Thursday, August 28, 2014

last days of summer

As summer comes to an end we've been soaking up every last bit of it. My brother came into town last weekend so we hit up the beach. This visit went much smoother, however, with Ryder not trying to dive in head first every chance he got. We got there at low tide so there was a lot of distance between our stuff and the water line so Ryder was busy running around. Jane, on the other hand, went walking in the water up to her thighs without a care in the world. Only a mischievous grin. I guess those swimming lessons are really building her confidence. When she wasn't running through the water like a baywatch lifeguard, she was happy just lounging around in the surf in her Minnie float. Love these kids. 


(me and my man. kids in the background)


I am totally digging the ages that the kids are at right now. They're playing so well together - Ryder is great at sharing and Jane is protective - and seeing them together makes my heart swell. Earlier today, Ryder was trying to climb up onto the sofa (using the ottoman as leverage) and Jane was like "Hold my hand, boy! I'll save you and pull you up!" It was TOO MUCH. And at bedtime, she suggested a blankie for him so he wouldn't be cold and kissed him goodnight and told him she'd be back in the morning. I die. 


I want to freeze these moments because I know I'll blink and they'll be 18 and on their way out. Or 10 and asking me to drop them off a block from school so they don't have to be seen with me. (Never gonna happen)


Ryder's talking a lot more lately. So far he's got down the following words: mama, dada, shoe, bella, hot, agua, all done, mas (spanish for "more"), bubble, barbie, bowl. Can't think of the others but my favorite is hot. Because it's never just "hot." It's a long drawn out HOOOOOOOt and it's very appropriate, like when he first gets into his car seat or his food is too warm. When he's hungry (which is all the time), he'll go into the cabinet and pull out a bowl and grab a cereal box from the pantry. Like a boss.


Jane's at that age where everything she says is hysterical. My girl is funny. She loves and I mean LOVES to watch you tube make-up tutorials of princess make-up. Don't ask because I don't even know. So naturally she'll practice on herself or on me. She's scarily accurate for a three year old. It would be cool if she became a make-up artist when she was older, right? She gave me a make-over today and said "there you go, I gave you an adorable look!" And then she asked me how I liked her new look. Oh dear. 


So we live in a pretty awesome town and recently a new fish taco place opened up near our house. It's freaking amazing. The ambiance, the atmosphere, the music. We went with my parents and ordered a ton of appetizers and tacos. So. good. I could probably go once a week. 


And the last update, we're converting our spare room into a playroom. It's coming along quite nice. Not in a hurry to finish it and it certainly won't be pinterest-worthy. Just a cute and colorful space for my kids to play in. Below are some free printables that I mod podged (not super successfully I might add) onto canvases. I haven't hung them up because I'd like to paint the room first but need to decide on a color. I'm thinking of a pale gray. But if you know anything about me and decisions, it's that I'm not great at making them. So we'll see what color and theme I actually decide on. But I'm excited that the kids will have their own dedicated play space. We went back and forth about keeping this room for guests or doing the playroom and finally said you know what, this house and its rooms are for us. For every day. If we have out of town guests, they can stay at the comfort inn. Just kidding, we'll gladly give them an air mattress.


I went to one of my mom group meetups today. I'm probably averaging two activities a week. I am hustlin' for my kids. Ryder hasn't really joined us on any outings yet because it's been too hot out and the timing coincides with his nap time but Jane is loving it. And I'm meeting some really nice moms in my area. There's a hay ride/pumpkin patch outing scheduled for October and I can't wait! Speaking of which, I saw that dunkin donuts also has pumpkin spice latte's. Time to use that gift card I've been holding on to for months. Fall is practically here. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

lately

My sweet girl Jane started swim lessons last week. She's not exactly fond of getting dunked underwater and I dreaded taking her because she spent half the time yelling for me. But yesterday she turned over a new leaf and did SO good. She only cried when she got in and out (tears of joy?) of the water. Like with Ryder, the lessons are only 10 minutes long which is perfect because that's all she can handle. Look how cute she is in her suit! I think it was only $6 or $7 at Walmart.  



By the time we're done with lessons, it should be Fall. Exciting! I saw on Facebook today that pumpkin spice lattes are now available at SB. I'm not a big coffee person, or a big pumpkin person for that matter, but I'll partake in anything seasonal. I'm the queen of homemade apple cider and I'm counting down the months until I can whip out my crock pot for that.  

