cake was beautiful AND freaking scrumptious. Favorite lemon cake I've ever had. Max was VERY eager to eat it and became very sad that we made him wait until after dinner.

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Ben still wasn't feeling great but Daddy was a champ and held him while I baked and cooked all afternoon.

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Happy Birthday to Ritchie! You're our favorite!

Sunday was a busy day it felt with errands and getting the house in order for the week, but the weather was still lovely so we snuck in a park visit.

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It may appear that Ritchie is a single parent while I run around snapping photos all day. It's true.

I hope you all had an equally fabulous weekend minus the sick kid!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

5 Things I Learned While my Children Were Insanely Sick

How do I sum up this week? There's been coughing, vomiting, high fevers, higher fevers, snot, eye goop and very little sleep. I have SO much I could say about how awful this week has been for the Lincoln household, but where would that land me? If there's anything I've learned in my 30 years is that there's power in positivity so I'm going to attempt to shed some light on this garbage dump of a situation and share with you the top 5 things that I've learned while my children were insanely sick. I'm also going to throw in some Instagram photos of my very sick children.

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Max as we were coming home from Urgent Care. This picture doesn't even do justice to how bad he looked and felt. I was so sad that day.

I've learned that...

1. Even though the pediatric advice line will immediately send you to urgent care or the ER for anything over 104 degree fever, once you get there they will be "unimpressed" with that low of a fever and tell you there's nothing to worry about. Moms? Apparently you don't have to be truly concerned until your child has a temp of 107 degrees or higher. That is when you will impress the emergency room staff. This is one area that I would prefer my children to be underachievers in. Remain as unimpressive as you'd like, kids! So, I guess I've taken from this to stop panicking about a high fever. Try a fever reducer (more on that coming right up) or a luke warm bath or a cool compress and take it from there. They basically did nothing for Ben at the emergency room despite his 105 degree temperature so basically I could have stayed home and slept. They did, however, give us Motrin and that brings me to the second thing I've learned.

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Ben and me at the ER. He just slept the whole time in my arms.

I've learned that...

2. Motrin is far superior in reducing a fever than Tylenol. Maybe it's just my kids, but we had Tylenoled Ben at home and he still had a rockin' fever an hour later but 20 minutes after some Motrin he was at a much less alarming 97.5 degrees. It just works better.

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When all else fails, get them outside for fresh air!

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And ice cream!

I've learned that...

3. A hoarse voice on a 2 1/2 year old is really cute. Sad, but cute nonetheless. Both my kids are honestly troopers and I've been so proud of the way they've handled being so sick. It hasn't been easy and there's definitely whining and crying, but overall they're just sweet little souls who have given their momma so many snuggles.

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Max and me snuggling on the couch watching Thomas.

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Also, we were a little silly.

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Ben perked up this morning and went with us to sign our closing docs on our house.

I've learned that...

4. Ritchie is a freaking rock star dad and husband. I already knew that, but when we have these sorts of crap times running through our family and he steps up the way he has I am just in awe at how I got so lucky. He stayed home for 2 days to help me deal with the 2 sick kids, only to go to work sick himself today because he didn't want to miss anymore time. I feel like a HUGE mommy wimp when the kids are sick. It's the vomiting that I can't handle and both kids were coughing so much they were vomiting, so I requested some help and he was there for me despite what that meant for his workload and his ability to take time off later when he was sick. He didn't complain about it and even told me that he totally understood! I mean, really, he's my hero. And I'm working on my wimpy mommy ways. I still want my own mommy when I vomit, so maybe I need to grow up a bit, yes? After all, I am 30.

Lastly, I've learned that...

5. I have an amazing network. It's all of YOU that have brought me to tears (good ones!) this week. Whether it's in a friend bringing dinner or a text saying that we're being thought of or offers of help in any way, the love and support has come in abundance this week! I've had offers for dinners to be made, Starbucks to be brought, prayers to be said and everything in between! I seriously thrive off positive energy. That's why both labors I wanted the masses to KNOW I was in labor. It helps me tremendously to know that others are thinking positive thoughts for me and this week in particular I've needed all that positivity! So, thanks SO SO SO much to you all for keeping me and my boys especially in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for the offers of food or coffee or just a shoulder (even if over text because you don't want to get sick! haha!!) to cry on. I've felt the love big time and it's carried me through.

There really has been a light at the end of this tunnel and I'm grateful to be being pulled through to the other side. I think (Dear God!) that we're through the worst of it with the boys, but I'll be sure to keep everyone posted. Oh, and just because I feel I HAVE to say this - please, call your doctor/on call doctor if your child's fever gets high. They may send you to the ER and you may not have needed to go, but obviously I am not a doctor and can't really tell you that your child is fine if they have a high fever. Just GO. It was not at all a waste of time! I felt so much better knowing he had been seen.

I plan to get back into Project 365 soon here as well as write some exciting updates on our house selling AND (finally!) a tour of the house we're renting that we love! Hopefully I'll be back in the swing of things on this here blog in no time.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Insta Friday 4/13

Woot!! Friday, Friday! This Friday will be particularly exciting because we get our BRAND NEW COUCH!!! 9 1/2 years together and it's our first couch purchase. Pottery Barn, of course.

You'll be seeing it on IG, for sure! If you aren't following me on IG go ahead and do it! My user name is maxandbensmom.

Onward.