Over the next few months we'll also be checking out local preschools since Jane will be turning 4 in April. The plan is to start her in pre-k shortly after, maybe on a part time basis, depending on how she does. My baby girl in school! Crazy to think about. Her little brother, on the other hand, will stay home as long as possible so I can keep him out of trouble. Case in point: a shot of my beloved curtains, splattered in nail polish. One of the many joys of having curious toddlers. I had to order a new one (thank God they're not discontinued) because that polish is not coming out. This is the second time in two months I've had to scrub polish off my tiles. Yes I've locked away the remaining bottles. 

(so much worse in person)

Little man likes to play with nail polish and dress up as a princess. My boy likes to take the road less traveled. We have a nickname for him: Big Booty Butt. Because he's got a big one. To go along with his thunder thighs. His sister is Little Butt because she's growing like a weed and has lost all baby fat. They love their nicknames. 
  



These kids are a handful these days but the joy they bring always trumps the chaos. I love my little munchkins. We went for a stroll the other day through our nearby park and Ryder screamed his head off, per usual, so we let him out of the stroller and put him on the ground barefoot. He ran and ran until he was worn out. It was great.  



In other news, my breasts have completely disappeared now that I'm no longer nursing. I've seen this happen to other women and just thought it was unfortunate. But now I'm the one with the (small) A cup and ouch, reality check. Maybe Jane and I can share training bras when she's older. I'm still a bit sad that I'm done with breastfeeding because I feel like it ended so abruptly. One day it was routine with no end in sight and the next, we were done. 

I mowed the lawn last week - actually volunteered to see how hard it was; it wasn't!- and my allergies have been out of control ever since. This all natural mama has been taking Allegra for some relief. My doctor prescribed it back in April but I wasn't comfortable taking anything since I was breastfeeding. 

Have I mentioned the snake we saw recently in front of the house? Jane was looking out the front door and said there was a "big worm." Pretty sure he's harmless but still. Gross!


I'm not pleased with the quality of my pics lately. Most of them are from the iphone, which you think would take decent shots, but no. I'm going to have to start using my trusty Canon. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

saturday

Another lazy Saturday around here. Snuggles with my boy (and his dinosaur) and selfie's with my girl.

(why does the iphone 4s take such horrible pictures???)


Is there anything cuter than a chunky boy in diapers? I don't think so. Even if he loves climbing into a hamper of freshly folded clothes. Look at the toothy grin. Slays me every time. As does my precious Jane in her princess jammies. Helping mama in the kitchen. She loves to be "up on the counta" and will stay up there long after I'm done cooking. 


I've been taking advantage of Ryder's nap times lately and using them to run errands with Jane. Firstborns are always a little neglected when new babies join the family so I've been trying to get some one on one time with her. On our way to the grocery store yesterday I decided to treat us to some fro-yo. I loved being able to sit there and just hang out with my oldest, like we used to before Ryder came along. Only took my phone out to snap this pic below. I plan on making this a habit - date days with my girl. And with my boy, once he's older.

When Ryder's awake, he's usually on the kitchen floor eating out of a bowl. Here he is with some roasted cauliflower. I think this may have been dinner, too. It was a hectic week. And a pic of my toddler friendly carrot zucchini muffins. A big hit with the kids (dad too).


Goofiness ensuing. That's Jane under the hamper. Ryder will climb on everything. No fear whatsoever. Typical boy! And can you believe I've only had to replace my front door sheers once in five years? Jane had her grubby little fingers all over those things when she was younger but Ryder hasn't been as interested. Together, however, it's a cute but cringe worthy sight. My curtains!


A rare shot of the most neglected member of our family. She does come in handy when food falls on the floor (a daily occurrence), though.


The husband and I finally hit the gym last week. It was a great work out but we haven't been back since (lol). Reason being the rest of the week was just too hectic. Hope to get back there next week, though. I'd like to be in shape right before the holidays. That always works out well. 


I remember having so much more energy earlier this year when I was running regularly. Then life happened and knocked me on my rear and I've been trying to get back up ever since. By 8:30 pm on most nights, I'm absolutely wiped out. Which isn't fun because that leaves me with half an hour of "free time" each day. A lot of it has to do with emotional exhaustion but I'm hoping that getting back to the gym will rev me up again. Lord knows I need it! 


Sunday, August 3, 2014

back to your regularly scheduled programming

I have my period for the second time this month. UGH. I just want to lay in bed all day and watch movies. Which is not possible when you have two toddlers and one of them (ahem, Ryder) has been fussy for weeks and is mostly unhappy unless he's eating or sleeping. I'm in no condition to do anything productive. Before last month I hadn't had a period in 4 years thanks to pregnancy/nursing. Four wonderful years. *tear*

I'm not used to the cramping and feeling so blah. I've never had weird cycles like this either -
especially ones that occur while I'm on bcp - but I suspect it has a lot to do with stopping breastfeeding. I've never had to stop cold turkey before so my hormones are rebelling. It'll be nice once my body regulates. Thankfully my cramps aren't super painful like they were when I was a kid (curled up in a ball anyone?) but I still feel like poo. I love how I give birth without meds but give me a menstrual cycle and I'm waving a white flag.

Moving on...this week will be major for us. Hopefully in a great way. I'll share more if/when the time comes. Also a big week for Ryder who finishes his swimming lessons this week. You can drop him in a pool and he will roll over and float on his back. It's a little nerve wracking to watch but very cool nonetheless.

Some weekend shots. My mom picked up this basket of fake foods that are attached with velcro and can be "cut" in half with a fake knife. Big hit with Jane!


Sharing is caring. Ryder feeding his goldfish crackers to the dog. Mister man is usually on the move. Whining, running, climbing, whining. Repeat. So it's nice for ALL of us when he sits down and takes a breather. 


How I take a breather. I've never been a big drinker. I didn't drink while pregnant/nursing and prior to all of that, I would only enjoy a glass of wine every once in a while with dinner. Then there was the whole weird Christian stigma about drinking. Should we/shouldn't we. Nobody we knew ( from church) drank and it was always this big taboo. Oh the humanity! But now, two kids later and with the kind of year I've had, my tune has changed. Since stopping breastfeeding, I've been enjoying a beer here and there or some wine. Nothing crazy. Ice cold beer on a hot summer day? Yes please!



Back to my lazy Sunday!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

iphone pic dump

So I had a birthday this week. I'm 31. Goodbye, 20's. Hello, quickly approaching 40. It's true what they say though, age is just a number. I really feel 90 :)


We kept the festivities low key. My mom cooked an amazing surf and turf dinner (I ate 3 lobster tails) and we had the traditional ice-cream cake for dessert. I've had ice-cream cake for every birthday that I can remember. That's what happens when you grow up around the corner from a Carvel shop. Ah, nostalgia. Also, presents! A pretty Pandora bracelet and some new kicks. Jane made me a super adorable birthday card that's hanging on the fridge. Love my family.


Yesterday I had my first meet up with a local mom's group. Since Jane isn't in school and is stuck at home all day I've been really wanting to get her hooked up with some play mates. So I went online and found some local mom groups. I've been to one group's meetup before but I found them too strict. They practically wanted a background investigation. Ladies, it's a freaking play date group not the FBI. But the moms that that I met yesterday were lovely and Jane had a blast with the other kiddos. Hoping this is the start of some new friendships for both myself and the kids.


My brilliant husband mentioned creating a chore chart for Jane now that she's old enough. So I went online and found these free printable charts (here). I laminated them and attached velcro strips and voila, we have an awesome and fun chore chart. The big tasks are cleaning up her room, feeding the dog, brushing her teeth, setting and clearing the table and being nice to her brother (which she really is 99% of the time). She has to complete 6 tasks each day to earn one star. 4-5 stars earns her a trip to the dollar store to pick out a toy. Fun for everyone involved!


My brother in law visited recently and we took a walk to our local park. It's literally a 3 minute walk from our front door. The brothers and the kids played around with the football on this huge field. Perfect for Ryder to run around in and I don't have to worry about him running into the street or falling into a lake. 


It's been a while since I made a homemade pizza. I didn't have veggies on hand so I only used spinach and basil from the garden. Homemade pizza dough is SO easy and way tastier than store bought. I'd like to experiment next time with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto sauce. Yum! 


I saved the best for last. Last weekend I was weeding in the garden when Jane exclaimed there was a snake in the tree. I brushed her off for a second thinking 'haha she probably just saw a big worm or something' then I stopped and thought about it. Jane is no dummy. She knows the difference between a snake and a worm and she doesn't lie. Even though I've never seen a snake anywhere near our house I just knew she was telling the truth. Lo and behold, there was a snake in the tree. It looked young (where was the mama?!) and when I googled, it appeared to be a harmless corn snake. They feast on lizards and rats (don't mind if you do) so I spared its life. I did shriek when I saw it and Jane said "it's okay mom, they're friendly". Okay! 


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

end of nursing

And just like that, it's over. I am done nursing my second child. Coincidentally Jane was the same age when she stopped nursing too but that's because I was pregnant with her brother! 


Ryder's always been an efficient nurser. Since day one, he was a 10 minute eater. Not a 45 minute lounger like his sister was. That said, we were still going strong even at 15 months old. The feedings were dropping as he was eating more solids and getting more distracted but we still got in a few sessions each day, especially in the mornings. Then one day last week, he just refused. I didn't think too much of it since, like I said, the feedings had been more spaced out lately but I definitely didn't think he was DONE. 