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1. My book from the gorgeous and wonderful Kelle Hampton arrived!! I read it in one day and want to read it again. She is so honest and heartfelt and makes me want to be a better person.
2. Just Max chillin in the car.
3. Little B's feet.
4. A shadow of some sweet hand holding.
5. I made this peanut butter pie for Easter to take to Ritchie's Grandparents' house. I had a small piece and wish I could tell you it was amazing. It was just eh.
6 - 10. A crap-load of pictures from us dying eggs. What fun that was this year!
11. My brother and me being goofy on Easter.
12. Ritchie and me being cute on Easter - haha!
13. Ben searching for more goodies in his Easter basket.
14. Ben NOT napping. His specialty this week.
15. Starbucks. The morning beverage of choice.
16. My interpretation of "cold" for April Photo A Day.

As usual I'm linking up with Jeannete over at Life Rearranged

life rearranged

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Going Back to my Teaching Days... Part 3 - Get Scheduled!

I would like to start this post by telling you how I envisioned stay at home parenting to be.

Being the naive new mom that I was, I totally pictured coloring and picnics and cuddling on the couch to Disney movies mixed in with time where my children played imaginatively with blocks or trains or empty boxes by themselves so I could do things like make meals and keep the house spotless. After scrubbing the toilet with my hair perfectly blow-dried I would take off my yellow gloves and say something like, "Children, how would you like to go out for ice cream?" and they'd scurry to gather their shoes (they wouldn't' need coats because the sun was perpetually shining - a nice balmy 85 degrees) and we'd load into my (spotless) minivan and drive off for an ice cream adventure. The kids would be in heaven and when we ate our cones not a drop would spill onto their adorable Baby Gap clothes.

Yeah. So, naturally a schedule didn't really fit into this scenario because, in my perfect world we'd be too busy creating childhood memories to bog ourselves down with such things as schedules.

Enter the real world. This house needs a schedule. I don't know why I'm so hesitant of it (still, even) but I'm not a fan. Nonetheless it's something we need and I'm almost certain it will work if I can ever get around to actually following it.

You see, I have two things that get in my way of following the schedule. One is Max and the other is Ben.

Between trips to the toilet, diaper changes, meal making, TRYING to maintain SOME sort of order (and failing), getting everyone dressed and ready (not even including myself), naps (and implementing cry it out for naps), and snacks I cannot seem to find time to fit in ANYTHING else on the schedule. I feel like I never play with my kids! To my defense, we do go to a ton of play dates. But, let's be real, at a play date I want my kid to play with other kids so I can try to recoup a modicum of sanity by commiserating with other moms. So... I wouldn't say that counts as playing with my kids exactly. But, it is technically play time for them.

Anyway, the point is, we're working on it. I would love to read to the kids daily (in addition to their bedtime where we always read) and do some sort of organized play where I can interact with them daily, too. I'm learning that something's gotta give. Cleaning will have to get done after bedtime, but then when do I watch TV?

So there you have it. The schedule has been a big fat fail thus far, but I will continue to work on it because I do believe that if I could master it our life would be much smoother.

Or is that just me being naive again?

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So, there you have it. Our proposed schedule. I used one from Lakeshore and just call things by weird classroom names even though it's not really what we do. For example, centers is just Max getting to choose a tub of blocks or music or cars, etc and playing BY HIMSELF (this never happens) so I can get myself ready. Group activities is supposed to be a project or play time with me. Usually it's around this time that we end up leaving for a play date or something and that time gets skipped. I can change up the schedule for after naps to include project time or reading time if we missed it, but honestly I have yet to change the schedule. It looks all bent and used because kids have been ripping off the velcroed activities, not because I've actually been using this board. *sigh* Like I said, I'm working on it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 2012

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As I was typing that title I went back and forth between 2011 and 2012... what the heck year is it again?! Geeze.

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Anyway, no matter the year, this Easter was AWESOME! By far my favorite holiday since having children. Max was fully into all of the activities and I felt like maybe, just maybe, he understood what was going on. He talked about the Easter bunny and definitely got the whole there will be chocolate concept. And ever since we dyed eggs he's been asking to do it again.

So much fun!

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Ben obviously didn't get it yet, but we included him in all of the festivities. We even let him play with an egg. He broke it.

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Max on the other hand was sooo into it. Loved every single minute. Still is talking about chocolate bunnies. He had a cookie yesterday. A lovely egg shaped cookie adorned with jelly beans that my dad had gotten him as an Easter treat. And as he happily munched the cookie he said, "Eat cookie, get chocolate bunny?" as though he were eating his vegetables or something. I think that's when you know a 2 year old has had far too many treats in one day. He starts negotiating eating one treat to get another one.

*sigh*

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Thank you tripod! We can take family photos! What a concept. Now we just have to 1. tame my wild mess of a head of hair and 2. tell Ritchie that he can hide the remote that takes the pictures. Whatever, we're all present and looking and Max is even smiling. It's a win!

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Easter baskets were appropriately torn to shreds, their prizes unveiled and devoured.

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Please note the Christmas jammies. Who do you think gets them jammied? My money is not on the holiday crazed momma... no, I'll place my bet with the nonchalant daddy who doesn't think about all the pictures that will be taken.

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Oh, but Daddy can hide eggs real good. And a certain two year old, despite heavy fears of dirt (more to come on that) can find them real good, too.

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He also had breaking open the plastic eggs and eating the candy down to a science.

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Little brother did what he could do...

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Which was basically hang around, looking cute.

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And then he went and napped.

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Perfect family day.
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