I offered him several more times that day but he just didn't want it. Not going to lie, I did feel kind of rejected. Which I know is common when the breastfeeding relationship is ended by the kid. In this case, I totally felt dumped by my 1 year old. Still, I debated pumping to relieve my discomfort or just letting my milk dry up. I decided to pump that night - hadn't used the pump in months! - which felt great considering I looked and felt like I had a lopsided implant. 


I'm glad I pumped to maintain my supply (not that it would've dried up overnight) because the next morning, Ryder nursed! I was so happy. I read up on self weaning and learned that babies don't usually do that before 18-24 months. If they go on a nursing strike, it's usually due to illness or teething. Since Ryder's molars are coming in, I chalked his little 24 hour strike up to that. My joy was short lived though because he hasn't nursed since then and that was last week!



I continue to offer him the opportunity to nurse about twice a day but he is definitely done. I have mixed emotions. On one hand, I was able to nourish and sustain him for 15+ months. Considering most moms I know turn to formula at 6 months, that's a huge accomplishment (for me). Exclusive breastfeeding is tough but it's been so so rewarding. On the other hand, I'm a little sad that I don't have that quiet bonding time with him anymore. And that he's no longer a baby but a toddler. Where did the time go? My boy is growing and he wants to be on the go. It's bittersweet to close this chapter but I know we'll make a lot more memories as time goes on. And what's been nice is that my boobs aren't exploding like I thought they would be. They're fuller but not uncomfortable. I think eventually they'll just shrink back down to size. Ah, womanhood! 



You know what gets me excited? Seeing all the back to school stuff in stores. Because it means this dreaded summer is coming to an end and we'll soon be welcoming the holidays. Changing leaves, cooler weather, boots, hot cider. Pumpkin patches! Am I right? Can't wait. Plus I don't have kids in school yet so I don't need to stress about buying gear/clothes/packing lunches. Despite the heat, we've been taking full advantage of this season and getting lots of pool time in and fun times with the family.





This is how Ryder spends most of his days, just hanging onto my legs for dear life. My little monkey. Cute but not exactly practical when I'm trying to get stuff done around the house :)



Their first time playing with sidewalk chalk. A big hit.


We've also been hitting up the coast. Last weekend we checked out Cocoa Beach for the first time and we loved it. I've always avoided it because it's a touristy area and also happens to be one of the shark bite capitals of the world. But we decided to see what the hype was all about and it didn't disappoint. The water was amazing and the waves were huge. So huge that I regret selling my surfboard a few years ago. There was also a cute little pier that you can fish off of, some restaurants and umbrella rentals (a life saver for when you get to the beach and realize you forgot to pack yours like I did!). Miss Jane was perfectly content to lay in her chair, wearing her mima's straw hat. Ryder, however, was a completely different story. Now that he's doing swimming lessons, I guess he feels invincible. He runs toward the water and just wants to dive right in and practice his floating. We should've brought a playpen to keep him in because he wouldn't even let us hold him. So the three of us had to take turns trying to keep him wrangled. Quite the task.


Hanging at mima and granddad's house. I've been enjoying a lot more wine lately now that Ryder is no longer nursing (!!!). More on that in another post.


I love watching the kids interact with each other. Jane's always been really good with her brother but now that he's getting older, they're able to play more. It's so cute. I hope they're BFF's forever. This morning, they hung out in her crib for about 20 mins just playing. <3



Speaking of Jane, little miss is 3 going on 25. She's so smart. Quite the negotiator, especially at bedtime. When she senses that bedtime is approaching - usually by watching the sun set - she runs to the kitchen and starts looking for a snack. Anything to stall. Her vocabulary really exploded when she turned 2 and it's crazy to have actual conversations with her and see her use critical thinking. She makes jokes (recently she picked her nose and called it a "hambooger" and died laughing) and she's super polite and thoughtful. Says "please", "thank you" and "yes mom" all the time. A few weeks ago I was trying to figure out where to put her sippy cup and finally shoved it in the pocket of her backpack and she said "good idea, mom!" She's also gotten into my make-up - see below.


We've been trying to get Ryder to start self feeding. It's going GREAT. I have to wear a hazmat suit just to transfer him from the high chair to the bathtub.


Shattered nail polish. Red sparkly nail polish. A trail of nail polish across the house. That was fun to clean up. I think we both got high from the 15 mins I spent scrubbing Jane's legs with acetone.


I'll end on that note!